Orlando Parker is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Orlando, Florida that completed his sixth professional season and fifth in Germany and fourth with PS Karlsruhe averaging 11.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 77.4% Last season with Ps Karlsruhe he averaged 13,7ppg and 6,3rpg while shooting 41,7% from outside. In the 2017-2018 season he averaged 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg. He started his basketball career with Wagner (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 118 NCAA games. As a senior he played 26 games averaging 6.7ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 44.7%, FT: 62.0%. In 2014 he turned professional with UL Eagles Limerick (Ireland-Premier League) playing 17 games averaging 19.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.5%. In 2015-2016 he played with Baskets Vilsbiburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging 22.6ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 79.3%. He spoke to eurobasket during the coronavirus.
Hi Orlando 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? ‘
What’s up Miles! I’m currently still in Germany at the moment. My mood has been pretty chill since this outbreak started.’
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world? ‘
Well I had a teammate emphasizing how crazy this virus would become so I was prepared mentally for the outcome but I didn’t think it would be talked about the way it is now.’
How did you experience the day to day life in Karlsruhe when you were still in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn’t normal? ‘
Once I saw people lining up outside of the stores I knew something was different.’
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 ‘
I’m always fully cautious and aware of people who cough without covering their mouth.’
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
‘I would have liked to finish the season despite a down year for the club, but I’m honestly more upset about the NBA season’
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. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans? ‘
We played our last game in Schalke without any fans and the energy isn’t the same but it’s still a competitive atmosphere if the players are passionate about the game’
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person? ‘
Not to believe the media because there is something much bigger happening than what they are telling us’
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
‘Not really a big adjustment. I think more time with the family is needed for athletes who miss out on this quality time. Working out is an everyday lifestyle. But it’s hard for some athletes to work on their craft without access to gyms and facilities.’
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 mentally now not knowing what to expect? ‘
Definitely staying positive about the situation but honestly this Is tough because we are all unemployed right now until who knows when. So it’s a big wake up call to start thinking about life after basketball ‘
If you had to name another player besides guys from your team that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
‘I don’t even know honestly lol’
How has the day to day life been now in the States with the outbreak of the Coronavirus? Have you noticed any differences and are there any differences between the Americans and German people on how they are coping and handling themselves?
‘I love my Americans but we are really different (we don’t listen) .. We don’t follow rules by the book like the Germans. Which is why we are the only country still trying to control the virus’
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?
‘I’m still the same person’
Let’s talk about the season of PS Karlsruhe. The team finished with a record of 9-18 and finished in 15th place. How would you summarize the season from a team standpoint. The last two games tell the story. You were able to beat one of the best teams Bremerhaven but then lose the last game to one of the worst team Schalke
‘We definitely had an up and down season since the beginning. We had a lot of roster changes and a coaching change as well. For the most part we had a lot of close games’
The team won the first two games and then experienced a severe tailspin losing 11-13 games. That was the deciding moment of the season as the club could never recover. What memories doyou have of the first months and why couldn’t the team pull out more close wins? In this period you lost 4 games by 4 or less points including against top teams Jena and Heidelberg ‘
We started off really good and of course we came across some obstacles that we couldn’t overcome. But that group showed a lot of character and hunger to get better everyday despite the challenges.’
The club scored 80 points per game but also allowed 84 points per game. In the end the team had allowed 80 points or more 17 times. Why wasn’t the team able to find a defensive identity?
‘I believe we had an identity but being on the same page is vital. I think in today’s game holding a team to under 80 points is about average. With 3’s being a focal point for most teams, this style of play was a big factor.
Let’s talk about your teammates. The club had a change at the guard position bringing in Marcus Stroman. What did you appreciate about his game most at the point guard position?
‘Marcus Stroman is most definitely certified!! I appreciated his great IQ for the game..he’s going to be great player in the years to come. Make sure to keep him on your radar!’
Daniel Norl came from the UK BBL and had a very solid season in Germany. He had some huge games as well. What will you always remember from him as a player and what did you appreciate most about his game?
‘ I’ll always remember his work ethic! He’s one of those guys who’s always finding ways to work on his craft. I love his ability to create and get to his spots on the floor which is why I appreciate his fearlessness in taking the last shot’
Center Maurice Pluskota has been a very solid Pro A player in the last 3 years. What do you believe is still missing in his game in order for him to reach the next level?
‘I believe he can definitely play at that level right now. He’s always been the best center in Pro A in my opinion. I believe that next step is up to him because he’s definitely ready!’
Let’s talk about your game. You played your third pro A season and had your second best personal season averaging 11.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 77.4%. How would summarize how your personal season went?
‘Definitely a down year for me but also a big learning experience. The best is yet to come’
Your goal before last season was to prove that you belong and you did that. You proved that again this season, but what were your goals for this season regarding your game and were they fulfilled? ‘
I honestly just wanted another run in the playoffs and hopefully be a part of something special again. After coming up from 4th league and winning Pro B. I was addicted to success and I wanted to have that feeling again.
Efficiency is also an important part of your game. How content were you of your ability to be that all around team player in the minutes that you got?
‘Definitely a good feeling. Of course I had to put the work in to reap the benefits but I was very content.
You’re a very skilled and hardnosed defender and have shot the ball over the 40% clip in the Pro A. How content were you on the defensive end with your game as well as with your shooting in your third Pro A campaign?
‘I felt really good about my defense this season.. I didn’t shoot the ball that good this year but I’m willing to work on that’
A quote from you that I have kept in my memory is this ‘I’m never content with anything in life, but one of my favorite phrases to live by is ‘You can’t rush greatness’ so my time will come for the BBL.’ You will be 29 in September. Will the BBL be more realistic with the Coronavirus having struck as budgets will be down and teams might not be able to afford the expensive players and will have to search for guys that will take less?
‘It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this plays out for everyone’
You had many great games, but was your 29 points in the exciting 86-85 win over Phoenix Hagen where you dropped 29 points in 28 minutes your most memorable?
‘I like the game against Bremerhaven at home’
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now? ‘
Great season but we still have to spect the OG’s. He’s in my top 10′
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
‘Kobe’s impact will never be forgotten’
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 had his one and only chance now?
‘It’s very tough, I hope we can fix this for everyone’
What was the last movie that you saw? ‘
He got game.
Thanks Orlando for the chat.