Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Crunch Time Three Point Accuracy Prevails Again Topping BBC Coburg 76-73

When you observe Jordan Burris for the first time, he looks like any other American player in the Pro B standing out a bit from the rest of the majority of German kids with his 201cm athletic build and dark features, but unlike many  of his American peers in the league who played at smaller and lesser known NCAA schools or NCAA 2 schools, the California native actually has seen the biggest arena´s in the United States playing against top programs like Washington, Oregon, Arizona State or BYU to just name a few and played his home games in the beautiful state of the art arena Lawlor Events Center that has a capacity of 11,200. So when the American who finished his college career at CS San Bernardino(NCAA2) entered the tiny, but very enticing and pretty BCM gym where the Fraport Skyliners Juniors play their home games, he mostly likely had no idea he was bringing some NBA atmosphere to a place that also had it. Even if it took Burris a few years to reach Europe and still has a chip on his shoulder wanting to continue to climb the basketball ladder, he played against future NBA players in the NCAA and even was part of a commercial with NBA legend Kobe Bryant. He easily could have lured some more fans into the BCM with his Kobe Bryant story had they known about it. “ He’s been my favorite player since I can remember. So to meet him and be able to pick his brain was the experience of a lifetime. At one point he stopped the production of the commercial and gave me a personal lesson on his fade away. That’s a memory I will cherish forever. He’s also a big trash talker man. But I guess in 20 years of NBA basketball he’s heard it all. Yea so when he got there I told him “I’m Jordan I’m the guy that’s going to lock you down.” To that he said “that’s not what my 30,000+ points say.” After that I had nothing to say. But just being a huge fan of his, I admire his work ethic and tried to incorporate that into my game. Be the first one in and last one out as much as possible. A line that sticks with me from Kobe is “rest in the end; not in the middle”, stressed Jordan Burris. But Burris also could of heard some stories from Skyliner employees who can boast about their own NBA atmosphere in the BCM gym as over the years guys like Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Arroyo, Jon Leuer and Alan Anderson have played there. Burris put his NBA stories and memories of Kobe on hold for 40 minutes as he and BBC Coburg came to battle the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and departed with a disappointing 76-73 loss which had head coach Derrick Taylor shaking his head after the buzzer sounded. The head coach wasn´t happy with the outcome as neither was Jordan Burris who reflected on the BCM gym and the loss. “I was in good company being in the same gym where Dirk Nowitzki had played in before. I have played in even smaller gyms than this in Germany. When I walked in here I noticed it was nice, but as soon as the game starts, I´m totally focused on the game. We fought hard tonight, but I have to give a lot of credit to Frankfurt. They are a great team for their age. They made a lot of tough three pointers. We played good defense in the first half, but weren´t finishing our possessions with rebounds. We rebounded better in the second half, but they also hit more shots which left fewer rebounds. They hit too many open three´s in the second half”, stressed ex Nevada(NCAA) forward Jordan Burris. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors controlled the game and as always were saved by their timely shooting in crunch time. After the big win which set a date with Bochum in the playoffs, German forward Konstantin Schubert reflected on the win. “We got many baskets inside at the start from Trtovac and in the second quarter Gruehn helped us with his good three point shooting, but we were never really able to get away from Coburg. We had some bad phases when they went to zone and we also gave up some easy baskets as well”, added Konstantin Schubert.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Alex Fountain who is done for the season and is flying home on Sunday back to the States to start rehab while Isaac Bonga and Richard Freudenberg were healthy scratches. BBC Coburg got on the board first as Kentucky native Byron Sanford who played at Trebeca Naz(NCAA2) showed his lethal penetration getting an easy lay in. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors then scored six unanswered points as German center Armin Trtovac used his size and strength to get three buckets and give Frankfurt the 6-2 lead. Frankfurt would keep the early lead and momentum and extend their lead to 14-8 as they continued to dominate in the paint as Jules Akodo made a 15 footer, 2014 NBBL rookie of the year Niklas Kiel scored inside and ex Ehingen center Tobias Jahn scored twice. BBC Coburg stayed on track as California native Jordan Burris nailed two trey´s. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors closed out the first quarter strong as they defended with passion and also dominated the boards and got a bucket from ex USC Freiburg center Cosmo Gruehn and 16 year old Maxi Begue provided free throws. BBC Coburg received a heads up basket from German Steffen Walde who was aggressive on the offensive glass and made the put back as Frankfurt led comfortably 18-10. “Trtovac was playing like the dominant force he should be. He remined me of Shaq, but he did get into early foul trouble and had to sit. Trtovac doesn´t know how strong he really is. We rebounded very well. When Kiel is up there crashing the boards, it´s easy to get rebounds and points”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 50% from the field and 0% from outside while grabbing 15 boards, but coughed up the ball five times while BBC Coburg was shooting 27% from the field and 33% from outside while getting 5 rebounds and having two turnovers.

picture perfect 2049

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Burris after dropping 16 points in a 76-73 loss in Frankfurt

In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to keep the lead, but could never fully shake BBC Coburg as they stayed on their heels. In the first quarter, Frankfurt had no outside game, but sooner or later, the three´s will fall and did as once again the hero off the bench was Cosmo Gruehn who had the hot hand again. But before that happened German Kevin Eichelsdörfer who was averaging only 3,9ppg nailed a 15 footer to cut the Frankfurt lead to 18-12. Gruehn hit his first three to give Frankfurt the 21-12 advantage, but BBC Coburg stayed with them as 26 year old German big man Daniel Stawowski scored in the paint and Lithuanian Elvidas Molosciakas hit a timely trey, but Kiel countered with a crushing two handed dunk and Gruehn struck again from the parking lot extending the Frankfurt lead to 26-18. BBC Coburg then struck for a quick 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 28-24 as Daniel Stawowsli made a offensive rebound and put back while Byron Sanford used his explosive quickness for a lay in and made a steal and coast to coast sprint for the lay in. “Sanford has been important in every game for us. He loves to play with energy and is a great scoring point guard. He is built and pushes me to become my best. He always wants to get every rebound. He has so much energy that he elevates the team to new heights”, added Jordan Burris. “I am aggressive on the defensive end which is contagious and turns to easy offense. When I´m aggressive then the whole team is aggressive”, warned Byron Sanford. BBC Coburg was rebounding a lot better in the second quarter, but they had no remedy how to contain Gruehn as he continued to unleash lethal three´s as he hit another two extending the Frankfurt lead to 34-26. “Gruehn gave us a lot of energy and a lift from the bench. We can always rely on him hitting big shots”, added Konstantin Schubert. He would tie his Pro B best mark of four three´s as he also did it in three other games against Leverkusen, FC Bayern Munich and Rhondorf. However Frankfurt was unable to now to pull away as BBC Coburg got another bucket from Stawowski as well as free throws from him and Sanford while Akodo hit a trey as Frankfurt had the slim 37-32 lead at the break. “Gruehn gets my vote for best sixth man of the year. He brings new life to the team when he comes in. Every shot looks good for him. The team likes to look for him because he shoots the ball so well. But the team did get a little complacent on defense not executing as well and not communicating as well”, stressed ex Auburn(NCAA) guard Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 48% from the field and 36% from the three point line and had secured 28 rebounds and had had eight turnovers while BBC Coburg was shooting 39% from the field and 22% from the three points line and they had hauled down 14 rebounds and had three turnovers.

In the third quarter BBC Coburg started off with a bang retaining the lead again, but only to see the Fraport Skyliners Juniors calm down and get a healthy lead again. BBC Coburg came out of half-time reborn going on a 10-4 run to recapture the lead 42-41 since leading 2-0 at the start of the contest. Byron Sanford got BBC Coburg the needed energy scoring on back to back buckets as his quick first step and penetration to the basket left Frankfurt dazed and miffed as he was unstoppable. The Bavarian team also gut timely support from German Steffen Walde who played 29 Pro A games with Baunach and scored on a pretty finger tip lay in and pull up jumper and Molosciakos scored in the paint as he retrieved a back door pass from ex Dresden center Max Von Der Wippel. BBC Coburg was making a lot better decisions and were getting everyone involved on the court while Frankfurt was going through a phase where they couldn´t execute effectively against the BBC Coburg zone. After a Frankfurt time out, they came out refreshed and let the three ball fly again rushing out on a 11-2 run to retake the lead at 52-44. Vital in the run was 19 year old ex Kronberg sniper Felix Hecker who was the 2017 NBBL leading scorer at 26,0ppg nailing two three´s while Garai Zeeb also connected getting his first field goal of the game after being shut out again in the first half. Down the stretch ex Ehingen forward Chris Wolf hit a trey and Von Der Wippel hit a step back, but Frankfurt led 56-49 after 30 minutes. Jahn scored inside and Zeeb also hit free throws to sustain the lead. “Hecker took Gruehn´s part in the third with important shots. We found our rhythm playing better against the zone”, said Konstantin Schubert. “Basketball is a game of runs. We had a big chip on our shoulder coming into the third quarter. I thought it was a pretty even third quarter”, stated Jordan Burris. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 45% from the field and 35% from the parking lot and had 32 rebounds and 10 turnovers while BBC Coburg was shooting 40% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. And had 25 rebounds and four turnovers.

picture perfect 2050

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Byron Sanford of BBC Coburg after hitting Frankfurt for 16 points in a bitter 76-73 loss on the road

In the fourth quarter BBC Coburg had one last gasp of energy cutting the Frankfurt lead to one point, but then were steam rolled again by the potent outside shooting as they could never recover from it. BBC Coburg entered the fourth quarter going on a 10-4 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 60-59. Gruehn who had done the most damage from outside showed he can be aggressive and scored in the paint. However BBC Cobrug then went on a 10-2 run as they got a lot of support from various players as four players contributed. BBC Coburg continued to get easy baskets inside as Stawowski used his size spinning to the hoop for two, Burris nailed a jumper, Molosciakos scored inside and Von Der Wippel scored four free throws. Frankfurt was playing their typical up and down game and lost concentration while the guests were calm and had a good rhythm on offense. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors then went on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 69-59 that got them in good position to seal the win. In the run they got all their 9 points from Akodo and Kiel who dropped trey´s and hit free throws. BBC Coburg did close out the game with a 14-4 run in their comeback, but the 76-73 loss was mis leading from the score. Frankfurt was in control and sank the needed free throws as Kiel hit four free throws and made a lay in which was enough for the win. “Our depth helped us again. It seems like every game it is another guy in crunch-time. Two weeks ago it was me, last weekend it was Freudenberg and today it was Akodo and Kiel. We defended well in the crunch-time taking away their inside game and controlling the rebound”, stressed Konstantin Schubert. “We weren´t fatigued at the end. We have to stay locked in as a team for 40 minutes. All five guys on the floor have to be locked in. If one guy isn´t locked in then there is that open shot. It was hard stopping Trtovac and every guy on that team is capable of knocking down shots”, stressed Jordan Burris. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Cosmo Gruehn with 16 points. Niklas Kiel added 14 points while Tobias Jahn had 12 points and 10 boards and Jules Akodo contributed 12 points. BBC Coburg was led by Jordan Burris with 16 points and six rebounds and Byron Sanford had 16 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 46% from the field and 34% from outside while securing 37 rebounds, but coughing up the ball 16 times while BBC Coburg shot 42% from the field and 29% from outside while grabbing 36 rebounds and having nine turnovers.

 

 

 

 

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Dylan Ennis(Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd) In The NBA You Look For The Quick Shot And In The Euroleague You Look For The Best Shot

Dylan Ennis is a 26 year old 187cm point guard from Brampton, Ontario playing his rookie season as a professional in Europe for Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd (Serbia-KLS) after starting the season for BC Mega Bemax Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia-KLS) playing 10 ABA League games averaging 18.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 5.4apg, 2.2spg, 2FGP: 53.5%, 3FGP: 29.8%, FT: 69.0%. He began his basketball career in 2011 with Rice (NCAA) averaging  8.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 66.0%. He then played two years with Villanova (NCAA) averaging  5.1ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 35.3%, 3PT: 30.1%, FT: 78.6% and as a junior averaged  9.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 61.9%. He played his senior season at Oregon (NCAA) playing 39 games averaging  10.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 73.7%. Last summer he played NBA Summer League in Orlando, FL (Oklahoma City Thunder): 5 games averaging  8.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 41.9% and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV (Golden State Warriors) playing 6 games averaging  9.3ppg, 2.2rpg, FGP: 42.9%. He spoke to Grman Hoops before the Euroleague game against Brose Bamberg in Bamberg.

 

 

 

Dylan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany and what do you know in general about the country and it´s basketball?

 

 

Yes this is my first time in Germany. I have visited many countries as a rookie. I was only one time in Europe that was when I was in seventh or eighth grade playing in France with a AAU team from Canada. Guys like my brother Tyler, Tristan Thompson and Melvin Ejim were on the team. We saw so many things that we had never seen before in America and it really opened our eyes.

 

 

 

You started your rookie season with BC Mega Bemax Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia-KLS) playing 10 ABA league games averaging 18.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 5.4apg, 2.2spg, 2FGP: 53.5%, 3FGP: 29.8%, FT: 69.0%. Were you a bit disappointed you started in Serbia and not in the States considering you had a solid NBA Summer league gig with the Golden State Warriors and hit Miami for 35 points?

 

I thought I had played well at the NBA Summer League and was a bit surprised that I didn´t get more offers from the NBA, but that didn´t deter me to keep working hard as I brought this chip on my shoulder to Europe. I am thankful that BC Mega Bemax Sremska Mitrovica gave me a chance. This is the plan that God has worked out for me at the moment. I always dreamed as a kid to play in the NBA, but I´m happy where I am now and will continue to work as hard as possible on my game

 

 

 

 

How important was the first few months with BC Mega Bemax Sremska Mitrovica for your early professional basketball development? You were the only American and was the leader as a rookie. What do you credit your early success to on the court?

 

 

I came to Serbia as one of the older guys and saw a different kind of game to what I was used to. Coach allowed me to play my game and play more on ball as a point guard as opposed to playing on ball as a scorer. That was the perfect situation for me, because I could play more the one which is my natural position and one I didn´t play in college. Now I can play the way I love to for Red Star.

 

 

You moved to Euroleague team Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd (Serbia-KLS). What has it been like playing for this traditional club. What experience have you had there that has shown you that this is a special club?

 

 

It has been great. There is much culture here. The first time where I really realized that was at the first game when I heard the roar of the crowd. It was as loud as hell. I felt the passion of the fans on every play. Serbia has a big basketball culture and the fans are very passionate. That is what I love about this team.

 

Has it been like a basketball culture shock for you. Now you have many talented and experienced import players as you are one of many. How challenging has the early going been for you?

 

 

Initially it was a tough transition. It was the little things that made it difficult. In the NBA Summer League I looked for the quick shot while in the Euroleague you look for the best shot and move the ball. I played more off ball in college and now I´m able to play on ball and my primary position at the point. James Feldeine has helped me a lot with the transition as did Taylor Rochestie. I have been able to pick Taylor´s brain whenever I can

 

You have been averaging 10 minutes in the Euroleague and ABA, but been fairly efficient in that time. How much of a challenge is it being efficient in your first season overseas?

 

 

Bring efficient is the most important thing for me in the time I get. I try to be as efficient as possible if it´s playing two minutes or 20 minutes. I have understood that not all attention is on me on this team and that I have to be patient. All I know is that I have to do my best in the minutes I get.

 

 

How vital has seasoned veteran Taylor Rochestie been for you? He has been around the block in Europe. Has he been sort of a mentor in the early going for you?

 

 

Yes Taylor has been like a mentor for me. We are a little different in our games as he sets the table and I´m more the aggressive player. He has helped me a lot in being able to slow down and bring better tempo and Rhythm to the game. I would not be the player I am now since arriving without him.

 

 

Let´s talk about your game. Are you more than just a scoring point guard? To what NBA player would you describe your game best to?

 

 

If I had to compare myself to an NBA player then it would be Damian Lillard. He is an allstar and I´m not saying I´m anything like him. I´m a player that is an aggressive scorer at the point guard position, but at the same time be that point guard that sets his teammates up and isn´t a ball hog. Just trying to help his team win.

 

 

You’re a player that can fill the stat sheet well, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?

 

My ball screen ability. In college I wasn´t in that position so much because we always had many guards. I think that now as a rookie, I have been put more in a position to play the ball screen and people are starting to notice now. I am also feeling more comfortable with it now.

 

 

Last summer you played NBA Summer League in Orlando, FL (Oklahoma City Thunder): 5 games: 8.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 41.9% and in Las Vegas, NV (Golden State Warriors): 6 games: 9.3ppg, 2.2rpg, FGP: 42.9%. Do you feel like having the name Ennis helped you a bit with people being aware of you since your brother is in the NBA?

 

Yes of course. People know that I come from a basketball family. I use my brother as a tool and have gotten much advice from him.

 

 

You had two good showings in the NBA Summer League. What kind of feedback did you get? Do you feel with continued development in Europe that you get on the radar´s of NBA teams down the road?

 

When I left the NBA Summer League I showed that I can score, have the body and can play both sides, but I wanted to play more point guard. Now I have the ball in my hands and am able to run the show. To be honest, the NBA isn´t at the forefront for me, but only my next game. I am so blessed that I can play the game that I love and I hope I can continue to get better and be known as a top guard be it being in Europe or the NBA.

 

 

 

You really had a busy basketball life as a youngster getting early experience as various schools and then played at 3 different NCAA schools. If you look back how do you feel did you profit best in the long run having gone this route instead of only having played at one NCAA school?

 

 

 

I always thought that I would play at one school where I would get my jersey retired and make history. Moving around isn´t for everyone, but it was great for me and turned out well. I learned so many important things from many different coaches. Being able to move around so much gave me many different tools and that helped me become the player that I am today.

 

 

 

You are three years older than your brother Tyler Ennis, but he made it to the NBA in 2014. What kind of relationship do you have as had it been tough for you seeing the little brother be so successful and having breaks whereas you had many injuries to deal with already in your career?

 

 

Me and Tyler talk everyday. He is my best friend. We mostly talk basketball, but also the stuff that happens off the court. I am so happy for his success. When he was drafted, I was the happiest for him. When I see all the hard work he does, he really has deserved everything he has achieved. He went his route enduring what he had to to get there and it has been the same for me.

 

 

 

After a strong senior year at Lake Forest Academy, you started your NCAA career at Rice (NCAA) playing 32 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 66.0%. Why did you chose this route and why did you leave after one season?

 

 

 

 

Rice was one of the best teams in one of the better conferences that had recruited me. I felt like I had been underrecruited, but Rice really wanted me. It was better for me to go to a school that wanted me instead of just going to the best school. They told me that the ball would be in my hands as a freshman. I left because I wanted to play at the highest level. Rice supported me all the way and we still have great relations now.

 

 

 

You then played with Villanova from 2013-2015 winning the Big East tournament. You decided to transfer again to Oregon because you wanted to play the point and not shooting guard. The year you left Villanova won the NCAA title. Does it annoy at times that you hadn´t stayed? Maybe your career would be different now?

 

 

All always say I was mad for leaving and not staying and winning the NCAA title. But it wasn´t like that at all. The coach and players were like my brothers. I was happy they won. I left to go to Oregon as it was an important decision in my life and I felt it was the best decision. I never had any regrets. The next year, I was so close to winning. I wouldn´t have changed it for the world.

 

 

 

You had some bitter loses, but what memories do you have of the 71-68 loss against North Carolina State in the 2015 NCAA tournament Was that a game where certain plays are still vivid in your mind?

 

 

 

 

It is what it is. Jordan Bell said it was his fault, but it wasn´t. He played such a great tournament. All we had to do was get that rebound. If he had gotten the rebound, he would have given me the ball. I´m not a future teller, but with us down one point, I´m sure that I would have made that last shot to win the game. I never dwell on that. We had so much success in that tournament.

 

 

You finished at Oregon(NCAA) averaging10.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 73.7%. An injury there curtailed your junior season, but you came back strong. You had a strong NCAA run losing to North Carolina 77-76 in the final 4 being one of the key figures on your team in the run. If you could would you love to get back one of your three point looks from that game and try it again. You shot only 2/9 and with a little more accuracy probably would have won the game.

 

 

 

Yes of course. You always look back at what you could of done better. I never dwell on bad memories, but just on the good memories. We played in the NCAA Final 4.

 

 

Three guys from that game´s starting 5 reached the NBA with Dorsey, Brooks and Bell reached the NBA this season. How much does their presence there make you work even harder to join them eventually. Is it more just the right opportunity and luck or is there something in your game that you know is still lacking for the next step?

 

 

I think that it has to do more with opportunity. Luck can only get you so far, but it´s really about how much work you put in. If its in God´s card that he will bring me to the NBA then be it, but if not, I will continue to enjoy the Euroleague. There are a lot of NBA players in the Euroleague and it´s very competitive. I won´t ever go to bed sad not being in the NBA, but continue to work hard every day to get to where I want to get to.

 

 

 

 

How did head coach Dana Altman give you that last touch of grooming and preparation for a professional career?

 

 

Coach Altmann was great and like a mentor for me at Oregon. He really took a chance on me taking me in at Oregon as a sixth year senior. He gave me the keys to the team and told me that I might not be the leading scorer, but that he would keep me on the floor long enough so that I can lead the team to the title. He really believed in me and I averaged the most minutes on the team. He taught me that I can do all the little things to help my team win. Not all players have that and coach installed that in me and made me an all around player and I am thankful for that.

 

 

 

 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Tyler Dorsey?

 

 

 

I will never go against myself in a one on one. When we went head to head, it would be king of the court and we always had tough battles. He was one of the best scorers that I ever played with. But if I had to put money on the line, I would always take myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA right now

 

 

My brother Tyler has been the toughest player that I have played against. We played against each other in the NCAA when I was with Villanova and he was with Syracuse. He was always hard to stop. He could do it all, scoring, shooting and getting all involved.

 

 

 

What were the main reasons for electing to play for the Jamaican national team and not with the Canadian where you could be teammates with your brother?

 

 

 

Initially I wanted to play forCanada, but I was a bit overlooked and there wasn´t any room for me playing for team Canada. I wanted to gain some international experience so I was able to play for Jamaica. Now there is room for me and Canada has got my release from the Jamaican team and now I can officially play for Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?

 

 

 

Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant

 

 

 

Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?

 

 

 

 

 

 I feel that people still see Jordan as the greatest. He is simply on another platform. Lebron is in the argument and one can´t say who is really the greatest until Lebron is done. It seems like he isn´t slowing down either.

 

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?

 

 

 

Getting a triple double is no easy feat. You still have to hit shots. You can´t take way what he achieved last season.

 

 

How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?

 

 

I´m a big fan of Donovan Mitchell. I would never have thought that he would have such a good rookie season. He gives so much in each game. I played against Kyle Kuzma in college. He plays with so much confidence and never shy´s away from the moment. His success is based on his ability to play with so much confidence.

 

 

 

Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?

 

 

You have to first get by the Warriors. The Rockets have two real competitors with Harden and Paul. They will give teams a run for the money. It wouldn´t surprise me if they could win a 7 game series, but if I was betting, I would pick Golden State,

 

 

 

How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?

 

 

I am a fan of Irving and Thomas. The only reason that Boston got the better of the deal is because the Celtics became his team to run. Thomas got into a tough situation with all the pulling and tugging from both teams as well as his injury. He never had a chance to have a clear mind.

 

 

 

Where will the journey of the Oklahoma Thunder go this season with Westbrook, George and Anthony? Can they make a serious run in the west?

 

 

 

They didn´t have a good regular season, but it´s hard to mesh three super stars. All three guys need the ball in their hands. But in the playoffs you never know what can happen. All three guys are playoff players and they could surprise some people.

 

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

Black Panther. It´s a great movie. They didn´t only do a great job with the animation but also covered real life problems.

 

 

Thanks Dylan for the chat.

Demond Mallet Truly Was The Man In European Basketball

When you look back at the last 15 years in the German BBL and try to name the real dinosaurs of the league, guys that stuck around longest and provided fans with numerous memorable experiences, you couldn´t put up more than two hands. Guys that come to mind at once are great players like Chris Ensminger and Bernd Kruel who have retired as well as the Science City Jena legendary trio of Derrick Allen, Julius Jenkins and Immanuel Mcelroy all outstanding players that are still battling with the best in their late 30´s. Another guy that you have to add to this list is Demond Mallet. He didn´t have the BBL longevity of an Ensminger, Kruel or the Jena Musketeers as he played only 7 years in Germany, but overall he belongs to a rare breed of player that played until he was 40 and can look back at a spectacular 17 year career. Demond Mallet is a player that will always be remembered for never losing that competitive edge as he had that obnoxious game face mask that he never took off on the court, but when you met him off the court, you always felt like he was your best buddy. He had that never ending winning mentality and gave the word leader a new meaning. He truly was the man in European basketball. It wasn´t only winning many titles in Germany, Spain, Belgium and Israel that will keep in the hearts of many, but the way he approached the game and how he handled himself off the court where he was the ultimate role model for all. Mallet played for 17 seasons in Europe and finally has decided to hang up his sneakers at age 40. He always wanted to retire at age 40. Thursday Februry 22 was his 4oth birthday and on Friday Februry 23rd he will be honored with a special retiurement ceremony in Bamberg before a Euroleague game against Euroleague team Crvena Zvezda.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Demond Mallet in Frankfurt in 2006 after a Cologne win

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Demond Mallet Will Be Remembered As A Good Teammate Good Person And Winner

Demond Mallet started his illustrious career with McNeese St. (NCAA) in 1997 and had a great 4 year career and as a senior played 31 games leading the Southland conference in scoring at 21.3ppg), 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, StealsSouthland-2(2.1spg), FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 79.6%. He finished his collegiate career at McNeese State as the all-time leader in career three-pointers made (331), and steals (206) and third in points scored (1,941). He started his professional basketball career in 2001 and would spend his first 6 years in Germany. He quickly became a lethal scorer in the BBL with Basket Braunschweig averaging a staggering 21,1ppg in his three years. His amazing offensive talent got the attention of Bamberg who swiped him up and Mallet would play 2 seasons there from 2004-2006 winning his first professional title. In that time, he belonged to the top point guards in the German BBL and in the title season he played 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 41.5%. He also played 20 Euroleague averaging 13.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, 2FGP: 57%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 64.8%. The next season he moved to RheinEnergie Koeln (Germany-1.Bundesliga) where his winning ways continued with the German cup and played 13 Euroleague games averaging 12.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3FGP: 37.1%, FT: 81.8%. In the BBL, he played 43 games averaging 12.7ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 55.1%, 3FGP: 40.4%, FT: 75.7%.In 2007 his path took him to DKV Joventut Badalona (Spain-ACB) where he proved he belonged to the top American players in the best league in Europe helping the team win the ULEB Cup. In both seasons, he had solid stats scoring in double figures in every competition. In his last 8 seasons as a professional, he would play three seasons with Belgacom Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Ethias League) winning the league title in 2011 as well as being named league MVP. He also played one more season in Germany with the Artland Dragons, had a brief stay in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv and returned back to Spain and played two seasons with his former team FIATC Joventut Badalona who retired his jersey last season and his last basketball station last season was with Sluc Nancy Basket Pro (France-ProA) ). Some other achievements as he leaves the game was being a 5 time BBL allstar, German Cup MVP in 2007, 2007 BBL Allstar MVP, Spanish cup winner and Israel cup winner. He spoke to German Hoops a few days before his retirement ceremony in Bamberg about his basketball career.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Demond Mallet in 2005 in Bamberg

Demond thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You are in Bamberg as your former club has prepared a special ceremony before the Euroleague game against Crvena Zvezda. What does it mean for you to be recognized for your two great years with Bamberg?

It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of history and to be recognized with this ceremony is just great. I won my first title and then the dynasties started. So to be recognized for my career is very humbling. I´m very grateful to be recognized for my longevity in my career.

Does it feel like time has flown by. It was 12 years ago that you last played here?

For me Bamberg is a basketball haven. When you go to Bamberg, you feel the basketball, love and culture. It is one of the best programs in Europe. I will always be grateful of Freak City.

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Demond Mallet Retires And Gives Farewell Letter

Demond Mallett has had a storied 17 year career and had a lot of his success in Germany. He always wanted to retire at age 40. His birthday is Thursday February 22 and the American from Leesville, Louisiana will officially retire from the game he cherished at age 40. He will officially be retired in a ceremony in Bamberg Friday night before a Euroleague game against Crvena Zvezda. Exactly how the retirement ceremony will be is a surprise to him, but Bamberg fans will be in for a real special treat having the chance to recount those wonderful memories of the 2005 BBL title win where he was so instrumental as well as see him in person.

Mallet started his illustrious career with McNeese St. (NCAA) in 1997 and had a great 4 year career and as a senior played 31 games leading the Southland conference in scoring at 21.3ppg), 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, StealsSouthland-2(2.1spg), FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 79.6%. He finished his collegiate career at McNeese State as the all-time leader in career three-pointers made (331), and steals (206) and third in points scored (1,941). He started his professional basketball career in 2001 and would spend his first 6 years in Germany.

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Ronald Ross (Keravnos Strovolou) Even If All The Odds Are Against You You Can Never Lose That Competitive Edge

Ronald Ross is a 34 year old 188cm point guard from Hobbs, New Mexico playing his 13th professional season and third with Keravnos Strovolou (Cyprus-Division A) winning the league title last season. He returned back in January and has helped the etam to a 4-2 record in the country league averaging 10,5ppg, 3,5rpg, 3,3apg and is shooting 42% from outside. He played at Texas Tech under legendary head coach Bobby Knight. He started his professional career in 2005 and played in the States in the CBA and USBL leagues and in Europe in countries like Italy, Israel, Germany, Croatia, Greece and Romania. In Germany he reached the 2007 BBL cup final with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and also played with the Artland Dragons and Mitteldeutscher BC. German Hoops felt it was time to catch up again with the American in Cyprus.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Ron Ross after a game in Frankfurt in 2007 when he was playing with Ludwigsburg

Ron thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how did you spend the Christmas season this season?

Christmas was great! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend it with my family, but I made the best of the day reflecting on the things I’m grateful for and having gratitude towards the smaller things in life.

You have spent Christmas in countries like Germany, Italy, Israel, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus. Where in your opinion did you enjoy it the most?

My perspective changed when I started a family, but each of the countries had something special to offer in their own way. From Christmas markets, carnivals, and team gatherings I shared a lot special moments with some great people over the holidays.

The last time we spoke was in the summer of 2013. Times has really flown by for me. Does a season go just as fast for you now in your mid thirties like it did at say age 27 or don´t they fly by as quickly anymore?

Time definitely flies! I think as the years past you understand more and become more patient with the process. I think for vets it’s more about getting through that “burn” in preseason, but once that’s out the way it’s go time!

Your turning 35 years on February 11, 2018 and your still going strong in your 13th season. What is your secret to still being able to play now in your thirties? It has to be more than just discipline and taking care of your body?

You’re right, it’s more than discipline and taking care of your body. I would say it’s because I absolutely love basketball! Although it’s hard work, mentally I haven’t worked a day in my life because it’s something I’m truly passionate about and don’t take it for granted!

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Brian Butler Dunks The ScanPlus Baskets Past The Dragons Rhondorf 92-69

Only a few days ago, it was carnival time in the Rhein area of Bonn/Bad Honnef and you had many many people dressed up in funny and in some cases memorable costumes acting crazy and just enjoying life while others in other parts of Germany were carnival free and going about their daily business. If the carnival craze had infected Americans Kameron Taylor and Brandon Watkins was unknown, but seeing a Taylor prancing around in a Trump costume or Watkins donning a OJ Simpson costume would have been enjoyable, but with only a few weeks left in the Pro B regular season, they most likely were already mentally locked in to the big game against the ScanPlus Baskets who are in first place while the Dragons Rhondorf had one victory less and were parked in second place. Watkins wasn´t with the team yet in October, but Taylor was and had bad memories of the 103-72 blow out loss in Elchlingen as they met an offensive powerhouse that averaged 28 points for the course of three quarters. The ScanPlus Baskets shot over 50%, dominated the boards and forced Rhondorf to cough up the ball an annoying 24 times. It was a game to forget for the ex Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf as they couldn´t find a defensive remedy on this day to combat the lethal offensive arsenal from the southern German team. Watkins most likely saw film from that horrible loss and also got some extra information from Taylor as both Americans and their German teammates were seeking revenge and wanted to extend their good home record to 10-1. As always it was a full packed house as the Dragon Dome was electric and burning with basketball passion as it was loud and the type of atmosphere that is rarely seen in the Pro B except if your in Rostock, but the home team Dragons were unable to keep their almost immaculate home record as they got overpowered by the ScanPlus Baskets 92-69. The Dragons Rhondorf did the best they could despite being without three key players, but just couldn´t withstand the potent consistent offense of the ScanPlus Baskets for 40 minutes. “Good defense was key for the win. In the last games we had been shooting too many three´s and we wanted to stabilize our inside game tonight and did. We had good communication and when we play good defense then our offense works. It was obvious that they had a hard time without Viktor Frankl-Maus, but we showed we could dominate in the first game where they were complete. Our ball movement was good as well as our pick and roll. It was fun to play”, stressed ex Ehingen guard Brian Butler. After the loss, a disappointed Brandon Watkins reflected on the 40 minutes, but was still proud how the team played despite the many injuries. “It was a tough game and we were missing key players. But guys that don´t usually play stepped up. These young guys know how to contribute now and it was a good learning experience. They are a good team and hurt us with their pick and roll. Our help side wasn´t good as they kept attacking it. We will have to work on it so other teams don´t do that”, stressed ex West Virginia(NCAA) forward Brandon Watkins.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing 2017 easyCredit BBL slam dunk contest winner as he led the ScanPlus Baskets to the 92-69 win with 19 points and 12 rebounds in Rhondorf

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