Miles Jackson-Cartwright is a 25 year old 190cm guard from Van Nuys, California that is playing in his third professional season and second in Germany and first with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 14,7ppg, 5,0rpg and 4,8 apg. His last club was the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 71.4%. In his rookie season he played with Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five) playing 18 games: Score-3(16.1ppg), 3.3rpg, Assists-1(5.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at Pennsylvania (NCAA) in 2010 and played there until 2014 playing a total of 115 NCAA games and in his four year career averaged 11,6ppg, 2,6rpg, 2,8apg and 1,0spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Miles thanks for talking to German Hoops. We both have a very uncommon same name. How many other Miles´s have you met in your life? My count is less than 5.
Ha! I have actually met quite a few, to be honest. Definitely more than I can count.
You sat out a whole season. Talk a little about your time off. Was it a planned thing to pursue other interests or were offers scarce and just not the right opportunity to play professionally last season?
I actually signed with a Bulgarian team last season before the new year. It did not work out for the best, but I was appreciative of the team for giving me the opportunity obviously, I wanted things to work out differently but I probably would not be in the position that I am now if not for what happened last season.
Congrats on signing with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). Two seasons ago you played in the German Pro A with the Hebeisen White Wings. Do you feel like your taking a step back this season or what benefits do you see by playing in the Pro B this season?
Thank you! I truly believe that this is the best situation that I’ve been in so far. It’s the best of both worlds for me. I get the chance to lead a young group with the Pro-B team, all while being able to play and learn from Coach Dirk Bauermann and the talented group of guys on the BBL team. Being here with Coach Liam Flynn has always been something that I’ve looked forward to, and the opportunity to also play in BBL games is truly a blessing. This organization is first-class in all facets and I have never been more excited to be playing for a team like I am here.
What was the deciding factor that gave you the right feeling that taking TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB).offer was the right one for your career?
I wanted to be coached by the best. I have built a great relationship with Coach Flynn over my first few seasons as a pro, and I always looked forward to being coached by him. Coach Bauermann is a coaching legend and being able to work with and play for him gives me an amazing chance to better myself as a player and as a person.
How has the overall experience been for you being able to practice with the EasyCredit BBL team and play for the Pro B game. Even though he isn´t technically your coach how do you feel will you benefit from Dirk Bauermann in the times you can learn from him on the court?
It has been an amazing experience so far. He is my coach though, and I respect him as such. I am really thankful that he has allowed me to play for him in games this early in the year because it was not something that I expected to happen.
You have a very different role in your third professional season in that unlike in Holland and with Hanau, you are the only American surrounded mostly by very young German players. Obviously your experience and leadership will be vital this season in helping lead the young players to victory. Do you feel like you will have to be more of a scorer or playmaker?
I think I will be called upon to do a number of different things on the court. Each game will call for me to do something different, but I am flexible and willing to do anything that Coach Flynn or Coach Sepéhr asks of me.
You are a very versatile point guard that led the Dutch league in assists as a rookie. If you had to best describe your game to a NBA player who would you pick?
I honestly don’t know. I try to take aspects from a number of different players and try to implement them in a way that allows me to be successful.
You’re a player 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 on the court?
My defense. It’s one part of my game that I have tried to put a lot of pride in because that’s what will keep me on the floor regardless of how many points I score or plays I make.
After a super rookie season in Holland you played for the Hebeisen White Wings and the club almost made the playoffs that season. How do you feel did you benefit form coach Simon Cote that will help you make the next step in your career this season with Wurzburg?
Coach Cote really challenged me to be a better defender. I learned so much from him on how to be a nuisance for 40 minutes on the defensive side of the ball.
As a rookie you played with Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 18 games: Score-3(16.1ppg), 3.3rpg, Assists-1(5.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 80.2%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Holland where you knew that you were very far away from home in California?
Once I signed the contract, I knew my life was going to drastically change. I was excited about the move though as the Netherlands was such an amazing country.
On the court you didn´t need any adjustment time, but still how important were experienced Americans Marquise Simmons and Ryan Watkins for not only getting you through your rookie season, but making it a successful one?
It was everything. I grew up playing with and against Ryan since we’re both from Los Angeles. Having him there with me made it very easy to adjust.
You had a very stellar four year career at Pennsylvania(NCAA) being second all-time in minutes played (3,959), seventh in assists (358), ninth in free throws made (364), ninth in free throw percentage (81.3), tenth in steals (131), tenth in 3-point field goals made (155), tenth in 3-point field goals attempted (449), and thirteenth all-time in points scored (1,401). When you look back at your career at Pennsylvania that brought great players like Michael Jordan, Adam Chubb and Koko Archibong how would you like to be most remembered for your time there?
I just want to be remembered as someone who brought it and competed every night. Being able to be a part of such a storied program will always be something that I will cherish. The Palestra and Philadelphia became home for me.
At Pennsylvania you dunked over three Princeton players making the ESPN top plays of the day list. When you look at your career has that been the most spectacular play you have achieved?
Ha! I don’t know, to be honest. I shared a bunch of great winning moments with my teammates there and consider those to be more spectacular than that dunk.
In your sophomore year at Pennsylvania you lost 85-55 to power house Duke and played against unending future NBA players like the Plumlee brothers, Andre Dawkins, Quinn Cook and guards Seth Curry and Austin Rivers. You scored 10 points in the loss while Rivers had eight points. When looking at some of these guys and remembering what skills they had is there really so much difference in abilities or is getting to the NBA really a matter of being in the right place at the right time?
I am confident in my abilities to play against anybody, but getting to the NBA is a different monster and an incredible challenge. Some of it is timing; however, I think becoming an NBA player has more to deal with what you can bring to a team on the court.
How did head coach Jerome Allen groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Allen really taught me what it meant to be a professional. Obviously, you need to be skilled but he showed me how to be disciplined and dedicated to perfecting your craft each and every day. I still lean on him for advice because he’s been through everything that I hope to accomplish as a player. I will forever be grateful for my time playing for him, as well as the relationship that we have continue to build since I graduated from Penn.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Tony Hicks?
I don’t even think we played a lot of one on one. We were so focused on what it took to beat the opponent. It was an honor playing with that dude, though. He came to work every day and challenged me to be better.
You come from a very talented family in that your older brother J Davey is a musician and your younger brother Parker is a senior at Arizona. Do you try to mentor Parker a bit as best you can and how has J Davey been a role model for you?
What’s so special about my family is that we all lean on each other for guidance and support. If you spent time with us, you would think us 3 were triplets because we are all so close. Even as the older brother to Park, I look up to him – he’s been through a lot but continues to succeed and handle every situation with a lot of class and grace. My sister is my best friend – watching her continuously chase her dream and have success at every part of her journey has made it easy to pursue my passion. She was the blueprint for me and my brother, and I know neither of us would be where we’re at without her. It’s really a testament to how we were raised, as well. We’re blessed with 2 amazing parents who both challenge us and support us in everything we do. We are such a close-knit group and it’s all because of the sacrifices that my parents made to get us to this point.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird.
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?
Man, LeBron is special. I think when it’s all said and done, we’ll look back and say that he’s the best basketball player we’ve ever seen. He scores, he passes, he defends – all at an elite level too! It will be interesting to see how the next 5-10 years of his career goes. He’s right there with all of the greats and he has a prime opportunity to surpass them all.
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?
I think he did all he could to give his team the best chance to win. It’s crazy to criticize a guy who averaged a triple double.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
There definitely was a lot of talent in this year’s draft. I think all of the top 10 picks have a chance to be really good in the league, but I love Jonah Bolden and Jordan Bell – they’re both going to have a lot success at the next level.
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’re going to be exciting to watch, for sure. Coach D’Antoni is an offensive genius and it will be interesting to study how he sets up his offensive schemes with two dominant guards. Unfortunately, that juggernaut in the Bay Area is too loaded and I expect the Warriors to raise another banner this season.
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 actually think both teams got what they wanted out of the deal. We knew Kyrie wanted out and it was going to be extremely difficult for the Cavs to receive a quality package for a player that was going to leave anyways. For them to get an All-NBA guy, 2 solid role players, and the Brooklyn pick, they definitely got more than any of us could have expected. On the other hand, Kyrie is going to phenomenal for the C’s. He’s a 6’3 Kobe Bryant – no offensive weaknesses whatsoever. In addition to him being under contract for 2 more seasons, he’ll be extremely motivated and excited to finally be the franchise guy
What was the last movie that you saw?
Kinda late, but I just saw Inception for the first time. Incredible!
Thanks Miles for the chat.