Rilwan Bakare (Fraport Skyliners Juniors) We Need To Be Disciplined And Focused In Our Roles In Game 2 Against Lok Bernau

Rilwan Bakare is a 26 year 201cm forward from Chicago,Illinois playing his third professional season and first with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors after starting the season with Pernion Urheilijat Basket (Finland-1st Division) and then moving to Union de Santa Fe (Argentina-TNA). Last season he played for BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL) playing 18 games averaging 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5%. As a rookie he played for TuS Breckerfeld (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 19.9ppg, 10.5rpg. He played his college ball at four schools including Columbus State Community College (NJCAA), Danville Area Community College (NJCAA), Campbellsville (NAIA) and Texas Wesleyan (NAIA): He spoke to German Hoops about his season with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.

Rilwan, thanks for talking to German Hoops! You played at many schools in the states and in many places in the world, but please explain what kind of feeling it was setting foot in the beautiful huge Mercedes and what kind of atmosphere it was?

It was a great feeling I never played in gym like that a lot of lights and the atmosphere was amazing and a different feeling.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors arrived in Berlin earlier in the day. What was your impression of the city in the few hours that you were there?

Very beautiful I had never been to Berlin so the city was really nice and the skyline buildings were beautiful. I told myself I would love to live here it’s just like America.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors suffered a tough 75-64 loss in game one against Lok Bernau. Lok Bernau defended very well, but how key were the 22 team turnovers for losing this game?

We started off strong and the second half we tried to force a couple of passes that hurt us. We should of stayed calm and played like we did in the first half. We have to get better so those turnovers won’t happen again.

One never wants to make excuses, but how would the result of the game looked like if Mahir Agva, Niklas Kiel and Stefan Ilzhoefer had been on board who could of drastically changed the dimension of the game?

I believe we would have been stronger because those are great players that add strength to our team, but it wouldn’t have been a difference we still have to play hard and win has a Team.

American Pierre Bland who belongs to the top point guards in the Pro B had a superb game scoring 20 points and dishing out six assists showing his versatile playmaking and quick decision making. How important will it be keeping him in check and after seeing him play where will you have slow him down most in his game?

We would have to defend him better and make smarter decisions.

How cool was it playing against your ex teammate Jonas Bohm from Campbellsville(NAIA) . What were the first thing that he said to you and what was your fondest memory with him on and off the court when you were teammates?

He said it’s crazy how I’m back in Germany he didn’t know I came back to Germany in January. It was funny because back in college we used to defend each other. He is a great guy and I was glad to see him.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors now have a do or die game next weekend at home against Lok Bernau. What will be key to forcing a second do or die game back in Bernau?

Discipline and focusing on our roles to win at home. We have to lower our turnovers.

Isaac Bonga just missed his second consecutive triple double against Lok Bernau after getting his first last weekend against the Giants Nordlingen. How special is Isaac Bonga as a player? You told me recently that Bonga as a 6.9 point guard that is once in a lifetime.

He is very special and yes back in Chicago I don’t see a lot of 6’9 point guard that have great hands. He will be great one day for his age it’s amazing to see him play.

Do you believe that one day you will be telling your grandkids stories about NBA player Isaac Bonga?

Yes, he will be amazing as long as he listens and works hard anything is possible.

You have had a very busy season as you played in Finland and Argentina before coming to Germany. How important do you feel has your third professional season been in terms of maturity and development considering you went through many different experiences in a short period of time?

I learned a lot from those countries I been in. I developed more senses how to be a better player. I still have a lot to learn about European basketball but it’s a learning experience to get better everyday and understanding my roles when I go to a new team. I know I can never be satisfied I have to get better and help my team.

You weren´t cleared to play at first and also have been injured. How difficult has it been for you to develop properly concerning the things that you have been through in the short time you have been there?

Its difficult but I have to take it day by day and keep getting better. Can’t be worried about the past and focus on the future anything is possible as long I’m putting work in the gym and listening to my coach.

You are a player that likes to bang inside and also have a nice mid distance shot, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?

My rebounds. I have always been a good rebounder but lately in a couple games I haven’t shown it but I believe it will get better.

How important has been the day to day dealings on the court with Mahir Agva and Niklas Kiel for you? How are you a different player now than before you came to Frankfurt?

It has been no problem. I just want to win play my role on this team and they are both great players that help us win. I am very different learning a lot from my coaches and also the BBL coach.

Last season you played with BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL): 18 games: 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5%. You had a very solid break out season. What did you learn about your game this season that proved to you that you can produce at a high level?

I believe I can be great. I learned to listen more and execute the plays more. I believe I can play at a high level. I have to continue keep working hard and listen to my coaches.

You played at 4 different schools in 4 years. Do you feel like having had so many different experiences help shape your game differently than it would had you played only at one school?

I believe if I stayed in one school I would be in a better situation. Both schools I went to was junior college two years school and the last two college was a four year university. I had to find a better situation so I can produce I believed in myself that I can help any team to win and I wanted a coach to believe in me.

Recently your ex high school teammate Aarron Nelson left the Dragons Rhondorf. He belonged to the top Pro B players this season. We once broke a back board in a game and lite up Kentucky State for 31 points and 27 rebounds. What was the most incredible thing that you saw him do in a game?

I saw Aaron break another back board in the summer at a tournament in Chicago called Chi-League that has NBA players and ex NBA Players and also had top college players that played in the Chi-League. Aaron was a great player and growing up with him and in high school I watched him go for 20 points every single game.

How important has been the day to day dealings on the court with Mahir Agva and Niklas Kiel for you? How are you a different player now than before you came to Frankfurt?

It hasn’t been no problem I just want to win play my role on this team they are both great players that help us win. Im very different learning a lot from my coaches also BBL coach.

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?

Lebron will go down in history being the greatest that played the game no argument I’m not a Lebron fan but numbers don’t lie, he is an amazing player.

Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Top 5 best power forward

Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?

Great shooter top 20 for me because In the NBA there are a lot of great shooters.

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?

Russell can have stats but I’m more into winning with good stats. He is a great player but I believe it’s hard to play on his team with him.

Draymond Green recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?

Because Green plays his role to help his team win it’s not always about stats.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Hoop Dreams!

Thanks Rilwan for the chat.

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