Q and A with Tech basketball player D’Andre Bell

D’Andre Bell took a few minutes to call me on Tuesday afternoon from Los Angeles, where he’s rehabbing following surgery to correct a spinal condition.

He was cleared to return to Georgia Tech’s basketball team by his doctor, and coach Paul Hewitt announced Bell’s return on Tuesday.

Here’s a question-and-answer session with Bell:

 AJC: This will sound odd, but were you happier to get a clean bill of health, or happier knowing that you were going to get play basketball again?


Bell: Of course I was looking the most forward to successful health, whether basketball was there or not. I look it as a step-by-process. Even luckier that I’ll get to play.

 AJC: With your return, and depending upon what Gani [Lawal] decides, and with the freshman class coming in, how excited are you about this season?


Bell: I’m very excited. I’m always a guy that plays basketball. It’s my first love. I’ve grown very, very fond of Georgia Tech. Happy to do it for them one more year.

 AJC: When or how did you hear you were cleared? Was it by phone or were you at the doctor’s office?


Bell: I was at the doctor’s office, went through a checkup or two. Had an MRI done on my neck. Everything turned out positive. He shook my hand and said you’ll be cleared. You’ve passed all the tests. You say you feel well.

I don’t see any reason for you not to continue on with your career.

 AJC: Did a part of you think that you wouldn’t hear those words, ‘You’ll be cleared?’


Bell: Through the whole process any individual’s minds tend to play tricks on them. I tried to stay as optimistic as I can. I’m a believer in speaking things into existence. That’s what I believe happened here.

 AJC: What was your reaction when the doctor told you that?


Bell: I was relieved and scared at the same time. I’m so ready and excited. Now I feel like I have a lot weight on my shoulders. It’s my last year, last time to prove I can put a banner up. Prove that I’m good enough to make it to the next level. Not that I’m scared, it’s that I’m anxious. It’s the last go round and I have a lot of work to put in because I had to sit down for seven, eight months.

 AJC: How far away are you from being in game shape?


Bell: A bit of work to do. Cause game shape, what I have learned is I can do all the conditioning, but until you play a couple of games you aren’t going to be in game shape.

 AJC: How hard was last year on you, having to not only sit out, but to see things happen not the way most expected?


Bell: It was extremely hard. It was just as hard being right there on the bench and just witnessing everything, and trying to be instrumental in practice. For the season to turn out like it did. I can’t even describe or even revisit how I truly felt.

 AJC: What are you doing with the rest of the summer?


Bell: Rehabbing and working out. Combination of 3-4 different things. After rehab, conditioning, then skill work in the gym, intense stretching. Combination of those four things.

AJC: What positives have you taken from this experience? What have you learned about yourself that you will apply?


Bell: I do not know. I honestly do not know because coming into college I was blessed with the trait of not putting all my eggs in one basket. I have graduated. I have a safety net. I have plans after basketball. I’m just waiting to see what God has in store. Am I supposed to play basketball? Am I supposed to pursue my career in another arena?

I tried to stay patient and focus on other things in case basketball didn’t work out.

 AJC: What were those other things?


Bell: School. Stay focused on school. I’m an artist. I write poetry. Write lyrics. I was heavy into that. Heavy into community service. Just defining my career. I’m a business management major with a focus on marketing. I know exactly what I want to do, selling consumer products. Getting close to my teammates and living the college life.

18 comments Add your comment


May 26th, 2009
4:07 pm

good example of a “Tech Man”


May 26th, 2009
6:24 pm

Go Jackets! Bell, you represent GT very well!

blue fox

May 26th, 2009
6:46 pm

Breath of great news, both for Bell and the Tech BB program. Now if Gani will just stay for one more year . . .


May 26th, 2009
7:30 pm

Glad to hear Mr. Bell is back on track! keep up the hard work young man!


May 26th, 2009
8:09 pm

Doug, is there anyway you could upload another pic of Bell for the front page? He has some super ones that are much more flattering.

Thanks in advance!


May 26th, 2009
10:08 pm

Hopefully Mr. Bell will provide the leadership this team sorely lacks!!!!!!!! If so, it could be a very special team and season!! If not another great recruiting class down the toilet!!!

GT EE Class of '93

May 26th, 2009
10:19 pm


How much longer until summer football practice?


May 26th, 2009
11:20 pm

At least Basketball is a sport were every team has a chance at a National Title! Unlike 90% of the college football world. including everyteam in the ACC not named Miami or FSU. And there chances are slim to none because their programs are down.

GT hoops will be a elite 8 caliber team this coming up year!

Hey Tony

May 27th, 2009
10:26 am

That loss in November still bothering you enough to hide behind fake screen names huh?

That’s sad….

Wonder what fake screen name you’ll have to use after next years loss to make you feel better


May 27th, 2009
10:27 am

Yea whatever “Hey Tony”….we’ll kill Tech this year. GO DAWGS!


May 27th, 2009
10:53 am

Racist braves fan here….

Go Dawgs, Go Jackets…and Go White People


May 27th, 2009
11:28 am

hey tony hows iman been doin this summer. has he improved his game at all he need step up this year and be a leader


May 27th, 2009
12:13 pm

techfan, Iman is doing well, thanks for asking. He is working out, trying to add 5-10 lbs of muscle this off-season while trying to get quicker. He will be one of the leaders this year for sure.

And to the Einstein (Hey Tony) who is suggesting I’m hiding under a fake screen name – next time you post under my name, don’t make it one minute after your original post, genius.


May 27th, 2009
6:49 pm

thanks for that tony. Has paul told him yet if hes gonna be playing the point again or will he play off the ball more this year with mfon comin in and miller hopefully improving his game


May 27th, 2009
6:52 pm

and has iman told you anything about whether gani will come back or leave


May 27th, 2009
11:10 pm

Iman has said that this off season will dictate what position he will be playing. I’m guessing Paul wants to see how the incoming crop of guys adjust to the next level b/f he makes any decisions.

And unfortunately, Gani is gone. His mom just bought a 2009 Bentley if that tells you anything.


May 28th, 2009
11:57 am

thanks for all the info tony. i guess that means that we can start goin after noel johnson for that last scholarship we could use another shooter for next year

Great Story

May 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Wonderful news and great to see the young man recover. Andre it sounds like you have tremendous support around you and it is heartening to hear students atheletes are being prepared for life outside athletics. Congrats and GO JACKETS!