Ismet Akpinar(I Will Never Forget My First National Team Dunk Against New Zealand)
Ismet Akpinar is a 16 year old 182cm point guard from Hamberg that recently completed his first season in the Pro B for SC Rist Wedel. He played 24 games averaging 5,9ppg, 1,5rpg and 2,3apg. He started his basketball career for : BC Hamburg Tigers junior team in 2009 and last year played for the Oberliga team. Last summer, he took part at the European Championships U16 in Czech Republic -11: 9 games: 13.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.9%. He recently spoketo German Hoops about his experience at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer tournament in Mannheim, Germany.
Congrats on finishing in 4th place at the Albert Schweitzer tournament in mannheim. If some one had told you that Germany would finish in 4th place before the tournament started, what would you have said?
We are completely satisfied with our performance !I would believe that but I think the most people out there wouldn’t ! We proved ourselves and made some noise So people need to be aware of us. I think untill the European championship in the summer we will be even a more complete team
Germany beat USA quite easily in a exhibition game. Were you sure after this win that Germany would have a successful tournament?
We had a couple of preparation games against New Zealand Australia and the USA
After all these wins we had more self confidence and started motivated into the tournament
The United States finished only in 7th place. How much did this surprise you? Was there talent level not as strong this year?
After our first meeting I was a bit sad about their game I was completely surprised how they ended this tournament. I would have wished that the USA would have been a more stronger team
What was your impression of American Austin Nichols? Are there any players on that team that could become NBA players in the future?
All players have much potential. Some Player more some less. But the Most Important thing is that every player has to work hard to reach this goal. Austin Nichols is a very complete player !
You had a solid tournament averaging 8,4ppg, 3,0rpg and 1,7apg. How happy were you with your play?
I am not satisfied with my performance. Even though I am a year younger than the most guys there I could have played better. I had a couple of good games but also a couple of not so good. I will work hard until the summer and hopefully have some good games in the European championships.
How much could you learn from this week of international play?
During these days you can learn very much. You have the opportunity to compare yourself with the best players of the world. And I did it. I learned very much during my game time.
Germany lost to Serbia which didn´t let them get a medal. What would have gotten Germany past the hump to win this game. What would Germany would have done better to win?
We really could have won this game. If we would have stopped their players in the one on one game And if we would have played better help side and rotated better . All in all we were to weak in the defensive game.
You had some good games against New Zealand, Turkey and Serbia. What game will you remember the most?
Every game has this special feeling. You don’t get often the chance to play against New Zealand and see the Haka. Against Serbia it’s always dynamic and I played against the MVP of the tournament. But I think the game I will not forget is against turkey !The Turkish fans were very loud and energetic. Also it had a complete other atmosphere. What also counts is that it’s always something special when you play against you fatherland
What was your personal favorite play in a game that you will remember for a while?
My personal play I will not forget is my first national team dunk against New Zealand.
German Paul Zipser made a name for himself. He averaged 14,6ppg, 5,0rpg and 2,3apg. Do you think that in the future that he will continue to be a point guard or play more the forward position?
I think Paul is also a very completed player. He can play the point position but I think he will prefer the small forward spot .
Gavin Schilling also had a productive tournament averaging 10,7ppg and 5,4rpg. Where do you see his route going in the next years. Could he become a solid NCAA player?
Gavin will be a great NCAA player. He has a lot of potential. He is very athletic and is perfect for the American basketball
What was the most important thing that you learned form coach Kay Blumel in this week?
I think the most important thing is that he always believed in us. Doesn’t matter how much points we were down he stayed the most of time very calm and made the right decision. So to be direct ” believe in yourself and never give up “
You saw many players last week in the tournament. Who will be the stars of tomorrow?
Its very hard to say it right now. The most of the players are still improving themselves. But great players were Radiceciv, Perez , Erülkü, Ristic, and Diop
Spain won the 2012 Albert Schweitzer tournament. What keeps Spain still steps in front of Germany in young player development?
Spain plays very good as a unit. There are no selfish players that make very little mistakes and everybody does his job perfect in the team. I think everybody in Spain is the leader of his own club-team but in the national team they fit perfectly together and play very fast(typical for Spain teams) and they dominate most of their opponents.
What are your plans for the summer?
I am gonna plan my summer in the upcoming days together with my coaches. I want to improve my little mistakes in my game like something of my shooting form my passing my ball handling reading situations and so on. I will work hard everyday and a lot of individual things. My goal is to play a very good European championships and I will start from now on.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Haha the last DVD I have watched is honestly the old but gold film Space Jam, but I realized that I am a bit to grown up for this film, but I still loved it.
Thanks Ismet for the chat