Garrett Stutz is a 24 year old 212 cm center playing his third professional season and first with CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL). He played at Wichita St. (NCAA) from 2008-2012 and as a senior played 32 games: 13.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 82.1%. He then took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging14.7ppg, Reb-4(11.0rpg), FGP-3(63.3%), 1.3bpg. He then played NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Minnesota Timberwolves): 2 games: 2.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.0apg. In the 2012-2013 season as a rookie he played for Anyang KGC (Korea-KBL), in Jan.’13 signed at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 17 games: 5.5ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 61.9%. Last season he played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL, starting five): 35 games: 12.6ppg, 7.1rpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 83.7%. He spoke to German Hoops recently when he was in Germany playing Eurocup against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Garrett welcome to Germany. Your brother Logan has played in Germany the last few years. How often did you come and visit him?
I havent had a chance to visit him yet. This is my first time in Germany.
Last season you played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL) playing 35 games: 12.6ppg, 7.1rpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 83.7%. Now your playing for top Czech Republic team CEZ Basketball Nymburk. In just your second season you have made it to a top European club. How happy have you been with your development making the next level in Europe?
I am content with where I am at in my career. It’s a long process. I just keep trying to improve every day.
How tough have the first few months been for you mentally and physically? You play in three leagues?
It is a lot of games. That’s been the biggest adjustment all the travel that comes with playing 3-4 times a week.
CEZ Basketball Nymburk is 3-5 in the more competitive VTB league. How has this style of play helped your game which is more difficult than in the Czech league?
There are some great teams and players in VTB. I have been more of a match up guy, getting more minutes vs big centers. There is an adjustment period that happens when you play against teams from different countries and different styles of basketball.
CEZ Basketball Nymburk is holding their own in the Eurocup in group C with a record of 4-2. What will be key to advancing?
Everybody needs to stay healthy and protect our home court then try to steal games on the road.
You are playing on a team filled with amazing talent. Is it a usual occurrence to have a wow experience each day in practice? What guys really have amazed you most?
We have a lot of talented players and practices have been really competitive. Im not sure one guy stands out amongst the group.
Your putting up very solid stats in the Czech league, but getting less minutes in the VTB and Eurocup competition. How happy have you been with your play and on what area of your game are you working on most?
If coach plays me 2 minutes or 20 minutes I am going to play as hard as I can and help the team anyway that I can. I am really trying to improve pick and rolls both offensively and defensively.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed?
I can play on the perimeter and open up the paint for the guards to drive or other players to post up.
How important has it been for you working with veteran Czech big men Rancik Radoslav and Petr Benda? How have they helped you with your game?
There’s a lot of experience between both those guys. They have been trying to help me with positioning on both ends and asserting myself into the offense more.
You started your professional basketball career with Anyang KGC (Korea-KBL). What was your wake up call to being a professional player in Korea?
It was the first time really experiencing culture shock. First time overseas I didn’t really know what to expect. Off the court it was hard at first to get adjusted but got better as time went on. Its hard to say basketball because I was injured during my time there. I was never 100% when I played for KGC.
You finished your rookie season with the Maine Red Claws (D-League): 17 games: 5.5ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, How much of a delight was it playing for Mike Taylor and do you see him being an NBA coach down the road?
I really enjoyed playing for Coach T and wouldn’t hesitate to play for him again. We still keep in touch now. Hes a very likable guy and has a bright future
You played at Wichita State from 2008-2012. How did Gregg Marshall prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Not to survive but to get better every chance you get. He really prepared me to be mentally tough and to be able to get through anything that was thrown at me. He helps you get this mindset that no practice or game is too hard or to tough.
Who was the best player that you battled against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
Kawhi Leonard or Kemba Walker
In an interview with Logan Stutz I asked him who wins in a one on one you or him and he said We don´t go too hard. If we took it seriously then it would get ugly. I win some and he wins some. How have those battles been since that interview in the summer of 2013 and 2014?
We still train together in the summers when we are both in Kansas City. He’s starting to develop and expand his game. We are both great competitors that’s why it’s hard to play against one another.
Is there a curse growing on the Kansas City Royales? How did you recover from the 2014 World Series loss?
Still haven’t recovered. There’s no curse we will win it next year.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Garret for the chat.