Richard Williams is a 28 year old 178cm guard that is playing his first season with the Kirchheim Knights averaging 18,3ppg, 8,5apga and 4,0rpg at the moment. He recently played for the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): EuroChallenge: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 6.5apg, 2.0spg; German BBL: 9 games: 8.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 40.6%, 3FGP: 48.0%, FT: 70.6%, in Jan.’15 moved to SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 4.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. He is a very fast guard that can play either one or two. Great at pushing the break. Can score by shooting the three or using his explosiveness to beat his man. Gets to the basket and scores in traffic. A specialist in steals that uses his quickness to intimidate on defense. Great ball control. Gets the whole team involved when playing the point but can takeover a game at any time. He started his basketball career at San Diego St. (NCAA) in 2005 where he played until 2009. In his senior year he played 36 games: 7.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3Pts: 37.5%, FT: 64.2%. In 2009-2010, he started his professional basketball career for The San Diego Surf (ABA), in Jan.’10 moved to FSU Selfoss (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 8 games: 27.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 3.4apg, 2.8spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 72.7%. In 2011-2012, he played for UBC Hannover Tigers (Germany-ProB) 33 games: 18.3ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 75.8%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for SC Rasta Vechta playing 38 games: 15.6ppg, 5.2rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 79.9%. In the 2013-2014 season for Vechta he played 34 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.4apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 29.3%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau.
Richie thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are back in the Pro A. Was the Beko BBL a step to early or was your first opportunity in Frankfurt just a collection of bad luck with injuries?
Injuries. I couldn’t get rid of the injury bug. Everyone knows what I’m capable of doing when I’m healthy. If they don’t, there’s film they can watch.
You obviously have a new situation now, but you didn´t play bad with the Fraport Skyliners. In your two Eurochallenge games you averaged 9.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 6.5apg, 2.0spg. Do you ever think what could have been had you been 100% healthy?
No. I try not to think about “what could have been” but focus more on what I have going on right now.
You are playing with your second Pro A team after SC Rasta Vechta with the Kirchhein Knights. What kind of experience has this been for you in the first two months?
It has been a good experience thus far. I’m playing well, I’m healthy, the team is getting better. I can’t complain.
You obviously had great times with SC Rasta Vechta helping the team move up to the Beko BBL and then playing a strong first BBL season, but how good was it going into the always loud Rasta dome winning and dropping 26 points and dishing out 10 assists?
It’s always good for my self esteem with the individual performance but it was much sweeter to get the win. Vechta is a quality team so to get a win on their home court was very good for our team confidence.
Considering the circumstances and all where do you rank this single performance in your professional career?
I’ve had better performances but this one of my sweetest wins.
The Kirchheim Knights have been up and down through four games. What have been the main problems for the inconsistency? Is the team still developing the right team chemistry?
Injuries have been our issue. Because we can’t get everyone on the court together for practice, it affects our chemistry. Things are starting to come together for us.
Kirchheim is averaging 76 points while giving up 74 points a game. Can Kirchheim be a team that consistently scores 80 plus points?
We have a lot of weapons so 80 points a game is possible but we need to be more consistent defensively.
How much potential does Kirchheim have? With the return of American Dennis Tinnon, the team gets that extra presence under the basket. How happy are you to be his teammate?
Dennis is a work horse and unstoppable getting to the ball. Having him back is crucial if we want to be as successful as we plan to be.
The biggest surprise has been German Tim Koch who is averaging 14,3ppg and shooting 48% from downtown. He is only 26, but already played BBL in 2008 with Ludwigsburg. Do you see him making the full break through this season?
I hope so. He’s a very good shooter but hasn’t been able to see the court as much as he’d like, in the past seasons. It has been a pleasure playing with him.
The next game is against the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau that are 0-4. As a experienced point guard have you already stressed not to underestimate them this weekend?
Most definitely. Every opponent should be respected regardless of their record.
How nice is it to be reunited with head coach Michael Mai again? He gave your first job in Germany in 2011 with Hannover?
It’s a good feeling to be working with someone that I am familiar with. We have had success together as well, so the plan is to have that same success again.
How much credit do you give him for you having such a great start in the Pro A averaging 18,3ppg, 8,5apg and 4,0rpg? Do you get the ultimate freedom under him?
A lot of credit goes to him because he trusts my instincts and allows me to be a playmaker. I believe this trust comes from many nights after practice talking strategies and breakdowns to where we understand one another.
You have never averaged so many assists as you are. How much fun is it being a point guard at the moment? Has finding the right balance between scoring and passing come easier this season with these players?
The balance has always been there. I’ve always been able to get in gaps and finds guys, but I’ve never been surrounded by this many shooters. Shooters open up lanes for me and what I do best is create opportunities. There’s no lane without shooters and shooters can’t shoot without someone that can find them. They go together.
Derrick Rose is injured again. Is there an annoying curse on him. Do you ever see him playing through a season healthy?
I hope so. For fans he’s entertaining to watch and the NBA misses him, but for his sanity it would be nice to see him out there again at full strength.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Richie for the chat.