One on One with Humpty Hitchens
November 26, 2012 – Pro Partner Sports recently sat down with Humpty Hitchens, the former James Madison star, currently playing in Germany for the Pro A club BC Goettingen. Hitchens opened up about life in Europe, the transition from college ball, and what lies ahead for his first place Club:
Q: You’ve been in Germany for a few months now. What are your first impressions?
A: When I first got here, everything was strange and different. I spent my first few weeks comparing everything here with things back home. After a few weeks, I realized it’s pretty much the same – the biggest difference is the language and a different way of living. For the most part, it’s a really peaceful and enjoyable town! It’s a true blessing to be able to play ball over here.
Q: What are the main differences between playing high-level NCAA ball vs. European ball? Do you enjoy the Euro-style of play? How hard was the transition?
A: The biggest differences I noticed when I arrived were the rules changes. No more five seconds on the ball, the bigs can take the ball off the rim, etc. The game in Germany is very physical – much more so than the college game I was used to playing. The transition wasn’t as difficult as expected, and I think I’m adjusting well. It’s a true blessing and dream come true to be playing Pro ball overseas.
Q: Coach Roijakkers is in his first season in Germany after a very successful stint in Slovakia. How do you fit into his coaching style? What is your role on the team?
A: Coach loves to play a quick, up-tempo offense and I fit right into that! He stresses that we should always be playing smart defense. Like a lot of Euro guys, he expects us to space the floor and create opportunities for each other. We’re really lucky here to have such good chemistry. The team all get along with each other – nobody is selfish, and that makes everyone better ballplayers. My role on the team first and foremost is to play defense. Coach uses the term “win the 1-on-1 battle” – and that’s my specialty. I’m also used as a spark off the bench come in and hit shots.
Q: You seem to have already established yourself as a fan favorite in Goettingen. Tell us about the German fans.
A: The fans over here are crazy! During the games they are loud and outrageous; it almost feels like the whole arena is like the student section of a college game! They’re always excited about our games and they show an extreme amount of support even when we’re off the court. I love their spirit, how hyped they get, and the amount of love they show us.
Q: Goettingen is coming off a nice win against Neuremberg this weekend, and is now 8-3 on the season, tied for second place. What will it take to move into first place?
A: We just have to stay tuned with ourselves and play our style of play! Be focused every day because every game is going to be a battle! We just have to stay in tune with each other, and focus on playing our own game we will be fine.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: The first step is to win here in Goettingen! We have such a great opportunity here and it’s up to us what we do with it. Second, I just want to play as much ball as I can and have fun while doing it! God has a plan and I’m so blessed to be in this situation. I can’t stress enough how grateful and honored I am to be playing my rookie season in Germany. I hope and pray that I can continue my journey across the world playing professional basketball!