Tucker Haymond (RheinStars) Working Hard Every Day Not Knowing If I’d Play Or Not Kept Me Always Working Hard

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Tucker Haymond (RheinStars) Working Hard Every Day Not Knowing If I’d Play Or Not Kept Me Always Working HardDec 23, 2018




Tucker Haymond is a 24 year old 198cm guard from Seattle, Washington playing his second professional season and first with the Rhein Stars Koeln (Germany-ProB) currently averaging 19,3ppg, 5,0rpg and 2,5apg. Last season he played his rookie year with the Austin Spurs (NBA G-League) playing 33 games averaging 2.6ppg. He began his basketball career at Garfield High School and then played at Western Michigan (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 123 games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 14.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 75.6%. He spoke to eurobasket before the game against the Dragons Rhondorf.

Tucker thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Christmas is around the corner. How will you be spending the Christmas holiday and do you have anything on your wish list?

I will be going to Paris with my wife for about 5 days. Going to see a lot of the museums and sights. Excited to show my wife my favorite place I’ve been to in Europe. Wish list is some wins after the break!

Despite the slow start by the RheinStars, how have you experienced your first season overseas? What has been the biggest transition for you?

It’s been very fun, adjusting to a different playing style. I think the biggest transition is the physicality is a lot higher here than in America, But I like it.

The team has massive problems to score points and have massive problems getting stops. Why has the club not been able to improve in these two aspects this season?

I think we have had issues with that just because how young our club is as a whole. Guys have been working really hard to learn and get better at this but some things just come with experience and playing. We have made big improvements as a team, just might not always show up.

After playing in the G-League last season how much of a difference is there in skill level between the G-League and the Pro B? Have you been surprised by the difference in skill level?

There is a very big difference. G league is full of NBA players, draft picks, past NBA players and NBA assignment guys, and the athleticism is very very high. The skill level in Pro B is good, but doesn’t compare to the g league.

Let’s talk about your teammates. You have mostly young German teammates. Which German player has impressed you the most so far this season?

Phillip Kukic has probably impressed me the most, he has come a long way in developing as a point guard. He has a bright future as a point guard for sure.

What has impressed you most about the game of Yassin Kolo and have you traded stories from the NCAA?

Yasin has impressed me a lot this his ability to pass out of the post and to knock down the pick and pop 3 pointer. We haven’t talked much about NCAA more so pro stories.

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You describe your game to a Gordon Hayward. How do you feel has his game affected you the most to be able to be the player that you are today?

Just watching how he scores and does a lot of different things on the court has helped. I like watching different players games and trying to take things from it.

You can do a bit of everything on the court. What are some things that you are working on the most now to help improve your game in your effort to move up the basketball ladder?

I’m continuing to work on my playmaking ability, it’s something I’ve never had to do and the more I work on it the better I get at seeing things on the court.

You have been up and down as a shooter as last year you were near 40% from outside and this year currently below 30%. What is the biggest challenge for you as you continue to be the best shooter possible?

Shooters sometimes go through slumps, I started a bit slow this season from three but the last few games I’ve been shooting it well. I expect to be above 30% over the next few games I’m not worried ever about making shots.

You played your rookie season in the G-League with the Austin Spurs playing 33 games averaging 2,6ppg. What kind of experience was this for you? How disappointing was it not getting more minutes?

It was one of the best experiences I’ve had, there’s something to be said about being a professional and learning from guys who are better than you. Working hard every day not knowing if I’d play or not kept me always working hard. It made me hungry to get better every day.

How special was it winning the G-League title considering with all the player moves and lack of team basketball during a season?

Winning the g league title was awesome, I will always remember it. With the Spurs we played great team basketball.

Was your 14 point game in 12 minutes in the 140-128 win against South Bay one of your most memorable G-League games? –

I think that was a fun one, I liked playing in the at&t arena though probably the most.

You played 123 NCAA games at Western Michigan from 2013-2017. Was winning the MAC tournament in 2014 over Toledo where you scored 21 points as a freshman or playing in front of 4,000 on senior night your most memorable moment there?

Definitely winning the Mac championship as a freshman. That was a lot of fun.

8 years before joining Western Michigan you met coach Steve Hawkins in Hawaii and then you played for years for him. What would you like to tell him 8 years down the road in 2026 if you met him again then?

I’d ask him if he was going to hire me as an assistant coach !

How special were the battles with E Michigan and Central Michigan? Is there a game that you will never forget? I can imagine beating them on senior night 88-80. What memories do you have of that game

That game on senior night was very fun against central Michigan. Our rivalry games were always packed against them. I love sold out games.

NBA player Markelle Fultz belonged to the toughest guys you battled in the NCAA. What made it so difficult to slow him down?

He was a very good player. Very athletic and a great scorer. He was a talent to play against.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Reggie Jones?

Me

Your ex teammate at Western Michigan Thomas Wilder has struggled as a rookie playing briefly in Germany with BBL team Ludwigsburg and now is with the Windy City Bulls. How confident are you that he will break out soon?

He will break out soon. He was a NBA prodigy and had teams interested in him. Basketball is all about situation and opportunity. He will have a great career no doubt about it.

You played at Garfield high school that has notable alumni like Bruce Lee, Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix to name just a few. Which of these three would you most liked to have met?

I would like to meet Jimi Hendrix because he has such a legendary name and was an icon worldwide

You played against many great players, but who is the toughest guy that you battled ever on the court that made it to the NBA?

Playing against Jamal Crawford every summer since I’ve been in middle school back home. He is the hardest person I’ve had to guard. Very skilled and also a great person. Always love playing with Jamal.

If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose? –

Tony Wroten, Me, Darrun Hilliard, Livio Jean-Charles, Amida Brimah

If you had to construct your very own NBA mount Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick?

Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russel

What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?

Michael Jordan. No question.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Equalizer 2

Thanks Tucker for the chat.
  



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