Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Interview With Greg Echenique; St. Benedict’s Coaching Clinic Features Self, Dixon & Huggins
Greg Echenique, an incoming Rutgers freshman from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., is coming off an impressive showing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Argentina. Playing for his native Venezuela, Echenique led the tournament in scoring (22.2 ppg) and blocks (3.6 per game) and was second in rebounding (13.6). Beginning Thursday, he will compete for South America in the adidas Basketball Experience in Dallas.
Here is a brief interview with Echenique conducted by email while he is in Brazil preparing to head to Dallas for the event, which will also feature Americans Lance Stephenson and Dexter Strickland.
AZ: How did you enjoy the time in Argentina and how do you feel you played?
GE: I really like Argentina, I had a good time. I wanted to go out more, but I couldn’t. I had to rest because I was playing a lot of minutes and we really didn’t have time to get to know the place, but I think I had a good impact in the tournament, especially on the people that went to the games. I had little kids looking for me to take pictures and stuff. Once, a family went to (my) hotel looking for me for a picture. I hope I can go back again for a longer time. I played good I think. I led the tournament in like three departments, and I feel good that at least every time I played I did it with pride and that’s the best thing you can do.
AZ: Does it give you more confidence going into the college season knowing you played so well against top American and other players?
GE: Well, it helps me a lot. I know college basketball is a different thing, especially in the Big East but I feel good where I am right now. I know I (have) to get better, but the more I play I earn more experience so at least that will help me on the court. It also helps me to know what I do better and what I need to improve. It helps me to stay in shape, and I am looking forward to playing at Rutgers.
AZ: Are you looking forward to adidas Nations and excited about playing?
GE: Well, I am in Brazil now. I got here on Saturday night, and so far so good. The coaches (with the South American team) are great. This is my first adidas camp and I like it. There are guys from different parts of Latin America, and I am glad I am here. We go to Dallas (Wednesday) night. Right now I am playing well. I am just dealing with a little pain in my lower back, but other than that I am good.
GARDEN STATE COACHES CLINICSt. Benedict’s head coach Dan Hurley announced that the Garden State Coaches Clinic will take place between 9-4:30 on Sept. 26 at St. Benedict’s. The event is open to all college, high school and travel coaches and will feature Bill Self, head coach of defending national champion Kansas; Pitt coach Jamie Dixon; West Virginia coach Bob Huggins; Texas coach Rick Barnes; former NBA coach Hubie Brown; and UMass assistant Vance Wahlberg, the creator of the dribble-drive motion offense now used by Memphis head coach John Calipari.
Last year’s even sold out with 600 coaches. More information can be found at www.gardenstatecoachesclinic.com
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.