Jacob Burtschi (Fraport Skyliners): My Teammates Have Confidence In My Shot, But I Need To Find That Confidence Again

Jacob Burtschi is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who is playing his first season with the Fraport Skyliners. He completed his rookie season for Phoenix Hagen averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. 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 were  All-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. He spoke to German Hoops after the 81-57 loss in Ludwigsburg.

A tough 81-57 loss in Ludwigsburg. Why was this game so tough after a long break and good week of practice?

We watched video today and you could see that our defense wasn´t there. We had no effort or communication. They simply outplayed us.

Frankfurt has given up an average of 80 points in the last two games. Does one have to worry about the Frankfurt defense?

No I don´t think so. There will always be bad phases on defense and mental lapses. Important is that they get corrected and we improve.

Was it more frustration or did you think that Lionel Riche was in your face as Jerry Green emerged?

I am an emotional player that takes pride in his play. We had a shoving match and I didn´t like how he fouled me. I always stand up for myself. He does have some resemblance to Lionel Riche.

Did 2010 Beko BBL three point king Donatas Zavackas give you some advice how to find your shot again?

We didn´t talk much before the game. I just told him congrats on winning the competition. The next time I see him I will take some pen and paper, because at the moment, I can´t see any rim to save my life.

You are playing your first season in Frankfurt. How comfortable do you feel?

I feel very good and comfortable. Frankurt is a good organization.

You started the season in the ACB with Zaragoza. Why did that journey end early?

I think that I didn´t fit in the style of their coach. I think that he was expecting another rtype of player. I was happy for having the chance to play in the ACB.

What was the most important thing that you learned in your few months in Spain?

I think getting experience. The talent level is great there with so many great players.

You were very impressed with the defensive play of NBA player Serge Ibaka. What makes him so good?

I wish I could have his athletic ability. He is a great defender the type that you always want on your team. He helps when a player drives by his teammate. He is good at altering shots and can rebound. He has everything that you want in a defender.

If Frankfurt is as nice as new York City, is Hagen as nice as Gary, Indiana?

I don´t know, but I like the small town feeling. I come from a 15,000 town in Oklahoma.Frankfurt is  a nice city and I like it there.

Would you ever consider returning to Hagen?

There is always a possibility and I would never rule it out. Hagen has a great fan base.

What exactly is your role with the Fraport Skyliners besides bringing energy?

Helping with scoring. We already have scorers with Mckinney, Davidson and Ohlbrecht, but I just have to start knocking down shots more.

What is a strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?

My ability to pass the ball. I can find the open guy even when I am driving to the basket.

Are you doing anything different trying to find your shot?

It starts in practice. I put up a number of shots each day. But I just need more confidence. I am always playing mental games with myself. My teammates have confidence in me, but it is up to me to get the confidence again back with my shot.

The Fraport Skyliners have tough games the next weeks against Braunschweig, Bremerhaven, Munich, BBC Bayreuth and Bamberg. What does the team have to do better?

It starts on defense. They will all be physical games, but we have to take it one game at a time.

What has been the most interesting conversation that you have had with Johannes Herber?

We talked about his beard. I know that other teammates like Fabian Franke and Tim Ohlbrecht were growing them this season. I wish I could grow a beard, but I just can´t. I don´t know why he has had one, maybe a superstition.

He seems like he could be Grizzly Adams son?

Yes he could. He went to West Virginia and is a mountaineer. He could live in the woods.

If you and Jermareo Davidson made a rap video, how would you be dressed?

I am an out going kind of guy. He would be doing the rapping an dI would be the hype guy. I might pull out the chains and shades and just hype.

You are from Oklahoma. What was your childhood like?

I was the baby of five kids. We had a close knit family raised in a small town living on 15 acres of land. I lived and breathed basketball as a kid.

Who were your NBA idols as a kid?

Michael Jordan. I was too young for Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, but always enjoyed watching their videos.

Do you remember the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995?

Yes I do. My mom was working at the time near to where it happened. Siblings of two classmates of mine were affected by it. It was a tough time. At that time the down town was small, but it has grown in the last 16 years. There is a big skyscraper now as well as the NBA team Thunder. Even in the last 5-6 years the down town area has grown a lot.

Why did you decide to go to the Air Force(NCAA)?

I had a few division one offers, but they were from the east coast. The Air Force was the closest to home and at that point, I was thinking about the pro level, but wanted a good education that would help me later in life get the best possible job.

In 2007, you played an exhibition game against Chris Oliver. You played against him last season. How much has he improved since 2007?

He has always been a tough player. I already played against him in the NCAA when he was with Radford. He is a solid player that has really blossomed in Europe. It is really no surprise how he has turned out.

How would  a1-1 against Jon Leuer turn out?

I would have my hands full with him. He would back me down. My best chance would be using my speed.

After watching the movie Phoenix in the asche, it seems like Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt could go to Hollywood in the summer break and look for an agent?

He should look for an agent and show the video. He has great talent. He is just a phone call away.

What were the most free throws that you have made in a row in practice?


What was your most crazy shot that you have made in your career?

In high school, I made a 75 foot shot.

Do you see tornados more as an adrenaline rush or a serious matter?

You have to take tornados very serious in Oklahoma, but when you do see one, you get an adrenaline rush. I have seen a couple within a mile. When that does happen, you have to go down to the basement. It is unbelievable what mother nature can do.

I remember when you played for Phoenix Hagen that you were an monopoly ace. Are also an ace with the Fraport Skyliners?

I haven´t played as much in Frankfurt, but I will pick up on it. I know guys like Tez and Justin Gray like to play.

Is there a curse on Tom Brady from the Manning brothers?

Tom Brady owns Peyton Manning and Eli Manning owns Tom Brady. It was really unfortunate how the Patriots lost. They had a few defensive lapses, dropped passes that cost them the game. The Giants were just more clutch when they need to be.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Last three days.

Thanks Jacob for the chat.

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