Adam Baumann is a 28 year old 203cm power forward/center that recently announced his retirement from professional basketball to return home to Arizona to pursue a career as a fire fighter. He is from Scottsdale, Arizona and played at Yavapai and Youngstown in the NCAA.
He started his professional basketball career in 2004 in Germany and played overseas for five and half years. He played with Phoenix Hagen from 2004-2008 in the second Bundesliga. In three of four years, he had double double stats in points and rebounds. His best season with Phoenix Hagen was 2006-2007 as he played 29 games averaging 19.2ppg, Reb-2(11.2rpg), 1.2apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 62%, 3FGP: 28.9%, FT: 83.5%. Last season, he played for VFL Kirchheim in the PRO A playing 30 games averaging 16.5ppg, Reb-3(10.1rpg), 1.2spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 78.6%. This season, he played 13 games with BBC Bayreuth averaging 14,2ppg, 4,7rpg, 1,6apg in 22 minutes per game.
He gave German Hoops a exclusive career ending interview.
You announced your retirement recently and played your last game against Science City Jena. Why did you decide to hang up your sneakers at age 28?
I just decided that it was time for me to move onto the next stage in my life. I’ve been playing ball at a high level for the last ten years and I was ready for a change.
You played in the Germany’s second division for six years. This season, you have a great chance to reach the BEKO BBL. Was this not a good reason to keep playing?
Not really. I feel like I’ve always been a good enough player to play in the first league, I just never got the opportunity. After six years of playing second league, the thrill and draw of making it to the BBL faded. I do think that it would’ve been great to play first league earlier in my career for Hagen or for a town like Bayreuth.
You played your last game in Bayreuth. What kind of feeling was it playing your last game in Bayreuth?
Bayreuth was amazing. I have nothing but great things to say about the town, the fans, the management, the coaches and the players. It was an honor for me to end my career there.
Was this a difficult decision for you to retire at 28 or were their factors that made the decision easier for you?
This was probably the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. I thought about hanging it up for almost a year though, so it wasn’t something I decided on the spur of the moment. I’m 28 but sometimes my body feels like it’s about 75. The thought of not having to deal with the constant aches and pains day in and day out was a big factor in my decision and made it a little easier for me to walk away.
You are going to start a new career as fire fighter. Was this always a dream of yours?
Not really. I’ve been playing basketball so long that if I had to get a 9-5 desk job, I think I’d end it all, so I wanted to find a career that offered similar things to basketball. I think I’ve found that in fire fighting. I have a couple buddies who do it in Phoenix and they love it, so we’ll see.
What kind of challenge will await you as a fire fighter?
I’ll see a new challenge every day. That’s one of the main reasons I want to be a firefighter. You’re doing something different each time you go to work.
Did you ever have any trying or will you start that when you are back home in the states?
I’ve gone on ride alongs with a couple fire departments here in Phoenix, but I’ve never had any training. I’ve started taking the classes I need and I’m on my way to becoming a fire fighter.
What will you miss the most from the game?
The biggest thing I’ll miss is going to be the thirty minutes before and after practice BS ing with my team. Just being around guys who’ve been through what you’ve been through is something very special. I think that’s the part that most athletes miss after hanging it up.
You played four years in Hagen. What are your most cherished memories from this time?
So many good things happened to me while I was in Hagen that it’s too hard to narrow down to just a couple. I made some lifelong friends while I was there and that’s one of the biggest things I’ll take away.
What teammate will you miss the most?
The PC answer would be all of them but that’s not true because just like everyone else, there’s definitely teammates that I don’t care to ever see again, like Eddie Seward. One of my best friends though, played with me for four years in Hagen and was my roommate my last year there, Phil Günther.
What was your nicest memory from playing in Kirchheim?
I got a chance to play for one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. Frankie Ignatovic made everyday fun while getting the very best out of each player. A great guy too.
BBC Bayreuth is dominating the PRO A. Is there anything that will keep them away from reaching the BEKO BBL?
No, nothing. They will unfortunately not be as good looking of a team without me on it though.
Your first three years in Hagen, you had double double stats. Did you ever understand why you didn´t reach the BEKO BBL?
I’m not the flashiest of players on the court so it’s hard for me to stand out. I guess I don’t dunk enough. I’m very consistent though, and I’ve played well every time I’ve played against first league teams, so I’m very confident in saying that I would’ve been successful.
There must of been interest from BEKO BBL teams or not?
I had a tryout in Paderborn after my second season in Hagen, that’s the only interest I know of.
What will you miss most from the country Germany?
The beer and the fans, more of one than the other but I’ll let you figure that one out.
What was your most memorable game in your career?
I had the game of my life in Kirchheim against Chemnitz. 38 points and 19 rebounds, got the DVD to prove it.
Who was the best player that you played against in Germany?
Matthias Grothe destroyed people in the years we played together in Hagen, including me in practice.
Will you visit Germany again in the future?
Yes, I definitely will be back in Germany some day and I expect nothing less than a parade in my honor when I return.
What would you like to say to your fans in Hagen, Kirchheim and Bayreuth?
Thank you for supporting me the last six years. Keep a look out though, maybe you’ll see me playing regionaliga ball somewhere sometime soon…
Thanks Adam for the chat! The German basketball fans will miss you dearly!