Jevohn Shepherd is a 30 year old 196cm forward from Toronto, Canada playing his seventh professional season and first with Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). He started his basketball career with Michigan in 2005 where he played until 2009 playing a total of 115 NCAA games. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 with the Halifax Rainmen (PBL): 11 games: 8.5ppg, 2.5rpg, FGP-1(71.4%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 63.2%. In the 2010-2011 season he moved to Europe to Germany to play with the GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (Germany-ProA) 20 games: Score-2(20.2ppg), 6.1rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 70.9%, in March’11 moved to Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 15 games: 4.7ppg, 2.1rpg. In the 2011-2012 season he moved to Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing EuroChallenge: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 37.9%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 76.5%; Dutch League: 34 games: 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 74.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he went to CS Municipal Bucuresti (Romania-Division A): 33 games: Score-4(18.7ppg), 4.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 75.7%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Paffoni Omegna (Italy-Lega Due Silver) playing 33 games: 18.5ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 79.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for Sigma Barcellona (Italy-A2 Gold) playing 27 games: 17.6ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 73.0%. Last season he started with Openjobmetis Varese (Italy-Serie A): 5 games: 5.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 33.3%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 83.3%; FIBA Europe Cup: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.0spg, in Dec.’15 moved to Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A) 19 games: 9.4ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 72.0%. German Hoops spoke to Shepherd before a Basketball champions League game in Ludwigsburg.
Jevohn Welcome back to Germany. You are in Ludwigsburg now playing here for the first time with Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League. Did you make any new years basketball resolutions that could come into effect in Ludwigsburg?
Danke Schön., No real resolutions other than continuing to improve into the new year.
It seems like ages since you last played for the then Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Since then you have played three years in Italy, in Romania and Holland. Have you been back to Germany over the years besides when you played Eurochallenge against Oldenburg and BG Goettingen?
It does feel like years as I started my professional career in Germany. Unfortunately I have not been back to visit but have very fond memories of my time in Germany as well as some of the great people I met while there.
Could you remember off the top of your head how well you did against these two German teams? Let me help you. You had a 3-1 record in the 2011-2012 Eurochallenge campaign and had two very good games against Oldenburg and BG Goettingen. With so many games that you have played since then can you remember anything from these games?
I remember being very young as those games were early in my career so I did not really understand the European game as much luckily I played well figuring it out on the fly.
The club is currently at 7-6 in the Belgium league and 4-6 in the Champions League. Is the team still trying to find it´s self?
We have slowly found our identity and will continue to do so. We had some injuries early in addition to a new coach and only 2 returning players from last season so it took some time but we are on track now.
The math is pretty easy. For you to advance in the Champions League you will have to defend better as a team. In what area´s on defense can the team make improvements?
Yes I think that goes for everyone in champions league as it is very competitive and you aren’t just going to outscore your opponent in this league.
The club has a lot of talented players like Brandon Bowman. How important has his leadership been and how have you benefited most from his game?
His leadership is tremendous and even better person off the court. he’s a guy that does a bit of everything so he has benefitted everyone in the sense he has the ability to pick up the slack anywhere.
Bowman is known as a gym rat. Has he affected you with the gym workouts or are you with him anyway?
He is definitely a gym rat, he is probably in the gym right now in fact. I consider myself a gym rat too but he is definitely on another level. I tip my hat to him, I’ve worked out once with him and I will probably wait until he is done until I start next time lol
You are having a solid season in both competitions. Now at the age of 30 and in your tenth season, do you feel like you are in your prime?
I feel I am approaching my prime still learning and adding things to my game.
Last season you split time with Openjobmetis Varese (Italy-Serie A): 5 games: 5.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 33.3%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 83.3%; FIBA Europe Cup: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.0spg, in Dec.’15 moved to Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A, starting five): 19 games: 9.4ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 72.0%. Were you a bit contemplative in April when you saw Varese dueling Frankfurt in the Eurochallenge final?
It was tough for me to watch seeing as I had ties to both teams and friends on both but in the end Frankfurt won so I can still celebrate.
With Paffoni Omenga you played with American Mike James. He tore up the league then. How much fun was it playing with him and how sure were you that he would become a Euroleague player?
Thats my brother, playing alongside him was a real treat, I would become a fan in practices and games at some of the things he did. I was not surprised at all that he would become a Euroleague player I think he has NBA level talent so it was a matter of time before he cracked the door to either one.
You were teammates with young Dutch man Worthy De Jong who turned into a national player. How athletic was he already then. What amazing thing do you remember him doing in a game or practice then?
Worthys athleticism was unreal then and unreal now. There were a number of times he would impress all of us. for me I was always impressed with how he had a knack for the ball and could get from point a to point b before you could blink for a steal or rebound out of his position.
You came to the Frankfurt Skyliners in mid season from Pro A team Osnabruck. I remember you showing your flight to the basket in your firt game in Giessen with a hard dunk. What do you remember from that game?
I remember how easy DaShaun Wood made the game for us on the court he demanded so much attention all i had to do was jump and there it was.
You were teammates with Quantez Robertson. What do you remember most from his freak athleticism most and will never forget?
I remember coming to Frankfurt and thinking I was athletic until being on the same court with Tez. I was humbled very quick.
The Canadian national team continues to make strides in the last years. Do you see the country producing a medal in the future at the world cup or Olympic games as new talent is always coming in?
Absolutely, the talent coming out of Canada is unreal and the game continues to grow across the waters s I have no doubt we will medal in international competition.
What kind of battles do you remember having with ex NBA player Manny Harris at Michigan(NCAA) and who won most of them in practice?
Manny, that is my guy man we had a lot of battles; he’s tough as nails and great scorer. I think we split those battles.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
MJ Kobe Shaq Tim Duncan
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
He is on his way, but he will need a couple more rings first in my opinion
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Its tough I was just having this debate the other day but he is in top 3 power forwards
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
That performance was the best scoring performance in my opinion because of how efficient he was with it.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
I am not the best person to ask this I’m not the biggest Russ fan so I will pass on this one.
What was your most memorable Christmas experience in North Carolina when you were a kid?
But as for the memories hard to pick just one, so long as all my family is there and granny is cooking I’m good!
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was Triple 9.
Thanks Jevohn for the chat.