Jazzhoops exclusive
Jazzhoops Close Up, With Kirk Snyder.

By Johnathan Kendrick

Going into the NBA draft, who Kirk Snyder is, was no mystery. The Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player had just led his team the Nevada Wolfpack, to one of the most sacred places in all of sports – The NCAA Tournament round of Sweet 16. Not only was it farther then that team had ever been before, it was further then anyone had given them a chance to go. Despite their play coming into the tournament, the Wolfpack got snubbed of a lower seeding and burdened with an unflattering 10th seed. As the World would come to see, the seeding didn’t matter as the Wolfpack pulled out upset after upset.

At center stage sat Kirk Snyder and his well-rounded mature game. Using the stage as a launch pad, Snyder declared for the NBA draft. His stock started to rise as fast as the reports came out that he had dominated another workout. By the night of the draft Snyder was projected as high as 9th and no lower then 13th. Everywhere you looked Snyder was a lottery pick.

Things don’t always happen the way they are supposed to. If they did the Wolfpack would have left the NCAA Tournament the first night – as projected. If they did Kirk Snyder would not have been passed over for players with less developed games, but more “potential”. If they did Kirk Snyder would have not slipped to the Jazz at 16 in the NBA draft.

One lesson the world missed in March is that it did not matter where the Wolfpack was picked. The heart of the Wolfpack was bigger then its seeding. The Heart of the Wolfpack was Kirk Snyder.

The Jazz organization and its fans are thrilled to have Kirk Snyder and his NBA Ready game. We talked to Kirk Snyder about his game, his potential, and among other things, that oft debated question – Can Snyder play point guard in the NBA?

Jazzhoops: With all the High School guys that got picked in the draft – because of their “potential”, even though you have 3 years of college experience, how much potential do you have left?

Kirk Snyder: I know the game of basketball - I am not going to lie. I know how to play, I have a lot of room for improvement, but skill wise and athletically there is nothing to improve on. That’s where the pro is, you don’t want some that you have to develop – you want somebody who can come in and play.

Jazzhoops: How is your range? How do you feel about the NBA three point line?

Kirk Snyder: Three? FOUR! It’s a lot different then college. In college you can herky-jerk with it and give it up and get a nice clean look at it. In professional – you have seen it out there – guys are missing it left and right – including myself. It’s just something you got to get used to –it’s a different shot. It’s more of a rainbow then it is a regular shot.

Jazzhoops: Tonight you played a little point guard. You played some point in college. How comfortable are you at the point – can you play point in the NBA?

Kirk Snyder: Very very comfortable. I am a point guard, I am a true point guard, and I am a leader out there. But I am big and you got to let some small guys get in there too.

Jazzhoops: Hey I am all for that. What position or positions are you the most comfortable playing?

Kirk Snyder: Probably the 1 and the 2. I really like handling the ball.

Jazzhoops: I have noticed you talk a lot out on the court. Is that to yourself? Is it to the opponent? Is it to the team?

Kirk Snyder: No it’s to myself. I don’t talk trash. I don’t believe in it. It’s motivation. Come on Kirk – you know what I mean. Come on and knock down these shots.

Jazzhoops: Intensity Level – 1 to 10 – 10 being the highest. Where are you at?

Kirk Snyder: It’s a 10 when the situation presents itself. I try to be a 10 most of the time. That’s part of being a pro. When you get that 10 throughout everything and throughout the competition – then you are really a pro. Right now when I get it going it’s a 10, but I am still young and developing and trying to get more consistency, sometimes it drops down to a 5 or a 7, but when I get it going it’s a 10.

Jazzhoops: Like to night in the fourth quarter when you were calling for the ball and going after it?

Kirk Snyder: 10. 10. 10. 10.

Jazzhoops: SO far you have drawn 23 fouls in 3 games on opposing players – is that one of your specialties?

Kirk Snyder: People foul me. I am pretty agile, and I am big, I jump over people. But now I just need to get back to the first stepping-stone and start knocking down shots.

Jazzhoops: How is your conditioning?

Kirk Snyder: We are in the mountains man – it’s high elevation. If we go anywhere else we could all run like deer. But I can run like a deer here so I would say my conditioning is as good as any.

Jazzhoops: What are you going to focus on over the summer?

Kirk Snyder: Jump shooting. I am athletic as heck. I can just go and get by – but right now need to work on my jump shot. My timing is off. Once I get my timing right – it’s going to be something special.

Jazzhoops: First game – you made a great no look bounce pass to Kris Humphries for a lay up. When they called time out – you started looking for him and you guys kind of celebrated that play. Is there a bond developing between you two?

Kirk Snyder: Oh definitely. Kris came in with me. We are going to learn together. He is a buddy like only someone you can come in with. I can talk to him. Things go wrong – things go good – we are going to be there for each other.

Jazzhoops wishes Kirk Snyder the best of luck in the Rocky Mountain Revue, and his NBA career. As fans it’s going to be a pleasure cheering for not only this kind of athlete – but also this kind of person.