Jarvis Garrett is a 24 year old 182cm point guard from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that is playing his second professional season and first with Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) after starting the season with the Rethymno Cretan Kings (Greece-A1). Last season as a rookie he played with Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 21 games: Score-2 (18.0ppg), 4.4rpg, Assists-2 (6.0apg), Steals-3 (1.5spg), FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT-3 (84.8%). He began his basketball career at Notre Dame Prep School and then played at the University of Rhode Island (NCAA) from 2014-2018 amassing a total of 123 NCAA games. His best season was his sophomore campaign where he played 30 games averaging 12.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 69.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth
Jarvis thanks for talking germanhoops.com. Halloween has come and gone. You once played with a Hannibal Lector mask in the NCAA with Rhode Island. What was your favorite Halloween costumes as a kid that you wore?
I never really had a favorite, but I liked going as Batman.
Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time here? What do you know in general about the country and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends balling here besides Jarelle Reischel?
I have had friends that have played in Germany in the past like Carrington Love and Hassan Martin who played with medi Bayreuth last season. I don’t know much about the country Germany, but what I do know is that no matter who I talk to, I am always told it is a great place to play. The basketball fans in Germany are very loyal and supportive. Germany is a place where I would like to play in.
What memories do you have of Jarelle Reischel who played with you at Rhode Island? He went on to explode at Eastern Kentucky.
I have great memories of him. We talked a lot when we were at Rhode Island and we worked out together a lot and hung out as well. He is a very good player and friend of mine. I still talk to him today and check up on him. The best memory of him that I have was just the constant battles that we had in practice on a daily basis. We would always talk trash. It was very competitive between us.
You began the season with Rethymno Cretan Kings (Greece-A1). What kind of experience was that for you playing in a strong league?
I was on one of the best islands in Greece. It was an eye opening and great experience for me. It was a good start to seeing how the basketball works in Greece. I was able to play some games and get a feel of the league. It was a very physical league and the fans supported the teams well.
As a rookie you played for Omonia Nicosia a club that has no titles in the A-League and is only playing it’s second season in that league. Now you have joined Cytavision Apoel Nicosia a club rich in tradition and has 32 club titles. Has the new experience been like night and day going from a lesser known club to a famous one?
The goals are really the same everywhere. Your always playing to win a championship. We want to make the playoffs this season and win the league title. Important is to play hard every day.
An interesting fact is that Milwaukee native Lavelle Felton also played with Cytavision Apoel Nicosia back in the day. He was murdered in 2009 in Milwaukee. Since your from Milwaukee had you known about this sad tragedy?
I have heard about this. It was back in the news recently But when it happened I was very young.
Cytavision Apoel Nicosia hasn’t won the league title since 2014. The club has a strong roster. How big are the expectations to get the job done this season?
The expectations are very big. We know that we have a chance to win the title. We have to continue to get better each day and continue to gain more chemistry as the season goes on. I feel that by the end of the season, that we will be in the right position to do that.
How much easier has the whole new integration been for you with 4 other Americans on board? How vital has 36 year Michael Cuffee been in the early going for you?
It has been great being teammates with Mike. We always talk on and off the court. I try to pick his brain as much as possible. He has taken me under his wing and I try to soak in as much information as possible. He is teaching me to be a leader and to do the right things on and off the court and what the wrong things are.
How much fun ha sit been playing in the Fiba Europe cup where you averaging 17,0ppg and 7,0apg. How has this competition helped your game most that you haven’t been able to get in the league in Cyprus?
It has been a great experience playing in the Fiba Europe Cup. The competition has helped me most in that you always have to be ready to play. You play against many different teams and you have to always be able to adjust to what the defense gives you. I have to be ready what the defense gives me and then be able to put my teammates in the best positions to be successful.
Your favorite player is Chris Paul. Would you say that you try to model your game after him?
Chris Paul was actually my favorite player when I came out of high school. My two favorite players now are Kemba Walker and Damian Lillard. I try to watch both of them at least twice a day. I try to watch as much as possible how they are able to control the pace and read the defense. The way Walker is able to change the speed and pace is how I like to play.
You played at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg that had groomed many NBA players like Steven Adams, Will Blalock and Michael Beasley. Was there one player that once went there that really stood out to you? A player that you began to follow more after knowing that he played there?
That didn’t really matter to me. I knew of the players that played there before me. I watched them a little bit.
You have been a very solid three point shooter since playing at Rhode Island, but never reached the 40% clip. How do you describe the development of your shot now in your second professional season? Are you confident that you can become a 40% plus shooter from outside?
Yes I do. I work day in and ay out putting up a lot of shots. I practice the catch and shoot and shooting off the dribble. I watch a lot of film on myself to see if I’m getting off balance or how my foot work is. I feel that being able to be a good shooter is all about putting up repetitions and muscle memory.
What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away?
Playing defense, rebounding and help side.
Last season as a rookie you played with Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 21 games: Score-2 (18.0ppg), 4.4rpg, Assists-2 (6.0apg), Steals-3 (1.5spg), FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT-3 (84.8%). What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?
I never had a wake up call. I was always a person that didn’t mind being away from home. I went to prep school at age 17 and was away from home. I was used to it. Being in Europe now is just another journey in my life.
Last season as a rookie you helped beat AEL 88-84 with a 20 point, 7 rebounds and 12 assists game. Was that one of your most memorable games and do you feel like you could achieve that triple double sometime?
A big goal of mine is to achieve a triple double. I have never had one before. I feel that I’m getting close to achieving one.
You played at Rhode Island (NCAA) from 2014-2018. Was winning the Atlantic tournament in 2017 one of your biggest achievements there or was it reaching the NCAA tournament? What memories do you have of that weekend?
Winning the conference title was my biggest achievement there. I went through a lot of ups and downs that season. Winning the title despite what I was going through was special. I was sick and had a disease called Ulcerative Colidis. It deals with your stomach and colon. I still have the disease, but it isn’t as effective as before.
Talk a little about your NCAA career. You averaged 34 minutes as a sophomore, but every other season 22 minutes twice and once 25 minutes. How do you feel was your game able to develop there having had different roles and having to always adjust to new situations?
My first two years were pretty good, but my last two years weren’t that good because of the stomach illness. My last two years I had to play a different role. It wasn’t about me. I simply did whatever the team wanted me to do. I had to bring energy off the bench and I was ok with that.
Your last NCAA game was against Duke at the big dance where you lost 87-62. What memories do you have of that game? Did a guy like Marvin Bagley impress you the most?
Marvin Bagley was a very good player. It was good to see just how good he was in person. My memory of that game was that our shots weren’t falling like they normally would.
You were teammates with Kuran Iverson that is related to Allen Iverson and Marcus Camby. What was it like having a guy like him on the team and did he have family stories?
Kuran is a very good friend of mine. We are very close and still talk to this day. He would tell stories what it was like being around Allen Iverson. But there weren’t any real major stories.
How did head coach Danny Hurley groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Hurley showed me how to work as a pro. He didn’t prepare us how to be a college player, but already what it took to play at the next level. He helped us with our diet, meditating, reading books and just life things.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jared Terrell?
We had our battles. He won more than I did.
Players usually always take themselves.
I’m a fair person.
Who is the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that then reached the NBA?
In high school the two toughest players that I faced were Fred Van Vleet and Yogi Ferrell.
If you had to construct your own personal NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you pick that bets fits your taste?
Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
Where will the journey of the Golden State Warriors go now with the injury to Steph Curry? Is the Dynasty now over?
I don’t think that the dynasty is over yet. Young guys have to step up now. They will step up, because it is their time now. They will show that they belong in the league.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I feel that both are great in their own right. I think that because they played different positions, you can’t make this best of all-time debate. They also played in different era’s. But if I had to pick one then I would take Jordan. He reached 6 finals and won each one. At the end of the day all that matters are the titles.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Joker. It was a really good movie.
Thanks Jarvis for the chat.