‘There isn’t any restrict to what I can do’

Rising up, Malik Osborne performed a number of sports activities earlier than selecting basketball as his full-time enterprise. It will definitely turned his ardour, and the previous Florida State ahead is now on the verge of seeing that arduous work and dedication repay with the NBA draft quickly approaching.

Osborne, whose dad performed soccer at Iowa State whereas his mother ran monitor at Lewis Faculty, initially acquired no collegiate scholarships out of highschool. However a 12 months at Don Bosco Prep in Crown Level, Indiana, helped change that.

He then garnered curiosity from a number of applications, together with Oregon State, Rice and Seton Corridor. Osborne ultimately dedicated to play at Rice and spent one season there earlier than transferring to Florida State. It was there that Osborne developed right into a draft prospect.

Osborne averaged six factors and 4.8 rebounds over his first two seasons because the Seminoles superior to the Candy 16 every year. He had put forth his greatest season up to now this previous 12 months as a junior, however an ankle harm minimize it quick after 17 video games. He averaged 10 factors and 6.9 rebounds.

Now, Osborne is wholesome as soon as once more and getting ready for his subsequent step.

The 6-foot-9 standout has labored out with a number of groups in the course of the pre-draft course of, together with the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic amongst others. He’s seeking to change into the following Seminole to enter the NBA after a powerful run in Tallahassee.

Rookie Wire caught up with Osborne to debate his basketball journey, his collegiate profession, the pre-draft course of, what he’s seeking to showcase to groups and way more.

Please notice: This interview was minorly edited in its transcript for readability

The place are you coaching and what does a typical day appear like for you?


MO: I’ve been coaching on the Sports activities Academy in Frisco, Texas, with Tandem Sports activities & Leisure. We’ve got a whole lot of guys from in all places from Australia, Russia and Spain, they usually all got here right here to coach. We do a whole lot of stuff. We’ve got a weight room the place we begin off just about at 9 a.m. We’ve got a little bit stretch of conditioning after which after that, we get on the court docket for ability work. Typically it may be particular person exercises or typically it might simply be a full squad exercise the place all people’s working collectively.

We work on sure issues that groups are in search of after which simply sharpen our ability work so far as ball dealing with and taking pictures simply to be sure that we do the drills at these exercises that we’re at our greatest and our peak on the subject of that ability set. After that, you have got a restoration room that’s top-notch with ice tubs, scorching tubs, saunas and a hyperbaric chamber so just about every little thing you may want. One of the best half about it’s we even have a hospital inside the power so simply in case guys get nicked up or no matter, they’ve professionals on-site to allow them to be handled instantly.

How a lot do you are feeling like your recreation has improved since faculty ended?

MO: It has improved tremendously. The coach that we’re with on the company has coached abroad for some time. He has been across the recreation and a whole lot of nice gamers for years coaching abroad professionals. He is aware of find out how to make sure abilities in gamers higher to let that shine and make them extra worthwhile and extra marketable for groups, as nicely. He has improved my ball-handling, taking pictures contact and he retains the atmosphere very aggressive, as nicely. He has helped enhance my aggressive edge by making these exercises excessive depth and making each drill aggressive.

How a lot does it assist that you’re going up in opposition to these different guys you are coaching with?

MO: It’s been very well. We’ve got abroad guys who play with grown males. We’ve got gamers who’re within the league and, on prime of that, we’ve Jeremy Sochan, who’s a lottery decide. We’ve got a whole lot of good expertise after which G League professionals, as nicely. The blokes listed below are the closest issues to being the true factor so day in and day trip, I really feel like I’m getting higher at completely different features.

When did you begin enjoying basketball and have been you concerned in some other sports activities?

MO: I used to be concerned in fairly just a few sports activities earlier than I began enjoying basketball for actual. I began actually enjoying basketball in sixth grade however I began taking it actually significantly in eighth grade. Earlier than that, I performed baseball for like 9 years. I performed flag soccer for about 5 and I performed precise soccer for about 5 years. I performed soccer for a few years however I performed fairly just a few sports activities earlier than I began actually stepping into basketball.

By the point I took it significantly in eighth grade, I knew it was going to be a sport I caught with. As soon as I acquired to my junior highschool, that turned the game that I needed to place all my vitality and energy into as a result of it was a sport that I had probably the most enjoyable with. It was the game I had probably the most ardour towards and the game that I labored on the most so after my junior 12 months I noticed that I needed to be an expert basketball participant and have been pursuing that ever since.

You simply talked about it a little bit bit however why did you select basketball?

MO: I actually needed to stay with soccer simply because I grew up round a whole lot of soccer gamers. My grandpa performed for the Chicago Bears. My dad performed for Iowa State. My uncle performed for Miami of Ohio and my different uncle performed high-level soccer in faculty, as nicely. I used to be actually sort of leaning towards carrying on that soccer custom however I had a development spurt going from 6-foot to 6-foot-6 my junior 12 months and I noticed that possibly basketball was extra up my alley. After I had some success in it, and noticed how a lot I used to be bettering, I noticed that was the game for me and the one I needed to stay with.

After highschool you did not have any faculty provides and then you definately go to Don Bosco Prep. What did that do for you by way of getting on the faculty radar?

MO: I didn’t find yourself making the staff my junior 12 months on the faculty I used to be at so I solely acquired to play actually one 12 months of varsity my senior 12 months. I did very well my senior 12 months. I made all-conference and all-area and took my staff to the convention championship. We have been one recreation away from happening to state however I helped them go so far as they’ve been in a very long time. That 12 months I acquired curiosity however going with Don Bosco that second 12 months allowed me to get provides.

Having that additional 12 months to strengthen my physique, take faculty programs, having the ability to work on my recreation evening in and evening out and be kinda in an analogous atmosphere that I’m in proper now was in a position to take me from a man who had zero Division I provides to have like 12 Division I scholarship provides from everywhere in the nation. I felt like that 12 months was very pivotal to go in opposition to prime expertise. My staff was composed of a whole lot of guys from all several types of excessive colleges and we performed different prep colleges and even junior faculty groups. That sort of acquired us in that mindset for faculty.

You did not make the varsity staff as a junior. How troublesome was that for you?

MO: I felt like that was additionally a pivotal half in making me who I’m at present as a result of I felt like that was that was a degree of my life that basically examined my character and the way dedicated I used to be to the game. I discovered that sport was the one for me as a result of not solely was I dedicated, however I used to be excited to make that dedication to be undeniably good by bettering the areas that have been mentioned to be my weaknesses.

After that 12 months of engaged on my physique, my IQ for the sport and studying extra in regards to the recreation, I really feel prefer it turned me into an unbelievable basketball participant and it sort of confirmed me what it takes to be the place I wish to be, ? That 12 months taught me the one factor I can actually do is management myself and the way I react to issues. Being minimize was not what I needed to do however on the similar time, I felt like being minimize was the very best factor for me as a result of I used to be capable of finding myself and discover what my ardour was.

You performed one 12 months at Rice after which transferred to FSU. They’ve despatched a whole lot of gamers to the NBA just lately. Did that play a consider your resolution?

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports activities

MO: I knew earlier than I had dedicated to FSU, I knew they produced gamers like Dwayne Bacon, Malik Beasley and Jonathan Isaac. I understood that these gamers have been there however, for me, it was about the correct match. It wasn’t essentially about what number of professionals this system produced. I felt like if I did what I used to be speculated to I’d in the end change into a professional no matter what faculty I went to. There have been a whole lot of issues with Florida State.

I had an auntie that teaches there. I’ve household that lives very near campus. My dad is from Florida. (Then assistant) Coach (Dennis) Gates was the coach that recruited me from Rice. He’s from Chicago. I knew Mfiondu Kabengele. He was truly at Don Bosco the 12 months earlier than I used to be there so he was someone I might relate to once I joined the staff. On prime of that, Coach Leonard Hamilton is a Corridor of Fame coach. The teaching workers does a extremely good job with improvement after which I simply noticed the tradition there. It was a brotherhood as an alternative of a staff.

Your senior season acquired minimize quick due to an ankle harm. How disappointing was it to have that occur?

Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat

MO: Annoyed was undoubtedly an understatement. It was my greatest 12 months. I used to be lastly ‘the man’ figuring out how Florida State operates and the way Coach Hamilton operates. He respects hierarchy so we knew the hierarchy is you are available and work as a freshman and graduate up and also you earn your spot as an upperclassman. I lastly waited 4 years and was in a position to be that man and was truly in a position to see myself as a frontrunner. It was enjoyable to be regarded as much as.

It was actually irritating however on the similar time, I felt prefer it was simply one other method for me to take a look at basketball and work out find out how to be impactful with out being on the court docket, ? That’s once I determined to make use of my voice lots and see how I can influence successful with out having to attain a basket. I used to be in a position to flip that unfavorable right into a optimistic and nonetheless be capable to speak to my guys and put them ready to win. It was irritating however the very best factor for me to do at the moment was to show it right into a studying expertise on how I can change into a greater individual with out touching the basketball.

How would you describe your recreation to somebody that hasn’t watched you play?

MO:  I’ll at all times describe my recreation as versatile. I really feel like there isn’t a restrict to what I can do. I simply name myself a ‘no matter’ man. I do no matter it takes to win particularly shedding on the faculty scale when, at Rice, we received like seven video games whole. Having the ability to flip that round and play my first 12 months at FSU and change into the No. 4 staff within the nation whereas being the beginning middle. I like successful much more than I like shedding so I understood what it took to win and that was sacrifice. Everyone is sacrificing for a larger trigger.

I used to be on the market in a position to sacrifice my pure place of being the 4 and three and simply enjoying the 5 and doing what the staff wanted, whether or not that was rebounding, scoring, defensive stops, vitality or utilizing my voice on the court docket. That’s sort of what I at all times prided myself on being. I do know I’ve larger features to my recreation than others. I believe my rebounding is elite. I believe protection is elite. I additionally know that I’ve sufficient instruments and have been in sufficient conditions to know that I can do no matter is required to win in any given second.

What are you making an attempt to indicate groups in your exercises?

MO: The factor I attempt to present probably the most is my worth. Clearly, I used to be having a extremely nice 12 months earlier than I acquired harm. I wish to present them that I’m nonetheless that very same participant but additionally simply displaying them that despite the fact that I used to be in a sure position at Florida State, I’m able to doing no matter it takes to win. I simply attempt to present as many sides of my recreation as doable. I attempt to present my ballhandling, taking pictures, aggressive spirit, protection and grit.

I wish to additionally present that irrespective of if I’m in a position to be on an energetic NBA roster proper now, I’ve abilities that may be utilized on the court docket. If I’m not in a position to and I’m checked out as a two-way man or a G League man, I can nonetheless influence the staff as nicely by simply holding good morale and bringing high-intensity vitality in practices and within the locker room. Simply holding the vitality very optimistic on the subject of the locker room.

Have you ever been in a position to get any recommendation in the course of the pre-draft course of from any of the previous FSU gamers?


MO: The one individual I actually have talked to has been Jonathan Isaac and that’s as a result of I ended up seeing him for my Orlando exercise. He was simply telling me to remain optimistic all through the method. Whether or not you don’t have a very good exercise or a foul exercise simply maintain your head up and search for the following alternative.

Given your journey, what would you have got mentioned in highschool, after not making the staff as a junior, that you’d someday be on the doorstep of the NBA?

MO: When you have advised me at prep faculty, I in all probability would have referred to as you loopy. In prep faculty, clearly, I had an emphasis on making it to the NBA however on the similar time, I knew every little thing must be labored for and a whole lot of issues must go proper. In the event you would have advised me at Rice, I in all probability would have barely believed figuring out that there have been a few good groups in my convention with Marshall, Center Tennessee and a few guys went to the league from there. In the event you have been to have advised me at FSU, I’d have taken on the problem. I’d have recognized that I went by way of lots.

I’m simply blessed to have the ability to proceed my story. I simply can’t be any happier being the place I’m at being within the footsteps of the NBA. It’s virtually emotional excited about it as a result of I’ve been by way of so many trials and tribulations. I’m simply having fun with the trip and every little thing that’s coming to me as a result of I wasn’t speculated to be right here, based on some folks. I wasn’t adequate, based on some folks after which now those self same individuals are congratulating me on my accomplishments. It’s all about betting on your self and that’s one thing I’ll in all probability do till the tip as a result of no one is aware of what you’re able to in addition to your self.