Kevin Luyeye is a 23 year old 196cm forward that is playing his first season with TV Langen. He started his basketball career with ASC Theresianum Mainz (ProB) in 2008 where he played until 2010. He then moved to the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB): 18 games: 1.8ppg, 1.6rpg, also played at Eintracht Frankfurt (2.Regionalliga). He then moved back to ASC Theresianum Mainz (Regionalliga) for two seasons. Last season he played for SG TVD-BIS Speyer (ProB) playing 28 games and averaging 7.6ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 22.5%, FT: 44.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 76-66 loss to TG Wurzburg Baskets Akademy.
Kevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough loss against Wurzburg tonight. What were the main reasons for the loss?
We gave the game away in the fourth quarter with many turnovers. We weren´t playing aggressive and lost our self confidence.
TV Langen was in the playoff hunt until last weekend. It lost five of the last six games. Why was the team unable to win games in these important stretch?
I think that the loss to Hanau was the deciding point. We still had a chance for the playoffs, but that loss robbed us of our self confidence. We had many tight loses and our motivation left us. We didn´t have much luck the last weeks.
Do you think injuries and the loss of Filmore Beck was something the team could not recover from mentally?
Beck was a key player in their system, but I came soon after and noticed that the team had this togetherness. They had a huge win in Rhondorf which helped their self confidence and chemistry. I don´t think that losing Beck for the season was a reason why we missed the playoffs.
You came to TV Langen in December 2014. What were the main reasons for leaving the BIS Baskets Speyer?
I had a good season in Speyer last season and figured it would continue this season, but it didn´t. I honestly can say I don´t know why my time at Speyer ended. I wanted to talk with head coach Carl Mbassa, but before I knew it I had to go
You had nice competition at the guard position from DJ Woodmore and Benjamin Kaufhold. You averaged 16 minutes averaging 4,2ppg. Do you think that you didn´t play up to your potential there?
My first two games with Speyer weren´t great, but after that I felt like I had found my rhythm and had self confidence. But for some reason Coach and I didn´t see eye to eye.
Did your role change any at TV Langen? You are two minutes less than in Speyer, but averaging 6,0ppg?
I am very happy that TV Langen took me during the season. I am a role player and just do the best I can with the minutes I get. I am supposed to play defense and rebound and use my potential the best that I can. If I am playing well then at times I am able to score on a good day. Of course it is more difficult to score much when you are a role player. Coach Kostic has taught me a better understanding of the game.
You are a guy that brings energy from the bench. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
A hidden strength is my shooting. Coach knows I can play defense, rebound and penetrate, but my shooting does get overlooked.
You had your best game with TV Langen scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 34 minutes in a 87-84 win against BG Karlsruhe. After that your minutes went down, but still played 23 minutes in the next two games and averaged seven points. Do you feel you missed an opportunity in the next two games not being as effective?
I don´t need to score, but if I do then it is nice. My number one priority for TV Langen is defense. I need to play to have rhythm and if I am warm then there is always that chance that I will have a good scoring game.
There are some veterans on the squad with Martinis Woody, Nick Freer and Anish Sharda who you played with in Mainz. What things have you been able to pick up from them in the last few months?
I learn from them all, but I played with Sharda with Mainz when I was 17. He taught me the pick and role and the passing game.
You are only 23 years old and have only played Regionaliga and PRO B the last years. Do you still see yourself developing in the future and having chances of moving up a level?
I have been learning at the Telekom for three years and have my exam in April. I haven´t been able to focus 100% on basketball in the last years. But soon I can concentrate fully on basketball. I feel that I still have potential to grow and move up a level.
In the 2008-2009 season you played with ASC Theresianum Mainz together with Matthias Meinel who is still playing today at age 38 with hapa Ansbach (Regionalliga). Is he a guy that could play through his 40´s?
That was a long time ago. I don´t know.
You also played with current Boston College German Patrick Heckman. Did you see his potential then in Mainz. Is sky the limit for him?
We played on the same NBBL team. We were very fierce competitors on the team and were rivals on the court even if we were on the same team. I remember losing to Ludwigsburg in the NBBL playoffs with him. We were very competitive on the court and just wanted to always show our potential. He is a very good player and has made a big step in the States. When he does come back, I feel he could play in the BBL.
How important was head coach Hans Beth in your two years in Mainz? How was he able to help develop your game further?
Beth gave me that plat from where I was able to practice with older and more physical players at a young age with was important for my development. I didn´t get many minutes, but was able to practice with these older experienced players helped me a lot. He also gave me a better understanding of the game.
In 2010-2011 you came to the Fraport Skyliners Juniors which is known for their well respected youth work. Did you get lost with all their talents there as you stayed just one month?
My year in Frankfurt was interesting. I practiced with Klaus Perwas. It wasn´t easy getting minutes there as they had many young talent and guys who played BBL.
Last season you played together with Marcus Smallwood in Speyer. He had double double season stats in the German Pro A and Pro B. Is he one of the best players never to play Beko BBL?
He is a very hard working player with a lot of discipline. He prepares very well for games and I learned something from him about that. He also has a certain self confidence that helps his game. I can´t say if his game is enough for the BBL.
Who was the toughest player that you battled against in your career on the floor?
My teammate Billy Mcshepard. He is a 201cm player that had a great shot and had good skills with the ball. He was tough to defend. We made each other better in practice.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Kevin for the chat.