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DREW GOODEN EXCITED TO BE WITH GRIZZLIES

DREW GOODEN EXCITED TO BE WITH GRIZZLIES

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Drew Gooden, a 6 foot 10 forward out of Kansas,was selected in the 2002 NBA draft lottery by the Memphis Grizzlies as the 4th pick overall. As a star for the Jayhawks Gooden averaged 19.8 ppg, 11.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. Gooden, an Associated Press First Team All-American and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, arrived at the Memphis Pyramid with his family wearing a smile. The Flyer interviewed him there. The Flyer: What are your thoughts on making the adjustment from college to professional basketball and moving from California to Kansas to Memphis? Gooden: I've got to start all over from scratch. I have a new city to live in and make my home. I also have a new career to look forward to and I'm just ready to start. The Flyer: How exciting is this whole draft process? Does this experience feel surreal in any way? Gooden: Yeah, it's finally happening and it's a dream come true. Coming here today and seeing how happy my family is in Memphis it's just a great experience overall. The Flyer: Summer League will be coming soon out at the Pyramid, on the Long Beach State campus, and in Salt Lake City. Tell me what you look forward to doing in those game situations? Gooden: Just showing guys that I can play at this level and trying to win. I want to win the summer league and make a statement that we are a team that can make the playoffs next year. And just go out there and play and just have fun. The Flyer: How will you approach playing basketball in the NBA, the greatest level in the world? Or will your mindset just be playing basketball? Gooden: I have a lot to look forward too and I don’t know the half of what's gonna happen so that's why they call us rookies because we don't know. My eyes are open, my ears are open and I'm just trying to see what's going to come next. The Flyer: What do you tell fans who are waiting with excitement in Memphis to see you play? Gooden: Wait patiently. The time will come. The Flyer: So, How good is Gooden on the basketball court? Gooden: How good is Gooden? He's good enough. I'm the 4th pick in the draft. That says a little something there, but I can show you better than I can tell you. The Flyer: How does it feel to be selected out of the NBA draft by a legend like Jerry West Who has picked Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and now Drew Gooden? Gooden: It feels good, just for my name to be mentioned with Jerry West is a good feeling. For him (West) to see something in me says a lot because he has seen a lot of great players and for him to think that I have the same upside and can help this team win means a lot to me. The Flyer: Is there anything else you want to tell Memphis Grizzlies fans? Gooden: Like I said, just sit back patiently and wait, because this team is on the rise and we're gonna do some big time things this year.

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