Kendrick Ray (188-G-94, college: KSU) is a 27 year old 188cm guard from Middletown, New York that is playing his fifth professional season and first with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1). Last season he played with Socar Petkimspor (Turkey-TBL) playing 29 games averaging 15.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 82.1%.He also got extra experience playing with :Maccabi Fox Tel-Aviv (Israel-Winner League), Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-Jeep ELITE ProA). And AEK Athens (Greece-A1). He began his professional career with CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL), averaging 13.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 73.8%; and in the BCL averaged 15.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 86.1%. He began his basketball career at Middletown high school. He then played two years at Quinnipiac University (NCAA) and then finished at Kennesaw State University (NCAA) averaging 18.7ppg), 5.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 71.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Eurocup game against ratiopharm Ulm.
Thanks Kendrick for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I’m good. I can’t complain just taking it day by day. basketball wise I’m good just trying to be the best player I can be day in day out.
You have played in Germany before. What stories do you remember hearing from your brother Allan who played in Germany during 2012-2013 for ratioopharm Ulm?
I haven’t really talked to him about Ulm, but 2 years ago I was close to signing with Ulm had the contract, met with coach and everything but I switched agents so the deal didn’t fall through.
Before we talk about basketball, I have to ask you about your experience with COVID. You were in Greece and Turkey during the time. What were the biggest challenges for you on and off the court?
Off the court was catching covid of course and dealing with that being stuck in the house, also coming back from covid and having to get back in shape.
With everything that you experienced with COVID, how do you feel did you get stronger as a man?
it definitely helped me get mentally stronger dealing with that stuff on and off the court a lot of challenges but I got through it
You won 2 professional titles. How big is the urge each season to win a title?
It’s definitely always a goal to end the season with championships and every year I try to do what I can to help the team win.
Your playing your first season with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1)Your having a great statistical season so far in Greece. To what factors can you attribute that? Freedom and great aggressiveness on your part?
I just think my work is showing and what I do in the off season paying off and a team that believes in my abilities.
What is it like being teammates again with Jerai Grant? Are you guys like brothers now?
Jerai is a good guy and I love being able to compete with him.
Last season you played for Socar Petkimspor (Turkey-TBL) averaging 15.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 82.1%. What was it like playing in the up and coming league in Turkey? How did your game grow there?
It was great to play in the Turkish league. It was tough night in and night out you were playing a good team so you had to be ready. My game grew in different ways but most importantly I think I improved more in a leadership role being more vocal with my teammates and coaches.
You played the 2019-2020 season with AEK Athens (Greece-A1) averaging 9.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.5%; and in the BCL averaged 9.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 88.9%. The team was stacked with a lot of talent. COVID messed up that season. How much of that lingering feeling did you have of what could have been?
This is one season I wished that we could’ve finished. I caught my rhythm at the right time and the season was over.
What was it like being teammates with ex NBA player Mario Chalmers? Even if you had had 2 years of pro experience was he like a mentor for you?
He helped me a lot I still talk to him from time to time it was great to share the court with him.
There aren’t many pro’s that can say that they played together with Marcus Slaughter and Keith Langford together at the same time: How eye popping was it having two great Euroleague players on your side?
It was a great experience to play with these guys. The amount of things they’ve showed me how to be a professional on & off the court was good for me to grow as a person also on the court:
In your second season you played with Maccabi Fox Tel-Aviv (Israel-Winner League) and Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-Jeep ELITE ProA). Do you feel like playing in the Euroleague came a little too soon in your career and you weren’t possibly ready for it?
I definitely believe I was ready because when I did play on the court: I showed how great of a player I am, however I think it wasn’t good timing
Even if you lost a tough playoff series to Asvel, was ending the season with two strong games a good consolation to a tough season for you?
It’s always good to play well but if it doesn’t transition to wins it doesn’t matter.
Early in your career you played NBA Summer League in 2018 with the Utah Jazz and 2019 with the Boston Celtics. How was that whole experience for you? Was playing in the G-League and trying to get to the NBA never more of an option for you? D
Definitely the NBA is always the goal but I never really thought about playing in the G League
Your brother Allan had played a season in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. What do you remember being the best piece of advice he ever gave you about basketball?
Just to be consistent with what you do and focusing on the small things that’s what gives you the advantage
You played your rookie season with CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 13.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 73.8%; and in the BCL averaged 15.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 86.1%. What do you remember being your wake up call where you knew that you were very far away from home?
To be honest as soon as I got off that flight and noticed the time difference
How important was it for your whole self-confidence playing for a famous organization like CEZ Basketball Nymburk? How did the mentoring of veteran Eugene Lawrence play a role or didn’t it as much?
He helped me a lot that’s like my big brother, we are both from New York so even before I got to Nymburk we were working out together in the summer.
You began your NCAA career with Quinnipiac University (NCAA). How tough were the two years there? Despite the hardship did you get anything positive from that time?
It was tough but I took it as a learning experience and got better from it
You then finished at Kennesaw State University (NCAA) where you put up incredible stats of (18.7ppg), 5.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 71.4% and 21.2ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 78.8%. Did you find yourself in the year you sat out? How big was work ethic in your success here?
That’s when I became a gym rat and fell in love with the process of getting better I lived in the gym the year I sat out and it showed my two years there.
You had so many great games as a senior like against USC Upstate, Florida A & M or Alabama State just to mention a few. What do you remember being your best game?
NJIT in New Jersey was my best game to me I hit the game winner in front of all of family and friends I still remember that game to this day.
You were teammates with a great player and even better person Nigel Pruitt. What memories do you have of him who has played most of his career in Germany?
Nigel was the first person I met coming to Kennesaw he was my host on my visit and since then we’ve been good friends
Who won a one on one in practice you or Yonel Brown?
We played a lot of one on one & got different results every time.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Kobe , MJ, Lebron, Iverson
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I didn’t see it.
Thanks Kendrick for the chat.