Alex Foster (RheinStars) Our Biggest Improvement Is How We’ve Come Together As A Team And I’ve Felt Our Trust In Each Other Growing

Alex Foster is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his professional rookie seasonin Germany with the RheinStars(Germany-ProA). He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to German Hoops after the RheinStars 3-0 start.

Congrats Alex on a double sweep this weekend beating Trier 80-76 and tonight Chemnitz on the road 73-69. Was this great start into the season something one could of anticipated coming out of the pre season into the regular season?

We had a challenging preseason and have gotten better every week, so I’m not surprised we’ve been successful early. I might not have guessed that we’d be 3-0, but I could feel our team starting to come together and expected us to have a chance to win once the regular season started.

What was the most difficult hurdle that the team had to do coming from the Trier game to the Chemnitz and only having 48 hours to recover and play again?

I think we were actually excited to get to play again so soon after Friday’s game. It’s a seven-hour trip from Cologne to Chemnitz and they had a packed house waiting for us. So it wasn’t easy, but it’s always a smoother ride home after getting a win.

The game was very tight in the second half, but the RheinStars always held the lead. What do you believe was key in crunch time for preserving the win?

Chemnitz kept making runs on us, but we never panicked and kept our cool. Every time they would get close, we would buckle down on defense and make enough shots to hang on to the lead.

How key was the lay up by German veteral Marin Petric with 32 seconds to play? It shows it doesn´t always have to be a Jackson or Downs to supply the fire power?

Huge! The play broke down and Marin was smart to attack the rim. I’m pretty sure he was just looking to get fouled, but he got the basket to go as well. Lakeem and Dave made their share of big plays too, but it took a whole-team effort to get that win. In crunch time, we all trust each other to make winning plays.

The RheinStars already have displayed a knack of having strong nerves early in the season. How much credit does the shaping of this belong to the veterans on the team?

Our veterans have been great and as a young player, I try to soak up everything they tell me. Even though Bernd Kruel has been out with an injury, he always shares some of his wisdom with me before a game. For a young team, we have a lot of experience. Even though many of us haven’t played in this league before, we have been in lots of big games and that experience goes a long way.

The team won both games by a combined score of only 8 points. How much credit goes to Arne Woltmann for keeping the team together in tight times?

Arne deserves most of the credit for bring this team together. He believes in us and pushes every player to play their best. He has strong principles and expects a lot from us, but at the end of the day, it’s very clear that he has our back. When the games on the line, there’s nothing more important than having a coach like Arne on your side.

In the first three games the big four of you, David Downs, Aaron Jones and Lakeem Jackson have combined for 179 points of the teams total 231 points. Everything is fine now but god forbid an injury or and off day by one or two players then the outcome may look different. How risky is this massive production coming from only four players?

In our first three games, there have already been times when other players have made big plays for us. For example, Lenny Steffen came off the bench today made three 3’s. We’ve got other guys too that are ready to step up when their number is called. I know that David, AJ, Keem, and I will continue to get better too. If we all can play our best at the same time, this team can be really good.

The RheinStars played some tough BBL teams in pre-season and now have come into their own in the Pro A. In what areas do you feel has the team made the biggest strides in the last two weeks?

Those BBL teams have a lot of talent and really tested us on both ends. We’ve definitely gotten better on both sides of the court since then, but I think our biggest improvement is how we’ve come together as a team. In the last two weeks, I’ve felt our trust in each other growing.

You are averaging 14ppg and 3rpg throughout your first three games. How satisfied have you been with your performance on the floor thus far?

Not at all satisfied. I know I can be a lot better and will continue work hard to get myself there.

What has been the most difficult adjustment now after three games in the Pro A coming from the NCAA3?

There’s definitely a lot more size and strength, so I have to adjust how I finish around the rim. I’ve gotten my shot blocked way more than I ever have before.

Derrick Rose is injured again. Is there a curse on this guy? How can a guy have so much misfortune and get injured so much?

I think it’s less of a curse and more of a change in how NBA teams deal with injuries. Teams are weighing the long term value of their players more when they establish their treatment/recovery time. It’s not a surprise to see Rose sitting out training camp to get healed up before the season tips.

What was the last movie that you saw?

13 Assassins.

Thanks Alex for the chat.

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