Brandon Gay is a 30 year old 203cm forward that recently finished his his second season for Szolnoki Olajbanyasz (Hungary-A Division). In hiss econd season he played 18 games: 7.3ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 78.6%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 11.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 91.7%; Adriatic League: 21 games: 8.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 65.7%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT-1(91.3%)He started his basketball career with San Diego (NCAA). In 2005-2006 he turned professional and played his first two seasons for TBB Trier. He then played three seasons for the Antwerp Giants (Belgium-D1). His best season was his first season where he played ULEB Cup: 10 games: 13.8ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.9apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3FGP: 41.2%; Belgian League: 35 games: 14.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.9apg, 2.1spg, 2FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 84.0%. In 2010-2011, he played for VOO Verviers-Pepinster (Belgium-D1, starting five): 31 games: 10.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT-2(44.3%), FT: 80.4%. Last season he played for Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague, starting five): Georgian League: 2 games: 18.5ppg, 10.5rpg, 4.5apg, 2.5spg; Eurochallenge Qualifying Round: 2 games: 14.0ppg, 4.5rpg, in Oct.’11 moved to Szolnoki Olajbanyasz (Hungary-A Division): Hungarian League: 30 games: 9.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 87.9%; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 8.9ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 91.7%. He caught up with German Hoops some months ago and talked about his season in Hungary and basketball career.
Brandon where are you currently and how is your winter going?
What’s up Miles, I’m in Szolnok, Hungary playing for the second season in a row. The winter hasn’t been how I expected it to be but we are working hard to get our season turned back around.
You are playing your second season for Szolnoki Olajbanyasz in Hungry. How do you like this country and league?
The country is good, I’m in a smaller city than other teams I played for and that I live in but that just means there is a larger focus on the basketball team. This season we are in the Adriatic League and Euro Challenge, we will join the Hungarian league after the Adriatic season is over. Every game its really good competition and as a player you cant ask for more than that.
You lost twice to the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Eurochallenge play. How was it coming back to Germany? What did you remember from your two games that you played in Oldenburg with TBB Trier?
Its funny I started my career in Trier with Coach Joe Whelton and my first game as a rookie was against Oldenburg! It was a weird feeling going back there after so long. Always great to play there, I like that arena. I like how you let everyone know we lost twice too!!!
How was it playing against German Konrad Wysocki? You played against him back in the 2006-2007 season when he played with ratiopharm Ulm. How has his game progressed?
Yea he is a good player. Versatile guy who plays hard. I know you had to play like that under Coach Taylor when he was at Ulm and the same with Coach Machowski at Oldenburg now.
What is it like being the only American on the team of Szolnoki Olajbanyasz ? Back in Belgium you usually had some Americans as teammates? Do they treat you in anyway more special because you are an American?
It is the first time I have been in this type of situation. I was here last season and I know the guys so it is cool. Even the Hungarian newcomers I knew them and how they competed. We are a pretty close team so even for the new foreigners it was a simple transition into the team I feel. I’m a “Home-Body” so I can fit in pretty much anywhere!! As long as I have good quality internet and my PS3 I’m good!!
What is your role on the team with Szolnoki Olajbanyasz ?
I think my role is to play team basketball just like everyone else. That’s was how we won last year and how we will win this year. Especially playing in the Adriatic League, have to play good individual/team defense. On offense, run the offense to get what we want and take the open shot when I have it.
What is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
I think my passing. I like to pass and think I’m a good passer for a forward. I would say handles but that would be a lie!!
You played your first two seasons as a professional in Germany for TBB Trier? When you look back on those two seasons, how did your time in the BBL help you develop as a player?
TBB Trier helped me become a professional. You hear stories all the time about differences between players and their clubs but I didn’t have any problems in Trier. All I had to do was focus on playing, that’s what I did and am still doing. I think for rookies that the first thing they should learn is how to be a pro. Lean to practice hard, learn how to take care of your body, how to treat people. That goes with your talent to have long a long career. That’s what I learned in Trier from the older guys and coaches.
What is your fondest memory on the court with TBB Trier in the BBL?
On the court it would have to be the victory dance Trier does after every home victory! With my main man Axel “Aggy” Mock leading the cheer that’s something I will always remember!
Did you ever have a more pure scorer as a teammate then Tommy Adams? He could score a lot quickly.
Some players but not as smooth as T.A., dude was a problem on the court. Thing about T.A. is he didn’t want to score as much as he did with us. He wanted to run the show and create plays for the team and he got a bad rap for it a little bit but we needed him to score. When he got hot shooting the ball he can score with the best of them.
After two seasons in the BBL, you went to play four seasons in Belgium. You had two good stat seasons in Germany. Was it just hip to go to Belgium or did you just get better offers?
Antwerp won the Belgium Cup and got a bid into Euro Cup. It was a tough move to make because the BBL was a great league. To this day I still think about that decision because I was leaving a really good situation in Trier. Antwerp turned out to be a good situation as well.
You played three seasons with the Antwerp Giants (Belgium-D1), but didn´t win any titles. The team had a pretty strong roster. What do you think was missing for getting a title?
We were never good enough to get home court advantage throughout playoffs. Each year we ran into the #1 seed in the semifinals and home court is very important in a best of 3 series. We had good teams man, just could not get over that hump.
You played two seasons with 2008 BBL scoring champion Tim Black. What was the most amazing thing that you saw him do on the court?
Tim is a scrub!!! Just joking!! Tim is a tough guy man. The craziest thing I saw him do was during my last year there. We were home against Mons down 7 or 8 late in the 4th quarter and he just took over and ended up wining the game for us with a crazy lay-up. He had a great season that year.
You played with Rashaun Freeman at VOO Verviers-Pepinster (Belgium-D1,). Who won a one on one in practice you or Rashaun Freeman?
This is my interview so of course I’m going to say ME!! “Free” is a really good player though a beast on the low block.
After four solid seasons in Belgium, was there any thought of coming back to Germany to play? Did you have any offers the last years?
No, but maybe in the future.
You have played in Georgia and Hungry the last two seasons. What are the main differences to the German and Belgium leagues?
The style of play. Didn’t stick around in Georgia to see much of the league but in Hungary there’s lots of pick and roll action. In Germany and Belgium it’s more set plays and isolation.
What do you have in your memory about dueling against Derrick Allen in the BBL form 2005-2007? At that time, he was one of the dominant power forwards in the league?
Derrick is probably the most energetic player I ever played against as a pro. He had all the skills but his energy makes him better than a lot of guys.
Who was your toughest player that you had to play against in the BBL?
There were a lot of good players in the league but the toughest player was probably a teammate of mine in Jermaine Dearman. We battled in practice everyday and I think it prepared both of us for games.
You played NBA Summer league for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. What memories do you still have from that summer?
Probably learning a little bit of Phil Jackson’s Triangle offense. We ran a version of it in Trier but to have Tex Winter actually there teaching it was pretty cool. Learning things from Brian Shaw and Kurt Rambis was great too.
You are 30 now. What goals do you still have as a professional player? I guess just winning titles?
Goals are the same each year to help the team I’m on win a title and cup. Nothing else matters.
What were the most free throws that you made in a row without missing?
In a shooting practice my first year in Antwerp shooting 10 at a time I think I hit 91 straight. I shoot too many jumpers in games to even get that many attempts in a season now!!!
What was your most crazy shot that you ever made in your career?
Nothing sticks out as crazy. I got hit on the arm shooting a 3 a few times and they went in. That’s not crazy, that’s just luck!!
So is this the year of the Houston Texans?
Of course!! Shout out out to the Texans!! I’m from Texas so American football is like soccer to Europeans!! My Texans play your Pats this Monday night, could be a sleepless night for me!!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Boomerang and Paid in Full on the last road trip. I have the Avengers and new Dark Knight on my iPad but haven’t seen them yet. As far as best show to watch right now, Homeland! Its like when 24 first came out, addicting!
Thanks Brandon for the chat.