Brandon Jennings is officially an historical figure in American basketball. He is, by definition, a pioneer. After signing with Arizona, Jennings opted to be the first player to head overseas out of high school since the NBA’s expansive collective bargaining agreement in 2006.
Not only did Jennings sign with a professional team – Lottomatica Virtus Roma – he also inked an endorsement deal with Under Armour. In total, he’s pulling down $1.2 million a year while playing ball and living with his mother Alice Knox and brother Terrence in Rome.
It’s all about practice!
Obviously, Jennings is a big story and all eyes are on him. Last weekend in his first professional game, he came off the bench and played 21 minutes in Lottomatica’s first win of the year. Jennings scored 7 points, had 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Over the course of the season, Jennings has agreed to answer questions designed to give those interested a glimpse into his life and his decision.
Here’s our first exchange with Jennings. We hope you enjoy!
Dave Telep: Brandon, can you lay out what the calendar looks like for you in terms of when the season starts? When does it end?
Brandon Jennings: The season starts this Sunday October 12, we play in the Italian League and the Euroleague goes until June 18, 2009.
DT: Is there any one game or series where you know the eyes of the NBA will be on you?
B.J. I'm sure they'll be watching them all, but I know the Ricky Rubio series (will be big). NOTE: Rubio had surgery on his right wrist and is down for six weeks.
D.T. OK, any regret on missing out on college?
B.J. No regrets at all as far as college basketball. I can always go to college. My two week training with my team in the mountains, I could never have gone there in college.
D.T. Paint the picture of how many games you’ll play and who will be your best competition?
B.J. 65 games and I feel everyone will be my best competition.
D.T. Have any NBA players reached out to you and offered advice?
B.J. I worked out with Tyson Chandler this summer. He said you have to be mentally tough, take care of your body, eat right, you will be fine. Tyson also had a lot of things to share with me about the pro level, his career, life, my money, family and friends.
Jason Kidd told me just play until the whistle blows, but know its not going to be easy at first, but you will be fine.
These are pictures are from last night practice at the main gym. I had never gone there. It was my first time, its very nice, about 45 min from my house. The practice gym is 10 minutes from the house. Traffic here in Rome is like L.A. traffic at 5:00. Lets just say driving in Rome is no joke.