Mardracus Wade is a 26 year old 188cm guard from Chatham, Virginia that is playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA). He played his rookie season with the Central Texas Swarm (ABA) and played in the D-league the last two seasons with the Iowa Energy (D-League) playing 35 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT-1(50.0%), FT: 68.1% and last season split time with the Iowa Energy (D-League) playing 8 games averaging 4.9ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.8apg and the Greensboro Swarm (D-League) playing 6 games averaging 5.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 38.5%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 62.5%. He started his basketball career at Arkansas (NCAA) in 2010 and played 125 NCAA games in a four year career with his best season being his sophomore one where he played 31 games averaging 4.0ppg, 1.2rpg. Currently in the Pro A with Nurnberg he is averaging 10,0ppg, 2,5rpg and 3,4apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Mardracus thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on signing with German team Nurnberg Falcons. Did the fact that you were a try-out player motivate you even more to play at a high level?
Yes sir, I knew what I brought to the table and I felt really confident in my skill and abilities coming into it. I just had to play hard and do my part.
After playing in the States for your first three professional seasons you now have made the jump to Europe. How blessed are you to be in a place where everybody knows German and not in the back woods of Bosnia where you might not see a Mcdonalds for months?
I’m very blessed to be in the position I’m in today. I feel like this a great start to my career overseas and that the sky’s limit for me if I continue to put in the time and effort. Nuremberg is a really cool place and have great people and food here. So I’m happy about that.
You are getting better used to the level of play in the Pro A and have played against other teams. How would you rate the level and talent that you have come across in Germany in comparison to the G-League where you played the last two seasons?
It’s very different, you know playing in the G league you have so many talent guys from college and even the NBA so it’s very high level and competitive. The level in Pro A is good and I had the opportunity to play against a few teams but they don’t have the caliber guys like in the G league now some teams have a few good players but not like the Gleague where you have maybe 7-9 solid players that can come at you in different ways.
How do you feel will your game translate over to the Pro A in Germany? You never averaged in double figures except for your second year at Arkansas(NCAA). Do you feel like you could be an impact player at this level?
I feel my game will translate just fine. I just have to do my part and play hard on both ends of the floor. I think I can be a impact player at this level for sure. Without a doubt in my mind.
You are squashed between two real veterans with Dan Oppland and Matt Gibson. What kind of experience has it been being teammates with them and what do you respect most from each guy on and off the court?
Matt and Dan are great guys who know the game inside and out. I respect those guys a lot and they help show me the ropes. The thing I learned most about them is how they are lways talking and communicating. Which is huge if you want to win at this level. Off the court they are great people and know how to be professionals
Let´s talk a little about your game. You’re a guard that can fill up the stat sheet. What are your biggest strengths on the court and if you had to pick an NBA player that most resembles how you play on the court who would it be?
My strong point is defending and knocking down 3’s. I like to say I play like Gary Payton. He was aggressive defensively and he brought energy and that’s what I do
You are able to demonstrate many things on the court and seem to be a guy that can do it all at the guard position, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think my ability to see and read situations whether that’s pick and roll or just seeing mismatches.
Last season you split time with Iowa and Greensboro in the G-League. Your stats didn´t improve over your first season in the G-League. What things did you notice in your second season there that this league wouldn´t be in your future and that you would move to Europe?
To be honest I wanted to try something different. I played there for two seasons most of the time playing behind someone so I felt like it’s time for me to branch out and make my own name.
When looking at your stats in the G-League, it seemed like only a certain number of guys were allowed to shoot. In one game against Westchester you played 36 minutes and took only 5 shots. Is this just a perception or are guys told that only certain guys are going to take the majority of shots?
I feel like it’s different every time but when your playing with 4 players that got drafted and are the core of the team. You know who to get the ball too. All four of those are in the NBA as of today. So it was a great experience for me and I wouldn’t change it for nothing. I learned a lot from a great staff. I got better and learned a lot about the game. I enjoyed playing with and against high caliber players that most people wouldn’t even get the chance to play with or against so that was a blessing for me.
You had more of a role in your first season in the G-League with the Iowa Energy. How do you feel did you benefit from the G-League experience overall? Do you pretty much realize quickly that you will never get a NBA call up and just try to benefit from the experience and process in other ways?
At one point I thought I could get a call-up just because of the way I was playing and sharing the ball and guys in the NBA were getting hurt and a lot of G league players where getting called up.
You played your rookie season in 2014-2015 with the Central Texas Swarm (ABA). Do you feel like your senior year where you put up only 3,9ppg led to making it more difficult finding a rookie job?
I totally think my senior year did have an effect on me getting a job but I had some personal issue going on that led to something. But if I had a decent senior year I think I would have been in Europe by now.
How difficult was your rookie season in the ABA? Did you work extra hard on your game and what things do you feel did you improve?
I had a great rookie season in the Aba, I was able to play my game and have fun again. It was no pressure. So I just worked on my game and got stronger and better.
You played at Arkansas(NCAA) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 125 games. You had solid games against Uconn, Kentucky and Michigan scoring in double figures in each game. Was the 66-64 win against Michigan one of your most memorable games in school beating guys like Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr?
Yes I enjoyed the battles playing against those top teams and players. That’s what you live for to play and compete against the best. I put in a lot of work and time during those years.
In the loss against Kentucky you faced 7 future NBA players including Anthony Davis. Was that 11-12 Kentucky teams one of the best you ever faced in the NCAA?
By far the best team I’ve ever played in my life. They were loaded. They could run and defend like no other. I really enjoyed those games.
When you were a senior, Bobby Portis came in as a freshman and put up solid but not spectacular stats. He is entering his third season as a Chicago Bull. Did you know then that he would land in the NBA?
I knew Bobby would be a Pro before he come to Arkansas. He has a great work ethic and he put in a lot of overtime. Staying late after practice. Coming in before practice working on his shot.
How did head coach Mike Anderson groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I would say just this about coach, he showed me what not to do lol
Who won a one on one in practice you or BJ Young?
Umm we both used to go at each other. He’s a good player though.
Who was the toughest player that you battled ever that is in the NBA now?
Bradley Beal when he was at Florida.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan
Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?
That’s tough, I would say Lebron is very close and I think he can do but he’s going to need some help to get it done. He’s a complete beast like freak of nature. He’s unreal when it comes to physical talent.
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?
No Russell Westbrook is a straight baller. Plays hard and will do whatever it takes to win. Just need a little more help thast all
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I think Malik Monk is a sleeper.
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?
They are going to have a great season watch what I tell you. With CP3 handing the ball and Harding off it. Makes the game so much easier for him. I like this combo duo.
How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?
I think Boston to be honest got the better deal long term.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Cars 3 ( Lightning McQueen ) lol
Thanks Mardracus for the chat.