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Hasheem Thabeet: One-on-One with the NBA Draft Prospect

DETROIT - APRIL 04:  Hasheem Thabeet #34 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after he scored a basket in the first half against the Michigan State Spartans during the National Semifinal game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Ford Field on April 4, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

How much do you weigh right now and how many pounds to you need to put on before the season?


During the season I went up to 278. At the end of the season, I started doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of shooting, a lot of working out.


In the offseason, I never did weights. I was doing the core and mobility with the Navy Seals in California. I dropped off to 267 right now, and my goal is to get up to 280 or 285, just add muscle.



Has Dikembe Mutombo been an influence to you?


Yeah, I look up to him. He had a great career. Him being not too far from my country and being able to stay in the league for that long and accomplish what he accomplished. He is one of the people I look up to.


Do you think you can be as good as Mutombo?


(Laughs) He’s a great player. I’m looking forward to maybe having a great career like him.



Do you see yourself as being a guy that will have in impact offensively in the NBA?


You can see me from my freshman year to my junior year. I started in my freshman year averaging six points, to the time I was leaving UConn I was averaging 15.


Every year, I keep changing, working hard, and listening to the coaches. That’s the only way I’ll be able to be successful.



You’ve been training with the Navy Seals?


Yeah, the guy I’ve been working out with is a former Navy Seal (Scott Roth). We were out in California. It was me, Darren Collison, and some other guy working out down there. I’m going back to L.A. on the second to keep doing that.


It’s not maybe the way you think. We don’t be in water, it’s a core and mobility workout.



You went head-to-head with DeJuan Blair several times. What makes him so tough of an offensive player to defend?

He is strong. He is strong and heavy and he’s a good player. He’s really skilled and really tough with his size differential.

Sometimes he got me and sometimes I got him, but he was a great matchup and I think he’s tough. He works hard. He works hard all the time.

From what I saw last year, the way he was working, he’s going to be a good player.


NBA Pre-Draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 7'1.25"

Height w/shoes: 7'2.5"

Weight: 267

Wingspan: 7'6.25"

Standing Reach: 9'5"

Body Fat: 6.7 percent

Note: Thabeet was too cool to perform any of the strength and agility testing.

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