Q and A: Monte Morris on his basketball camp and incoming Cyclones

Iowa State senior Monte Morris celebrates the Cyclones’ 86-83 victory over Oklahoma State Feb. 28. 

Noah Rohlfing

Monte Morris was walking in the shoes of many former Cyclone basketball stars before him as he watched YMCA Capital City league action on Sunday, July 22.

Morris was back in town to throw the first pitch at Principal Park for an Iowa Cubs game, and he decided to stick around to check out the next group of Cyclones.

He was swarmed by fans asking for pictures and autographs in the hallways of Valley High School, and approached by some fans in the stands for the chance to shake his hand. Morris was a celebrity, and as more former Cyclones get chances in the NBA, it becomes crystal clear: when former Cyclones return to central Iowa, it’s an event.

Morris recently received a 3-year, $4.8 million deal with the Denver Nuggets (the first two years of the deal are fully guaranteed). Morris will spend this season competing with veteran guard Isaiah Thomas in the backup point guard positions behind third-year player Jamal Murray.

The Daily spoke to Morris briefly during his Cap City visit, discussing a number of topics from his new contract with the Nuggets to his feelings on the new Cyclones freshmen.


Iowa State Daily: How does it feel to have a new contract?

Monte Morris: It feels good. The work is far from done, but it’s a start.

Daily: What do you think of the new freshman class?

Morris: I like ‘em. Talking to Talen, you know he’s a big-time recruit coming in, so we got a lot of the freshmen guys having their core like we did that could be around for a long time, unless they’re fortunate to go pro early.

They got a good group, and they’ve already got Lindell and Terrence and Cam and [Solomon Young].

Daily: You’ve got your camp coming up July 28th (in Ankeny, Iowa), what’s it like for you to work with the kids and give back?

Morris: I’m looking forward to it. They can get a look on my life, and other things like that. They can ask me questions, and a lot of kids probably haven’t seen me in person before, so that’s probably gonna come. I’m just looking forward to interacting with everybody.

Daily: What are your expectations for this upcoming season with the Nuggets?

Morris: Do whatever role, try to get minutes and go have a good training camp. Keep proving to the world that I belong at this level.

Daily: Are you excited to play alongside Isaiah Thomas?

Morris: Definitely. Hell of a player, heck of a career so far. [He’s] faced a lot of adversity so far, but he always answers back. I’m looking forward to meeting him in person and getting great advice.

Daily: What’s it like seeing your other teammates have success in the League too?

Morris: It’s good, it’s good for Iowa State basketball. It’s been a good summer for us, and there’s plenty more players that are gonna follow suit.