Ricky Kreklow is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Columbia, Missouri that completed his professional rookie season in Germany with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He comes from a sports family as his Father is head coach of the Missouri women’s volleyball team and also played 25 games for the 1980-81 NBA World Champion Boston Celtics, while mother is former head women’s volleyball coach at Missouri and current Director of Volleyball Operations. He played at three colleges in four years with Missouri as a freshman, California in his second and third seasons and with Creighton as a senior. He played a total og 98 NCAA games at the three schools and despite much movement was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season in the NCAA. As a senior at Creighton he played 31 games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 72.9%. He spoke to German Hoops at the conclusion of the season
Ricky thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am currently at home in Columbia, MO. Summer has been great so far. Been training and spending time with friends and family.
Your season ended at the end of March. Has the time from then until now felt like an eternity or has the time away from games flown by?
But the time away from the game always goes by slow. You are always just waiting for your next opportunity to play again.
You played your rookie season with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen that finished in 15th place with a record of 7-23 and had to move down to the Pro B. How was the overall experience as a rookie playing for a losing team?
Overall my rookie season in Leverkusen was a great learning experience. In our struggles as a team I was able to learn a lot of valuable lessons about what it takes to be successful.
Was it losing four of the first five games of the season that kind of set the tone of how the season would go?
We just struggled all year to find any kind of consistency. I don’t think the first four games had much to do with that. We just needed to practice more so we could compete at the high level we expected from ourselves.
The club had four Americans that averaged scoring in double figures during the season. What was still missing for the team to not be able to average more than 69 points per game?
We just needed better team play. Even with the American players averaging double figures there was much more we could have done to help our team besides scoring.
After the great OT win against Hanau, it seemed like that might turn the tide of the season, but instead the team lost 10 games in a row after that. What do you feel did you learn from this tough season that will help you in your development as a player in the future?
This season was full of lessons that came at the hand of defeat and I would be wise to remember these lessons throughout my career.
You played 27 games averaging 10,1ppg, 4,0rpg and 3,0apg. How would you rate your rookie season in Germany?
I would say that my rookie season was bittersweet. I enjoyed my time playing and enjoyed the team I was on but was disappointed with how our team struggled to produce wins.
On what things will you focus on working on this summer to help improve your game?
This summer I will continue to work on guard skills as well as skills in the post.
What is the next step for Ricky Kreklow? Could you imagine staying in Germany or possibly playing in another country?
I am open to playing anywhere in the world and enjoying that opportunity.
What memories will you always have from being one of the guys with teammates Drew Brandon, James Hulbin and Rod Camphor?
I will always remember the fun times that James, Drew, Rod and myself would have competing in practice.
What was your season highlight on the floor with your team last season?
I think my season highlight was my dunk against young pikes at the end of the season in March.
Which young German improved the most this season?
I think all of the young Germans on our team did well to make strides in becoming better overall players.
If you had to choose one player that was toughest to battle on the floor in Germany who would you chose?
Honestly I am not sure I can narrow down my toughest opponent to one particular player. There were many great matchups this season.
If you were to construct a NBA Rushmore, which 4 NBA heads would you make?
Also for this question I would have way too difficult of a time creating a Mt. Rushmore with so many great players to choose from
What was the first American eatery that you sought out when you arrived back to the States?
I went and got BBQ from a local restaurant in my hometown as soon as I returned home.
What is going to be a place that you will try to visit this summer where you necessarily haven´t ever been to in your life?
And I haven’t thought that far ahead of where I might want to go visit this summer. Maybe go camping/hiking in Colorado
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I watched was American Hustle.
Thanks Rick for the chat.