Jermaine Robinson is a 28 year old 188cm guard from Philadelphia. Currently he is playing for Bernau in the Regionaliga. He played at Cleveland State with Omari Westley from 2000-2004. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 19.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.5apg. He went to Europe in 2004 to Norway to play for the Harstad Vikings playing 13 games and averaging 23,6ppg, 4,5rpg, 4,4apg, 2,7spg, 0,3bpg, but left before the end of the season and signed at Haifa/Nesher BC (Israel-Premier L. Gr. 9-12) playing 9 games averaging 6.1ppg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 47.6%, 3FGP: 31.8%. In 2006-2007, he came to Germany to play for SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Germany-Regionalliga, starting five) playing 5 games and averaging 17.2ppg. In 2007-2008, he had his first tour of duty with SSV Lokomotive Bernau playing 10 games and averaging 19.0ppg. Last season, he played in Chile for Provincial Osorno.
In an exclusive interview for German Hoops, Jermaine talks about how he went from playing in Isarel to playing in the Regionaliga.
Jermaine welcome back to Germany. What did you miss the most from beautiful Germany?
Germany is a nice country, that makes you feel some what like being in USA.
Last season, you played in Chile. Why couldn´t you play there? It seemed not to have to do with your playing abilities.
The reason I am not back over in Chile because they turned it into a 1 American league which last year was a 3 American league. I am almost positive if it still was a 3 American league, I would have been back, so basicly they took all American Big men.
How did you like Chile? Where were you exactly?
Chile was a nice place also. Its summer time over there right now so you know I was loving that the most. There were great fans at the games. I was playing for Provincial Osorno Toros.
How can one imagine the coverage of Basketball in a country where soccer is king?
To be honest Chile has a lot of support about basketball from what I saw. Marketing was all over every city I was in and I was impressed
What were the main reasons for returning back to Germany?
The main reason I am back over in Germany is because for one I dont have a agent and I had a really good relationship with Torsten the coach here at Bernau when I came in the 2007- 2008 season.
You return to Bernau in the Regionaliga for the second time, who are currently 6-3 in the north division. What will your role be this time? What is coach Torsten Schierenbeck expecting from you?
Coach just told me to just play my game like I always do and create some more easy shots for other people. The team is much better then before so it looks like we can do something and move up this year.
You are filled with only German players and guys that have primarly played Regionaliga. You have played NCAA and in many different countries. What is it like for you to practice with these guys every day? Do you step back a few gears in practice or is the competition pretty much even among all players?
I practice against my teammates like I am playing in the game so whoever is guarding me is going to have to be ready.
Are you seen as a savior for this team? A type of Michael Jordan in the Regionaliga?
As you can see we are in 3rd place right now and I havent even played yet so I am just coming in to help out as much as I can. W e have a lot of people who can score on the team.
Your good friend Omari Westley told me that he thinks that you are way to good for the Regionaliga. How difficult is it for you hearing words like this and not being able to move up to the next level yet?
Its really difficult because like I said, I dont have an agent and its all about connections. I have dealed with about 5 agents and they told me lies about jobs. I turned down many jobs because of agents saying they can get better jobs, but then they come to you with nothing. I have 3 children and I cant keep letting these agents feed me lies. I need to find one who is willing to work hard for me and help me get back where I was in the top leagues in Europe.
What level do you think that you could play at in Germany?
I feel like I can play on any level in Germany. I keep getting told that Germany killed my basketball resume, but I always tell these people it was either play in Germany or play no where. Everywhere I played overseas I averaged 18ppg except Israel playing for Maccabbi Haifa where I averaged 6.1ppg and we had 3 other scorers who averaged 11 or 12 ppg. I just was there playing the PG role and I feel like it killed me.
Bernau is only 30 minutes from Berlin. Have you ever watched games of Alba Berlin? If you watch Julius Jenkins on the court, do you think about how you would defend him on the court and how would you do against him?
Yes I have seen them play and he is a very nice solid Guard and I look at him as if he was anybody else trying to dominate him like he would try to do me.
You are a 188cm guard that has the ability to break defenders down with his dribble and his explosiveness to the basket. He combines that with good court vision and excellent ball-handling skills to allow him to play at any perimeter position. What other strengthes do you have that are seen in the stats and what are not seen in the stats?
I think I can create and get my teammates the ball and knock down open shots. Whats not seen on the stats is that I am cool with my teammates off the court also.
What do you still need to work on in your game?
I still have many of things to work on and improve better so I just can’t sit here and think about what I need to work on. Everything can get better.
In 2007-2008, you came to Bernau in January and were able to play one month with Jason Boone who left for MEG Goettingen in February 2008. Do you ever think about making such a radical move going up three leagues?
Like I said, I feel like I can play anywhere given the opportunity. I am just taking what was offered to me. I know I am wayyy better then a lot of people in all them top leagues. I just got find the right connection and people and we will see.
Did you think that Jason Boone was a lot better than playing in the Regionaliga when you saw him in practice in the first practice?
I knew that he was good and when he told me he was leaving, I said you supposed to be up there and good luck. I am sure its a lot of players in the Regionaliga who feel like they are better than a lot of people in higher leagues well at least I know I am.
You are from Philadelphia. What was your childhood like?
My child hood was just like the most of us over here, single parent home with a basketball dream trying to provide for they family.
Who were your NBA idols while you were growing up? Well I´ll take a guess with Julius Erving and Charles Barkley and Isiah Thomas at the guard position. How did I do?
I liked those three, but my favorite was of course Micheal Jordan , the best point guards I used to watch and tape their games were Jason Kidd, because of his passing skills and Tim Hardaway with his crossover dribble move.
You played at Cleveland State from 2000-2004. What were your nicest memories on and off the court?
Just playing every game trying to win and off the court getting my college degree.
In your senior year, you averaged 19.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.5apg. Why do you think that there was not more interest from higher leagues in Europe?
I guess because I went to a mid-major school. Its all political!
You played together with 2009 BEKO BBL scoring champion Omari Westley at Cleveland State. I can imagine that you fed him quite a few times into the low post?
yup it was fun playing with him he made it a lot easier for me and I am sure I did the same for him.
What are your fondest memories of Omari Westley?
Its so many that I can laugh all day about all of them..hahaha
In your rookie season 2004-2005, you lit up the scoring in Norway for Harstad Vikings playing 13 games and averaging 23,6ppg, 4,5rpg, 4,4apg, 2,7spg, 0,3bpg. Why did you leave after 13 games?
I got offered big money in Israel and had to leave.
You then finished the season in Israel for Haifa/Nesher BC (Israel-Premier L. Gr. 9-12): 9 games: 6.1ppg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 47.6%, 3FGP: 31.8%. After that season, you started playing in lower levels with Regionaliga. That doesn´t make sense. Why did this happen? How much luck and a good agent plays a part in the life of a basketball player?
Agents can kill players careers and they dont even know it. I didnt have no one to contact after that , that was my first few years out and I was new to the game and how it worked overseas. I have had agents promise me jobs and never heard from them again. I know I can play on any level and anybody who played with me can tell you the same thing. I have about 10 good friends who are home with out jobs because of agents telling them BS.
You were a few years away from the game from 2005-2007. What did you do?
No I wasn’t away. Again it was them Agents telling me they had stuff for me and didn’t so I had to sit around and had friends who were already overseas playing calling their agents to help me because they new I shouldn’t have been home. Like the begining of this season I just knew I was going to be playing somewhere, but guess not. I am happy Torsten gave me a call and asked me if I wanted to play and to love the game that much and no I am not getting paid what I used to get, it hurts but I have to feed my kids some how. I played in Hagen-Haspe in 2006
What was the craziest shot that you ever took in a practice or game?
I was dribbling and fell and didn’t have no one to pass the ball too, so I shot it from the ground behind the 3 point line.
Who wins a one on one game? You or Omari Westley? How do you beat him best?
He supposed to win he is 6″8 and I am 6″2…hahaha, but he better not miss a shot because once I get it , I am going to work. He is one of my true friends I have and have much respect for him and his basketball game.
What would you like to do when your playing days are over?
I dont even know yet and haven’t thought about those things, because I feel like I still have many years of basketball in me.
What was the last DVD that you saw?
50 cents new movie – Before I Self Destruct
Good luck Jermaine in Bernau. I wish you a lot of luck there in the rest of your future!
Thanks and appreciate you interviewing me.