Feb. 7, 2003

by Mike Houck, OU Athletics Media Relations

Oklahoma senior guard Hollis Price is in the midst of a busy senior season and is wrapping up a stellar collegiate basketball career. Despite the numerous demands on his time, the New Orleans, La., native provided a few moments and answered a variety of questions regarding his OU experience and what lies ahead for the likable All-America candidate.

Question: Why did you choose the University of Oklahoma?
Price: "Two reasons. One was Coach Sampson and the other was Eduardo (Najera). I came here on my visit and I got to play in a pick-up game with Ed. How hard he played in that pick-up game made me want to come here and be a part of the Sooner basketball program. And Coach, he came to my house on a visit and said 'Not many houses are a home. Your house is a home.' That stuck with me and I'll always remember him saying that."

Question: Have you had any regrets about going to OU?
Price: "No, I haven't. I visited Texas after I visited Oklahoma and it was difficult because my dad lived in Austin. As soon as I got back (from the Texas visit), Coach Sampson called and I was a little hesitant on picking a school. The next day my grandfather and I talked about OU and Texas, and I made a great decision in picking OU."

Question: You have more ball ahead of you here, but what have been your most memorable moments on the court so far?
Price: "I go back to my freshman year and the Missouri game at the Big 12 Tournament. I hit two free throws to send the game to overtime and we won. Another was when I tore the tendon in my right arm in the 2001 NCAA Tournament in Memphis. And then there's the Texas Tech game at home this year, which was obviously pretty exciting."

Question: What are the most valuable lessons you've learned?
Price: "Just treat everybody with respect. That's what my grandfather and my grandmother taught me. And to choose your friends wisely. Not everybody is your friend for the the right reason."

Question: What lessons have you learned at OU?
Price: "Don't forget where you come from. Coach Sampson always reminds us of that. That's something every human being should think about and remember throughout life."

Question: What does it mean to you to be considered one of the best players in OU history? When you signed, did you ever envision you'd be mentioned as one of the best?
Price: "No, I never thought I'd go down as one of the best players in history at OU. I just wanted to come here and win a few games, and hopefully a championship. Coach Sampson gave me the chance to do the things that I've done. And so have the players around me."

Question: Outside of basketball, what have you enjoyed most about OU?
Price: "The people. I've made a whole lot of friends here. For example, I've met some friends who have taught me how to golf and now I love it. It's just the little things, and the friends I've made here."

Question: How good are you at golf?
Price: "Oh, I'm not that good. But I can move the ball forward. That's the most important thing."

Question: Can you get it in the air?
Price: (Laughing) "Yeah, I can get it in the air. I've gotten better, now."

Question: Is an NBA team going to draft you in June?
Price: "Hey, I hope so. That'd be great if somebody would like me to play on their team. I haven't heard anything so far."

Question: What team do you want to play for?
Price: "Whoever drafts me. That's all I'll say about that."

Question: What do you envision yourself doing 15 or 20 years from now?
Price: "I'll probably be back here in Oklahoma doing something with the school, if I'm not coaching. Or maybe I'll be coaching OU. That'd be cool."

Question: So if you picture yourself back here in Oklahoma, you obviously like the area. Right?
Price: "Yeah, I do. I've made a lot of friends here. And my grandfather told me a while ago that once I leave Louisiana that I might never have to work there again because of the connections I was going to make in Oklahoma. Coach Sampson told me something similar recently. The friends and connections I've made in Oklahoma might keep me here the rest of my life."

Question: You've got a great smile and love to flash it all the time. Have you been showing your teeth ever since you were a kid?
Price: "Yeah, I've always been complimented on my smile. I probably get it from my grandmother. And my grandfather smiles all the time, too."

Question: Everyone knows Coach Sampson is a blue-collar coach. What is something about him that most people might not know?
Price: "He's calmer than what you think. People see the Coach Sampson on television during games. That Coach Sampson is so intense. But off the court he cracks a lot of jokes. He'll mess with us and make fun of how we walk or talk and stuff like that. He's funny."

Question: How do you spend what limited free time you have?
Price: "I'd say talking on the phone to my girlfriend. And I play video games. I'm starting to play "Madden" a lot. And I play "March Madness" a lot. My team is OU and in the video game I'm averaging 66 points a game. We've lost three games but we made it to the championship game against Pittsburgh. But I'm going to save it until April 7."

Question: How do you want people to remember you?
Price: "As one of the nicest people they've ever met. Really down to earth. A guy you can talk to. A lot of athletes probably think too much of themselves and can't talk to people. I just want to be remembered as a nice person you can talk to any time."