Monday, December 20, 2010

Exclusive interview with PG Will Blalock of the Townsville Crocs (Australian NBL). "Being drafted by the Pistons was definitely a dream come true. Words couldn't describe how happy me and family were at that very moment"

Will Blalock (6-1, born September 8, 1983, in Boston, Massachusetts) attended Iowa State University (2003-2006) and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round with the last pick (60th overall) in the 2006 NBA Draft. He played in Israel (Hapoel Jerusalem), in the D-League (Anaheim Arsenal) and in Germany (Artland Dragons). Blalock is now playing for the Townsville Crocs in the Australian NBL. Will talked to Basketball Telegraph columnist Dr FingerRoll about his love for the game, the dream came true of playing in the NBA, the dramatic eposide that forced him to sit out and put his life in danger, and his professional rebirth.

Will, let's start from the very beginning. Can you go back to your childhood years and tell our readers your very first memory related to basketball?

 My very memory with basketball was around 6 years old and I was always playing ball in the house and my mother would always tell to never bounce the ball in the house.

Who was your basketball role model growing up?

Growing up I loved Magic Johnson and I also thought I would grow to be 6'9 and be able to play point guard but also do the tip-off as a 5 man.

Was there an episode that you can recall that made you think that you were more than just an average baller and that basketball could become your job?

When I played AAU (which is juniors in high school) I had a lot of interest from Div 1 schools from around the country and they started comparing me to some of the top PG's in my class, like Chris Paul for example.

From Boston you moved to Iowa to study and play for the Cyclones. Was it the first time away from home and what are your memories of the college years?

Going to ISU was my first time being away from home for that long of a period of time. I enjoyed every moment of my college experience and I actually think about it at least once a day because it was a time in my life when I felt free and on my own so to speak, so naturally being away from home was tough at first but it was for the better.

After 3 fruitful seasons you declared for the Draft and got selected by the Pistons. Your childhood dream was becoming did it feel?

Being drafted was definitely a dream come true; words couldn't describe how happy me and my close friends and family were at that very moment.

For those who have yet to see you play, what type of player is Will Blalock on the court?

Will Blalock is an unselfish play-maker with the ability to also score but prides himself on Defense and getting teammates open shots.

Will, something happened in the summer of 2008. Something that could have put an end not only to your career but to your life. Can you tell us what happened and how did that episode change, if it did, your priorities in life?

 The summer of 2008 was definitely a life changing event. It was definitely a wake up call from God, I was waiting to board a flight headed to Seattle to workout for the Sonics and I began to lose feeling in my arms legs and feet, I was rushed to the hospital and after many test and scans they said I had experienced a minor stroke.

After some months where you were forced to sit out, a call from Europe came. Your career wasn't over...

The second phase of my career started in Germany when a coach gave me a chance and I played for the Artland Dragons in Germany's top league. That experience was great and gave me the confidence and overall strength to say to myself that I could do this at a high level still, I just needed the opportunity to showcase it.

Who's Will Blalock off the court, tell our readers something about the man Will Blalock.

Will Blalock off the court is a proud father of a son (Nisaiah 4 yrs old) and soon to be born in Feb 2011 daughter (Shyla) and I value my family more than anything and after that I'm a bball junkie if I'm not playing bball video games I'm watching euro league DVDs or live NBA games.

Thank you Will, and best of luck for your season with the Crocs in Australia!

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