Alex Foster (When I Got To Germany My Opponents Would Try To Attack Me On Defense Now I’m Able To Disrupt Their Offense)

Alex Foster is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and completed his second professional season with the RheinStars(Germany-ProA) averaging 9,3ppg, and 3,5rpg. Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to German Hoops after his second professional season.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Alex Foster of the RheinStars after a 2016-2017 pre season game against the Fraport Skyliners in support of Basketball Aid at the Clay Kaserne gym on the Wiesbaden Airbase.

Alex thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your season has unfortunately ended to the hands of 2004 Fiba Europe Cup winner MBC. I doubt anyone was expecting miracles, but how disappointing was getting swept?

It was pretty embarrassing to be honest. Everyone in the Rheinstars organization expected us to compete with MBC and we thought we could beat them. However, they played really well and we didn’t.

In German one says “Da war nichts zu holen in diese Saison gegen MBC”. The RheinStars won only one game against MBC this season and lost the playoff series averaging giving up 20 points per game. Was MBC just flat out a more talented team and deeper that had your number all season long?

We beat them by 15 at home, so there’s proof they were beatable, but you have to put 40 minutes of really good basketball together to do that. They’ve got talent and they play well together. That makes them really hard to beat.

The RheinStars were one of the better defensive teams in the Pro A giving up 74 points per game this season, but in the three game playoff series against MBC gave up 87 points per game. Why were the RheinStars unable to buckle down and play better defense when it counted most?

MBC deserves credit for their offensive performance. Most of their players can really score the ball, so we couldn’t just key on one specific thing. I think our poor offensive output also allowed them to get easy baskets in transition.

You told me in our last interview in January 2017 that the RheinStars had dug a deep hole, but were climbing out. How proud are you of the team that it was able to crawl out of the hole and win three of the last four games and slip into the playoffs?

That’s the one bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season. We never stopped fighting and ended up getting Cologne back in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

What is your overall season summary for the RheinStars? Now after having reached the playoffs, do you feel like the team still hadn´t reached it´s full potential and could of actually gone deeper in the playoffs?

I feel like we never showed our quality on the court. It’s a shame because we had so many talented players, we just never put it together.

The RheinStars are stacked with many very talented German players, but if you had to pick just one player who you feel improved the most from day one in preseason to game three in Weissenfels who would you choose?

Dennis Heinzmann

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Alex Foster(left) and Lakeem Jackson(Right) of the RheinStars during the Germany-France pre Euro game in the summer of 2015 at the Lanxess arena in Cologne

Let´s talk about your season. Stat wise you didn´t really raise your game so much, but you played seven minutes less than as a rookie. Overall were you happy with your game and effectiveness?

Even though I missed many of my own goals for the season, I still became a much better player this season. There are still some specific aspects of my game that I will continue to work on, so I can come back as an even better player next season.

You wanted to be at the 40% mark from downtown at season end, but finished at 37%. Still it was a vast improvement over your rookie season. Do you feel with added practice this summer that you will be a 40% shooter from downtown in your third professional season?

Yes.

You stated in our first interview of the season back in August 2016 that you really wanted to focus on the defensive end in your second season saying “. I always try to keep my matchup from scoring, along with helping my teammates within our defensive concept”. Do you feel that you made strides on the defensive end in your second professional season?

When I got to Germany, my opponents would try to attack me on defense. Now, I’m able to disrupt their offense.

How special was the last regular season game for you personally where you scored 23 points securing the playoffs. Was this your season highlight?

Probably, yeah.

What is the next step for Alex Foster? Are there chances that you will stay a third season with the RheinStars? Do you feel like you can develop further with this organization?

The next step is to get better this summer. Once the dust from this season has settled, I’ll start to look for the best possible situation for me. No matter where I end up, I’ll continue giving 100% to ensure things are going in the right direction.

 

What are your summer plans? Will you visit some place that you have never been to?

I’ll spend some time visiting family and friends, after which I’ll settle in Portland, where I hold my own basketball camps for kids. Check it out: www.sensebasketball.com. However, the biggest part of my summer will be preparing for next season.

What will be on the summer training agenda list and be the biggest priority for Alex Foster to work on and improve?

To build on my strengths and round-out my weaknesses.

In our first interview this season you told me “I always say “eben so,” after someone wishes me “ein schönen Tag” at the grocery or bakery. A lot of my German teammates tease me for using that phrase, because I guess it’s more formal than what they’re used to. Or maybe it’s because it’s a Southern-German thing. My mom’s family is Schwäbisch”. With what favorite German phrase will you be leaving Germany this season with?

I’m still using “eben-so” pretty much every day.

What is your current opinion on Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas? Is he a bona fide NBA top 5 guard at the moment or do the Celts need to make a huge run in the playoffs to solidify that?

I’m not a big fan on ranking players. To me, what matters most is what a player means to his team. I think it’s clear what Isaiah means to the Celtics that makes him totally unique.

Recently Devin Booker hit the Boston Celtics with 70 points. Is he a guy that you would have predicted him doing this or did it surprise you more?

Of course its a surprise to see someone with 70 points in a professional basketball game. Plus he did that at such a young age. I want to see him continue to ball out like that.

 

How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?

For me, the story was the Ducks. First final four in a long, long time. Hopefully they’ll be back.

Now that the 2017 NCAA tournament is history, what do you concentrate most on? Are the NBA playoffs and MLB seasons something that you will follow?

I doubt I’ll watch a single inning of baseball.

Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?

I like to think of him as the Donald Trump of basketball. It’s unfortunate that he’s around, but now we have to do everything we can to stop him. It’s hard to watch.

There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?

The individual effort he’s put forward this season has been incredible, but he’s going to need his teammates help to get far in the postseason. I’m interested to see what happens for sure.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Cars.

Thanks Alex for the chat.

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