Austin Steed is a 27 year old 203cm forward from Hephzibah, Georgia playing his third professional season and second in Germany and first with Pro B team Artland Dragons. He started his basketball career in 2007 with S.Carolina (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 67 NCAA games. He played his senior year at E.Carolina (NCAA) playing 15 games: 4.1ppg, 4.3rpg. He started his professional basketball career in 2012 with City Basket Recklinghausen (Germany-ProB) playing 24 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 55.3%, FT: 73.5%. Last season he played for Baerum Basket (Norway-BLNO) playing 21 games averaging 14.2ppg, Reb-5(8.9rpg), 1.3apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-1(2.9bpg), FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.2%. He started this season with Olimpi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) playing 13 games averaging 7.5ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.2apg, 1.3bpg, 2FGP: 41.2%, FT: 70.8%. He spoke to German Hoops before the playoff series against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Austin thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. How glad are you to be playing professional again after not being able to play last season?
Very excited about being able to play again this season! Worked hard to get myself back to playing!
After spending your first two professional seasons in Germany and Norway, you have split this season in Georgia and Germany. What was the toughest thing about playing for two teams this season?
After adjusting to each team and the style of play it was pretty easy. At the end of the day it’s all basketball and what I love doing!
After playing in the German pro B and In Norway, you started the season with Olimpi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague). If you had to compare all three leagues, what was the most challenging league that you played in pertaining to skill?
All three leagues was tough in their own style. Each level has its top team to beat and each league was very competitive and you had to being your A game each night!
You had pretty decent stats at Olimpi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) averaging 7,5ppg, 6,8rpg and 1,2apg. What were the main reasons for having to go?
The club made a lot of changes during the Christmas break from head coach to players
You came to the Artland Dragons two months ago and have helped the team to a 3-5 record. Despite the record this is one of the more talented teams in the German Pro B. Why do you believe has the team not achieved more success?
This is a building year for the Dragons. Very talented all around but it’s first year for a lot of us here. I think we are playing some of best basketball right now!
The club comes to play on the defensive end allowing only 65 points per game, but score only 68 points. On a club that has a lot of experience and guys that have played in higher leagues as well as guys that cans core hard to believe. Why is the offense a continuous work in progress?
It’s been a learning process for us all as a team. The offense is great and we all are clicking now as a team
With big German talent Isaiah Hartenstein departed, do you feel that there is too much reliance on Javarez Willis and Benjamin Fumey to have to score?
We all relay on each other. We all have a special role and we fill them perfectly
Your averaging 6,1ppg and 4,6rpg in 13 minutes per contest. What exactly is your role on the team?
My role is to come in and give the team a spark where ever it’s needed. Go out and do what it takes for us to win.
How has head coach Dragan Dojcin helped your game who also was a big man in the professional ranks?
Coach has helped me with some tactical things like little counter moves and little ways to get advantage on the court.
You averaged more minutes in Norway and Georgia, but in Germany it was always less. Is this something that you have been able to adjust to all right in your two seasons in Germany?
Yeah I have been the third American each time I have been in Germany and with the rules we all have to share the minutes. Have not been a problem I do my best with my minutes
In Norway, you showed that you can score a lot and rebound a lot while playing a major role on a team, but what is a hidden strength in your game that you feel still doesn´t get noticed as much on the court?
I think everything about me has got noticed. I’m a pretty versatile player and I like to show that.
It´s been three years since you played in Recklingshausen, but what memories do you have of the playoff loss to Nordlingen?
That first lost against Nordlingen at their gym I will always remember. Losing to them and a buzzer beater put back was tough
The Artland Dragons play the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the playoffs. How excited are you to battle against this powerhouse team?
Very excited about this years playoffs. Very excited to go to battle and try to win this thing!
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors are a very long team, young, but also have experienced Beko BBL players. What do you believe will be key in getting past them?
The key will be defense getting important stops on defense and converting on the other end.
You had a very good personal season with Baerum Basket (Norway-BLNO) playing 21 games: averaging 14.2ppg, Reb-5(8.9rpg), 1.3apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-1(2.9bpg), FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.2%. How do you believe that your game was able to mature in Norway?
Being a key player you are asked to contribute in many ways. I was able to do that in Norway and used everything that I have learned basketball wise to do so
As a rookie you played for the City Basket Recklinghausen (Germany-ProB) playing 24 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 55.3%, FT: 73.5%. How important was American Robert Franklin for showing you the ropes as a rookie?
Robert was helpful with I was with city basket. Leading by example and showing me the ropes have helped me still to this day.
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Germany where you knew that you were very far away from Hephzibah, Georgia?
Stepping off the plane at the airport and getting in that passport line to get stamped. Very humbling and eye opening experience!
You played three seasons at S.Carolina (NCAA) together with American Sam Muldrow. What memories do you have of him on and off the court? How did you guys compensate from each other on and off the court?
Me and Sam are great friends and still laugh and joke about things from college. Reminiscing is always fun. On and off the court we always remains true to ourselves.
You had some nice games in the NCAA, but which game will forever standout in your career? Possibily the 11 point, 12 rebound effort against Milligan or your 10 points against Auburn?
I think that 10 points against Auburn I will remember because that was a crucial game for us during SEC play also beating Kentucky when they was ranked number 1.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Darrius Morrow?
The battles me and Darius Morrow had were always great. Not sure who had the most overall wins but we for sure battled each time we played.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA on the court that is playing in the NBA?
Patrick Paterson was the toughest.
How did you see the NBA trades recently at the deadline? What teams did the best?
The Spurs and the Warriors are doing great. Those two teams will for sure meet in the western finals
Some of the older NBA players that played at different times are having a hard time giving Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors credit for their success saying they might not have had that success 20-30 years ago. Are these former players just jealous or why can´t they just give credit where it´s due?
They will eventually. I think it’s because he is a new part of that new era of the NBA and they had to adjust as well. He is a great player and will continue to be great
Recently ESPN made a top 100 greatest NBA players of alltime poll putting Lebron at #3 before legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and BIll Russell. Do you see that as being justified?
Depends on who you ask. He is for sure a great player and will leave a huge legacy but I’m sure if you ask some more people he could end up any were on that list of great players
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was dead pool. Very funny.
Thanks Austin for the chat.