Elijah Allen is a 25 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his third professional season in Germany and first with Lich. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and last season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
You recently played your first time in the BCM in Frankfurt. Does a place like this make you jealous when you see what kind of practice facility players have?
Yes it makes me jealous. This is a beautiful gym. I was pleased to play my first time here.
The Licher Basket Baehren have been up and down this season. What has been missing for success?
I think that we haven’t gelled as a team yet. We are still learning to play as a team. We are starting to focus more on defense and not beings elfish. It seems like there is always a player injured each game. We have to all find our role and fit those missing pieces together.
You are playing your first season in Lich after two seasons in the German Regionaliga with 1900 Giessen Pointers. How do you like Lich?
Lich is a great organization. I have family and recently got married and wanted to stay close to Lich. I practiced last season with Giessen and the Lich coach was often there so it all fit together that I could play with Lich.
Your scoring from last season in the Regionaliga has been cut in half now in the German Pro B. What is the biggest difference from the Regionaliga to the Pro B?
The size of the players as they are bigger in the Pro B. I knew coming to Lich that my scoring would be cut down. I am the third American playing 18-20 minutes. I just do whatever it takes to help the team win. In some games it may be scoring while in other games my defense.
How much fun has it been playing with Jermale Jones?
I love to play with him. He can score in a variety of ways. I like how he always has the ball and I don’t always have to have the ball. He finds me on the penetration. I knew him form the last years because Lich often scrimmaged against us during the week.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed on the court?
I would say defense. I play out of position with Lich. I can play the position 2-4 and just adjust to whatever the team needs each game.
You are a very good rebounder at 195cm. What is your secret to getting rebounds often?
Boxing out and crashing the boards is my secret. Important for me before I get the rebound is just stopping my opponent from getting the rebound which means good boxing out.
Often players move up each year, but you played two straight seasons in the Regionaliga. How difficult was it for you not moving up after one season?
I had some offers after my first season, but I felt it was best for my situation to stay and it gave me something to play for each game.
Is the German Pro A your next goal?
Yes the Pro A is my next goal. I am working on getting a German passport. We will see what happens this summer and I also need to play a good season.
AS a rookie you played with Dominic Lockhart that is getting minutes for Beko BBL team EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Did you know he would go this route?
I always expected that he would make it. He may have been skinny then, but his size came. He really has become a good player. I really liked how he always wanted to get better and always asked me questions and how he could improve his game. He always stayed after practice to put up extra shots.
What was it like playing for Dejan Kostic in Giessen? It was your first Non American coach in Europe.
My first year was difficult since I had to make the adjustment to the country and style and the dialect. I didn´t know German and his English wasn´t great either, but it got better. But basketball is the same everywhere and it just depends on the different tactics of each coach.
You played at North West Missouri State with Deshaun Cooper. How much do you miss those duels with him?
I really miss playing with him. He isnt a shot first guard at all. It was always so hard to keep him in front of you as he was so fast. We played two years together and It is no surprise to me that he is playing so well for Herten.
How did Bob Mccallum prepare you best for s professional basketball career?
He taught me to always be tough on the court. He was big on sticking to the basics and was very old school. He didn’t like the flashy. It was A&B and nothing extra with him. When you watch Deshaun Cooper play you see exactly that on the court.
Why are so many amazing players bred in Ohio?
I think it has to do with the AAU circuit. It is so big and there are so many teams. You start at such a young age and keep playing against good players each weekend. I remember traveling to a different state each weekend with guys like Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale and Nate Miles.
Where will the journey of the Cleveland Cavaliers end this season?
It will take time with them as it did with the Heat. I think once the playoffs roll around they will come together. Chicago will win the east as they are more focused and have a deeper bench.
Was the 3.5 year ban of playing in Germany too harsh against Filmore Beck?
You have to always control your emotions. If you hit a guy then you will have to pay the penalty.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Planet of the Apes 2.
Thanks Elijah for the chat.