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Living in America: Justin Raffingtion (San Francisco)

January 19th, 2011 · No Comments

In our series about European Freshmen in the NCAA, we talk today to the German big guy Justin Raffington who came to the University of San Francisco  after his years at Urspring.

Why did you chose to play College Basketball?

From the moment of my transfer from USC Freiburg to Urspring, it was my goal to play College Basketball. It is a tradition in Urspring to go to the United States over Christmas in order to play some High School tournaments (like the Arby’s Classic in Tennessee). The atmosphere and the enthusiasm for the sport that I lived there has fascinated me and intensified my will to play College Basketball. Additionally, there is the possibility to combine studies with playing Basketball that is nowhere better than in the United States. Here are the perfect conditions to develop your Basketball game.

You made your decision where to play very early. Why did you chose the University of San Francisco? Have there been other schools that were interested in you?

My coach at Urspring Felix Czerny already played for San Francisco. This was certainly one factor. The main reason why I decided so early to play for USF was that I had a very good feeling when making my decision. During my official visit, I felt very well immediately. The team, the coaching staff, everything fitted. Additionally, I had the impression that the coaches really wanted to have me on their team. Coach Yoshikawa visited me several times in Germany and was even present during the U18 European Championship in France to follow me. He offered me a scholarship already at his first visit approximately two years ago.

There have been other schools that were interested but their effort to get me was less intensive than USF’s and none has told me as clear: You get a scholarship at our school. Of course, I could have waited for some other offers but the decision to go to USF was not difficult. (And of course the city of San Francisco is a nice place to live)

How do you see your future development at the University of San Francisco? Do you have personal goals for your development while being in the United States?

As a Freshman, it is difficult. Personally, I have two experienced players in front of me which limits my playing time. On one side, it is frustrating but on the other side, it motivates me to work even harder. The weight-lifting room is always available and the coaches are always there to work with me individually in the gym. I want to be ready after my four years to play on a higher level and earn a living with playing basketball.

Which diploma do you want to major in? How do you see your future after 4 year at College?

When I arrived to San Francisco, I was not sure yet about what direction my studies would go. At the moment, I am following a Communications major. But because you have to follow first of all some core classes which are the same for any major, I can still decide in which direction I will go definitely.

I hope of course that I can play professional basketball after my four years, but this with a good education in my pocket.

Compared to the NBBL where you played in Germany, what is the main difference with College Basketball except the athleticism?

College Basketball is a different world. Not only the athleticism, the whole game is faster. Of course, the rules are a bit different (35 seconds shot clock etc.…) but in general, it is a lot more physical. During practice, everything is very well structured. We have a practice plan which is handed out before every practice. During the practice, all the coaches are in the gym and follow all your moves one-by-one (not like in the NBBL where is only one coach). If you make an error, like not boxing out, you have to sprint. During the games, the attendance is of course also on a different level. We played for example in front of 21000 people in Louisville.

Justin Raffington is averaging so far 2.0ppg and 1.9rpg in 9.9minutes on the court for the Dons.

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