Japhet McNeil is a 24 year old 183 cm guard from Brooklyn, New York. He played at east Carolina from 2003 -2006. He then transferred to Bridgeport(NCAA2) for his senior year in 2006-2007. At Bridgeport, he played 31 games averaging 16.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.9apg, 4.0spg, FT: 67.3%, FGP: 38.3%, 3PT: 34.6%. Last season, he played his rookie season in Germany in the Pro A for USC Heidelberg (highlight video)playing 30 games and averaging 14.8ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-1(7.9apg), Steals-1(3.5spg), FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 24.1%, FT: 63.3%.
He spoke to German Hoops about Basketball and life.
Japhet, it is October, the leagues around the world are starting up, but you are still looking for a team. Are you surprised that you are still jobless?
I am very surprised that I am still jobless but I am not discouraged. I will continue to work and if I keep on knocking on the door they have to let me in.
How does a typical Japhet Mcneil workout day look like?
I warm up with some dribbling drills 2 balls, and then I do everything game speed, my trainer Steve has a pads he hits me with when I go to the basket and after every segment I get free throws in when I am tired, I then get tons of shots up with the weight vest, it usually lasts for 2 ours so that I am not burned out so I could be ready for the next day. Workouts are different everyday though.
What part of your game did you work on most this summer?
I worked on the thing that I didnt do well this past season, like free throws and 3 pointers. I feel I improved in both aspects, a lot was mental and I tweaked a few thing like footwork.
You have had a busy summer though. You had interest in Germany and Holland, but it didn´t work out. This summer the transfer market seems to have been really tough. How have you coped with it?
The market has effected me, but it effected many players so rather than complain about it, I will try to work around it and the best advice I was given was just to stay with it, I know its not my performance, I led the league in many categories while helping USC Heidelberg to a solid season in last year.
You also had interest from a team in Uruguay. Why didn´t that workout?
The Uruguay deal went south, sometimes that happens when your in business nothing personal, but my agent told me that the deal fell through and basically that was it.
You led the Pro A in assists last season with 7,9 and steals with 3,5 and showed you can score averaging 14,8. For me it’s a riddle why no BBL teams really made a strong effort to get you. How frustrating is that? It is also difficult to understand why BBL teams continue to get NCAA rookies and pass on talented Pro A players. A Will Chavis landed in the Pro B. Do you have a answer why so many Pro A players get passed up? Even your ex teammate Oliver Komarek could play in the BBL.
Thats very frustrating to me, I mean what else can I do to get there attention. They would take a guy avg. 7 pts and 3 ass in a mid level NCAA school rather than me and its really mind boggling. I mean I came out of a mid to high level school as well in East Carolina for 3 yrs before transferring my last yr, Miles I don’t know what the answer is.
I don’t know if you remember Rashad Jennings from Bayern Munich? A 203 cm power forward that averaged 13 rebounds his senior year in the NCAA and led the Pro A in rebounds last season. He just got signed by an NBA team. That shows that talent and luck plays a big part in the transfer game.
while!!! Really kudos to him and his family I am happy for RJ that goes to show that PRO A is a really talented league and I am just trying to follow his footsteps and make progress.
Now you have the chance to work out with a new D League team that will start up in Maine. How realistic do you see your chances of landing here? The team seems to have a good foundation with Austin Ainge as coach and John Jennings as President. How intriguing is it playing for the son of Danny Ainge who runs the Boston Celtics?
I am just going to go there with an open mind and ready to work hard. I am a pretty confident player and if I do what I know I could do which is run an offense make teammates happy, play defense than I am going to fine. If everything works out the way it can it will be great to play under the son of a great player as well as manager in Danny Ainge, the apple doesnt fall far from the tree so I know coach Ainge is a great teacher, good person and a winner some of the traits you need to be successful in this line of work.
How do you think you would do in the D-League? This league is stronger than the Pro A.
The league is stronger but so am I, that is what the off season is for and that is the new heights my game needs, I want to make a living out of this. I am very realistic, if I do what I know how to do which is play basketball, I am very professional, I have no off the court issues, well spoken just well rounded I shouldnt have a problem, now if I am not what they are looking for in a pg I understand as well its a business.
But you still would like to play in Germany wouldn´t you? What was your nicest memory in Germany?
I would love to play in Germany at the highest level thats what us ballers dream about, you want be the best and play against the best, most memorable play was literally the no look alley oop pass I threw to Jibril Hodges…..youtube it just type in japhet mcneil……..crazy!!!! check the smooth walk when I saw he threw it down. lol (video)
What other qualities do you have as a player that you might not necessarily see on the stat sheet?
The quality that doesnt show up on the stat sheet is I am a born leader, an extension of the coach on the floor. Also I take charges lol it may sound petty but that is a loss of possession. I am not afraid of giving my body up!
USC Heidelberg won on the weekend. How much do you miss your teammates like Jibril Hodges?
I miss JB a lot, I spoke to him after the win he is a beast I tell him over and over this experience is just going to make our story more interesting, that is my brother from another mother i love him!
Would you play in the Pro A again if the right situation came up?
If the right situation came up I would play in the PRro A. It has to be the right situation like if the team is making strives to entering the BBL.
Who was the strongest player that you played against last season in the Pro A?
Other than Jíbril Hodges everyday in practice I would say Wayne Bernard, he was polished and a good defender. Whats good Wayne good luck this season oh and the pg from Hagen Chase Griffin, he was a tuff cover!
Your from New York. Is this the year that the New York Yankees win the World Series? Don’t forget my Boston Red Sox! Lol(Boston Got swept by Anaheim after interview was done)
Boston is good but I am going with the Yankees!!!! I bleed blue…..
What was the last DVD that you saw?
Benjamin Button lol good movie!!!
Thanks for chat and good luck this season!
Thanks for having me miles always a pleasure!!!!!