Interviews

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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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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Miles Jackson-Cartwright (TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg) My Defense will Keep Me On The Floor Regardless How Many Points I Score Or Plays I Make

Miles Jackson-Cartwright is a 25 year old 190cm guard from Van Nuys, California that is playing in his third professional season and second in Germany and first with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 14,7ppg, 5,0rpg and 4,8 apg. His last club was the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 71.4%. In his rookie season he played with Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five) playing 18 games: Score-3(16.1ppg), 3.3rpg, Assists-1(5.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at  Pennsylvania (NCAA) in 2010 and played there until 2014 playing a total of 115 NCAA games and in his four year career averaged 11,6ppg, 2,6rpg, 2,8apg and 1,0spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Miles thanks for talking to German Hoops. We both have a very uncommon same name. How many other Miles´s have you met in your life? My count is less than 5.

Ha! I have actually met quite a few, to be honest. Definitely more than I can count.

You sat out a whole season. Talk a little about your time off. Was it a planned thing to pursue other interests or were offers scarce and just not the right opportunity to play professionally last season?

I actually signed with a Bulgarian team last season before the new year. It did not work out for the best, but I was appreciative of the team for giving me the opportunity obviously, I wanted things to work out differently but I probably would not be in the position that I am now if not for what happened last season.

Congrats on signing with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). Two seasons ago you played in the German Pro A with the Hebeisen White Wings. Do you feel like your taking a step back this season or what benefits do you see by playing in the Pro B this season?

Thank you! I truly believe that this is the best situation that I’ve been in so far. It’s the best of both worlds for me. I get the chance to lead a young group with the Pro-B team, all while being able to play and learn from Coach Dirk Bauermann and the talented group of guys on the BBL team. Being here with Coach Liam Flynn has always been something that I’ve looked forward to, and the opportunity to also play in BBL games is truly a blessing. This organization is first-class in all facets and I have never been more excited to be playing for a team like I am here.

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Mardracus Wade (Nurnberg Falcons) Playing With Four NBA Players Who Were The Core Of The Team I Knew Who To Get The Ball Too

Mardracus Wade is a 26 year old 188cm guard from Chatham, Virginia that is playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA). He played his rookie season with the Central Texas Swarm (ABA) and played in the D-league the last two seasons with the Iowa Energy (D-League) playing 35 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT-1(50.0%), FT: 68.1% and last season split time with the Iowa Energy (D-League) playing 8 games averaging 4.9ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.8apg and the Greensboro Swarm (D-League) playing 6 games averaging 5.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 38.5%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 62.5%. He started his basketball career at  Arkansas (NCAA) in 2010 and played 125 NCAA games in a four year career with his best season being his sophomore one where he played 31 games averaging 4.0ppg, 1.2rpg. Currently in the Pro A with Nurnberg he is averaging 10,0ppg, 2,5rpg and 3,4apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Mardracus thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on signing with German team Nurnberg Falcons. Did the fact that you were a try-out player motivate you even more to play at a high level?

Yes sir, I knew what I brought to the table and I felt really confident in my skill and abilities coming into it. I just had to play hard and do my part.

After playing in the States for your first three professional seasons you now have made the jump to Europe. How blessed are you to be in a place where everybody knows German and not in the back woods of Bosnia where you might not see a Mcdonalds for months?

I’m very blessed to be in the position I’m in today. I feel like this a great start to my career overseas and that the sky’s limit for me if I continue to put in the time and effort. Nuremberg is a really cool place and have great people and food here. So I’m happy about that.

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Rashid Mahalbasic (EWE Baskets Oldenburg) I Am A Real Austrian And Won´t End With This Disgrace Against Germany

Rashid Mahalbasic is a 27 year old 211cm center that was born in Jesenice (Slovenia), but also has the Austrian citizenship and plays for the Austrian national team and is playing his first season with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Mahalbasic started his basketball career in 2006 for the Worthersee Piraten (A Bundesliga) where he played until 2009. In the 2009-2010 season he played for Bosna ASA BH Telecom Sarajevo (Bosnia-D1, starting five): DNP, in Oct.’09 moved back to kelag Worthersee Piraten (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): 27 games: 18.4ppg, Reb-2(8.6rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 64.4%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL), in Dec.’10 loaned to Tofas Bursa (Turkey-TBL) playing 10 games averaging 3.7ppg, 3.0rpg, in Mar.’11 signed at KK Split (Croatia-A1) playing 13 games averaging 5.0ppg, 2.3rpg. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Zlatorog Lasko (Slovenia-Telemach League) playing 2 Slovenian League games averaging 4.0ppg, 1.0spg, 1.5bpg; IN the Adriatic League he played 3 games averaging  4.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0bpg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-TBL) playing 36 games averaging 11.0ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.0%, FT: 68.7%; In the Euroleague he played 10 games averaging 9.1ppg, Reb-5(6.8rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 59.1%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 18 VTB United League games averaging 11.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 63.5%, FT: 72.2%. In the NBLleague he played 29 games averaging 10.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.0apg, FGP-2(68.8%), 3PT-1(66.7%), FT: 62.2%; In the Eurocup, he played 18 games averaging 11.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 60.6%, FT: 69.0%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for BC Astana (Kazakhstan-D1) playing 33 VTB United League: 33 games averaging 14.6ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 77.8%. In the  EuroChallenge he played 12 games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 62.8%, FT: 73.6%; Kazakhstani D1 playing 11 games averaging  8.2ppg, Reb-2(6.5rpg), 2.4apg, Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 53.7%, FT: 51.4%. In the 2015-2016 season he played for BC Nizhny Novgorod (Russia-VTB) playing 27 games averaging 12.6ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 15.4%, FT: 73.1%; In the Eurocup, he played 20 games averaging 11.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 61.6%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 58.1%. Last season he played with  Yesilgiresun Belediye (Turkey-BSL, starting five)playing 9 games averaging 11.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 71.4%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 78.3%, in Dec.’16 moved to Betis Energia Plus Sevilla (Spain-ACB) playing 22 games averaging 10.1ppg, Reb-4(6.6rpg), 1.8apg, FGP: 57.5%, FT: 71.2%. He spoke to German Hoops the day after the brutal 90-49 loss against Germany in a 2019 World Cup qualifying game.

 

 

Rasid thanks for talking to German Hoops-. Normally this week you would be preparing for a Basketball Champions League game with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg, but instead are with the Austrian national team preparing for 2019 World Cup qualifying games against Serbia and Germany. What is your general opinion about having the qualifying games during the regular season?

 

At first I thought it would be an advantage not seeing the best players playing, but I was wrong. We showed that we were one of the worst teams. We weren´t prepared. We simply don´t have the quality of players to prepare for three days and then be ready.

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