ProA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kruize Pinkins (Hebeisen White Wings) The Coaching Staff Brought My Game To Another Level

Kruize Pinkins is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Marianna, Florida that completed his second professional season with the Hebeisen White Wings. In his second season he averaged 17,9ppg, 9,5rpg and 2,5apg. He started his basketball career at Chipola (JUCO). He then played at USF (NCAA) from 2013-2015 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 65.0%. As a rookie last season with the Hebeisen White Wings he played 29 games averaging 13.1ppg, Reb-3(9.1rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 68.9%. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.

Kruize thanks for talking to German Hoops! Where are you at the moment and have you slowly got into your professional post season rhythm?

 I am always working on my game during the offseason as soon as our season finished I took a few days off and then started back working on things I need to improve.

It was a tale of two seasons for the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. The second half was one too forget. How disappointed were you with how the second half went and how long did it take you to digest the season?

It was disappointing in that we had a few games that we let slip away but that is a part of basketball you have your ups and downs but I am thankful to have played with and be coached by a great group of guys. Guys never hung their heads and gave in when we could have.

In the last two months, I was checking the box score every Sunday night and just continued to see loss after loss. After January 28, Hanau only won one more game. If someone had told you on January 28th that the team would go 1-10 what would you have thought?

 I wouldn’t have believed it. But like I said basketball is full of ups and downs and lessons to be learned. I am sure everyone has learned from this and it will make them a better player and person in the future.

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Brandon Spearman (Romerstrom Gladiators Trier) Russell Westbrook Is A Beast And Honestly I Try To Copy A Lot From Him

Brandon Spearman is a 24 year old 190cm guard that is playing his third professional season and second with the Romerstrom Gladiators Trier. He started his basketball career in 2010 for Dayton(NCAA) where he played 36 NCAA games. He then moved to Indian Hills CC (JUCO) and finished his last two seasons at Hawaii (NCAA) and as a senior played 26 games averaging 11.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 52.8%. Last season with the Gladiators Trier (Germany-ProA) he played 37 games: 12.4ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 30.1%, FT: 61.7%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 59-54 win against the RheinStars.

Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops! 2017 is here and in full swing. Are you the kind of guy that will have new years resolutions or are you more a guy that doesn´t believe in that?

I believe in resolutions. Always good to set goals for yourself.

Congrats on the huge 59-54 victory against the RheinStars. Could one say this was a classic grind out game where two teams came to play defense?

The Koln game was very important for us. We better our selves for a better seeding in the playoffs if it came down to us or them. But overall we approached the game like it was a playoff game and everyone chiped in for a big victory.

Was this game already a good example of what kind of style can we awaited in the Pro A playoffs on a nightly basis?

We have our own unique style of going hard and I think people will see more and more of it as the season continue.

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Matt Vest (Uni Baskets Paderborn) My Defense Was A Big Reason Why I Got Opportunities To Play In Gotha And Paderborn

Matt Vest is a 24 year old 195cm guard from Kettering, Ohio playing his third professional season and second with the Uni Baskets Paderborn (Germany-ProA): Last season with the  Uni Baskets Paderborn (Germany-ProA), he played 22 games averaging 9.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 60.5%. As a rookie in 2014, he played with BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA): 38 games: 6.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 67.6%. He played at Wright State from 2010-2014 playing a total of 114 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games: 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 65.4%, 3PT: 43.1%, FT: 64.9%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 82-72 win against the Dresden Titans.

Matt tanks for talking to German Hoops. Time really flies, it has been more than two and a half years ago since I gave you a welcome to Germany interview when you signed with Gotha. Is playing basketball overseas and the lifestyle what you thought it would be when you came over in the summer of 2014?

Living and playing in Germany the last two and a half years has been an absolute blessing. I have met some life-long friends and mentors here, and it has become a second home for me. It has been all I could’ve imagined and more.

Congrats on the 82-72 win against the Dresden Titans. Did this game prove despite that team having only one win, that if you don´t play for 40 minutes that you can lose to any team?

There is never an easy win in this league, period. The balance and competitiveness in the Pro A is unlike any league I’ve seen.

Dresden played very well for 25 minutes, but then gave up a 14-3 run in the third quarter letting Paderborn back into the game which gave the momentum to you. What was key for making this turn around in the game which led you on to winning the game?

The key for us in the third quarter was all about the defensive end. We stepped up our activity level and were able to put Dresden in some uncomfortable situations. Our defense is always the key to our offense because when we get stops we are able to play at a higher pace.

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Daniel Mixich (BV Chemnitz) Is Working For That Once In A Lifetime Shot In The EasyCredit-BBL

In the Second German Bundesliga also known as the Pro A, there is an influx of American point guards controlling the starting job positions as rapidly as men do the remote control on Sundays during the fall between the time of 1.00-7.00pm when the NFL season is in full gear and the only thing getting a man away from the couch is that unwanted bathroom stop or the quick five second sprint to the refrigerator for the next cold beer. When checking all the teams in the league, you will find all kinds of American point guards from the ones that have battled in the EasyCredit BBL like Richard Williams of the RheinStars Cologne or guys like Diante Watkins that had to first prove himself in the Pro B before making the step up and now belongs to the top 5 guards in the league or a guy like Chris Alexander who seems to have lived in the Pro A his whole career, but the least can believe how a guy like him went from being the Pro A top scorer with Essen in 2015 to signing the next season with a Regionalliga team FC Schalke. All in all, fans can witness the American talent at the point guard position each weekend as the names go on and one with guys like basketball globetrotter Marcus Hatten or a Carrington Love of Kirchheim or a Chase Adams from Paderborn or a Devin Moore from Ehingen. It is important to mention though that the top point guard this season in the Pro A isn´t an American or German, but is a 21 year old Slovenian by the name of Aleksej Nikolic who is averaging 18,1ppg and 6,9apg who is only practicing his talent in the Pro A as he gets further groomed by Brose Bamberg with whom he has a double license. With so many top talented American point guards in the Pro A, isn´t there any room for home grown German talent? Statistics won´t lie as there are Germans around, but most likely filling a back up position or still developing and too young to be getting anything more than garbage time. However there are a few German starting point guards in the Pro A holding their own like 26 year old Anthony Canty of the Hamburg Towers who is considered the best German point guard in the league averaging 15,2ppg and 4,0apg, 25 year old Till Joscha Joenke of the Hebeisen White Wings who is averaging 10,6ppg, 4,7rpg and 4,6apg and 27 year old Simon Schmitz of the Romerstrom Gladiators Trier who is averaging 10,9ppg and 5,2apg. All three have played in the EasyCredit BBL, but never accounted too anything except a back up role. “Till is a good young German point guard that one can learn from. He has a good drive and is physically strong. Till has already breathed BBL air and I think he will go his way into the BBL”, warned Daniel Mixich. They definitely have the talent to be on a BBL roster, but the question is if they want to have that back up roles again? Where is the new generation of German point guards in the Pro A. They are around, but are as abundant as finding a priest convention in Las Vegas. One of the biggest German raw talents in the Pro A is Daniel Mixich who is only 19 years old and started his first pro A season with 17 years with BV Chemnitz where he is now playing his third full season. Mixich is a very interesting player who was a member of the German U-20 team in 2016 and has a bright future ahead of him, but has one obstacle in his drive to get to the top in that he first needs to earn that secure starting point guard job in the Pro A.

Basketball

Chemnitz: Basketball-Bundesliga ProA. BV Chemnitz 99 (Niners) vs. Baunach Young Pikes Daniel Mixich Foto: Peter Zschage

Mixich may be a 182 cm point guard and only 19, but has already experienced a lot of basketball at a young age and at times when seeing his name in the Pro A box scores the last years, one may have thought he would be in his early twenties to mid twenties, but he is in fact still a teenager that has a lot of basketball in front of him and like any other young German player wants to get to the top. A big advantage for him who is a player that plays beyond his age is that he was introduced to the men´s game when just about every other kid his age was playing Batman Arkham City or Portal 2 on Play Station or going to watch the big men play basketball in some huge 10,000 plus arena in Berlin or the small school gym´s where German Pro A, Pro B or Regionaliga games take place.

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