When your team has the number 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, it is natural for that selection to receive the bulk of the media attention. However, out of the Wizards three first round selections, the least is known about the team's second first round pick (17th overall), Kevin Seraphin. This is partly due to Kevin playing internationally, but it is also because Kevin's first language is French - although he is rapidly learning English.
So with the hope of learning more about Kevin Seraphin, we enlisted the help of friend and colleague Jerome Knoepffler of BasketUSA.com. I supplied Jerome with a series of questions and he interviewed Kevin Seraphin in his most comfortable language, French. Below you will find both the questions and Kevin's responses.
Q: How are you adjusting to living in Washington, D.C.? What are your impressions of the city?
Kevin Seraphin: I like Washington. The city is clean [and] quiet. Even [on] Sundays, we have something to do. It's a big city, not too big but that's cool.
Q: What type of support do you have with you to aid you in your adjustment to living in the United States?
KS: I have nobody. I don't have a translator. I don't need one. I made a lot of progress in [English]. I can easily speak now...
Q: In a fairly short period of time and at a relatively young age, you have moved from French Guyana to France to the United States. Do you ever miss your home in French Guyana? What do you miss most?
KS: In Guyana, I have all my friends, my family... They're still living there. However, I don't have any regrets of leaving Guyana, I miss them but I don't have any regrets.
Q: Who, aside from John Wall, out of the rookie or first year Wizards players has impressed you the most and why?
KS: Aside [from] John Wall, I have to say Yi Jianlian.
Q: What types of things do the veteran players have you do?
KS: We have some things ... For example at the end of the training [camp], they threw the ball [to] the top of the arena. You have to go [up] there and get it. It's boring to [go up] there for the ball...
Q: What did you think about the Wizards Midnight Madness? Were you surprised to
see so many fans at that time of night?
KS: It was great, but tough to play at midnight (laughs).
Q: Prior to joining the Wizards, what were your impressions of Gilbert Arenas? After spending time with him, have those impressions changed? If so, how?
KS: I thought he was a great player. Gil is not a bad guy, he's pretty cool, [and] we can have a discussion easily with him.
Q: What has been the most difficult aspect of the NBA game for you to grasp?
KS: I have to say the style of play. At the beginning it was very tough to adjust my game to the NBA. Now I'm getting better and better, it's just different from Europe and France especially.
Q: What do you see as your role on this team once the season starts?
KS: Until now, I don't think I have a role on this team. I'm just a rookie. I just want to have a goal this year, and win a lot of games.
Q: How do you believe the Wizards will perform this season? Do you believe the team will make the playoffs?
KS: We just want to make the playoffs. Flip Saunders talked about that after one practice. Last year, in the playoffs, there [were] 15 teams which were veteran teams and one surprise, Oklahoma City. For us, we have to follow this example, if we want to make the playoffs this year.
Q: One day after practice, you and Hamady N'Diaye were filmed having a brief shooting contest, which of you has the better jumper?
KS: I believe I have a better shot than Hamady. I played in Europe so it helps my mechanics, my touch.
Q: How are you adjusting to your teammates given that you did not speak English well initially?
KS: It's better for sure. At the beginning, it was tougher because I didn't speak [English] very well. Now, it's a lot better. Besides, I'm not the kind of guy who stays away from the team. I have to talk and laugh with my teammates.
Q: Who on the team has provided you some advice?
KS: Blatche give some advices, Hilton Armstrong too.
Q: What song did you perform for the veteran players during camp?
KS: How do you know we sang (laughs)? At the beginning, I wanted to to sing an American song, and then I decided to sing a "home song" from my Guyana. So I sang a Guyana song.
Q: Is your iPad [that Coach Flip Saunders provided] helpful?
KS: Yes it helps us. There's all the information we need there. When I have to see some plays, videos or stuff like that I can...
Q: Are you still following your former team (Cholet Basket)?
KS: Yes I'm following Cholet because of my friend Christophe Leonard and Rudy Gobert too.
Note: Christophe Leonard (6-6 SF/PF) and Rudy Gobert (6-10 PF/C) currently play for Cholet and are future NBA prospects. Leonard has been playing professionally in France since 2005 and signed with Cholet during the 2008/9 season. Gobert averaged 9.2 PTS on 50.7% shooting during 9 games at the European U18 Championships this summer.