Jacob Burtschi is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who will be a rookie this season for Phoenix Hagen. He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. He had offers to play in the NBA, but served in the Air Force the last three years and could only play club ball. Some achievements that he got in the NCAA wereAll-MWC Honorable Mention -05, MWC Regular Season Runner-Up -06, All-MWC 2nd Team -06, 07, NABC All-NCAA District 13 2nd Team -07, and NIT Final Four -07 Jacob took the rapid 10 miles questions basketball exchange at German Hoops.
You played your last NCAA game in 2007. How strange is it being a professional basketball rookie at age 26?
It is definitely a little strange being a 26 year old rookie but im happy that I have the opportunity to play. I had a commitment to the Air Force, served my time, and now I have an opportunity to chase a childhood dream.
Do you feel a lot of pressure having to step up and show the skills that you had in the NCAA despite not having played since 3 years? You did play club ball with Air Force the last three years, but thats not the same.
It’s definitely not the same, but you take what your given and work with it. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself. I left a good life in the Air Force to chase a dream and I always wonder if I am kidding myself trying to leave that to come compete in such a tough league. I could surprise some people in this league or I could be a bust… time will tell
You are from a small town in Oklahoma and Hagen is a middle sized German city. How do you like Germany and what do you like most about the country?
I like Germany so far. I need rosetta stone to cut back on this language barrier, but the people have been great and friendly thus far. and to be honest I love vapiano’s the most about this place.
How has training camp been for you? It seems as coach Ingo Freyer has had a tough training camp?
Training camp has been tough. I havent been through a camp like this since my days at Air Force. some muscles I havent used in a couple years, but I still feel good and he pushes us everyday, which is what we need.
Phoenix Hagen struggled last season, but this season, the club seems to have learned of past mistakes and chosen a solid roster. What can we expect from the team and what style of play can we see?
You can expect this team to compete night in and night out. We want to be the in-your-face defensive style basketball team that will push it after a make or miss. We want to become the team you hate to play. You can never control if the ball falls in for you, but you can control how you play defense. We want to put ourselves in a position every night to have a chance to win.
How is your relationship to coach Ingo Freyer. How is his mentality as coach and style different from your past coaches in USA?
Coach and I have a good relationship. He helps me with my game everyday and we talk about our schemes and where we fit as a team. His mentality is the same as all the coaches I have had. they want to be tough, they want us to get better everyday, and they want to be in a position to win each game.
What is a strength in your game that nobody really knows about?
I’m a 26 year old rookie, I cant let all my secrets out. I have to have some advantage. but I would say my ability to read defenses and put myself or my teammates in a position to score.
What was your most bizare experience in the Air Force that you will never forget?
Living in the woods for 2 weeks during basic training was quite an experience. 4 am wake ups, on your feet til 11 pm, one minute showers, and doing all kinds of drills and exercises and some of the food we had to eat. its more of one of those stories where you have had to of gone through it or been there to appreciate it.
How well will the Miami heat do with Lebron James?
I still think the Lakers will win it next year(note: i am NOT a Lakers fan) but they are still too big for any team. but Lebron, d wade, bosh and the heat will win 2 or 3 before its all said and done.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Jacob for the chat! Good luck this season!
AF Basketball has not been the same since you and your class graduated. You guys brought an era to AF Basketball that never will be duplicated.
In case you don’t remember, we are the ones that lived in Black Forest and had you for diner one evening and supported you and still do.
Good Luck in chasing your dream and we are in your corner.
Larry & Ellen Jones