Q&A: Miami guard Shabazz Napier

by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 8, 2014
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Shabazz Napier won two national championships at Connecticut, capturing one as a freshman and another as a senior this past season. He went on to become the 24th pick by Charlotte in this year’s NBA Draft but was traded on draft night to Miami. Napier is now looking to learn the NBA game at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

Q: What’s it like to go from national championship game to your next competitive game is summer league?

A: That’s the biggest thing. I haven’t played competitively. I’m with a new team, and it’s kind of tough because I have to understand my teammates on the fly.

After struggling in your debut down here, what was the difference that allowed you to bounce back with a much better performance in your second game?

Losing helps you understand how to prepare for the next game. I was just looking at the tape, figuring out things that I should have done in the first game. I was nervous. I usually never get nervous before games or during games. That first game was just one of those games, I guess.

When is the last time before Saturday that you were nervous going into a basketball game?

I don’t know. That’s crazy. I don’t know. That’s actually the first time I’ve ever been super nervous during the game. I always have the jitters before every single game. That’s just common basketball stuff because you want to play as well as you should. But that was the first time I was actually nervous during the game. I can’t even remember back to my freshman days when we were going through the runs that I was nervous. So it was definitely something new for me and definitely a great learning experience.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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