Rice stays very confident during first pro camp

Rice stays very confident during first pro camp
October 4, 2013, 4:15 pm
Share This Post

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Glen Rice Jr. drives past North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown during the second half at the RBC Center. Georgia Tech won 82-71.

(Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports)

Lots of learning takes place at training camp and not just on the court. So, what has Garrett Temple learned about one of the Wizards' rookies?

"Glen Rice (Jr.) is the biggest talker on the team, bar none," Temple cracked about the second-round pick, his tone offering a dose of big brother approval.

Who doesn't that surprise? Rice's former college coach Paul Hewitt, who recruited the highly touted high school prospect to Georgia Tech where the coach and player spent two seasons together. After his stint at the ACC program ended following the 2011 season, Hewitt resurfaced at George Mason, site of the Wizards training camp.

"Competitive, very competitive," Hewitt said of Rice, whose father was one of the most prolific perimeter shooters in the college and professional game.

"The way I look at it, when you have to step on the court with one of the greatest shooters in the world, it goes one way or another," Hewitt said inside the Patriot Center following the Wizards final practice on campus. "It's going to beat you into the ground or you're going to develop a high level of confidence. That's what I think playing against his dad has probably done for him."

As of Wednesday Rice said he had not spoken with his father since camp started, but had chatted with Hewitt. The wing guard said the brief discussions focused on simply working hard, but also served as a reminder about his hard court travels.

After Hewitt's departure, Rice lasted one more season at Georgia Tech before his own exit from the college game and entrance into the professional world. He played in the D-League last season before being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft.

"It's definitely a reminder that you have to stay humble and keep working," Rice said of Hewitt's presence during his first professional camp.

Getting a look at his former player reminded Hewitt how far Rice's now filled out frame has developed. Listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds when he arrived at Georgia Tech, the Wizards media guide lists him two inches taller and 31 pounds heavier.

"So much stronger. Looks great physically," Hewitt said of Rice. "He looked like Olive Oil the first time I coached him. Now he's just so strong. Glen's not one of those guys that plays out of control. Now more strength makes him tougher to guard. Now he can just use his body and maneuver to get places on the court, shield the defense. Great passer, great scorer and when he needs to be, a great athlete."

Even with the stepped up level of competition, Rice doesn't sound like a player overwhelmed by the situation.

"Basically I'm just playing basketball," he said after the final practice at George Mason. " You can't think too much about it. We've all been working, perfecting our craft since a young age. We all can play. Sometimes somebody is going to get the best of you. Sometimes you'll get the best off them. You just have to keep working  and do only the things you can control."