Elijah Allen is a 30 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his eighth professional season and first season with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaging 16.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 80.2% In 2018-2019 he played with the Tigers Tuebingen averaging 8.8ppg, 3,5rpg and 1,2apg. In 2017-2018 he played with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. In the 2016-2017 season he helped Gotha move up to the easyCredit BBL averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played two seasons for Lich and in his last season there played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg. He spoke to Germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus crisis.
Hi Elijah where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil a tthe moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
Hello Miles, I am currently in Iserlohn. It’s unfortunate the events we are living in at the moment but I am trying to make the most of it.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
I did not think the whole country would stop because of the virus.
How did you experience the day to day life in Iserlohn in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn t normal?
Being on lockdown is a bit difficult. Usually I spend most of my day in a gym but now I’m forced to stay home. Everything is closed. Just the grocery stores are open.
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 try my best to follow the guidelines.
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?
I was pretty disappointed but I think it was the right thing to close everything. I really wanted to finish the rest of the games.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth with out spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
I think no fans is a good idea but when the whole world Is shutdown then I understand why the games just can’t be played
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
For me it gave me a time to step back and evaluate my life.
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?
For me I think it’s an advantage because it gives me much time to focus on my body. I want to get as fit as possible for the next season. A negative would be that I can’t workout inside of a gym right now
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 try not to worry to much. Instead I just control what I can control. Mentally being negative about the situation won’t help.
If you had to name another player besides guys from the Kangaroos that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
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?
As a father in this epidemic it has made me a bit defensive. I don’t take them around many people and try my best to lower the risk of them catching the virus
Let s talk about the season of Iserlohn. The club finished with a disappointing 7 -15 season landing in 10th place. How disappointing was this season for you?
Very disappointing. It felt like we were in a funk the whole season. Just couldn’t crawl out of it.
The club had had battled to a 2 -2 record in the last 4 games after suffering losing 6 of 7 games, but you had recently beat Duesseldorf by 25 points. How confident were you that the club would of prevailed in the playdowns beating Duesseldorf possibly for the last Pro B spot?
Playdowns was going to be a real fight! Early on the club really was better than it s end record.
You started at 2-2, but then suffered a 5 game losing streak in which you played top team Itzehoe tough, but lost and then lost to Duesseldorf by 1 point and by 2 points to Bochum. Did these close loses have an effect on the team mentally?
It was very frustrating. We were in most games and then let up at the wrong times.
Iserlohn gave up more points than it made and weren t the best rebounding team having only one experienced big man with Jozo Brkic . How much did consistency weigh into the problems with the team?
We were a small team so it was difficult at times
Let s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with Chris Frazier? He belonged to the top players with you having had BBL and Pro A experience. Is he a player that really is a lot better player that he sometimes gets credit for from coaches?
Chris is a very good Player and a great teammate. It’s unfortunate that he hasn’t got the chance he deserves. He is much better than a lot of the Germans that I have played with throughout my career. He can shoot the Ball and wants to always get better. It was a true pleasure to play with Chris. I found a good teammate and also a good friend.
Have you ever played with sets of brothers on the same team before before this season? What was it like playing with Rueben and Joshua Dahmen? What did you appreciate most about their games .
This was my first time playing with brothers. They are smart guys and are doing a lot of things to excel in life. They both are experienced and competed on the court and did their best. I don’t think I have a special Story to tell.
You also played briefly with another set of brothers with Malte and Kristof Schwarz with the latter retiring after 4 games and moving to America. Both had enormous experience in Germany and even played in the BBL with Phoenix Hagen. How special are these two brothers and what will you never forget about them?
Both were very nice guys. I wish them both success and a great retirement. Both of them I found to be funny and easy to talk to.
Let s talk about your game. Was it tough taking a step back to Pro B after 3 seasons in the Pro A?
For me it was a very tough decision. I felt like I was one of the better Germans in Pro A the past few years. I just got hit with some unlucky situations.
You competed in 22 game averaging 16.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.7apg , FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 80.2%. In our last interview you stated that in the summer of 2019 you would focus on this. ‘ I will focus on watching film and trying to learn the game more. It is a never ending process’. Do you feel that helped you achieve your best season in the Pro B?
I think it helped a lot. Offensively I felt I could do whatever I wanted on the court. Training hard and watching film put me in that position. At times it felt very easy because I had worked so hard to put myself in that Position.
Whats the next step for you? Your turning 31 in September. Do you still have that push for another Pro A season or are you content with staying in the Pro B or could you leave your comfort zone in Germany and explore a new country?
I am not sure what the future holds. I will just keep working hard and see what’s best for me.
You had your best season in the pro B after two solid seasons in Lich from 2014-2016. How is Elijah a better player today after 3 years in the Pro A?
I feel I can do bit of everything no matter the level. I have worked hard over the years and I know what I can bring to the table. I feel that I’m much better than years ago. My body feels great and I feel I have a ton left in the tank
It seems like you really grew as a facilitator. How do you credit your high assist average from this season? Did you pick up valuable things from the point guards that you played with in the Pro A?
I think over the years the game slows down and becomes easier. You understand where to be and when to make plays. A lot of it also has to do with what roll you have.
You had two of your bests scoring games with 28 and 26 in loses, but had a real good game filling the stats against the BSW Sixers. What was your most memorable game with Iserlohn?
I’m not sure really.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
Chis Hooper. He always went left and shot a hook and there wasn’t much you could do about it. Made it always with good defense. I think he was one of the best players in Pro B because he was consistent
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now?
No way! Lebron, Leonard and Durant. I think in a few years he could be possibly
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 at home when I heard the news. He had a big impact on why I liked the game of basketball. He was very competitive and to me top 3 that has ever played the game.
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?
Its unfortunate that there is no March Madness this year. The only advice I can give is just to stay positive and keep pushing on.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Cars 3 with my kids
Thanks Elijah for the chat.