As a player, DeWayne Russell was everything a Grand Canyon fan could have wanted from the team’s star player. He was a local kid. He scored in bunches. He was a leader on and off the floor. And while Russell has exhausted his college eligibility, fans will be happy to know he still has plenty going on. Mid-Major Madness sat down with the former Lope to see what he has been up to and what the future holds.
MMM: Catch us up. What's life been like after GCU?
Russell: Life has been good after GCU. I am just getting used to the business side of basketball and bettering my game. I recently hired an agent named Eric Fleisher. I had two NBA workouts and played in the Portsmouth Invitational.
MMM: What are you plans for basketball now?
Russell: I am just waiting to hear about my next move and will more than likely be playing overseas. I have been gaining interest from countries like Italy, Belgium, Germany, Israel and Australia.
MMM: What did you learn working out with teams like LA and Dallas? Did you walk away with any feedback?
Russell: I learned a lot about the business side of basketball. I was able to learn about how to interview properly and more. I learned a lot from Magic Johnson when I got to pick his brain and really ask questions about my game. It was such an amazing experience. Walking away, I learned that I need to improve on my consistency from the three-point line, which is something I'm working on now.
MMM: I thought I heard at one point you might be trying to get a Phoenix Pro-Am together?
Russell: Yes, definitely. It is something I plan on making a reality in the future. Being from Phoenix, there aren’t too many good pro ams around and I would love to be the first one to start a successful pro am.
MMM: M’phasis is an AAU type program that your Uncle Will runs for truly disadvantaged and at-risk youth. What does this AAU program mean for the Phoenix area?
Russell: This program means a lot because there are not too many programs like it in the country. It really helps the at-risk kids and the community.
MMM: Now let’s take a look back. Talk about the Louisville game. Give me three emotions you felt before, during, and after the game.
Russell: I felt extremely anxious before the game. During the game, I felt relentless. My mentality was to just win us the game because it would have been big for GCU to beat Louisville at home. After the game, I felt exhausted. The next 24 hours were the craziest. I eventually had to turn my phone off and get ready for [the next day’s] practice.
MMM: What school or player did you look forward to playing against in the WAC?
Russell: I looked forward to playing New Mexico State because it was our biggest rival. I never looked at any individual match-up. I just liked the rivalry aspect that we had with NMSU.
MMM: Best moment as a Lope?
Russell: My senior night was my favorite moment at GCU. I had all my family members there and seeing all the love and support I had from the Havocs really meant a lot to me. Knowing that this was my last time I would be playing on this court, for Coach Majerle, was emotional for me.
MMM: Anything catch you off guard playing D-I ball?
Russell: At the beginning, managing school and basketball was tough but I got the hang as I got older.
MMM: What's the best lesson Dan Majerle has taught you?
Russell: The biggest lesson Coach Majerle has taught me was about loyalty. The type of relationship we had was brutally honest and real.
MMM: Do you see yourself in a coaching roll down the road?
Russell: Of course, I would love to be Coach Majerle’s assistant in a few years. I think that I will be a really good recruiter for Coach Majerle because I know exactly what I would want.
MMM: Talk to me about the G.H.O.S.T docu-series you and Suede Williams are doing. What do you two Hope to get out of this?
Russell: The G.H.O.S.T series is just a way that we are trying to show people a closer look into my story. G.H.O.S.T stands for "Go Hard Or Stop Trying." I believe that G.H.O.S.T can correlate to anyone in all of goals.
MMM: Lastly, you are engaged to the lovely Lex. How does being engaged and ultimately married help you zero in on the balance of family and basketball?
Russell: The person that Lex is makes it so easy to focus on my goals because I feel like my goals became our goals. We both have things we want to accomplish so it makes it easy for us to focus on whatever it is that has to get done.