One-on-One With Niko Roberts

Nov. 12, 2010


Q: Why did you decide on KU?

A: “Coach Self gave me the opportunity to walk-on, and Kansas is the best program in the nation so nobody would turn down the offer if they had a chance to come play here and be a part of this program.”

Q: What’s your relationship with Coach Self?

A: “I have known Coach since I was about three or four years old. We have always kept in touch since my family and I have been gone for the last seven or eight years, but we have always talked. He saw me play over the summer and thought that I would be able to walk on here and contribute to the team.”

Q: How did you get the name Niko?

A: “My mom always called me it. For some reason I just hate the name Nicholas, so I never tell anyone my name is Nicholas.”

Q: What is your relationship with your teammates?

A: “We don’t really see each other as walk-ons and scholarship players. I am just as close with the walk-ons as I am with all of the other players on the team. We’re all a family.”

Q: Who would play you in a movie about yourself?

A: “I am going to have to go with (musical artist) Drake. Unfortunately, everyone says I look like him, so I would have to go with Drake.”

Q: If you could see any sporting event from the past what would it be?

A: “One of the Finals games featuring Magic (Ervin Johnson) versus (Larry) Bird. I have seen tapes of them and they just battled. I think it would be crazy just to be in that environment and see them play.”

Q: What will you be doing 10 years from now?

A: “Ten years from now I’m going to be a physical therapist. I would like to own my own practice. Hopefully I will be the physical therapist for a basketball team so I can stay around the sport.”

Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

A: “It would have to be super-strength. There is nothing you can’t do if you have super-strength.”

Q: Where do you spend most of your money?

A: “McDonalds.”

Q: If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: “Rice and beans with chicken, it’s the best food there is.”

Q: How would you compare New York to Kansas?

A: “People in Kansas are a lot nicer, and a lot more laid back. It takes a little getting used to because everybody here is just so chill and in New York everybody is in a little bit of a hurry. They are almost like opposites.”

Q: How would you compare the culture of New York to Kansas culture?

A: “People here definitely have a different way of dressing, whatever style you like is what you do. And the music here; it takes a little bit of getting used to. There is a lot of country, but in terms of hip-hop and stuff that is different, too. The hip-hop here is slower than the hip-hop in New York.”

Q: Who is your favorite musical artist?

A: “Right now my favorite artist is probably Drake, but here they have me listening to Gucci Mane and Lil’ Boozie and I have never listened to them before.”

Q: What do you miss the most about New York?

A: “There is more stuff to do. You don’t have to drive an hour to get to a mall. Everything is closer.”

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

A: “I wish I could jump higher. I have no bounce at all. I can barely dunk and it gets on my nerves. I am tired of getting clowned for that. I have to work a lot harder than my teammates do to dunk.”

Q: If you had to enter a dance contest with any of your teammates who would you take?

A: “I would probably take Royce (Woolridge) or Rio (Mario Little). We probably dance the most out of everybody on the team. I thought we killed it at Late Night.”

Q: What is your favorite part of being on the KU basketball team so far?

A: “So far it has been Late Night. That was definitely the craziest part of it.”

Q: Had you been to any Late Nights before that?

A: “I went to one or two Late Nights when my dad was coaching here, but you don’t realize how fun it is and how cool it is until you are actually in Late Night [as a player].”

Q: If you could trade basketball abilities with any one of your teammates who would it be?

A: “Probably Tyshawn (Taylor). He is so quick, so long; he can finish, and he’s just really fast.”

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: “I hate it when the team makes fun of me because I’m short. Compared to everybody else I’m normal sized, but being in that locker room I am considered short.”