Chris Otule is a 24 year old 204cm forward that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with the Crailsheim Merlins. He started his basketball career with Marquette (NCAA) in 2008 and played there until 2014 playing a total of 122 NCAA games an das a senior played 30 games: 5.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 60.2%, FT: 54.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the start of this season.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. You signed in Turkey with Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TB2L) but now last second you have moved to Germany to join Crailsheim. Did somebody give you the tip that German Wiener Schnitzel is worth leaving Turkey for? Lol.
Haha no it’s just that things didn’t go according to plan. They didn’t think I’d pass the physical because I had one eye.
It is late in the summer and you got signed late. Coming from a well known school like Marquette, how was the off season team looking for you? Did you have many offers to choose from?
I had offers initially but after signing with Turkey I thought that’s where I was going I was wrong. I love Germany and Crailsheim though so it’s a blessing in disguise
Chris what do you know about the country Germany and basketball here? What are you looking most to about your new adventure in Germany?
I know the German league has good competition, not just BBL but pro A as well. Great basketball
You may only be a rookie, but with 6 years of NCAA experience and everything else, do you see yourself possibly being a leader and that defensive stopper for Crailsheim?
Not so much a leader. We already have leaders on the team and they do great by leading vocally and leading by example I’m just going to get in where I fit in
You had many serious injuries in college, but you always stood up tall and was the ultimate warrior. What part of your body can you say has always been 100%?
Hmm. I would say my heart haha. I’ve always been breathing haha
What the normal person doesn´t know is that you have a prosthetic left eye. Does a day go by where you aren´t in some way not confronted with this issue?
It never gives me issues because I was born with one so it’s all I know. If I was born with two and lost one that’d be different
The game has never been easy, but you play it as if you have no handicap. What are the most difficult situation in a game for you where you wish you had both eyes to deal with?
Hmm. Nothing really.
A word that could be stamped on your forehead is perseverance. What has been the biggest driving force for you in your basketball career that has never let you doubt yourself that you can´t be a solid professional.
I’ve kept faith in God and I’m a big believer. It’s helped me stay sane and get through. God gets all the credit
You are a big man that can score and rebound, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I would probably say I have quick feet when I’m not tired haha
One guy who has always believed in you was Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. What has been the most important thing that he has given you the last six years on and off the court that has made you a better player?
He always told me to take advantage of every day, never let a day pass you by where you felt like you didn’t do something to get closer to your goals Other influences are Brad Autry and Jerry Wainwright
You interact with children nationwide dealing with similar eye ailments, relishing the chance to inspire them. What for you has been the most heart felt story of a young kid that you had to deal with?
All the stories have a huge impact in my life that’s one of the reasons I play to prove to people that no matter your “limitations” and I put quotes cause that word shouldn’t exist, you can do whatever you want in life
You played with future NBA players like Jimmy Butler, Lazar Hayward or Wesley Matthews. What do you remember most about your freshman year which was extremely difficult for you. The team heard about your prosthetic left eye only a after a few months. How did they deal with it?
They are all very good guys they didn’t mind or treat me any different. Why would they
Your ex teammate Jerel Mcneal is a warrior like you only in a different sense in that he is still living the dream of playing in the NBA. He has been so close the last years. Do you see him playing a full season in the future?
He is a great guy in being and I’m rooting n supporting him and he was always fun to watch
When you look back at the last six years in the NCAA, which player was your toughest defender that you had to play against?
There were so many. A lot of guys were talented. I tried to learn something from everyone I played
You started 104 of 119 career games and ranks fourth all-time in career blocked shots at Marquette. For what would you like to be most remembered for on the court at Marquette?
Just that I played for Marquette the fans, the campus, the alumni.. the students.. I was honored to play for them
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets end this season?
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Haha uh Titanic.
Thanks Chris for the chat.