Growing up I just told myself I wanted to play basketball for a living, it became a challenge. I also said I wanted to travel and see the world, places I've seen on television. I had a lot of doubters, but I used it as motivation. I had a rocky path to get here, it made me very humble and appreciative. I realize how fortunate I am to be where I am and to be doing what i'm doing. Meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and learning other languages.
There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not come soon?
You just have to understand it's what you love to do, and people want your job. You have to perform, be the right fit for certain teams or that team will look for other options. When it comes to ideal offers you have to put thought into it as well as sacrifice sometimes, because you may not get another opportunity. Patience is key.
Which was the best game you had in your career so far?
My best game in my opinion was this season in Baltic league play vs TTU, I was efficient with 18 points and 9 rebounds eff 29 and we won.
Tell us your strong point and your weakness in your game.
My strong point is offensive rebounding and rebounding in general from a small forward position I have a good feeling of where to be to collect some rebounds.
Weak point is using ball screens, because I played in the post majority of my career and now I made the transition to the perimeter, but im making good strides in becoming better coming off the ball screens, just comes with practice and experience.
Which player was the hardest opponent to play against?
Hardest player to play against would have to be my friend and fellow Slippery Rock Alum Denel Stephens who plays for T71 in Luxembourg, at 6'2 he plays inside as a big but defends 1-5 and is very athletic and quick, runs the floor exceptionally well. And just gets after it day in and day out.
Tell about the best teammates you had so far.
Best teammates is tough I have so many, I can't single them all out but my captain from my rookie season Nelson Delgado Etzella Ettelbruck in Luxembourg, he came in everyday and competed, was a good leader and was fun to be around. This season my captain here in Latvia for Jekabpils Rinalds Sirsnins, I can't think of a more dedicated guy to a team, fights and competes everyday even if it's just a game of knockout the guy wants to win. He has a winner's attitude and mentality that rubs off on other guys, and since I arrived in Latvia he's been helping me and teaching me a lot of things. He's a veteran guy and being this is only my second season professionally I look to him for a lot of things. Whether it's the game of basketball or just traveling because he's played abroad in Ukraine and a few other places. But overall all my teammates have been very supportive and great, I'm very appreciative.
Which coach you want to thank
It's hard to select one coach to thank, because he made you better player? I'd have to thank a few, my college coaches Kevin Reynolds, Ian Grady and Jareem Dowling, they always made me think bigger and pushed me to my limits. Taught me never to be satisfied or content. I give a lot of credit to them guys.
Role player in a big team or star in a smaller one?
I would rather be a role player on a big team because the way I play I am a team player and love team success, I enjoy getting guys involved and having good team chemistry.
Which is your favorite basketball shoe? Which one you wear now?
My favorite basketball shoe has been Michael Jordans for years, but this season I tried out the low and high top kobe Bryant's and I like how light and comfortable they are.
What plans you have for the future?
My plans for the future are to continue to get better every day, finish the season strong, head home and meet my newborn son and enjoy family time and also work out and get ready for next season, unsure of what the future holds. I don't think that far, I have to focus on what's happening now.
LBL Round 2 of Quarter-Finals. Wins for Liepaja/Triobet and Barons Riga - 23 hours ago
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Liepaja/Triobet - Valmiera 85-80 Liepaja/Triobet beat Valmiera to even the series at 1-1. Valmiera trailed by 11 points after 3 quarters before a 22-16 run in the last quarter cut the deficit to 80-85 at the end of the game. The best player for the winners was American guard Malcolm Griffin (193-91, college: Fresno Pacific, agency: Higher Vision Sports) who scored 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international swingman Mareks Jurevicus (197-85) chipped in 16 points and 6 r... [read more]
Liepaja/Triobet beat Valmiera to even the series at 1-1. Valmiera trailed by 11 points after 3 quarters before a 22-16 run in the last quarter cut the deficit to 80-85 at the end of the game. The best player for the winners was American guard Malcolm Griffin (193-91, college: Fresno Pacific, agency: Higher Vision Sports) who scored 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international swingman Mareks Jurevicus (197-85) chipped in 16 points and 6 rebounds. American-Israeli center Dor Fischer (211-81, college: W.Virginia) produced a double-double by scoring 16 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks (was perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line) and American point guard Damier Pitts (177-89, college: Marshall) added 20 points and 6 assists respectively for the guests. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Top scorers: Liepaja/Triobet: M.Griffin 22+7reb+4ast, M.Jurevicus 16+6reb+2ast, A.Butjankovs 10+5reb, R.Berzins 9+1reb, A.Ausejs 8+1reb+3ast, J.Steele 6+2reb Valmiera: D.Pitts 20+3reb+6ast, D.Fischer 16+16reb+2ast, M.Laksa 14+4reb+2ast, J.Kaufmanis 9+5reb+2ast, L.Blaus 7+3reb+1ast, H.Karlis 7+1reb
Barons Riga outgunned Jekabpils to level things at 1-1 in the series. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Jekabpils won third quarter 23-21. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Barons Riga dominated down low during the game scoring 54 of its points in the paint compared to Jekabpils' 30 and made 16-of-20 charity shots (80.0 percent) during the game. Jekabpils were plagued by 24 personal fouls down the stretch. Power forward Roberts Freimanis (204-91, college: Liepaja-2) orchestrated the victory by scoring 19 points and 9 rebounds. American guard Tyler Larson (190-91, college: S.Dakota) contributed with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the winners. Lithuanian guard Modestas Kumpys (194-91, agency: Players Group) replied with 16 points and 7 rebounds and the former international center Andrejs Selakovs (207-88, agency: Players Group) added 11 points and 14 rebounds in the effort for Jekabpils. Four Jekabpils players scored in double figures. Jekabpils' coach Rudolfs Rozitis rotated eleven players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Barons Riga: R.Freimanis 19+9reb+3ast, T.Larson 16+5reb+5ast, T.Jogela 15+7reb, K.Mediss 8, D.Rozitis 7+5reb+3ast, D.Geks 7+2reb+1ast Jekabpils: R.Stumbris 17+1reb+1ast, M.Kumpys 16+7reb+3ast, A.Selakovs 11+14reb+1ast, J.Aleksejevs 10+2reb+1ast, R.Sirsnins 8+1reb+3ast, K.Miglinieks 6+4reb+3ast
SC Memele celebrate LBL3 title in Latvia. They won the Final series against Ezerzeme/ Rezekne 2-0 with a 92-77 win last night. SC Memele dominated the first period and led 16-5 at the end of it. Moreover they exploded with a final push in the third period to seal the victory. Ivars Zemitis (195-F-90) top-scored for the winners with 30 points, while Toms Vilks (180-G-92) and Arnis Simsons (189-SF-83) netted 14 each. Valdis Senkans(183-G-98) replied with 19 points in a loss, whilst Renars B... [read more]
SC Memele celebrate LBL3 title in Latvia. They won the Final series against Ezerzeme/ Rezekne 2-0 with a 92-77 win last night. SC Memele dominated the first period and led 16-5 at the end of it. Moreover they exploded with a final push in the third period to seal the victory. Ivars Zemitis (195-F-90) top-scored for the winners with 30 points, while Toms Vilks (180-G-92) and Arnis Simsons (189-SF-83) netted 14 each. Valdis Senkans (183-G-98) replied with 19 points in a loss, whilst Renars Bulduris (191-F-91) collected 13 points and 12 rebounds.
LBL Round 1 of Quarter-Finals. Wins for Valmiera and Jekabpils - 4 days ago
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Valmiera - Liepaja/Triobet 101-70 Valmiera cruised past Liepaja/Triobet in the quarterfinal series opener. The game without a history. Valmiera led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 60 of its points in the paint compared to Liepaja/Triobet's 38. They outrebounded Liepaja/Triobet 38-21 including a 29-13 advantage in defensive rebounds. Worth to mention a great performance of the former i... [read more]
Valmiera cruised past Liepaja/Triobet in the quarterfinal series opener. The game without a history. Valmiera led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 60 of its points in the paint compared to Liepaja/Triobet's 38. They outrebounded Liepaja/Triobet 38-21 including a 29-13 advantage in defensive rebounds. Worth to mention a great performance of the former international Martins Laksa (200-90) who helped to win the game recording 18 points and 7 rebounds. Point guard Janis Kaufmanis (186-89) contributed with 18 points (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field) for the winners. Valmiera's coach Uvis Helmanis felt very confident that he used 11 players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Power forward Artjoms Butjankovs (205-91) answered with 15 points and 7 rebounds and guard Arturs Ausejs (192-90) added 12 points in the effort for Liepaja/Triobet. Four Liepaja/Triobet players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Valmiera: M.Laksa 18+7reb, J.Kaufmanis 18+2reb+2ast, D.Pitts 14+2reb+4ast, L.Blaus 10+4reb+2ast, D.Fischer 9+9reb+1ast, A.Mitchell 9+5reb+5ast Liepaja/Triobet: A.Butjankovs 15+7reb, J.Steele 13+2reb+1ast, A.Ausejs 12+3reb+3ast, M.Jurevicus 10+2reb+4ast, C.Montgomery 8+3reb+3ast, M.Griffin 7+7ast
Jekabpils topped Barons Riga to take 1-0 lead. The hosts started the game with a very strong first quarter 20-9. But Barons Riga won second period 22-19. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. 27 personal fouls committed by Barons Riga helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Roberts Stumbris (199-93) fired a double-double by scoring 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists for the winners. The former international point guard Rinalds Sirsnins (186-85) chipped in 15 points and 6 assists. Jekabpils' coach Rudolfs Rozitis used a ten-player rotation in such tough game. American guard Tyler Larson (190-91, college: S.Dakota) produced 29 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and Lithuanian Tauras Jogela (202-93, agency: Players Group) added 20 points and 9 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field) respectively for lost side. Top scorers: Jekabpils: R.Stumbris 18+10reb+4ast, R.Sirsnins 15+2reb+6ast, J.Antrops 12+2reb+2ast, P.Veselovs 11+2reb, K.Miglinieks 9+1reb+2ast, A.Selakovs 9+9reb+1ast Barons Riga: T.Larson 29+5reb+5ast, T.Jogela 20+9reb+3ast, D.Rozitis 9+4reb+1ast, K.Mediss 7+1ast, D.Krestinin 7+4reb, D.Geks 6+3reb+1ast
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