Ricky Harris is a 28 year old 188cm guard from Baltimore, Maryland that has five seasons of professional experience under his belt and last season played for TBB Trier (Germany-BBL) playing 26 games averaging 12.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 75.0%. He played at Massachusetts (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 19.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 72.9%. In 2010-2011, he started his basketball career with BC Siauliai (Lithuania-LKL): Lithuanian League: 8 games: 7.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 61.5%; EuroCup: 5 games: 12.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 47.6%; Baltic League: 14 games: 10.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 37.2%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 66.2%, in Jan.’11 moved to Ferro-ZNTU Zaporozhye (Ukraine-Superleague): 29 games: 9.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 67.4%, then moved to B-Meg Llamados (Philippines-PBA). In the 2012-2013 season he played for the s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 35 games: 9.8ppg, 1.8rpg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 67.0%. IN the 2013-2014 season he played for Biancoblu Basket Bologna (Italy-Lega2) playing 28 games: 13.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 77.3% . In the 2013-2014 season he played for the s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-BBL) playing 20 games: 11.4ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 47.0%, FT: 84.1%. At Massachusetts (NCAA), he played together with ex Bonn player Tony Gaffney for two seasons and the American only has fond memories of his ex teammate. “Ricky became one of my brothers while playing together at UMASS. He was always a great teammate and very hard worker. He is one of the more potent scorers I’ve ever played with, and while playing under a coach that is not going to put a leash on him, he could really flourish into a prominent European player. Always been a lot of fun to be around, and wants to do anything to help his team and teammates succeed and as a basketball player, those are the kinds of teammates that make seasons so enjoyable, people like slick rick”, stressed Tony Gaffney. Harris spoke to German Hoops about basketball and his experiences playing against new Fraport Skyliner Jordan Theodore.
Ricky thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I’m in Sacramento right now working out and training with my best friend Rudy Gay before he goes to training camp. My summer was very productive did a lot of working out and also enjoyed my time with my family and friends but I’m ready to get back to work.
The Beko BBL where you played for teams like Wurzburg and Trier start in less than two weeks and other leagues start soon, but you are still unsigned at the moment. Has the summer transfer period been more competitive than other years?
This summer has been very tough for me. This is the longest that I have ever been still in the states and not on a team so it’s been mentally frustrating but I’m ready for when my number is called.
Did you have less offers than usual or have you just been more selective than in other years?
A little bit of both. I had a few offers but I also want to play on a team that’s going to be able to compete and make a playoff run. I’m a very hard competitor and want to win. Right now I think teams look at me and wonder why I’ve been placed on losing teams so I think that plays a major part, but last year in Trier if we don’t go bankrupt we finish in 11th place but teams outside of the BBL may not know that, which hurts me I guess.
Last season you played for TBB Trier and despite the big financial problems you had a solid season averaging 12.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 75.0%. Was this one of the hardest seasons in your professional basketball career?
It wasn’t tough as far as basketball and my play I had a great coaching staff who wanted me to play and be aggressive and play. And to be honest I play basketball because I love it so when I was on the court the money kind of went away for those two hours. It was hard though because sitting at home on those late nights knowing you hadn’t been paid in 3 months now that was the tough part.
You and Canadians Jermaine Anderson and Jermaine Bucknor were the leaders. Despite the poor team season what positives were you able to gain that you feel made you better as a player?
We had a great group of guys everyone was very positive. I think this made us all stronger mentally and not only from a basketball perspective but life in general it helped us all grow.
You were very consistent scoring in double figures in 18 of 26 games. What really kept you going in such hard times where you didn´t get paid for months?
I just love to play man. I’ve been in the BBL for 3 years but I still feel like I haven’t caught the attention of certain teams or coaches the way I want to so every time I step on the court I feel like I have something to prove so that is my motivation in itself.
TBB Trier is history and now are named the Gladiators Trier and will play in the Pro A. Despite the difficult times how often were you able to absorb the true character of Jermaine Bucknor on and off the court?
Buck is great guy man his calm demeanor is so contagious he doesn’t really get rattled which is something I learned from him. Never let them see you sweat kind of mentality.
You are 28 now and in the perfect basketball age. If you could describe in a few sentences as to why you could help any team now how would you describe it?
I can bring a lot to a team great locker room guy. I’ve been a spark off the bench for the majority of the teams I’ve played for in Europe. I think I do a good job of that. I’m willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to win because that’s all that matters.
The Fraport Skyliners signed Jordan Theodore whom you played against at AAU and in college. How perfect is a guy like him for the Gordon Herbert system?
Jordan played with Kemba Walker and they had a very tough back court I remember us going at it every summer. People say Baltimore guards are very tough which we are but New York City/ New Jersey guards are very tough as well.
When you played in AAU, was it pretty obvious then that he could go a long way in basketball?
Yea no question I was always a fan of his game. He was just a tough PG
You also played against him with UMASS as he played against Seton Hall. How has his game overall progressed over the years?
He kept the New York City toughness, got bigger, stronger and smarter.
There was interest from the New York Knicks, but Theodore came to Europe and played for losing teams in the last years. He came to Frankfurt and prompt led them to a pre season tournament win beating 2015 BBL champion Bamberg leading the team with 28 points. Could this season be his break through season?
I think Jordan is going to do well. He has that mindset to over achieve which is good and he also has that attitude to prove himself which will help him as well. I think he’ll have a great season and play injury free.
How do you see him playing in a guard rotation with ex teammate John Little and Konstatin Klein? How do you rate this guard rotation?
I think Jordan is going to have to take on a big scorers role with this rotation because the other two guards are known for other things. Konstatin Klein has been playing very well this preseason so if he can stay injury free I think he’ll be very productive this year. Litt has been known to be a defender and he prides himself on that he’s not going to hurt any team because he never goes outside of himself.
What do you think will surprise the BBL league most this season from Jordan Theodore?
His style and his flash its going to be fun to watch.
How do you see the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
Lebron is a freak of nature but Michael Jordan is just another animal.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The black mass and the perfect guy.
Thanks Ricky for the chat.