Where Are They Now? A Conversation With Will Figures
After leading Northern Colorado to relevancy in Division I college basketball, Will Figures is now playing professionally in Germany.
After taking a year off to perfect his game, former University of Northern Colorado and Smoky Hill High School standout, Will Figures, signed with the NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos out in Germany this past June.
While at Smoky Hill (Aurora, CO) Figures helped lead the Buffaloes to one of the best records in school history (21-6) and a Colorado state playoffs final four appearance. He earned numerous honors including Centennial Conference Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference, First Team All-City, and First Team All-State.
He then headed to the University of Northern Colorado, where he continued to excel under coach Tad Boyle. During his senior year he lead UNC to a 25-7 record, a trip to the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament (CIT) and was a unanimous selection for Big Sky First Team All-Conference. He continues to put mile high basketball on the map while playing overseas in Germany.
Mile High Hoops was able to catch up with Will and discuss his basketball experiences in Colorado and Germany.
Mile High Hoops: Tell me about your signing with your team in Germany? How did I come about? Was it a long process?
Will Figures: Well I had been in constant contact with my agent and gave him the okay about teams in Germany. Once I gave him the okay with the process, it was basically a waiting game to find somewhere I would fit. After about a month my agent came to me with an offer from team in Germany and I decided to sign early so that I was sure I had job this year. The actual signing process went pretty quick. They sent the contract and I reviewed it with my agent and family and then signed it in about a week, and then it was finished.
MHH: I can imagine it being a huge culture shock once you arrived. Tell me about your experiences so far, the culture, people, basketball, lifestyle etc.
WF: During the flight to Germany, I was really excited and nervous as well because I had no idea what to expect. Once I got to Germany I quickly realized that there will be a language barrier because everything we take for granted in the states, like signs and words are in English, but in Germany it is obviously in German. I had no idea where to go and how to get around. After being here for a couple of months it became much easier because I am getting used to the language and the places and food here. The people here somewhat speak English so that makes it easier for me as well. Also, the people are extremely friendly and opened up to me without a problem.
MHH: Let’s talk about the fantastic run at UNC, especially during your senior year. You made First Team Big Sky.
WF: Yeah my senior year at UNC was an awesome experience. Because of our success in and out of Colorado, we received so much national attention on TV and magazines and websites that it was unbelievable. We were actually ranked top ten mid majors during the year after the tremendous start to the season. We finished second in the Big SKy right behind Weber State. We finished our year off by making it into the CIT tournament where we beat Portland to give us the most wins in UNC history which was a huge accomplishment for us as a team.
MHH: How has our high school coach, Ken Shaw, influenced your basketball career? What do you think of his recent three-peat at Regis Jesuit?
WF: My High School coach Ken Shaw was probably one of the biggest influences in my basketball career other than Josh Breening. Ken Shaw actually gave me the tools to become a pretty good basketball player. We constantly worked on my shot to get it to the point where I was considered a great shooter. My senior year, he helped me a lot with deciding where to go to college and what team to play for where I will have the best opportunity to play and get better throughout my career. The decision I made to go to UNC was the best decision I made about basketball because it set me up for life after school and basketball. To this day Ken Shaw and I remain friends and talk whenever we get a chance. He is an awesome coach and there is no question why Regis wins championships.
MHH: Your game has grown tremendously especially once Tad Boyle came along. Tell me about his influence.
WF: Tad Boyle's influence on my game made me into a complete player. The one thing that Tad Boyle did as a coach for me is tell the truth without sugar coating anything. If I played bad or needed to work on something he was there to tell me and also show me what to do to get better at it. He turned me into a defensive player as well as a better offensive player. Without the constant push for him, who knows what would have happen in my career at UNC! He believed in me and gave me a chance when no other school would because of my size. Not for one second did he think about my height and that gave me a lot of confidence.
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