Thaddus Mcfadden is a 28 year old 188cm guard from Flint, Michigan playing his seventh professional season and second with Petrolina AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A). Last season he played 25 games: Score-5(15.6ppg), 2.8rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-1(1.8spg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 79.7%. He started his basketball career at St. Clair CC (NJCAA)in 2006 and then moved Fairmont St. (NCAA2) and played there form 2007-2009 and as a senior played 29 games: ScoreNCAA2-2(25.4ppg), 5.4rpg, 3.9apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 79.6%. He started his professional basketball career in 2009 with SLUNETA Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic-NBL) where he played until 2012. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (Germany-BBL) playing 15 games: 5.4ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 39.4%, 3FGP: 39.5%, in Jan.’13 loaned to SLUNETA Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 14 games: 16.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 80.6%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 15 games: Score-2(14.1ppg), 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-1(2.5spg). He spoke to German Hoops during the Europe Cup playoff series against the Fraport Skyliners some weeks ago.
Thad thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. How often were you back in Germany since your short stay with Braunschweig?
This will be my first time back in Germany since I left Braunschweig
After being a top player in the Czech Republic, you have found a second home in Cyprus in your third season there. Is Cyprus a place where you could see yourself playing many more years?
Yes Cyprus has been my second home, I don’t know what the future will hold only God knows but yes, I have built a lot of good relationships in Cyprus and have had a lot of good memories in Cyprus
Two seasons ago you were second in league scoring with Cytavision Apoel Nicosia and last season fifth with AEK. What makes this level and style so appealing to your game?
I can make any style of basketball at any level of basketball appealing to my game. I’m a very confident player and I feel like as a player you have to know every country is different as there will be adjustments, you just have to make it fit in with your game. I was used to the run and gun high scoring games but here in Cyprus I had to adjust to the more physical, grind it out games, more defensive game which I take great pride in. Our goal as team is to make teams score around 60-70, in in both league (Cyprus and fiba) we are around that. We take pride in defense
AEK currently is in first place with a record of 11-2 tied with Kernavos. What has been the secret to the success of the team?
Defense, team work chemistry and coaching. We play together and everybody in the locker room likes each other and it’s like a big family, we can count on each other on and off the court, you should see the group chats we have , may seem simple but if you did, you’ll see this team cares for the next player and I feel like that’s big and this team represents the coaching, and our coach is a winner, and I love that because I feel like when you step on the court it’s about will and who wants it, not about what level this team is or this team has a huge budget, so coach is a huge part of the success and we have to keep up a level head because we still have goals to accomplish
The club has 8 players 30 or older. How vital has the experience factor been for the team being so successful?
Funny because I’m one of the young guys at 28 we joke about that lol but it’s been key, especially in close games, we have been in a lot of close games and tough situations but remained calm because with experience you know what to do and how to adjust but it’s been a blessing for me especially because I’m learning and learning so I’m taking advantage
In the last round of Europe Cup the team had a 3-3 record, but could easily have been 5-1. How bitter was losing the last 2 games by a combined total of 4 points?
Well it’s easy to get over it when you advance lol but honestly it was tough to swallow, because it would of been great to have home court advantage for round of 16 in front of our amazing fans but since I’ve been here and we all joke about it, nothing has been easy we always do things the hard way, so yes very tough losing close games and believe me I HATE losing but it’s over, learn from it and move on, we still have work to do
Is AEK Larnaca a better team than what it´s record shows in Europe Cup play?
Yes I strongly believe this, coach says it all the time, we have not reached our full potential as a team yet and even after a win he’s on us like we lost because he knows how good we can be. We have had a couple of injuries which I hate to use as a nexcuse, so we played short- handed in a couple games and having our big man out as he is a key player to our team, it was tough but we still believed and found ways to win games now with him being back and addition of CJ Leslie just made us stronger.
You were the go to guy at Fairmont State(NCAA2), BK Usti and Labem, and Cytavision Apoel Nicosia. Is that pretty much the role you also have with AEK this season?
Honestly we have a lot of guys you can go too, a lot of players on this team play a key role, my role is to be a playmaker and pressure the ball (play on ball defense), but yes I like to be one of the guys to go too.
You are an incredible defender with a lot of energy and led the league in Cyprus the last two seasons in steals. Does your defense mostly fuel your offense?
Yes good defense turns into good offense. The championships I won was due to good team defense, and it’s a fact playing good defense is a confidence builder. There are several factors to good defense where the other team shoots a bad shot adds to a long rebound easy fast break bucket or a steal and an easy bucket and its a lot more benefits from good defense. They say defense wins championships and that’s true
You are an explosive scorer, can score in bunches and are a first class defender, but what do you feel still gets unnoticed in your game even today
My ability to see the floor, I can play the point guard just like I play the shooting guard, people look and say ok he’s just a pure scorer but I know how to adjust, if you need me to be a pure pg I can do it, and I feel like it shows especially this year
Jujuan Cooley always told you to never be satisfied with your game. What are you working on most these days to keep getting better?
That’s very true. Last summer my focuses was getting stronger to take contact and still finish, my ball handling skills, and just reading situations, learning from one of the smartest point guards in Europe (Jujuan Cooley) helped a lot and I feel like the work over the summer is showing, but still not satisfied can always improve in every aspect of my game
How much of a thrill has it been playing with California native Brandon Bowman? Have you ever played with a guy that worked harder than him?
It’s been GREAT for me, this man lives in the weight room, true professional, take care of his body, works hard in practice, put in the extra work like I said a true professional, great example for me, I know I can go to war with him. He never cheats his self. It’s a lot more good I can say about him, when I think of Bo I just think hard work pays off , lets get better!!!!
Has he infested you with gym phobia. I called him last summer when I was in Malibu to say hi and where was he but in the gym in Santa Monica. It seems like he lives in the gym.
Not to brag but I’m a gym rat myself so it was easy connecting with Bo, because we both had the same mindset when it comes to putting in the extra work, funny because I told him recently I want to come to Cali to work out with him because I see the work ethnic
You now face the best team in Europe Cup play with the Fraport Skyliners who are 12-0. Do you see it as an advantage going in as the underdog as you have nothing to lose or will you have a different focus going in?
You got to love the challenge and we love a good challenge. We are highly confident in what we do and our abilities and we know we are playing a good team that’s been together for a while but we feel like if we stick with the game plan and continue to play good defense and team ball we have a good chance and like our chances at advancing. We are not satisfied with just the round of 16, and we know Frankfurt is hungry too, so this should be fun
The Fraport Skyliners are all about team and totally unselfish and defend very well. AEK also defend well in Europe cup. What kind of series can we await and what will be key to advancing?
You already said it defense and unselfish play, I can see a physical low scoring series, I feel like both team strategies are the same, key for us is just staying consistent in what we do
In the 2012-2013 season you played against the Fraport Skyliners losing 61-59 with Braunschweig. Quantez Robertson had 12 points and 10 boards in that game including a massive ally-oop dunk. What do you remember about his game?
I remember him being athletic, a good defender, and being the leader of the team, from what I see from watching film on them in fiba cup now, I still see him as one of the key players to their success
You only played a half of a season with Braunschweig. Was that just a total misunderstanding from the club´s part not knowing how to use you properly? Plus the guard rotation was quite full with emerging Dennis Schroder?
I felt like the club knew I was a good player but just wanted to go a different way in the style of play. I felt like I could of been very successful there, but that’s the business, you have to do what you have to do, no hard feeling still have respect for the club, firm believer of everything happens for a reason
What memories do you have with your short time there with Dennis Schroeder. There was hype starting that season, but did you think that he would reach the NBA
We was cool, and with us being the younger guys on the squad we connected well and we still do, I actually went to him play in the eastern conference finals last season, but I remember thinking man he’s good for his age and have a good chance at the NBA, and telling people that. He’s playing good ball in the NBA right now and has had a good start to his career. I’m proud of him well deserved
As a young buck what did ultimate professional Immanuel Mcelroy give you with his play and basketball wisdom that you took from Germany?
Mac was the OG lol the one that kept me level Headed, was like a older brother when I was there, taught me a lot on and off the court just about the European way on and off the court, the glue of the team and the guy you went to for advice because he been there and done that
You were a star in the Czech Republic, but didn´t win any titles. What did you gain there in your 3.5 years that has helped your game develop further?
Gained wisdom about the European style and actually helped me in my winning attitude, you can score but are you winning doing only that? Winning is the most important and you can be a key player by doing the little things, doing the little can win games. The Czech Republic gave me more of a winning attitude. I always had a winning Attitude but being in the Czech Republic made it stronger and helped me to realize what I have to do to win in the European game
You played two seasons at Fairmont State from 2009-2011 tearing up the NCAA2 and you continued to do so as a professional. Why do you believe have you been underrated your whole career? Your definitely not an undersized guard to get that label?
Good question!!!! I used to think about that but now it’s just something I feed off of and makes me even more motivated because I know my abilities and what I’m capable of and highly confident in them but I never question God´s work. Every where I’ve been has been a blessing for me, I learned more and more so I have no regrets and just continue to prove wrong and hopefully in the end I can be an inspiration to small college kids in not having to have a big school behind your name
Wiliam Hatcher is only three years older, but in terms of how his career has gone is he a major role model in your career?
Yes Bean is a competitor well I love and represent flint (my city) well. I saw how he grew in his career and didn’t go to a big school and just give me more confident because it’s someone you look up to growing up and also from the same playgrounds as you, so yes Bean played a good part in my career n mindset
How did head coach Tim Murphy groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach was like a father to me and still is, helped me become a man, going to Fairmont was one of the best choices I made funny because I had other visits but I just took the Fairmont visit and said this the place for me my mom said you not going to go to the other and I said no need and coach just gave me that killer confidence, that if you want something work for it and get it, and don’t let no tell you you can’t
Who was the toughest guy that you battled in college that made the NBA or is in Europe?
My best friend Kevin Tiggs not saying this because we are close but Kevin Tiggs I played him in junior college, could do it all and still can, athletic forward, don’t have many weaknesses, a good all around talent
What is the state of Lebron James in 2016? When all is said and done will he be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
That’s tough Micheal Jordan is the greatest and I do believe Lebron is the best overall talent I’ve seen because his size and what he can do with his size is unbelievable but in the same breath as Jordan the GOAT that’s tough, as there will never be another Jordan my opinion
What was the last movie that you saw?
John Wick lol my favorite movie
Thanks Thad for the chat.