Moses Ehambe is a 28 year old 198cm swing man from Arlington, Texas that now resides in Minnesota and is playing his seventh professional season and first in Germany with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He started his basketball career in 2004 with ORU(NCAA) and as a senior played 11.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3Pts: 40.6%, FT: 86.0%. In 2008 he started his professional basketball career with the Tulsa 66ers (D-League) where he played until 2010. In 2010-2011 he played for Aquas De Sousas Club Ourense Balonceto (Spain-LEB Gold): 16 games: 9.6ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 38.2%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 91.3%; left in Dec.’10, in Feb.’11 moved to Austin Toros (D-League, starting five): 9 games: 10.8ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 23.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 84.6%; in Mar.’11 signed at Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 17 games: 14.5ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 46.3%, FT: 91.7%. IN the 2011-2012 season he had breathed NBA air with the New Orleans Hornets (NBA), then moved to Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 48 games: 12.9ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 43.9%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 84.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa, starting five): 34 games: 7.4ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 36.0%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 92.6%. Last season he played for the Iowa Energy (D-League) 52 games: 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 41.8%, FT: 82.6%. Currently for Bremerhaven he is averaging 13,7ppg, 3,8rpg and 3,2apg while shooting 45% from outside. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.
Moses thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are playing your first season in Germany with Bremerhaven. What kind of experience has it been for you?
It has been an amazing experience for me and my family. I didn´t expect the BBL to be so professional and competitive. I like how there are so many teams with different styles of play. It is never easy getting the right guys on a team, but my Bremerhaven teammates have been phenomenal which makes the experience as a player even better. My family loves Bremerhaven and my kids are learning German.
Coming from Arlington, Texas, how refreshing is it to be living by a body of water. Do you often visit the water?
We live in Minnesota which is the State of 10,000 lakes. In the summer we like to visit the lakes. We haven´t been able to live by a body of water since my time in Spain with Joventud. Bremerhaven has a different climate and atmosphere, but it has been great.
In Europe you only have played in another country with Spain and five years in the D-league. Was that NBA dream always in the back of your mind and is that why you continued to go back each season?
My goal and passion is to get to the NBA. I´ll continue to dream and work of reaching the NBA. The D-league is one route of reaching the NBA and at times faster than going the European route. My family and I decided that going the European route would be good. I feel that I have grown as a player and became more complete and just elevated my game on offense and defense.
It hasn´t been an easy season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. The team was near the bottom of the standings for much of the season. It is hard to believe that such a strong roster of players would have so little success. Can you pinpoint what the problems were?
To this day I don´t really know where to pinpoint the problems. We had high hopes coming into the season, but quickly had a tough patch where we lost many close games. We didn´t lose that many games with high margins. I feel as of late that we have found our niche and have won two games in a row the first time this season. It has been cool and we want to build off it. It is a shame what has happened in Trier with guys not getting paid. I feel for them as they have families. The Trier thing got us bumped up and we want to continue fight and get as high as we can.
Was that hard authority figure missing in Calvin Oldham in tough situations during the season?
I don´t think his authority was missing during the season. Coach Cal is a great coach. He brought me here and his confidence that he had in me has elevated my game this season. He has flaws just like us players. I have a lot to be thankful for his time coaching me.
With Muli Katzurin the team has a very strict and hardnosed defensive minded head coach. How has the team gotten better his guidance?
Coach Katzurin has made us better. He is a leader and is a preacher on defense. He has done a great job and made it fun to go out and defend hard and want to keep teams from scoring much.
You have been one of the few consistent players on the team. How happy have you been with your play and what part of your game really improved this season?
I think that I have improved in many areas like rebounding, defense and the one dribble pull up. Especially being a good defender is important to me as if you don´t defend well than you shouldn´t be on the floor. I am trying to be the best defender that I can be and with having success it has given me confidence to do well in other areas of my game. I did have some bad games this season, but every game played is in the past. I only focus on the next game and try to get better.
You have an outstanding long-range shooter; considered by some as one of the best shooters in the world. His quick release and footwork are at a very high level. At 6’6″ 215 pounds he possesses great size, strength, and athleticism. He is very aggressive 1on1 and will help any team with his passion. Has extensive knowledge for the game and shows potential of being a great defender through his quickness, speed, and tired-less work ethic. However if you had to choose a part of your game a hidden talent that doesn´t always get recognized on the court what would you choose?
A hidden strength is my defense. I have been in a box my whole career being known as being primarily a shooter. It wasn´t until I got to Bremerhaven where my defense got noticed by coach Calvin Oldham. Coach Cal put so much confidence in my defense and helped me believe that I can be a good defender. He kept pushing me telling me I am quick and can defend. I am very thankful that coach Cal saw this quality and motivated me to work even harder at this aspect of my game.
How has English player Myles Hesson developed throughout the season? He seems to have a new role under Katzurin?
Hesson has been great for us. He is so skilled and talented. He produces in all stats and helps us in so many ways. He is our best player at drawing fouls. He is a great guy and so humble.
After a long draining D-league season with Iowa, you don´t seem to get enough of basketball even as you get older. You recently played with Guaiqueries de Margarita (Venezuela-LPB). Is playing during the summer a sort of change of pace from the at times boring summer work outs that a player tends to have?
We decided last summer to do something different and went to Venezuela. One spends so much time in the gym in the summer that after a while one can only take so much. Going to Venezuela was a nice change. We met nice people and I played well. It was a great experience and we might do it again this summer.
In your eurobasket.com profile it says that you are one of the best shooters in the world. I don´t know who wrote this, but is this something that you have heard before?
I have heard that before, but it isn´t about what you hear, but what you believe. It means a lot to me when I hear something like that. It makes me feel good knowing people appreciate what I do after spending countless hours in the gym perfecting my craft.
From 2005-2012, you shot 40% or better wherever you played as a season total from outside. That is mind boggling. Is your consistent season shooting more an attribute to relentless practice or were you also born with the shooting touch and mentality?
It comes from the grace of God and I am blessed to have the skill to shoot. My whole family could shoot. Even my little son can shoot. His form and follow through is crazy.
You have played at NBA Summer Leagues, had NBA work outs and played extensive D-League. NBA heads have seen you play so much. Why do you think that you haven´t been called up to an NBA team yet?
When I was cut from the New Orleans Hornets training camp, head coach Monty Williams told me that I had a gift shooting and that many can´t do it. He told me that now I needed to show the world that I can play basketball. I feel that this season I have shown that I can do more besides just shooting with rebounding, passing it in the post or penetrating and kicking. I am a complete player now instead of a stand still shooter. Who knows what will happen now. Maybe the NBA will take notice?
When you play against a guy like ex NBA player Deandre Liggins who is a defensive specialist in practice, do you sometimes think about how realistic the NBA could be for you if you just had that luck and chance to prove yourself?
Yes I think of that a lot. Getting to the NBA has to do with having an opportunity and showing what you can do on the court. It depends on who you know and what spot is open. I believe that I will get to the NBA and it just depends on the timing. It is great that Liggins is on the team. The funny thing is that we were both in the D-league when he won best defensive player there. When I heard he won that I couldn´t believe it, because on the scouting report it said he was a scorer. However now that he is on the team, I have seen exactly what he brings to the table on defense. I know now why he won best defensive player in the D-league that season. I am always asking him questions why he did something on the court or how to do it better on defense. He has made me a better player on defense and put the NBA and me in perspective. Before coming to Germany we did research and one of the reasons why I came was because we knew that reaching the NBA is possible playing in the BBL. Guys like Brian Roberts and Chris Copeland played here and made it to the NBA and have stuck. Knowing this makes me keep working and hoping that it can happen.
Two seasons ago you played together with ex Beko BBL player Tony Gaffney at FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa). Gaffney is a great story teller. What was your fondest memory with him on and off the court?
Gaffney was a great guy. We spent much time together during the season in Spain and still talk to this day. He had many NBA stories from his Celtic and Laker days. I remember him telling me that when he was on the bus that he would have to get the Mcdonalds orders of all his teammates and then go and get it. He had to memorize every order and if it wasn´t right then something would happen to him. Another time he told Rajon Rondo that he liked his Louis Vuitton bag and Rondo said “you like this bag rook” and the next day that exact same bag was waiting before his hotel door. He also said that each player would give their 200-300 daily meal money to him as a kind of thanks just for him always being a good sport and doing so many chores for the players. Another time he said he was In Las Vegas and Kobe Bryant asked him if he wanted to join in and put in some money, but he declined. Bryant gave him something like 25,000$ to blow, but Tony didn´t and rather kept it for himself.
In the 10-11 season you helped the Iowa Energy win the D-League title. How much worth and difficult is it winning a D- League title considering the vast fluctuation of players during a season. What made this team so special?
A big reason for the success had to do with our then head coach Nick Nurse who is coaching the Toronto Raptors. He never lost confidence in his team despite players coming and going and injuries. The team remained the same no matter what was happening. We knew that we could do what we wanted because he had so much confidence in us. We arrived in the playoffs as a seventh seed and knew we could win and did.
At ORU, you had Scot Sutton as head coach from 2004-2008 who is still active there. How did he prepare you best for a long professional basketball career. What words of wisdom form him has helped you most have a solid and consistent career after ORU?
The most important thing that coach Sutton taught me was to be tough. He always stayed on my butt and helped me with the little things. He was a great molder of man. ORU changed my life athletically and spiritually. Having that relationship with Christ mixed in with a great coaching staff and teammates made my experience there so much greater. Sutton was a phenomenal guy and coach. We reached the NCAA tournament three years in a row under him. It was an overall great experience for me.
Who was the toughest player that you had to play against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
George Hill. He was a hard worker always getting in the passing lanes and just being pesky the whole time. He always got on your nerves.
What were the most three pointers that you hit in a row without missing?
This season after practice I shoot 10 shots from 10 different spots and I can´t move to the next spot until I hit all 10 shots. My best this season has been going four spots and four shots which makes 44 in a row.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Unbreakable that was produced by Angelina Jolie. It was a great movie.
Thanks Moses for the chat.