Marcus Ginyard is a 28 year old 196cm swingman from Alexandria, Virginia that recently finished his fifth professional season and first with the Westchester Knicks (D-League) playing 18 games: 7.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.9apg, 2FGP: 55.1%, 3FGP: 36.8%, FT: 72.0% He played at top NCAA powerhouse school North Carolina from 2006-2010. In 2010-2011, he played his rookie season with BBC Bayreuth (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 34 games: 10.9ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 74.0%. In 2011-2012, he played for Ironi Nahariya (Israel-National League, starting five): 28 games: 21.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 85.8%. Last season he played for Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK, starting five): 42 games: 12.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 78.6%. In the 2013-2014 season he played with Azovmash Mariupol (Ukraine-Superleague): 11 games: 15.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 44.8%, FT: 80.4%; VTB United League: 8 games: 14.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 64.1%, 3FGP: 27.8%, FT: 80.8%, left in Mar.’14, later that month moved to Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-TBL). He spoke to German Hoops after the 2014-2015 season.
After playing your first four seasons in Europe after playing at North Carolina(NCAA) you played last season for the first time in the D-League for the Westchester Knicks (D-League). With what type of expectations did you go into this opportunity?
The only expectation I had going into the season was to have the opportunity to display my talents to the people closest to the NBA. I wanted to use this opportunity to work with great coaches and other players that were eager to join the ranks of the NBA.
You played 18 games averaging 7.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.9apg, 2FGP: 55.1%, 3FGP: 36.8%, FT: 72.0%. Most players go to the D-League with that NBA dream in mind. Did you see that realistic chance or did you have something else in mind?
The dream is very realistic for me. It was unfortunate that I began the very first day of my time in NY with an injury. Even during the 18 games I played, I was not nearly at full strength.
What kind of adjustment was it for you to play in a league where everyone is watching their stats and one on one basketball is the norm. Were you able to teach some teammates something about team basketball?
It was a learning process for a lot of us that were together in Westchester. At times we really showed that we could play great team basketball which made me appreciate team basketball even more.
Were you a bit disappointed with your overall limited playing time in the D-league? Is that whole idea of fighting for playing time and actually getting it different than getting a chance for European team to prove yourself as there are often less games there and more time to prove yourself in practices?
I was fighting through pain and lack of strength, which did not allow me to perform at my highest level. I am looking forward to next season, where everyone will see that I can play at the top level.
Westchester had some guys with NBA air like Russell Walker or Doron Lamb and also had guys that have played longer in Europe like Andre Barrett or Robert Vaden. What overall experience was it playing with these four Americans for you?
It was a blessing playing with those guys. I learned a lot from Andre Barrett, Russell Walker and Darnell Jackson. These guys with NBA experience had a lot of knowledge to share, and they were a pleasure to play with on the court.
Despite your limited playing time was your game able to take some shape and development in the D-League
Again, I do not feel that I was able to get into a rhythm that accurately represented my skill set. I had a few stretches where I played well, but considering I did not play a game at full strength, its hard to say that my game was able to take any great shape.
One often hears about horror stories in the D-League about travel and just the rigors of that life. After 4 years in Europe what was your wake up call to being in the D-League?
No matter where you are, there are going to be things that are less than ideal. It’s always a great time to appreciate what you have, and to focus on things that are within your control.
You ended the season with a short stay in Greece with Panionios ON Telecoms Athens. You came to a last place team that was filled with many Americans. You didn´t play a minute here. Was your pay check the only positive thing in this experience?
I did not receive any pay check. I was unable to sign with Panionios due to my contract obligations with the Knicks. We were unaware that the Knicks planned to retain my rights when they waived me, so it was a shock to us when I arrived in Greece and the Knicks refused to sign my letter of clearance.
You have played in countries like Israel, Ukraine and Poland since leaving Germany and Bayreuth as rookie. You keep talking about Germany. Is this the season where you finally come back to play in Germany?
I am hopeful that I can return to Germany this season. Germany is the only place I have played so far that actually felt like home for me. I was extremely comfortable in Germany, and felt the most focused on basketball there. Since leaving Germany, the league has continued to grow and become even more respected in Europe. Germany will be a perfect place for me to showcase my skills and help a team win for years to come.
That 2010-2011 season seems like ages ago as guys like Jared Reiner, Koko Archibong or Pete Campbell have retired. What made the Bayreuth experience so special to you?
It was special for a number of reasons. It was my first professional season, so naturally there will be some strong impressions made during a rookie campaign. But it was also special because I was surrounded by great people. My teammates, coaches, management, and the fans were so supportive, focused, and really concerned with doing things the right way. We played together as a team, and we fought hard as a city! I was extremely blessed to play in Bayreuth.
Last season you had the chance to play against ex teammate Danny Gibson in Poland. He like yourself has continued to have a very solid career. How special would it be to play with him again on a team possibly in Germany?
We missed each other. I actually never did play against him in Poland, but it would be great to see an old teammate again. I enjoyed playing with Danny in Bayreuth.
Have you followed Bayreuth over the years? They have been struggling and continue to have great fans who support their team like there is no tomorrow. In what memory do you have the fans and where would you rank them in your alltime fan list?
I have followed Bayreuth over the years. I keep in contact with quite a few people from Bayreuth, fans and players. I absolutely love the fans in Bayreuth! They were great for our team. They stand behind their team no matter what, and you can’t ask for anything more! I look forward to having a chance to see them again.
If you could describe yourself in a few sentences as to why you could help any BBL team now how would you do it?
I am an experienced, versatile player, who can play and guard multiple positions. I am a big, strong guard who can score the basketball in a variety of different ways. I also know what it takes to win, and make the small winning plays that you may not see on the stat sheet. Originally known for my great defense, I have continued to grow over the years into more of a complete player.
Lebron is averaging something like 40p, 12r and 8a in the last two games. If he pulls out the 2015 NBA title, will he be the best ever?
If he keeps up the numbers, he will certainly go down as having one of the best finals performances that we have seen. However, I do not think that him winning a championship would even come close to solidifying him as the best ever. I think there is no question that he is the best RIGHT NOW, but I think he still has some work to do in order to be the best ever.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Can’t remember! But I did just see Entourage in theaters!
Thanks Marcus for the chat.