Keith Hornsby And The EWE Baskets Aren´t Looking Too Far Ahead But From Match Up To Match Up As The Playoffs Approach

Keith Hornsby (192-SG-92, college: LSU) is a 29 year old 193cm shooting guard from Mouth Of Wilson, Virginia that is playing his fifth professional season and first in Germany with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Last season the American played with Polski Cukier Torun (Poland-EBL) playing 19 games averaging 15.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 75.7%. He played his first 3 professional seasons with the Texas Legends (D-League) playing 116 games and averaging 4.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg in his first season, 10.1ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 78.3% in his second season and 12.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT-2 (49.1%), FT: 84.1% in his final season. He began his basketball career with Oak Hill Academy. He then split time with 2 schools with the University of North Carolina – Asheville (NCAA) and : Louisiana State University (NCAA) playing a total of 116 NCAA games. His best season with the: University of North Carolina – Asheville (NCAA) was his last season where he averaged: 15.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 92.5%. He put up very consistent stats with Louisiana State University (NCAA) in both years averaging 13.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 78.4% and in his senior year averaging 13.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 81.8%. He spoke to germanhoops after the big 98-92 OT win in Chemnitz

Keith thanks for talking to Congrats on the massive 99-92 win Chemnitz. How thrilling is it in general to be able to win a OT game on the road?

It‘s an amazing feeling. We knew Chemnitz would be a tough opponent at home, and we really had to buckle down and focus to win the game. If we had lost, it would’ve been a brutal six hour bus ride back to Oldenburg through the night.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg had the slim 43-39 lead at the break. How tough was it playing Chemnitz in that first half and why couldn’t you break away as a team?

Chemnitz made some good plays and gained some momentum at the end of the first half. They’re a very dangerous offensive team if they get going. We missed a ton of lay ups and open shots throughout the game, and especially in the first half. If we’d have capitalized on those shots and been a bit better defensively we would’ve had a more comfortable lead.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg kept the double digit lead through 30 minutes with good inside out play but lost control in the fourth quarter as Chemnitz scored 27 points. What was key for Chemnitz getting back into the game?

They were playing well together and really testing our defense by making us do multiple rotations. They’re a team that gets hot at home easily, and they certainly did in the fourth quarter.

German big man Jan Wimburg scored 14 points in the contest and was big in the first minutes of the fourth quarter getting buckets. Did you sense that he was extra motivated to play his ex team Oldenburg?

The returnees from the last few years would know more about his motivations against Oldenburg. I didn’t know he used to play for the club.

With 10 seconds left in the game, the Niners Chemnitz sent the game into OT with a Marcus Thornton bucket. Take us through that last play. What led to Oldenburg not getting that last stop?

I’ve known Marcus for a while. I used to play with him in the summers when we were in college while he was at William and Mary and I was visiting home in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has a deadly between the legs hesitation move that he kept using to get in the paint against us. We did a good job helping out for the most part, but he threw up a left hand contested lay up that rolled in. Tough shot!

In the OT time both teams kept exchanging blows, but Braydon Hobbs made the key basket. How huge was he and how vital is his overall good team play and character this season?

He’s simply one of my favorite teammates ever on and off the court. He plays with such poise, is a savant passer, and is a complete knock down shooter. It took some balls to take and make that big shot after he’d missed his previous few, but we all know any three is a perfectly makable shot for him.

How much fun does it continue to be playing with Rickey Paulding? Does he sometimes give you that popcorn and sit back feeling when he plays the game?

Rickey is a legend man. The best part about him is despite his big reputation in Oldenburg, he’s such an incredibly humble person and all around good guy. Not to mention a genetic freak! If he gets the pass in the post, I just chill and watch the show. He can get a great shot out of that position every time.

How much easier does Rasid Mahalbasic continue to make it for the EWE Baskets shooters? How vital is his out of the post passing for the success of the club?

He’s the best post passer I’ve ever played with. He’s always trying to balance his scoring attack and passing ability out of the post, because most of the time he meets some serious defensive resistance down there. He’s given me countless open threes this year from passes of wizardry. We fed him in the post a lot tonight and ran the offense through him. He was extremely affective.

You had a quiet night scoring 5 points. Recently you scored 28 points against Munich making 6 three’s. How do you digest a loss like this coupled with only 5 points mentally?

Offensively we have so many threats on Oldenburg. I didn’t feel very involved tonight offensively, but if I’m not scoring points, chances are someone else is having a big night, and that’s fine. Tonight that was Rasid, Rickey, and Phil Pressey. Each game is different, but I think I can be a little more aggressive and affect the game more even if I’m not getting the ball. That Munich loss was tough to digest. I was flowing very well offensively against them making tough shots, but if you score 28 and lose, it’s not a great feeling. If we would’ve won, it would’ve been bliss.

You have had an amazing season shooting 53% from outside. The best you ever shot before this season was 49% with G-League team Texas Legends. Has it only been extra reps and good shot selection that has helped you achieve this excellent shooting percentage or did you change something up with your mechanics?

I’ve actually taken much more difficult threes this season than my 49% year in the g league. I’m just a better shooter than I’ve ever been before. I give my teammates a lot of credit, because I’m lucky to play with some players who have a great feel for the game. They give me some great shooting opportunities most games despite more focused and scouted defense against me. I also like the spalding Tf-1000! Great basketball. A shooter’s ball I believe.

The EWE Baskets have a favorable schedule until the end of the regular season. How confident are you that the club could possibly overtake a team above them? Is there less pressure on you then the other top 3 teams?

We never look too far ahead. We’re looking forward to each match up. We can surely win out, but we have to be better than we were tonight.

You next meet Wurzburg on the road. They will surely be motivated after losing by 40 points in Oldenburg. What will be key for sweeping the season series?

They have a few new players that weren’t there the first time we played them. They have a reinforced roster. It’s always difficult to win on the road, so we really have to attack them early and get stops in the first half like we did the first time.

Ex NBA legend Dino Radja said that he can’t imagine Russell Westbrook being able to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

I love Russell Westbrook, but his game is definitely more fitted for the NBA. I think he wouldn’t be as effective in Europe, but still a complete problem for opposing defenses.

The reviews of the new Coming to America movie have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have kept it with the original classic instead of making a sequel?

I actually enjoyed the sequel. It plays a lot of fan service to the first movie, so if you’re not knowledgeable about the original, you’ll miss a lot of jokes throughout the sequel. It was actually better than I thought

Thanks for the chat Keith.

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