Mason Biddle Gave Up The Slow Paced Game Of Baseball For Basketball Playing It The Right Way And Hasn´t Regretted It

 

                Riverside, California may just be another city in California that gives it´s 2 cents in helping the estimated 39,14 million of the Golden State keep it´s growth, but when you have 319,514 people living there, you are bound to produce more than just a handful of very talented athletes. When looking at the who´s who of well known sports figures that come from Riverside, one quickly notices that the city that is 57 miles from Los Angeles has had a fancy of producing baseball players more than basketball players. If one were to make a poll asking Riverside natives which player Barry Bonds or Reggie Miller is that places most famous athlete, the responses may be mixed, but stats don´t lie that baseball players own that region. For the old school baseball fans just mentioning the father and son duo of Bobby and Barry Bonds and Dusty Baker would make one or the other reminisce back to four decades as they owned the baseball landscape of the 70´s, 80´s, 90´s and into the millennium. Other notable players were guys like Alvin Davis, 2002 World Series champion and save master Troy Percival, Eric Show and 2002 World Series champion Adam Kennedy just to name a few. Basketball players just don´t match baseball players in number from Riverside, but it has produced some very well known players besides Miller like his sister Cheryl  current NBA shooting star Kawhi Leonard, Tony Snell and Euroleague winner with Real Madrid Marcus Slaughter. Another guy that belongs to the short list of professional basketball players that come from Riverside is Mason Biddle. He may not ring a bell for most, but he recently finished his rookie season in Germany and despite all the baseball talent coming from Riverside, in the end he decided to focus on basketball and his talent brought him a professional contract in 2016. Like so many guys before him, he chose against baseball for a reason I chose Tennis after spending my last game in ninth grade at short stop, the usually most exciting position on the diamond getting one ground ball the whole game and just lost in thoughts about what I am doing wasting my time with this sport. It wasn´t so much difference for Biddle as boredom can be a nagging difficulty for a teenager when all you really want is some fun and excitement. Biddle couldn´t come up with so many famous basketball players from Riverside either. “Yea the only other two I can think from Riverside California besides Reggie Miller would be Kawhi Leonard and a good friend of mine Malcolm Lee. Obviously, everyone knows Kawhi and Malcolm played 3 years in the NBA and was in the top league in Turkey this past season. I played baseball growing up and I wish I would have stuck with it but it was too slow paced for me so I stopped playing at a young age”, warned Mason Biddle.

Who knows what may have happened to the baseball career of Mason Biddle had he stayed with it, but he was able to turn professional after his college career at Western State(NCAA2) and now is on a fun and exciting roller coaster ride where he will see if he can be another one of many talented players form America in Europe that can slowly move up the basketball ladder up levels. It wasn´t any different for Marcus Slaughter who went from Germany to the Euroleague. Biddle will have a longer road than Slaughter, but he is ready for the challenge and blessed that he got that first chance in Germany. “My first year in Stade I had a great experience. The city and club treated me very well and we had a successful season. I met a lot great people and formed a lot of good relationships. My coach, Nemo Weber was great we had a real solid relationship on and off the court. It was my first time out of the country and I really enjoyed being in Germany”, stressed Mason Biddle. Even if you can´t compare a Slaughter to a Biddle as the big 204cm power forward didn´t win his Euroleague title until his ninth season and in his third try with Real Madrid after being a finalist in 2013 and 2014 and saw the inside of hotels in Europe that Biddle would only see when watching Netflix movies, but Biddle who never saw the inside of a hotel in Germany on a road trip as teams travel to games on game day in the German fourth league called the Regionalliga took his rookie season and less comfortable way of life in stride. “Although the Regionalliga 1 isn’t that glamourous I think it was a good start to my career. I was fortunate enough to be in a position a lot of players would have taken in a heartbeat. Playing Itzehoe and Wedel in the preseason also showed me that the top teams in the Regionalliga are similar to a lot of the teams in the Pro-B. I was lucky to have access to a gym outside of practice hours in Stade and tried to keep myself busy on off days. The top 4 teams in the North were pretty good and with no playoffs in this league every game was important”, warned Mason Biddle.

Biddle started his professional career with Stade which is a small town that has nearly 46,000 residents about an hour from Hamburg and lies on the other side of the beautiful Elbe river. Even if there was little to do in Stade, just roaming along the pretty Elbe river and watching the gigantic ships coming from all the world en route to Hamburg harbor move up and down could have erased any boredom he might have had. On the court, the club had a very successful season, but when it counted most about moving up or staying in the Regionalliga, they were unable to beat top team RW Cuxhaven in the last game as they couldn´t carry over their success from beating them the first time. “It was a crazy year in the sense of how the schedule worked out. There are no playoffs in this league but how the records worked out we ended up playing Cuxhaven in the last game of the year to determine who would move up to the Pro-B. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and our fan support was incredible for an away game. Unfortunately, we came up short and didn’t have our best game when it counted but we fought until the end. Defensively we missed a few rotations that we changed mid-game and offensively we didn’t hit our shots down the stretch. Cuxhaven played real well followed a good game plan and deserved to win that day“, stressed Mason Biddle. The club had very talented players which Biddle benefited from and was able to broaden his basketball horizons and play with international players from Spain like young Damian Cortes Rey and the experienced Oscar Andres. “I loved playing with both Damian and Oscar this season. Damian is a young and very athletic shooting guard that started the year off great. Even though his shooting percentage went down during the year he improved in a lot of different ways and was a vital part to our success as a whole. He is going to be a great player. Oscar Andres was one of my best friends on the team and I loved playing with him. I have been playing basketball for a long time and he is one of the smartest players I have ever been around. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and helps keep our team level headed through any adversity we face. It was a pleasure playing with both of them”, added Mason Biddle. As is often the case, German Regionalliga teams are filled with experienced German players like Tom Lipke that once played at higher levels, but now in their thirties are closing out their careers and can pass off their experience to younger players like Biddle. “Tom Lipke was another close friend of mine. Tom suffered through some injuries throughout the season and it was tough for him to get into his usual rhythm but he was another key ingredient to our success. Tom is pretty much unstoppable going to the basket and in post-up situations in this league and he had a few games and moments where he showed it. If you watch Tom play you can tell that he was a second Bundesliga talent when he was younger and still has some left in the tank. Tom gave me a lot of great advice on all his experiences and was always open to answering any questions I had. I was fortunate to be able to play with him this season”, stressed Mason Biddle.

Biddle who rates Russell Westbrook as an animal on the court and one of his favorite players had a solid rookie season playing 20 games and averaging 13.0ppg, 5.7rpg, 5.2apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 39.4%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 81.9%. “I was very content with the season I had. I stayed healthy, took care of my body throughout the season, and felt in control of each game as the PG and leader”, said Mason Biddle. When examining the stats of Biddle even more closely, one recognizes that he wasn´t one of those typical American players in the Regionaliga averaging 25ppg, but a guy that played more for the team success and was able to not only fill out the stat sheet, but do his role as a classical floor general where scoring wasn´t the first option. He could of scored a lot more if he wanted, but put his his ego in the closet and played for the good of the team. “A lot of Americans get that bad image of being selfish and only caring about scoring in this league because it is how a lot of them play. When I first got to Stade and started practicing I could tell my teammates were real surprised that I was willing to pass the ball and make the right play. But I think I proved this season that I am a team player and put the team’s success before mine every day. I know I can score and get a shot off whenever I want but as a point guard it is my job to get our team the best shot and I think that is what I did this season”, warned Mason Biddle. He scored in double figures in 15 of 20 games and shot 38% from outside. His 38% percentage from downtown is a positive omen that he will continue to raise his shooting in that area. “I do feel with extra reps this summer and more hours in the gym I will be able to shoot in the 40% range next season”, warned Mason Biddle. Stats don´t always tell the whole story especially on the defensive end as there are countless ways one can help his team without it being remembered in the stat sheet, but even despite averaging 2,9spg, Biddle felt as though his defense was overlooked. “I was fortunate this year to do a little bit of everything depending on what was needed that day. A hidden strength in my game that never really got noticed until this year was my defense. I have always had a good basketball mind and I am very tuned in when it comes to scouting reports and defensive rotations. I also take pride in guarding the opposing team’s best player and doing everything I can to get them out of their comfort zone”, commented Mason Biddle.

Biddle is back in Riverside, California with a along summer in front of him and enough time to think about his professional basketball future. Often it is those very skilled Americans who really ruled the Regionalliga that get that promotion right away to the next level Pro B, but then again other guys like American Terence Billups need an extra season of fine tuning before making the next step as he reached the Pro B with Leipzig in his third season after paying his dues in the Regionalliga with Cottbus and Rendsburg. Then again there are other guys like Ricky Easterling who made a name in the Regionalliga for 8 seasons with Saarlouis averaging over 30,0ppg three times, but not making the jump to the Pro B until 2014 and recently completed his third season at that level with BG Karlsruhe. Every player has his own unique experience and one never really knows what kind of opportunity a player will get. On most occasions that highs coring American will make the next step, but where will the basketball future of Mason Biddle go? A guy who averaged only 13,0ppg, but that played that accepted European game of team basketball that GM´s also adore. Biddle isn´t even thinking about more years in the Regionalliga, but is being aggressive and looking up. “Depending on the offer I get I would give this league another chance with a team that has the desire and budget to move up a level. But as for an extensive career I am not too sure. I am looking to play higher as soon as possible”, stressed Mason Biddle. He dropped 31 points in his best game of the season in the 66-59 victory against top team RW Cuxhaven and possibly that club might have scribbled his name in their player transaction notebook. “I don’t know if they have my name in their notebook for possible new players, but if they did I would be ready to talk. They had a good team this year and both games we played them were competitive and fun”, added Mason Biddle. One thing that Biddle doesn´t lack is self-confidence, but why should he when he already proved in his rookie season that he could make an impact at the next level playing against Pro B teams in pre-season. “I am going to be working out this summer and staying ready. Hopefully in the next month or so I will get some good offers to play somewhere next season. We actually beat Itzehoe and Wedel in the preseason this year and I have no doubt that I can make an impact at the next level”, warned ex Western State(NCAA2) guard Mason Biddle. The American will continue to work overtime in the gym and on his basketball craft on the court as his drive to be the very best at his position despite not having even a tad of that Westbrook athleticism continues to push him to the limit. “I am a very smart and skilled PG that gets overlooked by players that are more athletic than me. It has been like that my whole life and it is something that pushes me every day. I am a player that can score, pass, and rebound well for my size and am willing to do anything the team needs to be successful. I am all about playing basketball the right way and getting great shots verse good shots. I am a natural leader that can run a team and system very well.”, warned Mason Biddle. Biddle will surely go his way as a professional basketball player as he has the game and right attitude, but even if he won´t play in the NBA like King James or be able to one day trade Euroleague stories with fellow Riverside native Marcus Slaughter, he will always know the one place where he was truly king and ex Western State(NCAA2) guard and Biddle teammate Danny Hopkins should be able to attest to that. “I have been playing with Danny Hopkins since I was in the 3rd grade and we have been in countless amount of practices together. But I can honestly say I don’t ever remember playing him in an actual game of one on one, and now that I think about it that’s crazy. I will say in my last two years at Western I was the KING of the court in 85% of the group one on one sessions we had though”, smiled Mason Biddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Butler(ScanPlus Baskets) I Never Practice My Dunks Because I´m An In Game Dunker

 

Brian Butler is a 25 year old 196cm German forward that completed his second season with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (ProB) averaging 10,9ppg, 6,9rpg and 1,9apg and will return for a third season. He started his basketball career with the  FC Bayern Muenchen junior team (NBBL) and then moved to  BG Illertal/Weissenhorn (ProB) where he played from 2010-2013 playing a total of 74 Pro B games. He then played two seasons with Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProA) playing 65 Pro A games. He spoke to German Hoops about his summer and upcoming dunk contest in Cologne Germany July 22nd.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Hi thanks for having another interview with me !  I am in Elchingen right now and my summer was pretty successful till now .

 

You have been busy this summer with basketball. You recently won the street ball tournament Shut Up and Play in Berlin. That was the biggest trophy I ever saw. How did it feel holding that in your hand?

 

It was great ! We already won the tournament 2 years ago so it was a familiar feeling but it’s always a great feeling to get a check of 4K

 

How much fun is it in general is it playing 3 on 3. How is this format different than the usual 5 on 5? What do you enjoy most about this format?

 

It’s a big difference because you just play on one basket and most of the time it’s just one on one so that’s the most part I like because you have to guard your opponent as good as possible on your own if you ain’t able to do that it is hard to helbecause if you do so it’s an easy kickout to the shooter so basically you got be a good one on one player

Talk a little about the competition this time in Berlin. What players did you compete against that we know from the basketball leagues in Europe?

 

The competition is pretty good as always if you can win 4K ! Everybody wants to have money.  We throughout the tournament we meet several pro a and pro b players and a lot of young talents of the NBBL.

 

 

Was there a player that you feel really made strides in this tournament or was actually in a way discovered and could make a real step on the basketball map in the future?

 

I have seen a bunch of young talent hope I will see or play against them soon in the pro league.

 

 

The athleticism of players really come to play in 3 on 3. What do you try to work on most in this format?

 

Like I already said you have to be a good one on one player on offense but also on defense so on offense I’m trying to work on things I learned during the summer and on defense I’m just trying to guard anyone who is in front of me don’t matter if a point guard or a center

 

What kind of experience is it overall playing street ball and having this 3 on 3 format. The summer time is when you work on your game. How does this play help you with your overall preparation in basketball?

 

It’s a great experience because you get to travel the world and meet a lot of different players ! It helps me to stay in shape and like I already mentioned to work on things I can’t to during the season

 

 

The dunk of the summer was your beautiful spin from the base line and poster dunk. I probably watched it 30 times. Was that your personal favorite play/dunk this summer?

 

 

Hmm I don’t want sound arrogant but I had a lot of dunks this offseason! But it definitely is in my top 10 this off season ! My top dunk happened in Paris in the finals game with 20 seconds left in the game I got an outlet pass and boom and one dunk to put my team up by 4 points and I made my free throw

 

You are taking part at the GRC Dunk contest in Cologne this weekend. How excited are you to be competing against 2 time BBL champion Salu Tadi, Brit Joel Henry and Polish sensation Arek Przybylski. Do you feel like you can take the title?

 

 

I don’t know like always I’m going the to play in the tournament and I’m just going to be in the dunk contest to have fun and if I win I will be super happy but if not it’s just another great experience I’m taking home !

 

 

Can you revel any special dunks that you are preparing now and will present on Saturday in Cologne?

 

 

No not really because like I don’t really practice my dunks. I’m an in game dunker.

 

 

You are a professional basketball player, but love to dunk. Could you ever see dunking getting more popular in your heart that could risk your love to playing the game or will dunking in the summer always just be a hobby?

 

No dunking will always just be the hobby in the summer

 

You said in our last interview in April that this summer you will be working your shot and ball handling. How happy have you been with your development in these areas when you weren´t playing street ball and dunking?

 

 

I am real happy and excited !! I’ve been working on my shoot several weeks thanks to my coach who flew in a Croation individuell Coach that is working a lot with me.

 

 

 

How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?

 

I am really excited to see the new rookies. I think there is a lot of talent in this years draft

 

Where will the journey go for young German Florian Hartenstein. It looks like he will return to Europe and play in the EasyCredit BBL. What club do you see being the best fit for him?

 

Puhh to be honest I don’t know

The next German to make the NBA is Maxi Kleber. He couldn´t have found a better situation than the Dallas mavericks having a mentor like Dirk Nowitzki. Can Kleber stay in the NBA or could he have a short ride like a Tim Ohlbrecht and Tibor Pleiss witnessed?

 
I think he brings the athletic package and if he stays healthy and keeps on working on his game I think has good chances!

 

Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?

 

I don’t know I have a feeling there is still something missing ! To be honest I don’t think cp3 is a good fit for the Rockets

 

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Spider-Man the homecoming.

 

Thanks Brian for the chat

Kris Douse (BBC Herford) The Last 3 Months Have Been Like Law School Where I Learned The Ins And Outs Of My Rights In Germany

Kris Douse is a 31 year old 198cm forward from Toronto, Canada that recently completed an unforgetable season for the Westfalen Mustangs (Germany-2.Regionalliga). He will play this season for BBC Herford(Regionalliga). He played at Laurinburg (N.C.) Institute while Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson also played at Laurinburg (N.C.) prep. He started his college career at  Nebraska (NCAA) and then played two seasons at Delaware State. As a senior he played at Point Park (NAIA) playing  27 games: 20.1ppg, 12.6rpg. In 2011-2012 he started his professional basketball career at Liverpool Mersey Tigers (United Kingdom-BBL, starting five): 18 games: 15.9ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 13.6%, FT: 54.6%; then agreed terms with Keflavik (Iceland-Express League): 6 games: 9.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 44.7%, FT: 69%.In the 2012-2013 season he played for Turi Svitavy (Czech Republic-NBL): 2 games: 0pts, left in Oct.’12, in Nov.’12 moved to BG Aschersleben Tigers (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 17 games: 14.1ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3Pts: 10.0%, FT: 50.4%. In the 2013-2014 seaosn he played for EVL-Baskets Limburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing  25 games: 26.2ppg, 11.6rpg, 2.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.4%, 3Pts: 32.1%, FT: 59.1%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for the Plymouth University Raiders (United Kingdom-BBL): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3bpg, in Nov.’15 moved to Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A): 6 games: 1.5ppg, 1.7rpg, in Jan.’15 signed at SG ErftBaskets Euskirchen (Germany-Regionalliga): 9 games: 21.8ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.7spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 62.9%. Last season he played for  Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 10.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 18.4%, FT: 53.2% He spoke to German Hoops about his nightmare season with the Westfalen Mustangs.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Kris Douse in 2013 in Limburg, Germany

Kris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how sad are you that you can´t be enjoying the Canadian summer now?

Hello Miles, it’s a pleasure to update you on the situation and let you know how this whole fiasco is going. Currently I am in Herford with my new club that has been nothing but great the last few weeks and has really helped me get grounded and familiar to my new stomping grounds. As far as not being able to be home this summer this is mainly due to the legal circumstances, which is definitely not what I had planned for my summer, but I can say that it does give me a huge sense of pride to know that I am all in to fight the mistreatment towards me this season by the Mustangs organization.

Congrats on signing with Regionaliga team Herford. Was there a time in the last months where you lost trust in the game you love basketball or will any struggle not hinder you from continuing to be a professional

This whole situation definitely made me reflect and consider other avenues because stability is an important part of life, but I don’t believe I should stop playing because of another person’s actions and when I stop playing it should be on my terms. What is more surprising is how Florian Eichstädt is able to avoid court dates as he called the courts and asked to be excused from the first date for Temur and knowing him I am expecting him to do that on July 13 for Albert as well as myself on July 14. This has been a knowledgeable experience which I believe in the long run will be useful for my development as a person. I’ve been able to learn a lot about the German system and how the laws and regulations dealing with any job in Germany is regulated, and thus have gain a much better perspective on player rights especially when referring to contracts. I would like to take this chance to thank everyone in the BBG management especially coach Messenburg our Vorstand Mr. Jürgen and our president Mr. Steffen for the new opportunity in Herford and i am looking forward to an exciting season this year.

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Evan McGaughey (MLP Academics) A Strenghth Of Mine Is To Keep The Team Moral In A Positive Direction

Evan McGaughey is a 23 year old 203cm forward from Carthage, Illinois that will be starting his professional basketball career in Germany with the MLP Academics Heielberg. The American played an illustrious career at Quincy(NCAA”) where he averaged double figures in scoring average each season. As a senior he played 25 games averaging 16.6ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 50.6%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Thanks Evan for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how is your summer coming along?

Currently at the golf course right now. I usually go golfing with my dad on Sunday mornings. Getting in a few more rounds before I leave.

I have to commend you about your name Evan. It´s a great name and I should know since I just named my first son like that a few months ago. When you think of the name Evan what comes to mind first?

I usually think of taller people when Evan comes to mind. It’s weird, but the few Evan’s I know seem to be taller.

Congrats on signing with German pro A team MLP Academics Heidelberg. If someone had told you coming from West High School 5 years ago that you would be  a professional basketball player in 2017 what would you have thought?

I honestly wouldn’t have believed them. Coming from Illini West High School with less than 400 kids in the school, not many of them become a professional athlete. I’m excited that it actually happened though!

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The BASKETBALL AID-All-STAR-Team meet The University Of Iowa

                             BASKETBALL AID International Tour 2017

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It was one of the sporting highlights of the last years and it was for a good cause. In the summer of 2016, the BASKETBALL AID International Tour toured through Germany and Luxemburg. They demonstrated attractive basketball at 6 places playing 9 exciting games against EasyCredit BBL, Pro A, Pro B teams as well as against the Luxemburg national team in front of thousands of fans gathering money for children stricken with cancer. 30,000 Euro and a huge wave of enthusiasm and support was the result of the project.

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Peter Jok driving to the bucket who finished a stellar Iowa career playing 123 games and now is looking to start his professional basketball career

The BASKETBALL AID International Tour will continue at the start of August. During the University of Iowa´s European tour at the beginning of August, they will come to Germany on August eighth. The Hawkeyes who play in the highest American college league division one will meet a BASKETBALL AID All-STAR team at the Heidelberger arena at the Olympic base Rhein-Neckar(Im Neuenheimer Feld 710) at 20.00. The organizer of the game are German Pro A team MLP Academics Heidelberg with their CEO Matthias Lautenschläger.

This will be the University of Iowa´s only game in Germany as they will play other games in Switzerland against the Swiss national team and in Italy.

“We are very proud to have been able to win such a top university for the continuation of our project. The talks have been running since months”, stressed Hans Beth who is the chairman of the BASKETBALL AID International Tour. Beth and German basketball legend Pascal Roller who won a silver at the 2005 European championships with Germany will look after the opponent of the University of Iowa. “At the moment we are putting together an All-Star team from Germany and it will be an attractive game”, stressed Hans Beth. The game also has a very special meaning for the ex German national player Pascal Roller. I have been a member of BASKETBALL AID for many years and I am looking forward to being a part of this great event.

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Steven Bennett (Dresden Titans) I Don’t Feel Pressure But I’m Always Challenging Myself To Be Better Than I Was Before

Steven Bennett is a 29 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his sixth professional basketball season and first with the Dresden Titans. 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. In the 2013-2014 season he played for the LTi Giessen 46ers (Germany-ProA) playing 37 games averaging 11.1ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 66.7%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) playing  5 games: 5.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 87.5%; VTB United League: 1 game: 0pts, 1ast, left in Jan.’15, later that month moved to JBC MMCITE Brno (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 12 games averaging 14.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 74.1%. He last played in Germany for the  Finke Baskets Paderborn (Germany-ProA) playing 13 games averaging 10.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 71.8%He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Steven Bennett in Giessen after a 2014 Playoff game against Science City Jena

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

I’m currently in Toronto, Canada. My summer has been great, just training and getting ready for the upcoming season.

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Austin Hollins (Giessen46ers) I Inherited My Work Ethic From My Father

Austin Hollins is a 25 year old 195cm guard from Tennessee that is the son of ex NBA player Lionel Hollins and will be entering his fourth professional season and first with the Giessen 46ers. He started his basketball career at  Minnesota (NCAA) in 2010 where he played until 2014 playing a total of 136 NCAA games. As a senior he played 38 games averaging 12.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 44.5%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 77.1%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB) playing 35 games averaging 8.5ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 62.1%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 76.9%. In the summer of 2015 he played  NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Brooklyn Nets): 3 games: 2.0ppg and Las Vegas (Brooklyn Nets): 6 games: 7.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 42.9%. In the 2015-2016 season he remained with Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB) playing 34 games averaging 12.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 76.6%. Last season he played with Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 47 games averaging 17.2ppg), 4.7rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-3(1.8spg), FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 78.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about Basketball.

Austin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer coming along?

I am in Memphis, Tennessee right now which is my hometown. My summer is coming along well. I have been enjoying my time off as well as working out and trying to get better.

Congrats on signing with the German team Giessen 46ers. After a stellar season in Finland, were you swamped with offers or did you pretty much take one of the first offers that came with Giessen?

There was some interest from some teams and some offers and I could’ve waited a little longer to see if more teams would come along. But, I felt this was the best fit for me. It felt right so I ran with it.

What do you know in general about German basketball and the country? Some of your former teammates at Minnesota like Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams and Andre Hollins have played in Germany. Did you get some feedback from them?

I don’t know a ton about German basketball but I know that it is a very good league and a high level of competition. 2 of the 3 guys mentioned had short stints in Germany but I’ve gotten positive feedback from all of them about their experiences and I’m excited for the upcoming season.

You will be joining a very ambitious club with Giessen that are rich in tradition, but haven’t won  a league title since the 70´s. they also have a new head coach with Ingo Freyer who likes to play run and gun and where giving up 100 points isn´t a rarity. Do you see yourself being the defensive enforcer this season?

I’m excited for what Gießen is building and I’m glad to be a part of it. I love to play defense so I will try my best to help the team in that area.

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