Ishmail Wainright is a 24 year old 196cm forward from Kansas City, Missouri that will be playing his third professional season in France next season with SIG Strasburg. He completed his second professional season and first with Rasta Vechta (Germany-BBL) averaging 10,4ppg, 5,8rpg, 2,5apg and 1,8spg in the BBL this season and 10,7ppg, 5,8rpg, 3,8apg and 1,9spg in the BCL. Last season he completed his first season in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,1ppg, 7,3rpg and 2,8apg. He began his basketball career at Montrose Christian School and then played 131 NCAA games at Baylor (NCAA) from 2013-2017 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 5.5ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 68.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com shortly before it was announced that he would be playing with SIG Strasburg next season.
Ishmail thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. The season for Rasta Vechta has ended. With what kind of feelings have you left Munich and will go back to the States with?
Satisfied with the season the team had. Even after the break, coming back without everyone and adding a few guys, man we fought every game to the very end.
After experiencing 10 days in Munich and playing 5 games, what do you think will be the most frequent story you will tell family and friends when your back home?
It really felt like a AAU tournament but at a professional level. We were locked in a hotel and I don’t think that’s ever been done. We all made history. Haha
After finishing group B with a 0-4 record, how good did it feel to win the last game 95-66? How proud are of the guys finishing the season in style?
Extremely proud of the guys. We gave it our all. We stuck by each other and played with everything we had. It feels good to win. Word to Max !
7 of the 8 guys finished in double figures. Did the unselfishness show that the guys played for the organization and each other than trying to add to their stats in the last game?
Yes for sure. When we ran and got out in transition we were almost unstoppable. Everyone loves fast breaks !
Talk a little about your highlights from the BBL Munich tournament. The club had good chances win the first 2 games against Ludwigsburg and Frankfurt. Was this one of your better moments or did you experience something on the court that you will keep more in your memory?
hHaha the dunk was nice but it doesn’t mean anything if we didn’t get the win. We lost and that canceled the dunk.
Did you have any conversations with ex NBA player Jordan Crawford? Was it cool having this closeness to so many guys from other teams and having that opportunity to talk with them in ways you normally wouldn’t have under these circumstances?
No I didn’t really speak to him. I look up to Luke Sikma, I didn’t get a chance to speak with him like I wanted to but every chance I get I made sure to say what’s up to him and check on him. He’s someone that plays the game right. Perfect at the 4 position. But no I didn’t speak a lot.
There are some very interesting Quarterfinal pairings. This is a tournament with many new changes with the team personel. It seems like there are many teams that can win it all. Who do you think will take the 2020 title?
Berlin for sure. They are a team that plays collective basketball with or without the Peyton Silva, Luke and Noko. They are what a team wants to play like you know. So I will go with Berlin.
How do you summarize the season of Rasta Vechta having played the regular season and now the tournament in Munich? Are you a guy that will have those ‘What if’ questions? The season may have gone totally different had COVID-19 not come.
There will always be a What If. Before the break we were in 6th and just got things rolling. Down to 1 game a week. Guys were starting to really feel their game and we were clicking. You never know what ‘ would’ve ‘ happened.
What will you cherish most from your second professional season with Rasta Vechta. It seemed like you were part of a very special group of guys and one of the best coaches in the BBL.
Yes. Every bit of it. I will cherish the fans. The team. Pedro and the coaching staff, man, it was an amazing year. Everyone knows about RASTA now on the international level. What more can you ask for ? Loved every bit of it !
How much of a pleasure was it being teammates with Trevis Simpson? He had been a consistent scorer all season long, but how do you feel did he make new steps in these different circumstances in Munich?
Dude is a problem ! Can score at each level. It was a pleasure playing side by side with him. He stepped up and took the challenge Pedro gave him and ran with it. That boy is GOOD !
German Philipp Herkenhoff scored in double figures in 6 games this season and in 3 of the 6 games in Munich. What kind of steps did you see him take as a player in Munich? Do you see him being a more consistent scorer next season?
To be honest , I challenged him to a few things and he killed it !! I’m very proud of him. We’ve been on him all season about certain things and prove that he can and will have a huge roll on his team. He took Huge steps and I know I’m not the only one that saw those steps taken this tournament. He took care of his business.
You played with many teammates this season. Which player do you feel improved the most on the squad?
We all did to be honest ! Each and every last one of us improved. We were a team , we got each other better every day in practice and that carried over to the games. So everyone really.
You had a solid tournament filling up the stat sheet and doing what you could to help your team win. How do you summarize your performance in Munich?
Could’ve been better. I’m extremely hard on myself. I could’ve ran harder. I could’ve crashed the boards harder. I could made more shots. Got more steals. Talk more. You know? So personally, I am not happy with my performance. Others may think differently, but that’s just me.
Stat wise you finished the season against Crailsheim with your second most effective game of the season after the first one against Crailsheim. It seemed like you had their number this season. Are you content with how you ended the season with your game?
In a way , I am but I know I have a lot more work to do. Shooting. So I have to get to work.
You stated in the last interview that your chip is still high and that you play to the limit and will carry that with me where ever I go throughout my career. My game has developed a lot and still will continue. Shooting the ball. Scoring off the dribble. Finding my spot on the floor. Things I still have to work on to being one of those top guys in Europe’. How do you feel did your game grow in your second season as a professional? I feel like shooting was a lot better and will get even better. I feel like I still have a lot more to improve. What is the next step for you? Could you imagine continuing to remain in Vechta or will you seek another new challenge?
As much I love the organization and the team. I have to make another step. We made my mark this season and I am going to seek new challenges. RASTA will be a part of my family forever.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the BBL this season?
Luke Sikma hands down.
What was the last movie that you saw?365 days . Hahah don’t judge me.
Thanks Ishmail for the chat.,