Let it Rip

Let it Rip

Five junior reporters share their experience after meeting NBA star Richard "Rip" Hamilton at NBA Madness

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NBA player Richard Hamilton - a shooting guard and small forward with the Detroit Pistons - meets the junior reporters (from left)  Alex Chan, Kevin Yuen, Arjun Sivakumar, Gurung Eina and Jason Cheng
NBA player Richard Hamilton - a shooting guard and small forward with the Detroit Pistons - meets the junior reporters (from left) Alex Chan, Kevin Yuen, Arjun Sivakumar, Gurung Eina and Jason Cheng
Photos: Edmond So

Kevin Yuen, 18, Sha Tin College

Hong Kong was lucky enough to play host to NBA champion and three-time NBA All-Star Richard "Rip" Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons. When asked which up-and-coming player reminds him most of himself, he replied: "Kevin Martin of the Houston Rockets, I think he's going to surprise a lot of people this season."

Because of injury, Hamilton only appeared in 42 games last season for the Detroit Pistons, with the team finishing at 27-55.

He said he would be working on his strength and "getting back in shape, I think that is the key to coming back strong".

Gurung Eina, 15, St Margaret's Girls' College, Hong Kong

This was an awesome experience for me. There was a huge crowd in the shopping centre where "NBA Madness" was held. The interview took place in cramped conditions, with lots of people wanting to get a glimpse of the player. We had a time limit so we had to ask questions quickly. I was really thankful for the opportunity because he's the first NBA star I've ever met.

Hamilton says the mask he wears during the game is for good luck and is also like his Superman cape. When not playing basketball, Hamilton likes to hang out with family; otherwise, he's always in the gym working out and shooting.

Jason Cheng, 15, Canadian International School of Hong Kong

Being a reporter is a difficult profession. One must be analytical, quick-thinking and fast-talking to succeed. Although I was nervous, I think I did a good job asking my questions and taking notes. The atmosphere was amazing, as there were so many fans present.

I was quite surprised at Richard Hamilton's thin frame, as NBA players are supposed to be muscular. But after the three-point shooting contest, I could see that he didn't need the muscles to shoot almost perfectly!

His sweetest moment as an NBA player was winning the championship in 2004 against the Lakers. He said Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are the most challenging opponents in the NBA.

Alex Chan, 14, La Salle College

I have to say, meeting an NBA player face to face was amazing. Richard Hamilton is really tall - 2.01 metres to be exact - and has huge hands.

During my interview with him, I asked him what he thought of the Miami Heat super team, with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Hamilton said: "Man, that's an awesome team. It looks unbeatable. Calling it super was correct."

He also said he would still choose basketball even if he had a chance in another career.

After the interview we took many pictures with Hamilton and we each got an autograph! It was really fun meeting him.

Arjun Sivakumar, 13, South Island School

This was a memorable interview but Hamilton is a very busy man. He was surrounded by reporters, fans and security so we had to think fast and work fast.

His advice for young people is to listen to their parents, keep out of trouble and avoid bad addictions.

Rip is very serious about winning. He says he repeatedly watches tapes of matches that he has lost to learn from his mistakes.


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