Interview with Pierre Wotten former Winthrop University Basketball Standout
Pierre Wooten is a former Winthrop University and professional overseas basketball player. While playing at Winthrop, Pierre’s squad went to the NCAA tournament 4 years straight, during this success, he was named Big South Scholar Athlete of the Year. He played professionally in several different countries such as; France, Turkey, Czech Republic, Australia, Hungary, and New Zealand.
Pierre had such a great career in college that he was invited to play in the NBA summer league. He played on 3 NBA summer league teams; the Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats and the New Orleans Hornets. Pierre is a good friend of mine and I am excited that he has extended his experience to us, so we can understand what it takes to become a successful basketball player. Anyways, without further do, I will get to the specific interview questions that I had Pierre to answer which may help coaches, players and parents around the world.
I was the kid with a basketball EVERYWHERE. It wasn’t always like that though. Quick story, my dad showed me a neighbor of ours (whom I may say was younger) bouncing a ball every time my dad saw him. Consequently, it really made me evaluate my efforts & will to be the best player I could be. So I would say around 4th grade was when it got really serious. By the way my dad was the coach too. I never played video games much, so I figured I would gain an advantage while others are playing fictitious basketball or partying. In college, when I knew everyone was out and about I would go to the gym to get better.
2. What was it like playing at Winthrop University?
The absolute BEST experience ever. As a team we were able to reach heights where those before us couldn’t obtain. Reaching the NCAA “Big Dance” the 1st year of Coach Gregg Marshall tenure at the WU. Then on to three more in a row. Within all the team success, I was actually deemed “LORD of the Rings” by NCAA. With 4 rings and going for 5. The advertisement was in the 2003 Final Four program booklet seen by literally millions of basketball fans, coaches, GMs and owners. I still have my Winthrop basketball family who took great care of not just myself but my parents as well.
3. Who was the best college player that you played against and why? How did you play against him?
That’s a very hard question. WOW! Best name with serious game would probably be Jay (formerly known as Jason) Williams. Why he was the consensus Player of the Year with Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer on his team. Need I say anymore. Lol. I played well against him. Team was up on Duke 2-0 and went downhill from there.
4. If you could provide 1-2 tips for young kids that inspire to become better basketball players, what would it be?
1. “Stay HUNGRY and STAY HUMBLE”
2. Remember that a basketball can be used for a lot of things on the court but remember you can’t STAND on it (HIT THE BOOKS)
3. Know that others may be faster, taller, stronger, even better but NEVER ever let them outwork you.
4. What advice can you provide to players who want to play overseas and have a successful career?
Plan to work and work your plan. “Without a vision the people will perish ….” Proverbs 29:18; Be the BEST teammate possible & learn to adopt to any situation.
Pierre is still a beast on the court! I appreciate him providing such great value about basketball to inspirationalbasketall.com. Pierre’s story is similar to mine but I didn’t have that type of successful college career, but look at our stories. We both loved basketball and eventually played professionally overseas. The reason why? We worked hard at our game EVERYDAY!