Both of these extraordinary talents come from very small urban areas that are overshadowed by larger cities. Mount Vernon is merely a fraction the size of the Bronx, and Coatesville, even though it’s only 45 minutes west of Philadelphia, the residents of Philly often refer to as “country.” Basketball ultimately put these two on a collision course but music is what made their friendship genuine. One on One with Ben Gordon by Jon Hamilton
JH: So who would win in a game of one on one? BG: [Laughing hysterically] Toolez: The Last time we played one on one he was freshman during an individual workout. Coach Calhoun was there, Caron Butler was there and Coach Blaney was running it. I remember it being tied 3-3 or I was down 3-2 and we weren’t playing make it take it so the game went to 5. Coach Calhoun asked Caron who’s going to win and Caron was like Toolez, my guy is going to pull this out. All I was thinking was this lil dude is fucking hard as hell to stop! JH: So who won? Toolez: Let’s just say I owe him a game of one on one. JH: So tell me what type of relationship you guys have. I understand you were roommates in college Toolez: We have a pretty good relationship, a good rapport. In basketball or in any sport, or work environment you have friends that are just your basketball friends or friends that are just your friends at work. If you’re an actor, they’re just your friend onset. Our relationship goes off the court as well so I’d say we’re pretty tight. BG: I think regardless if we played on the same team and we met outside of that we still would have been friends because we had that kind of bond. Even after I left (Uconn) I always kept in contact with Toolez. We talk frequently, he comes to games, and our relationship is definitely deeper than just hoop. JH: It’s real! It’s not just basketball!
BG: Yeah. We have a lot of similar characteristics. I would come to the room right; Toolez would be working on some music, working on some raps. He would see me go right to the gym; go put my work in and I would come back and Toolez would be doing the same thing. We’re both the type of guys that are serious about their craft and are always trying to perfect what we’re doing so we really relate to each other on that level. That kind of made our friendship a little deeper just because we had so much in common even though we were working on different things career wise. JH: Yeah I can dig that! Tell me your response the first time you heard Toolez. When the two of you got to Uconn every thing was about basketball at first and I know you didn’t hear the music right away. When you first heard his music how was your response knowing that this guy getting it in is your roommate? BG: I mean the first year we weren’t roommates. We didn’t become roommates until the second year right? Toolez: Yeah your sophomore year my junior year. BG: Yeah sophomore year. I didn’t know he rapped right away. Everything I knew about Toolez was strictly basketball. When I found out he could spit, me being a fan of rap I really wanted to see what he was about. When I heard him spit I was like hold up this n**** is nice! I would ask him for CDs after that or I would ask him to spit a verse and Toolez was always with it. When I found out he rapped and he was actually good, I started to get a little closer to him because I’m a fan of rap and one of my teammates can really spit so I started messing with him even more. I think that’s how we started to develop more of a respect for each other outside of the game because we both respected each others craft. JH: Okay. Toolez BG is known for scoring 40 off the bench, 17 in a quarter. As a freshman at Uconn he came off the bench too. Could you see it back then that he was going to be doing all of these things that he does in the league now?