A Little Alster Lake Break Hasn´t Hurt Kameron Taylor´s Route To Becoming That Complete Player For The Hamburg Towers

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has been covering Kam Taylor since the 2016-2017 season. In that span he has interviewed him 14 times for Germanhoops and eurobasket. This post game interview was in the 2016-2017 season in Rhondorf when he was playing with the Dragons

Stopping at the Alster Lake in Hamburg is always a mandatory thing to do for me. Hanging out at the beautiful and tranquil Alster Lake is as normal for me as relaxing on the Charles River in Boston or roller blading on castle island when I´m home. The Alster Lake is that special place in Hamburg where people can just go for an hour and forget about their problems and just get engulfed with the beauty of nature in a small area in a major German city. If it´s doing laps around the lake while jogging, taking a boat trip or just proposing to your loved one, the Alster Lake is that magical place that can take you into your special own world. Kameron “i´ts Seton Hill not Seton Hall” Taylor is in his fifth professional season which has taken him to exotic land Hungry, but he has also had the luxury to be able to call Germany home for the other four seasons. He has lived in many places and each place had it´s own unique identity. His first stop as a rookie was the 24,000 city town Ehingen that was the typical pretty town with old architecture. In his second year he took a step back to make two forward dominating the Pro B with the Dragons Rhondorf. The tiny town Bad Honnef is situated on the famous Rhine River and only a 30 minute drive from Cologne. He finished that season in the BBL with s.Oliver Wurzburg which is another old city best known for the Residence on the hill. In his third professional season he called Pecs, Hungry home where that big city atmosphere with it´s 145,000 people gave him more of a challenge with traffic on the streets. He lived in one of the oldest cities in Hungry and could of learned something new each day with it´s vast amount of sights like the cathedral of St Peter and Paul. Last season he came back to Germany and played for Brose Bamberg. In Bamberg there were only about half as many people living there as in Pecs and he could go have a coffee and piece of cake in one of Germany´s best known old historical part of the city. The American from Maryland has lived in so many amazing places in his basketball career, but none as stunning as the place he calls home this season. The ex Seton Hill(NCAA2) guard is balling for the Towers this season and can call Hamburg home. Of course Bavarians from Munich will argue and say no city in Germany is nicer than their´s, but Hamburg natives can also argue that they are living in one of Germany´s most beautiful cities. Granted Hamburg may have 1,8 million inhabitants, but there are so many area´s in the city where you would never have thought that it is one of the biggest cities in Germany. From the massive harbor, to the beautiful historic architecture like the Michel church to the beautiful Alster Lake that can be that enchanting get away for anyone on a warm summer day. Hamburg is one of those unique cities where your never bored as there are always things to do. Of course now during the annoying COVID-19 crisis, people are limited to doing things, but if you use your imagination, you can always get away and just enjoy the cities finer points like the Speicher Stadt which is the world´s largest warehouse complex. Usually in small towns where you have nothing to do, you can work extra hard and long in the lab on your game, but in places where there is always entertainment, it could be more difficult to focus on basketball. “The city is huge and  the big Alster lake is definitely my favorite spot in the city. There were some great restaurants I’ve been to like Dulls Burger, before everything closed down”, stressed Kameron Taylor. Despite all the Hamburg distractions, Kameron Taylor has been able to lock in, help his team be successful and continue to make strides in his game. This season his personal game focus is to become that complete offensive and defensive player.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber hanging out in his favorite place in Hamburg at the Alster lake

                Three years ago the former DeMatha star Kameron Taylor experienced a real Cinderella story like basketball season moving from the Pro B Dragons Rhondorf to the easyCredit BBL team s.Oliver Wurzburg to finish the season under legendary German basketball coach Dirk Bauermann. He rapidly proved that he couldn´t only hold his own against other top players in the BBL, but that he could be that impact player. In the following years he continued to move up the basketball ladder having played in Hungry and last season had his true BBL break out season with Brose Bamberg. Him being a Cinderella story is long reality as currently he is an established BBL player that continues to perform at a high level and continues to develop further. After a successful first full season in the BBL  with Brose Bamberg, the American decided to set up camp in the north of Germany with BBL club Hamburg Towers. So far the decision has panned out as the club has a strong 8-4 record and with head coach Pedro Calles on board, the chances of continued success are good. The BBL regular season began with a bang for the Hamburg Towers as they won their first game at home. It was extra special because Kameron Taylor battled his ex team Bamberg and won. “It’s always nice getting a win against your old club but it was even more nice because we started out season off the right way”, stressed Kameron Taylor. He didn´t have a good shooting day as he shot 3/11, but he did a great job filling the stat sheet something that is as usual for him as it is NBA fans getting on Kyrie Irving´s back about his escapades with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block. Plus he got to the free throw line and made his free throws. Every now and then ex NBA players will appear on the court, but Taylor has seen this kind of thing a lot in the BBL, so matching up against a high quality guy like Devon Hall is nothing special anymore. He knows what he is capable of and is just focused on always getting better no matter if it´s an ex NBA player in his face or that hungry NBBL player getting that first shot to shine. “I’m motivated for every game. I continue to improve my game not only because I want to become the best player I possibly can but also because I know guys such as Devon Hall are probably doing the same thing”, warned Kameron Taylor.

            Despite COVID-19 wrecking serious havoc around the world, the German easyCredit BBL is experiencing a very very exciting season. When was Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich only in fourth and fifth place?. The top three teams are Ludwigsburg, Crailsheim and Oldenburg who are giving the league an even better name making it more competitive as ever. And lurking in the shadows of Munich and Berlin and ready to pounce on them are the Hamburg Towers currently in sixth place with a solid 8-4 record. The team´s big goal in pre season was to establish the club in the BBL and that is exactly what they are doing. They have that focused attitude of knowing that the season isn´t over now, but know they still have a lot of work to do. They began the season on fire winning six of their first seven games. The biggest win was over Bamberg and the rest were all huge wins mainly because they were against opponents who they had to beat. They established an offensive identity quickly scoring more than 80 points in five of thé six wins. The team has talented scorers and the brutal offense was something that could have been expected. “There is no secret, we play together and we play for each other. Everyone is aware of what they bring to the team and as a team everyone tries to maximize what they bring”, added Kameron Taylor. The club has had a bit of a lull in the last weeks having won only two of it´s last five games. But losing to top teams FC Bayern Munich and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg can always happen. They celebrated massive wins over pesky Rasta Vechta and top team Crailsheim wining by 17 points. Even good teams have their up and downs. “We aren’t changing anything. We understand that we aren’t perfect, so we go over our mistakes and what we need to work on and continue to work trying to get better individually and as a team”, warned Kameron Taylor. Hamburg next battle the always tough Fraport Skyliners who are coming off a disappointing loss to s.Oliver Wurzburg. They know that even if they can slow down sniper Matt Mobley, that that won´t be a guarantee for success. “Matt Mobley has been playing at a high level. But energy, team defense, and execution are our keys for the game”, said Kameron Taylor. One player Taylor will really be geared up for is BBL identity figure and Fraport Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. The ex Auburn(NCAA) star is 36 and one has to enjoy every new meeting not knowing when it might be the last encounter on the floor. “I would like to add his experience for sure. Tez is definitely a BBL Legend and just the experience alone I would like to add to my arsenal, knowing he has played and guarded so many different scorers, shooters, and slashers. He probably is prepared for every type of player”, stated Kameron Taylor.

            Kameron Taylor has been a big part of the current Hamburg Towers success, but it´s all about team and the club wouldn´t be where it is now without the support of everyone. One of those guys that has brought great leadership qualities is diminutive California native TJ Shorts who had a brilliant NCAA career at the University of California – Davis. He has been that scorer, creator and defensive spark that every team always wishes from their point guard. “It’s great to see him do well. He one of those guys that gets extra work in after and before practice and it clearly translates to the game. It’s fun being on the court with him because we both are guys that actually like playing defense and accepting the challenge of guarding the better players on the team”, expressed Kameron Taylor. Another player that has been a great addition has been the versatile 30 year old Jordan Swing who has played in countries like Belgium, Australia, Israel and Spain where he averaged double figures in scoring in the ACB with RETAbet Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian. Just saying that he is only a shooter is an insult. “J swing is not shooter, he is a bucket. He is a tough shot maker. Guarding him in practice is a challenge I love to accept it, because he scores in variety of ways”, expressed Kameron Taylor. Having that game moment of battling against BBL legends like Quantez Robertson and Ricky Paulding only happens a few times per season so enjoying those engagements are mandatory. But luckily he doesn´t have to wait for those few special meetings each season, because he also has a BBL legend with Bryce Taylor on the team that has played with top teams like Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich. Having Taylor on the team is an enrichment for everyone. “Honestly the fact that he has been through it all is the best thing not only for me but for the team. He’s been on championship teams and he brings that pedigree/experience we need as a group. He keeps our team focused and prepared not only on the court but helping us learn from real life situations off the court as well”, stressed Kameron Taylor.

            The American who last watched the movie Green Mile has continued to make strides in his game again this season and continues to climb up the basketball ladder. Last season he put up very good stats in his first full BBL season with Bamberg playing 26 BBL games averaging 10.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 82.8%, and played 12 BCL games averaging  9.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 86.2%. Last season he had very talented teammates, probably a bit more than what he has this season with Hamburg, but his game is still consistent with the Hamburg Towers. Besides filling the stat sheet, he has a very special role this season that he didn´t have with Bamberg last season. “I’m one of the older guys so I have to be the one who brings the energy, and to make sure my teammates are in the right places to be successful”, warned Kameron Taylor. He had some big scoring games at the start of the season scoring 19 points in a victory over Wurzburg and 21 points over the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but his game isn´t only about scoring. His scoring has been down in the last weeks, but he has been making up in other areas. “Playmaking has always been one of my favorite things because it’s gets yourself and your teammates going as well. It’s easy to make plays passing to teammates like mine”, said Kameron Taylor. He has been a very good three point shooter the last two seasons shooting 40% in Hungry and last season in the BBL and BCL, but is struggling currently at 26%. He stays positive and knows that if he can get his team going in other areas, then he will have success with his shooting again. “I´m just staying confident and getting my reps up. As long as I continue to positively affect my team I’m happy. The shots will fall”, warned Kameron Taylor. Not only on the offense end is Taylor a force, but also on the defensive end where his athleticism, long hands and intensity gets the Hamburg Towers transition baskets. Having defensive pit bull Max Di Leo as a teammate also is vital in his motivation to continue to get better as a defensive player. “Max is another guy that loves to accept the challenge of defending the best players as well. For me there’s no better feeling and playing with other guys who love to play defense”, commented Kameron Taylor.  Currently he is averaging 12,0ppg, 5,8rpg, 4,0apg and 1,8spg, but knows that despite being that versatile player at both ends of the court, his mission to greatness is a daily grind that he accepts. “As a player I try to improve every year. This year my focus has been trying to be a complete player offensively and defensively. Still have a lot of room to improve”, warned Kameron Taylor. It will be very interesting to see exactly where the journey of the Hamburg Towers will go this season, but with rising BBL coach Pedro Calles at the helm and his Vechta history still very much present, the playoffs could be a very realistic reality in May. If that does happen and the weather is warmer in Hamburg, nobody will get annoyed if Kameron Taylor takes a break from the lab and spends some more extra  time at the Alster lake. He can still work on becoming that complete player at both ends of the court even when he is off the court by scouting players on his lab top while taking in the stunning Alster atmosphere. And if he is in the mood for some exercise, then he can still take a lap around the lake while shifting from the pretty scenery to locking in about basketball in his thoughts

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