JD Tisdale (196-F/G-1993, college: Rogers St.) is a 28 year old 196cm forward playing his third professional season and first with the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProB) averaging 17.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.8apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 68.8%. He has professional experience with the Saint John Riptide (Canada-NBL Canada) where he played 14 games averaging 7.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 68.8% as a rookie and also played with the Lakeland Magic (G-League) playing 10 games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.0apg. He began his basketball career with Swartz Creek High School and then played at Bowling Green State University (NCAA) from 2013-2016 playing a total of 82 NCAA games. He finished at Rogers State University (NCAA2) playing 24 games averaging 15.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 73.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
JD thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. After playing for the Lakeland Magic in 2019-2020 you didn’t play last season. How much did COVID play a part in your not playing for a team?
Covid played a big part of missing out on 2020-21 season. Pay cuts, lock downs, gym closure, not being able to work out every day. It was hard to close on a deal because a lot of organizations didn’t want to risk anything because of covid.
What were the biggest challenges for you in the last year with Covid with being able to keep a good basketball routine? Was it difficult being able to grind in the gym and court?
Some of the biggest challenges during the covid pandemic was staying mentally focused, not seeing my family, not having a gym to work out in and no basketball.
With everything that you experienced during Covid how would you say did you get stronger as a man?
I would say keeping God first and trusting the process. Of course I had my ups and downs but it was important for me to pray and to continue to believe in myself. I have the nipsey hussle quote that I live by ‘ The game will test you but never fold. stay ten toes down. It’s not on, you it’s in you and what’s in you they can never take away’ I find strength in that quote and just believe in myself.
Congrats on signing with the Ebbecke White Wings. What do you know in general about Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends play there besides Tucker Haymond?
Thank you, Before signing here I didn’t know much about Germany except Germans love their beer haha. But of course I did my research and it’s some great basketball here in Germany.
You stated in the club press release that you had heard good things about the organization. But what other factors gave you the impression that this club was the right address for you?
My Agent Robert Ruda presented this opportunity to me to play in Germany with the White Wings and told me coach Kamil wanted to chat. When I talked to Coach he was honest and straight forward with what he was looking for in a player. He believed in my skill set to be able to come in and be an impact player right away.
The club sees you taking on a lot of responsibility due to your experience. How excited are you to be able to be an impact player in your first season overseas?
It’s a good feeling knowing I have an important role on the team, being one of the older guys now I know the responsibility I have to lead on and off the court. I never shy away from challenges so I’m super excited to take on any challenges that’ll make me better player and person.
You showed at Rogers State University that you can fill the stat sheet. What strengths does your game have?
I see myself as an all around guard. I can get to the basketball and dunk on you, strong finisher around the basket, I can shoot the pull up mid range and I would say working this off-season I strengthend my pick n roll game and sharpened up my perimeter jump shot.
You’re a guy that can guard multiple positions on the court. How much pride do you take on the defensive end. Do you see your self being an impact defensive player?
Yes I take pride in defense I believe it’s one of the harder things to do in basketball, anybody can shoot a basket but I take pride in stopping my opponents from scoring and keeping them in front me. Of course I see myself as an impact defensive player confidently.
On what area’s of your game are you still working on now to help you keep improving as a player?
I am still working non my perimeter shooting, my ball control, pick n roll game and studying the game.
How big is your chip on your shoulder. You played well in the NCAA 2 and played in the G-League. Do you feel like your abilities have been more doubted over the years than they should have been?
I have a big chip on my shoulder, being a kid from Flint, Michigan the odds were always against me. I always felt I had something to prove. Being a D2 guy of course there’s doubt from coaches being compared to high major D1 guys but I didn’t let that stop me. I always believed in myself and just followed my dreams of being an NBA superstar and I knew the G-League was a route to get me there.
You played with the Lakeland Magic (NBA G League) playing10 games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.0apg. What kind of an experience was being in the Orlando Magic organization. How do you feel did your game most profit?
It was a dream come true being apart of the Orlando Magic organization and playing for Lakeland I thank them for that. I remember traveling to Orlando, Florida area for AAU basketball tournaments when I was younger and being a Penny Hardaway, Shaq O’Neal and T-Mac fan growing up, the magic culture was different back then. I profited by seeing how NBA guys took their jobs seriously and the amount of work they put in before and after practice and also in the off season.
What was it like being teammates with Victor Law. He was called up to Orlando when you were there and was one of the top players on the team. How competitive was it battling him in practice?
Victor Law is a great player and person. Extremely happy for his success with Orlando. I would battle with him in practice and it made us respect each other’s game and work ethics more. He’s one of those guys that you would love going into battle with because I know he’ll bring it everyday in practice and in games.
You played your rookie season with the Saint John Riptide playing 14 games averaging 7.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 68.8%. Was Gabe Freeman like a mentor for you? That guy had already played 10 seasons including in the defunked CBA. What was your fondest memory with him?
Gabe Freeman was like an older brother to me, he was one of the OGs on the team and kind of took the younger guys under his wings. He showed us accountability and how to speak up for yourself and he always held his own. I had some great memories with Gabe he would always call me rookie of the year that’s way I played so hard.
In 2013 you met Tucker Haymond at a visit to Western Michigan where he would play for. You guys have had a very special bond since then. Talk a little about how important your friendship is?
Tucker Haymond is my brother from another, that’s my guy he’s been a good friend since the day we met and never switched up. To this day he tells me I should’ve picked WMU over BGSU haha but I loved competing against him is was always a good battle because we’re similar in size. Now being pros that’s a guy I can always call on and ask him professional questions because he’s a basketball junky and I love that about him. Tucker Haymond is a great player and person and glad I have a friendship with him.
What is your fondest memory with Tucker Haymond?
I would say going back to the first time we met and being on that college visit together at Western Michigan, we were kids having fun and living out our dreams on a college campus figuring out our next move. 10 -11 years later we live in the same city and work out together from time to time in the off season
You played at Bowling Green State University from 2013-2016 playing 82 games but never averaging more than 2,6ppg in a season. How tough were these three years for you. What did you learn as a person and player from this?
They were very tough years for me not being able to have any stability because of coaching issues with the university. But no blame to the coaches it just showed me that I have to continue to stay focused and disciplined no matter what. It was certain things out of my control. So with that being said just control only the things that I can control. It showed me that things in life doesn’t always go as planned. I had multiple opportunities to take the easy way out but never did.
You were teammates with Richaun Holmes who began at Community College and made the NBA. How big of a role model is he for you today? His first 4 years weren’t special in the NBA but now with Sacramento has become a big time player.
Holmes is my brother I still keep in touch. He’s a guy that inspires me everyday because I know how hard he worked to get where he is. The process wasn’t easy but he managed to take advantage of his circumstances and outwork better players and that’s special to see. Very happy for his success with the Sacramento Kings.
You then finished at Rogers State University (NCAA2) playing 24 games averaging 15.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 73.7%. How do you feel did your game grow that year?
My game grew a lot that off season I knew it was my last go round for college basketball so I had a lot to prove in order to play at the next level.
How did head coach Justin Barkley groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Justin Barkley is a great guy and good coach. I enjoyed playing my senior year for him. He pushed me everyday.
Who was the best player that you ever battled besides Jamal Crawford that went to the NBA?
Monte Morris, Kyle Kuzma, Ian Clark, Robert Covington, Terrence Ross, Isaiah Thomas It’s too many to only name one
Please name your NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Allen Iverson, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Shaq
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Michael Jordan is the greatest no debate about it, He’s 1A, he’s the reason why we all play the game and everything he’s accomplished in his career.Lebron is 1B, you have to respect Lebron’s greatness, he’s the best overall player ever, he has the total package on and off the court, he’s the best basketball role model you can ever think of.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Space Jam ‘A New legacy’ last movie I saw. Great movie for the kids but I enjoyed it.
Thanks JD for the chat.