Vincent Garrett is a 29 year old 198cm forward that finished his 5th professional season and third with Science City Jena 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 17 games averaging 20.5ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 80.0%. He began his basketball career at John Marshall Metropolitan High Schoo and then played at Lee College (JUCO), Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (NCAA) where as a senior he played 24 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 50%, FT: 71.8%. He began his professional career in 2014-2015 with the Philadelphia Spirit (ABA). In 2015-2016 he went overseas and played with the Hannover Korbjaeger (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging 20.5ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 78.5%. In the 2016-2017 season he had his first tour of duty with Science City Jena 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 23 games: Score-3 (23.0ppg), 10.4rpg, 2.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 67.7%. In the 2017-2018 season he played with Baerum Basket Bekkestua (Norway-BLNO) playing 17 games averaging 17.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 23.9%, FT: 81.3%. In the 2018-2019 season he split time with the Kordall Steelers (Luxembourg-Total League) playing 3 games averaging 20.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, in Feb.’19 moved to Science City Jena 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 9 games averaging 17.4ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 64.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the COVID-19 crisis.
Hi Vincent 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’m currently in back in the states Arizona to be exact. My mood is always the same staying positive and staying safe.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
I honestly did not think it would have this much effect honestly no one could’ve predicted this or said this would happen.
How did you experience the day to day life in Germany during the early 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?
There wasn’t much really happening around I mean the city closed down of course and my day to day dealings stayed the same nothing had really changed besides distancing myself from others for safety.
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 was already safe I always carried tissue and hand sanitizer with me at all times
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
Being financially stable so that times like these will not affect you
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?
No because I’m always working no matter the situation. Just because the season ends do not mean it’s over for me I have to continue to stay in the gym as much as possible.
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’m not worried about it I’m willing to work and play regardless of the situation. Things will only get better and we have to see the positive in this.
How have you experienced the day to day life back home ? 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.
Well I just recently left Germany on the 28 of April. Since I beenhome things are slowly opening. And I still have access to the gym because it’s in our home.
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?
Let’s talk about your third season with Science City Jena 2. The club finished the season with a 12-5 record in 5th place. How would you summarize the season from a team stand point?
We could had a better season but we were hit with a lot of injuries early and lost a lot of key players
The club began well getting out winning 4 of 6 games, but then had a tough stretch losing 5 games in a row. What was the cause for the team getting away from it’s winning ways?
We had a lot of injuries early and we never really had a full roster due to players playing on the first team
From December until Corona broke out, the club finished strong with a 8-3 record. The team won some tough games against Schwabing and Bamberg. How do you feel did the team grow in this period?
We were back healthy and it was a chance to still win the league. We had a good rhythm and we believed when fully healthy no team was better then us
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with young Serbian Vuk Radojicic? How talented is he exactly?
He played for 3 Jena team’s so wasn’t always available for the Regionalliga team He is the true meaning of heart over height. He plays fearless and that’s something you have to love. He was mainly used of the first team roster.
How skilled are the young Linartos twins Bartautas and Adomas? Both are guards and continue to make strides in their development. What did you learn to appreciate most from their games?
The sky is the limit for the twins. It’s been situation where they helped me more then I helped them with how they see the game. What I appreciate most about them is I never had to ask them to play hard it’s already installed in them.
The team had so many talented young Germans no one older than 21. Which German player do you feel made the most improvement during the season?
Lorenz Bank most definitely the most improved. His game did a complete 360 jump from last season. He was a key reason to why we won most of our games.
Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 20.5ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 80.0%. How content were you with your season?
Missed 7-8 games due to injury in the beginning of the season. But I gave everything I had once fully healthy. We would have probably been higher if the team was healthy the whole season
You were the oldest on the squad at 29 and the second oldest was Julius Foerster at age 21. Did you sometimes feel old being around only kids on a daily basis? Did you play that mentor role every day in practice?
I didn’t feel old. I felt like I had a purpose it’s was up to me to help get them get better everyday and they helped me just as much. Iron sharpens iron
You’re a player that has filled the stat sheet at the professional level. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the bill?
I would say DeMar DeRozan
You shot 40% last season with Jena 2, but this season was at 26%. In what area of your preparation lies the biggest problem in terms of getting a more consistent three pointer?
Coming back from injury, it was hard to catch my rhythm with not playing so I much. There is nothing a gym can’t fix. It was more of a rhythm for me
How much of a role model has NBA player Alfonzo Mckinnie been for you during the years? You played with him in high school and at the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay. He has that special Cinderella way to the NBA that few players ever achieve. Do you strive to develop a special chip on your shoulder the way he has or is yours special as well?
We talk everyday along with another friend Keifer Sykes. We find ways to motivate each daily even when we are in the gym together. My journey just happens to be different but with them on my side I know it will happen for me I just have to keep pushing.
Do you have a special story with him in school that you will never forget? The one that shows just what kind of a competitor and person he really is regarding the daily grind the never ending will to be successful?
There no special story really when you saw what high school we went to and the area we grew up in Chicago you would understand why we play the way we play.
You have played 5 professional seasons and are 29 years old. You are a versatile player that can fill the stat sheet with ease. In what area’s of your game are you working the most on to keep improving as a player?
Seeing the entire floor. Allowing the game to come to me.
What is the next step for you? You have played in Germany for 4 of your 5 professional seasons. Would you like to remain in Germany or could you see yourself going to another country?
I’m honestly ready to go wherever the chance is given. I’m ready to get back to playing
You began your career at Lee College (JUCO).You averaged 16.0 ppg, 6.0 rg and 2.0 apg. How important was this season in your early basketball development as a player?
That season was really just important due to it being my sophomore season. So I put everything into that season and the work showed
You then spent a season at Rutgers University (NCAA) playing 12 games averaging 1.5ppg. It was your first season in the NCAA which is a huge difference from JUCO. Was the adjustment period tough coming from JUCO? Talk a bit about this season and what benefits your game got from this season?
It wasn’t a tough difference. It was a big difference going from a small juco to a university.
You got into some blow out loses against top schools Syracuse and Louisville where you faced off against some top players that would reach the NBA. Are these games that you can still pin point certain plays or has there been too much time gone by?
To much time has passed
You then finished at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (NCAA) playing 24 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 50%, FT: 71.8%. What memories do you have from your senior season? How did your game improve playing with great talent like Mckinnie, Keifer Sykes, Alec Brown and Carrington Love on a daily basis?
Anytime I play with Alfonzo or Keifer I already know I’m going to be pushed to get the best. Playing with those guys made the game a lot easier for me.
What was your fondest memory on the court?
Making the conference tournament my sophomore season at lee college.
How did head coach Brian Wardle groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He just told me he wished he could of coached me all four years
Who won a one on one over the years you or Alfonzo Mckinnie?
I’ve easily beaten him more times than he beat me
You began your career with the Philadelphia Spirit (ABA). How tough was this season and why do you feel did it take longer to get overseas?
You don’t see to many guys have a senior year like me and make it overseas. So I had to take another route and show I could actually play when given the right chance
You began your career overseas with the Hannover Korbjaeger (Germany-Regionalliga) in 2015-2016 playing 26 games averaging 20.5ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 78.5%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?
I was actually working at Best Buy on lunch break when I finally got the call so I had to put my two weeks in a go I couldn’t look back
How important was your first season with Hannover for getting used to the European style? How key was it having 7 other nationalities on the club like point guard Gael Hulsen?
It was easy for me seeing how the team was well rounded. It was special because each guy brought something different to the game
In your second professional season you joined Science City Jena 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 23 games: Score-3 (23.0ppg), 10.4rpg, 2.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 67.7%. You had a fantastic season. Is this still your best season as a professional?
My best season will end with me winning the league wherever I am playing so the best has yet to be seen
You finished the season with 4 30 plus point games in your last 6 games. You have been a monster at the Regionalliga level in Germany. Do you feel like you have been overlooked by higher level teams in Germany or are there just too many talented plyers around and too little jobs?
I know I get overlooked. I get asked all the time why haven’t I been called up. I’ll be ready for whatever chance is given. All I can do is play it’s up to them to give me the chance and I have been ready and waiting
In 2017-2018 you sampled a anew experience in Norway with the Baerum Basket Bekkestua (Norway-BLNO, starting five) averaging 17.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 23.9%, FT: 81.3%. What memories do you have from the play on the court and what did you enjoy about the culture there?
Missing the finals by one game. And missing one key player due to injury but we still fought for that game.
Two seasons ago you split time with the Kordall Steelers (Luxembourg-Total League) averaging 20.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, in Feb.’19 returned to Science City Jena 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 17.4ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 64.5%. Did you realize after this season that Jena was like aa second home to you?
I’m actually in the process of moving to Germany full time. Jena will always be my home
Who was the toughest player you faced in the NCAA from an opposing team that made it to the NBA?
Montrez Harrell. He dunked everything during his time at Louisville
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Keifer Sykes Alfonzo Mckinnie Levon Carter Samuel Mpacko Moritz Schneider
Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present?
Michael Jordan Lebron James Kobe Bryant Tim Duncan
What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
They are two different players they can’t be compared. Their game is not similar at all.
What was the last movie that you saw?
A kid from Coney Island
Thanks Vincent for the chat.