Interviews

Mike Taylor (Polish National Team) German Basketball Is Making An Impressive Step With So Many Players Taking Their Game To The NBA

Mike Taylor is in his 17th season as a professional coach and currently head coach of the Polish national team and preparing the team for the Euro 2017 tournament. He is the son of Dick Taylor who was an NCAA coach and assistant with the New York Knicks. Mike Taylor started his coaching career in 2001 with Chemnitz (Germany-2.Bundesliga). In 2002-2003, he got valuable experience in the UK with the Essex Leopards London (United Kingdom). In 2003, he started to coach for ratiopharm Ulm leading them into the Beko BBL in 2006 and Beko BBL playoffs in 2009 before leaving in 2011. He had a record of 101-15 in four years of second Bundesliga basketball. He also has coached Kansas Cagerz (USBL) in the summer time as well as being an assistant for the Czech national team. In 2011 he made the jump back to the states and was an assistant for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers(D-League). He then was head coach of the Boston Celtics D League team Maine Red Claws and they reached the playoffs for the first time in team history. He spoke to German Hoops before Poland played at the Super Cup in Hamburg, Germany.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber visiting coach Mike Taylor in Maine when he was head coach for the Boston Celtics D-League team Maine Red Claws

Thanks Mike for talking to German Hoops In our last interview a year ago, I started off what was easier changing a diaper or to deny John Bryant the ball in the post. You stated that “My wife Alice would tell you that I am much better at changing defenses than changing diapers but that is a time when there is no problem doing the dirty work”. Did your diaper changing improve in the last year?

My diaper skills definitely improved! Luke will be 2 Sunday the 20th so it has been a fantastic life experience and I am very thankful for Alice and our family.

Before we start to talk about the Super Cup and Euro 2017, I have to take a step back and talk about Euro 2016. Poland Played a very good Euro winning their group 5-1. What positives do you and the team want to take from last seasons run into this years competition added with what the club brings to the table this season?

Our strength is our team. We have been together for three successful years winning two Qualification groups and advancing to the Top 16 in Eurobasket 2015. Our core of players and coaches have worked very hard together and we are battle tested. We have faced pressure games and top opponents together. Now enter into our fourth, we are preparing for our biggest challenges yet with Group A in Helsinki. We are focused internally on being the best team we can be and I believe in our guys. We will be ready for the challenge to beat great teams.

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Ian Tevis (I Believe I Can Make A Name For Myself In Europe)

Ian Tevis is a guard from Seattle, Washington that played college ball at  Red Deer College (CCAA). He was All-ACAC Player of the Year in 2017 and was nominated for the CCAA All-Canadian Team in 2017. He recently took part with the Howard Hoops international tour in Germany. He like so many other players is chasing his dream of becoming a professional player. He played strong with the Howard Hoops team and spoke to German Hoops about his special experience in Germany,

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The 2017 Howard Hoops team after the 107-66 win against TV Idstein: From left to right: Jamal Curry, Miles Schmidt-Scheuber (basketball journalist), Ian Mikeel Tevis, Corey Lewis and Khalil Keel

Ian thanks for talking to German Hoops You are in Germany taking part in the Howard Hoops international tour. How did this all come about? Did you send Ron Howard videos or how did it come about that you could join this tour?

I got connected with Howard Hoops about a year ago when my good friend Chris Neal went on his tour. Me and Ron were in contact all year while I was finishing my last season in college.

You got off the plane on Friday played a game at night and three games on Sunday. That is 160 minutes of basketball in two days. How is your body holding out?

I am a gym rat. I live at the gym. I take pride in my conditioning so playing all these games back to back wasn´t a problem. No time to complain and I can´t afford to get sore. My body was definitely feeling it on Sunday. But if we had to play again I would have been ready.

Is this your first time in Germany. How do you like the country and is there anything here that reminds you of home in Canada?

I am actually from the United States. Seattle, Washington to be exact. But I have been in Canada the last few years. This is my first time in Germany and Europe! I like this country. It seems like simple living. Everyone minding their own business. Nobody has been mean or rude to me. I have just been walking around dribbling my basketball.

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KJ Sherrill (Dragons Rhondorf) Aaron Nelson is a great player, but I don’t feel pressured to follow in his footsteps

KJ Sherrill is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Cleveland,North Carolina that is embarking into his third professional season. He started his basketball career at Charlotte (NCAA) in 2009 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 75 NCAA games. He then moved to Augusta St. (NCAA2) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 14.7ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 76.7%. He started his professional career with the Cuxhaven BasCats (Germany-ProA) playing 27 games averaging 7.9ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 60.8%. Last season he played with the  Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 14.8ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 68.4%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about basketball.

KJ thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?

I am currently in Germany visiting my girlfriend; this summer has been pretty good so far.

You already have returned to Germany in early July shortly after July 4th. Usually Americans don´t return until training camp in August. Are you back early this season because you are extra focused on having a great third professional season with the Dragons Rhondorf?

I am back to Germany this early so that I and my girlfriend can take a few trips before I have to report to Rhöndorf. I am much focused as well to start my 3rd season with the Dragons.

Congrats on signing with the Dragons Rhondorf of the Pro B. How was this summer´s transfer period after having a very strong season with Herten. Was Rhondorf the best offer that you got?

The summer was a bit stressful not knowing which team I would sign with next. But I continued to work out daily and remain positive knowing that my agent would find me a good team, which he did. So I’m very thankful to be a part of the dragons.

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Khalil Keel (I Am Never Satisfied Because If You Are Content Than The Next Person Will Outwork You)

Khalil Keel is a 188cm guard from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that like so many other players is looking to fullfil his dream of playing professional basketball. He has had extensive experience at the college level with schools like Lackawanna College, Lander (NCAA2) and Goldey-Beacom (NCAA2). He recently took part with the 2017 Howard Hoops international tour in Germany. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

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The 2017 Howard Hoops team after the 107-66 win against TV Idstein: From left to right: Jamal Curry, Miles Schmidt-Scheuber (basketball journalist), Ian Mikeel Tevis, Corey Lewis and Khalil Keel

Khalil thanks for talking to German Hoops You are in Germany taking part in the Howard Hoops international tour. How did this all come about? Did you send Ron Howard videos or how did it come about that you could join this tour?

An agent that I know told me about the tour, then I reached out to Ron Howard and he gave me the information for the tour

You got off the plane on Friday played a game at night and three games on Sunday. That is 160 minutes of basketball in two days. How is your body holding out?

Playing games consistently after an 8 hour flight is brutal to the body, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t adapt to. I just had to give it my all regardless.

You were thrown together with a bunch of guys that you had never played with before with Howard Hoops all looking to fulfill their dream of playing professional basketball. Do you feel like after this weekends performance that you played to your best potential? You stated that you could have been more consistent.

Yes I feel as though I played well. I just always strive for perfection, so I can always use improvement.

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Jordan Bohannon (Iowa Hawkeyes) Our Expectations Are To Win A Big Ten Title And Try To Get To The NCAA Championship

Jordan Bohannon is a 20 year old 183cm point guard from Marion, Iowa that is going into his sophomore season with the University of Iowa. He comes from a very athletic family as he has three older brothers that all played college ball. Jason played basketball at Wisconsin; Zach played basketball at Air Force and Wisconsin; and Matt played basketball at UNI. Last season as a freshman, Jordan played 34 games averaging 10.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 5.1apg, FGP: 32.2%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 85.5%. At the moment Iowa is on a European tour and recently he spoke to German Hoops during a travel day as the team was headed to Switzerland.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Iowa Hawkeye point guard Jordan Bohannon at the Basketball Aid International tour game in Heidelberg, Germany

Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are on a European tour with Iowa(NCAA) and recently visited Heidelberg the cozy town that your brother Jason lived in for a year. If you had the chance to live here, what would enjoy most about this town with the castle on the hill?

I thought the town was beautiful and I already knew that coming in because my brother was always talking about it. For me it is always important to experience new things and be able to communicate with the people wherever I am.

After a tough NIT Sweet 16 exit to TCU, what are the main goals of this years team during this European tour?

Obviously get a better bond with each other on and off the court and also get more comfortable on the court getting to run some plays.

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Alex Herrera (Phoenix Hagen) Perfection Has Always Stuck With Me To Never Be Satisfied

Alex Herrera is a 24 year old 206cm forward from Ignacio, Colorado going into his third professional season. He started his basketball career with Fort Lewis (NCAA2) in 2010 and as a senior in 2014-2015 played 18 games averaging 23.2ppg, Reb-5(11.4rpg), 1.7apg, Blocks-4(3.2bpg), FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 66.3%. He started his professional basketball career with  South West Metro Pirates (Australia-QBL) playing 16 games averaging 21.8ppg, Reb-5(13.7rpg), 2.1bpg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 73.7%. In the 2015-2016 season he played with  KTP Basket Kotka (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 28 games averaging 10.1ppg, Reb-3(8.9rpg), Blocks-3(1.5bpg), FGP: 52.6%, FT: 68.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 8.7ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 50.0%, FT: 76.9%. Last season he played with Tau Castello (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 34 games: averaging  6.1ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 47.6%, FT: 58.8%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about Basketball.

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

I am currently in Ignacio Colorado, and my summer has been going great so far be able to spend some quality time with the family.

You come from Ignacio, Colorado which is a Spanish name, have a Spanish like name with Herrera and are known as chief. How much Spanish is in you or do you even have some native American in you?

Ignacio, is a Spanish name but the town it’s self is in a Native American reservation, which is how I got the nickname chief, however I am half Hispanic but not Native American.

Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Phoenix Hagen. How excited are you to be playing your third professional season in Germany? What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Your ex teammate Deandre Lansdowne from FT Lewis is playing in Germany.

I’m extremely excited to be playing in Germany for Phoenix Hagen. I have heard nothing but good things about the basketball in Germany, from people like Deandre who played Pro A last year, and also from Brandon Jefferson who played in Hagen a couple years ago has told me that Hagen has great fans. So I can’t wait to get started!

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Keith Ramsey (RheinStars) Going To Sweden After My Rookie Season In Spain Changed My Life

Keith Ramsey is a 29 year old 207cm power forward that hails from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and is entering his eighth professional season and third in Germany and first with the Rhein Stars Koeln (Germany-ProA). He didn´t play last season as he was recovering from an injury and last played for Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) in 2015-2016 and played 28 games averaging 9.5ppg, Reb-5(7.8rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP-3(58.4%), 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 57.6%. He started his basketball career with  Missouri (NCAA) and as a senior palyed 34 games averaging 6.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.4apg, 1.6spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 64.5%. He started his professional basketball career in 2010-201 with CB Promobys Hoteles Tijola (Spain-LEB Silver) playin 10 games averaging 10.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 59.2%, FT: 69.6%. In the 2011-201 season he joined LF Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) playing 44 games averaging 13.5ppg, Reb-5(9.2rpg), 1.8apg, 1.9spg, Blocks-3(1.5bpg), FGP-3(63.0%), 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 74.4%. In the 2012-2013 season he moved to Ironi Kfar Hamaccabia Ramat Gan (Israel-National League) playing 31 games averaging 12.7ppg, Reb-4(10.6rpg), 2.0apg, Steals-5(2.5spg), 1.3bpg, FGP-1(66.4%), 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 57.1%. In 2013-2014 he joined Phoenix Hagen (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games averaging 7.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.0apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-5(1.3bpg), FGP: 61.4%, 3PT: 15.8%, FT: 40.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he remained with Phoenix Hagen (Germany-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 10.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.3spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 67.5%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 48.5%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about Basketball.

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

Summer is good. Been in my hometown in Tennessee.

Your not even 30 years old yet, but have gotten around having played in countries like Cyprus, Spain, Sweden, Israel and Germany. Do you sometimes feel like a basketball globetrotter and what is most appealing about experiencing new cultures so often?

It’s been cool to play in all those countries. Cultures and myself learning about different things about life other than the life I grow up in is the best for me.

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