Bill Amis is a 25 year old 205cm power forward that was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is currently in a try-out with German Beko BBl team Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He is an an athletic forward with multiple skills, a good ball handler and shoots well in transition. He played at Hawaii(NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing atotal of 81NCAA ga,es an din his senior year averaged 15.2ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.0spg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 54.6%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 77.3%. As a rookie in 2011-2012, he played for Trefl Sopot (Poland-PLK, starting five), only pre-season, in Sep.’11 moved to Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML): Estonian League: 31 games: 11.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.0apg, Blocks-3(1.1bpg), FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 75.2%; Baltic League: 17 games: 15.9ppg, 6.3rpg, Blocks-5(1.2bpg), FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 78.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Bill thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are currently I the midst of a try-out with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. How has this experience been for you so far?
The experience thus far has been great, I am really thankful to coach Oldham and the organization for giving me a shot to play with this team in such a strong league. I have been playing well and getting my rhythm back with the game. I am looking forward for more chances to prove myself in the coming preseason games.
Do you feel a lot of pressure having to convince the organization of your basketball qualities before getting the contract extension?
Yes, anytime you are in a tryout scenario, you feel the pressure like everything can be make or break. Coach Oldham has done a really great job of letting me know his expectations for me, so now im just trying to not think too much about the tryout and play my game.
Two seasons ago as a rookie you played very well for Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML) in the Baltic league. Is the difference in skill level between there and Germany very much?
I was very impressed with Baltic basketball, it has such a high level of intelligence. It was a great opportunity for my first year to learn a lot about the European game. I haven’t really gotten to experience any Bundesliga basketball yet, but after what I have seen it seems to be a very physical league with a lot of talent.
What things have been difficult to get used to here in the German league in terms of what happens on the court?
Again I cant really say much yet as we haven’t gotten the chance to play any games yet.
Recently you played in an exhibition game against ex Bremerhaven players. How much fun was it playing in this game? Were you able to relax a bit since the game didn´t count for anything?
Well when you are on a tryout, everything counts for something haha. But it was a lot of fun to see and meet some of the fans. They seem like they are very passionate about the team, and it was great to see the way they embraced their former players. Makes me really appreciate being an athlete for a program like this!
In practice you have to face Derrick Allen every day. He has belonged to the top power forwards in the league in the last years. What have you learned from his game?
There are many vet savvy maneuvers to be learned from him over the course of the season, and Im looking forward to challenging myself and pushing each other everyday in practice. But what I have been most impressed with are his leadership skills. We are a young team and we look to him for a lot of guidance. And he sets a great example for us with his work ethic.
What has taken your attention more his quick ballerina moves or his mid distance jumper?
Well I would be lying if I didn’t say that he has one of the more unorthodox games that I have ever seen, but his high motor and patience around the basket make him a very tough player to guard. His longevity in his career speaks volumes to the type of guy he is. He is hard working and tough.
You are an athletic forward with multiple skills, a good ball handler and shoots well in transition. What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
Well I think that towards the end of my rookie year, I really started to understand the European game better. The emphasis on team defense and making the extra pass are things that I am really trying to focus on this time around. Also, I think my shot blocking is an important aspect of my game that you may not notice just looking at me.
You played at Hawaii(NCAA) from 2007-2011. Your first two seasons you had Bobby Nash as head coach. How did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I think he really gave me the confidence to be a go-to player for a team. Before Hawaii, I was usually a role player because I developed so late.
You played one season with Fraport Skyliner Jacob Burtschi at Putnam City high. What kind of experience was it playing that one season with as you were starting your high school basketball career and he was ending it?
Well we went to a very prestigious basketball school (Jacob’s Dad has been the head coach for many years), so as a freshman I didn’t really get the opportunity to play much with Jacob other than practice. But I definitely looked up to him. That is until I got to know him, now I know he is really just a big dingus.
What will you never forget about Jacob Burtschi the player and person in high school?
Haha this a great question!! In college, Jacob and I would train everyday together over the summers so I got to know him pretty well. He’s a great dude, who pretty much gets along with everybody he meets. But in high school, I just knew him as the guy who tried to date my sister.
In Bremerhaven you are on the water, but it is very much cooler than the beach in Hawaii. When you were experiencing the cold winter in Estonia, what Hawaii experience could always at least get a small smile going when the weather was tough?
Haha in Estonia, when we would go on long runs in negative temperatures, I would just mentally check out and imagine that I am in the ocean far away.. that technique didn’t really work though!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Well today we had a day off from practice and I watched The Hobbit. That was a long movie and I feel like I will never have those three hours back. Should have gone to the beach in Cuxhaven!
Thanks Bill for the chat.