Following up an impressive 2022, Chuck Guy once again makes case for TBL MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2023 by putting his body on the line game in and game out.
Shawnee, Oklahoma, – It’s one thing to be considered “The Man” on the basketball court. But being “The Guy”, that’s a whole different story and a role Chuck Guy is very familiar with during another MVP caliber season for the tough guard out of Tarleton State University.
It was only seven short years ago that Guy honed his craft on the court at TSU while studying kinesiology and perfecting the understanding of the science of the human body’s movement. Some things don’t change. Chuck is still a student of the game while careful deconstructing his opponents with each charge he takes as a pro.
As a senior, Guy was named the Lone Star Conference Player of the Year after averaging 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, while earning NABC first-team All-American honors. In just two seasons, Guy ranked fifth on the school’s all-time assists list and his 184 assists in 2014 ranks third on the school’s single-season list, the most in the NCAA era at Tarleton. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that over the last two years playing in The Basketball League, Chuck has once again proven to be “The Guy”.
He simply plays with all heart and it shows.
After shining with the Enid Outlaws in 2022 by garnishing a First Team All-TBL selection, First Team TBL Central Conference selection, and becoming a finalist for TBL MVP and Defensive Player of the Year (20.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 9.4 assists – tied 1st, 2.7 steals – tied 1st), the free agent took his talents to the Potawatomi Fire where an essential “super team” awaited with the core of Deshawn Munson, Lyle Hexom, T.J. Maston, Tevin Foster, and the late signing of Paul Harrison. All Chuck has done this All-Star season is backed-up his play on both ends of the floor. Along with averaging 15.9 points, 9.7 assists (2nd in the league), 2.9 steals (7th in the league), Guy embodies the kind of play and impact that shows up beyond the stat sheet.
The Fire were built for the Finals. And now thanks to another impressive TBL season from Chuck Guy, notching two victories against the St. Louis Griffins could bring “the Lillie” to Shawnee. Not only has the Fort Worth native solidified his name among fellow MVP candidates like Munson, Chris Darrington (Toledo), and Armani Chaney (Newfoundland), but Guy could be the X-factor when Game 1 of the Finals tips-off on Friday.
In other words, Guy just might be “The Man” after all.
Chuck Guy sat down with Around The Basketball League for a pre-Finals interview ranging from finding a home this season in Shawnee, taking pride in being a top defender in the league, the emotions of reaching the Finals against St. Louis, and what it means to be an MVP candidate one more time.
First off Chuck, congrats on reaching the Finals and this season. This is back-to-back seasons where you are in the running for MVP. What’s the biggest difference in your approach and game from last year to this year?
The biggest difference from last season to this season is I knew my scoring wasn’t needed as much this year. I have a lot of options who I can go to for scoring so I used my energy elsewhere this season.
Was it a no-brainer to leave Enid over the offseason? How long did it take for you to feel settled in Shawnee?
It was a no-brainer to leave for various reasons. It was a great season last year, but it was time to go. Last year we went to the Shreveport- Fire playoff game and as we walked in they gave us a warm welcome in Shawnee, that already felt good. It didn’t take any time to get settled in Shawnee as Mr. David Qualls and the organization made it as easy as possible.
You mentioned using your energy elsewhere. You have been consistently one of the best defenders in the league the last two years…what does that mean to you to be such a strong defensive presence?
Of course I can score the ball but that takes energy so if I use less energy there, I can have a little more energy to take a charge or get a rebound or dive on the floor. Whatever the case may be. I have taken pride in defense all of my life. I have been small and had to hold my own as far as size. Believe it or not, I have more passion on the defensive side of the ball than if I score. It’s kind of crazy but that’s what’s different. It’s just heart.
If we had a charge category, I would be at the top of it. That little extra energy, that’s needed. That’s me.
It shows…for you, is there an art to taking a charge? What do you look for in those situations?
I just go do it. You have to be willing to put your body on the line to make a play that could possibly be a game changer.
I read the situation. If it’s a smaller person, I’m probably going to challenge it. But if it’s a bigger person, then I am going to get in position knowing the movement is a little slower and I will take the charge.
Growing up, are there guys you’ve patterned your game from or appreciate watching now?
Growing up I liked Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, and Deron Williams as guards. They were solid offensively. My passion and grit come from my environment…and Tweety “Demon” Carter from Baylor. The way he sat down and guarded with no fear “you want to score” mentality stuck with me.
How would you describe your relationship with Coach Mark Dannhoff? How has he helped you grow on and off of the court?
Coach and my relationship is great. We are both on the same page. Sometimes we bump heads behind the scenes just to figure out that we are on the same page. I’ve learned patience from him. He is very patient with things. One day, I see myself on the coaching staff with him.
Have you had time to reflect on the Conference Finals and enjoy reaching the TBL Finals?
I got a little emotional the other night as we closed out the series with Seattle. I still haven’t really settled in yet to the idea of the Finals, but when it’s all over it will definitely hit me.
How are you feeling about going up against St. Louis? What is your mindset while getting ready for this series?
I know it’s going to be a battle, but like I have been telling the team all year long; if we just play our game, we will be alright.
And since you are in the MVP conversation once again, what would it mean to you to take home that award knowing the season you’ve had?
It’s definitely a blessing knowing that I’ve been here before, but to be here again on a whole different team it’s kind of meant to be one time.
Wendell Maxey is the author of Around The Basketball League and has written about professional basketball and sports for 20 years. He’s been featured on NBA.com, ESPN.com, USA Today, FOX Sports, and SLAM Magazine among other publications and media outlets. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or read through his archive on Linktree.