Adama Darboe is a 30 year old 190cm guard that is a Danish national player and will play for the Bakken Bears (Ligaen) this season. He is a versatile guard with strong build, can play some time at the small forward too, and is a good rebounder for his size. He started his basketball career for Horsholm Basket (Basketliga) in 2002 and played there until 2006. He then played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) from 2006-2008. He then played for Huelva Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Bronze) in the 2008-2009 season. He then returned to Horsholm 79ers (Basketligaen) for a season before playing three seasons for Svendborg Rabbits (Ligaen). He then played for KFUM Jamtland Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) and the last two seasons with Boras Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) and last season played FIBA Europe Cup: 12 games: 10.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 90.0%; Swedish Basketligan: 36 games: 11.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT-2(89.0%). He spoke to German Hoops before the Euro qualifying game against Germany in Kiel.
Adama thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Right now, I am with the national team preparing for the upcoming games in a little city called Vejen. We got great facilities here, so things are going in the right direction.
You just completed two successful seasons with Boras Basket in Sweden, but unfortunately the club couldn´t get over the hump losing in both semi-finals to Uppsala and Sodertalje. I would imagine the two point loss to Sodertalje hurt more than the 97-72 loss the season in game 5?
Yes it was very tough for the club and for me personally, not making the finals. I really thought that we had great teams both years, but it was tough, and both teams that we lost to in the semis, deserved their spot in the finals.
Do you believe a James Miller would have made the difference this season in that game 5 against Sodertalje?
Honestly I don’t think so. We had a very good team, so it is what it is. You can always say what if, but I like to stick to what we had, and I was confident that our team this past season could have done the job and advanced.
James Miller recently retired after an illustrious 15 year career. You played only one season with the high scoring guard, but will always be your fondest memory with him on the court as well off the court?
JJ was a tremendous good player. Very professional and skilled player. I learned some moves from him watching him play, but mostly I have learned a lot from his professionalism off the court, and how he approached practices and games.
Last season you improved your stats in both the Europe Cup and Swedish Basketligan. Do you feel like you are in your best basketball age now at age 30?
For sure. I’m in my prime. My body feels great and I’m at the point where my routine is about to peak. Hopefully if I can stay healthy, keep working hard and most important keep my love for the game, I can achieve great things the next couple of years.
Especially in international play, you had a huge lift in your outside shooting as you improved your shooting drought from the season before from 9,1% 2/22 to 41% this season. Did you practice your shooting more in the summer of 2015 or did you just pick your spots better last season which helped you shoot at a lot higher percentage?
There was no doubt that I wasn’t happy about my shooting percentage from the arc that year. But I been in this game for a long time and I know that if you push extra and work harder, both mentally and psychically, then good things will happen to you. As a person and as a player. Luckily for me, it turned around pretty quickly.
Your heading back home to Denmark to the Baaken Bears . What was your biggest push to go back home and join this top Danish club?
I have always been seeking the best level I could play on. I’m luckily to be able to do what I love to do every single day. I’m making money of my hobby. Not a lot of people can say that in this world. Bakken Bears is a very professional club who wants to win every single year, and I like winners who do their very very best, to put themselves in a position to win. So it was a simple choice of mine.
At the moment you are with the Danish national team. This is now your seventh summer with the Danish team. What is always the most exciting part of being with the Danish national team in the summer time?
This summer is very fun. We have the chance to make history for our country, concerning qualifying for the European Championship. I’m all in. It’s very different playing for your club team and playing for the national team. You know the guys very well. Grew up with them, playing with the guys in the summer, so it’s just a very special feeling all around. After all the guys on the team is representing a whole country.
What has been your summary of the early Danish preparation for the upcoming euro qualifying round? You had some friendly games beating Switzerland, but losing to countries like Slovakia and the Ukraine?
It was a very good tournament in Slovakia. We grew as a team, and that was the most important thing.
You are one of the elder statesmen with Alan Voskuli. What besides being a leader are your main functions on the team?
We are all men on the team. People respect each another not thinking about age. After all, it is what you bring to practice and games that determines what kind of respect you should have. I try to lead but at the same time, people should lead through effort.
There are many young guns on the team like David Knudsen who will be going into his second season at Marist(NCAA) or big man Lasse Elbaek. Who are the biggest young prospects on the Danish team and the faces of tomorrow.
We are a very young team, that’s for sure. We have a lot of great young players who will try and put DK on the map in the future. Gabriel Iffe lundberg, Lasse Elbæk, Nicolai Hvidberg are definitely some of them. Zarko Jukic is also a very talented player whom will do great now and in the future.
Denmark is an interesting group with Germany, Portugal and Holland. Germany is the favorite. Is Denmark the main dark horse of the group?
The group is very interesting. Germany is for sure the favorites, but I really believe in this team and that we can take us to the European Championship in 2017. We are equal until something else is proved. Good luck to everybody in the group.
What will be key for Denmark being able to compete with Germany for 40 minutes?
They are bigger than us. We have to play very intense and without any form of fear. I’m sure that we will do that. We are well prepared for the big challenge ahead of us.
Your buzzer beater against Frankfurt in the Eurochallenge two seasons ago is unforgettable. Does this shot still remain one of your biggest shots in your career and have you dreamt about in the last two years?
Haha it was a very nice shot to make. Every player is happy about making gamewinners of course!;) But that is in the past. I will enjoy that shot when I retire and have it as a great memory. All my focus is on getting some great results with the nationalteam this summer.
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title home, where does this further ring put him in the debate against Michael Jordan as the all-time best ever?
Tough question. But Lebron is definately getting up there. Jordan is Jordan, Lebron is Lebron.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I’m not a big movie guy. I’m a series guy, so last thing I watched was Narcos and I can’t wait for the next season.
Thanks Adama for the chat.