Maurice Acker is a 27 year old 176cm point guard that was born in Kansas City, Kansas, but grew up in Hazelcrest, Illinois and is playing his first season for the Bakken Bears (Denmark-Ligaen). He started his basketball career in 2005 at Ball St and then moved on to Marquette (NCAA) where he played from 2007-2010 and as a senior played 34 games: 8.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 49.5%, FT: 72.7%. Concluded the season season ranked second in the nation and first in the BIG EAST in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1). Led the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (.495). He started his basketball career in 2011 with Bucaneros de La Guaira (Venezuela-LPB): (Elimination Round) 15 games: 8.2ppg, 1.0rpg, 2.6apg, 1.6spg, 2PT: 40.0%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 92.0%. In 2011 he also played for Quebec Kebs (Canada-PBL): 18 games: 8.5ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 40.9%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 80.0%. In the 2011-2012 season he moved to Magixx KidsRights Nijmegen (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 31 games: 14.0ppg, 2.3rpg, Assists-3(4.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 79.3%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL, starting five): 4 games: 10.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.8apg, then signed at BK 04 AC LB Spisska Nova Ves (Slovakia-Extraliga, starting five): 37 games: Score-1(23.9ppg), 2.5rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 84.4%. Last season he played for Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB, starting five): 42 games: Score-4(17.0ppg), 2.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 88.8%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurochallenge game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Thanks Maurice for talking to German Hoops. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know about the country?
Before coming to Frankfurt yesterday, I once flew in to Berlin, but that has been about it. I know that basketball is huge in Germany and is respected in Europe. I have also heard that the BBL is one of the top leagues in Europe and that it is a good environment to play in.
You are playing your first season for Bakken Bears (Denmark-Ligaen). Your also playing your second international club game. You lost to Boras 86-79 and you chipped in with 16 points. How did it feel playing this type of basketball?
It was exciting to play my first international game against Boras. The result wasn´t to my liking, but I believe that we got better and will be ready for Frankfurt tonight.
You are playing in your fifth professional season, but for your seventh team. Do you feel like a basketball globetrotter?
Yes I do feel sort of like a basketball globetrotter because I have been around. I enjoy this life style and have gotten used to the travel, learning new cultures and teams. It is part of the game.
You are playing your first season in Denmark for Bakken who are number one in the Danish league. You have been a scorer almost your whole professional career. What is exactly your role with Bakken?
My role is to do pretty much what I have been doing my whole career is first off getting my team involved and later if necessary do the scoring to help my team win.
You played in many countries like Canada, Venezuela, Holland,Poland, Slovakia and France. How difficult is it to get used to a new style and level?
It isn´t always easy to adapt to a new level and style and it can be frustrating, but at end of day it is part of game and you always find a way to adjust.
You are a scoring point guard, but can also set up your teammates as two seasons ago you led the league in Slovakia with 6,7apg. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away? Perhaps your assist to turn over ratio?
I think a hidden strength is getting my team involved. I feel that I get more credit for being able to score. I usually try to get my team involved early and later do what is needed to win the game with scoring.
You are a 176cm guard. Which smaller type NBA player was always your role model growing up as a kid?
As a kid, I really enjoyed watching Allen Iverson play. I liked how he didn´t back down against nobody even if they were bigger. He always played with a chip on his shoulder and I liked that.
You started your basketball career at Ball St and as a freshman played 28 games: 9.2ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FG: 32.6%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 79.6%. You then sat out due to NCAA transfer rules and finished at Marquette from 2007-2010. How difficult was this season not being able to play?
Sitting out my second year at Marquette was the most difficult time in my career. Just being at practice, but not playing games was tough. I got better in this year and I learned a lot from my teammate Dominic James. I did many extra work outs to get better. In the end it was tough, but worth it.
You played 102 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 8.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 49.5%, FT: 72.7%. Concluded the season season ranked second in the nation and first in the BIG EAST in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1). Led the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (.495). How did Buzz Williams get you prepared best for a professional basketball career?
He really did a lot for me. His practices were always very hard and pushed the players. He was big on team basketball and wanted us to be leaders and that we should help each other. Coach Williams was also big on life issues which I feel has helped me adapt to life better in Europe.
You played together with many future NBA players like Lazar Hayward, Wesley Matthews, Jerel Mcneil, Jimmy Butler or Dwight Buycks. Why do you think wasn´t Marquette able to make more noise in the NCAA tournament in those years?
I think that in the years that I was there that the level was so much higher in the NCAA than now. There were many good players that went through the NBA draft.
You played with many great players at Marquette that went to the NBA. Which player left the most lasting impact on you?
Wesley Matthews left the biggest impact on me. He was a player that really didn´t get as much exposure as he should of. I will never forget his work ethic which was unbelievable. A reason he got to the NBA is because he outworked everyone else. I tried to take as much as I could from his game.
You also played with Chris Otule who only has vision in one eye. How did you take that whole experience with him at Marquette and what was your fondest memory with him in school and on the court?
Chris was one of the most genuine guys ever. He was always happy and in a good mood. He worked so hard on the court and you would never have thought that he only had vision in one eye. He was so smart and picked up different traits that helped him work around his disability on the court. He was a tough inside presence as hardly any one could stop him. He was one of the toughest players that I ever played with.
You came to Europe in 2011 and played for Magixx KidsRights Nijmegen (Holland-Eredivisie). What was your welcome to Europe experience in terms of basketball in Holland?
Just being away from home and being so far away in a different country. Off the court toughest was having to know words and phrases just to be able to buy groceries and on the court all the different systems. I recognized quickly that the game is more structured in Europe.
Two seasons ago you played briefly for Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL)4 games: 10.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.8apg, What memories do you have of German/polish talent David Bremblay?
I remember David as a very good shooter and play very hard on defense. He was a good kid.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Semaj Inge?
We play almost every day and it goes back and forth.
Who was the best player that you had to defend in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
The best player that I played against was Kemba Walker. I played him a few times. One game I played ok scoring something like eight points and another time had 16 points and five assists.
Where will the journey of the Chicago Bulls end this season?
They will have a good season if they stay healthy.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Maurice for the chat.