Jimmy Sherburne is a 23 year old 191cm guard from White Fish Bay, Wisconson that is a rookie in Germany playing for the VfL AstroStars Bochum (Germany-ProB). He played at Princeton (NCAA) from 2009-2014 and was an Ivy League champion in 2012. Currently for Bochum he is averaging 14,5ppg, 4,0rpg and 2,0apg. He spoke to German Hoops before coming to Germany last summer.
Jimmy thanks for talking to German Hoops. You got signed very late in the off season to German Pro B team Astrostars Bochum. Were you losing some hope this summer about being able to start your professional basketball career or did you already have a nice high paying job lined up should basketball not work out?
I didn’t have a job lined up in the event that a contract offer didn’t come, so there were times when I couldn’t help but get a little worried about the situation. However, I played well enough in Las Vegas that I really believed things would work out in the end.
You studied and played at top Ivy league school Princeton for four years. Besides working out during the summer is your routine off the court during the summer a bit different than perhaps the normal basketball player? Do Ivy league graduates in general have different habits off the court than the normal basketball player that didn´t go to a top school?
The main difference for us at Princeton was that we didn’t have to be on campus during the summer. A lot of guys used the summer to get internships, but my main focus in the summer was always basketball.
What sold you most on the Bochum program? Did you have talks with head coach Kai Frie
What sold me most on Bochum was that they wanted me on their team. It was an easy decision for me.
With what expectations did you come to Germany? What do you know about the country and basketball in Germany? Did you talk to some ex teammates like Ian Hummer or Douglas Davis who have played in Germany?
I expect to enjoy my time in Germany. I have spoken with Ian and Doug about their experiences, and they had nothing but positive things to say about the quality of play and fan support. I’ve never been to Germany before, but based on everything I’ve heard, I’m sure I’ll enjoy every aspect of my time there.
In 4 seasons at Princeton, you played a total of 72 games. How was this whole basketball experience for you? When you started there in 2009, did you ever think that you might go a professional basketball route?
At Princeton, I fell short of the expectations I had for myself. But at the same time, I improved so much since 2009 that I set myself up to have the opportunity to play professionally. That was definitely a goal of mine when I got to school.
You had to battle injuries all through your career starting as a freshman where you came to Princeton with an injury and sat out the 2012-2103 season. How difficult was this time for you? Did you learn more about patience and believing in your abilities during your injuries?
My injuries helped me learn to be patient and to really appreciate having the ability to play. During my time away from school in the 2012-13 season, I was able to vastly improve my game. Without that year off, I don’t think I’d have been nearly as prepared to begin a pro career as I am now.
You had some nice games as a senior playing 37 minutes in a win against Florida A & M notching 13 points and dishing out 5 assists and also scored 15 points in a loss to Portland. Was the Florida A & M game your personal season highlight? What do you remember from that game?
I don’t know if I’d consider that the top highlight of my season, but I do remember being very proud after that game because it was my first game back after missing an entire season. I had worked really hard to get healthy and come back to make an impact, and to be able to play well in that first game like I did was a good feeling.
From your stats it is a bit difficult to read what your biggest strength is, but if you took a look at your game and had to describe a hidden strength that seems to be often off the radar what would you say is that disguised strength on the floor?
I think my biggest strength is how well-rounded my game is. I don’t feel as though I have any glaring weaknesses. I can obviously improve every aspect of my game, but I don’t think you could say there’s one thing I do poorly. But if I had to pick one aspect as my best, I believe I see the floor and read defenses as well as anyone I’ve played with.
You had two head coaches at Princeton with Sydney Johnson and Mitch Henderson. How did Coach Johnson and Coach Henderson prepare you best for a professional career?
They prepared me best by being honest with me about areas I needed to improve, especially offensively. My ball-handling and shooting improved dramatically during my college career.
During the 2012-2103 season you had to sit out due to injury and worked at a Law Firm. How was this experience for you and was it difficult coming back after not having played a full season?
I had a very productive year away from school. I worked about 30 hours per week at the law firm and also tutored high school kids in my area in various subjects. Between these jobs, shoulder rehab, and weightlifting and skill work, I stayed really busy and had very full days during the week. This helped me stay sharp and by the time I came back to school, I felt like I picked up right where I left off. But the best thing about my shoulder injury was that it forced me to improve my left hand.
Last season German Hans-George Brase really emerged averaging 11.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 73.8% in his second season. How much potential does he have and where do you see his journey as a basketball player heading to?
Hans is already a very good player, but I think he still has so much room to grow. If he keeps improving at the rate he has been, he’ll have outstanding junior and senior years. I think he could be a great addition to the German national team and have a long professional career.
How does a normal summer work out day look like for Jimmy Sherburne on and off the court?
A typical day for me this past summer would begin with training a neighbor of mine. He’s going to be a junior at our high school, and we worked on his skills nearly every morning this summer. After that, I would go the gym for skill work with my younger brother, who is 18 years old and will be attending a post graduate year at Brewster Academy this year. After dinner, I would return to the gym with a friend of mine for additional shooting and then weights.
In high school, you were also a very gifted football player playing quarterback and being captain and was a two-time first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-area in football. As a kid did you ever dream of playing for the Green Bay Packers? Why did you later choose basketball over football?
The Packers are my favorite sports team, but when I was younger, my only dream was to play in the NBA, not the NFL. I have always preferred basketball over football, even though I think I had more natural ability at quarterback. I ultimately chose basketball simply because I enjoy it more.
You are from a small village called White Fish Bay of 15,000 people, but still it has a big list of notable people with professional baseball, football and basketball players having come from your town. Is there something in the fish there that has made so many talented athletes come out of there?
Ha I don’t know if it’s the fish, but you never know! I really don’t know what it is, but I know that I’m proud of where I come from and don’t think I’d have had the same level of success without being surrounded by as many great athletes growing up. My group of friends growing up was very athletic in a variety of sports.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I can’t remember the last time I watched an actual DVD. But I went and say A Most Wanted Man in theaters last week, and I thought it was really good. It actually takes place in Hamburg.
Thanks Jimmy for the chat.