Marcus Smallwood is a 32 year 198cm forward that played with VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA,) playing 29 games: 11.1ppg, 7.9rpg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP: 57.4%, FT: 67.7%He is from Elgin, Illinois and played at Northern Illinois from 2000-2004. He came to Europe for his rookie season and played for Ostromecko Astoria Bydgoszcz (Poland-EBL): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 9.0rpg: was released in and later that month signed at Pyrbasket Tampere (Finland-Sparliiga): 6 games: 13.5ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 59%, and also played shortly at Solna Vikings (Sweden-Basketligan): 3 games: 8.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.0bpg. The next season, he played in Finland for Forssan Koripojat (Finland-1st Division, starting five): 26 games: 19.7ppg, Reb-2(11.1rpg), 1.3apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-1(1.4bpg), 2FGP-3(64.1%), 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 56.2%. 2006: Elgin Racers (IBL). He had a very strong season in Finland, but surprisingly in the next few years played only briefly in the IBL for the Elgin Racers. He played for Kaiserslautern from 2008-2010. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Cuxhaven BasCats (Germany-ProA, starting five): 9 games: 12.6ppg, 10.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 51.6%, FT: 52.8%; in Dec.’10 moved to VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA, starting five): 20 games: 15.7ppg, Reb-1(10.8rpg), Blocks-2(2.1bpg), FGP: 60.3%, FT: 47.8%. In 2011-2012 he played for Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-ProA, starting five): 10 games: 6.5ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 60.4%, FT: 31.8%; left in Nov.’11, in Dec.’11 moved to Sigal Prishtina (Kosova-SuperLeague, starting five), later that month signed at SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProB, starting five): 19 games: 12.1ppg, Reb-4(10.5rpg), FGP: 53.7%, FT: 51.4%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games: 11.1ppg, 7.9rpg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP: 57.4%, FT: 67.7%. Last season he played for BIS Baskets Speyer (Germany-ProB) playing 20 games: 16.2ppg, Reb-2(12.1rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 56.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Marcus, how are you? Thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you and how has your summer been?
Right now I’m in Stuttgart Germany where I have been doing my individual workouts as well as being able to practice with one of the teams in the area in order to stay around basketball which has really been fun for me.
I saw you play at a street ball tournament in May in Frankfurt. Were you able to go back to Chicago and spend some time at home?
I was able to spend a little time in the states but it definitely went by too quickly for sure
You are 32 and the German leagues are starting up now. How has the player market been this summer? Does it keep getting tougher each season to find a team? How has the experience been for you?
It definitely becomes tougher but past experience has taught me it’s better to be patient for the situation that is best for you instead of taking a job out of desperation or fear of having no team. It’s really taught me to have patience and faith that things work out as they should
Last season you played for the BIS Baskets Speyer. Was there any interest to resigning you? You had super stats of 16.2ppg, Reb-2(12.1rpg) You have played German Pro A almost every season in Germany, but still never have breathed Beko BBL air. I guess that you have come to terms now with age, but if I asked you today why you think you never reached the top German league, could you give an answer? Don´t Gm´s tell you why they might not have chosen you?
I just think I don’t fit the typical profile of a four man that teams look for in the BBL. I’m just an old school power forward that will shoot a 3 if he has to but rather crash the boards and do whatever it takes to get the job done. To be honest I really don’t take it personal because the BBL, Pro A and Pro B are full of great players so all of us are looking for a chance to be as successful as possible on the highest possible stage.
Last year you played for BIS Baskets Speyer (Germany-ProB) playing 20 games: 16.2ppg, Reb-2(12.1rpg). How much did you enjoy this season? Does your outlook on goals change a bit as you get older? Do you enjoy basketball more today then maybe 5 years ago?
Playing in Speyer was a great opportunity to become better as a player which I took full advantage of. The people in the management there are some of the nicest I have ever met so they really made it enjoyable. Of course I will always have the ambition of playing as high as possible but my main focus is to stay healthy and be on a team where I can be a leader and positive influence through my work ethic and commitment to the team.
You played a season with Speyer head coach Carl Mbassa. Where do you see his coaching career going in the future?
Honestly he is a really talented, hardworking and goodhearted person that does things the right way. If he chooses his career will continue to go upward.
With age what do you do to keep in shape best? Do you have to train twice as hard or do you actually protect your body more by not overstressing it with double training? You don´t seem to slow down with age.
No and I honestly hope not to for a few more years. I think as you get older you just find a training routine that fits best for you and I was really lucky to find one for myself that keeps me in really great shape
What has been your secret to not dipping in stats, but still having very solid stats and keeping those double double stats intact year in and year out?
I always just look at the season as a whole and continue my same training regimen and routine throughout the year. I always have the goal to play my best basketball as the season progresses
If you could sell yourself in a few sentences as too why you could help any team now how would you describe your abilities now at age 32?
I think my biggest ability is to be a leader and influence others through my hard work and bring a positive energy to a team. Teams know of my talent already so if it was based on just that I probably have a job already. So I just want an opportunity to be a good teammate and have a fun and successful season
In your first season in Germany, your teammate was ODarrien Bassett. He then played in Romania and the last four years in the France Pro B and last season helped JL Bourg Basket move up to the Pro A last season and will play at the top France league at 28. When you see a story likes that, do you still dream at 32 to maybe reach the top level in Germany or has that ended?
It would be nice but I rather just focus the rest of my career on playing for a team that is the best fit for me, pays me financially what I want to be making, and puts me around good character teammates where I can just enjoy the experience of being a professional basketball player!
Where will the NFL journey of the Chicago Bears end this season?
Hopefully the playoffs but I guess we’ll have to wait and see
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Contraband with Mark Wahlberg.
Thanks Marcus for the chat.