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Pack in the Pros

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Brandon Costner (2009)



With the NBA Draft coming up this Thursday night, we thought that we would catch up with Brandon Costner to see how he is feeling with the big day approaching. The former McDonald’s All-American has been trying to show that he belongs in the NBA by attending every workout possible and leaving with positive feedback wherever he has been. Here is how our conversation with Brandon broke down:

WPH:How have the NBA workouts been going and what has been the feedback that you’ve been getting?

Costner: Things have been going very well. I’m very upbeat. I had my last workout with the Nets 2 days ago. In all of the workouts I thought I really played well, and showed these guys that I belong and that I’m an NBA player. I’m really excited.

WPH: What has the competition been like at the NBA workouts?

Costner: The competition has been tough. Each workout is different and the intensity varies. Some teams run you to death and then play you to see if you will quit. Other are more interested in seeing your skills by doing drills and playing games of 3-on-3 and 1-on-1.

WPH: Obviously your pursuing a career in basketball, but what are some of your other aspirations in life? What do you plan on doing “when the ball stops bouncing”?

Costner: Hopefully I can milk basketball as long as possible. But my future lies in youth. I would like to develop a basketball academy and teach the game and teach fundamentals. I want to be a leader and a mentor to younger people. I would also like to start a non-profit organization one day that gives inner city kids the chance to learn to play sports that they might not be accustomed to like golf and tennis. I really want to do as much as I can to affect as many young people as I can. So many people were instrumental in helping me become the person I am today and I want to do the same for others.

WPH: How would you describe your time at NC State?

Costner: I really enjoyed my time. I was there all four years. I gave the school all I had. Obviously I wish we could have been more successful, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

WPH: What is your favorite memory from playing basketball with the Pack?

Costner: I would have to say making the tournament finals my Freshmen year. My biggest thing is winning and we were playing some of our best basketball then.

WPH: What is your relationship like with Coach Lowe?

Costner: I have a real good relationship with Coach Lowe. I talked with him 2 days ago to give him an update on how every thing is going. It’s the type of relationship that a player should have with his coach.

WPH: Why did you decide to forego your Senior season?

Costner: It really had a lot to do with me graduating. I also think that it is hard to ignore the grumbling around campus and from the Wolfpack Nation about how many wanted to see the old regime out of there. When the majority of people had negative things to say to me, I kind of got the feeling that it was my time.

WPH: How much do you think the negativity of the fanbase and media outlets affects you as a player and the team as a whole?

Costner: I wouldn’t say that it consumes us, but we definitely hear it. Seeing that this is a our job, we understand that it is part of the territory and we are used to it. The ignorant rumors and people saying that we don’t care about the university and that we don’t care about winning hurt. Half the people don’t know how much goes into what we do every day. Bottom line nobody loses on purpose. It’s the paper, it’s the friends at school who read this stuff religiously. They come up and say “did you see what so and so said about you.” Then we go and see what people have said. One of the biggest things was the year that J.J. was here. I think that as a team it affected us and we were out there trying our best and they are saying that we have chemistry issues and that Gavin is messing with my girlfriend. The thing is, we all get along and we are a really tight team. I mean we all hang out outside of basketball.

WPH: Did all of this negativity leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to your opinion of NC State?

Costner:I definitely don’t have a bad taste in my mouth. I truly believe that the State fans that supported me and my teammates and the people that are really positive and love the university made my time at State worthwhile.

WPH: What relationships did you develop with your teammates that you think will last into the future?

Costner: From day one on campus me and Courtney have kind of been inseparable. I talk with Ben, Simon and Trevor every day. We all became very close especially because of everything we went through. I see us doing that through the rest of my life. All of the NC State alumni and the present team make a big Wolfpack family. People like Josh Powell, Marcus Melvin and Anthony Grundy have come back and been big impacts on all of us. They all come back and play and workout in the summer. If we are not talking every day then it is every week. All of us have a lasting bond and friendship. It’s a huge family. I talked with Engin all last year and he is one of my best friends. They are the ones that teach us how to be student athletes and better people.

WPH: Are you going to be like the Alumni that you have mentioned, coming back in the summers and pouring into the Pack players?

Costner: Oh definitely. I want to come back and be one of the guys like Josh Powell, who took me under his wing. I want to come back and pass on the tradition.

WPH: Thank you so much for your time Brandon. We wish you the best and look forward to following you wherever you go.

We really appreciate Brandon’s honesty and transparency. I hope that this interview will be read by as many State fans as possible. I think Brandon’s words are important to hear. The words that we say and the words that we type can truly be detrimental to the health of our Basketball program.

Thank you Brandon for all that you gave to this university!

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Pack in the Pros

JR Sweezy Signs 2-Year Deal With Arizona Cardinals



Former NC State Defensive Tackle, converted to Offensive Guard in the NFL, JR Sweezy has signed a 2-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, staying in the NFC West.

Sweezy was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft (225th overall), and was quickly converted into an offensive lineman. He worked his way up to becoming the full-time starter at Right Guard for Seattle in 2013, and held the spot for three seasons before signing a 5-year $32.5 million contract with Tampa Bay. Sweezy missed the entire 2016 season due to back problems, but returned to start 14 games for the Bucs last year, before finishing the season on the Injured Reserve.

Last year, Sweezy returned to the Seahawks, and started in all 15 games he played in.

Sweezy is entering his 8th year in the NFL, and his 7th season playing. He has started in 78 of the 88 games he has played in since entering the league in 2012.


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Pack in the Pros

Mike Glennon Released by Cardinals



Former NC State Quarterback Mike Glennon has officially been released by the Arizona Cardinals.

Glennon signed a 2-year $8 million contract prior to the 2018 season as a backup. He was cut prior to a $500,000 roster bonus due to him on March 17th.

While only seeing action in 2 games in Arizona, Glennon walked away with $4 million. He completed 15 of 21 passes foe 174 yards and 1 touchdown in those two games.

Glennon has played in the NFL 6 seasons, and made $27,446,782.

We will have to wait and see where Glennon lands next.

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Washington Wants Trea Turner to Steal All the Bases



Former NC State All-American Shortstop Trea Turner ranked 2nd in the Major League last year in stolen bases, but the Washington Nationals want him to take it up a notch.

“If he attempts 75 to 80, we’ll be in great shape,” Martinez said, and that would make Turner one of the more aggressive base runners in recent memory. (WP)

Turner ranked 2nd in the majors with 43 stolen bases last year, and his 46 stolen bases two years ago ranked 3rd.

75-80 stolen base attempts would be a career high for Turner…by a long shot.

Turner ranked 2nd in the Major’s last season with 52 attempts. Only 13 players have attempted 75 stolen bases in a single season in the past 18 seasons.

“Any time a coach pushes you to do something that you think is a little crazy, I think that’s them believing in you that you can do it,” Turner said. “It’s possible. It’s still a lot, but it’s possible. I think I’m going to have to do a lot of things right, and hopefully get a shot at accomplishing it.” (WP)

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Dennis Smith Jr Dunks Over J. Cole, Finishes 2nd in 2019 NBA Dunk Contest



Former NC State ACC Freshman of the Year Dennis Smith Jr. competed in the NBA Dunk Contest on Saturday night, and finished 2nd behind Hamidou Diallo.

Smith’s best dunk of the contest was a soaring leap over rapper J. Cole, which earned him a score of 50. He also picked up another 50 score for vaulting over Dwayne Wade and catching an alley oop from Stephen Curry.

The highlights are below.

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