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 after the 94-86 win against the BIS Baskets Speyer.
Congrats Elijah in helping the Licher Basket Baeren in the Pro B. What kind of feeling do you have helping keep Lich in the Pro B for a second straight season?
Hello Miles, Thank you for the interview. Keeping Lich in the Pro B is very important for the youth for next season. We have some talented players and in Pro B the players can use the time to get experience and get better while playing at a decent level. I am very proud of our team for the effort we gave last night in our final home game.
What was more difficult for you personally helping keep Lich in the league last season or this season?
The most challenging thing that I faced this year was having to accept that we were playing in play downs and not playoffs. We lost some really close games this season in the final seconds and ultimately that put us in the bottom positions. Being 1 win/shot away from making the playoffs was hard for me to accept.
How can you explain from a players standpoint what kind of feeling you get keeping a team in the league opposed to winning a title. You didn´t win a title, but can call keeping the team in the league also a success?
Keeping the team in the league is definitely a success. The owners and players pay money for us to do our job and the last thing we want is to drop a league and let them down. We know that we didn’t deserve to be in the position that we were in but that’s how the game goes.
How proud are you of the team after the lousy start to the play downs scoring 48 points in the first game against Wurzburg and losing the second game against Speyer and now winning it´s third in a row?
I am very proud of our team the way that we have fought in the play downs. Wurzburg and Speyer are good teams that were also in a bad position. Both teams can win any night but had there ups and downs this season. It’s sad that one of those two teams have to drop. They both have quality players and good coaches.
Lich averaged 92 points in the first two wins against Speyer, but scored only 77 points in the loss in the third game. How much revenge was on your mind after the last loss to Speyer?
There was a lot of revenge on my mind. After they beat us they went on and won two more games against Wurzburg which fueled them with a lot of confidence. They really did a great job fighting the past few games.
It was a tight game, but Lich won all four quarters if you count the 30-30 third quarter. Was this a good 40 minute basketball game for the Licher Baskets Baeren?
We played our pace for about 32min of the game. I am very happy for the effort that we gave.
The game was a real battle in the second half, but Lich had the lead for the most part. What do you feel was key for not letting Speyer get over the hump?
Woodmore and Williamson are two really good players and in my opinion deserve a chance in the Pro A. I think both players need to be pushed at a high level to reach their full potential. Containing both of them is a really hard task so the key was to try and not let the others become factors in the game.
How vital were the 21 turnovers that Lich forced Speyer and seven extra possessions to being able to manage the game better?
The turnovers we forced came from us playing at a high rhythm the whole game. Once we got going on defense it gave us a good rhythm and confidence on offense.
Lich got 23 valuable points combined from Germans Marian Schick and Simon Kutzschmar. How soothing is it too know that you can take a breather on the bench and know you can put the game into their hands?
Marian and Simon have been key factors for us all season. Both are very confident players and give us a good balance on the defensive and offensive end. It has been fun playing with them this year.
You had a solid game scoring 19 points. Was it difficult for you going into the game having had a monster 34 point game against Saarlouis?
I don’t feel it was difficult going into the game after scoring 34 points. Every game will be different and teams always adjust to how a player is playing. I just wanted to do whatever it took to win the game so we could keep our team in the league.
When so many teammates are contributing so well, does it put less pressure on your game to have the need to perform which gets you into a good game flow without having to overthink?
When everyone is contributing it makes the game a whole lot easier. It gives less pressure than when constantly trying to score to keep the team in the game.
Can the Licher Baskets Baeren top this win against Speyer with something special next weekend in the last game against Wurzburg?
Next weekend will be a no pressure situation for both clubs and I would not be surprised if both teams decide to have the younger guys who have deserved minutes get a chance to play a bit.
No real surprises in the NBA playoffs, but the Boston Celtics did steal a game at home with Isaiah Thomas netting 42 points in the game. Is there anyway Boston can get by the Atlanta Hawks?
I actually would like the Celtics to win this series. I always have to root for the Ohio guys (Jared Sullinger).
Prince was big in another generation, but did he have any influence in your music taste when you were growing up?
I was never a big fan of Prince. I respect what he has done for the music industry and the culture but I have never really connected with his songs.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Jungle Book.
Thanks Elijah for the chat.