Will Trawick is a 22 year old 196cm guard from Bedford, New York that will be starting his professional career in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf. He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 120 NCAA games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging 15.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 78.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball during the summer.
Will thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hi Miles. It’s nice to finally make it to the professional level and be able to talk to German Hoops. My summer has been good. For the most part, I have been training and talking to coaches and teams. I am currently in Atlanta, Georgia. My university is here so I decided to stay to train with my coaches and use the facilities.
You recently finished at Emory(NCAA3) How was the whole transfer process for you this summer. You were signed very late and will have little time to enjoy that first professional contract with Rhondorf as training camp starts soon.
I loved my time at Emory, but I am definitely ready for a new chapter in my life. The process of signing with Rhondorf has been easy, because the club is very organized and cares about their players. Basketball is my life so I am not worried about training camp starting soon, I am excited.
How blessed do you feel about turning professional? It isn´t always a common occurrence that an NCAA 3 player gets to live a professional basketball career?
I feel super blessed. There are so many people in the world that have to make great sacrifices and work long hours to put food on the table. Of course I work extremely hard, but I love basketball so for me it´s easy and I feel so fortunate. As far as being from a D3 school I agree. It’s definitely a hindrance as far as being recruited and signing a contract, but I believe that I am as good as anyone that I will play regardless of division.
Congrats on signing with German Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf. One could say that Emory(NCAA3) continue to hold up the flag in Germany as last season your ex teammate Alex Foster signed with the RheinStars. What special qualities does an Emory basketball player have that is extra special on the court?
Emory basketball players are extremely unique. First, our coach Jason Zimmerman never talks about divisions or goes easy on us because we are division 3 players. We are basketball players and Coach Zimmerman expects us to compete at the highest level. Second, we put our team first. I definitely had a good year statistically, but that is because my team needed me to score and rebound. I was surrounded by guys who didn’t care about numbers, just wins. Third, we are really smart guys. We have had so many great players in the past who could have dominated in Europe but chose to become doctors, bankers, lawyers. We are well rounded men, and truly live up to the name student-athlete.
Do you feel some pressure of having to hold up the Emory flag on the court?
I don’t feel any pressure at all. I am confident in my game, and I know I will be a great addition to the team.
What do you know about the country Germany and it´s basketball in general?
I know a lot about Germany. Two summers ago we took a trip with the Emory team to play some Regionalliga and Pro B teams. We went to Munich, Dresden, and Berlin. We went sightseeing and learned a lot about German and European history. The competition in Germany is fierce. I look forward to the challenge
Did you have a long talk with Alex Foster about the pro´s and con´s about playing in Germany?
Yea I have been talking with Alex throughout the summer about playing professional basketball in general. Him and Alex Greven have been my main two contacts and have helped me out a lot during this process. Alex Greven is another ex-teamate of mine, he played in the second league in Spain last summer. Alex Foster has really enjoyed his professional career in Germany, so when it came down to deciding where to go Germany seemed like a no brainer.
What was the deciding factor that made you sign on the dotted line with the Dragons Rhondorf?
It is really tough trying to trust someone that you barely know, especially when you hear horror stories of Americans going overseas and not getting paid, having to live in a gross apartment, or what have you. But, signing with the Dragons was easy for me. Coach Matthias Sonnenschein and manager Boris Kaminski made me feel at ease, and I never hesitated to trust them. Our conversations flowed naturally and they were extremely transparent from the beginning. Also the fact that the Dragons had a strong roster didn’t hurt.
Did you have any talks with head coach Matthias Sonnenschein? How quickly did you realize that you spoke the same basketball language?
Yea of course. He was the first person I spoke to from the club. It seemed like he really understood my game, because he was recruiting a very physical and strong shooting guard and that is exactly what I am.
Let´s talk a bit about your game. You are known as a knock down shooter and have a great basketball IQ, but is being able to defend all positions something you take most pride in?
Yea I definitely take a lot of pride in my defense. I hate getting scored on, I take it personally. In college we would switch every screen so I guarded the 1 through 5 every game and every day in practice.
You can really fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I really know how to move without the ball and make strong cuts that get my teammates open. In college we rarely ran plays, rather we would spread the floor and set screens and make cuts based of intuition. Because of this, over the past four years, I have become very knowledgeable about some of the smaller yet important details of the game.
You had a very illustrious career at Emory reaching the NCAA 3 tournament each year. How do you believe that your game progressed in your four years and what can you still improve to help keep your development going as a professional?
Thank you. My game has gotten so much better in the past four years. My freshman year I wasn’t a very strong three-point shooter and the college game felt too fast for me. In high school I was big enough and athletic enough to dominate without those facets of my game. In college I knew I would have to improve so I worked really hard to become a knockdown three-point shooter. Coach Zimmerman really helped me adjust to the speed of the game with our intense practices. I have never felt satisfied with my game, and I am always improving. Specifically, this summer I have been working on extending my three point shooting range, and I have been practicing a lot of offense coming off of ball screens.
You had so many great games at Emory, but what memories do you have of the 69-63 win against Chicago where you already had 19 points at halftime and finishing with 25 points.
That was a great game. I had that game marked on my calendar early in the year. Chicago was an early favorite to win the league, so I knew it was an important one to win. I have the ability to heat up quickly and score in bunches. My teammates realized early that I was feeling good so they got the ball to me in good positions for me to score.
What was your sweetest memory with Alex Foster and what is something about him that one rarely knows about?
My sweetest memory with Alex Foster is when I stayed with him and his family in Portland, Oregon for a week. We went camping, we played basketball, and we explored the city together. He is one of my best friends and I am so excited that he will be close to me. One secret about Alex is that he is deathly afraid of caterpillars.
Rhondorf is only 42 kilometers away from Cologne. Do you see yourself visiting Alex Foster on a regular basis and what would be the perfect off day with him?
Yea I definitely see myself visiting him on a regular basis. I’ve heard Cologne is a great town so I am excited for him to show me around. I think the perfect off day with him would be going to a concert. We both love music and seeing shows together is one of our favorite things.
How did head coach Jason Zimmermann groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Jason Zimmerman grooms all of his players to become outstanding men. He really cares about our academic and personal lives. I think the best thing he did for me personally was believe in me and push me every day in practice. He was consistent with his praise, but he also never failed to point out something I did wrong. He really helped me develop my skills and my ability to take criticisms and get better from them.
Who won a one on one in practice last season you or Davis Rao?
Davis Rao has never beaten me in one on one in the past four years. He is a great player as well, he just doesn’t quite have that edge. On a side note, Sam Heery has been known to beat me once or twice.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick?
Steve Nash, Shaq, Vince Carter, and Jamal Crawford……Those four are my all time favorite players because they dominated the game in their own special way.
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game?
I think Lebron is the best to ever play the game. There you go, you heard it here first!
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just saw Suicide Squad. It was entertaining, but overall it was a lackluster performance considering the budget and cast.
Thanks Will for the chat.