Buay Tuach is a 22 year old 198cm forward from Ethiopia that will be starting his professional basketball career in Germany with Phoenix Hagen. He started his career with Northeast CC (JUCO) and then moved to Loyola Mary (NCAA) in 2015 and as a junior played 26 games averaging 3.7ppg, 1.6rpg. As a senior he played 28 games averaging 11.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 57.0%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Thanks Buay for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?
At the moment I am in Los Angeles California and my summer is going well
Your last NCAA game was March 4th and you haven´t played a competitive game in many months. What have you missed most in this time?
In the time of the competitiveness I just miss the games, road trips and team.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Phoenix Hagen. After 2 strong seasons at Northeast CC and then a first NCAA season where you hardly played, did you think you could one day become a professional player?
I’ve always had a dream of becoming a professional athlete and I always knew that I would become one someday and the day has come.
You have signed with a club Phoenix Hagen that is in a place that has rich basketball tradition. What were the main reasons for choosing this organization?
The main reason for choosing this club is because I heard about how crazy the fans love the game of basketball and if you have fans who show me love like that, it is an amazing feeling. I also heard that the people of Hagen are the best and to me it is big because I love meeting new cultures. Also the coach sounds like a great guy and we had a pretty good conversation over the phone. Another reason is it would be a right fit because of the competition is good.
Phoenix Hagen are more than convinced of your abilities saying you are a very athletic player that has a nice shot and can play multiple positions. What else can you add to the strengths of your game?
What I need to strengthen in my game is my ball handling skills, I’m a good ball handler but I want to be a great ball handler
You are a athletic 198cm forward that can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
A hidden strength in my game that doesn’t get noticed right away is my post game. I have a good post game because I played the post in high school so I developed a couple of moves
You are Ethiopian, but grew up in the states in Texas and Nebraska. There aren´t many basketball players from your country. How proud are you to be a basketball player?
I am very proud for my parents and my beautiful African genes because it’s who I am and I thank the man above us for blessing me with so much talent and determination.
You grew up in the States and played NCAA ball there. How Americanized have you become and how has the whole American experience helped you mature as a player?
I adapted to the American culture because I’ve been here since the age of two but life in general and the struggles I’ve been through helped me mature as a player
You played two seasons at Loyola Mary (NCAA) and as a senior played 28 games averaging 11.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 57.0%. How do feel did your game develop in your senior year as you came from averaging 12 minutes to 28 minutes?
From my junior year to senior year, I developed my confidence and that is why senior year was much better than my junior year
How did head coach Mike Dunlap groom and prepare you best for a professional career in your two years at Loyola Mary?
Coach prepared me to be professional on the court and off. He’s a great teacher and I’ve learned a lot from him
You had many fine games as a senior like against Uconn, but also scoring 19 points against 2017 NCAA finalist Gonzaga. What do you try to remember from this game and how you played to motivate you in bad times?
From those games I just try to remember how far I came to get to this point and I will compete with whomever and I don’t care how big the name is
What will you miss most from your point guard Brandon Brown? What part of his game will translate over to Europe best when he signs a contract somewhere?
What I will miss most is playing one on one with him almost every day and we battled. His quickness will definitely transfer and he will bother a lot of defenders. He is underestimated because of how he looks but don’t let looks fool you
Who won a one on one in practice you or Shamar Johnson?
One on one with me and Shamar, most of the times me haha
Who was the toughest guy you battled in the NCAA that later reached the NBA?
The toughest guy I’ve battled was Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer from Gonzaga.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Dwayne Wade, Michael Jordan, Kareem and Allen Iverson.
Where does Lebron stand currently in the never ending debate about who is the greatest of all-time him or Michael Jordan?
The greatest of all time to me is still Jordan but let it be a debate after Lebrons career is over.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
I rank him top 10
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
Klay´s performance was amazing.
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? 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?
Stat wise yes Russell would be considered the best player because the stats shows it. Yes I feel like he’s been focusing more on filling his stats but at the same time trying to carry the team too much and isn’t allowing much help
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was the Avatar.
Thanks Buay for the chat.