Paul Larsen is a 22 year old 198cm forward that will be starting his professional basketball career in Germany with PS Karlsruhe in the Regionaliga 2. He started his basketball career at Mercer8NCAA) in 2010 where he played 57NCAA games until 2012. He then moved to USC Aiken (NCAA2) and finished his college career there and as a senior played 36 games averaging 12.4ppg, 8.8rpg, FGP: 61.7%. He reached the NCAA2 Elite 8 in 2013 and final four in 2014. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Paul thanks for talking to German Hoops. You will be starting your professional basketball career in Germany for PS Karlsruhe. How tough have the last months been not having a team?
It’s been a little tough. I’ve been practicing and teaching some of the younger guys at USC Aiken so it almost feels like I never left the team.
What do you know about the country Germany and its basketball?
I don’t know much about Germany. All I know is from what I’ve learned in history. I know the basketball draws plays from everywhere and that it’s very competitive.
Did you get some tips and information about German basketball from your friend Travis Smith that plays for Eintracht Stahnsdorf?
I haven’t talked to Travis but I’m looking forward to seeing him on the court.
You will be coming to PS Karlsruhe. Do you think there might be some nervousness for you coming into this situation and how will you overcome that?
I’m not really nervous I’m more anxious to get on the court and get used to the European style. I’ve talked to the coaches a lot which has made me really comfortable with the transition. I think putting in extra work in gym will overcome the Nervs.
How have you been keeping in shape the last months? How does a normal work out day look like for you?
Like I said I’ve been running with the USC Aiken team to help stay in shape. Normal work out for me is lifting, working on post moves and my footwork, and shooting 1000 jump shots.
On what things have you been working most on in the last months?
I’ve been working on my agility and 15ft jump shot.
You are a 198cm forward that can score and haul down rebounds. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
How I run the floor after a made basket. I always beat the defender then turn and seal so they can’t get around a long pass down the floor. I got lots of points by doing this at Aiken doing this.
How important was it moving from Mercer(NCAA) to USC Aiken for your further development? Do you feel that you would be coming to Germany now had you stayed with Mercer?
I think Aiken gave me lots of opportunities that Mercer wouldn’t have given me. Most likely no I wouldn’t be going to Germany. I would probably be at an exposure camp trying to show off my skill.
How did Vince Alexander prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Vince taught me how to be mentally tough, and to always play hard no matter how tired you are. He also had me work on scoring with both hands because my opponents were going to be just as tall and as strong as me so It wouldn’t be as easy to muscle through people.
You played two seasons with Langston Hall that played NBA Summer League for the Miami Heat and is playing as a rookie with Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia (Italy-Serie A). Did you always know that he would go his way?
I knew from the beginning that Langston was going to be a pro. He is know doubt one of the best points I’ve ever played with.
It is no secret that many great players are born and bred in Ohio, but the same goes for North Carolina. Why are there so much talent coming from North Carolina? Is it something in the food?
I would say it’s because North Carolina is a basketball state. Everybody lives for basketball and many colleges in North Carolina have been really successful.
Where will the journey of the Charlotte Hornets end this season?
Hopefully in the playoffs if everyone can stay healthy.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD I saw was the new x-men movie, days of futures past. Wolverine is my idol. The man’s a beast lol.
Thanks Paul for the chat.