Kevinn Pickney was recently named to the NBA D-League Western Conferenece All Star Team as a power forward. He leads his team, the Bakersfield Jam, in scoring (19.4 ppg) and is second in rebounding (7.3 rpg). Pickney went undrafted in 2005 after graduating from the University of Nevada and has since been on a journey to get to the NBA. We talked to him after a recent game.
Jim Hlavac: Everybody is interested in the journey from college to the NBA. How did your journey start?
Kevinn Pickney: I guess Im a late bloomer. So when I came out of college, they [scouts & agents] told me to go overseas. I was kind of developing my skills a little bit and when I went there I did pretty good.
Jim Hlavac: Where did you play overseas?
Kevinn Pickney: I was in France and I was in Poland.
Jim Hlavac: What differences did you notice about the game in Europe?
Kevinn Pickney: It's different because it's overseas and they have international rules. The game is a little more uptempo. They like to get it and just go some of the time. But, I had a good experience over there playing with older people and biggger guys. And after everything over there, they told me come back here to play in the states.
Jim Hlavac: Did you have any difficulties with the language or culture?
Kevinn Pickney: Oh, a little bit, but you kind of adjust to it. You learn the basics and get around with just the basic words.
Jim Hlavac: What made you come back to the states?
Kevinn Pickney: Summer league. I was going to go overseas again, but the guys in the NBA said to stay here. They said they wanted to look at me some more and so far it's been going well for me.
Jim Hlavac: What have they told you to work on?
Kevinn Pickney: Just having a scoring mentality. In college, I wasnt going to score a lot, I was mostly defense, but my role has changed. Like for this team, I have to score. So I probably need to be more aggresive scoring wise.
Jim Hlavac: Did you receive any interest from the NBA out of college?
Kevinn Pickney: I had a couple looks from the NBA. I tried out for the Indiana Pacers in their summer league and I got cut.
Jim Hlavac: You made some nice passes tonight and led your team in assists. Is that something you pride yourself on?
Kevinn Pickney: I try, I do try. Im trying to shoot a little bit more, but at the same time if a guys open Im going to pass the ball to him.
Jim Hlavac: Good luck to you.
Kevinn Pickney: Thanks.
To see Kevinn and the other NBA D-League All-Stars, watch the D-League All-Star game on NBATV on Saturday February 17.
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