Cardell McFarland is a 29 year old 182cm point guard from Evansville, Indiana that is playing his fifth professional season and recently signed with the Uni-Riesen Leipzig. He started the season with the DBL Sharks Sheffield (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 11 games and averaging 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg, 2FGP: 56.5%, 3FGP: 40.0%. Last season he played with the Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL): 24 games: 17.6ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.8apg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 66.7%. He started his basketball career at Missouri State and then played his last two seasons for Ky Wesleyan (NCAA2). As a rookie he played for CS Farul Constanta (Romania-Division A): 7 games: 12.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 88.5%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProB), playing 18 games: Score-2(23.8ppg), 3.1rpg, Assists-2(5.6apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 65.3%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 72.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he remained in Germany playing for the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-Pro B) playing 20 games averaging 18.9ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-3(5.5apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 71.2% He spoke to German Hoops about basketball and his new team Uni-Riesen Leipzig.
Cardell thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. How does it feel to be back in a country where you dominated with your game on the floor?
No worries, Miles its always a pleasure speaking with you. It really feels great to be back in Germany. I’m familiar with the leagues here and I love the culture and country. It will be an easy adjustment. I’m not to worried about the past success I’ve had here. I’m looking forward to the challenge of making an even bigger impact.
Your first stay was in a village in Nordlingen, your second stay was a big town Hanau and now your in a real city of Leipzig. Does it feel more like home in Evansville where you can find a Mcdonalds?
I’ve learned you can find a McDonald’s anywhere no matter where you go. I plan on trying my best to stay away from the fast food. McDonald’s in Europe is great other Americans will understand what I’m saying. Evansville is actually pretty small city compared to here. Leipzig is a beautiful city especially in the summer time. Really nice parks and lakes. Has a good football team which is currently tied for 1st in the league so it also has a good sports vibe here. East Germany is different from the last two areas I previously played in Germany but I like new experiences. I’ll adventure out more and get to know the city in my time here.
Currently you are spending the Christmas season in Leipzig. What have you always appreciated about the Christmas time in Germany?
I really enjoy the Christmas markets around this time. Other markets throughout the country I’ve been to the one in Hanau, Frankfurt, here in Leipzig. I’ve heard Dresden has a good one which is close and also the one in Nuremberg ill like to go to as well. Good food, the different flavor hot wine is good, all the homemade desserts and sweets are good. Would be a great experience if your family came over around this time they would really enjoy it.
You started the season with the DBL Sharks Sheffield (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 11 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg, 2FGP: 56.5%, 3FGP: 40.0%. What kind of experience was that for you and what were the main reasons for that short stay?
I started out in Slovakia but decided to leave before the season officially started. The opportunity came about in Sheffield shortly after. I signed a short term contract with the club to fill in for an injured player. It worked out for the both of us because I was looking to get back into Germany around this time for the second half of the season. I felt like its more opportunities here in Europe for me to showcase my skills. I enjoyed the city in Sheffield but on the court was an adjustment for me because the style really didn’t fit the way I play. I’m more of a pick and roll style, creating for others off mix match situations. There I played more as a catch a shoot type player. So I really couldn’t play to my strengths. So I felt it was better to move on. I never felt comfortable on the court so I couldn’t show all the hard work I put in this summer. But I wish them the best on rest of season.
I have heard many stories that you left Nordlingen with an injury only to play in Australia which left some people annoyed by the way you departed the club. Could you clear up what happened please?
The accident in Nordlingen was very shocking to me. Which I couldn’t believe it because I met such wonderful people there. But basically I had a right ankle problem that I sometimes still deal with now but I’m more aware of what I need to do as far as strengthening and exercises. During my last game in Nordlingen I wasn’t moving well during the game so we made an appointment to look at my ankle over the next few days. We went to the doctor he advised me to rest a few weeks. Originally which the club was fine about as they put out in the press release about me not playing the next game. A few days later I met with the management and sat down and we discussed some business and they asked me if I could play in the game that following weekend. I told them I couldn’t play that I needed a week or two off. I left the management house, I get home to a message in the group chat that I still have till this day saying I was no longer on the team. It was very shocking to me and disappointing some of the things they put out about me around Germany. I had no intentions of going to Australia and playing. I was home a month and a half before my agent at the time talked to me about the Australia job. So I took the job which started in April. I left Germany first week of February so I don’t understand why they would say some of the false statements they did. In Hanau I broke a rib the week before playoffs started. I still played to help them advance to the next round after only sitting out a week. When I was supposed to sit out 3-4 weeks. With that being said my ankle had to really been bothering me to sit out. I love the game of basketball and grateful for the opportunity to play this game. I’ve never disrespected the game just sitting out because I’m faking an injury. But that’s in the past and Ive moved on.
You didn´t play in the last game. Will you be cleared to play in the first game of 2017 in Rhondorf?
Yes, I will play in Rhondorf hopefully. I think we are just waiting on some paperwork to come back its just a process but hopefully it’s back before January 7th and I’m able to play in Rhondorf which is always a fun place to play. I’m looking forward to it.
You have come to the Uni-Riesen Leipzig who have been struggling at 4-9. Do you feel like you are a player coming in to save the sinking ship?
Yes, the team struggled in the early stage of the season. But we have a new coach that everyone believes in and I think we will change the season around. I feel like I’m just the missing piece of the team. I like the group of guys we have. We have some good young talent German on the wings. I’m excited for the opportunity and the challenge. Even at 4-9 we are still only 1 game out of the playoffs. I take pride in being a good leader and floor general, and what better way to show it here in this situation. So it will be FUN!
The team has talented Americans with Jordan Faison and Terrence Billups as well as experienced German Sasa Leutloff. Do you see yourself being more of a distributor than scorer since the team has 3 very good scoring options?
Jordan Faison is really good for us. Strong, tough and athletic. The kid has some of the biggest hands and feet I’ve ever seen. He’s been playing really well. I am looking forward to playing with him. A point guard always loves playing with a big that rolls hard to the basket. It will open so much for the team and me. Terrence and Sasa hav been doing good but I think the team has been asking for too much from them. And bring me in will benefit both of them a lot. My main focus is doing what needs to be done to win.
What has been your first impression of the team? The team scores less than what it gives up. Where do you see the team making adjustments and improvement on the defensive end?
Coach defensive schemes I really like. I just think we need to be tougher. In the past games we got out rebounded pretty bad. That’s something we can fix. We just have to want it more and not get bullied. Bottom line. So that is the adjustment we need to make. Defense is about will not skill.
What main goals do you have as a player besides leading Leipzig to wins and developing as a player?
Main goal lead another team in Germany into the playoffs. Show my leader ship abilities no matter what situation I’m in I can win. Obviously if we win I will be a huge part of that and individually success will come. I also want help the younger guys on the team reach they full potential and hopefully the get better from me being around.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Mj, Kobe, Magic, Kareem
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?
Lebron is definitely a top 10 player of all time. But no where near the best player of all time. There is no debate at all.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Kevin Garnett is definitely a top 3-5 range power forward of all time. You probably never will see a guy more passionate, intense, and tougher player than KG a true warrior to the game. Offensively gifted and Defensively as well. That’s where he might have the edge on a Charles Barkley on that end.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
Klay Thompson scoring 60 in 29 minutes is insane. 90 seconds only having the ball is unheard of. I believe he only dribbled the ball 11 times. Ha you will never ever see another performance like that. It definitely ranks as one of the best ever. This is for sure one record that will never be broke like Walt 100 points.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
I’m a huge Westbrook fan so I always say he the best player. I don’t think people understand what he does at his size is beyond amazing. There will never ever be another Russell Westbrook type player. Honestly to me what Russell does is what Lebron is supposed to do.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Cardell for the chat.