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Articles

Interview with Leonard Whippy - Apr 11, 2006


POSTED BY:
GREG
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Name: Leonard Whippy (180-G, college: BYU-Hawaii)
Height: 6’0
Position: Point Guard
Age: 23
What are strengths and weaknesses in your game?
I think that my strengths are: Solid defensive player, outside shot and my ability to run the floor during transition and lead the fast-break
How would you describe your performances playing for BYU Hawaii?
Pretty decent
What kind of training do you do now that you are not actively playing at BYU Hawaii?
I lift weights 3 times a week, play other sports like rugby, road runs and I try to play ball as much as possible
What were the reasons for discontinuing playing basketball at BYU-Hawaii?
I have to work to pay for school and so it’s pretty hard juggling work, school and basketball and so I had to give something up.
What kind of involvement you still have with the basketball team of BYU Hawaii?
I play pick-up ball with them during the off season.
What experiences have you taken from playing at BYU-Hawaii?
I have learnt a lot. It is very competitive here and so it is what you do outside of practice that will make the difference between you and the next guy. For a team to perform at its best, everyone needs to be at the same level of understanding and performance.
You also the captain in the national team in Fiji how would you describe Fiji's performances over the years?
Pretty decent but there is a lot of room for improvement. There has not been much improvement of the game. Preparation for every tournament has been the same and so we have achieved the same results.
Being one of a few players to be overseas does it is put added pressure to you to perform?
Definitely. If you come from overseas whether it be NZ, Australia or the USA you are expected to perform because the level of competition overseas is greater than that which is back home.
You also happen to come from one of the biggest basketball families from Fiji. Has it actually helped having parents and siblings there are heavily involved in basketball in your development?
My family has definitely been a huge part of my development. All of my years playing in Fiji, I have been under the coaching of my dad or my uncle. I remember going as a family to play ball together at a nearby court many times.
Do you think that Fijians could excel at basketball?
Definitely
Describe to us the skills of an average Fijian player.
Very athletic, loves to run, coordinated, quick to learn, good hand skills, good ball-eye coordination.
Do you think that there are any Fijian young players capable of playing at College level?
Yes
With Fiji's third place in the recent Mini South Pacific Games, is the team successes dependent on the availability of Marques Whippy?
Marques has the ability to make a huge contribution to the national team. At the recent games in Palau, we lacked the force of an inside player. We had tall guys but we did not have anyone as strong as Marques and that could dominate the boards and score offensively on the inside from the post position.
What you think is the main constraint in development of basketball in Fiji?
Full-time, qualified officials and funding.
Do you think the popularity of other sports such as rugby, football, netball and volleyball is affecting the success of basketball in Fiji?
I think so.
With Fiji being apart of the Cotonou agreement it is possible that in several European countries Fijians could play as local E  


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