DeJuan Wheat is the second all-time leading scorer in UofL basketball history. His 2,183 points trail only the 2,333 scored by Darrell Griffith. The Ballard High grad was also the first NCAA division I player with 2,000 points, 450 assists, 300 three point field goals and 200 steals. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997 and played a little over 2 seasons for Minnesota and Vancouver.
KENT TAYLOR: What are your impressions of Peyton Siva as a point guard?
DEJUAN WHEAT: I like Peyton Siva as a point guard. One of the best playmakers that we’ve ever had here. He’s one of the best point guards we’ve ever had. I’m impressed by his athletic ability. He can score, he can pass, he’s fast, he can defend. I enjoy watching him.
TAYLOR: I know you had some camps this summer; what are you doing now?
WHEAT: A bunch of camps this summer and I also formed the DeJuan Wheat Foundation, which is dedicated to helping underprivileged kids. My other organization, DeJuan Wheat Sports, kind of ties into the same thing, which is a lot of camps, a lot of basketball, individual training for kids.
TAYLOR: How closely do you follow UofL now – are you locked in to every game?
WHEAT: I’m the Cardinals’ biggest fan. I watch every game, whether I’m in town or out of the country. I’ll get on my computer and watch the game, I’ll find a way to watch the Cards play.
TAYLOR: You liked to shoot it, you were a good shooter. Russ Smith likes to shoot it, he likes to shoot it a lot, what do you think of his game?
WHEAT: I love Russ’ game. He’s a flat out scorer, that’s what he is. I see a lot of people criticizing him sometimes about his shot selection, but I love it. He is so aggressive and it helps him.
TAYLOR: Does he amaze you sometimes, being so small, with his ability to get in the lane and get shots up?
WHEAT:Those type of guys are rare. He’s one of those guys that can shoot it, he can score, he’s amazing defensively and I enjoy watching him play.
TAYLOR: What was Kobe Bryant like when you were a rookie with the Lakers?
WHEAT: Kobe was young. I can remember that, I knew he was going to be a great player because he worked at it. He really worked. He stayed in the gym. He knew where he wanted to go, and those are the type of players that succeed.
TAYLOR: What about Kevin Garnett when you played with him in Minnesota?
WHEAT: K.G. was real fiery. Him too, these guys, they stay in the gym and they work, and they work, they work on their craft, and it’s no secret why they’re so good.
TAYLOR: Rajon Rondo has become one of the best players in the league. Does that surprise you?
WHEAT: It’s good to see. I played with him a couple of times this summer, sat down and talked to him. He’s an amazing guy. I watch him play and then I talked to him off the court, he is just as good off the court as he is on.
TAYLOR: Who was the best player you ever faced?
WHEAT: Stephon Marbury.
TAYLOR: Was there ever a player guarding you who you thought that you could not get by?
WHEAT: Allen Iverson. These guys are specimens. He has long arms, big hands, and he was just as quick as me.