With Time Julian Scott Has Learned That You Should Live The Moment And Enjoy Your Teammates Because You Will Enjoy It So Much More

Julian Scott (203-F/C-1990, college: ASU) is a 31 year old 203cm forward from Sacramento that recently finished his 7th professional season with his 10th team called AS Loon Plage Basket (France-NM2). He began his basketball career with Yuba College (NJCAA), and then also gained experience with Southern Utah University (NCAA) and Adams State University (NCAA2, starting five): 27 games: 10.8ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 70.2%. He began his career with TSV Quakenbrueck (Germany-2.Regionalliga) and also played for teams like Uni Riesen Leipzig (Germany-ProB), Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA), Gries/Oberhoffen BC (France-NM1), Residence Walferdange (Luxembourg-Total League), Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB), BC Prievidza (Slovakia-SBL), Dresden Titans (Germany-ProB) and Pays de Fougeres Basket (France-NM2). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Thanks Julian for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Hey miles! Man it has been awhile! I’m doing well thanks for reaching out. I’m currently back in the U.S off a long season with my team in Loon Plage.

It’s been a little more than 3 years since we last had a basketball chat. Basketball moves on and your still playing. How blessed are you to say that there aren’t so many guys around that can say that they have so long.

I can honestly say it’s been a blessing. Especially for me because I wasn’t always looked at as somebody who had any chance. But my work ethic starting out was all that I really had to separate myself from others. So now I can enjoy experiences with my family and travel to see places I would have probably never thought of doing if I didn’t get to play this game.

You had to experience Covid just like everyone else playing and living in France. What were the biggest challenges for you on and off the court during this time?

This was a tough time but also something good came out of it. Challenges was just not playing I knew I was going back to Loon Plage but it wouldn’t be for a whole year. So I had to keep busy find work and I was able to continue training the youth. But the best thing was I got to take a break spend time with my family which you don’t get a lot of playing overseas. On the court was fine I stayed working out while I back home.

Was there ever a point in the last two years where you thought that Covid could possibly halt your professional career? Did it take a toll on you mentally at times?

No not at all. I knew where I was going so mentally I was okay. The hard part was just making sure I stayed pushing my body to stay in shape. Which is all part of the journey!

After finding a home in Germany in the first years, you seemed to have found a home in France playing there the last three years. What have you learned to appreciate most in France off the court?

The Culture is so diverse similar to the U.S in a lot of ways. You see all kinds of different people. The architecture, the Citadels the food it’s definitely a place I like to be.

In Germany it seems like everyone knows English, but in France there is always the notion that the French don’t really appreciate the English language. How have you been able to cope with their culture? Have you learned the language which isn’t necessarily the easiest?

That’s true but you find people who can speak some English. Well it’s simple I just have to learn it. I’m not great but I’m taking it more serious to learn French so I can try to relate to everyone better. I also see they appreciate the effort so I’m going to take this summer as well to put more time into it.

You have played the last three years in the fourth league in France called NM2. How would you compare that league to the German Pro B where you were a top player?

I would say the Pro B is a bit better but not by a lot that was when you had 3 import players on one team so it was more competitive. NM2 guys are definitely skilled most of them all played higher levels in their career so they have that experience. Only difference is for imports it’s harder to get a job in a higher division because there’s only one spot available per the rules. But either way it’s fine you have millions of players trying to get a job for one spot. I’m just lucky to be able to have one!

You played your first season in France with Pays de Fougeres Basket (France-NM2). You won a title. What memories do you remember of the run?

We didn’t get the chance to win the title because of the Covid we were positioned to make the playoffs and nobody expected it to happen. But Covid cut us off just one month short of our goal. Still haunts me today not getting the job done.

You played the last 2 seasons with AS Loon Plage Basket (France-NM2). You seem to have found a new home there. What have you enjoyed most about this organization? It seems to be like a real family there?

I would say the culture there is that of a family. You have your ups and downs but what family doesn’t. Everyone on that team had something to give to that team and it was special to be a part of it. We won the most important matches to move the club up to the higher Division of NM1 that’s all I wanted in my career was to be able to prove to myself and others I’m a winner and play winning basketball.

You were always a go to guy whereever you played especially in Germany. It hasn’t been any different in France. How is Julian Scott a different player today than 3 years ago?

I would say he is smarter and wiser. I see the game differently. Before I was a guy who just wanted to have statistics because that’s what would get you paid the big contracts. That’s partially true but what I didn’t realize how much winning mattered. You obviously want to win but you learn more and more people don’t care about personal accolades it’s the success
have with your team. As far as being wiser I stopped just making my life about basketball and started to enjoy my teammates off the court. Because in the end we are all people and memories we share and have is more important than any big money contract you can get and I encourage all they guys who read this. There’s more to it than just basketball don’t just think about your future. Live in the moment where you are now. You will enjoy it so much more if you do.

Your turning 32 this summer. Are you in your prime now or do you feel like you have passed it? What do you still want to accomplish with your game besides winning titles?

I still feel I’m in my prime my body feels good still finding ways to make it better. My goals are to be able to still win titles. You get a taste of it and you want it again. You want people to celebrate together and enjoy those moments. I want to be remembered in the club’s history books helping them accomplish their goals. On top of that live life to the fullest and continue to bring my family out to explore new places in Europe.

What is the next step for you? Will you be returning to France or possibly try a new challenge?

I plan to stay in France I love it there. It’s very professional no drama with not being paid your salary. Your treated like a person not just an object to do a job. So France is where I like to be.

On what areas of your game will you be focused on most this summer to keep improving your game?

My shooting will always be a number 1 thing. I would say this season was my best 3pt shooting in my career. But I want to be better to continue to stretch the floor. But also still do what I do best under the basket.

How proud are you of your ex team Dresden Titans and ex teammate Daniel Kirchner for moving up to the Pro A? Do you still follow your ex team?

Of course I do I’m so proud of them! When I went there more than halfway through their season they were on the verge of moving down to Regionalliga. Not any position you want to be in but we didn’t let that happen. Now they are doing great things so happy for that organization.

In your rookie season you played with TSV Quackenbruck and observed the young development of current NBA player Isaiah Hartenstein who was 16. Did you see that NBA potential in 2014?

Holy shit yes. Watching how he moved at his size how athletic he was as at just 16. I was 23 at that time and I remember him blocking my shot multiple times I was like OMG lol yes definitely he is doing very well. His family is a basketball family so I can appreciate his success thus far.

Have you kept tabs on his NBA career? He seems to have a slow development in terms of how teams use him. It got better with the Clippers. Shouldn’t this guy be a starter somewhere?

The fact he is still playing in the NBA is a win. He will get his opportunity I’m sure of it. Keep his ego in check and keep doing what he is doing that time will come.

How important was then vet and coach Florian Hartenstein for you? Was he like a mentor for you?

He was. He gave me my first opportunity when times were extremely doubtful I would have a career. I have to thank him for that.

Do you remember playing 1-1 back in the day? I can imagine that you won some of those battles?

Yes we did and I beat him. I’ll never forget he said if I ever beat you then your fired! I was like mannnnnnn you can still dunk come on. Lol we actually played some games together to which isn’t normal for a coach but we did.

Where will the legacy of Steph Curry be if he wins another NBA title? Is he a top 3 point guard all-time?

He already is no question!

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America last summer? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

I haven’t seen it but I will now that you asked.

Thanks Julian for the chat.

Even If Martin Hermannsson Has Reached The Euroleague There Is Nothing But Love And Respect From Best Friend Elvar Fridriksson

Having that special friendship among certain NBA players is something that is seen every now and then over the years. For example the Bromance between Golden State Warriors Steph Curry and Klay Thompson also known as the splash brothers for their sniper like shooting tendencies has been strong leading them to multiple titles even if Curry has stolen the spotlight from him. Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony have had a unique bond since both came into the league in 2003 or Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who lteams to come together in Brooklyn and proclaim wanting to win a title together. Sometimes even the competitive nature of two guys battling at the same position and minutes won’t interfere as fans witnessed in Oklahoma City with Enes Kanter of Turkey and Steven Admas of New Zealand some years ago. Both got along so well that they grew mustaches and were named the Stash brothers. These very remarkable bonds don’t only happen in the NBA, but even overseas. One very exceptional friendship is between Icelandic players Elvar Fridriksson (182-PG-1994, college: Barry) and Martin Hermannsson. But the difference between their comradeship and others is that there’s began during childhood and is still strong in 2022. However their basketball journeys have been quite different. Whereas both have played at a high level, it was Martin Hermannsson that actually made it to the absoluteghest Euroleague. ‘Me and Martin have been best friends our whole lives. Our parents are very good friends so we grew up together. Spent a lot of time together and started our college journey together. I decided to go my own path and finish my degree but Martin went pro after 2 years of college basketball. It has been amazing to see what he has achieved and how well his process has been. That makes me very happy to see how successful he has been in Europe. He has shown that it is possible to make it to the highest level even though we are from a small country. It has definitely not been difficult to see him being successful because of course I want my best friend to be successful, it has made me very happy to see how well he has done. I have always had my goals and I am just working towards them without trying to follow someone’s path’, stressed Elvar Fridriksson. The memories that Fridriksson has of his best friend are unending. ‘Off the court we have spent so much time together, the vacation trips to Orlando we went on together with our families when we were kids and most recently spending New Years together in Valencia was also a great time so nowadays when we spend time together is always a great time. On the court was probably when we were starting our college journey together, playing in Madison Square Garden and a film crew from Iceland made a documentary about that game, that was pretty cool. Our youth National team games and being called up to the Senior National team together at the same time was all a great experience’, remembered Elvar Fridriksson. There is absolutely no animosity from Fridriksson, but total love and respect, but how could it be any different among guys like these who have each other’s back through thick and thin. ‘Our friendship is very close and has always been. We have gone a very similar path in life, with starting in Iceland, going to college together and then become professional basketball players in Europe so we share very similar lifestyles therefore we have a lot of things in common. But Martin is a great person, down to earth and always a joy to be around. He is a confident person and is a social chameleon, it is easy for him to connect with anyone’, warned Elvar Fridriksson.

Elvar Fridriksson who lists Martin Hermannsson, Sunday Dech, Marcus Tyus, Andy Van Vliet, and Kristofer Acox as his five best teammates of all-time was born on November 11, 1994 in Njardvik, Iceland. He began his basketball career with the UMFN Njardvik junior team and showed his talent early on being selected to the countries youth national teams where he balled with the U-16 and U-18 teams. He took part at the European Championship U18 Division B in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 2012 playing 9 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 34.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 78.3%. At the same time, he gained valuable experience playing pro ball with UMFN Njardvik (Iceland-Express League) from 2011-2014 playing a total of 79 games and really improving his game each season. In his last two seasons he averaged 19.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 79.3%, and 20.8ppg, 4.3rpg, Assists-2 (7.3apg), Steals-2 (2.5spg), FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 75.7%. Thinking what could have been hadn’t he made the step to the States in 2014 never crossed his mind. ‘It was very important to get a few years in the top division in Iceland, I was allowed to grow as a player and play through my mistakes on the court which gave me the opportunity to go play college basketball. It is not easy to go from Iceland to NCAA division 1 because the exposure is not big so I was lucky to get to that point. I don’t think about “what if ” I would have gone pro earlier because it was always a dream to go to America to play college and I do not regret that decision because I created great memories, made a lot of friends and gained experience that I would not want to miss out on. I also got a college degree which is important so the path I took I believe was meant for me’, remembered Elvar Fridriksson. He had some massive games in his second to last season scoring 36 points against Stjarnan and 35 points against Snaefell. In his last season he hit Thor Thorl for 37 points.

After getting good experience in his homeland, the guard who has had his share of competitive duels against friend Martin Hermannsson wining some and losing some decided to take on a new challenge and go to the States and play NCAA ball with LIU Brooklyn (NCAA) in the 2014-2015 season. He had a very solid freshman campaign playing 30 games averaging 8.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 71.1%. Despite having a convincing first season in the NCAA, he took a step back the next season to play NCAA 2 ball. But for him, it was a step he had to take. Staying in Brooklyn just wouldn’t have felt right. ‘It is rare to see a freshman who starts every game in division 1 and had a solid season transfer to division 2 school but I felt the situation was not right for me. I didn’t see myself finish all 4 years in Brooklyn so I decided to go to a school that would fit me better. I transferred to a school in Miami that had 8 European d1 transfers on the team so the level was very competitive. I don’t think I took a step down basketball wise because in my opinion the team I was on was better than I was on at LIU. A lot of top division 2 schools are better than some of the lower division 1 schools I believe. I enjoyed it very much to play basketball at Barry University so I do not regret the decision of transferring’, stated Elvar Fridriksson. He scored in double figures in 13 games including hitting Maine and New Hampshire for 19 points apiece. No great personal experience there could have been better than playing together with Martin Hermannsson. ‘My favorite moments in Brooklyn was to share the court with Martin and play with him for a season. That is an opportunity that doesn’t come often’, said Elvar Fridriksson. He then played three years at Barry (NCAA2) being able to improve his season average of scoring and rebounds each season and averaged 7,0apg in his last two seasons. He averaged 18.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 7.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 87.0% as a junior and 19.8ppg, 3.1rpg, 7.1apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 82.8% as a senior. He helped his school reach two NCAA 2 Elite 8’s. ‘Both runs were really sweet but losing a very tied game my senior year hurt more because I knew my college career was over and I wouldn’t get another chance’, commented Elvar Fridriksson. He played a total of 88 NCAA 2 games and scored in double figures in 23 of 25 games his senior year and scored 37 points against Embry Riddle, but topped that earlier in his career with 43 points against Tampa. But that wasn’t his most memorable game at Barry. ‘That game was for sure special and my best game scoring wise but both final games in regional championships probably stand out to me as my favorite games’, added Elvar Fridriksson. Being able to leave Barry and be ready to continue his professional career wouldn’t have been as easy hadn’t head coach Butch Estes been able to groom and prepare him the way he did. ‘Coach Estes gave me a lot of freedom on the court to develop as a player, I improved in the open court and to play 1 on 1 against taller and more athletic players’, remembered Elvar Fridriksson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Martin Hermannsson in Frankfurt in 2019

The Icelandic national player who rates current Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic as the toughest player he has ever faced on the court went back to Europe in 2018 to continue his professional career after 4 years in the States. He had never played professional outside of his homeland and now took on the challenge in France with Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB) averaging 4.8ppg, 1.4rpg, 3.2apg. It was a short stay, but the early growing pains were definitely a worthwhile experience in his continued basketball path for his development. ‘I was in France for 3 months, being a rookie in Europe is very challenging because the playing style is different. It takes time to adjust to the game but I only got two games in the regular season before they decided to get a more experienced point guard. It was a tough start to my career but the team needed a different type of player so I got to respect their decision and work even harder to be able to play on that level, so I had to go back to square one and go back to Iceland. Since then I have been in good situations to take steps in the right direction’, stressed Elvar Fridriksson. Even if his time in France was a learning experience and one where he had to pay his dues, being able to watch other talented guys like ex Missouri Southern State (NCAA2) great Marquis Addisson and learn was beneficial. ‘Of course I have followed his career, Marquis is a great guy and has worked really hard to get to the point where he is now. He has followed my path ever since Denain and he reaches out to me every season so we have followed each other. In France Marquis was one of the leaders of the team. He is a person that everyone wants to have on their team. He is a very competitive guy and a great shooter’, warned Elvar Fridriksson. He then returned home and finished the season in Iceland in a comfortable situation with to UMFN Njardvik (Dominos League) averaging 21.2ppg, 6.0rpg, 5.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 84.8%. He was very fortunate to have been able to experience Jeb Ivey’s last season before retiring. Ivey was a seasoned veteran who passed along vital attributes to him. ‘Jeb Ivey was playing his last season as a pro. He knew it was his last season but still his work ethic was unbelievable to see. He set the tone in every practice and made every drill competitive. It was great to learn from him and get to play with him his last season’, expressed Elvar Fridriksson. He definitely got his self-confidence back as he exploded for 40 points against Breidablik. In the next season in 2018-2019 he went to Sweden to play for Boras Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) where he didn’t disappoint finding his groove averaging 17.1ppg, 2.9rpg, Assists-1 (7.8apg), FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 78.6%. This was definatley a season he will never forget, because it helped his leverage on the basketball ladder and sort of got him better on the map in European basketball. ‘My season in Boras was very good, we had a good team and we finished number 1 in the league before the season was canceled due to Covid. It was a make or break season for me after a tough start in France so it was very important to get into a situation like I was in Boras. My confidence grew and I also had a great coach there that helped me a lot’, remembered Elvar Fridriksson. He scored in double figures in 27 of 31 Swedish-Basketligan games including 7 double doubles. He scored 27 points apiece against Djurgarden and Jamtland. Last season he played with BC Siauliai (Lithuania-LKL) being able to make another step in his game playing 36 games and averaging 15.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 7.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.6%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 77.6%. He was fifth in scoring and first in assists. For a player that already has a high IQ, playing in a country like Lithuania brought that part of his basketball knowledge to the next step. ‘I really enjoyed playing in Lithuania, unfortunately I played without fans in the arena but it was still amazing. The knowledge they have for the game is at a high level. Playing with veterans like Mindaugas Lukauskis and Kaspars Berzins was a good experience and I learned a lot from them. My coach at Siauliai was also a great teacher of the game, he taught me a lot of little details that helped me a lot so playing with and against players with high IQ definitely helped me get a better understanding of the game’, remembered Elvar Fridriksson.

So now let’s fast forward to 2022 as the ex Barry (NCAA29 standout who lists Lebron James as his personal GOAT played with the Telenet Giants Antwerp (Belgium-Euromillions League). and finished the season with Derthona Basket Tortona (Italy-Serie A). Despite playing for a great organization and city, the last two years haven’t been easy with Covid as he saw how it all developed in Sweden, Lithuania and then Belgium. It was a severe challenge, but one that also made him stronger as a man. ‘The biggest challenge on the court is to stay in rhythm because last season in Lithuania I spent a lot of time in and out of quarantine. Coming back from a 10 day break without practicing basketball breaks up the rhythm also here in Belgium I tested positive for the second time in 6 months so I am recovering from that now. Off the court it has been challenging to be without my family for a long time. There was a lockdown in Lithuania so I wasn’t able to see my wife and son for a long time so that was pretty tough. It definitely made me stronger, also made me appreciate the little things more. Trying to enjoy the moment more and have fun on the court’, warned Elvar Fridriksson. He has had the fortune to see new countries and leagues the last few years and it hasn’t been any different in Belgium. ‘It was a good experience playing in Belgium and also playing in a European competition. It is a completely different league from Lithuania so it took some time to adjust to the style that is played here. But I would say the level between those two leagues are very similar’, said Elvar Fridriksson. The Telenet Giants have won 14 titles and the ambition to perform very well is a goal for the team each season. ‘The long term goal is of course to finish as high as we can. We need to improve a lot of things and work hard to be able to play our best basketball when it matters the most. We aim high this season’, added Elvar Fridriksson. Over the years the club has had well known guys suit up like Jason Clark, Tremmel Darden, Paris Lee, Kevin Punter, or Michael Roll. It isn’t any different this season as the team got Markel Brown who played parts of three seasons in the NBA has given the team a push. ‘It has been great to play with Markel, he is a guy with experience from the highest level and he knows the game very well. I can learn a lot from him but whatever he did in the past does not give me confirmation that I can play at a certain level. I need to prove that myself with my game so hopefully I keep climbing the ladder and reach the highest level so I can show that I can play there’, warned Elvar Fridriksson. He also has worked his way into the Icelandic national team starting in 2013 and took part at the 2015 and 2017 European championships qualifiers, but had a limited role. But his role skyrocketed in 2021 at the 2023 European championships qualifiers as he played 8 games averaging 17.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 85.7%. He had a three point buzzer beater in the thrilling 86-85 win over Luxemburg and nailed Denmark for 30 points in a 91-70 win. He feels very much accepted by the national team now. ‘It was very important to get the trust from the coach and therefore I gained more confidence and more experience to play on that level which I believe will benefit me’, stressed Elvar Fridriksson.

The 182cm guard who lists Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Steph Curry on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore is a player where one could compare his game to a Facundo Campazzo or JJ Barea. He can score a lot, but also has put up high assist stats his whole life. But one couldn’t call him a pass first guard. ‘I would say a little mix of both, depends on the role that the team I am on needs me to play. I personally think when I am aggressive to score it opens up more passing options for me’, stated Elvar Fridriksson. He ability to create is very dangerous and will punish a team in so many ways with his playmaking. There isn’t one kind of pass that he prefers more over others. ‘There is not a specific assist that comes to my mind but I would say my favorite assist is when it gets the team going. A dump off or an alley-oop for a dunk or for a three point shot’, stressed Elvar Fridriksson. The guy can do so much more than just score and dish out dimes, but is an above average rebounder for his size and a very aggressive defender. ‘My strengths are using the pick n roll to create or score and in the open court where there is a lot of space to attack. That’s where I am most comfortable’, expressed Elvar Fridriksson. He is nearing his prime, but may have a few more years to go, but he has the healthy mind set and work ethic where he knows as soon as he doesn’t have the hunger to keep grinding in the gym, then it’s time to pack it in. He knows that he still has many area’s where he can still get better at. ‘The areas I can improve most is to cut down turnovers, better decision making and more consistency in shooting the mid range. With more experience I will also improve all parts of my game but those are the ones I need to work on to get to the highest level’, stressed Elvar Fridriksson. One thing is for sure, no matter where Elvar Fridriksson lands in the next years, his best friend Martin Hermannsson will continue to support him. ‘He is not only my best friend but also we have been pushing each other to get better all our lives. On the court it could get heated and messy sometimes but right after the game it was like nothing happened. We call each other almost everyday and there is nothing we don’t know about each other’, stressed Martin Hermannsson. Perhaps one day they will play on the same team again outside the Icelandic national team. Then they can have daily one on one matches. Iceland will never lose at the end of a match anywhere in the world.


Rayshawn Simmons Has Become A More Complete And Confident Player Since His Ehingen Days

Rayshawn Simmons (192-PG-1993, college: CMU) is a 28 year old 192cm guard from St Louis, Missouri, that completed his fifth professional season and second in Germany with Science City Jena (Germany-ProA) playing 40 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, Assists-2 (7.7apg), FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 70.0%. In 2019-2020 he played with the Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen (Belgium-Euromillions League) averaging 9.2ppg, 4.0rpg, Assists-3 (5.5apg), 1.0spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 83.9%. In his first year in germany he played with Team Ehingen averaging 11,5ppg, 3,4rpg and 9,4apg. He also played with the Logan Thunder (Australia-QBL) playing 18 games averaging 12.6ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-1 (8.4apg), FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 76.2%. As a rookie he played with Orli Prostejov (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 15 games averaging 11.9ppg, 4.5rpg, Assists-4 (5.3apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 26.1%, FT: 71.2%. He began his basketball career with Moberly Area CC and then finished at Central Michigan (NCAA) playing 95 NCAA games over the course of three seasons and as a senior played 33 game averaging 12.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 5.0apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 64.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 21-22 season.

Thanks Rayshawn for talking to germanhoops.com. It has almost been three years since our last interview. Has time flown despite Covid?

Personally I feel like time has moved slow and two years has felt like five especially with so many changes in the world.

Congrats on a successful team season with Jena. Was the disappointment big losing in the semi-finals. The goal was too move up to the easyCredit BBL.

Yes, it was a disappointment for me. I didn’t expect anything less than a championship. But you need a little luck and luck wasn’t with us in the Semi Finals.

The team had a great start winning 11 of 12 games, but let up a bit at the end losing 6 of 11 games. The team was the fourth best defensive team during the season. Why did the team begin to give up more points?

I think we began to give up more points because teams started to get better and figured out some of our some of our defensive rotations.

How did you experience the very exciting 5 game playoff series against Paderborn. What will you always remember from that series?

I will always remember playing against my good friend Jordan Barnes who’s also from Saint Louis, Missouri (USA).

In the semi’s you met a very tough Rostock series. How key was their guard rotation? Was that depth the difference between the title and not?

I think Rostock was a balanced team, very similar to us but ultimately played at a higher level than we did.

Jena lost game 4 77-76. Where does that game rate in your toughest loses as a professional?

The last loss is always the toughest for me.

Is that game winner by Tyler Nelson that will be forever remembered in Rostock, one of those shots that you won’t forget either?

Yes, that’s a game I’ll never forget.

Let’s talk a little about your teammates. How cool was it being teammates with veteran Brandon Thomas? Was he like a mentor for you and what won’t you ever forget about him?

Being Brandon Thomas’ teammate is definitely one of my favorite and most memorable moments playing basketball. My respect level and appreciation for him is at an all-time high. I’ll never forget the way he carried himself and showed up everyday giving it everything he had in him everyday.

Alex Herrera has shown in the Pro A that he is a top forward. What did you appreciate most about his game?

Alex is one of those guys I’ve always wanted to play with and a workhouse. He’s mentally one of the toughest guys I know.

How key was the pick up of Davonte Lacy another player that has proven to be a top player in the Pro A. What did you appreciate most about his game and how did he help the team most?

Davonte was a great pick up for us. It allowed us to be a bit more dynamic. We could just throw him the ball and he could go score. He really pushed me to be more aggressive to score and especially shoot 3s.

Jena had some solid role players as veterans but also young guys getting some minutes. Which player do you feel developed the best this season?

I’d say Vuk developed the most over the season. He got better everyday and was a willing learner.

You sat out the 20-21 season. When you look back at this do you feel like this could have effected the further development of your game?

I think it affected the further development of my game in a positive way. It gave me time to sit back and reevaluate a lot of things. I ultimately came back a better player.

Two seasons ago you had a solid season in the competitive Euromillions league in Belgium with Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen averaging 9.2ppg, 4.0rpg, Assists-3 (5.5apg), 1.0spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 83.9%. How would you compare the German pro A with the Euromillions league in terms of skill and competitive level?

The Belgian league is more physical and more skilled. There’s like 4-5 teams in that league that play internationally as well. I think the top 2 teams or so could compete middle to bottom of the league. Overall though, not the same level.

With Jena you played 40 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 7.7apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 70.0%. How content were you with your season? What kind of a grade would you give it?

I’d give myself a B.

What kind of a player is Rayshawn Simmons now in 2022 than you were in 2019 with Ehingen?

I am a more complete and confident player in 2022 vs 2019.

On what areas of your game will you work on most this summer so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

I will work on shooting and finishing as those are two areas that can really separate a player.

You had so many great games with Jena. What was your personal most memorable game? Possibly the 113-109 win over PS Karlsruhe?

That’s tough. Honestly there were a few. I’d like to say the game winner over Paderborn in the 1st Round of Playoffs has to be up there though.

You played against so many tough players this season, but who was the toughest?

I have to go with Jordan Barnes. Hometown guy. He put on a show this year.

What is your take on all the bashing guys like James Harden and Kevin Durant are getting?

I think it comes with the territory. People want to win and nothing else matters.

Is Luca Doncic a top 5 player finally or even a top 3 player now?

I wouldn’t go that far. He’s good though.

What is something special you plan to do this summer that you haven’t done in a while?

I plan to spend time with my son who’s 8months old. I haven’t gotten to see him much other than the time he visited me during the season with my grandmother.

Thanks Rayshawn for the chat.

Daeqwon Plowden Knows Just Being Himself Will Bring Him The Most Success With The New Orleans Pelicans

In the NBA Summer League you have certain type of players situations that basically make out what type of minutes they will get. First you have the NBA Draft picks of that season that play heavy minutes, then you have the borderline NBA players that get a real good look, then you have rookies that somehow got hooked up to play and last but not least guys sometimes older and from overseas that also got hooked up and still are looking to somehow slip into the NBA. Daeqwon Plowden (6’6”-G/F-1998, college: BGSU, agency: One Motive Sports) of Bowling Green State who has Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Shaq on his personal own NBA Mount Rushmore is a rookie that got invited thanks to agent Drew Kelso’s good connections and played so well that the New Orleans Pelicans rewarded him with an exhibit 10 contract. Let me rewind a bit to September 2018. I was back home in Boston and wanted to see if I could connect with some of the Boston Celtics exhibit 10 players. With the help of German basketball insider Fabian Beierlein who seems to know everyone, he got me the number of Justin Bibbs a product from Virginia (NCAA) and we connected. We met in a hotel in Cambridge not far from the Red Auerbach training facility and he told me his basketball journey. I remember the happiness in his face about having this once in a lifetime experience and being able to share the court with Kyrie Irving and upcoming superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. I also bumped into other exhibit 10 players like Jeff Roberson who is currently balling in Germany with the MHP Riesen, and Nick King who last season played in the Italian Serie A. It was great seeing the zeal and carefree attitude that they had, because they knew they had absolutely nothing to lose. An exhibit 10 contract is a 1 year minimum salary NBA contract. This gives an organization the flexibility to make it into a 2 way deal, but the club has to make it happen before the start of the regular season. Exhibit 10 contracts are usually non guaranteed which means the team can waive the player. If a player doesn’t mind landing in the G-league after, having an Exhibit 10 contract can be beneficial, but if your wanting to latch on overseas after, it is a risk as most teams are completed for the new season. There are many guys that get these Exhibition 10 contracts and only a few number reach the NBA. It will be interesting to see where the journey will go for American Daeqwon Plowden. He knows that if he is just himself during his time with the New Orleans Pelicans then that will bring him the most success.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ex Virginia(NCAA) great Justin Bibbs in 2018 in Boston when he was an exhibit 10 player with the Boston Celtics

Daeqwon Plowden at the 2022 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas

Daeqwon Plowden who couldn’t take himself and currently sees him and ex Bowling Green State teammate Trey Diggs tied in a 1-1 series is a 23 year old 198cm swingman from the city of brotherly love Philadelphia and left a mark at Mastery Charter Noth High School leaving as the all-time leading scorer. He was a 2 time Public League Liberty division MVP as well as a 2 time first team and all-state selection. In 2017 he was ranked in the top 100 at his position in the country by ESPN and was the 20th best player in Pennsylvania by ESPN in 2017. He then took the next step and attended Bowling State University where in 5 seasons he played a total of 153 NCAA games. He averaged only 18 minutes per game in his first two seasons, but in his last 3 seasons became a serious impact player averaging 32 minutes per game and was able to improve his scoring average each season. ‘I just felt like I came into the MAC not knowing how that level would be, but after watching some great players on both ends of the basketball and practicing against them helped me shape into an all around player’, added Daeqwon Plowden. He averaged 15,0ppg and 7,0rpg in his last 3 seasons and head coach Michael Huger was a massive aid in him being able to make the transition to the pro level on and off the court. ‘He mostly helped me become a better person before everything basketball wise translated over, but with basketball just what it takes to be a pro’, stressed Daeqwon Plowden. In is last 3 seasons he scored in double figures in 69 games in a total of 88 games. He had the number of the University of Miami at Ohio scorching them for 27 points in one game and hauled down 18 boards in another game. Taking care and dominating Miami at Ohio or many other games wasn’t his favorite moment at Bowling Green State, but moreover games where other guys could shine. I have never heard this kind of a quote from a player before. This just shows the type of first class character that he has. ‘ My favorite game was this past season when Isaac Elsasser and my other teammates that didn’t get a lot of playing time but were 2 feet into our program and devoted to helping us get better got in the games’, stated Daeqwon Plowden. After his stellar 5 year career he can look back at making 2 All-Mac third teams, one second team and once made the MAC all defensive team. He also set the school record for most games played and was the first player in the history of the program that logged at least 1,200 career points, 800 rebounds and 100 blocks. He also was 4th in club history in rebounds 935 and 4th in blocks with 126. He also reached the MAC final in 2019 and hit Michigan and Franz Wagner for 15 points, but what he will remember most from his long tenure is something that will last a lifetime. ‘Just the friendships I’ve built over the course of 5 years! Those relationships are long lasting and I plan on keeping in touch with everyone’, expressed Daeqwon Plowden. After his many achievements in the NCAA, it was only obvious that NBA teams took notice.

Daeqwon Plowden with Bowling State Green University

After his last NCAA game on March 4th against Toledo where the athletic player that list currently -Justin Turner, Caleb Fields ,Antwon Lillard, Marlon Sierra, and Dylan Frye as his 5 best teammates of all-time was invited to some NBA workouts by the Pelicans, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards. He passed the test with the Pelicans and prompt was rewarded with a 2022 NBA Summer League roster spot. So there he was in Las Vegas one of the most spectacular and glitzy cities in the world, but gambling was far from his mind unless if it had to do with getting into a passing lane or not. In his first game against Portland, he found action playing 3 minutes and making 2 free throws. Most important in this first moment of breathing NBA air wasn’t self, but how he can help his team most. ‘Just being a good teammate really! No matter if I’m in the game or on the bench, but the type of energy I bring allows me to be involved and supportive to our group. I wasn’t nervous because I’ve played this against all levels of competition all my life and that day was another day I get to play again. My preparation for the summer league was great so I didn’t have anything to be nervous about as long as I trusted my game and what I’ve worked on’, remembered Daeqwon Plowden. Instead of getting a DNP in the next game or again little minutes, the club showed extreme trust in his abilities as he played 24 minutes in a big 101-73 victory over Atlanta scoring 16 points on 5/7 shooting and hauled down 6 boards and swatted away 1 shot. ‘It felt good! It just showed that I am versatile on both ends of the floor and willing to do what’s necessary to win. Anybody can get a confidence boost solely from seeing a few shots go in. For me, it just came from knowing how I prepared for my opportunity. Defense is also a fueling thing for me, so when I am disrupting people on the defensive end it gives me a confidence boost as well. I went in expecting nothing but to support my teammates regardless. If I’m getting playing time that’s a plus. I felt like being in the Pelicans Organization a good amount leading up to the Summer League helped that be possible’, expressed Daeqwon Plowden. Once you hit that first shot and the basket looks like the ocean and find yourself in a flow, the perception of your teammates about you changes. You suddenly become a scoring option. I feel like that is a common thing. Once guys get going and have the hot hand its second nature to get the ball in their hands, so for me it was something like that once I showed that I can make and create shots’, added Daeqwon Plowden.

The versatile player that remembers NBA player EJ Liddell being his toughest cover in the NCAA had a rise in self-confidence and again had a potent game in his third try against Washington scoring 18 points on 6/9 shooting, had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 21 minutes of action in a 106-88 win. He once again held his own against guys that have played overseas like Pierria Henry and Pat Spencer or against other experienced players like Jordan Goodwin, Craig Sword, Devon Dotson and Jordan Schakel to name just a few. ‘It just goes back to preparation and understanding how to get what I want. Just like they have experience, I have experience as well and I think that was the biggest thing when playing against other high level guys, but also getting help from my teammates. They continued to talk me through different situations with defensive and offensive reads, so I am grateful they were there to help me through those situations’, said Daeqwon Plowden. Even if the NBA Summer League is very short, there is still enough off court time where players can form relationships with one another. He was teammates with athletic Elijah Stewart who has carved out a solid career overseas. ‘I feel like I formed a relationship with all my teammates during the summer league. Elijah was one of those players. Great guy who has experienced a part of the world that I have not and is knowledgeable and down to earth type of guy. Great to meet him and play alongside him throughout the Summer League’, remembered Daeqwon Plowden. He missed the last two games, because he wasn’t totally fit to play. After 3games he averaged 12,0ppg and 4,0rpg while shooting 50% from downtown. ‘I would simply say the Summer League was a success. I went in and built some new friendships and I’m proud of that. I feel like I am the same player before and after Summer League, but I feel like my biggest improvement is my experience I gained playing in an NBA system’, warned Daeqwon Plowden. Attributes like his drive, three pointer, athleticism and defense stood out, but the most important thing he left behind for the NBA was something you won’t learn from a coach. ‘I think my competitive nature and how hard I play stuck out. Those are things that cannot be taught, so when someone is showing high levels of that it sticks around’, stressed Daeqwon Plowden. His NBA journey is just beginning now and the next months will be very interesting and exciting. He knows exactly what to do so his success will continue at the NBA level. ‘Continue to be me as a player! I think that’s the best advice my coaches reminded me of because when I’m being myself everything feels good while I’m performing. It’s less to think about when I’m being myself out there, but it was great to hear that from my coaches’, added Daeqwon Plowden. It’s obvious that a player’s agent is their biggest fan and it isn’t any different with Drew Kelso of One Motive Sports. ‘I’m unbelievably proud of Daeqwon for agreeing to terms with an NBA organization like New Orleans. He had been so overlooked during this whole Pre Draft process and we knew all he needed was a chance to shine and obviously he did at Summer League. I truly believe he has a chance to play at the highest levels in the world for a very long time. Terrific player, but a better person. He’s the best kid we’ve ever had. That’s what’s going to carry him”, stressed Drew Kelso. Having the skills is half the rent, but if you also have that special character then you have the whole package. Daeqwon Plowden is definitely a guy worth keeping on the radar. He will go places.


More Closing Words For Rickey Paulding From Bryce Taylor: I Appreciated That He Could Score 30 And Never Say A Word Of Trash Talk

Bryce Taylor (195-SG-1986, agency: BeoBasket) is a former professional player that enjoyed a fruitful 13 year career playing in Italy as a rookie and the last 12 years in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn, Alba Berlin, Artland Dragons, FC Bayern Munich, Brose Bamberg and the Hamburg Towers. He began his career at Harvard Westlake high school before embarking on a 4 year career at Oregon (NCAA). Last season he got his first coaching experience in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers and now is an assistant coach with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his memories of Rickey Paulding.

Thanks Bryce for talking to germanhoops.com. When you hear the name Rickey Paulding what is the first thing that you think about?

Longevity, Excellence, Leadership, Competitor, Sportsmanship.

You came into the BBL in 2009 the year after Rickey Paulding won his only BBL title. What do you remember hearing about him that first season in Bonn?

I used to watch him play on TV in college, his team U of Missouri Tigers was really good so they were on national tv quite a lot and I remembered his game from that time. And then coming to Bonn, who had just lost in the BBL Finals to Oldenburg, I heard a lot about him and their team. He was still young at that time so he was an incredible athlete and slasher, but he could also shoot the ball from deep. He was a nightmare matchup.

Your last game against Rickey Paulding was in 2021 with the Hamburg Towers losing 89-88. What do you remember from that game? Despite his old age then he belonged to the best players on the court that day.

I remember going to Pedro Calles, our coach, the day before the game and telling him I wanted to match up with Paulding. He was going to have Kameron Taylor guard him, but I knew Rickey’s game very well after many years of battles. I think we defended him well as a team that game, but he always found ways to get it going even on his ‘off’ nights.

Did you have any closing words for him maybe telling him your time was about to end as a player or was it the typical good game see you next season bla bla?

We spoke about it before the game during warm ups, I was going back and forth with myself about leaving Germany and we discussed that possibility. Rickey Paulding retired with 40 years of age.

You played against a lot of great players in Germany that played a long time like Derrick Allen for example, but did you ever see a guy like Rickey Paulding that was able to play so well at a high level for his age?

I have never seen an athlete of Rickey’s caliber, perform at such a level for that long, without sustaining any major injuries. And I doubt we will ever again either. What he accomplished as a player is incredible.

Do you believe that you had a record above or below 500 against Rickey Paulding?

My guess would be about .500

You were 8-9 in your career? The first game that you played against Rickey Paulding was in the 2009-2010 season and you lost that first game badly. What do you remember from that game?

I don’t remember the exact game but I remember every time we played against one another, I had to bring my best focus and energy to that game.

What was your personal fondest memory against him as a player? I can imagine that thrilling 5 game playoff series that you won with FC Bayern Munich?

Yes, that series was awesome. We got up 2-0 and Rickey, Julius Jenkins, Dru Joyce, Adam Chubb fought back and ended up bringing them back into the series. They ran out of gas in Game 5 but it was a really competitive and fun series. What I appreciated about Rickey is that he would drop 30 points on you, and he would never say one word of trash talk. He would just keep the same facial expression and encourage his teammates with a positive demeanor. It made him impossible to dislike

What kind of a legacy will Rickey Paulding leave in German basketball? Will we ever see another player like him be able to remain with 1 club for as long as he did?

Basically Rickey is like the Kobe Bryant (RIP) of the BBL, I don’t know that the league will ever see a player of his talent level and professionalism play in the BBL for that long again, let alone for the same club. Most players as good as him will leave the league after a couple of seasons, but he made Oldenburg his home and helped them build a top level basketball organization.

Please leave some closing words for Rickey Paulding?

I wish Rickey all the best on his next chapter of life and I am sure he will enjoy the new experiences with his family in America. I also thank him for what he did for our league, bringing continued growth and respectability to basketball in Germany. I think figures like him are very important for the development of our sport. I am confident I will be seeing him soon in Oldenburg this season.

Thanks Bryce for the chat.


Tyler Creammer Can Be A Leader In Any Situation Due To His Military Backround

Tyler Creammer (208-C-1997, college: VMI) is a 25 year old 208cm center from North Carolina that has professional experience having played in countries Denmark, Slovakia and Austria. He began his basketball career with South View High School and then played at the Virginia Military Institute from 2016-2020 playing a total of 117 NCAA games. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Tyler for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Thank you for your time and for setting up this interview. I’m currently back home in North Myrtle Beach, SC preparing for the new season. Life in basketball is good, I feel BLESSED to be able to play professional basketball and I’m excited for my 3rd season as a pro.

After not winning a title in the NCAA or in Denmark, you came closer in Austria reaching the semi-finals and cup final. I can imagine your urge to win a title now has risen?

The urge to win and compete for titles is the goal of every professional player. No one likes to get so close and lose. There is some positive in coming so close and falling short though. The experience I gained of getting to the cup final and the playoff semi-finals helped me grow as a player. I just look forward to helping future teams win with the experience I gained in Austria.

Does that change your outlook immensely when searching for a team?

No, I am hungry for any opportunity to help a team win and continue to prove myself as a player.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 208cm center. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I think the NBA is so much different than professional basketball in Europe. I tend to watch the Euroleague big men a lot more. Watching them really inspired me to work on my game more and develop the skills necessary so that I can play the 4 and 5. If I had to pick an NBA player to compare my game to though it would be Domantas Sabonis.

Is it fair to say that you are a modern day big? How have you seen the development of your outside shot?

I would like to think of myself as a modern day big. I always had a soft touch but my coaches in Denmark really helped me to develop my confidence more to where I felt comfortable shooting on the perimeter. I carried that confidence into my summer workouts back home in between my 1st and 2nd year as pro. All the hard work manifested last year with a good shooting percentage from the 3 point line. So a big thank you to Jeffrey Fawme, Erez Bittman and Colin Stevens.

You can score and rebound. What other strengths does your game have?

I think of myself as a leader given my military background. I believe that I’m a solid defender especially 1-on-1 in the post, I can hold my own against other bigs even on the perimeter. Also I think I am a good passer and a shot blocker

. Where do you see your development as a defender at the moment? What kind of defender do you still want to become?

I think of myself as a solid defender. I can hold my own against bigs in 1-on-1 situations, also against 4 men on the perimeter. I want to continue to get better at my lateral movement and at guarding smaller players.

On what areas of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

I want to continue to get more comfortable on the perimeter and to continue to grow my skills as a 4 man as well.

You began last season with BC Prievidza (Slovakia-Nike SBL) averaging 16.9ppg, 11.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 69.8%: You had great stats but won no games. Did you become the scapegoat and have to go?

No, that was not the reason for me leaving the club. The whole time the management and coaching staff were thankful for my efforts as a player. When the new coach came in, he wanted to bring his own players in. He had not built the original roster. So most of the original imports were cut.

How tough were these months putting up good stats but losing? What do you believe you learned from this experience?

It was very tough and being one of the best players on the team you feel responsible for every loss. I think that this experience taught me to continue to push and give your all every game. Also to value every possession in the game because you never know where a game will be decided or what will be the winning play. You see so many good teams win games and you can sometimes take winning for granted. I for sure gained a deeper appreciation for winning.

You then moved to Unger Steel Gunners Oberwart (Austria-BSL) averaging 8.1ppg, 5.9rpg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 66.2% and bang winning came easier. But you averaged 16 minutes less. Was it tough making this adjustment?

It was not tough for me. I was happy and felt privileged to have the opportunity to join the Oberwart organization. It was all about finding a role on the team and settling in. We had the max number of imports on the team and we usually played 10 players every game. The minutes were split and divided up amongst us, so I just tried to bring toughness, energy and rebounding to the team. To do whatever necessary to help the team win games.

How proud were you of the team that really locked down on defense in the last 2 games against Kapfenberg allowing an average of only 47 points per game?

I was really proud of the team and our effort. We were upset about dropping Game 2 on the road in Kapfenberg. We wanted the sweep coming into the series. So in Games 3 and 4 we really wanted to set the tone, not give Kapfenberg any hope and shut them down.

You played Gmunden tough but how instrumental was the 83-81 loss in game 1? Do you believe the series could have taken a different turn had you won game 1?

It was a tough loss for sure. The whole complexity and situation of the series changes if you take Game 1 especially since we played in Gmunden. I think the series could have been different had we won but we will never know.

You played your rookie season with Copenhagen Basketball (Denmark-BasketLigaen) averaging 13.5ppg, Reb-1 (12.0rpg), 1.7apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 11.5%, FT: 69.9%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

I think my wake up call was when we played Svendborg in the 2nd game of the season. I struggled in that game. I also was dealing with the fact that both of my parents were fighting for their lives with COVID during the same time. It was a tough stretch for me mentally as I just felt helpless and was feeling sorry for myself. Jeffrey Fawme, my coach, really helped me through that dark time.

What memories do you have of teammate Bakary Dibba who played in the German pro A last season? How did you see him grow as a player and how much potential does he have?

Bakary Dibba was one of my friends on the team and I really tried to push him to be better in every practice. I think that he could reach the highest levels of European basketball if he keeps developing.

Does a game against a powerhouse like Kentucky in your junior year at Virginia Military Institute where you had 13/5 stats and held your own against future NBA guys like Washington, Quickley and Hero always give you confidence when you’re having a bad day? What memories do you have of that game?

Playing at Kentucky will forever be a highlight in my basketball career. I think my favorite memory of that game was shooting free throws and the crowd was so loud that my vision was shaking. I managed to hit both of my free throws somehow but it was still very nerve racking. Also, just the overall memory of playing against so many future NBA guys was nice and it does give you confidence to know you held your own.

You played a season with QJ Peterson. Why isn’t this guy in the NBA? Is this a good example of how there are 1000’s of great guards in the world and too few NBA spots?

I think you and I both are wondering why QJ isn’t in the NBA. I think he has more than enough talent to be there. If anything it just shows how competitive the NBA is and how few spots there are every year. I hope that he gets a shot in the near future.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

It was PJ Washington. He is so fast and explosive for his size. It really makes you appreciate how gifted athletically and skills wise NBA players are.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Bam Adebayo, QJ Peterson, Miles Bridges, Dennis Smith Jr, Justin Robinson

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Tim Duncan

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

Personally, I think it is like the Messi vs Ronaldo debate. Both players are generational talents. Why can’t we just appreciate greatness while we can still experience it because one day they will not be playing any more.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Should they have left it alone?

No, I did not see the sequel. The original is a classic like you said and I enjoy it every time I see it on the television. It never gets old!

Thanks Tyler for the chat.


When Your From Indiana And Have A Great IQ Like Kyle Mangas Discussions About Larry Bird Are Never Far Away

When your from Boston and grew up with the legendary 80’s Boston Celtics that won 3 NBA titles and reached 2 more finals having the name Larry Bird in a conversation is about as prevalent as it is now having Steph Curry in the GOAT debate after he won his fourth NBA title. Larry Bird is my GOAT and even if most youngin’s would declare me as crazy for having this choice, I’m proud of it. It is no secret that the folk in Indiana are basketball crazy. Even if the sport was invented in Massachusetts, Indiana was actually one of the first places where it caught on. There is a reason for Hoosier Hysteria and due to the harsh winters, playing basketball inside was the thing to do. Plus Larry Bird comes form Indiana and made the town French Lick a household name in basketball circles in the late 70’s. I have interviewed many guys over the years that hail from the state Indiana that has given the United States the fifth-highest number of professional basketball players per capita of any state and has the nation’s second-largest automotive industry and I always like to bring up the name Larry Bird. For professional baller Kyle Mangas (193-G, college: IWU) who hails from Warshaw, the name Larry Bird is a term that he is very familiar with, but when playing a guessing game with me getting a very difficult question isn’t an easy one to solve. When I asked him where he would land if he drove about 220 miles south from Warshaw, he was a bit overcharged to exactly what I meant. ‘I would think you would land somewhere in southern Indiana. Maybe close to Kentucky’, wondered Kyle Mangas. When I cleared up the strange question that he would land in Larry Bird country, he had no difficulty reflecting on the great Larry Bird. ‘Obviously Larry Bird was on a level of his own, but I definitely tried to replicate some parts of his game. He can do it all. He can shoot, pass, dribble, rebound, cut, play in the post, and has a great competitive spirit about him. I try to work on all areas of my game so that I can be well-rounded and versatile. Being from Indiana, I think Larry and I really value the fundamentals of the game of basketball. I was too young to watch him play live, but I enjoy watching his highlights on Youtube’, stressed Kyle Mangas. He may not be the next Larry Bird, but he is an excellent player that once again proved that an NAIA player can not only reach the professional level, but can play at a high level. ‘I am very honored to be playing at a professional level. Coming from a small college, players like me often get overlooked and passed on because we did not play in the Division 1 spotlight. I am thankful that the USK Praha organization and Coach Josh King took a chance on me to come play for them. I also am grateful to have had some great teammates who I built friendships with. They really made helped me adjust to being in a foreign place for the first time. The NBL was a very solid league. It was hard for me to know what to expect coming in as a rookie, but I quickly realized how talented and skilled the league was. Every game in the league was ultra-competitive as many players have a high IQ and play a physical brand of basketball’, commented Kyle Mangas who’s GOAT isn’t Larry Bird but Lebron James.

It was early June 2022 when I got in contact with the Indiana native who lists LeBron, KD, Giannis, and Steph. Luka and Jokic on his current NBA Mount Rushmore and his past NBA Mount Rushmore would be MJ, Larry Bird, Magic, and Kareem. He just completed his rookie season in the Czech Republic and had an incredible season where he was the second top scorer in the top league there. After a first season overseas it is only obvious that he is really enjoying his time back home with family while also working out and training kids on the side. He was able to make his dream of playing overseas a reality by having an incredible NAIA career at Indiana Wesleyan University. He played there from 2017-2021 and finished averaging 24,0ppg, 5,0rpg and 3,0apg. He was able to improve his scoring, rebounding and assists each season. He didn’t leave school without racking up 4 titles including 3 Crossroads League titles, A NAIA title, won Crossroads League player of the year 4 times and was a first team selection 4 times. When you had so much success, it isn’t always easy picking one event that was most memorable. ‘As far as awards go, I would say winning our league MVP four years in a row. It is an extremely competitive league where anyone can beat anyone on any given night. I had some great coaches and teammates alongside of me for those four years, and they deserve just as much of the credit. Those years at Indiana Wesleyan were the most fun I had playing basketball and building relationships with my peers’, remembered Kyle Mangas. One could really have an argument as to what would be the more fitting middle name IQ or consistency as the great passer scored in double figures in 136 of 137 NAIA games. The one time he didn’t achieve it, he put up the big goose egg in only his second game against Aquinas College. ‘I will never forget that game against Aquinas College. I had an awful game as I believe I went 0-6 from the field and had 0 points. This prepared me for the rest of my career though because it showed me that whether you make a shot or miss a shot, whether you have the game of your life or the worst game of your career, you forget about it and move on to the next one. You can’t linger on past struggles when there are so many opportunities ahead to focus on. I think that’s the mindset that is necessary if you are a serious basketball and pursuing a career in it. That game was obviously disappointing but made me a lot mentally tougher. From that point on, I decided that I would have a short-term memory over whatever happened in the game, and it has really worked’, expressed Kyle Mangas. He scored 20 points or more 99 times, had 30 points or more 37 times and had 40 points or more 4 times. One really has to wonder what is in the food in Indiana or just what head coach Greg Tonagel’s secret was to helping him become such an incredible player. ‘Coach Tonagel is an incredible coach and mentor of mine. He taught me so much over my four years at Indiana Wesleyan, but the most important thing he taught me was about unselfishness. He has created a culture in his program where all your attention is on helping your teammates grow off of the basketball court and creating for them on the court. I learned from him that when you stop thinking about yourself, and instead, pour into other people, you end up being a lot more joyful. In basketball, when you are thinking of your teammates instead of yourself, you end up playing with a lot more freedom and joy’, remembered Kyle Mangas

The flashy guard who will never forget his shooting games in school with hard working and lights out shooting teammate Canaan Coffey who he says were always a toss up and recently played in Malta began his professional career overseas with USK Praha (Czech Republic-NBL). His success in the NAIA was no fluke as he right away tasted success as a rookie helping reach the playoffs. After winning a hard fought playoff series against NH Ostrava, he next faced Opava, but the team ran out of gas in the deciding third game losing by 16 points. ‘Opava was a tough series. They are one of the best teams in the league and most of their players have played together for a long time, so their team chemistry is incredible. I would say they are the most physical team that I have ever played, and they made me a better player because of it. I actually was injured in that series and only played the first 3 games of it. Opava was up 2-1 at that moment. I ended up not being able to play any more games because of my injury which was upsetting. I wish I could have helped my teammates try to make a run at taking down Opava but it just did not work out. However, my first taste of European playoff basketball was awesome. The environment and crowds were so loud and the arenas had a lot of energy’, remembered Kyle Mangas. He also had great moments in the regular season where he tested his qualities against top team Nymburk. Even if his team had no chance in all 4 games losing by an average of 24 points, he was always able to hold his own and score in double figures. He even exploded for 31 points in one of the loses. That game definitely put him on the map in Europe. ‘Nymburk was a very good team. Their resume of winning so many league championships in a row speaks for itself, and they play in the Champions League as well so they are competing against some of the best teams across Europe. Though we were never able to beat them, it was a great experience for me to see how I stacked up against a team of this caliber. I did have some good individual performances against Nymburk which I think showed that even as a young player, I can produce solid numbers and compete at a high level in Europe. For me, I feel like the better competition that I play, the level of my own game rises as well’, stated Kyle Mangas.

One real tough competitor that he faced in his rookie season was American Jerrick Harding who had a stellar NCAA career at Weber State, He played two incredible season’s for Nymburk and will make the next step this season in a higher league. He is a player that Mangas will never forget. ‘I would say he is one of the best players I have ever played against. He is lightning quick and can score from all three levels. His efficiency stands out as well. During that game, as Harding was getting buckets on his end of the floor, I knew I had to go have a big scoring night as well. As I said before, I feel like my game only gets better as I go up against better players and teams. It is crucial to be fearless, aggressive, and to always be on the attack’, stressed Kyle Mangas. He had absolutely no adjustment period as a rookie as he came in and conquered averaging 20.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.8apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 81.2%. His philosophy is ‘Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Be quick but don’t rush. ‘That has been my motto for a long time. I think it’s really important to be patient and on balance in the game of basketball. I feel like my IQ helped me as I played against older and more experienced players. Sometimes, teams will completely take away parts of your game so it is necessary to be able to adapt on the fly and find different ways to impact the game. I can play off the dribble and attack the basket but also really enjoy moving without the ball in the flow of the offense. The defenses in Europe are tough to score on, so I think that my patient-minded style of play is helpful because I am able to read how they are guarding me and then adjust accordingly’, said Kyle Mangas. Even if he needed no real transition, he does remember his wake up call to being a rookie overseas. ‘I have been in Northern Indiana my whole life, so I am used to having many family and friends at all of my games to support me. During the first few games, it felt very weird to not know anyone in the crowd, and it made me feel really far away from home. This was partly good for me however, as it encouraged me to go build relationships with my teammates and people around Prague’, remembered Kyle Mangas. He played in 41 games and held that overwhelming consistency from the NAIA scoring in double figures in 38 games including scoring 20 points or more 24 times and 30 points or more 6 times including 37 points against Pardubice. So far he has always had fortune with having the right coach to let him play his game. It wasn’t any different with head coach Josh King who allowed him to sparkle as a rookie. ‘It was beneficial for me to play under Josh King. He coaches the game with a lot of passion and energy. On the defensive end, he had us playing a style that required lots of ball pressure to make the offense uncomfortable. And on offense, he allows a lot of freedom for players to play their game by not being so set driven. Coach King taught me how the European game is played and gave me lots of advice on how to be a professional in this industry’, added Kyle Mangas. The question now will be can he make the jump to Germany to the easyCredit BBL and will Josh King take him with him to Ludwigsburg? Some years ago another NAIA great Cameron Hunt had to pay his dues in the Pro B in Germany, but then was able to make the jump to the German BBL. Why not Kyle Mangas? ‘I feel like I could make that jump. I realize that it is one of the best leagues across Europe, but I feel like I could make a positive impact on any team in that league. Watching teams like Ludwigsburg on streams throughout the year, I could see myself fitting into the unselfish style of basketball that is being played in the BBL. I know I must continue to get stronger and bigger as you have to be in great physical shape to compete at a high level in these leagues’, warned Kyle Mangas.

The ambitious guard who is looking to make the next step in his career and lists defensive stopper Jaren Jackson Jr and Romeo Langford the toughest 2 NBA players he has faced as a player is a 193cm guard That enjoyed watching Manu Ginobilli growing up and lists him then as his favorite player. Today he compares his game to a Bradley Beal or Bogdan Bogdanovic who are both wings scorers who can spot up and shoot or make plays off the dribble. His explosive scoring and efficiency has stood out his whole career, but he is very versatile and has so many other qualities that will help a team win. ‘I think my length really helps me for rebounding and defense. I am 6’4 with a 6’10 wingspan, so I can use my long arms to bother offensive players and get my hands on the basketball. I really try to crash the glass on the offensive end. Also, though I felt like I did not show it to best of my ability this year, I know I can pass the ball and get my teammates involved. I averaged 5 assists as a senior in college’, commented Kyle Mangas. But it is his passing that still seems to be a bit off the radar. He has tricky head fakes, pass fakes, can hit bank shots in the lane from straightaway and knows how to work the angles well. He simply has a magnificent incredible basketball IQ. This all sounds like Larry Bird. ‘Bank shots are my favorite shot. Honestly, it does not matter to me what angle you are at on the court, I think using the bank shot is always reliable. Larry Bird did have incredible vision on the court. I am probably not as flashy as him, but I know I can make some tough passes’, said Kyle Mangas. Even if his versatility is already well developed now, he knows that he can’t ever be satisfied and will continue to grind in the lab this summer so he will be best prepared for the next step. ‘Strength is the biggest area for me to improve right now. It is essential for me to gain more muscle and become quicker as I prepare to play against older players. Also, playing off of the ball screen and being sharper in my reads is another area I am working on. Lastly, my 3 point shot is something I am always striving to get better at. This is a big summer for me to improve my game after seeing how the European game is played’, warned Kyle Mangas. Not only have his coaches in his career been instrumental in his development but also dad Tim who he still goes to today for advice. ‘He taught me so much about the game of basketball. He was hard on me at times growing up as a young player, but he knew I was serious about getting better. Some of my favorite basketball memories are going to the gym with him as a kid and a high schooler and getting in workouts together. Though he was tough on me, he was still very encouraging and let me know that I was so much more than just a basketball player. Now, he still watches every one of my games and mainly just is there as my dad instead of being my coach as well. From time to time though he will still hold me accountable and push me if I get too comfortable’, stressed Kyle Mangas. It will be interesting to see how his second professional season will fair. I wonder how often he gets asked about Larry Bird overseas? I’m sure the more fancy passes that are unleashed by him, the more old school basketball heads will ask has anyone ever compared you to Larry Bird?

Evan Taylor Always Believed That He Was Good Enough For The G-League But Understood He Had To Wait His Turn And Focus On Getting Better

Evan Taylor (196-G-1996, college: Nebraska) is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Cincinnati, Ohio that completed his third professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) averaging 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.2%. He played his first two professional seasons with Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League). He began his basketball career at Paul VI HS. He played his freshman year at Samford University (NCAA) avergaing 6.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 62.1%. He then played a season at Odessa College (JUCO) averaging 7.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 36.3%, 3PT: 16.4%, FT: 69.9%. He then played two seasons at the University of Nebraska (NCAA) playing a total of 64 games and averaging 5.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 73.0% and as a senior averaged 6.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 71.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.comabout basketball.

Thanks Evan for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying your off season?

My off-season has been going pretty well so far. Took some time to let my body and mind rest but recently have started back working out. I am mostly in the south between Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida

You just completed your third professional season and first overseas in Germany with the Nurnberg Falcons. How tough was it sitting out a season as Covid was at it’s peak? How did you keep the faith for the game you love?

After sitting out while COVID was at its peak, it was definitely tough because I didn’t have a job but I just told myself that everyday I had an opportunity to improve my game. I would take full advantage of it and control what I could. I stayed in the gym as much as I could during covid.

You had a solid first season with the Falcons averaging 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.2%. You made a smooth transition from the G-League to the Pro A. What still was the biggest adjustment that you had to make?

I think the biggest adjustment was playing full-point guard after so long of not. Point guard has been my natural position my entire life but I haven’t really played much of it. So it was an adjustment but I am very grateful and happy I was able to return to my natural position.

It was an exciting season, but you just missed the playoffs at the end. Despite not reaching the playoffs what positives did you take from the season?

There were a lot of positives from the season, I really liked being in Germany. Nuremberg is a great city and the people treated me well. I loved my teammates and I can honestly say I had a great experience on and off the court.

The club had no problem scoring, but had problems defending. Why do you feel didn’t the team find an identity on defense?

Defense is hard, for any team on any level. I just think we never all got on the same page consistently. But we showed some moments of being capable.

What kind of an experience was it being teammates with AJ Davis? Did you have some conversations about the G-League and his dad Antonio that balled in the NBA?

AJ Davis is great player and I would say an even better person. I’m grateful we were teammates I feel like we learned a lot from each other. He’s a good friend and I know the relationship will continue to grow. Yes we played against each other in college. So a lot of talks about that and our pro careers.

What kind of an experience was it being teammates with German veteran Roland Nyama who played at Stony Brook (NCAA). Was he a guy that showed you the ropes at the start?

Roland Nyama was also a great teammate. Someone with a lot of good experience and he pushes people to be better.

You’re a 196cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

An NBA player I would compare myself to would be maybe a Marcus Smart or Dejounte Murray. A big physical guard who plays both sides of the ball and can play-make.

You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet but want do you feel is your biggest strength on the court?

My biggest strength on the court is definitely my ability to play make with the ball in my hands and defend at a high level.

How do you feel did your game grow in your first season overseas coming from the G-League?

My game has grown in a lot of ways from the the G League to now, I think offensively I’ve developed more ways off the dribble to get my spots as well as improving my physicality on both ends.

You had many great games with the Falcons. But was your 23 points in the big 83-80 win over Bremerhaven your most memorable?

24 points at Bremerhaven was definitely a great game but personally my favorite was our win at Leverkusen on the road. Personally my favorite game my favorite performance.

On what areas of your game are you working on most this summer so you can continue to move up the basketball ladder?

This summer I am focused on getting my body into the best shape I can. Early in the season I tore my quad and missed some games so looking forward to having time to really strengthen my body. As well as becoming a more consistent shooter from everywhere.

You played your first two professional seasons with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League). You played only 25 games. What kind of an experience was this? It isn’t a cake walk to get a G-League job. What was your most positive moment you had?

It is definitely not a cake walk to get a G League job, I was extremely blessed and grateful. The best memory from the G League would be honestly just seeing myself improve each day based on working on my game. I also really liked the teammates I had in my two years.

Often you see players that are there only to fill roster spots. Did you get that idea or did you truly believe that you could fight for more minutes with good games and good practices?

I always believed I was good enough to fight for minutes and play but understood that I had to wait my turn and just focus on getting better.

There was a stretch where you had some good games with Memphis, Iowa and Sioux Falls. Was that some of the best days there seeing you could contribute when you had minutes?

Yes playing well in those games was a big moment in my basketball career. Big for my confidence.

You were teammates with Anthony Bennet a former NBA #1 pick who never made it in the NBA. How was he as a teammate. Did his story help you understand that sticking in the NBA isn’t easy?

Anthony Bennett was really someone that I learned a lot from. He was open to me and he was someone I’ve had good conversations with. A really good player but I enjoyed becoming friends with him.

You began your NCAA career at Samford averaging 6.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 62.1%. I guess you won’t forget the games against Chattanooga? You had their number that season?

I used to look forward to playing against Chattanooga. They were the big dogs and I wanted to always play my best in the big games.

After a solid season in the NCAA you took a few steps back and played with Odessa College (JUCO) aveaging 7.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 36.3%, 3PT: 16.4%, FT: 69.9%. Why did you take such a step at that time in your career?

It was never really the plan to go JUCO but often times you just have to trust God and where life takes you. I wanted to get to a power 5 school or higher than what I was getting. JUCO became the best option. Maybe the best decision I’ve made to go JUCO.

Every guy that I have interviewed that played JUCO all have said it was very hard but an experience that they would do all over again? How was it for?

JUCO is definitely a different experience but for me it was necessary. I grew so much mentally after that year and season. Looking back, I had a great time, sometimes I miss it. Met some great people there.

You didn’t dominate JUCO, but then played at very good basketball school Nebraska (NCAA). How vital was playing there for your basketball development?

Going to Odessa definitely prepared me well to play at Nebraska in the Big10.

In your junior year you had two solid games in tough narrow loses against Michigan where you battled Derrick Walton who later weas your teammate in the G-League and reached the NBA and Ohio State. What memories do you have of those games?

Playing against Michigan is always fun obviously because of the history of the program. Junior year we didn’t beat them so it was tough.

What memories do you have of Tai Webster who I covered him in Germany as a rookie and he has reached the highest levels in Europe? I always thought he had game for the NBA. How do you see it?

Tai Webster was someone who I enjoyed being teammates with. We grew to become good friends. He’s a good player and I learned some things from him.

How did head coach Tim Miles groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Tim Miles I will forever be grateful for because he gave me an opportunity. We still have a good relationship but he taught me how to enjoy any situation and to always smile.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Jason Palmer?

Me, I’m winning in 1v1

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

Miles Bridges

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Jamel Artis Jonathon Motley Isaiah Roby Josh Reaves Devin Davis

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

My favorite players right now Lebron Luka Joel Embiid Giannis Jokic

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

All time I would take Jordan.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Should they have left it alone?

Never saw the sequel to Coming to America, heard it wasn’t that good.

Thanks Evan for the chat.

Tyler Cheese Wants People To See His True Value And What Kind Of An Impact He Can Bring To A Team

Tyler Cheese (196-G-1996, college: Akron) is a 25 year old 196cm guard from Georgia that finished his second professional season with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 24 games averaging 18.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.0%. In his rookie season he split time with De Longhi Treviso Basket 2012 (Italy-Serie A) and the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga). He began his basketball career at Albany high school and alos played at Combine academy. He then played At Florida Southwestern State College from 2016-2018 and then finished at Akron (NCAA) playing 63 NCAA games and averaged 15.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 82.2% as a senior. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his season in Germany.

Thanks Tyler for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

I’m currently back in my hometown of Albany, GA. My day to day is centered around basketball so I’m just trying to stay locked in on the things I need to. Also, life is treating me really well, super happy to see my family and spend time with them before I go back overseas.

You played your second professional season in Germany with team Ehingen and your last game was 3 months ago. Are you one of those guys that needed longer to digest the season or did you get it out of your mind and began focusing on the future?

I usually like to give my body a couple weeks to recover and also I had some minor injuries that I played through during the season, so I took my time getting 100% healthy to attack this summer all out. As far as focusing on the future, I tend to try to take things day by day and focus on the present moment!

It was an incredibly tough season for Team Ehingen. You won 1 game against the wiha Panthers. What besides the losing was the toughest for you personally this season?

The losing hurt the most for me for sure because it’s just not something I’m used to!

What besides the losing was the toughest? The amount of injuries you had.

During my time at Ehingen, I don’t think we had a full roster because of those injuries.

You put up very good stats, but lost almost every game. As one of the top players on the team how did you handle blame and wondering if you could of possibly done even more for the team.

Well I put a lot of blame on myself because I was a person that they brought in to try to help change the win-lose records and start building culture throughout the entire program. I think that’s why you seen my play improve throughout the season because I wanted to prove that I wanted to win really bad!

It was a season to forget. Obviously the team had huge problems defending. Did the team just lack more experience?

Yeah I think experience and not having the guys on the floor was obviously the problem so it was a situation where we tried to do our best.

No player ever wants to go through a season like this, but what did you personally learn from this difficult experience?

I learned to always be positive and control all the things that I could control. Making sure I’m always doing the things that I’m supposed to do. Gained a lot of mental toughness from this experience and it has helped me get better as a player but more importantly as a man!

When you only win 1 game, does one cherish the win more over the wiha Panthers? Is that one of those games that you can still remember certain plays in the game?

It was good to get a win obviously but no I remember the losses! I wasn’t happy at all about just winning one game while I was there, instead I was more determined to get us more wins because that’s what matters to me.

The team was so young. You practiced with the kids every day. If you had to pick one guy that you felt improved the most despite the losing who would you pick?

If I had to pick a guy that I felt improved the most throughout the season I would say Kevin Strangmeyer was that guy. I think as the season went on Kev was one of the few that I had really good chemistry with. He became better at setting screens for me or other teammates, he shot the ball better, he defended well for a 6’6 big man against all the trees we were playing against. He got better at finishing when rolling in pick and roll situations. He took the challenge every game so I really respected that.

You averaged 18.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.0%. Just from stats alone how would you rate your own season?

I would rate my season as a B-! I felt I could’ve did more and played a lot better both offensively and defensively. On the other hand, I did a lot of good things on the court this past season. I think my playmaking was good whether it was me making a play for myself or for my teammates. I rebounded really well for my position, I was active defensively averaging 1.5 steals, playing passing lanes and being either a weak side or strong side helper. I shot really well in just catch and shoot situations. I think I improved tremendously in iso situations by learning to play with different pace with the way the overseas game is played. So in all, yeah it was a good individual season but I still don’t boost it because we weren’t good as a team and I’ll take winning over anything.

You had a good season in JUCO and in the NCAA and as a professional so far your best season in Germany. Could one classify your Team Ehingen season as your break out season?

I wouldn’t say I’ll classify this as my breakout season but for sure was a season where people have to take notice and see that I’m coming and I’m getting better. I want everyone to not judge me off the Covid year when I went to play in Italy. I want people to see my true value and the impact that I can bring to a team. I’m super motivated to whip out any negative talk that comes about when they mention my name! I just want to show I belong with the best.

You had a very consistent season stat wise. What did you grow to learn as being the biggest challenge of putting up big numbers despite knowing that winning would always be tough?

Umm well the biggest challenge was just adjusting to how teams defended me. I think I struggled with that at first but with a lot of unrequired work I got better and got more comfortable and confident. Film was also a big part in allowing me to grow and have a consistent season.

How important was this losing season for helping your mental game? Can a losing season help build mental toughness?

I think it was important because I learned a lot about myself. Yes, I think it can help you build mental toughness. The reason I say that is because it was so many downs throughout the season and I never gave up. We took those L to the chin and kept going trying to get better as individuals and as a group.

You had a nice triple double against PS Karlsruhe. Was that your best game of the season?

I would say that was my best game statistically, but it was a lot of games where I felt that I was completely dominant in but just didn’t have enough to finish the games out.

You turned over the ball 3 times per game and shot in the low 30’s from outside. Are these 2 area’s that you will focus on in your grind this summer?

Yes these two areas are a focus this summer! I also feel that being around a more talented and experienced team will help me improve dramatically at these two areas because I wouldn’t have to do some of the things I was asked to do during this past season.

What is the next step for you? Could you imagine returning back to Germany?

I’m looking to make that next jump! I want to be back playing in the top leagues of Europe. I could see myself coming back to Germany but to play in the BBL.

Where do you rate Steph Curry right now in the best point guards of all-time?

I would say he’s second all-time behind Magic!

What was the first eatery you visited when you returned home?

I ate Chick-fil-A in the airport going back home, but when I did arrive back, the first thing I ate was some of my mother’s cooking, I always have to tap in with my mom food because I love it!

Thanks Tyler for the chat.

Drew Richards Was Huge In Allowing Tyler Brevard Become An Incredible Rebounding Guard

Tyler Brevard (189-G-1998, college: Lander) is a 24 year old 189cm guard from West Columbia, South Carolina that just completed his rookie season in Germany with BG Dorsten averaging 24.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 72.7%. He began his basketball career at Gray Collegiate Academy. He then played two years at Spartanburg Methodist College (JUCO) averaging 4.3ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.1apg and in his second year averaged 5.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 75.0%. He played his junior year at Erskine College (NCAA2) averaging 13.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.3% and played his senior year at Lander University (NCAA2) averaging 12.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 70.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Tyler for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

No problem and thank you for having me! I’m currently back home in Columbia, South Carolina. Basketball life has been treating me great so far.

You just finished your rookie season with German Regionalliga team BG Dorsten. How blessed do you feel not only playing your rookie season, but having a fantatsic rookie year after sitting out the 20-21 season?

I feel VERY blessed! I look back at the past two years and I just continue to thank God for it all. It was all a process that prepared me for the ups and downs of the season and for the future as well.

How difficult was it finding a job during Covid? You played twice for Team Eurobasket. What do you believe was holding you back from signing your first pro contract before coming to Dorsten?

Those were very trying times. I had a lot of buzz going into the NCAA Tournament and my plan was to seize that opportunity. I honestly believe Covid happening when it did slowed everything up. On top of that my stats were not very high coming out of college either.

How tough was it mentally for you? Did you ever lose faith in the process in this time?

Mentally, it was very draining. I became impatient and would lose sleep a lot of nights. However, I didn’t lose faith at all. I always knew that once I got the opportunity, the rest would handle itself.

How did you experience your rookie season? On one hand the team didn’t win the way they wanted to while on the other hand you had an incredible personal season?

My rookie season was fun and full of lesson’s. Our team faced injuries/sickness almost every game, so this forced me to adjust to what the team needed. This was also my first losing season since middle school (8-9 years ago), so now I’m learning how to improve and become a better leader so I won’t be in this situation again.

You’re a 189cm guard that can fill the stat sheet especially points and rebounds. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fill the description?

Dwyane Wade. I model my midrange and eurostep to Dwade, but I also compare my game to Jrue Holiday in ways as well

You never averaged more than 4,0rpg in college. How do you explain your high rise in rebounds in your rookie season?

DREW RICHARDS!!! Coach Richards challenged me to attack the glass and use my size in college. My numbers weren’t as high in college due to some bigger guys at the time, but I’ve gotten stronger and found smarter ways to attack the glass now.

With Dorsten you averaged 24.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 72.7%
You didn’t need any adjustment time. How would you compare the Regionalliga with JUCO and the NCAA 2 in terms of skill level and competitiveness?

This league compares to JUCO because of the vast range of talent and you have guys that are working to move up to a higher level. With me playing at a high level D2, this league has players with similar skill sets as well.

Against Hagen-Haspe you were on course for a quadruple double. Do you feel like you could be a player to regularly achieve double doubles and once in a while triple doubles?

Yes, I 100% believe this could become a regular thing. There were plenty of games where I was a few rebounds or assist away from double-doubles and a few where I was about 2 or 3 assist away from triple-doubles.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can keep climbing the basketball ladder in the future?

Working on building strength more this summer and creating space to get off easier shots.

You had some huge games in loses but also big games against Hagen-Haspe and the ETB Miners. What was your most memorable game with Dorsten?

My most memorable game would have to be against ETB Miners. My parents and my girlfriend got to see me play professionally for the first time and we erased a 24 point deficit to comeback and win the game. They gave us good-luck that night for sure.

How vital was it playing at three schools for your development? Do you feel like your game profited more than it would have had you only played for one school?

This was big for me because I learned different things about myself and my game at each school. If I could have played under Coach Richards all 4 years, I feel I would have benefit the most from that.

You played two seasons with Spartanburg Methodist College (JUCO). What kind of an experience was this. You didn’t put up incredible stats. Were you more that special role player?

This was a humbling and very memorable experience. My first year I was behind an All-American and was mostly used for defense or to give him a break. The following year I was like a smaller Draymond Green haha. I played the 1-4 and I did a lot of things that didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

Just about every guy I have interviewed that played JUCO said it was a very tough experience but worth it. How was it for you?

It was grind every day. There weren’t any ‘easy days’ at all.

You played a season at Erskine College (NCAA2) averaging 13.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.3%. You had a solid season. Why did you leave after a season?

I felt Erskine didn’t have the best situation at hand to prepare me for playing at a high level professionally.

You finished your university season with Lander University (NCAA2) averaging 12.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 70.5%. You finished your career winning the Peach belt title over Columbus State. What will you always remember from this championship?

Winning MVP of the tournament and the camaraderie of that entire team.

How did head coach Drew Richards groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Biggest thing is that he prepared me physically. He challenged me to play more aggressive and showed me that using my body more will benefit me at the next level also.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Laraymond Spivery

We never really played one-on-one, but we had some tough battles in practice when we were on opposite teams.

Who was the toughest player that you ever played against that reached the NBA?

Brandon Clarke. I played against him in a big HS tournament in Las Vegas and he probably had 10 dunks that game.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Anthony Adger, Jonathan Sanks, Ian Kinard, Deon Berrien, and Sidney Robinson. It was fun watching and playing with this group of guys.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

DWade, LeBron, Kobe and MJ

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

I’ve only seen highlights mostly of MJ, so i’d go with LeBron of course as the second best. I’ll forever say DWade as my #1 hahaha

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

Yes I saw it and it should’ve been left alone for sure. The sequel wasn’t horrible, but it’s not on the same level as the original.

Thanks Tyler for the chat.