Eric Kibi is a 24 year old 198cm forward from Ontario, Canada that just completed his second season in Germany and first with Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 20,5ppg and 15,0rpg. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Jacksonville College (NJCAA) where he played until 2010. He then played a season with UALR (NCAA) playing 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.2rpg. He finished his college career in 2012 with Abil.Christian (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 8.2ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.0%. In 2012 he started his professional basketball career with Abil.Christian (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 8.2ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.0%. Last season he played with Ottawa SkyHawks (NBL Canada): 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.7rpg. He will play in the German Pro B next season for Herten. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Eric thanks for taking some time to talk to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for most of the summer which is where I went to high school, pretty much training with the high altitude and visiting friends and family. Now I’m back home in Canada for my last 3 weeks before I head back to Germany.
Congrats on getting signed by the Herten Lions. How relieved are to have made the next step in the German basketball world moving up from Regionaliga to Pro B?
Thank You, it feels great to make that move up but at the end of the day I expected that out of myself at the beginning of the season so I’m happy I reached my goal.
After your rookie season with BG Halstenbek/Pinneberg where you had very strong stats of 19/9, you played a short season in Canada and then came back to Germany to play for Rendsburg. Do you feel that these two seasons were needed for your game to develop more so that you would be 100% ready for the Pro B now?
I kind of agree with that, I feel like I could of played ProB after my rookie year but the opportunity to play in my hometown in Ottawa was too much to pass up. Even though I struggled with playing time in Canada that year in the NBL it made me so hungry because of the high level guys that I practiced with everyday day.
How thankful are you for Ballinforlife Faboom who got you the contact to Herten. He may be the youngest agent in the making.
Haha Faboom is my man, he’s so passionate about the game and knows so many people so I’m thankful for him for sure.
Will the adjustment on and off the court be made easier with your buddy Deandre Lansdowne? How happy are you that he will be with you on the team?
Oh most definitely, he was one of the first guys I met when I moved to the states to play ball when I was 15 and we been great friends ever since. This summer we trained together all summer and played in many tournaments so we definitely have a good feel for each other’s games. As far as off court with him and the other Canadian Justin Dennis I think it’ll be great to have those guys around.
What have you been working on your game mostly this summer so that you will arrive in the German Pro B best prepared?
I’ve been working really hard to get my jump shot more consistent as well as my ball handling. I feel like last season I made a good step as far as being more confident in my shot but obviously I could still be better so I’m making sure I’m prepared because I know defenses will already be prepared for my slashing and athleticism.
Do you see yourself being a dominant player in the Pro B? What do you feel will be your biggest asset for Herten?
I definitely see myself as being a dominant player I don’t say this because I’m cocky but because I know how hard I work at my craft. I definitely can score but I think I can do more than just that because I have such a high motor. With the things I feel like I’ve added this summer to my game add that to the 15 rebounds a game and I think thats the best way I can help my team win every night.
You had a great season for Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 22 games: 20.5ppg, Reb-1(15.0rpg), 1.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 17.4%, FT: 63.4%. However the team finished in eighth place with a record of 8-14. Why wasn´t the team able to perform better as a unit?
You know the season was a bit difficult at times we would win a few in a row and then lose a few so it was definitely challenging. Sometimes as a team we didn’t make the best decisions in clutch times. Overall this season taught me a lot and I’m thankful for the opportunity in Rendsburg.
You were one rebound away from finishing the season with 22 double doubles in 22 games. Your 13/9 stats against Bernau was stat wise probably your worst game. Do you remember these kind of games even now?
Oh I definitely remember that game, that was probably my worst game as pro. Give credit to Bernau though they were probably the best defensive team in our league. I appreciate games like that though because I watch those games on film in the summer and see the things I can work on.
All in all where you able to satisfy your season goals with Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) Was the season a success for your own game or do you feel that you could of played even better?
I was satisfied with my season but of course I feel like I could of played even better to help the team win more games. There’s a few games that I feel if I was given more of an opportunity to stay in the flow of the game we could of won. I look forward to improving on last seasons success this year in Herten, I’m excited for the new challenge.
Was your 28/26 your season highlight against Cottbus or was it another game?
That was definitely the highlight of the season because we won and I was able to actually hit a buzzer beater to win but to me it was more special because it was such a great team win after we lost our first 3 games of the season so it was a great feeling. The stats are just a bonus.
In the Regionaliga it is always interesting to see how much the talent level varies with the German players as you have young and old. If you had to choose a German player that could make the next step who would you choose from last years team?
The best German player I saw this season was Konstantin Kovalev of Alba Berlin. Even though he’s a young guy, that guy competed and went at me every play and I really respected that, hes long and athletic, he has a bright future.
How does a summer day work out session look like for you in 2015 on and off the court?
I’ll get up around 5:15am eat a good breakfast go play pickup at 6am at a local high school after that we get in the lift, swim and run for cardio and steam room. We then conclude the day with an on the court workout finished off with 1000 shots on the shooting machine.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath with Michael Jordan?
Lebron is my favorite player for sure but I think to be mentioned with Jordan he has to win more championship but he’s definitely the most gifted athlete we have ever seen.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Haven’t seen a movie in a while but I’ve been watching the show Power.
Thanks Eric for the chat