Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Despite Question Marks There Is Also Hope And Excitement For The 21-22 Dragons Rhondorf Season

If one has some extra time and is a bit bored, one can reminisce about so many things in life. Nothing is the same in the world anymore. It isn’t any different in the basketball world in September 2021. Of course one can think about how nice it was watching Dirk Nowitzi perform his legendary step back jumper over the whole NBA, or remembering all the great feats of a Kobe Bryant or just looking back to the 80’s when hard nosed defense and physicality was rampant in the NBA. Or one can look back only a few years ago in Dragons Rhondorf basketball history. Who could forget the two game playoff series against Wolfenbuetel in 2018 where hardcore fans would be able to seriously savior the beautiful play of the one and only Kameron Taylor or only two years ago or recollect the coast to coast drives of a Curtis Hollis. Seeing those guys do their stuff in the Dragon Dome in Bad Honnef seems really like ages ago. Everything changed radically in March 2020 and it hasn’t been the same since. Nobody will forget what they have experienced themselves in the last year and a half or forget what they have seen on the news because of COVID, but one can’t hide their heads in the sand and pout like a spoiled dog that hasn’t got their dinner. Life goes on and so does basketball. After having to halt the 2019-2020 season and not play playoffs and then sitting out most of the 2020-2021 season, the Dragons Rhondorf are famished to finally lace up their sneakers again and are finally back. It has been a long wait and fans will be able to experience basketball again Live and not on their lab tops. Despite question marks with the Dragons Rhondorf roster, there is also hope and excitement. Basketball is finally back again.

Mark Mboya Kotieno

It has been no secret that since Yassin Idbihi came on board in 2019-2020 to take over the club, there has been an increased interest to develop the youth sector and that would have continued last season had the season been played. The club went into last season without an import in the Regionalliga and had a decent roster for the Regionalliga. It would have been interesting to see what young head coach Julian Thomas would have been able to do with that team. Well he gets another chance this season and focus on the youth continues. The 13 man roster is very young. It has 8 players 19 or younger. In the Regionalliga, having success wouldn’t have bene easy, because that is a league with very much older players, but it could have occured. The Pro B is a step up and has less older players, but the overall quality and talent level is higher. There are organizations in the Pro B that need to win and wouldn’t take risks. That is different with the Dragons Rhondorf. They care about the youth and want to make a difference. ‘The whole idea of our program is to have young talents in positions where they have to produce. We really feel like making a big contribution to not only local, but also German basketball by taking talents out of their comfort zones and kind of force them into bigger roles and team-leaders. Is this a risk? Definitely. But from our point of you this is what ProB-Basketball should be all about. Helping young players reach the next level through playing in big roles’, warned head coach Julius Thomas. It also didn’t help the cause of the young players development that the whole U-19 and U-16 season was cancelled in 2020-2021. This put a massive dagger in the players development. So obviously the young guys have to work extremely hard this season and hopefully find a way to make some kind of ground in their development. ‘They all found ways to have individual workouts and worked hard on their skills. However, playing 5on5 and playing games is the thing that helps those guys the most. The lack of those games will take some time to make up for’, stressed Julius Thomas.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Paul Albrecht in Koblenz in 2020

The Club has two veterans with Paul Albrecht who is 28 years old and Pal Ghotra who is 22 years old. These are two guys that will have to give consistent offensive production as well as be top role models. Albrecht is one of those guys that can be the best role model for the kids. He was already comfortable with that role last season. ‘For me it’s not about being the top scorer. I’m more like a playing coach. I’m trying to help everybody on the team. I’m like the point guard even though I’m not. I’m always telling players where to go. I’m responsible for everyone having a great focus before the game. All that matters for me is that we win and everyone else has a good game. This is all I really care about. I don’t care about the stats. Important is also that the guys get better. All the guys respect me which is great. If it would have been about me I wouldn’t have come here. I just want to develop further with them’, warned Paul Albrecht. The club also decided to reel in an import player with rookie William Christmas (196-G-93, college: CPP) who played at Cal Poly (NCAA2). He is a player that might not score the ball as consistently and as much as former players Kam Taylor or Curtis Hollis, but he can be an impact player at both ends of the court and fill the stat sheet with ease. Plus he is a guy with a high character that will fit in perfectly with all.

Will Christmas at Cal Poly(NCAA2)

The team also has many young players that are seeking to continue to develop further. Guys like Bruno Albrecht, Oshane Drews, Nikola Petojevic, Ousmane Ndiaye, and Clint Schonheiter got experience last season with the club. Especially players Albrecht and Drews already showed early signs that they could perform at the Regionalliga level. Albrecht showed he can be an explosive scorer while Drews is considered one of the big talents in German basketball that is being groomed as a point guard. The question will be can they do it at the Pro B level? A big project is Ndiaje where supposedly NBA teams already have him on the radar. He continues to get stronger and the team hopes he can make an impact. It will be very interesting to see where his journey will go this season? One player they could really use at times is 206cm big man Marek Mboya Kotieno. He already played with the club in 2019-2020 and last season was with the Telekom Baskets Bonn and Erfurt getting playing time. This season the club won’t be so big inside and will need him, but the question will be how often he will be available, because he has a double license. Two young guys that the team picked up were high scorer Nicolas Buchholz and talented guard Ralph Honnou from Ludwigsburg. Unfortuntately the latter got injured and will be out for a while. Buchholz was one of the top NBBL (U-19) players in Germany from 2018-2020 averaging 23 and 18 points per game and last season played with Rostock with their second team in the second Regionalliga and even played 4 Pro A games. He has shown in pre season that he can be that reliable scoring option at the Pro B level. There are also three other young youth players that will be looking to get a chance like Robin Straub, Michael Ejumeta and Esli Edigin. Especially many eyes will be on Edigin who Yassin Idbihi is very high on his abilities.

Nicholas Buchholz

So where will the journey of the Dragons Rhondorf lead to this season? They are definitely one of the youngest teams in the Pro B, but have a lot of talent as well. Something new this season is that the Dragons will be playing in the Pro B north. So instead of playing against Frankfurt, Koblenz or Munich, they will battle against teams like Munster, Hamburg or Bernau. Realistically one can’t await a miracle and a 6 game winning streak to begin the season, but one will definitely see a very focused group of guys that will be motivated to win and to get better. It is really difficult to make a prediction for this club. One thing the players and fans will definitely get is a very driven head coach Julius Thomas. He is a guy that has a smile that can light up the room, but don’t let that fool you. He is a coach that knows his X& O’s and has a big heart that wants his players to do well and develop. He is a coach that is just at the beginning of his career, but already has a lot of respect from his peers. ‘Coach Julius is doing a great job. He is only 23 years old. I can hardly believe it. He is at least 35 the way he knows basketball. He knows exactly how to talk to players and the players all have huge respect for him. Even though he is so young he has a crazy work ethic. He is a basketball junkie working everyday trying to make us better. He has made us better. He is just a good coach. For me he is one of the best young coaching talents in Germany’, warned Paul Albrecht. It will be very compelling to see what kind of season the Dragons Rhondorf will have. One thing is for sure win or lose, everybody is just extremely happy that basketball is back in Bad Honnef.

Elijah Allen´s Consistent Hard Work And Studying Of The Game Has Continued To Allow Him To Be Successful Where Ever he Has Played

Elijah Allen (194-PF-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 31 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his ninth professional season and first season with the VfL SparkassenStars Bochum (Germany-ProB): playing 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. In 2019-2020 he played with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaging 16.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 80.2% In 2018-2019 he played with the Tigers Tuebingen averaging 8.8ppg, 3,5rpg and 1,2apg. In 2017-2018 he played with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. 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. He spoke to following the 20-21 season.

Elijah thanks for talking to Where are you and how is basketball life treating you?

Hey Miles, I’m doing good thank you! I am enjoying the summer break and I am in the process of moving from Bochum and preparing for vacation next week.

What would have been the first eatery that you visited had you gone to the States right away back home to Ohio?

Chipotle (Mexican Resturant)

Before we talk about basketball, I have to ask you about COVID. What was the most challenging thing for you in your second season with COVID?

The social aspect was missing a bit.

How can one honestly rate this season with all the drama that went on with COVID? Every team had their problems.

Successful. The team had a goal and found a way to achieve it. It wasn’t easy by any means.

Congrats on an amazing season and reaching the Pro B final and reaching the Pro A. Where does this rank with all your basketball achievements?

Personally it’s great for the club but it doesn’t rank to high for me. I got hurt and missed a bit and with Covid it made everything about this season a bit strange.

How much credit does one have to give head coach Felix Banobre? Is Spain the new sexy in terms of coaching in Germany?

The style of play is different for sure but this team also had a good roster which helped the coach not have to focus on details as much. I think at the next level things will have to be changed a bit depending on the roster.

A big strength of the team was their consistency. Whenever you lost a game you struck back and began another winning streak. Was this team like a family?

Yes, I think the team chemistry has a lot to do with why we won games. Everyone liked each other and there was much respect.

How key was bringing that 8 game winning streak into the playoffs? The team must of felt invincible?

I think it was important. With the roster we had we felt no one in the league could compete with us.

The Muenster series was exciting which Bochum won in three games. What do you feel was the difference in the series?

Mainly I think keeping our composure to win the games. They had a gameplan of playing a bit dirty and we kept focused to achieve our goal.

Let’s talk about your teammates. Seldom do you see two such dominant Germans like Niklas Geske and Johannes Joos. Would the team have won a title without them?

Yes. They are very good players. As Germans the top in pro A and B. I think with this roster we could have also had a good chance without them. It was really a talented team.

Lars Kamp seemed to be in the shadow of Geske and Joos. What did you appreciate most about his game?

Lars is a good player on both ends of the court and works really hard to improve. I appreciate that he never gives up when he makes mistakes and stays humble through it all.

Although he played only 11 games, Marco Buljevic’s leadership is so valuable. Is he still a player that can beat you from downtown at any time of a game?

Marco can really shoot the ball. He is still a threat. He was very busy with work and taking care of his family which is very respectable. Best wishes to him going forward.

There were many young Germans on the team. Which young German do you feel improved the most over the season?

I think Bilski improved the most this season. He could probably have went to another team and had a much better role to show that he can play. I think next season he will put it all together and have a strong year

. Let’s talk about your game. You played only 14 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 76.0%. How would you rate your own game this season despite playing less games?

Unfortanetly I got hurt in the preseason. I did my best and I am satisfyed with my play this year. I did what I had to do to help the team win and stayed positive through it all.

In Iserlohn you had a different role than with Bochum. What kind of player did you become in this big winning culture in Bochum?

In Iserlohn we were not as talented so I had to do much more. In Bochum we had a talented team and found ways to win together.

You shot 45% from outside which was your best percentage as a professional in 9 years. How proud are you that you shot an overwhelming 15/25 from downtown in your return after missing four months?

I’m not surprised at all. I work hard and study the game and get better each year.

Your turning 32 in September. I’m sure you will add a historic 10th season. Not many can say they have played a decade. Is the Pro A the route?

I’m not sure what’s next. My main focus is to get my knee healthy then see what’s next.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer to continue to improve your game?

I won’t workout much this summer. I will use the time to recover and watch film.

Was your 18 point effort in game one against Muenster your favorite personal game of the season?

I would say so. The game winner is probably the biggest shot hit in the history of Bochum. I’m just glad I had a chance to play.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?

Chris Hooper. He goes left every time and its pretty difficult to slow him down without playing very physical.

How powerful was that comment Kwame Brown recently let go about his career and Michael Jordan?

I liked his comments. I don’t get why his name is always spoke about in a negative sense. If you look at his background and where he came from then you would understand his story.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

He is definetly up there. Always liked his game

Where do you see the journey going with Jayson Tatum who recently scored 60 points? Is he a top 10 player in the NBA now?

I think right now its tough to say he is top 10. He is very good but he doesn’t make it on my list

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

I disagree. He is a smart and a wild player and would always find a way to be productive.

Draymond Green recently said that he is the best defender on the planet. Do you agree?

He is supposed to say that. You got to believe in yourself. He is up there for sure.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I haven’t seen the movie yet.

Thanks Elijah for the chat.

Nine Months Ago I Hoped Stanley Whittaker(PS Karlsruhe) Might Play In Germany One Day And My Wish Came True

I have always been a basketball workaholic when it comes to interviewing professional players and writing articles, but when I suddenly learned that I had been struck with Cancer in November 2020, I needed basketball even more to help let me escape my dreaded worries and just keep me busy in the hospital after my first surgery all the way through two more surgeries, 6 Chemotherapies and seven months of hell. I worked harder during Cancer then I had before it and it started as I cranked out articles in November 2020 on ex German Pro A player Orlando Parker, ex Hakro Merlins players Haywood Highsmith and Trae Bell-Haynes and Stanley Whittaker (183-G-94, college: Keiser) who was playing in Austria at the time and tearing up the Austrian league together with another American guard named Richaud Pack. Whittaker was a guy like so many overseas that had to pay his dues for years and was a guy with a huge chip on his shoulder. He never played NCAA ball, but instead had to play in the always brutal JUCO league where absolutely every player has something to prove and then moved up one division to the fourth called NAIA. At Keiser he was very fortunate to play for the legendary coach Rollie Massimino. After a non spectacular rookie season in Lithuania where he only averaged 9.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.7apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 36.4%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 66.7%, he took on a new challenge in Austria playing for UBSC Raiffeisen Graz. Every so often I check other leagues in Europe and was impressed right away with his amazing rise in his game. He finished his second professional season putting up Russell Westbrook stats averaging (21.5ppg), 6.3rpg, Assists-2 (8.0apg), Steals-1 (2.6spg), FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 78.4%. I remember reaching out to him and writing an article called ‘Keeping A Promise For Rollie Massimino Delayed Stanley Whittaker‘s Professional Career But It Was All Worth It’. I remember hoping that his stellar play in Austria would help give him new opportunities and I always believed his game would be suited perfectly for the German Pro A. 9 months later he is playing his third professional season in Germany with Pro A club PS Karlsruhe. Obviously his incredible season in Austria helped him get the contract in Germany, but I would also hope that my article in November 2020 about his dominance in Austria raised some eyebrows of teams in Germany. ‘Yes I believe the article you did on me helped open some eyes of the teams here in Germany. I’m very appreciative for that as well’, stressed Stanley Whittaker. His outstanding season in Austria definitely changed his basketball life. ‘The season I had last season in Austria, playing for UBSC Graz helped open doors and opportunities for me this season currently. So from a opportunity perspective, it helped me continue to my professional basketball career, which I’m grateful for. And pray I can continue to further my career as a professional’, stated Stanley Whittaker.

Before being able to make a new step in Germany with PS Karlsruhe, the American who currently lists 2021 NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist Jrue Holiday where he is seen as underrated by fans, but is the real deal among hoopsters and a top 8 best point guard in the NBA had to make history and beautiful memories in Austria with UBSC Raiffeisen Graz. He was unable to bring a title home to Graz as they lost a tough four game series to Gmunden where he believed could have had better chances of pulling it out. ‘That series was tough, I missed the last 4 games prior to the playoff series against Gmunden. First 2 games of the series were really close, I felt we let those two get away. But credit to Gmunden, they were well coached and very experienced as well’, remembered Stanley Whittaker. Not every player had so much luck during COVID the way the ex Keiser University (NAIA) guard had. There were many players that sat out the season, othrsr got sick, while others had poor seasons. He was blessed in that his team made the playoffs and he belonged to the top 2 players in the league. A secret to his success was simply that he had nothing else to do but concentrate on basketball even if having COVID around didn’t make anything easier. ‘The most challenging thing for me was just Covid itself honestly, really to having little to no social life because I didn’t want to contract the virus or put myself at risk. So that was the most challenging thing for me, just very strict and routine days. But in ways it helped as well, because I was just able to stay inside, study film which plays a big part in my preparation’, said Stanley Whittaker.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Stanley Whittaker in Frankfurt in September 2021

The Philadelphia native who remembers rival Richaud Pack, Qunicy Diggs and Austrian Enis Murati as being his toughest players to battle not to mention teammate Jacob Ledoux every day played 24 games and never took a night off scoring in double figures in every game. He scored 20 points or more in 14 games and was just absolutely overpowering and dominated the league together with Richaud Pack. His professional break out year just showed that he has the ability to explode at anytime, and not only in one game, but over the course of a season having brutal consistency. He didn’t get an opportunity to show in Lithuania what he can do, but proved in Austria that he is the real deal. ‘I think it was just solely opportunity based. My opportunity in Lithuania was minimal. I came to the team pretty late into the season which probably had something to do with limited opportunity as well. In Austria, with UBSC Graz, coach Ervin Dragsic believed in me, extended the opportunity and allowed me to be myself so that helped a lot with my increase in numbers’, explained Stanley Whittaker. He not only improved his scoring as a player immensely, but all of a sudden had Chris Paul like assist stats averaging 8,0 as his highest before that was 6,0 in his last two years of NAIA ball. ‘The game slowed down for me tremendously. From studying film, having a very good understanding of how defenses schemed against our team helped the way I prepared for each game. So being aware attacking points on the floor and putting my teammates in spots where they can excel assisted to my playmaking ability’, said Stanley Whittaker. His best game was a 38 point explosion against Gmunden in a brutal playoff loss, but also hit Vienna for 31 points where he got the best of Richaud Pack in a thrilling 110-109 victory. ‘Richaud is a very good player, I have a lot of respect for his game. I enjoyed the battles with him and Bcgmt Vienna. I remember that overtime battle at our home, we got off to a big lead, Richaud and his team came marching back in the second half taking the lead, then we made our run late in the 4th quarter to take it to overtime. We ended up winning the game in overtime, that game was a classic, very high scoring as well’, remembered Stanley Whittaker.

The big Chris Paul fan who believes it will only get harder and harder for the future Hall Of Famer to win his first NBA crown now starts a new chapter in his basketball life with PS Karlsruhe. Like most players, he has had friends and former teammates and opponents having earned a living balling in Germany so it was only obvious that he got sound advice from them. He received other offers from German teams, but mainly chose to play his first season in Karlsruhe because he had heard good things about the city and about a very ambitious club who wants to go places. The biggest reason though was that the organization believed in him. One could compare the Austrian first league to the Pro A in Germany pretty similar in skill, but the Pro A is still a little step above the competition that he saw last season. The competitive American feels no pressure at all to leave his mark in Germany. ‘I would I like to mimic the season I had in Austria or surpass it? Yes of course, but there’s no pressure. I have a lot of trust in my preparation, my skill set and work ethic’, warned Stanley Whittaker. He is very optimistic about the team this season and knows exactly what he needs to do most with his game on the court. ‘I think we’re pretty solid, people can expect for us to play hard every game, play together, and hope we can win some ball games. The biggest goal with my game that I have is to be a better leader, so I can find ways where I can lead better. I have a continuous craving for just improving and getting better at all aspects of my craft as well’, stressed Stanley Whittaker.

Stanley Whittaker and legend Rollie Massimino at Keiser(NAIA)

The ex Frank Phillips College (JUCO) player who thought the Sequel to Coming To America was ok and thought the story line was ok and laughed throughout the movie will obviously be the main offensive weapon that will have to take responsibility often and score, but at the same time will be in charge of making his teammates look good. One player who he has been raving about and also will have to be a big support block in scoring and rebounding is ex BBL player Maurice Pluskota who played 71 easyCredit BBL games for Bremerhaven, Braunschweig and Giessen and will play his 100th Pro A game with PS Karlsruhe on opening day against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. ‘Mo that’s my guy. He’s extremely talented, has a very high basketball IQ and he’s a true leader. Playing with him has been great, he helps on and off the court. He is a high character guy man’, warned Stanley Whittaker. Another player where the club is hoping for instant production will be Lee Behrend who will be starting his professional career in Germany. Whittaker has a very special place in his heart for him. It’s not everyday that fellow NAIA players can be teammates as professionals. ‘It’s definitely a good feeling to see another NAIA guy playing at a high level here in Germany. Leo is a great guy and great player as well, he gets after it on both sides of the ball. I think he’ll open up some eyes this season as well’, stated Stanley Whittaker. The club also hopes that German second year man Nils Schmitz who played for the FC Bayern Munich U-19 team will be able to make the next step in the Pro A. He has a lot of confidence in the young German. ‘I think Nils has great upside, he’s been getting better every day. He is just a natural who has a great feel for the game in my opinion. He wants to learn and get better, on top of that he works extremely hard. I like his game a lot’, commented Stanley Whitaker. It will definitely be interesting to see how well PS Karlsruhe does this season and how much of a role Stanley Whittaker can play in the success. I remember following Kendale Mccullum’s career in Paderborn two years ago. I remember hoping that he would play in the EasyCredit BBL last season. Instead he went to Finland and continued to mature as a player He helped the Helsinki Seagulls win a cup and had impressive stats. New easyCredit BBL Jobstairs Giessen head coach Pete Strobl liked what he saw and rewarded him with the easyCredit BBL ticket. First let me see how Whittaker kicks into the Pro A and then I will let my wishing take command. Stanley Whittaker has the talent and skill level to be a top Pro A player this season. Maybe my wish will come true again?

Keys To Malcolm Delpeche´s( Bristol Academy Flyers) Consistency Remaining Was His Improvement in His Passing Game And Being An Anchor On Defense

Malcolm Delpeche (204-PF-95, college: Bates)s a 25 year old 203cm forward that was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but also has the British citizenship and completed his fourth professional season and third with the WWW Baskets Muenster averaging 10.0ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 55.7%, FT: 50.9%. In his first two seasons with Munster he averaged 12.1ppg, 6.5rpg, FGP: 55.3%, FT: 59.1% and 10.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 54.5%. He played at Bates (NCAA3) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 100 games. In his senior year at Bates, he played 24 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.5apg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 63.1%. As a rookie he played with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 64.0%, in Mar.’18 moved to Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 12 games averaging 6.2ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.0%. He is playing for the Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) now and spoke to following the 20-21 season.

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

Currently I’m back home in the states. Basketball life is currently treating me well! My body has recovered from the long season and I’ve already picked up my workouts again.

You played a full season during COVID-19. How did you experience this season with all the restrictions and drama of COVID-19 on and off the court?

You could really feel the effect that Covid had on the game of basketball, most evident through the lack of fans. This season the stadiums were silent and it was made quickly clear that each team would be responsible for bringing and maintaining their own energy. Thankfully we as a team were able to maintain a clean record and not suffer from any positive Covid tests that compromised our games. I think that I experienced this season overall pretty well given the circumstances. We were able to complete our regular season and complete our playoff run, not really much more you could ask for there.

What were the biggest challenges for you in getting through this season and trying to have as much success as possible?

I think the biggest challenge was just trying to stay engaged throughout the playoffs. We went through a period where due to positive Covid cases by certain teams we went over a whole month without games in the 2nd round. It was so frustrating and annoying.

It was a very successful season for the WWU Baskets Muenster. But how can one seriously rate a season like this where really each team had their difficulties with COVID-19?

I think that you can still rate the season pretty honest despite the effect Covid had on the season. For me personally I think that with such as season as this the mentally tough teams will be the ones who found the most success despite Covid.

You guys lost a tough three game series to Bochum. You had the momentum going into game three, but lost 97-86. What memories didn’t go away from that loss the days after?

Just the way we struggled to respond to their defensive pressure. They forced us to make a lot of turnovers and capitalized on them. We had a really hard time responding to their pressure.

I guess the regular season means nothing at the end when you don’t win the title. But still how would you summarize the season of the WWU Baskets Muenster? What was your fondest moment?

I think that this season was a really good season with a lot of good to take away from it. We overcame the pressures from Covid and found success with a brand new team (compared to the prior season).

Head coach Philipp Kappenstein continues to do very good work with the club. How have you seen him develop as a head coach in the last years?

I think that he continues to do an amazing job preparing us for our games. Between setting up the best match ups against our opponents, developing a solid game plan, creating effective plays, coach Philip is a master at what he does.

Let’s talk about your teammates. There are so many good guards in the Pro B and one of those is definitely Marck Coffin. How important was he for the success this season?

I can’t speak highly enough about Marck Coffin. He’s a big reason as to why I wanted to re-sign with Muenster this season. Marck has an excellent basketball iq, very skilled, an extremely hard worker, and he’s an excellent glue guy that every team needs. He was a critical factor to our team’s success.

One guy I enjoyed watching early in his career was Cosmo Gruehn. He made huge strides in Muenster the last two years. How is he a different player today then he was on day one in 2019?

Cosmo is an excellent ball player and is extremely talented. If you look at our playoff games against Bochum you can see just a glimpse of his skill for the game and the effect he has on our team. He’s matured a lot during his short career here.

Jasper Guenther took a step back last season from the Pro A and had a very strong Pro B season. How did you see him develop and is the younger brother of BBL legend Per ready now for the BBL?

Jasper is a beast in this league. I think the sky is the limit for him. If Jasper has a desire for the BBL I think that’s the only thing stopping him would be himself.

The club continues to develop many young German players. Which guy do you feel improved the most this season?

I think that it would have to be Cosmo!

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 10,0ppg, 6,9rpg, 1,4apg and 1,0spg. How content were you with your game?

I think that I could’ve managed my fouls better during certain instances in the season but especially in the beginning. I couldn’t stay on the floor certain games which I definitely think hurt my game as well as the team. But for the most part I am happy with how my season went and my production.

You have played three consistent years in Muenster. What has been your secret to being a consistent pro B player?

I think that the biggest secret isn’t too much of a secret, it’s all hard work!

After your first season in Muenster you stated you found ways how to move without the ball to be effective. How do you feel did your game continue to grow in the last two seasons?

I feel like these last 2 years I’ve definitely improved as a passer and being a defensive anchor for the team. Whenever I have the ball I like to see what my teammates are doing off the ball and seeing if I can create an easy scoring opportunity for them. And defensively I think doing the little things like communicating early on screens or directing traffic in our 2-3 defenses.

You had many great games, but was your 20/10 game in the exciting 85-81 win over Itzehoe your most special?

I think for this season, this was definitely the most impactful and memorable game! Everything was going right for me that game.

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the Pro B this season?

The toughest player I faced in the Pro B this season that I faced would probably have to be Chris Hooper, because he’s relentless on the glass and draws fouls really well.

You have played three seasons with the WWU Baskets Muenster. Is this a club where you could imagine remaining and possibly becoming a WWU Baskets lifer?


On what areas of your game will you be working on most this summer to continue to improve your game?

Shooting the ball from 15+ feet. That is the missing key in my game and I feel will make my preferred style of play so much easier and allow me to be even more effective for my team.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

I would definitely rank Chris Paul top 3 TRUE point guards. A lot of players in the league play the point guard position but are not true point guards. Chris Paul has a Lebron-like effect on whichever team he plays for. I won’t be upset if the Suns win it all this season especially since the Lakers blew it.

How have you seen the development of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum? He has scored 50 plus points this season and recently 60. Where will his journey go as a player in the next years?

I think Jason Tatum will eventually lead his team to a championship to be honest. Especially if the Celtics keep their young’s stars together and build around him. Sky is the limit for him.

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

Yes I agree with his assertion, I’m not quite sure Russel’s game will totally transfer here in Europe. I think that he’s still be impactful based on pure athleticism alone, there aren’t a lot of players that would be able to keep up with him. But teams would get wise to his style of play eventually, especially because in Europe teams actually play real defense.

Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?

I don’t agree with that at all. He’s definitely up there, but best all time? Negative.

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I saw it. It wasn’t completely bad. But I think sometimes a classic should remain a classic and be left alone.

Thanks Malcolm for the chat.

A Pair Of Late Three´s From Quantez Robertson Pace The Fraport Skyliners Past PS Karlsruhe 77-74

With the Dog days of pre season in full swing, fans and players of the easyCredit BBL are still two weeks away from the start of the 2021-2022 season. The last two seasons haven´t been easy as COVID has performed havoc so badly and the fans seem to have suffered the most. But after a long wait, fans were finally allowed back into the Fraport arena. Usually the pre season games of the Fraport Skyliners are played in their training facility Basketball City Mainhatten, but the club made an exception with the game against PS Karlsruhe. The organization decided that playing a pre season game in the Fraport arena would be a great opportunity to test their covid game precautions. For the Fraport Skyliners it was nice to play as a team for the first time in their home arena after coming off reaching the final in the REWE Cup in Hagen. But it wasn´t a cake walk for them, but 40 minutes of having to fight for every possession. PS Karlsruhe who only had a 8 man rotation and had top players Maurice Pluskota and Leo Behrend out led for most parts of the game, but couldn´t close the lid on the Fraport Skyliners as key Quantez Robertson three´s, A Lorenz Brenneke bucket and Lukas Wank free throws sealed the pre season victory of the Fraport Skyliners 77-74. “This was an ugly win against a team who fought from the start. We rebounded very well and got good offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds that led to transition baskets. Our defense wasn´t where it has been in practice. We need to communicate and help better”, stressed Quantez Robertson. PS Karlsruhe who were undermanned and aren´t seen as being a Pro A playoff team gave all they had and gave a very spirited defensive effort and with a little more luck on a few possessions could have walked away with the win. “I felt we played good on the defensive end. We stood by our principles. I felt that they helped us out as well with missed shots. I thought we also played well on offense, but need to do a better job getting open”, stressed PS Karlsruhe guard Stanley Whittaker.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Quantez Robertson after the 77-74 win

                The Fraport Skyliners were without four players Reggie Hearn, Bruno Vrcic, Brooks DeBisshop and Len Schoormann. It wasn´t the Fraport Skyliners that’ set the tone in the first five minutes of the contest, but moreover PS Karlsruhe who jumped out on a 11-0 lead. Frankfurt didn´t look like a BBL or Pro A team, but more like a Pro B team where easy mistakes dominated their play. PS Karlsruhe did a fine job getting their offense going and getting many involved. Stanley Whittaker did a fine job with the playmaking while also getting his teammates involved. He opened up the game with a 15 footer on transition, ex Citadel(NCAA) guard Kaelon Harris dropped a trey, ex ratiopharm player Tom Alte scored inside and ex BBL player Ferdinand Zylka who has 76 BBL games on his resume hit a 20 footer. Frankfurt couldn´t establish a good rhythm on offense mainly because they coughed up the ball too much. There was zero aggressiveness and no communication on defense. When things aren´t going well, you should bring in Rasheed Moore. He displayed his ruthless energy and consistency time in and time out last season and against Heidelberg recently getting his team going with buckets and big plays. He connected on free throws and 2021 German Olympian Lukas Wank made a lay in showing his unstoppable athleticism as Frankfurt trailed 11-4. PS Karlsruhe kept on the pressure and lead, but the Fraport Skyliners began to execute better on offense and inch closer. Especially practice player Zaccheus Darko-Kelly who is a rookie and played at Providence(NCAA) brought fire from the bench scoring 5 points. PS Karlsruhe got some key buckets from Tom Alte and a difficult one from Harris who muscled the ball home between two Skyliners. PS Karlsruhe maintained the lead after 10 minutes 21-16. “We played very good defense. We were aggressive, helped well and got some loose balls. That helped us run. They also missed some bunnies”, stated Stanley Whittaker. “We didn´t execute on defense allowing them to get a lot of open looks. They were also more aggressive than us”, stated Quantez Robertson.

                In the second quarter The Fraport Skyliners heightened their game, but still had way too many inconsistent phases where they gave up easy baskets and couldn´t execute solidly on offense. The Fraport Skyliners began very well going on a quick 6-0 run and grabbed their first lead of the game 22-21. The savior as usual when they needed it most was ex wiha Panther Rasheed Moore who hit a trey and scored on transition adding a free throw. Frankfurt defended a lot more aggressively not allowing the opponent into their offensive sets and forced them too bad shots. PS Karlsruhe also opted for more 1-1 play instead of trying to play team ball. Frankfurt then had a down allowing PS Karlsruhe to get the lead back going on a 9-0 run to lead 30-22. Whittaker made a very tough lay in over 221cm center Matt Haarms. “It is normal for me too up against guys like Haarms. I train with a lot of NBA guys. I normally attack the rim, but it was definitely challenging going up against his length”, said Stanley Whittaker. German shooting guard Niels Schmitz also scored as did Zylka. Frankfurt was really missing easy lay ups as Matt Haarms did. You have to wonder what a Quantez Robertson was thinking and when he last saw a bad movie. One thing Frankfurt did well was work in the paint and get rebounds. They got spirited play from Brenneke and young 18 year old Alex Richardson who should become a key player for the farm team in the Pro B, but could get BBL minutes. Both worked hard down low getting rebounds and getting to the free throw line. Their stellar play helped Frankfurt go on a 13-3 run to close out the second quarter and 35-33 lead for Frankfurt having the 26-17 rebound edge. Moore added a lay in and ex Hanau guard Felix Hecker scored on transition. “We were more aggressive and we calmed down and executed a lot better on offense”, added Quantez Robertson.

Lukas Wank hitting free throws to clinch win

                In the third quarter fans saw two clinics from Ferdinand Zylka and Donovan Donaldson, but no one had the lead as the contest was deadlocked at 55-55. Both teams began with three´s as Harris connected from way downtown and Lukas Wank also scored getting the extra pass from Hecker as this was the best ball movement that Frankfurt had shown the whole game up until that standpoint. The Fraport Skyliners led 38-36. PS Karlsruhe grabbed back the lead again going on a 14-7 run as Ferdinand Zylka scored 11 explosive points. He showed his hot shooting and one has to wonder why he didn´t stay in the BBL. Harris also drilled home a three for the 50-45 advantage. Frankfurt got good play from ex Purdue(NCAA) big man Matt Haarms who dished out a quick kick out pass to Donaldson for the trey and then also made a left handed shot. The Fraport Skyliner kept fighting and closed out the third quarter with a 10-5 run led by the 8 points from ex NCAA 2 player Donovan Donaldson. That he can be a productive scorer is nothing new as he showed his range from outside scoring twice and also scored on transition. Despite the two runs, the game was pretty even as neither club could escape away from the other. “Donaldson got us going pushing the fast break and got guys open looks. Zylka shot the ball really well and hit with hands in his face. Every shot he took felt good and went in”, added Quantez Robertson. “Feddy was hot. In the States that means cash money. He shot well, but we expect that from him. They remained in the game because they got offensive rebounds and got open looks”, said Stanley Whittaker.

The Fraport Skyliners celebrating a real team win

                The fourth quarter remained very tight as no team led by more than four points. Frankfurt began quickly going on a 4-0 run getting buckets from Moore and Brenneke for the 59-55 lead, but they just couldn´t slam the door on PS Karlsruhe as they just continued to chip away and get baskets. PS Karlsruhe got baskets from Whittaker who made his usual off balance shot in Kyrie Irving manner and Alte tied the game 59-59 with a transition hoop. Frankfurt got the lead back 61-59 with a Richardson lay in who left a lasting impression with 8 points and 7 boards on 75% shooting. But PS Karlsruhe then got the lead back until the last minutes when Tez flew in. The guests played with a lot of self confidence and executed as Zylka, Whittaker and Harris made big shots for the 67-63 advantage. Frankfurt stayed on the door step of PS Karlsruhe getting support and baskets from Wank and Robertson to cut Karlsruhe´s lead down to 69-68 with 2,48 to play. PS Karlsruhe continued to have stunning plays up their sleeve as Whittaker fed Alte for a beautiful left handed alley-oop dunk for the 71-68 lead with 2,17 to play. “Stan and I have good chemistry. He is a good playmaker and will be one of the best guards in the Pro A this season. He wasn´t totally fit today. When he is he will be trouble”, stated Tom Alte. “Tom is one of the best pick and roll bigs that I have played with in my career. He reads the defense so well and slips when they hedge”, stated Stanley Whittaker. Quantez Robertson saved his best for last drilling home a trey to tie the game at 71-71 with 1,30 to play as he had had the big goose egg after three quarters. Zylka and Wank then traded baskets, but PS Karlsruhe still led 74-73. Frankfurt then struck back retrieving the lead 75-74 with a Brenneke basket who had a solid performance with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. PS Karlsruhe had one last chance for the win, but Whittaker missed and Lukas Wank made two free throws to seal the 77-74 win. “Frankfurt hit big shots and we weren´t focused as much on defense. I had a good look and usually make 100 out of 100 shots. It´s my bread and butter shot. They had a big guard on me so credit to them”, added Stanley Whittaker. “We buckled down on defense and made the right plays. I had good looks at the end. Before that I was running back on defense too quickly. I always feel like all will go in and at the end that is what they were supposed to do”, smiled Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Lukas Wank with 19 points. Rasheed Moore added 12 points and Donovan Donaldson had 11 points while PS Karlsruhe were led by Ferdinand Zylka with 25 points while Kaelon Harris added 17 points and Stanley Whittaker had 14 points and 8 assists. The Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 27% from outside and had 51 rebounds and 20 turnovers while PS Karlsruhe shot 35% from the field and 38% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Derrick Gordon(Romerstrom Gladiators) Believes That Had He Not Come Out That He Would Be in The NBA Today

There are players at age 29 that have played six or seven years of professional basketball, maybe won a few titles and have seen many countries in Europe. Then again there may only be a few other guys that are also 29 and only have a rookie season under their belt, but have had an incredibly moving and rapid life where they could probably write a best selling book about their experiences. One of those guys is Derrick Gordon. He is playing his second professional season in Germany in 2021-2022 for Pro A team Romerstrom Gladiators. He played his rookie season in Cyprus last season. This all sounds like a normal procedure and would be if he was 23 or 24, but he is 29 and has experienced so much in his life before turning professional that he could easily retire tomorrow and just go around the globe doing public speaking about his out of the ordinary life where he would do more than Ok. But he is a professional basketball player and just loves the game and still wants to achieve so much as a player. To put his life in a little nut shell, he had to deal with his twin brother getting into trouble as they were youths, played for three NCAA schools and reached the NCAA tournament with each team, came out in 2014, and dabbled with being a fire fighter and in acting while not playing basketball from 2016-2020. The guy has seen so much in his short life and he most likely must have thought a number of times where he would be today had he made other decisions in his life. His biggest choice in his life was coming out in 2014. It was a time in his life where he was at a cross road in his NCAA career, but choosing to tell the world that he was gay was one that he never regretted. “I truly believe if I didn’t come out I would have been in the NBA right now. But coming out was the best decision I have ever made. Being happy is the most important thing and I didn’t want to live a lie. I always tell people if I could COME OUT everyday I would do so happily and I to help and inspire others to be themselves. It changed my life for the better. Like I said before I don’t have to live a lie. The fact that I’m out and proud and on top am a professional basketball player. There are more positives then negatives. Of course I lost some friends but they weren’t my friends to begin with”, warned Derrick Gordon.

            Derrick Gordon who believes that Lebron James is the greatest player of all-time was born on December 12th, 1991 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He attended St Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He had a troubled childhood in that he had to witness his twin brother Darryl be married to a life of crime as drugs and shooting a man got him five years in prison while Derrick was in high school and throughout his NCAA career. Darryl was finally released from prison when Derrick was enrolled at the University of Massachusetts (NCAA).The whole experience having to see his brother in prison was very difficult as he always carried a photo of them both and also got a Tattoo made over his heart MBK(my brother´s keeper). On top of all the drama with his twin brother, he also had the insecurity of being gay and trying to deal with it as best as possible. Despite him and Darryl having massive hardships in the past, now in 2021 life is great for both, but he will never forget his youth and college years where life was at times unbearable. “I am very close to my twin brother. We talk all the time. He is basically like my other half. It messed me up mentally when he was in jail but now that he is out and doing much better in his life I’m very happy”, stressed Derrick Gordon. The American began his NCAA career at Western Kentucky University (NCAA) in 2011. He had a very solid freshman year playing 35 games for the Hilltoppers averaging 11.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 26.6%, FT: 68.9%. He scored in double figures in 21 games and registered 4 double doubles. In his first NCAA game he scored 25 points in a loss against St Joseph´s going 16/18 from the free throw line. He was the best player on the court that day and held his own against future NBA player Langston Gallaway. He reached the NCAA tournament as a freshman and lost against powerhouse Kentucky 81-66 that had a nonending menu of future NBA players with Anthony Davis, Terence Jones, Michael Gilchrist(high school teammate and best friend), Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Kyle Wiltjer. He held his own scoring 10 points and also remembered vividly which Wild Cat stood out the most to him. “I knew most of those guys were going to the NBA. I felt I could have played much better than I did. But at least if we lost to someone it was to a team that ended up winning the whole thing. Anthony Davis for sure was hands down at that time the best player in college basketball because of his size and what he was able to do”, stated Derrick Gordon. Despite achieving so much in his first year in the NCAA, his future would be elsewhere. “I had a great freshmen year but needed a change and that is how I ended up at UMass Amherst. I knew the sky was the limit and I wanted to prove that”, expressed Derrick Gordon.

Derrick and Darryl Gordon

            The American who got the best of future NBA player Chris Dunn the two times he faced him in the NCAA then played at the University of Massachusetts (NCAA) from 2013-2015. In his first season at UMass he played 32 games averaging 9.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.5%, FT: 52.3%. This was also the peak of his problems that he had with who he was. The whole gay issue was eating at him so seriously that he just didn´t want to hide anymore. He probably could have came out sooner, but he was always waiting for someone else to do it in the NCAA, so he just decided to do it himself. He drew praise from ex NBA player Jason Collins and NFL player Michael Sam for having the courage to come out . “That was a rough year because that was the same time where I was struggling with who I am as a person and it had an impact on my game. Struggling with that was one of the hardest things I went through and that is why I had to come out”, remembered Derrick Gordon. He lost to Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA tournament. In his second season at UMass he played 32 games averaging 9.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 73.6%. Despite all that he went through in his two years at UMass, he was very thankful for having an understanding and helpful coach like Derek Kellog. “He was great, was a great mentor for me off the court too and was their every step of the way with my coming out process”, stated Derrick Gordon. In his last year at UMass he scored in double figures in 14 games including 20 points and 17 points in wins over Fordham.

Derrick Gordon and NBA player Michael Gilchrist

            The American who lists his best teammates of all-time everyone on his Seton Hall team would play one more NCAA season with them and had his biggest achievement winning the Big east tournament. He played 34 games averaging 8.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 58.7%. He was teammates with future NBA player Isaiah Whitehead who he remembered as a very special player and had no hard feelings that he went to the big show and he didn´t. “Everyone is different, Isaiah is a great player and I’m a great player. Everyone’s journey is different”, stressed Derrick Gordon. He scored in double figures in 11 games including 15 points in a win over Providence and 14 points in a win over Dartmouth. He reached a third NCAA tournament and bowed out to Gonzaga 68-52 where he contributed 10 points. “I had a solid game but it clearly wasn’t enough. We played in Denver where it was very hard to breathe there which had an impact on us”, remembered Derrick Gordon. Reaching a third NCAA tournament with three different teams is mind boggling and that record still stands today. “It just shows the type of player that I am and what I can bring to a team. A winning mindset and doing whatever it takes”, warned Derrick Gordon. He was very fortunate to have a coach in Kevin Willard that understood his needs on the floor. “He just wanted me to play hard and let everything take care of itself. He knew the type of player I was and the impact that I had on my last two teams so he really just let me play my game”, added Derrick Gordon.

            Usually after a solid NCAA career, the next step for a player will be the NBA or overseas, but Derrick Gordon who last watched the flick The Conjuring 3 The Devil Made Me Do It just didn´t have a one track mind at that moment, but rather wanted to experience different interests. During the summer of 2016 he announced that he was training to become a San Francisco firefighter. However that new dream was short lived as he left firefighter training after only 2 months and did not complete the training. In 2017 he announced that he was going to make another attempt to play basketball professionally. He hired an agent but did not receive any offers. Later that year he went on to pursue acting and writing. He received his first acting job to play Marshawn in an upcoming movie ‘Conundrum: Secrets Among Friends’ to be released in 2018. The firefighting gig and acting gig were short term and short lived, but all in all, he wouldn´t have traded in those experiences for anything in the world. “I went to the firefighter boot camp in San Francisco which was a great experience. But the more I looked at it I just couldn’t see myself doing it long term. But it did seem cool and amazing at the time I will say that. With acting I had a lead role movie coming up that I was preparing for and then the pandemic hit and stopped everything. I was just getting my foot in the door. I did a pilot in NYC for a tv show which was a lot of fun. I will say this you have to love it in order to stay focused and want to continue to keep doing it. But that’s with anything else right?”, expressed Derrick Gordon.

            After not playing organized basketball from 2016-2020, he finally got the playing itching bug again and coming back in 2020 wasn´t that tough, because he never got lazy in those 4 years, but was a regular visitor in the gym. “I’ve always stayed in great shape, I love working out and I did it more once I stopped playing for those 3 years. It was more getting back to basketball shape which is a bit different and the running and sliding, etc. It took me a couple games to find my mojo”, smiled Derrick Gordon. He played his rookie season in 20-21 with BC Apollon Limassol (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) playing 20 games averaging 12.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.0apg, Steals-5(2.0spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 56.1%. What was really impressive was that for a guy that hadn´t played in four years and had no resume except for the NCAA, was that he was able to land with one of the top agencies in the business with Wasserman. “George David who is my agent and we ran into each other in LA and he knew of my coming out story and stopped me and asked why wasn’t I still playing basketball. Once I did my research on Wasserman I was shocked and pretty impressed to find out how big of an agency they were.  Long story short we both knew the challenges in to getting back into the sport since it was at the time been 3 years since I’ve played basketball. I was able to luck out and get a job offer in Cyprus and played for Apollon Limassol”, said Derrick Gordon Every American who comes over to Europe has a wake up call and for him it was one that many guys struggle with. “Being a single guy and away from family and friends was the hardest thing for me. You miss out on birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It can be rough but it comes with playing professional basketball in Europe”, commented Derrick Gordon. He scored in double figures in 14 games including a 23 point and 20 point games in loses to E.N. Paralimni. For a guy who had been away from competitive ball for 4 years, he definitely had no adjustment period in Cyprus. “I was able to catch on to the style of play there, which didn’t take long. I was more focused on getting back to how I use to play since I took 3 years off. I am curious as to how different it will be once I’m in Germany”, stressed Derrick Gordon. He was also very fortunate to have had some real down to earth veterans on the team with ex NBA player Joey Dorsey and American Jeff Allen who were always there for him. “Joey Dorsey and Jeff Allen both kind of took me under their wing and told me things to expect and how to get through things mentally which I’m very grateful for them doing that”, said Derrick Gordon. One also can´t forget that not only was he able to adapt to basketball after four years off, but he also had no real adjustment time having to deal with COVID as he profited it from it in many ways. “I’m a pretty low key guy so I can be a bit of a home body. I don’t need to be out and about all of the time, my health is the most important thing. When not playing basketball it was a lot of movies and video games that kept me busy. I would say it for sure made me stronger mentally. I’ve been dealing with Anxiety for 2 years now so just keeping myself busy was the most important thing. It made me stronger to stay safe and put my health #1 over everything else”, warned Derrick Gordon.

            Let´s fast forward to 2021 as Derrick Gordon who hasn´t seen the sequel to Coming To America as he is more of a Scary Movie guy is playing his second professional season in Germany with Trier. After a solid season in Cyprus, he didn´t waste any time finding a new team so he wouldn´t have to be worrying in July about where he would be playing. “I´m extremely grateful and thankful. I have such an amazing agent and I´m glad to sign very early. It takes a lot of stress away and I can have a relaxing summer and focus on just working out and getting ready for the upcoming season”, added Derrick Gordon. He also found out rapidly that playing with the Romerstrom Gladiators was a no brainer. “Playing in Germany was always a dream country of mine. The fact that I can play basketball there and experience Germany as well is a dream come true. Talking with Coach Marco Van Den Berg and what he wanted from me as a player and to bring to the team I wanted the same thing. It’s a great opportunity for me as a player and continue to grow”, stated Derick Gordon. He feels no pressure to have to prove himself again and knows exactly what is on his agenda this season with the Romerstrom Gladiators. “I feel after not playing basketball for 3 years and having a decent season I would say isn’t bad. But I have so much more in the tank and what I’m truly capable of doing on the court which I will focus on this summer. I do have personal goals but the main goal for me is to win a championship, that’s what matters the most”, warned Derrick Gordon. When you watch film on him, it quickly becomes apparent that his game resembles that of Russell Westbrook. “I can do a little bit of everything. Shooting, driving, getting my teammates involved. It’s so much that I am ready to show with my game. There are some other comparisons I believe in my game but I will let everyone else decide once they see me play”, said Derrick Gordon. He has a motor that just goes and has the ability to take over a game on both ends of the court. It will be interesting to see this season just how much of an impact he will have on the defensive end. You can expect fierce battles every night when he is on the court. “Stopping the other team’s best player from scoring is what I enjoy most. I guarded a lot of players in my past like Austin Rivers and Kyrie Irving so I feel I can guard anyone”, warned Derrick Gordon. This summer he had a lot of time to continue to grind in the lab as he worked on all areas of his game to become the total package and a guy that can do it all on the offensive end. One thing is for sure, if there is ever a very boring and dull moment in a Gladiators 9 hour bus ride to Rostock, Derrick Gordon will be able to tell enough eye opening stories about life where he will get the young German players thinking about the meaning of life.

John Murry(BSG Grevenbroich) Hasn´t Ever Been As Furious To Win And Tear Up The Regionalliga League As He Is Now

John Murry (192-G-95, college: Austin Peay) is a 26 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis, Indiana that is playing his third professional season in Germany with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). Before that he had experience with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans. He played two years at Owens Community College playing 63 games and two years at Austin Peay State University (NCAA) playing 56 NCAA games and as a senior averaged 16.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to about basketball.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry in Rhondorf in 2019

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

Thanks for having me again. I am currently in Germany, Grevenbroich to be exact,
Down the road from Duesseldorf and Koln. It’s safe to safe basketball is treating me well I have no room to complain.

Basketball life can be so tough. If someone had told you two years ago as you arrived in Grevenbroich that you would play only some games in the next two years what would you have thought?

Well with us having to end our early success last year due to corona with 4 straight wins to start the season, it was tough on us because we were rolling with such good chemistry but with the same focus I believe we can make that happen again this year.

In October 2020 you played against the Lowen, Dorsten and Bonn 2. Because you played only three games, do you remember these games a lot over time?

I remember all 4 games we played last year before the corona shut down and I haven’t missed a beat mentally or physically, when it comes to the game I love, I can pretty much recall anything.

Especially the game against Dorsten was huge where you scored 36 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a big 114-110 win. Do you remember certain moments of this game?

I remember a tough moment right before we went into the 2nd OT, telling our team that our time is now, let’s seize the moment.

You were on your way to becoming a German Regionalliga star. How do you think today would that season have gone for you had you not been injured and had COVID not come?

Can we say ESPN top 10 plays lol but I know everything happens for a reason so I’m excited about the future and what it holds.

How much do you think does not playing professional games for two seasons effect a player’s game? How does not having the competitive games hurt a player’s development?

It hurts a lot of talented players who are gifted beyond measure but can’t play at the highest level because of ‘politics’ there are many players across the entire nation who can compete and hold there own against BBL, pro A, even the NBA and other top leagues in the world but people let little things like ‘politics’ and ‘playing games’ standing in the way of that particular success route. I believe if a player shows that they can play and compete at a high level, they should be given the chance to show it no matter what league it is. Personally I’ve been on the negative side of politics just because like you said people want to see you play games but I feel I’ve proven myself time in and time out to be at one of the highest leagues in any country, I don’t sit on the couch waiting for a phone call, with or without playing games I work hard every single day to get better so I’m ready for that moment when it comes

How did COVID effect you the most in the last two years? What was the most challenging thing for you on and off the court?

Covid affected my team last year because like I said we were on such a hot streak as far as winning goes but at the same time I just used it as motivation to get better and make sure I was ready for the next season.

With all that you experienced during COVID how do you feel did it make you stronger as a man?

Covid taught me to live in the moment, never take anything for granted and remove all probable situations out of my life, for example once I took the should of, could of, would of out of my daily routine, I could feel myself getting better mentally and physically. Covid taught me that instead of talking about what you should do just stop talking about it and actually be about it.

Did you have contact to your teammates like Moritz Krume or Jonathan Coles or other guys during the Pandemic? Did it sometimes help to talk about things during the hard times?

Yes those guys were along the same lines with me to get better and it really was messed up we couldn’t continue together but they seem to be in good spirits, really proud of those guys.

In those four games you played against talented American guys like Jeremy Lewis, Lavon Hightower and Mark Gordon. How much do you miss the battles against players like these?

I miss it like it crazy. Sometimes it’s hard to sleep not playing because that’s the release of energy you get when playing against top players in the league, they also bring the best out of me as a competitor which makes me better in the long run.

You had a lot of time to grind and work on your craft in the lab. Did you try to do things differently with the time you had that you may not have done had COVID not hit in terms of certain drills not to let the whole training get monotonous after one and a half years.

You can quote me on this: I will NEVER stop getting better, no matter what’s going on outside Covid taught me to grind without excuses and get better EVERY single day and yes this was different I worked smarter, got faster, more flexible, and stronger in my lower center of gravity, I took what Covid meant to corrupt and used it as correction to better myself for the future.

Did you work on certain area’s of your game or did you grind on all parts? Talk a little about the type of work outs you had in the last year and a half?

My workout consisted of starting on the track getting faster getting my takeoff stronger getting my takeoff more consistent making my lateral movement more durable creating a better vertical jump also a quicker vertical jump I also worked on my shot being more consistent at the three-point line defensively keeping people out of the paint also making sure that I worked to a certain level everyday and I didn’t take days off. Most people take vacations to relax, I only took vacations this past summer to grind in a different area codes. No matter how many games I’ve played on paper, I know for a fact I can perform at any level in any league, against any players. I’ve most definitely put the work to do so and say so.

Were you able to practice with other players? And if so were you able to match up against high level guys from the NBA?

Yes indeed, where I’m from everybody is a high level guy and there are a lot of current and former NBA players that I went against everyday, this is another reason I know for a fact I can perform at a high level.

How much are you looking forward to playing with Grevenbroich again? How does the roster look like this season?

The roster is looking excellent and I’m ready to play now more than ever I feel like people are waiting for me to play games which is how it goes but like I stated previously no matter how many games played on paper, I’m always ready to compete and win at a high level in real life.

I expect that you will probably have the same role the last two years ago as the go to guy. Do you feel even more motivated to tear up the league after not playing for so long?

I haven’t been this furious to win and tear up the league ever in my life, I feel like it’s now or NEVER and I’m beyond ready!!!!

Did your chip grow on your shoulder even more over the past two years? How heavy is your chip at the moment?

It’s so heavy it weighs me down at night when it’s time to sleep, I’m just ready to get out on the floor and show people I can perform no matter where I’m the world I am.

Did you watch the 2021 NBA finals. Should one call Chris Paul a chocker? Four times his team led 2-0 in the playoffs in his career and he couldn’t get the series win.

As you get older you understand more and more about basketball and see how people react to winning, I believe he will get his ring before it’s all said and done

Has there been a worse free agency for a player the way Dennis Schroeder went from getting a four year 80 million deal with the Lakers to only 6 million from the Celtics?

I’m sure he and his representatives did what was necessary for the best situation in his regards. We don’t know everything as spectators and there is always 2 sides to every story

Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

Not really sure the purpose but I feel it was great entertainment and a good storyline to keep the first movie apart of history.

Thanks John for the chat.

The Miles Basketball Minute: It Seems Just Like Yesterday When Quantez Robertson(Fraport Skyliners) Was Chasing Derrick Allen In Training Camp

Every August if your strolling around the shopping mall at Nordwest center where Basketball City Mainhatten is where the Fraport Skyliners train, then there is a very good chance you might bump into Skyliner legend and identity figure Quantez Robertson (188-G-84, college: Auburn, agency: Interperformances). The athletic guard just keeps coming back every late summer and the 2004 BBL champion Fraport Skyliners are more than thrilled that he has never wanted to wear another jersey. Entering the BCM training facility for the first time for Quantez Robertson was in September 2009 and for him it seems like it was yesterday as he had no problems remembering specific events that happened those first few weeks when he was a member of the then Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Back then there was probably absolute no one that could have predicted Tez staying so long in Frankfurt except for maybe Turkish head coach Murat Didin who was running the Frankfurt ship then and was instrumental in the Ohio native coming to Frankfurt. I personally remember seeing Tez for the first time in the BCM sitting in the lower stands and being very shy. Boy would that shy persona never become evident on the court. He actually had a short term contract of only three months which then was prolonged during the season until the end. Tez remembers that first week as if it was yesterday. ‘I remember Frankfurt playing Maccabi Tel Aviv, but I didn’t play. We then traveled to Strasburg, France where I played my first game. A week later the season started. I over packed. I brought a lot of bags not knowing how long I would stay. It was cold and I had shorts on. The team was looking for a combo guard. Aubrey Reese put in a good word for me and the rest is history , smiled Quantez Robertson. One teammate that he will never forget is Derrick ‘Mr Ballerina’ Allen. Right away he got an introduction to what work ethic and energy was really all about. ‘D.A really took care of his body. He was always running and never got tired. He rarely took water breaks. He didn’t only run all day, but also talked all day. He was always telling us what to do and also got on us when we messed up. It was always a challenge defending him on ball screens, because he was so quick. He got so many open slips for easy lay ups’, remembered Quantez Robertson. Very rarely does a player not take himself in a one on one. Even now 12 years after being teammates with Derrick Allen and having battled him more than a dozen times as opponents, he would still take himself, but it won’t be a one sided game against the retired player who is now coaching Rasta Vechta. Of course I would win, but it would be a very close game’, smiles Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Derrick Allen in 2008 in Frankfurt

Quantez Robertson is in his 13th training camp and so far the Fraport Skyliners have left a fine impression about how the team could function properly this season. They beat teams like Bochum and Giessen, but then also lost to Heidelberg and Wurzburg. One can’t expect wins to be served on a golden platter, but one thing that one has noticed that defensively the team isn’t allowing a lot of points even if defensive specialist Quantez Robertson isn’t satisfied yet with the defensive qualities. ‘We are still getting used to how to play with each other. We are also still looking for our spots, but we are coming together. We aren’t talking on defense yet the way we did before, but that will come with familiarity. We have a lot of size so it looks like we will play inside more. Coach wants us to shrink the court’, added Quantez Robertson. The philosophy of new Spanish head coach Diego Ocampo isn’t only to develop a fine line on the defensive end, but also other things and the athletic freak is like an extended arm of the coach on the court. ‘Coach wants us to always get out on transition and try to get easy baskets. He likes that up tempo style and wants us to get the easiest shot in the first 8 seconds. If that doesn’t happen then set something up in the half court offense. Our bigs have been rotating well and playing well on the pick and roll defense. I try to relay what he wants on the court. But in general he wants us to call our own plays and just play’, warned Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners haven’t made the playoffs for a few years now, but when your Quantez Robertson you want to make the playoffs every year. ‘Reaching the playoffs isn’t a stretch. We need to fight each game. It hurts that we lost Bruno Vrcic, but I still think we are deeper with our German players than other years. If we can execute our game plan and play hard, I feel like there could be a good chance of reaching the playoffs’, stated Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Fraport Skyliners head coach Diego Ocampo in 2021

Like every new season players come and go and this off season with a new head coach brought in, the organization did a house cleaning. The only key players to remain were Quantez Robertson, Rasheed Moore, Len Schoormann, Richard Freudenberg and Bruno Vrcic. The last missing puzzle piece was sharp shooter and ex NBA player Reggie Hearn. It will be interesting if he can become that first scoring option the way Matt Mobley was last season. It may not be easy at first as he played his whole career in the G-League and the Skyliners are his first team overseas. ‘He is very strong and gives us another big wing. He isn’t just a good shooter, but can also play defense. He is a great scorer. If he becomes that first scoring option depends how we start off games and if coach wants that’, explained Quantez Robertson. The last few years, the big man game wasn’t as in force with the Fraport Skyliners, but that should change this season. With rookie ex Purdue (NCAA) 221cm center Matt Haarms, and raw 206cm player Brooks DeBisshop, the team have some interesting talent. It will be interesting to see how Diego Ocampo can shape them into solid easyCredit BBL players. ‘Haarms and Debisshop obviously still need to get used to the physicality of the BBL, but they are getting there. They are doing a good job hedging out another thing that they haven’t been used to. Haarms does a good job passing out of the pick and roll and DeBisshop is rotating well and is tough and will take that elbow to the chest. He has said that he doesn’t only want to be the best rebounder on the team, but also in the league. He has rebounded very well so far’, warned Quantez Robertson. Another very interesting player to watch is young German Lorenz Brenneke that grew up in the Alba Berlin system. He is a guy that won the NBBL title with guys like Franz Wagner, Malte Delow and Jonas Mattissek and has been around great talent his whole life. He is another guy that will probably get extended Pro B minutes, but also should be able to slip into the BBL rotation. ‘He could play at the position four or even at the three. He has been playing against Rasheed Moore a lot in practice. It will always depend how big we play. He is strong and bangs on the block and can defend’, added Quantez Robertson.

One thing that the Fraport Skyliners have seldom lacked in the last ten years has been having talented point guards that have been successful in a Frankfurt jersey, Guys like Dashaun Wood, Justin Coobs and Jordan Theodore left their mark for the Fraport Skyliners. But what kind of fate will new point guard Donovan Donaldson have? He has had solid professional seasons, but in lower leagues. The easyCredit BBL is a step up and it will be interesting how well he can play and how rapidly he will get adjusted to the speed, physicality and competition? ‘I believe that he can make the next step. He isn’t a straight up point guard. He can score very well, but he needs to take that playmaking role first and then look for his shot. There will be times when he will have to score right away. He can shoot the ball very well off the pick and roll’, warned Quantez Robertson. It will also be interesting to see how some of the other German players do. Len Schoormann is looking to make another step this season and looks a tad stronger, while 2021 German Olympian Lukas Wank is looking to have an important role and with the injury to Bruno Vrcic, his role will be bigger while for Alex Richardson his time may still be a little too early to break into the big man rotation. ‘Len has been shooting the ball lights out in pre season. You can tell that he has been working on his shot a lot. He will be more of a back up point guard, but coach wants him to play shooting guard. I really like how calm Lukas is in certain situations. He doesn’t rush getting into plays or getting to the rim. He is a great defender that can guard the positions 1-3. He is versatile and can shoot the ball well. He could possibly be our starting point guard. Alex will play more for Pro B team. But you never know, but he could step in for us if he keeps practicing hard and shows progression’, said Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson at the 2010 BBL allstar game in Bonn

So what kind of a player will we see with Quantez Robertson this season at age 36? Being that impact defender is a given, but he also is looking to be a force on offense and bring even more stability to the team scoring. ‘I want to be more of an offensive threat this season and shoot better’, warned Quantez Robertson. The risk of him getting burned out or getting injured of playing excessive minutes could be cut down this season simply because head coach Diego Ocampo will be subbing in and out as quickly as a John Patrick does with his playing style. ‘I will do whatever it takes to win even if it means playing a lot. But the way coach has had the rotation going, I might not need to play 36 or 35 minutes per game. He wants to keep fresh guys in as much as possible’, stressed Quantez Robertson. Last season under new Hakro Merlins Crailsheim head coach Sebastian Gleim, Tez averaged 32 minutes per contest. That Tez has always wanted to moonlight as a point guard isn’t a secret. So often over his career, he has come in and helped with the playmaking. Last season he dished out 5 assists or more in 8 games including 9 dimes against Chemnitz. Having that passing mentality is something that won’t ebb this season. ‘Being able to find guys and look for the open shot will be beneficial. I think that being able to make good decisions on the pick and roll will also help the team’, added Quantez Robertson. Tez has belonged to the best defenders in the easyCredit BBL his whole career and even at age 36 he can get up and down the court with anyone even the young bucks. When you have been a great defender the way he has, it never gets old annoying offensive players on the floor. ‘You will continue to see me attached to guy’s hips and read the offensive guys eyes on the weak side and continue to rack up steals’, warned Quantez Robertson. I reached Tez on a Tuesday night and he was in good spirits. 9 Hours earlier the German Basketball federation announced that his ex coach Gordon Herbert who he played 8 seasons for was named new German national coach. ‘I was shocked when I heard the news, but at the same time very happy. I sent him a message right away. I believe that he will have success with them. He has coached NBA guys before and I think that he will run the team the way when he helped the Toronto Raptors. I am pretty sure that he will have a different game plan, but he will get the best out of the players’, warned Quantez Robertson. One thing is for sure that Tez won’t be moonlighting for the German national team even if Gordon Herbert wouldn’t of minded it at all. ‘Gordy told me I should of got my German Passport’, laughed Quantez Robertson. It is probably better for the Fraport Skyliners that he doesn’t moonlight, because they need all of Tez’s energy for them this season.

The easyCredit BBL Allowed Terrell Harris To Become A Versatile Offensive Scorer With Deadly Range

Terrell Harris (191-G-93, college: Georgia Coll., agency: Players Group) is a 27 year old 190cm guard from Indiantown, Florida that finished his fifth professional season and second with the NINERS Chemnitz (Germany-ProA) averaging 11,4ppg, 3,3rpg and 3,9apg. He will play his sixth professional season with the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim. In 2019-2020 in the Pro A with the Ninners he averaged 14,1ppg, 2,6rpg and 5,0apg. In 2018-2019 he played with the Rostock Seawolves (Germany-ProA) averaging 13.6ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 66.3%. Three seasons ago he played with the Svendborg Rabbits (Denmark-Ligaen) playing 24 games averaging 17.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 71.6%. In his rookie season he played with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB) averaging 18,1ppg, 4,3rpg and 1,8apg. He started his basketball career at Mars Hill (NCAA2) in 2011 and then moved to Georgia College in 2012. As a senior he played 29 games averaging 24.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 76.8%. He concluded his college basketball career winning the All-PeachBelt Player of the Year 2016. Harris spoke to about the 20-21 season.

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

Miles hope all is great, I just returned to South Florida 4 days ago just been enjoying family time and healing my body mentally/physically.

What is the first eatery that you sought out when you landed back in the

I been to a couple places for some hot wings, hard to find those in Germany.

Before we get to basketball, we have to talk a little about COVID-19. You played a whole season with it. What was the most challenging part for you on and off the court?

This entire year was just insane dealing with COVID, we were one of the unluckiest teams this season in the BBl due to COVID. Having to quarantine during the season was tough because you’re entire flow and rhythm was interrupted. It was hard to come back and find your momentum against teams like Ludwigsburg fresh out of quarantine. Off the court it was tough due to not be able to visit cities or go into the city to sit down and relax from time to time just to get your mind of basketball a little.

How highly can one honestly rate the season of the NINNERS Chemnitz with all the COVID drama that the team went through?

On a scale 1-5 I would say 2. Yes we been through COVID a few times but we still had opportunities to make the playoffs. For the club we stayed in the league but in my eyes we underachieved with the talent level we had. A lot of us could’ve played better in stretches including myself. We just didn’t figure it out like I thought we would’ve. We were playing great basketball in February then things went south from there.

Congrats on a solid 12-20 season for the NINNERS Chemnitz. If the season would have had fans, how many games do you feel would the team have won?

Who knows how many games we would’ve won, Chemnitz for sure have some of the best fans but at the end of the day the fans can’t score baskets for you neither play for you. I’m sure a lot of teams felt like they would’ve won more with fans but who knows.

How would you summarize the season. The team started slow and finished slow but had good moments in between. Despite all the problems with COVID how would you summarize the team

This season in my eyes was like a C average C- to me. We had a lot of talent but we didn’t play up to our abilities every night as a whole. COVID didn’t make it any better but that’s still no excuse. I felt like we had the team to make the playoffs. We proved at times we could play with some playoff teams.

The club had some amazing wins like the weekend back to back upsets of Bamberg and Munich and sweeping Hamburg. What do you believe was missing from the team being able to put up more wins?

I wouldn’t say surprising wins. We should’ve beat Bamburg the first game but we lost a close one. Also in Munich we should’ve won but we fouled a shooter up 1 with 5 seconds to go also with fouls to give. I also felt like we just matched up against Hamburg very well and it showed. We tend to play to our competition for the most part, the focus was there more when we knew Hamburg and a team like Munich was in the building. We would play against Munich and Hamburg with fight then go on the road and lose by 20 to Vechta. I still don’t understand that.

How do you feel did head coach Rodrigo Pastore make another step as a head coach with his first season in the easyCredit BBL?

Coach Rod was growing like all of us in BBL, it was his first year so I’m sure experience will be his teacher moving forward. He handled the first year ok, I’m sure it’s somethings he thought he could’ve did better, it was a learning process for all of us.

How much of a pleasure was it balling with ex NBA player George King? He also had a very friendly character. What did you learn from him on the court and how did his positive self impress you most?

George is a very good player who is talented. He has a NBA body, athleticism, and he’s probably the best shooter I played with. When he gets hot he can score in bunches. He took some time to adjust to the Chemnitz offense but after a while we learned we have to let G be himself and he had some big games for us. He’s even a better person off the court. Always on time, the first one to the gym before everybody and he was a very funny person off the court filled with positive energy.

Isaiah Mike had a very solid season and continues to make strides. How do you feel did the BBL help his game grow most?

Isiah is a special talent. He can really play. He was basically a senior in college playing first division in Germany. He for sure held his own. He’s NBA athletic, can shoot the three, and play multiple positions. He was a vital part to our team. The sky is the limit for him. Someone will be lucky to have him.

Ex NBA player Marcus Thornton left the club with unending amazing memories. Did you cringe at his shot Technik at the first day of practice or did you know right away that he would be special?

I didn’t pay too much attention to his shot as long as it went in I could careless. Marcus is a great guy off the court. One of the coolest and chill teammates I ever been around. He’s for sure one of the best scorers I ever played with. He’s pretty much unguardable one on one. When he’s hitting his shot you can forget about it. Someone will be lucky to have him next year, he saved us a lot this season. He didn’t get enough credit for that.

What young German player do you feel made another huge step this seasn and was most improved?

We didn’t really have any young Germans all these guys are of age now. Nick and Jonas had very solid seasons for us.

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 11,4ppg, 3,3rpg and 3,9apg in your first full BBL season. How content were you with your season?

I was just ok/average in my eyes. I know that I could’ve done better. I have big expectations on myself.BBLfor sure taught me some things that I will work on this summer to come back better next year.

You have improved many things as a player the last four years like rebounding and playmaking as well as outside shooting. How do you feel did the easyCredit BBL’s intensity and skill level help you become more of a versatile player?

The BBL just makes you think faster and have a plan B, the IQ level stands out the most because veterans guys just know how to play. Pro A was easy so I just blew by people with speed, ending the season last year I knew I had to work on my 3 ball because the physicality and IQ at the BBL level would make it harder for me to get to the the rim. At the guard position in the BBL to be successful I think you have to be able to play make and hit shots to be successful.

Last season you said that playmaking and knowing when to score and when to create improved. What do you feel improved most this season in the BBL?

I felt like I improved my shooting more. The best I shot the ball my entire career. I was a deadly midrange shooter and get to the basket type of guy but now I opened up my range. I’m very excited to have this summer to put it all together now.

You shot a crazy 48% from outside. The best in your college and professional career. Was there anything else that can be credited to this huge step besides repetitions and shot selection?

I honestly only worked on my 3 ball last summer and finishing at the rim. Next year I will continue to get up more attempts per game.

You had solid games in the big wins over Bamberg and Munich, but was your 18/11 game in the exciting 98-97 most memorable personal game of the season?

The most memorable game for me was home vs Munich 4th quarter I scored 8 straight with 4 minutes to go and DJ finished them off with a buzzer beater. I say most memorable because we had to be separated with 6 mins to go in the 4th. They were up 12 and started to talk a lot. Then things turned around quick.

Who was the toughest BBL guard that you battled against this season?

The BBL had a lot of tough guards to battle this year. I like playing against Jaleen since pro A days, vey good player, Bell-Haynes very good player, also Matt Mobley. Those guys were very good offensively.

On what area’s of your game will you be working on most this season to continue to move up the basketball ladder?

We have a full summer if things being open now so I can get back to working on my body like I want to. I want to work on ball handling, my 3 ball as in staying consistent, and getting my first step back and pop back off the dribble.

Many guys have debated Lebron vs Steph in the MVP debate this year. Who should be MVP?

I haven’t kept up with NBA this year. I watch a lot of euro league and eurocup. I can’t really say who deserves the MVP. All those guys are great.

How good is Devin Booker. Where does he rank right now in today’s NBA? Is he only top 10 or top 7? Or is he even better?

D. Booker is very good always been talented he still somewhat young so I’m sure he will get even better. I don’t do the ranking thing because it takes away from all their greatness.

How did you react when you heard Kwame Brown’s words referring to his career and how he was treated by Michael Jordan?

I didn’t hear what Kwame said about Jordan. Just a few things about Gilbert Arenas.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Judas and The Black Messiah. Greta movie you should watch it.

Thanks Terrell for the chat

After Two Tough Years In Israel David Cohn´s Marathon Continues Seeking His Professional Break Through With The wiha Panthers Schwenningen

How often have you heard that well known phrase in Basketball circles “that player just hasn´t been able to make the adjustment to overseas ball yet”. It is one that often happens and at times is as frequent as it for new Americans coming across the Atlantic and getting travel after travel calls. Of course there are also players that come over and have no difficulty like a Rasheed Moore who became a legend in Schwenningen or a Kendale Mccullum who tore up the NCAA 2 with Lewis and then did the same in the German Pro A with Paderborn becoming the third top scorer of the league as a rookie and top assist leader. New wiha Panther David Cohn wants to finally land some long lasting memories in the Pro A as well with his new club in Schwenningen. After an incredible career at William & Mary where he made a prosperous development and put his name in the NCAA record books landing in the very prestigious 50/40/90 group, he came overseas in 2018 with high expectations, but was disappointed in Israel as he was unable to make an impact as he just didn´t get a chance as getting the kind of minutes that he got in the NCAA were as sparse as the kind of dough Dennis Schroeder is getting this season with the Boston Celtics. It is always refreshing to hear positive words coming out of a player´s mouth after having suffering through an uneventful experience, but that just shows the kind of character that David Cohn has. “Of course you always want to play the whole game like in NCAA, it wasn’t easy as any competitor would tell you, I don’t like not playing especially when I know I can help the team and had proven I help the team. I used that as motivation to get better and stay focused on the long term goals of mine, it’s a marathon”. Warned David Cohn. After two tough years in Israel David Cohn´s marathon continues as he is looking for his professional break through with the wiha Panthers.

                David Cohn who lists Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell as his toughest foe in the NCAA was born on March 28th, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. He began his basketball career at York Community high school. He left his mark there averaging 22/5/5 as a junior and 17/5/3 as a senior and was an all state selection both years. He finished his illustrious career scoring 1,600 points and his best scoring game was netting 47 points. He then commenced his NCAA career at Colorado State in 2013. He played 31 games averaging 3,9ppg and 1,2apg while averaging a solid 15 minutes as a freshman. He scored in double figures in three games including 15 points a piece against Colorado Springs and Prairie View A&M. Even if he was only there for a year, it was a time that still benefited his game. “The Mountain West was a top 5 conference in the country at the time, it was an amazing experience there I loved CSU. I learned more that year than any other, I had learning curves. I had a lot of ups and downs that year like any college freshman. Thankfully I made the right choice to transfer from there to a much better fit and situation at William and Mary”, remembered David Cohn. He then attended William & Mary from 2014-2018 and sat out his first season because of transfer rules. Coming into a new situation and not being able to play at all is never easy, but a majority of players that experience it are always thankful of having done it. For Cohn it was vital especially learning from future Boston Celtic NBA Draft pick and current medi Bayreuth guard Marcus Thornton. “My red shirt year was huge for me, sitting out learning, watching and competing against Marcus was awesome. He taught me a lot, I tried to be a sponge around him. We are much different players but I tried to take what I could from him”, stated David Cohn.

            The American who always has Michael Jordan as the greatest of all-time in his book, because he is a Chicago boy finally got a chance right away at William & Mary in 2015-2016 playing 31 games and averaging 9.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.6apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 83.5%. He scored in double figures in 15 games and had 23 points and 21 points in wins over Delaware and UNC Wilmington. He finished the season very strong scoring in double figures in seven of his last eight games. That season he had the second-best assists per game percentage in the Colonial Athletic Association (4.6), and the third-best free throw shooting percentage (.835). In his junior year he played 31 games again averaging  6.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 73.1%. He scored in double figures in five games including 18 points in a tough loss against North Carolina Wilmington. He had the fifth-best assists per game percentage in the CAA (4.5). He made a massive jump as a senior playing 30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 6.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 91.2%. He was the top best assist maker in the CAA and was 11th best in the entire NCAA. He also had the best free throw percentage in the CAA (.911; fifth-best in the NCAA), was second-best in steals per game (1.6), and sixth-best 2-point field goal percentage in the CAA (.605). Even many years after, he still has much delight in remembering his time there. “I cant express how much I loved my four years at William and Mary. The coaches and teammates were amazing; I was just comfortable and confident. I played my game and it led to success, everyone bought in to what I brought to the table. It was lots of fun and we won a lot of games. My senior year was a historical year for me individually and as a team, we still have a lot of NCAA records that stand. We always say that is the best offensive team in NCAA history, we scored a lot of points at a really high efficiency”, commented David Cohn.  He scored in double figures in 20 games and hit Charleston for 30 points and netted 26 points twice against Drexel. He had so many memorable games in the NCAA including 25 points against Hofstra, but there is one game that he will never forget. “My senior night and last home game at William and Mary vs College of Charleston who had 3 NBA players on that team I had an excellent game. I had 30 points on 12 shots and 9 assists against them, it was a fantastic environment at Kaplan that day. It was something you dream about as a kid, I wouldn’t trade that for the world”, warned David Cohn.

             In basketball there are so many amazing feats like achieving a rare triple double, or  scoring 50 points, all things that are so difficult to do, but there is something that is even more uncommon. Cohn was the only player in the nation, out of 351 Division I teams, who shot at least 50% from the field (52.9%), 40% on 3-point attempts (42.6%), and 90% in free-throw attempts (91.2%). He is one of only ten NCAA players to have joined the division one men’s basketball’s 50-40-90 club since 1993. “ It is probably my greatest accomplishment as a player. There were over 4,000 division 1 players that year in college basketball and I was the only one to accomplish that feat. Only 8 people since 1993 have done it, so I am in some great company. It was a great year, I am happy that I did it´s something no one can ever take away from me”, stressed David Cohn. His hard work daily as well as battling Matt Milon up and down the court and winning the one on one duels were key for his development at William & Mary, but he wouldn´t be where he is today without the focused guidance from head coach Tony Shaver. “Coach Shaver and his staff Jonathon Holmes, Kotie Kimble and Austin Shaver were awesome. I have great relationships with them to this day. They prepared me in more ways I can even thank them for, Coach Holmes and Kimble really went the extra bit to make sure I was the player they believed I could be”, added David Cohn.  

            The pass first point guard who lists Steph Curry, MJ, LeBron, Dirk and Kobe on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore began his rookie season in 2018-2019 with  Hapoel Eilat (Israel-Winner League) playing 34 games averaging 1.5ppg, 1.4apg. He averaged only 7 minutes per game and really was unable to show his abilities the way he would have liked. He played against many top teams and players including Euroleague power house Maccabi Tel Aviv playing a total of 10 minutes and scoring 3 points in the two games. He battled against some great players like Scottie Wilbekin, Tarick Black and future NBA player Deni Avdija. Even if he didn´t play much he couldn´t have asked for a better experience then getting his feet wet in professional basketball in Israel. “Being in Israel was a heck of an experience, I wish the basketball worked out better there because the country is amazing. We were really good that year losing to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final four by 1 point. I backed up Avi Ben Chimol who was the league leader in assists like 5/6 seasons in Israel. I feel like I excelled in my role as back up PG, I led the Israeli Premier league in AST/TO ratio at 4/1 and was 3rd the league in AST per minute. There just was not that much opportunity, but we loved each other as a team and really played well together”, stressed David Cohn. He was also fortunate to discover a very raw Elijath Bryant who would write his own personal Cinderella story only two years later with the Milwaukee Bucks. “I can’t say enough good things about Elijah, we are still very close friends and I was able to go to 7 NBA playoff games of his this year. I am so happy for him, no one deserves it more than him. He works harder than anyone I know and has the mental strength superior to anyone. We had talks back in Eilat about what we hoped our career paths would be, his came to fruition. Again, I am thankful that he is still one of my close friends we have a great relationship that will last a life time, I don’t doubt anything he says”, warned David Cohn. In his second season in Israel he played with  Maccabi Hunter Haifa  (Israel-Winner League) playing 9 games averaging 1.6ppg. His playing time decreased there to 5 minutes per game. He played against Maccabi Tel Aviv again and this time was on the other side playing against his good friend Elijah Bryant and met some other ex NBA players on the floor with Othello Hunter and Quincy Acy. Obviously playing against top competition daily was a plus in his development even if he wasn´t allowed to show it in games. “I got one start that year and played well. I felt, along with other people on the team and in that organization that I should have had a much bigger role on that team. Unfortunately politics and other issues got in the way, it was frustrating but it happens in this business. I learned to keep my head down and work eventually I will get the right opportunity, stay patient it will all workout. I believe in my ability, and that is the most important thing”, stated David Cohn. He also was introduced to ex Boston Celtic James Young´s game daily and couldn´t believe he wasn´t in the NBA anymore. “James is a phenomenal player, and a great guy. We spent a lot of time together that year hanging out and getting dinner and what not. He is a heck of a talent who I think should be in the NBA”, expressed David Cohn.

            After sitting out a season the great free throw shooter who lists Elijah Bryant, Omar Prewitt, Terry Tarpey Nathan Knight and James Young as his best teammates of all-time hopes that three will be a charm in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Of course he is blessed that he has a new opportunity to show case his game even if the last year and a half wasn´t easy with COVID. “COVID was a difficult time for everyone, and it really made me reflect on how precious things were pre-COVID. COVID taught us and me in particular not to take anything for granted because you really miss the daily activities and seeing people that you see all the time. Of course there were a multitude of challenges to face, but thankfully we got through it and excited to move forward. I had amazing people supporting me and I am just thankful to have society return mostly to normalcy and excited to be playing basketball again”, stressed David Cohn. Making the decision wasn´t difficult because there were many positive factors that helped him make his decision. He had heard only good things about the country especially with it´s beauty, but he also had heard about how well respected the easyCredit BBL is and that it belongs to the top leagues in the world and that the Pro A is also a strong league and keeps getting better. It also didn´t hurt that his two ex William & Mary teammates Omar Prewitt and Justin Pierce would also be coming to Germany to play in Bamberg and Ulm. Of course he then had his chat with head coach Alen Velcic and then everything fell into place and clicked. “I had a great conversation with Coach Alen Velcic, my agent and family. This just seemed like the best choice to play in a great league in a great country and have the opportunity to compete for a championship. I’m excited to get started working towards that ultimate goal. Coach Velcic is a great guy who is very passionate about the game and knows his stuff. He seems like an excellent competitor and someone who will coach you 100 percent, 100 percent of the time and wants to win at all costs. I love that and I’m ready to go to war with him”, warned David Cohn. He replaces American point guard Lamonte Beardon who couldn´t full-fill expectations in pre season. It won´t be easy for Cohn to come in late, but he will be prepared. “I’m very excited, I love basketball more than anything. Every time I got to play extended minutes in Israel, I played well. I’m ready to go out there and play my game and make guys around me better and win basketball games”, stressed David Cohn.

What kind of player will fans see with David Cohn who hasn´t seen the sequel to Coming To America, but thinks that the original should have left alone got the most incredible compliment from Alen Velcic on who his game reminds him of. ““That’s very flattering to be compared in the same breathe as Steve Nash, and I really appreciate it. I loved him growing up and really enjoyed watching the high scoring up-tempo style they brought to the league and I have always tried to immolate his style out there. Another player I would compare myself to is Chris Paul. Combining play making with leadership and ultimately scoring the ball when the team needs it”, explained David Cohn. Even if he is that classic playmaker that can also turn on the scoring button, his game also has other strengths. “I have a high motor, I always go-go-go, energizer bunny some people say. But I think my greatest attribute is making others around me better making the right pass at the right time, I take great pride in that. I am a better athlete and defender then people normally give me credit for”, said David Cohn. He won´t only shine on the offensive end, but will also give his two cents plus more on the defensive end that will give hell to opponent guards. “I am a gritty defender who is quick and uses IQ to gain an edge, I have learned a lot as the years have progressed. I intend on being a defender that disrupts the opposing point guard and uses defense to get quick offense for our team”, expressed David Cohn. It will be interesting to see how his game progresses in the Pro A and how well he can lead the wiha Panthers to success. He isn´t hectic about getting better right away, but knows it´s a process. “I think there is always ways to improve and get better, I want to be the best possible version of myself. All around taking it day by day, and addressing the parts of my game that I feel aren’t sharpest and working on them until they’re my strengths”, warned David Cohn. Hearing these type of words should make coach Alen Velcic happy and all David Cohn needs to do now is to keep running as he isn´t anywhere near the finish line yet with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen.