Jordan Sibert is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Cincinnati, Ohio playing his second professional season and first in Europe with PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). Last season as a rookie he played in the NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Orlando Blue): 3 games: 11.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg. He then was signed by the Orlando Magic (NBA), released in Oct.’15, then moved to Erie Bay Hawks (D-League): 44 games: 13.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 87.1%. He started his basketball career at Ohio St. (NCAA) in 2010 and played a total of 49 games. He then finished his last two years at Dayton (NCAA) and as a senior played 36 games: 16.1ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 61.0%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 78.8%. He spoke to German Hoops a day before the Champions League game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.
Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany. I guess the weather reminds you a bit of home Cincinnati at this time of year?
Yes this is my first time here. It reminds a lot of home with the grey skies and cold.
What do you know in general about Germany the country and it´s basketball?
I know that there is good history with German basketball. I don´t know too much about the teams here, but my teammates have told me what I have to know. I am really excited to play against Oldenburg
Do you have any friends playing in Germany this season? Are you in contact with Dyshawn Pierre of Braunschweig?
Dyshawn is like my brother. I haven´t talked to him in a couple of weeks. He is a great guy. Another one of my ex teammates Vee Sanford signed recently in Germany.
You are playing your first season in Europe and Greece with PAOK. What has been the biggest adjustment for you coming from the D-league to Greece on and off the court?
The most difficult has been getting used to the language barrier and lifestyle in Greece. But regarding basketball that is the same everywhere. There are always going to be different tactics, but my teammates have done a good job getting me adjusted to the European style.
Paok is holding it´s own in the Greek league at 4-3 and are 2-3 in Champions League play. What do you feel does the team still need to do to be the best team that it can be?
I think what is most important now is just keeping working hard and finding our niche. We have very talented players that know how to play to the best of their abilities and know their roles. We have to get every player in the best situation to show their best basketball in order to be successful
You are playing together with relatively young Americans like Keith Clanton, Darryl Bryant and Brandon Taylor. Which guy do you feel has helped you adjust the most to Europe and what you need to know to be successful? We also have to focus on team basketball.
Keith and Darryl have been great for me and Brandon Taylor who are new. They have been great role models for us and have encouraged me to be just me and play my best and not be in a box.
Your averaging 20 minutes so far in both competitions. How happy have you been with your play so far?
I am happy, but I got to do more. I feel like I can score and rebound more. I am still getting adjusted. It has been good, but it can be better. I feel that you will see more of what I am capable of as the season progresses.
At least your three is falling. Is it more challenging making the trey in Europe than in the States.
At first yes. But now I feel it isn´t. I have gotten adjusted and now I just shoot the way I always have. Shooting becomes a lot easier when your team supports you and finds you.
You are a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
My rebounding doesn´t get noticed on the court as much.
You beat Aris on the road. They are known to have the most passionate fans in Europe. Did you come out of the arena unscathed?
Yes we got out of there unscathed. The whole trip was crazy getting to the gym and as soon as we got on the court the fans were loud. I was happy once we got the win. It wasn´t as bad at the end as I thought it would be. The fans were mellow at the end and we got out ok.
In the summer of 2015 you played with Orlando (Orlando Blue): 3 games: 11.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg. Then you played with the Orlando Magic in pre season playing in 5 games. What kind of experience was this for you?
It was a great experience first playing in theNBA Summer League and then being signed and playing in the preseason. The whole experience was unbelievable at first. I was in a daze, but then I realized that playing in the D-league helped me grow as a player as a rookie. I took it as a job and took it very seriously. Now I am in Europe and I will keep working on my game. I am very blessed to still be able to play the game I love.
What was the defining moment in this phase where you learned that the NBA is strictly a business before anything else?
The game where we played against the Indiana Pacers. After the game coach didn´t even sit down and break down the game, but just said get ready for the next game. I realized that this was all very serious. You have a task at hand and can´t dwell on the loss, but focus on the next game. The NBA is a real business and you can´t dwell on the past.
At the end of the day how content were you with your showing and competing against guys like Victor Oladipo, and CJ Watson?
I felt good and thought that I held my own against them. Oladipo and I had many battles with shooting and races. It was good having CJ Watson on the team, because he gave me important pointers not only about the NBA, but also about life in general. He gave me life lessons off the court.
You played your rookie season in the D-League with the Erie Bay Hawks. How do you believe did your game progress as a rookie?
I have to give a lot of credit to assistant coach Anthony Goldwire who played in the NBA and Europe. He always pushed me to be more than just a shooter. In college and coming out I had this stamp on me that all I could do was shoot the three. He pushed me to be more of a ball handler and use my athleticism better on the court. He also taught me that it´s on you to become a better player if you want to reach the next level. I know that I have more tools and I want to show that I am a more complete player.
What was the most amazing athletic feat Melvin Ejim did that season that you won´t forget?
He was already there at open gym. I had heard a lot about him. On the first play he showed what he could do ripping through the lane and dunking over Andrew Nicholson. I had no idea that he was so athletic. He wasn´t only a great teammate of mine in the D-league, but he was a great leader. One could see that he had a lot of experience and that transferred over from college to the pro´s.
What was your wake up call as a rookie in the D-league where you knew the NBA is far away?
I never thought the NBA is far away, but felt it was close. I feel like I just need enough good moments to get an NBA chance. I still feel the NBA is close now.
You played your first two years of college at powerhouse Ohio State not getting much minutes. What kept you going in this time to not totally lose it?
My family and teammates then just pushed me telling me to stick with the process and keep believing. Despite all that I went through, I felt like I could still get better. No one can take away your progress as a player. I always wanted to be labeled as a good character person and just kept working hard instead of being discouraged with my situation.
The 2011-2012 Final 4 team had talent, but you had the talent to have been more of an offensive presence. If you look back do you feel like your talent and skill was a bit overlooked?
I do feel like I was overlooked at Ohio State. I think I should have had more minutes. I don´t really like to look back at this time. It is what it is. I am happy that I made the right decision to go to Dayton.
Did head coach Thad Matta give you a fair chance? He stated poor shooting and subpar defense were the reasons for limited minutes?
Maybe not so much. But life is never fair. I thought that I had worked hard and deserved more of a chance. All I know is that I have improved my three point shooting now.
In the end it all worked out as you finished your last two years at Dayton.
In the end it was for the best for me going to Dayton. It felt very good beating Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Did coach Matta talk to you at the game?
They didn´t talk to me before or after the game. There were no hard feelings. I didn´t talk to them either. I had two great years at Dayton and still appreciate all the support they gave me.
As a junior you beat your ex team Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford in a row. Were these three back to back to back wins your best and favorite time at Dayton(NCAA)?
Yes it was. Not only for the team, but also for the school. Those wins put them in a position not to be overlooked anymore. That run put the basketball program in a good light again.
How did head coach Archie Miller groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I know Archie since I´m 14. I have to give him a lot of credit for my success. He always pushed me to the limit and wanted me to be the best that I could be. He always believed in me.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Darrell Davis?
Me. I can´t give little Bro credit.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but if you had to choose just one who was the toughest to play and is in the NBA now who would you take?
Austin Rivers. He had the green light at Duke.
Your from Cincinnati, Ohio. What do you know of Quantez Roberston and Mark Dorris two players that are playing in Europe. Have you had any summer dealings with them in the gym or playground?
I don´t know Quantez Robertson, but I know Mark Dorris. I was some classes behind him at Princeton high school. We worked out during the summer a few years ago. He was one of the first guys that made playing overseas look good. Before it was always about the NBA, but he made playing overseas a good thing. He always talked highly of Germany.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Jordan, Kobe, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaq
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
If you gave me five people for the NBA Rushmore than Lebron would be in that list. He is a top 5 for me.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Second best of all-time after Tim Duncan.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Jordan for the chat.