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Lenny Cooke Interview




| August 1, 2002

Lenny Cooke declared for the 2002 NBA draft straight out of high school despite not playing his senior year. He got hurt in the pre-draft camp in Chicago, did not get drafted, and has been trying to latch on to a team as a free agent. InsideHoops.com's Jeff Lenchiner watched Lenny play in the Entertainer's Basketball Classic at Rucker Park in New York on Monday and then met up with him afterwards to discuss what's been going on since draft day. This is an exclusive InsideHoops.com interview:

InsideHoops.com: You didn't play basketball in your senior year of high school, and you unfortunately got hurt in the Chicago pre-draft camp, and predictions had you going late first round at best, but then either second round or not at all. Talk to me about all that, and what's happened since the draft.

Lenny Cooke: Basically, I mean, before the draft, and before the pre-draft camp, a lot of people had me going, like you said, late first, early second or whatever, but after I had got hurt I knew the possibility that I wasn't going to get drafted and have to end up signing as a free agent for the simple fact that I didn't play in two years, and plus I didn't get to play in the pre-draft camp. I only worked out for two teams. I knew it was a possibility of me not getting drafted.

InsideHoops.com: So, once you didn't get drafted, what was the next step for you? What were you doing, and what did you hope would happen?

Lenny Cooke: I was just working out, working out every day, and my agent was saying he was getting in contact with different teams and stuff like that, sending tapes, because I couldn't work out with them, so he was sending highlight tapes out and stuff like that, and then Seattle had called and said that they wanted me to come in and sign.

InsideHoops.com: And what happened with that... originally, word was that you were about to be signed by Seattle about two weeks ago, but then it didn't happen, so no one was sure what was going on...

Lenny Cooke: I leave to go out there tomorrow or Wednesday, so, everything is going good so far, so hopefully when I get out there I do alright, play alright, and go on my way.

InsideHoops.com: And what will you be doing there exactly, private workouts, or with the team, or what...

Lenny Cooke: Both, I'm going out there for both, I'm going to the vet camp, but, they're taking me out there early, I'm just gonna go out there, be out there, work out by myself, and hopefully work out with GP, and people like that, and prove my game, and get ready for the season.

InsideHoops.com: Are you still working out twice a day now, like you said you were back when I talked to you a few months ago?

Lenny Cooke: Yeah, I'm still doing that, I be at the Reebok Gym in Manhattan sometimes, or I be in Brooklyn working out every day like two or three times a day with my little cousin.

InsideHoops.com: And what position should you be in the NBA, a shooting guard?

Lenny Cooke: I'll play whatever position they put me at, doesn't matter, but I prefer the two or three.

InsideHoops.com: And finally, have other teams been talking to you lately, or is it mostly just Seattle?

Lenny Cooke: Yeah mostly just Seattle.

InsideHoops.com: Things feel good with them?

Lenny Cooke: Yeah.

InsideHoops.com: Cool, good luck.

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