Larry Gordon is a 25 year old 196cm forward that is playing his first season in the German Beko BBL for Phoenix Hagen. He played at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2) from 2005 to 2009 playing a total of 116 NcAA2 games. In his senior year, he played 33 games: 15.7ppg, 10.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 75.7%. He was a CCAA Player of the Year and NCAA D2 Finalist in 2009. In 2009-2010, he came to Europe as a rookie and played for Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 36 games: 14.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 75.8%. He played for ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) the last two seasons and last season played 38 games: 14.7ppg, Reb-3(8.4rpg), 1.8apg, FGP-3(65.2%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Welcome to Hagen, Germany. You played the last two seasons in Austria. Now you are in Germany. In both countires, teh language german is spoken. What has been a distinct difference that you have seen since coming to Hagen in the two countries?
I think the biggest difference is the dialect from Hagen and Austria is a bit different. I mean I dont know German all that well to really draw a comparison, but I can sense a difference of how they speak here in Hagen then in Austria.
You played in Holland and Austria the last three seasons and now are ready to make the next jump to the higher league Beko BBL. Are you ready to make the next jump and what are your expectations this season?
Im definitely ready for this move, this is something as a basketball player you strive to get to and that is the highest level of basketball and competition. I have developed as a Pro player every year and I think playing in the Beko BBL is only going to make me into a better player after the season because of all the talent here. My expectations for myself is to play hard and do what ever in ability to help my team here in Hagen reach our goals and have a successful season.
Phoenix Hagen has a run and gun team the last years. How will your game especially your rebounding fit into the system of head coach Ingo Freyer?
I think it fits perfectly, I love the concept coach is teaching us. I love the fast break and to score easy buckets off of it. That kind of pace to the game is great and it makes us more of a threat. My rebounding ability is perfect for this team, we have a lot of talented rebounders and Im just going to add on to that with my strong rebounding.
Hagen has a very thin rotation and will need much scoring punch from David Bell, Davin White, Adam Hess and yourself. Do you feel much pressure?
I dont feel much pressure because this is what I do for a living, its just basketball, a game Ive been playing most of my life. I am a bit nervous but Im very confident that Ill be able to help and be very aggressive with helping out my team in the scoring department. But there is not much pressure, Im just going to go out there and do me and at the end of the day everything else will take care of itself.
What is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
My heart and passion for the game and my willingness to do what ever it takes to help my team win the game. Im a winner and I love to win. Skills wise, I think Im a pretty good ball handler and people dont realize that right away but I can handle the rock.
Davin White came late to the team last season and left a lasting impression. I think that he could be one of the top point guards in the Beko BBL. What has been the most amazing thing that you have seen him do in a practice so far?
The fact that he is really quick and agile. He can pretty much get anywhere he wants on the court with no problem and has excellent court vision.
In your last two seasons at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2), you averaged 9,1rpg and 10,4rpg. Is it just anticipation that makes you such a good rebounder at 196cm or does some cleverness play into the equation?
I cant really explain it, its just something that is embedded into my game. Its a lot of heart and relentless effort to get the rebound that makes me so good at it. When the ball goes up you will always see me near the rim no matter what. That is just what I do.
After what NBA player do you try to mold your rebounding game after?
Nobody in particular, but if I was to choose right now.. I would go with Kevin Love because he stays around the rim and going against bigger players all the time, he always seems to get most of the rebounds. He is relentless when it comes to rebounds.
Your also a very good three point shooter. Last season, you shot 37%. Are you a pure three point shooter?
Last year I shot about 37% I think, it could have been better but I had a few bad shooting nights, but I can spot up and shoot the three pointer with no problem. Im not a pure shooter, Im more of a streaky shooter, if I get going then the opponent better watch out.
You played at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2) from 2005-2009. What was the most important thing that you could learn from head coach Greg Kamansky that has prepared you for your professional basketball career?
Just being mentally prepared for a whole other different perspective on professional basketball. He told me that this is now a job, a business and you have to produce if you want to keep your job. So that was always something I kept in my mind and carried with me during my career. Pro basketball is fun, but at the same time it is a business and if your not taking care of business then it wont be fun and there will be no job.
You played two seasons with German Tobias Jahn at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2). What were your fondest memories of him?
His personality was definitely not what I expected being the first foreign player I played with, but he was a great guy, lots of enthusiam and he can always brighten up a day with just the way he was. My best memory of Tobi is when we played against BYU-Hawaii for the Regional Championship back in 09′ and there was a player being hyped of that Tobi had to face. And in that first half, he had Tobi’s number but in that second half, Tobi turned it up a notch and helped us secure the win.
What do you still remember from your 59 minute 18 points, 22 rebound performance against Wels?
I remember being very exhausted but I had to push through, we had to push through to get the win.. It was one of the best basketball experiences I have had as a pro player.
In that game you played against Quentin Pryor who played 3 seasons with Phoenix Hagen. He had 27 points in that game. Did his aggressive defense leave an impression on you?
Yea Q was an all around good player, and yes they way he got steals and pressured the ball really helped their team. We actually changed our game plan to accommodate Q’s aggressive defense.
Who would win a one on one in practice you or Jeremy Fears?
J Fears is a very good player and me and him would always battle in practice. It would be a close game, but Ill take myself as the winner is this contest.
Who would win in their prime the Dream team or Team USA 2012?
Dream Team for sure. Their inside presence would be way too much for the USA Team this year, but the guard game would be suspect on the Dream Teams side
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Kevin Hart Laugh At My Pain
Thanks Larry for the chat