Holidays in Worcester for Tommy Freeman
Worcester Wolves sharp-shooter Tommy Freeman took time to talk to me after the teams win over Glasgow Rocks on Saturday evening at Worcester University. The 6’5″ forward played his college hoops with Ohio Bobcats, where broke the teams all time 3 point record, and consistently shot over 40% from downtown.
Comfortable lead over the Rocks in the last game before Christmas break gave Freeman a bit of an easier game, as coach Paul James was able to rotate his bench players more during the last ten minutes of the BBL Championship game. How does Freeman see that the season has started for himself and the Wolves as a team.
‘We (the Wolves organisation) have had one our best ever starts to the season in the BBL, we’ve picked up really to play as a team this early in the season. The weekend gone was a really tough test for us, as we played against the Eagles and Rocks – two teams that will probably pushing for top finishes in the Championship at the end of the season. I think we showed in these two games that we can play against them and we just gotta keep on doing this as the season continues’
With Wolves home games set for Saturday, they are one of the teams that will be playing many back-to-back double headers over the season, This weekend Friday game at Newcastle was delayed due to an accident on the road, so the team got even less time to recover from it – what sort of changes does this make to the teams preparation to the weekends second game.
‘I think there was an accident on the highway up to Newcastle, so the game didn’t tip-off until 8pm. Coach James cancelled this morning shoot-around to give us more time to recover from the Newcastle trip, but you have to say that the Rocks travel from Glasgow isn’t the easiest one either. We managed to come into the game with fairly fresh legs, and put our stamp in the game quite early on and take them (Rocks) out of it.
As many BBL-rookies, Freeman has also found out that there is a settling period as he adjusts to the way the game is being played/called over here.
‘It did take a while for me to find the rhythm over here, but I think I am finally starting to find my legs and also starting to feel that my shooting is getting better, which of course is a big part of my game. Game isn’t that much about individuals, and right now I am just playing as hard as I can and trying to help my team on the court to get the wins.’
In the BBL Championship the Wolves are sitting nicely near the top, but looking back to the Cup semi-finals (over two legs) against Plymouth – was it a big disappointment to be knocked out the competition.
‘Plymouth have a really strong squad and they really clicked together last weekend against us. They have some good strong players down there, who are tough to play against and when their game clicks like it did last week against us, it is not easy. We’ve played them a lot of times this season and I think we are 3 – 2 against them at the moment.’
Championship table has some teams having played over ten games and some as few as six, other teams have started their Christmas holidays a week ahead of the Wolves. So their Americans have managed to fly home for holidays, how about Wolves – any chance for Tommy to jet off back home to spend time with the family.
‘Actually, in a way yes. We have a bit of a break in games after the Riders and Lions game, so coach James has given us some time-off then. So I’ve booked a flight back home for the New Year, get to see the family and friends.’
Despite taking time off from Wolves, Freeman will not be resting on his laurels during the short trip back home.
‘Hopefully I get to work on my shot a bit as well while back home, I am planning to spend some time with my shooting coach there to polish few bits in my shooting.’
So – how will the Christmas be spent in Worcester.
‘You know it is tough for us being away from home for the first pro-season, but the older players have been really good for us and helped us get settled in and feel welcome here. With Richie Gordon, amongst others, not going home – we’ll probably have a little team Christmas over here, and it being his first year away as well, we are going through a lot of the same things. But it is important to have the support from your team over here, after all your team mates are kind of you ‘second family’ during the season.’
With Wolves finishing the pre-holidays with two tough games, and going right back to two more tough ones right after the break – the Wolves fans will hope that the team can keep building on the momentum they have gathered in the BBL Championship, after of course enjoying some Turkey dinners during the Christmas week. Tommy Freeman and the Worcester Wolves return to action on the 28th of December, with a home game against the Leicester Riders at Worcester Universtity.