The adjustment to playing college basketball can be difficult under normal circumstances. Between adjusting to the college culture as well as differences in the game, challenges are plenty. Now add doing all that when coming from another country. Brock Motum not only dealt with the changes coming to Washington State from Australia, but he thrived.
Washington State provided Motum his chance to improve his basketball game, but in many ways he was prepared for the challenge. “In Australia, the only major differences were a shorter shot clock and the game wasn’t as physical,” Motum explained. “Having played in the World Championships, each country had a different style of play, so I was used to preparing for different things.”
Motum has other methods of learning more about the American game. “I watched a lot of the games on TV and I would try to learn what I saw and try it myself,” said Motum. “The speed of the game and intensity was different, and it will be even more so at the next level, so you just have to keep adjusting.”
There were adjustments that needed to be made during each of his years at Washington State as well. “My freshman year, I was just looking for ways to contribute, stay positive and earn my opportunity,” Motum said. “I went home that summer and worked hard at what I needed to, and my sophomore year I was able to develop into a nice compliment to Klay Thompson.”
Motum’s big chance would come when Thompson left Washington State early for the NBA Draft. “My junior year, the opportunity was there for increased minutes, and I wanted to be the guy to step up,” said Motum. “I had some new parts to my game and fortunately I got the chance. That was my breakout year.”
After a successful junior season in which Motum averaged 18 points and 6 rebounds per game, he entered his senior year looking to build on it. “I just wanted to work on the skills I already had, become a better defender, and add some new stuff to make it harder to scout me,” said Motum.
It worked. Motum finished his senior year averaging almost 19 points and 6 rebounds per game, and he was named Second Team All-Pac-12. The improvements Motum made have put him on NBA teams’ radars. “I can be a knock-down shooter, working in the pick-and-pop as a stretch 4,” Motum explained. “If a defender closes out on me, I can take them off the dribble.”
Motum knows he has hard work ahead of him these next couple of months to make his game more complete. “I need to work on my size and strength,” Motum said. “I am a little undersized, and while having some tricks can help, adding size while not losing speed is important.”
He has already had the opportunity to see some of his potential competition for those valuable NBA Draft spots. Motum took part last week in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for seniors. “It was a great experience,” claimed Motum. “I learned a lot about what I do well and what I need to really improve on for the next level.”
Motum is already at work in Washington, D.C. on his pre-Draft training and getting prepared for the road ahead. He does have a valuable person to go to for advice, his former teammate, and current Golden State Warrior, Klay Thompson. “Klay was roommate at school, and we probably talk still once a week, said Motum. “He helps me understand what is coming up and is the main person I go to when I need advice.”
Motum has shown he can make adjustments well, and there is little doubt that he will continue doing what he needs to reach his goal of the NBA.
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