Cody Demps(Stockton Kings/USA National Team) Tyrone Ellis Really Wants To Win But Also Really Cares For You As A Person

Cody Demps is a 26 year old 193cm guard from Elk Grove playing his third professional season and second with the Stockton Kings. Last season he was given a 10 day NBA contract by the Sacramento Kings, but didn´t play a game. Last season with the Stockton Kings he played 50 games averaging  11.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.5%. As a rookie he played with the Reno Bighorns (NBA G League) playing 44 games averaging 7.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 76.9%. He played 114 NCAA games with Sacramento State from 2012-2016 and as senior played  22 games averaging 12.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 64.4%. He spoke to during the 2020 Americup qualifying games

No I don’t. You’l have to enlighten me.

Your currently playing for head coach Tyrone Ellis with G-League team Stockton Kings who won a league title in Germany in 2004, your current teammate Eric Mika played in Germany last season as well as James Webb and your ex teammate Nick Hornsby with Sacramento State is playing his third professional season in Germany.

Nick Hornsby is my boy. When I hear things like this I realize how small the basketball world is. It is great to see where basketball can take you.

Has coach Ellis mentioned his title win in Germany at some point this season possibly as motivation in certain moments of a game or practice?

He won’t really get into his title or stats from back then, but moreover will give insight of how his time was in Germany and will get into detail of what it was like being a player then.

Your teammate Nick Hornsby won the Pro B title last year and was forward of the year. Do you still keep in touch with him and see what he is up too?

Yes I do keep in touch with Nick. We will work out during the summers. I will be attending his wedding this summer. He is one of my close friends.

Congrats on being on the USA 12 man roster for the 2020 qualifying for the AmeriCup. Besides the normal blab la for it being an honor to paly for your country, what else is really cool about having this experience?

Obviously it is great representing my own country, but at the same time it is very eye opening that I’m representing something very special and it is more than just representing my city.

The team is primarily composed of G-League players and experienced Kyle Fogg who is earning his money in China. Does this feel like being part of a G-League allstar team?

Yes in a way it does. I have played with and against these guys and it is a blessing being able to play together with these guys. They are all very talented players.

How cool is it being there with teammate Eric Mika? Is he a guy that you have gelled well with this season on and off the court?

Yes he definitely is a guy that I have gelled well with. I work out with him as well and already knew him before he came to Sacramento. We have a very comfortable level with each other.

Besides playing helping your team win the games, do you see this as another step for you towards the ultimate goal of reaching the NBA?

Just being able to play for my country will be another step in my career. The exposure will be good on the international level and more eyes will see me.

What do you feel will be the most important thing that you want to soak up form well known head coach Mike Fratello?

Coach Fratello has a lot of knowledge and experience. Just being able to be around him and soak up as much as possible will be huge. He has been around so many great NBA players and just being able to hear him talk about them and what their mentality was like in certain situations will be beneficial.

Even though assistant coach Othello Harrington was a big man in the NBA, what have you appreciated from him the most in the few days that you have got to know him?

He is one of those guys that you can go to and ask him anything. He has been more than willing to help me out and give me tips and tricks about certain things on the court.

Your playing your third professional season and third in the G-League. What kind of experience has it been playing in this league and with so much experience and always heightening your game each season, do you sense a feeling that the NBA could become more of a reality or is the business just to unpredictable?

One of my goals is reaching the NBA and has been one that has always been on my mind. Coach Ellis has been very important in my development in helping me win games and improve my game. I have been very thankful for his guidance and that I have been able to focus on myself in certain situations and been able to improve my game and get closer to my goal.

You have played a very good season in the G-League with the Stockton Kings. Do you feel like consistency on the scoring end is something that will get you to the NBA sooner?

I think that my scoring will catch the eyes of people, but that isn’t the most important factor. Scoring is an important component to my game, but as soon as people discover that, then they will investigate other parts of my game like am I a team player and can I play defense. Scoring gets the attention, but it’s definitely not the only factor.

How important have ex NBA players like Hollis Thompson and Isaiah Canaan been for you? Have they given you some advice about reaching the big show?

You can get a lot out of these guys. They are always willing to answer my questions. I will ask them what they went through in practices or about former coaches. I just try to pick their brains as much as possible and soak up their tips as best as I can.

I started my basketball career in basketball in 2004 covering Tyrone Ellis win a title and have followed him since. I have never seen him coach. What have you learned to appreciate most about his coaching style?

I appreciate how he takes care and passion to details. I have noticed in my time here that he really takes details to another level. He always wants to win, but at the same time really cares for you as a person. He is always on the look out for you and watches out for you. He is a guy that I will be able to come to later in life and be able to pick his brain about anything.

Obviously is scoring not everything, but an interesting stat I have uncovered from you is that you improved your scoring each season in the NCAA as well as in the G-League. Is this something that you have noticed or am I the only one?

I have also noticed it. During the summers, I always work on my ability to score. During the season I don’t focus on my scoring. When the season is over, I will look back on my stats and then see where I can further improve my game in the off season.

How do you feel have you developed as a professional in the G-League and on what things are you working on hardest now to continue to move up the basketball ladder?

I feel like my understanding of tactics and strategies of the game is continuing to grow. My finishing skills and ability to get to the basket are two things that I’ve really gotten good at. I’m continuing to improve my shot making ability to move up the basketball ladder.

Last season was your first with the Stockton Kings (NBA G League) where you averaged 11.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.5%. The Sacramento Kings signed you to a 10 day contract, but you didn’t play a game. What kind of experience was it breathing some real NBA air?

It was an awesome experience. I met the team on the road. I saw how similar the preparation is in the NBA and the G League. I got to know some of the players and then seeing them in action from the bench and actually understanding I was really there was awesome.

Was your 32 points in the thrilling 114-113 win over the NAZ Suns one of your most fondest wins as a professional?

That game stuck out. I won against my former teammate Eric Stuteville of Sacramento State. It was a good win and a stat performance for me.

You were able to see how guards like Ben Mclemore, Buddy Hield and Deaaron Fox operated. Which one of these players impressed you the most with their game?

I would take Deaaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Everyone always talks about how flashy Fox is. He has another type of speed. Hield puts in so much work. I like how much confidence he has in taking shots. Even if he misses a couple shots, he still has that crazy confidence that he will make the next ones. I like to put in that extra work and develop that crazy confidence that he has.

As a rookie you played with the Reno Bighorns (NBA G League) averaging 7.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 76.9%. What was your wake up call to being a professional where you knew that the NCAA was very far away?

A wake up call was definitely the travel. That was a lot different to what I was used to. In college, the longest that I was ever on the road was something like 3-4 days. But in the G-League you can be away from home for something like 2-3 weeks. That was a big adjustment for me. Another big eye opener for me was playing with guys and then seeing them get called up to the NBA. Then realizing that I was just playing with them. That gave me that extra confidence that I’m not that far away from the NBA.

What has been the best example in the last years where you witnessed close hand that the NBA will always be a business first before anything else?

Seeing the player transactions and how the NBA teams can go about handling it. Sometimes you will see a player having been with a team for a long time and you would figure that there would be some superior loyalty, but in the end the most important thing is winning and if a team has to make changes then they will do it even if it means moving that guy who has been there for a while. It is hard for an organization to be emotional when changes have to be made. In the end it is always a business, but we players are human. When something like that happens a player might need comforting

What kind of an effect did 2004 NCAA champion Marcus Williams have on you in your first two professional seasons? You were lucky to be with him in Reno and Stockton. Was he like a mentor for you early on?

Yes he was. When I got there, I knew who he was, but I still needed to do some research on him. I not only profited from him on the court, but also off the court. He is a cool guy and I got to know him off the court. He is one of my good friends. He had a lot of experience and always had control for the game. I tried to adopt his patience. It was always a treat to watch him work the offense and see his control on the floor. He had had experience at all levels of basketball. His presence was huge for me when he was my teammate.

You played at Sacramento State from 2012-2016 playing a total of 114 NCAA games. What were your fondest memories on the court? You left as the seventh best in assists?

I think one of my biggest memories was being a part of the win against Weber State. My teammate Dylan Garrity hit a game winner from away from the hoop. Being able to see the game winner later on ESPN Sports Center was great.

You had many memorable games in school, but where does the 66-63 win over Arizona State rank where you had 22 points, 7 boards and 5 dimes?

That performance ranks up with the Weber State win. That was a huge win beating a top Pac 12 team where we were the underdog. That was a very happy moment. It is nice to look back at a win like that and see that hard work paid off.

How did head coach Brian Katz groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He prepared me best emotionally. I came to Sacramento State as a 18 year old and left as a 22 year old. I went through a lot of maturity in this time. He guided me on the court not only with basketball, but also off the court on how to become a man I really appreciate the faith and confidence that he had in me.

What are your fondest memories of Nick Hornsby? What will you never forget him about his game and character?

On the court Nick was super competitive. He is a very skilled player and did everything he could to win. He is very passionate to win and is a guy that I would always have on my pick up basketball team. He is the total opposite off the court. He is totally goofy, but very fun to be around.

How much potential and skill does he have to get very far up the basketball ladder?

I see Nick reaching the top level overseas. I have seen him improve each year, because he has been putting in the work over the summer. He has the right work ethic to reach the top.

Who won a one on one in practice back at Sacramento State who wins today in practice with the Kings you or Marcus Graves?

I had a couple of years on him. I won back then and would win now, but it would be a lot closer now.

You didn’t leave school in 2016 as you were two credits short and played football as a receiver catching 15 passes for 158 yards. Did this year of football benefit you in anyway for basketball in terms of how your body was used for football?

I think that playing football helped my basketball game. During my basketball days at Sacramento State, I was always floating around 190 pounds. When I played football, I ran less so my weight rose to 215 pounds. Now I weigh around 205 pounds. I feel most comfortable now. Putting on that weight definitely helped.

Who is the toughest guy that you faced in the NCAA that is in the NBA?

The toughest team I faced was UCLA. Zach Levine impressed me the most. Back when I played him, I didn’t know that he would reach the potential that he has now.

Please name your five best teammates of all-time?

Nick Hornsby, Mikh Mckinney, Eric Stuteville, Marcus Graves, Xavier Thames

Please construct your personal NBA Rushmore?

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaq, Dwayne Wade

Everybody is always comparing Michael Jordan to Lebron James, but how well does Kobe Bryant fit into this equation? Can one name him the greatest of all-time?

This question is so hard to answer. They played in different eras and were different players. All have been influential in some way. Steph Curry also has changed the game with the three pointer. Jordan will alwas be up there. Lebron’s career isn’t over yet. It is very sad that Kobe passed away. He brought so many positive things to the game. It’s a hard argument.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Batman The Dark Knight. It is one of my favorite movies. I watch it all the time.

Thanks Cody for the chat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s