Ben Lammers (208-C-1995, college: Georgia Tech) is a 26 year old 208cm center from San Antonio, Texas playing his fourth professional season and second with Alba Berlin. He played his first two professional seasons with RETAbet Bilbao Basket averaging 10.2ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.1spg, Blocks-1 (2.0bpg), FGP-3 (65.1%), FT: 65.4% and in his second season averaged.8ppg, 4.8rpg, Blocks-2 (1.9bpg), FGP: 60.4%, FT: 66.7%. He began his basketball career with Alamo Heights High School and then played at Georgia Tech (NCAA) from 2014-2018 playing atotal of 123 NCAA games. In his last two NCAA seasons he averaged 14.2ppg, 9.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, 3.4bpg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 73.7% and 11.7ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 74.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 89-84 win over the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.
Congrats Ben the huge game one 89-84 win over the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. How tough was this game. Ludwigsburg just don’t go away?
They are a very talented team and here for a reason. They make shots, play hard and never give up. It is always a challenge playing against them.
Even when you slow down a guy like Jonah Radebaugh, they always have other guys step up. Is their depth a bigger strength than their pressure defense?
Their depth really stands out. Their depth is comparable to what elite teams have. They have plenty of weapons. You can’t only stop just one guy, but the whole team.
The offensive rebounds were key down the stretch, but so were the three’s by Smith and Lo. It seems like the guard rotation is always there for the big shots.
That definitely helps give the team confidence. Our guards have the capability to always make that last shot.
How did it feel being back in the line up after missing the last 2 games? You had 4 points, 6 boards and 2 steals in 11 minutes.
It felt good being back. It has been a weird year for me. I have had a couple of injuries and always been in and out of rhythm. It was good playing good defense, getting some rebounds and helping the team.
Your playing your second season with Alba Berlin. After having won 2 titles already with them, could one say that your in love with the organization?
It makes it so much easier to play when you have won some titles. I hope to get another one. I couldn’t ask for more with what I have here. I’m very happy.
Everyone knows that the organization is run incredible well, but what one example could you give where you see just how well this club is run?
I think what is amazing is that the club is capable of getting really talented players combined with having good characters. Sometimes there will be guys on other Euroleague teams that may be difficult to play with, but that isn’t the case here. Here everyone is nice. It makes it a lot easier to play when you have nice guys.
Despite two titles, how tough have the seasons been? You were injured in both seasons. How do you feel has your game matured in the Alba Berlin organization?
In my first year I got more confidence in my mid range jumper. In Spain I had been more of a pick and roll player. I get easy shots here. It helps when guys like Sikma and Thiemann are on the floor.
You have been an incredible shot blocker for a long time. What do you feel has been key in your career for being able to be that rim protector?
Since I was little, I always seemed to have a knack to block shots. I’m a pretty fast jumper something that others don’t expect from me. I try to avoid contact which throws guys off.
What kind of an experience has it been playing with Johannes Thiemann? 5 years ago he would be a sure bet for the 12 man national team roster, but with the influx of NBA talent isn’t a shoo in. How do you compliment each other best?
He is a very good player. Last year he played more the 5 and this year more the 4. He likes the low post, but can also extend the court well. I think that we pair well up on the court. We both know what we have to do before it gets done.
I can’t remember ever hearing of a guy like Luke Sikma getting as much praise from teammates like he does. You must have that special Sikma story?
It is very tough to say anything negative about Luke. He was key in helping many guys make the transition form Aito to Israel. He is like a glue guy. He is like another assistant coach. He knows the style and keeps everyone level headed.
Just how talented and raw is Oscar Da Silva. Can a guy like him with his Alba Berlin experience reach the NBA?
He is obviously very talented. He is still young. He has skills that could correlate over to the NBA. Now it’s all about getting the chance and then taking advantage of it.
You played the last two seasons with RETAbet Bilbao Basket (Spain-ACB). Was it a tough adjustment coming from the NCAA to the best league overseas? How do you feel did your game grow in the ACB?
One of the major differences is that in the NCAA you play against guys between 18-22 years of age. These kids are inexperienced, but crazy athletic. Then you come overseas and play against guys that might be 39 years old. These guys really know how to play. It is all about being able to learn as you go along,
What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie in Spain where you knew that you were very far away from home?
People not speaking English. In Spain most of the teammates spoke English, but as soon as I went to a restaurant in a city no one knew English. In Berlin it is a lot different. Here English is like a first language for some.
You were teammates for two seasons with Hamburg Towers guard Jaylon Brown. Did you guys develop a special friendship that has stayed until today?
We did. He has been a year longer in Bilbao, but his first year was very tough. So in his second year, I was a rookie. We kind of went through the same things. It was a culture shock and we did it together. It was a nice experience being teammates. We still talk now.
You also played two seasons with Austrian Thomas Schreiner who is with Jakob Polti the countries best known players. Did the aura and play of this guy make an impact on you?
It makes it a lot easier being teammates with a guy like Thomas who has been around so long. He was key in helping me figure out things.
In your second season you beat Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in very tough games. What win was sweeter?
I think the Barcelona game was sweeter. That win helped us get into the cup. We had to beat them. I secured a rebound at the end to bring the game into overtime. It was a very close game and it meant more than a regular season game.
You battled against Walter Tavares. How tough was it playing against one of the best defenders in Europe?
He was a tough player to paly against. I saw right away what kind of caliber players were in the Euroleague. I would try to box him out and he had no effort getting the ball over my head. He was so large, but he moved so effectively and was very graceful. I would rank him in my top 3 of the toughest players I have guarded overseas.
You played at Georgia Tech (NCAA) from 2014-2018. In your first two years you hardly played. What did you learn in your first two seasons that helped you fight adversary?
I came in off a tough injury. I did a lot of rehab and slowed everything down. I learned to be patient. I knew that not everything would happen in one year. I believed in the process and kept working knowing I would get my opportunity.
You played against North Carolina and Duke many times and even beat NC as a junior. From all the battles was there a player that stuck out the most? Brandon Ingram hit you for 31 points in a game.
In the ACC you play against so many talented guys. Jayson Tatum was one of the toughest guys as was Ingram. I remember being mad at the refs believing they were helping him out. It was hard guarding Ingram who made it really difficult with his length and jumper.
How did head coach Josh Pastner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He gave me a chance and confidence to play. In my first two years I didn’t get a chance. That coach was let go and Pastner came in. Sometimes a coaching change will change everything. You don’t always know what kind of role you will have and how you will play. I just lucked out, because his playing style fit my game.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Charles Mitchell?
He was tough to guard. He was big, but also had a quick spin move. He also had a nice tough. He probably won more, but he also was older and had more experience. But I also won my fair share.
You love studying World War 1 & 2. Berlin is the perfect place to live. What monument or place in Berlin is your favorite?
The first place that I noticed when I went to practice was the Brandenburg Gate. I have noticed that there is so much history in Europe. There are buildings that are older than the United States.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
John Collins who is very athletic and mobile. He was always difficult to defend.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
I feel like I may hurt some feelings. Javier Salgardo (one of the best passers that I ever saw. He is like a Tamir Blatt with 15 years of experience)), Jaylon Brown, Luke Sikma, Tamir Blatt, Maodo Lo
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Tony Parker, Tony Duncan, David Robinson, Manu Ginobolli, Dirk Nowitzki
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
It is fun to watch people argue this debate. Some are so passionate and can argue for hours. I always liked Jordan, but I’m 50/50 on this.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I didn’t see it. The sequel is never as good as the first.
Thanks Ben for the chat.