WLAP Radio Interview

Check out the audio of Nimbo’s radio interview with WLAP.

Radio Transcript:

Ryan Lemond:                     All right. Welcome back. Hour number two, big blue insider here. Ryan Lemond, in for Dick Gabriel, who is off out and about, we’ve got control board. Curtis as always, and they say the hardest thing to do is obviously win a championship. If you play sports, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, you play to win a championship. Hard enough just to win one time. Think of all the great basketball teams, Kentucky’s had since Coach Cal’s been here. He’s only won one national title. Then they say it’s impossible to repeat. That’s the hardest thing you could ever do. Try to repeat. Just think about over the years, not many teams in college basketball. Florida did it. UCLA did it. Cincinnati. Maybe they did it like the 50s that’s about it, dude. It doesn’t happen. Well, guess what? Some guys here in Lexington, K Y not only won a national championship last year, they backed it up, went down and won it again this year.

Ryan Lemond:                     Back to back. Jack for Charlotte Court. We’ve got them in the house today. I’ll give you a round of applause. Congratulations. Head coach Charles Grundy and also my man Nimbo. Everybody knows Nimbo in this town, man, man. Nimbo is a legend in this town. Nimbo, you went down and you won the title again. Congratulations.

Nimbo:                                     Thank you.

Ryan Lemond:                     Tough, tough. I mean when we talked, when you were in here last year, you knew it was tough just to go down and win it go back and win it again because now you had the target on your back this year.

Nimbo:                                     That was kind of our plan. We wanted to try to go back and see what it felt like and let these guys understand what it felt like to have that bullseye on your back. Last year, no one knew who we were. This year when they saw us walking the gym. They knew exactly who you were. Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Now how tough was it? I remember last year you had like, I think Cudi had it hid last second shot to win a game last year. How was it this year?

Nimbo:                                     Well, I’ll say the precious thing about this year is that we played 14 guys, so we just wore everybody down. So we kind of came with an agenda and we stuck to it and it was still tough. We just kind of wore people down. And then even in the championship, we played the fourth quarter again and we were down 12. What, probably about seven, eight minutes and came back to win the championship.

Ryan Lemond:                     All coaching. It’s all must be coaching you and Grundy. It had to be you guys all coaching right now. I.

Nimbo:                                     I can’t take that credit. We will take it early in the years when we taught them. But honestly, we talk about it all the time. We really enjoy watching them play. I didn’t get to say much, I just had to bite them for Mr. Simons here and there. But for the most part it was all them.

Ryan Lemond:                     Now, one of the coolest things I think about what you’ve done here with Charlotte Court. These kids have played together since they were like, what third grade, fourth grade something? I mean, maybe younger than that.

Nimbo:                                     Yes sir. I think that’s been the key to our success in Charlotte court. You know, we try to keep our kids, we don’t try to go back like some teams do and go out and have a new kid every weekend. You know, we try to build our kids up and if they haven’t, they’re not getting it. I mean, it’s our fault that we’re not teaching it.

Ryan Lemond:                     And I, I’ve asked you this before, I know the answer, but I want you to tell it again. Why Charlotte Court? Why do you pick that name for your team?

Nimbo:                                     It’s where I started. Little hope in the projects, but I fought my way out and now I want the same kind of hope to be in these young men that they can make it out of their situations. Not that they’re living in bad situations, but going on to the next level.

Ryan Lemond:                     Now you’ve got some good players and when you say you got 14 players, everybody wants to play.

Nimbo:                                     Yes.

Ryan Lemond:                     How’d the guys handle that?

Nimbo:                                     Well, you teach one thing. Everybody has the same goals, the same rules, the same expectations. It doesn’t change. So when you step on the floor, we’ll allow you to have your individualism, but you have to do it our way. A

Ryan Lemond:                     I’ve been around you, I’ve watched you guys play, I mean it’s basketball, but you’re teaching, you’re teaching how to be young men leaders in our community.

Nimbo:                                     Yes.

Ryan Lemond:                     And tell it, talk about that. That’s part of Charlotte Court. What you wanted to all tie together.

Ryan Lemond:                     Well, the main thing for this group is that we want is to get them to college. So we try to put them in situations where they understand about life. It’s bigger than basketball. At some point in time that ball’s going to stop. For example, you know, a lot of these kids can go anywhere, anywhere in the city to go to school. But they chose schools based on what they needed. You know what I mean? And they know they all could’ve kind of piled together, but they didn’t. So they went to get like Bubby’s in the Spanish immersion, which is Myles, my son, he’s in the Spanish immersion. You know, we have Joys who’s going over to play baseball. We have Didas down in West Jessamine. You know, we, we could’ve got these guys together, but we chose not to and let them take their own path.

Ryan Lemond:                     Now you, like I said, you grew up in Lexington, played at Henry Clay.

Ryan Lemond:                     No, no, don’t put that on you. Play, play the Bryan Station.

Ryan Lemond:                     Oh you were at Bryan Station station.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yes. I.

Ryan Lemond:                     I was thinking you were Henry Clay.

Ryan Lemond:                     Nah, don’t put that on. No blue devil.

Ryan Lemond:                     My fault.

Nimbo:                                     I shouldn’t have said that. You’ve seen a lot of great basketball talent come through this town, but this group, this is kind of a special group, you know.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yes, they are. Um, I wouldn’t trade them. Um, you know, I’ve had people come to me with probably kids that are probably a little bit more polished than them, but I wouldn’t trade these guys. I want to keep all 14.

Ryan Lemond:                     Nimbo Hammons. He did not play at Henry Clay. Bryan Station.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right, let’s introduce the guys. Ready? All right guys. We’re going to introduce you one at a time. You’re going to tell us, like I told you during the break, your name, your age, where are you going to school, what position you play your girlfriend’s name whenever you want. This is your chance, you’re national champions and we’re going to let you do it. So let’s go all the way around the room. All right, we’ll start right here.

Myles:                                       My name is Myles. That’s how I go to Bryan Station, High School. I’m 14 years old and I’m a combo guard.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right.

Ryan Lemond:                     My name is Dominique Chism. I go to Tates Creek High School. I’m 14 and I’ll play the two and three.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right.

Ryan Lemond:                     My name is Julius Scearce. I go to Frederick Douglass High School. I’m 14 and play anywhere you need me to.

Trent:                                        My name is Trent Grundy. I go to Frederick Douglass High School and I’m 14 years old.

Daniel:                                     My name is Daniel Kinley. I go to Lafayette high school and I’m 14 years old and I’m one and two,

James:                                      My name is James McKenzie. I’m 6’4″. I go to Tates Creek High School and I played any position you want me to.

Cameron:                               My name’s Cameron Logan. I’m 14 I go to the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. I’ll play the three and the four.

DeAjuan:                                 My name is DeAjuan Stepp. I’m 14 years old. I go to Westchester High School. I played the one two to three and four.

Khamari:                                 My name is Khamari Mcmullen. I go by Cootie. I go to Bryan Station high school and I’m 14 years old.

Ryan Lemond:                     Why we brought you guys in last year. Somebody in this room overslept. Somebody slept in and didn’t make it last year. Who was it?

Khamari:                                 It was me.

Ryan Lemond:                     It was Cootie! He didn’t make it last year. Welcome. I’m glad you made it Cootie. All right. All right. So we’re going to go around the room, and I’m going to ask you guys a couple of questions. All right Bubby, we’ll just start with you. Alright, now you know that’s dad. Dad’s coach, he’s coached you guys since you were little, but I guess if anybody has kinda encapsuled what he’s trying to do with Charlotte Court with you guys, it’s, it’s you. What is it? What is it all about? Charlotte Court. What is it about?

Myles:                                       Uh, it’s not just about basketball, it’s just about helping families and other people around and it just Charlotte Court gives kids a chance to be kids again and not every other organization does that.

Ryan Lemond:                     How was it going down there knowing that you had the target on your backs this year?

Myles:                                       Uh, it was, I mean it was just like a regular, like we already knew that we was gonna win another championship cause we stepped in that gym and we just played our butts off and I dunno, we just want it.

Ryan Lemond:                     Alright. Dominique, you’re a new guy. You know, you weren’t here last year. This year. Was this your first season with this team? Did you play last year? He was here. You were here in the studio last year. I’m sorry, I don’t remember. Maybe you, maybe you grew on me. This, you got taller this year. So back to back titles. I mean, what’d you think about that?

Ryan Lemond:                     I think it was fun. It was a great opportunity to go and I was just happy I got to go again.

Ryan Lemond:                     How tough is it? I mean, when you go to a big national tournament like that, how tough is it when you walk in the gym and you know it’s, you’re going to be playing, fighting against a really good team.

Speaker 3:                              It was hard, but we just worked, but we always work hard so we knew we was going to win.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right, Julius. Julius Scearce. I mean, you’re one of two. You and DeAjuan now have three national championships. You won one in baseball when you’re eight. Now you’ve got two in basketball. Dude, you’re gonna. You think it’s easy man it ain’t. What you guys are doing? It’s pretty special.

Ryan Lemond:                     It’s not, um, it definitely requires a whole lot of work. Like going down there and knowing that teams would, or knowing that we had a target on their back made me really want to work harder.

Ryan Lemond:                     Who was the tough, what was the toughest game down then in Myrtle beach for this tournament?

Ryan Lemond:                     Championship game against Fourth Quarter, a basketball club.

Ryan Lemond:                     Fourth Quarter basketball club. Where were they from?

Ryan Lemond:                     Cleveland.

Ryan Lemond:                     Cleveland. And what was, what was the final score then?

Ryan Lemond:                     I do not remember.

Ryan Lemond:                     But you guys won. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter. All right. Trent Grundy, athletic family, believe it or not, your dad was a heck of an athlete too at Owensboro high school. Does he ever tell you that?

Trent:                                        Yeah.

Ryan Lemond:                     Once in a while he’ll tell you how good he was. Can he still go out and hoop a little bit?

Trent:                                        Uh, I’m not gonna lie. No.

Ryan Lemond:                     No, not at all. Julius said the championship game was the toughest. What about the other games that led up to it? The quarterfinal. Was there another tough game where you thought you ever had a doubt or anything?

Trent:                                        No, not really. They were all like, they were all a breeze, but yeah, Fourth Quarter was the hardest though.

Ryan Lemond:                     Did you guys play them? Just, is that the only time you played them or did you play them earlier in the tournament or anything?

Trent:                                        That was the only time.

Ryan Lemond:                     And how many games total did you play?

Trent:                                        What was it? Seven or eight. Seven, eight, seven straight.

Ryan Lemond:                     Did you lose at all? No. Went undefeated?

Trent:                                        Yes.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right. Daniel Kinley. I, by the way, I coached Daniel Kinley and like upward basketball. Our offense was give the ball to Daniel and get out of the way. Right. Were you with D on that same team? I had DeAjuan in upward basketball. That’s why we were undefeated. We had these, you had these two guys. Daniel, congratulations. Championship’s a championship again. How’s that? How’s it feel?

Daniel:                                     It feels good. Yeah. It was exciting to go down there this year. You can get the second one.

Ryan Lemond:                     Well what was the toughest part for you? Uh, in, in all the games down there. Cause I mean you’re playing a good team every time out with a bigger, faster, stronger or what? What do you think?

Daniel:                                     There were some bigger teams than us. We just out worked them. Outplayed them and wore them down.

Ryan Lemond:                     Is that the key? You guys just work harder than everybody like Nimbo said you just wear them down.

Daniel:                                     Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     What is that? Pressed? You just press the whole time.

Daniel:                                     We go man to man, full court, wear them down, get the ball and go.

Ryan Lemond:                     Awesome. All right. We’ve got James McKenzie now you are, you were not on the team last year.

James:                                      Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Is that right?

James:                                      Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Okay. See, I thought Dominique was also, wasn’t on the team last year. Saw you play though. And I asked some of my friends – Ron Scearce, like who is that guy? Tates Creek, right? You go to Tates Creek. What’d you think about this experience?

James:                                      Well, to be honest, it’s one of the hardest years of my life. Basketball wise, um, probably got ran harder than I’ve ever gotten run before. Um, thought I was going to die at some points. To be honest with you, it was, it was really difficult. But overall, um, I’ve gotten so much better in so many different ways and I’m just transforming into a beast. I guess is what I’m going to say

Ryan Lemond:                     Because you one, the big guys, I mean, you know, you, you and D and E you’ve got just come into some of the big guys. Is that, is that what’s kind of your role?

James:                                      Oh yeah. I was pretty versatile. I like to think. Um, there’s the times where I was playing the three and the times where I was playing center against kids that are twice my size and weight though. I mean, yeah, I’m just trying to be very versatile.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right. Cam Logan also another athletic family. Bro. Had an uncle played in the NFL. What your dad played at Marshall? You had a brother played at Kentucky, another brother who played football, Michigan. Pretty, you got a good athletic family there?

Cam:                                          Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     They, they and you are, you’re, you’re the baby, right? They’re all, everybody’s now pulling for you now.

Cam:                                          Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yup. What’d you, what’d you think about the tournament? The victory down there?

Cam:                                          The tournament – it was, it was hard at first, but we, we pulled through at the end. We just worked down teams and we just pulled through, won the championship.

Ryan Lemond:                     And you can tell me the truth. Coaches aren’t here. Was there a point where you guys were actually nervous any in any game at any time do you think?

Cam:                                          I don’t think we was nervous at any game cause we knew we was going win.

Ryan Lemond:                     You, you knew, you knew when you stepped on the court you were better than everybody.

Cam:                                          Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yeah. Did they seed the tournament like were you guys a number one seed or anything? Number two seed. You were a number two seed. Who was the number one team? The team that was in the championship. Fourth Quarter. Whatever. All right, DeAjuan Stepp. Another guy I’ve coached before won a baseball world series. Now you’ve got two national championships and when did you become a man? My God. You’re six, four, six, five walking down here. When did that happen?

DeAjuan:                                 I would say like seventh grade.

Ryan Lemond:                     Seventh grade. Uh, you were used to be a guard. Now you’re what? You are one of the big guys, but you can still play on the wing.

DeAjuan:                                 No, I still run the one.

Ryan Lemond:                     You still run the one. Is that true? You let him run the run at a six, four point guard.

Nimbo:                                     They all get a chance at it.

Ryan Lemond:                     What was it like for you this time around?

DeAjuan:                                 It was good to win back to the bag, but when we went down there I got thing. It was a breeze down there cause I don’t think. There was some good teams down there but we just knew he was going to win when we came down there.

Ryan Lemond:                     Was it tougher last year? Was this year you guys just why was it you got so much better this year?

DeAjuan:                                 Yeah, I think it was tougher last year when we got a lot better over the summer.

Ryan Lemond:                     Good. All right. Last but not least my man Cootie first of all, thank you for getting out of bed and making it this time. Getting here. Uh dude, congratulations back to back national championships. I know you’re one of the spark plugs, one of the leaders one of the point guards. Thank you sir. How is it when you get a walk off the court, you got that national championship trophy.

Khamari:                                 It felt like The best thing ever for real. Winning it back to back is one of the best things you can do in life.

Ryan Lemond:                     That’s the thing. It’s hard to win a championship. You guys go down there and win two in a row.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     But why? What, what makes you guys so different? So special.

Ryan Lemond:                     Cause what the coaches from Charlotte Court instill in us. is hard work and defense. Offense is a key, but defense wins games and championships. I.

Ryan Lemond:                     Guys, has Cootie ever seen a shot that he didn’t like?

Ryan Lemond:                     No sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     No sir. No doubt. Come across half-court Cootie. It’s going up. He’s got the ball. Well look guys, congratulations man. I’m so proud of you guys and happy for you guys. We’re going to take a commercial break, come back and talk a little more to you. These are the guys that we’re going to see on all the highlights on channel 27 channel 18 channel 36 for the next four years, they’re all now freshmen in high school.

Ryan Lemond:                     This is where everybody’s going to be – You’ll see them now for the next four years when the college coaches come to town to watch basketball players. It’s going to be these guys in this room right now. Trust me. They’ll be playing college basketball and we’ll talk a little bit more too whenwe come Charlotte Court in the house on Big Blue Insider.

Ryan Lemond:                     There it is special requests for Charlotte Court, “Back to Back” by Drake. I sound like I know what I’m talking about don’t I. Cootie knows. Hey, I don’tknow what I’m talking about. We got Charlotte Court in the house – back to back national championships winning it, uh, down in Myrtle beach for the second year and ago. The national travel basketball association, uh, seventh and eighth grade champs, Charlotte court from right here in Lexington. We have, we’ve seen these teams, these youth teams go on and, and play in little league worlds. Uh, Cal Ripkin world series and things like that from here in Lexington. This team’s done it two years in a row on the AAU circuit and Nimbo, we actually have a question for you. You are, you are. You’re up for that?

Nimbo:                                     Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right. We got Shawn who’s called in to talk to Nimbo. Sean, you’re on with Nimbo. Hammons go ahead.

Speaker 5:                              Hey Nimbo, this is Shawn What’s going on? Your favorite referee?

Nimbo:                                     Yeah. How are you doing Mr. Garden?

Shawn:                                     I good. Congratulations to you. And your team, first of all.

Nimbo:                                     Appreciate it.

Shawn:                                     I kind of question basically how much AAU has changed the recruiting process from the time the time you was being recruited coming out of high school.

Ryan Lemond:                     That’s a good question, Shawn. We appreciate that. Thanks for the call.

Nimbo:                                     Well, high school was the main, the main show when I was coming through. We had a AAU with Charlie Gibbons and, but it wasn’t as big of a stage as it is now. Um, so every, every coach who saw us on the circuit had to come to our high schools. Now it’s so big, you really don’t have to come to the high schools.

Ryan Lemond:                     That is a good point. AAU now at that and that’s where the college coaches come. You know, you don’t see them a lot of high school games, but they’ll come watch him play at these AAU showcase tournaments. So that’s why it’s important. It’s why you got to take him to Myrtle beach to get him some exposure.

Nimbo:                                     Yes sir. And also to, um, it’s on the coaches to really seek out tournaments during the school year where coaches go. You can get recruited out of high school, but you really have to go seek it out. Yeah.

Ryan Lemond:                     You went to George Washington? Yes, sir. Was there even an AAU team in Bryan state? I mean, in Lexington at that time?

Nimbo:                                     Uh, Charlie Gibbons, um, Anthony Hawkins, uh, though were the main two guys and, uh, they had a team, they had teams and, uh, but after that, I don’t remember anybody.

Ryan Lemond:                     There’s good talent. Michael Allen, Barry Bowman, some of you guys at about that age. I mean, I’m sure there was a good, you guys had a good team.

Nimbo:                                     Yes, we had, we had a good team. But like I say, at that time, you know, Charlie Gibbons and Anthony Hawkins were the only ones that were giving the time. Yeah. Somebody from Henry Clay called and said they did, they thought for sure. You played at Henry Clay? No, I bailed out on him. I was supposed to go, but I went to Bryant Station.

Ryan Lemond:                     Is that what happened? Oh, okay. Alright. Alright. Uh, I gotta ask Julius a question. Julia Srce. Cause they just told a story about you. Yes sir. They said that they were the reason they won the champion. One of the reasons they won the championship game cause they made you guard the center. What was the center? How big was he?

Julius:                                       Six. Five.

Ryan Lemond:                     How tall are you?

Ryan Lemond:                     Six foot.

Ryan Lemond:                     So you’re, they say, Julius, you got to guard the big guy. Why? How’d that work and why did it work?

Julius:                                       Uh, like he mentioned earlier at work cause they were, they were beating us on the pick and roll. So they set the screen. I can come over and I can help guard the guard as well as D stepping back and help guard the big guy.

Ryan Lemond:                     So they had D guarding the point guard and you guarding the big guy. So when they did a pick and roll, boom. Now you’re guarding who you should be guarding.

Julius:                                       Right.

Ryan Lemond:                     All right.

Julius:                                       And there’s times that if we wanted so we could just switch.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yeah. Did you, could you hit, could you guard the point guard out there? Big fella DeAjuan?

Julius:                                       Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     Ah, that’s right. I like that. Heck yeah, I’m in it. You go to West Jessamine all the other guys here are all Lexington schools. We just talked about that. It’s a good representation of all the schools here in town. That’s kind of cool. Isn’t it D?

Julius:                                       Yes sir.

Ryan Lemond:                     So, but you got to play against each other during the season. Now what’s that?

Julius:                                       It’s fun to go against the people that’s on your AAU team, but I don’t know. It’s cool though.

Ryan Lemond:                     Yeah. And then Bubby, I’m going to ask you, I mean you tell me, some of you guys had to pick, had to, got to choose because the school districts were split up and changed this year. It’s kinda tough cause you got, you got friends on every team.

Myles:                                       Um, I just chose Bryan Station because I thought it was a good pick and I just think if you got talent you could play anywhere, anywhere you want to.

Ryan Lemond:                     There’s just, there’s just so much good young talent in this town. I mean there really is basketball town and this is the class. And I do want to mention a couple of guys who aren’t here that are on the team, Elias Richardson. That’s E right. Big E. He goes to Scott County, right? Brady Switzer. Switzer. Where does he go to school? That’s Nicholas County guy. All right. And then Luke Stone also matter where’s he go. Oh, he’s the one that moved to North Carolina and then there’s Shemar O’Roy-Ford. He goes to Frederick Douglass and Mikaleb Coffey.

Nimbo:                                     Yes, he plays football play at Tates Creek now.

Ryan Lemond:                     So again, it got a good diverse group of guys that go to different schools and they handed me this note. You guys have any idea what your record is this year against eighth grade competition? Any idea how many, how many losses you think you got all year?

Group:                                      No more than 10. Like five.

Ryan Lemond:                     Who said six? Cam? Cam Logan said six. How many wins?

Ryan Lemond:                     Probably over a hundred.

Ryan Lemond:                     Well you got 99 on the season and then four eighth grade competition. Your record is 64 and six. That is your record in this year against eighth grade competition. I want to know who the six teams of beats you guys. There’s no way somebody’s going to beat you guys. Is there?

Ryan Lemond:                     They was all on the circuit.

Ryan Lemond:                     Oh, it was on the circuit?

Group:                                      They barely beat us. We, we, we show competition. Anybody we play.

Ryan Lemond:                     And I think it’s important to know you guys ran the table. We talked about that down at Myrtle beach. Congratulations. All right guys. Look, thank you so much for coming in. Congratulations. National champs back to back. We’re all proud of you. We’ll expect bigger and better things and be back in the studio next year. All right. Yes sir. All right, we’ll see you guys Charlotte Court. We’ll be back after this commercial break here on big blue insider.