Interview with Randy Livingston of the Idaho Stampede

Interview with Randy Livingston of the Idaho Stampede
Dec 03, 2007, 01:46 am
During the 2006-2007 NBA Development League season Randy Livingston had a career year for the Idaho Stampede eventually leading to his winning the NBADL MVP award. Showing that he’s once again a likely MVP candidate this year by dropping 20 assists in his first game back, the former LSU point guard spoke with me about his future in coaching, getting his college degree, and the work he’s doing with his foundation, Game Time Louisiana.

Richard Walker: You’re looking good, admittedly it’s still early in the season, but are you feeling healthy?

Randy Livingston: Yeah, I’m good. Training camp was a little tough, but everything’s good. I was real sorry I missed the first game, but I had a prior event with my foundation – a free basketball clinic – so I missed it, but I was happy to meet the team in Denver and get a win, and then again tonight. But this is probably going to be a battle for the rest of the year with us against them. They have a good team, and they’re better than last year. [Los Angeles D-Fenders Head Coach] Dan [Panaggio]’s done a great job with those guys, so we’re just lucky to get a win out here.

Richard Walker: I realize you haven’t seen all of the teams yet, but it seems like the talent overall is actually much higher than it was last year. It seems like every team in the league has a solid starting five and even a little bit of a bench.

Randy Livingston: I think so. I think the talent is good, and you’ve got some good coaches spread throughout the league so they know the talent and they know the minor league system and they’ve got players that can play. It’s going to be a tough draw, but it’s always good early to get wins on the road, it shows a lot about the team, the character and kind of the makeup of what’s to come. We’ve got a long way to go, but it was good to get out of here with a win.

Richard Walker: There was some talk of you maybe going into coaching after last year – you were the MVP and you were on the fast track to coaching – what made you decide to come back as a player?

Randy Livingston: I think every year for me could be the end, but I think now I have a legit exit plan. This is the first year where the D-League has partnered with the University of Phoenix and I’m going to hopefully get my degree in April or sometime early in the summer.

Richard Walker: Congratulations.

Randy Livingston: That’s pretty much the reason I came back. We got together and now that’s my exit plan. As soon as I get my degree we have some options: whether I want to do college, minor leagues, or go out and get an NBA spot. At the same time I still enjoy playing and I’ll just let the chips fall where they may. I enjoy being around these guys, teaching them, playing with them and being a leader to them.

Richard Walker: You mentioned your foundation, can you talk a little about that?

Randy Livingston: The foundation is called Game Time Louisiana. It’s non-profit and I had a camp of about a hundred kids at the free basketball clinic during the Bayou Classic weekend in New Orleans – that’s my home city – and it’s just something to give back to the community. We’ve been through a lot down there with Hurricane Katrina, and the local playground that I grew up playing on is probably the only one up and running and so I think that can make a big difference. A community is basically built by the kids and we can catch them young, and just let them see something positive, a guy that came from the same environment that they come from, make it and be a successful citizen, a basketball player, or whatever they want to be in life. It’s just a chance to give them somebody to look up to with a positive outlook. I think we accomplished that during the camp.

There’s more to come: during the All-Star game [weekend] there’s some promo stuff with the D-League and with the NBA with a couple of events that I’ll do with them during the NBADL All-Star game and the NBA All-Star game which are both in my home town of New Orleans. For me, I’m at a point in my career where there’s a lot of things that are important and that’s one of them, just giving back to the community. Like I said, I now have an exit plan, and this is just something that I’ll build on as I continue to live.

Richard Walker: What’s your degree in?

Randy Livingston: I’m a Mass Comm major. All my life I kind of wanted to be like Ahmad Rashad and have a show like that, but not necessarily doing broadcasting. I actually did an internship with the NBA and we got to go to NBA Entertainment and do some on-air live television with me and Ian Eagle from the New Jersey Nets. That was a fun experience, but I’d still rather be like Ahmad Rashad. I minored in Political Science, so maybe there will be some politics later on. I like coaching, I like teaching, that’s where my heart is, so eventually one day I hope I’ll be there.

Richard Walker: Thanks a lot.

Randy Livingston: I appreciate it.

Richard Walker: No problem.

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