David Holston Trades In Adana Kebab For Spargel And Toughness Over Teddybearness With The Artland Dragons
Putting a smile on little children´s faces is something anybody should have joy doing as a gift in a toy store is always a common jaw breaker or wide smile bringer to the ruddy face of any little child. The abundance of toys that one could seek at FAO Schwarz in New York on fifth avenue is mindboggling, but especially that life size teddy bear could always be that first best friend for a diminutive tyke. You won´t find a FAO Schwarz store on main street in Quackenbrück in the Artland, but one doesn´t even have to travel to Osnabruck or Bremen to find that adorable teddy bear in a toy store, but can witness the most loveable teddy bear with the slickest moves, crispist playmaking skills and unending scoring ability on the basketball court in the Artland arena. I am referring to pint-sized 168cm Pontiac, Michigan native David Holston. He would never be astray on the basketball floor, but can get lost in the shuffle in the Telekom Dome in Bonn last season during the 2014 Beko BBL allstar game where he was sitting in the stands and could easily have been mistaken for the son of an older player like a Darius Hall or Wendell Alexis simply because he looks like a kid. He may look like that cute teddy bear, but Holston belongs to the top point guards in the league and is all business on the court the way Yogi bear would hounding anybody for some honey. The American has spent his professional basketball career in Europe in only two places in Turkey and in Germany. He spent his first two seasons with Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir (Turkey-TBL) and in 2011-2012 came to Germany to the Artland Dragons and had a super season playing German League: 40 games: Score-4(15.3ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-2(5.6apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 88.2%; and EuroChallenge: 13 games: 12.2ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-2(6.3apg), Steals-2(1.8spg), FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 73.9%. IN 2012-2013 he returned back to Turkey to play for Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi. Last season he came back to Germany to Artland playing Eurocup 9 games: 8.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 44.4%; German League: 41 games: 11.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 83.9%. Instead of fleeing back to Turkey, he decided to remain with the Dragons for a second consecutive season. It seems that after too much spicy Adana Kebab, he has chosen the rich cuisine of the Artland speciality Spargel and the continuing development of the Beko BBL. After having a huge first campaign with Artland, his stats slipped a bit last season, but he is ready to conquer the Beko BBL again this season. As usual the Artland Dragons are packed with unending talent and Holston is chef on the court. Holston is still seeking his first professional title and it doesn´t get any easier with the growing dominance of FC Bayern Munich. Holston is a competitor that plays to win and won´t experience any opponents swooning over his teddy bear image, but moreover getting annoyed time in and time out about the next cross over, steal, tip toeing to the bucket and just having to search for their jock strap over and over. Holston has a great supporting cast and doesn´t need to score 25 points a night, but his leadership and playmaking will be key to how well the Artland Dragons fare this season. “I love David’s fighting spirit and he is a good teammate. David makes big shots in the fourth quarter all the time. It always surprises me how he gets shots off when we need him to”, stressed Artland Dragon forward Lawrence Hill.
The Artland Dragons continue to be a club that is stocked tight with great players each season and belong to the top five teams in terms of depth, but in the end in the playoffs when everything is on the line, they are unable to get over the hump and get past the top teams like a FC Bayern Munich, Bamberg or Alba Berlin. It has been like this for years and with each passing season, the 2008 cup win in Hamburg against Ludwigsburg and only hardware in the history of the organization, the wait seems as endless as anyone being tortured in a monkey ditch at a zoo after falling in by mistake. In the last four seasons the club have finished in 4th place twice and in sixth and seventh place. Last season the team was on the right way as rookie head coach Tyron Mccoy more than earned his pay check for halting the Bamberg dynasty from winning a fifth consecutive title kicking them out 3-1 and then taking Alba Berlin to four tough games. Had they won game one which they lost 81-79 in OT, then they would have had a 2-0 game lead and then they may have skipped to the finals to meet FC Bayern Munich. During the regular season they beat Munich, Berlin and Bamberg so they definitely had some practice, but now the team needs to learn how to beat these top clubs in a five game series which is never simple since the playoffs are a completely new season. Head coach Tyron Mccoy as always had an offensive arsenal to work with, but also carved out a well-oiled defensive structure as the team played defense well for most of the season keeping teams to under 70 points nine times.
Tyron Mccoy did a splendid job not messing with last seasons chemistry and trying to keep as many players intact as possible and did just that keeping nine players and with 29 year old Anthony King and Guido Grunheid going into their fourth season with the team. Just when one thinks that the off season can be a time to catch a small breather, Miami native King really had the club work hard to keep him for a fourth season as for months there was unending speculation where he could end up. King has improved his scoring each season with Artland and really was a guy that they couldn´t or wanted to lose no matter what the price was. Last season King played Eurocup 8 games: 10.4ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 57.1%; German League: 40 games: 11.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.8%. Grunheid is a veteran that is the reliable bench player that has won six titles with Alba Berlin and one with Cologne. Last season the the 32 year old 208cm German played Eurocup: 9 games: 5.4ppg, 3.0rpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 50.0%; German League: 32 games: 2.9ppg, 3.0rpg. The club also held guys like Lawrence Hill who was able to make the transition from Israel to Germany and was so valuable as an inside out player and was third best three point shooter last season in the league. The 27 year old 203cm forward from Arizona who played at Stanford with NBA player Landry Fields and the Lopez twins has much experience having also played in Mexico and the D-league. Last season Hill played Eurocup: 9 games: 9.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 72.2%; German League: 41 games: 11.9ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT-3(48.7%), FT: 69.9%
The club also held on to American Antonio Graves who had a solid season, but Mccoy surely is awaiting a bigger jump this season from him who has had experience in Turkey, France and Italy. Last season the 29 year old 191cm guard played Eurocup: 9 games: 6.6ppg, 2.9apg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 42 games: 9.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 81.4%. Brandon Thomas may be 30 and may be in his prime now and is playing his third season for the team. His all around play, scoring(3rd best FG% last season in BBL) and leadership are his biggest attributes. After a rookie season in Denmark where he led the league in scoring and averaging 20ppg in Austria in his second season, he has been a consistent and strong Beko BBL player since 2009 where he led Braunschweig into the playoffs twice. Last season he played Eurocup: 10 games: 11.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 85.7%; German League: 38 games: 12.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP-3(64.1%), 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 65.3%. The team also held on to sharp shooter Chad Toppert who when he is hot can cool down the dungeon of Toby the dragon. The club is hoping for more consistency from the New Mexico native this season. After playing three seasons for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB) where he played 106 games, he came to Artland last season and played Eurocup: 9 games: 6.7ppg, 2.8rpg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 50.0%; German League: 42 games: 6.2ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 90.0%.
The club also held on to German national player Bastian Doreth where one always knows what you get with his controlled point guard play and never ending fierce defense. Shave off the beard and dye his hair black and you have a second Konstantin Klein. After playing with Bamberg, Trier and FC Bayern Munich, the 25 year old 182cm guard will be playing his second season under Mccoy and last season played Eurocup 10 games: 3.7ppg, 1.4rpg, 3.3apg; German League: 37 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.9apg. The team added four new players including David Holston as well as Andreas SEiferth who was the clubs biggest and most interesting pick up. Seiferth is a 25 year old 209cm center that is a German national player. He learned the basketball trade in with Alba Berlin and then played three season for TBB Trier where 1993 NCAA champion Henrik Rodl gave him time to develop. He improved his stats each season and last season played 31 games: 11.8ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 65.1%. Ex NBA player Dennis Horner. This is the second tour of duty for the 26 year old 206cm from New Jersey in Quackenbruck after playing three games in 2012. His NBA train after 8 games with the New Jersey Nets may have been derailed and now he is focusing on Europe. Last season he had strong stats in the D-league with the Springfield Armor (D-League) playing 29 games: 15.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 80.8%, in Feb.’14 traded to Bakersfield Jam (D-League) playing 18 games: 12.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 70.9%. Mccoy adds another dimension to the defense with David Mccray. After playing in Ludwigsburg and Bonn, he is looking to make the next step in Artland. You match up Mccray and Doreth against Richie Williams and Konstantin Klein in a defensive battle, you probably won´t find a winner as one will have to let the mascots Tobi the dragon and Dunking Kong battle it out or just toss a coin. Last season with Bonn Mccray played Eurocup: 10 games: 4.9ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.5apg; German League: 39 games: 4.7ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. The club also added German journey man Tim Schwarz who played 22 Beko BBL games in 2010-2011 with Giessen, but mostly has German pro A experience.Last season the German played for BG Karlsruhe (ProA) playing 28 games: 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 87.5%. It is never easy to compare rosters from other seasons, but this should be stronger than last season´s simply because of the personal kept and growing chemistry. The club won´t change much from last season as the club will score many points as usual and the focus will be to defend consistently and have team work functioning. One knows what one will get form a Holston, Thomas and Hill, but it will be time for other players to step up even more than last season. Toppert and Graves are formidable candidates for the teams x-factor. Lawrence Hill talks about the teams strength, playing time and x factor-“We’re versatile inside and out and we all know each other very well.Our job is to be ready to do what we can when we have the chance. It’s not our place to worry about playing time. We all can help the team. Our team has a different x factor for every game. It depends on our scouting and how we plan to attack”, warned Lawrence Hill.
The Frankfurt Skyliners have a 9-9 record since 2005 playing against the Artland Dragons and during 2005-2007 Frankfurt losing all four games including being outscored in the Artland arena 172-129. However, the tide turned for the better from 2007-2009 as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had a 3-1 record. Four years ago, they celebrated a very big emotional win 87-75 winning in overtime as captain Pascal Roller sparked Frankfurt to the win with 26 points. two seasons ago on the last day, Frankfurt lacked spirit and were beaten in every phase of the game losing 90-69. In 2009-2010, the team lost a thriller 77-76 in Artland as Frankfurt staged one of their famous comebacks despite a late Pascal Roller three pointer, it wasn´t enough as they lost. Frankfurt was able to win at home 77-65 as Pascal Roller scored 20 points. Frankfurt won their first show down in 2010-2011 on the road winning 82-56 coming out of half time with a 24-8 run to easily win. Frankfurt was led by AJ Moye with 18 points and six rebounds and fans will remember a crashing dunk by ex NBA player Roger Powell. Frankfurt also won their home encounter 83-72 as Dashaun Wood had a Derrick Rose type of game making 29 points, 9 assists, five rebounds and four steals. The team lost a meaningless cup game in Bamberg against Artland where both teams played for third place and Frankfurt was without Dashaun Wood. Last season, both teams played a defensive classic in Frankfurt as Artland won 49-44. Frankfurt returned to Artland winning 66-60 as Jimmy Mckinney led the scoring with 15 points and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson had 13 points, six rebounds and six blocks. Two seasons ago, the Artland Dragons won their first meeting with the Artland Dragons 89-80 as American Larry Wright who had scored 27 points in the pre season against Wurzburg showed again his shooting touch scoring 21 points. Dion Dowell and Quantez Robertson added 16 points a piece in the offense surge and Bryce Taylor led Quackenbruck with 21 points. In the return game, the Artland Dragons got revenge putting up the defensive blocade winning 62-58 as ex Skyliner Anthony King showed his baby Shaq mood scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 boards. Ex Skyliner Brad Buckmann contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 23 points and 14 rebounds while Zach Peacock chipped in with 19 points. Last season the teams split the season series. The Fraport Skyliners won their home game 89-74 as Andrew Rautins had a hot night connecting for 24 points and six three pointers. Danilo Barthel added 18 points. The Artland Dragons were led by Lawrence Hill with 20 points. In the return game, Artland won 83-77 as the Fraport Skyliners lost one of their many games in crunch time and also had no idea how to run Chad Toppert cold as he had 21 points hitting 7/8 three pointers. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Voigtmann with 18 points and Jarred Dubois contributed 17 points. Not only is it 10 to midnight in Cuxhaven, but also in Frankfurt for the Skyliners. They are sitting in 18th place and the last time the team was in the cellar so deep was back in 2005. The club just needs to win and have to go game by game. The club has been defending well the last 2 times on the road in Bremerhaven and Bayreuth and will need to do that again in Artland. All they need is to get some fire power going on offense. Perhaps Sean Armand can be their Cody Toppert on Saturday?
Trent Meacham is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Champaign, Illinois that is playing his sixth professional season and first in Italy for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A). He started his basketball career in 2004 with Dayton (NCAA). He then finished at Illinois(NCAA) playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 42.2%, 3Pts: 42.1%, FT: 84.5%. In 2009 he came to Europe and started his professional basketball career with WBC Kraftwerk Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 91.7%; Austrian League: 37 games: 15.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT-2(45.0%), FT: 82.4%. In 2010-2011 he made the next step and went to BG Goettingen (Germany-1.Bundesliga) German League: 28 games: 11.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 81.3%; EuroCup: 14 games: 10.7ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-4(4.6apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 88.5%. In 2011-2012 he played for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA) playing 32 games: 9.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 86.5%. He played the last two seasons for JSF Nanterre (France-ProA) winning the league title in 2013 and cup in 2014 and last season played 30 games: 9.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 67.4%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.7ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 31.3%; Eurocup: 8 games: 11.8ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Euroleague game in Munich.
Trent thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your in Munich now preparing for the Euroleague game against FC Bayern Munich. How is it to be back in Germany a place where you played at the start of your professional career.
It’s always nice to be back in Germany. I have great memories from my time here, and there’s a sense of comfort in returning. I still follow the league closely, and it seems to be improving every year!
You have had a steady rise as a professional the last years. If someone had told you back in 2009-2010 when you played at WBC Kraftwerk Welsthat you would be playing Euroleague years later and be playing for a top team like EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A)what would you have said?
When I first arrived in Austria out of college, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had little knowledge of the European game or even which leagues were considered the best. I had just gotten married, and I was just happy to make a little money playing basketball and getting an opportunity to experience a different culture.
You are playing your first season for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A). What has been the biggest adjustment for you coming from the France Pro A now playing in the (Italy-Serie A))
There’s always an adjustment going to a new club and new country. It’s something I was used to as last season was the only time I’d ever returned to the same club. I’m still learning what to expect here in Italy, but both leagues are very competitive. The biggest adjustment for me is learning how to impact the game and best help my team in fewer minutes than I’ve been used to.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A) has a very talented roster and so far you have had only limited playing time. This seems to be a new experience for you? How tough has it been battling your way into the rotation?
This is definitely a new experience for me. Any competitor believes he should be out there and wants to play. My focus is on staying confident and ready and improving daily in practice. It’s a long season.
Milan has many very talented players. Marshon Brooks is a guy that is playing his first time in Europe after going the NBA and D-league route after playing at Providence. When you see him each day in practice, do you get a different perspective of how he is as a player after seeing on TV before that? Is he a guy that will be back in the NBA or do you think like many other players make a career in Europe?
Marshon is easily one of the most gifted scorers I’ve ever played with. And he is capable of doing that in any league in the world. I expect him to be back in the NBA at some point.
You will be playing against top German team FC Bayern Munich as your team is 0-2 and Munich is 1-1. What kind of game can we await and what will be key in getting the win?
This is a big match for both teams! It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a team like Munich. If we can control the tempo and play our style we’ll have a chance to win.
FC Bayern Munich is stacked with guys that you played against in 2010-2011 with BG Goettingen with guys like Bryce Taylor, Heiko Schaffartzik, Robin Benzing, Anton Gavel, Yassin Idbihi or John Byrant. When you look at that list what guy is most in your memories from that one season in the BBL?
It’s tough to single out one guy from that list, but I’ve always had great respect for Anton Gavel. He competes on both ends and just seems like a winner.
As a rookie you tore up the league in Austria with Wels being the second best three point shooter in the league and averaging 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 91.7%, in Eurochallenge play. How important was head coach Raoul Korner now with Braunschweig help you make that step form the NCAA to the European level.
Coach Korner is a great coach and someone I still stay in touch with. He really knows the game, and he helped teach me what it takes to have success in Europe, especially in running a team as a point guard.
You then made the next step and played for BG Goettingen in Germany for head coach John Patrick. Patrick has been known to always finding steals from the NCAA. A year before you came he had reeled in Taylor Rochestie who has gone on to have a great career in europe. In your one season in Goettingen what did you learn to appreciate most about the coaching and personality of John Patrick?
I don’t know if there’s another coach who is able to find the right group of guys and get them to play for each other. He does an incredible job of finding unselfish and hard-working guys. I always expect his teams to over achieve and that’s because of the character of guys he brings in.
After your season in Germany, you moved on to France and played for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA). In that season your teammate Eric Chadfield led the league in scoring. He has been a scorer wherever he has been and in his season in Germany with Frankfurt nailed a buzzer beater against Ulm in the home opener in the 2006-2007 season. I am pretty sure he has never not met a basket that he didn´t like. Where does he rank up with pure scorers that you have had as teammates in Europe?
Eric has been such a good scorer because he can get buckets in multiple ways: 3’s, mid-range, post-up game, and get to the foul line. He was on fire nearly that entire season. I like to think I played a part in it!
You played the last two years with JSF Nanterre winning the league title in 2013 and cup last season. In the 2012-2013 season JSF Nanterre was the big surprise team winning it all. What was the secret to the success of the team? I guess that BG Goettingen connection with Oliver and Meacham helped.
We had great team chemistry, and we all really enjoyed each other. That allowed us to stay together and confident during the ups and downs of the season. Crazy to look back knowing our team goal was to stay in the league that year, and we ended up winning it! We also played our best basketball when it mattered most.
After keeping most of its players from the championship season, the club missed the playoffs, but won the cup. Was winning the cup the consolation for not reaching the playoffs?
Last season was full of ups and downs. We started off great in both France and Euroleague but really struggled mid-season. We ended the year playing great basketball and would’ve been dangerous in the playoffs. The Cup was still a great accomplishment to end the season with. Nanterre is a special place with great people. I’m grateful to be a part of some great moments there!
At Illinois you played together with Chester Frazier who only played two seasons as a professional and now is in the coaching ranks. Usually it’s the big name scorers that are remembered, but Frazier was a unique type of player the guy that did all the little things well especially on the defensive end. How special a teammate was he for you?
Chester is one of the all-time best teammates I’ve ever laced them up with. He just loved to compete. I’ve seen him dominate games without scoring. He loved to see other guys have success which is rare. He’ll be a big time head coach some day…I’m also going to throw my guy John Little in this category with Chester – never seen guys enjoy picking up the basketball 94 feet like them! Their energy and leadership made everyone better.
What do you remember from your practice duels with Kyle Bailey? Who won a one on one in practice?
Unfortunately Kyle was hurt for a large part of the season we were together, but he was another great teammate. And another guy who’ll be a great coach too. I don’t think we ever played one-on-one, but we competed every day. On another note, Kyle’s one the most brilliant guys I’ve ever known.
You are living in Milan which has that amazing cathedral and that intense Inter-AC soccer rivalry. What is your favorite spot to hang out in town?
Anywhere with my wife! The Duomo’s impressive, but we enjoy exploring other parts of the city too. The people are friendly and food is great!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
“Fed Up” – it’s a documentary on what’s wrong with our diets (especially Americans). You’ll want to change how you eat after watching!
Thanks Trent for the chat.
Guy Aud is a 25 year old 188cm guard that has the German and Israel citizenship and last season played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games: 7.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 32.9%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 80.0%. He is a hard worker, very determined in defense, has good court vision and able to move the ball with his passing skills, moreover likes to attack the basket, has a good jump shoot from mid distance and solid 3p shot. He started his professional basketball career in 1998 for the Mevaseret Zion youth team until 2003. He then played for the Hapoel Jerusalem youth team until 2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Hapoel Hevel Eylot (Israel-Artzit): 22 games: 19.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 5.0apg. In 2009-2010, he played for : Maccabi Hod Hasharon (National League, starting five): 20 games: 3.4ppg, 1.3rpg. In 2010-2011 he played for Hapoel Afula (Israel-National League, starting five): 27 games: 4.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. In 2011-2012, he played for the Licher Basket Baeren (Germany-ProB, starting five): 24 games: 10.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 84.1%. In 2012-2013 he played for Finke Baskets Paderborn (Germany-ProA, starting five): 28 games: 9.6ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-4(5.5apg), FGP: 34.3%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 82.4%He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Guy thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life?
At the moment I’m in Germany staying with my girlfriend and keep working hard to stay in shape and get my game better.
You played the last three seasons in Germany for Lich, Paderborn and Chemnitz and now you are without a job. How disappointed are you about watching and not playing?
Of course it’s hard to watch all my friends playing and still waiting for a job, but I believe everything happens for a good reason so I’m trying to stay positive and work hard.
You had a very strong season with Paderborn two years ago fourth in assists with 5,5 and last season you were solid with BV Chemnitz. Do you feel that the players market gets more and more difficult each season?
I think there are always more players who are willing to play for less money to get the chance. I just didnt find this summer the right place for me and I didnt want to go to a team which I dont feel 100% sure that it’s the right place for me.
Did you have any offers last season? Did you ever think about playing in another country or even going back to Israel?
Yes I had a few offers. I just looked for something really specific this summer, and I had a first league team that hold me positive the whole summer about playing for them. I believed it could be the right place for me, but in the end it didnt work out, and I found myself too late without a contract, and didn’t want to play in lower leagues than ProA. Yes I’m ready to play wherever if it’s a good level.
How thankful are you that you can practice with German Pro A team Giessen. How beneficial has this experience been?
It’s great for me that I have the chance to practice with Giessen and with Lich, too. After a long summer that I practiced by myself and with a personal trainer, it’s good to have also a team that I can run with, it helps a lot. So thanks to Lich and Giessen!
How challenging is it going head to head against Cameron Wells. How has his game helped your game?
Cameron is a great PG, and Giessen have a lot of really good guards so the level in practice is really high and it helps us all, I guess. I’m always trying to learn from other players, we can always learn from other people and it´s too bad, if we dont use the chance.game?
If Giessen or Lich got an injury at the guard position, do you think that both teams would give you an opportunity?
I hope no one will get injured. They are all my friends and I hope the best for them.
If you could describe in a few sentences as to why you could help any team now how would you do it?
I think I’m a really creative PG, who really helps his teammates to play better. I’m a team player who enjoys to create and set up players to their strength. I always play hard and I´m willing to win. I think I already showed that I can compete in a high level with PRO A games with 27 points and 12 assist or 29 points and 9 assist and more. I believe I have special qualities on and off the court which can help any team.
BV Chemnitz have had a slow start and recently fired head coach Felix Schreier. How surprised have you been with their play? It seems like they are missing one import player.
I was surprised with the team they built. They have a few good players but it feels like they didnt complete their roster. But of course I wish them all the best I got a good connection with the people there.
After two seasons in the German Pro A would you be willing to take a step back and go back into the German Pro B just to have a job?
I’m still willing to play in the highest level I can, if it’s Pro A, BBL, first league Israel, or in another good league. But I will respect and be thankful of any offer I will get at this time of the season.
How does a normal workout day look like for Guy Aud in 2014 on and off the court?
The last weeks were really good. I had everyday workout with Giessen and with Lich, so I had about 4 hours a day on the court plus 2 times a week lifting weight, and one time TRX training.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Sounds like a cliche but I really watched Coach Carter .
Thanks Guy for the chat.
Mateusz Ponitka(Telenet Oostende ) Mike Taylor Gave Me A Lot Of Trust And Confidence And When I Got It I Gave It Back
Mateusz Ponitka is a 21 year old 197cm swing man that is playing his second season with Telenet BC Oostende (Belgium-Scooore League). He started his basketball career in 2008 with Kasprowiczanka Ostrow Wlk. He then played three seasons for Tempcold AZS Politechnika Warszawa (1Liga. IN 2012-2013, he made the jump to Asseco Prokom Gdynia (PLK): 34 games: 8.7ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 27.2%, FT: 70.7%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 61.0%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 38.1%. Last season he played for Telenet Oostende (Belgium-Ethias League, starting five): Eurocup: 15 games: 8.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 62.5%; Ethias League: 43 games: 9.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.2apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 65.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the eurocup game in Artland.
Welcome back to Germany. I saw you play in August with the Polish national team against Germany. Now your back playing with Ostende against the Artland Dragons in Eurocup play. How do you like the country Germany in general. After a strong season in Poland with Euroleague team Asseco you decided to play in Belgium now in your second season. Did you not have any offers from German teams?
I had some interest from some teams in Germany, but it is not something I want to discuss. I like Germany a lot. I live in Belgium now, but it is similar to Germany. The people are very friendly in Germany and the teams have a good organization. The league is very competitive a great place to play in.
How tough is it going from a Euroleague team and going back a step? How do you defend your decision. You played Euroleague, but Poland isn´t the highest level in Europe.
There were many reasons why I came to play for Oostende. The most important reason was the coach. After my first season in Oostende, I saw that I made steps here. I also came here because I heard very good things about the organization. Last season we almost made it to Euroleague so it wasn´t a waste of time at all. I am very happy to be playing for Oostende.
Telenet BC Oostende (Belgium-Score League) have started the season at 4-1. Are you happy with start?
We still haven´t found 100% to our game as it is the start of the season and we are making mistakes. We are still trying to find the same page. Our coach is doing a good job trying to make one piece. We are a young team and learning each day.
Telenet BC Oostende (Belgium-Score League started 0-2 in Eurocup play and need a win in Artland who are 1-1. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to getting your first win in Eurocup play?
I think that it will be a very physical game. We played them last year so we know their game. They have the advantage at home, but I think that both teams have a big chance to win.
You are playing your second season in Belgium after playing in your home country Poland before that. What are the main differences between leagues?
That is difficult to compare now because I haven´t played in Poland since the 2012-2103 season. Both leagues are ok, but there are more teams in Belgium playing Eurocup and Eurochallenge. The league in Belgium is more competitive and there are more teams that play at the same level. In Poland we have a couple of great teams and then also a couple of lower level teams. The young players in the Polish national team have done good work with their Polish club teams developing their game.
Last season you played with American Ryan Thompson that has made the next step and is playing for top German team Bamberg. He recently poured in 35 points in a game. Was he a type of role model for you last season as you will also want to make the next step sometime?
We played against each other each day in practice. We had nice positive basketball fights. He is definitely a role model for me. He took the next step and moved to Bamberg. He is a very good player. He has a big future in Europe and maybe even the NBA. I hope he reaches the NBA.
How tough was the 2012-2013 season where Asseco didn’t win their 10th league title in a row.
That season was a very strange situation with Asseco. The Euroleague experience was the greatest I have had, but during the season the team fell apart due to money issues. Day by day conditions got worse as players left. At the end we had 9 Polish players and one American. Sometimes we were playing with a 7 man rotation. We had no chance to fight for the title.
Currently in Belgium you are averaging 8.0ppg in 17 minutes per game. How would you define your role and what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I would say my defense. I compare what I did last season and I want to be more active on defense this season. It was a long summer for me and I am still finding my rhythm. I am just trying to help the team as much as possible. I obviously can shoot the ball, but on other days nothing may work. I focus on defense because it has to be consistent. That is most important as stats don´t show it.
Last summer you were a key player for the Polish national team. Head coach Mike Taylor lauded you of your play. How has Taylor taught you to understand the game of basketball better?
That was a great experience and I am looking forward to Eurobasket 2015. We didn´t have Marcin Gortat or Maciej Lampe and we did a great job advancing. Mike Taylor did a good job bring his basketball way and I liked be able to play with him who had D-league experience. He gave me a lot of trust and confidence and when I got it, I gave it back. I wasn´t oldest on the team, but young and he played me. I am thankful for that.
How proud are you of national team teammate Adam Waczynski for making the jump to Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB (Spain-Liga Endesa) He is 4 years older than you. Is this a direction that you would like to take?
Adam made a great choice. I am happy for him and his progression in life and basketball. He already has shown that Polish players are capable of playing there. It is great for Polish basketball that players are in Spain. For me well you never know. Life is unpredictable. It doesn´t matter if its Spain or Russia, each player is chasing the dream. Where my way will go only time will tell.
You are one of the biggest talents in Poland. How do you see the future of Polish basketball. Where are the future Marcin Gortats and Maciej Lampe´s?
The future of Polish basketball stands with the youth. Gortat and Lampe also were kids once and went their way. We need to follow in their steps, but just give all we have in each practice, game and in the summers and just prepare and step up and help build Polish basketball.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or American JP Prince?
We don´t play one on one, but moreover five on five. If we were to play one on one, I would try to find his weakness and take advantage of it.
How do you enjoy a relaxing off day in Ostende?
I usually spend time with my girlfriend. One can go to the beach, but I don´t recommend it when its cold. There are some things of entertainment like cinema and restaurants, but at the end of my off day it is back to work in the gym
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Grand Budapest Hotel. It is a nice comedy. I don´t watch movies as much, but more TV shows.
Thanks Mateusz for the chat.
Rasko Katic (CAI Zaragoza )I Still Want To Come Back To Tuebingen To Finish My Career And I Will Keep My Word
Rasko Katic is a 33 year old 208cm center that is playing his first season for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-Liga Endesa). He started his basketball career in 2002 for Zastava Kragujevac (1B). He came to Germany in 2005 where he played four seasons for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and was a dominat big man in the BBL. He twice was second top rebounder in the league. He then played a season for KK Hemofarm Stada Vrsac (A League) and four seasons for Crvena Zvezda Telekom Beograd (KLS). He recently played at the World Cup in Spain -14 (Silver): 6 games: 2.7ppg, 1.0rpg. He spoke to German Hoops before the eurocup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.
Rasko thanks to talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. What have you missed most from Germany since leaving in 2009?
I miss almost everything in Germany. Tuebingen was like a second home to me. I have nothing negative to say about my four years in Tuebingen. I really miss how well everything was organized in Germany. You always knew where to go and what to do in Germany.
You last played in Bonn in the 2008-2009 season where the Telekom dome was opened. What memory do you have from playing with Tuebingen in Bonn in that season?
I played in the new gym, but don´t really have memories of that. I remember the old small gym and all that pink which seemed to be everywhere. They had very good teams, but not top or bottom teams. My career took off in Germany and this is where I became a good player.
You played four seasons in Germany where you belonged to the dominant big men in the BBL. How important was your experience in Germany for the further development of your game?
Tuebingen was almost essential. What good happened in my basketball career was because of my move to Germany. I was at a low point in my young career at age 25. I had had no team for 6-7 months and Tuebingen just took me. The first half of my first season in Tuebingen wasn´t good, but I then had 3.5 good years with Tuebingen. Tuebingen was the most important time in my career.
After your fourth season in Tuebingen you returned back home. Were you home sick?
No I wasn´t home sick. I still want to come back to Tuebingen to finish my career. I will keep my word.
After such great stats, didn´t you get better offers from top teams in Germany? Why did you go back home?
I had some offers from Germany including form Alba Berlin 2.5 years ago. After Tuebingen, I decided to return to my country because at that time I simply thought it was better for my career.
You won the cup 4 times in the last four years twice with BC Partizan MT:S Beograd. How big of a achievement was that for you?
This was a good experience as it isn´t easy, but hard to do that. But I also won other titles in Serbia. I had very much success in Serbia and I was lucky to always play for teams that liked to fight for titles. There is a big difference too teams that don´t fight.
Two years ago you played with Igor Rakocevic who seemed not to get slow with age? Like him you also seemed not to age on the basketball court. Where you able to learn from his non aging ability on the court?
Igor is three years older than I am and at that time I was 30-31 when we were teammates and he was 34. I actually had learned how to act at an older age in terms of taking care of my body. Knowing when to rest and how to protect yourself of small injuries is essential. Igor is a professional and just understood how to take care of his body. He cared very much about his body and it showed on the court.
You are playing in the best league in Europe with almost 34 years for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-Liga). You have a new challenge and are an important role player on the team. What has been the most difficult thing getting adjusted to the Spanish top league?
It is a different type of basketball in Spain as it is quicker. But after having played for so many years like I have there really isn´t anything complicated about basketball. The game is quite basic and the only thing that you must do is adjust to a new team. There is more running, shooting and setting quick screens in Spain. I only need about 1-2 weeks to get adjusted to a new team and system.
The top scorer is fellow Serb Stevan Jelovac. How important has he been for you in practice to keep pushing you as he is 208cm like you.
He plays the position four and I have so much experience and don´t need anybody to push me. It is good though when you have a country man on the team that speaks your language. I am an older guy and just know how to work on the court.
CAI Zaragoza (Spain-Liga) has started 1-1 and face 0-2 Bonn. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to winning?
Bonn will react to their 0-2 record in Eurocup play. They lost a very close game in Strassburg and will be ready for us. They play good basketball and it will be a hard game.
Congrats on winning a silver medal at the 2014 World championships in Spain. What will you never forget from the 129-92 loss to the United States when you were on the court? You played 8 minutes scoring two points.
That was a great experience for me. I was really amazed that I got the chance to play against the best in the world and that we made the final with the whole world watching. We had a great team and coach that kept us together. He gave us the essentials that every team needs. He believed in us that we could go far.
How proud were you being the third center behind current NBA player Miro Raduljica and ex NBA played Nenad Kristic and the 2014 World Championships? Had someone told you years ago that you would be going to a world championships at age 33 and be back up to two NBA players what would you have thought?
I am a more wise guy now, but to be honest when you are young, you are taught that nothing is impossible. You never think of the meaning until you achieve something. I never would have thought back then that I could reach the level where I am now. I always practiced hard and if you do that good things will come. If you give 100% then all will be good at the end of the day.
In how many years do you see BogdanBogdanovic playing in the NBA and can he be a dominating player?
Bogdan has come a long way. I know him since many years, we were roommates and he was the 12th man then. I am sure that he will reach the NBA in 1-2 years, but if he is dominant depends on him. The NBA is very different to the European style. You need a lot more than talent, but many small things. He has worked very hard to get to where he is and am sure he will continue to do so.
You played two seasons with current Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic. Could you imagine being his assistant coach some day?
I never talk about the future, because I still think that I can play a few more years. I am occupied with playing now and will continue to work hard until my body says its time to stop. Igor and I are great friends and talk every 3-4 days.
You also played three seasons with AJ Moye. He retired in 2011 on account of a stroke. What is your fondest memory with him?
I remember him as a very positive influence on the team. He was a fighter that always worked hard. He also was very loud
Who smiled more in Tuebingen in a day you or Kenny Wiliams?
Fear the beard. I am not sure. I don´t know how I look to other people, but they often say I show no expression on the court. Maybe Kenny would beat me.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Rasko for the chat.
Brandon Bowman(medi bayreuth) Trevon Hughes May Be Misunderstood But Really Does Everything Necessary To Help medi bayreuth Win
Brandon Bowman is a 30 year old forward that was born in Beverly Hills, California and is playing his ninth professional season, third in Germany and first with medi Bayreuth. He played at Georgetown(NCAA) from 2002-2006 playing a total of 125 games reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006 and played with future NBA players like Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert. In 2006 he turned professional and played in the D-League and in countries like Italy, Serbia, Israel, Bulgaria, Korea and New Zealand. He reached the 2009 beko BBL final with the Telekom Baskets Bonn and wa steh New Zealand NBL Champion with the Pacific Jewellers Saints (New Zealand-NBL) last summer where he played 10 games: 18.5ppg, 7.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 67-58 win against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brandon congrats on the 67-58 win against the Fraport Skyliners. After losing three of the first four games, medi Bayreuth has a 2 game winning streak. Is medi Bayreuth finally finding its rhythm?
Yes I think that we are finding our rhythm. If we want to reach the playoffs, we have to start winning and have the last two games. We weren´t happy losing in Braunschwieg, but we feel that we have good chances in the next games as those teams are evenly balanced and we have a higher chance to win. The next games are must wins and and we have to capitalize on it and keep our current movement going.
After a 22-0 first quarter against Bremerhaven which will forever be remembered in Bayreuth and Bremerhaven, did you for once think about that first quarter last wednesday after Frankfurt had scored 15 points? Was that 22 -0 first quarter a one time thing in professional basketball?
Well to be honest I think that an Alba Berlin could do that against a low level BBL or Pro A team, but being able to do this was very special especially coming off that tough loss in Braunschweig. We are a defensive team and we wanted to execute defensively from the start against Bremerhaven on the defensive end and did. We are one of the top defensive teams in the BBL and know that we can play defense, but we just have to score better. In that first quarter our defense translated into offense. That first quarter was very memorable and I don´t know if that will happen again sometime.
The game was really pretty even for three quarters as defense shined while the offense couldn´t get in rhythm and no team could break away. What was annoying most about the Frankfurt game in the first 30 minutes?
Fouls took me out of the game early and I wasn´t able to help the way I wanted to. I think that one of the reasons why we couldn´t break away was because Frankfurt rebounded very well as they have very good bigs.
In the fourth quarter medi bayreuth decided the game with very strong play from Trevon Hughes who scored and did superb playmaking. What else was key for getting the win?
We won the game simply by hitting big shots at the end and Trevon Hughes hit some very impressive shots and just getting the needed defensive stops. Our defense got the job done. We valued the ball more at the end and got more shot attempts as well. Also cutting down on turnovers was key. I think that it can always be another guy each game that can hit those shots. A Burrell, Hughes or me or even other guys can come up big.
Trevon Hughes was on fire with 29 points. You have played with many great point guards in your career but where would you rate him on talent with every other teammate you have had?
Talent wise, I rate Trevon Hughes in the top three best point guards that I have played with. I don´t know where I would rate him now, but maybe I can tell you after this season. Hughes is one of those guys that can play both guard positions and plays both sides of the ball. I have played with very good point guards in my career and the other two would have to be Richie Williams and EJ Rowland. All these guards play both sides of the ball. Williams is the quickest, Rowland the biggest and strongest and Hughes and he can just about score form anywhere on the court and is an exceptional ball handler.If I had to rate these three guards now, I would rate them 1ABC.
Medi Bayreuth have let up 57 points average in the last two games. What has been the secret behind the success of the team on the defensive end?
When head coach Michael Koch put us together, he was looking for very athletic players and just guys that can and want to play defense. I feel that every player can play defense on this team and maybe not each guy is individually the best at defending, but as a team we function very well. What also helps is that we have players that can play multiple positions.
The Fraport Skyliners are in 18th place. What is wrong with this team? They are a skilled team, but is their body language on the same page?
The situation with Frankfurt makes me think about the situation I was in last season with SC Rasta Vechta. Both teams have a good coach and players, but just couldn´t get the wins. I feel with Frankfurt it is more mental than anything else. Recently they had a strong team win at home against Bonn and showed that they can beat a good team. We had the same problem as Frankfurt with medi bayreuth being 1-3. We understood it was time to turn it around and did. It is still early with Frankfurt and they can turn it around, but they have to do it now.
Your friend and ex teammate from SC Rasta Vechta and California native Richie Williams came to Frankfurt with a lot of expectations and he is still trying to find his rhythm. Coming into this new situation in Frankfurt hasn´t been easy for him
I talk a lot with Richie. He came to Frankfurt and they already had a point guard with German Konstantin Klein. It wasn´t easy for Richie being a player in the top 10 in scoring last season to come to Frankfurt and have a lesser role than in Vechta. He can play the position two, but isn´t really the tallest either. I think that Frankfurt needs to find something where all the guards can complement each other, flourish and just find a rhythm together. It is still early and I think that they can also turn it around here.
It seems ,like veteran American Ronald Burrell is still trying to find his rhythm and Trevon Hughes seems to be more a scoring point guard, but medi bayreuth is winning anyway. Are these two players a bit mis-understood at the moment with fans in Bayreuth and do you become vocal with them giving advice?
I am a guy that leads by example. I have a leadership role on the team and coach and I have spoken man to man often about the team. Both guys are experienced guys and Hughes is my roommate on the road. Both guys are still trying to figure things out and everything will come with time. Burrell is older than I am and with age one tends to slow down which is natural. But one has to remember that Burrell and I split minutes. There is only so much one can do in a certain amount of minutes on the floor. I feel the fans don´t understand what Hughes can do and he is misunderstood. He does so much on floor and things that many point guards can´t do. Hughes really does everything necessary to help medi bayreuth win. In the last game against Frankfurt, we weren´t scoring as a team, so Hughes picked it up. It won´t always be him. On another night it could be someone else. It always has to do with the flow of the game and we just have to see how it goes.
The next game is against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. It will be the first time that you and Mike Koch will play against Bonn together. With what feelings are you going into this game?
It will be emotional going back to Bonn. Coach Koch was there many years compared to me. That one season in Bonn was one of the best memories in my professional basketball career. But at the end of the day, both teams are trying to win and we both have the same record. I will go out and try to kill them and they will try the same. It will just be another game and it will be good to see the fans again. I hope the Bonn fans still appreciate what Koch and I did that season in 2008-2009. Times are different now as I am trying to make memories in Bayreuth
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.
Ahmad Smith(SC Rasta Vechta) I Learned With SC Rasta Vechta That Taking A Job For More Money Sometimes Isn’t Always The Right Answer
Ahmad Smith is a 30 year old 194cm guard from Virginia that recently played for SC Rasta Vechta, but left the team. Last season he played for Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProA) playing 35 games: 12.1ppg, 5.8rpg, Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 66.7% In the 2012-2013 season he started the season BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA)12 games: 7.0ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2FGP: 48.9%, 3FGP: 14.3%, FT: 72.2%, in Jan.’13 moved to Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProA, starting five): 19 games: 9.6ppg, Reb-4(8.5rpg), Assists-2(6.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 77.6% He played at St.Bonaventure(NCAA) from 2002-2006 and in his senior year played 28 games: ScoreA10-8(14.2ppg), RebA10-10(6.2rpg), AssistsA10-9(3.5apg), FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 59.8%. In 2006-2007, he played for Mardyke UCC Demons Cork (Ireland-SuperLeague): 9 games: 18.9ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 60.8%. In 2007-2008, he played for SVD 49 Dortmund (Regionalliga): 6 games: 30.2ppg. In 2008-2009, he played for : BSV Wulfen (Germany-Regionalliga) 23.5ppg, 10.1rpg, 6.0apg, 3PT: 35.2%. In 2009-2010, he played for Hertener Loewen (Germany-ProB)29 games: 18.2ppg, Reb-2(8.7rpg), Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 69.5%. In 2010-2011, he played for s Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-ProA): left before the season started, then moved to SVD 49 Dortmund (Germany-Regionalliga): 6 games: 12.8ppg, waived in Nov.’10, in Jan.’11 signed at Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProB, starting five): 15 games: 8.3ppg, 6.8rpg, Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 69.1%. Last season for the Kichheim Knights he played 35 games: 9.9ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 62.0% He spoke to German Hoops after leaving SC Rasta Vechta.
Ahmad thanks for talking to German HoopsYour season with Rasta Vechta came to a drastic end with them releasing you. Why wasn´t SC Rasta Vechta not that right fit for you?
There was a mutual agreement on me leaving first of all not like the press release. With that being said my playing style and the coaching philosophy just didn’t fit.
The club has very big aspirations to move back to the Beko BBL. Your stats weren´t great, but not bad either. Do you feel that they lost patience in your game?
No I don’t think they lost patience with me I wasn’t comfortable there so it was best for both sides to go in a different direction.
Did you have any talks with head coach Stephen Arigbabu? You are a veteran and he is a rookie coach. Did the outlook on basketball clash between you or possibly was it a conflict of ego´s?
I had many talks with him and what we talked about in our meetings never converted to the games. I think he didn’t watch much film on me before he signed me just looked at stats from previous seasons. My playing style didn’t fit with his coaching.
Your scoring was down twice and you put up the goose egg twice not scoring. You have been known to have been able to fill up the stat sheet wherever you have played in Germany. Do you think that your playing style just didn´t fit the style of SC Rasta Vechta?
Yeah I’ve never felt that uncomfortable on the basketball court before in my career. My playing style definitely didn’t fit there.
You have played with many teams in Germany. Did you personally feel comfortable on the court with your teammates? Sometimes a team isn´t put together correctly and the whole team chemistry can be put into disarray.
I didn’t have any problems with my teammates. I just feel that our playing styles didn’t fit together. Hopefully they can get a point guard in to run the system the coach wants because they have a solid roster there.
In your last game SC Rasta Vechta were massacred by the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg 101-67. In that game you had stats of 0 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists in 23 minutes which is very hard to believe. Did you already know something was up or how was it possible for a player of your caliber to be shut down like that?
That game was a blur I actually played 13 mins which I thought came out of nowhere. I just didn’t feel comfortable playing for that coach he didn’t allow me to be myself on the court.
What lesson did you learn from your short stay with SC Rasta Vechta? Did both sides make mistakes in this working agreement?
I learned with SC Rasta Vechta that taking a job for more money sometimes isn’t always the right answer. But my career isn’t over so I will capitalize on the next situation I’ll be ready!
Some may say you could be a difficult character because you have played for many teams in one season. How can you defend yourself and why can Ahmad Smith help any team now?
I think thats it’s a great advantage that I have played with different teams it’s taught me how to adjust to different coaches and teammates. I have left some difficult situations in Gotha and turned around things in Nurnberg making the playoffs. I have won and moved teams up at every level in Germany so if thats being a difficult person I’m fine with that. I play hard every game and with passion and that rubs some people the wrong way I guess.
Where do you see SC Rasta Vechta landing this season? Can they move back up to the Beko BBL or is the German Pro A too strong?
They have a solid roster and will compete to move up.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Ahmad for the chat.