Jarvis Ray is a 27 year old 198cm forward from New Orleans that played at TCU(NCAA) and has experience in Europe in Austria and Cyprus. Last season he played with Enosis Neon Paralimni (Cyprus-Division A) playing 22 games: Score-4(15.1ppg), 3.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 65.0%. In his rookie season he played with Basket Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 41 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 32.2%, FT: 56.4%. He played at TCU from 2010-2014 playing a total of 81 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 9.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 15.2%, FT: 67.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jarvis thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how did you enjoy the holiday season?
At the moment me and my family is are located in FortWorth,Texas. I enjoyed my holiday got the chance to see some family that I haven’t got a chance to see in a couple years.
With 2018 here are you a guy that believes in setting new years resolutions or do you more refrain from that?
Yes sir you can say that, but not so much of changing myself but always trying to set a goal for myself and find a way to better myself.
After two very solid seasons in Austria and Cyprus, you are currently without a team. How difficult is it for a competitive guy like you to accept that?
Its very tough for me to be without a team because I know what I did in Austria and Cyprus. And both years I’ve gotten better. But one of goals always is to just stay positive and stay ready.
How did you experience the transfer market last summer. Did you have less offers or did you just not get the right offers?
Yes I had less offers but a lot of interest but was always the second choice to them and they picked someone else and it was hard for me because my wife was pregnant with our son so I needed something quick so I can be able to provide for them.
Does the waiting for a team to call motivate you to work even harder in the gym and on the court for that next opportunity?
Yes sir it’s definitely motivation for me to work even harder, definitely ready to play again and also have a chip on my shoulder, I have a lot to prove!!
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a 198cm forward. Describe your game a bit and to what NBA player would you describe your game best to?
Well I’ve always heard from other people and players that my game is compared to guys like John Wall, Rudy Gay, and Paul George. But honestly I’m trying to set my own path and be the best player I can be.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that is often off the radar of teams?
I think my hidden strength is my strength. I’m stronger then what teams may think I look.
You really grew into a scorer in Cyprus. Was this something that was in the making, or did you have that scoring gene already, but weren´t allowed to show it as much at TCU?
I definitely had the scoring gene in me and at TCU I was playing out of position at the time I was a 2 guard and had to play the 4 position and it was very different for me but things happen for a reason because now I can play the 4 position really well now. I’ve also played the 4 sometimes in my two years of playing professional and it helped my scoring even more.
After a solid rookie season in Austria, you really broke out last season in Cyprus for Enosis Neon Paralimni (Cyprus-Division A) playing 22 games: Score-4(15.1ppg), 3.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 65.0%. Did your all around game develop further?
Yes after playing in Austria my game definitely developed more because I got to experience a different level basketball in Europe and the way it’s works, but also sitting and also being a second choice to other teams was a wake up call for me to really show what I can do on the floor.
Did your 38 point game in your first game in Cyprus scare you a bit? Did you possibly expect to much of yourself after that first game?
No it didn´t scare me because I had a different mindset going to Cyprus. I didn’t expect too much from myself after that game . I just wanted to stay calm and keep doing what I came there to do.
You reached the semi-finals in Cyprus. Do you feel like you were able to develop your leadership qualities and take them to a new level?
Yes I definitely felt like I developed my leadership skills to push them to be better players. I was on a team that never made playoffs and I wanted to change that and let them know that we can accomplish a lot.
You were teammates with Tyler Hines. Did he ever tell any interesting stories about his famous brother Kyle Hines of CSKA Moscow?
We always got to together to watch his brother and Moscow play but he wasn’t the type to always talk about his brother as much.
In your rookie season you played with Basket Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 41 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 32.2%, FT: 56.4%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?
First your out there alone and it was the competition it was very different and more aggressive and you have to be physically and mentally ready for the game in Europe.
How important was it having guys like Jemal Farmer and Tre Johnson in your rookie season. Was anyone of them like a mentor for you?
Very good to have have those types of guys around. Tre was very athletic and Jemal was a really good and hard working player. I definitely considered Jemal as a mentor to me we always stayed after practice to either shoot or talk about we can better ourselves on the court and off the court.
You played at TCU from 2010-2014 and hardly played your first two seasons. How difficult were these two seasons? Did you profit from a guy like Garlon Green?
They were really difficult for me being a top high school player coming from New Orleans expecting to play a lot to not playing a lot it was super tough. Garlon was the first guy I met on TCU campus and he was like a brother he always talked and things I’ve met his family and also got close with them as well Garlon always told me to stick in there and that my time will come just to stay ready.
You had some huge games against Washington State, West Virginia and Baylor. What was your most memorable game in the NCAA?
My most memorable game was the Baylor game in the Big12 tournament. It was my last game as a TCU Hornfrog and it was definitely s memorable time for me.
You played for two coaches at TCU with Jim Christian and Trent Johnson. How did each guy help groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Jim Christian just taught me that I have to work hard for what I want and nothing is easy or going to be given to you. I’ve knew Trent Johnson since I was a junior in high school. He stayed on me every day and he was so hard on me and I didn’t understand why he was so hard on me but he just was making sure leave TCU with a degree and I did just that. Him being hard on me paid off big time . Because I have a degree from TCU and still chasing my basketball dreams.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Brandon Parrish?
Brandon Parrish is my guy and he works very hard but I would definitely win one on one.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA today?
Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embid were the toughest players I’ve battled.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Kyrie Irving Lebron James Joel Embid Anthony Davis
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?
To me Lebron will always go down as being the best player to me. He still has the chance to grab some titles. My opinion though.
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 definitely picked it up on the defensive end but he’s also doing what he can to keep his team wins but like they say defense do win games.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
It was a lot of talent in the 2017 but the only sleeper to me is Donovan Mitchell .
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?
I’m not sure right now because every one is trying to get used to each other and find ways to win but they definitely have what it takes to make it. Especially adding Gerald Green.
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 they both got a good deal . Kyrie is back in charge of a team and Isaiah is on a winning team with the best player in the NBA. It just depends on how they approach their new situation.
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?
OKC is a very exciting team to watch I truly think they can make a good run in the West.
What was the last movie that you saw?
It was a documentary called the secret, shows you how to have faith and believe in what you want no matter how hard it is.
Thanks Jarvis for the chat.