Seger Bonifant is a 25 year old 201cm forward from Berlin, Ohio that just completed his third professional season and second with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 14,9ppg, 2,0rpg,2,6apg and shot 51,8% from outside. He will play in Holland next season with Den Bosch. Last season with Team Ehingen he played 30 games averaging 12,6ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,5apg while shooting an astounding 48,7% from outside. In his rookie season he played for Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 32 games averaging 9.2ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 82.9%. He played at W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) form 2012-2016 playing a 126 games and improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season. There he established himself as a real sniper as he shot over 50% from outside for a season three times and as a senior played W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) playing 35 games averaging 25.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 49.6%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of his second season with Ehingen.
Thanks Seger for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I am at home right now in Berlin, Ohio. Everything is going well for me! It’s nice to be home and with my family and loved ones.
It has been a year since our last interview. How has basketball time flown by for you in this time?
It has really flown by since the last time we talked! It was a great year of basketball though and I learned and grew so much.
Congrats on helping Ehingen reach the Pro A playoffs. The team had a massive turn around from the season before. What was the secret to the success this season?
I think the secret to the success this season was that we just played so hard for one another. We obviously had some really good talent, but we communicated well with each other and we all wanted to win more than anything and that was the key.
After remembering your season with Ehingen last season reaching position 15, what would you have said if somebody had told you in preseason that the club would finish in seventh place?
It definitely would have been hard to believe that’s for sure. But after going through preseason with this squad and getting to know all my teammates I knew that we could do special things if we played together and played the right way.
Ehingen didn’t have an easy playoff foe with Heidelberg who swept you. After getting swept do you feel like the team underachieved a bit in the playoffs and should have given them a better fight?
There’s no excuse for getting swept by Heidelberg. They are a very good team and a well coached team. It hurt that I didn’t play game 1 because of an ankle injury and also our starting 2 man (Tim) didn’t play the whole series with an ankle injury. Regardless, our team never quit and we played hard every game.
You came into the playoffs with the third best offense averaging 83 points per game, but against Heidelberg averaged only 69 points. Do you feel like the offense let you down or did Heidelberg defend better than what you expected?
In the playoffs the game slows down a little bit and I think that helped Heidelberg with their rhythm. We were very good when we played fast and did automatics. So with the game being slower it definitely helped them.
Ehingen played with a slim rotation in the playoffs. How much of an effect did that have on your success?
Having the slim rotation helped for sure. Due to injury, Tim and I were both out for the last 3 regular season games and then I missed game 1 of the playoffs and Tim was out the rest of the year. So having that slim rotation is nice when everyone is healthy, but when injuries come it’s not so inviting.
You missed a game and in the other two games couldn’t explode. Do you feel like the lethal Seger Bonifant was missing and if present would have turned the series into a different one?
I don’t think I was missing. Defensively, I played Shy Eli very well. Heidelberg is one of the best defensive teams in the league so I knew going into the series it was going to be tough.
It was a very special season for Team Ehingen. How vital was the team ability to always get up and being successful in certain down times of the season?
I think that reflects with everyone’s character on the team. We had great chemistry and great leaders on our team. It was vital to the success!
The team played it’s best basketball in January and Feburary winning 8 of 9 games. What was the team doing so well in this time that they couldn’t always do in other stretches of the season?
The season is long. 8 months of practices and ball everyday. It’s a grind. I think after the Christmas break we really clicked. Obviously the schedule was nice to us as well in those games and that is a major reason we were clicking. We were just playing good basketball man.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How special was it playing and getting the ball from Rayshawn Simmons? He was near averaging double double stats. What did you appreciate most about his game?
Ray is a great player and even better person. It was great catching his passes! He was always looking for me and telling me to be aggressive so having him as our floor general was obviously a vital reason for our success.
You have seen many very talented point guards in the Pro A. Do you believe he has what it takes to get a chance to play in the BBL?
Yes I do for sure. His IQ is what separates him and I believe if he gets a chance he can make big things happen.
Another guy that has made huge strides is German Kevin Yebo. In our last interview you stated about him. ‘I think the best part about Kevin’s game that improved the most over the season was physically. He got stronger throughout the year and he was grabbing more rebounds and got more stops on defense as the year went along. The future is very bright for him if he keeps working hard and getting better’. What further strides did he make this season and is he ready for a BBL opportunity?
Kevin Yebo is definitely ready for the BBL. He really improved his offensive game and he is way more well rounded now. He is so athletic as well and that’s just icing on the cake. The future is bright for him and I’m excited to see where basketball takes him.
What kind of experience was it playing with versatile forward Tanner Leissner? He also showed that he can shoot the ball. Is a sniper like you able to pick up things from his shooting?
It was a blessing playing with Tanner. He is a great person and we will be friends forever. He is just a workhorse. He is obviously very skilled, but I think the best part about his game is that he just will outwork whoever is guarding him.
Talk a little about the development of German Dom Uhl and Gianni Otto. What strides did the make and what did you appreciate most about their games?
Both of those guys got better over the season. Gianni grew a lot over the season. He went against Ray everyday in practice and they battled and both of their games grew because of it. I’m excited to see both of those guys continue to grow.
Let’s talk about your game. You improved your scoring and three point shooting. How content were you with your game?
I’m never content with my game. I know I can always improve and that’s what I’m going to use the summer for. My goal this season was to improve my defense. My defense really got to the next level for me. It’s so important to get your game to the next level and if you can lock guys down and play great defense that will always help the team win.
Rayshawn Simmons said this about you in my interview with you. ‘Seger is the best shooter in the league in my opinion & the best in game shooter I’ve ever played with’. How often do you hear teammates or opponents say something like that and how do you remain humble?
I respect Ray so much and his opinion of the game of basketball. So hearing Ray say that really helped me to push myself and try to get even better.
In our last interview you stated that you got better at rebounding and defense. What do you feel did you improve on in your second season with Ehingen?
Coach Dom is great with developing not just German players, but anyone who is in the system. I grew so much as a Pro in Ehingen on and off the court. I can’t thank him enough. My total game went to another level this past season and I can’t thank him enough for having confidence in me to lead those guys.
In our last interview you stated ‘My goal is to make every shot that I shoot. I know that is a very hard goal to possess, but that is my goal. I have great confidence in my shooting and scoring ability so any time I miss a shot I know that the next one is in. So that is my mentality in a game’. You shot 56% at West Liberty and 51% this season. How do you keep staying motivated and not feeling the pressure being able to continue to be an amazing special shooter.
I know all the work I put in during the season and in the offseason. That gives me the confidence I need to be able to say that if I miss a shot the next one is in. That’s always been my mentality and it will be until the day I’m done playing ball.
You have stated in the past that you respect guys like Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson. What shooters have impressed you in the past few years that have come up in the NBA and do you continue to soak up things form different shooters?
As a Cavs fan it’s hard to like Klay Thompson haha ! But I respect his game so much. He locks people up and the average basketball fan has no idea how good he is. He is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA, but that’s not all he brings to the table for his team. I really enjoy watching his game and trying to implement some of his into my game.
You had many superb games this season. I guess your 39 point explosion with 9 three’s in the win over Tuebingen was your biggest game. What are your memories of that game?
That game was obviously special. My teammates knew I was feeling good so they were looking for me all game. It was a little rivalry as well with Tuebingen being so close to Ehingen so it was a very fun game.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?
There are a lot of great players in Pro A. Shy Eli was always fun to play against and we had some battles. I really enjoyed playing against Chemnitz as well. They play great team basketball and are very hard to beat and I respect the way they play the game.
What is the next step for you? Do you feel like your finally on the radar of BBL teams? You deserve a chance. Do you share my feelings?
I do share your feeling. I know I can play at the BBL level and I hope I get a shot. All I can do is keep improving my game and trusting God with the plan.
On what things will you be continuing to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve your game?
I’m going to continue to improve getting stronger and faster. That is my main goal. Attacking the rim and creating space can always go to the next level.
If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose?
I would go with the starting five we had last season. It was a special season to me and all my teammates I would go to war with any time any day.
What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?
My opinion is LeBron. I believe he is the greatest to ever play.
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?
I definitely believe he can be one of the best Europeans to play in the NBA. It’s going to be hard to top Dirk, but he has a shot.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Detective Pikachu
Thanks Seger for the chat.