Michael Jenkins (This Summer I Want To Continue To Keep My Agility, Explosiveness, And Athleticism At A High Level As I Continue To Get Older)

Michael Jenkins is a 27 year old 192 cm guard from Kinston, North Carolina that currently finished his first season for Pallacanestro Cantu (Italy-SerieA) where he played  33 games: 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 87.5%; Eurocup: 16 games: 11.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 63.6%. He played at Winthrop(NCAA) from 2004-2008. He didn´t play as much his first two seasons, but got increased playing time in his junior and senior years. As a junior, he averaged 14.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.2apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PTConf-1(41.5%), FT: 70.2% in 34 games. In his senior year, he played 34 games and averaged 13.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PTConf-6(36.8%), FT: 71.3%: and finished his career as the 10th leading scorer in Winthrop history with 1,253 points. With Winthrop, he was the Big South Conf. Regular Season Champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and won the Big South Conf Tournament from 2005-2008. He was named to the Big South Conf. All-Tournament Team in 2007 and 2008. In his first professional season 2008-2009, he was drafted by the Albany Patrons of the CBA and in November 2008 signed with the Albany Patroons playing 3 games and averaging 6.7ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 47.4%,  but left during the season and moved to BC Buducnost Podgorica (Bosnia-1A) . In the 2009-2010 season he came to Germany and played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen.  In the 2010-2011 season he played for Belgacom Liege Basket (Belgium-D1) playing EuroCup Qualifying Round: 2 games: 11.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 12.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 84.6%; Belgian League: 13 games: 12.6ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-1(2.8spg), FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 78.3%. In the 2011-2012 he played for Optima Gent (Belgium-D1) playing  29 games: 13.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 75.6%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Centrale del Latte Brescia (Italy-Lega2): 38 games: 17.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 79.6%. He will play NBA Summer League and spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Michael thanks for talking to German Hoops.  You just finished your second season in Italy and first with  Pallacanestro Cantu (Italy-SerieA). The club was swept 3-0 by Virtus Rome, but the series was so close. You lost only by a combined total of 10 points. How long did it take you to digest these series loss?

It took a little time, but I couldn’t dwell on it too long because I had to shift my focus to what was next for me.

What was the difference in this series? Rome outrebounded Cantu in all three games and perhaps had a better sharing of the ball which resulted in many guys scoring in double figures.

Rome just played tougher and better overall as a team than we did.

After playing a very strong season at Centrale del Latte Brescia (Italy-Lega2) you played in the Italian first division. If you had to compare that league to Italy and Germany where would you rate it in style, player talent and level?

Too me the level was higher here in Italy in Serie A from when I played in Germany back in 2009-2010. From what I’ve read and seen tho, the Beko BBL has definitely gotten better talent wise over these last 4 years.

Last season your stats read as follows  33 games: 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 87.5%; Eurocup: 16 games: 11.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 63.6%. How happy were you with your game and what is your main priority to work on in the gym this summer?

I’m content. I felt I could’ve definitely done more but it was my first season with the team and in Serie A so I had to accept my role. The main things to work on this summer is just to keep improving all aspects of my game, and continue to keep my agility, explosiveness, and athleticism at a high level as I continue to get older.


Will you remain with Cantu or will you test the player maret once again? You seem very comfortable playing in Italy.

As of now I will be testing the market again. Yes I was comfortable in that country. It’s very nice and easy to live there.


What was your experience playing with American Marten Leunen? He has been linked to coming to Germany. What impressed you most about his game?

He is a very good guy and a very smart basketball player. Definitely one of the best shooters at the 4 position i’ve ever played on a team with. His basketball IQ and ability to shoot and create for others at his position impressed me.


Will you be celebrating July 4th in Orlando or will you be  a good boy and be in bed as you gear up for the NBA Summer League?

Yes I will celebrate with an early dinner and talking to family that I won’t be able to see, but that’s about it.


You will be playing NBA Summer league with the Brooklyn Nets. Please explain the process of getting a roster spot for NBA Summer League. Is it just a combination of good stats, connections and an agent doing his job to garner a spot?

I’m not sure how it worked for everyone else, but for me I had to work my way onto this squad. I got invited to a 3 day free agent mini-camp the beginning of June. I played well enough there to get an invite to play in Orlando.


You are 27 years old and approaching your best basketball age. How do you feel physically coming in and what is your main goal that you want to achieve at the NBA Summer league?

I feel great physically, and my main goal is to earn an invite to an NBA training camp.


When looking at the Net´s Summer league roster it seems like you should get your fair share of minutes. How excited are you to be able to paly along side a guy like Marquis Teague?

I’m excited to be playing for this organization and everyone involved not just one particular player.


Now that you are playing NBA Summer League, does your dream of playing in the NBA grow as you go into the competition?

Yes my dream of playing in the NBA is as big as it’s ever been now. Playing here in Orlando makes me one step closer.


When you finished NBA Summer League and have some time to relax before next obligations, where is a place that you will want to visit this summer just to get away?

I really don’t have a particular place, but I do have a trip planned to visit Punta Cana.


When you look back at your season with Tuebingen what can you remember most about the player and person Alexsandar Nadjfeji? He was still playing last season in Tuebingen at the age of 37.

What I remember most about Sasha was his knowledge of the game.


What was the last DVD movie that you watched?

The last movie I watched was the Documentary about Jeremy Lin called “Linsanity” on Netflix.


Thanks Michael for the chat.





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