Being Able To Guard Big 5´s And Holding His Own Has Helped Preston Beverly(Hebeisen White Wings Hanau) Gain More Respect On The Defensive End

Preston Beverly is a 23 year old 201cm forward from Wildomar, California that played his rookie season with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProB) averaging 12.1ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-2 (1.4bpg), FGP: 60.7%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.7% after being briefly with the BC Musel Pikes (Luxembourg-Total League. He began his basketball career with Elsinore High School and then played at 
Montana State Billings (NCAA2) from 2015-2017 and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 13.0ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.8% and as a sophomore played 24 games averaging 18.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.9bpg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 74.3%. He then played at Point Loma Nazarene University (NCAA2) from 2017-2019 and as a junior played 30 games averaging 15.1ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 68.9% and as a senior at Point Loma Nazarene University (NCAA2) reston Beverly played 36 games averaging 13.6ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 25.7%, FT: 59.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before the Coronavirus broke out in Germany.

Preston thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Before we get to your basketball career, I have to bring up 2 items that has affected people in the world and Germany. First off how did you experience the tragedy that occurred in Hanau the place that you call home now? 11 people were murdered as one of the worlds biggest problem racism played a huge factor. 

Well as you said it is very tragic and sad to say the least, I woke up to a phone call at 3 AM from my family back home in California I was half awake when my mother started explaining there was a shooting at two hookah bars and wanted to make sure I was safe. The city of Hanau has been great in my short time here and in times like this is when the city and one another can pick each other up in troubling times such as this. 

After being in the city where this happened, how has this experience made you think differently about life? 

This ties into the recent death of my hero and idol Kobe Bryant and just simply how precious life is and how you truly never know what can happened so it molds my perspective to cherish life on a day to day basis and live in the now because that’s truly we have as people. 

Recently one of the greats Kobe Bryant was taken from the world. How did you find about it and how did he effect and influence you as a player in general growing up? Like for so many kids out there he was one of your role models.

This to me was up there as one of the most tragic and sad days in my life and I actually found out while on the phone with another friend and professional player Jesse Hunt and had to hang up and I just sat in disbelief for a while. Kobe was the most influential player in my lifetime growing up as a Southern California kid and Lakers fan since I could pick up a basketball Kobe was the player I watched religiously and strives model parts of my game after. Reflecting on his death I’ve taken more of an understanding to Kobe’s mentality and work ethic more than anything and the way he carried himself as a father figure. 

Your playing your professional rookie season for the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. What kind of experience has this been for you and how does the style compare to the NCAA 2 which you saw for 4 years at two different schools?

My first experience as a rookie has been a very fun time with many trials and tribulations that I think will mold me as a better player and mentally stronger person throughout my professional career. Germany is full of talented young players and the work ethic and focus here is strong. In comparison to NCAA 2 I would say the physicality is much different taking a leap from college to the professional ranks and the overall skill level is high and more up-tempo with a shorter shot clock.

The club let go head coach Simon Cote in mid November as the club had a 3-4 record. At that time management stated that the direction of management and Cote were going in a different direction. How do you feel with more months of team chemistry being built would the team be like today had Cote remained?

It’s tough to say how things would fare with Simon still as coach because management decided to go their separate ways all I can do as a player is deal with the situation at hand. What I will say though is Simon is not only a great coach but an even better person and my time spent with him was great for my development and he will have continued success in the future. 

The club is 7-5 since the departure of Cote and have brought in a experienced coach with Stephan Volkel who has been an assistant for many BBL teams. How is the team different now and how is it a better team now? 

Bringing in the experience and knowledge from coach Volkel has helped us tremendously and the way he coaches us is very direct and to the point and he obviously has the respect from the entire team due to his experience. I would say we are a better team now for sure and our confidence has continued to grow under coach Volkel. The way we defend, how we share the ball and play as a team is all accredited to coach coming in and forming us as one. 

Mangement can’t be disappointed as it is currently a playoff team. The club was defending pretty well under Simon Cote, but since his departure the club has been up and down on the defensive end. Why is that so and what still needs to be tweaked on the defensive end? 

The best answer I can give to that would just simply be making the adjustment to new defensive principles with a new coach coming in it takes a little time to learn new defensive techniques or system so to speak. I believe our best basketball as a team is still yet to come which is the exciting thing for us. 

Let’s talk about some of your teammates. How key has German veteran Josef Eichler been for your rookie season? Has he been like a mentor for you? 

Josef has been a huge role model for my rookie season due to the fact he is single handedly the hardest working guy I’ve ever played with. He has mentored me simply by displaying his work ethic, attention to detail, weight room , just an overall professionalism about him that demonstrates to me what it takes to be a successful professional player. 

How has it been like playing with young talented German Jonas Nidermanner? He is 23 like you but has more years of professional experience. What have you appreciated most about his game? 

Jonas is an extremely talented player and us both being the same age we are pretty similar in many ways. What I appreciate about his game is his ability to defend multiple positions and shot blocking ability pretty similar to myself. He can score from all three levels and defends so it’s fun to play alongside him! 

Do you sometimes pick the brain of German guard Til Joscha Joenke who has German BBL and Pro A experience? He is truly a guy who is way to good for the Pro B level. 

I do ask lots of questions and gain knowledge from the ‘legend’ Mr. Joenke because he has been around this game for so long and knows what it takes to be successful at this level and even higher. Til is a great player and teammate to say the least and will continue to have a great career. 

Let’s talk about your game. An interesting fact is that your game resembles that of 2004 NBA champion Tayshaun Prince. When did you start to model your game after his and do you watch his videos?

I would say simply there are many players I look to model my game after but Tayshaun I can resemble the most due to the fact we’re both lefty’s, long, and athletic. I’ve watched film on him before and in his day for the Pistons he was a great slasher, shooter, and defender, all things I’m working on and doing as well. 

Your biggest strength is your post play and vision and your working on your three pointer. You shot the ball really well at Montana State Billings, but since then have been under 30% from outside. How do you envision becoming a better shooter at this point in your career? 

Yeah my first 2 years at Montana State Billings I really had to carry more of a load offensively for the team and shooting wise my percentages were good. My final 2 years at Point Loma my role wasn’t on the perimeter as much so my percentages and shots taken from 3 decreased but each summer I’m continuously putting the work in with my guys at Worldwide to improve my 3 point shot because I know I’m capable and it will help my career significantly. 

You stated once that a hidden strength in your game is your athleticism, foot work and shot blocking. But what about your defense? Do you feel that you get enough credit for being a good defender?

I believe I do at times get credit for being a good defender because there are times when I’m having to guard big 5’s and I hold my own against them on a night in and night out basis and my shot blocking doesn’t go unnoticed, I just simply try to do my best each night with the task I’m given. 

You played for Simon Cote for only a few months, but what do you feel in this time did you soak up the most from his coaching that has helped you mature as a rookie? 

The number one thing I’d say I gained from coach Simon is skill development and working on using my legs in my jump shot. He’s been around the league for a while and worked on things with me to help make me a successful player and I feel as if I matured the most in those aspects. 

You began your college career at Montana State-Billings (NCAA2) and put up very good stats of 13/6 and 18/7. Why did you depart after only 2 years?

My first two years at Montana State were great and I was having lots of success but overall my number one goal is always to be a winner. We struggled heavily in those 2 years to gain a winning culture and record and I felt as if my play had given me the ability to move up to NCAA 1 or any NCAA 2 team to join and have winning be the #1 priority. I took some visits to a handful of D1 and D2 schools and decided on joining Point Loma and coach Looney because of my relationship with him, his winning background, and the ability to go back home and play in front of my family and friends right on the beach in San Diego. 

Do you remember hearing any stories from sniper Markus Hallgrimson? He played in Germany for many years and is a legend there. 

Yeah coach Stevens had told me once or twice about him and how I had some work to do to catch up to his ability shooting wise! 

You had many memorable games at Montana State Billings (NCAA2), but where do the two 26 point games in almost back to back two point wins against Northwest and W Washington stand? 

Yeah those two games were great for me personally and we were getting W’s I just remember in that month I was really playing at an all time high level and as a unit we were firing on all cylinders. 

As a senior you had a huge game against NW Nazarene scoring 28 points hauling down 11 boards, dishing out 3 assists and getting 7 blocks. Can you remember a game like this fondly in any way despite the loss? 

I had some other games similar to this but came out on the winning end I can remember vividly my family came out to Montana to watch me play and we were facing Simon Fraser that night. My step-father had mentioned at lunch if I go for 30 and we win he’d gift me a custom ID pair of Nike basketball shoes. That night I finished with 35 the most in my collegiate career and we got the Win. 

You then moved to Point Loma Nazarene University (NCAA2) for your last two years. You did everything right winning the Pac West tournament and getting MVP as well as reaching the D-2 final. How do you feel did your game grow there in your last two years? 

I felt my game grew in many ways I felt like my post play had made significant strides in that 2 years where I was one of the more dominate low post scorers in all of NCAA 2. Also shot selection, and just reading the game were some also parts of growth and I would say simply sacrifice is a key word because we had an extreme amount of talent on one team and each player sacrificing parts of their game for the better of the team was something I learned the most. 

What is most vivid in your mind about beating Concordia Irvine and hoisting the Pac west trophy?

Most vivid moment in my mind was just remembering holding up the Trophy and looking right at my parents and grandparents faces and just feeling ecstatic knowing all the hard work and time it took to reach that goal payed off. Concordia Irvine was sort of our rival and to not only win the conference tournament but to win it over them was huge. 

You lost the D-2 title to a tough NW Missouri State squad 64-58 contributing 15 points and 7 boards. Is that a game you can watch again or does it hurt too much? 

Originally I was so hurt it took me at least a week to just finally come to terms with it and sit down at home and re-watch it. I will say re-watching it was even harder just seeing moments and plays and how close we were to getting that national championship. At the same time it also reminded me how hard it was to even make it to that game so it helped me knowing that out of the entire NCAA 2 we made it that far. 

An ex player of Ryan Looney stated this about him. ‘Coach Looney was definitely big for me becoming a more complete player. He made me stronger on defense and better at impacting the game without scoring’. How did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

I can say the same Coach Looney was great at teaching me how to become a better defender, I learned within his offense how to score without having to be ball dominated with cuts, screens, etc. He taught me many things in life alone not even basketball that have helped me in my first year as a rookie, but just the overall attention to detail on both sides of the floor and ‘saw wood’ was our term of choice. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Daulton Hommes? 

Funny question I would say there actually weren’t to many times me and Daulton got to go at it in practice because we were always on the same team giving to everyone else! I will say there’s times when I’ve got him in the post and times where’s he’s had difficult patent pull up jumpers fall it was always fun playing against and alongside him. 

One of your toughest players that you ever faced was current Boston Celtic Jaylen Brown. What did you hate most about facing him? 

I faced him in Atlanta at an AAU event when I was playing for Under Armour Team Superstar. The number one thing was his strength and athleticism at that age was very difficult to defend and just the degree of difficulty of his shot making was unreal. I knew after that game alone facing him he had a promising future ahead of him in the NBA.

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Marquese Chriss Daulton Hommes Tanner Nelson Kendall Denham Trevon Lampkin 

Please name your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore of current or past players? 

Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan Lebron James 

Everybody always brings up the debate of who is the best of all-time Jordan or Lebron James, but can’t one fit Kobe Bryant into the equation? 

100% without a doubt my answer to this is always Kobe Bryant! 

What was the last movie that you saw? 

Dunkirk

Thanks Preston for the chat.

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