1-on-1 w/ Dondre Griffin
The 2015 AAU season was big for a lot of high school basketball players, specifically, the 2016 class. With this being the last time they lace up kicks for their summer program to play against talented competitors across the country, it was time to put up or shut up. A number of players had what some may consider a good summer, racking up mid-major and high-major scholarship offers. However, there were very few who had as good of a summer as Team Felton’s 2016, 6’4 Point Guard, Dondre Griffin.
R.A.M. Prospects had the chance to sit down with Dondre Griffin to talk about his decision on where he’s going to continue his basketball career and some other things….
R.A.M.: How’s every going with school this year? Has “senior-itis” set-in yet?
DG: I’d have to say, it set in a little bit but not to the point where I’d be considered lazy… I’m comfortable where I’m at with my graduating credits. This makes it easier for me to focus a little more on basketball.
R.A.M.: What’s your GPA right now?
R.A.M.: What’s your class schedule like?
DG: I’m taking some classes over, but I have a lot of free time. I could graduate early if I wanted, so I didn’t want to take anything too difficult or unnecessary.
R.A.M.: What do you do with the extra time?
DG: WEIGHT ROOM! That’s the biggest thing [for me] when I get to college… So I’m in there every time I have a free period.
R.A.M.: Going into your last high school basketball season, what’s your mindset like, what’s the goal?
DG: In my mind, my role is the same but in reality my role has changed a lot. Last year, I was a leader and wanted to be the leading scorer on the team, but we know it just didn’t go that way. This year, I have to be the leader for the team and make sure everyone is set-up. The main focus is to win a state championship! We’re not trying to lose a game this season.
R.A.M.: Prior to the AAU season, how many offers did you have?
DG: I had 4 offers
“The main focus is to win a state championship! We’re not trying to lose a game this season.”
R.A.M.: After the 2015 AAU season, how many offers did you finish up with?
R.A.M.: Wow! Did that do anything to your ego?
DG: I mean, I’ve always been confident! **smiles**
R.A.M.: This was a huge summer for you… So out of the 29 offers you had, what was it about Murray State that made you say, “this is the school for me”?
DG: The way that they told me that they would use me [as a player] in their organization. Then when I went to see them, it was like, I could see myself here. The basketball atmosphere out in Kentucky is just crazy! I just could envision myself walking around the community, people hugging me and saying ‘what’s up’, playing in their system, dropping buckets!
R.A.M.: Often, you’re referred to as the “3 star” guard… What does that mean to you? How do you feel when you hear that?
DG: It’s kinda disrespectful because coming where I’m coming from and where I’ve been previous years, I was a nobody. So to say I’m a “3 star” guard is basically saying, ‘we acknowledge him, but we’re just going to throw him with the rest of the bunch. He’s not important enough to be ranked with the Top 100. We know he’s here but he isn’t really important.’
R.A.M.: So this goes with the whole mantra of you being overlooked and underrated?
DG: Definitely! A lot of this title stuff I consider to be political. I feel like, I go places and I do the same stuff the best shooter in North Carolina (according to ESPN) does at his standard or better, but I’m still not going to get recognition because he’s on their map and I’m not.
R.A.M.: What do you do to overcome that?
DG: Got to stay focused! The main goal is college and there is no website or ranking(s) that can offer me a scholarship. At the end of the day it’s about my parents not having to pay for me to go to school.
R.A.M.: Switching it up, what do you do in your free time outside of basketball?
DG: I like music, I like to draw, I like art – looking at, watching, and studying art. Like Picasso or Sandro Botticelli, stuff like that. My favorite piece of art is “Starry Night” (by Vincent van Gogh). Whenever I’m upset, I could just look at that painting and automatically be in a good place. I also like to be outside. I don’t have to be doing anything specific, just outside away from the confines of 4 walls.
R.A.M.: What’s your favorite food?
DG: Macaroni & Cheese!
R.A.M.: Can you sum up Dondre Griffin in a statement?
DG: Outgoing, but on the wild side. Everything he does has a purpose behind and he means everything he says. He’s a serious person, but with a fun kind of twist to it! **smiles**
Griffin is an above average size Point Guard with elite level skills. He can handle the ball like he’s 5’8 and is a marksmen from the 3 point line. Griffin is arguably one of the best shooters in the state – no exaggeration. He’s also one of the mentally toughest, hardest working players you’ll cross paths with. Whether it’s his diet, workout regime, or getting shots up, Griffin is extremely strict with his schedule and makes sure continuing to improve comes before all else, except school work. With all these attributes being mentioned Griffin is still what you may consider underrated when it comes to rankings. R.A.M. Prospects wishes him well on his upcoming season and future endeavors at Murray State University!