There is one thing you can´t take away from Vincent Sanford and that is his unending drive like a starved kitten who is shyly and timidly strolling down a city alley looking for any tiny scraps of food preferably tuna fish or it´s abandoned mother to keep chipping away at not only being the best player that he possibly can, but too also never lose that fierce desire to play at the best level even if it has been a slow process. He definitely doesn´t have the same route like a Malcolm Delaney or Brian Roberts who played at high levels like the easyCredit BBL and then made the jump to the NBA, but the American who lists Mr cross over Kemba Walker as his hardest opponent in the NCAA has had to toil in lower leagues in Europe, but now has reached the EasyCredit BBL in Germany. Sanford is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that has continued to battle the odds and now with possibly the help of a coaching change with s.Oliver Wurzburg and has reached one of the top leagues in Europe in Germany with the EasyCredit BBL by accident even if he has the talent. Four months ago, the basketball life of Vincent Sanford looked a lot different.
Jermel Kennedy is a 27 year old 201cm forward from Toronto Canada that is currently playing with the Worcester Wolves (United Kingdom-BBL). Last season he played with Last season he played for Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 30 games averaging 5.6ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 16.0%, FT: 75.4%. Two seasons ago he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League), in Oct.’14 signed at Porvoon Tarmo (Finland-1st Division) playing 28 games averaging 18.0ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 72.9%. He played his rookie season in the German Pro B with TV Langen in 2013-2014 where he played 24 games averaging 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 78.1%. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Iowa Central Community College (NJCAA) playing 26 games: 4.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP:47.3%, FT: 57.1%. In 2009-2010, he played for Volunteer State Community College (NJCAA) playing 27 games: 11.7ppg, 8.2rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 83.0%. He finished his college basketball career at Lander in 2012 playing two seasons there and as a senior played 27 games: 11.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 66.1%, FT: 70.5%. In 2013 he was drafted by Moncton Miracles (NBL Canada,1rd(6). He spoke to German Hoops before the game against London.
Jermel thanks for talking to German Hoops. It´s been a while since we last spoke in the summer of 2015. Since then you played in the Spain Leb Gold and now playing for the Worcester Wolves in the BBL in England. It may not be the BBL in Germany, but how blessed are you to be playing in this league?
Hey Miles appreciate you having me. I’m just grateful to be here and continue to do what I love that’s all its about Miles.
This will be your first Easter weekend in the UK plus you will be playing against the London Lions. What kind of Easter weekend on and off the court are you anticipating?
I’m expecting an eventful weekend hopefully taking care of business and keeping our win streak alive would be great. My sister is also visiting so I got a few things planned for her to see this weekend.
Currently the Worcester Wolves are one of the hottest team in the UK BBL having a 10 game winning streak. How good basketball life for you at the moment?
You know it’s going great we haven’t lost in over a month and things seem to be going very well for us. I feel like we have figured it out guys understand their roles a bit better this half of the season.
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.
The highlight for Easter for any child is too be able to go into the yard and explore and hunt for those chocolate easter eggs that are already melting in their mouth, but if you are an old school BBL basketball fan in Frankfurt the gigantic highlight on Easter Monday is entering the Fraport arena and seeing two real professional basketball dinosaurs playing together and still playing the game they love with Julius Jenkins and Immanuel Mcelroy. Which one of these BBL legends would come away with the most chocolate eggs if they would have a contest is difficult to determine, but it would definitely be a very competitive match. You obviously cant compare these two BBL veterans to future NBA legends, but their longevity, importance and play in the German BBL can be compared to the likes of the Lebron´s and Melo´s of the league. These two BBL players just keep coming back and don´t want to retire. Jenkins is 36 and Mcelroy is 37 and still going strong. Their longevity speaks for itself as combined they have played up to this season a total of 630 BBL games and 201 international club games and share 10 titles between them. The massive experience doesn´t end there as there is also Wayne Bernard who rounds out the trio as he is 35 and is only playing his 5th BBL season but 9th straight season in Germany and can boast 136 BBL games going into this season. Jenkins and Mcelroy have been BBL identity figures for over 10 years and it will be a sad day in German basketball when these two retire, so there were probably quite a few Skyliner fans that were hoping that this wasn´t their last appearance in Frankfurt. However the Frankfurt fans only had Immanuel Mcelroy to observe as Julius Jenkins was out with an injury and saw how Science City Jena dominated in the first half, but fell apart in the second half as a hot shooting Jenkins was dearly missed as they lost 69-61. After the defeat, Mcelroy was stretching his sore muscles and if his words of retirement were really genuine after the loss was hard to tell, but if he keeps battling guys like Quantez Robertson on a regular basis who make him go to his limit then this might have been his last game in Frankfurt. “It is always fun to play against a competitor like Robertson who does everything on the court. I respect him a lot and how he competes at both ends of the court”, stressed ex Alba Berlin guard Immanuel Mcelroy. For Quantez Robertson, it is no different in that he is only 4 years younger than Mcelroy, but has had numerous battles with the ex Braunschweig player over the years. “It is always fun to play against him, because he competes at both ends of the court. We both know each others moves well and try to trick the other one”, stressed ex Auburn star Quantez Robertson.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Uni Riesen Leipzig guard and leader Cardell Mcfarland after he dropped 20 points and led a fourth quarter charge beating the Dragons Rhondorf 85-73
If one was given a special helicopter ride as a 50th birthday present from your spouse and you could roam above the quant town of French Lick, Indiana and the tiny town of Rhondorf in Germany and have a nice birds eye view of the territory, one would come to the conclusion that there isn´t much difference between the two. Population wise, French lick boasts 1,941 persons, while Rhondorf has 2,327 people making their home there while from a nature standpoint, there is a lot of greenery to enjoy. The two biggest differences between the two places is that French Lick has no major body of water while Rhondorf sits on the scenic and famous Rhein river that displays historic castles and many boats while French Lick has for many oldschool basketball fans the best basketball player that ever graced the planet with Larry Bird who grew up there and still has a residence there. After the last bitter loss in Nordlingen in the Pro B playdowns where the Dragons Rhondorf shot a miserable 30% from the parking lot and got the big goose egg of 0/16 from outside from their top players Canadian Mike Lucier, American Will Trawick and German Viktor Frankl- Maus, one could of asked manager Boris Kaminski just how good his connections were in the NBA and if threr was any spare change to book the Bird man for some extra shooting practice last week leading up to the game against the Uni-Riesen Leipzig. The Uni-Riesen Leipzig entered the game having a 2-1 record against the Dragons Rhondorf this season, but had lost the game in Rhondorf earlier in the season. Rhondorf had a four point lead over Leipzig in the Playdowns in the fight to stay in the Pro B and with a victory could have booked their Pro B ticket for next season, but instead have to wait another week and play a do or die game in Lich to see their fate as they fell to the Uni-Riesen Leipzig 85-73. The score definitely didn´t tell the whole story as the Dragons Rhondorf dominated the boards with 15 offensive rebounds and forced their opponent to 24 turnovers and had 8 extra possessions, but that all didn´t matter as they were unable to produce when it counted most in crunch-time. “We really had our destiny in our own hands. We rebounded very well and defended very well also, but we couldn´t take care of the little things. Down by four points, we didn´t execute the game plan and a few of their scores and stops of us suddenly had us down by nine points. We fought really hard, but we were missing experience and a few missed lay ups and turnovers cost us the game”, stressed Viktor Frankl-Maus. After the win, Uni-Riesen Leipzig guard Cardell Mcfarland was very relaxed as if his furious fourth quarter outburst had been the most normal thing and he found the right words in victory. “This was a big game for both teams and we knew that they were a very strong team at home. We came out very focused. Our defense was key for getting the win. Our zone at the end really hurt them. We gave up too many turnovers and offensive rebounds, but in the end all that mattered was the win”, added ex Nordlingen guard Cardell Mcfarland. The game also displayed some BBL faces as Telekom Baskets Bonn players ex Giessen 46er Yorman Polas and ex Fraport Skyliner Johannes Richter took in the game on their free Staurday night. After the game, Richter Joked about the opportunity of having had a Larry Bird flown in for extra shooting practice. “I actually rather would have had Dirk Nowitzki´s shooting coach Holger Geschwindner. It was a very physical and hard fought game. Rhondorf had to win this game. I would have had liked to have seen Valentin Blass play more as he is very good on the pick and roll”, stated ex Bamberg center Johannes Richter.
D´Andre Bullard is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Apopka, Florida playing his second professional season and first with PS Karlsruhe. Last season as a rookie he played for the Leeds Force (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 30 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 61.1%. He started his basketball career in 2011 with Florida A&M (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playing a total of 83 NCAA games. In his senior year he played for Virginia Union (NCAA2) playing 18 games averaging 10.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 62.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career.
D’Andre thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life for you at the moment?
Hello, I’m Currently In Karlsruhe Germany. Basketball has been Great, I’m loving the city and the fans and Organization are all like one big family.
Your playing your second professional season in Germany with PS Karlsruhe 2 and recently was promoted to being able to play with the Pro B team. What kind of experience has it been playing in Germany this season?
I’ve enjoyed my experience here thus far, the German style of play is a bit different from the states in which I’ve learned a few things and being able to play with the Pro B to get a feel for that level was also enjoyable.
How mentally challenging and tough has this season been for you playing in the German Regionaliga 2 coming from the British BBL which is the first division. Has there been a day where you didn´t have to reassure yourself that you are a lot better than at the level your playing at?
I wouldn’t say it was as challenging because i’m always grateful for the opportunity to play the game I love despite the level. I know where I belong so I just use this season as motivation and try and take advantage of every opportunity that come’s my way so I can one day get to where I want to go.
You have been tearing up the German Regionaliga 2 and recently put up 44 points. Does it feel like you’re a man playing among boys?
My Job is to go out and compete at the highest level no matter who my opponents may be. I treat every game the same and play every game like it’s my last.
The well known speech from John F Kennedy in Berlin where he uttered the famous and unforgetable words “ich bin ein Berliner” may be more than 53 years old, but that remains something that every kid learns about in the history books from Brooklyn, New York to Perth, Australia and yesterday Rickey Paulding (196-F/G-82, college: Missouri) let “Ich bin ein Oldenburger” slip his tongue and got standing ovations for minutes in the EWE arena in Oldenburg. Paulding’s 4 words won’t ever get the world wide press or rememberance as Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner”, but in Oldenburg Paulding will always be their Kennedy.The reason for the long standing ovations and fuss about Paulding was on account of the announcement that he will remain in Oldenburg until 2019 which would give him 12 years in the BBL with one team which is as seldom seen in the BBL as it is teammate Brian Qvale attempting more than one trey a game which he did against the Telekom Baskets Bonn this season and hit both and brings his total of three point attempts in 6 professional seasons to only 14. It is just not a given in todays age of where money rules and the game is a business that a player will remain with one team for that long a period. At the end of this contract extension he will have eclipsed the longevity of Fraport Skyliner legend Pascal Roller who was 11 years with Frankfurt.