Chris Frazier(wiha Panthers) Knows The Pro A Will Be A Lot Tougher But Believes Coach Alen Velcic Will Put Him In A Lot Of Good Situations To Succeed

Chris Frazier is a 29 year old 182cm shooting guard that hails from Heidelberg, Germany, but also has the American citizenship and finished his sixth professional season and first with Pro B team Iserlohn playing 21 games averaging 14.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 92.1%. He will play this upcoming season with pro A team wiha Panthers. In 2018-2019 he played his second season with the Rostock SeaWolves averaging 2,5ppg, in 6,8 minutes per game. In 2017-2018 he helped Rostock reach the Pro A averaging 9,9ppg,1,2rpg and 1,6apg. He started his basketball career at TV Schwetzingen (Germany-2.Regionalliga) before moving to the States to play at Dubuque (NCAA3) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 107 games and as a senior played 26 games averaging 13.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 88.0%. He came back to Germany in 2014 and played with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 20 games averaging 16.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 80.6%. In the 2015-2016 season he made the jump to the BBL playing for the Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-BBL) playing 13 games averaging 2.3ppg. In the 2016-2017 season he played for the Artland Dragons (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 79.4%. He spoke during the coronavirus crisis.

Milers Schmidt-Scheuber and chris Frazier in Giessen in 2018 when he was playing with Rostock

Hi Chris where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the turmoil at the moment because of the corona outbreak

Hey Miles, its always good to hear from you. I am currently still in Iserlohn, I am waiting to see what the future holds for the world of sports. It is a real situation that we all must take serious. My mood right now is okay. Not knowing what comes next is hard to wrap around.

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

When I first heard of the virus it was more of a normal reaction. I felt bad for the people that were going through it, but I did think
that it was just going to be another type of a Flu. I wish I thought right and it was just the Flu, but people are getting sick and dying in a rapid pace and it is scary.

How did you experience the day to day life in Iserlohn when you were still in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn’t normal?

Well the only thing that changed for me is that we no longer had practice so I am stuck in the house more than I would like to. Surprisingly I didn’t notice much of a change here in Iserlohn. If the stores were allowed to be open it would seem like nothing is wrong at all. People walk around with masks and gloves now, but I think that there is no reason to do that if you just be careful with what’s around you.

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?

Hmm yeah a little bit. I don’t like toughing people anyway, I am not a handshake type of guy unless it’s in a professional manner. Other than that I just try to respect peoples space. I know its a dificult time in where people watch a lot of news and really suck in the information, but we also can’t forget to live. We can’t live in fear forever.

Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro B. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?

Well as a competitor I wish we could have finished the season regardless of the outcome of our season. It was something I wanted to see through and prove to the city of Iserlohn that we could have stayed in the ProB without the help of Corona. At the end of the day the safety of everyone is more important right now and we have to stick together to get through this.

Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Eurocup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing without fans?

Well it is a tricky question and it will be a subject going into planning the next season. Will we continue playing games without fans? I mean if that is what it takes for us to be able to play the game we love than I would be for it. There with be a cure for this sooner or later and I believe if we want to continue playing sooner rather than later then that has to be a realistic option.

What have you learned about these tough times that has made you a better person?

Just to not take life for granted. Always be grateful for the time you spend here on this earth because you never know if something like this will come to change the lives of all of us.

Will it be a adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages?

I think it would be a period where I will find it kind of weird. Most of us have that summer routine to let the body rest before we start back up.The advantage of this is that next season could be the season where everyone will be in the best shape of their lives because they have more time to prepare. The disadvantage is that all the gyms are closed so we have to depend on body weight training and also doing it on our own and not in groups. I always feel like working out alone is more of a challenge than in a group.

The whole world economy is going to be affected including German basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball? The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentality now knowing what to expect?

Well it all depends. If the league meaning Pro B up to the BBL would change their budget rules for a year then more teams might be able to survive. this. Is it that simple? probably not or else it would have been done. Who knows? Like you said a lot of things will change. salaries will probably be a lot lower so we will see how that ball rolls.

If you had to name another player besides guys from the kangaroos that you have been in most contact with via social media who would it be?

Darian Cardenas ( Scanplus Elchingen)

How has your approach to family changed since the outbreak of Corona? What things have you seen yourself do that you may not have done before?

Nothing really. I talk to my family every other day so my approach is pretty much the same.

Congrats on signing with Pro A team wiha Panthers Schwenningen. How excited are you to prove that you can be a good Pro A player after not being able to do it in Rostock?

Thanks!!! I am very excited to get another opportunity in the ProA. I didn’t really get the chance in Rostock. I am very confident that I will have a better year this time around!

How vital was the fact that head coach Alen Velcic wanted you in Schwenningen very badly for you to go there?

It meant a lot to me! Because usually I have a summer full of tryouts and for Coach Alen to just call and tell me he wants me in Schwenningen is a blessing and was a no brainer for me.

Your known for being a very deadly shooter. How confident that you will be able to continue your hot shooting from last season in a higher league and better defenders?

Very! I finally found my game again and felt like I could do anything! I know the ProA will be a lot tougher, but I believe Coach Alen will put me in a lot of good situations to succeed.

You have very much experience, have played in the NCAA, BBL and Pro A. Do you see yourself becoming an important vocal leader for the club?

Sure. It’s crazy that I’ve been through all the leagues and I can share my experience with some of my new teammates. I’d love to take on the vocal roll this year. It would be a new type of challenge that would also keep me focused!

Lets talk about the season of Iserlohn. The club finished with a disappointing 7-15 season landing in 10th place. How disappointing was this season
for you?

Very disappointing. coming from a Pro B season where we moved up and a Pro A season after that where we went to battle with Hamburg was tough. I was
thinking that we would at least make the playoffs. We had the players and personel for it, but sometimes things don’t workout like that.I put a lot of that on my own shoulders. The city deserved better.

The Club had battled to a 2-2 record in the last 4 games after suffering losing 6 of 7 games, but you had recently beat Duesseldorf by 25 points. How confident were you that the club would have prevailed in the playdowns beating Duesseldorf possibly for the last Pro B spot.

I was very confident because I was just starting to play the best basketball I have ever played in my life. My guys were hungry and we were willing to run into anything to get what we wanted to achieve.

Early on the club really as better than its end record. You started 2-2, but then suffered a 5 game losinf streak in which you played top team Itzehoe tough, but lost and then lost to Duesseldorf by 1 and by 2 to Bochum. Did these close games have a mental effect on the team?

I believe so because a lot of the guys have never lost 5 games in a row. I was able to keep calm because I have experienced this type of season in Crailsheim once before so I knew how to handle myself.

Iserlohn gave up more points than it made and weren’t the best rebounding team having only one experienced big man with Jozo Brkic. How much did
consistency weigh into the problems with the team.

Yeah I would say we were missing some athleticism, but I do believe if our big man Dennis Teucher didn’t get hurt our season would have looked different.

Lets talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with Elijah Allen. The guy has so much experience and played 3 years in the

Elijah is a big factor on why I found myself again. It took me a while to find my game because of the wasted year I had in Rostock. I didn’t play the best to my ability at the time and Elijah always reminded me that I can play and that I can play at the Pro A level. That’s when I started to find myself again and play the way I knew how.

Have you ever played with sets of brothers on the same team before this season? What was is like playing with Ruben and Joshua Dhamen? What did you appreciate most about their games and please tell a nice story about each guy.

You would think that if you have a brother around the same age that their game would be the same. They are the complete opposite. Ruben being the PG and Joshua playing the SF\PF position it was interesting to see how their games were so different. I can tell a nice story with them together. Both welcomed me to the team with open arms. We always played against each other and battled\trash talked each other, but once I came here we all had a get together at their place and had a fun time with the team. Both of them are born leaders and great teammates.

You also played briefly with another set of brothers with Malte and Kris Schwarz with the later retiring after 4 games and moving to America. Both had enormous experience in Germany and even played in the BBL with Phoenix Hagen. How special are these two brothers and what will you
never forget about them.

It’s funny because I played against both in my career. Me and Kristof didn’t really like each other. Kris is the typical floor general and I was at the time that arrogant player that wanted to prove that I was the best so me and him always battled when I played Iserlohn. I played Malte when he was in Goettingen and he lit us up with a quick 12 point performance. I will never forget Kris because I really got to know how he is as a person and it made me feel bad about how I acted towards him. Malte…man…talk about a leader that leads by example. Me and him battled every day in practice and he also helped me get back to myself.

Lets talk about your game. You played 21 games Avg 14.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.4asp, 1spg FGP 56.9% 3Pt 45% FT92%. You stated in our last interview that after your disappointing
Rostock season where you didn’t get minutes, you said you would come back and prove yourself and did. In my opinion you had your best season as a professional. How content
were you with your season.

I am proud of myself. being able to find my game in such a short time was surprising. I wish I could have started the way I finished then maybe we would have won more games,
but like I told you last year. I was on a mission to prove myself and show that I was still here. Nobody can take that from me regardless on how our season ended.

You Stated in our last interview that you were too Skinny for the Pro A. Did you put on sufficient weight last summer that helped you become a better player.

Well I didn’t gain the weight I needed, but I did get stronger. I improved my game to where you can’t out play me at the PG position now and not just be a undersized 2 guard.
I just focused on parts of my game that can help me do more than just shoot the three.

You reached a very special 50-40-90 club. What does it mean for you to have achieved this difficult stat and is it something you had ever thought about in your career as something you could be capable of achieving.

No. I finally learned after years of trying to just not care anymore. The more I think the more I put pressure on myself. If you look at the second half of the season my 3pt% is crazy because I finally figured out how not to care so much. It helped me be more sharp and make a lot more of my shots.

What new steps did you take with Iserlohn where you can say you made new strides in your game that you didn’t have before?

Handling the ball and playing in the pick and roll. Every year until now I was always dependent on my PG getting me open looks. I got a lot better handling the ball and playing
the pick and roll. It puts a whole new aspect on my game that people can’t overlook.

Like Elijah Allen you had two of your best games in very close loses to Duesseldorf and Wedel, but hit Duesseldorf in other game with 26 points. Was that your most memorable personal game of the season.

Even though we lost to Wedel. that was the most memorable because I only had 9 points in the first half and I wanted to do whatever I could to get the W. Plus 31 points is my career high as a pro.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?

Montreal Scott!!!

Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now.

No give him 2 more years and then it can be discussed.

Where were you when you heard about Kobe bryants death? What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescense?

I was hanging out with one of my teammates and it hurt. It felt like I knew Kobe because I grew up watching Kobe andI’m talking about the #8 kobe….R.I.P Kobe!

How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have gad his once and only chance now?

Man I can only imagine how they felt. Some of those seniors will never play basketball again at that kind of level or higher and I just felt bad for them. My advice would be to just remember the good times. College basketball is the greatest experience you can have. It’s okay to be angry now, but once you realize that the health of yourself and others come first you will understand it later on.

What was the last movie you saw?

During these times I had to watch Coach Carter again!

Thanks Chris for the chat.

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