Sometimes The Definition Of A Leader Isn´t Appreciated As Chase Adams Found Out With The Romerstrom Gladiators

Basketball is a team sport and if win or lose, the whole team should be held accountable, but sadly in this sport that isn’t always the case. Most often when a club isn’t having success, it is the point guard, the player that runs the team on the floor and leads the team is the guy that gets blamed. One of the best examples is NBA star Russell Westbrook who gets hated on all day long by the media and fans, but surprisingly the fellow teammates, opponents and players in Europe have the utmost respect for him. At the end of the day all that counts is winning. There are enough guys in the basketball world that understand that Westbrook leaves his jersey on the floor every game and does all he can to win. It wasn’t any different for American veteran guard Chase Adams (176-SG-88, college: Pittsburgh) who came to Trier last season in mid season and came back this season. He had had Pro A experience in Paderborn and Hanau and minus having that all around talent around him, it was never easy being able to reach the playoffs, but he did do it once with Hanau. Last season with the Romerstrom Gladiators, he was on a good route to make the playoffs despite the crazy season and drama around all the miscues of COVID-19, but a late season five games losing streak denied the team the playoffs and now he is the scapegoat. He had a solid season statistically if not his best in the Pro A, but in the end it was his so called lack of leadership skills that gave him his walking papers. A month before the season ended, he was leading the team to success, but then in the last month, a losing streak suddenly doesn’t make him a good leader? ‘We know that Chase had a good offensive season, but in the end we didn’t reach our season goals. Unfortunately Chase wasn’t able to fullfill his role as a leader full time’, stressed Romerstrom Gladiators CEO Andre Ewertz. Adams has been made the scapegoat which unfortunately often rests on the shoulders of the point guard. Two Trier players didn’t want to comment on the matter as it is obvious something must of happened behind the scenes as Chase Adams is very hurt by the release. Not only is Chase Adams who respects the confidence and abilities of Draymond Green to guard all 5 positions in his claim to be the best defender of all-time shocked, but also current Uni Baskets Paderborn veteran point guard Demetrius Ward. ‘Before I signed with Paderborn, I asked Chase about Paderborn where he had played. He gave me a lot of information about the club and came over as a very positive and genuine guy. The first time I met him was in the summer of 2019 in Paris when we were on the same team. I saw his hunger and aggression as a competitor. I saw him have those leadership skills with Trier. Leadership shouldn’t be defined about making the playoffs or on wins or loses. Trier had injuries and I think if they would have been healthy they would have been a playoff team. They didn’t live up to expectations because of injuries but they still played together. I think Chase is a good leader. Sometimes it gets overlooked. He just needs to be put in the right situation for people to appreciate the things he does and the energy he brings. He opened up to me giving me some valuable information. When I’m frustrated or need some guidance, Chase is the guy I go to for advice. I look up to him like a big brother. I wish all the best to him. It is just unfortunate that he got bashed in the media when he is such a positive person on and off the court’, stressed Demetrius Ward.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Chase Adams in Frankfurt in 2019

The 2020-2021 season was a type of season that no professional basketball club has ever witnessed with so much drama happening around COVID-19. So in a way honestly being able to rate a crazy season like this where teams had COVID cases and long stretches of no games put everything into disarray. ‘It was an unfortunate disaster that we had to play through these circumstances, and it became extremely difficult to enjoy the season. I don’t know what to rate it, we saw through the abrupt ending of the previous season that the future didn’t look so bright in regards to playing normally and on the business side for clubs and players. Definitely a lot of things were revealed and much perspective gained in these trying times’, stressed Chase Adams. Teams were effected in so many ways by COVID-19 that many had tough seasons while other teams maybe were a bit more fortunate with less COVID cases and injuries and took that to the best of their advantage to be successful. The Romerstrom Gladiators weren’t as lucky as one could say that COVID-19 had a huge effect on their success and one really can’t point fingers at one guy like Chase Adams who sees a lot of similarities with his game to point God Chris Paul seeing him as a top 4 point guard off all-time. ‘Injuries were at the forefront for every team across the board and developing rust due to all of the quarantines was a complete rhythm breaker. For us, it was a devastating setback, losing players throughout the entire season and not being 100% fit. Also, not being able to play in front of the fans was a major downer and pretty weird feeling to be honest. Outside of the sports world I think people have been fed up with the lockdowns, even though it was for safety reasons, it severely impacted our day to day in so many ways (health, job security, mental health)’, expressed Chase Adams.

The Romerstrom Gladiators had a lot of talent last season, but also many obstacles in the season that cost them the playoffs. The 5 game losing streak at the end of the season was untimely and cost them the playoffs. ‘We had chance after chance to lock up a playoff spot during that period and we couldn’t get over the hump. We remained hopeful even up until the deciding game versus Nuernberg, where we lost on a buzzer beater. Mental and physical fatigue got the best of us’, added Chase Adams. The club did finish the season on a positive note winning two of their last three games as scoring and rebounding helped their cause often this season, but their defense was their achilles heel. ‘Our ability to outwork teams on the rebounding end was our superpower but making adjustments/rotations defensively was our kryptonite. We had a physical style of defense which bothered teams a lot but once they figured that out they used it against us at times. We lost a lot of our scoring power as well, for key games during the entire season, which would have combated our defensive woes’, warned Chase Adams. You have to wonder how the season would have played out had club identity figure Jermaine Bucknor been on board. His leadership skills coupled with those of Chase Adams could have made the difference between playoffs and not. ‘Losing Buck hit us super hard and for me this was a main reason to re-sign. We were relying on him for that on court leadership and his abilities would have been the difference in those close games we dropped the ball. We lost him after the 1st match in Artland, for the entire season, it was painful to see this happen to him. He tried all he could off the court by talking up players, working guys out and being present in general’, stressed Chase Adams.

The club didn’t wait long to begin a team house cleaning as not only Chase Adams who sees Jayson Tatum as one of the leaders of the new school (post Lebron era) and can see him In the next years being an All-Star and grab some All-NBA honors but there are still a lot of dogs around who he would pick for MVP over him, but there were other guys like Ruppert Hennen and the super charismatic Robert Nortman who had to get their walking papers. Adams definitely will never forget these super special players. ‘Rupi is on the rise! Young and has the gifts to be a good German PG in this league. I’ve seen over the past two seasons major development in his scoring abilities and his understanding of the game. I know he’s a Trier boy but it’s time to leave the nest, I’m excited to see where he lands. Rob is that teammate who is always got a high spirit with no worries, must be his Bahamian side. That’s always important to have guys around who care about you and keep positivity flowing no matter what. As stated earlier, these times are trying, he was one of the guys not letting that bring us down’, remembered Chase Adams. He also will always remember talented Belgium player Jonathan Doubas who left his special imprint on the Gladiators team. ‘Douby is a smooth operator. I love that he came here to challenge himself professionally and try a new experience. I appreciate his knowledge the most, he was always thinking of ways to break teams down tactically. It was a pleasure having him around’, said Chase Adams who’s most favorite personal game of the season was the win over Kirchheim where he dropped 22 points.

Chase Adams who finds it flat out ridiculous that Croatian legend Dino Radja couldn’t imagine Russell Westbrook having success in Europe as he feels we should be giving him his flowers because he is putting up historical numbers every single season with a high-Lamborghini type motor and would have success in Europe as he averaged 13,0ppg, 5,0rpg, 4,2apg, 1,3spg and shot 36% from outside. Statistically it was his best season in his fifth Pro A season. ‘This season was a chance for me to show once again my combo-guard versatility, like I did with Hanau White Wings. I can be effective with or without the ball, and not force it or worry about stats. I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied at all but I will say I did my job well this season on both ends’, commented Chase Adams. His secret was a simple one as it was a combination of experience and work ethic. ‘With my extensive experience I was able to identify what works and what doesn’t. Once you put all the pieces together it’s all about having the confidence to execute. I still live by the motto ‘stay ready so you don’t have to get ready’, and that’s made me reliable and valuable. My teammates were great bunch of guys that bought into unselfish team play, and that can always boost an individual’s performance’, warned Chase Adams. He continues to be a very reliable outside scorer and that is something he continues to work on. Putting in the work in the lab and knowing when to shoot and when not to have been his equation for success. ‘Whatever worked in the past keep doing it and you can always tweak things or make some improvements to stay sharp. The other side of it is shot selection, which comes with watching film and anticipating how teams will defend you, learning from mistakes and just watching your shooting mechanics’, stated Chase Adams.

The American who hasn’t seen the sequel to the classic Coming To American believes that to top a classic like that is a hard feat, and you need to put the hottest producers/writers/directors behind those types of projects is 33 years old, but no where done yet. When he sees guys like Jermaine Bucknor, Quantez Robertson and Rickey Paulding still playing, it obviously motivates him to continue to want to prolong his career. But he also knows he can’t get lazy now and sit back during the off season and drink Tequilas, but he has to continue to work on his body so he can continue to be that perfect physical specimen, but also has to continue to grind grind grind in the gym on his game. ‘Staying lean, building endurance, and stamina are top priority. One of my fitness goals this season was to play at 10% body fat, and I felt it paid off 10 fold. The guys who play high level well into their 30s have an amazing shape, I admire that and will continue on that path for my career’, stressed Chase Adams. His fitness goals are massive, but so are his goals concerning how his professional career will continue. The guy has so much self-confidence that even a little hate from his ex team won’t derail him from thinking big. He knows exactly what he is capable of and he will go for it all this summer concerning who his next employer will be. ‘Sky is the limit for me! It’s time I get a look at some higher leagues. I’m not counting Pro A out but I’m open for a change of pace. I’ve always had Euro Cup/Champions League aspirations but getting into a 1st league is the main goal. The timing is perfect now, age is nothing but a number, just look at the facts I’m ready and on my way’, warned Chase Adams. He may not have got the love from the Romerstrom Gladiators, but ex teammates and opponents know what kind of a leader he is. ‘ ‘I followed him a little this season. I remember him giving me problems in the Pro A. It was nice to see him play well this season. It really must feel like crap getting the blame like that, warned easyCredit BBL player Virgil Matthews of the Niners Chemnitz. ‘Chase was on and off the court a great teammate and leader. I learned a lot from him which helped me become a good leader and captain. He influenced me a lot and you can be sure that he gives everything to win’, stressed BBC Bayreuth forward Chris Wolf. ‘ Chase is one of the best teammates I had, great guy to be around , always competitive. It was fun to battle against him in practice and play with him in the games. I wish him nothing but the best, always working hard , he is a professional’, stated ex teammate Kevin Franceschi. Back in our Playoff Season with the Hanau White Wings Chase was our floor general! He led us through the whole season and made us believe that we can make our goal in reaching the playoffs. For me personally it was great because I learned a lot from him especially about leadership’, warned ex teammate Till Joscha-Joenke. At least his opponents and teammates respect and appreciate his work as a player. That is a huge thing for any player to get that kind of special love.

The Miles VS RT Guinn Talk About The Special Magic Of Baylor Basketball

R.T. Guinn (208-F/C-81, college: Baylor) is a 40 year old 208cm center that just finished his 17th professional season and third with KFUM Jamtland Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) averaging 10.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT-3 (47.6%), FT: 83.0%. he also has played in countries like Sweden, Germany, Ukraine, France, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Russia, Japan and Hungry. He played five seasons in the Ukraine winning three titles and was named an allstar twice. He played a season at New Mexico (NCAA) and finished at Baylor (NCAA) where he played 83 NCAA games. He spoke to about his career and the special magic of Baylor basketball.

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

Currently I am playing in Jamtland Sweden and basketball is treating me well, keeping me young and on top off my game.

It’s been a while since you played in Germany for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (2005-2007. At that time you were at the start of your career. Now your in your 17th season and 40. What is your secret to still be able to play? Did God bless you with the fountain of youth with your body?

No secret, just taking care of my body. Getting the proper sleep, and eating right. Also a big factor is my wife who supports me and handles a ton so that I can focus on playing.

You played against Derrick Allen who retired at 39 in 2020 and Rickey Paulding is a year younger than you and still playing. What memories do you have of battling Paulding in those North derby’s Bremerhaven-Oldenburg?

I remember him being one of the top guys we had to defend there, Rickey coming from the NBA was someone we had to control to be able to beat them.

You have played in many countries with the most being the Ukraine and Sweden. Where was your most enjoyable place as a player?

This is a question I get pretty often, being able to play in as many countries as I have had the pleasure in I can’t narrow it down to just one, they all have had their experiences and memories, my top ones though I would have to say are Greece, Israel and Sweden of course.

You played briefly for Panathinaikos in 2013. Who would have won a hand wrestling match you or Sofoklis Schortsanitis?

Definitely Big Sofo, I’m big and strong but he is another level.

Let’s talk about your alma mata Baylor. You played there from 2001-2004. What memories do you have of your three years there?

I have many fond memories of Baylor, the most being my first year there when we played Kansas and beat them as they were ranked #1 in the country at the time.

How has basketball in the NCAA changed from when you were playing in 2004? What is different today when you look at the competitive level, style and players?

The level today seems to be just as competitive, the difference now I think is the players and their styles, kids today train to be athletic as it was when I played you were either athletic or you weren’t. Also the kids nowadays base their styles a lot from NBA players (ie Steph, Kyrie etc..), some have their own styles but most base theirs off their role models, just as we did like MJ.

Who won a one on one back in the day you or ex NBA player Lawrence Roberts?

We used to go at each other every day, some days he would win and others I would win.

Baylor won the 2021 NCAA title. How do you feel the day after the win?

I felt super happy for coach Drew and the team, and very proud to have been with coach his first year. He has brought them up from the bottom to the top, rising each year he was there.

Playing overseas is always a problem when you want to catch NBA and NCAA games. Did your schedule permit you to stay up and watch history being made?

Being overseas you have to make time for those and luckly I was able to do so. When I saw they made the final four I started keeping a closer eye on them.

If someone had told you in 2017 that Baylor would be crowded NCAA champions in 2021 what would you have thought?

It would not have surprised me, seeing coach Drew bring this team to the sweet 16 two times from my era, I knew they would eventually break through that and do great things. Coach Drew is a very inspiring man and a great person as well as coach.

Baylor has had 13 NCAA tournament appearances, 6 Elite 8’appearances and 5 Sweet 16’s. They also hadn’t been in a NCAA final game since 73 years. What does this title mean to the school and to you personally?

To me personally and to the school I believe it brings a sense of pride that can never be taken away.

Baylor had a simple game plan. Make some shots. If you miss get the rebounds and then make some more shots. Can basketball sometimes be that simple?

It truly can be, I mean that’s basketball in a sense anyway, only you have 4 other guys helping and 5 other guys trying to stop you, only question that comes into play is who wants to make more baskets or get more rebounds.

Baylor made 11 of their first 20 shots including six three’s and led by 19 points at the break. They had a double digit lead for 34 of the 40 minutes. How vital do you believe was the mentality of the Baylor team for being able to play this well against the heavy favorite and unbeaten Gonzaga team?

Basketball is a game of confidence, if you are confident in your shots and what your doing then you can have great games. Keeping that mentality when you are hitting shots is key as once you start to get to confident then you can become cocky and things can fall apart very quickly then.

How key was it for Baylor players Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Flo Thamba and Mark Vital limiting Drew Timme to 12 points?. The star Jalen Suggs had 22 points, but Gonzaga didn’t have scoring support behind him.

I think it was very key, when you can stop one of the main scorers from scoring then someone else has to step up and cover those points and that’s not always easy for someone when a team is on the defensive prowl.

RT Guinn with his Baylor coach Scott Drew

Gonzaga has made big strides since 2015 making 5 NCAA Elite 8 appearances and two NCAA finals in 2021 and 2017. Could another final loss hurt their overall confidence to win the big one or do you feel like they will be due in 2022? Many are already picking them to win it next year?

It’s always tough to lose a final, as I have been in many overseas, but I don’t think that will dissuade them from coming back next year and giving it their all to get there and take it home.

Was the rebounding stat 0f 38-22 rebounds and 16 offensive rebounds one of the biggest keys for the win?

I think so, when you have that many second chance opportunities then it can really boost your team to keep fighting for them, on the other hand for Gonzaga it can dampen your spirit and puts frustration in your heart when you see that.

Davion Mitchell is seen as a ‘1 Draft pick and Jared Butler as a possible second round pick. How have you followed their careers and how do you seem them doing in the NBA?

I haven’t followed so much but I know from experience that being those picks it will all be up to them on how much work they put in with themselves and the teams they go with.

Where do you see the journey of Macio Teague going? He seemed a bit in the shadow of Butler and Mitchell. Could he make the NBA and do you see his game being suited to becoming a impact player overseas?

I think he will be able to break out of that shadow now and go on to becoming who he is meant to be, whether it is in the NBA or overseas.

When you were a senior at Baylor, it was the first season of head coach Scott Drew at the helm. What memories do you have of him then as a coach and how did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Coach Drew came into a broken system and brought a new light to it, he really pushed us to becoming more on and off the court, he inspired with his words and his actions and I think he and the team deserves the title.

How do you the the future of Baylor (NCAA) basketball. Two guys seem to be heading to the NBA and Macio Teague and Mark Vital are also done as seniors.

I think the future holds great things for Baylor basketball, it has come up from the bottom of the barrel and shined a new light on the school and system. I believe with coach Drew there they will always strive for greatness.

Have you seen Coming To America 2 yet? The reviews have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have left the original classic untouched?

Lol, I have not seen it yet but will watch it when it comes out. The originals are always hard to recreate or follow up on.

Thanks RT for the chat.

Martin Peterka(Czech Republic National Team) Hopes They Will Possibly Write Another Story At The 2021 Olympics Like they Did At The 2019 World Cup

Martin Peterka (205-C-95) is a 26 year old 205m center that began his basketball career with BK Synthesia Pardubice. He then played 5 seasons with top Czech republic team ERA Basketball Nymburk (NBL) winning 8 titles. Last season he played in Germany with the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL) playing 34 games averaging 7.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 45.5%, FT: 82.9%. Currently he is with the Czech Republic national team trying to qualify for the 2021 Olympics. He spoke during the 2021 Super Cup in Hamburg.

Martin thanks for talking to Welcome to Hamburg, Germany. There is a lot of water in Hamburg. Does the water and old buildings remind you a bit of Prague?

Unfortunately we are not allowed to visit the center of the city, but I know that Hamburg is really nice. I have never been in the center. But as you said comparing it with Prag might be on place, because of water and lots of historical sights.

Your with the Czech Republic National team playing the Super Cup. How exciting is it being with the national team in 2021 with the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics?

It is really exciting. I always love to play for the national team. And this year we have a big chance to qualify for the Olympic games. This is a chance that might not be here again for a long time so we need to do everything for it.

You suffered a tough loss against Germany. Was Germany so good or was this just a very bad performance by the Czech Republic?

I think it was both. Germany played really good basketball and we didn’t play so good. We had a problem with their aggressiveness. Our defensive rebound was not so good and we had a lot of turnovers. But it’s still a friendly match and we need to take it as a lesson and improve. Every game with a good opponent like Germany can help us improve a lot.

What is your impression of Germany? They weren’t complete with Dennis Schroeder. Should they not be able to qualify for the Olympics with that roster?

I think they got a good team especially under the basket. And if Dennis will join the team their power will be even higher. I think they got a good chance to qualify.

How do you feel has the Czech Republic national team been able to develop since the World Cup 2019 despite COVID-19?

The team has developed a lot. There are some younger guys who got a chance to play and they are doing their best. The core of the team from the World Cup remained the same for this year plus Jan Vesely who will be big help for the team, because he is a great player.

How is the state of Czech basketball at the moment? Is basketball growing and how is the youth development going?

After the World Cup it was like everybody started to care about basketball a little bit more in the Czech Republic. So my opinion is that the level of basketball in Czech is going a little bit up. Also there are some really talented young guys who can be the future of Czech basketball like Vit Kreji. He was drafted to the NBA last year. But I think in the age of 16-20, the Czech Republic used to have better results, so I think here we struggle a little bit.

How much potential does young player Patrick Samoura have. He scored 7 points against Germany. What do you appreciate about his game and just how good is he?

He surprised me. He really improved a lot. He is little bit like our former captain Pavel Pumprla. He plays hard defense and he is fighting for every ball. He got a bright future if he keeps working on himself.

What is it like being teammates with an amazing player like Blake Schilb. I always thought he was a guy that could have played in the NBA? What do you appreciate most about his game?

Blake is a very smart guy and playing with him is always easy because he understands the game very well. In his age he might not be the quickest one, but he really helps us with basketball IQ and also he is a great shooter.

NBA player Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely will join the team soon. What has it been like being teammates with them over the years? Where would Czech basketball be without them?

They are both great players everybody knows that. With them our game will be on a higher level. Saty is the engine of the team and his competitiveness also helps the team. Jan Vesely is one of the best centers in the euroleague and he will also give our game another level. I can’t wait to play with them again.

The Czech Republic will be playing against Uruguay and Turkey in Canada soon. How confident is the team that the Olympics could become a reality?

It’s going to be tough but I think it’s not unrealistic. Our first goal will be to advance from the first group. After that there are 2 games which you need to win. It’s going to be against really strong teams, but we are confident and we will fight about the only advancing spot

The Czech Republic had a Cinderella run in 2019 reaching 6th place. How do you remember playing Serbia?

It was an amazing story that we wrote. For 2 weeks basketball became number one in the Czech Republic. People from the Czech Republic lived the story with us. We played really good basketball, We had a great chemistry in the team. Everything was working just perfectly. We played Serbia in the last game of the tournament and we lost by I think 9 points.

You lost the first World Cup game to USA 88-67. What will you always remember most about this game when you think about it?

I remember when everyone from their players entered the court the whole gym were applauding for them and cheering. But we didn’t play a bad game against them. The first half it was quite close, but in the second half they showed their quality. It is an experience I will remember for rest of my life.

What was it like battling shot blocking beast Myles Turner? Did you feel like you held your own against him?

Yeah he is the beast, but he wasn’t my match-up so I didn’t have so many chances to meet him. I think I didn’t even get blocked by him

They had many great players, but which guy stood out the most to you?

I think it was Kemba Walker. He was the main star of the team and he showed this during the game. His ballhandling was amazing.

Last season you played with Braunschweig. Was it a tough decision not winning two titles a season with Nymburk and taking on a new challenge?

It was really a tough decision even after all these great 5 years I spent in Nymburk. But I just felt that I needed a new challenge, my friends and especially my girlfriend supported me so it made it little bit easier. I felt like I made the right decision and I am not regretting it.

With all the observations you made last season, besides giving young Germans playing strength, what do you feel was head coach Pete Strobl’s biggest strength in helping them develop?

He is really good in drills with players. He has a knowledge about all those drills and he knows what is the best for the players. He is also really good in talking with players about everything. What you need to improve, what your good at, and so on. He is really open to discussion.

What was it like playing with talented German Karim Jallow? Does he have Euroleague format?

I really like him on and off the court. Great guy. In his game he improved a lot especially in shooting where he struggled a little bit. He had a really good season, where he was one of our leaders and he is ready to move to higher level.

You played 5 seasons with ERA Basketball Nymburk (NBL) winning 8 titles. Was there one title that has stood out the most?

Maybe it was the first one. You know when you win something for the first time you are happy the most.

You were teammates with legend Jiri Welsch. How much of an impact did his presence have on you that season and was he like a mentor for you?

Yes it was my first season with Nymburk and he helped me a lot. He is a legend in Czech basketball and everybody respects him. So he tried to help us and make it easier for us. He was also the guy who could raise our game when we were not playing good.

You were also teammates with Euroleague player Howard Sant Roos who many years ago played in Germany’s third division. Did you know then that he could become a Euroleague player?

I knew that Howie was special. Especially for Czech league where he was dominating. He was really a athletic hard working guy who improved a lot during the season. He got confidence and made some good steps after he left Nymburk and now he is Euroleague player. I really enjoyed playing with him and I wish him the best.

What is the next step for you? Will you continue to paly abroad or return home?

I still don’t have a contract yet so I will see. But I would like to stay in Germany. I found out that league is really good, and the service for the players is on a high level and I had everything what I needed in my first year abroad.

Who has been the toughest player that you ever faced that might be in the NBA or Euroleague?

I remember the game against Serbia which we already mentioned here. They had great guys under the basket. Jokic Milutinov, Radulica, Marjanovic. It was really tough. And from the German league this year I would say Luke Sikma from Alba. He is really physical and strong.

Who are your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Tomas Satoransky, Lukas Wank, Vojta Hruban, Benedikt Turudic, Karim Jallow.

What is your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Shaquille O’ Neal, Kobe Bryant.

Will Luka Doncic be the best player in the NBA one day. Is he top 3 now?

I think he will be the best player. For me it was incredible how he started to play in NBA and how he is still playing. He is really smart and he is using it. He is playing really good and I enjoy watching his game. I think he is for sure top 3 right now.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Right now I am watching TV series Vikings on Netflix. I love historical or fantasy movies and TV shows. This is exactly for me.

Thanks Martin for the chat.

The Pepperdine Experience Helped Jan Zidek´s(Czech Republic National Team) Game Go From Just Shooting To An All-Around Game

Jan Zidek (206-F-99) is a 21 year old 206cm forward from Prague, Czech Republic that is currently playing with the Czech National team. He has played the last two years with Pepperdine University (NCAA) averaging 5.5ppg, 1.2rpg, FGP: 70.0%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 85.7% as a freshman and averaged 9.4ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 78.6% in his second season. The big man began his career with USK Praha and has played with the Czech Republic U-18 national team and U-20 national team. He is the son of former NBA player Jiri Zidek who won the NCAA title with UCLA and won a Euroleague championship. He spoke to during the 2021 Super Cup in Hamburg, Germany.

Jan thanks for talking to Welcome to Hamburg, Germany. Is this your first time in Hamburg?

This is my first time in Hamburg. I haven’t been able to see much, because I have had that bus, hotel and gym rhythm. But I bet it’s a nice city.

There is a lot of water in Hamburg. Does the water and old buildings remind you a bit of Prague?

Yes a little bit.

Your with the Czech Republic National team playing the Super Cup. How exciting is it being with the national team at age 21?

My time with the national team has been very exciting. I try to take every opportunity on and off the court and try to learn as much as possible. For me it’s important getting to have that Czech Republic national team culture, because I know that one day it will be my turn. I have to learn as much as possible form the older guys so I can lead the team one day.

Many NBA guys won’t be there like Daniel Theis and Maxi Kleber and when exactly Dennis Schroeder will arrive is unknown. But you played against Isaac Bonga, Moritz Wagner and Nicol Melli. Were you extra motivated to play against guys like that?

Yes for sure. As soon as I saw some of these guys warming up, I became super motivated. It has been eye opening to play against guys like that. I realize that they make big money and have had success at a high level. I know that with time not much will separate me from them as long as I keep working hard

As a young player, what do you focus on most with your opportunity with being there with the National team.

As a new guy I focus most on bringing energy. I also focus on playing defense and getting rebounds. And on offense I focus most on just playing my game.

You suffered two tough loses against Germany and Italy. How is the state of the team mentally? Is there a lot of pressure to match that sixth place in the World Cup in 2019?

Losing the way we did against Germany and the Italy so heavily was tough since most guys were on the team from 2019 in China. But we know that we are still in the preparation phase. We also know that this isn’t an excuse, but we want to learn from our mistakes and continue to move on.

How is the state of Czech basketball at the moment? Is basketball growing and how is the youth development going?

I think that since our sixth place at the World Cup in 2019 that it is continuing to go up. I think when we have everyone, we can be very strong. The Czech Republic does a good job that the young players are taken good care of with their clubs. I think that we will continue to follow in the foot-steps of China in the future with our youth

What is it like being teammates with an amazing player like Blake Schilb. I always thought he was a guy that could have played in the NBA

It has been a great experience. There also is no language barrier since I have played two years in college. He is always supportive when I ask him questions. He is very smart and very experienced. It is great being able to learn from him. He tells me important things about little details like hands on defense. I feel when I can put together what he says, I can be very effective

NBA player Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely will join the team soon. Have you met these guys before. Are you in total awe of them or are you able to act around them normally?

There is no reason why I shouldn’t act normal. I have trained with Satoransky before. I haven’t met Jan Vesely yet, but I know that I will act normal around him. I will eb very happy to be able to paly by his side.

The Czech Republic will be playing against Uruguay and Turkey in Canada soon. How confident is the team that the Olympics could become a reality?

I think that the team is very confident. Especially when everyone gets here. We have a very good mind set that will continue to help us become a better team.

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

I would compare my game to a Kristaps Porzingis or Maxi Kleber.

You can score and rebound and have a three pointer. Would you classify yourself as a modern day forward?

For sure. Now a days you need to play inside out and I do that. I can play in the post and put the ball on the floor. I also can guard the penetration. I’m still learning and there is a lot of room for improvement.

You have played two seasons in the NCAA. How are you a different player today than two years ago?

I got a lot stronger the last two years. I’m very excited about what my game will bring in the next years with my body stronger. My defense and rebounding got better. I have become more of an all around player at Pepperdine.

On what areas of your game are you working on most to continue to get better as a player?

My working on my low and mid post game and also trying to become a better 1-1 player.

You began your career with USK Praha that is known as being one of the best organizations in the Czech Republic concerning it’s youth program. How do you feel did your game profit most there?

The two most important things was just learning the game of basketball and as a shooter understanding spacing better.

You played the last two years with Pepperdine University (NCAA). Talk about your experience there. How has the easy going Californian lifestyle, basketball and school help shape you as a person?

I am super happy that I made this step. Not only from the basketball side, but also off the court. I have met so many people and learned about a new culture. The whole experience has opened my eyes and made me more opened minded.

In your last Freshman game, you lost a tough 75-70 game against top school Gonzaga scoring 11 points. What memories do you have from that game and how key was ending the season like that?

The memories of that game are good and bad. After that game, I broke my hand in practice and couldn’t finish the season. The good thing was that it was my best game as a freshman. It was an insane experience playing at Gonzaga and seeing those crazy fans. They have an amazing fan base at Gonzaga. It was one of the best fan games that I have experienced so far in my career.

What was it like battling against Killian Tillie. How have you seen your own development since that game and are you that far away from a guy with his skills?

He is a guy that has a similar game to mine. He is also a smart player. I have gotten better as a player from that time until now. I would like to see where I am as a player now in comparison to his game. I would like to think that I am closer. But I try to stay humble.

You made a big jump in your game as a sophomore at Pepperdine. How would you say has your game grown in your two years there?

As a freshman I was more a shooter, but in my second year I became more of a guy that had a presence in the paint and could rebound. I did the dirty work and things you didn’t see on the stat sheet. I also become a better finisher at the rim. I knew that I had to become more of an all-around player than just a shooter

How vital has head coach Lorenzo Romar been in your early NCAA development?

He is a great coach. He improved my game and helped me become more of an all-around player than just a shooter.

Who wins a one on one in practice you or Kene Chukwuka?

We never played. But if we did I would have to take myself.

What will the future have for you after the NCAA? Do you see yourself playing in the NBL always or is your focus to move to higher leagues?

My focus is to reach the higher leagues. I don’t want to go home. The NBL would be a last option.

Who has been the toughest player that you ever faced that might be in the NBA or Euroleague?

Tomas Satoransky.

Who are your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Jaromir Bohacik, Ondrej Balvin, Vojtech Hruban, Tomas Satoranksy, Kessler Edwards

What is your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Jordan, Kobe, Karl Malone, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry

Will Luka Doncic be the best player in the NBA one day. Is he top 3 now?

He has a high chance that he will be the best one day. Now he is top

What was the last movie that you saw?

Black Mirror.

Thanks Jan for the chat.

Dan Oppland(Lok Bernau) Always Tries To Be The Best Me On The Court

Dan Oppland (201-C-84, college: Valpo) is a 37 year old 203cm forward that completed his 15 professional season and second season with SSV Lokomotive Bernau (Germany-ProB) playing 20 games averaging 13,9ppg, 7,6rpg and 1,8apg. In 2019-2020 he played 22 games averaging 15.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT-11 (95.6%). In the 2018-2019 season he played with the MLP Academics averaging 10,7ppg, 4,9rpg and 1,6 apg. He started his basketball career with Valparaiso (NCAA) in 2002 where he played until 2006. He started his professional basketball career in 2006 for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen (Holland). He then played in countries like Poland and Sweden before coming to Bayreuth in 2008. He then played for seasons four Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) where he won three titles. He also played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) in the 2013-2014 season playing 47 games averaging 15.7ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.0%. He played 119 games with Nurnberg from 2014-2018 and was able to improve his scoring average each season. He spoke to after the 2020-2021 season.

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

Hey Miles. Thanks for hitting me up. I hope everything is going well with you and your recovery. Everything is fine here. I am here in Berlin just working at school, practicing and coaching every day.

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?

At first, the restrictions with no fans and testing before each game, took some time to get used to, but after a while it became a mere formality. You have to learn how to deal with the hands you are dealt. That is what life is all about.

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

Mentally being ready for every game even though there was a chance it would be cancelled because of COVID and then having to prepare for a game directly out of a quarantine was never an easy task.

It was a very tough season for Lok Bernau. How can one seriously rate a season like this where really each team had their difficulties with COVID-19?

Even though it was a difficult season, you can always look at the positive side of things and see all the ways in which we can improve and hopefully grow as a club. I don’t like to make excuses on the COVID situation because everyone else was going through it as well. It is was it is. Life is not always going to go as planned. You have got to fight through the adversity no matter what.

From mid December until the end of the season Lok Bernau lost 12 of 14 games. How tough was this stretch and what do you believe limited the team from winning more?

That was the most difficult stretch in my entire career not only because of the losing, but because you almost don’t know what else to say or do that will make things get better. In the end, time always makes things better. We hurt ourselves in many of those losses whether it be turning the ball over late, or breakdowns on defense, etc.

It seems like the club made progress towards the end of the season losing three close battles against Stahnsdorf, Schwelm and Bochum and ending the season with a huge win over Cologne. What steps do you feel did the club make in the last month?

I don’t know if we progressed because we played everyone close all year. We just never figured out how to consistently finish games as a team. Ending the season on a high note is always vital for a team who struggled all season long.

Could one say one of the big positives of the tough season was having many many young talents being able to practice with the team for the whole season?

Of course this is a positive when you have a depleted roster like we had all season long. This gave the young guys the opportunity to step up and make contributions right away. It’s a growing experience that can only help with their development.

Let’s talk about the young talents. German Abdulah Kameric had a huge season. How did you observe his development and when will he be ready to make some Alba Berlin appearances?

Abi did a great job for us this year, which was necessary with all the injuries we had. He gave us consistent scoring from the 1,2 spots. Hopefully he can continue to grow and work on those areas that need improvement and take an even bigger step next season. I hope ALBA comes calling for him very soon. We will see.

Another player that made a massive jump was 18 year old Christoph Tilly. What do you believe was key in his development that made him find Pro B consistency at such a young age?

I think the future is bright for Christoph. He has a great attitude and very good work ethic for his age. His skill set is extremely high for someone at his age as well. He also doesn’t get intimidated or back down when situations get tough or challenging on the court. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in the years the come.

Alba Berlin has so much young talents that there seems not to be room for some. Two of those are Elias Roedl and Erik Penteker. Both guys got 9 and 7 minutes per game. How do you see them develop and are they candidates to possibly find more bliss elsewhere?

I think Elias and Erik made some great strides this season even with the limited minutes they were given. If they keep developing on their weaknesses and understanding what their strengths are, they have a shot to contribute next season.

You’re a mentor for so many young kids at Lok Bernau. What was your nicest moment concerning your mentorship with a player last season that you won’t forget?

I don’t know if there was one specific moment because I am always trying to talk to the guys. I really enjoyed working with Friederich Feldrappe this season because he reminds me so much of myself at his age. I am really excited to see where his career takes him in the future.

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 13,9ppg, 7,6rpg, 18apg and 1,4apg. How content were you with your personal game?

At my age, it’s never really about my personal stats anymore. I am looking more for wins than anything else. Although I am never satisfied personally, I felt like my contributions were pretty solid all year.

You didn’t have quite the stats of the 2019-2020 season, but still very impressive for a 37 year old. Do you feel like you could be getting better with age and aging like fine wine?

I don’t know about that! I don’t feel younger. But I always pride myself on staying consistent, and I’ve always been able to do that during my career.

You continue not to take many three’s. How do you manage to physically cope with the physicality inside at your age? What is your secret to being able to be successful while not taking many three’s?

The three has something that has never fully become a consistent repertoire in my game, but it is something that I will use from time to time. I just try to be the best ‘me’ whenever I am out on the floor.

As a mentor you have to lead by example. In our last interview you stated that you have to improve your leadership. How do you feel did working with many young kids bring you another step forward in terms of leadership?

Working with younger guys always makes you work on your leadership skills because you want them to be successful. Communication is key. You have to be honest with these guys so they understand what it takes to get to that next level.

You have been on the brink of retirement before, but remained playing. What is the next step for you? Will you come back or retire?

I will play another season.

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

There were some real good guards in our league this season. If I had to pick one, I guess I would say Toni Prostran from Iserlohn.

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

I will work on my shot, my lateral quickness, etc. but also take some more time to rest and heal my body.

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 definitely in my top 10 all time point guards. He is a game changer. It will be interesting to see if Phoenix can make a run this year.

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?

The sky is the limit for this kid. Amazing talent with such a high basketball IQ. I have been a big fan of his since he was in high school. He is from my hometown, so it’s cool to see a homegrown kid play at the level he is playing.

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

That is difficult to say. If he was able to adjust to the style of play, I don’t know why Westbrook couldn’t lead a team to success in Europe.

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

I don’t think I am ready to make that statement yet. There were and are some great defenders out there. It’s hard to just give one guy that label.

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

I have not seen it yet. It’s usually not a great idea to make a sequel to a classic movie like that.

Thanks Dan for the chat.

Versatile Youngster Patrick Samoura(Czech Republic National Team) Has the Passion And Ability To Fill The Stat Sheet With Ease

Patrick Samoura (198-F-00, college: Cochise CC) is a 20 year old 198cm forward currently with the Czech Republic national team playing at the 2021 Super Cup Tournament in Hamburg, Germany. He has played his whole career with USK Praha (NBL) and last season played 16 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-5 (1.7spg), FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 72.7%. He also played two seasons with Cochise College (JUCO) playing 30 games averaging 7.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.7% and 8.8ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 76.5%. He also has played at the U-16 and U-18 European Championships. He spoke to eurobasket during the 2021 Super Cup in Hamburg. Patrick thanks for talking to

Welcome to Hamburg, Germany. Is this your first time in Hamburg?

This is my first time in Hamburg. I have been in Germany before in the past playing some tournaments with my club Prague.

There is a lot of water in Hamburg. Does the water and old buildings remind you a bit of Prague?

Yes a little bit. So far from what I saw it’s very beautiful here. I like the rivers and scenery.

Talk a little about your roots: You have parents from two countries and how did you get to play basketball?

Yes that is correct. My mother is from the Czech Republic and my father is from Guinea, Africa. I was born in the Czech Republic. My parents met at university in the Czech Republic. When I was seven years old my uncle bought my brother and I a Play Station 2. We would play every day and soon I landed on the basketball court

How beneficial has it been having a brother like Samba around who is a skills development coach. Where would your game be today without him?

My game would be very bad without him. I was gifted as a kid, but not as much as other kids. My brother encouraged me a lot to just practice, practice practice. He was also very valuable in helping me develop my skills. I am where I am today as a player because of my brother.

Your with the Czech Republic National team playing the Super Cup. How exciting is it being with the national team at age 20?

It is a great opportunity. I’m very honored to be able to represent my country and be able to play against the best players in the world. I saw that Moritz Wagner will play against us. I’m very surprised to be on the court with these type of players. My goal is to get to the NBA.

Many NBA guys won’t be there like Daniel Theis and Maxi Kleber and when exactly Dennis Schroeder will arrive is unknown. But Isaac Bonga and Moritz Wagner will be there. Are you extra motivated to play against guys like that?

Most definitely am I very focused to play against them. They made it to the biggest stage in the world. I am very excited to play against them and compare my skills to theirs. I also want to see where I’m standing with my game in comparison to theirs.

Italy and Tunisa are also at the Super Cup. As a young player, what do you focus on most with your opportunity with being there with the National team.

I’m a competitor and love to win. I want to show that I can play at this level and prove that I deserve to be here.

How is the state of Czech basketball at the moment? Is basketball growing and how is the youth development going?
I feel that basketball in the Czech Republic continues to grow since we were sixth in the 2019 World Cup. But unfortunately is soccer and ice hockey still bigger than basketball. I feel like basketball is growing day by day. I see many talented young guys coming up from the ages 16-20. These players all have a good work ethic. They all want to play at a high level. They are all in good hands especially with my brother helping them with skills development.

What is it like being teammates with an amazing player like Blake Schilb. I always thought he was a guy that could have played in the NBA? He also has that fill up the stat sheet game like you do

Blake is a tremendous guy. He could of played in the NBA. When he was a junior in school, the Milwaukee Bucks wanted to pick him, but he decided to go back to school. He is a great teammate that has given me a lot of knowledge about the game. He is a great personality that is always calm. When you need a difficult basket, he will get it for you.

NBA player Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely will join the team soon. Have you met these guys before. Are you in total awe of them or are you able to act around them normally?

I have never met Jan. I have met Tomas and practiced with him playing some 2-2. He is a tremendous competitor that always tries to involve everyone on the court. I know that he has reached the national stage, but I try to treat him normal.

The Czech Republic will be playing against Uruguay and Turkey in Canada soon. How confident is the team that the Olympics could become a reality?

There is always a chance that you can make it. You never know what will happen. We want to reach the Olympics. We will try to win no matter who we play.

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

I don’t really have a role model to be honest. I think that on defense, I would compare my game to a Kawhi Leonard. Also the way I talk on defense, I would compare my game to a Draymond Green. On offense I can shoot and pass the ball

You are a team orientated player that knows how to fill the stat sheet. What do you feel is your biggest strength on the court?

My biggest strength is my defense. I can guard opponents and talk and fire up my teammates. I can also make shots and create for others when needed.

You’re a very good rebounder and playmaker. What do you feel helped you most make the jump from the U-19 league to the NBL league in terms of keeping consistency in your stats?

I think what helped me most bring this consistency from one level to the next was my two years in Juco. I gained a lot of self-confidence on offense.

Your three pointer continues to be a work in progress. Is this an area in your game that you are focusing on to keep improving?

Yes improving my three pointer is a big focus. I’m shooting as much as possible to be as consistent as possible. I feel that I have really improved my shooting recently.

You played two years at Cochise College (JUCO) playing 30 games averaging 7.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.7% and averaged 8.8ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 76.5%. What kind of an experience was playing JUCO in Arizona where basketball is very competitive? I always hear from players that JUCO is a very competitive league because every player wants the ticket to a higher league.

Yes that is very true. The JUCO is very competitive. Most guys don’t want to be in JUCO. Everybody wants to show how good they are. I was mainly there to help the team win and do whatever I could to help my team be successful. I was a role player.

Despite playing a different type of basketball to what you were used to in Europe, do you feel like your game made steps in the JUCO competition?

Yes I think so. I think that in America it is harder to get open and dribble. Everything is more contested. I felt that as I got more experience and confidence playing at the JUCO level, I was able to handle myself better and show what I had.

What was it like playing for Cochise College (JUCO) coaching legend Jerry Carillo who has been with the school for 24 years. How do you remember him helping you most with your game?

Coach Carillo taught me what working hard is all about. I was already a player that was used to working hard, but with him it was different. He taught me that every second counted on the court. Each possession counted and you had to always give 100%. I also learned that anybody can take your spot. He taught me to work hard and how to sell it on the court.

You began your career with USK Praha. How important has it been for your game having been able to play here? You have made a very positive development and you were introduced to the NBL at age 18?

I was very fortunate to be able to play for USK Praha. I believe that it has the best youth program in the Czech Republic. We played many tournaments in countries like France, Spain, Germany and Bulgaria. Being able to play my youth here and also in the NBL gave me valuable experience. I wasn’t just in the bubble in the Czech Republic, but I also was able to see how basketball was played elsewhere and at other levels. The club gave me the chance to practice with men when I was 18. That was a great upside for me.

At the end of the 2018-2019 season you played 30 and 20 minutes in the playoffs against top team CEZ Nymburk. What memories do you have of these games and playing against ex NBA player Bracey Wright?

I don’t remember too much from these games. I just remember that I was very nervous. I remember that at that time, I wasn’t playing with so much confidence, but I always tried my best. I wanted to show my best side playing against the best team.

Last season you played your first full season in the NBL with USK Praha (NBL) playing 16 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-5 (1.7spg), FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 72.7%. How do you feel did your game develop in the NBL?

I got a lot of freedom and was able to develop offensively. I played with some great players and I feel like I developed tremendously. I was able to play point guard when our point guard was injured. My shooting developed and I learned to make tough plays in crucial moments

Twice you were close to a triple double last season including against Kolin. Your only 20 years old. Will that first one comes this season?

Perhaps next season. I don’t worry about triple doubles, but try to always do my best for ma team. I’m still waiting for my first triple double.

What will the future have for you? Do you see yourself playing in the NBL always or is your focus to move to higher leagues?

I definitely want to play internationally. I don’t want to stay in the Czech Republic. The NBL is a decent league, but my goal is the NBA and Euroleague. I will come back home to play in the NBL at the end of my career

Who has been the toughest player that you ever faced that might be in the NBA or Euroleague?

Blake Schilb and Tomas Satoransky. He is always so aware about everything that is happening on the court.

Who are your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Ondrey Sehnal, Blake Schilb, Robert Rikic, Vit Krejci, Stefan Bayard

What is your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Kobe, Jordan, Lebron, Steph Curry, Shaq

Will Luka Doncic be the best player in the NBA one day. Is he top 3 now?

I think that he will be the greatest of all-time one day.

What was the last movie that you saw?

American Gangstar.

Thanks Patrick for the chat.

Chaed Wellian Is Done With The Pro B And Is Seeking To Return To A Higher League Again

Chaed Wellian (204-F-92, college: Tennessee St.) is a 28 year old 204cm forward from Holland that is a real globetrotter having playing in 8 countries for 14 different teams. He recently completed his seventh professional season and first with the EPG Baskets Koblenz (Germany-ProB) averaging 7,2ppg and 3,8rpg. He also has played in countries like Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, United Kingdom and Luxemburg. He played at Atlanta Metropolitan College (NJCAA) and Tennessee State University (NCAA) early in his career. He spoke to after the 20-21 season in Germany.

Chaed thanks for talking to Your season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz has ended. Is this one of those seasons that will be more difficult to digest than other seasons in your professional basketball career?

For me this one was a hard one simply because of the fact that we lost to my former team. Hard pill to swallow having your old team end your season. But at the end of the day we have to move forward.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz had massive goals from day one as the Pro A was the goal. Do you feel like the high expectations were simply too much for some players?

I wouldn’t necessarily say the the goal was too high for certain players because it was definitely reachable we just weren’t in sync. It’s hard as a team to play with each other when we don’t know who we count on the next game. We had one of the deepest rosters in the Pro B but just simply didn’t utilize it.

The season had two faces. In 2020 the team was 8-2 and in 2021 4-8. Breaks usually help teams especially with injuries, but with kind of an effect did it have on you guys?

It kind of separated us as a team. We didn’t feel like we had the complete support to let us work through the adversity and build from there on out and make us stronger. It seemed like the nuke button was hit immediately like we we’re in a state of emergency. It’s basketball just like games there are ups and downs. The great teams that end up on top are the ones who get through that adversity no matter what it is.

What do you feel really hurt you guys most in 2021? Four of the eight wins in 2020 were close games. In 2021, you lost the close games and didn’t defend well. What changed in the mind set and game of the club?

Trust. We reached a point where we didn’t know if we could count on each other. We started breaking when we should’ve been building.

A big problem this season was the defense. The team had many good athletes, but just couldn’t find consistency. What do you feel really held this team back from being able to form a defensive identity that would help them carry to more success?

The recognition of what your personnel is and adapting it to every game and like I said trusting each other on the court. We we’re way too talented to lose most games. Intangibles are so important with a talented team but they don’t come overnight.

What positives do you feel can the EPG Baskets Koblenz take out of this season?

To just learn and figure out what pieces to add and get rid off so they can have all means to make it to the next league. I think they got a good taste now of what it takes to be in the Pro B and know what tools they need to move forward on and off the court.

What was your biggest season highlight? Possibly sweeping top team Giessen and both times winning crunch-time games?

Of course that is up there but for me this is the first time reflecting back on the season that it’s going to be a personal highlight. Usually I will give such a typical team effort response about winning or my teammates. But this time I have to say my highlight has to be my composure and professionalism. It’s been a tough season on and of the court with COVID and such and I feel like I’ve weathered the storm.

If you had to pick one player who improved the most who would it be?

It’s probably our young guys Jakob Follbach and Danielle Magnolia who don’t suit up for the games I think they we’re able to soak in so much knowledge from the vets and work hard with us in practice and just become better players just by being in the gym with us.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz had a very deep and talented roster, but which guy had the biggest impact on you on and off the court?

It is probably CJ Oldham and Marley Jean-Louis. CJ has been playing a different position like me the entire season and he managed to do so well on that position that he kind of got stuck there. He was just a class act the entire season. And I’m saying Marley because everyone in our league knows Marley and what he is capable of and he barely had any minutes which was so appalling to most of us and he was always the one cheering his teammates on and never let it show that he wants to be out there with us. A real teammate!

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 13,3ppg, 6,0rpg and 4,3apg. How content were you with your season?

Not at all to be honest. I’ve worked way to hard this past off season to show up with stats like these. I’ve chosen to make a sacrifice and kind of take the back role on a team and it didn’t pay off. As a full professional it’s my job to perform and most of the time to get the next job. Your stats is the first thing that is looked at and if you don’t win it generally doesn’t look good.

I believe this was the most deep team that you have been on in Europe. I think you had a good season and did the best you could despite the many scoring options. Were you as effective as you wanted to be?

Personally it wasn’t as hard as it should be because I’m pretty mentally tough when it comes to sitting on the bench but a breaking point for me was when we played Itzehoe and couldn’t go out there and compete against my former teammates and coach that was a game I was the most motivated for but the trust wasn’t put in me when it should have. I feel it helped me grow tremendously and it made me realize certain aspects of the business and made me mentally a lot stronger and you never lose you learn! And I’ve learned a lot!

On what area’s of your game will you be focusing on most this summer to continue to be able to produce at a high level?

Just perfecting my craft I been working so hard the entire year and I’m just ready to keep working hard on the aspects that I need to improve on.

The EPG Baskets surely will shake up a lot this season. Despite that would this be an address that you would like to return to?

I won’t exclude it but I’m a little done with the Pro B I think it’s time for me to move on and go back to a top league like back home in the Netherlands or anywhere else. I know my worth and it’s time for it to be shown and appreciated.

Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court this season?

There wasn’t really anyone who impressed me this season that I already knew what they were capable of but if I have to give out a name it would have to be Henry Pwono. I played him the beginning of this season when I was still in Luxembourg and he was an absolute beast that game.

With COVID-19 still active how strange will this off season be? Last year no one knew what to expect, but now it’s a second year in a row with having certain restrictions.

It will be strange for sure not really sure how much of it can be compared to last year since some places decided to open up. For example I live in the state of Georgia and we are able to do everything freely so the availability for me to work on my craft is there.

What was your nicest COVID-19 experience off the court? Obviously one had less to do so one had to be creative.

Being able to see some of the people from on the team and around the team in Itzehoe. It was good to see that your not just a player who was just there for a season but they genuinely care and treat you as the person they met you as.

Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum continues to improve each year. He hit for 50 points. Is he a finished product now or could he make the next step and be a top 10 NBA player in next two years?

I think he has the potential of being the face of the league he is still so young and putting up all these numbers is just about being considered in my opinion.

What was the last movie that you saw?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League!

Thanks Chaed for the chat.

Robert Nortmann´s Increased Physical Strength And Mobility Has Helped Him Improve As A Defender And Rebounder

Robert Nortman is a 33 year old 204cm forward from Nassau, Bahamas that completed his third  season in Germany and first with the ROMERSTROM Gladiators Trier (ProA) averaging 4,4ppg and 4,3rpg. Last season he played with UMF Sindri Hofn (Iceland-D1) playing 9 games avergaing 16.2ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 64.8%. In 2018-2019 he palyed with the Tigers Tuebingen. He was injured for most of the season and played only 8 games averaging 1,6ppg and 1,1rpg. In 2017-2018 he played for the ROMERSTROM Gladiators Trier (Germany-ProA averaging 4,8ppg and 2,6rpg. He has played most of his professional career in Canada with teams Halifax Rainmen (Canada-NBL Canada), Island Storm (Canada-NBL Canada), and Windsor Express (Canada-NBL Canada). He also gained experience with teams Maitland Mustangs (Australia-WARATAH) and Francavilla Fontana (Italy-Serie C Silver). He played four years at Dalhousie University (Canada-CIS) and as a senior played 21 games averaging 14.6ppg, 6.4rpg, FGP: 49.4%, FT: 61.7%. He spoke to after the 20-21 season in Germany.

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

Hi Miles, life is treating me really good right now. I decided to stay in Trier with my family for the summer. My wife gave birth to our first child recently, so it’s been a real blessing for us to have so much free time with our daughter.

What was the first eatery that you seeked out once you came home?

Haha I now do most of my eating at home since the arrival of the baby.

You played your second season with the Romerstrom Gladiators. What was the most difficult thing that you observed in the last year in Germany concerning COVID-19?

It was really difficult not really being able to really interact with people. Not really being able to see people or have fans at the game took a lot of joy from this past season.

It was a tough season for the Romerstrom Gladiators as they missed the Pro A playoffs. How can one honestly rate this season concerning all the drama that was going on and obstacles with COVID-19?

It was very disappointing not making the playoffs. Trier has definitely the top fan base in the Pro A and not having fans at the games eliminated one of our major advantages. We got caught with a couple of covid breaks and many season ending injuries that really hurt us.

The team was very up and down but could of made the playoffs. How costly was the five game losing streak in March?

That losing streak really put is in a bad situation. Any time you lose 5 games in a row at any point in the season it will cost you in the end.

The team scored well and rebounded well, but also let up too many points. What were the biggest problems that the club had on the defensive end this season that they couldn’t solve?

Trier’s defense is built on being aggressive, outworking opponents and having superior fitness. The circumstances of this season made that a challenge. With players catching covid, quarantines, and many season ending injuries. It was difficult to get into the shape that we needed to be successful.

How costly was it also not having team leader Jermaine Bucknor. People often talk about his leadership skills, but he still has game at his age.

It was a huge loss for our team. The amount of experience, skill and leadership that we lost with Buck’s injury was hard to make up. He was probably our best playmaker and one of our top shooters. The wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings to the team was a huge part of our recipe for success.

What kind of a lasting impression did point guard Chase Adams leave on you? How much easier did he make your job?

Chase is a great player and an even better teammate. He works hard, doesn’t complain, and always gives his all. It was always a pleasure to go to battle with him, because you know you have a fighter who doesn’t back down. Chase is aggressive and it is always easier to do your job when you have players that are going to attack the defense.

How much of a pleasure was it playing with young German Ruppert Hennen. Did it surprise you that the team didn’t keep him?

Rupy is a confident, quick, young player. When he gets downhill he can be hard to stop. Management makes decisions based on their best intentions.

What was it like playing together with Jonathan Dubas? One doesn’t see Belgium players to often playing in Germany. What did you learn to appreciate most about his game?

Duby is a very smart basketball player with a lot of experience. He really sees and understands the game. He also has great playmaking and passing abilities at his size. He is an entertaining player who really makes the game fun.

Let’s talk about your game. You are a versatile player like Draymond Green and last played in Trier in the 17-18 season. Since then you played in the German Pro A with Tuebingen, Canada and Iceland. How are you a different and better player today then your first tour of duty with Trier?

I am an overall better player than I was in my first stint with Trier. I have improved physically, as I have stayed consistent with my strength training. My increased physical strength and mobility has helped me improve as a defender and rebounder. I am a much more experienced player and now understand the style of play here in Germany. During my first time with Trier, I was figuring out my role and how to be effective. I have learned many ways that I can help my team win and my knowledge of the tactical part of the game has greatly increased. I also have spent a lot of time improving my offensive skill set since my last time with Trier.

You averaged 4,4ppg and 4,3rpg for Trier. How content were you with your season?

I felt that I had a solid season that I can build on. I feel blessed that I remained healthy during this covid season, as I was the only big man to play in every game. I consistently worked hard, stayed professional and lead by example. I brought a tough defensive presence and a relentless rebounding presence to every game. I also improved as a screen setter and quick roller this season. However, there are opportunities for me to improve as an offensive threat on the court.

You stated in a previous interview with me that you were a late bloomer. What has been the biggest challenge for you in your development as a player on account of being a late bloomer?

I started playing basketball casually at 15 and I wasn’t coached until I was 18 years. I did one year of prep school in Toronto and then I started my university basketball career. I was tall, athletic, physical and had a great motor. However, I was an extremely raw player who needed to learn the game and develop a skill set. I learned in university that I could get playing time as a defender and rebounder. So I really focused on developing those abilities, and then began to slowly round out my game. I understood my abilities and tended to play to my strengths, which has helped to keep me in the game. However, there were gaps of knowledge and skill that I missed early in my career. I have been able to develop and fill those gaps with each season that I play.

You had a 16/11 game against Ehingen in a tough loss. How good did it feel playing 29 minutes and how realistic do you see yourself having more that type of a role now even at your age?

It felt great to play that many minutes and to have a bigger role. I am definitely continuing to improve as a player and I believe that I will continue to have more performances with a bigger role. My body feels great and my knowledge and my skill set are only improving.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer to continue to grow as a player?

I am a great defensive player, however I need to polish my offensive game. I am a quick post player, so I will continue to improve my face up attack from the post – square up jump shots, quick drives, running hooks, and spins moves. Next, I will develop a variety of different finishes as the roll man. I will also improve as a floor spacer with my catch and shoot ability from both midrange and the three.

Your turning 34 years old this year? What is the next step for you?

I definitely want to enjoy playing the game for as long as possible. My wife is a personal trainer and nutritionist and she has really helped to foster my longevity. Luckily, I have had a career without many injuries and my body still feels great. After my playing career, I definitely want to stay in basketball as a coach and mentor. I love basketball and working with youth.

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

My toughest match up this season would probably be Dennis Heinzmann from Leverkusen. His height, size and length definitely make him a tough opponent.

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 am a big fan of CP3. I would have him between 5-7 on my all-time point guard list. He makes teams better. Every organization that CP3 has joined has had a substantial boost in wins. He puts his teammates in the best position to succeed, always competes, and is true a mentor and leader to his teammates.

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

Jason Tatum is currently one of the most skilled scorers in the NBA. He reminds me of a modern day Kobe or T-Mac. His ability to effortlessly put the ball in the basket is a joy to watch. He definitely has the potential to lead the NBA in scoring and I believe could be the best player on an NBA Championship team.

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

Westbrook is a former NBA MVP and one of the most talented players in the world. He plays hard all the time, produces consistently, and is a very dynamic player that can help a team in so many different ways. He has some flaws as a player, like shooting consistency and decision making at times. But if you surround him with the right pieces, he can definitely lead a European team to success.

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

I am a big fan of Draymond’s game and he is definitely one of the best defenders of this generation. I really love his belief in himself. However, I would have to rank several other players above Draymond.

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 it yet. I am a big fan of the original and I am curious to see what they were able to put together.

Thanks Robert for the chat

KJ Sherrill was 100 Percent The Reason Why Noah Westerhaus Finished The Season With The EVL Baskets Limburg

Noah Westerhaus (200-PF-98, agency: Gamble Sports Management) is a 23 year old 200cm forward that finished the 20-21 season with Regionalliga team EVL Baskets Limburg after having began the season with EPG Baskets Koblenz (ProB) playing 17 games averaging 2.4ppg, 1.1rpg. He began his basketball career with the Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck U16 team. He also played for clubs like TSV Quakenbrueck (Oberliga), BSG Bremerhaven (Regionalliga), MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel (ProB), Junior Loewen Braunschweig (NBBL), Artland Dragons (ProB), TSV Neustadt temps Shooters (Regionalliga), Sportclub Langenhagen MTB Lion Kings (Regionalliga) and the ETB Wohnbau Miners Essen (Regionalliga). He spoke to after the 76-54 loss against the ScanPlus Baskets.

You finished the season with EVL Baskets Limburg. How did the contact come about?

I had known KJ Sherrill from Koblenz. I had no team and wanted to finish the season with a team. KJ talked with the coach and he told me to come on by.

You began the season with Koblenz. How disappointing was the season as it underachieved?

We were never ever able to establish the kind of chemistry that we had off the court on the court. We were never able to play to our strength. We also had a lot of misfortune. We missed Edin Alispahic for a long part of the season. He was a big puzzle piece for us.

Koblenz had a very deep roster. How tough was it for you not playing little minutes?

It was very disappointing not being able to play more minutes. I always gave my all in practice, but I had to respect coaches decision. I had to live with it. It really wasn’t a good season for me with Koblenz. For me it was good to be able to play with Limburg.

Despite not getting many minutes how do you feel did your game improve having been able to practice with so much talent?

I feel that my game profited a lot. Being able to play against top players like Brian Butler and Chaed Wellian on a daily basis was huge. I feel I improved a lot.

How tough was the 20-21 season in general for you with COVID? What were the biggest challenges for you?

The fans were very missed. Especially in Koblenz where there is a very good fan base. I think also not being able to do team building things hurt as well.

The Limburg basketball team welcomed you with open arms. What have you enjoyed most about the organization?

I have gotten the total freedom from coach. I was able to play the position three which I couldn’t do in Koblenz. Plus I really enjoyed that everyone gave their all in every practice. That is something that isn’t self-evident at the Regionalliga level.

Was it a big adjustment coming in to play the tournament after the Koblenz season ended months ago?

I practiced maybe 7 times with Limburg before the tournament began. It definitely was an adjustment for me. I had known KJ Sherrill, but one saw in the first game that I wasn’t comfortable. I found my role better in the second game and things got better.

The ScanPlus Baskets came out with a high intensity and just shot bombs. How tough is it defending this style?

We had to play more 1-1 which took us away form our zone. We played more man in the first game which got our legs tired. It is really tough to defend their style with our thin roster. Every player can shoot on that club. I have to give them a lot of respect for how they play.

How much of a joy has it been playing with the work horse KJ Sherrill? He leaves it all out on the floor.

It is unbelievable to be able to play with him. When he is in the post he will either score or find the open man. When he has the ball on the weak side and I am cutting to the basket, he always sees me. He is the 100% reason why I came to Limburg.

How much did the Luka Kamber head but attempt in the first quarter get Limburg out of it’s rhythm?

I didn’t see the play. This was a strange game as everyone seemed to be complaining the whole game. We just wanted to play. That scene did take us out of our rhythm. But we also knew that we needed more breaks which we got with all the whistles being blown. In the second half the game got too fast and we just couldn’t stick with them.

What kind of role do you have with Limburg that is different than in Koblenz?

I have with KJ Sherrill the role as leader of the team. I have the complete freedom to lead the team. Being that leader helped me get the confidence to have success with Limburg. I also have helped the younger kids as a mentor.

What part of your game do you feel have you been able to incorporate most with Limburg?

I have used my drive with my left hand the most. Pro B teams scout better than regio teams. But in the Regionalliga I can drive better with my left hand. Unfortunately my shot from outside didn’t fall as much, so I concentrated more on my drive. I will continue to work more on it this summer.

The game had no meaning, but the team fought from start to end. How do you explain that type of focus?

Everyone on the team knew that we had no pressure in this tournament. The other teams had pressure while we knew that we could have fun. We did hang our heads at certain times in the game, but not so much. I felt that we grew as a team and had fun annoying top teams.

Why didn’t the zone work as well against the ScanPlus Baskets as it did against Fellbach?

The reason why the zone didn’t work as well against the ScanPlus baskets was that they had a lot better shooters than Fellbach did. Every player on the bench also could shoot. That made it very difficult to defend.

What kind of an experience has it been playing with captain Justin Stahllboem?

Justin is a mega guy. He does so much for the team. He always got me at the train station for practice. He is a very good captain that can shoot the ball very well and just knows how to lead the team well.

Did fatigue play a role not getting better on the shooters in the second half?

I think that at the end it was our legs. We had played many games in a short period of time during the tournament. Sherrill was on the bench more and we played with a short rotation. It is difficult for those guys coming in to harmonize with the rest who play more minutes.

What was key for the ScanPlus Baskets leading by 25 points in the second half and securing the win?

They had had the complete rhythm and knew how to use the space. We had to get away from the 1-1 play. We only had a 7-8 man rotation while they played the whole bench. It was hard to pressure them successfully. I am very proud how well we stayed with them in the first half.

What is your summary of the tournament? You won one game?

I thought we played well even if we only won one game. I felt that we didn’t have to lose so high in Fellbach. We fought hard in Elchingen. Nobody would ever have thought that we would beat Fellbach at home. We gave everything in this tournament.

What is the next step for you? Will you remain in Limburg?

I don’t know if I will come back. I have some offers. That is why I played the tournament so teams could see me play. I am studying economics in English in Koblenz. We will see what the best fit is.

How well will the German national team do at the football European championships?

I am a big football fan. They will advance. I think they will finish second in the group, but will probably loose in the quarterfinals.

What was the last movie that you saw?


Thanks Noah for the chat.

Being Able To Experience Many Leagues And Teams In Australia Allowed Darreon Tolliver(ScanPlus Baskets) To Become The Physical Player He Is Today

Darreon Tolliver (201-C/F-92, college: York, NE) is a 201cm forward that was born in San Diego and is playing for the ScanPlus Baskets this season. He turned professional in 2016 and has experienced much in the last years having played for Green Basket 99 Palermo (Italy-Serie C Silver) averaging 14.1ppg, 9.8rpg, 1.0bpg, Launceston City Rockets (Australia-LBA) averaging 15.3ppg, 8.0rpg, Wynyard Wildcats (Australia-NWBU) averaging 14.0ppg, 9.0rpg, FGP: 57.0%, Basket Leon (Spain-EBA) averaging 13.9ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.1%, FT: 38.8%, Lithgow Lazers (Australia-Waratah) averaging 16.6ppg, 10.0rpg, BW Merzen Lions (Germany-Oberliga) averaging 27.9ppg, 13.0rpg, FGP: 65.0%, FT: 56.0% and also played for TuS 59 HammStars (Germany-Regionalliga). He began his basketball career with Mesa Community College (NJCAA) and then played two seasons with York College, NE (NAIA) averaging 5.8ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 50.4%, FT: 59.6% and averaging 6.3ppg, 5.0rpg, FGP: 49.2%, FT: 49.3%. He spoke to before a game in Limburg.

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

At the moment I am in Ulm, Germany playing for Scanplus Basket in Elchigen & during these times basketball life is treating me great. Injury free and mentality focused. Along with thankful to play this game!

You began the season with the TuS 59 HammStars (Germany-Regionalliga) and now have helped the ScanPlus Baskets move up to the Pro B playing a total of only 6 games. How bizarre has the 20-21 season been for you?

Yes you have don’t your research! This season has been very bizarre to say the least. But I’m very thankful to still be a part of the journey of being in Germany and helping this organization complete its missions. It’s been a roller coaster the past few months but we are steps away!

How did you experience COVID-19 this season. What were the biggest challenges for you on and off the court?

The biggest challenges were to keep myself mentally, physically, emotionally locked in. You know when the game of basketball is taken away we panic but to slow down and appreciate the finer things like nature, reading, writing, meditation. This allowed for myself to enjoy the game that much more when the gyms opened back up!

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

Covid has allowed me to do some soul searching, in sense of Faith, Perspective & staying Motivated even through the darkest of times. Along with to enjoy the present a lot more & not wonder off into tomorrow. Enjoy the now!

Talk a little how you came to the ScanPlus Baskets. How enjoyable has your time been with the team despite not playing any games except for the tournament with Limburg and Fellbach.

They were looking for a import player of my caliber while in Germany & by the grace I was currently still in Germany working out and doing what was needed for the restart. Came to check the organization out & we had a mutual interest and it became home for this season. The time has been very enjoyable to learn from my teammates, coaches and just the German culture. With the pause it’s allowed us to spent a lot more time with one another compared to if we were in season. Enriching to say the least!

The ScanPlus Baskets practiced the whole season. What kind of an experience was it being together with a group of guys, but not playing games. What was the most memorable thing and what were things that didn’t make the experience as great?

It’s been a battle because there were times when we felt like practice was a blur due to not knowing if we were going to continue the season, but then we all locked in and pushed one another to be better because we wanted to make the time count & not waste any training sessions. I can’t say anything didn’t make the experience good, I’m one for challenges & my teammates and coaches bring that energy into the arena daily!

The ScanPlus Baskets have a lot of talent. Talk a little what has made this team so special this season?

We have guys who can really play the game & compete at a high level! It takes a lot of will to stay focused on your objective when there is no set date on when the games are going to be played. Every day we pushed one another to be great at practice & it’s showing now as we compete for the promotion! Everyone is on the same page & eager to prove their passion!

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

That’s a really good question, if I could compared my game to anyone in the league, I would say something like a Draymond, well rounded style of play but most Importantly thinking team First. The rest will Follow! Good with ball in hands or without & ENERGY is always there!

Talk about the strengths in your game. You are more than just a scorer and rebounder. What other aspects does your game have?

With my game, I always focus on the defense of aspect first and foremost. When the defense is clicking and I catch the feel for the game, I get going. Love to crash the boards, rebounds, dunk, get steals & get my teammates involved with assists. Basically whatever the team needs I’m capable. I don’t have a ceiling on myself.

What kind of role do you have with the ScanPlus Baskets. Your scoring strength and grabbing rebounds was one that was present here again.

Yes here I’m more of the motor guy, you know we have shooters, we have attackers & I can play the post, mid range occasionally, move so out the ball, set good screens, assist out the post & just staying active. Being able to guard 1-5 gives our team an advantage with the other players we have surrounding.

Last season you played with the BW Merzen Lions (Germany-Oberliga) playing 18 games averaging 27.9ppg, 13.0rpg, FGP: 65.0%, FT: 56.0%. What kind of experience was your first season in Germany? How did the Oberliga league compare to the leagues in Australia in terms of skill level?

My first experience in Germany was one that was great, it was a moment in which allowed me to trust & believe that I can play at this level of not higher. The culture & the atmosphere along with my teammates from Merzen made the season that much more enjoyable! Oberliga & Australia is a lot different in my opinion for a few guys in Oberliga it’s a hobby & for some guys in Australia it’s a job. But on all aspects I enjoyed the experiences because you learn from them! Shout out to Mello one of my teammates from Merzen, great times!

You played for three different teams and leagues in Australia. What kind of an experience was it playing down under? How do you feel did your game grow there?

Yes playing down under was a great experience & allowed me to grow my game more on the physical aspect. They really play physical down there and it’s clean play. So being able to take screens, fouls & just the physicality can only help grow your game. Plus coach Ben Armstrong & Dez Best we’re studs at coaching and play development!

You played a season for Basket Leon (Spain-EBA) playing 23 games averaging 13.9ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.1%, FT: 38.8%. What was it like playing on a team with all Spanish players. Did they look up to you because you were an American?

Playing in Leon was maybe one of my greatest times within my career so far, being able to actually understand the game on a IQ level, moving without the ball, moving with a purpose, playing team ball helped my game grow into the systems in which I play now! All my teammates respected one another in Leon along with the coaches and staff. We all wanted to learn from one another & reach the goal of a Promotion. I’m forever thankful for my growth in Leon! Gracias Leon!

The Spanish EBA league is a very good league comparable to the German Pro B. Does that give you hope to continue to dream about playing in higher leagues in Germany?

Most definitely! In this profession every time I step on the court I want to be the hardest worker on the court. I trust my abilities and understanding for the game that if continuing to take it one day at a time, opportunities will continue to present themselves. At a higher level in Germany or anywhere around Europe.

As a rookie you played with Green Basket 99 Palermo (Italy-Serie C Silver) averaging 14.1ppg, 9.8rpg, 1.0bpg. What was your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?

Wake up call knowing that it was a business. In college you might get subbed out and maybe subbed back in but overseas in Italy you might get subbed out and sent home. There aren’t any do overs. So always be true to yourself on that court and give it your all because you are always being watched for a better cause or a lost one. Stay grounded! Stay positive!

You played 64 games for York College, NE (NAIA). What memories do you have from the 2016 Elite 8?

Growth as a basketball players but most important as a person. A lot of memories from the time at York college and our elite 8 run, enables me to handle situations I encounter today a lot better than ever. Plus it was a brotherhood at York we all wanted the same for one another when we put on that YC jersey. Then history was made! Elite 8 baby!!

How did head coach Delton Deal groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Deal is monumental to my growth, there were times when I used to question things that were happening but with Deal I realized he only was that hard on myself because he saw the potential. He didn’t have to give me the opportunity to attend York or play minutes there for my two years but his trust in my abilities allowed me to run with the game & create a pathway for others! Forever thankful for Coach Deal! Not just on the court but grooming us into better people Without the ball also!

Who won a one on one in practice you or Cameron Coleman?

I’ll be honest Cameron won the 1 on 1 we played at York. As us both being pros now, there will be a time and a place for another go around!

Who was the best player that you ever battled that made the NBA?

I would say Norman Powell played against him in the semis in high-school, he could play the game and still can.

Please name your five best teammates of all-time’?

Cameron Coleman David Blanks Marcos Fernandez Mello Jac Ome Novian Cherry

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

Kobe Mike Lebron Dirk KD

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

Both great players and different eras, what they both have done is remarkable & Lebron still has time to shatter records. Exciting times ahead. Just appreciate greatness!

What was the last movie that you saw?

Last movie I watched was TRIAL 4, very great series!

Thanks Darreon for the chat.