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J.J. Redick: In his own words

After breaking the Duke and ACC all-time scoring records, J.J. Redick now has his sights set on the NBA. Throughout May and June, Redick will catch up with The Chronicle and speak in his own words about the road to the June 28 NBA Draft in New York.

  • as told to Gregory Beaton

After the season ended, I went to the Final Four for the entire weekend for all the different Player of the Year awards. When I got back from that, I had just about a day to rest and then I went to Atlanta for the presentation and banquet for the Naismith Award.

Then I immediately went to L.A for the Wooden Award and stayed out there for a couple days to go on The Best Damn Sports Show. I got back from that on a Tuesday on a red-eye and then Wednesday morning I flew up to New York for the Sullivan award.

It was exhausting. As I like to call it, it was a 'petting zoo.' At everything you go to, everyone is wanting your authorgraph, pictures with you, stuff like that. That right there takes its toll on you. Plus all the travel, changing time zones-all that stuff. Meanwhile, I was still recovering from the season. I never even got time to sleep after the season was done.

The season was definitely more taxing just because you're doing so much physical activity and so much mental activity, too. Playing with my teammates and coaches-that stuff actually means something to me. The awards are just extra. I would have traded all my awards for a chance to play in the Final Four.

When I got back from that I pretty much just chilled at Duke for a while. I started working out about a week after that with Coach Dawkins.

I also picked an agent during that time. Choosing an agent was a little different for me because I never really got to interview anyone before to work for me, which is essentially what it is. I hired Arn Tellem.

I had heard great things about Arn for six or seven years. He's represented so many guys in baseball and basketball. I interviewed a couple other guys and Arn just seemed like the best guy for me, especially heading into the draft. He has great relationships with a lot of GM's and teams. On May 3, I went out to L.A. to start working out for the draft.

I came back last weekend for graduation. Beforehand I was like, 'Mom I don't really want to go, I just want to keep working out here.' But I'm glad I went.

Something I realized Sunday morning at graduation is that I'm very proud to graduate on time from such a great school. While my class rank probably wasn't the best, I did have to work my butt off with all the stuff I had going on. I was in summer school four summers, including the summer before freshman year.

It was a proud moment for me. But graduation wasn't about me. People were there to see their kids graduate. My family was there and I got to spend some time with them, which was nice. I probably only signed two or three autographs the whole weekend.

Right now I'm starting to prepare for the draft. I think it's hard to improve on something in a month. I did a great deal for improvement during my four years at Duke. I'm not going be liked by every GM or team-all it takes is one to take me give and give me a chance to play. I'm just trying to stay sharp and continue to improve on the areas where I need improvment like shooting off dribble, ball handling. Hopefully during workouts I can do some things that surprise people.

I have my first workout with a team next week-with Golden State, I believe, and Shelden is working out for them too. One of us is going to work out with them Wednesday, the other Thursday.


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