Clevin Hannah is a 28 year old 179cm guard from Holly Springs playing his sixth professional season and second in Spain and first season with Bilbao Basket (Spain-Liga Endesa). He started his basketball career at Paris JC (NJCAA) and Chipola JC (NJCAA). He then played his last two college years at Wichita St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 32 games: 12.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 90.4%. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 with BC Perla Harghitei Miercurea Ciuc (Romania-Div.A) playing 23 games: Score-2(21.2ppg), 3.1rpg, Assists-3(6.2apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT-3(47.6%), FT: 86.3%. In the 2011-2012 season he played with Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 44 games: 18.3ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-4(4.5apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT-1(46.8%), FT: 89.0%. KIN the 2012-2013 season he played for ALM Evreux Basket (France-ProB) playing 39 games: 16.8ppg, 2.9rpg, 5.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 47.2%, FT: 88.5%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Sluc Nancy Basket Pro (France-ProA): 38 games: 10.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 82.5%. Last season he played for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa): 35 games: 10.2ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 85.7%. He spoke to German Hoops in Ulm the night before the Euro Cup game against ratiopharm Ulm.
Clevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2016 has come. What new year resolutions have you made as Clevin Hannah the player and person?
As a player I want to win more games and focus on the small things that help win games and get back on track and win games. As a person I want to be a great father and be a better one.
Just like in Germany, you had to play over Christmas and New Years in the Spanish Endesa league. Was there any difference to celebrating the holidays in Badalona last year and in Bilbao this year?
There was no major difference from last year. I was with my family. We did a day trip to Madrid as my family had never been there and checked out the sights and some stores.
Currently Bilbao is in eighth place with a record of 6-8. The last time we spoke the team was off to a good start in the Spanish league at 3-1, but since then have been very up and down. Why hasn´t the team found a consistent basis yet?
We have to focus on the small things and have the right spirit and chemistry to win games. I think that if we can do these things we will be a better team in 2016.
The last 5 loses were all pretty tight games that you couldn´t win. What is missing from the team for it to be a better crunch time team?
There are a number of things that we can do better in crunch time that will help us be more successful. We need to figure out where the ball is at the moment, what player needs to have the ball and which not. The most important thing for crunch time success is too focus on our roles more.
The team is giving up too many points on defense with 80 per game, but have improved in the last three games giving up only 70 points per game. What has changed on the defensive end?
We have focused practicing harder on the defensive end. We have shown more intensity in the last games that has transitioned over into the games. This intensity really has helped us.
Is that defensive presence and energy missing down low with the departure of Shawn James?
Yes it is missing. He was a big part of our defense. He was able to alter a lot of shots and helped our perimeter defense. Everyone needs to help now and it starts with playing better 1-1 defense, because we don´t have that big body inside.
With Dairis Bertans, Alex Mumbru and yourself the team has three guys that score in double figures, but is that potential fourth consistent scorer and crunch time force missing? Maybe a Alex Ruoff could be that guy?
I feel that it is a team thing and we shouldn´t really focus on that one guy. But it would help us if Alex Ruoff got going, but we need to get him better looks. When he gets going, we will be a totally different team.
This is your third time in Germany this season after playing Eurocup in Oldenburg and Bonn. Now you are in Ulm. Are you slowly becoming an expert on the German playoff teams?
You could say that. I am learning a little bit more each time I return here. Oldenburg and Bonn were good teams and I saw nice atmospheres in both arenas and the fan support was nice. I enjoy coming to play in Germany.
Once again Bilbao has two German teams with ratiopharm Ulm and FC Bayern Munich and Turkish team Banvit. What expectations do you have going into this round and what will be key for advancing?
Our expectations are to be number one and we are working hard every day to win each game. Key for having success in this group will be being on the same page and being together as a team on each possession.
Bilbao has the height advantage over ratiopharm Ulm. How key will it be establishing the post early on and finding consistency?
It will be key getting our big guys involved early. But most important will be too get each guy involved. Ulm has a very strong all around team and it´s tough to play there. We need 100% from each guy to go home with a win.
You obviously play against the top point guards in Spain, but have to be prepared each week in Europe Cup for new players as well. What do you know about German national player Per Guenther and can you contain his quickness?
He is a very good player and exceptional leader for his team. I can match his quickness and it will be a big challenge to play against him, but I am up for it.
You recently had a dry spell from outside being 0/8 against FC Barcelona and your ex team Joventut and put up the big goose egg against the latter. Did this stretch preoccupy your time much going into 2016?
It was a tough situation and it was on my mind, but soon after the game, I focus on the next game and don´t let it linger on and don´t dwell on it any longer. I went back into the gym and got shots off and had a better game last weekend.
Despite losing a close 67-64 against Tenerife on January 3rd, you found your stroke again from downtown going 3/7. Is shooting sometimes like playing the lottery?
Shooting is like playing the lottery. You can´t control hitting or missing a shot, but taking the best shot possible. I just dwell on other things like playing good defense and as a point guard getting everyone else involved. If I make shots than it is great for the team and an added bonus.
You really have picked it up on the defensive end in December getting 13 steals in the last 5 Endesa games. What can you contribute to this rise in your game?
I have been extra focused on the defensive end and more than earlier and that may be why I have been shooting bad for that period. I want to contribute as much as possible on the defensive end and help my team as much while not worrying as much about scoring and assists.
You sometimes come from the bench. Does it give you an advantage watching the flow of the game and already getting a feeling of how the game is going?
Coming from the bench is helpful, because you can see the flow of the game in the first few minutes and see what you can change and how to help your team best. It is definitely an advantage to come from the bench.
You may not have scored against your ex team Badalona, but you won the game. What was it like playing against teammate Demond Mallet? What continues to amaze you about his play at age 37?
He is such a good payer and leader and I watch his game and do the little things necessary to win games. He told me after the game that I won and it didn´t matter that I didn´t score. All wha they care about is winning and that advice really helped me.
Your ex teammate Toure Murry is playing for the Texas Legends (D-League) averaging 14/6/6. Do you see him fitting into the Washington Wizards rotation this season?
It is possible. I think that the Wizards is a great fit for him. He could really help off the bench as a third point guard and maybe he could stick on.
Do you see Steph Curry hitting for 70 points this season?
I can´t say he will. He is such a team player and so unselfish. He can hit 50 though.
Have you seen the new Star Wars? What was your impression?
I haven´t seen it yet, but heard it was a classic movie. I will try to check it out
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie that I saw was Unbroken. It was a really good movie to watch.
Thanks Clevin for the chat.