Ronny Weihmann is a 38 year old German professional player and individual coach who currently is playing with the Sunkings Saarlouis (Regionalliga). He had experience in the United States playing with Dubuque (NCAA2) and Emmanuel College (NAIA):, but since 2004 has crafted a fine professional career in Germany playing with clubs like the Baskets 98, BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Regionalliga), BSW Sixers (Regionalliga), USC Leipzig (Regionalliga), TuS Red Devils Bramsche (Regionalliga), Wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Regionalliga), SG TV Duerkheim-BB-Int. Speyer (Regionalliga) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (2.Regionalliga). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Ronny thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
First of all thanks for having me, I feel honored to have this interview with you guys here at EuroBasket. Basketball is always love and just like everyone else I’m making the best out of this situation that we are currently in.
Currently you’re a very ambitious individual trainer. How challenging and what kind of an adjustment was COVID-19 for your basketball life and being able to perform your job?
Well having your own Training facility helps a lot, that way I am more flexible when it comes to the training aspect and I can really work with professional players in a closed one on one setting. As freelancer and trainer, you must find a way within the rules and you have to be able to adapt to the situation, I mean its not a secret that the COVID-19 is hard on the whole basketball world especially the players and organizations, but we have to keep going right. Therefor we will always find a way.
From everything that you experienced off the court how do you feel did COVID-19 make you stronger as a man?
Of course, this whole pandemic is a life changing experience for a lot of people and all we can do is grow and become stronger individuals from this.
I thought that you were retired, but your still playing professional with Regionalliga team Saarlouis. How thankful are you that your work as a individual trainer has been able to prolong your professional basketball career?
I am thankful because it helps me to stay on top of my game and keep my body right. As a trainer you want to lead by example especially if you want to be one of the best in the business. So, taking care of your body must be a priority.
Let us talk a bit about your work as an individual trainer. When did you know that you wanted to be a individual trainer and when did you start?
Well, that is a funny story because that was never really my goal, I always just wanted to play basketball and play as long as I can professionally. I started working as a personal trainer while I was still playing just to have an extra income and build something for later. Back in 2014 a kid that was sitting on the side watching us play pick up, was dribbling the ball and I saw some things and started to talk to him and helped him out with some stationary drills on the spot. His dad saw us and asked me to train his son, my reply was ‘no I am not a skills trainer I just want to hoop’. After a long conversation and constantly asking me to train him, I gave it a shoot and here we are now.
Talk a little about your pool of players and which players you are helping on a regular basis?
On regular basis I have been working with;
Brian Butler Dimtrj Kreis
Anish Sharda Gergely Hosszu
Kelvin Okundaye David Blackburn
Chris Miller Aaron Reams
I work with DBBL Team in Saarlouis and I have a big pool of Highschool Athletes from US Military Bases around Germany. Which includes the top and most dominant player on this level for the past 3 years in Chandler Pigge’.
You have a cooperation with Weller Sports And Entertainment. How vital is it to give young players the opportunity to get that extra training from an a player agency?
That’s big because together we can really work on getting our young athletes to the next level as a player and on the business side of things.
There are many basketball agencies in Germany but Weller Sports And Entertainment only handle German players. What kind of an advantage is it for you being able to work together with this agency?
Well, the advantage is that Weller Sports And Entertainment works with a lot of German talent, young German talent is the future of German basketball and if I can be a part of developing these talented players, I’m all for it.
You and Weller Sports And Entertainment also have important contacts to American colleges. Do you see the interest of German kids going to play basketball at college to rise again in the future?
I think College Basketball is always an option and a great experience, especially for kids coming from Germany. Receiving a free education that will help you in the future while playing the game you love is a beautiful option to have. So yes I think it will rise in the future for sure.
Talk a little about your individual training methods. What is your formula for success that you attempt to give the kids you train.
Real Basic, fundamentally sound, tailored to the players needs. It is the little things sometimes that makes big difference. My formular to success is work hard work smart work often.
What future goals do you still have as an individual trainer? Do you want to expand this job more or do you have interest in tackling other fields in sports?
Well I started as personal & athletic Trainer, I have always been working with athletes from different sports, such Soccer, volleyball, Track, American football and much more. Now I’m at a point where I can expand the basketball part because that’s what I’m really passioned about.
Let’s talk a bit about your playing career. 16 years ago you played at the University of Dubuque (NCAA2) and also played at Emmanuel College in Georgia (NCAA2). What do you remember from your days in the States and what do you feel was the most important thing you gained from this overseas experience?
Expanding your horizon as a young adult in a country that’s in a different part of the world with no family just by yourself makes you grow up really fast and being able to see things from a different perspective.
You have played most of your professional basketball career in the German Regionalliga. Were you a guy that had ambitions to play at a higher league and do you feel like you just didn’t get the right opportunities?
I had the opportunity to play higher a couple of times but most of the Regionalliga teams I’ve played for had ambitions to move up and therefor invested more money than some other clubs that was one or two leagues higher, at the same time I never saw myself as a role player. Because at that time that is what they did with German talent in the higher leagues. I was good with making my money and playing 35 minutes a game and being a leader instead of playing a role with 15-20min. a game.
You played 2 seasons with the Wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Regionalliga). What memories do you have of head coach Alen Velcic and are you surprised what he has done with that club and been so successful?
I had a great time in Schwenningen a lot of ups and downs a lot of great people. I’m not surprised that they are where they are now, if you have a club that is financially stable over years it is just a matter of time till you can buy the players that will help you win on a high level.
You played 6 seasons with 1. FC Kaiserslautern (Regionalliga) and had your best seasons from 2017-2020. How do you explain that your performance got better as you got older?
Just keeping my body right and getting smarter while getting older
What kind of an experience has it been being teammates with Ricky Easterling. He is a ambitious gym rat likw you. You guys could make a competition as to who will play the longest? Do you have any feeling who might retire first?
Yes Ricky is one of the hardest workers I know, and I always loved to compete against him. We both could probably play at least 3-5 more years but with my business and the time I invest in that, I might be the one retiring first.
Who wins a one on one on the court in basketball and who wins a 200 yard dash?
Well, I have to say me in both even thou Ricky wouldn’t see it that way
It definitely would be a good match up, because both of us are true competitors.
Who is the best player that you ever faced as a professional player?
Monyea Pratt played with him and played against him, one of the most versatile players you will ever see, and that is a big reason for his long and successful carrier.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Ronny for the chat.