By Kevin Wilson
Jaye Crockett watched just enough of the NBA Draft to know he didn’t want to watch the rest.
The Clovis native and Texas Tech standout said it bugged him to watch players he felt he was better than getting picked.
But professional basketball is still his goal, no matter how he has to do it.
When did you know you weren’t going to be one of the 60 people drafted Thursday night?
I knew that probably a week before the draft when I talked to my agent. He told me the chances were slim, and I’m a realist. I’ve just set my mind on getting into the NBA through free agency. I just know my route’s going to have to be different to fulfill my dream. If I have to play overseas for 10 years until some team picks me, that’s what I have to do.
The only way I’m doing D-League is if a team has a strong interest.
Has anything happened in the time since the draft?
A guy’s talked to me about playing for Rio Grande, the D-League affiliate for the Dallas Mavericks. I’m not sure about that right now.
What’s an ideal situation for you?
A good contract overseas, playing in a good league. There are the A, B and C leagues. The As, those guys are making money like NBA players. The Bs, they’re making $75,000 to $100,000 per year. That’s what I’m trying to look at.
How long would you like to do something like that, if that’s the biggest opportunity that shows up?
It’s what I love. I can do that for a job for as long as possible. I know that’s not going to last forever, so that’s why I’m writing a 10-page paper for my master’s. I know my education’s going to come into play.
Academically, what is still ahead of you at Tech? What would it take for you to put that on hold?
I’ve got two more courses to finish. I’ve already set it up that I can finish it (through online correspondence). It’s really just communication, not leaving them stranded. My instructors know it’s a difficult situation, but they respect that I’m trying to get my education at the same time.
This camp is a Jaye Crockett camp, but it’s under the umbrella of something you call Jaye Rock Athletics. How did this start?
That came with me and my dad just sitting down and throwing out ideas. I went through social media, getting people involved and gaining a fan base. We needed a support group, and people jumped on board. It’s the first step in building an empire is what I say.
You’re doing stuff in Clovis and Lubbock. Do you have a desire or feel a need to stretch the brand beyond that?
Definitely. That’s the plan, but before I help other people, I want to help the people where I’m from. Growing up, I see kids I went to school with that could have done special things but didn’t have a stage. I’m not happy with being the only one doing something big. In 10 years, I want there to be 10 camps by 10 successful people from Clovis who are trying to give something back. If this camp is changing the mindset of one or two kids, letting them know they can do big things, I’m good with that.