Orlan Jackman is a 26 year old 201cm forward playing his second season with the NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB). He started his basketball career at Seminole State (JUCO).He then played two years at Oklahoma City University (NAIA): 27 games: 13.4ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 69.6%. In 2012 he started his professional basketball career with the London Lions (BBL) playing 30 games: 16.0ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 60.8%. He recently spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Thanks Orlan for talking to German HoopsYou are playing your second season in Germany with the Noma Iserlohn Kangaroos. What have you learned to appreciate the most about the country Germany on and off the court?
The things about Germany I like a lot is how friendly and welcoming the city of Iserlohn was when I first arrived.
The Noma Iserlohn Kangaroos are playing a great season so far having a 15-3 record. Are you surprised the club has played so well considering it came from the Regionaliga?
Last year, we were told that Regionaligga West was the toughest out of the the Regionaligas and also that the level of competition is not very different in the Pro B and so I am not surprised by how well we are doing. We have worked hard for what we have so far and will continue working until May.
The club has only two import players and many young German players. What has been the secret of the success of the team?
The secret to our success is a secret… hahahaha if I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret any more.
How important have Germans Thomas Reuter and Yannik Opitz been this season. How have you seen their development continue?
All of our players are important German, English, American, old, and young. Thomas and Yannick are very important players for us and have made important plays on both, ask Schewlm. Their development is going extremely well as the team continues to gel together.
You are the leading scorer and rebounder on the team. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
A hidden strength of mine, probably being a team player. I truly believe that a team wins a game. If I was to have a good game, it would be because my team helped me have a good game and not because I made shots or something and my teammates know this.
Does this Iserlohn team have the capability of moving up to the German Pro A next season?
If we play the defense that we are able to play and do it better in the playoffs then I honestly believe that Iserlohn will be in the Pro A next year.
What do you appreciate most about head coach Matthias Grothe? How has your game developed best under his guidance?
Matthias is a brilliant coach that loves the game and wants to see Iserlohn do well. I appreciate the extra effort that coach does to make the team enjoy practice while learning about basketball and promoting team chemistry. My game has developed leaps and bounds under his guidance. Personally, I believe decision making has improved as I am turning the ball over less and FG% from everywhere as well as enjoyment which is why people play sport in the first place, For the love of the game.
Your stats are pretty much the same from last season in the Regionaliga. What for you has been the biggest adjustment you had to make coming to the German Pro B?
The adjustment was being more of a leader. The team looks up to me because I am the import player and I notice that whenever we (the team) enter into a difficult or unknown situation, I am the one that is looked upon to do something about it so far I am doing okay but I need to improve, there is always room for improvement no matter what.
What was your wake up call to being a professional in your rookie season with the London Lions (BBL) where you knew ok I have arrived as a professional?
My wake up call was when I laced up for the first game, an away game in Manchester, and realized that the days of playing about people of similar age are over. Time to be a man or run like a boy.
When you look back at how your career has come along going form a JUCO school to an NAIA school to being a part of the British national team and professional in Germany what do you think was the biggest factor that has gotten you this far?
A good network of people supporting me from when I first started playing and telling me that anything is achievable as long as you work for what you want and to work hard with what you have been given. And to NEVER give up, just look at what my brother Jermain Jackman is doing in the UK. He has the same belief as I do.
Errick Mccollum played in the NAIA and currently is averaging 39 points in China and recently scored 82 points a game. How much does his story make you want to keep working hard seeing how far he has come coming from an NAIA school?
His story is great for anyone that thinks because you attended an NAIA that sports is over once you graduate.
In 2013 you were part of the British national team. What kind of experience was that coming off a huge London Summer league?
Getting to be a part of a National Team is an amazing feeling. Firstly, to be considered the top of your craft and to see that the hard work that has put in is being recognized by those who know what is going on.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Myles Hesson?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA a 1 on 1 between me and Birmingham’s Finest… Sorry Myles but I have to go with me hahahaha
How do you get Matthias Grothe to laugh?
You do not get Matthias to laugh during practice, errrmm maybe during video if he asks what a good shot is and you say it is because of Splash O (Olaf Rostek).
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD I watched was Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Juice In The Hood.
Thanks for Orlan for the chat.