Henry Caruso (194-G-95, college: Santa Clara) is a 26 year old 194cm guard from San Mateo, California playing his third professional season and second with Donar Groningen. Last season with Donar Groningen (Holland-DBL) he played 25 games averaging 8.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 52.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 75.0%. He played his rookie season with Heroes Den Bosch (Holland-Eredivisie) playing games averaging 11.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT-2 (47.9%), FT: 85.9%. He began his basketball career at Junipero Serra High School. He then played at Princeton (NCAA) from 2013-107 playing 74 games. He then finished his NCAA career with Santa Clara University (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 12.2ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 84.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth.
Thanks Henry for talking to germanhoops.com. Welcome to Germany. What do you know in general about Germany and it’s country? Have you visited since being overseas?
Thank you. Germany has a highly developed and industrialized social market economy, which is highlighted by its commitment to technological advancements and foreign trade. As the most populous nation in the European Union, Germany has a strong influence throughout the EU. I have been fortunate to visit Germany on several occasions for basketball purposes. I was impressed with the German culture, architecture, and love for sports.
Since playing in Holland, how aware have you been of basketball in Germany? A lot of guys use Holland as a early platform and then move to Germany to play.
I am familiar with basketball in Germany as two of my former college teammates, TJ Bray and Hans Brase, played in the BBL and preformed quite well. Also, my current teammate, Leon Williams, played in Goettingen for multiple seasons.
With everything that you witnessed during COVID, how do you feel did COVID make you stronger as a man?
COVID has been a challenging time for everyone. In terms of basketball, COVID made me appreciate things such as the opportunity to compete at the professional level, play in front of fans, and my relationships with teammates and coaches.
Your playing your second season with Donar Groningen (Holland-DBL). What kind of an experience has it been playing for this organization? A few years ago they had won 4 titles from 2015-2017.
Playing for Donar Groningen has been a great experience. I am honored to represent the team and the Groningen community. I hope that we can give our fans a lot to cheer for throughout the season.
Have you felt like the club has pressure to win again? How big is the organization hunger to get that next title again?
The hunger and fire is certainly there. We want to be playing our best basketball at the right time and I am confident that our players, coaches, and support staff will help us achieve our goals.
The team is very deep and talented this season. Winning the league and cup title has to be the goal. What can this team achieve this season?
Building and working together day by day , step by step will help our team achieve goals. If we keep chipping away and staying true to the process, the results will follow.
What has it been like sharing the court with the experienced veteran Marquis Addison? How have you profited from his presence on the court?
Marquis Addison is an extremely talented basketball player, but an even better person. I have really enjoyed getting to know Marquis over these past months. Seeing his preparation and approach on a first hand basis has been valuable to me.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 194cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?
I enjoy watching Donte DiVincenzo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
You’re a player that has always been able to score and has a deadly three, but your rebounding really stands out for your height. Talk a little about how your rebounding instantly improved in your junior year at Princeton?
Rebounding & defense are two areas of the game that you can always control. Playing with energy and effort, combined with having awareness can heavily impact winning on every level.
What do you still want to add to your game to keep moving up the basketball ladder and to improve your game?
Win a championship at the professional level.
How tough was losing that three game playoff series against your former team Den Bosch last season? What will you remember most from that playoff series?
It was difficult. Losing is never fun, especially in a playoff series when the stakes are high. Den Bosch got hot at the right time, and unfortunately for us, the ball didn’t bounce our way in the final playoff game of the series
You played your rookie season with Heroes Den Bosch averaging 11.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT-2 (47.9%), FT: 85.9%. As a rookie you were teammates with an incredible sharp shooter named Seger Bonifant and athletic freak Elijah Clarance. What memories do you have of these two talented players?
Seger Bonifant was a pure shooter and a tremendous teammate. Elijah played with great energy and had a highlight reel dunk almost every game.
What was it like having TJ Bray as a teammate as a freshman at Princeton. He recently retired because of injuries. Was he like a mentor for you then?
As a freshman entering Princeton, I was unsure what to expect. TJ Bray was our senior captain and took me under his wing. He showed me how to navigate college basketball, play the right way and be successful in school. To this day, TJ is a great mentor for me. He had an unbelievable career making it all the way to the Euroleague and I know he will achieve wonderful things in the future.
You were teammates with Devin Cannady for two years. Did you sense he was NBA material when he was there?
Definitely. Devin Cannady is a gym rat. He was one of the first guys in the gym and one of the last guys to leave the gym. His ability to create his own shot combined with his strength and athleticism were things that stood out right away.
How did head coach Mitch Henderson groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Coach Henderson taught me to be a complete basketball player and make good decisions on the court. He stressed the importance of being able to pass, dribble, and shoot at a high level. Coach Henderson was a terrific basketball player at Princeton during the mid-late 1990s. Being able to learn from someone as successful as him was very impactful on my development as a basketball player.
You played another year at Santa Clara as a graduate student. How did your game benefit from playing a fifth season best?
My time at Santa Clara taught me how to lead a team and be a role model for the underclassmen. I was fortunate to play for Herb Sendek and his staff. His preparation and discipline are two things that I try to emulate. This past summer, I completed my M.B.A. from Santa Clara.
Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?
Aaron Gordon. During high school, our schools (Junipero Serra & Archbishop Mitty) played each other 10+ times. Those games were always down to the wire, sold out crowds, and some of my best basketball memories.
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
Jordan. Lebron. Bird. Nash. These were the guys I grew up watching.
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming to America? I have not watched it yet. I’ll have to add it to my bucket list.
Thanks Henry for the chat.