Monday, October 23, 2017

Uno En Uno With: Deondre Bourne, CGM Academy

ZS: In which ways do you envision yourself bettering your game and NCAA readiness this year? How Has CGM and the program's constant devotion to skill development enabled you to improve?

DB: I envision myself becoming better in every aspect of my life as far as my physicality, speed, and my education while being away from home on the West Coast at CGM Prep Academy.  Mandatorily, this process is all about development.  Back in high school, players only lifted weights and worked on their game because they had to. 

Post grad ball players, on the other hand, do this type of work because they need to in order to make it to the next level. Working with a group of guys who are all trying to earn a college scholarship brings the best out of me day in and day out, non-stop.

ZS: After piling up 2,190 career points in high school, you enter an environment with significantly better talent and most notably more competition. How do you adjust your game to this transition?

DB: Scoring so much was great, but it wasn't my main goal. I grew up looking at stats, so I focused on trying to surpass Lance Stephenson's record for New York City's most career points in high school. 

In order to do that, I needed to be mentally and physically prepared. This caused me to overly work on developing my game. I worked on my game at a high level to be ready for any task at hand, which is why I played with a national EYBL program in the PSA Cardinals. The Cardinals helped me adjust to every level of competition. So, entering this new environment shouldn't be so hard for me. 

ZS: Which schools have you been hearing from and which type of program do you ultimately see yourself winding up at?

DB: First entering high school, I was hearing from a lot of Ivy League and Patriot League schools. Conference-wise, I'm really liking the PAC-12.

ZS: You played against  (6-foot-9 forward) Abdou N'Diaye in high school in New York. What's it like now having him as a teammate in the same program and how would you describe the impact he's had at CGM thus far?

DB: Abdou is an energetic and talented player who anybody would love on their team. He runs the floor, he's great in transition, plays well inside-outside basketball and he's another big body for the program. We're both players willing to do whatever it takes to win. 

ZS: What would you pinpoint as the most advantageous aspects of taking a post-graduate year? How do you see yourself capitalizing on an additional year, especially given the level of coaching and competition? 

DB: After four years of high academic school work and earning an IB diploma, I felt it was time to work solely in basketball. After traveling to play Montverde Academy, Albany Academy, LUHI, and a few other Catholic schools throughout the years, I found it a bit strenuous going back to the dorms to do three hours of school work and additional studying.

By attending CGM, I can focus more on basketball. I can take advantage of coach Tony Miller's Division-1 coaching experience.  Running the mountains, going to the gym for 4-5 hours and being in the weight room every single day is the right decision to develop my game and my body. As far as competition goes, playing against and alongside close friends like Chieck Diallo, Mo Bamba, Jordan Tucker, and Hamidou Diallo and also working with trainers such as Jerry Powell, Chris Brickley, and Tommy Tempesta kept me on my A game.