Monday, June 30, 2008

Austin Rivers- Making a Name for Himself

In the basketball world, Rivers is a big-time last name right now, as Doc Rivers just coached the Boston Celtics to the NBA title. The head man in Beantown has another star in his family. Doc's son, 6'3.5 guard Austin Rivers of Winter Park (FL), was one of just two players in the class of 2011 at the Steve Nash Skills Academy, along with Tony Wroten. Rivers, Wroten, Michael Gilchrist, LeBryan Nash, and LaQuinton Ross will likely be battling for the top spot in their class as time progresses. I had a chance to speak with Austin after he finished up his final workout at the Nash event.

NB: What was it like watching your dad coach the Celtics to the NBA Championship?
AR: Man, it didn’t really sink in until the next day. It was crazy, it was probably the craziest thing, probably the best day of my life so far. [It] was crazy.

NB: Do you kind of felt a weight off of his shoulders, finally winning that title, getting that playoff [series] win and all that?
AR: Yeah, I think he can actually relax now, now that he’s at least won one and he has none of that pressure about having all those great players and not succeeding, so I think he’s more relaxed now.

NB: What’s it been like for you being around NBA players all the time, with your dad always being around those guys?
AR: It’s different. . . . It’s helped me a lot because they teach you a lot of stuff. I don’t train with them or play with them that much, I just go in my backyard and play, but it’s a lot different. They teach you stuff and it’s fun.

NB: You’ve really come on strong during the spring and summer. What’s went into that for you?
AR: It’s been good so far. I’ve been working, I think I’ve been playing a lot better because I’ve been getting a little bit . . . stronger, and . . . I’m trying to get a lot more stronger, and I just can’t wait until the Peach Jam.

NB: What’s the biggest strength in your game?
AR: I’d say my jump-shot because it can open me up, and when they have to play close, I think I [am] quick enough to go by a lot of people, and I can penetrate or score. . . . Just, the jump-shot, I think [it] opens me up.

NB: What’s your biggest weakness?
AR: I’d say my strength. Compared to these dudes, these dudes are pretty big. You got Lance [Stephenson] and Tommy [Mason-Griffin] over there [that] look like football players. . . . I need to get a little bit . . . bigger. I think that’s my weakness, strength.

NB: What schools are you currently considering?
AR: Florida, right now. . . . University of Florida, that’s most likely.

NB: Is that your dream school?
AR: It’s one of them. I’ve always liked them and Texas, and North Carolina, and Kansas. Those are the . . . four right there.

NB: Who do currently have an offer from?
AR: Florida, [Central Florida], and . . . I’m going to try to go visit Memphis, Kansas, and Texas.

Austin Rivers is not only a nice and genuine kid, he is a talented ball player. That's evident merely from the fact that the rising sophomore was invited to the Steve Nash Skills Academy, a top-notch Nike event. Rivers is a player with a of potential, as he is still young and lanky. Once he begins to fill out his frame, Rivers will be a load for any defender to handle. Austin was one of just three or four players who kept shooting around during the water break in the scrimmage I saw him. His work ethic will take him a long way, and it will help him to be more than just Doc's son.

Note- photo is from

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