The Miles Vs Stanley Whittaker(PS Karlsruhe) Weekly Basketball Conversation Volume 1

Stanley Whittaker (183-G-94, college: Keiser) is a 26 year old 183cm point guard from Philadelphia playing his third professional season and first in Germany with PS Karlsruhe. He played his rookie season in Lithuania and last season had his break through with UBSC Raiffeisen Graz (Austria-BSL) playing 24 games: Score-2 (21.5ppg), 6.3rpg, Assists-2 (8.0apg), Steals-1 (2.6spg), FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college ball at Frank Phillips (JUCO) and Keiser (NAIA). He will team up every week with Miles Schmidt-Scheuber to talk basketball

Stanley thanks for talking to You finally opened up the season and played your first German Pro A game. Despite the blow out loss in Leverkusen how did it feel to play your first game in Germany?

Honestly it wasn’t the best first experience playing and losing that bad. A very tough defeat. But I think we can build from this game for sure and try to only look forward to the next game and prepare accordingly!

PS Karlsruhe had traffic problems getting to Leverkusen. Then you arrived and got spanked 109-71. How tough is it in general to come off the bus after a 3 hour bus drive and preform very well?

Man it’s tough. You can’t really put words for it. We were on the bus for actually 5 hours and had to get off and play. It was whispers that we would have to forfeit the match, however we played, the odds and circumstances was against us and we tried to compete just wasn’t our best game.

PS Karlsruhe was only down 27-20 after one quarter, but still giving up 27 points is way too much. The turning point came in the second quarter as Leverkusen outscored you 34-13 to lead 61-33. Why did PS Karlsruhe have such big problems defending?

Firstly our turnovers led to easy offense for Leverkusen, we can’t turn the ball over against a such high power offenses, because they’ll make us pay every time. We weren’t focused defensively and didn’t really put up a strong enough battle. From my perspective, Leverkusen had easy clean looks the for the majority of the game. So we just have to be better and I’m confident we will.

PS Karlsruhe came out reborn winning the third quarter, but then stunk up the building losing the fourth quarter 31-15. Where do you see the causes of this inconsistency?

Third quarter we wanted to come out and show some pride & grit. I think we did that, cut the lead to 16, 67-51 at one point in the third, then we had some bad turnovers that led to them making a run. We have to be more composed as a group.

Could the club take any positives from the game? You did secure 12 offensive rebounds as a team?

I think we can take some positives from the game, which were how we started the game as well as the third quarter. We give ourselves a fair chance when we are focused and not beating ourselves, especially with turnovers and not getting any 50/50 balls.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Stanley Whittaker in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt in 2021

It seems like PS Karlsruhe will have to get another import player. You have many young talented Germans, but in the competitive Pro A league not having depth is going to hurt you.

I’m not sure what’s the process with that, however all we can do is focus on what we have in our locker room right now. And with that, we have to focus at a higher level, stay together and produce.

You had a solid game with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. How much blame do you personally take after a blow out loss like that?

I take a lot of responsibility for this loss, I wasn’t anywhere close to actually being myself tonight. Way too many turnovers and bad decisions. I didn’t lead well tonight at all but I’ll be better for sure!

How much film do you watch after a loss like that? What did you analyze most about your play via video?

I usually watch film as soon as I can from the game, I’ll watch it 2-3 times to see all things. Our defense, our offensive execution, different reads and looks we may or may not had. So things of that nature, I surely do my studying!

What was it like battling Quenton Goodin? How enriching is it being able to present your game to these talented American point guards?

Man it’s always good going up against another American guard, and Americans in general. Although I’m a relentless competitor, it’s great to see other American guys playing the game abroad and being able to further their playing careers after college. Everyone isn’t blessed with that opportunity, so it’s a great thing in my opinion!

The NFL has started again. Do you follow the league and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles on Sundays in Germany?

Yes, I follow the Eagles, I also keep up with the other teams as well. Football was my first sport, so I still love to watch it!

Thanks Stanley for the chat.

Rookie TJ Lang´s Professional 45 Point Debut Powers The Sunkings Saarlouis To Wild 122-120 Shoot Out OT Win Over The Bona Baskets Limburg

With the exception of a few games in June in a special tournament to crown a new Pro B team, there hadn’t been a lot of basketball in Limburg in the last 19 months due to the pandemic. The Regionalliga season was cancelled last season which left a very sour taste in the mouths of the hardcore basketball fans in the Limburg region. But the long wait finally ended as the 2021-2022 season finally commenced against the Saarlouis Sun Kings. Some things never change with Limburg basketball as the famous Stahlbohm family just don’t go away and continue to support basketball like crazy with the father son duo of coach Danny and son player Justin continue to be the heart and soul of the organization. But one thing was different as the club changed their name and now are called Bona Baskets Limburg. Right on the first game day, they welcomed a legend into their living room with Ricky Easterling who is in his 14th season with the Sunkings at age 37 and without a doubt belongs to the greatest Regionalliga players ever to play in Germany. Just being able to see a player like that still do his thing at that age is an enrichment. The Bona Baskets Limburg wanted to begin the season out with a bang and did scoring 120 points, but couldn’t find that defensive intensity and consistency from the past summer and pre season battle against Pro A team Kirchheim Knights losing a wild shoot out 122-120 OT win. It was one of those special games that had an extra lot of scoring, a weird time out of 15 minutes as the gym lost power and a lot of heart and passion from the players. After the big season opening win Mr Regionalliga Ricky Easterling who had another normal day at the office with 27 points reflected on the crazy victory. ‘I remember a game like that a few years ago here. This game is on the top of my list of crazy games I have played. This was a collective win and we fought hard on offense and defense. We stepped together in tough times all through out the game’, stressed ex BG Karlsruhe guard Ricky Easterling. For the Bona Baskets Limburg, it was a very bitter shocking loss. ‘This was one of the more crazy games that I have ever played in. Both teams were hitting a lot in the second half. This game was good promotion for the sport. They took advantage of the mis matches and we couldn’t stop Lang. Also our zone wasn’t that good either’, stressed Bona Baskets Limburg captain Justin Stahllbohm.

KJ Sherril at the free throw line

Both teams were feeling each other out in the first few minutes before the Bona Baskets Limburg began to take control of the game. Ricky Easterling had a slow start missing too many shots, but teammate ex Auburn (NCAA) guard TJ Lang (201-G-95, college: S.Florida) who was playing his first professional game began to hit from everywhere and it wouldn’t stop until the buzzer sounded. Limburg got good production from ex EPG Baskets Koblenz forward Noah Westerhaus and ex Cuxhaven (PRO A) forward KJ Sherril, but it was point guard Croatian Matej Kljaic that took total control and scored 14 points in the first quarter. His tenacious drive to the hoop was unstoppable, but he also demonstrated that he can drop the long distance jumper. Westerhaus was very instrumental in the 20-7 run in the latter part of the first quarter as he got more aggressive on offense as he dangerous drive with his left hand always kept the guests off guard on defense. Limburg also did a good job on Easterling who scored only one bucket, but to give him an off day and cold for 40 minutes is about as difficult as forever taking away his ruthless mid distance weapon. ‘I know that when I start slow, that it will start to click sooner or later. I never hang my head and just stay true to the game. Good things will happen’, warned Ricky Easterling. After 10 minutes the Bona Baskets Limburg had the commanding 29-17 advantage. ‘We didn’t play good defense. We figured it out later and found ways to slow down their offense’, stressed Ricky Easterling.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Mr Regionalliga Ricky Paulding

In the second quarter the Sunkings Saarlouis began to execute better on offense and cut into the big Limburg lead. On defense they also made adjustments and didn’t allow Limburg into their sets as well and caused hurried shots. The Sunkings Saarlouis got massive support from German guard Edgar Schwarz who has 17 Pro B games on his resume as he hit two three’s. Lang also continued to hit three’s. Limburg kept the lead because KJ Sherril had two baskets. Easterling began to find a groove, but also lent his hand to the playmaking duties finding young German Leon Knop with an easy basket via the no look pass as Limburg led 39-35. Limburg then had a good offensive stretch going on a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 47-37. In the run they got good playmaking and offense from ex Idstein player Kljaic who brings over so much calmness finding the open guy and finishing himself. Limburg also did a good job securing extra chances as they retrieved the offensive rebounds. But basketball wouldn’t be basketball if runs didn’t occur in games and the Sunkings Saarlouis rode into the break with a commanding 12-2 run to dead lock the contest at 49-49. In the run the guests got added help from Lang and Ani who supplied all the scoring power. ‘We made adjustments on defense. We did a better job on their post players and paid attention better to their offside shooter’, stated Ricky Easterling.

TJ Lang at the free throw line

In the third quarter the game remained tight despite the Bona Baskets Limburg trying to get away. Both teams also got some added rest as there was a 15 minute break because the gym lost power and the scoreboard was out of commission. Saarlouis halted Limburg’s first three possessions while taking the 53-49 lead thanks to baskets from Lang and Easterling. But then came the awakening period as the heart and soul of the Limburg squad Justin Stahllbohm went to work. He has been with the club since 2011 and is known as a sniper. He didn’t hit anything in the first half, but came to life in the third quarter. He led his team on an inspiring 16-5 run for the 65-58 lead as he nailed three three’s including two from the same spot. His line drive shot reminded one a bit of ex Florida (NCAA) sniper Lee Humprey. He would finish with 18 points on six trey’s. ‘I have experience and don’t get down if I don’t hit shots. I’m lucky that I have great teammates who told me to keep shooting. My dad has always told me to shoot higher, but I have stuck with my line drive shot. It works for me’, smiled Justin Stahllbohm. Saarlouis fought back playing more aggressive defense and forcing Limburg to crucial turnovers. 19 year old Young German Jesse Ani hit a big three and showed that he can take important responsibility in a team with so many veterans. Then with three minutes to play the mini power outage arrived as Limburg led 67-66. That didn’t faze TJ Lang who is the son of ex Duke (NCAA) and NBA player Antonio Lang as he scored 9 points giving Saarlouis the slim 75-73 advantage after 30 minutes. ‘The break due to the power benefited Limburg. We were pushing the ball at that time and they could rest and refuel during the break’, added Ricky Easterling.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and tJ Lang who dropped a pro debut 45 points

In the fourth quarter the Sunkings Saarlouis had the lead, but could never really get away as they continued to allow the Bona Baskets Limburg to hang around. The Sunkings Saarlouis broke out on a 11-4 run to extend their lead to 86-79. It was evident that the two best players Lang and Easterling were taking matters into their own hands as they combined for 9 points. Limburg played a lot of zone, but that couldn’t stop Lang as he continued to set up and score from downtown netting three after three as he finished the long night with 11. But Limburg continued to fight and Justin Stahllbohm still had a lot in his gas tank as he riffled home back to back three’s to cut the Sunkings lead down to 98-96. Limburg took that momentum and retook the lead getting a transition basket from Norman Klima who has been with the club since 2013 and a steal and coast to coast bucket from Kljaic for the 100-98 lead. The last minutes were really exciting as there were four lead changes. Lang dropped a trey for the 101-100 Sunkings lead, but a beautiful floater from the baseline from Kljaic gave Limburg the 102-101 advantage. Then Easterling connected on a rare trey as his bread and butter is his mid distance shot for the 104-102 lead. Then with 22 seconds to got Stahllbohm hit another clutch three for the 105-104 lead. The Sunkings Saarlouis had one more opportunity as it seemed like Jesse Ani was blocked, but there was contact. He only hit one of two free thows forcing the game into overtime. ‘We took advantage of the mismatches against the bench players’, said Ricky Easterling.

The Sunkings Saarlouis had a great start in the overtime period stopping Limburg’s first four possessions and going on a 5-0 run to lead 110-105. Ricky Easterling came up big at both ends as he made a block and on offense broke the Limburg zone with a beautiful assist to Lang where he broke free from a defender with a behind the back dribble feeding Lang for a trey. He then dropped free throws for the 110-105 lead. It seemed like the guests would seal the win as further baskets from Easterling and Lang gave the Sunkings the 115-109 advantage. But the Bona Baskets Limburg never gave up getting a gigantic basket from the Lithuanian giant Mantas Bernatavicius to trail Saarlouis only 115-114 with 46 seconds to play. Then came a vital playfor Saarlouis from little used German Paul Fuchs who secured an offensive rebound and then connected on a three with the 118-114 lead with 18 seconds to go. Limburg just continued to chip away having no fear as little used guard Kan Kus hit a big trey with 10 seconds remaining trailing only 118-117. After a Lang free throw, it was again a little used young German Mickael Johhannes who hit the three to give Limburg the 120-119 lead, but with 3,5 seconds left the Sunkings Saarlouis had one more trick left up their sleeve as Jesse Ani let it rip at the buzzer for the amazing 122-120 win. ‘The horn sounded after the shot. A clutch shot from Jesse. We did get pretty lucky though. We had to push the ball quickly and just found Jesse who knocked down the shot’, added Ricky Easterling. ‘That was a long 3,5 seconds. We made a mistake at the end. We can’t leave a shooter like that open’, stressed Justin Stahllbohm. The Sunkings Saarlouis were led by TJ Lang with 45 points while Ricky Easterling added 27 points and 7 dimes and Jesse Ano contributed 26 points while the Bona Baskets Limburg were led by Matej kljaic with 33 points and Noah Westerhaus added 20 points. Justin Stahllbohm and KJ Sherrill added 18 points a piece. The Sunkings Saarlouis shot 55% from the field and 58% from outside and had 26 rebounds and 12 turnovers while the Bona Baskets Limburg shot 55% from the field and 41% from outside and had 28 rebounds and 8 turnovers.

Evan Mcgaughey Accepted That The Guards Carried The Load But He was Willing To Buy In And Be A Positive Leader In Every Situation

Evan McGaughey (203-PF-94, college: Quincy, agency: Slash Sports) is a 27 year old 203cm forward from Carthage, Illinois that completed his fourth professional season and second in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg averaging 9.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 73.8%. Last season he played with Benacquista Assicurazioni Latina Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 12 games averaging 9.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 59.3%. The year before he played with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 38 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 66.7%; and played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 10.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 60.0% . He completed his rookie season in Germany with the MLP Academics Heielberg averaging 11.8ppg, 6,4rpg and 2,1apg while shooting 41% from outside. The American played an illustrious career at Quincy (NCAA’) where he averaged double figures in scoring average each season. As a senior he played 25 games averaging 16.6ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 50.6%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to following the 20-21 season.

Congrats Evan on the 2021 Pro A title. As a guy from Illinois, did you learn something new about celebrating Heidelberg style after a title win?

Celebrating the title this year was definitely a lot different than any other. With Covid rules still in affect we couldn’t really do anything special after we won.

It was an interesting final series. You won game one by 30 points and the second game was 93-93. Will you remember that game two was a tie in 30 years?
I’m not sure which game I will remember more from the championship series. We played very well the first game and took care of business. When you have a 30 point lead it’s easy to go through the motions the second game and I think that might have come into play.

How did it feel ending a game in a tie and have you ever had that before in your career?

I’ve never had a game end in a tie before. It was weird to be honest. You always picture yourself running out on the court and celebrating with your teammates but it wasn’t all of that this year.

The second quarter of game one decided the title as you won it 24-9. Was that the perfect quarter of balanced offense and defense?

That’s second quarter of the first game was just what we needed. We knew we were a great team and we played like it. Then we took that momentum into the second half and never looked back.

The MLP Academics shot better, rebounded better and took care of the ball better in game one. Did the MLP Academics want it more than the Bayer Giants Leverkusen?

I think to an extent we did want it more than they did. We were playing for the championship to cap off the season while I had the feeling they were happy to make it to the finals and didn’t worry about the result.

The team had six guys in double figures. How much fun did this season have taking care of the ball?

Scoring usually came pretty easy to us this year. There were always 3-4 guys on the floor who could score whenever we needed to, and that makes a team dangerous.

It was a crazy and unpredictable PRO A season with COVID. How highly can one rate this title win with all the drama happening around COVID?

Some may say that we should have an asterisk next to our name this year. I would argue that this year was harder than ever. The league was super competitive and you were never really sure if the next game was going to happen. It was mentally demanding all year.

The MLP Academics obviously had a great bunch of guys, but if you look back on the season what was the secret to the success?

I think you nailed it. Our team chemistry this year was the best I’ve ever seen on a team before. We all got together very well and we all knew our role and accepted it.

How much credit do you have to give coach Frenki and manager Matthias Lautenschlager? How strong was their vision and what was key for them be able to transport this belief of moving up to the team?

Of course you have to give them some credit. They put this team together and did a very good job of doing so. We knew from our first team meeting of the year that it was going to be something special for us.

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it to be reunited with Shy Ely who is a Heidelberg lifer. How did his game keep progressing since your rookie season?

Shy is definitely one of the best players, and all around guys, that I have ever played with. His determination and will to win is unmatched, and that’s why he was the best player in the league this year.

How key was scorer Jordan Geist this season? What did you appreciate most about his game?

Jordan was also big for us. He gave us that sharpshooting element from the outside and was good at creating his own shot. As he keeps maturing he will just continue to grow and have a great career.

Saaed Nelson played a very good rookie season. How did you see him develop in the season and is he a guy that you see making the jump to internal ball competition in the future?

Sa’eed has a huge future ahead of him. Another guy that was always putting in extra work and focus on what needed to be done. If he continues to work on his jumper and once that comes then he has no ceiling.

The team ahs so many scorers, but how important was the consistency inside form the two German big men Armin Trtovac and Philipp Heyden? How much did they give support to the success?

Just to have players of that size on your team is very helpful. They were always grinding down low every game with the bigs and helping us out even if their stats didn’t show it sometimes.

With all the players you witnessed this season with the MLP Academics, who do you feel was the most improved?

I would say that Sa’eed Nelson gets the most improved award for the season. Which is wild to say because he was already super talented when he came to the team.

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 10/4/1 stats and shot 37% form outside. How content were you with your play this season?

It was an up and down year for sure. You always want to be the best on your team, but with our talented guards this year they carried most of the load.

You stated in our last interview ‘Teams are certainly looking for talent and athleticism first, but they also want to know what type of person you are. If you have all three then they really have no reason to turn you down’. How key was your leadership and positive attitude in this title winning season?

I think it always helps. You have to be willing to buy in and be a positive leader throughout every situation. Lead by example and it makes it easier to be followed.

Your outside shot continues to be a work in progress. Was your 37% a percentage that is a positive motivation for next season in terms of continuing to improve it?

That’s something I’ll be working on. I always have a goal to be over 40% every year and I came up just short. A lot of different elements came into play this year that contributed to that.

You stated in our last interview that timing is everything when blocking shots. How do you feel did you make further steps as a defender in a winning culture this season?

Timing is still everything. You need to know when is the right time to take the chance on when to go for the block or stay down, and I’m working on that still as I continue to play.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on most this summer? You have stated that your always working on all area’s, but there must be one or two area’s where you will focus more on?

I’ll be focusing on my body a lot more this summer. Getting my legs stronger to be able to move quicker and play pain free.

What is the next step for you? Remaining in Heidelberg must be a no brainer so you can play easyCredit BBL.

I wish that was the case.

Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro A this season?

There were a few that come to mind from this year. Mahoney from Kirchheim and Ugrai from Bremerhaven to name a couple.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

I would say he’s a top 5 pg of all time. Winning a ring isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. He still has time left to chase that though.

Where do you see the journey going with Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points? Is he a top 10 player in the NBA now?

He’s definitely top 10 now. I’ve grown to like him more and more over the last few years. He will continue to be something special for the league.

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

I’m not sure his style would work. Although I’m sure he would still do fine and could lead a team. The play style would be a big adjustment for him though

Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?

Draymond is definitely not the best defender of all time.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I haven’t seen that movie yet, although it’s still on the list.

Thanks Evan for the chat.

Ricky Easterling(Sunkings Saarlouis) Continues To get Older But Is Always A Scoring And Playmaking Threat

Ricky Easterling (189-G-83, college: Bridgewater) is a 37 year 189cm guard form Baltimore, Maryland playing his 16th professional season and 14th season with the Sunkings Saarlouis (Germany-Regionalliga). He has made a name for himself in the Regionalliga over the years as he averaged over 30,0ppg twice and led the Pro B in scoring from 2014-2016. Last season he averaged 24.9ppg), 6.3rpg, 5.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.2%. He began his basketball career with Bridgewater College (NCAA3) and as a professional also has had experience with the the Baltimore Pearls (ABA), TSG Reutlingen (Germany-Oberliga) and the Bergheim Bandits (Germany-Regionalliga). He spoke to before the 2021-2022 season opener in Limburg.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ricky Easterling in 2015

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

It’s always a pleasure chopping it up with you my friend! Thanks for contacting me for another interview. I’m in Saarlouis at my second home preparing for the new season as a player and a coach.

Basketball is finally back. How excited are to finally be competing again. What did you miss doing most on the court? Possibly unleashing your lethal mid distance jumper? *

To be honest I miss just being out on the court playing real games. Rather than just training, playing pick up, or meaningless games.

It was a real shame that the Regionalliga was cancelled last season. You never take a day off. You were in involved with F& R Basketball workouts. Despite not playing games how do you feel did your game profit from grinding in the lab without playing games? Did you train differently or do different things working on your game that you might not have done had you had the weekly games? *

Even though the season was cancelled I stayed true to my routine. I stayed in the Lab and tried to stay sharp. I also worked on aspects of the game that I needed to improve. For example my 3pt shot. To make up for not having games I added more cardio to my workouts and played a lot of 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5 once the covid rules started to lighten up a little bit. I also look at the lockdown as an advantage because at my age a break like this is good for my body.

Your turning 38 in less than two months. How do you feel physically and in what kind of shape is your game currently?

I feel pretty good for my age. I got a couple aches and pains but nothing I can’t handle. As far as the shape of my game I guess we will find out on Saturday! Haha!

What are your personal goals? The last three seasons after the Pro B, you continued to put up very strong consistent stats. Will the Saarlouis offense continue to go through you?

My goals for this season is to have a winning season with my team and try to end up somewhere in the top of the league standings. Not really concerned about individual accomplishments. I’m still a key player in our offense attack so you will see me continue to be a scoring/ playmaking threat for my team.

In 2019-2020 you had one of your best assist seasons. Can you see yourself becoming more of a playmaker and be able to trim down your scoring if you had to? * I can see me continuing to make plays for me and my teammates.

If it is better for me to be a dominate scorer I can still do that, and if I’m needed to be more of a playmaker I can handle that too. Just want to have a successful season. So whatever needs to be done is what I will do.

What kind of defender are you now at age 37? What do you continue to try to do most on the defensive end despite not being 27 anymore?

I can lock up and I will take more pride on that side of the floor this season. In the summer I worked out with some up and coming talent and they are quick, strong, and very hard to stay in front of. Guarding them keeps my Defense on point. Even though I’m there to help them get better, whether they know it or not they are also helping me to continue to compete at a high level. Even with my older age. Shot-out to my young guys Nick Parish and Dion Brown for helping me just as much as I try to help them when we are working out in the off season at Kutshers Sports Academy.

What can we expect from the Sunkings roster this season? The team continues to have continuity. The chemistry has to be amazing. *

We continue to be family here in Saarlouis. The main core of guys are still around, plus we have a couple new faces. Thankfully we added some good guys. They are good players on the court and they have great character. They fit in with us perfectly on and off the court. I’m looking forward to playing with this group this season.

When you read the number 43 what could you imagine it meaning? *

Only thing I think of when I see that number is how old I will be in the near future! Haha!

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ricky Easterling in Frankfurt in 2017

Well it is 43 seasons combined that you, Mukarem Mujkanovic and Jimmy Lauter have played in Saarlouis including this season. Do you guys have a special bond that not many have on teams? *

That’s crazy we have that type of longevity together as teammates! I’m very thankful to have these guy on my team and in my life as lifelong friends! Our bond is amazing and I am very thankful for that! We are brothers and we will always be. Even after our basketball days are over they will remain my guys 4 ever!

Saarlouis opens the season in Limburg. You have had some real battles against them. Do you have a particular game that you remember? *

I have a couple memories playing them. Some good and some bad but it’s all apart of the game. Looking forward to see what happens this time around.

The heart and soul of Limburg is shooting guard and captain Justin Stahlbohm. How much of a challenge is it having to deal with him on the court? *

He definitely is a key member to his team. He plays hard and leaves everything he has on the court. So playing against him is always a challenge. But I’m about that life! So I’m looking forward to the game this weekend.

When you enter the court in Limburg, what will you be most thankful about finally be able to play the game again that you love? *

Just being out there is a blessing. I will embrace it because we never know what will happen. Every time we step out there it could be the last time. So that’s how I’m going approach it this weekend. Especially after dealing with Covid.

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

I haven’t seen the sequel yet unfortunately. To be honest I totally forgot about the movie. Thanks for reminding me about it. I will check it out in the near future for sure!

Thanks Ricky For the chat.

Despite Question Marks There Is Also Hope And Excitement For The 21-22 Dragons Rhondorf Season

If one has some extra time and is a bit bored, one can reminisce about so many things in life. Nothing is the same in the world anymore. It isn’t any different in the basketball world in September 2021. Of course one can think about how nice it was watching Dirk Nowitzi perform his legendary step back jumper over the whole NBA, or remembering all the great feats of a Kobe Bryant or just looking back to the 80’s when hard nosed defense and physicality was rampant in the NBA. Or one can look back only a few years ago in Dragons Rhondorf basketball history. Who could forget the two game playoff series against Wolfenbuetel in 2018 where hardcore fans would be able to seriously savior the beautiful play of the one and only Kameron Taylor or only two years ago or recollect the coast to coast drives of a Curtis Hollis. Seeing those guys do their stuff in the Dragon Dome in Bad Honnef seems really like ages ago. Everything changed radically in March 2020 and it hasn’t been the same since. Nobody will forget what they have experienced themselves in the last year and a half or forget what they have seen on the news because of COVID, but one can’t hide their heads in the sand and pout like a spoiled dog that hasn’t got their dinner. Life goes on and so does basketball. After having to halt the 2019-2020 season and not play playoffs and then sitting out most of the 2020-2021 season, the Dragons Rhondorf are famished to finally lace up their sneakers again and are finally back. It has been a long wait and fans will be able to experience basketball again Live and not on their lab tops. Despite question marks with the Dragons Rhondorf roster, there is also hope and excitement. Basketball is finally back again.

Mark Mboya Kotieno

It has been no secret that since Yassin Idbihi came on board in 2019-2020 to take over the club, there has been an increased interest to develop the youth sector and that would have continued last season had the season been played. The club went into last season without an import in the Regionalliga and had a decent roster for the Regionalliga. It would have been interesting to see what young head coach Julian Thomas would have been able to do with that team. Well he gets another chance this season and focus on the youth continues. The 13 man roster is very young. It has 8 players 19 or younger. In the Regionalliga, having success wouldn’t have bene easy, because that is a league with very much older players, but it could have occured. The Pro B is a step up and has less older players, but the overall quality and talent level is higher. There are organizations in the Pro B that need to win and wouldn’t take risks. That is different with the Dragons Rhondorf. They care about the youth and want to make a difference. ‘The whole idea of our program is to have young talents in positions where they have to produce. We really feel like making a big contribution to not only local, but also German basketball by taking talents out of their comfort zones and kind of force them into bigger roles and team-leaders. Is this a risk? Definitely. But from our point of you this is what ProB-Basketball should be all about. Helping young players reach the next level through playing in big roles’, warned head coach Julius Thomas. It also didn’t help the cause of the young players development that the whole U-19 and U-16 season was cancelled in 2020-2021. This put a massive dagger in the players development. So obviously the young guys have to work extremely hard this season and hopefully find a way to make some kind of ground in their development. ‘They all found ways to have individual workouts and worked hard on their skills. However, playing 5on5 and playing games is the thing that helps those guys the most. The lack of those games will take some time to make up for’, stressed Julius Thomas.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Paul Albrecht in Koblenz in 2020

The Club has two veterans with Paul Albrecht who is 28 years old and Pal Ghotra who is 22 years old. These are two guys that will have to give consistent offensive production as well as be top role models. Albrecht is one of those guys that can be the best role model for the kids. He was already comfortable with that role last season. ‘For me it’s not about being the top scorer. I’m more like a playing coach. I’m trying to help everybody on the team. I’m like the point guard even though I’m not. I’m always telling players where to go. I’m responsible for everyone having a great focus before the game. All that matters for me is that we win and everyone else has a good game. This is all I really care about. I don’t care about the stats. Important is also that the guys get better. All the guys respect me which is great. If it would have been about me I wouldn’t have come here. I just want to develop further with them’, warned Paul Albrecht. The club also decided to reel in an import player with rookie William Christmas (196-G-93, college: CPP) who played at Cal Poly (NCAA2). He is a player that might not score the ball as consistently and as much as former players Kam Taylor or Curtis Hollis, but he can be an impact player at both ends of the court and fill the stat sheet with ease. Plus he is a guy with a high character that will fit in perfectly with all.

Will Christmas at Cal Poly(NCAA2)

The team also has many young players that are seeking to continue to develop further. Guys like Bruno Albrecht, Oshane Drews, Nikola Petojevic, Ousmane Ndiaye, and Clint Schonheiter got experience last season with the club. Especially players Albrecht and Drews already showed early signs that they could perform at the Regionalliga level. Albrecht showed he can be an explosive scorer while Drews is considered one of the big talents in German basketball that is being groomed as a point guard. The question will be can they do it at the Pro B level? A big project is Ndiaje where supposedly NBA teams already have him on the radar. He continues to get stronger and the team hopes he can make an impact. It will be very interesting to see where his journey will go this season? One player they could really use at times is 206cm big man Marek Mboya Kotieno. He already played with the club in 2019-2020 and last season was with the Telekom Baskets Bonn and Erfurt getting playing time. This season the club won’t be so big inside and will need him, but the question will be how often he will be available, because he has a double license. Two young guys that the team picked up were high scorer Nicolas Buchholz and talented guard Ralph Honnou from Ludwigsburg. Unfortuntately the latter got injured and will be out for a while. Buchholz was one of the top NBBL (U-19) players in Germany from 2018-2020 averaging 23 and 18 points per game and last season played with Rostock with their second team in the second Regionalliga and even played 4 Pro A games. He has shown in pre season that he can be that reliable scoring option at the Pro B level. There are also three other young youth players that will be looking to get a chance like Robin Straub, Michael Ejumeta and Esli Edigin. Especially many eyes will be on Edigin who Yassin Idbihi is very high on his abilities.

Nicholas Buchholz

So where will the journey of the Dragons Rhondorf lead to this season? They are definitely one of the youngest teams in the Pro B, but have a lot of talent as well. Something new this season is that the Dragons will be playing in the Pro B north. So instead of playing against Frankfurt, Koblenz or Munich, they will battle against teams like Munster, Hamburg or Bernau. Realistically one can’t await a miracle and a 6 game winning streak to begin the season, but one will definitely see a very focused group of guys that will be motivated to win and to get better. It is really difficult to make a prediction for this club. One thing the players and fans will definitely get is a very driven head coach Julius Thomas. He is a guy that has a smile that can light up the room, but don’t let that fool you. He is a coach that knows his X& O’s and has a big heart that wants his players to do well and develop. He is a coach that is just at the beginning of his career, but already has a lot of respect from his peers. ‘Coach Julius is doing a great job. He is only 23 years old. I can hardly believe it. He is at least 35 the way he knows basketball. He knows exactly how to talk to players and the players all have huge respect for him. Even though he is so young he has a crazy work ethic. He is a basketball junkie working everyday trying to make us better. He has made us better. He is just a good coach. For me he is one of the best young coaching talents in Germany’, warned Paul Albrecht. It will be very compelling to see what kind of season the Dragons Rhondorf will have. One thing is for sure win or lose, everybody is just extremely happy that basketball is back in Bad Honnef.

Elijah Allen´s Consistent Hard Work And Studying Of The Game Has Continued To Allow Him To Be Successful Where Ever he Has Played

Elijah Allen (194-PF-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 31 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his ninth professional season and first season with the VfL SparkassenStars Bochum (Germany-ProB): playing 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. In 2019-2020 he played with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaging 16.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 80.2% In 2018-2019 he played with the Tigers Tuebingen averaging 8.8ppg, 3,5rpg and 1,2apg. In 2017-2018 he played with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. In the 2016-2017 season he helped Gotha move up to the easyCredit BBL averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played two seasons for Lich and in his last season there played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg. He spoke to following the 20-21 season.

Elijah thanks for talking to Where are you and how is basketball life treating you?

Hey Miles, I’m doing good thank you! I am enjoying the summer break and I am in the process of moving from Bochum and preparing for vacation next week.

What would have been the first eatery that you visited had you gone to the States right away back home to Ohio?

Chipotle (Mexican Resturant)

Before we talk about basketball, I have to ask you about COVID. What was the most challenging thing for you in your second season with COVID?

The social aspect was missing a bit.

How can one honestly rate this season with all the drama that went on with COVID? Every team had their problems.

Successful. The team had a goal and found a way to achieve it. It wasn’t easy by any means.

Congrats on an amazing season and reaching the Pro B final and reaching the Pro A. Where does this rank with all your basketball achievements?

Personally it’s great for the club but it doesn’t rank to high for me. I got hurt and missed a bit and with Covid it made everything about this season a bit strange.

How much credit does one have to give head coach Felix Banobre? Is Spain the new sexy in terms of coaching in Germany?

The style of play is different for sure but this team also had a good roster which helped the coach not have to focus on details as much. I think at the next level things will have to be changed a bit depending on the roster.

A big strength of the team was their consistency. Whenever you lost a game you struck back and began another winning streak. Was this team like a family?

Yes, I think the team chemistry has a lot to do with why we won games. Everyone liked each other and there was much respect.

How key was bringing that 8 game winning streak into the playoffs? The team must of felt invincible?

I think it was important. With the roster we had we felt no one in the league could compete with us.

The Muenster series was exciting which Bochum won in three games. What do you feel was the difference in the series?

Mainly I think keeping our composure to win the games. They had a gameplan of playing a bit dirty and we kept focused to achieve our goal.

Let’s talk about your teammates. Seldom do you see two such dominant Germans like Niklas Geske and Johannes Joos. Would the team have won a title without them?

Yes. They are very good players. As Germans the top in pro A and B. I think with this roster we could have also had a good chance without them. It was really a talented team.

Lars Kamp seemed to be in the shadow of Geske and Joos. What did you appreciate most about his game?

Lars is a good player on both ends of the court and works really hard to improve. I appreciate that he never gives up when he makes mistakes and stays humble through it all.

Although he played only 11 games, Marco Buljevic’s leadership is so valuable. Is he still a player that can beat you from downtown at any time of a game?

Marco can really shoot the ball. He is still a threat. He was very busy with work and taking care of his family which is very respectable. Best wishes to him going forward.

There were many young Germans on the team. Which young German do you feel improved the most over the season?

I think Bilski improved the most this season. He could probably have went to another team and had a much better role to show that he can play. I think next season he will put it all together and have a strong year

. Let’s talk about your game. You played only 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. How would you rate your own game this season despite playing less games?

Unfortanetly I got hurt in the preseason. I did my best and I am satisfyed with my play this year. I did what I had to do to help the team win and stayed positive through it all.

In Iserlohn you had a different role than with Bochum. What kind of player did you become in this big winning culture in Bochum?

In Iserlohn we were not as talented so I had to do much more. In Bochum we had a talented team and found ways to win together.

You shot 45% from outside which was your best percentage as a professional in 9 years. How proud are you that you shot an overwhelming 15/25 from downtown in your return after missing four months?

I’m not surprised at all. I work hard and study the game and get better each year.

Your turning 32 in September. I’m sure you will add a historic 10th season. Not many can say they have played a decade. Is the Pro A the route?

I’m not sure what’s next. My main focus is to get my knee healthy then see what’s next.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer to continue to improve your game?

I won’t workout much this summer. I will use the time to recover and watch film.

Was your 18 point effort in game one against Muenster your favorite personal game of the season?

I would say so. The game winner is probably the biggest shot hit in the history of Bochum. I’m just glad I had a chance to play.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?

Chris Hooper. He goes left every time and its pretty difficult to slow him down without playing very physical.

How powerful was that comment Kwame Brown recently let go about his career and Michael Jordan?

I liked his comments. I don’t get why his name is always spoke about in a negative sense. If you look at his background and where he came from then you would understand his story.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

He is definetly up there. Always liked his game

Where do you see the journey going with Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points? Is he a top 10 player in the NBA now?

I think right now its tough to say he is top 10. He is very good but he doesn’t make it on my list

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

I disagree. He is a smart and a wild player and would always find a way to be productive.

Draymond Green recently said that he is the best defender on the planet. Do you agree?

He is supposed to say that. You got to believe in yourself. He is up there for sure.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I haven’t seen the movie yet.

Thanks Elijah for the chat.

Nine Months Ago I Hoped Stanley Whittaker(PS Karlsruhe) Might Play In Germany One Day And My Wish Came True

I have always been a basketball workaholic when it comes to interviewing professional players and writing articles, but when I suddenly learned that I had been struck with Cancer in November 2020, I needed basketball even more to help let me escape my dreaded worries and just keep me busy in the hospital after my first surgery all the way through two more surgeries, 6 Chemotherapies and seven months of hell. I worked harder during Cancer then I had before it and it started as I cranked out articles in November 2020 on ex German Pro A player Orlando Parker, ex Hakro Merlins players Haywood Highsmith and Trae Bell-Haynes and Stanley Whittaker (183-G-94, college: Keiser) who was playing in Austria at the time and tearing up the Austrian league together with another American guard named Richaud Pack. Whittaker was a guy like so many overseas that had to pay his dues for years and was a guy with a huge chip on his shoulder. He never played NCAA ball, but instead had to play in the always brutal JUCO league where absolutely every player has something to prove and then moved up one division to the fourth called NAIA. At Keiser he was very fortunate to play for the legendary coach Rollie Massimino. After a non spectacular rookie season in Lithuania where he only averaged 9.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.7apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 36.4%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 66.7%, he took on a new challenge in Austria playing for UBSC Raiffeisen Graz. Every so often I check other leagues in Europe and was impressed right away with his amazing rise in his game. He finished his second professional season putting up Russell Westbrook stats averaging (21.5ppg), 6.3rpg, Assists-2 (8.0apg), Steals-1 (2.6spg), FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 78.4%. I remember reaching out to him and writing an article called ‘Keeping A Promise For Rollie Massimino Delayed Stanley Whittaker‘s Professional Career But It Was All Worth It’. I remember hoping that his stellar play in Austria would help give him new opportunities and I always believed his game would be suited perfectly for the German Pro A. 9 months later he is playing his third professional season in Germany with Pro A club PS Karlsruhe. Obviously his incredible season in Austria helped him get the contract in Germany, but I would also hope that my article in November 2020 about his dominance in Austria raised some eyebrows of teams in Germany. ‘Yes I believe the article you did on me helped open some eyes of the teams here in Germany. I’m very appreciative for that as well’, stressed Stanley Whittaker. His outstanding season in Austria definitely changed his basketball life. ‘The season I had last season in Austria, playing for UBSC Graz helped open doors and opportunities for me this season currently. So from a opportunity perspective, it helped me continue to my professional basketball career, which I’m grateful for. And pray I can continue to further my career as a professional’, stated Stanley Whittaker.

Before being able to make a new step in Germany with PS Karlsruhe, the American who currently lists 2021 NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist Jrue Holiday where he is seen as underrated by fans, but is the real deal among hoopsters and a top 8 best point guard in the NBA had to make history and beautiful memories in Austria with UBSC Raiffeisen Graz. He was unable to bring a title home to Graz as they lost a tough four game series to Gmunden where he believed could have had better chances of pulling it out. ‘That series was tough, I missed the last 4 games prior to the playoff series against Gmunden. First 2 games of the series were really close, I felt we let those two get away. But credit to Gmunden, they were well coached and very experienced as well’, remembered Stanley Whittaker. Not every player had so much luck during COVID the way the ex Keiser University (NAIA) guard had. There were many players that sat out the season, othrsr got sick, while others had poor seasons. He was blessed in that his team made the playoffs and he belonged to the top 2 players in the league. A secret to his success was simply that he had nothing else to do but concentrate on basketball even if having COVID around didn’t make anything easier. ‘The most challenging thing for me was just Covid itself honestly, really to having little to no social life because I didn’t want to contract the virus or put myself at risk. So that was the most challenging thing for me, just very strict and routine days. But in ways it helped as well, because I was just able to stay inside, study film which plays a big part in my preparation’, said Stanley Whittaker.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Stanley Whittaker in Frankfurt in September 2021

The Philadelphia native who remembers rival Richaud Pack, Qunicy Diggs and Austrian Enis Murati as being his toughest players to battle not to mention teammate Jacob Ledoux every day played 24 games and never took a night off scoring in double figures in every game. He scored 20 points or more in 14 games and was just absolutely overpowering and dominated the league together with Richaud Pack. His professional break out year just showed that he has the ability to explode at anytime, and not only in one game, but over the course of a season having brutal consistency. He didn’t get an opportunity to show in Lithuania what he can do, but proved in Austria that he is the real deal. ‘I think it was just solely opportunity based. My opportunity in Lithuania was minimal. I came to the team pretty late into the season which probably had something to do with limited opportunity as well. In Austria, with UBSC Graz, coach Ervin Dragsic believed in me, extended the opportunity and allowed me to be myself so that helped a lot with my increase in numbers’, explained Stanley Whittaker. He not only improved his scoring as a player immensely, but all of a sudden had Chris Paul like assist stats averaging 8,0 as his highest before that was 6,0 in his last two years of NAIA ball. ‘The game slowed down for me tremendously. From studying film, having a very good understanding of how defenses schemed against our team helped the way I prepared for each game. So being aware attacking points on the floor and putting my teammates in spots where they can excel assisted to my playmaking ability’, said Stanley Whittaker. His best game was a 38 point explosion against Gmunden in a brutal playoff loss, but also hit Vienna for 31 points where he got the best of Richaud Pack in a thrilling 110-109 victory. ‘Richaud is a very good player, I have a lot of respect for his game. I enjoyed the battles with him and Bcgmt Vienna. I remember that overtime battle at our home, we got off to a big lead, Richaud and his team came marching back in the second half taking the lead, then we made our run late in the 4th quarter to take it to overtime. We ended up winning the game in overtime, that game was a classic, very high scoring as well’, remembered Stanley Whittaker.

The big Chris Paul fan who believes it will only get harder and harder for the future Hall Of Famer to win his first NBA crown now starts a new chapter in his basketball life with PS Karlsruhe. Like most players, he has had friends and former teammates and opponents having earned a living balling in Germany so it was only obvious that he got sound advice from them. He received other offers from German teams, but mainly chose to play his first season in Karlsruhe because he had heard good things about the city and about a very ambitious club who wants to go places. The biggest reason though was that the organization believed in him. One could compare the Austrian first league to the Pro A in Germany pretty similar in skill, but the Pro A is still a little step above the competition that he saw last season. The competitive American feels no pressure at all to leave his mark in Germany. ‘I would I like to mimic the season I had in Austria or surpass it? Yes of course, but there’s no pressure. I have a lot of trust in my preparation, my skill set and work ethic’, warned Stanley Whittaker. He is very optimistic about the team this season and knows exactly what he needs to do most with his game on the court. ‘I think we’re pretty solid, people can expect for us to play hard every game, play together, and hope we can win some ball games. The biggest goal with my game that I have is to be a better leader, so I can find ways where I can lead better. I have a continuous craving for just improving and getting better at all aspects of my craft as well’, stressed Stanley Whittaker.

Stanley Whittaker and legend Rollie Massimino at Keiser(NAIA)

The ex Frank Phillips College (JUCO) player who thought the Sequel to Coming To America was ok and thought the story line was ok and laughed throughout the movie will obviously be the main offensive weapon that will have to take responsibility often and score, but at the same time will be in charge of making his teammates look good. One player who he has been raving about and also will have to be a big support block in scoring and rebounding is ex BBL player Maurice Pluskota who played 71 easyCredit BBL games for Bremerhaven, Braunschweig and Giessen and will play his 100th Pro A game with PS Karlsruhe on opening day against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. ‘Mo that’s my guy. He’s extremely talented, has a very high basketball IQ and he’s a true leader. Playing with him has been great, he helps on and off the court. He is a high character guy man’, warned Stanley Whittaker. Another player where the club is hoping for instant production will be Lee Behrend who will be starting his professional career in Germany. Whittaker has a very special place in his heart for him. It’s not everyday that fellow NAIA players can be teammates as professionals. ‘It’s definitely a good feeling to see another NAIA guy playing at a high level here in Germany. Leo is a great guy and great player as well, he gets after it on both sides of the ball. I think he’ll open up some eyes this season as well’, stated Stanley Whittaker. The club also hopes that German second year man Nils Schmitz who played for the FC Bayern Munich U-19 team will be able to make the next step in the Pro A. He has a lot of confidence in the young German. ‘I think Nils has great upside, he’s been getting better every day. He is just a natural who has a great feel for the game in my opinion. He wants to learn and get better, on top of that he works extremely hard. I like his game a lot’, commented Stanley Whitaker. It will definitely be interesting to see how well PS Karlsruhe does this season and how much of a role Stanley Whittaker can play in the success. I remember following Kendale Mccullum’s career in Paderborn two years ago. I remember hoping that he would play in the EasyCredit BBL last season. Instead he went to Finland and continued to mature as a player He helped the Helsinki Seagulls win a cup and had impressive stats. New easyCredit BBL Jobstairs Giessen head coach Pete Strobl liked what he saw and rewarded him with the easyCredit BBL ticket. First let me see how Whittaker kicks into the Pro A and then I will let my wishing take command. Stanley Whittaker has the talent and skill level to be a top Pro A player this season. Maybe my wish will come true again?

Keys To Malcolm Delpeche´s( Bristol Academy Flyers) Consistency Remaining Was His Improvement in His Passing Game And Being An Anchor On Defense

Malcolm Delpeche (204-PF-95, college: Bates)s a 25 year old 203cm forward that was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but also has the British citizenship and completed his fourth professional season and third with the WWW Baskets Muenster averaging 10.0ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 55.7%, FT: 50.9%. In his first two seasons with Munster he averaged 12.1ppg, 6.5rpg, FGP: 55.3%, FT: 59.1% and 10.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 54.5%. He played at Bates (NCAA3) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 100 games. In his senior year at Bates, he played 24 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.5apg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 63.1%. As a rookie he played with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 64.0%, in Mar.’18 moved to Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 12 games averaging 6.2ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.0%. He is playing for the Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) now and spoke to following the 20-21 season.

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

Currently I’m back home in the states. Basketball life is currently treating me well! My body has recovered from the long season and I’ve already picked up my workouts again.

You played a full season during COVID-19. How did you experience this season with all the restrictions and drama of COVID-19 on and off the court?

You could really feel the effect that Covid had on the game of basketball, most evident through the lack of fans. This season the stadiums were silent and it was made quickly clear that each team would be responsible for bringing and maintaining their own energy. Thankfully we as a team were able to maintain a clean record and not suffer from any positive Covid tests that compromised our games. I think that I experienced this season overall pretty well given the circumstances. We were able to complete our regular season and complete our playoff run, not really much more you could ask for there.

What were the biggest challenges for you in getting through this season and trying to have as much success as possible?

I think the biggest challenge was just trying to stay engaged throughout the playoffs. We went through a period where due to positive Covid cases by certain teams we went over a whole month without games in the 2nd round. It was so frustrating and annoying.

It was a very successful season for the WWU Baskets Muenster. But how can one seriously rate a season like this where really each team had their difficulties with COVID-19?

I think that you can still rate the season pretty honest despite the effect Covid had on the season. For me personally I think that with such as season as this the mentally tough teams will be the ones who found the most success despite Covid.

You guys lost a tough three game series to Bochum. You had the momentum going into game three, but lost 97-86. What memories didn’t go away from that loss the days after?

Just the way we struggled to respond to their defensive pressure. They forced us to make a lot of turnovers and capitalized on them. We had a really hard time responding to their pressure.

I guess the regular season means nothing at the end when you don’t win the title. But still how would you summarize the season of the WWU Baskets Muenster? What was your fondest moment?

I think that this season was a really good season with a lot of good to take away from it. We overcame the pressures from Covid and found success with a brand new team (compared to the prior season).

Head coach Philipp Kappenstein continues to do very good work with the club. How have you seen him develop as a head coach in the last years?

I think that he continues to do an amazing job preparing us for our games. Between setting up the best match ups against our opponents, developing a solid game plan, creating effective plays, coach Philip is a master at what he does.

Let’s talk about your teammates. There are so many good guards in the Pro B and one of those is definitely Marck Coffin. How important was he for the success this season?

I can’t speak highly enough about Marck Coffin. He’s a big reason as to why I wanted to re-sign with Muenster this season. Marck has an excellent basketball iq, very skilled, an extremely hard worker, and he’s an excellent glue guy that every team needs. He was a critical factor to our team’s success.

One guy I enjoyed watching early in his career was Cosmo Gruehn. He made huge strides in Muenster the last two years. How is he a different player today then he was on day one in 2019?

Cosmo is an excellent ball player and is extremely talented. If you look at our playoff games against Bochum you can see just a glimpse of his skill for the game and the effect he has on our team. He’s matured a lot during his short career here.

Jasper Guenther took a step back last season from the Pro A and had a very strong Pro B season. How did you see him develop and is the younger brother of BBL legend Per ready now for the BBL?

Jasper is a beast in this league. I think the sky is the limit for him. If Jasper has a desire for the BBL I think that’s the only thing stopping him would be himself.

The club continues to develop many young German players. Which guy do you feel improved the most this season?

I think that it would have to be Cosmo!

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 10,0ppg, 6,9rpg, 1,4apg and 1,0spg. How content were you with your game?

I think that I could’ve managed my fouls better during certain instances in the season but especially in the beginning. I couldn’t stay on the floor certain games which I definitely think hurt my game as well as the team. But for the most part I am happy with how my season went and my production.

You have played three consistent years in Muenster. What has been your secret to being a consistent pro B player?

I think that the biggest secret isn’t too much of a secret, it’s all hard work!

After your first season in Muenster you stated you found ways how to move without the ball to be effective. How do you feel did your game continue to grow in the last two seasons?

I feel like these last 2 years I’ve definitely improved as a passer and being a defensive anchor for the team. Whenever I have the ball I like to see what my teammates are doing off the ball and seeing if I can create an easy scoring opportunity for them. And defensively I think doing the little things like communicating early on screens or directing traffic in our 2-3 defenses.

You had many great games, but was your 20/10 game in the exciting 85-81 win over Itzehoe your most special?

I think for this season, this was definitely the most impactful and memorable game! Everything was going right for me that game.

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the Pro B this season?

The toughest player I faced in the Pro B this season that I faced would probably have to be Chris Hooper, because he’s relentless on the glass and draws fouls really well.

You have played three seasons with the WWU Baskets Muenster. Is this a club where you could imagine remaining and possibly becoming a WWU Baskets lifer?


On what areas of your game will you be working on most this summer to continue to improve your game?

Shooting the ball from 15+ feet. That is the missing key in my game and I feel will make my preferred style of play so much easier and allow me to be even more effective for my team.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

I would definitely rank Chris Paul top 3 TRUE point guards. A lot of players in the league play the point guard position but are not true point guards. Chris Paul has a Lebron-like effect on whichever team he plays for. I won’t be upset if the Suns win it all this season especially since the Lakers blew it.

How have you seen the development of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum? He has scored 50 plus points this season and recently 60. Where will his journey go as a player in the next years?

I think Jason Tatum will eventually lead his team to a championship to be honest. Especially if the Celtics keep their young’s stars together and build around him. Sky is the limit for him.

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

Yes I agree with his assertion, I’m not quite sure Russel’s game will totally transfer here in Europe. I think that he’s still be impactful based on pure athleticism alone, there aren’t a lot of players that would be able to keep up with him. But teams would get wise to his style of play eventually, especially because in Europe teams actually play real defense.

Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?

I don’t agree with that at all. He’s definitely up there, but best all time? Negative.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I saw it. It wasn’t completely bad. But I think sometimes a classic should remain a classic and be left alone.

Thanks Malcolm for the chat.

A Pair Of Late Three´s From Quantez Robertson Pace The Fraport Skyliners Past PS Karlsruhe 77-74

With the Dog days of pre season in full swing, fans and players of the easyCredit BBL are still two weeks away from the start of the 2021-2022 season. The last two seasons haven´t been easy as COVID has performed havoc so badly and the fans seem to have suffered the most. But after a long wait, fans were finally allowed back into the Fraport arena. Usually the pre season games of the Fraport Skyliners are played in their training facility Basketball City Mainhatten, but the club made an exception with the game against PS Karlsruhe. The organization decided that playing a pre season game in the Fraport arena would be a great opportunity to test their covid game precautions. For the Fraport Skyliners it was nice to play as a team for the first time in their home arena after coming off reaching the final in the REWE Cup in Hagen. But it wasn´t a cake walk for them, but 40 minutes of having to fight for every possession. PS Karlsruhe who only had a 8 man rotation and had top players Maurice Pluskota and Leo Behrend out led for most parts of the game, but couldn´t close the lid on the Fraport Skyliners as key Quantez Robertson three´s, A Lorenz Brenneke bucket and Lukas Wank free throws sealed the pre season victory of the Fraport Skyliners 77-74. “This was an ugly win against a team who fought from the start. We rebounded very well and got good offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds that led to transition baskets. Our defense wasn´t where it has been in practice. We need to communicate and help better”, stressed Quantez Robertson. PS Karlsruhe who were undermanned and aren´t seen as being a Pro A playoff team gave all they had and gave a very spirited defensive effort and with a little more luck on a few possessions could have walked away with the win. “I felt we played good on the defensive end. We stood by our principles. I felt that they helped us out as well with missed shots. I thought we also played well on offense, but need to do a better job getting open”, stressed PS Karlsruhe guard Stanley Whittaker.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Quantez Robertson after the 77-74 win

                The Fraport Skyliners were without four players Reggie Hearn, Bruno Vrcic, Brooks DeBisshop and Len Schoormann. It wasn´t the Fraport Skyliners that’ set the tone in the first five minutes of the contest, but moreover PS Karlsruhe who jumped out on a 11-0 lead. Frankfurt didn´t look like a BBL or Pro A team, but more like a Pro B team where easy mistakes dominated their play. PS Karlsruhe did a fine job getting their offense going and getting many involved. Stanley Whittaker did a fine job with the playmaking while also getting his teammates involved. He opened up the game with a 15 footer on transition, ex Citadel(NCAA) guard Kaelon Harris dropped a trey, ex ratiopharm player Tom Alte scored inside and ex BBL player Ferdinand Zylka who has 76 BBL games on his resume hit a 20 footer. Frankfurt couldn´t establish a good rhythm on offense mainly because they coughed up the ball too much. There was zero aggressiveness and no communication on defense. When things aren´t going well, you should bring in Rasheed Moore. He displayed his ruthless energy and consistency time in and time out last season and against Heidelberg recently getting his team going with buckets and big plays. He connected on free throws and 2021 German Olympian Lukas Wank made a lay in showing his unstoppable athleticism as Frankfurt trailed 11-4. PS Karlsruhe kept on the pressure and lead, but the Fraport Skyliners began to execute better on offense and inch closer. Especially practice player Zaccheus Darko-Kelly who is a rookie and played at Providence(NCAA) brought fire from the bench scoring 5 points. PS Karlsruhe got some key buckets from Tom Alte and a difficult one from Harris who muscled the ball home between two Skyliners. PS Karlsruhe maintained the lead after 10 minutes 21-16. “We played very good defense. We were aggressive, helped well and got some loose balls. That helped us run. They also missed some bunnies”, stated Stanley Whittaker. “We didn´t execute on defense allowing them to get a lot of open looks. They were also more aggressive than us”, stated Quantez Robertson.

                In the second quarter The Fraport Skyliners heightened their game, but still had way too many inconsistent phases where they gave up easy baskets and couldn´t execute solidly on offense. The Fraport Skyliners began very well going on a quick 6-0 run and grabbed their first lead of the game 22-21. The savior as usual when they needed it most was ex wiha Panther Rasheed Moore who hit a trey and scored on transition adding a free throw. Frankfurt defended a lot more aggressively not allowing the opponent into their offensive sets and forced them too bad shots. PS Karlsruhe also opted for more 1-1 play instead of trying to play team ball. Frankfurt then had a down allowing PS Karlsruhe to get the lead back going on a 9-0 run to lead 30-22. Whittaker made a very tough lay in over 221cm center Matt Haarms. “It is normal for me too up against guys like Haarms. I train with a lot of NBA guys. I normally attack the rim, but it was definitely challenging going up against his length”, said Stanley Whittaker. German shooting guard Niels Schmitz also scored as did Zylka. Frankfurt was really missing easy lay ups as Matt Haarms did. You have to wonder what a Quantez Robertson was thinking and when he last saw a bad movie. One thing Frankfurt did well was work in the paint and get rebounds. They got spirited play from Brenneke and young 18 year old Alex Richardson who should become a key player for the farm team in the Pro B, but could get BBL minutes. Both worked hard down low getting rebounds and getting to the free throw line. Their stellar play helped Frankfurt go on a 13-3 run to close out the second quarter and 35-33 lead for Frankfurt having the 26-17 rebound edge. Moore added a lay in and ex Hanau guard Felix Hecker scored on transition. “We were more aggressive and we calmed down and executed a lot better on offense”, added Quantez Robertson.

Lukas Wank hitting free throws to clinch win

                In the third quarter fans saw two clinics from Ferdinand Zylka and Donovan Donaldson, but no one had the lead as the contest was deadlocked at 55-55. Both teams began with three´s as Harris connected from way downtown and Lukas Wank also scored getting the extra pass from Hecker as this was the best ball movement that Frankfurt had shown the whole game up until that standpoint. The Fraport Skyliners led 38-36. PS Karlsruhe grabbed back the lead again going on a 14-7 run as Ferdinand Zylka scored 11 explosive points. He showed his hot shooting and one has to wonder why he didn´t stay in the BBL. Harris also drilled home a three for the 50-45 advantage. Frankfurt got good play from ex Purdue(NCAA) big man Matt Haarms who dished out a quick kick out pass to Donaldson for the trey and then also made a left handed shot. The Fraport Skyliner kept fighting and closed out the third quarter with a 10-5 run led by the 8 points from ex NCAA 2 player Donovan Donaldson. That he can be a productive scorer is nothing new as he showed his range from outside scoring twice and also scored on transition. Despite the two runs, the game was pretty even as neither club could escape away from the other. “Donaldson got us going pushing the fast break and got guys open looks. Zylka shot the ball really well and hit with hands in his face. Every shot he took felt good and went in”, added Quantez Robertson. “Feddy was hot. In the States that means cash money. He shot well, but we expect that from him. They remained in the game because they got offensive rebounds and got open looks”, said Stanley Whittaker.

The Fraport Skyliners celebrating a real team win

                The fourth quarter remained very tight as no team led by more than four points. Frankfurt began quickly going on a 4-0 run getting buckets from Moore and Brenneke for the 59-55 lead, but they just couldn´t slam the door on PS Karlsruhe as they just continued to chip away and get baskets. PS Karlsruhe got baskets from Whittaker who made his usual off balance shot in Kyrie Irving manner and Alte tied the game 59-59 with a transition hoop. Frankfurt got the lead back 61-59 with a Richardson lay in who left a lasting impression with 8 points and 7 boards on 75% shooting. But PS Karlsruhe then got the lead back until the last minutes when Tez flew in. The guests played with a lot of self confidence and executed as Zylka, Whittaker and Harris made big shots for the 67-63 advantage. Frankfurt stayed on the door step of PS Karlsruhe getting support and baskets from Wank and Robertson to cut Karlsruhe´s lead down to 69-68 with 2,48 to play. PS Karlsruhe continued to have stunning plays up their sleeve as Whittaker fed Alte for a beautiful left handed alley-oop dunk for the 71-68 lead with 2,17 to play. “Stan and I have good chemistry. He is a good playmaker and will be one of the best guards in the Pro A this season. He wasn´t totally fit today. When he is he will be trouble”, stated Tom Alte. “Tom is one of the best pick and roll bigs that I have played with in my career. He reads the defense so well and slips when they hedge”, stated Stanley Whittaker. Quantez Robertson saved his best for last drilling home a trey to tie the game at 71-71 with 1,30 to play as he had had the big goose egg after three quarters. Zylka and Wank then traded baskets, but PS Karlsruhe still led 74-73. Frankfurt then struck back retrieving the lead 75-74 with a Brenneke basket who had a solid performance with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. PS Karlsruhe had one last chance for the win, but Whittaker missed and Lukas Wank made two free throws to seal the 77-74 win. “Frankfurt hit big shots and we weren´t focused as much on defense. I had a good look and usually make 100 out of 100 shots. It´s my bread and butter shot. They had a big guard on me so credit to them”, added Stanley Whittaker. “We buckled down on defense and made the right plays. I had good looks at the end. Before that I was running back on defense too quickly. I always feel like all will go in and at the end that is what they were supposed to do”, smiled Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Lukas Wank with 19 points. Rasheed Moore added 12 points and Donovan Donaldson had 11 points while PS Karlsruhe were led by Ferdinand Zylka with 25 points while Kaelon Harris added 17 points and Stanley Whittaker had 14 points and 8 assists. The Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 27% from outside and had 51 rebounds and 20 turnovers while PS Karlsruhe shot 35% from the field and 38% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Derrick Gordon(Romerstrom Gladiators) Believes That Had He Not Come Out That He Would Be in The NBA Today

There are players at age 29 that have played six or seven years of professional basketball, maybe won a few titles and have seen many countries in Europe. Then again there may only be a few other guys that are also 29 and only have a rookie season under their belt, but have had an incredibly moving and rapid life where they could probably write a best selling book about their experiences. One of those guys is Derrick Gordon. He is playing his second professional season in Germany in 2021-2022 for Pro A team Romerstrom Gladiators. He played his rookie season in Cyprus last season. This all sounds like a normal procedure and would be if he was 23 or 24, but he is 29 and has experienced so much in his life before turning professional that he could easily retire tomorrow and just go around the globe doing public speaking about his out of the ordinary life where he would do more than Ok. But he is a professional basketball player and just loves the game and still wants to achieve so much as a player. To put his life in a little nut shell, he had to deal with his twin brother getting into trouble as they were youths, played for three NCAA schools and reached the NCAA tournament with each team, came out in 2014, and dabbled with being a fire fighter and in acting while not playing basketball from 2016-2020. The guy has seen so much in his short life and he most likely must have thought a number of times where he would be today had he made other decisions in his life. His biggest choice in his life was coming out in 2014. It was a time in his life where he was at a cross road in his NCAA career, but choosing to tell the world that he was gay was one that he never regretted. “I truly believe if I didn’t come out I would have been in the NBA right now. But coming out was the best decision I have ever made. Being happy is the most important thing and I didn’t want to live a lie. I always tell people if I could COME OUT everyday I would do so happily and I to help and inspire others to be themselves. It changed my life for the better. Like I said before I don’t have to live a lie. The fact that I’m out and proud and on top am a professional basketball player. There are more positives then negatives. Of course I lost some friends but they weren’t my friends to begin with”, warned Derrick Gordon.

            Derrick Gordon who believes that Lebron James is the greatest player of all-time was born on December 12th, 1991 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He attended St Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He had a troubled childhood in that he had to witness his twin brother Darryl be married to a life of crime as drugs and shooting a man got him five years in prison while Derrick was in high school and throughout his NCAA career. Darryl was finally released from prison when Derrick was enrolled at the University of Massachusetts (NCAA).The whole experience having to see his brother in prison was very difficult as he always carried a photo of them both and also got a Tattoo made over his heart MBK(my brother´s keeper). On top of all the drama with his twin brother, he also had the insecurity of being gay and trying to deal with it as best as possible. Despite him and Darryl having massive hardships in the past, now in 2021 life is great for both, but he will never forget his youth and college years where life was at times unbearable. “I am very close to my twin brother. We talk all the time. He is basically like my other half. It messed me up mentally when he was in jail but now that he is out and doing much better in his life I’m very happy”, stressed Derrick Gordon. The American began his NCAA career at Western Kentucky University (NCAA) in 2011. He had a very solid freshman year playing 35 games for the Hilltoppers averaging 11.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 26.6%, FT: 68.9%. He scored in double figures in 21 games and registered 4 double doubles. In his first NCAA game he scored 25 points in a loss against St Joseph´s going 16/18 from the free throw line. He was the best player on the court that day and held his own against future NBA player Langston Gallaway. He reached the NCAA tournament as a freshman and lost against powerhouse Kentucky 81-66 that had a nonending menu of future NBA players with Anthony Davis, Terence Jones, Michael Gilchrist(high school teammate and best friend), Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Kyle Wiltjer. He held his own scoring 10 points and also remembered vividly which Wild Cat stood out the most to him. “I knew most of those guys were going to the NBA. I felt I could have played much better than I did. But at least if we lost to someone it was to a team that ended up winning the whole thing. Anthony Davis for sure was hands down at that time the best player in college basketball because of his size and what he was able to do”, stated Derrick Gordon. Despite achieving so much in his first year in the NCAA, his future would be elsewhere. “I had a great freshmen year but needed a change and that is how I ended up at UMass Amherst. I knew the sky was the limit and I wanted to prove that”, expressed Derrick Gordon.

Derrick and Darryl Gordon

            The American who got the best of future NBA player Chris Dunn the two times he faced him in the NCAA then played at the University of Massachusetts (NCAA) from 2013-2015. In his first season at UMass he played 32 games averaging 9.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.5%, FT: 52.3%. This was also the peak of his problems that he had with who he was. The whole gay issue was eating at him so seriously that he just didn´t want to hide anymore. He probably could have came out sooner, but he was always waiting for someone else to do it in the NCAA, so he just decided to do it himself. He drew praise from ex NBA player Jason Collins and NFL player Michael Sam for having the courage to come out . “That was a rough year because that was the same time where I was struggling with who I am as a person and it had an impact on my game. Struggling with that was one of the hardest things I went through and that is why I had to come out”, remembered Derrick Gordon. He lost to Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA tournament. In his second season at UMass he played 32 games averaging 9.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 73.6%. Despite all that he went through in his two years at UMass, he was very thankful for having an understanding and helpful coach like Derek Kellog. “He was great, was a great mentor for me off the court too and was their every step of the way with my coming out process”, stated Derrick Gordon. In his last year at UMass he scored in double figures in 14 games including 20 points and 17 points in wins over Fordham.

Derrick Gordon and NBA player Michael Gilchrist

            The American who lists his best teammates of all-time everyone on his Seton Hall team would play one more NCAA season with them and had his biggest achievement winning the Big east tournament. He played 34 games averaging 8.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 58.7%. He was teammates with future NBA player Isaiah Whitehead who he remembered as a very special player and had no hard feelings that he went to the big show and he didn´t. “Everyone is different, Isaiah is a great player and I’m a great player. Everyone’s journey is different”, stressed Derrick Gordon. He scored in double figures in 11 games including 15 points in a win over Providence and 14 points in a win over Dartmouth. He reached a third NCAA tournament and bowed out to Gonzaga 68-52 where he contributed 10 points. “I had a solid game but it clearly wasn’t enough. We played in Denver where it was very hard to breathe there which had an impact on us”, remembered Derrick Gordon. Reaching a third NCAA tournament with three different teams is mind boggling and that record still stands today. “It just shows the type of player that I am and what I can bring to a team. A winning mindset and doing whatever it takes”, warned Derrick Gordon. He was very fortunate to have a coach in Kevin Willard that understood his needs on the floor. “He just wanted me to play hard and let everything take care of itself. He knew the type of player I was and the impact that I had on my last two teams so he really just let me play my game”, added Derrick Gordon.

            Usually after a solid NCAA career, the next step for a player will be the NBA or overseas, but Derrick Gordon who last watched the flick The Conjuring 3 The Devil Made Me Do It just didn´t have a one track mind at that moment, but rather wanted to experience different interests. During the summer of 2016 he announced that he was training to become a San Francisco firefighter. However that new dream was short lived as he left firefighter training after only 2 months and did not complete the training. In 2017 he announced that he was going to make another attempt to play basketball professionally. He hired an agent but did not receive any offers. Later that year he went on to pursue acting and writing. He received his first acting job to play Marshawn in an upcoming movie ‘Conundrum: Secrets Among Friends’ to be released in 2018. The firefighting gig and acting gig were short term and short lived, but all in all, he wouldn´t have traded in those experiences for anything in the world. “I went to the firefighter boot camp in San Francisco which was a great experience. But the more I looked at it I just couldn’t see myself doing it long term. But it did seem cool and amazing at the time I will say that. With acting I had a lead role movie coming up that I was preparing for and then the pandemic hit and stopped everything. I was just getting my foot in the door. I did a pilot in NYC for a tv show which was a lot of fun. I will say this you have to love it in order to stay focused and want to continue to keep doing it. But that’s with anything else right?”, expressed Derrick Gordon.

            After not playing organized basketball from 2016-2020, he finally got the playing itching bug again and coming back in 2020 wasn´t that tough, because he never got lazy in those 4 years, but was a regular visitor in the gym. “I’ve always stayed in great shape, I love working out and I did it more once I stopped playing for those 3 years. It was more getting back to basketball shape which is a bit different and the running and sliding, etc. It took me a couple games to find my mojo”, smiled Derrick Gordon. He played his rookie season in 20-21 with BC Apollon Limassol (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) playing 20 games averaging 12.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.0apg, Steals-5(2.0spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 56.1%. What was really impressive was that for a guy that hadn´t played in four years and had no resume except for the NCAA, was that he was able to land with one of the top agencies in the business with Wasserman. “George David who is my agent and we ran into each other in LA and he knew of my coming out story and stopped me and asked why wasn’t I still playing basketball. Once I did my research on Wasserman I was shocked and pretty impressed to find out how big of an agency they were.  Long story short we both knew the challenges in to getting back into the sport since it was at the time been 3 years since I’ve played basketball. I was able to luck out and get a job offer in Cyprus and played for Apollon Limassol”, said Derrick Gordon Every American who comes over to Europe has a wake up call and for him it was one that many guys struggle with. “Being a single guy and away from family and friends was the hardest thing for me. You miss out on birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It can be rough but it comes with playing professional basketball in Europe”, commented Derrick Gordon. He scored in double figures in 14 games including a 23 point and 20 point games in loses to E.N. Paralimni. For a guy who had been away from competitive ball for 4 years, he definitely had no adjustment period in Cyprus. “I was able to catch on to the style of play there, which didn’t take long. I was more focused on getting back to how I use to play since I took 3 years off. I am curious as to how different it will be once I’m in Germany”, stressed Derrick Gordon. He was also very fortunate to have had some real down to earth veterans on the team with ex NBA player Joey Dorsey and American Jeff Allen who were always there for him. “Joey Dorsey and Jeff Allen both kind of took me under their wing and told me things to expect and how to get through things mentally which I’m very grateful for them doing that”, said Derrick Gordon. One also can´t forget that not only was he able to adapt to basketball after four years off, but he also had no real adjustment time having to deal with COVID as he profited it from it in many ways. “I’m a pretty low key guy so I can be a bit of a home body. I don’t need to be out and about all of the time, my health is the most important thing. When not playing basketball it was a lot of movies and video games that kept me busy. I would say it for sure made me stronger mentally. I’ve been dealing with Anxiety for 2 years now so just keeping myself busy was the most important thing. It made me stronger to stay safe and put my health #1 over everything else”, warned Derrick Gordon.

            Let´s fast forward to 2021 as Derrick Gordon who hasn´t seen the sequel to Coming To America as he is more of a Scary Movie guy is playing his second professional season in Germany with Trier. After a solid season in Cyprus, he didn´t waste any time finding a new team so he wouldn´t have to be worrying in July about where he would be playing. “I´m extremely grateful and thankful. I have such an amazing agent and I´m glad to sign very early. It takes a lot of stress away and I can have a relaxing summer and focus on just working out and getting ready for the upcoming season”, added Derrick Gordon. He also found out rapidly that playing with the Romerstrom Gladiators was a no brainer. “Playing in Germany was always a dream country of mine. The fact that I can play basketball there and experience Germany as well is a dream come true. Talking with Coach Marco Van Den Berg and what he wanted from me as a player and to bring to the team I wanted the same thing. It’s a great opportunity for me as a player and continue to grow”, stated Derick Gordon. He feels no pressure to have to prove himself again and knows exactly what is on his agenda this season with the Romerstrom Gladiators. “I feel after not playing basketball for 3 years and having a decent season I would say isn’t bad. But I have so much more in the tank and what I’m truly capable of doing on the court which I will focus on this summer. I do have personal goals but the main goal for me is to win a championship, that’s what matters the most”, warned Derrick Gordon. When you watch film on him, it quickly becomes apparent that his game resembles that of Russell Westbrook. “I can do a little bit of everything. Shooting, driving, getting my teammates involved. It’s so much that I am ready to show with my game. There are some other comparisons I believe in my game but I will let everyone else decide once they see me play”, said Derrick Gordon. He has a motor that just goes and has the ability to take over a game on both ends of the court. It will be interesting to see this season just how much of an impact he will have on the defensive end. You can expect fierce battles every night when he is on the court. “Stopping the other team’s best player from scoring is what I enjoy most. I guarded a lot of players in my past like Austin Rivers and Kyrie Irving so I feel I can guard anyone”, warned Derrick Gordon. This summer he had a lot of time to continue to grind in the lab as he worked on all areas of his game to become the total package and a guy that can do it all on the offensive end. One thing is for sure, if there is ever a very boring and dull moment in a Gladiators 9 hour bus ride to Rostock, Derrick Gordon will be able to tell enough eye opening stories about life where he will get the young German players thinking about the meaning of life.