Aaron Nelson is a 203cm power forward from Bloom Township, Illinois that is playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf. He started his basketball career with SW Illinois JC (JUCO)and then moved to S.Indiana (NCAA2) and as a senior played 29 games averaging 19.3ppg, Reb-1(12.7rpg), 2.3apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 60.4%, FT: 63.3%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with Los Leones de Quilpue (Chile-Liga Nacional, starting five): Liga Americas: 3 games: 24.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 80.0%; Chilean Liga Nacional: 28 games: 21.1ppg, Reb-4(11.6rpg), 2.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.7%. Last season he split time with Atletico Tabare (Uruguay-LUB): 4 games: 15.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, in Dec.’15 moved to Salta Basket (Argentina-TNA). He spoke to German Hoops after the 81-69 victory against Nodlingen.
Aaron congrats on the 81-69 win against the Giants Nordlingen. How proud are you of the team that they were able to bounce back from last week´s blowout loss against Lich.
Thanks Miles. I am very proud we were able to get back on track this weekend. I felt like it was a must win game for us.
When I say how ridiculous it is to yell Blake Griffin to Chris Paul for the alley-oop dunk, it isn´t strange to yell Aaron Nelson to Viktor Frankel-Maus for the alley oop dunk. When is Viktor going to invite you for dinner after all that passing love that you show him?
Haha me and Viktor have already went and got dinner a few times. As much as I like to pass the ball to him, I’m pretty sure he likes passing the ball to me and the rest of the guys a lot more.
You guys started off the game with this fantastic alley-oop dunk. How much fun is it for you to heave up these passes which is very rare for the power forward to hook up the point guard. What power forward did you always like to watch pass the ball?
It’s fun throwing the ball up to Viktor, nobody really expects us to do that. That’s probably why it works for us. It really gets the crowd pumped up too. I always liked watching Kevin Garnett pass the ball I think he’s a very underrated passer. Also Marc Gasol he’s not a PF but he’s one of the best passing bigs for sure.
In the first quarter everything was working as the Dragons Rhondorf led 25-4 after 10 minutes. What were you more proud of the consistent offense flowing again or the hard edged defense that was giving Nordlingen nightmares?
I was definitely more proud of our defense. Holding a team to 4 points in 10mins of play is some great team defense. I know our offense will come eventually. The big thing is if we play good defensive we always give ourself a chance to win games.
Nordlingen did produce better in the last three quarters, but for the Dragons Rhondorf it was pretty much clear sailing from then on until the end. How proud were you of the team that they were able to keep their focus until the end of the game?
I was happy with the way we played, and that we were able to keep our focus throughout the game. It’s always hard to play with a lead. We might of gotten a little sloppy in the 2nd half. Overall we were able to keep together and pull out the win.
The only sore point on the day were the 16 turnovers. Did you feel like these was the only weak point in the game?
Those turnovers and our defense somewhat. We can’t turn the ball over that much and expect to keep winning games. It comes from us being such an unselfish team. We always try and make the extra pass, sometimes it’s just not there.
Forward Edigin and Mayen combined for 28 points a piece. Which player was more annoying to defend?
They both are pretty good players. They were strong and athletic, but I’m used to facing guys like that. I just do what I can to make them work for every point.
After giving up 94 points in Lich, the Dragons Rhondorf found back to their defensive ways giving up 69 points. Was it just getting back to defensive principles that helped the team defend better over the weekend before in Lich?
Yea pretty much it was about being more physical and not letting guys get to their spots on the court. Also communication we did a better job talking to each other, and not letting guys get to the middle of the court. We have a big team we can pretty much switch everything from the 2-5 sometimes even with the 1.
How important is that guys like Bastian Winterhalter and Anton Geretzki combined for 20 points. Do you get more of a feeling each weekend that the club can be supported by various Germans on the team?
It’s very important to get that production from those guys. When they play like that and being aggressive, and making shots it gives our team a good chance to win. Any of our guys can go off and have a good game any night. It’s about being aggressive on the court and having confidence in what you can do.
In your third game in Germany, you achieved your third double double. Does the success in each game make you look forward more to each new game knowing that good things will most likely happen in your game?
I look forward to the next game regardless. I love being out there with my team, and competing.
In three games you are averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds. With such good stats, what do you do to stay grounded and make yourself work on areas in your game where you feel you can always improve?
I always want to work on my game regardless of if I average 2 points or 20 points. It’s always something you can improve on.
You shot 5/15 from m the near distance. What annoyed you most about your misses tonight, the shot selection or just not being able to execute on easy attempts?
I am playing with an injury on my shooting hand. It’s no excuse to shoot bad from the field, but it did throw my game off a bit. I missed a bunch of stuff that I should of made.
Despite Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo coming to the Chicago Bulls to spark the team, is it still Jimmy Butler´s team or do you see one of the new guys as being the leader of the team this season?
It’s still Jimmy Butlers team he’s the face of that organization. Wade and Rondo will be big for them. They both won championships, and know what it takes to win.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Thanks Aaron for the chat.