Junior Reporters: My Day With The Warriors

January 19, 2019

Xyza Junior Reporters had the opportunity to watch the Golden State Warriors practice and then interview Jacob Evans III. Each Junior Reporter had a different takeaway from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Check out what they had to say about their day with the Golden State Warriors.

Star Struck
By Neel N.

Today, thanks to Xyza, I was able to go to the Warriors practice ground and see them practice dribbling and shooting, and I got to interview a player!

Photo Courtesy Of Junior Reporter Neel N.

We got there, got our passes, and waited and waited for thirty minutes. It felt like hours. I had hopes of meeting Stephen Curry. We walked in and saw a lot of players: Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston, Draymond Green, and many more. As we went to our spot, I was just staring at all the stars. Twenty minutes later, Jacob Evans III came up and we got to talk to him. He is a rookie and the Warriors’ draft pick this year. It was awesome. We all got to ask him questions and he answered them willingly. I asked him about who left the biggest impact on him and why. He said that it was his eldest brother. His father was in the Navy and was away. His brother was his father figure and encouraged him with basketball. I also asked him about what negative moments transformed him as a player and he answered that in college he had an injury and he thought that he would never play basketball well again. But he recovered and came back playing better than ever.

After he finished, I could not believe it … The Kevin Durant came up to me and shook my hand! I couldn’t think for a minute; I was so star struck. Klay Thompson said hi to me too!!! Then I saw Jordan Bell, who also shook my hand. Then we saw Stephen Curry, the best point guard in the world, in my opinion. We saw him warming up doing some weird stretches and shooting. It was so cool. Unfortunately, we could not take selfies or ask for autographs because we had to have a professional relationship with the players. But still, it was awesome. I still can’t believe I shook all these stars’ hands.

Thank you, Xyza, for giving me the opportunity to be a junior reporter at the Rakuten Performance Center (the Warriors’ practice court). SOOOOOOOO COOL!!!

Interview with Jacob Evan III
By Evan W.

I, along with eight other kids from Xyza, interviewed Jacob Evans III, the Warriors’ shooting guard, on December 9, 2018.

When growing up, Jacob’s mom motivated him to play basketball, and his brother was a very large person in his life by helping him with his schoolwork and practicing with him. When he was young, he played a number of other sports, including soccer, football, and baseball. Basketball and football were the ones he was the best at playing, and he played a lot. Jacob went to college in Cincinnati, where he played basketball.

When Jacob plays basketball, his favorite part is looking down the court and feeling confident he’ll win (or do well). Coach Kerr gives him homework like “practice” or “keep fit.” To stay healthy for the games, Jacob eats vegetables, fruits, and pasta and gets lots of rest. He practices a lot so that he can get better and help the team. He says the best way to be a teammate is to not only think about your game and talk about it but to support others too. If he didn’t play basketball, he would like to be a commentator or a coach because he loves basketball and wants to stay near the game.

Photo Courtesy Of Junior Reporter Evan W.

Jacob is a big fan of being on the Warriors because he gets to watch some great players and they help him learn. He would like to help his team out more, and whenever he plays, he capitalizes on it and plays his best. His advice for three-pointers is to put power in your legs, practice a lot, and use strength to push up.

Jacob is a great guy. When we asked him questions, he looked each person in the eyes. He didn’t just say yes or no but gave detailed answers. He said that when he learned he was going to be interviewed by kids, at first he was worried. Then he saw the kids wearing Warriors’ merchandise and he thought they would have some good questions. He was a great interactor with kids and enjoyed answering our questions. He took a lot of time and effort. After we were done asking questions, I went over to Jacob and told him that my name was Evan W. He said that my parents must be geniuses, then laughed, and high-fived me.

I will never forget meeting the Warriors.

Five Things It Takes To Be A Pro Athlete
By Teio S.

I’m a kid athlete who has always had dreams of going pro. I learned a lot about what it takes to be a professional athlete during a recent training session with the Golden State Warriors. I was lucky enough to be selected as a junior reporter by Xyza News to go and visit the Warriors and watch their practice at the Rakuten Training Facility on Dec 9, 2018.

When I walked into the facility, we got our press badges and then walked down a hallway that was a wall full of photos of retired players that used to play for the Warriors. It was fun to see names like Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Chris Mullin, and Eric Floyd, also known as “Sleepy” Floyd. It was a cool reminder that the Warriors have been around for a long time—since 1946. First they were based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then they moved to Oakland, California in 1962.

When I went into their big gym, I immediately saw Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Shaun Livingston, and Klay Thompson all practicing at their own hoop. The gym was huge—eight different full-size courts plus a workout room and locker room next to it. As we walked to our spot, I got a fist bump from Klay. (Wow, that was exciting!) Later as we watched, Steph Curry came out and did his training. It was so cool to be so close to them and see how they work at being a pro.

As I observed their training, there were five important things that stood out to me about what it takes to be a professional athlete.

1. Repetition: lots of practicing the same thing over and over again!
2. Lots of staff: it takes a lot of people to train the pros.
3. A fun vibe: it’s important to create the right atmosphere to do your best.
4. A lot of work: each player spends a huge amount of time working on being the best.
5. Passion for the game: each player can’t think of anything else they’d rather do than play basketball.

The facility had eight hoops, three on each side and two on the end. Each player had two trainers with them on the hoop. The player would be doing drills on one hoop and the two trainers would be shagging balls so the player gets at many reps as he can.

Lots of staff:
There are a lot of Warriors trainers and staff members to keep the basketball team at their best. There are people working with a player on the hoop, head and assistant coaches (we saw Coach Steve Kerr, too!), physical therapists and workout coaches, video replay coaches, and lots of team managers, office assistants, and security people.

A fun vibe:
It’s loud in the gym during their workouts because they play great music to keep the players pumped up and make a fun atmosphere (lots of hip-hop and funky music). It also helps to give the players more adrenaline and energy. Everybody’s laughing and having a good time, and they try to make the practice the most fun it can be.

A lot of work:
I saw all the players working really hard. Being a pro athlete means you have to spend a lot of time practicing and working out, doing team training and strategy, doing press interviews (like ours!), and doing other things for the team. You have to do all this to be the best basketball team in the world. Practice makes perfect!

Passion for the game:
To be putting in this much work to be the best, you have to love the game. This means you have to want to do it more than anything else in the world. That’s why they put in so much work each day and why they can’t think of any other career they’d rather be doing. Our interview with Jacob Evans was an example of this when he said, “If I wasn’t playing basketball? I’d still do something with basketball like be a coach or a trainer, or a commentator or something—anything to stay around the game.”

One last thing …
The last thing I learned about being a professional athlete is that I love the same kinds of food as they do. Jacob Evans answered my question about what he ate to keep healthy with this: “I eat a lot of pasta and a lot of vegetables. I eat a lot of fruit, too.” Sounds delicious (except maybe not so much fruit for me!).

Maybe I’ll become a professional athlete or maybe not, but at least I know what it takes, and now you do too. Good luck!