Jermel Kennedy is a 25 year old 201cm forward from Toronto Canada that is currently playing with Club Atletico Marne Montevideo (Uruguay-Metropolitan) an dthen will head back to Europe to start his third professional season with Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold. Last season he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League), in Oct.’14 signed at Porvoon Tarmo (Finland-1st Division) playing 28 games averaging 18.0ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 72.9%. He played his rookie season in the German Pro B with TV Langen in 2013-2014 where he played 24 games averaging 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 78.1%. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Iowa Central Community College (NJCAA) playing 26 games: 4.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP:47.3%, FT: 57.1%. In 2009-2010, he played for Volunteer State Community College (NJCAA) playing 27 games: 11.7ppg, 8.2rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 83.0%. He finished his college basketball career at Lander in 2012 playing two seasons there and as a senior played 27 games: 11.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 66.1%, FT: 70.5%. In 2013 he was drafted by Moncton Miracles (NBL Canada,1rd(6). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jermel thanks for talking to German Hoops The last time I saw you was about 16 months ago when you played your last game for TV Langen. Since then you have played in Luxemburg, Finland and Uruguay and now you will start a new journey in Spain. If someone had told you then in Langen that you would turn into a basketball globe trotter what would you have said?
Thanks for having me again Miles it always a pleasure speaking with you. I probably wouldn’t believe them. I’m honestly feel really grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to so many different places, experience different cultures, and learn so much about the different styles of basketball.I’m very excited to explore and learn about Spain, and can’t wait to see what experiences I’ll be able to take away from the time I’ll be spending there.
You played your rookie season in Germany and second season in Luxemburg, Finland and Uruguay. Do you feel like you have grown up as a basketball player in the last year with all that you have experienced?
I definitely learned a lot from all of those teams and places I have had the opportunity to be a part of, so yes I feel like I have grown much as a basketball player as well as a person and that’s what I strive for to learn and absorb as much as possible in any team or place I go
You had a short stay in Luxemburg with AB Contern and then signed with Porvoon Tarmo (Finland-1st Division). After your short stay in Luxemburg how confident were you that you would still be able to turn your second season around in Finland?
I never lose confidence in myself or my abilities so I didnt waiver at all. I was just looking for the opportunity to be somewhere permanent since AB Contern only had me for a couple weeks
In Finland you played 28 games averaging 18.0ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 72.9%. Finland is known to be a league where especially Americans like to go to to bolster their stats and to recommend themselves for higher leagues. You also had no problems getting adjusted quickly and playing very consistent. Do you feel this strong season had mostly to do with getting you the new job with Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold).
I strongly believe it did Miles. I felt like I did most of what I wanted to do last season and I am just happy it payed off and CB Clavijo noticed
Is the first Finish league a league where defense takes a back seat? The league is dominated by the import players?
I wouldnt say that I was pretty impressed with some of the defenders in the league but the league was definitely dominated by the import players most teams had 3 imports and they could all play at the same time so there were some pretty competitive games I would say
You obviously wanted to help Porvoon Tarmo (Finland-1st Division) win as many games, but on what things in your game do you believe were improved in this very strong season?
The biggest improvement I would say was my overall confidence just went up , not to say I wasn’t confident before it was just different there were just some games I felt like everything was clicking and I was focused in all aspects and the ball would just find its way in. I believe that came from getting the experience and listening and learning from my coach and my teammates as well
You scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games and had 11 double doubles. You had some huge games. What was your season highlight?
The one game that probably resonates with me the most and my season highlight was when we played Fokopo for the third time going into their gym 0-2 and finally beating them. I finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds and went 14-15 from the field my EFF was 42 that game
Who would win a one on one in practice you or Jerrah Young?
We played once me him and my other teammate. Jerrah left on top and I still owe him one.
You also played in Uruguay for Club Atletico Marne Montevideo (Uruguay-Metropolitan) which is actually still going on. You had a two month break between Finland and Uruguay. What were the main reasons for playing in Uruguay? Was extra game competition more important than the monotony of summer workouts in Canada?
Well it was actually a one month break between the two, I felt it would be more important for me to gain some more pro experience and also to get my name out there on another continent. I have learned a ton here and I have been slowly applying what I learned to parts of my game the best form of learning is playing so the summer workouts I had to miss so I could apply what I worked on last summer this season
What kind of experience has Uruguay been for you? Where would you rate the basketball and have they made you into soccer fans yet? Lol
It has been an overall learning experience nonetheless the culture and everything here is just eye opening if you care to pay attention there is a lot of beauty to go and see. I am not sure how to rate the basketball its difficult to gauge but its really physical and tough. Soccer is growing on me and I have seen one game so far live and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of it all
Congrats on signing with Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold). You now are playing in the second division in Span and the highest level so far in your professional career. How excited are you about this opportunity and will you be ready come September after you leave Uruguay?
Thank you I am pretty excited to embark on this new opportunity and I am up for the challenge and I am prepared and ready
Have you been practicing Spanish in Uruguay for Spain? You will be living in Logrono which is about 130km from Bilbao in the north. Have you had any talks with the coach? This is also a league where the import players play a major role. Do you see yourself being a central figure of the offense?
I have picked up some things here and there so my Spanish is not the greatest. I have spoke to coach a bunch we got the chance to touch base with each other on the upcoming season and things he will expect of me etc .Whichever role he has me in I will accept surely it will be for the better of the team
How excited are you to be playing with Czech national player and point guard Jakub Kudlacek who has played many years in the top Italian league. He is a pick and roll type of player that will get you the ball.
I am excited to play with him and all my teammates it will be interesting to see so many different styles working collectively to pursue one goal. Jakubs extensive experience will be perfect and I have heard great things about him
You really have come a long way from community colleges to Lander(NCAA) and lower leagues in Europe to Spain. Do you feel like there is still much upside in your game and potential that will still propel to bigger and better things down the road?
I am optimistic on what I can bring to the table but my focus right now is just improving my skills and honing my craft and see how far it will take me
Canada recently played at the Pan American games and got a silver medal. Canadian basketball continues to be on the rise. How big are your aspirations of one day wearing the colors of your country?
The opportunity to represent my country would be a great one. I am really proud of my country and representing my country one day is high on my bucket list
Could you imagine returning to the Beko BBL after a strong season in Spain?
If the opportunity presented itself I would be more than happy to put into consideration
If you had to ask your friend David Pruitt advice about basketball what would you ask him now that he is a college basketball coach?
I would ask him on things to better my game since he has experience on player development now and I am sure he can show me new things
Where do you see the journey of the Toronto Raptors ending this season?
I expect great things from them this upcoming year dont sleep on the Raps Miles
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan?
James is in his own lane he will go down as one of the greats. I am not much on comparing to different kind of players
What was the last movie that you saw?
Dinocroc vs. Supergator and I must say it was Dino-mite and Croc-Tastic.
Thanks Jermel for the chat.