Malcolm Delpeche is a 22 year old 203cm forward that was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but also has the British citizenship and will play his second professional season with the WWW Baskets Muenster. He played at Bates(NCAA3) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 100 games. In his senior year at Bates, he played 24 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.5apg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 63.1%. Last season as a rookie he played with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 64.0%, in Mar.’18 moved to Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 12 games averaging 6.2ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.0%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about basketball.
Hi Malcolm, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Right now I’m currently in Wilmington, Delaware. My summer has been really good thus far! I’ve enjoyed catching up with friends and family members. In addition to getting the chance to really focus on my game and make sure that I’m coming back better as a basketball player than I was last year.
Welcome back to Germany. Congrats on signing with the WWW Baskets Muenster. What were the main reasons for coming back to Germany and signing with the WWW Baskets Muenster?
I’ve decided to come back to Germany for a couple of reasons. For one, I definitely feel more comfortable being here now that I’ve already played here for a full season last year. I also enjoyed my experience in Germany last year, and would like to further indulge myself in this country. I chose Münster for a couple of reasons. As many might know Münster competed in the same league as us last year in Regionaliga 1 West. They were one of two only teams that beat us last year. And the only team to deny us single victory all season. Despite the agony of defeat, I also saw a lot to love about the Münster Club. Some of these regarded to how the team was run, their playing style, and their commitment to success.
Was the fact that head coach Philipp Kappenstein really wanted to a big reason why you chose this team? How good does it feel to be his most desired player?
I think that being wanted and being seen as a valuable asset to any coach or team is definitely attractive as a player. I’m sure that no one wants to play where they’re not wanted. I’m flattered and humbled to be as highly sought out after as I was by coach Kappenstein. All I can look forward to now is to prove my worth and help bring success to this club.
Your team last season Grevenbroich and Muenster were the two best teams in the Regionalliga Did you already have contact to Muenster last season or did this all come about after the season?
My contact with the Münster Club really took off after the conclusion of our season with Grevenbroich Elephants. I was in on and off communication with Helge, throughout my brief season in Bristol, England. After I finished my season there I returned to Germany briefly and visited Münster while I was there where I had a face-to-face meeting with Helge as well as a tour of the city.
Let´s talk a little about last season. You lost both games against Muenster. What memories do you have those battles and what do you feel was missing from getting over the hump?
Personally I remember those games being the hardest I ever played in that season. From a physicality standpoint, as well as a strategy standpoint. I also remember the energy in those games being the most memorable. Especially when Münster came to play us at home in Grevenbroich. We sold the most tickets that game, the gym was packed, and it was so loud and rowdy in there. I get goosebumps just from thinking about being in that environment. Despite the losses, they were probably in my top 3 favorite games of that season. We honestly couldn’t get over the “hump” and beat Münster though. I remember both games kind of following the same story line. We would be really close leading up to half time and then they would pull away from us in the 2nd half. I think what it really came down to was consistency and execution. Or our lack there of. Münster seemed to have mastered this, however we couldn’t put a full game together. I also believe that Münster’s scouting on us was really good. I think that they picked up on our tendencies and knew which personal to focus on to inhibit our game plan. For that, I really have to tip my hat off to Münster’s coaching staff.
You had solid games, but not explosive games against Muenster. Did you feel like you could have done a little extra more to have helped your team win?
Whenever a team I play for losses, I always look back and think that I could of done more. I’m my own biggest critic.
You had many very good games, but would your performances in the wins against Hagen and Ibbenburen classify as your best all around games, because you were a force at both ends of the court?
I think that those games were some of my best for sure. I distinctly remember the Ibbenburen game as being the game where I felt that everything was clicking for me on both ends of the floor. I think that having both an offensive and defensive mindset, has really helped in the success of me as a player as well as the success of the teams I’ve played for.
How important has it been having your brother as a teammate at Bates(NCAA) and last season with Grevenbroich and in the UK. Will the teammate thing continue this season in Muenster?
It’s always a blessing to share the same court as my brother. We’ve played together on the same teams for our entire 22 years of life thus far. We compliment each other and our chemistry has definitely helped with our respective team’s success as well as our own individual success. As fate would have it however, the band will be splitting up for the first time. My brother and I will not be sharing the same court this year. While I’m playing in Münster, my brother will likely be playing in England again.
What has been the most important thing that your brother has given you on the court that has really helped your game best over the years?
There’s a saying that, “iron sharpens iron.” I think that having my brother around has provided close to a mirror image of myself to compete against on the court and help myself get better. We also train together all the time. We always push each other and hold one on other accountable. When you’re around that type of person, you can’t help but get better yourself.
You are identical twins. You must of played pranks over the years on people. What has been the most memorable where you really fooled someone?
The most memorable joke that we’ve pulled, was when we switched classes in middle school and nobody knew until we told them.
You finished last season with Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 12 games averaging 6.2ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.0%. How important was it for you finishing there? What do you feel did you gain most from the short time there that will help you as you start in the Pro B?
I think that playing in the BBL was definitely great exposure for me in the sense that it gave me a different look In the quality of play beyond Regionalliga West. Basketball over there was played faster and more aggressively on both sides of the ball comparatively. I think that playing in that environment has provided me a measurement of where I want to be when I bring my game to Pro B. After playing in the BBL I think I gained a better understanding of what parts of my game I want to really lock in on and get better at.
What memories do you have of teammate Leslee Smith who will be your opponent this season with top team Iserlohn. What soaked in the most from his game that you will bring this season in the Pro B?
Leslee Smith was a great teammate when we both played for the Bristol Flyers. I tried to soak in as much as possible when watching him play in games as well as practicing with him. He played a big role in the transition process my brother and I experienced when we first moved to England. We quickly needed to learn Bristol’s offense and defensive principles and he definitely played a big part in our understanding of that. I’m really excited to see him in Germany and getting the chance to compete against him. One part of Leslie game that I admired was his shooting ability, especially in the mid-range / high post area. That’s a part of my game that I’ve really been focusing on this summer.
Let´s talk about your game. You can score and rebound well and are a very versatile defender. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would you pick?
I would l compare my basketball skill set to Demarcus Cousins.
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet with ease, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
One strength of mine that might not necessarily show up on the stat sheet is my ability to run the floor which allows transition offense to generate. With me running the floor, teams generally focus on rim protection which then collapses the defense and allows my teammates to get open shots in transition.
You played at Bates(NCAA3) from 2013-2017. What were your fondest memories of that time? Possibly reaching the D-3 Sweet 16 in 2015?
My fondest memories playing for Bates College would be a split-tie between making it to the D3 sweet 16 in 2015 and breaking my college’s long time held record for All-Time Most Blocked Shots which ultimately lead to me receiving 2017-2018 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
You and your brother didn’t only excel on the court and in the classroom, but also were part of the Green Dot initiative, a bystander intervention program that seeks to prevent power-based violence. How important was it being a part of this and how vital is being aware of this in Germany a place that has suffered a bit with increased violence in certain areas?
I think that being a part of a movement like this is very important. It’s easy to get caught up in your privilege and lose sight of other people around you. Me being an athlete at a small college can put you in a limelight and at times shield you from what goes on around you. I’m glad that I was able to use my position and influence to help bring awareness to something like this. In addition to just letting people know that we all play a part in creating an environment where we all feel safe. The smallest voice or intervention can be the difference and have the biggest impact in someone’s life. The beauty of being a part of a program like Green Dot is that it’s practices aren’t limited to a small college campus. It can apply to any setting and any context. Even when I’m Germany I can look to implement these practices.
How did head coach Jonathan Furbush groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Furbush has been invaluable to me and my player development. Just in terms of how he pushed us in our practices and demanded excellence from every player regardless of their role on the team. These sort of philosophies are the same ones I implement and bring to every practice and every game. He also focused on our skill development, and kept us locked in. He even helped train my brother and I for a pro basketball combine in New York we went to in the spring following the conclusion of our senior basketball season. He’s gone above and beyond for us and I’m forever grateful for that.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or your brother Marcus?
I will ALWAYS bet on myself! I’d definitely win.
You played against many talented players in your career, but who was your toughest opponent that reached the NBA or is in Europe?
I’d probably say Donte Divencenzo (drafted #17 for the Milwaukee Bucks). We played against each other in high school and my senior year I saw the work he had been putting in and watched it come into fruition on the court! I’m happy to see his success and wish him a long successful career. Way to put Delaware on the map Donte! I’d also say Benjamin Bentil who was drafted by the Celtics 2 years ago. I believe he’s playing in Italy now. We also played in high school against one another and played the same position. He was a force to be reckoned with. Honestly it was probably after playing against him for the first time that I really started taking basketball seriously in high school and really dedicated myself to my craft.
How does a summer work out plan look like for you in 2018? Have you switched up things from 2-3 years ago about how you approach getting ready for the upcoming season?
Something that I’m doing a little bit different this off season compared to the past is taking a primary focus on lower body strength and mobility this off season. Obviously I’m still taking care of everything else, but this summer in particular I’ve been working to make sure my lower body is in the best shape possible. This summer I’m also focusing on expanding my range from the basket. In watching my film from last season I think that finding ways to score outside of brute force and operating with my back to the basket. I’m focusing on developing a more trustworthy jumper from the mid/high post area, as well as the 3 point range. Nowadays you generally have to be able to shoot to be really successful, and I think that being a better shooter will be invaluable to me and Münster.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
Lebron James Micheal Jordan Magic Johnson Kareem Abdul Jabbar
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
Lebron is better than Jordan. It’s time to come to terms with that.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
I’d be more concerned about the Sixers honestly. They’re on pace for greatness if they all stay healthy.
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luca Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?
First off, I love Luca Doncic! I think he’s great and I’ve been following Euroleague and I was extremely impressed by his level of play. I don’t know necessarily if he’s the real #1 but definitely top 3. I think that the Mavericks have a special kid.
How did you follow the 2018 NBA Draft? How cool is it having two Germans being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers?
I watched the 2018 draft from home on the television. I think it’s awesome for Germany, and German basketball to have some of their own drafted into the NBA.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
I think that if Lebron James really wanted to just focus on passing and play making in the PG position (which I undoubtedly think he will eventually do, due to age) that he could average at least 10 assists per game.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
I actually never saw Black Panther, but I do plan on checking it at some point. The last movie I saw was the 2018 horror movie, Heritage. I loved it.
Thanks Malcolm for the chat.