Chris Carter is a 26 year old 195cm guard that was born in Brooklyn, New York and is from Port St. Lucie, Florida that finished his third professional season and second in Germany and first with SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA) helping them win the Pro A title averaging 11,0ppg,3,4rpg and 5,3apg and shot 40% from outside. Last season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 40 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.4%. As a rookie he played for Bipa Basket Odessa (Ukraine-SL Favorit Sport) playing 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, Steals-1(2.2spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 77.3%. He started his basketball career at Air Force (NCAA) and then played the last three years of school at Florida Tech (NCAA2) and as a senior played 21 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after the completion of his third professional season and first with Vechta.
Chris thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying the early process of the offseason?
Hello Miles, thanks for having me. I just came back home to Florida a couple of days ago so I haven’t done much but try to get over this jet lag. But I will vacation soon and then get back to work later in the summer.
Congrats on winning the 2018 German pro A title. How thrilled are you that the club was able to be the best team all season and finish the season strong?
Thank you Miles, I appreciate it. I was excited to show that we were the best team from start to finish of the season. It was a testament of all the hard work we put in from the first day of practice.
You did lose the second game in the final to Crailsheim, but won the title due to a better point difference. Crailsheim were a very worthy opponent. What do you feel was the deciding factor in this 2 game series?
I felt like the best two teams made it to the finals this season and both deserved to move up to the BBL. I think the deciding factor was the way we came out in the first game at their house. We really set the tone and in result ended up with a 16 point victory which gave us a bit of a cushion in the second game.
PS Karlsruhe played Vechta very tough. How refreshing was having this competitive team in the league. Was this the perfect example of a team that had many odds against them proved everyone wrong with their abilities?
I thought PS Karlsruhe was easily one of the toughest teams in the league and they really got better as the year went on. They were athletic at all positions while having a great balance between perimeter fire power and low post presence. It was not refreshing at all. This team gave us a run for our money every game and I think it really prepared us for the finals. Credit to their coaching staff and also to their players for a great season.
If someone had told you at the end of September 2017 that Vechta would win the Pro A title in May would that have been something you would have agreed with 100%?
I knew coming into the season that the organization assembled a solid group of guys with great talent at every position. I knew once we got the right chemistry there was a good chance we could win the league. We were lucky to not have any serious injuries too so that helped.
Vechta had a great roster with a lot of talent, an experienced and great coach as well. When you look back at the season what was the biggest reason why everything clicked so well?
We had great chemistry on and off the court which made us able to overcome adversity because we always had one another’s back. The club understood it´s roles quickly and formed a tight team chemistry quickly. After that it was like a well oiled clock.
But seriously how challenging was going into every game knowing every team was gunning for you. Talk a little about how vital the team character was for the success?
We knew from the very start of the season that every team was coming to beat us and we had to show them why we were the best every day. We knew that if a team beat us that would have made their season so we tried to not make that happen as much as possible. I think because we had such a tight group of guys that genuinely wanted the same goal it made the season go much smoother. There were no cancers on the team and everyone just wanted to push one another and compete.
What will you always remember most about the 2017-2018 winning Vechta team that you will be able to boast to your grand children in 20 years?
Best teammates I had to date.
Let´s talk about your teammates. How vital was having Seth Hinrichs on the team. Would Vechta have won the title had he only been a one dimensional scorer? Have you ever had a more versatile player as a teammate?
Seth Hinrichs was easily the best player in the league in my opinion. He was great at everything he did (i.e. scoring, rebounding, defense, and making plays when we needed it). I haven’t seen a guy play the game the way he does at such an efficient level every game. Like I said, no offense to anyone else in the league but Seth Hinrichs deserved POY in my book and I stand by that.
Obviously the unending experience of Oklahoma native Josh Young was huge, but how important was his special character to the team. Was he like a glue guy in the locker room when their were tough times?
Josh Young played a vital role in the success of our team. He was our vocal leader and gave us unmatched experience in late game situations. We all know he plays the game at a very high level, but people don’t see his leadership skills on a day to day basis. He was the guy that made sure we stayed focused and were ready to play every single game. One that led by example which is why he was well respected.
You have played with many Germans over the years, but how important was Robin Christen for the success? He seemed like a perfect unsung hero player who did so much, but wasn´t recognized as much. How did you see his role on the team?
Robin Christen to me was our silent killer. He has ice in his veins and lives for the late game moments. Not only is he one of the best snipers in the league, but his balance between inside and out gave teams matchup nightmares. He played a vital role to the success of the team and I think he will have many doors open up for him this summer.
How did you see the two young Germans Philipp Herkenhof and Luc Van Slooten develop? These guys have huge futures. What did you appreciate most about their games?
It was a pleasure watching Phil and Luc develop from kids to men in this league. We pushed them very hard in practices because we had to show them that it doesn’t matter what you do against kids your age; we need you to produce and play your role for this team. Once they understood what was going on, I think practices were better because we were competing which allowed our games to be better. They both played key roles in winning this championship and it will be interesting to see what big time team they will be playing for in a few years. Credit to the Rasta coaching staff for developing them as well.
Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 11,0ppg, 3,4rpg and 5,3apg while shooting 40% from outside. How content were you with your game?
My stats were okay this season. I had a slow start to the season with an ankle injury during preseason that carried on for the first few games. But once that healed up I started to get more comfortable in the system and be myself again. I think the mental aspect of my game developed a lot this season but of course I am not content and there is still a lot of work to do in my game.
In our interview last season you stated that “Besides trying to win as much games as possible, my personal goal on the court this season is to make my teammates better in any way I can. I understand that you can’t get the great personal accolades such as Player of the Year and, Defensive Player of the Year unless you are winning ball games, making a deep push in the playoffs, and getting into that Championship series. Of course, I have personal goals that I want to reach, but it starts with being a leader and pushing my teammates to buy in and achieve great success this season”. Do you feel like you achieved that?
For the most part, I think I did a solid job being a leader and pushing my teammates every day. We accomplished as a team everything that we wanted to do as far as win the regular season and win Championship so I am happy with the results.
Also in our last interview you stated you wanted to improve your three point shooting and limiting turnovers and you did that. You have stated that you want to make your teammates better as point guard, but seriously didn´t your teammates also help in making you better this season with Vechta?
My teammates made the game simple for me this season. It was my job to create and put them in good situations to score and they did the rest from there.
In our last interview you stated that a hidden strength is your game leadership skills. I” try to find a way to bring the best out of players on the team and hold everyone including myself accountable”. You won your first professional title. Did the team get the best out of your leadership skills?
I thought so. I tried to make sure that we never had a bad practice and that the energy was always high. I think we only had maybe 2 that I can remember all season. So for the most part I thought I led the team the best way I knew how.
You have been a very efficient player each season as a professional. How difficult is it to keep getting better in that category? What do you need to do to become even more efficient?
It is difficult to be efficient because it means you have to take quality shots and value every possession. Eventually, I want to join the 90-50-40 club at a high level one day while keeping my turnovers under 1.5 a game. I think as my basketball IQ develops over the next few years so will my efficiency.
What is the next step for you? You had a super Pro A season. Are you ready for the next step in the easyCredit BBL?
I am definitely ready to make a name for myself in the BBL or any other high level first league teams in Europe. I feel like I will excel at the point guard position and will become a high caliber player
When you study all those names in the BBL at the guard position, is there anything those guys can do that you couldn´t master at that level?
Not at all. I know I am ready for that level of competition every night and I will continue to work hard and get better to prove myself and the league.
How will a summer workout look like for you this summer? On what things do you want to improve on for next season?
Lots of cardio/ abs, beach/pool workouts, yoga, and on the court workouts will be how I attack my off season. I want to improve on different finishes at the rim, defense, 3 point shooting, attacking the switch, and overall IQ.
Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro A?
Its a tie between Richie Williams and Frank Turner.
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?
I think Luca Doncic is the real deal and should be number one because of his professional experience.
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?
I consider Lebron James a point guard right now. So I think his stats would be the same really.
Why do you feel couldn´t the Oklahoma Thunder function properly with three superstars. What do you think will be the next step for this club?
It was not a good fit for Carmelo Anthony. I think the three will be dismantled and the organization will have to start over.
A poll of NBA coaches voted for coach of the year and Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got no vote. How can that happen considering how he has developed the team in the last few years. Is there jealously among the coaches?
I´m not sure. From the looks of it Brad Stevens is doing an outstanding job.
Will the Boston Celtics be able to win the NBA championship next year with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and their nice supporting cast?
I think they have a good Chance if they keep everyone.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The new Avengers movie.
Thanks Chris for the chat.