June 24, 2013
This is the fourth of a multi-part series highlighting the new additions to the Tennessee men's basketball team. In this edition of "Hello My Name Is...", Vol hoops chat with freshman Darius Thompson.
Q: Do you have any goals set for your freshman season? A: "I just want to come in and do whatever is best for the team."
Q: Your father is a head basketball coach for an NAIA school. What have you learned growing up the son of a basketball coach? Any good stories you can share? A: "Growing up, I just learned basketball from a great teacher of the game. I not only got to play it, but I also got to understand it from a coach's perspective. As a point guard, I think it's important to understand the game. As for a story, I actually witnessed my dad tear his ACL. He was playing with some of his players and went up for a dunk. After he dunked once, his players dared him to do it again. So he went up and tried to showboat. When he went up, he slipped and tore his ACL. It wasn't pretty."
Q: You have enrolled in summer course and are already in workouts, has it been a big adjustment so far? A: "The biggest adjustment has been waking up early every morning. We usually get up at like 5 a.m., which is 4 a.m. central time (Darius is from Murfreesboro, Tenn.). So the early rising and time difference has an effect, too."
Q: You are going to wear #15 next season. Any significance in that number? A: "That's just been my number ever since I started playing basketball. It's the first and really only number I've ever had."
Q: Is there a current NBA player who you model your game after? A: "I like watching Stephen Curry. I also enjoy watching guys who really understand who to pass."
Q: What music/artists do you have in rotation right now?
A: "I like to listen to a little bit of J. Cole and Wale. I just like how they rap and their delivery."
Q: What are you most looking forward to your freshman year at Tennessee? A: "I'm looking forward to that first game in Thompson-Boling, and that first SEC game. Also, just looking forward to that first time I step on the court in front of all the fans."
Q: If you could script your first big play as a Vol in Thompson-Boling Arena, describe what would happen. A: "Let's see. I would drive to the goal and fire a no-look pass to somebody who knocks down the open shot."
Q: Most of the team will claim they're unbeatable at most video games? Could you take them? If so, what is your video game of choice? A: "I don't really play video games, but if I had to pick one, I would say NBA 2K. I like to use the Knicks and play with Carmelo Anthony."
Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life? A: "Both of my parents. In life, my mom has helped me get through a lot. I can go to her with anything. In basketball, I know I can go to my dad since he is a college coach and knows the ins and outs of the game."