Dan Oppland is a 30 year old 203cm forward that has returned back to Germany and will play for Rent4Office Nurnberg this season in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career for Valparaiso (NCAA) in 2002 where he played until 2006. He started his professional basketball career in 2006 for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen (Holland). He then played in countries like Poland and Sweden before coming to Bayreuth in 2008. He then played for seasons for Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) where he won three titles. Last season he played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) 47 games: 15.7ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.0%. He spoke to German Hoops during the summer before he came to Germany about basketball.
Dan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
Hey Miles. I am in Italy at the moment with my fiancee and her family and just enjoying the sun and scenic culture that is Italy.
How blessed are you that you will be playing a ninth professional season? Many players can´t say that they have had a long career like you? How much hard work has it been keeping your body always ready?
I am truly blessed to continue my career for another season. I have been blessed to have no serious injuries during my career. but I have put a lot of hard work and time into staying in shape, especially now since I am older for a basketball player.
Welcome back to Germany. It has been a while that you played in Germany. You will be playing for German pro A team rent4Office Nurnberg not too far away from old club Bayreuth. What were the main reasons for coming back to Germany?
Its great being back in Germany. I have been wanting to get back here for some time now. I love the country as a whole. A big reason for coming back is to be closer to my fiancee and her family, and also this might lead to a future career in Germany. After all, I could end up living in Germany in the future too so this might open up some doors for me. Plus, the basketball is at a very high level in Germany, so I have always wanted to come back.
Did you have talks with new Rent4Office head coach Ralph Junge? He has been known for being a very good coach for young players at Ehingen for many years. How excited are you to play for him and witness what he will be able to give to you as an experienced player
Coach Junge and I have shared some emails these past few weeks and I have heard nothing but great things about him. My twin brother Mike actually played for him in Ehingen in the 2008-2009 season, and he always spoke highly of coach. I am very excited to learn from him and hopefully grow as a player these next few years.
After four successful years in Austria, you last season played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga). What was the challenge and appeal to play in Finland?
The Finland job was a blessing for me because it was already September and I still had no real prospects for a job. I wanted to stay in Austria but they were having money problems, so this wasn´t going to work out. when my agent called me about the offer he said my former teammate in Austria would be playing with me as well, so I was on board.
You reached the playoffs with Namika Lahti losing to Pyrinto.. In the three games you lost, the team was outscored by 72 points. How do you see the playoffs and season summary for the team and you?
The Pyrinto series was a tough one. Even though the scores looked bad in some games, the games were actually closer then they looked. I think we grew as a team during this series. Pyrinto was just too strong for us and obviously the entire league as they won the championship. Since Lahti had not made the playoffs in five years, we made some positive steps forward by making the playoffs. I was proud of our team and how we fought until the end.
In Austria, you played four seasons for Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga) winning three titles. What was the sweetest moment for you in these four years?
Playing in Gmunden was sort of a dream situation because there are countless memories I will never forget. all the championships, relationships I experienced will always be with me. my fondest memory of Gmunden was playing with my brother mike the last 2 years. That was just so special for me.
You played under Telekom Baskets Bonn head coach Mathias Fischer in Austria. Are you a bit sad that he didn´t take you to Giessen or Bonn when he came to Germany
I held no negative feelings toward Mathias for not taking me with him to Giessen or Bonn. He is a coach who knows what he wants and his results speak for themselves. He is a winner and I enjoyed my time with him. I wish coach Fisher nothing but the best because he has worked hard to get where he is at today. he deserves it.
It is obvious that scoring and rebounding is your bread and butter, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I am not the most athletic player you will see, but I think I am little quicker than what people give me credit for. I would like to think my defense on the perimeter is pretty strong for a big man or so I think.
It seems like it has been ages since you played in Bayreuth. Do you still keep in touch with ex teammates and have you been following your ex team through the years? They moved up to the Beko BBL in 2010 and have stayed.
Yeah it has been a while since the Bayreuth days. The only player I consistently stay in touch with is Jaivon Harris. We always have been close. I consider him a brother. But I have kept in contact with other players from time to time. I have a lot of great memories from Bayreuth. I still keep up with them. I hope they can move up the table even more next season.
Now that you are 30, do you have to work even harder in the off season to keep your body flowing? How does a normal summer work out day look like for Dan Oppland?
Yeah I try to work as hard as possible. Although I probably rest my body more than I used to being that I am older now. a normal summer workout day consists of shooting with mike for at least an hour, and weight training or some type of cardio training whether it is running, swimming, biking, etc. We usually do a two a day almost everyday. and we have incorporated more yoga into our workouts for flexibility. I never thought I would be doing yoga, but I love it.
Austria isn´t so much different than Germany, but there are its differences. What have you missed about Germany the last years?
I have probably missed the beer the most if you want me to be honest. There is no better beer in the world in my opinion.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was inception.
Thanks Dan for the chat.