Where Are They Now? Ft. Andrew DeClerq
Talk about being drafted by the Warriors, what were your initial reactions, feelings, thoughts about being drafted in the Second Round and heading out west?
I was surprised and excited about the opportunity to go to Golden State. There had been talk about the late first round teams, but none of it panned out. I did not know much about the Warriors at the time, but was excited about joining a young team and Joe Smith (#1 draft pick). I was in the NBA, it was a dream come true and all I could think about was now I have to work even harder to prove I belonged.
Speak on your rookie season, what were the highs and lows? Adjustments both on and off the court?
It was a tough start after getting out the Oakland. Training camp was so much more than i expected. The NBA was the next level up and I always felt like i was behind. So much to learn on the court and off the court. I remember getting off the plane with 4 bags of clothes, spending one night in a hotel repacking everything into one bag and storing the rest and off to training camp the next day. As far as on the court, the toughest thing was going to practice and getting beat up and abused every day in practice and not getting any time on the court. But i was learning valuable lessons about the game and how to play. When i finally got in a game, I was so pumped up and excited, everyone was telling to me slow down.
Off the court, it was a big adjustment to living on my own, pay bills, cook for myself, make friends in a strange city 3000 miles from anyone i knew.
Most of my rookie year was a blur with everything going so fast.
Who were some of the Veterans who took you under their wing and helped you out the most during your time with the Warriors?
I consider myself lucky to have been given the locker right next to Chris Mullins. He was always in my ear about what was going on a how to handle certain situations. What i should be focusing on and what to just let slide off my back and move on. His work ethic on and off the court was a big influence in my carreer. I also had great teammates like Jon Barry, BJ Armstrong, and Jerome Kersey, to just name a few.
How was it playing for Rick Adelman your first two seasons in the NBA?
Looking back on it Rick Adelman was a great coach for me. As a rookie, It seemed like i was always wrong and could never do anything right, but I learned a lot about NBA basketball from him and his staff. We did not win very much, but the lessons i learned during that time help to build a foundation in my game to go on to a 10 year career.
Still follow or keep up with the Warriors? Thoughts on the current team?
Honestly, back here in Florida, I don't get to watch many of the Warriors games. Plus with 3 kids 5 years and under, I don't stay up that late too often.
Other than with the Warriors, You spent time in Boston, Cleveland and Orlando, if you were to rank the 4 in terms of best time/situation, how would you rank them?
I have to say upfront, that i enjoyed all the cities i lived and played in. I would not change a thing about my career. In every city, i met awesome fans and made great friends on the team and in the community. But coming back home to Florida and being able to play in front of my family has to rank #1. Orlando was also the only team i was on that made it to the playoffs. We lost in the first round 3 times, but it was still exciting to be able to play a little longer. After that, I would have to rank Golden State as 2nd, Cleveland 3rd and Boston 4th.
Thoughts on the Orlando Magic thus far in the playoffs? What they need to do turn it around vs the Lakers?
The Magic have had a great season. And the fact they beat Boston and Cleveland is more than i expected out of them. They are now down 3-1 and last nights lost hurts a lot. I think they are the team of the future, but having to win 3 in a row and 2 on the road is so hard in the NBA. IF they do pull it off. They will deserve the Championship.
Andrew, what have you been up to lately?
Like i said earlier, I have 3 kids 5 and under. So i am mostly a stay at home dad. I love being able to be around my kids as they grow up. Outside of that, I am mostly an investor in different business deals and i enjoy coaching in summer basketball camps for kids.
What are some of your passions and interests which get most of your time now post-NBA career?
Most of my time goes to my family, and after them i like to help out around my church as much as I can. I love to work with kids and use basketball to teach them about life and character and success.
Any regrets from your time in the NBA? Or wish something would've turned out differently?
I believe and tried to live my life to this, Give what you have to the best of your ability and let the chips fall where they may. I do not regret anything about my NBA career. I wish i could have played longer and not had the injuries i had, but on the other hand, each injury represents the passion i played the game with every night.