David “Kool-Aid” Kool Interview!

February 11, 2010

Not many current college players can say that they are their school’s all-time leading scorer before the season even ends! This is exactly what Western Michigan University’s David Kool is: WMU’s all-time leader in points.

Kool has been described by his teammate Don Lawson as a person “who doesn’t want to score all the time.” Lawson also went on to descibe him as “relaxed and kinda like an old man who never wants to do too much.”

Coming out of South Christian High School in 2006, Kool was often overlooked even though he won the Mr. Basketball trophy that year as well. Now, coaches around the state have to be kicking themselves for passing up on a player like Kool who is currently averaging 21 points even.

After an evening practice last week, I caught up with “Kool-Aid” to talk hoops, life, his future, and just about everything else…

Eric Woodyard: You’re the No. 1 scoring leader at Western Michigan University, how does that feel?

David Kool: It’s pretty crazy! Still when people say that, it still gives me chills up my spine and it’s just insane to think about with all of the hard work that I put in in high school and even here it’s paid off and it’s another thing that goes to tell you that work ethic takes you where you wanna go.

EW: Obviously when you first got here you were hurt, could you see this happening and all of this success then?

DK: I had no idea what it was gonna be like. I knew everybody in high school was telling me how different college is and how different the game is and it was just a learning process and it took a long time and it took a lot of guys beating up on me and realizing what my role was and understanding that and then once I got that understood, it just exploded from there.

EW: Your coach told me that you had to get your work ethic as far as taking care of your body better and getting into yoga and things like that, was this something that you decided to do on your own?

DK: It was little bit of both. My freshman year when I hurt my hamstring, the strength and conditioning coach and then the trainer at the time kind of pushed me towards yoga and I was skeptical at first thinking yoga’s just like a girlie thing and not wanting to do it but it really did work and I got more flexible and it was just one of those things that I had to do and I had to realize that if I wanna play all the minutes that I play to do everything that I wanna do that I need to take care of my body and I had to sacrifice some of the things that normal college people would do so that I can excel on the court.

EW: We’ve talked a lot about basketball but talk about how you’re able to be cool with everyone personally on the team because you have to take a lot of shots and you still have a good relationship with everyone regardless of your big role…

DK: I think that’s what I’m most proud of. I think my character just goes a long ways and I just try to be friends with the guys first. I didn’t come in here thinking that I was the man and I’m gonna  take all of the shots, I just try to get my teammates involved first and try to build their trust up first, on and off the court. I think it’s that much easier if you’re friends with them off the court  and then they know how hard you work and they know that the bottom line is that we all wanna win games and I think anyway that you can do that then everybody’s gonna be happy.

EW: You have a girlfriend that’s on the women’s basketball team, is that pretty tough that you guys both play basketball? How is that? Do you guys ever challenge each other in games or anything like that?

DK: (Laughs) We played a little one-on-one a little early in our careers when we were both fresh but now that we’re both seniors we’re kind of laying off that. We both come in the gym and shoot sometimes together but it’s tough on the relationship just because we both have opposite schedules so like whenever I’m away, she’s home and whenever she’s home, I’m away so it’s tough but we’re both used to it since we’ve been dating for so long now and it’s been real fun growing with her.

EW: Is she pretty supportive your skills and critiquing you and things of that nature?

DK: She is! She does a good job. She knows when to say things and when I’m in a bad mood she knows to come in and try to cheer me up and then she knows when to give me to pointers too. We like to listen to each other and it’s nice to have another voice that actually knows what’s going on and I definitely try to listen to her and respect her opinion.

EW: Back to getting that scoring crown and becoming the leader, talk about how it actually felt. I play a lot of basketball myself so I know it had to be crazy to actually know that that point was going in. It was at the free throw line right?

DK: Yeah…

EW: Just how did it feel to actually have that go down?

DK: It was a feeling that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before. It was one of those things that I just happened and I knew it being at the free throw line when I hit the first one that was the one that tied it and the second one was gonna break it so going into that second shot I kind of like closed my eyes, praying that it goes in so that I could just get it over with. Even though how great of a record it was, I did feel a little bit of pressure coming into the game to break it so I think it was nice to break it so that we could move on to start talking about some team-oriented goals but it was a great feeling and after that happened, we knew we were gonna lose the game but the crowd was standing and gave me a standing ovation and it was awesome.

EW: What would you like your legacy at Western Michigan to be remembered as?

DK: I think that the main thing that I wanna be remembered as is a competitor (and) a person who puts everything out there on the floor and tries to do things the right way. I’m not gonna do everything perfectly, I’m gonna miss assignments every game, I’m gonna miss shots but just in the end just plays the game the right way and got my teammates involved, I was a team player, but then again I wanna be remembered as a winner so we got a little bit of ways to go here and I want my legacy to definitely be remembered here as a winner and a champion.

EW: How would you like to cap this season off?

DK: There’s no doubt about this season, and it’s the same that I’ve wanted every season. My goal was to come in here and get Western to the NCAA Tournament and the first three years, obviously we haven’t done that but that’s the one goal that I know me (and the other seniors) all have in mind. We want to win the MAC Tournament and then get to the NCAA Tournament and make some noise in there.


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