Shan Foster Q&A after draft

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Mavericks rookie Shan Foster admits it’s a whole new ballgame. The wide-eyed second-round pick understands that talent alone isn’t going to get it done. Just because he can shoot – and he can – doesn’t mean he can play in the NBA.

“I’m definitely going to put in the work,” Foster said. “I’m going to go above and beyond the call of duty everyday whether it’s in practice or a game. I’m going to do whatever it takes to make the team, and not just be satisfied with that. I’m going to continue to work hard to make an impact and be the best teammate that I can be.”

The work has begun. The reigning SEC Player of the Year out of Vanderbilt began working out at American Airlines Center on Monday. The detailed drills – fellow roster hopeful Ronnie Seibutis is also taking part – have focused on fundamentals that aren’t emphasized to the same degree in college.

Foster (6-6, 205) has worked on such aspects as his footwork, shooting release and movement without the ball. Rick Carlisle has a program in place for the youngsters to follow. Video coordinators Monte Mathis and Mike Shedd have been handling the workouts this week.

“One of the things that coach said was that initially you’re only open for a split second, and you have to be able to minimize all excess motion,” Foster said. “So that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Foster added that it’s been an adjustment, but he looks forward to learning and getting better everyday. He also realizes that for the first time in his life, it’s all about basketball.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “Four years of basketball and school, and now it’s just basketball. I’m going to be in the gym like crazy.” The team was impressed with your basketball IQ coming into the Draft. Have you always been a student of the game?

Shan Foster: I played for a great coach in Kevin Stallings and he prepared me well for the things that I’m getting ready to go through, and like I said before, it’s about learning and getting better everyday.

MC: What were your thoughts when you were picked by Dallas?

SF: Before the Draft started, me and my family prayed and just asked God to place us in a spot that would be best suitable for me, whether that’s first round, second round, or undrafted. Whatever the case may be, I just wanted to be where he blessed me the most. I have tremendous faith that that will happen here.

It’s a great city, great players and great coaches. I got a chance to get to know a couple people here, and it feels like a big family environment which I will definitely enjoy. I met a lot of fans in the airport [Sunday night] and I’m just excited about being here.

MC: You were delayed a little bit coming into town?

SF: It was crazy. I was in the airport for six hours. I went to sleep, woke up and my flight got delayed again. Now I’m here and excited about being here.

MC: Has Carlisle talked to you about his philosophy?

SF: Offense wins games, defense wins championships. The Boston Celtics proved that this year. They’re a great defensive team, and they got it done defensively and won a championship.

Coach Carlisle is definitely right in that aspect. I look forward to getting better offensively and defensively. I’m going to come in and work my butt off so that I can step in and contribute to the team in any way possible.

MC: How do you see your basketball skills improving from college?

SF: You will definitely see a more well-rounded player coming up here in the next few months.

MC: The Mavs have had success with four-year players coming out of college like Josh Howard. But do you believe there is a stigma with guys that stay all four years?

SF: The last few years the draft has been full of youth. It’s just the way things have changed. It’s just like technology, technology changes every year and the basketball market changes every year. It’s all about what these guys feel will help their team the most. I’m very appreciative that Dallas felt that I would be able to step in and help the team and I look forward to the opportunity.

It was the best four years of my life. I learned a lot and formed a lot of great relationships. I got to know the fans there who I still keep in touch with. I learned a lot and it made me a better person as well as a better player.

MC: Have you begun to make the transition to Dallas?

SF: I have a great support system. Me and my mom are very close and she’ll help me out as much as possible. I also have family in Dallas that I’ve been in contact with to help me out as well. Dallas has been great in terms of making sure that I’m taken care of and answering any questions that I have. I feel comfortable with my adjustment here.

MC: We’ve seen video of you singing and playing keyboards. How did you get into music?

SF: My family is very big on music. Everyone in my family either sings or plays music of some sort. I’ve always been in choirs and singing in church. My mother bought me a keyboard when I was a sophomore in high school and because I love music so much, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching myself how to play.

I can pretty much play anything by ear. I’ve taken classes, but I’m not really too interested in learning how to read music. I want to play more fun stuff, not the classical stuff. Music is my getaway from everything. Just to be able to go and play and get into the music and the gospel. I look forward to it.

MC: Do the Usher comparisons get old?

SF: Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t say something about Usher. I guess it just comes with the territory.