The Physicality And Playing Multiple Positions In Italy Will Help Jaren Lewis(Hakro Merlins) Make Another Step In The easyCredit BBL

Jaren Lewis (198-F-96, college: ACU) is a 24 year old 198cm forward from Orlando, Florida that is playing his third professional season and second in Germany with the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim. Last season he played with Benacquista Assicurazioni Latina Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 27 games averaging 13.3ppg, 8.2rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 77.0%. He played his rookie season in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen averaging 13,0ppg, 4,9rpg and 2,1apg and 2,ospg. He scored in double figures in 21 games including a 28 point effort against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and 26 point games against Artland and picked up All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Newcomer of the Year -20, All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A 2nd Team -20 and German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Defensive Team -20 .. He began his basketball career at Lake Highland Prep and played at Abil.Christian (NCAA) from 2015-2019 playing a total of 123 games. In his freshman year he played 30 games averaging 9.7ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 72.6%. In his second year at Abil.Christian (NCAA) he played 28 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 71.3%. In his junior season at Abil.Christian (NCAA) he played 31 games averaging 13.4ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 79.1%. In his senior year at Abil.Christian (NCAA) he played 34 games averaging 13.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.7apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.8%. He spoke to after the tough 81-77 Fiba Europe Cup loss against Tmoki-Minsk.

Thanks Jaren for talking to Before we talk about basketball, I have to ask you how you experienced COVID. You were in Germany when it began and then Italy. What were the biggest challenges for you to embrace?

The biggest challenges for me to embrace were just adjusting to the new rules and regulations Covid came with. Life was different for everyone and it was tough to change your everyday lifestyle into something completely different

With everything that you saw off the court during COVID, how do you feel did it make you stronger as a man?

I think Covid made me stronger just by getting through more adversity. It wasn’t easy for anyone but just getting through it and remaining steadfast in what I do and who I am really showed I can get through tough times

A tough 81-77 Fiba Europe Cup loss to Tmoki-Minsk. How much did this one hurt? This was truly a game you should of won.

It hurt a lot. We know we can do better and we must start to do a lot better.

Team stat wise there was no real difference. It literally came down to making the little things down the stretch. Do you feel like this loss had more to do with the team still finding themselves in crunch-time situations?

I feel like we could’ve started the game better. We fought back in the second half but we dug ourselves a hole in the first half

A TJ Shorts is so valuable to the team. In the last 40 seconds he missed a makeable lay up and then turned over the ball. On another night he would have been the hero. How did he take the loss and did he need comforting from his teammates after this loss?

He’s good. We all know we just have to move on to the next one. He knows we believe in him and trust him so we are all just focused on the next game

In crunch-time the very experienced Jason Clark made two big baskets and the winning assist. Do you feel like that big time experience is missing a bit at the guard position in Crailsheim?

No I don’t.

The Hakro Merlins began the season with a win but since lost 3 BBL games. You guys showed early that you can score many points consistently. Has it surprised you just a bit how well the team can function on the offensive end?

It has not surprised me. We know we have a lot of weapons and we know what we are capable of. We buy into our roles on the offensive end and that allows us to be successful.

What kind of defensive identity is Sebastian Gleim preaching for the team to become?

Coach has been preparing us to be a very physical defensive team that is very active and disciplined.

What has it been like being teammates with Maurice Stuckey probably the most experienced player on the team. How important are his leadership and scoring abilities?

It has been great being teammates with Maurice. He has been a great voice to have in the locker room and he is able to really change games with his outside shooting

How valuable is the versatile Terrell Harris? Could you see him becoming possibly the second scoring option on the team?

Terrell is very valuable. He can score from all three levels and he is able to create shots for others as well.

What kind of an experience has it been playing in Crailsheim? What does it feel like being a easyCredit BBL player?

It’s been a cool experience playing here in Crailsheim. It is a first class club and I’m thankful to be playing the game I love. The guys are great so it has been a great group to play with

You have had a super start to the season. You have needed no adjustment to the easyCredit BBL. Has being a versatile player opposed to being one dimensional helped you make the transition faster?

It definitely has helped some. I take pride in being able to do different things on the court to help my team. As I continue to work I hope to help the team even more as the season goes on.

Last season you played with Benacquista Assicurazioni Latina Basket (Italy-Serie A2) averaging 13.3ppg, 8.2rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 77.0%. What kind of an experience was it playing in the evry competitive A-2 league. How do you feel did your game make new strides there?

It was an important experience for me playing in Italy. The game over there was very physical and I was able to play multiple positions and have different responsibilities over there that I really think helped my game.

What kind of an experience was it having the very experienced Obie Trotter as a teammate? You were 10 years old when he was making a name for himself in the BBL in Germany.

Obie was a great teammate. He was a leader and someone I really enjoyed playing with. He could score and play make for others. He was a valuable piece.

The NBA has started. Many have picked the Lakers and the Nets to reach finals. What other teams do you see making a run?

I wouldn’t sleep on the defending champion Bucks.

Did you see he sequel to the classic Coming to America movie? Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I didn’t see it yet. I’ve only heard bad things so I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it haha

Thanks Jaren for the chat.

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