Five questions with Taurean Prince

Atlanta Hawks Taurean Prince, getting his first start, drives to the basket past Brooklyn Nets forward K.J. McDaniels in a NBA basketball game on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The Q&A series with Hawks players from their season-ending exit interviews resumes.

Today: Rookie Taurean Prince, who started the season in a limited role and ended up starting all six playoff games. He says he plans to spend most of the offseason working out in Atlanta.

Q. You certainly had an interesting season from where you started to where you ended. How would you describe your rookie season?

A. It was everything I thought it would be. The playoffs were great. I’m glad I got to experience that. As far as he regular season, it just goes to show you what patience can bring, just trusting the process, not getting too low or too high. Then, just believing in your abilities as a player.

Q. When you see how far you came, I trust you see there is still a greater ceiling. What are your plans going forward to achieve that?

A. Definitely be in the gym a lot. Work out with (assistant coach) Charles (Lee). I want to be an even better shooter. I want to be more consistent in that area. Work on my handle better to create for myself and other people. Just plan to take my talents to another level and contribute even more next year.

Q. Is there a sense of pride in how far you came? You were a starter in the NBA playoffs.

A. I don’t look at it like that. I just look at it as being blessed. God put you in the position for a reason. Everything is already written out in his book. We just have to live it. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen in my eyes.

Q. How much does it sting to get eliminated from the playoffs as a rookie? A lot of the others are veterans and have been through it before but how does it feel for a rookie?

A. I lost two years in a row in the NCAA Tournament first round. Losing this first round feels the exact same. You don’t want to lose. At the same time, you have to take the good from the bad and add it as fuel to the fire and look forward to next season.

Q. Was there someone in that locker room that you leaned on to learn how to become a professional basketball player?

A. No one specific. You have guys like (Mike Muscala), Tim (Hardaway Jr) who are more my age and walk around with a certain demeanor. Just watching their consistency allowed me to get better in mine. They probably don’t know that but it’s just me being a sponge and knowing what is around me. Me sitting next to Paul (Millsap), he’s one of the top professionals in the game so when you are learning things from him and just watching guys do what they do, you kind of pick up on things. Iron sharpens iron.

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