Monday, 20 July 2015

MO' BETTER BLUES- An Interview With Maurice Ager

Soul & Basketball 2.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Youtube any highlights package featuring the best dunks in NBA basketball games of recent memory and you'll definitely come across the plays of Maurice Ager...whether styling and showcasing the video or beat backing it up. The former Michigan State Spartan star who led his college campus to wins over the University of Kentucky and epic scoring duels with former Laker champion and Gonzaga star Adam Morrison was drafted in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks in 2006 for an NBA career that saw him make stints with the Nets in New Jersey and a few franchises in the D-League. Stints that showcased his amazing, aerial acrobatic athleticism of contest worthy dunks and stuff swatting blocks. There was mo to Mo's game however as he also held a water pure shot to go with a decent all round game. Think of Josh Smith with a better shot. You may think what happened to this kids one, who logged some time in Europe before recording his last NBA minute over a half decade ago for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010. But since then Ager has aged from one game to another, sacrificing his NBA body like he did every night on court to hold a different type of floor. Still young at 31 and with so much potential and future, like NBA years left in the locker, this man has switched to the studio. Swapping sneakers for speakers in a ball players dream, tipping off his balling career in the music world. The award winning beat man has already received Grammy recognition for his track 'Far From Home' too. It's clear he isn't as the man from the Detroit home of Marvin and the Bad Boy Pistons is showing that the tough riding Motor City has inspired another changing lane of this master of two games. His 2013 album 'Moe Town Vol 1' is a testament to this as it is to the most blue collar American city. We went one-on-one, beat for beat and game for game with the multi-talented Ager as he beats and bounces from the rock to rap. Showing us with mo' balling, comes no problems for Moe.

Hey Maurice, thank you for your time. Congratulations on all your success. How are you doing? What's new?

Thanks a ton! Right now i'm promoting my new album. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/zonin-deluxe-lp/id1017413162 It's A wonderful body of work that I'm really proud of.

Congratulations on your award winning and Grammy considered career in music. What do you have in store for us next?

Just continue to create the best music that I can. Speak and engage with people all around the world, through b-ball and music.

From sport to music how easy and how much of a sacrifice has it been transitioning from one game to another?

The biggest sacrifice has been finance, but that in itself with take care of it's self. I'm much wiser and richer now than I have ever been. Life is great and God is always providing my every need.

They say ever ball player wants to be a rapper and every rapper a baller. What if any similarities do hoops and hip hop share when it comes to how they work and are performed? And what influence from one can you use to inspire the other?

Just the urban connection I would say. Most ball players come from inner cities.

When it comes to moving a crowd what gives you more energy and passion? Dropping a big beat, or a big play like your signature dunks and blocks?

Now a days it's my passion to move people with my mind!

From E-40 to Cypress Hill you've worked with some of the West's best. Who are you looking to work with in music in the future and who in this game would you most like to collaborate with?

Boi-1da.

How does it feel to be validated and praised by awards and considered with the highest honour of a Grammy?

A blessing man! I humbly plan to win one one day but now I'm happy to have be considered.

When you come up with a new beat how does your creative process go and flow?

I'm moved by the spirit. I never know when I'm going to make music. It can be anything that moves me. I'm inspired by living.

How can you relate feeling the flow of a beat to the flow of a game?

It's all the same. The best things in life happens when your alined and relaxed. Flow!!

Going back to your hoops career. From leading your team over Kentucky to having a scoring duel with fellow college legend Adam Morrison could you please share with us some of your favourite, earliest hoops memories?
Honestly, working on my game for hours by myself as a kid! Those were my best hoop memories.

What did it feel like to be drafted in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks? I always say number 28 is the lucky, ace in the hole pick for teams!

Felt like a relief. Years of hard work and dedication to be called on the wonderful night!

What advice would you give to these new kids entering the league and who do you like from this years draft?

Brandon Dawson of course go green. I would tell them to keep themselves clean! Stay focused on God!

From Dallas to Minnesota and in the old New Jersey home of the Nets can you share with us some of your best basketball experiences in the NBA?

Making my first televised NBA start against the Spurs. I had a wonderful game and it was indeed a highlight moment for me.

With some time in the NBDL can you stress to us and young players in the association how important this development league is for rising players of talent?

It's just a great chance to be seen by the NBA. Take advantage every night because you never know who's watching.

You where an extremely athletic player with great hops and a pure shot. With a knack of making big plays how did it feel to be a heart paddle, energizer type player that could help lift a team and its fans enthusiasm and momentum?

Amazing!

Could you tell the youngsters with big league, basketball dreams all about your 'Hoop School'?

It's all about enriching our youth. Ball just so happen to be a vehicle to be able to help the youth. We teach life, love and flow.

At 31 you're still young with plenty of years left in the tank. Would you ever consider a return to the game at full health and do you feel your sacrifice in this one will pay off with your direction and focus to your music one?

Nope I'm done!! Moved on to bigger and better things in my mind. Yes I will be rewarded for my leap of faith to do music full time. It's all ready blooming.

Who inspires you in each game?

Me!

Former NBA guys like Walt McCarthy and Kareem Rush have tried their former hoop hands at making music, with great success. It's not just Shaq and Kobe. Which ball players music do you like to play and what advice would you offer any other players who want to make that change in playing the next chapter of their career in the music world?

I don't listen to none of them with the upmost respect. I would tell them to do it for the love! and the rest will follow.

Finally, if you where to create a Youtube highlight package of your career like so many we see online what one, particular play would define it and which beat would you back this mix with?

My dunk over Reddick and my song 'Everything Official' (laughs).

Maurice we sincerely thank you for your time and creative output on and off the floor. We wish you every success and blessing for the future. Thank you.

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