Jordan Geist (188-SG-97, college: Missouri, agency: Inception Sports) a 24 year old 193cm guard from Ft Wayne, Indiana that completed his second professional season with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-Pro A) playing 31 games averaging 15.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 84.5%. He played his rookie season in Germany with the ROMERSTROM Gladiators Trier (Germany-ProA) averaging 18,6ppg, 3,8rpg, 1,apg and 1,2spg while shooting a strong 40% from outside as a rookie. He belonged to the top shooting guards in the Pro A scoring in double figures in 24 of 26 games. He scored 20 points or more 11 times including a 38 point explosion against Heidelberg and had a 30 point outburst against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen as a rookie. He began his basketball career at Homestead High School and in 2015-2016 played a season at Ranger CC (JUCO) playing 38 games averaging 15.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 75.0%. He then played at Missouri (NCAA) from 206-2019 playing a total of 97 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Congrats Jordan on the 2021 Pro A title. As a guy from Indiana, did you learn something new about celebrating Heidelberg style after a title win?
I learned how to party after a championship! I won a High School state championship in 2015 but this one is a lot different. The group of guys made this one special. Overcoming all the difficulties of a corona season made it even more special.
What an interesting final series. You won game one by 30 points and the second game was 93-93. Will you remember that game two was a tie in 30 years?
Honestly I don’t think I will remember it in a tie. I think that knowing we won the championship is the only thing I’ll remember. It was nice to tie rather than lose though.
How did it feel ending a game in a tie and have you ever had that before in your career?
I don’t think I’ve ever ended a game in a tie and it’s kind of hard to describe the feeling. I think it was weird but everyone was so excited about the championship that no one cares it was a tie. Not playing overtime did feel weird!
The second quarter of game one decided the title as you won it 24-9. Was that the perfect quarter of balanced offense and defense?
I think it was perfectly balanced. We forced hard tough shots which led to easy lay ups for us. We didn’t hit very many threes which attributed to our great defense and great fast real offense.
The MLP Academics shot better, rebounded better and took care of the ball better in game one. Did the MLP Academics want it more than the Bayer Giants Leverkusen?
The way Leverkusen had been playing you have to give them props. They won their group and I think they wanted it as much as us. I do think we just played better. We came out more aggressive and shot a decent percentage. We didn’t want to force ourselves to settle when they went into zone which helped us out a lot.
The team had six guys in double figures. How much fun did this season have taking care of the ball?
This season was fun pushing the pace. We had to find our balance of playing fast but not too fast where we are turning the ball over and taking bad shots. When we did that we played extremely well.
It was a crazy and unpredictable PRO A season with COVID. How highly can one rate this title win with all the drama happening around COVID?
I think this season was even more difficult that many I’ve had. You never knew what could happen. Day before a game it could get cancelled or you could play. Everyone was always anxious but grateful to be able to play every game.
The MLP Academics obviously had a great bunch of guys, but if you look back on the season what was the secret to the success?
I think it was the bond we had. We had a lot of talent come to play at Heidelberg and with that comes a lot of responsibility. You have to put your egos to the side and play ball together. Once we figured that out we were able to win big games and be successful.
How much credit do you have to give coach Frenki and manager Matthias Lautenschlager? How strong was their vision and what was key for them be able to transport this belief of moving up to the team?
I Have to give them a lot of credit for putting a vision on the board and making it happen. Like I answered in the previous question, putting a lot of talent together and getting them to put their egos to the side to win takes courage and it ended up working out.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it to be a teammate with Shy Ely. What was it like playing in the back court with him and what big quality of him do you hope rubbed off on you?
I enjoyed learning and watching Shy all year. We bonded being boys from Indiana and when we got to play together it helped. We got to compete and learn from each other in practice and it helped me grow in games.
What was it like being teammates with versatile big man Evan Mcgaughey? What did you appreciate most about his game and how vital was his leadership?
Evan and I bonded playing video games every day. Since he was in Heidelberg a few years ago he had a feel for everything and if I had any concerns he was always there to listen. He would help me out in games and practice and push me to be better.
Saaed Nelson played a very good rookie season. How did you see him develop in the season and is he a guy that you see making the jump to international ball competition in the future?
He’s got a bright future ahead of him. He’s a gifted athlete that understands the game. If he can continue to develop his jump shot like he did throughout the year he can go places.
The team has so many scorers, but how important was the consistency inside from the two German big men Armin Trtovac and Philipp Heyden? How much did they give support to the success?
It was huge. I think having some of the top bigs helped us guards get more open shots. As you could see some games the guards had easy shots and scored the points but other games the bugs would have big nights because they would try and shut the guards down. I think it helped us be extremely versatile.
From all the players that you witnessed this season with the MLP Academics who was the most improved player?
Fredirici from Bremerhaven was great this year. Having someone so consistent as a scoring threat from behind the arc opens up the floor for his team. Last year not many people talked about him and this year he was an emphasis on their squad.
Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 15/3/2 stats and shot 37% from outside. How content were you with your second professional season?
I feel alright with my season. I feel like I can play way better and I hope to get to be better in a better league as well. I’m looking forward to growing as a player this summer and making some big improvements.
You shot 37% from outside a bit down from your rookie season in Trier. You told me last season you had to keep improving your shot. How do you feel did your shot develop further playing with more talented guys?
I think I’m a great catch a shoot player. I need to work on hitting shots off the dribble this summer. Probably my biggest emphasis on my game. The more talented guys I play with I think I can be more of a catch and shoot player and driver and less of a playmaker for shots. I would love to be a PG for a team where my job is to get others involved and shoot open threes. I think that’s where I’m the best. My goal would be to average about 10 ppg, 5 assist, 4 rebounds and be a lockdown defender.
Last season you stated to me ‘ I also won’t be able to finish at the rim against some of the better athletes so I will have to be able to be a better shooter. How do you feel did your drive progress coupled with your vast athleticism against bigger guys?
I think this year was big for me improving that. I’ve learned more on when to attack and finish and when to attack and pass. I think that helped me be more efficient when I get to the rim. I think I finished better as well.
In the summer of 2019 you worked on expanding your offensive game to be able to play 1v1 better and make shots like that. On what area’s will you be concentrating on most this summer so you can continue to get better and move up the basketball ladder?
I think that area again. I would love to become a better scorer off the dribble especially from midrange and three. I think that will make me a bigger threat on offense.
Who was the toughest guard that you battled this season in the Pro A this season?
Simmons from Artland was a great scorer. It seemed like even when we beat them by 20 at their place we shut him down but he still had like 20 points. He was just a dog at scoring and helping his team.
Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?
I think he’s definitely top 5. The leadership he has is crazy insane. He improves any team he is on and helps develop the young guys into winners and that’s why I think he’s a top 5 PG of all time.
Where do you see the journey going with Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points? Is he a top 10 player in the NBA now?
I think he’s going to be a top 5 scorer in the league for the next 5-10 years. I think in a few years he’ll develop his leadership and be able to guide his team to a championship.
Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
I think the NBA is easier to score in and play. The games are so different and hard to compare. I think Russ would be a top 3 player if not the best in Europe. His athleticism and will to win would make him a huge key to success in any team. What he’s done breaking the triple double record is insane and I don’t think people give him enough credit.
Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?
I strongly disagree although I do think he changed that game for smaller players and had a huge part in that.
Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
They should’ve just left it alone. Similar to the Hangover. Some things are meant to be one and dones.
Thanks Jordan for the chat