Updated: Dec 4, 2019
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series presented by Babcock Hoops, we have JD Tsasa, of Chameleon BX:
Prospective Insight: In what ways do you feel like your understanding of the game has grown?
JD Tsasa: I’ve become more mentally inclined due to studying the game and figuring out all of the angles on the basketball court.
PI: Do you feel nervous on the court or are you locked in?
JD: I’m pretty comfortable. I’m pretty laid back within the game. I play as hard as I can but I also know what I’m doing.
PI: What are/were some of the hardest aspects about learning basketball for you?
JD: The footwork involved. I know it’s going to take time. I still need to work on it but I know that training this year is really going to get me to where I need to be.
PI: Talk a little bit about how and why you started playing basketball.
JD: I actually started playing basketball when I was 12. I was motivated by players such as: Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. I tried to replicate their games, just messing around at the Boys and Girls Club. Eventually, I got serious with it.
PI: Describe your game — what are your greatest strengths?
JD: I’m a great shooter and a great defender. I know how to use my length over taller defenders.
PI: What are your biggest areas for improvement?
JD: Defending guards that are much faster than me. I need to know how to use my feet against them.
PI: How has graduating high school early either helped or hurt your basketball development?
JD: It has definitely helped me because now I can spend more time focusing on my craft.
PI: What was so appealing about joining Chameleon BX over possible college or pro options?
JD: Frank Matrisciano works with many NBA players and many NBA coaches. He’s had many success stories and I believe that I can also be one.
PI: You’re scheduled to start training with Chameleon BX in June 2020 — what have you been doing in the meantime as far as training?
JD: Frank has been sending me training that I have been doing on my own. I have also been training at Dream City Christian with MarJon Beauchamp. I have trained with Eddie Johnson a few times as well.
PI: You’re known to be a talented piano player — what type of music do you like to play?
JD: I play classical and jazz.
PI: Do you play other instruments?
JD: I played french horn, trumpet and flute.
PI: What are your musical goals?
JD: I would like to become a professional pianist and eventually play on big stages such as Carnegie Hall.
PI: In a perfect world, if you had the choice to either be a successful professional basketball player or a successful musician, what would you choose?
JD: That’s a tough question. Probably a basketball player because that would open the door for my music.
PI: Talk a little bit about your background — how many siblings do you have?
JD: I am an only child. I have lived in Arizona for about 8 years. I moved here from Colorado.
PI: What is your daily schedule like?
JD: Wake up, eat breakfast, go to the gym to put up shots, come back home to get some rest. Then I’d go lift and have a training session with a coach.
PI: Aside from music, what do you like to do in your free time?
JD: I like playing video games and I’m interested in fashion.
PI: When did you realize that you could potentially play professional basketball?
JD: When I was 14 everyone would compare me to NBA players like Giannis, KD, Kawhi and it made me think that I could really do this.
PI: Did that realization change the way you train or approach the game?
JD: Yes, because I had to go a little bit harder than I was going before.
PI: Please explain what JD Tsasa brings to a team.
JD: Length, height, sturdy defense and floor spacing.
PI: College or pro, current or former player – do you model your game after anyone?
JD: I like LeBron because he takes over the court and the game. He’s a general on the court. I definitely mimic Giannis because he knows how to use his height and he’s dunked on many famous players. I also take after Kawhi because he has big hands, I have big hands too. I just really like his game. And then KD because he’s such an offensive threat.
PI: Who are some your basketball mentors and how have they helped in your development/confidence?
JD: Eddie Johnson and one of my trainers, Coach Everett. I really don’t have that many but I have these guys to look up to.
PI: What, or who, would you say is your biggest motivation in life?
JD: My mom, definitely. Just seeing how hard she works for me motivates me to work even harder.
PI: Name 4 words that best describe you.
JD: Intelligent. Creative. Athletic. Icon.
PI: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JD: Still in the NBA with a few rings and as one of the greatest.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
JD: I want to be remembered for my story and how I did everything. People had doubted me because I was so young but I decided to keep going for it.