It all depends where the heart thumps for most in terms of how a basketball player choses to live their life in the basketball world with exactly how many teams they want to play for. In the easyCredit BBL, it has been no secret that legends like Rickey Paulding and Quantez Robertson have had their hearts focused on 1 organization as the Missouri native Paulding is playing his 14th season with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the freak athlete ex Auburn(NCAA) great Quantez Robertson has been lacing up his sneakers for the Fraport Skyliners for 12 seasons. Then again there are other players that choose to live that nomadic basketball life taking the globe trotting path. One of the best examples in Europe has been 35 year old Ekene Ibekwe who led the ACC in blocks as a senior at Maryland(NCAA). Currently he is in his 13th professional season and has that very special basketball equation of 25/10 which equals to 25 professional organizations and 10 countries. That is an amazing feat for a player that played for 5 German teams and in the NBA there have also been guys that have bounced around from team to team the way singer Katy Perry has changed her men over the years. The record in the NBA is 12 teams shared by 4guys with Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg and Joe Smith. In German basketball there are also guys that have enjoyed bouncing around from team to team and one of those is Dutch forward Chaed Wellian who currently is balling in the Pro B for the EPG Baskets Koblenz. He has his only special basketball equation of 14/8 with 14 organization in 8 countries. Staying with one team just hasn´t been in his equation and he doesn´t adore those people that criticize his nomadic basketball life. “I’ve actually never stood still and realized it’s been so many teams haha. Honestly I love to travel and while I was younger I think it was also important for me to experience different cultures when I had the chance to. As I get older I’m looking more for stability and stay with a team for a longer period of time. But experiencing different leagues and countries was a blessing I was fortunate enough to experience. I’d say try to walk in my shoes. Professional basketball is not mentally cut for everyone the pressure we endure is completely different. I can go real deep into this matter but long answer short why don’t try it themselves and see how it works out for them”, warned ex Itzehoe player Chaed Wellian. He has that special 14/8 basketball equation and at the moment has no desire moving as he is very happy playing for the EPG Baskets Koblenz.
Chaed Wellian is a 28 year old 204cm forward that was born in Amsterdam, Holland. He didn´t go the usual route that Dutch players take developing his game for a Dutch club, but instead took a plane ride over the pond and played 4 years of college ball in the States. There was never any doubt in the mind of the Dutch player that he would play college ball. “For me it was to be able to experience the American side of basketball. I’ve had playing college ball in my mind since I was 8 years old, and it was something that I set my mind to for so long that nobody was taking that away from me. At that time it wasn’t that common for Dutch players to go to the states and play college ball, they usually stay within a clubs youth program and transition into the professional life. But nowadays you see more and more kids going over and it’s amazing there is so much young talent in the Netherlands and it’s being showcased more and more”, remembered Chaed Wellian. He began his career in the States with Atlanta Metropolitan College (NJCAA) and in his last season averaged 14.9ppg, 2.0spg, 7.0rpg, 3PT: 40%. Even if he left the school having proven that he can survive JUCO ball, the beginning wasn´t easy as he saw how tough JUCO ball can be. “My first year had to be my toughest year. JUCO basketball isn’t for everyone. I came into a school with players that were literally starving for an opportunity. So me coming from Amsterdam meant that there was basically a target on my back. They weren´t going to let some guy from a different country come in and take someone’s spot. So I literally had to fight for my spot on the team. But I’m glad I’ve had that experience because it made me realize how life works”, stated Chaed Wellian.
The Dutch player who last watched Harlem Nights and lists it as one of the greatest comedy movies of all time then made the next step and played in the NCAA for 2 years at Tennessee State University (NCAA). He played only 33 NCAA games and never averaged more than 2,9ppg, but will always remember the experience with a lot of joy. “I was blessed to come out of JUCO and transfer to a D1 school. When I got there you also realize that there are levels. You are now playing in a bracket where there are so many talents in one league it’s stacked. It’s where I noticed I need to get physically stronger and need to comprehend the game on a different level”, remembered Chaed Wellian. In his freshman season he played only 8 games, but had 2 good games where he played well and effective scoring 5 points in 9 minutes in a 92-53 win over Fisk and 5 points and 5 rebounds in 4 minutes in a 80-48 massacre over Tennessee-Martin. He was more than fortunate to be able to learn from future NBA pro Robert Covington who has more than 400 NBA games on his resume and currently is playing for Portland and will never forget the experience. “We had a good relationship in college and he was always open. Still speak to this day, most humble player I’ve played with given the magnitude of hype that was surrounding him. He never let it get to his head. Always hung out with his teammates, just a down to earth guy. Focus, Rob’s focus is relentless doesn’t matter what aspect. He shoots every shot the same way plays defense with so much tenacity. It just shows why he’s one of the elite players in the NBA. It was amazing to be able to share the court with him”, explained Chaed Wellian. He didn´t recall any one on one games with Covington, but played against him in pick up games. “We had some battles. He is one of the only people that I can honestly say who really posterized me. But I won the pick up games”, smiled Chaed Wellian. In his senior year he played 25 games averaging 2,9ppg and 1,5rpg and scored in double figures in 2 games including 12 points and 5 rebounds in a 66-61 win over SIU Edwardsville and 11 points in a loss over Morehead State. Even if he didn´t play many games or minutes, he was very grateful for the opportunity from head coach Travis Williams. “Coach TWill was a very good motivator. He has coached in China prior to coaching us at TSU so he already knew what it took to become a pro. And he was a great collegiate player himself. So he was one of those coaches who wasn’t just worried about your college career, but he made sure you were ready for what’s next after college if it was pertaining basketball or any other career you wanted to pursue. But for me he helped me a lot with making decision in life and how to adapt in particular situations”, stressed Chaed Wellian. One teammate that he remembers fondly is Patrick Miller who averaged 23,0ppg as a senior, but never got an opportunity in the NBA. “Pat, as the German league probably noticed when he played for Ulm was an absolute killer. Our senior year in college he was simply on a mission. Showing everyone what he was capable of. If you were in his way he made sure your not anymore. A factor was also we didn’t have a great season that year so with a losing record you sometimes don’t get the attention you deserve. He is definitely a guy that is supposed to compete in the NBA. But I’m certain that we will see him in an NBA jersey soon”, warned Chaed Wellian.
The Dutch basketball globetrotter returned back to Europe and began a career that would land him with 14 teams and 8 countries. Playing in his homeland was really never a serious option. “I rather traveled and use the ball as a tool to travel while I have the chance. The Dutch league is great but it’s basically home for me. And at some point in my career there weren’t any matching capabilities with me and teams in the Netherlands so the automatic option was to go abroad again. But who knows I might end up back home eventually”, stressed Chaed Wellian. He played his rookie season for the Svendborg Rabbits (Denmark-Ligaen) playing 30 games averaging 6.2ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 50.0%. It was a solid first season as a professional as he scored in double figures in 5 games. It was a very first important pro season for him as he was very fortunate to have many veterans around him. “I was a very immature player back then but I had great vets around me. Johnell Smith who is a legend in Scandinavia mentored me in basically everything to this day. We had probably the smartest point guard I’ve ever played with who easily could play NBA level basketball, Antonio Porta. He has an amazing resume and he also just helped me understand the game of basketball. And playing for Craig Pederson the head coach of the Icelandic basketball team. When it comes to basketball this man is a pure genius, I really wish at that time I would’ve have listened more and soaked up the information that he distributed to us during that time basketball wise”, stated Chaed Wellian. In his rookie season, he also experienced his first taste of professional playoff basketball. He helped his team beat the Randers, but then was disappointed losing to IC Horsens. “We ended up losing to 3-2 in the play-offs and they ended up winning the league that year. That was the toughest loss for sure. We had such a great team on every position and we had weapons. If it wasn’t experience it would be talent but Horsens was the better team. They earned that title so looking back at it my hats off to them for having a better game plan those series”, said Chaed Wellian. In his second professional season, he began to build on that special basketball equation moving from team to team as he began with Umea BSKT (Sweden-Basketligan) playing 8 games averaging 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2FGP: 58.1%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 50.0%, and then moved to TSV Crailsheim Merlins 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 14 games averaging 15.5ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 69.7%. “That was my first year from making a jump from a top league to a lower league. It was a humbling experience. I was able to practice with their BBL team and notice how top level basketball is in Germany. It made me realize how serious you have to take sports to make it to certain levels”, stressed Chaed Wellian.
The Dutch player remembers future NBA players Cleanthony Early and Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State) as being his toughest foes in the NCAA and heplayed his third professional season in 2 countries for BC Apollo Amsterdam (Eredivisie playing 2 games averaging 6.5ppg, 2.0rpg, and SG DJK Saarlouis-Roden/BBF Dillingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 10 games averaging 23.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.7spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 67.9%. In the German Regionalliga, he scored in double figures in all games and had some huge games against Mainz with 31 points in a win, but none was bigger than his 37point explosion and 9 three´s in a bitter 89-85 loss against Limburg. Despite the loss, this game was one of his best as a professional. “Scoring wise it was just one of those nights where the shots were falling. But I would say that one of my best games in my professional career came from last season where I was able to help my team get certain key wins where we able to remain and regain the top position”, remembered Chaed Wellian. In the 2017-2018 season he once again played with more than just one organization splitting time with KIT SC Karlsruhe (Germany-ProB) playing 14 games averaging 8.8ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.0apg, 2FGP: 41.7%, 3FGP: 28.9%, FT: 70.8%, in Mar.’18 moved to Favl Basket Viterbo (Italy-Serie C). With the Karlsruhe he scored in double figures in 5 games including 17 points in a loss against Frankfurt and also contributed 14 points in loses against Wurzburg and Rhondorf. He has played with many great players and one of those that he will never forget is American Jeremy Black. “One thing that people might not know about Jeremy besides the obvious that he is strong as an ox and like you mentioned never stops working is that he has a great heart. Everything he does is being done with passion. Also a player who helped me with my first year in the Pro B. He took me under his wing and made sure I was good. He’s the type that will make sure you are good before he is. For sure one of the best bigs I’ve shared the court with.”, remembered Chaed Wellian.
The 2018-2019 season was his most insane roller coaster season as he began with the Scanplus Baskets, then moved UMF Sindri Hofn (Iceland-D1) averaging 20.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.0spg, and in January.’19 signed at FSU Selfoss (Iceland-D1) averaging 16.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 58.3%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 90.9%, and in March’19 agreed terms with Surrey Scorchers (United Kingdom-BBL) averaging 7.6ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 57.1%. It was one of those seasons where he got to know how to pack a suitcase the right way. “Man that was such a crazy year! From getting fired in Elchingen to switching teams in Iceland. It was a very mentally draining year for me. Getting fired is a part of the job no matter what the reason was. But I was supposed to sign with FSU Selfoss right after Elchingen but ended up deciding to go to Sindri, which wasn’t a good fit so I ended up transferring to Selfoss where I was extremely happy and loved the place and organization. Unfortunately we didn’t make the playoffs by one game so our season got cut short. So I had the opportunity to go to the Surrey Scorchers to finish out the rest of the season with them. So for me it was more of a stay active situation towards the end”, stressed Chaed Wellian. Even if his Iceland time was a short one, it was one that also will last a lifetime and a place he may visit again . “It’s a very fast paced basketball league. A lot of high numbers are being put up in terms of scoring. The thing I will remember most is the people they are very open and caring. They live life very easy and stress free”, commented Chaed Wellian. Last season, he did something very rare and played only for one club the first time since being a rookie in Denmark. He couldn´t make a dent in his basketball equation as he played with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-Pro B) playing 22 games averaging 8.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 75.9%. There he had the big pleasure to learn from a great coach in Pat Elzie. It really doesn´t matter to what player you speak to that have played for him, only the best words are said about him. “Where do I start, Coach Pat played a huge role in my career actually still is. He is one of those coaches who genuinely cares about you. You can come to him about literally everything and he will give you the best advice or help that he can give. My time there was great basketball wise, Pat was one of the first coaches who really let me play my game and showed me that he fully trusts me in what I’m capable of. To be honest he really reignited that spark in me for the love of basketball. He knows how to win and turn programs around that’s what he’s known for so you can’t do nothing else but trust the guy. In my opinion one of his greatest assets as a coach is that he knows what he wants and he gives you the feeling that if you trust his plan he will trust you and when you have that you want to go on the court and give your all because you know the leader of the team has your back and I think that’s a very underrated powerful thing to have on a team”, warned Chaed Wellian. Not only did he play for a great coach, but also played together with a great player in Chris Hooper who is one of many playing in Germany that should be at a higher level. “Oh yeah for sure come on now, I think that’s a no brainer. Chris told me in the beginning of last season that he had something to prove and boy I’m pretty sure that he said everyone what he is capable of. He could easily compete in the highest levels. But again it kind of shows what kind of coach Pat is, bonds are created when playing for him. It’s just a different experience. But I have no doubt that we will see Chris compete at a higher level soon. I’m not too sure what the ambitions are of Itzehoe but I´m pretty sure they would like to move up as well so it could be a reason for his return there. Haven’t seen to many dominant players like Chris before he’s definitely up there”, stressed Chaed Wellian.
He lists guys like Patrick Miller, Johnell Smith, Robert Covington, MJ Rhettand Chris Hooper has his 5 best teammates of all-time and 2020 has also been a tough year for him just like it has been for everyone else around the world. COVID-19 has struck the world hard and getting used to a new life wasn´t always easy for everyone. Guys that experienced the pandemic in the United States didn´t always have the opportunity of using a gym, but the Dutch player had more luck in Europe. “Fortunately I was lucky enough to spend my summer in Amsterdam where some gyms stayed open so staying in shape wasn’t really that big of an issue I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for years! But I can imagine for some athletes it was a really rough time with finding training facilities”, stressed Chaed Wellian. He mostly worked out on his own, but also had the opportunity to share the court with Dutch national players Charlon Kloof (ACB) and Mohammed Kherrazi (Belgium Top League) Not only was he able to stay in shape and work on his game in the extra months he had to train, but also was able to use the free time off the court wisely. “To be honest it just made me a little bit more cautious and cherish my family and friends a little more. Got to spend a lot of time with my family and I feel like that quality time was much needed. Mentally it was definitely nice to have a break“, commented Chaed Wellian.
He picked a good address for this season by signing with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. It is now his second season in a row where he is playing for winning teams. Once you start to win more and more, you just can´t get enough. “It feels amazing, ultimately that’s what it’s all about right winning. I came from a winning program last season (Itzehoe Eagles) so for me it’s important that the same mentality and attitude is being carried over to this team. Pretty sure that a lot of our guys have made sacrifices to come to this great program and make sure we are a winning team with the ultimate goal to move up”, said Chaed Wellian.When you watch the team play, one sees this sense of team and the chemistry gets better every day. It is easy to understand why he loves playing for his new team. “For me it’s the great group of guys we have. Everyone is getting along so well on and off the court even when I came in late as a new addition to the team. There was no problem acclimating and it was just straight to business from day 1. It just seems like we have a special group of guys who have a lot of experience winning and knowing what it takes to take it to the next level and even help the club grow for the next generation that comes in after us”, warned Chaed Wellian. The team belongs to the top teams in the Pro B and they will only get better. The way they play and the how the organization is run, it is clear to see that they are very very determined to reach the next level in Germany. “The club is very serious about moving up. The plan was for this season to play in a new arena which holds if I’m correct over 5000 seats so the team can prepare for a potential move to the Pro A. The organization is doing whatever they can on their part to make their goal as realistic as possible. They try and put us in the best position possible to succeed. So all we have to do is just go out there and win games! I’m a dreamer so for me everything is within arms reach so if I’m being asked that question I’m saying it’s happening. I have nothing but full confidence in my teammates the coaching staff and the organization in making this happen. So we are planning the be in the Pro A next season”, warned Chaed Wellian. But at the same time, that they can´t lose focus and also need to work on deficiencies like defense and cleaning up mental mistakes. “We are still a fairly new team put together so mistakes are going to happen and we will find our rhythm soon so we can hit on all cylinders. It’s difficult to play in sync so soon and trust each other on the court immediately. I have full trust in our team that when we reach that point of trusting each other on defense and know that we can rely on the next guy is certain aspects on defense and offense that like you said a lot of points will be put up and defensively we will even be stronger”, stressed Chaed Wellian.
At age 28, Chaed Wellian who lists Bill Russell, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore is close to hitting his prime, but at the moment still feels like he hasn´t played his best basketball yet “I don’t think I’ve reached my peak yet I’m actually feeling younger and stronger. I have changed up a lot of things around basketball nutrition for example. It’s letting me discover my body completely different and makes me feel so much younger. I got so much more to learn when it comes to basketball. What I’m working the most right now is my basketball IQ, knowing to make the right decision in what situation to help the team win”, warned Chaed Wellian. When he was younger, he always wanted to play like Allen Iverson. As he began to grow more, he grew fond of ex Syracuse(NCAA) stand out Carmelo Anthony. If he had to pick one guy in the NBA that has a game that he tries to mimic then it would be Danny Granger who is a former first round NBA pick and played 10 years in the NBA and one season averaged 25,0ppg for the Indiana Pacers. He is a very versatile player that can score, rebound and play defense, but he credits his biggest strength to another part of his game. “I think it’s my passing I love to pass the basketball I think it’s a very overlooked quality that I have. It’s just something about being able to make the right play or finding that next guy open. But I also love the mental aspect of the game keeping everything together I like to feel in control as in I want to be on the team that dictates the pace of the game. Sticking everyone together that’s a very important skill to me as well, intangibles”, added Chaed Wellian.
He has put up some big time stats in some places, but then again had other kind of roles for other teams where his stats didn´t rise. With the EPG Baskets, he is in a situation where he could have problems putting up big time stats simply because there is so much talent around him and so many guys that can score 20 points a night. He has no problem putting up lower stats, because he only has one ultimate goal with his new club. “At the end of the day it’s all about winning for me. A championship looks better on my resume than good stats. Of course there needs to be productivity but I don’t think scoring is necessary for that. We have great natural scorers all over the board. DJ can go off for 30 points any given night same with Marly. It’s just about knowing that any of us can have one of those nights. I’ve had average stats last season with Itzehoe but we ended up first I think it’s good to understand that stats are important but winning is the ultimate goal”, warned Chaed Wellian. Another plus when you have such an explosive scoring team is that you are always around very skilled players where one can always soak up added information that could help one´s game. He has been very fortunate to have another very athletic player by his side with Brian Butler. Both Butler and Wellian can profit from each other´s games. “Brian is an amazing human being in general. He’s one of those guys that everyone would love. First time I met him was when we played in Flchingen together and Brian was the first guy together with Edin to come up to me and introduce themselves and just made sure I’m comfortable. And then to mention his athleticism which is completely off the charts he might be the most athletic player I’ve seen in my professional career. Game wise you can always learn no matter who it is even though me and Brian’s game aren’t that similar I can still learn from him. I like his touch around the basket. I think that’s a very underrated aspect of his game because he is so well known for dunking that his finishing around the basket gets overlooked”, stressed Chaed Wellian. The older you get the more the desire for that chip grows, because one knows that there won´t be that many more years left for that golden chance. Last season he won a title with Itzehoe even if it felt weird, because the season was cut short by COVID-19. This season he is going for 2 titles in a row and has a good chance to achieve it with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. “This time around we will do it the old fashioned way and I’m always hungry for more. It’s not just about what I’m willing to do but what we are willing to do like I stated before a lot of players made sacrifices being here to win the league and most of us knows what it takes so I’m confident that we as a collective will feed each others motivation to win”, warned Chaed Wellian. He may have that special current 14/8 basketball formula, but at the moment he hasn´t put much change into the formula, because he is content with staying with the same team for the second season in a row. He has done a great job avoiding change and switching teams, because at the moment he has found the right teams and helped with that special formula of winning.