Wilson Chandler Interview

January 19, 2010

In 2005, Benton Harbor’s own Wilson Chandler left the state of Michigan with the Mr. Basketball trophy in his hand.

In his four years of prep basketball, Chandler dominated at Benton Harbor High School and capped his senior season off with not only the Mr. Basketball trophy, but with All-State honors as well. Although his team was beaten in the Regionals by Holt High School, he still finished the season with averages of 24 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks per game.

From there, Chandler took his skills to DePaul University where the 6-4, 225 pound forward blossomed into an all-around threat. He completed two years before entering the NBA Draft. In his sophomore season, he was even named to the Big-East all second team, and recorded eight double-doubles, while leading the team to a 20-win season.

On June 28, 2007, Chandler was selected by the New York Knicks with the 23rd overall pick. He is currently in his second season with the franchise and having an impressive year. He is chipping in 14.0 points per game and 5.1 rebounds (as of press time).

During a visit back to Michigan on December 29, 2009, to take on the Detoit Pistons, I caught up with the 22-year-old in the locker room after he contributed 23 points (10-of-20 FG), nine rebounds, three steals, and a block in the Knicks’ 104-87 win over Detroit.

Eric Woodyard: I know you’re coming back to Michigan, do you feel like you had a little extra to prove tonight?

Wilson Chandler: Nah, I just was playing calmly and we was moving the ball and it was just easy. It came to me.

EW: I seen you had your own little section, how did it feel to have your own little section out there?

WC: I mean I’m all over. When I be here in Michigan, I’ma be all over the state. Flint, Saginaw, Kalamazoo, and Detroit so I got a lot of friends everywhere so out of everybody I had like 30 people come to this.

EW: I see that you were rocking the Nike’s tonight…What happened to the Pony’s? (side note: Chandler has his own line of sneakers with the Pony sneaker brand)

WC: They making me a new shoe actually. I’m waiting for them to send them to me so I’m just waiting on them to send me the shoe.

EW: Can you talk about your run to the state championship back at Benton Harbor in high school a little bit? Coming up in high school, how was that?

WC: It was fun to be from a smaller town like that and then make a lot of noise in the states so it definitely was fun. We was going against teams from like Flint, Saginaw and Detroit so they was all good teams and it definitely helped me to be where I’m at now.

EW: Who do you feel like was your toughest opponent?

WC: In high school?

EW: Yeah in high school…

WC: Man, my tenth grade year when Olu (Famutimi) was in high school. Olu was tough in high school. Olu was tough. (Anthony) Roberson, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and the list goes on and on. It was a lot of guards. Logan from (Kalamazoo) Loy Norrix, (Eric) Devendorf and the list goes on and on.

EW: Did you used to come to a lot of Pistons games when you were younger?

WC: Nah, I was more of a Chicago Bulls fan.

EW: So is it still somewhat sort of unreal that you’re now in a locker room playing professionally, even though you’ve been in the league a couple of years now?

WC: Yeah definitely because I’m still in the same spots and in the same places all the time and it just seems crazy sometimes.

*This post can also be viewed on mlive.com at It’s Just Sports!

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