Harley Fuller: When You Lead A Team In So Many Categories, You Never Expect To be Released
Harley Fuller is a 23 year old 188cm point guard from Gloversville, New York. He started his basketball career in 2006 at Cobleskill Junior College where he played until 2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Florida Intern. (NCAA): 23 games: 1.7ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3Pts: 32.0%. In 2009-2010, he played for Molloy (NCAA2): 30 games: 8.9ppg, 6.6rpg, 6.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3Pts: 28.8%, FT: 74.6%. Last season, he started his professional basketball career in Germany for TuS Treis-Karden (Germany-Regionalliga): 16.3ppg, 6prg, Assists-1(6apg), FGP: 56.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%. This season, he played for BG Illertal/Weissenhorn (Germany-ProB) where he averaged 12,7ppg, 3,1rpg and 2,9apg before leaving the team recently. He spoke to German hoops about his experience with BG Illertal Weissenhorn.
What wishes do you have for 2012? I guess not reliving a half season like you had in Weissenhorn?
My wishes for 2012 are to sign with an organization that is invested in winning and nothing else. That is the type of player I have always been and always will be. I just want to win. If I have to score 25 then I’ll do that, If I have to have 9 assists and 12 points then that is what I’ll do and have always done. So my wish would be to sign with an organization that wants to win as bad as I do.
When you came to BG Illertal Weissenhorn last fall, did you ever imagine that the team would go 1-13 in the first half of the season during training camp?
No, there was no signs of us having an unsuccessful season in training camp. We had a great month of training camp with a great coach Rainer Bauer who I respect and everyone including me had a great deal of confidence in. Everyone was working hard, and it was obvious that talent wasn’t an issue for our team. We were picked preseason to move up! So i’d say no one saw an unsuccessful season coming, including me.
Had you ever lost so much prior before coming to BG Illertal?
I have never ever lost this much in my entire career before coming into this situation in BG illertal. I take pride in being a winner, and I have been fortunate enough to have had a lot of winning seasons. Before going there, I won 94 games in the last 5 seasons of my career,4 seasons in college and one season professionally last season. Averaging 19 wins a season for the last 5 seasons is what I am about, winning.
Basketball portal Europe wrote that BG Illertal wrote you an email during the winter break informing you that you weren´t needed anymore and that you wouldn´´t need to come back. Could you please set the story straight from your perspective?
After leaving Weissenhorn to come back to New York for what I thought was a Christmas break for 10 days, I was told to be back on January 2nd a week before our teams first game for the second half of the season. Instead of telling me before I went home for Christmas break, or telling me quickly so that I could speak to other teams and sign elsewhere, they told me January 1st, a few days before the import deadline in Germany PRO B and only 1 day before I was supposed to fly back! If they had told me sooner then I believe I would have had a good chance to sign elsewhere but they made sure I wouldnt have the opportunity to sign with another team in our league to play against them. Like I said before, I led the team in scoring and assists as well as many other statistical categories and worked through many of the unbelievable changes that they made as well as my coach Rainer Bauer leaving.
You had a solid PRO B season coming from the German Regionaliga 1 averaging in the PRO B 12,7ppg, 3,1rpg and 2,9apg. How much does it surprise you that your not wanted?
It really surprises me to be honest. When you lead a team in scoring, assists, 3 pointers made, 40 percent 3 pt field goal percentage, and 48 2 pt field goal percentage, assist/turnover ratio, never miss a practice or game, continue to work hard every day even in a poor situation like this you never expect to get released.
What is the most valuable thing that you have learned with this experience?
I learned to be more careful when deciding who to sign with as far as organizations.
What is the next step for Harley Fuller?
I am back in New York, in the weight room, and gym staying in the good shape that I have been in all season so that when I sign on with a team in the near future I will be ready to play. I will be back overseas for sure, and helping a team win a lot of games in 2012, just as I always have my entire career. Heres a link with some film from this season:
What are your fondest memories on the court in the PRO B? I’d say having the opportunity to play for Rainer Bauer and also the first game of the season in Gotha personally scoring 15 points in the last 3 1/2 minutes and coming within a few points of an upset of the top ranked team in our league.
If you had the chance, would you like to continue to play somewhere in Germany or have you had enough and might want to play in another country?
I would like to play back in Germany, but I am open to looking at other countries as well. I always keep all my options open.
Thanks Harley for the chat.