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Ahmad Smith(SC Rasta Vechta) The Clubs Ambition On Getting Back To The BBL Was A Big Factor In My Decision To Come Here

August 22, 2014

 

Ahmad Smith is a 29 year old 194cm guard from Virginia that will play this upcoming season for SC Rasta Vechta and  recently completed his second season for Rent4Office of the German PRO A. playing 35 games and averaging 12.1ppg, 5.8rpg, Assists-1(7.1apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 66.7%. In 2012-2013 he started the with  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%. In 2011-2012, he played 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 about basketball.

 

Ahmad thanks for talking to German Hoops. the summer has come to a close as team prepare for the new basketball season. What was your summer highlight?

 

Hey Miles my summer was great. Spending time with my family and friends making up for the lost time I missed throughout the year.

You signed with German pro A team SC rasta Vechta. Why did you chose to join this team?

The clubs ambition on getting back to the BBL was a big factor in my decision. I’ve played in Vechta a couple of times and the atmosphere was always amazing with great fans!

What sold you on the philosophy of head coach Stephen Arigbabu?

Talking to Coach Arigbabu throughout the summer we shared the same goal and that’s winning and working hard. So it was an easy decision for me.

I have been a huge supporter of you getting to the Beko BBL the last years. You have made great strides coming from Regionaliga in your Dortmund days to the German pro A. Why has the beko BBL still not become your home?

Not sure Miles I can’t worry about what I can’t control. I guess they don’t want me to put on and prove them wrong like I’ve done at every level I’ve played at in Germany.

You now are a member of SC Rasta Vechta. What has been your impression of the area, organization?

It’s been great here so far. They have a first class organization here in Vechta. They have taken care of everything I’ve needed and welcomed me with open arms.

The Pro A surely will be a tick even more competitive this season as the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg seem to be the heavy favorite to move up. However SC Rasta Vechta belong to a core of teams that also have very good chances. What is your first impression of your new teammates, skill level and hunger?

I’ve played against a lot of the guys in previous seasons and I feel we have one of the best rosters in the league. Like all of the other teams it doesn’t mean anything on paper if we don’t put it together on the court.

In comparison to other teams that you played for the last years, at what talent level is SC Rasta Vechta? Are they the most talented team you have been on?

We have a talented bunch of guys on this team but it’s way too early to say if it’s the best team I’ve played on. We’re going to continue to work hard throughout the pre season towards our goals so were still playing in May.

What kind of role do you envision in Vechta? It would not be an advantage for you to play differently with you filling up the stat sheet rebounding, assists scoring and steals or could you see yourself being that classic point guard more than in previous seasons?

Whatever role Coach Arigbabu has envisioned for me I’ll try to fulfill that to the best of my ability.

What has been your impression of rookies Amir Carraway and Vinnie Bailey? Will these guys get accustomed to the European style and be an impact right away?

There both hard workers that have came in and are doing everything the coaches have wanted them to do. Both guys are smart players with a high skill level I don’t think they will have any problems adjusting and will contribute in huge ways throughout the season.

SC Rasta Vechta also has veteran Chase Griffin. Do you see him being the leader of the team? What duel in past years sticks most in your mind with pervious battles with him?

Chase will definitely be one of the leaders on the team. He brings a winning mentality to our team. He works hard every day and is someone the young players can look up to. We’ve had some great games against each other in the past I’m happy he’s on my team this go around should be a fun year playing with him in the backcourt.

How much fun is it playing with top German pro A rebounder the last few years Donald Lawson? You being an excellent rebounder, can you still learn from him on the court?

Usually the top rebounding teams compete for the championship in any league. So it’s great to have the top rebounder from last season on our team. I’ve seen his intensity in practice so I think not only myself can learn from him but our whole team.

Will you be venturing out to Braunschweig on a free night to watch ex teammate Cornelius Adler play? You always marveled about his play in recent interviews.

Yeah of course I’ll try to catch as many games as I can throughout the season. Looking forward to see him play in his hometown!

Your ex teammate Will Chavis retired recently. What will you always keep in high regard when you hear his name mentioned?

I wish him the best I think he will be a good coach. He has lots of experience and knowledge for the game

How proud are you off Zamal Nixon reaching the BBL? How do you think he will come to terms with the Phoenix Hagen style of play?

 

I’m very proud of my guy Z he should of been in the BBL after his season in Nurnberg. He will play great in that system in Hagen and will show everyone the top players in the Pro A can play in the BBL with the opportunity.

 

Vechta is very much smaller than Nurnberg. What will you still have to get used to not having now which you could have in Nurnberg?

Shopping downtown and the restaurants.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

. Divergent… Shoutout to my guy TD whaddup doe!

 

Thnaks Ahmad for the chat.

 

 

 

Poland Display Cold Blood Dispatching Germany 88-76

August 21, 2014

 

The last time Mike Taylor coached an official game in Germany, a young Per Guenther had to withstand the on court tricks of ex NBA player Eddie Gill, future NBA player Aron Baynes was already getting his brute mode timing in synth and two time NCAA champion with Florida Lee Humphrey was learning how to transform that shy semi smile into that huge Teddy Bear smile of Mike Taylor who could always light up a room in an instance. 40 months have passed since his last game as Ulm coach losing to Oldenburg, but some things never change. Taylor still has that winner smile and one knows 30 feet away that he is approaching. He may have added a few pounds since 2011, but with a German wife, he is allowed the full service treatment of roast and spatzle around the globe. Since the separation of ratiopharm Ulm and Taylor in April of 2011, the Pennslyvania native has continued to go his way as a head coach having coached the Czech national team as an assistant, was an assistant for D-league team Rio Grande in Texas and as of recently was head coach of Boston Celtics affliate Maine Red Claws in the D-league the last two years. When he was approached by the Polish basketball federation for the head coaching job he didn´t refuse, but won´t be returning back to Maine this fall. If somebody had told him a few weeks ago that he would beat Germany twice, he may have tried to explain how difficult a task it would be, but the American was able leave Bonn with a perfect 2-0 record against Germany as Poland controlled Germany 88-76. Taylor was happy about returning back to Germany and sporting his so well known winner smile that he displayed back in the day in the old Kuhberg gym in Ulm after the bitter loss to Austria. „It was my dream to play this game in Ulm, but it was nice coming back to Bonn. I have good memories of the Bonn teams and Michael Koch, but not losing against them in the playoffs. I am so proud of my players. The way we came back after the loss against Austria deserves a lot of  respect. It was a great team win for us“, stressed Mike Taylor. Especially the way Poland has played under the leadership of Taylor has been amazing, because when he was in Germany as head coach with ratiopharm Ulm, it wouldn´t be a surprise if Ulm won 105-98 or lost 110-103 as his ability to score points was impressive, but his teams had difficulty to defend. That has changed now as in the first four games of qualifying the team has given up only 71 points as well as 71 points in two games against Germany. „When I was coach in Germany, I had the reputation of being an offenive minded coach. However in the last two years in the Boston Celtics organization, I worked hard at getting back to defense. The results have been great and we have had good defensive game plans so far. I have to give credit to the coaching staff and the players for executing our defensive game plan“, stressed Mike Taylor. His predecessor behind the Polish bench ex German national coach Dirk Bauermann watched the game and also had seen the good work of Taylor. „It isn´t always easy to rate the work of a coach when you are so far away, but despite the bitter loss to Austria, Taylor has done  a good job with Poland and I think the Polish federation is happy with his work“, added ex FC Bayern Munich head coach Dirk Bauermann.

Both countries Germany and Poland entered the game with identical 2-1 records as Germany came off a huge 40 point win in Trier against Hapless Luxemburg while Poland was coming off a cruel 83-81 loss against Austria. Germany also wanted  revenge for their bitter 68-67 loss in Poland where they had the game in their hands, but let it slip away at the end and even could of won it, but a last second shot by Dennis Schroeder didn´t want to fall. Poland was the better team for 40 minutes as Germany had to play catch up basketball all evening long in Bonn as consistency, a lack of motivation and silly mistakes cost them the loss. After the loss, Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Ryan Brooks who watched the game was questioning the lack of effort by Germany and lauding the team basketball of Poland. „Poland played with more energy. Germany played to laid back and when they did make a run at the end it was too late. Poalnd  was  rerally very disciplined, were patient when running their offensive sets and there was so much trust in their offense bye each player on their team. When your finding your teammates and hitting open and tough shots, that makes it hard on Germany to get back into the game especially when Poland is defending so aggressive“, stated ex Fraport Skyliner Ryan Brooks. Poland had a great shooting day and didn´t cough up the ball much, it doesn´t matter if you lost the battle on the boards. After the game, French/Polish forward Aaron Cel was delighted with the performance of his team. „We played a good game and listened to our coach as he told us to get less turnovers as we had so many in the last game against Austria. We only had one turnover at halftime. The scouting against Germany  was excellent as we knew everything about each player and executed on defense. We don´t have any stars on the team, but we knew that if we wanted to win that we had to play together on offense and defense and we did that“, added Aaron Cel.

Before the game started one could of took out a notebook to pencil down which known basketball figures were in the Telekom Dome in Bonn as there was Dirk Bauermann who seemed browner than usual. Either he has been living on an island or really been living under the solarium. Other notable people in attendance were Ingo Weiss from the German basketball federation, Beko BBL boss Jan Pommer, German basketball legend and Dennis Schroeder agent Ademola Okulaja, and agent Patrick King. After the national anthems of both countries were played, it was time to play basketball. Poland got off to the better start as Aaron Cel nailed a pull up jumper and Stelmet teammates Aaron Cel who knew each other inside out on the court fed big man Adam Hrycaniuk for the easy lay in. Germany couldn´t get any rhythm on offense as Poland kept executing their sets even if some shots were more difficult than others as Cel connected on a step back jumper and Hrycaniuk scored inside again as Poland led 9-4. The big man Hrycaniuk kept giving Germany problems inside as nobody could match his physicality as Poland led 13-6 as German head coach Emir Mutapcic took a time out. Poland  wasn´t letting Germany get into a rhythm as they continued to defend aggressive even at times  they got an extra foul becuase of their more risky play. After the timeout, Germans Dennis Schroeder and Elias Harris were inserted. Schroeder responed with a three pointer to cut the Poland lead to 13-11. However the fresh breath of NBA air didn´t faze Poland as they closed out the first quarter on a 13-4 run to lead 26-15. Taylor did a fine job using his big man rotation as 205cm Damian Kulig scored inside twice and made a nifty fade way jumper. 20 year old Mateusz Ponitka who Taylor thinks highly of dropped a big three pointer. „Ponitka is a big talent from the year 1993. He is a big difference maker and just makes big plays“, warned Mike Taylor. „You didn´t have to be an expert to see that Germany had a very bad start. It really only matters how a team can deal with being back 11 points“, stressed Dirk Bauermann. After one quarter Poland was shooting 58% from the field and 40% from outside while Germany was shooting 25% from the field and 14% from outside. Germany had the 10-6 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Poland had zero turnovers.

Germany had a great start in the second quarter, but were effected by a huge Poland defensive play which sparked Poland to go on a run and retain an 11 point lead only to witness Germany cut their lead to two points at halftime. Germany started the second quarter with a 9-2 run to cut the Poland lead to 28-24. Schroeder started off the run with a deadly three pointer from the wing and Robin Benzing then snuck inside for an easy bucket. Schroeder then glided through the Poland defense with so much grace that a confident swan couldn´t have done it better on the Rhine river. After a Damian Kulig lay in, Germany had some fortune as Poland were careless losing an easy defensive rebound that Daniel Theis scooped up forthe easy put back. Then came that timely big play by Poland as beast Kulig of PGE Turow came from the weak side and stuffed Theis on the lay in attempt. This fueled his offensive game as he converted on back to back three pointers. Robert Skibniewski then hit a pull up jumper as Germany trailed 36-24. Germany once again couldn´t keep consistency as Poland was able to build another comfortable lead. However Germany then displayed possibly their strongest spurt of the game finishing the second  quarter on a 16-7 run to trail only 43-41. Ex Wurzburg forward Maxi Kleber hit two three pointers in a row cutting the Poland lead to 38-30 and keeping Germany from sinking in the Rhine river. Germany slowly continued to come back as Benzing hit a three pointer and Daniel Theis had two big dunks as his ex teammate shovled him the ball on the first monster dunk. Germany was able to go into half time with a chance to come back in the second half and try for the win. „Germany played a lot better in the last 6-7 minutes. Germany has the better bench and showed it. Germany took advantage of the weaker Polish gaurd position and went inside more. Germany also put Benzing into better scoring position“, stated Dirk Bauermann. Poland was shooting 54% from the field and 40% from the three point land while Germany was shooting 51% from the field and 45% from the three point line. Germany still had a firm grip on the glass 19-9, but had eight turnovers while Poland had one turnover.

Just when one thought Germany was back in the game, they returnned back and really stunk up the Telekom Dome arena in the third quarter. They let Poland walk all over them letting the opponent go on a 17-2 run to lead 60-43. German Maxi Kleber got a first hand look at what future teammate Adam Wacaczynski can do as he finally got on the scoreboard hitting a pull up jumper and getting a lay in after being scoreless in 12 minutes in the first half. Hrycaniuk continued to be in beast mode scoring inside while Skibniewski hit a three pointer as Poland led 55-41. After almost six minutes elapsed, Robin Benzing got Germany on the scoreboard with free throws. Ponitka then took a chapter out of the Dennis Schroeder text book scoring on  a finger tip role in and Waczyniski hit another three pointer. Germany had some costly turnovers in this huge run, but also had some misfortune as they missed a few easy lay ups that they should of had. „“I think that this run just showed that we had the same level throughout the game. We were like a machine, worked hard and believed in ourselves“, added Aaron Cel. All this damage surprisingly was done with Schroeder on the court. Sometimes one has to ask where that leader is that can get its team out of a jam at any time as a Dirk Nowtzki can. „There are many guys that can do this. I think a Schroeder can do it as can a Schaffartzik who can be a real fox and lead with words. Germany is capable to lead as a team. They have to be a well functioning team where each player knows ist role and important is that each guy has the ability to always be able to help their team“, warned Dirk Bauermann. Despite Poland having a 17 point lead, Germany was able to cut it down to 13 points as Poland led 66-53 after 30 minutes. In the last few minutes Ponitka and Schroeder exchanged three pointers and Benzing nailed a jumper and then fed a cutting Theis for another big dunk. After three quarters Poland had  a shooting percentage of 53% from the field and 44% from the parking lot while Germany was shooting 45% from the field and 37% from the parking lot. Germany still had the rebounding advantage 26-17, but 13 turnovers while Poland had only three turnovers.

In the fourth quarter, Poland kept a nice lead until Germany made a run late to cut the Poland lead to six points, but that is as close as Germany got as Poland shut the door on them in their own living room. Theis started off the fourth quarter with a classic work horse play muscling to the hoop and finishing and feeling the pain on his shoulder as he scrambled  back on defense. However then it was time for Ponitka of Belgium team Ostende who made the big shots hitting consecutive three pointers to give Poland the 72-58 lead and some German fans asking who is that kid. Cel then scored inside and Poland led by 16 points, but Germany still had some energy left going on a 6-0 run to get back to 74-64. Schroeder made a pull up jumper and Theis scored a three pointer after Schaffartzik had saved a loose ball. After Waczyniski hit a in your face three pointer for the 77-64 Poland lead, Germany made their last run oft he game going on a 7-0 run to cut the Poland lead to 77-71. Theis hit a fade away jumper and then one could sense that Schroeder was trying lead a Nowitzki like come back as he hit a three pointer and then scored inside as the ball trickled into the net. Waczynski then made free throws as Poland led 79-71. With under two minutes to play, Germany made a low percentage ally op try to Theis that missed and was punished with an Aaron Cel three pointer which got the Mike Taylor fist and the game was decided. Poland hit some free throws more and at the end left Bonn with a 88-76 win and 3-1 record in play. „We were cold blood at the end. Germany came back, but we stayed calm and didn´t force anything. We knew that they wouldn´t hit 10 three pointers at the end. We knew that if we just played defense, we would win“, stressed Aaron Cel. Poland shot 51% from the field and 50% from outside while Germany shot 49% from the field and 41% from outside. Germany won the rebound battle 33-23, but had a miserable 17 turnovers while Poland had seven only. „We have to play better against Austria and can´t play like we did in the first and third quarters“, warned Deniis Schroeder. Germany hosts Austria August 24th in Hagen.

James Washington( Being the Youngest In Germany At TBB Trier To The Leader In Sweden Helped Me Grow Even Faster And Makes Me Feel Like I Went From A Rookie To A Veteran In One Season

August 20, 2014

 

James Washington is a 26 year old 182cm guard from St Louis that recently completed his third professional season having played for KFUM Nassjo Basket (Sweden-Basketligan): 36 games: 17.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 48.5%, 3FGP: 38.7%, FT: 83.6%, in Mar.’14 moved to VOO Wolves Verviers-Pepinster (Belgium-Ethias League, starting five): 9 games: 13.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 86.1%. He started his basketball career in 2006 for  W.Illinois (NCAA) where he played 36 NCAA games in two seasons. After a year at  Indian Hills C, he went to Middle Tenn.St. (NCAA) in 2009 where he played until 2011. As a senior he played 32 games: 14.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 86.4%. In 2011-2012 he started his professional basketball career in Germany for TBB Trier (Germany-BBL) playing 23 games: 5.7ppg, 1.8rpg, FGP: 38.8%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 80.0%. IN 2012-2013 he played for BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-ProB) playing  15 games: 20.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 83.5%. He talked to German Hoops about basketball.

 

 

 

Hi James, where are you at the moment. How has your summer been?

What’s going on, I’m in St. Louis, Missouri. My summer has been really good, spent time with my family, traveled, and worked out.

You are obviously staying in shape and doing your workout programs, but how often does the Ferguson incident enter your mind when you are training? Every so often it seems like the fight against racism makes strides, but all in all examples like this show that this problem seems to be a difficult issue that will forever haunt the United States. How have you experienced the last week in St Louis with this issue?

Honestly when I go into to the gym or workouts I zone out, but when I leave it’s definitely on my mind because my mother and father’s house is only about 3-5 minutes from the crime scene and protesting grounds and I have other family members that stay even closer. But, investigation is still on going and all details have yet to be determined. So I don’t want to make it a racial issue I just want justice for Mike Brown, his family, and any other parties involved. I don’t by any means support the looting and destroying of our communities, but love how we have shown we can come together!

The summer is nearing to an end and you still are in the States while your ex teammates and friends are already in Europe preparing for the new season. I’ve heard You had 4 offers so far, but you rejected them all. Was it the money or going to a low league that enabled you to say no to these offers?

All of the offers have pretty much been from good to top leagues. My agent and I just want the best situation for myself and future all in one. Including winning, league, team, money etc.

I guess after last season where you tore up the league in Sweden and had very good stats in Belgium, you were expecting good offers this summer. Are you a little disappointed that they haven´t come?

I’ve had some pretty good offers, just waiting for the best opportunity.

Did you have any offers from Germany? I am sure you would like to play there again after having been in Trier and Leitershofen?

My agent have been In contact with a few BBL German teams, but none of those offers are from there. I tell people all the time how good the league was and how Germany reminds me of the States being so Americanized.

Players have had this experience in the past where they waited and waited for the best offer and before they knew it the new season started and they were still in the States with no team. Aren´t you getting a bit nervous that this fate could happen to you?

Naturally of course the thought runs through my mind every so often, but at the same time I trust my game, what I can bring to a team, and my agents work to land me a good job.

Lets look back on last season. You started the season at KFUM Nassjo Basket (Sweden-Basketligan): 36 games: 17.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 48.5%, 3FGP: 38.7%, FT: 83.6%. How important was it having these good stats again coming from the lower German Pro B?

I think it was very important to show what I could do not just offensively, but on both ends of the floor. Not taking anything from German Pro B level because it’s good players there too. But I needed to show I could do the same thing at a higher level, and now I’m looking forward to repeating myself again next season.

You were actually the second oldest on the team behind Torbjorn Svensson. How strange was it being the only American on the team? Were you seen automatically as the leader?

You making me feel old, but it’s not often being 25 at the time and being almost oldest on the team. But yes we had a very young team and I had a big role in Sweden. Coming from always being the youngest in Germany at TBB Trier to the leader in Sweden, helped me grow even faster and makes me feel like I went from a rookie to a veteran in one season. I was the only American for a short time in the beginning of the season before Taylor Brown got there and at the end when he left to Belgium first. Felt very different without him at times.

You played the last two months of last season with VOO Wolves Verviers-Pepinster (Belgium-Ethias League) playing 9 games: 13.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 86.1%. You only had a 1-8 record, but what was the most important thing that you gained from that short experience?

The biggest thing I gained was experiencing the talent and speed of another top league again. The Belgium league reminds me of the athleticism and physicality of the German BBL.

You played against many solid guards like Demond Mallet, Taylor Battle or Derek Raivio all who have played in the Beko BBL. You gained self confidence I am sure, but what part of your game really was tweaked in those last two months?

I think being able to decide when to be more of a scorer or more a distributer. I led my team in scoring in Belgium also, but after watching film I noticed sometimes in certain parts of the game I needed to get the ball to certain people or certain spots on the floor.

Did you see Jimmy Mckinney this summer? He also is still unsigned. Would it be like a dream to play on the same team with him?

Of course, J Roc is a big brother to me. We workout, play pick up, and play in the pro am almost every day together. That would be crazy! We know each other’s game very well which would help out a lot. I know where to get him the ball so I would for sure average some extra assists just off him.

When you were with TBB Trier, you played together with Nate Linhart who was playing his first season in Europe. This season he will play for Euroleague team Macabbi tel Aviv. When you look back on that season, did you know that he had the game to make it this far? What did you like most about his game?

I want to say congrats to Nate for that opportunity and good luck. But looking back Nate was always the player coach Henrik couldn’t keep off the floor because he did so many things and brought so much to the table. I liked how he slashed to the basket and ran the floor to make it easier for Dru Joyce and I on fast break opportunities.

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

I am a point guard with shooting, and scoring abilities of an off guard. Son of a coach so I grew up on defense and doing what it takes to win ball games.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Watched Identity Thief yesterday.

 

Thanks James for the chat

Todd Brown(Phoenix Hagen) Dashaun Wood Loved SpongeBob So If That Was On I Knew He Was Going To Have A Good Game

August 19, 2014

 

Todd Brown is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Canton, Ohio that is starting his fifth professional season and first in Germany with Phoenix Hagen. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Wright State(NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games: 12.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 73.6%. In 2010-2011 he started his professional basketball career for DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-DBL, starting five): 39 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 73.7%. In 2011-2012 he played for WBC Raiffeisen Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): 36 games: 15.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 80.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Mineros de Cananea (Mexico-CIBACOPA): 9 games: 17.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 17.1%, FT: 85.0%. Last season he played for Lappeenranta NMKY (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 42 games: Score-2(22.2ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-3(2.0spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 81.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

 

 

Todd thanks for talking to German Hoops.  You got signed very late this off season to Phoenix Hagen. How was the overall experience this season for you looking for a new team? Were you a bit nervous at the end about catching on somewhere?

 

The overall experience was good. I had interest from different teams, and I trust my agent so I spend my summers enjoying family and friends.

Welcome to Germany. You will play for Phoenix Hagen. What were the magical words from head coach Ingo Freyer that made you want to come to this team?

Really wasnt any magical words that got me to sign, it was more the challenge I enjoy competition and seeing how I compare to other players. And I like the Hagen style of play.

What do you know about the Germany as a country and its basketball? You have ex teammates from college that have played here and opponents you had from other countries.

I have a few friends that have played in Germany so I know some things but it’s nothing like actually living at a place and getting the experience.

After playing in lower leagues like Holland, Austria and Finland, you now will have the chance to prove that you can play in a top league like the Beko BBL. Are you ready for the challenge?

I feel I am ready for the challenge. I have been playing at a high level all my life. My high school team was one of the best in the nation. And went on to play Division 1 basketball, so God willing my game shows it.

Your new teammate Larry Gordon also proved he could play in the Beko BBL after having played in Holland and Austria. How excited are you to finally be teammates with him and what do you like most about his game?

Larry is a hard worker and before we were even teammates we got along well so hopefully he can make my transition easier.

Last season you played for Lappeenranta NMKY (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 42 games: Score-2(22.2ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-3(2.0spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 81.6%. Finland is a league that has helped countless players make the next step like a Ricky Hickman who made it all the way to Macabbi Tel Aviv winning the Euroleague last season. How important was your season in Finland and what did this experience give your game to make the next step now in Germany?

Last year in Finland was a very important season because I came off a knee injury and fought my way back to a pro level. So while I was going through my therapy with my knee my mentality changed about basketball and I believe for the better.

The scouting report on you is very positive. You are a pure scorer that can fill up the stats sheets. However what do you believe is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court and remains off the radar?

I think a talent of mine that may not get noticed often is my basketball IQ. I take pride in knowing the game and reading situations while I am playing. It makes the game a little easier for me I think.

You had a very solid rookie season at DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-DBL) playing 39 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 73.7%. What was your wake up call as a rookie where you knew that you had landed as a professional in Europe?

My rookie year I had a great coach in Pete Miller. He kept me focused and he believed in me and we had vets on that team but he and my team trusted me in big situations.

In the 2011-2012 season you played for WBC Raiffeisen Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga) with ex Phoenix Hagen player Quentin Pryor. It doesn´t really get any more intense than with Q. Does He rank up in your top 3 hardest competitors that you have ever played with?

Me and Q still talk to this day, I loved being on the same team with him, because I always knew what I was going to get from him and we worked well on the court together.

It seems like everyone has their Dashaun Wood story. Vaughn Duggins remembers that in practice that Wood would tell him how he would score against his opponent on the next play and beat him 9/10 times in one on one as he was a freshman. What was your Dashaun Wood story as a freshman?

Me and D.Woods were roommates on road trips and the thing I remember most is before games he would turn on cartoons and turn the heat on high and take a shower. He loved SpongeBob lol so if that was on I knew he was going to have a good game. But he plays with something to prove every night.

Ex players that played at Wright State continue to marvel about head coach Billy Donlon.How did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career? Do you ever think back and agree that his words really did help you as a professional?

Coach Donlon is a gym rat and he prepared me more for pro than he did college because he wasnt the head coach at the time but he taught us so many moves and little tricks that would give us the advantage against any one he played and he was so passionate about the game.

You played 4 seasons of NCAA basketball. You played against so many great players, but who was the toughest player that you had to guard that is in the NBA now?

In college I would have to say Isaiah Thomas played him my senior year. I had 20 something that game he had like 30 off free throws because he was so crafty.

You are one of very many very skilled players that come from the state of OHIO. Why do so many good players come from the State? Is it only the good youth development or is there something special in the food there? Lol

I think good players come from Ohio because high school sports mean a lot to people, in my city of Canton,Ohio high school sports in everything.

You got a psychology degree at Wright State. How much has this degree helped you understand the mental aspect of the game of basketball better?

I think my psychology help me not be so hard on myself in big situations, just look at it as its just basketball no ones life depends on the shot or the game all you can really do is your best. But if it goes wrong I am still very angry lol . I dont like to lose. So I dont know if it helps much lol.

How often have you been in the NFL Hall Of Fame? What memorabilia do you stand next to most in that building?

The pro football Hall Of Fame is on my high school campus so I have been a lot. Hall of fame weekend is big in my city, Canton comes alive during that week.

Lebron James is returning home to the Cavs. Where will the journey of this NBA team go in the next few years with much youth on board and the best basketball player on the planet on the team?

The Cavs or any team with Lebron James becomes a front runner for the championship.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Last DVD was He got game, best player to ever play the game is Jesus Shuttlesworth.

Thanks for the chat Todd.

Enis Murati(Austrian National Team) I Like Germany Because It Has A Very Strong League And We Will See What The Future Will Bring To Me.

August 17, 2014

Enis Murati is a 26 year old 194cm forward from Austria that has played his whole career for Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga). Last season was his best season in Austria where he played 28 games: averaging 13.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 84.8%. He prompt was invited to the Austrian national team and currently is taking part in the Euroqualifying for 2015. In three games he is averaging 19,0ppg, 3,3rpg and 1,7apg. He is shooting 61% from outside in the three games and had his breakthrough against Germany with 27 points. Last night he helped lead Austria past Poland 83-81 with 18 points. He spoke to German Hoopsfollowing the loss to Germany recently.

 

 

Enis thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 77-64 loss to Germany in the second game of European qualifications. I guess Austria learned tonight that a game has 40 minutes and not 35 minutes. Is this a game that Austria will be able to forget quickly?

 

This was a very hard game for us. We controlled the game for the most part and lost at the end. That hurts. But we learned a lot out of it, and the concentration is already headed to the Poland game.

With five minutes to play Austria led 64-56, but then totally lost their rhythm allowing Germany to finish the game with a 21-0 run. Did Austria get tired? What were the main reasons for not being able to score in the last five minutes?

We lost our concentration for a couple possessions and couldn’t recover from it. We stopped to play in offense and defense. The Germans found finally their rhythm and made all the important shots. We are a very young team and have to get used to play for 40 min on such a high level.

Germany lost the first game in Poland and were on the boarder of losing in Austria. Were you surprised how Germany played for 35 minutes? Is Germany overrated or just not playing to their potential despite having NBA player Dennis Schroeder and other top players?

 Germany has a very good team. I think they still look to find their rhythm. Regardless I think that right now also other countries can play good basketball and should not be underestimated.

You led your team with 27 points and shot 11/16. You have played your whole life in Austria. Has Germany never been an option for you? Do you believe that some German teams now know who you are after this performance?

In the past years I wasn’t really thinking about going abroad because I was establishing myself as a player in Austria. Playing for National team is a good chance to be seen by other countries and teams. I like Germany because it has a very strong league and we will see what the future will bring to me.

What German player impressed you the most in the game? Maxi Kleber was a big factor in the fourth quarter why Germany could come back and win the game.

 Maxi Kleber, Zirbes and Schaffartzik impressed me.

How content are you that Austria can still advance? Austria now plays Poland next who is 2-0.

I think we still have good chances. If we want to advance we have to beat one of the stronger teams in our group.

You battled against Thomas Schreiner for many years in Austria with Gmunden against his teams St Polten and Kapfenberg. Last season he helped MoraBanc Andorra (Spain-Liga Endesa) move up from the Leb Gold. Do you see him being an impact player for his team in the top league in Europe?

 Of course. Schreiner is a smart guard who can shoot the ball really well and his pick and role game is very good. He was the best assist maker in his team the last season.

You just can´t separate some players from teams as Pascal Roller played 11 years in Frankfurt or Derrick Sharp who played 15 seasons for Macabbi Tel Aviv. You will begin your ninth season for Gmunden. You have won six titles with Gmunden. What has made this team so special that hasn´t made you want to explore other countries and teams?

 Gmunden is a special place for me. The people who helped me developing to the player as I am now make the difference to other places in Austria. The Club is very familiar and very well organized. Gmunden is not just basketball for me. All my good friends and family is there. Being there for nine years make me feel like at home.

You played three seasons at Gmunden with American Dan Oppland who has returned back to Germany to play for Nurnberg. What was your nicest memory with him on and off the court?

 Dan is a very nice guy and a good teammate with a great work ethic. I won a lot playing with him. My favorite title in 2010 happened when he was in Gmunden. We spent a lot of our free time just hanging out together and also travelling around.

If you and Anton Maresch are parked in the corner and take 10 shots a piece, who will have hit more shots?

I think Romed Vieider will hit the most shots!

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 Inception

 

Thanks Enis for the chat

Coach George Filkinis “In Basketball There Are Not “Sacred Cows” And Those Who Trample On The Floor Should Always Be Judged

August 17, 2014

George Filkinis is a Greek basketball coach with over 30 years of experience. He has won 11 titles as a head coach and 6 as an assistant coach. He has coached teams like Marousi, Asteras BC, AO Arion,  Irakleion, AO Sporting, Achilles  Cyprus, Panathinaikos Cyprus, and AO Lamias.  He has coached 680 official games  and his record is 477 ( 70,15%) wins and 203 (20,85%). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

George where are you at moment and thanks for talking to German Hoops. Have you been watching the Euro qualifying? There have been many upsets and surprises. England lost to Iceland and Bosnia And Russia is also 0-2. What has been your impression of the games. Why have their been so many upsets?

Nice to talk to you Miles and I’m glad to communicate again with my basketball friends via the German Hoops .At moment I’m on vacation , relaxing and enjoying the sun and the sea , as the proposals for cooperation  that I had , not covered my coaching ambitions and “concerns” !I hope to find something reliable and “tempting” later and after the beginning of the National Champioships in Europe .Sure I’m watching with great interest and attention the Euro qualifying and I’m not surprised at all with the results.I have in time publicly placed and I hope you remember it, that the European basketball map begun to change , as creating new correlations and the distances between the good national teams and the less good teams , continually dwindle !And this happens not only because Austria, Iceland or Poland suddenly improved so much, but because also teams like Russia, Greece or Germany ceased to be as strong as they were in the past.It is clear the “downhill” of the long-standing strong national teams and I will try to explain why .First of all the “fall” of each group I believe is due to different reasons For example in Greece some people believed that came the time to create a new national team and “cut” finally 9 players for different reasons and always with the consent of the national coach ! Personally, I’m firmly against this measure which I characterized and I continue to characterize it as a “stupid” move , even though if Greece will be the next World Champion !The renewals in all team sports become gradually and not with such improvisation ! In Greece also seems that the members of the Federation of Basketball are not particularly “worried” for the failures of the young national teams in all corresponding competitions and despite their amazing physical skills ! You see the financial crisis is the best alibi for some to hide their responsibilities and their shortage !

Let us talk about Germany. I don´t know if you caught an yof the first games of Germany.Germany has NBA player Dennis Schroeder and a few guys with NBA experience and Summer league experience. They have nice talent, but still haven´t found their true rhythm . Where does one need to examine where the problem is? Is it the coaching of more the fact that Germany doesn´t have the sufficient leaders on the court to lead the team for 40 minutes?

The situation Miles of the German national team is a little different than the situation of Greece. According to the FIBA World ranking for the year 2013 the National team of Germany gets the 14th position in the world basketball. But I don’t think that there is even ONE who believes that this place is worthy of the German basketball.
Personally I’m not accepting to see the National team of Germany to be in this low level ! It doesn’t deserve to be in this place.Let’s have a look to Germany’s roster. Akeem Vargas of Berlin , average participation in the last championship 11 minutes, Heiko Schaffartzik of Munich , average participation in the last championship 19 minutes, Karsten Tadda of Bamberg less than 10 minutes per game, Lucca Staiger of Munich less than 12 minutes per game, Robin Benzing of Munich less than 15 minutes per game, Elias Harris of Bamberg less than 13 minutes per game. If I persist with the rest players of the German National team you will see that only few have participation more than 20 minutes per game. So what can Dennis Schroeder do when all of his teammates haven’t the required experience, since they don’t play well enough even in their teams and in their National Championship? Even more so what can coach Emir Mutapcic do when almost the total of his players lack the needed playing time in their group? And finally how to create a reliable and strong National team with “untested materials”? If you look at the roster of a team of the BBL, you will find there 5, 6, 7 and even 8 American or other nationalities players which is a fact really incredible. So how can German players get minutes if even in Pro B and in Regionaliga you will find Americans and generally foreigners ? And if the German player finally is “lucky” playing in a team , how long does he have participation in the games? Besides it is known that the player doesn’t improves himself only via training but via his participation in official games also. Here lies and the great responsibility of the basketball federation which doesn’t impose restrictions on the importation of the big number of foreign players in its Championships. Here one could argue that in all the countries of Europe something similar happens with foreign players, but I’m sure that certainly is the case in Germany is distinctive and perhaps unique as we face an incredible influx of foreign players even in the lower leagues. So the coach of the German National team has to select the players who will join the team among players who are the most in their teams are typically substitutes of the Americans and have fewer game experiences. And under such conditions and circumstances the failure of the team is expected. At this point I want to emphasize that I am not against ALL American players but against the binge invading of Americans and foreigners players generally against the indigenous. But it is obvious that some people are more interested for the temporary successes and ignore the product itself the game basketball. And unfortunately such planning and actions has resulted in the deterioration of the National Basketball Team.

So coach you insist that the German teams have part of responsibility for the bad image of the National team ?

Yes Miles some teams have a huge part of responsibility for the “misery” of their National team. And some coaches who “works” for these teams also.
Your National team composed mostly of players belonging to Bayern and Bamberg primarily and secondly to Artland and Alba.They belong in other words to teams that have as their main goal the entrance into the final 4 and the claiming of the championship. So the coaches of these teams are “forced” to train their teams for this purpose. They are “forced” by whom ? By their teams of course not by someone else and at this point I want to make a question. Who really is considered a successful coach according to the view of the majority the coach who claims and wins titles or the other one who make players known? I believe that the most prefer to have the coach who will give titles to their team ignoring the rest which are details. But regardless of what the majority wants I believe that a “good” professional coach can and should do simultaneously both to win titles and to establish new players ready to help the National team through his targeted work and his basketball program. Unfortunately the imperfect knowledge and selfishness of some team managers combined with the arrogance of some coaches are responsible for the situation of your National team.
I believe also that is a big trivialization to know that in your team you have the point guard or the swing man of the National team and to give them only 15 minutes time to play against Rasta or Wuerzburg while you keep in the game your American players giving them the opportunity to make points and to sign a better contract the next year. I think that things will be difficult to change as the logic of “easy money” is fully established. In other words, all the goals are achievable if you work hard and planned but few will actually transpire on the field and have dedicated their lives to basketball. In basketball there are not “sacred cows” and those who trample on the floor should always be judged.

Summarizing coach you believe that the German basketball should reduce the large and uncontrolled influx of foreign players to work more serious in the groups and to provide opportunities for German players?

Not only “opportunities ” but much playing time and trust. Hard and quality workouts first, trust second and much playing time third are the keys. According to my opinion and philosophy the basic structure of a group should be composed of local players. And the choice of foreign players must cover specific gaps and weaknesses. The issue of selection of foreign players is very serious and should be done with great care and aims to cover exclusively the needs of the group. Perhaps some will reasonably wonder and believe that since they have the ability to “fill up” their roster with good foreign players, they will enhance the capacity of their team also. But this is a big mistake. Many good players in a group more often create more problems just with their presence as they are called to do useful but “dirty things in a team’s play which they never did in their career. And these particular useful roles is possible to play the most local players who may lack in talent than some foreign players. So I think that the team that has a trunk of well controlled local players and enhanced by good quality and cooperative foreign players can achieve the overstepping.

Finishing coach I would like you to tell us a little about you and about your way of coaching.

It is known that for about 18 years I “serve” a particular style of play The basic thought that created the entire offensive philosophy of the “Basketball in the fast lines” is purely a matter of probabilities. The more efforts to make shots from your opponent the more chances you have to beat him if you are simply able to maintain a minimally “acceptable” accuracy. And when we are talking about shooting “efforts” obviously are needed more possessions of the ball than our opponents. As when we are talking about “shots” we mean “open” shots and from specific spots. So when the 99% of the basketball coaches in all over the world are “teaching” their players offensive “systems” and “plays” to face all the possible game situations , general and specific , depriving them the creation and the initiative , we “teach” our team how to create “possessions” and “open shots” in 3 seconds with the help of the basketball fundamentals and mathematics. This style of play, has nothing to do with the “common” running game that some teams use at times and if you “adopt” it once you CAN NEVER COME BACK. If you follow this , first of all , you will not be popular. This is a “radical change” and people don’t like radical changes Your fellow coaches , administrators and fans will dislike you. Because it’s too hard for anyone to understand. For example why you are still running when you are up 15 and there are 4 minutes to go in the game and you don’t delay the game. They can’t understand that it’s impossible to “stop” your team. Even the officials will absolutely dislike you because you make them work too hard. So why we do this ? Because it works , has great results , makes your team solid and almost unbeatable and personally I don’t give a damn if they like me or not , if they hate me or not , when my team runs and strangles the opponent. I don’t give a damn also, because my job is to find “ways” to make my team to win the games and this kind of basketball “proven” is the best I ever had. The philosophy of the “basketball in the fast lines” is that we run on every situation. Turnovers ,steals, defensive rebounds, made shots, missed shots, loose balls, up 20, down 20. Non stop running.I’m a strong believer in what Sun Tzu writes in his book ” the Art of War”. “When you prepare everywhere you will be weak everywhere. So we don’t spend our time in practices to teach our team what to do against personal defenses or zone defenses. Our fast break is all that we do, we run it and that’s it. We have no zone offense as I said earlier, no press offense, no secondary offense, no delay offense. We do one thing and the players know we do one thing and they believe in what we do because they have no choice. They have no choice because there’s no alternative. We have a 7- second offense on missed shots. If we get the defensive rebound we like to shoot the ball within 7 seconds. On made shots we have a 3 – second offense. We will get the ball out of the net and shoot within 3 seconds. It takes us 7 seconds to get a shot if the opponents miss and 3 seconds if they make it. Our main goal is to get 100 shots a game  when  our team is ready. We are more interested for shots and points than in anything else and when we get a lot of points , we usually win .
We never but never use “scouting” we don’t waste our time to analyze our opponents way of play. Our assistant coaches and all our staff works hard for our team. And in most games we don’t call time outs, we don’t need them as we haven’t anything to say and our players know very well what to do and they have to do only one thing. Deeper than that if a team is scoring on us the worst thing for us to do is to call timeout because we need the clock running to do our game. Dead time hurts us stop our pace and gives breaths to the opponents. About me personally  Miles what to say? I’m just ready to play the game the way I like and to face all the surprises that only basketball can give.

Thank you coach Filkinis for this interview and for all the answers
and the information you gave us.

I have to thank you and German Hoops also for this opportunity and I hope that the teams will offer a great spectacle to the fans and the German basketball to rapidly identify and get back to leading positions it deserves in Europe.
coach George P. Filkinis
Skype name : geo_filk
Mobile phone : 6972-393-444
Home phone : 210-613-6669
Office phone : 210-804-1333
Facebook : Coach George P. Filkinis

Thomas Schreiner(Austria National Team) It´s Obvious Germany Hasn´t Played To Their Potential Yet But You Can´t Forget That They Are A Young Team

August 15, 2014

Thomas Schreiner is a 27 year old 195cm point guard from St Polten, Austria that will be playing his third season with Spanish team  MoraBanc Andorra (Spain-Liga Endesa)helping them move up this season to division one. He started his basketball career in 2003 for : UKJ SUBA St.Polten (B Bundesliga) where he played until 2006. In the 2006-2007 season he played for  BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfeld Panthers (A Bundesliga): Stage 1: 21 games: 3.1ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.8bpg; Stage 2: 14 games: 7.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg, 2.3bpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 71.4%. Then in 2007 he returned back to St Polten where he played until 2011. In the 2011-2012 season he played for  ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (A Bundesliga). Since 2012 he has been playing for Andorra. Currently he is a member of the Austrian national team and spoke to German Hoops after the loss to Germany in qualifying.

 

Thomas thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 77-64 loss to Germany in the second game of European qualifications. I guess Austria learned tonight that a game has 40 minutes and not 35 minutes. Is this a game that Austria will be able to forget quickly?

 

It was definitely a tough loss for us. We have to move on from last nights game quickly, we have to draw confidence from our first 35 minutes and learn from our mistakes. We have to move on quickly because we have another big game on Sunday against Poland.

 

With five minutes to play Austria led 64-56, but then totally lost their rhythm allowing Germany to finish the game with a 21-0 run. Did Austria get tired? What were the main reasons for not being able to score in the last five minutes?

I don’t think it was about us getting tired. We just had a couple of mental breakdowns and got to passive because of their defensive intensity.

Germany lost the first game in Poland and were on the boarder of losing in Austria. Were you surprised how Germany played for 35 minutes? Is Germany overrated or just not playing to their potential despite having NBA player Dennis Schroeder and other top players?

It’s obvious they’re not playing up to their potential so far. I think that they’re a really talented team but haven’t had a chance to prepare properly because of the NBA summer league. Also, you cannot forget that they’re a really young team.

Enis Murati led Austria with 27 points and shot 11/16. He has played in Austria his whole life. Do you believe that some German teams now know who he is after this performance?

I think after last nights performance everybody who watched the game in Germany now knows him. I’m glad he played well and got a chance to show that they’re also good players in the Austrian league.

What German player impressed you the most in the game? Maxi Kleber was a big factor in the fourth quarter why Germany could come back and win the game.

Maxi Kleber was the X factor for Germany. He is a really talented player and had an outstanding performance against us. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.

How content are you that Austria can still advance? Austria now plays Poland next who is 2-0.

We knew coming into this group that it would not be easy to qualify for the European championships. We are heading into every game with the mindset that we want to win, and I still believe in our team that if we play our best basketball we can still qualify.

You already led the Austrian league in assists as a 21 year old in the 2007-2008 season with 7,6 assists per game. Has passing and finding your teammates always come easy to you?

I’m a player who does whatever the team needs to win games. For me as a Point Guard to try to get everybody involved.

You will be playing your third season for MoraBanc Andorra (Liga Endesa) and helped them move up from Leb Gold to the Liga Endesa. How thrilled are you to start to play in the best league behind the NBA this season?

I’m very excited, and look forward to competing with the best players in Europe.

You were second best in the Leb Gold in assists last year. What will be most challenging on the court this season for you coming from the Leb Gold league?

I think the biggest challenge will be to compete against even better players and teams than last season. I also think the speed of the game is another notch higher in the Liga Endesa.

You played with Jordi Trias who played 6 seasons for FC Barcelona and this season Victor Sada will join the team who played 8 seasons for FC Barcelona and won medals at the 2011 European championships and 2012 Olympics. Since you have been there has Trias told any interesting stories from his Barcelona days?

Yes, like every veteran he shared a lot of interesting and also funny stories about his career, and especially his time in Barcelona.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Captain America 2

Thanks Thomas for the chat.

 

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