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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Words from the Wise

Nic Wise
Nic Wise

After being unable to crack an NBA roster in his first season since graduating from Arizona, former UA guard Nic Wise took his game overseas to Germany. The Arizona Summer Wildcat sat down with Wise to discuss his UA connection, how his game has changed and what it’s like to look back on his senior day game-winner against USC.

 

Summer Wildcat: How was your last season playing in Germany for the Telekom Baskets?

Nic Wise: We were good up until the all-star break. We were fourth in the league but then we got some injuries in the second half of the season and we ended up dropping one game out of the playoffs. It happens but you never know if we would have been injury-free.

 

How did you do individually?

I was the only rookie starting point guard in the league. I led the team in scoring, assists and steals.

 

What would you say is the biggest difference between the European game and basketball in the U.S.?

I think the game is more slowed down. Guys are not as athletic over there so everyone plays smarter. You have to find ways to score rather than running and jumping over guys. It’s more of a mental game than a physical one.

 

Did you learn anything about your game specifically playing in Germany?

It took me a while to adapting to the game over there but I had four coaches at Arizona, so having a new coach and a new system … It takes time but I’m used to it.

 

How would you describe your first season in Germany?

It was good. I loved the organization, my coach and teammates. I obviously played well so I would say it was a good overall experience for me.  

 

The roster for your team is made up primarily of German and American players. How helpful was it to have so many American players on your team?

It did help. My first year could have been tough, (I could have gone) to another country where there is only one other American player on your team and your coach barely speaks English. I think that would have been tough. Going to Germany this year was a good adaptation for me.  

 

How was it adapting to the lifestyle in Germany?

It’s real different, an eye-opener. The cultures are different. You forget that people over there don’t speak your language. Germans tend to learn English but not in other places like France. They don’t try to learn your language so you have to adapt to them.

 

Do you expect to play for the same team next year?

No. I’m looking to get outside of Germany. Looking to play on an inter-country team where there are only two Americans. It’s more demanding, more pressure, but that’s what I’m looking for.

 

In the next few years where do you see yourself?

Eventually next summer get back into the NBA summer league, go to an NBA camp. With the lockout, I couldn’t this summer. Have another good season this year and hopefully make the playoffs. After that see if I can make it to the NBA.

 

Considering the NBA could be losing the next season due to the lockout, do you expect a lot of NBA players to play overseas next year?

Not a lot, but a few. Some of the guys who haven’t spent their money wisely will head over there but most, like myself, are smart with their money.

 

Were you able to keep an eye on the Wildcats this last year?

I did. A lot of the games came on late so I would have to stay up to 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning just to watch them but I’m still close with all the guys. They Skype me every road trip and stuff like that, and obviously my brother is still on the team so I still have a connection with them.

 

During your senior year, the team was made up primarily with a large group of freshman that turned the corner last season, winning the Pacific 10 Conference and making it to the Elite Eight. How much of a connection do you feel this had to the success of the Wildcats this last year?

I almost felt like I was still there. Guys even offered to give me their Pac-10 championship ring, that’s how close we still are. I did still feel like I was there, but they earned it, not me.

 

Looking back on your career at the UA, what is your best moment as a Wildcat?

Probably making it to the Sweet 16. Everyone, even ourselves, didn’t think we wouldn’t even make the (NCAA) tournament. We made it and we made a great run with Jordan (Hill) and Chase (Budinger).

 

Your senior day, hitting the game-winning layup in double overtime to beat USC, can you remember what your thoughts were during your final game at the UA?

It’s tough playing on your senior night, especially with everything I had been through. I know I was nervous the whole game. It was a great experience to see all of the love after the game. All the fans stayed, I was the only senior. It was a really good feeling seeing all the love and affection I got for that. My family liked that a lot. 

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