Freddie Jackson is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Wilmington, North Carolina with one season of professional basketball under his belt as he played with AS Soleuvre (Luxembourg-Total League) and BZD Ikh-Aravtuud Bulls (Mongolia-Superliga) last season. He started his basketball career in 2011 with NC-Wilmington (NCAA) where he played until 2015 playing a total of 121 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 63.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Freddie thanks for talking to German Hoops. What makes your game special in your opinion? You can fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that gets overlooked time after time?
I’m Freddie Jackson from Wilmington NC. I’m a typical big guard who is supposed to do everything on the court. My playing style is very versatile, I can score on all 3 levels effectively. I’m a two way player with good size at 6’4 and also well conditioned. I really can fill up the stat sheet, but it is also important for me to get my teammates involved. I think most coaches that I have played for or against in the past will say that I’m a great leader who leads by example and is vocal. What some teams don’t have on their scouting sheet is that I can guard positions 1 through 3. I take pride in being a great defender.
You were born in Wilmington North Carolina, went to high school in Wilmington then proceeded to play in the NCAA D1 for the UNC Wilmington. Having spent your entire life in one town, why did you decide to pursue a professional career in overseas basketball? How did head coach Buzz Peterson groom and shape your game to the professional ranks? Describe your first impressions coming to Europe.
I spent the majority of my life in Wilmington playing basketball. I travelled all over the US playing also. I always wanted to play professionally. Basketball is my passion. I’m looking forward to playing in Europe again, this will be a fun challenge to play in another country. Coach Buzz did a great job preparing me for overseas. He was a great mentor and really helped me get ready for pro basketball. Many other players from my school are playing abroad so our coach truly knows what he is doing. My first impression in Europe was different but good. Basketball was still the same. The game is what connects us all. My first experience was great and I’ll never forget it.
You started the season at AS Soleuvre (Luxembourg-Total League) and didn´t last through preseason. How disappointing was your first European adventure and why couldn´t you stay there?
My first team in Luxembourg did not work out for two different reasons. One being I had an ankle injury towards the end of training camp and the other being that the team decided to bring in a small forward instead who was a couple inches taller at 6’6. Sure I was disappointed. But it didn’t discourage me from further pursuing my dream.
You finished the 2016 season in Mongolia, a country we don’t know much about in terms of basketball. Please give as a first hand report about the league, the players and the overall situation. In a retrospective, do you think it would have been possible finding another team in Europe instead, given how well your game is suited especially for teams in a country like Germany?
Mongolia was a small country in terms of basketball, unrecognized by most because of their choice of how to run their own league. They make their own game rules. Games sometimes would simply get cancelled for no apparent reason 30 minutes before the tip-off. This was the only downfall of the league, the competition most places was good, many guys from power 6 conferences played there along with me. There was even some former pros who loved their league and are still active there. For me personally, I really think I could have found a better option than Mongolia, but my agent at the time was trying to place me anywhere, which turned out to be a mistake.
After a very strong senior season at NC-Wilmington (NCAA) where you played 32 games averaging 13.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 63.6%, you went into your professional season with high expectations. Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that your rookie season would be such a roller coaster ride?
After such a strong senior season I was hoping to possibly workout for some NBA teams but later decided to pursue overseas basketball. Never thought my career would get off to such a shaky start. But I understand that how you start is not how you finish. I just want to play and show everyone what I’m capable of doing. I have abilities that I want to put to good use on a team in Europe.
Graduating college in 2015 as a highly decorated senior, you more or less fell under the radar after returning home from Mongolia. You are now looking to come back to Europe and prove that you can play here on a high level. Please let a possible soon-to-be coach know what it is that you think you can contribute to the team that picks you up.
The two main things a coach needs to know are that I’m the kind of player that will do anything to help a team win. I spend most of my free time in the gym. Off the court, I am an easy going person who mostly just stays home. I’ve never really been a party guy or somebody who would get in trouble. I’m very team orientated people friendly.
How has the transfer market been for you this summer? Do you feel that your unfortunate rookie season has had an effect in interest from teams? What did you learn from your experience in Mongolia that will help you make the right decisions in the future?
The transfer market has been hard so far because of my playing history. I think most teams look at Mongolia and it affects my chances. There are no stats available online, all I have is screenshots of the scouting sheets that were handed to me. I am hoping teams will look at my senior year college and realize that this is the player they’d be getting, except for the fact that now I have further matured and learned more about overseas basketball.
Please describe your typical day during off-season and the things you do to stay in shape and ready for your next overseas assignment. North Carolina has a lot to offer when it comes to Pro Ams and high level tournaments. Did you participate in anything so far this summer?
My day normally starts around 7:30 when I wake for breakfast. After breakfast I head to the gym for my first of two basketball workouts which last for about 1 hour each. They usually are filled with many high level quick passing drills. After the first workout is finished, I follow up with a 30 minutes weight sesson which includes stretching and lifting weights. Normally I eat a big lunch followed by some rest. I’m finish my day with shooting toward the late afternoon at around 6.
People say there is a special breed of the „North Carolina Guard“ and would usually describe these guards as tough, hard-nosed and pesky on defense. Having made the CAA All-Defensive team, would you say this overall description fits you? Who won a one on one in practice, you or Addison Spruill?
I think this overall description fits me perfectly. I love defense just as much as I love offense. Both are very important to becoming a complete player, which I like to think I am . Playing basketball in North Carolina growing up is very hard. It’s plenty competition and plenty people to measure up to in every age group, from AAU all the way into the pros. I was very successful in high school making the ESPN top 100 shooting guards of my class in 2011 with an overall rating of 85 and 3 stars out of 5. Me and Addison Spruill are good friends. I’ve been playing against him since high school. When we play one on one games it would be a split between us two, a mutual respect back and forth kind of match up. I feel like we are similar when it comes to our offensive skills, but I will go ahead and say I consider myself a slightly better defender.
Thanks Freddie for the chat.
Ricky Easterling(BG Karlsruhe) I Will Mentally Prepare Myself To Do More On The Defensive End For BG Karlsruhe
Ricky Easterling is a 32 year old 190cm guard from Baltimore that will play his 11th professional season in Germany and first with BG Karlsruhe(Pro B). Over the years, he has been crowned Mr Regionaliga as he averaged over 30 points three times with TV Saarlouis and belonged to the the top 3 players in the Pro B the last two seasons. Before moving to Saarlouis in 2007 he played at Bridgewater (NCAA3) and then as a rookie played with TSG Reutlingen (Germany-Oberliga and Bergheim Bandits (Germany-Regionalliga). Last season with TV Saarlouis, he played 28 games: Score-1(23.1ppg), 4.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 81.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Ricky thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
At the moment I am in Great Barrington Massachusetts working coaching basketball at Kutcher Sports Academy. My summer is good so far. I enjoy working with the kids here and I also have the opportunity to work out and prepare for this coming season.
Your last game was on April 30th. The summer seems to be moving along very quickly. What have you missed the most about the grind in the Pro B?
Yes the summer does seem to be flying by. I am happy about that because I am looking forward to the 2016-17 season. Training and playing in open runs or in summer leagues are fun, but it is nothing compared to playing in a real game.
Congrats on signing with Pro B team BG Karlsruhe. This week has been the Pro B reunion landing in the Pro A as Elijah Allen of Lich landed with Gotha, Julian Scott moves from Leipzig to Ehingen. How proud are you of these guys?
Thanks! I am looking forward to the new challenge in Karlsruhe! Yeah I am very happy for Elijah and Julian. They are good players and they deserve the chance to play Pro A. I wish them luck in their new situations and I hope they are successful!
Do all these Pro B signings in the Pro A just show how many talented players are in the German Pro B?
I think it does show how strong the Pro B is. I am happy to be a part of this league and I am sure in the future more players in Pro B will be given the chance to show what they can do in the pro A.
*I always figured that you would play for the Saarlouis Royals until you were around 45 while becoming a playing coach. How difficult was it making this decision leaving this club and city after 9 years?
It was probably one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life. Saarlouis has become a second home for me. I am a person that likes the comfort of security and I had that there for sure. I loved the people there and they loved me. I am very appreciative of the opportunity they gave me to play for their city. I will miss my family, friends, and fans of Saarlouis and they will always be in my heart. But unfortunately in life everything must come to an end and I am now looking forward to what is coming next. Maybe later on down the line I will come back to Saarlouis. I can see that happening!
Sarrlouis isn´t that far away from Karlsruhe. You could commute from Karlsruhe and still live in your second home Saarlouis. Is that something you are considering?
That would be nice but I don’t think that is the idea. That would be too much traveling every day. So I think it will be much easier to live in Karlsruhe. But I will make a lot of trips back to Saarlouis during the season to see my family and friends.
BG Karlsruhe is rich in tradition as it has played in the Beko BBL as well as in the Pro A. What sold you most on moving to this team?
Just like you said they have a rich tradition and I would like to be a part of that. I like Coach Josipovic and the management also impressed me when I talked with them so that helped me make my decision to go to Karlsruhe.
Last season Saarlouis was 0-2 against BG Karlsruhe getting crushed once 107-66 and then losing a heart breaker 82-81 where you steered 18 points and 10 assists. What impressed you most by their team?
Last season Karlsruhe was a very strong team in our league. Their roster was filled with talent and Coach Josipovic had them playing well together. From the outside they seemed to have good team chemistry and were always well prepared for their games. I was very impressed with that and look forward to being a part of that.
Did you get any feedback about if they will keep veterans like Jeremy Black, Marcus Smallwood and Rouven Roessler?
I have no information regarding player personnel. That is something you might have to discuss with the coach and management.
How content are you with the fact that with a bigger budget, BG Karlsruhe most likely will have more skilled players on board than what you ever had as teammates with Saarlouis. Would you be content of having a smaller role?
I’m content with playing any role to help my team be successful. If I am put into a smaller role I am ok with that. I am used to always playing bigger roles and having more pressure to produce. But in a smaller role I think I will have no problems adjusting to that.
You have been an instant scoring machine your whole professional life with Saarlouis and for many been the greatest German Regionaliga player ever as you averaged over 30ppg three times, how difficult will it be for you to do less in the scoring department?
I just do whatever I need to do to help my team in the best way possible. If I need to score less and do more in other areas, that is what I will do and I will be happy doing it.
Could you see yourself being a classical pass first point guard and take a lot less shots?
Like I said I will play any role needed from me. If that is my assignment then that is what I will do. I just want to win and be a positive impact on my team.
You will be turning 33 this season. How do you feel physically and on what things will you be working on most this summer to have you best prepared for another year of Pro B?
I feel great. My body is healthy and I can’t wait to get started. If the season started today I would be ready to go. I will continue to do what I do every summer which is work hard. But I think I will keep trying to improve on my 3pts shooting. I also will mentally prepare myself to do more on the defensive end of the floor.
You played 9 seasons with Saarlouis. What was your biggest highlight in your time there?
The whole experience was a highlight for me. I love Saarlouis and enjoyed everything about my time there. I built many lifetime friendships and will always consider Saarlouis my home away from home.
Lebron James finally won his NBA title with his Cavs. Where does this title put him now in the all time best ever? Charles Barkley doesn´t have Lebron in his top 5 ever.
I am a LeBron Fan so to me he is definitely an all time great. I don’t know if I can say he is a top 5 because there have been a lot of great players through the history of the game.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Ricky for the chat.
Can Gordon Herbert Pull Out Another Jordan Theodore From His Pocket To Guarantee Champions League Success For Frankfurt This Season?
Summer is slowly moving on as Fraport Skyliner fans are still trying to digest the departures of players like Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Jordan Theodore, but at the same time having the amazing 2015-2016 Fiba Cup title win in the back of their minds and looking ahead to this season as the 2004 Beko BBL champion Fraport Skyliners will take part in the new competition Champions Cup. There hasn´t been much buzz with new player signings yet for the Fraport Skyliners so the 2016-2017 Champions Cup draw was a refreshing way to dream and predict which teams could be drawn for Frankfurt during the slow and boring draw procedure. As if the basketball God had secretly had his hand in the pot, the Fraport Skyliners got a date with ex Skyliner Jordan Theodore who was one of the key figures for the success of the team last season and will return back to Frankfurt with his new team Banvit of Turkey where he surely will be greeted with a massive ovation. The Fraport Skyliners also drew Aris of Greece, CEZ Nymburk of the Czech Republic, Helios Suns of Slovenia and AS Monaco. Two more teams will be added, but won´t be known until a future date when the qualifying results are in.
The Fraport Skyliners got some very interesting and exciting opponents and will also have many fascinating trips this season including one to the beautiful city of Monte Carlo that is known for being a haven for the rich and famous, the casino, Formula one racing and a royal family that lives in the tabloids. The first club that the Fraport Skyliners drew was Turkish team Banvit. Frankfurt has played against them in the past in international club play. Banvit is the club that ex Skyliner American Keith Simmons feel in love with and played from 2009-2016 with. The club entered the first Turkish division in 2004 and are still looking for their first title. They finished in second place twice in the regular season in 2011 and 2012 and were a league finalist in 2013. They also reached two cup finals and five semi-finals since 2004. The club like Frankfurt is still being built for the upcoming season as Jordan Theodore is the first notable import that they have signed. Known guys that have played for Banvit in the past were ex BBL players Cliff Hammonds and Antonio Graves as well as well as ex NBA player Courtney Fortson
The second team that the Fraport Skyliners drew was Greek team Aris Thessaloniki and they belong to the older clubs in Greek basketball as they were founded in 1914. They were one of the dominating teams in the 80´s as they won 10 titles including six league titles and four cups. In the last 10 years the club took part in the Eurocup five times and Euroleague twice. Some notable players that have played for them is current NBA player PJ Tucker as well as ex NBA players Booby Brown and Aaron Miles or ex Skyliner Anthony King or current FC Bayern Munich guard Anton Gavel. Well known Dutch basketball agent Gerd Hammink who has many clients playing in Germany also played there. This club is also still being constructed, but have ex NBA player Jerel Mcneal on the roster for this season.
Next selected for the Fraport Skyliners to battle was top Czech team CEZ Nymburk who are a club that often groom young talented players to make the next step. In the past, the Fraport Skyliners have had test games with them in Frankfurt and the 5-6 hour road trip could be appealing to some fans to make. In a way they are the Czech version of FC Bayern Munich, but even better even if they can´t match their fan sales, but has FC Bayern Munich won 13 league titles in a row in football or basketball? CEZ Nymburk was founded in 1929 and through the years had numerous name changes, but under their current name won the last 13 league titles dating back to 2004. They also have won nine cups dating back to 2006. EX Fraport Skyliners head coach Muli Katzurin also helped in the title wins winning four in a row before coming to FRankfurt to coach in 2011. Over the years, the club has boasted talented players like Monty Mack who is the pride and joy of Boston and Umass who played a test game in 2006 in the BCM against the then Deutsch Bank Skyliners as well as a bundle of ex BBL players like Tweety Carter, Christian Burns, Terrell Everett, Eugene Lawrence, Michael Meeks or Derek Raivio. The best example of a player growing and making the next step there was Adam Hess who tore up the Czech Republic-NB) league from 2005-2007 and then made the next step to the higher league BBL in Germany where he would become a dominating player over the years. The roster also is still being made, but one will expect another power house team this season as they have held on to ex NBA player Jiri Welsh as well as Cuban talent Howard Sant-Roos who was an unknown Pro B player four years ago in Braunschweig with the Spot Up Medien Baskets and played together with NBA player Dennis Schroeder, but made the step up the latter playing two seasons in the competitive Italy-A2 Gold and last season with Nymburk. The club also retained valuable veteran Petr Benda who will go into his tenth season with the club and is a nine time Czech allstar and has more rings than Michael Jordan having won nine league titles. The team also signed ex BBL player Ekene Ibekwe to bolster their wing position.
Next the Fraport Skyliners drew Slovenian club Helios Suns who were founded in 1949 and have won only three club titles with the league title in 2007 and 2016 and the cup in 2007. The club doesn´t only play in the Telematic league, but also in the highly competitive Adriatic league and always seem to construct competitive teams that can annoy any team on a good night. This is also a club that sets the path for young players to show their stuff and then make the next step. American Hugh Robertson had a huge season last year and this season will play for the RheinStars in Cologne while Richard Shields also has played there from MBC and ex Rhondorf American Cory Remekun plays with them now. Their roster is also still being built, but the most interesting aspect of the new team is the Harvard connection of Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey that will be reunited again. Curry is looking to bounce back from his disappointing season in Germany with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven while Casey who was one step away from the NBA with the Phoenix Suns last season returns back to Helios after having played his rookie season there.
Last but not least, the Fraport Skyliners will make a trip to the enchanting Monte Carlo where one can bump into Boris Becker practicing with Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo country club or bumping into George Clooney trying his luck at the casino and battle AS Monaco that play in the French league. In the 80´s, they were a dangerous team in France, but then after former NBA player Robert Smith left, the club fell on hard times and fell down the ladder. They were in the fourth league for many years the NM2, but then steadily made their way back up the ladder to the third division NM1 winning the title in 2014 and Pro B title in 2015 moving back into the France Pro A. Last season, their fortunes continued as their stellar play rewarded them with first place, but in the playoffs they ran out of gas in the semi-finals against Asvell. On paper this most likely will be the most difficult team that Frankfurt will face. When looking at the current roster, the club has some serious talent as they have held on to ex BBL player Jamal Shuler who has never met a basket he didn´t like in the air and had battles with Quantez Robertson in Bonn and TRier at the slam dunk competitions or Ukrainian national player Sergii Gladyr who was drafted in 2009 by the Atlanta Hawks and played against Frankfurt in the Eurochallenge in the 2008-2009 season with MBC Mykolaiv (Superleague). The list of new players coming in are ex NBA player Brandon Davies who lost the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup to Frankfurt with Varese in Chalon, point guard Dee Bost who has been on the radar of NBA teams for years and was second in assists in the D-league in 2014 with 8,4 and steady veteran Nik Caner-Medley who also played in the BBL with the Artland Dragons.
This is a very exciting and competitive group and at the moment hard to say where the Fraport Skyliners are on paper simply because they haven´t built their whole roster yet. But one thing is for sure, this season won´t be a cake walk like last season where the Fraport Skyliners breezed through the competition with a 18-1 record. This season every game will be a real battle. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert might recalling some of the finest moments of Jordan Theodore in last season´s Fiba Europe Cup and be wondering shortly after this draw if he can magically pull out another Jordan Theodore type player from his coat pocket for this season´s competition?
Will Barnes is a 28 year old 185cm point guard from Tuscaloosa, Alabama that will be playing his third professional season with SC Rist Wedel. Last season he signed with German Pro B team Weissenhorn, but a serious knee injury kept him from playing last season. In the 22014-2015 season he played for the Hamburg Towers playing 28 games averaging 13.8ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 77.1% He started his basketball career in 2006 for Tennessee Tech (NCAA) where he played a total of 98 NCAA games. In 2012-2013 he played at Lee (NAIA) playing 34 games: 20.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.7%. As a rookie he played for the Finke Baskets playing 29 games: Score-3(18.8ppg), 3.5rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
Will thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?
What’s going on Miles? Everything’s good my way. Excited about getting back on the court! I’ve been focused on taking care of my family and training this summer. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m really motivated to come back stronger than before my injury.
It had become very very quiet with you as you had missed a season with a severe knee injury and quite honestly I personally had forgot all about you, but today everyone can say “Will Barnes is back”! Congrats on signing with SC Rist Wedel. If you look back on the last year and all the hardships you endured as well as never giving up and working hard to get healthy again, what was driving you to get back to a position where you could lead a team again?
Yes, this last calendar year was tough for me mentally but adversity builds character. More than anything my family was my motivation. They are my inner circle. My son being the biggest of those! Also the competitor in me wouldn’t allow me to go out in that fashion. Yes, the surgery was tough to go through and come back from but I knew all along that I was going to come back.
You had been a very active member in the Hamburg Towers community helping young kids learn to play basketball as well as being a positive influence on the community. How important was having this bond to the Hamburg Towers for getting the job with SC Rist Wedel?
It was very important, but not the sole reason I worked with them. I really do enjoy helping and teaching kids the game. Especially here in another country. It really helped my German and helped me gain more of an appreciation for different people from different cultures. It was a really nice experience!
You are taking a step back to play in the Pro B with SC Rist Wedel. Did you feel it is better to go this route and not try to get back to fast to the level where you were in your first two seasons in the Pro A with Paderborn and Hamburg?
Yeah, I feel like the move to Wedel will really pay off for me. I’m not looking at it as taking a step back. I really do have to “reprove” myself and I will carry that mentality with me from here out. It’s rare that Americans get another opportunity at this level after missing a full season because of surgery. The market is so big now that coaches and GM’s can literally just look to the next player. So I’m very appreciative of the chance Wedel has given me.
What was the deciding factor that made you go and sign on the dotted line with SC Rist Wedel?
My family situation. It was better for us to be here in Hamburg where we have our own place and have everything settled already. Less stress and I can have more focus on basketball and training.
SC Rist Wedel has hauled in a new head coach, but you had contact to manager Christoph Roquette. What kind of special relationship do you with him and how was he able to convince you that playing for SC Rist Wedel was the best choice that you could make?
Yes Christoph is a great guy. The few times we’ve met, we talked about the many advantages I could have by playing in Wedel. It was a no brainer. It didn’t take much convincing!
Let´s talk a bit about your comeback. It has been a while since our last interview, but how difficult was it coming back and what did you learn about your body and mind during this long process? You are 100% fit again. What do you feel did you lose most in your inactivity on the court basketball wise that you will have to find again in time?
Yeah it was a long process. The most difficult was the initial period of being bad, out of shape, and frustrated haha. I was lucky to have the resources I have. The Towers organization helped me tremendously in that regard. I’m able to train 5 days a week and work with professionals. It’s really helped me. But as far as what I lost most is my rhythm. It’s gonning take some time for everything to feel natural again, especially after missing a full year.
On what things are you working on most now? Is finding that shooting touch again like going back to school? How does one find that shooting touch again besides massive repetition?
I’m actually working on my ball handling the most. It’s so essential to my game that I’m a completely different player without it. Shooting also of course. I’m working on everything and even more. All the fundamentals!
You will have even less imports around you in the Pro B than in the Pro A. Do you see yourself having your leadership take on a totally new dimension this season?
Yes, but that’s where I’m comfortable. I’m a natural leader so I always take on the challenge. And most of the players I’ve been working with this summer so it will be a smooth transition.
If you had to pick one person that really helped you most in this ordeal from the Hamburg Towers organization who would you chose?
Marvin Willoughby without a doubt. We’ve had a really good relationship since I played here in 14-15 but it evolved in the past year. He really understood where I was and that I needed help. He pointed me in all the right situations. Very appreciative to know him and how much he’s helped me.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 legendary NBA heads would you add?
Tough. I’m the type that when talking about all time players, I only list who I personally saw play. So MJ, Shaq, Kobe, and Bron.
Lebron James finally won that NBA title with his Cavs. Where does this added title rank Lebron now with the greatest. Many say he is the best ever while old school NBA legend Charles Barkley doesn´t have him in his top 5 ever?
I think Lebron is a solid top 5 player now in any list. Barkley is a character, so there’s no telling why he chose to leave Lebron out of his list haha.
What was the last movie that you saw
Pursuit of Happiness.
Thanks Will for the chat.
Terence Billups(UNI-Riesen Leipzig) I’ve Developed The Mindset To Take Over In Crucial Game Situations
Terence Billups is a 198cm forward from Jeffersonville, Indiana that will be going into his fourth professional season and third in Germany. After tearing up the Regionaliga with Cottbus and Rendsburg, he now will attempt the next step in the pro B with the UNI-Riesen Leipzig. He started his basketball career with Western Dakota Tech (JUCO) and then moved to Indiana SE (NAIA) in 2012 playing 20 games averaging 9.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 46.0%, FT: 85.7%. In 2013 he started his professional basketball career with West Michigan Lake Hawks (ABA). In the 2014-2015 season he came to Germany to BBC White Devils Cottbus (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 22 games Score-3(24.8ppg), 8.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-2(2.0bpg), FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 76.3%.In the 2015-2016 season he played for Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging 18.9ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 27.2%, FT: 67.3%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Terence thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Thank you for the interview! I’m pleased to be part of this! I am currently in my hometown of Jeffersonville, IN. This has been a good summer for me thus far. I have been preoccupied with a part time job working with teenagers, visiting and spending time with my family and friends, doing my basketball workouts in the gym and weight room, and preparing myself for another successful year in Germany.
Congrats on signing with German Pro B team UNI-Riesen Leipzig. Does the fact losing your phone and now not getting further congratulatory messages sour your mood at the moment?
I wasn’t so happy that my phone was recently stolen, but I went 2 full seasons in Germany without a phone that I could call family and friends in the U.S. on. So I’ll be just fine if I go without a phone for the summer. Having a phone was my primary source of communication, but I also have messenger and other forms of communication on another device. And I am able to buy another phone if necessary. But this doesn’t completely stop me from talking to my family and friends. So this doesn’t put me in a sour mood so much.
You payed your dues the last two seasons in the German Regionaliga with Cottbus and Rendsburg. How ready are you to play in the German Pro B this season?
I am very ready and excited for the Pro B level. When I first arrived in Germany a couple of years ago, I believed I was ready for the Pro B level. I was also ready last year. Now I’m going into my third year and finally moving to the next level of Pro B. I am very confident, excited, and ready.
You really tore up the German Regionaliga the last two seasons. Was there ever any doubt in your mind that you would reach the next level?
There wasn’t one ounce of doubt in my mind that I would reach the Pro B level. I believe that I will reach the first league of Germany. But all in due time.
You were signed pretty early in the summer. UNI_Riesen head coach Thomas Krzywinski had seen you play as a rookie with Cottbus. What sold you most about coming back east, but to a new team in Leipzig?
During my rookie year with Cottbus, Coach Thomas was the head coach of Pro B team Dresden Titans. He came and watched me play during my final home game in Cottbus as he had an interest in me. I believe I scored 30+ points and had an overall great game. And we won. So he was able to see me play in person to see how I was on the court. He invited me to Dresden that week to workout with the team. I was able to see a little bit of how he was as a coach and leader. I saw a little of the drive in him for his players. He really put me to the test to see how I reacted and to see my results in a different situations. That sparked my interest in him as a coach. I was pleased to hear that he still had an interest in me for the upcoming season. This is what sold me to come play for Leipzig. And the club has a good track record for being in the Pro B and not dropping down in leagues. So I believe that I will be entering a good club under good leadership.
What has been your overall impression of head coach Thomas Krzywinski. After talks could you say that you speak the same basketball language or is that a work in progress that will be continued in August when the club meets for training camp?
Coach Thomas seems like a great coach and person. I will have the opportunity to really know him much more than I already do during the upcoming season. I would say that I have a good understanding of what Coach Thomas expects from me as a person and player. I remember the conversations we had after my rookie year and he expects me to be ready when I arrive in Leipzig as I have the same expectations for myself.
You will have more talented and strong player as teammates with Leipzig then in the Regionaliga and most likely won´t put up consistent big numbers like in the Regionaliga. Is this something that you will be able to come to terms with?
I believe that I will be able to make a huge contribution to the team whether its points, assists, or defense. I believe my presence will be big and I also plan on making a big impact on the stat sheet consistently as well.
Let´s talk a bit about your game. You can do it all at the forward position and a bit more. How would you describe your game and if you had to what NBA player could you compare your game to?
I would say that my game resembles Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. George can bring the ball up, give you rebounds, points at any given moment, strike from long and close range, give you a defense presence, bring excitement to the game, and so much more. He could play from the 1 to the 4 in my opinion. At the Pro B level, I could for sure play 1 to 4 and even 5 at times.
What do you feel is a hidden talent in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court, but that you feel you excel at?
I think being a good teammate doesn’t get noticed right away. And I believe that I am a great teammate.
What do you feel could you develop in your two years of professional ball in your game in the Regionalliga that will allow you to make the next step in the Pro B?
I’ve developed the mindset to take over in crucial game situations using my God-given talents. This has been expected of me during my first two seasons in Germany and if my team needs me to take over this upcoming year, then I will be able to carry this mindset over to Leipzig.
How vital was it for your game and leadership skills being the only American the last two years with Cottbus and Rendsburg? Do you feel that the young German players could benefit from your game and leadership?
I think that having a good relationship with the players on and off the court will be vital for good chemistry and teamwork with all players. It doesn’t bother me much at all being the only American for the team. I felt that I fit in really well with the German players outside of basketball and on the court. My main thing was to put much effort into whatever I did. And this will be recognized by the players and others because of my talents as a player and person.
Let´s look back briefly at your college career. You finished at Indiana SE (NAIA) and reached the NAIA D2 Final Four and won the KIAC Tournament. What were your fondest memories in this successful last season in school?
My fondest moments during this period was being in practice with my teammates and coaches and being able to carry out all of that hard work, strategic planning, chemistry, love and trust, and talents over into the games. And being part of a team that won the conference championship and finishing with a school record (30-5) and taking the school to a record setting Final 4 title would definitely be a fond moment for me.
How did head coach Wiley Brown groom and prepare you best for a college career while at Indiana SE (NAIA)?
Coach Wiley didn’t take any b.s. from his players. He got on us when needed in his own way. He recognized the strengths within each player and came up with strategies to implement those strengths in games. He was always prepared for games and practices. Also, he helped the team to be a real team and not a one or two man show. His motto was “pass up a good shot for a great shot.” That has always been stuck in my head to this day. He made sure we played as a team and I believe this was key to why we made it to the Final 4. Everything he has done as a coach and person has really helped me to grow as a player.
Who won a one on one in practice at Indiana SE (NAIA) you or Kegan Clark?
Haha… I can sit here and say that I would win a one on one match up with Kegan, but he would say the the opposite if you were to ask him. We were matched up quite a bit in practice at Indiana SE, but I would say that we made one another better and tougher players.
How does a workout in the summer of 2016 look like for you on and off the court?
A workout on the court will consist of two-ball set dribbling, moves, shooting from all ranges, and one on one drills to name a few. Off the court, the weight room would be the primary target. This is a general idea of my workouts in the summer of 2016.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which four NBA legend heads would you chose?
I know Stephen Curry isn’t yet a legend, but he would be there along with Kobe, Shaq, and Jordan.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just recently saw the Conjuring 2 in theatres.
Thanks Terence for the chat.
Damon Smith(Bayer Giants Leverkusen) Passionate Coaches Like Achim Kuczmann Have Winning Records And I Want To Play For Those Kind Of Coaches
Damon Smith is a 28 year old 200cm forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that is going into his fourth professional season and third in Germany and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He started his basketball career with Ellsworth CC (JUCO) and then finished at Mary (NCAA2) and as a senior played 26 games averaging 16.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.1apg, 2.1bpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 67.9%. He started his professional career in 2012 with SISU Copenhagen (Denmark-Ligaen) playing 30 games averaging 15.8ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 72.6%. In the 2013-2014 season he moved to Germany to the Dresden Titans (Germany-ProB) playing 27 games: 13.4ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 61.5%, 3PT: 26.2%, FT: 69.2%. In the 2014-2015 season he stayed with the Dresden Titans playing 29 games averaging 12.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 69.4%. Recently he got further experience with Trigueros de Ciudad Obregon (Mexico-CIBACOPA). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Welcome back to Germany. Congrats on signing with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. This will be your third season playing in Germany. What makes Germany and it´s basketball so appealing to you as a professional player?
Thank you. What makes German basketball so interesting? I think it’s how very different it is from the way I was shown here. US basketball is worlds apart from German basketball. Not saying it’s a bad thing. Every country has their style but Germany is one of the areas that I’ve learned the most.
After two seasons with the Dresden Titans in the east, now you will play in the west in Leverkusen. What was the selling point that made you chose this club?
The Championship background the club has. Titles shows that they are moving in the right direction and continue to.
Did you already learn about the tradition of the Bayer Giants Leverkusen when you played two seasons with Dresden or is the fact that they belong to the top teams in German basketball with the most titles?
No I did not know about the tradition of Bayer. Playing in the east I noticed that they always made playoffs and did well.
What was your first impression of Giants head coach Achim Kuczmann during talks? Do the both of you speak the same basketball language?
He’s passionate about winning. That’s one thing that he has in common with every coach I’ve played for. Passionate coaches have winning records and I want to play for those kind of coaches.
It was refreshing to see in the official Bayer Giants press release that you said “”It is always something special when you can practice the sport you love as a job”. You seem to really speak from the heart. How do you feel is your love to the game and approach to the game different from most other players?
I’ve loved the game since I started playing at 14 years of age. Granted I had no idea that it would take me to places like Mexico, South America, and Germany but I knew I wanted to be good at this. Approaching the game is different as the years go on. Different countries different weather and equipment so you have to find your way around those struggles. I think it just depends on where you are.
Leverkusen head coach Achim Kuczmann describes you as a very versatile player. How would you describe your game and to what NBA player would you compare it too?
Growing up watching the NBA I admired players like Rudy Gay, Carmelo, and The mamba….KOBE. Just because of their hard work, body similarities, and the way they play defense.
You can fill up the stat sheet on any given night. But what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think the part of my game that is HIGHLY missed is my passing. Growing up I was really short so passing was the first thing I learned. I would easily get an assist then score any day.
You played recently with Trigueros de Ciudad Obregon (Mexico-CIBACOPA). You didn´t play for a team at the start of the 2015-2016 season, but came to Mexico late in March. This season you signed early, but was the transfer market last summer more of a thorn in your side for being able to find the right fit?
Yea getting to Mexico mid season was an adjustment but a blessing. I wouldn’t change any thing. I met some great people and made a lot of good friends there.
What kind of overall experience was it for you playing for Trigueros de Ciudad Obregon (Mexico-CIBACOPA). How would you describe that level of play to the German Pro B?
I had a blast in Obregon. The level of basketball isn’t equal to Germany. Nevertheless I learned from that experience.
In Mexico soccer is the number one sport and you were living in a city with 405,000 person´s. Was the soccer atmosphere very present in this city and did that make it easier to concentrate on basketball more?
The soccer atmosphere is great everywhere some more than others. I didn’t have the chance to witness a game in Mexico unfortunately. Nothing distracted me from basketball. The game comes first because that is why your there.
You played with the Dresden Titans from 2013-2015. Was this your most cherished time as a professional player so far in your career?
My cherished moment. haha That’s easy. It’ll be the off court events. The team events that people don’t see. That’s when the players get to know each other. Those times are what you don’t forget. As far as my favorite for Dresden I would have to say our Christmas Team Dinner where my former teammate Kevin Butler sang a Christmas song. The worst yet funniest thing I witnessed.
Last season the team had a fantastic season moving up to the Pro A. Was there not a chance that you could have stayed a third season there?
Yes there was a chance for me to stay but I wanted to go to another country and play.
You reached the playoffs both seasons and had some exciting playoff series and wins against BG Karlsruhe and Recklingshausen. What memory on the court stands out for you most?
Hmm the only memories that comes to mind is for BG Karlsruhe was their guards. Their PG and SG were very talented. Gave us real problems haha For Recklinghausen it’ll be how physical they play. They were the most physical team in the conference. I remember all four times we played. I was EXTREMELY sore the next couple days.
In your first season with the Dresden Titans, you played together with American Andrew Jones. You and him were the back bones of the club that season. What did you respect and like most about his dedication to the game?
Andrew went solely hand and hand with my success. His approach was unique and still is. He’s always mentoring and trying to do the right thing. Even if you don’t want to sometimes. He’s still my mentor to this day even though we don’t play on the same team anymore.
As a rookie you played for SISU Copenhagen (Denmark-Ligaen) playing 30 games: 15.8ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 72.6%. Even though you were living in the country capital, what was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home in Milwaukee?
The biggest thing my first year in Danmark was trying to make the All-Star team. Yes winning was first but that was a very big achievement for a first year player.
How key was teammate Mickey Dennis for showing you the ropes as a rookie? The American was playing his ninth season at that time?
I could talk about my dude Mickey all day. That dude is one of the smartest players I’ve played with!!! He knew how to get to his spots on the floor and he knew how to bring out the best in players in practice and the games. His basketball IQ is unbelievable still to this day. He is a player you want to be like when your his age. Not just a player but a person. Just a real stand up guy.
After playing at Ellsworth CC (JUCO), you finished your college basketball career at Mary´s(NCAA2). How do you feel did you develop your game in JUCO that gave you the chance to move up to Mary(NCAA2)
I think just learning about yourself helped get me get to Mary. Knowing what your good at and what you need to get better at. Many players just work on what their good at. That’s fine and all but your weaknesses is what separates you from the best.
How did head coach Jevin Budde groom and prepare you best for a college career at Mary(NCAA2)?
Coach Budde was the main reason why I went to Mary. The main thing coach did to help was keep it straight forward with me. I saw both paths and he told me if I took the hard path that he’ll do everything in his power to me. Which he did. I’m beyond grateful for having such a person in my life.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Alex Dorr?
Haha totally me!!!! Alex is a great player but I had him on the height and weight side. He was a better shooter but that would mean I would have to miss. Haha
You have a few months before you have to report to Leverkusen. How does a normal work out day look like for you in the summer of 2016?
A normal workout day for me would go. Eat breakfast Shower Go shoot Run Shower Eat again Stretch Shower again
If you had to prepare your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 NBA legends would you chose?
Shaquille, Kobe, Duncan, and Iverson
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was a movie called Race. About the track gold medalist Jessie Owens.
Thanks Damon for the chat.
Aaron Nelson(Dragons Rhondorf) I Don’t Feel Like I’m Really Doing My Job Unless I Get A Double-Double
Aaron Nelson is a 203cm power forward from Bloom Township, Illinois that will be playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf. He started his basketball career with SW Illinois JC (JUCO)and then moved to S.Indiana (NCAA2) and as a senior played 29 games averaging 19.3ppg, Reb-1(12.7rpg), 2.3apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 60.4%, FT: 63.3%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with Los Leones de Quilpue (Chile-Liga Nacional, starting five): Liga Americas: 3 games: 24.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 80.0%; Chilean Liga Nacional: 28 games: 21.1ppg, Reb-4(11.6rpg), 2.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.7%. Last season he split time with Atletico Tabare (Uruguay-LUB): 4 games: 15.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, in Dec.’15 moved to Salta Basket (Argentina-TNA). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Aaron thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hello Miles, how are you? I am currently back and forth between Chicago & Nashville TN. My summer has been great. I’ve been in the gym 24/7, got to travel a little bit, and spending time with my family.
Congrats on getting signed by the Dragons Rhondorf. How excited are you to have finally made the jump to Europe after playing your first two professional seasons in South America?
Thank you. I’m very excited about playing in Germany this season. I thank God for allowing to continue my basketball career. South America has been fun and a great learning experience for me. Now I am ready to see what playing in Europe is like.
Why do you believe did take two years to make the jump across the pond? Was it more needing to find the right situation or were teams in Europe not ready to sign you?
It necessarily took me two years for me to get to EU because I’ve had the opportunity to come to EU last season. I just felt that I had more worth in South America. Also who your agent is plays a big part in that. At the time I was working with agents who were primarily in South America.
You have signed with the Dragons Rhondorf a team in the third country division called PRO B. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball?
I don’t know very much about playing in Germany but a few of my friends who have played there tell me a lot of good things. I expect it to be fun and full of tradition. I know a lot more people will probably speak English here than South America. Basketball wise I expect it to be a little more up tempo style of play. Very team orientated. I also know that playing in Germany you always have a good chance to move up and build your resume.
Did some of your friends like guards Brandon Jefferson and Brandon Lockhart who have played in Germany give you some insight as to how the basketball life is here?
Well I spoke with Brandon Jefferson a few time last year. He told me he loves it, they treat him great. The fans and atmosphere is amazing and that its been like a 2nd home for him.
Have you had any contact to the club yet? What sold you most on joining the Dragons Rhondorf?
Yes I have. The head coach and I have talked a couple times on FB or skype. He really sold me on joining the team. This will be his first year as a head coach on this level. As it will be my first time playing in EU it kind of seemed fitting. Also he has confidence in me and knows what I can do. He flat out told me ” I want you on my team” and that pretty much sold me.
You obviously have had very good stats in South America and now will play in a league that is known for having very talented Americans and you should be able to fit in very nicely. What are your goals as a player in your third season besides helping the team win and having a good individual season?
My goals this year is just mainly to be a leader on and off the court. Learning how to lead team, gaining experience, and staying consistant thru everything. I know that I am playing in the third league this season but want people to look at me and what I’ve done and say “this guy can play at any level” I basically just want to establish myself in EU.
Last season you played in Uruguay and Argentina, but played only nine games. How ready are you to play a full season this season in Germany?
I am very ready last season was a little shaky for me. I was in between agents and really didn´t know what direction to go in. This season is like redemption for I am going to be playing with a big chip on my shoulders.
You played in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. What overall kind of experience was this and what league was the toughest from your estimation?
They all were great experiences for me. I really learned a lot and enjoyed playing in those countries. I would definitely play in any of those countries again. It’s hard to say which was the toughest because they all were pretty tuff. If I had to choose one I would say Argentina just because we were playing during the summer over there. Most of the time we we’re playing it was 100+ degrees in the gym. Sometimes that was pretty hard it made you sweat so much more and made it harder to catch your breath.
As a rookie you played for Los Leones de Quilpue (Chile-Liga Nacional). What was your wake up call to being a professional in Chile where you knew that you were very far away from home in the States?
My wake up call was me stepping off the plane over there. I didn’t know what to expect or how things would be. It’s always hard leaving home but I knew that, that was a great opportunity for me. A lot of people don’t get to experience being a pro ball player in a different country it’s a blessing to be able to do what you love and experience life outside of the US.
How valuable was it having an experienced guy like American Leonard Washington around as a rookie. He had learned form the best like NBA players Taj Gibson, Demar Derozan and Nikola Vucevic at USC. How did he help you as a rookie?
It was great having a guy like Leonard. He is great player and showed me a lot. I looked at Leonard like a big brother and he basically took me under his wing. I probably wouldn’t have made it the whole season in Chile without Leonard. We really complimented each other´s game and he gave me so confidence. We don’t talk as much we did but I always check up on him. He’s having a great season in Italy.
In Chile you lived in a city 20 km from the pacific ocean and resort sites like Valparisio and Vina Del Mar. What did you learn to appreciate most from your first long stay outside the United States?
Chile was amazing it’s probably the place I miss playing the most. Once I learned how to get around an started speaking a little Spanish it was so much more fun. Vina and Valpo are great tourist attractions and really beautiful city’s they also had pretty good food. I really appreciated seeing their way of life over there and just being there in general.
Lets talk a little about your game. You are a guy that can score and rebound and put up double double stats as easy as Shaq can swallow a Big Mac. How would you describe your game?
Haha.. I pride myself on being a great rebounder, being efficient, and being a great teammate. I want my teammates to enjoy playing with me. As far as my game, I can do it all on the court and I really want to show that this season. I am a lot more than a low post scorer and rebounder.
Would the description double double monster for you be a correct description?
I think that description seems fitting. I don’t feel like I’m really doing my job unless I get a double-double.
You can also fill up the stat sheet at will, but what do you believe is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the floor?
A big hidden strength I have is the ability to pass and handle the ball. My bread and butter will always be getting tuff baskets around the rim. That comes easy to me. Now I have to show that I can stretch the floor and create for my teammates as well.
Has anyone called you the mini Darryl Dawkins? Not everyone has had the chance to bust a back board which you did at the Nike Chi-League.
They were calling me baby Shaq for a while. It was great and doing it at one of the best summer pro-am’s in the world the Chi-League was all the more satisfying.
You started your basketball career at SW Illinois JC (JUCO) before making the jump to S.Indiana (NCAA2) in 2012. Did the fact that you had to start your career in the JUCO make you work so much harder to reach the next level?
Yes of course I’ve always wanted to compete at the highest level. Going the JUCO route just made me want it more. I always wanted to play division one basketball but I wasn’t able to so I dominated the division two level. I still feel to this day feel that my numbers would have been the same playing division one.
Did you know from the start in the JUCO that bigger and better things were there for you?
I actually didn´t know what I would do or where I would be after JUCO. Once I got my confidence and passion back for playing I knew if I put my mind to it and put in the work I knew basketball could take me places.
You really improved your stats in your senior year from your junior year. What do you feel made your game rise so much in your senior game? Did you gain the needed maturity in your first season in the NCAA2?
My junior year I was really just learning and we had a great team all-around and I just wanted to play my part an help us win. I was having a great junior year then I ended up tearing my acl. My coaches, teammates and family made me believe that I could bounce back from that injury. I put it in my mind that I wanted to win player of the year and be one of the best in division two basketball the next season. I worked really hard to get back and be better my senior year. In 4 and. a half months I was back dunking. In 5 and a half month I was back playing ball.
You had some big games in your two year college career at S Indiana(NCAA2) like the come from behind win against Bellarmine or sweeping the Knights or Maryville where you scored 10 of your 22 points in the last 6:45. What do you feel was your best game there?
Beside the 31 point 27 rebound game against KY State. I think the by-in game of the GLVC tourney was one of my best I think I finished with 22pts and 21rebs. That was my 3rd 20+pts 20+ rebound game of the season. The day before that game they gave me co-player of the year and I really felt like I should have been sole player of the year. So I went out with a chip on my shoulder the next day and I wanted to win the tournament to let everybody know I should have been player of the year by myself, and we did just that.
You had 27 rebounds against Kentucky State. Did you feel like a genuine glass cleaner on that night?
When I got those 27 rebounds it made me believe I could be the best rebounder in the NCAA. I was just trying to get the job done that night.
How did Rodney Watson groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Watson and Coach Good always told me I had the tools to be a great pro. They told me to carry myself like a professional no matter what I was doing. They also put it in my head that I could take care of my family by putting in the work and playing basketball and that is what I wanted to do. They both are great coaches and are a big part of the reason why I am a pro basketball player.
Writer Pat Hickey wrote an article especially citing how ridiculous it was giving you GLVC co player of the year since you dominated the league and was by far the best player. Was their some bad taste towards S. Indinaa(NCAA2) or how do you explain this?
I definitely believe people had something against Southern Indiana or something I don’t know why I wasn’t the sole player of the year. Mike Carlson had a great year and is a great player, but I don’t think he did what I did that season .It’s all politics
What stories do you remember hearing about ex S Indiana(NCAA2) guard Danny Gibson? He is a guy that didn´t have the overwhelming stats in school but has had a long successful career in Europe and still playing. Does a guy like him motivate you in your career?
Yes he does. I want to have long great career just like him. I always heard he wasn´t the best player on the court but he always put in the work and went the extra mile. He played his role and specialized in what he did on the court and turned that into a great pro career.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Taylor Wischmeier?
Me and Wisch always went at each other in practice. He definitely made me a better player on the court. Somedays it was his day and he couldn’t miss anything, somedays it was mine. We really fed of each other.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore with 4 NBA players who would you choose?
I didn´t get to see a lot of Magic or Bird or like Bill Russell play I definitely believe they should be on there. From my eyes who I did get to see play my NBA Mt. Rushmore would be Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, and Lebron
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was X-Men Apocalypse it was good.
Thanks Aaron for the chat.