November 7, 2002 - by
Shooting From The Field With Florida State Men’s Basketball Freshman Will Wightman

Nov. 7, 2002

Will Wightman is in his first season as a walk-on member of the squad who will add depth at the guard position. He is one of the Seminoles hardest working players and is a very fundamentally sound player who shoots the ball well from all over the court. He sat down with and discussed his career as a player, his goals for the season and his greatest academic and athletic accomplishments during his career.

What Did You Do To Become A Member Of The Florida State Men’s Basketball Team?
“I feel that I put myself in position to become a part of the Florida State men’s basketball team by working very hard during my high school career. I developed a reputation as being a hard-nosed defensive player and a good shooter who constantly got after my opponents in both practice and during games. Coach Jones came to see me play and saw the qualities I could bring to the Seminoles. I am very grateful that the coaching staff decided I could make a positive contribution to this team and allowed me to compete, and earn, a spot on the roster for the upcoming season.”

Why And When Did You Decide To Become A Member Of The Men’s Basketball Team at Florida State?
“Being a member of the Florida State men’s basketball team is a great opportunity for me. I was given the chance to try-out for the team and decided to make the most of the opportunity. I worked hard in the preseason and was added to the roster after walk-on tryouts in October. I had a great opportunity presented to me and I didn’t want that to pass me by. It has been one of the greatest decisions I have ever made.”

Tell Us A Little About Your Basketball Career. When Did You Begin Playing Basketball?
“My basketball career began when I was around four years old. My mom got me one of those little basketball hoops and I feel in love with the game. I have not always been the most athletic player on the court but I have always prided myself in playing harder than everybody else I’m playing against. I feel the fact that I work hard all the time has allowed me to achieve great things and on a high level throughout my career.”

You Played At A High Level Of Basketball In High School. How Do You Think Your Experiences In High School Have Prepared You For The Division I Level In College?
“Playing at such a high level of basketball in high school has helped prepare me elevate my game and take it to the Division I level. My high school coach played at the University of Florida so he knew what to do to prepare me for this level of college basketball. I feel that as a freshman I am very well prepared to compete at this level in my different facets of the game. I also feel that I have been very well schooled in the philosophies of the game of basketball. Certainly, I have to adjust to Coach Hamilton’s philosophies that are different from what I was taught in high school. I think I am equally as prepared as many of my teammates to be successful as a member of this team. My coaches have been the backbone of my basketball career and that is the case here at Florida State.”

Do You Think You Have To Prove Yourself On The Court More Than Some Of Your Teammates?
“I do feel I have to prove myself more than some of my teammates each day in practice. I know that I am going to have to work extremely hard to earn playing time. I am going to work hard in practice to help prepare this team to play well in each game. If helping this team prepare to play each game is what I am called upon to do, I am going to work as hard as I can to do that. If my job is to help make my teammates better, than that is what I am going to do. I want to help Florida State contend for championships and I am going to do whatever my coaches ask of me.”

What Do You Enjoy Most About Playing The Game Of Basketball?
“The thing I enjoy most about playing the game of basketball is the hard work you have to put in to become a good player. It takes special people to work hard and become good basketball players. It takes an even more special person to become a good enough player to play on this level. Being able to play Division I basketball is very rewarding for me because I know that only a very, very elite group of people can play at this level day in and day out.”

What Are Your Goals As A Member Of The Florida State Men’s Basketball Team?
“My goal as a member of the Florida State men’s basketball team is to know my role and to play that role well. While playing that role, I want to help make my teammates better basketball players. I want to help the players on this team become better, thus making our team as a whole better. I want to play tough defense so they don’t get easy plays on offense. I also want to be a good offensive threat so they can play under game conditions in practice. I want to help my teammates get ready to play all of the teams on our schedule so we can enjoy a successful year. I am excited to help the team in every way I can so we can begin to contend for championships.”

How Has and How Will Coach Hamilton And The Florida State Coaching Staff Help You Improve Your Game?
“The coaching staff at Florida State has already made me a better basketball player in more ways then I could even begin to explain. I came in, I feel, as a pretty good shooter and a player who plays well on defense. The coaching staff has already taught me to be a better shooter and I have learned how to utilize more options in my game in terms of shooting and penetrating to the basket. I have also learned better footwork and mechanics on defense that has already helped me become a better player. I will become a better and more intelligent player because our coaching staff is very intelligent with what they are teaching us. They know the game well and by learning from them I will begin to know the game better.”

What Has Been Your Greatest Accomplishment During Your Basketball Career?
“My greatest accomplishment during my basketball career came during my junior year in high school when we defeated the No. 2 ranked team in the state playoffs. It was the first time our school was in the state playoffs in 11 years so just being there was a great accomplishment for us. We were playing at their gymnasium in front of a capacity crowd and I hit the game-winning shot. It was an unbelievable feeling and I felt like a million dollars. It was an awesome feeling that I would like to experience again – maybe hitting the game-winning shot in the ACC Tournament.”

What Has Been Your Greatest Accomplishment During Your Academic Career?
“I have always strived to do my best in the class room during my academic career. My greatest academic accomplishments are being named to the National Honor Society and graduating high school with a 4.2 grade point average. It was a tremendous honor to be inducted into the NHS. I feel I have a strong ability to balance athletics and academics and feel I balance those two aspects of my collegiate life well.

What Is Your Favorite Thing About The Florida State Basketball Training Center?
“Everything about the Florida State Basketball Training Facility is amazing. Besides the equipment and the amenities available to us as players, it is a place for us to call home. It offers us the opportunity to be ourselves around our teammates and relax when we want to in a comfortable atmosphere. Our locker room is amazing. It is spacious with comfortable couches and a big screen television that we can watch whenever we are in the facility. It also has a study room with computers to help us with our class work. It allows us to have some much needed downtime before or after practice or at anytime during the day. My favorite thing is that the facility affords us more things than just basketball. The facility in itself is amazing and gives us a basketball home.

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