Tate Decker: Basketball Means Everything To Me

Tate Decker is a 32 year old 210cm center from Webster Groves, Missouri. He plays at center, but possesses also the skills of the 4 and 3 forward positions. Shoots very well both from inside and from outside, even 3 pointers, and passes the ball well. His soft hands allow him to shoot extremely well the free throws, and this is rare for a big man. From 1996-2001, he played at the NCAA schools Missouri, Wake Forest and Oklahoma City Univ. (NAIA). In his first few years as a professional player he played in the States in the NBDL, NABL, and USBL. In 2002-2003, he came to Europe and played for Leon Caja Espana (Spain-LEB1): 8 games: 7.6ppg, 6.5rpg, 1ast, in Feb.’03 signed at Barons Riga (Latvia-LBL): LBL: 12games 15.9ppg 6.9rpg 1.5apg 1.3spg, in May replaced injured John Tomisch at Ovarense Aerosoles Ovar (Portugal-TMN). In 2003-2004, he played in Japan. In 2004-2005, he played in Poland, Argentina and China. In 2005-2006, he played in Australia and Poland. In 2006-2007, he played In Germany for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-1.Bundesliga), German League: 14 games: 5.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2FGP: 53.5%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 50.0%; in Jan.’07 moved to TBB Trier (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 7 games: 8.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 40.0%, FT: 81.8%. In 2008-2009, he played for Hoverla Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine-UBL): 43 games: 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 73.6%. In 2009-2010, he played a second season for Hoverla Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine-Superleague): 15 games: 7.7ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT-2(92.6%), in Dec.’09 moved to B.M.C. AEK Larnacas (Cyprus-Division A, starting five), in Feb.’10 joined back Hoverla Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine-Superleague). He started the season in Hungry for PVSK Pannonpower Pecs, but left. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Your stay in Hungry was a short one. Why didn´t it workout in Hungry?

Yes, my stay in Hungary was short. To be honest I quit trying to figure out what happens and why. I just go along with the flow. I dont think it helped that the team was extremely young and inexperienced along with a few preseason losses.

How tough is it getting basketball job in general the older you get?

I would say that it is hard getting a good job now no matter what your age is. With the Economy being so down teams have been forced to decrease their budgets.

What is the best quality that you can give a basketball team now on the court?

Obviously i bring experience to any team that i go to. Other than that I just do what I have always done and that is try to be active and rebound. Scoring the ball was never to much of a problem for me.

Your last time in Germany was in the 2006-2007 season as you split time with Frankfurt and Trier. Then in the 2007-2008 season you became a father and retired. Were you too young to go this route and stop playing?
Actually I had already became a father before I went to Frankfurt. I had retired for about a half year after I injured my hand playing in China. I was definitely not ready to quit playing the game I love so much. Basketball means everything to me. It has opened a lot of doors for me. I am very fortunate to have been able to play abroad.

Was it just the love of basketball that brought you back on the court?

Yes last season I was in Cyprus for two months. I left the team after not receiving a penny from them. Its safe to say that I will never go back to play again in Cyprus.

What is a hidden strength in your game that nobody really knows about?

I cant really say that I have a hidden strength othere than that I give a 110 % when I walk out onto the court. I do like to study opponents games to gain an edge.

What was your nicest memories from playing in Germany?
I have many great memories from my playing days in Germany. The Fans were great! They seemed very passionate about the game. I was surprised to see how many basketball fans are in Germany. I have some good memories of the Derbay game in Frankfurt as well.

Would you make any special sacrifices to being able to play for a certain team again?

I dont think there are any special sacrifices. I think that its my job to do the best at whatever the team asks me to do. I will do anything practically to win!!!

Has it been a burden getting used to the new FIBA regulations on the court?

I would not say it has been a burden but, it has taken some getting use to with the 3-point line being a little deeper. Also its a little easier to camp out in the post with the lane changes.

Do you keep in touch with your ex Skyliners teammates?

I keep in touch with a few of the guys from the Skyliners. Kevin Johnson and Miroslav Todic are two of the guys I talk to the most. They both were great teammates and people.

If you could describe yourself in one sentence as the kind of player you are how would you do
Wow describe myself…. A 6’10 player who can score on the block and shoot the outside jumpshot. I feel more comfortable letting my play do the talking for me.

How well will the Miami Heat do with Lebron James?
Thats the question everyone is asking. To be honest I am not sure. Theres no doubt that Miami is a contender now. It will be interesting to see the chemistry. I think chemistry is often overlooked today. But I am a Lakers fan so I am a bit biased.

What was the last DVD you saw?

The last Dvd I saw was probably a kids dvd with my daughter Brinkley. She enjoys watching movies, I am not a big fan of them unless she wants to watch them.

Thanks Tate for chat. Good luck in your search for a team

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