Off the Court: Jarrett Jack

Thursday, January 6, 2011
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

New Orleans reserve point guard Jarrett Jack discussed his background and some of his interests away from basketball after a recent Hornets practice:

People who had the most influence on his basketball career: “My parents. They were the ones who instilled toughness in me and a tough-minded mentality. Just knowing that things aren’t always going to go right for you, and that life is a bumpy road. You have to stay the course through the good and the bad times.”

Best moment as an athlete: “Playing in the Final Four and playing for a national championship with Georgia Tech. Also making it to the NBA. That’s something I don’t take for granted. Not a lot of people are fortunate enough to be able to do it. Those two things probably rank the highest for me.”

How he chose his current uniform number: “I had worn No. 1 with previous teams, but Trevor Ariza had it here. No. 2 is the number my younger brother used to wear, so I wear it for him. He’s two years and change younger than me. He played basketball in high school.”

Hidden talent: “I can sing. That’s probably my talent I keep very, very hidden. [smiles] I’m kind of shy about it.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The food. My mother and father are actually from Louisiana. My mother is from Doyline and my father is from Ville Platte. They both went to Grambling University. Pretty much everyone in my family went to either Grambling or Southern, so this isn’t unfamiliar territory for me down here at all. I grew up coming to Bayou Classics (the annual football game in New Orleans between Grambling and Southern) every year, and spending summers in Louisiana. So this is like a second home for me.”

How he spent road trips to the Big Easy with prior teams: “There are two things New Orleans is known for, Mardi Gras and good food. The good-food part is something I never missed out on when I came here (as a visiting NBA player).”

Pregame ritual: “I shave my head before every game.”

Favorite athletes as a kid: “Deion Sanders, Penny Hardaway, Ken Griffey Jr.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I’d probably be doing something in sneaker design or apparel. I love sneakers. It was something I took to when I was young, regardless of whether they were football sneakers, basketball sneakers, sneakers in general. I just loved everything about them.”

Closest friends on other NBA teams or in other pro sports: “Chris (Paul) and I are really close. Also, Chris Bosh, Rudy Gay. Guys in football, it’s Vernon Davis, Brian Westbrook – we all grew up in the same area. Also someone like Kevin Durant. All of the guys who grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, we all transitioned to the NBA around the same time. Who would think that all of these kids from the same area would make it? I think we have maybe the second-most players in the league from any (area).”

Favorite type of music: “Rap, R&B. I try to give everything a chance, though.”

Favorite TV shows: “Martin and The Wire.”

Favorite movies of all time: “Boys in the Hood, New Jack City, Dumb and Dumber, Coming to America.”

Favorite websites: “Media Takeout, Hoops Hype, World Star Hip Hop.”

Do you have a Twitter account? “No. I leave that to Chris (Paul).” [smiles]