Chris Miller is a 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York that is a professional basketball player. He got his first experience with Clinton Community College and then moved to Salem Intern. (NCAA2) where he played two seasons. Last season he turned professional and played with the Jamestown Jackals (PBL). He came to Germany a few weeks ago and played with the Howard Hoops tour and just signed with TV Heppenheim. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
My summer was great. I devoted all my time to training and playing basketball in preparation for a professional contract. Now I am residing in Mannheim.
You have been in Germany for some weeks now and now have signed with TV Heppenheim of the Landesliga. You came to Germany to play in the Howard Hoops tour and now you got a job. With what expectations did you come to Germany with?
I came into Germany with the mindset of MAKE IT HAPPEN. Ever since I was 15 I knew I wanted to play Professional Basketball overseas. Coming into the tour I knew this was my chance and my goal was to make the best of it, play hard, network and hope I could land a contract.
From Brooklyn, via Clinton Community College, Salem Intern. (NCAA2), and the Jamestown Jackals (PBL) to a new team in Germany. Do you feel like you are living a cinderella life?
No. I feel like this is the life I am supposed to be living because I don’t see my life going any other way. It was a difficult journey because I went to smaller schools, but I worked hard and I knew if I get in front of the right people then I could show that I belong. I am blessed to have this opportunity to begin my professional career here in Germany.
You came to Germany recently and took part in the Howard Hoops tour playing against German professional teams. What kind of experience was this for you?
The Howard Hoops Tour was a great experience for me. We played teams in the regional league. My team actually won the championship in the Tigers cup. The interface game is much different than the American game. The international game focus more on team , extra passes and high IQ where as the American game focuses on individual skill and athleticism. I did get called for travelling a few times but I figured it out and I actually enjoy the international style of play.
What was the most difficult thing that you had to get adjusted to in terms of the style of play that you saw on the German courts?
The most difficult thing to get adjusted to was the game play. Anytime you move up a level you have to get adjusted to the speed and style of play. I am in shape but the game was played at a different tempo which I was not familiar with at first but I am getting the hang of it.
Since seeing more team basketball here and less one on one, have you seen the game of basketball in a different light?
I always took pride in playing basketball the right way. Learning how to give up a good shot for a better shot. I never was a big fan of one on one basketball. In the states Team ball isn’t to popular, but I stayed true to myself and played the right way. It was a shock that when I got here everyone plays the right way.
What do you feel did you gain most about your experience with Howard Hoops?
I have been here for a little over a month and I have made a lot of contacts. I have been in conversations with coaches Gms And teams. It feels better to actually have conversations with these people rather than put a post on social media and hope someone reads it. So Isay the most I gained was the contacts and being able to network in Europe.
What was the most satisfying aspect of playing against these German teams with a bunch of thrown together Americans? Was the competition very intense in your eyes? Everybody is wanting to fulfill that dream of playing professional basketball
Tour teams are tough because everyone has the same goal. Everyone wants to show why they should be picked over the next guy. So usually every individual player plays selfish. This was the case during the first game of the tour, but we figured out if we play together we all look good and we will have a better chance of getting picked up on a team. The competition was very intense. The most satisfying part of the tour was when my team put aside our individual wants and played team ball to win the championship.
When you see Ron Howard on the bench growling support and all his work that he has put in to Howard Hoops and trying to find teams for young Americans, in what words can you describe his dedication that he puts in everyday to help players?
I respect Ron Howard tremendously because he is a truthful man. I have been scammed with opportunities like this in the past. They would take my money and never be seen again. I was hesitant to take this chance with Ron because I did not know him. Something told me to take that chance, and I am happy I did because he is true to his word and he has a brand that is growing all throughout Germany and Europe. He has placed players in big leagues and has a high success rate. I think what he is doing is great because he is providing a way for quality players to be seen.
You will start a new adventure in the sixth league with TV Heppenheim in the Landesliga. I suppose starting from the bottom is something you have been used to?
Yes this reminds me of when I was going to begin my college career. I started at a D3 Junior College. I had the talent but I did not have connections to go D1. But I worked hard to lead my team and proved that I belonged in the big leagues. I will come into this season with the same mindset. I want to prove that I belong in higher leagues and I will work hard to lead my teams to victories. I have no problem starting from the bottom. I came from the bottom I have everything to gain. I am looking forward to this opportunity.
Do you feel some pressure having to put up big stats in a lower league simply because you are probably way too good for this level?
I will just say I am blessed to be in this situation. I will not say I am better than anybody. I just focus on playing my hardest and winning. I will do what it takes to win. I do not feel pressure when I play basketball because I know I worked my whole life for this moment so now its time to embrace the moment.
Let´s talk a little about your game, you are a 193cm combo guard. To what NBA player would you compare your game best to?
I work on being a 2 way player who is great on offense and defense. I look at myself as the 6’4 Scottie Pippen. I am willing to score play defense rebound and do whatever it takes to win.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I work on bringing a tempo to the court. I like to bring energy and lead my team to make big runs. Sometimes I wont even score but I will get a steal or deflections to lead the break I like to be that spark plug and bring the needed energy to help my team be successful.
TV Heppenheim is a start for you, but rumor has it you still have other offers in higher leagues? What is your goal this season as a player?
My goal this season Is to play my best for whatever team I play for and start my career off the right way.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you choose?
I would choose Kobe Bryant Scottie Pippen, Tracy Mcgrady and Vince Carter. These were my favorite players growing up
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?
I still think he has some work to do My favorite players are Kobe Bryant and Scottie Pippen Have 5 and 6 rings. He is a great player but I still feel he has to win at least 2 more rings. To be considered .
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was toy story. It helps me think back to when I was a kid and had no troubles.
Thanks Chris for the chat.