Bryan Smithson is a 31 year old 185cm point guard from Kennesaw,Georgia that completed his third season in Germany and first with the MPL Academics Heidelberg playing 28 games averaging 12.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.1%. He started his basketball career at Middle Tennessee St. (NCAA) in 2003 where he played two seasons. He then moved to NC-Asheville (NCAA) where he finished his college career and as a senior played 29 games: 16.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.1apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3Pts: 41.1%, FT: 83.5%. He played two seasons for the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A where he was top 5 in assists in the league the last two seasons. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball future.
Bryan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hey Miles, it is always a pleasure talking with you. I am currently at my home just outside of Atlanta, Ga. I have been enjoying the summer and spending time with my family.
It is September and most teams are filled and your still without a team. How surprised are you that you are still unsigned?
I am a bit surprised that I am still available on the market as most players would be. Obviously, I am excited to get started with my future team.
Has there been a difference for you this summer regarding the transfer market? Have you had offers? Has been finding the right situation been more difficult this time around?
The summer has been different this time around. I had some offers early that I was not comfortable taking. My goal has been to find a situation where I can grow as a player while competing to win the league. I still have confidence that the right situation will present itself.
You had three very solid seasons in Germany with Kirchheim and Heidelberg. Was there any interest in Germany this summer?
Yes, I had some strong interest in Germany along with a couple offers. Each situation was different, but I was not ready to commit to those clubs at that particular time.
Was there not any interest from the MLP Academics Heidelberg in bringing you in for s second season?
MLP Academics Heidelberg and I never spoke about extending my contract. I enjoyed my time with them and I wish them nothing but the best this season.
I am sure you wouldn´t mind returning to Germany. What do you feel is most appealing to the style of play in Germany that fits your game best?
Germany has become my second home and I enjoy living there, so I am always interested to return. The style of play in Germany tends to be a little more methodical and cerebral which compliments me well in the right situation.
You are 31 and only played three full professional seasons. Do you in a way feel a lot younger than what your age is simply because you haven´t played as much as others players your age?
My career has been a funny one when you track it back to the beginning. Basically, I have had two separate careers in basketball. One very short and one getting longer. I feel great and maybe it can be contributed to a couple years of not playing in my mid 20’s.
Last season with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) you played 28 games: 12.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.1%. Your stats have always been very solid. How do you feel your game as a point guard has progressed in Germany the last three years?
I have matured over the past 3 seasons in Germany. I have progressed in the pick and roll on offense and defense. Offensively I understand the reads much better while not shying away from taking my own shot. Defensively, fighting over screens more efficiently and being more physical off-ball.
At age 31 and only three full years of professional basketball, after your break, do you feel as if your in your prime now?
As I stated before, my career has been an odd one but I feel great and I am in my prime now.
Do you feel like you could raise your game this season wherever you play?
Yes, I will continue to play better and better. The team that I sign with for the 16/17 season can count on me bringing whatever it is they need from their point guard in order for the team to be successful.
On what things have you been working on most this summer to help improve certain areas of your game?
I have been putting in countless repetitions on touch shots in the paint. I am always working on moving efficiently with special attention to my feet. I continue to shoot tons of different shots because I do not want any shot I take to feel uncomfortable. Lastly, being closer to the ball handler while on defense and making it more uncomfortable for him.
If you had to describe in a few sentences as why you could be the point guard for any professional team and help them how would you describe it?
I possess many qualities which make me adaptable in most situations. I always hang my hat on my ability to lead on and off the court. My ball handling, ability to create for teammates and myself, and being a knock down shooter from 3 point range are a few things that I believe can help my next team.
Where will the journey of the Atlanta Hawks end this season? Are they more than just a playoff team?
The Atlanta Hawks will unfortunately be just a playoff team.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was the Burbs with Tom Hanks. Classic.
Thanks Bryan for the chat.