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Isaac Likekele Q&A (Part 1): On LeBron, His Nickname ‘Ice,’ and Why He Loves Stillwater



I recently sat down with Oklahoma State’s top-ranked recruit in the 2018 class, PG Isaac Likekele of Mansfield, to chat about his high school career, the NBA Playoffs and what he’s excited about for the future in Stillwater. Part 1 today and Part 2 tomorrow. Thanks to Isaac for his time, and I hope you guys enjoy.

Kyle Porter: I’ll start you off with an easy one — what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Isaac Likekele: This morning I had a bowl of oatmeal with some strawberries and blueberries in it with a granola bar.

KP: That’s pretty healthy. Is your fitness and what you put in your body something you think a lot about, or how important is that to you?

IL: I’ve been thinking about it the past three months since I know I’ve been getting closer to college.

KP: What made you think about it more?

IL: If you want to be a pro, you got to eat like a pro. So I’m trying to get used to it.

KP: I need to start eating like a pro, I think. How much of the NBA Playoffs have you been watching?

IL: I’ve been watching all of the games except for right now I’m currently not watching.

KP: You’re just out on Houston-Golden State, or is it because you’re talking to me?

IL: After I get done talking to you I’m going to go turn it on.

KP: Who’s your guy? Who’s your team? Who are you rooting for?

IL: LeBron James.

KP: What happened against the Celtics?

IL: He was just tired. Everybody gets burned up.

KP: What do you respect most about LeBron and what he’s done for the last 15 years?

IL: His greatness. He seems to elevate his game every year, the older he gets. Most people would have thought by now that he would have been done, but he’s breaking more records and doing all this great stuff. It’s his 15th year and he’s playing his best basketball.

KP: Is there anything he does or moves he has that you think, ‘wow I should add in to my game.’?

IL: I try to implement the all-around game that he has already. The rebounding, the scoring, the involving teammates. More than just one thing he’s done. I try to implement the all-around game just like he did.

KP: Your nickname is ice. Who gave you the nickname ice?

IL: All my friends in my city call me ice.

KP: Is there a story behind it?

IL: Since my freshman year they’ve been calling me ice. It’s really because I’m clutch.

KP: I like that, that’s good. You recently committed to Oklahoma State. You had several other offers, and yet you’re a top-10 player in the state of Texas and you didn’t have any super big teams. Did you feel a little bit under-recruited throughout the process?

IL: Yeah, but at the end of the day I knew I was going to land at the school I needed to be at. Wherever I needed to go. It comes to a point where as much as you work at the end of the day, you can’t be denied for so long.

KP: What did you like and what did you dislike about the recruiting process?

IL: You like the visits of course because it’s basically a free little two-day tour. You like the visits. You like getting to meet the different coaches. The dislikes of course are all the phone calls always happening. You talking on the phone, texting 24/7, coaches always hitting you up. Now since I got one coach, he texts me and calls me, and I like that.

KP: What was your favorite thing about being in Stillwater and being around the team and the coaches?

IL: I really enjoyed the family culture and the atmosphere around there. As soon as I touched down, I already knew some of the players because Cam McGriff came from my city. So I knew him. I really already bonded with a lot of the players. I feel like I already knew some of them, like Mike (Weathers) for instance I hung out with him. I hung out with Curtis (Jones). I even got a workout with coach Mike Boynton.

KP: What was that like?

IL: It was fun. Me and Mike (Weathers) worked out with Coach Boynton.

KP: Was coach Boynton grinding on the treadmill or what was he doing?

IL: He had us out there on the court doing individual work.

KP: Can he still shoot it a little bit? Did he go against you guys?

IL: I can tell he’s got the shot. He’s got the left-hand jumper.

KP: How much did Mike Weathers impress you? I’ve heard a lot of good things about him, and I think everybody’s curious to see him play next year.

IL: Mike’s a great player. I saw him in the workout. He’s a great player I’m going to enjoy playing with him.

KP: How well did you know Cam McGriff before this process started getting underway?

IL: We knew of each other, but as soon as we got to talk it was an automatic click because we are already familiar with each other. It was just something that kicked off easily.


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