YannickAnzuluni is a 31 year old 205cm forward from Ottawa, Canada that also has theCongo citizenship. He is playing his eighth professional season and second inGermany returning to the Rostock SEAWOLVES. Currently he is averaging 12,8ppg,5,0rpg and 2,2apg while shooting 34,5% from outside. He played the last twoseasons with BC Lulea (Sweden-Basketligan) and last season played 39 games averaging 14.3ppg, Reb-3(8.2rpg), 2.9apg, Steals-5(1.4spg), FGP: 52.4%, 3PT:37.8%, FT: 82.1%; and played 2 BCL games averaging 15.0ppg, 10.5rpg, 2.5apg He played atHoughton(NAIA) from 2006-2010. He played his first two seasons as aprofessional with Quebec Kebs (Canada-PBL). In the 2012-2013 season he playedfor the Solarto Eagles Magdeburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 21 gamesaveraging 17.5ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.2apg, 3.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 50.2%, 3Pts: 27.4%,FT: 80.2%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Pyrinto Tampere II(Finland-1st Division): 28 games: Score-1(24.4ppg), Reb-3(13.9rpg),Assists-5(3.4apg), Steals-1(2.6spg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 80.9%. In the2014-2015 season he had his first tour of duty with the Rostock Seawolves playing32 games: Score-3(21.0ppg), 8.1rpg, 4.2apg,Steals-1(3.2spg), FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com basketball late in the summer.
Yannick welcome back to Germany. Welcome back to Rostock. How thrilled are you to be back in Germany and with your ex team Rostock?
I’m very happy to be back in Rostock i always knew I would be back for one last hurrah with them.
This is our sixth interview together. How has time not only flown since our last interview two years ago with Phoenix Hagen and your time with Rostock in 2014-2015?
Times has flown a lot since our first interview, you first interviewed me in my early twenties and I just turned 30 this week. It´s pretty amazing.
Since your last time in Rostock you have gained further experience in Sweden with two teams. How do you feel is Yannick Anzuluni different and better now as a player and person having continued to grow?
I´m a very different player than 4-5 years ago. I´m older and more mature. I see the game differently than I did in my younger days.
The Rostock SEAWOLVES have had a massive growth in the last years and now are competing in the very competitive Pro A. How is everything that you have seen so far different than before?
Its a lot different than when I was here. The organization has really grown the past few year as which is great to see.
Now your ex teammate from the 2014-2015 season Jens Hakanowitz is your boss. Is it strange seeing him in a suit now making decisions behind a desk instead of banging inside? Do you remember his 19 point game in your last game with Rostock in 2015 when you lost to Oldenburg?
Yes it was a bit strange seeing himin a different setting but Jens and I are very close. We kept in touch all theseyears. Thats why´I´m wearing the number 20 because it was his number here hislast season.
What is your early impression of the Rostock squad? How competitive will this team be and what kind of style can we await?
The squad looks very good, filled with a bunch of great unselfish guys which will go a long way during the season.
The club kept two key players with Brandon Lockhart and Chris Frazer and brought in great players like Tony Hicks and Terrell Harris. Have you noticed a special kind of character so far? How intense are these character guys and how important will that be for the success early on?
Brandon is not here but Chris, Tony and Terrell are all great players in their own way and have even better characters which is what you need to have for a winning season, good talent with great personalities.
The guard play in the Pro A is always at a high level, but what has been your early impression of Lockhart and Hicks. How explosive will these two players be this season? What is already special about seeing them together on the court?
Tone is a very fast and quick guard and I believe if he stays focused he could take this league by storm.
Another great player is Terrell Harris who belonged to the top players in the German Pro B two years ago and exploded in Denmark last season. He is one of those special guys that despite his success seems to never be satisfied. How will he flourish best with Lockhart and Hicks? Could he be a type of glue guy at the guard position?
Yes Terrell is a great all around guard very athletic who can score anywhere on the court with the potential to be one of the best defensive guards in the league.
It seemed like you made your breakthrough in 2016 reaching the BBL with Phoenix Hagen. In our last interview the title I chose was “ I have never been so excited to start a season in my life”. You played only two games and finished strong in Sweden with BC Lulea. How tough was this season and why didn´t your time work out in Hagen?
The situation in Hagen was not the best situation for me personally which was a blessing in disguise because it led me to Sweden where I had the best season of my career.
You were teammates with a great professional in Hagen with David Bell. How did you experience him in your short time and what will you never forget about him besides his baby hulk features and incredible shooting?
He was a great person always helping guys and only cared about one thingwhich was winning, he was a great leader.
Despite winning titles in Sweden and belonging to the top players in that league, are you back in Germany with a chip on your shoulder wanting to show everyone in the basketball community that you won´t fail again? Have you felt that chip and what is your personal goals as a player this season besides winning?
Things not working out in Hagen then going to Sweden to win a championship and being named finals MVP I don´t consider that failing at all. I have no chip on my shoulders, I decided to come to Rostock to try and help them win a championship before I hang up the sneakers for good.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a very versatile player that can guard many positions. How else do you feel will you be able to help the club be successful at all times?
Having played in back to back finals the past 2 seasons I think I can help most on showing what it takes to get through a grueling season and ultimately win a championship
You stated this two seasons ago before your time with Phoenix Hagen. “ I feel like physically I am a lot bigger and stronger than I was in Rostock and my understanding of the game has also improved and I´m able to combine my physical skills with some good basketball IQ. How has your game continued to develop in the last two years in Sweden?
I developed physically and mentally in my time in Sweden having played different roles at a very high level really took my game to the next.
How did your 2018 summer work out plan look like? On what things did you work on most so you will be fully prepared for this season?
My summer regimen has been the same for many years now a mix of on court workouts, lifting track workouts.
You played two seasons with BC Lulea winning the title in 2017 and losing in the final in 2018. How tough was losing the final to Norrkoping after being up 2-1 in games. Did this loss damper your time there a bit?
Losing is never fun but I wouldn’t change anything about my time in Sweden, I had the best seasons of my career being in multiple championships winning a championship and being able to compete in a European championship were the highlights of my career.
You played two seasons with BC Lulea with American Quinton Upshur. How much of a pleasure was it sharing success with him? Hs he become like a brother for life?
Q as we call him was a great guy and better teammate, probably the best oneon one defensive player I’ve ever played with.
In your first season with BC Lulea you won the Swedish title in great fashion winning 3-2 to Sodertalje after being down 2-0. You averaged 26 points in the last three games and shot 11/18 from outside in games three and four. Was that the best basketball you not only played in Sweden but in your whole professional career?
Because of the circumstances being in a Finals and putting those numbers it was definitely the best basketball I have ever played.
In your first season in Sweden with Umea you destroyed Eco Orebro with 39 points and 17 boards. What memories do you have from that game and was that the most you have ever been in that special zone?
The only memory I have about that game is that I shot TERRIBLY from the 3pts line or else I might of scored 50. I have been in that type of zone a few times in my career.
What is your personal opinion of the never- ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
No debate Jordan is the GOAT.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
No one is beating a healthy Warriors team.
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luka Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?
I didn´t follow the draft at all but if Ayton was #1 it was because experts thoughtfully made that decision.
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?
10 to 12 assts a game.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Yannick for the chat.