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Former Rams Sharpshooter Jimmy Baron answers your questions!

Former Rams Sharpshooter Jimmy Baron answers your questions!

Jimmy B: First, I would like to thank everyone for their questions and comments. I will try to answer the questions as best as I can.

ATPTourFan: I think you’d have to spend some time on some of his best performances, and what it felt to have that kind of shooting touch on the big stage. I’m thinking Syracuse at the Carrier Dome and Duke at Cameron Indoor, but I know he may remember other performances where he felt unstoppable.

 

Jimmy B: My favorite performance was against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The reason is simple, we won. I also feel strongly about this game because it was the school my best friend, Rob McClanaghan, played for. I really enjoy running my mouth to him about that game haha. The Duke game was a good experience but every time someone mentions that game, I get a sour taste in my mouth. Another memorable performance was the St. Bonaventure game my senior year. I remember trailing them by 15 or so at half-time. Being able to be one of the guys to lead a comeback in the second half and eventually win was awesome. It was also very personal because I spent 9 years growing up in Olean, New York.

Rhody74: I’d be interested in what it’s like playing in Europe …. level of competition, how the game is played, etc. His eventual goals would be interesting, too.
Jimmy B: Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi – Turkey 2009-2010 – 30 Games
Playing in Europe has been an unbelievable experience. My first season in Turkey was a difficult one. Their standard of living is obviously a lot different than that of the United States. I was “homeless” for the first 3 weeks. I stayed at my teammate’s house. The houses that the club showed me just weren’t “livable” by any standards. Eventually, after a few weeks I found a house to settle down. I did not play in the first home game of the season (against european powerhouse Efes Pilsen of Istanbul). I did not dress or sit on the bench. We had 4 Americans on the team and only 3 could suit up and be listed on the game roster. I obviously was the forth. Even thought we lost that game by at least 20, I don’t think it would of made much of a difference if I played. Efes’ budget that year was between 20-30 million Euros. My team, Mersin’s BSB, was a little over 1 Million. Long story short, when I got my opportunity in the next few games I made sure I made the most out of it. I lead the country in scoring after playing in my first 5 or so games and earned my spot. We finished the season (after a coaching change) missing the playoffs by 1 game. We also made it to the finals of the Turkish Cup, an incredible feat for Mersin.
Lagun Aro GBC – San Sebastian, Spain 2010-2012 – 34 Games
My experience in Spain was nothing short of amazing. Lagun Aro GBC was and still is a very professional club. My first season I learned a lot. The system that I was in was a shooting guard’s dream. My coach, Pablo Laso (currently the head coach for Real Madrid), would run a “double exit” play, the first play of the game, were I could choose which side to come off of and take a shot. If I made the shot, we would go to it again and see if I could get hot early. If I missed it, then I missed it and we would go from there. But it was great for a shooter like myself to get a chance to develop a rhythm early. Halfway through the season, I was offered a 2-year extension and happily accepted the rare opportunity for job security in the European basketball business. We finished the season in 14th out of 18 teams. The club was happy to not be in the 17th or 18th spot. Those teams each year are demoted to the second division and the top 2 teams from the second division, move up. In my second season, with new coach Sito Alonso, we were a far different team. With much better players on the roster, we finished the season making the playoffs and also playing in the Copa Del Rey(Kings Cup). Both accomplishments were a first for GBC. Now everyone who played on that team, are legends in San Sebastian. We were lead by Andy Panko, (Lebanon Valley – Division 3). His entire career, he played the small foward position. Since our starting power forward was injured, Sito moved Andy to that position and he dominated. He lead the league in scoring and was named MVP.
Lokomotiv Kuban – Krasnodar, Russia 2012-present – 40+ Games
Lokomotiv has been great so far. Here I am a small piece to a very talented team. Playing alongside former Florida point guard Nick Calathes has been great. A pass first point guard who really, emphasis on “really”, finds the open man. It should be a great year.
The level of competition is very high. Not the same caliber as the NBA but many are former NBA players. The athleticism in the NBA isn’t comparable.
My goals haven’t changed since I left college. Always improve every year and eventually land a spot in the NBA. So far I feel on track. Each move I have made in Europe has been up. From starting out in Turkey, proving I can play overseas, to landing a 2 year stint in a highly regarded ACB league to now playing in the EuroCup. I consider myself very blessed and continue to surround myself with positive influences. I look forward to continuing that theme. I feel I have many more years in my body and God willing, I can continue to improve each year.

Ramulous: I would like to ask Jimmy who were the five toughest defenders he played against while at URI.
Jimmy B: Parfait Bitee – Playing against this guy everyday in practice or in 1 on 1 during workouts was incredible. I was always impressed on how he could square his body to mine and be there to contest almost every shot I took, including my fade-aways.
Opponents…
Mario Chalmers
Stanley Burrell
I honestly cannot remember any others. I am sure I had difficult nights against others but these two really stick out.

Ryan Rowdy: Could you ask him how he ever came up with his trick shot where he shoots from the seats just below the suites, over the vent system, and into the hoop?

Jimmy B: “Horse Shot”…
As everyone probably knows, I spent a lot of time in the Ryan Center. After workouts, to have a little fun, I would search out trick shots throughout the arena. When I was at Hendricken, the roof in Pepin Gymnasium is low enough to reach with a hard throw. I created a few shots where I would throw the ball through a small opening between the air-conditioning duck and the ceiling. The shot in the Ryan Center is more or less the same thing, just farther away. A fun memory.

SGreenwell: I’d ask him if he ever felt any friction from his teammates, given his status as the coach’s son. Did it cause him personally to work harder in practice? Speaking of that, what is / was his practice routine? And finally, what’s his professional life like? I love pretty much any story about the European / Asian basketball leagues – Paul Shirley had some great ones in his book, and I read a good book over the summer on the burgeoning yet still Mickey Mouse Chinese Basketball League.
Jimmy B: Friction with teammates…
I felt a little friction in my freshman season but nothing worth getting alarmed about. It was something that I expected and knew how to deal with it.
Whether the friction was there or not, I always tried to outwork everyone in practice. I do remember several times where I would work too much before or after practice resulting in tired legs during games. This was something I had to learn to be aware of towards the latter part of my college career.
My practice routine is simple, work until I feel comfortable with my shot. I never count how many shots I take, but rather how many shots I make. Whether I make 100 shots or 1000 shots, I would not leave the gym until I felt good about my shot. This was the way I always worked and the way my father taught me how to work.
Professional life for me is the same as college life, minus the classes. We usually have 2 practices a day. In the morning we lift and shoot and at night we have a full practice. We get paid to play basketball, so it’s very important to always be on-time, carry yourself in a professional manner, be respectful of other cultures, learn new customs and languages, be available as much as possible for the media and fans, and do exactly what the coach and club says.

sf2010: I’d like to find out who he most enjoyed playing alongside during his four years at Rhody.
Also, if there was any player before he arrived at URI that he really looked up to and received advice from while he was younger and hanging around the gym.
Jimmy B: Enjoyed playing alongside…
Kahiem Seawright! There was no one I was closer with in my four years than him. He is like a brother to me.
There was a player that I had a pretty cool connection with well before I even moved to Rhode Island. It was while my father was at St. Bonaventure. I can remember this happened on at least two occasions. When Rhode Island would come to town, Tyson Wheeler and I would always shoot around. I had to be around 10-11 years old at the time. I can remember rebounding for him, throwing him the ball and running to contest his shot. He will tell you the same. It’s funny because I don’t remember doing that with any other opposing player but him. Pretty cool!

Running Ram: Okay, I’m wondering if he has any idea how many shots he has taken in his lifetime, 1/2 mil, 1 mil…200 shots a day for 20 yrs, which is totally possible, is 1.46 mil…
Also I echo tp, atp and others sentiments about Jimmy and this may be the homer in me, but I have to believe he is one of the best pure shooters in the world, I mean the guy shoots from 25 feet like he’s under the hoop.
Jimmy B: Lifetime shots…
Haha, I have no idea…a lot.

Essam: Has he had a coach after leaving URI that set up plays and screen for him. Has he ever been the focal point of the offense or has he dad to make his own shots?
Jimmy B: Focal point of the offense…
My first year in Spain, I wasn’t the “focal point” but a big part of the offense. Although statistically, I had the best year of my career, we didn’t win and finished 14th out of 18 teams. I was fourth in the league in scoring, led the league in 3s made while shooting 45% and set the all-time record for free throw percentage (70-71). Honestly, it was a difficult year. At one point, we lost 14 out of 16 games. That being said, I would much rather win then put up numbers and be “the guy.” My second year in Spain, that is exactly what happened. It was a great season!

Rhody Guy: I would like to know if he has had any workouts with NBA teams since his last summer league appearance a couple of years ago.
Jimmy B: NBA teams or workouts…
Due to contract obligations, I have not had any workouts with NBA teams.

bigappleram: can you ask him when exactly he adapted Rhody72’s free throw shooting advice and how that propelled him to greatness?
Jimmy B: Free throw advice…
What was the free throw advice?

ramster: I’d like to know how Jimmy compares playing on the Coast of Spain to now playing in Russia?
How do the two leagues compare talentwise and what is the difference in the style of play?
Which does he enjoy more, Spain or Russia?
How is the attention from the females in Spain for a professional basektball player from the US? How is the attention from the Russion women? Which enviromnent does he enjoy more? Spain or Russion women?
and of course please pass on my thanks for his contributions to URI Basketball, for his hard work and continuous improvement as he made himself into one of the greatest shooters in NCAA history.
Jimmy B: Coast of Spain to Krasnodar, Russia…
As far as the living situation, it’s tough to make a comparison. San Sebastian is one of the best cities in all of Europe. Spain was great. The style of play is pretty comparable. Financially, Spain is struggling. Most players are moving to more eastern European countries, like Turkey or Russia. I don’t pay attention to the females in these countries, and my fiance appreciates that.

Iggy1979: How many years does he see himself playing overseas and would he like to then get into coaching?
Jimmy B: How many years do I see myself playing…
As much as my body lets me. I completely understand that this isn’t forever and appreciate each day that I am able to step on the basketball court.

reef, ramster and ATP: Broadcasting or coaching after playing days are over?
Jimmy B: After my basketball career is over, I’m still unsure as to what I’ll do. It is pondered over and discussed frequently. I could see myself in broadcasting, coaching or personal training. I don’t dislike coaching as much as I did when I was in college. Playing overseas, developing some good future recruiting relationships, I think I have some good elements to offer. I am leaning more towards personal training and doing what Rob McClanaghan does with NBA guys. I have worked out many young Rhode Island players and really enjoy doing it. I still have many years, God willing, to make a decision.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone for their questions and kind words. Best of luck to the Rams this season!
Jimmy Baron

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