Walter Tigers Tuebingen

Kris Richard Knows That In The Basketball Arena You Are Your Own Business

Kris Richard is a 27 year old 196cm guard playing his seventh season and was recently with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen (Germany-BBL). He was surprisingly released recently despite putting up solid stats averaging 11,5ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,6apg. He has gathered professional experience in Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Latvia. Last season he played with VEF Riga (Latvia-LBL) playing 26 VTB United League games averaging 9.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 87.1%; In the Latvian LBL, he played 24 games averaging 11.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.9apg, Steals-3(1.8spg), FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 80.8%. He played at Tulane(NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing a total of 120 NCAA games and as a senior played 30 games averaging 11.4ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 71.0%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently before his release.

Kris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your career continues to be a spiral going up as after playing in Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Latvia, you are now in the best league that you have played in in your seventh professional season. Has the road to Germany felt a bit long and difficult at times?

Yeah, the BBL is very competitive, same as the VTB was for me last season. It’s definitely been a blessing to have continued success and professional progression each year. Each season has had its challenges, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

How was your mentality through your first six professional season. Has it felt a bit like a Cinderella story or do you feel it was just part of your special process of getting here?

Yeah for sure, with all the negativity that comes with playing at lower levels it was hard not to get discouraged and try to find another profession. In the basketball arena you are your own business. You construct a plan, pray, and trust that your process will work in your favor.

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The Morrison And Tez Lebron Show Fails But The Fraport Skyliners Whip The Walter Tigers Tuebingen 90-63

After the disgusting 83-59 loss to the Giessen 46ers in the always annoying Osthalle where the home fans tend to be rather aggressive with their choice of words at times, the Fraport Skyliners crawled off the court with the only thing missing was bags to cover their faces as not only had Frankfurt been the clear favorite which no one expected to lose, but to be splattered with an embarrassing 23 point loss was about as untypical with the current stellar play of the team as it would be for  the New England Patriots to lose their last two home games against Buffalo and Miami. After the loss Quantez Robertson escaped off the court after stretching with that bewildered look as if he had found out that Mcdonalds was closing in the Nordwest center mall where the club trains and lives, but in reality he was still trying to fathom what the club had produced in the second half. The Fraport Skyliners scored a measly unacceptable 22 points and gave up 43 points as their defense their usual staple had totally betrayed them. Usually it is their stellar defense that fuels their offense, but on this unforgettable 22nd of December in Giessen, the defense actually influenced their offense in a negative way. A week earlier Gordon Herbert had boasted that the incredible win against Alba Berlin had been one of the best wins he had ever been a part of and a week later the loss in Giessen has to go down as one of the worst loses in the club history in the last 10 years. The uninspired and haphazardly play of the Fraport Skyliners scared a lot of people and the only positive thing after a miserable loss like that was that it could only get better. The horrible loss gave a bad taste for their Christmas and the team didn´t have much time to prepare for their next opponent or digest their Christmas dinner either as Herbert had his team practice every day over the holidays. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen were fighting for their lives, had a new head coach with Mathias Fischer and desperately needed wins. The Fraport Skyliners came into their own living room having done a lot of soul searching over the holiday weekend and came back rejuvenated, focused and very aggressive retaliating from the Giessen embarrassment and whipping the Walter Tigers Tuebingen 90-63.

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Tai Webster shot 3/3 from the three point line and finished the game with 20 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

After the big win, one could see a more content look on the sweaty face of Fraport Skyliner center Mike Morrison who was a big factor in the good start of the team. “One we made shots, two we played defense and three we played with a lot more energy than in Giessen. When you play good defense, you get more transition opportunities and we made it tough for our opponent from the start”, stressed Florida native Mike Morrison.

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Reggie Upshaw´s Relentless Hard Work Has Made Him An Elite BBL Player Despite Playing For A Losing Team

Having that certain drive to get better and always have the ambition to keep working harder is something that not every player has because sometimes that God given talent takes players away from doing that extra shift on the court or in the gym hours after your teammates have left and gone over to the campus eating area or back home to their families to catch some down time. However for Reggie Upshaw a rookie for German BBL cellar team Walter Tigers Tuebingen, nothing has changed in the last five years from being a freshman at Middle Tennessee State to now in Tuebingen as his relentless hard work continues to be there and pay dividends as his development and growth as a player continues as it has made him an elite BBL player despite playing for a losing team. His confidence also has been affected by his hard work as last July when he was signed by the German team, he uttered these bold words. “I definitely feel like I can be an impact player in the BBL especially if I come in with an open mind to work hard each day”, warned Reggie Upshaw. So far he has stuck behind his wise prediction as his stellar play has brought him to the elite in the BBL. Of course his hard work has brought him a long way and will continue to, but another strength is his character as just a week before he was signed by Tuebingen last summer, he was battling NBA players every day and then he stated how much it was a dream to play in Germany and for Tuebingen something that he credits his dad to helping him mold. “He’s a big part of who I am today if it wasn’t for him I don’t think my character would be like it is now”, warned Reggie Upshaw.

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Reggie Upshaw (Walter Tigers Tuebingen) I Can Be An Impact Player In The BBL With My Open Mind To Work Hard Each day

Reggie Upshaw is a 22 year old 203cm forward from  Chattanooga, Tennessee that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He played at  Middle Tenn.St. (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 139 games. As a senior at  Middle Tenn.St. (NCAA) he played 36 games averaging 14.5ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 60.4%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 72.4%. Before turning professional he played at the well known Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging 14.3ppg, 8.3rpg. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about Basketball.

Congrats Reggie on signing with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in Germany. As a competitor who played a great  Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 14.3ppg, 8.3rpg as well as playing NBA Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks are you a bit disappointed that the NBA dream didn´t continue on after Las Vegas?

No I’m not disappointed with how summer league went this past summer I felt like I learned a lot from the Bucks organization about what it takes to be a pro.

Now you will concentrate on your professional career. You have signed with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. How did you experience your first summer transfer period delving into the professional sector? What made the German offer the most interesting for you?

This summer going into my first year pro I’ve just tried to expand my game. Work as hard as I could on my game overall as far as shooting and ball handling. The deal in Germany was the most interesting because it’s in such a respected league where I could really see myself coming in and making an impact as soon as I got there.

You come over as a guy with a very good character. Just a week before you were battling NBA players every day and then you state how much it´s a dream of yours to play in Germany and for Tuebingen. How much of your good character has been rubbed off from your dad Reggie Sr?

He’s a big part of who I am today if it wasn’t for him I don’t think my character would be like it is now.

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AJ English Releases The Fraport Skyliners From Their Start Funk Helping Crush The Walter Tigers Tuebingen 84-64

Sometimes there are certain factors that could come into play why a player wasn´t able to stay in a situation, but for Middletown, Delaware native AJ English, living in paradise in Brindisi, Italy on the beautiful Adriatic sea which was a far cry from the long grey winter nights in New Rochelle, New York where he worked on his basketball trade for 4 years at Iona(NCAA) didn´t seem to help his play that much there the last few months. So for his rookie season with  Enel Basket Brindisi (Italy-Serie A):where he played 8 games averaging 7.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 25.0%, FT: 75.0% to turn out so unspectacular most likely had nothing to do with his surroundings as he could of spent all his free time on the beach in early autumn and annoyed his friends back home with the exotic scenery via a Skype conversation. Since leaving the kodak picture scenery of Brindisi, Italy where he had an unspectacular 4-4 record with the club, he has been nothing short of spectacular with his new home in Germany and the Fraport Skyliners as he came and conquered as he has helped the team to a 7-0 record and aided the team to the Champions League playoffs while scoring in double figures in each game. The grey winter´s of Frankfurt would remind him more of New York city with the skyscrapers than anything else, but moreover there must be a reason for his stellar play and being able to feel so comfortable in his new location. English came into his eighth game with the Fraport Skyliners looking to remain perfect and had very fond memories of the Walter TIgers Tuebingen as shortly before the new year, he made all Tiger fans hearts sink as he dropped a spectacular off balance buzzer beater in traffic that would even have had NBA legend Larry Bird smiling from his French Lick living room sofa as the American finished with 21 points and six threes. English has been a type of spark plug for the team as head coach Gordon Herbert made the right choice in hauling in English who could be that missing piece for that playoff hope. English didn’t have any last second buzzer beater heroics this time, but still played an instruemental part in the game as he was a major force coming into the game in the first quarter with Frankfurt down 11-2 and stinking up the Fraport arena with their play worse than a dead skunk could on the side of the road. English didn´t play as many minutes as teammates Kwame Vaughn or Shawn Huff or have their stats, but the American made key plays, shots, passes and got the team ball movement rolling in the last 5.08 of the first quarter which helped turn around the game and lead the team on the right path to victory where they would never look back. At the end of the day, The American finished with 12 points, three rebounds and five assists and everyone noticed. “English hit a big shot in Tuebingen and did again today. He attacks well and is like a snake that slithers around the court. I saw him play at Iona(NCAA) and he put up good numbers there. He can definitely play”, stressed ex Telekom Baskets Bonn point guard Jared Jordan.

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The Fraport Skyliners arrived into the game in 12th place with a record of 7-11 and came into the game having won three of their last games and had lost their last BBL game in Oldenburg 71-64. Like in Oldenburg, they had problems against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in the first quarter, but rebounded from their funk and then played a complete game for 35 minutes. “We played good defense for long phases of the game and did a good job not allowing them any open shots. We had good ball movement and when we can do that in the game, we usually have a good chance to win”, warned Fraport Skyliner point guard Max Merz. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen were clinging to their basketball lives at 16th place having a 4-15 record. They had lost their last eight games and last weekend to Science City Jena and in the first five minutes of the first quarter, one carefully could have thought that this may be the turning point of their long losing streak, but a basketball game has 40 minutes and Tuebingen was unable to offer any resistance against the Frankfurt offense for the last three quarters and couldn´t come to terms with the always aggressive and consistent defense. “We wanted to have a good start in Frankfurt something we hadn´t had in the last three games and did. But Frankfurt came back and did a good job making shots and getting to the free throw line. Shawn Huff gave them a huge boost with his shooting and they played good defense. You have to give Frankfurt a lot of credit with their defense. They play very good one on one defense, switch well and have good help. Coach Herbert always has good defensive teams”, added ex Marist(NCAA) point guard Jared Jordan. “We didn´t have a good start, but came back with our energy and defense. We did a good job staying calm and got back into the game”, added Fraport Skyliner forward Niklas Kiel.

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There Still Is No Slowing Down The Owned Definition Of Mr Pass In Jared Jordan

It never gets boring watching guys in the NBA like a Lebron James or Draymond Green fill up the stat sheet on a regular basis with ease the way Tom Brady does winning games with an offense that any other quarter back would struggle with and wish they could flee the responsibility. You always know what you will get from a Lebron or Green as they do so much well, but then again on the other hand, you have players that in many ways are able to also do everything these guys can do, but to a way lesser extent, but then again have one basketball ability that they especially shine in and use mostly to their advantage on the court. Even though a David Bell can do many things well on the court and is a lot better passer than people might realize, he shines mostly with his scoring and is simply a knock down shooter. Another guy that excels the most at one aspect of the game is ex ratiopharm Ulm center John Bryant who plays for AS Monaco now and led the BBL in rebounds three years in a row as he owned the paint area from 2010-2013 averaging 10,0rpg as one could have named him Mr rebound for good measure. However one player that owns the assist in the easyCredit BBL the way Bill Russell owned the rebound back in the day is Jared Jordan who has inherited the nickname of Mr pass for a reason in Germany the past years. Jordan is a 32 year old 187cm point guard from Hartford Connecticut and is in his 10th professional season and sixth in Germany and second consecutive season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He has dominated the assist stat in Europe the way Michael Jordan dominated the scoring race in the 80´s and 90´s in the NBA as well as How Lebron James has in his career. He is currently leading the German easyCredit BBL in assists at 8,6 and has won the crown the last six years and two years ago in Spain and currently on track to win his seventh straight assist race dating back to the 2010-2011 season. He was no slouch in his first three professional seasons as he was fourth in the Baltic league as a rookie, second in the D-league in 2008-2009 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and fourth in the BBL in 2009-2010 which was his first season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn in a growing league. However he already put up mind boggling assists averages in college at Marist(NCAA) which already gave a premonition about what would happen when Jordan was a professional.

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Augustine Rubit (ratiopharm Ulm) Quietly Thrusting Himself Into The Upper Power Forward Category In The Beko BBL

There are thousands of talented 201cm players in the United States, but only a small majority actually can call themselves a professional after having played college basketball. One of the biggest dreams of Augustine Rubit was too be able to earn a living playing professional ball even if that unwanted label of achieving all this was against all odds, but like some and so many not, he chose the right direction early in his life instead of going the wrong route and is now excelling in his sixth year of basketball after graduating from Christian Life Center Academy. The 26 year old from Houston, Texas came from a poor family and lived in a bad area of town, but thanks to a close knit family and friends that cared, the American was sheltered from making any wrong decisions and after his basketball talent was realized concentrated on focusing only on that. He played at S.Alabama (NCAA) from 2010-22014 playing a total of 117 NCAA games and in his first year won the All-Sun Belt Freshman of the Year averaging 13.1ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 55.9%, FT: 67.6%. He continued to put up huge numbers and had his finest statistical season as a junior averaging 19.0ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 47.7%, FT: 79.3%. As a senior he averaged 17.0ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 66.7%. Just to put into perspective how dominant he was as a junior he scored in double figures in 27 of 29 games and had 16 double doubles. He had monster games against LA-Lafayette scoring 34 points and hauling down 12 rebounds and had 31 points and 11 boards against Georgia State. He won numerous awards while playing at S.Alabama like being named first team twice in the All Sun Belt conference and as a junior was awarded the All-Sun Belt Player of the Year. He left the school having recorded 54 double doubles, was second in points scored and third in blocks. Another big achievement was adding a three pointer to his inside game making him more versatile as after going 0/11 in his first three years in the NCAA worked on his shot and averaged a respectable 32% in his senior year. As a rookie he came to the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and had no problems adjusting to the European game filling in for the departed Tyrone Nash and totally convincing all that he has major game. As a rookie he played 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, Reb-4(7.3rpg), 1.2apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 77.3%. He scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games and had 4 double doubles. He had massive games against Artland with 27 points and had 24 points against Bremerhaven and Bonn. This season he moved to international club play with ratiopharm Ulm and once again had some odds against him how he would fit in to a team that had way more talent and scoring options than in Tuebingen, but in the first few months the American is the leading scorer, rebounder and blocker on the team in BBL play and in Eurocup second in scoring and rebounding behind Raymar Morgan. In a Ulm system that has less length under the hoop and likes to play fast, Rubit can use his athletic strength while still doing the dirty work inside and doing what he does best grabbing rebounds and scoring the mid distance shot. If Rubit can keep up the consistency and the club can keep moving further in the Eurocup play, the American will without a doubt keep developing and like ex Tuebingen alla round player Reggie Redding be an interesting option next season for a top team in the Beko BBL like Alba Berlin or other teams in Europe.

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