Note: Kellon Thomas is a junior on the Kent State men's basketball team and is working for the Athletics Communication department during the Summer to fulfill a requirement of his Practicum I in Sport Administration course. As part of this course, Kellon will be doing a weekly blog to give fans an inside look at how the Golden Flashes are preparing for the 2014-15 season
We finished off week six with some on-court conditioning with Coach Bob. Each week, we do conditioning on Friday and I feel like we get stronger each week as a team. Another one of the new players on our team, Xavier Pollard, got to campus this week for the beginning of a new summer school session. Xavier, who will be redshirting and sitting out this season, participated in this week’s workouts and also played open gym with us this week also. Xavier is a smooth guard that can score and will really help out this team.
Earlier in the week Coach Sendy asked one of his former players and good friends, D.J. White, to come in and speak with our team. D.J. graduated from Indiana and was drafted 29th in the first round back in 2008. He spoke to our team about what it really takes to make it to the NBA and overseas, and also how to apply yourself to get ready.
In between his junior and senior year of college, D.J. went from a second round draft pick or maybe not being drafted at all to a first round draft pick, which guaranteed him about $5.6 million for his rookie contract, along with his Nike contract. D.J. said he lost about twenty pounds during this time, did strength and agility work about three times a week, and basketball workouts twice a day.
Hearing his story first-hand, really lit up the eyes on some of the guys on our team, including myself. We all have aspirations of playing at the next level, so actually hearing what it takes and what we need to change really lit a fire under us.
Coach Sendy challenged our team by getting at least 10,000 shots up on the gun or by ourselves for that entire week by Sunday night. We finished the week with 11,360. I feel that D.J. coming in really helped our team focus more and work harder. I also feel this will continue to help our team work even harder as we try to reach our team goals and individual goals.