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InsideHoops [College Basketball]

Chad Timberlake Interview




| May 18, 2006

Chad TimberlakeChad Timberlake lifts teams up and makes them better. He's done it all his life. As a senior at Fairleigh Dickenson, the extremely versatile, talented guard was the best player in the entire conference, averaging 15.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals. In four years of college his field goal percentages were amazing: 51.9%, 49.5%, 53.9% and 49.2%. His three-point shot developed steadily. Anyone in the pros need a smart player who works both ends of the floor and nails shots? Here's Chad talking to editor Jeff Lenchiner in an exclusive interview. Introduce yourself.

Chad Timberlake: Chad Timberlake, from Brooklyn, New York. I grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, til I was about 14. Then moved to Brooklyn, New York. Went to high school at St. Anthony's in New Jersey, then came to New Utrecht. And went to Fairleigh Dickenson University for college. And just finished up my fourth year. How was life as a kid back in Fayetteville?

Chad Timberlake: Life was all about playing basketball, with the neighborhood kids. Rushing off the school bus and playing basketball. No worries in the world. Just worrying about making sure there's enough air in the basketball. And your high school years, talk about how things went.

Chad Timberlake: My first year, my freshman year of high school, I was in North Carolina, at Douglas Byrd. And I was on the junior varsity team. And I was so mad, because I wanted to be on varsity, and be a starter. But it didn't go that way, so I made the best of it. I broke the freshman scoring record, and I was happy about that. What did you average that season, if you remember.

Chad Timberlake: About 25 points per game. And we won the state championship. It was based on record. That was the first time in, I think, 18 years, that we had even gone to the states. And then you moved on from there, how did that happen?

Chad Timberlake: That summer I went to a basketball camp in New Jersey, and Bob Hurley saw us. And my father, he had played for St. Anthony's. So they had a relationship. My father was on championship teams with him. So he said to my father, "I want to have your son play for me, also." So I moved to Brooklyn, and then I was commuting from Brooklyn to Jersey every day for school. That was terrible. I was waking up at 6AM, not getting home til 11:30PM. That was tough, coming from 95th street in Brooklyn, the last stop on the train stop, all the way to Jersey. And then you got hurt, and between that and the commute I guess you decided to find something more local in NYC.

Chad Timberlake: Yeah, my mother started looking for schools in Brooklyn. She didn't even ask about basketball or anything. She just called schools, asking how the schools are, how the classes are, and all the principals were saying "My school is the best, my school is the best." My mom asked, "would you send your kid there?" And they would always say, "oh, of course." And then she called one school, New Utrecht and said, "Would you send your son there?" And the principal was like, "Only if I could pick his teachers." And she was like, that's an honest answer, so she went with that. So I went to New Utrecht not knowing anything about the Lincolns, the Gradys, Boys and Girl's (school), anything like that. Went to New Utrecht for two years. Junior year I averaged 19 points and we went to the playoffs for the first time in two years. Then, senior year, ended up averaging 24, and went to the playoffs, won the first round, went to the second round against Cardozo, and ended up coming down to the buzzer, and Cameron Tyler won it for them. We were up and should have won, but that shot at the end just ended it. And now on to Fairleigh Dickenson. You seemed to steadily progress there and get better every season. Talk about your years there.

Chad Timberlake: Well, everyone that knows me knows that I'm probably going to be the man, be a star, help my team win. Even if I'm not playing well and only have seven points, I probably had enough of an impact on the game, where it's why we won. So everybody was thinking, "Chad's going to go there and do real good." So I was expecting to go there and do real good right off the jump. And I went in there and didn't start at first, limited minutes here and there. So I was a little frustrated. I had never faced that since I gained confidence in my skills. Now that I have confidence in my skills, I was on the bench and it just didn't sit right with me. I ended up averaging 20 minutes as a freshman. Started, I think, four games. Everyone was telling me I should be happy, freshmen don't usually start at Fairleigh Dickenson. I wasn't really trying to here that. But I ended up making all-rookie team. Second year, we played the season out. I averaged 12 points my sophomore year. Junior year we ended up winning the conference championship, and went to the NCAA's. I was averaging 14. We ended up playing Illinois in the tournament. And I got sick, and played the first half and didn't play the second half -- I had IV's in me. At halftime, we were down one point. I was battling the entire game, didn't really have energy, couldn't really do much out there, but did what I could. We ended up losing. I was upset. I worked hard all summer. Senior season came around, and I ended up getting unanimous pick for player of the year of the conference. First team all-conference tournament. We were supposed to win the whole thing, and at the last second, we were up one in the championship for the NEC, seven seconds to go, our guy misses a free throw, the other team (Monmouth) ran down the court and got a layup, and we ended up losing that game. That was crushing for a while. After the season, picks came out. I got All-American honorable mention. So, I got good personal awards, even though we didn't win a championship. And the next step for you is hopefully the NBA. Talk about the kind of player you are.

Chad Timberlake: I'm a 6-4, 215-pound guard who can handle the ball, hold his own, can hit the open shot. I can do whatever the team wants me to do, I'll do. I can hit the shot, go to the basket. I won dunk contests, so I'm athletic enough and can go to the hole and take contact. I bring leadership, smarts, savvy, all that.

Reach Timberlake's agents: Mike Knizely (202 276-5027) or Doug Neusdat (240 361-5300)

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