Jordan Callahan is a 24 year old 184cm point guard born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Marietta will be playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the Crailsheim Merlins. Last season he played for Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 8 games averaging 9.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 95.5%; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 10.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.3apg. He started his basketball career at Tulane (NCAA)in 2009 playing a total of 116 NCAA games. In his senior season he played 31 games averaging 10.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 39.8%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 71.7%. IN the 2013-2014 season as a rookie he played for Kotwica Kolobrzeg (Poland-TBL) playing 16 games: Score-4(15.8ppg), 3.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 82.0%, in Feb.’14 moved to Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-TBL) playing 19 games: 14.9ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-5(4.2apg), Steals-5(1.7spg), FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 83.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jordan thanks for talking to german hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?
Thanks for having me. Currently I’m in New Orleans training at my former school Tulane University. Summer has been going great. Just working out and spending time with family/friends.
Your season ended last December as you departed from Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Scooore League). How tough was the time after that for you? You actually were in Crailsheim for three days, but the club then decided to take Walter Lemon. Was this another set back for you?
I never really see anything as a set back. Just motivation to get better. Since I’ve been back most of my time has been spent in the gym working on my game to take it to the next level.
You had solid stats with Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Scooore League), but did they not want to have the point guard duo of Fogg/Callahan?
I’m not sure what they wanted from me.
You had three very good scoring games where you combined for 59 points, but then five not so good scoring games where you combined for 17 points. Was inconsistency something that was an issue with management?
Let’s just say it wasn’t a great fit for me and my game. Nothing against Antwerp. They run a very professional organization and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me.
After a very strong rookie season in Poland where you changed teams, but still played well for both teams, you played only a few months in Belgium last season. With what kind of an approach are you going into your third professional season.
Hungry! A similar approach to how I came into my rookie season. I feel like I’ve been caged the past seven months. I can’t wait to get out on the court and show how hard I’ve been working.
Were you able to somehow gain some new confidence as you approach the new season?
I think confidence comes with the work ethic you put in the gym. When you’re in the gym constantly, day after day, and you can feel your game getting better, confidence comes naturally.
The German team Crailsheim Merlins recently were awarded to stay in the Beko BBL. How important was playing in the first division for you?
I think it’s great that they’re staying in BBL. I’m pretty sure the fans are happy as well. I look forward to playing in one of the better leagues in Europe.
What do you know about the country Germany and its basketball in general?
Unfortunately I don’t know much about the country of Germany, but believe me I can’t wait to learn! As far as basketball, I know that it’s one of the top leagues in Europe and the fans are very passionate.
The Crailsheim Merlins were last in the league and have a low budget. Are you welcoming the challenge of having to be an impact player this season?
Yes, definitely. I’m looking even more forward to help bring this team together and getting the best out of every player.
You are a point guard that can score, but also distribute the ball well, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I would have to say my on-ball defense. I like to pick guys up 94ft and cause disruption in the other teams offense. I actually pride myself in doing so.
As a rookie you played in Poland. What was your wake up call to being a professional overseas where you knew that you were very far away from Tulane(NCAA)
Basketball is basketball no matter where you’re playing. My love for the game and passion for competition made it easy to adjust. Didn’t really matter where I was as long as I got to wake up everyday and hoop.
How much were you able to grow as a player in your rookie year in Poland? How important was it making time with two teams that season?
I think I grew a lot. Getting adjusted to the European style of play was big. My first game I think I got called for five traveling violations. Something I think every American can attest to in their first year overseas. With that being said I had two good coaches who really allowed me to work on my game. I actually would tell people back home that I got better after that year. Two practices a day. One being intense skill development and the other being team drills and scrimmaging. How could I not get better?
What memories do you have with Paul Graham who you played a few months with at Anwil in Poland?
Paul really took me under his wing when I moved to Anwil. Being that we were the only two Americans on the team we became good friends. As a matter of fact, we still talk to this day. That’s my guy (PGIII)
Your best season at Tulane was your second season where you played 30 games: 13.7ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 73.9%. Where do you rank your 21 point 12 assist game against Houston in your alltime best college games?
Statistically it probably was my best game at Tulane. I still remember that game to this day! Tulane’s single game assist record was 13 at the time. I had two opportunities to break the record but unfortunately the ball just didn’t bounce right way. I’ll always remember that haha. Personally I think my best game was my senior year when I broke the all time 3pt record. That’s just a moment I’ll never forget.
How did Tulane head coach Ed Conroy prepare you best for a professional basketball career in the three years that you played under him?
I would have to say he made me more of a defensive minded player. In order to play for him you had to play defense, that’s what he prides himself in. So naturally I adjusted because I wanted to play.
How disappointed were you that ex NBA player and ex North Carolina standout Shammond Williams joined Ed Conroy´s coaching staff the year that you graduated?
I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed because we had great coaches during my tenure at Tulane. But Shammond and I are close. I’ve actually been working out with him since I’ve been down here in New Orleans. He’s definitely given me tips that I can add to my arsenal. And anytime you workout with a great player like Shammond you can learn a lot just by watching.
What memories do you have of German Malte Ziegenhagen who played 19 games with you your junior year at Tulane. You will battle him this season in the BBL as he plays for Bayreuth.
Malte was great. He was always trying to learn something new to help out his game. That’s what I liked about him. It was also his first time in the states so we would teach him slang. Malte actually stayed at my house in Atlanta one time due to a flight delay. Can’t wait to play against him this year.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Ricky Tarrant?
Haha. We never played one on one surprisingly. Ricky is like my little brother so if we ever did play I’d have to bang him around a little bit.
Could German Dennis Schroeder challenge Jeff Teague for the starting point guard position this season?
I doubt it. Schroeder is a good talent but Jeff Teague was an all star last year. Going to be tough to take his spot
What was the last movie that you saw?
Paid in Full. It’s a classic and I watch it at least once a month.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.