One-on-One with Mark
October 20, 2006
By Andrew Stephens MY LIFE “Basketball Reflections”
How did you get involved with the game of basketball?
I actually started at the age of 5. My father was a high school coach in Minnesota and we eventually moved to Englewood, Colo., where he coached at Englewood High School. At a young age I would tag along with him at practice. After practice, his players would work with me and that’s how the game grew on me.
Funniest story you can share from your playing career?
During the 1992-93 season with the Pistons, Jeff Ruland was trying to make a comeback. I remember our coach, Ron Rothstein, yelling towards the end of the bench for Jeff to get into the game. Jeff quickly jumped off the bench tugging on his warm-up pants and he proceeded towards the scorer's desk. For some reason he couldn’t get them off and started stumbling all over the floor. Everyone on the bench could not stop laughing. I believe it made some type of NBA highlight tape that season.
What is your most memorable moment? NCAA? NBA?
NCAA: My final college game against Duke in 1991 in Indianapolis. Although we fell a little short, not too many seniors can say their final NCAA game was for a championship. My second most memorable moment was my final game at Allen Fieldhouse. It hit me pretty hard when I came to the realization that I wouldn’t be playing there any more.
NBA: Being drafted into the NBA. It was dream growing up and once I heard Commissioner Stern announce me as the 26th pick, my dream became a reality.
Lets break down Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony in three categories:
What makes him special?
It has been fun to watch him mature as a young player out of Syracuse to where he is today. Carmelo is very deceptive when you look at him physically. I’ve had many opportunities to watch him up close and personal and he is extremely athletic, quick off the ground and blessed with a lot of God given talent.
Another fact that is overlooked is his relationship with the fans. He always takes the time to sign autographs and take photos. As long as I’ve known him he’s always been good with the community and fans.
What player(s) from the past does he remind you of?
Melo's game kind of reminds me of Sir Charles' game. They both have that power finesse game, can shoot it from outside with range and pound you in the post. Their versatility is quite similar when you look at it. Charles and Melo have the ability to take it coast to coast off of a rebound and have surprising explosiveness when they leap. Melo is the representation of the new age of power and finesse. He has clearly defined himself in this new NBA generation.
Prediction on Carmelo’s 2006-07 NBA season:
The exciting thing is he is going to keep maturing and continue to shine. I expect a huge year from him this season and he’s starting to make strides to work on his game defensively.
Which KU alum currently in the NBA do you follow the most? (Kirk Hinrich, Drew
Gooden, Nick Collison, Paul Pierce, Raef Lafrentz Wayne Simien, Jacque Vaughn
and Scott Pollard)
That’s a tough one because I keep an eye on all of my KU boys. If I had to choose one it would be Kirk Hinrich because he’s one of the more recent guys to come out. Thanks to his awesome play in Chicago and his Team USA selection he has been more visible lately.
Advice you have for young athletes today?
The biggest thing with this generation is to come in as prepared as you can be. My best advice is to take care of your body, maintain a healthy diet and find someone you trust to handle your finances. Today, you can set yourself up with your first contract. The NBA comes and goes quick. Enjoy every minute of it as if it was your last.
Mark Randall currently works
for the Denver Nuggets as a Community Ambassador
POST NBA - “Life After Basketball”
What are you currently doing?
I currently reside in Lonetree, Colorado, with my two children, Samantha, 7; and Dylan, 5. I work for the Denver Nuggets as their Community Ambassador. In the summer you’ll find me running my local basketball camp during the months of July and August.
Why you are a member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association?
To be honest with you I wasn’t aware it existed until I started talking to Clyde Drexler and learned more abut it. My first trip was the July meeting we had in Las Vegas. It was great to catch up with the guys down there. After experiencing that entire weekend I was pleased with the direction of the Retired Players Association. I’m looking forward to seeing more guys join the family and grow the brotherhood.
EXTRA FUN FACTS
MUST SEE TV…What programs do you watch religiously every week?
Grey’s Anatomy, World Series of Poker, home improvement shows and anything golf related.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy playing golf, spending time with my children, giving back to the community on my personal time and running my basketball camp. When I have extra time on my hands you’ll find me relaxing at my second residence in Colorado overlooking the mountains.
If you did not play basketball what would have been your alternate career?
I would be either a Major League pitcher or a drummer in a rock band.
Favorite vacation getaway?
Favorite athlete to watch outside of basketball?
Peter Forsberg, center for the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL).