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Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Angelo Sales Jr, I am from Greer, South Carolina.
When and how did you start playing basketball?
I was a football player before I started basketball. I started playing football when I was 4 years old and I played all the way up until high school. I eventually stopped playing because I was overlooked at the school I attended. I believe that I wasn’t given a good chance to earn my spot due to things out of my control such as booster clubs and other things of that nature. Anyways, I stopped playing after my Junior year in HS and I just love to compete and play sports so I decided I would go tryout for the basketball team.
My Dad didn’t really want me to play at first because he thought that the basketball program would be similar to the football program and that I wouldn’t get to play a lot because the sport was new to me. The basketball team had just gotten a new Head Coach named Greg Miller. He spoke to my Dad about how he was scouting for the team and he wanted me to come play because of my size. My Dad was reluctant at first because of what I mentioned earlier. Anyways to make a long story short, my Dad decided to let me play because his nephew played up under Coach Miller at the school he was coaching at before he came to my school.
Can you tell us more about your basketball path growing up to now?
My basketball path hasn’t been an easy one. I was a novice in high school which can be seen in my stats. I didn’t have a signing day like most other players do because I didn’t have a scholarship and I didn’t know what school I was going to attend. My coaches helped me out and set up several workouts for me with some schools. I never received any offers because I wasn’t good enough at the time. I also only played one year of AAU when I was a senior because I was unsigned. I ended up going to Caldwell Community College, a JUCO in Hudson, North Carolina.
I remember my high school teammate Alan and I went on a visit to Caldwell with our Dads. With Caldwell being somewhat of a non-prestigious Junior College at the time, I thought the players that went there were on the same level as me. I was wrong! I quickly came to the realization that most people that go JUCO can hoop! They just didn’t have the grades or they made mistakes that didn’t allow them to go straight to a 4 year institution. I was a role player at Caldwell so my stats weren’t eye popping. After my two years there were up, I had 3 schools to choose from. A NAIA in Kansas, Bluefield State in West Virginia, and Newberry College in South Carolina. I chose Newberry because it was only an hour from home. I red-shirted my first year there. My coach Dave Davis was very big on hard work and putting 4 hours a day into your game. I dedicated myself to get better and I would find things that motivated me to work on my game even more. I would say it payed off because I had some dominant games in my 2 years of playing there. I scored 42 points my Junior year which was the most in the conference that year and the most points scored at my school dating back to 1995 and I made Second Team All-Conference.
How can you describe your game? What are your main strengths on the court?
Back in High school and JUCO, my game was very one dimensional. The only things I did was rebound and play defense. I wasn’t confident in my game because I didn’t have a trainer or someone to work on my game consistently with me. At my JUCO our time in the gym was limited and we had to live off campus because we didn’t have any dorms so we couldn’t really work on our games that often. Despite my late start and lack of skills, I became a student of the game and dedicated myself to getting better. I can’t take all of the credit either. I met some hardworking teammates (Shawn Robinson, Luke Gibson, Marshall Lange) that inspired me. They were living proof to me that hard work pays off. As of today, I would say that I have a strong overall game. Of course there are things that I need to polish and improve. I can do a little bit of everything. I can rebound, defend, shoot the 3, finish at the rim, play on the block, play on the wing and make plays. My main strength on the court is my competitiveness. I don’t care who I’m going up against, I am going to compete and try to win every time.
Have you ever traveled abroad for basketball?
I have not traveled to another country for basketball yet, but In my second year at Caldwell, we went to the National Tournament at Hutch which is in Kansas. That was a great experience for me because we had a good time.
What kind of opportunity are you looking for?
Honestly, I just want to play the game I love playing while getting paid to do so. I always wanted to play professionally ever since I was a kid. I thought I was going to go to the NFL one day but I had a change of plans. Now I am working towards achieving my goal of playing basketball professionally.
What do you expect from your pro basketball career overseas?
I want to be the best that I can be and I want to win.
To conclude, do you have something else to tell?
I just want to let people know that anything is possible through hard work, prayer, patience and dedication. Don’t get discouraged and give up when things get tough or they don’t go your way. That’s just the way of life. Even though I am not overseas yet, I’m still in the gym working and staying ready for any opportunities that I may get.