Travis Smith is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Johns Island, South Carolina that is playing his second professional season in Germany. As a rookie he played for RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) playing 27 games: 17.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 87.9%He played his last two years of college at Mercer and as a senior played 36 games: 13.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 89.8%. As a senior he reached the NCAA 2 Sweet 16 and was a A-Sun Regular Season Champion and A-Sun Tournament Finalist in 2013. This season he started with MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel (Germany-ProB) where he played six games averaging 9,0ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,8apg and now has moved to the TG Wurzburg Baskets Akademy(ProB) and spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Travis thanks for talking to German Hoops. This was your second time spending the holiday season in Germany. What have you enjoyed most about the holiday season in Germany that you never saw in Johns Island, South Carolina?
The best thing about the holiday season here are the Christmas Markets. We don’t have anything like them back home.
What new years resolutions have you made for Travis Smith the professional basketball player and person?
As a basketball player, my resolution is to be a more consistent and reliable teammate every day in practice and every game.
TG Wurzburg Baskets Academy suffered a brutal 87-68 loss against Lich last weekend. The club was outscored in every quarter except for the third. Was this just one of those days at the office where nothing really went right?
Lich is a solid well coached team, and they played a very good game. We didn’t play to our potential that night and I didn’t do enough to put my team in the position to win. It was a disappointing performance that we have to learn from and make sure doesn’t happen again.
When looking back at film and the stats, what lesson did the team learn from the game that you won´t make in the next game against Frankfurt?
We have to play together and play to our strengths. We are a very difficult to beat when we do those two things.
You scored 3 points and did also twice this season with Wolfenbuettel against Izehoe and Oldenburg. In a game like against Lich can you feel early that it might just not be your day shooting from the floor?
Yes, those were all very frustrating games for me personally, especially Oldenburg and Lich because my team lost. I have watched all of those games and learned from them realizing the importance of my production for my team’s success.
When your shot isn´t falling, one usually tries to help out in other ways. Did you feel that you were able to help in other areas?
After watching film, not as much as needed to. I can still help in other ways and make the game easier for my teammates even when I’m not shooting as well as usual.
Welcome to Wurzburg. You have joined a very young team filled with many very talented young Germans. What has been your early impression of the club?
The club is very professional and it is great that I can work out and learn from the BBL team. I’m very grateful and am happy to be here.
Has there been any adjustment period for you since coming over from Wolfenbuettel? What is always the most difficult thing when having to join a new team?
The transition of switching teams was a little bit more difficult than I anticipated, but I’m beginning to get comfortable with everything. The most difficult thing is trying to build chemistry with my new teammates and figure out how I can bring a positive addition to a team that already has guys with established roles.
Your scoring average is up a bit while your assists down a bit. Do you have a slightly different role than with Wolfenbuettel?
My role is different here than in Wolfenbüttel. I was needed to be more of an organizer and point guard whereas here in Würzburg my role is more of a scorer and shooting guard.
There are some older Germans on board with Christoph Henneberger and Christian Hoffmann, but as the lone American do you see yourself being a leader and also having the young Germans look up to you?
The team already has set leaders and captains that have been in place since the preseason and I respect that. I voice my opinion but mainly I have been trying to learn how they do things here and figure out how my skills fit in to the team best.
You have worked some weeks now with Constantin Ebert who is seen as a huge talent. How much potential does he have and what do you appreciate most about his game?
Constantin is a very good player and teammate. He is very fast and quick with the ball in his hand and on defense. I believe he has great potential and I enjoy playing with him and competing with him in practice.
The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors who lost the first game in Wurzburg 92-64. Frankfurt has the size, but Wurzburg is a very good rebounding team and is scrappy.What will be key to getting the win?
The key to this game will be playing to our strengths as a team. Like you said controlling the boards and being scrappy. We will have to stick to get together and play the game our way.
Have you been able to practice with beko BBL team s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg? When you see the guard talent on this team, does the competition success that you have in practice a little satisfaction that you could compete at this level?
I have practiced with the BBL team here some and have really learned a lot. They have a good team and great coaches. There are differences between that level and the level that I’m playing at now but I enjoy it and look forward to the chance to play on that level someday.
How impressed have you been with Dru Joyce? Did you have the courage to ask him something about Lebron yet?
No we haven’t really talked about LeBron much, but Dru has helped me with things on and off the court as a pro. I’m glad I’ve had a chance to be around him and learn from him.
With Kobe Bryant on his farewell tour, what Kobe highlight will you never forget in his long professional career?
I would probably say the playoff series when the Lakers played against Portland back when Kobe was number 8. I really enjoyed watching that and seeing how Kobe controlled the game. I was a fan before that series but after watching that he became one of my favorite players.
Have you seen the new Star Wars? If yes how do you compare it to the rest of the series?
No haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Creed, great movie I’m a big Rocky fan.
Thanks Travis for the chat.