Matthew Meredith(Bayer Giants) Remembers Giving His First Alley Oop That Really Looked Nice And NBA Player Ishmail Wainright Throwing It Down

Matthew Meredith (200-SF-2000) is a 22 year old 200cm guard under contract with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He began his basketball career with the Nurnberg Falcons playing a total of 78 Pro A games and played his first Pro A game at age 14. He played the last 2 seasons with the Fraport Skyliners playing 7 BBL games and 41 Pro B games averaging 10.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 57.8% and in his second season averaged: 18.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 86.2%. He spoke to before the 2022-2023 season.

Thanks Matthew for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Hey, I am right now in Croatia enjoying the life there and working out there with my individual coach and working on my athleticism.

After 2 years in Frankfurt you have moved to the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. How is Matt Meredith a different and better player now then in September 2020?

Overall my shooting has improved compared to back then. I am more confident in what I do on and off the court and my body feels way better than it was in 2020. Back then my surgery with my achilles was still bothering me, but its definitely better now.

Obviously the Bayer Giants Leverkusen have had great results in the last years and head coach Hansi Gnad has played a large role. Was it a no brainer choosing to play for the 1993 Euro champion?

Hansi is a great Character. I talked to some guys who played for him and they all said the same that he is a great guy. I hope that I can learn a lot from his experience and that he helps me become a better player.

What impressed you most about Hansi Gnad in your talks and what about his basketball philosophy is most appealing?

He has a very funny side that he likes to show. Basketball philosophy wise he really takes care that the Team has a good chemistry and that everybody gets along well.

In 2017-2018 you were playing your second full pro A season with Nurnberg and Kameron Taylor took a step back from the Pro A to play pro B in Rhondorf. A few years later via the BBL he became a Euroleague player. Is your step back to the Pro A a move that you hope will get you back to a higher league?

For sure I hope that it helps me, but first overall I want to become a good player in the Pro A and help my team to win as many games as possible.

Let’s talk about your game. I called you the German white Devin Booker last season and your ex teammate and NBA player Ishmail Wainwright has compared you to Michael Carter Williams. Are there any other players that you could compare your style to?

Yeah I really like those comparisons haha, but both are really good players to be compared with. People always like to say Luka Doncic a little bit, but this guy is on another Level really.

You can really fill the stat sheet very well. How big of a role does versatility play in your game?

I just try to give the team what it needs if they need me to make a play for my teammmates I will do that, if the team needs me to score I will do that. I want to work on every aspect of my game, because you can’t have a lot of deficiencies at the highest level.

I had already liked your passing game early in your career. How do you feel did your playmaking develop in Frankfurt and could you ever average 4-5 assists per game?

I often have the feeling that other people underrate my passing skills. I really like to pass, probably even more than to score. In Frankfurt it was probably more necessary that I make a basket instead of passing the ball, so hopefully my passing game will improve.

You can guard many positions thanks to your height. Where do you see your defensive game now and where do you want to bring it in the next years?

With my size I can defend multiple positions, but sometimes I am a step slow on my feet so defenders can beat me. So I try to work on that, to get especially lateral quicker in the future, so I can defend quicker players too.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to make steps in your game?

Especially like you mentioned defensively and to become faster. But overall I work on every aspect of the game because there is still a lot of room to improve.

You had many explosive games in the Pro B last season including 2 against FC Bayern Munich. How much will that 28 points stay in your memories? What do you remember from that game?

I really shot well from 3 point range, I think I also made the most 3s in this game of the season. They were playing a zone and I wanted to punish them for that.

You played 7 BBL games and hit a three in a blow out loss against Alba Berlin. Do you feel like you got a fair chance from Diego O’Campo? I feel there were quite a few games decided early and still you didn’t come in for at least garbage minutes.

I hoped I would play more too, but at the end it was the decision of the coach and I can’t do anything about that. He gave me the chances at the beginning of the season and I didn’t use them well enough. But I learned a lot just from the games I played.

You began your career in Nurnberg and played your first pro A game at age 14 against Chemnitz. What memories do you have of that game? Did you have fear?

I was really scared when the coach called my name. But I thank him a lot that he gave me the chance to play at that level at this age. The game was so fast for me I couldn’t really keep up, I think I even got halfway posterized on a defensive possession. So I was trying to just not mess up.

In that first season you were teammates with veteran American guards Braydon Hobbs and Josh Young. What do you remember from their leadership?

Braydon was really good in leading and dictating the game on the court, I tried to learn a lot of his passing game and the court vision he has. Josh is a really nice guy, I really appreciated how he gave me an advice for everything and how he was there for everybody that’s what I really liked about him and he often drove me home after practice, I really appreciated that.

You were teammates with Ishmail Wainwright when he was a rookie in 2018-2019. If someone had told you that in a few years he would be a NBA player what would you have thought?

I probably wouldn’t believed that. But Ishmail always had the physical tools to play on that level. So I am really happy for him that he made it to the league. He always worked hard and was one of the first in the gym and I think at the end of the day his work just paid off.

What was your fondest memory with Ishmail Wainwright? He remembers this about you. ”We walked all the way out into the ocean on some tree trunk. I still have the video I think. I was hoping he would fall in to be honest because I would’ve been dying laughing’.

Oh yeah I remember that, he probably wasn’t the only one in the team who wanted to see me fall. I remember always the one alley oop pass I gave him. It was probably also one of my first alley oop passes that looked really nice. At the moment I thought I threw the ball to high and he wouldn’t catch it. But he got up really high and threw it down impressively.

You were teammates with Nils Hassfuerter for many years in Nurnberg and watched him develop into a BBL player with Wurzburg. What do you remember from your battles with him in practice and do you feel like a certain competiveness to make it back to the BBL and play against him again?

He always created really well advantages for his size and he has a really beautiful shot. He always played really controlled in his own pace, that’s what I tried to take from his game. It would be cool if we would play again in the BBL league as opponents or maybe even together, but we will see how everything develops, first I want to play a good season in the Pro A.

You played 6 seasons in Nurnberg and played 78 Pro A games. Why do you feel didn’t you blossom into an impact Pro A player there?

I think I didn’t listen to the people who knew the game better then me and I thought I knew everything already. Because of that I stopped to improve and tried to make everything on my own, which is obviously not the right way. That’s why Frankfurt probably helped me to start listening again and ask people for help to improve.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Matthew Meredith in the BCM in Frankfurt in 2021

How do you feel did you grow under head coach Ralph Junge? What was the most important thing that you gained under his guidance?

At the beginning of my years, I really improved a lot under him. Especially he taught me good foundations for my shot and let me be creative on the court. But then I think I was the problem a little bit, because I didn’t wan to listen to his advice and because of that my development stagnated. But I really appreciate how early he let me practice with the pros, I really learned a lot from that.

Who was the toughest player that you ever played against that reached the NBA?

For sure Ish Wainright, he is a really good defender and he always made it really hard for me to score against him. It was always a fight against him.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Braydon Hobbs, Matt Mobley, Rasheed Moore, Ishmail Wainright, Robert Oehle

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Luka Doncic, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird

What is your opinion of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

Tough to say, but I probably think Jordan, because he was mentality wise and how he moved on the court on another level.

What was the last movie that you saw?

I don’t even remember. But I started to watch the series Naruto, because of my old roommate Alexander Richardson, so that’s what I lately watched that I can remember.

Thanks Matthew for the chat.


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