Montlake Madness Talks to 2010 Husky Freshman Forward, Desmond Simmons – Part I

Desmond award
There’s been a lot of focus lately on which of the still-uncommited top basketball players the Huskies might entice to come to UW, so it’s been easy to forget that we’ve got one guy we know is coming to Montlake in 2010. /

Desmond Simmons is a 6’7″ forward from Salesian High School in the Bay Area. We were thrilled to catch up with him recently and talk basketball, UW, and about some of the difficulty he had during AAU ball this summer. You’ll have to come back tomorrow to get the whole interview, but here’s part I:

Montlake Madness: Introduce yourself to the Husky fans. We want to know more about you.

Desmond Simmons: On the court, I play really hard. A lot of energy. Dive for loose balls, rebounding, crashing. A lot of energy. Off the court, I would say I’m a pretty laid-back kind of mellow person. A lot of people say I’m a mellow kind of guy. That’s me off-the-court — just a real chill person.

MM: What do you like to do when you’re not playing ball?

DS: I listen to a lot of music. I like all kinds of music. I like to draw. I’ve been drawing since I was little. It’s a big hobby of mine.

MM: What kind of stuff do you draw?

DS: I draw a lot of cartoon characters. Sometimes I draw pictures of sports players, like I take a picture of an actual athlete and I just draw it out on a big poster board or something.

MM: What college or pro player does your game resemble the most?

DS: Some people tell me, I would say, someone like Boris Diaw, an inside-out kind of guy with range. I guess Boris Diaw to some extent.

MM: Are you more of a post player or a wing man? I know Boris Diaw is kind of a hybrid, but where do you think you fit in on the Huskies?

DS: Kind of like Boris, a little bit of both: inside and out. Most of my basketball career, I’ve been playing the post, but the last, I would say, since freshman and sophomore year, I’ve been getting out on the wing more. So, I mean, for the Huskies, I would be, uh, a guard with multiple positions. So, I could probably guard some posts, guard some guys on the wing. Play some post, play some wing. A little bit of both.

MM: Have you watched Quincy Pondexter play much?

DS: Yes.

MM: So, compare your games, since you’ll be coming in after he’s leaving. I know some people are going to hope you come in and fill a similar role to some degree.

DS: Well, Quincy Pondexter is an exceptional player. I like his game a lot, because he also goes inside-out. And so, I guess, his mid-range and my mid-range are kind of alike. He has a good mid-range game. I think my mid-range game is pretty decent.

MM: How often are you in touch with coaches or players at UW at this point?

DS: I talk to Coach Romar and Coach Fortier pretty often. I call them up a little bit here and there. I’m in touch with them very frequently. Maybe a couple of times a week. I call Coach Fortier maybe twice per week. He’ll probably give me a call once or twice a week.

MM: Have they given you stuff they want you to focus on between now and next season? Areas of your game they want you to strengthen?

DS: Yeah. They’ve told me to work on getting consistent with my jump shot. Getting consistent where I can knock down open jump shots. And my ball-handling is improving, but making it more sound. Getting bigger, getting stronger. That’s always something you need to work on because you think you’re strong in high school, but when you get to college, it’s a whole different game.

MM: What are you most looking forward to about playing at UW?

DS: I heard the fans are real crazy out there. They get a lot of fan support out there. It’ll be nice to play in front of a big crowd every night (we’re) at home. That’s something to be excited about.

I’m also just looking forward to getting better. Just going to the next level. It’s something exciting itself, y’know, moving on to college, Division I basketball, playing in the Pac-10. Playing against UCLA, USC, Arizona. You know, that’s just really exciting. . .


Tomorrow, part II, in which Desmond discusses some of the much-talked-about struggles he had in some of his AAU tournaments this summer.

Thanks for coming!