As a baseball executive, Omar Minaya was privy to a lot of the behind the scenes action.
He is a former general manager for the New York Mets and Montreal Expos and he also worked for the San Diego Padres. He's currently a special assistant to GM for the Mets. His job allowed him to take his son to the dugouts and those experiences made quite an impression Justin who saw how some of baseball's most successful players prepare to play. Now as a freshman at USC, Justin has put those principles into practice. The elder Minaya says it was neat to see his son soak up the baseball atmosphere and use it to help him on the court.
"Him being around great players like Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, being around those kind of guys, being in a Major League clubhouse, seeing how those guys prepare, because I'm big on preparation," Omar Minaya said.
"I've told him 'watch how those guys prepare'. I think for him that has been a positive and being able to come in play in the SEC, for me the toughest conference in basketball right now, to be able to do that, you have to be around an environment to understand an environment. You have to be in an environment with thousands of people, so he's been in stadiums and see how these guys prepare. And he's also listened to me talk. He's listened to me talk about guys making mistakes, you pick yourself up and forget about yesterday and you've got to stay focused on what's in front of you. That kind of language that he's been around his whole life has helped him some."
Minaya has seen action in 29 of the 30 games, starting 27. He's currently tied for third in the team in scoring with an average of 7.8 points per game.