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 season in 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 74-68 win against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen.
Alex thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the 74-68 win against Essen at home. You had been in the Lanxess arena before seeing the German national team battle France. What kind of a feeling is it lacing it up in this huge arena?
Its definitely a special feeling. I think our organization does a good job converting the giant arena into a space that fits us well. It’s the perfect venue to get people interested in basketball again in Cologne. I’m really looking forward to playing there again.
After two loses in a row how much urgency did you feel was present within the team to get this win?
There was no panicking, but we all agreed that we could be and needed to be better in order to win. Even after yesterday’s win, we still feel like we can get better. I know we’re going to get there and I’m glad we were able to bounce back from those two losses.
It was another very tight game where Cologne came up big at the end as the winner. Is the team still getting used to winning these type of games or do you feel that it is slowly becoming a positive habit?
We have confidence in making winning plays at the end of the game, but we definitely don’t want to make a habit of keeping the game so close. In all of our wins, we should have sealed up the win earlier. Good teams don’t let their opponent back in the game after they’re ahead. We’re still working towards that.
Essen stayed very feisty in the fourth never allowing you to fully get away. They cut it down to two points with a minute to play. What was giving the team the biggest difficulty at that point not to be in a more comfortable setting score wise?
I think we stopped executing our offense well and starting trying to make plays on our own. The game got pretty sloppy in the fourth and they were able to take advantage of that. We need to be more detailed throughout the stretch.
In the last minute free throws, a technical foul and Aaron Jones bucket sealed the win. One never really talks about it but honestly how vital is it to never forget to get in some extra time after practice working on free throws?
Coach Woltmann has us shoot a lot of free throws during practice, so he definitely understands how important it is. Lots of games are won or lost at the free throw line, so its an aspect of the game that deserves extra attention.
Do you feel a little lucky with getting the win because the team shot only 52% from the free throw line?
We earned the win, but we also left some points on the table by shooting poorly from the line. I think it goes back to being more detailed. Making free throws puts teams away and we didn’t do that last night.
I know I have stressed this over and over about how needed the scoring input is from the four Americans, but tonight German Tim Van Der Velde stepped up and scored 10 points. Do you sense that the young Germans are becoming more comfortable from game to game with their roles and scoring punch ability?
Tim was huge for us last night. He’s played a starting role in past seasons so I wasn’t surprised that he stepped up when we needed him. Leon Baeck and Lenny Steffen have also been contributing off the bench. We also had two of our youngest players, Leon Okapara and Antonio Pilipovic, make plays. They’re all good players and I think their confidence will continue to grow as the season continues.
How more valuable is German Jonathan Malu becoming who supplied big man versatility with seven points, seven boards and two assists?
Jonny has been playing great and really helps our team. He’s super strong and nightmare for me in practice, so I imagine opposing bigs aren’t very excited when he checks in.
Before the two loses you had a three game winning streak where you won each game by a close margin. What did the team get away from in that two game losing streak?
Those losses exposed our weaknesses as a team that we need to improve. I really hate losing, but also think that it can make you better if you learn from it.
You had a solid offensive game, but I am sure your still not happy with your overall shooting percentage, but you had three steals. Personally how much can a good defensive performance outweigh an average offense game for you?
I want to be a complete player and that means being good on both ends of the floor. I won’t make every shot, but there’s no excuse for playing bad defense. Plus no matter how many points you score, you won’t help your team win if you give them back up on defense.
How did you experience your first Halloween in Germany? What will always remain your Halloween highlight as a kid?
I was excited to see that Germany has embraced Halloween, because its one of my favorite holidays. My best Halloween memory was when I dressed up as Luke Skywalker and ran into Darth Vader while trick-or-treating. We had a full-on lightsaber battle and it was awesome.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Me Earl and the Dying Girl.
Thanks Alex for the chat.