Skyler Bowlin is a 27 year old 190cm guard from Paragould, Arkansas playing his sixth professional season and first with the Gießen 46ers. Last season he played for the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) playing FIBA Europe Cup: 12 games: 10.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.9apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 58.8%; Swedish Basketligan: 42 games: 14.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 78.3% He played with Horsens IC (Denmark-Ligaen) from 2012-2015 winning the league title and cup. As a rookie he played for BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Pro A) playing 28 games: 12.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 80.5% and then played with Ringwood Hawks (Australia-ABA): 18 games: 18.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.7apg, 2.8spg, 2FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 80.5%. He started his basketball career with Missouri So. (NCAA2) in 2007 until 2011 playing atotal of 118 games and as a senior played 31 games: 18.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 5.7apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Skyler thanks for talking to German Hoops. The Christmas season has come and gone and in the past you have seen it in places like Austria, Denmark and Sweden. What did you really enjoy from this years Christmas time in Germany?
Theres not much like Christmas in Germany. The Christmas Markets are of course always a lot of fun to go and visit so that was probably the best part about Christmas here.
You are playing your first season with the Giessen 46ers and currently the club is currently in eighth place with a record of 8-8. What is your summary of the team season so far?
I think if you would have asked a lot of people before the season if they thought we would be in the playoff hunt halfway through the season they would have thought you were crazy. However, as a team we know that we are very dangerous when we play our style and can compete with anyone. We have had a lot of close games against top teams that we let slip away so we feel like we still have a lot to prove in the second half of the season.
In the last weeks before the Christmas break the club was up and down having a record of 2-2 as before it had won three of four games. Do you feel like the win against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg was an important boost to heighten the self confidence one notch more heading into 2017?
The win at Oldenburg was huge for us. We fought hard for 40 minutes and were rewarded with a much needed win against a very good team.
The Giessen 46ers played top teams Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich very tough, but lost very very close games. What do you feel is mainly missing for a team like Giessen to make these close games into wins?
Maybe our inexperience in the BBL hurt us against those teams, but I have faith in myself and my team that we will close out those games this second part of the season.
Giessen had some top notch defensive games against Braunschweig and Frankfurt, but how much potential do you see the team having and can it be a team keeping teams closer to 70 points on a more consistent level?
We always have a nice game plan going into each game and when we execute correctly then we can be a very good defensive team.
The players play the game, but one has to give a lot of credit to head coach Denis Wucherer who continues to do an amazing job building very competitive teams from a small budget. What do you feel has helped the team be so successful within his basketball philosophy?
Denis just lets us play. Of course we have a good structure, but he really lets us loose and makes sure we stay under control. We know in order to be a successful team we have to play together at all times and Denis really preaches that to us.
The team has many talented players, but in comparison to many other teams can´t match them on paper. Does effort and heart make up for that and how vital are the good characters that are evident on the team?
That’s why the game isn’t played on paper I guess.. haha. But yes, our team is constructed in a way that everyone needs to contribute in order for us to be successful. Each player that is in the game knows that without 100% effort and teamwork we wont be as successful as we have been.
After playing in lower leagues your whole professional career, you are playing in your highest level ever with the EasyCredit BBL. What has been the biggest adjustment for you this season on the court?
My biggest adjustment has probably been the size and strength of every player. Each team we go against has guys that are bigger and stronger than I have really ever played against on a regular basis, so every game I have to be prepared mentally and physically to go against them.
Currently your averaging 8,7ppg, 4,0apg and 2,0rpg and second most on the team in minutes at 26. How pleased have you been with your play and do you feel like you can heighten your play in the second half of the season?
Overall I feel that I have done a solid job in the first half of the season, but I am disappointed in my shooting so far. I have not shot the ball as well as I have in the past, so that is something that I am working through and will pick up in the second part of the season.
How thrilling has it been playing with American Cameron Wells in the backcourt. He has really proved this season that he can play in the BBL. How do you guys compliment each other best on the court and help each other best to get better?
Cam is one of the better guards in the BBL in my opinion. He is a tough guy to guard and he hits shots from all over the floor. Cam and I can play both guard positions so its nice that we can take the pressure off of each other by bringing the ball up the court or trying to set each other up if we need to.
Canadian national player Thomas Scrubb has been a vital scorer and rebounder, but what other aspects to his game have been vital for the success of the team?
Tommy does it all for sure. He hits shots, plays great defense, and rebounds well. He is a hard worker and never has a negative thing to say. Tommy is a great guy to have on the team and he has definitely shown that he is a major part of our success.
The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners that you beat recently on your home court. Do you feel like you will remember this win for a long time as it was the first time in 16 years that Giessen had finally won at home against Frankfurt again?
I didn’t know that stat, but any win, especially on the road in the BBL is a good one to remember.
How excited are you to be playing in Frankfurt again? The last time that you played in Frankfurt you lost 95-64 in the Fiba Europe Cup with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan), but had 18 points and five assists while dishing out 5 assists. Do you feel like that game opened up the door with Giessen?
I am excited to be coming back to play in Frankfurt. It’s a big derby game so I know the atmosphere will be a great one to play in. Yes, I think the game I had against Frankfurt last year was one of the reasons I was able to come and play in the BBL and am very grateful for the opportunity.
The Fraport Skyliners are a much better team now then during the 69-52 loss in mid November. How confident are you that Giessen can give another strong defensive performance and what else will be key to getting the win?
Defense will always be the most important part of winning any game and we know we will be going against a very different Frankfurt team. We need to make sure we control the pace and play our style of basketball if we want to win the game.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
I am going to go with MJ, Shaq, Lebron, and Kobe
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
Lebron is about as close to the top as it gets. There will always be a debate, but I don’t think its fair to compare him against Jordan since their style of play is so different.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
That’s a tough one, but KG is up there. He was always a lot of fun to watch and always brought a ton of energy to his team.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
That’s got to be one of the most impressive performances of all time. To score like that and to make it look so easy is unreal.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
I think you can definitely make that argument. What he does night in and night out is crazy. He is definitely one of the best athletes of all time.
What was your most memorable Christmas experience in Arkansas when you were a kid?
All of my Christmas experiences involve being around my family. I am very close to them and we always had a great time being around each other during Christmas and any other holiday when we could get together.
Thanks Skyler for the chat.