Kendal Williams is a 26 year old 183cm point guard from Dover, Delaware that is playing his first professional season in Germany with BG Aschersleben Tigers (Germany-Regionalliga). Currently the team has a 6-9 record and he is averaging 15,3ppg, 5,6rpg and 5,0apg. He scored 30 points against Rendsburg and 29 points against Neustadt TSV. He sampled previous professional experience with Mgzavrebi-Armia Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) in 2015-2016 playing 15 games averaging 6.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 66.7% and played with the Baltimore Shuckers (CBA). He began his basketball career with Dover High School and played two years with Baltimore Co. CC (NJCAA). He made the jump to Delaware State (NCAA) in 2013 and played 30 games averaging 8.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 71.1%. In his senior year at Delaware State (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 39.0%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball during the summer.
Kendal thanks for talking to germanhoops.com After playing your rookie season in Georgia, it has been a rough last two seasons. You played briefly in the CBA, but other than that nowhere. Why was it so difficult finding a team the last few years?
Honestly just waiting on the right situation for me to be successful for my career. I had a few countries in between the 2 year window I was supposed to go play in but things didn’t work out in my favor unfortunately
Do you have a chip on your shoulder at the moment and has it become heavier over the two year period?
Yes I have a big chip on my shoulder. My rookie season wasn’t good enough for me personally. I’m hungry and my game has definitely improved. Most of all ready for a new start.
What have you been doing the last two years. You come from Delaware so I suspect playing for the Baltimore Shuckers (CBA)) was convenient. Keeping the basketball dream must have been easy, but how difficult was having to accept the reality of life?
The last two years I have been working in the school system as a substitute teacher and coaching basketball at my high school. Just being a positive role model for the kids in the community. Sometimes life takes you through different trials and tribulations. I just take it as getting a head start on life after basketball is done.
For Europeans it is tough to imagine what kind of experience it is playing in the lower minor leagues. What kind of experience was the CBA and could you get anything positive out of it other than seeing every player playing for their stats?
Decent experience I wasn’t playing overseas during that season, so my plans was to stay in game shape and get some updated film at least. It was basically like playing in open gym with referees.
You got some luck signing with German Regionalliga team BG ASchersleben. How did this come about and what were the main reasons for taking the job?
I’m blessed for this opportunity to do what I love again. New start, new organization. I met the assistant coach Chris Pagentine last summer. We kept in touch throughout the year. He thought it was a great idea for me to attend his camp and get seen by some GM’s and scouts at his elite pro camp. I was named MVP of the camp this summer. Chris hit me up afterwards and said the Gm and head coach was interested in me. That’s really how this job came about. Germany has a big job market and this will be a chance to move up as well.
You have a golden chance now to really get going in your professional career. Your playing in a league that is dominated by American guards. How excited are you to show Germany what you have on the floor?
Really excited to get back playing. Working hard right now in Pre Season. Really preparing myself for the season opener September 15th to show what I can really do.
Your playing for a very ambitious team that is always very competitive. They finished third in the last four years. You could be the difference this season between third and first. What will be your biggest goals this season besides winning on the court?
One of my biggest goals this season is to improve game by game staying consistent. No let downs this season continue to grow as a person on and off the court as well.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 6,0 PG that can do it all. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best match the description? Possibly a Aaron Brooks or Kyle Lowry?
If I had to compare myself to a NBA player I would say a younger Stephon Marbury when he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
You’re a very quick point guard that knows how to score in a variety of ways and loves to run the break. How do you feel has your game progressed since college even with your limited professional experience?
I feel my game has definitely made a lot of progress with my change of pace, speed, being affective on both ends of the floor, shooting the 3 point shot and pick & roll.
You have perfected the floater and pull up jumper on the fast break. What are some things you would like to better develop this season as you venture into your third full professional season?
Some things I would like to develop this year shooting a high field goal, 3 point, and free throw percentages. Just do better picking my spots on the floor.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet at ease, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away on the court?
My hidden strength is my outside shot. I don’t think people think I can knock it down and also my IQ.
You played your rookie season with Mgzavrebi-Armia Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) playing 15 games averaging 6.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 66.7%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away form home?
My wake up call would most likely been realizing how I couldn’t drive or catch a bus home. You had to actually catch a few flights to get back.
How tough was your rookie season and having heavy guard competition form americans Michael Terry Jr and Kaheem Ransom? How do you feel did you profit from the competition?
It was very competitive in practice we enjoyed it. Only way to get better was to push each other in practice every day like we did. I felt it made me better mentally and physically
You began your basketball career at Baltimore Co. CC (NJCAA). What memories do you have of these two years and How big was your drive for reaching the NCAA?
Yes I played at Baltimore city community college (D1 Juco). Coach Terry pushed me to the limit in the classroom and on the court. I appreciate him for doing that. He made sure our schedule was very tough playing against the top junior college programs on the east coast. Some memories I have was my sophomore year leading the team in scoring and assists. Also the year before going to the national tournament but I had redshirt because of academic issues my freshmen year. My drive for playing NCAA Div 1 was my goal since day 1. I just wanted to challenge myself and play against the best.
You then played at Delaware from 2013-2015. Was reaching the MEAC Tournament final your sweetest memory?
My 2 years at DSU went by fast but I enjoyed every moment. My senior year unfortunately I had a season ending ankle injury 1st round of the MEAC tournament. Being the floor general for my team we missed that. Our goal was to win the tournament but we lost to Hampton University who we beat twice in the regular season.
You had many good games at Delaware State and looking back at your junior year some that stuck out were against Cairn, Howard and St Francis, but the latter two were tough loses. What do you feel was your best game?
I had a few great games my junior year playing Howard at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and also playing against Oklahoma State.
You were teammates with big man Kendall Gray who had a 11 and 11 senior season and had an amazing game of 33 points and 30 boards. Have you been a little surprised that his professional career hasn’t taken off the way most thought it would?
Kendall Gray is one of the best bigs I ever played with. Great person on and off the court. He had a few injuries early in his pro career. But now entering his 2nd season playing in the G- league with the Long Island Nets.
Have you and Kendall Gray kept a close bond the last years? You both played together in high school and at Delaware State. Have you been able to keep each other positive with your separate basketball journeys?
Yes we are always in contact, train together when we are both in Delaware as well. When I moved to Delaware from Atlanta my freshmen year of high school our schools where rivals. So we go back since then. We both been giving each other motivated with positive words throughout our journeys. He always reminded me stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
How did head coaches Gregory Jackson and Keith Walker groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Delaware State?
Coach Jackson was more slow down offense run the shot clock down and get a great percentage shot and coach Walker was more up and down running the break type of offense. Both coaches prepared me for the next level, just the slow down game and up tempo style of play.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Deandre Haywood?
Good one right here but I would say me off course. But Dre was definitely a tough player to guard.
You played against so many great players at the NCAA level, but which player was your toughest opponent that is in the NBA now?
I would have to say Marcus Smart at Oklahoma State during my junior year.
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?
Work out plan consisted of running on the track, weight room, working on my craft, and also taking good care of my body eating healthy etc
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
MJ, A.I. LeBron, and Kobe. I would mix the old and new
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
My personal opinion is Jordan is the greatest of all time not up for debate!!
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
As long as the Golden State Warriors stay together with the team they have I don’t see nobody beating them in the finals for the next couple of years. Boston won’t match up with them sorry.
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 believe Ayton was the best pick for the Suns. They have a young group and they are trying to build around Devin Booker
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 feel LBJ would average about 15 assists per game if he only was point guard. His IQ is different from everyone else on the floor.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was He Got Game.
Thanks Kendal for the chat.