Friday, April 20, 2007

An Interview with Monty Singh Harika

I wrote about Monty Singh Harika earlier, the GW freshman who's not on the basketball team but entered the NBA draft. He claims to be the first Sikh in the NBA Draft, and he's been written about many other places - the DC Sports Bog, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (his hometown paper) and tons of other blogs.

So the other day I sent him some questions via email. Here's my questions and his responses:

CH- How'd you come up with this idea?

MSH- Well since my junior year of high school I was going to enter after high school under the same conditions, but David Stern had to put an age limit. I read an article where some kid entered the draft from LSU and that brought back the idea to me. My friends told me to just do it so I just did it. Why not?

CH- You've said this is to get publicity - what do you hope to accomplish? Would you do something with the publicity?

MSH- Just to get my name out there. Show the world who I am. Religiously want to get people to know and be recognized with my religion, which is Sikhism. I also did it to make new friends, and I have. I am trying to walk onto the team here and with this publicity when I get on the team next year or the year after I know people from the media will look back and say “hey remember that kid Monty?” Also a good chance to give people a good laugh.

CH- And what position would you play?

MSH- Shooting guard (I shoot lights out) or small forward. Working on my athleticism. Used to weight 290 pounds and used to be as athletic as Rosie O’Donnell, but now improved a lot and progressing very well.

CH- What NBA player would you consider yourself closest to, and why? Yinka Dare? Frederic Weis?

MSH- Neither. I’m a 6’5” version of Rasheed Wallace. I learned how to shoot from him with that high release, which goes in every time. We also both play dirty and talk a lot of trash. We also both now got the beard, but he got that random bald spot.

CH- I think Sikhs are best known for kicking ass in the British army in the World Wars, having an interesting syncretic religion, wearing traditional turbans, and cricket. How'd you you get into hoops?

MSH- Just to get the recognition out there. Many people do not know about my religion and mistake me for being Muslim. Taught a lot of people from my hometown (Pittsburgh) about my religion through hoops so can maybe educate the whole world with hoops one day.

CH- You've said you used to weigh 290 pounds. How'd you lose the weight? Atkins diet?

MSH- With motivation from my friends, who have always been like fam to me, and my coaches who supported me. Worked out A LOT and ate smart. I haven’t drank soda in two years. I watch what I eat. No secret. I hate it when people cry on shows like Oprah why their so fat. Put down that donut and tissue and start hitting the gym. A lot of strong mentality involved.

CH- You're from the Pittsburgh area. Why is there no NBA team in the Steel City?

MSH- We are a football city. Used to have an ABA team back in the days. We have Cleveland Cavalier preseason games and the games do not even get close to getting sold out. I am a Cavs fan (and always have been…aint no band wagon fan). Closest team to us so always been my team.

CH- If you made it in the league, would you use your windfall Mario Lemieux-style and buy a team, then move it to Pittsburgh?

MSH- No, no one would go to the games. If I make a team its going to be on South Beach or in California. I also want to live in a nice place.

CH- Shaq called himself the Big Aristotle. Would you call yourself the Big Guru Nanak, or would that be sacreligious?

MSH- YO that ain’t right man and disrespectful. Would never disrespect.

CH- Do you have any other nicknames?

MSH- Cadillac is my main. I used to be Escalade, hence the fat dude from And 1 mixtape tour, but I lost weight so became a skinny Cadillac. I also am called King Kong, Kazaam (Shaq wit a turban), rain man, and I could seriously go a whole article with my nicknames.

CH- What if you do get drafted by a pro team somewhere, say the CBA or a small foreign league. Would you go?

MSH- Getting paid to ball is what I want. Any where really. Would even go play in China for some cash.

CH- What if the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants of the Phillipine Basketball League drafted you?

MSH- Only if they pay me well enough. For them though, we talking bout millions.

CH- Your Facebook profile says you live in Fulbright. That place is a dump, huh?

MSH- You got that right. That’s why I’m in the gym, FSK, or Thurston all the time. Got a kitchen and that is only positive thing I can say, since I cook a lot.

CH- Do you ever play on that tiny basketball court next to Fulbright or the one near Quigley's? How about Barry Farms?

MSH- Heeellllls no is as simple as I can say it. Court is smaller than my bath room here.

CH- What are you studying, and how does that affect your hoops?

MSH- Psychology is my major. In pre-med thing (due to my parents making me). I just go along with it. Not that hard at all. I don’t really study, but after college if getting payed to play ball does not work I would go into coaching or athletic training. Those are the two things I am also passionate about.

CH- At GW, you've played a lot of rec hoops. Who's the best player you faced?

MSH- Myself.

CH- Would you consider your hops to be "mad" or "Woody Harrellson-esque"?

MSH- I ain’t got bounce cuz of my bad knees. But working with that with some people.

CH- And what do you have to say to any haters?

MSH- Why are they covering up their names. Talk to me to my face. If you got something to say to me say it. I could care less what people say though because I learned to not listen to other people. I’m having the time of my life and the best of friends. I could care less about those other kids. I want to make the team now and even get into the league to shut up all those haters. Thanks for giving me another reason.
Anyone can contact me on AIM at GWbBaller33 if you have things to say.


Anonymous said...

You're a joke Monty. Everyone is laughing at you.

Anonymous said...

the cat who wrote the previous comment is the joke. stop hating! get your weight up!

Anonymous said...


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