D´Andre Bullard is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Apopka, Florida playing his second professional season and first with PS Karlsruhe. Last season as a rookie he played for the Leeds Force (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 30 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 61.1%. He started his basketball career in 2011 with Florida A&M (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playing a total of 83 NCAA games. In his senior year he played for Virginia Union (NCAA2) playing 18 games averaging 10.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 62.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career.
D’Andre thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life for you at the moment?
Hello, I’m Currently In Karlsruhe Germany. Basketball has been Great, I’m loving the city and the fans and Organization are all like one big family.
Your playing your second professional season in Germany with PS Karlsruhe 2 and recently was promoted to being able to play with the Pro B team. What kind of experience has it been playing in Germany this season?
I’ve enjoyed my experience here thus far, the German style of play is a bit different from the states in which I’ve learned a few things and being able to play with the Pro B to get a feel for that level was also enjoyable.
How mentally challenging and tough has this season been for you playing in the German Regionaliga 2 coming from the British BBL which is the first division. Has there been a day where you didn´t have to reassure yourself that you are a lot better than at the level your playing at?
I wouldn’t say it was as challenging because i’m always grateful for the opportunity to play the game I love despite the level. I know where I belong so I just use this season as motivation and try and take advantage of every opportunity that come’s my way so I can one day get to where I want to go.
You have been tearing up the German Regionaliga 2 and recently put up 44 points. Does it feel like you’re a man playing among boys?
My Job is to go out and compete at the highest level no matter who my opponents may be. I treat every game the same and play every game like it’s my last.
It is obviously important to put up big stats in the Regionaliga 2, but what else has been a big focus in your game?
This season I’m really focusing in on getting accustomed to the euro style of play and learning different reads within the game such as pick n roll situations, how to make my teammates better and just being an overall leader on the court.
Do you feel like you have been able to develop in the German Regionaliga 2 despite not having tough competition?
Well first I must admit, there are teams and guys in this league that can very well play so the competition wasn’t to bad, but overall yes I’ve developed my mentality on how I approach the game more than anything, gaining more self confidence, doing things in the game that I’ve never done before and being successful at it so that’s always good feeling.
You recently got promoted to the Pro B first team of PS Karlsruhe, but can only play a certain number of games. How have you been able to get the most of this opportunity?
Well it’s been tricky situation due to the German rule where there are only allowed 2 imports on the court at same time and there are 4 of us, so coach has been trying to find time for me here and there but I just work hard every day and stay ready.
You recently played 16 minutes in a surprising loss to FC Bayern Munich 2 scoring 4 points and dishing out two assists and getting four steals. How did it feel playing at this level and how hungry are you to continue to show what you can do at that level?
Well that wasn’t a good night for us all overall but with me it was more so just learning the chemistry with our guys because it’s different in practice then in the game, but I’m confident enough to know I can play at this level so it was no different feeling at all it was just another game for me but I am hungry to prove myself each and every day.
How have you profited from the play of German guards Deon Mcduffie and Dmitrj Kreis? Is it more about learning from them or matching their skill in practice?
They both are really good guards who I enjoy playing with but we are 3 different style of players whom I feel we learn off each other and challenge each other in practice making us all better as a whole.
PS Karlsruhe have the most athletic front court with Jordan Talbert, Orlando Parker and Bill Borekambi. Which one of these players have you been most impressed by?
To be honest, all 3 of them impresses me the way they come out and compete each and every game and it starts with practice they all have incredible work ethic.
Last season as a rookie you played with the Leeds Force (United Kingdom-BBL): 30 games: 7.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 61.1%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in England where you knew that you were far away from Florida?
Well my rookie year didn’t go as planned as I started out the first half season as one of the best guards in the league but then I hit the rookie wall, which taught me how to be strong mentally throughout the season and to remain consistent. So overall it was just a learning experience
You started your basketball career at Florida A&M (NCAA) in 2011 playing three seasons there and playing 83 games. You played for head coach Clemon Johnson and never played much of a role in gaining minutes. How were the three years still beneficial in your basketball development?
Each year I’ve always kept working no matter the situation I’ve always been a hard worker and knew it would one day pay off, that being said it was just another motivating tool to get to where I am today.
Most of your best scoring games at Florida A & M were losses, but do you still have the win against Allen as a Freshman as one of your fond memories?
To be honest I can’t truthfully remember that game, But to take on a leading role starting as Freshman Point Guard leading a group of seniors on the D1 level was def an experience I’ve enjoyed and learned from. My up and down battles at A&M made me the guy who I am today so I’m thankful for the growth.
Would you agree that your ex teammate Amin Stevins has somewhat been off the radar in Europe to landing in a top league? After tearing up the Austrian league, he didn´t take off in Germany last season, but this season has teared up Iceland with 28/15 stats. There have been guys to have lesser stats in Iceland and reach top leagues. Is this his real break out season that will get him to a top league next season?
Amin is like a brother to me, I know him very well and know what he’s capable of, as shown before he can play in a top league Europe it’s just matter of being in a good situation for him where he can showcase and utilize all his skills and abilities. There’s no doubt in my mind he will be back to where he belong sooner than later.
As a senior you moved to Virginia Union (NCAA2, starting five): 18 games: 10.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 62.2%. You took a step back to play in the NCAA 2, but looking back at the decision was it the right choice?
I wouldn’t say step back because D2 basketball competes on a high level just as D1 as I got to experience both, the level of talent is really not much different. I won’t regret my decision for anything in the world because it again made me who I am today and it allowed me to just play freely and gain that ultimate confidence.
How did head coach Tony Sheals help groom and prepare you best for a professional career in your last year of school?
Well I had the honor of playing for Coach for 3 years as he recruited me to Florida A&M as well, He’s always been like a father figure since coming to college as well as always believing in me which is why when he got the coaching job at Virginia Union was a no brainer for me to transfer and to play with him for my last season because I knew he’d prepare me.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Ray Anderson?
Haha unfortunately Me and Ray never played One on One, But he’s a good guard who will be a Pro after his college days are over, But as a competitor I like Me against anybody.
Who was the best player that you battled in college that is in the NBA now?
For me it would have to be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Detroit Pistons. He played for the UGA and It was my first game back from injury. It was a fun night as we went back and forth but we suffered a tough loss in the end.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, & of course MJ
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
Well for me to even be in the conversation for being the best all time he would still have to win at least 2 more titles to come face to face with MJ, but from a statistical standpoint he dominates in every way and will probably go down as the Best ALL-Around player of all time.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
I Think KG is def a Top 5 PF ever to play this game the only difference from the guys ahead of him is that they were on better teams with better supporting casts as KG started it out his early years on a not so good team which he did manage to make an impressive run his MVP year so that tells a lot about his greatness and where he stands.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
Simply one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen and potentially ever that the league has seen, not to mention I believe he only took between 10-14 dribbles in al ,so that’s very impressive.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
By far. Westbrook is my favorite player and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves but I think he’s gaining more respect game after game and after he wins MVP he’ll be more respected.
Draymond Greene recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
Because it takes a special kind of player to do this and Draymond fits the script perfectly.
How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?
Yes because I’m pretty sure no one expected them to make it this far so that makes them the Cinderella of it all.
Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?
Lonzo Ball is a special talent that only comes once every blue moon and it will be great to watch as he grows in the NBA. He seems like a guy who doesn’t feed into the media or what his Father is saying to the public because he knows his Father.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
Well the Okc Thunder are 31-7 whenever he gets a triple double, so It can’t be that big of a problem to go grab a few more rebounds, it’s all a scheme to their game plan and it shows a high level of success when it’s done correctly.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks D´Andre for the chat.