Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Kevin Punter (Rosa Radom) I Was Never One And Done

Kevin Punter is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from the Bronx, New York playing his second professional season and first with Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK). Last season as a rookie he played with  GS Lavrio (Greece-A1) playing 21 games averaging 12.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 45.8%, 3FGP: 43.2%, FT: 80.0%, in Mar.’17 moved to Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Euromillions League) playing 16 games averaging 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 89.1%. He started his college career at  State Fair CC (JUCO) and finished at Tennessee (NCAA). In his senior year he played 26 games averaging 22.2ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.5apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 81.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

 

 

Kevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Before we start how often have you heard the wise comment “How far can you punt the ball?

When I was a little kid I often heard the phrase do you play football, but now I don´t hear it anymore.

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time to Germany or did you check it out when you played in Belgium briefly last season?

This is my first time here. We got in late, but it´s cool.

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Kameron Taylor (Dragons Rhondorf) Sometimes You Have To Take A Step Back To Take Two Steps Forward

Kameron Taylor is a 22 year old 198cm guard from Hyattsville, Maryland that is playing his second professional season and first with Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf and tearing up the Pro B averaging 23,3ppg, 7,2rpg and 4,5apg. Last season as a rookie he played with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 10.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at DeMatha Catholic and in 2012-2013 started his career at Seton Hill (NCAA2) and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 70.0%. In his second season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.6apg, 2.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 77.9%. In his junior season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 70.6%. In his senior year at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 20.8ppg, 8.7rpg, 4.1apg, 2.2spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before he signed with the Dragons Rhondorf.

Kam thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are playing your second professional season and first with the Dragons Rhondorf. You had a solid rookie season in Germany with Ehingen, but chose to play in the Pro B for Rhondorf. What were the main factors for you making this move?

Rhondorf gave me a direct access to learn and train with the Telekom Baskets BBL in where I can not only compete with the highest competition but also see where my skill and athleticism is compared to the athletes of the BBL, and can directly help Rhondorf and keep my gameplay high for the Pro B.

Sometimes taking a step back can be seen as a step forward. Why did you choose to take a step back to the Pro B? It isn´t like you have to prove yourself after what you showed in the Pro A last season?

Yea sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.

What has been your early impression of this years Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf? They have a solid core of Germans led by Viktor Frankl- Maus and three talented imports. What kind of style do you see the team playing and how successful will the team be?

I really enjoy the team, we have great chemistry on and off the court. I especially think the chemistry off the court is important because it eliminates selfishness between the team. I feel we are a defensive team that can get out run as well as run a good half court offense. I expect a really good season because our success will depend on us coming out ready to play every game.

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The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Overcome The Double Whammy With Cosmo Gruehn´s Precision Shooting Getting By The Dragons Rhondorf 84-77

picture perfect 1894

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Kameron Taylor after dropping 28 points and hauling down 12 rebounds in 84-77 loss in Frankfurt

After being on the road for weeks which must have felt like an eternity as something like that is rather untypical in the Pro B basketball world, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were finally back home again, but even if they didn´t want to admit it were facing a type of double whammy at home even if it was more a mental thing that they had to contend with. The last time the Fraport Skyliners Juniors stepped off the court in their own smug living room they had left with hanging heads as they had suffered every player´s nightmare having been hit and shattered by a last second buzzer beater shot by ScanPlus Baskets guard Hayden Lescault that not only put a piercing dagger into the hearts of Frankfurt, but also had the audacity not to go through the netting in the usual way with a beautiful swish, but had the nerve to bounce around the rim for seemingly minutes and then trickle through somewhat delaying the celebrations by the visitors. That was the first whammy that Frankfurt had to encounter and the second one was having to face the Dragons Rhondorf again as the last time they faced them in October in the Dragon Dome in Rhondorf, they also had to exit the floor as the losers on a last second buzzer beater by Mr “it´s Seton Hill not Seton Hall” Kameron Taylor who had nerves of steel in the last 9 seconds and the slick self confidence of a clutch crunch time player like Michael Jordan back in the day as he took Jules Akodo to the cleaners with a pull up jumper that found nothing but net and put the Dragons Rhondorf into basketball heaven for a night. The good news was that the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were coming off a big win in Schwelm where German Garai Zeeb had supplied the heroics supplying a game winning shot and three seasons ago Frankfurt beat Rhondorf in Frankfurt with a Kyle Fossman buzzer beater. With so many buzzer beaters swirling around in everybody´s minds, one could only have figured that this game would experience another shocking fate at the end, but it didn´t as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors won their fourth game in a row after staging a comeback in the second half winning 84-77.

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AJ English Is Back Watching The Fraport Skyliners Offensive Versatility Destroy The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven 95-69

From the shooting stats last weekend in Gotha that Philip Scrubb produced one could have thought on paper that it could have been a Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or even Larry Bird transported back to the court that had somehow been secretly been flown to the former Eastern Germany city and had worn a special Scrubb mask, but in reality it was really Scrubb. For many in North America he has been classified as the best Canadian college player of all-time and is on the verge of becoming the best Canadian to ever play in the EasyCredit BBL. Ok it was only one game, but the Canadian has been a sniper/scorer his whole life and making points on an regular basis and making it look easy like those superstars from the NBA has been a regular occurrence this season as he is flirting with winning the scoring title in Germany´s highest league.

Basketball BL,  FRAPORT SKYLINERS -  EISBAEREN BREMERHAVEN

Philip Scrubb carries Frankfurt’s offense this season and currently averages 18,7 points per game. 

Not only is this season fun again for players like Quantez Robertson, Mike Morrison and Scrubb who won a Fiba Europe Cup title in 2016 and reached the BBL semi-finals two seasons ago as last season was one to forget as the club missed the playoffs and all in all it was a very boring season except for seeing some AJ English shooting clinics and getting jealous whenever ex players like Jordan Theodore or Aaron Doornekamp were celebrating new titles. Not only is winning enjoyable, but since the 34 point Scrubb onslaught something else is exciting to watch each day with the Fraport Skyliners. Over the years, it was always fun to witness for how many points and assists a Dashaun Wood would go for the Fraport Skyliners in the 2010-2011 season as he won the MVP and also to see how many assists Jared “Mr pass” Jordan would hit you with with teams the Telekom Baskets Bonn and the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. Now in Frankfurt, there is the Philip Scrubb watch and just how many points he will score on the next night as he is on course to possibly follow Dashaun Wood as the next league MVP. After the Gotha romp, the Fraport Skyliners and Scrubb returned home and had to face the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven who haven´t invented defense this season as they have given up 82 points on average which is 12th in the league, but they had brought some momentum after a much needed win against Tuebingen, but they had no chance against the Fraport Skyliner´s offensive versatility getting destroyed 95-69. For most scoring 19 points would mean having a good night at the office, but for Philip Scrubb who was scoreless in the third quarter, it was a solid, but not spectacular night. After the win the Canadian had to escape a horde of photo hungry girls and one could see he would rather have been attacked by a shooting machine, but as always he shrugged off his success and was modest even if the Scrubb watch produced a smile. “We didn´t need my points, because other guys were playing well and hitting shots. For me it´s not a big deal how much I score. After that Gotha game people may expect me to do that every game and have a Scrubb watch, but that won´t always happen. I will take shots if I get them”, stressed Phiip Scrubb.

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The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven Continue To Swim In Mediocracy With Or Without NBA Bodies

The Last time the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were playing in mid May in the BBL playoffs, a Dennis Schroeder was only a household name on Braunschweig´s playgrounds, Jogi Low and Germany were getting ready for the World Cup in South Africa, BBL identity figures Quantez Robertson was a rookie and Rickey Paulding was only in his third season with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg  and Barack Obama was in the midst of his first term as President. It was the summer of 2010, the basketball world in Bremerhaven was in full force and everything was rosy. For those Bremerhaven fans that didn´t have time or money to enjoy a feast at Natusch and rap about Bremerhaven basketball, then getting that quick fish trip at the local Nordsee restaurant was always an option to philosophy about how easy a Lou Campbell could set up Jeff Gibbs for an easy bucket was something that was the norm in those days. Bremerhaven and head coach Doug Spradley was a few plays and breaks away from reaching the final, but the Fraport Skyliners won game 5 and went on to lose to Bamberg in five games. After entering the BBL in 2005, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven reached the playoffs in four of five seasons, but since 2010 have never reached the playoffs again. Every season not only Bremerhaven fans, but possibly a few more in the league are hoping and wishing that this might be the season where the club finally catches a few breaks with their player personal and run off a string of winning streaks and big wins to get back to the playoffs. However since 2010, the club has finished in ninth place once, and in 11th, 12th and 15th place twice. It didn´t really matter who was coach in the last eight years with Doug Spradley, Calvin Oldham, Muli Katzurin or now Sebastian Machowski, none could bring back the success that Sarunas Sakalaukas had. People really wondered from season to season how such talented and seemingly deep rosters couldn´t make the playoffs. A player is only as good as their character and for some reason, the club was unable to bring in exactly the right mix of players that could help the team make the promised land. Even with future BBL legend Derrick Allen on board for a season who knowingly has a top character and work ethic like no other, the club couldn´t make the best of it. Over the years the club has always brought in a lot of talent and players like Darius Adams and Kyle Fogg that would make the next step to better leagues, but the chemistry within the team just didn´t function properly. Even bringing in ex NBA players like Deandre Liggins and Tyrus Thomas were unable to bring any extra magic and infect their teammates as success remained invisible. Thomas retired after his Bremerhaven flop while Deandre Liggins returned back to the NBA and probably will never be reminded again about Bremerhaven. The club has maybe lacked the scouting expert like a Brendan Rooney who for years always brought the right players to Bamberg. A real true identity and chemistry has been missing from the playoff teams from 8 years ago. The team has lacked heart and have been clearly underachieving for years. With the dismissal of Jan Rathjen who was responsible for the success from 2005-2010, he lost his magic in the last years and now it´s Arne Woltmann turn who has the job. However nothing has changed as the team is in 17th place and under achieving again. When will it finally be fun again to go to Nordsee and talk about the exciting win from the night before?

Last season the club finished in 12th place mainly due to a lightening finish finishing 6-3. They played their best basketball of the season and were close to beating Bamberg losing 85-84 and Ludwigsburg losing 81-78.

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Cory Higgins (CSKA Moscow) We Have So Many Great Scorers That I Need To Be Able To Do A Lot More To Leave A Mark

Cory Higgins is a 27 year old 196cm forward from California that is playing his seventh professional season and third with CSKA Moscow (Russia-VTB). He played at Colorado (NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing a total of 132 NCAA games and as a senior he played 38 games averaging 16.1ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 86.6%. He played his first two professional seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) playing a total of 45 games and also played with the  Erie Bay Hawks(G-League. He came to Europe in 2013 playing with Triumph Lyubertsy (Russia-VTB) playing 22 games: Score-2(20.3ppg), 4.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 85.9%;In the  EuroChallenge, he played 15 games: Score-2(17.9ppg), 2.5rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 46.5%, FT: 80.2%. In the 2014-2015 season he got further European experience with  Royal Hali Gaziantep (Turkey-TBL) playing  29 games averaging 16.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 78.7%. With CSKA Moscow he won two VTB League titles and the 2016 Euroleague title. He spoke to German Hoops before the Euroleague game against Brose Bamberg in Bamberg.

Cory thanks for talking to German Hoops. Before we start I have to tell you a interesting story. In 1983 I was a kid. I was a big autograpth collector and along with Orlando Woolridge, Quintin Dailey and Reggie Theus I also got the signature of a Mr Rod Higgins. Is this the first time that someone has told you a story of them getting an autograph of your dad?

You aren´t the first that has told me that. When I was growing up in the Bay area, he was very popular there and had fans.

Welcome back to Germany. You have a lifetime 4-1 record against Brose Bamberg? With what kind of feeling are you heading back to Bamberg?

It is always exciting to play in Bamberg. The fans and atmosphere is amazing. As a player you always want to play in an atmosphere like that in Bamberg.

What stories have you heard over the years about the city Bamberg and organization from your teammate Kyle Hines?

He hasn´t told me too much. But the main one is just how passionate the fans are there. They are very knowledgeable fans and appreciate the game.

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Kyle Hines (CSKA Moscow) When I Feel Content With My Game Will Be The Time I Need To Stop Playing

Kyle Hines is a 31 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that is playing his fifth season with CSKA Moscow and currently is averaging 9,5ppg, 4,7rpg and 1,1apg in the Euroleague and in the VTB is averaging  in the VTB and 10,3ppg, 4,0rpg and 1,3apg. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had predraft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). He then went to Europe to Italy and played with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 34 games: 16.9ppg, Reb-4(8.6rpg), 3.0spg, Blocks-2(1.8bpg), FGP-2(66.0%), FT: 58.5%. In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): Euroleague: 10 games: 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; German League: 46 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. German Hoops did its 14th interview with the 6 time Euroleague Final 4 player and three time Euroleague winner before the Euroleague game in Bamberg.

Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops. This is our 14th interview since you played in Moscow. In our first interview you were a non Euroleague winner. Now you have three Euroleague titles. Has time flown by since Bamberg?

When I first became a professional, I was aiming to play at least 10 years, and now when I look up it has been 10 years. It feels like yesterday when I was playing with Bamberg. I am a 8 year Euroleague veteran and the game is still so fun for me. I don´t feel like 31 and hope I can still play the game for a long time.

Since our last interview in June, almost six months have passed. You’re 31 years old. What was your main focus last summer on the court so that you would be best prepared for this upcoming season?

It mainly was small things. Just making sure my conditioning and stamina is correct. I only took one to two weeks off last summer, before getting back into the gym. I also looked for ways to work on being more dynamic around the basket and working on my free throws. Last season I had a hand injury and didn´t feel like I was in peak shape. I made sure that I came into this season being in peak shape.

Your playing now your fifth season with CSKA Moscow after playing two seasons in Greece, one in Germany and two in Italy. Some call Quantez Robertson a Skyliner lifer. Do you feel like your going in the direction of a CSKA Moscow lifer?

I hope so. I love the city, organization and fans. I have spent half my career in Moscow. It feels crazy. I hope that I will be here as long as possible and finish my career here.

 

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