The last months has been a tough time for the world with the whole COVID-19 crisis effecting everyone´s life while depending a lot where you live in the world. Having to rearrange your life, losing loved one, friends, jobs etc has been a toll for everyone. People have had so much time to think and reflect about life so that for many the daily job routine may still have been there, but for many not as in the spotlight than before COVID-19. Thinking about the present and future is something everyone is dealing with so when a hungry, dedicated and at times annoying basketball aficionado and reporter asks a player to go back and recount his dealings and game of an ex teammate 7 years ago, one may not expect too much, but when your German Til Gloger, your not only a good sport, but surprisingly still has a very good recollection of what it was like being teammates with Xavier Pollard at Maine(NCAA). Gloger has had more than 1000 practices in the last 7 years at Maine(NCAA), Paderborn, MBC, and Trier, played hundreds of games and experienced many teammates and even more opponents. When I asked the ex BBL player to look back in his memory bank concerning Xavier Pollard, he wasn´t only happy to do it, but still remembered a lot about his game something that isn´t always expected when you have experienced the whirlwind of the daily basketball life in the last 7 years. Xavier Pollard is featured in the ex teammate scouting report Till Gloger Vs Xavier Pollard. Of course one can´t forget that the American has grown in his game and isn´t that same player he was when Gloger was teammates with him at Maine, but he still has the qualities he once had back in the day. Only today his skills are more refined and he has a lot more experience than he did then having 3 years of professional experience now.
Pollard is a 28 year old 193cm guard from the Bronx, New York that will be playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He began his basketball career at Suffield Academy about a 20 minute ride north from Hartford Connecticut where he averaged 20,9ppg, 9,9rpg and 6,2apg in his senior year. He finished his high school basketball career at the Winchendon school in Massachusetts where he averaged 17,0ppg and 7,0rpg. The American who has 7 siblings began his NCAA career in 2011 at the University of Maine where he had a normal freshman year getting a feel for the system and team averaging 11 minutes and 3,6ppg and 2,2rpg. In his sophomore season his basketball life at Maine changed rapidly as his minutes per game went from 11 to 29 thus bolstering his stats to 9.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 16.9%, FT: 60.6%. A witness to his rapid rise was German freshman Till Gloger who had come from the Paderborn Baskets and would have a stellar 4 year career at Maine(NCAA) from 2012-2016 and be teammates with Pollard for 2 seasons. In his freshman year the German pretty much experienced the first year blues getting little minutes and averaging 14 minutes and 2,9ppg and 2,3rpg. The last time that Gloger played together with Pollard was 6 years ago and in 2020, he didn´t hesitate long to mention what came to his mind right away when he was presented with the name Pollard. “The first thing that comes to my mind now is that he was an outstanding competitor in practice and during the games”, stressed Til Gloger. The German remembers scoring in double figures twice as a freshman against Brown and Fisher as well as having to accept the normal ribbing that first year guys have to live with. “I remember that he was doing some trash talk in the locker room with some freshmen after practice. It was just another example of how competitive he is”, expressed Till Gloger. In his sophomore season the American scored in double figures in 14 games including a 20 point game against Boston University and a 17 point game against Duquesne. In Gloger´s second season at Maine, he also was able to profit from more minutes averaging 7.7ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 55.8%, FT: 74.5%, while Pollard also was able to up his stats to 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.0apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 52.7%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 69.7%. With both guys on the court together for many minutes helped their chemistry. “, I remember him mostly playing the point guard position. However, he was also used a lot for the shooting guard position. We harmonized very well on the court and that he knew where to find me”, added Till Gloger.
Maine(NCAA) plays in the America East Conference and won´t face the big NCAA powerhouses the way school´s might in the Big 10, Big East or some other conferences, but every now and then you do get a big name school on the schedule. In Gloger and Pollard´s last season together, the pair were able to compete against top school UCONN which would go on to win the NCAA title that season with German Nils Giffey who currently plays with Alba Berlin and is the only German born player with 2 NCAA titles. Maine had absolutely no chance in this game getting creamed 95-68. Pollard put on a show leading all scorers with 20 points. UCONN had some future NBA players on the roster including current Washington Wizard Shabazz Napier who scored only 7 points in the romp. This was a game of hundreds each NCAA season where one can see the high level play of guards that are present, but so often there are so many players that won´t ever breathe a second of NBA air or even get to the Euroleague or Eurocup competitions, but rather end up in a low league like Luxemburg the way Pollard did. “The spots in the NBA are very limited and it is very competitive to get one of the 60 spots in the NBA draft. Xavier is a perfect example how you can work your way up and land on a very good team in the Easycredit BBL”, warned Till Gloger. In 3 seasons at Maine Pollard had 733 points, 293 rebounds, 240 assists and 93 steals in 80 games. After 2 seasons together at Maine, their ways parted as Pollard chose to play his last NCAA season at Kent State. Even if they were only teammates for 2 seasons, the German still has fond memories of the American today. “I appreciated most that he was a guy who liked to lead and take responsibility in games. He also had a very good Basketball IQ and could read the game with ease”, stressed Till Gloger. The American played his senior year at Kent State playing 22 games averaging 11.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 63.5%. Sometimes when there is a better opportunity, you have to jump at it. “I was not really surprised when Xavier told me that he wanted to pursue the rest of his college career at Kent State. He had the potential to play for a higher major college with a better winning history. Therefore, his step to Kent State was the right next step in his career”, stressed Till Gloger. His senior year he scored in double figures in 14 games and had more than 20 points 4 times. He hit Ohio and Pittsburgh for 23 points a piece and hit Ball State for 22 points and Buffalo for 21 points.
The American had to pay his dues in his first 3 professional seasons playing in lower leagues in Europe. As a rookie he played with BBC Arantia Larochette (Luxembourg-Total League) playing 14 games and finishing second in scoring with 26.1ppg, 8.5rpg, Assists-5(4.7apg), Steals-1(2.4spg), FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 77.0%. In his second season he made the jump to the Lugano Tigers (Switzerland-SBL) playing 27 games and leading the league in scoring at 22.3ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-1(5.4apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 77.4%. Last season he made another jump in his career moving to Fiba Europe Cup team Fribourg Olympic (Switzerland-SBL) where he played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 15.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.8%; and played 19 Swiss SBL games averaging 14.8ppg, 3.9rpg, Assists-5(4.9apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 66.7%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 75.9%. He couldn´t dominate the way he did in his first two professional seasons on account of having better teammates and more scorers on the team. He has given the name consistency a new meaning in that he has played 70 professional games in his first three seasons and scored in double figures in 64 games. He has scored 20 points or more in 32 professional games. Some of his best personal games was a 41 point explosion against the Lakers and 38 points against Boncourt in the Swiss league, and he scored 38 points against Heffingen in the Luxemburg league. He had two strong Fiba Europe Cup games against Oradea with 23 points and 22 points against Sibiu in wins. He hit his future team T,elekom Baskets Bonn with 15 points. He now is prepared to make a another step in his career as he will play in the top 5 top league in Europe with the easyCredit BBL with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Kemba Walker is very far away from Bonn as he is in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida with the Boston Celtics prepping for the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season, but fans may see something familiar to Walker in Bonn this season. “I remember that one of his favorite players was Kemba Walker. I think his style of play fits very well to Kemba´s game. Xavier is a tall guard and he knows how take advantage of that. Especially with his drive to the basket, he is really hard to stop”, warned Till Gloger.. Even if Pollard as shone as a professional as a scorer, he can fill up the stat sheet like no other and will help the Bonn club in an area where they struggled the most last season. “The Telekom Baskets Bonn will benefit from his defensive mind set. He can be a lock down defender who can make a difference on the defensive end”, warned Till Gloger. The Telekom Baskets Bonn have been known to have been fortified in the last years with strong guards like Eugene Lawrence, Branden Frazier, Mickey Mcconnell, Winsome Frazier and Josh Mayo to mention just a few, but can Xavier Pollard make the grade as well and later be remembered as a guard who was able to make a difference? “I am confident that he will be successful playing for Bonn the upcoming season. He knows how to fight for his spot on the team and I am sure he will have a big impact in the Bonn system”, warned Till Gloger. Even if it has been ages since Gloger last saw Pollard, the ex teammate still has an impact on him. If they were to meet again he might even not recognize him because of his longer hair, but then again a meeting would be worth a trip from Rostock to Bonn. “I I look up to his work ethic and resentfulness. I hope I will be able to watch some games of Bonn this season”, added Till Gloger. With an ambitious organization like the Rostock Seawolves and a famous head coach with Dirk Bauermann, getting a private jet for a short trip down to Bonn has to be in the budget.