Till Gloger is a 24 year old 204cm forward from Bochum, Germany that signed with the Mitteldeutscher BC. Last season he played with the Uni Baskets Paderborn (ProA) playing 30 game averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He got valuable experience overseas in the States playing at Maine (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 116 NCAA games. As a senior at Maine he played 30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about his basketball career.
Til thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your been going?
I am back in Paderborn after staying with the A2 National Team the last couple of days. On Sunday we will leave to China to play the Stankovic Cup.
Congrats on signing with EasyCredit BBL team Mitteldeutscher BC. How did head coach Igor Jovovic convince you best that you fit to his basketball philosophy and how MBC play on the court?
I was feeling really comfortable with Coach Jovovic and the Management right from the start. When we met up in Weißenfels a couple months ago, I could get a valuable inside view from how operations are handled. Since we battled against each other twice in the regular season, I had a pretty good understanding on how MBC is playing.
You are joining a very ambitious club who have moved up and down to the EasyCredit BBL three times in the last nine years. How excited are you to be joining this organization and are you ready for Germany´s top league?
Yes, I am very excited to join MBC and can´t wait to get on the court with my new teammates. For me it is very special to be part of such a traditional Club with such amazing fans. I am looking forward to a new challenge in the EasyCreditBBL and want to prove myself right from the start. I am ready for a new chapter and believe in our team to be successful.
You were a go to to guy with the Uni Baskets Paderborn and most likely will have more of a reduced role with MBC simply because there will be more talent and scoring options. Do you feel like you will be able to come to terms with a less of a central role?
I know there will be a change in my role in the upcoming year. However, it will be on me to take advantage of opportunities and do what is needed to help our team win. I believe that the right adjustments will help me to do the right things.
You most likely will be competiting with Kruize Pinkins who beloged to the top four players in the Pro A in the last two years with Hanau. Last season you and he had similar stats in the two games, but you had the last laugh winning both games. What do you respect most from his game and are you content that daily battles will make you better as a player?
Kruize Pinkins dominated the Pro A this year and I am excited to have him as a teammate next year. He played a fantastic season and helped Hanau to a successful season. Daily battles with him will help me to grow as a player and get better every day. What I respect most from his game is his physical and mental toughness. He also was a great scorer and rebounder last year.
Let´s talk a little about your game. Last season I interviewed your exteammate Matt Vest and he described your game like this. “Playing with Til has been great, he has been a huge part of our team’s success thus far. Til is a very unique player. What separates him from a lot of players is his ability to make shots at a high level. He is great finishing around the basket, in the mid-range, and is also a very good free throw shooter”. What other attributes do you have in your game that he didn´t mention?
I think Matt made a pretty precise statement. During the off season I try to add pieces to my game which help me to become a more diverse player over time. That includes becoming a three point threat while developing a more aggressive face up game.
You’re a guy that can score around the rim at ease incorporating an arsenal of fine moves. Is this a part of your game that you feel you will be able to keep developing well now at the highest level at the EasyCredit BBL? In your scouting report it says that your offensive game spreads out to the three point line. However you didn´t take many three´s in the NCAA or with Paderborn. Is this a part of your game that is still a work in progress?
Yes, I definetley think that playing in the EasyCredit BBL will help me to become a better and stronger player in the post. There is always room for improvement. Last season I started to take threes more often towards the end of the season. Since I wasn´t shooting threes at Maine, it took me some time to feel comfortable around the three point line. Going into next season, I want to be more aggressive from the perimeter.
Last season with the Uni Baskets Paderborn (ProA) you played 30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1% and won Pro A newcomer of the year. Did you know after the third game and your 33 point effort against Dresden that you would not just be a solid performer at this level, but a very strong player at this level?
I mostly follow my instincts which helps me to get into good positions to catch and finish. I think that this can be a hidden strength which can help me to succeed in the EasyCreditBBL After my effort against Dresden early in the season, I wasn´t thinking a lot about the future. I wanted to stay aggressive with the right mentality to help our team win the next games.
How thankful are you for head coach Uli Naechster for giving you very much freedom last season? How much do you feel did your game profit under coach´s guidance?
I am extremely thankful for Coach Nächser for believing in me. Throughout the season he gave me the freedom to expand my game while trusting in my abilities. In fact, we communicated a lot and talked about different ways how to use me more effectively. Coach Nächster played a huge role in giving me the opportunity to prove myself on the next level in the EasyCreditBBL.
Matt Vest made the jump to Cologne and Chase Adams is still looking for a new team. How did you profit in your first season after the NCAA with their experience and play on the court?
During my time in Paderborn, I profited a lot from Matt and Chase on and off the court. Their professionalism and their love for the game helped me to feel comfortable in my first year playing pro ball. Since both played professionally for years, they were leading by example and guided me to through the process. There were tons of situations where they taught me to become a better basketball player in the future.
In 2012 you went from Paderborn to the NCAA and Maine. Back then it was still somewhat in fashion to do this while now going the college route in USA isn´t as big anymore. After seeing how your career went with Maine, do you feel like you may not be where you are today had you stayed in Germany and not gone the NCAA route?
Of course there are many „if“ questions after returning to Germany after 4 years, but I definitely think that leaving Germany to play college ball was the right decision. I could earn a valuable degree while playing basketball on a very high level. Experiencing another culture for such a long time helped me to see life from a different perspective. In terms of basketball, I learned to play more physical and could lift my skill set to a whole new level.
In your rookie season with Maine(NCAA) you played 29 games averaging 2.9ppg, 2.3rpg. How important was third year man Jonathan Mesghina for you in your adjustment period having the German who had already played in Wyoming and North Dakota?
Jon was a very valuable source for me to get used to playing college ball. He guided me with his experience and was my contact person when things didn´t go my way. Coming to the US as a freshman, it helped me a lot to have someone who went the same path with the same struggles.
In your third year at Maine ex player Nate Fox was brutally murdered. How did you experience the sorrow at school and do you remember him playing in the BBL when you were a kid?
I was shocked when I heard about Nate´s death. I actually read about it in a German newspaper after rumors was going around at our school. Of course, there was a distressing atmosphere, because Nate was close connected to the men´s basketball program. I remember him having great games in the BBL, although I hardly remember seeing him playing live.
Here and there you played against some big name school´s over your Maine career like Boston College and Uconn who were playing in other conferences. How well will you remember your 17 point game in the loss to UCONN ? Was this a game that you proved to yourself that you can play against the best at the NCAA level?
Playing against big time schools was always a special experience for me. I do remember my 17 point game against UConn quite well. However, we lost harshly, so that it is not one of my favorite memories. The game helped me to realize that there is a lot of competition out there and that it takes a lot to compete on a high level.
You played for two head coaches at Maine with Ted Woodward and Bob Walsh. How did each guy groom and prepare you best for making the next step as a professional basketball player?
I believe that the change of coaching staff in college is pretty tough to handle for players and coaches. Coach Woodward and Coach Walsh had different philosophies of teaching the game, so that it took some adjustments to handle the situation. Both taught me tons of lessons and I am very thankful for both of them for helping me to play pro ball.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Devine Eke?
We always had good battles on the court. Devine is a freak of an athlete while I try to play more with post skills. With his work ethic and his positive mindset, he has a bright future ahead of him.
How does a summer work out day look like for you on and off the court?
During the summer I do a lot of individual workouts and shooting drills to become a better threat from a variety of positions. Starting last week I am busy working out with the A2 German National Team. Off the court I spend time pursuing a masters degree in the upcoming years.
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
One of the toughest players I played during my time at Maine was Shabazz Napier.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
I would choose Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lebron James.
Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?
Without doubt Lebron is among the best who ever played the game. For me it is hard to judge if Jordan or Lebron is better, because the game changed over the years. Looking into the future I believe there is a chance for Lebron to get close to Michael Jordan´s rings.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
No, I don´t agree with that statement. Watching Westbrook play, it is obvious that he does everything in his power to help OKC win. He is a strong defensive force and an unbelievable athlete who can do everything on the floor. I believe that his mental game is strong which reflects in his dominant numbers this season.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I thought the NBA draft was very interesting this year. First off, I am happy to see another German entering the league with Isaiah Hartenstein. I am sure he will take advantage of his opportunity. As sleepers in the NBA draft I see Zach Collins and TJ Leaf with great potential.
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?
I think that the Houston Rockets will play a bigger role in the NBA Playoffs this year. However, I don´t see them as a serious contender for the NBA championship. I certainly think that the Warriors will win the Championship again if they can keep their roster.
What was the last movie that you saw?
„Life of Pi“ was the last movie I watched. I love the metaphoric meaning of the movie and its connection to our world religions which play a major role in our lives.
Thanks Til for the chat.