October 28, 2002 - by
Running The Offense With Seminole Men’s Basketball Senior Point Guard Marcell Haywood

Oct. 28, 2002

Marcell Haywood is entering his fourth season as a member of the Seminole men’s basketball team in 2002-03. He earned his undergraduate degree in information systems in April of 2002 after playing in a career-high 25 games (including the final 20 of the season) as Florida State’s primary back-up point guard during the 2001-02 season. Haywood has played in 34 career games during his two years of eligibility as a Seminole and will battle for playing time in the Seminole backcourt this season. He sat down with seminoles.com and talked about the first two weeks of practice, his academic successes at Florida State and the two people who have influenced him most during his life.

What Are You Concentrating On The Most During Practice For The Beginning Of The Season?
“The aspect of my game I am concentrating on during the preseason is becoming more of a vocal leader. I am one of the veterans on this squad and my experience in big games and against ACC teams could really help this team find success. As a vocal leader, I am trying to get my teammates going each day in practice and trying to help everybody get on the same page. I also want to be a leader by example.”

What Aspect Of Your Game Have You Improved Upon The Most Since The End Of Last Season?
“The aspect of my game I have improved on the most is definitely being more offensive minded. Last season, my role was to run the offense and distribute the basketball to my teammates. This season I feel I will be called upon more often to be an offensive threat. I feel the coaches want me to be more aggressive on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.”

What Has Been The Hardest Part Of Practice So Far?
“The hardest part of practice so far this season has been our ability to pick up the new offensive and defensive sets the coaching staff has implemented into our game plan. We have to concentrate hard to remember the plays so we can get to the right spots on the court in order to make every play run smoothly. Our ability to adapt to the new coaching staff, new circumstances and new principles has been the most challenging thing about practice this year.”

What Has Been The Best Thing About Practice So Far?
“The best thing about practice so far has been the learning experience and how much we have learned in such a short period of time. We are able to work with Coach Hamilton and his staff – coaches Jones, Jaz and Sheals – and are learning our fill of basketball each day we step onto the practice court. I didn’t realize there was so much to the game of basketball as we learned during the first 10 practices of the season. I think being at practice and learning at practice each day is a very positive thing for all of my teammates and me. To know that we have learned so much and know that we have so much more to learn is very exciting.”

What Are Your Goals For The 2002-03 Season?
“My goals for the season are to help lead this team to a successful season. With all of the hard work that our coaching staff and players are putting into preparing for the season I think we owe it to ourselves and our fans to win more games and improve as a team this season. A successful season in terms of improvement and wins on the court is a goal of everyone involved with the Florida State men’s basketball program.”

What Is Your Favorite Aspect Of The Seminoles’ New Basketball Training Center?
“My favorite aspect of the new Basketball Training Center is the accessibility to the facility we enjoy as players and the multi-million dollar technology that was used to build one of the top basketball facilities in the nation. The fact that we can come to the center at any time of the day or night to work on our games individually is a great feeling. I am very much a gym rat and the idea that I can work on my game whenever I need to is a tremendous benefit to my overall improvement as a player. I know many of my teammates have benefited from the fact that we have a key to the gym and can utilize its amenities whenever we want to.”

What Is Your Most Memorable Moment Or Game During Your Seminole Career?
“The most memorable moment of my career so far is our victory over No. 1 ranked Duke last season. I don’t want one win to define our program but that night we came out and did something nobody in the nation thought we could do. Our program has used that win as a stepping-stone to show our fans throughout the nation that we can achieve great things at Florida State. The win over Duke demonstrated what direction this program is headed in and what our players are capable of achieving if we come together each night we step onto the court for our games.”

You Received Your Undergraduate Degree In Information Studies Last Spring. What Are You Working Toward Academically This Year?
“I received my undergraduate degree in information studies last spring. Earning my undergraduate degree was a goal I set for myself and one that I am very proud I achieved. This year I am working toward earning my graduate degree in the same field with a concentration in information technology. I am very interested in web page design and I already designed a couple of professional sites. Web designing is a career that I am interested in pursuing after my basketball playing days are over.”

What’s The Best Advice You Have Ever Received?
“The best advice I have ever received came from my uncle who played two seasons in the NBA. He taught me to believe in myself because if I didn’t believe in myself than nobody else would have any reason to believe in me. I have learned during my life that people are going to doubt your abilities in anything you try to accomplish in life. The most important thing you can do as an individual is to have the belief that you can accomplish anything you want to. You have to believe in your abilities to be able to reach the goals you have set for yourself.”

Who Has Been The Biggest Influence On Your Life And Why?
“The biggest influence on my life has been my parents. I have seen the sacrifices they have made throughout my life in order for me to be able to reach my goals. They have sacrificed many things in order for me to be successful in life. They were not able to attend many of my little league soccer, baseball or soccer games when I was younger because they were unable to get off of work. When I attended Queens University as a freshman they never even saw the campus because they were unable to take off from work. These were the sacrifices they were making in order for me to attend college and get my education. My parents are the biggest influences on my life because I see through them how hard I have to work to get where I want to go. I want to get to a point where I can in some way repay them what they have given to me.”

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