Ricky Hickman is a 24 year old 190 cm guard from Kernersville North Carolina. He played his college basketball career at North Carolina-Greensboro from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 36.5%, 3Pts: 27.8%, FT: 70.9%. In 2007-2008, he played in Romania for CS Otopeni Bucuresti playing 11 games and averaging 19.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 60.4%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 70.8%. In 2008-2009, he played in Germany for LTi Giessen 46ers playing 24 games and averaging 6.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 65.7%. This season, he is playing in Finland for Namika Lahti and is second in the league in scoring with 24,4ppg. He took some time to talk to German Hoops.
Ricky you finally found a team in Finland. How relieved were you as you got this new job?
I was very relieved that I got this job. I was just very anxious to get back on the court and just wanted to be in a good situation so in the end it worked out for the best.
How difficult was it sitting at home in North Carolina and working out, but not knowing if you would get a team this season. Did you ever loose hope that you might not find a team this season?
It was difficult from the standpoint that I worked the hardest this summer than I ever have, but I was never really worried that I wouldn’t find a job for the rest of the season. It seemed like family and friends were more worried than I was.
How tough was it seeing all these great players still being without a job in the States and now watching the World Series. Will there be so many players that wont have a job this season?
Right now it is a very difficult time for European basketball and I know players who still dont have a job that are of high quality, but the reality of the situation is the supply for players is a lot higher than the demand so some people will be on the outside looking in this year.
How did your off season workout plan look like?
My offseason workout plan looked something like I would wake up in the morning go get up about 150 mid range/pull-up jumpshots and then make 100 catch and shoot 3s. Then in the afternoon I would workout with my trainer Keith Gatlin for about and hour and a half each day which usually consist of working on a lot of game situation moves and shots and then after that workout usually get some food then straight to the weight room were I really focused on my core and getting it stronger and thats bout it.
The transition coming to Lahti was very easy having my old teammate already here and kinda familiar with Tyrone so we all instantly clicked.
What is your first impression of Lahti, Finland? Is it a place where you could be happy?
When I first got to Finland all I could think of was damn I am going to be cold as hell but I have gotten used to the weather and its not as bad as people may think right now but hollar at me in a few months and my response might be different. And as of right now I am happy with my situation and I am just focusing on trying to do whatever I can do to help this team improve and try to get some wins which I Believe will happen.
How difficult was it coming late into he season to Lahti that is back in the standings at 2-7?
When I came to Lahti, I think they were like 5 games in, but in this league you play like 40 somehting games so its still early over here and I still think we will be successful.
What are the main problems with the team at the moment? What does the team need to improve on?
The problems are really that we just haven’t had a chance to jell together. I think we just have to critique some things, but I think eventually we will be rolling.
What are the biggest differences between the German and Finnish league?
The main difference between the Finnish and German leagues is that Germany has more Americans and bigger Americans and teams with a bigger budgets.
What is your exact role in the team? It seems like you are the go to guy. Does that always work as a point guard?
Well I think my role is to do whatever the team needs me to do to win. Some games, I will have big scoring games and sometimes big assist games just wherever I can help and basketball is adapting more to the scoring Point Guard anyways I feel.
Last week, you were top scorer followed by ex Giessen guard Obie Trotter and this week after a strong 38 point performance by Trotter, he has taken over the scoring lead. Is this something that will continue this season with you and Trotter fighting for the scoring championship?
I dont think so. I am not going out trying to score a lot of points. I am just taking what the defense is giving me I am more concerned with helping everybody else playing at their highest level.
Giessen is 0-7. Where would Giessen be now with a starting five of Hickman, Trotter, Teague, Jeffers and Fresse? Ok a bit small, but it could work.
lol Well I dont know how well we would do with that line up, but we would definately put some points up. I wish the best for Giessen hopefully they get it going soon too.
Are you following the BEKO BBL? Who are your picks to win it all?
Yes I always follow Germany basketball and a lot of teams are playing well right now but I think that Oldenberg or Artland will probably be fighting for the chip.
Are you a bit sad that no big interest came from BBL teams the last months? Would you like to come back to the BBL and show all those non believers in the German league that you deserve to play in Germany with a strong season in Finnland?
No I am not at all upset about not having interest from Germany, but if it was the right situation I would welcome coming back but theres so many other great leagues out there too never know who might like you.
What do you miss the most from Germany and the BEKO BBL?
What I miss most from Germany is the fans. They have great fans in Germany.
What things do you like to explore in Finnland that you havent had time to yet?
I would like to go to Helnski soon and see more about it still on the to do list.
Have you experienced a real Finnish sauna yet? How long can you hold out in a sauna?
Naw I am not big on Saunas lol not going to get to that experience. I dont think unless I have too.
Who is going to win the World Series? New York or Philadelphia?
Philly gonna take it I think.
Thanks Ricky for the chat! Good luck in Finland! Hope to see you soon in Germany again playing ball!
Thanks Miles anytime.