Tuesday, January 06, 2004
The Crimson Tide men’s basketball team travels to Baton Rouge, La., this weekend where it will open Southeastern Conference play Saturday, January 10th at 2 p.m. CT against the LSU Tigers. The trip will mark a return home for University of Alabama senior forward Reggie Rambo who grew up in nearby Lena, Louisiana.
To get to know more about this Crimson Tide player, following is an interview with Reggie that recently ran in the December issue of Alabama’s basketball game program.
How old were you when the “Rambo” movies came out?
“I think I was about 12, I guess.”
Did the movie make you an instant playground celebrity?
“I used to always get made fun of because of my last name. It was fun though. Even before the movie came out, everybody called me by my last name. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been called ‘Rambo’ more than anybody ever called me Reggie.”
You’re a criminal justice major---how perfect is that for a guy named “Rambo?”
“It’s a good major. I’m not sure exactly what area I’ll go in, but it’s a good major in that there are a lot of different jobs and different things you can do. I’ll graduate this year, and I’m actually thinking about going into the military once I graduate. I haven’t made up my mind, but that has been on my mind for a while now. It’s something I always wanted to do. I was going to do it before I came to college, but my mom didn’t want me to do it since I had a chance to come to college and get a free education. So that’s what I did. I’m very happy that I did it, but once I graduate, maybe I will have gotten to do both.”
Any particular branch of the military in mind?
“Most likely the Navy. I have a few family members in the service who are in the Army, though. I guess they’re the ones who got me started on the idea of joining the military. I’ve just always wanted to do it. But I think the Navy interests me most right now.”
Boot Camp no doubt is much more physically challenging, but basketball conditioning would definitely put you ahead of the game going in wouldn’t it?
“It can’t be any harder than it already is. But I’m basically already in shape and used to it so the conditioning probably would be no problem.”
You and the other three seniors are in a new role this year: team leaders. What are you guys doing to lead this team?
“Basically we try to show a little leadership toward the younger players, try to be role models and teach them what’s right from wrong. Get them ready to be able to be seniors and lead one day.”
Do you find, since it’s your last year, that you are more confident, more aggressive?
“I do what I can do to help others. If I’m able to show leadership, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the younger ones do what’s right.”
What did you learn from that group of seniors before you: Erwin Dudley, Terrance Meade & Kenny Walker who’d all been starters since their freshman year?
“Erwin in particular taught me a lot of positive things about being a leader. Like at practice, for instance, always going out everyday at practice and giving it all you’ve got no matter what the situation is. And he also taught me to be positive in the classroom, too. Go to class everyday and be willing to go in and learn, do what you’re supposed to do.”
Has your time gone by quickly? Do you sometimes think ‘I can’t believe I’m a senior already?’
“Yes. I think about that all the time. It goes by fast.”
What are some of the things that y’all have done on the court that you’re proudest of?
“In the little time I have played, I’m proud of going in and playing real hard, real physical, rebounding, doing whatever I can to help the team. And as a team we’ve done some real special things, winning the SEC Championship, being No. 1. I think about all that. I’m happy to be a part of a program like this. To be able to come in, get a little playing time and being part of a Number one ranked team---that’s been very special.”
What do you want to see this team accomplish your senior year?
“Make it to the NCAA tournament.”
And you personally?
“Hopefully get some playing time, but mainly knowing that whatever I did, it helped make this team better.”
Is this a special senior class: you and Antoine Pettway, Demetrius Smith and Emmett Thomas?
“Yes, I think everyone of them is special. It’s a good group, a good group of guys. It’s the same way on the whole team. We’re all proud that we’re all going to graduate on time. We’ve worked hard on that, too, and we’re proud of it.”
How would you sum up your experience here so far?
“It’s been a great experience, to be able to come here and play, meet different people, get my degree. It’s made my mom proud.”