Andrew Jones is a 32 year old 191cm shooting guard that has been a professional basketball player since 2007 and has returned back to the Dresden Titans this season. He played at Miles(NCAA2) and has played in Germany for most of his professional career with four seasons with the Dresden Titans and three seasons with the BG Aschersleben Tigers (Germany-Regionalliga). He also gained experience playing with teams like Marietta Storm (SEBL), BC Celtics (SEBL), C.B. Aridane (Spain-EBA) and Universidad Tecnologica Equinoc. Quito (Ecuador-National League). Last season he played for BG Aschersleben Tigers (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 19,9ppg, 6,5rpg and 3,9apg. He spoke to german hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners on November 1st.
Andrew thanks for talking to german hoops. You are back in Dresden for a fourth tour of duty. How blessed are to still be playing the game you love at age 32?
I’m really blessed to be able to play the game I love. I thank God every day!
What is still your biggest thrill about competiting at the age of 32? Does anything change with age? Do you appreciate the fact that you can still play the game you love at this age?
I wanted to play basketball since I was young. Sometimes I look back to see how far I have come. Yes, my mentality has changed the most. I try to stay more in the moment rather than what is happening next year. I am only 32 and my abilities are still with me. I just appreciate game period.
How much has Dresden become like a second home for you over the years?
Dresden is my second home pretty much. I have seen kids turn to teenagers. Some are taller than me now. I have great relationships with many people in the city.
This is your fourth season with the Dresden Titans balling in the German Pro B. Do you see yourself having to be more aware of things on the court with your increasing age or do you feel as comfortable in your game as you did in 2008 in your first tour of duty there?
In 2008, it was more of a desperation mode to get in the door of European basketball. I remember my first Dresden game I didn’t score in the first quarter and begin to think they would send me home by halftime. I finished the game with 25 points and my career began from that point. Now I’m more comfortable because I have more experience and learned to deal with adversity.
Congrats on the 106-71 win against Lich last weekend. After averaging only 73 points a game on offense in the first four games, Dresden finally exploded. Is the team feeling each other better on offense?
We are feeling each other on defense which turns into offense. Step by step we are understanding each other a little bit more.
The club started off the season slow losing the first two games, but since then have a three game winning streak. What have been the main reasons for the team playing good ball in the last three weeks?
Details, details, and more details. Coach K will literally stop the practice if we don’t screen right, have wrong position in automatics, bad help side, weak one on one defense, etc. After two weeks of losing you have to either buy into the system or fight it. We chose to buy in.
The team also has been defending very consistently early on. What do you credit this early defensive chemistry to?
Back to the details again, haha. We lost pretty bad to Ehingen and we did not want that to happen again.
You had a little lull shooting wise in three games, but came back notching 16 points against Lich. Is shot selection something that is always a challenge at any age?
In one of the games we got beat bad and no one on the team had a good shooting night. The next game I was not looking for my shot, more running the team. The third game I got early foul trouble. I have a lot of good looks; however, most of my shots are just not falling. All I can do is stay in the gym and keep shooting.
As usual Dresden has two imports with David Sturner and yourself and the rest Germans. Your scoring average of 9,8ppg is down from previous years. Do you have a different role this season with Dresden?
My role is the same. When I see those stats, it’s not real to me. I’ve seen some of the best players go through shooting slumps. I’m not exempt from having bad shooting nights. I put a lot of work in to be efficient. Results from hard work don’t always show when you want, but it will come!
Your assists are up at 4,8 the most ever that you had with Dresden. Are you trying to be more of a creator to keep teams guessing instead of always having the ball in scoring situations and taking the shot?
My position is the playmaker/scoring guard. If I go to score I will more than likely draw a few defenders, which leaves my teammates open. It just so happens that I am surrounded with guys who make shots. I give them more credit than myself.
The team kept many Germans that you have played the last years with Philipp Lieser, Max Jentzsch, Cliff Goncalo and Max Von Der Wippel. Which guy do you see has made the biggest strides on the court in the last years?
I will have to say Max Von Der Wippel. I spent my first summer in Germany and got a chance to see him workout. He would write me and ask if I was going for weight lifting often. I would think to myself, who is this guy. You can definitely see his work ethic translated to the season.
What has been your impression of American David Sturner? What has impressed you the most about his game?
Incredible guy! Him and I have probably had a million conversations already. He is very calm and brings positive energy. I would say he has a nice touch on his hook shot.
The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. What memories do you have playing against them the last years? I remind you of a 38 point game three years ago and your perfect with a 3-0 record against them.
Yeah, I remember that game. I had a Mohawk for that one. They always had good young talent and they played very hard. Maybe, should bring the Mohawk back for that one.
It is the fourth and fifth place teams with a record of 3-2 going head to head. What will be key for getting the win?
Sticking to our plan. We want to stay consistent with what we do.
Your ex teammate Jason Boucher finally retired. He had always been undecided about retiring the last years and always came back. Do you see him possibly coming back one day?
He could comeback, but he has a new family situation and that’s probably more of his concern. But, I guarantee he has a basketball in his hands every day. He may have retired from playing professionally, but he is giving somebody buckets back at home.
What continues to be your favorite place in Dresden to relax?
I would have to say my flat. After practice, all I want to do is chill at home. I will say with age, you learn to sit down when you have a chance. Get more basketball years that way.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Iron Man 3
Thanks Andrew for the chat.