NBA All-Star Q&A with Former Huntsville Flight Forward Ronald Dupree
DENVER, Feb. 19
-- Undrafted out of Louisiana State in the 2003 NBA Draft, Ronald Dupree
was selected by the NBDL's Huntsville Flight with the first pick of the second round (seventh overall) in the 2003 NBDL Draft. Dupree got the call he was looking for in January 2004, when he signed a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls. Once he got the call to the NBA, Dupree wasted no time in showing he belonged, scoring 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds in his NBA debut versus the Miami Heat on January 7. Dupree spent the remainder of the 2003-04 season with the Bulls, and then signed with the Pistons in the offseason.
Adrian Dantley, Ronald Dupree and Swin Cash represented Detroit during the RadioShack Shooting Stars event.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
And Dupree hit another milestone this weekend, as he took part in the RadioShack Shooting Stars competition during NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online. Dupree teamed up with Swin Cash and Adrian Dantley to represent Detroit in the four-team shooting contest. NBDL.com caught up with Dupree before the event, and here's what he had to say about being a part of All-Star, life in the NBA, and more.
What does it feel like to be a part of NBA All-Star 2005?
Dupree: "It feels great. This is my first time, my second year in the league, being a part of All-Star activities. So I'm glad to participate in one of the events. I'm very ecstatic, I'm happy. I'm glad, but also I see these guys, the All-Stars of our league, and that's the ultimate goal to achieve, being an All-Star."
How did you find out that you'd been selected for the RadioShack Shooting Stars event?
Dupree: "I got a call from agent, pretty much... I'd already booked my flights because I was going to come up here anyways and hang out with some of my friends. My agent called and asked if I wanted to participate, and I said sure. I'm going to be the down there anyways, plus I get some perks by participating, so I signed up."
How big a change has it been for you, coming from the NBDL to now being a part of the NBA's All-Star festivities?
Dupree: "It's a 180-degree change, obviously. But it's a prime example of setting your goals high and having confidence that I could play at this level and be a solid player. If you set high goals, you accomplish a little bit of these other things on that journey."
How did your time in the NBDL help you and what did you gain from that experience?
Dupree takes a shot during the RadioShack Shooting Stars competition.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
"It's was a learning experience, pretty much. I knew I wasn't supposed to be there, but everything happens for a reason. So it doesn't make sense to get down on yourself, but just continue to work and get better while I'm there."
What advice would you give to players in the NBDL right now, looking to make the jump like you have?
Dupree: "Keep working, keep working, keep working, and keep working."
What has been the highlight since you've been out here and what are you looking forward to the most about the weekend?
Dupree: "I got here yesterday morning, and just being a part of the media experience, seeing Shaq, and all the All-Stars all in one place was something special."
Is there a player of celebrity that you are most excited to meet?
Dupree: "Well, I guess Magic. I met him a few minutes ago at the photo shoot... You know, all these great players – Adrian Dantley who I'm shooting with, Dan Majerle, being around these old guys who have already been here and done this is great also."
Any advice that anyone's giving you about going through this weekend?
Dupree: "Have fun."