Matt Frierson (189-G-1997, college: Citadel) is a 25 year old 189cm guard from Maryland that is playing his fourth professional season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Last season he played with the Telekom Baskets Bonn Second Team (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 26.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 65.8%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 86.9%. He also played 5 easyCredit BBL games for the Telekom Baskets Bonn averaging 1,2ppg. Before coming to Germany he played with Campo Mourao (Brazil-NBB) averaging 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 73.7% and played with ABA teamBaltimore Hawks. He began his basketball career with Chapelgate Christian Academy and then played 4 seasons at Citadel (NCAA) playing a total of 123 games. He spoke to germanhoops.com earlier in the summer about his basketball career.
Thanks Matt for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I’m currently back home in Maryland. Basketball wise I’m trying to prepare for next season.
Congrats on signing with German pro A team Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. You have made the jump from the Regionalliga up to the Pro A. Since you have seen what it’s like in the easyCredit BBL having played 5 games with Bonn, do you have more self-confidence and excitement then you would have only had you played Regionalliga last season?
Yes, I believe that both Coach Marko and Coach Tuomas prepared me well for this upcoming season and the next step in my career.
Talk a little about what the main reasons why you chose to play for the Eisbaeren. How did the talks go with head coach Steven Key and do you feel like you could have a big role for the team?
I had great conversations with Coach Key and I also heard great things about him from some of my former teammates which made Bremerhaven seem like a good fit. I’m excited to get to work and do whatever I can do to help the team have success.
Some will doubt that you can make the jump from Regionalliga to Pro A. Especially the defense will key in more on your shot. What adjustments do you feel you will have to make to be able to continue to be that sniper that you were in the Regionalliga?
I believe that my shot translates to the Pro A level. But I’m always working to become a more efficient shooter.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 189cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill? Would a Kyle Korver fit?
I don’t know who I would compare myself with. But growing up, I loved watching guys like JJ Redick, Steph Curry, Ray Allen, Steve Novak, Kyle Korver, and Jimmer Fredette.
Your shooting really stands out. What other strengths does your game have besides those crazy sniper qualities?
I have played for a lot of great coaches and have learned about the game from them so I think understanding the game and my work ethic would be some of my best strengths.
Last season in the Regionalliga you shot 41% the best in your career. How do you explain finally eclipsing the 40% mark. Did you do anything different than just more reps and precise shot selection?
I would say the biggest thing was the confidence Coach Marko and my teammates had in me. Plus, I had the green light and never second guessed any shot.
On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can continue to move up the basketball ladder?
I’m working on trying to continue to become physically stronger and becoming a better player in pick and roll situations.
Last season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 team you averaged (26.1ppg), 4.4rpg, 2.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 65.8%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 86.9%. When you arrived in Bonn did you expect it to become so easy? Did it sometimes feel like being a man among boys?
Last season was anything but easy. Being a part of two teams meant I practiced with two teams the entire season. Although it was physically and mentally demanding, I definitely became a better basketball player from it and I’m already seeing the benefits of it in my career.
You played 5 easyCredit games with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. You only played a total of 17 minutes. What kind of an experience was it and how do you feel would you have done had you been able to get 20-25 minutes per game?
It was a pretty cool experience to be able to get those minutes in those BBL games. When I signed to play in Bonn 2, I wasn’t even expecting to bea part of the first team at all so I’m grateful Coach Tuomas gave me those opportunities.
You scored 6 points in 7 minutes against top team FC Bayern Munich hitting 2 three’s. What kind of an experience was that playing against some ex NBA players?
It was definitely an amazing experience and something I’ll remember for a long time.
You hit 9 three’s three times in the Regionalliga. What do you remember being your favorite personal moment in the Regionalliga last season?
My favorite moment from last season was when we finished the season winning 7 games in a row and clinching second place in the league.
What was it like being teammates with Shaq Rombley? How excited are you to be playing against him this season in the Pro A?
Shaq is my guy. He was a lot of fun to play with because he is a very good player and could make some crazy highlight plays. I’m excited to follow Shaq’s season and career.
You played 2 years in Brazil with Campo Mourao. What do you remember being your wake up call to being in South American where you knew you were very far away from home?
Brazil is a lot different than back home but I enjoyed the culture, food, and weather. I’ll definitely be back there to visit sometime in the future.
You began your pro career with the Baltimore Hawks (ABA). How did a guy like you who had 2 solid seasons at Citadel land in the ABA?
In college, I was pretty one dimensional and was tough for me to get that first opportunity in Europe. So I ended up playing with the Baltimore Hawks and they gave me an opportunity where I could work and continue to develop all aspects of my game. My agent Miggy Alaverz is a hard worker has represented me since I left college, has helped me grow in my career and taught me about a lot about overseas basketball.
The ABA is full of guys chasing the dream. How tough was this season. What positives could you take from it?
It was tough season because of course I wanted to be playing overseas. But I did love playing with the Hawks and being able to play in front of my family every game. The Baltimore Hawks are a great club and we had guys on the team who had professional experience in Europe and other places.
You played at Citadel from 2015-2019 and made big jumps in your last 2 years. How do you believe did your game grow there?
My junior year I started working with Zach Durkee and Coach Castleberry in individual workouts before every practice. They really helped me be ready for when my opportunity came.
You had many great games at Citadel, but was your 31 points and 9 three’s your most memorable game in the win of Chattanooga?
That was my most memorable individual performance for sure. But my favorite moment was when we beat our in state conference rivals Wofford College and Furman University on the same weekend.
How did head coach Duggar Baucom groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
I believe Coach Baucom prepared me for any type of professional career whether it is basketball or not basketball by holding the team accountable at a military college and making sure we were always where we were supposed to be. He was a very tough coach on the floor because he wanted the best for us. I loved playing for Coach Baucom and he is one of the biggest reasons for my success at The Citadel.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Lew Stallworth?
Lew is really good player, and I’m glad I never had to play against him.
Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?
When I was a sophomore in High School, I played Ishmael Wainwright and he was about the same size that he is now and he had a triple double. And I was about 5’8’and weighed 110 pounds. During that game I realized I had a lot of work to do.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time
I have had so many amazing teammates. It’s been cool to meet so many great people from all over the world.
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Did you see the sequel to the classic coming to America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I haven’t seen the sequel.
Thanks Matt for the chat.