Thursday, September 9, 2010

A few minutes with Adrian Oliver

We recently reached out to Adrian Oliver in order to flesh out some of his summer posts and tweets (go here) and to learn more about how he got to where he is and what he was involved with this summer to maintain and add to his basketball excellence.

Q: Can you describe in detail (what it specifically consisted of) a typical workout day for you this summer, say when you were in San Jose?

AQ - Well that is hard to explain, reasoning being that i was not in San Jose too much this summer. I would travel to different places to workout with different trainers who have built reputations on working out some of the best in the sport. I wanted to work with the best and be challenged to my limit. After the year I had last year, I know that I now have a bulls-eye on my back and players are going to come at me every night. So in order to prepare for that, I wanted to manage my summer to the point that where everything I did was going to be harder than the actual games during the season. Typically, my home base as far as working out was in Berkeley, California. That is where I was at when I was in the Bay Area.

Q: This may be too similar to the question above but what did you do this summer to improve your ballhandling, quickness and speed and strength as you mentioned you were working on in an earlier post at the San Jose State athletics site?

AO - As I said previously, my home base was in Berkeley with trainer Ant Eggleton at Ant's Mind & Body. Working out with Ant was a really good experience because all of the workouts and techniques were all completely foreign to me. As you all know, I am a workout junkie, so I have pretty much seen it all when it comes down to working out. When it came to Ant's workouts, it was a completely different story. The way I built my speed and quickness and explosiveness was by building up key muscles in my hips, core, lower back and legs. Unique exercises that would isolate each one of these muscles and tear them down in order for them to build and maximize. Maybe one example I could give you guys would be that I would carry sand bags on my back while running up Strawberry Canyon above the Cal Football Stadium. This was crazy because the hill was so unbelievably steep that you had to stay strong and if you slipped or fell, it would basically be over for you. The canyon was one thing that I always looked forward to when I knew it was coming up.After I did my strength work, I would work with my ball handling coach, shooting coach and skills coach different days of the week. At the end of the week, I would usually finish it off with some yoga to increase my flexibility. Yoga is definitely something that I have come to love because just something as simple as stretching can be such a difference in my overall game. Sorry I can't give you guys my complete workouts this summer, but I have to keep some things a secret so my opponents won't find out -- haha.

Q: Can you also fill us in on what techniques, exercises, etc. you did when you were younger in order to become such a topnotch shooter?

AO - Man this one is simple. I simply just played the game. I learned to love the game at a very young age and from there just took off with it. Once I developed that love, it was easy for me to want to go out and practice all day to get better. The days that I did not want to go out and practice were the days that my Uncle Allen told me to get out there. He was such a vital key in the development of the player I am today. He was my first coach and one of my high school assistant coaches, so he was always around the game with me. He and I never had the intent of becoming a top notch shooter nor top notch in any one aspect. Our goal and still is to this day, is to be the most complete player I can be. To be able to do everything well, and do it well at a high level. So my shooting ability is just a God-given talent that has flourished with a lot of hard work. Since freshman year of high school, I've been trying to get up 700 to 1000 shots a day. The past two years, I have increased that number to 1000 to 1500 shots daily, either all at once or broken up throughout the day. I live by the quote, "Repetition is the father of learning." Especially with this sport.

Q: Once you complete your two remaining classes, what will you have your degree in?

AO - I will have my degree in Criminology. I don't necessarily want to go in that field because I want to be a college basketball coach after I am done playing basketball but I chose it because all the classes that I have taken have to do with understanding different kinds of people. Studying human behavior is something that intrigues me, so why not study something that I enjoy naturally. It has worked out perfect for me thus far.

Q: What is it about "Entourage" that makes it your favorite television show?

AO - Man, this might be one of the coolest questions that any media has ever asked me. Where do I begin with this show? I love everything about the show. I was a fan when it first came out a couple of years ago when it wasn't such a hit. My friend Spencer Hawes introduced me to it when i was Seattle and now I'm introducing people to it on a weekly basis. I think the reason that I like it so much because it is the life i want to live. Being Vince Chase and bringing your boys who have been with you from day one to Hollywood or wherever it is and just simply living the life. Giving the people close to me a better life or better said, a more secure life like the main character in this show is something that I want to do as well. Entourage is the best show ever created, hands down! One of my goals is to make it on the show if I ever get big enough to be on there. Man, now wouldn't that be cool ?

Q: How does your buddy Chuck Hayes do it? (it being standing just 6-foot-6 yet being recognized as one of the best NBA defenders and rebounders in the middle)

AO - I laughed when I read this because we were talking about this while I stayed with him in Vegas this summer, and he doesn't even know. He is just simply blessed and fell into a good situation where his special skill set is needed and he has shown the entire NBA he is capable of producing on that level. All it takes is one shot, and he took it and ran with it and now is living the dream. Having him at that level already really helps me because I have someone to talk to about everything that's going on with me because he has already been through it. This summer, I met a lot of players in the NBA and a lot of good people dealing with the league mostly through him and it motivated me 100% to keep working towards that dream.

We thank AO for taking the time to share his thoughts.

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