Parker Jackson-Cartwright (176-PG-95, college: Arizona) is a 26 year old 176cm point guard from Los Angeles, California playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He played at the University of Arizona (NCAA) from 2014-2018 reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and two NCAA Sweet 16’sand winning three Pac 12 tournaments. He played his rookie season for the G-League team Westchester Knicks and then came overseas playing for the Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) and last season for the Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) playing 33 games averaging 15.6ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (7.1apg), Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the big 95-81 win over Brose Bamberg where he recorded a league season high 40 points.
Congrats on the 95-81 win against Brose Bamberg stopping the 3 game Bonn losing streak. What do you feel did Bonn get away from during their losing streak?
I felt that we got away from our principles and our identity. Earlier in the season we did a good job disrupting teams with our defense. During the losing streak, we relied too much on outshooting teams. You never know if you will be on or off during a game. We didn’t go back to square one in practice, but just watched more film and tried to get back to our principles leading up to Bamberg game.
You came in very motivated having 19 points and hitting 6 three’s. Had you ever been so motivated before in this season? Was that three game losing streak eating at you?
Yes it did, but we weren’t panicking yet and it didn’t feel like a three game losing streak. At this part of the season every game is a must win. With how the season is shaping up, we want a cushion going ahead towards the post season. We have injuries and had Covid cases, but we didn’t want to have that as an excuse. We looked in the mirror and we all hav a common goal. We wanted to win. We have to keep moving forward.
Justin Gorham was a real spark plug in the second quarter with 8 points . Is he that classic guy every guy wants on his team?
Definitely a player every team wants on their side. He has a high level pedigree. He has played at a high level his whole life and knows what it takes to win. What has impressed me the most is how poised he is as a rookie. He has had to go through the regular rookie hardships, but he never wears it on his face. He works hard and just does what coach wants. He can shoot, rebound and pass and gives us extra possessions. He is a really good piece on our team. We need him to continue to be aggressive for us to be successful.
In the third quarter you took control scoring 12 points. When you begin so well into a game the way you did, does that make it easier to put the playmaking more on hold?
It all kind of stringed along. I just did what the defense gave me. I just try to simplify the game more and that comes with experience. This late in the season all teams are scouting more so you have to be more diligent and intelligent. I’m still being myself while simplifying things. I’m not trying to think too much, but just try to put my team in the best position to win.
In the fourth quarter, the Telekom Baskets Bonn were able to manage the lead well. What was key on the defense end for preserving the win?
Intensity and effort. I have to give credit to Bamberg. They moved the ball really well. They have really good shot makers and made us work hard on defense. When crunch-time rolls around, you need to give your best effort. We weren’t perfect, but we played hard and our intent was good.
What was it like battling Justin Robinson for a second time and sweeping the season series? How good does it feel for once having that 6Cm height advantage?
It doesn’t happen often. But TJ Shorts is another shorter guy to. For both of us it is really encouraging to be battling each other in one of the best leagues in Europe. We are proving people wrong. He is a great player. I watched him in college and have tremendous respect for him. He brings out the best in me.
When I mention the name Keith Gray does that ring a bell?
The dude has the BBL record with 65 points in a game which he accomplished in 1989. What would you have to do in today’s game and age in the BBL to score 65 points? Is that even possible in a league like that?
Yes I think it could. 65 is a lot of points though. But in a team orientated league like the BBL, I think it will be very difficult. But you should never say never.
You scored 40 points against Brose Bamberg a season league single game scoring high. What does that feat mean to you? It obviously feels different than if you had lost?
Yes it would have. I would have been devastated if we had lost. At the end of the day all that matters is that we got the win. It was a great team win. Karsten Tadda was back from Covid and gave us exactly what we need from a captain. All chipped in in the win.
What was the most points that you scored before you became professional? You must have had some big scoring games in high school or AAU?
I never scored 40 in high school. I had something like 28 in high school, but never 40.
It has only been done twice in over a decade. Last time was a few years ago from current Chemnitz guard Franz Massenat who did it with Oldenburg. How difficult is it to do this in a league like this?
It is difficult, because of the way teams scout now. Teams know your tendencies and the coaches are so good in this league. You have to be very hot. The basket gets very big and nobody gets in the way. It can happen though that a guy gets 40.
How can one seriously rate a performance like this? 40 points on a team like Bonn that has so many able scores?
It speaks volumes of the depth and talent that the Telekom Baskets Bonn have. We have so many able scorers. A Hawkins can go for 30, or a Leon Kratzer could score 25. You can imagine what our practices are like. We have so much talent and rely on our offense for success. Even when we have an off night on offense, then we are still top 3 in offensive rating. Coach always preaches defense because we can already score the ball really well.
Was there a time in the game where you knew early that you were going to be making many shots?
In my mind I didn’t think early on that I could get 40 points. I was aggressive and felt good and wanted to see where It would go to. Once I had that I was able to take it to another level. I wasn’t thinking too much, but just playing and flow with the game. It wasn’t about the x’s or o’s anymore then, but just playing with the wave of the game
What was your favorite moment in the game? You hit so many shots. You must have had a favorite one?
It was a play that wasn’t even mine. It was the play to Michael Kessens near the end. I threw up the ball and I didn’t think like he even saw it right away. It didn’t look like he would dunk, but his long arms helped him. It was an incredible play and my favorite of the game.
Sometimes when a team scores 100 points in Germany, the player that made the 100 has to buy drinks for all. Did your teammates wish something from you after that performance or did they keep quiet?
My teammates teased me telling me dinners were on me.
I have interviewed TJ Shorts and he seems very much focused on his season and Crailsheim, but you can’t tell me that there isn’t this special competitive edge that he feels towards you? Do you feel like a game like that from you will motivate him even more? Is he capable of hitting for 40 points?
I would say so. I put him in a special category. He is a really good hooper. He can shoot the ball and is a real competitor. If he gets hot he could go for 40.
How much fun is it battling him in the head to head MVP race? Would it be surprising if a third guy came in at the end and won it?
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else got it. From a competitive edge, it is a great honor to be mentioned in the MVP race. Whoever does get it, it will be a complete reflection of their season. There are some other deserving guys like Baldwin or Homesley. There is still so much that can happen in the season.
It is difficult to understand why your third in the MVP race at the moment? For me you should be #1.
I really don’t try to pay attention to the talk. I think picking a MVP is always a hard judgement. There are always two or three guys that deserve it. If I were to be worried about this, then I wouldn’t be focused. My number one job is to be locked in for the team. The success for the team is the most important for me.
How crazy were the back to back games with the Bucs-Rams and Chiefs-Bills. Some have called them the greatest back to back NFL games?
I’m a Rams fan but I love Brady. It is really crazy how football works. Brady leads his team back on a crazy come back, but then loses at the last second on a field goal. The games are so entertaining. The Bills-Chiefs game was one of the best games that I ever saw. That game had two of the best quarterbacks. They made some inhuman passes.
Will Tom Brady come back next season or do you think he will retire?
I think he will return. He won’t leave now. He is a crazy competitor.
Thanks Parker for the chat.