Kenneth Simms is a 28 year old 205cm center from Queens, New York that will be starting his seventh professional season and play for his 11th team with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Last season he registered 17 double doubles and scored in double figures 38 times for KTP Basket Kotka (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 49 games: 16.1ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 72.2%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 15.2ppg, 9.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, FT: 68.8%. Simms started his basketball career at UMKC (NCAA) in 2007 and played22 games: 5.6ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 46.1%, FT: 51.8%. He played his last season of college ball at Cumberland (NAIA). He started his professional basketball career in 2009 for Marijampole Suduva-Arvi (Lithuania-LKL): Lithuanian League: 2 games: 2.0ppg, 1.0rpg; Baltic League: 1 game: 11pts, 9reb, 4steals, 2blocks, then moved to Maryland Marvels (ABA), in Nov.’09 agreed terms with Marijampole Suduva-Arvi (Lithuania-LKL), In the 2010-2011 season he played for SCM CSU Craiova (Romania-Div.A, starting five): 32 games: 16.4ppg, Reb-1 (11.0rpg), 1.6apg, 1.3spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 59.4%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 53.1%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Ningxia Hanas (China-NBL) playing 9 games: 21.9ppg, 11.4rpg, 1.2spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 59.6% and for the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan): 50 games: 14.9ppg, 8.8rpg, Blocks-4 (1.4bpg), FGP: 61.6%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 73.4%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) playing EuroChallenge: 6 games: 11.7ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 53.8%, FT: 53.8%; Swedish Basketligan: 44 games: 14.7ppg, Reb-3 (9.3rpg), 1.3apg, Blocks-1 (1.8bpg), FGP: 59.3%, FT: 69.2%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Atletico Welcome (Uruguay-Metropolitan) and Liege Basket (Belgium-Ethias League) playing 39 games: 12.9ppg, Reb-4 (7.3rpg), 1.3apg, Blocks-2 (1.0bpg), FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 11.1%, FT: 67.5%.He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Ken thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
I’m currently living in the Bronx in New York , my summer has been amazing. I recently played in the Dominican Republic , it was a great experience . Beautiful place and people there
You recently played in the Dominican Republic for Soles de Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic-LNB) and your teammate was Ronnie Taylor. What do you remember most from his game? He played for 4 German team from 2005-2007 like Giessen as he started his professional career. Did he tell you anything about Germany in your short time or was Germany not an issue yet for you?
Ronnie is a great point guard , he sets his players up well . At the time I didn’t know I was going to Germany yet
Congrats on signing with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in Germany which will be your 11th country. Do you feel like a basketball globetrotter?
Haha yes I feel exactly like that , I have been so many places experienced so many cultures . Real blessed to have this experience .
In the famous and hilarious American movie Fast Times at Ridgemont high surfer dude Jeff Spuccoli aka Sean Penn utters the famous line “All I need are some tasty waves and a cool buzz and I ´m fine”. Could you say “all I need is a basketball and I am fine anywhere?
Yeah pretty much I believe I can adapt to most places as long as I’m playing ball !!
You seem not to be able to get enough of basketball. In the summers when other guys are resting, you still play as you have shown in China, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic the last years. Is there ever a day where you don’t have a basketball in your hands?
I love the game of basketball and I know it will one day leave me . I just try and take any opportunity that I can to play and better my game
You played Eurochallenge last season in Finland with KTP Basket Kotka, but opted to move to the German team team Eisbaeren Bremerhaven that don´t play international. How big of a lure was it to be able to play in the ever growing Beko BBL in Germany that wants to be the best league in Europe by 2020?
I loved playing for KTP , but we know how good the BBL is , it’s a chance to show my skills against top talent !! Even though there is no international play
What do you know about the country of Germany and its basketball in general. How important was your ex teammate Mike Smith on selling you not only on Germany but his ex team Bremerhaven?
Mike had very good things to say about the club , city and people .He told me I will be well taken care of , I just need to produce.
What really stands out in your professional basketball vita is your scoring and rebounding consistency. Is this something that has been built up more through continued hard work or just pure talent?
I put in a lot of work on my game , raw talent will only get you so far . I believe that my effort each year is the main reason for my consistent play
You scored an incredible ridiculous 38 times in double figures out of 49 games and registered 17 double doubles. The Beko BBL is a step above the Finish league in skill. How ready are you for this challenge?
I have played against high level Europeans teams , the only big difference is the amount of good players there are, every night I faced an import in Finland and was able to produce . I believe I can have similar success in Germany .
Last season you owned team Katja winning the season series 3-1, but Ken Horton won the Finish title. In all four games he was unstoppable as were you. Even though you don´t battle at the same position how much are you looking forward to playing against him and medi Bayreuth?
Ken is a very good player , it will be nice to see a familiar face in Germany , I expect to beat him though lol. Will see if he guards me I’m a bit more inside than he is
Consistency really stands out in your game, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the floor?
My defense sometimes gets over looked , for a big I can move pretty well .
You played in Belgium for Liege in the 2013-2014 season with ex Bremerhaven American Mike Smith. After a stellar career at E.Tenn.St. He played his rookie season with Bremerhaven and then had an unforgettable year in the D-League that didn´t happen. He totally revamped his career in Belgium the last two years. You witnessed his progression. Were you a guy as a veteran that supported him as he was coming off a low as was making a high with Liege?
Mike is a extremely hard worker , he was motivated in Belgium after being out a year , it showed he was a great scorer in Liege . I didn’t have to say much to get him going .
How proud are you of your ex teammate John Roberson who like you after many years in lower leagues has made the next step to the strongest league that he has ever played in in France where he will play for Chalon?
I recently talked to John , I couldn’t be more happier for him , he has come a long way and he deserves everything he is getting , he is a true champion and winner
As a rookie you played briefly for Marijampole Suduva-Arvi (Lithuania-LKL) before heading back to the states to play for the Maryland Marvels (ABA), but in your second season you blossomed with SCM CSU Craiova (Romania-Div.A) playing 32 games: 16.4ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 1.6apg, 1.3spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 59.4%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 53.1%. What was your wake up call to being a professional player in europe where you knew that you were far away from Queens, New York?
I didn’t really get a chance to play in suduva , so I went home and kept searching for an opportunity to play again, and luckily I went to a place where I could show my talents . That first year kind of prepared me for the challenges I would face the following year
When you look back how important was it making the move from UMKC (NCAA) to Cumberland(NAIA) which was a few steps back in leagues?
College was a bit of a mess honestly , twice the coach that recruited me was fired before I got to play. It left me in a bad position when I was done .
How did Cumberland head coach Lonnie Thompson prepare you best for a professional basketball career in your last year of college?
Lonnie showed me how to have thick skin , he is an angry and fiery coach, he wanted his players to always be aggressive , and it helped me out
Who won a one on one back in the day at Cumberland you or Rodney James?
I would always win lol Rodney is my boy though
How does a typical summer work out day look like for you on and off the court?
I work out in Manhattan with my father lifting at twelve , then to the Bronx to work on basketball with my uncle and cousin
Can the New York Knicks become a playoff team this season?
I pray my Knicks get back to the winning ways of the 90s but the team is young and new , so we will see
What was the last movie that you saw?
Ted 2 it was hilarious.
Thanks Ken for the chat.