Found December 06, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
At 19 years and 208 days, Maurice Harkless is the youngest player on the Orlando Magic roster and the fourth youngest player in the league. But, dont let his "-teen" suffix fool you. The rookie wing-man is not playing kid games anymore.Starting for the Magic the past eight games, hes already had to square up against the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Ron Artest, Tayshaun Prince, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. On the days when hedoesn'thave a game, his slate only gets tougher, going through weight training, floor drills, shooting practices, and film sessions -- all to help mold him into the type of player hes now been tasked to guard.Oh, to be young and full of potential, eager and gifted and willing to work.So willing, in fact, that trying to talk to him after a practice would require an additional two hour wait for him to finish lifting with his strength coach. Harkless might as well get a bed installed in the Magic practice facility at Amway Center."Im always here," he said when asked how he spends his free time. "If were not on the road, Im right here." For this weeks Q&A, FOX Sports Florida caught up with Harkless an hour after the Brooklyn game on Nov. 30. The young buck was in practice shorts and a cut off tee. Drops of sweat rolled down his arms as he sat at his locker, untying his shoes.FS Florida: So you went from last year being a rookie in college to now being a rookie in the NBA. Two major transitions in two years. Whats been different from college to the NBA? Maurice Harkless: Its just an entirely different level you know. I went from being the best player on my team to now just trying to fit in and find my way. FS Florida: Whats been the same? Harkless: Well its still basketball. Even at the highest level, its still the game I love. FS Florida: What is it that you love about basketball? Harkless: It pretty much just makes me happy. FS Florida: Would happiness be a word you would use to describe your draft night? Harkless: Oh definitely. It was like a dream come true honestly. Best night of my life. FS Florida: Did you pick out your suit? We all know players take a lot of pride in how theyre looking that night. Harkless: (laughing) Ididn'tpick it out. But, that suit was nice! I actually didnt even see it beforehand. I let the lady surprise me with it. She did a great job.FS Florida: Do the guys ever clown you about being the youngest on the team? Harkless: (laughing) Oh yeah, all the time. They always bring it up. FS Florida: Who usually gets on you the most? Harkless: Id say Jameer. Hes always got something to say. But, really its all the guys. Even the other rookies, because theyre older than me too. Even the equipment managers say stuff. FS Florida: The equipment managers are older than you too? Harkless: Yeah, they are. Its sad. FS Florida: What is the one thing you wanted after you signed your contract?Harkless: Well, I really havent had any real big purchases outside of my car and my apartment. FS Florida: What are you driving now? Harkless: A BMW. FS Florida: Car or SUV? Harkless: Car. FS Florida: Over the summer you said you were having a hard time adjusting to the heat and humidity. How do you like the weather now that its coming up on winter? Harkless: Oh I love it. I absolutely love it now. The weather is perfect. FS Florida: Do you miss the snow at all? Harkless: I mean yeah, sometimes. Like around the holidays. It didnt really feel likeThanksgiving with it being so warm. It may not really feel like Christmas either, but the weather here is great. FS Florida: Youve said Kobe, T-Mac, and Shaq were all players you looked up to growing up. I can see Kobe and T-Mac because they are similar type players as you, but why Shaq? Harkless: I liked Shaq because he is just an entertainer. He was always going to put on a show no matter what. FS Florida: What do you think about him now as an analyst? Harkless: I still feel the same way. The guy is hilarious. FS Florida: Whos funnier? Him or Charles Barkley? Harkless: Ahhh man, thats hard. But, Im going with Shaq. Its his voice. His voice his so deep. Hes always saying the most off the wall stuff in that deep voice. Just too funny to me. FS Florida: So you go from looking up to those NBA players to being one of the NBA players kids now look up to. Harkless: Yeah. You know growing up I was always the kid asking for a picture or an autograph, and going to the NBA player basketball camps. Now that Im in the league, I just get so much from being able to give back. I know how much a simple talk with an NBA player can make a kids day because I was that kid. Its just great to be able to connect with the kids who look up to me. Keeps me humble. FS Florida: Do you ever have those, Wow moments where you just take a step back and ask yourself, I play in the NBA? Harkless: All the time. All the time.FS Florida: Rumor has it that you liked to read. Whats your favorite book? Harkless: The Giver by Lois Lowry. FS Florida: You reading anything right now? Harkless: Actually J.J. just got me a book. I havent started reading it yet, but it will probably be next on my list. Its called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. FS Florida: Whats your most embarrassing basketball moment? Harkless: In middle school, beginning of the game. Were all lined up for the tip and the ball comes to me. I was so excited I took the ball to the other teams basket and scored a layup (laughing). So embarrassing.FS Florida: What about your most memorable moment? Harkless: Last year, playing against Duke. Even though we didnt come out with the win, just the game I had, the way we played, it was a real confidence booster for me. FS Florida: What album are you listening to these days?Harkless: I listen to a lot of mixtapes. Right now, Im listening to a lot of Fabolous.FS Florida: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? Harkless: Quiet, observant, funny. FS Florida: What about describing yourself in one sentence Harkless: Im just a guy, blessed to be doing what I love.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Tyson Chandler Wants Carmelo Anthony To Sit Until Next Week

Tyson Chandler told reporters after the game that Anthony wanted to suit up, but the center advised him not to. “Honestly, I figured he wasn’t playing,” he said. “He kept saying he was all yesterday, but that’s adrenaline and that’s his pride knowing coming into Miami and wanting to play. But I told him last night to sit out; it’s not worth it. That laceration can...

Knicks Injury News: Carmelo Anthony Questionable for Tonight

After lacerating his finger Wednesday night, Carmelo Anthony received five stitches.  He was unable to play in the New York Knicks' big win over the Miami Heat, and his status is still unknown for tonight's matchup against the Chicago Bulls.  New York was able to take care of Miami without Anthony, but they don't want to make a habit out of playing without their star...

Kids Foot Locker Ad: Carmelo Anthony schooling 8 year-olds (VIDEO)

In the new Kids Foot Locker commercial, the question all the kids are asking “Is that Carmelo Anthony?” The New York Knicks star, with his competitive nature, is always looking for a game even if it’s against 8 year olds. The commercial features Anthony playing around with a ton of young boys who try trying to live their dreams. Kids Foot Locker’s new Holiday campaign entitled...

Knicks Injury News: Carmelo Anthony Sits Out With Finger Laceration

Carmelo Anthony was not able to go in last night's game.  The New York Knicks were taking on the Miami Heat, and the team announce Anthony's status not long before the game.  New York went on to beat the Heat, but there was more for the team to focus on than what happened on the court.  Anthony's status going forward will be important to the team's success. According...

Knicks' Anthony won't play vs. Heat

Carmelo Anthony will not play in the New York Knicks' game against the Miami Heat on Thursday night, one day after getting five stitches in the middle finger of his left hand. Anthony had been listed as a game-time decision. The Knicks released a lineup about 30 minutes before game time saying Anthony would start, then announced the change minutes later. Kurt Thomas was switched...

Carmelo Anthony won't play vs. Heat

MIAMI (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony will not play in the New York Knicks' game against the Miami Heat on Thursday night, one day after getting five stitches in the middle finger of his left hand. Anthony had been listed as a game-time decision. The Knicks released a lineup about 30 minutes before game time saying Anthony would start, then announced the change minutes later. Kurt...

Heat vs. Knicks game preview

Game time: 8 p.m. ETTV: TNT Carmelo Anthony has been on a tear of late, but he wasn't on the court for the end of the New York Knicks' thrilling victory their last time out. He may not be around for Thursday night's highly anticipated rematch with the Miami Heat, either. A finger injury could keep Anthony from helping New York try to avoid its sixth straight defeat in...

Knicks Post Game Interviews: 12/6

Knicks lay it on the Miami Heat tonight, minus Carmelo Anthony. Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor

Video: Knicks' Anthony dominates kids on the court

There is no doubt that Knicks' Carmelo Anthony is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. He is averaging 26.4 points this season for New York and is leading the team to a 14-4 record good for tops in the East. But when he is not dropping points on NBA teams, he is wrecking it on a bunch of kids. Melo stars in a new Foot Locker commercial where a couple of kids think...

Knicks-Bobcats Preview

Carmelo Anthony isn't ignoring the MVP chants he's been hearing lately, but he also realizes they're a bit premature given the New York Knicks have plenty of season remaining. He sure didn't look like an MVP the last time he faced the Charlotte Bobcats. New York faces a stretch of three road games in four nights and looks to get off to a good start by sending Charlotte...

Melo is Wait and See

If Melo is out tonight vs. the Heat it is understandable, however that puts NY in a tough position. Melo is the main scorer and go to guy. #bbpBox_276656758670364674 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_276656758670364674 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; }Carmelo Anthony is iffy tonight when the Knicks face the Heat due to the deep cut in his left middle finger....

Victor Cruz: J.R. Smith needs salsa celebration help

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz enjoyed seeing his buddy J.R. Smith do a salsa celebration after hitting the game-winning jumper for the New York Knicks Wednesday night.   “I hit him up right after and we started talking about it. He started laughing and stuff like that,” Cruz said. “It’s good to see. It’s not every day you hit a game-winner and he gets to...

Heat Want Revenge from NY

Pre Game News and Notes New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat   After a thrilling victory Wednesday night in Charlotte, the Knicks are right back at it with the second game of a back-to-back in Miami against Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and the Heat.  The Heat, like the Knicks, are undefeated at home this season making for a great match-up between two of the top teams currently...

J.R. Smith beats Charlotte Bobcats with game-winning jumper (Video)

With Carmelo Anthony on the bench due to a cut finger, the New York Knicks needed to look for a new hero to beat the Charlotte Bobcats and collect their 13th win of the season. That hero ended up being reserve guard J.R. Smith who had the ball in his hands with the score tied at 98 with less than four seconds to go in the game. Watch as J.R. hits the game-winner over Michael...

Shootaround: More than a fluke?

New York Knicks (13-4) vs. Miami Heat (12-4) 8 p.m./TNT On the first Friday of the season, the Knicks had a chance to make a statement. There was a lot of emotion at Madison Square Garden that night. New York's previous game against Brooklyn was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy and there were still a lot of people who were unsure whether the city was ready (even logistically...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.