Evans Ganapamo (6’7”-F-1994, college: PVAMU, agency: One Motive Sports) is a 25 year old 201cm forward from France that is currently in las Vegas playing NBA Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks. He began his NCAA career with the University Of New Orleans in 2012 where he played 4 seasons. He finished his NCAA career with Prairie View A6M University. He began his pro career in Germany with SB DJK Rosenheim (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 22.9ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 74.5%. He then played 3 years in France With Paris Basketball (Pro B) and the last two seasons with the Cape Town Tigers (South Africa-D2). He spoke to germanhoops.com on the eve of his first NBA Summer League game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Thanks Evans for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
Hey how are you, well at the moment I am in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League. Basketball is treating me well, I am heathy and getting better quickly so I can’t complain.
4 years ago you finished your rookie season in Germany in the fourth league called Regionalliga and in 2022 will be playing NBA Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks. Do you feel a little like being a Cinderella story?
I guess you can call it that, but I have worked extremely hard. I truly believe that the harder you work the more ‘lucky’ you get.
How excited are you about playing NBA Summer League for the Milwaukee Bucks? Is it like a dream come true?
For sure, if you are a basketball player putting on an NBA jersey is definitely a dream come true not a lot of guys get that opportunity so I am definitely exited to say the least.
After Germany you played some years in your homeland France and recently in Africa. How did this NBA Summer League job come about? Is connections the key word?
Yes my time in France was very bitter, but yes after getting back healthy I played in the BAL for the Cape Town Tigers and I guess you can say right place at the right time.
You must feel like no pressure. Did you see any Lions in South Africa. Your hunger to do well and being able to match your abilities with NCAA players, NBA rookies and veterans must be massive?
I have not seen any lions unfortunately lol. But yes absolutely I feel like I can compete at the highest level, I have put in the work and I am confident in my abilities. Hopefully I get a chance to show what I can do.
Often this NBA Summer League rosters are stacked and sometimes guys don’t even play. Do you have the fear that that could happen to you?
That is something that I try not to think about off course it’s a possibility but I just focus on what I can control.
What is your biggest goal that you want to get out of the NBA Summer League? What kind of play can we see from you on the court?
Well I don’t have a specific goal, I just would be happy getting the opportunity to show that I can play and compete with the best.
One Motive Sports represent you, but how vital will networking be for you at the NBA Summer League?
Yes I am very happy that I have the opportunity to be with One Motive Sports, great people they really care about their players like a family. But yes I feel like I am naturally a person that likes to learn and get better especially getting to know people and how they overcame adversities I think that’s very interesting to me.
One thing that stood out in your resume is that you played only 39 NCAA games and from 2018-2021 only 18 games in France. Have injuries played a big role in your career?
Yes unfortunately, injuries and health issues have really slowed down my progress at the beginning of my career, I guess you can call me a late bloomer because of it.
As a guy from France, how was it that you came to go to Mandeville, Louisiana? How do you remember your first years in the United States? Was it a big culture shock for you?
I moved to the USA with my family to join my dad, who was a doctor at the university of Tulane. My first years were really challenging especially the language, I didn’t know any words. The culture was very different but I got the hang of it and started appreciating it very quickly.
You played at the University Of New Orleans from 2012-2016. You played only played 35 NCAA games. What memories do you have of these years? I guess tougher than easier?
The memories that I have were not all bad, even though I was struggling with injuries and health issues at the time, I still met some great people that I still talk to till this day. I feel that everything that happened made me better.
You played the most games there as a freshman and had some good games against Blue Hills, Nicholls State and had 18 points in 27 minutes against NJIT. What memories do you have of those games where you were able to show your game?
Yes I had a few good games despite of everything, I feel like I had some good flashes. I was able to show my potential a little bit.
Despite not playing much how do you remember learning under head coach Mark Slessinger? What do you feel was the most important thing that you learned from him in your years there?
Coach Slessinger is a great person, I feel like he does a great job at helping players not just on the court. You can tell that he cares because even till this day I am still welcome at the school if I want to workout or use the facilities. He treats everyone that been through his program like family. But to answer your question I learned about the importance of building relationships.
In your second year at New Orleans you lost by 53 points to Michigan State and played against future NBA players like Denzel Valentine, Adreian Payne and Keith Appling. Were you a bit in awe playing against a top school like that? What memories do you have of that game?
No I would not say that I was in awe by any stretch. They were maybe more prepared then us that game and we probably made a lot of mistakes.
You finished at Prarie View (NCAA) and there played only 4 NCAA games. How tough was this season and were there any positives that you could gain from that season?
This season was tough because I was trying to get back from health issues. My body was simply not ready to compete. But the positive thing that I gained was to keep pushing no matter what. I always had this voice in my head telling me that one way or the other, things are going to workout if I don’t give up.
Despite not playing so many NCAA games, do you feel like that career helped you? Do you sometimes wonder how your career may have gone had to stayed in Europe?
Off course it’s hard not to think about other scenarios when things don’t go your way. But I feel like that road being so tough also made me better and I’m proud of it.
Was winning the AMC title your biggest achievement in the NCAA?
Yes that was the first in college history so that definitely was sweet.
You played your rookie season in Germany with SB DJK Rosenheim (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 25 games averaging 22.9ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 74.5%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a professional player in Germany?
Yes the summer before that season I was finally regaining my strength and my confidence to compete. I was focused on getting back out there and proving to myself that despite a disappointing college career I could turn my professional career around.
You didn’t win many games with Rosenheim but you had huge scoring games like against Treuchtlingen where you had 8 three’s. How much fun was that season for you? What did you enjoy most about being a rookie?
Well what I enjoyed the most was to finally be healthy to be honest. I felt great and knew that I was on a great path.
You weren’t the only potent scorer on the team, but there was also Jguwon Hogges. What memories do you have of him? He recently finished his 8th season there.
I had a lot of great moments with him, phenomenal human being he definitely helped me feel more comfortable when I was there, and he was also the greatest barber in the city so he kept me looking good lol.
You then played 3 years with Paris Basket (Pro B). There you also didn’t play many games. How do you feel did your game progress further after returning back to France?
Well when I return to France I unfortunately tore my ACL, so I had to battle with that and that slowed me down.
You scored 24 points in 23 minutes against Nantes. Why do you feel didn’t you get more of a chance with Paris Basket?
Yes my last season with Paris Basketball I was finally able to feel close to 100% again after having 2 knee surgeries the previous 2 years. I off course would have hoped to have more opportunities but that didn’t happen. I am the type of person that tries to only focus on what I can control.
Your last team was the Cape Town Tigers (South Africa-D2, starting five): Basketball Africa League) averaging 17.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 74.2%. This was the first time again since Germany where you were a main option. What was it like playing in South Africa? What did you enjoy about this league most?
Once again I felt great I finally was back 100% after lots of hard work and was able to enjoy playing at a high level.
You have played the last 3 years for Central Africa and improved your stats. How important is it for you to be able to play international ball and help your country win?
It is very important for me, you know both of my parents were born there and they have instilled to me this sense of pride and every time I have a chance to make my country proud I am more than happy to do it.
You have had very consistent stats with Central Africa. How important has this time been for your self-confidence and do you feel like your game has been able to reach a new level which also helped you play well with Cape Town?
Yes playing with Central Africa national was big for me, the team really believes in me and it just fuels me to perform better
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore.
Kobe Bryant Tracy Mcgrady Michael Jordan Shaquille O’Neal Lebron James
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Well to me it is Kobe Bryant
Thanks Evans for the chat.