Waverly Austin Got Out Of His Comfort Zone The Last Two Years Playing In Different Leagues And Is Ready For A Return to the BBL

 is a 28 year old 211cm center from Fredricksburg, Virginia that also ahs the German citizenship. He played two years at Palm Beach CC (JUCO) and then finished at Oregon (NCAA) where he played a total of 66 games and helped the team reach the Sweet 16 in 2014. He turned professional in 2014 and played his first three pro seasons in Germany for the MLP Academics and the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Two seasons ago he played in the Czech Republic and France. Last season he split time with Dzukija Alytus (Lithuania-LKL) playing 12 games averaging 7.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, 2FGP: 50.7%, FT: 46.7%, in Dec.’18 moved to Chemidor Tehran (Iran-Superleague) playing 4 games averaging 9.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.9%, FT: 50.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Waverly thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been so far? 

Hey summer has been good working out and spending time with family. 

You have been away from playing in Germany for two years having gathered further experience in the Czech Republic, France, Lithuania and Iran. Has time flown by in this time and have you missed the German culture and easyCredit BBL?

Yea playing in Germany was a good experience especially because I have family who still lives in the Frankfurt area it’s always good to be close to family.

I can imagine that you would love to return to Germany to the BBL should the right situation arise. You played a very solid second season with Bremerhaven and then left. Did you feel then it was time for a change to get more experience and improve your game so you could return back to the BBL possibly now?

Yes I would consider coming back to the BBL if it was the right situation definitely and I wanted to see something different. 

Let’s talk about last season. For the second season in a row you split time with two teams. Sometimes the constant switching of teams gives future teams the idea that the player was a problem while other teams think that that player is a desired player because he can always get jobs. How challenging were the last two seasons in terms of so much moving around and always getting adjusted to a new situation? 

It wasn’t difficult at all. I can adjust to any situation. Also I didn’t have any problems with my first team this year. It was good experience playing in the LKL against teams like Zalgris but I had a lucrative offer in Iran so that was also a good experience. 

You began last season with Dzukija Alytus (Lithuania-LKL) playing 12 games averaging 7.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, 2FGP: 50.7%, FT: 46.7%. What kind of experience was it playing there and what example can you give where you clearly noticed just how popular basketball is in that country?

Basketball is very serious in Lithuania a lot of tough practices a lot of film really good fans it was a short but also good opportunity.

You had a very strong game against top Euroleague team Zalgiris netting 13 points and getting 5 rebounds and against ex NBA players like Brandon Davies, Nate Wolters and top French player Leo Westermann. How vital are performances like this against top competition for your confidence on days where nothing is going right?

I always have confidence so it wasn’t overly happy because that’s why you play basketball is to compete and for me stats don’t matter. It’s about getting the win and doing anything the coach wants and expects from you.

You then had a very short stay with Chemidor Tehran (Iran-Superleague) playing 4WABA games averaging 9.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.9%, FT: 50.0%. Could you pick up anything from the culture and how was it for a Westerner like you to live in Iran?

I actually played the whole season in Iran. The waba tourment was a fiba tournament for the top west Asian teams and we won the championship so that was good. 

You had one crazy lopsided win in Iran 123-49. With all the basketball you have seen in your life, is this a game that you will remember forever? Do you ever remember winning by so many points in your career? 

Yea that was blowout sometimes that’s how it goes.

You finished the 2017-2018 season with Hermine Nantes Atlantique (France-ProB) playing 22 games averaging10.4ppg, Reb-3 (7.7rpg), Blocks-3 (1.2bpg), FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.0%. You finished the season strong in France. What kind of experience was it playing here and what was your season highlight? Possibly your 30 point explosion against Quimper?

France was really nice. Nantes was a beautiful city and very professional club. I enjoyed my time there. That was a good game for me most importantly we won.

You played three seasons in Germany from 2014-2017 in Heidelberg and Bremerhaven. You had a super first season in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) playing 33 games averaging 11.1ppg, 6.1rpg, Blocks-1 (1.9bpg), FGP: 46.9%, FT: 63.6%. What memories do you have of that season and how enjoyable was it playing and living in Heidelberg? 

My first year was good. I loved living in that very beautiful city and I was close to my family so they were able to visit me a lot.

How do you remember head coach Frenky Ignjatovic? He led the team last season into the semi-finals and continues to do good work there. How did he help your game in your rookie season in Germany?

Yes he is a very good players coach lets you play your game. He has confidence in his players which is why they are having a good season. 

You were teammates in Bremerhaven with ex NBA player Tyus Thomas who also didn’t meet the expectations. What interesting story can you tell about him where one could see that he once played in the NBA?

Unfortunately Tyrus was hurt so it was tough for him to get back to his regular self but that’s my guy I learned a lot from him on and off the court. 

In your second season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) you played 32 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 49.0%, FT: 59.6%. How important was head coach Sebastain Machowski. Did he bring back joy to playing basketball again? 

Yes and no because you can’t let someone bring joy to basketball. You have self motivation but I like him as a coach. He was also a players coach because he was a player himself and had really good plays. 

You had good games in the last two seasons. How do you feel has your game developed in the last two years and how are you a better player now from your last game in Germany with Bremerhaven?

Just from experience. I got outside my comfort zone and played in different leagues so I’m comfortable in every league and can adjust to any situation.

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 211cm center that can do damage in the zone. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit that description? 

Tyson chandler 

On what things are you working on to keep getting better as a player? On what things are you working on most this summer so you will be best prepared for the next opportunity? 

Just staying in game shape and taking care of my body and eating better. 

What is the next step for you? Is a return to Germany very high on your wish list? 

As of right now I have no idea but I would go to the BBL if it was the right situation because it’s a good place to play and again and some of my family is there. 

Please name the best player that you battled against in the NCAA that made it to the NBA? 

That’s a tough one I have no idea.

Please list your five all-time best teammates in no particular order? 

Brandyn curry Quincy Diggs Brad Tinsely Kyle Fogg Jerry Smith.

If you had to chose 4 heads to fill the NBA Rushmore which four guys old or new would you pick? 

Lebron Shaq Kobe Tim Duncan.

Thanks Waverly for the chat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s