Kruize Pinkins is a 23 year old 201cm forward from Marianna, Florida that recently completed his rookie season with the Hebeisen White Wings. He started his basketball career at Chipola (JUCO). He then played at USF (NCAA) from 2013-2015 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 65.0% He spoke to German Hoops after the end of the season.
Kruize thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
It’s been good. Just been enjoying time with family and friends. That’s always fun.
Your season ended at the end of March. Has the time from then until now felt like an eternity or has the time away from games flown by?
Yes it has definitely flown by.
The Hebeisen White Wings Hanau finished the season in 11th place with a record of 13-17 and good enough to make the playoffs. Was this the most interesting season as a professional where the club started poorly, made a run and at the end didn´t get a rematch with Kirchheim because of an issue with the clock?
It was my first season so all of it seemed different to me. I feel like that game didn’t make a difference if we would’ve have won some of the games that we let slip away that wouldn’t have been a factor. It would’ve been nice to replay that game though for a shot at the playoffs.
The Hebeisen White Wings Hanau won 4 times against playoff teams including sweeping the Gladiators Trier. How do you feel did the team grow from a poor team at the start to a playoff type team in the last month?
We were never a poor team, I just feel like it took us a while to actually get a team chemistry because of injuries and different players coming in and out. Once we got healthy things started to come together.
When you look back at the season, what will you cherish most about the ups and downs of the season on the floor and off with your teammates?
How we fought from starting 0-5. Most teams would’ve gave up in that situation but we continued to practice hard every day and better each other. So I just cherish my teammates and coaching staff for not giving up on one another.
You played 29 games, 13,1ppg, 9,1rpg and 1,1apg. How would you rate your season in the Pro A. How do you feel did you develop further as a player?
I think I had an ok season. I definitely felt like I got better at some things not only on the court but also off the court. So I tip my hat to my teammates and coaches who pushed me every day and allowed me to have a leadership type role on the team that made me better as a person.
How thankful were you that head coach Simon Cote gave you the freedom to be able to become the teams central scoring threat?
Very thankful to have played for those guys. I learned something new every day playing under them and the fact that they believed in what I could do and allowed me to play through mistakes really developed me as a player.
What is the next step for Kruize Pinkins? I can see you being signed by a Beko BBL team. Dwayne Evans was signed already and maybe you will be next?
I don’t know my next step as of now. I’m just working out and training every day to be prepared for which ever situation that I am blessed with.
What was your season highlight on the floor with your team last season? Possibly your 25 and 20 game against the RhineStars?
I would say that was definitely one of my highlights last season. That was the most rebounds that I’ve had in any game of my career. So that was big for me. It also lets me know what I’m capable of.
On what things will you stress most in your summertime workout sessions concerning your game that you want to improve most on?
I’ve been working on my free-throws ,ball handling,mid range and perimeter game being able to put the ball on the floor more to create for myself and others. I’m capable of shooting the 3 also so I just been focusing on my mindset with that and shooting those everyday with confidence. That is a big key for me.
If you were to construct a NBA Rushmore, which 4 NBA heads would you make?
MJ, Bill Russell, ,Lebron, and Kareem
What was the first American eatery that you sought out when you arrived back to the States?
Zaxbys was the first place I was looking forward to when I landed in the states. Great chicken spot!
What is going to be a place that you will try to visit this summer where you necessarily haven´t ever been to in your life?
Not sure. haven’t planned anything maybe next summer I will plan something.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Coming to America.
Thanks Kruize fort he chat.