Kameron Taylor is a 22 year old 198cm guard from Hyattsville, Maryland that is playing his second professional season and first with Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf and tearing up the Pro B averaging 23,3ppg, 7,2rpg and 4,5apg. Last season as a rookie he played with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 10.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at DeMatha Catholic and in 2012-2013 started his career at Seton Hill (NCAA2) and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 70.0%. In his second season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.6apg, 2.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 77.9%. In his junior season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 70.6%. In his senior year at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 20.8ppg, 8.7rpg, 4.1apg, 2.2spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before he signed with the Dragons Rhondorf.
Kam thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are playing your second professional season and first with the Dragons Rhondorf. You had a solid rookie season in Germany with Ehingen, but chose to play in the Pro B for Rhondorf. What were the main factors for you making this move?
Rhondorf gave me a direct access to learn and train with the Telekom Baskets BBL in where I can not only compete with the highest competition but also see where my skill and athleticism is compared to the athletes of the BBL, and can directly help Rhondorf and keep my gameplay high for the Pro B.
Sometimes taking a step back can be seen as a step forward. Why did you choose to take a step back to the Pro B? It isn´t like you have to prove yourself after what you showed in the Pro A last season?
Yea sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.
What has been your early impression of this years Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf? They have a solid core of Germans led by Viktor Frankl- Maus and three talented imports. What kind of style do you see the team playing and how successful will the team be?
I really enjoy the team, we have great chemistry on and off the court. I especially think the chemistry off the court is important because it eliminates selfishness between the team. I feel we are a defensive team that can get out run as well as run a good half court offense. I expect a really good season because our success will depend on us coming out ready to play every game.
How important has the training been with BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn for guys like you and Viktor Frankl-Maus? Did the hard practices against tough competition stimulate your self confidence?
It’s been very helpful. Viktor and I both were being pushed really hard with the BBL. We both know if we are able to make good plays and defend against the Telekom Basket guys then we both would for sure be ready for everyone in the Pro B.
How important was the daily grinding with experienced veteran Josh Mayo? What do you feel does your game have now that it didn´t have before you worked with him on the court?
Josh is a great player, I respect him a lot because he affects the game in all facets. I learn a lot from just watching him play. He definitely increases my IQ and experience.
KJ Sherril didn´t work out and the team brought in Canadian power forward Kevin Thomas What has been your impression of him and will he be able to be a beast in the post area?
Kevin immediately brought a lot of energy, defense, rebounding to our team and is constantly working on his game. He will definitely be a tough match up for most of our opponents.
Ronalds Elknis was the other import signing. So far he hasn´t come out of his shell yet, but how confident are you that he will be able to be a consistent and stable producer on the court?
Ron has been very consistent in getting better each day. He continues to improve his shot, defense, and post skills each practice we have. He will definitely be instrumental in our success this year.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a guy that can do it all, but what do you feel are your biggest strengths on the court and to what NBA player would you describe your game?
I honestly play where the coach needs me to play. I feel that I am able to to affect the game in all facets. So whatever the team needs to win I am willing to do. I like to do a little of everything so I would say Russell Westbrook because he is also a stat stuffer.
You’re a guy that can really fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
I find my ball handling and my athleticism to be hidden strengths. At 198cm I take pride in being able to be more than just wing player but also a ball handler.
Last season with Ehingen you averaged 10.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 80.2%. You didn´t take too many three´s and weren´t forcing them. Do you feel like your shot selection was one of your bigger strengths last season?
Yes I usually try not to force things and just take what the defense gives me. Last year I had teammates that were able to create and make it easy for me to score.
Last season the Dragons Rhondorf had one of the top players in Aaron Nelson who produced 23 points and 12 rebounds per game. You are one of the odds on favorites to win the scoring crown. You obviously want to win, but do you see yourself having to score a lot this season for Rhondorf to be successful?
I think the Rhondorf team this year has a lot of threats inside and outside that make it easier for me to score. Our success will come primarily from our ability to defend.
You played at Seton Hill(NCAA2) How often do you get people saying “Seton Hill not Seton Hall”? How proud were you to be able to play 4 years at this school?
Literally every occasion I have to correct people. I’m very proud of my school, I was able to create great relationships with teammates, classmates, coaches, teachers, and administrators. I appreciate the memories from Seton Hill.
Is your best friend James Robinson who was your teammate in high school at Dematha plays in Germany with medi Bayreuth one of your big role models. He played at Pitt and now is in the BBL and seemed to always be a step ahead of you. How is your relationship and how has his game and friendship had an impact on you?
James is more of a brother to me. I have a lot of respect for James, he has earned everything he has and probably deserves more. We are constantly pushing each other to become better players in the off season. I continue to learn something new every time we work out. We both will continue to raise our game and work our way up the ladder.
Despite the 94-93 loss to Shippensburg, you registered a massive triple double with 27 points, 13 boards and 11 assists. Was this one of your best individual games in school?
Yea that was my only triple double of my career but it was a bitter sweet moment because we lost by a buzzer beater.
Your head coach at Seton Hill Tony Morocco marveled about your work ethic and basketball abilities. How did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He pushed me as well as the team to continue to work out and shoot outside of regular schedule practices. The coaching staff was very good on being available for us to work on our game.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or James Robinson?
I’m going with myself vs anyone in one on one
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
Not in the NCAA but I played Shabazz Muhammad in high school and he was for sure a tough cover
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Larry Bird
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?
When Lebrons Career is up he will definitely be known as one of the greatest to ever play.
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?
I feel Russell does what he feels is necessary for his team to win and if that’s attacking the glass and/or guarding the best player than that’s what he will do. A lot of Respect for Russell.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
Markelle Fultz is definitely my favorite pick in the draft, I think he will be change the Philadelphia organization for the better.
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?
That’s definitely an interesting combination I’m curious to see how they will be able to gel as a team. If everything goes well I think they are definitely contending for west conference finals
How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?
I think the deal was very interesting. For the long run I’m not totally sure both were superstars last season. It will be interesting to see how they both adjust to their new roles.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Kam for the chat.