Vaughn Duggins is a 30 year old 190cm guard from Pendleton, Indiana that is playing his seventh professional season and first with s.Oliver Wurzburg. Last season he played with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg playing 22 games averaging 10.6ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 85.2%. In 4 BCL games he averaged 11.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Wright St. (NCAA) where he played until 2011 paying a total of 130 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 18.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 82.2%. In 2011, he started his professional basketball career in Germany with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen where he played until 2013 and in his second season played 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 82.0%. He then played two seasons in France with Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-ProA) playing 31 games averaging 10.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 85.9%; and 10 Eurocup games averaging 10.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 79.2%. He also played with Sluc Nancy Basket Pro (France-ProA) playing 32 games averaging 14.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 79.3% and played 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 78.6%. He spoke to German Hoops before the BBL game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Vaughn thanks for talking to German Hopps. Congrats on becoming a dad for the second time. What is most different about being a dad for the second time than for the first time?
The biggest difference is the amount of time it takes to do anything. If you expect any task to be done in a certain amount of time, double it!
Before we get to basketball, I have to ask you about German Christmas. You have seen it in Tuebingen and Oldenburg and now witnessing it in Wurzburg. How has the atmosphere been in the Bavarian city and is there anything more unique about it in Bavaria than it was before?
We love the old German charm of the cities here in the South and Würzburg is no different. Great for families and the location is perfect.
Last season you experienced an amazing run with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. How special was that run for you personally and being a teammate of Mr Oldenburg Rickey Paulding?
It was special because the season was very challenging for us at times. It was great that it all came together at the right time. Rickey is an amazing player but it doesn’t touch how good of a person and teammate he is!
You elected to stay at home and prepare with your wife for the second birth while also getting completely healthy again after your tough injury last season. Despite having the excitement of the oncoming second birth, how challenging was this whole time for you mentally as it was the first time as a professional where you didn´t go into the season from the very start?
It was tough at the start but I had to look at the big picture. My wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl and got a job with a great organization at the perfect time.
Did you do anything different in your daily workout sessions that kept you ready for that next gig after the birth or was it pretty much the same routine you had during the summer?
Between recovering from my injury and the birth, it was a far from normal offseason. My training didn’t start till the end of July and slowly got more and more intense.
You signed pretty quickly after the birth with the s.Oliver Wurzburg. How important was it for you to remain in Germany since you have played there most of your career and did you have a fair number of offers so late into the new season?
It was very important. It is a country that we know very well and love and a league that is getting better and better every year.
How important was the fact that legendary German head coach Dirk Bauermann was coaching the team. He was coaching Bamberg when you were still in high school. What was the most key component about him that enticed you most about coming to Wurzburg?
He had a vision and a dream about what he wanted the club to be. His passion about that vision was contagious and ultimately, I wanted to be a part of that.
You played in Wurzburg many times with Tuebingen and Oldenburg and now it´s your home. What makes it most special playing there and what does it feel like knowing that Dirk Nowitzki started his career there in the 90´s?
It’s unbelievable. The basketball history is so rich here. It was an extremely tough place to play as a visitor so I am glad to be on the other side of that Home court advantage for a change.
Since your arrival the team has lost three tough close games to Bonn, Bayreuth and Ulm. Is this team still learning to become a more stable crunch-time team?
Yes, absolutely. We’ve had a few new players added, me included, so there is going to be a time where we are still figuring things out. The veterans on this team that have been in those positions before need to lead in those crunch time situations.
You are teammates with Robin Benzing and might remember him from his Bayern Munich days, but he was in Spain for a few years. How do you feel has his game progressed in this time? How vital is his leadership on the team?
He has improved so much since those days. He has always been skilled, but his mental and physical toughness surprised me a lot. We need his leadership by example on both ends.
How challenging has it been playing with a big time veteran like Cliff Hammonds and talented 25 year old Abdul Gaddy. Is the secret to the success of the trio Hammonds, Gaddy and Duggins that you all bring so many different strengths to the table?
Our guard play is very important. We set the tone as our defense’s front line and dictate the pace offensively but our energy and decision-making. It has been great playing with and getting to know them.
Your minutes are down slightly from your Oldenburg years with 23 per game and the least that you have had as a professional. Do you feel like the deep roster has limited the minutes of many players that usually are used to getting more minutes?
Absolutely. We are an extremely deep team. Any one of 10 players could start on any given night. It is a luxury that most teams don’t have.
Your averaging the lowest stats in your professional career with 4,6ppg, 1,9rpg and 2,0apg. What exactly is your role with Wurzburg and do you feel like you have less responsibility than usual?
My job is to be an aggressive creator on offense and a bulldog on defense. I’m definitely not happy with those stats but they only tell half the story. I’m getting better daily and will find the right rhythm soon.
If you can´t be a factor as much in the scoring department, in what other area´s are you trying to be the most valuable for your team?
We have a lot of weapons. I know I will have nights where I score the ball but it is important for me to make sure we are finding a good rhythm both offensively and defensively.
What part of your game are you working on most now that your age 30? Do you feel that your prime is behind you or are you approaching it?
Right now, it’s about overall game management. Trying to be a leader for the younger guys. Knowing who’s hot, who needs a confidence boost, how to endure a “run” from the opposing team. I’m definitely not as athletic vertically anymore but from a running and lateral standpoint, I’m still prime.
Head coach Dirk Bauermann is a very demanding coach. At age 30 you have seen a lot, but in what area of your game do you feel has coach Bauermann had an affect on you improving?
I’ve always played by reaction and then allowing my athletic ability take over. Now, it’s about dictating the tempo by my speed. When to relax and take my time and when to explode through a gap.
The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners. They are one of the hottest teams in the league despite being flooded with injuries. What kind of game can we await?
They are absolutely a hot item right now. They have one of the best playing guard duos in the league. Now with adding English and having great coaching, it will be a high level game.
Can you give us an update on your old teammate and 2011 BBL MVP Dashaun Wood. He recently left his France team Nancy and was injured. Do you fear that he will hang it up or will he return?
Dashaun doesn’t know when to quit. He has a few good years left and I know he will come back from this latest injury/setback even more motivated. He has such a high motor for success.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I haven’t been watching the college game as much this year, but I’m ready for the U.S to get a taste of Doncic and find out what most of Europe already knows…he’s great.
What is your opinion on Lavar Ball starting his own league for high school kids that will be able to skip college? Will this league catch on because the young kids will be able to earn up to 10,000 dollars per month?
I don’t really listen to anything he says. It’s all a show and PR stunt. Brilliant, but still a stunt. There are issues with this part of the American basketball system that will be addressed because of this so it’s a good thing. I don’t think there will be a Ball League anytime soon though.
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 a top 5 team and if they are healthy, they will be in the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors. Eric Gordon is playing at an all star level again so anything is possible.
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?
As of right now the Celtics won that trade big time. It remains to be seen how the addition of Thomas will affect the Cavs. I’m interested to see how they will use him with and without Lebron on the floor. They need someone else who can run the show. Lebron plays too many minutes.
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?
It hasn’t worked out up to this point and sadly, I don’t think we will ever get the chance to see it blossom. Someone will end up being odd man out and get traded.
What was the last movie that you saw?
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Thanks Vaughn for the chat.