Some guys will do almost anything in order to get that next job even if it means sleeping on the floor. The life of a basketball player isn´t always easy. The 9-5 workers usually have security, but for professional basketball players every summer is like testing the job market all over again. There are seldom guarantees as a player needs good health, connections and luck in most cases to land that next job. Basketball life isn´t easy at the moment for Tucker Haymond the Seattle, Washington native as he is jobless, but maybe not for long as hope is on the horizon. Last season one could of called Tucker Haymond a walking bucket as he dominated the German Pro B with the Rhein Stars Koeln (Germany-ProB) leading the league in scoring-averaging 22.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 80.7%. He scored in double figures in 24 of 25 games and scored 20 points or more 19 times, but he couldn´t successfully keep the team in the Pro B as their terrible record put them down to the fourth league Regionalliga. The walking bucket currently can´t put on shows in arena´s. The American who won the G-League title in 2018 with the Austin Spurs agrees that not having success with the RheinStars has affected him getting that next opportunity. “ I think it did a little bit, I think that being the only American on a team there’s a big load to carry and responsibility. Which is a good thing, as a competitor that’s what you want. It has inspired me to just want to continue to do everything I can do in my power in my next job to win as many games as I can”, stressed Tucker Haymond.
Despite being in limbo now, the American who has been working out with NBA veteran Jamaal Crawford since middle school over the summers actually was signed by AEL Limassol (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) and played 3 games before leaving because he didn´t get paid. In those 3 games he averaged 13,7ppg, 4,0rpg, 3,0apg and 2,0spg and looked to be on his way to having a very solid third campaign as a professional. “It was a good experience. But a very different experience. For me, it just wasn’t the best fit for me, but I enjoyed my time there and still talk to some of my old teammates. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned or fit like you want them, but that’s just a part of the business I’m in”, stressed Tucker Haymond. Playing in Cyprus was definitely another step up from the Pro B. “I would compare the Cyprus league to somewhere in between Pro B and Pro A. There are some teams that are very good, which could compete in the Pro a. And other teams that I think a few Pro B teams could hang around with. It’s a competitive league. But it is also a very different style of play as well”, expressed Tucker Haymond. For the American who played at Western Michigan(NCAA) and won the MAC tournament in 2014 got big eyes before he signed as he heard that he would be coached by a German legend. “I actually was never able to be coached by Coach Michael Koch unfortunately. I found out the day I arrived that he was leaving back to Germany. However, I was able to meet up with him and sit down over the holidays since I’ve been back here and meet him in person. He is a very nice guy, I really wished I could have been coached by him, that was one of the only reasons that I went there was so I could be coached by him”, stressed Tucker Haymond. Now he is back in cold Germany, but for a few weeks, he was in paradise. “I will definitely remember the scenery in Cyprus on the beaches. During my birthday weekend I was able to visit Ayia Napa, it was great weather and a fun time for my wife and I”, added Tucker Haymond.
Since his departure from Cyprus, the American who lists ex NBA player Tony Wroten as one of his best 5 best teammates of all-time has been living in Cologne and waiting for that next offer and also keeping in shape so he will be 100% ready. He relived the great German holiday season that he saw last season by visiting Christmas markets again and taking in the scrumptious food and got into 2020 watching the fireworks on the Rhein river in downtown Cologne. To sleep on the floor is no easy task so in order to be able to sleep in that comfortable bed again when he has a new team, he has been grinding super hard in Cologne. “I was able to do some individual position training with the guards. I was also able to go there and train with Paul Gudde and do some individual trainings as well. I have been working out 2x a day most days of the week for the past month in Cologne”, stressed Tucker Haymond. His desire to get back on the court is really great, but he also knows that his skills will have to be spot on when he is back playing competitively again. “I’ve really just been working on getting my shots in, keeping my body in shape, and continuing to handle the ball. I think my biggest strength right now is just my hunger. I will be hungrier than any person I play against when I get an opportunity”, said Tucker Haymond.
The American who is known as a lethal shooter and scorer keeps working on his playmaking which he showed on many occasions last season that he could run a team has not been invisible as there has been interest from teams. He just had a tryout with Pro A team MLP Academics Heidelberg and today he will show his skills in Gelsenkirchen for FC Schalke. “,The workout with the MLP Academics went great. I loved Heidelberg ! It was an amazing city. The team had a group of great guys. I felt like I bonded well with them. They have a very talented group there and have great coaching staff to guide them. I’m 100% ready to play anywhere at any time right now”, warned Tucker Haymond. He also quickly realized why so many people rave about the coaching talent of Branislav Ignatovic who is due and on the verge of bringing a title to Heidelberg. “I really liked him, he was very nice and I liked his style of coaching. I have heard nothing but great things about him, and when I was at practice I was able to witness why he is so highly talked about. It was easy to see that he has a great amount of experience”, explained Tucker Haymond. With these 2 tryouts, the hope is for the American that he will finally have some fortune and land a job, because life hasn´t been easy in the last months. It´s always beneficial when you have a partner that is very understanding. “It has definitely been challenging over the past little bit. Since leaving Cyprus I’ve been through 5 countries. One of my college teammates played for Real Betis and he let me live with him for 2 weeks while I figured out what I would do next. I was very blessed that he was able to help me like that. I then came to Cologne. Where my wife and I have been sleeping on the floor in a living room for the past month. It has been one of the most humbling experiences in my life, taking the bus and train and walking to workouts, this lifestyle is so different than I’ve ever had back home in America. Sometimes traveling an hour to a gym. Or just having to do some things outside. It’s made me just work that much harder. Sleeping on the floor for the past month has almost been something out of a movie. Going from winning a G league championship to bouncing from country to country, house to house, has shown me what I’m really made of. How dedicated I am. And because of all of these things, when an opportunity arises, I will be ready for it. Because of the work I put in and sacrifice I’ve made. I’m just lucky to have a wife that will go through this with me and support me even when it may look like there’s no way out. She believes in me”, stressed Tucker Haymond. The American will give his best on the court in the tryouts, but also has the right words for any coach that is currently looking for a scoring guard like him. “I could help a team in Germany in many ways right now, but number one in helping them win. I’m prepared mentally and physically to do what is needed to fill any gaps someone may have. I can also help big with giving back to the youth, over the summer I trained many youths back home and I want to help give back to the youth of my next club”, warned Tucker Haymond.
One thing is for sure for now Tucker Haymond will sweat it out in Germany until he gets that next job. “. I feel positive I can get something. I’m very confident in my abilities to be able to help a team here, no matter what level it is”, warned Tucker Haymond. Who knows he may already be on his way to Heidelberg or Gelsenkirchen on Friday in order to be able to suit up on the weekend for a Pro A game. He is confident just like all those Patriots haters in the world that the dynasty will end on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. “It would be nice to see my former college friend Cory Davis put the Patriots down”, smiled Tucker Haymond. His self confidence is very high at the moment that he not only predicted that his home town Seattle Seahawks will win the 2020 Super Bowl, but when he watches the Wild Card game between the Patriots and Titans on Sunday morning at 2 Am that he won´t be doing that on the floor, but ending the night sleeping in a nice comfy warm bed for his new team.