Craig Blackmon is a 26 year old 193cm guard from Houston, Texas that recently completed his first season for Barmer TV (Germany-Regionalliga) where he averaged 19,0ppg, 7,7rpg, 2,1apg and 2,3spg. He started his basketball career in 2006 for Howard Payne (NCAA) where he played until 2008. He then played at Texas-Tyler (NCAA3). Before coming to Europe last year, he got experience playing with the Texas Legends (D-League) training camp; Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League). In 2011, he was drafted by the drafted by Houston Express (UBA,2rd(19). In 2011-2012, he played for the Houston Express (UBA) playing 10 games: 15.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 60.0%. Last season he played for the KB Drita Gjilan (Kosovo-SuperLeague) averaging 20.6ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.6apg, 2.5 spg, FGP: 58%, 3PFG: 43%, FT: 83%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Craig where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying your summer?
I’m finally back in Houston, had a small vacation got to visit family and a few places. Now I’m back to my offseason regimen, been training with Ex-NBA Coach John Lucas here in Texas.
You have played in Europe the last few years and coming home must always be a treat for any American. It is usually a place to eat that a player goes to first. What was the first place that you went to to get that real American dish again?
You are correct! I was so looking forward to coming home and having some crawfish! Down south we love crawfish season.
After playing for KB Drita Gjilan (Kosovo-SuperLeague) in 2012-2013, you came to Barmer TV (Germany-Regionalliga). It seemed like this was a step back. Why did you chose to come to a lower league in Germany?
I did take a step back I felt in my career but I think it was a very helpful move for my game. I really wanted to make an impression in the German league and I felt that was an Oppurtunity to get it done.
Did you already know some Americans that were playing in Germany that helped make the transition easier for you?
Yes, I had friends playing in Germany, Josten Crow of Crasheim in Pro A is one of my good friends, we actually grew up together and played each year in High School together. He told me it was a great country and the lifestyle was easy to adapt to.
Barmer TV had a poor season at 4-20 finishing last in the German Regionaliga west. Why was this season one to forget?
We had a tough season because we were not properly equipped for the league I feel. We didn’t have enough fire power to play against teams with multiple pro players. There were many teams with Ex-Pro A and Pro B players that had experience and when it came down to it, experience wins!
How difficult as a whole was it for you obviously having to shoulder the burden of always having to have big games for the team to have any chance of winning?
It was a challenging task but not to difficult. I love big moments and having to carry a load, the toughest part was getting my teammates to buy into it. They trusted me to take big shots but at times would lose sight of me. We would correct it in practice, but then teams would double team me so it was always something new.
Did it at times feel like you were a man playing with kids? Is it possible for a very talented player like yourself to develop further when the skill level isn´t as advanced?
Not to much, the players in that league played hard, every night they gave their best. For me I spent a lot of time in the gym this season. I didn’t want my game to decline, I told my self “Don’t let the situation determine who you are” so I went into the season with that mind set. Although the league was lower than I was use to I wanted to make it as tough on me as possible and it was!
What were the most important things you learned on and off the court that will help you to continue to further your career in Europe?
Being a professional. Being courteous and caring for your teammates, coaches, fans, and club. No matter where you are you always represent them. With good chemistry off the court, brings good chemistry on the court.
If you could describe yourself in a few sentences as to why you could help any team now how would you sell yourself?
I am the guy who’s going to make the team become a Family! I want every coach and manger to know that when I put on the uniform it means it’s part of me, all I’ve ever wanted in my career is a championship and that’s what I’m going for!
How does a normal workout day look like for Craig Blackmon look like in the summer on and off the court?
Well I wake up around 06:45 am eat breakfast, something light then I head to the gym for 8:30 with Coach Lucas. Usually many of the NBA players on their offseason or top draft prospects are in there so it’s an intense 2 hours. Then I ice down and have some lunch. We have a second session at 330 so I have to prepare for that. Then weights on my own, around 7pm. Get home relax and to bed to wake up and do it again the next day!
Where is a place where you would like to visit this summer where you have never been to before?
I want to take a vacation to the West coast! I’ve never been to Northern California so that would be nice.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Craig for the chat.