Frantz Massenat (193-G-1992, college: Drexel) is a 30 year old 193cm guard from Trenton New Jersey that is playing his eighth professional season and sixth in Germany currently with the niners Chemnitz averaging 10,3ppg, 4,0rpg and 5,3apg. He played two seasons with MBC and three seasons with the EWE Baskets and now is playing his first season with the Niners Chemnitz. He also gained valuable experience playing in Spain in Italy. He played at Drexel University from 2010-2014 playing a total of 124 NCAA games. He talked to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Frantz thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Before I get to basketball, I have to ask you about COVID-19. How has it affected you and what has been the most challenging thing that you have had to encounter on and off the court?
Covid affected me a lot , when it happened I was in Spain and we had to stop and be in quarantine for months and mentally and physically this was hard. My parents were catching Covid when it first started and it was scary. We were able to finish the season in a bubble in Valencia after time of uncertainty but as a team we had a good season and finished the season well. Last season I caught Covid so that was difficult but for basketball we played without fans and we were able to play a full season.
With everything that you experienced with COVID especially off the court how do you feel has it made you stronger as a man?
It has made me stronger as a man because I was able to deal with all of these things alone by myself so it showed me that I am a strong person and that I can get through anything I just want to be strong mentally every day.
Congrats on signing with easyCredit BBL team Niners Chemnitz. After two years away from Germany did you get a little home sick to German?
Haha homesick , I wouldn’t say homesick because Spain and Italy were good to me but it feels good to be back in Germany in a culture I started out in and know well.
The way that the Niners Chemnitz wanted you so much was a big factor why you came on board, but how much of a factor was head coach Rodrigo Pastore? What was most appealing to you in the talks?
I felt how honest coach was with me in our talks , he made me feel comfortable as a player and person. He told me he would push me to be better everyday. He is a coach I think I need at this moment , he believed in me a lot after my injury last year and that means a lot to me.
With MBC you played for a non playoff team, with the EWE Baskets a usual playoff team and now with the Niners Chemnitz a very ambitious team seeking to reach the playoffs. Would you enjoy having the number one go to guy role?
I think throughout my career I was able to show I can play both roles , the go to guy and the role player so whatever role the coach wants me to play I will do it for the team. Anything it takes to win.
You left Germany as a very versatile and consistent offensive player and then played two years in the ACB and Italy. How are you a better player today than two years ago with Oldenburg?
I am more experienced I was able to go in play in some of the best leagues in Europe and play against some of the best teams in Europe. This alone has made me a better player , being able to play all different situations against so many different great teams helped me become a better player.
In your second season with MBC you averaged a career high including NCAA 5,2apg. Do you see yourself being able to be a creator again like then while also staying very faithful to your scoring abilities?
I am always willing to pass the ball to my teammates as long I stay aggressive I am better at making decisions for assists and scoring. I think I will be able to have a good balance with scoring and passing the ball to my teammates
You have been a very consistent offensive player your whole career. At age 30 do you see yourself in your prime and on what areas of your game are you working on most now to continue to get better?
I do see myself at my prime and I’m blessed to still be playing. What I have been working on a lot is making decisions on the right side of the court and shooting off the dribble. Also still working on quickness and change of direction
Last season you played the first time for two teams in Italy and Spain. How tough was this season with COVID being in the way?
It was a experience every player had to deal with last year nothing was normal and congratulations to all the guys who made it through the season. Covid made the season tough off the court because everything was closed and shut down so you were in the gym or in home. Covid made it tough because if players tested positive it made practices and games more difficult because you would have to adjust until players came back and in physical shape to play.
Last season you were teammates and now you will battle Justin Robinson who is with Bamberg. Do you see him being able to keep up the long tradition of good Bamberg guards?
Justin is a real good guard. He can score the basketball really good and can pressure guards on the defensive side of the court. It will be good to play against him this year. He will do good at Bamberg I know he is happy to be there, he deserves it
You played briefly with Baskonia last season. What was it like playing with legendary head coach Dusko Ivanovic? Was it tough coming in late in the season and being able to convince him of your abilities?
It was good to have experienced Baskonia , it was good to challenge myself as my season in Italy to be there with a coach like Dusko. He is a good coach but yes it was too late for me for the situation they were going through at the moment.
Two years ago you played with Spanish ACB team Mona Banc Andorra. How do you feel did your game profit most from the best league in Europe?
It profited so much playing in Andorra , coach Ibon really really made me a better player. He challenged me everyday and he never let me give less than 100% in practice or games. This prepared me for playing in the best league in Europe. Playing against all the euro league and EuroCup and champions league teams every week made me a good player. Thatyear was an experience that really helped me become a better player.
You played three years with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Rickey Paulding. Where does he rank with your all-time best teammates and what is something about him that has always impressed you the most?
Haha Rickey is my number 1 teammate but our relationship is deeper than just teammates , this was more of a family relationship. We still continue to talk all the time and that’s what I appreciate about him the most. I am impressed with how he is a big family person and still playing basketball at a high level even with his age. Rickey is a cool humble person I am thankful to have played with him and be around his family for 3 years.
What special play do you remember most between him and you on the court?
The biggest play I remember was his shot against Ulm when we played in the playoffs after Chris Kramer missed the free throw and we went to overtime. I remember after the game I thanked him about 10 times for saving me because Per Gunter made a 3pt shot on me and this would have won the game for them. He saved me haha
You scored 40 points against BG Goettingen in a blow out win. Was that the greatest personal exhibit that you have given a s a player?
Yes I would say this 40 point game was my greatest personal scoring exhibit. Maybe a lot of people don’t know, I did this coming off the bench , I always joke with the guys I play with and ask them if anyone has ever scored 40 coming off the bench haha
You played your first two professional seasons with MBC. How thankful are you for them giving you an opportunity as a rookie? How important were your first two years in your development?
I am so thankful for them giving me an opportunity especially now that I understand how important it was for me to start in a first league in Germany. I always give them credit and thank them for starting me in a good league. It was really good for my development because at MBC they gave me a role player role and was patient with me to grow into the player they thought I would be. The coaches there really developed me into a European player and I am thankful for this
What memories do you have of American Marcus Hatten. How much of an impact did he have early in your career on and off the court?
Me and Marcus also still talk a lot. I remember how we were really close at MBC and how he would talk with me about the basketball game on and off the court. At 23 I was lucky to have a guy with this much experience on my team who was consistently teaching me.
You played at Drexel (NCAA) from 2010-2014. What memories do you have from those years and was reaching the NIT Elite 8 in 2012 your biggest achievement?
I have so many memories from Drexel. I had a really good career there top 10 in scoring and assists , won a lot of games . My teammates and coaches were always good to be around. Yes the NIT elite 8 was the furthest I’ve been. Freshmen year I made rookie team sophomore year I made first team all conference , junior year I made second team all conference , senior year I made first team all conference. I had successful years at Drexel
In your junior year you hit an amazing 50 foot game winning shot against Hofstra and it was added on ESPN’s top 10 plays. How many times do you estimate that you have seen the shot and what does it mean to you?
I have watched this shot maybe 50 times haha , it was special to me because a lot of my family from New York was there watching me play and my parents were there watching me play and my best friend played on the women’s team , so to hit the half court game winner in front of all the people I love this was a nice big moment for me.
How did head coach Bruiser Flint groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Because of Coach Bru I am able to play for all the Balkan coaches I play for. He is really big on screaming haha and discipline. He has prepared me for these types of coaches and this is what I am most thankful for. He was a great coach for me
Who won a one on one in practice you or Damion Lee?
Me easy. Damion Lee was my young guy I taught him everything he knows haha
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
I would say Charles Jenkins or Zack Lavine or Matt Dellavedova.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time
Haha tough question. Loved all my teammates
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
Jordan , Lebron , Kobe , Shaq , Iverson
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
At the moment it is Michael Jordan because Lebron is still playing, let’s let Lebron finish his career first , Lebron is also my favorite player
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they just have have left it alone?
Hahaha YES !
Thanks Frantz for the chat