Jacob Burtschi (CAI Zaragoza): Whether Its 25 Minutes A Game Or 5 Minutes A Game. I Just Want To Contribute
Jacob Burtschi is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who will be playing his second professional basketball season in the best basketball league in Europe the ACB in Spain this season for CAI Zaragoza . He completed his rookie season for Phoenix Hagen averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. He had offers to play in the NBA, but served in the Air Force the last three years and could only play club ball. Some achievements that he got in the NCAA were All-MWC Honorable Mention -05, MWC Regular Season Runner-Up -06, All-MWC 2nd Team -06, 07, NABC All-NCAA District 13 2nd Team -07, and NIT Final Four -07. He spoke to German Hoops about his season in Germany and his future in Spain.
Congrats on the getting a job in the best European league ACB with CAI Zaragoza. For a guy who didn´t play for 3 years and then played in Germany and made the jump to the ACB, you can be extremly happy. Were you surprised to land in the ACB despite your history and so many good players in the world?
Thank you. I am very pleased with how things have progressed and excited for the next opportunity in Spain. I was a bit surprised, but its all about finding the right situation at the right time and I felt that is what I did.
I am sure you had some offers from the BEKO BBL. Was the ACB a no brainer? Would you even have gone if a Beko BBL team had offered more money?
The ACB is very hard to walk away from. Its always about finding the right team and there were a few teams in the BBL that would have been great fits, but this opportunity with Zaragoza was too tough to turn down.
Last season with Phoenix Hagen you played 33 games: 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. What was the most important thing that you improved your game in the time period from August to May?
I would say my rebounding and free throw %. I had a lot of rust at the beginning of the year after sitting out 3 years.
Where is your 2011 Beko BBL three point shot award? What is your nicest memory from this event?
Mom has it up on a mantel in the living room. I told her to take it down because the oldest news is yesterdays hero’s. While I am proud of my accomplishment, that year is over and I am looking to add more hardware to my collection.
Who was your toughest opponent in the Beko BBL last season?
Bamberg was definitely the toughest. They were stacked from the #1 guy to their #12 guy. They were prepared 100% against us. A top notch organization.
What will you miss most from Germany this season when you are balling in Spain?
I would say being around more American players. Not as many in Spain.
Your ex teammate Mark Dorris will be playing in Ludwigsburg this season. Will he be able to make a further step in his basketball career this season?
Mark has always just needed the opportunity to showcase what he can do. and I believe moving to Ludwigsburg will further his career.
CAI Zaragoza is packed with very talented players. With all due respect to your abilities, do you see yourself of having a chance of getting more than 10 minutes this season?
I hope so. I know I will have a lot of things to prove, but I am here to help Zaragoza out in anyway. Whether its 25 minutes a game or 5 minutes a game. I just want to contribute.
There are ex NBA players like Bracey Wright and Robert Archibald on your team. Will you be in awe very long or will you be your competitive self quickly?
I dont believe I will be in awe but there is a lot I can learn from guys as talented and experienced as them. I am always competitve no matter who I play with. Its in my blood.
Which player in the ACB are you looking forward the most to playing against?
I cant say there is one player in particular. I am looking forward to just competing night in and night out with those guys.
What was your reaction when you heard that Ron Artest changed his name to World Peace?
I could care less what he changes his name too. Him and guys like Ochocinco are just wanting attention. it is what it is.
Why do so many basketball players like the TV series Entourage?
Everybody wants to be Vincent Chase and have an agent like Ari Gold. Its plain and simple.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
She’s out of my league
Thanks Jacob for the chat