Jay Gavin is a 24 year old 188cm guard that recently played his rookie season in Germany for EVL Baskets Limburg (Germany-Regionalliga). He started his basketball career in 2007 at Marist (NCAA): 32 games: 12.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 39.4%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 77.1%. He then played at VCU (NCAA). He then chnaged schools once again going to Bowie St. (NCAA2) and as a senior played 28 games averaging 13.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 40.2%, FT: 71.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jay thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and what are you up to?
Thanks for having me, I’m currently back home working out and trying to improve my game for the upcoming season.
You were injured at the start of 2014. How has the rehab been going and are you back at 100%?
I was not injured at the start of the of the 2014 season. I had some flexibility issues which did not allow me to move the way I would had liked as the season progressed. It was nothing serious at all and I am back to 100%.
After finishing school in 2012, you finally got your first job offer from German Regionaliga team EVL Limburg. How tough was it going through life not having a basketball job? Were there any people that especially stayed at your side?
Yes, thankfully I have a great support system in my trainer Keith Williams my family of course and the other professionals that I workout with. They are all like my basketball family. Everybody told me to keep working hard and be ready for my opportunity once it comes. I was thankful that one of my coaches, Coach Barry, was able to get me my first professional opportunity.
After playing at the levels NCAA and NCAA2, you played in the fourth league in Germany. Was this more a positive thing to do to go in get good stats after being away from the game for so long?
I knew I just needed an opportunity after sitting out for a year. I also felt that I was capable of playing professionally and I needed to get a start anywhere. I was blessed with the chance to play in Germany and I just tried to make the best of my situation and do everything I could do to show my worth!
With Limburg, you averaged 23.5 points 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assist. Did it at times feel like you were a man playing with German boys?
No, I wouldn’t say that. lol. When I first came to Germany, it was an adjustment getting used to how the game was called by the referees and the other rules along with the physicality of the game. I was a rookie so I just wanted to really prove myself and show that I could play at a higher level and that I belonged. I guess I had a chip on my shoulder and I’m still extremely hungry to prove my worth at my next opportunity next season.
When you came in, you right away gave the club a push almost winning 2 games in OT and then helping winning four of six games. How was the overall experience with Limburg and what did you learn on and off the court?
I want to WIN period. That’s the most important thing to me! The first 2 games my teammates and I were still feeling each other out trying to get comfortable. My experience in Limburg was good. I just wanted to play basketball. So nothing else really gets to me. I learned a lot about really being on my own while in Germany which I embraced. As long as there is a gym and a ball, I think I’ll be fine.
Your teammate was Canadian Kris Douse. He is a guy that should be playing at a lot higher level. What could you learn from him on the court?
Me and Kris were roommates. We were also the leaders of the team so we talked everyday about basketball related things. We talked about making our team better and what we needed to do to compliment each others game. I think by him being older than me, I was able to learn to always be ready because you never know when that next job is coming. Kris was a really good teammate and I’m glad he was there to make my transition smoother.
What was the most amazing thing that you saw Kris Douse do on the court?
Once Kris and I got a rhythm with each other, we were pretty much dominant. The most memorable play that I can recall that we had was a drop off pass against Trier that he finished. It was a play we had talked about all season. Me pushing the ball and him trailing for the pass. To see our communication turn into production on the court was great.
Now you have to start from scratch again looking for a new team. If you could describe yourself in a few sentences how would you so you would be appealing to any team in the world?
I’m a hard worker who just values winning. I can score, and rebound for my position. I can get my teammates involved. I flourish in transition, the pick and roll and I’m willing to sacrifice in whatever manner in order to help my team win games! I’m a natural born leader. I’m very crafty with the ball, can get in the paint, shoot the ball from 3 off the catch or off the dribble. I’m constantly working to improve in the off-season and in-season. I just want to keep improving.
As a rookie you played at Marist averaging 12.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 39.4%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 77.1%. Was there a certain pressure you felt having to follow NBA draft pick Jared Jordan?
No. I can remember going on my visit to Marist. I played with the team while I was in high school and Jared Jordan destroyed me. It was like he had eyes in the back of his head. It’s no surprise to me that he is one of the best PGs in Germany and Europe.
After a solid season at Marist, you went to Virginia Commonwealth. Why did you feel the need to leave Marist?
Well my coach left and I also had some health issues with my family.
At Virginia Commonwealth, you played together with future NBA player Larry Sanders. Did you know that season, that he would be a future NBA player that also would stay in the league? What made his game different from the average NCAA player?
Larry was a special teammate at VCU He was extremely gifted but still raw but he worked at his game and improved. I was amazed by his shot blocking ability and his defensive awareness. Larry hadn’t been playing for long but you could always see the upside he possessed
You left for a third team one more time to play at Bowie State(NCAA2). How were all these changes beneficial to your game in general besides getting to play for different coaches?
Well it had some family turmoil after sitting out for a year at VCU my mom passed away and going through my sophomore season at VCU it weighed heavy on me. So I decided it was best to come home and be closer to my family. It’s crazy because I applied for a NCAA waiver to play right away because my mom was sick. So she never got to see me play after my freshman year. But it’s hit or miss nowadays with those things. Being at the different levels you get a feeling for how basketball changes from place to place and I feel like you can expect one thing at a place and get there and simply have to adjust so it was a blessing being well traveled and playing at multiple levels in college.
How did head coach at Bowie State Darrell Brooks prepare you best for a professional basketball career? What was the most important thing that you learned from him on and off the court?
Coach Brooks was a great leader. He was all about making his players become young men and being accountable and responsible. If you missed a class you ran 5 miles at 5am for 5 days. Needless to say, I never missed a class. Everyday he was all about being enthusiastic. I mean we are getting to do what we love. Most importantly, I learned that he always would have my back. I came in and was a captain right away because he trusted me and I trusted him. I see Coach Brooks everyday now because Bowie State is my 2nd home. It’s where I workout now.
How does a normal summer workout day look for you on and off the court?
Well as I get older, I’m learning more and more about nutrition and the important role it plays on performance. I’m usually in the gym around 8 and I will do a bunch of core exercises and hip strengthening exercises to warm up. Once I get on the court it’s pretty much all full court work that entails shooting off the dribble, off the catch and running off screens. It helps you to get in shape because it really is nothing but full court. Some days I will focus on moves and counter moves and just being skilled as a basketball players. Training is big on being skill masters and not drill masters I am usually done around 11 at the earliest and then I play 5 on 5 afterwards. I like to think we have pretty good runs with all the professionals that come to the gym. After that I eat and later on I’m running steps or the track or going to play again. I’m learning not to overwork myself and to just work hard and to work smart. If I workout consistently ,then everything will fall into place.
Have you been surprised by the crazy first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs? What surprised you the most?
The NBA Playoffs have been great. They are extremely entertaining and fun to watch. The western conference is so evenly matched and I’m happy to see the Wizards get out the first round.
Where will the 2014 NBA playoff run for the Washington Wizards end. Have you been surprised by their play this season?
The Wiz Kids have a young team with a few vets to even it out. I think they will get to the eastern conference finals but Miami will come out the east the west is a toss up in my opinion.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Since I’m home I recently saw Spider-Man. I would like to take this time to thank the great fans of Limburg, my teammates and Coach Danny for giving me the chance to play in the great city of Limburg. Thanks for having me.
Thanks Jay for the chat.