After sitting out Monday's preseason game against the Sacramento Kings to witness the birth of his daughter Emanah, Al-Farouq Aminu returns to Trail Blazers practice and describes his experience. Transcript below.
Video by Sean Meagher, The Oregonian
It’s crazy, man, it was just life changing. Finally just starting a family, a legacy, different things like that, it’s an amazing feeling. I’ve just been soaking it all in. Every moment I’m with my family is amazing.
Kind of easy to forget about basketball, at least for those 24 hours or so?
Yeah, it was good, man, because I always think about basketball, so it’s good to have a refresh button, so when I get home I got a kid that I want to play with, and do stuff with and different things like that. By the time I get here it’s like I’m playing with a new toy again, you know what I mean? You get to dive back into it all the way again. So I think it’s actually been good for me, having something that is not just 24 hours of basketball. It’s actually a break from it, so therefore I’ll be fresh when I come back to it.
You got much sleep the last couple days?
Yeah, man, actually I’ve been surprisingly able to sleep a little bit. My wife and then also my mother-in-law have been in town, so they’ve been doing a great job. They’ve been really helpful with that and I think that’s why she wanted to come and different things like that. I don’t know if I even want to get some sleep, but I know I have to, so it’s a balance.
Can you describe that moment when you held your daughter for the first time?
It was amazing, man. Just a lot of different emotions going through your head, but I don’t know, it’s just surreal. It’s just like one second there is no baby, the next second there is a baby. Simply life changing and amazing to put it in simpler terms.
How are you feeling about finally getting to play tomorrow?
It’s good, man. That’s the easy part. It’s just playing basketball. So not easy, but you know what I mean, it’s what you know how to do, so it feels good.
I’m assuming you watched film of the guys on Monday?
Yeah, for sure. I watched film, different things like that. I thought they did a really good job. The first preseason game—it looked a lot more polished. Usually a preseason game looks, you know, usually you see people dribbling off their feet, different stuff like that, but the game looked pretty smooth. So I think that was a testament to us being in there early. I really think that we’re showing signs of a little bit of chemistry. It seems great to me. I’m just hoping that I can come in and fit in where I need to fit in.
Did you get a haircut because of the baby?
Yeah, I think so, man. I guess. I’ve been wanting to get it cut and I can’t predict when the baby was coming, so I just picked a day to get my hair cut and the baby came the next day. I guess it is for the baby.