Marcus Ginyard is a 27 year old 196cm swingman from Alexandria, Virginia that is playing his fourth professional season. He played at top NCAA powerhouse school North Carolina from 2006-2010. In 2010-2011, he played his rookie season with BBC Bayreuth (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 34 games: 10.9ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 74.0%. In 2011-2012, he played for Ironi Nahariya (Israel-National League, starting five): 28 games: 21.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 85.8%. Last season he played for Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK, starting five): 42 games: 12.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 78.6%. He started this season with Azovmash Mariupol (Ukraine-Superleague): 11 games: 15.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 44.8%, FT: 80.4%; VTB United League: 8 games: 14.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 64.1%, 3FGP: 27.8%, FT: 80.8%, left in Mar.’14, later that month moved to Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-TBL). He is currently in the Polish final playing against PGE Turow. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the start of the 2014 Polish finals!
Marcus thanks for talking to German Hoops. After a crazy season in the Ukraine, you signed late in Poland with Stelmet Zielona Gora. How blessed are you to be in the Polish finals? After the tension in the Ukraine this season would you have ever thought that you could be playing for a championship at the end?
I’m blessed to be alive and healthy! So you can imagine how blessed I am to be playing professional basketball, traveling the world, and now with a chance to be Polish Champion. I always want to remember to be grateful. Honestly, I was unsure about my situation after Ukraine. When I was in Ukraine, I thought for sure we would compete for a title, but after everything went bad, and I left, I really had no idea what would happen, or where I would end up. It was hard to imagine that I could win a championship at that point.
Describe the last months in the Ukraine with the revolution. Many players left teams fearing their safety. You were having a very strong season with Azovmash Mariupol (Ukraine-Superleague. Was there any doubt that you would be leaving the Ukraine after experiencing the chaos that was developing?
Even from November, you could really feel the tension in the country. It was on the news every day, all the people spoke about it, and it was clear that things were going to get worse. At the end of my time there, when lots of people were being killed, there was absolutely no question about if I would stay or not. It was a very easy and fast decision.
You and ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Colemna Collins both played in the German Beko BBL in the 2010-2011 season. He left Azovmash Mariupol (Ukraine-Superleague) the same time you did in February. How important was your bond with him during your time in the Ukraine? Did you guys develop a friendship for life?
It was really cool to have a chance to play with Coleman. We played in the ACC together, and also in German Beko BBL, so we had a lot of things in common, and a few friends in common as well. I doubt that was the last time that we’ll see each other. He’s a good friend.
This was your second return to Poland after playing for Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK) last season. Poland has been a very favorable league for Americans. What do you enjoy most about the league and is it a step below or even with the German Beko BBL?
I enjoy the opportunity to play! I think that the top teams here are strong competition. I think the German league as a whole has stronger teams, and even since I’ve played there I think it has gotten better.
You came to Stelmet very late. Did you have a special feeling that this team could make a run in the playoffs early on?
I knew for sure that this team could be repeat champion, without any doubt.
Stelmet beat top team Asseco and just edged Trefl Sopot in five games. What was key in getting to the Polish final?
The key was persistence. We didn’t get here the easiest way possible. Many people thought we would win 3-0 and 3-0, but, that’s really not the point in the playoffs. The point is to advance. And even through our struggles, and bad games, we found a way to advance.
In the Ukraine you were averaging 30 minutes per game and in Poland only 18 minutes. What exactly is your role and was it difficult having a more reduced role now in Poland?
It was a big change obviously as you can see just with the minutes. But in Ukraine, I was scoring much more, had the ball in my hands a lot more, and was more free to create on my own. Here in Stelmet our roster is completely different, and add that to the fact that I came so late in the season, and you have a completely different role. Really, for me, I want to just continue to help my team however I can, in whatever amount of minutes I’m on the court. I think this should be the goal of any player, in any sport!
Not many players in Europe can say that they have had two former NBA first round draft picks on the same team. You have that with Craig Brackens and Christian Eyenga. Does this immense talent bring back memories to your North Carolina days where you were surrounded by many future #1 NBA draft picks?
Its great to be surrounded by talent. But its even better to surrounded by good people. And Craig and Christian are great guys, and great teammates. That’s more important.
Stelmet now plays against PGE Turow. You played against this team twice and split the games. What will be key in getting by this club and winning your first title in Europe?
I think to beat Turow we just need to be ourselves, play our basketball, and execute. I truly believe that if we play our best and they play their best, that we will win. We have to find a way to be focused for 40 minutes and not allow them to capitalize on our mistakes. They are a very strong team, and they will definitely make us pay if we are not ready.
Is current Polish tops corer JP Prince one of those guys that you may be assigned to? What has been the main reason why he is the tops corer in the league?
I will definitely guard JP Prince a good amount throughout the series, and I’m looking forward to that. He’s a player that is very active with and without the ball, which typically are the toughest players to guard.
It has been three years since you last played in Germany as a rookie with Bayreuth. Do you still follow your ex team to see what they are up to?
Yes, I stay in contact with a good number of them actually. To be honest, I was hoping to return to Bayreuth to see a game this season, but the schedule just didn’t work out. I also stay in touch with a lot of people in Bayreuth. This city for me will always be special, and I will always remember my time there.
You played three seasons with Deon Thompson who is playing in Germany now for FC Bayern Munich. Is it just finding that certain role that an NBA team needs then that has held him from getting that chance to play in the NBA?
In my opinion, he’s an NBA caliber player. Everything else is out of his control really. Maybe the stars will align for him to be there soon.
The San Antonio Spurs are very tough now. Will they deny the Miami heat a three peat?
I think that they will. Its been really amazing to see how they have returned from their loss to the Heat in the Finals last season. I thought for sure Duncan/Parker/Ginobili would split up because they were old, and blah blah, but they came back and showed they still have the power to be an elite force in the NBA. I think that this will be their year. And of course I’m cheering for my brother Danny Green.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
About Last Night.
Thanks Marcus for the chat.