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April 21, 1997 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-21

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 21, 1997

I

t
Rice
Former Michigan basketball star Glen Rice discusses his career at
Michigan and his meteoric rise with the Charlotte Hornets

As the most prolific scorer in
Michigan basketball history, Glen Rice
led the Wolverines to their only NCAA
Championship in 1989. After an NCAA
record 184 points in the tournamenthe
was not only named the tournament
MVP but was also given All-America
honors.
Drafted in 1990 by the Miami Heat
with the fourth overall pick, Rice spent
five seasons in Miami before being trad-
ed to the Charlotte Hornets. Now in his
second season with the Hornets, Rice is
again living up to the nickname tattooed
onto his bicep: "G-Money. " As in his
days at Michigan, Rice has been money
on the court, ranking third in the NBA
in scoring at 26.8 points per game.
The Michigan Daily's Jordan Field
recently had the opportunity to speak
with Rice about current Wolverines, his
days at Michigan, and about the newest
award in his trophy case: 1997 All-Star
game MVP.
DAILY: In the '89 championship sea-
son with the Wolverines, you were able
to play your best and carry the team
pretty much through the tournament.
Now with the NBA playoffs just around
the corner, do you feel this is again a
time to elevate your game and that your
team will look to you as a leader?
RICE: I feel that any time is a time for
me to go out and raise my game to the
next level. I always ty to go out and
play as hard as possible. If I'm out on
the floor, I'm always giving 110 per-
cent, and if you first do that, a lot of
good things will happen. I'm going to
try to continue doing that, because I
really feel that I have to give this team
my best effort every night for us to get
to where we're trying to go.

D: You have definitely picked up
your game this season, especially since
the All-Star break. What do you feel are
the reasons for you being able to raise
your scoring average almost seven
points?
R: Well, I'm just getting good looks
at the basket. I'm able to create my own
shot more often and have been able to
get to the free throw line. My confi-
dence is at a greater high and it's much
easier when you have a lot of other guys
on the team that are considered a threat.
When a team faces us, and their number
one goal is to stop Glen Rice, then that
opens up so much else for our team.
Then not only do they have to watch me,
but also everyone else so that makes it
easier for me to get open. I really think
I've been blessed. I need to give praise
to God for making it possible to have a
good jump shot and the skills I have. I
really feel that any time I shoot the ball
it's going to go in. As long as I continue
to believe that, my confidence will still
be high.
D: I understand you have started a
team superstition in singing before each
game. Is there any truth to this catching
on in the lockerroom and helping you
guys on the floor?
R: It's very true. I really feel that ever
since we started singing, "I Believe I
Can Fly," we've really been going out
and believing we can fly, and believing
we can do anything on the floor to come
out with a win. We're at the point now
where everyone joins in on the singing
and we're becoming very attached to the
song.
D: What is it like going up against
your former Michigan teammates, like
facing Terry Mills tonight against the
Pistons -and how are your relation-

to sit down and watch the games on TV.
D: Did you get a chance to watch any
of the NIT tournament?
R: A little bit of it. I was very proud
that they were able to go out and win
that tournament since they weren't
invited to the Big Dance. That just goes
to show that if you keep working hard,
things will come to you. It's definitely
an achievement for the team and for the
University winning a title such as that.
D: Speaking of winning a title, as
Rumeal (Robinson) stepped to the free
throw line at the end of OT in the cham-
pionship game, what were you thinking
as you watched from half-court?
R: I was thinking that Rumeal was
going to hit (the free throws). I remem-
ber earlier in the year when we were
playing against Wisconsin and he had
the chance to win the ball game for us
and he missed the free throws. Most of
the guys on the team were telling him,
'Look, you will have the chance to
redeem yourself,' and once he had that
chance, I knew he wasn't going to let us
down.
D: Would you have rather had the
game been in your hands, rather than
watch your championship hopes riding
in someone else's hands?
R: Of course I would have rather had
the game in my hands and been up at the
line. But considering that (Rumeal) was
the one up there, I had to support him.
D: How do you think the college
game has changed since your days at
Michigan?
R: I really don't think it's changed
that much. I think there aren't as many
guys that can really stick the jump shot.
Everyone seems to be more concerned
with dunking. But back when we were
in college, people were able to really
knock down the jump shots. Other than
that, I don't think it has really changed.
D: What about as far as the game get-
ting younger with so many underclass-
men .leaving early for the NBA draft?
R: Well, yes, a lot of guys are leav-
ing early now. The only thing I can say
about that is that if the opportunity pre-
sents itself for them to go pro, and they
pursue it, then that's their decision. But
they are really missing out on a great
experience - going through college
and finishing up.
D: What are your feelings toward

(Michigan forward) Maurice Taylor's
decision to forgo his senior year and
enter the NBA draft?
R: Well, I think I would always say I
wish guys would stay and finish out
their college career. Whatever decision
he made, as a former Michigan
Wolverine myself, I would have to
stand behind him..But again by leavin
he will certainly be missing out on
final year, not only playing ball, but also
just living life at the college level.
D: You spoke about guys in college
now not being able to knock down the
jump shot as they did when you were in
school. One current Wolverine, Louis
Bullock, recently broke your record for
most three-pointers at Michigan, and he
can certainly knock down the open
jumper. Does he remind you at allo
yourself when you were a Wolverine.
R: He broke my record? I didn't
know that. Well, I wish him the best and
congratulate him on breaking my record
- I guess records are meant to be bro-
ken. He can absolutely shoot the ball,
but I think he is more of a set-shot shoot-
er. I don't really remember myself at
school as really much of a set-shot
shooter as much as just a shooter off the
dribble or off a pick; but he can defi-
nitely stroke the ball.
D: Growing up in the Detroit area ant
playing your college ball in the area, I'm
assuming you grew up a Pistons fait.
What is it like coming back to Detroit
the past couple years, playing against
your old home team?
R: I've always watched the Pistons
through my years at college and grow-
ing up in Flint. I was always very sup-
portive of them, but they weren't my
favorite team. I was always in love wi*
Philadelphia for the simple fact that Dr.
J played there. And after he stopped
playing, I really didn't have a favorite
team anymore.
D: You won the MVP this year at the
All-Star game. How does that fit in the
scheme of things as far as your goals in
this league?
R: It was a great accomplishment.
Individually I was very proud of that
award and of what I have done this ye
I just want to continue playing well, a
really continue winning as a team. It
was a great honor, but the main goal is
always to win the championship.

ships with those guys now that you are
competing against them at this level?
R: It's fun going against Terry. Ever
since I've known him he's been a com-
petitor, like Loy Vaught, Gary Grant -
it's always good to see them. But
they're not on my team anymore and
now I have to go out and do my job
against them.
D: Loy Vaught has talked about dar-
ing you to shoot more three pointers
when you guys were here at Michigan,
and about your friendship off the floor.
How is your relationship with him and
the other guys from Michigan now, off
the court?
R: Well, there is definitely a mutual
respect between myself and Loy and the

other guys from U of M. I've been fol-
lowing Loy's career since he came to
the NBA and I think he's an been doing
a tremendous job considering the team
he's been with all these years. He is an
outstanding shooter for such a big man.
As far as off the court, I really haven't
had enough time to spend with those
guys. I saw Gary (Grant) a lot over the
summer because he is down in Miami
(Rice's off- season residence) now, but
that's been about it.
D: How about following Michigan
basketball, have you been able to follow
Michigan basketball since graduating?
R: The only chance I really have to
follow Michigan has been on television.
Every chance I get to watch them, I try

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