Kyle Hines(CSKA Moscow) My Third Euroleague Title Was Definitely One Of The Toughest I Have Won In My Career

Kyle Hines is a 29 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that is playing his third season with CSKA Moscow. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had predraft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). He then went to Europe to Italy and played with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 34 games: 16.9ppg, Reb-4(8.6rpg), 3.0spg, Blocks-2(1.8bpg), FGP-2(66.0%), FT: 58.5%. In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): Euroleague: 10 games: 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; German League: 46 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. He spoke to German Hoops for the fifth time this season a few days after winning the 2016 Euroleague title against Fenerbahce 101-96.


Congrats Kyle on winning the 2016 Euroleague final 101-96 in OT against Fenerbahce Istanbul!!!Was winning this title one of the most difficult in your career?

My third Euroleague Title was definitely one of the toughest titles I have won in my career. Especially after all the disappointment CSKA Moscow went through the last two seasons with losing in the Final 4. To bounce back after that and finally win again and rewrite the history books was a great feeling.

What were you personally going through in your mind in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter where a seemingly sure win was dwindling away?

There was a lot of anxiety going through my mind. We were thinking and focusing on what we could do to just win the game. We were discouraged having lost the big lead and just wanted to do enough to get the win. We made some big plays that got us to the OT. That gave us a second life and at that point we were very confident that we could pull out the win.


How special is it having won your third Euroleague title after losing the last two years?


It was an incredible special feeling for me getting a Euroleague win again. Especially after winning the first two with Olympiakos and then losing the last two final 4´s with CSKA Moscow. After that major disappointment the last two years made me even more hungry this season to come back and win it. It is just a great feeling being part of a team that made history after all the pain the club went through since 2008.



If someone had told you in the summer of 2008 after finishing at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) that you will win three Euroleague titles before your 30th birthday what would you have thought?


I would of never thought that I could accomplish that. When I came out of school one of my goals was just to be able to play in the Euroleague. I remember early in my career watching Euroleague and being in awe of those guys who were playing. It is just a huge opportunity to have played in 5 Euroleague final 4´s and having won three. I am so grateful and it is a true honor to have done it and I am just blessed.



You made two big buckets in the OT period. How mad and focused were you in the OT not to let one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the Euroleague bite you in the butt?


I think that the whole team was huge in the OT period. The OT gave us a new breath of life and second chance to rectify us losing the big lead and coming back. We as a unit were very confident in the OT and by having so much experience throughout our career´s and this season, we were able to use that and stay composed and pull out the win.



CSKA Moscow had the 50-30 advantage at halftime in thanks to a strong second quarter where the club put up 28 points. What was key for having the 20 point lead at halftime?



Our defense gave us the big lead at halftime. I think that too many people focus on our offense, but we did a great job keeping a good team to 30 points. Defense came first for us and we made big plays and got on transition and got easy baskets.


CSKA Moscow did a good job keeping a double digit lead in the third quarter and led 69-53 after 30 minutes. However in the fourth quarter the opponent exploded for 30 points bringing the game into OT. Did the team get too comfortable?


They are a very good offensive team and made big plays and shots in the fourth quarter. We were able to withstand their run and stay balanced to get a new opportunity to win it in the OT.



The OT went back and forth until your second bucket in the OT off an offensive rebound and put back put you up 95-90. Was that the momentum changer?


I think that it was a bunch of plays that turned the momentum into our hands. Nando de Colo made some big shots, lay ups and got to the free throw line. It was a combination of every guy in the OT that helped us get the momentum back.



What do you believe was key in the OT to secure the win?


It was our defense. We knew that we would score, but we needed the stops. We got two big stops and two key rebounds that sealed the win for us.




How much respect will you always have for Fenerbahce who had to fight back in the semi-final and almost did again making this one of the most exciting final games in years.


I have a lot of respect for them. They are a great team and have a legendary coach. They played a great Final 4 and helped make this Final 4 one of the best in the last years.



De Colo and Teodosic stepped up as always combining for 41 points, but how key were the Russian big men Andrey Vorontsevic and Viktor Khryapa. Did their experience and combined 358 Euroleague games give the team the added push?




Both guys were key for us. Both have a lot of experience in Final 4´s as well with the Russian national team. They made big shots at key times, got timely rebounds and played solid defense.


What memories from this Euroleague Final 4 will you always cherish the most when you look back at your third title?


I think it wasn´t just the weekend in Berlin, but the whole Euroleague season. We had many ups and downs, but still got to the Final 4 despite having our share of injuries. We reached position one in the Top 16 in a very tough group, beat rival Russian team Lokomotive Kuban and beat a very tough Fenerbahce. Many didn´t think that we could get to the Euroleague Final 4, but we defied all odds and at the end remained on top


How happy are you for your teammate Milos Teodosic who finally won his first Euroleague title. Did you have to pinch him or did you finally find out that Serbians can party?


I am incredibly happy for him. He really deserved this title. He had a great year and I am happy that he finally got that monkey off his back to win his first Euroleague title. We know that he had to deal with a lot of pressure and we wanted to win it for him. This title will help him get to a new level.



Now CSKA Moscow has their next goal to win the VTB title. Will the team be able to take the Euroleague momentum into the playoffs and get the next title?


We have no choice. We have to get a short shot of amnesia and forget this Euroleague title and focus on the VTB league title. We have to focus now on the next three weeks and then celebrate that title.


I am sure you got many calls and mails from ex teammates. What did ex teammate Casey Jacobsen tell you?


Casey sent me a message via Twitter and congratulated me. It was an incredible honor and it was good hearing from him. He had a great career and in Bamberg, he taught me how to be a winner and true professional on and off the court. I always look up to him.



If they ever were to make a movie about you and your illustrious career with numerous Euroleague titles which actor would you like to play you?

I think Will Smith would be the perfect actor to portray my career. He is one of the greatest actors. He would know how to play that underdog role and tell the story.


Thanks Kyle for the chat.





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