Konstantin Klein(Fraport Skyliners) It Has All Been Hard Work To Get To Where I Am

Konstantin Klein is a 21 year old 185cm guard from Berlin that will be playing is first season for the Fraport Skyliners. He started his basketball career with ALBA Berlin II (Regionalliga) where he played until 2011. Last season he played for BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (ProB, starting five): 28 games: 9.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 73.2%. Awards and achievements in his career have been German U18 National Team -09, Nike Euroleague Junior Tournament (Unofficial European Clubs Junior Championships) -09, European Championships U18 in Metz (France) -09: 6 games: 0.7ppg, 1.7rpg, German Regionalliga (North Group) Champion -10German U20 National Team -11, European Championships U20 in Bilbao (Spain) -11: 9 games: 3.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.0apg, German 2.Bundesliga Pro B (Group South) Regular Season Champion -12, and German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Champion -12. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

You are playing your first season for the Fraport Skyliners. How do you feel playing for them?

I feel very comfortable in Frankfurt. Everything is functioning well. The arena is great as are the fans. Our team manager Sid does such a great job making everything so much easier for us. I am just very happy to play here.

You seem to have gotten used to the Beko BBL. What problems do you still have on the court?

I can improve in all aspects of my game. My shooting percentage has to be better. In the PRO B, it is a lot easier to get open shots. I just want to continue to work on my weak spots.

Did you think before the season that you would get so many minutes so early?

That is a funny question, because I was talking with the assistant coach Michael Meeks of Wurzburg and we had trained together last summer in Berlin and he had predicted I would be averaging 15 minutes this season. I was a bit surprised when he told me this in Berlin last summer, because he didn´t really know me and had hardly seen me play. I thanked him for his confidence, but it has all been hard work to get where I am.

A characteristic that I like from you is your will to take responsibility in certain situations. Where do you have this from?

I think I got some of it from my youth coach Henrik Rodl who taught me to play with leadership and have a fighting mentality always. My dad is also responsible for this as he always told me not to hide on the court. You should never be afraid on the court. That is a big mistake.

What is the most important thing that you have learned from head coach Muli Katzurin?

He has taught me how to play defense. I have learned to get around the blocks and be in the right place. He has given me much self confidence and always stresses to take the shot when I am open.

Devin Gibson and Johnathan Jones are still very young. Is an experienced point guard missing in the lineup?

I think that in some situations that is the case. But they are tough players and are always willing to learn. They are still young and can always develop more which is to their advantage. I also think it helps when you have an ex point guard with assistant coach Klaus Perwass that always gives tips.

Why do the Fraport Skyliners continue to have problems on offense. What needs to be improved?

I think that we need to get into a good offense over a good defense. We showed this against Ulm, but not against Wurzburg. We need to defend hard which gives us more self confidence for our offense.

The spirit of the Fraport Skyliners is their defense. How much effort do you need on defense to be successful?

I strongly think that every player can be  a good defender. You don´t have to be the most athletic player, but you just have to be at the right place and be smart.

What defender is your role model?

On defense and offense it is Anton Gavel. Heis an off guard like, strong but not big like me and is a good defender. He always plays a controlled offense and takes good shots. I want to be like him.

You probably see something amazing each practice from Quantez Robertson. What has been the most amazing thing that you have seen him do on the court?

I think Tez has that NBA athletic ability. It seems like his head is on the rim at times. I see him do so many amazing things that I couldn´t name one. Sometimes I really wonder where he gets this athletic ability from.

Do you study other guards on your own time or do you just focus on them in team video?

I focus on them in team video. I try to see what their strength is and take that away in the game.

What is your impression of Max Merz. Can he become a Beko BBL player?

I think that he has the potential to be a Beko BBL player. If he keeps working hard, improves his shot and decision then he could. He is three years younger than me and so much potential.

Could Tim Oldenburg take part in a slam dunk contest?

I think that he is more of a game dunker and not the kind of guy that will make those spectacular dunks.

Who wins a one on one in practice you or Devin Gibson?

I think that he can beat me now, but I told him that in two or three years I will beat him.

What do you miss most form Gotha?

I miss my good friend Leo Niehbur.

What is your favorite food in Frankfurt?

I have found a Mexican place where I like to eat Burritos.

What play would you like to do on the court that you haven´t done yet?

I want to dunk over someone.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The Breaking Bad series.

Thanks Konstantin for the chat.

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