Kofi Josephs is a 25 year old 198cm forward playing his first season with the Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-Regionalliga). He got valuable experience at three schools starting with UALR (NCAA), and then moved to John Brown (NAIA) where he played two seasons playing 65 games and then finished at Fort Lewis (NCAA2) where he played two season amassing 34 games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 8.0ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 74.1%. He recently spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Kofi thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 has come and are you the type of guy that makes new year´s resolutions or don´t you bother with that?
Thank you for having me, I’m not really the type of player to make new years resolutions, I am more so at anytime decide and something I need to work on it and start on it there and then.
You’re a rookie from England playing your first season in Germany with the Herten Lions. You recently beat the Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 107-98 and you poured home 49 points. Was this a once in a lifetime game for you or do you feel like you have the ability to score like that again?
No it wasn’t a once in a life time game, I know I have the ability to shoot and score like this again, I’ve had other good games this year. I just have to stay confident and find my groove early.
How quickly did you know after hitting a`few buckets that this would be a huge day for you?
I didn’t know how big of a game this was going to be, I really wanted to win after losing a close game to them earlier the season. I just focused on my defense and found my spots to take good smart shots. Getting a bucket early in the game certainly helped.
Last season as a senior at Fort Lewis(NCAA2) you made seven three´s once and six three´s in a game twice while this year with Herten you had five trey´s against BG Hagen. You lit up Bonn with 11 three pointers. How big was the basket looking to you on this day?
The basket looked huge, I am surprised I didn’t make all 15. Every shot I believe is going in and they all felt good.
How much fun was it overall playing this game as you continued to knock down shot after shot. Were you counting and did you know when you had hit 40 points or was your teammates staying calm not to disrupt your concentration?
This game was a lot of fun, it was a close fought game and a lot of emotion since we had our great fans behind us, I led every bit of it. I wasnt counting,I didn’t know how many points I had or anything, I was lost in the game and trying to win. My teammates were telling me to stay aggressive and not take my foot off the pedal, so I didn’t.
Did your confidence continue to rise as the game progressed and you kept making shots? Were you at the point just wanting the ball all the time, because you knew that you would make shots?
My confidence is usually pretty high since I know I can get going at any moment, but it certainly was growing the more I got to the basket and was finding my teammates. I was contributing outside of shooting the ball. I wasnt chasing the ball, I didn’t know how great of a game I was having so I was just playing basketball.
When you look back at this 49 point performance and think of some of the amazing big point games in the NBA, what NBA player performance over the years has always stayed in your mind?
The NBA player performance that will always stay in my mind is when Kobe Bryant had 62 points in three quarters and the whole Dallas Mavericks team had 61 as a team.
Despite scoring 49 points, you also led the team in assists with six and four other guys scored in double figures on your team. Are you a lot better playmaker and passer than what you get credit for?
Yeah I am, I can create for myself and for the team since I’m a 6’6 guard and can see over the defense and attack. I think it gets down played because of my jump shooting ability.
Herten is currently in 10th place with a record of 6-10. What have been the main reasons for the team not being higher up in the standings?
The team has had a lot of player changes, which makes it hard to find an identity. I don’t think everybody was on the same page earlier in the season and the changes made it difficult at times, while other teams core players were set.
The team is giving up 81 points per game. Does the team have the potential to be a better team and on what things does the team still need to work on to carve down points per game?
We definitely have the potential to be a better team, were working hard everyday and fine tuning the mistakes that we made earlier in the season, while also learning how to play as a unit. I think we have to work on transition defense and our communication but its getting better each and every day.
Your having a very solid rookie season, but have had some ups and downs as well. Do you feel like the 49 point explosion was your serious break out game that will help elevate your game to a new level in the Regionalliga?
The European style of basketball is a lot different to the American style that I am used to, so I feel it has just been growing pains. I have had some good moments and bad moments in terms of consistency but I think this will be the thing to get me over the hump.
You can fill up the stat sheet very well, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think my defense doesn’t get noticed right away, having a huge wing span and being athletic I can get in the passing lanes and cause deflections or turn overs.
You probably have checked out some Pro B games this season. Many guys make the jump from the Regionalliga to the Pro B. Will we see you playing at a higher level next season?
I have seen some Pro A and Pro B games this year, I would like to think after the season I can make the jump to a higher level.
After playing for the Reading Rockets (EBL) in the 2009-2010 season, you went overseas and played 6 years in the United states at a high school and three different colleges. How Americanized did you get in these 6 years or did your British heritage not let you get Americanized?
I was in the USA for a very long time, these are the prime years for a young person so i definitely changed as a person. I don’t think i became too americanized but my friends and family might think differently, my accent has changed a little bit but not enough for 6 years in America. I am British to the core, it will always be that way.
You played two seasons at John Brown (NAIA) playing 65 games and then moved to Fort Lewis(NCAA2). You put up good stats there. What were the main reasons for moving?
I had some issues with the NCAA clearing house coming out of high school that stopped me going NCAA D1, so I had to take another route to still develop as a player, but ultimately I always knew I wanted to return to high level NCAA basketball, whether D1 or a ranked D2 program.
How difficult was it coming back as a senior at Fort Lewis where you played 31 games averaging 8.0ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 74.1% from an injury your junior year? How do you feel did you develop further as a player as a senior?
It was very tough coming back, I had dealt with a serious injury for about 2 seasons but the great trainers at my school helped get me healthy, and a great summer of work outs with my uncle helped me get my body and game back to where it needed to be. The hardest part was trusting my body to not fail me. I felt I developed a lot as a senior, I dealt with a lot of ups and downs while still having a positive season, it built me as a person to deal with challenges and to stay consistent.
How did head coach Bob Hofman groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Bob Hofman, Coach Pietrack and Coach Steffensen all helped me to become professional, they got me at the later stages of my collegiate career but they gave me confidence and helped change my mindset about certain things and situations in basketball. They always told me they thought every shot I took was going in, having coaches that believe in you like that still helps me today as a professional
Who won a one on one game in practice you or Kody Salcido?
I am not actually sure, but I think it might of been Kody. Sauce ( Kody) has a spin move that was unstoppable.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
That is a tough question, I would choose Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Hakeem Olajuwon and Magic Johnson.
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?
I think Lebron is definitely up there in the debate for greatest all time, it is hard to determine a players position when they are still playing but the fact he is in the conversation and still playing shows that he will be top 3. I think it depends on what you’re basing the greatest as, as to where he will finally end up.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
I think Kevin Garnett is top 6 all time. It is a very tough position since there are so many great forwards, but the safest bet would be top 5, for me personally.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
This was the best performance of the season for me, 90 seconds of actually touching the ball is incredible. His movement off the ball, staying shot ready and always on the move are the things that make it incredible to me. Obviously he had to hit the shots but his movement off the ball and his balance make this performance the best of the season.
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?
Stats wise Russell is a monster, he is a complete stat filler but I feel James Harden might be the best stat filler in the world right now.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Hidden Figures
Thanks Kofi for the chat.