PS Karlsruhe And Roland Nyama Proved That Last Season Wasn´t A Fluke And Turned People Into Believers

Roland Nyama is a 25 year old 198cm forward from Frankfurt, Germany that has the German/Cameroonian citizenship and recently finished his second season with PS Karlsruhe averaging 8,5ppg, 3,3rpg and 1,3apg. Last season with PS Karlsruhe he averaged 6,5ppg and 2,2rpg. He started his basketball career with the FTG Frankfurt junior team. He then got further valuable basketball experience with Eintracht Frankfurt (2.Regionalliga) in 2008. He then continued to play with Eintracht Frankfurt (2.Regionalliga) from 2009-2011 while also playing for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt II (Germany-ProB) where he played 6 games in two years. In 2011, he came to the United States and played for the Holderness School. He came to Stony Brook in 2013 and in his first full season played 34 games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 69.2%. In his last season he played 32 games averaging 10,3ppg, 4,4rpg and 1,4apg He spoke to after he finished the 2018-2019 season with PS Karlsruhe before joining his new team the Tigers Tuebingen.

Thanks Roland for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

Hi Miles thanks for having me again. I’m currently in the Stuttgart Area since the workout situation there is more favorable to me than in my hometown Frankfurt. I have been taking some time off of basketball to recharge but I’m keeping myself in shape with other forms of workout.

It’s been a year since our last interview. Has basketball time flown by in this time for you as you are approaching your third professional season? 

Yea definitely. Time during Basketball season, at least after the preseason seems to be going a lot faster than one notices.

It was another special season for PS Karlsruhe. How do you believe did the special basketball culture grow in the last season after it’s amazing Pro A debut in 2017? 

After a rough start to this season, we turned people into believers. People that thought that last year was a fluke were proven wrong and we established ourselves as a force to be reckoned with in the league. Hopefully the Basketball support in that area will grow since there’s a lot of hidden talent there. 

Last season the club reached the Pro A semi-finals playing a hard fought 4 game series against eventual Pro A champion Rasta Vechta, but this season the club reached only the quarterfinals. Considering the expectations that the club had did the team underachieve?

We definitely didn’t underachieve. After 10 games we were 2-8, went through a coaching change and still managed to reach the playoffs. It was a testament to our teams character and willingness to go through the grind. 

This season PS Karlsruhe was swept by top Pro A team Chemnitz. What is your summary to the Chemnitz series? Do you feel like you could have done more as a team to have had more of a chance?

At the end of the day, Chemnitz just made less mistakes and was never too impressed by our pressure. Throughout the majority of games we led only to relinquish that lead later on. Personally I could’ve been more aggressive on offense as I was struggling to find a rhythm all series. It came to down to defense.

In the regular season the club allowed 79 points per game, but in the playoffs against Chemnitz 87 points. What made it so tough playing them in this series? 

Chemnitz had a counter for every action we were trying to take away. Also their off the ball movement is incredible. All in all they execute their gameplay with great precision and play as a complete unit. 

How tough was it the game to game scouting? You never really could key in on 1-3 players, because they were a club that really had 7-8 guys that could light up the score board in any given game? 

It was tough having to respect the entire core and prepare for them. But also, the system was what made them successful and the willingness to share the basketball. So we didn’t spend much time looking at individual clips but more on how their team concept works. 

There was a great stretch in November, December and January where the team won 10 of 11 games. This was the best time of the season where the club was playing it’s best basketball. Did the team instill that ‘We are invincible feeling’? 

Good times. No coach kept telling us that we haven’t reached our goal yet and that we needed to respect every opponent. At first it was somewhat easier to win games since we didn’t have that much pressure and teams underestimated us. What that time taught us, though, was how to execute and grind out wins in the last minutes of games. 

Please sum up the team season for the club. What were the team highlights of the season and what made it special playing for this team? Was the win against Heidelberg at the end of the season one of the biggest wins of the season?

It was a rollercoaster of emotions. 2 key guys injured before the season started, 3 more guys signed, one of them had to go and then another Key German player injured. At one point we finished the game vs Nuremberg with 4 players. Heidelberg was a big win for us because it was a rivalry game but the biggest, in my opinion was away at Tuebingen in overtime where we basically secured our playoff spot in front of 5000 + fans. The crowd was amazing and the intensity of the game was elevated to another level because of that. It felt like the playoffs 

Let’s talk about your teammates. How special was it playing with Davonte Lacy? You have played with many pure scorers in your career, but where did his scoring ability rank with all the guys that you have played with in your career? 

Davonte is an incredible scorer because he gets to where he wants to go whenever he wants. He is deceptively quick and his high release makes it tough to bother his jump shot. Battling him in practice every day was fun. He’s probably up there with some of the best scorers I’ve played with. Another guy who comes to to mind when speaking of great (perimeter) scorers is Jarelle Reischel.

How did you see the development of Kahron Ross? He had an up and down rookie season. How did his game improve from the first day of training camp to game three against Chemnitz? 

His confidence grew throughout the season. Everybody knew he could be special but he had to believe it himself. He’s quick, has a good pull up and is a very willing passer. I think he’s going have a great career moving forward.

German Filmore Beck is a bonafide veteran that can when he wants to shoot out the lights. Is there anything that you could soak up from his game that was able to help you in parts of your game?

I mean I’ve know Filmore for 10 + years now from our Frankfurt days but in this season in particular I kind of adopted his confidence in his sho tmaking ability. Meaning it doesn’t matter if he’s 5-5 or 0-10 he’s still taking that shot with the same amount of confidence. 

You had many German players on the team like Pluskota, Kamdem and Johnson. Of these three which player do you feel made the biggest stride? 

Noah made the biggest stride. He was thrown into hot water by injuries and had to play more than we or even him expected but he did an excellent job and matured on the court but also off the court as a result. 

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 8,5ppg, 3,3rpg and 1,3apg and shot 36% from outside in your second pro A season. How content were you with your season?

It was alright. The first part of the season I was playing very well but then I had to sit out a few games because of an injury and never really regained my form and as a result my stats dropped.

You improved your stats in your second Pro A season. How was it easier playing Pro A this season for you in comparison to last season? 

Basketball is pretty easy if you don’t overcomplicate it. My coaches (Mai and Rudez) did a great job putting me into positions on the court where I could be effective and use my strengths. Also being able to deal with the physicality a bit more helped. 

You improved your outside shooting last season shooting 37% and was solid this season at 36%. Last season you credited 8am shooting sessions and just continuing to shoot the ball. How do you feel did your shooting overall develop in your second season in the Pro A as you got more professional experience?

Reps and confidence. Also, it helped that coaches pin pointed where my shots should be going from during our film sessions and developed practice plans based on my in game shot selection. 

How do you feel did your overall game develop further in the Pro A this season? How did especially your defensive game develop in your second successful season with PS Karlsruhe? 

I want to get more precise in my decision making offensively especially in creating for others. Defensively I feel like I’m pretty good on the ball but off the ball I have to be more alert and sniff out actions. Just be a little bit more alert at all times. 

You had some personal big games against Phoenix Hagen scoring 17 points and hit Nurnberg for 15 points. What was your personal best game of the season?

I felt like the first home game vs Hamburg was my best game that season. We unfortunately lost but I felt that I had a groove going pretty early and the home crowd energized me as well. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season? 

Shy Ely.

What is the next step for you? Are you content with being a solid German Pro A player or do you have ambition to possibly give another country and culture an opportunity?

I’m pretty happy with being in Germany for the time being. I would love to help a team move up to the BBL and then stay there with that same team.

On what things will you be continuing to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve your game?

Athleticism, ball handling, decision making and going try to gain some weight.

If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose?

Richie Williams, Filmore Beck, Jarelle Reischel, Orlando Parker, Cyrus Tate.

What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James? 

Let Lebron be Lebron and Mike be Mike and enjoy greatness. 

What is your early opinion where Luka Doncic will end one day in the NBA? Could he be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA when all is said and done?

Luka will be a Hall of Famer when its all said and done. He represents modern basketball and plays the way it should be played.

What was the last movie that you saw?

I’m hoping to see Avengers End Game before this gets published. Besides that, The Movie US’

Thanks Roland for the chat.

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