Anthony McDonald is a 26 year old 185cm guard from Abeerdeen, Mississippi that is going into his third professional season and first in Germany and first with team Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). Last season he played with Bima Perkasa Yogyakarta (Indonesia-IBL) playing 15 games averaging 23.0ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-5(5.1apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 74.4% and played with Club Bameso (Dominican Republic-TBS) playing 4 games averaging 15.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. As a rookie he played with Tudespensa.com Agricola Villarrobledo (Spain-EBA) playing 9 games averaging 12.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 87.5% and he also played with Libreville Izobe Dragons (Gabon-CBL). He played college ball at three schools at Delta CC, Mississippi Valley State (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 78.6% and at North Carolina Central (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 12.9ppg, 1.9rpg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 77.9%. He spoke to Germanhoops.com about basketball.
Anthony thanks for talking to Germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?
Hello I’m doing great. I’m currently at home in Aberdeen Mississippi.
Congrats on signing with German Pro B team Itzehoe Eagles. Your only 26 years old, but seen more of the world than probably most of your friends as you have already professionally played in Spain, Asia, Africa and the Dominican Republic. Do you already feel like a basketball globetrotter?
Lol yes I do a little. I enjoy it though. Getting to travel the world and play the game I love.
What were the main reasons for having signed with the Itzehoe Eagles. How vital was the trust from head coach Pat Elzie? He has a lot of confidence in your abilities.
I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me, coming to a team that was already a playoff team, I feel like I can help them get to ProA. I trust coach a lot he has a lot of faith in my abilities and I think he can take my game to the next level.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Have you had any friends that have played in Germany over the years?
I have had a few of my college teamates in ProA and BBL, so I have watched a few games but this will be my first experience actually playing in Germany.. but I really like the style play from the games I have watched.
Let´s talk about your game. Your biggest strengths as a player is your shooting and leadership qualities. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would you chose?
I don’t think I would compare myself to anybody, but I study a lot of different players and take things from their games such as Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Dame Lillard, and Devin Booker
Head coach Pat Elzie likes how you have that combination of quickness and being under control. Is this calmness something you have always had or has it grown over time?
I think I’ve always had it, but it’s grown over time. I’ve always liked to control the game and play at my own pace not let the defense rush me or force me to play fast
Despite being a lethal scorer, you don´t shy away from being a playmaker. With the new rule in the Pro B only one import player is allowed so there will be more responsibility for you to score. Do you feel like you will be able to be an impact player in the Pro B?
Yes for sure. I had a similar role in Asia last season, and I’m ready to accept the responsibility. I feel like I will be ready and can help the team exceed expectations. that’s been a huge part of my training
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?
My leadership qualities. I feel like I do a great job of keeping my teammates under control and focused on the game plan and what’s got to be done to win
You played recently with Club Bameso (Dominican Republic-TBS).What kind of experience was that and how is the state of basketball in that country where baseball is the #1 sport?
It was pretty good. I learned a different style of basketball. They play a real physical brand of basketball and it helps playing in different countries because you can combine all the things you learn in different places.
Last season you played with Bima Perkasa Yogyakarta (Indonesia-IBL) playing 15 games averaging 23.0ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-5(5.1apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 74.4%. How important was this season for you for your overall self confidence being able to be such a dominant player? Do you feel like your condifence will carry over to this seaon?
It was great year for me because I saw that I could be a dominant player and help lead a young team to a solid season and it helped take my game to a new level..
After playing your rookie season in Spain, you then played for Libreville Izobe Dragons (Gabon-CBL). What kind of basketball shock was this for you? How did you experience your time in Africa and what will always remain in your memories?
Africa was different. It was fun to be there and see their culture but I got chance to play against quality players in a great atmosphere, because they really enjoyed seeing high level basketball there
As a rookie you played with Tudespensa.com Agricola Villarrobledo (Spain-EBA) playing 9 games averaging 12.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 87.5%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Spain where you knew that you were very far away from home?
Spain was a good test for me. Coming out of college, I learned that I could compete at that level but I also saw flaws that I had to work on after finishing up my time there
Your last game for Tudespensa.com Agricola Villarrobledo (Spain-EBA) was November 19th. What kind of growing pains did you seem to have despite putting up good stats?
I played very well but came home to get better. I felt like I wasn’t as healthly as I needed to be to be successful in that league at that time.
You had a 28 point and 8 assist game in Spain against Casvi. Do you keep this game in your memory bank as a reminder that you have the goods to be successful on the court in Europe when you have a bad day?
Yes it was one of the highlights of my time there. I also had a similar game during the pre season against a Leb sliver team. I knew then I could play at a higher level.
You started your college career at Delta Community College and played there for two years. What memories do you have from this time and were you always confident that you could be an NCAA player?
I really enjoyed it because those were my first two seasons at point guard and I learned a lot about my skill set that season and I had a great coach that let me learn from my mistakes as well
You then moved to Miss.Valley St. (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 78.6%. How do you feel did your game mostly benefit in your first full NCAA season?
I played against a lot of high level talent and had my best games against them. That led me to believe I could get even better and maybe transfer to a better team for my final season..
You had some very good games for Miss Valley St scoring 26 points against Monmouth, 21 points against Longwood and 19 points against Washington that had future NBA players like CJ Wilcox, and Nigel Williams-Goss. Does the fact that you held your own against guys like this keep your motivation high to keep working harder than the rest each day to keep making your game better?
Yes I remember all those games against NBA guys such Marcus Smart and etc. It gives you a measuring stick of where you are as a player at the time and I always loved that
After a solid junior season at Miss Valley St, you moved to North Carolina Central (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 12.9ppg, 1.9rpg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 77.9%. Why did you make this step?
I felt like I would be in a better system at NCCU and with a better group of players with the possibly make the NCAA tournament as a senior which was my main goal..
Was your 16 points against the University of North Carolina one of your most memorable games in the NCAA mainly because of keeping your own against so many future NBA players like Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson or Brice Johnson?
Yes for sure. I knew we had a high level and could compete with them and being that it was the first game of the season, I wanted to see where I stacked up against them and after that game I felt like I was high level player just as they were.
What memories do you have of Jordan Parks? He had two strong seasons in Italy and then suffered a season ending injury in Germany last season.
Great team guy. He was a high level athlete and could guard all 5 positions. He was ne of the main reasons why I decided to sign and play at NCCU. He was an ll around great guy.
How did head coach Levelle Morton give you that last important push in grooming and preparing you for a professional basketball career?
Coach was really good with X’s and O’s. Every play he drew up for me worked. He guaranteed that I would hit a 100 3’s in his system and I did that season. He knows how to get the most out of his players. He was a good coach!
Who won a one on one in practice you or Nimrod Hilliard?
Me. Nimrod and Jordan played one on ones pretty much every day after practice and it was even then I would love to see how it would go now knowing that all of us are even better players now
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Marcus Smart was definitely the toughest player I played at the college level.
How does a summer work out day look like for you in 2018. On what things will you mainly be working on to better your game?
A normal workday for me is wake up do conditioning and agility’s, weights, on court with my trainer, ball handling, a lot shots and various drills and then open runs in the evening.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
Jordan, Kobe, Lebron and Allen iverson.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan? As a player and stats Lebron owned him, but Jordan has 6 rings?
I think they are both great, but I never really got to see Jordan at his best because I was super young. But lebron is the best player I have ever seen with my own eyes
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
Definitely because they have a great crop of you talent and even have a chance to add other players and get better. I think they will be a championship team soon really soon
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luca Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?
I think Luka will surprise a lot people in America with his skill set. He will be star in the NBA real soon.
How did you follow the 2018 NBA Draft? How cool is it having two Germans being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers?
It’s great. I saw highlights on both guys and they seem very talented.. I’m interested to see how they transition to the level of play in the NBA. I have always liked MO’s game. I knew he was a NBA guy at Michigan
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 think he would average a triple double if he strictly focused on point guard simply because rebounds and points come natural to him.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Lol no I saw Black Panther while I was playing in Asia, but the last movie I’ve seen is Superfly.
Thanks Anthony for the chat.