Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham had his first official meeting with the local media during a Zoom call on Wednesday.
Cunningham, one of the most sought after recruits in the country, chatted with the media for nearly 40 minutes. Having been in the national spotlight for a while, Cunningham showed he is more than comfortable conversing with the media.
The 6-7, 215-pound guard talked about his decision to commit and stay with OSU and answered questions regarding several other topics.
Here are a few tidbits from Cunningham’s Zoom call:
Not getting his hopes up for the NCAA Tournament
Oklahoma State was hit with a one-year postseason ban a little over a month ago. The Cowboys are appealing the sanction and are confident in the possibility of overturning the decision. Cunningham said he isn’t getting his hopes up and believes there is still a lot the team can accomplish to impact the program’s future even without a postseason.
“Playing in the postseason, I feel like it’s always been a dream of mine but I’m really just excited to get with the team and see if we can win a Big 12 Conference championship and get as much success as we can,” Cunningham said. “I feel like there is still a lot of goals that we can accomplish. … I’m not going to get my hopes up but if they do allow us to be in there we’ll be ready for it. We’re going to prepare the whole season like we’re going to play in the Final Four and if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.”
LeBron James over Michael Jordan
An 18-year-old Cunningham sided with his era of basketball when he was asked the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan question. He said he’s watched a lot of Jordan highlights but he’s choosing James.
“I’m growing up in the LeBron era so I have to say LeBron just out of respect,” Cunningham said. “I have to say LeBron but I’m not going to argue with anybody that says Michael Jordan at all. That’s Michael Jordan I can’t argue with that. I did watch the documentary (ESPN's The Last Dance) and it did wake me up on a lot of things.”
Cunningham said choosing a favorite NBA player is tough because he switches a lot. He named James as his biggest influence throughout his childhood because James has been the best since he’s been watching basketball, Cunningham said. However, Luka Doncic is his favorite NBA player right now.
“I watch a whole lot of Luka Doncic,” Cunningham said. “I grew up in Dallas so Dirk (Nowitzki) was my guy and now Luka is the new Dallas Mavs guy. Luka, we have pretty similar body types.”
Cannen Cunningham was the cherry on top
When speaking about his decision to play at OSU, Cade Cunningham made it clear the feeling of the program was the main factor in his decision but having his brother on the coaching staff also helped.
“I feel like him being there was just the cherry on top but I feel like the whole program as a whole was the foundation and everything else in between. That’s what won me over,” Cunningham said. “And then having my brother being here, it made it almost a no brainer for me. Having Cannen here it means a whole lot. He and my cousin Ashton are two of the biggest reasons why I am the player that I am today so being able to work a full season with him I feel like will help my game tremendously.”
Eskimo Joe's is one of the most popular eating spots in Stillwater and eating there has almost become a Stillwater rite of passage for new OSU athletes. Cunningham hasn’t had his Eskimo Joe's experience yet but said he’ll give it a review once he does.
“Me and Chris Harris, we drove over there and we walked in but it was packed,” Cunningham said. “It was super packed when I got there and they said it was like a 25-minute wait. But I will get in there that’s a promise. I will get in there to see what all the hype is about.”