I’m out of town on personal biz this weekend, but Mike Anthony filled in for me at the Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk in Simsbury on Saturday. Mike spoke with Kevin Ollie, who completed 25 miles on the bike, and got his take on various issues.
Here are some transcript highlights:
“I call our fans our family,” Ollie said. “They’re all here supporting a great cause and their coach is still here. It’s a wonderful event. For them to still come out when it was pouring outside [in the morning], but now the sunshine is shining down on Coach Calhoun’s event because he’s a great man. We’ll be here rain or shine because of all the things he does and all the things the volunteers do.”
On the program’s academics, as APR scores are about to be released::
“We had five guys make the honor roll. We had R.J. [Evans] graduate with a 3.7 and his graduate degree. Tony Robertson, he [returned and] graduated. Taliek [Brown] is around, he’s finishing up. So academically it’s going well and on the basketball we’re doing well. Tyler [Olander] and Shabazz [Napier] are getting healthy [from foot injuries]. Omar [Calhoun] had two hip surgeries, so he’s getting healthy, and I can’t wait for our freshmen to get up here. That’s exciting.”
His plans for the summer:
“Just be around, make phone calls and get ready for July. Have momentum going into July. We get two hours a week [to practice] with guys, make sure they’re going strong. I’m just making sure I’ve got my eyes on them, but I don’t think I need to do that. But it’s nice to be around and just relax where there are no games and just get an even better relationship with the guys.”
On Year 2 as head coach:
“It’s not a different feel. I’ve just got to experience different things as they come and connect the dots. … There are different experiences that come along and I know I’m dealing with 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds, so there’s always something and it’s always interesting. I just want to make sure I don’t look like I’m just interesting, I want to be interested in my kids. Hopefully they feel that. I just want them to be the best role models they can possibly be, the best ambassadors and well-rounded. That’s what we’re trying to do, is to condition them.”
On Enosch Wolf’s status
“Enosch’s situation is he’s back in Germany. We’re waiting for his decision, what he’s going to do. He has options of transferring, getting a pro contract or coming back to our school — without having a scholarship available. We’ll just wait and see what he does and we’ll support him all the way. He’s made tremendous strides doing the different programs that he went through. Hopefully when he’s back in that situation he reacts in a different way and it’s a different outcome. I think it will be. He’s a tremendous young man.”
Some player notes:
“DeAndre [Daniels] heading to Kevin Durant’s camp. … Ryan [Boatright] and Shabazz going to point guard skill camp, then CP3 [Chris Paul’s] camp. They’ll have an opportunity to start building their resume early, going to the camps and having GM’s right there watching them,” Ollie said. “It’s going to be a good year for them.”
Ollie’s wife, Stephanie, has been ill but he said he is doing well:
“She’s doing much better now. She just got through a hard couple of weeks and she’s back on her feet.”
Mike’s full story on the event will be in the Sunday Courant, and on our main website later.