Brandon Bowman is a 31 year old forward that was born in Beverly Hills, California and is playing his tenth professional season and his first with AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A,) He played at Georgetown(NCAA) from 2002-2006 playing a total of 125 games reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006 and played with future NBA players like Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert. In 2006 he turned professional and played in the D-League and in countries like Italy, Serbia, Israel, Bulgaria, Korea and New Zealand. He reached the 2009 beko BBL final with the Telekom Baskets Bonn and was New Zealand NBL Champion with the Pacific Jewellers Saints (New Zealand-NBL) in 2014. Last season he played with medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games: averaging 13.4ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 55.1%, 3FGP: 31.4%, FT: 72.8% and also played with Atenienses de Manati (Puerto Rico-BSN, starting five): 5 games: 13.6ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 62.2%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 58.8%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurocup game against the Fraport Skyliners
Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. After stops in Bonn, Vechta and Bayreuth, you moved to Cyprus this season. Would you have liked to have returned last season to Germany. Did you have offers?
No problem Miles. To be honest I had some offers, but nothing serious. I had switched my agent and teams weren´t really looking at me. I would have liked to have come back to Germany, but I would have taken a pay cut.
You have moved to AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A) What kind of experience has it been balling for this team this season?
It has been solid. I am living in a small country and it has good basketball. I know most imports that are playing in Cyprus. It is good to be in Germany playing Frankfurt again.
AEK currently is in first place with a record of 11-2 tied with Kervanos. What has been the secret to the success of the team?
We all get a long on and off the court. We have a very good coach that gets us prepared well mentally and physically. I came late to the team, but was accepted right away. We continue to try to get better and take the momentum of wins into the next games.
The club has 8 players 30 or older. How vital has the experience factor been for the team where you are right in the middle of it?
Our experience helps us to play and get out of difficult situations. It has paid off for us, because we have been able to come out of on top in tight situations. We also are able to come back quickly off mistakes. We show that we don´t panic when we get down 10 points and are able to pick up our defense and get back in the game.
In the last round of Europe Cup the team had a 3-3 record, but could easily have been 5-1. How bitter was losing the last 2 games by a combined total of 4 points?
The Varese loss was a hard pill to swallow. We were shorthanded on the road, but still played pretty well. They hit a big shot at the end. We had won the point differential.
Is AEK Larnaca a better team than what it´s record shows in Europe Cup play?
Yes for sure we are.
You have played international club basketball with teams Telekom Baskets Bonn, Le Mans and Lukoil Academik Sofia (Bulgaria-NBL) and now after 5 years absence back at it. What has been most thrilling about this experience now at age 31?
It is good to be back playing international club basketball. After I got hurt 4 years ago, I knew that I would get this chance again. I am thankful for the opportunity with Petrolina AEK Larnaca.
You played twice in Frankfurt winning your first contest with Bonn in 2008 and losing on the last play with Vechta. What memories do you have of both games?
I always liked playing in Frankfurt and liked the atmosphere. I remember when I played for Vechta, it took a while to find my rhythm when I joined the team and did in the loss in Frankfurt. I wish I could of won my last game there as well with medi Bayreuth. I always find my rhythm in Frankfurt.
What kind of series can we await between AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A) and the Fraport Skyliners? AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A) are the underdogs. Do you welcome this?
If you look at our team, we have a pretty good team despite our record. We know that Frankfurt have had a core of guys together for the last 2-3 years. I know how good they can be. They are the best team in Europe Cup and making a run in the BBL. They also have been one of the best defensive teams the last two years. I know that they won´t take us lightly. Coach Herbert will have them ready for us. I am looking forward to this series and it should be very interesting.
The Fraport Skyliners are the absolute best team in Europe Cup at 12-0. How motivated is the team to get that first win against them?
We are all very excited to play the best team in Europe Cup. We have the chance to go on their floor and win and then go home. We need to take advantage of the situation and take care of business.
What is your biggest strength at age 31 besides scoring and experience?
I am surrounded by players that all can play. That was lacking the last years. Now I am surrounded by many veterans that makes playing a lot of easier. We have many guys that can score, so scoring diminishes more for me. I don´t need to score as much and I can focus on other aspects of the game. I feel my rebounding has been growing as well as my decision making. Also I can help the younger guys develop. These are all things that are automatic when you grow older as a player.
Do you know anyone who is more in the gym than you? I remember calling you last summer when I was in Malibu to say hi and low and behold you were in Santa Monica in the gym.
I am sure there are some out there that are more in the gym than me. I feel that some of my teammates are in the gym as much as me. It was a contagious thing when I got here. We are all on the same wave length here.
With your gym rat habits do you see yourself playing many more years? If your skills don’t deteriorate than you definitely be in shape always to run the floor for 30 minutes.
I will try to play as long as I can until I can longer effect the game. You have to listen to your body, but I am not worried now at all. I think that I still have much game in front of me. I don’t want to look at the end of the tunnel. I still have many goals as a player.
How much was it a relief winning your first title in 2014 as a professional with Pacific Jewellers Saints (New Zealand-NBL). How did you savior that title?
I was actually in the gym the morning after we won. I savored this title, because it was my first and only one. At the same time I am very hungry and want more titles. My season with Bayreuth was disappointing last year and I am more than hungry to win one this season.
I hate to bring it up, but how often do you think about the game 5 71-70 loss to Bonn in the 2009 Beko BBl final? Oldenburg played with a 7 man rotation and Rickey Paulding and Je kel Foster combined for 35 points. If you had controlled those two Americans better you would have won.
Man your bringing up some negative experiences. When I look back at that game, we had a chance to win it. We were up 14 points and gave it up at the end. I still wonder if my career would have gone differently if I had won the title in 2009 with Bonn over Oldenburg. I then would have played Euroleague. I had some tough loses by a few points, but the Oldenburg loss really sticks out. It would have been epic if we had won. People only remember the winner and not the loser.
How would you characterize your ex teammate John Bowler as a player and person? The man with the slick old school moves and humorous sense of humour?
John Bowler was one of a kind. I only played one season with him, but I remember him and his wife being great. I had a lot of respect for him on and off the court. He always got the team going and was a big body that could hit the big shot. He always spoke well of everyone on the team. He was a great teammate and person. I am still close to EJ Rowland who is one of my best friends. I will be best man at his wedding this summer. I haven´t spoken to anyone else from that team since, but when we were together, we had epic times from the start to the end.
You played a few years in Israel. You always had good games against Euroleague powerhouse Macabbi tel Aviv. With your skill and consistent stats as a professional, did it upset you that you didn´t reach a Euroleague team?
It did. But at the Euroleague level, my position is more dominated by the big man. I play the four despite growing up playing the position 2-3. Some of the players I see now playing at the Euroleague level, I have to question. It is like in the NBA where it is all about who you know and having luck and being in the right place at the right time. I still hope to play at the Euroleague level one day and hope somebody notices my skills. I know that I won´t regret it. I was sitting at home this season and my coach took a chance on me. I really appreciate it.
You had your first experience in Europe with Ignis Draghi Novara (Italy-Lega2). What was your wake up call to being a rookie here where you knew that you were very far away from home in California?
My real professional wake up call came before I went to Europe. I was playing in the D-league. I was playing well and hearing that I might get called up by an NBA team. It didn´t happen. I didn´t want to play a second season in the D-league. I left to go to Europe despite playing well in the D-league. I was 22 and a grown man. I had to make a decision, because I wanted to get on my feet financially. That wasn´t going to happen in the D-league, because you play for peanuts there. In Italy, it really helped that I had a former high school teammate on the team. It made the whole transition easier when a good friend is there with you.
Twice you made it far in pre-season with the Nets and 76ers. Why do you feel did you not make these teams at those moments?
I actually had made the Philadelphia 76ers. I had called my college coach to tell the news. I had made the club as the last man on the roster. But then Allen Iverson came back and I was the odd man out. It wasn´t fair, but I understand why it happened. Iverson put in a lot of work and of course they would give him a chance. I needed to have more luck, but didn´t get it.
You had a very illustrious career with the Georgetown Hoyas from 2002-2006 reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. You lost to eventual winner Florida 57-53. What do you remember from this game most?
We were up 10 points with two minutes to go. We were up a lot that season and always lost the lead. Florida was only down once that season and it was against us. Joakim Noah was supposed to go to Georgetown, but he was told he would never be able to play at a high level so he went to Florida. That was my last game in college and that loss really hurt.
The 5 scorers who scored in double figures for Georgetown in the loss were future NBA players Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green and future BBL players Ashanti Cook, Jonathan Wallace and yourself. Could you have predicted that only those two would go to the NBA?
No I wouldn´t have predicted that. I thought that we had much NBA talent on the team. Cook and Wallace were younger and had more time to come back. We were all seniors. At that time the chances of older guys to get drafted were starting to get cut short. At that time the NBA was rather taking potential talent over real talent. I was living in an era when juniors and seniors weren´t getting the looks while younger guys were. Many of the younger guys that do get drafted often were out of the league by age 23-24.
How did head coach John Thompson groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
We played the Princeton offense where players really aren´t able to showcase their skills except for the center. It was a fixed system where the 5 man had freedom to showcase their skills and they flourished most. I did learn to read the defense better and became a better passer. I have learned to see things develop on the court before they happen. The back door cut is a lost art and something I learned at Georgetown that stuck with me.
Who was the fiercest battle that you left on the court in the NCAA that made the NBA?
I had many fierce battles at Georgetown. My freshman year it was all about Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony. He was really tough to guard. My second and third years it was Hakim Warrick. I always looked forward to guarding him. I always knew it would be a good battle. My senior year it was more about team and playing against rival Villanova. They played with four guards with Allan Ray, Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry and Curtis Sumpter. Those were always intense battles.
As an L.A guy and guy that probably knows Kobe where will he leave his mark in NBA history with the all-time best?
Kobe is top 5. I have seen him play since he was a rookie. I met him at 11. Now it´s 20 years later. I have followed his whole career. There was nobody that could do what he could except for Michael Jordan. He is the best offensive player that I ever saw. He could do it all
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie that I saw was Guardians of the Galaxy.
Thanks Brandon for the chat.