NBA Draft Blog Interview with Kyle O’Quinn

To say that the last 2 months for Kyle O’Quinn have been amazing may be a huge understatement.  Named the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, he followed that up with winning the conference’s Player of the Year award.  Shortly after that, O’Quinn captured the attention of a national audience, leading his 15th ranked Norfolk State Spartans to a huge win over Missouri by scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.  A few weeks later, O’Quinn took home the MVP award from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which contained most of the best seniors in the country.  In draft circles, it is hard to not hear O’Quinn’s name being mentioned constantly now.  An extremely athletic big man, O’Quinn plays with an energy that makes you want to keep watching more.  I had a chance to talk to O’Quinn recently while he is training out at Impact out in Las Vegas.  Here he discusses the last few months, working on his game, and more:

Kyle on the what the last few months have been like:

“It’s been a whirlwind, everything just building up.  I haven’t even had to time to celebrate any of it.  I don’t want to mess up the next step, so I can let everyone else celebrate for me.  The only thing I can say is that it has been a real blessing.”


Kyle on his strengths as a player: 

“My game is still a work in progress, so there is still a lot more to my game than has been seen yet.  Right now, my strengths are in my defense, being able to block shots and rebound.  I still haven’t reached my potential yet.  In school they taught me what they needed me to do, and it was a great start point for my game, but I will be bringing much more at the next level.”


Kyle on what parts of his game he still wants to improve:

“I still need to work on all of the things that go with being a pro post player – moves in the post, footwork, working on the blocks.  I am just going to keep working on all parts of my game.”

Kyle on the experience at Portsmouth:

“Not only was it a great experience, it was a great honor to be included in that group of players.  Playing with high level guards and high level big men, I learned a lot about what I still need to learn.  It was great for me to be able to prove myself by playing and competing with many of the best players in the country.”


Kyle on his role at the next level:

“I can go in and be a very energetic player wherever I go.  I look at what Kenneth Faried has done this season, and I think I can bring the same thing – run the floor and hit the boards.  So, being like Faried would be a great way to start, though I would love to play like Tim Duncan later on in my career.”


Kyle on what he wants teams and fans to know about him:

“I am a good kid; I have the personality to gel with anybody and any team.   I am extremely coachable; you can teach me to do anything that the team needs me to do.  If you put the work in with me, I will more than put that work in.  It’s the mentality I have, I want to keep getting better and be the best player I can possibly be.”

I want to thank Kyle for his time and I wish him the best of luck as he looks to fulfill his dream of getting to the NBA.  I also want to thank his agent, Alberto Ebanks of Ebanks & Sattler, for setting up this interview.  When you watch Kyle play, you sense that there could be a very special player there, and after you spend some time talking to him, you can’t help but want to see him achieve everything that he wants to do.  Humble, personable, and with a great love of the game, Kyle is everything that want you in your favorite players, and I have no doubt that once he gets to the NBA, he will become a lot of fans’ favorite player.


Check back in the coming weeks for more great interviews and scouting reports as we head towards the 2012 NBA Draft.  Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog – for updates, leave your comments below, or feel free to email me at [email protected]