Keith Rendleman: The Rebound King

Q. What are your thoughts on becoming the all-time leading rebounder at UNCW?
A. It's something that I never really pictured as happening. It's a great honor to come in here and leave with my name so high in the record books. It's a big deal for me. I definitely didn't look into the rebounding record when I came four years ago. Actually, I was surprised when I found out how close I was and it was good to see all the hard work paying off.

Q. When did you think you might have a shot at breaking Brian Rowsom's longtime record?
A. It was probably at the beginning of this year. I sat down, looked at it and did some calculations on what I needed to average. At that time, I saw it coming together.

Q. Why do you think you've been able to accomplish this feat?
A. Conditioning has been very important. Being able to stay in the game a long time and the willingness to take a beating that long. You get beat up a lot inside. My athleticism has helped a lot and I have the knack for knowing where the ball is coming off the rim.

Q. You've had so many memorable games over the last four seasons. Does one stand out to you?
A. It was probably Homecoming this year against Northeastern. They were the No. 1 team in the conference and it's always good to beat the No. 1 team at Homecoming. I also remember last year's game at home against Delaware when (Jamelle) Hagins and I went at it the whole game. He's been a big rival for me.

Q. You mentioned Jamelle Hagins. Brian Rowsom had David Robinson during his outstanding career. Has Hagins been your biggest rival?
A. Probably. We always try to outdo each other. This year, Jerelle Benimon came along and went went head-to-head as well. They're both pretty cool and we're aware of each other. I try to work hard every day, but those guys bring out the best in me and it's more of a challenge.

Q. You tied the single game record with 21 rebounds in the game against Towson back on January 2 at Trask Coliseum. What do you remember about that night?
A. That really caught me off guard. I didn't know I had that many rebounds. I thought I had maybe 13 or 14 and that was exciting to find out.

Q. What is the Keith Rendleman legacy? What do you want people to remember about Keith Rendleman as a student-athlete and player?
A. I just want them to know that I was always out there giving my all. Wilmington will always be home for me. I wanted to finish my career here. I want them to think of me as a hard worker and a great player that came through here.

Q. Take us through your years here, from your first year to your last. Talk about the metamorphosis of your career from then to now.
A. In my freshman year, I just remember how big of an adjustment it was. Everyone was bigger and stronger and the game was a lot faster. I think I adjusted pretty quickly, but my scoring wasn't up to par. In my sophomore year, I had to step it up. We lost some key players and I had to try to help the team out. The biggest thing about my freshman year was that we had eight freshmen on the team. I had to take on more of a leadership role. Getting First-Team All-Conference was a great reward for all the work I put in. This year, my scoring has come together and I've been able to score when the team has needed me. Being bigger and stronger has helped me out and I've rebounded out of my area.

Q. You've played for two head coaches during your time at UNCW. What will you remember about them?
A. Honestly, I was closer to Coach (Brooks) Lee because he recruited me out of high school. He gave me a lot of advice about school and basketball. He has been and still is a big supporter and we have a good relationship. Coach Peterson will never quit on you. He just tells you not to worry about scoring and to just keep playing hard. He has been very supportive and is a great player's coach.

Q. You were a great all-around athlete in high school, including a high jumper in track. You cleared 6-foot-8 at East Lincoln High School. Any thoughts of revisiting that this spring on campus?
A. I've spoken with Coach (Jim) Sprecher about it a couple times. I might come out to practice one day to see if I still have the technique to do it. I'm not too worried about getting hurt. The only way you could get hurt is to land on the bar.

Q. Are there any players, past or present, which have inspired you to become a great rebounder?
A. Not really, but Dennis Rodman went to the league and had a great career. He wasn't the best shooter on the court, but he was an awesome rebounder. Just look at Kevin Love and Dwight Howard. They both average in double figures in rebounding. If you're good at it, you can go a long way and go far in your career.

Q. You've developed into a double-double machine this season with the Seahawks. Has that always been on your radar?
A. My parents talk about it and I think about it some now. Being able to score had helped. I don't really count how many points or rebounds I have in a game. I just let them come.

Q. You set the record with 11 rebounds in UNCW's loss at Old Dominion. Are you disappointed that it was set on the road?
A. Yeah, I wanted to set it at home in front of the home crowd, but it just didn't work out that way. Just being able to break it, though, makes me happy.

Q. How are you going to celebrate this accomplishment?
A. I don't really have anything planned. I just wanted to get caught up on my sleep.

Q. Tell us about your future. What would you like to be doing next year at this time?
A. As long as I'm playing somewhere and making a good living, I'll be happy. I'd like to play here in the United States first in the NBA. As a fallback, I'd like to play somewhere overseas like Spain or Italy. They have the best basketball over there.