Late last month, to the new sounds of Drake’s album, “Thank Me Later,” Jay-Z and Kanye, Reebok introduced their not-so-secret new athlete-endorser: John Wall. Although the 2010 NBA Draft was overshadowed by NBA Free Agency, John was the #1 pick for the Washington Wizards.
Reebok president Uli Becker says that with John’s “athletic way of playing, charisma on the court and personality off the court,” Reebok is “re-engaging with basketball” and hoping to help athletes reach their potential through training and fitness.
Although leaving college after just one year, John does not expect to succeed in the NBA on talent alone. A huge part of his game relies on his training. STACK had a chance to talk with John and found out what drives his training.
STACK: What kind of training and drills do you do?
John Wall: I do a lot of drills with ball handling—you know, trying to get better. NBA ball is significantly different, [so] a lot of change of direction [drills].
STACK: Nice. What other types of training do you focus on?
JW: I go half-speed and then explode into my moves. I’m working on counter moves—Euro Steps and Step-Backs. Also I’m working on moves that I can pull up off of—basically getting a lot of shots off. It’s a lot of reps of a lot of stuff that I can use against defenders. Sometimes they bring in a guy who is a defensive specialist so I can see how I can score against him in different ways.
From speaking with John, it's clear he hits the gym hard. His Twitter posts [@jimmywa11] speak to his dedication to the game: “Day off…I’m ready to get back on the court tho…I wanna average 15 rbs...and 4 blocks.” He even told STACK, “I don’t like to take a day off.” And it shows in his game.
[If you want to get into the John Wall mindset, check out videos of Brandon Roy’s Explosive Basketball Training and JJ. Redick 5-Shot Close Out Shooting Drill or read up on Explosive Change of Direction Using the Lateral Box Jump.]
Photo: M&C Saatchi