October 23, 2002 - by
Running The Court With Seminole Men’s Basketball Forward Michael Joiner

Oct. 23, 2002

Michael Joiner, an All-ACC Candidate entering the 2002-03 season, is a returning two-year starter and is the most experienced player on the Seminoles’ roster this season. He enters the season as the current Seminoles’ leader in six career categories – points per game (8.6 ppg), rebounds per game (5.3 rpg), 3-point shots made (45), assists per game (1.4 apg), steals per game (1.0 spg) and minutes played per game (28.1 mpg). Joiner sat down with seminoles.com and talked about leadership, his goals for the season and Florida State’s new basketball Training Center.

You Have Been The First Player At Practice Every Day Since The Preseason Began Oct. 12. What Are Some Of The Other Ways You Are Displaying Your Leadership To Your Teammates?
“One of my goals this season is to be a leader by example. One of the examples I want to set is being the first player out of the training room and onto the court before practice. I am also trying to be more vocal on the court and help each player on the team communicate with each other. One of the main things that I want to communicate is that we are one as a team. We all want the same things as players but we all have to know that each one of us is there for each member of our team. We are here to help each other and help instill confidence into each other. I don’t feel that I am better than any other player but I am trying to be a strong voice under coach and alongside all of my teammates.”

What Is A Leonard Hamilton Practice Like?
“Our practices under coach Hamilton are designed to get the best out of us as players. They are hard, strenuous and demanding. Our practices take a lot of energy out of us each day, but we know when the season starts, that we are going to be better players because of the hard work. You have to go hard in practice each and every time you are out there. The practices involve a lot of running and a lot of practice on the mental aspects of the game. The mental work is helping us prepare for the upcoming season and we will all be mentally tougher for the work we are putting in during the preseason.”

What One Skill Have Your Worked On The Most To Improve Your Game Since The End Of Last Season?
“There isn’t one skill I worked on to improve my game the most because I feel I have worked on making many aspects of my game better to become a more versatile player. I have worked on my strength, my footwork and my ball handling the most. If I had to single out one aspect I would probably have to say I worked on my footwork the most. Everybody needs to work on ball handling and shooting, and I did a great deal of that, but footwork was the thing I put the most time into during the off-season. I feel that my work in that area is paying off and I continue to learn more and more each day from the coaching staff.”

What Are Your Goals For The Upcoming Season?
“My number one goal is that I want to help this team win basketball games. In addition to winning, I want to prepare to win in the correct way. I have to go into practice with the mentality that I am going to work hard I am going to give my all to my coaches and teammates each day. I also want to have a positive attitude each day I come into the Basketball Training Facility. I feel that working hard and having the right attitude each day will lead my teammates and me to a successful season. I want to come out and make history for this team this season. I want to play my best and hope that I can help guide my teammates to do the same thing.”

How Much Has The Seminole Strength and Conditioning Program Helped You Improve Your Game?
“I can honestly say that strength and conditioning coach Mike Bradley has helped me turn my work in the weight room by at least 10 notches. I feel a lot stronger and the conditioning program has helped me improve my ability to play longer and harder on the court each day. I feel that I am moving quicker and that I am a more agile person than I have been after having worked with coach Bradley since April. It has been a real benefit to my teammates and me because it helps us get through practices when fatigue begins to set in. Our work in the weight room allows us to concentrate harder and feel that we can make it through practice when it gets tough. The strength and conditioning program has really prepared us for practice. We are more prepared for the frequency of the drills we are doing that are helping us improve as players.”

What Do You Like The Most About The Basketball Training Center?
“The thing I like the most about the Basketball Training Center is that it is a home away from home. It’s our home if we want it to be 24-hours a day. We can come here whenever we want to and know we can utilize it resources to practice, study or socialize with our teammates or coaches. We have television to relax with; computers to study on and court to play on. The facility also allows us to meet with our coaches whenever we need to. We can go into the coaches’ offices and speak with them or go over film at any time of the day or night.”

Which Team Or Teams Are You Most Looking Forward To Playing Against This Season?
“I am looking forward to playing against every team on our schedule. There is no particular team I am looking forward to playing against because this is a brand new year for the entire Florida State men’s basketball program and me. We are like newborns ready to take on the world.”

When Did You First Begin Playing The Game Of Basketball And What Do You Enjoy The Most About The Game?
“I have to admit that baseball is my first love. I began playing basketball when I was in the seventh grade. The thing I enjoy most about the game of basketball is that it is not just a game but you can learn a lot of life’s most important lessons. You must learn teamwork – to be successful on the basketball court you must work with others. You must also have a positive attitude because your attitude on the court can carry over to your daily life. Basketball is also a way for me to get away and release stress. I also find the game of basketball a very fun game to play.”

You Were Named To The All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team Following the 2002-03 Season. How Do You Successfully Combine Academics With Athletics?
“Academics have always taken on a high priority in the Joiner family. My mother and father have always stayed on top of me about participating in athletics and doing my best on the court. In addition, they have always been even more on top of me about working hard in the classroom. I have never wanted to be looked at as an athlete who didn’t study so I have always focused myself to do well in both areas. I have always been friends with people who have done well academically so doing well in school became contagious at an early age. I feel that if you hang around with positive people than you, too, will be a positive person. I have always found that doing well in school, as well as on the court, is fun. It is fun to me to know information that I feel makes me a well-rounded person. My academic success also allowed me to enjoy a smooth transition from high school to college when I came to Florida State. In addition, I was taught about time management at an early age and I feel that helps me find a strong balance between academics and athletics. I handle my school-work first and then I take care of business on the basketball court.”

If You Could Add One Team To Our Schedule And Play That Game In Any Arena In The Nation, Who Would That Team Be And Where Would You Want To Play The Game?
“If I could add one team to our schedule it would be UCLA. They are a west coast team and we haven’t had a chance to play a team from the west coast. People say that teams on the east coast and the west coast play two different styles of basketball and I would say that teams on the east coast are better basketball teams. I would like to see that game played in the Louisiana Superdome – the home of the NCAA Final Four this season.”

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