Dijuan Harris (175-G-86, college: Charlotte) is a 175cm guard from Charlotte, North Carolina that is starting his third professional basketball season and first with the Lti Giessen 46ers. He is a guard that is super fast and strong point guard. Pushes the ball quick in transition and scores in a variety of ways. Uses ball screens well, and finishes in the lane with his strength. Creates open looks for all his teammates and puts a lot of pressure on the defense when on the fast break. He is a great defender because of his quickness, and beats the offense to the spot because of his great anticipation.Last season, he played for Usak Universitesi Belediyespor (Turkey-TB2L, starting five): 36 games: 14.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 23.4%, FT: 72.9%. He played at Charlotte in the NCAA breaking various school records. In his rookies eason in 2010, he played for Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five), left in Nov.'10: 11 games: 19.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 75.0%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Welcome to the LTi Giessen 46ers. You will be starting your third professional season and first in Germany afte rplaying in Finland and Turkey. What were the main reasons for coming to Germany Beko BBL league? There were several reasons in deciding to come to Germany BBL, but the top 2 reasons were because of the competition I would see on a day in and day out basis, and The League is very well respected in Europe.
You arrived in Germany recently landing in Frankfurt which is overwhelming with its big skyline. You are from a city Charlotte, but were you disappointed when you saw the small university town of Giessen for the first time? No, not at all, I am actually accustomed to seeing the smaller cities in Europe, my first 2 years in Europe I have been in very small towns, so this is actually bigger than the first 2, so another step in the right direction.
What is your first general impression of Germany? What are you really looking forward to on and off the court?
I am looking forward to the competition and the atmosphere on the floor, and off the floor I have become a huge football fan so hopefully I can get to a game to watch Munich play before season is out.
The Beko BBL is a step up from lower leagues in Finland and TB2L Turkey. How ready are you for this challenge and how sure are you that you can step it up at this level?
Its nothing new to me, everybody everywhere put on their shirt and shoes just like I do, and I have been playing against the best since high school, and this is nothing different. Yes, it is a step up in competition, but I feel Like I can compete with the best of them, and I was just looking for an opportunity, and now I have it and I know ill make the best of it. I feel I will have a productive year, individually, and as a team. I am confident in my abilities, and when you work at your craft and you put the time and hard work in you know you ready for the big stage. I work with vets who been there and done what im trying to do such as TERELL MCINTYRE, VINCENT GRIER, ANTHONY MORROW, JUNIOR HARRINGTON, these are top level guards, and a NBA Player who I have either played against or worked out with.
You are a 175cm point guard. You will be teaming up with another diminutive guard Achmadschah Zazai. Have you ever been on a team where both point guards were under 180cm? What is advantage of having two very small guards? Last time I played with another small guard was in college, It has its advantages but also has its disadvantages, but nonetheless I feel we will be fine, and will hold our own against bigger guards no matter what. I am accustomed to seeing big guards, either guarding me, or I have to guard them. Its just what comes with the territory.
You push the ball quick in transition and scores in a variety of ways. Uses ball screens well, and finishes in the lane with his strength. Creates open looks for all his teammates and puts a lot of pressure on the defense when on the fast break. What is a strength in your game that doesnt always get noticed right away? My defense doesnt always get noticed, but I play very good on the ball, and passing lane defense.
What is your first impression of head coach Mathias Fischer? What has been your experience with past coaches? What is always the most important thing that you have with your coach? He is a very open guy, and a proven winner. My experience with past coaches have been great actually, but I feel this will be best yet because he speaks English fluently. It will be a lot easier as the PG to communicate with him and speak with him about on the floor situations that may occur in the game. Its actually 2 things, one being communication and the other being trust. To be able to speak with my coach about everything, and my coach trusting me in tight and close situations, and knowing ill get us in the right set, formation, and put us in position to win.
Last season you played for Usak Universitesi Belediyespor. You were averaging 30 plus minutes in the first half of the season, but in the second half your playing time drastically got reduced. What were the reasons for this?
My minutes dropped because the rule for TB2L WAS ONLY 1 AMERICAN ON COURT AT A TIME, so when other transfer came, THEY PLAYED HIM MORE, CAUSING MY MINUTES TO DECLINE
Doneal Mack has about 20 centimeters on you. What was the most important thing that you learned from him last season?
Well he guarded me a lot during the season in practice and he helped me to get my shot off still against bigger defenders, in 1 on 1 situations where I had to create for myself. He helped me because his length and athleticisim will bother anybody who he guards.
As a rookie, you played in Finland. What was your wake up call as a rookie in that league? My wake up call in Europe was when I was in Finland and I played my second game there I believe, and we won I had 31 pts, 6ass but only took 14 shots total, thats when a light came on and I knew I belonged and no matter what nobody said I felt like I could play with anybody giving the right opportunity.
You played at Charlotte (NCAA) breaking many records. Who was the most difficult opponent on the court that might be in the NBA now? There were a few guys that was a tough cover in college actually, as far as size goes, I feel Greivis Vasquez was tough. He had a pretty good game, he knew how to use his size and when to use it. Played within himself and with a lot of confidence, and the other guy would be Stephen Curry because his range on his shot was not like nobody else, and he would raise up from anywhere. He used the ball screen at Davidson very well.
Who would win in their prime if they played against each other. The Dream Team or Team USA 2012? I would love to see that game, but it would never happen so as a guess I would say Dream Team
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rocke... [read more]
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rockets (NBA), released in Oct.'15, then moved to Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%, in Apr.'16 signed at Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. he spoke to eurobasket recently after Aris had beat the Fraport Skyliners in Germany in Champions League action.
Welcome to Germany Will. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know about the country and it's basketball?
Yes that was my first time in Germany. I don't really know too much about their basketball since this is really my first year playing basketball overseas. I just know Germany has great cities to live in and visit.
Do you have any other friends currently playing in Germany besides TJ DiLeo? I think another former temple player Ryan Brooks might currently be playing in Germany. I know he has in the past.
Your playing your first complete season in Europe after being a rookie in the D-league last season and then played briefly with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. What was your wake up call to being in Europe for the first time and playing professional ball?
I would say my wake up call was playing against Milan in the first round of the Italian playoffs. Jumping right into an important and high level situation for your first experience forces you to learn quickly.
This season you are playing for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). You are playing in a very strong league with many talented imports from around the world. As a point guard what do you believe has been the biggest adjustment for you getting accustomed to the European game? As a point guard I believe the biggest adjustment is learning the defenses that are being played in Europe. I played in the D league for a full season so you get accustomed to the amount of space on the court. In Europe everything is more compact so you have to find ways to still be affective with less space.
Currently the team is in sixth place in Greece and have a 8-4 record in the Champions League. What is the biggest difference for you in style and talent between the two leagues? I would say the biggest difference is the refs from European games and Greece games.
Your rocking in both competitions in the Greek league as well as in the Champions League. Just from the stats would it be fair to say that you a scoring point guard first and playmaker second?
I don't like to label myself. I leave that for other people evaluating my game. I just try to be affective and make plays in each game to help my team win.
When you were growing up who were your NBA role models and to what NBA player would you say does your game now resemble most?
Growing up my NBA role models were Allen Iverson and Chris Paul. I feel like I have a mixture of different players I resemble at different times. I feel like I have my own identity.
How valuable has your teammate Michael Jenkins been for in the first few months in terms of you getting accustomed to the league and life? Has he taken you a bit under your wing?
Mike has helped me a lot getting adjusted to life in Europe. Showing me the in and outs of just living on your own for a long period of time out of America.
How tough has it been with pronouncing the names of your teammates? Do you invent short nicknames for a guy like Vasilis Xanthopolous? But this name isn't even that difficult because many of the Greek names have that Thopolous on the end?
The names haven't been that difficult to pronounce but I have developed nicknames for all of them to eliminate me having to pronounce them.
How do you feel is your game improving on a daily basis when you go head to head each day with Xanthopolous in practice? Do you feel like your basketball IQ is at a different level than what it was before you came to Europe?
Going against Xanthopolous in practice has helped me because he has such a great feel for the game. He makes you figure out ways to try and out smart him. I do feel that I'm learning more.
As a rookie in 2015 you played NBA Summer League with the Houston Rockets and then was signed and played six pre season games before getting waived. Every player I talk with that has been in a NBA training camp has had their story, but how was it with you. How did you learn in this month experience that at the end of the day basketball will always be a business no matter how talented you are? NBA training camp was definitely and eye opener and showed me this basketball is business so it made me a lot stronger and mentally tougher to deal with my new lifestyle.
You were playing against a guy like Patrick Beverly who had played 5 years in Europe before making the jump to the NBA. When you compare your game to a guy like that what do you believe is still missing in your game to reach the NBA?
I don't believe anything is really missing from my game to be in the NBA. I would like to be a more consistent pull up shooter but opportunity just has to be given.
Last season as a rookie you had a very strong season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%. For a talented guy like you not scoring in double figures in 35 minutes per game is hard, but you still showed immense consistency doing it in all 52 games. Did you feel like you had deserved an NBA call up?
I definitely believe I deserved an NBA call up.
Last summer you played NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs. Is Europe a stepping stone for you to develop your game and continue to try for the NBA in the future? Yes Europe is a stepping stone to still try and make the NBA.
You played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015. How did head coach Fran Dunphy groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? Fran Dunphy was the best thing that happened to my basketball career. He groomed me into a man and the tough player that I am today. I thank him for that.
You played two seasons with TJ DiLeo who is playing his 4th season in Germany. How annoying was his aggressive defense in practice every day and how do you believe did you profit from his presence on the floor?
I honestly can't really remember practices back. So much time has passed.
You surely had many memorable games at temple8NCAA), but where do the back to back wins against Uconn and Memphis rank towards the end of your senior season?
Those back to back wins get thought about a lot. They are high on my list because I thought those two wins secured us into the NCAA tournament but we were robbed. Also, beating UCONN was on senior night. Having my whole family there was memorable.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but what player was your toughest opponent that is in the NBA now?
I didn't have any.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Devin Coleman?
Great question. I can't remember but I'm sure I did haha.
Jacksonville seems to be a city that grooms future NFL players with very few basketball people as the most notable are Otis Smith and Dee Brown. If you could have a dinner with Dee Brown what would you want to most about his basketball experience he had?
I would want to know most about his workout habits and what he did to take himself to another leve
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Kareem
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
MJ is the GOAT.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
National All-Star Team Schwethelm Kleber Lo Seiferth Heckmann 7 Philipp Schwethelm (201-SF-89) of Oldenburg MVP 42 Maximilian Kleber (207-PF-92) of Bayern 5 Niels Giffey (200-G/F-91) of ALBA 12 Maodo Lo (191-G-92) of Bamberg 11 Andreas Seiferth (209-C-89) of Bayreuth 22 Danilo Barthel (208-PF-91) of Bayern 32 Johannes Thiemann (204-PF-94) of Ludwigsburg 34 Christian Standhardinger (206-F-89) of Vechta 9 Maurice Stuckey (187-PG-90) of Wuerzburg 25 Anton Gavel (189-PG-84)... [read more]