Eric Kibi (198-F-90, college: ACU) is a 31 year old 198cm forward from Ontario, Canada that is playing his tenth professional season and first with CD Tinguiririca San Fernando (Chile-Liga Nacional) after starting the season with US Avignon/Pontet Basket (France-NM1). Last season he played with The Hague Royals (Holland-DBL) averaging 12.7ppg, Reb-1 (10.3rpg), 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 15.2%, FT: 51.7%. In 2019-2020 he played with Libertad Sunchales (Argentina-La Liga, starting five): 8 games: 1.8ppg, 2.4rpg; Argentinian La Liga: 15 games: 14.5ppg, 10.1rpg, 2FGP: 47.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 53.0%: Torneo Super 20: 9 games: 3.6ppg, 3.0rpg, released in Dec.’19, later that month moved to BHY Tiro Federal y Deportivo Morteros (Argentina-La Liga Argentina, starting five): 15 games: 14.5ppg, 10.1rpg, 2FGP: 47.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 53.0%. In 2018-2019 he played with Golbey Epinal Thaon Vosges (France-NM1) where he played 5 games averaging 6.8ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 29.2%, 3FGP: 27.3%, FT: 73.3%, in Dec.’18 moved to MBK Handlova (Slovakia-SBL) playing 3 games and then in January 2019 signed at Al Mina (Iraq-IBL) where he averaged 22,0ppg, 15rpg and 2,0apg. In 2017-2018 he played with C.B. Torrons Vicens L’Hospitalet (Spain-LEB Silver) where he played 33 games averaging 4.5ppg, 3.2rpg In 2016-2017 he played with Randers Cimbria Basketball (Denmark-Ligaen) playing 31 games averaging 10.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 70.2%. In 2015-2016 he played in Germany with the Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-ProB) playing 3 games averaging 4.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, left in Oct.’15, in Jan.’16 moved to KK Strsljen Gusinje (Montenegro-Erste Liga) playing 4 games averaging 3.8ppg, 5.5rpg, in Mar.’16 signed at London Lightning (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 23 games averaging 1.7ppg, 2.5rpg. He also played with Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga), Ottawa SkyHawks (NBLKibi Canada) and BG Halstenbek/Pinneberg (Germany-Regionalliga). He started his basketball career in 2008 with Jacksonville College (NJCAA) where he played until 2010. He then played a season with UALR (NCAA) playing 29 games: 4.4ppg, 4.2rpg. He finished his college career in 2012 with Abil.Christian (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 8.2ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com in 2022 giving his 13th interview.
Eric thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Your basketball journey keeps going. Since we last spoke you have played for 2 new clubs and in 2 more countries. Does the basketball globetrotter life never get old for you?
Hello Miles, yes that is correct, and not yet, I still love the game and enjoy getting better everyday.
You began the season with US Avignon/Pontet Basket (France-NM1). You had played in France before three seasons ago. How did you experience the whole COVID situation there. At the moment the Covid numbers are alarming in France.
When I was there actually it was not too bad it got really bad around December which was around the time I left.
You put up pretty good numbers in 7 games Averaging 10.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG on 58% FG shooting, in 27 minutes per Game. Why was your stay so short? Was it crowded with American Duane Morgan?
I was actually there on a 6 week medical contract replacing Duane while he was Injured.
You then moved to CD Tinguiririca San Fernando (Chile-Liga Nacional). How have you experienced COVID there? What has been the most challenging thing to cope with?
The Covid hasn’t been too bad here, we did have one game postponed but I’d say the most challenging was entering the country. Chile has some of the most strict restrictions in the world.
This was your second time in South America having played in Argentina in 2020. I believe in Argentina are higher profile players, but how would you describe the play and skill level in Chille compared to Argentina?
I would say it’s similar, the Argentinian players might be a bit better but the foreign players in Chile and Argentina are the same. I’d say they might be stronger in Chile because you can only have two compared to Argentina where you can have 4, so the foreigners have to be very strong and productive in Chile.
How is it in general being on a team with only Chileans? How have they taken you in and do they look up to you on account of your history overseas and experience with the national team?
It helps to have one other American-Chillean on the team, Julius Holt. He has helped me adapt a lot to this situation. As far as my experience, I think yes they look up to me because of everywhere I’ve played but this Is a veteran group and I’m also learning from them as well, a few guys have won championships in this league in the past.
You had monster rebound games in the last two swiping a total of 37. A 20 rebound and 17 rebound game. Is this a league that really benefits your game much?
I think everywhere I’ve gone I’ve always rebounded but yeah here since I get more minutes than usual there’s opportunities to get more than usual as well.
Your taking a fair amount of shots shooting 14/33 from the field in the last two games. Do you feel like your accuracy will come in time?
I’m not too worried about it, they are shots I’ve made throughout my career and that I work on everyday in the gym by myself so knowing I put the work in, eventually they will start to fall like they did Sunday night. It’s also about learning my spots with this team and fitting into a team that’s been together for two years.
Your 31 years old, leading the league in rebounds at 14 and minutes at 38 per game. Are you in your prime? How do manage those minutes ? What are you expecting most from your game?
To me a prime is when mentally and physically you hit that peak and meet right in the middle. Physically I been in my prime since I was about 24, 25..But mentally as far as IQ, mental preparation, watching film..I hit that that prime at about 29..and now at 31 with the way I take care of my body I feel like I’m right smack in the middle of my prime, which leads me to being able to handle 38 minutes a game. What that being said what I expect of my game is always bringing constant which is energy and rebounding and the rest takes care of itself.
Your living in a beautiful area called San Fernando 2 hours away from Santiago. How have you experienced life off the court?
Yes it’s been very nice, it’s very warm right now. I’ve had the opportunity to hit the beach a few times and enjoy the weather.
You last played in Germany in the 2015-2016 season with Herten. Would you like to play in Germany again before you hang it up? Why do you feel haven’t you returned since Herten? You must have had interest from teams
I have but the older you get it’s not always about prestige. Once I left France I had the opportunity to sign in Pro A Germany and Leb Gold Spain but things broke down last minute. So it always depends on the situation. The older you get you also start to understand your worth and where you will be most successful and you try to put yourself in those situations as much as possible to highlight your strengths so that your game can grow and right now I felt like South America was the best place for that.
Super Bowl predictions: Bengals-Rams
Honestly Bengals are a great story with how far they’ve come since winning 4 games two years ago. I also love the OBJ and Matthew Stafford perseverance stories. I don’t have a favorite really, I will just enjoy the game and may the best team win.
Supposedly Tom Brady retired. Will that stand or do you think he will return?
Well he just retired today haha, but I think that’ll be it for him, I think he’s given everything he could to the game.
Thanks Eric for the chat.