Marcus Fizer, Jr. Q&A
Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Marcus Fizer, Jr., son of former NBA player Marcus Fizer, is emerging as one of the more talented wings in the 2023 class due to his unique combination of physical tools, fluidity, and budding perimeter skills. His first love growing up was soccer, but since moving to Las Vegas, Nevada he has narrowed his focus to basketball. He and his family connected with Coach James Feltus in middle school, and Fizer has elevated his game to new heights ever since while playing for the Las Vegas Punishers on the Under Armour circuit.
Since really starting to take the game seriously, his basketball IQ and overall upside have continued trending up, which makes him a player to watch as he continues his development. He recently announced his commitment to Nevada State College Prep, where he plans to finish out the remainder of his high school tenure.
Fizer’s college recruitment is just getting started as he currently sits on an offer from Pacific. This won’t be the case for long, as college programs will soon get a look at Nevada Prep’s featured player in more of a national high school schedule-type setting.
In this interview, Fizer talks about his traits as a player, his family history in sports, his goals moving forward, how he’s improving as a player, his recent recruitment, his off-court interests, his thoughts on current events, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Marcus Fizer, Jr., from Las Vegas, Nevada:
Pro Insight: Talk a little bit about yourself — what’s your background? How many siblings do you have?
Marcus Fizer, Jr.: I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and stayed there until about first grade and then moved down to Louisiana with my dad. That’s where my dad and mom got married. Before all of the basketball stuff I played soccer down there for about two or three years, then came up here [Las Vegas] my fourth grade year and settled down until like sixth grade and then started playing middle school ball. I met Coach James from my older brother who is in college right now. I started playing with him [Coach James] around last year for AAU, which was my first year of AAU. It was pretty hard just playing against all these other kids who have been playing for a while, but I have a lot of people with professional backgrounds in my corner, like my father. He helps me a lot, and tells me a lot about things like nutrition and stuff, even though I don’t be doing it sometimes, but he’s one of the most helpful sources I got. Coach James, of course, he really helps us, it’s a true blessing to have him. He really takes his time to help get us exposure and to college and stuff.
PI: How has soccer helped your basketball game?
MF: I played soccer from first to third grade. I played left field striker. Something about it was fun, just running up and down the field and scoring a goal. When I watch soccer on TV it was rare to score a goal so that was my mindset every time. Me and my dad had a bet that if I got a header I would get $20. I would say soccer definitely helped with everything now. My lateral quickness could get better, I was faster when I was younger, but I’m just going to have to work on that. My dad has me training in the pool and stuff. My mom played college basketball, I forget what it’s called, but I know she played D-1 and ran track and stuff. She says she’s the most athletic person in our family — she was crazy fast. I just got to keep working and get to that point where I can be better than both of them so I can put myself and my family in a position to be great.
PI: For those who aren’t super familiar with your game, what are some of your greatest strengths?
MF: I’m very good on the offensive end. Sometimes if coach needs me I can run the point guard. I don’t need to do anything fancy, at all. If I have a little guard on me I can just back them down and look for the open man, try to look for the big guy in the post, get easy shots up, drive to the basket. There have been a couple games where we’ve done that, but I just try to play team ball. I don’t like playing selfish, at all — that’s not me, that’s not what I do. That’s just how my personality is. I don’t like talking about people and I also don’t like people talking about me, that’s just how I am, I try to keep it real with everybody.
PI: What about some things you still need to work on?
MF: Defense. Defense and a little bit of my jumping, but defense is the biggest one.
PI: What would you say is most underrated about your game? In other words, what do you think you don’t receive enough credit for?
MF: Probably the jumping [explosiveness]. It’s just been hard with the injuries, a whole bunch of leg injuries and stuff. But the other day when I was jumping trying to catch some lobs and stuff everybody was surprised. I would have been doing that, but the shin fractures, the calf, the knees and stuff, it’s just been tough.
PI: What are some of the injuries you’ve had over the past few years?
MF: I fractured both of my shins, but I was playing on it for months and I didn’t realize it so it kept getting worse. Then the first tournament we came back from Kansas City for the Under Armour session, I twisted my ankle really bad and I was out for about three or four weeks. Then I came back, but we really struggled that year, probably the roughest time I’ve had as an athlete, but that’s where my dad comes in with all of his game readiness and all. He really cares and really sees where my future can go, but the first thing that matters is your health and your body. I never understood that because usually when I was younger I would just run on the field or court without stretching or anything. I heard people say that if you don't stretch that you would get hurt, but I never thought it would actually happen. I just thought it was mental or something, but it’s not a joke at all. Once I sprained my calf at practice in the middle of the season — that was a game-changer for the entire season. We were having a good season and we were playing a good team the next day. I had a great bounce back game the day before against Clark High School, I think I had 17 points. I was kind of in a slump and for that [calf injury] to happen it was kind of deflating. I really wanted to get back out there, but my dad said “it’s all about your future and not right now.” He didn’t want me to get hurt at that specific time where it can just — God forbid — end my career. All he is about is just development until when you get older. He didn’t care if I played Varsity, Freshman, or JV, it just mattered if I was getting better at that point. If I was getting healthier, stronger, jumping higher, that’s what makes him different from a lot of people in Vegas that just want you to come play. He wants to make you better.
PI: You’ve picked up an offer from the University of Pacific — what’s the current update on your recruitment?
MF: I don’t think I’ve heard from any other colleges, yet. I’m not sure if my dad or Coach James has, but they don’t tell me that stuff. They tell me to stay in my place or something like that [laughs], that it’s none of my business. I leave that stuff to my dad a lot because he’s been through all that stuff already. It’s great to have him and Coach James get calls from coaches and stuff like that. We had a couple coaches come out to practice in high school during some of our scrimmages, but that’s about it.
PI: What was the feeling like getting that first official offer from Pacific University?
MF: I was actually speechless, I didn’t know what to say. It made me realize that I can really do something, and the thing was like I wasn’t at my best point playing basketball. I’m not where I can be right now, I’m probably not even half-way there. I know I can be better. I know I can be better than my dad and better than a lot of people in the country, but I’ve just gotta keep that work ethic to keep pushing and pushing. But it was super surreal, I never thought of me even playing basketball. My dream was to play pro soccer, but to switch sports like that and to get an offer showed that I can really go places.
PI: What made you transition to basketball and what do you love most about the sport?
MF: We switched over to basketball because there were no soccer teams to apply for, I was just playing middle school ball and during the summer I wasn’t doing anything. Until Coach James put up a team for our age group around the end of seventh and beginning of eighth grade year. That’s where I really started pushing, I would say that was the hardest time because he pushed us hard in the hot gym, just running and running, that’s it.