Michael Smith is a 28 year old 188cm guard from Canada that also has the Italian citizenship and just completed his rookie season in Germany with the Westfalen Mustangs (2.Regionalliga). He got valuable experience in Canada playing at Regina University, then moved to Brandon University (CIS) playing 36 games and then as a senior played at the University of Northern British Columbia (CIS) playing 15 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 34.8%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 66.7%. He had a rollercoaster season in Germany and spoke to German Hoops about the season he will never forget.
Michael thanks for talking to German Hoops! Where are you at the moment and have you lost trust in the game you love basketball or will any struggle not hinder you from continuing to be a professional basketball player.
Thanks for the opportunity to tell my story. I haven’t lost trust in basketball but I have lost trust in the people that are allowed to run professional basketball teams. Right now this situation is hindering me from continuing to play, where my time with the Mustangs was so unstable throughout the year it is difficult to recover from. For example, there was no game film, which means I have no way of making any tape for other jobs next year. There was also no physiotherapy for athletes where I played on a torn hamstring with no treatment for the last 4 games. The biggest problem was the living conditions, no clean water in a refugee house; it was a mentally handicapping experience that has left me financially unstable and jobless.
When you joined German Regionaliga 2 team Westfalen Mustangs at the start of the season would you ever have thought in your wildest dreams that you rookie season would be such a bizarre and disappointing experience?
When I came to the Westfalen Mustangs at the beginning of the season I was aware that it was a small club and that they would probably have problems. However, what I did not account for was the evil that existed within the club. Where players were treated like slaves, given no money while being expected to win every game by 30 or more points. The president Florian Eichstädt even brought in players from the US who were willing to pay to play. Two of these individuals were mentally handicapped, therefore adding another layer of evil to who he was taking advantage of. The extent of everything that happened even on a daily basis was a recipe for disaster.