MY-Basket.it – Interview with Randy Childress: “Duncan still has the best technique in the game”
You can ask to anyone in Italy. They will say that Randy Childress, Il Professore [The Professor, his nickname there], is one of the best point guards to have ever played in the Italian league. Randy is not only an Italian superstar. He had stunning time in Wake Forest, where he played along with Tim Duncan. He was ACC Athlete of the Year in 1995. He averaged 35.7 points-per-game and 7 assists-per-game during the ACC Tournament, scoring the winning jumper with four seconds left in the overtime of the final game. In that incredible night, he had 37 points and 7 assists against Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and the Tar Heels. Not a surprise that he is a member of the Demon Deacons Hall of Fame and he is in the list of the 50 best players in ACC history. He played in the NBA for Blazers and Pistons before going overseas. Turkey, France and then Naples, the first Italian team he played for. He won the Italian Second Division three times (Montegranaro 2006, Caserta 2008 and Varese 2009), before retiring from basketball in 2011. On April 9th, he became one of the assistant coaches at Wake Forest.
Talking about your Wake Forest career, we have to write one name: Tim Duncan, probably the best power forward in the history of basketball. What do you remember about Tim’s college years? At the age of 37, he is still a dominant player. Which is the secret of such a long career at this level?
Tim Duncan came to Wake Forest with not a lot of praise. He was expected to be a backup center. Then Derrick Hicks [the starting center for the Demon Deacons in 1993] transferred and Tim was forced to start as a Freshman. It’s ironic that his nickname became the Big Fundamental. Tim worked tirelessly on his fundamentals and became the best player in College Basketball in only two seasons. I think Tim is great at 37 because he doesn’t rely on athletic ability. He still has the best technique in the game.
On April 9th, you became part of the coaching staff of Wake Forest, your alma mater. How do you feel about returning “on the court” for your college after 18 years? Would you like to became an head coach in the future?
To return to my alma mater has left me speechless. If you know me, that’s almost impossible to do! I would love to become a Head Coach someday.
You signed your first contract in Europe in 1997, after two seasons in the NBA. What did you think about European basketball when you started your career overseas? Do you think that European basketball level raised over the last 15 years?
When I first arrived in Europe, I was really impressed with the work ethic and talent of the basketball players I had seen. I think the overall skill level has been raised but big men’s ability of back to the basket became extinct in Europe and US.
You spent 11 years in Italy, where you are also known as Il Professore. What do you remember about your years in Italy and Italian basketball fans? If you have to mention someone, who were the most important people for you during your Italian career?
The best fans in the world! I have so many important people in Italy. I can’t rank them but the Guadagnola family is my family. Stefano Pillastrini is a great coach and we worked well together. I have friends from Caserta, Varese and Montegranaro. I hate to name cities because I know I will forget someone. I’ve made great friends all over Italy, like Ron Slay and Jobey Thomas. I will see them soon.
You won the Italian Second Division three times with three different teams. Montegranaro never played in Serie A1 before 2006, whereas Caserta and Varese are two historic Italian teams. Is it possible for you to “choose” which of these three seasons was the best?
All three of those Championships were won in different ways. Montegranaro was a surprise to everyone but us. Caserta was the toughest until the Playoffs started. By the end of the season we were playing better than anyone and it showed during the Playoffs. Varese team was great because we started the season number one and finished the season number one. I have a great respect for all three Championships because winning is never easy.
We want to thank Randy and wish him a bright future!
Here are Childress’ highlights in 1995 ACC Final: