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Get to Know: Derrick Favors

November 21, 2012
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From David Locke’s “Get to Know” series with Jazz players.

“Derrick Favors. 6’10”, 250, Georgia Tech.”

Mom
Sweet, loving parent…good person. [Locke: Was your grandma the disciplinarian? Or was she the lover? How did that work?] Growing up, grandma was the lover. My mom was more the, she wasn’t a discipline person, but she made sure all the kids stayed in a straight line…

Three of us, so pretty much she was always working. Most of the time, my sister had to come home from school whenever she got out of school and help take care of me and my little brother. Or my grandma would’ve.

It was a good day in the home when…
My mom woke up, cooked breakfast. I knew we would have a great day…Favorite breakfast back then, she’ll get up, cook eggs, bacon, pancakes, grits, sausage, just everything. I knew it was gonna be a good day. Usually on Saturday.

What jumps out to you as you learn more about the civil rights movement?
Just how hard they had it. Not saying that in a bad way, but just being grateful and thankful that you didn’t have to grow up in that time. Just knowing how hard they had it, and the sacrifice they made back then so we can have what we have right now. So that was the most part that always stands out to me.

Greatest high school sports moment
Winning the state championship my senior year. I was on the team with all my friends who I basically grew up with, and two guys I played AAU with since I was 13. So we all grew up together, and that was a big moment for all of us. We was the first team to do it in our school history. So that was a big thing for us.

[Locke: How long had you guys been talking about that?] State championship? Since my 9th grade…Half of us went to one middle school and the other half went to another middle school, but we all came together that ninth grade year. And I was the only 9th grader playing on the varsity. All of the other guys playing JV, but we always talked about, we want to win state before we leave high school, just so we can have that bond together.

[Locke: If I remember correctly, you had some pretty good numbers in that game?] Yeah, man. I had a good game. I had to, that was my last high school game of my career with my friends, so I had to take it upon myself to come out there and carry them on my back. [Locke: Numbers?] I think I had, like, probably, 38 points, maybe 15 rebounds, something like 10 blocks…It’s not bad, just an average day. Just an average game for me in high school.

First teacher/coach/mentor to see something special
He passed away a couple of years ago when I first got to 9th grade, but when I first started playing for this AAU team called Atlanta Celtics, I was like in the 7th grade maybe. And he wanted me to play, so he asked my mom and all that kind of stuff…and my mom let me play.

He saw it in me, and we always just worked every day. He let me play up. I think I was like, 13, 14, [and] I was playing with 17-year-olds. He thought I was that good. So he was the first person that actually pushed me and made me think about the NBA. But he passed away when I got into the 9th grade.

Rapid fire
** First pair of basketball shoes: And1, when And1 was hot. I had a pair of And1, and [they were] my first name brand basketball sneakers I ever had…my uncle bought me a pair of And1s, ’cause I didn’t have any other basketball shoe.

** First car you ever drove, and how old were you: My mom had a Monte Carlo, and I was around, probably 13 maybe. She had a black Monte Carlo.

** First car you ever owned: When I first made it to the NBA, I bought a Camaro.

** What was on the walls of your childhood room: A bunch of basketball posters. Like, I was a big basketball fan growing up. I had a lot of Kobe posters, a lot of Tracy McGrady posters…I had LeBron when he first came in the league. I actually got the magazine that had Big Al, Marvin, Dwight, Josh, you know, when they was in high school was on the front of Slam Magazine. I guess they went to the McDonald’s game. I got that magazine in my old house. I told ‘em about it. Like, that’s crazy.

** If you were an actor, what kind of actor would you want to be? More of a comedy. I’m a goofy person, so more of a comedy-type movie.

** If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be? Sanaa Lathan. Know who that is? [Locke: No, who's that?] She a actress. Ohh. She’s, she’s beautiful. Sanaa Lathan. Probably Rihanna. And Melyssa Ford.

** First-ever game winner: When I was in, maybe high school, at this little thing called the Fall League. We have it at our high school, other high schools come play…and most of our players, I think they was either on college visits, or taking the SAT, or playing football. So it was just me and one of my other teammates and one of my other friends. We were the only two seniors on the team. Everybody else like JV players. And me and him was the only one doing the scoring, and the game was on the line. He passed me the ball, and I shot it from half court, and made it.

** First dunk: My 7th grade year, during the AAU tournament in South Carolina.

** Superpower you’d pick: Reading people minds. [Locke: Sure you want that?] Yup. I’m a nosy person, man. I’m nosy, man. I get it from my mama. My mama nosy, I’m nosy.

** First video game ever played: My mom bought me a PlayStation…probably the year after it came out…and she bought me a football game and a basketball game. The basketball game was called “NBA ShootOut,” ’97 or ’98, and the NFL game called “NFL GameDay,” 96 or 97.

** Worst job you ever had: My high school coach, he used to take some of the players out during the summertime to make some money. He owned a storage building, like U-Haul storage place, whatever. He’ll take us there, we had to clean up, pack stuff up, and move stuff. Man, it was the worst thing ever. The pay wasn’t that good either. Worst thing, we was there from morning, from like 9 o’clock all the way ’til like 8, 9 o’clock at night.

** Who would you rather play with in their prime, Stockton or Malone? John Stockton. I’m a big guy, I want a point guard. It’ll be fun to play with Karl Malone, but I take John Stockton.

** Best Halloween costume: I only dressed up once for Halloween in my entire life…I had to be, maybe 8, 9? One of those ages, I don’t know. Me, my sister, my uncle, and my auntie and my little cousin went to this little Halloween thing they have for kids, I don’t know. And I dressed up as, like, a Grim Reaper-type dude. I got a picture at home. I had the whole lil jacket/coat thing. I had like a little night stick, whatever you call it. Had a little paint on my face and everything. First time ever dressing up.

** Best Christmas present: My mom bought me a Xbox 360. That was the best thing she could’ve ever bought me.


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