Orlando Parker is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Orlando, Florida that is playing his fourth professional season and third in Germany and second with PS Karlsruhe helping them move up to the Pro A averaging 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg last season. He started his basketball career with Wagner (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 118 NCAA games. As a senior he played 26 games averaging 6.7ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 44.7%, FT: 62.0%. In 2014 he turned professional with UL Eagles Limerick (Ireland-Premier League) playing 17 games averaging 19.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.5%. In 2015-2016 he played with Baskets Vilsbiburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging 22.6ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 79.3%. He recently helped PS Karlsruhe get by the RheinStars in the playoffs and is averaging 10,8ppg and 4,2rpg and is shooting 41,6% form outside. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the playoff series against Vechta.
Orlando, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on sweeping the RheinStars in the playoffs. If someone had said you would sweep them before the start what would you have thought?
I hate to say this but this was expected from our team.
In our last interview a year ago, I asked you this. “PS Karlsruhe has amazing team chemistry. Do you feel that this club could play together and successfully in the Pro A”? You stressed “With faith and hard work anything is possible”. Your words have come true. How proud are you of this club?
I’m really excited to be a part of Karlsruhes success these past seasons. Being on a team that no one believes in and surrounded by players that are considered underdogs is the perfect combination for success.
The RheinStars swept PS Karlsruhe during the regular season including a 75-57 blow out win. Do you feel like the RheinStars might have totally underestimated you?
I think those games prepared us for the playoffs matchup. We knew coming into that series that they felt very confident against us, so our mindset was to be even more confident.
The RheinStars basketball family is shocked. You beat them badly three times and averaged 88 points per game. Was the RheinStars just so bad or was this the best PS Karlsruhe has been this season?
I hate to say it but the Lions family isn’t shocked because this is what we expected to happen. We are really tough to beat when we are locked in on both sides of the floor and we’ve played that way the entire series”
The RheinStars had the second best defense in the Pro A allowing just 72 points per game, but allowed 88 points in this series. What was the secret to your scoring efficiency?
There is no secret, our team is so talented and we have 10 guys who can step up and have big games any given night. Our depth and athleticism can wear teams down.
I noticed that PS Karlsruhe did a great job sharing the ball in the RheinStars series. What has been the secret to this amazing offensive harmony?
Just getting everyone involved. We are so talented that we don’t need one guy to do everything for us. When the ball is moving and forcing rotations it’s very hard to stop us.
How content are you that PS Karlsruhe hasn´t peaked yet in the RheinStars series? What tweaks does the team need to do for Vechta?
I do believe we are playing great team basketball right now and the sky is the limit for us. Vechta is a very good defensive team
Vechta swept PS Karlsruhe in the regular season, but does the 81-79 loss in the last game to them give you hope that this will be a longer series?
We will see.
The best defense and second best defense with Vechta meet the sixth best defense and third best offense with PS Karlsruhe. What kind of series can we await and what will be key to getting to the final?
This will be a matchup that every basketball fan would love to see. Stay tuned.
I have to be honest before the season started, I had PS Karlsruhe as going back to the Pro B after one season, but instead you are technically three wins from the easyCredit BBL. Last season´s team was special, but how is this season´s team a tad more special than last season?
A lot people counted us out so I can’t be mad at you.. I honestly couldn’t compare the two teams because we all have the same mindsets. Both teams are hungry and some considered themselves underdogs or overlooked. When you have a group of guys playing with that type of mindset anything can happen.
Head coach Michael May has the early nod for coach of the year. He did good work with Kirchheim, but this season just tops that. What has been his coaching secret to achieving this overwhelming success?
He’s a good person and a man of faith which allows us to see him as more than a coach. He’s given us the confidence to play to our strengths and that helps us grow as a team.
How important has the trust between Michael Mai and Richie Williams been for the team success. Mai game Williams his first chance in Germany with Hannover 7 years ago. Has their confidence in winning sparked the team further?
They have a good history & relationship that allows Richie to be our voice on the court. Richie’s leadership has guided us in the right direction.
How much of a pleasure has it been playing with 26 year old German big man Maurice Pluskota? He has bounced around with 3 BBL teams. Has he been able to make another step in his development this season?
Mo has been an important piece to our teams success and vision. I believe he’s learning and gaining more confidence in his game. Especially with playing alongside Cyrus Tate and Denis Vrsaljko in practices.
How proud have you been of Mr everything Jarelle Reischel who played one game with Vechta last season before moving to the D-League to Westchester averaging 3,5ppg. Will we see an even more focused Reischel playing against his former team?
When Jarelle is focused and ready to play I’m confident that there is no one in the league that can stop him”
Let´s talk about your game. You have had no adjustment coming to the Pro A from the Pro B averaging 10,6pp and 4,1rpg. Is there really so much difference between both leagues besides more depth and more imports?
In my opinion that’s the only the difference. I believe that there are guys in the Pro B who should be playing Pro A. All you need is an opportunity to prove that you can do it.
How content have you been with your game? You have shown again just how efficient you are in the minutes that you get. Is it difficult at times getting shots simply because of so many scoring options?
I’m never content with anything in life. I believe there is so much room for improvement on my game and I can get better. My minutes don´t bother me as much, I love showing people what I can do in the amount of minutes I receive.
Your shooting 40% from outside having drastically improved your shooting from 27% from last season. Has it been credited most to shot selection or the work you put in last summer and during this season getting reps?
The summers are the most important time of the year for any basketball player doesn’t matter the level. The summers do matter & I took advantage of the summer and worked on my shot and set out goals to reach them.
You don´t believe in stats on the defensive end, but stressed that” so I’m the type of player that doesn’t need steals or blocks to look like I’m playing defense. I’m more of guy who is stopping penetration, hard close outs, rotating”. How has your defense progressed in a higher league with the Pro A?
I consider myself a versatile defender who can guard 1-5. There is room for improvement and I can get better but for the most part I think I’m doing fine defensively at this level.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
I didn’t have the UVA upset ruining my bracket but I did have a few other teams that let me down. I thought it was a Duke year”
Deandre Ayton seems like he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
No offense to my European family but I wouldn’t take a chance on a European that high in the draft. After the Mario Hezonja let down, I see the same potential. But the sky is the limit for the kid.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
At least 25-30.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Haha that’s funny great movie but I was just forced to watch “50 shades Freed” last night
Thanks Orlando for the chat.