Kaimyn Pruitt is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Los Angeles, California that recently finished his fourth professional season with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB) averaging 14,3ppg, 10,2rpg and 4,5apg. Last season with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaging 13.5ppg, Reb-2(11.5rpg), 2.7apg, Steals-3(2.8spg), 1.0bpg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 78.6%. He played his first two professional seasons with Neunkirchen (Germany-Oberliga). He started his basketball career at University High School and then played at Mt.San Antonio JC. He played at Adams St. (NCAA2) from 2011-2013 and as a senior played 26 games averaging 15.5ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.9spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 76.6%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 2017-2018 season.
Kaimyn thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your off season so far?
First I will like to thank you for this and been waiting on my opportunity to have an interview on the website. Currently in back home in Los Angeles,CA getting ready for the season whereever I may go.
After completing your fourth professional season and fourth in Germany have you found time the last years to do some traveling at season end? If yes what place has stayed in your heart the most that you have experienced in Europe?
People asked me this all the but no I’m not really a big traveler so I haven’t seen that much of Europe.
Before we get to your career, let us talk a bit about the Itzehoe season. After having a strong 5-1 record in the playdowns last season how refreshing was it making the playoffs this season?
That was one of the main reasons for me to return to Itzehoe was to make the playoffs after falling short one game to play in the playdowns. It was an amazing feeling but only shortly before going against a really great team we played against in the first round.
Do you feel like losing 4 of the last 5 regular season games sort of doomed you in the playoffs against the ScanPlus Baskets or was that a series that would have needed a miracle?
I really believe the way you finish the regular season gives you momentum in the playoffs and since we started the playoffs coming off a losing streak that were winnable games hurt us in the playoffs.
Was one of the biggest reasons why you lost the series to the ScanPlus Baskets the combined 47 turnovers that the club coughed up in the two game series? I can´t remember ever reading a Pro B team having 28 turnovers in one game?
Well sports it all about gameplay and strategy so you never know what a team has planned for you. I think the difference between the two teams is they wanted to move up to Pro A and we just wanted to make the playoffs so they prepared the whole season that way and we wasn’t mentally prepared to go against them.
Itzehoe showed their scoring power averaging 80 points per game, but also gave up 85 points on average. Why do you feel was the team never able to find a fine line on the defensive end?
We just never found our defensive identity switching up our rules on how to defend teams almost every game. Losing 2 veterans like Kosta and Flavio from the previous season you can just feel we didn’t have the same kind of leadership on that end of the floor on a consistent bases.
The ScanPlus Baskets contained you well in both games even though you did a better job in the second game finding your teammates. What did you learn about your game playing against one of the best teams in the Pro B?
Well I played the pg in those games against them and they knew it was coming so they put their best defender on me full court. I really struggled against it so I’m really happy that happened because I learned how to just be patient and to just take my time so that’s one of the main things I will be working on this off season.
What were the team highlights of the season? Possibly the back to back wins against Bernau and Wolfenbuettel?
Yes we won 4 of our last 5 games right before the Christmas break so that was really big for us. Also beating our rivals Wedel both times was a highlight because the season before they beat us 2 times and the second time was the last game of the regular season which put us in the playdowns.
Let´s talk a bit about your teammates. How thrilling was it playing with the very experienced British-Australian point guard Josh Wilcher. How do you feel did your game profit from his special IQ on the court?
Wow that guy was really good leading us every night putting up big numbers to get us to the playoffs. Josh really showed me how to be a professional on and off the court and just how to be more reliable for the team to get the job done no matter how big the task.
How much of a pleasure was it playing with a guy like German Frederik Henningsen? How did his overall professionalism rub off on you in the last 2 seasons?
How was it battling on a day to day basis with Angolian Fabio Galiano? How much of a jump did he make from last season to this season in his play?
I’m glad you ask about this guy Fabio. He is really improving his game and was a very underrated player when is comes to how much he helped with making us a playoff team. I’m excited to see what the future has for him!
Let´s talk about your game. You a 203cm forward that can do everything. To what NBA player would you compare your game too?
I don’t really compare my game to anybody because everybody is different. But there are maybe 3 players but for different reasons. First I would say Shaun Livingston because I can play the point guard and run a system but still score when needed. Second, would say Kevin Love because I can score on the block but also step out to space the floor to knock 3 pointers. Lastly Magic Johnson. I’m best in the fast break and very unselfish player that loves to give great passes and find teammates to finish the play.
You’re a very versatile player, but what do you feel is still a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
Really just my IQ for the game. I pick up on plays really fast and I know every position on the floor from 1 to 5. I really showcased that on my 29pts and 20rebs game this season also creating all those steals last season that got me defensive player of the year.
You have always had a knack of knowing where the ball will bounce of fa miss. You averaged 13,4rpg at University High School, 10rpg at Adams State and have done it in the Oberliga and Pro B. How does a great rebounder like yourself become even better at his craft?
Rebounding is all about effort and that is something I will bring every time I step on the floor. How I will get better at it is just taking care of my body and come in to the next season in the best shape of my career thus far. The better the condition I’m in will allow to produce more effort.
Your also a very good passer that vastly improved your assist rate from last season almost doubling it. Was watching a guy like Josh Wilcher more beneficial than not?
Not really. I have always been a great passer, but it´s just peope don’t expect me to do the things I can at times so me returning and having pretty much the same teammates, they knew I was going to feed them the ball so it was easier to create for them.
How has your relationship grown with head coach Pat Elzie in the two years in Itzehoe and how have you developed under his guidance?
Starting my career in Oberliga nobody wanted to give me the opportunity to prove I have played in higher leagues so I appreciate it so much and we will always have a great relationship. I developed under him the past 2 seasons by him telling me what my full potential is and what I need to do to get there.
Was your 29 point, 20 rebound explosion your personal season highlight? After a game like that do you feel like a nasty beast on the court for your opponents?
Yes it was! That game just gave me the confidence and set a standard on my production on the court for every game.
You played at Mt.San Antonio Junior College, then in the NCAA 2, Oberliga and now are in the Pro B. Do you have a huge chip on your shoulder and how has it continued to grow over the years?
Yes I do. I’m motivated to play in the BBL before I stop playing so I must prepare like I’m already there no matter what league I’m in next season. It will continue to grow because there will be coaches and managers who doubt me.
You had a good career at Adams State(NCAA 2), but started your professional career in the Oberliga the 6th league in Germany with Neunkirchen. How tough were these two seasons especially mentally considering you had the talent to play at a lot higher level?
To be honest it didn’t really bother me. I’m a guy from the inner city of Los Angles so I never thought I would make it out off the country. Everything happens for a reason and in due time I will be at the level I need to be in. I just need to stay patient and allow God to work.
You made the jump up three levels form the Oberliga to the Pro B. Do you feel you could make an impact at the pro A level? All you need is a chance.
That’s all I need is a chance to prove I can play Pro A or in the BBL. I believe it’s all about preparation and how hard you work.
You played two seasons at Adams State(NCAA2). You reached two RMAC semi finals in the tournament. What was your most memorable experience in your 2 years there?
I would say finishing second in the RMAC and being Ranked in the top 20 in the country for the first time in school history.
How did head coach Louis Wilson groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Adams State?
Coach Wilson has changed my forever! He really showed me how to be a man and make better decisions to get me where I am now. I really appreciate that man.
Only 2 guys have played in Germany from Adams State with you and Julian Scott. Scott played a season there the year after you left. How thrilling would it be to battle him one day on the court in Germany? He is 203cm like you and a top player in the German Pro B.
The crazy thing about that is we were supposed to be teammates last season in Iserlohn but I didn’t sign the contract because of a couple different reasons but I would love to go against him to show I’m the better player from Adams. He is a really good player though.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Norvell Arnold? Me.
Norvell is too small lol
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA 2 or on the play grounds or during the summer that is in the NBA now?
Every summer I play in the best Pro Am called the Drew League and played against James Harden right before he left OKC and he gave us 60pts!!!!
What is the next step for you? You had a strong season in the German Pro B. Next year there will be less jobs in the Pro B. A reason to try to play in a different country?
I don’t have no idea yet but I would like to continue my career in Europe and eventually make a way to BBL.
What is your opinion on the Pro B having only one import next season? There will be less jobs for your American colleagues.
Yea I don’t like the new rules they are making. It will make the league a little less competitive for the future but I do understand they want more time for their young players to develop.
How important was it having guys like Kameron Taylor, Jeril Taylor and Mies Jackson-Cartwright from the Pro B make the jump to the easycRedit BBL. Does that give you hope about being able to move up the next level soon especially in Germany?
As far as productivity on a basketball court myself and Taylor go 1 and 2 from this last season for him to now make a BBL I’m proud of him and I will continue to work to get to that level.
Who was one of the toughest player that you faced this season in the Pro B?
I can’t recall any player being that tough but I can say Artland Dragons was the toughest team we played in the North side of Pro B.
What will be your goal this summer in continuing to improve your game? Will you change anything up with your work outs?
I will really just work on my body and approach the next season in the best shape I have ever been in. Everything else will improve once that happens. I also want to improve my low post game.
If you had to choose your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick?
LeBron James. Kobe Bean Bryant. Allen Iverson. Shaquille O’Neil.
What is your personal opinion on the neverending debate concerning Jordan and Lebron about who is the best of all-time?
LeBron James is the GOAT. When he retires he will beat all of Jordan’s individual records. The things LeBron does on that court with no help making to the finals 7 seasons in a row is really amazing also never suffering a serious injury is really unbelievable.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
I really didn’t see a lot of games because on the time difference from Europe and America is so much it’s hard to stay up to follow college basketball.
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?
If he had a better team he could easily average 10 assists a game
What was the last movie that you saw?
I’m a movie head so I go almost every weekend but the last movie was a scary movie called Truth or Dare but when this comes out I would just seen the new Avengers!
Thanks Kaimyn for the chat.