Chase Fieler is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Parkersburg, West Virginia playing in his fifth professional season and second with Filou Oostende (Belgium-Euromillions League). As aprofessional he has racked up a very impressive 9 professional titkes in Spain and Holland. He played two seasons with Donar Groningen (Holland-Eredivisie) winning 4 titles. He also won a title in his rookie season with Ourense Termal (Spain-LEB Gold). He began his basketball career with Florida Gulf Coast (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 133 NCAA games as was able to improve his scoring and rebounding averages each season. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 13.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 59.4%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 70.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before the Basketball Champions League game in Bayreuth.
Chase thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Welcome back to Germany. You have a 2-0 record against German teams against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. What memories do you have of the thrilling 86-84 win against Bonn last season in the BCL where you scored 13 points?
I remember we went into overtime. My current teammate Nemanja Djurisic was on the Bonn team. There are always competitive games in the Basketball Champions League. German teams always play physical and with a lot of energy so it was good coming out with a victory.
You are in your fifth professional season and have won 9 professional titles in three countries and also won two A-Sun titles in school. That is simply amazing. Do you feel like your game and leadership qualities infects your teammates?
I think that it is now slowly starting to infect my teammates. Important for me was that I was always on good teams that had experienced guys. The experience I have gotten the last years has helped me now to be able to lead a team and be helpful in stressful moments.
When a guy like yourself has won so much, do you make it more of a habit to think back on all the titles to add self confidence as being in that winning mode must just always add positive vibes to you?
I think knowing that I have been there before and performed well helps. I think that the experience that I have gotten over the years winning titles helps me overcome obstacles which doesn´t allow me to let mistakes multiply.
This is your second season with Oostende and you already have racked up four titles. You held many players and added one American with TJ Williams. What makes this season´s team already special in your mind?
We have kept guys from the last years that helped win titles. They all know what it takes to win. We have a young player with Vincent Kesteloot who has developed well. TJ Williams a different kind of guard than what we have and he makes our game more dynamic. He has shown early that he can play the European style of basketball. His game gives us a new kind of aspect in our offense that we didn´t have last season.
The club picked up talented second year man TJ Williams who had a stellar career at Northeastern. He had a solid G-League season, but it wasn´t great. Do you feel like he is extra motivated this season to show the basketball world that he can be a top player in any league?
Yes I feel that he is extra motivated. He is very talented and has shown already that he can play at this level and he is a very hard worker. I don´t know how he did in the G-League, but I know his last year at Northeastern was very good. He has shown already in two or three games since his injury that he can be a difference maker. When he becomes even more confident in his role than he will become a great player.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a 203cm forward that can do a bit of every thing and can be classified as a modern forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit that description?
For me to compare myself to an NBA player is very hard. Maybe like a Ryan Anderson. The style is different in Europe and my game translates more to the game here. I like to play transition and like to pass the ball. My biggest strength is shooting from the arc
You’re a player that can really 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 hidden strength is my passing. I feel that that is a strong quality in my game that isn´t seen.
You kept your amazing title streak alive last season with Oostende winning three. There was only one other American on the squad with Mike Myers. Was the diverse amount of many nationalities a big reason why the team was so successful?
Yes I believe so. I think that when you have so many guys that have played different styles in their careers makes it very difficult for the opponent to prepare for. We have five players from the Balkan region and they always have good fundamental basketball abilities. They all are hungry, work hard and want to get better.
You played two seasons with Groningen who have had a huge rise in the Dutch league in the last 10 years winning many titles. You won two league titles in a row. Which one was the sweetest?
The first title was the sweetest. We had some adversary at the start of the season. We didn´t have a good start and had personal issues. We had talent, but just couldn´t put it together in the beginning. But we were able to turn it around. We went from being a team in the first half that never knew what kind of team would show up for games to a team in the second half that dominated on the court.
The club held many players for your second season, but please explain how important American Jason Dourisseau has been. The guy came in 2010 and with him the club started to get the winning mentality as he helped get 9 titles. Did some added winning genes get rubbed off on you by him?
Definitely some of his winning genes rubbed off on me. I am still very close to him and talk to him every week. He was the true definition of being a professional on and off the court and taught me how do be like that. He does so much to stay on top of his game from extra conditioning to foam rolling at night to keeping an eye on his diet. He has played in many different leagues for different coaches and has a high basketball IQ. He watches multiple NBA games every day. He also was always helping the young kids get better. It´s no coincidence that the team started to rise when he was there.
As a rookie you played with Ourense Termal (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 38 games averaging 8.6ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 71.9%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home?
The language barrier in a small town in Spain. Not many people spoke English there. Some of the players spoke English, but it was generally Spanish. The coach spoke Spanish and there was a translator. Living life in Spanish and having to figure things out on my own was a big culture shock for me.
There was only one other American on the team with Tyler Brown. How important was he for you in the early part of your rookie season for the adjustment period? He had a great senior year at Illinois State, but after he left in December 2014 was out of basketball. Did that surprise you a bit a man of his talent?
It did surprise me a little, but I also could understand it because he had a son living in his home town and he wanted to be with him. He actually kept more to his own was always on the phone with his family. I was talking more with the older Spanish guys and the Lithuanian player.
You have played many games in your career, but did you make a note of your 22 point, 12 rebound, 5 assist, 1 block and 3 steal game against Penas Huesca which was your real professional break out game?
Yes I do remember that game. It was on the road. I remember it being a good game for me and the team. After this game we went more with the youth and started to play more transition. I had been struggling with my three point shot, but after that game it got better.
You played at Florida Gulf Coast (NCAA) from 2010-2014. What memories do you have of the amazing March Madness run in 2013?
It was some of the best times in my life. Beating Georgetown on a big stage was huge. I remember preparing for them and the Big East player of the year Otto Porter. We played fast while they had a slow down offense. Our goal was it to have them play our style. The game turned after half-time and our style went to our advantage. It was a great experience for a small school being on a big stage. Before the season nobody knew us, but after the tournament we got so much respect. The recognition that we got was incredible.
What made the team so special? The team had no real star, but guys that all left it out on the court for 40 minutes?
We had many guys that had chips on their shoulders. We had many talented guys that felt that they could of played at bigger schools. We had many guys that had played at very good high schools. A guy like Sherwood Brown always played hard and didn´t back down from anybody. Our coach just let us play and not let us worry about having to go out when you made a mistake. Knowing this gave us a lot of confidence. It was a quiet confidence that coach Enfield instilled in all of us. The coaching staff made us think that we could play against anybody. We were never intimidated to play against anybody.
Talk a little about how your game developed in the four years. You were able to consistently improve your scoring and rebound average each season. How vital was it playing for three head coaches in four seasons?
It was very vital for my development playing for three coaches. It was important that each coach played me different and had me working on different things each off season. My first coach had me working on catch and shoot. Coach Enfield got me working on the pick and pop and coach Dooley had me working on my post game. I have better foot work now. I was able to build off each coach and add new things to my game.
Was the 88-78 win against Georgetown where you outdueled future NBA player Otto Porter one of your most memorable games at Florida Gulf Coast (NCAA)
Nobody gave us a chance in this game. If we would have lost by 20 points people still would have congratulated us. We knew that they were a very good team and had won the Big East. But we then started to watch film on them. We saw that we would have an advantage if we played transition. We knew that their bigs wouldn´t be able to run with us. We also realized that if they went into the post that we should trap because they aren´t good passers out of the post. We noticed that they weren´t a perfect team and gained self confidence. We also knew that we couldn´t play their game which was a half court game, but had to play transition so they would run out of energy. In warm ups we also noticed that they didn´t seem as big as we expected them to be.
How did head coach Joe Dooley give you that last push as a senior helping you get groomed and prepared for a professional basketball career?
His mindset was to always have the most competitive team possible. He liked to play physical and play bigger than what we really were. I remember going into my senior year where he compared me to a Kansas player and wanted me to try working on new things that I had never done before. He wanted me to play in the post and always play tough. This really helped me as I came overseas as I knew that I could never be afraid to play, but always play tough.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Eric Mcknight?
I won every game. He was a good guy that worked a lot in his senior year with his back to the basket. He was a 208cm center that liked to step out and take the three.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but who was the toughest battle that is in the NBA now?
Ryan Kelly from Duke and Mason Plumlee who dominated us.
If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose?
That’s too difficult to choose.
If you had to construct your very own NBA mount Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick?
Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul Jabbar
What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?
I will always go with Lebron. He is too big, strong and fast. He does every part of the game better
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Chase for the chat.