Daniel Berger is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Medford, Oregon playing his rookie season with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProB). He started his basketball career with Chemeketa community college an dthen moved to Utah State(NCAA) where he played 59 NCAA games from 2011-2014. As a senior he played with BYU-Hawaii (NCAA2) playing 20 games: 14.2ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 79.2%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Pro B final against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Daniel congrats on reaching the Pro B final sweeping the Giants Nordlingen. After winning the first game 69-60, did you expect such a nerve wracking game 2?
Thanks Miles. I expected the game to be a battle. It was do or die for them so I knew it would be a tough 40 minutes.
Ehingen had the comfortable 45-31 lead at halftime. What was key for getting the comfortable advantage at halftime?
Our offense was flowing so well in the first half. We played together and were able to get some easy baskets. Also getting stops usually leads to a more productive offense.
What did head coach Domenik Reinboth tell the club do in the second half to preserve the win?
He told us to try and keep doing what we did in the first half. Also he talked about the last time we played in Nordlingen and they game back and made it an interesting game.
The Giants Nordlingen bounced back with 27 points. Was it clear that they weren´t going to go down not fighting?
Yea I knew they were going to make a run. That is what basketball is and they are a good team. We just had to weather the storm.
The lead went back and forth in the fourth quarter. Was this the best proof that this was playoff basketball at it´s best?
Some players made big plays in the fourth quarter on both teams. That is what playoff basketball is about.
How happy are you to have Devin Moore on the team? For him hitting the game winning shot something the team expects of him at this juncture of the season?
I really enjoy playing with Devon. He’s a very good player who loves getting everyone involved. I was happy for him making those shots in the fourth quarter.
On the last play American Jordan Talbert had the chance to win the game, but missed. How confident were you on the last play that Ehingen wouldn´t give it out of the hands?
I wasn´t confident at all when I saw the ball leave his hands. He is a good player and that is exactly the kind of shots he takes and makes. But sometimes the ball goes in and sometimes it doesn´t. Unfortunately for him it didn´t go that time and we just had to focus on the rebound.
What really impressed you most about this scrappy hard working team Giants Nordlingen that came to play every night this season?
They have a short rotation and that can easily be used as an excuse. Its impressive that they didn´t use that excuse and came to play to win every game this year.
Now you face the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the final in a 2 game series. What kind of series can we await?
I think you can expect a fast pace, high scoring series. They are a very solid team who can put points on the board. Hopefully we can match that.
Frankfurt played Ehingen very tough this season having a 1-1 record. Does the fact that Ehingen last won in Frankfurt 96-90 mean anything now?
We haven´t played them in months so I don´t think the last game matters all that much. However we know what most of their players like to do which is helpful.
Since that last win in Frankfurt shortly before Christmas, you have been Mr consistent scoring in double figures in 16 straight games. How much are looking forward to going back to Frankfurt?
I am looking forward to playing in the championship game regardless of where it is. I do like the gym in Frankfurt. Hopefully we can have a full team effort this week.
In a 4 game span you shot 14/25 from outside, but in the Nordlingen series just 1/7 from outside. Are you looking to regaining your touch again in Frankfurt?
Yea I am hoping I can get my outside shot going more, but I don´t think about it too much. If I think about it a lot it won´t help. I just have to let the ball go.
The first game is key as in game two, Frankfurt won´t have all their players as the Beko BBl play their first playoff game against Alba Berlin. How dangerous is Frankfurt? In game two they beat Dresden without three key players?
No matter who comes to play we better be ready. They have good players regardless and play well together. Our preparation should not change depending on who they play with. They can be dangerous with any lineup.
What will be key to winning the Pro B title?
Playing together will be the key to winning. If we all come to play as a team I think we will give ourselves a chance to win.
If you could build an NBA Rushmore, what 4 players would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Bill Russell, Larry Bird
Do the Atlanta Hawks have any chance of getting by Lebron and the Cavs?
The best team always wins in a 7 game series. At this point I think the Cavs are a better team. Hopefully it will be a fun series to watch.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Daniel for the chat.