Erik Durham is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Springfield Missouri that completed his second professional season and first in Germany with the EN Baskets Schwelm averaging 15,3ppg, 4,6rpg and 2,9apg while shooting 45% from outside. Last season as a rookie he played with Levitec Huesca (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 12 games averaging 3.8ppg, 1.3rpg. He began his basketball career at Parkview high school and then played at Lamar St.CC (JUCO) from 2013-2015 playing a total of 62 games. He then played at Jacksonville St. (NCAA) from 2015-2017 playing a total of 56 games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 47.0%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com at the end of his season in Germany.
Erik thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Despite getting swept by the Bayer Giants Leverkusen, how proud are you of the extreme hard effort the team gave in the series?
My team really came out to play in the post season and it was fun giving the effort we did to go try to win games.
You guys came really close at the end and could of forced a third game had German Niklas Geske hit the last three. Do you feel like winning that second game could have made the big turnaround in the season?
It would have been nice to force another game but we fought hard and did all we could do as a team and I’m proud of how we played as a team.
The EN Baskets Schwelm really played the Bayer Giants Leverkusen tight in the series. When looking back at the series what do you think was key for them being able to advance?
They have played well all season and I tip my hat off to those guys on how the team has all bought in. Showing from the stats that everyone has a similar average the team is very selfless.
You played your first season with the EN Baskets Schwlem. How would you personally summarize the team season. Would it be fair to say that the team played it’s most successful and best basketball at the start of the season?
We had our ups and downs throughout the year. I think we showed that we were better than our ending rank for the postseason with our efforts in the playoffs against the 1 seed.
The team ended 2018 well with a three game winning streak, but then began 2019 slow with a four game losing streak. Why do you feel couldn’t the team keep it’s winning ways going into 2019?
As a team we struggled being consistent throughout the year so it wasn’t anything we hadn’t faced before. I like how we came together and got the job done on finishing strong to make it to postseason play.
What do you feel was the season highlight for you? Possibly winning the derby game against Iserlohn or against top farm team Bernau?
This season alone was a highlight for me. After the rookie year I had last year this year was a complete turn around. I appreciate Coach Falk on giving me the chance to show my talents.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with German Niklas Geske? After five years in the BBL, he took a radical step backwards and destroyed in the Pro B. What did you enjoy most about his play?
Nick showed me his toughness on the court by the end of the season. When the playoffs came we both had the same mind frame on wanting to go try our hardest to win some games in the post season. I enjoyed Nick not only as a player on the court but off the court he was a pretty cool guy.
Let’s talk about your game this season? After a tough rookie season in Canada and Spain you made amends in Germany. How happy were you with your personal season?
I am just blessed to be able to still play the game I love. This season I really got the chance to prove that I was a professional. I look forward to bettering my game and improve each year I get the chance to play.
You stated in our last interview that your shooting would make an impact on the team and it did. How content were you with your ability to shoot the ball this season?
I am really happy with my shooting averages this season though it would have been nice to hit that 50% from 3 milestone at the end of the season. That just gives me something to strive for next year.
You also stated once that ‘A lot of shots have been put up and many nights of shooting even when I’m not hitting has helped me become a better shooter. The efficiency has come from shooting until I literally can’t put up another shot. So much shooting makes putting up a three feel like second nature’. How do you feel did your shot progress in your second professional season?
I saw an improvement with my consistency this season. I plan on becoming more efficient each year I play as a professional. So it’s back to the gym and even more shots getting put up.
You stated in our last interview that you felt that defense is a hidden strength in your game. How do you feel did your play on the defensive end grow with the EN Baskets Schwelm?
I believe my defensive abilities were tested some throughout the season and it made me an even stronger defender. Getting better at the things I can on the court is my main goal in everything I do.
What was your favorite personal game this season? Possibly the 28 point game in the win over Wolfenbuettel or your 24 points and 10 rebound game in the win against Oldenburg?
Both of those games for me were big. I want to thank my teammates for those games as well. Can’t do that without them getting me the ball.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Germany playing Pro B or Pro A?
Right now the next step is to just get my mind right and enjoy some time with my family. Remain in the gym and just pray and stay focused.
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 could see that happening because even Dirk holds him very high and believes in him. Never know though I do hope for the best in his career.
Do you think that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady Can Win A Seventh Super Bowl and where would Tom Brady then stand with the greatest athletes of all-time?
I’m actually a TB fan so most definitely I believe that. As far as the GOAT I don’t like to get in those talks because they always vary and we will never know the true greatest. It’s all on opinions.
What was the last movie that you saw?
At the moment the fast the furious.
Thanks Erik for the chat.