Skyler Bowlin is a 30 year old 190cm guard who completed his ninth professional season and fifth in Germany and second with s.Oliver Wurzburg averaging 11.2ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 87.2%. Last season with Wurzburg he averaged 9.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 70.7% in the BBL and in the Fiba Europe Cup averaged 8.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 5.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 72.2%The ex Missouri So (NCAA2) began his professional basketball career with BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-ProA) and then played three seasons in Denmark with Horsens IC and a year in Sweden with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). He played two seasons in Germany with the Giessen 46ers and with Science City Jena (Germany-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 11.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 5.1apg, Steals-5 (1.6spg), FGP: 38.1%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 80.9%. germanhoops.com has interviewed Skyler over the years from his time from Sweden to his BBL days in Giessen and Jena did it again during the Coronavirus crisis. He was interviewed before the s.Oliver Wurzburg announced he wasn’t coming back.
Hi Skyler where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
Hey man, I’m actually still in Germany with my wife and my newborn baby boy. We can’t complain our way. It’s tough not being around family, but we are happy and healthy so all good.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
I definitely didn’t think this virus would be come a global pandemic. It’s definitely a crazy time at the moment
How did you experience the day to day life in Germany during the Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings?
Yes, it definitely affected me and my family. At the hospital I could only be there an hour a day to see my wife and kid so that was rough. And then all of the stores being shut down was a really weird feeling
Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing
I definitely am more aware of how I handle myself. I wash my hands even more and don’t touch door handles if I can help it.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
If they told us to play games without fans then that’s what we would have done. The fans make the game a lot more fun so not playing in front of them would have been a different experience.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
I’ve just been focusing on my family and keeping them happy and healthy
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
Yes, this is going to be a long offseason. I’ll have to sit down and make a plan on how I want to approach it. Of course all of us basketball players would rather be still in season but this was the hand we are dealt so we have to adjust and continue to get better
The whole world economy is going to be affected including Polish basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect?
I don’t think anyone knows exactly what will happen so I’m not going to jump to any conclusions. In a month or so hopefully things are a little more under control and we can have an idea on what will happen for next season
How have you experienced the day to day life back home in the States? How has the Coronavirus affected your daily life? How have you been keeping in shape inside your home. Talk about the type of exercises and work out you have been able to perform inside your own 4 walls.
Well we are still in Germany, but I’ve been doing home workouts and running outside a few times a week. It’s not as fun as being able to get in the gym but it will have to do for now.
If you had to name another player besides guys from your team that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
One for my old teammates, Brian Fitzpatrick, is stuck in Argentina at the moment because of all of this so I’ve talked to him quite a bit. Also, my former college teammate, Jordan Talbert and I have been in consistent contact since he’s also still here in Germany
The easyCredit BBL recently announced that they want to complete the season with only 10 teams as the other 7 clubs opted not to play. How disappointed are you about not being able to finish the season?
Yeah, it’s definitely disappointing because we thought we had a good chance to get into the playoffs finally
s.Oliver Wurzburg played their best basketball from November to the end of January and then finished the season losing 4 of 5 games. How would you summarize the cut short season from a team standpoint?
We thought we were still in a good position to make that playoff push. We have a pretty experienced team that I think was gearing up for one big playoff push.
In the last games the club was totally up and down on both ends of the court. You said in our last interview in November where the club began to play their best basketball that everyone needed to be on the same page. Why was that so difficult to accomplish as a unit this season?
.I don’t think it was necessarily difficult. We had to make a couple changes which caused us some trouble until we were able to gel. The BBL is a tough league though so you will go through tough stretches at times so I think we were getting ready to get back on track before it all ended.
What positives can the team take form the season? You beat 2 tough teams this season in almost back to back with Bamberg and Crailsheim. Were these the season highlights?
For the club I guess the win at Bamberg was a bit historic. For me personally, it was just a lot of fun to be able to be around this group of guys. We had a great group that got a long real well on and off the court
Let’s talk about your teammates. In our last interview we chatted about your guard teammates Hulls and Wells as well as Fischer and Rudd and this time let’s talk about some others. Forward Junior Etu came in November in the team’s best span of the season and had some good games in that phase. What did you appreciate most about his game and did he tell any stories about his cousin Serge Ibaka?
Nah he didn’t talk much about Ibaka. Junior was great to have on the team. He’s a hard worker and brought some toughness to our team that we needed. He’s an even better person which is the most important thing
As a guard you have seen the development of young German Nils Hassfurter. He played 19 games averaging 8 minutes per game. He has showed in the pro A that he can be a solid guard. What did you see this season that showed he can be a solid BBL player in the future and what does he still need to incorporate into his game to be able to make that next step?
Nils is one of the hardest workers I have ever been around. He never gets tired and always wants to get better. Once he gets his confidence back I think he can have a very solid BBL career.
Another big talent is young German guard Joshua Obiesie who averaged 3,4ppg in 8 minutes per game while playing 19 games. He really came on to the scene in 2018-2019. Did his rise possibly come to quickly? He still seems to be a guy that has been able to mature well at a good rate. What steps did you see him make in this season that will continue to keep him on course of continuing to develop well as a young player?
Joshua is clearly a big talent that is going to continue to get better and better. We had a big guard rotation so minutes were hard to come by, but he is going to be a good player in the league very soon
Let’s talk about your game. You averaged in 21 games: 11.2ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 87.2%. Would you say that this was your best BBL season better than your Jena season where you played 4 minutes more per game. How content were you with your game?
I was pleased with how my season was going as a whole. There are always things as a player you want to get better at, but I felt confident about how the season was going.
In our last interview you stated last season that you would be working on your jumper and really watching film and working on reads out of the PnR and on your body’. In our last interview last November you said that ‘The work never stops. I’m always trying to improve on everything on a daily basis. Once you stop trying to improve then it’s probably time to stop playing’. What strides did you see your game make in the last months that also continued to help you be successful on the court?
I just think being confident is the biggest thing. As a shooter being confident is important and throughout the season I never lost confidence in my shot
You had another very good season shooting from outside at a 44% clip. Efficiency has been something that has been vital for your success. How much did another season playing with Hulls and Wells with your blind understanding help you be successful with your shooting?
I‘m always trying to be like those guys. Going against them every day isn’t easy and only makes you better. It was a great experience playing with them and competing against them every day.
What is the next step for you? You have played 4 BBL seasons with 3 different teams. I can imagine that you will stay in Germany for another season.
I’m not sure what the next step is. We will see how things progress throughout the summer!
Who was the toughest guy that you faced in the easyCredit BBL this season?
I can’t pick out just one guy, but playing against Berlin this year was tough. They have so many weapons and gel so well together. So then as a whole we’re very tough.
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
Kobe was the ultimate competitor and worker. I think those 2 things influenced me
As a guard how much time have you invested in seeing Luca Doncic play? Is he a top 3 NBA player yet?
I don’t watch a ton of NBA while I’m over here, but what I have seen Doncic is a stud. Top 3 may be a stretch for now but it won’t be too long.
How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have had his one and only chance now?
March Madness being canceled was tough. I’m not sure there are words you can say to someone who misses out on that opportunity. It’s just a weird time for everyone and we all have to deal with anything during these uncertain times
What was the last movie that you saw?
Can’t remember the last movie, but currently trying to finish ‘Ozark’ on Netflix!
Thanks Skyler for the chat.