Orlando Parker is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Orlando, Florida that completed his third professional season and second in Germany and first with PS Karlsruhe helping them move up to the Pro A averaging 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg. He started his basketball career with Wagner (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 118 NCAA games. As a senior he played 26 games averaging 6.7ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 44.7%, FT: 62.0%. In 2014 he turned professional with UL Eagles Limerick (Ireland-Premier League) playing 17 games averaging 19.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.5%. Last season he played with Baskets Vilsbiburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 22.6ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 79.3%. He spoke to German Hoops after end of the 2016-2017 pro B season.
Orlando congrats on an amazing season, but the goal ended during the last game of the season against Weissenhorn. Did you ever suffer a more bitter loss in your career?
It’s a tough thing to swallow especially knowing that we worked hard all season for this moment, I’ve had some devastating losses in my career but this one is definitely at the top.
Weissenhorn had to win by more than four points to be crowned 2017 Pro B champion and really grinded it out winning by six points. What were your first thoughts after the buzzer. Did you feel like you were in a bad dream?
Honestly to see another team celebrate on your home court hurts mentally, but that doesn’t erase the fact that we had a really good season considering we were a new team in the league.
The Weissenhorn youngsters controlled the game from the get go, but PS Karlsruhe made a run in the fourth quarter as you started really to fire away from outside. What do you feel was missing in crunch-time to have got over the hump?
The keyword is “Energy”. We started off playing like they were going to give up and hand us the game, which by halftime turned Into a wake up call for us to realize that these guys came to play. but with that mentality in a Championship game the basketball gods knew we didn’t deserve to win, although we fought back in the last quarter.
Both teams really wanted this Pro B title badly, but do you feel like the visitors wanted it more?
I wouldn’t say that, I think we ultimately reached our goal this season by moving up to Pro A. The Championship game was just the icing on the cake to an amazing season. We still ate the cake just without the icing.
Do you feel like the Pro B title was lost in game one in Weissenhorn? Do you feel like if PS Karlsruhe could have taken more advantage of their horrible 1/25 shooting from outside that you would have been in better position in game two to have won it all?
We knew before the series that with this final round only being 2 games that every possession would count. Although we got the victory in game one, we made a few bad decisions in those last minutes that would of put us in a better position for game 2
How much respect do you have for the Weissenhorn organization winning the 2017 Pro B title without a single American. What made this team so special this season?
Having an American means nothing if the team doesn’t play as one. I think that’s what makes them special because they don’t have one guy that is going out there putting up numbers. I also believe that’s why both teams made it to the finals because we play within an unselfish system with good players.
I really enjoy watching huge Hungarian talent Marcell Pongo and his aggressiveness. Do you see him becoming a solid BBL player down the line?
He’s a really solid player the future is bright for him.
You stated in our last interview in March that “Our focus is what needs to increase. Our effort and toughness is always there, just our focus on the details during key moments is what we plan on fixing during the playoffs”. Is this something that also was missing a bit in the final series against Weissenhorn?
I mean we won game one on the road so that takes a lot of focus. But usually during the playoffs the more focused and mentally prepared teams usually are successful in the end. As a group we were not all focused in game 2.
What is your overall season summary. The club reached the Pro A as the 2017 Pro B finalist. Did you truly think this was possible after the first few weeks of the season?
Well I’m not surprised honestly, I truly believed in everyone since day one especially coach. Since the beginning he pushed us to become better everyday. I knew there was no way we would come up short after all the hard work we put in.
How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Dimitrij Kreis? He is a very underrated point guard in the Pro B. Is he a guy that could make the next step in the Pro A?
He’s our floor general and one of the hardest workers on the team. His work ethic speaks for itself. I definitely appreciate playing with him this season.
What German player do you feel has improved the most from the first day of training camp until the last game against Weissenhorn?
It wouldn’t be fair if I singled out one player because this group showed up everyday ready to work twice a day. They all became better players since August”.
You had a tight bond with Jordan Talbert and one could say you have become like brothers. What did you learn to appreciate most about him on and off the court?
JT is the mirror image of what you want to see in every player. He’s a really humbled down to earth guy, who’s not selfish at all. When you play with guys like that you really appreciate who they are as a person.
Let´s talk about your game. You stated on our last interview in March that your always improving. How do you feel did you improve this season in the Pro B?
I think I had a solid season this year, with much more room for improvement.
You averaged 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg in only 23 minutes per game and displayed being a very effective player. How vital was picking your spots and being an overall intelligent player this season after coming from the Regionaliga?
I just go out there and give my best regardless the minutes. I know the type of player that I am and understand the sacrifices that I have to make for the team,
In our last interview you stated that “real Defense doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, so I’m the type of player that doesn’t need steals or blocks to look like I’m playing defense. I’m more of guy who is stopping penetration, hard close outs, rotating” Do you feel like you can be an impact defender in the Pro A?
I definitely believe so, I consider myself a versatile player that can guard 1-5.
PS Karlsruhe has amazing team chemistry. Do you feel that this club could play together and successfully in the Pro A?
With faith and hard work anything is possible.
What is the next step for Orlando ? You have paid your dues now two seasons in Germany in lower leagues. Are you ready for the next step in the Pro A?
I’m not going to stop climbing the ladder until I reach the highest level.
What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?
That’s usually the plan in the offseason. Spend some quality time with the family and in the gym
Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?
He’s going to be a great player but I wasn’t impressed by how he got those 70 points, especially with his team being down 30 with no chance of winning.
Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?
In my opinion he’s definitely something special but not top 3.
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`?
Of course! We haven’t seen something like that in years.
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?
In my opinion he’s all hype until he steps on that stage. His father is just using social media to market his son and brand which isn’t a bad thing
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?
It’s hard to say because I’m not sure if his team would be in that position without the triple doubles. So it definitely helps
There was some speculation that the Morris brothers both played in game one and game two for Washington despite Morris being under contract to the Detroit Pistons. Do you really think that could be possible with all the technical capabilities around to really have let a capper like that go unnoticed?
Haha that’s actually funny but I don’t think they would make that bold move.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Orlando for the chat.