AJ Moye is a 28 year old 193cm guard/forward that will start his fourth BEKO BBL season and first with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners. At only 6-3, he can play the 2 and 3 positions, and score in a variety of ways. He is a very strong player who can post and finish at will in the open floor. He can be very spectacular. He is a great Player who can do it all. He makes everybody around him better. He is also a fantastic defender and a great 1-1 Player. He is a team leader on and off the Court!! He started his basketball career at Indiana(NCAA) and played there from 2000-2004. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 10.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg. In 2005-2006, he started his professional basketball career in Iceland for Keflavik (Iceland-Iceland Express L., starting five): 19 games: 28.9ppg, 10.7rpg, 2.6apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 61,1%, 3PT: 30,8%, FT: 78,4%; EuroCup Challenge: 6 games: Score-1(25.8ppg), Reb-3(10.2rpg), 2.5apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 63.9%, 3FGP: 31.3%, FT: 84.2%. He then came to Germany and played with The Walter Tigers Tuebingen from 2006-2009. He best statistical season was 2006-2007 as he averaged 15.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.0apg, 2FGP: 49.7%, 3FGP: 32.9%, FT: 77.0%. Last season, he played in Finland for Kouvot Kouvola playing 52 games and averaging 18.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 87.7%. In his only season in Finland, he won Eurobasket.com All-Finnish Korisliiga Defensive Player of the Year 2010, Eurobasket.com All-Finnish Korisliiga 2nd Team 2010,Eurobasket.com FinnishKorisliiga All-Imports Team 2010 and Eurobasket.com Finnish Korisliiga All-Defensive Team 2010. Moye gave his first interview since returning back to the BEKO BBL to German Hoops.
How excited are you about coming to the Deutsche Bank Skyliners?
I am thrilled. Frankfurt is a class organization along with a coach who believes in me and my style of play and leadership and an absolutely wonderful city and great fans. I can’t complain.”God is good”
What were the main reasons why you chose The Deutsche Bank Skyliners?
1. tradition–the bottom line is winning and playing the right way (team 1st, me 2nd approach). 2. the coach, Gordie and I have a good rapport, we actually went at each other’s throats the first time I competed against his team last season. I was bottling up his point guard and he was complaining to the ref, and I told him to “stop crying” and the respect grew from there, real funny how it came about.3. the organization, they’re committed to excellence, the training facilities re-enforce this, as well as the competitive schedule in term of European matches.
You are the first signing. I see you as taking over the role of Derrick Allen who left for Alba Berlin in terms of leadership and role model function for the team and how would you like to see your role on the court?
Definitely, I was brought in to lead, add a constant element of physical toughness and be the kind of teammate to lift the fighting and competitive spirits of the guys on the court or bench alike. On the court i’ll just try to lead thru defensive intensity, focus to the game plan and effort. The offensive elements will fall into place as long as we take care of those
You are a scorer. Is this something you see happening in a team like Frankfurt that probably wil have more scorers like you had back in Tuebingen and in Finland?
It’ll be more of a pick my spots thing, coming into the BBL at 23, 24 or even playing the game at that age–“you see it in a different speed”, its you’re almost in constant “attack mode”, but as you mature, the game “slows” so to speak and you’re more aware of when to capitalize on scoring or playmaking opportunities, so I won’t be a volume scorer, just more of a “timely scorer” trying to get the job done when it matters most.
What do you know about the coach Gordon Herbert? Have you talked to him?
Gordie is a competitor, he demands that of his guys or you probably won’t see the court. we’ve talked several times, and I appreciate the silent confidence he exudes and instils in his players and he appreciates my professionalism and the mean streak in my demeanor
What Skyliner are you looking forward to playing with the most and why?
I am looking forward to playing with Jimmy if he’s still there, we’ve been solid friends for 8 or 9 years. I love De Mello’s game, can’t wait to work out with him after and before practice, and I think he’s better than most give him credit for. I hope it all starts clicking for him and Marius is one of those guys every team needs, you hate to play against him, but its certainly a big plus to have him on your side since a guy like that makes everybody better, so many intangibles he brings that go beneath the radar.
Are you more comfortable playing position two or three and why?
It doesn’t really matter to me, because I can guard 4 positions on a good day. Defensively is really the only adjustment between playing the 2 or 3. Offensively, its all about reading the defender matched up against and an quickly analyzing and identifying his weaknesses and strengths.
Will you feel a lot of pressure this season full filling expectations as the team lost by only two points in game 5 of the BEKO BBL final in Bamberg?
Pressure is welcomed. I mean i’ve never entered a season without greater or the greatest expectations in my mind. I always make it a point to where no coach, teammate, fan or anyone can expect more from me or my team than myself soI am definitely up for the challenge of going a step farther in the cup, playoffs, European competitions, everything. We have our work cut out for us without a doubt.
Did you follow the BEKO BBL last season?
Yes I followed it and was very proud of Gottingen and the level of intensity they consistently bring. I actually believed Gordy was going to win it all once he got the job.. even though Bamberg defeated us, Chris Fleming is a coach I always admired and we share a mutual respect, and i’ve known Casey Jacobsen since playing AAU against each other at age 15.Bobo (Julius) on ALBA I always follow since I knew him since I was about 16 and of course my old team, Rome, Kenny, Jay and Bane are good friends.
Were you surprised how well The Walter Tigers Tuebingen played?
No not at all. Igor has a brilliant basketball mind and I expected Rome to compete at a high level, but I believe Bane Ratkovica is special and will only continue to blossom. Dane had a solid year as well.
What is a hidden strength in your game that nobody knows about?
Thats a good one, I’m really not one to toot my own horn much. I work vigorously to improve all facets of my game year round, so I can’t really say. I probably have more range on my 3 point shot than one would think, but Im pretty much “what you see is what you get”. I only work on things that are useful for actual game situations.
Last season, you averaged 18.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 87.7% in 52 games in Finland. What were you able to improve in your game there?
Everything, I feel every year I’ve played I’ve improved. I work before/after practice/off days regardless if I’m to be featured in the offense or not. Its just that this season I was in a system that catered more to my style of play and the numbers reflected it so it was good to be involved in the offense again. My final season and a half in Tuebingen the wings weren’t really used at all, so naturally my numbers dipped scoring wise, but I feel Coach Ongeron helped me improve a great deal defensively so I say, year to year, I always improve, its just that sum years the numbers reflect it more so than others.
What was an experience in Finland that you will never forget?
Going snowmobiling with my teammates in like -20 weather and I was a natural tho, flying around the track at 140. I loved it.
You are 29 years old now. Are you in the prime of your basketball career and what can you still reach as a player?
Well dont age me too fast, I’m ONLY 28 Miles, I need that extra year.. lol. I feel I’m maybe a season or two from my prime, you can never truly master this sport in terms of skill, concentration or emotional balance. As a player, I just want to win a multitude of championships–cups, league titles, international competitions. I feel I’m in a solid situation now.
How vivid is the 104-102 double overtime loss to FRankfurt in your head from 2007. It was a wild game where you had 18 points, Rasko Katic had 13 points and 20 rebounds, Jamal Davis 16 points and 10 rebounds and Travon Bryant had 26 points and 11 rebounds. Was that one of your craziest games in Germany?
Its still the most draining game I ever been in as a pro. It was just intense. back n forth, lead swings. I was so pissed after that loss I remember breaking a trash can and a chair in the locker room (but those were my younger days) . It was a great game though, Travon and I always talk about it when we cross paths .
Will a rotation of AJ Moye, Jimmy Mckinney, Quantez Robertson and Dominic Bahiense De mello at the position 2 work?
It will have to work, plus those 3 guys have shown it can work, I may be the oldest out of the bunch, but the responsibility and onus is on me to come in and raise the level of competition, but most importantly blend in and compliment those guys in terms of what we are trying to accomplish as a unit.
Who would win a one on one game on the court? You or Jimmy Mckinney and how would you play him?
I don’t know, Jimmy’s been injured a lot and I rarely get injured. I’m trying to keep him healthy, I maybe got 20 kilos on Jimmy, but if we were to play, of course.. “I’d be physical”.
Who won a one on one in practice last season in Finland? You or KYLE SHILOH? How did you play him?
Well I’m 28 now and I’m really not trying to approach these 23, 24, 25 year old guys and go 1 on 1, but Kyle was a blur when we got 1 on 1 time, most of the time I was instructing him on ways to utilize his athletic ability and exploit his quickness besides I dont want to beat him and take his confidence away… lol
How does a summer workout day look like with you?
I get up about 5:30 am or 6 :00am and run 3 to 4 miles. nothing too heavy and then every other day, after that run, I got a hill that is about 30 meters long, 10-15 meters high incline and I sprint it maybe 20-40 times (depends on the legs). I lift everyday, not for bulk, but just for function. I’m going to shoot 700-1500 shots a day with some days midrange, post turnarounds, jab series, pump fake series, 3’s. At night I’m goin to scrimmage against former guys who are pros that played on my old AAU team (Atlanta Celtics) so you got, Donnell Harvey, Jeffrey Newton (Japan), Jumaine Jones, B.J. Elder, Jarret Jack, Dion Glover, Randolph Morris, Josh Smith, maybe Dwight shows up, but I don’t play too much 5 on 5 other than that.
What do you like most about the country Germany?
I just think its the easiest country to travel, how the highways are set up and all. Its very westernized and the language isnt as hard to speak as other countries. There is nothing I dislike about Germany. I love the countryside, castles and I dig it for the most part.
What will you miss the most form the States?
My family of course. Thats it.
What was the last DVD that you saw?
Not really a DVD guy, went to see the last Air Bender last night, it was awful, felt like they should have paid me to watch that… arrrgghh
Thanks AJ for the chat! All the best with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in 2010-2011.