D.J. Shelton Interview
*Photo via AP
Interviewer: Landon Buford
Interviewee: D.J. Shelton
Landon: First of all I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us at OTGBasketball.com DJ Shelton!
Explain your experience transitioning from amateur to professional sports. Is there a difference in lifestyle and work ethic?
D.J.: Man it’s a crazy different life style change. You go from waking up for class every day to just waking up and thinking about basketball and basketball only. It’s a completely different focus and gives you no excuse why you can’t dedicate your all to the game. Work ethic wise you’re expected to be 100% ready at all times no matter what the circumstances are.
Landon: Your family has history of playing professional sports, how was it being raised by a professional athlete?
D.J.: While growing up I always had in my mind that I was a pro and that I would for sure be playing basketball for a living. The hard part growing up was just proving it and getting others to believe in it also. All of my uncles and cousins were professionals, so it was what I was used to and around all the time. So after seeing that it’s real for my family and can happen, I just attacked it.
Landon: What are some of the characteristics that make a pro athlete? Like, I.Q, and fundamentals are key measures teams in the NBA look for during the summer league and the preseason.
D.J.: Teams want guys who are going to outwork their opponents, a complete work horse. All out energy and an ongoing motor. They love guys that are good teammates and will do anything necessary for the team’s success.
Landon: Do you think your father playing in the NBA gave you an advantage in recruitment and scouting throughout your career?
D.J.: No, I wouldn't necessarily say that. I was more self-made. Growing up East of L.A. a lot of people aren’t really familiar with Lonnie Shelton, so I really didn’t start hearing that buzz until I committed to WAZZU and playing more in the Northwest.
Landon: What was some of the advice that Brock Motum and Klay Thompson gave you upon signing with the Atlanta Hawks summer league team if any?
D.J.: I talked to Brock a lot during the process and even met with him in Vegas while we both played summer league and he’s always positive and tells me just always do the lil’ things and handle what I can control.
Landon: What were some of the challenges that you faced transitioning from high school to college and then from the college into the pros?
D.J.: From high school to college one of my biggest challenges was accepting my role. I came in and wanted to ‘be the man,’ but I didn’t pay my dues or prove anything yet. So I think that kind of humbled me. From college to the pros it was just more of a game speed thing, like playing hard every single play and just being in shape to outwork guys.
Landon: What are some things that you feel you as a professional athlete need to improve to stay on a NBA Roster?
D.J.: I think it’s more of an attitude and love for the game. Basketball has to be your life on and off the court and you have to dedicate almost every bit of your time to the game. I feel if you show that type of passion you get the results NBA rosters are looking for.
Landon: What team are you currently playing for overseas?
D.J.: I play for Vuelle Libertas Pesaro in Italy Serie A league
On behalf of OTGBasketball.com I want to thank you again for taking time to sit down for this interview!