Elijah Allen (194-PF-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 31 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his ninth professional season and first season with the VfL SparkassenStars Bochum (Germany-ProB): playing 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. In 2019-2020 he played with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaging 16.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 80.2% In 2018-2019 he played with the Tigers Tuebingen averaging 8.8ppg, 3,5rpg and 1,2apg. In 2017-2018 he played with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. In the 2016-2017 season he helped Gotha move up to the easyCredit BBL averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played two seasons for Lich and in his last season there played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg. He spoke to germanhoops.com following the 20-21 season.
Elijah thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you and how is basketball life treating you?
Hey Miles, I’m doing good thank you! I am enjoying the summer break and I am in the process of moving from Bochum and preparing for vacation next week.
What would have been the first eatery that you visited had you gone to the States right away back home to Ohio?
Chipotle (Mexican Resturant)
Before we talk about basketball, I have to ask you about COVID. What was the most challenging thing for you in your second season with COVID?
The social aspect was missing a bit.
How can one honestly rate this season with all the drama that went on with COVID? Every team had their problems.
Successful. The team had a goal and found a way to achieve it. It wasn’t easy by any means.
Congrats on an amazing season and reaching the Pro B final and reaching the Pro A. Where does this rank with all your basketball achievements?
Personally it’s great for the club but it doesn’t rank to high for me. I got hurt and missed a bit and with Covid it made everything about this season a bit strange.
How much credit does one have to give head coach Felix Banobre? Is Spain the new sexy in terms of coaching in Germany?
The style of play is different for sure but this team also had a good roster which helped the coach not have to focus on details as much. I think at the next level things will have to be changed a bit depending on the roster.
A big strength of the team was their consistency. Whenever you lost a game you struck back and began another winning streak. Was this team like a family?
Yes, I think the team chemistry has a lot to do with why we won games. Everyone liked each other and there was much respect.
How key was bringing that 8 game winning streak into the playoffs? The team must of felt invincible?
I think it was important. With the roster we had we felt no one in the league could compete with us.
The Muenster series was exciting which Bochum won in three games. What do you feel was the difference in the series?
Mainly I think keeping our composure to win the games. They had a gameplan of playing a bit dirty and we kept focused to achieve our goal.
Let’s talk about your teammates. Seldom do you see two such dominant Germans like Niklas Geske and Johannes Joos. Would the team have won a title without them?
Yes. They are very good players. As Germans the top in pro A and B. I think with this roster we could have also had a good chance without them. It was really a talented team.
Lars Kamp seemed to be in the shadow of Geske and Joos. What did you appreciate most about his game?
Lars is a good player on both ends of the court and works really hard to improve. I appreciate that he never gives up when he makes mistakes and stays humble through it all.
Although he played only 11 games, Marco Buljevic’s leadership is so valuable. Is he still a player that can beat you from downtown at any time of a game?
Marco can really shoot the ball. He is still a threat. He was very busy with work and taking care of his family which is very respectable. Best wishes to him going forward.
There were many young Germans on the team. Which young German do you feel improved the most over the season?
I think Bilski improved the most this season. He could probably have went to another team and had a much better role to show that he can play. I think next season he will put it all together and have a strong year
. Let’s talk about your game. You played only 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. How would you rate your own game this season despite playing less games?
Unfortanetly I got hurt in the preseason. I did my best and I am satisfyed with my play this year. I did what I had to do to help the team win and stayed positive through it all.
In Iserlohn you had a different role than with Bochum. What kind of player did you become in this big winning culture in Bochum?
In Iserlohn we were not as talented so I had to do much more. In Bochum we had a talented team and found ways to win together.
You shot 45% from outside which was your best percentage as a professional in 9 years. How proud are you that you shot an overwhelming 15/25 from downtown in your return after missing four months?
I’m not surprised at all. I work hard and study the game and get better each year.
Your turning 32 in September. I’m sure you will add a historic 10th season. Not many can say they have played a decade. Is the Pro A the route?
I’m not sure what’s next. My main focus is to get my knee healthy then see what’s next.
On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer to continue to improve your game?
I won’t workout much this summer. I will use the time to recover and watch film.
Was your 18 point effort in game one against Muenster your favorite personal game of the season?
I would say so. The game winner is probably the biggest shot hit in the history of Bochum. I’m just glad I had a chance to play.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
Chris Hooper. He goes left every time and its pretty difficult to slow him down without playing very physical.
How powerful was that comment Kwame Brown recently let go about his career and Michael Jordan?
I liked his comments. I don’t get why his name is always spoke about in a negative sense. If you look at his background and where he came from then you would understand his story.
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?
He is definetly up there. Always liked his game
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 think right now its tough to say he is top 10. He is very good but he doesn’t make it on my list
Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
I disagree. He is a smart and a wild player and would always find a way to be productive.
Draymond Green recently said that he is the best defender on the planet. Do you agree?
He is supposed to say that. You got to believe in yourself. He is up there for sure.
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 movie yet.
Thanks Elijah for the chat.