Julius Jenkins (187-PG-1981, college: Georgia South) is a former professional player that had a 16 year career. He played in Belgium and Montenegro, but most of his career in Germany where he played 14 seasons for teams like Nurnberg, Alba Berlin, Brose Bamberg, EWE Baskets and Jena. In Germany he was a4 time BBL allstar and won 3 cups with 3 different teams, He also won 2 titles in Montenegro. He played college ball at Georgia Southern (NCAA). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his memories of Rickey Paulding who was his teammate for 3 years in Oldenburg.
Thanks Julius for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is life treating you?
I’m in Atlanta, Georgia and am an account manager. I have been doing this for 14 months.
You retired in 2019 at the age of 38. Do you feel like you could of physically played a few more years. In that time 3 BBL legends with you, Derrick Allen and Immanuel Mcelroy all seemed to retire.
I definitely feel like I could of played a few more years. There were a few perspectives I had about teams and Gm’s. But I had a great career. I have no regrets.
Are you still connected to basketball in some way?
I still talk to my guys and friends in the NBA. I know a lot of AAU guys in Atlanta. I think the time will come when I could go into coaching. But I needed a break from basketball.
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?
Legend especially in Oldenburg. They call it Pauldingburg. It is just amazing everything that he accomplished there. He is an amazing person, husband, father and great friend.
What was your first impression when you met him? Was his smile and personality instantly infectious?
We were with the same agent so I knew who he was. I always knew that it would be a battle when I would go against him. He was a beast and I always knew that I couldn’t take it easy against him. I’m really glad that we could play together for 3 years. I always knew it would be a battle. We have great respect for each other.
You played three seasons with him. At that time you and him belonged to the top 5 players in a league. What did you always appreciate most about his game?
I always appreciated his professionalism, the way he approached the game and his knowledge. He always treated everyone with respect and was a calm spirit.
In your three seasons he had so many great games. Was the cup weekend in Oldenburg in 2015 your most memorable time with him?
The cup weekend was one of the most memorable times with him. I can’t recall all the great games. We played so much tag team. We would take turns having great games. It was really amazing what he could do on the court. He called me microwave. He would say let’s go microwave. It was fun times.
What is your fondest moment with him on and off the court that you will never forget?
The family and holiday time. I remember coming together and having cook outs and watching the NFL and NBA. This were the best times away from the game and seeing the kids grow.
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?
I would hope that somebody will come along like him and have a huge impact on a team for a long time and sustain the level that he had. But to do that is really tough. I had a great career, but I changed teams quite a few times. It is just really hard staying with one team. There will never be another Rickey Paulding.
Who won a one on one then in practice?
We never played 1-1 after practice. But in practice we went against each other. He got some and I got some. I don’t know who won more though. We always battled each other and pushed each other to get better.
Please leave some closing words for Rickey Paulding.
It was a real pleasure seeing your career and the impact that you had in Oldenburg and the Euro sports world. It is amazing to see everything that you accomplished. It inspires me to keep doing good in my daily life. To play that long for one club is unheard of. Now I wish you and your family all the best and that you will excel at everything you do now.