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Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament is known as a basketball fanatic and revealed in a new interview with ESPN that he almost pursued a professional career in the sport instead of music. Ament, who went to the University of Montana for basketball, explained, "Mike Montgomery was the coach. He sat me down and said, 'If you work really hard, by the time you're a senior, you'll get some minutes on varsity.' I remember thinking, 'There's no way I'm going to work this hard for four years to maybe get some garbage time when I'm a senior.'"
Ament eventually chose music and moved to Seattle, where he was teased for his interest in sports by some other famous rockers on the scene. He recalled, "There was a period, after I moved, when I had to hide the fact that I played ball from the punk-rock guys . . . Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love talked trash about the fact that I hooped. I once stopped to say hi before a show, and as I walked away, Courtney yelled, 'Go play basketball with Dave Grohl!'"
Ament still likes to hit the court, and named Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Steve Gordon of the Black Crowes as two of the best musician players.
He also said that Justin Bieber was a "terrible" player and that he wasn't impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio's skills when the two played in a celebrity event, adding, "You know who's a good player? That Malcolm In The Middle kid (Frankie Muniz)."
Ament has recently been working on new music with his side band, RNDM, although Pearl Jam recently met with producer Brendan O'Brien about getting to work on its own new album.
Pearl Jam did recently confirm that it will play two shows this summer, one on July 19th at Chicago's famous Wrigley Field and the other on July 16th at London, Ontario's Budweiser Gardens.