Eniel Polynice is a 28 year old 196cm guard from Sarasota, Florida that has played six professional seasons and gathered vast experience having played in countries like the states, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Puerto Rico and France. His uncle is 17 year NBA veteran Olden Polynice and his cousin is Euroleague player James Nunnally. Last season he played with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) playing 8 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 66.7%. He played at Mississippi (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 99 NCAA games and in his last season played 33 games averaging 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 24.2%, FT: 67.9%. He played his last season of NCAA ball with Seton Hall (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 3.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.0apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Eniel thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am in France now. I am working out with a team and just waiting for the right call.
You are still unsigned. Your 28 years old and have six seasons of professional experience. Last season you also got signed late. Do you get a bit more uneasy each season as you get older about getting another job?
Every year is a new year and I am just thankful to still being playing the game I love.
You played in North and South America for your first five seasons and moved to Europe last season for the first time playing with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB). Why do you feel did it take you so long to get to Europe?
I played in South America and kept going back because I was chasing the money.
Last season with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball you came in mid season playing 8 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 66.7%. You didn´t seem to need any real adjustment period. With your age and having played only one season in Europe so far do you feel an extended hunger for basketball in Europe like a rookie?
My hunger is the same each season. My goal is to play professional basketball for 10-12 years.
What is your biggest strength that will continue to help a team in Europe?
My strength is that I am versatile and can play many positions. I have filled up the stat sheet wherever I have played. In France I played close to 20 minutes averaging 10,0ppg, 5,0rpg, 2,0apg, 45%fgp and 40% from outside.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet very well, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I feel that my defense doesn´t get the credit it deserves. I guarded the best players in college from Chris Lofton to John Wall.
If you could describe your game and to why you could help any team now how would you explain best in a few sentences?
I can help any team now because I am the type of player that likes to play up and down, pick and roll and am versatile.
After playing your whole career in North and South American what was your wake up call to your first season in Europe in France. Was being in a place like ST Quenten a good place where you could totally focus on basketball?
I was able to focus well in France at ST Quenten and kept my passion for the game.
You played your rookie season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League) playing 16 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 58.3%. What kind of experience was that for you and when you look back at that experience how could you really measure how far you really were from the NBA in terms of what you had on talent?
Playing with the Los Angeles Defenders was a great learning experience being able to go up against NBA type guys on any night. I averaged close to 7,0ppg, 2,0rpg and 1,0apg in 16 minutes per game.
What vital things could you take from head coach Eric Musselman. Just how much can players profit from a coach in the D-League? How valuable is that player coach relationship in the D-League?
Coach is a great coach and has been for a while. He always made sure we were best prepared for every opponent.
What memories do you have of highly talented Courtney Fortson who at that time was between call up to the Los Angeles Clippers and now is making millions in Asia. Did his height limit him from an NBA career?
Courtney and I are best friends. Heck we are like brothers. I am proud of him that he came from nothing like me and is making millions now.
You played at Mississippi(NCAA) from 2006-2010. You played with many great players there like Terrico White, Chris Warren or Zach Graham just to mention a few. From what player did you profit the most from in that time on the court?
Playing there was great and amazing. I didn´t profit from anyone there. I have continued to keep watching film and continue to keep learning from others wherever I have played after.
You played with three very talented guys with Herb pope, Jeremy Hazell and Jordan Theodore. Theodore had tow brilliant seasons in Germany and Turkey and now will play in Italy with Milan. He told me earlier in the year in an interview he is ready for the NBA. Could he be the next Malcom Delaney and make to the NBA after some years in Europe?
Jeremy and Jordan are great guys that always worked hard. Everybody is trying to prove themselves while putting in the work year in and year out. We aren´t here to compete against each other, but too inspire others that you can do others things in life outside of the NBA.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jeremy Hazell?
We never played, but that would be an interesting battle.
Who was the toughest player you battled in school that made it far as a professional?
Thanks Eniel for the chat.