Despite his incredible size and toughness on the court, Jameel Warney is actually a very nice guy. The soft-spoken, New Brunswick, NJ native is just as nice off the court as he is dominant on it. Since beginning his professional playing career, two and a half years ago, Warney has quietly become one of the better players across the NBA’s G-League and he’s continuing to show why as a Westchester Knick.
Warney’s ability to be a effective and efficient scorer (currently averaging 18.8 points per game), whether it’s in the post or when shooting 40% from long distance, adds to his chances of being called up to the NBA. And upon finding out the former Dallas Maverick is also being a active rebounder (career average of 6.5 per game) and defender (1.5 steals per game), you’re left to wonder what Warney can’t do on the court.
Arden: What can you say about your first few weeks as a Westchester Knick?
Jameel: I really like it, as it’s a good situation and I’m enjoying my time with my teammates and the coaching staff. They’ve been good to me and I know it will only get better over time.
A: You have previous G-League experience and seen a few things. Upon your return to this level, what are some thing’s you’ve learned?
J: It just comes down to being a willing learner. Once you stop learning about things, you often become complacent. I’m discovering new ways to become a better player and a teammate, and it’s a process that’s happening every single day.
A: So far, in your early start with Westchester, you’ve already had great success as a scorer and it’s paying off as this team wins. How would you describe the system currently in place?
J: I would say, it’s less about the system and more about the coaching staff. Whether it’s from my own beginning or this team’s beginning at the top of this season, the coaches have set the tone and built a culture here. And to their credit, they also believed in us and never tried to change us. I may have already said this, but the coaches have really welcomed me with open arms.
A: I find it very interesting, that you’re able to impact the game the way you do, despite it’s constant evolution. What helps you do that?
J: Even with the game’s change of play, I just stick to what I do, best. I try not to change as much and although the game is changing, like you said, I often stick to my strengths which includes post play. But that doesn’t mean, I haven’t expanded my game. I did put a lot of work in towards improving my perimeter shooting. Yet at the end of the day, I know I’m one of the better post players across the league and I need to stick with that.
A: Before we finish this interview, I wanted to ask you about your college days at Stony Brook. You obviously did a lot of great things there. As you look back, what were your greatest lessons learned?
J: That you often have to fail before succeeding. It certainly wasn’t easy over those first two-three years, where we lost a lot of games, especially in heart-breaking fashion. But after going through that, I realized upon entering my senior year, either I’m going to lay down and not do anything or take my game to another level and fight my hardest. And as a squad, we came together, battled our hardest, and made it to the NCAA Tournament, which gave us a lot of joy.