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Interview with Wake Forest university Alum and Assistant Basketball Coach, Randolph
Childress
By: Aaron Spivey
Randolph Childress attended Wake Forest University from 1990-1995 as a member of the
Men’s Varsity Basketball Team. He helped corral an ACC Tournament Title for Wake in 1995
while averaging 35.7 PPG and 7 APG during tournament play. Upong graduatoin, Childress
entered the NBA Draft and was drafted
19th
overall in the
1st
Round by the Detroit Pistons. After
a couple seasons in the NBA, he continued his basketball career overseas until 2011. Randolph
Childress has since returned to his alma mater and assumed the role of Assistant Coach of the
team he once played for.
What led you to pursue a collegiate basketball career at Wake Forest University rather than
other colleges?
As a kid, I just wanted to be the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to
college. Prior to transferring to Flint Hill my junior year, I was in the typical public school with
large class sizes and was an average student. Once I transferred to private school, I was in a
smaller environment with a low faculty-to-student ratio and as a result, my grades shot up. I
became an A/B Honor Roll student. When it came time to go to college, I thought it would be
better for me to go to a smaller college because it would support me better academically. By that
time I had trimmed my list down to 5 schools: Providence, Seton Hall, Maryland, UNC and
Wake Forest. I knew Wake Forest would fit me best.
What was the atmosphere on campus when the basketball team was winning and competing
for an ACC Title?
Electric. It was an adjustment for me when I came back to see the difference between the Joel
when I was a player and the Joel now. We were winning and there was a great atmosphere. We
were selling out the Coliseum every night. All of the television stuff there is today wasn’t as
prevalent during my time, nonetheless, we were winning and the atmosphere was as good as any.
How can we get our University back to the atmosphere that you had during your time here at
Wake?
We are in the right direction, but I think times have changed now. People have to understand
what I mean by that. I didn’t make my decision to come to Wake until after my senior season in
the spring. Nowadays, 90% of players commit before their senior season even starts. Coming
into my senior year, I had far less scholarship offers than I ended with. In fact, the 5 schools that
were on my list hadn’t offered me yet. I was more of a mid-major prospect. I felt as though I
could be better. I worked a lot harder over that summer and during my senior season, programs
came. With all this being said, everyone wants what’s now. We have to give time for the players
that we’ve assembled here to develop. I think one of the most underrated things we had during
my time here was that as a freshman, there were juniors here that were really good players. There
was Anthony Tucker, Chris King and Derrick McQueen who were all good players, so when
Rodney Rogers and I arrived, the responsibility of the entire team wasn’t on us. We had older
guys to lean on and it allowed us to adjust over time until it became our program.
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