Bubba Furlong (206-C, college: NWOSU) is a 206cm center from Waco, Texas that will be starting his professional rookie season in Germany with the White Wings Hanau. He began his basketball career at Midway High school and then played 3 seasons at Sam Houston State University playing a total of 75 NCAA games. He then finished at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NCAA2) averaging 8.7ppg, 9.4rpg, 2.1bpg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 66.7% in his junior year and 12.2ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 67.6% as a senior. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Thanks Bubba for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
Basketball is good! Working every day to make myself the best player I can be.
I have to ask you about your name Bubba. It isn’t a very common name. I think it’s the first time I have heard it in basketball. How did you experience the name growing up?
Lol yes it’s a very unique name. I love my name though and I love it. The name came from my sister she used it like ‘brother’.
Congrats on signing with the White Wings Hanau. How blessed do you feel to be able to play the game you love. What do you in general love about the game most?
Thank you! I’m blessed and excited to start my pro journey! I feel beyond blessed to play because honestly if it wasn’t for my parents I wouldn’t even be able to play. What I love most about the game today is still feeling like my dad’s in the gym watching me. He passed 2 years back, and he was my biggest fan along with my mama.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Did you get tips from ex teammate Josh Boutte who played in Germany?
I got family friends in Germany and also some friends who play American football out there. Germany felt like a great fit after talking to my agent and family. And yes Sir I talked to Josh a few days before I made a decision.
The White Wings Hanau are really impressed by your game. The talks went well with the coach for you. What was the deciding factor that didn’t allow you to say no to this offer?
For me it was talking to my family. They’re a big part of my life when it comes to making decisions about my future.
With what kind of expectations are you going into your rookie season? How confident that you will be able to play your game at the European level?
Make a name for myself and show the world what I can do. I’m very confident. I’m different from a lot of bigs. I feel like it makes me different
Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a 206cm center and weighs 239 pounds. If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would best fill the description?
I like to compare my game to a young Kevin Garnett. A very versatile but sometimes undersized big man. He could do it all and brought some fire into the NBA with his presence.
You showed in your senior year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NCAA2) that you are a very versatile big man. You can score rebound and block shots well. What other strengths does your game possess?
I like to think in a pretty good passer. Finding the open man especially when I’m being doubled.
You have a very high assist rate for a big. Is passing out of the post or the extra pass out of the pick and roll something you enjoy?
Yes it is. I love getting my teammates open looks. Nothing better than a wide open 3 out of a double team.
What do you believe is a part of your game that is still off the radar as you enter your pro career?
The way I can stretch the floor, working on all parts of my game always but I believe I can do a lot at the next level on both ends of the floor. Also attacking off the dribble. A lot of bigs have slow feet so for me that quick first step has always been an advantage.
You are a very good shot blocker. What kind of defender are you now and what kind of defender do you want to become in the next years?
Right now I’m a run protector but I also can switch onto guards and sit down for a whole possession. I want to be a defender like Kawhi Leonard. Able to guard 1 through 5 all game and also be a superior threat to all players on the offensive side.
On what areas of your game are you working on most this summer so you will be best prepared for your rookie season?
Coach wants me to run the floor a lot this year so I’ve been conditioning myself for that. But I’m also working on every other part of my game. Ball handling, shooting even passing because I want to be an elite player.
You played your first 3 years at Sam Houston (NCAA) playing 75 NCAA games. You never averaged more than 9.8 minutes and 3,4ppg. What kind of an experience were these 3 years. Despite not being able to play good minutes, how do you feel did you develop further as a player there?
Being at the Division 1 level was great got to play against some premiere talent. And got to mold my game and get better everyday with my teammates help.
You matched up two years against NDU Chidozie. What memories do you remember in your daily battles with him? I’m sure you both pushed each other.
Awe man my brother Chizzy, we used to battle everyday! He was a great person to go up against because he is a true 7 footer with crazy athleticism. It definitely helped me a lot learning how to guard dudes bigger than me. I do remember one practice though where all we wanted to do was dunk on each other!
You had some good games in the NCAA against Randall and Jackson State. What was your personal most fondest game in the NCAA?
Playing at Clemson! The atmosphere in there was crazy and it was a really good game all together.
You then finished at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NCAA2) playing a total of 44 games and as a senior averaged 12.2ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 67.6%. How tough was your first season where you didn’t play until the last few months?
It was pretty tough because we’re used to starting so early the pre season was long. Guys got bored quickly but I stayed the course and trusted my coach!
You averaged only 3 minutes more as a senior, but you made a massive rise in your game. How do you feel did you mature as a player as a senior?
So my first year the covid year was right after I had lost my dad to cancer. That first year was tough trying to get past the mental block of my dad not being there anymore. But I finally decided to let it fuel me instead of hurt me. My last year there was great. I was captain of the team and did my best to lead them everyday.
You had many great games in the NCAA 2 like scoring 32 points against UAM. What was your personal most fondest game at Northwestern Oklahoma State?
The 32 point game vs UAM definitely was most fondest. I could feel my dad in the gym. It was like he was in the stands. But it was just a night I will never forget it, because everything went in that night.
How did head coach Vinay Patel groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Very well! Coach V is a great coach who has helped many players develop their game to get to the next level. He did the same with me and helped me figure out the next steps after college.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Mato Drgo?
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Nic Claxton from Georgia. He was 7ft and bringing the ball up. He was definitely a great person to get to guard.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
No specific order 1. Zach Nutall 2. Cam Delaney 3. Chris Galbereath (CG) 4. Brian Free 5. Kai Mitchell
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Oooooo hard one past, Shaq, Mike, Kobe, Kareem Present, Giannis, LeBron, KD, Steph
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
I feel like Mike was the greatest player in his era just like LeBron is. It’s just hard for me to compare because of how different their games are and the era they played in. But I’m a huge fan of both.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
Yes I did, and we could’ve definitely lived without it!!
Thanks Bubba for the chat.