Chris Carter(Niners Chemnitz) Bet On Himself And Had To Take A Step Backwards To Take Two Steps Forward

Chris Carter is a 27 year old 195cm guard that was born in Brooklyn, New York and is from Port St. Lucie, Florida that completed his fifth professional season and second with the Niners Chemnitz averaging 9.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 5.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 66.7%. He played the last two seasons with Rasta Vechta. In 2018-2019in the BBL he averaged 4.0ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.4apg. In his first season with Rasta Vechta he helped the club move from the Pro A to the easyCredit BBL winning the Pro A title averaging 11,0ppg,3,4rpg and 5,3apg and shot 40% from outside. In 2016-2017 he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 40 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4 (5.7apg), Steals-4 (2.1spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.4%. As a rookie he played for Bipa Basket Odessa (Ukraine-SL Favorit Sport) playing 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 77.3%. He started his basketball career at Air Force (NCAA) and then played the last three years of school at Florida Tech (NCAA2) and as a senior played 21 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to during the Coronavirus crisis.

Hi Chris Where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?

Hello Miles, I am currently in Chemnitz, Germany waiting to go home. My mood is not the greatest with all the turmoil going on in the world but I can’t complain.

When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?

I had no idea how bad it was and definitely did not think it would turn into a global pandemic.

How did you experience the last weeks? Are your loved ones in the States concerned for your well being?

Everything has been at a standstill for a couple of weeks now. Majority of the stores have been shut down and we were advised not to work out in the gym facilities. Yes, naturally my family has been worried about my well being but I reassure them things will be okay.

Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing? 

Once I became aware of the severity, I started giving fist/elbow bumps or head nods instead of hand shakes and just proceeded with more caution.

Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to be in the playoffs?

I was disappointed of course because nobody wants the season to be cut off in this manner but it is what it is. Yes I would have rather cut nets in the championship but I won’t cry over spilled milk. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Chris Carter in Frankfurt in 2019 when Carter played in the BBL for Rasta Vechta

Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. Do you see any kind of advantage having games played without spectators? 

No I do not. I think it is disadvantageous to the home team who normally has a crowd supporting them. 

If somebody had told you two months ago that the Chemnitz season would be over in mid March, but you would have still got the BBL ticket. Could you have come up with any plausible reason why this could have happened not knowing about the coronavirus?

No I would have been skeptical for sure.

What kind of a feeling do you have being able to move up to the easyCredit BBL without earning it through the playoffs and through the coronavirus? Are there mixed feelings?

I feel fine about it. The result for my team would have happened the same way if there were playoffs. I think everyone in Germany knew what was going on in the Pro A this year in Chemnitz so I don’t have mixed feelings. 

Despite how it all happened, the Niners Chemnitz had a very strong season. How do you sum up the season and how the team performed on the court? 

We had a great season and I am very proud of my team. We never lost a home game this season and we lost the two games by a total of six points. We set a record for most consecutive wins in the Pro A. Most importantly, we showed that we were a real team and not a group of individuals. I am proud of the guys, the fans, and the organization.

The club lost only 2 games and could have been undefeated had it not lost close games to Trier and Paderborn. Credit to those teams for playing the better game that day. The team was the best offensive team and sixth best defensive team. How much fun was it this season being part of a very lethal offense?

It was great to play the game the right way. We had a lot of talented players that could score the ball but more importantly we were a team that enjoyed sharing the ball. If it was somebody’s night with the hot hand, we kept feeding him. The box score didn’t really matter to us and in result we would have usually 6-9 guys in double figures per game. So that was fun to be around.

The club had many guys from last season, but also had 5 new players to integrate. How much credit does the success go to head coach Rodrigo Pastore. How has he developed as a head coach since your first tour of duty in Chemnitz? 

Coach Rodrigo is a really good coach. He has his philosophy and implemented it from training camp. When he speaks everyone listens and respects what he has to say. He was coach of the year three years ago and I think it is well deserved that he should get coach of the year again this year for the job he has done. We also had veterans that came from winning that helped speed the process up and we understood the sense of urgency that had to be played with.

Let’s talk about your teammates. How vital was it for the team to have Terrell Harris this season? He came from the Pro B and has shown in the Pro A that he can be a top player. Can he make the next step in the easyCredit BBL if given the opportunity? 

Terrell was a vital piece in our puzzle for the Niners. He was the energy guy and someone we can always count on to make a play whether on defense or offense. In my opinion he should be MVP of the league and I believe he will make an easy transition into the BBL next season. 

You’re a veteran, but please describe what kind of an influence veteran Virgil Matthews had on you. The American is turning 37 years old this month. Do you see him reaching age 40 as a player and does his work ethic motivate you to play longer now than what you might have felt before you met him? 

Virgil is a great player and was another key part of our team. He is a veteran and knows the system very well and is not afraid to reach out and help the next man get better. He ran his unit very well and made big plays for us in crunch time. Father time has been good to him and that is a credit to the way he keeps up with his health. He is still very athletic at 36 and I think he still has some years in the tank because of how wise he is. I hope I have a long lasting career like that. 

German Malte Zigenhagen had an amazing season and if he could of hit a few more free throws he could have been a member of the 90-50-50 club. You have seen him the last years in the BBL and was teammates in Chemnitz in 2016-2017. How has he developed and improved in the last 4 seasons? 

Malte is by far one of, if not the top shooters I have ever seen in person. He has developed very well over the last years and I think the major difference is he has gotten so much more efficient. He understands where his shots are coming from and he doesn’t really need any time to get it off. He has shown that he can score better than majority of the top scorers in the league in almost half the time which is incredible. I am glad he was on my team this year and he has a bright future.

If you had to pick a player who was the most improved who would you pick from last season?

I would say Jonas Richter and Robin Lodders would be my most improved players for this season. They gave us something very unique at the 5 position which gave a lot of teams headaches this season. They both worked really hard on their touch around the basket but more importantly, their defense has improved tremendously which was key for us.

Let’s talk about your game. How refreshing was this season getting minutes again after your BBL season in Vechta where you got only 11 minutes. How vital was this season for your mental health? 

It was very refreshing to get back on the court and play at a high level. I learned a lot from my stay in the BBL last year but most importantly I learned how to be a winner and how to be a leader. I needed this season for my mental health for sure because I told myself last year that I had to take one step back to take two steps forward. I bet on myself basically saying I know I am a BBL player and I will be back in 2 years. One year later we moved up and hopefully next season I can stick to my word and I can show that I belong in the top league. 

This season you got 22 minutes averaging 9,3ppg, 1,8rpg, 5,1apg and 1,8spg. How content were you with your season?

Of course I want to say that I wish my personal stats were better but honestly, I will take these stats and moving my team up to the BBL rather than having inflated stats and still playing in the second league. So all in all I am content and blessed. 

Last season you were the energy guy in Vechta. You stated to me last year that I come into the game looking to make an impact on the court in whatever way I can. Whether that means shooting, passing, rebounding, or playing solid full court defense’. How would you have defined your role this season?

I think this year I was the floor general. I was the point guard and I tried to orchestrate the team as best as I could. I was one of the leaders in huddles and I think I had a veteran role on the team. I did whatever was needed to win the game on offense or defense. 

You were near 40% from outside and shot the second best time from outside in your professional career. How much easier was it getting a quick rhythm on offense and just playing your game in the Chemnitz system? 

It felt really good to be back in a system where I am comfortable with. I knew the coach knew my potential and what I could do. I am just really happy he trusted me with the keys to the ship and I was able to showcase my skills again. 

Now with an additional season of experience, how confident are you that you can make an impact in the easyCredit BBL with the Niners Chemnitz if given the opportunity? 

If given the opportunity, with hard work in the off season and taking care of my body, I think that I will show the BBL next season that I am here to stay. 

How tough is it having the season end this way? Would it be easier or more difficult to get motivated to get into the lab each day to keep working on your game . How important will individual work be now during the corona virus time?

It really sucks that the season ended so abruptly but health trumps basketball any day. I would love to get in the gym and get shots up but until the city officials gives us the go ahead to practice, nothing can really be done. But its going to be a long off season so I just have to make the most of my time. 

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the 2019-2020 Pro A season? 

I would say Casey Hill and Zach Lofton were the toughest.

How much do you feel for those NCAA guys who might have reached March Madness as a senior for the only time and now can’t play. What advice would you give that player who missed March Madness because of the CoronaVirus?

I really feel for them because they didn’t get to showcase themselves on the biggest stages. My advice is to just prepare for the next opportunity whether it is going pro or life after graduation. 

I feel Luka Doncic is a top 3 NBA player. Am I a bit blinded or is that a proper assessment after his second professional season?

Nah you got that right.

Atlanta Hawk guard Trae Young made huge strides in his second season. How much better can he get now and is he a top NBA point guard now?

Sky is the limit for him. His confidence is crazy. 

What was the last movie that you saw? 

Bad Boys 3

Thanks Chris for the chat.

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