French big man Guerschon Yabusele works out in front of a myriad of NBA executives at the CAA Sports Pro Day in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Givony: What have you been doing in Los Angeles so far?
Guerschon Yabusele: We work out a lot you know. We keep on shooting. Playing 1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3. Keep in shape, working out a lot.
Jonathan Givony: What kind of basketball things do they have you working on? The trainers, what do they want to see you improve on?
Guerschon Yabusele: The trainers want to see me improve on my ball-handling skills. Keep working on my shot and my post up game, and my three point range.
Jonathan Givony: What was the Pro Day like for you?
Guerschon Yabusele: It was a big day for me. I really like to work a lot, and work like this when there are a lot of people here. I get to improve on myself and show them that I can really play basketball, and that I can play in the NBA.
Jonathan Givony: Was it nerve racking being in front of so many NBA general managers? Pat Riley and Jerry West and all these legendary guys.
Guerschon Yabusele: I mean at the beginning I was a little bit nervous, but that's good. I know I'm ready, so I just go on the court and show them that I can play. It feels great to be here with everybody.
Jonathan Givony: What do you think they were able to see from you?
Guerschon Yabusele: I think they could see that I could shoot. I got to work a lot on my ball-handling. I can post up and I can play one on one. I can play defense and offense. I'm smart on the court and can do a lot of things.
Jonathan Givony: People think that the difference between Pro A and Pro B is huge, but this year you made it look pretty easy with the transition. You were able to get a lot of the same numbers, you had some great performances against some of the best teams in the league. How were you able to do that?
Guerschon Yabusele: At the beginning of the season you know it was a little tough, because I had to learn and play quickly. I was learning a lot, talking to the players. Go in the gym before and after and stay. I got to work a lot and you know just keep going. It was tough, but I liked it, I had to go hard. I had to learn fast, and I just wanted to play like I know I can.
Jonathan Givony: How good of a shooter are you right now?
Guerschon Yabusele: Right now I think I'm a good shooter. I can make 3s even if someone is defending me closely.
Jonathan Givony: How have you found the difference between the European line and the NBA line? Is that going to be a transition for you?
Guerschon Yabusele: From the European line to the NBA I think it's going to be ok. I know the beginning is not going to be easy for sure, but I think I'm really ready and I can improve myself.
Jonathan Givony: What can you tell us about your measurements, even in centimeters and kilograms? Your weight, and your height, and your wingspan if you know it.
Guerschon Yabusele: Right now I'm 275 pounds, and I'm 6'7 without shoes.
Jonathan Givony: What is the month of June going to look like for you coming up to the NBA Draft?
Guerschon Yabusele: It's going to be a big day for me and my family and my friends. We are going to be here and ready. I got to do a couple workouts before that. I'm ready for the draft so we'll see what happens.
Jonathan Givony: How important is it for you to go to get drafted very high?
Guerschon Yabusele: Even if I'm the first round or the second round I don't really care it's not that important. You see Draymond Green was drafted second round and right now he is one of the best players in the league. I don't really care about it.
Jonathan Givony: What do you care about?
Guerschon Yabusele: To be drafted. I want to get drafted and play in the NBA next year.
Jonathan Givony: You mentioned Draymond Green. Could you play that kind of role as a small center sometimes, who spaces the floor or would you prefer to be a power forward full time?
Guerschon Yabusele: Right now I think I could play like him. A lot of people talk to me, and compare me to him. I got a lot of energy. I can dribble a little bit and I can shoot it. I can play defense on the 3, 4, and 5. I can play on both ends, so I think I can play like him. I know I got a lot of work to do, but I really think I can do it.
Jonathan Givony: I was looking at your per minute numbers from last year and this year, and your rebounding took a big jump. Usually when guys go from Pro B to Pro A they go way down, but you went way up. How did your rebounding improve so much?
Guerschon Yabusele: I was ready, I was really ready to play in Pro A. Even when I was playing in Pro B I was thinking about Pro A all the time because I really wanted to go up a level. I just go with energy, all that I can, jumping everywhere, try to grab a lot of rebounds, take some minutes, take some shots. I just improve myself, and I'm happy to play. The coach was trusting me, so I was just playing. I'm 20 years old, I came excited on the court. I give a lot of energy, I try to be the energizer on the team.
Jonathan Givony: Even though you found a lot of success individually, your team struggled, and ultimately was relegated. Why did you guys struggle to come together so much as a team?
Guerschon Yabusele: This year was tough. A lot of players came and a lot of players left. Sometimes we played a game with five players, or six players. It was tough with confidence, but we tried to stay together everybody on the team, and talk to each other. When you play like 32 games, and you play with six players it's tough to win a lot of games. We took some games, and we were happy. We got some problems, everyone outside the court. But you know, we tried to keep going. We were close, every game we were close, like five points or four points. We played big teams, with a big roster, and we just give everything on the court.
Jonathan Givony: Great stuff man, appreciate it.
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