Richaud Pack(BC GGMT Vienna) Focuses On Dominating Where He Is Rather Than Focusing On Where He Could Be Or Where He Might Go In The Future

Richaud Pack is a 28 year old 190cm guard from Birmingham, Michigan that is playing his fifth professional season and first with BC GGMT Vienna (Austria-BSL). Last season he played with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 18 games averaging 17.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 90.2%. In 2018-2019 he played with Hestia Menorca (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 33 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 67.2%. In the 2017-2018 season he played with Ametx Zornotza (Spain-EBA) playing 33 games averaging 20.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 78.9%. In the 2015-2016 season he played with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 11.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 90.9%; and played 21 Cypriot Division A games: Score-4 (16.8ppg), 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 84.9%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with FIU (NCAA) where he stayed until 2012, but played only 19 NCAA games. His next destination was N.Carolina A&T (NCAA) where he played 28 games averaging 17.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 81.7%. He moved one more time and as a senior played for Maryland (NCAA) playing 35 games averaging 5.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 69.7%. He spoke to about his basketball career.

Richaud, thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Hello Miles, I am in Vienna, Austria. Basketball life is treating me well. I’m in a good mental and physical space at the moment and I’m grateful for it.

How is it in general for you now as a professional basketball player having to deal with the daily grind of sticking to regulations because of COVID-19? What has been the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge was actually dealing with Covid-19. I actually had it. As an asthmatic, it was hard on my respiratory system. I was out of practice for almost 3 weeks. Leading up to the first game of the season, I hadn’t practiced but a few days. I was careful before, but I’ve been beyond careful since then. I travel with gloves, sanitization, and mask at all times.

How did you deal with COVID-19 the last months in the States. What was for you the biggest challenge with daily life?

It didn’t disrupt much of my daily life in the states. I used the time without distractions to lock in to my workout routine. I wasn’t able to travel for vacations, which was unfortunate because I really like to travel. I had older relatives who didn’t leave the house or allow any visitors so not being able to see certain family members to keep them safe was probably the hardest part.

How do you feel did COVID-19 make you stronger as a man?

The time where everything was closed allowed me to focus on what’s truly important. Family, health, and purpose. I spent so much time with family, working out with my family members, and working towards my purpose. It showed me how much I could grow without any distractions.

Your playing your 5th and first professional season with BC GGMT Vienna (Austria-BSL).Have you ever gotten offers from German teams the last years? It’s too bad you haven’t played for a German club yet.

I have not received any offers from German teams. My first time ever visiting Europe, I saw my first ever European basketball game which was a game of the Frankfurt Fraport Skyliners. From that point on, I had a fascination with the BBL and German basketball. I could definitely see myself playing there in the future.

How is the whole COVID-19 situation in Austria and the city Vienna? How are you copping with life and still trying to be the best player that you can be?

As I mentioned earlier, I had it myself. For a moment, Vienna was a hotspot. It’s hard living in a city as nice as Vienna, and not doing anything. I would love to visit more museums, castles, and other buildings that are so beautiful but I know it’s safer to stay to myself so that I can have my best chance at full health.

Your 1-1 so far and scored 34 points, but lost the game. How tough is it for you personally having a great scoring game, but losing?

It’s funny you ask this. In the first game, an opponent had 32 points against us, but we won! I made the shot the secured the game with 10 seconds left. Nothing else mattered. I told one of my teammates after, I would rather score 10 points and win than score 30 something points and lose, so I was more than happy. We are currently shorthanded (2-3 missing players). Once we have our full team, I expect championship caliber play and a lot of wins for this team.

You made 17-20 free throws, the most ever attempts as a professional. In Cyprus you onec were 11/11 in a Fiba Europe Cup game against AEK Athens. Was there something different in your approach that helped you get 20 free throws?

I was very aggressive. I felt there was no one on the other team that could stay in front of me. I overheard the coach tell his players that if I got passed them, to foul me so I didn’t get in a rhythm with a bunch of easy shots. I used this to my advantage and made sure I beat my player off the dribble as much as possible.

What kind of impression has this team given you? It has some nice Americans with Jason Detrick and Duke Shelton and talented Austrians. What can this team achieve this season?

I believe we have the best team in the league. We have players who have played in the ACB, EuroLeague, Fiba EuropeCup, Greece, etc. A coach who has won championships in Italy. A President who has played at the highest level in France and Italy as well. The experience and talent is unmatched in my opinion. Once we are at full health as a team and have all of our players cleared to play, the sky is the limit.

Our last interview was in the summer of 2016 after your rookie season in Cyprus. You had had a scoring season with North Carolina A&T State University (NCAA) averaging 17,0ppg, but in other seasons like at Maryland you didn’t. You averaged in double figures in scoring in Cyprus as well. Since then you have exploded as a scorer in Spain and Finland. What did you do different to become that dominant scorer, or was it really always in your blood?

Scoring has always been in my blood. I have and always will be a scorer. Before a hand injury, I was in double figures in scoring at Maryland. I think I can score with the best of them. Aside from the fact I played with Melo Trimble (ACB), Dez Wells (CBA), Jake Layman (NBA), Robert Carter Jr (Turkey/CBA) haha shots are not as easy to come by playing with four potential NBA players. I’ve worked on my game a lot and have been able to expand the ways in which I can score. I think that’s the biggest difference.

You have experienced so much in the last 4 seasons and seen many new styles. How are you a better player today then in 2016?

I can play multiple positions. My defense has improved. My confidence has improved. I’m much more of a professional. I take every day with the utmost seriousness. Any coach or GM I have played for will tell you that. I can read the pick and roll 10x better and I can score off of the dribble a lot better.

Your mentor and former coach was Isiah Thomas who played for the Detroit Pistons taught you to never let pressure bother me and to always stay under control. How has that helped you most the last years?

I think when it comes times to get jobs, something that might attract coaches is that I always show up in the big moments. I don’t let time, score, or pressure break me. I’m my best in those moments. It’s allowed me to help win my team a lot of games.

You had many ups and downs at Maryland (NCAA) in your senior year. Your head coach then Juan Dixon taught you how to mentally get out of a slump. Does his advice and your experience then help you in tough moments now that you may have during a game to help you get back on track?

Absolutely. I still train with Juan Dixon, who’s now the coach at Coppin State, in the summers! He’s still helping me add to my game. My mental is 10x better now when I’m not making shots. Something that really helps me is knowing I can affect the game in other ways. I can shut down my man, get steals, communicate, and get other players shots.

On what area’s of your game are you still working on now to help you improve your game?

I work on pick and roll reads and a lot of 1-on-1 off of the dribble play with my trainer Rudy in the summers. I want to be able to generate points for my team in as many ways as possible. I think this will be my best year in assists. I’m working on the mental parts as well. Staying aggressive, making the right play at the right time. So that takes a lot of film and studying.

You have played in the Spanish EBA and LEB Silver and Finland and now your in Austria. It seems like teams of higher levels still aren’t giving you that real break through opportunity. Does that bother you and how heavy is your chip on your shoulder?

I took a year and a half off after being a top 5 scorer in Cyprus and averaging double figures in EuropeCup with 40% 3 pointers my rookie season. I had interests from big leagues after that. I never imagined I would have to start over from the bottom when I came back. I initially took a year off because my father had a stroke. Before passing away, he told me to keep my basketball dream alive, so I returned. I know that if I continue to get better and produce at my best, I will get the real breakthrough opportunity. I understand that I’m on God’s time, not mine. I just have to work in the meantime. I try to focus on dominating where I am rather than focusing on where I could be or where I might go in the future

One thing that I have noticed that you have been able to adapt to different leagues and styles the last seasons very well. Do you study extra tape in your free time or how do you explain your extreme consistency the last years?

I always watch games from the previous years in whichever league I am going to. I want to know how the refs call the game, how the pace of the game is, how the players are spaced on the floor in the league. I look for patters. I pick out spots where I know I can succeed. I also think I have a game that translates to multiple styles of play. I can be a catch and shoot guy. I can be a 1-2 dribble and score guy or I can be the guy that takes difficult shots at the end of a possession.

Last season you played with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 18 games averaging 17.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 90.2%What kind of experience was Finland and what did your game get most from this experience?

I really enjoyed Finland. I had the opportunity to play with my childhood best friend Trey Zeigler. I also still have a really good relationship with my old Coach Jarno Nikula. The floor is very spaced in Finland and the national players can shoot it really well. Finnish players are some of the best shooters in Europe in my opinion. Whenever you make a mistake defensively, you pay for it with a 3 pointer. It elevated my awareness on defense

Was your 23 point game in the slim exciting 88-86 victory against Kouvot one of your most memorable games in Finland?

It definitely was! That was sort of my breakout game. After that, I think I averaged 22ppg the rest of the season and only shot under 50% once or twice. That game gave me the confidence I needed moving forward. We were able to win some games after that against teams like Kataja and KTP. The momentum for the team and I continued after the Kouvot game.

In 2018-2019 you played with Hestia Menorca (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 33 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 67.2%. What kind of experience was it living on the island Menorca? It is a beautiful place and a lot quieter than Mallorca. Were you able to really concentrate a lot on basketball here and work on your game more than in other places?

Menorca is a beautiful island. The food and views were unbelievable. The off days were like being on vacation. The team had and ACB caliber gym (from when they were in the ACB) with unlimited gym access. So I was able to get in the gym a lot. Luckily for me, most of my teams professionally have given me all the gym time I need.

How did your game profit in the LEB Silver league in Spain. This is Spain’s third league, but has many talented players and a good league to help players make the next step?

The game is very technical. You can grow in any league in Spain because the basketball is such a high quality through and through. In my years in Spain I played against guys like Jalen Riley (France Pro A) and Jalen Nesbitt (Den Bosch Fiba Europe Cup). It’s a league with quality players who aren’t recognized, working to make the next step.

In 2017-2018 you played with Ametx Zornotza (Spain-EBA) playing 33 games averaging 20.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 78.9%. How humbling was it coming from the first division in Cyprus to the fourth division in Spain? Did your exceptional play really give your overall confidence level another boost?

It was hard mentally. I knew I was better and could do better. Looking back, it was not the best basketball decision to go there for my career after a year off. I probably could’ve waited for a better job. However, I don’t regret it. I grew and I learned. The management and coaches at Zornotza were some of the best people I’ve ever met in life. I still communicate with them to this day. Those are some really good people. I love Basque Country.

You had a huge 32 point game against Cantbasket in an exciting 89-88 win, but also exploded with 43 points in a 76-72 win over Santurtzi. Which game was more memorable?

The 32 point game was more memorable because my family was there. The smiles on their faces was priceless. They came all the way to Spain just to see me.

You still haven’t won a professional title. How big is your hunger to finally get that professional chip?

I lost in the finals with Zornotza vs Menorca. I was one game away from winning a championship. I am super hungry to get that first professional title. It’s one of the reasons I came to GGMT Vienna. I knew we would be a top 2-3 team in the league and have a chance to win a championship.

What other goals do you have as a player besides winning a title? Do you feel like you will get that opportunity from a top league in Europe? 

I want to win player of the year on a championship team. Whatever league or team that is. My goal is to be the best player on the best team. That would mean a lot for me. I do feel I will get that opportunity in due time.

Is it tough to see a guy like Trae Golden your ex teammate in Cyprus career go in another direction. Do you sometimes question why you haven’t gotten some breaks down the line?. Do you still talk to him today?

Haha it’s not tough at all. In fact, his story inspires me. He got cut in Finland and didn’t play for a year. Now he’s considered one of the best players in the world. That’s one of my best friends! We talk literally every day. We will be in each others weddings. I’m super proud of him. His grit has inspired me. When I need advice about how to produce more, he’s the guy I call. His mentality is unmatched. I understand you have to get the right opportunity at the right time and that big break will come. Leading Austria in scoring is a start. Winning a championship will make that happen. You will see me at the top leagues in Europe, just like my friend Trae Golden.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Melo Trimble
Trae Golden
Ray McCallum
Jake Layman
Dez Wells

Who has been your toughest player that you have battled in Europe over the years? In our last interview you said that Brandon Heath was your toughest cover and not Thaddus Mcfadden. Have you noticed the amazing jump Mcfadden has made in the last years just leading his team to the 2020 BCL title

To this day in my professional career, Brandon Heath was still my hardest player to guard. At the time, I was a rookie and he was a veteran. He understood the game so much better than me at that time. I’m proud of Thad McFadden! He’s from the same state as me, Michigan. What he has done is amazing. He keeps thriving and keeps winning. I have watched him dominate in Europe and make so many big shots! However, I scored almost 40 points against his AEK team. It gives me belief and motivation that I can follow in his footsteps 

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

I believe Michael Jordan is the greatest and LeBron James is the best. There is a difference in my opinion LOL but that explanation I can probably only express verbally

What was the last movie that you saw?

The last movie I saw was Outlaw King.

Thanks Rachaud for the chat.

The NBA Is Still On Aaron Harrison´s(Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus) Mind But Now He Enjoys The Love To Win Every Possession Which Is The Beauty Of Europe

 Aaron Harrison is a 25 year old 198cm guard from Texas that is playing his 6th professional season and first with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-Euroleague). He played the last 2 season with Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). From 2015-2018 he played in the NBA for teams Charlotte and Dallas playing a total of 35 games. He also spent time in the G-League for teams like the Oklahoma City Blue, Erie Bay Hawks Greensboro Swarm, Delaware 87ers, and the Reno Bighorns . He played at the University of Kentucky from 2013-2015 playing a total of 79 NCAA games averaging 13.7ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 79.0% as a freshman and 11.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 78.2% as a sophomore. He spoke to before a Euroleague game against FC Bayern Munich in Germany. 

Hi Aaron thanks for talking to 2020 changed the world in so many ways. How does it feel being a professional player with all the regulations that you have to observe on a daily basis?

I’m just very thankful that I can still play at a high level. This whole period has been tough not being ablet o see my family and friends the way I wanted to. It’s just been different a big adjustment

How did you experience COVID 19 the last months in the States? What was the most challenging thing that you had to experience on a daily basis?

The toughest thing was not being able to get into the gym the way I wanted to. Sometimes gyms were open and sometimes not. I think I was consistently in the gym like for 3 weeks out of the 3 months that I was home.

How do you feel has COVID-19 made you stronger as a man in 2020?

I think the big thing was just having to adjust to things and being able to learn to deal with things. 

Your playing your first season for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-Euroleague). With what kind of feelings are you going into this season playing only during the week and having the weekends off?

We just practice during the weekends. It has been tough a new adjustment for me having only 1 game a week. I think you have to look at the positives being that this gives your body a good opportunity to rest. I think that COVID-19 actually could add a few years to my career.

Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-Euroleague is a very interesting team. It has 3 Americans with Martin, Mckkisic and Ellis all coming into the Euroleague, 2 ex NBA players with you and Jenkins and many talented Greek players. How have you seen this team develop so far?

I feel that as a team we are getting better every day. The biggest thing that we have is that we have such a deep team, that we have no drop off. What makes us so good is that nobody will play bad, because all know that they will play. That makes us more dynamic. 

What has it been playing with 38 year old Greek legend Vassilis Spanoulis? How incredible of a player is he and can you soak up things from him?

He is definitely super competitive and always wants to win and at all cost. You don’t see that in the NBA. In the NBA it isn’t important to win every night. It is refreshing to see how he wants to win so much. He also will let you know when your not doing your job. The most important thing for him is always to win. He is so determined and want to take his focus with me.

Last week you beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 85-82 on a buzzer beater. You have had quite a few buzzer beaters in your career. How did this one feel?

That buzzer beater was a great feeling. I was very excited that coach gave me the ball in that situation instead to one of the veterans. I’m very comfortable getting the ball in that situation and winning the game with the last shot. I also don’t mind missing shots. It may bother other guys, but it doesn’t bother me. 

You played the last 2 seasons with Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) putting up very consistent stats averaging in scoring in double figures and shooting over 40% in the BSL and Eurocup. How do you feel have you grown as a player in Europe?

I think that the biggest thing that I learned the last 2 years was just learning to be more efficient. You can’t take 25 shots in Europe just because a team may need it. But you have to do those things what the team really needs to win. What I really enjoy in Europe is that it’s all about winning and not stats.

After beginning the 2017-2018 season with the Reno Bighorns (NBA G League) averaging 18.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 83.5%, you signed Mar.’18 with the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) playing 9 games averaging 6.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 38.5%, 3PT: 20.9%, FT: 76.5%. How sure were you after your 45 point game against Oklahoma with Reno that you would land back in the NBA?

At that moment I felt like I could land back in the NBA. I was dominating at that time. I felt that that was the time then. All they needed was shooting and I was giving that. 

One hears the coolest stories concerning Dirk Nowitzki. How did you experience him as a teammate and what did it mean for you to be teammates with him?

I really didn’t interact much with Dirk at that time. It was near the end of the season for them. What I can remember about Dirk the most was how big his presence was and how much respect he got. It was the same at away games. I just remember watching him as a kid on TV. So it was cool being able to be teammates with him.

In the 2016-2017 season you played with the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) playing 5 games and played also with the Greensboro Swarm (D-League) averaging 17.9ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 82.1%, in Feb.17 and with the Delaware 87ers (D-League) averaging 17.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 48.2%, FT: 83.8%. You began the season in the NBA and then played for 2 G-League teams. How difficult was it going back to the G-League and were you expecting a call up towards the end where you were putting up consistent stats?

Yes I did. I understood about the politics in the NBA then, but I felt that I was the best on the team. I wanted and expected a call up. I understand now better than then that in order to reach the NBA, it’s more about only being the best on the team. 

What was it like playing with Kemba Walker? What is missing for the Celtics and Walker to win a NBA title?

Kemba is a great dude and one of my favorite players that I have played with. He was so cool and humble. I honestly didn’t watch too much of that series against the Miami Heat. Maybe the Heat were too tough and the Celtics needed more of that from the players. Brad Stevens is a great coach and the team has gotten better. I’m sure that they will get over the hump. 

In your rookie season you played with the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) playing 23 games: 0.8ppg, and also played with the Oklahoma City Blue (D-League) playing 4 games averaging 9.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.8apg, in Mar.16 joined the Erie Bay Hawks (D-League) playing 9 games averaging 21.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 84.0%. You were with Charlotte from November to May with stops in between in the D-League. What do you feel was the most important thing you were able to soak up in the NBA as a rookie?

I had a frustrating rookie year. I was trying to understand the business side. As a kid all you think about is I’m good enough for the NBA. I felt like I had deserved more of a chance then what I got. But I am very thankful for the experience. Coach Clifford was great. I feel that I could have gotten the job done had I got more of a chance. 

What will you remember from the 101-82 win against the Lakers where Kobe Bryant scored 23 points in 23 minutes off the bench? Were you a Kobe fan as a kid like so many others?

Growing up I was a huge Kobe fan. It was cool playing against him and seeing him up close. I don’t remember too much since I was on the bench. At least now I can say that I played in the same game as Kobe.

You also beat your ex Kentucky teammate Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns. How have you followed his career and isn’t time he plays for a winning program?

I am very excited for him and how his career has gone. I really think that he is in an amazing experience with the Suns. Maybe he would not have developed the way he has had he not gone to the Suns. Maybe he would have landed with a team that won more, but things not work out. Other than not winning with the Suns, he has done everything. What else can one ask of him. Things can’t always be perfect. He will figure them out. 

You saw how the NBA worked for 3 years when you were up and down between the NBA and the G-League. What was the best example that you witnessed that showed that the NBA will always be a business first before anything else?

I don’t know. I have experienced and seen so much. I just remember the NBA Summer League times as being very frustrating. I could be the best in practice, but then only play 5 minutes in a game. There are a lot of politics involved with teams focusing on the draft picks. I accepted the situation and was able to cope with it. 

You played NBA Summer League in 2018 and 2019. How much of a priority is the NBA still for you? Your only 25. A guy Like PJ Tucker played in the NBA and then some years in Europe and then returned to the NBA and never came back to Europe. 

It would be super cool and a dream of mine if I could return back to the NBA. But I’m not dwelling on it that much at the moment. If a team wanted me, then I would jump at the situation. But I have to say that at the moment, I’m really enjoying my life in Europe. What I really enjoy here is that trying to win every possession is basketball at it’s purest. What else can I ask for. The love to win every possession and to win is the beauty of Europe

You played at the University of Kentucky from 2013-2015. What kind of experience was it playing for the Wild Cats and do you ever wonder where you might be today had you played longer in the NCAA?

No I don’t wonder about that. I actually have wondered more where I would be today had I only remained 1 year at Kentucky. My time at Kentucky was amazing. It was just great beginning there and playing for coach Calipari. Playing basketball at Kentucky reminds me a lot of Europe. There it was also about winning every possession. 

What kind of a relationship do you and your twin brother Andrew have? Do you talk every day and is it like a dream to one day play on the same team again?

We talk 3-4 times a day. It’s not really a dream now to be reunited again on the same team. The most important thing that we want for each other is to be as successful as possible and just be happy with life. 

What memories do you have of your back to back three point winners against Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2014 NCAA tournament? Was one more special than the other?

No I don’t. Both were cool. I get reminded of those games and my game winners a lot. It is really cool being a part of tournament history. Those were awesome times and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

How did head coach John Calipari groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

The most important thing I got was that competitive edge and confidence. You really needed confidence in order to deal with him. He tested you a lot. In order to deal with all the pressure there, you needed to have extreme confidence. I really built my confidence level there. 

Who wins a one on one in practice you or your brother Andrew?

It really depends on the day. Each one of us can win. I would say 60-40 for me. 

What do you remember from the Jordan Brand Classic 2013 and Dennis Schroeder. Did you feel like he could become that good NBA point guard?

I don’t want to lie. I don’t remember him now from that game. He is a great scoring guard. If he is put in the right situation then he is effective. I really like his game. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that later would go to the NBA?

I really have no idea. I played against so many great players. I remember Florida being the toughest team I played as a freshman. I remember them having guys like Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

My whole High school team, my brother Andrew, David Stockton (He really helped me understand the politics when I was at Reno), Alex Poythres (great dude. Everybody that meets him likes him right away. He is a great family guy and good friend), Jon Korkmaz (He is a good dude. Even if I was the best on the team last season, he still pushed me. I really appreciated that. We still talk every 2 weeks)

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present players.

Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Iverson

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

Jordan is great. Lebron has been a talent that we have never seen before. Jordan is the greatest and Lebron maybe the best that we have seen. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

I watched 2 really good Amazon series called the Boys and the Hunters.

Thanks Aaron for the chat.

Hearing A Player Who Totally Excelled Wouldn´t Make The Roster No Matter What He Did Showed George King(NINERS Chemnitz) The NBA Is Always A Business

George King is a 26 year old 198cm guard from San Antonio, Texas playing his third professional season and first with the NINNERS Chemnitz. Last season he split time with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A) playing 16 games averaging 5.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 23.7%, FT: 89.5%; played 12 Eurocup games averaging 6.3ppg, 3.0rpg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 90.5%, in Jan.’20 moved to Stelmet Enea BC Zielona Gora (Poland-EBL) playing 6 games averaging 8.2ppg, 4.8rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 66.7%; and played 5 VTB United League games averaging 10.6ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 45.5%. In 2018 he was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round with the #59th pick and played mainly for the Northern Arizona Suns (NBA G League) playing 40 games averaging 15.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 81.7%. He also played 1 NBA game for the Phoenix Suns. He played at the University of Colorado (NCAA) from 2013-2018 playing a total of 127 games and as a senior averaged 12.9ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 78.2%. He spoke to about basketball.

George thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

I’m currently in Chemnitz, Germany. Basketball is treating me. The game is a roller coaster and I’m very blessed to be playing

How blessed are you to be living in Germany at the moment. It is one of the best countries to live in with COVID-19. What has been the biggest challenge for you in Germany living your life day to day?

We have Corona tests each week. I have a mask on everywhere I go. Some places are more lenient than others. The Feel Good gym where we train have tightened their protocols so everyone has to wear a mask. The only place where I don’t where a mask is on the court. The cases continue to rise. I’m adjusting and adapting to everything and doing whatever I’m asked to do.

How did you experience COVID-19 in the States the last months before coming to Germany? What was the biggest challenge for you living in Texas on a day to day basis?

The biggest challenge was being able to train. A lot of gyms were closed, but I was fortunate to have a gym where I could work out. I know many guys who weren’t as fortunate as I was. For example my teammate Virgil Matthews from Washington couldn’t use a gym there and came early to Chemnitz. 

How do you feel did COVID-19 make you stronger as a man in 2020?

I got to know my family a lot better. When I left Poland in March, I went to North Carolina where I’m originally from. I spent 2.5 months there. That was the most time that I had been there since 2003. I never spent so much time there usually only a week. I saw sides of my family that I had never seen before or even knew were there. There were no gyms in North Carolina so I did a lot of face time with a friend who is playing in Italy this season. We would use a deck of cards and pick a card and then do as many sit ups and push ups as the card said.

Congrats on signing with new easyCredit BBL team NINNERS Chemnitz. After playing in Italy and Poland, what were the main reasons for coming to Germany? How important a role did the fact that they were your desired player play a role for you choosing this club?

Yes that was a big reason. I wanted to be in a situation where the team really wanted me. The feeling was mutual. 

What has been your early impression of the team? It has brought in some talented Americans and kept some good players also. Where will the journey of this team go?

I feel that we can go as far as went to take it. I feel that once we have all 13 guys here and buy into what Chemnitz is known to do on the court, then I feel sky is the limit. We have the talent and depth to go far.

How much of a pleasure has it been playing with American Virgil Matthews? Does he sometime seem like a second coach on the floor?

He definitely is like a second coach on the team. That is his role and that is important for me. I wanted to join a team that had that older veteran. I got a taste of that in Poland. I saw how valuable a player like that is for me. Virgil has a lot of experience and has been here for 5 seasons. He is also important to have in the locker room. 

What kind of an experience has it been playing with Terrell Harris? He moved up 2 leagues in a span of 3 years. How valuable is the chip on his shoulder for his success on the floor?

This club recruited many guys that have something to prove. Terrell has something to prove as do I. Everybody is thrown into the melting pot. So when that happens usually something good happens. We are all competitive and that’s good for everybody. This is a good opportunity for Terrell. He came here with a chip on his shoulder. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 198cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?

In college I heard a lot of Joe Johnson. I defend more than Joe. I’m a 2 way player and kill at both ends of the court. I guess you could compare me to a Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard. Guys who score and play defense.

Head coach Rodrigo Pastore has lauded your team play, versatile play as well as your defensive skills. What do you feel is your absolute biggest strength on the court?

My versatility. Naming one strength is hard. I’m not one sided. I’m well rounded. I’m dangerous shooting, defending and rebounding.

What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed?

Disruption. I cause a lot of havoc. I do things that aren’t seen on the stat sheet. On defense, I like to make my opponent work harder than what they would want to. I like to make a team get into their offense with 2-3 seconds less left on the clock. 

On what things are you working on most on your game now so you will be best prepared for your first BBL season?

Everything in my game has to be condensed. At the moment I’m working on a lot of things. I’m really competitive and don’t want to say on what things I’m working so guys reading this will have an edge on me later on the court. 

Last season you split time with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A) playing 16 games averaging 5.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 23.7%, FT: 89.5%; played 12 Eurocup games averaging 6.3ppg, 3.0rpg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 90.5%, in Jan.’20 moved to Stelmet Enea BC Zielona Gora (Poland-EBL) playing 6 games averaging 8.2ppg, 4.8rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 66.7%; and played 5 VTB United League games averaging 10.6ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 45.5%. What was your wake up call to being in Europe for the first time where you knew that you were far away from home?

When I was in Italy at Christmas time. I remember being on the phone with my family. In college at least they would give you 48 hours at Christmas to go home. In Italy I had a light practice on Christmas and a practice the next day. It didn’t feel like Christmas to me. It just felt like another day for me. 

What memories do you have of playing in Italy. You had some really talented teammates with Aaron Kraft and James Blackmon. How much easier was the whole adjustment period playing with them?

Aaron Craft has been my second favorite teammate ever. He was extremely helpful in my process of transitioning there. He took his arm around me and I talk to him anytime about anything. He retired and now is in medical school. He is a very special person. James was also important. I observed exactly how he worked on a daily basis.

What did you learn about your first season overseas that will help you overcome tough challenges in the future?

I had my bumps my first year overseas. I learned 2 important things. The most important thing is to be consistent. The other is that you have to bring it every day. People want results. Not tryers, but doers. There is never any ok, well maybe. But this is seen in any job. I got my first taste of that.

After playing in the G-League and NBA as a rookie, you played with the Utah Jazz (MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 4 games averaging 12.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 38.1%. was your start overseas the better option then landing on a NBA training camp roster?

Honestly I was mismanaged. I still have no clue if coming overseas was the right option at that time. I was funneled overseas. I remember asking my agent after the NBA Summer League what offers I had from the NBA. He said 0. I then said let’s give it 72 hours. The agent wanted me to be a high level player in Europe and not NBA. For me it was really hard to believe that I had no interest from the NBA. It’s hard to believe when I remember what I did and what others did and they are in good situations in the USA event though I played better

In your professional rookie season you played with the Northern Arizona Suns (NBA G League) playing 40 games averaging 15.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 81.7%. You played a game with the Phoenix Suns in December. How did that all come about?

I was on a 2 way contract. I was traveling with the team and I was on a road trip to San Antonio where I’m from. I remember at breakfast before the game. I spoke to coach Igor Kokoskov who now is coaching Euroleague team Fenerbahce and telling him I would go home and get some things and be back to make the bus. After a few steps he said, ‘wait George. We will activate you for tonight’s game’. I think that it was a nice gesture and guess he did it because San Antonio was my home town. I’m very thankful he did that. 

You played 1 NBA game for the Phoenix Suns playing 6 minutes and getting a rebound. How cool was it having a Colorado reunion playing against your ex teammate Derrick White?

It was cool. I remember Derrick’s girlfriend being there as well as my family. Derrick and I had a connection. He came over to my family after the game and spoke with them. We also took some pictures. I have to be honest, I didn’t appreciate the weight of the situation. 

What do you remember most about the 6 minutes you played? Were you in awe or were you locked in so much you couldn’t be in awe?

I wasn’t in awe. It was more just being happy and being there. I had no star gazing, but moreover knowing I was on the floor for a reason. In the short time that I was in the game, I had just started to get into the groove and break a sweat. 

What will you cherish most from your brief NBA experience that you will never forget?

I had a real good veteran in Jamal Crawford. His locker was next to mine. He was a very down to earth guy. I really cherished our conversations. He did a lot of things for me. He let me know that I could talk to him about anything. He delivered each time when I needed advice.

You didn’t play with Devin Booker, but with huge talent Deandre Ayton. How good do you think will he become in the next years?

I believe that Deandre has all the tools to become the best big in the NBA. With new management on board as well as head coach Monty Williams will increase his chances of happening.

What was the best example that you witnessed in the G-League and NBA where you clearly saw that the NBA is strictly a business before anything else?

I witnessed a player in G-League training camp by the name of Wayne Mccullough. He is a first class human being. The coach wanted to see specific things in training camp. He did everything right and was killing. We did 2 a days and spent a lot of time together. Eating breakfast together and riding to the gym. At the end of the week, I was sure that he had made the team. On the day where he would find about if he made the team or not, I congratulated him. He wasn’t so sure. We rode to gym and then he found out and walked into the locker room with tears in his eyes. In a broken voice, he said he was cut. He had a flight later that day and left. Soon after I asked the assistant coach what had happened and why he got cut. He said that they had no plans to keep him and that there was nothing he could do. They already had plans not to keep him no matter what he did in practice. This is a business. I said ‘wow’. He outplayed everyone and did everything that coach asked him to do. It hit me hard. He had put everything into making the team. He cared so much. He went on to win the Canadian league title and this season is doing well in Finland.

In a typical G League shoot out you defeated South Bay 130-126 scoring 28 points. You played against so many guys in the G-League, but do you remember Isaac Bonga who scored 12 points and now has made a name for him with the Wizards as a reliable role player?

He was a young guy at the time. I remember him on the court despite being in attack mode. I didn’t think that he was so good at first, but I didn’t know that he was only 18. That changed everything. His jumper then was Ok, but he had size, length and good mechanics. Washington is a good situation for him. Last season there wasn’t a superstar there with Wall hurt. They were rebuilding and that gave him the opportunity to prove himself on the big stage.

You played at the University of Colorado (NCAA) fro0m 2013-2018 playing a total of 127 NCAA games. You reached 2 NCAA tournaments. What were your fondest memories there?

My 2 biggest memories were beating Kansas at the buzzer my freshman year. I remember them having players like Andrew Wiggins, Frank Mason JR and Tarik Black. I didn’t play much. The other memorable moment was beating Arizona in 2015 on the road. I played well hitting shots, getting dunks and steals

You hardly played as a freshman and then was red shirted. In your third year, you put up super stats averaging 13.6ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 45.6%, FT: 74.8%. You were voted the PAC 12’s most improved player. How did you grow as a player during your red shirt season?

I took advantage of my red shirt year and grinded hard each day. I really profited when the team was on the road. I was in the gym constantly with Josh Fortune. We were always very competitive. Plus I didn’t agree being red shirted which gave me a huge chip on my shoulder. I felt that I was better than those guys coach had playing before me. When I think back, this red shirt year was really important, because maybe I might not have been as hungry had I not been red shirted and had had that road block. 

You had many special games, but how memorable were the 2 back top back wins over Washington State and Stanford where you scored 22 and 23 points?

To be honest I can’t remember those games.

How did head coach Tad Boyle groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

I learned that communication was very important. I always let the trainer know right away when I was hurt. He totally prepared me for everything. I could always go to him when I had a question.

Who won a one on one back in the day you or Spencer Dinwiddie?

We never played a normal one on one game, but I remember during a practice me getting the best of him and vice versa. I remember in a close out drill cutting him off and getting a stop. On the next play he got me with his blazing speed. We were both very competitive. 

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

A guy asked me this question 3 years ago and I answered Alonzo Trier. Today 3 years later I still have the same answer. I played him 9 times in the NCAA: I was always matched up against him. He was extremely hard to guard. He was always so loose. When he went to New York, coach David Fizdale said ‘I heard you could score so do it. He did. He could score in the NCAA and NBA. He got the best out of me and I got the best out of him. 

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time. –

I can name only 2 at the moment. My high school teammate Paul Derkowski and Aaron Craft. 

Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with heads past or present. 

Jordan, Lebron, Doncic, Akeem, Kareem

What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

They are two totally different players. It is easier to compare Kobe to Jordan. Lebron is that savage playmaker and makes the right play each time. Jordan will take that last shot each time. He had like one kick out to Steve Kerr. I’m a fan of both. I don’t debate it. 

What was the last movie that you saw? –

Wars Dogs.

Thanks George for the chat. 

The Miles Basketball Minute: The Ex Coach Scouting Report Bob Mckillop(Davidson) Vs Jon Axel Gudmundsson(Fraport Skyliners)

With COVID-19 having changed the whole world as well as the basketball scene, the summer of 2020 has been a very different time for everyone, but one thing hasn´t changed and that is the BCM gym in Frankfurt where the easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners train. Once again there will be many incredible players coming in and out of the gym this season as the most well known player to ever practice in the gym over the years since 2004 when the gym was built has been Dirk Nowitzki. There would also be a buzz going through the BCM if one day Steph Curry would suddenly appear in the gym take off his warm up´s and start drilling home three´s from the corner as if he was back home in the Chase Center in Oakland. If one examines the name Steph Curry and head coach Bob Mckillop a bit further, one could come to the conclusion that they and the Fraport Skyliners have a connection. Before Curry started to make a name for himself at the professional ranks, he played at the established Davidson college in North Carolina under legendary head coach Bob Mckillop. The Fraport Skyliners will feature a very talented rookie this season with Icelandic all rounder Jon Axel Gudmundsson who played for Mckillop at Davidson for the last 4 years. Gudmundsson´s new teammate Quantez Robertson might not be able to say to much about his new teammate yet, but probably could give his 2 cents about Curry especially about his feeling about how he would fare with his first shots taken in the BCM before any warmup. “I think Steph would hit 15 in a row from the corner before missing”, smiled Quantez Robertson. In order to get a well informed introduction to what kind of player Gudmundsson really is, a none better way than to get the ultimate feedback from his ex coach Bob Mckillop from elite basketball school Davidson.

Jon Axel Gudmundsson and Golden State Warrior Steph Curry

                Bob Mckillop who celebrated his 70th birthday this past summer is a college coach legend who has been at Davidson since 1989 and in this span has compiled an amazing 594-364 record. He is Davidson’s all-time leader in wins, years coached, and games coached. His 230 South Conference  wins are more than any coach in league history. His highlights as a head coach has been winning 7 SoCon tournaments and reaching the NCAA tournament 9 timers. He has had the opportunity to coach many young talented players that have landed at some time of their career in Germany like Ben Ebong, Detlef Musch, Martin Ides, Narcisse Ewodo, James Marsh, Emeka Erege, Wayne Bernard, Brendan Winters, Logan Kosmalski, De´mon Brooks and Brian Sullivan. Mckillop is best known though for coaching Steph Curry who would go onto to become a NBA superstar It doesn´t matter who you talk to, but Mckillop´s ex players rave on and on about him like De´Mon Brooks who played a huge role in the biggest success of medi Bayreuth reaching the playoffs in 2017. “There is no better coach in the world. He is the reason why I am here today. From the time I stepped foot on Davidson he prepared me for this journey on and off the court. One of the many lessons that stays with me is with freedom comes from responsibility. This is one lesson, especially playing professional basketball in Europe, that is very important for a player to abide if you want to have a long promising career”, stressed De´mon Brooks. Another ex player Tyler Kalinowski who  also had nothing but the best to say about his ex coach. “He is the best coach in the world. He always stressed to us that you have to get a little better each day. He brought so much toughness to practice and that translated over to what I could do on the court and in life. That toughness really affected me and I wouldn´t be where I am today without him”, expressed Tyler Kalinowski. Another ex player Brian Sullivan who had a brief professional career playing for Hanau, in the Czech Republic and Australia before returning back to Davidson to work with Bob Mckillop also had kind words for him. “He has taught me so much that has prepared me, whether its on or off the court he has prepared us. He taught me to respect my teammates, to have fun and attack while I am playing and those are all things I will take with me”, added Brian Sullivan. These are just a few of the very positive words from ex teammates that the Fraport Skyliners should have absolutely no worries about how Jon Axel Gudmundsson will present himself on the court as a rookie, because he was taught the right way.

        Jon Axel Gudmundsson is a 23 year old 196cm guard that was born on October 27th in Grindavik, Iceland and is the son of former professional player and highest capped Icelandic player Guomundar Bragason and Stefanía S. Jónsdóttir, a former member of the women´s Icelandic national team. He began his basketball career with Fjolbrautaskoli SuDjurnesja and then played 5 seasons with U.M.F. Grindavik (Dominos League) winning 6 titles. After learning how to win in Iceland and putting up massive stats, he felt he had nothing more to prove in his homeland and decided for a change of scenery. Instead of finding a team in Europe, he decided to mix it up in the NCAA and get to learn  a total different style of basketball and life in North Carolina at Davidson College. COVID-19 ended his basketball career at Davidson abruptly on March 6th as that was his last game against VCU. He ended his Davidson career in flying colors winning 75-65 and having a typical day at the office dropping 17 points, hauling down 6 rebounds, dishing out 2 dimes and getting 3 steals.. 5 months later his ex coach Bob Mckillop remembers vividly what basketball trait stood out the most about the Icelandic national player. “Jon Axel had extraordinary toughness. It was physical toughness as well as mental toughness. Every day, every practice and every game, it showed up and made Jon Axel such a joy to coach”, stressed Davidson head coach Bob Mckillop.

                In his 4 year career at Davidson, Jon Axel Gudmundsson played a total of 127 NCAA games He helped his team win the Atlantic 10 tournament in 2018 and reach the NCAA tournament. The first major thing that stuck out when looking at his stats was his ability to really fill it from left to right and have very high rebound and assists. One could of easily gave him the nickname Mr versatility. “You are absolutely correct about Jon Axel’s versatility. He did a little of everything and this eventually led to doing a lot of everything, and he was a master of all these little things. I never compare any of our Davidson players to a previous Davidson player nor to any NBA player. Everyone of our Davidson players were special in their own make up. Jon Axel was very, very special”, warned Bob Mckillop. In his 4 year career and 127 NCAA games, he scored in double figures in 85 games, had 18 double doubles and even registered a rare triple double against Rhode Island in his junior season with 20 points, 10 boards and 10 assists. It was the first Davidson triple double since John Falconi did it in 1973. The key element to his success on the offensive end was linked to his dedicated perseverance that he always showcased on the court. “Jon Axel’s offensive skills revert back to his toughness. He had the physical and the  mental capacity and ability to make and take the clutch shot, finish through contact, and find a way to help us win the game”, commented Bob Mckillop. No player is perfect in the NCAA, but many get better and that is something that Gudmundsson did, but his shooting is one area in his game that is still a work in progress “Jon Axel had a tremendous work ethic and got better and better as his career progressed. He was a scorer more than a shooter but consistently improved his shooting ability because of his great work ethic. He developed outstanding confidence to finish plays through contact and in the process made game winning plays constantly. He also was superb at drawing fouls, and not just getting to the foul line, but making foul shots at a high percentage”, added Bob Mckillop.

Jon Axel Gudmundsson and Bob Mckillop

            The resume of Davidson players under the guidance of coach Bob Mckillop that have turned professional is immense, but it wasn´t only the constant advice, tips and faith of Bob Mckillop that helped make Jon Axel Gudmundsson the player that he is today, but nothing great will happen without the hard work and dedication of the player. Jon Axel Gudmundsson is a role model and gives the word work ethic a new meaning. “When you add a little to a little, and you do this a lot, then, the little will become a lot. In practice, in the weight room, in games,  Jon Axel added a little every day. He has a burning desire to get better. Physically he became quicker and more explosive as well as stronger. Technically he became more detailed and more diversified and improved his skill level tremendously. His IQ also became a consistent characteristic of his as he studied the game and worked to be the best possible leader and teammate he could become. He was a coach’s dream”, stressed Bob Mckillop. The Icelandic player had so many highlights during his 4 year career at Davidson and so many great scoring games including scoring 20 points or more 26 times including explosions against Wichita State with 33 points, 31 points against GWU and 30 points against St Joseph´s. Coach Bob Mckillop could probably write a book of memories about Gudmunsson, but when really thinking about it was able to remember one that really stuck out. “There were so very many joys coaching Jon Axel to say that one is my favorite memory. Jon Axel gave me four years of favorite memories! In the final regular season game of his third year with us, with six seconds to go in the game and a sideline inbound possession, he made a game-winning drive and layup, was fouled, and converted the three-point play against the first place team in our conference. Not only was it a victory, but it became the fire that ignited our success to win the conference tournament that next week and advance to the NCAA tournament”, remembered Bob Mckillop.

            Now Jon Axel Gudmundsson will look to make the next step as a professional player for the Fraport Skyliners in the easyCredit BBL, one of the top 5 best leagues in Europe. He already will have an advantage of other guys in that he is an European and knows how the game is played here, plus he also got to see the other side playing in the NCAA against many top schools and young future NBA players. The debate of is it worth it for an European to go over and play NCAA can be a real tough one at times, but stats have shown in Germany that guys like Dennis Schroeder, Daniel Theis and Maxi Kleber didn´t need it while it helped other players mature their game playing in a different basketball culture. He definitely got a very unique experience and one that will help him reach the top of the basketball ladder one day. “Jon Axel‘s NCAA experience at Davidson put him on the stage of being a high level competitor and leader in a very competitive environment. He played in front of national television audiences, in NBA arenas, against many, many future NBA players, in front of large crowds, and he handled these experienced with great poise. The role he played has prepared him very well for the next step in his journey towards greatness”, warned Bob Mckillop. It isn´t only how talented a player is, how many points, rebounds or assists you can make, but for a player to have the total package, you must have a top character. Helping build character and helping players get ready for the professional career is something that Bob Mckillop has done for over 30 years at Davidson. With Jon Axel Gudmundsson, the Fraport Skyliners have the total package. “Jon Axel has a burning desire to win. He wants to win very badly for the team. If you were to use one phrase about his attitude it would be this: Jon Axel believed that sacrifice equals reward. At all times, he could be trusted to do his best, he was committed to doing his best and he showed care for his coaches and teammates”, warned Bob Mckillop. The Fraport Skyliners haven´t always had luck with rookies over the years like last season as ex Michigan State guard Matt Mcquaid didn´t become the player many expected, but then again in 2006 made the right choice with Jimmy Mckinney out of Missouri as he went on to a big Skyliner career. I´m really excited to follow Jon Axel Gundmundsson this season. I feel like he could be one of the greatest rookies that the Fraport Skyliners have ever had. Bob Mckillop didn´t want to tell me if he could ever reach the NBA, but then again used this very powerful word that not many players get affiliated with right away. “Jon Axel can conquer any challenge that is presented to him I have the greatest confidence that his professional career is going to be a journey towards greatness”, warned Bob Mckillop. I´m sure when Steph Curry left Davidson in 2009 that head coach Bob Mckillop knew he was destined for greatness. With the words of Bob Mckillop, Jon Axel Gudmundsson gives the Fraport Skyliners a lot of hope that this season, the team will be a lot more joy to watch and that the wins will be happening at a more constant rate than the last 2 years.

Scooter Gillette Knows That The Best Trash Talk Is Letting Your Game Speak For You

 Scotter Gillette is a 30 year old 206cm center from Philadelphia that recently completed his fourth professional season with REWE Aupperle Fellbach (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 18.0ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.5apg, Blocks-2 (1.7bpg), FGP: 68.7%, FT: 73.8%. The two seasons before he averaged 18.4ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP-2 (71.7%), FT: 76.0% and 19.6ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 63.4%, FT: 78.0%. he played his rookie season with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, FT: 68.1%. he played his first 3 NCAA seasons with Niagara University (NCAA) playing 71 games and then moved to Fairleigh Dickinson University (NCAA) playing 28 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 64.0%, FT: 69.6%. He spoke to during COVID-19. 

Hi Scooter where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus? –

I’m currently in Philadelphia. My mood has been mostly relaxed and keeping to myself as much as possible. I try to stress as less as possible about this world crisis. And now the entire country is in turmoil due to rioting over our most recent victim to police brutality, George Floyd. May he Rest In Peace. I’m honestly speechless about the whole situation. 

When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world? –

When I first started hearing about the virus I didn’t take it seriously at all. It wasn’t until after I read up on the cases and deaths across the world I knew this would have a major effect on the world. 

How did you experience the day to day life in Germany during the Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings? –

Day to day life was me trying to stay productive despite being instructed to staying indoors. Home workouts and finding new books to read. There was also a lot less traffic in the streets, a lot less people taking public transportation, there was a lot less people outside in general. I was a little surprised how everyone was following protocol and how we all had to adjust our lifestyles because of this virus. 

Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing –

I’ve always been good with my hygiene but it does feel really strange not shaking anyone’s hand in over a month and not hugging friends and loved ones. Corona or not, I don’t want to be caught in the line of fire of ANYONE’S cough! 

Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season? 

Like all athletes who loves their chosen sport I was highly upset. I was even more upset as a coach of the u14 boys basketball team. No one wanted the season to end the way that it did. 

Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans? –

I think it would be interesting! Boring, but interesting. I’m a type of player that feeds from the energy of others especially the crowd. In this sport I think it would have the feel of a well organized preseason scrimmage. No fans, no music and you can clearly hear everyone’s trash talk since the gym would be so quiet. 

What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?

-I’ve learned that life isn’t always fair but how you react and persevere is vital. 

Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this –

The advantage or disadvantage is that when the season starts your game will show how much work you put in. And I love skill development drills and working out in the off season, I love the grind so an extra 3 months just sounds like fun. 

The whole world economy is going to be affected including Polish basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect?

Players still want to play as well as coaches and managers still want to coach and manage their clubs so I’m not worried about the future of professional basketball. Being physically active in any way possible does a lot of good for my mental. And not even the higher-ups know what to expect so the best thing for me to do is focus on the things that are in my control, like being prepared and physically fit so when the time comes I’ll be ready. 

How have you experienced the day to day life back home in the States? How has the Coronavirus affected your daily life? How have you been keeping in shape inside your home. Talk about the type of exercises and work out you have been able to perform inside your own 4 walls.

Since I’ve been in the States it’s gone from bad to worse. The virus has affected my lifestyle because not only were all the gyms forced to be shut down but we’re also instructed to stay indoors! As a professional athlete that’s not a life I want to live at all. – I’ve been doing mostly high reps of body, weight exercises, some stretching and yoga and picking up new ideas other athletes being creative with their home workouts. 

If you had to name another player besides guys from your team that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be? –

Earl Pettis. We were teammates in high school. When we first met he thought my name was ‘popcorn’ instead of Scooter, now that’s one of my newer nicknames that no one really knows about. We’ve keep in touch the most throughout the years. 

Let’s talk about the season of Fellbach. The team finished in 10th place with a record of 10-13. They began great winning 2 of 3 games including beating top teams Kronberg and Koblenz. How would you summarize the team season? 

The season seemed to be a bit frustrating because we set high goals for ourselves, worked hard to achieve them and seemed to fall short of our expectations. But more than that, I feel that we had the best chemistry in the league. Besides being teammates I have genuine friendships with the guys off the court as well which makes a tough season much more bearable. 

In 2019 the club was solid with a record of 8-6, but in 2020 you had a 2-7 record. What were the reasons for the club not being able to muster more wins? 

I injured myself in the month of January, my primary point guard has been out for a majority of the season and trying to adjust around two of your starting five players isn’t always such an easy fix. Not to mention petty injuries that other teammates endured also. 

Was the 80-78 won over top team Koblenz one of the season highlights?

Oh most definitely. In the league we play any team is liable to win or lose no matter where you rank and this game revealed that we had what it takes to compete and win on our home court very early in the season. 

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure has it been being teammates for 4 years with James Arbinger? What have you learned to appreciate most about his game 

What I learned to appreciate most is that I know James will give 100% every time he approaches the game. He’s also one of those passionate leaders that talks with his game. Players like that you love to have on your team! 

You have been teammates with German David Rotim now for 3 years. He is a guy with Pro A and BBL experience. He is a very versatile plyer. How has he made the game easier for you?

David Rotim’s wisdomsand feel for the game was polished and more in tune than most players in our league. He’s been a solid overall leader and court general for the team. 

You were 2 years teammates with German Nils Menck who recently retired. He can also look back at a long fruitful career. What is your nicest memory of him on and off the court 

Favorite on court moments, besides battling each other during practices, were his timeless pump fakes. So authentic that he can fake out the entire gym! – Favorite off court moments with Nils are the bus rides and the conversations we had. Aside his extensive knowledge of NBA history, every conversation we had was genuine and full of wisdom. I’ll always appreciate Nils for that. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 206cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description? 

I’m not a game of comparing my game but If I had to choose I’d say maybe Chris Webber. 

You’re a very good consistent scorer and rebounder since turning professional. What other strengths does your game have and on what area’s of your game are you continuing to tweak? 

Thank you! I’ve always liked to run the open floor on fast breaks. Since I’m light on my feet I discovered a strength of mine is to outrun other big men. I like to think I’m a half-decent passer as a post player. A part of my game I’m always working on are my vocal skills. Over the years I’ve learned to be more vocally present with my teammates. Also working on my trash talk to opponents, even though I think letting your game speak for you is the best trash talk. 

Talk a little about your defensive development since coming to Fellbach? In the last 3 years you have averaged 1 block per game. How much more potential do you feel do you still have from being that defensive stopper in the paint?

I feel like I’m a great defensive presence in the paint. I’m a horrible judge of potential but I’m always challenging myself each season to somehow improve my defense. 

You have played 4 years in Fellbach. Could you imagine being a guy like Ricky Easterling who has played 12 years with Saalouis and do that with Fellbach? 

Me having having an extensive career in Germany has always been a realistic goal for me. COVID and other factors has altered that decision for the time being but yes, Fellbach and I have a connection where it’s possible for that to happen. 

You have had many great Regionalliga games including hitting Lich twice for 32 points in 2 different seasons. What has been your most memorable Regionalliga game? 

My very first game in Fellbach scoring a double-double and a very big win! And a derby game against MTV Stuttgart defeating them on their home court. Both games were great, couldn’t chose between the two of them. 

As a rookie you played with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, FT: 68.1%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Germany where you knew that you were far away from home?

My first wake up call was during my very first game in Magdeburg. The opponent was blatantly punching my rib cage during the game and the officials didn’t catch him. I stopped as if the officials had blown the whistle (they did not) preparing to strike him back, but I knew a consequence would have been to send me home. And I was not ready to sit on the plane again for that many hours.. that’s when I knew that I was far away from home.

In your second season you signed with Niagara River Lions (Canada-NBL): DNP. Do you feel that by missing a season had an effect on you coming back to play Regionalliga? You must have had some Pro B offers in the last years? 

I had some opportunities but obviously none suitable, otherwise I would have been playing for those teams. I don’t feel that missing a season of basketball affected me or my game, I was still training every day and was prepared when I got the chance. And I would assume that any BBL or top tier team wouldn’t recruit a player that’s missed a season of basketball but I know that once my foot is in the door, anything’s possible. 

You played at Niagara (NCAA) form 2009-2013 playing 71 NCAA games and never averaged more than 4,2ppg. What was your fondest moment in these 4 years?

I think it’s safe to say that my fondest moments were during practices and off the court with events with teammates and classmates. 

In your second season you lost against Missouri scoring 9 points in 16 minutes and playing against future NBA players like Kim English and Phil Pressey. What memories do you have of that game?

I don’t remember much honestly. I played against a good amount of NBA talent and potential NBA talent. And especially if we lost, one memory I know I had was being pissed. 

When you look back at your career, how vital was it playing an extra season at Fairleigh Dickinson University (NCAA) averaging 8.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 64.0%, FT: 69.6%. Do you ever wonder where you may today had you remained at Niagara (NCAA)? 

My season at Fairleigh Dickinson I averaged 13.1ppg, 5.5rpg and shooting 56%. Compared to Niagara this was my ‘break out’ year where I had much more freedom. I wanted to play along side one of my best friends, Mustafaa Jones, that was a junior at the time and it was personally one of the best years of my life on and off the court. I ponder more about if I would have left Niagara sooner. (With all due respect to Joe Mihalich and the original coaching Staff that recruited me.) 

How did head coach Greg Herenda give you the last needed push in helping you be groomed and prepared for a professional career? 

I believe it was Coach Greg’s first year at FDU as well so it was a new beginning for both of us. We both had a desire to win and we built from that. Assistants Dwayne Lee and Zak Boisvert were essential to this year of growth for me. They studied me, did some great individual training with me and incorporated my game into the system of the team the best ways they knew how.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Mike Owona? 


Who was the toughest player that you ever faced that reached the NBA? 

Some players like Kevin Durant, Dion Waiters and twins Marcus and Markieff Morris were definitely a few of the toughest players that I’ve faced in high school. They all are obviously more skilled than most but they also show a toughness that even fewer NBA players have. 

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time. –

Scoop Jardine – Juan’ya Green – Dion Waiters – Khalif Wyatt – Hanif Edwards All of these players are guards and has made the game extraordinarily fun for me to play with them.

Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present. 

Michael Jordan LeBron James Shaquille O’Neal Kevin Durant 

What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

I’m a LeBron fan and I wasn’t born early enough to appreciate What Jordan has done for the game. It’s not a simple debate at all but with that being said, I would take Lebron over Jordan.

What was the last movie that you saw? –

I honestly cannot remember the last movie I’ve seen in theaters.

Thanks Scooter for the chat.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Can´t Hit The Ocean Inside Losing To The Basketball Lowen Erfurt 71-58

It was March 7th, 2020 as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were battling easyCredit BBL team Ratiopharm Ulm´s farm team Orange Academy for a ticket to the Pro B playoffs. In the end it was the better execution and better defense that helped propel Orange Academy into the playoffs behind the support of the 30 plus fans that had made the trip from Ulm. I can remember official employees of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors saying that the first opponent in the playdowns would be FC Bayern Munich 2. Instead of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors experiencing a 6 game playdown season, COVID-19 came and conquered the world including the German basketball scene. The season was cancelled thus allowing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to remain in the Pro B without any hazzles. More than 7 months later, COVID-19 was still very much alive, but so was basketball in Germany. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were back at it with a new squad and faced off against the Basketball Lowen from Erfurt and couldn´t hit the ocean inside as they missed easy shot after easy shot, while the Basketball Lowen Erfurt played good disciplined defense and executed at a healthy rate winning 71-58. The guests were without import American RJ Price, but didn´t need him as he could only watch and be proud of his teammates. “We have been working hard the last weeks on defense with our rotations and everything clicked today. It wasn´t perfect today as we still need a lot of work, but we played with good energy today”, stated ex Radford(NCAA) guard RJ Price. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without 4 key players Len Schoorman, Maxi Begue, Bruno Vrcic and Jordan Samare who were playing easyCredit BBL in Vechta and also had 6 guys debut in the Pro B as they presented a very very young team. Despite the first game loss, head coach Miran Cumiurija wasn´t disappointed by the effort. “I am proud of the guys. They did what they had to do. They did everything that I told them. They fought hard. I think the game could have been closer had they been more discliplined on defense”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Miran Cumurija.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing injured RJ Price of the Basketball Lowen Erfurt

                RJ Price was out and the Basketball Lowen Erfurt had to play 2 young point guards with 2017 NBBL champion Robert Merz who actually is a small forward, but had been playing point guard through the pre season and 16 year old Fidelius Kraus. The game opened with a 3 pointer by Lorenz Schiller who began his basketball career with Science City Jena. Both teams found their rhythm on offense quickly as there were 6 lead changes in the first few minutes. Frankfurt got energy and points from 7 year Frankfurt veteran Konstantin Schubert who hadn´t played in 9 months due to injury, Leon Pullen and new player Matthew Meredith, while the guests got good support from Merz, ex Baunach big man Leo Saffer and ex Niners Chemnitz forward Leon Hoope. With Frankfurt trailing 12-8, they came with a timely 4-0 run as new player big man Alexander Richardson who last played with BG Karlsruhe made a 2 handed dunk and Meredith hit free throws. 15 year old Joshua Bonga, the younger brother of NBA player Isaac Bonga of the Washington Wizards made his Pro B debut at the 2,15 minute mark. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors lost intensity in the last minutes giving up a 8-0 run to Erfurt trailing 20-12 after 10 minutes. In the run, the guests got huge support from 16 year old Kraus who dropped a trey and scored on transition going coast to coast and ex Baunach forward Miles Osei also hit a try. Frankfurt weren´t taking good care of the ball and their inability to score easy baskets began and wouldn´t end until the buzzer sounded. Frankfurt also weren´t calm on offense and didn´t guard the three point line hard enough. “I really don´t know what to say about the many easy misses from close. Except that the guys have to practice those shots more”, stressed Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. The Basketball Lowen shot 38% from the field and 16% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 2 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 16% from the field and 0% from outside and had 17 rebounds and 5 turnovers.

                After both teams combined for 32 points in the first quarter, the scoring took a nose dive down as both teams defended better and only a combined 18 points were scored in the second quarter. Frankfurt got on the board first as Leon Pullen who began his career with TV Langen scored. Kraus who had had a spectacular first quarter got the confidence from head coach Uvis Helmanis and continued to play and made one of the games most prettiest baskets as he went into the zone and made a acrobatic reverse lay up for the 24-14 Lowen advantage. The 16 year old guard finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. “Kraus played a lot of point guard the last games and showed no nervousness today. It will be interesting to see how he continues to deal with the physicality”, stressed Lowen guard Robert Merz. Merz finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 27 minutes and didn´t look like he had just began to play point guard. “He handled himself well. He usually plays off the ball, but he did a good job organizing the game and scoring. I am proud of him”, stated RJ Price. Both teams continued to shine on defense as little was scored. Meredith and Merz traded baskets as Erfurt did a good job getting easy baskets on transition while Frankfurt couldn´t hit the ocean from close range. Down the stretch the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got a big three point basket from 17 year old 175cm Allesio Santagati to close the gap to 28-21, but overall the Juniors gave way to little offensive input as their execution was horrible, but coupled with mis fortune as they couldn´t buy a basket at close range trailing 29-21 at the break. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 31% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 23 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 21% from the field and 14% from the three point line and had 28 rebounds and 9 turnovers.

                In the third quarter the Basketball Lowen Erfurt ripped open the game scoring 26 points and taking the very comfortable 55-37 lead. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to muster no offense while Erfurt got a hard 2 handed stuff by Leo Saffer after getting the bullet pass from Merz who almost lost the ball, but recovered well and got free throws from Merz and Osei. A big problem with Frankfurt was that not only didn´t they have a real go to guy, but no other player felt comfortable in taking on the role. The Frankfurt defense continued to have problems with 1-1 defense and movement without the ball was minimal. Here and there the Fraport Skyliners Juniors did make some beautiful baskets. New Skyliner 21 year old Felix Feilen who played 39 Regionalliga games with TV Langen scored his first Pro B basket as did 15 year old Joshua Bonga who displayed this special energy and athleticism way above his years. Feilen led the fast break and made the perfect bounce pass ala a Rajon Rondon finding Bonga in stride for the easy lay in to cut the Erfurt lead to 39-27. But the Basketball Lowen Erfurt were to consistent on offense and could get away again getting a basket from veteran Tobias Bode who played 60 rRgionalliga games and they continued to draw fouls and get easy free throws for the 47-32 lead. In the last minutes, the guests continued to pour on the offense getting a clutch three from ex Kronberg forward Jonathan Arnold, an Osei lay in and Bode hook shot. A Calvin Schaum trey at the end didn´t help much as Frankfurt trailed 55-37 after 30 minutes. “Coach told us to stay solid on defense and not gamble. We did a good job sticking to our defensive principles and make them take tough shots. We kept the pace, got to the free throw line and took advantage of the mis-matches”, said RJ Price. “We weren´t ready to play. We were sleeping and didn´t have good ball movement”, added Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 37% from the field and 17% from the parking lot and had 35 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 26% form the field and 18% from the parking lot and had 33 rebounds and 11 turnovers.

                In the fourth quarter the Basketball Lowen Erfurt kept up their consistent offense and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to cut the deficit down to 13 points with a 1 minute to go, but that was as close as they would get. The guests got quick baskets from Arnold and Hoppe to extend their lead to 60-39. Frankfurt continued to have problems executing as the guests kept the big lead. Half way through the fourth quarter, Matthew Meredith took things into his own hands. He would score 9 points in the last 5 minutes and his self-confidence had definitely risen. He scored in traffic muscling his way to tough points and also scored from the free throw line. Another player that closed out the game well was Alexander Richardson who has to travel from Karlsruhe to Frankfurt for games and practices. He scored 6 points during the Meredith run and finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds in his Pro B debut. Frankfurt played a stronger 4th quarter, but just couldn´t show such strong moments for longer stretches during all 4 quarters. When a team is down as bad as we were, players will start to try things they usually wouldn´t do. Meredith is talented enough to force shots and be successful. He showed some good things during that stretch”, said Miran Cumarija. “We are a young group. We have to learn to play with the lead and finish a game the right way”, added RJ Price. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were led by Miles Osei with 14 points and Robert Merz had 11 points while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Matthew Meredith with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 6 dimes and Alexander Richardson contributed 10 points. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 38% from the field and 21 % from outside and had 46 rebounds and 11 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 32% from the field and 13% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 12 turnovers

DJ Woodmore´s Aggressiveness Rewarded Him With 34 points And A 103-85 Win Over BBC Coburg In the Season Opener

DJ Woodmore is a 28 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): form 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). He spoke to after the big 103-85 win over BBC Coburg.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore in Frankfurt in 2020

Congrats DJ to the 103-85 win at home over Coburg. How good did it feel to play a real professional game again? With what feelings did you go into the game?

After 7 months off, playing yesterday in front of fans again was great!! Surprised so many people game out to support! I had a great feeling going into the game but it felt a little weird with all of the rules we had to follow because of Corona.

EPG Koblenz were trailing at halftime by 5 points but you exploded for 37 points in the third quarter. What words of wisdom did head coach Danny Rodriguez find for the team at the break?

Yes the third quarter was important for us. Coach told us to stick to the game plan, and trust each other on defense. Once we did that, we started to get some easier baskets on offense.

Some times everything seems to click. Was the third quarter the best basketball that the club has played this season?

Yes, I think that was the best quarter we played including the preseason. High energy, making shots, feeding off of each other and the crowd’s energy. Hopefully we can build off of it.

The club rebounded very well and also only had 8 turnovers. It seems like the team has found an early healthy discipline?

Yes. We had problems taking care of the ball in crucial times early in the friendly games, so that was a focus for us against Coburg.

Marley Jean-Louis had a super game contributing 24 points. How have you seen his early season development. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game. 

Marley played lights out tonight!! His ability to hit tough shots makes us so much better. He set the tone for the game and we needed every bit of it! We feed off of his confidence and leadership.

You had a massive explosive game with 34 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists. Did you wake up with a different kind of feeling or did you get that special feeling before the tip off that this could be a special day for you?

Honestly, I just stuck to my same routine. Nothing felt different for me tonight. Once I got rid of the nerves and jitters from it being the first game, everything started to click for me.

What was different today for you on the court. Were you more aggressive than usual and after a while get that invincible feeling?

Coach has been telling me for weeks to be more aggressive offensively. I saw that I could take advantage rebounding. And because Marley and Brian we getting so much attention it would free up opportunities for me to look for my shot a little more.

You had good teammates in Speyer, but I believe Koblenz is even deeper. Do you feel like games like these could be regular occurences or rather less simply because the team is so deep.

I think this team has a lot of potential. I think we’re still a long way away from reaching it, but I think we saw flashes of it tonight on offense and defense.

You have had some big games in the Pro B over the years, but was this game overall the best in your Pro B career?

Yes I think this was the best or second best game in my Pro B career. Feels so much better when you play well at home and win!

The team did give up 85 points. On what area’s on defense does the team still have to tweak things in order to be ready for the next opponents?

Yes I think we could get a lot better defensively but Coburg made some tough shots. They were really good offensively and have some guys that can really play.

Now that Lebron won his 4th ring, where does he stand in the GOAT debate against Michael Jordan?

For me LeBron has already been the GOAT for about 4 years!! So this ring just makes the debate easier for me to argue. Respect the King

What was the last movie that you saw?

Last movie I watched was Tenet. I’m still trying to figure out what happened in the movie lol. But I definately recommend it.

Thanks DJ for the chat.

John Murry(Grevenbroich Elephants) Knows What Has To Be Done For No More Sleepless Nights

            Mark Gordon has been the story of the Regionalliga west as he exploded for 40 points in his first game. The guy is a walking bucket and can haul down rebounds with the best of them. His fearless and eruptive scoring continued the next weeks as he nailed Rhondorf for 26 points and a week later shot out the lights against Bonn 2 netting 38 points currently averaging a ridiculous33,0ppg.. But at the end of the day, it doesn´t matter if you score 38 or 68 points, if you don´t achieve the win then nobody cares how much you scored. Last weekend the Florida native Gordon was ready for his next scoring victim with the Grevenbroich Elephants on the road. He probably figured it would be another one man show, but boy was he wrong. He once again came up with the goods scoring 30 points and hauling down 13 boards, but he surely wasn´t expecting to be outdueled by a talented player named John Murry. Murry had a great scoring evening pouring home 36 points in the exciting 114-110 victory and led his team to their third win in a row. Both Murry and Gordon are both your typical “I have a big chip on my shoulder and it will never go away” players that have been doubted all their life and now are playing for peanuts in the German Regionalliga(4th division). Ok so their scoring onslaught duel didn´t have the excitement or charm of the 1988 Bird-Wilkins battle in Boston, but still it was a joy to watch and follow. Especially in the Regionalliga you will often find those explosive Americans that are so dangerous and successful, because they have that chip on their shoulder and feel like they always have something to prove. This head to head battle with Gordon wasn´t the first that the 25 year old 192cm guard Murry had had in his basketball career. “I remember at Austin Peay we played Eastern Illinois and Demetrius McReyonalds and he had 30 at their house and I took it personal, the same team came to play us at Austin Peay and I had 35 to make a statement.”, remembered John Murry. The American who played at Austin Peay(NCAA) and averaged 16,7ppg one season and is only toiling around in Germany´s 4th division had a blast going back and forth with Gordon and also had a special connection to him. “It was fun the entire game, we talked back and forth during the game and it was nothing but respect at the end, I love competing with other good players, I want to be the best so in order to be the best you have to beat the best and that’s the goal all season. We shared a few words afterwards, he is from an area where I am familiar with so I knew his stomping grounds very well”, stressed John Murry.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry´s first meeting in 2019 in Rhondorf

            Even if times are hard everywhere in the world on account of COVID-19, basketball life is fantastic currently for the American. He had been injured for a year and had worked his butt off to get back to 100%. His club the Grevenbroich Elephants are unbeaten at 3-0 and are looking to keep the winning streak alive this weekend as they battle the feisty Bonn 2 club. And in addition he hasn´t needed any adjustment period to the Regionalliga as he is putting up great numbers. “It’s been one hell of a ride so far. The team has jelled together great and we are learning each other’s tendencies as well as playing hard for 40 minutes, not to mention a fire 3-0 start but I am not satisfied as one of the greats would say, The job is not finished yet.” We must continue to be great and push towards the playoffs so we can make a championship run. 

As for me it feels superb to be back on the floor doing what I love to do, I love being on the floor doing what is possible for a another win in our books. We must stay focused”, warned John Murry. The last 2 victories by Grevenbroich were crunch time thrillers as they were able to nip Dorsten and Gordon by 4 points. Often teams will take half a season or maybe three fourths of a season to figure out how to win the close games, but for Grevenbroich, they have understood right away what they need to do to be successful to close out games. “It has been a tremendous focus just making sure we make the right plays and the winning plays so that we can come out with the W when the bell rings at the end of the game, regardless if it’s 4th quarter or double OT like last game lol”, stated John Murry. Often stats don´t lie or do they sometimes? Grevenbroich got scorched on the boards and Dorsten hit 13 three´s, but they still couldn´t pull out the win. Anytime a club coughs up the ball a miserable 29 times, then it will be difficult to win. Grevenbroich took advantage of all the extra possessions. “We just stayed the course and made sure we did what we do in crunch time. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well that night as a team but we did everything else the right way to get the W. I have faith that we will bounce back and have a better shooting night in the future”, commented John Murry.  

            The Grevenbroich Elephants have relinquished way too many points in the early going and had fortune that their offense was rolling. But what will happen on an off day offensive game? If the defense can´t get consistent stops and the offense isn´t cooking, then all of a sudden the loses will increase. The season is still young and Murry knows what adjustments have to be made on the defensive end. “Just making sure we cut down on second chance points, that really killed us in game 3. We just have to make sure we don’t miss assignments on the defensive end and we will be okay”, added John Murry. The American knows that a 3-0 record doesn´t mean anything and the team needs to stay focused and just go from game to game and not get crazy with the potential that they have. Deep down, he knows that this team could go a far far way this season. “Team chemistry is going very well and we always have something to improve championship teams never get satisfied with early success, we want to push towards the playoffs and continue to make a run at a championship”, warned John Murry. The next game is against Bonn 2 like so many teams have an abundance of many young talented Germans. So far Bonn have been solid carrying a 2-2 record, but last weekend lost an ugly 101-63 contest at home to Rhondorf. Especially after a team got clobbered at home, the biggest mistake any team can do is to think that will happen again. Instead that Bonn 2 team will be extra hungry and motivated for Grevenbroich. “Never underestimate your opponent, that will weaken our team and how we come out to play. We are going to play our game the way we play our game make sure we get things done on our end and the rest will take care of itself”, warned John Murry.

            The American like so many guys in the Regionalliga not only has a huge chip on his shoulder, but is a guy that won´t only go the extra mile, but he will go the extra marathon to achieve his personal goals on the court. He knows that he is talented and is blessed with helathy self-confidence, but has been overlooked his whole career. Knowing that has driven him to grind harder than the rest on a regular basis. His nonstop grinding and pride in practicing superb work ethic is something that has helped him be successful on the court so far this season. Currently he is averaging 22,0ppg, 6,0rpg and 5,0apg. His stat line is very good, but his biggest bummer at the moment is his three point shooting. He never shot over 40% in JUCO or the NCAA, but wasn´t far away at 34% and 35%. This season he is shooting below 30% and knows that he has to find a way to correct it as his passion in getting better and continuing to move up the basketball ladder are immense. “Definitely not happy with the way I shot the ball the last game. There are some things that I can improve on in that area also in other areas but the job is not finished and I won’t be happy until we get what we came here for in  the first place. I’m thinking championship run from here on”, stressed John Murry. His current shooting drought has really bugged him and at the moment his shooting bricks and being able to find the ocean again a big priority. “I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I shot that bad, I refuse to have that type of shooting percentage again. I’ve never shot like that in my career and I’m working my butt off to see that doesn’t happen again”, warned John Murry. Murry definitely needs to find his shooting touch again, because too many sleepless nights won´t be good for anybody especially the Grevenbroich Elephants

Anthony Brown(Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans) I Remember Kobe Joking I´ll Get 82 And Then Dropping 60 In His Last NBA Game

Anthony Brown is a 28 year old 199cm forward that was born in Bellflower, California. He is playing his 6th professional season and first with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans (France-Jeep ELITE ProA). He played his first full season in Europe last season splitting time with teams Limoges CSP Elite (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 6 Eurocup games averaging 8.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 42.9%; and played 10 French Jeep ELITE ProA games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 46.3%, FT: 88.9%, in Dec.’19 moved to Montakit Fuenlabrada (Spain-ACB) playing 8 games: averaging 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.6%. He began his basketball career at Ocean View High School and then played at Stanford University (NCAA) playing 138 NCAA games and as a senior played 37 games averaging 14.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 79.5%. In 2015 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA,2rd (34). From 2015-2019 he played 41 NBA games with the Lakers, Pelicans, Magic and Timberwolves and alos played with G-league teams Los Angeles D-Fenders, Erie Bay Hawks, Iowa Wolves and Lakeland Magic. He spoke to germanhoops.comafter a 86-80 Eurocup win in Ulm. 

Thanks Anthony for talking to Your just played a Eurocup game in Ulm, Germany. Is the whole travel thing in Europe easier and less hectic than what you experienced in the NBA and G-League?

Traveling in Europe isn’t on the same level as the NBA. In the NBA you always take charter flights. I would compare the travel in Europe to the G-League. It always depends what city you are in. Last season playing in Limoges, the travel was worse. But now living in Paris the travel has been smooth. 

You were teammates with Ulm American Troy Caupain and John Petrucelli a few years ago with Lakeland. Do you have any friendly wagers going?

No we didn’t have any friendly wagers going, but it was really good to see them. I talk to both guys on a regular basis. When I played with the Lakeland Magic, it was one of the closest teams that I ever played with. I talk to John like 2-3 times a week and I talk to Troy 2-3 times a month. This was the first time that I had seen them since we played in the G-League one and a half years ago. 

Congrats on the 86-80 win in Ulm. What steps did the team make in Ulm?

We didn’t play well in our first 2 Eurocup games. We didn’t start well in the first quarter in those 2 games, but in Ulm we finally did. We as a team don’t have much Eurocup experience. Winning this game was important. We are starting to know what we have to do to win. This win took some relief off our shoulders.

Before we get to your career, I have to ask you about how you experienced COVID-19 in 2020. What personally was the most challenging thing for you while having to stay fit as well as off the court things?

COVID-19 was tough at first, but I was lucky to have a little gym in L.A. I was allowed access in June and practiced there until August. I really needed that time. I didn’t have that in April/May. It was tough in that time. All I could do was have home work outs and run outside. 

How do you feel did COVID-19 and everything you experienced the last months make you stronger as a man?

When you’re a professional player, you play 10-15 years and never stop. You have little time to kick it with family and friends. This was the first time since high school that I could spend a lot of time with family. 

Congrats on signing with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans (France-Jeep ELITE Pro A). You have lived in cities like Los Angeles, close to San Francisco and New Orleans just to name a few, but what has it been like living in the massive historical city Paris? Was it a culture shock at first?

No there was no culture shock. Paris has been cool. Paris is pretty westernized and everyone pretty much speak English. I really enjoy the city. I feel like I’m back at home. Here I am able to be around people and I don’t feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. I can always find what I need.

You played in the France Pro A last season with Limoges so you know what to expect. What can we expect from this team? It doesn’t have the big time players except for you. Will this team surprise people this season? It is off to a 3-0 record

Last season I think the team ended in 5th place. We were missing some key guys in Ulm like Rob Gray. I think that we have the chance to be a top 4 team. I think with the experience of last years team combined with a few more pieces, we will be able to compete until the end.

With Marei and Chicoko the club has to ex players from the German league BBL.Chicoko is off to a great start. Do you see Marei following who had a massive game in Ulm with 15/13 stats?

Assem is a beast. This is the first time that I have seen him play. I already had known about Chicoko. I think that with these 2 guys, we have a chance to have the best bigs on the court each night. If they can rebound and make consistent post shots, then I think that it will be hard to beat us. If you double them then we will have our shooters ready. We already have good chemistry.

A lot of times guys come from the NBA to Europe and sometimes guys go from Europe to the NBA. Your teammate David Michineau was drafted by the pelicans in 2016. How much potential does he still have at age 26?

David has a lot of potential. He has the right physical tools and is super athletic. He can get into the paint at will and make plays. Once he becomes a better shooter, he can get to the next level. He has a crazy bright future. If he doesn’t make the NBA then the Euroleague. 

You had solid stats last season in France and Spain but this season have picked them up. Do you feel you will have the opportunity this season to have that major leader role?

Last season it was my first time in Europe and I jumped on the train coming in mid season. That was tough, but this season I was here from day 1 which has helped me be more vocal and help make more chemistry. 

How would you like to keep developing as a player overseas? You showed last season that you can adapt to the style as you shot at a high clip from outside

I think that important for me will be to continue to make plays off the dribble in the paint. Overseas you have the defensive 3 seconds. The paint area is more clogged in Europe. I want to become a better player in tight spaces. In the NBA/G-League there is a lot more space. I also want to develop further into a better defender. I want to be a guy defending the other team’s best scorer. 

Last season you played your first real season overseas with Limoges CSP Elite (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 6 Eurocup games averaging 8.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 42.9%;and played 10 French Jeep ELITE ProA games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 46.3%, FT: 88.9%, in Dec.’19 moved to Montakit Fuenlabrada (Spain-Liga) playing 8 games averaging 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.6%. What was your wake up call to being overseas as a professional for the first time?

My wake up call was arriving in Limoges and taking my first trip around the whole city in like 8 minutes. Limoges was completely different to what I was used to in California where I have lived most of my life. Going to a smaller city was an adjustment. 

You played in Europe’s best league ACB last season and was teammates with Earl Rowland. How beneficial was it for you to have that vet on your side?

I connected to EJ right away. We had some mutual friends from Los Angeles. I started to hang out with him. He helped me a lot adjusting to the high level in the ACB

You began the 2018-2019 season with famous team BC Partizan NiS Beograd (Serbia-KLS). What do you remember from this brief stay and why was your stay so short?

I remember the Partizan fans as being crazy and intense. I was signed by a previous coach. When I got there, he resigned. The new coach brought a player with him and had a different style. There was no room for me. 

You finished the 2018-2019 season with the Lakeland Magic (NBA G League) playing 27 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 81.1%. That team had some good scorers. How much of a challenge is it in general to stand out for the NBA when the team has so many good players?

I think that it’s tough on any team. It is tough to stand out on a losing team, because no one really knows who really contributed. I think that the NBA will notice that 13 or 14 point scorer on a winning team first before that 19 or 20 point scorer on a losing team. We really had it together on that team. Most G-League teams aren’t that together. 

You played the 2017-2018 season primarily for the at Iowa Wolves (NBA G League) playing 45 games averaging 18.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 79.7%, but you did play an NBA game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. How disappointing was it not getting more of an NBA run that season considering the G-League stats that you put up having 3 30 point games in November?

It was definitely disappointing not getting more of a look. That was my third year and I really felt like I was ready to make an impact. The opportunity just didn’t come and that’s life. 

In the 2016-2017 season you split time with the New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) playing 9 games averaging 3.8ppg, 2.9rpg, played also at Erie Bay Hawks (D-League) playing 24 games averaging 20.3ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT: 80.8%, in Jan.’17 agreed terms with Orlando Magic (NBA) playing 2 games averaging 4.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0apg. How do you remember this season? You had 2 NBA opportunities and put up strong stats in the D-League. 

I moved around a lot that year. It was also the first time that I had lived outside of California. Overall it was a good year. I only wish that my NBA opportunity would have been longer. That was the first time in my career where I was the first offensive option. At Stanford I was the 3rd or 4th option. I learned to become a consistent scorer. It’s not easy to consistently score 20 points a game when everybody is watching you. I definitely became a better player and I improved the most that season. 

The Pelicans were a young team, but also an organization somewhat in disarray. Do you feel like you got a fair chance to really showcase your skills?

I came to a team that wasn’t doing well and had injuries. I was with the Pelicans for like 2-3 weeks It was only my second professional season and wasn’t super experienced yet. I feel like if I would have had more of an opportunity that I could have made my stand. I am very thankful for the opportunity. This was also the first time that I saw Anthony Davis. He was the best teammate that I ever played with. The things he was doing on the court made no sense for a 7 footer. 

As a rookie you played with the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) playing 29 games averaging 4.0ppg, 2.4rpg. How long is one in aw until that whole unbelievable feeling wears down?

I wouldn’t say that I was in awe. I was so in the moment that I didn’t have a chance to be in awe, because your so focused on the team. The only chance to be in awe was when I was around Kobe. 

Not many people can say that they were teammates with Kobe Bryant. Do you have your own special story about Kobe Bryant?

I just remember the last game before he got 60 points. We were joking in the locker room and asking him how much he would get. He just smiled and said I’m going to get 82 points. Everybody just looked up and said ok. Then he drops 60 points. It was amazing how he could get up 50 shots despite a sore body. His mind was at another level. His 60 points didn’t surprise me. I knew that he would leave it all out on the floor in his last game

You also played with another legend Ron Artest. How did you experience him as a teammate who had a legend like Kobe Bryant as a teammate also

Ron was cool. He was a valuable piece on the team. He gave a lot of valuable advice on defense. He always helped us. He was always talking about how you could frustrate your opponent and always be physical. He was a mastermind on defense. 

You had games where you played 30 plus minutes and games where you played 4 -5 minutes. What is the fondest moment that you had on the court with the Lakers?

I don’t remember having to many fond moments mainly because we lost so many games. I guess one of my fondest moments was playing against New Orleans. I made a 4 point play, a couple of three’s and made the game winning stop at the end. I also remember my first start playing against Kevin Durant. That didn’t go to well. 

You have seen a lot in the NBA, but what for you is the best example where you saw that the NBA will always be a business first?

We see the NBA being a business every day. We have guys out of the league who should be in the league. Then we have guys around like Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony where everyone said they couldn’t play. The biggest thing that I learned about the NBA being a business is that you can’t get to emotional. It is all not in your control. Teams can really like you, but then it can come down to money or how your contract is structured. When your growing up, you know nothing about this. All you think about is going to the NBA and it being simple. 

Your still very young. Is the NBA a done deal or is the Euroleague your next challenge?

I wouldn’t say that the NBA is a done deal yet. The way everything is going now, I’m not thinking too heavily about the NBA. I want to play in the Euroleague. Everybody wants to be in the NBA, but the Euroleague would be great also. That league is rising each season. 

You played at Stanford reaching a NCAA Sweet 16 and wining the NIT title. What kind of player did you become at that school?

My first year was also head coach Johnny Dawkins first year. We were still developing an identity. I was an OK player as a freshman. Then I got hurt and had to sit out a season. I had double hip surgery. In this time, I became an elite shooter. I had so much time to practice and improve as a shooter. Before that injury I was shooting at 34% and ever since have been at 40% or better. That injury made me more serious and I understood that basketball could be taken away from me at any time. 

You played many many years with guys like Chasson Randle, Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell. Did the experiences that you all shared did you become like brothers?

Yes for sure we are like brothers. We were all super competitive and pushed each other to become better. It was always healthy competition. We all lived next door to each other and were in the gym all day. How could we not enjoy each other?

I always thought a guy like Travis Reid had major NBA potential but instead he ended up in Europe. Did you take him under your wing as a senior?

Yes I did take him under my wing even if he was a big man and I was a wing. We still talk to this day. I tried to help him. The biggest thing for him was his maturity. He was already pretty mature as a freshman. At least more mature than I was. He did a good job balancing being at a school with elite academics and playing in the Pac 12.. There was a lot of hype around him, but he handled it well. He has NBA potential. 

How did head coach Johnny Dawkins groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He prepared me a lot. He played in the NBA and he was a big reason why I went to Stanford. He was a hands on developer working with us on the court and showing us everything we needed to know. He helped me grow a s a person and helped me become the man I am today. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Josh Owens?

JO was 2 years above me. We had some battles, but we didn’t play too much. He was a freak. He was the most athletic player that I ever witnessed. He did amazing things in College. It was NBA dunk athleticism. 

Do you still follow Stanford basketball? If so do you see Oscar Da Silva being an NBA player one day?

Oscar could get drafted. He took a major step last year. He is on the radar. He is a big that can shoot which is important in 2020. 

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that went to the NBA?

There have been very many. 2 guys come vividly to mind. I remember freshman year playing Washington and Isaiah Thomas killing us. I also remember playing Washington State and Klay Thompson killing us. Klay’s play looked so effortless. He was easily the best player we played against that season. Derrick Williams also was good.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

That is too tough. I would leave out way too many guys. 

Please construct your personal own NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present players?

Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Magic

What is your opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James? And why isn’t Kobe mentioned more?

Kobe should be in the conversation. How can you keep Kobe out. It is neck in neck. You can’t go wrong with anyone. It really depends on your preference. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Money Heist. It’s a great show

Thanks Anthony for the chat.

Jordan Hill Is Such A Complete Player That Just Scoring Would Be A Disservice Towards His Full Package Game

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Hill after giving his German debut in Rhondorf with Ibbenburen

Over the years the German Regionalliga have had some amazing American players that showcased massive explosive scoring qualities and it is no different in 2020. In the German Regionalliga, you have an abundance of young and older German players and usually one dominant American. An American averaging 20,0 in this league means in some cases little, but if you’re a Ricky Easterling who averaged 33,0ppg with Saarlouis 10 years ago, it is a big deal. This season the first explosive new player came on the scene with Dorsten’s forward Mark Gordon who scorched team Lowen for 40 in his professional debut and after 4 games is averaging an overwhelming 33,0ppg. It is just a normal procedure for an American to score very many points in this league, because the league is also a stepping stone to get to the higher leagues so as a player you need to put up incredible stats. But not every American is like this. When I heard that ex Wisconsin Badger Jordan Hill (192-G-94, college: Seattle, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) had signed with Ibbenburen, I was pleasantly overjoyed. It isn’t every day that one sees a player of this calibur from a well known NCAA school like Wisconsin ball in the German 4th league. My first thought was, this guy is going to dominate this level. Little did I know that dominating is in his basketball language, but not necessarily in scoring. I was lucky to see him play his first game with Ibbenburen in Rhondorf. I was shocked when he didn’t even start or play in the first quarter. He finally was inserted in the second quarter and quickly and easily scored 2 rapid buckets in a row. Then I thought that a Ricky Easterling scoring rampage would come, but boy was I wrong. At the end of the game, he didn’t play 30 minutes, but only 14 minutes, but scored 13 points and dished out 4 assists while rebounding and playing defense. He hit all of his 6 shots as well. After helping his team to the 87-73 victory, I was surprised, but convinced that I had just seen the first complete American player in the Regionalliga. Scoring wasn’t the main dish on his basketball menu. ‘I can score. I can get to a bucket when necessary but I am such a complete player that it would be a disservice to everyone if I didn’t show the full package. My shooting is probably one of my better qualities. I think a look at my percentage may be misleading but I know how dangerous I can be from 3. This season will be a great chance to prove that. I can pass the ball with the best of them and I think my teammates will tell you how great I can share the ball. If I am called on to score more, then that is what I will do. I definitely think I have more to show than that though’, warned Jordan Hill. This American has enriched the league already after only a few games with his unselfishness.

Just like every one on earth Jordan Hill didn’t have the normal 2020 leading up to his current job in Germany. His last employer was a team in Brasil. He also was lucky to play a extra month as most guys that were balling in Europe had their season’s end at the beginning of March. For him finding any kind of normalcy in Seattle was out of the question. ‘Covid-19 has been a bit crazy in the States. The most difficult part of the pandemic was trying to find a place to get some time on the court. A large majority of the gyms were closed and unavailable. Weight rooms, basketball gyms, and even some outside courts were all shutdown for months. I was forced to do workouts inside the apartment and dribble around outside’, stressed Jordan Hill. Even if COVID-19 has hurt the world’s economy, it most sadly ended so many lives and caused families heart aches, there was a positive thing about it. In many cases it has helped people see the world in a whole different perspective and thus force one to react in certain ways one may not have had COVID-19 not struck. ‘I think it gave me time to sit back and make a plan for things I was looking to change in my life. I started a business and got accepted to a master’s program. I am always looking for ways to become a better person day in and day out. It challenged me to not be complacent. I forced myself to work on skills and try things I previously didn’t make time for’, warned Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill was born on December 12, 1994 in West Hills, California and grew up in Pasadena. He has 5 siblings and his uncle, Anthony Harris, played football at Cal State Northridge. The 25 year old American got his first real basketball experience with LaSalle in Pasadena, California averaging 15.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, 2.0bpg. He then got some added basketball experience at Phillips Exeter Academy averaging 7.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 8.0apg. The American who compares his game to guys like Penny Hardaway, Devin Booker and Steph Curry remembers what sold Wisconsin (NCAA) on his basketball abilities. ‘I didn’t see any problem with my stats at all at Exeter. I didn’t take a lot of shots during my time there. We played a team game. My job was to play aggressive defense in the front court and find the open man when the ball was in my hands. I had some pretty great games and plenty of highlight plays on our way to winning the first NEPSAC Class A Championship in Exeter school history. I have always had the talent and skill to play at the highest level. There is absolutely no doubt about that in my mind. I received my Wisconsin scholarship after a weekend of incredible play during my AAU season. My mentality towards defense, creating for others, and my overall work ethic is what got me the offer’, warned Jordan Hill. He then played 4 years at Wisconsin, but it didn’t turn out the way he may have thought. He played only 40 NCAA games in 3 seasons and never averaged more than 3,0ppg, but did reach 2 NCAA final 4’s losing to Duke and Kentucky. He had some amazing teammates with future NBA players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker and future Euroleague player Nigel Hayes. Despite not getting sufficient minutes there, he took the positives from the situation. ‘It was difficult every day. It used to really bother me to know I was capable of so much more but the playing system wasn’t setup for me to do what I do best. That’s fine, it just powered me to work on my game while I was there so that I would be ready for whatever came next. We accomplished a lot as a team and I know I made crucial plays throughout my career there. I have the respect of my teammates and that’s enough for me. That chapter of my life was important to my development as a player’, warned Jordan Hill. His toughest loss was lto Duke and he showed his team player qualities with the limited role that he had. ‘I gave my teammates hell while I was on the practice squad. I got a lot of buckets in practice and made the first team run a few times. That everyday work was necessary. Wisconsin is a program that is always more prepared than the opponent and that starts in how detailed we are in scouting reports, the aggression we play with in practice, and the brotherhood we built in the locker room’, remembered Jordan Hill

The American who lists his 5 best teammates of all-time as Nigel Hayes, Vitto Brown, Bronson Koenig, Frank Kaminsky, and Traevon Jackson didn’t finish career at Wisconsin, but opted for a new challenge and played his senior year with the University Of Seattle playing 32 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 77.2%. He finally got many minutes and could display the kind of player he really was, which he couldn’t display at Wisconsin. ‘I had the ball in my hands every time down the court. The game began and ended with my decision making. I loved that feeling of being the master of my destiny. I was allowed the freedom to figure things out on the court. I was more mature when I got to Seattle because I had 4 years of high-level basketball experience. There was no way for me to really fail if you ask me. I am destined for greatness and my time at Seattle U was the beginning of that process I believe’, stated Jordan Hill. He scored in double figures in 24 games and scored 26 points against Grand Canyon and 24 points against New Mexico State. He had a stretch in December where he played his best basketball there averaging 22ppg in wins against schools St Martin’s. Portland State and Nicholls. ‘I was shooting the ball very well at the time. I put together a really good stretch of games. I was shooting almost 48% from 3 until the conference season. I think I was getting whatever I want on the court. There’s another level I can tap into though’, warned Jordan Hill. All in all, he has many fond memories at the University of Seattle and even a few years later still has certain games fresh in his mind. ‘I think the win against N Mexico State at home in Key Arena is probably the most memorable games I’ve played. I got it done in the clutch with my teammates and we needed the win. It was tough but those are always my most favorite games. I put up 26 against Grand Canyon in a loss and 19 against Washington in a loss. Both games I think I played really really well. I shot it great in both games. I had about 5 3s against Washington and 4 against Grand Canyon. Although they were losses, those were some of my favorite games’, expressed Jordan Hill. He remembers winning and losing one on one duels against teammate Richaud Gittens, but he said a very interesting thing that no other player has ever said to me. Nobody has ever groomed him for anything except for his father, but his ex coach Jim Hayford did prepare him for a professional basketball career. ‘Jim Hayford gave me the keys to make a memorable season out of my time at Seattle U and I am forever thankful for that. It means a lot for a coach to trust in you and Coach Hayford trusted me to lead the team in the right direction. We got to 20 wins and that is a hell of an accomplishment for a team that had never played together before’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also will never forget the Kentucky team he battled that was filled with many future NBA players especially current Phoenix Sun Devin Booker. ‘Devin Booker just looked different out on the court. His skill level is so crazy. You just knew you were watching a pro’, said Jordan Hill.

The American who last watched Bad Boys 3 began his professional season in 2018-2019 with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 11 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 27.1%, FT: 92.3%. Even if he was in Europe for the first time, it wasn’t that much of a culture shock. ‘I think after the first week in Cyprus I realized that I was a long way from home and I wasn’t coming back any time soon. I have been living on my own since about 17 so it didn’t necessarily bother me to be far from home and alone. I think the daily practices and interactions with the coaching staff told me a lot about what I need to do to be professional and improve my game’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also was fortunate not to be the lone American on the team which can happen. Instead he was joking around on a daily basis and hanging out with 4 other Americans which made life in a foreign country a lot easier. ‘I loved playing with 4 other Americans. It made getting through the tough days a lot easier because I could relate to my teammates very naturally. We had a lot of fun and still stay in contact with each other. I think a lot of people in Cyprus speak English so the language barrier didn’t become as much of a problem as one might think’, added Jordan Hill. He played his second professional season in South America with Basquete Blumenau/APAB (Brazil-Liga Ouro) playing 7 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 57.1. Usually Americans in the latter part of their career’s will head to South America to make some last money, but seeing Brasil and it’s basketball early in his career was an eye opener. ‘Playing in Brazil was a different experience. Unfortunately I was unable to play more than 7 games during my time there because of a little injury. However, in the time that I was there, I learned a lot about myself and a culture I knew nothing about. The style of play in Brazil is different than in America. The players are very passionate and very unselfish. My team ran a lot of offense and did a lot of passing before looking to score. I played in Liga Ouro which is a good league with a lot of good players. It was very physical and demanded a lot out of you on both sides of the ball’, remembered Jordan Hill

He is playing his third professional season in the German fourth division with the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen. There is no arrogance or embarrassment about playing in such a low league, but instead his feelings are as if he just won the lottery. ‘I am beyond blessed. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to continue my playing career and learn about a different culture. This is my first time spending some significant time in Europe so I am looking forward to the experience’, warned Jordan Hill. He has already demonstrated that he is a team player so versatility is something that he takes a lot of pride in. ‘Versatility is key for me. I am a player who can affect both sides of the ball. I have the ability to lockdown other players as well as rebound, pass, LEAD, play in transition, and get in passing lanes. I am not looking to be a one-man show. I like to see my teammates score and play confidently. I want to be known as a two way player not just an offensive threat’, stated Jordan Hill. After 3 games and 24 minutes per game, he has put up very respectable stats averaging 13,7ppg, 2,7rpg, 5,0apg and 1,3spg. His shot selection has been excellent as he is shooting 56% from the parking lot (6/11). Despite his current hot shooting, he always wants to get better at shooting. ‘I try to get up as many shots as possible whenever I can. I wish there was someone to always rebound, haha it would make it a bit easier. I feel my shot is above average regardless of my percentage. In college I shot the ball very well and made big threes in very clutch situations. I know what I am capable of. There will be plenty of opportunities to show that. My shooting will allow me to open of the floor. It is always a threat and my confidence in my shot will not waiver. If I am a threat from 3, I can get to any spot I want to on the court’, warned Jordan Hill. In order to continue to be that complete player and be versatile, he is never working only on one area of his game. ‘I am constantly working on every part of my game. I always want to improve my shooting and ball handling. Those are the foundation for expanding my game. I think I am in a position now where I can do more scoring than anything else. So with that focus I am paying close attention to the game film and finding places I can be the most aggressive’, commented Jordan Hill. In Ibbenburen, the American will have a lot of free time to keep working on his game. His focus and work ethic are huge, but so is his chip on his shoulder. He has big goals in Ibbenburen. ‘I always have a chip on my shoulder. That’s never going anywhere. People have doubted me no matter where I played. That doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter the level. Wherever I am, I will show and prove. This is the 4th league and I know what I am capable of accomplishing. We can win this league. That is my focus. Everything else will fall into place as it’s supposed to’, warned Jordan Hill. And maybe for once an American won’t average 20,0ppg in the Regionalliga. It’s not always about the stats, but in Hill’s case it’s about winning and just getting better each day while showcasing the full package.