Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his fourth professional season in Germany and second 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 in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. Last season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
Elijah thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 75-71 loss to Wurzburg last weekend. Lich played a lot of catch up basketball. Did time and energy run out at the end?
Thanks for the interview Miles. We did not play to our potential this past Saturday. We started the game flat and had to fight our way back to give us a chance at the end.
A stat that one couldn´t oversee was the dominating rebound stats of 55-36 in favor of Wurzburg. Was this one of the key´s overall for Wurzburg seeming to have control of the game?
Wurzburg gave great energy and effort throughout the entire game and it seemed they got every 50/50 ball. I am looking forward to playing them again later on in the season.
One doesn´t see it often in Germany, but Wurzburg competes without an Import player. How refreshing is that to see for you?
I think it can be great for the developpment of the players. Giving players more minutes to get better and learn from their mistakes will do nothing but help the players grow for the future.
Does their style differ from other Teams in that they play all German?
Playing Wurzburg can be difficult because you don’t just focus on stopping one or two players. They play as a team and I really think they are better than what their record states. I won’t be surprised to see them win a few more games in the future.
What was your impression of German Max Ugrai that also plays for the Beko BBL club. Do you see him being a solid BBL player in the future?
This is my second season in having the opportunity to play against Max Ugrai. He is a nice player with good size and IQ. He has improved his game a lot within a year. Being able to get some minutes in the BBL and solid minutes in Pro B is great for his developmeent. The future is bright him and I wish him the best.
Lich is a better team than their record shows isn´t it?
It has three wins only, but were close with Wurzburg, Leipzig and Weissenhorn. I believe we are much better than what our record shows. We have shown glimpses of what we are capable of but have not yet put it all together. We have a good mix of veterans and youth. It has been a growing process for all of us but I am confident we will make a strong playoff push.
Besides rebounding is defense the biggest building block as the team gives up 80 points per game. What needs to improve in this area?
I think defense should be our focus. When we play well on defense it transitions well on offense. The main thing we need to focus on is bringing the energy and effort every day to practice and games. If we focus on that we will be more successful.
The team has won two of it´s last three games. Do you see it being able to win a few more games before the Christmas break to get higher in the standings?
The next two games against Speyer and Ehingen are must wins for us if we want to put ourselfs in a decent position for the playoff push. Coming away with the next two wins before break would be really great for the club.
The next game is against Speyer the door mat of the league. And last season you scored 19 and 20 points against them in the playdowns. What will be key in getting the win?
Against Speyer we need to not focus on how many wins they have. They are not a bad team and have some really solid pieces. In Pro B I feel any team can beat any team on any given night. Our focus will simply be to bring the energy and effort that we are capable of.
How much of a joy has it been playing with Lamar Mallory? What makes his game so special for being an undersized big man?
It has been fun having another Ohio guy on the team. Lamar is not your typical 4 or 5 man. He has a 3 man body but is athletic enough to play the 4 and 5 position. He runs the floor well and plays really good above the rim. I think his favorite thing to do in life is dunk because I don’t see him often take layups.
How important has Nil Angelats been for the success of the team? The Spaniard is still young and has played 2 Endesa games, but mostly in the fifth league EBA in Spain. He has never had as high an assist rate as with Lich.
Nil has been a huge success for the team. Without him we would not be able to run any offense. He controls the game and is really good in the pick and roll. I expect him to have a few more big scoring games as the season goes along.
A guy I saw play last season a bit was German Jan Moritz Overdick. How much potential does he have in your eyes?
Moritz has the perfect height and tools for a stretch 4 man. What I like about Moritz the most is he is a confident player and willing to work hard. He has great upside and its exciting to see his progress.
You are playing your second season in Lich. What exactly is your role this season?
My role with our team is to just bring energy and be a leader. We have a lot of youth on our team so its important the way that I carry myself on and off the court.
Your stats are about the same as last season but your assists are up. Have you become more of a creator this season?
Coach has put the confidence in me to be more aggressive and try to make plays for my teammates. I just want to make the right play at the right time.
At NW Missouri State and the Giessen Pointers you were always a big scorer, but with Lich always hovered around 10,0ppg. Can you be a big scorer in the Pro B?
My situation has been a bit different than your average import in Pro B. I have always been the 3rd import because I am pushing to get my German Passport and I will be recieving it this December. I believe as the season goes along I will have a few more higher scoring games.
How important has Joan Rallo Fernandez been for your game. How has his Spanish influence helped your game develop further?
Joan has helped me grow a lot as a player on and off the court. He always pulls me aside after practice to explain different ways I can better myself. I am very thankful for him and respect him as a person a lot.
How much do you miss Jermale Jones on and off the court? Do you see him returning back to Germany next season?
I miss playing with Jermale Jones a lot. It seems a bit weird without having him around. We have been around each other the past 3 years. I hope he gets an opportunity to come back because teams will not regret it. The kid can flat out play.
Did you ever hear about the Marian Schick airplane story? He made it into Germany´s most read newspaper Bild citing a crack in the window during the flight. Would you feel safe on a plane with him? Check the link http://www.bild.de/news/leserreporter/boeing-787/fensterscheibe-bekommt-risse-im-boeing-dreamliner-28090158.bild.html
I have not heard of this story but it doesn’t surpise me one bit. Marian always has something interesting going on!
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Lamar Mallory?
I think I would come away with the win in a close one.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Do you ever see him being mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
To me Lebron is the best and most gifted player of this generation. Its truly amazing seeing him play and even better in person. I don’t think its fair to compare players in different generations.
What is your fondest childhood memory during Thanksgiving? Is their a specific food or football game in past years that stands out?
I sure do miss my Aunt Joann’s southern cooking. Every Thanksgiving all the family goes to her house and we eat and celebrate. Great memories!
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Elijah fort he chat