Kruize Pinkins is a 25 year old 201cm forward from Marianna, Florida that is playing his third professional season and first with the Mitteldeutscher BC. He played with the Hebeisen White Wings in his first two professional seasons. In his second season with Hanau he averaged 17,9ppg, 9,5rpg and 2,5apg. He started his basketball career at Chipola (JUCO). He then played at USF (NCAA) from 2013-2015 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 65.0%. As a rookie last season with the Hebeisen White Wings he played 29 games averaging 13.1ppg, Reb-3(9.1rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 68.9%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners on Easter Monday.
Kruize, thanks for talking to German Hoops. This is your third season in Germany and our seventh interview. Your third professional season is coming to an end. Has time flown by since your first professional game against Vechta where you netted 12 points and hauled down 12 boards After two very strong seasons in the Pro A with Hanau, you made the jump to 2004 Fiba Europe Cup champion Mitteldeutscher BC. How much of a blessing has it been for you being able to play in one of Europe´s top 5 leagues?
It´s a big blessing and I never take it for granted. It´s a very tough league that is making me a better player.
The Mitteldeutscher might only have won 8 games to this point, but any season where it remains in the BBL is a big success. How have you experienced your first season in the BBL? What have been the team highs and lows so far?
It´s been a great experience for me. I have learned a lot of things throughout the course of this season. The hardest thing I had to deal with was being out two weeks with an injury but we have a great medical staff here which helped me return quickly
The club lost 4-5 very close games The club allows 88 points per game. Where do you feel the team would be today if it had been able to play more consistent defense? What have been the main flaws on the defensive end this season?
It was not about defense in most of those close loses. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t drop your way and every possession matters. Most of those teams were very experienced. Our guys go out and play their hearts out on defense every night. Every team has a defensive drop here and there, it´s a part of basketball.
Marcus Hatten doesn´t play your position, but belongs to the players with the most professional experience in the BBL. He is a guy that has seen it all. Have you become an overall smarter player on the court just by seeing his play and stories about his basketball life?
Yeah, Marcus has taught me a lot. It´s made me a better player just by getting knowledge from him. So yes I take as much knowledge about the game from him as I can!