Freddie Jackson(193-G-91, college: NC-Wilmington) is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Wilmington, North Carolina with one season of professional basketball under his belt as he played with AS Soleuvre (Luxembourg-Total League) and BZD Ikh-Aravtuud Bulls (Mongolia-Superliga) last season. He started his basketball career in 2011 with NC-Wilmington (NCAA) where he played until 2015 playing a total of 121 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP:... [read more]
Freddie Jackson (193-G-91, college: NC-Wilmington) is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Wilmington, North Carolina with one season of professional basketball under his belt as he played with AS Soleuvre (Luxembourg-Total League) and BZD Ikh-Aravtuud Bulls (Mongolia-Superliga) last season. He started his basketball career in 2011 with NC-Wilmington (NCAA) where he played until 2015 playing a total of 121 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 63.6%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Freddie, please introduce yourself and your style of play to the Eurobasket Germany readers. What makes your game special in your opinion? You can fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that gets overlooked time after time? I'm Freddie Jackson (193-G-91, college: NC-Wilmington) from Wilmington NC. I'm a typical big guard who is supposed to do everything on the court. My playing style is very versatile, I can score on all 3 levels effectively. I'm a two way player with good size at 6'4 and also well conditioned. I really can fill up the stat sheet, but it is also important for me to get my teammates involved. I think most coaches that I have played for or against in the past will say that I'm a great leader who leads by example and is vocal. What some teams don't have on their scouting sheet is that I can guard positions 1 through 3. I take pride in being a great defender.
You were born in Wilmington North Carolina, went to high school in Wilmington then proceeded to play in the NCAA D1 for the UNC Wilmington. Having spent your entire life in one town, why did you decide to pursue a professional career in overseas basketball? How did head coach Buzz Peterson groom and shape your game to the professional ranks? Describe your first impressions coming to Europe. I spent the majority of my life in Wilmington playing basketball. I travelled all over the US playing also. I always wanted to play professionally. Basketball is my passion. I'm looking forward to playing in Europe again, this will be a fun challenge to play in another country. Coach Buzz did a great job preparing me for overseas. He was a great mentor and really helped me get ready for pro basketball. Many other players from my school are playing abroad so our coach truly knows what he is doing. My first impression in Europe was different but good. Basketball was still the same. The game is what connects us all. My first experience was great and I'll never forget it.
You started the season at AS Soleuvre (Luxembourg-Total League) and didn't last through preseason. How disappointing was your first European adventure and why couldn't you stay there? My first team in Luxembourg did not work out for two different reasons. One being I had an ankle injury towards the end of training camp and the other being that the team decided to bring in a small forward instead who was a couple inches taller at 6'6. Sure I was disappointed. But it didn't discourage me from further pursuing my dream.
You finished the 2016 season in Mongolia, a country we don't know much about in terms of basketball. Please give as a first hand report about the league, the players and the overall situation. In a retrospective, do you think it would have been possible finding another team in Europe instead, given how well your game is suited especially for teams in a country like Germany?
Mongolia was a small country in terms of basketball, unrecognized by most because of their choice of how to run their own league. They make their own game rules. Games sometimes would simply get cancelled for no apparent reason 30 minutes before the tip-off. This was the only downfall of the league, the competition most places was good, many guys from power 6 conferences played there along with me. There was even some former pros who loved their league and are still active there. For me personally, I really think I could have found a better option than Mongolia, but my agent at the time was trying to place me anywhere, which turned out to be a mistake.
After a very strong senior season at NC-Wilmington (NCAA) where you played 32 games averaging 13.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 63.6%, you went into your professional season with high expectations. Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that your rookie season would be such a roller coaster ride?
After such a strong senior season I was hoping to possibly workout for some NBA teams but later decided to pursue overseas basketball. Never thought my career would get off to such a shaky start. But I understand that how you start is not how you finish. I just want to play and show everyone what I'm capable of doing. I have abilities that I want to put to good use on a team in Europe.
Graduating college in 2015 as a highly decorated senior, you more or less fell under the radar after returning home from Mongolia. You are now looking to come back to Europe and prove that you can play here on a high level. Please let a possible soon-to-be coach know what it is that you think you can contribute to the team that picks you up. The two main things a coach needs to know are that I'm the kind of player that will do anything to help a team win. I spend most of my free time in the gym. Off the court, I am an easy going person who mostly just stays home. I've never really been a party guy or somebody who would get in trouble. I'm very team orientated people friendly.
How has the transfer market been for you this summer? Do you feel that your unfortunate rookie season has had an effect in interest from teams? What did you learn from your experience in Mongolia that will help you make the right decisions in the future?
The transfer market has been hard so far because of my playing history. I think most teams look at Mongolia and it affects my chances. There are no stats available online, all I have is screenshots of the scouting sheets that were handed to me. I am hoping teams will look at my senior year college and realize that this is the player they'd be getting, except for the fact that now I have further matured and learned more about overseas basketball.
Please describe your typical day during off-season and the things you do to stay in shape and ready for your next overseas assignment. North Carolina has a lot to offer when it comes to Pro Ams and high level tournaments. Did you participate in anything so far this summer? My day normally starts around 7:30 when I wake for breakfast. After breakfast I head to the gym for my first of two basketball workouts which last for about 1 hour each. They usually are filled with many high level quick passing drills. After the first workout is finished, I follow up with a 30 minutes weight sesson which includes stretching and lifting weights. Normally I eat a big lunch followed by some rest. I'm finish my day with shooting toward the late afternoon at around 6.
People say there is a special breed of the North Carolina Guard' and would usually describe these guards as tough, hard-nosed and pesky on defense. Having made the CAA All-Defensive team, would you say this overall description fits you? Who won a one on one in practice, you or Addison Spruill? I think this overall description fits me perfectly. I love defense just as much as I love offense. Both are very important to becoming a complete player, which I like to think I am . Playing basketball in North Carolina growing up is very hard. It's plenty competition and plenty people to measure up to in every age group, from AAU all the way into the pros. I was very successful in high school making the ESPN top 100 shooting guards of my class in 2011 with an overall rating of 85 and 3 stars out of 5. Me and Addison Spruill are good friends. I've been playing against him since high school. When we play one on one games it would be a split between us two, a mutual respect back and forth kind of match up. I feel like we are similar when it comes to our offensive skills, but I will go ahead and say I consider myself a slightly better defender.
B.Muenchen to sign Aleksandar Djordjevic - 1 day ago
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FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with experienced 49-year old Serbian-Italian coach Aleksandar Djordjevic. He coached most recently at Panathinaikos in Greek A1 league. He helped them to win the cup. Djordjevic has been coaching Serbian Senior National Team since 2014. He has coached previously professionally in Spain and Italy (Armani Milano and Benetton Treviso). By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Germany [read more]
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with experienced 49-year old Serbian-Italian coach Aleksandar Djordjevic. He coached most recently at Panathinaikos in Greek A1 league. He helped them to win the cup. Djordjevic has been coaching Serbian Senior National Team since 2014. He has coached previously professionally in Spain and Italy (Armani Milano and Benetton Treviso).
Ricky Easterling (188-G-83, college: Bridgewater) is a 32 year old 190cm guard from Baltimore that will play his 11th professional season in Germany and first with BG Karlsruhe (Pro B). Over the years, he has been crowned Mr Regionaliga as he averaged over 30 points three times with TV Saarlouis and belonged to the the top 3 players in the Pro B the last two seasons. Before moving to Saarlouis in 2007 he played at Bridgewater (NCAA3) and then as a rookie played with TSG Reutlingen (German... [read more]
Ricky Easterling (188-G-83, college: Bridgewater) is a 32 year old 190cm guard from Baltimore that will play his 11th professional season in Germany and first with BG Karlsruhe (Pro B). Over the years, he has been crowned Mr Regionaliga as he averaged over 30 points three times with TV Saarlouis and belonged to the the top 3 players in the Pro B the last two seasons. Before moving to Saarlouis in 2007 he played at Bridgewater (NCAA3) and then as a rookie played with TSG Reutlingen (Germany-Oberliga and Bergheim Bandits (Germany-Regionalliga). Last season with TV Saarlouis, he played 28 games: Score-1 (23.1ppg), 4.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 81.2%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Ricky thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? At the moment I am in Great Barrington Massachusetts working coaching basketball at Kutcher Sports Academy. My summer is good so far. I enjoy working with the kids here and I also have the opportunity to work out and prepare for this coming season.
Your last game was on April 30th. The summer seems to be moving along very quickly. What have you missed the most about the grind in the Pro B? Yes the summer does seem to be flying by. I am happy about that because I am looking forward to the 2016-17 season. Training and playing in open runs or in summer leagues are fun, but it is nothing compared to playing in a real game.
Congrats on signing with Pro B team BG Karlsruhe. This week has been the Pro B reunion landing in the Pro A as Elijah Allen of Lich landed with Gotha, Julian Scott moves from Leipzig to Ehingen. How proud are you of these guys? Thanks! I am looking forward to the new challenge in Karlsruhe! Yeah I am very happy for Elijah and Julian. They are good players and they deserve the chance to play Pro A. I wish them luck in their new situations and I hope they are successful!
Do all these Pro B signings in the Pro A just show how many talented players are in the German Pro B?
I think it does show how strong the Pro B is. I am happy to be a part of this league and I am sure in the future more players in Pro B will be given the chance to show what they can do in the pro A.
*I always figured that you would play for the Saarlouis Royals until you were around 45 while becoming a playing coach. How difficult was it making this decision leaving this club and city after 9 years?
It was probably one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life. Saarlouis has become a second home for me. I am a person that likes the comfort of security and I had that there for sure. I loved the people there and they loved me. I am very appreciative of the opportunity they gave me to play for their city. I will miss my family, friends, and fans of Saarlouis and they will always be in my heart. But unfortunately in life everything must come to an end and I am now looking forward to what is coming next. Maybe later on down the line I will come back to Saarlouis. I can see that happening!
Sarrlouis isn't that far away from Karlsruhe. You could commute from Karlsruhe and still live in your second home Saarlouis. Is that something you are considering? That would be nice but I don't think that is the idea. That would be too much traveling every day. So I think it will be much easier to live in Karlsruhe. But I will make a lot of trips back to Saarlouis during the season to see my family and friends.
BG Karlsruhe is rich in tradition as it has played in the Beko BBL as well as in the Pro A. What sold you most on moving to this team? Just like you said they have a rich tradition and I would like to be a part of that. I like Coach Josipovic and the management also impressed me when I talked with them so that helped me make my decision to go to Karlsruhe.
Last season Saarlouis was 0-2 against BG Karlsruhe getting crushed once 107-66 and then losing a heart breaker 82-81 where you steered 18 points and 10 assists. What impressed you most by their team? Last season Karlsruhe was a very strong team in our league. Their roster was filled with talent and Coach Josipovic had them playing well together. From the outside they seemed to have good team chemistry and were always well prepared for their games. I was very impressed with that and look forward to being a part of that.
Did you get any feedback about if they will keep veterans like Jeremy Black, Marcus Smallwood and Rouven Roessler? I have no information regarding player personnel. That is something you might have to discuss with the coach and management.
How content are you with the fact that with a bigger budget, BG Karlsruhe most likely will have more skilled players on board than what you ever had as teammates with Saarlouis. Would you be content of having a smaller role? I'm content with playing any role to help my team be successful. If I am put into a smaller role I am ok with that. I am used to always playing bigger roles and having more pressure to produce. But in a smaller role I think I will have no problems adjusting to that.
You have been an instant scoring machine your whole professional life with Saarlouis and for many been the greatest German Regionaliga player ever as you averaged over 30ppg three times, how difficult will it be for you to do less in the scoring department? I just do whatever I need to do to help my team in the best way possible. If I need to score less and do more in other areas, that is what I will do and I will be happy doing it.
Could you see yourself being a classical pass first point guard and take a lot less shots?
Like I said I will play any role needed from me. If that is my assignment then that is what I will do. I just want to win and be a positive impact on my team.
You will be turning 33 this season. How do you feel physically and on what things will you be working on most this summer to have you best prepared for another year of Pro B? I feel great. My body is healthy and I can't wait to get started. If the season started today I would be ready to go. I will continue to do what I do every summer which is work hard. But I think I will keep trying to improve on my 3pts shooting. I also will mentally prepare myself to do more on the defensive end of the floor.
You played 9 seasons with Saarlouis. What was your biggest highlight in your time there?
The whole experience was a highlight for me. I love Saarlouis and enjoyed everything about my time there. I built many lifetime friendships and will always consider Saarlouis my home away from home.
Lebron James finally won his NBA title with his Cavs. Where does this title put him now in the all time best ever? Charles Barkley doesn't have Lebron in his top 5 ever. I am a LeBron Fan so to me he is definitely an all time great. I don't know if I can say he is a top 5 because there have been a lot of great players through the history of the game.
What was the last movie that you saw? The Revenant.
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