Josh Bone is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Nashville, Tennessee that will be starting his European basketball career in Germany with Gotha and will be playing for their Regionaliga 2 team. He started his basketball career in 2006 with S.Illinois (NCAA. After two years, he transferred to Tennessee(NCAA) where he played from 2009-2011 and played a total of 91 NCAA games for both schools. He played as a professional rookie for the Clarksville Cavaliers (ABA) and Tennessee Dragons (UBA) in the 2011-2012 season. After not playing for two seasons, he was picked up by Gotha. He talked To German Hoops about basketball.
Josh congrats on being signed to German Pro A team Gotha. Just reading your words after signing this deal could even have made the not most sensible people shed a tear. How good is life for you right now?
My life is great. I can’t complain at all, I have a beautiful family and I am about to play ball in Germany after going through so much to get here.
You haven´t played professional basketball in the last two years? I have interviewed so many players that have been looking for teams and then found one, but apparently the basketball God just didn´t want you to play the game that you love? How difficult have the last two years been for you? How often did you doubt yourself and besides family, which friends or players were always there on your side?
Great question, even though I’ve been through a lot, I’ve never lost faith. Mainly because I knew that I was too talented and worked too hard to give it up being this young. There’s always some form of doubt as to why you hadn’t made it as a professional yet, but when you play the game as hard as I do and as good as I do the confidence doesn’t leave I guess lol. Honestly my family went through the struggle with me every step of the way. Especially My fiancé, my mom, and one of my little brothers Jordan Bone, a top junior guard in the USA. They’ve been the people that kept me going this whole time. My father and middle brother also played a big role in me continuing my dream by providing me with tough love and ultimately it made me work harder. Some of my closest former teammates and friends that are playing overseas also knew how much I loved the game and saw my talent and never gave up on me as well. JP Prince, Jeronne Mayman, Gerald Robinson, Brandon Woods, Jordan Mcrae, Ryan Westbrooks and KC Anuna. Everyone else probably laughed at me and wondered why I hadn’t given up yet. I’m very thankful that the Gotha organization are giving me the opportunity! It’s the perfect time, if you ask me!
Now you waited so long to finally play again. Do you feel some pressure now coming into a situation where many eyes will be on you or will you let God and your skills do the job?
You answered it! I’m letting God and my skills do the job! I’ve worked very hard and know even though I haven’t played professionally in a while, I’m prepared and more than ready to make an impact.
What do you know about Germany the country and basketball? Your friends Jamaal Tatum or John Fields have played here in the past.
I know very little about Germany but my mentor, Rainer Meisterjahn is from Germany and has let me know a little about the culture! He’s also been a person that believed in me from day one and very honored to play for the country where he was raised. I heard it was a great place to play ball and I’m excited to be greeted by some of the best fans in the world!
Besides helping Gotha win games what will be your personal goal as a player as a rookie in Germany?
My goal is simple, it’s to do everything possible to get Wins and ultimately get a title! As a player I want to stay in the gym and continue to get better every day!
You are a 190cm guard that didn´t get much playing time at Tennessee. In high school at Brentwood academy one could see that you could fill up the stat sheet like a Monta Ellis does. What is a strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away? It seems like taking care of the ball is something that gets unnoticed as a freshman at S Illinois you had only two turnovers in 188 minutes of action
Yes I pride myself in taking care of the ball but what has gone unnoticed the most since UT, was my ability to score. I’ve always been a scorer but in order to get minutes at UT since we had great players at the time, I had to do whatever it took to get on the court. So I became a defensive specialist and one of the best defenders in the country! But ultimately I’m a play maker and scorer and ready to prove it!
After helping Brentwood Academy win 4 straight high school titles, you enrolled at S.Illinois and had a solid second season averaging 8.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 34.5%, 3Pts: 33.7%, FT: 67.6%. However you decided to transfer to Tennessee. Why did you make this move?
I decided to make the move to UT to gain more exposure.
You couldn´t play in the 2008-2009 season as you were red shirted. You belonged to the scouting team. What kind of experience was this and how did you see the game of basketball different off the court from head coach Bruce Pearl?
Yes, I learned a lot being redshirted but me and Jeronne Maymon definitely got better and proved that we were supposed to be a part of the team. We killed them some days. Most days hahahahaha
However at Tennessee, you didn´t play much either. The club was stacked with very good players at all positions. This was another hard ship that you had to endure. How did these two years make you stronger that has helped you make the person/player today as giving up is not an option?
It was great playing with such talented players but it has definitely made me tougher and made me a better player. It made me a better player because we went hard every day against each other and they will tell you that going against me wasnt easy because I’m very relentless and giving up is never an option.
One of your best games as a junior with Tennessee was being the hero in a win over Ole Miss where you hit three three pointers and made three steals. Can you still walk through this game and your big plays as if it was yesterday?
And yes the Ole Miss game was my breakout game for UT. I stopped a tremendous guard from Ole Miss, and gained a lot of confidence through the staff and fans at UT. My job was to stop Chris Warren because they were killing us the whole game, and that’s what I did. I knew in order to play I had to shine and make my mark on a game, so I shot it every time I was open, and played defense. I wanted to do everything I could to help my team win and make a mark, and honestly playing defense and making wide open shots is pretty easy if you ask me. Although this was a breakout game for me, while I was at UT I wasn’t given the opportunity to truly show my talent so to the fans this might have seemed like a great game for Josh Bone, but for me it was a great win for the team and what I do!
As a senior one of your best games was a 13 point effort in 23 minutes against power house Kentucky. There you were on the court with future NBA players like Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Deandre Liggins, Darius Miller, Brandon Knight, Josh Harrellson or Enes Kanter. When you look back at that game, which of these guys left you most impressed with their ability?
Only the toughest players can play against Kentucky and be productive. It was a great experience to play there and perform well for my team. I honestly wasn’t thinking about who impressed me the most from that team that year I just knew they were stacked with great players.
If one looks at the Tennessee roster when you were there, there were some players that obviously know what hard work and dedication is all about as a guy John Fields who has been moving his way up in Europe from lower leagues and now will play in the well established Belgium league for Liege. How much of an inspiration has he been for you? He also didn´t play much at Tennessee?
John Fields has always been a great player and I knew he would do great overseas and move up quickly. He has been an inspiration because he and myself would always go hard at practice and talk about why we weren’t getting more minutes, and we are both professionals now, and it’s great to see a person like him move up fast because of his hard work.
Scotty Hopson has been in Europe, played briefly for the Cavs and now got signed by the Pelicans is also a guy that has been working very hard to reach the highest level. He was an impact player at Tennessee and you also took over for him briefly when he was injured. What was the most important thing that you learned from him?
Scotty Hopson was one of the most talented players I’ve seen, but honestly he probably learned more from me than I did from him. Because what everyone didn’t see was that I played a huge role in getting him tougher and getting him better at practice.
Some years ago, you founded CKDO which stands for collegekidsdropout.com. How did this come about? You also were planning a printed magazine.
I am a founder of CKDO but no longer associated with the brand, but I do have other things in the works. So look out!
How does a normal summer work out day look like for John Bone in 2014 on and off the court?
Off the court I run stadiums, miles, and lift weights to keep my body conditioned well. On the court I have worked with some of the best trainers in Nashville to polish my game and ensure that I’ll be ready for opportunities like this. I work on ball handling a lot, strength and core drills and shooting!
What is your nicest memory with Renalo Wooldrige at Tennessee? Did he tell you any NBA stories about his dad?
Renaldo Woolridge is a great guy and had plenty funny stories about him hahaha. One of the funniest is when we lost to USC at Tennessee and he didn’t play one minute of the game, but because he was from there he was so pissed, and hit a door and said The F word really loud when it was extremely quiet. It wasn’t funny that we lost the game but because it was so out of character for Renaldo to do such a thing. His dad actually came to UT for a few games while I was there so I’ve met him and he seemed like great guy just like his son! I was honored to meet him and God rest his soul!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
300 Rise of an empire was the last DVD I saw. I’m a big action movie guy!
Thanks Josh for the chat.