Updated: Apr 1
For the next installment of the Q&A series, Pro Insight presents Evan Mobley, the top player in the class of 2020, from Temecula, CA:
Pro Insight: Describe your game. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses, in your opinion? What’s the most underrated aspect of your game?
Evan Mobley: My greatest strength is blocking shots. Some of my weaknesses right now are probably shooting from deep – from the three-point line and like a foot off the three-point line. Also, I know I need to get stronger and faster. I also need to be more dominant in the paint. I feel like an underrated part of my game is that I’m a pretty good ball handler – if I get the rebound I can bring the ball up the floor and create for other people…I’m a pretty good passer, as well.
PI: Why do you wear #4? What’s the story behind that?
EM: I used to wear #1 in the past and I just decided to switch it up, so now I wear #4. It’s also my mom’s favorite number and I guess I just like how it looks on me, so I’m going to stick with it.
PI: Do you watch more college or NBA basketball? What are your biggest takeaways?
EM: I probably watch more NBA basketball. Specific players, mostly. I like watching LeBron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kevin Durant. I usually watch them off the ball, a lot, so when I’m in the game I can mimic that and hopefully be as good or better than them later on.
PI: College or pro, current or former player – do you model your game after anyone?
EM: Probably Giannis and KD. I like how Giannis brings the ball up the floor and is dominant, always dunking the ball. I like how KD is also dominant with his ability to catch and shoot, or come off the dribble and pull up.
PI: Over the course of your playing days up to this point, who has been the hardest opponent for you to guard? Why?
EM: Hmm…I’m not really sure. No one comes to mind that was hard to score on. My primary competition up to this point has always been my brother, Isaiah Mobley. I feel like Nico Mannion was pretty hard to guard for our team, this year, since he has the whole package. He’s smart, if we tried to double-team him he’d just give it up and get it back later. He had a really good game against us. He’s pretty hard to guard.
PI: What’s something about your older brother and HS teammate, Isaiah, that no one else knows?
EM: He likes to do magic a lot. Like card tricks and sleight of hand stuff.
PI: Who’s the better ping pong player?
EM: That’s me, definitely.
PI: How has your experience been with USA Basketball over the past year, or so? You played for the U17 team last June and participated in the Junior National Team Minicamp in October – what was that like?
EM: Everything with USA Basketball has been a great experience. Last summer, I got to go to Argentina. The chance to see the other cultures and play against other countries while playing for my country was a great experience. We won the gold, so that was great, too. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
PI: Who were you most impressed with on that U17 team in Argentina?
EM: Vernon Carey was pretty good and so was Jalen Green.
PI: What are your goals for the AAU circuit this spring?
EM: My goal is for us to hopefully go undefeated this year, and maybe win the national championship if we ever play a game like that, again.
PI: Who would you say has influenced your life the most up to this point? Why?
EM: Probably my parents, because they’ve always helped me through anything I’ve gone through on and off the court. On the court, if I wasn’t playing as good as I’m capable, they’ve always helped me and supported me through it. My dad used to take me to practice and train me all the time. My mom helps me with school and stuff, to maintain my grades. So, I’d say mostly my parents.
PI: Name 4 words that best describe you.
EM: Mellow. Spontaneous. Athletic. Chill.
PI: Please explain what Evan Mobley brings to a team, regardless of the situation – name some things on the court and some things off the court:
EM: On the court, I’m going to bring energy, some rebounding, some blocks, and some highlight plays. Off the court, I’m very friendly – if you approach me, I’ll talk to you. We’re going to have a very fun time if you spend time with me, and you never know what we’re going to do that day – that’s the spontaneous part of me.
PI: What has been a defining moment or story in your life? Why has that stuck with you and what did you learn from it?
EM: Probably when I broke my arm and my foot my freshman year. I didn’t really get to play freshman year, at all, because of that. I really wanted to play, so when I finally got better, I worked even harder to get to where I am today.