Brandon Mcelvy is an American professional basketball player from Houston that recently took part at the Howard Hoops Tour in Germany. He played at Blue Ridge, Nolan Catholic High School, Fort Worth, Christian School and Impact Prep Academy in his young years. He then got further experience with Oklahoma State, Iowa Central Community College and the University of Houston. He has professional experience having played in the ABA with the Houston Red Storm. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Brandon thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Currently in Dallas and have been for the last days. I mainly stay in Houston but my parents stay in Dallas where I grew up after moving from Houston. Summer has been great. Finished my internship with the Houston Rockets and have been working on my game all summer.
You have some pretty good experience having played at some college and semi-pro ball. Why do you feel have had difficulty not being able to land a job overseas?
This is my first time actually trying to find an overseas job. I wanted to finish my college basketball career and get my degree in which I just graduated in May. I played semi-pro while I was still a full-time student this past year along with being an intern for the Rockets. So I was busy. I look forward to my first opportunity.
You played at three high schools and had a post grad year at Impact Prep Academy. How vital do you feel was having so much diverse experience as a young player?
I’ve bounced around a lot in my life and all of my experiences were God given. Wouldn’t take back any of it. Experiencing different places and different types of people have been key in my development on and off the court. I learned a lot every where I went.
Talk about your college experience that you had at Oklahoma State and Iowa Central Community College. What was the most positive things that you could get form these experiences?
Oklahoma State was a hard year but that was where I really got to see what Division 1 basketball was like even though I didn’t play. The atmosphere was amazing and unforgettable. I didn’t want to leave but ultimately did for Iowa Central. Iowa Central was a hard year as well. I got cut because I wasn’t a good fit according to the coach but it was a huge catalyst to me continuing to work hard and walk on at the University of Houston 9 months after being cut at Iowa Central.
How disappointing was it not being able to play at the University of Houston? Do you feel like if you would have had a shot there, that you might be elsewhere now in your basketball career?
The situation at the University of Houston is a complicated one and could’ve gone a lot differently. None of it was my fault. There was a miscommunication with the NCAA and athletic conference that Houston is in regarding a school I went to in high school that had saved my life. It’ll always be a huge ‘what if’. I think I’d be much farther in some ways but not as developed in others. Everything happens for a reason but I without a doubt thought I had a great chance to compete within the next two years after I first got there. Just unfortunate but God had other plans and I’m okay with that.
You have professional experience with the Houston Red Storm. What kind of experience was this and can a player significantly improve their game in semi-pro ball? I have heard stories about guys not always having the best experiences.
For me, playing professionally was just a huge blessing. There were many people who knew I could play but I hadn’t had any film since high school so this gave me what I needed which led to this tour and other possible opportunities. I definitely got better as the season went on. I hadn’t played a real game in two years before that. My last game was at Iowa Central so getting that game action was important. Anybody can improve. It’s putting in the work and letting it show up in games and that’s what I did for the most part.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a pass first point guard and many compare you to Chris Paul. What other point guards do you try to take things from to improve your game?
Chris Paul has been my favorite point guard forever but I take something from everybody whether it’s Kyrie’s handles and finishing ability or Kemba Walker’s shiftiness. I’ve studied old school point guards like Magic and even Isiah Thomas. Always been a student of the game and especially great point guards.
Your not the best three pointer. Is your trey something that you continue to work on? Has there been any thing special you have done out of the ordinary to improve the shot besides the obvious of more reps and shot selection?
My main thing with shooting is keeping my mechanics sharp and keeping my confidence high. I’m a rhythm shooter so once I start feeling it or get hot, the other team is in trouble. It’s more about consistency from a mental aspect. Not the skill itself.
You’re a very pesky defender. Does your defense at times spark your offense when it isn’t flowing well?
My defense will definitely spark offense. I’ve always been a guy to get a few steals a game or disrupt passing lanes. Even just disrupting the offense. I just make sure you’re almost never comfortable.
Your like a second coach on the court which is always important as a point guard. What is a good example of how well your court awareness is on the court?
Court awareness is being aware of everything from the other teams plays, whose hot, what the coach wants, and overall communication, etc. I talk a lot so I’m always trying to keep everybody on the same page.
You are taking part at the 2019 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. How excited are you to be able to be in Europe? With what kind of expectations are you going to Germany with?
Being in Europe for the first time will be a crazy experience. I’ve always wanted to play basketball in other places even while dreaming about the NBA so making my pro basketball dream come true here is nothing short of a blessing. The only expectation I come with for myself is playing hard and be myself. Can’t let a new environment change who I am. I’m only looking to grow.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? What are you looking forward to most with this experience?
I know the obvious history about Germany and the World War’s. My dad is real big on that stuff that’s most of my knowledge about Germany but in terms of basketball, I grew up in Dallas so I know Dirk. I met Dirk face to face as an intern for the Rockets when the Dallas Mavericks were in Houston. Had a cool moment with him so he definitely comes to mind. I’m just looking forward to experiencing a new culture and making my dreams come true.
How thankful are you of getting this experience from tour CEO Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.). How did the whole contact come about and what do you believed impressed him most from your game to invite you?
The fact that Ron is a former player is huge so I’m thankful that it is someone who knows their way around Europe and the overseas landscape. I believe my overall game impressed him and the fact that I play hard as you can tell in my highlight tape. He said I just need to showcase what I can do. I got connected to him through a mutual friend who is also from Dallas and has seen me put in work.
Ronald Howard has an amazing track record of helping guys like yourself land on his touring team. How confident are you that through his guidance you would be able to find a team?
I’m very confident. I believe if I just show up and show out to the best of my ability, he’ll get me where I need to be. There’s a heavy confidence in both sides I believe and I love it.
Ronald Howard is an amazing around the clock basketball junkie. What has impressed you most about his presence and just how much influence does he have in being able to get the best out of a player?
I haven’t been around him too much but I know he knows the game so I he’ll put us in the best position
Is your basketball dream big enough to earn somewhere between 300-500 euro to start?. That is a tough lifestyle and some guys can’t cope with it while others can. Are you aware how tough it will be once you get a shot?
I was the told lowest we’d probably get is 500 but whatever it is, I’ll more than likely take it. It’ll be tough but I want a good start to my career. The pay would only make me work harder.
Please explain in a few sentences as to why you could help any team despite the kind of resume that you have?
I’m a leader on and off the court. I’m going to give you everything I have and then some. I bring a wealth of experience from the highest level of basketball in the world, the NBA. That counts for something.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads old or present would you pick?
NBA Mount Rushmore: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron, Magic. Those are my top 4 players all time in that order for many reasons. It’s hard leaving someone like Bill Russell out but his era isn’t that well respected despite him being a pioneer
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
It’s not never ending to me. It’s not even close as far as Michael Jordan being the greatest of all time. I don’t even consider Lebron 2nd and I couldn’t make an argument is that he’s not even top 3 but I have him at top 3. The fact that Kobe gets left out of the conversation is ludicrous. I don’t care who calls me crazy or what not but the stuff this man used to do in arguably the hardest defensive era of any decade was nuts. He was dropping 40+ on zone defenses. Do you know how hard that is? LOL he had everything skill in the toolbox.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Avengers End Game for the 2nd time
Thanks Brandon for the chat.