In Part III of The Shadow League’s spotlight on Team Footprintz and the waves the program is making in elite basketball training circles, we spoke with Philippines National Team star Marcus Douthit, a former Big East baller at Providence. He’s the guy responsible for bringing Team Footprintz to Asia.
Following a successful career at Providence, the 6-11, 235-pound Douthit was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 56th pick of the second round in 2004’s NBA draft. However, Douthit decided to play ball in Belgium instead since the Lakers already had a deep roster and were still awaiting Karl Malone’s decision about joining the team. Although he never played in the NBA, Douthit came close to signing with both LA squads.
He averaged 16.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and helped lead the Albuquerque Thunderbirds to a D-League c’hip in 2005-06, before internationally barnstorming through Belgium, Turkey, Russia, South Korea and then in 2010, the Philippines. Douthit became a naturalized Filipino citizen on March 11, 2011, which allowed him to play for Smart Gilas, the Philippines' national outfit, where he’s now a mega star.
How’d you become the honorary Team Footprintz overseas ambassador?
I knew Mark Williams and Taliek Brown for a long time and I had been out in the Philippines for about four years when Team Footprintz was started and I knew Mark was trying to get exposure for his business so I asked him to come work me out on two occasions. We worked out about 10 days each time and it was really cool. It feels good to have some guys from the crib come over and work me out professionally, plus they do a great job. And obviously one hand washes the other so they look out for me and keep my game on point and I look out for them. It’s a great opportunity for both of us. They are trying to be global so I’m happy to get it started and be a part of it.
What are the advantages of being skill-enhanced by Team Footprintz?
The main thing with them is that they break down everything you do well. They know what my strengths and weaknesses are so when they came out we worked on things I needed to improve in my game, to get to the next level. We also worked on polishing moves I already had success with. They definitely know how to pay attention to detail and they don’t waste time working on stuff that you don’t need. That you already know. Also, they’re very professional, have a great work ethic and like I said I’ve been working with them for a long time and I’m just glad they are taking this global.
How far are you looking to push the limits of your celebrity as a Philippine rim-wrecker?
We are definitely going to try and do more things in the Filipino community just because that’s my contributions to the community. We’re going to try and do a camp in Canada, where most of the Filipinos reside, besides the Philippines. So were going to try and get some kind of movement going with that and hopefully the word gets out and things come from it. But I’m definitely going to be a part of Team Footprintz for as long as I can. This can go anywhere now that we have started expanding. The more guys you get in to work out, the more people see it.
In light of the Donald Sterling incident, how are you embraced as a black man in the Philippines?
Oh, there’s nothing but love. From day one, everyone treats me like their brother or cousin. It’s just like family out there. It’s very similar to being back at home. Mark and Taliek will tell you as soon as they touched down at the airport, it was all love. Nobody was looking at them crazy or anything. They knew what they were here for. The Philippines is the Philippines. If you’ve never been, you definitely need to come check us out.