Evan Mcgaughey is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Carthage, Illinois that is playing his fourth professional season and second in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg currently averaging 10,0ppg, 4,0rpg, 14apg and 1,0spg. Last season he played with Benacquista Assicurazioni Latina Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 12 games averaging 9.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 59.3%. The year before he played with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 38 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 66.7%; and played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 10.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 60.0% . He completed his rookie season in Germany with the MLP Academics Heielberg averaging 11.8ppg, 6,4rpg and 2,1apg while shooting 41% from outside. The American played an illustrious career at Quincy (NCAA’) where he averaged double figures in scoring average each season. As a senior he played 25 games averaging 16.6ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 50.6%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com late in the summer about basketball.
Evan thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been despite the whole COVID-19 effecting the world
I just arrived in Heidelberg yesterday, August 31st. Recently, I just moved to Cincinnati, Ohio with my wife as we got married in early August. It was a wild summer to say the least.
How have you experienced the whole COVID-19 crisis in Italy and the States in the last months How much did the last 6 months change your life and how much of a challenge was it finding the time and places to be able to stay in shape and be able to work on your game?
I was fortunate enough to get out of Italy in late December, so I wasn’t held up there at all. It was weird being in the US at that time though. Everything was shut down and I wasn’t able to get in a gym. We had to compromise and workout in driveways and parks that still had rims up on the baskets.
You played your last game on December 15th in Italy. What did you learn about appreciate most about basketball in the time that you couldn’t compete on the floor against other teams?
I’m not sure what I learned from sitting out, but I realized how much I missed being out there with teammates. We were a very close team off the court in Italy, and it was hard to be away from them..
How do you feel did COVID-19 make you stronger as a man?
I guess COVID made my stronger as a man because I realized if I could stay healthy during the pandemic then it wasn’t my time to go. I’m still on this Earth to serve a purpose.
How much are you yearning to play a professional game again? When a player hasn’t played for so long what do you feel is missing most besides the competitive edge?
The thing I miss most is just being around a great group of guys. We have that again this year in Heidelberg. The club has put together a great team and I see a very successful season ahead of us..
Welcome back to Heidelberg and the MLP Academics. They gave you the biggest compliment saying they never wanted to let you go. What kind of compliment can you give the club now 2 years later?
The best compliment I can give them is that this is one of my favorite places I have played at in my career. I love the city of Heidelberg, and the fans are really supportive of the team here. Management and the coaches are high class as well
You stated in the team press release. You want to help lead the club to the easyCredit BBL. Wasn’t the team ready 3 years ago to go this difficult path?
Yes and no, as a team it was possibly for us to make it to the ProA finals and compete. The club was not ready though because we needed a bigger gym to play in to fit the criteria for the BBL.
You have played many games in your career including college and seen many coaches and people involved with clubs. How has your relationship grown with Branislav Ignjatovic and CEO Matthias Lautenschlager?
I’ve always had great respect for coach Frenki and Matthias. It would be hard not to since they were the ones that ultimately took a chance on my out of college. I’ll always thank them for that
How excited are you to be teammates with experienced guard Shy Ely again. You learned so much from him as a rookie. Could we see a new type of dynamic duo now in that you both have 2 more years of important experience?
Anything is possible when you have two very skilled players, but we also have several pieces around us that are just as able. I can’t wait to start competing with Shy again though, because I know he will be right there every step of the way wanting the same end result..
You also stated in our first interview in 2017 that in terms of having a hidden strength it was this. ‘I would say my ability to keep the team morale in a positive direction would be a strength of mine. I always try to keep things in a positive perspective’. Has been keeping a positive attitude something that has now gotten on people’s radar’s more?
I think it has a little bit. Teams are certainly looking for talent and athleticism first, but they also want to know what type of person you are. If you have all three then they really have no reason to turn you down
You shot 41% as a rookie from downtown and was below 30% the last 2 seasons. What is the biggest challenge for you on a daily basis concerning when your working on shooting a very good three?
I was below 40% the last two seasons. I just have to focus on getting the amount of reps in each day in order to stay consistent. As long as I do that then good things will happen.
How do you feel have you grown as a defensive player now at the pro ranks? What has been the biggest challenge being a shot blocker at the pro level?
Just learning how physical the game is as a pro is something I have definitely learned. It’s a much different game than college. Timing is everything though when you are trying to block shots, and you can’t get happy feet or else you’re sitting on the bench in foul trouble..
On what area’s of your game were you working on most this summer to help you continue to grow as a player?
Really I was working on all aspects of my game. Since it was so long since I last played I didn’t really focus on one certain thing to improve..
You played your second professional season with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 38 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 66.7%; and played 6 FIBA Europe Cup: games averaging 10.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 60.0%. How vital was the Fiba Europe Cup experience? What was the most vital aspect your game got from this competition?
It was great to be able to play in the FIBA Europe Cup. I played against a lot of great players and was able to find out how I stack up against some of the best in Europe..
What kind of experience was it being teammates with Evan Singletary? How much easier did his point guard skills make your game and was that the first time you had had another Evan on your team in your career?
Evan was a lot of fun to play with once he came on board. He’s very underrated here in Europe I believe. Very hard worker and always making the right read on the floor
Last season you played with Benacquista Assicurazioni Latina Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 12 games averaging 9.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 59.3%. This league has had a good reputation for some years now. It is a league where suddenly that player will pop up and you will say oh yeh he wasn’t in the NBA too long ago like a Brice Johnson. What good do you feel did your game profit from this experience?
Italy A2 is a very competitive league, and you never know what big name you might face there. Brice was a lot of fun to play against. You are always ready for the games when a big name like that is in the gym. He’s a really good guy too, I was talking to him and picking his brain the whole game which helped me out along the way
How proud have you been of Courtney Belger who proved at the Pro A level the last 2 years that he can play at that level. Have you kept the contact with him and followed his career a bit?
Ya Courtney and I keep in touch. I’ve always known that he would be successful in the Pro A as long as he got a shot at it. He’s worked way too hard for his moment and I knew he wouldn’t pass it up.
Who as the toughest player that you battled last season in Italy?
There are several names that I can think of. It was never an easy night in A2. Brice Johnson of course was one, and Kenny Goins was right up there as well
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time
Top 5 teammates of all time; Shy Ely, Eric Palm, Dalton Pepper, Dwayne Benjamin, and Andrea Ancelloti..
You might have witnessed Luka Donic in your rookie season in Germany. Is he a top 3 NBA player yet?
Luka is definitely getting close to top 3. Right now I’m not even sure who my top 3 would be, but he is certainly in the discussion
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Thanks Evan for the chat.