BBL

Richard Williams(I Always Look In The Mirror First When Things Don´t Go Right

 

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Richard Williams in 2013 after a 70-67 vechta loss against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt

 

Richard Williams is a 29 year old 178cm guard that finished the season with the RheinStars averaging 11,3ppg, 3,6rpg and 5,3apg after having started the season with Phoenix Hagen playing 5 games averaging 12.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.4apg, 2FGP: 54.2%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 82.4%,. Last season he played for Kirchheim Knights averaging 15,5ppg, 4,2apg and 8,0rpg. In the 2014-2015 season, he played for the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): EuroChallenge: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 6.5apg, 2.0spg; German BBL: 9 games: 8.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 40.6%, 3FGP: 48.0%, FT: 70.6%, in Jan.’15 moved to SC Rasta Vechta (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 4.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg. He is a very fast guard that can play either one or two. Great at pushing the break. Can score by shooting the three or using his explosiveness to beat his man. Gets to the basket and scores in traffic. A specialist in steals that uses his quickness to intimidate on defense. Great ball control. Gets the whole team involved when playing the point but can takeover a game at any time. He started his basketball career at San Diego St. (NCAA) in 2005 where he played until 2009. In his senior year he played 36 games: 7.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3Pts: 37.5%, FT: 64.2%. In 2009-2010, he started his professional basketball career for The San Diego Surf (ABA), in Jan.’10 moved to FSU Selfoss (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 8 games: 27.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 3.4apg, 2.8spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 72.7%. In 2011-2012, he played for  UBC Hannover Tigers (Germany-ProB) 33 games: 18.3ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-4(5.7apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 75.8%. In the 2012-2013 season he played  for SC Rasta Vechta playing  38 games: 15.6ppg, 5.2rpg, Assists-1(6.7apg), Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 79.9%. In the 2013-2014 season for Vechta he played 34 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.4apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 29.3%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.

 

 

 

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Richard Williams in 2014 after a Fraport Skyliners game.

 

 

Richie 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?

Losing in general is tough. From a personnel standpoint we matched up well but MBC was the better team.

 

In German one says “Da war nichts zu holen in diese Saison gegen MBC”. The RheinStars lost one regular season game by 15 points 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 match up well but they played better team basketball when it mattered

 

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?

They move the ball well and had us scrambling early.

 

 

 

Basketball is a team sport and you had a pretty good series against MBC, but as a point guard who leads the team on the floor, do you feel as though some of the blame sticks on your shoulders which is a normal way of thinking for any point guard?

I always look in the mirror first when things don’t go right.

 

 

The RheinStars had dug a deep hole, but were climbing out in January. 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?

 

We definitely made some character wins down the stretch. I appreciated the effort from everyone.

 

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?

 

There were many personnel changes that kept putting us back chemistry and moral-wise. Through it all we found a way to make it to the playoffs.

 

 

How proud are you of your teammates that despite the club having removed head coach Arne Woltmann, the club reacted positively on the court and played well. How more difficult is it in general for any team to react to coaching changes and still perform well?

It was very difficult. Through it all we still had a job to do.

 

 

 

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 to game three in Weissenfels who would you choose?

The guy who stood out to me was Leon Baeck

 

 

Let´s talk about your season. You had to change clubs from Phoenix Hagen to the RheinStars because the BBL team closed up shop. Do you feel as if your experience two seasons ago with Frankfurt/Vechta made this mid season transition easier?

 

Not really. This season was a little different because my daughter was born 3 days after I got to Cologne.

 

You came in as the oldest, but then the team brought in added experience with Anthony King. How beneficial was the addition of King for you personally? Was he able to take some of the leadership off your shoulders and could you soak some new leadership skills from the ex Artland Dragon?

A guy with AK’s experience and skill set is always a plus. He brought a lot to table that helped us.

 

 

You had another solid season, but couldn´t match it statistically from your Kirchheim season last year, but you did average 6 minutes more with Kirchheim. Were you overall content with your Pro A season?

 

No way. Every stat will go up next season, for sure.

Stats usually tell the story, but not the whole story. In what area of your game do you feel did you make strides this season that isn´t visible in the stat area?

 

That’s a good question. I would say leadership.

 

 

What is the next step for Richie Williams? You are turning 30 in August. Have you reached your prime or do you feel like you can still develop and play for a BBL team next season?

 

I don’t know where I will be next season but I know I will continue to get better

 

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

 

I’ll be in San Diego enjoying my family

 

 

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

 

Strength and shooting.

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?

 

He’s a killer. He has the attitude to take the Celtics over the top

 

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?

KOBE vouched for him so I take his word on how good Booker is.

 

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`?

 

 

Every year there’s a new Cinderella. It’s enjoyable to watch.

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?

 

He appears to be a good kid. He’ll be ok

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?

 

 

It doesn’t really matter to me. There’s a lot of guys in the league that you can inflate their rebounds and they still average a triple double. Haters will hate.

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

Get Out

 

Thanks Richie for the chat.

Jordan Talbert(PS Karlsruhe) I Proved How Effective I Can Be Within A Truly Professional System Designed To Get Everyone Involved And Not Just A Few Players

Jordan Talbert is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that completed his third professional season and first with the PS Karlsruhe Lions averaging 13,3ppg, 7,2rpg and 2,1apg helping lead the team to the Pro A. He came to Germany as a rookie in 2014 and played with the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college career at Missouri SO(NCAA2) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.1%. Last season with Nordlingen he tore up the Pro B averaging 17.5ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-5(1.5bpg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 73.4%. He spoke to eurobasket at the end of the season.

 

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Talbert in 2015 after a 73-71 loss in Frankfurt against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors where he contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds

 

Jordan congrats on an amazing season, but the goal ended during the last game of the season. Did you ever suffer a more bitter loss in your career?

 

Yes, I have suffered much more devastating losses in my career. This one cuts but not nearly as deep as some of the others.

Weissenhorn had to win by more than four points to be crowned 2017 Pro B champion and really grinded it out winning by six points. What were your first thoughts after the buzzer. Did you feel like you were in a bad dream?

 

I was just really disappointed in myself and my team. The way we played that game wasn’t the way we played all season. We didn’t deserve to win.

 

The Weissenhorn youngsters controlled the game from the get go, but PS Karlsruhe made a run in the fourth quarter as you started really to fire away from outside. What do you feel was missing in crunch-time to have got over the hump?

 

Our defense during crunch time was what was missing. Credit to them for taking advantage of it.

 

Both teams really wanted this Pro B title badly, but do you feel like the visitors wanted it more?

 

 Yes I definitely do. The way we played in the first half it seemed as if we were unmotivated and unfocused.

 

Dou you feel like the Pro B title was lost in game one in Weissenhorn? Do you feel like if PS Karlsruhe could have taken more advantage of their horrible 1/25 shooting that you would have been in better position in game two to have won it all?

 

 No I don’t think that we lost the title in game 1. Sure we could’ve taking better advantage of their off night but still we should’ve been able to close out the series at home.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Talbert in Rhondorf after a 82-73 win for PS Karlsruhe where he steered home 21 points in the win.

How much respect do you have for the Weissenhorn organization winning the 2017 Pro B title without a single American. What made this team so special this season?

 

That’s a major accomplishment. Their team chemistry is what made them special. Seems like no one on their team had a problem stepping up and making a play when needed.

 

I really enjoy watching huge Hungarian talent Marcell Pongo and his aggressiveness. Do you see him becoming a solid BBL player down the line?

 

I’m not sure I’m the guy to make that judgement since I’ve haven’t been around many BBL players. Don’t want make the mistake and underestimate their skill level.

 

You stated in our last interview in March that “Our focus is what needs to increase. Our effort and toughness is always there, just our focus on the details during key moments is what we plan on fixing during the playoffs”. Is this something that also was missing a bit in the final series against Weissenhorn?

 

 Yes our focus on the defensive end, turnovers and at the free throw line were what really cost us in the end.

 

What is your overall season summary. The club reached the Pro A as the 2017 Pro B finalist. Did you truly think this was possible after the first few weeks of the season?

 

Yes I did. Making it to the semi-finals last season with a less talented team in Nordlingen compared to the roster in Karlsruhe really gave me the confidence that we could get the promotion.

 

 

How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Dimitrij Kreis? He is a very underrated point guard in the Pro B. Is he a guy that could make the next step in the Pro A?

 

 

 It has been great playing with Kreis. I’ve learned much from him not just on the court but off the court as well. He’s a veteran in Germany and I’ve soaked up much wisdom by listening to some of the things he’s said and done.

 

 

What German player do you feel has improved the most from the first day of training camp until the last game against Weissenhorn?

 

Well even though this guy was only with us since January I think Jacob Mampuya has made the biggest improvement over the season. Coming late from Nordlingen which was a team at the bottom of the league he had a lot of bad habits he had to break before he could help our team. The great thing was that he learned everyday doing practice how to play winning basketball and eventually being a huge piece for us.

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MIles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Talbert in Frankfurt after a 77-72 PS Karlsruhe win over the Fraport Skyliners Juniors where he scored 21 points

You had a tight bond with Orlando Parker and one could say you have become like brothers. What did you learn to appreciate most about him on and off the court? I definitely appreciated his game.

 

He was our leading scorer for most of the season, coming off the bench. He has the ability to come in and change the game within a short period of time. Off the court he has great character which made being away from home for so long not so bad because it felt like I had a family member here with me.

 

 

Let´s talk about your game. In our last interview you stated that “I’ve think my game without the ball has improved. Finding ways to have an effect on the game whether it’s screening to get a teammate open, helping out on defense, or rebounds in traffic. Making those little plays that don’t show up in the box score is what I’ve been proud of” How important was this season for you where your stats weren´t as big as with Nordlingen in building your overall team player skills?

 

 

Very important, this season I believed I proved that how effective I can be within a truly professional system designed to get everyone involved and not just a few players.

 

 

You had a three point shooting slump, but shot the ball well in the last three playoff games going 9/19. Is this something you will continue to build on for next season this summer?

 

 

Yes of course, I want to continue to expand my shooting range because I know at the next level I will be required to stretch the floor even more. I finished the season shooting 34% from 3 which is much better than the 28% I did the season before. I would just like to continue to improve that part of my game.

 

How do you feel did your defense progress in your third professional season? You stated that “Making those little plays that don’t show up in the box score is what I’ve been proud of”. What kind of defender has Jordan Talbert become with PS Karlsruhe that will help you make the next step?

 

 I’ve always considered myself to be a great defender. It’s something I really take pride in. I’m confident that I will have no problem making the adjustment to the next level. Improving my strength and quickness are my main focuses in that area.

What is the next step for Jordan Talbert? You have paid your dues now three seasons in Germany in lower leagues. Are you ready for the next step in the Pro A?

 

Yes I’ve believed that I’ve done more than enough to prove that I’m ready. Now I’m excited to finally get the opportunity.

 

 

What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?

 

 I have a little trip planned early in the summer to visit some friends I haven’t seen in a long time but then after that it’s back to work.

 

Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?

 

 No not really. First I was really to impressed with the accomplishment primarily because his team lost. I think the players are so good at scoring in the NBA that a hot night could mean huge numbers for anyone.

 

Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?

 

 I would also put him behind Curry and maybe John Wall.

 

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`?

 

 Yes I do. I think Frank Martin did an excellent job by maximizing his teams abilities and shocking the basketball nation.

 

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 haven’t seen him play much so I don’t know. But I sure hope that he develops because I feel that his father is putting a target on him to  forget once he gets to the league.

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?

 

I think Westbrook was doing all he could to help his team win, which is all you can ask for in a player.

 

There was some speculation that the Morris brothers both played in game one and game two for Washington despite Morris being under contract to the Detroit Pistons. Do you really think that could be possible with all the technical capabilities around to really have let a capper like that go unnoticed?

 

 No I don’t think that’s possible. Just because they look alike doesn’t mean they think alike. He would have to know all the plays and the tendencies of his teammates which is something only a person who’s been on the team all season would know.

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

Passengers

 

Thanks Jordan for the chat.

 

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Kyle Hines(CSKA Moscow) Wolfgang Heyder Gave Me An Opportunity That Other Teams Wouldn´t Have Done

Kyle Hines is a 30 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that recently completed his fourth season with CSKA Moscow averaging 7,7ppg, 3,4rpg and 1,3apg in the VTB and 8,5ppg and 4,3rpg in the Euroleague.. 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. The 6 time Euroleague Final 4 player and three time Euroleague winner spoke to German Hoops back home in New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?

 

I am home in New Jersey now. I just got home 2-3 days ago. We won the VTB league about a week ago and after I spent a few more days in Moscow enjoying the city before coming back home

 

 

Have you bumped into your ex coach Chris Fleming? The NBA Draft is tomorrow. Did he reveal any talk about the Nets signing the German boy Isaiah Hartenstein?

 

 

I have not had the chance to talk to him yet. I saw Hartenstein play before and he was on the roster of the team we played against twice last season. I have been aware of him and know Chris also since he and the Nets do a good job scouting teams in Europe. I think that with his kill set, he has the potential to be an NBA player. I think he is a big man that can do a lot on the floor which other big men his size can´t. He is more of a face the basket skilled big man. I think for him making it, it will depend a lot on how well he can make the transition from Europe to the NBA.

 

Congrats on another great season with CSKA Moscow. Despite winning your fourth VTB title, do you have a little sour taste because you didn´t win another Euroleague title?

 

Of course. Our goal is it each season to win the Euroleague title. That is what we compete for and not getting that Euroleague title makes the season not as successful. But at the same time, last seasons team went through a lot and I feel just making it back to the Euroleague Final 4 was an accomplishment. Not winning the Euroleague is another big motivation for us to get better this summer  so we can have the chance to win again in 2018.

 

CSKA Moscow reminds me a bit of Brose Bamberg who dominated the BBL playoffs as well having a 9-1 record. We have talked about this in past interviews, but explain again how important team character is? Skill wise the team will still be very good minus a De Colo and Teodosic, but be lacking much in the character department. How does this aspect separate CSKA Moscow from the rest of the VTB teams?

 

I feel that everyone saw our true character after we lost in the Euroleague Final 4. We didn´t sulk or were disappointed, but continued to be dominant in the VTB and beat very good Lokomotive and Khimki teams. We have very strong character guys that not only demand a lot from themselves, but also from each teammate. We all have strong characters on the team.

 

 

CSKA Moscow has won 6 VTB titles in a row and are just dominating this competition. With all the super character players on the team do you sense like the team hunger continues? What kind of feeling did you sense after winning that 6 VTB title in a row?

 

I think winning that sixth VTB title in a row is just as important as winning the first one in this run. We always want to be dominate in the domestic league as it is very important for the history of our club. I think now that this streaks continues, no team wants to be that team that ends the streak.

 

 

You reached 6 Euroleague final 4´s and won three. CSKA Moscow lost a nail bitter to Greek team Olympiacos 82-78. Does every new Euroleague Final 4 loss hurt even more simply because you never know if you will get there?

 

Yes it does, but I take it year by year. I remember when I played for Bamberg if somebody had told me that I would reach 6 Euroleague Final 4´s and win three, I would never have believed it. I learn through experience and the beauty about basketball is that there is always next year. That gives you the chance to try to win another one.

 

 

 

Olympiacos  hit 14 three´s, but won only by four points. Where do you feel was this game lost?

 

I think rebounding and assists. They had a good shooting day as well and they had more possessions and we e had something like 6-7 assists, but averaged 23 during the season.

 

 

You signed until 2019 and will then have played six seasons with CSKA Moscow. There are still many other players not resigned while there are massive rumors that Milos Teodosic might go back to the NBA. How content are you that a majority of the team chemistry will stay intact?

 

I am confident that the club will do the best they can to keep that team chemistry. The management builds the team for one goal and that is to win the Euroleague. Management knows what it takes to win the Euroleague. I know that we will have a strong team again.

 

 

Ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Will Clyburn signed with CSKA Moscow. He has been a rising player in Europe the last three years. What do you know about his game?

 

We played against him twice last season. He is a dynamic athletic guard/forward that is streaky, but can score in bunches. I think that he will help our game and let us play at a faster pace. He also is valuable in that he can guard mulitiple positions 1-4 and sometimes the five. He is a very good addition and I am looking forward to playing with him.

 

 

There hasn´t been much fluctuation with players coming and going with CSKA Moscow, but if you could pick one guy that you would still love to play with now who would it be?

 

It would be my two teammates Teodosic and Aaron Jackson. I love Teodosic´s IQ and hope he returns. Jackson won´t return, but I grew very close with him the last four years. He was a very good teammate and our friendship grew.

 

 

You will be turning 31 next season and aren´t getting any younger. Are you past your prime?

 

No I don´t think so. I still feel like I have more to offer. I am not your typical big man, but they say that big men usually reach their prime later. Our assistant coach Darryl Middleton who played until he was 47 is always joking that he didn´t get warmed up until he was 35 years old. I hope that my best years are still coming.

 

Do you feel like your hunger for titles will be even bigger this upcoming season? Where have you learned to never be satisfied?

 

I am a lot hungrier now. After winning the Euroleague in 2016 and not last season, it is very difficult to accept and my hunger just grows more and more. I am more motivated to win now. I am getting older and I don´t know how much more chances I will get to be an a situation like the Euroleague Final 4. I have to take advantage of each practice and game and get better.

 

This past season you played  32 games VTB games averaging 7.7ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP-2(69.9%), FT: 62.9%; Euroleague: 35 games: 8.5ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 65.0%, FT: 70.2%. In our last interview in December 2016 you stated I am trying to continue to do the little things that help my team win like finishing plays, making free throws and being a solid defensive player. My goal is always how I can put my team in the best position to win the game. Did you achieve that last season?

 

I think that I did at times. Obviously we didn´t win the Euroleague title, so I can´t say that I played to my best abilities last season. I am my harshest critic and I always know that I can do more on the floor no matter what the circumstances are.

 

 

 

In our last interview you also stated that . “being effective allows me to be on the court. If you aren´t effective then you are a liability”.  What do you have to keep an eye on more of when you get older not to lose that effectiveness on the court?

 

 

I think just bringing energy and making smart plays is how you stay most effective as you get older.

 

Last season there were four other guys that were 30 like you and three other guys older. In what unique way do you feel are you able to shed your vast basketball experience on younger guys that nobody else can match on the team?

 

 

I have been fortunate enough to have been in every situation as a professional. I came from the second division in Italy and made it to the top. I have played seven Euroleague seasons and reached 6 Final 4´s. I think it is my goal to be able to give young players my expertise and experience to make their transition easier. I want them to avoid having to go through things that I went through.

 

 

 

You see them battle each day in practice, but seriously who would win the most one on one duels in a 10 games series Nando de Colo or Milos Teodosic?

 

I will stay neutral here going with a 5-5 record.

 

 

 

Brose Bamberg won their third title in a row and one can make the coaches comparisons between Trinchieri and Fleming. You played for both coaches. You have also seen the last years how Trinchieri built teams and led them to success. Who do you feel had the harder job of making the dynasty work?

 

I have to be honest. I think both had a hard job and were successful. I came to Bamberg in 2010 and Chris Fleming had to build a team to repeat which was hard. Fleming had core guys, but it still wasn´t easy trying to keep some key guys while trying to keep building that dynasty. Fleming also didn´t have the kind of budget that Trinchieri has today. It also hasn´t been easy for Trinchieri, because he had to replace Fleming and everybody kept measuring Trinchieri to what Fleming did. He had to live up to what Fleming did. Both are great coaches that did a great job making their teams belong to the best in Europe.

 

 

 

If you had to rate the team you saw this season and compare it to other teams like the one you were a part of in 10-11 could one consider that team as the best ever?

 

I will always go with the team I played on. We were a dominat team in the BBL and had some big wins in the Euroleague against Real Madrid and Olympiacos. I remember we beat top team Alba Berlin by more than 50 points. We had some future NBA players with Brian Roberts and Tibor Pleiss and had a very dominant player in Predrag Suput.

 

 

Everybody has their own Wolfgang Heyder story. He had huge success again helping put together a Gotha team that miraculously made it up to the BBL. How much of an impact did a mind like that have on a young American like yourself in 2010-2011?

 

I respect Wolfgang Heyder because he took a chance on me, a guy coming from the second division in Italy coming to a defending champion. I think most people wouldn´t have imagined any team doing something like that. I thank him and Brendan Rooney for giving me an opportunity that other teams wouldn´t have done. They helped me giving me a spring board for my career.

 

 

 

You battled against German Daniel Theis this season and seasons past. He played NBA Summer League in 2014 and there is talk he may land in Atlanta with his buddy Dennis Schroeder. Could he be a 10 minute NBA guy?

 

 

I think so. I think that he will be a good fit with the Boston Celtics. They have very dynamic guards in their system and need those special kind of bigs that know how to finish and make hustle plays. He is a very hardworking guy and has improved each season in Europe. I think that he has the potential to be an impact player in the NBA.

 

You have created the fascinating website www.myhoopjourney.com where the goal is to shed light on the unseen parts of the basketball journey. With almost no long term contracts, various styles of play, and a wide range of living and travel conditions, the professional life of an international player can present many challenges. Throw these things in with a dose of foreign culture and the journey of a player overseas often creates some of the most compelling and unique stories in sports that widely go untold. What has been the feed back and and what further steps do you plan in taking with this project?

 

 

We have had very good feed back so far with good articles and hoping to expand the site. We hope to continue to get unique stories about veterans, young players and coaches. We want to offer unique stories about players that you wouldn´t necessarily find elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Lebron was stopped at another NBA title. Where do you see him now in the neverending debate about who is the best of all-time him or Michael Jordan?

 

MJ is still the best for me. He is from my era. This argument is so interesting, because you will always find different opinions from people from all the different era´s. MJ is undeniably the best of all-time.

 

 

 

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 not at all. If you look at his emotion, drive and passion, you can´t say that he is stacking his stats. He is just trying to everything possible to help his team win. It is unjust for you to say this about Westbrook.

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

The Beauty and the Beast with my daughter.

 

Thanks Kyle for the chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyson Hinz(MBC) I Had Much More A Different Role Than Less Of A Role

Tyson Hinz is a 25 year old 20cm forward from Ottawa, Canada that completed his third professional season and first in Germany with the Mitteldeutscher BC helping them win the Pro A title averaging 8,4ppg, 3,9rpg and 1,6apg. He played the last two seasons with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie) playing a total of 73 games and last season played 35 games averaging 13.3ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 76.6%. He started his basketball career at Carleton University (CIS) in 2009 and played there until 2014 playing a total of 123 CIS games and as a senior played 27 games averaging 15.4ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 76.1%. There he won four CIS titles and three OUA titles. He spoke to German Hoops after the very successful 2016-2017 Pro A season.

 

Tyson congrats on an amazing season and winning the German Pro A with MBC. What kind of feeling was it winning your first professional title?

 It was an amazing feeling. With how the Pro A works we had our first celebration when we qualified for promotion, which was fantastic but we all knew there was still something left to accomplish. I am glad the team was able to get the final two wins and finish the season knowing we accomplished our goal from the start.

You won 7 titles at Carleton and know what it likes to win titles. MBC was the favorite to win the Pro A title. Can a guy like you really even get emotional after a title like this compared to a guy like German Sergio Kerusch who won his second title after winning his first 8 years ago with the Sun Belt Tournament with W.Kentucky (NCAA).

Every championship is special, it doesn’t matter how many you have won. Every year is unique as you are with a different group of guys or a different club entirely. To celebrate the accomplishment as a team and to see the excitement on your teammates feelings who you’ve battled with all year is a wonderful feeling. Being the favourite to win put a target on our backs all year as everyone wanted to take us down but I thought we handled that as a team.

MBC had the number of Gotha this season going 4-0. I always felt Gotha had a well rounded roster, but was MBC just better from top to bottom?

 Gotha had an incredible season. They ran into countless challenges with roster and coaching changes and managed to play their best basketball in the end. They unfortunately ran into some injury problems for the finals but their team as a whole still battled and fought hard which was admirable.

Gotha knew coming into the game that they had to win by 8 or more points, but lost by 22 points. MBC shot very well in the paint and won the rebound battle. What was key for winning the final series against Gotha?

 In game 1, we really got beat badly on the boards. They crashed hard on both ends as a team and we weren’t ready to respond to that. I thought in the second game we played with much better team spirit and energy while doing so, took care of the rebounding battle.

The club went 8-0 in the playoffs sweeping the RheinStars, Kirchheim and Gotha. They won seven of the eight playoff games by double digits. Did MBC play their best basketball in the playoffs?

I believe we did. We really came together as a team and played the style of basketball we wanted to play. The key to making playoff runs is to be playing your best basketball at that time and we saw that with us and Gotha.

What is your season summary? MBC reached it´s goal of getting back to the BBL. Did MBC make the most of it´s resources or do you feel like the team could have been even better?

 Finishing the year as champions and setting the total wins record (35-3) in the history of Pro A makes for quite a spectacular season. Obviously we would like to have those 3 losses back but they were part of our growth as a team. We learned from those losses and got better from them. The organization as a whole did an outstanding job putting together a championship caliber team from top to bottom.

MBC had a very very talented roster. What player do you feel improved the most from day one until the Pro A title last game win against Gotha?

 It is really hard to pick a single player who was most improved. Our roster was filled with guys who could play so when someone outside of the starters had a great game no one was really surprised as we all know they had it in them.

You obviously will have many fond memories of American Andrew Warren like his 35 points against Gotha, but what one play or shot will always remain in your mind when you look back on this season and think of him?

 I don’t know any one play or shot will stand alone when I look back more than his overall presence on the team. He is always the guy trying to motivate his teammates to help them play at the highest level and when as a team we were lacking energy or focus he would always get us back on the right track. I am fortunate to have played with him this year.

Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 8,4ppg, 3,9rpg and 1,6apg in 18 minutes per game and shot 34% from outside. For a guy who has always been a scorer in school and in Holland how do you feel did your game progress this season with your less of a role in comparison to the last years?

 I learned a lot this year in my 3rd year as a pro. At the beginning of the year I did see it as less of a role but I think that was my problem. It is much more a different role than less of a role. Each player when they step on the floor has a role that is vital to the teams success. Not everyone can score 25+ a game, you need guys to defend, rebound and keep our rhythm in the game. As the year  went on I tried to do all the little things to help our team win while still being aggressive looking for opportunities to score.

You stated in our last interview in November that you wanted to be efficient and get better as a defensive player in the Pro A. Did you meet these goals?

The great thing about basketball is there is always room for improvement, always something to improve. I think I reached those goals but as the season ends and the off season approaches the goals don’t fade away. I have a couple months to work on my game and prepare for next season

What is the next step for Tyson Hinz? The question is will MBC retain your services? Do you feel like your game would translate over to the BBL?

 Only time will tell. As I am writing this we just won the championship the night before so there hasn’t been much time. I will speak to my agent and we will go from there.

On what parts of your game will you be working on this summer most to get you best prepared for your fourth professional season?

 As I mentioned earlier, there is always room for improvement in all aspects of my game but I two things I would like to work on is my overall strength and foot speed. Throughout the year most of the weight lifting is done to maintain your body so that you are ready for games. Now that it is the off season I can have more time to recover

Your Canadian national team teammates Phil and Tommy Scrubb suffered the injury bug this season. What will you be looking most to when you see them again in the summer on the court or with the Canadian national team?

 It is truly unfortunate that both of them weren’t able to play much or at all this season. I am looking forward to seeing them healthy this summer. Since they have been out for a while I am sure their competitive side has had them dying to get back on the court so they will be fun to play with or against.

What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?

Nothing too special this summer. Just staying in my home town of Ottawa and training. Now that the season is done I am excited to get home and see my family.

Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?

 The talent level in the league is off the charts. When one of these guys is feeling it as we’ve seen many times they can truly go off. It is impressive at his age what he was able to accomplish.

Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?

 Isaiah Thomas has had an incredible season and playoffs. I am impressed with how he dealt with the passing of his sister and continued to play at a high level. Now that the Raptors are out I hope they can dethrone Lebron.

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`?

 Every year we see these incredible runs at the NCAA tournament, it is what makes this tournament so exciting to watch. I think the story of March Madness is always the team that wins, that is what all 64 teams in the tournament are dying to accomplish but only one can win it.

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?

 To be honest I haven’t got the chance to watch many Lonzo games but from his highlights and what I have read about him he can truly play. Would not consider myself a fan of his father but I feel like that is his M.O to promote his brand. Through his obnoxious methods he is actually doing a pretty good job at it so I can respect that.

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?

I think we focus too much on the triple double. Westbrook is a hell of a player and a freak athlete but whether he gets 9 rebounds or 10 shouldn’t change the way we look at him as a player. You don’t get any extra points for grabbing that 10th rebound in the dying seconds of a 20 point game.

Recently there was talk that the Morris brothers did a switcharo in Boston in game 2 where Morris stepped in for Markieff who was nursing an injury. Do you think something like that can be even possible with all the scrutiny and all the technical gadgets that are around. Could something like that not get detected?

 I loved this conspiracy, despite it being completely asinine or was it? I don’t know the full rules of the NBA but I don’t think they are allowed to DNA test after a game. Being twins with countless matching tattoos they could easily fool many people.

What was the last movie that you saw?

 Get Out.

Thanks Tyson for the chat.

 

Will The NBA Be Calling Johannes Voigtmann This Summer Or Does He Only Possess Euroleague Format?

 

Even if an exciting basketball game can be interrupted and made less nice by the constant blowing of whistles slowing down the game, so can a timeout where some patrons will scoot to the food stand to buy a Coke and nacho´s while other´s may even delay a bathroom run just to watch the entertaining sideline show of ex Alba Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic who has his own Serbian theatre like skits with his hand and body gestures trying to motivate his squad back into the game, but the 2 time European basketball champion with the then Yugoslavia also has a knack of saying bold things. In the 2015-2016 season Obradovic who won the Korac Cup in 1995 with Alba Berlin as a player and has basketball legendary status from the Spree river to Potsdam is a guy who can talk and fill a press conference room and where journalists for once won´t interrupt, but just shut up and listen stated that ex Brose Bamberg guard Brad Wanamaker belongs to the top three best players to ever have played in the BBL. It would be interesting to how quickly he could come to a conclusion to which center is better the more experienced Elmeden Kikanovic or constantly developing and rising star Johannes Voigtmann of the then Fraport Skyliners. It would also be interesting to see how Obradovic would react to the question “Was Johannes Voigtmann the best player in the BBL in 2015-2016? In terms of play, the way Johannes Voigtmann was playing that season, he was becoming more and more of a showcase player in the BBL and a player that fans came specifically to see play. You may have seen Jason Boone as an extra in a Lebron James movie as he could easily moonlight as an actor or go into the field once his playing days are over and could even make a mean Jason or funny Jason on screen. However where he doesn´t joke is when it comes to basketball as he is all business on and off the court and on December 15th, 2015, he had the audacity to tell me at half time of a Fiba Europe Cup game in Frankfurt against Sodertalje that Johannes Voigtmann was the best player in the German BBL. Even the ex floor general of the Fraport Skyliners Jordan Theodore was very impressed about his ex teammate: “To me Jo has been playing at a high level all season. Definitely the best center in the league. Big Jo is definitely one of the best players in this league. He does it all”, warned Jordan Theodore. In 2015-2016, it is so much fun watching the blue eyed basketball monster as at times it seemed like he was a younger version of Larry Bird wooing fans with his special knack of passing the ball, but in reality it is just Johannes Voigtmann being the most complete center in the BBL. “Joe is very skilled. He has a high IQ and can do things with the basketball that I haven’t seen from guys his size. He can put the ball on the floor and create for others. He can shoot the long ball and his mid range game is unstoppable”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. But before we talk about the current play of the German national player, let´s look back to 2012 when he first arrived in Frankfurt.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber doing play by play with Johannes Voigtmann during a Pro B playoff game between TV Langen and Basket Akademy Weser-Ems in Langen in 2014

Voigtmann is a 24 year old 211cm center born on September 20th and hails from Eisenach, Germany and played four seasons with the Fraport Skyliners. Before coming to Frankfurt, the German big man started his basketball trade in the former East Germany and didn´t start until he was 15 years old. The German started to play handball as a kid since his dad played, but has to thank his grandmother for getting him into basketball. She received an invitation to a basketball camp in Jena since she headed a school in Eisenach and Voigtmann and his brother Georg went and were asked if they would like to play basketball. After that everything went very quick as both brothers headed to Jena to a basketball boarding school. The German national player who is a Michael Schumacher fan started his basketball career in 2009 for TuS Jena II (2.Regionalliga) where he played 17 games averaging 4,5ppg. At the same time he also played for their NBBL team playing 13 games and averaged 9,2ppg. The early basketball career of Voigtmann really went rapidly as he was developing and could hardly get a breath as a year later he was playing for Science City Jena in the German PRO A. He only played four games in his first season, but over the summer had valuable international experience playing at the European Championships U20 in Bilbao (Spain) playing nine games and averaging 1,9ppg and 1,9rpg. In his second season in Jena , he got more minutes in 2011-2012 as he played 28 games averaging 4,1ppg and 3,1rpg as a 19 year old with only four years of basketball experience. A big reason why the German was able to develop his game so quick in Jena was head coach Georg Eichler who already had a hunch that the BBL would be in  the future for the youngster. “Coach Eichler did very much individual training with me and was interested in leading me to reaching the BBL. He gave me a lot of confidence and gave me minutes that really helped me”, stressed Johannes Voigtmann. A few basketball birds in the scene started chirping away and Frankfurt management got an ear full of what Voigtmann was capable of doing on the court and soon he was on his way to Frankfurt. Before he came  to Frankfurt he gained  more important experience playing at the European Championships U20 in Slovenia  where he played  6 games averaging 10.3ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 64.1%, FT: 63.2%

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Johannes Voigtmann after a 83-77 loss against the Artland Dragons on the road after displaying an almost flawless shooting performance scoring 18 points on 9/10 shooting from the field as well as grabbing five rebounds and dishing out 5 assists in 2014

In the summer of 2012, the Fraport Skyliners signed Johannes Voigtmann to a long term contract as the club made clear that the German youth was a big part of the future as they were going to base their nucleus around Danilo Barthel, Johannes Voigtmann and Konstantin Klein. Voigtmann was handed a double license so he could craft his game in the BBL as well as in the Pro B. With Muli Katzurin, the German had a very tough head coach, but was still able to work himself into the rotation as he played 26 games averaging 3,0ppg and 2,1rpg in nine minutes per game. Sometimes having a tough coach helps a young player to know how hard one must work to get better. You can´t sit around the zone picking daisies, but always have to be thinking and showing your opponent that you are two steps ahead of him and that is something that Voigtmann learned from Katzurin. “Katzurin always taught me to be aggressive. We played a very aggressive defense something I wasn´t used to before, but I got used to it”, added Johannes Voigtmann. In the first half of that season there weren´t many highlights for the big man as he had limited minutes except for an eight point five rebound game against ratiopharm Ulm where he played 19 minutes and a six point and six rebound game against Wurzburg where he played 25 minutes. Playing back to back times against two time BBL MVP John Bryant and 2010 Eurochallenge winner with BG Goettingen Jason Boone was a thrill and he had his notepad with him to take notes on their games. “I would like to be able to have everything in control like Byrant. He always knows exactly what he has to do. I think that is one of the reasons why he was MVP. Boone lives from his athletic play and strength. I would like to be able and move as well as him”, warned Johannes Voigtmann.  Ex Fraport Skyliner Johnathon Jones who once played for HKK Siroki Primorka (Bosnia-Division I) also remembers the Ulm win in Frankfurt as his fondest memory with Voigtmann on the court. “I remember how Joe did a great job against John Bryant in the win at home against #1 Ulm“, stressed Johnathon Jones. His rookie season in the BBL wasn´t easy as he never knew exactly how many minutes he would get. In the stretch run for example he played seven minutes against Bamberg or two minutes against Oldenburg. Then again there were other games near the end where he played more minutes and could fill up the stat sheet better like his 12 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes against Braunschweig or his 16 points and six rebounds against Bonn in 26 minutes or his 12 points in 18 minutes against Giessen. At times it is never easy for a German player to gain the respect of an American teammate, but despite only being in Frankfurt four months before moving to Bosnia, Michigan native Johnathon Jones really saw the whole package of Voigtmann and left the team with a big impression of the German. “His game reminded me a lot of Spencer Hawes. He has a good touch and can shoot the three and his foot work was excellent. I think he is a great role model, he plays the game the right way. I’ve seen him in practice and he works hard. The young Germans can really look up to him. I think his time will come and we will see him in the national team, he has a high skill set for his size”, warned Jonathon Jones in 2012. Voigtmann finished the Pro B season playing 16 game averaging 12.3ppg, 8.8rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 65.6%. He was able to further work on his game while learning from Marius Nolte and Zack Peacock. All in all it was a solid rookie season and the German was satisfied with his season. “There are always highs and lows. I was very happy to be able to get the confidence of the coach and be able to play so many minutes. I just tried to give my best and use my chance. There was a lot of physical stress, but I knew what to expect coming in. I also had this in Jena so I kind of got used to it. I did feel the stress at night when I went to bed”, added Johannes Voigtmann.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with German national players Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann at the 2015 Allstar day in Bonn

At times in his Frankfurt rookie season, Voigtmann looked and moved heavy on the court, but he worked hard over the summer to get his fitness level better losing 14 kilos and brought 104 kilo´s to the scale and also got added valuable experience playing at the 2013 University games and was able to match himself each day against three time BBL champion Philipp Neumann of ratiopharm Ulm. Voigtmann already showed at a young age that he had respect for guys who were further then him in their development. “He is already very far with his game for his age. He found a role quick in Bamberg and has played Euroleague. He is always aggressive and it is a challenge to play against him. I would like to become more agile like him”, commented Johannes Voigtmann about Neumann. Playing one on one against Neumann hasn´t happened, but with time and experience in the BBL, the self confidence of Voigtmann will surely grow against Neumann. “We haven´t played so much one on one, but I think he would beat me 6-4 or 7-3 if we played 10 times”, added Johannes Voigtmann a few years back. The fortunes of Voigtmann grew that season as the club continued to justify their desire to keep developing Germans as the playing time increased for Voigtmann, as he became a starter together with Barthel and Klein. Frankfurt continues to be a figurehead for German playing time and development something that Henrik Rodl had preached in Trier for years. Gordon Herbert has been vital for the big jump of Voigtmann in his development in that Herbert has given trust in him and the other starters and just let them play their game and thus their self confidence had risen. When looking at his game in the 2013-2014 season, he really improved in many areas of the game like his post play where he was scoring on a more consistent level, his footwork improved in the paint and he didn´t shy away from helping a Quantez Robertson on the fast break and his understanding of the game continued to improve with experience. The opportunity to play for a Katzurin and then get to learn from Herbert has been a huge reason for the huge development of the German as he has been moved gradually step by step not being forced into having to do too much quickly, but being able to work at a comfortable rate. “Joe has made a big step this season. His development is very impressive. I didn´t expect his mid range jumper to be so good and he brings the needed physicality. I think it will only be a matter of time before he gets an invitation to the German national team”, stressed ex Skyliner Max Weber in 2014. His passing together with Danilo Barthel continued to be a massive delight to watch as they were possibly the best passing four-five man duo in the league in 2013-2014. But its not only the passing that makes one want to come to the arena, but they complimented each other so well on the court and that led them to becoming German national players and teammates on multiple German Allstar teams. “Joe and Danilo understand each other very well on and off the court. You notice that they are important for each other and that they profit from each other”, expressed ex Fraport Skyliner guard Stefan Ilzhoefer. Centers usually never have to really focus on passing, but if a big man can pass the ball with authority than why not? “He is a player with the basketball understanding of a point guard. I see a mix of Steve Nash and Tim Duncan in Joe”, stressed ex teammate Stefan Ilzhoefer. In the 2013-2014 season, the German had scored in double figures 13 times including a 10 point, 11 rebound performance in the famous three OT win in Ulm and a 18 point, five rebound and five assist game against the Artland Dragons. “Joe has grown with the team, is fitter, has improved his individual game and most important is that he functions with the team. He is a big role model for me. His professionalism and calmness that he brings on the court is impressive. You notice with his game that it keeps improving and going up and I see no end in sight. Frankfurt offers him the opportunity and perfect conditions to become a big player. If he keeps working hard than I am certain he will become a big player, because he brings the requirements with him”, warned ex Fraport Skyliner guard Stefan Ilzhoefer in 2014. He finished the 2013-2014 season playing 34 games averaging 8.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 76.8%, played also for Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB) playing 9 games averaging 15.1ppg, 10.2rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 62.5%, FT: 76.2%.

 

(The Fraport Skyliners down 44-25 at the break, make one of the greatest comebacks in club history in the second half to win 85-80 against Russian team Enisey to reach the 2015 Eurochallenge Final 4 sparked by Johannes Voigtmann´s 26 points(9/10 shooting from field), 7 rebounds and 3 dimes)

 

In the 2014-2015 season, the German made another jump as he once again was able to improve his scoring, rebounding and assists from the season before that as he played 35 games averaging 12.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 61.2%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 79.3%. He made the ultimate break-through in international play in the Eurochallenge playing 17 games averaging 16.0ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 64.8%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 79.4%. In 2014-2015, he was a main scoring option, but also had scoring American rookies Justin Cobbs and Sean Armand and profited in that Danilo Barthel was injured for some part of the season and an up and down Aaron Doornekamp. Voigtmann had to step up and did. He was recognized for his stellar play by the BBL by winning the most improved award as well as best young German player under 23 and racked up eurobasket awards like Michael Jordan did awards back in the day during the season with Eurobasket.com All-EuroChallenge Center of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-EuroChallenge European Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-EuroChallenge 1st Team -15, Eurobasket.com EuroChallenge All-Europeans Team -15, Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Most Improved Player -15, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Domestic Players Team -15. As if all the individual awards weren´t enough to take a break from, he got his last big achievement for the 2014-2015 season by being named to the 12 man roster of the German national team at the 2015 Euro championships. He benefited a bit by the injury of Maik Zirbes and probably wouldn´t have been invited had he not been injured, but sometimes the most complete players might not be called for duty, but that player that fits that specific role best as back up and it seemed like Zirbes would have been the choice as back up behind ex Utah Jazz center Tibor PLeiss. Voigtmann got great experience playing against big time countries like Serbia, Turkey and Spain playing 4 games averaging 4.8ppg, 2.5rpg. His biggest kick though was being able to play games and practice together with German legend Dirk Nowitzki and one day being able to tell his grandchildren  that they were teammates.

 

(Johannes Voigtmann´s first season with the Fraport Skyliners in 2012-2013 where he contributed 16 points, 12 boards, 8 assists and 3 steals in a crushing 107-67 win against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen in Pro B action)

 

 

With the Euro 2015 experience in his baggage, Voigtmann came back for season four in Frankfurt and had some misfortune suffering a set back in preseason getting injured and missing the first month, but he returned with a bang and was very impressive as in the BBL he scored in double figures 24 times with three double doubles and in the Fiba Europe Cup he scored in double figures 13 times. Right away in his first game in Hagen, he didn´t show any signs of having been injured as he steered 14 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes in a 71-68 victory. He scored 22 points in Bayreuth and 20 points in a win in Bonn.. He was able to focus on his whole complete game as he does so much on the court and just isn´t that bruiser inside, because he doesn´t need to be as Danilo Barthel was more the dirty work man as his scared opponents with his stare and tough play and then there was a Doornekamp also supplying support as well as the slick rebounding guards. He finished his last season with Frankfurt playing 35 BBL games games averaging 11.0ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 62.4%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 75.0%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup played 17 games averaging 11.7ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 73.3%If one wants to marvel about a part of Voigtman´s game then it is his passing. It is something he has always done very well, but it seems like in his last season in Frankfurt,  it really blossomed like a beautiful lily flower standing tall on an apartment balcony on fifth avenue overlooking central park in New York. He produced amazing pass after amazing pass where one could almost have very carefully thought did he get some extra instruction from Mr pass Jared Jordan of the Walter Tigers Tuebingen during an off day. It really doesn´t matter where he is on the court, if it´s in the post, double teamed, on the fast break or making an extra pass out of the screen and roll, he seems to not only always make the right pass, but it is often so spectacular that one just savors the moment. He is a combination of Larry Bird and Jared Jordan with his passing cuisine and especially he has mastered the touch pass out of many different angles on the court just the way Bird did back in the day often looking so spectacular that at times showcasing the athleticism that he does have. He also has unveiled his behind the back pass on many occasions. There are numerous adequate passing big men in the BBL out of the post on man to man, but Voigtmann does it to perfection not only from there, but also when he has to contend with the help. He is like an extra point guard on the squad. “I can’t tell you what has been his most amazing pass because he makes so many but what he brings to this team can’t be duplicated. He’s an inside force on the offensive end. He creates scoring opportunities for the whole squad”, warned Jordan Theodore. He had a career high 7 assists against MBC and having nights like that could become regularity with the confidence he shows passing the ball. His field goal percentage was very steady the last years with Frankfurt and it continues to be so in Spain this season. He changed his mechanics a bit and had more rainbow in it and it hung up there so long that it seemed like he was a younger version of  Larry Bird playing with a kite in the basketball atmosphere waiting for the ball to come back to earth from heaven. His last season with Frankfurt ended with a bang as Voigtmann and co won the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup in Chalon, France and he had very important games against Enisey and Varese netting 16 and 12 points and held the ship a float as Jordan Theodore didn´t come out of his shell until crunch time in the final.

Before the big German moved to Spain to Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain-Liga Endesa), there was talk about what the next step would be Euroleague or possibly the NBA? In 2015-2016  there were NBA scouts following his development. He may only be a radio broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, but ex NBA player 53 year old 208cm big man Tim Kempten who learned his trade at Notre Dame(NCAA), played for 5 NBA teams in the 90´s and won the France Pro A title in 1995 with Limoges, might have a name fly in one ear and out the next as quickly as Eric Bledsoe gets to the rim so what does one do for a name to stick? Well one plays a game where you bombard him with the name until he starts repeating the name. I had a short walk with Kempten down a Boston street in January 2016 stating “Tim big NBA prospect with Johannes Voigtmann, remember the name Johannes Voigtmann” and just kept saying Johannes Voigtmann while Kempten repeated after me like a well mannered dog does retrieving a stick for his master. Two days later, I gave Phoenix Suns assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren who coached 4 D-league teams and the Bakersfield Jam two seasons ago the full Voigtmann scouting report before he boarded the team bus and with the team needing an hour to reach the arena because of typical congested 5 PM Boston traffic which was only 2,0 kilometers from the hotel, it could have given him ample time to watch some film on the German. If the name Voigtmann stuck with Kempten or Bjorkgren there after is unknown, but if the German big man ever does land in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns then one knows the name wasn´t forgotten. Even if it may take the NBA some time to react to the potential and talent of Voigtmann, ex teammate Jordan Theodore already knows what the big man can do. “The sky is the limit for Big Jo. He will continue to get better and stronger. All he has to do is keep working hard and it will pay off”, added Jordan Theodore.

This season the German big man moved to Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain-Liga Endesa) where all of the sudden the quality of his teammates rose from good with Frankfurt to exceptional as he had guys like ex NBA players Shane Larkin, Chase Budinger, Andrea Bargnani, Tornike Shengelia, Rodrigue Beaubois and Nicolas Laprovittola running the floor with him as well as top European players like Jaka Blazic, Adam Hanga, and Kim Tille sharing the ball with him. The German held his own leading the team in rebounding in both the Endesa and Euroleague and averaging 7,4ppg, 5,5rpg and 1,7apg in the Endesa league and in the Euroleague 10,1ppg, 7,0rpg and 1,7apg. He was the team´s most efficient player in the Euroleague and fourth most efficient in the Endesa league. He scored in double figures in 11 games in the Endesa league, but clearly his best competition was the Euroleague where he has scored in double figures in 20 games including four double doubles and had three in a row. His best games were in wins against Maccabi Tel Aviv where he had 23/9 stats and 20/9 stats against Bamberg. He helped Baskona reach the Euroleague quarterfinals getting ousted by CSKA Moscow and the semi´s of the Endesa league getting beat by Valencia 3-1. One guy who took note of the German big man was 3 time Euroleague champion Kyle Hines. “Yes he does have NBA talent from what I have seen on film and in person. He is very skillful and you don´t see many big men step out and shoot the way he does. He has that perimeter style, but also can play with the back to the basket. He plays the modern game of basketball”, warned Kyle Hines. After his first season in the Endesa and Euroleague where he not only exceeded expectations, but turned a lot more heads, the question remains, will the NBA be calling him this summer or does he only possess  Euroleague format? Who knows maybe the Brooklyn Nets with assistant coach and German national coach Chris Fleming will be calling this summer. “I coached Jo for three years and saw his rapid transformation. He was a good teammates in Frankfurt like Aaron Doornekamp who showed him how to become even more professional. I have watched some of his games with Baskoina this season and he has had an outstanding season. He may have the best IQ of any player that I have ever coached. Does he have the game to play in the NBA? I think he has. He made another step this season and is ready for the next one. He has that potential. He just needs to find the right opportunity and that team that fits his playing style. Many NBA teams have phoned me asking about Jo. Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was my assistant in Paris. Most important though is that Jo is a better person than player. He is a tremendous young man”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert. Only time will tell, if he gets an opportunity overseas or if he will continue to grow a relationship with the Euroleague? One thing is for sure, if the German ever does want to try something new or moonlight from the Euroleague or NBA and his passing continues to get fancier and fancier with time, then he could easily try out for the Harlem Globetrotters and get the players to howl a chant of Dammmmmm when they see how a 211cm center can dish out dimes at ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah Allen(I Think I Had About 5 Heart Attacks In The Chemnitz Series)

Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his first season with Gotha in the Pro A averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hoops after helping Gotha reach the BBL

 

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Elijah Allen after a Lich loss in Frankfurt against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in 2015

 

Elijah congrats on an amazing season with Gotha. You helped Gotha move up to the BBL, but lost the Pro A title to 2004 Fiba Europe cup winner MBC. Is the fact that the club reached the BBL a small consolation for not winning the Pro A title?

Thanks a lot Miles. Having the opportunity to play for the Oettinger Rockets this season was a true blessing. The main goal for the club was to make it to the BBL and we achieved that so I think the club can be very happy with the outcome.

 

 

MBC had the number of Gotha this season going 4-0. I always felt Gotha had a well rounded roster, but was MBC just better from top to bottom?

MBC was the best team in Pro A for a reason. They brought it every night. Hats off to MBC for the season they had.

 

 

Gotha knew coming into the game that they had to win by 8 or more points, but lost by 22 points. MBC shot very well in the paint and won the rebound battle. Obviously when you lose by 22 points, the defense failed, but what did Gotha had to have done better to have won this game by eight or more points?

 

MBC did a good job of pressuring and trying to deny us the ball all game. Warren and Kerusch also played great when Hatten got injured. We needed to take care of the ball and limit easy baskets in order to win that game.

 

Three of the four semi-finalists came from the former East Germany. You had played in Giessen and Lich the last years, but seriously what do they feed the players in the east?

 

Haha maybe its in the water! I don’t know what the secret is.

 

 

What is the secret to the success of the teams in the east this season in the Pro A? What is your season summary? It has been the goal of Gotha and Wolfgang Heyder to reach the BBL one day, but nobody expected to happen so soon?

 

Playing for Gotha has been such a humbling experience. We battled so much adversity all year long and being able to pull it together when it mattered most was just icing on the cake. Every player on our team did something special during the playoffs.

 

 

Did the team overachieve this season? Gotha finished only in seventh place and needed 4 games to dispose of Crailsheim and 5 games to get past Chemnitz being down 0-2. What was the secret to the season?

 

I wouldn’t say nobody expected it. I think it was the exact opposite actually. The club and sponsors really wanted to get to the BBL this season. They didn’t want any excuses. Just results. I don’t look at it as overachieving. We under achieved during the regular season and came alive when it mattered most.

 

 

 

You won the last 3 games against BV Chemnitz by a combined score of 12 points. Was this the most intense week of your professional life coming from the bottom and reaching the peak in game 5?

 

The whole season we didn’t play up to our abilities together. We had some nice wins and then some bad losses. Playoffs was a time to redeem ourselves. As a team we believed we were just as good as anyone in the league. We have a team of quality players and it was just a matter of clicking together at the right moment. I’m super proud of the group we got.

 

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Elijah Allen after a Gotha pre season game against BBL team Giessen in Mainz in 2016

 

What was your fondest moment in this BV Chemnitz series that you will remember in 10 years?

 

The series against Chemnitz was just crazy. I think I had about 5 heart attacks that series. Chemnitz has some really good players that play with heart. I have the most respect for them.

 

 

What German player do you feel improved the most from day one until the last loss against MBC?

I would have to say Robert Ohle. He really improved and played huge for us as the season and playoffs went on. He works really hard and played great in the playoffs.

 

 

 

How vital was the pick up of experienced Dane Watts? Where would the team have been in many games without his presence?

 

Dane was an awesome teammate and person to be along. His leadership and experience was just what we needed to give us that edge.

 

 

Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 5,7ppg and 1,7rpg in 16 minutes. You stated in our last interview in December 2016 that “my goal is to just be aggressive in the time that I get and find ways to help my team win” Do you believe that you could do that on a consistent basis with Gotha?

 

This season was a learning process. I really felt I grew a lot this season on and off the court. Offensively and defensively my main focus is to make that next step. Knowing your role and picking when to make plays was a challenge this season. Making the most out of your role is essential to team success. I’m very hungry and determined to prove that I can play on a high level night in and night out.

 

 

 

In the last interview you also said that “I think defensively and basketball IQ I have made a huge step but offensively I feel I had a more all around game with Lich. How have you become a better offensive player with Gotha where you had way less minutes than with Lich?

 

The main thing that I have learned is spacing. Having good spacing makes the game so much easier. This summer I will spend time watching film and looking for ways to improve.

 

You came from the Regionaliga and helped Gotha reach the BBL. How special has your Cinderella basketball career been. If somebody had told you in April 2013 that in 4 years you had gone step by step and would have helped a team reach the BBL what would you have thought?

 

This journey has been nothing but amazing. I really worked hard to get here and I have so much more to prove. I have always believed in myself and I take pride in finding ways to improve from season to season.

 

What is the next step for Elijah Allen? The question is will Gotha retain you or will you have to go elsewhere? Do you feel you could be a solid BBL player if given the chance?

 

I have no clue what the next step will be. I’m just thankful to be able to play the game I love. I will speak with my Agent over the next few weeks. I feel I can contribute and help a club with the right situation.

 

 

What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?

I am currently on the way to Mallorca, Spain with the team. Plan on relaxing and enjoying the time with the guys. I will stay in Germany with my family for most of the summer. I will also take my family to Greece for a few weeks. Besides that I will be working out and getting ready for the next season.

 

 

Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?

 

I am not surprised one bit. The kid can flat out score the ball and he is put in the perfect position to do so.

 

 

Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?

 

I think he is number 4 in my book. I have to go with Harden, Westbrook,Wall and then Thomas.

 

 

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

 

I feel its very special. I am all for the underdogs. Its nice to see schools that are not really known as high majors make it so far in the tourney. All odds are against them.

 

 

`? 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 haven’t really seen the kid play much but his dad is taking all of his shine. I wish he would sit back and let his kid enjoy his moment. He is in the news more than his sons.

 

 

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?

 

I mean I don’t see it as a bad thing to be able to average a triple double no matter how you do it. His teammates didn’t complain one time about it so its OK in my book.

 

 

Recently there was talk that the Morris brothes did a switcharo in Boston in game 2 where Morris stepped in for Markieff who was nursing an injury. Do you think something like that cam be even possible with all the scrutiny and all the technical gadgets that are around. Could something like that not get detected?

 

It is definitely possible! Identical twins with the same tattoos is just crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it. How could you catch them? Haha

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

Get Out

 

Thanks Elijah for the chat.

Orlando Parker(PS Karlsruhe) We Still Ate The Cake Just Without The Icing

Orlando Parker is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Orlando, Florida that completed his third professional season and second in Germany and first with PS Karlsruhe helping them move up to the Pro A averaging 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg. He started his basketball career with Wagner (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 118 NCAA games. As a senior he played 26 games averaging 6.7ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 44.7%, FT: 62.0%. In 2014 he turned professional with UL Eagles Limerick (Ireland-Premier League) playing 17 games averaging 19.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.5%. Last season he played with Baskets Vilsbiburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing  26 games: 22.6ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 79.3%. He spoke to German Hoops after end of the 2016-2017 pro B season.

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Orlando Parker after he steered 13 points in the 77-72 PS Karlsruhe win against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors

 

 

Orlando congrats on an amazing season, but the goal ended during the last game of the season against Weissenhorn. Did you ever suffer a more bitter loss in your career?

It’s a tough thing to swallow especially knowing that we worked hard all season for this moment, I’ve had some devastating losses in my career but this one is definitely at the top.

Weissenhorn had to win by more than four points to be crowned 2017 Pro B champion and really grinded it out winning by six points. What were your first thoughts after the buzzer. Did you feel like you were in a bad dream?

Honestly to see another team celebrate on your home court hurts mentally, but that doesn’t erase the fact that we had a really good season considering we were a new team in the league.

The Weissenhorn youngsters controlled the game from the get go, but PS Karlsruhe made a run in the fourth quarter as you started really to fire away from outside. What do you feel was missing in crunch-time to have got over the hump?

The keyword is “Energy”. We started off playing like they were going to give up and hand us the game, which by halftime turned Into a wake up call for us to realize that these guys came to play. but with that mentality in a Championship game the basketball gods knew we didn’t deserve to win, although we fought back in the last quarter.

Both teams really wanted this Pro B title badly, but do you feel like the visitors wanted it more?

I wouldn’t say that, I think we ultimately reached our goal this season by moving up to Pro A. The Championship game was just the icing on the cake to an amazing season. We still ate the cake just without the icing.

Do you feel like the Pro B title was lost in game one in Weissenhorn? Do you feel like if PS Karlsruhe could have taken more advantage of their horrible 1/25 shooting from outside that you would have been in better position in game two to have won it all?

We knew before the series that with this final round only being 2 games that every possession would count. Although we got the victory in game one, we made a few bad decisions in those last minutes that would of put us in a better position for game 2

How much respect do you have for the Weissenhorn organization winning the 2017 Pro B title without a single American. What made this team so special this season?

Having an American means nothing if the team doesn’t play as one.  I think that’s what makes them special because they don’t have one guy that is going out there putting up numbers.  I also believe that’s why both teams made it to the finals because we play within an unselfish system with good players.

I really enjoy watching huge Hungarian talent Marcell Pongo and his aggressiveness. Do you see him becoming a solid BBL player down the line?

He’s a really solid player the future is bright for him.

You stated in our last interview in March that “Our focus is what needs to increase. Our effort and toughness is always there, just our focus on the details during key moments is what we plan on fixing during the playoffs”. Is this something that also was missing a bit in the final series against Weissenhorn?

 I mean we won game one on the road so that takes a lot of focus. But usually during the playoffs the more focused and mentally prepared teams usually are successful in the end. As a group we were not all focused in game 2.

What is your overall season summary. The club reached the Pro A as the 2017 Pro B finalist. Did you truly think this was possible after the first few weeks of the season?

Well I’m not surprised honestly, I truly believed in everyone since day one especially coach. Since the beginning he pushed us to become better everyday. I knew there was no way we would come up short after all the hard work we put in.

How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Dimitrij Kreis? He is a very underrated point guard in the Pro B. Is he a guy that could make the next step in the Pro A?

He’s our floor general and one of the hardest workers on the team. His work ethic speaks for itself. I definitely appreciate playing with him this season.

What German player do you feel has improved the most from the first day of training camp until the last game against Weissenhorn?

It wouldn’t be fair if I singled out one player because this group showed up everyday ready to work twice a day. They all became better players since August”.

You had a tight bond with Jordan Talbert and one could say you have become like brothers. What did you learn to appreciate most about him on and off the court?

 JT is the mirror image of what you want to see in every player. He’s a really humbled down to earth guy, who’s not selfish at all. When you play with guys like that you really appreciate who they are as a person.

Let´s talk about your game. You stated on our last interview in March that your always improving. How do you feel did you improve this season in the Pro B?

I think I had a solid season this year, with much more room for improvement.

You averaged 13,2ppg and 5,7rpg in only 23 minutes per game and displayed being a very effective player. How vital was picking your spots and being an overall intelligent player this season after coming from the Regionaliga?

I just go out there and give my best regardless the minutes. I know the type of player that I am and understand the sacrifices that I have to make for the team,

In our last interview you stated that “real Defense doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, so I’m the type of player that doesn’t need steals or blocks to look like I’m playing defense. I’m more of guy who is stopping penetration, hard close outs, rotating” Do you feel like you can be an impact defender in the Pro A?

I definitely believe so, I consider myself a versatile player that can guard 1-5.

PS Karlsruhe has amazing team chemistry. Do you feel that this club could play together and successfully in the Pro A?

With faith and hard work anything is possible.

What is the next step for Orlando ? You have paid your dues now two seasons in Germany in lower leagues. Are you ready for the next step in the Pro A?

I’m not going to stop climbing the ladder until I reach the highest level.

What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?

That’s usually the plan in the offseason. Spend some quality time with the family and in the gym

Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?

He’s going to be a great player but I wasn’t impressed by how he got those 70 points, especially with his team being down 30 with no chance of winning.

Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?

In my opinion he’s definitely something special but not top 3.

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`?

Of course! We haven’t seen something like that in years.

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?

In my opinion he’s all hype until he steps on that stage. His father is just using social media to market his son and brand which isn’t a bad thing

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?

 It’s hard to say because I’m not sure if his team would be in that position without the triple doubles. So it definitely helps

There was some speculation that the Morris brothers both played in game one and game two for Washington despite Morris being under contract to the Detroit Pistons. Do you really think that could be possible with all the technical capabilities around to really have let a capper like that go unnoticed?

Haha that’s actually funny but I don’t think they would make that bold move.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Get Out.

Thanks Orlando for the chat.