This week, Richard chats with guard Rodney Elliott of the UMBC basketball team. He was the first UMBC basketball player to win the America East Conference Player of the Year Award, and he has been balling out for UMBC consistently since he joined the team. Give a hearty Retriever welcome to Rodney.
What is your first basketball memory?
Playing at the age of seven and single handedly winning a game for my team. We were down 12 with two minutes to go. I scored the next 12 points, sending us into overtime at the buzzer and scoring another eight to seal the win for my team. I finished that game with 28 points overall.
When did you decide to attend UMBC to play basketball? Did you come primarily for athletics, or where there other reasons?
I decided to come my senior year of high school. Of course, athletics played a huge role in deciding where I wanted to go but there was no way I could turn down the opportunity to garner a degree from this prestigious institution. And I couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend the school of one of the most influential people in the world, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski.
What is your biggest desire in basketball?
My desire is to be the best basketball player I can be every time that I step on the court.
What is one fundamental skill that you believe you are lacking in and want to improve?
I want to improve my leadership skills, agility and my defense. These things will turn me into a more complete basketball player.
If you could pick an NBA team to play for, which one would it be?
If I could play for any team, it would be the Knicks. Playing in Madison Square Garden has been a long life dream for me and I want to make that dream come true.
Final question: what is your favorite shoe to ball in?
If I could play in any shoe, it would hands down be a pair of retro Jordans. Anything from the 1s to the 13s.