Romeo Travis is a 31 year old 201cm forward from Akron Ohio that is playing his ninth professional season and first with Strasbourg IG (France-ProA). He played at St Marys high school with Lebron James and had ex Ulm teammate Dru Joyce as teammate. He played at Akron(NCAA) form 2003-2007. His best season was his senior year as he played 32 games averaging 14.9ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, 2.0bpg, FGP: 52.3%, 3Pts: 37.5%, FT: 67.3%. In 2007-2008, he ventured to Europe and played in Spain for Alerta Cantabria Lobos (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 8 games and averaging 3.4ppg, 1.8rpg and then moved to Ciudad de Huelva (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 2 games and averaging 3.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0bpg but left after 2 games and was reeled in by Mike Taylor of Ratiopharm Ulm where he played 10 games averaging 10.8ppg, 5.1rpg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 73.3%. He had his break out season in Ulm in the 2008-2009 season averaging 12.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 64.9%. In the 2009-2010 season he moved to the Walter Tigers Tuebingen (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 34 games averaging 14.4ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 73.0%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Elitzur Netanya (Israel-Premier League) playing EuroChallenge: 10 games: 15.9ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 68.1%; Israeli League: 28 games: 14.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 71.1%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League) playing Balkan League: 9 games: 13.4ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 63.0%; Israeli League: 28 games: 17.9ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 75.6%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for KK Zadar (Croatia-A1): 19 games: 13.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 72.5%; Adriatic League: 25 games: Score-4(14.7ppg), Reb-2(7.8rpg), 2.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 68.1%. IN the 2013-2014: Khimik-OPZ Yuhzny (Ukraine-Superleague) playing 34 games: 10.2ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 71.4%; Eurocup: 18 games: 12.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 75.5%. Last season he played for Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd (Russia-VTB) playing Eurocup: 16 games: 14.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 63.0%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 84.8%; VTB United League: 24 games: 11.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 33.9%, FT: 78.0%. He spoke to German Hoops recently when he was in Munich, Germany for a Euroleague game against FC Bayern Munich.
Romeo thanks for talking to German Hoops This season you are playing for Strasbourg IG (France-ProA) and as close to Germany as never before. How many times have you ever been in Germany since landing in Strassburg? Have you had any day trips to Germany on a day off?
No I haven’t had the time to make it to Germany yet. On my days off I usually just relax and rest playing twice a week is difficult with the travel and high level competition.
In the last three seasons Strasburg have gone from a middle of the standings kind of team to a top team and have reached the France pro A final three years in a row. How much of an urgency do you feel is there to finally win that second league title after 2005?
This team has all the tools for a championship run. I don’t think there’s pressure more of just high expectations
How hungry are you to win titles at this stage of your career? You haven´t won much as professional except for the Balkan league title in 2012.
I’m ready to win a title. It will complete my career. Couple of all star games and other individual awards. But I want the ultimate award a championship.
There are some guys that have been there for s while like a Louis Campbell that was in three consecutive finals, but the club also have made many changes this season. Is this the season that Strassburg will finally win the league title?
I cannot say this team will win a title. I can say if we are healthy and lucky we will have a chance at the championship.
There are many teams fighting for that top position. Was the heavy competition of the France Pro A a reason why you decided to sign there?
I came here because it was a great situation for me. I know coach is a great coach and he would put me in a situation to be successful.
You have some stiff competition at your position with guys like Matt Howard and Jeremy Laloup. What is your role on the team exactly?
I don’t have a role technically. I just fill the holes that we have that day. Defense scoring rebounding whatever is needed that game
You are 30 and in playing your ninth professional season. Are you in your best basketball age now at 30 or have you already been there or do you feel you can still get better now?
I feel like you can always get better. But at my age now it’s most important to take care of my body and just play at a consistent high level
You have only been here a short time and have played for many coaches, but what kind of experience has it been playing for Vincent Collet that has celebrated success at the club and national team level. Is it his coolness or his sticking to details or something else that has impressed you most so far?
I love playing for Coach Collet. He’s very intelligent and detailed in his game plans. Which is great for me being a cerebral player. It’s great to learn from an amazing basketball mind.
Usually its the young bucks that play added over the summer, but the older guys that like to be at home, but last summer you played for the Alaska Aces (Philippines-PBA, starting five): Governor’s Cup: 19 games: 22.6ppg, 11.8rpg, 3.6apg, Steals-3(1.8spg), 1.2bpg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 80.0%. Was the allure of playing in Asia something you still wanted to witness in your career?
Yeah I wanted to play in Asia because I’ve never been there and everyone said they love basketball over there so having that chance was awesome. I love the Philippines and the fans #WeNotMe
Last season you played for Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd (Russia-VTB). What kind of experience was that for you? You played for ex German national coach Dirk Bauermann and the crazy stories of this club is endless as the owner sometimes subbed himself into games. What was most craziest for you?
Bauerman is another great basketball mind. With so much experience and he taught me so much about spacing and picking my spots on the floor to be successful. The situation was more crazy from the outside than the inside. The president love for basketball is why there is a team there. So his passion sometimes gets the best of him.
In the 2013-2014 season you played for Khimik-OPZ Yuhzny (Ukraine-Superleague). How difficult was this season for you considering of all the political turmoil there?
It wasn’t that bad there. The news made it seem much worse. The team did a great job of protecting us and keeping us safe. I didn’t feel any of the political pressures.
After three seasons in Germany, you left for Israel and never returned back to Germany. Was money the main reason why it wasn´t an option returning?
It wasn’t only money the top teams in Germany never gave me a chance. I didn’t take it personal. If I wanted to move up in my career I had to leave Germany and put myself in a situation to climb the European ladder to EuroLeague
You then played two seasons in Israel a place where Americans like to play and usually experience culture shock as living there is nothing like what one thinks living in the States. Did you have that feeling also getting to know quickly just how safe it actually is there?
Yes Israel is very American friendly and it’s very easy to live there. I made some life long friends while I was there. It was an amazing experience and will always smile when I think of my time there
As a rookie you had two quick stays with Alerta Cantabria Lobos (Spain-LEB Gold): Spanish League: 8 games: 3.4ppg, 1.8rpg; left in Dec.’07: 8 games 27 points, 14 reb, then moved to Ciudad de Huelva (Spain-LEB Gold): 2 games: 3.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0bpg before moving to ratiopharm Ulm. What was your wake up call to being a professional in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home in Akron, Ohio?
Both of those situations were very difficult for me. I was transitioning from a power forward to a wing and the cultural differences of being out of Akron. But thanks to one of my best friends Dru Joyce. He got me back in Europe and I am forever grateful to him for that. He called me everyday and wouldn’t let me quit.
How important was Mike Taylor in your rookie season and season after helping you make the transition to European basketball?
Mike Taylor was actually great for me. He let me play my game and let me figure what was good for me and would help me be successful in Europe for years to come.
You ex teammate and close friend Dru Joyce has made a home in Germany most of his career. Do you think there could be a chance that you guys close out your career one day on the same team again?
I would love to close out my career with Dru we played together for 8 seasons in a row. So we know each other pretty well. If I had the chance to play with Dru I would do that in the blink of an eye.
How much has your friendship grown and stayed intact over the years with the continuing rising of the fame of Lebron James?
It’s amazing to be on the inside but also watching from a distance seeing the growth of Lebron. We will always be friends and we are over seas technology keeps us close.
Do you have the sense that he finds some time here and there to follow what you are doing in Europe?
Yeah he always is aware of what’s going on. If there’s one thing he is that’s aware
When all is said and done where will your friend Lebron James be ranked in the alltime gretest players of all time?
Lebron will be top 3 players of all time depends on how you rank players. Championships MVPs etc etc
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched the movie “Black Mass” gangster movie. One of the few movies you hope the bad guy gets away.
Thanks Romeo for the chat.