Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has been a basketball journalist and play by play commentator for nearly 20 years covering basketball in Germany. He began his career in Frankfurt for AFN (American Forces Network) and in the 2003-2004 season began to cover the Frankfurt Skyliners. He began his play by play career in the 2004-2005 season calling games for the Skyliners BBL team. He recently finished his 18th year calling games in some kind of a capacity for the organization and others. He began writing for eurobasket.com in 2008 and started to write for germanhoops.com in 2009. He has interviewed 1600 + players in his long career and has interviewed Rickey Paulding (196-SF-1982, college: Missouri) on occasion. A detailed chapter about Rickey Paulding will be in his upcoming book ‘The Real Deal’ set for release in the autumn of 2022. He also wanted to pay his respects and looked back on his memories of Rickey Paulding.
Rickey Paulding is playing his farewell game on June 4. What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the name Rickey Paulding?
Ageless, competitor, BBL legend. There will never be an American like him again in the easyCredit BBL. It isn’t possible. An American with a character like his where he has family and Oldenburg before anything else happens once in 100 years if that. It just isn’t possible for an American to stay in one place for a long time.
Have you ever seen a player who has been able to play so well at a high level at his age?
There have been guys in the BBL in the past like Derrick Allen and Chris Ensminger who were able to play to 40 and still play at a high level. But stat wise I think Rickey could of continued playing and still been consistent. He may not have been on the same page defensively, but offensively could of still made an impact and played 2-3 more years.
What was your first encounter with Rickey Paulding?
I remember my first encounter with Ricky Paulding was in the 2007-2008 season. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were playing a game in Oldenburg and after the game it was the perfect opportunity to interview him. It was our first interview and as I often did, I took a photo with him and I will never forget that huge smile that he had. It was also a photo that would be discussed in one of our interviews in 2015. There have been times in the last 15 years in loses against Frankfurt where he wasn’t his usual friendly self, but had that post game loss face on, but that is understandable. He is a big competitor that can’t just digest a loss after 10 minutes. As soon as he was home again and saw his small children, the loss was surely forgotten. I only interviewed him a few times for Eurobasket/German Hoops, but mostly would talk to him after games for my game articles.
How do you remember interviews with him?
I always enjoyed how he told it the way it was. There was no bla bla when we talked, but just honest facts about that game and I really respected him for that. He was another player that not only I, but many other fans in the easyCredit BBL would come to watch. A guy where any fan would mark their calendar when he was playing against their team. There has to be a reason why he was chosen as the BBL’s most likeable player three years in a row.
Favorite head to head battles with a player?
Without a doubt his friend Jimmy Mckinney. Both had been teammates at Missouri (NCAA). They always had intense battles on the court. After the game they were joking around like friends.
Please tell a special story that you had with him on the court? There was that story about copying a move and then doing it.
My nicest memory with him was in 2015 when I visited the BBL top 4 cup final in Oldenburg. I had made the trip with the Sport Eagle TV team from Munich who were filming interviews. This was the magical weekend run where the EWE Baskets Oldenburg won the cup over Brose Bamberg. I remember watching how Paulding and Co celebrated and even peeked into the dressing room after the win and saw what partying was really like Oldenburg style. My favorite interview with Paulding is what I did in front of the camera with Sport Eagle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXsuIZHuUPs). I will always enjoy my last 2 questions. First I asked him if he and Julius Jenkins ever look at old pictures because both started to sport the bald heads. Paulding commented saying he saw that picture from our first interview in 2007 on social media where he had a full head of hair. My last question was who would win a one on one not inside on the court, but outside where weather can always be a nasty obstacle him or his good friend Jimmy Mckinney. He was very fair and gave it to Mckinney. I thought that was another pure example of how charming and humble he was.
Did you ever have an embarrassing moment with him?
Yes I did and I still cringe to this day when I think of it. I mean if it was his wife or mother waking him up is normal, but me? Damm that was just cruel from me. I wanted to interview him again after a long time. It was during the exciting playoff series against medi Bayreuth in May 2017. I remember calling him in the morning in Bayreuth and waking him up. I think that was about as bad timing as I have ever had. We didn’t do it and I let him continue sleeping.
What kind of legacy do you believe will he leave in the EasyCredit BBL? Do feel that there will ever be another American that will be able to reach his longevity in that league?
Rickey Paulding as of now is the greatest American that ever played in the easyCredit BBL. He played 15 years for one team which is just unheard of. No disrespect to Americans, but it’s not uncommon to see these guys jumping from country to country every season taking the best contract available. I mean it’s a normal thing. Doing what’s best for my family a phrase I have heard hundreds of times in interviews. But not only his longevity and faithfulness to the EWE Baskets is incredible, but also his consistency on the court. There aren’t many guys that have put up the kind of stats that he has.
Please leave some closing words for Rickey Paulding.
Thanks Rickey for sticking around in the easyCredit BBL for 15 years when you knew you could of landed on a Euroleague team after the BBL title in 2009. You would of played at a higher level and made so much more money, but instead you did what was best in your heart. Seeing you play every season was an enrichment for every basketball fan in Germany. I always enjoyed watching you play. You are in my top 5 of favorite players in the BBL all-time. You will be missed on the court. I wish you all the best in your life after basketball.