Jason Boucher is a 33 year old 180cm guard from Menominee, Michigan that just completed his eighth professional basketball season in Germany with Rattelsdorf. He started his basketball career in 1998 for Grand Valley State (NCAA2) where he played until 2002. He played a total of 106 NCAA 2 games and as a senior played 28 games: 8.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 5.3apg, 2.4spg, FG: 40.4%, 3Pts: 39.8%, FT: 81.9%. He came to Germany in 2004-2005 and played for TB Weiden (Germany-Regionalliga). From 2005-2007, he played in the minor leagues in the States for Grand Rapids Flight (IBL), Michigan Mayhem (CBA), Battle Creek Knights (IBL) and Albany Patroons (CBA). In 2007-2008, he returned back to Germany to play for the Coocoon Baskets Weiden. From 2008-2010, he played for Heimerer Schulen Basket Landsberg (Germany-Regionalliga) where he tore up the league averaging 28,0ppg in those two seasons. In 2010-2011, he played for the BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProB) playing 17 games averaging 15.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 60.7%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 84.5%. Last season he played for the Dresden Titans (Germany-ProB): 22 games: 19.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 83.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
As I recall at the end of the 2012-2013 season you were content on retiring from professional basketball if you didn´t get a good offer. You decided to come back in January 2014 and joined German Regionaliga team Rattelsdorf. Why did you come back at the age of 33 to play Regionaliga ball?
I never really wanted to quit playing, I had a couple offers in different countries fall through at the last minute. I was then going to play in Canada and as luck would have it that fell through too, so I was back in Michigan contacting every team I could and season already started so I had to wait until xmas break. Rattelsdorf was struggling and needed a player like me and I am thankful they gave me a chance to come and help them out.
You came to a team that was 1-10. What were the main reasons why the team was struggling? It seems like they were young and were lacking an experienced head?
Yeah they struggled before I got here, main reasons I was told was because they were young and no experience at the point guard position and turnovers were killing them in games.
You played many years of Regionaliga ball playing in Weiden, Landsberg and Dresden. After also playing Pro B ball, was there anything you had to get used to again?
For me it doesn’t matter the league I play in, I play the same way every day and every game. I had to come in this season ready to play 40mins a game and be a leader and do the majority of the scoring right away. They counted on me to make smart decisions with the ball and help our young guys get confidence and play hard every day.
After you came to Ratteldorf, you led the team to a 7-4 record. What are you most proud of that the team was able to accomplise once you came on board?
I think what I am most proud of in my time here in Rattelsdorf is not how many points I scored but the way the team changed. Every person on our team played hard the whole game and they were not doing that before I got here. Even though they had a rough first half record, I got my teammates to believe in what we were doing and play hard and give it all they had reguardless of our record. We had a lot of big wins in the 2nd half of this season!
How much of a challenge was it coming to a very young team with some guys 13-14 years younger than you?
It was a big challenge having some guys on the team that is 16 and 18yrs old, I mean when I was that age they were not even born yet haha. but they wanted to learn and get better so it was nice to see the improvement and how they work to get better every day.
With so many young guys on the club, did you sometimes feel like an assistant coach? Is coaching something you might want to do after your playing career?
Yeah most of the time that’s what I felt like on the floor and even at practice. Our head coach gave me the freedom and opportunity to coach the guys whenever I wanted and we worked together on and off the floor to make this team the best we could. When I am done playing I would love to have the opportunity to coach either in Europe or back in the states!
What young German player impressed you the most on the team that could move up some levels once he continues to develop?
I think Max Theim has a really good chance to move up leagues in the future. He is a point guard/shooting guard with the right work ethic and skills to do some good things in his career. He always working and asking questions on how to get better. I am looking forward to seeing how he develops his game in the coming years!
In 11 games, you averaged 32,1ppg which was the most you have ever averaged in Regionaliga after your 28,8ppg at Landsberg. How happy were you with your play?
I was pretty pleased with the way I played this season. Yeah the 32pts a game were nice but what I like the most about this season was how we finished the season. I mean we won 7 games while I was here compared to the one or two before I got here. Our team changed a lot and improved a lot in the 3months I was here and I am most pleased with that!
You finished your last game scoring 48 points and knocking down nine three pointers. Did you feel like a man playing with boys in this game?
It was just one of those games for me, I was in a groove in the 2nd half and guys set a lot of good screens for me to get open. I have had games like this before even in higher leagues so I never feel like a man amongst boys when I am playing, I just play my game and know I put the work and time in to be successful at any level.
You had very good stats, so I presume you want to keep your basketball career alive. You have played only in Germany in Europe. Would another country interest you now so late in your career?
Basketball is my life and my passion for almost 30yrs now, I love it here in Germany, but I will play in any country if that is what it comes down too. I would love to stay and finish my career in Germany but if another opportunity comes in a different country then I will play!
You will be turning 34 in May. What can you still offer a team at your age? Is there anything in your game that could help any team besides your scoring?
I think most importantly I can offer a team is my leadership and I a veteran player that knows how to win. I can be a scoring point guard/shooting guard or I can be a point guard that runs the team and gets teammates open shots. I make all my teammates better and I think that is a good quality to have. My basketball I.Q. is very high and I know the game inside and out.
If you could describe in a few sentences why any team should hire you for next season how would you describe it?
If a team is looking for a guy that knows the game and knows how to win and is a competitor in every sense of the word then I think I am a great fit for any club. Like I said before I can score and can shoot. but I also take care of the ball and make my teammates better. I have been told my every club I play for I am an exciting player to watch and I am also good with helping the younger players develop. I get the fans into the game and make the want to come watch our team play!
Basketball players usually admit that they have to work extra hard as they get older. How will your summer work out session look like in your hopes of returning to the floor?
I am in the best shape of my life, like you said I will be 34 in May, and I am not gonna do anything different in the summer. I workout on my own with shooting drills, ball handling and my fitness. I also work a lot of bball camps for the youth throughout the summer, I am in the gym every day. I am never satisfied, so I always have something to work on and get better.
You lived a few months in Rattelsdorf the town where NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki comes from. What was the most interesting story that you heard about him there?
I didn’t hear many stories about Dirk while I was here besides that he comes back in the summer time and runs some camps for the kids. Its always nice to know a player of that stature comes back and helps out where he from.
What is your NCAA Final and winner pick for the 2014 NCAA tournament?
Well now that is down to the final four, my team Wisconsin is still in it. so I hope they win it all. But I think Florida is going to be tough to beat. So my pick is Florida beating Wisconsin in the finals! Go Badgers though
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Hangover, always good for some laughs Thanks for your time Miles really appreciate it
Thanks Jason for the chat.