Former 2007 Gatorade Athlete of the Year winner Kevin Love had the opportunity to hand out this year’s award. It was only three years ago when he was on the receiving end.
“It was really different. I remember attending the ceremonies and just soaking it all in,” says Love. “Now, I’m able to help these athletes and give them some advice.”
Love averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves. His contributions only led to a total of 15 wins. This off season has been a busy one for Minnesota but Love is taking everything in stride.
“I’m excited for the upcoming season. We have Ramon Sessions and Jonny Lynn coming back and they will be better next year,” says Love. “We traded Al Jefferson which means I need to step up. We also signed Luke Ridnour…a lot of changes. We have talent, but we really need to develop chemistry.”
With Al Jefferson gone, it’s assumed that the Timberwolves will be looking for Love to step up and be a leader. It seems that he has already taken that first step by being in great shape.
“It’s all about that Gatorade G2 baby! That’s my secret in looking so good!”
Love was happy to be back in LA were he starred for UCLA and led them to yet another Final Four appearance. Many Oregonians were disappointed that he left the state to attend UCLA.
“I have always been a UCLA fan. I would go to games when I was a little kid,” says Love.
It also sounds like he’s UCLA recruitment started while he was in grade school.
“My dad knows Jim Harrick really well. We would go to games and I would talk to Coach Harrick and he would say,’Son, UCLA is the school for you!’ (In his best Jim Harrick voice). “That’s Coach Harrick. Honestly, I think if he was at Georgia he would say Georgia would be the best school for me,” Love said.
Kevin still follows his Bruins and the Pac 10. He also has the opportunity to play against his former Bruin teammates and Pac 10 rivals.
“It seems like every night, I’m playing against someone from the Pac 10. You got (Ryan) Anderson, the (Brook and Robin) Lopez twins, Russ (Russell Westbrook) and Darren (Collison). It’s great to see how much Pac 10 talent is in the NBA,” Love said. With all that talent gone, the league was a disappointment. “The Pac 10 will be back. It’s a strong league,” says Love. “I know Coach (Ben) Howland will bring the Bruins back too!”