Parker Jackson-Cartwright (176-PG-1995, college: Arizona) is a 26 year old 176cm point guard from Los Angeles, California playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He played at the University of Arizona (NCAA) from 2014-2018 reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and two NCAA Sweet 16’sand winning three Pac 12 tournaments. He played his rookie season for the G-League team Westchester Knicks and then came overseas playing for the Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) and last season for the Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) playing 33 games averaging 15.6ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (7.1apg), Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the tough game 5 semi-final loss to FC Bayern Munich.
Thanks Parker for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is life at home treating you?
I’m in Los Angeles and life is good. I am back with family relaxing.
The Telekom Baskets Bonn played an incredible season and played FC Bayern Munich to the wire. How long did it take you to digest the tough game 5 loss?
It took one or two days after loss. To come so close and to force a game 5 and lose is very disappointing as a competitor. But when you look at our season we can be so proud. We can’t dwell on this loss. We exceeded all expectations.
The amazing season of the Telekom Baskets Bonn has ended after a 5 game series fight with FC Bayern Munich. Was this one of the toughest losses in your professional career?
No it wasn’t. I actually have had tougher losses than this one. This loss was the toughest on a big stage like that. I recall when I was 8 or 9 years old, I had tougher losses.
The Telekom Baskets Bonn were down 0-2 and went to Munich with the backs to the wall and won 2 games. Do you feel like maybe the team reached their peak in these two games?
As a whole yes. That was the first time that we were all together and healthy. Hawk, Jermy and I gelled and as a team we gave them everything. Nobody respected us after we were down 2-0. But we had showed all season long that we were resilient. We knew that we weren’t done yet and kept fighting. The whole playoffs was really fun to compete in.
How good did it feel winning 2 games in a row in Munich. I can’t remember a team ever doing that.
We knew from the start that we could win one game. We were confident going to Munich. We didn’t feel any pressure or had that feeling like if we lose it’s all over. We just went to Munich doing what we do best on the court and taking it one possession at a time. We won the possession game and our effort helped us to success.
FC Bayern Munich had a good start in game 5, but as usual the Telekom Baskets Bonn never gave up and fought hard. How instrumental was the 27 point third quarter by Munich for helping carry them to the win?
You could tell then that they had been in that type of situation before. I mean they took FC Barcelona to 5 games. They have so much experience and are so professional. They just don’t get rattled. They wore us down in the third quarter. Credit to them. Great clubs know how to win.
When you look at the total stats, Bonn led some categories with an incredible 5 turnovers, shot well from outside and hit 9 more free throws. Was the main damage done in the paint where Munich shot 70% and had 5 more offensive rebounds?
Their whole game plan the whole series was to wear us down in the half court game. They wanted to impose their will on the mis matches and slow it down more. They also got the key offensive rebounds. It’s tough when they play like that, but we gave all we had.
You came to Bonn and carried the team the whole season. When you look back at this magical season how would summarize the character of this team?
Stellar character. All parts of the team moved and worked well together. I have never played for a team that was so professional and so coachable.
We have spoken about your teammates in a previous interview but please describe how valuable veteran Karsten Tadda was for the team. As always he showed his sniper qualities and defensive play in the final. Please describe how he is truly more than just a 3 and D player?
Karsten is a warrior. He is big and strong and works so hard. Early in pre season he set the tone for us in terms of professionalism. He took on the role as the leader. He is a real hooper. He is the ultimate great European player. He had great games against Munich and defended so well against Hamburg. He always does exactly what you need him to do. I learned from him how to carry myself each day. He is another one of the best veteran’s I have been around in my career.
How vital was Javontae Hawkins in his role and what did you learn from him as a player?
I have a lot of respect for how he returned after his tough injury. You knew he was talented, but after an injury like that you just never know how the player will return. We were all in awe of him. I also have battled with tough injuries and know how tough it is to come back. I love his work ethic and he is a true professional. I learned so much form him but also from everyone else. For example take a guy like Justin Gorham. He never complained ever and was the ultimate professional. I admire him so much. They are my brothers.
Skyler Bowlin will play in Denmark next season with his old team Bakken. He has been a fan favorite wherever he has played. Can one hope as a player that a character of a guy can somehow rub off onyou in a positive way?
Yeh I think so. He is the same each day. He never has a bad day. He has the best energy that I have ever seen and is one of the top 5 best teammates of all-time for me. I can get emotional just talking about him. He is so selfish. We grew an unbelievable bond. I’m so thankful I could play with him.
You were the MVP of the easyCredit BBL averaging 20,5ppg, 3,5rpg and 7,0apg and 2,1spg. You did everything but lead the team to a title. I would still hope that you were overall content with your personal season.
I have been lucky to have been with great organizations and around great people. I couldn’t have been MVP alone. I owe all my accolades to my teammates and people in the organization. They are the people who keep it all together. You need them to lean on. I put myself in good position to be able to be in a position like playing for the Telekom baskets Bonn. I have never skipped a step in my career, but always kept my head down, work hard and stayed humble.
You gave it your all in the series against FC Bayern Munich. That first game was tough with 6 turnovers but then you took care of the ball better and played very well in the last two games. How tough was the pressure of Munich on you that series in comparison to all the other games?
I knew that it would be tough. We played them many times and after a while the opponent knows your tendencies. They did a good job on me and I wasn’t aggressive smart at the beginning. I tried to gain an upperhand on just going and not thinking when I started to slow down. When I did that things changed. I think early on I was trying to do too much. I just played my game and it got better.
You have averaged 7,0apg in every country that you have played in only this time with Bonn it was in one of the top 5 leagues in Europe. How did your playmaking develop further this season?
Coach Iisalo trusted me form the start which was very important. As I got more comfortable in his system, I was able to put my spin on things. I got very creative. I wasn’t thinking anymore and just reading and reacting. I began doing things where I would say ‘wow’. Everything was flowing for me with my playmaking.
You had 4 insane games against Frankfurt and the 3 games against Hamburg where you averaged 37,0ppg. How pleased were you that despite teams knowing the scouting report better and your game, you still played incredibly well in the second half and had no dip in your game?
I think that I was able to adjust well all season long. I thought that I didn’t shoot the ball particularly well at the start. Teams then figured that I couldn’t shoot. That notion was insane for me, because I have always shot well as a professional at 40% from outside and even in college I shot well. I just kept shooting. I think that if you watch film constantly you will always find a way. The defense can never take everything away. They will always give you something.
You played a season for Tuomas Iisalo. For what one thing will you always be thankful that he showed you during this season?
Coach was very efficient and precise. There was never any waisted movement or time. He did a good job helping me find the right spots and holes that are good for me. They were often small holes on the court but big in the grand scheme. He always found a solution. He studies the game like no other and he knows his data is right. He enhanced what he knew times 10. He never took the ball away even after my 7th turnover. He and my teammates had so much trust in me. I owe so much to coach. He allowed me to be myself.
Who was the toughest player that you faced this season on the court?
TJ Shorts was by the far the toughest. Other tough players that I faced were Hollatz of Hamburg and Brown of Braunschweig. Also Jonah Radebaugh was very tough. There are real good guards in the BBL. If I didn’t bring my best each night they would get the best of me.
You have played in countries like France and England, but were the Telekom Baskets Bonn the best fans that you have ever played for? Talk a little about your fondest memories with them?
I have been blessed to have played for great fans in my career. The fans in Cheshire loved me. In France the fans didn’t get into the gyms until May because of Covid. When they showed up it felt like Bonn only with a small sample. Bonn felt different because our season was so special. The fans supported us every game and were always loyal. They helped us win some games. They meant a lot to us and I’m so blessed that I could play for them. They deserved a great team.
On what area’s of your game will you be working on most in the lab this summer so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?
Defense awareness will be huge as well as finding that middle ground. I want to improve my floater and pull up jumper. I also want to be more comfortable off the dribble and get more range from three. Hitting those long three’s.
What is the next step for you? Is the Euroleague one step to high. Where is the path going for you?
I don’t know at the moment. You always feel like your goal is to get to the highest level. At the end of the day I want to find the best situation for me. Things change quickly and your constantly waiting. I’m enjoying my time at home with my loved ones. They give me the right guidance.
What are your plans for the summer. What place would you like to visit where you have never been before?
Palm Springs. We always go there and hang out and enjoy the sun.
What will a NBA title mean for the legacy of a Steph Curry and a Jayson Tatum?
I think if Steph gets one that will put him in the Mount Rushmore. He is the best shooter ever and will have reached the pinnacle of his career. I think a win will mean more to Tatum. He is already a top 10 player. I would like to see Steph win.
Thanks Parker for the chat.