Eric Kibi is a 25 year old 198cm forward from Ontario, Canada that recently played for the the Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-ProB) playing 3 games: 4.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, left in Oct.’15, moved briefly to Luxemburg and now is playing for KK Strsljen Gusinje (Montenegro-Erste Liga) 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% He then played with Ottawa SkyHawks (NBL Canada): 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.7rpg. The American spoke to German Hoops about basketball and his new experience in Montenegro.
Eric, you have been in Germany, Luxemburg and now are playing in Montenegro. Where did you spend the holiday season and how did you experience it?
Hey Miles thanks for the interviews once again, This time around I didn’t get to go home, my girlfriend lives in Dusseldorf so I spent the holidays there with her. It was a good experience to experience Christmas and New Years in Germany I had a good time.
What new year resolution does Eric Kibi the basketball player and person have?
As a person just want to keep becoming the best man I can be to make my family proud and as a basketball player I just want to keep improving and learning as much as I can about the game to become the best basketball player I can be so I can play at the highest level I can get to.
You are playing your fourth professional season and in your third country so far this season. Do you feel like a basketball nomad this season?
I Definitely do, but I truly feel that everything happens for a reason and God already had this planned before my season even started. I take it as a blessing.
What has been the toughest thing in Europe that you have had to adjust you when seeing so many new teams?
There hasn’t really been one thing that I can point to, I’m pretty good at adjusting to every different situation.
After your disappointing few months in Herten have you been able to totally block it out or so some of your bad shooting nights still linger in your mind?
As an athlete you have to have a short term memory and I definitely have that. If anything it motivated me to push harder and get back to a similar level to show my true self.
What do you believe did you learn from the Herten experience that right away helped you in Luxembourg?
Nothing specific, in Herten I believe I put so much pressure on myself and forgot to just have fun and play basketball.
In Luxemburg you averaged 22,2ppg and 16,1rpg. How good did it feel to be able to dominate again and just know that you hadn´t lost it?
It felt good because there is quality Americans on each team but overall Luxembourg wasn’t really a strong level so it was more an opportunity to work on the things I struggled with in Herten.
Were you very sad that you didn´t stay longer than three months which was the duration of your short term contract? Would there have been the chance to stay longer?`
Not really, this is a business you can’t get attached to places that you play at, it’s not a vacation things can change at any time. I was there to do a job and then move on to a stronger level. I am sure there would have been a chance to stay longer but with how some situations played out there I thought it was best to move to a higher level. I’m thankful for the opportunity there and wish them nothing but the best.
Now you have signed with KK Strsljen Gusinje (Montenegro-Erste Liga). With what kind of expectations are going into this new adventure?
I’m expecting a strong league, from everything I’ve been told by experts the Montenegro first League falls right in between ProB and lower Pro A level so I’m happy to get back to this level and ready to put the work in and help them get some wins. Balkan basketball is also much different, there’s so much quality basketball in the area with countries like Serbia,Hungary, Romania then you also got Croatia and Greece not too too far as well so it’s a good opportunity.
You arrived in Montenegro today. What is your first impression of the country? Have you scoped out a Mcdonalds yet? –
My first thought was I didn’t have the right jacket for this kind of weather, this cold here is on another level. I don’t plan on leaving my apartment too much. I haven’t seen a McDonald’s anywhere, not really a McDonald’s guy but I’m sure I’ll find a favorite dish.
You are coming to a struggling team. The team is averaging only 60ppg. Do you think that you could supply that scoring punch that the team desperately needs?
I definitely think I can do that once I adapt to my teammates and coaches system but the thing I can bring right away that the team is lacking is rebounding so that will be the first thing and then the scoring will come. Ultimately though the goal is to win some games and get this thing back on the right track.
The club lacks total production form the import players. Do you see yourself taking on a leadership role in this capacity?
Yeah I’m more a leader by actions so I plan on doing that. As far as the imports, there have been some changes that I think will definitely help. The owners here are great(A to Z group) they are willing to do anything to bring wins to the organization, so now it’s up to us new imports to produce results.
How do you believe are you maturing as a player this season having had so many experiences in different countries and seeing different styles that you wouldn´t have seen playing in only one place?
I believe I’m coming along well, my shooting numbers have improved throughout the year. The different styles are just really helping me adjust my game to every situation and become more versatile.
The Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt today. How crazy is that? Do you feel that it was a hasty decision by the club?
I’m actually not that surprised, David Blatt seemed like he was in way over his head and didn’t really have the full respect from the players. I think the players will respond better to Tyronn Lue.
On Sunday it´s Brady vs Manning. Who is going to the Superbowl?
I’m not really worried about that game, both of those quarterbacks are boring. I’ve always been more a Cam Newton guy, I think the Cardinals vs Panthers game is going to be awesome.
Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? How does it compare to the other movies in the series?
haha I’m going to be completely honest I’ve never even seen a Star Wars movie, not m style of movies.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino, that’s a classic right there.
Thanks Eric for the chat.