Anish Sharda is a 32 year old 188cm American point guard that also has the Indian citzenship and is playing his ninth professional season and first with TV Langen. He started his basketball career in 2001 with Moorpark JC. H ethen finished school at University of Mary (NAIA) in 2005 and as a senior averaged 15.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, 45.9% FGs, 38.7% 3-pts, 83.2% FTs. He came to Germany in 2007 and played two seasons for ASC Theresianum Mainz (Germany-Regionalliga) helping them move up to the German Pro B in 2008. He then played a season for USC Freiburg and for Hanau from 2010-2014 helping them move from the Regionaliga to the Pro B in 2011. Last season for TG 1837 White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProB) he played 24 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.9rpg, Assists-5(4.9apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 85.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
Anish thanks for talking to German Hoops. You came to Europe in 2007 and have always played in Germany. Why has Germany become your second basketball home?
Yes it is my second home. I am very thankful that I got another opportunity to play in Germany. My wife is from Mainz and another reason why I love Germany. I have felt comfortable wherever I have played in Germany and have always been treated well. I am so thankful that I can continue to do what I love which is play basketball.
Except for a season in Freiburg you have mostly played in the Rhein Main area. Has the international flair in general here been something that has kept you comfortable and have had the need to explore other basketball areas in Germany. You signed late into the season with TV Langen. Were you almost retired at age 32. How close was the end of your professional basketball career had you not signed for Jogi Barth in Langen?
I have always felt very comfortable in this region. Even now playing for Langen I live in Mainz. Mainz isn´t big but has that city flair. I signed late as I had a hard time trying to find a team and I don´t know why. The later it got the less I thought of retiring. I stayed in shape with the Mainz team and am thankful that Jogi Barth took a chance on me as I will do my best to help the team win games.
A few weeks before you arrived your ex teammate at Hanau Filmore Beck was released after a massive blow to the head of BG Karlsruhe American Paul Bortherson. You knew Filmore personally. What has been your whole take on this and is the ban of almost 4 years not to harsh?
I remember when he was my teammate in Hanau that he was a good kid. Sometimes in the heat of the moment that type of thing can happen. I can´t say if 3.5 years is fair, but I feel sorry for both guys. Beck is my ex teammate. He was good to me and I was good to him.
Is your role any different with TV Langen then it has been anywhere else in Germany. It seemed like in Hanau you were always the leader. Now in Langen they have two very capable leaders with Martins Woody and Nick Freer.
Nick Freer is great for the team. He works hard and is a good leader. This is a different role for me as I am coming off the bench. I am still trying to figure out my role. I just want to do what I can to help the team win.
It seems like every season you get to play and work with new young Germans. What has it been working with young Germans like Jona Hoffman and Tom Alte and Jan Moritz Overdick? How much potential do these guys have?
I love working with young Germans. It is a lot of fun helping them to become better. TV Langen has a very good youth program and I feel the potential is great for these guys if they continue to work hard. I like the game of Overdick. He reads the pick and role very well for his age.
Do you feel more pressure as a player now as you get older having to work even harder and to take care of your body more?
I am not athletic so I have always had to work extra hard which means always staying in shape. I have cut out sugar and don’t eat Wiener Schnitzel. This might be the Pro B, but no matter at what level you are staying healthy is key. Look at the NBA and you guys Like Dirk Nowitzki cutting out flour at age 29 and Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash changing their diets. I had to change my diet just to feel better in my body.
You are a scoring point guard that can score in a variety of ways but can also turn on the playmaker switch when needed. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed?
I think that my defense gets overlooked and I can defend better than what coaches give me credit for. TY Shaw may disagree with me but when I played for Hanau I always guarded the other teams best player. I remember guarding Larry Wright of Frankfurt a few years ago. IT is fun taking up a challenge like that.
What run was sweeter bringing Mainz or Hanau from the Regionaliga to the Pro B?
Mainz was the sweetest run. The expectations weren´t great there as many would just have been happy to remain in the league. Hans Beth made that season so easy. He put together a good team. It was like a big family there and it was a lot of fun building something up there.
After many years of not playing against Rickey Easterling you played against him again. You played against him some years ago with Hanau. How has he developed his game further?
I feel that Easterling is just the same. He is just buckets. He doesn´t shoot three pointers, but just finds his spots. I think that when he is 40 that he will still be able to score. He isn´t overall fast, but explosive. When he needs to get to the free throw line he does and doesn´t miss much.
In your first season in Mainz you played together with current Boston College guard Patrick Heckmann. What memories do you have of him and did you know then that he would make his way in his career? How much potential does he have?
The two lasting memories I have of him was that he was a great kid and he loves to play basketball. The first time I saw him play he wasn´t so tall, but the next time he had grown and was more athletic. The sky is the limit for him. He has euro steps and sees the floor so well. I have worked with him over the summer. He needs to get stronger and work on his shot, but he can play in the BBL.
Hans Beth was your head coach in Mainz and Hanau. How important has he been in helping you develop your game through the years?
We talk basketball all the time and have grown together in different aspects of life. He is a very experienced guy that is forward thinking and a visionary. The most important thing that I learned from him was to be a good leader and good example for players.
You played a season for USC Freiburg. When I say the numbers 163-44 what comes to mind?
That was that game where the team had a virus. We all had to go to the doctor. I didn´t want to go, because I knew that if I did I wouldn´t play. I remember Achmadschah Zazai having a very good game.
You played two seasons with Marco Voeller. How long did it take you to realize who his famous dad was? He is playing in the German pro A for Gotha. He is still young and do you see him making the next step down the line?
I had no idea who his dad was. Marco was so humble and never talked about it. I remember one time we were watching a soccer game and suddenly his dad was there and he said he was the manager of Bayer Leverkusen and I was so clueless. My German wife filled me in later who he was and I felt like an idiot. Marco is a physical player that knows how to use his strength the right way and shoot the ball. If he wants to he can play at the next level.
You played for Ty Shaw last season after leading the club to a very respectable season. This season the club got off to a slow start and he got canned. As his ex player did you feel that this move was a bit too early?
I think that he was fired too early. They didn´t give him enough time to build. It really was an unfortunate situation for him after their great season last year.
What path do you see yourself going down once you retire from professional basketball?
I would like to get into coaching. I would prefer more individual skills training, but I would like to be around basketball. I think too often coaches are too tough on young kids. I want to be positive and help kids learn.
When you look back at all your years playing in Germany, which player was your toughest competitor?
Konstantin Klein and Karsten Tadda. Those two are so physical, but always clean. They would kill you for 40 minutes, but then still give you the hand. They fight for the whole game. It doesn´t surprise me that they are playing at a high level.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Jeremy Lin documentary.
Thanks Anish for the chat.