Seth Hinrichs is a 25 year old 203cm guard from Clara City, Minnesota that is playing his second season with Rasta Vechta currently 13,6ppg, 4,5rpg and 2,4apg. Last season he helped the team move to the easyCredit BBL form the Pro A averaging 13.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 61.0%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 83.6%. Two seasons ago he played with the Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 11.6ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 72.4%. As a rookie he played for FC Porto (Portugal-LPB) playing 20 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%. He played at Lafayette (NCAA) from 2011-2015 graduating from Lafayette as the all-time leader in 3PG % in Patriot League history. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about the incredible season in the BBL.
Seth thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how good is basketball life for you at the moment?
I’m in Vechta and basketball life is good. It’s been a fun year so far.
If someone had told you in September of 2018 that Vechta would be in third place at the end of January 2019 what would you have thought?
I had high hopes for this season but I think there’s still a lot of games left to be played and we need to keep improving. It’s more important where we’re at in May.
Congrats on the great season your having. Does it feel like a real Cinderella story or do you feel like as competitors you would be selling yourself short knowing the potential the team had.
We knew we had potential. We were bringing back a good core from last year and added good pieces as well. We needed a few games to get our confidence as a group but I think Pedro has done a good job in bringing us along the right way.
The club began slowly losing it’s first three games, but since then have rattled off 13 wins in 14 games. Was a reason for the turn around just the normal blab la of the team having to find each other in the early going or were the reasons for the turnaround a lot deeper?
I think we had good chemistry from the start. I would say the biggest reason for the turnaround was confidence. We just needed that first win to generate some momentum.
You have found ways of wining in so many ways if it was through defensive battles, scoring shootouts or close wins which occurred three times. Half way through the season what do you feel is the teams biggest strength?
I think our biggest strengths would be our selflessness and our defense. We pass and share the ball well on offense and play an aggressive style of defense.
You have celebrated some memorable wins in your career, but please explain where the victory against Alba Berlin ranks? How special was this day for the team?
It was a good win for us and gave us confidence to beat a talented team like that. But at the same time we also know that they had some injuries and were not at full strength.
Years ago winning in Bamberg would have been unheard of, but even now it’s no easy task. What did it feel like winning in Freak City? How big was this win for the team?
This was another good win for us on the road. There’s also a lot of history and success with that club but I think they were having some internal struggles because they fired their coach after the loss.
How huge in general was the win against Alba Berlin for the team mentality and self confidence? Do you feel like that win proved to the team that it can beat anyone?
As I said earlier that win added to our confidence. Every game in the BBL is tough and we caught Berlin at the right time.
You have played against many talented kids and have seen Philipp Herkenhof and Luc Van Slooten develop, but just how raw is Franz Wagner at age 17? He didn’t do much against Vechta, but he has had some other really good games and even started games. Is this guy NBA material like his brother Moritz?
I think he has a bright future ahead of him and a high ceiling. I also think the youth development in Germany is really good and there are a lot of talented young players. There have been more and more Germans signed or drafted by NBA teams so I think that speaks to the level of talent in this country.
Vechta averages 83 points per game and allows only 77 points per game which is third best. What has been the secret to the success on the defensive end?
I think our aggressive style of play. We try to pick up full court and make teams uncomfortable. Max DiLeo sets the tone for us every game in that regard. There’s a reason they call him the Verteidigungs minister.
How vital has head coach coach of the year candidate Pedro Calles been? How has he developed this season as a BBL head coach?
I don’t think anyone who knows Pedro is surprised that he has been successful thus far. He has been the reason for all of it. His coaching philosophy and principles are what make this team go. Pedro is passionate about basketball and wants the best for each one of us. He makes the game fun and challenges us to improve every day. It’s easy to play for a coach like that.
There are no real super stars on the team. How key has the fact been that everybody has played for each other and that whole ego thing has been put aside?
I think that has been a huge key and has actually won us a few close games. Everyone is willing to work hard for their teammate and that’s a testament to Pedro and the type of high character guys he brought in.
Let’s talk about your teammates. TJ Bray brought experience and a special fire that really capitulated his game to another level. He was always a solid professional player, but he really made the next step with Vechta. What do you believe has been the biggest reason for his success?
I think one of the biggest reasons TJ has been successful is that he’s been given an opportunity to showcase his skill set. TJ is an incredibly smart player and is able to take full advantage of that in Pedro’s system. It’s been a great fit and TJ does a great job of setting everybody up and distributing. He really sees the floor well and makes life easier for everyone out there. It’s fun playing alongside him.
Even if there no super stars, American Austin Hollins has been that type of go to guy that has carried the team in his own way. How important has his leadership qualities been and does he ever tell some NBA stories about his dad Lionel?
Austin’s brought a lot of leadership in the way he approaches the game. Every day in practice he brings his best and that’s helped elevate everyone else’s game. When he steps on the court he’s always focused and leads by example. And he’s been clutch for us in a lot of key moments, whether it’s hitting big shots or making big plays on defense. It’s fun playing alongside him as well.
How important was the pick up of Max DiLeo for the Vechta defense? How has he made an impact on the defensive end most that has helped the team most?
It’s been huge for us. Max sets the tone and is the heart of the team. He’s always picking up full court, diving on the floor for loose balls, and making all of the hustle plays. Max does all the dirty work that no one wants to do and is so selfless about it. He’s a guy who you hate to play against but you love to play with.
Let’s talk about your game. Your averaging 13,6ppg, 4,5rpg and 2,4 apg and shooting 32% from outside. How happy have you been with your play this season?
I think there’s room for improvement but as long as we’re continuing to win games I’m happy with that. I want to continue to grow as a player and I think I’ve been able to do that as the year has gone on.
Is your role any different from last season? I would imagine you are one of the team leaders this season together with experienced Austin Hollins?
I think my role has stayed similar to what it was last year. Our captain and leader is definitely Josh Young but we also have a lot of leaders in different areas. We have a good group of high character guys.
You have needed so adjustment period to getting a feel for the BBL. What has been the biggest adjustment coming from the Pro A and what is the biggest challenge for you playing in the BBL?
I think the physicality and speed increase at each level. That’s probably been my biggest adjustment and challenge so far.
Your shooting at 32% from outside which is a bit down from the other seasons, but you are playing at a higher level. What do you work on on a daily basis in practice to help you be successful against the more skilled and athletic players in the BBL?
I work on my shooting after practice a lot with Robin Christen. We get a lot of shots up and I think that will pay off as the season continues. I also try and focus on improving my lateral quickness to be able to guard in the BBL.
An important part of your game is filling the stat sheet and just being efficient. Your efficiency is a bit down form your seasons in the Pro A, but your still efficient. How difficult is it continuing to be efficient while playing at a higher level?
It’s definitely tougher because they players and defenses are better. But I think as I continue to gain experience I will grow and mature as a player. My goal is to still be efficient and versatile.
In our last interview you stated I think playing alongside so many other talented players and being able to pick their brains and take things from the way they play the game has helped. I study our game film and watch a lot of European basketball at the higher levels as well. I think watching film and learning from my peers has been instrumental in my growth’. You continue to be very versatile even at the BBL level. How has your game continued to grow this season?
Playing under a coach like Pedro has helped me improve how I see the game, what reads to make and what type of pace to play. He’s really helped prep myself and my teammates on how to read defenses and where to be in position on offense. He’s also done a great job over the last year and a half of showing me things I can add to my game to take my game to another level. Pedro is a great developer and teacher of the game.
It’s still so early, but when all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA?
I think so because of his size and skill set. I’m excited to watch him and Porzingis together.
What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?
I thought it was a little premature because his career isn’t over yet but he definitely has good reason to think so.
Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?
I think it’s hard to compare across different sports but I would say they are both among the best athletes to ever play their respective sports.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Seth for the chat.