Behind the scenes: Interviewing Rashad Vaughn

Most high school juniors would be thrilled by the amount of scholarship letters cramming their mailbox.

Not Rashad Vaughn. He’s receiving so much interest, he doesn’t even open his mail anymore.

ThreeSixty writer Amolak Singh learned that tidbit, and a few others, during a conversation with the Robbinsdale Cooper High School basketball standout yesterday. For our February issue, Amolak will be profiling Rashad’s rise up the ESPN prep basketball rankings — he’s listed as the 10th best recruit in the country — and what it means to have that pressure riding on your shoulders as a teenager.

“Some good, some bad,” is what Rashad told us about life inside the fishbowl, where teachers and peers are known to treat him a bit differently. Then again, his nickname is Mr. Showtime.

It was especially generous of Robbinsdale coach Steve Burton to allow us to watch practice and see Rashad in action on the court. Burton is clearly looking out for his star pupil and wants to expose him to more adult situations, including interviews, since that’ll be the world he has to get used to come college — or perhaps even a jump to the NBA. That is Rashad’s dream, after all.

Likewise, we’re all about putting our teens in touch with interesting topics and subjects, in this case, a teen with the whole world ahead of him thanks to some special talents. It was also particularly interesting, to me, that Amolak and Rashad had a chance to connect as peers. That’s what reporting is — just having a conversation. Amolak may have even put a good word in for his beloved Golden Gophers (shhhhhhh!).

Look for the story in February’s issue. And go see Rashad play. Dude is breaking ankles out there.

— Thomas Rozwadowski, ThreeSixty editor