James Milliken is a 25 year old 188cm guard from Siler, North Carolina that is playing his rookie season in Cyprus with APOP Paphou (Cyprus-Division A). He started the season in Germany with Lok Bernau, but left in pre season. He started his basketball career with Cowley County CC (JUCO). He then made the jump to the NCAA to Creighton and played 65 games from 2014-2016. In his junior year he played 30 games averaging 9.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 77.6%. In his senior year he played 35 game averaging 9.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 70.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
James thanks for talking to German Hoops. From Germany to Cyprus. How blessed are you that you were able to find a new team after your short stay in Germany?
I am very blessed to have found a team really quick after my stay in Bernau!
You were only with Lok Bernau in the pre-season. It was a short stay. What were the reasons for your time being there cut very short?
And my time being cut short was more of a decision between both parties
You played with some very talented German players with Lok Bernau. Did it seem like the club was focusing more on them at your position?
I am a scorer and they wanted to change my role to being just a defensive player based off of the history of players I have defended! But yea I think offensively they had plans for other players and it just wasn’t something to further my career being that it was already a pretty low level league
When you look back at your time there and knowing of how you have become a dominant player in Cyprus, how sure are you that you would have been able to play a role with the team?
I’m very sure I could help the team in Bernau just wasn’t the right situation to better my career there
It didn´t take long for you to find a new team with APOP Paphou (Cyprus-Division A). You have had a very strong season with your game, but the club has struggled. Has the fact that the club hasn´t been playing well taken away a bit from your mood as you can´t enjoy the season as much as you might have had you been winning.
Yes we have struggled up until now but I think it was just not really having a stable team and also having guys in and out but we have a full team and two game winning streak!
How tough was the 12 game losing streak? The club just celebrated a huge win against Enosis .Could this be the turnaround so late in the season?
Yes we are turning the team around and hopefully make the playoffs with a late run!
The club averages only 69 points and gives up 83 points. Why hasn´t the team found a way to defend at a consistent level?
I think it’s a matter of defensive switches going from zone to man
The club has many young import players. Do you feel like experience has been a big factor in the demise of the team?
I honestly think the youth is what keeps us stronger!
Let´s talk about your game. Your putting up great numbers with 16,8ppg, 2,4rpg, 2,4apg and shooting 43% from outside. How content have you been with your game?
And it’s 17.9 now hahaha but nobody’s checking lol, and I feel I can impact more in scoring and rebounding!
You stated in our last interview at “my best offensive attribute I would say is my ability to shoot the ball and find spots on the court I’m comfortable with”. Have you found any new attributes in your offensive game that has helped your game in Cyprus?
I’m just more content with my 3pt percentage and also my assists per game.
How beneficial has point guard Tracy Abrams been for your success as a rookie in Cyprus? He has a high assist rate. You stated in pour last interview that “I feel my hidden strength is my passing ability I see the floor very well and hopefully I can show that off a little more”. Have you been able to take something from his passing game and added to yours?
Tracy has been huge he is my roommate and a friend of mine! His vision on the floor is incredible but what people fail to realize is that he can score and shoot the 3 at a high percentage!
What has been your most enjoyable moments on and off the court. You had some huge games scoring 32 and 27 points and what have you experienced off the court that has been memorable?
Memories is honestly just having fun with the guys enjoying this island and getting our first win of the season the first game of the season.
The season ends soon and you won´t be in the playoffs. What is the next step for James Milliken? Would another season in Cyprus be beneficial or are you looking to make the next step? Would you welcome a return back to Germany? I am sure you have a small chip on your shoulder after your experience with Lok Bernau.
I’m looking to move forward in my career to the next level! But I would definitely come back to Germany and play BBL
Where do you feel does a Tom Brady fit in in the category with the best pro athletes of all-time? Jordan has 6 rings and he 5. Where can you rank a Super Bowl win in comparison to a NBA title?
Tom is one of the greatest with MJ.
Thanks James for the chat.