Yogi Ferrell has been hitching rides with teammates since joining the Dallas Mavericks last January. He got rid of his ride, a Chevrolet Tahoe, when he joined the Brooklyn Nets after going undrafted a year ago out of Indiana.
But none of his teammates has the driving credentials of the man who gave Ferrell a lift on Friday. Ferrell had an IndyCar experience of a lifetime, taking a couple laps with former Indianapolis 500 champion Mario Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway.
“You felt it, man … the G-force is pretty crazy,” Ferrell said. “I’ve never gone that fast before. Once you get in that car going that fast, everything else is pretty much just thrown out the window and just focus on the track. Just fun being in there.”
Ferrell, 24, went to the track as a guest of driver Ed Carpenter. Ferrell and Carpenter graduated from the same high school in Indianapolis, Park Tudor.
Outside of his racing experience, Ferrell reflected back on his rookie season, during which he averaged 11.3 points and played in 39 games (29 starts) for the Mavericks.
On his rookie season: “A lot of ups and downs in my first professional season, but just proud of the way I stuck with it. I made the most of my opportunity. Now it’s just being able to build off that opportunity into something that can be a great story, great success for myself.”
On coach Rick Carlisle not labeling him as a starter or a backup: “The biggest thing he said right after the season ended is vision on the court — being able to make all different kinds of reads in the pick and roll. That’s the biggest thing. He knows I can shoot it, I can score, he just said that I have to focus on my vision. That comes with experience and time and just working on it in a live setting at practice.”
On thoughts on Mavericks possibly drafting a point guard: “Actually I have no thoughts [on the draft]. What I’ve learned from the NBA is things can change from one hour to the next. People can have different opinions about stuff, but I know whoever we bring is going to be someone who is a winner and wants to compete.”
On going undrafted a year ago: “I know a lot of things go into it. I felt like throughout my predraft process I had 11 out of 16 workouts where I feel like I impressed organizations. Dallas was one of them. … I wasn’t disappointed [to go undrafted].”
On his next ride: “Right now, I’m car-less. I’ve got to invest in one here pretty soon. I did have a Tahoe, so I like the trucks.”