Patrick Simon is a 203cm forward from Ephrata, Washington that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with Erdgas Ehingen. He started his basketball career in 2010 with Washington St. (NCAA) where he played until 2012. He then moved to Seattle Pacific (NCAA2) and as a senior played 29 games: 16.0ppg, 5.0rpg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: NCAA2-1(50.0%), FT: 81.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball this past summer before he came to Germany.
Thanks for talking to German Hoops Patrick. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
Right now I’m in my hometown of Ephrata, WA after moving my things back home from Seattle before I leave for Germany in the next couple weeks. My summer has been going well spending time with friends and family.
You have signed a contract with German pro A team Erdgas Ehingen for the upcoming season. How excited are you starting your professional basketball career in Germany?
I am very excited to start my professional career in Germany. Professional basketball has always my ultimate goal so I am happy that I will be able to start that adventure this coming year.
How was the summer transfer market as a rookie. Did you have many offers from Europe and what sold you most on coming to the Ehingen program?
I had one other offer and a couple other teams showing interest before I signed with Erdgas Ehingen. The process was very new to me but I feel confident that I found a good place. I was sold on Ehingen because they have a very professional reputation and are known for developing young players like myself.
You will be coming to Ehingen just as the Ralph Junge era ended. He has moved to another Pro A team Nurnberg as head coach. He has been responsible for developing countless German players in Ehingen in the last 10 years. You will play for Michael Spoecker who is a young coach and coached the U-19 team of Ehingen. Have you spoken to him and what has been your overall impression?
I have been able to speak with Michael over the phone and see that he is a good guy with good philosophies. I am excited to play for him.
You are only 21 one, but had a very interesting college career playing at Washington State and the last two seasons for Seattle Pacific (NCAA2). What was high school life for you having been the youngest player ever chosen by a Washington state school in ninth grade to commit to Washington State? You had a very good high school career, but do you think not having been known as a phenom might have brought your early development in a different direction?
Committing to WSU as a freshman in high school definitely put a spotlight on my basketball career. After having a successful high school career, the transition to college was much different. I was not fully prepared for the physicality and speed of the game at the next level. I developed a great deal early on in college but still had a lot of room to grow.
Head coach Tony Bennett had recruited you to Washington state, but left for Virginia before you arrived in 2010. New head coach was Ken Bone. You averaged 3,2ppg and 2,7pg your first two seasons. Ken Bone had stated you would play more your junior season. Why weren´t you able to play more of a role under Ken Bone?
I didn’t feel that I fit into the system that well at WSU, my role had become too limited for my playing style and I didn’t see myself being successful moving forward into my junior and senior year. I was also playing behind Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum, who are both now playing professionally.
You then found a home at Seattle Pacific (NCAA2). After not getting a real chance at Washington State, did you feel a lot of pressure at Seattle Pacific (NCAA2) I mean you knew that the NBA was out of reach, but were you thinking about still being able to possibly play in Europe when your college career was over?
I was able to go to SPU with a lot of confidence knowing that I would play a big role on the team right away and got back into a winning program. I approached the experience at first with the wait-and-see mentality to see how well I would do and how much I would like it. After two good seasons at SPU, I knew for sure that I wanted to continue my playing career.
You were the best three point shooter last season in the NCAA2 shooting 50%. Who has been your role model shooter at the power forward position that you kind of looked up to?
The two players close to my position that I have always looked up to have been Adam Morrison and Dirk Nowitzki. Adam Morrison was a great scorer with an unorthodox game and Dirk is a great shooter and scorer for being a 7-footer.
You can obviously hit form outside, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I believe that a hidden strength of mine other than shooting and scoring is my passing ability.
You hit San Francisco State last season with 10/12 three pointers and ran out of ideas of celebrations after hitting a three pointer. why didn´t you call up Klay Thompson? I am sure he could of given you some advice? Lol
I usually keep a solid 5 or 6 celebrations in my arsenal, and I was amazed when I could not come up with any more.
How has head coach Ryan Looney prepared you best for a professional basketball career. What was the most important thing that you have learned from him?
I have learned a lot from Coach Looney over the last two years. From him I have learned the importance of fine-tuning my game. We ran a very structured offense at SPU, which made it important to know what moves and shots would work in certain situations.
What memories do you have of Abe Lodwick at Washington State? He has had two solid seasons as a professional in Europe and is looking to make the next step in Belgium this season?
Abe was somewhat of a mentor to me during my time at WSU. Playing the same position, I basically learned the ropes from him. He has a heck of a work ethic and will continue to have good seasons in Europe.
Klay Thompson can light it up with the best of them. What was the most incredible thing you saw him do in a practice or game that you will never forget?
It’s hard to narrow it down to one practice or game where Klay lit it up on the court. But one play that I will always remember was my freshman year when we played Baylor in the Diamondhead classic in Hawaii. It was a close game, he had an iso with the ball in the middle of the court, he pulled up and hit about a 27 foot three, which extended our lead with only a couple minutes left in the game.
How does a normal work out day look like for Patrick Simon in the summer?
On a normal workout day in the summer, I like either get in a good hour and a half to two-hour workout or two one hour workouts. I like to lift weights earlier in the day and play open gym or shoot during the afternoon or evening.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thnaks Patrick for the chat.