Battling A Guy Like Nicolo Melli ON A Daily Basis Was Vital In Louis Olinde´s(Alba Berlin) Early Development In Bamberg

Louis Olinde (205-F-1998) is a 24 year old 205cm power forward playing his second season for Alba Berlin and has won 5 professional titles. He began his basketball career with BC Hamburg (2.Regionalliga) and then got further basketball experience with SC Rist Wedel and played JBBL and NBBL for the Piraten Hamburg. He made the next step in his career in moving to Brose Bamberg where he played four years. He has gotten valuable Experience in the Euroleague having played 63 games. He also played with all the German youth national teams and played at the 2019 World Cup and won the Albert Schweitzer tournament in 2018. He spoke to during the 2022 easyCredit BBL finals.

Your dad Wilber played at UCLA and played for the legendary John Wooden. Has he told you any stories about him over the years?

He has talked about John Wooden. He told me he was a coach that really focused on details and the little things. UCLA never had a deep rotation and usually played with 7-8 guys. It was never easy for bench guys. They always had great players there like a Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Your playing your second season with Alba Berlin. How blessed are you to be playing for such a traditional organization? What have you appreciated most about the experience?

It has been a honor playing for Alba Berlin. This club has so much tradition and history. It has been a fun 2 years. Aito did a great job last year and Israel this year. The chemistry is great and everyone gets along with each other very well.

Alba Berlin is on the verge of winning it’s third title in a row. Obviously the character of the team and chemistry are very important, but what other factors have been key for the success of the club?

I think our strong defense has been important. We also never have lost our ease on offense. I think we combine defense and offense well. Also our deep rotation also has been key. Even when we had injuries we were able to fill the holes.

What kind of an experience has it been sharing the floor with experienced German Johannes Thiemann? What do you appreciate most from his game?

He is a very strong player. He can be very dominant in the post. He is a good friend of mine. He showed me Berlin when I arrived.

Everybody loves Luke Sikma. What has been your personal best experience that you have had with him?

His unselfishness and the way he finds open guys stands out. He is a great role model on and off the court. He is a very cool guy and is fun to be around.

How pleased have you been with the development of your game with Alba Berlin. Nobody will play 30 minutes, but you have proven to have been very efficient in the minutes that you get. What part of your game has really profited?

I’m happy with my development. I have had a few injuries since arriving and had some time getting into rhythm, but I’m healthy now and can help the team. I think that I have improved my shot, defense, rebounding and hustle plays.

What kind of an experience was it playing for legendary head coach Aito? What is an experience that you had with him that you will never forget?

It was an honor playing for him. There haven’t been many coaches like him that has that vast experience and knowledge of the game. His style is different. We had a special season last year. He gave me freedom to play and I knew that if I played well, I would stay on the court. I knew that I always had a chance to play if I played well. He also was vital in helping young guys like Jonas Mattissek and Malte Delow gain confidence and grow.

You have had many memorable games in a Alba Berlin jersey in the BBL. Was your 24 points against Ludwigsburg this season or 17 points in the win over FC Bayern Munich last season your most memorable?

I think that the game against Ludwigsburg was one of my best in a Alba jersey. It was an important game. My teammates got me good shots and I made them. This game was a highlight for me.

You played 4 seasons with Brose Bamberg. You made a steady progress there and had a solid fourth season in the BBL. How would you describe your 4 years there?

In Bamberg I was also happy with my development. I came to Bamberg as a young 18 year old kid and had played Pro B. being able to play minutes in the Pro A with Baunach and steadily play BBL and practice each day with incredible players was very beneficial in my early development. My confidence really grew there. I’m very thankful for being able to play 4 years in Bamberg. I identify greatly with the city.

You won your first BBL title with Bamberg in 2017. You were teammates with incredible players like Theis, Zisis, Miller and Melli. What memories do you have from that time? How profitable was it practicing with guys like this on a daily basis?

I profited so much playing with those guys. Then I was playing more the four position. I was playing against Nicolo Melli every day. He was a top player then. I got really important tactical tips form them as well as learning how to deal with fans, and take care of my body.

Was there a player from the 2016-2017 season where you believe that you profited very much from from the daily battles in practice?

I profited the most from Nicolo Melli.

In the 2017-2018 season you played twice against Luka Doncic. In both games you played little but were efficient in your play. Everybody knew he was very talented, but would you have thought he would make such a big impact so quickly in the NBA?

It was hard to say back then. He was MVP of the Euroleague at age 18. You definitely knew he would be able to do a good job in the NBA. I think nobody knew then that he would be this good though.

You wee teammates with Augustine Rubit for 2 seasons in Bamberg. What is it like battling him for the BBL title? Did you guys form a special relationship back in the day?

I always had a good relationship with him and we became good friends. I remember he got his first son in my second year. Now he has 3 children. Time really flies. It is always nice to play against a guy that you can joke around with before and after a game.

You began your career in Hamburg playing youth basketball and pro B for Rist Wedel. How do you remember your early basketball years? Was there a certain person that helped you mature in young years?

My parents were very key in the early going. Both played professionally. They helped me get started and get a feel for game. Marvin Willoughby also was very important as he was very engaged in the youth program in Hamburg.

You played with all the German youth national teams and help win the Albert Schweitzer title in 2016. What memories do you have of that special team?

We all understood each other and were friends. That really helped. We were the first German team to ever win a title there. Guys from then are playing in the BBL now or NBA like Isaac Bonga. I gained a lot of experience winning that title.

In 2019 you help win a bronze at the U-19 World Cup. What memories do you have of the 81-59 loss against Team USA. They had many future NBA guys like Langford, Pritchard, Edwards, Reddish, Diallo and Quickley. Was there a guy that really impressed you then?

I don’t remember too much from that game since it was some years ago. But what I do remember were these sick dunks from Hamidou Diallo.

Germany could have the best 30 man roster of all-time. It is unlikely that you will make the 12 man Euro roster. What do you feel will be Germany’s biggest strength at the Euro 2022?

It helps when you have a guy like Dennis Schroeder who is one of best point guards in the world. He has so much experience and can lead the team to success. We have very good role players. A guy like Daniel Theis has shown in the NBA that he can be a very good role player. He does exactly what his team wants. It will be important how well the role players play. We have a lot of talent. How well we play will have to do how well the team comes together.

Who has been the toughest player that you have faced so far in your career?

Will Clyburn is as tough as they get at the position 3 in the Euroleague. Of course Melli is also tough.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

That is difficult. Off the top of my head I will say Zisis, Rice, Lo, Melli and Luke Sikma.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Dennis Rodman, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki.

Is Luka Doncic a top 3 player?

I think so together with Gianis and Jokic.

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

I didn’t see it.

Thanks Louis for the chat.


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