Robert Ferguson is a 29 year old 203cm forward from Cape Coral, Florida that is playing his sixth professional season and fifth in Germany and first with the Hamburg Towers. He started his basketball career at St.Josephs (NCAA) in 2004 where he played until 2008 playing a total of 136 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 11.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 51.7%, 3Pts: 44.4%, FT: 83.7%. In 2009-2010 he started his professional basketball career with the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games: 14.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 64.8%, 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 67.7%. In 2010-2011 he played for Defensor Sporting Club (Uruguay-LUB): 10 games: 11.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.2spg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 56.1%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 84.6%, in Nov.’10 moved to Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-ProA): 20 games: 7.9ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 87.5%. In 2011-2012 he played for Defensor Sporting Club (Uruguay-LUB) 12 games: 11.5ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 61.5%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 93.8%, in Dec.’11 moved to KR Reykjavik (Iceland-Express League): 17 games: 13.9ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.0apg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP-3(62.9%), 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 71.4%. In 2012-2013 he played for SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA): 32 games: 5.8ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT-1(57.1%), FT: 70.0%. Last season he played for BG Karlsruhe (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 11.3ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 43.1%, FT: 68.8%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg.
Robert thanks for talking to German Hoops When you are on a road trip through Germany and just watching the landscape go by how often do you think back to your young St Joseph days?
I had many road games in college and I liked my college time and I miss it at times, but now I think more about playing as long as I can and where my future will go.
Road trips in Germany can be semi long while in Iceland they were more short. How were road trips in Uruguay when you played for Defensor Sporting Club (Uruguay-LUB)
Road trips in Uruguay were short. Most teams were in a few cities and the longest road trip was two hours.
You are playing your sixth professional season and fifth in Germany. Be honest is it the food that makes you come back each season?
No it wasn´t the food, but actually my wife is German. She recently had a baby.
How thrilling has it been playing for this ambitious new German basketball project Hamburg Towers? What have you enjoyed most about the experience so far?
It is very exciting playing for the Hamburg Towers. They went into the season with no real expectations, but not to move down. But we are very ambitious and want to reach the playoffs.
This season in 21 minutes you are averaging 7,7ppg, 4,0rpg and 1,3apg. How would you describe your role on the team?
I am the oldest on the team and the veteran. I just try to lead by example as well as being a vocal leader. I also try to help the young guys who don’t know much about the professional life. You could say I am the big brother and everyone looks up to me.
After starting the season with a three game winning streak Hamburg now has a 3-4 record. Why has the team been so up and down?
We are still searching for our own identity as a team. It hasn’t been easy so far, because we have many different kind of players. We are still looking to gel as a team, but I know once we click that we will be trouble for teams in the German Pro A.
It seems like the team has understood early that team basketball is the way to go. How much credit goes to head coach Hamed Attabashi for getting the team on the same page early?
Coach Attabashi deserves a lot of credit and stresses team defense. He sticks very much to detail. It doesn’t matter if you make a small or big mistake, he lets you know. He sees every mistake as a team mistake. This way we learn as a team from our mistakes.
Bazou Kone is a big German talent, but has had the turnover bug early averaging 3,5 per game. How have the teammates helped him most efficiently in practice?
We all tell him to stay positive and just to concentrate on making smart decisions on the floor. He is a young player and they tend to be hyper at times and try to do too much. He has wanted to prove himself and we just tell him to be more patient because that is vital at the point guard position.
Two seasons ago you helped SC Rasta Vechta move up to the Beko BBL playing 32 games: 5.8ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT-1(57.1%), FT: 70.0%. Was there no option for you to stay and play in the Beko BBL?
I think that there was a chance. But by the time I got to talk to them, they had decided to go another route. They told me that I needed to do more at my position. In other words I wasn´t good enough.
Do you think they noticed you led the German Pro A in three point shooting that season?
I guess not. I came in late that season to Vechta. I played more in the playoffs and helped them.
AS a rookie you played for the Nordlingen Giants. What was your wake up call to becoming a professional player in your rookie season wth Nordlingen?
I had a pretty good season, but at the halfway point I hurt my knee and all of a sudden management found many faults in my game and I had to go. This wake up call let me know that I wasn’t in college anymore.
You played two seasons in Uruguay for Defensor Sporting Club. If you look at teams in South America there are guys that have played there for 10 plus years. What was most difficult to getting adjusted to the play on the court and the way of life there?
I think the toughest adjustment for anyone would be the weather as summers and winters are reversed and there isn’t much English there. On the court the play was more physical. I wouldn’t mind playing there again. I liked the style of play there which reminded me a lot of college.
You played briefly for BG Karlsruhe and had Rouven Roessler as a teammate. For many his career has been a riddle as he had the talent to go far, but chose to be in his comfort zone and concentrate on his home team BG Karlsruhe. How respect do you have for a guy that doesn´t always have to go with the flow, but just does kind of says you guys can xxxxx off?
He was a very good player and still was one of the best last season. He isn’t the first player that decided that playing at home was best. I have a lot of respect for him. Even today at 34-35 years of age he plays at a high level.
What was the most amazing thing that you saw Richard Williams do in a practice back in Vechta?
He is probably the quickest player that I ever played with. The most amazing thing that I saw him do was dunk.
After a great senior year and strong Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft), your ex teammate at St Josephs Pat Calathes stayed undrafted and has played in Europe. Are you surprised that he never made it there?
Yes I was a bit surprised. He is a 6.10 guard which is hard to come by. I thought that he would go to the NBA with his brother Nick. I think that he is happy with his career that he has had in Europe. I still have contact to him today.
How did Phil Martelli prepare you best for a professional basketball career in college?
He taught me so much especially how to be focused at all times. He also taught me to be more of a team player and always be competitive. He is still in my head today and I hear him when I am on the court. He really changed my life at St Josephs with his influence.
Who won a one on one in practice in Nordlingen and who does now you or Benjamin Fumey?
Of course me.
How often have you seen CEO Pascal Roller and sport Director Marvin Willoughby shoot a basketball? How cool is it having these 2 German legends around?
I have seen Marvin shoot, but never Pascal as he is a very busy man now. It is great having these two great mentors in the backround that know so much about the game. It is great just to talk with them and learn. I still want to have a long career and if there are any two guys that guide me down the right road then it is those two.
Where will the journey of the Miami Heat end this season?
They will be a playoff team for sure. I don´t think that they will get past the second round of the playoffs.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Lets be cops.
Thanks Rob for the chat,