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Catching Up with Kerron and Ian

Catching Up with Kerron and Ian

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - recently caught up with recent men's basketball graduates Kerron Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) and Ian Clark (Memphis, Tenn.).

Johnson, whose game-winning shot in the OVC Championship sent Belmont to a sixth NCAA Tournament in eight years, and Clark, who was recently named to the All-Tournament Team at the Portsmouth Invitational, are both training in southern California in advance of professional basketball workouts and opportunities this summer.

Arguably the greatest backcourt in program history is training with the likes of John Jenkins (Atlanta Hawks/Vanderbilt), Hakim Warrick (NBA free agent), Ryan Hollins (Los Angeles Clippers), Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), Brandon Davies (BYU), Brandon Triche (Syracuse) and Rodney Williams (Minnesota). What are the areas you are trying to improve most during this time?

Kerron: The areas I hope to improve are my basketball IQ, jump shooting and ball screen reads. 

Ian: During this time I am trying to improve most in physically getting stronger and working more on ball handling and getting comfortable playing the point guard position. How valuable is it to train with other great players?

Ian: It is very valuable. To see their work ethic and dedication only motivates myself more to want to work hard and be successful.

Kerron: It's extremely valuable to compete against this level of competition day in and day out. It also allows me a chance to learn from people who have been in the game.  You are taught how to prepare and treat your body everyday.  Out here it teaches you the value of competing in everything that you do, because that's the only way to improve at this level. What type of advice are you getting from current NBA/pro players? 

Kerron: The importance of eating right and taking care of your body.  They also remind you constantly how competitive it is and how not to get lost in the pro lifestyle - how important it is to surround yourself with good people.

Ian: The NBA guys have just been telling me to continue to work hard. The offseason is a very important time to improve and you don't want to waste that time at all. Working hard now will all pay off. Do you have any formal workouts planned with pro teams?

Ian: Yes. I have had two formal workouts and I have two coming up.

Kerron: It changes from week to week. What is it like to reconnect with former Belmont teammate Drew Hanlen?

Kerron: It has been great. Drew definitely knows what he is doing. He works extremly hard, day and night specifying different workouts for each person.  He takes his job very seriously and loves what he does.  

Ian: Drew was in this same situation a year ago and helped guys immensely, so he has the experience. He does his research and knows the focus areas of different players. He's helped me a lot.