Noah Westerhaus (200-PF-98, agency: Gamble Sports Management) is a 23 year old 200cm forward that finished the 20-21 season with Regionalliga team EVL Baskets Limburg after having began the season with EPG Baskets Koblenz (ProB) playing 17 games averaging 2.4ppg, 1.1rpg. He began his basketball career with the Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck U16 team. He also played for clubs like TSV Quakenbrueck (Oberliga), BSG Bremerhaven (Regionalliga), MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel (ProB), Junior Loewen Braunschweig (NBBL), Artland Dragons (ProB), TSV Neustadt temps Shooters (Regionalliga), Sportclub Langenhagen MTB Lion Kings (Regionalliga) and the ETB Wohnbau Miners Essen (Regionalliga). He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 76-54 loss against the ScanPlus Baskets.
You finished the season with EVL Baskets Limburg. How did the contact come about?
I had known KJ Sherrill from Koblenz. I had no team and wanted to finish the season with a team. KJ talked with the coach and he told me to come on by.
You began the season with Koblenz. How disappointing was the season as it underachieved?
We were never ever able to establish the kind of chemistry that we had off the court on the court. We were never able to play to our strength. We also had a lot of misfortune. We missed Edin Alispahic for a long part of the season. He was a big puzzle piece for us.
Koblenz had a very deep roster. How tough was it for you not playing little minutes?
It was very disappointing not being able to play more minutes. I always gave my all in practice, but I had to respect coaches decision. I had to live with it. It really wasn’t a good season for me with Koblenz. For me it was good to be able to play with Limburg.
Despite not getting many minutes how do you feel did your game improve having been able to practice with so much talent?
I feel that my game profited a lot. Being able to play against top players like Brian Butler and Chaed Wellian on a daily basis was huge. I feel I improved a lot.
How tough was the 20-21 season in general for you with COVID? What were the biggest challenges for you?
The fans were very missed. Especially in Koblenz where there is a very good fan base. I think also not being able to do team building things hurt as well.
The Limburg basketball team welcomed you with open arms. What have you enjoyed most about the organization?
I have gotten the total freedom from coach. I was able to play the position three which I couldn’t do in Koblenz. Plus I really enjoyed that everyone gave their all in every practice. That is something that isn’t self-evident at the Regionalliga level.
Was it a big adjustment coming in to play the tournament after the Koblenz season ended months ago?
I practiced maybe 7 times with Limburg before the tournament began. It definitely was an adjustment for me. I had known KJ Sherrill, but one saw in the first game that I wasn’t comfortable. I found my role better in the second game and things got better.
The ScanPlus Baskets came out with a high intensity and just shot bombs. How tough is it defending this style?
We had to play more 1-1 which took us away form our zone. We played more man in the first game which got our legs tired. It is really tough to defend their style with our thin roster. Every player can shoot on that club. I have to give them a lot of respect for how they play.
How much of a joy has it been playing with the work horse KJ Sherrill? He leaves it all out on the floor.
It is unbelievable to be able to play with him. When he is in the post he will either score or find the open man. When he has the ball on the weak side and I am cutting to the basket, he always sees me. He is the 100% reason why I came to Limburg.
How much did the Luka Kamber head but attempt in the first quarter get Limburg out of it’s rhythm?
I didn’t see the play. This was a strange game as everyone seemed to be complaining the whole game. We just wanted to play. That scene did take us out of our rhythm. But we also knew that we needed more breaks which we got with all the whistles being blown. In the second half the game got too fast and we just couldn’t stick with them.
What kind of role do you have with Limburg that is different than in Koblenz?
I have with KJ Sherrill the role as leader of the team. I have the complete freedom to lead the team. Being that leader helped me get the confidence to have success with Limburg. I also have helped the younger kids as a mentor.
What part of your game do you feel have you been able to incorporate most with Limburg?
I have used my drive with my left hand the most. Pro B teams scout better than regio teams. But in the Regionalliga I can drive better with my left hand. Unfortunately my shot from outside didn’t fall as much, so I concentrated more on my drive. I will continue to work more on it this summer.
The game had no meaning, but the team fought from start to end. How do you explain that type of focus?
Everyone on the team knew that we had no pressure in this tournament. The other teams had pressure while we knew that we could have fun. We did hang our heads at certain times in the game, but not so much. I felt that we grew as a team and had fun annoying top teams.
Why didn’t the zone work as well against the ScanPlus Baskets as it did against Fellbach?
The reason why the zone didn’t work as well against the ScanPlus baskets was that they had a lot better shooters than Fellbach did. Every player on the bench also could shoot. That made it very difficult to defend.
What kind of an experience has it been playing with captain Justin Stahllboem?
Justin is a mega guy. He does so much for the team. He always got me at the train station for practice. He is a very good captain that can shoot the ball very well and just knows how to lead the team well.
Did fatigue play a role not getting better on the shooters in the second half?
I think that at the end it was our legs. We had played many games in a short period of time during the tournament. Sherrill was on the bench more and we played with a short rotation. It is difficult for those guys coming in to harmonize with the rest who play more minutes.
What was key for the ScanPlus Baskets leading by 25 points in the second half and securing the win?
They had had the complete rhythm and knew how to use the space. We had to get away from the 1-1 play. We only had a 7-8 man rotation while they played the whole bench. It was hard to pressure them successfully. I am very proud how well we stayed with them in the first half.
What is your summary of the tournament? You won one game?
I thought we played well even if we only won one game. I felt that we didn’t have to lose so high in Fellbach. We fought hard in Elchingen. Nobody would ever have thought that we would beat Fellbach at home. We gave everything in this tournament.
What is the next step for you? Will you remain in Limburg?
I don’t know if I will come back. I have some offers. That is why I played the tournament so teams could see me play. I am studying economics in English in Koblenz. We will see what the best fit is.
How well will the German national team do at the football European championships?
I am a big football fan. They will advance. I think they will finish second in the group, but will probably loose in the quarterfinals.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Noah for the chat.