Hoophall Classic: Q&A with 5-star Illinois commit Kofi Cockburn
After a slow first half, Cockburn got it going in the second half to finish with 17 points and eight rebounds. The Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill star went deep into breaking down his game, relationships and why he chose the Illini.
Eric Bossi: You decided to go out to Oak Hill for your senior year. How do you think that has gone for you?
Kofi Cockburn: It's going pretty good but I think it could be going even better. But, I've gotten into the gym a lot more and I feel like I'm playing with a pretty good team.
EB: What do you feel like you have improved on the most individually?
KC: My conditioning, my rebounding and working with coach in the gym. I feel like I'm getting better overall.
EB: It looked for a bit that your recruitment would go through the spring, but then Illinois made a push and you went ahead and ended it. What did they do to make you commit?
KC: I went on a visit and they showed me how they were going to use me and get me better as a player and a person. They can get me developed for the next level. It's a great program, it's the Big Ten and I like physical basketball, so it's a good fit for me.
EB: What specifically stood out to you about them, saying they could help you get better?
KC: They showed me how they would use me in their offense as a player. They also showed me that I can have a big role on the team and come in and be a leader from the jump.
EB: What stands out to you about the coaching staff?
KC: Coach Orlando Antigua, he has been on me since my freshman year. He's been really good at recruiting me and I made a big connection with him.
EB: What kind of connection have you developed with Brad Underwood?
KC: He's a good guy and a great coach. I watched him coach and I was like that is the kind of guy I want to coach me. He gets on his players and he pulls them aside and I think wants to make them better for the future.
EB: What makes you feel you can be a part of turning things around at Illinois?
KC: I'm all about progress. I love seeing people work and using hard work to try and get to the top. I like to build. I mean I came from nothing. I came from Jamaica to here and I think at Illinois we can develop and get better. I like the idea of building.
EB: Illinois fans are excited about you and have certainly showed you love on social media, aside from social media and highlights and thinks like that, what do you want them to know about you?
KC: I try to be a great person and I have a great personality. People gravitate to me and I'm going to be the best player I can be at all times and I'm going to try and be a leader.