Harald Frey is a 24 year old 185cm guard from Norway playing his first professional season in Germany with BG Goetingen. Last season as a rookie he played with Liberbank Oviedo Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Gold) averaging 6.6ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 75.7%. He began his basketball career with Baerum Basket (BLNO) and then played at Montana(NCAA) from 2016-2020 playing a total of 125 NCAA games and as a senior averaged 16.6ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 87.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after a tough 92-86 loss to Alba Berlin.
Thanks Harald for talking togermanhoops.com BG Goettingen suffered a tough 92-86 loss to the hands of Alba Berlin. What kind of an experience was it for you playing against such a great team?
This was the first time that I played against a Euroleague team. You don´t really know what to expect until you face them. They are a deep team and have good size at every position., I thought that we played well the whole game. But you need to play well for 40 minutes. We played well in good stretches and need to take that into the next games.
BG Goettingen led 53-42 at the break. Did you feel like you played up to the game plan 100%?
Yes I think so. The most important thing for us is focusing on ourselves. You have to make small changes each game. I feel that if we stay true to our identity then we will have good chances to win each game. When an opponent makes adjustments then we also must. Time response is important.
In the second half Alba Berlin took over and scored 48 points. What adjustments did they make on defense?
Alba Berlin got more physical. We had some good looks, but they didn´t fall for us. We weren´t able to capitalize on our chances. They switched more and were better on their ball screen coverages. They are a good team and I have a lot of respect for them.
BG Goettingen had difficulty slowing up Jaleen Smith, Maodo Lo and Tamar Blatt who combined for 48 points. Which player gave you personally the biggest challenge?
They are all really good teams. They don´t play isolation, but they move the ball really well and work well together. All present problems. Smith is very big for a guard, Lo is really quick and Blatt is a good shooter. I was very impressed how well they play together.
New player Jeremiah Brown had another great game with 23 points. Can a guy like him replace a guy like Kamar Baldwin?
Jeremiah has been amazing. He has been awesome and great on and off the court. We are still trying to build chemistry with him. It is unfair to him that he has to fill the shoes of Kamar. This is a new situation for him and it isn´t easy. We all as a team have to step up and be aggressive. I think that that will make it easier for all.
Your playing your first season in Germany in the easyCredit BBL. You had played against Germany with Norway at the University games. Now that you have been in Germany for some months, what have you appreciated most about the culture here?
It has been a pretty cool experience. The people in Goettingen really care about the team. I have had a good experience meeting many people. They have all been nice and supportive of the team during ups and downs. I like their positive energy around the team.
BG Goettingen has a realistic chance of making the BBL playoffs. What in Roel Moors coaching philosophy has been key in giving BG Goettingen this chance for the playoffs?
Our goal are the playoffs. It was obvious when I got here that coach commands a lot of respect. He is very good at instilling confidence in us. He talks to us all individually. It isn´t always about the x´s and o´s, but having the belief that we can play with anyone.
You came from the Leb Gold in Spain. You really haven´t needed any adjustment. Your playing very effective in your minutes. How much of a role does your basketball IQ play in your personal success on the court?
It definitely has been a little of a change. The BBL is more physical and the guards are bigger and faster. When I face taller and stronger players, I need to find other ways to beat them. That is where my IQ comes into play. My IQ will always be my biggest weapon.
You have never shot 40% from outside but often been close. Your shooting an incredible 47% at the moment. You shooting 1/5 less than with Oviedo in half as many games. Has shot selection been the secret?
I think that there have been multiple reasons. My role is different and shot selection has also been good. We have the luxury of having many creators and shooters at the end of the shot clock. The looks I have gotten this season have been a lot better and cleaner. The better the looks the better the presenters will be.
With Kamar Baldwin out now, do you see yourself possibly gaining a different and bigger role?
I don´t focus too much on it. I just focus on how I can help the team best. If the team needs more scoring, then I will do it. But if it needs more playmaking, off ball or defense then I will do that. The role isn´t as important, but more being part of a winning team. Whatever the team needs in that game, I will do.
You’re a guard that is able to show your versatility. On what area´s are you working on most so you can continue to improve your game in the next years?
I have to work on my strength most. The BBL is a physical league and I need to attack the weight room. My game is in constant development. I need to improve my ball handling, shooting and reads on the pick and roll.
Last season you played with Liberbank Oviedo Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Gold) averaging 6.6ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 75.7%. How tough was this season coming from the NCAA where you played 30 plus minutes to a situation where you didn´t and didn´t have the same offensive role? Did you have some real professional growing pains?
I wasn´t focused so much on my minutes, but the physical style. It was also the Covid year. I saw many changes with a new culture and language and COVID. I came overseas with many new challenges and all I had to focus on was basketball. Coming over when Covid was there made me stronger and more experienced as a player and person.
You played at Montana State from 2016-2020. Do you ever wonder where you might be today had you remained in Norway and gone a different route?
I have thought about that sometimes in the past, but not much now. When I did go to college, I did have the appeal to go the European route, but at the end, I´m very happy with the choice I made. I got a degree and enjoyed the time at Montana State to get better as a player and person.
What kind of player were you in 2016 and what kind of player in 2020 when you returned back home?
The biggest jump going from Norway to the NCAA was getting used to the physicality. It was the same kind of transition then as it is now in Germany. I became more confident in my 4 years in the States. I feel that the mental part is overlooked. I learned how to deal with adversary especially in a shooting slump. My mental strength got better over time as well as me becoming a better overall player.
You hit an incredible half court buzzer beater for the 67-66 win over UNC Greensboro. What memories do you have of that game and how often have you watched the shot?
That was a crazy play. I remember it vividly. It was a lot of fun making that shot. We won against one of the better mid major teams. At that time, it was a huge win for us. I watched it a couple of times. I definitely have been asked many times about it.
One of your best scoring games was against Montana in a tough loss where you scored 37 points. Was there any other memorable game you had that you will never forget?
I had a lot of memorable games in the four years. I remember there was a stretch late in my junior year where we had a chance to make a push to make a bid for the NCAA tournament. I had a couple of good games against S Utah and Northern Arizona. I also remember beating Montana as a freshman.
How did head coaches Brian Fish and Danny Sprinkle groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I learned a lot from both of them. I think that the most important thing that I got from them was that there is more to basketball then just on the court. Sleeping and diet were also important factors. They did a good job helping us grow as men.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Tyler Hall?
He is a little bit taller, but I´m quicker. It was a fun matchup. I would say I won.
One of your role models is the legendary NFL kicker Jan Stenerud. You played soccer as a kid. If you had an hour of place kicking practice with him how far do you feel could you then kick a field goal in yards?
I have never tried a field goal. It is crazy since I was at a school that had football. I played soccer growing up. I think that I could be a good field goal kicker with his tutoring.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in NCAA that went to NBA?
We played in a small conference so I didn´t play against many future NBA players. One guy I battled all four years and who impressed me a lot was Jerrick Harding. He became the all-time leading scorer at Weber State. He is a lefty like me. We had so many battles in my four years. He was one of the most gifted scorers I ever played against. He has talent for the NBA. Every player has their own path. I think COVID played a big role why he didn´t get to the NBA. He is dominating in the Czech league now.
Please list your NBA Mount Rushmore?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Will Luca Doncic one day be the greatest in the NBA?
I think so. If he stays healthy. He is amazing.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn´t they have left it alone?
I didn´t. But they probably should of left it alone.
Thanks Harald for the chat.