Kameron Taylor is a 23 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 23,9ppg, 7,6rpg and 5,3apg. 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 after the 91-74 win against the Dresden Titans.
Kam, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the huge 91-74 win against the Dresden Titans. It´s Sunday and after Julian Gamble supported you watching play did you do the same in his game against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen?
Yes I usually always try to catch a Bonn game and not only support Julian Gamble and the Bonn team but to learn from the game.
When you watch a BBL game like that do you watch a Josh Mayo closely what he is doing or even put yourself in his shoes and draw a picture how you would have handled certain situations?
I know that I’m not the same player as Josh is, what I try to do is see myself contributing my strengths to the team while looking for the weaknesses of not only the Bonn team but the opposing teams as well. To see what both teams are lacking.
Julian Gamble told me in the pre season that you could play in the BBL. Does every new incredible game you produce in the Pro B motivate you to want to be even better the next game? How do you funnel your mentality so you don´t totally go crazy every day as you prepare for the next opponent or are you a more laid back guy that can cut all those thoughts out and just concentrate on your game without thinking about what could be and where you could be in a higher league?
I prepare for each game by lifting and practicing hard, and getting up extra shots through the week. When I feel I have practiced well through the week I’m confident it will directly show come the weekend. I think about taking care of my season and will worry about my future when the season is done.
Before we get back to your game, let´s talk about the Dragons Rhondorf. How big was the win against Dresden considering the horrible fourth quarter in Leverkusen that led to the loss. You said there was no fire there and it was back against Dresden. What does the team have to do to always have that fire for 40 minutes?
It’s to the point of the season where every win is important, the league is so competitive. Shows that anyone can win or lose at any given night. So our job is to make sure we take care of our business. We have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable meaning we can never feel like we can let down. When we do that we will continue our success.
I believe the biggest plus in the win was the fourth quarter where the game was tight, but the team showed it didn´t have to rely on your on points as you scored one free throw and no field goals. How vital does the consistent German production become with the playoffs always drawing nearer?
Teams have been really focusing on taking me out of the game especially in the 4th quarter. So everyone’s production will be vital for the rest of the season and playoffs.
Often when there are big changes in teams, they cant compensate it but with the loses of Kevin Thomas and Ronalds Elknis the team has still been able to compensate it. What has been the secret to overcoming changes and is the strong intact team chemistry a reason for that?
The coaching staff does a great job of searching for players that will not only help us on the court but bond great with Team off the court as well, so when the new guys come such as Brandon. It’s not hard for the team to adjust to him or him to adjust to the team.
Against Dresden the Dragons rebounded very well and ran transition well as well. The only down point was turnovers where the two leaders you and Viktor Frankl-Maus had four apiece. On what things does the team need to work on to get even better on the court?
Yeah, our team plays a very fast pace game. Viktor and I are at our best when we are attacking and finding our teammates. So with that sometimes comes a lot of risk. As a team we need to be able to keep our consistent play for 40 min Every game and not every other game.
It’s Kam here Kam there, but how valuable has Frankl-Maus been for the team and you? He is sort of the team´s unsung hero. How has his game made you better?
I love playing with Viktor. He sets up everyone for easy baskets. He makes it easy for everyone to score because his passes are timely and accurate. He is also a great shooter so as a defender it’s dangerous to help off of him. He has made me better by challenging me in each week in shooting competitions (I win sometimes lol) and also allows me to score without having the ball in my hands which makes it tougher on the defense and easier for me.
It seems like Brandon Watkins is sort of Kevin Thomas reloaded. On the offensive end he still finding his groove. What are the biggest differences in their games and will Watkins be that consistent defensive beast?
Brandon is a little taller and a bit more powerful than Kevin but they both provide the same with basket protection and great energy around the basket which makes them very hard matchups on defense and offense. They both are able to guard the Big and small positions which makes them very versatile and valuable to the team.
You practice with Alexander Moeller each day and he is often in the Telekom Baskets Bonn lineup and recently played his first Basketball Champions League game. How have you seen his game develop this season?
Alex has really developed over the course of the season. But it is no surprise as he practices with Bonn and is usually always head to head with the one of the leagues best Julian Gamble. When Alex is facing BBL bigs 3-4 times a week it’s easy to see vast improvements in his game.
Talk a little about the three veterans Thomas Michel, Valentin Blass and Yannick Kneesch. What have you enjoyed most about their play and how important has their routine helped the team be where it is today?
They all provide great 3 point shooting and all 3 of them are versatile playing more than one position. Vale has developed his total game over the season and found himself in the starting lineup as a reward. Tommy is probably the most versatile player on the team, he is able to play and guard all positions and is able to score at all levels (mid range, 3 point, getting to the basket). He has been a very important key to our success. Yannick also creates matchup problems for bigs as he is able to shoot the 3 at high and efficient rate but also quick enough to make a move to get to the basket. He strong enough to guard the 5 position and quick enough to guard the 4 position. With these three guys it’s easy to see why we are top of the league.
German Anton Geretzki is a very talented German that can shoot and run the floor very well. You have a big task of being the leader, but how have you been able to help his game in practice?
Tony has become a total package. He has so much potential in being a 203m guard that can shoot. One of his qualities that has been overlooked is his ability to see the floor and read plays before they happen as he gets more experience and as the season continues and as we approach the playoffs, his role will become bigger and bigger.
Everybody will remember your triple double against Dresden, but few will remember that Patrick Reusch was the second most effective player on the team behind you with 10 points and seven assists in 19 minutes. Few will forget his magical 18 point game in 18 minutes against Karlsruhe where he carried the team the first half where you were hit with foul trouble. He has come a long way with an injury. Is he the team´s most improved player?
Patty has been battling an injury for most of the season. I wouldn’t say he’s the most improved player because everyone on the team knows he was capable of these type games. His instant offense and experience will be heavily relied on as we approach playoffs.
Everybody talks about your play and team chemistry for the success of the team, but how important has German coach Thomas Adelt been? How has his coaching ability helped you become a better player as well as everyone else?
Coach Thomas has helped me by always putting me in positions to be successful. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and he puts me positions where I can be effective. He also improves my weaknesses through the practice week. I would say The biggest impact he had on me is that he gives me confidence and trust. Not only me but the whole team and as a player, the weight of fear of making a mistake is lifted off your shoulders.
Where will the journey of the Dragons Rhondorf end this season? Is the Pro B title the ultimate goal?
Our Ultimate goal is Pro B Champions!
In our first interview you stated you want to effect all parts of the game. You have done that this season in the Pro B. With your amazing stats and triple doubles, how can your game still get better?
I will discuss with coach Thomas on everything that I need to improve on and it will be another productive summer for me.
Against Dresden you scored quickly and got many rebounds and was near to the double double at halftime. Is getting rebounds early something that sparks the rest of your game?
We are a great transition team. So it’s easier to start a transition break when the guard gets the rebound. So I make a conscious effort to crash the glass not only for rebounds but to put my team in the position to be successful.
You said in our first interview that sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward. In all honesty how much fun has this season been. You are in a lower league, but you have enriched the whole season of the Dragons Rhondorf and the team would´t be where it is today.
The season has been great not only because the team is successful but because I have bonded with each and everyone of my teammates and created relationships that I’m positive will go beyond the season. I was able to bring out my mom and show her a great time in Germany with the help of the fans and the management. This season has already been a personal success. Now we want the ultimate goal.
You also stated in our first interview that you don´t force anything, but just take what the defense gives me. How challenging is it each game to have that in the back of your mind when you have the ball and are running the offense?
My role from last year and this year has changed. There are sometimes I must be a little more aggressive to create for myself and my teammates. I still take what the defense gives me but I makes sure that I put myself in positions well I’m comfortable to find the open man or hit the shot I work on in practice each day.
You have had three triple doubles in your career against Shippenberg in the NCAA with Seton Hill and as a professional against Coburg and Dresden. After the Dresden win you said this ““Triple doubles are nothing new for me. If I play with energy and fire and my teammates make shots then I can make one each game. I couldn´t do it without them”, Doesn´t that put unneeded pressure on yourself?
No I don’t feel any pressure, I actually feel the opposite. Coach Thomas and my teammates just want me to go out and play my game and when I do that I’m able to help my team win and feel the stat sheet as I do it.
Against Wurzburg you flirted with a quadruple double. Is this something you could achieve one day or something where the basketball God has to really be in your corner on that day?
Quadruple double. Wow I think I really have to be on my game that day. I was surprised that I was close to it that day.
Julian Gamble said this about you during the Dresden game. ““When I first saw him in August, I could see the kind of potential that he had. I wanted to help him be more effective while dribbling less, but still being able to score. He is such an amazing athlete and by far the strongest on the court. He has developed so well this season that it will be exciting to see what else he will be able to do in the future”. Is dribbling less something and still scoring a lot something you continue to focus on?
Yes I understand the higher the level the better the defenders. So me being able to score in 3 dribbles or less will be very important so that has been one of things I’ve focused on this year and will continue to focus on over the summer.
You have been such an important defensive player as your long arms and anticipation helps you get deflections and steals which then sparks the fast break play. On what things do you continue to work on to become an even better defender?
I think being able to disrupt the offensive player without being over aggressive will be what I work on for the next level.
You fill up the stat sheet like no other, but are also a guy that does so much that isn´t seen on the stats sheet. You credit learning the fundamentals in high school and at Seton Hill for helping you become more of a complete player. Talk a little about the fundamentals you learned and what things you feel you need to do on the court that isn’t seen on the stat sheet?
Boxing out, help side defense, making a good screen, and moving without the ball, are all just a few of things that my past programs have taught me make you more of a threat as a basketball player. It helps you and your team become more dangerous.
Where will the journey of the Washington Wizards go this season?
Hopefully they get to the Finals and win but that’s just me speaking as a Wiz kid.
What is your opinion of Lavar planning a new league and can his sons make the NBA one day?
Not sure what he has up his sleeve but I’m sure he will find a way to make it a success. The ball brothers are very talented and getting a lot of publicity, wouldn’t be surprised to see them all in the NBA.
Where will the Tom Brady stand as the best player of all-time in sports if he wins a sixth Super Bowl?
He is already one of the greatest of all time. Adding a sixth Super Bowl is legendary.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Kam for the chat.