Christopher Edward is a 201cm forward from Los Angeles, California that completed his second professional season and second with TV Langen averaging 22.2ppg, Reb-5 (10.9rpg), 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 66.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 53.7%. In his rookie season he averaged 22.2ppg, 10.4rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 60.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 56.7%. He began his basketball career at Claremont high school and then played 2 years at Chaffey College (JUCO). He played at Concordia University, Oregon (NCAA2) from 2016-2018 and as a senior played 28 games averaging 16.0ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 1.0%, FT: 56.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus crisis.
Hi Christopher 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?
I am in Los Angeles, California. My mood is all over the place, for the most part I am doing well. It is sad to see all the damage that is going on due to the virus. To see all those big milestones for people get cancelled or postponed or done in a nontraditional manor. I am safe and healthy, at this point that is a great thing to be so I am grateful for that.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
No I did not, I thought it would be just like the flu that got people sick. Then the more and more it grew and infected people the more serious I saw this virus. It really has impacted the world in a way that I don’t think anyone could have for seen.
How did you experience the day to day life in Germany during the Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings?
I had left the country right before the outbreak had reached pandemic levels. As the levels were rising I saw some concern from people but for the most part the day to day dealings were the same not much change was going on.
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
Coming home, yes I became more cautious about shaking hands with people. I have always been cautious about germs in general. So my habits in regards to dealing with people in public were the same, just nice to see the rest of the world being just as cautious. I try to avoid people who are coughing or sneezing anytime of the year all my life, not just during this crisis.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
I was a little disappointed, I felt that there were some games to left to prove. We had two ‘revenge’ games with playing Mannheim and Karlsruhe. I was definitely disappointed that we didn’t get the chance to show that we are not that same team they played the first time around. It’s never fun to have a season cut short and definitely not on the embarrassing way we lost the last game of the year. However, as unfortunate as it is. It was only three weeks left so not too much was cut out and I was happy I was able to make it home safely.
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?
I think it is weird. Even if you have a smaller crowd, it is still exciting to play in front of those people. There is a different atmosphere of the game when you play without a crowd. It feels like a scrimmage that doesn’t matter too much, so I think the mentality of the players had to be different.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
The whole thing is scary in itself, I have learned to trust in the Lord much more. It’s a bunch of unknown but to put my confidence in him has made me much stronger than I could have ever thought.
Wil 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?
The biggest adjustment, for me, is not having as easy access to a gym to play basketball. I am home earlier than I expected to be and doing workouts earlier, but that is not a bad thing. I got a little bit more time to rest and recover from the season, that is a big advantage. Allows me to slowly work back into workouts and build that endurance again giving me more time to do more intense workouts as the new season gets closer. My skill development is what I am most concerned about. With the virus shutting down gyms, parks, pretty much any place that I can play basketball, I can just do dribbling drills at home and some phantom shooting. I am hoping that will change soon and I can get back to playing.
The whole world economy is going to be affected including Polish 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?
I am worried about the smaller leagues that really depend on certain sponsors that won’t be able to pay due to lack of business. I am doing my best to not let it get to me, as I mentioned before this is a wild time of unknown. At this point I take it day by day, week by week, month by month. It’s the best way to handle something like this, for me personally.
How have you experienced the day to day life back home in the States? How has the Coronavirus affected your daily life? How have you been keeping in shape inside your home. Talk about the type of exercises and work out you have been able to perform inside your own 4 walls.
It’s a bit odd. I haven’t seen most of my family and friends since I left last August. I miss them so much and it sucks that I am home but still have to keep my distance. Daily life is relatively the same with the exception that I cannot go to a gym to shoot or lift. I am forced to do home workouts. I stay in shape by doing some sort of workouts, like bicep curls, tricep extensions, yoga, pushups, squats, wall sits. I go for walks everyday and I go for a run every other day. On my walks I bring a ball to dribble around just so I continue to have a feel for the ball.
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?
Not on any team I have played on would either be Maurice Jones or Igor Markiewicz
Let’s talk about the season of TV Langen. You guys finished in 3rd place with a record of 12-10. How do you summarize the season performance of the team?
The team played well this season. We had some really good wins and some really bad losses. It took us some time to find a rhythm but when we did we were a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think anyone besides the team thought we would place as high as we did and I am so proud of our team. We worked hard in practices and we proved a lot of people wrong.
How competitive was the Regionalliga South West. Between 3rd and 11th place there was only a difference of 2 wins. Did the competitive nature of the league and players motivate you and heighten your game more?
Very competitive. Any team could win their matchups for the week. Yes absolutely, nobody wanted to lose and I definitely was one of those. I would push myself to be ready for the matchup and ready to go home with a win. I wanted to be sure that I did everything I could to help the team be in the best position to win.
TV Langen had their best stretch of the season from mid December to mid February attaining a 7 game winning streak. Why do you feel was the club most successful in this time?
We focused on our defense. As a team we had no problem scoring. The thing to work on was can we step up and stop our man and play great team defense. During that stretch we did that, and did it very well.
The club had some very exciting wins like the two 3 point victories against Tuebingen and Idstein. Do you feel like one of these wins was the team highlight of the season?
I would say the Idstein win at Idstein was a big highlight for us. Such a hard fought battle from tip off to the final buzzer sound. An amazing team win!
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing together with German Rueben Spoden. He played many years in the German first division BBL. What could you soak up from his game that helped you most?
It was great. Ruben’s basketball IQ is crazy high, I was able to learn a lot. From him giving me advice, to watching him, guarding him, him guarding me. I felt like having him on my team the first couple years really helped me elevate my game.
Sebastian Barth played only 2 games but is a TV Langen legend. Was he another one of those veterans where you could get something from his game and words of wisdom?
Yes, Basti was another one of those high IQ veterans he came in and in his game you could just tell he knows what he is doing. Reads the defense great, makes the right play. A pleasure to have him on the team.
The club had a lot of German players. If you had to choose one that improved the most who would you pick?
Felix Feilen. From my first year to last season he improved in shooting and more importantly confidence. I am super excited to see where he goes with basketball.
Let’s talk about your game. This season you averaged 22.2ppg, Reb-5 (10.9rpg), 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 66.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 53.7%. How content were you with your season?
I was very proud with my season this year. It’s hard not to be. Although I know there are a lot of things I need to work on and improve on, definitely my freethrows. However, I am proud of myself and I am excited to continue to get better.
Your stats form your rookie season with TV Langen are almost identical. How difficult is it to improve yourself when you have such a productive rookie season?
It’s very hard especially when the second half of season rolls around and everyone knows you even better. Every year, there are some slight differences in how you play, adjusting to your team and the needs of the team. I think improvement was made but in small areas of my game, areas that are not always shown on the stats.
You played 2 minutes less per game than in your rookie season. How do you feel did you develop further as a player in your second season?
I felt I was much more efficient this year. I took the better shots, I made better passes. Overall I felt as if my IQ went up.
You shot a total of 10 three’s in the last 5 years including your 2 years with Concordia and 1 year at Caffrey College. Do you see yourself developing your three more to become more of a versatile player in the next years?
Yes of course, I always want to be more versatile. I do work on my threes every off season and during practice. But, I want to put my team in the best position to win so I take the shots that are the best for me and the team.
You’re a very good rebounder and defender. How else do you want to improve in these area’s to continue to grow as a rebounder and defender?
Thank you, rebounding would be simply increasing my vertical. Getting better at boxing out is always a plus a basic fundamental that can always be improved. Defending, to work on my agility and quickness. To be able to guard from PG to Center just in case there is a switch and I will have to stand my ground and contain. Both these areas are what I am looking to improve big time this offseason.
Who was the toughest guy that you faced in the Regionalliga this season?
Phew tough question, but I would probably say Ricky Easterling. His layup package is great, his midrange is one of the best I have seen. As a center, having a PG score, those layups is so frustrating. He can hoop.
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Germany where you knew that you were very far away from home?
It was one of the first couple weeks there. I was just so lonely and bored, that it hit me. Like, I am so far away from anyone I usually talk to. This is insane. Sitting by myself in this apartment waiting for practice all day was just a lot of time to me, perhaps it was too much time.
I’m sure you went some Fraport Skyliner games in the last 2 years who ball in the first division. When you watch a game like that what do you observe most closely to help you the next time in practice when your working on your game?
I watch the centers/power forwards. How they defend each other, how they run the floor, how they make their moves on offense, how they play help side defense.
You played your first 2 seasons at Chaffey College (JUCO) and almost averaged double double stats in your second season with points and rebounds. How vital were these 2 years for your early basketball development?
Huge for my basketball improvement. To this day, a decision I will make again forever. Extra time to play with some real talent and gain muscles, get used to my body a bit more, learn to be more athletic, run the floor. The knowledge I got from those two years are incredible.
When you start in JUCO does a chip start to grow on your shoulder? How have you come to terms with your early basketball journey? Is your chip at an all-time high now after 2 strong Regionalliga seasons?
I think the chip grew before you even step foot in the JUCO gym. But yeah, there’s always a chip on my shoulder. I want to be great, I want to go as high as I can. I come from a small high school where basketball is not big. I was overlooked besides from my coaches at Chaffey, they gave me a chance and that’s all I needed. My chip is still there for sure and it absolutely gets bigger and it gives me that competitive edge I have. I have it everyday I work and this offseason I still have it.
You then played your last 2 years at Concordia University, Oregon (NCAA2) and had a solid junior season with 10/8 stats but really broke out as a senior with 16/10 stats. How did your game grow in your last 2 years?
Concordia really gave me the confidence in my game. My junior year, I felt like I had something to prove and my senior year I wanted to make a statement, saying this is my year. Those two years I really developed a lot but I would say my confidence was probably the biggest growth area in those two years, which trickled down into my offensive growth and defensive presence.
A lot of your best games came in close loses, but you had solid games in a 65-64 win against CS San Bernardino and 16 points and 15 rebounds in a 60-58 win against Simon Fraser. Was one of these games your most memorable game as a senior?
As a Senior both games were memorable. CSUSB, was a big win for me because those are the guys I played in HS and Juco so it was playing against hometown rivals and to come out on top with such a dominant performance was great. Then Simon Fraser was big, it broke a rather long losing streak and the feeling of finally getting a win was unmatched. I would say my most memorable game though would be against Western Oregon at Western Oregon, the game where I broke my own career record in scoring and it was against a top ranked team.
How did head coach Brad Barbarick groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
The entire staff at Concordia played a big part. Whether it was providing me a place to have a voice, to lead, to give me drills to use to improve on my skill. Extra workouts. Especially the athletic training staff of Liz Corbett and Kyle Nelson. They kept my body intact and helped me be able to play. Even though I was full of injuries, without the help of these two I would not be where I am today.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Deanndre Stallings?
I did. Every time!
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced that reached the NBA?
In High-School the toughest player would probably be Lonzo Ball.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present?
What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
MJ is the goat. I think he did so much more for the game than Lebron. Don’t get me wrong LBJ is a monster but MJ has him beat.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw at the cinema was Joker, however the last movie I watched was When the Game Stands Tall on DVD.
Thanks Christopher for the chat.