Shaquille Gaskins:“Trust the process and watch your dreams turn into reality!”

Interview with Europe Basketball Academy player Shaquille Monroe-Gaskins that joined Jaguarzo Adepla Basket from Spanish EBA league after successfully completing our pro placement program in December 2017.

Where you started to play basketball and if you may explain your basketball background?
I started to play basketball when I was a little boy at the age of 5. I was a two-sport athlete. I played (American) Football haha and Basketball. Growing up in South Philadelphia, sports play a big role in a lot of kids life. That’s our way out of our community to a better life for us and our families. Growing up in the city like where I come from you can get caught up in so many different lifestyles. For me I choose this lifestyle to be a great role model and make it out the hood doing something positive. I played in several different summer leagues growing up. For example, it’s a park called “chews”... that’s where it all started for me. Then I went off to play basketball in high school call South Philadelphia High School, from there I went to JUCO for 2 years in Valhalla, New York, call Westchester Community College. I then transfer to Wilmington University and played and finish up my College Career there for two years.

What problems to get in the European market you faced before you came to play in Europe first time?
I faced a lot of problems trying to get into the European market for basketball it was very difficult. A lot of teams at the time was not looking for import players or they had their team set and ready for the season. My biggest problem was a team taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to play and get my rookie season under my belt and display my talent.

Why did you decide to join Europe Basketball Academy? How did you hear about it? Who recommended it to you?
I decided to join the Europe Basketball Academy because they told me they will help me get to a team and continue with my dream of playing professionally. I heard about it from several different people and I saw it during the NBA finals game as well. Alen Rugavac recommended that I attend the academy and show off my skills.

What is the difference between playing in Europe and where you played before coming to Europe?
It’s a big difference from the states where I played before. Back in the States, we move a lot quicker than out here in Europe. In Europe, they do a lot of pick and roll offense and less one on one.

How did the days look for you at Europe Basketball Academy? Describe the regular day you were going through? Describe what new you learned about European basketball in Europe Basketball Academy?
A day for me in the Europe Basketball Academy for me would go like... wake up go to practice at 8am for about an hour and a half. From there we would go to the fitness center where we lift weights and do cardio. Go to lunch at 12, after lunch go back home to relax before it’s time for the next practice at 3:30pm. After the 3:30 practice we would go back to the fitness center and do some recovery things. Like, get in the pool, hot tube, stretch, things like that. After we done there, we will go to dinner and then back to the house and relax until you go to bed to get up and do it all over again the next day.

Your advice to players that are considering joining Europe Basketball Academy? What are values that we share? What kind of player should enter academy?
My advice to other players who are trying to join or thinking about joining the academy would be if you are not mentally ready for it, don’t come because it’s a tough process and grind. You have to be willing to put in the work and stick to the grind and just trust the process. It’s going take the time it’s not just going happen for you overnight. Every day is not going be the same some days will be easier than others. And some days you are going want to give up but you have to look at the bigger picture and remember what you came here for.

Share some interesting situations that you experienced in the academy that you will remember and that made a strong impression on you?
In the academy, I really enjoyed getting the chance to play against great teams and showing my skills and my talent. I met some great guys. Some people I will keep in touch with and grew a great relationship with. It was fun going through the time there with some people and the talks in the house we had or on the bus on our way to games.

Where you ended up after you attended Europe Basketball Academy?
After attending the Europe Basketball Academy I got a contract to a team by the name of Adepla Basket in Plasencia, Spain.

Finishing comments...
I just want to take the time and thank everyone who stuck by my side through the process. My mom Kimyuatta Gaskins and family thank you I know it been a rocky roller coaster but we made it through the storm I love you all. Thank you to a very special person who also played a big role in my life. Carlton Fox, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today. He was my coach/mentor and he pushed me every single day. He is no longer with us he passed away. I wish he was here with me today to share all these moments with me. But I know he’s looking down on me and very proud of me. RIP Carlton Fox!! I’m not going lie it’s a tough tough grind and if your not ready or you think it’s going be easy you have another thing coming for you. “Trust the Process and watch Your Dreams Turn Into Reality”! It Takes A Pro To Be A Pro! Humble & Blessed!

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