Jacob Burtschi is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who is playing his first season with the Bremerhaven Eisbaeren. He played as a rookie for Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011 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. Last season he played for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB, starting five): 9 games: 2.6ppg, 2.4rpg; left in Nov.’11, in Dec.’11 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): German League: 22 games: 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 87.5%; EuroCup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently.
What was the main reason for the slow start of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven at the start of the season?
We played against three good teams, but that is no excuse. We were just flat and didn´t start the games well. Bamberg outplayed us, against Wurzburg we couldn´t hit a shot for our life and against Ulm, we hit shots, but didn´t get stops. What we fixed one game didn´t work in the next.
You missed a dunk against the Fraport Skyliners in Bremerhaven. Has that happened often in your basketball career?
I have missed dunks before in practice. Danilo Barthel was running with me and I wanted to make the sure dunk since I remembered him blocking me afew times last season in practice.
On what player does Fraport Skyliner Ted Scott remind you with?
He reminds me of a David Bell of Hagen. He has the ability to score very much. He can light up the scoreboard and he is a threat at all times for the defense.
You are playing your first season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. How do you like it?
I like that it is small. It has that small town feeling that I know about coming from Oklahoma.
You don’t have any big spaces of water in Oklahoma. What has been the coolist thing that you have seen at the sea?
I have really had the chance to be at the sea, but I am very amazed about all the big ships that come in and out of the harbor.
Doug Spradley practiced calling all the new players on the phone to get to know of them. What was your first impression of him?
I already had known about him from ex teammates who had had him as head coach. I think it is great that he took the time to contact us instead of having it done over agents or general managers. I got sold to coming to Bremerhaven with that. It is just great that he reaches out like that and asks how our summer is and just wanting to reach out and touch base.
What is your most diffiuclt task as captain?
I don’t really consider myself the lone captain, but we have so many experienced players on the team that I see it more as captain by committee. I try to get everyone ready in practice and for games and just keep all focused.
How intense is your relationship to Doug Spradley?
We have a good relationship and his office door is always open for everyone. Sometimes we break down tape together. He is always ready to take advice as well as give it. He is a players coach.
What does Stanley Burrell have as a point guard that others don´t have in the Beko BBL?
His physicality sets him apart from the rest. He is fast, can get to the cup, hit the mid range and distribute the ball like others, but he is so strong which helps his game more.
What does Stefan Jackson give to the team besides his brilliant shooting?
His energy is so important. He is probably our quickest player on the team. He is very athletic and he does a great job getting us on transition what we need more of.
German national player Philipp Zwiener seems to be like a silent leader. How does he make you laugh?
He is actually a pretty funny guy. You don´t see it as first. He can make us laugh during practice or when we are all in a restaurant and is very good with one liners.
Can Scott Morrison become a dominating big man in the Beko BBL?
He is a force that has great foot work and hands. He could become a strong player in this league. He has the tools for it.
Justin Stommes is known as a deadly shooter. Many see him as one dimensional. What is a hidden strength in his game?
He is very good with the dribble pull up and getting to the cup, but what many don´t see is that he is a very good defender especially against smaller guys. He does a good job staying in front of his man.
What captain skill would you like to have from Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte?
There are so many that I would like to have. I learned so much from him. The great thing with Marius is that he is always supporting us. He knows how to get the team going even when they are in a funk. He is always the first guy off the bench cheering and always gives 110%.
Have you found a replacement for Mai Thai restaurant in Bremerhaven?
Not yet. That place is tough to beat. I really miss it, but there are some good places to eta here.
What do you like most about the German language?
It is so frustrating to learn it. I have problems with the ch. I really want to be able to learn it so I can go to the mall or grocery store and just be able to use it.
Can Tez dunk over you?
I was never known as a shot blocker I think he could, but to stop that I would just take in and take the charge.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Takin 2. It wasn´t as good as the first one, but it was good.
Thanks Jake for the chat.