Get to Know: Jeff Withey
From David Locke’s “Get to Know” series; recorded in October
Childhood room: One poster of Michael Jordan
Family and birth order: Youngest of three. A brother six years older who’s a 6-5, stocky, married firefighter with three kids in San Diego, and a sister five years older who moved to New Orleans to help him out and loved it so much she stayed there
What’s the worst job or chore you’ve ever had? We had a couple dogs growing up…Pick up poop and do all that good stuff with the dogs. So, that was a horrible chore. My parents made me do it.
What’s the first basketball court you ever played on? Grew up on 10 acres of land in the country; had a basketball hoop outside on the dirt pavement
First person that recognized your talent: My mom always pushed me to be really good. She knew I was gonna be really tall, even though the doctors said I was gonna be 6-4, 6-5. She knew that I was gonna grow up taller than that. So, she put me in basketball right away. I was always playing with the older kids…When I got older and started getting better and better, my high school coach really pushed me. Waheed Mitchell. He was a great guy. I still talk to him today. One of my mentors for sure.
Who were the basketball stars in your area growing up? Chase Budinger and Jeremy Tyler
Single greatest shot of your career: A 15-foot jumper to win the game against a rival high school
Best game you’ve ever played: Elite Eight game against North Carolina
Why do you wear No. 24? Wore it in high school; wore No. 5 in college because 24 was taken
What are you most thankful for? Family, opportunity to play basketball for a living and to play basketball for a living in the U.S.
What’s the most scared you’ve ever been in your entire life? I hurt my foot my sophomore year of college…Couldn’t really walk on it. I heard something pop…Whenever something, you know, an injury like that happens, it’s really a scary moment.
Hardest thing you’ve ever had to overcome: Playing a game his senior year the day after his grandma passed, and losing to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game
If you were an actor, what kind of actor would you be? I’d just be the cool guy…I’m real laid-back, so somebody like that. Just chill, laid-back, surfer guy maybe. Beach bum.
Dinner with three people, dead or alive: Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and Julius Caesar
Favorite food: Pizza; anything Italian
Least favorite food: Chocolate
Favorite NBA arena: Staples Center and Madison Square Garden
Least favorite NBA arena: I don’t really have a least favorite. I think that it’s a blessing playing anywhere in the NBA.
Favorite athlete growing up: Michael Jordan….I was a Laker fan, so you know, Shaq and Kobe, all those guys, growing up were awesome
Least favorite athlete growing up: Didn’t have one
Favorite musical genre: R&B, hip hop, pop
Least favorite musical genre: Really old-school, like, slow music
Five most frequently used apps on your phone: Instagram, Candy Crush, email, text messaging, Internet browser
Top five video games of all time: Mario Kart, any Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, GoldenEye, and Donkey Kong on Gameboy
All-time NBA starting five: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal
five four non-NBA athletes: Michael Phelps, Bubba Watson, Roger Federer, and LaDainian Tomlinson