Abe Lodwick is a 25 year old 201cm forward that is playing his second professional season with Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga) and is averaging 13,2ppg and 8,2rpg through five games. Last season as a rookie he played for Phoenix Hagen having the typical role come from the bench and give energy and helped the team reach the playoffs for the first time in their history. He played 36 games: 6.3ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 68.9%. He scored in double figures five times and had 20 points against Bremerhaven. He played at Washington State from 2007-2012 playing a total of 105 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 21 games: 5.2ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 23.5%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
After looking back at your rookie season with Phoenix Hagen could you have asked for a more enjoyable first season as a professional?
It was a great first year in Hagen playing for the Phoenix. We did better as a team than anybody expected of us and it was fun playing with that group of guys. I learned a lot in that first year, and will take the whole experience with me in the future. It was fun.
When you look back at the season where Phoenix Hagen reached the playoffs for the first time, what was the most important ingredient that this team had that helped them reach the 8 best teams in the league?
I think the most important ingredient was our offensive unpredictability. Teams wouldn’t know what we were going to do because we played at such a high pace. It was hard for teams to prepare for us.
In the four game series against the Brose Baskets Bamberg, you sure gave the six time Beko BBL champion a scare in playing them very tough the whole series. What memory will you take from this playoff series that could help you in your second season in Austria?
Anything can happen when the ball is tipped. Bamberg was a great team last year but it was fun playing against them and pushing them. The underdog mentality is always fun.
You seemed to like the German opponents that started with the letter B as you had very good scoring games against Bayreuth, Bamberg and Braunschweig. What will remain your personal season highlight game?
I think when we beat Bamberg in Hagen. It was a game we needed to keep our playoff hopes alive and we won and I played well. A good memory for sure.
Phoenix Hagen kept many players, but lost top point guard Davin White. They have replaced White with Henry Dugat. White sees the American who he played with Mexico as one of his picks as newcomers of the year. Do you think that Phoenix Hagen can reach the playoffs again?
They definitely can. With so many guys coming back and the new guys along with good German players like Berndt Kruel, Ole Wendt and Fabian Bleck, I think they have the ability to have a good year. But Hagen will not be able to sneak up on anybody this year.
How did players coach Ingo Freyer help you best as a rookie on the court which helped make your game mature?
He always wanted me to be aggressive. If you make a mistake, make it trying your hardest to make a play. It helped me become more comfortable in our run and gun system.
Who was your fiercest competitor player in the Beko BBL last season that you had to duel against?
Adam Hess hands down. But that was in practice because we were teammates. I would probably say Jacob Burtschi, he is a really good, smart player.
How blessed are you to be able to play a second professional season now in Austria?
I am very blessed to be playing another year overseas. This opportunity doesn’t present itself to many people, so I am thankful I have the chance.
Are you going with some pressure to Austria to a lower league that isn’t as competitive as the Beko BBL to bring good stats consistently?
Im really more concerned with improving my game in all areas than with stats. I feel like if I work on my game, other things like statistics will take care of themselves.
What has been your first impression of Austria. I am quite sure that Hagen can´t match the beauty of Oberwart.
Oberwart is much smaller than Hagen so it is not fair to compare really. Oberwart is very pretty and the people are nice.
What has been your early impression of head coach Tom Johnson? He has unending coaching experience. What kind of role do you see having on the team? Possibly like in Hagen as a guy coming from the bench an doing the little things? There seems to be some healthy competition at the forward spots with you and Americans Jeffry Bonds and Jason Johnson. These guys are very much older and very experienced. Do you see a guy like Johnson as a possible mentor as the season carries on?
Coach Johnson is a very enthusiastic coach. He definitely cares a lot about the direction the team is headed and works hard at making sure its going in the right direction. I am not sure what my role will be yet. Jason and Jeff are very experienced guys who know the game. They are good teammates and it has been fun playing with them so far. I think the rotation is open to more than just one of us at a time, I think we will share the court often this year.
What do you see missing the most from Germany and what do see as something that you will be enjoying in Austria this season?
I will miss my teammates in Hagen the most. Those guys were great, they made the year a lot of fun. In Austria I will be enjoying the new experience in a new country. I am looking forward to seeing what this season holds.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Godfather Part 2.
Thanks Abe for the chat.