John Eggleston is a 26 year old 203cm power forward from Noblesville, Indiana that is playing his fourth year as a professional and first for the MLP Academics Heidelberg.He played at Pennsylvania (NCAA) from 2007-2011. He played a total of 125 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games: 13.2ppg, 8.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 73.5%. As a rookie or Leverkusen he played 23 games: 14.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 71.2%. Two seasons ago for Leverkusen he played 33 games: 15.3ppg, Reb-2(11.1rpg), 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 74.7%. Last season in the German Pro A for Leverkusen he played 20 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(9.0rpg), 3.9apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 80.9%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 78-57 win against the RheinStars.
Jack congrats on the 78-57 win against the RheinStars. Did you sense an urgency from the team to want this win after losing a nail bitter 80-76 at the start of the season?
I definitely feel like we approached this game with a sense of urgency. The close loss early in the season was a factor in that, but we’re also motivated by the desire to make a strong playoff push down the stretch here.
The Gladiators Trier played very good defense for three quarters, but let up 23 points in the second quarter. What annoyed you most during the halftime break thinking about how the team went from allowing 8 points in the first quarter to 23 in the second?
We were not pleased with the defense we played in the second quarter, but we still went into the half up seven points. If we go into the break with a lead at home, that’s always a good situation for us.
Was holding Alex Foster and Lakeem Jackson combined to 5 points half the rent to getting the win as the club relies on their production very much?
It was important for us to keep those two players in check over the course of the game. They both are key players to that team, and limiting their output was a big factor in our success.
How satisfying is it to know that even when not all parts of the offense is working steadily like the outside shooting that one can more often than not still get a win when one defends well?
Defense is something that we pride ourselves on as a team. I think tough pressure defense is a strong part of our group identity and we showed how effective we can be on that side of the ball.
How proud are of the team that they have been able to play so well the last weeks despite not having key piece Kwadzo Ahelegbe in the line up?
Whenever you are missing a key veteran presence like Kwadzo, everyone else needs to step up and fill in for him. I think Brandon has done a fantastic job taking on some of the scoring load and Simon has been great assuming the lion share of the ball handling duties.
The Gladiators Trier have won five of their last six games and playing very solid ball at the moment. Is the main goal now finishing strong and getting the highest possible playoff spot and home court advantage?
The goal is the same as it has been all year: we want to improve as a team every day. I think if we achieve that goal or come close to it, we will like where we end up at the end of the season.
You had more of an offensive role with Leverkusen and Heidelberg, but how much pressure does the consistent scoring of Dwayne Evans and Brandon Spearman take off your game to allow you to focus to other things on the court?
With Dwayne and Brandon out there putting on a show every game, I just try to focus on doing the little things to make their lives easier. Those two are the focal point of our team, and it’s fun for me to be able to play with them this season.
Dwayne Evans has been a real beast this season. How has his game made you a better player on the court?
Dwayne is in the midst of a fantastic season right now. Having to match up with him in practice forces me to up my game every day and try to play at a higher level. When we play together, I feel like his intelligence and poise spread to me and everyone on the court.
It has been a different type of season for you as your scoring and rebounding is not what you had in previous seasons, but how do you feel have has the success of the Gladiators Trier benefited most from your play?
I try to bring consistent effort and energy to the team every day. Whatever the coach tells me to do or the team needs me to do, I work as hard as I can to get it done.
You had a very strong game with 10 points and eight rebounds. Can a game like this just instantly give a player new self confidence again or does that come differently from player to player?
I can only speak for myself, but in my case confidence does not come from just one game. It’s something you have to build and maintain throughout the ups and downs of a long season.
How do recap the NBA trade line deals? What teams did the best?
I didn’t follow much of what went on at the trade deadline. All I know is my Pacers stood pat.
Recently ESPN ranked the top 100 NBA players of all time. They placed Lebron James at #3 before NBA legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Bill Russell. Do you feel that is justified?
If you extrapolate out for the rest of LeBron’s career and assume that he will decline modestly but continue to play into his late thirties, then I think that is a fair ranking. Putting him third all time based on his career to date is a bit of a tougher sell for me though.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just watched the Entourage movie.
Thanks Jack for the chat.