Rebounding And Interview Expertise Go Hand In Hand With Giessen 46er Larry Gordon

There are quite a few qualities about Larry Gordon that nobody would ever have the audacity to complain about on and off the court. He has many qualities that stand out as he is a prolific scorer and hard worker on the defensive end, but the skill that stands out the most is his rebounding. There has to be a reason why where ever he has laced up his sneakers being if it was with Cal Poly(NCAA2), Austria, Germany, Korea, or Kazakhstan he has belonged to the top rebounders. One also can´t forget that the American isn´t a center listed at 2,10cm or a power forward listed at the ideal height of 2,03cm, but a small forward listed at 1,96cm that rebounds the ball with heart, passion and effort. Having the knack to haul down the ball seems to be in his blood. “I can´t really explain it, it´s just something that is embedded into my game. It´s a lot of heart and relentless effort to get the rebound that makes me so good at it. When the ball goes up you will always see me near the rim no matter what. That is just what I do”, warned Larry Gordon.  What else does any coach want from a player when it has that commending attitude. Giessen 46ers head coach Ingo Freyer could probably fill a university auditorium in Giessen any day now and give a heart filled lecture about why he loves Larry Gordon. There has to be a reason why he was able to hold him three years in Hagen in a low market including for a third season after he had torn up the BBL averaging 15,5ppg and 7,6rpg where he must have had better offers from top teams in Germany and elsewhere. There also has to be a reason why Gordon is back together in Giessen this season reunited with his former head coach Ingo Freyer. It has already fit between the two guys. But not only on the court is Gordon at home with his game, but off the court with how he treats the media. There are quite a lot of players that I have enjoyed not only interviewing once, but two or three times and then again there have been guys that I have interviewed more than 10 times like three time Euroleague winner Kyle Hines, Jacob Burtschi, Kevin Hamilton, John Bynum or Josh Young to name just a few. However there are few that have had my question thrown at them as often as Larry Gordon. One could say that Gordon has had more interviews with me that Allen Iverson uttered the word practice in his legendary press conference years ago. To be exact Gordon has done 40 interviews with me since he arrived in Germany in 2012 with the first being in October 2012. Alone in his first two seasons it was 22. He still had patience with me in his third season, but after that the Q & A sessions have died down a little as he played in other countries. After 40 interviews there is only so much you can ask the guy, but the way he can handle the boards with ease, the same he does with my pin point questions as there has never been a dull moment in our question and answer sessions. Not only does rebounding come automatically for him, but so does interviewing. “It isn´t a challenge. If you look at my past, rebounding has always been a part of my game. Rebounding comes automatically to me. There is no effort for me I just go go go to the basket and enjoy rebounding”, warned Larry Gordon. Many guys know how to play the game well and other´s are noted interview partners while rebounding and interview talent go hand in hand with Larry Gordon.

picture perfect 2563

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has covered Larry Gordon since his arrival in Germany in 2012. Gordon belongs to the most interviewed player in Schmidt-Scheuber´s career as at the moment the count is at 40. This picture was taken at the 2015 BBL allstar game in Bonn

Larry Gordon is a 31 year old 196cm forward from Montclair, California that is in his 10th season and first with the Giessen 46ers and still going strong. He began his basketball career at  Montclair high school and then proceeded to play at Cal Poly where he had a stellar career from 2005-2009 playing a total of 115 NCAA games. He already made noise as a freshman as he averaged 6.7ppg, 5.7rpg, FG: 60.4%, 3Pts: 50.0%, FT: 72.4% and was named freshman of the year. He would average double figures in scoring in his last three seasons there and had his best statistical season as a junior as he played 28 games averaging 17.7ppg, 9.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FG: 53.1%, 3Pts: 33.3%, FT: 80.3%. He had his best statistical rebounding season as a senior as he averaged 15.7ppg, 10.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 75.7%. He has been thankful to his coach at Cal Poly Greg Kaminisky his whole career that he learned early that you have to take care of business all the time as there are always guys waiting to prance on you like a cat for your job. “Just being mentally prepared for a whole other different perspective on professional basketball. He told me that this is now a job, a business and you have to produce if you want to keep your job. So that was always something I kept in my mind and carried with me during my career. Pro basketball is fun, but at the same time it is a business and if your not taking care of business then it won´t be fun and there will be no job”, warned Larry Gordon. He garnered many achievements while at Cal Poly like being named to the CCAA all tournament team twice and being named CCAA player of the year in 2009. He also helped lead the team to the 2009 NCAA 2 final, but couldn´t crown his career there losing to the University of Findlay. “Despite being the underdog in our senior year, we were able to reach the NCAA2 final. We lost the final, but it was a great experience getting there and beating top teams by 30 points”, added Larry Gordon. I don´t know if their paths crossed over the last 6-7 years, but now that Gordon is in Giessen, he is only 65 kilometers away from his ex teammate at Cal Poly(NCAA2) German Tobias Jahn who suits up for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the Pro B. They might just meet again when Giessen visits Frankfurt as the American remembers the German´s never die attitude on the court with joy. “His personality was definitely not what I expected being the first foreign player I played with, but he was a great guy, lots of enthusiam and he can always brighten up a day with just the way he was. My best memory of Tobi is when we played against BYU-Hawaii for the Regional Championship back in 09′ and there was a player being hyped of that Tobi had to face. And in that first half, he had Tobi’s number but in that second half, Tobi turned it up a notch and helped us secure the win”, remembered Larry Gordon.

The American who once hit 57 free throws in a row in practice compares his game to Kevin Love, because like him he always has to face bigger guys and is relentless around the basket began his professional career in 2009 with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 36 games averaging 14.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 75.8%. It was a fine rookie season where he gave Europe a first impression of his rebounding consistency that he had learned so well at Cal Poly. He remembers what his wake up call was to being a rookie in Holland where he knew that he was very far away from home. “I just learned how the top teams and weak teams always came to play. If you didn´t come to play then you would lose games. Losing games doesn´t look good on your resume when you are trying to further your career as a player”, said Larry Gordon. He left Holland having left an impression scoring in double figures in 30 games and registered 10 double doubles. He then made the next jump to Austria to the ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) where he played 35 games averaging 10.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 66.7% and scored in double figures in 12 games and had five double doubles. In his second season turned it up a bit more playing 38 games averaging 14.7ppg, Reb-3(8.4rpg), 1.8apg, FGP-3(65.2%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 77.1%. He belonged to the best rebounders in the league and also to the best three point shooters that opened the eyes of German head coach Ingo Freyer who had him on his radar. One of his fondest memories from Austria was battling ex Phoenix Hagen guard Quentin Pryor in a game that saw countless overtime´s and Gordon left the floor after 59 minutes with 18 points and 22 boards. “I remember being very exhausted but I had to push through, we had to push through to get the win. It was one of the best basketball experiences I have had as a pro player. Q was an all around good player, and yes the way he got steals and pressured the ball really helped their team. We actually changed our game plan to accommodate Q’s aggressive defense”, warned Larry Gordon. Being an underdog his whole career and having to pay his dues in Europe for three years only strengthed his winning mentality. “ I have always had it throughout my career. I have always been the underdog since high school until now. I was the underdog at Cal Poly Pomona as well as in Holland and just wanting to win always built on me. In Austria I came to a winning program and my winner mentality stayed with me”, warned Larry Gordon.

After three seasons of paying his dues in Holland and Austria, the American finally made the jump to the ambitious BBL in Germany signing with Phoenix Hagen. His first three seasons in Europe had given him the needed success where he knew that he would succeed in Germany. “I´m definitely ready for this move, this is something as a basketball player you strive to get to and that is the highest level of basketball and competition. I have developed as a Pro player every year and I think playing in the Beko BBL is only going to make me into a better player after the season because of all the talent here. My expectations for myself is to play hard and do what ever in ability to help my team here in Hagen reach our goals and have a successful season”, warned Larry Gordon. The American came to a team that had been promoted to the BBL in 2009 and not done much in it´s first three seasons except finish in 16th, 12th and 15th position and were known for practicing run and gun basketball for 40 minutes. But the 2012-2013 team was a special one that had a special cast of players with baby hulk David Bell, scorer Mark Dorris, all-around player Davin White, the glue guy Adam Hess, defensive and rebound specialist Dino Gregory and the elder statesman Bernd Kruel. Larry Gordon came in and added stability and versatility at both ends and was an additional type of glue guy for Ingo Freyer. He was key for the club reaching the playoffs and he scored 16 points in the surprising game two win against Bamberg. He finished the season playing 37 games averaging 12.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 43.0%, FT: 83.2%. The club showed on numerous occasions during the season that they can beat anyone as they beat Bamberg, Alba Berlin and Oldenburg in a row as the American steered 12, 19 and 12 points. They continued to show that season that no matter who they played they could play with anyone with their explosive run and gun offense. “No matter if we are down 10 or up 10 during the end of a game, if we stay focused and concentrated and play our basketball, we are always in a position to win”, warned Larry Gordon. He scored in double figures in 29 games and there was a span from the end of December until mid April where he scored in double figures in 19 of 20 games and carried the team into the playoffs.

The American returned back to his second season with Phoenix Hagen and despite having enough delectable eating spots at home missed restaurant chain Vapiano the most from Hagen, but came back for his second season strong working on his all-around game and he knew exactly how he wanted to make an impact in his second season in the BBL. “I worked hard on my game this off season, I really wanted to get better at certain things so I can be a major threat when I’m on the court and so my teammates as well as the coaches can trust that I can make the right plays no matter what the situation is. I set a goal for myself to be more of a threat this year in the BBL and I will continue to work to achieve that goal“, warned Larry Gordon. The club did a good job keeping many players, but the loss of point guard Davin White and Adam Hess was just too much as they couldn´t compensate it. Henry Dugat was a solid point guard, but just didn´t have the explosiveness of White as the team finished in 10th place. In his second season with Phoenix Hagen he played 34 games averaging 15.5ppg, Reb-2(7.6rpg), 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 89.5%. He easily belonged to the top 5 forwards in the BBL and with every new good game came added confidence and he was not scared of anyone not even top BBL player Rickey Paulding of Oldenburg even though playing against him was never easy. “I wouldn’t say fun, but I do like being challenged. I’m a rising star in this league, it’s only right for me to guard the best player of another team”, warned Larry Gordon. He was rewarded with his good season half way through being selected to the BBL allstar team international. Not only his knack of knowing where rebounds go, but the potential of young Germans was excellent as he predicted that Danilo Barthel then would have the best potential of making a break-through and currently is captain of Euroleague team FC Bayern Munich. But then again Scorer´s First clients always stick together. At the allstar break Gordon was fifth in scoring and first in rebounding and had the right attitude for the second half of the season. “I’ve been playing my best basketball the whole season so far, all there is to do now is to exceed what I already accomplished”, warned Larry Gordon. Despite having added muscle strength under the boards with Americans Dino Gregory and Keith Ramsey, he was still leading the BBL in rebounds, but never thought of taking the credit for himself. “They encourage and push me to stay on the glass, we all play and rebound more confident when were on the flight together because we know we got each other’s backs when it comes to the boards”, warned Larry Gordon. One of his biggest games that season was pounding 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin for 31 points and getting 10 boards in the 81-75 win. He didn´t give the home team anything new, but the same old Larry Gordon. “Nothing changed, I just took what the defense gave me in the 2nd half and kept being aggressive. I think the fans already know what I’m capable of and I think they know I go out and play hard every game no matter what my stats are”, warned Larry Gordon. He finished the season scoring in double figures in 29 games and had seven double doubles.

The American hung around for a third season, but the club was unable to better the season of before and missed the playoffs for a second straight season finishing in 13th place. This season they were unable to hold key players and just didn´t have the overall class and Davin White point guard from Gordon´s first season. The American kept his consistency and produced another very strong personal season playing 30 games averaging 14.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 72.1%. He scored in double figures in 19 games and totaled four double doubles. He had some monster games including a 29 point 13 rebound explosion against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and 26 points against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. His rebounding was still massive on the court, but the interviews were put on the back burner. The season wasn´t going as well for Phoenix Hagen and the American wanted to focus more on his game and he came through with a strong season while I well probably would still have interviewed him at the rate that Vince Carter loved to dunk back in the day, but I personally was feeling a bit of burn out syndrome and concentrated on interviewing everybody else. After three seasons with Phoenix Hagen, the American decided to make the next step and moved up north to the Eisbaeren Brememrhaven who had the higher budget, but difficulty putting together the right roster to guarantee success. He didn´t forget his time with Phoenix Hagen, David Bell or how he developed his game there. “We had a lot of heart on that team and we fought for every Win to get in that situation. By far my best memory in Hagen. I miss his fire and intensity. DB was a great teammate, and that fact that we had played together for 3 seasons we both had that do whatever it takes to Win mentality. He will be missed. My knowledge of the game has gotten much better. My IQ on offense and defense has increased dramatically over the past 3 years, given me the ability to be able to be even a better versatile player”, warned Larry Gordon.

The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven moved to the BBL in 2005 and became a playoff team in their first season in the BBL and would reach the playoffs six years straight, but then fell drastically into an average team that was able to bring in good talent, but never find the right chemistry. When Gordon arrived in 2015 to Bremerhaven he joined ex NBA players Tyrus Thomas and Jerry Smith as well as top guards Kyle Fogg and Lorenzo Williams. The expectations were high, but the season was a total bust as the club finished in 15th place. Gordon was one of the better performers playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 84.3%. Gordon and I found together again with our interview sessions, but instead of having the usual pregame and post game interviews at times weekly, we left it with only one interview that season. His self confidence continued to be at a healthy high as despite making the next jump to a higher budgeted team, he didn´t feel that it was too early to have laded at a top German team. “ I thought that I showcased and developed my game over the past 3 seasons to be able to make that next step with a top club but apparently it didn’t happen. So it looks like I have to prove myself again this year to show that I’m capable of playing at a high level.  I believe that any situation your in is a process of getting better so that you can continue the climb to the top. As a basketball player my goal is to play at the highest level with a high level team. But sometimes you do have to take small steps or even take steps back to be able to make good progress in your career.”, warned Larry Gordon. Despite the poor team showing he scored in double figures in 18 games and he didn´t regret coming to Bremerhaven or that it was a step backward in his career as it was his lowest in scoring and rebounding in Germany. “It was a tough situation in Bremerhaven. I had high hopes that I would be able to make the next step with them but it didn’t turn out that way. But I just took it as a learning experience, the season may not have gone the way I wanted individually but I took a lot of good from it. Given the situation I think I had decent season. I was very efficient from the field and I did a lot of good things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. I may not have taken a step forward by I honestly feel I didn’t take a step back either. I’m a competitor, I’m going to work hard and get after it no matter the situation. I think If I was given the keys and was the “go to guy” for Bremerhaven and put the stats I had last season, then I can say I took a step back but that wasn’t the case. I was 3rd option on the team and sometimes 4th, so I think I did pretty good in my situation”, warned Larry Gordon.

In the 2016-2017 season he found a great opportunity in the far east where it´s no secret that contracts are rather lucrative with Sonic Boom KT (Korea-KB)L. It didn´t bother him that he left the European market for a new challenge. “I’m all about opportunities, and when great opportunities present themselves it’s only right that I take advantage of it. I’m definitely reaching the prime of my career but I still have a lot to give to any team whether it be in Europe or Asia, I stay hungry. And I thank God for blessing me with the ability to continue playing basketball around the world”, stressed Larry Gordon. He came to Korea knowing that the expectations would be high, but he totally passed with playing colors averaging 14.9ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 51.3%, 3FGP: 35.6%, FT: 82.1%. “Expectations are high for me here with KT, they rely heavily on the imports to produce and have impact to help the team Win. I am one of the “Go To Guys” which is going to be interesting challenge for me but I have faith that God put me here for a reason and I know that I will have a successful year. I definitely have a chip on my shoulder and that´s the way I will play this season”, warned Larry Gordon. He put up some big numbers against the Goyang Orions with 27 points and 11 rebounds and against Anyang KGC with 26 points and 15 rebounds, but despite his good play the team struggled to an unbelievable 1-18 record and before you knew it he was back in his favorite stomping ground Germany. And he cleared things up that he actually didn´t go to Korea for the money, but for another reason and remembered a nice moment. “I fled Germany because there were no opportunities for me after my season last year. So I chose to try out a different market including Korea to expand my chances of playing somewhere. And I came back to Germany because things didn’t work out with KT, so I left. And I was lucky enough that this opportunity in Vechta was available, so I’m very happy to be back in the BBL.  It definitely was a culture shock. But it was definitely fun and exciting to experience. The favorite moment was when I got to go to a festival and experienced the South Korean culture first hand. I wore traditional clothes, ate traditional food, watched traditional shows and events. It was a very good time and I enjoyed it”, warned Larry Gordon. When he arrived in Vechta, I didn´t give him a new mathematical equation with 36/22, but moreover that was the minutes he played with Phoenix Hagen three years earlier where he contributed 22 points in a 75-67 win In Vechta. However that nice experience in Vechta wouldn´t come again for him. The Vechta experience didn´t turn out any better for him as he went 1-14 with the team and saw it move back down to the Pro A. He scored 19 points against ratiopharm Ulm and had 17 point games against Tuebingen and BG Goettingen, but winning just wasn´t on the program as even the nail bitters were lost as only one point separated the winners Goettingen and Jena. He averaged 6.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 69.2% He remembered being teammates with a future BBL legend and current dino Derrick Allen. “What has amazed me the most is that he still finds the energy to get back on the court year after year. He gives me hope as a basketball player, that if I take care of my body and work hard, I can play for a very long time”, warned Larry Gordon.

        After two tough seasons with Bremerhaven and going a combined 2-34 in Korea and Germany where he literally couldn´t buy a win one only had to wonder where his future would go. Well his agent Gerrit Kerstin-Thiele from Scorers First did absolutely  everything correct finding him an amazing opportunity with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-National League) where he not only won his first professional title, but added a second as he won the league and cup championship averaging 14.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 4.4apg, 2.1spg, 2FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.2% and played in one of Europe´s top leagues VTB averaging 8.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 74.3%. Even though he didn´t beat top Euroleague team CSKA, he battled against some of the worlds best players with Sergio Rodriguez, Nando de Colo and Kyle Hines and ex NBA players Othelo Hunter and Corey Higgins. All of a sudden his career is not only back on track, but after securing two titles, he became more of a commodity on the market especially in Germany. Ok so he didn´t sign in Munich, Berlin or Bamberg, but Giessen. It is a smaller market and the fans belong to the toughest in the league and they love their basketball, but what better than be reunited again with his ex Hagen coaches Ingo Freyer and Steven Wriedt and sniper David Bell. He needed no integration period in Giessen. He has been a key figure for the Giessen 46ers in them attaining a surprising 5-2 record to start the season. He is averaging 10,1ppg, 8,1rpg, 1,6apg and shooting a respectable 38,1% from outside. His experience coupled with that of Jon Bryant, Brandon Thomas and David Bell who combined have 28 BBL seasons under their belt have been a big reason for their success as the experience speaks volumes.  The Giessen 46ers have been close the last years of making the playoffs under Dennis Wucherer and now Ingo Freyer, and should injuries be avoided, this could be the season where they make the promised land. It also is time again that Larry and I get back on the interview trail with #41. The last question of every interview is still the same and has only changed from what was the last DVD to the last movie that you saw simply because DVD´s aren´t  as in as 6-7 years ago. The last DVD movie Gordon had watched in our first interview had been “Laugh at my pain” with Kevin Hart in 2012 while the last movie he saw in our last interview in January 2017 was Mac Steel. Some things never change as he is still a top rebounder in the BBL and after almost two years, I want to know if he hasn´t lost his interview expertise and what movies he is watching these days.

 

               

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