Jaleen Smith (193-PG-1994, college: UNH) is a 27 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his fifth professional season and first with Alba Berlin. He played the last two seasons with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg averaging 15.2ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-3 (5.3apg), Steals-2 (1.8spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 87.5%; and 10.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 82,8% the season before. In 2018-2019 he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. In his rookie season with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He spoke to eurobasket about his memories of Rickey Paulding.
Thanks Jaleen for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
Just hanging out at home looking over film from our previous game against Ludwigsburg.
Alba Berlin won 3-0 against the MHP Riesen and are in the drivers seat. Alba Berlin is 6-0 in the playoffs. Are you guys close to peaking?
I think we’re playing really great basketball and we don’t care whose scoring because everyone can. On defense, we’re playing our best.
Rickey Paulding played his farewell game on June 4. What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the name Rickey Paulding?
One of the best Americans to play in the German BBL. Even when I started playing against him later in his career he was dominated us young guns lol.
Have you ever seen a player who has been able to play so well at a high level at his age?
He’s a machine and I’m definitely surprised he has been scoring the way he was through the season and holding his own. This makes me believe it doesn’t matter the age you are a baller is a BALLER.
You had a 4-1 record against Rickey Paulding and always played very well. Is there a game that you remember vividly concerning his game or an encounter you had on the court with him?
The first time I played him in Oldenburg, this was my first time hearing about him, I didn’t know what to expect. I started the game guarding him and probably the first 3 possessions he scored on me. I’m like wow I heard stories about how great he is and how he’s a Oldenburg legend but after that game I knew every time we played. I would have to battle with him and I tried to hold my own against him.
What about his game will always stay in your mind when you hear the name Rickey Paulding?
He’s a bucket. He will cook anyone that’s guarding him.
Please tell a special story that you had with him on the court?
I don’t really have a special story about Ricky. Just always enjoyed playing against him.
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 don’t think there will be another Rickey Paulding. To stay loyal to a team his whole career and rise up with the team his whole career is something special. I don’t think there will be another one that will do that.
Please leave some closing words for Rickey Paulding.
Thank you Rickey for everything in German Basketball. You are definitely a legend in this league and I hope you enjoy retirement. Thank you for being a great role model to me and other Americans trying to follow your example.