As Gatorade's Basketball Player of the Year, highly touted basketball recruit Bradley Beal of Chaminade in St. Louis and his family had a big time in Hollywood this week to reward his big performances—both on the court and in his community.
Beal's résumé of volunteerism is impressive, from helping the homeless through the St. Patrick Center to his work as a goodwill ambassador for Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and a coach for area youth basketball camps and clinics.
It's almost big enough to overshadow the basketball accomplishments that earned him Missouri's "Mr. Show-Me Basketball" honor, a spot on several All-America rosters and a full ride to the University of Florida.
For someone who's done so much to give others a leg up, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute stepped up to the plate to educate Beal on aspects of his own performance that most athletes neglect.
Through informative tests measuring his body composition, reflexes and energy expenditure during exercise, GSSI's scientists added some sports nutrition knowledge to Beal's already-impressive arsenal...
Jack Harver: It looked like you had a bunch of questions for Gatorade's scientists after the tests. Let's do a rundown of what you went through.
First, what did you make of the BOD POD? I heard that you've used one in Gainesville.
Bradley Beal: Yeah, a week ago I was measured there, and my results today were around the same. I haven't lost or gained too much weight.
JH: What about biking with that mask on, hooked up to the metabolic cart and breathing into those tubes. Have you seen anything like that at Florida?
BB: Not at all. It's difficult because you can't breathe through your nose, only through your mouth. The resistance increases every five minutes.
JH: Was it educational to see how your body was using carbohydrate and fat for fuel?
BB: Yeah, it was amazing. We lose so many carbs [in exercise] and it's so important to put them back.
In talking with the scientists, I'm learning a lot of new things that I can take back to Gainesville and put to use.
JH: How about the reflex testing? New lessons learned there, too?
BB: Yeah, I've never done that before. It's really going to help me on the court, in situations where I have to react to a pass or I'm guarding somebody—the mental side of the game, being focused and ready to react.
JH: So, when you tell people back in St. Louis and in Gainesville about these tests, what's the No. 1 takeaway lesson you'll be passing along?
BB: Hydrate! It's tough to do anything, whether it's an exercise bike or a game, when you're not hydrated.
If you're not going in hydrated, your competition has an edge over you because your performance is going to fall off.
JH: Today was a big difference from last night, when you had a suit on and got to go onstage with Stuart Scott at the Athlete of the Year ceremony, but both are part of this Hollywood experience Gatorade has put together for you. What has it been like?
BB: This whole experience has been great. It's been awesome to come out here with all these other great athletes.
JH: It's big-time, and I bet there's more of that to come for you. Good luck at UF.