After Two Tough Years In Israel David Cohn´s Marathon Continues Seeking His Professional Break Through With The wiha Panthers Schwenningen

How often have you heard that well known phrase in Basketball circles “that player just hasn´t been able to make the adjustment to overseas ball yet”. It is one that often happens and at times is as frequent as it for new Americans coming across the Atlantic and getting travel after travel calls. Of course there are also players that come over and have no difficulty like a Rasheed Moore who became a legend in Schwenningen or a Kendale Mccullum who tore up the NCAA 2 with Lewis and then did the same in the German Pro A with Paderborn becoming the third top scorer of the league as a rookie and top assist leader. New wiha Panther David Cohn wants to finally land some long lasting memories in the Pro A as well with his new club in Schwenningen. After an incredible career at William & Mary where he made a prosperous development and put his name in the NCAA record books landing in the very prestigious 50/40/90 group, he came overseas in 2018 with high expectations, but was disappointed in Israel as he was unable to make an impact as he just didn´t get a chance as getting the kind of minutes that he got in the NCAA were as sparse as the kind of dough Dennis Schroeder is getting this season with the Boston Celtics. It is always refreshing to hear positive words coming out of a player´s mouth after having suffering through an uneventful experience, but that just shows the kind of character that David Cohn has. “Of course you always want to play the whole game like in NCAA, it wasn’t easy as any competitor would tell you, I don’t like not playing especially when I know I can help the team and had proven I help the team. I used that as motivation to get better and stay focused on the long term goals of mine, it’s a marathon”. Warned David Cohn. After two tough years in Israel David Cohn´s marathon continues as he is looking for his professional break through with the wiha Panthers.

                David Cohn who lists Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell as his toughest foe in the NCAA was born on March 28th, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. He began his basketball career at York Community high school. He left his mark there averaging 22/5/5 as a junior and 17/5/3 as a senior and was an all state selection both years. He finished his illustrious career scoring 1,600 points and his best scoring game was netting 47 points. He then commenced his NCAA career at Colorado State in 2013. He played 31 games averaging 3,9ppg and 1,2apg while averaging a solid 15 minutes as a freshman. He scored in double figures in three games including 15 points a piece against Colorado Springs and Prairie View A&M. Even if he was only there for a year, it was a time that still benefited his game. “The Mountain West was a top 5 conference in the country at the time, it was an amazing experience there I loved CSU. I learned more that year than any other, I had learning curves. I had a lot of ups and downs that year like any college freshman. Thankfully I made the right choice to transfer from there to a much better fit and situation at William and Mary”, remembered David Cohn. He then attended William & Mary from 2014-2018 and sat out his first season because of transfer rules. Coming into a new situation and not being able to play at all is never easy, but a majority of players that experience it are always thankful of having done it. For Cohn it was vital especially learning from future Boston Celtic NBA Draft pick and current medi Bayreuth guard Marcus Thornton. “My red shirt year was huge for me, sitting out learning, watching and competing against Marcus was awesome. He taught me a lot, I tried to be a sponge around him. We are much different players but I tried to take what I could from him”, stated David Cohn.

            The American who always has Michael Jordan as the greatest of all-time in his book, because he is a Chicago boy finally got a chance right away at William & Mary in 2015-2016 playing 31 games and averaging 9.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.6apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 83.5%. He scored in double figures in 15 games and had 23 points and 21 points in wins over Delaware and UNC Wilmington. He finished the season very strong scoring in double figures in seven of his last eight games. That season he had the second-best assists per game percentage in the Colonial Athletic Association (4.6), and the third-best free throw shooting percentage (.835). In his junior year he played 31 games again averaging  6.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 73.1%. He scored in double figures in five games including 18 points in a tough loss against North Carolina Wilmington. He had the fifth-best assists per game percentage in the CAA (4.5). He made a massive jump as a senior playing 30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 6.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 91.2%. He was the top best assist maker in the CAA and was 11th best in the entire NCAA. He also had the best free throw percentage in the CAA (.911; fifth-best in the NCAA), was second-best in steals per game (1.6), and sixth-best 2-point field goal percentage in the CAA (.605). Even many years after, he still has much delight in remembering his time there. “I cant express how much I loved my four years at William and Mary. The coaches and teammates were amazing; I was just comfortable and confident. I played my game and it led to success, everyone bought in to what I brought to the table. It was lots of fun and we won a lot of games. My senior year was a historical year for me individually and as a team, we still have a lot of NCAA records that stand. We always say that is the best offensive team in NCAA history, we scored a lot of points at a really high efficiency”, commented David Cohn.  He scored in double figures in 20 games and hit Charleston for 30 points and netted 26 points twice against Drexel. He had so many memorable games in the NCAA including 25 points against Hofstra, but there is one game that he will never forget. “My senior night and last home game at William and Mary vs College of Charleston who had 3 NBA players on that team I had an excellent game. I had 30 points on 12 shots and 9 assists against them, it was a fantastic environment at Kaplan that day. It was something you dream about as a kid, I wouldn’t trade that for the world”, warned David Cohn.

             In basketball there are so many amazing feats like achieving a rare triple double, or  scoring 50 points, all things that are so difficult to do, but there is something that is even more uncommon. Cohn was the only player in the nation, out of 351 Division I teams, who shot at least 50% from the field (52.9%), 40% on 3-point attempts (42.6%), and 90% in free-throw attempts (91.2%). He is one of only ten NCAA players to have joined the division one men’s basketball’s 50-40-90 club since 1993. “ It is probably my greatest accomplishment as a player. There were over 4,000 division 1 players that year in college basketball and I was the only one to accomplish that feat. Only 8 people since 1993 have done it, so I am in some great company. It was a great year, I am happy that I did it´s something no one can ever take away from me”, stressed David Cohn. His hard work daily as well as battling Matt Milon up and down the court and winning the one on one duels were key for his development at William & Mary, but he wouldn´t be where he is today without the focused guidance from head coach Tony Shaver. “Coach Shaver and his staff Jonathon Holmes, Kotie Kimble and Austin Shaver were awesome. I have great relationships with them to this day. They prepared me in more ways I can even thank them for, Coach Holmes and Kimble really went the extra bit to make sure I was the player they believed I could be”, added David Cohn.  

            The pass first point guard who lists Steph Curry, MJ, LeBron, Dirk and Kobe on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore began his rookie season in 2018-2019 with  Hapoel Eilat (Israel-Winner League) playing 34 games averaging 1.5ppg, 1.4apg. He averaged only 7 minutes per game and really was unable to show his abilities the way he would have liked. He played against many top teams and players including Euroleague power house Maccabi Tel Aviv playing a total of 10 minutes and scoring 3 points in the two games. He battled against some great players like Scottie Wilbekin, Tarick Black and future NBA player Deni Avdija. Even if he didn´t play much he couldn´t have asked for a better experience then getting his feet wet in professional basketball in Israel. “Being in Israel was a heck of an experience, I wish the basketball worked out better there because the country is amazing. We were really good that year losing to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final four by 1 point. I backed up Avi Ben Chimol who was the league leader in assists like 5/6 seasons in Israel. I feel like I excelled in my role as back up PG, I led the Israeli Premier league in AST/TO ratio at 4/1 and was 3rd the league in AST per minute. There just was not that much opportunity, but we loved each other as a team and really played well together”, stressed David Cohn. He was also fortunate to discover a very raw Elijath Bryant who would write his own personal Cinderella story only two years later with the Milwaukee Bucks. “I can’t say enough good things about Elijah, we are still very close friends and I was able to go to 7 NBA playoff games of his this year. I am so happy for him, no one deserves it more than him. He works harder than anyone I know and has the mental strength superior to anyone. We had talks back in Eilat about what we hoped our career paths would be, his came to fruition. Again, I am thankful that he is still one of my close friends we have a great relationship that will last a life time, I don’t doubt anything he says”, warned David Cohn. In his second season in Israel he played with  Maccabi Hunter Haifa  (Israel-Winner League) playing 9 games averaging 1.6ppg. His playing time decreased there to 5 minutes per game. He played against Maccabi Tel Aviv again and this time was on the other side playing against his good friend Elijah Bryant and met some other ex NBA players on the floor with Othello Hunter and Quincy Acy. Obviously playing against top competition daily was a plus in his development even if he wasn´t allowed to show it in games. “I got one start that year and played well. I felt, along with other people on the team and in that organization that I should have had a much bigger role on that team. Unfortunately politics and other issues got in the way, it was frustrating but it happens in this business. I learned to keep my head down and work eventually I will get the right opportunity, stay patient it will all workout. I believe in my ability, and that is the most important thing”, stated David Cohn. He also was introduced to ex Boston Celtic James Young´s game daily and couldn´t believe he wasn´t in the NBA anymore. “James is a phenomenal player, and a great guy. We spent a lot of time together that year hanging out and getting dinner and what not. He is a heck of a talent who I think should be in the NBA”, expressed David Cohn.

            After sitting out a season the great free throw shooter who lists Elijah Bryant, Omar Prewitt, Terry Tarpey Nathan Knight and James Young as his best teammates of all-time hopes that three will be a charm in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Of course he is blessed that he has a new opportunity to show case his game even if the last year and a half wasn´t easy with COVID. “COVID was a difficult time for everyone, and it really made me reflect on how precious things were pre-COVID. COVID taught us and me in particular not to take anything for granted because you really miss the daily activities and seeing people that you see all the time. Of course there were a multitude of challenges to face, but thankfully we got through it and excited to move forward. I had amazing people supporting me and I am just thankful to have society return mostly to normalcy and excited to be playing basketball again”, stressed David Cohn. Making the decision wasn´t difficult because there were many positive factors that helped him make his decision. He had heard only good things about the country especially with it´s beauty, but he also had heard about how well respected the easyCredit BBL is and that it belongs to the top leagues in the world and that the Pro A is also a strong league and keeps getting better. It also didn´t hurt that his two ex William & Mary teammates Omar Prewitt and Justin Pierce would also be coming to Germany to play in Bamberg and Ulm. Of course he then had his chat with head coach Alen Velcic and then everything fell into place and clicked. “I had a great conversation with Coach Alen Velcic, my agent and family. This just seemed like the best choice to play in a great league in a great country and have the opportunity to compete for a championship. I’m excited to get started working towards that ultimate goal. Coach Velcic is a great guy who is very passionate about the game and knows his stuff. He seems like an excellent competitor and someone who will coach you 100 percent, 100 percent of the time and wants to win at all costs. I love that and I’m ready to go to war with him”, warned David Cohn. He replaces American point guard Lamonte Beardon who couldn´t full-fill expectations in pre season. It won´t be easy for Cohn to come in late, but he will be prepared. “I’m very excited, I love basketball more than anything. Every time I got to play extended minutes in Israel, I played well. I’m ready to go out there and play my game and make guys around me better and win basketball games”, stressed David Cohn.

What kind of player will fans see with David Cohn who hasn´t seen the sequel to Coming To America, but thinks that the original should have left alone got the most incredible compliment from Alen Velcic on who his game reminds him of. ““That’s very flattering to be compared in the same breathe as Steve Nash, and I really appreciate it. I loved him growing up and really enjoyed watching the high scoring up-tempo style they brought to the league and I have always tried to immolate his style out there. Another player I would compare myself to is Chris Paul. Combining play making with leadership and ultimately scoring the ball when the team needs it”, explained David Cohn. Even if he is that classic playmaker that can also turn on the scoring button, his game also has other strengths. “I have a high motor, I always go-go-go, energizer bunny some people say. But I think my greatest attribute is making others around me better making the right pass at the right time, I take great pride in that. I am a better athlete and defender then people normally give me credit for”, said David Cohn. He won´t only shine on the offensive end, but will also give his two cents plus more on the defensive end that will give hell to opponent guards. “I am a gritty defender who is quick and uses IQ to gain an edge, I have learned a lot as the years have progressed. I intend on being a defender that disrupts the opposing point guard and uses defense to get quick offense for our team”, expressed David Cohn. It will be interesting to see how his game progresses in the Pro A and how well he can lead the wiha Panthers to success. He isn´t hectic about getting better right away, but knows it´s a process. “I think there is always ways to improve and get better, I want to be the best possible version of myself. All around taking it day by day, and addressing the parts of my game that I feel aren’t sharpest and working on them until they’re my strengths”, warned David Cohn. Hearing these type of words should make coach Alen Velcic happy and all David Cohn needs to do now is to keep running as he isn´t anywhere near the finish line yet with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen.

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