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Q&A with Bruin Guard Jason Kapono
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  01/30/2001
Jason Kapono burst onto the UCLA basketball scene in 1999-2000 and established himself among the top players in the country as a freshman. While his accomplishments have been well-documented on the court, Jason is a true individual off the court.

Why did you start wearing a headband? What's the next trend?
The reason I started wearing headbands was because my roommate, Travis Johnson who is on the golf team, wanted me to do something kind of crazy, kind of daring. He went out and got me a headband and that's when I first started wearing it. I don't know what the next trend will be. I don't have any trends in mind. I don't think I'll come out with anything crazy. I may, but just because that's my personality to keep people off-guard, and they'll never know what to expect.

What is the word that best describes you?
Goofy.

What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't playing basketball?
I would probably be a garbage man. I have always dreamed of being a garbage man. Growing up, even though I was a sports person, I grew up dreaming about riding on the truck, picking up trash. I just thought it was so cool. Every time the trash man came through my neighborhood, I would run out and stare at him. I thought he was the greatest man alive. So, if I wasn't playing basketball, I'd be going to school at UCLA and then working as a full-time garbage man.

If you could play with anyone in the history of UCLA basketball, who would it be?
There have been a lot of great players. I would have liked to have played with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Bill Walton. I've heard so much about those two players. They were such great post players. Kareem had the sky hook, that was his patented shot.

Why did you come to UCLA?
I came to UCLA because it's a great school, to play basketball and just get a chance to go through the whole college experience. It's in a great city. I've grown up here and I've always dreamed about playing here, watching all the great players to come out of here, and the coaches that coached here. Also, for the school. It's a top 20 school and has the academic prestige. So if you come to school here and graduate, it sets you up for life outside of basketball.

If you could play another sport at UCLA, what would it be?
I would like to play golf. I was teasing my roommate that I could join the golf team, but I really can't because it's played at the same time as basketball. I love playing golf. Even though I grew up playing baseball, I have a newfound love of golf. I love going out there practicing, trying to get better.

Who do you model your game after?
I try to take things from other people, all the guys who aren't blessed with that much quickness, but they know how the get their shots off and know how to play the game. Guys like Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Reggie Miller. I try to take parts of their game and add it to mine so I can be a complete player.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I would trade places with (Basketball Sports Information Director) Bill Bennett. Bill's got the greatest job. He's the man of the hour. He's so casual, so cool. All he does is wear ties and Chuck Taylors. It would be awesome to have a great job, working at UCLA dealing with the media.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I sleep with the headband I'm going to wear the next day. I don't think that's crazy. I think it's pretty normal to sleep with your headband.

What were you like when you were seven years old?
I was a fat, chubby kid, who was pretty active. I played a lot of sports but I liked to eat a lot. I really loved food and I really loved sleep. I would go to school, eat a lot of food at snack and lunch, get fat, run a little of it off after school, do my homework, eat again, get fat, and then sleep a lot.


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