The Mirror had a chance to interview Andre Spight, last years CIT Championship winner and MVP for the University of Northern Colorado Bears. Spight had a record 855 points in Big Sky Conference history for a single season.
In his first eligible year at UNC and his senior
season Spight helped the 2017-2018 Bears to crush records while he
picked up Newcomer of the Year for Big Sky as well. Before UNC in the
summer of 2016 Andre also played on the Armenian
national team and won gold in the small country olympics. Currently,
Spight plays for the Wisconsin Herd in the NBA G-League.
Phone Interview with Alum Andre Spight
*This is a written description of the interview abbreviated for clarity*
Q: How did you end up choosing to come to UNC after playing at Arizona State?
A: It was a long road for me and ultimately it was a coincidence I ended up playing for UNC. I got started at Arizona State and then went to JUCO for a season before ultimately following a coach I knew to UNC so that I could play my senior season where I wanted to, at a school that felt right to me. When Jeff Linder was at Boise State he also was recruiting me hard and just so happened I got to play for him.
Q: What were your impressions of UNC when you first got here, and how did that change?
A: It was definitely a smaller stage than I originally planned on playing for, but my biggest goal was to end up having a great year for my senior season. The teachers in my classes and the guys I got to play with really made it special for me here.
Q: What were your favorite memories on and off the court at UNC?
A: Off the court, I really liked my teachers and networking that I got to do. The biggest thing for me really was getting my mom that degree. I didn’t grow up with a whole lot so it was truly special for me to get my degree even though I’m focusing on basketball.
On the court, was playing and practicing with the guys. I never have been the oldest on the team before, but I embraced it by trying to be a good leader for them. There were a lot of memorable shots, but making one late in the game from half court felt great.
Q: What did it mean to you to win the CIT with the 2017-2018 Bears?
A: You know we were really disappointed with how the Big Sky tournament game against the Griz went. We wanted to go on to play in the NCAA tournament, even if it was gonna be that tough Michigan team. Playing in the CIT gave us time to breathe. We were feeling down, but playing well and winning the CIT meant a lot to all of us to leave the season on a good note.
Q: After UNC you went to many teams before landing in the G-League tell us a little about what you thought of playing in Europe?
A: Europe is different for sure. They play a different style I wasn’t quite used to. I like the NBA fast paced play a little better since it fits my skills. I tried out for the Nuggets summer league, but hurt my ankle for a little bit. I got an offer to play in Montenegro and I went, but didn’t end up playing so I went to the Helsinki Seagulls. I found success there, but was still looking for where I fit. My last stop was in Istanbul before ultimately coming back to the states.
Q: How’d you find out that the Wisconsin Herd was interested in you?
A: It was a disappointment that Turkey didn’t work out so I put in my papers to the G-League so that I could be listed as a free-agent. I was only in Los Angeles for about 17 hours when I got the call from Wisconsin that they wanted me. I turned right around and flew there since I was not going to miss this opportunity. It was only about a week in leaving Turkey, putting in my papers and flying home that I was already on a new team and I was so grateful since I thought I would have to sit and wait for next year.
Q: What’s it like to have come so far in the short time since UNC?
A: I honestly can’t believe it. Life is a rollercoaster and I’m happy to be where I am now. I definitely miss playing with the guys at UNC and the pace of play in college though.
Q: What are your short and long term goals?
A: Short term goals I want to get better each day. Right now our team is on a four game win streak and want to keep it going. I want to get my mind and body right. As for long term, I try to live in the present and keep tunnel vision on basketball.
Q: Last year you finished third in NCAA points per game, right now Jordan Davis is at seventh. Do you see him joining you in the G-League at some ponit?
A: Oh definitely, I see us playing together or against each other in the G-League and more. When we played together I think we were the best back court duo out there. We have always had each other’s backs. He’s an NBA talent for sure. I’d even say he’s the best point guard in college basketball right now.
Q: You have been many places playing ball, but where did you find the best food?
A: I have my favorites here, but Turkey had the best meals overall. The healthy options like the beef with rice were cooked so natural and healthy. It was a nice change.
Wisconsin Herd’s Comments on Spight
The Mirror also had a chance to reach out to Daniel Marks, Director of Basketball Operations of the Wisconsin Herd team for a few comments on acquiring Andre.
Q: How did you discover Andre Spight?
A: As a staff we are constantly evaluating players from the NBA and G-League. We look at stats from across college basketball and Andre’s shooting numbers stood out which triggered me to watch film on him, and that is how he first came on our radar.
Q: What made you want to sign Andre?
A: With the Herd we try to emulate the Bucks NBA team as much as possible. The ability to shoot the ball and play multiple postions is extremely important in our organization. We felt Andre was a high-level shooter who could play both guard positions on the floor.
Q: How does Andre make an impact for you?
A: We see Andre as someone who can make an impact immediately with his ability to shoot. Having a shooter like him on the court opens up the floor for our other players.