Chaed Wellian (204-F-92, college: Tennessee St.) is a 28 year old 204cm forward from Holland that is a real globetrotter having playing in 8 countries for 14 different teams. He recently completed his seventh professional season and first with the EPG Baskets Koblenz (Germany-ProB) averaging 7,2ppg and 3,8rpg. He also has played in countries like Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, United Kingdom and Luxemburg. He played at Atlanta Metropolitan College (NJCAA) and Tennessee State University (NCAA) early in his career. He spoke to eurobasket.com after the 20-21 season in Germany.
Chaed thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Your season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz has ended. Is this one of those seasons that will be more difficult to digest than other seasons in your professional basketball career?
For me this one was a hard one simply because of the fact that we lost to my former team. Hard pill to swallow having your old team end your season. But at the end of the day we have to move forward.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz had massive goals from day one as the Pro A was the goal. Do you feel like the high expectations were simply too much for some players?
I wouldn’t necessarily say the the goal was too high for certain players because it was definitely reachable we just weren’t in sync. It’s hard as a team to play with each other when we don’t know who we count on the next game. We had one of the deepest rosters in the Pro B but just simply didn’t utilize it.
The season had two faces. In 2020 the team was 8-2 and in 2021 4-8. Breaks usually help teams especially with injuries, but with kind of an effect did it have on you guys?
It kind of separated us as a team. We didn’t feel like we had the complete support to let us work through the adversity and build from there on out and make us stronger. It seemed like the nuke button was hit immediately like we we’re in a state of emergency. It’s basketball just like games there are ups and downs. The great teams that end up on top are the ones who get through that adversity no matter what it is.
What do you feel really hurt you guys most in 2021? Four of the eight wins in 2020 were close games. In 2021, you lost the close games and didn’t defend well. What changed in the mind set and game of the club?
Trust. We reached a point where we didn’t know if we could count on each other. We started breaking when we should’ve been building.
A big problem this season was the defense. The team had many good athletes, but just couldn’t find consistency. What do you feel really held this team back from being able to form a defensive identity that would help them carry to more success?
The recognition of what your personnel is and adapting it to every game and like I said trusting each other on the court. We we’re way too talented to lose most games. Intangibles are so important with a talented team but they don’t come overnight.
What positives do you feel can the EPG Baskets Koblenz take out of this season?
To just learn and figure out what pieces to add and get rid off so they can have all means to make it to the next league. I think they got a good taste now of what it takes to be in the Pro B and know what tools they need to move forward on and off the court.
What was your biggest season highlight? Possibly sweeping top team Giessen and both times winning crunch-time games?
Of course that is up there but for me this is the first time reflecting back on the season that it’s going to be a personal highlight. Usually I will give such a typical team effort response about winning or my teammates. But this time I have to say my highlight has to be my composure and professionalism. It’s been a tough season on and of the court with COVID and such and I feel like I’ve weathered the storm.
If you had to pick one player who improved the most who would it be?
It’s probably our young guys Jakob Follbach and Danielle Magnolia who don’t suit up for the games I think they we’re able to soak in so much knowledge from the vets and work hard with us in practice and just become better players just by being in the gym with us.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz had a very deep and talented roster, but which guy had the biggest impact on you on and off the court?
It is probably CJ Oldham and Marley Jean-Louis. CJ has been playing a different position like me the entire season and he managed to do so well on that position that he kind of got stuck there. He was just a class act the entire season. And I’m saying Marley because everyone in our league knows Marley and what he is capable of and he barely had any minutes which was so appalling to most of us and he was always the one cheering his teammates on and never let it show that he wants to be out there with us. A real teammate!
Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 13,3ppg, 6,0rpg and 4,3apg. How content were you with your season?
Not at all to be honest. I’ve worked way to hard this past off season to show up with stats like these. I’ve chosen to make a sacrifice and kind of take the back role on a team and it didn’t pay off. As a full professional it’s my job to perform and most of the time to get the next job. Your stats is the first thing that is looked at and if you don’t win it generally doesn’t look good.
I believe this was the most deep team that you have been on in Europe. I think you had a good season and did the best you could despite the many scoring options. Were you as effective as you wanted to be?
Personally it wasn’t as hard as it should be because I’m pretty mentally tough when it comes to sitting on the bench but a breaking point for me was when we played Itzehoe and couldn’t go out there and compete against my former teammates and coach that was a game I was the most motivated for but the trust wasn’t put in me when it should have. I feel it helped me grow tremendously and it made me realize certain aspects of the business and made me mentally a lot stronger and you never lose you learn! And I’ve learned a lot!
On what area’s of your game will you be focusing on most this summer to continue to be able to produce at a high level?
Just perfecting my craft I been working so hard the entire year and I’m just ready to keep working hard on the aspects that I need to improve on.
The EPG Baskets surely will shake up a lot this season. Despite that would this be an address that you would like to return to?
I won’t exclude it but I’m a little done with the Pro B I think it’s time for me to move on and go back to a top league like back home in the Netherlands or anywhere else. I know my worth and it’s time for it to be shown and appreciated.
Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court this season?
There wasn’t really anyone who impressed me this season that I already knew what they were capable of but if I have to give out a name it would have to be Henry Pwono. I played him the beginning of this season when I was still in Luxembourg and he was an absolute beast that game.
With COVID-19 still active how strange will this off season be? Last year no one knew what to expect, but now it’s a second year in a row with having certain restrictions.
It will be strange for sure not really sure how much of it can be compared to last year since some places decided to open up. For example I live in the state of Georgia and we are able to do everything freely so the availability for me to work on my craft is there.
What was your nicest COVID-19 experience off the court? Obviously one had less to do so one had to be creative.
Being able to see some of the people from on the team and around the team in Itzehoe. It was good to see that your not just a player who was just there for a season but they genuinely care and treat you as the person they met you as.
Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum continues to improve each year. He hit for 50 points. Is he a finished product now or could he make the next step and be a top 10 NBA player in next two years?
I think he has the potential of being the face of the league he is still so young and putting up all these numbers is just about being considered in my opinion.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League!
Thanks Chaed for the chat.