Rilwan Bakare (Fraport Skyliners Juniors) I Will Never Forget Practicing With The BBL Team and being treated like Family

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 after the game 3 loss to Lok Bernau ending his third professional season.

A tough loss to Lok Bernau ending the season. How much of a basketball culture shock was it coming from the big beautiful Mercedes arena to the tiny Bernau gym for game 3?

 It was a difference I just had to adjust very quick.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors took only 8 players. Did this already put some pressure on the players knowing that total aggressive defense could have put guys in early foul trouble?

 Just felt a little pressure but we had to just work harder and play as a team.

How key was the quick 9-0 Lok Bernau start for the rest of the game? They jumped on the Fraport Skyliners Juniors right off the bat. Did this fast start already have an effect on the team mentally for the rest of the game?

 I will say yes or no we knew they were going come out strong we just didn’t adjust fast enough to stop the run.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were playing catch up basketball all game long. What was most difficult defensively for not being able to keep Lok Bernau better in check?


 Communication and being disciplined on defense I believe we got a little tired since some players had to play more minutes it’s no excuse but mentally we knew it wasn’t going be easy.


Lok Bernau did a good job getting the ball inside as Tim Schneider dominated. One can always use the excuse that Mahir Agva and Niklas Kiel were missing, but so was Tim Oldenburg. Were you a bit overmatched having only Cosmo Gruehn and yourself as the only true big men?


 Yes and no we could have done a better job guarding the big man and sometimes had a miss match problem but it wasn’t an overmatch and it wasn’t a big difference. We tried to play our hearts out but still came up short.



The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were down 67-47 after three quarters. Lok Bernau started with a 8-0 run to lead 75-47. How difficult was it mentally for you to keep focused about coming back or was the season over for you at this point?

 It was kind of difficult but I had to keep my mindl strong but I tried my best to keep focused throughout the whole game.


How proud were you of Germans like role players Jamin Knothe and Can Akbayir? How much did they profit from getting these minutes in a big playoff game against a big opponent?


 They played very hard and I am proud of them trying help us win.


You finished the game with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 30 minutes. Are you a little annoyed that you couldn´t produce more? Are you surprised that you only took three shots?


 I was annoyed, but I felt like I could of done better. I think I did get a little frustrated which I blame myself. Sometimes the game will overwhelm you and I have to remember to stay focused on the bigger picture and play harder. I feel bad that I let my team down and I will learn from my mistakes and move on to getting better



You have seen many Pro B teams this season. How far can Lok Bernau go? Do you feel as though they could win it all?



 They are a great team and I don’t know what will happen, but there are a lot of great teams in the Pro B and we will just have to see.



Let´s talk about your season. In your first two seasons, you played in Germany and Slovakia, but this season in Finland, Argentina and Germany. How do you feel did you grow as a player in your third professional season?


 I learned so much on how to become a better player in that I have to work harder than before. I started the season off slow but I know what I need to do when I get home.



What did you like most about your few months in Frankfurt? You will probably never see a training facility like this again. What will you never forget about this experience?



 The experience I will never forget was the club allowing me to practice with the BBL team and learning from the head coach and becoming a better player. I liked how Frankfurt was very organized, and also treated everybody like family.



You have talked with joy about Isaac Bonga and I love his passing game, but if you look back at all the practices and games, what was his most amazing pass you remember him doing that you will never forget?



 I will never forget hoe he split two defenders and passed me the ball. Isaac is a great player and he will be special in the future.



Where will the journey of Rilwan Bakare go now? Will you hang out in Frankfurt a bit or go back to Chicago and get ready for next season?



 I don’t know yet. I didn’t want to go home honestly. I wanted to keep learning and get better but I know what I need to work on when I get home.



What have you enjoyed most about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Could you imagine coming back and playing in Germany next season?



 I will pray and hopefully come back to Germany I loved the city Frankfurt that I played in I also enjoyed exploring Berlin.



You are from Chicago and follow the Chicago Bulls. What has been your impression of German Paul Zipser? Do you see him having a long NBA career?



 I’m not Chicago fan, but I’m more of OKC fan and Paul Zipser is a great player and will have a long season.



Where do you rank Boston Celtic point guard Isaiah Thomas with the top point guards in the NBA now?


 Top 5 point guard in today´s generation and very humble and hard worker.



What NCAA teams will make the NCAA Final 4 and who will win?



I believe UCLA will win it all



What was the last movie that you saw?



The  Iverson Movie.



Thanks Rilwan for the chat.


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