To listen to the Victor Cruz Podcast, please click Play above. To listen to it on your personal device, please download from iTunes. (If you received this post via email, you can go to the online blog to listen.)
Fresh off signing a new, six-year contract with the New York Giants, fan favorite Victor Cruz stopped by Steiner Sports HQ on Tuesday to autograph some collectibles. Luckily, I was able to steal ten minutes with the electric wide receiver, so we could chat about his rise to fame, what it was like to buy his mom a house, playing basketball as a kid with Knicks star JR Smith, and plenty of other topics.
Here are some highlights:
Victor Cruz on being a sports fan:
I’m a big fan of all sports. I love the Yankees. I grew up on the Yankees; my grandfather wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a soccer fan. I love English Premier League soccer. Most people probably don’t know that about me. I love basketball to death.
On playing basketball with JR Smith while growing up:
I live vicariously through JR Smith, who I played with when I was younger in my AAU days…we would go at it. He was 6’6” – he always had the attributes of a basketball player…We always knew he was the one.
On the importance of the Boys & Girls Clubs, which Victor will help support through his new foundation:
I was there when it opened, there when it closed. My mother had to rip me off the pool tables to leave. I was there after school, and for summer programs. I was in the Boys and Girls Club all the time.
On becoming famous in the last few years:
I was just out in LA and as soon as I landed, I was thinking "How’s it going to go in baggage claim?" I thought it would be okay…but 40 people rushed me for autographs! It’s getting a little more difficult to walk around, but it’s fun. It’s all in a day’s work. I remember when, five years ago, no one wanted my picture. Now I’ll be in everyone’s phones.
On making good money and how to spend it:
On Eli Manning's reaction to his new deal:
He sent me a text, congratulating me on the deal and saying “Let’s go out there and win some championships.”
On dreaming of playing in the NFL:
You grow up just wanting to play the game and wanting to help a team out at the very least. Then you’re a guy on your team that other guys look up to, thinking, “He was an undrafted free agent. If he could do it, I can do it.”
And don’t forget: You can LISTEN TO MY OTHER PODCASTS, including Eli Manning, Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Bill Parcells & Lawrence Taylor, Lou Holtz, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Robert Wuhl, Dave Winfield & Brian Cashman, by clicking >> HERE. <<
Did you know that the most successful people in the world never come up with an idea first? That’s because the most successful people do the best job of improving an already existing product or service.