The Bootleg: Tell me a little bit about your prep school days. What was that
decision like to move from Kennesaw to New Hampshire for your high school
Josh Owens: Really, it was kind a little bit of a personal decision. I was
actually born in New Hampshire, and my parents always knew about Phillips-Exeter
Academy, knew it was a great school. And as I got older, they told
me about it and I’d always been an independent, adventurous type of guy. And
I said “hey, it sounds like a great place. I’ll try it out; hopefully get a whole
lot of financial aid.” It’s the only prep school I applied to - got in, got
all the financial aid, and the rest is history.
TB: You started out your
Cardinal career playing behind the Lopez twins. What were those practices like
for you, and what did you learn from them?
JO: I would say that
those practices and that whole year was a blessing. Playing behind two future NBA
starters and centers was definitely a learning experience. Definitely a change
of pace from what it was like playing in high school and knowing what it takes
and how good people are at this level.
TB: Your freshman year was the
last time Stanford has made the Big Dance. What was it like going through that
experience as a freshman, having the dunk against Cornell in the first round,
beating Marquette in dramatic fashion, and going to the Sweet 16?
JO: *smiling* that
was an experience in itself. Like I said, the whole year was a learning
experience, but when we got to the point of making it to the tournament, that’s
when I started to realize what it took, being a part of such a great team like
that, not necessarily playing a whole bunch, you realizes what it takes as a
team to make it that far.
TB: How much were you able to
JO: *still smiling* I appreciated it a whole bunch even though
I wasn’t playing a whole bunch. I knew it was something special to go to the
tournament. When I was younger watching the tournament, I always knew it was
something special, and it was great.
TB: You had to sit out a year with
that undisclosed medical condition. What was it like for you having to watch
from the sidelines?
JO: That was probably the toughest year definitely
basketball-wise of my life up to this point. But I definitely think it was a
blessing in disguise. Sitting out gives you definitely a deeper appreciation of
the game. But it gave me a chance to go out and support my teammates
full-fledged as much as I could and just keeping hope and praying that I would
be back on the court soon.
TB: Did the thought creep into your head that
you may not be able to play basketball again?
JO: Early on when everything
was up in the air and I didn’t really know what was going on as much; of course,
that’s something that could be in the back of your head. But I treated every day
as if I was going to be back on the court at some point, so I kept working out
on my own, doing skill development and basketball stuff on my own, just in case
I got the word that “hey, you can go back on that court” that I’d be
TB: What was going through your head when you got the news that
you could play ball again?
JO: *back to smiling* When I got the news, it was
great after waiting so long. It was just great to hear. It was nice just to know
that having faith and sticking to it paid off. And just being ready for that
TB: On the court, you’re known for your athleticism and monster
dunks. For us mere mortals, what goes through your mind and what’s it like to
have those throw downs like you had against Arizona State and USC this
JO: It’s funny because…When I was younger when I got a dunk, I’d get
really hyped and I’d get really excited. Now I’ll get a dunk and a lot of times
I’ll be like, oh, it’s just two points. And whether it’s during a timeout or
whether it’s after the game or the next day in practice, one of my teammates
would say “man, that dunk was so crazy! You got all in this guy’s face!” And a
lot of times I’m like, “oh, I did?” *laughs* I don’t really notice it when I’m
up there; I just consider it another play.
TB: You’re also one of the
most effective scorers on the block in the conference. Your left shoulder has
always been pretty killer, but this past year or so you’ve added that spin off
the right shoulder. What did you do to improve your repertoire
JO: Just always looking for ways to get better. Working with
Coach Davey for the last four years now, he’s been great. He’s a great teacher of the
game; he has spent a lot of time teaching it - 30-plus years or so. I’ve
always looked to him for guidance and he has always been great and telling me
ways to diversify my game.
TB: Once your Cardinal career is finished,
where are you thinking of playing professionally, or is pro hoop even on your
JO: I’d love to play pro basketball. Obviously, the NBA is a dream,
playing here in the states. But if that doesn’t work out, I wouldn’t mind doing
a bit of travelling for a few years. But after sitting out that year made me
realize how much I definitely love the game. I definitely knew at that point
that I wanted to play as long as I could because it could be taken away at any
TB: Once your playing career is finished, what do you see yourself
Possibly coming back here to do business school.
Mark Madsen path?
JO: Yeah, maybe the Mark Madsen path. He has been a great
friend, getting to know him a little better these last couple of years. So yeah,
I think that’s a possibility, but who knows what will happen.
has his influence been on you?
JO: He has just been a great role model,
watching his path. He played for some great Stanford teams here, went to the NBA
and won a couple of championships, and then had the character to say “I’m not
finished. There are more things I want to do.” And he came back and he’s working
on his MBA now.
TB: Still making beats?
JO: A little bit here and
there. Now that I’m in grad school, I don’t necessarily have as much time to do
that as I want. But yeah, when I get some free time, I like to play around on
the computer and make some stuff.
TB: Who would you compare yourself to
from a producer standpoint?
JO: It all depends on what I’m listening to at
the time. But I like to do a little bit of sampling, so mix in some Kanye with
maybe mixed with some Lex Luger, but I also like to make some more experimental,
alternative-type stuff too.
TB: I’m taking it your goal is to win the
Pac-12 tourney and go to the NCAAs. What would it mean to you to return to the
NCAA tournament your last year?
JO: It would be full circle for me. Ever
since the beginning of the season, I’ve kind of looked at this team and thought
that it reminds me a lot of my freshman year, except that I’m in a complete
role-reversal. I’m the fifth-year senior instead of the only freshman. So I
think it would be great; I think our program for the last few years has been
working really, really hard and we know that we can get there. We know we’re
capable of getting there and frankly I think that it’s a very realistic goal for
us, so it would be great and it would be a whole bunch of hard work being paid
TB: What was that like - being the only freshman on the team?
JO: Being the
only freshman was rough, man *laughs*. At least that freshman summer, being the
only freshman was rough. It didn’t become clearer to me until the years that
passed and I’d see other freshmen classes that would come in and the
relationship that people had over freshman summer through that freshman year
with a teammate that they knew “he always has my back; he’s my go-to, I can hang
out with him.” I think I developed that relationship a little bit as I got older
with Landry. But it’s definitely something to be appreciated, and for Chasson,
he’s lucky that he has a couple of walk-ons he is kind of sharing the experience
with. But I just said “always try to learn from the older guys,” because they’ve
been there before and you could always learn something from
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