Angelo Warner (188-PG-92, college: Morehead St.) is a 29 year old 188cm point guard from Orlando, Florida that is playing his seventh professional season and first with Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League). He has vast professional experience having played in the ABA early in his career and overseas in countries like Mozambique, Bosnia, Hungry, Cyprus and Italy. He began his basketball career at Jones high school and then played 4 seasons and 129 NCAA games at Morehead State. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game in Crailsheim.
Thanks Angelo for talking to germanhoops.com. Welcome to Germany. What do you know in general about Germany and it’s basketball? Did you know that you have an ex Morehead State guy Brandon Shingles that played here? He graduated from Morehead a year before you arrived.
I didn’t know Brandon played in Germany but me and Him have talked a few times before.
Before we talk about basketball I have to ask you about COVID. Since COVID broke you played in Italy, Hungary and now Belarus. How did you experience the whole COVID time? What were the biggest challenges for you on and off the court?
Well when Covid hit in Italy, it was terrible. We were on lockdown like no other. We couldn’t move for weeks! Only trips to the market or pharmacy. I remember going to the market to buy masks, and they were out. I had to use a towel for a face cover. In Hungary, my whole team caught Covid! It was terrible also. I never had a sickness so bad. I lost 10 lbs fast! Lost my smell and taste for 3-4 weeks. The biggest challenge was getting back in shape because we had games a week later.
With everything that you witnessed during COVID, how do you feel did COVID make you stronger as a man?
I feel that it made me feel stronger about Covid. I never felt that Covid wasn’t real but I always thought our team would do everything to be secure from it but obviously not.
Your playing your first season with Tsmoki-Minsk. What kind of an experience has it been sharing your game in the VTB? You played in Eurocup and Italia Serie A. How does the VTB compare to those two leagues in terms of competition and skill?
Serie A for me was very tough and physical. Every game was tough and then we played Eurocup also which was very tough. Physically it wasn’t a challenge for me, I just feel I wasn’t given my opportunity because of the veterans there. Vtb is similar to Serie A in many ways. High level players every game, mentality and approach has to be sharp every night.
You recently probably played against the most talented professional team in your career CSKA Moscow losing 92-44. What kind of a learning experience was this for you and how do rate your game against guys like ex NBA players Bolomboy and Shved and other high class players?
I think personally to have a chance with teams like CSKA, you have to match the players some sort, physically, and with some sort of talent. We obviously weren’t ready to play them as everyone saw but I think now if we played them, it’ll be a different game, and then we’ll see what happens at the last buzzer.
How focused are you to have a great season in the VTB after not being able to show your true class in Italy?
This year has been a difficult year mentally for me. Before coming here, I lost my mom, and then couple days later I had to come here so mentally I wasn’t prepared to play basketball. A Week later, 4 of my best friends were killed, my dad was fighting for his life with Covid, I couldn’t do anything about it. So I was basically playing out of anger which turned to success thus far for me. I have another reason to play now. I always knew I could play anywhere for any club. Adaption is easy for me. Unfortunately, Italy wasn’t the place for me but now I think that’ll be a different story obviously haha.
Last season you played with Szolnoki Olajbanyasz KK (Hungary-A Division) averaging 12.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 90.0%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup averaged 14.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 80.0%. How vital has Hungry been for your career. Twice it gave you great opportunities to play in Italy and now Belarus.
Hungary has been a place I’ve enjoyed for the years playing there. I had a great team in Szolnok were we did some good things. Practices was insane but like I said, mentally and physically I was sharp enough to keep healthy for one and produce.
What was toughest about losing the hard fought 5 game series against Szombathel and top point guard Kyan Anderson who is back in Germany again.
I think we had a chance to beat them. But Falco is Hungary Stronghold. Anderson was good on film but I think we didn’t have any trouble with him, the other players though were the challenge. National team players, no chance. To
Two season ago you played with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) averaging 3.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.2apg; and in the Eurocup averaged 2.7ppg, 1.6rpg. How tough were the basketball growing pains and what did you learn about your game and yourself as a man?
I always talk about playing in Brescia and what I learned from playing there. I learned a lot about my game, and things I do today has been a great habit for me still today. I try to help others with what I learned from there, it’s a hard place to play. Physical! Smarts! Talent! Top quality basketball for sure. Maybe one day I’ll play there again.
Despite the tough season you had some high class teammates like Ken Horton and Deandre Lansdowne who all have played in Germany and made the next step. Especially how much of a role model was Deandre Lansdowne who went from the NCAA 2 and third league Germany to top leagues in Europe?
Those guys were great, DJ was a good dude who I mostly challenged myself with in practice. Hard working guy for sure. Ken was more of the positive guy for me. Someone I could talk to and he kept it real with me. Still today I talk to ken. He’s like a older brother to me.
In 2018-2019 you played with Sopron KC (Hungary-A Division) averaging 19.4ppg 5.3rpg, 5.4apg, Steals-3 (1.8spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 82.8%. You had many huge games in your career, but what memories do you have of your 33 point explosion in the tough 90-89 playoff loss against Kormend?
So long ago! I just look at it as something I had to do in order for us to have a chance. That’s just me! Always find a way!
In 2017-2018 you played with KK Vogosca Sarajevo (Bosnia-Division I) playing 20 games: Score-1 (20.4ppg), 4.5rpg, Assists-1 (8.1apg), Steals-1 (2.7spg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 80.7%. Could one say after playing in the ABA, Cyprus and Africa that this was your real break through season? How vital was this season for your career?
At this moment for me I basically started all the way over. With changing agents, we had a plan for working my way back up properly. It was just an opportunity I took and ran with. Good thing is it paid off a good deal.
You played two seasons with Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique-D1). What kind of an experience was it playing Africa? Do you have a unique experience that you had there that you will never forget?
Playing there was just something I wanted to do during the summer. It was short time but different. Experienced something I thought I’d never see. Saw the good and bad of it all. Fiba Africas cup was fun though for sure.
After having a stellar career in the NCAA, how eye opening was it seeing how tough it is to get overseas? You did land in Cyprus, but not before paying dues in the ABA.
I would say representation. I had a guy who didn’t have his best interest in me and I knew him personally. Sold me a dream basically. I don’t think it’s tough getting from college to overseas because if you got it then you got it and nobody can take that away. Talent speaks for itself!
You won your first and so far only professional title with Mapfree Life (Cyprus-North League) averaging 28.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 7.8apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 58.3%, 3FGP: 42.1%, FT: 82.3%. What memories do you have from that title and does that itch to win that second one get bigger and bigger each season?
The will to win is crucial to me every night. Everybody wants to win but what separates you from another is mentality and smarts to outsmart the other opponent.
You played at Morehead State from 2011-2015. What memories do you have from your career there? What was it like coming in and having to follow up the club’s NCAA tournament appearance the year before?
It was different. Big shoes to fill obviously after a season like that. But we tried and that was that.
Your sophmore season you had Tennessee State’s number scoring 24 and 23 points including an amazing 101-100 win. Where do you rank that game in your favorite NCAA games and what memories do you have of it?
That game was one of many games for me. Just another game to help my team win. I was just lucky that day lol. But coming from Florida, hbcu colleges was all I knew. Family members attending hbcu and the culture and music is what was the best. Our family enjoyed it so I kind of stuck with me. But I had many memories from games not just that one in particular.
What memories do you have playing Kentucky with so many future NBA players? You had 2 points in a 81-70 loss. What Kentucky player do you remember standing out most?
I believe if I didn’t get a concussion that game, we would’ve beaten Kentucky. I think Archy Goodwin was there guy that year. I was the key to stop him. Unfortunately I go put out early in the game.
For three years you had intense battles with Corey Walden. Is there a certain game that you will always remember?
Me and Corey played together in high school games in Florida. But in college, he always got the best of us for some reason. He’s a good player, but the year we played at their gym on ESPN, That was my day! So that was fun.
He didn’t have better stats than you, but you actually had some better seasons, but he has been a Euroleague player for years. Does a guy like him motivate you to do more every day in the lab?
I don’t think like that. Another person motivating me to be better in the lab. I’m a strong firm believer of self motivation! If you don’t have self motivation and determination, how can someone else push you to be better. I’ll be there one day, if I do then my time has come, if I don’t then life continues. I don’t look at other people’s situation and compare it to mines. Some guys have better luck then the next. It’s the way of life.
How did Sean Wood groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Coach Woods was great figure in my career. Inside/ out! Realization is a great word for him. He made me tougher, gritty, well rounded. He was a person that challenges you and if you can’t be coachable and accept what he wants out of you, then you will struggle. I just picked up more and more as I played with and against other players in my life.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Kareem Storey?
HAHAHA!!! Kareem is my boy for life but he knows that’s my game any time of the week. It was a challenge though for sure. Short, strong, hard defense! But for sure me.
Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?
For sure Mike James! Without a doubt. But then again,Teodosic was just unbelievable in my eyes when I played in Italy. But again another hard question to ask because I played against some good players. In summer leagues and professional games.
Please name your five best teammates of all-time.
Oh man that’s a long list!
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
This is a never ending debate. I think the era and rules of today’s game is judgmental to the answer. I’m a Jordan fan all day long. I grew up watching vhs tapes of him. I still have them till this day. But Lebron in today’s era is the king without question. But another thing is mental. It’s important to me! The mindset of Jordan and the tenaciousness he had for any challenge was like no other. That’s why Kobe is my other favorite. Never backed down from a challenge. Not taking away from Lebron but that’s just me.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming to America? Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
I haven’t watched the new but I heard it’s very different and that’s why I believe I haven’t watched it yet. Some older movies shouldn’t be messed with. They change too much and makes the movies ridiculous!
Thanks Angelo for the chat.