Ray McCallum Jr. spent two years in Norman while his father, Ray Sr., served as an assistant for Oklahoma basketball coach Kelvin Sampson from 2004 to 2006.
Ray Jr. is projected as a second-round pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft.
Q: Do you remember wearing Kevin Bookout's No. 34 jersey as a kid when you lived in Norman?
McCallum: I had more than just the jersey. I wore everything — the jersey, the shorts, everything.
That was the only jersey that really sold back then. He was ‘The man' back in the day.
Why did the pressure of being a coach's son never get to you?
I was around good teams and good players so much. I just saw how they carried themselves and how they approached the game. I just wanted to be like those guys, so I learned from the players and tried to become like them.
Bookout said even as a seventh grader, you worked hard on your game.
I want to say I was working out with some of the (OU) players sometimes. I would go to the weight room for a little bit and then go on the court. I remember I always wanted to be able to dunk. I would do all these leg exercises and all these leg lifts. I would work out with (strength and conditioning coach) Darby Rich almost every day. (Graduate assistant) Ryan McDermott and I used to play one-on-one. Me and him, we used to go at it. I really think they made me better. That was a lot of fun back there.”
Did you get your first dunk there?
I had my first dunk the summer after eighth grade was over. In Norman, there's a gym that used to be like an airplane hanger (North Base Optimist Gym). They have some league there and some of my friends in middle school got me to play in this league, kind of like a spring league, and I got my first dunk. It was off an alley-oop. I'll never forget it.
How was your experience with the Thunder at your workout session?
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