Eric Palm is a 27 year old 185cm guard form Illinois that is playing his second season in Germany and first with the Giessen 46ers. He started his basketball career at McKendree (NAIA) in 2005 where he played until 2009 and as a senior played 35 games: 20.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3Pts: 38.3%, FT: 85.2%. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 with Thor AK (Iceland-D1) where he played until 2012 and in the 2011-2012 season played 11 games: 26.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 84.5%. In 2012-2013 he played for IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 22 games: Score-3(26.5ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT-1(93.9%).Last season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games: 15.8ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 84.1%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
You are playing your first season for the Giessen 46ers. Why did you move from Chemnitz to Giessen?
After seeing who stayed in Giessen and what they brought in, I felt that it would be a great situation for me. Giessen reached the final 4 last season and I want to have a taste of the playoffs so Giessen was a big draw for me.
Your ex coach Felix Schreier was let go recently. Were you surprised that he was let go and what was missing from BV Chemnitz to have more wins?
I can´t really tell you what was missing or what they needed to be more successful. It was sad that coach had to go since he was home grown from Chemnitz. It was a tough decision for Chemnitz. He is a good coach and it was fun to be around him. I wish him only the best.
How exciting has the first month been with all the close games. Giessen could easily have been undefeated or been winless.
It is always nice to win in dramatic fashion. However the close loses also have been frustrating because we know that we can compete with anyone. It comes down to the x and o´s and we have to get the job done. We can´t sell short and win without execution.
How challenging has it been playing together with TJ DiLeo? How do you guys make each other better on the court?
We are two completely different players. I am more the shooter while he can shoot and slash. He is our captain and the main go to guy. It is a lot of fun going against him each day in practice. Our constant interaction in practice makes us better.
You are a very good shooter, but what is a hidden strength in your game?
I am been floating around the three point line a lot this season and teams see me more as a shooter. However I have been trying to get more to the hole and get to the free throw line. I can be a combo guard. I have to let the game come to me. Once the offensive rhythm is there, I think it will come more to me.
To what degree does head coach Denis Wucherer give you your freedom? Is he 100% a players coach?
He is a great coach, but we know where we stand. He demands a lot form us. He comes from having played at a high level and he knows what a player can do. When we need it then he can be hard on us. If When things are going well then he gives us the green light. If we are struggling then it is back to the x and o´s and grinding out the play.
Last season your teammate at BV Chemnitz was Guy Aud. How much are you rooting for him to find a team?
Guy is a great guy and is still looking for a team. He is in Giessen now and practices with us as well as with TV Lich. It is really great seeing a familiar face. I also wish him the best of luck of finding a team. I think soon when teams need to make a change that he will find a team.
You played at Mckendree(NAIA) from 2005-2009. Did you always dream of being a professional player?
We had a big man go overseas and that was when I started thinking about it. My junior year, my coach told me to keep working. Not many make it form that level to the professional level. It has been a hard grind being a professional, but I think I still have years to come.
With what did you make as a professional most? With skill, desire or heart?
I think that it was a combination of a little of all. I went back to Mckendree for a fifth year to get my degree. I taught for 8 hours and then practiced for 1.5 hours and lifted for two hours just to stay in shape.
You played three years in Iceland. How important was it being there for three years for your development?
In my third year I finally reached the top league there. Many doubted me to be able to play at that level so I was very motivated. There is a lot of good talent there and it was a good experience that helped my development.
What was your wake up call in Iceland to being a professional player?
As a rookie I was in the second division and was playing with kids that were 17 and 18 years old. I was like a mentor while at the same time trying to help the team win games. I had a fatherly figure trying to keep all together.
Who hits more three pointers while parked in the corner you or TJ DiLeo?
I have to go with me.
Where will the journey of the Chicago Bulls end this season?
Rose looked shaky in the world cup in Europe, but will be ready in the NBA. Rose has found himself now. I see the Bulls making the final, but the west is tough.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Lets be cops.
Thanks Eric for the chat.