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Julius Page, Pitt Basketball

October 13, 2011

Julius Page – Pitt Panthers (June 16,  2011):

First, can you tell readers about your Just Play Fitness venture – what makes it unique and where your locations are?

Everything with Just Play Fitness is going as planned.  Of course I would have liked for it to happen sooner but it is coming sooner than what some people think.  You know when I first got started a lot of my friends laughed at my timeline and said when dealing with people nothing happens when you want it….so that’s where I’m at.

What inspired this idea and how is it faring so far?

A friend of mine, Norman Childs from Eyetique told me to do something that I would enjoy doing everyday.  

After thinking about it, I love to help people.  My goal is to help people achieve whatever goals they want when coming to fitness.  Also helping the high school student get ready for the next level.

Any lessons/learnings from playing basketball at Pitt that you’ve been able to apply to the business?

Sports and life in general go hand and hand.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  The best thing you can do is stay level.  What I mean is I do not try to get to excited when things are going well or to down when they are not.  

In sports you have to be the same way because the majority of the game is mental.

Speaking of Pitt, Jamie Dixon took over as Pitt’s head coach in your senior season at Pitt correct? How did things change for you under Dixon, and what were your concerns, if any, about the change?

When Jamie took over I really didn’t have any concerns.  He knows the game of basketball…You know what kills me is when I hear people say he should be replaced.  This is a guy who hasn’t missed a beat and is a class act away from the game.  I hope he stays forever.

What can you tell readers about Dixon that would surprise readers/fans?

Dixon really cares about his players.  If it’s best for you to leave early then he will tell you.  He wants his players to play their game and not feel so pressed to make plays.  He was a scorer in his day from what I hear.

Who were some of the teammates that you most enjoyed playing with at Pitt – and why?

I enjoy playing with everyone to tell you the truth.  Brandin knew where I wanted the ball and was a good distributor- Jaron may have been the most unselfish player I ever played with.  Ontario was the team clown always making people laugh- Chevy is Chevy…enough said lol.  Our whole team had talent that’s why alot of the guys are still playing basketball today.

What were some of the games and opponents you remember most? What made them so?

I remember the UCONN battles because they were so much fun.  I remember we lost to the Cuse because I helped off my guy and took a chance.  And I remember finally winning at Notre Dame my senior year.  That was the only time we won on their court…oh yea, I remember dunking on the guy from Georgetown but that’s
not my favorite…sike.

Was winning the Big East Tournament MVP in 2003 your biggest accomplishment at Pitt? If not, what do you feel was?

Graduating from Pitt is by far the biggest.  

I recently went to a friend of mine’s wedding and during the reception they asked all Pitt Alum to take a picture together and it felt like a million people went to Pitt.  A lot of guys where I am from can play ball but more don’t finish school.  I’m glad I did.

The NBA draft is coming up soon. What do you remember about the NBA draft – did you expect to be drafted? What advice would you offer the few Panthers that could get picked this year?

NBA basketball is a job.  Don’t get caught up playing for the money or focusing on the wrong things, just play basketball.  

As far as me being drafted, it’s a lot of All Stars in the NBA that I held my own against.  It’s only so many spots and it’s not many for a under size shooting guard.  Make sure you ride the wave when the tide is high.  

After college, what did you do to try to stay involved in basketball, and when/how did you decide it was time to start a new path?

I played basketball overseas and enjoyed it.  I would still be playing today if I didn’t have any kids.  

If you remember I had my son when I was a senior in high school.  He is 11 years old now and I felt it was time to support his dreams and put mine to the side.

Do you follow the program today? What are your thoughts on the level of talent coming into the program now and the team’s ability to break into the Final Four soon?

I’m not surprised at all that we are getting All American kids.   I mean think about it, you will be playing in the Big East, for a great coach & coaching staff, a top 10 program in the Pete which is like a NBA arena.  

Don’t let me forget you can become a Steelers fan as well.  As far as the final four goes….it really don’t mean a thing if you don’t win it all.  Let me rephrase that, ANYTHING short of winning the title is Disappointing.

Do you work with any of the current and former players/coaches/staff at Pitt to help promote Just Play Fitness?

Right now I am so wrapped up it getting my business ventures together that I don’t make it around enough but hopefully that will change.  I have some other things in the making that everyone will enjoy as well.  I have some tricks up my sleeve lol.

Any last thoughts for readers?

I’m glad to call Pittsburgh my new home.  For the most part even years after I played at Pitt people still show me a lot of love.  On twitter I get the love all the time.  I love to debate so follow me @juliuspage

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