Share 1-on-1: Detroit's Greg Monroe
By: Clyde Verdin,
December 8, 2010

Prior to the Hornets battling the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, caught up with rookie center Greg Monroe and got his thoughts on his first year in the NBA. The 6-11 rookie is another New Orleans product, as he starred at nearby Helen Cox High School. Although Hurricane Katrina would send him and 16 other family members to Houston when he was 15, the Monroe family came back to the city, and in his senior year in 2008 he led the Cougars to their first-ever state championship.

A McDonalds All-American, and rated as the top high school player that year, Monroe would go on to play for two seasons at Georgetown under John Thompson III. He was named the Big East freshman of the year in 2008, and in 2009 led the Hoyas to the Big East Tournament championship game. For this game, instead of going with individual tickets for friends and family, you decided to get an entire suite. How did you come up with this idea?
Monroe: Well, after talking to my financial advisors, I knew it would benefit my family and especially my grandmother. Instead of having her walking up and down stairs, knowing that this was an option I knew that everyone would have food to eat, be comfortable for the game. How many people will you have in the suite total?
Monroe: Probably about 20 to 25 people from my immediate family in the suite, and there will be other people scattered around the arena as well. Youre obviously no stranger to the New Orleans Arena, but what is it like knowing youre now playing at the highest level?
Monroe: Its very different. Ive played a lot and played at a lot of different venues and arenas, but being here is just so special to me. Its my home. Youre starting to get a lot more minutes as the season goes on. How do you feel like your game is progressing so far?
Monroe: I feel like I have to use my minutes as best as I can and produce. That means doing whatever I can on the floor whether its rebounding, defending or running the floor to get easy baskets. Whatever it takes to get better and get wins. Whats one of the hardest things about being a rookie that people might not know about?
Monroe: Just the whole transition process. Jumping up to 82 games and some of the outside things you have to deal with make a big difference. At the end of the day its still basketball whenever youre on the court, but off of it there are a lot more things to deal with. What was it like playing for such a storied program like Georgetown and playing for John Thompson III?
Monroe: Playing for Georgetown was an honor. When you have a tradition like that to uphold, you take a lot more pride when youre playing. Its definitely a special place and very different from a lot of other programs because when you walk in they immediately treat you like family. By playing in the Big East, you were seeing NBA talent almost every night. Did that make the decision to attend Georgetown easier knowing it could put you on the fast track to the NBA?
Monroe: It was a huge factor in my decision then because you had so many good players coming out of the conference, that I felt like it would give me the best shot to make the NBA. It didnt matter whether you were playing the team at the top of the standings or the bottom, because anyone had a chance to win on any given night, and you had to be at the top of your game. Lastly, youre going to have a lot of people from Helen Cox in the arena pulling for you personally. What are you expecting the atmosphere to be like?
Monroe: Itll be like Im back in high school all over again. It feels good playing in front of the people who watched me grow into the basketball player and person that I am today.

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