Richard Williams (I Always Look In The Mirror First When Things Don´t Go Right

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Richard Williams in 2013 after a 70-67 Vechta loss against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt

Richard Williams is a 29 year old 178cm guard that finished the season with the RheinStars averaging 11,3ppg, 3,6rpg and 5,3apg after having started the season with Phoenix Hagen playing 5 games averaging 12.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.4apg, 2FGP: 54.2%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 82.4%,. Last season he played for Kirchheim Knights averaging 15,5ppg, 4,2apg and 8,0rpg. In the 2014-2015 season, he played for the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): EuroChallenge: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 6.5apg, 2.0spg; German BBL: 9 games: 8.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 40.6%, 3FGP: 48.0%, FT: 70.6%, in Jan.’15 moved to SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 4.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. He is a very fast guard that can play either one or two. Great at pushing the break. Can score by shooting the three or using his explosiveness to beat his man. Gets to the basket and scores in traffic. A specialist in steals that uses his quickness to intimidate on defense. Great ball control. Gets the whole team involved when playing the point but can takeover a game at any time. He started his basketball career at San Diego St. (NCAA) in 2005 where he played until 2009. In his senior year he played 36 games: 7.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3Pts: 37.5%, FT: 64.2%. In 2009-2010, he started his professional basketball career for The San Diego Surf (ABA), in Jan.’10 moved to FSU Selfoss (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 8 games: 27.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 3.4apg, 2.8spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 72.7%. In 2011-2012, he played for  UBC Hannover Tigers (Germany-ProB) 33 games: 18.3ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 75.8%. In the 2012-2013 season he played  for SC Rasta Vechta playing  38 games: 15.6ppg, 5.2rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 79.9%. In the 2013-2014 season for Vechta he played 34 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.4apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 29.3%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Richard Williams in 2014 after a Fraport Skyliners game.

 

Richie thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your season has unfortunately ended to the hands of 2004 Fiba Europe Cup winner MBC. I doubt anyone was expecting miracles, but how disappointing was getting swept?

Losing in general is tough. From a personnel standpoint we matched up well but MBC was the better team.

In German one says “Da war nichts zu holen in diese Saison gegen MBC”. The RheinStars lost one regular season game by 15 points and lost the playoff series averaging giving up 20 points per game. Was MBC just flat out a more talented team and deeper that had your number all season long?

We match up well but they played better team basketball when it mattered.

The RheinStars were one of the better defensive teams in the Pro A giving up 74 points per game this season, but in the three game playoff series against MBC gave up 87 points per game. Why were the RheinStars unable to buckle down and play better defense when it counted most?

They move the ball well and had us scrambling early.

Basketball is a team sport and you had a pretty good series against MBC, but as a point guard who leads the team on the floor, do you feel as though some of the blame sticks on your shoulders which is a normal way of thinking for any point guard?

I always look in the mirror first when things don’t go right.

The RheinStars had dug a deep hole, but were climbing out in January. How proud are you of the team that it was able to crawl out of the hole and win three of the last four games and slip into the playoffs?

We definitely made some character wins down the stretch. I appreciated the effort from everyone.

What is your overall season summary for the RheinStars? Now after having reached the playoffs, do you feel like the team still hadn´t reached it´s full potential and could of actually gone deeper in the playoffs?

There were many personnel changes that kept putting us back chemistry and moral-wise. Through it all we found a way to make it to the playoffs.

How proud are you of your teammates that despite the club having removed head coach Arne Woltmann, the club reacted positively on the court and played well. How more difficult is it in general for any team to react to coaching changes and still perform well?

It was very difficult. Through it all we still had a job to do.

The RheinStars are stacked with many very talented German players, but if you had to pick just one player who you feel improved the most from day one to game three in Weissenfels who would you choose?

The guy who stood out to me was Leon Baeck

Let´s talk about your season. You had to change clubs from Phoenix Hagen to the RheinStars because the BBL team closed up shop. Do you feel as if your experience two seasons ago with Frankfurt/Vechta made this mid season transition easier?

Not really. This season was a little different because my daughter was born 3 days after I got to Cologne.

You came in as the oldest, but then the team brought in added experience with Anthony King. How beneficial was the addition of King for you personally? Was he able to take some of the leadership off your shoulders and could you soak some new leadership skills from the ex Artland Dragon?

A guy with AK’s experience and skill set is always a plus. He brought a lot to table that helped us.

You had another solid season, but couldn´t match it statistically from your Kirchheim season last year, but you did average 6 minutes more with Kirchheim. Were you overall content with your Pro A season?

No way. Every stat will go up next season, for sure.

Stats usually tell the story, but not the whole story. In what area of your game do you feel did you make strides this season that isn´t visible in the stat area?

That’s a good question. I would say leadership.

What is the next step for Richie Williams? You are turning 30 in August. Have you reached your prime or do you feel like you can still develop and play for a BBL team next season?

I don’t know where I will be next season but I know I will continue to get better

What are your summer plans? Will you visit some place that you have never been to?

I’ll be in San Diego enjoying my family

What will be on the summer training agenda list and be the biggest priority for you to work on and improve?

Strength and shooting.

What is your current opinion on Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas? Is he a bona fide NBA top 5 guard at the moment or do the Celts need to make a huge run in the playoffs to solidify that?

He’s a killer. He has the attitude to take the Celtics over the top

Recently Devin Booker hit the Boston Celtics with 70 points. Is he a guy that you would have predicted him doing this or did it surprise you more?

KOBE vouched for him so I take his word on how good Booker is.

How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?

Every year there’s a new Cinderella. It’s enjoyable to watch.

Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?

He appears to be a good kid. He’ll be ok

There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?

It doesn’t really matter to me. There’s a lot of guys in the league that you can inflate their rebounds and they still average a triple double. Haters will hate.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Get Out!

Thanks Richie for the chat.

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