ANDREW ECKER AKA THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION INTERVIEW!
1. What is it like playing at Rucker Park?
Rucker Park is the mecca of basketball for me. It has such an amazing history and being there and playing there is a great honor and one of the greatest accomplishments for myself. The fans at Rucker have seen some of the greatest players in the world and they know that there’s more to just being in the NBA, they know that there are dudes on the courts of NYC every night that are better than guys in the league but for whatever reason couldn’t get in, and that just because you’re in the league doesn’t mean that someone off the street won’t get you on the court. 2.
2. What team in what league will you play for in Japan?
I have signed a 1-year contract with the Sendai 89ers of BJ League in Japan.
3. What game that you played would you say was your favorite? My favorite game was my first game for Arizona State University, my parents were in from New York and I scored on a turn around baseline jumper, grabbed a board and had an assist in about a minute of playing time. Most importantly we won.
It's all about the W's baby!
4. Other than basketball, what do you do in your free time?
In my free time I love to travel, while in Germany last season I was able to travel during time off and I saw 16 countries. While in New York during the summers my free time is spent with my family, my girlfriend, and my friends.
5.Who is your inspiration when you are playing basketball? My inspiration when playing is my family. I would never be where I am today if my parents had not encouraged me to follow my dreams no matter where they took me.
6. Where is your favorite place to play basketball? Rucker Park, hands down.
7. Would you ever consider coaching basketball after you finish playing? I would love to coach but not for a profession. Professional coaching whether professional or college is a business. It’s too much time away from your family and it means willing to pack up and move your family at any time for a promotion. I would love to coach young kids and help them develop their basketball and life skills.
Like coaching maybe in the Junior NBA?
8. When you were growing up which basketball player did you look up to? I’m a Knicks fan, and my parents went to Syracuse so that was natural too. Luckily both teams were good growing up so I loved Patrick Ewing and all the ‘Cuse guys. I have since gotten to play with and against some of the Syracuse players that I grew up idolizing, I played against Lawrence Moten in an exhibition game, I got to work out in the summer with Otis Hill and John Wallace, when playing for the Harlem Wizards in a CBA game I played and roomed with Adrian Autry, and now I will be a teammate of Ryan Blackwell’s in Japan.
9. Which NBA team would you say is your favorite? New York Knicks!
We will see how they do this season.
10. Where can my readers get in touch with you? I love hearing from fans and any people with questions and comments for me. They can reach me on Myspace at www.myspace.com/TheAffirmativeAction or via e-mail at TheAffirmativeAction@gmail.com. I also enjoy meeting all different people through my travels and tend to meet people when they ask, “You must get asked this a lot but… how tall are you?”
Make sure you talk to Affirmative!
11. What skills do you need to have to play street ball? You need to be tough. If you’re not tough mentally and physically don’t even bother setting foot on the court. The opponents and the crowd can sense weakness, they can sense if you’re not confident in yourself and they’ll make sure you get laughed or booed off the court. You also need to be physically tough because the refs are not out there to make the call for you and bail you out, you can’t go looking for a call and flopping on a charge, plus you have to be able to take hits, you’re going to get elbowed, kneed, kicked, even head butted, you have to withstand that.
12. What is your favorite show on TV?
I have a few, The Sopranos, Entourage, Daily Show, Colbert Report and Summerball on MSG because that show brings the NYC streetball scene to an audience that might not regularly get to see it.
Most of my favorite shows to!
13. How did you learn the tricks you need to know to play street ball?
I don’t do tricks, I play ball. I learned that from watching other successful streetball and hard court ballers.
14. Your nickname is creative can you tell us how you got it?
When you’re the only white guy in entire leagues and no one in the crowd and the audience is white you’re going to get an interesting nickname. It was originally given to me by Boobie Smooth and Hannibal, the announcers at the EBC at Rucker Park. I love the name though and embrace it because in my case it represents crossing barriers and being accepted for your actions and not because of any trait like religion or race. I’m white, Jewish, and from the burbs, so what? Does that mean I shouldn’t pursue what I love? I ball out, and the basketball community respects that, there’s a saying “real recognize real”, if I wasn’t real it wouldn’t be an issue, I’m there because I belong and the play speaks for itself.
That's a good point!
15. What’s your real name?
Andrew Ecker. I’m contemplating legally switching it to Affirmative Action, any thoughts?
Thanks, and if you have one last thing to say to my readers just go ahead.
Be thankful for what you have, but don’t be complacent with it. Always give it your best because it might be your last, tomorrow isn’t promised and love those who love you. 1 The Affirmative Action Make sure you visit Basketball Notes by Alex so you stay in the game on what’s up in the world of hoops! 1 The Affirmative Action
Also make sure to check Affirmatives audio in "People Who Are Reading Basketball Notes by Alex!"