Curtis Hollis is a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that is played his first season overseas and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf averaging 22,4ppg,8,2rpg,3,8apg and 3,1spg. He left the club to go back home on account of personal reasons. 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 spoke to germanhoops.com one more time after 16 Miles Basketball minutes with a farewell interview.
Curtis thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and when you left at the end of December to return to Germany from break did you already have an inkling that it would be a short stay in Germany?
I’m in Dallas Texas and no I actually didn’t I had planned on coming back focused to finish the season and win the Regionalliga championship!
A few days ago, you wrote me telling me how much you appreciated what I had done for you with the extensive and unheard of media coverage I had given you. I really had no idea that you were leaving the team. Your hints to me just weren’t good enough. I am a bit shocked because I really enjoyed watching you play and all the post game interviews and 16 Miles basketball minutes for you. Has it all sunk in that you no longer will play for the Dragons Rhondorf?
No it hasn’t fully sunk in yet and it was a shock for me as well cause it ended so fast. You know like I said I have to give Yassin & Alex and the rest of the Rhoendorf management a huge thank you and a lot of credit for figuring out a way for me to get back with my family. It was tough how it all ended but I had to make a big decision for my family.
Could you please explain why you left the Dragons Rhondorf. The club, teammates and fans liked you. It didn’t seem like it had anything to do with this. The reason was stated as personal reasons. Could you elaborate a bit on this please.
Just something really personal came up in my family that the WHOLE family had to tend too. It’s getting better but it was just something major that I had to obviously leave quick to get back too.
You love basketball and I’m sure your decision wasn’t an easy one. Was it a difficult decision or one that was decided and made quickly on account of what was going on with the family.
It was for sure both. My teammates, the club, the fans like you said all had a huge impact on me. And I know how important it was for the club to move up. All that hit me really fast, but my family is so important to me and when something big happens I have to be there for my family.
You have left a huge void in the team play and chemistry. A new American was gotten, but he needs to be integrated and needs to get adjusted to the Regionalliga play. Despite making this decision for the family, do you feel some remorse of leaving the organization hanging?
I was at first but with the help of everybody there it really helped me get to a good head space. They understood how important that it was for me to get back with my family.
You played a great season with the Dragons Rhondorf and now the team will have to finish the season without you. How confident are you that the club has the capabilities on the court to move back up to the Pro B without you?
I’m extremely confident in these guys. Like I always said pretty much every week with a new guy the team is extremely talented. We lost a few but we were a young team and it’s all about growth. Come playoff time I know for sure they won’t go out easy.
Let talk a bout your teammates. You saw the development of many young players and also saw fine play of the older guys like guards Sharda and Foz. If you had to pick one player that you feel left the biggest impression on you as a player and person who was it?
I would say they all left a impression on me in different ways. Everybody was different, saw the game different, played the game different so it helped me adjust learning how to get guys the best opportunity to be successful. I really appreciate all of them because they helped me in so many ways to grow my game.
You had a special relationship with head coach Yassin Idbihi. One could say he discovered you in the summer of 2018 in Baunach and gave you a chance in 2019 to present your extra ordinary skills with the Dragons Rhondorf. How thankful are you of him and what will be your long lasting memory of him as a coach and person?
Man I’m so thankful for him I can’t even put it into words. He was such a honest and trustworthy guy. He brought me here to develop to a high level and help him win and understand how the European game works on and off the court. Without him I’m not sure where I would be European basketball wise. My lasting memory will probably just be every memory I had with him. He was so hard and tough on me and really really wanted to see me be successful and use all my talent. But even thou he was tough he would be the first to tell me how much better I was doing or that I was doing a good job. So I’ll miss Yassin and like I said I can’t put into words how thankful I am for him. We will have a relationship forever.
Let’s talk about your game. You played 18 games averaging 22,7ppg, 8,2rpg, 3,6rpg and 3,0spg and shot 38,9% from outside. How content were you with your professional rookie season?
I’m pretty content. I feel like if I would have finished it out my numbers would have been better but those numbers aren’t bad for a 21 year old with no high level college experience. So I’m blessed. I worked and still work very hard and watched a lot of film so that’s just hard work coming to light.
How difficult was it mentally for you just stopping and having to realize now that your rookie season is history? Do you feel like you were the best that you could be for the time that you played with the Dragons Rhondorf?
It was really tough mentally. It helped me grow but it was tough being by myself having to get through that. I feel like I got better every game, every minute, when I was on the floor. I was really starting to figure it out and take the next step. But I know everything happens for a reason so I can’t dwell on it I just have to move on.
You set the Regionalliga on fire right from the start and was a consistent contributor that filled the stat sheet like no other. How do you feel did you develop as a rookie? How was Curtis Hollisa different player now then in September 2019?
Man I developed crazy. And really fast! I didn’t expect it but like I said I was working so hard every day every week so it was only right for me to start becoming elite. The difference from September to January was my patience, my understanding of the European game, my reads in the PnR, off the ball movements, starting to attack more and more every time down! Really just everything I had really started to figure it out.
You had many great games including a masterful triple double with 10 steals in a win against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen 2 team. What was your most memorable game with the Dragons Rhondorf?
It was probably that game or really all of them. I feel like my teammates & I all had a great time playing together and there was a lot of talent. I’ll really miss these guys.
What did you learn to appreciate the most about the country Germany? What about the culture will you miss the most?
I appreciate how calm and nice the people were. English is on a high level as well so it really helped me fit in! I’ll miss the most just the respect of the culture they have principles you have to follow and I really respect that.
The fans loved you in Rhondorf. What kind of message would you like to send the fans? How much did they support your game every weekend?
I just want to tell them I love them to death I’m sorry about how it ended but man they really helped us out nightly home games and was like a 6th man for us! My goal every night was to win and to make sure I put on a show for the fans so they were entertained and enjoyed watching us play. So I just want say to them thank you thank you thank you! You guys are honestly amazing. They supported every weekend!
There is that special family feeling with the Dragons Rhondorf. What besides this will you miss the most from the Dragons Rhondorf?
Just the family vibe and the everybody loves everybody no matter where people are from. I feel like people really embraced me here and it really helped me settle in! I’ll never forget that.
What is the next step for Curtis Hollis. You’re a gym rat. Will you take a step back from the game or will you be in the gym again fine tuning your game so you will be ready for that next opportunity whenever that should present itself?
You know me I’ll get right back to it and in the gym. I’m going to enter the 2020 NBA Draft so we will see where it takes me but it’s just the beginning for me and my career. This year really helped me. I learned so much.
With your very strong play in Germany and connections, do you feel like you could land in Germany again as a player for an organization?
sure do and I love Germany. So there could absolutely be a chance I’m back here in the future.
I will remember you as a very exciting player that has just began his basketball journey that is still at the bottom of the totem pole. You’re a guy that made every game a thrill to watch with your exciting versatile play as well as always having that surprise effect with being able to making that game changing play or thunderous dunk. Off the court you presented yourself as a true professional always having time for my extensive questions and posing for the usual post game photo. What will you remember most about my work and our special relationship that is seldom seen between a player and media person.
I’ll remember the most about your work for sure with how extremely hard you work and put into your craft & the commentary of every game we played when you would say the ‘CURTIS EZWORK HOLLIS’ man you’re a star in the states for all my people! They love you. Haha your passion for the game is amazing and the questions you always gave me kept me on my toes. Our relationship was great we could talk about anything and I just really want to say thank you to you and I really appreciate you covering me night in and night out. That love and effort doesn’t go unnoticed and really really helped me out throughout the season. You’re a special guy Miles! I consider you a friend for life.
Who will win the Super Bowl and what is your score prediction between the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisoc 49ers?
Chiefs for sure by a long shot.
Thanks Curtis for the chat. All the best to you. Maybe we will cross paths again in Germany.