Alumni Athlete Profile: Eric Palm '09

by Lauren Putbrese ’16

Eric Palm ’09 isn’t hitting game winners for the Bearcats anymore, but he has since taken his talents across the globe. The professional basketball player is currently a member of the Giessen 46ers, a German Pro-A team competing in the Basketball Bundesliga League (BBL). He has previously played for Thor AK in Iceland, IR Reykjavik in Iceland and BV Chemnitz 99 in Germany.

Q: How did your most recent season go?

Palm: This past season was a really good year for our team. We (Giessen 46ers) won our whole league. As for myself, I played fairly well during the season, but in the playoffs I really peaked. During the playoffs I was 21-31 from 3-point shots and averaged 14.5 points per game. It was a surreal experience to see the city of Giessen light up and support us as well as they did.

Q: How did you decide to begin a career overseas?

Palm: When I was a sophomore at McKendree, I discovered overseas basketball through Mike Strobbe ’07 (who is currently a center for Frayles de Guasave in the Mexican Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacifico League) and Mark Stovall ’08. I really didn’t have much knowledge previously. My game really started progressing each year and Coach Statham really believed I could make it in Europe to keep my basketball career going after school.

Q: How did Coach Harry Statham influence your career?

Palm: Coach Statham really helped my game in every aspect. We always went back to the basics each year and fine-tuned everything. But mostly, I feel like my “basketball IQ” increased each year just listening to him teach us through film. It was enjoyable to sit and listen to his ideas and strategies as we prepped for each opponent.

Q: Do you have a favorite McKendree memory?

Palm: Each of my three years that we went to the National Tournament in Kansas City was special to me. But my favorite memory has to be my junior year when we went to Columbia and had to win the game to become the AMC Conference Champions. I hit a shot with 2.7 seconds left to win the game!

Q: Who has been your biggest basketball influence?

Palm: I would have to say my Dad and brothers. My dad has been my sidekick in the gym by rebounding and helping out in any way. As for my brothers, they are my biggest supporters and have pushed me to my limits since I was a little kid. I definitely credit them for my toughness that I carry today.