Jason Boone is a 28 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York. He recently finished his third season with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg playing 28 games and averaging 8,4ppg and 4,1rpg. He played three seasons for BG Goettingen. He played at New York University(NCAA 3) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 14.1ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.4bpg, 2.9apg, FG: 63.0%, FT: 64.3%. In 2007-2008, he played at Bernau(Regionalliga) before making the jump up three leagues to MEG Goettingen. In 2008-2009, he averaged 4.4ppg, 4.0rpg, FG: 53.7. In 2009-2010, he won the Eurochallenge playing EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jason thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?
At this current moment I’m in Denver. But I’ve been moving a mile a minute so far during my summer vacation. I’ve already been to New York, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Omaha. And I have a few more places I need to get to before the summer ends.
I saw some photos on social media and you are already very early in beast mode getting in shape. Other players tend to take off May and June and slowly start to get in shape in July for the upcoming season. You will be starting your eighth professional season and will be 29. You will be in your best age as a player. Are your expectations very high this upcoming season after missing the Beko BBL playoffs two seasons in a row?
I’m used to playing in May and June and then resting in July so it has not been too tough to stay active during the beginning of my vacation. I will take most of June off and then start really getting back after it in July. But I tend to leave the basketball alone for a while in the summer and play a lot of tennis and boxing. When I finally do pick the basketballs back up next year, my expectations are through the roof. You work hard to build a legacy as a player, and in the last two years, mine has been jeopardized. I will do everything in my power to get back to the winning ways.
Last season with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg was a season to forget. Marcel Schroeder hat to leave early as the club started off slow and Stefan Koch came in, but couldn´t save the team. Was the team put to together wrong or what were some of the reasons why the club couldn´t have a more solid season?
Having time to analyze it after the fact, I’m blaming a lot of it on pride. Basketball is a team game and you need to trust that the players coaches and organization are all on the same page. We haven’t had that in the last few years.
You were injured during the season and was off for six weeks. This was the first time in your professional basketball career where you had a more serious injury. What kind of experience was it being out and having to do the whole rehab process and coming back. What did you learn during this time that will help you for the future with situations like that?
Injuries are part of the game and I try to always keep myself in the best physical shape to avoid those things but sometimes they are out of your control. Patience and determination will always get you back but in the interim I had to learn a lot about trust. Trusting the doctors to diagnose it correctly, trusting my teammates to pick up the slack while I was out and trusting my ankle to hold up once I returned.
There weren´t really very many positive highlights to the season, but if you ahd to pick one which would you take? You did lose to MBC, but you ahd your best stat game of 23 points and nine boards.
The biggest highlight of this season was the day it ended. All things considered, the previous season wasn’t so bad. Tying for the last playoff spot with six people having surgery during the year, I can take that. But this year was miserable. It made me question if my lifelong dream of playing professional basketball was worth it. And when it gets that bad, you just can’t wait for it to be over.
You have seen the development of Maxi Kleber the last three years in Wurzburg. Where would you rate him at the moment against other young German forwards like Danilo Barthel or Elias Harris? What kind of an impact do you see him making in the next 3-4 years?
I can’t say enough about Maxi. The kid works his tail off on a daily basis. He can be the best player in the BBL very soon. He obviously has to stay healthy for that to happen and be in a situation, playing for a coach, that lets him thrive. But in terms of skill set and potential, there isn’t anyone I’ve seen that’s even close.
You have played the last six seasons with Ben Jacobson and John Little and one could call you the three amigos. The chance that all of you might be together are little unless John Patrick brings you to Ludwigsburg. How thankful you have you been of having the chance to play so long together with two players something that isn´t as typical in Europe?
That has honestly been the biggest joy of my professional basketball career. I ask myself why Oldenburg keeps bringing back Ricky Paulding, or Bamberg keeps bringing back Anton Gavel. There are certain guys that just know how to win. I’ve been lucky enough to call two of them my best friends and teammates for my entire career. And if this season was the last one we get to spend together it’s kind of bittersweet because we didn’t get a chance to show what we really could do these past two seasons.
Ever since John Patrick had to depart Wurzburg in 2012 after the playoff loss to ratiopharm Ulm, it seems like the club has gone down hill. Patrick was very important for bringing so much success to the club. When you look back at the last three years where would the club have been had Patrick stayed on board and there had not been such a rift between him and management?
It’s difficult to say. From my understanding, things had gotten so bad between Patrick and the management that something had to change the year after we lost in the semifinals. One thing is for certain, as John Patrick proves again and again, he would have done a better job of getting winners on the team. I haven’t had the luxury of having a Chester Frazier or an Ivan Elliot since they left the team two years ago. And that’s not a knock to all of my teammates over the past two years, but definitely to most of them. A lot of them just didn’t know what it took to win.
You will not play for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg next season. Would you accept the possibility of going to Ludwigsburg? There has been speculation that Chris Mcnaughton may go to Ludwigsburg. How big of an option could playoff team Ludwigsburg be for you?
I would love the chance to stay in Germany and prove myself yet again. And Ludwigsburg would be the perfect landing spot, especially if I had a chance to play with the other two amigos. But with the way the talks are going right now, I may have a chance to play for some EuroCup teams and some teams outside of Germany. I’m really trying to take my time in the decision making process to put myself in the best opportunity to be successful.
You take a lot of pride in working out and keeping in basketball shape. How does a normal Jason Boone work out day look like on and off the court in 2014?
I’ve had to taper my workouts as my career has gone on. You aren’t allowed to be stronger than anyone in the BBL these days. The way the games are called, pure strength can get you punished. But I still like to do a lot of body weight exercises to increase my mobility and flexibility. In the summer I like to do a lot of pool workouts and Yoga. Partially because of the low impact but mostly because of the bikinis and yoga pants. On the court I just like to play if there is some decent competition, lots of free throws and tons of stretching.
The San Antonio Sprus beat the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA final 4-1. This silenced many of the Lebron supporters. Where is your personal stand on this whole Lebron debate on where his standing is at the moment as greatest player? Michael Jordan has six NBA rings and Larry Bird three.
I’ve never been one to compare the greats. They each had their era and there are too many “what ifs.” LeBron is the best player in the game but the Heat lost to the best team and arguably the best coach. There’s a reason the Spurs play so well together, the pieces fit. Basketball is a simple game when you get the right pieces to fit. My career has been on opposite ends of that spectrum so I know what I’m talking about.
How good is your golf game? You also have been playing during the summer. What annoys you the most on the course about the game of golf in general when not everything is going your way?
My golf game needs some work. But I finally play enough golf to where an investment in the right size clubs is worth it. So I have a funny feeling it will be improving as the summer goes on. That putting is going to be the death of me though. My learning of golf has many parallels to my learning of basketball. The strength was always there, but it’s the soft touch around the hole that I need to work on.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Field Of Dreams was the last DVD I watched. I was on my way to Omaha for the College World Series with a quick stop in Iowa. It seemed fiting.
Thanks Jason for the chat.