Chris Hass is a 22 year old 196cm guard from Pellston, Michigan that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with Phoenix Hagen. He played the last four years with Bucknell(NCAA) playing a total of 102 NCAA games. As a senior he played 30 games: 17.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 82.9%. He was able to improve his scoring average each season at Bucknell(NCAA). He won the Patriot League Tournament in 2013 and was a All-Patriot League 1st Team selection in 2015 and 2016. He spoke to German Hoops after signing with Phoenix Hagen earlier this summer.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Summer has been great! I have been working on my game and just getting in shape for the upcoming season! I am currently in Troy, New York running a basketball camp for high school kids and getting ready for a big basketball tournament in Philadelphia this weekend!
Congrats on signing with Beko BBL team Phoenix Hagen. You were signed well into the summer. How was your first signing experience as a rookie. Did you have your share of offers and what did you expect coming from Bucknell and your success in terms of finding a team?
The experience was very similar to how college recruiting works but harder because you aren’t able to meet the coaches and coaching staff. And I expect to learn a lot about the way the game is played in Europe and I’m excited to help Hagen win games this season!
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball?
I have never talked to someone that has been in Germany for an extended period of time and heard that they didn’t like it. I’m excited to experience the culture! I also knew the BBL is a great league and I’m so thrilled to be able to play in it this year!
Your friend Ian Sheldon played in Germany last season with TV Langen a team in the Pro B. Did you ask him for advice or talk to other people that have played in Germany?
I actually played with him in a tournament this summer and yes I talked with him a bit about it! He really enjoyed his time there and it really encouraged me to go to Germany
In your four years at Bucknell, did you ever hear the names Bryan Bailey or Chris Mcnaughton who have played in Germany and had fine careers.
Yes, McNaughton is well known on campus from his game winning shot against Kansas! We are actually playing together this weekend in Philadelphia for that tournament!
What sold you best on coming to Phoenix Hagen a team that arrived in the Beko BBL in 2009 and since then have reached the playoffs once, but on any night can put up 100 plus points?
The style of play really fits me! The coaching staff seems great! I’m also looking forward to try and help them get back to the playoffs! And I knew the BBL is a great league and I wanted to play in it!
What has been your impression of head coach Ingo Freyer? Did you have any talks with him and how soon did you realize that you speak the same basketball language?
He seems great! I love the style he coaches with and I knew the second we started conversing!
Phoenix Hagen is a team that in the past played mostly a run and gun style, but have eased just a bit from that format in the last few years. Is this up tempo style something that fits your game?
Yes, I was able to play under two coaching staffs at Bucknell and one was a slower paced style but the other was completely opposite! We played extremely fast and I’m more comfortably playing in that style which will hopefully help me at Hagen
I don´t know how much you have informed yourself about Phoenix Hagen or what Ingo Freyer told you, but you will be playing together with one of the most lethal shooters in the Beko BBL with David Bell. How important do you feel a guy like he will be for your rookie season?
Yes I have seen some highlights! And it will be extremely important! I will be able to learn a lot from him but also help him by hopefully taking some pressure off of him by knocking down my shots!
Let´s talk a little about your game. What stands out right away is that you are a knock down shooter. How do you show people on the court that you aren´t a one dimensional player?
By getting to the rim and free throw line. I’ve learned that the more you make shots from the outside, the easier it is to get to the basket. I have really learned to get to the basket in college and it has helped shape my game. Also my pull up jumper has always been a dimension of my game I can rely on!
If you had to describe your play and style to an NBA player who would you pick?
I like to think, Klay Thompson
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I would say my athleticism. Being able to jump and get up and down the court! Also the length I bring to a team defensively!
You are known as a prolific scorer, but in your last three years at Bucknell, never shot over 40% from outside. Do you see yourself maturing into a 40% plus shooter in the pro´s?
I do! It will also be nice to be able to work on my game without school being over my head! So I do see myself maturing in that sense! That is something I absolutely need to mature on and I’m determined to do so!
You had a very successful career at Bucknell winning the Patriot League tournament as a freshman and being a All-Patriot League 1st Team in 2015 and 2016 How do you feel that you were able to grow as a player in your four years at Bucknell?
I would say my coaching staff did a great job forming into a tough player mentally and physically but also in the off season I put in work to become where I am today!
In a big win against Army last season, you scored 40 points and had an amazing first half with 28 points going 9/9 while the rest of the team went 0/15 in a stretch of 17 minutes. You had 32 points at halftime on 11/11 shooting. What was going through your head in the first half of that game? Did you feel like you couldn´t miss after a while?
Honestly the only thing going through my head was we need to win! I was doing whatever we needed me to do to keep us in the game! It did help that I didn’t miss, and yes I was feeling good but I just wanted to win!
You had 26 points against Wake Forest and 29 points against North Carolina State. How special were these type of games for you? Did you have a different mental approach to these tough opponents?
They were extremely special! Growing up and hearing about these big schools, it was special being able to go out there and score well against them! And a little bit, I just played like there was nothing to lose! And it was a great experience
In your senior year, you and your teammates got a new head coach Nathan Davis and quite some things changed. What kind of grade would coach have given you in the class Intro to Nathan Davis?
Great question, I think he would give me an A… at least I hope so! I think we did a great job adjusting to a style of play that was completely different than what we played before! And we won the patriot league regular season with making the NIT so it wasn’t too bad!
How does a summer work out day look like for Chris Hass on and off the court in 2016?
Lots of ball handling, shooting drills until my shot feels consistent and fluid, and a running to stay in shape. Weight room is after that. Where I work on upper and lower body strength and eat as much as I can to try and gain some weight!
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you choose?
That’s so tough!!!! Michael Jordan Magic Johnson Bill Russell Lebron James
Now that Lebron finally won a NBA title with the Cavs where does this title put him in the debate as the all-time best player in the world?
Another tough one. Each era is so different but I’m going go with #3. MJ is #1, Bill Russell has 11 rings so I have to keep him up there (plus he was the player/coach) and the LeBron is #3. I’m a huge LeBron fan though so I might be biased.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates… hilarious film!
Thanks Chris for the chat.