Elijah Allen is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that recently completed his fourth professional season in Germany and second with Lich playing 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. 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%. In the 2014-2015 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 signing with Pro A team Gotha.
Elijah thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Thanks for the interview Miles, I am currently in Lollar,Germany. The summer has been great for me. I have been staying fairly busy. I have been training and spending time with my family and I also just took part in the Scorers1st Showcase in Dusseldorf this past weekend.
There is nothing wrong with staying in Germany and enjoying the lifestyle, but isn´t your extended family in Ohio as well as friends sad that you are still in Germany when you could be at home?
Yes, I miss my family and friends very much. It has been about 3 years since I have been back in the United States. I just haven´t had much time to make it back due to other priorities.
You obviously have your own family now here in Germany, but besides that what have you grown to cherish the most about being able to live in Germany?
I think the fact of just realizing why I have been here so long is what I will cherish the most. I made a goal and stuck to it. I have been taking classes at a local school and also working a normal job the past few years in order to obtain a German passport. It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it was all worth it.
Congrats on signing with Gotha in the German Pro A. How thrilled are you to be able to make the next step in your professional career?
I am very excited for this opportunity. I have worked hard for this. I am hungry and eager to help the program in continued success.
For some reason I always figured you were happy playing with the Licher Basket Baeren. How carefully did you plan this move?
Leaving Lich and the Giessen area was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. It ideally was the perfect situation for me because it gave me the opportunity to play as well as being close to my wifes side of the family. Lich is like a second home to me and I am really thankful for all that they have done for me.
You made considerable steps in your second Pro B season. Do you feel that you really needed that second season in the Pro B to be able to make that next step to the Pro A?
I think staying two years in Pro B was a positive for me. I felt I made big improvements year to year. Staying two years was really the best situation for me.
It is a no brainer to be able to play for BBL legend Chris Ensminger, but what else sold you on joining Gotha?
Besides the coaching staff, I really wanted to come to a winning program. I think when you look at the fan support of Gotha that really shows what kind of program they are. They have good management and really give there all to reach their goals.
What kind of dealings have you had with Chris Ensminger in the past? Have you met him? What kind of talks have you had with him recently and what was your impression of him?
I met Chris Ensminger for the first time a few weeks ago. I have heard great things about him before I met him. He is a coach that really makes his players better and helps them truly reach their potential. I know I have a lot of room to grow and I can´t wait for him to help me get better.
He is a Ohio boy like you. Are the chances better this way that you both speak the same basketball language?
It always helps when you have someone that can relate to your background. Gotha is a team that is still being built.
Do you see your self making a massive impact or more being that role player and glue type guy which you also was with Lich?
I will be whatever the team needs me to be. I just want to go in and work hard in order to win games and keep the club happy.
On what things will you be working hard on this summer on your game to be fully prepared to battle in the Pro A?
I feel I am ready for the Pro A. The way I play fits more to the Pro A style than Pro B. I am mostly excited about that. This summer I am mainly just working on footspeed to be able to guard multiple positions.
You had two nice seasons with the Licher Basket Baeren. What will be your most fondest memory on the court?
For me it would easily be having strong games personally in the play downs to keep the team in the league. The club deserves to be in the Pro B. Both seasons we were 1 game away from making the playoffs. I gave my all while playing with Lich and I will never forget how we fought as a team in the play downs the past two seasons.
How does a normal summer work out day look like for Elijah Allen in the summer of 2016? You are an avid jogger. How vital is endurance for you?
I try to run 12km two to three times a week. I like running because it gives me a chance to clear my mind. Normally I get a quick lift and run in the afternoon and at night play in the summer league or get shots up in the gym.
Lebron has finally won his NBA title with his Cavs. Where does this title put him now in that never ending debate as the best ever?
Lebron had an amazing year this year. I would say he is number 2 all time behind Jordan. No one will ever replace him.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore with 4 NBA heads which would you chose?
Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Wilt
What was the last movie that you saw?
13 hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi.
Thanks Elijah for the chat.