Steve Wright is a 28 year old 191cm guard from Dayton, Ohio. He recently played in Finland for Namika Lahti. He is an extremely athletic combo guard with great quickness, an explosive leaper and has great ball handling and passing skills. He hurts you with his penetration or a pull up for the mid ranged jumper, pick and roll, coming off picks for the shot, and when left open he’ll hit the three pointer also. At the same time he is an unselfish player who creates scoring opportunities for others and has a very good ability to finish around the basket. He is a great defensive player because of his quickness and athletic abilities and is a great and mature person with a good work ethic. He played at Bowling Green from 2002-2006. He finished his NCAA career at Northern Kentucky in 2006-2007 averaging 16,8 ppg., 5,3 rpg., 3,2 apg., 1,6 spg., FG: 46.1%, 3PT: 34,6%, FT 77,5%. In 2007, he came to Germany an dplayed for The New York Phantoms Braunschweig averaging 7.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 75.5% in 34 games. In 2008-2009, he helped lead The Paderborn Baskets into the BEKO BBL playoffs averaging 7.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 77.2% in 36 games. In 2009-2010, he played for The Walter Tigers Tuebingen playing 26 games: 5.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 81.6%. Last season, he played for the Gloria Giants Duesseldorf 32 games: 8.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 71.9%. He spoke to German Hoops recently about basketball life in Finland.
Your recently in Finland How much of a culture shock is it compared to the Beko BBL?
The style and skill level is a lot different than compared to the Beko BBL. I am using my time here as an opportunity to get better individually and help the team win.
Some years ago you were thinking about hanging up your sneakers. What motivated you to keep going?
I think that having that desire to quit had to do with not being successful on the court. I talked over my situation with some people and they told me to stick with it and that it would pay off in the end. I am trying to make the best of it.
Your ex team Namika Lahti had started off slow. Where will the journey of the team end this season?
I think that they will be ok. They know that we will be able to score, but they have to improve their defense. They have to learn to close out games and get stops. The two close games that they lost, they were up the whole game and then lost at the end.
Most teams in Finland have 2-3 Americans and the rest are Finish. How are Americans welcome in general within the team?
Americans are very welcome. The Finish players look up to us and kind of expect us to do everything on the court. We all get along well, but I feel that we need to come together more. I think that if we would spend more time together that it would be a lot better.
What was your exact role in the team?
At the start of the season, coach wanted me and Ryan Brooks to be more scorers, but then he wanted me more to create for my teammates.
You played last season for last placed Gloria Giants Duesseldorf. How would that team do in the Finish league?
I think that our team last season would not lose a game in this league. At the end of the season, we started to come together and we did beat Bonn. I am not familiar with the new team, but I am sure that they would do fine.
Is a strong season in Finland your ticket back to the Beko BBL?
I hope so. Germany is like home to me. When you leave something that you like, then you miss it very much and want it back. I am happy in Finland, but I miss home. I will continue to work hard and hope to get back to the Beko BBL.
What is life like in Finland for a basketball player?
It is totally different here. Teams don´t give Americans cars so we have to walk 15 minutes to practice. In Germany everyone gets a car so it is a lot easier. I also wanted to bring my family here. I am most comfortable when I have my family around me.
Do you like the Finish food or do you hang out at Mcdonalds?
There are some good places to eat. There is this one place where we can eat for free on some days. They serve Pasta, pizza and steak.
Who wins a one on one in practice, you or ex Giessen 46er Ryan Brooks?
Coach likes it that Americans guard each other in practice so we do that a lot. It goes both ways as to who wins. We try to make each other better.
If you had the choice to play in Germany or any other place in the world where would you like to play?
I would love to play in Munich, because it is a new team and they have a good coach with Dirk Bauermann. I also would like to play in Australia, because they speak English there, it is hot and my wife like the beach. I also can put my daughter into an English speaking school.
What will you remember most about Murat Didin?
Him calling everybody Baba. I also will never forget his practices, because they were tough. I have never played for a coach that had us running the whole practice a day before a game. The whole practice consisted of running and no basket balls.
How did you take the news about Kenny Wiliams leaving the Walter Tigers Tuebingen?
I don’t know what happened exactly, but Kenny was a family guy so Im guessing it had to do with his family. He was a fan favorite and a great guy. He will be missed in Tuebingen, but he will be ok.
What kind of game will Kobe Bryant have in his one game in Italy?
I think he will have an average game. He wont score 30 points, because the opponent will key on him. He also will notice that the leagues here are different than the NBA.
What comes to mind when you hear the name Marius Nolte?
Leader, hard work, passion and always wanting to win. He got an opportunity with Frankfurt and took it. I am happy for his success.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I saw Colombiana.
Thanks Steve for the chat.