After an outstanding sophomore season at Syracuse that had many analysts talking about him as one of the best guards in the country, Dion Waiters decided the time was right to test his talents and make the jump to the NBA. The Philly native was a beast as a Sixth Man, averaging 12.6 points on nearly 48 percent shooting to help lead the Orange to the Elite 8 this season. Syracuse came up short in their bid for a National Championship, but Waiters’ stock continues to rise. Now as he gets prepared to be drafted into the NBA, Waiters will be giving us the inside scoop on his journey to the draft, how his life is changing and everything in-between…
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I’m going to say it’s about 88-90 degrees in Las Vegas right now. This past week, I just worked out. We’ve been getting a lot of shots up. I’m really working on my footwork and getting it better than it already is. I want to get it perfect, so I keep working at it every day, just chipping away at it. I’m not trying to have any flaws.
I did go to the movies to see “Think Like A Man.” That’s the funniest movie out right now. That’s a classic. Kevin Hart, he’s the funniest man alive right now. He’s at the top of the game. By far. He’s by far the funniest comedian out right now.
I also went go-kart riding. It’s something I did out of the blue. It was actually my second time going, and it was the best go-kart track I’ve been to. It’s an inside one so it’s structured and everything was nice. It was fast, I was going 45-50 miles per hour. I just went with my friends that are here in Vegas.
You’ve got to bring your music on long trips like this one to Vegas, plus clothes, DVDs, all of your favorite movies for the computer. You’ve also got your phone and your phone is pretty much everything for Twitter and things like that.
If I’m listening to music before a game, it has to be Meek Mill. The last good song I listened to was “Dreamchasers.” Jay-Z has to be on there. Jadakiss. Rick Ross. I also listen to Eminem‘s song “I’m Not Afraid.” That’d make up a good playlist for myself.
Right now, I have different days, and different times that I workout. Sometimes I will work out at 9 a.m., so I’ll get breakfast at around 8, 8:15 and then try to get to the gym 30 or 35 minutes early so I can get a good stretch in. I’ll work out for about an hour and a half. Then, I’ll go upstairs and lift for about 45 minutes. From there, we’ll get a break. But sometimes we’ll come back at 3 or 4 p.m. and it depends on how everybody feels whether we’ll play two-on-two or three-on-three or one-on-one. Sometimes we’ll also just workout. And this is all on an everyday basis so you are really getting three workouts in. If you really feel like you need another one, you can go back at 9:30 or 10 p.m.
We are doing that six days a week. We don’t really go on Sundays, but you can if you want. It’s really Monday through Saturday. But for myself, I don’t really like to take any days off so I like to go in there on Sunday just to get shots up.
This is all at Impact Basketball. The facilities are good. You have everything right there. You have the court, and then the weight room is right upstairs. You also have the right people around you for all of the help you need. There’s no excuse for you at the end of the day because everything’s right there. It’s up to you to put the work in. That’s why I wanted to come out here. I felt everything was right there for me.
There’s actually a lot of other guys who just came in to Impact. Michael Snaer, another kid from Florida State. You got Mike Scott from Virginia. You got Kyle O’Quinn from Norfolk State. Matter of fact, Ashton Gibbs just came out here. You got a kid from Florida State, Deividas Dulkys. I call him “Double D.” Alex Young is also out here. There’s a lot of good players here.
When we first meet with Impact, we tell them all of the food we like. We get to order it, so after every workout, my food will be right there at 12:30, and after my last workout, the food will be there around 4:30 or 5 p.m. They actually order food from me and get it from a store, and it’s always the healthiest food. It’s actually cool, and it’s really good too.
I ain’t gonna lie to you. All of the food has been good lately. I only disagreed with one of the foods so far and that was the pasta. Besides that everything else has been great. The pasta was just different.
I put sugar on my lasagna. I’m just telling you that right now because every time I do that, people say, “You put sugar on that?” I put sugar on everything. I gotta eat it with every pasta. I started when I was a young kid, maybe four or five years old. Then on game days, I’ll eat broccoli with cheese and chicken breasts.
I’ve met a lot of actors since declaring for the draft. I really can’t remember their names. But last week, I met Floyd Mayweather Jr. and was at his gym the other night with all of his security. I met all of those guys. I actually went in late but I put in like 15 or 20 minutes. It was crazy. Just by seeing him working hard… I know I work hard too so just by seeing him going that hard, and he’s already the best, that only gives me that much more drive. I woke up with a chip on my shoulder like “Man, I gotta work harder than he did.”
I’ve got to be one of Floyd’s biggest fans. Everything he’s doing, he’s doing right. He did it the right way. His greatness speaks for itself.
I talk to Kyle Lowry a little bit about the draft process. He’s from Philly. I used to watch him play at Villanova when I was a kid. I talked to Cuttino Mobley and Rasual Butler. I talked to Kyrie Irving. He hit me up and told he was here for me if I needed anything. There have been a lot of other guys too that have given me advice.
Speaking of Philly, I think Allen Iverson influenced all of the Philly guards growing up, and even more because he expanded all over. I think a lot of guys now in the NBA that where No. 3 do it because of AI. I really believe that. A lot of people will tell you they looked up to AI. He was a big role model to me and had a big impact on my life. He made me really want to play basketball more. I used to walk around with all Iverson sneakers. I even had the arm sleeve, the finger slip and I was 12 or 11 years old. I had it because he had it. I tried the headband but that wasn’t me so I gave that up.
The Questions were by far my favorite Iverson sneakers, and then I also liked the A5 and the A6, the ones where he was in the commercial with Jadakiss.
Each week, Dion will be checking back in with everything he’s going through on his journey towards the NBA Draft (June 28) so stay tuned..
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