Brian Harper is a 27 year old 206cm forward that is commencing his first season in Germany in the Beko BBL for TBB Trier. He started off playing guard at 6’5″ at Paine and grew to 6’10” and never changing positions. Brian’s a smooth shooting wing with explosive athleticism. He has tremendous lateral movement with a wing span of 7’4″. Brian is a talented ball handler. He adds an extra advantage as he utilizes his size to rebound over smaller defenders. He played at Paine(NCAA2) from 2003-2007. He turned professional in 2007 and played for Gimle BBK Bergen (Norway-1Div., starting five): 15 games: Score-3(25.1ppg), 8.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, 2.0bpg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 66.3%. In 2008-2009, he played for KCC Egis (Korea-KBL, starting five): Korean League: 9 games: 15.1ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 76.7%; released in Nov.’08, in Feb.’09 moved to Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League): 8 games: 3.5ppg, 1.6rpg; in March ’09 signed at Reno Bighorns (D-League): 5 games: 1.2ppg. In the last three years, he played in Japan for Toyama Grouses (Japan-BJ League) playing a total of 102 games. Last season, he played 49 games: 16.3ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 61.3%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Congrats on your new job with TBB Trier in the German Beko BBL: Wat were the main reasons why you decided to join this team?
Thanks, I decided to join TBB Trier because of the opportunity to play in a great league and for a great organization. Also it’s going to give me a chance to play under a coach that really understands the game of basketball.
You played the last three years in Japan. You played as a rookie in Norway in 2007. Did you miss Europe or why did you decide to leave Japan?
I did miss Europe and always at some point of my career wanted to come back and play in Europe again.
Some basketball players perfer to stay in one country. There is a good lifestyle in Japan. Did you ever think about possibly having a long basketball career in Japan?
Leaving Japan wasn’t an easy thing to do I love the culture, fans and professional basketball league in Japan , but I knew that if I wanted to continue to grow as a basketball player and wanted to play at the highest of levels it was something I had to do . I’m extremely excited and grateful to be playing in Trier this upcoming season.
As an American what was the most difficult thing that you had to get used to to the Japan way of life?
I would have to say the bowing and taking off of the shoes …..Lol, yeah those two things took a little getting used to.
You are the ultimate swing man at 206 cm that can rebound, but also is very quick and can create massive mismatches at the position three. Where do you feel more comfortable at the three or four?
Honestly I feel comfortable at both positions. I feel that with my size and skill set I can contribute to a team at either of the two positions.
What is a strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I would say my ability to play defense and block shots.
How excited are you about playing for coach Hendrik Rodl at TBB Trier? Do you remember watching the 1993 NCAA March madness where North Carolina Won? Rodl was on the winning team that won it all?
I’m very excited about playing for Coach Hendrik Rodl. It’s not often you get the chance to play for a coach that has had so much success as a player and as a coach. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from him! Yeah I remember Coach winning it all in 1993!
Who was your fiercest competitor that you played against in the NCAA 2 that might be in the NBA or Europe now?
Monyea Pratt from Stillman College we played in the same conference and he always played real hard and was a good ball player. He plays pro ball in Germany now.
As a rookie you played in Norway for Bergin. What was your wake up call to professional basketball in Europe as a rookie?
The wakeup call was everyone that I was playing with and against could really play there were no breaks every night you had to come ready to play
In your second season, you got experience in the D-league playing for Sioux Falls Skyforce and Reno Bighorns (D-League). What experience will you never forget in the D-league?
Yeah when I got back from Korea I spent about a month in the D-League and really enjoyed it. I will never forget the NBA style of play.
The United States have many stars on the Olympic team. Who will be the MVP of the team in their quest for the gold?
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Brian for the chat.