Davin White is a 31 year old 186cm point guard from Phoenix, Arizona that is a very good athlete that plays the thinking man’s game against opponents. He will be starting his ninth professional basketball season with Lukoil Academic Sofia (Bulgaria-NBL). He started his basketball career at Cal.St.-Northridge (NCAA). As a professional he played in the D-league, Canada, Serbia and spent most of his time destroying the Mexican league. His best season in Mexico was in 2011 where he played for Mineros de Cananea (Mexico-CIBACOPA): 50 games: Score-2(28.0ppg), 3.4rpg, Assists-4(5.4apg), Steals-1(2.3spg), 1.1bpg, FGP: 63.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 81.1%. Last season he played for Phoenix Hagen playing 36 games: Score-1(17.2ppg), 2.3rpg, 4.2apg, Steals-1(2.0spg), FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 68.4%. He was awarded with Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Guard of the Year -13, Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 1st Team -13, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Imports Team -13, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Defensive Team -13. He spoke to German Hoops about his incredible season with Phoenix Hagen before hopping on a plane to Bulgaria to join his new team
Thanks Davin for talking to German Hoops. The summer is slowly coming to an end and you recently got signed by Lukoil in Bulgaria. Many of the Phoenix Hagen Players from last season got resigned. Many were hoping that you would return. Was your price just too high that Phoenix Hagen couldn´t match it?
No my price wasn’t to high for Hagen me and my agent decided to test the market, Hagen gave me a nice offer but we wanted to test the market. If I could go back and sign with Hagen I would with a question. But they couldn’t sit around and wait so we parted ways
You were one of the best point guards in the beko BBl last season winning the scoring title, leading the league in steals and sixth in assists and also won Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Guard of the Year -13, Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 1st Team -13, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Imports Team -13, nad Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Defensive Team -13. It was no secret that you loved your time in Germany. Are you a bit sad that none of the top teams like Bamberg, berlin and Munich gave you offers? You certainly would have deserved it.
I wouldn’t say sad but, I was a little disappointed because for the simple fact these teams see you for nine months know what your capable of, but at the end of the day its really if you fit the coaches plans and playing style.
How much do you think that your team Phoenix Hagen which is a small market team played a role in you not getting interest from the top teams in Germany?
That is a question for the unknown, we/Phoenix Hagen played a unique style of basketball not the ordinary or typical way people expect a team to play. We played fast, we had fun, we won games and went to the playoffs. Small market or not we were winners.
You have been a scorer wherever you have played in your career. You already quickly showed that you could play in the beko BBL when you arrived late in 2011-2012 season. How proud were you of yourself that after many years in mexico and lesser leagues, you were able to dominate so great in the beko BBL at age 31?
Yeah scoring always been a strength of mine which put me in good situations, I was without an agent for a few years and played in Mexico when I got out of college so the team always brought me back because of my success in Mexico, but Mexico top league has quality players and a lot of talent, I played against a few guards and other players who would be good players in Germany and Europe. But on other hand yes I was proud of my success at my age but some people peak late in their careers than others, I feel like I am 25, I just don’t dunk like I used to, but Ican still get anywhere on the court like I used to but now I am a smarter player/vet I think my next 3 or 4 years will be the best basketball I have played my whole career. I just think Steve Nash MVP at age 32 and 33 in the NBA. Not Sayin I am Steve Nash. lol!
Phoenix Hagen was one of the big surprises last season in the Beko BBL. What was the secret to the success of the team that didn´t shy away from anyone?
We might have been a surprise to people but at the begining of the season and when I signed back I knew we would have a big chance at making some noise in the league, I am a competitor I have faced many challenges some successful some I have failed but this was one of the success stories that I can talk about proudly. Also we didn’t shy away from anyone because we had confidence in each other that gave us the edge mentally.
Three years ago an ex Hagen player told me that the team never practiced defense, but last season Larry Gordon always stated that defense came first despite the team was the best offensive team in the league. What made playing defense so much fun and successful even though offense was the biggest strength?
That’s funny you said that because my first year I came to Hagen it was mostly about scoring getting up more shots than the opponent never about how many stops we can get. This last season we knew we could always outscore the top teams we have to get stops in order to when so coach Ingo made some adjustments and we adapted to them nicely and actually had fun doing it. Thats what made us dangerous because teams had to also be prepared for our defensive principles and our offense. Ingo is growing as a coach. I seen a big growth in just two years since I was there and he has a bright coaching career.
You have played for many teams in your career. Was the team self confidence and chemistry one of the better that you have experienced in your career?
Crazy you asked that. Man I had more confidence in my teammates than I had myself sometimes. I had a group a guys around me who were very professional and their approach to the game made me work harder and respect the game. Our chemistry was crazy we got along on and off the court funny group of guys I tell you I am going to miss them.
If you were mini road runner, David Bell was baby Hulk, then what would be the perfect nickname for Larry Gordon?
Iron Man he was a machine man always working couldn’t keep him out the weight room or off the rebounds he lead our team in rebounds playing the three position. He is the type of guy who is always working to get better. I am looking forward to seeing what he does this season.
What will always be your fondest memory from last season? Possibly the playoff win against Bamberg?
The fondest moment was the last game we played at home waiting for the announcement that we made the playoffs it was a big accomplishment of Phoenix Hagen history and to be a part of it was special.
If Adam Hess and David Bell are parked in the corner and each take 50 shots, who would hit the most shots?
That is tough man they both hit the lights out , But Hess is the corner specialist DB would win the top of the key and both wing positions but Adam would edge out David but it would would go down to the wire. Either one can win though.
How was your game able to develop in your time with Phoenix Hagen that will help you with Lukoil?
Well honestly Ingo gave me freedom and allowed me to make mistakes knowing I would make more good things happen than bad. I am going to Lukoil with a different approach because this is a new situation and new coach but I am going to work hard and everything will play itself out.
You practiced with German Ole Wendt last season. How were you able to help his game and what things does he still need to work on in his game?
Besides getting scratched all season by Ole because he fouedl so much. lol! jk! The plus about Ole is his work ethic he used to get to the gym before me and I used to get mad like dang youngster you making me look bad because I thought I was early. But he is a student of the game he learned and picked up things fast you would forget how young he was. He had big moments against big teams last season I just told him if he make it to the league I need some tickets because I taught you everything. Lol!
What is your impression of Phoenix Hagen this season. They kept many players and added some solid ones. Do you think that they will be able to reach the playoffs?
They brought back a lot of guys that know what it takes to get there I am sure they will be in the fight for a playoff spot, Mark Dorris should be a difference maker on this years team success look out for mr.fantastic he is wearing our number 34. Plus Ingo is a better coach than he was last season so I think they have a good chance pending any major injuries they will be in the hunt.
Head coach Ingo Freyer always looks very serious on the sidelines. How do you get him to laugh best?
To make Ingo smile man hmmm, its simple WIN he is like a player coach he has a serious approach to the game like he is playing so he has his game face on. He smiles a lot but people don’t always get to see that side of coach.
You played together with Henry Dugat in Mexico who is replacing you at Phoenix Hagen. His game is very different from yours. How will his game make Phoenix Hagen successful?
Yeah Herny and I had a stint together in Mexico also kept in touch since than crazy he is at my old team, If anyone could replace me in Hagen it would be Henry. He reminds me of when I was younger very athletic but he is a scorer and the way Hagen plays he fits in perfect, and he shoots the three really good. So it will be interesting to see what he does there. If he stays healthy he could get new comer of the year. They have a guard with a winning attitude they will be fine with him at the helm.
How excited are you about starting your new adventure in Bulgaria with Lukoil? The league is weaker than the Beko BBL, but I guess nothing can replace the fact that you will be playing Euroleague.
It’s a bitter sweet situation I will miss Hagen, but I am sure the fans there will love me too. Didn’t know anything about Bulgaria until this season heard they have a few good teams in the league but Lukiol is the powerhouse and won the league last year. I am looking forward to Euroleague and the the season and the chance to win a Championship For a European team it would be my First of my Career.
With a successful season in Euroleague do you think that might be your ticket back to the Beko BBL next season perhaps with a top team?
I think I can get a job in BBL or any other country if I have a good Euroleague But then again who knows I had a great season last year and people passed on me. I am just playing season to season looking forward to this year. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am excited for the challenge though. I feel like I have to play even better than I did last year.
What besides the great Phoenix Hagen fans will you miss the most in Germany?
I will miss vapiono’s, my old teammates, coaches, and my great friend Kristina who works for the team she made my living in Hagen special and was always there when I had a problem or couldn’t speak German. lol! Also miss how competitive the league is.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Millers funny movie need to watch it Miles.
Thanks Davin for the chat. Good luck in Bulgaria.