Chasson Randle Gets Heard
June 8, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Chasson Randle made a lot of noise in the 2008-09 season. The 6-0 guard averaged 18.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a sophomore for Rock Island High School (Ill.) this past season, leading his team to the state quarterfinals for the first time in nine years. He was rewarded with selections to the 2009 Associated Press, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Chicago Sun-Times and Champaign News Gazzette All-Illinois Class 3A first teams.
For the past three days, Randle has been making noise in Colorado Springs, Colo., as part of the 2009-10 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team. He is one of nineteen players that will be paired down to 12 for the team that will represent the USA in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men.
Randle's game may be loud, but off the court, he admits he is anything but a noisemaker. USABasketball.com sat down with the ballhandler to talk about his experiences so far at the 2009-10 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team training camp.
Is this USA Basketball experience what you expected?
It is exactly what I expected. These are the 19 best players in the 2011 and 2012 classes.
Is the coaching what you expected?
The coaching is at another level than what I am used to. They are pushing us to the limit and trying to make us better, which is great.
How do you feel you have played so far?
I feel I have played pretty well. I could always do better, so I'm looking forward to the next two or three days before they make the final cut.
I feel like I have shot the ball well, pushed the ball well. I feel what I need to do more is attack the lane and if they help, I'll dish off to a teammate. And defensively pick it up also.
You told us most people don't know you are shy. Can you expand on that?
I'm kind of the quiet one most of the time until you get to know me. Then, I might step up and be more of a funny guy. People might not know I'm quiet if they watched me play because I'm not that way on the court.
How is the chemistry off the court?
Since the first night, we have all been talking and hanging out in each other's rooms, so it's been good in the dorm rooms.
Do you think those friendships will last?
We'll probably keep in contact with each other after this. I think the friendships I've made are something I will definitely take with me when I leave no matter what happens.
What is your goal for this training camp?
I want to get my teammates involved and be the floor general out there and make things happen. I'm always developing that skill, and I have learned new things here already. Coach Sutton has helped me push the ball up the floor and with the offense, handling the ball and everything.
How is your role as a guard different from other positions?
Being the guard, you are the one who has to pass to every body, so you have to be able to have that good chemistry with everyone.
Were you always a leader or is that something basketball taught you?
I'd say a little bit of both. Before, I was a guy who liked to talk to people and basketball helped me evolve that a little more.
How old were you when you started playing basketball?
I was little, probably about two.
Did you always love it?
Oh yeah, most definitely. I like to do other things, but basketball is my number one priority.
What makes Kobe Byrant your favorite player?
His drive and his work ethic are amazing. He is great. I've googled him and seen some of the stuff that he has done.
What did you think of Bryant's performance in the Olympics?
I thought he was great. The whole team played great. To win a gold medal, that is what you have to have, that balance.
Does it feel like you are a step closer to accomplishing some of the things Bryant has achieved?
It does. It feels so good just to have this USA practice jersey on. It's amazing. It's indescribable.
What would it mean for you to make this 12-member roster?
If that happened, you might see my crying maybe. I'd probably try and hold it back, but, man, I'm shaking right now just thinking about it.