Author: frankfurtskylinervoice

Voice of The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in webradio/author Eurobasket.com

Diante Watkins(Nurnberg Falcons BC) I Definitely Think I Can Play At The BBL Level And Make An Impact On A Team

Diante Watkins is a 26 year old 174cm point guard that finished his fourth professional season and first with the Nurnberg Falcons BC averaging 17,1ppg, 2,7rpg and 4,7apg. Last season an injury in pre season derailed his path playing for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Daley CC (JUCO): 28 games: 26.5ppg, 5.8apg, 2.7rpg, 2.0spg, FGP: 44%, 3Pts: 38%, FT: 86%. He then played two seasons with Robert Morris (NAIA) and as a senior played 27 games: 24.4ppg, 7.4apg, 3.0rpg, 2.1spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3Pts: 38.9%, FT: 82.7%. In 2013-2014 he started his professional basketball career with SC Rist Wedel where he played 30 games averaging  16.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 86.9%. He improved his play in 2014-2015 with SC Rist Wedel playing 32 games: Score-2(21.3ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-1(6.8apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 87.4%. He cleaned up the Eurobasket awards winning Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Honorable Mention -14, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Guard of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Import Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -15, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -15. He gave German Hoops a season ending interview.

 

Diante thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been spending your post season time?

Hey Miles, im still in Nürnberg just relaxing I’ll stay in Europe until the end of the month and than go back to Chicago.

Nurnberg finished the season in 12th place with a 11-19 record. After reaching the Pro A playoffs last season, is it fair to say that this season was overall a disappointment?

I mean I don’t think it was a disappointment, but of course we wanted to make playoffs and have a better record, but we faced injuries which caused a lot of rotational problems so we were able to keep the team in ProA and that’s a positive.

Did losing six of seven games in October/November kind of set the tone for how the season would go in that it would be a struggle to reach the playoffs?

Yes those 2 months were tough for us and we lost a lot of really close games that we could’ve won.

The Nurnberg Falcons had one two game winning streak at the start of the season and one near the end. The club was simply to inconsistent. Why wasn´t the club a playoff team this season?

We just had ups and downs. It’s hard to say the exact thing.

 

I always felt that the team had the talent to score 80 points this season, but averaged only 73 points. Do you feel like the offensive potential was never really realized?

 

We just had games when we weren’t as consistent. From me to others.

Which German player do you feel improved the most from the start of camp until the last loss against Cologne?

I think Sebastian Schroeder improved throughout the season. He had a good year for us.

I saw German Moritz Sanders play in the NBBL and was overwhelmed by his talent and potential. This season he averaged 7,2ppg in the Pro A. Where do you see his basketball journey heading in the next few years?

 

I think he will be a really good player, he has big potential.

You led the team in scoring, assists and steals despite missing the entire last season due to injury. Despite not making the playoffs, how enjoyable was this season for you in terms of just being able to play again and play at a high level?

It felt good to just be back on the court showing I’m healthy and also showing I can play at this level.

 

The success of a team is often linked to how well the point guard can lead a team. What do you feel did you learn from this season that will help you in the next seasons in terms of leadership?

I learned a lot this season. I have to pay more attention to details. I think I lead by example so that won’t change.

You stated in an interview that we did last October that “I feel I’m better, I still have a lot of improving to do and I’m learning as I go”. What was your personal season summary in terms of how you developed in your first full Pro A season?

I feel I had a solid season but I had to be a little smarter I feel I had too many careless turnovers.

You finished the season averaging 3,6 turnovers per game and had a bad two game stretch in December where you had 15 turnovers in two contests and seven turnovers against Paderborn in January. You finished the season strong with only 14 turnovers in the last six games. Do you feel like getting to know the Pro A better helped you with reading defenses better?

Those were just really bad games I was just in a bad funk, it was nothing that the teams did special to force turnovers I was just playing really bad.

What is the next step for Diante Watkins? Do you feel as though you could make an even step next season with Nurnberg or another Pro A team, or would you try to go to another country?

It’s too early to say now I’m just focused on vacation for a few weeks and than seeing what will come my way.

You have seen enough BBL games and know enough guys playing at that level. Guys like Carlos Medlock and Carlton Guyton made the next step to the BBL this season. Could you make an impact at the BBL level?

I definitely think I can play at the BBL level and make an impact on a team.

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

Right now I’m just going to go to Chicago and relax. Maybe I will visit somewhere

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`?

Yea it was a great story but I wish Kentucky would’ve won it all.

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?

Yea I’m interested in seeing how the Cavaliers will do in the playoffs. And I like baseball but I usually like watching the playoffs of sports.

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 think he’s a good player. He will be challenged in the NBA because of the antics of his father.

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?

No, I’ve followed it and the team is 33-8 when he has a triple double so it’s obviously helping his team win games!

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

 

I watched Blue Hill Avenue

 

Thanks Diante for the chat.

Deandre Lansdowne (Hamburg Towers) My Next Step Is To Be One Of The More Dominant Players In Pro A

Deandre Lansdowne is a 26 year old 187cm guard from Albuquerque, Mexico that completed his third professional season and first with the Hamburg Towers averaging 12,3ppg, 5,0rpg and 2,3apg. Last season he played with Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-Pro B) playing 27 games: Score-2(22.9ppg), 8.1rpg, 3.6apg, Steals-5(2.6spg), FGP: 61.5%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 66.5% He played college ball at Fort Lewis (NCAA2) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 15.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 50.7%. He then gained his first professional experience with Pioneros de Delicias (Mexico-Chihuahua Vive) before continuing career in Germany. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.

Deandre thanks for talking to German Hoops! Where are you at the moment and how has your few days been after the end of the season with the Pro A Hamburg Towers?

Thanks for having me again. Right now I am gearing up to head back to America. The last week has consisted mainly of relaxing, and hanging out with teammates before we all go our separate ways.

The Hamburg Towers made a furious run in the last weeks and just missed the playoffs landing in ninth place. The ambition of the Hamburg Towers is the BBL and one doesn´t always know if the goal is very soon or if the management wants to be there yesterday? After reaching the playoffs last season, was this season a disappointment?

Yes it’s always a disappointment when you don’t do as well in the standings as the season before. It took this team I think awhile to click, since there were only 3 returners.

How often do you feel will the bitter 82-81 loss to Crailsheim resurface in your memory? A win in Crailsheim could have been your ticket to the playoffs.

Yes it plays in my head from time to time. It hurt a lot, because that could’ve heighten ed our great late season playoff push. But as I say, that’s basketball. We had a lot of close games this season, some went out way, and some went the other. I wouldn’t say our season was defined solely off of that play.

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Hans Beth Lives For Bringing Awareness To Basketball Aid

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber doing play by play commentary in english at the 2016 Gezeiten Haus Cup in Rhondorf in support of the 2016 Basketball Aid international tour.

After two playoff appearances in a row and the Fiba Europe Cup title last season only the third club title in the 18 year history of the Fraport Skyliners, this rapid success of the team could have kept a good majority of fans content this season as that third playoff showing didn´t happen as the season was at best average. There weren´t too many highlights to remember this season for the 2004 BBL winner that one will take into dream land when one is stuck on the German autobahn in the dog days of summer wanting to reach Salzburg, Austria in time for afternoon coffee and fluffy Nockerl at Cafte Mozart. Some things that stand out was the impressive rookie season of American Shavon Shields, the AJ English buzzer beater in Tuebingen, the magnificent 35 point performance and 8 crushing dunks by Florida native Mike Morrison against Pinar Karyisaka in Champions League action or the signing of another young gun for Gordon Herbert´s stable with 18 year old Richard Freudenberg who looks a tad like the young version of Zack Morris aka Mark Paul Gosselaar from 90s American TV show Saved By the Bell.  So with one game remaining on the Fraport Skyliners schedule against 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin in the Fraport arena one has little to look forward except for observing a good hard fought game and seeing some last great plays this season like Quantez Robertson feeding a Mike Morrison for the felt like 1000 alley-op of the season or asking a Nils Giffey in warm ups for the 20,000 time what it was like playing together with Kemba Walker at Uconn and where he stores his 2 NCAA rings. Not only what is on the court is worth observing, but also people who are roaming the Fraport arena. In Los Angeles you have Jack Nicholson courtside wondering when his Lakers will ever be good again, in New York it can be Spike Lee wondering who will be in the tabloids first the next morning him or Carmelo Anthony and in Frankfurt you have Hans Beth. Beth may not be as prominent as the Hollywood actors, but in the Fraport arena everyone knows his face as he is at every game sitting a few rows up behind the scorers table and is always flashing that charming smile and never seems to lose his dapper look and still has the combined look of James Bond star 007 Roger Moore and Dynasty star John Forsythe minus the grey. Beth shakes almost as much hands during a game as Don King does in any Boxing ring from New York to Tokyo and Fraport Skyliner CEO Gunnar Wobke and is always ready to bring further awareness to his baby Basketball Aid. This Saturday he will be talking to numerous people and could be bringing further life to the Basketball Aid international tour something he has been supporting and been in charge of the last years.

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Carlton Guyton (Basketball Lowen Braunschweig) Proving His BBL Season Was No Fluke

The German Pro A is filled with talented and skilled guards with a dime a dozen being an understatement, but moreover about as many players as there are Bulls fans in his home town of Chicago still unaware who new German shooting star Paul Zipser is and who still don´t know how to pronounce his name correctly as it isn´t like the zipcode, but moreover like Cipser if your saying the name from a German standpoint. Every club in the German Pro A have adept guards who are still looking for that big chance to make the next step up to the BBL or another top level in Europe as the list is as unending as the debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James as who is really the best ever. There are guys like Cologne´s Richard Williams or MBC Marcus Hatten that have reached the big dance in Germany, but the again other players like Virgil Matthews of Chemnitz, Carrington Love of Kirchheim, Chase Adams of Paderborn, Eugene Harris of Hanau or Diante Watkins of Nurnberg who could surely get a shot at the BBL, but so far are still waiting for that golden opportunity. One guy who has been toiling in the Pro A for years is Virgil Matthews who continues to put up very solid stats filling up the stat sheet like a Nicolas Batum can and has scratched the triple double surface , but at the end of every summer, it was the same story as he ended up again in the Pro A getting passed up by BBL teams. However two guys that have made the jump to the BBL this season after years of being overlooked in the Pro A have been Carlos Medlock who played three seasons in the Pro A with Crailsheim, Wurzburg and Vechta and Carlton Guyton who also had to wait three seasons before making the BBL promised land playing in Ehingen and Gotha. For Medlock reaching the BBL this season was more than bitter sweet as he had been the point guard in charge the last three seasons helping his teams move up to the BBL, but wasn´t kept for the next season, while for Guyton it wasn´t as dramatic as he was rewarded for his good play in Gotha helping build a playoff team. Curiously both guys ended up with the same club this season with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig as German head coach Frank Menz believed in their abilities and both have shown that their BBL season has been no fluke. Playing with the older Medlock has been a blessing in disguise for Guyton. “It’s been a pleasure to play with Los! After competing against him for so many years I was very familiar with his game. We had our share of battles. Now us being on the same team, every night I know I can count on him to bring it! Also with him having more experience than me I try to learn his little vet tricks”, smiled Carlton Guyton.

The road to the German BBL has been a long one for Carlton Guyton and it had to start somewhere as even in teenager years, the current 26 year old 193cm guard had to prove himself which has been a standard procedure in the last 8 years.

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Chris Miller (Giessen Pointers) I Had To Mature Faster Than The Average Rookie

Chris Miller is a 23 year old 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York that completed his rookie season in Germany with VfL Bensheim (2.Regionalliga). Before coming to Europe, he got semi-pro league experience in the states with the jamestown jackals. He played college ball at Salem international University and graduated in 2015. He spoke to German Hoops about his rookie season in Germany and before he signed with the Giessen Pointers.

Chris thanks for talking to German HoopsWhere are you at the moment and how is professional basketball life treating you as a rookie.

Hello, and thank you for having me. I am Currently in New York City In the gym crafting my game for next season. I am blessed, I get to do what I love and earn money from it, not many people can say that.

You have had a long rookie season as you went through the Ron Howard Hoops program last season and prompt got signed by German rRgionaliga two team Bensheim. Did your rookie season full fill your expectations of what it would be like in your first professional season?

It was a long journey to get to VFL Bensheim but overall I am happy with the way I have handled this year. I came in with the mindset to prove that I belong in this profession and I believe I achieved that goal.

Bensheim finished in ninth place out of 12 team and had a 10-12 record. You had a great rookie season being the MVP. Did your great stat season help lessen the tension of having a losing season?

Our season was very rough. In the beginning we had a full team and were seen as a contender. As the year went on we lost 7 players and a coach. I had to increase my level of play tremendously for my team to have a chance to win. I was looked at to score a bulk of the points, defend, assist. Basically be the “MR. Everything ” of the team kind of like Russel Westbrook this year. The outcome doesn’t look pretty on paper, but given the situation I was put in I feel I did a pretty good job.

What do you feel was missing from the Bensheim team that could have ended the season higher up in the standings?

Even being under manned we still found a way to compete. One of our biggest problems was scoring. Almost the whole season the opposing team would play box and 1 denying me the ball. We had trouble punishing teams with when they did that. I feel if we had one more guy who could go get a basket and another big man we would of won the league no question.

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Chase Adams (Uni Baskets Paderborn) I’ve Been On The Rollercoaster Ride Since College And I’m Ready To Keep Climbing

Chase Adams is a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland that completed hiss econd season with the Uni Baskets Paderborn averaging 11,9ppg, 4,1rpg and 5,6apg. He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2001 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.

Chase thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how have you been able to digest the end of the season?

Still here in Germany switching gears directly into off-season grind mode. It was tough at first but realizing all that we accomplished in 2 seasons with the same roster is something special in itself. It’s best not to dwell on what “could’ve-would’ve-should’ve happened”. I’ll take all the positives and build on that momentum for my next steps.

Days after the season ended you were in the gym again with talented German Til Gloger. I guess you didn´t want this season and nice Paderborn run to stop?

It felt like we were just getting started and just like that it ended abruptly in the last two games. Only way to distract myself from that disappointment, at this point, is to start working on my weaknesses and health in this down time. The Paderborn run is a testament to what consistency , faith, and patience can do for you.

Congrats on helping Paderborn to their best season since 2012. In the end, you just missed reaching the playoffs. Do you feel like if the season would have had a few more games more that you would have reached the playoffs?

I wish we did have a few more games, I believe we would have been a sleeper in the playoffs. There was a lot of gas still left in the tank and we were still getting better.

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Braydon Hobbs (ratiopharm Ulm) FC Bayern Munich Was A Tough Loss But We Have Responded In The Right Way

Braydon Hobbs is a 27 year old 196cm point guard playing his third season in Germany and first with ratiopharm Ulm. Last season he played for the  Giessen 46ers playing 33 games averaging 10.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-3(1.7spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 86.8%. Two seasons ago he played for  rent4office Nuernberg (Germany-ProA) where he averaged 11,9ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-4(5.9apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 82.4% . He started his basketball career in 2008 with Bellarmine (NCAA2) playing a total of 133 games. He turned professional in 2012 and played for Caceres Basket (Spain-LEB Gold, starting five): 35 games: 7.1ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 87.9%. In 2013-2014 he played for Alba Fehervar (Hungary-A Division, starting five): Eurocup: 10 games: 11.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 52.3%; Hungarian League: 32 games: 9.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 72.7%. He also played three summers professionally in Australia. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners.

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Braydon Hobbs when he played for NBC in the Pro A in Giessen after a playoff game in 2015

Braydon thanks for talking to German HoopsYou have spent your third Easter in a row in Germany. What have you learned to appreciate most about Easter in Germany that you haven´t had in the States?

Easter is always a good time of year, whether I’m in the US or in Germany. I appreciate the time I get with my family here in Germany though. A lot of the stores are closed on Friday and then again on Monday so it gives me a lot of time to spend with the family at home.

After winning 26 games in a row, you lost to FC Bayern Munich recently, but since beat Wurzburg and Giessen. Is basketball life back to normal in Ulm?

Basketball life is definitely back to normal after the loss. It was a tough loss, but I think we have responded in the right way.

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