The Miles Where Are They Now Player Feature With Sterling Carter

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Sterling Carter in Germany in 2015

Some guys have really long careers like French player Amara Sy who just keeps grinding and has over 20 years of professional experience. Other guys like Dashaun Wood who was the 2011 BBL MVP in Germany played 10 seasons while there are other players that might only reach 3-4 seasons before they have to hang it up. But what about those players that play only 1 professional season and then stop? A career like that must seem like a blur later when a player looks back at their short time playing the game that they loved for money. Especially in the German lower leagues like the Regionalliga, you often see guys who will cut their professional career´s short after a few years as they realize they aren´t climbing the basketball ladder up into higher leagues the way that they had envisioned. The pay isn´t good as imports often earn only something between 500-800 $ per month and after a few years of enduring that and having to come home to the States and get a summer job is something that is difficult to get adjusted to no matter how big the love for the game is. In the end players often have to accept that feeding their family back home with a real job there is more important and the only solution so they return home having to give up their huge basketball dream. One player who played only 1 professional season in Germany before returning home was Sterling Carter. He was a guy I only watched one time Live, but I never forgot that game. I did play by play for the Hanau team that hosted Sterling Carter and his Dragons Rhondorf on a rainy October evening in 2015 and saw him lose 87-62. It was a typical game for him that season as he scored 24 points while netting his most three´s as a professional with 7. It was one of the many games where he tried to do everything he could while carrying his very young team, but in the end just wasn´t enough as the loses grew and grew the whole season. It was a season where the American often was labeled as the escape goat. Not always fair since the club was so young and just wasn´t as talented as the other German Pro A(2nd division) teams. He ended the season as one of the top scorers in the league, but the club won only 2 games and were moved back down to the third league. Seeing a great offensive player playing for a losing team isn´t rare, but when I didn´t see him play after that again surprised me a bit. “I chose to retire because my family needed me home and the contracts I was offered were not what was going to make me stay overseas. I felt that I played well enough to play in the BBL but never received a offer at that level I was 3rd in scoring in the league and 7th in Steals and I worked hard all season went through coaching changes”, said ex Purdue(NCAA) guard Sterling Carter. Sometimes I wondered if the poor season of the Dragons Rhondorf affected him mentally that helped him also with ending his career. “I wouldn’t say that , that season actually helped me it humbled me and helped me become a leader of a young group of guys. It definitely wasn’t what I expected for my rookie season but I think I just embraced the challenge of having the youngest team in league and mentally the coaching change hurt me more than anything but all in all I enjoyed my time with the club playing in the Pro A”, stressed Ex Seattle(NCAA) guard Sterling Carter. It has been more than 4.5 years since Sterling Carter played his last professional game and is featured in the Miles where are they now player feature.

                Sterling Carter was born in Seattle, Washington on July 23, 1990. He began his basketball career at Franklin High School that has been known for producing amazing athletics like ex NFL running back Corey Dillion and well known basketball players like Jason Terry, Aaron Brooks and Peyton Siva. He began his basketball career at the University of Pacific, but that gig was brief and he moved to Seattle University where he played from 2010-2013 playing a total of 64 NCAA games. His first 2 seasons were great stat wise and as a freshman averaged 13.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 36.4%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 67.4% and in his second season averaged 10.1ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 82.6%. But in his third season there things changed. He played only 7 games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 14.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 12.5%. It seemed like he may have had a falling out with head coach Cameron Dollar, but that wasn´t the case. “To be honest with you there was never a fall out between us, the program just decided to go in a different direction and they decided to release me and that was all that took place. Which in the long run worked out better for me. I believe everything happens for a reason“, remembered Sterling Carter. He didn´t mope around like a dog and head home, but put his ego on the back burner and finished his degree. “I knew that there was something else in store for me and it hurt that I couldn’t be a part of a team at the time but I graduated and got my degree for my parents and God blessed me with another opportunity to play at Purdue”, stressed Sterling Carter. His ex teammate at Seattle Prince Obasi who also had a short professional career with 2 years remembers one shooting clinic form Carter with joy. “He made 6 straight 3 pointers off the bench that was so great to watch”, added Prince Obasi.

         He then went on to play 1 more year of college ball at Purdue. He made his debut against Northern Kentucky and in the next morning was back in Seattle to witness the birth of his first daughter Aria.  When he came to Rhondorf 2 years later, it was only logical that he would choose the #1 for his jersey. “I picked the #1 because that is her age now and because she is #1 in my heart and in my life. She’s also my 1st child“, expressed Sterling Carter. That season with Purdue, he played against so many great schools like Michigan that featured guys like Derrick Walton and Glen Robinson111, or Minnesota that featured Samuel Dekker, Frank Kaminisky and Nigel Hayes or Nebraska that had Shavon Shields, Tai Webster and David Rivers, but his most fondest game was beating Indiana 82-64 where he produced 19 points in 18 minutes. “I would say that was my favorite moment just seeing all the fans happy that we won the game and seeing the coaches excited to beat our rivals”, remembered Sterling Carter. He played 27 games that season averaging 4.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.1apg and feels like things could have been different had injury not happened. I do feel that I would have ended the season with better stats and that I would have helped my team win more games than we did after I got hurt and we might have been able to sneak in the tournament”, stressed Sterling Carter. Despite not having the kind of role that he had in his first 2 seasons in Seattle, the American who lists Isaiah Thomas as his toughest opponent in the NCAA was thankful for the opportunity to work together with head coach Matt Painter. “The one year I spent under coach Painter was great, because he taught me more than I had learned in the 3 years I had played previous on and off the court”, warned Sterling Carter.

         Instead of finding a professional team for the 2014-2015 season being a rookie, the American had to stay at home and experience another side of life that many don´t want to see, but often do, especially basketball players who have that neverending basketball dream locked into their minds. He tore his ACL ending his college career at Purdue, was represented by a black sheep agent that promised, but didn´t deliver, and then had no choice but to work three jobs while being a single parent. Luckily he met agent Mike Baron who would change his life “It was the hardest thing I ever been through I could only think of how I wanted my daughter to never have to need or want anything because I worked hard during my time on the court. So while working those three jobs I would work out every night after work even after my 13hour shifts and it was hard but my dream was to be a PRO Basketball player not to work three jobs making 12$ HR but God blessed me with Mike Baron finding me and keeping his word 100%”, stressed Sterling Carter. Baron hooked up Carter with a job with the Dragons Rhondorf a team that had played many years in the Pro B(3rd division) and had just moved up to the Pro A. “Sitting out last season helped my game more on the mental side as I got to watch a lot more basketball and watch the mistakes I made during my college career. Me and my father watch a lot of my film to see where I can be better and I feel now that I’m back 100%. I’m going to be more than ready this upcoming season”, remembered Sterling Carter in 2015. Two and a half months into his rookie season, he was 100% focused on basketball, but also remembers a different type of sore muscles when he was working 3 jobs. “I am very thankful for the opportunity I have gotten to live out my dreams of being a professional basketball player it is a blessing and I thank God everyday for it. I’m also grateful to have a great agent to help make all this possible. I don’t miss anything about working those long hour days. I finally get to do what I love as a full time job”, said Sterling Carter.

         The Dragons Rhondorf gave their home debut in the 2015-2016 season against the Kirchheim Knights and got whipped by 26 points as Sterling Carter made his professional debut netting only 7 points on a 3/18 shooting night. It didn´t get any better after that as the club would lose their next 8 games and in November and had a 0-9 record and were dead last in the Pro A standings. A big problem was their defense as they allowed 80 points or more points in 7 of the 9 games. We were having problems keeping people in front of us and making our defense help to much but we have since fixed that problem and we are improving each and every game”, stated Sterling Carter. They finally got their first win against the winningest German BBL title holder Bayer Giants Leverkusen 91-64 as Carter had his best professional game dropping 31 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on 9/18 shooting. But that victory was short lived as the club then lost 5 games in a row falling to 1-14. In that 5 game losing streak, the main problem remained their defense as they allowed 89 points or more in the 5 games while being inconsistent on offense and having problems putting points up on the board averaging 73 points per game. The club finally would celebrate their next win on January 2nd against Nurnberg 83-65 where he contributed 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block on 6/17 shooting. I caught up with Sterling 2 days after the win and ultimate joy was on his menu. “I’m extremely proud of the team. We came out and played our hearts out and guys really stepped up in the first half while I struggled a little it gave me confidence to have a better second-half. I’m so proud of the guys from tonight win this group of guys works really hard each and every day and practice so I think that when was this a reward and it shows that we are a better team than what we showed in the first half of the season”, remembered Sterling Carter. His 14 points in the third quarter keyed the win. “I felt like I let the team down in the first half with my struggles and when I got the opportunity in the second half it was my time to take over and win the game but without my teammates encouragement I wouldn’t have came out as strong as I did in the second half”, added Sterling Carter.

         In this time a coaching change was made and a few new Americans were added, but it didn´t help anymore. The win against Nurnberg was the last victory for Sterling Carter as the next 9 games would be lost. The defense continued to be inconsistent and erratic as 3 clubs racked up 100 plus points against the Dragons Rhondorf. He had some good scoring games in 40 point losses to Baunach and Vechta netting 21 and 24 points, but who will ever truthfully say he played well when you lose by so much. He then scored 21 points in a tough 86-82 loss against Paderborn. He played his last professional game on February 27, 2016 scoring 5 points in a massacre loss against Gotha 93-47. Instead of finishing the season on the bench, because new coach Christian Mehrens had other plans, he elected to go home. “I worked really hard all season and stuck with the club through a lot of things and then the head coach tells the team he’s only going to play the guys he wants to be back next season and with me having a wife and child I figured it would be best to just go back to my family because it’s not fair to them if I’m just away sitting on the bench. I’ve been away from them for 7 months and if I’m not doing my job anymore no need to keep them waiting my family is very important to me they support my every move”, stressed Sterling Carter. Despite having a strong statistical season, it was tough winning only 2 games and being criticized a lot for not being able to lead the team to success, but re remained 100% professional and had no bad feelings towards the organization. “I’m leaving Germany with my head held high and grateful for the opportunity in Rhondorf that I had to Play my First Professional Season”, stated Sterling Carter in 2016.

         A few days after leaving the club, he agreed that a big problem in the season was the never creation of a team chemistry, but the load on his shoulder wasn´t to big for him. “ I think it had to do with that and a few other things but I enjoyed those two wins and I know that me and the guys that was there the whole time those games meant a lot for us to win.  it wasn’t too much for me and it was actually a good challenge for me and it has helped me a lot. But with me being a rookie it was hard to gain the trust of a few guys. I gave my all to the club and sad it had to end this way but everything happens for a reason”, warned Sterling Carter. He also stayed 100 professional in always keeping the backs of his young teammates who tried their best, but were also human on the court. “I was never let down by my teammates. They all worked hard and played their best and it was me that had the ability to take and make shots that was my role on the team”, remembered Sterling Carter. His stat line after his only professional season was 25 games played averaging 15.6ppg), 3.5rpg, 3.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 34.2%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 64.6%. He scored in double figures in 18 games. He took a total of 218 three pointers shooting 33,5%. There was criticism that he shot too much and didn´t create enough. “Those shots I took where the same from the start of the season to the end I was asked to take and make shots and for those people that thought I didn’t create enough. I would just tell them to go back and look at some of the game film. I almost averaged 4 assists a game and I think my team understood what my role was and what I was good at”, stressed Sterling Carter. I would have thought that his 31 point explosion and first team win against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen would have been his fondest moment as a professional, but I was incorrect. “I would say my biggest highlight was my game against Nürnberg when I had 17 points and 10 fassists It was my first double double being a professional and I feel like it showed that I can create and score the ball as well. He learned some lessons while playing professional ball in Germany and also hoped that the fans would remember him in a good light. “I learned that you have to be mentally tough to play professionally and that it takes a strong guy to be able to travel across the country and play in an unfamiliar environment. I also learned that if you want to be the best you have to start at the bottom and earn your respect on your way to the top and I feel that I earned a lot of respect in the Pro A this season. I just want the fans to know that I gave them my all in my time there and that I will forever have them in my heart and wish them all the best for their seasons to come”, remembered Sterling Carter in 2016.

         During the summer of 2016 I monitored the transfer market as usual and as the 2016-2017 season got closer and closer I continued not to see Sterling Carter signed with a new team. The new season started a few months passed and still no Sterling Carter overseas. I was a bit surprised after his good statistical rookie season that he hadn´t been signed. In November 2016 I decided to reach out to him with an interview. Perhaps teams did see the 2 wins by the Dragons Rhondorf which at times is more important than the stats put up as well as his many shots as deterrents in his scouting report. “I see that being very unfair I did everything the coaches ever asked for me I got along with all my guys in the team I wasn’t a selfish guy. I’d get myself in trouble by being passive in situations where I should have taken shots or pulled back I did a lot for the team and that was something I thought other teams would have noticed by watching my Film but I was obviously wrong since I’m still sitting at home. I feel like I led by example and focused more about the on the court things then off the court things I worked hard and gave the Dragons all I had last season”, remembered Sterling Carter. When I caught up with the Seattle native, he was somewhat up beat ready to watch his Seattle Seahawks play, but not playing the game he loves was difficult for him. “Honestly it hurts a lot and I thought I had a good enough season to move up and get a decent contract to play this season, but unfortunately I didn’t. I love being home with my wife and daughters but I love the game and it sucks being away from the game”, stressed Sterling Carter. When I heard that not one club had interest in him, I was shocked. But apparently clubs did do their home work and unfortunately stats don´t always lie and not being the tallest guard at times can be a severe road block as well. “The news I got from my previous Agency was that no teams were interested in me and that I was to small to play shooting guard and had too many turnovers to play the point guard and the offers that he did mention to me wasn’t enough money to provide for my family. So I’m in the position that I’m in now sitting at home”, said Sterling Carter. There have been so many smaller guards that have proved at a professional level that they can stick and I feel Carter would have been another guy that would have carved his niche at higher professional levels. The disappointment by Carter was simple to comprehend. “Well to me it it’s an insult to me I feel like I’ve prided myself on the defensive side of the ball my whole career at Purdue University I was looked at as the defensive stopper and shooter so to hear that is crazy to me. But being to small is the same I see guys shorter than me in the NBA and in Europe that continue to play year after year I have the heart of a lion I’ve never worried about being small and I averaged 15.6 points last year at the same height so why does that matter now going into my second year”, remembered Sterling Carter in 2016.

                Let´s fast forward to November 2020. Time flies and his playing days are long over, and at times it is difficult not being able to strap on the sneakers and compete hard for 40 minutes on the floor as a professional player. “I miss playing the game a lot and doing what I love and getting paid for it. Most of all enjoying the fans and getting the love from the fans and being a pro when no one thought it would be possible I proved everyone wrong”, warned Sterling Carter´s life is a lot different today than back in 2016. Carter has moved on from professional basketball and just the last 8 months has changed the world with COVID_19 and now with a new American President on board with Joe Biden, America might become great again . 2020 has been a huge challenge for all, but for most like Sterling Carter, he is just blessed to be living life. “I am doing good and my 2020 has been ok Covid-19 definitely has affected some of the things I wanted to accomplish but I am just glad to be alive and I feel like COVID-19 has helped me by giving me more time to reflect on what is most important which is the well being of my wife and kids, as a man taking care of my family is all that matters. ”, said Sterling Carter. It´s been quite a few years since his playing days, but the Washington native has stuck with the game he loves and is now the head coach for Cleveland high school in Seattle. “. I love coaching now being able to give the knowledge that I have learned through my career to the kids I coach. My ultimate goal is to coach at the D1 level, just like my playing days I will continue to work to reach that goal”, warned Sterling Carter. Of course with COVID-19, it hasn´t been easy shuffling family and work, but he has fought through any obstacles and is living life to the fullest. “Life has been great for me as a father I am thankful that my daughters are healthy and as for as my professional life I have been working while Covid-19 has been flaring up across the world I haven’t gotten to Coach my team as much as I would like to have this summer but I am grateful that I was able to get some work in with my players . All I’m all I’m very grateful”, stressed Sterling Carter. There really isn´t a better job for an ex professional player than being a coach at any level. To be able to take that basketball knowledge and experience and help young players develop on the court as well as help them grow as men and shape their characters in the right way. “I just love giving back to the youth I would say I had a decent career and the game took me a lot of places and I want as many kids I can to get that same experience. However for me it’s most important to help the young men grow up and be the best young men they can be”, warned Sterling Carter. Coaching seems to be his main focus in his working life and he wants to continue to climb the basketball ladder as a coach the best way that he can. “My goals are to build up my program up at Cleveland Hs and become a competitor in our league and hopefully do enough to be noticed by a College program. My ultimate goal is to coach at the D1 level, just like my playing days I will continue to work to reach that goal and to be the best coach I can”, warned Sterling Carter. Sterling Carter tried to be the best player he could during his college and professional days and had some memorable games and now as a head coach is going through another process of exceling and just trying to help kids be the best they can be while helping them become respectable men.

The Miles Where Are They Now Player Feature With Louis Hinnant

Louis Hinnant in action in Germany

Even when I´m on a short vacation visiting mom and brother in Boston in mid January 2020, I can never get enough of basketball. After meeting the legendary Ann Meyers Drysdale, one of only two women to ever be signed by an NBA team back in 1980 with the Indiana Pacers who has been a team broadcaster since 2012 and getting a nice selfie with Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric and watching the self absorbed superstars Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton ignore the autograph hounds and me, I walked towards the train on my way home somewhat pleased about getting 5 Suns players autographs as the snow was rapidly getting stronger. On my way home, I was already focused on Sunday as I was going to have an early morning meeting with Louis HInnant at his old school Boston College to gather precious information on his career for my article. That night I watched the Boston Celtics suffer their sixth loss in the last 8 games and Devin Booker destroy my team, but was fascinated by Marcus Smart´s career night breaking the Celtics all-time three point record for a game with 11 which was previously held by Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker with 9 a piece. As I woke up on Sunday morning at 7:00AM, I checked my phone and saw a message from Hinnant. My town Needham had gotten about 4 inches and I remember hearing the snow plower do our driveway at 2.Am, so I was free to go to see the ex player, but Hinnant hadn´t faired better. The snow had been heavier up in Lowell where he calls home now and wouldn´t be able to make the meeting. His neighborhood hadn´t been plowed and a 150$ Uber was a bit too steep, plus he had a mid day practice. But thanks to technology and the phone. I reached Hinnant at 10:00AM in his office at the University of Lowell and despite not seeing him in person, this had to do. Before we got to his career, we did some small talk about the snow  “I like the snow. There is less in Maryland, but I got used to it at Boston College. When you live here you have to be prepared for it. In Boston they clean the streets a lot faster than out here. I woke up at 4AM and didn´t see any of the plows out. My wife is from Maryland and the snow has been a big adjustment”, stressed Louis Hinnant. The American had a stellar basketball career at Boston College and overseas and currently is an assistant coach with the University Of Lowell. Hinnant is featured in the Miles where are they now category.

Louis Hinnant behind the bench with Umass-Lowell

                Hinnant was born on May 5th, 1984 in Oxon Hill and grew up in Gwynn Park. He had a stellar career at Boston College from 2002-2006 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. As a freshman he played 31games averaging 4.7ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.2apg. He had the pleasure from learning from Troy Bell who was drafted by the Boston Celtics and played briefly with the Memphis Grizzlies before having a very long career overseas.  “He was one of the best guards in the country. He did a good job helping me with how to play the position and giving pointers about how to take care of your body. I remember going to the cold tub with him even though I didn´t want to”, stressed Louis Hinnant. He developed nicely as a player at Boston College and as a senior averaged  7.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.6apg, FG: 48.4%, 3PT: 43%, FT: 69.1%. He never averaged double figures in scoring in a season, but that never bothered him, because he had so much scoring magic around him. “For me the most important thing was always to win. I always tried to see what I could do to help my team win. When I scored, we usually lost. I had great teammates who could score. I always felt that as a point guard that I could score, but I always wanted to enhance my teammates and focus on getting them the ball”, stressed Louis Hinnant. When he was a senior, he very well remembered the relationship that he had as a freshman with Troy Bell and now his role was reversed as the mentor with a young kid named Tyrese Rice and the immense talent that he possessed “I taught him to play the point guard position and he quickly learned. I thought then and still do now that he is one of the best 400 players in the world. I am super proud of what he has accomplished in his career. We train together in the summers and are close”, stated Louis Hinnant.

The American also remembered how different the NCAA is today than it was when he was playing at Boston College. “Back then you had a Florida with a Al Horford or a North Carolina with JJ Reddick and Shelden Williams and today everyone is coming out early and teams just have less experience”, stressed louis Hinnant. He also remembered his three NCAA runs with the first and last being the most sweetest. “Many things hadn´t gone right for us my freshman year. In my second year Bell had left and we had lost Ryan Sydney as well. Nobody believed in us, but we rallied and reached the tournament. In my senior year, we had the talent to win it all, but lost to Villanova. We had the opportunity to win that game. I actually never watched that game again until I became a coach. I see things a lot different now as a coach then I did back then. When I look back at that game now, we should have done things a lot differently, but the basketball God didn´t see it our way”, added Louis Hinnant. The American who lists Randy Foye as his toughest opponent at his position in the NCAA also remembered his head coach Al Skinner who helped groom and prepare him for a professional basketball career. “He had that professional approach and wasn´t as demanding and didn´t babysit you. He knew that if you wanted to be good, you would commit to the work. He went with those that were self motivating and understood their weakness and worked on them”, said Louis Hinnant. Before he turned professional, the American had a work out with the Boston Celtics and battled a young Rajon Rondo who came out after two years at Kentucky(NCAA). “I thought then that I had a legit chance of making the NBA. Not being drafted, but maybe making it through the NBA Summer League. I just wanted to show that I could help my team win. I did some good things in that workout. I knew that they were more interested in evaluating Rondo, but in hindsight the work out got me workouts with a few other teams. I appreciate the Boston Celtics front office, because they helped me get a lucrative deal in Europe. I knew about Rondo´s measurability. He had something like 1% or 2% body fat. I remember the trainer saying we have to put his body fat up. I had never heard of something like that. You knew right away htat he was something different. His measurability was way off the charts”, remembered Louis Hinnant.

The American began his professional basketball career in 2006 with the Sundsvall Dragons (Sweden-Basketligan) playing 22 games averaging 16.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.9apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 74.1%. He remembers his rookie season as if it was yesterday. “I remember the cold the most and snowing being a daily thing. It also got dark quickly. It was definitely different. Being away from home wasn´t hard, because being at Boston College had prepared me for that”, added Louis Hinnant. After a strong rookie season, he followed it up in Finland with Joensuun Kataja (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 41 games averaging 18.0ppg, 5.3rpg, Assists-2(4.4apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 87.5%. He had no problems adjusting to the European game as his stats showed He also learned important lessons about the business side from teammate Clifton Jones how basketball life can be if you don´t read the contract between the lines, but at that early juncture, all Hinnant cared about was playing no matter what. “Jones had a different approach to the game then I did in terms of being a professional. I was ready to play every day no matter what. If his money was late one day, he wouldn´t play. I didn´t care about that and just wanted to play. I was young and not as professional yet. I remember him always telling me to read my contract”, added Louis Hinnant. His most memorable time in his professional career came from 2008-2010 when he played with Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division) where he won 2 titles. In his first season he played 34 games averaging 15.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.4apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 61.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 82.6% and in his sophomore campaign with the club played 34 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-3(6.0apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 67.0%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 79.0%. “The team hadn´t reached the playoffs in 7 years The most satisfying thing was that we won and being part of something where all thought would be impossible. I remember the fans being ecstatic. It was great coming back and winning the title”, stressed Louis Hinnant. Hinnant couldn´t have won 2 titles in Hungry without the scoring expertise from teammate Calvin Watson, but also remembers that his presence and feeding him the ball was vital as well. “Watson was great. We needed him. I knew right away that I had to bring the best out of my teammates. He wanted to be the top scorer and I was ok with that. We never butted heads and had no competition among us. Us feeding off each other allowed him to win the MVP and I got player of the year, I didn´t have to score to be successful. I enjoyed playing with him”, added Louis Hinnant.

In the 2010-2011 season he played with Kryvbasbasket-Lux Kryvyi Rih (Ukraine-Superleague) playing 13 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 71.7%. He was the lone American on the team. “The Ukraine was different. We had a lot of Serbians and Croatians on the team. They all understood each other as their languages were similar. I had a good relationship with my teammates, but I did spend a lot of time alone. This season was good for my game as I was around high level bigs something I didn´t have in Hungry. I´m a guy that likes to throw the ball up to the rim. I was able to do that in this league. I also remember seeing a lot of guys that had played in the NBA”, added Louis Hinnant. His toughest season was in 2011-2012 where he bounched around 3 teams with: Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK); playing 3 games, then moved to Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Ukraine-Superleague) playing a game and then finished strong with the Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-ProA) playing 21 games averaging 9.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 84.6%. “This was the first time that the business side got involved. My team in the Ukraine was bankrupt. After 3 months where I didn´t get my money, I knew something was wrong. The people in town were talking about it. The club kept saying that all would be fine. They then said that they had no money, but that I would get it. I left for Poland and rebroke my foot. In the higher leagues, you often have to play hurt. After being hurt, you always have to prove yourself all over again”, stated Louis Hinnant. In Poland he worked briefly with well known coach Emir Mutapic who won many titles with Alba Berlin. “I thought that he was a good teacher. He got let go seeing the business side. The team had injuries and he needed some time to implement how he would teach the game. He didn´t get the time. He fell victim to politics something we all do at one time or another”, warned Louis Hinnant.

The American finished strong in Germany with the Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-ProA) playing 21 games averaging 9.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 84.6%. He lived in a beautiful town called Weissenfels that has 33,0000 plus inhabitants and never had a problem getting that much needed energy for his stellar play on the court. “My apartment bulding was at the end of the road and it was easy to hop in the car and swing over to the Mcdonalds. I also lived near the Doner place. After a while whenever I went there, they knew exactly what I wanted. I loved Doner”, laughed Louis Hinnant. On the basket side, he who lists his friend guard Ahmad Smith as his toughest foe in the Pro A had very fond memories of the German club with a talented coach in Silvano Poropat and teammate Whit-Holcomb-Faye. “This was the first time where I was on a team that had 4-5 Americans. Before it had been 2. We had a very deep team and we had a good mixture of Americans and other imports. We had good friendships and still talk to guys today. Poropat was a very good coach, but demanding. I learned a lot from him. Holcomb-Faye was super competitive like I was. The only difference was that he talked a lot of trash while I didn´t. We both only cared about winning. We both made our team better. We had no down days in practice. We would go back and forth in practice. Sometimes it would get chippy, but at the end of the day, we were all laughing. During the game we were always thinking and talking and trying to figure out ways which was the easiest to win”, warned Louis Hinnant. In 2012 he retired, mainly because he had been away from home for so long and was somewhat burned out. “I needed a break. I started to think about other things at this point in my career. I had a younger brother that I had never seen play before. This kind of thing got to me. I hadn´t been home for Thanksgiving since 2002 and had always missed my mom´s birthdays. I just wanted to do nothing for a year and do family stuff and be normal”, expressed Louis Hinnant. He returned for one last season in 2013-2014 playing for Kaposvari KK (Hungary-A Division) playing 35 games averaging 11.1ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-1(6.0apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 78.2%. “It was good to come back and finish the way I wanted to. I didn´t win a title though. But I was happy that the team exceeded expectations We got to the final, but couldn´t win, because we didn´t have the budget or roster. I was happy that we competed well”, added Louis Hinnant. In 2014 he finally hung up his jersey and knew it was the right time even if he could of played longer as he could have returned back to Hungry for an eighth season. “You see a lot of guys that will play something like 10-12 years and didn´t make enough money and then return home and don´t know what to do. I didn´t want to do that. The year before my last, I could have had a coaching job, but didn´t take it. After my seventh season, the coaching job was still there and I decided to take it. I knew that I wanted to get into coaching so I ended career early instead of too late”, warned Louis Hinnant.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ex Umass-Lowell standout Jahad Thomas

Hinnant is in his sixth season as an assistant with the University of Lowell and loves his job with being able to work with young talented players. “The most rewarding thing about working with young players is seeing them pursue what I was trying to do in school. I like being able to witness their journey and be a guy that they can reach out to. I stress having fun. The business side will come soon enough. Now the kids can still play for fun”, warned Louis Hinnant. You often will see this gigantic coaching staff at the NCAA level where one guy has a specific duty, but that isn´t the case at the University of Lowell. “I do a bit of everything. At other schools you have like 8-9 coaches who try to break up things. We have 5 coaches. I do a lot of individual training with players. I´m also hands on with the day to day with tactics and the x´s and o´s. I also am on the road with recruiting. I was recently in New Mexico, Texas, Phoenix and St Louis looking for new talent. I also assist with scheduling and marketing. I really enjoy it”, stated Louis Hinnant. Over the years he has seen numerous players in the program develop and go into the pro ranks and keeps tabs on the guys. “I remember a lot of guys like Jahad Thomas or a Akeem Williams who plays in France or a Ryan Jones who is in Portugal. All these guys came to Lowell with a goal. They all were coachable, listened and had no problems asking questions. They have all shown that guys can come from a small school and make it as a professional. We will have more guys coming out in the future”, warned Louis Hinnant. At age 35 the American still has a long coaching career ahead of him and has goals. “I want to compete for the national title, but at the same time enjoy the process of building something great. That is a reason why I came to Lowell. I really would like to get to the NCAA tournament. An individual goal is to be able to be considered to be good enough to be at a high level program and someday be a head coach. I have had the chance to move on, but I value stability. I really love coaching with the Lowell staff. I don´t care about jumping around”, warned Louis Hinnant. He also wouldn´t remind returning back to Boston College down the road if an opportunity presented itself. “It´s like a catch 22. I root for Boston College and have good ties to the staff. I would never want to get a job there because someone was let go. I would love to help them get back to where they were when I was there”, stressed Louis Hinnant. He still texts his ex teammates Jared Dudley and Craig Smith. Dudley was his roommate at Boston College and will never forget the laughs that he had then. He also knows exactly how a Craig Smith would be on the court today, if he returned to Conte Forum today and put on his sneakers. “He would shoot a lot more three´s. As the game has changed over time, so has his. He recently played in the Big 3 tournament and was hitting three´s”, laughed Louis Hinnant. With currently 7 Germans in the NBA, he knows just how much basketball has developed further in Germany and has one message. “For all Germans who want to play basketball in the States, please contact me”, stressed Louis Hinnant. Louis Hinnant is just focused and interested in the University of Lowell having success, but most importantly being that smart mentor who will bring out the best in his players, the same way he did in his teammates when he was a player.

Virgil Matthews Is Back And Thinks He Can Be Effective In Any Role He´s Put In

Virgil Matthews is a 35 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that is playing his 12th  professional season and fourth with the Niners Chemnitz. He has given his massive experience and helped the club currentlyachieve a 10-0 record averaging 6,6ppg, 2,9rpg and 4,8apg. Last season he played with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) playing 24 games averaging 8.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 71.4%. Two seasons ago he almost led Chemnitz (Germany-ProA) into the BBL playing 40 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 86.7% He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga) playing 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL) playing 28 games averaging 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games averaging 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT:71.3%. He would play until 2014 with Ehingen playing 126 games with three seasons in the Pro A and one in the Pro B. He spoke to about basketballlate in the summer about basketball.

Virgil thanks fortalking to Where are you at the moment and how was your summer?

I’m in Chemnitz now summer was good, I just worked summer camp and spent time with family.

You have been very active over the years with me as this will be our 15th interview as we started back when you were with Ehingen. When you look back at your years with Ehingen up to now, do you feel like your career has flown by?

Yea the career has gone fast, but it’s has been good I’ve made lots of friends and seen lots of things here in Germany.

Your 35 years old and still playing. If someone had told you 8 years ago that you would still be playing at age 35 what would you have honestly thought?

 I never thought I would still be playing at this age. But I’ve changed my game as I’ve gotten older. Now I’m transitioning into learning things for my future where I hope to coach.

Do guys like the Science Jena trio of legends Derrick Allen, Immanuel Mcelroy and Julius Jenkins motivate you to keep playing? One of them will retire one day as the oldest of the trio and you might be the same in the Pro A. Do you have the drive to keep pushing yourself into your late thirties?

 No, it’s pretty amazing what those guys have been able to do they have taken good care of themselves and are all smart players which allow them to keep playing on such a high level. I don’t think I have it in me to keep playing that long.


Dorian Pinson (Hebeisen White Wings) Many Doubt Division 2 Players Because Of Status But That Changes Once They See Me Play

Po-Dorian PinsonDorian Pinson is a 22 year old 196cm forward from Greenville, South Carolina playing his rookie professional season with Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. It hasn’t been the best of starts for the White Wings as they are currently 1-9, but the rookie has held his own averaging 12,9ppg, 5,5rpg, 3,5apg and 1,9spg while shooting 40% from outside. Before going to Lincoln Memorial (NCAA2) he got various high school experience with Southside High School averaging 13.5ppg, 8.0rpg, 4.0apg, 3.0spg, played with the SC Raptors Elite (AAU) and finished at Legacy Charter High School averaging14.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.7apg, 2.3spg. He then played at Lincoln Memorial (NCAA2) from 2014-2018 playing a total of 103 games. He was able to score in double figures in his last three season there. In his senior year he played 34 games averaging 15.5ppg, 9.4rpg, 4.1apg, 2.0spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 63.0%. spoke to Pinson during the summer about basketball. 

Dorian thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I am in Hanau, Germany and my summer has been great filled with memories, workouts, and loved ones

You had an incredible and decorated career at Lincoln Memorial (NCAA2). How did you experience your first summer transfer period? Did you have a good share of offers?

My first summer transfer was very interesting for me personally trying to figure out how becoming professional works. I had a good amount of offers, teams still reach out but I have committed to a team already and take my business personal so therefore I tell them no to deals and offers

Congrats on signing with the Hebeisen White Wings in Germany. The club is very high on your abilities, but how vital was the fact that your ex Lincoln Memorial teammate Luquon Choice will be your teammate as you embark on your rookie season?

Luquon Choice was very vital to my decision to sign with the White Wings due to chemistry and a winning culture so I am trying to continue that same path with this new team.

How excited are you to be professional teammates with Luquon Choice? He doesn’t talk much and stands out with his play. What is something about him the player that many don’t seem to know?

I’m very excited to play with Luquon Choice again because he is a team first guy and an extreme competitor.


Dominique Collier (FC Schalke) Is Benefitting From Learning From Courtney Belger

Dominique Collier is a 22 year old 188cm guard from Denver, Colorado that will be starting his professional career in Germany with FC Schalke. He played at Colorado (NCAA,) from 2014-2018 playing a total of 121 NCAA games and as a freshman played 30 games averaging 4.7ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.5apg. In his second season at Colorado (NCAA) he played 34 games averaging 7.5ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 33.9%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 75.7%. In his junior year at Colorado (NCAA) he played 25 games averaging 6.0ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 34.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 74.0%. In his senior year at Colorado (NCAA), he played 32 games averaging 7.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 38.2%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 72.7%. He spoke to  about basketball earlier in the summer.

Hi Dom thanks for talking to  Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I was in Colorado back and forth from Denver and Boulder working out and getting my stuff prepared to come out here to Germany. And the summer has been good!

Congrats on signing with German Pro A team FC Schalke. How did you experience your first summer pro transfer period? Did you have a good share of offers and was this whole process at times humbling?

Thank you! I had a couple of offers but when talking with my agent we thought this was the best fit because the coach won coach of the year last year in Pro B and they had a returning guard that was really good and saw that as an opportunity to learn from him. And yes the process was a humbling but good experience.


Tony Hicks (Rostock SEAWOLVES) I Don’t Know If Donovan Mitchell Truly Knows How Much Of An Impact He’s Had On Me As A Person

Tony Hicks is a 24 year old 186cm guard from Chicago, Illinois that is playing his second professional season and first with the Rostock SEAWOLVES (Pro A). Last season as a rookie he played with the Surrey Scorchers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 35 games: Score-2 (19.4ppg), 3.5rpg, 5.7apg, Steals-4 (1.8spg), FGP-2 (62.0%), 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 81.5%. He began his basketball career at St. Rita High School and in 2012-2013 played at Pennsylvania (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.4ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 81.1%. In his second season at Pennsylvania (NCAA) he played 27 games averaging 14.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 76.4%. In his junior season at Pennsylvania (NCAA) he played 26 games averaging 13.2ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 77.7%. He transferred to Louisville (NCAA) in 2015 and sat out due to NCAA transfer rules and played his senior year there playing 23 games averaging 3.7ppg, 1.0rpg. He has led Rostock to a 2-1 record and is currently the top guard in the Pro A averaging 22,7, 5,7rpg and 6,3apg. He spoke to earlier in the summer about basketball.

Tony thanks for talking to After a nice rookie season in the UK with Surrey how did you spend your first summer as a professional basketball player? Did you visit any nice sights?

My first Summer is spent totally in the gym honestly. My friends and girlfriend have to force me to go places. I’m a big time homebody.

After a very strong rookie season with Surrey what were your main goals going into this summer’s transfer period. How was this summer different than the first one where you came right out of school?

My main goals this past summer was just focusing on staying sharp. In terms of improving certain things, I just wanted to work on creating my shot a bit faster knowing I’d be going to compete at a higher level.


Jackson Kent (Nurnberg Falcons) Continues To Strive To Expand His Game

Jackson Kent is a 24 year old 201cm guard from High Point, North Carolina playing his second professional season and first with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA. Last season as a rookie he played with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 46 games averaging 11.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 80.4%; and 4 FIBA Europe Cup game averaging 9.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.3apg. He began his basketball career at High Point Christian Academy and in 2013 his NCAA career at JMU (NCAA, starting five) playing 30 games as a freshman averaging 5.9ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 74.1%. In his second season at JMU (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 79.3%. In his junior year at JMU (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 7.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 37.7%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 72.4%. In his senior year at JMU (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 84.9%. He spoke to about basketball.

Jackson thanks for talking with How was your summer?

I had a great summer in the gym and weight room. I improved my body and skill level this summer.

Congrats on signing with the Nurnberg Falcons. One of the places you really want to visit is Italy. Have you checked the game calendar this season when a good opportunity may arise for you to visit?

I’m not sure when I’ll visit Italy haha but I’m very excited about being with the Falcons and I’m enjoying every minute of the process.

After a solid rookie season with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) what were your goals going into your second professional season? How did you witness your second professional transfer period? What did you learn from your first summer?

After a year overseas I learned a lot more about style of play in Europe which helped me look at the game differently


Anthony McDonald (Itzehoe Eagles) I Like To Control The Game And Play At My Own Pace

Anthony McDonald is a 26 year old 185cm guard from Abeerdeen, Mississippi that is going into his third professional season and first in Germany and first with team Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). Last season he played with Bima Perkasa Yogyakarta (Indonesia-IBL) playing 15 games averaging 23.0ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-5(5.1apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 74.4% and played with Club Bameso (Dominican Republic-TBS) playing 4 games averaging  15.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. As a rookie he played with Agricola Villarrobledo (Spain-EBA) playing 9 games averaging 12.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 87.5% and he also played with Libreville Izobe Dragons (Gabon-CBL). He played college ball at three schools at  Delta CC, Mississippi Valley State (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 78.6% and at North Carolina Central (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 12.9ppg, 1.9rpg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 77.9%. He spoke to about basketball.

Anthony thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?

Hello I’m doing great. I’m currently at home in Aberdeen Mississippi.

Congrats on signing with German Pro B team Itzehoe Eagles. Your only 26 years old, but seen more of the world than probably most of your friends as you have already professionally played in Spain, Asia, Africa and the Dominican Republic. Do you already feel like a basketball globetrotter?

Lol yes I do a little. I enjoy it though. Getting to travel the world and play the game I love.

What were the main reasons for having signed with the Itzehoe Eagles. How vital was the trust from head coach Pat Elzie? He has a lot of confidence in your abilities.

I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me, coming to a team that was already a playoff team, I feel like I can help them get to ProA. I trust coach a lot he has a lot of faith in my abilities and I think he can take my game to the next level.


Kris Davis (Phoenix Hagen) Practice Makes Perfect And I’m Confident That I Will Reach 40% From Three Again

Kris Davis is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Detriot that will be going into his fourth professional season and first with Phoenix Hagen. He played the last three seasons in Spain. Last season he played with KIA Sakimovil Navarra de Pamplona (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 35 games averaging  14.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 75.0%. Two seasons ago he played with Arcos Albacete Basket (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging  15.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 72.5%. As a rookie he played with Penas Huesca (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 40 games averaging  7.1ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 65.3%. He started his basketball career with SIU Edwardsville (NCAA in 2011 playing a total of 110 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 69.9%. He spoke to earlier in the summer about basketball.

Kris thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been treating you?

Right now I am in St. Louis, Missouri for a family reunion. So far my summer has been good. It’s always nice to see family and friends for a little while before hearing back to Europe.

Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Phoenix Hagen. After three seasons in Spain, what were the main reasons for choosing Phoenix Hagen?

Thank you! And after spending 3 years in Spain, I felt like I needed a change to showcase all of the aspects of my game. Luckily, Phoenix Hagen came along and has given me an opportunity to do so.


Marlin Mason (Phoenix Hagen) I Don’t Try To Put Myself In A One Style Box Because I’ve Shown I Can Do Multiple Things

Marlin Mason is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Detroit, Michigan going into his fourth professional season and first with Phoenix Hagen. Last season he played with SG Luetzel-Post Koblenz (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 27 games averaging  19.2ppg, 7.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 78.0%. Two seasons ago he played with the Kordall Steelers (Luxembourg-N2) playing 13 games averaging 22.3ppg, 7.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 62.2%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 76.8%. In his rookie season he played with Saint John Mill Rats (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 4 games averaging 2.3ppg, 2.3rpg, released in Jan.’16, in Feb’16 joined Lake Michigan Admirals (PBL). The American played at Cleveland St. (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 112 games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 8.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 67.9%. He spoke to German Hooprs about basketball.

Marlin, thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been spending your summer vacation which started on April 28?

Right now I’m back home in Detroit, Michigan and I’ve been spending my vacation working out and spending time with my family and friends who I don’t see often.

How happy are you that you signed early in the summer? Did you already have a feeling during last season that Phoenix Hagen could be a possibility since your ex coach in Luxemburg was the coach?

It’s always a great feeling signing early especially knowing there is a place for you come August. But I had no idea that Phoenix Hagen would be a possibility. I recently found out that my ex coach was the head coach there so that made it a bigger plus.