Janic Staiger is a 18 year old 180 cm point guard playing for German NBBL team Urspring. He started his basketball career at TSG Soeflingen and then went to Urspring. Last season he was a NBBL finalist. He talked to German Hoops in Frankfurt after an Urspring loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Janic thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 67-60 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. What were the main reasons for the loss?
It is very hard to pin point it exactly after the game, but Frankfurt played very well. We never were able to get into the game. Whenever we came back they had the right answers with big shots. We got into foul problems early and they dominated the boards.
Urspring has dominated the NBBL south west. What is the secret of the success of the team?
We are like a family. We spend a lot of time together off the court and our togetherness of the court translates to success on the court.
Eintracht Frankfurt is a very good defensive teams and have held teams in the NBBL to under 50 points 11 times. Is there any weakness with this club?
If there was one weakness that I had to mention then it would be their transition defense, but other than that they are a great team. We have to keep working hard to become better.
Mahir Agva and Niklas Kiel are the stars of both teams. Who does Kiel remind you of and what do you like about his game?
Every player has their own style. I like his game a lot. He has a big future and is a nice guy. I have a good relationship with him.
What kind of team does Urspring become when Mahir Agva isn´t playing? Sometimes he has to play for Erdgas Ehingen in the German pro A?
We are still a good team when he isn´t on the court. When that is the case we have many other guys that can step up like a Marko Sarac who take on a bigger role.
Do you feel that Urspring and Eintracht Frankfurt will be teams that will be in the NBBL Top 4?
I think that both teams have good chances to reach the Top 4. We want to win this year. We still have a long way to go, but will continue to keep working hard.
How much is the 2014 NBBL loss still lingering in the minds of the players? Is this years team better than last years team?
That is hard to say. We lost guys from last year and got new players this season. We know what we achieved last season and want to take the next step this year and win it all. We are very focused during practice and games and are working hard to reach that goal.
You have been with Urspring since a small kid. What does it mean to play for the best German basketball academy?
It has an honor to play for the Urspring academy. My brother played here as well other great players like Kevin Bright, Maurice Stuckey or Nicolai Simon. After seeing how far my brother has gone as a player, I want to keep working hard and become better.
You recently turned 18. How have you seen your game develop in the last two years
I have worked on my shot the last two years as well as my defense and off ball defense
How is your relationship to head coach Dominek Reinboth? How has he helped develop your game this season?
I have a good relationship with him. He has taught every player on the team something. He helped me improve my shot.
Do you feel much pressure being the brother of Lucca Staiger? Is there ever a day where somebody doesn´t ask you something about him?
I am often not called Janic but the brother of Lucca Staiger. But that is ok, because I am proud that he is my brother and what he has achieved. I know that I need to make my own name and I am on my way of doing that.
How is your relationship with your brother and how as a brother has he helped you most with the game of basketball?
I have a great relationship with him. We talk each day and he gives me tips. He called me before the game in Frankfurt and told me stay cool and play my game.
He is a shooting guard and you are a point guard. What chose you to be more a creater instead of a sniper?
My size. I am 180cm and he is 196cm. I knew when I was 14 that I would be a point guard.
Would you define yourself more as a classic point guard or something in between?
I am a combo guard, but when I am playing the point I score and set up my teammates.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
My passion. I am always hustling and playing with heart.
When you were living in Berlin you used to try to get tips form the games of Heiko Schaffartzik and Taylor Rochestie. What did you especially like about the game of Dashaun Wood?
I saw many practices of Alba Berlin. I liked how Wood used his speed and eye on the court. He was also a great defender and just the complete player.
You are 18 now and what plans do you have for the future? Is the NCAA and option for you or
I am thinking about college. Lucca has told me much about his time in the States and it was a good experience for him. I know that there is a different culture there, but I think that doing that would be good for me. I will finish school next season and play one more season of NBBL and then see what I will do
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Maximillian Eisele?
It goes back and forth.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Remember the Titans.
Thanks Janic for the chat.