It´s A No Brainer That Shy Ely Wants To End His Career As A MLP Academics Lifer

Shyron Ely (194-SG-87, college: Evansville, agency: Slash Sports) is a 33 year old 194cm guard from Indianapolis that has played 389 professional games spanning a 12 year professional career. He recently finished his seventh season with the MLP Academics having played 156 games and helped lead them to the easyCredit BBL averaging 14.1ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 46.1%, FT-1 (95.6%). He also played two seasons in the G-League and in countries like Switzerland and France. He began his basketball career at Speedway High School and then played 121 NCAA games with the University of Evansville (NCAA). He spoke to after the 2020-2021 season.

Congrats Shy on the 2021 Pro A title. As a guy from Indiana, did you learn something new about celebrating Heidelberg style after a title win?

Thank you, it’s a great feeling. And yes, celebrating with the team after our championship is a night I will always remember.

What an interesting final series. You won game one by 30 points and the second game was 93-93. Will you remember that game two was a tie in 30 years?

Yes, I think I will always remember game 2. It seems so strange to end a game with a tie. But I will also remember how we handled business in game 1 in Leverkusen, to put ourselves in a good position to play at home.

How did it feel ending a game in a tie and have you ever had that before in your career?

The tie was strange, and something I haven’t experienced before. Just a couple weeks ago we played a triple overtime game against Kircheim. In basketball I believe a winner must be decided no matter how long the game takes.

The second quarter of game one decided the title as you won it 24-9. Was that the perfect quarter of balanced offense and defense?

It was as good a quarter as we’ve played all season. To hold a team like that to 9 points in their gym is a great accomplishment.

The MLP Academics shot better, rebounded better and took care of the ball better in game one. Did the MLP Academics want it more than the Bayer Giants Leverkusen?

I’m sure Leverkusen wanted it as much as we did, but it all comes down to what you do on the floor as a team. I truly believed we were the best team for most of the year.

The team had six guys in double figures. How much fun did this season have taking care of the ball?

That’s one special aspect of this team: that we had 8 or 9 players that could legitimately score 20 points on any given night. It’s difficult for a defense to prepare for that.

It was a crazy and unpredictable PRO A season with COVID. How highly can one rate this title win with all the drama happening around COVID?

Very unpredictable. That’s why I’m so proud of our first and second year players for how they stay focused throughout this difficult season. I’m not sure how I would’ve handled it as a 22-23 year old. The degree of difficulty is very high.

The MLP Academics obviously had a great bunch of guys, but if you look back on the season what was the secret to the success?

I think a lot of it is the way we practice and train. We hold each other accountable on the floor. Our strength and conditioning coach, Serena Benevente, also did an amazing job of preparing our bodies for everything.

How much credit do you have to give coach Frenki and manager Matthias Lautenschlager? How strong was their vision and what was key for them be able to transport this belief of moving up to the team?

Both of them deserve a lot of credit for what we accomplished. Frenki has always had his own philosophy on how to win ball games and did a great job instilling that into the players. Matthias is a hands on manager that always makes sure the players know that they can voice their concerns about matters relating to the team. Together they’ve created a great culture to play in.

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it to be reunited with Evan Mcguaghey came back to Heidelberg. How did his game keep progressing since your rookie season?

It was great to play with Evan again. He sent me a message right after he signed with us, saying how excited he was to be back and that we can reach our goal of moving this team up to the first league. Evan has always had the skills set to be a great player, but what I really noticed this season was his confidence.

How key was scorer Jordan Geist this season? What did you appreciate most about his game?

Jordan was amazing for us the whole year. One of the most talented scorers I’ve been around. I believe he’s also an underrated and very scrappy defender. I just really appreciate his competitive nature.

Saaed Nelson played a very good rookie season. How did you see him develop in the season and is he a guy that you see making the jump to internal ball competition in the future?

Sa’eed is a very special talent. I believe he was the engine to our team. The pace he plays with and his ability to make plays was phenomenal. I saw him score at the basket at will, and then become a more confident shooter from the outside. I definitely see him playing internationally in the future.

The team has so many scorers, but how important was the consistency inside form the two German big men Armin Trtovac and Philipp Heyden? How much did they give support to the success?

In my opinion, nobody else in the league had 2 big men like we had. Phillip is our captain and emotional leader, and has so much experience. And Armin is so talented and such a hard worker and I believe could start on any team in the league. They were our anchors.

From all the players that you witnessed this season with the MLP Academics who was the most improved player?

I would say Armin.

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 14/3/2 stats and shot 46% from outside. How content were you with your season?

My main goal for the season was to remain healthy, so I’m very happy with that. I knew I would do the work I needed to produce on the court so I never worry about numbers.

This was your seventh season with the MLP Academics Heidelberg. You have been consistent for most of your stay here. What has been the secret of your overwhelming consistency?

I think it’s just the attitude to never be satisfied and to know that there’s always something I can improve.

This was your third best outside shooting percentage with the MLP Academics after shooting 50% and 47% once. How much motivation does a guy like you at age 33 have to keep getting better as an outside shooter?

I put a lot of work into my shot. And whenever I shoot, I fully expect it to go in. I wasn’t always a great shooter, so I just put in the reps and combined that with confidence

You didn’t score as much as in past years, but you won the title. How do you feel did your game grow this season having so much talent around and being in a winning culture?

I was happy to share the scoring load with our other talented players. I’ve always been a good scorer and I only do that because usually it helps our team win. At the end of the day it’s about winning.

What does it mean for you to be a MLP Academic player and being a lifer like Quantez Robertson in Frankfurt. I can imagine it is a no brainer to want to finish your career in your second home?

It means a lot to me to be a part of this organization for some years now, and to be a part of our next journey in the BBL. This city is very special to me and of course I want to end my career here.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on most this season to keep improving as a player?

We missed a lot of time in the weight room this season so I will be looking to improve my strength, conditioning and explosiveness.

Who was the toughest guard that you battled this season in the Pro A this season?

Gerel Simmons from Artland

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

I think he plays the position close to perfect. A true floor general. For me, he’s a top 5 PG of all-time even if he doesn’t win a championship

Where do you see the journey going with Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points? Is he a top 10 player in the NBA now?

I’m not sure he’s a top 10 player right now, but he’s definitely on his way. Great talent and so young and only getting better.

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

I believe he could. Just based on his mentality and competitive nature.

Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?

I disagree with Draymond, but I believe he should feel like that about himself.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I haven’t seen the sequel to Coming to America yet. The original is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time. I will watch the new one soon but I believe they should’ve left it alone.

Thanks Shy for the chat.

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