Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Elijah Allen(Walter Tigers Tuebingen) When Tough Times Came I Handled It Better Than I Would In The Past

Elijah Allen is a 28 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his sixth professional season and first season with Kirchheim in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. He will be suiting up next season with Pro A team Walter Tigers Tuebingen. In the 2016-2017 season he helped Gotha move up to the easyCredit BBL averaging  5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played two seasons for Lich and in his last season there played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to German Hopps after his season with Kirchheim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah thanks for talking to German Hoops. After remembering how long your season went last season with Gotha how strange was it for you this year to have summer break on March 31st?

 

It hurt not making the playoffs. That was a big goal for me this season.

 

Last season you played in the playoffs and had 11 more games. I remember you saying you had something like 5 heart attacks in the Chemnitz series. The playoffs is what every professional player plays for. How disappointing is it that Kirchheim didn´t make it to the promised land this season?

 

It’s was a bit disappointing. We had a talented group of guys. Good enough to have made a good run in the playoffs against the better teams. We lost a few games to the lower ranked teams and that ended up hurting us in the end.

 

You split the season series against Phoenix Hagen, but the 96-71 loss in Hagen cost you the playoffs, because they had a better point difference that gave them the eighth spot. This obviously hurt, but how disappointing is it remembering that the loss to last placed team Orange Academy a week earlier cost you the playoffs?

 

 

 Losing to Orange Academy two times really hurt us in the end. We then were not able to execute our game plan in Hagen. We had a lot of open looks on offense but unfortunately we didn’t make them. A tough way to miss the playoffs.

 

If you look back at the season what things cost the team from getting to the playoffs easier? It seemed like consistency as you never had more than a 2 game winning streak and defense hindered Kirchheim from getting into the playoffs or were there some other factors?

 

 I would say just losing to the teams that we were expected to beat. Our concentration level would drop against them and we made it hard for ourselves. If we would have won 1 or 2 of those games then we would have been sitting with a 6th or 7th place playoff seed.

 

What were some of the team season highlights and also your personal highlight. Possibly the 93-56 win against the Rheinstars where you had 17 points and 10 rebounds?

 

 As a team going on the road and beating the PS Karlsruhe LIONS was a big game for us. Odds were against us and we came together and won. For me personally the Cologne game was pretty efficient .

Let´s talk about your teammates. Rookie Corbin Collins said this about you. “Elijah was a key part to my rookie season. From the first time I got there he was always willing to give me advice and always told me to just play my game. His experience and the things that he taught me were extremely helpful for me and my rookie year”. When you hear words like this, is this another good reason why your glad being a professional basketball player?

 

 

Most definitely . As a rookie it’s tough to know what to expect. I´m at the point in my career where I have seen almost everything. Played two years regio, Pro B and Pro A. I just use my past experiences to help others.

 

How did you experience the rookie season of Corbin Collins? He obviously has a lot of potential. What last words did you give him before you parted ways about what he can do with basketball in the next years?

 

Corban Collins is a good player. He will only get better. That’s the great part about the kid. I won’t be surprised if he gets a call up to the bbl or another country top league. Half way through the season I had a long talk with him. I told him, “Your doing good this year but you can do better. I pointed out what he needed to do to take his game to that next level.” He took in every word of our conversation and played his heart out. I have a lot of respect for him.

 

How did the game of point guard Charles Barton grow this season. He wasn´t ready for the easyCredit BBL with Wurzburg,  but had a great personal season in the Pro A averaging 7,1apg. Is he ready now for the BBL, or should he be groomed one more year in the Pro A or get added experience in another country?

 

 I wouldn’t go as far as saying he wasn’t ready for the BBL. Sometimes it has a lot to do with your situation and what your brought to a team to do. Charles is a good player and an even better teammate who deserves to play on the top level. This year he proved it and showed how versatile he can be. He will be ready for whatever team calls.

 

How did you see the further development of young talented guards Justin Hedley and William Darouiche? What part of their games grew this season?

 

They grew a lot. Nice kids on and off the court. Both act much older than their age. If they continue to put the work in they will have a bright future.

 

Let´s talk about your game. This season with Kirchheim you averaged 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg and shot 41% from outside. How content were you with your second Pro A season?

 

 I came to Kirchheim to show teams that I can play. I really put the work in off the court to be able to produce to help the team win. I´´m leaving Kirchheim convinced that I did that.

You obviously played more with Kirchheim than with Gotha and averaged 11 minutes more. Were you content with your efficiency this season considering there were many scoring options with Kirchheim?

 

 It could always be better but I feel it was ok. Stayed consistent and stayed positive. I am leaving Kirchheim with no regrets.

 

You stated this about your game last summer after playing with Gotha. “This season was a learning process. I really felt I grew a lot this season on and off the court. Offensively and defensively my main focus is to make that next step. Knowing your role and picking when to make plays was a challenge this season. Making the most out of your role is essential to team success. I’m very hungry and determined to prove that I can play on a high level night in and night out“. How do you feel did your game grow this season?

 

Kirchheim ideally wasn’t the greatest situation but it gave me a chance to show I can play and be a big factor. I think mentally I grew the most. When tough times came I handled it better than I would in the past.

 

You really have improved your three point shooting in the last two seasons and become very consistent. Has this been mostly because of shot selection or just putting in the work and putting up many shots whenever possible?

 

 Shot selection is definitely something I take care of the older I get. Getting good shots and understanding the offense is important to me.

 

With Gotha you learned more about spacing. What was something you feel you added to your game this season with Kirchheim that you didn´t have with Gotha?

 

Every player experiences shooting slumps. This year when I had mine it didn’t phase me as it normally would. I have learned throughout my career to keep shooting and stay positive.

 

 

In our last interview last summer you stated this “ I have focused on attacking the basket and working as a ball handler in pick and roles. I showed that I shoot the ball. Now I want to show that I can do a lot more. What are some things that you will be focusing on more this summer?

 

 I will focus on watching film and trying to learn the game more. It is a never ending process. I think this will be key during the summer.

What are your summer plans? Will you travel a bit or just enjoy the life in Germany?

 

 I am currently working out and relaxing with family here in Germany. We will head to Greece for a month in July.

 

How did you follow the season of Gotha this season? Do you feel that with a budget and the right adjustments and changes will be made that this club can make another run to the easyCredit BBL

 

 I didn’t follow them much this season. I feel like if you have good money than anything is possible.

 

Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court in the Pro A this season?

 

I would have to say Michael Cuffee from Crailsheim . He was tough on offense and defense.

 

How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?

 

 I didn’t get to watch many games this year.

 

Deandre Ayton seems like he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?

 

 I think both are good players. It should boil down to what the team needs. Both have huge potential.

 

Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?

 

 I think he would average around 16 assists

What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?

 

 Yes it was Black Panther.

 

 

Thanks Elijah for the chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EasyCredit BBL Playoff Preview 2018: FC Bayern Munich-Brose Bamberg 3-2

A week ago the Fc Bayern Munich basketball club had woken up not in high spirits, but unnerved and distraught most likely totally ruining for some players their traditional Bavarian Sunday breakfast of Weiss Wurst and soft scrumptious pretzels as they weren´t staring at a commanding 2-1 series lead against the ambitious and annoying Fraport Skyliners, but instead were reeling on the tight rope down two games to one with their season on the line. One of the biggest easyCRedit BBL playoff upsets was possible as the #8 seed Fraport Skyliners were close and on the verge of sending the #1 seed big mighty FC Bayern Munich packing and on their way into summer vacation. The 72 hours until game four must have been extremely brutal for everyone in the FC Bayern Munich organization as no one there had expected anything but an easy series win, but not having to experience such a pest like the Fraport Skyliners making their basketball lives very excruciating. The thoughts of the players for those 72 hours must have been wandering like crazy day and night. A Danilo Barthel might have thought was I not aggressive enough or was my beard not scary enough, A Jared Cunningham might have looked back to his NBA days and wondered what tips a Lebron James had given him when he experienced tough times that he could use now in this time of need in Germany or big tough German national player Maik Zirbes remembered what it took to win 5 titles in two seasons with Crvena Zvezda Telekom Beograd as everyone knew now there was no time for screwing around any longer on the court, but it was time for big business and bring some pride and clutch wins back to Germany´s most famous sports brand. A week later FC Bayern Munich is back in the Audi Dome not with disappointed and embarrassed faces saying farewell to their faithful fans and coming up with excuses why they stunk up the house against the Fraport Skyliners, but instead are the big mighty FC Bayern Munich again and on top of the world as they are in the easyCredit BBL semi-finals having to now battle reigning champion Brose Bamberg. The question now is can FC Bayern Munich use this high and momentum and play a better and less nerve wracking series against Brose Bamberg or will they panic and let the leagues big surprise team the last two months march into the BBL final? They have pure motivation to get Munich a title even more after the football department couldn´t overcome Eintracht Frankfurt in the cup final losing 3-1.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ex NBA player Jared Cunningham after the 87-83 FC Bayern Munich win in Frankfurt

A sweep is a sweep, but for anyone who didn´t see a second of the series and only read the scores and neglected to gaze at the box scores might have thought that Brose Bamberg experienced a tasty cake walk with little interference against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but that notion is deceiving because the series was a real battle and a lot closer than what the scores indicate. The Telekom Baskets Bonn can go into summer vacation with their heads held high because they have nothing to hide. The Telekom Baskets Bonn played well, had a little misfortune here and there and gave Brose Bamberg a real run for the money. In game one, Brose Bamberg won in Freak City 87-74. The Telekom Baskets Bonn did a great job securing the rebound duel for themselves and coughing up the ball only 7 times, but their three extra possessions didn´t help them further.

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EasyCredit BBL Playoff Preview 2018: Alba Berlin-MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 3-2

Never count out a John Patrick no matter what the circumstances are. The American experienced coach who has no difficulty having a sound conversation in German at anytime has shown it over and over in his career no matter where he has coached that he is capable of not only building a talented team, but also be able to mesh each player´s qualities together so they function properly on the court at a consistent rate. Not too mention not always having a sufficient budget to operate from, he consistently gets the most out of what he has to work with. The ex Stanford(NCAA) player displayed his coaching expertise bringing BG Goettingen to the BBL and reaching the playoffs at a consistent rate while topping his run off with the Eurochallnege title in 2010 and also discovering guys like John Little, Chris Oliver, Kyle Bailey and Taylor Rochestie and putting them on the basketball map. With s.Oliver Wurzburg he led the team into the playoffs and upset Alba Berlin in the 2012 playoffs. He came and saved the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in 2013 being a fireman and since then has led the organization into the playoffs five consecutive times. So when the 2018 Basketball Champions League Final 4 were completed and nobody witnessed the big smile of Thomas Walkup on the winner´s podium, but instead a dejected team escaping Athens with a disappointing fourth place finish, many might of thought that the club would return home and have difficulty erasing the weekend blues from Greece. Ok so my 3-0 FC Bayern Munich prediction over the Fraport Skyliners made me eat my words and now I´m officially going to eat my words again after my medi Bayreuth-MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg prediction of 3-2. I have to be honest, I always believed that John Patrick and co would beat the Bavarian squad 3-0, because I have always believed and respected Patrick´s work  but wanted to be right had a medi Bayreuth upset occurred. Shame on me! How could that ever have happened. John Patrick is a coaching master and once again showed how quickly he could transform a dejected squad to a focused team. With the amazing 3-0 sweep of medi Bayreuth, Patrick was able to reach the semi-finals for only the second time in his career. The question now is can he keep the team momentum going and upset the mighty Alba Berlin that has a core of snipers that could possibly outgun the Golden State Warriors with them having a semi cold night. Never count out a John Patrick no matter what the circumstances are, because if you do then you will get bit in the butt quicker than a David Mccray  reflex can lead to a steal and transition bucket.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Patrick in the Fraport arena in 2018

The road to the easyCredit BBL semi-finals wasn´t as easy for Alba Berlin and in no means a cake walk as they had to tough out an exciting 5 game series against the Ewe Baskets Oldenburg where each team won their home games. Alba Berlin went into the series with the EWE Baskets as the heavy favorite not only with their incredible regular season, but also because how the underdog had presented itself in the last weeks. But as one had seen last season, when you have a Rickey Paulding you always have a chance a she showed last season against Bayreuth and Ulm. The 2009 BBL champion didn´t hide their faces in the sand, but really came to play. In the first two games, Alba Berlin were far away from being a fourth best defensive team in the league as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg averaged 96 points per game 20 more than what Alba Berlin allowed all season. It was no secret that both teams can put up points quickly and both did. However Alba Berlin was able to make good adjustments after every loss and let up less points each home game while never really losing consistency on offense as they averaged 92 points in the high scoring series.

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Seger Bonifant´s Mentality Is Knowing Anytime He Misses A Shot That The Next One Is In

BonifantSeger Bonifant is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Berlin, Ohio that just completed his second professional season and first with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games averaging 12,6ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,5apg while shooting an astounding 48,7% from outside. Last season as a rookie he played for  Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 32 games averaging  9.2ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 82.9%. He played at  W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) form 2012-2016 playing a 126 games and improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season. There he established himself as a real sniper as he shot over 50% from outside for a season three times and as a senior played W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) playing  35 games averaging  25.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 49.6%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of his season with Ehingen.

Seger, thanks for talking to German Hoops  Where are you at the moment and how did you spend your last days in your second professional season in Europe?

Right now I am at home in Berlin, Ohio. I will spend the summer here, working out everyday and getting better at my game. My last days In Ehingen I just relaxed and spent the days with my roommate Davonte.

Did you catch some sights in Europe after the season or did you return right away to home to Ohio? If yes what was the first thing you did before seeing family or friends? I can imagine you sought out one of your favorite local eateries?

I went right home after the season. My flight was scheduled 2 days after the last game so I didn’t have time to travel. My first stop at home was my favorite place to eat, chipotle. I really missed it and love it!

You had a solid season in terms of what you accomplished on the stat sheet, but your team Ehingen was unable to remain in the Pro A. With what kinds of feelings and thoughts do you have about your second professional season?

Obviously it was very tough losing as many games as we did. My whole life I have been on very high profile teams that win a lot of games. So being on the opposite side of that was tough, but a great learning experience. Also, our team never gave up and never felt sorry for ourselves and worked hard everyday. Besides losing, the season was a good one.

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FC Bayern Munich Live Another Day Crushing The Fraport Skyliners 85-50 Forcing Game 5

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Reggie Redding after the big 85-50 FC Bayern Munich win in game 4 in Frankfurt

Many people that don´t know Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert will call it a miracle while people that know him better in terms of basketball mastery won´t be at all surprised what he has been able to get out of his team in the last week. 11 days ago after the disappointing 85-72 loss which for many wasn´t untypical, the Fraport Skyliners and Philipp Scrubb had a long bus ride home and had a lot of soul searching to do already noticing in that game that they had the game to compete with Germany´s most famous team. A week later the ever so reserved Mr Canada Philip Scrubb had another long bus ride home, but this time he could probably sneak in the one or other smile after hearing a Robertson and Morrison joke, because the Fraport Skyliners were up in the best of five series 2-1. Who would have thought that at the start of the series? Many thought after the game two win in Frankfurt that they would see one last home game at home and then summer vacation would begin. Instead with the help of a furious 29 point third quarter that rescued the 2004 BBL champion from 18 down, they showed extended heart and won in Munich 86-83 with the help of a gigantic Scrubb trey with 18 seconds to go and overall 13 three´s that the club dropped as a shocked FC Bayern Munch were wondering when this nightmare would end? FC Bayern Munich CEO Marko Pesic had another annoying reminder just how dangerous a Philip Scrubb is in crunch-time moments. The Fraport Skyliners returned home with an ace up their sleeve having the momentum and ready for the knock out as FC Bayern Munich now had their backs to the wall and suddenly had to play their best basketball to survive and did crushing the Fraport Skyliners 85-50 forcing a game 5 on Thursday night in Munich.

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Devonte Brown Had An Amazing Experience In Paderborn Being Coached By Coaches Who Cared About Improving Their players

BrownDevonte Brown is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Killeen, Texas that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Baskets Paderborn averaging 14,2ppg,5.5rpg and 2,6apg. Last season as a rookie he played with OKK Sloboda Tuzla (Bosnia-Division I) playing 28 games averaging 8.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.0apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 64.5%. He started his basketball career in 2012 with  Indiana St. (NCAA playing a total of 129 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after finishing his season in Germany with Paderborn.

Devonte thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your very early summer going at the moment?

I’m currently in Houston with the family , working on my early morning conditioning while spending time with some of my extended family members.

Did you get to visit any European sites after the season ended or did you go right home toPB-Trier-Brown Texas?

After the season I was fortunate enough to have the chance to visit a couple cities that wasn’t close to any opposite cities. Before leaving to go back to the US I had a chance to see Berlin and Amsterdam, two cities I’ve only seen in movies.

What was the first thing you did when you got back to the states? Was checking out one of your favorites eateries high on your list?

The first thing I did was join some of family and friends on vacation and enjoy a good amount of sun in Florida .

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The Fraport Skyliners Make Me Eat My Words And Did Philip Scrubb Already Pass His FC Bayern Munich Screen test?

The last weeks before the FC Bayern Munich playoff series have been at times a disgusting roller coaster ride for the Fraport Skyliners and for a Philip Scrubb he might already have completed a short season ending vacation to Paris or secretly been in Munich for a meal with Marko Pesic concerning lucrative bucks for next season and been back in Ottawa where he is in the offseason and already getting up extra shots in preparation for next season had the club lost their last regular season home to Science City Jena which they were very close to doing after a seemingly curse was erased by the basketball God as three mishaps were rewarded by defensive stops and a Shawn Huff shot saved their season. Two weeks later the Fraport Skyliners aren´t at home digesting a second non playoff season and wondering where they would be with a Jordan Theodore, but are back at their basketball home Fraport arena with seemingly help from the basketball God again as they sit in the driver´s seat having an amazing and really unbelievable 2-1 game lead against Germany´s most famous sports club FC Bayern Munich and can end their season that had very high expectations on Tuesday with a victory. But then again is this really a miracle, because over the years Gordon Herbert has time in and time out shown what he can master even when the odds look bleaker than a tornado filled Oklahoma sky and produce success. He has showed again how he can get the best out of each player at the right moments and how his pinpoint scouting can bring an experienced and so talented team like  FC Bayern Munich to unending riddles to how they can counter react when Frankfurt makes a successful adjustment. No matter how this series ends, the Fraport Skyliners should follow Science City Jena and do what they did for Bjoern Harmsen and give him a indefinite contract. He deserves it because he lives for the Fraport Skyliners even if his back would rather decline comment on the matter. Maybe Gordon Herbert is a basketball God in disguise. The last week, he surely has driven his team to go above and beyond, but can they make that last step and slam the door on this season best and most successful team FC Bayern Munich?

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing 2018 easyCredit BBL scoring champion Philip Scrubb after droping 8 points and dishing out 8 assists

If there is anyone in Frankfurt basketball country that had the audacity to say now that they had predicted a Fraport Skyliners series win, they are most likely lying. I have been a staunch believer in the masterful work of head coach Gordon Herbert over the years, but as this series with FC Bayern Munich approached, I saw no hope in this team surviving against Jared Cunningham, Devin Booker, Danilo Barthel and co. I predicted an easy sweep by FC Bayern Munich and then corrected myself giving them possibly one win already remembering that the Fraport Skyliners had won games against FC Bayern Munich in the past and had won game 2 in their living room in the 2015 series. I just wanted to be on the safe side, but my inner thoughts were flooded with sweep, sweep, sweep for the Bavarian side. It was a normal basketball reaction from me as basketball reality was staring in my face. How could I predict a Fraport Skyliners series win after seeing Frankfurt stink up the house against Science City Jena and being crushed in Berlin as the team suffered one of it´s worst defeats in franchise history.

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