Anell Alexis is a 30 year old 200cm forward that grew up in Germany and the states and completed his fifth professional season and first with the EN Baskets Schwelm (Germany-ProB) playing 21 games averaging 13.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 90.0%. In 2018-2019 he played with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany-ProB) averaging 6,2ppg and 3,2rpg. In the last years he has gained further experience playing in Panama and in Germany in Bremerhaven and Coburg. He played in the States at schools like Marist (NCAA) where he played 62 games and finished at Norfolk St. (NCAA) playing 34 games averaging 7.3ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 78.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus crisis
Hi Anell 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?
Hi Miles. I am currently in New Jersey with my family right now staying safe with everything going on.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
I honestly did not think it would be this big of a deal. It didn’t hit home for me to until people I knew personally started passing from the virus.
How did you experience the day to day life in Schwelm when you were still in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn’t normal?
Honestly the day to day life didn’t change a whole lot. Life started to noticeably change for us when we didn’t have practices or games
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
A: Yes I was very aware. I stopped shaking hands with people and kept my distance from everyone.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
It was very disappointing but at the end of the day everyone’s health is more important than the sport we’re blessed to play. My main concern is that everyone can come out of this healthy.
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?
A: To be honest that would not affect me a lot. We have scrimmages all during the preseason without any fans and a lot of us have played games in college and high school without any fans either. It is just something that you have to play through at that particular moment.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
That it is imperative that you keep your mental strong. You should also work on having multiple streams of income so that if one gets cut off, you can continue to move forward without any problem.
Wil 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?
I see it as a big advantage. You have more time now to pace yourself and really hone in on what you want to work on over the summer. The main disadvantage is not knowing when the leagues will start up again.
The whole world economy is going to be affected including German 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 am just going into the situation with an open mind. This just isn’t affecting me, but the entire world. Even the NBA has been affected by this. I not going in with any expectations or notions on when it would be time to head back overseas again.
If you had to name another player besides guys from the Panthers that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
How has the day to day life been now in the States with the outbreak of the Coronavirus? Have you noticed any differences and are there any differences between the Americans and German people on how they are coping and handling themselves?
Both Americans and Germans are handling things in the same manner for the most part. Americans could do a better job with following the rules but you can only control what is in your power.
How has your approach to family changed since the outbreak of Corona? What things have you seen yourself do that you may not have done before?
I spend all my time with my family. Normally that isn’t the case because everyone is out doing their own thing but this virus has given us the silver lining of spending all of our time together.
Let’s talk about the season of EN Baskets Schwelm. Congrats on winning the Pro B North. How tough is it never knowing what would have happened in the playoffs and who would really have won the title fair and square?
A: It is slightly disappointing but at the same time I am proud of us as a group and a team. When people look back at this season, the table will show us being in first place. Everything else that happened was out of our control.
The club has 3 parts to the season. It began explosive with a 12-2 record, then lost 4 of 5 games and then finished strong winning 3 of 4. How would you summarize the season best?
Up and down but were able to stick together and win a lot. We had a talented and gritty group of guys and I think that had a big part of our success.
Talk about the secret of the success. It seemed like the club didn’t do one thing really very well, but were a versatile squad and team that were just solid all across the board?
We just knew how to play the game and a high basketball IQ. We did a great job all year of taking what the other teams were giving us and were able to impose our will and take advantage.
How vital was the experienced Falk Moeller? How much credit does he receive for being able to help build a team chemistry that wasn’t self evident considering most of the top players were new?
Coach Falk deserves all the credit. He really is a great coach and a fun guy to play for. He has a great sense of humor and keeps things very balanced and even-keel, even throughout a long and hard season.
What was the season highlight? Possibly beating the other top team Itzehoe in the last game. You didn’t know it then that that would be the last game, but now it must be a good way to close the season?
Beating Itzehoe was the season highlight for me, mainly because they were the top team in the league at the time. It was a tough game and we were down double digits in the middle of the second half but were able to turn it around and win.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with David Knudsen. What did you notice in his game and character that demonstrated that he was in fact an Austrian player and not a German player?
I knew Dave from college and knew he could shoot the ball. That ended up being the exact role he played for us. He was critical for our success this year.
How vital was having the massive experienced Nikita Khartchenkov on the team. He has seen just about every gym in Germany. He is known as a sniper, but please talk about his versatility on the floor that sometimes get’s overlooked?
Nikita knows how to play the game and it shows every time he steps on the court. The amount of attention he commands from other teams makes everything easier for everyone else.
Talk about the growth of Montral Scott. He made another jump from his Pro B season from last season What kind of growth did he make this season and does he finally deserve a shot at the Pro A level?
He more than deserves a shot at Pro A. I think he proved he can be a key player to a title contending team, which is something that every manager and coach looks for when constructing a team.
Let’s talk about your game? This season with the EN Baskets you averaged 13.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 90.0%. How content were you with your season?
I feel like I did a decent job and was able to prove that I can be a main guy on a team that wins and has aspirations of winning a championship.
You belonged to a list of most improved Pro B players. How proud are you of yourself with how well you played despite having a totally different role than with the wiha Panthers?
I always knew that I could have this type of impact if we are being totally honest. I am just grateful to Mr. Omar Rahim and Coach Falk for giving me the opportunity and platform to showcase that.
You also made another jump in your three point shooting. You shot 35% your highest since your senior season at Norfolk State. Was it just more reps and shot selection or did you change something up with your mechanics?
I was able to find a routine for me this season that worked and I stuck to it daily. Luckily the results showed themselves when the games came around.
You made a huge jump in being efficient. How do you credit this big jump and how vital was your new coach Falk Moeller in you making another jump as a player this season?
Coach Falk deserves all the credit for doing a great job of putting me in positions to be successful. All I had to do is take advantage of the opportunity.
What was your season highlight? You had huge games against Duesseldorf and Muenster filling up the stat sheet.
My season highlight was the last game against Itzehoe.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now?
I think he’s a great player but I’m not sure if he’s that high yet lol. Time will tell though.
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
I was actually watching a youth team game when I heard the news. It was very hard for me to deal with, and especially for people who are around my age. He was my favorite player growing up for a lot of different reasons so for him to pass was very tough to deal with.
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?
That everything happens for a reason. A lot of things that happen do not make sense but you can’t worry about things that you cannot control. All you can worry about are the things that are in your power.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Anell for the chat.