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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Dondre Wise looks to a future in coaching

Arizona senior Dondre Wise has 11 games and 28 total minutes of college basketball experience, but it’s his perspective on Arizona basketball’s history that’s unique. Wise enters his third season with the Wildcats, and his connection to brother Nic Wise, a 2010 graduate and four-year player, gives him the knowledge of the highs and lows of Arizona’s transition from the Lute Olson era to the Sean Miller era. That transition included two years of interim head coaches and the first time in 25 years of missing the NCAA tournament.

The Daily Wildcat sat down with Wise to talk about his views on the Arizona program, his future as a coach and his brother:

Daily Wildcat: How was your summer and what’d you do?

Dondre Wise: I took three classes. I only have five to graduate now, so I wanted to knock those out. I went home for about three weeks … right after the second summer session to spend time with Nic since he’s leaving for the whole year. And then I just worked out a lot here.

So what’s your major, and do you know what you’re going to be doing post-college?

Sociology with a minor in business. Post-college I’m most likely going to be coaching.

Do you know where? Is your dad (Yates High School head coach, Greg Wise) going to hook you up?

I want to start here, possibly. Me and coach Miller have talked about it so that’s likely what’s going to happen.

So you’ll start out as a grad assistant?

Yeah.

You haven’t been here the full four years, but can you talk about your ride here — coach Miller coming in — and watching the program change and all that?

I was at Pima (Community College) when things were going bad. I’ve seen the transformation from Nic’s first year, when I wasn’t here. (When) I came down for a game, it was always sold out. The attendance went down a little bit, but it’s coming along now. Coach Miller’s on the right track.

He seems to connect with star players — Derrick (Williams) last year — to you guys. What is it about him that makes him so successful? I know that has a lot to do with recruiting, too.

Off the court, he’s real fun to be around. He’s a people’s person, he’s a players’ coach. He connects with his players. He put that money in for the weight room so you can tell he really cares about the program. On the court, you know, he just wants the best from you, as long as you’re playing hard, that’s all he really asks for.

Talk about Nic. How’s he enjoying playing overseas and all that?

He likes it. He moved to France this year (to play for Saint Thomas Basket Le Havre in the Ligue Nationale de Basketball). He said he likes the city; his place is right on the beach so he’s enjoying it. He’s only been there for about two weeks now so he’s enjoying that.

Lots of guys overseas complain about how tough it is with contracts and stuff. Has he had trouble with that?

He was rookie of the year (in Germany last season). They’re doing one-year contracts and stuff. As long as you’re producing, he didn’t have a problem. He had a raise where he was at, so seems like he’s doing well.

You’re friends with guys like (Los Angeles Clippers center) DeAndre Jordan in the NBA. Have you talked to them about the lockout? You know what they’re up to?

Most of them are just finding places to work out. DeAndre, (Cleveland Cavaliers guard) Daniel Gibson, (Indiana Pacers guard) T.J. Ford, they’re all working out with (former NBA player) John Lucas, just waiting it out. They can’t really do anything about it. There’s a lot of people working out in Houston, but they’re just waiting it out like everybody else.

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