Eric Kibi is a 25 year old 198cm forward from Ontario, Canada that is playing this season for the Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-ProB). Last season he completed his second season in Germany and first with Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 20,5ppg and 15,0rpg. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Jacksonville College (NJCAA) where he played until 2010. He then played a season with UALR (NCAA) playing 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.2rpg. He finished his college career in 2012 with Abil.Christian (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 8.2ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.0%. In 2012 he started his professional basketball career with Abil.Christian (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 8.2ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.0%. Last season he played with Ottawa SkyHawks (NBL Canada): 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.7rpg. He will play in the German Pro B next season for Herten. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Hi Eric, thanks for talking to German Hoops 25-20 sounds like a football score, but those were your stats recently. What is the perfect football score/Eric KIbi stat line if you had to choose?
Hey Miles, thanks for having me, and yeah haha definitely those are some crazy numbers but I’m not surprised, I work hard so that’s just a result of the hard work we put in the summer and pre season. The perfect stat line To me most importantly is we got the Win against a very tough and physical team and then the stats is a bonus.
You are playing your first season in the German Pro B with the Herten Lions. What has been the secret to your adjustment being so strong after coming from the Regionaliga?
Honestly my mentality hasn’t changed not one bit since I came to Germany in 2012. I’m an undersized player so people automatically count you out so that’s fine, it just makes me play with a chip on my shoulder which in the end seems to Result in success more often than not.
You tore up the German Regionaliga last year and it looks like you will the Pro B also. What is the biggest difference in style and skill between the Pro B and Regionaliga?
Well the difference is that it’s way more physical in the ProB, guys are much bigger and active so that’s makes a huge difference. I also find that the German players are better as well.
What has it been like working together with head coach Shaladi Majdi? Does your pre season play and success imply that you will have unending freedom on the court?
Coach Majdi and coach Ceddy have been great so far. I love their style of play and passion for the game because that’s the type of player I am. I mean it’s only preseason so I don’t want to get ahead of myself but they really let us play through our mistakes which not all coaches do and in my opinion that’s the best way to become the best basketball player you can be.
How confident are you that the other two imports Justin Dennis and Deandre Lansdowne will be able to make an impact with you? How has the meshing together been so far?
I’m very confident they will have a big impact as well. We all have the same work ethic and hunger to succeed, were always putting in the extra work together daily. Dee and I worked out all summer together in Albuquerque so I know he’s ready and Justin is a Toronto which is near my hometown so I already know what kind of hunger to succeed guys from down there have. It’s a blessing to have older guys like those two to help me out every day, I learn daily.
You recently dropped 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds against Dutch first division team Rotterdam in a 85-63 win. Is this an early indication that Herten will be a favorite in the Pro B or should one not overrate a pre season game?
I mean yes it’s a great result against a very strong opponent. They were very physical and disciplined so it was a tough game to play. Even though it’s pre season that was an important win for our team as we build towards the season opener. I don’t want to necessarily get into predictions for the season that is for you journalists to do haha, I’ll just play ball and let the game do the talking.
Was your 25 point 20 rebound effort against Rotterdam the perfect example how even players in the Pro B can compete and dominate against a first division team?
Definitely, when the ball gets tossed up you can’t hide anymore there’s no more 1st division and so on, that’s all on paper. Game always speaks, sometimes it’s all about opportunity and seizing that opportunity. I respect all my opponents, but my goal is to play first division so when I get a golden opportunity like yesterday’s I have to dominate but most importantly win.
What do you believe that you can realistically accomplish in the Pro B on the court with your game?
Once again I won’t predict anything haha, I see and read everything that’s said about my game so that just fuels personal and team goals that I have for myself. I will just be the best basketball player I can be daily and the rest will take care of itself.
You focus so much on scoring and rebounding, do you imagine being able to implement other things into your game like possibly a three pointer? –
Definitely, I feel like I’ve extended my range the last few years. Last season I hit a few three pointers so this season I have to improve on that to keep defenses honest.
Do you see yourself as a leader on this club and what besides winning and having big double double games do you want to bring to the court in your game?
Yes I see myself as leader by example. I’m not a guy who says too much I always try to lead by example by being an everyday guy with my habits and work ethic so I think that’s what I can bring to the team. Guys like Dee and Justin love to talk already so they can do all that.
You were recently at a Schalke football game. What do you appreciate most about the German football?
Man I love the atmosphere and passion of German football. Every time I go to a football match out here it amazes how passionate the fans are. In a second life I would of definitely loved to be a soccer player. It was a great game as well, I’m a huge Dortmund fan so I was in enemy territory but Schalke looked great yesterday, they move the ball very well and create a lot of scoring chances.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I recently watched Straight outta Compton and Southpaw. Best two movies I’ve seen in years.
Thanks Eric for the chat.