Michael Gilmore is a 24 year old 208cm power forward/center from Jacksonville, Florida that is playing his rookie season in Germany with Phoenix Hagen. He began his basketball career with Arlington Country Day School and also played with Each 1 Teach 1 (AAU). He got experience at two NCAA schools playing three years and 88 games with Virginia Commonwealth. He also played a year with FGCU (NCAA) playing 23 games averaging 6.7ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 65.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Michael thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Currently in Hagen, Germany
It is a fact that you are the nephew of NBA great center Artis Gilmore. You probably won’t get as many questions about him as in the States, but how frequent have you had to answer question about your famous uncle in your life?
I answer questions about him when asked
You have had quite a whirlwind of a basketball career as you were technically at three schools, declared for the NBA draft in 2018 and then played a fifth year in the NCAA. How do you feel have you grown best as an individual in the last years experiencing so much and not your normal college career?
I think that my last year helped me more than anything.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Phoenix Hagen. What were the main reasons for signing your first professional contract with this club?
It seemed like a great opportunity to be able to start my career!
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends or former teammates or opponents play here?
I don’t know much about it so this is a pretty new experience for me, honestly.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 208cm forward/center that can do a variety of things on the court well. If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I’m not sure really the guys I admire are elite level NBA players and not very comparable but I like taking parts of each of their games.
Talk a little about your strengths at both ends of the court. What kind of Michael Gilmore will fans see on the court this season?
Competitive edge and passion for playing.
You never averaged more than 6,7ppg in the NCAA. How hungry are you to break out in the German Pro A and do you feel like you could be an impact player as a rookie?
I want to be able to show as much as I can as well as I can here!
Head coach Chris Harris likes your speed in combination with your length. Do you feel that you will be able to continue to be a match up problem at the professional level and still be successful?
I think I will be able to use the abilities I have successfully
You’re a versatile player, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that is still somewhat off the radar for people watching you battle on the court?
Being able to play the right way.
On what things have you been working on this summer so when you start your rookie season that you will be best prepared to shine on the court?
Ball handling and post play
You began your NCAA career at Virginia Commonwealth University (NCAA) in 2014. Your minutes rose from 6 as a freshman to 11 as a sophomore. Still your minutes were limited. How tough were these two years and what do you believe was the most positive you got out of the situation?
VCU has always been a place I feel I have been able to succeed in.
You then played a season at FGCU (NCAA) playing 23 games averaging 6.7ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 65.6%. It was your best statistical season in the NCAA. What did you learn about yourself during this season that helped you attain success?
Playing any where you have to be able to know the game and find your spots
I can imagine your favorite opponent of all-time in the NCAA was N Florida which you beat three times with FGCU having superb games of 14/11, 14/12 and 16 points. What made it easier playing against this school than others?
I am from the city this school is located and have a relationship with the coach so I would say comfortability
How important was head coach Joe Dooley in this one season. How did he help you mature better on the court?
Extremely, he gave me opportunities that I needed and I am forever grateful for him and his efforts in my favor
You came back for a fifth year and returned to Virginia Commonwealth University (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 2.8ppg, 2.4rpg. How tough was it coming back and playing 6 minutes again? Despite that how had your game grown in the two years that you were gone?
The opportunity to return to VCU helped me in a number of ways and it was extremely important to my development.
You played in 4 NCAA tournaments. Which one was your favorite and most fondest?
My freshman year against former travel ball teammate D’Angelo Russell
How did head coach Mike Rhoades groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He was super important and gave me tons of knowledge and lessons on becoming a professional
Who was the toughest opponent that you played in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe now
Treveon Graham who is with Minnesota Timberwolves
Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
I can’t list only 5
Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?
Shaq, Lebron, Kobe, MJ
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Thanks Michael for the chat