When you have interviewed as many American Regionalliga players like I have over the years, there is one thing that always stands out and that is their overwhelming self confidence in their abilities. I mean what is wrong with being very sure in one’s own abilities. If you can back it up why not? Scoring 50 + points is no easy task to do at any level. I mean every now and then a guy will blast off to another galaxy and hit for 100 points like Jonathan Braeger did last season with Regionalliga team Baskets Vilsbiburg. But let’s stick to the 50 points something that is also super rare to do. In the German Regionalliga, it is done every now and then, but how often is that touch of Kevin Love involved in the stat line. A player has to be super aggressive to score 50 + points, but how does one describe that aggressiveness when at the same time he hauls down 25 rebounds? When I read the stat line recently, I was amazed, but then again no so much amazed as I read the master of disaster that was involved for the masterpiece was Ricardo Artis II (198-F/G-1993, college: Wiley). I mean he had been dominating the Regionalliga all season long. Coming into the massive playoff game against Koln DTV he had hauled down 10 rebounds or more 22 times and earlier in the season had hit the same team for 21 rebounds. That was a good omen and after 43 minutes he had led his team to a big 114-100 OT win with 51 points and 25 rebounds. Even if he had 21 rebounds in the first game, he didn’t go into this game more motivated. ‘I always have a motivation to show the world what I can do every time I step on that court. I’m a high level caliber player, who should be playing nothing less than BBL and Pro A basketball here in Germany. Last time we spoke, I told you I would try 30 rebounds. I was 5 rebounds off so I apologize to you for that’, joked Ricardo Artis II. Sometimes guys know right away if it’s going to be a great night. Ex easyCredit BBL player Valentin Blass who strapped on the jersey 14 times for the Telekom Baskets Bonn had to endure Artis’s prediction right off the bat. ‘After my first point, I went up to #38 Blass for Deutz and I told him I was going for 50. He told me ‘good luck.’ That’s the best luck someone has ever granted me. Haha. Dankeschoen #38 Blass.’, smiled Ricardo Artis II who played a season at Wiley College (NAIA).
The athletic scorer and rebounder who sees the Warriors and Bucks advancing in their current playoff series despite having early problems was a big part of SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Regionalliga) advancing past Koln DTV. Despite the sweep, he didn’t think that it would have been so easy. ‘It feels good. I was a little surprised with the sweep. I had faith that we would win but I considered it being a dog fight and to go 3 games. I’m proud of my team but we are focused and we all know we still have two rounds to go’, warned Ricardo Artis II. Hagen arrived into the game averaging scoring 87 points per game, but to average 21 points more was mind boggling for some but not for him. ‘It’s playoffs, so I expected some type of urgency and will from this team. I believe we have the best offense in the league. Putting up points is something we do when we’re focused and executing the game plan. When we match our defense with offense, we’re a tough team to beat’, stressed Ricardo Artis II. It also doesn’t hurt when you have an explosive scorer like Artis on the team, because it gives his teammates confidence and understanding that they can be successful. ‘I believe it’s the guys realizing what we are capable of being. We beat the top teams in this league so we know how to get it done. It’s all about how great we feel like being that day and my team picked the perfect days to be great these last two weeks. I’m proud of my guys’, commented Ricardo Artis II. Koln was stacked with guys who had played in higher leagues and the club also had a better record then Hagen Haspe, but the underdog somehow got it done in fine fashion. ‘Executing the game plan, and just believing in ourselves was vital. Defense was also key of course like you mentioned. The fans played a big part in our success also. Thank you Haspe for the support. It’s important’, added Ricardo Artis II.
The ex North Lake College (JUCO) swingman who believes the Lakers will defeat the Bucks in the 2023 NBA finals had a crazy 2 game series against Koln DTV averaging a ridiculous 45,oppg and 18,0rpg. His memorable 51/25 game was the best game in his career. Scoring 30-40 games on a consistent rate like he does is normal, but 51/25? Is that normal? ‘When you believe in yourself at the level that I do, it’s not so incredible. I know what I’m capable of doing and I know the type of player I am. Those numbers are great don’t get me wrong but that performance will surprise a spectator before it surprises me. I believe I’m great and that’s why I continue to do great things’, expressed Ricardo Artis II. Having a once in a lifetime game seems more realistic at an earlier part of the season, but in the post season, the body has already taken his toil, but he always took good care of his body. ‘It was the most fun game of the season. I credit that to the fans that cheered for us. Also, I thank my coach for keeping us well prepared and conditioned throughout the week in practices and workouts. That week rest after the season helped my body a lot also’, said Ricardo Artis II. Can his self-confidence grow even more after a mind blowing performance like that? ‘I don’t think my self-confidence can get any higher than what I came to Germany with. My high confidence for myself is what makes me the immortal scorer I am. I truly think I’m unguardable. I can hurt you from many positions and I am a matchup nightmare. I play 1-5. My energy and tenacity is something that will be unmatched until I choose to retire. That’s just how it’s always been for me’, stressed Ricardo Artis II. The playoff journey continues for him now as they face tough team Ibbenburen. They destroyed Hagen Haspe by 39 points in the first game and then Artis and Co grinded out a thrilling 89-87 win. Hagen Haspe has had problems with the defensive rebound and will have to be sharper on the glass. ‘The key remains the same. Defense and continue to execute the game plan. We played small ball with no bigs. Our starting center was injured so I played the 5 so we could stretch the floor and have more space on offense. We were at a disadvantage in size which gave them extra opportunities but we also had advantages to be more faster and quick. I’m not worried. We’re the underdogs. It’s more pressure on them if you ask me’, expressed Ricardo Artis II. If he has an Explosive experience like his 51/25 game is unknown, but if he doesn’t he won’t be fazed. He has only one goal. ‘A game like that came from me just wanting to win. I’m playing with some more aggressiveness of course because of it being playoffs but I don’t have plans on topping that game. I have plans to win the championship. If I have 40/50 or 60 point games to get the job done then that’s great. But my objective is to win by all means necessary and give it all I got trying to’, warned Ricardo Artis II.
Tags : RICARDO ARTIS II, SV HAGEN-HASPE 70, GERMAN BASKETBALL