Ahmad Smith is a 29 year old 194cm guard from Virginia that recently completed his second season for Rent4Office of the German PRO A. Last season he started the with BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA)12 games: 7.0ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2FGP: 48.9%, 3FGP: 14.3%, FT: 72.2%, in Jan.’13 moved to Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProA, starting five): 19 games: 9.6ppg, Reb-4(8.5rpg), Assists-2(6.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 77.6% He played at St.Bonaventure(NCAA) from 2002-2006 and in his senior year played 28 games: ScoreA10-8(14.2ppg), RebA10-10(6.2rpg), AssistsA10-9(3.5apg), FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 59.8%. In 2006-2007, he played for Mardyke UCC Demons Cork (Ireland-SuperLeague): 9 games: 18.9ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 60.8%. In 2007-2008, he played for SVD 49 Dortmund (Regionalliga): 6 games: 30.2ppg. In 2008-2009, he played for : BSV Wulfen (Germany-Regionalliga) 23.5ppg, 10.1rpg, 6.0apg, 3PT: 35.2%. In 2009-2010, he played for Hertener Loewen (Germany-ProB)29 games: 18.2ppg, Reb-2(8.7rpg), Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 69.5%. In 2010-2011, he played for s Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-ProA): left before the season started, then moved to SVD 49 Dortmund (Germany-Regionalliga): 6 games: 12.8ppg, waived in Nov.’10, in Jan.’11 signed at Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProB, starting five): 15 games: 8.3ppg, 6.8rpg, Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 69.1%. In 2011-2012, he played for the Kichheim Knights he played 35 games: 9.9ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 62.0% He spoke to German Hoops about the 2013-2014 season and the future.
Ahmad where are you at the moment and how have you been spending your first days at home back in the States?
I’m back in Virginia relaxing with family and friends enjoying the off season.
Two consecutive trips to the semi finals with Nurnberg in the last two years. Was this seasons finish more disappointing than last season where you lost in five games to Duesseldorf? It seemed like this years team was more talented than last years team.
This season was more disappointing for the simple fact that we didn’t have Cornelius Adler for the playoffs. The main reason I came back to Nurnberg another season was to play with Cornelius and move up to the BBL together I feel if he didn’t get injured that would of happen. Last years team was definitely more talented in my opinion we lost lots of scoring and talent when Zamal Nixon and Nikita Khartchenkov left
Nurnberg had a very talented bunch of guys. What was missing this season from getting to the final?
Losing Cornelius Adler our leading scorer was a huge blow in the Crailsheim series. It was difficult for our coach to reach some players after the firing of our previous coach in the middle of the season. He was close friends with some players and I don’t think they could get over there good friend no longer being the coach.
German Michael Fleischmann had his best season as a professional. Were you a fan of his after his six three pointer sin the first game against Essen?
Fleischmann is a great shooter I was a fan of his shot from previous seasons playing against him. Have you ever played with a better three point shooter at 205cm? I’ve played with some great shooters before so I don’t want to disrespect them but he’s definitely up there in terms of shooting the basketball.
Last season you were fourth best rebounder in the German Pro A with 8,5rpg which isn´t typical for a 194cm player. Didin´t it bother you this season that your rebounding went down to 5,8rpg? I guess once you have reached a certain plateau, you get used to having stats like that?
I didn’t rebound the ball like I normally do but this season we had more frontcourt depth so I didn’t have to rebound as much as the previous season.
How happy were you with your game? You had your best scoring season in pro A and led the league in assists with 7,1apg for the second time after being second last season?
I think I played well and finished the season strong which is always my goal. Theres always room to improve every aspect of your game and I will work hard this summer on my game.
What was your season highlight? Was it your triple double against Ehingen or your 24 point and 14 assist game against Gotha?
Winning game 5 in Ehingen was the highlight of the season for me. I had the flu and managed to have a good game and get revenge for them putting us out the playoffs a couple of years ago.
You have been a top player in the German Pro A for years. You are turning 30 in September and are in the best basketball age. How ready are you for the Beko BBL?
I feel I’m ready but thats not for me to determine. With the right opportunity I know I can excel in the BBL without a doubt.
Could you see yourself adapting to being a role player or a kind of player that is happy with less minutes?That would definitely be a different situation for you than in the past?
Adapting to a new situation will not be a problem for me at all. I think thats the biggest misconception that I will not like my role in the BBL as far as minutes or my role. I’ve won at every level in Germany and had different roles on each team so that won’t be a problem I just want to win
games. As a rookie, you played in Ireland, but since then it has always been in Germany. Would you be willing to go to another country to play the game you love?
I love playing in Germany but I’m open to playing in other countries as well. If its a good situation and opportunity I’m for it.
If the Beko BBL doesn´t work out, would you be willing to return back to Nurnberg? Nurnberg is a special place to me I love the fans and playing for Benni Travnizek. Nurnberg is definitely an option for next season.
Is three point shooting accuracy still that one sore spot in your game that you need to improve?
Improving my shooting is always my main goal in the offseason. Shot selection is something I want to focus more on for next season not settling for threes late in the shot clock.
Now that you are turning 30, is there anything you have to change in your off season work out plan? AS players get older, you have to take more care of the body as well as work even harder to stay in shape. Or have you been keeping healthy as a professional over the last 8 years that has allowed you keep the same workout plan?
I take pride in having my body always in shape. So I never fall to far behind if I take 1 or 2 weeks off early in the summer. I will keep the same workout regime with my trainer that I have in my previous season. Always trying to take it up another notch each offseason to get better.
How crazy was the first round of the NBA playoffs? Were you surprised by the close series?
One of the best first rounds I’ve ever seen in the playoffs. I was surprised how well the lower seed teams played taking most of the series to 7 games.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Ahmad for the chat.