A Dialogue With Ronald Ross(Artland Dragons)

Ronald Ross is a 26 year old 188 cm point guard from North Hobbs, New Mexico. He played at Texas Tech from 2001-2005 under BBLLogolegendary coach Bobby Knight.

In 2004-2005 in his senior year, he played 33 games and exploding averaging 17.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.0apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3Pts: 43%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2005.

He then turned professional and played in 2005-2006 in Italy in the Lega 2 for Univer Castelletto Ticino playing 12 games and averaging 9.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.6apg, 2.2spg, 2FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 76.5%.

In 2006-2007, he played in the CBA for the Butte Daredevils playing 48 games and averaging 15.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-2(2.4spg), FGP: 49%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 74.2%.

In 2007-2008, he came to Germany to play for ENBW Ludwigsburg playing 34 games and averaging 14.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.3apg, Steals-2(1.7spg), 2FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 77.9%. He also played 10 ULEB Cup games averaging 11.7ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50%, 3PT: 44%, FT: 66.7%. He reached the 2008 BBL cup final losing to the Artland Dragons.

In 2008-2009, he started in Isarel for Maccabi Givat Shmuel playing 8 games and averaging 14.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 11.8%, FT: 66.7% before moving to Maccabi Haifa Heat playing 6 games and averaging 7.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.7apg, 2.0spg.

That was a short stay as he then continued back to Germany to play for the Artland Dragons playing 12 games and becoming a central figure in their offense averaging 15.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 57.1%, FT: 70.0%.

Ronald spoke to German Hoops some weeks ago before heading to Germany.

Ronald, thanks for taking some time to talk to German Hoops. You played only a few months with the Artland Dragons, but something must of touched your heart there because you resigned for the 2009-2010 BBL season. What made your decision easier that made you resign?

Last year was one of the more interesting years of my basketball career. I moved around to several teams, but they were all for the right reasons. Although, when I arrived to Artland I really felt comfortable. The people involved with the team from the owners and coaching staff to the workers in the coffee shops just embrace you and make you feel welcome. Long story short, the basketball team is built off pride and winning and for me there is nothing more important playing for a team that wants nothing less than a championship. So once we agreed with the business matters, it was a very easy decision to resign.

After having a great season with Ludwigsburg last season avergaing in 34 games: 14.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.3apg, Steals-2 (1.7spg), 2FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 77.9% did you miss the BBL which might of also made the decision easier to come back? What makes the BBL so unique as a league?

My first experience with the BBL was with Ludwigsburg and after my short experience with Artland last year it’s easy to say the the league is very solid and definitely getting stronger and stronger.

Was there anything that you already grew to love in the countryside of the Artland?

As far as the countryside of Artland is concerned, I like how everything is laid back and peaceful.

You started the season with Maccabi Givat Shmuel on Israel and had very good stats with 14.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 11.8%, FT: 66.7%; but then left. Why did that team not work out?

Well, I left Givat due to financial issues and then immediately went to Macabbi Haifa for two months to replace an injured player with an open option on both ends to finish the remainder of the season. Haifa was great, but negotiations with Artland were in place and I thought that would be the best decision for me. I knew in Artland I would be playing point guard and I know when I have the ball in my hands I can make a lot more things happen for my team. In Israel I played a lot more of just a shooting guard and I wasn’t completely comfortable with that. I’ve always played point guard more than anything in my career.

You then signed with The Artland Dragons and was joined by ex NBA player Toby Bailey. You came shortly after the Dragons eight game losing streak and led the team to a 9-4 record and just missing the playoffs. What changed with the team with your arrival?

On my arrival to Artland, the team was full of winners, but they were just going through a drought. I think Toby and I brought a new energy to the team and it was accepted by the team. It was a humbling situation and the team understood that the on way to go was up.

Even though The Artland Dragons missed the playoffs on the last game day, because Paderborn couldnt beat Goettingen, how disappointed were you? I mean you had only been there a few months, but I can imagine that you felt a growing love for basketball there since the fans were very emotional in the Artland arena.

I was very disappointed when we didn’t make the playoffs, but I was more proud to be part of a team and have fans that never gave up. We would have never made as far as we did without the support of the fans. Artland Dragon fans are truly one of a kind.

Was your biggest highlight beating the 2009 BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg 86-76 in their arena? How impressed were you with Jason Gardner, Rickey Paulding and co?

It was nice to beat Oldenburg at home, but I wouldn’t call it a highlight. We had a good team and played the way we were capable of playing. That victory was just a small part of what our ultimate goal was and that was making the playoffs. Ricky and Jason are great players, but as a true competitor at any level, you have a job to do. There is no room for cheerleading when your up against anybody and I think they would agree.

In your short run last season, you tore up the BBL averaging in 12 games: 15.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 57.1%, FT: 70.0%. Those shooting percentages are pretty good. You had good stats in Ludwigsburg, but shot only 29% from three point land. How much do you think did your game improve in one season?

I think that I played pretty good for the 12 games I was there, but at the end it felt like I had a 40 point game and lost. But I would have to credit my success last year to continuous hard work, the coach, and my teammates. Everything was in order and I was able to play with a lot of confidence. I really love our system and how hard our team worked for each other.

For me you are the best point guard in the BBL, but you have a lot of good competition in the BBL. Who do you see as the top point guards in the BBL?

I liked a couple of guards..I liked Kyle Bailey and McElroy personally. I had respect for a lot of the guards though.

What are the most important aspects that The Artland Dragons need to improve on to be really successful next season?

I think for us to be successful next year we will be for us to be healthy. I think that’s the most important because we had a couple serious and phantom injuries last year. We gotta have all of our horses and we’ll be good to go.

The Artland Dragons management has already gotten busy with the new season and with the resigning of you and Bailey, getting Nathan Peavy, the talented Folarin Campbell, resigning Darren Fenn and having Darius Hall back, the team looks extremely strong. Is this a team that could play for the BBL title or are the playoffs the number one goal?

I think our team will be strong and ready to go. Our management did a great job of putting the team together and not to sound arrogant, but if your not playing for the title what are you playing for?

Young Thorsten Leibenath didnt have an easy season as coach, often getting criticised for making wrong decisions. What was your impression of his work. Could his second season be his break out year as coach?

I like the fact that Coach Leibenath is young. He has a lot of energy and is very ambitious with a great love for the game of basketball. If you beat him one time, he will play you 100 more times until he figures you out. In my opinion, we’ve all made bad decisions but more importantly, its if you learned from them. He’s not a quitter because he could have easily given up on the season last year but he didn’t . He kept the same faith in the team and making the playoffs until the end.

Darius Hall is a very popular player in the BBL. What was the funniest experience that you had with with him in your short time this season?

As far as Darius Hall is concerned, in my short time. I can’t pick one moment because it never stops with him but can say that he is one of the most passionate players I have ever played with. He is one of my favorite players I’ve ever played with throughout my career.

In Ludwigsburg, you had a very potent guard combo team with German Heiko Schaffartzik, who signed with the New York Phantoms Braunschweig. He has been developing very nicely as a player and should play a role this summer at the European championships in Poland with Germany. He is already an excellent player, but do you think there is still something within him that could make him explode as a player?

Heiko is indeed a good player. He’s the type of player that plays the game without having to think about it too much. I think he will continue to improve because he’s a hard worker and very intelligent. If he can get his short arms to grow and continue to study the game he will for sure explode..haha

How does your offseason workout plan look like? How many shots do you take per day?

I lift about 3 times a week and run about 5 miles a week. I play 3 games a week in this summer night league back at home as well.I never shoot less than 500 shots in all my dribbling drills and shooting drills that I do. But the key to having a successful work out is staying focused the entire time and not daydreaming. You can’t be daydreaming about your girlfriend or talking about what you did last night..you gotta put yourself in the game or your wasting your time.

What can you do for relaxation in Hobbs, North Mexico?

In Hobbs, New Mexico the best thing to do for relaxation is to do absolutely nothing. Its a small town of about 45000 people and everybody loves basketball for the most part. I usually just enjoy my time with my family and friends and have non-stop barbeques.

Where were you and what were you doing as you heard that Michael Jackson had died?

I had just finished working out when I got a text from a friend that Michael Jackson died. Its was a joke and I didn’t take it serious. I can’t lie though, when I watched the memorial I was shook up. He had a huge impact on me and really inspired me just to be successful. My favorite songs because I can’t pick one. ..Dirty Diana and Remember the time.

What has been the favourite DVD that you have seen in last weeks?

Public Enemies and The Hangover are some of my favorites that I watched lately.
Thanks for chat Ronald!

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