Giordan Watson is a 29 year old 178cm guard from Southfield Michigan that will be playing in Turkey this season for Usak Sportlif (Turkey-BSL). He played the last two seasons for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He is an unselfish player who gets others involved but also has the ability to score if needed. He sparks the team with passing and ball movement and is a great defender. He played at Central Michigan from 2004-2008 and in his senior season he played 31 games averaging 16.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 75.0%. As a rookie he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-5(3.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 73.4%. In 2009-2010, he played for the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games: 15.2ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4(5.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 72.7. In 2010-2011 he played for UMFN Njardvik (Iceland-Express League) playing 6 games: 22.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 68.4%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 75.8%. In 2011-2012, he played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) playing 31 games: 16.3ppg, 4.4rpg, Assists-1(7.2apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT-2(43.4%), FT: 78.3%. In 2012-2013 he played for Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 53 games: 16.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 83.3%. Last season for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu, he played 33 games averaging 14.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.9apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 82.3%; EuroChallenge: 17 games: 14.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 5.1apg, Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 86.0%. He led the team into the Eurochallenge final 4. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball and his new challenge in Turkey.
Giordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how was your summer?
Hey Miles, I’m currently in Turkey, at training camp with my team. Summer was cool, seeing my family and friends after a long season was amazing.
It seems like ages ago, but it was only four months ago when you were in Turkey playing the Eurochallenge Top 4 reaching a third place. Are there still plays vivid in your head or is that a distant memory?
You never forget things like that, but now it’s all about moving forward and achieving new goals. Memories like that become special when the playing days are over but not when you are trying to make more special moments.
You won one title with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala) the cup in 2014. How would you summarize your two seasons there?
It was a great experience there. I grew as a player and point guard, made life long friends, and achieved memorable things there. Everything wasn’t beautiful but I have positive memories from my time there.
After strong seasons in lower leagues Iceland and Finland, you came to Romania in 2013. With what kind of feelings did you go to Romania? Did you feel like this was perhaps one of your last chances to recommend yourself for a higher league?
Going to Romania honestly was a 2 year process. I knew the team had high aspirations to play internationally and that is something I liked. Winning the cup my first season allowed us to play in EuroChallenge, so I came back the next season. The second season was all about getting European exposure. I needed this to get back to the level of basketball I felt I was capable of playing at. I think my plans and goals worked out well, even though leaving a team in Romania I had a good relationship with was not the easiest.
You played the last two seasons in Romania for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). How important do you view these two years in the further development of Giordan Watson the basketball player?
It was great. I learned a lot from both coaches I had. My second year head coach, Antonis Constantinides was amazing. He really pulled the best out of me without knowing. I’m sure if you ask him he says he knows, haha, but he really helped a lot.
Congrats on the job with Usak Sportlif (Turkey-TBL) This is another step in your career and compariable in skill to the German BBL. How responsible was your stellar play in Romania for getting this job?
Thanks. It’s a blessing from God honestly. I’ve had a roller coaster of a career to say the least, so to be given an opportunity to play in arguably the best domestic league in Europe is amazing. The success we had in EuroChallenge did wonders, and having the Final Four in Trabzon, Turkey really opened doors for me. I think if the Final Four was anywhere else, I might not be here today. It allowed a different set of eyes to see me play, and I think my game is more respected when watched as supposed to stats or video.
You will be turning 30 soon. You are in your best basketball age. Can we await Giordan Watson to make the next step in Turkey on the court?
At this age, I feel I have a great understanding of the point guard position, being a leader and understanding my game. I have goals for this season, and I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity.
How do you feel basketball wise? Do you feel like you can take your game up another notch at age 30?
I feel good, body feels great and I’m ready. Really not much more to say, I’ve been waiting too long to get back on this level, it’s something I tell myself daily, so I have to take advantage.
You are in Usak Turkey now which is between Izmir on the coast and Ankara inland. What has been your first early impressions of your new second home Turkey?
Turkey is cool. I often have to force myself to embrace new places because I will easily practice, eat, and sleep! I know the history hear is rich, so I’m enjoying learning from my teammates and embracing this new culture.
What was your first dish in Turkey? Do you see yourself eating the rich Turkish dishes or stick to the local Mcdonalds?
McDonald’s? Haide Miles… I’m generally a picky eater, but the Turkish food has been really good so far! I’ll try anything once, and so far, so good.
How excited are you to be playing with guys like Sean Marshall, Tyren Johnson, Khem Birch and high scoring rookie Dangelo Harrison. Do you see yourself lending your European experience to some of these guys?
Well, our roster has changed some. No Sean and no Tyren, but I’m excited to play with Dangelo and Khem. An athletic big guy and a shooter on the wing are pieces a point guard will love. They are younger guys, so anything I can do to help, I will.
What do you see your role being? They seem to be grooming you as the starting point guard?
Point guard is tricky, every game has its own personality, so you have to feel that as fast as possible. I think it will be to control tempo, play good defense, and score when needed or available. Generally, I need to be myself on the court.
What strength of your game do you feel will be most important for you to be able to have a great season?
I really think just being myself and playing how I play will be enough. That doesn’t come without of that extreme focus and hard work, but being an unselfish point guard, that embraces defense and can score usually travels well.
It is a shame that you haven´t played in Germany anymore since 2009 after stints in Bremerhaven and Nordlingen. Do you feel like you are a bit off the radar and interest of German teams?
My rookie year was wild. We had a very talented team but could not turn it into wins. Going to Nordlingen probably wasn’t the best decision looking back but at the time, it was late in the season and I had just left some D-league opportunities, and I needed a team. It has all played into my maturity as a player/person, so I don’t regret it at all.
How much will you miss American Porter Troupe? Did he become like a brother to you in your two seasons in Romania?
P is my guy, we still talk all the time. He has played there a few seasons, and helped me out a lot in Romania. I was blessed to have great teammates in Romania.
What do you see the Detroit Pistons doing in the NBA this season?
I’m more concerned with my Detroit Lions right about now, it’s football season! Nfc North champs, easy.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
They aren’t comparable, honestly. I think people just need to respect greatness in different ways and stop debating who is better. Lebron can dominate games in a way Jordan didn’t, and vice versa. Lebron haters need to look in the mirror and chill.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Southpaw. It was a really good movie!
Thanks Giordan for the chat.