This spur-of-the-moment interview started because of drinking.
My friend had had too much last night at a rock show and I had to give him a ride to his car this morning. On my way back, I stopped by the apartment office for free coffee and whatever free snacks they like to put out. So I’m chillin’, enjoying the freebies like the bum I am when I see that UNT basketball great Josh White is out walking with his dog. It was a weird moment because I knew I had to chase him down, really stalker-like, without looking like a creepy guy. I had been planning to ask him for an interview for a while but, well, I’m kind of lazy. You know this.
With his career in Denton at an end, this was likely my last chance and he was good enough to oblige Yours Truly with a few minutes of his time.
We sat down over half-pint Ozarkas and I asked him a few questions. I’ll tell you this: the dude is as laid back as advertised. He is a genuinely cool dude. You can’t ask for more from one of the school’s all-time greats.
Plans for the future:
” I just recently signed with an agent. I’ve just been working out. I’m going to France in the summer, Chicago for a showcase, lot of traveling. I just want to find somewhere to play. I have a lot of friends who are overseas, making six-figures. Of course the NBA is the number one goal but if I’m able to do what I love and get paid for it? That’s what it’s all about.”
On the far future:
“Maybe coaching, I want to own a restaurant. I don’t cook, no, but like owning it and managing it. Probably put it in Louisiana, where I’m from, though. Haha, don’t have a name yet. We’ll have to wait on that. ”
“Well you know, I saw my brother playing in those big games and the way he was treated. You know those big schools in the big conferences: ACC, BIG 12, etc. They get treated like royalty. People recognize him all the time, ask him for interviews, thank him. Here? Well, a lot of people just walk by you without knowing who you are. They don’t even know we play basketball. Don’t get me wrong, though, we have some great fans. There are some really loyal, good fans. It is different, though. ”
“Growing up and being a basketball player I of course wanted to play in front of those big crowds and packed houses. We get some of that here, like the Texas Tech game and for Oklahoma State. You know they are going to show up for that. It would be nice to play in front of that every night, though. Some players and some people ask me if that bothers me. I am just happy to play basketball. I love it, so it doesn’t really matter but it would be nice to have a packed house. Sometimes you look around at the stands and there ain’t nobody there. We do have some good fans, though.”
on Message Boards and “advice”:
“I’m a humble guy. I try to take anything that can improve my game and consider it. If someone has something helpful I try to listen.”
“Message boards? I try to stay away from all that. My mom and some of my family and friends kind of follow that. I try to stay away from all that negativity, though so I don’t really know exactly what they say. I do hear about it sometimes. The worst? Someone told me that they were saying that the team would be better if I wasn’t starting. That I was harming the team by starting.”
“It definitely motivated me.”
On his team’s place in UNT history:
“I’m glad to be a part of it. You know with the way coach Jones recruits and coaches, they are going to continue to do good things.”
“I play every day with them [new guys coming in next year] at the rec center and yeah I think how good it would have been to play with them during the season. It is fun now, it’s too bad we couldn’t play together.”
On Josh White, the person:
“I’m really family-oriented and it is nice to have my mom and my family supporting me. There haven’t been many games that she’s missed. We are really close. They’ve really been there for me. My brother is like a second father to me. I’m a quiet guy — a little bit of a loner sometimes– so it is kind of good that Denton is quiet and I can just go about my day.”
More on Denton/Dallas:
“Denton is a small town. I didn’t really like it all that much at first. There wasn’t a whole lot to do here. It kind of fits my personality, though. It’s quiet and I learned to like it after a while. I wish I had more time to go to Dallas more. There was just no time being a student and playing basketball, though. I maybe would go here and there, go to a Mavs game, downtown and stuff.”
“I’ll definitely be back and try to make a couple games and stuff. I won’t be able to see the first game in the new stadium next season but I do want to try and come back.”
“I’m going to miss Denton. I never thought I’d say that, but I’m gonna miss it.”