Centers Come And Go In Giessen, But Jannik Freese Remains On The Court

Jannik Freese is a 23 year old 211cm center that is playing his second season with The Giessen 46ers. He spent a year in the States and went to Northwestern high school in Washington D.C. He came back to Germany and played for Oldenburger TB before going to SG FT/MTV Braunschweig where he played from 2005-2007. In 2007-2008, he played for Spot Up Medien Baskets Braunschweig (ProB) playing 26 games avergaing 11.5ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 63.9%, and played also at New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (1.Bundesliga): 6 games: 0.5ppg. Last season, he played 15 games for The Giessen 46ers averaging 2.4ppg, 2.3rpg; and also played at LTi Lich (ProA) playing 15 games and averaging 17.1ppg, 8.5rpg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 67.4%.

German Hoops spoke to the German about the current Giessen season.

This is your second season with The Giessen 46ers. What were the main reasons why you stayed in Giessen?

I trust Giessens program a lot and I liked what the management and coach Vladi Bogojevic had planned for me, now and in the future so I decided to sign for another year. I can learn a lot from having a coach who was such a great player like Vladi.

What alternative would you have been able to do had the Giessen 46ers not have gotten a wildcard?

I signed in March I think, so I really never had any talks with other teams, I had some offers but all of the teams knew that I was under contract, after we got the wildcard I was happy that I can continue my career in Giessen.

Last season was tough and this season, you lost the first seven games. How much stress and strength did the first seven games cost the team?

It was very tough, but in those situation you just have to stay focused and try to dig yourself out of that hole.

You guys lost some blow out games to Duesseldorf and MEG Goettingen and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had you for lunch as well. What have been the chief reasons for the miserable start?

It was around that time where we had lost Joe Lischka and Lorenzo Williams, so we really did not have a starting pg and 3 man. and we did not have replacements such as Maurice Jeffers and Austen Rowland who helped us a lot. but I think missing a pg was the reason, because we have players that can play multiple positions and we all worked our ass of, it just slowed down our process of uniting as a team, but we are getting there now.

How has coach Vladi Bogojevic handled the bad start? How is he keeping the team together?

Coach is very experienced so he knew what he had to do to get us back on track, so he stayed calm, worked hard with us and tried to clue us together as a unit and remain confident and fight.

Max Weber is averaging 2,6ppg in 20 minutes per game. Will we see him scoring more or continue to be a pest on defense?

Max is a very versatile player, he dont neccesarily have to score to be efficient, he is a good defender on multiple positions and he takes what the defense gives him, so he is not forcing any shots, that is good, he is a scoring option for us but he will always do what the team needs from him so stats is not really a factor for him.

The Giessen 46ers are one of hottest teams at moment having won four of the last five games. What have been the reasons for the turnaround?

Just being patient we knew coming into the season that having such a young team, it would take us a little bit to get together and bond. Adding Moe Jeffers gave us some more experience, plus having Austen Rowland here was very good for us because he is a very good PG who knows how to distribute the ball.

Beating teams like Artland, Oldenburg and Braunschweig was no fluke. It seems like the team has gained the needed self confidence to stay out of the bottom of the standings?

Yes we played some good games against those teams, and it surely gave us confidence.

Is it dangerous to think playoffs too early?

We are just thinking one game at a time.

With a healthy team, what do you think that The Giessen 46ers will be capable of achieving in the next months?

We can achieve a lot in the future, if we play good team basketball.

Many BBL teams have made the mistake of signing 6-8 Americans and failing. Giessen signed not only Americans, but players from Serbia and Austria. Do you think that a helathy mix of nationalities has helped Giessen?

Yes having a healthy mix is a good thing,plus every player on this team has a good character and we get along great, so that makes it easier.

Is David Teague the best scoring machine that you have ever seen in the BBL since you were a player?

For the time I been in this league yes I think he is.

Johannes Lischka is back. Will he be able to function in a team that has many guys that score?

Yes Joe will definitley function.

There are some German National players that shall remain nameless that are younger and have gotten more credit and hype than he has. Is this the season where Lischka will get his deserved credit?

I think Joe has proven to be a very talented BBL Player and he can keep up with any BBL forward.

You have scored in double figures four times this season. How comfortable are you feeling and will you be able to heighten your production in the second half of the season?

I am always looking to heighten my production, but I just try to stay aggressive and defend, and see what the defense gives us and how I can help the team, rebound, give the extra pass, defend or score.

Will The Giessen 46ers get their revenge in the Hessen Derby in January against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners? What will be key for winning?

Yes we will be looking for revenge and its going be another Osthalle classic:)

What is your reaction to the betting scandal in soccer and the possibility that it might of happened in the BEKO BBL?

No I dont think that the BEKO BBL has anything to do with betting scandals.

Who would win a one on one contest? You or Joe Werner?

I will always say that I would win , it dont matter who you want to see me play against:) hah

What is your impression of the Deutsche Bank Skyliners this season?

They are looking like that they are more playing as a unit, because they have a lot more players that accept their role. If they keep working hard they have a chance of looking really good, come April and May.

What was the last DVD that you saw?

I saw hurricane season.

Thanks Big Freeze for the chat! Good luck this season!


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