Cayden Edmonson is a 206cm center from Dixon, Kentucky that played his rookie season with the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) playing only one game scoring 25 points, getting 13 boards and dishing out 3 assists in a loss to Idstein and then COVID-19 ended his season. He began his basketball career with Webster County High School and then played 112 NAIA games with Bethel University Tennessee from 2016-2020. In his freshman year he played 17 games averaging 2.0ppg, 2.0rpg. In his second season he played 31 games averaging 8.9ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 55.9%, FT: 71.4%. In his junior season at Bethel University, Tennessee he played 33 games averaging 14.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 61.5%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 63.0%. He took it up another notch as a senior playing 31 games averaging 16.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 67.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Cayden thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Congrats on signing with German regionalliga team Giessen Pointers. In a time with COVID-19 and the transfer market difficult to crack, how did this transaction come about?
I signed with Mr. Stinnett/David Gonzalez into Free Agency Basketball and once I got my passport, which was delayed quite a bit due to COVID-19, I was informed of my offers and made my decision from there. It was quite stressful, but I knew I was in good hands with my agents.
You had 2 offers from German teams. What was the deciding factor why you joined the Giessen Pointers and what was your first impression of head coach Daniel Doerr?
I joined the Pointers because they presented the best opportunity for my career. Coach Daniel is a great coach. I love his enthusiasm for the game and it helps that he played a similar position in his time, so we can relate quite a bit. He has helped me feel at home here, and has helped me with this transition as well.
How blessed do you feel about signing a professional contract. It isn’t that often that NAIA players get signed overseas. Have the goosebumps became less?
The realization that I had become a pro player was definitely a major cause of my nervousness. I didn’t really think about the aspect coming from an NAIA level because I was always told that if you can play, the pro teams would find you. It has always been a dream of mine to play professionally, I locked in and trusted God that he would lead me to where I needed to go. It all still feels new, but I know I am right where I need to be. I have done well on the court, but I know I have a lot more to give and I’m thrilled to play.
You had a really tough childhood losing your dad at age 2, sleeping on the floor and seeing drugs all around. How were you able to rebound as an adolescent Did Mr Himmelheber save your life?
I always had a positive mindset and a realization of what was right/ what was wrong, so I always tried to keep my head straight. Regardless of those situations, it is obvious that there are effects for children, but basketball was my escape. Coach D in my eyes saved my life, but God had us meet for a reason.
How has God changed your life. Where do you think you would be today had Mr Himmelheber and church not entered your life?
God changed my life by always keeping me on the right path regardless of the situation that I was in. I always had a voice over me guiding me in any situation. Without Coach D and the church, I would probably be living with my mother trying to make the best life possible with her because she is all I have as a parent.
Mr Himmelheber said this about you. ‘I’ve affected one. He’s going to affect thousands. The (number of) kids he’s going to be able to help is tremendous.’ Will you be looking to help kids in Germany?
I absolutely love kids, ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible. Due to the language barrier, it has been tough. If I can help some kids along the way, that would be an ultimate goal.
I love your quote ‘Anywhere is a chance to live my dream’ Obviously Germany is a great place to live, but would you have signed in Mongolia to live out your dream?
I would sign anywhere to live out my dream. It wouldn’t have mattered where I signed as long as I could play basketball.
You’re a history buff and living in Germany is a good place to learn about history. How excited are you about living in the university city Giessen and getting to know it’s history?
I’m ecstatic about learning the history of Giessen and getting as much knowledge about it as possible.
You played your last college game on March 5th against Loyola LA. How difficult was it abruptly your college career? What would you still have liked to have experienced as a player at the NAIA level?
The ending of my senior year in college was one of hardest things to go through because of the family that was at Bethel. I would have liked to experience a National Championship.
How did you experience the whole COVID-19 crisis in the States? How challenging was life in general for you and how did you get by best during this time?
The crisis with Covid forced me to move out of Bethel University.I had got an apartment with my High School teammate Shawn House. Life wasn’t too bad considering I had a job at the local Walmart, but the home workouts weren’t the same as an actual in gym workout.
How challenging was it finding gym time to stay in shape and also work on basketball skills? Did you have to come up with some special exercises that you didn’t do beforehand?
Staying in shape was not that bad because I was running a mile 3 out of the 7 days. Basketball skills were hard because I did not get a goal to shoot on until July. I started looking into calisthenics workouts with some friends and those workouts helped.
How did this whole COVID-19 crisis make you stronger as a man?
Covid made me focus on my mental health and become even closer with God, which prepared me more for overseas than anything.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 206cm center. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the description?
I think my play style is unique for my position. I couldn’t quite choose an NBA player.
You’re a player that can score and grab rebounds at ease. What do you feel is your absolute biggest asset on the court?
Biggest assets is that I have a do not give up mentality when playing – regardless of the score, Im still going to play like it’s a tied game
You took 46 three’s in your last 2 seasons at Bethel University Tennessee. Is developing your three something you will see doing as a professional?
I’ve always wanted to get better as a player and have more than an inside game to offer. Developing it to be more consistent is a personal goal.
On what things did you work on most this summer so you will be successful in your rookie season in Germany?
Body weight workouts were a huge success to prepare me for my rookie season because it brought more strength for me.
What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away?
My court vision.
You played at bethel University Tennessee from 2016-2020. Was reaching the NAIA D1 Sweet 16 in 2019 your biggest achievement?
That was my biggest achievement because it was a team succession.
You had many personal good games at Bethel University Tennessee, but as a junior you had 4 games in a row against Middle Georgia, Florida College, Brewton Parker and Blue mountain averaging 23 points per game. Was this the best basketball that you played there?
Not necessarily the best basketball games, but it was the games with the mismatches down low. The game plan for those games were designed for me. I think my best basketball was as a senior on the road to my 1,000th point.
How did head coach Jeff Britt groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
By pushing me to be a work horse on the court. He was always in my ear to make me better.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Kameron Rose?
I’m about 150-0 against Kam. I know a few times I won off just dunks.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced that reached the NBA?
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
5 best teammates were Mason Roland, Isaac Edmondson, Charles Cobb, Jarred Walker, and Bradley Walker. They all pushed me to be the best possible player that I could be on the court.
What is your personal NBA Rushmore of players past or present?
Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Dennis Rodman, and Shaq
What is your personal opinion of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Jordan all day.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Cayden for the chat.