Sean Kilpatrick sat down with YES Network's Sarah Kustok recently and in a video posted Tuesday, he spoke about how much he's grateful to the Nets and Sean Marks for seeing "something in me that everyone else didn't see." And he promises to play as hard as he can so that "everyone in that arena" knows his name.
Kilpatrick, a 6'4" combo guard, was Marks first signing back in March, a three-year deal with last year and this year guaranteed. The Nets GM had promised fans he could find value in places others didn't, like Europe and the D-League. Kilpatrick, a Cincinnati product, had been tearing up the D-League with the 76ers affiliate before the Nets called him up.
Kilpatrick said it all finally hit him during the lead-up to his first game under contract.
"I remember going through the Star-Spangled Banner and when I was going through it I was just thinking, wondering 'What did Sean Marks see in me that everyone else didn't see and remember a tear dropping," said Kilpatrick.
"I mean after all this hard work, you had finally found a home. You found somewhere where someone actually believe in you and someone actually wants to help you get better to be the best you can possibly be. So I'm going to continue to make sure that everyone in this building know who I am and why I play this game."
Kilpatrick also opened up about the humble beginnings that precipitated a personal growth to accept more responsibility in the family. "My dad, when I was younger, he wasn't around. He was incarcerated...I had to take a bigger role. My mom was busting her butt to making sure me and brother had everything we could possibly have."
An energetic player on the court, he cites similar players who match their effort with a spirited personality, notably Allan Iverson, who first "intrigued [him] with this game of basketball." He also lists Kobe and former Net Kevin Garnett as players who have influenced his own intensity.
His value of family is understood from the increased responsibilities he faced when he was young, and as he elucidates, was a deciding factor in why his journey into the league didn't include playing overseas:
"Because growing up, that wasn't my dream. I wanted to make it to the NBA; not only that, but at this time, I had a daughter. She's five and I didn't want to go overseas to the point where she's asking 'where's my daddy?' So I'm going to keep fighting and clawing to make sure that every team in the association sees who I am."
You've got our attention, Sean.