Dominic Early is a 198cm forward from Atlanta, Georgia that will be in his second professional season after being a rookie in Australia and now will play for the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). He started his basketball career at Furman(NCAA) where he played 41 games in two seasons. He then moved to USC Aiken (NCAA2) where he played 19 games averaging 15.6ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 82.4%. As a senior he played for Co.Georgia (NAIA) playing 32 games averaging 20.9ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 73.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Dominic thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?
I am still in Australia and won’t go home for another month.
In school you were a kind of nomad playing at 3 schools Furman (NCAA), USC Aiken (NCAA2) and Co.Georgia (NAIA). After your rookie season in Australia you are in Germany now. Do you have the feeling you might go the same route as a professional bouncing around from team to team and country to country?
I only transferred schools because of coaching changes. I will let my career take its course and I will make those decisions as I go.
When looking back at the current short 18 year history and success of the Frankfurt Skyliners, the first three things that come to mind, was their first title in their debut season 1999-2000 where head coach Stefan Koch led the team to the cup, the brilliant 2004 league title under current head coach Gordon Herbert where the Bermuda Triangle of Chris Williams, Tyrone Ellis and Pascal Roller led that team and were as feared on the court as first time sailors are of ever reaching Nassau and last seasons Fiba Europe Cup win where it was all about team that led to that title, but then again without Englewood New Jersey native Jordan Theodore, the team probably wouldn´t have won their third hardware. However that 2009-2010 title drive that ended in the final in a hard fought 5 game slug fest in Bamberg that will forever haunt Skyliner legend Pascal Roller for his missed free throw is a season that stays mostly forgotten and a side note even if it was a very exciting and successful season, but in the end all that counts are who wins that last game. Players like Aubrey Reese, Pascal Roller, Jimmy Mckinney and Seth Doliboa were players that were instrumental in that seasons success, but one guy that will forever remain a very tiny side note in Skyliner basketball folklore is Qarraan Calhoun. The last time, the New Jersey native exhibited a Skyliner jersey, Brose Bamberg still only had two BBL league titles, Dennis Schroeder was somewhere in no mans land between punk and greatness and Johannes Voigtmann was just at the start of his basketball career after discovering the traditional German sport Handball and moving to basketball heeding to the words of wisdom by his grandmother. Calhoun had only survived a little more than 5 months under the guidance of tough head coach Murat Didin before being waived.
Seven years later and after bouncing around from team to team, the American is 30 now and back in Germany very far away from the elite and toiling in the third league Pro B with the Itzehoe Eagles. Calhoun is the forgotten basketball soul experiencing a rebirth back into Europe. Before landing back in Germany on the path of basketball rebirth, the American got experience in the states going the college route and then heading to Europe.
Courtney Belger is a 27 year old 187cm guard from St Louis that is playing his fourth professional season and first with FC Schalke 04 (Germany-ProB)Last season he played with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB): 24 games: 12.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 65.6% and Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) playing 14 games: 21.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 4.1apg, Steals-4(3.1spg), FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 22.4%, FT: 80.8%. He played his first two professional seasons with TV Ibbenbuehren (Germany-Regionalliga). He started his basketball career at Quincy (NCAA2) in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 113 NCAA 2 games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging 11.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 72.0%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 102-73 win against Rostock.
Courtney congrats on the huge 102-73 victory against the Rostock Seawolves. How good was it not only getting a win again, but having the biggest offensive explosion of the season?
It felt good to play that way and was a lot of fun. We’re a better team when we play a high possession game.
Charles Bronson is a 33 year old 208cm forward that recently played with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB) playing 13 games averaging 10.7ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 51.3%, FT: 37.0%. He played at four schools before turning professional with Panola JC, Redlands CC (JUCO), Xavier (NCAA) and Pikeville College (NAIA). He started his professional basketball career in 2009 with Fundacion Basket Merida (Spain-EBA) playing 15 games: 9.7ppg, 6.1rpg, 2FGP: 64%, 3PT: 0%, FT: 59%. IN the 2010-2011 season he played for the Manchester Millrats (PBL) playing 10 games: 18.4ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.4%, FT: 53.7%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Stade Nabeulien (Tunisia-D1)and KB Bashkimi Prizren (Kosova-SuperLeague). In the 2012-2013 season he played for UBSC Raiffeisen Graz (Austria-A Bundesliga) 10 games: 11.5ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 57.8%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for Mapfree Life (Cyprus-North League). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Charles thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am in Philadelphia right now and my summer is going good just working out 3 times a day
How blessed can you say you are that you have had a very long professional basketball career despite having had a short stint with Xavier(NCAA) coming from the JUCO and NAIA divisions?
I feel so blessed to play professional basketball for a as long as I have and I put in a lot of hard work over the years.
Courtney Belger is a 26 year old 187cm guard from St Louis that is playing his first season with with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). Last season he played his second professional season with TV Ibbenbuehren (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 21 games and averaging 23.7ppg, 7.5rpg, Assists-4(6.7apg), Steals-2(3.5spg), FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 75.2%. He started his basketball career at Quincy (NCAA2) in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 113 NCAA 2 games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging 11.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 72.0%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season. He will play in the German Pro B next season for Itzehoe. He spoke to German Hoops after the 80-74 victory against the EN Baskets Schwelm.
Courtney thanks for talking to German Hoops Congrats on the 80-74 win against the EN Baskets Schwelm. In the fourth quarter Schwelm cut the Itzhoe lead down to three points, but you kept your composure and won. What was key for getting the victory in crunch time?
The key was continuing to focus on us and not the back and forth stress of the game. If we control what we can control and keep up our intensity, we are normally where we want to be at the end of the game.
Izehoe didn´t shoot great, but better than Schwelm were outrebounded and had six turnovers less than the opponent. What do you believe was the biggest team strength on the night?
I think it was our defense and the way that everyone was all about the team yesterday. Everyone was fighting for one another and sacrificing whatever they had. The entire team was engaged. The starters, the bench players, the injured guys, even our fans. It was great to see that on the road.
Courtney Belger is a 25 year old 187cm guard from St Louis that recently finished his second professional season with TV Ibbenbuehren (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 21 games and averaging 23.7ppg, 7.5rpg, Assists-4(6.7apg), Steals-2(3.5spg), FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 75.2%. He started his basketball career at Quincy (NCAA2) in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 113 NCAA 2 games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging 11.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 72.0%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season. He will play in the German Pro B next season for Itzehoe. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Courtney thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
I am currently in Quincy, Illinois where I went to school living with my girlfriend. This has been one of the most ideal type of summers for me.
You recently signed with the Izehoe Eagles of the German Pro B after two successful seasons with Ibbenbueren. How difficult was it making this decision to leave a place that was your second home?
Whenever you return to a place and think about playing a third year, it’s always tough to leave. I had no problem with Ibbenbueren except I wanted to try to play in pro b. If I had stayed in the Regionalliga than Ibbenbueren would have been my first choice to come back.