Interview with NBDL All-Star Brian Chase
by: Richard Walker
February 16, 2007
NBDL All-Star point guard Brian Chase is known for his deadly outside shot and leadership on the court. The same qualities he displayed previously at Virginia Tech and then later in the CBA with the Gary Steelheads. Now playing nightly for the Los Angeles D-Fenders at Staples Center, Chase continues to prove his doubters wrong, as he leads his team in points, assists, steals and, of course, 3-point shooting. I had an opportunity to speak with Brian after a game against the Colorado 14ers to get his perspective on how his style of play is evolving and the D-League in general.

Richard Walker: You played in the CBA with the Gary Steelheads, what was that experience like?

Brian Chase: It was a great experience. I actually finally got an opportunity to play basketball at a very high level in front of a lot of people which was able to provide me with more opportunities after that season was over with. It was a wonderful experience because we played together and we won a lot of games. Unfortunately we lost in the championship, but the year before that the team was in last place, and we wound up finishing in first place Ė one game away from winning the whole thing.

Richard Walker: You played briefly for the Roanoke Dazzle and now with the [Los Angeles] D-Fenders. How does this compare to playing in the CBA with the Steelheads?

Brian Chase: Itís different. This league is younger. Itís much younger than the CBA. [In the CBA] you have a lot of NBA veterans who are at the end of their careers and just want to continue to play basketball. I think the quality of the basketball in the CBA is a little higher because the league is a little older.

Richard Walker: Did you know you were going to get signed by the D-Fenders?

Brian Chase: I had an idea. My agent talked to the Director of Player Personnel and they said they had seen film on me from summer league when I was playing for the [Utah] Jazz. It was an option. I didnít know, but once I got drafted it wasnít a surprise because I knew they were looking at me.

Richard Walker: Speaking of playing for the Jazz, you made it into training camp with them, what was that like?

Brian Chase: It was a great experience. Just to get that opportunity was one of the best feelings Iíve ever felt in my life. Once I found out I had made the team nothing could really express how I felt about it. Unfortunately I got released, but nobody can take what Iíve already accomplished so far away from me. Iím just trying to continue to work hard to get back to that level.

Richard Walker: Speaking of accomplishments, you were named to the All-Showcase Team during the Sioux Falls Showcase. What was the Showcase like?

Brian Chase: We played together, we played as a team. We had a couple of guys who played well up there who could have easily been on that Showcase team. Fortunately, I made it, and itís a great accomplishment. To finally be recognized in this league for being a pretty good player.

Richard Walker: Coming out of Virginia Tech you were more of a scorer really than a playmaker, is that an adjustment youíve had to make? Is that something youíre trying to work on specifically?

Brian Chase: No, thatís not an adjustment I had to make. I havenít adjusted my game, Iíve just continued to prove people wrong. It depends what system youíre in. Different systems are designed for you to do certain things. At Virginia Tech they wanted me to shoot the ball and thatís what I did. Iíve always been this basketball player Ė the point guard who can score. Iíve always been that. But because I can shoot the basketball [my point guard skills] have always been overlooked. Teams always think Iím a shooting guard instead of a point guard. Iím a point guard who can score.

Richard Walker: Are you getting any feedback on what you need to work on to get back to the NBA?

Brian Chase: Of course I canít do anything about my size. But, Iím just trying to get better in all areas. Of course I shoot the ball well, but I just need to be sure that I continue to be aggressive on defense and continue to prove that Iím a point guard. I still have doubters that Iím a two-guard instead of a point, but I just need to continue to prove that Iím a point guard Ė that I can get people open shots and can get teams into their offense.

Richard Walker: Youíre clearly an accomplished player at this level. Have you played against anybody that you feel has that ability to go to the next level thatís in the D-League right now?

Brian Chase: You just saw what Von Wafer did!

Richard Walker: Yeah.

Earlier in the evening the Colorado 14ers were down by 12 at half time, but Von Wafer came out blistering hot, scoring 27 points, and shooting 4 of 5 from behind the arc, to lead his team to a comeback victory over the D-Fenders.

Brian Chase: Heís done that four times against us. I respect everybody in this league, but for us not to have been Colorado yet, and for Von to have done what heís done each and every game, heís one of those players who will be back in the NBA soon. He was drafted by the [Los Angeles] Lakers in the second round a couple of years ago, and heíll be back. As long as he continues to play the way heís playing and shooting the ball the way heís shooting it. Thatís one person who deserves to be up there.

Richard Walker: Thanks a lot.

Brian Chase: You bet.

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Brian Chase
Full Profile | Player Stats
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 10/08/1981
35 Years Old
High School: Paul L. Dunbar
Previous Team: Matera , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Current: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
11.2 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 2.3 Asts