Having That Jameer Nelson Love And Loving How People Underestimate Him Has Helped Josh Sharkey(Tigers Tuebingen) Become The Player He Is Today

Josh Sharkey and his cousin NBA player Jameer Nelson

Every now and then there will be that NBA connection with a player or players that are playing in Germany. One of the best examples ever concerning guys that have played in Germany were Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce who played in the EasyCredit BBL and were best known as having that special connection to Lebron James as all three played together at St Vincent in Akron when they were in high school. These NBA-German connections aren´t abundant, but every now and then there will be one. As I was back home in January 2018, I was back to practicing one of my childhood loves getting autographs and on January 16th, I waited before a Boston Celtics game in front of a posh 5 star Boston hotel for the New Orleans Pelicans who would lose a tough 116-113 nail bitter. There were some nice players on the team, but I was most interested in seeing ex Kentucky great Anthony Davis who came out of the hotel entrance greeted with many screams and he didn´t disappoint scribbling his initials for everyone. Another player I was interested in was Darius Miller who was back in the NBA after playing in Germany for Bamberg and helping them win titles. I had interviewed him in Germany and he actually remembered me. The team had many younger players, but also a real true NBA veteran with Jameer Nelson who had carved out a nice career at  Saint Josephs (NCAA). This would be his last professional season as he would play 14 NBA seasons averaging double figures in scoring in 9 seasons and had his hey day with the Orlando Magic. I remember him exiting the hotel and being very kind and signing for all and even posed with me for a selfie. I hadn´t thought about Jameer Nelson for a long time, but then his name popped up again as I was checking Josh Sharkey´s bio at Wikipedia. The American is a rookie with German Pro A team Tigers Tuebingen and is the cousin of the ex NBA player. So there I was preparing questions for the American rookie and could add some extra questions about Jameer Nelson. It doesn´t happen so often, but every now and then there is that’ special NBA connection with another American player in a German league. Nelson isn´t just another cousin for him, but a huge mentor that has been massive for his development as a player. “He was and still is my role model. I fell in love with this game at a young age from watching two people play . Allen Iverson and my cousin Jameer Nelson. From me watching him play at St Joes university all the way to the NBA I always wanted to model my game after his. As I got older we got closer and he is someone I can go to and talk to about anything with. Life, basketball, business, etc. He’s a big brother/cousin, and father figure to me. I’ve learned so much from him not only in basketball but in life He’s taught me so much and I appreciate him for that. Like I said earlier he is the true definition of what it means to be a professional. He really taught me what it means to really work hard. He’s a great father and husband just a great family man overall. I’m lucky to have someone like him in my life. That’s something I’m grateful for. I have someone in my life that’s been where I want to be in my family”, warned Josh Sharkey. The many great moments with ex NBA player Jameer Nelson have been priceless. “One that is pretty funny is he actually made me get in my first cold tub ever. I think this was the summer going into my freshman year at Samford we had just got done working out for the second time that day and I was probably complaining about being sore so he asked the St Joes trainer could we use the cold tub. Mind you before this I had never been in one so I don’t really know what to expect. So he’s giving me all this advice I’m acting like a know it all like yeah yeah I know whatever it’s probably not even that cold. So I go get in the tub and it was the coldest feeling I ever had in my life. Five seconds in I got out it was too cold. So he’s clowning me he goes gets the trainer she comes in starts clowning me with him haha so now I’m like ok I have to get in now I get back in I’m like no way I can do this I’m asking for heat packs, towels to squeeze while I’m in there it was so cold I almost started crying  I probably lasted not even two minutes in that tub but yeah he got me getting in cold tubs before I even got to college”, remembered Josh Sharkey. Having that Jameer Nelson love and loving how people underestimate him has helped Josh Sharkey(Tigers Tuebingen) become the player he is today.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jameer Nelson in Boston in 2018

Josh Sharkey and cousin NBA player Jameer Nelson

                Josh Sharkey was born on September 10th, 1997 in Philadelphia and grew up in Radnor, Pennsylvania. He began his basketball career at Archbishop Carroll High School. A few years later he would play against future NBA players on a regular basis in the NCAA, but he was blessed already in high school to be able to call future NBA player Derrick Jones as a teammate. “What’s crazy is Derrick and I actually played with each other before my time at Carroll. So we were familiar with each other’s game once I came to Carroll. But I mean you definitely knew from day 1 that he was an NBA talent. I was actually just telling someone the other day he is the greatest dunker I have ever seen with my own two eyes. The things he is capable of doing are just crazy to think of it’s really like a video game. But Derrick is a hard worker and you can see each year he comes back better than he was the year before and each year his role with whatever team he is on increases. But to answer your question it was amazing to play with Derrick and he made my job extremely easy. All I had to do was throw it close to the rim and he would go and get it. It’s great to see him live out his dream. He is a really great guy”, expressed Josh Sharkey. He was named to the roster of the annual Philly/New York City Classic, which showcases some the best high school talent in the Northeast. He proved to be one of only 10 players in the Philadelphia area to earn the distinction. He got a lot of interest from schools like Dayton, Penn State, East Carolina, Wofford, Tulsa, James Madison, Boston University, Penn, Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson, but in the end chose Samford. He played at Samford from 2016-2020 playing a total of 128 NCAA games. In his freshman year he played 36 game averaging: 8.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.2apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 72.0%. He started only 2 games in his freshman year and was the backup to Christen Cunningham, but is thankful that he could soak up so much valuable information to help his game as a young buck. “That’s my big brother. I learned so much from him and he was actually the reason I ultimately decided to go to Samford. He was my host of my official visit and we clicked from day 1. He was also a big reason why I took that big jump from sophomore year to junior year. Learning from him and competing against him in practice every day only made me better as a player. CC is a traditional PG. he gets guys in the right spots, he leads vocally and with action, gets guys involved and scores when the team needs him to. Really appreciate him”, said Josh Sharkey. He scored in double figures in 16 games including 23 points in a loss against Furman, 18 points in a win against Citadel and 15 points in a victory over S Alabama. He led the conference in steals with 71 and set a team single season record with 71 steals. He was named to the Socon all freshman team. In his sophomore season he played 29 games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.1rpg, 5.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 19.2%, FT: 75.4%. He scored in double figures in 8 games including a 25 points effort in a loss against NC Greensboro and 16 points in a loss against VMI.

            The American´s game took a huge rise in his junior year as he played 33 games averaging 16.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 7.2apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 75.0%. He scored in double figures in 30 games and registered 7 double doubles. His best scoring games included 27 points against Chattanooga and Mercer. He also scored 25 points in a win over PFW and had 24 points against Houston Baptist, Mercer and NC Greensboro. He set a school record 16 assists in a wild 107-106 loss against Wofford which he will never forget. “That was probably the best and most entertaining game I was a part of in my entire career. Back and forth the entire game I think we actually made sports center after it but yeah I broke the record was a great game but just wish we could’ve pulled that one out. We were on the road, very tough to win at Wofford and they had a great player in Fletcher Magee who is one of the best college basketball shooters of all time. So I actually made the layup to give us a 106-105 lead with about 5 seconds left. They inbound the ball to my man he comes down takes a one leg fadeaway and it goes in at the buzzer. We were crushed to have competed that hard against one of the best teams in the league on the road to come up short like that hurt. But yeah definitely one of the most entertaining games I ever played in”, added Josh Sharkey. He also had good memories playing against VMI and always had to be prepared to give an extra good effort against that school. “You could say that it was expected they were the team to end my career. But I loved and hated the VMI games because me going to Samford meant my family wouldn’t get to see me play in person as much due to the distance from Philly and Birmingham. So when we would go to VMI Virginia is 5 hours away so my family would come and I would feel like I had to play well for them because they didn’t get to see me in person that often. What sucks about the VMI games was then11 hour bus ride there and back to campus lol brutal”, stated Josh Sharkey. It was also in his junior year and not his senior season where he felt he had his best NCAA game. “I wound say my best college game was my junior year against Jacksonville State University. I think I finished with 22 points 10 assists like 6 or 7 rebounds and 8 steals but the most important thing was we won that game so I would say that one for sure”, remembered Josh Sharkey. He was named to the All-SoCon 2nd Team.

                In his senior year, he was able to make another huge jump in his college development playing 30 games averaging  18.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 7.2apg, 2.7spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 77.3%. he had a very logical explanation for why his game rose so drastically in his last two years. “I think me putting the work in just helped with my confidence. So when I came back my junior year I was shooting the ball better, watched film so I wasn’t making the same mistakes I just grew as a player and the work I put in showed on the court my last two seasons. Also there was now opportunity for me to be the player I am with some upper class men graduating and some transferring. My junior year was the first year I felt a sense of responsibility. It was my responsibility to bring it every day I was now the upperclassman so I had to take it to another level and I did that.”, stressed Josh Sharkey. He scored in double figures in 26 games and scored 20 points or more in 12 games. He scored 35 points in a loss against Chattanooga, scored 30 points in a loss against W Carolina and 27 points a piece in wins against Auburn-Montgomery and Citadel. Players will always remember those amazing moments on the court, but the NCAA isn´t all about the amount of buckets or wins and loses, but there is so much more in a college player´s experience. “ Just every single game putting that Samford jersey on was special. People don’t realize how fast it goes by. I wish I could’ve been in the moment at times a little more than I was but just having the opportunity to play at Samford was a great experience . To play at a school that believed in me when nobody else did and to be able to go to such a great school education wise was a blessing. I enjoyed every moment all the good and all the bad because it shaped me into who I am today. Both as a person and basketball player”, remembered Josh Sharkey. The American also knows that he wouldn´t be the player he is today if it hadn´t been for head coach Scott Padgett helping him get prepared for the professional grind. “I think the way the professional game is played now we see a lot of teams use pick n roll sets. Coach Padgett put me in a lot of pick n rolls throughout my career and I was very effective in them and that has made my transition to the pro game easier because we use a lot of pick n roll sets so that’s something I’m already familiar and used to”, said Josh Sharkey. He was named to the All-SoCon 3rd Team.

                There was a big gap between his last NCAA game on March 6th against VMI and being signed by the Tigers Tuebingen in September. But the worst thing was having to abruptly end his college career and then not going out the way college seniors usually do after four years. “My experience with Covid was very unfortunate, pretty much just like everyone else’s and it just honestly came at a really bad time. I didn’t physically experience the virus but it definitely was tough for me mentally. Just having to realize that my senior year and last semester of college was cut short due to the virus was tough to swallow. Our season had just ended so it didn’t really affect the basketball season for me but just to not be able to walk the campus as a student again and to not get the proper graduation ceremony with my fellow seniors was hard to deal with. I feel like I didn’t get the goodbye myself and the whole senior class deserved. I learned to appreciate the time spent with my teammates. Sometimes people don’t understand but it’s really like having a whole new family. The bonds and relationships I made with the teammates I had is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Sometimes I go back and look at some of the old photos and videos I have from my four years and we really created some great memories together. I still talk to a lot of the guys I played with and that brotherhood is something that will always last and I’m grateful for that”, warned Josh Sharkey. Just like everyone else on earth, his life was heavily affected by COVID-19 off the court, but on the court he didn´t have to look for innovative ways to stay in shape and work on his game. “It really wasn’t that hard for me to stay in shape. I was still able to get gym access and work on my game daily. For those who know me and know my story they know the type of relationship I have with my cousin Jameer Nelson. He is a person in my life that I really look up to and try to model myself after. True definition of what a professional is. One thing he tells me is to always stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. So during this tough time we are in I was still able to get in the gym and work with some great trainers. As far as concentrating on trying to find a job with a team, that was difficult. Covid really messed the plans I had for myself up. I’m confident that I would’ve had the opportunity to at least workout for some NBA teams and maybe put myself in a position to make a team. With Covid happening it really crushed my plan and made it even more difficult for a guy like me undersized and coming from a mid major D1 school to do what I wanted to do. So I had to rearrange my plan and go a different direction. My agent thought it was best I consider going overseas my rookie year because we knew what the reality was. Months went by and I still didn’t have a job offer and it was tough. I’m working hard every day trying to get better and still no calls or nothing. So September comes around and I finally get that call and opportunity I was waiting for and it was honestly one of the best moments of my life”, stressed Josh Sharkey. COVID-19 has had a toll on everyone, but like many the American made the best of the situation and tried to benefit as best as possible. “I think it has made me stronger mentally more than anything. These are very very tough times we are living in and it can really take a toll on you mentally. I know we are supposed to be taking precautions trying to stay safe and that usually means staying inside more than we normally would but I encourage people to get out and just get some fresh air. Staying inside all the time not being able to interact with people can really cause people to go into funks and bad moods. Mental health is something I am big on so I encourage people to get out even if it’s just for a couple minutes and do something to help your mental. Make sure to wear your masks though”, warned Josh Sharkey.

                Now let´s fast forward to February 2021. COVID-19 is still causing havoc around the world, but Josh Sharkey who lists Tony Carr Myron Gordon Lamar Stevens Derrick Jones Ruben Guerrero as his best teammates of all-time remembers his toughest foes in the NCAA with Cav´s Dylan Windler and Boston Celtic Grant Williams is staying positive despite the world problems. He didn´t sign early in the summer or in the middle of the summer, but very late. The waiting definitely paid off as he knows 100% that he is in a place where he is totally wanted. “The summer transfer period was very challenging. I wasn’t getting many offers, was getting some calls but nothing serious so when the opportunity to play with the Tigers came it was a no brainer for me and I was excited to start my professional career with them because they believed in me when nobody else did. I’ve been an underdog my entire life always having to prove I belong. I did it in high school, college and now my professional career so I’m definitely used to it and I embrace it. Really just adds some extra fuel to my fire and makes me work even harder. So my agent go the call from the club and within days coach Danny Jansson called me personally on the phone and we had a great conversation and had an understanding of what the club wanted from me. Perfect fit”, warned Josh Sharkey. There are so many guys not playing due to COVID-19 with leagues postponed or just not getting offers. One could say despite all the tough circumstances, the American is sitting on top of the world in Germany. “I´m really grateful for the opportunity to play especially with the crazy times we are in now. The basketball life has been both good and challenging. It’s been great learning from my coaches and getting better every day with my teammates. I’ve grown tremendously in the three months I’ve been here and will continue to keep growing and getting better each day. The challenging part is obviously dealing with this virus. It’s been tough with games getting canceled and several teams and organizations having to quarantine due to positive tests throughout the season. It takes a toll on you mentally but at the same time I’m still grateful to even have a job and to be able to play the game I love professionally Working for something your whole life and it finally becoming your reality is one of the best feelings in this world and it’s working out great. I love it over here In Germany. Tübingen is an amazing city and I’m really enjoying my experience this far”, stressed Josh Sharkey.

                If you look at the standings of leagues around the world you will see huge differences in games played as each organization has to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and pray every night that a player isn´t tested positive. Not knowing the future of if games will be played or the league postponed can really get into a guy´s head. “It’s tough! It can really throw off your rhythm when games get canceled or when you have to quarantine for several weeks. As competitors we want to play every chance we can get so when we find out a game is postponed or something like that it kind of sucks the life and motivation out of you. But this is the reality we live in now and we know what we signed up for so we have to be professional about it and stay ready the best way we can. Only the strong will come out on top of this so yes it’s tough but at the same time you have to be mentally strong in order to be successful”, stated Josh Sharkey. The second league club is only in 12th place with a record of 6-11, but the American remembered back in December 2020 what will help the team be successful down the road. “We are off to a rough start but at the same time I have hope because we have yet to play a game where the whole team is healthy. We’ve been in every game for the most part so I’m very confident when we all get on the same page and are all healthy we will be just fine. We have a very versatile team. When we put it all together and we will soon we will be very scary for opponents. Our strength is we have a lot of guys that can do different things. We are very versatile and one thing about this team is everyone seems to have an understanding of what their role is and we all want the same thing and that is to win. When we put it all together I think we can make this a special season and do something that hasn’t been done here in a while. Right now we are struggling defensively but I’m confident we will turn things around on that end”, added Josh Sharkey. The team is very young which can be a disadvantage at times, but also be an advantage. “We are a young team like you said, don’t have a lot of experience but we thing we have is hunger and a chip on our shoulders. Everyone in the league knows we have a young team so that respect level isn’t there, so it’s our job to fix that. We have to come out and prove ourselves and prove that just because we are young doesn’t mean anything and we are professionals just like everyone else. Just another challenge for us to conquer”, warned Josh Sharkey. The team also seems to be very tight. The American has some other talented Americans by his side like Troy Simons as well as experienced Germans like Roland Nyama and Enosch Wolf who won a NCAA title with Kemba Walker at UConn. “It’s been really fun playing with Troy. In the three months I’ve been here me, Troy and Isaiah have gotten close on and off the court so that chemistry is there and it’s really fun playing with those guys. Troy is a high level shooter so he makes my job a lot easier and his ability to shoot it so well sometimes opens up different lanes for me to create and make plays. Those German guys have been helping me and the other young guys adjust to the professional game. They bring the intensity and energy every day in practice so they really set the standard and it’s great to have guys like that on your team. I actually haven’t talked to Enosch about it but I’m sure it’s something we will talk about eventually”, said Josh Sharkey. The American has had a great personal season and credits the organization for the simple adjustment. “It’s honestly been the confidence my coaches and teammates have given me. They make it easier for me to go out there and be me. They have trust in me that I will make the right play and when your coaches and teammates trust and believe in you it’s give you confidence. They have really helped with my transition from college to pros and they push me every day to be better than I was the day before. So I give all the credit to them”, stressed Josh Sharkey.

                The American who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with the obvious heads of Allen Iverson LeBron James Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant is a unique player that finds it hard to list some NBA players that he could compare his game to, but if he had to name some, he would take Kemba Walker, Ish Smith and Yogi Ferrell. It is obvious he can score buckets and give out bundles of dimes, but he can do so much more on the offensive end as currently he is averaging 16,1ppg, 3,4rpg, 5,9apg and 1,7spg. “I’m a point guard that plays both sides of the ball. Yes I can score and pass at a high level but I can also pick you up 94 ft and guard you all the way up the court. I think my ability to guard is very underrated. I can get into passing lanes and find different ways to be that annoying pest on the defensive end. Ultimately I am a team player that’s my biggest asset. I’m willing to do whatever the team needs me to do to win”, warned Josh Sharkey. When you’re a small player, you have to be very confident to succeed in the cruel basketball world and it is no different with his three pointer. He has vastly improved it and his hard work has paid off as he is shooting an incredible 48% at the moment and is very confident that he can become that reliable strong consistent shooter. “I’ve worked extremely hard on it throughout the years. My freshman and sophomore years at Samford I shot poorly from the three point line. That summer going into my junior year I put hours and hours and hours in. Working with Jameer and Jameer JR every single day getting tons of reps and shots up. Jameer showed me what it meant to be a professional and me putting that work in resulted in my confidence going up which then resulted in my percentage to go up as well. So I really worked hard and still have a long way to go but in the next few years I want to be known as a knock down shooter can’t leave him open type of player. And I will be”, warned Josh Sharkey. The last movie that he watched is the Wolf of Wallstreet and fans in Europe won´t only see his great offensive game down the road, but also his defensive qualities and others that he is working on improving. “I take a lot of pride on the defensive end. Early in my career that was my way onto the court. I was known has a defensive player he could be a play maker at the same time. Now I’ve added to my game so people sometimes overlook that aspect of my game but it’s still there and is something I take a lot of pride in. I’m really working on all areas of my game. I’m always looking for something to improve on whether it’s tightening up my handle, extending my range, getting stronger, getting better defensively, different layup and floater finishes. I’m never satisfied so I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve my game”, stressed Josh Sharkey. A lot has changed in his game over the years, but one thing that will never change is his chip on his shoulder. Nothing surprises the diminutive point guard anymore and any negativity that is thrown his way is seen more as a motivation. “It’s not really tough for me I think because I’m used to it now and I’ve kind of embraced it. I’ve had to prove myself my whole life so it’s nothing new to me. I love it I love when people underestimate me because of my size. I’ve heard it all throughout my basketball career and all the doubt just motivates me to prove them wrong. Just because I’m small doesn’t mean I can’t dominate. So that’s the mentality I have. I’ve had a chip on my shoulders since I started playing the game. But me coming from where I come from the city of Philadelphia you are battled tested at an early age. So me making it out of there is just proof that I can do anything. So when someone says I won’t do this or I won’t do that because of my size it doesn’t faze me because I know I can do anything I put my mind to and work for”, warned Josh Sharkey. He is just at the beginning of his basketball career, but one thing is for sure the love from cousin Jameer Nelson will always be present and the love from all his haters that he continues to fuel into very positive energy that has brought him this far and will continue to help him rise up the basketball ladder in the future.

The Miles Vs DJ Woodmore Weekly Basketball Talk Volume 12

 DJ Woodmore is a 29 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore team together each week to talk basketball.

Thanks DJ for talking to eurobasket.com. A tough 99-72 loss in Coburg. The season has been a tale of 2 parts. In 2020 the team was 8-2 and in 2021 1-7. Maybe the warmer weather this week will bring some positive energy to the team?

Yes. Season has been full of ups and downs so far. I’m hoping we can get back on the right track but I feel like I’ve been saying that for weeks now. Maybe the weather change will be good for us.

BBC Coburg played consistent offense all night long. Why was it so hard to defend the Bavarian team?

They shot the ball extremely well. I think they only missed 2 shots in the first quarter and shot 73% in the first half. Hard to beat a team that isn’t missing.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz beat BBC Coburg in the first game. What has been their secret to becoming the best team in the Pro B south?

I think staying greatly by has been their key. They had a tough December with injuries and uncertainties. And since Christmas, they’ve been on fire. Our season has been just the opposite.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz did a good job staying with BBC Coburg in the first half, but the Bavarian team broke away in the third quarter. What was key for them being able to break open the game?

They just stayed hot the entire game. We weren’t playing bad defense in my opinion. But like I said, if they’re not missing, it gets harder and harder to battle back. They went on a run after run and we just didn’t have an answer for it.

BBC Coburg went on a huge run in the fourth quarter. How much did the back to back three’s from Leon Bulic hurt? That pretty much decided the game.

Yes, that one hurt the worst. It felt like we were still on the verge of possibly getting back in the game, but those threes pretty much sealed it.

BBC Coburg point guard Constantin Ebert had a huge game with 24 points. How have you seen his development over the years and how did he hurt Koblenz the most on the night?

He’s gotten better every year. I remember playing against him when he was a little younger and playing for Wuerzburg in 2014. He’s constantly improved and found a home in Coburg. He was attacking pretty well in the pick and roll. He was able to do anything he wanted. Kept us on our heels the entire night.

big problem continues to be the rebounding. Brian Butler as always was a beast with 14 rebounds and you were second with 6. After that there was very little support. Can this weakness still be corrected?

Yes. I think we have some key players coming back from injury this weekend. CJ and Edin. I think they can def help us on the boards and make Brian’s job a little easier.

You had another solid game with 16/6/7. You shot very well as well. Are you back to 100% game shape?

I would say about 90-95%. Still a little trouble with the ankles and lower legs but I’m pushing thru it as much as I can. Hopefully I’m back to 100% before the postseason starts.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz play Erfurt next who you beat on the road 92-75. Despite the current turbulence how confident are you that the team will take the Hanau win as self-confidence when you return home?

I think we have to have a certain intensity when we play at home. The Hanau game was a great example of what we can do when we have that energy. But it’s going to take all of us. Erfurt has some decent players that can be a problem if they get any confidence. Have to take that from then early

Jamal Murray scored 50 points without going to the free throw line. How big is an accomplishment like that?

accomplishment. I think only true basketball fans understand how crazy that is. He’s definitely a rising star in this league. One of the best scorers we have when he’s healthy!

Thanks DJ for the chat.

The Control The Pace Get Stops And Good Looks Formula Powers The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos Over Orange Academy In Crunch Time 86-79

The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos celebrating another home win

Early in the season Giessen went on the road to Ulm to face Orange Academy and lost 86-75 as they had to contend with a balanced offense attack that shared the ball with pleasure. Now in the return date and the playoffs looming closer, both clubs met again in Giessen for a late season clash. In mid December Giessen was strenghthed with American veteran Donte Nicholas who gave instant energy and has been a massive contributor on offense and defense helping the organization to a potent 9-2 record. Surprisingly he is only third best on team scoring as the potent  big man duo of Lischka and Uhlmen have combined for 43 points per game, but the American is second in rebounds and leads the team in assists. Orange Academy came to Giessen as the home team had revenge on their minds, but they had massive difficulty slowing down the best big man duo in the Pro B with Johannes Lischka and Tim Uhlemann who combined for 35 points and couldn´t execute offensively in crunch-time losing in Giessen 86-79. “We gave up 51 points in the first half which is way too much. In the second half, we defended better and had a chance to get the win back, but turnovers and fouls cost us the game. I liked how we came back and never gave up”, stated Orange Academy forward Moritz Krimmer. The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos continue to play fine basketball winning 10 of their last 12 games and four in a row as they head into the playoffs. “We played in stages something that happens when you have young players. I kept telling the guys it doesn´t matter how you win, but just matters that you win. We controlled the pace, got stops and got good looks. We controlled the pace with our bigs that was the difference”, warned Giessen forward Donte Nicholas.

Christoph Philipps in action

The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos began well going on a run to get a nice lead, but Orange Academy made a late run to recapture the lead back and lead 22-20 after 10 minutes. Both teams attacked the paint as the three point line was quiet in the first minutes. Orange Academy got vital buckets from ratiopharm Ulm double license players Christoph Philipps and Moritz Krimmer while Giessen got baskets from ex German national player Johannes Lischka and ex Iserlohn forward Donte Nicholas as the contest was dead locked at 6-6. The contest experienced it´s first run as Giessen went on a 11-4 run to lead comfortably 17-10. In the run, Giessen got big support from Johannes Lischka who scored 7 points while German David Amaize also scored. Donte Nicholas wooed the few people in attendance with a massive dunk as he flew to the hoop from the free throw line. The dunk reminded me a bit of ex NBA player JR Pinnock who supplied a similar dunk in the 2006-2007 season in Giessen against Frankfurt. “I had to show the young guys that a guy my age can still dunk. I saw the lane open up and just wanted to be aggressive and make a play”, stressed Donte Nicholas. The Giessen offense was flowing and they made good decisions. Orange Academy´s offense was stuttering and they had absolutely no clue of slowing down Lischka who was wrecking chaos in his playground in the zone. But that run didn´t faze Orange Academy totally as they struck back as they closed out the first quarter with a 12-5 run to lead by 2 points after one quarter. In the run, Orange Academy got clutch back to back three´s from Germans Latrell Groskopf and Kristopfer Krause and also got a pretty left handed hook shot from Nat Diallo. Giessen got a three in the last seconds from German Felix Schweitzer. “We played in stages. We can´t be lax and have to sustain our energy better. We took our foot off the petal and allowed them on a run”, stated Donte Nicholas.

Tim Uhlemann at the free throw line

The massive scoring continued in the second quarter as the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos broke away exploding for 29 points and led 49-39 at the break. Orange Academy kept the lead, but couldn´t shake Giessen as they stayed on their heels. Orange Academy received huge support from 17 year old Montenegran 206cm forward Anddrija Grbovic who scored 8 points in a row to keep his team in charge. He was very aggressive scoring in the paint three times and also dropped a trey while Giessen stayed in the game getting buckets from Uhlemann and Lischka to trail only 30-28. Giessen tied the game at 32-32 getting a key transition basket from German Tim Uhlemann. After Moritz Krimmer nailed free throws for the 34-32 advantage, Giessen then stormed out on a 13-0 run to grab the 45-34 lead. In the run, Giessen got 5 points from Donte Nicholas, a hard two handed stuff from Tim Uhlemann and a lay in on transition from German Tim Kopple. Giessen attacked inside and stopped Ulm´s inside game and good defense led to easy transition baskets. Orange Academy got two important baskets from Moritz Krimmer in the last minute, but still trailed 49-39 at half-time. “We went back to to what we knew worked for us. We have to know what our identity is and getting our two bigs who are the best in the league involved is important”, warned Donte Nicholas.

Orange Academy head coach Anton Gavel giving advice in a timeout

The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos continued to control the game in the third quarter, but Orange Academy never let down, but remained in striking distance. Both clubs had their offenses rolling, but Orange Academy couldn´t get stops on defense which didn´t allow them to inch closer. Giessen continued to get good production from Johannes Lischka who used his tricks inside always getting good position and then scoring against the next double team with the utmost ease. Nicholas also scored getting the pass from Lischka while Orange Academy got vital buckets from Moritz Krimmer and a trey from Andrea Grbovic to cut the lead to 53-46. Giessen got good support and energy form the bench from 22 year old German Viktor Ziring who had played with Iserlohn the last 3 years hit a trey for the 56-46 lead. “He works out with me and is one of my students. With him it´s all about having confidence. He has done a good job building his confidence”, stated Donte Nicholas. Orange Academy then found some daylight going on a swift 7-0 run to suddenly trail only 56-53 as Giessen had fallen into one of their weak stages. Ulm got baskets from Germans Marius Stoll, Kristopher Krause on transition and Christoph Phillipps dropped a three pointer. Orange Academy had a good phase not allowing Giessen´s big men to wheel and deal in the paint. But Giessen didn´t panic, but had their blows ready as Ziring dropped his second three pointer to give Giessen the 59-53 advantage. Ulm got good punch inside as Krimmer scored and Julius Ferber gave good energy from the bench with an offensive rebound and put back to cut Giessen´s lead to 62-57. But once again Orange Academy wasn´t able to get closer as Johannes Lischka continued to play his game and excel as he demonstrated his fine mix of inside out hitting a 25 footer and then once again scoring against the double team inside extending their lead to 66-61. Ferber hit a trey from the corner, but Tim Uhlemann countered with a last second trey to give Giessen some more breathing room and the 70-64 lead after 30 minutes. “Lischka is unstoppable and a load. He makes tough shots and good decisions. We keep telling him that we will continue to feed him inside”, stressed Donte Nicholas.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Donte Nicholas after he dropped 17 points in the victory

Orange Academy clawed their way back in the fourth quarter to cut the Giessen lead down to one point, but in crunch-time, the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos stepped up their defense and had the better nerves and offensive execution rate to pull out the win. Orange Academy didn´t waste any time starting their comeback attempt as Moritz Krimmer went on fire scoring 8 unanswered points in a row to cut Giessen´s lead to 73-71. Krimmer was aggressive getting to the free throw line twice and connecting all shots and controlled the paint area with a tap in and lay in. Orange Academy continued to put pressure on Giessen, but couldn´t get over the hump as Uhlemann and Tim Koepple scored. Orange Academy continued to feed Krimmer who scored two more times with a lay in and left handed hook shot as they were on Giessen´s heels trailing 78-77. But then came the deciding blow as Giessen closed out the game with a 8-2 run and got 5 consecutive stops to clinch the victory. Giessen got a basket from Koepple and free throws from Nicholas, Uhlemann and Koepple. “We did a good job Controlling the pace, getting stops and good looks. That was the difference. We didn´t rush anything in crunch-time and were patient”, stressed Donte Nicholas. The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos were led by Johannes Lischka with 18 points. Donte Nicholas and Tim Uhlemann added 17 points apiece and Tim Koepple had 13 points while Orange Academy was led by Moritz Krimmer with 26 points while Christoph Philipps added 14 points and Andrija Grbovic produced 13 points. The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 56% from the field and 47% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 21 turnovers while Orange Academy shot 37% from the field and 24% from outside and had 35 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

Diante Garrett (Jobstairs Giessen 46ers) Remembers His First NBA Game Seeing Lebron And D Wade and Thinking Oh My God

Only a year before reaching the big dance, Diante Garrett was paying some serious dues in Croatia as a rookie and was as far away from the NBA as the next NBA player is from matching Jamal Murray´s incredible 50 points in a game without one single free throw attempt. A year later Diante Garrett entered the American Airlines arena in Miami and was about to set foot on the floor and see totally different type of players then what he had seen in Croatia. The comparison of saying players from a different universe could of fit perfectly. Garrett had made the Phoenix Suns and was able to call European stars Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat teammates as well as talented and well known Americans like Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Shannon Brown. But absolutely no disrespect to them, but these guys didn´t size up to the guys he would be battling as Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen were on the other side not about to give any freebees to the 24 year old kid. He also was able to witness the great Shane Battier and see an old foe from the NCAA with Mario Chalmers. The American who lists Mario Chalmers as one of his toughest covers in the NCAA when he won the NCAA title with Kansas was fortunate and got into the game even if he only breathed 2 minutes of NBA air. “I scored my first NBA basket against Miami. I remember just being on the court and seeing Lebron and D Wade and just thinking Oh my God. I was shocked to see them. I remember that the Heat was beating us badly. I remember coach Alvin Gentry saying DG go. Lebron wasn´t on the court. I just remember going baseline and getting a lay up over Ray Allen. I have a picture and will never forget it”, stressed Diante Garrett. Now more than 8 years later the basketball career of Diante Garrett is still active, but he has been in Europe since 2015. Like so many guys before him, he had his time in the NBA, but after 3 seasons, accepted that his career would continue in Europe. He has racked up an impressive career overseas where he has demonstrated his abilities and consistency in many different leagues and currently is in his 10th professional season and giving his best to help the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers remain in the easyCredit BBL.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Mario Chalemers one of Diante Garrett´s toughest opponents in Bonn Germany in 2020

            He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 3rd, 1988 and attended Harold S. Vincent High School where he averaged 15,2ppg and 5,3apg as a senior and was named Milwaukee player of the year and was named first team all state. In 2007 he made his way to the NCAA and decided to play for Iowa State where he remained 4 years playing a total of 128 NCAA games. He was a solid guard in his first 3 years where he averaged 9,0ppg and 5,0apg in his second and third years, but his game took a total transformation in his senior year where he exploded averaging 17.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 6.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 82.5%. A big reason for his massive strides as a player was head coach Fred Hoiberg who came on board in his senior year. “A big shout out to coach Fred. He gave me the awesome green light. He took a chance on me and gave me a lot of self-confidence. I remember him calling me in Milwaukee and telling me that he was the new head coach. He told me I will put the ball in your hands. He then asked me that he wanted to meet me so I drove to him. He told me that he would give me the keys to the team and let me go. He told me that I was a true point guard, but that after 3 years I could also be a scoring point guard. The next day we were in the gym and working on my jump shot. I remember thinking that this guy was a legend and he had the confidence in me. I went from 9,0ppg to 17ppg as a senior and that was because of him”, remembered Diante Garrett.  He never was able to reach the big dance with Iowa State, but he still remembers his 4 years with a lot of joy. “I have a lot of great memories. I remember beating Kansas State when they were top 3 in the country. I also remember scoring 27 points against Kansas that was on ESPN. I will never forget all the rival games against schools like Iowa, Drake and Northern Iowa. All the games were sold out and the excitement level was so high already 3 days before the game”, stated Diante Garrett. He also remembers beating his teammate Darion Anderson who all called Jake all day on one on one games, but also remembers his teammate German Lucca Staiger with a lot of elation. “I remember when I passed Lucca the ball, I could get 3,4,5,6 assists that game. No matter what I knew his shot would go in. He really shot the ball well and was a cool guy. I remember his little brother Jannick came to our practices. He wants to come to a Gießen game. I know Lucca is in Spain now. It would have been nice to see him again. He is a teammate and friend that I will always remember”, expressed Diante Garrett.

            After finishing at Iowa State in 2011, he took part at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg. After not getting any NBA interest, he took his craft overseas starting in Croatia with KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (Croatia-A1) playing 3 Euroleague games averaging  3.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.0apg; and played 3 Adriatic League games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg. He then moved to JSF Nanterre (France-ProA) playing 25 games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 81.5%. He got his first taste of the Euroleague playing against Bamberg where he scored 11 points in his debut, Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow, but had little luck getting hammered in all 3 games and losing by 92 points combined. But he was fortunate in getting an early taste of the NBA as he battled against great names like Mike Bastiste, Dimitris Diamantidis, Brian Roberts, Casey Jacobsen, Andrei Kirilenko, Nenad Kristic and Milos Teodosic. His stay in Croatia was short, but he closed out his rookie season well in France. He will never forget how Croatia and France were like day and night off the court. “My wake up call occurred my first few weeks in Croatia. I had to live in a hotel the first weeks. I had no internet in my room and had to go to the lobby for that. I had to down load movies and do Skype in the lobby. I was in the lobby until 2,30 am some nights. I also had no car. I asked myself is this going to be the way it is the whole season? This just wasn´t normal. Sometimes I was late to practice, because I had no car. I had to rely on teammates and employees to drive me to practice. I then went to France. I had an apartment, car and internet right away. It was A-1. I was very happy. I saw the worst and then the best”, stressed Diante Garrett. When you have had hundreds and hundreds of teammates over a span of more than 10 years, it can become difficult to remember every player, but sometimes it helps when a guy had expressive tattoos. “That´s a great question. I´m trying to picture him in my mind. Yes I remember Mario Kasun. The guy with the Tattoos. You could tell right away that he was a real veteran in the Euro style of play. He had that special swagger that I will never forget”, said Diante Garrett.

            In his second professional season he made the jump to the NBA with the Phoenix Suns (NBA) playing 18 games averaging 2.2ppg, 1.7apg, and played 10 games with the Bakersfield Jam (D-League averaging 18.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 7.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 85.2%. In the D-League he scorched Santa Cruz for 32 points in a 106-105 win and in the NBA with the Suns his best results were 9 points against the Rockets and 8 points against the Jazz. In his third professional season he was able to play a full NBA season with the Utah Jazz playing 71 games averaging 3,5ppg, 1,4rpg and 1,7 apg. But getting to Utah wasn´t an easy one as he had a very crazy pre season with various stops. “My time in Phoenix prepared me for the NBA game. The NBA is very different from being overseas. It´s your dream to play in the NBA and you just try to soak in as much as you can. In my second season I played with the Suns Summer League team and I thought that I had played well enough to get a shot from another team. Then I got a shot from the Oklahoma Thunder. It was the year where Russell Westbrook was hurt. They had Reggie Jackson and Derek Fischer at the point. I wanted to be that third point guard. We went to Turkey and played some games and got some playing time. I then was briefly with Iowa in the D-League. Then I got the call from Utah. I knew that I had deserved an opportunity. It was definitely a crazy pre season”, remembered Diante Garrett. He scored in double figures in 5 NBA games and his most memorable game was hitting his ex team Phoenix Suns for 15 points. “That is a game that I remember most. I remember when I faced the Suns, I was playing against some ex teammates like PJ Tucker, the Morris twins and Archie Goodwin. I was happy to see the coaching staff and all, but when the game began, I knew that I had to give it to them on the court”, added Diante Garrett. He also was fortunate not only to square off against future NBA legends, but also had extraordinary teammates like Richard Jefferson who helped him along the ride. “ RJ did a lot of talking in the locker room and on the bench. He cracked a lot of jokes. What stuck with me most was that he told me that if you want to stay here you have to keep working and stay late. He told me and Ian Clark this. He also told us you have to be professional and not let the team think that you don´t want to get better. You have to show them that you want to keep getting better”, stated Diante Garrett.

            In his fourth professional season and last at home, he had another whirlwind of a season, but this time he didn´t play another NBA game, but landed in the D-League as his NBA dream was halted as he learned exactly that the NBA is a business. “I learned that you have to be mentally prepared for the NBA. Sometimes you get traded or waived. Sometimes when your not a big name like myself you don´t hear the news until it´s too late. I felt that I played well at the end of the season for Utah. I really felt like they would give me another shot, but then I was traded to Toronto for Steve Novak. I thought I would play NBA Summer League for the Raptors, so I prepared for it. I thought this would be another opportunity for me to showcase my skills. Nobody called my from the Raptors organization about the Summer League. The next thing I knew I wasn´t on the roster and I was confused. Then I went to Portland to play in training camp. I jumped the gun to fast. I thought I would be on the team and everything would be ok. The only problem was that they were guard heavy with Lillard, Mccullum, Crabbe etc. I felt I didn´t get the chance I deserved. I found myself being in the NBA where you never know what will happen”, warned Diante Garrett. He split time with the Iowa Energy (D-League) playing 30 games averaging 14.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.5apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 75.0%,and with the Grand Rapids Drive (D-League) playing 14 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 91.3%. He showed his consistency scoring in double figures in 31 of 44 games including 34 points against his ex team Iowa, nailed Delaware for 27 points and scored 25 points a piece against Sioux Falls and Oklahoma. One thing that will never change for any professional player is the self-confidence of their own abilities. They are always there and for Garrett, he still did have hope that he might get a NBA call up. “I didn´t feel like the NBA was drifting away from me. I continued to think that I had played well and that an organization would give me a shot. I remember seeing guys getting called up or getting deals, and I knew that I had played better than them. I always thought I would get a call, but I never got a call. After Grand Rapids, I felt it was time to take my talents overseas”, remembered Diante Garrett. He still believed in the NBA dream in the summer of 2015 as he was very convincing in his play at the NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Los Angeles Clippers) averaging 10.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 48.9% and with the Chicago Bulls averaging 9.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 40.0%. Despite his solid play in Orlando and Las Vegas, he had to then accept that his basketball career would take a major turn and change. “There was no interest in the summer of 2015. After I played NBA Summer League, my agent and I sat down and we decided to make money overseas. If an NBA team really would have wanted to give me a shot then they would of. If I would have returned to the NBA, it would have had to make sense. I didn´t want to have that situation again like in Portland”, stressed Diante Garrett.

            The American who lists Jacob Pullen as his toughest cover in the NCAA took his game overseas again for the second time joining Maccabi Ashdod (Israel-Winner League) playing 33 games averaging 18.7ppg, 3.7rpg, Assists-3(6.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 83.1%. Israel is a place that always hits the hearts of Americans and it wasn´t any different for Garrett. “Israel and Japan have been the top 2 places where I have lived. Off the court it was great. I lived across the street from the beach. We had one practice a day for an hour at mid day. After that you had a nice day at the beach. It was a cool vibe. I liked the style on the court. It was like pick up basketball. It was up and down and who scored more won. Also there were no long road trips. The longest was 2 hours”, commented Diante Garrett. He scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games and hit Maccabi Rishon for 32 points, but beating top Euroleague team Maccabi Tel Aviv twice and exploding for 34 points in the first game was his fondest moment on the court in Israel. “I remember that they didn´t have us on their scouting report. They didn´t even practice or have a shoot around before the game. They weren´t thinking about us. That gave us the motivation to go out and give our all. I felt good that day and was just hooping. I didn´t even know I had had 34 points until I saw the stat sheet at the end of the game. I remember my teammate Isaiah Swann yelling at me “that´s how you do it boy”. Swann has been one of my favorite teammates in Europe. He could light it up at anytime and he was so much fun to watch”, stressed Diante Garrett. In his sixth professional season he made the trek to Japan and played with Toyota Alvark Tokyo (Japan-B League) playing 62 games averaging 18.3ppg, 4.7rpg, Assists-3(4.0apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 78.1%. He had to deal with a totally new way of life and back to back games, but his game never suffered, but it sparkled. “I actually liked the concept of back to back games. I wish that they would have squeezed one more game in during the week. The wait until the weekend was always so long. I didn´t like the American player rule. I couldn´t always play and that was frustrating and a big adjustment. I really loved the style of play. Everybody played hard and everyone knew their role. Fans showed up for each game. The fans were my favorite that I ever had. They showed so much love and always gave us presets and food. They also always waited for autographs. I almost felt like a rock star, because the fans made it alive”, stated Diante Garrett. His great consistency was seen in Japan as he scored in double figures in 61 of 62 games. He scored 20 points or more 26 times including 35 points and 28 points against the Chiba Jets.

            The American who lists his personal own NBA Mount Rushmore with legends Kobe, Jordan, Lebron, Iverson returned back to Europe and continued to play great basketball as he played with Fiat Torino (Italy-Serie A) playing 29 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-3(5.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 74.7%; and played 16 Eurocup games averaging 14.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.1apg, Steals-4(1.6spg), FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 46.8%, FT: 85.7%. The biggest moment for any player is winning that chip and so far he has only won 2 and getting that first professional title is always the greatest. “Winning the Italian cup was my fondest moment. I remember seeing this picture on Instagram of the team holding the cup. It brought back great memories. We played a crazy 3 games. I still can´t believe that we pulled it off”, said Diante Garrett. In the Italian Serie A he scored in double figures 23 times including 25 points against Umana Ve and 23 points against The Flexx PT. In Euro Cup play he scored in double figures 14 times and hit Levallois and Darussafaka for 22 points apiece. In the 2018-2019 season he strapped on the jersey for Tofas Bursa (Turkey-BSL) playing 20 games averaging 14.6ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-2(6.3apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 70.6%; and played Eurocup: 10 games averaging 18.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 6.1apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 43.5%, FT: 75.8%. He led the Eurocup in scoring and was third in assists. It was definitely his best season as a professional and one could see that his game had matured a lot in that season. “I felt my game grew a lot in Turkey. I was scoring a lot and getting a lot of assists. I felt like I was in rhythm all year. There were some games where I scored only 12 points in the Turkish league. That gave me a lot of motivation to bounce back in Eurocup games. I saw it as an opportunity to showcase my abilities. The game slowed down for me and I found my spots. The club gave me the freedom I needed to be successful”, stressed Diante Garrett. He was also teammates with ex De Paul great Sammy Mejia and like so many talented guys in Europe, he was one of many to be lost in the shuffle of too many great players around the world and too little NBA spots available. “How couldn´t this guy be in the NBA? He was around 35 years old and I never noticed. I didn´t put 2 and 2 together until about 3 months into the season. I asked him after 3 months how old he was and he said 35. I couldn´t believe it. I remember talking to an old friend who had gone to De Paul. He asked me is Sammy still playing? .He didn´t play like a 35 year old, but played like someone my age. He could score and was so smart on the court. He was one of the top players in Turkey at that time. I always knew I could go to him for a bucket. Seeing him play well at his age gave me a lot of hope that I could still do it at his age. He took care of his body each day”, remembered Diante Garrett.

            Garrett who lists his all-time favorite teammates with Craig Brackens, Ian Clark, Brandon Rush, Isaiah Swann, Charles Thomas, Kyle Weems, Ian Miller and Trevor Mbakwe was supposed to play the 2019-2020 season with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1), but a cruel achilles injury sidelined him the whole season and then COVID-19 hit the world. Sitting out that season wasn´t an easy one, but COVID-19 actually helped him get more time to get his body totally to 100% again. “It was a tricky situation for me, but also a blessing in disguise. I had had an achilles injury and usually your out 1-2 years when you have that. I had had a good rehab and been working out and found a groove. I was hoping to find a team to finish the 2019-2020 season, but then COVID-19 hit. Everything was shut down and that sat me down again. That was good because I got more rest, extra treatment and in better shape again. This time helped me a lot get ready for this season”, commented Diante Garrett. Having a brutal injury and experiencing COVID-19 definitely made him stronger as a man. “COVID-19 has made me mentally stronger and helped me become more patient. My injury and COVID-19 was tough, because I was out so long and teams started to question if I could still play. I just stayed patient and knew that my time would eventually come. I just kept working and stayed with it. My whole family stuck behind me and gave me positive energy which helped me mature”, warned Diante Garrett. He began the season with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1) playing 4 Eurocup games averaging 8.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg; and 4 Greek league games averaging 4.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.5apg. It was tough coming back from being out for so long as his body all of a sudden had to endure a lot more than when he was at home rehabbing. “It was definitely difficult for me. Mentally and physically. During rehab I could rest more, but when I got to Greece I had to work out each day. My body was not used to it”, said Diante Garrett.

            Let´s fast forward to 2021 as Diante Garrett who last watched the flick The Owners has found a new challenge in Germany with the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers. He has played in so many warm places and witnessed an incredible culture like Japan so coming to the small city Giessen must have been like a culture shock? “It hasn´t been as cold as I thought it would be. I thought that there would be more snow and I would have to wear my big winter jacket. I also thought I would have to use my window scrapper. All in all Gießen has been nice”, stated Diante Garrett. He has gotten the reins of a 3-15 club that is anchored in 17th place and deep in the cellar. He knows exactly what he has to do to help get his team back to winning ways. “I bring a winning attitude. I have been on many teams that were winning and were high in the standings. I hope I can help install my winning mind frame to my teammates. We still have a lot of games and I feel we can still win many. I am a player that loves to create for others and for myself”, warned Diante Garrett. He has a 1-2 record so far, but helped lead the team to a massive 97-93 win against top team EWE Baskets and currently is averaging 13,0ppg, 3,0rpg, 5,0apg and 1,3spg. He will definitely get even better as he gets more experience in the easyCredit BBL and when he has the daily opportunity to talk with ultimate veterans Brandon Bowman and Brandon Thomas who combined have 29 professional seasons and 13 seasons in Germany. “I haven´t had many times in my career where some of my teammates were so much older than me. Both have played in Germany for many years. I have been picking their brains about teams and players”, stressed Diante Garrett. The easyCredit BBL season still has a few more months and the American will surely help the club win some more games. He is fortunate that he has his family with him so being bored won´t be an option, but if he ever has a yearning to talk about the NBA, then he will be in good company with Brandon Bowman. Bowman is another one of those guys that definitely should have gotten a shot in the NBA, but alone with his good NBA contacts from back home in Los Angeles, Diante Garrett will never be bored in the locker room as these two will be able to give each other some NBA nostalgia stories.

Alexander Osipovitch Continues To Represent Belarus Well In Germany With His Coaching Ways

Alexander Osipovich is a head coach from Belarus that has coached German teams TSVE Dolphins Bielefeld (1.Regionalliga) and Schalke 04. He had a long playing career starting with RUOR Minsk (1T). He also gained experience in the States playing at W.Carolina (NCAA) from 2001-2004 playing a total of 78 NCAA games. He then came back to Europe and had success with teams in his homeland with BK Minsk – BNTU Nd then closed out his career in Germany with TSVE Dolphins Bielefeld. He was named to 3 Belarusian League All-Star Games and won 2 titles in his home land. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his caree

Alexander thanks for talking togermanhoops.com germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

My pleasure, thank you for having me! I am in Essen right now and to be honest, basketball life has always treated me well, and it continues to treat me well even during this moment of being away from active coaching.

Your coaching career at FC Schalke turned 180 degrees in 2020. How difficult was it seeing the program go from the Pro A to the Oberliga?

Of course, it was a very difficult period for all the people who were involved in the process. I think we had a great group of enthusiasts and professionals, who really worked hard for Schalke 04 Basketball to be successful. At the end of the day, hard times came, difficult decisions were made, and we all had to accept that and move on. No matter in which league Schalke will ever play, I wish them only the absolute best. The club and the city of Gelsenkirchen will always have a special place in my heart.

How have you experienced COVID-19? The 2019-2020 season ended in March and there was no 2020-2021 season. How have you been passing the time with basketball?

Before anything, I think we all first had to get used to this absolutely new situation with the virus, lockdown, and completely different rhythm and way of living, at least for the most of us. I do not think any of us ever thought something like this would happen in our lifetime. I can send only the words of support and prayers to all the people affected by this virus around the world. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon. As for basketball, once ’20-’21 season did go under way, and I knew that most likely I will have to have a break from active coaching, it was basically the matter of following the games and results in different leagues, as well as keeping myself in shape physically and mentally for the next challenge.

How tough has it been for you not being able to coach competitive games? What aspect of coaching have you missed the most?

It was definitely pretty tough, and also very strange, especially at the beginning. It was the first time in my basketball life, that I had to make such a break. But it is a part of our profession, and every coach must be ready for such situation. At the end of the day, I had to adjust and regroup myself. As for the aspect that I miss the most, well, all of them , to be honest, but if I had to pick one, then it would be simply being around the players on a regular basis. That exchange of knowledge and energy you have while coaching actively is priceless.

With no games being played, in what ways have you been continuing to work on continuing to develop further as a coach? Have you been watching extra much film and reading books, or have you been doing other things?

The very first thing of course is watching and analyzing the games and statistics. There are also plenty of stuff you can find on the internet: reading materials, coaching clinics, YouTube channels that do game situation break downs and so on. I watch and work with those a lot. Also, I managed to do a Hospitation at FC Bayern Muenchen Basketball with coach Andrea Trinchieri. It was a great experience. It was actually the second time I was fortunate enough to see him at work. First one was back in 2015 when he was at Bamberg, so it was very interesting for me to compare what he did back then and is aiming to do right now, especially after gaining some valuable knowledge and experience myself in recent years.

You began your coaching career with TSVE Bielefeld in 2009. You coached there many years and helped the club move up to the Regionalliga in 2016. Talk a bit about your early development as a coach there?

First, I want to say that I will always be very thankful to TSVE Bielefeld as an organization in general, and especially to all the people who were involved in the decision-making process back then, for giving me my first coaching job. Even though I had a solid basketball background already at that time, and I thought about coaching for a while already, and somehow even prepared myself for that transition, still, as a coach I was a rookie. And the club gave me a chance and a platform to learn my craft and build myself as a coach. We had difficult times at the start, and of course I did make some rookie mistakes at the beginning, but the club always supported me and gave me the much-needed time to grow and gain experience. I believe I learned many important things quite fast; we managed to build a good team and went on an incredibly good run. At the end we ended up having some good success, but not just in men’s department, in youth one as well. So, all together it was a very important and valuable experience for me.

In Bielefeld you also worked in the youth department. What early memories do you have of helping develop young Germans?

I was fortunate enough to work with pretty much every age group of the boys’ teams that we had back then at the club, from U12 to U18. Just as working with men’s teams, working with youth was extremely important for me. My biggest memory from that time is that I quickly discovered that working with youth is by far not just the basketball side of the whole process. I realized how important it was to understand their characters, personalities, family and inside of school situations, their relationships within the team as well as outside of it, I mean pretty much everything that you could think of really. Because at that age, you are not just a basketball coach for them, you are their mentor, someone who can help them build their characters and personalities, so that they have their best chances to be successful and happy later on in their lives. Another especially important aspect for me was having the best possible balance between treating them as kids and finding the right moments to give them a feeling that they are on the way to being adults one day, and that they must learn how to take responsibility for their decisions and actions on and off the court.

You then made the next step to FC Schalke and was an assistant for German Raphael Wilder. How vital was he for your continued growth as a coach in Gelsenkirchen?

It was extremely important experience for me. I learned many, many new and different things while working as an assistant for coach Wilder. He helped me a lot on and off the court, and I will always be grateful for everything he has ever done for me.

You began your playing career in Belarus, but went to the States to play at Western Carolina from 2001-2004. That was a whole different time and very much different to the NCAA today. What memories do you have from this time and how do you feel did the whole NCAA experience help you become the player you did?

It was an amazing experience all together. Incredibly challenging, but extremely important at the end. I learned a much more physical style of play. I also learned to play a different position. Before coming to the States I was playing as a small forward, always on the perimeter. At Western they put me as a power forward underneath the basket, but also with an option of playing stretch four at times with a green light to shoot threes when I was open. Also, I learned new culture and new language, met many great people and made many great friends. Only the best memories of that experience I had there.

You played against many well known schools and future NBA players. Talk a little about your memories playing against young talented kids that later would become big NBA stars?

I think it not as much about particular players, and I was fortunate to play against many, many very good ones, as it was about participating in all those international tournaments. Those were such great times and experiences. Just the whole feel of atmosphere of those tournaments. Going to different countries with your youth National Team, playing against other National Teams, with different mentalities and styles of play. It was simply great.

You were teammates with future NBA player Kevin Martin (201-G/F-83, college: WCU) who would become a prolific scorer with the Sacramento Kings. Did you ever play with a more lethal scorer than him?

No. Kevin was great, both in college and later on in the NBA. He had such a good balance and feel for the basket. He was quick, he knew when and how to change the tempo in order to get himself a good shooting position, and he was pretty athletic as well. He also had NBA range already in college. I remember one summer we went on a tour to Canada, where we played some college teams, but the main event was playing against the Canadian National Team with Steve Nash being their point guard. We played them in at the Toronto Raptors practice gym inside of their arena. They had NBA 3pt line there of course, and Kevin had no problem knocking down some threes during the warmup and later in the game. We lost, of course, Steve Nash took us apart, but I think Kevin showed everyone over there that he was on his way to becoming NBA player one day.

You also was teammates with Canadian Ransford Brempong who broke the Southern Conference All-time block record. What do you remember with your battles with him during practice?

Those were great battles. Especially during so-called ‘Gladiator drill’. It was crazy. Coach would stand under the basket and role the ball down the floor. We would be in pairs starting on the baseline where the coach stood. We had to chase the ball, dive for it, and then whoever would get that ball, had to attack the same basket, from which the coach rolled the ball from. Doesn’t sound that bad, but there was one more condition, defensive player was allowed to stop the player with the ball any way he wanted, apart from punching him. And if an offensive player would lose the ball, then defensive one would play on offense and so on and so forth. If not to say more, it was an extremely demanding drill. But of to go back to a normal basketball, as I said, we had some great battles, and I believe we both learned a lot from each other. I think my constant use of a pump fake helped Rans to time his shot blocks better, and I learned how to play against such an aggressive and athletic defender. But trust me when I say that, he didn’t block me that many times during those years thanks to that pump fake

How did Western Carolina head coach Steve Shurina groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He was strong technically and tactically when it came to a preparation for the practices and games. Apart from that ‘Gladiator drill’ and a couple of other ones, he always had some very good drills. I used some of them as a base in the development of my own practice routines. And even though I still question his man management methods even up to this day, he definitely played a significant role in my development as a person and a coach.

Which player in the NCAA do you remember being your most difficult opponent that later went on to play in the NBA?

Playing Kevin Martin at practices every day.

After the NCAA you played some years in your home country Belarus winning some titles. What memories do you have from that time and how was the whole basketball experience different then than now?

Those were some good years. Our league was on a rise back then before the financial crisis hit the world in 2008/2009. Competing at a professional level and winning titles was challenging and fun at the same time. Every club I played for had high goals for their respective seasons, and for me as a player, it was great to be able to be in such situations. As for the difference in basketball experience from back then to now, if we talk strictly about Belarus, it is hard for me to judge accurately, to be honest. I am in Germany for almost 11 years now, and was only following Belarussian basketball from a side, watching some games through out these years, talking to some friends and so on. One thing I find very positive though, is that we have a representation in both, VTB League and Champions League in a face of Tsmoki Minsk. Results are not always good and consistent, but I think it is good that we have a team that represents Belarus in those competitions. I actually have played for this club when it was just established. It was called Minsk-2006 back then.

You came to Germany in 2009 and played with Bielefeld. What were the main reasons you came to Germany and how thankful are you today that you made that decision?

There was a combination of several reasons, but the main one was the desire for a new challenge. I am coaching for many years here in Germany now. I met many great people who helped me develop and grow as a person and as a coach. I gained very important knowledge and experience, completed the A-License, learned a lot about myself and life in general. Therefore, I am very thankful I made that decision back then.

What memories do you have of closing out your playing career with Bielefeld? You played many years there and formed many special relationships? How important was the one with Emre Atsuer?

Emre played an extremely important role in my life. We were teammates and friends in college, he was the one who actually invited me to come to Germany, he was the one who helped me come to Germany and who helped me to adjust and to settle here. He always supported me through out my years in Bielefeld, and I will always be very thankful to him for doing all that for me.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Emre Atsuer
Kevin Martin
Rans Brempong
(all three Western Carolina University, NCAA Division 1)
Rostislav Vergun (Belarussian youth National Team)
Pavel Gabrusevich (Belarussian youth National Team and later several professional clubs in Belarus)

You have seen the rise of European players in the last 20 years. When all is said and done could Luka Doncic be the greatest European player of all-time?

Well, it depends on when exactly is the end of all time, but he definitely has the potential to be if not the greatest, but surely one of the greatest players that came out of Europe. And many people I think either never knew or perhaps forget, that he already achieved a lot at an incredibly young age with Real Madrid in Europe before even coming to NBA. But as for this moment, for me it is still the one and only, Dirk Nowitzki.

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore American and European list of past and present players?

If you don’t mind, I just name my favorite starting fives of players who came out of USA and Europe.
Europe: Theodoros Papaloukas, Nando de Colo, Luca Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki, Daniel Theis.

USA: Anfernee Hardaway, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Robert Horry, Hakeem Olajuwon.

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

Absolutely no doubt for me, Michael Jordan. And I might surprise some people here, but I would put Kobe Bryant as number two, and then LeBron James. And don’t get me wrong, LeBron is great, but that would be my list.

What was the last movie that you saw?

It was actually Netflix series called ‘Lupin’

Thanks Alexander for the chat.

The Miles Basketball Minute: Rasheed Moore Has Evolved Into One Of The Best Fraport Skyliner Players Despite Still Being Off The BBL Radar

In the 2016-2017 season the Fraport Skyliners made a huge steal signing rookie Shavon Shields out of Nebraska(NCAA) and he had a magnificent season which helped him become a very good Euroleague player. Four years later the 2016 FIBA Europe Cup winner Frankfur organization did it again hauling in Rasheed Moore who has evolved into one of the best Skyliner players this season despite still being totally off the BBL radar. But there is one massive difference between the Sheidls and Moore scenario´s. Ok So Shields wasn´t such a huge prospect coming out of college and he wasn´t able to reach a top level right away, but reached teh Euroleague in his third season while Rasheed Moore had to pay gigantic dues as he began at the bottom in the fourth German division and has had to climb the basketball ladder step by step and reached the top level in Germany in three years. He is one of only a few guys that have gone from the Regionalliga to the BBL as guys  Devin Uskoski and Steve Wachalski demonstrated in the last years.   The development and rise of Moore has been incredible this season as he swooped in like an aggressive eagle looking for it´s prey on every offensive possession and is after sniper Matt Mobley the second best player on the team. He also is without a doubt the best forward that Frankfurt has had on it´s roster since Shavon Shields. When Moore was a senior at east Stroudsberg(NCAA), he was still as far away from Germany and professional basketball as Golden State Warrior Eric Paschall is from being a bonafide NBA impact player. When he was a senior he actually knew who Shavon Shields was and sees his connection to Shields with his good play in Frankfurt and the possibility of reaching the Euroleague a good omen for the future. “I remember hearing of him when he was at the university of Nebraska but I wasn’t sure where he went after he left college. Yea I think it is a good omen for me but I also know I still have a lot of things I can improve on in order to get to that level”, stressed Rasheed Moore. Fraport Skyliner living legend and identity figure Quantez Robertson can only laud Rasheed Moore in the highest state and knows exactly where his place is already with the best forwards that he has played with in his 12 year career. “Shavon began at the four with us, but then played the three. They were complete opposites. Shavon was more of an outside player that can bang while Rasheed prefers to bang, but can also step out and shoot the three. I played with many great forwards like Roger Powell, Seth Doliboa and Jon Leuer, but Rasheed is up there with guys like them despite them all having more experience. I think it is very much possible that he can get to the Eurocup or Euroleague if he continues to improve and develop further. If he were to play in the Euroleague he would have to play the three. He would still be a match up problem at the three at that level. He has that big body frame and can post up”, warned Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Rasheed Moore in Frankfurt in 2021

                Rasheed Moore is a 25 year old 198cm forward from Philadelphia that is playing his fourth professional season and first with the Fraport Skyliners. He got his early basketball grooming at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (NCAA2) where he averaged in double figures in scoring each season and as a senior averaged 19.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 79.2%. It isn´t easy becoming a professional coming from NCAA 2 basketball and he learned the hard way having to play his rookie season in the German Regionalliga. He became an impact player right away averaging 21.4ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 75.5%. He helped theteam move up to the Pro B and his rise continued there as he averaged 20.8ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 76.4%. He once again helped the organization move up to the second league called Pro A and last season he had another impressive season averaging 15.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 73.0%. he continued to prove that he had game as he not only put up great stats, but showed this special consistency that isn´t self-evident for a player that had to adjust to a new style, and players each season. His consistency was incredible as in his three year wiha Panthers career, he played 86 games and scored in double figures in 78 games. He had already had that responsibility to have to score and be an impact player at at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, so he had experience and continued getting that special confidence form his ex head coach in Schwenningen with Alen Velcic. Velcic is a big reason for the rise and development of Moore into a very good BBL player. Getting that scoring responsibility role right from the start from Alen Velcic was vital for him continuing to impress at the BBL level. “I would say it was very important because it gave me a lot more confidence to just go out and play my game. Even on days where I wasn’t playing my best he still had the confidence in me to go and make a play that we would need at the end of the game. So with out him wanting me to be the go to guy I don’t know if I would have become the player that I am today”, warned Rasheed Moore. “In three years we made him from a Regionalliga player into a BBL player. He wasn´t a finished player when he came to us. We were lucky that he and I grew in this time. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn´t moved up a league each season. He learned to be diligent with us and to work hard and be a part of the team and be a leader. I remember how shy he was in 2017 as a 21 year old. He made great strides developing as a person and his game. We still have contact today”, stressed Alen Velcic.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Rasheed Moore in Rhondorf in 2018

                The Fraport Skyliners already wanted to sign Rasheed Moore for the BBL final tournament in Munich last summer, but he would have had to go into quarantine and he wouldn´t have been able to join the team during the tournament. But the Fraport Skyliners didn´t wait long to sign him as a few weeks after the 19-20 season had ended he was an official member of the Fraport Skyliners. It hasn´t been an easy season for the Fraport Skyliners who currently are in 10th place with a record of 7-12. They had the misfortune of playing top teams FC Bayern Munich, Alba Berlin and the EWE Baskets and prompt lost each game. Then came a better phase where they won five of eight games, but they were all opponents that they had to beat except for Ludwigsburg and Crailsheim. They lost a bitter 92-91 game to rival Giessen. As of late they have been struggling again losing six of eight games, but still are only two wins away from the last playoff spot. The biggest bright spot of this up and down season has been Rasheed Moore. He has been able to adjust to the up and down season mainly because he had seen that type of thing before in the past. “Coming from Schwenningen I also know what it is like to have a tough stretch and then bounce back. We went through a lot of tough stretches as a team. We still have a lot of time to turn this around and go on a run to fight for a playoff spot”, warned Rasheed Moore. One of the biggest problems for the club is their inability to put it all together for 40 minutes. They show great spurts in games, but then it all changes for the worse like night and day. Having bad phases isn´t always easy for the mental state. “I don’t know if it is a mental problem. We just have a tough time staying together as a team. We have to find a way to be much more consistent at playing together and then we will be able to keep our bad phases to a minimum”, stressed Rasheed Moore. With the stretch run of the season approaching fast, Rasheed Moore knows exactly what the team has to do to reach the post season. “We  have to be a lot better defensively and rebounding. The games where we have been really good are the games that we have been able to do these things very well. We have struggled the games where we give teams to many extra opportunities and to many easy looks”, warned Rasheed Moore.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Rasheed Moore in Frankfurt in 2019

                The American has played 19 BBL games and currently is averaging 11,3ppg, 3,9rpg and 1,4apg while shooting 37% from outside which is his highest percentage as a professional. When you watch him play at the BBL level, his aggressiveness quickly stands out. His secret for his success is simple. If you don´t invest time in the lab, then you can´t get better. “I just worked extremely hard on all of the aspects of my game that I struggled with last year. I am in much better shape than I have ever been in and that has also helped. I also have a lot of confidence in myself to be able to go out and perform no matter who we are playing. My teammates when I first got here told me I needed to be more aggressive and just play. So all of those are the reason I think I have been able to come out and perform the way I have”, expressed Rasheed Moore. He is like a swiss army knife in that he can do a little bit of everything and just focuses on doing little wrong on the court. “Growing up my coach always told me it was better to have a lot of tools in your bag than only having a couple. He always pushed me to just try and become the best version of my self and work on every part of my game so that I didn’t have many weaknesses. So with all of the habits I built throughout the years of practicing all of the little things that I do on the floor are just habits”, stated Rasheed Moore. Recently in a tough loss against Brose Bamberg, he finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 dimes and began the game like the mains coring option making the team´s first three shots. It is clear to see that his self-confidence grows with each game. “I would say my self-confidence plays a big role. You can´t play at this high of a level if you do not have a lot of confidence in yourself.  You have to believe in yourself and everything that you can bring to the floor”, warned Rasheed Moore. Just two seasons ago, his three pointer was a weakness and a big work in progress while today he is a very much better shooter. Once again grinding, grinding and grinding can really pay off in the long run. Captain Quantez Robertson observes him taking shots before and after practice. “I am always in the gym just trying to get better. One of my biggest weaknesses in my game was always that I wasn’t a consistent enough shooter. So now I am always just trying to perfect my shot and trying to shoot the ball the same way every time”, said Rasheed Moore. Head coach Sebastian Gleim is very proud of how he has developed and hasn´t ever coached a player like him before. “From day one Rasheed has been doing everything to improve and to help the team. He had to play for 2 people with the injury to Richard Freudenberg. He used his chance and his good play isn´´t a surprise anymore. Now we have to support him to help him to get even better with his game. He is one of the best guys that I have ever coached”, warned Fraport Skyliners head coach Sebastian Gleim. “It doesn´t surprise me at all that Rasheed has landed in the BBL. The most important thing for him to be able to stay is that he keeps a good head on his shoulder which he has. But he still isn´t at the end of his development. He still has much potential”, warned wiha Panthers Schwenningen head coach Alen Velcic.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Rasheed Moore in Giessen in 2019

                He is only 25 years old and no where near his prime yet. He understands that he still has a long road ahead of him to get to even higher levels, but with his rising self-confidence and track record of moving up levels with Schwenningen that anything is possible. He will continue to work his butt off. “I still need to keep becoming a much better shooter and more consistent rebounder. I think if I keep working on these two things especially I would be able to keep move up the ladder”, stressed Rasheed Moore. He is as humble as one can get, but deep down he has huge goals and knows what he is capable of and will do all he can to get to the Euroleague. “I believe it is definitely still realistic for me to shoot to make it to that level. I am only 25 so hopefully I still have a lot of basketball still ahead of me so I just have to keep working extremely hard if I want to make it to that level”, said Rasheed Moore. A big plus that Rasheed Moore has is his positive charisma and character. He tries to do everything for the team success and if someone had told him in training camp that in February 2021 he would belong to the best players on the team, he would have wished something different then having that distinction. “I would have said that is amazing but I would have been more worried about how the team is doing. I would much rather just be a role player on a very good winning team than worried about my own play and stats”, added Rasheed Moore.

                Even if Rasheed Moore´s game evolves mostly around his offensive qualities, he knows that he also has to play defense and also has been making positive strides in this area. In order to play at higher levels, you have to be a good defender. He is fortunate to have Quantez Robertson as a teammate who has belonged to the top defenders in the BBL for the last decade. He has the luxury to be able to soak up so much from Robertson and is very grateful of having a teammate of his caliber. “Tez has definitely helped a lot. I have learned just how to be a lot more physical especially defensively. Watching him play defense every day and how aggressive he is has taught me a lot. He is also a great leader and always has some advice to give me”, warned Rasheed Moore. Quantez Robertson is also very impressed of how the American has been able to adjust so quickly to the BBL and be so consistent. “Rasheed has developed into a key player for us. He is a heck of a match up problem for other teams. I really appreciate how aggressive he is and always plays hard and gives us all he has”, stressed Quantez Robertson. He hasn´t even completed his first full BBL season, but everything simply is perfect about his game. It is a real shame that nobody has really noticed him yet. He is absolutely non existent in the media something which is simply incomprehensible. The only thing he can do is to continue to sparkle with his game. He personally doesn´t need the attention, but his game should be on the radar of everyone in the BBL. For me Rasheed Moore is a player that could be the perfect candidate to replace Quantez Robertson as the organizations next identity figure whenever he retires. Robertson sees Moore as a perfect successor. “He has the potential to follow in my footsteps. I feel like the club would benefit very much. Fans haven´t seen him in person yet. I think that once fans are allowed back into the arena´s, it will make it a lot easier for him”, warned Quantez Robertson. Not only Quantez Robertson and I could imagine Rasheed Moore in Frankfurt for many years, but him also. “I could imagine it because it has been a lot of fun here this year even under the circumstances of COVID. The organization just made me feel like I was home as soon as I got here back in early September”, warned Rasheed Moore. “I know that many teams are annoyed now that they didn´t listen to me. The future will show where he belongs. The transfer from Schwenningen to Frankfurt was spot on”, warned Alen Velcic. It is just time that the German basketball community finally notices Rasheed Moore as a player who has landed in the BBL, because he has evolved into one of the best Fraport Skyliner players that still has a huge future ahead of him.

Josh Montgomery Is Still Waiting For That Overseas Experience As COVID-19 Put A Momentary Halt To It

Josh Montgomery s a 29 year old 196cm forward from Georgia that is currently playing for GIE Maile Matrix (UBA. He turned professional in 2013 and played semi-pro ball in the States for teams like the Atlanta Show (NABL), Middle Georgia Pitts (ABA), Georgia Kingz (MLBA),Georgia Gwizzlies (ABA) and GIE Maile Matrix (UBA). He played at Savannah State University (NCAA) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 94 NCAA games and averaged double figures in scoring as a freshman averaging 10.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 73.2% and as a senior averaged 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 70.8%. Last summer he spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Josh thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you and how has your summer been despite the COVID-19 having affected the world

No problem and I am here in Atlanta, Ga. My summer has been great, although I missed the AEBL. Even though I missed this ProAm, I was able to spend more time with my brothers and a few friends.

How did you experience the whole COVID-19 crisis at home in the States? How tough was it finding a way to stay in shape and be able to work on your basketball skills?

I was working remotely already when it got really big. Initially it was tough but then I got creative and worked out at the house or on my goal outside

How do you feel did you get stronger as a man during Covid-19 that has made you better as a person?

I feel great, I used this time to not only strengthen my body but also my mind as well. Building up my mind allowed me to become more disciplined in my work ethic.

I have interviewed many many guys with large chips on their shoulders, but I believe you must have the biggest chip? How can a guy with your NCAA experience averaging 10,0ppg and 8,0ppg in two seasons take you 6 years to land in Europe and then sign with an Oberliga team? For me it’s hard to believe that you didn’t get a job a lot sooner?

So Savannah State was an amazing experience and experience was a word I constantly heard once I graduated school. Almost every team said I did not have the experience needed to play. That stung but I kept believing that, in God’s time, everything will happen when it needed to!

Your ex teammate Louis Arnold put up the same kind of stats you did, but has played professional since leaving school and carved a nice career in South America. Is this a good example that there are simply too many good players on earth and not enough teams?

It may be that, I have no clue! I know there is tremendous talent out there. Right now I’m focusing on TLG, this championship, and performing at a high level so I can continue playing

After finishing at Savannah State University (NCAA) you didn’t turn pro until 2016 with the Atlanta Show (NABL). Were you undecided about turning pro and weren’t there any agents interested in representing you?

After taking a year to graduate, that left a hole in my resume. A few teams and agencies saw that as HUGE red flag. I was still in shape and ready to play but that deterred them from what I was told. My degree was a must, couldn’t pass that up

You have signed your first professional contract in Germany with the Troisdorfer Leichtathletik Gemeinschaft (Germany-Oberliga). How good of a feeling is it beginning your pro career overseas at age 29?

I am elated, excited, ecstatic, and any other ‘e-word’ you can find! It’s been a long time coming. They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have I waited.

You will be playing in Germany’s 6th division called Oberliga. This is a league that you will dominate in. If you don’t tell me after the season that you were a man among kids, then I’ll be dumfounded. With what kind of mindset are you going in? I can imagine to put up the best possible stats in combination with winning.

Definitely a balance of what you stated. I plan to dominate with my teammates! Averaging 50 points and losing is not a good recipe, I’ve always been one that prioritizes winning. Winners win, no matter the cost.

How excited will you be playing with A’Daeron Duncan a guy like you who played in the UBL and ABA? You guys could become the most potent American duo the Oberliga ever saw.

I really look forward to play with him and all of my new teammates. I know the hunger is there and the drive is there! So we are going to work hard and get it done.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 196cm forward that can do a bit of everything. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player, who would best fit the description?

A player that best fits my game, well is a tough one. I feel like I can do whatever the team needs me to do, so I’ll say Jimmy Butler.

Talk a bit about your strengths on the court. What do you feel is your biggest asset on the court?

My strengths are I am very versatile and I play hard on both sides of the ball. My biggest asset, I believe, is that I do not quit. Hustle and hard work until the clock hits all zeroes.

How do you feel have you developed further as a player since 2014 when you finished at Savannah State University ? How do you feel did the semi-pro leagues in the States help you get better?

My game has changed a ton from my days in Savannah. I was utilized as a stretch 4, but now I am a 2/3/1. The ball is in my hands more and I have become more guard oriented. The leagues I’ve played in allowed me to find my rhythm and pace. They gave me an opportunity to showcase my skills and polish my game.

On what things are you working on this summer to improve your game so that you will be in the best situation to show your best game?

My ball handling, interior finishes, and my building up my body were my objectives this summer. These things will open a lot of opportunities to show my growth.

From 2016-2020 you played for various teams in various leagues like the Atlanta Show (NABL)
Middle Georgia Pitts (ABA), Georgia Kingz (MLBA), Georgia Gwizzlies (ABA) and GIE Maile Matrix (UBA). What kind of experience was this. What do you feel was the most positive thing that you got out of those years?

The experience was great, I love basketball. Being able to build friendships and be a unit is always amazing. Brotherhoods are formed and we played some great basketball.

I imagine you were working a full-time job and playing ball. What were you doing during the day and how difficult was it at times shuffling work and working out and trying to get better during the evenings?

If anyone says working out around a full-time job is easy, call them Pinocchio. It was rough to find a work/life balance. 6am workouts, work from 9-6pm, workouts following work. It had to be done, getting better is my job too. Discipline and focus is all it took.

You played against so many great basketball teams in the NCAA: Do you have a memory of playing against one school where there was so much talent? I can remember in your second season where you played Georgetown.

Georgetown was cool but Indiana was a tough team. Oladipo and Zeller were a handful. Oh yeah, Kansas State was a close second.

How did head coach Horace Broadnax groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

HRB prepared me for a lot things in life, let alone basketball. He taught life lessons through basketball. Preparing properly is key, hope is not a good strategy, play hard and be tenacious! That’s just the tip of the iceberg and I’m extremely grateful for him.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Louis Arnold?

Honestly, I can’t recall. Arny, was like my big brother, he did a lot of teaching and we hardly played any ones. He showed me a lot.

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

The toughest player I personally had to guard was Tyreke Evans. I played 17U at 15 and we met them in the Wallace Prather AAU Tournament. He played with Team Final and lit us up. Anything he wanted, threes from the parking lot, lay ups, assists, dunks. Yeah, Tyreke was a problem.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

That’s tough but Cedric Smith, Jyles Smith, Darnel Jones, Antoine Hall, and Avery Stewart. No particular order but man I love all my teammates!

Please list your NBA Mount Rushmore of players past or present

Kobe, Mike, Shaq, and Kareem

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate between who is the best between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?

Mike hands down. Respect LeBron’s game, I like Mike though.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The last movie that I saw was Tenet.

Thanks Josh for the chat.

Jordan Samare Powers The Fraport Skyliners Juniors With Game Winning Three Over Speyer 67-64

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Fraport Skyliner JUnior Jordan Samare who supplied the game winning shot over the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continue to play their best basketball at home as all five of their victories have occurred in their own living room. 72 hours after German forward Maxi Begue hit a pretty game wining three pointer over the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors returned back into their living room and met the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer. They had very unfond memories of their first meeting as they were trounced on the road 96-72 as they had no clue how to slow down the German duo of Darian Cardenas and Eric Curth who combined for 47 points. The Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer came to Frankfurt with a lot of self-confidence in their heads as they had upset top team Dresden Titans on the road last weekend. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors played another spirited game and had to play catch up basketball for long phases of the game, but at the end the club witnessed their second game winning shot in a row as center Jordan Samare launched a trey that saw nothing but net. All in all the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continue to make a late season come back attempt in their quest to make the playoffs as they continue to win in exciting fashion. “We were weak at the start, but continued to play better in the second quarter and fought back. We were deeper than they were and that played a big role tonight. We have had problems against the zone in the past, but today we played well. We hit big three´s at the end which was key”, stated center Jordan Samare. The Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer controlled the game, but just couldn´t get a big lead to slam the door on Frankfurt. Instead they allowed them to come back an lost momentum in crunch-time. “I thought that we played a super game and played together. I felt we moved the ball well as well. When you lose the game to a guy that is a non shooter and wasn´t on the scouting report, it´s very bitter. But that is what makes the game so great. We lost the game on the boards”, said Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer forward Darian Cardenas Ruda.

Jordan Samare making the winning shot

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a lightening start, but quickly lost control allowing the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer to go on a massive run and take control of the game.  The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out very potent taking a quick 4-0 lead as ex undersized center Noah Kamdem scored in the paint and 2017 JBBL finalist Maxi Begue snuck under the basket and executed the inbounds pass of German Alvin Onyia for an easy basket. Then as is often the case, the game took a major turn as the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer rushed out on a devastating 14-0 run to take the overwhelming 14-4 advantage. The guests did a great job spreading the ball around and getting production from many. Sharp shooter Eric Curth helped with 5 points while 212cm center David Aichele scored on a baby hook shot, ex Alba Berlin guard Marc Liyanage hit a trey, Morris Hinz scored inside and ex Giessen 46er Tim Schwartz made a tip in. The biggest problem of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in those few minutes was that not only had they lost their offensive rhythm, but they were way too hectic and had absolute no calmness in their sets which led to dumb turnovers and forced shots. Frankfurt slowly got out of their funk and began to execute better and crawl back into the game. Frankfurt received a floater and lay in from ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith and a lay up from Jordan Samare. They also got to the free throw line, but their accuracy plagued them and would be a major problem the whole evening. Speyer held the good lead, because Frankfurt had no solution how to slow down top scorer Darian Cardenas Ruda who contributed 5 points. After 10 minutes the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer led 19-12. “We didn´t take good care of the ball, but we began to fight back and that held until the end”, stressed Jordan Samare.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors celebrating the Jordan Samare game winning shot

In the second quarter the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer continued to control the game, but they could never completely shake the Fraport Skyliners  Juniors as they stayed close on the heels of the guests trailing only 35-32 at half time. Frankfurt had another good start going on a 6-2 run to cut the Speyer lead to 21-18. Frankfurt got free throws from Maxi Begue and a transition bucket while Jordan Samare displayed his athletic high flying colors making a alley-oop tap in from Matthew Meredith. Frankfurt increased their defensive intensity and got easy transition baskets something they were unable to do in the first quarter. Both teams were able to execute their offense well. Ex Hanau forward Calvin Schaum showed his scoring in bunches with two baskets while Speyer got production from Cardenas Ruda and Eric Curth to keep the 27-22 lead. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept the pressure on and kept fighting and got some big plays from 17 year old German Alexander Richardson. He began with a pretty back door pass to Len Schoormann who scored and then the big man scored on transition getting the touch down pass from Matthew Meredith. Meredith then added free throws as Frankfurt trailed only 30-28. Frankfurt was doing a better job getting out on transition and getting easy baskets and also went inside more as that was taken away better in the first quarter. The Frankfurt defense also forced Speyer to 6 turnovers in the second half after having none in the first quarter. Speyer held the lead at the break, because 19 year old German Valentin Rappold made a 10 footer while Darian Cardenas Ruda continued his hot shooting dropping a trey exhibiting his non stop calmness. “This wasn´t an easy game for me. I didn´t play in Dresden last weekend. I was up at 6 am today, had to work and played with my child, but I was 100% in the game. My calmness comes from my experience”, stressed Darian Cardenas Ruda. Frankfurt also got baskets from Meredith on transition and a Samare lay up. “We played better on transition and found open guys. We didn´t communicate well on Cardenas Ruda and he got us with his fakes”, added Jordan Samare. Both clubs continued to shoot bad as Frankfurt still hadn´t produced a three pointer. Frankfurt ruled the boards 24-16.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Speyer forward Darian Cardenas Ruda who supplied 17 points in the loss

The third quarter was low scoring as the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer continued to control the game leading by as much as 8 points as Frankfurt couldn´t go on a run. Speyer began well going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 42-34. In the run they got good execution from Liyanage as he made a step back jumper over Schoormann, Curth made an off balance shot and Tim Schwartz connected for a trey. The run didn´t faze Frankfurt as they remained calm and countered with a 7-2 run to cut the Speyer lead down to 44-41. Frankfurt did a good job scoring in many different ways as Alvin Onyia tested his 29% three point percentage scoring, Samare scored on transition and Schaum was aggressive scoring on the drive. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were unable to keep consistency. Their offense begam to sputter and two back to back turnovers on transition attempts allowed Speyer to extend their lead to 48-41 as big man David Aichele continued to be efficient scoring and Cardenas Ruda scored on transition for the 48-41 Speyer lead. Frankfurt also continued to falter on the free throw line getting only 2 of 4 free throws from Philipp Hadenfeldt and Meredith. Eric Curth closed out the third quarter with free throws as Speyer led 50-43. “Offensive rebounds hurt us. We have to rebound together. We don´t have a player like Kamdem. We also lost many 50/50 balls”, commented Darian Cardenas Ruda. “We continued not making free throws and didn´t move the ball well”, stated Jordan Samare. Both teams continued to have problems shooting while Frankfurt continued to dominate the boards 37-20 with 11 offensive rebounds, but had 13 turnovers while Speyer had only 8 turnovers.

20 minutes after the big win Len Schoormann was getting up extra shots

In the fourth quarter, the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer continued to control the game in the first 5 minutes and led by as much as 9 points, but Frankfurt never gave up and made their last move in crunch-time to turn the game around. Speyer got two lay ins form Cardenas Ruda and Aichele, but a clutch three pointer by Alvin Onyia kept Frankfurt´s hopes alive despite still trailing 55-46. Time was running out and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors knew that they had to finally make their move. Frankfurt made their move going on a massive 12-3 run to dead lock the contest at 58-58. The run started with a big Calvin Schaum trey and Kamdem then scored inside to cut the Speyer lead to 55-51. Schoormann finally gave the team some clutch production scoring 5 points. He had been controlled well in the first 30 minutes, but he now allowed his instincts to come into better play. He anticipated an Onyia air ball and made a reverse lay up and then drilled home a three pointer. “We continued to tell Len to keep shooting. He helped us with big shots at the end”, said Jordan Samare. Samare then tied the game at 58-58 with a lay in. Onyia made an incredible play driving and then some how making a pass through a 3 man wall finding the trailer Samare who scored with ease. “Alvin knows my cuts. That is my game. I called him shortly before he passed the ball. We work very well together”, stressed Jordan Samare. Speyer kept the pressure on taking the 60-58 lead with a Schwartz lay in, but that was quickly erased as Mr put back Jordan Samare hauled down an offensive rebound in traffic and tied the game at 60-60. Speyer kept the pressure on taking the 62-60 lead with a Curth jumper. Frankfurt then made 2 stops and took their first lead since they led 4-0 early as Schoormann made an unbelievable three point bank shot to lead 64-62 as somehow the basketball God was looking down from above. Cardenas Ruda then dead locked the game again at 64-64 with free throws with 46 seconds remaining. Both teams then suffered turnovers from Schoormann and Curth as Frankfurt got the ball back with 11 seconds to play. Frankfurt had the opportunity to win the game as Jordan Samare set up in the corner and saw nothing but net drilling home a trey as Frankfurt led 67-64 with 4 seconds remaining. “The play was set up for Len Schoormann but he was closed up. Alvin Onyia warned me to stay in the corner as I would get the ball. I had no idea it was going in. The corner isn´t so much my spot. I felt I had a 50/50 chance of making the shot”, smiled Jordan Samare. “We all collapsed on Kamdem and the pass went to Samare and he made the shot”, said Darian Cardenas Ruda. Tim Schwartz had one more chance, but missed. “He had an open look, but we didn´t lose the game there tonight”, commented Darian Cardenas Ruda. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Jordan Samare with 15 points and 7 boards and Len Schoormann added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer were led by Darian Cardenas Ruda with 17 points while Eric curth added 15 points and David Aichele scored 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 39% from the field and 24% from outside and had 51 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer shot 35% from the field and 24% from outside and had 26 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

David Kravish(Brose Bamberg) Can Reminisce About His One On One Battles At School But All That Counts Now Is Getting Better On Defense And Winning

In the NBA you have always had those amazing 1-1 battles . Who could forget the amazing duel in 1988 in the playoffs between Larry Bird and Domingue Wilkins or even more recent Lebron James against Kevin Durant or Vince Carter against Allen Iverson or back in the day Wilt Chamberlain against Bill Russell, but probably the most fierce and competitive battles were between Bird and Magic in the 80´s. No interview in my book can ever not have who won a one on one in practice or my famous what was the last movie that you saw? I usually ask the one on one practices at the end of my college ball questions and usually take a guy that was the same height as the player I´m interviewing and then hoping that they played. I can´t say accurately, but I will predict that most of the time I´m about70/30 right that the opponent I picked had played against my interview partner. Sometimes the reactions are hilarious especially on the phone interviews. How often do I get this loud roar of a laugh from the player I´m interviewing when they hear the guy I picked. Sometimes I will pick a guy that had great stats, and sometimes it may be a guy that hardly played. 98% of the time the player that I interview always takes himself. Very seldom do I get a guy that will outright say that he lost the battles. Sometimes a player will be fair and say that they split the one on one battles. At the beginning of 2020, I interviewed ex California(NCAA) forward Richard Solomon and when I asked him about how he had done against his ex team David Kravish, he didn´t have to pause long to proclaim who was best. “I did every time. David was my guy. Honestly I don’t think that we ever played. But I would take myself each time. He was a great teammate. He was fun to be around. When we were on the court together, we were always locked in. We always wanted to block every shot and get every rebound”, warned Richard Solomon. When I asked David Kravish the same question, he was a lot more diplomatic and didn´t follow his ego at all. “We didn’t play a lot of one on one, but when the situation came to me vs him I think we probably split pretty evenly. I’d love to play with or face him again someday just to see how much we’ve both grown as players.”, remembered David Kravish. The great thing though what I have observed in so many of my one on one questions, is that no matter how competitive the players are and how sure they are about themselves, almost every guy always has something good to say about their ex teammates. Their battles are more than 5 years old, but for David Kravish, he can reminisce all he wants about the good old days at California(NCAA), but at the end of the day all he cares about now on the court is becoming an even better defender so he can continue to move up the basketball ladder and to do the best he possibly can to always get his team in the best position to win ball games.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex California great Justin Cobbs in 2016 in Munich who was teammates with David Kravish in the NCAA

Kravish was born on July 12, 1992 in Joliet, Illinois. He began his basketball career at Lee’s Summit North high school and averaged 13.0ppg, 9.1rpg in his senior year. On account of his stellar play, the big man picked up HS Suburban Big-6 All-League honors -in 2010, and 2011 and made the HS Missouri All-State team in 2011. He then began his NCAA career with the University of California at Berkley where he played from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 136 games. In his freshman year he played 34 games and started 24 games and averaged 6.9ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 59.4%, FT: 69.1%. He showed his quality early on the defensive end blocking 41 balls. He was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and was a  Pac-12 Regular Season Co-Runner-Up  and Pac-12 Tournament Semifinalist. Asa freshman he scored in double figures in 9 games including a 17 point, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 77-63 win over Oregon State. In his sophomore season he played 34 games averaging  7.9ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.0apg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 49.6%, FT: 69.0%. He scored in double figures in 9 games and registered 3 double doubles. He scored 18 points and grabbed 13 boards in a 77-63 win over UCLA and had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a 62-46 win over Colorado. In his junior season he played 35 games averaging  11.4ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.1apg, 2.1bpg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 74.1%. When I covered Justin Cobbs in his rookie season in Frankfurt in the 2014-2015 season, I remember him telling me of his fondest moment when he defeated Arizona with a buzzer beater  where he hit a classic fade away ffalling into his own team bench and it wasn´t any different with Kravish. “My fondest memory from college was when we played Arizona in Berkeley when they were ranked 1 in the country, and we won at the buzzer. The fans rushing the floor was crazy. I’ve watched that game back several times as a pro”, remembered David Kravish. He played 3 seasons with Cobbs in the NCAA and knows too well that he could play in the NBA, but as so often is the case, there are simply too many talented guards in the world and too little jobs. “Justin is an amazing player with many great traits. I think that is a good way of putting it in terms of too few jobs, but I think you could take many of the top players over here and exchange them with some guys in the NBA and they wouldn’t miss a beat. I’m not talking about the superstars in the NBA obviously”, warned David Kravish.

In his senior year, the American played 33 games averaging 11.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.2apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.6%. He scored in double figures in 19 games and had 5 double doubles. Some of his best games in his last year included a 25 point, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 84-59 win over Washington State and he hit Washington for 21 points in a 81-75 victory. It is no surprise that one of these two games belonged to his most memorable personal games in the NCAA. “I remember the second to last game of my career was against Washington State. One of my favorite people and coaches of all time had moved from Cal to Washington State, Scott Thom, and I just remember really wanting to beat him. I had an incredible game that put us over the top. I still travel basically every summer to workout with him and improve as a player on the court and in the weight room. He has had the biggest impact on my career since I’ve left college”, stated David Kravish. He made huge steps in his game and it wasn´t just the fierce one on one battles against Richard Solomon that helped raise his game, but just the daily presence of his teammate on the floor. “Rich was always pushing me in practice. He is such a skilled player, while also being the most athletic person I’ve ever played against. Having to go up against him every day absolutely  raised my level of play”, stressed David Kravish. Not only Solomon was huge in his development, but also head coach Mike Montgomery. If it hadn´t been for Montgomery´s words of wisdom, Kravish may have landed in a hospital. “Coach Montgomery and his staff were essential in my growth as a player. He is the one who really convinced me that I had a chance to play the game professionally. I had gone to school with the intention of being a doctor, but I sat down with him after practice one day, and he asked me what I wanted out of basketball, and went on to tell me I should really consider pursuing basketball as a career.  Coach Montgomery also is an incredible coach, so he taught me a lot about the game and how to play as a big even if I wasn’t the biggest guy. I’m incredibly grateful for his coaching. I really wish he had been able to stick around for my senior year, but he’s gone on to be a great commentator”, expressed David Kravish.

Before turning professional, the big man got some valuable experience playing NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas with the Golden State Warriors playing 4 games: averaging 3.3ppg, 2.5rpg. He had mixed feelings about the whole NBA experience in Las Vegas. “I learned that 10 days in Las Vegas is way too long. I don’t think summer league is a good representation of the NBA, but I am very appreciative for the opportunity they gave me to be on the team”, said David Kravish. He then went overseas for the 2015-2016 season joining  BC Nokia (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 46 games averaging 13.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg, Blocks-5(1.2bpg), FGP: 61.1%, FT: 80.5%. Playing in a league like Finland was important for him, because he could gain confidence quickly showing he was able to play well at his first station. He scored in double figures in 34 games and had 6 double doubles. Some of his best games that season occured against the Salon Vilpas where he netted 26 points and 21 points in a win over Lapua. Despite having little problems on the court, he did remember having a wake up call that he was far from home that not everything was easy at the start off the court. “I think it was before my wife arrived a few weeks later, when I was sitting in my apartment on the second day thinking to myself, “I don’t know anything about this language and I have no idea where anything is. When it started to become dark at 2:30pm was also tough”, stated David Kravish. The American slowly continued to climb the professional basketball ladder as in his second season overseas, he played in a higher league with Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL) playing 41 games averaging 12.9ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-3(1.3bpg), FGP-1(67.8%), FT: 75.2%. He showed that he belonged to the top centers in the league. He scored in double figures in 32 contests and registered 11 doubles. He had some fine performances against Stal Ostrow having 24/11 stats in a 82-77 victory and hit MKS DG for 22 points and 9 rebounds in a exciting 89-85 win. He had an exciting 5 game playoff series against Anwil, but he definitely wasn´t bored off the court either. “The thing I’ll remember most is probably the GM stealing money from the team and us not getting paid for the last 5 months of the season. The Americans were also detained in Stamsted airport because the team didn’t get us our visas and tried to send us to the UK to “reset our 90 tourist visas.” This was also very memorable. All of the adversity we faced from such a poorly run organization would have made the season difficult, but our coach, Roberts Stelmahers, really fought for us and did an amazing job of bringing us together despite all of the issues off the court.  The veterans on the team like Marcus Ginyard, Greg Surmacz, Anthony Goods, Mantas Cesnauskis, and Lukasz Seweryn really helped teach me what to expect when playing in Europe. I think this year I learned more about how to be a pro in Europe than any other year and I have these guys to thank for that. The series with Anwil was great because we had like 6 guys on the roster by that point in the season and coach Stelmahers just knew how to make it work”, remembered David Kravish.

He was able to make another step with his game in Poland which also helped him make the next step to a higher league as he played with Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League) playing 24 VTB United League games averaging 12.1ppg, Reb-3(7.5rpg), 1.3apg, Blocks-2(1.3bpg), FGP: 62.7%, FT: 82.8%; and 14 FIBA Europe Cup: 14 games averaging 10.3ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.6apg, Blocks-3(1.5bpg), FGP: 52.9%, FT: 61.5%. “My year in Minsk was my first year in one of the high level domestic leagues so it forced me to raise my level of play while giving me the opportunity to show that I can be successful at a high level”, said David Kravish He also has been fortunate to have played with high quality guys each season and one of those was ex Wake Forest great Justin Gray who was teammates with Chris Paul and carved a great career in Europe. “Justin was a great teammate to have, especially early in a career. He helped bring us along and to believe in the quality of players we had on the team at that time”, stressed David Kravish. He scored in double figures in 7 Fiba Europe Cup games and had 4 double doubles. His best games happened against the Bakken Bears where he had a 20/10 game in a 96-75 win and had 18 points and 14 rebounds in a 83-65 victory over Bnei Hertzeliya In the VTB, he scored in double figures in 14 games and had 5 double doubles. His best games were against Bnei Hertzeliya with 26 points and 12 boards in a 84-77 win and against N.Novgorod with 23 points in a 91-82 victory. In the 2018-2019 season, he switched teams, but remained in the high level league VTB to continue to polish his game. He played with Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB) playing 26 VTB games averaging 12.3ppg, Reb-1(7.9rpg), 1.2apg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP: 65.3%, FT: 78.2%; and played 13 FIBA Europe Cup averaging 10.2ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, FT: 83.3%. He showed that his first season was no fluke in the VTB league. “That was my second year in the VTB, so I was more familiar with a lot of the players and styles of the different teams going into that season. The VTB is one of the strongest domestic leagues, so it was great to demonstrate  that I can compete and succeed against high level opponents”, expressed David Kravish. In the Fiba Europe Cup, he scored in double figures in 5 games including scoring 26 points in a 129-91 pounding of BK Pardubice and scored 21 points in a 104-86 loss against Nes-Ziona. In the VTB he scored in double figures in 15 games and had 7 double doubles. He pounded Enisey with a 30/11 game in a  106-91 win and had 23 points in a 93-76 win over Parma. He played against top Euroleague team CSKA Moscow 4 times in his 2 year VTB career getting pounded twice and then losing two close games. He scored in double figures of three of the four games and will always remember his battles fondly especially against 4 time Euroleague winner Kyle Hines. “It was great to play against CSKA because, as you said, they are one of the top teams in Europe every year. I think it is important to treat every game the same, and not to worry about how this opponent is a Euroleague team or generally at the bottom of the table. Kyle Hines is a great player who has a great feel for the game on both sides and makes things very difficult for the opposing teams. It is very obvious why he’s played at the highest level basically his whole career”, said David Kravish. His game has also always been fortified where ever he has played with great guards and one of those was American Trae Golden. “Trae made it very easy for me because he is such a great player that he made teams pay if they worried too much about the roll, and if they stepped up to stop him then he was good at getting the ball to the open man in a spot to score. He is definitely one of the better guards in Europe, and I’m hoping he kills it in China this year”, warned David Kravish.

 He was able to make a jump every season through very hard work which helped him put up consistent stats and rewarded him last season with playing in Europes top league ACB in Spain. He played with club BAXI Manresa playing21 ACB games averaging 12.1ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 55.6%, FT: 83.3%; and played 9 games averaging  10.0ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.9apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 59.1%, FT: 92.3%. He scored in double figures in 5 Basketball Champions League games including 19 points in a 76-70 win over Lietkabelis and 18 points in a 121-102 victory over Polski Cukier. In the ACB, he scored in double figures in 16 games and had 4 double doubles including a 20/11 game in a 85-67 win over Zaragoza and a 18/10 game in a 106-104 win over Joventut. He played against top European clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona losing each time, but held his own scoring in double figures each game. “I think my time with Manresa in the Spanish league helped make me a more well rounded player. The ACB is such a good league top to bottom that you see all different types of defenses and offensive styles which forces you to learn how to read each and find a way to attack it. As a big, I was helped a lot by our point guard Dani Perez who is one of the best and most creative passers I have ever played with”, stressed David Kravish.

He believes when all is said one day that Luka Doncic could be the greatest European to ever play in the NBA played his last game in the 19-20 season on March 7 scoring 13 points in a 84-74 loss against Real Betis. Then basketball was cancelled in most countries and he suddenly was home again a lot earlier than in previous years. Like for so many players around the globe, the COVID-19 time was a huge challenge as nothing was the same for anybody anymore. “I was in Manresa, Spain last year when the league stopped due to Covid. “Once I got home to Missouri in late April the gyms and everything were closed down. I was running outside and doing different forms of cardio to try to stay in shape while lifting whatever weights I could find. I got lucky and through a friend of a friend was able to work out on an indoor basketball court they had built in their backyard, but that wasn’t until June. It was very challenging for sure“, remembered David Kravish. Of the court, the American was able to affirm his huge faith in GOD to come to terms with all kinds of experiences that he met. “I think those experiences just remind me to trust in God even more, because life isn’t always going to go well, and things aren’t always going to be easy, but if we trust in Him we can find peace and joy in any circumstance(Phillipians 4:11-13: “Not that I speak [a]from need, for I have learned to be [b]content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things [c]through Him who strengthens me.”), added David Kravish.

Despite COVID-19 still being alive and very present, it hasn´t hindered the German easyCredit BBL from shutting down. David Kravish who lists Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lebron James, and Shaq on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore has found a new challenge in the EasyCredit BBL with Brose Bamberg. When you played in the ACB, it is difficult to get to a much better league except the Euroleague. The easyCredit BBL isn´t the ACB, but still considered a top 5 league in Europe. It wasn´t a difficult decision for him to pick Brose Bamberg as his new employer. “I was familiar with my coach from several summers ago, that was a contributing factor for me. Every year I hope to take a step up and progress my career, and Brose Bamberg is a very well respected club known for their success. I do enjoy learning the new cultures and seeing new places with my wife. There aren’t that many people who have the opportunity to see this much of the world and experience it like this, so it is truly a blessing. I’m really enjoying the season, but it definitely isn’t the same without having the fans there at the games”, stressed David Kravish. He has seen very much basketball in many different countries the last years that he feels confident the team will shine in the BBL and BCL. “We have had a slow start in the BBL, but I see us competing for a top spot in both leagues”, warned David Kravish. Bamberg has a very talented and deep roster with guys like American Devon Hall who has given a huge spark in the back court. “The addition of Devon was great for us. He gives us a strong offensive and defensive option with versatility at the guard positions. He also has an edge to him that helps drive the team”, warned David Kavish. Another player Like Kravish who is playing his first season in Germany is Chase Fieler who will be a huge impact player this season and also bring other great skills to the table. “Chase brings leadership and a good eye for the game. He makes  a lot of reads and sees a lot options during play that lead to some easy baskets and stops for the team as a whole, not just himself”, commented David Kravish. He also has kept a close eye on young diminutive German point guard Bennt Hundt. He is one of the rare very short guards in the league that has a huge future ahead of him. “Bennett brings great energy for us on the court and on the sidelines. He is a little undersized, but he doesn’t back down from matchups or switches. He sticks his nose in there no matter what, and that is very important for the team”, added David Kravish.

It is no secret that the American who last watched “The Devil All the Time” with Tom Holland has a very fine offensive game that has proven over the years that he can fit into any league and any coaching system while at the same time being an impact player on the defensive end. He has proven that he belongs without a doubt to the best centers in the league currently averaging 14,5ppg, 8,3rpg, 2,4apg, 1,0spg and 1,4bs. While in the BCL he is averaging 13,3ppg, 5,5rpg, 2,0apg and 1,3bs. He also isn´t shy about naming a few greats that he has admired most over the years. “I’m not sure who my game best fits, but I always admired the way Dennis Rodman approached rebounding with such intensity and skill. I respect the way Tim Duncan was always level headed no matter who he was playing or what the situation was during the game”, warned David Kravish. A big strength of his on the defensive end is his special knack of blocking shots. He was already a menace in the NCAA, but it hasn´t changed in the pro ranks. He continues to swat away balls where ever he has played and just frustrates opponents offenses with his superb defensive game. “I’ve always had kind of a knack for shot blocking. I hold the record for most career blocks at the University of California. I think gaining experience in all of the different leagues helps to adapt my play so that I can be more effective defensively regardless of the opponent”, stressed David Kravish. He continues to be a very consistent player where ever he has played and thus far in Germany is playing very effective and has become a greater scorer than ever before in his career. But the famous basketball phrase defense wins titles is something that has stuck in his mind. He knows that he will always be able to score and haul down rebounds, but that won´t necessary guarantee a title. He isn´t getting any younger and knows exactly where he wants to continue to improve on as he continues to climb the basketball ladder to the top. “One of the things I’m trying to focus on is defense. Improving defensively not only helps my team to win, but will help me move up the ladder like you said”, warned David Kravish. Who knows who would win a one one tomorrow should he and Richard Solomon be reunited again on a court again. It surely would be an intense battle as both guys have improved and developed their games further. It would probably be a big challenge to duel Solomon again, but at the end of the day he would rather lose that battle then any match ups on defense in games, because it´s all about wining titles and not about satisfying your ego and being able to tell your buddies over a cold one you just won a one on one game.

The Miles VS DJ Woodmore Weekly Basketball Talk Volume 11

DJ Woodmore is a 29 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore team together each week to talk basketball.

DJ thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. A tough 90-69 loss against FC Bayern Munich 2. What kind of an experience is it playing in the Audi Dome knowing what type of Euroleague players have played there?

Beautiful arena! A lot of history and playing on one of the biggest stages in all of basketball is always a great experience. Just would be nice to get a win there for once.

How disappointing is this loss after the EPG Baskets Koblenz came off that huge win at home against the Hebeisen White Wings. The team inconsistency continues.

Really tough Loss. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs all season, really thought we were going to turn the corner this game and start playing our best basketball!

FC Bayern Munich 2 was up by 6 at the break. What did head coach Danny Rodriguez tell the team to do better in the second half?

We just needed to take care of the ball better. I think we had about 14 turnovers at halftime, which led to easy transition points for them. We’re probably winning going into halftime if we would have cut those down some.

In the second half of the third quarter FC Bayern Munich went on a run only to be stopped by Chad Wellian who showed his scoring in bunches qualities. How valuable has the Dutch man been for the team?

He’s been extremely valuable, with his size and strength he creates mismatches all the time. Now that we’ve moved him to the 3 position, it’s opened up his game even more and allowed him to be more of a factor on offense.

The deciding moment of the game came in the fourth after you had fought back hard, FC Bayern Munich went on a 16-0 run. It seemed like the basketball God just hated the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Turnovers, numerous missed shots and blocks by Matej Rudan turned the tide of the game?

Yea, I thought we just lost our composure during that run. We had a lot of calls that didn’t go our way and we let that affect us. We have to find a way to stick together and stop the bleeding before it starts.

How lethal was the inside duo of Rudan and Rataj? Brian Butler and Bill Borekambi had their problems against them.

They were solid. I thought Rudan made some big shots but he was bailed out a lot with fouls. Seemed like he was untouchable sometimes. But we have to collectively be better on the defensive glass. That way we can limit his touches.

You saw Jason George a few months ago and he continues to get minutes in the BBL. How much has he grown in the last months with his game?

I think he’s coming into his own as a scorer. He’s their go to guy now and the BBL and euro league experience is definitely boosting his confidence. He’s definitely got a bright future ahead!!

You had a solid offensive game with 10 points six rebounds and 7 assists, but I know that your 4 turnovers annoyed you. What do you feel gave the team the biggest problems with the intensity and aggressiveness of the Munich defense?

I just thought we were rushing too much. A lot of miscommunication on offense which led to the turnovers. We want to play fast and up tempo, but stay under control. Sometimes it just felt like we didn’t have any structure. And like I said before, we have to do better rebounding.

With what positives can you take from this game and what will be the biggest areas the team will need to work on this week?

Not too many positives from this game. We need to find a way to stick together when things get tough. Besides that, I think we just need to move forward and focus on Coburg. They’re playing with a lot of confidence and they’re a really tough team in their home gym.

The EPG Baskets Koblenz will make the playoffs, but the fight for home court will be a dog fight between you and Munich and Giessen. The next game doesn’t get any easier as you have a date in Coburg. You won the first game of the season easily 103-85, but Coburg is a much improved team and in first place. What will be key in getting the win?

Absolutely. It won’t be easy at all but I think as long as we can string some wins together, we’ll be okay! But I think they key will be rebounding and contesting their shots. They live on the 3point line, and if we can make it a tough shooting night for them, we’ll be okay.

Tom Brady had fun drunk throwing the Super Bowl trophy from one boat to another during the celebrations in Tampa Bay. Who would have had to go fishing for the trophy had he lost accuracy and let it fall into the water?

I think you have to send one of the Rookies in there to get it lol. I don’t think Tom was too worried, he has 6 more at home.

Thanks DJ for the chat.