John Wall on meeting RGIII in high school

September 27, 2013

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

John Wall sat in with Holden and Danny on 106.7 The Fan for Wizards media day on Friday, and told a story that’s new to me. When Wall was a senior in high school, he visited Baylor and met RGIII, who was a freshman there.

“I really didn’t know who he was at the time,” Wall said. “He just came in and nobody was really hyping him up. Baylor football wasn’t as big, so I really didn’t know about him. But I just remember him. And three or four years later I look at him winning the Heisman Trophy and then he’s getting drafted in D.C. So it’s like, now we’re in the same city. He was a quiet guy when I went there. He was like a country guy, stayed at home.”

Since they go way back and all, the radio hosts asked Wall what advice he’d give to the Redskins quarterback for handling criticism.

“I think he understands it,” Wall said. “When you’re in a city or state where basketball or football or any sport is big, you gotta win. When you’re not winning, you’re gonna have the criticism. But the main thing is, I just use that as motivation. I take notes and I write it down, I look at them. Every day I do certain stuff, I look at them for motivation.  I’m not the one that’s gonna, if any radio people said anything bad, I’m not going to call them or do anything like, ‘Well, why ya’ll talking bad about me now? You wasn’t talking bad about me last week.’ I’m not that type of person. I just use it as motivation. And that’s the only thing you gotta do. You gotta keep getting better and keep improving. The only thing is, he can just keep getting better and better and just feeling more comfortable with his knee.”

If you’re keeping track at home, you can add Wall to the list of people who think RGIII’s knee brace is slowing him down.

“It’s different playing with a knee brace than not playing with one,” he said. “It slows you down. So I think if he just keeps on doing what he’s doing and just get comfortable, and they start winning, it will all change. But the main thing is, you don’t go after nobody, you don’t criticize nobody for that. You just criticize yourself for not being a better person and better player at that time. That’s why I look at it myself. Losing those games and then finally coming back and having a great end of the year. I didn’t want to go out there and tell everybody, ‘Well, look what I’m doing now. Ya’ll ain’t talking about me bad now.’ You just use it as motivation. That’s all you can do.”

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Dan Steinberg | September 27, 2013