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Will Reinke(Gotha) I Am Excited To Finally Get To Learn From A True Big Man Chris Ensminger

September 19, 2014

Will Reinke is a 23 year old 208cm center from Lawton, Oklahoma that signed with German Pro A team  BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA) for the 2014-2015 season. Last season he played for  CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala): 6 games: 6.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 48.4%, FT: 83.3%. He started his basketball career in 2009 for  Stephen F. Austin (NCAA): 29 games: 4.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.0bpg. He then transferred to Oklah.Christian (NCAA2) playing his last three years there and as a senior played 26 games: 19.0ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 74.3%. He spoke to Gewrman Hoops about basketball before he came to Germany recently

 

Will thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?

I’m living just north of Oklahoma City and have been training as well as coaching for a high school team. I enjoy working with the kids and I understand the game even better now that I have done some coaching.

You will be starting your second professional season in Germany with Pro A team Gotha. What do you know about Germany the country and basketball? Did you ask your ex teammate Giordan Watson about Germany?

My heritage is German so I have learned some things about Germany’s history from my grandparents. Giordan Watson told me that Germany is a very professional country that is more like America than most European countries.

Instead of looking down on coaches, you will look a bit up to head coach Chris Ensminger who is one cm taller than you. Have you ever had a coach in your career that was taller than you?

I have never had a taller coach then me and I am excited to finally get to learn from a true big man Chris Ensminger. He contacted me several times and his interest in me and overall philosophy is what sold me on coming to Gotha.

Last season, you played shortly with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala): 6 games: 6.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 48.4%, FT: 83.3%. Why was this such a short stay as a rookie? Was Romania like culture shock for you?

Romania was a culture shock and the coach and I did not see eye to eye on many things which was tough for me to handle as a rookie. But I did learn a lot from my teammates about defensive rotations and playing there definitely made me tougher physically.

You seem to be a center that can do it all. A guy that can score, rebound, pass and play defense. With all that ability, what is a strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?

A strength in my game that gets overlooked is my desire to win. I take pride in winning and I do whatever the team needs me to do in order to get a victory.

You played three seasons at Oklahoma Christian for head coach Dan Hays. What was the most important thing that he gave you on your way to becoming a professional basketball player that has you ready to always flourish on the court?

Coach Hays was a huge factor in me improving my game in college and he helped my attitude towards the game improve as well as totally developing my shot from mid-range and outside.

You played your first season with Stephen F. Austin (NCAA). Then moved to Oklahoma Christian playing twos seasons of NAIA and your senior year in the NCAA2. Have you been a guy that has always had to prove critics wrong? You proved in the nCAA 2 that you can dominate in that league. What really has helped you in the past few years believe in yourself that you have what it takes to play at the professional level?

People doubting me is what motivates me to work even harder, my success in my last 2 years of college really helped me believe that I can play with the best players.

When I give you this stat line from the 2011-2012 season with Oklahoma Christian with 27 points,16 boards, six blocks and five assists in an 87-63 victory over Mid-America Christian what comes to mind? Ok I will help you, you had a coast to coast killer dunk. Did you feel like a 208cm guard on that play? Did you know when you got the rebound that you would finish like that?

I knew when I got the rebound I wanted to go all the way! I don’t get to dribble too much being so tall so I had to take advantage of my opportunity haha

You come from Lawton, Oklahoma. The two most known players from Lawton are ex three time NBA champion Stacey King and ex NBA allstar Michael ray Richardson. But there is also Josh Young who like you had to fight his way from lower divisions to the top league in Germany. Have you met Josh in Lawton and taken advice form him?

I know Josh Young plays in Germany but I have not had the chance to talk with him.

How does a normal summer work out day look like for Will Reinke in the summer on and off the court?

A normal summer day is waking up and running and shooting. Then I go coach basketball followed by weight training and playing basketball games in the afternoon

Lawton is in the tornado alley. What run ins have you had with tornados and what experience will always remember?

I saw the tornado last summer that hit Moore, Oklahoma which destroyed much of the city. I will remember seeing it develop and afterwards helping the community recover.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

I saw Anchorman 2 a couple days ago! I’m a Will Ferrell fan.

Thanks Will for the chat.

 

Alejo Rodriguez(Horsholm 79ers Denmark) I Have No Doubt Sean Armand Will Be Able To Overcome The Pressure And Become An Impact Player For Frankfurt

September 18, 2014

Alejo Rodriguez is a 26 year old 203cm forward from the Bronx, New York that will play for Horsholm 79ers (Denmark-Ligaen) this season. He played at Iona(NCAA) from 2006-2011 playing a total of 119 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 36 games: 6.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.0apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 69.9%, FT: 53.8%. He started his professional basketball career in 2011 with the  Springfield Armor (D-League): 7 games: 0.7ppg, 2.6rpg, left in Jan.’12, then joined Oviedo Club Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Silver): 5 games: 3.2ppg, 5.6rpg. In the 2012-2013 season he moved to the Dragons Rhoendorf (Germany-ProB, starting five): 18 games: 12.0ppg, Reb-3(11.0rpg), 2.1apg, 1.1spg, 1.4bpg, FGP-2(72.1%), FT: 38.5%. Last season he played for the Canton Charge (D-League) and Springfield Armor (D-League): 7 games: 2.6ppg, 7.6rpg. Recently he played for Huracanes del Atlantico (Dominican Rep.-LNB): 15 games: 10.5ppg, Reb-5(8.4rpg), 1.7spg, Blocks-3(1.6bpg). He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career and new Fraport Skyliner Sean Armand who was his teammate at Iona.

 

Alejo thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Anytime Miles, I’m currently in Denmark. My summer was great, spent part of it in Dominican Republic playing in the LNB with Puerto Plata Huracanes, where I was named Rookie of the Year. The rest of the summer I spent working out and spending as much time as possible with my family and friends.

It took you a while to get signed, but you did by Horsholm 79ers (Denmark-Ligaen). How was the whole experience this summer for you? Did you have less offers than usual or just offers that didn´t suit you?

I came off a great season playing in Dominican Republic so I wasn’t too worried. I actually turned down a couple offers waiting for the right one to come along that would benefit me as a player and my experience would benefit the team I ended up signing with. I know I can play and things would work out, just had to stay ready. Horsholm 79ers just happened to be the right fit for me this season. The guys on the team are really cool and the coaches have been great too. The people around the team are so helpful with making sure I’m comfortable and well adjusted. Couldn’t have asked for a better situation.

With what kind of expectations are you going to Denmark with? What kind of role are you predicting to have?

I’m coming in with high expectations. I’ve worked extremely hard this off season and I know it will pay off throughout the upcoming season. I want to win and with the pieces we have we should be a contender. As far as myself personally, my role is to be a dominant inside presence on the court both defensively and offensively; own the boards and do whatever else I can do to help us win games.

After playing in Europe in Spain and Germany, you returned back to the States last season and played for the Springfield Armor (D-League) playing 7 games. What kind of experience was this whole D-league for you? Had you been hoping for more in general to get out of the D-League?

The D-League was a great experience, but a challenging one as well. I joined the team late in the season so that was a bit of a struggle learning everything on the fly, but I’m grateful for the opportunity and for the great coaches that helped me out a lot in a short span of time. Being older this time around, I’ve taken all the experiences from each team I’ve played with and have applied it to my game. In doing so, I’ve definitely seen the growth in my game over the years.

Two seasons ago you played for the Dragons Rhoendorf (Germany-ProB) playing 18 games and averaging 12.0ppg, Reb-3(11.0rpg), 2.1apg, 1.1spg, 1.4bpg, FGP-2(72.1%). Would you like to play in Germany again in the future?

I would love to play in Germany again. I had an amazing experience with the Dragons. They have some of the most amazing fans and people surrounding the club that I’ve been associated with during my career. I’m very much in touch with a lot of them still. That was a great group of guys and I was lucky enough to be a part of the team. I wish the Dragons a very successful season.

You definitely would have deserved a shot at the Pro A level. I remember watching you play with Rhondorf in Frankfurt. You fouled out in the third quarter in Frankfurt and Frankfurt went on to win the game. What is always the most difficult thing for you when playing in foul trouble? Do you think more when your defending your man or going hard to get a rebound?

Well, thank you, things happen for a reason, right? At this point I know I can play first league and be effective. But I still remember that game, so mad we lost; I hate losing. The most difficult part of playing with foul trouble is that you can’t be too aggressive or take too many chances on either side of the ball, which hurts your team. It’s definitely hard sitting out a good portion of the game waiting to go back in during crucial moments. It sucks not being able to help your team out and give your all like they are. Defensively it’s all about reads for me, knowing my opponent and their tendencies. I do my homework before the game even starts, but I guess I think more when defending my man because rebounding comes naturally to me. It’s what allowed me to make my freshman high school team at Mount St Michael’s Academy, so I’ve always been looked at as a good rebounder.

You are a very hard working big man that knows how to get rebounds. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away?

I pride myself in working hard. Everyday won’t be your day, especially on the court, but one thing you can always do is work hard so that’s what I aim to do every time I step foot on that hardwood. I don’t want anyone to say, someone else worked harder than me or out-hustled me. A lot of things I do, don’t always end up on the stat sheet. I make winning plays and I’m a leader. I’m a total team player willing to do anything for my team to win. If that means sacrificing my scoring, minutes, or being a mentor to younger players; whatever the case may be, I’ll do it for the greater good of the team.

When you were a senior, new Fraport Skyliner Sean Armand was a freshman at Iona. What was your first impression of him when you saw him on the court?

It seems like ages ago, back then Sean had cornrows, but my first impression of Sean was this boy can SHOOT! As he came into his own, you realized he just didn’t want to be good player; he wanted to be a great player.

Armand improved his scoring average each season at Iona and shot over 40% from downtown all four years. After your last season did you know that Armand had the game to get to where he has gotten?

I knew he had the work ethic to get there. It felt good watching someone you know grow like that and display their skill set day in and day out. He really did accomplish so much and I’m proud of him.

What was the most amazing thing that you remember him doing in a game or practice with the basketball?

I think he hit like seven 3’s or something in a game; he did that a couple times if I remember correctly. I could count on an assist or two from him a night! He could really shoot back then and is a better shooter now.

In Frankfurt, Armand is replacing ex NBA player Andrew Rautins and will be needed to score on a consistent level. Do you see him overcoming the pressure and making an impact right away as a rookie?

I have no doubt he will be able to overcome the pressure and become an impact player for Frankfurt. Sean is driven and he will do great things this season. A great sign for the Skyliners. It can be hard getting used to the way the game is played here in Europe, because it’s a lot different than the states, but I have no doubt once he gets some games under him, he will be in the talks for Rookie of the Year all season.

I see Armand as being the X-factor. Do you think that this is arole he can take on?

I believe so and I feel he can handle that role. That’s what he kind of was for us at Iona his freshman year, he would come in to give us a spark with timely 3 point buckets. He can now do that in various ways, because he has developed all aspects of his game.

Where will the journey of the New York Knicks end this season?

That’s tricky, the Knicks never do as expected. I’m going to be optimistic and say they make it out of the 1st round of the playoffs. Since ’98, my team has been the San Antonio Spurs; for them it’s championship or bust. I’m going to go out on a limb, but I’m confident in my team, I say Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers … Spurs in 7!!!

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The last DVD movie I saw was “Heat”.

 

Thanks Alejo for the chat

 

Donald Lawson(SC Rasta Vechta) I Feel That Unselfish Plays Always Leads To Success.

September 17, 2014

 

 

Donald Lawson is a 26 year old 208cm center from Chicago that will play his fifth professional season in Germany and first with SC Rasta Vechta. He played with BV Chemnitz from 2010-2014 playing a total of 118 Pro A games and last season played 30 games: 9.7ppg, Reb-2(9.4rpg), 1.4apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-5(1.3bpg), FGP: 47.0%, FT: 56.5%. He started his basketball career at W.Michigan (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 115 NCAA games. He recently spoke to German Hoops about basketball before he came to Germany to start the 2014-2015 season.

 

BV Chemnitz finished last season in 11th place with a record of 15-15. What were the main reasons for the club not being a playoff team?

 

Consistency and slow starts. As a team we played well at times, but we also had stretches where we didn’t play well on the offensive or defensive end as a unit. We also struggled to get a rhythm at the start of the second half.

It seems as if the competition level has risen in the German pro A in the last years. Is the talent level of Americans/Germans been increasing?

The talent level had always been good and it continues to get better. The German talents are developing quite well and teams are doing a good job of recruiting players to fit their system/style of play.

You were very close to double double stats in the German Pro A. You surely had aspirations of heading to the German Beko BBL. You signed with SC Rasta Vechta of the Pro A. Is the Beko BBL still a step too high for you?

As far as my career its a big step up, I am sure I can compete at that level, and have success.

SC Rasta Vechta have not been quiet about wanting to return right back to the Beko BBL next season with a very strong Pro A season. Was that one of the motivations for you wanting to go to SC Rasta Vechta?

My motivation is going out and competing every game, doing all that I can to help the team be successful in all of its endeavors.

Did you know that new SC Rasta Vechta head coach Stephan Arigbabu had a stellar basketball career and played with Dirk Nowitzki in the German national team. Did you have any talks with him? What was your early impression of him?

Yes, Coach Arigbabu and I have held a conversation, and I view him as a good person with a lot of basketball experience. I most certainly knew of his experiences as a player and his gritty style, and I am looking forward to learning more from him.

You are known as a hard worker that has a passion for rebounding and defensive intensity, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away?

I am very unselfish, I like to get my teammates involved no matter if that is setting a screen to get them open or assisting them to score. I feel that unselfish plays always leads to success.

You played four seasons with BV Chemnitz. If you look back what would be your all time highlight with BV Chemnitz?

The one moment/highlight that stands out the most was the 2012-2013 season when I was named defensive player of the year, it was truly an honor to be recognized for my abilities that may or may not show up on a stat sheet.

What was it like playing under a very young coach Felix Schreier? Where do you see him going as a coach as he gains more experience?

Coach Schreier was a player’s coach, who had his methods and specific systems, yet was always open to new ideas and adjustments that fit his player personal. With coaching ability there is no limit to the level of success he can achieve.

How does a normal summer work out day look like for Donald Lawson on and off the court?

Summer workouts consist of morning weights and conditioning, followed by an afternoon on-court workout and evening shooting every day except the weekend.

Which team will finish worse at the end of the MLB season Cubs or White Sox?

That’s easy The Cubs there always bad.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Las Vegas.

 

Thanks Donald for the chat.

Steven Bennett(, I Have An Unmatched Will To Win That I Believe Can Help Me Overcome Any Obstacle)

September 16, 2014

Steven Bennett is a 25 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his second professional basketball season with the Giessen 46ers last seasn playing 37 games averaging 11.1ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 66.7%. As a rookie he played for the Spot Up Medium Baskets Braunschweig. With Braunschweig he played 10 games averaging 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, 2.4spg, 2FGP: 57.5%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 76.6% He is one of the few special players that has a tenacity and will to win that is unmatched; it is impossible to judge him based upon height alone because he can compete with anyone in the world. He has proven this in the Maui Invitational division I tournament in 2010, and was recognized as one of the top players (All-Maui Award) from a field of other top US point guards such as Kemba Walker, Kailin Lucas and Brandon Knight. Bennett is known for his great court vision and passing ability, and is able to get in the lane at will and finish against anyone with either left or right hand. Every team bases their defensive strategy around Bennett and is forced to take create his own shot and take his three point shots off the dribble. He is an excellent shooter, but wants to continue to improve his already respectable 40% three point percentage. Steven is known for having excellent leadership skills, and is highly respected by all of his peers and coaches. He played at Citrus JC (JUCO) from 2007-2009 and then played at  Chaminade (NCAA2). In the summer of 2013 he also found experience playing for the  Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder as a rookie in the Pro B.He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

HI Steve, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Currently, I am in Canada training. My summer has been good. After being in Europe for 9 months straight, it is always to see family and friends.

The new basketball season is about to start all over Europe and you are still unsigned. How has the signing period been for you this summer your third time?

This summer has been challenging for my agent and I because we are looking for a opportunity that is going to build upon my past experiences. I have had offers on the table this summer, but my agent and I are looking for a job that is going to put me in a better situation and set up my career how I would like to.

What is your focus now in the transfer period? Teams are almost filled up? How hard has it been being at home, working out and just waiting while your friends and ex teammates are back in Europe getting ready?

It’s been hard because I miss competing comradery that you get from a team; however, I know that in this business, there are always lots of great, talented players that are unsigned at this time. I know that in a blink of an eye, situations can change.

It seems like good guards on the market is as common like finding apples in an orchard. Do you think that the competition of guards on the market in general has been a problem?

Honestly, I think there is always competition at every position because there are way more talented, hungry players than spots on professional teams.

Was there any particular reason why Giessen didn´t keep you? Did head coach Denis Wucherer want to go in a new direction?

Firstly, I would like to say that Giessen was a great basketball city and I really enjoyed my time there, and working with Coach Wucherer was a great experience. Coach Wucherer, myself and my agent discussed my return to Giessen, but at the end of the day, the situation did not work out.

A year ago you played for the Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) during the spring. Was there not a chance that you would play there again this year or was there a conflict in schedule with Giessen?

The season with Giessen did go a lot longer than my season with Braunschweig. Also, I was not looking to play in Australia this past year because last summer I only had 12 days to visit family and friends. However, I am hoping to go back to play in Australia this summer because I had a great time with the Rockingham Flames.

Was the German Pro A all that that you expected it to be? You came from the German Pro B and had a solid season with the Giessen 46ers.

Yes, I found the German Pro A to be a really exciting league with a lot of good quality players.

You had a bit of a slower start to the first half of your season, but in the second half you averaged 13.4 points and 4.5 assists. What would you attribute your success in the second half of the season to?

I think with a new team, especially as a point guard, you always have to find your rhythm of where and when in the offense your opportunities can come from. In the second half, I felt more comfortable and with injuries, my team needed me to step up more offensively.

What was your season highlight last year with Giessen? You had some big games like the 27 point game against BG Karlsruhe or the 22 point effort against NBC or your 16 points in the game five playoff win against Science City Jena?

I think my season highlight was the game five playoff win against Science City Jena. It was amazing to get that win after we worked so hard all season, and to get it in front of all our dedicated Giessen fans was unforgettable.

How much will you miss playing with the athletic Myles Hesson?

It was really fun playing with Myles; he is one of the most athletic players that I have had the chance to play with, and as a point guard, it is always great to have someone like that to look for on the court.

If you could describe yourself in a few sentences as to how you could help any team now how would you do it?

I am a true point guard in that I always look for opportunities to involve my teammates. Combine this with my speed and quickness, I open up the floor and can attack defenses very effectively, and conversely, can put a lot of pressure on opposing point guards. Finally, I have an unmatched will to win that I believe can help me overcome any obstacle.

How does a normal work out day look like for Steven Bennett on and off the court?

I typically wake up at 6:30am for an early morning basketball workout. After that, I get some cardio in (either jump rope, sprints, or cycling). I come back to the gym in the afternoon and usually get some scrimmages in and lift some weights at the end of the night.

What was the coolest ALS Ice Bucket challenge that you saw recently?

They are all cool to me because they are raising awareness for a terrible disease.

How was watching the United States in the 2014 World Championships in Spain?

It was fun to watch the young USA basketball team, and see where we stack up in terms of the world basketball scene. I was hoping for a Spain vs. USA final, but maybe we will see that in the next Olympics.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Now You See Me.

Thanks Steve for the chat.

 

Jordan Wild(Kirchheim Knights) I Believe I Can Lead The Team With My Energy By Setting A Standard Of What It Looks Like To Play With High Intensity And Energy

September 15, 2014

 

Jordan Wild is a 203cm forward from Kingsburg, California that will be playing his first season in Germany for the Kirchheim Knights. He started his basketball career at Fresno Pacific (NAIA) in 2007 where he played until 2011. As asenior he played 34 games: 11.8ppg, 7.4rpg, FT: 78%. He played in Australia the last three seasons. As a rookie he played fort he Joondalup City Wanneroo Wolves (Australia-SBL) playing 27 games: 20.6ppg, 11.1rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 1.5bpg, 2FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 72.9%. He played for the Stirling Senators (Australia-SBL) the last twos easons and this past summer played 29 games averaging 21,2ppg, 14,0rpg and 3,0apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently before coming to Germany.

 

Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Since turning professional in 2011, you have played the last three summers in Australia. How weird has it been being down under where there is winter and all your friends home from their basketball seasons in the States?

Yeah it’s been a bit backwards, but I wouldn’t trade my time in Australia for anything else. I’ve had a great three seasons and I cannot imagine spending these last seasons anywhere else. “Winter” is a good time of season in Western Australia.

You have had double double stats with points and rebounds in Australia. How do you like the nickname the wild double double Jordan? What kind of nicknames have you been given the last three years in Australia?

That’s not bad. I’ve had a lot so I will only name a few: Captain America, the wiz, big red, and my personal favorite the Wildman

You have signed a contract to play in the German pro A with Kirchheim and now will play a regular schedule something you didn´t do in Australia the last three years. What sold you on coming to the Kirchheim Knights?

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kirchheim from former imports in Ben Beran and Cooper Land. I look forward to playing for Coach Michael Mai. I know it’s going to be a great year. I cannot wait to play and represent the Knights.

What do you know about the country Germany and about the basketball scene? Do you have any friends that play here?

I know Germany is full of history and a beautiful country! I’ve had a few friends play in the league in the past such as Ty Harrrelson, Cooper Land, and Ben Beran. It’s a place of good basketball and a good place to play within Europe.

How happy are you to be teammates now with American Ben Beran? What battles in particular do you remember from the two seasons in Australia where you were opponents most?

I can’t wait to play with him. He is a great player and even better friend. Anytime we shoot, lift, or play with or against each other we compete every time and I am constantly (ALWAYS) challenged by his ability and work ethic.

You have played the last two summers for Stirling Senators (Australia-SBL) and your rookie year for the Joondalup City Wanneroo Wolves (Australia-SBL). You have dominated the league and produced monster stats. How has your game improved the last three years that has you ready to battle in the German pro A?

I believe I’ve grown and gotten better each year. This season I was able to stay consistent in my approach and preparation. I look forward to learning and growing more through competing at a high level.

You played the last two seasons with American Cory Cooperwood who also has supplied massive stats. Two seasons ago he averaged 24 and 11 and this past summer his stats dipped a bit to 18 and 7. How have you two guys made each other better over the last two seasons on and off the court?

Cory is a great player. He battled with several different injuries this year and fought through it all year. We constantly had arguments on the court about who would get more rebounds or assists. I normally won rebounding and he had more assists. It was a good problem to have! We knew if we got others scoring and control the boards we would win a lot of games.

When looking at your stats, you can pretty much do it all with points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. You even can step out and hit the three which you displayed against Perry Lakes hitting 4/7 three pointers. However if you were to look at your game what would you say is a hidden talent that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court and is off the radar?

I believe I can lead the team with my energy by setting a standard of what it looks like to play with high intensity and energy to lift my teammates and our fans during games and in practice.

You played in the NAIA for Fresno Pacific from 2007-2011. It isn´t always a given that players from that division will turn pro. Your stats rose as a senior to 11.8ppg, 7.4rpg. Were you always focused to become a professional basketball player or did that grow more as a senior?

I always had the dream but saw guys who went ahead of me being able to continue their career and it only drove my desire to play overseas.

Your coach at Fresno pacific was Jim Saia. How did he prepare you for a professional basketball career? What advice can you still hear when you have certain game situations now?

Attack. He always wanted us to attack everything we did and be the aggressor.

What is your sweetest memory form the NAIA D1 Sweet 16 run in 2010?

My best memory is just being there and seeing all those teams at one venue. It was an experience and probably the best team I have played on.

What is something you will miss most from Australia now as you prepare to play in Germany this season?

The people. Having played three seasons I have developed life long friendships and of course living next to the beach

Who wins a friendly brother whiffle ball game, you or Jake?

I do, every time!

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Draft Day on the flight home from Australia.

 

Thanks Jordan for the chat.

Achmadschah Zazai Wants Another Chance To Prove Himself in The Beko BBL

September 14, 2014

Achmadschah Zazai is a 27 year old German/Afghani 177 cm guard that last season played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig playing 27 games averaging 2.3ppg, 1.3apgHe started his basketball career for TUS Lichterfelde Berlin (2.Bundesliga) in 2003 and played there until 2005. In the 2005-2006 season, he played for SG FT/MTV Braunschweig (2.Bundesliga) playing 28 games and averaging 6.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 48.3%, 3FGP: 26.9%, FT: 75.0%. In 2006-2007, he played for BSG Ludwigsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 15 games averaging 19.3ppg, and also had a license for EnBW Ludwigsburg (1. Bundesliga) playing 12 games and averaging 1.1ppg. In 2007-2008, he played for the Bremen Roosters (Germany-ProA) playing 14 games averaging 3.4ppg, 1.1apg, and then went to Denmark to play for Horsens IC playing 8 games and averaging 9.8ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-3(4.5apg), 2.4spg, 2FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 92.0%. In 2008-2009, he played for Telemotive Muenchen (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.6ppg, 2.4rpg, Assists-4(5.5apg), Steals-5(2.2spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 82.4%. In 2009-2010 he played for Freiburg (Germany-ProA, starting five): 14 games: 10.4ppg, 2.5rpg, Assists-5(4.9apg), Steals-1(2.4spg), FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 21.8%, FT: 76.0%. In 2010-2011 he played for : BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA, starting five): 30 games: 11.6ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-2(5.9apg), Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 64.7%. He then played fort he Giessen 46ers from 2011-2013 playing a total of 49 Beko BBL games. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

Achamdschah thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I am in Berlin right now and trying to be in shape! I was on vacation for two Weeks and Then had practices! In Summer i went with the A2 Nationalteam to China ! We had a good time!

 

It is very late in the summer transfer stage as most teams are full. Are you a bit suprised that you still are unsigned? Has it been more that you haven´t had the right offers or why aren´t you signed yet?

I know its Late But i dont want to hurry and do something where I dont feel comfortable! I think and I hope something good will come!

 

You played last season for Braunschweig playing 27 games and averaging 2.3ppg, 1.3apg. If you look back at the season how would you summarize your season on the court?

Its was not easy for me ! I can do much better but I didn´t get The Chance! I had ups and down!

 

You got more minutes in the first few months and at the end, but in the middle of the season you hardly got minutes. Was there at times difficulty in the relationship between you and coach?

We had a Good Relationship but he was clearly in staff like gametime! I was ok but I think i could of helped the Team little Bit More!

 

In the game against ratiopharm Ulm, you played 28 minutes scoring 12 points and dishing out five assists holding your own agaisnst German national player Per Guenther. Was this once again proof for you that you are a solid Beko BBL player and really can play against anyone?

This Game was not a sursprise. I had many Games Where I got the chance to Play and I Produced but its not easy as a German to Play! I hope i still get The chance !

 

In the game against ratiopharm Ulm, you only played so much because American James Florence didn´t play. Do you think that with your results in practice that you got a fair shot of getting minutes or was that old adage in place that ateam hast o play those guys more that cost the most?

I dont want to play because somebody gets Injuried or sick, but I want to play because i deserved it! Play Hard work hard!

 

Despite not getting many minutes last season what could you learn from this season in Braunschweig that will help you further in your professional basketball career?

 

A season Like this gives you experience! Dont believe everything what People Tell you.

 

What will be your fondest memory playing with Immanuel Mcelroy? Where would you rate him as best players that you have played with against in the Beko BBL?

It was easy to play with him because he knows the game ! Maybe we play together one more time

 

You have played for 13 teams in your professional basketball career and mostly in Germany. Is Germany still your number one destination or could you imagine going to anotehr country?

I Stay in Germany

 

 

Even though you have played in the Beko BBL the last three seasons, would you be willing to take a step back at your age and play in a lower German league?

 

Maybe I see how the offers are!

 

If you could describe yourself in a few sentences as to why you could help any team now how would you describe it?

 

I want to win Every competion ! I give 100 Prozent Every Game or Practice and I have a good charachter.

 

What was the coolist ALS Ice Bucket challenge that you saw this summer?

I liked the Bastian Schweinsteiger one.

 

 

Why can USA still beat all teams in Europe with their athletcism and one on one play against good team basketball? Does this give a bad light on team basketball?

 

No but i think its really a Big game for anybody to Play USA!

 

 

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

Escape.

 

Thanks for the chat Achmadschah.

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Chappell(Klosterneuburg) No One Really Stood Out As The Fraport Skyliners Gave A Solid Team Performance

September 12, 2014

 

Jason Chappelle is a 31 year old 208cm power forward from Wisconsin that is playing his eighth professional season in Austria and fifth season with yourgoody Dukes Klosterneuburg. He started his basketball career in 2002 with Wisconsin(NCAA) where he played until 2007 playing a total of 89 NCAA games. He started his professional basketball career in 2007 with teh Gussing Knights where he played until 2009. He then played one season with the BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfeld Panthers before moving to Klosterneuburg in 2010. He has won three cups in Austria and one league title. He spoke to German Hoops after the 90-60 pre season loss tot he Fraport Skyliners.

 

Thanks Jason for talking to German Hoops. You came out of Wisconsin(NCAA) in 2007 and started your professional basketball career in Austria and have never left. You are starting your eight professional season in Austria and fifth with yourgoody Dukes Klosterneuburg. What keeps you coming back to Austria? Is it the good food or the beautiful landscape that at times might remind you of your native Wisconsin?

My wife is from Austria, so it is most comfortable to keep playing here. Living in Vienna is not a bad deal either.

Since you have been there the team has reached the playoffs each season won the league title in 2012, won the cup in 2013 and two Super Cups. What is your early impression of the team this season?

There have been lots of changes in the last two years. I think we have a chance to again be one of the top teams in Austria, but only time will tell.

The yourgoody Dukes Klosterneuburg roster has pretty much stayed intact adding only two new players with Remon Nelson and Dejan Jeftic. What will these two new players bring to the court that will make the club stronger?

As we have a lot of older players, hopefully they can bring some energy and enthusiasm to the team.

You played a test game against the German Beko BBL team Fraport Skyliners losing 90-60. The game was very tight and close until halftime, but the German team broke it open in the third quarter scoring 32 points. What was key for them breaking the game totally open in the third quarter?

We struggled offensively. Since we have put in a new system this year and not had time to practice it much, we are not always on the same page.

The Fraport Skyliners didn´t display one superstar scoring 30 points, but spread out the scoring very nicely having five players in double figures. What one player really impressed from the Fraport Skyliners?

No one really stood out, it was a solid team performance.

What was your overall impression of Fraport Skyliner Danilo Barthel? This past summer he played NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat. What did you like about his game and where could his journey go as a professional player?

It’s hard to say, I don’t remember too much about him.

You are playing now your fourth season with Moritz Langnegger. He has had very solid stats the last three seasons but hasn´t really had his break through yet. Could this be his breakout season? It seems like there is always an American in front of him in the rotation.

Could be, but he will have to improve his mid-range game.

In your third season in Austria you played for BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfeld Panthers as Nate Linhart was a rookie. In only a few years he has made the next step and will play for Macabbi Tel Aviv this season. Did you notice this overwhelming potential in his game when you were teammates?

We had a very talented team that year, but as a rookie he held his own. His favorite player is Manu Giniboli, and you can kind of see it in the way he plays.

There are so many great coaches in the NCAA and you played for one of them for Bo Ryan. If one looks at the rosters of Wisconsin in the last 10 years, he has been able to develop many players that turned into great players. How did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

https://medium.com/p/the-secret-behind-bo-ryans-consistent-success-b610b509621c

What are your memories of reaching the 2005 NCAA Elite 8?

Nobody gave us a chance but we almost beat the eventual champ UNC. If Rashard McCants actually had to go to class maybe we would have won.

In your senior year, the Wisconsin roster was a whose who of talent with players like Alando Tucker, Kammron Taylor, Brian Butch, Marcus Landry, Trevon Hughes and Greg Stiemsma. IF you had to pick one players from this bunch that amazed you the most on the court who would you pick?

Tucker, unbelievable athletic ability.

You are 31 years old now. Could you imagine playing your whole career in Austria or is there a basketball country you still would like to experience?

I always wanted to play in Germany, as the league is much better and it wouldn’t be too much of a culture change, but I guess that dream is fading.

What was the most innovative ALS ice bucket challenge that you saw this summer?

My friend shot a fake deer with a bow and arrow. The dear was attached to a string which tipped over a bucket above his head.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Who still watches DVD’s???

 

Thanks Jason for the chat.

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