Seth Hinrichs is a 25 year old 203cm guard from Clara City, Minnesota that completed his third professional season in the German Pro A with Rasta Vechta helping them move back to the BBL playing 39 games averaging 13.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 61.0%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 83.6%. Last season he played with the Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 11.6ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 72.4%. As a rookie he played for FC Porto (Portugal-LPB) playing 20 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%. He played at Lafayette (NCAA) from 2011-2015 graduating from Lafayette as the all-time leader in 3PG % in Patriot League history. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the incredible season with Vechta.
Seth thanks for talking to eGerman Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying the early process of the offseason?
Thanks for the interview. I’m currently in Vechta. I just got back from vacation with my wife and daughter in Spain. It has been nice to unwind from the season.
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?
Thanks. It was very satisfying to win the championship. We knew at the beginning of the season that that was our goal and to settle for anything less would be an underachievement, especially with all the talent we had on our roster. Every night we got the best shot from our opponent which meant throughout the course of the season different guys had to step up. I think that’s ultimately why we were able to take home the title.
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?
Crailsheim was very tough and they were a great team this year. I think the deciding factor was in Game 1 where we showed our depth and our versatility. Our center Dirk Madrich and our point guard Chris Razis were both injured which were big losses for us. Different guys had to step up and play different roles. We went into Crailsheim and won by 16, something I don’t think anyone expected. To have that large of a cushion going into Game 2 really helped.
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?
Yeah that was a challenging series for us because Karlsruhe was such a dangerous team. They had a good point guard and so many weapons around him which made them hard to defend. They started the season slow and were peaking in the playoffs so that was a tough series for us but I’m glad we came out on top.
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 can’t say with 100% certainty but I would’ve been confident, especially with the groups of guys we had.
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?
I think that we had a group that was of high character, unselfish, and willing to work harder than every other team. We all meshed together so well and everyone got along with each other on and off the court. I think that went a long way in building our team chemistry. We played for each other and moved the ball which, coupled with our talent, made us hard to guard. Everyone had a different role on the team but everyone embraced their role and played for the team. Having both Coach Spradley’s experience as a head coach and Pedro as an assistant with moving a Pro A team up to the BBL also played a crucial role.
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?
Yeah like I mentioned earlier we got every teams best shot and in the Pro A, any team can win on any given night. It’s tough to be concentrated and mentally engaged for every practice and every game. I think the character but also the focus of our team was important. Guys bought in early on that in order to win the championship we were going to need to bring focus and concentration for every single game.
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?
Honestly the people that my family and I met this season. We meshed and gelled so well and created life long friendships. As I said earlier everyone got along on and off the court and the group of guys we had were great players but even better people. And I will also remember that we won the championship! Some guys go their whole professional careers without winning a championship so it was truly a blessing to be a part of a group that accomplished that.
Let´s talk about your teammates. How vital was having Chris Carter on the team. Would Vechta have won the title had he not had those special leadership skills? How vital was his leadership skills for the success of the team?
Carter was the best point guard in the league and the reason we were a championship team. Every successful team needs a great point guard and floor general and that’s what Carter was. He was the motor of our team and we went where he took us. His numbers may not be as inflated as other guards but as part of a team with so much depth and versatility, he didn’t have to play as many minutes but was still more efficient. Chris could’ve easily tried to get his own but he sacrificed his own personal numbers for the sake of the team. He’s a phenomenal player and I’m thankful I was able to play with him.
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?
JY was absolutely the glue guy. He was the heart and soul of the team. JY led us by both word and action. His confidence and leadership positively affected everyone on the team. He’s a tremendous shooter and great distributor. He got everyone involved and made sure we brought it for every practice and game. He had to sacrifice and play less minutes coming off the bench but was a true professional and had a very good year. JY was a great veteran presence for us because he is so wise. He taught me a lot this year on and off the court.
You have played with some 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 played a big role for us coming off the bench and providing scoring power. Like JY, he had to sacrifice and play less minutes coming off the bench. He stepped up big in some big time games for us. He steadily improved from the start of the season to the finish. He is a great shooter and scorer and proved that he can score at any level. I think Robin is deserving of a BBL contract next year whether it’s with Vechta or another club. He has the talent and the skill but most importantly the work ethic to be a successful BBL player.
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?
Philipp made huge strides during the season. Pedro Calles put in tons of hours with him helping him get stronger and more skilled. And the talent, size, and skill Luc possesses for his age is amazing. With the right direction and work ethic Luc will be a great player. It was fun to play with two teenagers who were so skilled and so mature for their age. Like you said they’re going to have huge futures and they have so much potential, the sky is the limit. I’m excited to see how they continue to develop and how far they go.
Let´s talk about your game. You led the team in scoring and rebounding averaging 13,8,6,4rpg and 2,7apg. As usual you filled the stat sheet. How content were you with your season?
I was content with my season but there are always areas to improve. I try to be as efficient as possible to help the team win and there were definitely areas of my game where I wasn’t. I’m ready to get back in the gym this summer continue to improve every aspect of my game. I think more than anything though I’m happy that this season ended with a championship.
How was your role different this season compared to last season with Kirchheim? You played 6 less minutes with Vechta, but seemed like you were so much more important for the success of the team than last season?
Playing less minutes allowed me to be more efficient with my time on the court and allowed me to complete my first professional season without getting injured. Coach Spradley put me in situations where I didn’t have to think and I could just read and react and let the game come to me. I was important but I think every guy was important because we all had a role to play and if we hadn’t played our roles, we wouldn’t have been successful. As I’ve said before, the group of guys we had this year was so unselfish and someone different stepped up every game. We were a complete team.
In our last interview after your season in Kirchheim you stated, “My role on the team is to knock down shots and rebound so when I’m not doing that at a high rate its hurts the team. And defensively I’m always trying to work on my lateral quickness and anticipation. Do you feel like you were able to maintain these traits”. What goals did you set for your Vechta season and were you able to maintain them?
I think I maintained these traits and expanded my game a little as well. I would’ve liked to shoot it better from the three point line this year. One of my goals was to shoot above 40% from three and I didn’t achieve that. I was too inconsistent with my shot. I think I achieved some of my personal goals but there’s always room to grow and improve. This summer is going to be very important for my growth as a player.
You continue to give the name versatility a new name. In our last interview you mentioned this concerning the growth of your versatility”. “With more experience comes better understanding of different offensive and defensive strategies”. How do you feel did you grow another step in this area considering you played on a more talented and deeper team than last season?
Yeah for sure. I think in practice and in games just continuing to get more reps against different opponents has helped. And I think playing alongside so many other talented players and being able to pick their brains and take things from the way they play the game has helped. I study our game film and watch a lot of European basketball at the higher levels as well. I think watching film and learning from my peers has been instrumental in my growth.
What was your personal season highlight concerning your game? Possibly your 33 point and 11 rebound effort in the 95-90 win against PS Karlsruhe? I can´t remember ever that you went 15/15 from the free throw line in your career?
Yeah that is definitely up there. That was a fun game and a big win for us because Karlsruhe had just won Game 2 and we needed to protect home court. I’ve never shot it that well from the free throw line and I think that might be my career high for points in a game. But honestly I think that Game 4 of the Karlsruhe series was because of all the pressure that was riding on that game. After we won and officially moved Vechta back up the feeling was so satisfying. It was the club’s main goal to get back to the BBL so to be able to accomplish that was both amazing and relieving at the same time.
What is the next step for you? You had a super Pro A season. After two strong seasons in the Pro A, I feel you are ready for the easyCredit BBL. Do you share my opinion?
I’m not sure what my next step is. I think I’m ready for the BBL and for a higher level of competition. I’m excited to see what happens this summer.
How will a summer workout look like for you this summer? After shooting 42% form outside last season with Kirchheim, you shot only 37% with Vechta. Do you have any special new shooting drills lined up for this summer?
I will definitely get a lot of shots up. There are a few mechanical things with my shot that I will tweak but more than anything I will get a lot of reps in. Aside from shooting I plan on working on my handle and improving my explosiveness and quickness in the weight room.
Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro A?
Deandre Ayton was 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?
The draft is a lot about potential. I think Doncic could be #1 now but Ayton has more potential.
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?
Probably another 8-10 on top of what he averages now.
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?
They weren’t well coached and it’s hard to have three superstars mesh together. I think Melo and Russ stay but PG leaves.
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 think there were other coaches in the NBA who accomplished more with less talent.
Will the Boston Celtics be able to win the NBA championship next year with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and their nice supporting cast?
They will definitely be one of the favorites. I just hope Kyrie and Hayward are completely healthy when they return.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Avengers Infinity War.
Thanks Seth for the chat.