Siyani Chambers (Giessen 46ers) Has The Winning Mentality And Children Skills To Always Fit In Anywhere

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Siyani Chambers in Frankfurt

John Bryant has seen hundreds of point guards in his career and played with hundreds more since he picked up a basketball in San Pablo, California, but he definitely hasn´t come across a player like Siyani Chambers before in his career as he doesn´t possess only extra ordinary fine basketball skills, but also has another skill that definitely not all basketball players have and something that if he and his current teammates really wanted to get on the back of the Minnesota native could possibly rob a lot of free time and even have him moonlighting from basketball on certain nights. Chambers didn´t only have a magnificent NCAA career at Harvard where he won more titles than most college players in a four year career, but he also learned another trade only because of an injury and a service that isn´t usually handed to a man and definitely something that most men wouldn´t feel proud of doing or want to do it, but it has been done not only by women. In the summer of 2015 the American interned at Adidas in Portland. While playing pickup, his left knee gave out and he tore up his ACL. He withdrew from Harvard for the 2015-16 academic year because Ivy League schools don´t allow redshirt seasons. Instead of getting a typical job that a man would do, he did something very untypical becoming a nanny for Reverend Jonathan L. Walton, Harvard’s Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. It was a route that most men would have cringed at and thought “are you crazy and why would you do something like that”, but Chambers didn´t go against the norm and found the experience very enriching and gave his life new meaning and also helped him get his mind of the nasty injury. “, I want to thank Rev. Walton and his family for their hospitality and allowing me to stay in their home. Caring for the kids, Zora, Elijah, and Baldwin was not only fun but it also helped take my mind of the injury. As a competitor any injury that will keep you away from the game is tough. I had to learn to be patient and understand that my recovery would be a process, and to mentally stay focused and believe during times when things weren’t as fast as I wanted”, stressed Siyani Chambers. This whole experience wasn´t easy having to sit out a year and be away from competing on and off the floor, but his ex Harvard teammate Brandyn Curry knew exactly what he was going through. “Whenever you are faced with some adversary like that how you respond really determines if it was a blessing in disguise and I think that´s exactly how it ended up being for him. He took that year and worked extremely hard on making the most of it. I had a similar situation when he was a freshmen and I had to take a year off so we talked a good bit when he had his. I think as the years go on he will continue to value that year off more and more just like I have”, warned Brandyn Curry. Should a fan over hear a John Bryant whispering something to Siyani Chambers after a hard fought victory to the words of “hey man how about watching my kids tomorrow night while my wife and I check out that new Spiderman movie The New Universe”, then it will be clear that his teammates have exploited the child caring talents of Chambers and given him a new moonlighting job as a babysitter. Siyani Chambers has the winning mentality and children skills to fit in anywhere.


Chambers was born on December 14th, 1993 and grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota and learned his early basketball skills at Hopkins High School. Here he got his first taste of winning and not only one state championship but back to back titles in 2010 and 2011. He was named to the all-state team and was named Mr Minnesota basketball that also other well known basketball figures have achieved like ex Boston Celtic Kevin McHale, Kris Humphries and Khalid El-Amin. After his stellar high school career at Hopkins, he was ranked as the nation´s 45th best point guard by ESPN. He made the next step in his career and joined the Harvard Crimson in 2012. When the American got to Harvard, he didn´t have much time to get integrated or possibly learn from Brandyn Curry, because he didn´t play that season on account of the Harvard academic scandal and suddenly he was thrust into the starting job as a freshman. He didn´t disappoint at all that season as he had one of his best statistical season´s at Harvard having his bests coring average and three point shooting percentage as he played 30 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.6rpg, 5.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 80.0. He scored in double figures in 21 games and registered three double doubles. Highlights his freshman year included a 22 point game in a win against Dartmouth and adding 21 points in wins against Boston College and Boston University where he hit the game winner with 4 seconds to play. The Freshman Minnesota native led his team to the Ivy League title and into the NCAA tournament where they beat new Mexico 68-62, but bowed out to the Arizona Wild Cats 74-51. He was named the Ivy league rookie of the year and named to the first team. In his sophomore season the club was aided by the return of Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey and the team won the Ivy League crown again and Chambers was instrumental in the successful season playing 30 games averaging 11.1ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 36.4%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 73.2%. His stats were similar to his freshman season and he was named to the all Ivy second team. It was also the last season of Brandyn Curry who would turn professional and begin his career in Holland with Den Bosch. Even if they were only teammates one season, he will never forget his Curry experience. “Brandyn is a great friend, teammate, and competitor. Harvard Basketball prides itself on its members leaving the program both better players and people than when they first arrived. During your 4 years, you strive not only to get better each day and win the next game, but you also help teach the guys in classes behind you the Harvard way. Brandyn did this with me, and was a great role model for me to continue that legacy that Coach Tommy Amaker started”, stated Siyani Chambers. Curry who is balling in France this season remembers his times with Chambers as if it was yesterday. “I had a great relationship on and off the court with Siyani. One of the best moments on the court with him was winning our NCAA tourney game against Cincinnati. It was one of the highlights of my career and he really led us the whole year”, stressed Brandyn Curry. Even if Curry was only a teammate of his for one season, there wasn´t so much that Chambers could soak in from his game, because he had already been an impact player in his first two years. “I can’t say I really helped him too much at all. Even though he is two years younger his game was very mature already. I tried to advise him more on making sure he continues to work on his game every day and is not satisfied where his level is at now because he still has a lot of room to grow. He already had good stats in his first two years”, warned Brandyn Curry.


            The hunger and desire for the Ivy league three peat was still there as he arrived on campus as a junior and he didn´t disappoint as he and fellow American Wesley Saunders who played last season with German team BG Goettingen and currently with Vanoli Basket Cremona (Italy-Serie A) led the charge. The team once again was able to win the Ivy league title and he was named to the all Ivy second team. He played  30 games averaging  9.9ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 37.1%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 81.4%. He scored in double figures in 20 games and his season highlights included 16 point games in the wins against Grand Canyon and Columbia. Chambers who lists current Brooklyn Net and NCAA champion with Uconn Shabazz Napier as his hardest opponent in the NCAA also played against the absolute best in the first round against North Carolina losing a heart breaker 67-65. He could look left and right in that game and was surrounded by future NBA players like Marcus Paige, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks, Brice Johnson, and Theoplilus Pinson. This game was one of those memories he surely will remember when he tells his grand children, “Playing in the NCAA tournament is an amazing experience. Playing North Carolina, a blue blood in college basketball, was a memorable game. Both teams played hard, and it came down to the wire, which made for a fun game to not only watch but also to play in. Every game we tried to focus on playing our style of play and sticking to the game plan, and playing against UNC was no different. Unfortunately, we were not able to come out with the W. But we believed that we had a good chance at winning that game”, stressed Siyani Chambers.  After his bitter ACL injury that caused him to miss the 2015-2016 season where he moonlight as a nanny, he returned back focused and motivated for his senior season at Harvard. He had his highest assist average in the NCAA, but winning a fourth consecutive Ivy league title didn´t happen. He played 26 games averaging  9.9ppg, 2.7rpg, 6.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 85.2%. He scored in double figures in 14 games and registered one double double. One of his highlights in his senior season was scoring 19 points in the 77-58 victory against Brown. Of course he had many highlights at Harvard with three Ivy League titles, but he remembers which one was the sweetest. “My time at Harvard was special. Playing for Coach Amaker, Representing Harvard, and being able to play with the teammates that I had is something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. If I had to pick a favorite year it would be the 2013-14 season”, added Siyani Chambers. But one of his biggest highlights along with winning three Ivy league titles was it having the opportunity to play for coaching legend Tommy Amaker. Amaker had nothing but the best to say about his player stating once that “he’ll go down as arguably the most important player that we’ve ever had. He’s always been the most important player on our team. He hasn’t always been the best player. But there’s never been anyone as important since he’s been here with the role he plays, the position he plays, the production he’s given. He’s the smartest player I’ve been around since Shane Battier.” Chambers could surely write a chapter about his ex coach one day when all is said and done if he ever chose to write a book, but kept it brief, but to the point for now. “There are not enough nice things I could say about Coach Amaker. He not only helped me become a better player but also a better person”, stressed Siyani Chambers.


            The American set out to go overseas in 2017 and signed with the BC Raiffeisen Flyers Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga). He went a similar route like his ex teammate Brandyn Curry. Curry went to Holland having a great season which enabled him to make the enxt step to the BBL in 2015. Chambers also had a strong rookie season in Austria playing 34 games averaging 14.9ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-5(5.3apg), Steals-4(1.6spg), FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 77.2%. He helped lead the club to a strong fourth place finish, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to Vienna. He scored in double figures in 26 games and had one double double. He scored 20 points or more eight times. He had some memorable games against UBSC Graz where he steered 22 points in the thrilling 87-85 win, and a 22 point effort in the 100-94 win against Vienna earlier in the regular season. But his most thrilling game was his 34 point explosion in the double OT 112-107 win against klosterneuburg where he played 48 minutes and shot very well at 11/20. He had his best scoring season since high school and was top five in assists and steals and was able to gain confidence for the next step in Germany. As a kid from Minnesota, the cold and snow wasn´t anything new for him as he had seen it for his whole life as also living in Boston supplied him with an abundance of snow and cold winters,but there were other new factors that he had to deal with. “Learning the language and culture were two huge wake up calls for me. Also, European and college basketball have some differences in game rules. But with the help of my teammates I was able to learn and adapt quickly. But Austria and the Austrian basketball league were great. And I thank the Raiffeisen Flyers Wels for giving me the opportunity to play my rookie season with them”, expressed Siyani Chambers.


            Sometimes a player with play an extra season in a lower league or go to another rlower league before making the next jump to the easyCredit BBL as his Wels teammate scorer Elijah Wilson did staying in Austria, but instead he made the jump to Germany to the ambitious team Giessen 46ers who won titles in the 70´s and last reached the playoffs in 2005 with future Euroleague players Lou Campbell, Anton Gavel and Chuck Eidson. The American picked not only the right team with Giessen this season, but also the right moment as this could be the season where the club finally gets back to the playoffs after being so close the last few years. Giessen in a way was the perfect organization to come to and to make the next career as the philosophy of Freyer and his running mentality infected him. “The high pace style of play is how I like to play and I think it will be a good fit for me”, added Siyani Chambers. Adding Chambers with his title successes at Harvard and from high school definitely has helped the club, but another huge asset has been the immense experience that Giessen has this season which has lifted the team´s play and infected everyone else and something that each player including Chambers can profit from. The club has four incredible players with John Bryant, Brandon Thomas, Larry Gordon and David Bell that combined have 28 years of BBL experience and that has been a big reason for the Hessen team being in contention for the playoffs. Despite a bitter ending to his season in Austria where he was swept by Vienna in the playoffs and lost the last game by 29 points, he knew that he had to be ready for the easyCredit BBL. “The loss to Vienna and the season overall motivated me a lot to work harder in order for me to elevate my game to be ready for for whatever opportunity came next”, warned Siyani Chambers. He doesn´t like to compare his game to an NBA player, but moreover enjoys incorporating different aspects from Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul and Damian Lillard´s games into his game knew coming to Germany that he not only had the game, but the competitive edge that would get him over the top with his experience of knowing how to lead a team and win games. His ex teammate Brandyn Curry went the same route in his second professional season going to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but had a season to forget. “All players have tough games and tough seasons; Brandyn is a great player and I am glad to see him succeeding.   I’ve worked really hard this summer which has prepared me for this season. Winning is the most important thing to me. Individually, my goal is to show that I belong on this level and amongst competition of this level”, warned Siyani Chambers.


So far this season the American has had difficulty finding his groove as he is averaging 4,9ppg, 1,6rpg and 3,4apg. He has always been a pretty good playmaker where ever he has played. “Ball distribution is one of my best strengths – and with all the returning talent on the team, I’ll be able to get guys the ball in positions that allow them to showcase their talent”, warned Siyani Chambers. He was instrumental in a tight win against Wurzburg scoring 12 points, but has struggled since then as his minutes have shrunk dramatically especially in the last few games. Recently head coach Ingo Freyer hasn´t been happy with his game and given the nod more to the German kid Bjarne Kraushaar. His biggest flaw has been his inconsistency, but that is expected for any young player playing in the competitive BBL for the first time. He continues to work on his three pointer where he currently is at 26% and his hidden strength rebounding is something he continues to shine with helping out at both ends of the court. His minutes have really gone down in the last games and he didn´t even see action in the last game . Getting minutes now won´t get any easier either with the arrival of Jared Jordan, but a positive aspect is that Jordan is another guy he can learn from. His ex teammate Brandyn Curry has been keeping tabs on his development from a far and is confident that he will continue to go his route up the basketball ladder. “It´s been great to see him really grow as a player since we have played together at Harvard. His skills have improved in all areas and he reads the game at an even higher level than before. He told me he has been working hard on his game every summer and you really see he was not joking when you look at him play now and compare it to a couple years ago I absolutely can see him being an impact player in the BBL. Siyani has everything you could want in your point guard. He makes all the players around him better, he has a high motor. is a great leader, can score the ball, and hounds you on defense. He has what it takes to be up there with the best guards in the BBL for sure”, warned Brandyn Curry. He definitely picked the right basketball spot with Giessen even if he has struggled, but in Giessen he is in a winning atmosphere and can continue to develop at his pace and learn from some future BBL legends. He also will never be bored in his free time. He can always babysit for John Bryant´s kids and in return get some key insider facts about what it takes to make it to an organization like FC Bayern Munich. He has the special winning mentality that will get him far in his basketball career and off the court will always be very popular with his teammates who are dads.

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