Photo credit Gerd Kaeser
Mikey De Sousa is a 19 year old 198cm point guard that is playing his first season for the Pro B farm team easyCredit BBL team MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He began his career in Kaiserslautern and has the dream of one day playing in the easyCredit. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Mikey for talking to germanhoops.com. Before we start, I just had to add this video, because I think it´s very funny. Mikey is simply a rare name. Mike is common, but Mikey isn´t. This is a famous commercial from the United States. Were you a picky eater as a child?
That is a cool video. If Mikey likes something then it must be good. I was a picky eater as a child, but since I´m 12 or 13 I eat everything.
If your parents had named you Miles would you have changed the name?
I don’t think so. Miles is a cool name.
Your name is Manuel and had it changed to Mikey which can be seen in your passport. Why did you chose Mikey?
Mikey was a nickname since I was small that my mom gave me. I had always been called Mikey by everyone. One day I decided it would be nice to change my name from Manuel to Mikey. It isn’t so easy to change a name officially. You need to have a good reason. I’m happy that I was able to change my name.
Your playing your first season for the MKP Riesen Pro B team after coming from Kaiserslautern. How much of a challenge has it been playing for an organization with so many incredible young talents
At the beginning it was tough and I needed some adjustment time. The practices were at another level then in the Regionalliga. But I think a reason, I could adjust well was because I see myself as a good player. I grew up being a street baller. It took time, but I had many talks with the coaching staff and we worked on little things. I see myself as one of the best players for my age. I’m very competitive in practice.
The Pro B team had a tough start at 1-3. Usually Pro B teams have some more experienced imports like Americans and in general older German players. How much of that experience factor is missing as the average age is 18 years.
Experience is a huge factor at this level. But I think as young players, we are all hungry and that balences it out a bit. We like to play fast, play good defense and are athletic. I’m confident we will have good chances to win games.
There are so many talented young guys on the squad. What kind a bond could you describe it within the team with the young kids? Is there one player that you have been able to bond with the most?
I feel like I have a good relationship with everyone. I have a really good relationship with Abdulay Koemverhara and Emmanuel Ugbo with whom I have been friends for some years now.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 198cm point guard. Who were your role models growing up and to what professional player would you compare your game to?
I play the 1-3. When I was growing up I was more in the NBA scene. I really enjoyed watching guys like Kyrie Irving, James Harden (196-SG-1989, college: Arizona St.) and Kevin Durant. When I was 15 or 16, I began to focus more on myselfI began to watch Malcom Delaney more because coaches said I had similarities to his game.
Describe your game a bit. It seems like your the classic allrounder?
I see myself as an allrounder. In Kaiserslautern, I played more the 1 mainly because they had no one who could facilitate. I’m by nature a pass first guard. But I can also score when I need to, but also make the pass when needed. As a defender, I can jump, block and I like to communicate. I need to improve my on ball defense. In the Regionalliga I was never challenged, but now in the Pro B, I have noticed that the jump is a lot bigger at this level. I’m confident I will get better at that.
You show that you’re a player that can fill the stat sheet well. Do you feel like over time you could become more of a consistent scorer?
I think so. I feel like there hasn’t been a game in the Pro B yet where I couldn’t score. I’m used to being a pass first guard, so I obviously need to get more aggressive. I also need to shoot more off the dribble or on the pick and roll when they go under.
Do you feel like being able to play Regionalliga in Kaiserslautern at a young age made you more mature?
Yes it did. I think that playing in the Regionalliga at such a young age helped my IQ a lot. I played against a lot of ex BBL players and guys that played in college.
How much did you miss not being able to play NBBL or JBBL in Kaiserslautern? What do you remember being your wake up call to being a boy and playing with men?
My wake up call came during Corona. I already wanted to go to Ludwigsburg before Covid came. But Covid stopped it and then the year after, I could of gone, but remained in Kasierslautern because they were going to start up a NBBL program, but that then didn’t happen so I was stuck in Regio again. Another wake up call was playing against Ricky Easterling. I saw him taking shots that I never would have taken. I tried to soak up as much as possible from his game. I saw the way he scanned the game and was always calm and under control. It was then that I realized that I was at a different level. Aaron Ellis was my mentor in Kaiserslautern.
On what areas of your game are you working on most now as you continue to move up the basketball ladder?
On ball defense and shooting.
You have a very big upside and some see you as having BBL potential. Is becoming a BBL player like a dream for you?
It is a dream and goal of mine. I have a BBL license with the MHP Riesen and am practicing with the team. Being able to make these steps make me very happy.
What has it been like playing for head coach Khee Rhee. How would you describe him as a coach and what have you learned to appreciate the most about him?
I have a good relationship with him. He is still young and you can talk to him like a friend. H eis still young but already has a lot of experience. I have learned so many things in a short time that I would never have thought that I could. The biggest thing that I have learned form him is being able to read the game better especially on the pick and roll. It was the right step coming to Ludwigsburg.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in your life in the German Regionalliga?
Ricky Easterling and Jeremy Ingram.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Aaron Ellis, Gergeley Hossuz, Oly Royzin, Aaron Reams, Kevin Croom
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Kobe, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Ben Wallace , Shaq
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Who wins a 1-1 in practice you or Edonis Paqarada?
Thanks MIkey for the chat.