Why did you say oh this is BS
"I was sure that I would stay"
Shaquille Hines was signed up at the end of October and recommended himself through a tryout contract until the end of the season. In the interview, the sympathetic power forward talks about his role within the team and what made it so difficult for him to get used to here quickly.
Let's start at the very beginning: When did you start playing basketball?
I'm from Chicago - a basketball city. All of my friends, including my siblings, played basketball. We always did that, especially in summer. But I really started doing it when I was ten years old. And later in high school, I finally made up my mind I wanted to be a pro and I was sure I could do it.
You have that too. After your first professional positions in Sweden and Greece, you are now in your third professional year in the BBL. However, I recently read on Instagram that you didn't know the BBL at all before.
Oh man, oh man Yes, that's true and, to be honest, I don't know how that could happen (laughs). The BBL is a great league and I love it here. But personally I don't know that many people who play in Europe. I knew about some European leagues. But I just didn't know the BBL. But I am very happy to be here. Because it's the best league I've played in so far.
How do you see the differences between the BBL and the A1 in Greece?
From a playful perspective, the pace is higher here. Last season in Greece we hardly did any fast breaks and always went into set play first. But the level of play was good and therefore Greece was a good preparation for the BBL for me. Aside from the parquet, a lot is a bit more professional here. Everything is well organized, the money arrives on time and I am not lacking for anything else. In addition, the arenas in the BBL are great and well attended and the competition is very even. Here, “lower level” teams can also beat a top team, which was hardly possible in Greece last season.
You came to Braunschweig a little later in the season and initially had two tryout contracts. How did that feel to you?
It was ok with me. Because I had faith in myself. And I was sure that if I got the chance to prove myself, I would stay. Coach Frank also made it very clear to me what he expected from me and what the team needed. And I knew that I could give that.
And what was or is it?
I am versatile. I can play in multiple positions, defend in multiple positions and hit my open threesome. These were the qualities that Coach Frank was looking for. We have Scott and Dre who are very good scorers. And so there was no need for another scorer, but a good role player who fits into the team and can subordinate himself. I think I've played this role well so far. But of course I want to keep improving and try to give my best every day.
How did it feel when you finally got overtime until the end of the season?
That felt very good. It was an affirmation of the work I put in and my confidence in myself. And it gave me confidence and the feeling that I belong here and that I am here for a good reason. And now we're playing a great season, we've had great victories and have the chance to reach the playoffs. That's why I'm all the happier that I got a contract until the end of the season and can be part of this team.
You said before that you see yourself as a role player and don't have to stand out as a scorer. Were you usually the scorer?
In any case. I've always been a scorer and got double digits in college. But I've adjusted my role here. I try to give the team what it takes to win. These are not necessarily points, but my versatility, energy and defense. And that's why I'm here too. I certainly want to use the chance to show more of myself in the remaining games. But to be honest, it took me a while to get used to it and only now have the feeling that the time has come for it.
What made it difficult for you to acclimate here?
It wasn't difficult to get used to the league and the style of basketball in the BBL. But it was a challenge for me to gain a foothold in the team in such a short time. I hadn't taken part in the preparation and had to learn a lot very quickly. I didn't know the players or the systems. And my teammates didn't know me either and as a logical consequence they had little trust in me at the beginning. It took me about two months to internalize all the plays and slowly to become more confident. And the fact that I'm playing in two positions didn't make it any easier. During this difficult early period, I tried to keep believing in myself and to concentrate on two main things: hit my open throws and defend my opponent as well as possible.
Now that you've found your role within the team, what are your plans for the rest of the season?
I have to use my athleticism more and pull more of the basket. The opponents now know that I can throw and hit the three. So I need to add this component to my game. Regardless of that, we want to win as many games as possible as a team and get the playoff chance. That would be a huge success for us as a team, but above all for the club. And I want to do my part to make it work.
Thank you Shaq and good luck for the future.
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