Getting To Know The 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Kendall Marshall
March 31, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team member Kendall Marshall is one of nine U.S. team members participating in the 2010 McDonald's All-American festivities March 29-31 in Columbus, Ohio, and while he was beat out in the Powerade Jam Fest Boys Skills Competition by USA Nike Hoop Summit teammate Harrison Barnes and 2010 USA Men's U18 training camp participant Keith Appling, there is no doubt Marshall can distribute the ball while getting his. Described as one of the best passers in the nation, Marshall averaged 15.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and 7.0 apg. as a senior in 2009-10 to help Bishop O'Connell High School to a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association D1 state championship.
The 6-4 guard, who will take his game to the University of North Carolina in the fall, talked with USABasketball.com about his competitive drive, his future as a Tar Heel and his expectations for the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit.
On his high school season:
It was a little bit of struggle this season. We had our ups and downs. We didn't start out the way we wanted to, but we really came together at the end and won ourselves a state championship that we are very proud of. The very next day we had to play in our conference tournament and lost in the semifinals. I think overall it was a successful season, and I'm happy with how my senior year went.
We have a state tournament and conference tournament that we played in at the same time. It was tough.
For someone who hasn't seen you play, could you describe your game?
I think I'm a very good point guard - a floor general that does a great job of getting into the lane and setting up my teammates for good shots.
Are you looking forward to playing with your future UNC teammates Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock?
I'm very excited. I've never gotten to play on the same team as Harrison Barnes, so I'm looking forward to playing with him. Also with Reggie (Bullock), I've gotten to play with him a few times, but never all three of us together. I'm very excited, and I'm looking forward to it.
Do you think the UNC-Duke rivalry might heat up in practice with Kyrie Irving?
Yeah, probably. He is a very good player, and I respect his game. I look forward to playing alongside him before we are battling it out for the next four years.
What are you most focused on improving?
Right now, the couple of things I'm most focused on improving are my lateral quickness - being able to keep opposing point guards in front of me, as well as my jump shot - just becoming more consistent.
Do you have a favorite workout or drill?
I really don't think so.
Do you have a least favorite workout or drill?
My least favorite would probably be this five-shot drill my dad makes me do full court. It's sprint down and back, and I have to shoot a mid-range jump shot. Sprint down and back, pump fake, jump shot. Spring down and back, pump fake, go the other way, jump shot. Sprint down and back, 3-pointer. And sprint down and back, take a layup. I think I have been doing that drill since I was about 10 years old.
What motivates you?
I think what motivates me is just wanting to be great, wanting to be one of the best to ever come out of my area. I want to be a name that people remember.
When did you recognize that you had that drive to be the best?
I would say going into my sophomore year of high school. Before that, I was just playing basketball because it was fun. At that point, over that summer, I think I started to realize that I could be really good at it. I could make living hopefully one day playing this game.
What made you decide on the University of North Carolina?
I chose Carolina because it was a place that I felt could make me better. A place where I felt like winning was a tradition, and I love the university. And just being able to play alongside great players.
What do you know about the Nike Hoop Summit?
I know a little bit. I did some research on it, and also I got to watch part of the game last year when the USA lost.
Do you feel this U.S. team has a mission to restore the title to the USA?
Definitely. We take great pride in our sports here in the USA, especially in basketball, and we've always been known as an international power. I think we need to get back to where we were, kind of like the Redeem Team did in the 2008 Olympics.