June 25, 2014
Jordan Clarkson hopes his NBA dream becomes reality Thursday night. The former Tiger guard has been coast-to-coast this spring working out for NBA teams in an effort to improve his draft stock. For his efforts, national pundits from ESPN, CBS and NBA Draft.net have Clarkson going as high as No. 22 in the first round, with ESPN's Jeff Goodman calling Clarkson the most underrated prospect in the draft.
MUTigers.com caught up with Clarkson on Wednesday to talk about the draft process, his family and his excitement for Thursday.
Q: First of all, how is your father doing?
JC: "He's doing well. I appreciate all the well-wishes from everyone at Mizzou for him. I'm actually headed home to San Antonio right now to spend some time with my family and watch the draft. It's pretty exciting."
Q: How has this workout process as a whole been for you?
JC: "It's been good. I have just been in New York and Long Island working out with my trainer, Jay Hernandez. He is from that area, so this is where I did most of my workouts."
Q: What are some areas he had you working on?
JC: "Shot consistency was big for me this summer. I also worked out with Drew (Hanlen) some as well, but we worked on shot consistency, my handle and just all parts of the game. It's really worked for me."
Q: You have been working out quite a bit, what feedback have you received from NBA personnel?
JC: "Most of that stuff has been coming to my agent with regards to draft position, but I have heard good things. I'm just going to stay humble and watch and be excited for whatever opportunity that comes my way. This is all a blessing."
Q: Do NBA General Managers see you as a point guard or as a combo?
JC: "A lot of teams see me as a point guard. It's an open guard type of position, so guards need to be able to play both roles. That's why I have been working on my shot consistency. I know I will need to slide over and play the two at times."
Q: Can you talk about the travel process of working out with so many clubs?
JC: "The process is interesting. It's a grind, it's part of it. You are going to different cities every other day for workouts. There were times I was gone for three and a half weeks straight, but you love it because you are chasing your dream. My routine was to get to the hotel, order room service and then do some stretching, using the foam-roller, just getting loose after the flight. Then you grab something to eat, you may do a light workout and then you get your rest and go workout the next day."
Q: You are about 24 hours away from the draft, how are you feeling?
JC: "It's a little nerve-racking, but more excitement than nervousness. I have been dreaming of this for my whole life, since I was a little boy, so hopefully it becomes reality Thursday night. I know I put best foot forward and was grinding whole time."
Q: Both you and Jabari are appearing on numerous draft boards. Have you had a chance to speak with him?
JC: "I talk to Jabari a lot. We speak about every other day. I caught up with him when he was in San Antonio for a workout. I got to hang out with him. We went out to eat with my family. We try to find time to connect as much as possible. I'm very excited for him."
Q: Finally, have you had a chance to keep up with Mizzou and all the exciting changes going on here?
JC: "You know I have... Columbia and Mizzou, that's my home. I am hoping the Tigers do well this year, I will always be pulling for them. We have a good young team, a great staff with Coach Anderson and Coach Fuller. It seems like (Coach Anderson) has put together a great staff and they are really recruiting well."
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