Monday, May 18, 2009

Catching Up: With Courtney Fells

Four years after stepping foot on NC State’s campus, Courtney Fells has accomplished a lot of what he came here to do. While most will remember the show stopping dunks, the silky smooth jumper and the lock down defense, many will forget the roller coaster ride of a career Courtney endured. From coaching changes to injuries, Courtney Fells fought through quite a bit of adversity over his tenure with the Wolfpack, but in the end there were certainly no regrets. Courtney will be remembered as a consummate team player who represented NC State well. We caught up with Fells to get an update on his plans after college and a recap of his 4 years with the Pack….check it out.

WPH: So Courtney, now that you’re done with college basketball, what’s next?

Fells: Well right now I’m in the middle of workouts for NBA teams. I’ve worked out for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets and I’m currently in San Antonio for another workout with the Spurs.

WPH: How has it been? Have you been playing well?

Fells: Yea, I’ve been shooting the ball well, playing good defense and really just playing hard.

WPH: That’s great to hear, you know we’re all rooting for you. Now, most of our readers don’t know what all goes into an NBA workout. Can you explain to them what it’s like?

Fells: It’s no joke. The first then you do when you get there is testing. They test your bench press, like you’ll have to press 185lbs as many times as you can. Then they’ll test your ball handling. They make you put on these glasses so you can’t see the ball or look down. Then you do a bunch of ball handling drills where you need to do different types of ball handling moves as fast as possible. There is a computer chip in the ball and the computer tracks your ball handling abilities. Next, they set up cones and you’ll do agility drills, like defensive slide as fast as you can around the cones. After that they make you run from baseline to baseline and back to test your speed. I’ve been in front for that most of the time. Then they’ll get you in groups of six, pair you up , and you’ll do a type of full court lay-up drill with a rebound and an outlet pass. Then we did some shooting drills from different spots on the floor and they kept percentages. Then some one dribble pull-ups, and they keep percentages on that as well. Then, basically, you’ll do some one on one, 2 on 2 and 3 vs. 3. All together they are pretty long, maybe about 2 hours and 30 minutes. They’re no joke either, you’ll be drenched in sweat when you’re finished.

WPH: Wow you’re not kidding it’s no joke. So they really work you hard, huh? Did you feel prepared or was it harder than you expected?

Fells: No, I’m in good shape so I was able to do it. In Coach Lowe’s practices helped me be prepared. We did a lot of the same drills so I felt pretty confident in the workouts.

WPH: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the NBA Scouts?

Fells: Good feedback. They’ve talked to me about the draft and I feel good about it. Probably the best feedback was from the Rockets.

WPH: We’ve heard that you were able to take in the LA/ Houston playoff game the other night and got to hang out with Josh Powell quite a bit. Did he give you any advice as far as what to expect in the NBA or with the workouts?

Fells: Oh yeah definitely. Josh is like a mentor to me. We’ve been texting a lot and he just always tells me before the workouts to just have fun and to not stress. He always tells me to play hard and that I can shoot it so I have nothing to worry about.

WPH: That’s great that you have a guy like Josh who’s been through it all, I bet that helps. So, we heard that you recently graduated from State on time. What was your major and what does getting that diploma mean to you?

Fells: I got my bachelors in Communication. It’s really a good feeling knowing I’m a graduate, but I really can’t believe how fast it went. My mom and I were just talking about it today and it was really one of her main goals for me. It’s just a good feeling.

WPH: That’s awesome to hear. Congrats! Now you played 4 years with the Pak and I’ll tell you, you certainly provided some exciting moments in your time here. Tell us about your time at State, how would you describe the experience?

I’d say it was a roller coaster ride. I was recruited and came in under Coach Sendek. Then, he left and didn’t say good bye so that was kind of hard, but Coach Lowe really came in and kept the team together. I definitely learned a lot during my time at NC State. I feel like now I’m stronger mentally from overcoming adversity. I also think it helped me playing for two different coaches. They were different. So I learned to adapt to two different style of coaching. That should help me at the next level if I get traded or have to play for a new coach, I’ll know what it’s like. Coach Sendek was always talking about defense and Coach Lowe does too but he’s more about taking care of the basketball and executing on offense.

WPH: What moments would you say stood out the most in your 4 years with the Wolfpack?

Fells: I’d say that I have 4 or 5 moments that really stood out. My freshman year it was making the NCAA tournament and getting in the game against Texas. My Sophomore year it was definitely beating Carolina when I was the high scorer, that was definitely one moment that stands out the most. Also the ACC Tournament where we finally started to click and get healthy and we made that run. My Junior year it was winning the old spice classic and getting the MVP of that tournament. My senior year was ok but I was injured. A lot of people said I just had a “tweaked” ankle but most people don’t know that I played most of the season with a torn ligament, a bruised bone and a high ankle sprain. That happened against Davidson and I wasn’t supposed to play again until the end of January but I played through it, and actually re-injured it against Marquette on a dunk.

WPH: Wow, I didn’t know the ankle injury was that serious. Well, just so you know, and I think I speak for all Pack fans, we appreciate you giving it your all even when you were injured. Is there anything you’d like to say to all the Wolfpack fans reading this?

Fells: Yeah. It was a great 4 years and I have no regrets about coming to NC State. I had a great time and GO WOLFPACK!

WPH: Thanks Courtney and we’ll be in touch and continue covering you wherever you end up. Keep up the good work and good luck in your workouts!

Fells: Thank you.

**Another interview with a former Pack player and another true gentleman. Courtney Fells deserves every ounce of respect that he gets. He was polite and very well spoken. We’d like to thank him for his 4 years of heart and hustle and we wish him all the success in the world.


31 Responses to "Catching Up: With Courtney Fells"
  1. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Great job Courtney we are behind you 100%. Thank you for your time with us here in Raleigh!


  2. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    sf59 here:

    very good interview!!!

  3. SeeMeRedSeeMeWhite said...
    May 18, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    Thank you #4. You will always be a member of the pack family. Thanks WPH for catching up with these guys and letting them know that the Pack fans have a special place in our heart for players who gave it their all for 4 years.

    Thank you courtney and good luck!

  4. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Courtney will be checking the article out at some point today. If you want to thank him or wish him luck...he'll read it.

  5. KChill said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    Great interview, WPH! We're all pulling for you 100% Courtney, good luck in whatever the future holds for you.

  6. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    Fells, we all know you are an elite athlete. Hope you get all the right breaks in order to have a nice pro career. Thanks for battling over the years.

  7. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    Pure Class. Thanks for everything Courtney!


  8. ppack3 said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:36 AM


    Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the University that we all love. We all know that there were ups and downs, as there are in life. But, you gave us some fantastic memories during your stay in Raleigh. I'm sure David Thompson is sad to see you graduate, because you had to have secured a special place in his heart with your aerial acrobatics! Some of your dunks were Jordan-esque! And, when your perimeter jumper was on, there wasn't a better shooter in the league. And we will NEVER forget the Dook block! NEVER! That was one of the sickest defensive plays that I have ever witnessed, on any level. any NBA team would be lucky to have you on their roster, and I know that you are going to have a long NBA tenure if you continue to work relentlessly, and never give up. Thanks again, for running with the Pack!
    Go State!

  9. ppack3 said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    WPH, is it possible to sign up for e-mail follow-ups on a thread before the second time you post? The first time that I post on a thread it doesn't give me the option.

  10. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    I think if you sign into your google account first (via before you try to write a comment, or even come to it will recognize you right off the bat and you will be able to click the "Email follow ups to *******" should work.

    I hope I'm answering the question you're asking.

  11. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Thanks for your 4 years #4! You provided some serious highlights and some spectacular games! Thanks especially for giving it your all last season with such a serious ankle injury.

    I have to say, I think on of my favorite plays was when you blocked a shot, palmed the ball behind your back, then hurled the ball down the court for an assist. I think it your junior year against Duke?

    Take care Courtney, best of luck to you!


  12. 74Doug said...
    May 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Courtney, you do everything with class. Thank you for your loyalty and hard work. We will miss you. You will always be a great Wolfpacker.

  13. wolfpack4eva said...
    May 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Thank you Fells, I sincerely appreciate the time, effort, heart and dedication you put into our program. Thank you and you'll always be a part of our family.

  14. John said...
    May 18, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Keep at it Courtney. I always enjoyed watching you play.

  15. morpheus647 said...
    May 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Thanks for your time with the Pack Courtney. I'm gonna miss your high flying dunks next year. Good luck in the NBA!

  16. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    while i enjoyed watching you play and appreciate you having played for n.c. state, the thing i want to thank you for is graduating. that really means alot to the school and the alumni.


  17. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM


    Thank you for all the effort and time you spent here at N.C. State. It paid off for you not only in great basketball memories, but you have a degree. Something that will set you apart for the rest of your life!

    I would also just like to make a point of how much people like you mean to us. We as a Wolfpack family live for the atmosphere and memories that are formed at games every year. Being a part of the Wolfpack family is so much more than your typical basketball program. Our tradition makes our fans expect a lot, but one thing is for sure. When you come to State and you spend 4 years working your butt off for not only yourself, but all WOLFPACK FANS... That's a really special thing and WE don't ever forget. You have a special place with us forever.

    Best of luck Courtney. We will be cheering you on in whatever avenue of life you explore next. Good luck in your NBA workouts!

  18. pack80 said...
    May 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    You have been nothing but class since you have been here, and I am proud you are a Wolfpacker. I have always enjoyed watching you play, easily the most exciting player on the team. Congratulations on your degree and best of luck in all your future endeavors.

  19. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Thanks Courtney, when I first saw you playing in the Red White game a few years ago I knew you were a guy I would really enjoy watching in the years to come. You didn't disappoint. I have no doubt you have the ability to play at the next level. Best of luck!

  20. TheUNCFan said...
    May 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    As a UNC fan, I will say I developed an admiration for Fells playing hurt last year. He obviously did not have a "tweak" watching him play and I doubt many players would have been able to go. He gave State everything he had, even to the point where the scouting report by NBA scouts would have been very different if he was healthy, so I wish him luck in the NBA draft. Now that he's healthy, and if he's handling the ball well, someone will take a chance on him. The fact that he puts so much importance on his degree makes him a good ambassador for NCSU and the ACC.

  21. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Fells: I’d say it was a roller coaster ride. I was recruited and came in under Coach Sendek. Then, he left and didn’t say good bye so that was kind of hard, but Coach Lowe really came in and kept the team together.

    I'm surprise that Herb didn't meet with the team.

    Good luck Courtney. You can get it done

  22. Michael G. said...
    May 18, 2009 at 4:22 PM

    That bad ankle sprain explains a lot about the difficulty Courtney had being consistent every night. Hopefully, he can stay healthy - and we'll have many more highlights from his career!

  23. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Mr. Fells you were one of the most fun players to watch. Good Luck in the NBA. I think you will be the steal of the draft.

  24. Lynda said...
    May 18, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    There are certain players who linger in my mind long after they've gone on to other things. Courtney, you're going to be one of them. Your skill and desire impressed me. You were also a great interview, and I wouldn't be surprised if you put that Communications degree to good use later on. Come back to the RBC Center and visit soon, you hear?

  25. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 10:41 PM

    You'll always be part of the Wolfpack Courtney. Thanks!

    (WPH, a suggestion: could you put dates on your blogs? That way, when someone is going though the back-logs, or someone googles a blog, the reader will known when said-tournament, said NBA workout took place, or said-interview took place. Your blog provides some of the best info out there!)

  26. Anonymous said...
    May 18, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    (^actually, i guess i can just look at the date of the first post!)

  27. j.sol said...
    May 19, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    "Coach Lowe’s practices helped me be prepared. We did a lot of the same drills so I felt pretty confident in the workouts"

    this really stood out to me while reading this. i have a feeling we're going to see this pay off tremendously in the near future. guys coming into college want to get to the next level and coach lowe is dead set on having these guys succeed at this level and the next. i've noticed he's put a huge emphasis on education as well and i'm very proud of courtney graduating on time on top of everything else.

    i'm proud to have this guy representing our university. he's a true warrior playing through those injuries he had and to add to that, he was guarding the other teams best player night in and night out.

    thanks for your time at state and good luck landing on a team man. we'll all be pulling for you.

  28. Dennis said...
    May 19, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Courtney, you will be missed in Raleigh! We wish you the best for your future on and off the court! Thank you for representing NC State with class! You are and always will be part of the Wolfpack family!!!

  29. Anonymous said...
    May 19, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    I didn't realize the injuries he had was that serious. If gets to 100% and works hard, the NBA will be knocking.

  30. Anonymous said...
    May 19, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Courtney must have forgotten the team meeting on the Sunday morning Herb met with the players and staff to tell them he had accepted the ASU job. There wasnt a dry eye in the room.Did he tell them individually good bye? No. But there was definitely a team meeting that i'll never forget.

  31. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 19, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    ^ I think Courtney meant that he didn't say good bye individually. He didn't say it bashing Herb in any ways and we hope it doesn't read like that. He just basically was saying that while talking about how there were a lot of ups and downs for him personally throughout his career.

    Courtney liked Coach Sendek, and I think you can say that for almost all the players that played under him which tells you a lot about the man.


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