Virgil Matthews(BV Chemnitz) I Don’t Expect A BBL Team To Give Me A Chance But I Still Have Some Basketball Left In Me

Virgil Matthews is a 33 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that completed his tenth professional season and third with BV Chemnitz averaging 9,4ppg, 4,2rpg and 4,8apg. Last season for BV Chemnitz he played 33 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-2(7.6apg), 1.6spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.2%. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga) playing 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL) playing 28 games averaging 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games: 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. He would play until 2014 with Ehingen playing 126 games with three seasons in the Pro A and one in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after the end of the 2016-2017 pro A season






Virgil thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 5 game series loss to Gotha. Will game 5 be the toughest loss you have ever had to digest in your professional career?

It is definitely up there I lost a game 5 in Ehingen that was also a hard loss, but maybe the way this one ended made it a little harder.

Congrats on a successful season. Despite the tough 5 game series loss to Gotha, can one look back and have enjoyment on a successful season?

 Yea, I mean when coming into the season you always come in trying to win a championship. After that goal isn’t achieved you have to take a little bit of time to reflect on the good.

BV Chemnitz was up 2-0 and lost 3-2. All three games were close. What do you feel was the difference in the series?

They played well and Mitchell played incredible and they just made plays down the stretch and we didn’t.

In game 5 BV Chemnitz controlled the game from the second quarter until crunch time, but then lost control after American Darren Mitchell hit consecutive three pointers and you would never lead again. What was key in crunch time besides Mitchell´s three´s that sealed the win?

We could’ve rebounded better, but we lost by 3 so besides the Mitchell plays there isn’t much more.

What is your summary of the season? BV Chemnitz had three match balls for the BBL, but failed. Did the club still exceed expectations or not?

 I don’t know about the club but my expectations are to win every time I play. I go into a season to win a championship maybe the club has other expectations. So I would say it was good season not sure what the expectations were to say if we exceeded them or not.

Dou you feel that this tough experience will make head coach Rodrigo Pastore even more hungrier this off season for getting the right players as well as leading the team to the BBL next season?

Coach is always hungry I don’t think this loss will make him any hungrier he works hard and does a great job. I expect him to keep that up.

If you had to pick one of the Germans who you feel developed the most from day until the game 5 loss against Gotha who would you pick?

I think Jonas Richter made great strides. He did a lot for the team so much stuff not always showing up in stats.

We have talked about German 19 year old Daniel Mixich and his development in the past. He had a tough injury and was out for 2 months and came back for the last three playoffs games against Gotha. What advice do you have for him in terms of summer preparation for next season in his continuation of becoming atop Pro A player in his quest one day to reach the BBL?

 Just keep doing what he’s good at pressuring defense and making shots Danny can play and he will be fine.

Do players in the former East Germany eat differently or how do you explain the success of teams like MBC, Gotha and Chemnitz?

I don’t know it was just a good season for the east.

Let´s talk about your game. You are your biggest critic and any point guard will say that he failed not being able to win one of three do or die games, but stats don´t lie. You had your most consistent scoring stint of the season against Gotha and averaged near to 8 assists in the first 4 games. Were you content overall with your effort in the series or what could you have done better?

There’s always things I can do better and I could’ve rebounded better and I had too many turnovers but I gave my all that’s all you can do.

Your stats were down from your first two seasons with BV Chemnitz. In our last interview you stated to me “I’m probably harder on myself now just because I’m smarter and see things better. I spend most of my time just criticizing myself for being old and too slow. Is age slowly catching up with you or did your role change a bit this past season simply that you didn´t have to do as much as in past seasons?

Age catches up with everyone, but stats being down doesn’t mean much to me as we were a good team, I think my role in that was still there. I’m ok with that.


Will this past season stat wise force you to grind even harder this summer or will you stay true to age and keep an eye more on your body and prepare differently for next season?

Working on my body staying fit is most important to me I will really do that this summer. Besides that I always work hard.

What is the next step for Virgil Matthews? You continue to play at a high level. Do you feel like a German BBL team might give you a shot next season or are you content to keep balling in the Pro A

 I don’t expect a BBL team to give me a chance, but you never know I’m ok to play wherever someone wants me. I still have some basketball left in me.

What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?

 I work at a summer camp I’ll be there and I have some weddings to attend this summer that’s basically what I’ll be doing.

Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?

 Not all NBA players can put the ball in the basket, and he is a good talent.

Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden? Especially after his heroics against Chicago and Washington despite losing his sister and a tooth.

 I’m biased I’ve seen him ever since he was a kid and he’s from Tacoma so he’s definitely top 5!

How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?

 They were definitely the story but they also had 2 NBA players on their team. Pros win in the tournament.


Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?

Haven’t seen him play a lot but he looks really good from what I’ve seen. I don’t think the stuff his father does will affect him at all.

There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?

Russell is great and there will always be criticism and haters but he had a phenomenal season.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Thanks Virgil for the chat.

Brandon Spearman (I Took A Big Stride This Year With Leadership Being Disciplined And Reading The Game Better)

Brandon Spearman is a 24 year old 190cm guard that completed his third professional season and second with the Romerstrom Gladiators Trier averaging 15,8ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,6apg. 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 at the conclusion of the season before it was announced he wouldn´t be returning to Trier.

Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and have you digested the 5 game season ending series loss to BV Chemnitz yet?

Hey Miles, right now I’m on my way back to USA. The series with Chemnitz was very intense, I feel the series could of went either way for both sides. Congrats to Chemnitz!

It was a very hard fought 5 game series. Do you feel like game three was the turning point? Had you won that game, you most likely would have sailed into the Pro A semi-finals?

Every game was important to us and every game we fought hard. We were just a couple plays away from winning in games 3 & 5.


Seth Hinrichs (With More Experience Comes Better Understanding Of Different Offensive And Defensive Strategies)

Seth Hinrichs is a 24 year old 203cm guard from Clara City, Minnesota that completed his second professional season in the German Pro A with the Kirchheim Knights averaging 11,6ppg, 6,1rpg and 2,7apg. Last season as a rookie he played for FC Porto (Portugal-LPB): 20 games: 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%. He played at Lafayette (NCAA) from 2011-2015 graduating from Lafayette as the all-time leader in 3PG % in Patriot League history. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to German Hoops at the conclusion of the season.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Seth Hinrichs, Nick Washburn and Brad Tinsely of FC Porto after a Fiba Europe Cup game in 2015 in Frankfurt against the Fraport Skyliners


Seth thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2004 Fiba Europe Cup winner MBC swept the Kirchheim Knights. How big is the disappointment and how long will it take to digest it?

 It’s definitely disappointing. Every year I want to be playing for a championship and we came up short this year. It’ll take some time before it really sinks in.

MBC swept Kirchheim in the regular season and won the playoff series averaging winning by 22 points per game and averaged 94 points per game. Was MBC simply too good for Kirchheim this season?

MBC was solid from top to bottom and they executed their plan on offense and defense so well. Every weakness we had was exposed so give them credit they’re a great team.


The Fraport Skyliners Send Isaac Bonga And Richard Freudenberg To Adidas Eurocamp In Treviso Italy

It is that time of the year again where the biggest basketball talents meet and show their abilities on the court in Trevisio, Italy at the 2017 Adidas Eurocamp. Germany is in good company as it will be represented by guys like Karim Jallow of FC Bayern Munich, Louis Olinde of the Brose Baskets Bamberg and Kosja Mushidi of Mega Leks, but also from two other huge talents with Isaac Bonga and Richard Freudenberg from the Fraport Skyliners will also be present. At the 3 day camp from June 9-11, the young hopeful talents will play in front of current and former coaches and players like Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks) and Russian legend Andrei Kirilenko. The players will be able to showcase their skills in drills as well as compete against each other in games. Well known players that played at the Adidas Eurocamp in the past have been 93 first and second round draft picks, including NBA standouts Serge Ibaka (208-C/F-89) (Toronto Raptors), Danilo Gallinari (208-SF-88) (Denver Nuggets), Goran Dragic (190-PG-86) (Miami HEAT), Brandon Ingram (206-SF-97, college: Duke) (Los Angeles Lakers), Jaylen Brown (201-F-96, college: California) (Boston Celtics), Dragan Bender (213-PF-97) (Phoenix Suns) and Thon Maker (216-C/F-97, college: High School) (Milwaukee Bucks). Forty-three former EUROCAMP participants currently hold NBA contracts and 64 currently play in EuroLeague Basketball.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Isaac Bonga after a Fraport Skyliners win in Rhondorf in 2016

Isaac Bonga comes into the camp as one of the biggest talents in Europe at the moment from the year 1999 and at only 17 years of age and 205cm still has a huge upside in his development and could use this camp as another opportunity to raise his NBA draft stock for 2018 as he is already for many experts seen as a top 10 draft pick.


Taevaunn Prince (I Am Excited And Obsessed With The Process Of Getting Better)

Taevaunn Prince is a 25 year old 191cm guard from Toronto, Canada that completed his rookie season in Germany with the  ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) averaging 17,1ppg, 5,4rpg and 1,9apg. He started his basketball career in 2011 with  S.Dakota St. (NCAA) where he played two seasons playing 59 NCAA games. He then moved to  Missouri So. (NCAA2) in 2014 and as a junior played 16 games averaging 16.1ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 83.8%. As a senior he played 30 games averaging 26.4ppg, 10.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 84.8%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the season.

Taevaunn thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on a big season where you fell short in a do or die game in the semi-finals. How hard has it been digesting this season end since you were one win away from the Pro A?

It’s been hard to digest but overall you have to give thanks to God on how far we came and how well we did this season. But now its time to look back and see what I can improve on and look at the mistakes I made and become a better player and the offseason will be huge, I will be attacking it hard.

You played a hard fought series against Wurzburg and FC Schalke going the distance and then went the distance against PS Karlsruhe as well. Do you feel like the Wurzburg and Schalke series took a toll on the team going into the PS Karlsruhe series?

We are professional basketball players and are built for the season plus playoffs so as a team we should be ready to go all the way so that will never be an excuse. I think PSK is a well coached team and have good players with a great coach.

The 92-75 score in game three was a little deceiving as there wasn´t much that separated the two teams in many statistical categories. What do you feel decided this series?

As we know basketball is a game of runs and PSK went on a run in the second quarter that really decided the game, we were playing catch up from that point on and it was difficult to claw back.


K K Simmons (Knowing How To Make The Correct Reads With The Pick And Rolls Can Take You A Long Way In The Game)

K.K Simmons is a 23 year old 190cm combo guard from Marietta, Georgia that completed his first professional season with German Pro B team Licher Basket Baeren averaging 20,8ppg, 2,8rpg and 3,4apg. He played at three schools with NC-Wilmington (NCAA), Kent St. (NCAA) and Pikeville (NAIA). Last season he finished his college basketball career with Pikeville (NAIA) playing 31 games and averaging 16.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 78.5%. Simmons is an amazing shooter and shot 48% from outside in his junior season at Pikeville, but can also mix it up getting to the hole. In his first season with Pikeville, he played 25 games averaging 20.8ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 48.9%, FT: 78.4%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the season.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing K.K Simmons of Lich after dropping 16 points in a 88-76 loss in Frankfurt against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors

Congrats KK on helping save the Licher Basket Baeren this season. What kind of overall experience was it for you playing with pressure having to keep the team in the Pro B?

To be honest, the overall experience was a really good one. There were a lot of moments and possessions that felt like I was in a playoff situation. Playing to stay in the Pro-B league was a lot of pressure but nothing we couldn’t accomplish as a team.

You stated in our last interview in January “I’m extremely confident that I can help Lich stay in the league. The key thing for us is sharing the ball on offense and playing team defense and everything will work out for the best. Did these things come true in the playdowns for Lich?

Yes, a lot of these things came true for us as a team during this play-down stretch. We had a lot of really good practices coming into the play-downs, and as a team we performed pretty well on both ends of the court.

The Licher Basket Baeren took care of business early winning the first 4 playdown games to stay in the league. Does this accomplishment dim your feeling a bit by the way you ended the season losing your last two games?

Winning the first four games of the play-downs was how we responded to the end of our regular season. By us accomplishing this, the last two games weren’t as important as the first couple. We are happy that we took care of business early.


The Miles Basketball Minute: BBL Final Preview Brose Bamberg-EWE Baskets Oldenburg 3-1

With the shot clock winding down in game two and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg a wink of a blink starring at a possible 0-2 series hole and about to witness thousands of hearts gasping and  coming to life bursting through each chest, it was Mr hustle and Mr “I once hit a shot at Purdue sitting down” Chris Kramer that found Rickey “Mr Oldenburg” Paulding   the franchise´s money ball wrapped up in the corner with as good as no place to go, but somehow firing away a last second desperation shot that took the game into OT totally changing the series and the rest is history. Nine days later the 2009 BBL champion weaseled their way back to another final disposing the season big surprise team ratiopharm Ulm and giving that whole organiazion another long summer to thin k of excuses why they can´t win a championship and if they should bond with the Buffalo Bills for comfort who have lost 4 Super Bowls. Obviously the whole EWE Baskets Oldenburg club have to get credit for this season´s playoff success, but two guys that really stand out are the two brothers from another mother Chris Kramer and Mr all and legend Rickey Paulding who had another standout series and were instrumental in their team being able to get by the favorites ratiopharm Ulm. One can marvel all you want about Kramer as he is all over the court and his defense pressure in game two also was vital for the team turning the series around, but the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Lebron James all in one is Paulding. Even if this comparison is majorly exaggerated, but in Oldenburg the American from Detroit is in his own basketball universe where he stands above even these players in the hearts of fans there. Paulding not only had a solid series in upsetting Bayreuth, but was masterful in the ratiopharm Ulm series as in five games he averaged 22,0ppg, 3,0rpg, and 4,0 apg while shooting an amazing 49% from the parking lot. His leadership and Larry Bird type hot shooting was seen most in game two where he sprayed 28 points in the unforgettable comeback and 107-103 OT win and when it absolutely counted most in the do or die game 5 in the unfriendly atmosphere in Ulm where he nailed 27 points and drilled home 5/6 trey´s and gave the word timely a new name as he made himself another step more immortal in Oldenburg. Paulding recently got his contract extended in Oldenburg until 2019, but before one wants to even dream about the next 2 years, fans in Oldenburg want to see Paulding and co bring a third title to Oldenburg. Those Larry Bird paralle´s   aren´t so twisted in that Bird only won 3 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics and if the youth of fountain that Paulding is as his play seems to be getting better with age making that wine sweetest this season with his actions on the court, he will eclipse his 12 years in Oldenburg and hang on a 13th season down the road and then he will be even with Bird and 13 seasons wearing the same jersey.

Most of basketball Germany except Oldenburg had ratiopharm Ulm getting into the final in a sweep or four games, but losing in five games was something that even Ulm manager Thomas Stoll would never have imagined in his wildest dreams.