Tuesday, May 29, 2007

David Noel Interview

Current Milwaukee Buck and former Carolina basketball star David Noel returned to the Dean Dome Friday night to watch the elite prep competition at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. Adam Powell of Carolinablue.com got an exclusive interview with the former tarheel.

What are your thoughts about the adjustment from the college game to the NBA?

It's a jump. It's definitely an adjustment. You've just got to do the best you can, and continue to improve each and every day. It's more of a mental thing, and once you get the mental part down, the skills will take care of itself.

What's the adjustment from college and having classes compared to the NBA, where you have extended road trips?

You've got so much time; all the time that you have in the NBA is ridiculous. We practice two hours a day, and after those two hours you have nothing else to do. You have to try and avoid boredom.

What are some of the things that you feel you've improved on since going to the NBA, and what are some things you're trying to get better at?

Definitely ball handling, and my jumper; things like that have definitely improved just because of the consistency of just playing basketball, and not having to go to class and things like that. You naturally tend to get better, and naturally tend to work on things that the NBA game shows you that you need to work on.

What are your thoughts about the Bucks as you are getting ready for next season?

We're right where we need to be. We have a lottery pick, and I think we also have a second round pick, so we're definitely going to get two good players. For the most part, I'm just doing my part to get better as a player, and hopefully I can continue to improve and help them out next year.

Does anyone treat you differently as a North Carolina player? Does the UNC thing stand out at all in the NBA?

Yeah; everybody always thinks we have a secret handshake, and all that type of stuff. Every time I see Raymond (Felton) or Sean (May), or even the older guys like Brendan (Haywood), and Antawn (Jamison) and Vince (Carter) and those guys. We are always talking about each other and talking to each other, so they feel like we're family, and that's exactly what we are. Everybody that has come through this program knows each other. We talk to each other on a regular basis, and it's all love when we see each other.

When you're out on the road, you guys get together and hang out?

Yes; exactly.

Coming back, what's it like to come back to the UNC campus knowing you won a national championship?

We've got a lot of pull around here, even with some of the older guys who can't say they won a national championship. It's been fun for us. It's been a great ride, and I enjoyed every minute of being here in Chapel Hill, and that's why I come back so much.

Now that you've had a year to sit back and reflect on it, what are your thoughts about your senior year? There weren't a lot of expectations, and the team overachieved perhaps as much as any UNC team in history. Now that you've had a year to think about it, what are your thoughts?

It was definitely a phenomenal year, and we definitely did a great job of overachieving, like everybody said. We were definitely a blessed team to be able to have a coach like Coach Williams, and everybody that was on the floor. So, for the most part, just reflecting back on it, it was great. I loved every minute of it, and it was one of the best times I ever had at Carolina.

What has Coach Williams imparted on you since you've gone to the NBA? Has he given you advice or anything like that?

Yeah; he's kept it straight with me the entire time. I always asked him what it was looking like for me, and if it was looking good, he'll tell me, and if it was looking bad, he'll tell me. Coach Williams was always the kind of guy who was going to give it to you straight, no matter what. That's what I appreciated about him the most, was his honesty. That's what I loved about him being my coach.

When you were growing up, did you feel like you were more likely to end up in the NFL or the NBA?

In the beginning, I thought it was going to be the NFL, but God has his own plan, and I'm just riding the wave

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