Off the record with Dietrich Lever

Junior point guard talks about family, former coach

Ferris State junior point guard Dietrich Lever has remained reliable as a squad leader as the Bulldogs make an early push for conference contention in the 2013-14 basketball season. Lever analyzes the still-young season and opens up on his beloved game. This is Dietrich Lever, off the record.

Torch-What is basketball to you?

DL-It’s everything. It’s an amazing game to play and I also use it as a gateway to other opportunities.

Torch-How does this season’s team match up against the past Ferris teams you have played on?

DL-It’s a much different feel. It’s a very balanced effort across the board, so we’re not very dependent on one or two people. I think the balance throws our opponents off a lot.

Torch-I understand players don’t like to look past games, but with the Northern Michigan game so close, it’s hard to not ask about Ferris’ first matchup against its old coach. What will it be like for you facing Bill Sall for the first time since his departure?

DL-That’s going to be a fun game; we’re all looking forward to going up against Coach Sall. He’s going to know us better than any other team does, so it should be an interesting matchup.

Torch-Is it going to be a hug or a handshake for Sall from you?

DL-(laughs) It’s going to be a handshake before the game, but a hug after.

Torch-Let’s talk about something very interesting to me; former NBA two-time all-star point guard, Lafayette “Fat” Lever, is a cousin of yours. Did he have any influence on you growing up?

DL-Incredibly enough, I have never met him. I always heard about him and wanted to connect and talk basketball with him, but I never got the opportunity.

Torch-Wow, that’s very surprising. So, who did have the biggest basketball influence on you growing up?

DL-Definitely my father. He was a very good player who never really had the chance to play much organized basketball. He taught me everything I know about basketball and helped me evolve over the years.

Torch-Ok, so let’s talk some chalk. The game is on the line with five seconds left and no bonus. Ball’s in your hands, what do you do with it? Pass and shoot on the perimeter, drive the lane, or do you Kenny Brown the hell out of it?

DL-(laughs) Drive the lane and look for the shot, but if I’m covered, find the open man for the game winner.

Torch-Best NBA point guard?

DL-Gotta go with “Zeke” Isaiah Thomas.

Torch-Nice, if you were the NBA commissioner, what’s the first change you make?

DL-I wouldn’t fine players for flopping. I think it’s part of the game and I would leave actions on the court on the court.