Jermale Jones is a 28 year old 186cm guard from Birmingham, Alabama that is playing in Luxemburg this season for Black Star Mersch.He started his basketball career in 2005 for Lawson State CC (JUCO) where he played until 2007. He then played two more years at Tuskegee (NCAA2). In 2011-2012 he came to Germany and played for SSV Lokomotive Bernau (Germany-ProB) playing 18 games: 17.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 79.2%. In the 2013-2014 season for Lich he played 24 games averaging 18.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 76.2%. Last season with Lich he played 28 games: 16.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 83.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about this season in Luxemburg.
Jermale thanks for talking to German Hoops. It took a long time until you got signed, but your playing outside of Germany this season with Black Star Mersch. Did experience and faith once again help you get through the summer?
Yes it took a lot of Faith to keep me going this summer. I know with my experience I would get signed even if it took some time. Players get released daily and some clubs just want experienced guys to carry a young team.
You are not far away from Germany in Luxemburg, but has the fact sunk in yet that you aren´t in Germany this season and actually earning a living somewhere else?
Yes it has already sunk in that I’m not in Germany anymore but it’s nice to play in another country and live somewhere new.
Do you see more people speaking French or do you hear the German language also?
Most people that I have ran into speak French but the German language here is a bunch of slang words put together.
Between you and I, it is obvious you could of played for any Pro B team and even helped out a Pro A team had you just been given the chance. Are you slowly understanding and realizing the older you get the harder it is getting a job in Germany?
Well I had a few ProB offers but the offer wasn’t what I was looking for & with a Pro A team I didn’t have not one look which I feel very terrible about because they wouldn’t even give me the opportunity or at least a tryout contract. To me it’s really not about the age it’s about who you know in the business.
Black Star Mersch have started at 1-2. You are the main import player with American Mike Oppland. What has been your first impression of the N-2 league?
My first impression of this league is that it’s not too strong. I remember when playing in Lich 2 years ago we beat a Luxembourg team by 25+. So I knew instantly coming here what this league was about.
To what German level would you compare the N2 league to? This should be a league where you will really be able to do something big for your stats.
I would compare this league to all the low ProB teams and the top Regionalliga teams. Yes in this league I’ll have really huge stats and the teams depend highly on their import players.
Do you see yourself being able to improve your game at this level?
Yes no matter what level you play on you can get better in every aspect of your game. Working on weaknesses is the key.
Ate the age of 28 you are in the best basketball age. You scored 38 in your first game and are averaging 25ppg through three games. Do you see this season as a stepping stone to getting back to a higher league?
Yes, I see this season as a stepping stone to work my butt off and improve and get back to a higher league. Sometimes you just have to take the long route to get where you want to be.
How has it been playing with American Mike Oppland who´s brother Dan plays in Nurnberg? I guess you both will probably score half of the teams points this season?
It’s great playing with Mike. He’s a hard worker. He is a great team mate and he’s also a great person off the court. He’s always looking for ways to help people. Me and Mike will have to take full responsibility for scoring on our team with high leadership roles to carry the young guys on our team.
This weekend you will play against American Karl Moore who played at Saarlouis last season and scored 57 points last week. Is he a guy in the same boat as you playing in way too low of a league?
I don’t think me and him are in the same boat.My situation is completely different from his.
Your buddy Martinis Woody also found a team after waiting almost as long as you finding one and will play in the German Regionaliga with Karlsruhe PS. His determination and will to play is still very high. Do you see him having a big year?
I’m so happy about Woody finding a job because he deserves a chance. He has showed what he can do. Me and him are kind of in the same boat. We are not giving the opportunity to show what we can do at a higher level. But we don’t let that get us down. We just keep pushin. He will have a great season and help that team move up.
Is there a curse on Derrick Rose? He is injured again? Do you ever see him playing through a season?
I don’t know what’s going on but every time the season is about to jump off he gets hurt.. But I have to give it to him because he’s a warrior. He has been through a lot with injuries and he remains positive and staying hungry.
When will you make your first visit back to Frankfurt? Your front row seat will always be free for you?
You might see me Sunday at the Frankfurt game sitting in my favorite seat.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Get Rich or Die Trying
Thanks Jermale for the chat.