Richard Williams is a 28 year old 178cm guard that is playing his first season with the Kirchheim Knights averaging 12,2ppg, 7,8apg and 4,2rpg 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%. Last weekend, he helped steer Kirchheim to a 88-75 win with 11 points and 11 assists, but spoke to German Hoops after the big 77-66 win against Rent4Office.
Richie congrats on the big 77-66 win against Rent4office. You swept this team this season holding them to 61 games average. How good does it feel when you can beat a team twice with an all around good defensive effort?
Defense is what will carry us through the playoffs. Getting stops and winning at this point in the season is very important. It is good for our confidence as we want to head into playoffs feeling good about ourselves with a good rhythm.
Kirchheim was down 33-29 at halftime and came out focused in the third scoring 28 points. You had five points and five assists in the third quarter. How much responsibility did you feel that you had to take in the third quarter to get the team going again?
We all had a responsibility to perform better in the second half, starting with myself. When we are focused and play with energy we are a pretty tough team.
How vital was the 8-0 run and energy from Forward Dennis Tinnon at the start of the fourth quarter to get Kirchheim on the winning road quicker?
Dennis has always been an energy guy for us. He does a great job of getting his hands on the ball, running down rebounds, and starting fast breaks for us. The plays he made during that run really set the tone for us.
How much do you enjoy these type of games where the team defends hard and plays team basketball getting 25 assists and no one player scoring 20 plus points, but spreading the scoring around?
It’s great for team chemistry. Everyone feels apart of the game and the win. It really makes us hard to guard when we share the ball like that.
Kirchheim didn´t shoot well at 17% from downtown, but did the 20-9 turnover advantage help the team out?
. Definitely. We got some much needed extra possession.
The last regular season game is against Rhondorf while Gotha plays Science City Jena as both you and Gotha have 42 points. How bad does the team want the third position?
Developing a good rhythm going into the playoffs is the most important thing, regardless of our position. That is our main focus right now.
Kirchheim won the first game against Rhondorf 85-59. Kirchheim had 16 steals in that game and Rhondorf now is without ex top scorer Sterling Carter. With what kind of a frame of mind do you go into this game? Stay focused and not underestimate them?
Respecting your opponent is how we approach every game. Rhondorf has a much different look now than they did when we played them first game of the season.
The Kirchheim Knights have been playing solid basketball as of late having won three of it´s last four games. What do you feel has been the clubs strong point in this phase besides their defense?
Right now it’s our energy and the focus we been playing with. It has been much better these last games and it is important for us to sustain it.
Head coach Michael Mai has done a great job getting Germans Andreas Kronhardt and Tim Koch more minutes this season and they have produced. How vital will their play be for Kirchheim making a run for the Pro A title?
Tim and Andi have earned the position they’re in. They have been a huge part of our success and we need them to keep it up if we want to finish the season as strong as we envision.
You don´t keep slowing down with age as you are averaging the most assists in your career with 7,8 and averaging two steals per game. Does your high assist average have to do more with your skill and taking care of your body as you get older or the overall skill level that Kirchheim has?
It can attributed to all of those things. I’m continuing to grow as a player, my health has been improving and my teammate’s make me look good.
In a span of five games in December and January you were averaging 12 assists a game and then in a span of seven games were averaging only five assists and now in the last four games are averaging nine assists a game. As a point guard how do you explain these type of fluctuations?
Some games require me to be a distributor while others require me to be more offensive minded. Every team doesn’t defend the same way so I have to take what they give me.
You helped SC Rasta Vechta into the Beko BBL in 2013. How confident are you that you can do it again?
Very confident. We have the pieces to do it now it’s a matter of making it happen.
Were you surprised by so many upsets in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament? Is there more parity among schools this year?
The tournament surprises me every year. I threw my bracket in the trash right after the first round. Haha
What sleeper school that made an upset thus far could you see making a big run in this tournament?
I like Syracuse
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Place Beyond the Pines
Thanks Richie for the chat.