Curtis Hollis is a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that is playing his first season overseas and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf. He began his career at Mansfield Summit High School. In 2017-2018 he played with Hutchinson CC (JUCO) playing 34 games averaging 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 66.3%. In 2018 he played in Lavar Ball’s new league with the Houston Ballers (JBL) playing 7 games: Score-5 (29.3ppg), 11.3rpg, 5.3apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 71.8%. He and I will team up every week to talk basketball in the Miles basketball
Curtis thanks for talking to germanhoops.com A very turbulent week for the Dragons Rhondorf. The club fired head coach Markus Rowenstrunk. How timely was this move and why wasn’t the team able to win more games?
It was crazy how it all happened because nobody expected it. We lost a couple games because we just weren’t discipled fully and we’re still learning. We are a young group with big expectations so we just didn’t fully realize and have it all together yet.
Yassin Idbihi stepped in to take the coaching duties for now. How is he a different coach than Rowenstrunk and how has he helped the team rebound besides adding a few more plays?
He’s just more no games everything serious. He doesn’t mess around and takes big control over the team. He’s helped us rebound because we changed some stuff up and we’re just getting better of course and learning to be way more disciplined and how to play the right way. Yassin is a great coach.
Yassin Idbihi discovered you in Baunach. Is it a lot easier to play for him? Does he give you even more freedom than before?
It’s for sure easier. It was easy to play under Markus as well and he was a good coach but like you said Yassin discovered me and knows my strengths really well. I have a lot of freedom yes but at the end of the day it’s still about winning and getting my teammates involved for me.
The low point came on Friday as the Dragons Rhondorf lost to a second Regionalliga team kicking you out of the cup competition. Was it this loss that had to wake up the team for the great team win against Hagen Haspe?
That was just a tough day. We had to bounce back quick and adjust and I also have to give credit to that team. They played extremely well and hard. But yes of course every loss is a wake up call for us. There’s a very very low tolerance for losing.
The Dragons Rhondorf won easily 111-81 against Hagen-Haspe even if it didn’t look that way in the first half. Was the way how the team shared the ball one of the biggest pluses from that game?
Yes we moved the ball well and played as a team we also really came out and played hard defensively and limited them to one possession in the second half. That was big for us!
The team still gave up a lot of points with 81. Will getting the defensive side tweaked more of a long work in progress or do you feel confident that the team will make quicker strides in the improvement in this area?
I think a little bit in the middle. I’m very confident but we’re still learning the right way to play defensively but there’s also no time to wait. We have to be better now so it’s a mixture of learning and applying fast.
Did the team find a new three point sniper in Simonas Lukosius. How refreshing was it seeing this young kid come to life and do you see him becoming a role player?
Simas is a stud. He’s only 17 and plays way older than that. I watch in practice and play with and against him so I always knew what he could do but he’s coming on good for us and can knock down shots! I’m happy for him and it’s good that he can help us win games.
Jeffrey Martin also had his first good game with Rhondorf with 13 points and 5 assists. Did it seem like the coaching change made him more relaxed to change his season around to become that consistent scorer?
Yes he played more relaxed and got to his spots and played with a lot of confidence. He plays really hard defense and can really score it so it’s good and exciting that he’s coming on well for us too.
You had another normal day at the office with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. You took the most shots in a game this season with 19. Is this a good example that you have more freedom now?
Yes it’s a pretty good example Yassin wants me to be aggressive. So I just try to pick my spots and score when I can.
The NBA commences play in a few weeks. Which team among these with the Rockets, Lakers, Clippers and Nets do you see having the most success this season with the superstars that they picked up?
I like a lot of teams I feel like a lot of them got better. Utah, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Milwaukee! The NBA is loaded this year.
If you had to pick between a Kobe and Lebron mix tape for your last ever basketball watching which one would you choose?
Honestly I’m a Michael Jordan guy and Kobe is pretty close to Mike so I’d have to go with a Kobe mixtape.
Thanks Curtis for the chat.