Interview with Quincy Pondexter
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

July 20, 2010

New Orleans small forward Quincy Pondexter, who officially joined the Hornets on July 8, sat down recently to discuss his unique background. The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder was selected 26th overall in the NBA Draft, after a stellar four-year career at the University of Washington. The 22-year-old Pondexter is a native of Fresno, Calif., resulting in occasional meetings on the basketball court with a current member of the Hornets roster who also was born and raised in Southern California. There is a frequently-viewed YouTube video in which you chronicle Midnight Madness on the campus of the University of Washington. Are you planning to go into broadcasting once your playing career ends?
Pondexter: Yes, when my careers over, I want to get set up to be in broadcasting, and be able to cross over between sports and entertainment. Thats one of my goals. I love doing things like that (video). You spent the weeks prior to the draft working out in Seattle. There was an ESPN: The Magazine NBA draft preview in which NBA veterans made the picks for their teams, and when it was the Atlanta Hawks turn, Seattle native Jamal Crawford chose you at No. 24. Crawford said he has played against you in pickup games and been impressed. What was your experience like playing against so many current and future NBA pros in Seattle?
Pondexter: It was a great experience. There were so many guys, including Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy, (former University of Washington star) Will Conroy, Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman so many great players have come from that area. They all come back to Seattle and give back. They try to make each other better players. Its a great, small community of athletes who come together and compete every day. Due to NBA rules governing the trade the Hornets made with the Thunder on draft night, you were unable to join the Hornets until July 8, roughly two weeks after the June 24 NBA Draft. How did you spend your time during that time period?
Pondexter: I played with Spencer Hawes a few times, but for the most part I just wanted to hone my own skills. Individual improvement and development, things to get myself better individually. Theres not one thing individually I want to improve. I want to improve my game collectively. I want to continue to be an all-around player. Im going to work on every aspect to try to get better. We had someone go back and do the research and found that over six college games, you went 3-3 against Darren Collisons UCLA teams. Prior to being drafted by the Hornets, did you already know Collison personally from facing each other in the Pac-10?
Pondexter: Actually, from us both growing up in California, we kind of grew up together. Wed see each other so much, ever since we were in grade school. Its great to be on the same team now. I know hes worked really hard to get here and has done really well with this organization. I always watched him and liked his game. Hes been a great leader and a great player. What should Hornets fans use as a nickname for you? It seems like there a lot of references to you as Q-Pon. Do you like that nickname?
Pondexter: Q-Pon started in college, but I never really liked being called that. It stuck, but I really didnt understand it. You can call me Q or just Quincy. Any reason why you chose to wear No. 20 in college, the number you are keeping with the Hornets?
Pondexter: I just thought it fit me best. Gary Payton was one of my favorite players and he wore No. 20. Another guy who wore it was Quincy Lewis, who went to Minnesota and played for the Utah Jazz in the NBA. It just looked like the right number to put on. Ive had since it was in grade school. The only time I didnt wear it my whole life was my freshman and sophomore year. (Friend and former Huskies teammate) Ryan Appleby wore 20 and wouldnt give it up, so I had to wear 24 during my first two years at Washington. Many of the pre-draft reports listed perimeter shooting as perhaps your biggest weakness. Speaking of Appleby, several articles mentioned that he has been working with you on that aspect of your game.
Pondexter: Yes, Ive been putting in tons of work. Hes one of the best at skill development. He has a lot of tricks in his book. Its great to learn from him. You have a very interesting family background, considering that both your uncle and your father were NBA draft picks in the 1970s. What impact did they have on you in terms of preparing you for an NBA career?
Pondexter: They were great influences. Theyve been through everything. They know whats right and whats wrong. Its great to have someone who knows what Ive been going through as a mentor. Not just as a parent, but as a mentor. Theyre not going to give you any bad advice. Also, my godfather, Glenn McDonald, was an NBA champion with the Boston Celtics. Is it correct that you do not drink alcohol, do not smoke and do not have any tattoos? What was the basis behind your decision to refrain from those things?
Pondexter: Its true I dont have any tattoos or piercings. I didnt have sip of alcohol until draft night. I had a glass of champagne. Ive never smoked in my life. Its just something Ive done to keep my goals and my focus on the ultimate prize. For some reason, I just felt like Ive seen so many players go by the wayside because of something so simple as that, something you can control. I was always afraid of that. My parents always supported me (in that decision).

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