Kerry Carter is a 25 year old 188cm guard from West Covina, California that will be playing his second professional season and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-ProB). Last season as a rookie he played for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (Spain-Liga Endesa) playing 5 games: 3.2ppg. He started his basketball career with Citrus College and then moved to St.Mary’s, CA (NCAA) where he played 63 NCAA games and as senior played 31 games averaging 12.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.5spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Thanks Kerry for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer so far?
I’ve been home in LA this summer training and spending time with my family when I can.
With the NBA final a few days old as a point guard do you believe that a champion like Steph Curry will be able to overcome this devastating loss to the Cavs and Lebron from 3-1 down?
The NBA finals was an amazing effort by Cleveland. Steph curry is a special player and you can never count him out. I think this will be motivation for him next season.
Congrats on signing with the well known German team Bayer Giants Leverkusen. How thrilled are you to have been able to sign so early in the summer after having such a short rookie season?
Thank you very much. Signing early alleviates a lot of the pressure of the waiting game. Now I can focus on just getting better knowing where I will be next season. My rookie campaign was cut short but it showed me that I can play at the highest level but I’m excited to have a more permanent home next season.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Did you consult with friend Steven Bennett who has gained experience there having played with Giessen and Paderborn?
I have had a few friends play in the BBL, Pro A, and ProbB divisions in Germany. I’ve been told the country has a great quality of life and that sports are at the height of the country’s favorite pastimes. I’m looking forward to being an integral part of the community in Leverkusen and getting to know more about the culture.
You will be playing with one of the leagues most historical teams as they owned the first division in the 90´s. Do you sense some pressure leading a club that is most ambitious and wants tor return back to the Pro A right away?
I don’t sense the pressure, in fact I share the same goal. I wouldn’t want it any other way. All of the long hours put in at the gym have always been fueled by one goal, and that is to win. It’s a blessing to be a part of an organization that shares that goal and has the history to prove it.
What has been your first impression of head coach Achim Kuczmann in the first talks that you have had? Do you feel like you speak the same basketball language as him?
My first impression of the coach is that he is very knowledgeable about basketball. It makes it that much easier for the point guard when your coach has incredible knowledge of the game, because at the end of the day the point guard is an extension of the coach. I feel like we will connect very quickly.
Let us talk a little about your game. You are a point guard that can fill up the stats sheet. Achim Kuczmann has lauded your great one on one defense. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would it be?
I would say that I am a combination of players. I have heard comparisons to Eric Bledsoe and John Wall, I think if I could mesh the two together that would be fitting.
What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court from others?
One of my most unnoticed abilities is my ability to pass and find teammates. As a guard I take pride in setting up my teammates for open looks.
Last season you had a very short rookie season, but not every American rookie that goes overseas can boast abouting having played in the second best league in the world in Spain. You played briefly for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (Spain-Liga Endesa). What do do you believe was the most important thing that you could get out of this short period in Spain that helped your game?
The best thing I got from Spain was the mentality I left with. It proved that I could compete against teams like Real Madrid & Unicaja, and face the Giants of European basketball without any fear or doubt. Playing against those teams is a great experience.
You had your moment in the 112-89 loss against Real Madrid draining nine points in 10 minutes. What kind of experience was it playing against all these amazing and some ex NBA players? Was that three over Andreas Nocioni one of your most unforgettable shots in your career or was it just another shot for you?
In Los Angeles the NBA guys come back and play every summer so I’m used to competing against top level talent. If you want to beat those guys you can’t get caught up in the hype that surrounds them. To me they are just men, once we get on the court your bank account doesn’t matter. They bleed just like I do. I applaud their success and I’m humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to play with them, but I’m very competitive. I don’t want to play, I want to WIN.
When you remember the game of speedy and shifty Davin White who took some time oiling his game in Mexico before making the big time in Europe, how far is your game away to being able to get to where a veteran like his is?
I learned a lot from Davin white in a short window of time. He was my roommate on the road so I got to pick his brain a lot and be the little brother so to speak. I can definitely get there, one thing I’ve learned from him is to trust the work you put in and just believe in yourself. He never got rattled and he hit some big shots this season.
You started your basketball career at Citrus College. How important was it winning the WSC title as a freshman for your early self confidence as a young player?
Citrus taught me how to be a winner and compete every night. Those are experiences you can’t buy.
West Covina is known for breeding much baseball talent but it did produce one NBA player with Antoine Wright. If you could pick his brain about basketball what one question would you ask him?
West Covina has another major talent, Jonathan Gibson. He’s been a mentor for me and really helped me at the point guard position. I’ve never met Antoine wright before and I don’t know enough about him to have any real questions.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore and add 4 NBA legend heads which would you choose?
I would put Allen Iverson, Kobe, Michael Jordan, and Shaq.
After finally winning the NBA title with the Cavs where is the value of Lebron now when you compare him to the best of all time?
Lebron’s legacy is competing with the greatest. He has definitely staked his claim in the conversation of top 5 players of all time.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was X-Men apocalypse.
Thanks Kerry for the chat.