Will Reinke is a 23 year old 208cm center from Lawton, Oklahoma that signed with German Pro A team BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA) for the 2014-2015 season. Last season he played for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala): 6 games: 6.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 48.4%, FT: 83.3%. He started his basketball career in 2009 for Stephen F. Austin (NCAA): 29 games: 4.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.0bpg. He then transferred to Oklah.Christian (NCAA2) playing his last three years there and as a senior played 26 games: 19.0ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 74.3%. He spoke to Gewrman Hoops about basketball before he came to Germany recently.
Will thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
I’m living just north of Oklahoma City and have been training as well as coaching for a high school team. I enjoy working with the kids and I understand the game even better now that I have done some coaching.
You will be starting your second professional season in Germany with Pro A team Gotha. What do you know about Germany the country and basketball? Did you ask your ex teammate Giordan Watson about Germany?
My heritage is German so I have learned some things about Germany’s history from my grandparents. Giordan Watson told me that Germany is a very professional country that is more like America than most European countries.
Instead of looking down on coaches, you will look a bit up to head coach Chris Ensminger who is one cm taller than you. Have you ever had a coach in your career that was taller than you?
I have never had a taller coach then me and I am excited to finally get to learn from a true big man Chris Ensminger. He contacted me several times and his interest in me and overall philosophy is what sold me on coming to Gotha.
Last season, you played shortly with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala): 6 games: 6.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 48.4%, FT: 83.3%. Why was this such a short stay as a rookie? Was Romania like culture shock for you?
Romania was a culture shock and the coach and I did not see eye to eye on many things which was tough for me to handle as a rookie. But I did learn a lot from my teammates about defensive rotations and playing there definitely made me tougher physically.
You seem to be a center that can do it all. A guy that can score, rebound, pass and play defense. With all that ability, what is a strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
A strength in my game that gets overlooked is my desire to win. I take pride in winning and I do whatever the team needs me to do in order to get a victory.
You played three seasons at Oklahoma Christian for head coach Dan Hays. What was the most important thing that he gave you on your way to becoming a professional basketball player that has you ready to always flourish on the court?
Coach Hays was a huge factor in me improving my game in college and he helped my attitude towards the game improve as well as totally developing my shot from mid-range and outside.
You played your first season with Stephen F. Austin (NCAA). Then moved to Oklahoma Christian playing twos seasons of NAIA and your senior year in the NCAA2. Have you been a guy that has always had to prove critics wrong? You proved in the nCAA 2 that you can dominate in that league. What really has helped you in the past few years believe in yourself that you have what it takes to play at the professional level?
People doubting me is what motivates me to work even harder, my success in my last 2 years of college really helped me believe that I can play with the best players.
When I give you this stat line from the 2011-2012 season with Oklahoma Christian with 27 points,16 boards, six blocks and five assists in an 87-63 victory over Mid-America Christian what comes to mind? Ok I will help you, you had a coast to coast killer dunk. Did you feel like a 208cm guard on that play? Did you know when you got the rebound that you would finish like that?
I knew when I got the rebound I wanted to go all the way! I don’t get to dribble too much being so tall so I had to take advantage of my opportunity haha
You come from Lawton, Oklahoma. The two most known players from Lawton are ex three time NBA champion Stacey King and ex NBA allstar Michael ray Richardson. But there is also Josh Young who like you had to fight his way from lower divisions to the top league in Germany. Have you met Josh in Lawton and taken advice form him?
I know Josh Young plays in Germany but I have not had the chance to talk with him.
How does a normal summer work out day look like for Will Reinke in the summer on and off the court?
A normal summer day is waking up and running and shooting. Then I go coach basketball followed by weight training and playing basketball games in the afternoon
Lawton is in the tornado alley. What run ins have you had with tornados and what experience will always remember?
I saw the tornado last summer that hit Moore, Oklahoma which destroyed much of the city. I will remember seeing it develop and afterwards helping the community recover.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I saw Anchorman 2 a couple days ago! I’m a Will Ferrell fan.
Thanks Will for the chat.