JUNE 2, 2005

On Thursday, June 2, the Milwaukee Bucks held their first of a series of workouts leading up to the 2005 NBA Draft. Four players took part in the late-morning session:

  • Linas Kleiza - 6-8, 245, sophomore forward from the University of Missouri
  • Terrence Leather - 6-9, 221, senior forward from the University of South Florida
  • Jamaal Levy - 6-9, 186, senior forward from Wake Forest University
  • Jawad Williams - 6-8, 218, senior forward from the University of North Carolina caught up with each of them after the workout for a quick "Four Off The Floor" chat session.

    Linas Kleiza "Four Off The Floor"
    Terrence Leather "Four Off The Floor"
    Jamaal Levy "Four Off The Floor"
    Jawad Williams "Four Off The Floor"

    Q&A with Linas Kleiza
    What do you think of Milwaukee?
    It's a great city. I've never been here before, but I've heard good things. I've only been here a short while, so I haven't gotten to do very much. But I just had a great workout. I've met some great people and I'm happy to be here. And Lake Michigan is great, too.

    What's one thing people should know about you, aside from basketball?
    I'm from Lithuania and my parents met while playing basketball. They're also artists and make a living by painting and decorating for people. Their best kind of painting is when they do big murals. But I'm not a painter. My brother and I could never really do it.

    How long have you been in the United States?
    This is my fifth year. I went to high school for two years in Maryland and the college for two years at Missouri. I like it here. I try to get home every summer.

    Two years in high school, two years in college and now, hopefully, the pros. How has the transition from each level been?
    Well, I stayed in Europe until I was 16 and learned great fundamentals from there. They have such a great program out there and I learned a lot. My coach over there cared so much about his players. And then after coming here for high school, I went back during the summer to play with my country's Junior National Team. I think that's when everyone noticed me."

    Q&A with Terrence Leather
    What do you think of Milwaukee?
    We would come here whenever we played Marquette (in Conference USA). I've never really been out into the city. We always just came in, stayed at the hotel, played ball and left. But I do like the look of the city. The lake is really nice. But I can't say I know too much of the city.

    What's one thing people should know about you, aside from basketball?
    I have two daughters, Markiscia and Terren, that I love spending time with. Them and my mom. They're everything to me. I'm also the last of nine children.

    What was it like playing against Marquette at the Bradley Center, the same place where the Bucks play?
    I like the Bradley Center a lot. The Marquette fans are good, top-of-the-line fans. There's nothing negative about them and they don't act in a negative way towards the other team or the other team's fans. I'm sure the Bucks fans are the same way.

    Have you lived in Florida your whole life?
    Yeah. I was born in Tampa and went to school in Tampa. Growing up, I wanted to play ball at USF, so I was lucky to be able to stay so close to home.

    Q&A with Jamaal Levy
    What do you think of Milwaukee?
    I’ve never been here before, but from what I’ve seen in the short time I like it. The people seem friendly and out-going.

    What do you know about the Bucks?
    I know the Bucks are a good team and they didn’t have the season they wanted last year, but they had some injuries, especially to T.J. Ford. With the draft picks they have and the players they have coming back, I know they’ll have a better season.

    What’s the one thing people should know about you, aside from basketball?
    I grew up in Panama and moved by myself to Costa Rica when I was 15 to go to high school. I moved to the United States in 1999 to finish high school in Florida. It was a tough process as I didn’t speak English very well, but I’ve worked hard at it over the years.

    Do you feel overshadowed at all having played with Chris Paul at Wake Forest?
    No, not at all. I have a great relationship with Chris and he deserves all the credit and hype that surrounds him. We spent two great years together and wish him only the best because he’s earned it.

    Q&A with Jawad Williams
    What do you think of Milwaukee?
    Milwaukee seems like a quiet town. It reminds me of Chapel Hill but only a little bigger.

    What’s one thing people should know about you, aside from basketball?
    I really believe in being active in the community, whether it be in Cleveland where I’m from or Chapel Hill or wherever I end up. It’s so important to give back. I truly believe it’s the fans that make the player and not the other way around.

    How many workouts have you gone through and does it wear on you at all?
    I’ve worked out with eight teams so far (Milwaukee, Houston, LA Lakers, Memphis, New Orleans, Portland, Golden State and New York) and am going to Toronto tomorrow. The travel can wear on you a little, but this is my dream. I look at the whole process as a great situation. When I step on the court to workout, I want to do something special. I don’t want to let this opportunity slip through my fingers.

    What’s it like having the possibility of six Tar Heels getting drafted this year?
    With the year we had winning the National Championship we’ve talked about making it a Tar Heel draft. That would really make it a Tar Heel year! The great thing about it is my freshman year we were 8-20 and everyone kind of wrote us off. We never wanted that to happen again so we embraced the new guys that came in and strove to be the best.