Michael Fakuade is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Chicago, Illinois that also has the NIgerian citizenship and is playing his second professional basketball season with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. He just completed his rookie season for UBC Hannover playing 15 games: 15.2ppg, Reb-5(10.6rpg), 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(2.8bpg), FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 67.6%. he started his basketball career in 2007 for N.Illinois (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing 54 NCAA games. He then changed to play for Ill.-Springfield (NCAA2). He played a total of 45 NCAA 2 games and as a senior played 24 games: 14.5ppg, RebNCAA2-6(11.0rpg), BlocksNCAA2-2(3.5bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 3-6, FT: 56.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about his new team ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen.
Michael thanks talking to German Hoops again. How has been the transition from Hannover to Essen? Both cities are bigger sized places, but is there something different with the mentality of the folk?
The transition has been good. I’m still getting used to the city. Still trying to figure out where everything is. The people are good. I haven’t noticed anything different about them.
The ETB Wohnbau baskets Essen have started slow with a record of 2-3. What have been the main reasons for the slow start?
We are still building our chemistry as a team. I still think that we are headed in the right direction and have plenty of time to show we are a playoff team.
The season is still young as team chemistry still needs to be developed, but what can the team improve on the court?
As I team I think we can build on our tempo. We need to learn when to play fast and when to slow it down and run the offense.
You are near double double stats with 11,5ppg and 9,8rpg. How happy have you been with your own game so far?
Having solid numbers are always a plus but, I’m never complacent. I always feel like I can do more. I just want to get to the point where I’m always contributing to the team in a positive way.
Through five games, what has been the most difficult thing that you have had to get used to at the Pro A level coming from Pro B?
The most difficult thing I had to deal with is the amount of minuets played. I have to get used to doing more in a shorter amount of time; unlike the PRO B I would play 35 plus minutes a night.
You and Anthony Young both have made a good transition to Pro A from Pro B. How has he helped you most in the early going on and off the court?
On the court I believe we help each other. When one of us is not having a good night the other one is there to pick each other up. Off the court he is just cool guy to be around and hangout with.
Evencthough both you and Young are doing a good job, does the name Logan Stutz still get mentioned from last season after his great play?
To be honest I have not heard his name too much, I have only seen his picture in the offices. I am familiar with his accomplishments and know he was a great player while playing for Essen.
What is it like playing for new coach Igor Krizanovic? What have been the major differences to your coach from last season Michael Mai?
Playing for coach Igor has been good. He demands a lot from you on the court, but is always open to listen to new ideas and suggestions you have. He is very open minded. Coach Mai was more of a one on one coach. He would try to use your best asset all the time.
The team has a pretty slim roster. How vital will Germans Marco Buljevic and Fabian Franke be for the success of the team this season?
I don’t believe our roster is slim at all. Guys like Patrick, Robin and Christoph play a huge role. Marco and Fabian are the key to our team’s success. Their shooting ability and leadership will be the thing that puts our team in position to be successful.
Is it very strange for you having to have to come from the bench? Do you think your minutes will increase in the future?
It is a little strange to me; it’s a new role that I’m adjusting too. But I know I can make it work and still be a very productive player. I think as time goes along and we figure out our consistent rotation I will play a lot more.
Is it nice seeing familiar opponents this season like an Augie Johnston who played at SC Rist Wedel last season? Do you think that he could make an impact in the Pro A this season?
It always nice to play against players you have played against in the past. Augie was a big time shooter in the pro b and I’m pretty sure he will continue to have the same success in the pro A.
Essen point guard Chris Alexander is already having a strong season. Do you think this could be the season if Essen is successful that he could be that MVP caliber like player?
Chris is great player and is playing really well for us right now. He has taken and hit big shots for us. He will definitely be mentioned as a MVP candidate if he continues to play like this.
The Chicago Bears are at 4-3. Are you still confident that they are a playoff team?
I’m always confident in the home team. Even with all the injures they are having right now, they still have a fighting chance.
Who do you like in the World Series Boston or St Louis?
I’m not really a big baseball fan, but if I had to pick it would be Boston
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
World War Z.
Thanks Mike for the chat.