Brad Tinsley is a 25 year old 191cm guard from Oregon that is playing his third professional season and first in Germany for the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Vannderbilt in 2008 playing a total of 134NCAA games until 2012 and as a senior played 36 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 85.5%. In 2012-2013 he started his professional basketball career for Generali Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-Ethias League): EuroChallenge: 3 games: 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg; Belgian Ethias League: 4 games: 4.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg, left in Feb.’13, later that month moved to Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB) playingv 13 games: 10.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 80.6%. Last season he played for the Lakeside Lightnings (Australia-SBL) playing 31 games averaging 28.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.0apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 80.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Welcome to Germany. After last playing in Australia, how happy to be playing in Germany?
I am very happy to be playing in Germany. This league as well as the BBL are very well respected and competitive. It’s a great opportunity for me.
What were the main reasons for coming to Germany?
I knew that Germany was an awesome country to live in, and accompany that with the high level of basketball, it was a no brainer.
How impressed have you been of the tight German Pro A?
This league has a lot of great teams. As you can see with the standings, it is a very close race for playoff spots. Every single game in this league is a tough one. You can’t overlook anyone.
What exactly is your role on the team? How dependent is the team on your scoring?
Every game I’m just trying to be the best player I can be on that night. Whether it’s passing the ball, playing defense, or scoring. I just want to win. We have a lot of weapons on offense so there isn’t really one particular player that we are dependent on to score.
You are a scorer, but had to play point guard your last two years at Vanderbilt averaging almost five assists a season each year. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away?
Yeah I’ve played the point guard position a lot growing up. I think my court vision is a hidden strength. I love to set up my teammates for scoring plays, especially in transition.
How challenging is it playing with Marco Grimaldi? What do you like most about his controlled game?
I wouldn’t say its challenging at all to play with Marco. He is a good point guard who understands the game. It has been a lot of fun getting to know him and being out there as his backcourt mate. He is a very smart player and I think I can/have learned a lot from him.
Waverly Austin was the only center in the Oregon system and wasn’t much of a factor in their offense. How much potential does he have?
Wave has a ton of potential. He has shown that he can be a powerful force in this league. He is very athletic, with good low post moves and is very good on the defensive end. I think he has a bright future ahead of him if he keeps working hard.
Last season you tore up the SBL in Australia averaging 28,4ppg. Did it feel like you were a man playing against boys?
I don’t think I felt that way. The SBL is a pretty competitive league. I was 100% healthy and had the freedom to show what I can do on the court. It was probably my most enjoyable year playing so far. I’m close with all my teammates there and we had a successful season
As a rookie you played with Okapi Aalstar in Belgium. Why was this stay so short?
It was my first team that I signed with to play professional basketball. That league is very good and I just wasn’t ready to produce at a high level yet. I’ve learned a lot and improved a lot as a player since my stay there.
How much fun was it playing with slim magic John Tofi. How do you make him smile?
He was a great guy to play with. He is always smiling and enjoying himself, very full of life. It was a pleasure to play alongside him, he is a very good player.
You played four years at Vanderbilt. How much of an adjustment was it going from a shooting guard to point guard your last two seasons?
It wasn’t an adjustment at all. I played point guard all 4 years in high school. It was good for me to get court time at both positions while in college.
Which guy impressed you more at Vanderbilt on a day to day basis Jeffery Martin or John Jenkins on the court?
I would say Jeff Taylor. He was so competitive every day and the gifts he had as a player were amazing. He would pull off some plays that would shock a lot of people. Although John isn’t too far behind. He is one of the best shooters I’ve ever played with. He has hit a lot of very tough shots in his career. I had a blast playing with them during my time at Vanderbilt.
How did Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Stallings is a great coach. He would push us to the edge in every practice and game, in a positive way. I think he strengthened my mental toughness. Being an American playing overseas you have to be mentally tough to handle the different obstacles that will come your way during a season. He has taught me a lot both on the court and off.
Who wins a one one one you or Nico Adamczak?
Nico and I haven’t really played one on one, but he is a good player. Another great shooter I’ve had the privilege to play alongside. We have become good friends and I am thankful for that.
Where will the journey of the Portland Tralblazers end this season?
I am hoping they can make a playoff run this year. The Western division is very tough this year again. If they can build off their successful season last year and get the right match ups in the playoffs who knows how far they can go.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD movie I saw was Pirates of the Caribbean (Great Series!)
Thanks Brad for the chat.