Scooter Gillette Knows That The Best Trash Talk Is Letting Your Game Speak For You

 Scotter Gillette is a 30 year old 206cm center from Philadelphia that recently completed his fourth professional season with REWE Aupperle Fellbach (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 18.0ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.5apg, Blocks-2 (1.7bpg), FGP: 68.7%, FT: 73.8%. The two seasons before he averaged 18.4ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP-2 (71.7%), FT: 76.0% and 19.6ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 63.4%, FT: 78.0%. he played his rookie season with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, FT: 68.1%. he played his first 3 NCAA seasons with Niagara University (NCAA) playing 71 games and then moved to Fairleigh Dickinson University (NCAA) playing 28 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 64.0%, FT: 69.6%. He spoke to during COVID-19. 

Hi Scooter 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 Philadelphia. My mood has been mostly relaxed and keeping to myself as much as possible. I try to stress as less as possible about this world crisis. And now the entire country is in turmoil due to rioting over our most recent victim to police brutality, George Floyd. May he Rest In Peace. I’m honestly speechless about the whole situation. 

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

When I first started hearing about the virus I didn’t take it seriously at all. It wasn’t until after I read up on the cases and deaths across the world I knew this would have a major effect on the world. 

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? –

Day to day life was me trying to stay productive despite being instructed to staying indoors. Home workouts and finding new books to read. There was also a lot less traffic in the streets, a lot less people taking public transportation, there was a lot less people outside in general. I was a little surprised how everyone was following protocol and how we all had to adjust our lifestyles because of this virus. 

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’ve always been good with my hygiene but it does feel really strange not shaking anyone’s hand in over a month and not hugging friends and loved ones. Corona or not, I don’t want to be caught in the line of fire of ANYONE’S cough! 

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

Like all athletes who loves their chosen sport I was highly upset. I was even more upset as a coach of the u14 boys basketball team. No one wanted the season to end the way that it did. 

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 would be interesting! Boring, but interesting. I’m a type of player that feeds from the energy of others especially the crowd. In this sport I think it would have the feel of a well organized preseason scrimmage. No fans, no music and you can clearly hear everyone’s trash talk since the gym would be so quiet. 

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

-I’ve learned that life isn’t always fair but how you react and persevere is vital. 

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 –

The advantage or disadvantage is that when the season starts your game will show how much work you put in. And I love skill development drills and working out in the off season, I love the grind so an extra 3 months just sounds like fun. 

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?

Players still want to play as well as coaches and managers still want to coach and manage their clubs so I’m not worried about the future of professional basketball. Being physically active in any way possible does a lot of good for my mental. And not even the higher-ups know what to expect so the best thing for me to do is focus on the things that are in my control, like being prepared and physically fit so when the time comes I’ll be ready. 

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.

Since I’ve been in the States it’s gone from bad to worse. The virus has affected my lifestyle because not only were all the gyms forced to be shut down but we’re also instructed to stay indoors! As a professional athlete that’s not a life I want to live at all. – I’ve been doing mostly high reps of body, weight exercises, some stretching and yoga and picking up new ideas other athletes being creative with their home workouts. 

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? –

Earl Pettis. We were teammates in high school. When we first met he thought my name was ‘popcorn’ instead of Scooter, now that’s one of my newer nicknames that no one really knows about. We’ve keep in touch the most throughout the years. 

Let’s talk about the season of Fellbach. The team finished in 10th place with a record of 10-13. They began great winning 2 of 3 games including beating top teams Kronberg and Koblenz. How would you summarize the team season? 

The season seemed to be a bit frustrating because we set high goals for ourselves, worked hard to achieve them and seemed to fall short of our expectations. But more than that, I feel that we had the best chemistry in the league. Besides being teammates I have genuine friendships with the guys off the court as well which makes a tough season much more bearable. 

In 2019 the club was solid with a record of 8-6, but in 2020 you had a 2-7 record. What were the reasons for the club not being able to muster more wins? 

I injured myself in the month of January, my primary point guard has been out for a majority of the season and trying to adjust around two of your starting five players isn’t always such an easy fix. Not to mention petty injuries that other teammates endured also. 

Was the 80-78 won over top team Koblenz one of the season highlights?

Oh most definitely. In the league we play any team is liable to win or lose no matter where you rank and this game revealed that we had what it takes to compete and win on our home court very early in the season. 

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure has it been being teammates for 4 years with James Arbinger? What have you learned to appreciate most about his game 

What I learned to appreciate most is that I know James will give 100% every time he approaches the game. He’s also one of those passionate leaders that talks with his game. Players like that you love to have on your team! 

You have been teammates with German David Rotim now for 3 years. He is a guy with Pro A and BBL experience. He is a very versatile plyer. How has he made the game easier for you?

David Rotim’s wisdomsand feel for the game was polished and more in tune than most players in our league. He’s been a solid overall leader and court general for the team. 

You were 2 years teammates with German Nils Menck who recently retired. He can also look back at a long fruitful career. What is your nicest memory of him on and off the court 

Favorite on court moments, besides battling each other during practices, were his timeless pump fakes. So authentic that he can fake out the entire gym! – Favorite off court moments with Nils are the bus rides and the conversations we had. Aside his extensive knowledge of NBA history, every conversation we had was genuine and full of wisdom. I’ll always appreciate Nils for that. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 206cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description? 

I’m not a game of comparing my game but If I had to choose I’d say maybe Chris Webber. 

You’re a very good consistent scorer and rebounder since turning professional. What other strengths does your game have and on what area’s of your game are you continuing to tweak? 

Thank you! I’ve always liked to run the open floor on fast breaks. Since I’m light on my feet I discovered a strength of mine is to outrun other big men. I like to think I’m a half-decent passer as a post player. A part of my game I’m always working on are my vocal skills. Over the years I’ve learned to be more vocally present with my teammates. Also working on my trash talk to opponents, even though I think letting your game speak for you is the best trash talk. 

Talk a little about your defensive development since coming to Fellbach? In the last 3 years you have averaged 1 block per game. How much more potential do you feel do you still have from being that defensive stopper in the paint?

I feel like I’m a great defensive presence in the paint. I’m a horrible judge of potential but I’m always challenging myself each season to somehow improve my defense. 

You have played 4 years in Fellbach. Could you imagine being a guy like Ricky Easterling who has played 12 years with Saalouis and do that with Fellbach? 

Me having having an extensive career in Germany has always been a realistic goal for me. COVID and other factors has altered that decision for the time being but yes, Fellbach and I have a connection where it’s possible for that to happen. 

You have had many great Regionalliga games including hitting Lich twice for 32 points in 2 different seasons. What has been your most memorable Regionalliga game? 

My very first game in Fellbach scoring a double-double and a very big win! And a derby game against MTV Stuttgart defeating them on their home court. Both games were great, couldn’t chose between the two of them. 

As a rookie you played with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, FT: 68.1%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Germany where you knew that you were far away from home?

My first wake up call was during my very first game in Magdeburg. The opponent was blatantly punching my rib cage during the game and the officials didn’t catch him. I stopped as if the officials had blown the whistle (they did not) preparing to strike him back, but I knew a consequence would have been to send me home. And I was not ready to sit on the plane again for that many hours.. that’s when I knew that I was far away from home.

In your second season you signed with Niagara River Lions (Canada-NBL): DNP. Do you feel that by missing a season had an effect on you coming back to play Regionalliga? You must have had some Pro B offers in the last years? 

I had some opportunities but obviously none suitable, otherwise I would have been playing for those teams. I don’t feel that missing a season of basketball affected me or my game, I was still training every day and was prepared when I got the chance. And I would assume that any BBL or top tier team wouldn’t recruit a player that’s missed a season of basketball but I know that once my foot is in the door, anything’s possible. 

You played at Niagara (NCAA) form 2009-2013 playing 71 NCAA games and never averaged more than 4,2ppg. What was your fondest moment in these 4 years?

I think it’s safe to say that my fondest moments were during practices and off the court with events with teammates and classmates. 

In your second season you lost against Missouri scoring 9 points in 16 minutes and playing against future NBA players like Kim English and Phil Pressey. What memories do you have of that game?

I don’t remember much honestly. I played against a good amount of NBA talent and potential NBA talent. And especially if we lost, one memory I know I had was being pissed. 

When you look back at your career, how vital was it playing an extra season at Fairleigh Dickinson University (NCAA) averaging 8.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 64.0%, FT: 69.6%. Do you ever wonder where you may today had you remained at Niagara (NCAA)? 

My season at Fairleigh Dickinson I averaged 13.1ppg, 5.5rpg and shooting 56%. Compared to Niagara this was my ‘break out’ year where I had much more freedom. I wanted to play along side one of my best friends, Mustafaa Jones, that was a junior at the time and it was personally one of the best years of my life on and off the court. I ponder more about if I would have left Niagara sooner. (With all due respect to Joe Mihalich and the original coaching Staff that recruited me.) 

How did head coach Greg Herenda give you the last needed push in helping you be groomed and prepared for a professional career? 

I believe it was Coach Greg’s first year at FDU as well so it was a new beginning for both of us. We both had a desire to win and we built from that. Assistants Dwayne Lee and Zak Boisvert were essential to this year of growth for me. They studied me, did some great individual training with me and incorporated my game into the system of the team the best ways they knew how.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Mike Owona? 


Who was the toughest player that you ever faced that reached the NBA? 

Some players like Kevin Durant, Dion Waiters and twins Marcus and Markieff Morris were definitely a few of the toughest players that I’ve faced in high school. They all are obviously more skilled than most but they also show a toughness that even fewer NBA players have. 

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time. –

Scoop Jardine – Juan’ya Green – Dion Waiters – Khalif Wyatt – Hanif Edwards All of these players are guards and has made the game extraordinarily fun for me to play with them.

Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present. 

Michael Jordan LeBron James Shaquille O’Neal Kevin Durant 

What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

I’m a LeBron fan and I wasn’t born early enough to appreciate What Jordan has done for the game. It’s not a simple debate at all but with that being said, I would take Lebron over Jordan.

What was the last movie that you saw? –

I honestly cannot remember the last movie I’ve seen in theaters.

Thanks Scooter for the chat.

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