Oettinger Rockets Gotha

David Taylor (Gotha) I Know I Will Have To Prove Myself

David Taylor is a 22 year old 190cm guard that was born in Bayreuth and grew up in Eckersdorf, Germany. He started his basketball career with the BBC Bayreuth 2 (2.Regionalliga) team in 2009. He then played two seasons with the  Nuernberger Basketball Club from 2010-2012 getting his first taste of pro B ball at age 15 and pro A ball at age 16. He then moved to TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB) in 2013 where he played 16 games averaging 6.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 73.7%, played also at Troester Cybex Breitenguessbach U19 team (NBBL). He moved to the United States in 2013 to Pacific(NCAA) where he played until 2017 playing a total of 104 NCAA games. His most productive season was his second where he played  31 games averaging 7.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 40.9%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 80.6%. he spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

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

I am still in Stockton California right now working on my individual skill work and body. It’s been a productive summer so far getting my body ready for this up coming season.

Your last NCAA game was on Feb 25th and you got signed on June 13th by BBL team Gotha. You had a lot of time from then until now. How was the whole transfer period for you? Was going to a BBL team one of your big goals?

After the NCAA season I talked to a lot of people who wanted to help me in the process of finding the right opportunity for me. It took a while because I wanted to make sure it was the right option for me and I found a good fit with Gotha. Yes playing in the BBL was always a goal of mine. Now that I am part of a first league team I will work even harder to help my team succeed.

How important was it that a Wolfgang Heyder is with Gotha and the team is going in a very youth direction wanting to develop German talent?

I think it is great that Wolfgang is a part of the team. I have known him for a long time now and he is one of the people I respect a lot.

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Elijah Allen (I Think I Had About 5 Heart Attacks In The Chemnitz Series)

Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his first season with Gotha in the Pro A averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hoops after helping Gotha reach the BBL.

 

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Elijah Allen after a Lich loss in Frankfurt against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in 2015

Elijah congrats on an amazing season with Gotha. You helped Gotha move up to the BBL, but lost the Pro A title to 2004 Fiba Europe cup winner MBC. Is the fact that the club reached the BBL a small consolation for not winning the Pro A title?

Thanks a lot Miles. Having the opportunity to play for the Oettinger Rockets this season was a true blessing. The main goal for the club was to make it to the BBL and we achieved that so I think the club can be very happy with the outcome.

MBC had the number of Gotha this season going 4-0. I always felt Gotha had a well rounded roster, but was MBC just better from top to bottom?

MBC was the best team in Pro A for a reason. They brought it every night. Hats off to MBC for the season they had.

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Elijah Allen(Gotha) My Goal Is To Be Aggressive In The Time I Get And Find Ways To Help My Team Win

Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hoops after the big 64-56 win against Heidelberg last weekend.

 

 

 

Elijah congrats on the 64-56 win in Heidelberg. How good did it feel to win on the road again after 4 straight loses on the road?

Thanks a lot. It was a good feeling. We must continue to build off this.

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Dane Watts(Gotha) I Always Want To Be Playing For Something Greater Than Myself

Dane Watts is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Warrensburg, Missouri that is playing his ninth professional season and first with the BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA). In his first two games with Gotha, he is averaging 15,5ppg, 6,0rpg and 2,0apg. He played at Creighton (NCAA) from 2004-2008 with NBA player Anthony Tolliver. In his senior year, he played 33 games: 11.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3Pts: 42.5%, FT: 71.8%. In 2008, he came to Germany and started his professional basketball career with EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 32 games: 8.9ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP-1(68.4%), 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 68.7%. In 2009-2010, he came to The Walter Tigers Tuebingen playing 34 games: 10.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 71.0%. In 2010-2011 for Tuebingen, he played 33 games: 13.7ppg, Reb-4(7.6rpg), 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 54.5%; in May’11 moved to Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (France-ProA): 3 games: 7.0ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg. He then played for ratiopharm Ulm from 2011-2013. In the 2013-2014 season he played briefly for the Fraport Skyliners before another injury forced him to cut his season short. In the 2014-2015 season he played for Baloncesto Sevilla (Spain-Liga Endesa): 7 games: 2.4ppg, 3.6rpg; Eurocup: 6 games: 2.0ppg, 2.0rpg, in Jan.’15 moved to Limburg United (Belgium-Scooore League): 15 games: 8.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 64.1%. Last season he played with UBC Magnofit Gussing Knights (Austria-A Bundesliga): 27 games: 15.1ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 74.8%; FIBA Europe Cup: 10 games: 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 77.6%He spoke to German Hoops about his move back to Germany to Gotha.

 

 

 

Thanks Dane for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You were away for two years playing in Spain, Belgium and Austria. What did you miss most about Germany?

Spain was a totally different culture but Belgium and Austria were more familiar for me and my family after being in Germany so long. We have made a lot of good friends over the years being in Germany so we missed seeing them and of course the schnitzel.

I was actually preparing an article concerning your ex teammate Michael Jenkins who will play in Frankfurt again after 7 years where he played the first time in 2009 with Tuebingen and you as his teammate. I almost put Dane Watts as retired in the section with many players from that season, but didn´t because I was figuring you might not be done yet. An hour later I heard the news that you signed with Gotha. Did you have less offers this year than in the past?

Not less offers but with a rough market a lot teams were taking rookies or young players. With a family and two kids there are only certain situations I’m looking to play in overseas.

When I say you have a 7-3 record against somebody affiliated with Gotha could you guess off the top of your head who I mean?

Reading the question below is see Chris haha. Don’t know anyone else I could have played against 10 times

You owned your new head coach Chris Ensminger as a professional in Germany having a 7-3 record against him. You were perfect with ratiopharm Ulm 4-0 against him and Bonn, you were 3-1 with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen against him and Bonn, but 0-2 with Ludwigsburg against him and Paderborn. Now that you know this will you have some friendly ribbing with him at some point letting him know about your success?

That is in the past and when I was in Ulm we beat everyone except Bamberg. I want us to enjoy success together now working in the same organization.

Will it be strange having Chris Ensminger as a head coach or do you see it as being able to learn something new at age 30?

It’s not strange, just makes me realize I have been around for a while. When I was younger I thought it was weird when my teammates said they played against the coach or were teammates before. Now I played against the coach for many years and also was a teammate with the assistant.

You had some serious battles with him as a professional. One either hated or loved the guy. He was a very tough player on the court. What did you respect about him as a player and competitor?

I respected that he was able to play so long at a good level, especially as a big guy you never know how the body will hold up. To me that means he was being a true pro and taking care of himself. To do that for so long, have a family and still produce on a top level is impressive.

Currently the team is in ninth place with a record of 5-5 and still finding themselves. Do you see yourself as being a type of savior or a guy that will bring the needed energy to the team?

I am coming here to provide leadership and experience, playing in some of the top leagues in Europe over my career I have learned a lot and help this team with their goals. There is a good group of guys here and we will come together.

Last season you had a very solid season with UBC Magnofit Gussing Knights (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 27 games and averaging 15.1ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 74.8%; FIBA Europe Cup: 10 games: 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 77.6%. Do you feel like your role will to be a scorer or more of a glue guy?

I showed last year that I can be the reliable veteran every night and lead a winning team. It was a crazy situation that ended our season but we were 29-4 before they didn’t let us finish the season. I am coming here to help the team win, if I need to score then I can but there are other intangibles that I bring that help teams win and that is probably most important at this point.

What do you believe is still your biggest asset as a player now at age 30?

Leadership and experience can’t be taught, having played so much you see things that younger guys don’t see yet. Having another voice tell a young something guy can help him learn quicker. I have played with some great guys and will help others just like they did for me when I was coming up.

How excited are you about this new experience? You will be the oldest guy on the team. Are you looking forward to be teaching the youngsters tricks of the trade on the court?

I am excited about this experience. It is good for my family and my wife is also excited to be back in Germany. My son was born here and we have had good experiences and memories here. Also for basketball it is a chance to help a club that has aspirations, I always want to be playing for something greater than myself. I was the oldest on my team last year in Austria, I don’t feel old, just experienced.

You didn´t spend much time with the Fraport Skyliners in 2013-2014 playing only four games, but when you see how successful they were the last two seasons and see how much their struggling now, do you feel a bit for your ex teammate Quantez Robertson who has his hands full as captain?

I really enjoyed the team and my time in Frankfurt. I was disappointed in how that ended for me there. I followed them ever since and was happy to see them succeed in the Fiba cup and see the players grow individually. It’s always tough to see friends struggle, I know the coaches and everybody around the team is doing things right so it’s hard when it doesn’t translate into wins.

Who won a one on one in practice last season you or Cody Larson?

I would give Orville buckets

If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?

Shaq, Dirk, Larry, MJ and Bron Those are the guys that I liked watching growing up, there will always be debate but that’s who I like.

Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?

Not sure there will ever be a clear cut debate on who is the best all time. If a Bron wins more titles that will make it harder for sure

Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?

Not far behind Duncan. He was a great competitor and always played with intensity.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The man from U.N.C.L.E was on the airplane ride over here.

Thanks Dane for the chat.

 

 

 

Jacob Parker(Gotha) I Have Never Been A Guy That Worries About Statistics Because It’s All About Putting Your Team In The Right Situations To Win Every Game

Jacob Parker is a 23 year old 198cm forward from Bixby, Oklahoma that is playing his second professional season and first in Germany with BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-Pro A). As a rookie he played for KK Tajfun Sentjur (Slovenia-Telemach League) playing 13 games: 6.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 87.5%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 7.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 21.1%, FT: 71.4%; Adriatic League: 26 games: 5.9ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 75.0%. He started his basketball career at Stephen F. Austin (NCAA) in 2011 and played 128 NCAA games in a four year period. As a senior he played 33 games averaging13.7ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 83.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball after signing with Gotha.

Jacob thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are in Gotha, Germany now. What have been the most distinct differences between Slovenia where you played as a rookie and Germany in the first days that have really stood out?

The unity of the organization. Everyone here is eager to take the next step, and excited for the season to start.

You played a solid rookie season with KK Tajfun Sentjur (Slovenia-Telemach League) and this summer got signed quite late into the transfer period. How did you experience your second signing summer? Did you have more offers than expected?

Everything happened very quickly. I weighed my options and felt that this was the best opportunity for me.

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The Giessen 46ers Tame The Oettinger Rockets Gotha 86-70 In Basketball Aid Game In Mainz

On the court Chris Ensminger won just about every battle in the paint as there was a reason why he was the BBL´s best rebounder for five consecutive years as his knack of always having the right position as the ball was released and correct instinct to where the ball would fall off the rim seemed to be as easy for him to successfully achieve as it was for once the best control pitcher in the majors Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees to seemingly get the ball where he wanted to to get through the full count to his team´s benefit. However one thing that Ensminger couldn´t control after life on the basketball court was keeping his now coaching foe Denis Wucherer of the Giessen 46ers in check while they were battling on the sidelines during their rookie coaching season in 2013-2014 and second season. Both guys are basketball legends in Germany as Ensminger not only made a name as one of the BBL´s finest centers for years, but also belonged to numerous Bamberg championship teams while Wucherer won two BBL titles with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen for Dirk Bauermann and won the silver at the 2005 European championships in Belgrade under Dirk Bauermann once again and alongside NBA legend in the making Dirk Nowitzki. Both Ensminger and Wucherer were head coaching rookies in the 2013-2014 season and in four games Wucherer led the head to head battle confrontation´s 3-1. Three of the four games were decided by 6 points and both games in the 2014-2015 season were intense nail bitters with 61-59 and 67-65 in favor of the Giessen 46ers and Wucherer. In that same season, Wucherer got the last laugh once again as he led his team into the BBL and almost made the playoffs last season. Ensminger is still trying to bring the BBL to Gotha and the only time, these two charachters can meet now on the sidelines is in the preseason. “Gotha is a team that should reach the BBL in the future. They have a good infrastructure now, new arena and Wolfgang Heyder on board. One sees that the club is getting more and more professional. They are very ambitious to get to the BBL and have a good coaching staff with Ensminger and Esterkamp. Ensminger´s team now plays the way he played as a player. He played hard and so does his team. He should have a good season”, stressed Giessen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer. After the 86-70 loss, Ensminger was very calm on the bench replaying the lost game in his mind one more time as his players were stretching and he had time to reflect on this coaching duel with Wucherer. “Wucherer has a good background and played for Dirk Bauermann. He played tough and so do his teams. I enjoy coaching against him. We always had good games against Giessen and one season lost two games by two points. I respect him and like how he helps players develop further as he got my ex player Marco Voeller”, stressed Chris Ensminger.

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Elijah Allen (Gotha) I Feel I Am Ready For The Pro A

Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that recently completed his fourth professional season in Germany and second with Lich playing 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hoops after signing with Pro A team Gotha.

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

Thanks for the interview Miles, I am currently in Lollar,Germany. The summer has been great for me. I have been staying fairly busy. I have been training and spending time with my family and I also just took part in the Scorers1st Showcase in Dusseldorf this past weekend.

There is nothing wrong with staying in Germany and enjoying the lifestyle, but isn´t your extended family in Ohio as well as friends sad that you are still in Germany when you could be at home?

Yes, I miss my family and friends very much. It has been about 3 years since I have been back in the United States. I just haven´t had much time to make it back due to other priorities.

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