Chase Griffin is a 31 year old 188 cm guard from Sammamish, Washington that is playing his eighth professional season and first with SC Rasta Vechta. He played college ball at Pepperdine in California from 2002 to 2007. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 15.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3Pts: 37.3%, FT: 80.7%. He joined Phoenix Hagen in January 2008 and finished the season playing 14 games averaging 15.7ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 44.4%, 3FGP: 41.5%, FT: 76.1%. In the 2008-2009 season, he helped lead Phoenix Hagen into the BBL playing 28 games and averaging 16.9ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 78.. He played a third season for Phoenix Hagen in 2009-2010 playing 33 games averaging 13.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 83.5%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for the LTi Giessen 46ers (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 22 games averaging 8.5ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 86.7%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Torpan Pojat Helsinki (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 47 games: 16.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 86.5%; VTB League: 2 games: 7.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 100.0%. He palyed the last two seasons for the BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA) and last season played 33 games: Score-5(18.0ppg), 3.7rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 45.8%, FT-2(91.6%).During the first half of this current season, he spoke to German Hoopsabout basketball.
After two seasons in Gotha why did you decide to join SC Rasta Vechta?
Vechta is a great organization and have big aspirations to move back to the BBL. I saw this as possibly my last shot to help lead a team back to the BBL. Plus Vechta is a basketball town. They are so excited here in Vechta and that got me excited. I had two great years in Vechta.
What was it like going from one rookie coach with Chris Ensminger to another PRO A rookie coach and Stephen Arigbabu?
It has been very different, but both have showed that they can go their way. Both are good coaches in different ways.
You played against Chris Ensminger as a player and then you had him as a head coach. What really amazed you about him as coach?
He is as hardnosed as a coach as he was a player and his tenacity is amazing. He is always fired up. I remember going hard to the hole and he would foul the heck out of you. He is no different as coach as he busts your but. I have really learned a lot from him especially tactical things as we had some 40 plays last season in Gotha. He taught me always to keep my head in the game even in the tough times.
SC Rasta Vechta let Ahmad Smith go and hauled in Derek Wright. What has been your impression of him so far?
Wright has been great. He is so quick, can score, kick out the ball to the shooters and is a great defender. With time he will really help us.
You played in Giessen in the 2010-2011 season and last season won with Gotha in OT. What memories do you have of your playing time in Giessen?
There were high and low points. We had more low points though. That year we almost went down. It was a learning experience for me.
You are 31 now. What do you do better now than when you were 26 and playing in Hagen?
I am an overall better player now. My mind is very well conditioned. I may have lost a step, but I know where to be on the court. I am not as athletic anymore now, but I know how to play the game better. In Hagen I was a crazy player and now I play the game right.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
My passing is unnoticed. I have worked very hard the last years to get my teammates more involved and my assist rate has gone up.
How much does your experience help a younger guard like Kevin Smit?
He already has a lot of experience. I hope that he can take something from my game. He can really play, is smart and quick and the great thing is that you tell him something one, he listens and learns it then.
You played three seasons for Ingo Freyer in Hagen. Do you ever see him being able to coach another team and style?
Ingo is a good coach. He plays gimmick basketball, but it works. He might get blown out at times, but then again is able to beat top teams like Alba Berlin numerous years in a row. He made a nice playoff run a few years ago. It took a while, but he is respected now.
I really loved the basketball documentary Phoenix in der Asche. How many times did you see it and should Michael Jordan have received a basketball Oscar?
I watched it once and will never watch it again. It didn´t portray the real Phoenix Hagen season. There’s so much that goes on during an entire BBL season, it’s hard to capture the whole story in a 90 minute documentary or however long it was.
The next season you and Michael Jordan played together in Giessen. How did that work? Was that the clash of the ego´s?
I mean it’s all water under the bridge, what was it 4 years ago? I can honestly laugh about it now so I won’t get in to depth about it but I’ll first say there’s definitely a false perception out there of what happened the previous year in Hagen. Only the guys on that team and in the management know what exactly went down. Again, movies and even documentaries don’t portray reality. I’m confident that I handled Mikes Jekyll and Hyde personalities the best way possible. I am naturally a very quiet, easy going guy–ask anyone I’ve ever played with. Maybe he didn’t like that or the way I played which made him act out. I can agree with him there, back in my Hagen days, I played with less discipline than I do today, But still no reason for some of the things we saw out of him that year. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it in my 20+ years in basketball. He got released 2 weeks before the end of the season and I thought I’d never see him let alone play with him again. 8 months later, he came to Giessen with our new coach Steve Key. I was a little shocked Giessen would bring him in knowing that he had it out for me from the start.
In the 2011-2012 season you played for Torpan Pojat Helsinki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 47 games: 16.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 86.5%; VTB League: 2 games: 7.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 100.0%. How did your game develop further in Finland?
I liked the style there as it was up and down gun and gun. The league kept me athletic. It was a great year living in Helsinki.
Could you imagine staying in Germany until the end of your playing career?
I am thinking about keeping my family here. I could also imagine living here after my playing career.
Who won a one on one in practice in Gotha you or Gary Johnson?
When you came to Hagen in 2008 your teammate was Per Guenther. Did you know then that he would become such a great player?
Yes I knew that he would develop the way he did. He was a raw talent that was smart and worked hard. He has a lot of experience and am happy that he has developed the way he has.
Where will the journey of the Seattle Sea Hawks end this season?
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Chase for the chat.