NCAA Q&A: Christian Webster, Landon
By Preston Williams,
High school: Landon, 2009 graduate
Vitals: 6-5, Jr., G
Season: Has started 15 games and averages 4.5 points for the Crimson, who have reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1946.
Opening matchup: Harvard (26-4) vs. Vanderbilt (24-10) at 3:40 p.m. Thursday in Albuquerque. (Interactive bracket)
Best high school basketball memory: “The [Interstate Athletic Conference] championship against Episcopal that we won [73-71] in double overtime [in 2009]. That was a crazy game and for us to win that and it be the last game ever playing high school basketball was the cherry on top. My dad ran on the court after the game and was in the mosh pit. All our fans and student section are out there and my dad comes in and gives me a hug. I won’t forget that ever.” Webster scored seven of his 35 points in the second overtime of that win, which gave the Bears their first outright IAC title since 1961.
Favorite high school gym other than Landon’s: “Chantilly High School. We played a couple tournaments there and I always played well there and we finally beat them my senior year for the [Pohanka Holiday Classic] championship. It was a big arena. It was just something different. It wasn’t like any other gym we played in all year.” Webster twice was named MVP of the event.
Most embarrassing high school basketball moment: “Summer league, going up for a dunk and just missing it, at Rockville High School. It was a fast break and I missed it badly.”
Favorite high school victory: “Probably Georgetown Prep on our senior night. We beat them and that was a team we always struggled against.” Webster made a free throw with four seconds left in the 63-59 win. Landon had lost seven of the previous eight games to Prep.
Best player you faced in high school: Hands down, [2006 All-Met Player of the Year] Kevin Durant. My first-ever high school game was against him and I was pretty scared. I just remember being so nervous and just shaking before the game. To be a freshman and to have to try to guard him was crazy. One of the first plays of the game they did a back-door alley-oop to him.” Durant’s Montrose Christian team beat Landon, 114-47. Durant had 33 points and 10 rebounds.
Best piece of basketball advice that you got in high school: “When I was first there we would lose a lot, and the next day I would feel really sad. Assistant coach Jimmy Parker would say if you win or lose come back the next day ready to work like you don’t know what happened yesterday. Don’t let a win or loss affect you the next day.”
High school loss that stung the most: “There wasn’t one.” Proof, perhaps, that he truly took Parker’s advice to heart.
Piece of advice for high school players: “Just keep working every day. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.”
What do you miss most about high school basketball: “Just the feel for the game when you’re in the game and there’s a real connection you have with the fans, the students and teachers. More of a personal connection. You don’t really get that in college.”
Best thing about college basketball: “Just learning and being able to play on a big stage is huge, especially at Harvard. It doesn’t get much better than to have the best of both worlds, academics and athletics. I couldn’t have it any better.”
Worst thing about college basketball: “Definitely the preseason. The running and conditioning part is pretty rigorous. Oh, it’s on a totally different level” from high school.
When you hear the words March Madness, what immediately springs to mind: “Just the brackets and everyone talking about it. CBS being on TV. Having guys like Clark Kellogg announce the game. I don’t think it really has sunk in yet but it will when I get there and get on the floor. It’s going to be an awesome feeling to know that something I’ve been watching all these years from the outside I’m finally on the inside playing in it. It’s one of the best sporting events in the world.”
More Q&As at AllMetSports.com