Swede Hugo Florestedt Cherished The JUCO Experience And Now Wants To Make The Next Step With The Bona Baskets Limburg

Hugo Florestedt (196-G-1998, college: Temple JC) is a 24 year old 196cm guard playing his first season for the Bona Baskets Limburg (Regionalliga). Last season he played for TuS ADEMAX Red Devils Bramsche (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 14.9ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 80.4%. he played his first season in Germany with BG Karlsruhe (Germany-Oberliga). He also played a season in USA for Temple College (JUCO): averaging 7.1ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 71.1%. He began his basketball career in his homeland with KFUM Fryshuset Basket (Basketettan). He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Hugo for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

I am currently in my apartment in Limburg, Germany. Playing for Bona Baskets Limburg in 1.Regionalliga. I have been here a month so far and have been practicing, getting to know my teammates and I am very excited for the season to start.

You have signed with German Regionalliga team Bona Baskets Limburg after playing last season with the Red Devils Bramsche. What were the main reasons for you coming to Limburg?

I was looking for other teams in 1.Regionalliga to sign with and Coach Danny contacted me. We talked a lot and he explained what my role would be and I just felt that it would be a good fit here, knowing I would play a lot minutes and get a chance to develop as a player.

This will be your third season in Germany after coming from Temple College (JUCO) in the States. Has Germany become your second home?

Yeah kind of, I really enjoy living here because it is very similar to Sweden, at least compared to the US, and it feels more at home.

What do you appreciate most about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

I really like the old towns, it is always excited to see different old towns and different cities. In terms of basketball, I like that the sport itself is much bigger here than at home. There is actually people that come and watch the game which makes it so much better.

How did the talks go with head coach Danny Stallbohm. He is a guy that eats, drinks and sleeps Limburg basketball. What was your impression of him?

It definitely felt like he knew a lot about basketball and that he would be very involved as coach. He talked a lot about my playing style and how I would fit in the team.

You had a very solid Regionalliga season in Bramsche and now have come to replace the talented German Noah Westerhaus. How confident are you that you will fulfill this?

It is always a little nerve racking whenever I sign with a new team in terms of how I will fit in and how well I can perform. But it has been going good so far. I am confident that I can be the same threat I was playing in Bramsche and help out the team.

How much fun has it been having KJ Sherril as a teammate. He is a real big Dawg. What do you appreciate most about his game?

It’s been great! He is a great teammate and a great basketball player. What I appreciate the most about his game is probably that he has a good basketball IQ and makes smart decisions. I am excited to play with him this year.

How much fun has it been playing with captain Justin Stallbohm? How infectious is his smile?

It’s been really fun, Justin is really motivated and always want to win. He has a positive energy on and off the court, but can also hold people accountable whenever needed. His smile is definitely a big part of that positive energy.

Let’s talk about your game. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

That’s a tricky one, I haven’t really thought about it before. But I consider myself an ‘all-around’ type of player (at least offensively) so it would have to be someone like that. Someone who isn’t specified in one aspect, but rather does a little bit of everything.

You’re a player that knows how to score and rebound the ball, but what other strong points does your game have on the court?

I would say that I have a good understanding of basketball in general. I strive to make smart decisions on the court. I am also a coachable player, I always try to take any feedback in consideration and improve my game.

Is it fair to say that your three pointer is a work in progress? How confident are you that you can become a better shooter over time?

I’ve always been someone who shoots three’s and I know that I am a good shooter. However, it is sometimes a mental challenge, especially during games, to stay focused and not let missed or bad shots affect that confidence. But this is something that I’m always working on and will continue to work on during the season.

On what area’s of your game are you still working on so you can continue to get better as a player?

The area of my game that lacks the most is probably defense. I have a good understanding defensively but there is still room to improve.

Last season you played with 22: TuS ADEMAX Red Devils Bramsche (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 14.9ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 80.4%. Is it fair to say that this was your true professional break through season?

Yes definitely! Considering my first season got cut short after just 3 games due to COVID. This was my first full season in Germany so I would consider it a break through season.

What memories will you always have from Bramsche? How do you feel did your game grow last season?

I had some great teammates in Bramsche and we always had a good time together. It was also a great atmosphere at our home games. The fans would be loud from start to end no matter how the game went and I will always remember that. I definitely feel like my game improved from that season, especially having that COVID year when I didn’t really play any team basketball.

2 seasons ago you played with BG Karlsruhe (Oberliga). What kind of season was this for you coming from JUCO? Was it tough having to begin in the low league Oberliga?

When I got there they were in the 2.Regionalliga, but it was still a huge difference from my year at Temple. I played with some really good guys at Temple so my role wasn’t that big. So I was excited to play for BG Karlsruhe because I knew I would be a key player to the team. I wish the season wouldn’t have gotten cancelled.

You played a season at Temple College (JUCO) averaging 7.1ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 71.1% Had the plan been to stay longer or did you just want to play 1 season abroad?

The plan was to play another season at Temple and then try to play for a 4 year school for my last two years. However, I ended up leaving because I wouldn’t get the full scholarship for my sophomore year. After that, COVID hit and I didn’t want to go back to the US and I decided to play somewhere in Europe instead.

Every JUCO player that I have interviewed have said that playing JUCO was very tough, but an experience they would never have traded for anything. How was the experience for you?

I agree with that statement, the toughest part for me was probably being such a long way from home and in a completely different culture than Sweden. However, as you mentioned, it was a great experience where I learned, developed and grew a lot as a basketball player. I got to play with and against some great basketball players.

How did head coach Kirby Johnson groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

He has a lot of experience so he taught me a lot of stuff and just shared his knowledge.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Kortijk Miles?

I would have to say Kort, he is a strong and difficult player to guard for sure.

Who was the best player that you ever faced that played in NBA or at a high level?

Can’t really remember anyone by name, but I played against a lot of great players in JUCO.
Some who move on to play at high level D1 schools.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

I’ve had a lot of great teammates. Three of my closest friends, Kevin Lai, Aleksander Mlodianovski and Basiru Njie were all teammates of mine and we grew up playing with each other. Cole Walker, my teammate from Bramsche is also good friend of mine and we had a lot fun playing together last year. Lastly, one of the most skilled basketball players I’ve had as a teammate is Kedrian Johnson who is currently playing for WVU. It was a great experience to play with him at JUCO.

What is your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

I am a die hard Celtics fan, especially the 2008 championship team. So my list can’t be more personal. Paul Pierce KG Rajon Rondo Kobe Bryant

Where do you see Luka Doncic in the ranking of the best at the moment?

I see Luka as Top 5, easily. He is unguardable.

What is the last movie that you saw?

The Big Lebowski.

Thanks Hugo for the chat.

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