Jaye Crockett proudly says he does everything for the city of Clovis, even if it means his duties don't let him get back to his home often.
Crockett, a 2009 graduate of Clovis High School, is working to recover from a sports hernia surgery and get set for a junior season with Texas Tech. Crockett is Clovis' No. 2 all-time scorer and helped the Wildcats reach the 2008 Class 5A title game.
Q: How was the first year under new Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie?
A: It was great. He's a tough coach. He has a reputation for pushing people really hard. He taught me so much as far as becoming mentally tough for life, not just for basketball.
Q: What strides do you feel you made last year?
A: I realized the things I needed to get better at, like ballhandling and shooting.
Q: What are you concentrating on in the offseason?
A: I just had surgery (May 8 for a sports hernia on the right side of his groin), so I'm focusing on getting healthy. I couldn't shoot too much because of the injury I had. I've been working on a lot of ballhandling.
Q: Are there specific weight or strength goals you're trying to reach?
A: Nothing specific. I just need to get stronger. I'm just concentrating on getting healthy.
Q: If you were handed your statistics from your time so far at Texas Tech, what's the one stat you look at and say, "That will improve in 2012-13"?
A: Turnovers. Last year, I was horrible with turnovers. Losing the ball, making bad passes.
Q: How did the hernia affect you during the season?
A: I wasn't as explosive or quick off the dribble. It slowed me down a little bit, but I had to be a bit craftier because I wasn't as athletic. I was able to use my body, use the goal. I was working on things like passing the ball more.
I think it was great for me. I got to observe and watch the team. I was able to learn to be a leader.
Q: Now that you're one of the older guys, what do you notice about the younger guys?
A: Everything from how they act in class, study hall, how they approach practice. There's nothing I can name in specific, but there are always things.
Q: Let's say one of those guys is 2009 Clovis High graduate Jaye Crockett. What does 2012 Jaye Crockett tell him?
A: I would tell him to work every day like it's his last. I would always say I can wait until October to do this, or I can wait until August, or I've got the whole summer. You can't do that. You don't want to look back and have any regrets. People say that all the time, but that's really true.
Q: You're on schedule to graduate in May, but thanks to your redshirt season you still have two years of eligibility left over. Are you working towards a second degree, or graduate work?
A: I'm going to work on my master's degree. I don't know (specifics) yet, but I'm thinking of working in advertising.
Q: What kind of team goals do you guys have?
A: To win the conference, win the whole thing. Everybody should have that goal. You shouldn't go into it if that's not your goal.
Q: I'm not sure if you've ever kept in touch with Hobbs grad Jeff Taylor since he went to Vanderbilt. What's the experience like knowing somebody you played against in high school has been drafted by an NBA team (Charlotte Bobcats, 31st overall)?
A: That's just motivation to show me it's possible. If he can do it, I can do it.
Q: What do you have to do to give yourself a chance to be drafted yourself?
A: I have to work like every day is my last. I have to work like I'm not going to be able to walk the next day.
— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson