Ricky Easterling (189-G-83, college: Bridgewater) is a 37 year 189cm guard form Baltimore, Maryland playing his 16th professional season and 14th season with the Sunkings Saarlouis (Germany-Regionalliga). He has made a name for himself in the Regionalliga over the years as he averaged over 30,0ppg twice and led the Pro B in scoring from 2014-2016. Last season he averaged 24.9ppg), 6.3rpg, 5.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.2%. He began his basketball career with Bridgewater College (NCAA3) and as a professional also has had experience with the the Baltimore Pearls (ABA), TSG Reutlingen (Germany-Oberliga) and the Bergheim Bandits (Germany-Regionalliga). He spoke to germanhoops.com before the 2021-2022 season opener in Limburg.
Ricky thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment? *
It’s always a pleasure chopping it up with you my friend! Thanks for contacting me for another interview. I’m in Saarlouis at my second home preparing for the new season as a player and a coach.
Basketball is finally back. How excited are to finally be competing again. What did you miss doing most on the court? Possibly unleashing your lethal mid distance jumper? *
To be honest I miss just being out on the court playing real games. Rather than just training, playing pick up, or meaningless games.
It was a real shame that the Regionalliga was cancelled last season. You never take a day off. You were in involved with F& R Basketball workouts. Despite not playing games how do you feel did your game profit from grinding in the lab without playing games? Did you train differently or do different things working on your game that you might not have done had you had the weekly games? *
Even though the season was cancelled I stayed true to my routine. I stayed in the Lab and tried to stay sharp. I also worked on aspects of the game that I needed to improve. For example my 3pt shot. To make up for not having games I added more cardio to my workouts and played a lot of 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5 once the covid rules started to lighten up a little bit. I also look at the lockdown as an advantage because at my age a break like this is good for my body.
Your turning 38 in less than two months. How do you feel physically and in what kind of shape is your game currently?
I feel pretty good for my age. I got a couple aches and pains but nothing I can’t handle. As far as the shape of my game I guess we will find out on Saturday! Haha!
What are your personal goals? The last three seasons after the Pro B, you continued to put up very strong consistent stats. Will the Saarlouis offense continue to go through you?
My goals for this season is to have a winning season with my team and try to end up somewhere in the top of the league standings. Not really concerned about individual accomplishments. I’m still a key player in our offense attack so you will see me continue to be a scoring/ playmaking threat for my team.
In 2019-2020 you had one of your best assist seasons. Can you see yourself becoming more of a playmaker and be able to trim down your scoring if you had to? * I can see me continuing to make plays for me and my teammates.
If it is better for me to be a dominate scorer I can still do that, and if I’m needed to be more of a playmaker I can handle that too. Just want to have a successful season. So whatever needs to be done is what I will do.
What kind of defender are you now at age 37? What do you continue to try to do most on the defensive end despite not being 27 anymore?
I can lock up and I will take more pride on that side of the floor this season. In the summer I worked out with some up and coming talent and they are quick, strong, and very hard to stay in front of. Guarding them keeps my Defense on point. Even though I’m there to help them get better, whether they know it or not they are also helping me to continue to compete at a high level. Even with my older age. Shot-out to my young guys Nick Parish and Dion Brown for helping me just as much as I try to help them when we are working out in the off season at Kutshers Sports Academy.
What can we expect from the Sunkings roster this season? The team continues to have continuity. The chemistry has to be amazing. *
We continue to be family here in Saarlouis. The main core of guys are still around, plus we have a couple new faces. Thankfully we added some good guys. They are good players on the court and they have great character. They fit in with us perfectly on and off the court. I’m looking forward to playing with this group this season.
When you read the number 43 what could you imagine it meaning? *
Only thing I think of when I see that number is how old I will be in the near future! Haha!
Well it is 43 seasons combined that you, Mukarem Mujkanovic and Jimmy Lauter have played in Saarlouis including this season. Do you guys have a special bond that not many have on teams? *
That’s crazy we have that type of longevity together as teammates! I’m very thankful to have these guy on my team and in my life as lifelong friends! Our bond is amazing and I am very thankful for that! We are brothers and we will always be. Even after our basketball days are over they will remain my guys 4 ever!
Saarlouis opens the season in Limburg. You have had some real battles against them. Do you have a particular game that you remember? *
I have a couple memories playing them. Some good and some bad but it’s all apart of the game. Looking forward to see what happens this time around.
The heart and soul of Limburg is shooting guard and captain Justin Stahlbohm. How much of a challenge is it having to deal with him on the court? *
He definitely is a key member to his team. He plays hard and leaves everything he has on the court. So playing against him is always a challenge. But I’m about that life! So I’m looking forward to the game this weekend.
When you enter the court in Limburg, what will you be most thankful about finally be able to play the game again that you love? *
Just being out there is a blessing. I will embrace it because we never know what will happen. Every time we step out there it could be the last time. So that’s how I’m going approach it this weekend. Especially after dealing with Covid.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone? *
I haven’t seen the sequel yet unfortunately. To be honest I totally forgot about the movie. Thanks for reminding me about it. I will check it out in the near future for sure!
Thanks Ricky For the chat.