Robby Scheinberg and Oscar Da Silva in the Maples Pavilion in Stanford
It was a Thursday night and I was waiting on well known German youth coach Robert “Robby” Scheinberg to conduct an interview. Now when I think back, the whole situation reminded me of a classic Dirty Harry scene where Clint Eastwood responded to the Mayor´s question about what he has been doing with siting on my butt for 45 minutes waiting on you Sir. But with me and Robby, it was all good, because he had warned me in the morning that it could become late because he was training players. But that didn´t bother me, because it gave me the opportunity to finish my new piece on rising American player Jerrick Harding who plays for Era basketball Nymburk in the Czech Republic. Finally a few minutes after midnight on March 26th I got a message from him that we could still do the interview in the wee hours of the morning. The basketball life and passion never ends for Robby Scheinberg. Anyway he had had sleepless nights the last few days concerning his player Bent Leuchten and where he will play in the NCAA next season. It was only normal that I had to catch up with the NBBL coach of IBAM as a big story had surfaced in the German basketball world as his ex player Oscar Da Silva had signed with top club MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He has experienced so much over the years with Da Silva that he could surely write a very informative and thrilling book about him. He spends a lot of time with him in the summers on and off the court and could surely tell numerous stories about him. But it wouldn´t all be about his game. Oscar da Silva is so much more than just a great player, but is the full package. He has an incredible charachter something that is hardly ever seen with kids his age and Scheinberg has seen it develop over the years. There have been numerous examples where Da Silva´s role model type character has sparkled as much as the game of Lamello Ball has in his rookie NBA season. “It was one of our last Regionalliga games with Schwabing in the 2016-2017 season before he went to Stanford(NCAA). We had a game in Leitershofen. As usual I was driving the mini van and Oscar sat next to me up front something he always did on away games. So when we got there, all the players went into the gym except Oscar. He remained behind with me as there was a lot of bags and equipment to take to the dressing room. There was a lot to carry. A jersey bag, medical kit, paper rolls, ball bag and so much more. He carried everything himself including his own bag. I still don´t know how he managed. I took a photo and then showed his teammates in the gym. He did all this without a complaint. He then stepped on the floor and scored 40 points, had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Oscar has absolutely no diva like qualities. I told his teammates that if all guys could be like Oscar that I would then be the happiest coach on earth. He never hates on other people. He always did the dirty work on and off the court and never complained. Oscar always leades by example”, warned Robert Scheinberg. Oscar Da Silva has that special game and character that other young players can only dream about.
Robert Scheinberg is a German-Polish coach that has been coaching since 1993 currently coaching the NBBL team IBAM. He began as a youth coordinator for FC Bayern Munich. He then coached teams like TSV Jahn Freising, Head Attack Baskets Erding (Germany-Oberliga), and MTSV Schwabing (Germany-Regionalliga). Just like everyone else on earth, the 48 year coach has still been able to stay busy and conduct a lot of individual training sessions with players and had most of his team together, but still it wasn´t the same without having competitive games and he has really missed it. “The time without games has been difficult and boring. I´m a guy that is emotional and need the games. I miss showing the emotion and having the thrill of seeing how players react in good and bad games and in pressure situations. The individual training has been beneficial, but at the same time, guys don´t really know where they stand without competitive games”, stressed Robert Scheinberg. A big negative point about Corona concerning sports has been the cancelation of the youth seasons not only in basketball, but also in many other sports. “Only a few of my guys could play Pro B. Corona didn´t hurt the crème de la crème, because they could play, but Corona really hurt the sleepers. That has been a catastrophe for these players, because they were unable to show their talent. Others guys in the second row also were affected especially the birth year 2002 as they were looking for division-1 scholarships. These guys couldn´t reach the next level. Corona also hurt the JBBL guys who were moving up to the NBBL. Because of this lost season, they are light years away from being NBBL players”, warned Robert Scheinberg.
As is the case each season, players come and go and Scheinberg had many new players with IBAM and also had some guys returning like Jonas Maerz, Ivan Borrisov and Dan Mukina. Despite not having competitive games guys were able to develop further as was the case with Dan Mukina, while other guys like Maerz and Borrisov had it more difficult to make new strides in their games. “Dan only started to play three years ago. He has a huge upside and is very raw. Having two coaches work with him helped his game a lot. He is very disciplined and was a big winner during Corona. With Maerz and Borrisov it was more difficult to develop, because they are done players. They couldn´t show new things with their games. But both guys definitely made new strides with their shooting and defense”, added Robert Scheinburg. The ambitious coach also coached another talented German last season with Leander sShwalm. He is one of those gifted players that seemed to have been tossed around the last years as he went from Alba Berlin to IBAM to the Fraport Skyliners in three years. But the young buck also had his studies on his mind which was a big factor in his nomadic ways. “Leander´s mother had ties to Munich and that is why he came to IBAM. He also had nice memories of Munich. It isn´t our focus to keep guys for a long time with IBAM: The reason why he went to Frankfurt is because he wants to go to University and got a spot in Frankfurt. He came late to Frankfurt and didn´t have a chance to show his game. I love him and still love him”, stressed Robert Scheinburg. Another big winner in his basketball stall is Bent Leuchten. He profited from Corona and got good minutes with Pro B club Oberaching averaging 12,8ppg and 6,8rpg in 25 minutes per game. “Bent gave me a lot of sleepless nights as he is currently choosing a NCAA school. His choices are UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh and Arkansas. He developed well. He was a bit behind athletically, but he lost 8 ponds and really worked hard on body. He could make the German U-20 team”, stated Robert Scheinburg. The ambitious and experienced coach is confident that next season the NBBL will be in full swing again. “The biggest topic now are the Corona shots. Everyone getting them is the solution to having games played again. It is hard to understand why Germany is so behind in this area. I think that a normal season will be able to begin again in October or November. I believe that the NBBL can´t afford to lose another season again. That will financially not be possible”, stressed Robert Scheinburg.
Scheinberg who last watched the movie Wonder Woman has been busy all season long with helping develop his players, but also was able to follow his ex player Oscar Da Silva play at Stanford(NCAA) from 2017-2021. A few days ago, the news came that Da Silva would play for the MHP Riesen, but also have the opportunity to play in the NBA should he get drafted and get the chance. For many this move may have been a surprise, but not for Scheinberg who was in close contact with John Patrick about Da Silva coming back to Europe. “A big reason for Oscar making this move was because Patrick is coach there and went to Stanford. Oscar and me are like a family office. I spoke very long with Patrick. He understands the agenda of Oscar. Oscar will need to shoot more three pointers to help his NBA stock. He will fit in well to Patrick´s system with his character. It will be a good match”, said Robert Scheinberg. The German/Polish coach watched the German play in Stanford the last four years and is disappointed that he couldn´t utilize his biggest strengths as a player as he couldn´t show his true game the last two years at Stanford. “I train with Oscar every summer for three months. He arrived at Stanford in 2017 as the third best player coming into the NCAA. He was a small forward at IBAM and also played that position his first two years. But that changed when he became a junior. Stanford didn´t have enough big men and made Oscar into a mobile five man. That didn´t really bring his game forward, because he couldn´t play his normal game and show what he does best. He was in the post and didn´t shoot many three´s in his last two seasons. But he still put up good stats in his last two years, because he is so versatile. He showed real character in that he stood behind the team and didn´t complain. He got better in the post. That is also a reason why he went to Ludwigsburg. They have good connections to the NBA and now he will be able to play his position that he couldn´t at Stanford. He also only played limited games at Stanford. That wouldn´t have helped his NBA Draft stock. Now he can play another 20 games with Ludwigsburg. Going to Ludwigsburg was the right step. Now he can shoot three pointers and he will have more options from outside. Important also is that he will be able to play against men”, warned Robert Scheinberg. It will definitely be interesting how well Da Silva comes to terms with John Patrick´s system. His versatility will definitely be beneficial for him achieving success in the easyCredit BBL. “I imagine that Rodriguez and Polas will play the four when they play small. I see Oscar being able to play the four and five at times. The BBL is a very physical league and one can´t expect wonders from him right away. He still is a rookie in a very strong league. He will need time. I think he may need three or four weeks. But I can see him becoming a factor in the playoffs”, stressed Robert Scheinberg.
It is no secret that Da Silva wants to get to the NBA and obviously playing competitive games in the next months will definitely help his NBA Draft Stock. After finishing the season with the MHP Riesen, he will be best prepared going into the NBA workouts that he will get. “It will help that he plays 20 games with Ludwigsburg. He injured his leg in February and missed a month and 4-5 games with Stanford. He now has come to a great team and can play for a title. His biggest benefit is that he can practice with men every day. At Stanford he was one of then oldest and now is one of the youngest. Now NBA scouts will be able to follow him and he will get in game shape for the NBA draft. From what I have heard from NBA teams, Oscar should go in the second round. A guy like Franz Wagner could go in the first round. The NBA always looks at the potential of players. Oscar is a senior and now you hardly see seniors get drafted. I think that if he also has good workouts that he then should find a good team and be drafted in the second round”, warned Robert Scheinberg. He still can get better as he continues as a professional player and has the drive and dedication to continue to grind in the lab on his game. “Oscar has to work on getting a higher shooting percentage from outside. He also needs to shoot more three´s. He also has to become a more aggressive rebounder and work on lateral movement on switches. He also needs to work on his athleticism and become more agile and mobile”, warned Robert Scheinberg. He not only followed Oscar this season as he ended his NCAA career, but also his younger brother Tristan who started his NCAA career at Colorado. The younger Da Silva had growing pains as he averaged only 9,0mpg. “There were many seniors on the team. I felt that he used his minutes well as a freshman. He has good chances of being a starter next season. He is a mega talent and started later than Oscar. He had a tough injury and worked very hard to come back and get this opportunity with Colorado. They were my sleeper this season. Tristan did a good job finding his way into the rotation”, expressed Robert Scheinberg.
Scheinberg who sees NBA superstar Luka Doncic as a top 3 player individually but not top 3 player with the full package can now observe Oscar Da Silva even more closely in the easyCredit BBL. Da Silva plays his first game on Sunday in Bayreuth. Scheinberg would love to see him in Bayreuth, but can´t because COVID-19 has made it very strict for people to watch games live. Even if Da Silva put up great stats in the NBBL and Regionalliga and averaged 15.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, as a junior and 18,5ppg, 6,7rpg and 2,4apg as a senior at Stanford, Scheinberg doesn´t even see him as a very talented player on the court. He sees many other abilities that will always get him a spot on any roster for any team in the world. “Tristan is an unbelievable talent. Oscar is totally dedicated, down to earth and totally understands what a coach wants from him. He also is always in the right spot and does nothing wrong on the court. He has shot 60% or better from the field since five years. You can always have a good conversation with him. It is just fun to be with him. His biggest quality is his charisma and he is just a good guy. That really helps carry his game. He is always working to improve and has that unbelievable fighting will”, warned Robert Scheinberg. The next months will be very interesting and exciting as to where the basketball journey will go for Oscar da Silva. How much of an impact will he have for the MHP Riesen in the easyCredit BBL and will he land on a NBA team this summer? Not only will his game have an effect where his journey goes, but his character will also play a huge role. Scheinberg is 100% confident that his qualities off the court will help him. “Oscar is eloquent, good looking and speaks 6 languages. What can go wrong?”, smiled Robert Scheinberg. Even if Clint Eastwood has the audacity to give a cheeky remark to the mayor about waiting on him, you can be sure that Oscar Da Silva will only have the utmost respect for John Patrick. Da Silva´s character simply won´t allow him to have a cheeky slip up. He simply knows better and doesn´t have the Diva in him.