Richaud Pack is one of countless guys balling in Europe that has his own unique and fascinating story, but then again doesn´t every player?. The guy already had a special kind of NCAA career playing at 3 schools with Florida International University (NCAA), North Carolina A&T State University (NCAA) and the University of Maryland (NCAA). He rocked in North Carolina, but had a tough senior year at Maryland(NCAA) which very well affected the type of professional organizations that he signed with, but the lower leagues in Cyprus, Spain and Finland never effected his mind set which has always been in 100% grind mode as he has continued to go his way step by step. This season the 28 year old 192cm guard from Maryland is playing his 5th professional season with BC GGMT Vienna (Austria-BSL) and is really taking off with his personal game. He never averaged less than 11,3ppg as a professional and once averaged 20,4ppg with Ametx Zornotza (Spain-EBA) in the Spanish fourth division and last season with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) averaged 17.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 90.2%, but what he is doing this season is just incredible as he has heightened his game and stats another step to a new dimension. He currently is averaging 22,7ppg, 2,4rpg and 4,4apg while shooting a very respectable 37% from the parking lot. His rise in scoring has raised eye brows in Austria, but what he accomplished this past weekend has put his name on the map in Europe. He scored an incredible 55 points in an Austrian first division league game helping his team to a 104-101 OT win over Arcadia. The victory was huge, but so is his new Austrian scoring record “It means everything. I’ve put in so much work and to see some of it pay off in this way is priceless. I feel like this is the biggest mark I’ve left in Europe to this point. Now I want to leave many more”, warned Richaud Pack. Ex NBA player Nigel Hayes of Euroleague team Zalgiris said that the NBA has a million eyes and notice players in Europe. It´s no different with other European teams who are always scouting players for the future. My favorite and most classic quote from Richaud Pack is. “I try to focus on dominating where I am rather than focusing on where I could be or where I might go in the future”. That is exactly what he is doing this season in Austria, but one has to really wonder how much awareness he has gotten now in Europe with his 55 point explosion? “I feel like I’m so used to being overlooked that I don’t look to be noticed or worry about it. It can distract you and play with your mental depending on who you are as a person. I saw a quote the other day that said “Wherever you are, be there completely.” I have to give myself full permission to be here. Not in the past, not in the future. I’m surrendering to the moment. Right now is a gift, that’s why they call is the present”, warned Richaud Pack.
So let´s rewind a few days to December, 26th 2020, a day which forever will be remembered in Austrian basketball. Pack entered the game and just started scoring and didn´t stop. Of course having the OT period helped his totals, but overall everything worked for him. Sometimes what you eat can have an effect on you. Fraport Skyliner Matt Mobley scored 31 points in a win last weekend and had a Christmas pizza, but Richaud Pack didn´t need any food for extra strength, but moreover it was motivation for past failures on the court. “I didn’t eat anything special. However I was inspired. My recent frustrations inspired me. My President motivated me by having a personal talk with me and giving me confidence and comfort to do what I did. Ironically, the same person who had the all-time record, Stjepan Stazic, is the one who talked to me about the mind set it takes to do such a thing. So again, thanks to him”, warned Richaud Pack. Prior to this monumental scoring clinic, the American had had problems shooting against St.Poelten and Klosterneuburg combining for only 7 points on 3/19 shooting. He knew that something definitely had to change and just put in the extra extra work and also mentally was a different type of warrior. “I locked in differently. I did solo workouts when no one else was at the gym. I shot a couple hundred shots on game day in the morning. The main change was in my mentality. I was in attack mode no matter what play was called, no matter how many minutes I played, and no matter who thought I shouldn’t be shooting the ball. I felt like I had to remind the league, our team and my coach that I was that guy. I had a point to prove”, stressed Richaud Pack.
Scoring 55 points was an amazing and memorable personal achievement, but at the same time getting the win was massive. The league is a real dog fight as the standings are very close. Only two places separate from first place to sixth place. Every game is very important. Pack´s club now has won 5 of the last 6 games and are in a nice groove. If someone were to ask him what is more important the 55 points or a title at the end of the season, one could imagine what he would answer. “I believe God has what he has for me. So I wouldn’t trade anything that I’ve been given by the higher power seeing that it’s already done. However, if you had asked me before the game, 55 points or a championship this season, I would definitely say championship”, stressed Richaud Pack. Pack has been in a groove for most of the season except for two poor games has really dominated. He has scored 20 points or more 8 times and hit Klosternburg for 34 points, but nothing compares to his monumental 55 point demolition performance. This great game didn´t just happen, but a sign that good things would happen already occurred in practice days leading up to his scoring record. “I knew two days before the game. We had a scrimmage to 20 points. I scored all 20. Then we went to 15, and I had 13. The last game was to 20 and I had 17 of them. The entire week I was on a totally different level mentally”, expressed Richaud Pack. Often when guys score somewhere between 30-40 points, one says they were in the zone, but where are you exactly when you score 55 points? “I was unconscious. . I blocked everything out. I wasn’t going to allow anything to stop me. It got to the point where the moment before I shot until the ball was in the air, I couldn’t feel anything. I would just remember the ball going in all net and thinking wow, I can’t miss”, warned Richaud Pack. It was one of those games where really everything worked for him. He scored a lot from the two point area, hit 7 three pointers and got to the free throw line 12 times. It may seem easy at times being able to score 55 points, but it isn´t always. There is a lot of bleeding involved when defenses are keying in on you because you are the top scorer in the league. “When I watch the film, I realized the shots I was making were a bit harder than they seemed in the moment. That’s how it is when you are a scorer. That rim gets big and hands in your face don’t bother you”, said Richaud Pack. Learning never gets old even when you score 55 points. Having always been overlooked his whole basketball life, he will never be satisfied and knows that he got something very valuable from this experience. “I learned the sky is the limit when I go to another level of focus and determination. I have to play extra aggressive and keep the defenders on their heels when I have the ball”, added Richaud Pack. When you see a guy score 55 points a quick assumption is that the guy hogged the ball and took all the shots. Ok so he attempted 32 shots, but what other player wouldn´t have kept shooting when every shot was like hitting the ocean? He demonstrated his unselfishness still being that vital team player getting 5 boards, dishing out 7 dimes and getting 1 steal and block. “I remember a play where I was at 25 points in the first half and I was playing 1-on-1. Most coaches will let you shoot any shot at that point. No one will say anything. However, when a player helped on me, I passed to our captain Paul and he made a 3. I was always trying to make the right play. This is something I’ve been preaching to our team to do. I feel like when I still was a team player the entire game despite scoring 55 points, it showed some guys that they could do the same”, commented Richaud Pack.
So many professional players in Europe will never eclipse 40 points or even 30 points in a game even if they played a full 40 minute game. Scoring isn´t for everybody but I gulped when Pack told me that his 55 record breaking points in Austria wasn´t even his highest total. He once scored 56 points as a 17 year old senior in high school where he dueled against future NBA player James Young. In the NCAA he scored 30 points twice against Greensboro and NJIT and his professional high before the 55 point explosion was in Cyprus as a rookie where he netted 34 points against AEK where he out scored ex NBA player Primoz Brezec and top Euro players Thaddus Mcfadden and Brandon Bowman. Even if the NBA is about as far away for the American as it is for Lebron James to have all his haters erased, there is no denying that this towering achievement that Pack has made brings some NBA chatter to the picture. Who will forget Kobe Bryant´s incredible 81 point game or forget when Devin Booker scored 70 points or when the immortal Michael Jordan scored 69 points. He must have had some thoughts about these NBA guys big time point totals after his 55. “Kobe pops in my head in this specific instance because I was in a mamba mentality type zone this game”, answered Richaud Pack. Some more NBA chatter you can add is concerning Steph Curry´s recent amazing 5 minute shooting clinic nailing 103 three´s in a row. Pack is more than half way there once having drilled home 67 three´s in a row. But enough about the NBA. What heights can he reach on the court after dropping 55 points? “This performance motivates me to stay a killer on the court. It motivates me to stay in attack mode. The points will come but I’m more concerned with my mentality than obsessing over a high point number. If I attack the game correctly, big nights will happen from time to time”, warned Richaud Pack. The eyes on Richaud Pack will continue to grow this season as more European clubs have him on their radars for next season, but that all isn´t important to him. He goes game by game. His 55 points will only be a great memory as it is in the past and next season is in the future. All that matters now is the present and the next game.