Theo Pinson Is All Business After Making USA Menís U16 Team
Theo Pinson (Oak Ridge Military Academy/Greensboro, N.C.) is still a teenager by societyís standards, but his focus and attitude are well beyond his years. Just more than 12 hours after being named to the 2011 USA Menís U16 National Team, Pinson wrapped up his first practice as a member of the squad with a business-like mentality.
Pinson, a 6-5 forward is focused on the present, saying his next big purchase will be far down the road, because for now, his concentration is in the classroom, where he excels in math and doesn't have a least favorite subject. He also doesn't have a favorite Olympian because he simply enjoys the "competitiveness and passion shown by athletes in all sports". And while he expressed excitement about being selected to represent USA Basketball, he also knows that the team needs to remain focused on its main goal: keeping its legacy and winning a gold medal.
The Greensboro, N.C. native recently completed his freshman year of high school. During that season, he led Oak Ridge Military Academy to a 35-6 record with 12.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 3.0 bpg. He was named the 2011 Caisson Basketball Classic Most outstanding Player, and was selected as a member of the 2011 Bass Pro Shop Tournament of Champion All-Tournament Team. While playing for his AAU team, the United Stars, Pinson won back-to-back state championships (2008 and 2009) and advanced to the national Final Four in three consecutive seasons.
Describe your emotions when the 2011 USA Menís U16 National Team roster was announced:
I was just happy and honored. All of those great players that came out, and for me to be selected, itís just a big honor.
What was the reaction like from friends and family back home when you told them the news?
I called my mom and my family. They were screaming. They were telling me Ďgood jobí and Ďcongratsí. Then everyone kept hitting me up on Twitter, telling me congratulations for making the team.
What type of honor is it to represent the USA while playing basketball?
Itís going to be straight business because you donít want to lose. The U.S. has a reputation of winning and hasnít lost in a long time, and you donít want to be on the team that loses a game. It will be a fun time, but we have to go in with the mentality that we arenít going to lose a game.
Describe your game for someone who hasnít seen you play:
I shoot a little bit, attack the rim, bring energy on defense and I block shots and rebound.
Following the 2011 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team's first practice USA head coach Don Showalter talks about the team and what he and his staff will do to mold 12 players into a team in just a week.
Your mom and uncle played basketball collegiately. Talk about the pressure growing up in an athletic family:
My momís side of the family, a whole lot of people played basketball, so we used to play in the yard all the time. There was always competition, so it made me better.
You say youíve read all of Magic Johnsonís books. What about him inspires you?
The way he presents himself and how he is on the court, he just had the determination to win games.
It seems like school is important in your life. Where does that come from?
My parents are always on me to get my schoolwork done. I have to get that done before I do anything else.
What is your favorite basketball memory?
Going to the Final Four for my AAU team three years in a row.
What is one thing that most people donít know about you?
I eat a lot. (Pinson says his favorite foods are pizza and shrimp, and that he can eat an entire pepperoni or bacon pizza in one sitting).
You have post-playing ambitions of coaching or getting into sports broadcasting. What about the game of basketball makes you want to stay involved?
I love the game of basketball. I like the pace and the action of the game, so Iím going to try and stay in it as long as I can.