SkylerBowlin is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Paragould, Arkansas playing his fifth professional season and first with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). H eplayed the last three seasons with Horsens IC (Denmark-Ligaen) winning the league title and cup and last season played 39 games averaging 16.0ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-2(6.3apg), Steals-2(2.4spg), FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 45.5%, FT: 83.2%. As a rookie he played for BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Pro A) playing 28 games: 12.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 80.5% and then played with Ringwood Hawks (Australia-ABA): 18 games: 18.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.7apg, 2.8spg, 2FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 80.5%. He started his basketball career with Missouri So. (NCAA2) in 2007 until 2011 playing atotal of 118 games and as a senior played 31 games: 18.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 5.7apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Europe Cup game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Skyler thanks for talking toGerman Hoops After playing 2 seasons in Denmark for Horsens IC, your now playing your first season for the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). As a American are you able to notice distinct differences in the two languages?
No problem, Miles. I can actually hear a big difference in Swedish and Danish. While in Denmark, I was able to pick up quite a bit of Danish so when I came to Sweden I realized the dialects are very different. I can pick up on a few Swedish words though.
You are playing your first season with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). Is the skill level similar to what you saw in Denmark or is the Swedish league stronger?
From what I have seen so far, the Swedish league as a whole is better than the Danish league. The top 2 or 3 teams in Denmark would do well in the Swedish league, but the depth of the Swedish league is better than the Danish league for sure.
Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) started the season strong with a 10-0 record and like the Fraport Skyliners are used to winning as of late as they have a 13 game winning streak. What has been your biggest winning streak in any kind of organized basketball for you?
I think it was around 17 or 18 in high school. Last year in Denmark it was around 15 also I believe.
The defense has been so potent early on as it is giving up an average of 65 points per game and except for giving up 80 points against LF Basket why has it been so consistent?
Our defense has been the key to our success. Each game we are very well prepared by our coaches and have a great game plan ready for each team.
On offense the team averages 82 points in the Swedish league and have 5 players averaging double figures in scoring. How big has the team unselfishness been and how do you explain it being there so early?
Our team is extremely unselfish. Our offense is not geared around one person so each night it could be any of our guys that carry us on the offensive end. We just have a great group of guys on this team. We all get along great on and off the court and I think it shows while we are playing.
In the Fiba Europe Cup the team is averaging only 24 rebounds per game. Has the inside game been somewhat been exploited by the opponents?
Our rebounding has been a bit of a problem at times, but its something that we are all working on. Our bigs have done a great job fighting each game, but rebounding has to be by all 5 guys on the court so I think that is something we all have to focus on in the next round.
The Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) lost the first two games in Europecup, but qualified to the next group with a 3-4 record. How thankful are you that the team was able to advance?
Advancing was obviously a huge accomplishment for us and for Swedish basketball. We know that we are a team that can compete with anyone if we are all locked in and doing our jobs. We beat each team in our group and showed to the European basketball world that we are a serious team.
Now in the next group you face tough teams from Turkey, Germany and Poland and Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) are the underdogs. Do you think you will have an advantage as nobody is expecting that much from you?
I believe that from now on, each team we play wont underestimate us. Each game is extremely important so I think every team will be focused in and not overlooking us.
The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners who are the hottest basketball team in Germany now? They have amazing team chemistry, play stellar defense and won their Fiba Europe group 6-0. What will be key to stealing the first game in Germany?
From what I have seen they are a well balanced team that has a lot of weapons. On our end we just have to lock in defensively and really control the tempo of the game.
How raw is player Chris Czerapowicz? He has improved his play from his rookie season with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). What do you like most about his game and how does he help the team most?
I wouldnt consider Chris a raw player at all. He is extremely skilled in my opinion. Chris is a big time shooter and scorer and can beat the defense inside or outside. We know we can count on him to get us a bucket if we need it.
Nicholas Spires is playing his first season with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) after playing many years in the FC Barcelona organization. Just how talented is this kid. What does he do very well at age 21 and how much potential does he have?
Nick is a big time talent. He can do a lot of things out on court. He has great hands, he can step out and shoot, and he moves very well. He is definitely a guy that I am happy to be playing with. He is gaining confidence with every game still and is going to be scary to go against by the end of season.
You were always in the top 5 in scoring in Denmark the last three seasons, but this season you have more guys that can score. Has it been a tough adjustment for you not being the number one scoring option?
I wouldnt say its been a tough adjustment. If anything it makes my job easier having other guys around me that can score and create. We play a different style of ball here in Sodertalje so it took me a bit to adjust to that, but I am very comfortable with everything now and am still learning new things from coach every day.
You are a point guard that can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I Think my ability to run a team and get other guys going is maybe something that may not get noticed unless youre around us quite a bit.
You take a lot of pride in your defense as you made MIAA All-Defensive Team -08, 09, 10, 11. Are you kind of the defensive energizer on this team this season?
I definitely take a lot of pride in my defense. I was taught growing up that if you cant play defense then you cant play at all so I have always tried to play hard on the defensive end.
In your third season in Denmark you won the double with Horsens. What made this team so special and was the team chemistry that had grown from the second season a big reason for the success?
We did have quite a few guys returning, but even the new guys that came to the team last season just fit perfectly into what we did. We all knew our roles and we all had one goal which was to win a championship.
Did Americans Keane Thomann and Eric Vigansky become like brothers to you over the last two seasons?
Keane and I were college teammates for 3 years as well so he and I have been close for a lot of years now. Erick is a guy that I consider a good friend not too. We spent a lot of time together and hes a guy I learned a lot from.
As a rookie you played in Germany for BG Leitershofen. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Germany where you knew that you were very far away from Arkansas?
I think my first real wake up call on court was playing against Bayern Munich in a couple pre season games. I was fresh out of college and had no clue what to expect. It was definitely an eye opening experience.
What memories do you have of being teammates with German Jan Lipke with BG Leitershofen? Was his dangerous penetrating something that you won´t forget?
I have some great memories with Jan. He and I were roommates for a bit so we got to become pretty close. We still keep in contact today. Jan could score in bunches so it was fun seeing him get on a roll scoring the ball.
You played at Missouri So. (NCAA2) from 2007-2011. You put up consistent stats all 4 years. When did you exactly know that you could have a professional basketball career after school?
I didn´t actually think about playing professionally until right before my senior season. Coming from a Division 2 school is not easy to make it over here so I was definitely excited when I was contacted by teams to come and play professionally.
When you were a senior, Jordan Talbert who is a rookie now in Germany was a freshman at Missouri So. What memories do you have off him and did you see his potential already then?
I have never seen a basketball player develop like Jordan has. His freshman year he was just a role player who picked up loose balls and played defense. Now he can do it all. I couldnt be more proud of him and what he has accomplished.
When you were a senior Jeff Boschee was a rookie as an assistant coach and now is in his first full season as a head coach. Was there anything you remember from that season that could could take with you as you commenced on your professional career?
Coach Boschee taught me a lot when he was my coach. He played professionally in Greece and Iceland so we talked quite a bit about what it was like playing over here.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Do you think that he will ever be mentioned in the same light as a Michael Jordan when all is said and done?
Lebron is an incredibly gifted player and whether people like him or not he has to be given the respect and props he deserves. I do think he will go down as one of the best to ever play the game once his career is over.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Beasts of No Nation.
Thanks Skyler for the chat.