Parsons: “I’m trying to prove everybody wrong.”

Forward Chandler Parsons went through a lot in his four years playing for the Florida Gators. From finding early success to being locked out of the gym by head coach Billy Donovan to becoming the first basketball player school history to win the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year award, Parsons reflects on his college career fondly but is equally excited looking ahead to his future playing in the NBA.

One of 54 players invited to the official 2011 NBA Combine in Chicago, IL from May 18-22, Parsons is currently in California working on refining his game and improving in any way he possibly can to get prepared for workouts, individual team meetings and the 2011 NBA Draft on June 23. After completing a rigorous day of workouts on Monday, Parsons sat down with OGGOA for an extensive interview about his future playing professionally and career in the orange and blue.

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: Let’s start off by talking about what is going on for you now that the season is over and you are preparing for the draft. What have you been doing recently to get ready and how is it going?
CHANDLER PARSONS: “I’ve been in L.A. [since May 1] working out at 360 Health Club with Don MacClean, who’s the all-time leading scorer at UCLA. It’s me, Jon Leuer from Wisconsin and Malcom Thomas from San Diego State. And then there’s some pros like David Lee comes here [Tuesday]. Paul George with the Pacers has been working out with us. J.R. Giddens, who was at Kansas, transferred to New Mexico and got drafted by the Celtics, he’s been working with us. It’s been a combination of two-to-six guys every day just working really hard. We work out on the court for about an hour and a half and then you lift for about an hour with the guys and Steve Campbell who is the strength coach here. The facilities are beautiful. It’s right up in the valley in Woodland Hills in Los Angeles. It’s a really good setup and we’re just working on all aspects of our game – two-on-two, pick-and-roll, offense, defense. The main thing is just getting in shape, being in the best condition of your life going forward for these NBA workouts.”

AS: What specifically are you working on and trying to showcase at the combine? Has your post game been a specific focus?
CP: “I’ve been working off the ball, catching the ball at the post when I get a smaller three or two on me. I measured at 6’10 1/2” in shoes, so I’m going to have a lot of mismatches at the next level. I’m going to be able to take some guys down on the block. I’ve been working on my post game, my handle, being able to create and still facilitate just like I did at Florida. And then there’s the difference with the NBA three-point line, which I’m very comfortable shooting with, but it’s about getting a lot of reps up, same form, becoming more of a consistent three-point shooter from that distance.”

AS: What have you heard from your agent in regards to a projection for the draft?
CP: “When I first signed with my agent, who is Mark Bartelstein, he told me anywhere from mid-first round to early second round. Now, after this week of working out, my trainer Don MacLean told Mark, ‘I don’t know what kind of workouts you’re scheduling, but you need to start scheduling Chandler with teams with picks in the teens.’ He sees me going a lot higher than people are projecting me with how good I’ve been doing out here – anywhere from the teens to mid-first round to early second round.”

Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Chandler Parsons…after the break!
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