Vincent Dillard is a 23 year old 196cm forward from Sanford, Florida that recently finished his college career. He started his college career at Texas Arlington (NCAA) and then moved his senior year to Charleston Un. (NCAA2) where he played 20 games averaging 10.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 63.1%. He recently got his first professional experience with the Orlando Lightning (ABL). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Vincent thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Appreciate Eurobasket.com for giving me the time. Right now I’ve been home for a couple weeks in Florida. Summer has been good, being home with the family since I have spent little time with them during the school year.
You recently graduated from Charleston University(NCAA2). How good does it feel to have that diploma and are you ready to test the professional waters?
Feels great, one of those moments that will always get the hair sticking up on your skin feeling every time I think about it. Words really can’t describe but if I could, just a feeling of accomplishment, real hard, a lot of studying and all nighters working on presentations. After being in college and learning myself on and off the basketball court I feel like I am more than ready to test the professional waters. Since my journey in college has been quite a ride going from Kansas, to Texas to West Virginia. Been in many places to develop my game I had to learn to adjust to different cultures meet and network with new people and just adapt to whatever current situation I was in from the different people to the different weather.
You transferred from Texas Arlington(NCAA) to Charleston University(NCAA). Why do you believe that the adjustment came so easy to you?
At first it was very hard I was in Texas for 2 years and over time you meet and get to know great people and build relationships, in the area you create bonds with your teammates and you become used to the lifestyle of the daily task each day that becomes normal for you after time. Then all of sudden I realized that I needed a different opportunity to help me in my college basketball career and I felt like University of Charleston was that place for my senior season to help me grow as a basketball player and a young man so thinking about myself in the bigger picture point of view helped me make that transition easier.
Did you have any question marks making this move going to Charleston? Why did you make this jump?
I had tons of issues even after I signed I was like dang I am really not going back to school in Texas and got to get to know new teammates new people and a whole new area, it was crazy but I like I said earlier I was looking at the bigger picture. I wanted to be in a situation where I knew I could grow more as a basketball player and be a key contributor on helping a team win a championship.
As a senior at Charleston you played 20 games averaging 10.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 63.1%. Did you exceed your senior expectations on the court or were you comfortable going into the season that you would have a solid season?
I mean this has been my best seasons field goal and 3 pt field goal percentage wise. I worked relentlessly on my jump shot and really learning my shot and my technique adjusting the flaws in it and just continuously remembering what makes my shot go in. On the other hand I always been a guy that did everything on the court been willing to help my teams in the past in many ways, always been a hard working player and dedicated to my craft. So this season I expected nothing less than that. I think I had a great summer too playing in the Orlando Pro-Am, playing pick up games against pros like Austin Rivers, Big Baby Davis, Michael Pietrus, Courtney Lee, Ben Gordon, Marcin Gortat, Darius Washington Jr., Patrick Ewing Jr., and many others really learning from these guys and observing to find why are these guys big time basketball players, and what do I need to do with my game to get that point.
What was your season highlight? Possibly your 18 points effort in the 84-83 victory against Fairmont State?
Season Highlight I mean Fairmont was a huge game for our program and it was a roll-coaster win being down by double digits going into the second half and ended up being victorious. However I think personally my moment was against our rival school West Virginia State. In Charleston this game is so big, people all over the area are talking about it so this being my first season here kind of was caught off guard in realizing how big time this game was for my school and the city of Charleston. That whole day I didn’t want to get caught in the hype of the game but stay mentally focus to pull through for my teammates in a victory. Turns out I shot 4 for 5 from the three point line ended up with 18 points but made some great defensive plays and then I play make offensively to help my team grind it out and get a much needed win.
You only played one season at Charleston(NCAA2), but how important was head coach Dawaine Osbourne in your development in your senior year and helping you prepare best for a professional basketball career?
Time Management being to places not just on time but at a good time to mentally prepare yourself for whatever the task is also respecting other people time and knowing that being on time is not just a plus but shows you respect the person that is waiting on you and took time out of their day for you. Next about being a great teammate learning teammates like and dislikes actually getting to know them and being able to listen to them and know that at the end of the day that there is a mutual respect. Lastly taught me about championship efforts not just in basketball but in life, doing the essential daily tasks that will get me to the certain goal that I am working towards and what it really takes to win a championship. Until I got in Charleston I didn’t realize how hard it was winning a championship and how you have to have people buy into roles, great team chemistry, a lot of time and effort as a collective and a lot of luck to come out on top.
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court form observers?
The biggest thing I think people watching versus people playing against me is when you watch my movements on the court. You would be surprised, me being 6-5 how quick and agile I am on the court. In addition people usually get surprised on how well I can handle the ball with the moves I have and the way I can separate from defenders with my footwork. Lastly my vision on the court knowing where defenders are offensively to make passes that give people a puzzled look because they themselves didn’t see that certain play develop.
If you could describe your game and explain why you are suited to help any team what words would you chose?
Hardnosed smart player, extreme work ethic a player that will dedicate his life to the team he is with and do what it will take to win. I am a left handed guard who is willing to create for myself in getting to the basket or getting a jump shot whether its a three pointer or mid-range jump shot knowing how to use my 6-5 strong frame to keep defenders off me and using it to my advantage of getting to the basket drawing fouls on defenders. I can also be in a position of a facilitator where I can create for others with the ball making the right read to get the best possible shot for the team and making the right pass to help the team. I also am a great slasher. I remembered after we played the University of Kentucky, Coach John Calapri told me how great I could run the floor transitionally on offense. Playing off the ball I am willing to attack to defense whether in a drive kick situation in hitting the open shot or cutting to the basket off the ball to get open to be a threat to score. Defensively I am a long, athletic defender who can read and dictate what I want the offensive player to do and baiting him into messing up. Whether that’s playing the passing lanes stealing the ball or on ball pressure getting steals I can do a lot with my agility and quickness guarding defenders that’s bigger or smaller I will always find my advantages. In addition I take pride in getting rebounds ever since I been in college my coaches kept saying how important it was to rebound and it has become something I take pride in.
How does a summer work out plan look like for you on and off the court?
Wow I mean summertime has always been the best now that I have graduated college. I don’t have to worry about school, now its all about basketball from sun up to sun down. A typical day for myself waking up around 6:30 am I basketball train at 9 am with my basketball trainer Vaughan Daley then after that go to my local Y and run on the treadmill usually up to 3-4 miles then get a lot of shots up in the gym usually partner shooting with a guy doing a whole lot of shooting drills, then include ball-handling work after. Then usually try to play basketball somewhere if that’s a recreational center or at my high school I went to. Off the court I am doing speed explosive and agility work with Langston Menefee. This guy been training since I was in elementary school helping my body endure a basketball season. Then this summer I am starting to do warm yoga. I been doing yoga now for almost 3 years and it has really helped me become in tune with my mind body and spirit to become a better person and basketball player and an advantage over my competition.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jevonte Hughes and how were you able beat him?
Jevonte is a great player its crazy how athletic he is and what he can do around the basket with ball. But with him I usually have to use my quickness speed and strength to attack him and use my body to cut him off at angles so he won’t be able to have a clear jump on me when I am taking the basketball to the rim because of the way he can jump you have to make sure your body is in him so he won’t block your shot. Also not just on Jevonte but on any athletic guys I like to use dribble move combos to go into my mid-range jump shot.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Haha the last DVD Movie I watch was a comedy standup by comedian Katt Williams, I love funny movies especially stand up comedians are the best because they talk about life situations everyone goes through but add a funny twist to it, it’s crazy.
Thanks Vincent for the chat.