ProA

Ethan O´Day (Uni Baskets) My Arms Aren’t Overly Long But I Have Developed Good Timing To Block Shots Throughout My Career

Ethan O `Day is a 206cm forward from Mansfield, Connecticut playing his rookie season in Germany with the Uni Baskets in Paderborn. Currently he is averaging 10,0ppg, 5,6rpg and 1,4apg. He was drafted by the  drafted by Raptors 905 (D-League,4rd(71))
and already got professional experience this season with the Sandringham Sabres (Australia-SEABL-South) playing 24 games averaging 15.3ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-1(2.7bpg), FGP: 60.4%, FT: 42.4%. He started his basketball career at Northfield Mount Hermon and played at Vermont (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 123 NCAA games. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 11.4ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.0bpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 61.0%. He recently spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Ethan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. How excited are you to be playing your first season in Europe? What expectations do you have?

I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity to play in such a talented and well-respected league as the Pro A here in Germany. I want to adjust to our teams system and start creating chemistry with teammates as quickly as possible so I can help us win games right away. I expect to do whatever I can to help this team win games and ultimately make playoffs. 

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball. Do you know any guys playing here besides Armani Cotton?

I’ve only head good things about the basketball in Germany through friends that have played here at some point in their careers. Pro basketball in Germany has been described to me as very competitive and having a lot of talent. I have noticed some familiar names of players who played in my conference in college in this league.

You have come in as a player replacement with the Uni Baskets Paderborn. What was most key in joining this organization how did head coach Uli Naechster convince you best about coming here?

After speaking with Uli I knew I would be a good fit for their system as I am very familiar with the pick and roll offense, which we mainly run in Paderborn. Also they were looking for a big man who was mobile and could run the floor and bring some athleticism which are all attributes I use to describe my game.

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James Reid (Phoenix Hagen) Playing Like A Coach On The Floor Has Always Been In My Game

James Reid is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Bend, Oregon playing his rookie season in Germany with Phoenix Hagen currently averaging 12,2ppg, 3,1rpg and 4,5apg while shooting 37% from outside. He got college experience in the states with S.Idaho JC (JUCO), UALR (NCAA) and  Boise St. (NCAA). At his season with  UALR (NCAA,) he played 31 games averaging 7.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 76.9%. Last season as a senior at  Boise St. (NCAA) he played 31 games averaging 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 82.9%. He spoke to German Hopos about basketball earlier in the season.

James, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Thanksgiving just passed and you were in Germany spending this holiday. How did you experience it in Hagen and what did you miss most from this traditional holiday in terms of spending it with your family?

We actually had a nice Thanksgiving style dinner here with the guys on the team Wednesday night, and then Phoenix put together a dinner for us on the actual holiday. It was really special for the organization to go out of their way to celebrate one of our holidays and meant a lot.

You played at three schools and experienced a lot in young years, but you also have seen a lot as a rookie. How has your rookie season changed for you since the passing of head coach Matthias Grothe?

It has been tough. To be in such a tight community and on such a tight team (with 4 guys from Hagen) and have to go through something like that is not easy. There were some extremely emotional days, but I think it really brought us closer as a team and a community. No one prepares for things like that, but his impact on this team and city will live on for a long time to come.

Did the things that you heard before you came to Phoenix Hagen about the club remain true or did the short history and fans totally exceed the expectations that you had before you came to the club?

Phoenix has been great to me since the very beginning. Everything that has been promised to me has been true and the people running things now have done a great job managing the difficulties in coming out of insolvency. The fans are the best that I have seen and it is a lot of fun to play for a crowd like that.

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Van Girard (Nuernberg Falcons) I looked Internally And Spent Time Developing My Game Trying To Take It To The Next Level Rather Than Blaming The World

Van Girard is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Los Angeles, California playing his first season in Europe with the  Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA). He has bounced around North America in the last 4-5 years getting exposure in the Drew League as well as with the S.California Summer Pro League (And1 Select team)and  Newport Beach Sunblockers (WCBL). He also got further experience with the Elite Talent Exchange Glo Japan playing 10 games averaging 12ppg, 8rpg, 2apg, 3spg and with Vaqueros de Saucillo (Mexico-Chihuahua Vive): Score-1 (27.5ppg), Reb-2 (12.9rpg). He spoke to German Hoops recently about basketball.

Hi Van thanks for talking to German Hoops. Before we start I have to ask you about your name Van. It is one of those uncommon names and I actually only have heard it once before with ex NBA player Van Wafer. How much do you like having this rare unique name and with what kind of experiences did you have growing up with the name as well as today?

 I’ve liked it a lot. I’d get the occasional joke about “driving a van” or wearing “Vans” brand tennis shoes, but for the most part it was all about my dad. I’m named after him (Van Girard Sr.) He’s actually a well known and respected basketball coach especially around LA and in the NCAA world so everywhere I go people ask if that’s my dad, or if I’m related to him! It’s actually kind of cool because we look a lot alike too.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and the Christmas holiday season is also around the corner. How have you experienced living in Germany as a kid coming from Los Angeles. What have you learned to appreciate the most about Germany and it´s culture?

Germany is definitely different than LA, in a good way though. I really appreciate the history, the culture, and the hospitality. People are welcoming, and Nürnberg specifically is absolutely beautiful. Definitely lucky to be living here.

What did you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball before you came? Your ex teammate in high school Caspar Ware had played here. Did you have any other friends playing in Germany over the years?

I’ve actually always had my sights set on playing in Europe, so I had definitely done a little bit of research. I always compare the type of basketball to how the Spurs play. Very balanced, very strategic, and team oriented. I like that a lot. And yes my buddy Kaiymen Pruitt has been playing in Germany for a while so I’ve heard nothing but good things from him.

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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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Kavin Gilder-Tilbury (RheinStars) A Personal Goal This Season Will Be Breaking The 40 Percent Mark From Outside

Kavin Gilder-Tilbury is a 201cm forward from Houston, Texas that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with the RheinStars Cologne. He played at Texas St. (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 128 games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 15.9ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 65.7%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about Basketball.

Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? Did you do anything out of the ordinary this summer?

 I am currently in my home town Houston Texas. My summer has been good. I just been training all summer getting ready for the next level.

When you look back at your life, have there been more benefits to having the name Kavin than not? At least you have a unique name and it isn´t written Kevin which is a household name.

 I haven’t had any benefits for having the name. But I definitely been told it was unique and different.

Congrats on signing with Pro A team RheinStars Cologne. How did you experience your first summer testing the transfer market. Did you notice just how competitive it is when there are so many players trying to land a job somewhere in the world?

 It has been a new experience for me. I’ve been learning the process on how things go and what It takes to play at the next level. It’s all about working hard and waiting for an opportunity to present itself and also have the right people in your corner. That’s what I did to get to this point. It’s definitely been a competitive summer. Every work out or training session I’ve been to all the guys were competing making each other better which is the biggest goal.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any friends balling overseas?

 I don’t really know much about German basketball. I’ve been told there is some competition there and if I work hard I would have a chance to show my talents.

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Michael Smith (Crailsheim Merlins) I Believe That We Can Do Something Special This Season

Michael Smith is a 22 year old 193cm guard from California that is starting his professional career in Germany with the Crailsheim Merlins. He played at Cal.Baptist (NCAA2) from 2013-2017 and set the NCAA 2 on fire in his last two seasons as a junior he averaged 21.4ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 83.6%. In his senior year at Cal.Baptist (NCAA2) he played 25 games averaging 24.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to German Hoops  about basketball.

Michael thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your from San Francisco, went to school in Riverside and now your in Crailsheim. Has it been kind of a culture shock concerning the geography? What kind of early beauty have you been able to take from Germany?

It has definitely been some what of a culture shock dealing with the time change and the language barrier of living in Germany but over the past few weeks I have come accustomed to the living.

Your starting your professional basketball career in Germany in the pro A with the Crailsheim Merlins. You were a lethal scorer in the NCAA2 and had a work out with the Los Angeles Lakers. How did you land with the Crailsheim Merlins? Did you get any advice from German teammate Kalidou Diouf?

I was able to land the job through the help of my agent Scott Nichols.

How did you experience your first summer transfer period coming from school. I can imagine that many professional teams were enticed by your scoring like from a team in Mexico where you had an offer. What was the deciding factor that made you chose the Crailsheim Merlins?
The deciding factor for me picking the Crailsheim Merlins was the type of culture that the organization presented. They are hard working and family based team. I also wanted to make sure that I started my career on a team that is fighting for a championship and with the Merlins I believe that we can do something special this season.

 

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Andrew Jones Has Always Had A Scoring Gene But In The Pro A Can Put More Energy Into Defense

Andrew Jones is a 34 year old 191cm shooting combo guard that has been a professional basketball player since 2007. He played at Miles(NCAA2) and has played in Germany for most of his professional career with four seasons with the Dresden Titans and three seasons with the BG Aschersleben Tigers (Germany-Regionalliga). He also gained experience playing with teams like Marietta Storm (SEBL), BC Celtics (SEBL), C.B. Aridane (Spain-EBA) and Universidad Tecnologica Equinoc. Quito (Ecuador-National League). He last played with the Dresden Titans (Germany-ProB) playing 28 games averaging 9.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 23.7%, FT: 63.6%. Currently he is practicing with the German Pro A team Chemnitz. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Andrew Jones hits the Fraport Skyliners Juniors for 38 points leading Dresden to 88-80 win in 2013. Full Game:

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

What’s up Miles! I’m living in Dresden with my wife and daughter. The summer was very relaxing.

Did you experience anything really cool this summer, an experience that you had never had before that made your summer extra special?

Being able to wake up every day healthy and strong was coolest thing I did this summer. This summer was more about rest and family. There were no big vacations.

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