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Aug. 3, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s basketball freshman guard Damien Leonard recently took time out of his summer class schedule to visit with to talk about the upcoming season, summer conditioning and what he can’t go on a road trip without.

Q: What made you choose South Carolina?
A: The teammates and the coaches made me feel like I was a part of their family when I came down.

Q: Do you have any pregame or in-game rituals?
A: I say a prayer and that is pretty much it

Q: What is your greatest pre-South Carolina basketball moment?
A: My freshman year (of high school), making varsity and being the leading scorer on my team the whole year.

Q: Who was your biggest influence growing up?
A: My mom, because I watched her struggle and never give up, and that was my motivation for never giving up.

Q: What athlete do you try to emulate most?
A: Ray Allen, because he is a shooter and I am a shooter. He has websites where he says how he practices and what his everyday routine is, and I try to follow it.

Q: If you could travel anywhere or be anyone for one day, who would you be and where would you go?
A: Will Smith because he is rich and where ever he goes everyone knows who he is.

Q: What is your number and why?
A: 32 because my AAU coach when he was in high school and throughout his college career, wore the number 32. I picked the same number as him because he taught me a lot and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.

Q: Who are you most looking forward to playing against this year?
A: Kentucky

Q: What one word would you use to describe your style of play?
A: Confident

Q: What did you work on the most this summer?
A: Gaining weight and staying in the weight room

Q: What would be your SportsCenter dream highlight?
A: Holding the championship trophy

Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: My phone

Q: What is your best non-athletic talent?
A: Writing poetry

Q: What is the one thing you can’t leave without on a road trip?
A: Twizzlers