Brandyn Curry is a 23 year old 187cm point guard from Huntersville, North Carolina that is a rookie and playing his first season in Europe for the SPM Shoeters Den Bosch (Holland-Eredivisie). He played four years at Harvard(NCAA) playing a total of 113 NCAA games and as a senior played 23 games averaging 9.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 58.5%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurochallenge game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brandyn thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. You play in Holland not far from the German border. What has been your impression of Germany? You had visited Ulm earlier in the season in Eurochallenge play.
All the teams in Germany are skilled from top to bottom. We played against Ulm and they were very talented and executed very well. Frankfurt does the same.
It seemed like all three Americans Chris Denson, Reggie Johnson and yourself had their best Eurochallenge games against ratiopharm Ulm. Do you think the German style fits you guys best?
I don´t know. I think that we prepared very well for Ulm. We had to bring it against Ulm and stepped it up. I don´t know if it is the German style that fits us best, but I think we matched up well as a team.
What kind of challenge was it playing against German national player Per Guenter who is hard not to recognize with his curly blond hair?
I remember him and it was a challenge. He was a very smart player, crafty with the ball and an excellent decision maker. I just tried to hound him all over the court and attacked him on offense. He was a great player.
Your club is in first place. It seems like each team has 2-3 skilled Americans and the rest Dutch players. Is it the three Americans that have made the difference for Den Bosch being in first place?
I think a little bit, but we have a lot of talent on the team. We are led by our Dutch veterans Arvin Slagtar who was MVP last season and Kees Akerboom. We have a very deep team with talented young players as well.
You are a rookie playing in Holland for Den Bosch. Despite the circumstances about what your body has gone through in the last year how happy have you been with your rookie season so far?
I am pleased with my rookie season thus far, but still have a long way to go. As a player I can improve in all areas. I have done a good job getting adjusted to the European style. My teammates have made me comfortable and coach has given a lot of trust in my abilities. I will continue to come to work each day as I want to become the top guard in Europe.
You really have had a whirlwind year as your senior season at Harvard seemed to be weakened with pain in your Achilles. How do you feel now and how difficult a time was this? A player´s body is their most important capital. It is always scary for a player not knowing how their body will be with pain and injuries?
Last year was a real struggle. I came into my senior year having had a strong summer with work outs and was feeling good, but then I got injured and all of a sudden I couldn´t do anything anymore. I came back from that injury and it was great learning experience and I feel great now. I learned to take care of my body after this experience. That injury came not taking care of my calf muscle. Back then in school I had so much I had to think and worry about. Now I am a professional and it is my job. Now I have time to stretch and take better care of my body.
How important has it been playing with Chris Denson? What have you learned from him on and off the court that has made your rookie season more comfortable?
It has been an awesome experience playing with Chris. He is a tremendous scorer and one of the most gifted athletes I ever saw. You can´t teach his athleticism. I try to learn as much as possible especially his penetration. He is a great player and person. We hit it off from the start.
Den Bosch comes into the Eurochallenge game an underdog against the Fraport Skyliners. They have two strong Americans with Justin Cobbs and Sean Armand. How familiar are you with their play?
I know Justin Cobbs. We were roommates in 2009 at the Academic All American allstar game. I kept up with his at the University of California. Chris Denson knows Sean Armand. We saw them at the airport when we came back from Sweden. Both are very talented at the engines of Frankfurt.
Both Frankfurt and Den Bosch are good defensive teams? Can we await a defensive game or could scoring be a factor?
Both teams pride their game on defense. Frankfurt is second in Eurochallenge in points given up. It could be a low scoring game, but on the other hand both also have firepower. Both have balanced scoring and both teams could go off.
As a freshman you played with Los Angeles Laker Jeremy Lin. Did you ever think after his strong senior year that he could make such a big impact in the NBA?
I knew that he belonged in the NBA. He is such a hard working player and he came to work each day. I never saw a guy with his mentality of not taking any days off. The way his career has gone hasn´t surprised me at all. I am very happy for him and it couldn´t have happened to a better person.
You had to sit out the 2012-2013 season on account of the intro to congress cheating scandal. What did you learn from your whole Harvard experience that has made you stronger as a person?
That was actually one of the best years for me. It was a real eye opener for me. I was removed from college athletics and got a full time job. That was the first time that I didn´t belong to a team. I learned so much about myself and having that year away from Harvard is actually the reason why I am a professional player today. I read a lot in this time, did research about my body, took up yoga and learned about diet. I learned that you can´t take anything for granted from this experience. If you don´t take care of your body and get hurt, you can´t perform and are useless. You have to always be ready to perform. I really appreciate where I am today and continue not to take anything for granted and just continue to work hard each day.
How did Tommy Amaker prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He is a father figure to me. I learned from him how to get through adversity and to come to work prepared each day. Being able to play for him was the best experience. I have grown as a player and person with his guidance. He taught me to always be in attack mode on the court and in times when I had lost confidence he always was able to get my spirits up by showing me a video or showing me an article.
In your year off from Harvard you sold life insurance. At the end of that experience, if you had to predict how many sells could you make out of 10 telephone calls?
From 250 calls, we had to make 10 appointments. At the start it was hard, but I got better with time.
One of your goals in 2015 is to read the entire Bible. Is this an experience that has helped you overcome the death of your father?
Yes faith has helped me get through hard times. My dad is in a better place now.
Who was the best player that you battled against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
Kemba Walker. He is extremely quick, but even crazier in person.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Chris Denson?
I would say Chris. He is a tremendous scorer and hard to stop. We have our battles and I do have my days.
When the average Harvard fan and MIT fan meet at a game who would win at the who wants to be a millionaire game?
A Harvard fan would of course. Every academic school wants to be Harvard. We will always be number one.
How is the quality of the cheese cake in Holland compared to in North Carolina?
The cheese cake is good in Holland, but actually I am not a big fan. That was a practical joke in high school and somehow the nickname stuck. I just liked the cheese cake at school and ate it not being a fan of it. A chant was started at games and there were signs, but it didn´t follow me to Harvard.
How much of a New England Patriots fan did you become in your 4 years in Boston? Will they win their fourth Superbowl against the Seattle Seahawks?
I hope not. Boston fans love their teams too much. I hope Seattle wins. My sister is a big Patriots fan so I don´t want to see her happy.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Equalizer with Denzel Washington. It was a fantastic movie.
Thanks Brandyn for the chat.