Not Winning Much At St Leo Always Kept Junior Searcy(wiha Panthers) Hungry To Get Better And Better

Junior Searcy is a 23 year old 193cm guard that was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, but grew up in the States in Florida. He will begin his professional rookie season in Germany with the wiha Panthers. He played 6 NCAA games with N.Arizona (NCAA) and then played three seasons at Saint Leo (NCAA2) playing a total of 73 games. In his sophomore season he played 19 games averaging 7.6ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 25.8%, FT: 70.5%. In his junior season he played 30 games averaging 12.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 69.9%. In his senior year he played 24 games averaging 10.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 63.4%. He spoke to about basketball 

Junior thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I am currently in Tampa, Florida and the summer has been great! Currently just working at my job and working out on the court and the weight room every day.

Congrats on signing with the wiha Panthers in Germany. How did you experience your first transfer period? You signed very early. Did you have a good share of offers or was the Panthers the first deal that you had and jumped for it?
I had a few people contact my agent and me but I signed with the wiha Panthers because I felt like they were the best fit for me. I also believe that coach Alen will help me become the player I want to be. 

You were born in Ludwigsburg, Germany and have a German mother. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?
The culture in Germany is very different compared to here in Florida the people, the food, everything in general is very different. The one thing I do know is that the Germans do love their athletics especially when it comes to futbol and basketball. The basketball style overseas is played at a very different pace and the players have a very high IQ.

Did you live most of your life in the States? With a German passport, you could have a successful and long career in Germany. Do you know the language German and if not will you attempt to learn it this season?

Yes I have been in the States for a long time. When I first moved to the States I moved to North Carolina and then I made my way down to Florida. I don’t speak German well at all but I can understand it pretty well but I for sure want to learn throughout the season.

What were the main reasons for signing with the wiha Panthers? Head coach Alen Velcic is really high on your abilities?

Coach Alen believes I have a lot of potential to become a special player and has faith that I will be able to bring something to the table when I come to play for the team. I have a lot of trust in Coach Alen and trust played a major part in my decision.

Head coach Alen Velcic loves your athleticism and believes that you could be a real steal. Have you had a chip on your shoulders the last years playing NCAA 2 ball at St Leo’s?

Yes, I would say I have a chip on my shoulder but I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. When I say I play with a chip on my shoulder I say that because I feel like I have so much to prove to everyone, and a lot I have to prove to myself as well.

Let’s talk about your game. If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would fit the description best?

I believe Paul George would be the best description of the way I play.

Your athleticism is amazing and you’re a very prolific dunker. Have you had any dunk role models over the years and what has been your favorite dunk that you have had at St Leo?

My role model when it came dunks and basketball in general has always been Vince Carter. I have two dunks that have always really stood out while I playing for Saint Leo, one of them was me dunking on my teammate Pape during a Green/White scrimmage and the other was an alley oop pass I caught from Kyran during our game against Florida Southern University.

You have improved your three point shooting each season in the last three. You shot 38% last season. How have you seen the development of your shot and with what feelings are you going into your professional career concerning the potential of your shot?

I feel like I have always been able to shoot the ball pretty well but it was just a matter of me being willing to take the shots. I did not shoot a lot at the beginning of my career but as time went on I started to shoot the ball with more confidence like I used to like when I was in high school. When I did that, my numbers improved. I feel like I will shoot the ball well as long as I keep working on it and stay confident in my shot.

You’re a great offensive player, but let’s talk about your defensive qualities. Do you feel like you can be that impact player as a professional not only on the offensive end?

I feel like I will have an impact on the defensive end. I can block shots and I can jump passing lanes to get out and run in the open court. I like to play both ends of the floor so the same effort I play with on offense you will see on defense.

One of your favorite athletes is Jamal Crawford. How did his game influence your game in helping you become the player that you are today?

He helped me understand to play freely and just enjoy playing the game that you love.

You’re a guy that can do many things on the court, but what do you feel is a hidden strength that doesn’t always get noticed right away on the court?

I love to get my teammates involved but sometimes my passing capabilities aren’t noticed. 

On what things will you be working on most this summer on your game so you will come to Germany best prepared to begin your rookie season?

I will be working on my ball handling and shooting off the dribble to help me get ready to play my rookie season in Germany.

You began your college career at N Arizona, but that lasted only 6 games. What kind of experience was that for you and what positives could you get out of that year?

It was a good experience because I learned a lot for the little time I was there and the positives I got out of it was seeing and playing against some of the best players in the country so that really showed me what I needed to work on to take my game to the next level.

You lost 91-52 to top school Gonzaga as a freshman. What memories do you have of that game playing 7 minutes and scoring 2 points. How much better are you now as a player than when you were playing them then? 

I remember being on the floor and Gonzaga had the biggest lineup I have every played against. I feel like it’s a big difference. My confidence is much higher and my IQ is higher as well so I have been able to better my games a lot throughout the years.

You played against some future NBA players against Gonzaga. When you look back, which player impressed you the most then?

Domantas Sabonis impressed me big time because he scored about 38 points on us and didn’t take very many shots at all and was just so efficient when we played them.

You then moved to St Leo’s. Talk a little about your career there. You didn’t win much, but how do you feel were you able to develop further there as a player?

Since we didn’t win as much as I would have liked to it always kept me hungry and made me want to get better and better. I never lost hope and just played hard every game and tried to give us the best chance to win. It made me always work on my game.

You had some great games against Le Moyne scoring 26 points and had 25 points against Florida Tech. Was one of these your most memorable games or did you have another?

Even though those were some good games I had, it was not the most memorable. The most memorable was our game against Florida southern 3 years ago and we were down by 5 with about 15 seconds left and then Marcus Dewberry came up big time and won us the game in those last few seconds.

How did head coach Vince Alexander groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He really helped me take my work ethic to another level and always reminded me even when things get tough to love the process.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Kyran Mcclure?

Kyran and I would go at it every practice and we went toe to toe he would win and I would win so it went back and forth all year its really hard to say. I think I won more at the end of the day though.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in your life that is in the NBA no?

Dwayne Bacon was a scoring machine so he was the toughest player I ever had to face

Please name your personal NBA Rushmore. Please pick 4 NBA heads that you feel make the perfect NBA Rushmore.

Kevin Durant, Shaq, Kobe, and MJ

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Lebron or Jordan?

I feel like Jordan is the best player in the world and I’m honestly putting Kevin Durant ahead of Lebron so this really has never been a debate to me.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Avengers End Game!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Junior for the chat.

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