Lockout Life: A Rookie's Perspective

September 12, 2011

Jenkins throws the first pitch at a May Mets home game, just 20 minutes from his Queens hometown.

The league’s rookies have only had a taste of their newfound NBA life, as the lockout began just seven days following the 2011 NBA Draft. Restricted from communicating with their new team until the lockout ends, what is a rookie to do? Find out below from Golden State Warriors rookie, Charles Jenkins:

So, what’s going on in your head right now? You’re a rookie who would normally have spent most of the summer working out with your new team. But as a result of the lockout, you have spent the last few months right back in your native New York.
Well, I’m just trying to stay in the best shape possible and be ready to go when the time comes. It just feels good to know that I have a team to go to when it’s all said and done. I’ve been waiting 22 years to play in the NBA, so it isn’t any different for me.

What type of interaction have you had with the Warriors?
I was only able to spend about four days out there before the lockout. I had the chance to meet with the coaches and management, and get a few workouts in. They told me that the best thing I could do is stay ready and prepared to play when the time comes. I’ve continued to work out just as hard as pre-draft.

What does your workout schedule look like these days?
I work out about three times a day…weights, cardio, sprints, getting my shots in. Kemba Walker and I work out together, which is cool. Since before the Draft, I also completely changed my diet. When I was in college, I ate a lot of fast food, wings, fried chicken and French fries. But starting this past April, I met with a nutritionist and learned about the good things to eat for my body…no juice, soda, burgers. Now, I cook myself and make grilled salmon, baked potato and salad. And I don’t eat after 8 p.m. I like my George Foreman grill!

You obviously did something right. I understand that out of all of the participants at the Chicago pre-draft camp in May, you had the third lowest body-fat percentage at 4.3 percent.
Yes, that’s true. The lifestyle change has really helped me. I have a lot of energy and I like the feeling.

Your family and friends must have been pretty psyched when you got drafted?
My hometown was very excited when I got drafted. The excitement has died down a little bit.

You mentioned that you work out with Kemba? Are you guys close?
Yeah, we live together too. We’re roommates out in Long Island and work out together at a gym there.

What else have you been up to?
I’ve been speaking to a lot of kids in Long Island, Queens, and Connecticut, telling them my story. I am proof that even though I didn’t go to the best basketball high school or college, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity. I want these kids to know they have opportunities no matter where they are from.

For a rookie, this lockout must be extra tough financially?
I don’t know any different. My financial situation is the same as it was before I got drafted. I haven’t seen a big check yet, so my parents are still supporting me.

Have you given any thought to a financial plan once you do start seeing those big checks?
Yes, for sure. I’ve heard so many crazy stories about life after basketball. It all starts now…we are dealing with a huge amount of money. That’s something I’ve always been concerned about. And I feel fortunate to have my college degree.

ABOUT CHARLES JENKINS
Selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2011 NBA Draft, Charles Jenkins, who graduated college a semester early, has gone down in the record books as one of Hofstra University’s all-time greatest basketball players. A 6’3” guard, Jenkins is the school’s all-time leading scorer, as well as the second-leading scorer in Colonial Athletic Association history, behind Hall of Famer David Robinson, who attended Navy. Prior to the final home game of his senior year, Hofstra retired Jenkins’s jersey, making him the fourth player in school history to be honored in this way, and the first to have his jersey retired while still active. Highly regarded as a consummate professional, Jenkins became just the third player ever to win the prestigious Haggerty Award three times, which is annually given to the best Division 1 men’s basketball player in the New York Metropolitan area. In addition, he earned the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award, an honor bestowed upon a Division 1 men’s basketball senior who has demonstrated personal character, both on and off the court. A native of Queens, N.Y., Jenkins played high school basketball at Springfield Gardens High School and was selected to the All-New York City Team by the New York Post his senior year.