Chase Adams is a 29 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland that is playing his first season with the Hebeisen White Wings. He played twos easons with the Uni Baskets Paderborn and last year averaged 11,9ppg, 4,1rpg and 5,6apg. He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to German Hoops before the start of the 2017-2018 Pro A playoffs.
Chase thanks for talking to German Hoops. This is now our seventh interview since our first in October 2015 where you were embarking on your first season in Paderborn. Now your trying to end your third season since our last interview in fine fashion. Has time flown by since that first interview.
I would first like to thank Eurobasket.com for interviewing me once again, it’s always been a pleasure. Time is surely flying and I’m glad to be here still working toward big things.
Your playing your first season with the Hebeisen White Wings. Was it just the logical choice to make the move from Paderborn to Hanau despite the club not being a proven playoff team last summer?
Even though last season we beat Hanau twice, I felt that team had a lot of potential and was missing one key piece. I had thought about the possibility of playing alongside Til Jönke and when I found out the interest was mutual, I couldn’t pass the opportunity. As long as I’m not fearful of failure, I am willing to take a risk if I feel it’s best for me in the long run. I have a vision for myself and Hanau fit that perfectly.
Congrats on reaching the Pro A playoffs at position 7. How thrilled are you to have made the playoffs once again in your fourth attempt in the Pro A?
It’s a good feeling reaching your goals, especially when you buy in as players. This team is comprised with so many new players, our faith in one another is a true testament to our togetherness. I’m beyond ecstatic with our placement in the league.
The team went through highs and lows. Would it be a fair assessment to say that the 2017-2018 Hebeisen White Wings season has been a bit of a Cinderella season? Not like Loyola Chicago, but a season that was tough to maintain, but has resulted in a playoff spot.
Resilience is something we gained through all the lows we endured this season. We continued to trust the process and that helped us pull out those dog fight wins we got. Definitely far from a Cinderella story, we expected playoffs and nothing less.
Talk a little about the regular season. The team had a tough time at the end of 2017 losing 6 games in a row, but won 5 games in a row in February, but enter the playoffs having lost 3 of 4 games. How much of a roller coaster season has it been for the team?
It may appeared to look like a Rollercoaster ride, but a majority of the season we were battling around the middle of the pack. After starting the season relatively well, we had a slight rough patch losing to several top teams at the end of December, but starting the 2nd half of the season we won so many important head to head matches right away. We put ourselves in a great position, relieving the pressure to get in . That’s what motivated us for the biggest game of the year: Win you get in, Lose go-home. I say it again! RESILIENT.
How vital was the 102-67 blow out win against Ehingen? Hanau enters the playoffs having lost 3 of 4 games. What were you really happy about with what the team accomplished in that game?
This must-win solidified our playoff spot and gave us new life at the same time. We played a team that was in jeopardy of moving down to Pro B, so we knew this was not going to be handed to us. The way we responded makes the statement: We Want This, We Deserve This. I was happy to know that my teammates were doing whatever they had to do in order to ensure victory.
Would you agree that one of the biggest strengths on the team was the cohesion of the team in bad times especially with the very small rotation. The club didn´t have the depth like most other Pro A teams. Was it a combination of the coaching staff and players will to want to win that got the team the needed wins to reach the playoffs?
Coach knew of this cohesion long before all of us even met. Upon me signing he told me his vision for the team and it all came to fruition. Our small rotation was beneficial for us, every single player exceeded what was expected of them, and we got a lot of heart. We got along very well and that is important when you are fighting for something with a group of guys for 8 months. In addition having no egos and being coachable were key strengths of ours.
You were swept by Crailsheim this season your playoff opponent. You were blown out on the road, but played them tough at home losing by 82-78. What kind of series can we await?
Hopefully we can deliver them some DejaVu from last years playoff! We are here to compete, bottom line, so you can expect the games to be close. Let´s see who comes out on top.
Many are predicting that Crailsheim will sweep the Hebeisen White Wings. They are a very good shooting team and outrebounded you in both games. Can Hanau pick up their defense and give Crailsheim a good series?
If we get them to play at our pace/our style we have a better chance at keeping them off balance. When they can play fast and sub players in and out they beat teams down. Controlling the game will be the biggest factor. We have to find ways offensively to counter all the pressure they apply. Getting to the free throw line, shooting our threes, and exposing mismatches will put us in good position to win.
How excited are you to battle top point guard Frank Turner again? What is the most difficult thing about containing him best?
Isn’t this why we play the game? Competition is what drives me the most; going against the top guards in the league gets me hyped every time. Frank is crafty at getting in to the paint, and not being able to help off shooters as much creates huge problems for teams. His finishing near the basket is also extraordinary, so if we make him shoot more contested pull ups that would work in our favor.
How vital has head coach Simon Cote been for the success. He is a coach that really works closely with his players and has matured in his third year there. What impressed you most about his coaching this season and how he was able to lead the team into the playoffs?
Coach is a brain of the game but his ability to trust his players, communication on and off the court, and his overall dedication to the team speaks volumes about his character. He’s always doing whatever it takes and he truly is passionate about all his players. This is the type of coach you want to play hard for because he’s giving so much of himself.
It isn´t every day that a German player Til Joscha-Joenke not only leads the team in scoring, but as a guard also in rebounding. He also led the team in assists. He has been in the EasyCredit BBL before and took a step back to the pro A to develop his game. How important has he been for the success and do you feel like he will be ready for the BBL as more than just a role player, but a guy that can take responsibility at that level?`
Till is the real deal! Didn’t I tell you about Till Gloger too? I know talent when I see it. Till has developed a lot over the years and if he is given the opportunity to be a part of a BBL team, I know he would have a vital role. Leadership qualities, confidence, heart of a lion, and a beast on the court. We put a lot on Till as one of the leaders of this team and he wasn’t shy about carrying that. This year he stepped his game up, It´s evident in his production, a BBL team could use him.
How beneficial has it been for your game playing with Til Joscha-Joenke? How do you feel has your experience helped his game and his overall versatility helped your game further this season?
Being able to play off the ball was something I needed to get better at, so playing a lot of shooting guard helped diversify my game more. Relying on my outside shot more and not having to attack as much. We learned a lot off of each other: offensive moves, picking each other’s brains in practice on play designing, battling in practice, bringing up ideas for the team, and just keeping our bond tight as friends. That kind of relationship is important for the functioning of the team, and it’s helped me become a better leader as well.
Talk about the development of Americans Luquon Choice who came from the NCAA 2 and Chris Brady who played at Monmouth. How important was their input for the success and how have they developed their games as rookies?
I don’t know if we could even call them Rookies anymore. They were remarkable all season, on and off the court. I felt that their maturity and overall approach to becoming a pro was top notch. It was easy to have them as teammates because they listened and they showed up no matter what situation we were in. We needed these guys to carry a lot in their first season overseas; Luquon became our go to guy, Chris was a huge presence for us in the post. They developed great working habits, and the results shined bright. These two have potential to play in higher leagues for sure.
Let´s talk about your game. You were the leader with the Uni Baskets and came to Hanau as it was Till Joscha-Joenke´s team. What kind of role did you have this season and how was it different from last season?
My leadership badge didn’t get removed when I switched teams, I made sure to keep it on. It doesn’t have to be my team for me to be who I am, and that’s a Leader. The only difference from last season is having so many rookies to be there for. I remember being in their shoes and I was glad to just have someone who understands what I was going thru. Supporting them was something I took joy in doing and the brotherhood we created will last for years to come.
You had pretty much the same scoring, rebounding and assist stats like you had with Paderborn. But your shooting over 40% for the first time in the Pro A. You shot more three´s this season than you did with Paderborn. What has been the secret to your improvement. Has it been taking more reps or continued better shot selection with added experience as a professional?
Just good old fashioned Reps. I like to challenge myself with intense shooting routines and having a shooting gun is a huge plus. Always watching film of games, how teams will guard ball screens or how they defend scorers; then practicing those type of shots. Consistency is that final ingredient, even when I start shooting bad. Keep fine tuning your shot so your ready when that moment comes, that’s all you can do.
You stated in our last interview “Being more mentally sound on scouting and the game plan, sticking to the weekly routine, and competing in every practice not only prepared me but pushed my teammates to new heights. I specifically did a better job of translating all of that preparation to game time situations. Reading the ball screens, setting my teammates up for better shots and help side defense were my biggest improvements”. How has your game improved this season with Hanau?
I saw improvement on my finishes at the basket and of course my 3pt shooting. Overall decision making was a lot better than seasons before, less turnovers. I finally improved my close-out game on defense. Might’ve been my biggest defensive weakness and I can credit that to Coach Simon.
You also stated in our last interview that “These are the pre stages of my prime. I’m definitely not slowing down, just starting to get my flow back”. Do you feel like you can heighten your game in the playoffs and be even more of a positive factor?
This is the stage I’ve been waiting to perform on. I said that “ I’m not slowing down” in the last interview and I still feel the same way. There’s more pressure on them to get out the 1st round then us. The playoffs is a new life, we can come in there as an entirely new team and I’m ready to do what I do.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James
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?
This debate can’t end until LeBron is finished and he’s not stopping anytime soon. Jordan is still the GOAT for now.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
This was one of the best drafts in a while. Loaded with future stars. I hope nobodies sleeping on this class, these rookies are not playing around.
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 want to see them in the WCF, those two guys have been exceptionally consistent over the years. Putting them together created one of the best offensive teams in NBA history. Golden State and the Houston Rockets would be an ideal finale.
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?
It was surprising seeing this swap, I certainly felt bad for Isaiah because he played his heart out last season and they just gave him away. I would call it a win-win at the end of the day.
What was your take on the Cavs wheeling and dealing sending away Thomas, Wade and Rose? How quickly will they be successful?
Simply those guys just didn’t fit. They seem to be clicking well currently, but then again having the best player in the world helps a lot.
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?
I can see that group breaking up if they don’t get to the WCF, even though I think another year would be in their best interest no matter the outcome. I hope they make a run, Westbrook is so fierce when he plays, I love watching someone who gives it all out every single night.
How do you summarize the 2018 NCAA tournament? Was it a memorable one in your eyes?
Another year of complete Madness. Exciting seeing UMBC bust some brackets up. I’ve played against some of those guys in the summer time, so it was good seeing all their hard work pay off.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Outsider. Netflix Original
Thanks Chase for the chat.