Virgil Matthews(Erdgas Ehingen) Ehingen Probably Wouldn’t Want Me Back If The Coach Wasn’t Ralph Junge

Virgil Matthews is a 30 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that is playing in Germany in the PRO A for Erdgas Ehingen now in his fourth season. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played  31 games: 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga): 29 games: 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL, starting five): 21 games: 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games: 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. In 2011-2012 for Ehingen, he played  28 games: 11.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 77.1%. Last season for Ehingen you played  Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (Germany-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 11.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.5apg, Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about his return back to Germany shortly before the start of the Pro A season.

Virgil thanks for talking to German Hoops again. How was your summer. What were some highlights this summer on and off the court?

Well didn’t play a lot of games this summer but i’d probably say playing Hoopfest in Spokane was the basketball highlight. And just hanging with my friends out the water and at the cabin were the highlights off it.

How would a nickname like the 96 hours man suit you? I am talking about you jumping in for the Ehingen basketball season which starts in 96 hours? lol

Haha! Is it that soon? Its crazy didn’t really ever think it would happen. It is good to be back though I love the town and the people here are great.

Today the news flash came that you will return back to play for Ehingen for a fourth season. Why did you wait so long to commit back to Erdgas Ehingen? Did it take until the end of September for you to get the suitable deal from Ehingen?

Well I’m getting older was trying to see if there was more money out there or maybe see another part of the world nothing really came of it and Ehingen called last minute asking me back. It was never a terms thing with Ehingen they’ve always been very up front it was my own decision to try elsewhere.

You have been an important player for Ehingen the last years helping the team move from the Pro B up to the Pro A and keeping the team there. Do you get the feeling that management understands the worth that you have to the club?

Yea I think a lot of what I do doesn’t really show up in stats and maybe even on video. A lot of Pro-A teams rely on just Americans to do everything and maybe have some good Germans and they just play. Ehingen is really big on development, that is why that have so many ex players playing in this league and other leagues, its not the situation for everyone. I think I fit here good and I think the Management and coach know that as well.

The season starts on Sunday. This will be your 8th professional season. How challenging will it be to come in learn the plays and be a factor as quickly as possible for Erdgas Ehingen?

Playing for the same coach for 4 years there’s not that much more there is out there to do. Me and Ralph have a good feel I know what he expects from me. He knows I’m a smart player and picking up the plays won’t be that hard for me

How much will it help that you played IBL this summer and also kept in shape?

Our team only had 2 games and I only played in one. Being here so long though you understand what it takes but nothing can get you in shape like playing does. So i’m in decent shape but basketball shape is a whole other level.

Would you have come back if the head coach wasn´t Ralph Junge?

Ehingen probably wouldn’t want me back if the coach wasn’t Ralph Junge. Ralph has confidence in me. I mean he offered me a job after sitting out a year for that i’m always thankful

The team has three new Americans and a new German with Joey Ney who played with Alba Berlin. How excited are you about starting your fourth season with Erdgas Ehingen and where could the club land at the end of the season?

I’m hoping we can build off of where we were last year making playoffs and hopefully moving up some seeds and winning some games. We lost a lot from last year’s team including MVP candidate AJ Calvin but we brought in some young talent we will get better as the season goes on i’m excited!

Do you see yourself being a mentor for rookie Stacey Wilson who comes from Murray State? Is this a role that excites you with each coming year?

I don’t know if i really mentor the new Americans I think with them I just help them get used to the culture more than anything. Helping out the young Germans though is good its important to me because I want to coach one day and its good to be able to do that a little bit while still being able to play.

You have been playing for the IBL Olympia Reign for years during the summers. How has this experience over the years helped your game besides giving you game experience? Is this a time where you work on specific parts of your game?

Really I play IBL because it is a good group of guys and we enjoy it and have fun. When we are all committed and have time to be there all of the time we are a great team in the IBL but everyone works and does other things so we more so just enjoy hanging out and the competition.

What player in the Pro A are you looking most forward to battling against again?

Man there are so many vets at the position we’ve all battled. Me and Ahmad Smith always have pretty intense games since the days I was in Schwelm, I played Gary Johnson while I was there too. So those are probably the two main ones.

Where will the journey of the Seattle Sea Hawks end this season?

Super Bowl thats not even a question!

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Lincoln Lawyer Pretty good movie!

Thanks Virgil for the chat.

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