Can Devon Hall Follow A Bamberg Tradition With Guys Like PJ Tucker And Darius Miller And Return Back To The NBA?

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bamberg guard Devon Hall after dropping 20 points in the 86-76 win in Frankfurt

There were years in Freak City where winning a title or more each season was as common as it is for CSKA Moscow guard Mike James to make multiple acrobatic shots in traffic, but in the last three years getting those chips have become less as the only title they were able to achieve was the 2019 German cup. There were amazing years in the Chris Fleming and Andrea Trinchieri era´s where winning was like a middle name for the organization. Of course the club had many amazing players that contributed to the club being so successful like Casey Jacobsen in 2007 and after that they had some special players with PJ Tucker and Darius Miller. Both guys played instrumental roles in the organization having consistent success. A common similarity between both is that they both began in the NBA, came to Europe to seek glory and continue to develop their game and then returned back and have remained in the NBA. Tucker returned in 2012 and has since carved a nice NBA career becoming an important role player for the Houston Rockets while Darius Miller returned back to the NBA in 2017 and has played with the New Orleans Pelicans the last three years being a reliable role player. Can three be a charm for the NBA for new Brose Bamberg player Devon Hall? Hall played his second professional season last season splitting time with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League and played 11 NBA games with the Oklahoma Thunder. Now he has begun his overseas career, but is still very young and could always return back to the NBA. It would be an amazing story if Hall could follow the other two, but he isn´t thinking about that and knows what his main goal is now. “I obviously want to play at the highest level. I believe that I´m an NBA player. The NBA is still my goal and you should never lose sight of this, but at the same time, my main focus now is Bamberg. All I want to do now is win and get better with that organization”, warned Deon Hall.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Darius Miller in Frankfurt in 2016

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and PJ Tucker in Boston in 2016

                Devon Hall is a 25 year old 196cm guard that was born on July 7, 1995 in Virginia Beach. He had a very successful high school career at Cape Henry Collegiate School: where he played for his father Mark Hall Jr where he was a four year letter winner. In his junior year he averaged 16ppg, 7rpg, 7apg and as a senior he averaged 13.7ppg, 7rpg, 8apg. He led his school to the 2012-2013 Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) tournament title. In 2013 he was nominated to the Mcdonalds All-American team. Some other awards that he got in high school included HS All-TCIS first team -11, 12, 13, HS VISAA state champion -12, HS VISAA Player of the Year -12, and HS Most Valuable Player of the VISAA State Tournament -12. He then attended Virginia(NCAA) from 2013-2018, because of the super graduation rate of African Americans but red shirted his first season. That first season was very tough as he wasn´t even sure if he would play his first season. He knew that he had to use his red shirt year as best as possible. “I worked my butt of and got my body in good shape. I played many practice games against the players who played in games. I used these practice games as if I was playing in real games. I didn´t have to worry about anything in these practice games”, remembered Devon Hall. It also helped his game as a red shirt that he could look over the shoulder of his teammates future NBA players like Malcom Brogdon, Joe Harris and Justin Anderson.  “I learned how to work my red shirt year. When I was in high school, I had no idea what it meant to work. In high school you just shoot and work off your talent. In college you can´t live off your talent. You have to work to get better “, warned Devon Hall. He then played 4 years with Virginia(NCAA) playing a total of 127 NCAA games. In his freshman year he played 23 games averaging 1,8ppg. He scored 9 points in a 70-34 drubbing of Wake Forest, but also remembered seeing action in a tough 69-63 loss against NCAA powerhouse Duke where he dueled against future NBA players Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, Justise Winslow, Amile Jefferson, Grayson Allen and Marshall Plumlee. “I don´t remember so much, but I do remember Justise Winslow playing very well. Duke had an elite team. It was cool being able to be a part of that game and seeing just how good the ACC is”, added Devon Hall.

            In his sophomore year he played 35 games starting 20 games averaging 4.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.9apg. He scored in double figures in 4 games including 13 points against Morgan State and 12 points against Long Beach State. He split against North Carolina including a tight 79-74 win where he contributed 11 points. He held his own against future NBA players like guys like Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson, Marcus Paige, Isaiah Hicks and Theophilus Pinson Jr. This was an occasion where he knew that he really belonged on the court with these amazing skilled guys. “I have always believed in myself from day one. I knew that I could make a good impression in this game.”, said Devon Hall. He then really had North Carolina´s number beating them in a tight defensive game 53-43 his junior season and topping off his career with the ACC title against them. “Reaching the NCAA Elite 8 was one of my most memorable moments as well as beating North Carolina for the ACC title. Beating such a talented offensive team and holding them to only 43 points was huge. That game was one of the best defensive games that I have ever been in”, expressed Devon Hall. In his junior year he played 35 games starting each one averaging 8,3ppg, 4,4rpg, 1,9apg FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 77.6%. He scored in double figures in 15 games including a 18 point effort in a 70-55 win over North Carolina State, 17 points in a 71-48 romp of Virginia Tech and 15 points in a 54-48 victory over Miami, Florida. In his senior year he made another jump in his NCAA development playing 34 games averaging 11,7ppg, 4,2rpg, 3,1apg ,FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 89.4%. He scored in double figures in 25 games including 25 points in a 68-51 win over North Carolina State, 20 points in a 80-60 victory over Davidson and scored 19 points a piece in a win over Austin Peay State and a loss against West Virginia. He also led his team is assists in 11 games. He racked up some awards with All-ACC 2nd Team -18, ACC All-Defensive Team -18, ACC All-Tournament 1st Team -18, ACC All-Academic Team -17, 18, NABC NCAA D1 All-District 2 2nd Team -18. He never played his teammate future NBA player Ty Jerome in a one on one at school, but did have his battles during the summer. And Hall doesn´t belong to the 98% of guys who usually take themselves. “I have to be honest he got the best of me. I would be lying if I didn´t say this. But I will always take myself going into a one on one game”, warned Devon Hall. The American is very thankful for his head coach Tony Bennett, because without his guidance, he wouldn´t be the player that he is today. “I learned how to be a professional. He helped me progress each year and helped me with how to approach the game. He taught me that if I want to play at a high level, then I always have to get better”, stressed Devon Hall.

            The American who lists his ex teammate NBA player Malcolm Brogdan as being his toughest opponent had a busy summer of 2018 first raising eyebrows at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging  17.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 60.0%, FT: 84.6%. He then played at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and then travelled a lot and worked out for 19 NBA teams. His effort and persistence was rewarded as he was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round at #53. He then played at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV (Oklahoma City Thunder) playing 5 games averaging 5.4ppg, 1.2apg, FGP: 42.1%. It was a good experience for him even if his game wasn´t on par. ”I didn´t play well. I didn´t shoot the ball well which sucked, because I had worked my butt off before going to Las Vegas. Sometimes these things happen, but despite that, I didn´t loose my confidence shooting the ball. I remember celebrating my birthday party in Las Vegas and having some of my ex teammates like Ty Jerome, Deandre Hunter and Kyle Guy show up”, commented Devon Hall. He began with the Oklahoma Thunder, but then went down under and played with Cairns Taipans (Australia-NBL) playing 28 games averaging 9.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 33.9%, FT: 75.0%. He remembered  that he was very far away from home when he got off the plane. “I realized I was 16 hours away form home. That season was up and down. We didn´t win much. There was a new coach and players and you had to get used to them. I think that first experience helped me with the business side and learning how to be a pro”, said Devon Hall. He scored in double figures in 13 games including a 24 point game in a 109-80 win over the Bullets. He then returned back to the States to finish the season with the Oklahoma City Blue (NBA G League) playing 12 games averaging  6.1ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 27.3%, 3PT: 37.3%. He scored in double figures in 3 games including 14 points in a win over the Naz Suns and 13 points in a victory over Memphis. ”I only had a short stint. I got a lot of love form coach Mark Daigneault. He let me play even if I was only a shooter”, said Devon Hall. In the summer of 2019 he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas again with the Oklahoma Thunder playing 4 games averaging  7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 70.0%, 3PT: 11.1%, FT: 81.8%

            He began his second professional season with the Oklahoma Thunder playing 5 games in November and December and then played 6 games in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida in August 2020. In between he played with the Oklahoma City Blue (NBA G League) playing 30 games averaging 15.6ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 86.0%. His minutes rose from 20 to 31 and finally getting minutes helped him get more noticed and get that NBA opportunity. “I finally got real minutes. That helped my confidence grow. Coach allowed me to mess up and learn from my mistakes”, added Devon Hall. He scored in double figures in the G-League in 24 games. He hit Capital City and the Naz Suns for 26 points a piece and scored 24 points a piece against Stockton and South Bay. He did get his NBA chance and had a big adjustment for him was having that big gap between March-August 2020 when the NBA resumed. “All I had been doing in that time was playing pick up. I was waiting and was just confused about when the season would continue right after the G League ended I went home to Virginia Beach and trained for a few months. Then I went up to UVA and trained for a while just to stay prepared for whatever came next. I was always in contact with my agent and he was in contact with teams as well. He let me know I was on a short list of guys that OKC wanted to pick up for the bubble and I just stayed patient. I ended up getting the call in the car from my agent that they wanted to sign me for the bubble and I was super excited about the opportunity. I just prepared the best that I could as if I would be playing for a team”, remembered Devon Hall. He played his first game in the bubble against the Los Angeles Lakers and Lebron James playing 2 minutes in a loss. Unlike other players like ex NBA player Darrun Hilliard who was in total awe when he played against Kobe Bryant, Playing against Lebron James didn´t mean too much to Hall. “I don´t think I was even on the floor with Lebron. It was a special moment and one that I will tell my children and grand children one day. But at the end of the day I´m a competitor and just kept it moving. There was no small talk. I don´t know him and I´m just not that type of guy that will go up to him. Besides we lost the game”, remembered Devon Hall.

            The last movie that he has watched was Jingle Jangle and he saved his best for last scoring 12 points and dishing out 4 dimes in a close 107-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. That is a game that he definitely won´t forget. “I remember making a behind the back pass. That was put on social media. We lost the game in OT. I missed some free throws that will haunt me. But all in all it was good to play some real minutes and fell like part of the game”, said Devon Hall. In his brief time with the Oklahoma Thunder, he wasn´t only teammates with German national player Dennis Schroeder, but became best friends with the 2013 NBA first round pick of the Atlanta Hawks. He remembered being invited to a special dinner by the German and wanted to visit him in Germany, but then Corona hit. They have a special relationship and bond that isn´t always typical of a veteran and more younger player. “Dennis and I are super close. We spent a lot of time on the road together. Even when I was in the G-League we had close contact and I was often at his hose. We just clicked from the start. I was his rookie and he was my older brother. He taught me a lot about the game with the most important being patience on the pick and roll”, stressed Devon Hall. In 11 NBA games he averaged 1,8ppg and 1,2apg. During the long and extended 2019-2020 season, the American also had the opportunity to play for team USA. He played a World Cup qualifying game helping beat Puerto Rico. On the team he was introduced to one of the many talented guards in Europe that definitely is good enough to play in the NBA. “It was a great experience representing my country and one I would never take for granted. Most guys on my team were from the G-League, but Kyle Fogg had come from China. He was a good older guy. He was a big time player and super skilled. He is making good money in China, but I don´t see why a guy like that couldn´t play in the NBA”, stressed Devon Hall

            Now let us fast forward to December 2020. He is playing his first season in Europe playing with top German club Brose Bamberg. COVID-19 is still present and not really going any place. 2020 has been an insane year for everyone and everyone has their own story. “This year has been really crazy. From playing to not playing and then going to the bubble. Then having to deal with free agency was a bit much as well. But I’ve been able to keep a good mindset about it all and only control what I can control.”, stressed Devon Hall. Every player had their own unique story about how they remained in shape. One guy travelled 1000 miles to get gym access, while another player ran and did ball handling drills in the underground parking lot while Devon Hall found a holy place to keep grinding. “It wasn’t very hard for me to keep in shape because I had access to a gym that was in a church. So I was one of the very lucky ones able to continue to workout thankfully. I had access pretty much whenever I wanted it“, said Devon Hall. He also was able to make strides off the court due to COVID-19 being able to look at life in a totally different light “I think dealing with Covid has just given me real perspective on life. I don’t want to take it for granted because this virus is very real and has taken plenty of lives. It has helped me continue to stay mentally strong in the midst of a lot of the unknown”, warned Devon Hall. Now he is with the club Brose Bamberg trying to help the team as best as he can win games on a consistent basis. Once you have been in Australia, it is difficult to have a wake up call in Germany. “I’m excited to be in Bamberg. And I was a lot further away from home when I was in Australia so Germany feels like home compared to that”, laughed Devon Hall. So far the club has gotten off to a great start in the Basketball Champions League, but is still trying to find it´s groove in the easyCredit BBL. “I think I we are a very good team with a lot of good pieces. We are going to take each game, in both leagues one at a time. I think we are learning each other better and improving with a great group of guys. We all want to get better for each other so I think we are on the right path”, warned Devon Hall.

The American who lists his 5 best teammates of all-time as Isaiah Wilkins, Ty Jerome, De´andre Hunter, London Perrantes and Anthony Gill knows that the success will only come if everybody is on the same page. One of those players that has really exploded is ex California(NCAA) great David Kravish. “He has been huge and been a monster at both ends of the court. He has infectious energy and we wouldn´t have won games without him. He is a motor that we love and need”, stressed Devon Hall. Another valuable piece on the club has been veteran Chase Fieler who really can do it all. “He has a great knowledge for the game and has a ton of versatility. He can push the ball in transition, handle the ball, score and rebound. Having that versatility at the 4four spot is nice”, said Devon Hall. This season the American is roommates with German guard Dominik Lockhart and he knows just how vital he is on the court for the team. “He is always so steady. You always know exactly what you will get. He is a physical defender that can shoot and finish. He also has great court vision. I like playing with him”, added Devon Hall.

            Hall who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with legends like Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Magic and Shaq is a player that has extreme difficulty comparing his game to a current NBA player. But he does remember watching a lot of Deron Williams in high school and also enjoyed Kobe Bryant and Eric Gordon. He has come into the German easyCredit BBL and scored consistently from the get go, but has had to adjust to certain things. “The speed is a bit slower in the BBL compared to the NBA. The BBL is physical and the paint is clogged. I think important for me being successful so far has been finding ways to make plays and to be able to adjust on the fly. I have been watching a lot of film figuring where to pick my spots and learning how the defense plays. I just try to help as much as possible”, added Devon Hall. As a scorer one needs to have that three point range and that is something that the American has. He last shot over 40% as a senior at Virginia(NCAA), but he knows that there is one key ingredient that he has to keep to continue to be a good shooter and get better. “I just have to stay confident. My percentage went down in Australia, because I took more shots. I still trust my shot. I just have to shoot when I´m open”, warned Devon Hall. “One of his biggest strengths is his defense. He played for one of the NCAA´s best defensive coaches with Tony Bennett. He wants to keep growing as a defender in the pro ranks. “I think that choosing and picking spots on defense is just as important as on offense. I think I´m good at cutting off the angles. I can´t allow guys to blow by me. I want to become an impact defender and I can do that by taking gradual steps”, warned Devon Hall. In his third professional season he is no where near the end of his development. He knows that he has to take the extra time before and after practice to keep working on his game to continue to climb the basketball ladder. “I have to finish better at the rim. I also want to continue to work on my skill set. I also want to be able to create better. Important is to take it game by game and put my game within the team game”, stressed Devon Hall. Another thing that has stuck with him forever is his winning mentality. It may not be anywhere near that of a Kobe Bryant, but still he has the winning touch and always wants to make winning plays. “That winning mentality has been installed with me since the start. I have been a winner almost my whole life except for in Australia. Even if I´m not playing well in a game, I always want provide as much as I can so my team will win. I want to always be able to say I did all I could to help the team win”, warned Devon Hall. Even if he isn´t back in the NBA yet, he does have something in common with PJ Tucker and Darius Miller. He is a winner just like they were in Bamberg. That can only be a good omen for this season for Brose Bamberg.

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