Jordan Faison is a 22 year old 201cm forward from Lake Forest, California that is a rookie in Germany playing for the UNI-Riesen Leipzig. He played at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 107 NCAA games. As a senior he played 30 games averaging 16.9ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.8apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 22.5%, FT: 65.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about his rookie season recently.
Jordan congrats on the big 71-68 victory against the Dragons Rhondorf. How good did it feel finally helping the club win it´s first game of the season?
It felt great! We were so hungry to get this first win, and it’s exactly what we needed to get the ball rolling on this season.
The UNI Riesen Leipzig stepped it up in the first quarter scoring 22 points, but then only 12 points in the second quarter. Did Rhondorf change up anything on defense or was the offensive rut more your own fault?
I think we can say a little bit of both, we missed some open shots and the other team made some great defensive plays. So I would say it was a combination of both.
The fourth quarter was a real battle, but how key was the guard play of Guy Aud and Terrence Billups of keeping Leipzig ahead of Rhondorf?
It was very crucial for us winning the game, they both made some key plays that helped us pull out this game.
In the last two games the UNI Riesen Leipzig averaged giving up 93 points per game. Against Rhondorf the team was 25 points below it´s average. What did the team do better on the defensive end to finally put together a strong performance?
We brought intensity to the game and hustle. We went out there and fought. I believed we were a good defensive team this whole time but just weren’t fully applying ourselves to that end of the floor. I believe that changed tonight!
Are you confident that the club can keep up the good defensive play?
Very much so, we have a great group of guys that want to win, and I think with this first win we gained a lot of confidence as a team.
What was it like playing against the beast Aaron Nelson who had 28 points and 21 rebounds and seemed to own the paint area. He has dominated the Pro B in the early going.
That guy is a stud, simple as that. I’m always looking forward to playing great players throughout the league, and he is without a doubt someone I mark on the upcoming schedule.
After a solid senior season at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2, you were signed very late. How tough was it the last months for you not knowing when you would start your professional career?
It was tough at times just being so eager to get out somewhere and play. But I just kept working hard and keeping faith that something would open, and here I am. It’s truly a blessing to have the opportunity to play professional ball overseas, and knowing how tough it is to get over here at start I take none of this for granted.
You have torn up the Pro B in your first three games. Do you in a way feel like you have to be the savior of the team and season?
Not at all. All of our success will come from us being a great team. I don’t think one person can come save a team per say.
You were an important player at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2), but is it being the go to guy with Leipzig something your comfortable with?
Yeah it’s a role I took on my senior at Cal Poly and that really prepared me for what was to come in future. I feel very comfortable and my teammates instill all the confidence in the world of my abilities, so it makes it that much easier!
A problem with the UNI Riesen Leipzig is their small rotation and bench. Is this something that you feel can be corrected as the season progresses as the team gets more comfortable with each other and more practices?
Yes I do, I’ve practiced with my team for a little over a month now, and I know we have a lot of talented players on that bench. I’m confident that as the season goes along we will get a deeper rotation only making us better as a team.
The key player is German veteran Sasa Leutloff. With him back, do you feel like his presence will help energize the team and spark the young Germans?
Yeah Sasa is a vet that you want on your team. He’s smart, works hard, plays hard, and has an unbelievable feel for the game. All that brings rubs off on everybody and makes us all better!
How has it been playing with Terence Billups. Are you a duo that will grow with time on the court and compliment each other better and better?
Yeah it’s great playing with Terrence. Because he’s so versatile it’s been that much easier to play with him. I feel he could really play for any team and make a great duo with anyone, so I’m extremely lucky to have him. He’s helped me a lot and think we will continue to get better and better as the season goes on.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player to which would you?
That’s a tough one. I’m going to go with Karl Anthony Towns.
You’re a guy that can fill up the stats sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength that often gets overlooked when you play?
I think I’m a good passer. My coaches in college taught me that you don’t have to make the assist pass all time, but that hockey assist pass is just as important.
You won two CCAA tournaments in 2013 and 2015. Which one was the sweetest?
They both are equally sweet. So many great moments with both teams, and how hard it is to win a tourney in the CCAA.You can’t take winning either one for granted
How did head coach Greg Kamansky groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Well Coach K, and I have to throw in my boy Coach Hill, both prepared me for a professional career the minute I stepped foot on Cal Poly. Coach K really taught me how to be confident in my offensive game and allowed me to expand it each and every year. Coach Hill was consistently on me about playing hard not only on the offensive end but on the defensive end. Those two really brought the best out within me and I couldn’t be more grateful for coaching staff I had for my time in college. They mean so much to me, and not only amazing coaches but amazing people as well!
What’s stories do you remember hearing from Larry Gordon who has had a solid professional career?
LG is really a great role model, he’s the constant professional and is someone I look up to for sure. He played in Germany for a while before moving on, so he just gave me some tips and heads up about basketball, living, and everything you need to know as an American coming over to Germany for the first time.
Who was the toughest player that you played against in the NCAA2 that made it to the NBA?
Honestly I couldn’t tell you because I haven’t followed up to see if anyone has made it to the NBA, but there were a lot of guys I know that made it overseas that were great when I played against them in college.
Who won a one on one in practice last season you or Scott Hastings?
Well with Scott being a freshman I had no choice but to beat up on him a lot because that’s what I went through as a freshman and what made me better, hahah!
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Lebron, MJ, Kobe, and Shaq
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand right now in the debate with being the best ever?
He’s definitely in that conversation without a doubt. It’s not clear cut yet, I think you can argue for both him and MJ. I would still give MJ the nod, but Lebron is very very close in my opinion.
Where does Kevin Garnett stand in the all-time ranking with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Top 5 easily, what he did on both ends of the floor night in and night out was unmatched.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I haven’t seen some movies since I been back home, so I think it was the Blair Witch project, I’m a big horror movie fan.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.