Michael Fakuade is a 26 year old 201cm forward from Chicago, Illinois that also has the NIgerian citizenship and is starting his fourth professional season and second in Spain and first with Quesos Cerrato de Palencia (Spain-LEB Gold). As a rookie he played for UBC Hannover playing 15 games: 15.2ppg, Reb-5(10.6rpg), 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(2.8bpg), FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 67.6%. In his second season he played for the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen (Germany-ProA) playing 33 games averaging 8.3ppg, Reb-5(7.3rpg), Blocks-1(1.8bpg), FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 56.5%. Last season he played for Forca Lleida CE (Spain-LEB Gold)playing 32 games: 7.2ppg, 5.2rpg, Blocks-5(1.0bpg), FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 66.0%. He started his basketball career in 2007 for N.Illinois (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing 54 NCAA games. He then changed to play for Ill.-Springfield (NCAA2). He played a total of 45 NCAA 2 games and as a senior played 24 games: 14.5ppg, RebNCAA2-6(11.0rpg), BlocksNCAA2-2(3.5bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 3-6, FT: 56.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Hi Michael, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Summer has been great! just spending time with family and friend as well as working out preparing for the upcoming season.
You played your first two professional seasons in Germany and now will be playing your second in Spain. What have you missed most about Germany basketball wise?
Playing in both countries has been a fantastic experience.The thing that I missed the most about playing in Germany is the fast past play. Spain is more half court with a lot of sets.
Last season you played for Forca Lleida CE (Spain-LEB Gold) and your stats weren´t to different from to your season in Essen. What are the main differences in the two leagues Pro A and Leb Gold?
The biggest difference between Pro A and Leb gold would be the tactical part of the game. You really have to focus on the small details and focus on defense. Scoring is not as important as it is in pro A.
You reached the Leb Gold semi finals losing to Ourense in three games. What kind of experience was it playing the playoffsin Spain?
Losing in the semi finals was tough because we were really close to the finals and I really wanted to put my stamp in the league by making the finals.
You had no problem adjusting to the Spanish Leb Gold last season and you played 32 games averaging 7.2ppg, 5.2rpg, Blocks-5(1.0bpg), FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 66.0%. What part of your game do you feel can you use best to your abilities in the Leb Gold?
I think my defense and my energy is one ability that I can really use to be successful in Leb gold, As well as any other league I plan to play in.
I watched some tapes on you and you seem to have become more of a complete player in Spain. Do you feel that playing on a team that had no real superstar, but moreover players that played for each other helped your game more?
Yes, I definitely think playing on a real team with no real superstar helped me develop. I knew every night whatever role I was playing, that the team would need me to contribute and help the team win.
You played five minutes less than in Essen, but were still very efficient on the court. What part of your game do you feel developed the most last season?
I think my IQ of the game has developed the most. I really learned how to think the game and know when to be aggressive on offense and defense.
Who would win a one on one in practice you or Javier Mugica?
Good question, but of course as a competitor I would say myself, but Javi is a very skilled player that has a lot of experience in Leb gold.
This season you will continue to remain in the Spanish Leb Gold with Quesos Cerrato de Palencia (Spain-LEB Gold). What will be your personal goals this season? In what areas do you want to make the next step?
My personal goal is to get to the Championship. Last year I had a little taste of the semifinals, so this time around I want to be in the finals. I also want to just keep developing as player to help my team win as many games as possible.
Were you able to watch any Spanish first division games last season? It is the best league in Europe. Is there still worlds between the Leb Gold and first division or not so much?
Yes, The spanish ACB league is one the best leagues in the world. I think Leb is not too far away from the ACB, because you have a lot of veteran guys that come down from the ACB to play in Leb as well as some stars in the ACB that started their career in Leb.
A big goal of yours is to reach the German Beko BBL one day. Do you feel with a strong season in the Leb Gold, you might be able to fulfill that dream?
Yes, I believe if I continue my growth as player that I can can not only play in the BBL but any league in Europe.
Two seasons ago you played with Anthony Young with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen who has played in South America the last two seasons. What do you remember most about his game in practice where you are happy that he was actually on your team and wasn´t an opponent?
It was always fun to match up with Anthony. His hesitation pull up was a go to move of his. It was really fun to play with him in Essen. I feel as if him and I gave opponents a different mix whenever we were out there.
What memories do you have of Ashanti Cook? He came out of Georgetown in 2006 and it seemed like he have a promising career, but instead had to battle many obstacles. Did it surprise you that he didn´t have more of a long lasting career?
Yes, I am very surprised Ashanti does not have offers to play in Europe. He is one of the most talented players I ever played with. He is a super skilled guard that still has a lot of game left. I believe he will still get an opportunity to continue you his career.
How does a summer work out day look like for you in the summer of 2015?
Every day I wake up around 9 and head to the gym. I spend about two half hours in the gym. One hour and half on the court and another hour in the weight room. Throughout the week I like to play no more than two to three games a week.
What is the current state of Lebron James? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
Yes, as of right now people mention Lebron in the same breath as Jordan. He still has a long way to go, but he will be in the conversation when his career is over.
What do you see the Chicago Bulls achieving this season?
I believe the Bulls will make it to the NBA finals. They have a really good team. They just need to stay healthy.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Michael for the chat.