Junior Searcy is a 23 year old 193cm guard that was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, but grew up in the States in Florida. He played his professional rookie season in Germany with the wiha Panthers averaging 3,5ppg and 1,0rpg in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury. He played 6 NCAA games with N.Arizona (NCAA) and then played three seasons at Saint Leo (NCAA2) playing a total of 73 games. In his sophomore season he played 19 games averaging 7.6ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 25.8%, FT: 70.5%. In his junior season he played 30 games averaging 12.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 69.9%. In his senior year he played 24 games averaging 10.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 63.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his rookie season in Germany.
Junior thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at a moment and did you come into 2020 well?
Thanks for interviewing me again. It’s a pleasure and honor to be talking with you again. I am presently back home in Tampa, Florida recovering from knee surgery.
You began your rookie career with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen and now you are back home in the States. Is it difficult being at home and not being able to finish your rookie season in Germany or was the break up the best thing for both sides?
First, I want to say that the fans, my teammates and the community of Schwenningen were the best and treated me well and I am grateful for my time with them. It’s unfortunate that my injury caused my time to be shortend over there, but me having to come home was best for the organization by bringing in another player and for me to get back to resuming my career after surgery and recovery.
Everybody makes mistakes and at times reacts without thinking. You sent a negative Tweet about the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Soon after you deleted it and was able to end the chapter with the club on a positive note. How content are you that all went well in the end?
Again, I enjoyed my time there and created many friends and great memories. My tweet was out of frustration and a ton of emotion. Things that were supposed to happen wasn’t happening and the communication became limited because of different factors. I love my experience and would love the opportunity to play and prove myself whether in Schwenningen or somewhere else in Europe.
You didn’t win much at St leo and it wasn’t any different with the wiha Panthers. Were you feeling dejavu again?
I wouldn’t say dejavu, because there are different factors involved. At the professional level there are transitions with new players and new systems that have to be learned. The organization just moved to Pro A, so there was an adjustment to that as well, The experience was great and the winning would have eventually came if we could have gotten into a flow.
The transition from college to the pro ranks can be tough for some and easy for others. You averaged 28 minutes at St Leo (NCAA) and with the wiha Panthers only 9 minutes. How tough of an adjustment was it for you going from good minutes to less minutes?
It was really tough because I know I could contribute more to help the team be successful. However, I am a team player and want success for our team. If it meant me working hard in practice getting the guys who play ready or just cheering them on from the bench, that’s what I would do.
It started well for you with 25 minutes and 14 points against Kirchheim, but then your minutes went down rapidly. What do you feel was the cause for the sudden change in the minutes?
I don’t get into coach’s decisions, but I do know that my effort nor my attitude changed. I saw that I was able to play at this level so I worked harder.
Do you feel like the change in minutes possibly also had an effect because the team wasn’t winning and wasn’t anything personal. I had a feeling that there was a numbers game with the many Americans that were on the team.
I would not comment on that, because I was focused on being ready when called to play. I felt I could have helped in many different situations, but supported my teammates 100 percent.
You stated in our last interview that you pushed yourself at St Leo, because you weren’t winning. Did you push yourself more in practice in hopes of earning more playing time?
My goal was to get better and help the team in any way possible. I felt that the opportunity to enjoy Germany was once in a lifetime while playing the game I love. I always worked hard in practice and wanted to push not only myself but my teammates. Winning and building good relationships were the ultimate goal.
How do you feel did your game develop further as a rookie? Do you feel like your game made some kinds of steps?
I watched the players and the speed of the game and learned how to slow the game down to where it was benefiting the ability that I have.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How vital was a guy like Rasheed Moore for your development of a rookie? Would it be fair to say that he is about as professional as you can find in a player and how did his game and work ethic influence your game?
Learning from him was great. He really taught me a lot. He taught me that trusting the process would be beneficial if I would be patient. Him being there prior to Pro A to now showed me that you can be successful when you work hard. He was a great teammate
How was it battling a guy like Bill Borekambi. He is a walking bucket. Have you ever met a player that was near his skill set in being able to hit tough shots on a consistent rate?
He was the most frustrating player to guard because of his moves and skills. He made me better, because he gave me so many different moves to guard. He took pride in his game, especially the turnaround jump shot.
You got injured at the end of November, but was still with the team in Germany when new point guard Drew Brandon arrived. How key has his arrival been for the current success of the team?
I never met him, but hopefully he will help the team achieve all the goals set.
You were a guy that loved the fans and had a lot of respect for the organization. What farewell message would you like to give the fans?
The fans in Schwenningen are great. I am forever grateful for a wonderful experience. Through my ups and downs they were supportive and helped me through my process.
You lived in Germany for only a short time, but what did you learn to appreciate about the country Germany the most?
I was born and raised in Germany and the things I loved most as a child was what I remembered most. I learned that my fellow countrymen love sports and appreciate their athletes. I am proud to be German and love my country.
What is the next step for you? Are you in hoping to land with a team to end the season or will you sit out the rest of the season and look for a new club over the summer?
My recovery time will take me through the summer. I am hoping to find a new team to help win games. I am open to play for any team that will want a determined player that wants to win and will be the ultimate team player.
Which two teams will reach the Super Bowl and who will take it?
KC vs. Green Bay with KC winning
What was the last movie that you saw?
Bad Boys For Life.
Thanks Junior for the chat.