Ian Tevis (I Believe I Can Make A Name For Myself In Europe)

Ian Tevis is a guard from Seattle, Washington that played college ball at  Red Deer College (CCAA). He was All-ACAC Player of the Year in 2017 and was nominated for the CCAA All-Canadian Team in 2017. He recently took part with the Howard Hoops international tour in Germany. He like so many other players is chasing his dream of becoming a professional player. He played strong with the Howard Hoops team and spoke to German Hoops about his special experience in Germany,

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The 2017 Howard Hoops team after the 107-66 win against TV Idstein: From left to right: Jamal Curry, Miles Schmidt-Scheuber (basketball journalist), Ian Mikeel Tevis, Corey Lewis and Khalil Keel

Ian thanks for talking to German Hoops You are in Germany taking part in the Howard Hoops international tour. How did this all come about? Did you send Ron Howard videos or how did it come about that you could join this tour?

I got connected with Howard Hoops about a year ago when my good friend Chris Neal went on his tour. Me and Ron were in contact all year while I was finishing my last season in college.

You got off the plane on Friday played a game at night and three games on Sunday. That is 160 minutes of basketball in two days. How is your body holding out?

I am a gym rat. I live at the gym. I take pride in my conditioning so playing all these games back to back wasn´t a problem. No time to complain and I can´t afford to get sore. My body was definitely feeling it on Sunday. But if we had to play again I would have been ready.

Is this your first time in Germany. How do you like the country and is there anything here that reminds you of home in Canada?

I am actually from the United States. Seattle, Washington to be exact. But I have been in Canada the last few years. This is my first time in Germany and Europe! I like this country. It seems like simple living. Everyone minding their own business. Nobody has been mean or rude to me. I have just been walking around dribbling my basketball.

You were thrown together with a bunch of guys that you had never played with before with Howard Hoops all looking to fulfill their dream of playing professional basketball. Do you feel like after this weekend´s performance that you played to your best potential? Were you happy with your game?

 I was very happy with my gameplay. I was able to get out early and show my scoring ability. While playing solid defense the whole game and I was able to show my play making ability creating for my teammates to get easy buckets. I just wanted to show that I can do everything. Defense. Pass. Transition. Rebound. Finish at the rim. And shoot the ball. And I think I did that.

In the first game against TV Idstein you scored 22 points and really dominated against the competition. At times it really looked easy. Did it at times feel like you were a man playing with kids?

I can adjust my game against any competition so it was just a matter of me finding my rhythm and getting into the flow of the game. Scoring points is the easiest part of basketball.

What were you primarily working on this weekend on your game? Just bringing your strengths so coaches could get the best impression of you or did you also incorporate other dimensions of your game into the 4 games?

 I wanted to show that I was a complete basketball player. It was good that I had a lot of scoring opportunities but I was really focused on playing strong defense and making plays for my teammates.

You showed your scoring abilities against TV Idstein, but when the opponent started to focus on you, you became a playmaker. You are a combo guard, but like to play the point guard. If you were asked by a team to run the point, could your ego accept moving partially away from just being that ultimate scorer?

Yes. I could make that adjustment easy because I love setting up my teammates. If everybody is scoring then everyone is happy. Which leads to everyone playing defense. That leads to winning games!

You compare your game to Paul George and stated that your games comes from your defense. To what NBA player would you compare your defensive game too?

 I would say Avery Bradley or Klay Thompson because they have good footwork and force tough shots. I am really good at playing off ball defense as well. I read passing lanes well and get a lot of off ball steals.

Were you surprised how unselfish the Howard Hoops team was? There were no ego´s but general nice sharing of the ball. How much did that have to do with the special character guys that this team had?

 It was really cool that we shared the ball like we did. We had just met each other a couple of hours before and didn´t really know how each other played but we all communicated on the court which is the best thing to do when you are playing with complete strangers. We focused on defense and it created a lot of easy buckets.

You told me recently that you were most impressed by the play of Jamal Curry. What did you like and respect most from his game?

He plays his role perfectly and is great at what he does. That is really rare because some guys try to do too much. But he focuses on running the floor. Playing solid defense. Rebounding and blocking shots. And he makes the most of his touches on the offensive end. Perfect teammate.

How thankful were you for this opportunity to play with the Howard Hoops team and Ron Howard. How did you get to know him over the weekend and what impressed you most about him?

Ron is really about everything he says he is about. If he says he is going to do something then he does it. A lot of guys take advantage of players and he doesn´t do that. I respect him and his hustle. I really appreciate what he is doing for us.

You said that Ron Howard has opened many doors and will continue to do so. How confident are you that you will land a job in Europe after having this experience with Howard Hoops?

I have always had the game to play professional but I never had the platform to show my skills. Ron has done that for me. I am confident I will get that contract I have worked so hard for.

What do you feel was the most important thing that you gained form your Howard Hoops experience? Do you feel that not only your game, but interaction with teamamtes help shape your character?

 The thing I gained the most was the experience and connections I made over the weekend. It has opened my eyes so much being in Europe. I believe I can make a name for myself in Europe

You played at Red Deer(CCAA) and won All-ACAC Player of the Year in 2017. What overall kind of experience was this and how did you benefit playing in Canada and not necessarily having played in the States?

 I started playing in the states. And then went to Canada for college. The most beneficial thing about Canada is they play under FIBA rules so i was able to adjust early. Now that I am over here I am playing under the same set of rules.

How did head coach Ken King groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Ken and Clay are both great guys. I loved my time up at Red Deer and after I got Player of the Year I knew it was time to take the next step. They both encouraged me to go pro.

How does a summer work out day look like for you on and off the court?

 I go to the gym every morning and stretch and put up shots because the gym is usually empty in the AM. Then go to work. After work I go back to the gym and lift weights before playing some pick up ball with other guys.

Who was the toughest player you battled in school that made it far as a professional?

 We didn´t play each other in school, but Isaiah Thomas is having a very successful career in the NBA. We have played against each other numerous times.

If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?

Magic. Bill Russell. Jordan. Wilt.

Canada continue to make strides as a basketball nation. Where do you see the future going and what players should one watch in the coming years that will really break out?

Canada is becoming a very competitive basketball country. Andrew Wiggins is going to be a star in the league.

Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?

 I don´t like to rank players before they retire. But Jordan Magic Kobe are all on top.

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?

 That man has an amazing motor. He is relentless for 48 minutes a night. He is someone I thrive to play like. I don´t think he gets the credit he deserves.

How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?

I really like this class. It has a lot of young guards that have a lot of potential. But I think Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers. I think him and Lonzo ball have a good chance to be special .

Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?

 I think they will play really well together. But the real question is can they beat the Warriors. And the answer is no. But I don´t think they will have a problem playing with each other.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Spiderman Homecoming.

Thanks Ian for the chat.

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