Photo provided by Cole Cooper (@clcpr) at the Courtside June Camp (@CourtsideFilms_)
To learn the backstory about the Yusuf Brothers, click here.
We asked Bilal Yusuf some questions to learn more about him.
If you had to compare yourself to one NBA/college player, who would it be and why?
I really try not to compare myself to other players. I want to be the next me. I watch and study a few of my favorites like Michael (Jordan), Kobe (Bryant) and (Kevin Durant), so I can add some of the things that they do to my game.
How did you stay motivated after losing a game?
I don’t like to lose but I try to take the loss and learn from it. I look for what I can do better to win the next game.
Do you have any rituals that you must perform before a game and why?
Before games, I do my own stretches and warmups. I like to listen to Lil Baby, Gunna and Lil Durk music because it gets me pumped up then I have a good time. I play better when I’m having fun on the court.
How do you channel your frustration when the referee’s decision doesn’t go your way?
I let my coaches handle it and keep playing my game, because they’re not going to change the call.
What moment in your playing career were you most proud of yourself?
I was most proud of myself when I started making left-handed layups. I had to work on it a lot.
What aspect of your game comes easiest to you?
Many of the things that I do look easy because I put so much time into them. Shooting comes easy for me.
What aspect of your game is the most difficult for you to master?
I think it was dribbling. I didn’t have good hands and I was getting frustrated so I got tired of it and went to work on it, dribbling for hours at the gym.
Between now and your high school career, what is your main goal?
My goal is to get better every day and develop my game in every way. (I want to) turn my weaknesses into strengths.
What advice has the coach given you that you’ll always remember?
When I first started playing AAU basketball, one of my coaches took me out of the game and told me that I needed to follow the game plan. He said when I didn’t follow the plan, I was a liability to the team. He also told me that when he had to take me out of the game to talk to me, I also was a liability to the team because I wasn’t in the game helping them. At that point, I focused on using my skills to help the rest of the team follow the coach’s plan.
What are some of your hobbies besides basketball?
I don’t really have any other hobbies. I play basketball 24/7. I like to watch movies and play video games when I’m at home.
Do you have any 5-year goals as of right now?
My goals are to win a state championship, be a McDonald’s All-American and earn a scholarship to play basketball in college.
What is your favorite position to play on the court?
My favorite position to play is point guard because I like to make plays for my teammates and for myself.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is steak, mashed potatoes, and broccoli.
Do you have a favorite brand of shoes to wear when playing basketball?
I like wearing Kyrie (Irving) shoes because they are comfortable and drippy. I also like hooping in KD’s and Kobe’s.