In a summer of change for the Brooklyn Nets, one of the additions they made was signing Beau Beech to a partially guaranteed deal. New York Sports Hub had a chance to speak to the North Florida sharpshooter to talk about his college days, what he’s looking forward to with Brooklyn and a lot more.
Take us through the recruiting process you had in high school that eventually landed you in Florida?
So even before that I graduated, I grew up 20 minutes outside of Jacksonville, Florida. Growing up, basketball wasn’t a huge deal in the Jacksonville area, it’s more football dominated, but my high school coach, he’s been coaching high school basketball 30 years.
I was always in the gym watching him coach, practice, games everything, you know the whole nine yards so I grew up around basketball, high school basketball specifically, and once I got into high school with my coach I had a great opportunity and a great experience. I lived two minutes from my high school so I got to shoot with my dad, workout with my dad pretty much everyday whenever we wanted, whenever we could.
Recruiting wise I never thought that I’d actually go to University of North Florida (UNF). It’s 20 minutes from my house so not a far drive at all. But I never thought I would actually go there growing up but then just going through the recruiting process I had taken a couple visits, schools were calling and it just felt comfortable with the coaching staff at UNF, the campus itself and where the program was trending.
I knew it was where I wanted to go and I felt it gave me the best opportunity to grow my game so it all played itself out pretty well. I told my college coach Matthew Driscoll when he was recruiting me that I want to be the first NBA player from UNF. That was always my goal to him and my personal goal and he believed that goal with me. He worked with me whenever he could, as much as the NCAA would allow. He believed in me and we had a successful four years at UNF and I think the program is in great hands with him in the future as well.
What was running through your head when the Brooklyn Nets called you?
I kind of had an idea that maybe not that team particularly would call, but that teams were going to call. I had a couple good pre-draft workouts and I thought in my mind I had played well. So once the Nets called, I knew it right away that’s where I wanted to be, going to the workout up in that brand new facility, getting to meet some of the coaches, the training staff and the performance team, I knew that was the right place.
It reminded me of UNF in the sense that everyone was so energetic about the whole process of where the organization was going, where it was trending. I just knew the organization would succeed so once they called I thought, “This is a great experience, a great opportunity and one that I couldn’t pass up.”
What are your thoughts on the new training center and staff members of the Brooklyn Nets?
I didn’t know too much about the whole facility until I got there, but it’s just state of the art. Everything is taken care of in there in the sense that everything a player needs to be successful is in that facility so there is no reason not to be successful and then on top of that you have great front office guys, Mr. Marks and Coach Atkinson calling the floor.
These guys are so focused on development and getting the most out you, they’ll give you whatever you need to be successful. Over time it’s all about the way they’re playing is the vibes are all going to work out in the end and they believe in it, I believe in it and I think once you get those parties, players, coaches and front office all on the same page, the same mentality it’s just going to be unbelievable.
Now it takes time obviously, but I think they’re doing a great job just getting the right kind of guys in there, guys that want to work hard and we’ll get there eventually.
What do you think you can personally bring to this Nets team?
What’s got me here even talking to you is my ability to shoot, my size and my skillset. It’s unique, I was never really this tall (laughs), I was always more of a shooting guard all throughout high school but in college I started out at the two, but I kept growing so as the team needed me I slid down for the two to the three to the four.
The way the NBA is trending now the stretch four has become such a lethal part of the game and such a coveted position. Look at Draymond Green, the Cavaliers played LeBron James down there. They are 6’8 guys who can handle, can shoot and can defend multiple positions. That’s how I’m trying to model my game in the sense that I want to be a mismatch kind of guy where I can stretch the floor and knock down shots, make plays while also being able to defend 1-5 really.
What was your favorite part of competing in the Las Vegas Summer League?
The best part about that was honestly all of it.
It was the second time I’d been to Vegas, first time I stayed on the Strip, being able to walk around was really cool. You really get to experience the atmosphere that Las Vegas provides. The best basketball part of it was that first game actually when we played the Cavaliers. We won.
I live in Dallas right now, been training in Dallas since May 1. My roommates are Kay Felder and Cory Jefferson, they were playing on the Cavaliers summer league team so our first summer league game was against each other and we were all roommates so we were working out for two and a half months and competing against each other one-on-one, two-on-two and the first game we play in Summer League is against each other and we’d been living together the whole time.
I thought that was a really cool, unique experience outside of just even being there. The whole summer league atmosphere was awesome. That was best moment, experience and we won so I got to rub it in a little bit, even if they did get us later.
What are some of your goals and expectations heading into training camp?
My expectation is to make the team.
I am going to go out there and I’m going to make the team, that’s why I’m going there. I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make the team. The reason I’m going to training camp is to shoot it. That’s what I bring to the table, I’ll do what I do best and outside that do everything else to the best of my abilities and let it all play out because I’m not on a guaranteed contract so I just have to do everything I can to make the team. I think I can, I think I have a great chance and the more shots I make the tougher it is to cut me.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
One is more personal, even though it was basketball related and one’s more of an achievement. My senior year of high school, my dad was my coach. I went to a brand new high school, so I was the first graduating class from there. So there wasn’t much tradition in any sport. My senior year my dad and I won made it to the Sweet 16 in the state of Florida so for me and him to win that district championship, we actually won at the high school he used to coach at.
I had probably played more basketball games on the away court than I did in my own school’s court when we won the district championship. It was a crazy moment to win that game. To win that district championship with my dad was a great moment to have. It’s one of those things I’ll always look back on, always talk about. It’s something we wanted to achieve and we did it.
Personally that was the best basketball moment of my life. As a basketball achievement goes winning the Atlantic Sun tournament on our home floor in my junior year. Getting to the NCAA tournament was it was crazy. There were 6,000 people in the gym, our first sell out in school history, game on ESPN2. Final horn goes off and 6,000 people rush the floor in about 20 seconds and it’s just packed, it’s pandamonium. I got plenty of body paint on me that game, the white jersey got a little stained but it’s ok.
That was the basketball moment in the whole community, whole city, whole campus to rally around us for one game. To have that excitement of winning and knowing that you will be playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time as a school was beyond words.