Ryan Harrow is a 26 year old 188 cm guard from Georgia playing his third professional season and first with Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK) after starting the season with Pieno Zvaigzdes Pasvalys (Lithuania-LKL) playing 5 games averaging 15.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.4apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 52.1%, 3FGP: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%. Last season he played with Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A) playing 20 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 49.2%, 3FGP: 42.1%, FT: 67.6%, in Mar.’17 moved to Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK) playing 12 games averaging 15.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 81.8%. AS a rookie he played with A.G.O Rethymno Aegean (Greece-A1) playing 25 games averaging 12.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 73.1%. He played at three NCAA school´s North Carolina State, Kentucky and Georgia State and as a senior at Georgia St played 28 games averaging 18.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 71.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.
Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time to Germany and how have you liked it?
This is my first time in Germany. Even if it was dark with us coming in, I had a nice first impression. The Christmas lights were up in Bayreuth.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and its basketball? Do you have any friends playing here?
I don´t know much about Germany, but watched the movie Atomic Blond which is set in Berlin and has the wall in it. My friend Tre Bussey just signed in Germany with Bremerhaven. We’re family. He lives five minutes from me at home.
Your playing your first season with Polish team Rosa Radom. Was the attraction to be able to play Champions League basketball a big reason why you joined this team?
I finished with Rosa last season, but ended up in Lithuania this season. Rosa wanted me to come back so I returned.
The club has started off slow in the Polish and Basketball Champions League. Do you feel that having only two Americans is a bit slim for being able to be competitive?
I think that we have a pretty good team. I think it would have been better if I had come back earlier. It would have helped more with meshing together as a team. I feel we can be competitive in both leagues.
How refreshing has it been playing with fellow American Kevin Punter? He seems to be a very capable second playmaker to the team.
Last year I was more a scorer with Rosa, but with Kevin here, he helps with scoring and makes it easier for me. Teams don´t only focus on me, but on us both.
How have you profited from his game and how do you feel has he benefited from your presence?
With Kevin being a great scorer, it takes pressure off of me. It opens up the floor for me and vice versa.
Let´s talk about your game. You really picked up your scoring at Georgia State and have kept it as a professional. To what NBA player would you describe your game to?
I believe that I´m a flashy player. I wear #55 because of Jason Williams. We have a similar game, but he did pass the ball more than I do. Our similarity is how we have the ability to get the crowd involved and get the job done while being flashy.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet and make a impact on the defensive end, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
People tend not to know how athletic I am. People just don´t expect it from me. People see me more as a player playing below the rim and just taking jumpers.
Last season you played with Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A playing 20 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 49.2%, 3FGP: 42.1%, FT: 67.6%, in Mar.’17 moved to Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK): 12 games: 15.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 81.8%. After finishing so strong in Poland, why didn´t you resign?
I was just weighing my options. The Lithuanian team offered me a contract so I took it.
Last season you played with veteran Donatas Zavackas with Pesaro who played several years in Germany. What long lasting impression did the 37 year old leave you with?
He could really shoot the ball. He has a real nice jump shot.
Last season you also played with Marcus Thornton who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2015 and can light up the scoreboard like you. Are you surprised a guy like that never got a real NBA chance?
It´s all about timing. He is in the G-League working himself back. Perhaps the right opportunity will present it´s self for him.
As a rookie you played for A.G.O Rethymno Aegean (Greece-A1) playing 25 games averaging 12.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 73.1%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?
For me it wasn´t so tough being away from home, because my girlfriend accompanied me to Greece. I had the same problem as Kevin Punter with the shower and hot water.
You played three times that season against top Euroleague team Olympiacos losing each game including in the playoffs the last game 77-73. You held your own in two of three games playing against ex NBA players like Hakim Warrick, DJ Strawberry, Vassilis Spanoulis. What do you feel was missing form your game to be able to be able to play for a team like that?
I feel to be able to play at the Euroleague level, I need more experience and have to be able to show more on the defensive end. Those teams play tough defense and you have to learn to be able to play their style of defense.
You played at three schools at North Carolina State, Kentucky and Georgia State. What besides experience, different coaches and styles was the biggest benefit for you being able to have played at three schools?
It was great being a freshman at NC State. We had a great freshman class and all eyes were on us. Being at Kentucky was also great because you are considered one of the best players in the country when you play there. I learned a lot form coach Calipari. Topping of my NCAA career and being able to play at home at Georgia State was also great. Each school had it´s own style, but it all helped me get adjusted to playing overseas.
In your first season at North Carolina State you averaged 9.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 39.0%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 87.0%. What kind of experience was that for you and did you ever wonder how your game would have developed had you been there four years?
I sometimes do think about what could have been had I remained at NC State. But I am happy I got the chance to go to Kentucky. Coach Calipari was straight forward with me saying we produce great guards. So I took that opportunity.
How tough was not being able to play in the 2011-2012 NCAA title run due to transfer rules and then have a tough season with Kentucky as your dad was sick?
It was very tough practicing and not being able to play games that year. It was still great to see them win even if I worked hard in practice and could play games. I think If I had played just a little better at Kentucky it could have changed my life. I might have been drafted, but you live and learn. I got the chance to go home and play. I love Georgia State.
At Kentucky you averaged 9.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 70.8%. What overall experience was it playing for John Calipari? He was really high on your game and seeing you leave was tough
They recruit you for a reason at Kentucky. He wouldn´t have recruited me if he hadn´t thought highly of me. He is a very tough coach that only wants the best for you. If you produce for him then all is good.
What do you remember from your battles with Archie Goodwin? How did you profit from his game and vice versa?
He is an athletic and tough competitor that always gave his best. I remember during games that he did a good job taking pressure off me when I needed help running the ball. He was always ready to make plays.
You finished your NCAA career at Georgia State and really blossoming as a scorer. Was it just trust from Ron Hunter that turned you into a scorer and hard work or being nearer to your health stricken dad?
Definitely being close to my dad and knowing he was ok. A big help was coach Darryl Labarrie who made me better with late night video sessions and extra time in the gym.
RJ Hunter had a terrific senior year as did he but he made it to the NBA. Did you feel like NBA scouts had you in their note books?
I would think so. If NBA scouts came to see him then they saw me also. I thought that I had played well until I had gotten hurt. It just didn´t pan out for me. I am happy he got drafted and experienced the NBA. He is working hard now on making it back.
What were the last vital touches that head coach Ron Hunter gave you that enabled you to be prepared best for a professional career?
Coach Hunter just stressed to enjoy the college experience. Now it´s a job. Now it´s not for fun anymore as it was in college.
Was the 82-81 loss to LA Lafayette where you dropped 37 points one of your most bitter loses in the NCAA?
Yes that was a tough loss. We had that game won and then let it slip away. We had a really good team and could of done a lot in the tournament. We were so close and then let it slip away.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Kevin Ware?
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant
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?
I never got to see Jordan play and knew he was good. I saw Lebron play and know he was good also. Jordan was running show then and Lebron is running show 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?
He always plays hard and does all he can for his team to win. That is his mentality.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I didn´t follow it much because it´s hard to follow college basketball in Europe. My friend Kobe Simmons was drafted.
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?
Yes I think that they could. They are one of my teams. Harden and Paul are feeding off each other.
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?
Both players are good, but I think whoever gets the chance to play with Lebron has the better shot of winning.
Where will the journey of the Oklahoma Thunder go this season with Westbrook, George and Anthony? Can they make a serious run in the west?
They aren´t gelling now. They still have time to settle down and to get together. Those are three good players that can take them far.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Ryan for the chat.