Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Five Questions With Xan Ricketts and Brandon Taylor

Aug. 31, 2012

Each week leading into the 2012-13 season, the Utah men's basketball page will feature a new "Five Questions With...", to help fans get a little more insight into their Runnin' Utes. Kicking off the weekly feature are redshirt sophomore forward Alexander Ricketts and freshman guard Brandon Taylor.

1. What is your favorite basketball memory either as a player or as a fan?

Taylor - My favorite basketball memory was the championship game for our park and rec basketball All-Star team. Our most consistent player at the time didn't play well because we were playing against some of his friends. So I took over the game in the 3rd quarter and went on a scoring spree. We ended up winning the game and everyone remembered who Brandon Taylor was after that. I was about 11 at the time.

Ricketts - My favorite basketball memory was playing in the Kingwood Classic in Houston, Texas. My California All-Star team only had seven players on it, but with resiliency we took first place. I remember we only had a couple of plays to run on offense, but what gave us the edge against our competition was playing with heart and the ability to out-smart our opponents.

2. Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

Taylor - I pray before every game. I've been doing this as long as I can remember.

Ricketts - My pre-game routine includes visualizing myself being mentally and physically tough against my opponent. I picture myself working hard and pushing through pain. This helps me get in the mindset of being ready to play college basketball. I have done this since my elementary school days.

3. Who is your basketball idol and why?

Taylor - Kobe Bryant. His attitude towards the game is incredible. He's very strong-minded and confident, and his work ethic is superb.



Ricketts - LeBron James. I look up to this superstar because he has been through adversity and he knows how to cope with negative situations. When he did not win the NBA Finals in 2011, he was scrutinized by the media for being indecisive and not taking a leadership role on his team. However, in 2012, he bounced right back and took the shots that needed to be taken. His team won the NBA Finals in 2012 with a decisive series win.

My older sister and brother are my non-basketball idols. They have excelled academically and professionally. They took the necessary steps to achieve their goals.

4. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

Taylor - The most influential person in my life is my Dad. He always helps me make decisions and he's always coaching me on what to do and not to do in life. He has an answer for every question that I have.

Ricketts - My mother is my biggest fan and critic. She wants me to excel past my limits and become a man with integrity and a hard work ethic. With her in my life, I know right from wrong and understand what it takes to fulfill my dreams.

5. Do you have a favorite quote or is there an inspirational quote that is special to you?

Taylor - "The word of God will expose you. Shut your eyes and let God drive your life when you're ready." This is one of my favorite quotes by a preacher back home. It just spoke to me and I love what it says. It makes me think of peace and happiness.

Ricketts - "If no one can be YOU, then why would YOU want to be anyone else but YOURSELF?" ~Unknown

I like this quote because everyone is their own person and has unique abilities, aspirations and motivations in life. Once a person recognizes and believes in their personal traits, they can be successful.

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