Kerron Johnson is a 24 year old 185cm point guard from Huntsville, Alabama playing his second professional season and first in Germany with the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Last season as a rookie he played with the New Zealand Breakers (Australia-NBL, starting five): 28 games: 12.6ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-5(1.2spg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 59.8%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Belmont(NCAA) playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 14.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.5%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to German Hoops at the 2015 Beko BBL Allstar game in Ulm.
Kerron thanks for talking to German Hoops. How thrilled are to be at the 2015 Beko BBL Allstar game?
I am really thrilled to be a part of the 2015 Beko BBL Allstar game. I am very humbled to be here and it is great to be around many so excellent veteran players.
What player are you most looking forward to battling on the court?
I really am looking forward to playing against Heiko Schaffartzik. He always plays hard, smart and knows the game. He played us tough this season with FC Bayern Munich.
What is your impression of the format National-International?
I think that it is an awesome format. It gives the fans something to cheer about. It is great for the fans to cheer for the home grown players.
What German player has impressed you most this season in the Beko BBL?
Besides Heiko Schaffartzik it has been Daniel Theis. He is so athletic, has a great inside out game na dis sought after by so many NBA teams.
You are playing your first season for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. The team had a less than satisfactory start, but came into the Allstar break with a three game winning streak. What has gotten better with the team on the floor?
I believe that we finally have found our identity on the court. We had many changing parts and it took some time to gel. I think that we will have a great 2015.
How is your relationship to head coach John Patrick? What has he given you that no other coach has in your basketball career?
He has a lot of experience and as a former point guard at this level can give me a lot. He really knows the game and has taught me to think the game and not just play it. There isn´t a better coach to have then him when it comes to learning how to run a team. He is hard on the point guards, but it makes us better.
How surprised were you scoring 38 points in your first game in Germany? Were you in the zone on that day?
I was in the zone. I never expected to score that many points in my debut in Germany. I found my rhythm early and had a good day. That game gave me a good confidence booster for the next games.
How important has new player DJ Kennedy been? What do you appreciate most about his game?
He takes a lot of pressure off me on the court. Having his presence on the floor, I don´t feel like I have to do everything myself. He is very unselfish and not only a scorer, but a playmaker. He gets everyone involved and just fits in well in the system of John Patrick.
Last season as a rookie you played for the New Zealand Breakers. What was your wake up call to be a rookie professional player?
I think getting to know the competition. We were picked to win it all, but didn´t and we didn´t have a great season. That was the first time in my career where I had a losing season. I learned to survive in tough times. I learned to stay strong and trust the coaches and my teammates that we could dig ourselves out of tough situations.
What were you able to learn from 38 year old veteran CJ Bruton as a rookie?
He was like a mentor for me. He oozed basketball, confidence and charisma. He was the kind of guy that you wanted to learn from. We wouldn´t have made the playoffs without him. He showed me how to be a good point guard. I still talk to him today.
You played at Belmont(NCAA) from 2009-2013. What was sweeter the 2011 or 2012 Sun tournament win?
I think that the 2011 win was the sweetest. Up to that win we knew that we were good, but after the win we knew that we could dominate. We won in 2012 again and after that the OVC tournament. That was a huge confidence builder and the program keeps going up.
How did Rick Byrd prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Belmont?
Coach gave me discipline and passion. If you met him you wouldn´t think that he could yell, but he just pushed you to be the best. I have so much respect for him as he did so much for me on and off the court and helped me develop into a man.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Utah Jazz Ian Clark?
I won. Ian is my best friend. He was my roommate for four years and we talk every day. Our battles were always good even if they weren´t pretty at the end. He is like my brother and I am proud where he is today. Our battles were pretty even, but in the end I took it.
How do you get Jon Brockman to laugh?
He plays with a lot of intensity on the court. He is the kind of guy that you want on the court. Off the court he is a jokester and just enjoys life. He is always smiling and guys always want to be around him.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The American Sniper.
Thanks Kerron for the chat.