Damarkus Lipscomb is a 173cm point guard from North Little Rock, Arkansas that is currently in Germany playing with the Howard Hoops team. He helped the team to a 2-1 record beating Kronberg and Gelnhausen and they close out the tour tonight in Schwelm. He played college ball at Philander Smith (NAIA) and as a senior played 32 games: 7.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 7.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 22.8%, FT: 54.3%. As a professional he played with Team Dubai (Eurobasket Summer League in Houston, starting five): 5 games: 6.0ppg, 1.2rpg. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been GCAC Regular Season Co-Champion -13, GCAC Tournament Winner -13, and GCAC All-Tournament MVP -13. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Damarkus thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. It was10:30 at night recently and after a 102-90 loss to TV Langen you had to walk 20 minutes to the train station to catch a short train back to Frankfurt and then take a bus to Offenbach. I guess it all comes with the territory when your trying to get a professional contract?
Yes it does come with the territory. If you want something you never had, you’ll have to do some things you have never done. I’ve never road a train to a game nor had to walk 20 minutes afterward. But I come to understand that things are different overseas than it is in America and willing to adapt.
You are in Germany this week on a touring team called Howard Hoops that play every night in Langen, Kronberg, Gelnhausen and Schwelm. On a team the goal is too win, but is your goal not more to put up the best numbers to help you get a contract?
Yes, my team goal is to win and play team basketball because I’m naturally unselfish and a team player. However, being the ultimate goal is to get a contract I’ll have to try to adjust my game to score more.
Howard Hoops lost to German Regionaliga team TV Langen 102-90 playing more street ball while TV Langen played more structured basketball. How tough was it playing on a team of strangers after having the first practice 5 hours earlier?
It wasn’t that tough on offense since Americans pretty much play the same style of ball. But it was tough for us defensively to adapt to the European style of play and the pace.
Howard Hoops had problems on one on one defense and are very small down low against TV Langen. What adjustments did the team need to do which helped in the wins against Kronberg and Gelnhausen?
We used our quickness on defense to speed up in the other team’s offense and pressure them into turnovers. Also, we pushed the tempo while on offense to get quick shots before their big man could get back to defend their basket.
What was your first impression of German basketball?
My first impression was that German teams run their offense with precision and they have a great basketball IQ. They seem to try to limit their mistakes and capitalize off of their opponents.
How happy were you with your first game overseas. What did you do well and what do you still want to do better in the upcoming games?
I was excited because it was my first overseas experience playing basketball, and that was a dream come true for me. I played defense well and handled the ball good with limited turnovers. I still want to transition my game in the upcoming games from a passive guard to a scoring guard.
Howard Hoops team won in Kronberg and Gelnhausen. Has the team began to get a better team chemistry in the last two games?
Yes the team chemistry is better. Were starting to be on the same page both offensively and defensively.
How thankful are you that tour maker Ronald Howard chose you for his team?
Very thankful. Not many people get a opportunity to travel abroad and to actively pursue a career in basketball while playing against professional teams.
Were you able to take some of his barking from the sidelines to heart when you were on the court?
Yes, Coach Ronald Howard is very experienced with overseas basketball and his insights are very helpful while in competition.
You will have a real big test Friday against German Pro B team Schwelm. This will be your last game on this tour. How confident are you that you will have a good game?
I am confident. I believe that my experience and that my training has prepared me for this level of competition.
You played at Philander Smith (NAIA) and as a senior played 32 games: 7.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 7.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 22.8%, FT: 54.3%. You finished there in 2013. Do you feel that your size has scared away teams from giving you a contract?
I honestly do believe it has. But I believe in my skill set and what I can bring to a club. I will just continue to work endlessly until I find one club to believe in me the way that I believe in myself.
If you could describe your game in a few sentences and to why you could help any professional team now what words would you chose?
I am a true-point guard that can lead a team. I can give high assist numbers and also can score well. I give good energy on defense and pressure opposing guards into turnovers. What I may lack in height I make up in heart and hard work. I’m very coachable.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Do you think that he will ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
Lebron’s state of mind is to return to the NBA Finals this upcoming season and win a championship. Anything less than that should be unacceptable. I think he will be discussed with the Greatest of All Time, Michael Jordan, because he is the greatest basketball player of today’s era. But final comparison can’t be made until Lebron’s NBA career is finished.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was “Madagascar 3”. I watched that on the flight from the U.S. to Germany.
Thanks Damarkus for the chat.