Desmond Ringer (206-F-1994, college: Mercer) is a 27 year old 206cm forward from McDonough, Georgia that began the season with Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 20.6ppg, 11.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 57.0%, 3FGP: 32.0%, FT: 78.8% and then finished the season with the Surrey Scorchers (United Kingdom-BBL) averaging 12.6ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 56.3%, FT: 78.6%. He started his professional career in 2019 with CTC CAN 79 Basket AS Niort (France-NM2) averaging 9.4ppg, 10.6rpg, FGP: 64%, 3FGP: 50%, FT: 76%. In 20-21 he played with Sampaense Basket (Portugal-Proliga) averaging 16.8ppg, Reb-3 (11.0rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 78.4%. He began his basketball career at Eagle’s Landing High School. He then played a season at the University of South Carolina (NCAA) averaging 2.1ppg, 2.0rpg. He then finished at Mercer (NCAA) where he played 88 games between 2015-2018 averaging 7.8ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 61.2%, FT: 80.4% as a freshman,7.6ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 57.5%, FT: 77.3% in his second year and 9.5ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 81.7% as a junior. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Desmond for talking to germanhoops.com. You were in France and Portugal during the Pandemic. How have you experienced COVID and what were the most challenging things you had to cope with?
Covid has been tough mentally because of the quarantines that I’ve been though. Depending on the city you’re in it already may not be too much to do but when basketball has to stop and your work routine is messed up it’s really tough to stay focused on the goal. I’m thankful for it now because I’ve grown to be mentally strong and that’s something that all hoopers overseas need to be.
With everything that you witnessed during COVID off the court how do you feel did you get stronger as a man?
The mental aspect was everything. I had to learn how to remain focused regardless of the circumstances. I think that’s something that is important and that I can use on and off the court through the rest of my life.
Your played your first season with Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). How would you compare the German Regionalliga to the leagues in France and Portugal where you played beforehand?
It’s hard to say because I’ve played on different levels in each country but the toughest year for me was in France. We had some dogfights in practice and it made me tough. It was also my first year out so I didn’t really know how to move when it came to being a real pro and coming to work and produce every day. Everywhere I’ve been has been good hoops though.
What was it been like being teammates with 38 year old German Andreas Hasenkam who is in his 16th season with the team. You were 9 years old when he played his first season in Cuxhaven.
‘Hase’ is what we call back home an OG or a Vet. He’s a knock down shooter that knows where to be on the floor. He plays hard. Knows his role and is good at what he does. He’s a pleasure to play with.
What has it been like getting the ball in the paint from German point guard Deon Mcduffie? This guy had a lot of talent but never reached the first league in Germany. Do you see the amazing talent that he has?
Deon might be one of the best Guards I’ve played with. A real floor general who has the ability to pass you open. As a big man that’s what you want, someone who’s going to get you the ball in the right spots so you can be successful that’s what he’s done for me. He’s a big part of why I’ve been playing so well this season. He’s definitely high level talent and after this season a high level team should come get him. The film and the stats don’t lie and he’s a menace on defense.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 206cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I think I’m a Paul Milsap, Lamarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph type big man. I’m great on the inside with my footwork but a lot of people don’t know that I can really shoot and handle the ball. I’m so skilled and I’ve been working on my game so much to really showcase EVERYTHING that I can do.
You have become a double double monster at the pro level. What other strengths does your game have besides scoring and rebounding?
I’m a great teammate. I really want to see the success of the team win even if it means me sacrifices part of my game that I want to showcase. For instance this year I want to shoot more 3’s but we already have great 3 point shooters in Marc Klesper, Deon, Hase, and others. My team doesn’t need me to shoot 3’s to win. I always play to win. I do things like talk on defense and make sure everyone is organized on schemes and ball screen coverages. It’s not stuff that will show up on the stat sheet but it wins games.
How much is your three pointer still in development? Do you feel like you could incorporate more of a three into your game?
I wouldn’t say it’s in development because I can knock it down consistently. It’s more of a confidence thing and being more comfortable just letting it go. All my teammates from high school to college know I can shoot. I just never really had a real green light to let it go like I know I can.
On what area’s of your game are you working on most right now so you can continue to improve and move up the ladder?
I want to improve my ball handling and shooting to continue to make myself more versatile. I honestly seeing myself being able to play the SF/PF/C because I’m capable. I think my confidence is the main thing to work on and that just comes with more reps and hard work. It’s not a matter of if I can do it. It’s a matter of when it will happen.
You put up solid stats in the NCAA and have dominated in leagues in Europe. What do you feel is still missing for you to compete in a first division?
Personally I feel like it’s my athleticism. I’m not too athletic when it comes to dunking the ball. I’ve had numerous back surgeries and other injuries that I’m constantly battling and rehabbing. I haven’t felt like my real full healthy self in so long. But I still find ways to score and rebound without the athleticism. I can use angles and footwork to get my shot off and still be effective. I’m a smart ball player too. I feel like I’m ready for a top league job but that’s not always in my hands. I’ll just keep working until I get there though.
Last season you played for Sampaense Basket (Portugal-Proliga) averaging 16.8ppg, Reb-3 (11.0rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 78.4%. You had a monster 24/21 game. Where does that game rank in your best games of all-time?
It was a big game for me because it was my first game winner as a pro. I hit a last second catch and shoot 3 for the win. It was high double double but I wouldn’t call it my best game.
As a rookie you played for CTC CAN 79 Basket AS Niort (France-NM2) averaging 9.4ppg, 10.6rpg, FGP: 64%, 3FGP: 50%, FT: 76%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
I went into my first job not really knowing how it was supposed to be. I’d never been the first option of a team ever in my life until I got to France. It was an adjusted having people come to me for a basketball because in college or high school I was never asked to be the guy that people needed to bring the game home. Now I realized that I’m ready for that and I have it in me to do those type of things. If I could do it all over again I’d go back and kill that league.
You began your NCAA career at the University of South Carolina (NCAA) playing 27 games averaging 2.1ppg, 2.0rpg. As a freshman you upset powerhouse Kentucky 72-67. What memories do you have of that game? You battled against 7 future NBA players. Which guy do you remember impressing you the most?
I remember not playing too much that game haha! But nah the energy in the building was crazy. The fans stormed the court after we won, it was so much fun. All those guys were tough! From The Harrison twins to Cauley Stine, and Julius Randle. They were all amazing talents. I’m just glad I got the chance to compete against them.
You were a freshman together with Sindarius Thornwell. Did you have a notion that he would make the NBA back then?
Sindarius was different man. A gym rat. It was times where we would go out to party and he wouldn’t. He was just locked in, He knew what he was there to do. Super confident. Seemed like he did mostly everything right on the court. He deserves everything he has because he worked for it. I know he’s about to kill the BBL too. SHOUT OUT MY BOY!
You then played at Mercer (NCAA) from 2015-2018. There you put up very consistent stats. How do you feel did your game grow there?
It grew so much fundamentally. I had great coaches to help me develop touch and footwork and I became really really good under the basket.
You had many great games at Mercer, but how memorable was your 18 points in the thrilling 70-69 win over Wofford?
It’s memorable for a few reasons, I can’t stand Wofford college, I respect them and we battled but it’s no other win than I wanted more than against them. I hit the go ahead bucket in OT. It was special for sure.
How did head coach Bob Hoffman groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He prepared me for life in general. He was all about being punctual and he held us accountable for everything we did and it’s something I really respected about him.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Demetre Rivers?
Meech would have gotten me back in the day but I think I can get him now. He’s in the Czech Republic doing his thing now.
Who was the toughest player that you encountered in the NCAA that would reach the NBA?
It’s so many to choose from. One player that I knew was good but I didn’t expect him to turn into what he did was Jordan Clarkson. He went to University of Missouri and gave us the business when I was at U of South Carolina.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
This one is hard to answer because I’ve met some of the coolest and realest people I’ve ever met through this game so for me to pick just one it would be a disservice to them all.
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
That’s tough but I got to go Jordan, Lebron, Kobe and Hakeem. Hakeem’s footwork was just crazy!
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think they are two different players. Their best attributes aren’t the same. They both changed the game, both have made a name. I just respect and admire both of their games.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
It was OK, I watched it with my pops. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad haha
Thanks Desmond for the chat.