Adam Klie is a 23 year old 193cm guard that was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Anchorage and is playing his second professional season and first in Germany with the Giessen Rackelos. Currently he is averaging 11,5ppg, 5,4rpg and3,5apg. He is shooting a respectable 44,4% from outside. Last season he playedhis rookie season with the Niagara River Lions (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 44 games averaging 6.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 31.3%,FT: 48.4%. He began his basketball career with Service High School and played at Cal-San Diego (NCAA2) from 2013-2017. In his senior season he played 30 games averaging 15.2ppg, 6.1rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 45.7%,FT: 58.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball late in the summer.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Adam Klie after a game in Frankfurt
Adam thanks for talkingto germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how was your summer?
I just arrived in Giessen, Germany on Wednesday. My summer was great, a lot of work put in the gym while enjoying the San Diego weather and people.
Before we talk about your passion of basketball, I have to ask you about your favorite soccer player Robert Lewondowski. Have you checked schedules of Frankfurt or Dortmund when FC Bayern Munich plays there so you could possibly go and see him Live? Frankfurt is probably your better bet since Dortmund tickets are real tough to get.
I haven’t looked at the schedule yet, but I am planning on going to some Bundesliga games while I am here. It would be even more special if I could see Bayern and Lewa play so I plan on seeing if I can make that happen!
After playing your rookie season in Canada, with what kind of feelings were you going into your second summer of looking for a new team? Was Europe early in your thoughts about attempting to make the next step in your career?
I liked being out in Canada a lot, but I think a large part of me wanted to experience basketball and life on another continent. There are many good leagues and teams in Europe so it was a place that came to mind immediately when I was looking for a club.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Did you get any advice from your friend Travis Thompson who played three seasons in Germany and now is balling in the far east?
I knew that German basketball was very good and I knew a few people who have played in its various leagues so it was definitely near the top of my list in terms of destinations. I can’t say I know too much about Germany, but people I talk to about it have only good things to say so I’m excited. I unfortunately didn’t talk to Travis much this summer, but he did speak highly of the league in the past.
Congrats on signing with the German Pro B team Giessen Rackelos. How important was the fact that being able to practice daily with the BBL team Giessen weighed in your decision in signing with the Pro B team?
At the end of the day, the opportunity to possibly practice with the BBL team didn’t make or break the decision but it was definitely a cool plus.
How did you experience the talks with head coach Rolf Scholz? What were the deciding factors that gave you the green light to sign with Giessen?
The biggestthing I took out of my conversations with Coach Scholz was the history of theclub and the opportunity I would have to move my career forward. I liked thevibe I got from him on my opportunities to be successful with the club thisyear.
I have the feeling that Rolf Scholz was most impressed by your versatility as a guard. How would you describe your game best? You’re a very versatile guard and if you had to choose an NBA player that best fits how you present yourself on the court who would best fit that description?
I do take pride in trying to impact many aspects of the game when I’m on the court. I feel capable of scoring in a lot of ways but I am just trying to make the best play available in every situation. One guy I really admired growing up and I try to model aspects of my game after is Brandon Roy.
You’re an athletic player and don´t shy getting to the rim and finishing with authority. Some arer born with athleticism while others have actually gained it with hard work. How was it with you? Were you born with it or has the grind blessed you with being athletic?
I think it is probably a combination. As a competitor, you want to say that its all the work that you put in, but I know I was born with some natural athleticism.
You shot incredibly well as a senior at Cal-San Diego (NCAA2) at 45%, but last season as a rookie in Canada only 31%.. Was the senior year only a fluke or what did you do different that helped you shot at such a good clip?
No I would say the way I shot from 3 in Canada last year was the fluke. I feel confident that I’ll shoot a good percentage from outside this season.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet at ease, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?
It’s hidden unless you come to the game but I take a lot of pride in my communication on the court. I want to be the loudest player out there if possible.
Last season you played with the Niagara River Lions (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 44 games averaging 6.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 48.4%. What kind of experience was that for you and what was your impression of the NBL league. Is this a league on the rise as so many other players continue to tell me?
I think that after this season I’ll have a better feel for where the NBL Canada stands in comparison to other international leagues. But I can say that the NBL Canada is an extremely talented league, there is no shortage of Canadian and American talent.
What memories do you have of Connor Wood who was your teammate last season? He is also playing in Germany this season a league up in the Pro A with the Uni Baskets. How did you profit with the day to day battles with him on the court?
Connor was a great teammate and a fun person to playwith. I think from Day 1 I gained a lot from competing with him and againsthim. I’m looking forward to seeing how his season plays out down the road.
You were also teammates last season with ex Syracuse stand out and ex NBA player Kris Joseph who had had a solid career in Europe. Does his success having played in the NBA and other top leagues in Europe motivate you to keep grinding in the lab knowing that you were teammates and can compete with him at any level?
Absolutely. Anytime you can play with a guy who’s been to the highest levels it’s a blessing. You get to see how someone like that operates and you can pick up on stuff you like. And playing with him gives you confidence to know that you can compete with best.
You played four years at Cal-State San Diego reaching the D-2 Sweet 16 in 2016 and 2017, but also won the CCAA Tournament as a senior. Was winning the CCAA tournament your most sweetest moment.
I had a lot of great moments at UC San Diego but that one is definitely up there. It was kind of a culmination of 4 years of work to be regular season and conference tournament champions.
You improved your scoring, rebounding and assists averages each season in your last three seasons. How do you feel did you develop as a player at Cal-State San Diego and what part of your game do you feel profited the most?
There are so many ways in which I improved my game at UC San Diego but the one area I think saw the greatest improvement was my playmaking for others. I got much better at making plays for other guys over the course of my 4 years there.
Was losing to Chico State in your last game at Cal-State San Diego in the D-2 Sweet 16 your toughest loss considering you had beat them a few weeks earlier in the CCAA tournament?
Easily. Considering it was on our home floor and it was my last college game. It still eats at me to this day.
How did head coach Eric Olen groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Olen helped me improve aspects of my game each year and gave me a foundation for my work ethic. He taught me about the culture of successful basketball teams and how to win.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Aleks Lipovic?
I would say Iwon more than he did but he would probably tell you the opposite.
Who was the best player that you battled at the NCAA 2 level, pros in Canada or play grounds that is in the NBA now or in Europe?
There were a couple guys in Canada that were really good players. Garret Williamson of the London Lightning is a guy who I thought was a very tough to stop from impacting games. Carl English was also incredibly hard to stop when he got going. Not many players make it to the NBA out of the league that I played against but one of the toughest guys I ever played against was a Terrence Drisdom. He played in the D-League for a few years and I think is out in Japan now.
You studied Japanese for 10 years. Is playing in Japan a goal of yours down the road and what fascinated you so much about this language?
Most definitely. Japanese was a language I started learning from a very young age and Japan is a place I have always wanted to go. I’ve always found Eastern languages and culture to be fascinating, just in how different they can be from their Western counterparts.
How did your 2018 summer work out plan look like? On what things will you be working on most so you will be fully prepared for your rookie season?
I was in the gym a lot this summer and spent plenty lifting weights and conditioning as well. I spent a lot of time this summer getting my jumper locked in so I would be shooting the ball well come the season.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
If I’m going with best overall players I would go with Jordan, Bird, Kobe, and Magic. Lebron doesn’t count for me because he is still playing. Those guys affected the game on and off the court in so many ways and left impacts long beyond their years playing.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
I have never been a big fan of this question. It is hard to compare players that played in different eras. I also haven’t watched that much of Jordan so I’m already biased. It also depends on what you consider better. If I am talking about winning and scoring I am taking Jordan easily. But if we are talking about an all-around player I would probably take Lebron.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
I think they are built differently but I get thecomparison based on the talent. The Celtics don’t have Klay Thompson and StephCurry type shooters. They have guys like Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown who aresuper talented but in a different way. A lot will depend on whether Kyriesticks around, but they certainly have a bright future ahead of them.
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’ll have a much better answer for you after watching them play more but from the little I have seen, either one has a case. It depends on what you want as a team. I’m a big Luka Doncic fan because I like his game and competitiveness, but Deandre Ayton is a straight beast.
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?
A lot. If his sole focus was on setting guys up he would probably lead the league in assists every year. However, that could be said for a lot of other guys too.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched Avengers: Infinity War and the Dark Knight Rises on the plane ride over to Germany. The latter is probably one of my favorite movies of all time.
Thanks Adam for the chat.