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?
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 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.