After beginning 2021 on a positive note winning four of seven games, the Fraport Skyliners fell into a rut again taking a four game losing streak into the game against Rasta Vechta. Now comes a phase again where the Fraport Skyliners who came into the game in 11th place with a record of 7-13 play four games against opponents where three of them they can and have to beat. The last victory was against Rasta Vechta on February 6th and tonight they had the opportunity to find their way back on the winning streak as they faced them again. It has been a terrible season for Rasta Vechta as they are in the easyCredit BBL cellar with a 3-17 record. They started the season on the wrong foot losing their first 11 games, but then built a three game winning streak including beating Brose Bamberg, but currently were clinging to life again having a six games losing streak. They came into Frankfurt and wanted to start a winning streak, but were denied again as they had a horrible third quarter which made them have to play catch up basketball for the rest of the night. They fought hard for 40 minutes, but just couldn´t get over the hump in the fourth quarter losing to the Fraport Skyliners 84-75. “We didn´t have the type of energy tonight the way we had in the last games. The 10-0 run by Frankfurt in the third quarter really hurt us and we were unable to recover from it. We risked a lot at the end, but turnovers hurt us and Frankfurt was able to close out the game”, stressed Rasta Vechta head coach Thomas Paech. The Fraport Skyliners continue to search for consistency for 40 minutes. After a difficult first half, the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner stepped up their defense in the third quarter which helped them get into an offensive groove and hold of Rasta Vechta in the fourth quarter. “I thought that we played ok defense in the first half, but they just made tough shots. We buckled down on defense in the second half and moved the ball a lot better which helped us get the win”, stated Fraport Skyliner guard Matt Mobley.
Rasta Vechta was missing some scoring power without American Josh Young who had a shoulder injury, but that didn´t hamper their scoring as they sped out on a rapid 5-0 lead getting a trey from German ex Ehingen guard Tim Hasbargen and a two handed dunk from ex Boston College(NCAA) stand out Dennis Clifford. That basketball is a game of runs is nothing new as the Fraport Skyliners got their offense going going on a 8-2 run to get their first lead of the game at 8-7. In the run Frankfurt received valuable production from German big man Michael Kessens with a lay in, a nice jumper from ex Braunschwieg guard Joe Rahon who supplied some nice fakes and dribbling to get clear of his defender and from Quantez Robertson. Robertson has been up and down as a scorer this season, but he got two easy lay in´s which got his self confidence going quickly. Rasta Vechta got a 20 footer step back from ex Louisville8NCAA) guard Edgar Sosa who has been carrying the team getting two assists on the first two Vechta baskets. But the game continued to take turns as Rasta Vechta would close out the first quarter with a potent 11-7 run to lead 18-15. In the run, the guests did a good job forcing Frankfurt sniper Matt Mobley to take contested shots and didn´t allow American Rasheed Moore many touches. On offense the last place team did a good job sharing the love on offense as German Robin Christen drilled home a trey, ex Bremerhaven forward Will Voorhees hit a trey and former Pro B player Bjoern Rohwer supplied vital 5 points as he cleaned up the paint area. “We weren´t making shots despite getting good looks. That happens sometimes”, commented Matt Mobley. “We moved the ball very well and played good defense”, stated Rasta Vechta forward Jesse Hunt.
Rasta Vechta continued to control the game in the second quarter and led by as much as 8 points, but the Fraport Skyliners stayed on their heels as they cut the advantage down to 42-38 at the break. Quantez Robertson remained aggressive on offense driving to the hoop for two points to cut the Vechta lead down to 18-17, but Rasta Vechta continued to demonstrate quick spurts of decent offense going on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 26-18. In the run, good ball movement and wise decisions rewarded them with back to back trey´s by American Jordan Barnet who played at Missouri(NCAA) and ex Alba Berlin center Dennis Clifford made a lay in as Barnett made the extra pass. Frankfurt suffered mental lapses on defense, but luckily on offense they got further support from Quantez Robertson who added five more points to cut the Rasta Vechta lead down to 26-23. Rasta Vechta went on a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 30-23 as Voorhes nailed another trey and Bjoern Rohwer continued to be at the right place at the right time making big plays as he caught a Sosa airball between three Skyliners and somehow managed to make the put back. The Fraport Skyliners continued to be able to stay in the game despite still getting no points from Mobley or Moore. Ex FC Bayern Munich guard Bruno Vrcic continues to stay consistent in the minutes he gets as he made 5 points and ex Davidson(NCAA) stand out Jon Axel Gundmundsson contributed 8 points in the last few minutes including notching two three pointers. “I´m happy that Jon used his time well today and made shots. It isn´t important if you start or come from the bench, but how well you use your time on the court”, stressed Frankfurt head coach Sebastian Gleim. Rasta Vechta held the lead getting an open three from Jesse Hunt, a runner with one second on the shot clock from Rohwer and a trey from ex Alba Berlin guard Stefan Peno. Frankfurt had 0 points from Mobley or Moore, but trailed only 42-38. Mobley´s shot wasn´t falling, so he became a facilitator. “Gundmundsson is so important for us. When he plays well, so do we”, stated Matt Mobley. “Gundmundsson is a good player. He hit some three´s and scored on transition. That is what good players will do”, stated Jesse Hunt.
The turning point of the contest came in the third quarter as the Fraport Skyliners broke open the game with a massive run and never looked back as Rasta Vechta were unable to come back. The Fraport Skyliners came out of half-time rejuvenated and slapped Rasta Vechta with a brutal 10-0 run to snag back the lead at 48-42. In the run, Frankfurt was able to stop seven Vechta possessions and on offense were able to execute well. The run was sparked by ex Miami(NCAA) standout Kamari Murphy who made amends for his poor first half where he had three turnovers, two missed lay ups and an airball. He scored three buckets as every time it was Mobley that found him for a lay in, two handed dunk and an alley-oop dunk. Moore and Mobley also finally got on the board for the first time in the game. Frankfurt stepped up their defense being more aggressive and doing a great job pressuring the ball. The higher intensity on defense sparked their offense. But Rasta Vechta finally got some offensive power from Robin Christen who made free throws and drooped a three pointer as suddenly Rasta Vechta was trailing only 48-47. Frankfurt quickly picked up their defense again and closed out the third quarter strong and in fine fashion taking a lethal 11-3 run to lead comfortably again at 59-50. Frankfurt was aided by Rasta Vechta getting their fifth team foul with five plus minutes to play where they received six free throws. Frankfurt also got a two handed dunk from Mobley and a lay in by Bruno Vrcic as he snuck behind the Vechta defense hauling in a touch down pass from Joe Rahon. Bruno Vrcic continues to make good strides in his second season with Frankfurt despite having had injury woes this season. He finished with 13 points in 15 minutes and a lot of praise from Sebastian Gleim. “I felt that this was his best defensive game of the season. He didn´t hesitate taking shots. He shouldn´t think so much. His self-confidence rose throughout the game. He has really improved in the last months”, said Sebastian Gleim. Rast Vechta got a free throw from Peno and a 25 footer from Edgar Sosa. “We locked down on defense getting stops which led to easy baskets. We also got to the free throw line”, expressed Matt Mobley. “Frankfurt came out with more energy. We threw the ball away too much and kept our heads down. That helped them keep the lead”, said Jesse Hunt.
The Fraport Skyliners led by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Rasta Vechta never backed down coming back and trailing by only five points, but they couldn´t recapture the lead again. The Fraport Skyliners blasted off with a rapid 8-2 run to extend their lead to 67-52. In the run, they got free throws from Michael Kessens, and two three´s from Bruno Vrcic and Matt Mobley. Robin Christen continued to be consistent on offense making a runner off the glass. Frankfurt kept the momentum of the third quarter as their offense was flowing while Rasta Vechta had problems covering the three point line. Rasta Vechta had been exerting a lot of energy in the second half trying to come back, but they still had some gas in their tank as they reeled off a huge 20-10 run to trail only 77-72. Instrumental in the come back was the spirited play of ex Notre Dame College (NCAA2) standout Will Voorhes who was a one man wrecking crew scoring 10 points. He showed his versatile inside out game hitting two three pointers and making a lay in and very beautiful 20 footer fade away jumper from the corner. Rasta Vechta was also aided in the run by Christen and Barnett three pointers and a lay in by Jannes Hundt. Frankfurt kept the lead with scoring with three´s from Gundmundsson and Mobley and another lay in by Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt then stopped the Rasta Vechta momentum closing out the game with a 7-3 run. Frankfurt got a Kessen´s tip in and clutch trey from Gundmundsson which sealed the victory. “We came back getting big shots from Christen and Voorhes. We cut it down to five with a few minutes to play, but they continued to get big shots and we couldn´t close the gap”, stated Jesse Hunt. “They were switching a lot at the end which didn´t allow us to get inside. So we had to do more 1-1 plays. We made the big plays and weathered the storm”, warned Matt Mobley. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jon Axel Gundmundsson with 17 points. Quantez Robertson added 15 points while Matt Mobley had 13 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds while Rasta Vechta was led by Robin Christen with 16 points and Will Voorhes had 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 48% form the field and 47% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 15 turnovers while Rasta Vechta shot 45% from the field and 43% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 19 turnovers.
Australian forward Jesse Hunt hasn´t even been a professional player for one and a half years, but the guy has already seen a lot of the basketball world. His movement among clubs has been as rapid as it has witnessing how LaMelo Ball has arrived and struck the NBA this season with his passionate and inspiring play in Charlotte. The California native has experienced the exotic culture of Turkey, been back to his home land Australia, seen the beauty of Cyprus and currently dueling in one of the strongest leagues in Europe with the easyCredit BBL in Germany with Rasta Vechta. Just as quickly as he has jumped from country to country and club to club, he knows also just how rapidly the ride can end from one day to the next. Let´s remind back to late July 2020. Jesse Hunt had signed in Australia with the Geraldton Buccaneers (WCC) to get in some extra competition for a summer league in Australia. At first glance, having the opportunity to do this wasn´t unnormal, but at second glance, you saw two Hunt names on the roster. Jesse and brother Liam Hunt were teammates as professionals the first time since doing it sparingly in high school at Sir Francis Drake. The reunion was short lived as it lasted only two games. In a game against Rockingham on August first, 2020 an opponent crashed into Liam´s knee on a transition play in which got dislocated and he injured his ACL, PCL and LCL. The chances for his brother Liam to continue his professional career were minimal. “ Liam had a terrible injury that could end his career. But he is the toughest person that I know, he is going to fight and give it everything he has to try and come back and play the game again. He has been amazing at putting this terrible injury into perspective and has been very positive. If he doesn’t get to play again, he loves being a teacher and a coach for the younger kids in Geraldton and he is already doing an amazing job at that. I am so proud of my brother in how tough and resilient he has been over these last 7 months since his leg injury. And if he does not get to play again, he is going to do amazing things with whatever he wants to do. That´s just the person he is”, stressed Jesse Hunt. But he also knows that it doesn´t take much to quickly end a career. He is very blessed that he can play the game he loves for a living, but also very mindful that his life could be changed as rapidly as Lebron James can fly through the zone and make the next crazy dunk. “His injury made me truly understand to never take this game for granted because it could be taken away in an instant. I try to bring a lot of energy and positivity every single day in practice and games because I love this sport and want to make the most of my career because you never know when it could end”, warned Jesse Hunt. It´s March 2021 and Jesse Hunt is trying to help his team Rasta Vechta escape the easyCredit BBL cellar, but at the same time always has that brother incident in his mind and takes nothing for granted in life.
Jesse Hunt was born on July 30, 1997 in Geraldton, Australia and played at Sir Francis Drake high school in San Anselmo, California. He comes from a sporty family as his father was on the 1982 Sir Francis Drake squad that went 34-0 and won the state title. He went on to play at the University of Portland and play 17 seasons of professional basketball in Australia. He then went on to play at Eastern Washington University (NCAA) from 2015-2019 playing a total of 102 NCAA games. He has memories that will last a lifetime. “One of my fondest moments playing at Eastern Washington was in the pre-season of my Junior year. We went to Stanford and beat them which was one of our biggest wins in my 4 years there. Another great memory on the court was my senior year when we played at Weber State and beat them to secure the 3rd seed for the big sky tournament”, remembered Jesse Hunt. He was able to improve his scoring average each season and made a huge jump as a junior playing 20 games averaging 7.5ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 80.6%. In the tail end of the season he scored 16 points in three games in a row against Great Falls, N Dakota and N Colorado. His rapid basketball progression really took off as a senior as he played 34 games averaging 14.6ppg, 8.7rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 75.2%. In his senior season he scored in double figures in 26 games. Some of his most stellar games included a 32 point explosion against UMKC, 27 points against Stanford, and 26 points against Seattle. He also was a menace on the boards collecting 11 double doubles. It isn´t often that you will see an Australian player in the NCAA, but even more rare when you witness three Australians on the same team as he was teammates with Mason Peatling and Jack Perry. “I have a great relationship with both of those guys. Being able to share the court with them (Mason 3 years and Jack 2 years) was very special, one because they are Aussies but also because they are great players and great people”, added Jesse Hunt. As a senior he had a great game against Stanford netting 27 points in a losing cause. In that game he battled against big German prospect Oscar Da Silva who could be a NBA Draft Pick in 2021.”Oscar is a great talent. He plays very aggressive and isn’t afraid of contact. I have no idea if he can play in the NBA, but I know he will have a great career wherever he ends up playing”, commented Jesse Hunt. The only thing missing from a perfect ending to his NCAA career was hoisting the Big Sky Conference title in the air as he reached the final in his last two years. A person that was vital in his development in the NCAA was head coach Shantay Legans. “Coach Legans was amazing for me. When he took over as head coach my junior year it truly helped my career at EWU and most certainly prepared me for the next step in my career. Legs is a great coach and is only going to continue to have more success in his coaching career”, warned Jesse Hunt.
Hunt who lists Jacob Wiley, Ahmaad Rorie, Anthony King, Liam Hunt, and Isiah Umipig as his five best teammates of all-time began his professional career in 2019-2020 overseas in Turkey with Manisa Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 20 games averaging 9.2ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 66.2%. He scored in double figures in eight games including hitting Gemlik for 20 points, scored 19 points against Petkim and had 16 points against Samsun. One of the most interesting questions for any American rookie playing overseas for the first time is what their wake up call is. Sure you often get the normal blab la about home sickness, no internet or weird food, but also other inventive replies. “I had a very up and down rookie season in Turkey. I enjoyed my experience in Manisa and I learned a lot about how to be a professional and I also created great friendships with my teammates. My wake up call was playing against grown men for the first time. Having to match up with 30 year old forwards instead of college kids. That was a big wake up call for me and definitely helped me adjust to the physicality of professional basketball. I also think leaving my family, girlfriend, friends and arriving in Turkey was a big wake up call for me. Knowing I would be away from them for most of the year was not an easy transition, but it has also been a great experience for me playing overseas and I have certainly loved it”, stressed Jesse Hunt. During the summer of 2020, he got added valuable experience in his homeland with the Geraldton Buccaneers (WCC) playing 4 games averaging 17.0ppg, 8.5rpg, 3.5apg, 1.3sp. He scored 26 points against Kalamunda E.S and 21 points against East Perth E. Being able to be reunited with his brother Liam ´was also an experience that he will forever cherish. “I loved it. Being able to play for my home town team in Geraldton was truly an unbelievable experience and being able to share the court with my brother made it so much better. We played together in high school but I was only a sophomore and he was a senior so we didn’t get to see the court together very often. Playing basketball with my brother is hard to put into words. He is such a gifted basketball player and it was truly an honor to share the court with him, even if it was only for a few games. Being able to have the games that we did and get the win was very special”, remembered Jesse Hunt.
He lists current Denver Nuggets 218cm big man Bol Bol as his toughest opponent in the NCAA began his second professional season with Keravnos Strovolou (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) playing 7 Basketball Champions League games averaging 10.0ppg, 8.7rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 41.4%, 3FGP: 39.1%, FT: 73.1%. He hit Tofas for 22 points. Even if his stay was brief in Cyprus, he also was able to make new steps with his game there. “I truly loved my time in Cyprus. We made history as a team by qualifying to play in the BCL and it truly was an honor to be part of it. Playing in the BCL was great for me. It made me understand the things that I now need to work on like getting stronger, and learning more ways to attack from the perimeter as a 4 man. Playing against the talent of those BCL teams most certainly helped me especially with it being so early in my career”, warned Jesse Hunt. He also had the privilege to play with American veteran Anthony King who balled many years in Germany in the easyCredit BBL and is truly a player that has left countless vital effects on his teammates and it wasn´t any different with Hunt. “King is a great role model for me. He would always be one of the first people in the gym before practice and would always talk to me and give me pointers on how to be a professional and what it takes to have a long, successful career. I am very lucky to have someone like him to talk to and get advice from”, said Jesse Hunt.
So let´s fast forward to March 2021 as Hunt who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with legends Lebron ,Magic, MJ and Kobe has found a new challenge with easyCredit BBL team Rasta Vechta.It has been an extremely brutal season for Rasta Vechta after the end of the Pedro Calles era. In the last few years the club was used to winning and now losing has controlled the season. “Obviously nobody likes to lose. We have had our ups and downs over these past two months with injuries and losing close, tough games. But I love this team. We fight every single game and give everything we’ve got no matter how shorthanded we are or who the opponent is. There is still a lot of season left and plenty of room to grow for this team. I am very grateful to be a part of this club, and am very excited to see how we do over the next couple of months”, expressed Jesse Hunt. A big weak point has been the ability to find a defensive identity and consistency. “I believe we are moving in the right direction defensively. I also believe we are defining our identity especially over the last couple of games by showing that we are a very tough and resilient team that is going to fight back every possession of every game no matter what is on the scoreboard. We pressure teams and try to make them uncomfortable every possession. If we continue to work on our consistency in those areas, I believe our defense will continue to improve”, warned Jesse Hunt.
He has had many teammates in his short professional career and recently got a new one with ex Louisville(NCAA) standout Edgar Sosa who sparkled in his first game with Rasta Vechta with 30 points and 7 dimes. One should never hope just for that savior, but focus on the collective team effort, but with Sosa the team has found the perfect fit. “Edgar has been great for us already. He is a terrific scorer and playmaker for us and brings an added level of leadership from all of his playing experience. I believe as we continue to get him acclimated to the team, it is most certainly going to help us moving forward. It’s only been one game, but I already love sharing the court with him. He’s a very special talent”, stressed Jesse Hunt. The Australian also has come to appreciate the effort by ex Boston College center Dennis Clifford who played for top BBL team Alba Berlin some years ago. Not only has he seen what he can do in games, but also his shooting abilities before games a she made a full court shot before the game. “I’ve very much enjoyed being teammates with Dennis. He leads by example every single day in practice with his work ethic and leadership. He brings a lot of energy and professional experience to the team which has helped me a lot considering this is my second season overseas. I did see the shot. It was very impressive! I was his rebounder for the first few attempts. I don’t believe I have made a shot like that. I don’t even think I have ever attempted a full court shot like that”, stated Jesse Hunt.
The last movie that he saw was Avengers Endgame and he is a versatile 203cm forward that believes he is a much shorter Kevin Love and likes how the NBA player can reboundsand can step out and let the three ball fly. He is a versatile forward that can be described as a modern day forward in that he can do a bit of everything on the floor. He has a polished offensive game, but he also wants to shine on the defensive end and continue to develop further. “I take a lot of pride defensively. I believe I am a versatile defender that can switch out onto guards and also fight down low with the bigs. I take it personally if I get scored on which has helped me become a better defender”, warned Jesse Hunt. After playing in the second division Turkey and Cyprus, he has made the jump to a higher league in Germany, but isn´t content yet where he is. He understands that if he wants to continue to move up the basketball ladder, he will have to continue to grind in the lab and polish his game even more. “I need to work on getting physically stronger to matchup better with the stronger post players, I also need to work on expanding my ability to score from the perimeter and post up situations. I also want to continue to get my shot off quicker from the three point line”, stressed Jesse Hunt. Sky is still the limit for him as at the age of 23 and he has already experienced so much in a short time having seen different cultures and the beauty of many countries, but at the end of the day, it´s family that he cherishes most and is very blessed and grateful that his father played a big role in allowing him to be able to let his dreams come true and be able to play professionally and travel the world. “My dad has played a huge role in my career ever since I was 4 years old. Has taught me almost everything I know about the game of basketball and also life in general. I would not be where I am without my mother and father”, warned Jesse Hunt. He will continue to enjoy every moment on the floor, because in the back of his mind, he will never forget what happened to brother Liam. His dream and passion can end at any time so enjoying the moment is something that becomes a daily ritual.
Jared Jordan is a 36 year old 187cm point guard that had a 13 year professional basketball career. He began his career at Kingswood school in West Hartford and then played at Marist (NCAA) from 2003-2007 being named MAAC player of the year in 2007 and led the NCAA in assists twice. He began his professional career in 2007 in Lithuania with top team Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL) and played a season in the then D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He returned to Europe in 2009 and would play the rest of his career overseas until 2020. He was most of his time in Germany where he played 8 seasons for teams like the Telekom Baskets Bonn, Brose Bamberg and the Tigers Tuebingen. He also played in Greece with VAP Kolossos Rodou, in Spain with Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian and closed out his career in Romania with BC CSU Sibiu. It didn’t matter where he played but as some say that guy is a walking bucket, Jordan was a walking dime as he led the easyCredit BBL in assists 6 times and also led the top European league ACB in Spain in assists and in Greece and Romania. He was a three time BBL allstar and is the all-time easyCredit assist leader breaking ex Lebron James teammate Dru Joyce’s mark in 2017 with his 1458th assist. He recently obtained his real estate license, has some basketball projects in the works and continues to be a religious golfer with a 8 handicap. I was blessed to cover Jared Jordan‘s career in Germany and gave him a career tribute interview.
Jared thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is life treating you in these tough times?
I’m in the states living in West Hartford. We recently bought a house. Life has ben different and it’s all about getting through these tough times, but all is going ok.
I was hoping not to prepare this interview yet because I was always hoping that you would return. Then I saw some fake news on eurobasket.com saying you had returned back to Wurzburg. Were you surprised to hear about this?
Yes I was surprised. A friend from Germany sent me the article. I saw it and laughed a lot. But I can say that I’m officially done with playing.
You have retired after 13 years. How much of a role did COVID-19 have in you making this decision?
I think that it played an important part for making my decision. I was playing in Romania when COVID hit. We came home and then were ready to go back, but then the season was cancelled. With all going on and having 2 young kids, we decided to stay home. It wasn’t easy ending my career like this not knowing that I would play my last game in Romania. I always wanted to know when my last game would be. But all in all it’s ok.
Your last season stat wise in Romania was very good. I’m sure you could of still played a few more years. What were the main reasons for you retiring?
Obviously my game was on the back burner, but it was still Ok. As you know my game relies on movement, cutting and keeping up with quick guards. I was getting older and that played a factor in my decision. It was time to move on. I accepted it and it was the right thing to do.
With your last club Sibiu you literally closed out your career with many ex and current BBL players and with Barry Stewart and Isiaiah Phillmore who were your teammates in Tuebingen. You also had Larry Gordon as a teammate. How often did the BBL come up especially with guys like Larry Gordon and Barry Stewart?
We talked a lot about the BBL. I had played together with Barry in Tuebingen and our wives were good friends. Larry signed late in the season. Larry is a really good guy. I remember the club asking me my opinion about Larry. I could only say the best things. He always played the right way. I remember him as a funny guy.
Let’s go back to the start After Kingswood, you played at Marist from 2003-2007. What memories do you have from that time besides getting many assists?
College was awesome. It was a great experience. My minutes increased in my second year and my game took off in my last two years. We had great veteran guys and everything clicked. We won a lot of games. We had a lot of fun my senior year and we won the MAAC title. Unfortunately we didn’t reach the NCAA tournament but got to the NIT. We lost to North Carolina State which ended my career.
You averaged 8,0 assists in your last two seasons at Marist. If someone had told you then that you would make a living getting assists and leading so many different leagues in assists in the summer of 2007 what would you have thought?
I wasn’t highly recruited when I came out of high school. I was just happy to play in college. Then during the summer before my junior year my coach told me that I could make a living playing professional basketball. That really opened my eyes. Not many guys are able to make a living playing basketball and be able to travel the world. I was very blessed to have been able to do this
How did Marist head coach Matt Brady groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He came during my second year. Many had told me that I had to bulk up more. I started to lift more, but then realized that I couldn’t move fast. Coach then put me on a weight loss program with a weight vest. He helped me improve my shot. He knew that I could pass, but he really stressed me to score. He always told me that I could score as much as I wanted to while keeping the defense honest and balanced.
Who won a one on one back in the day you or Will Whittington?
We used to play a lot of one on one. It always went back and forth. He was one of the top shooters that I had ever seen. He let it fly from anywhere. The best part of it was that when he shot 1/10, he didn’t care and continued to talk trash. He loved it. He was a great team guy. I benefited a lot from his shooting getting many assists.
What memories do you have of your first NBA training camp with the New York Knicks. Do you remember NBA legend and then head coach Isiah Thomas giving you some lasting point guard advice?
I was drafted by the Clippers and then was traded to the Knicks. The Knicks were loaded with great players. I remember meeting Isaiah Thomas. He had liked my game and it hadn’t shocked me that I had been traded. Isaiah was super nice, but at the same time really intense. I’ll never forget the look in his eyes. He had that feistiness. I wasn’t there too long, but he was very helpful in many things.
What memories do you have of battling Stephon Marbury in practice? How did you hold up against him as a rookie?
Marbury was a tough player and just an unbelievable player. The team also had Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford. I remember Marbury as being super nice. He was a good guy and talked to me a lot. He was such a strong player that had bounce, great handles and a great step back. He was a really good player.
You played your rookie season with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL). What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you were very far away from home?
That first time overseas was tough. I was lucky that the team had a great group of guys that took care of me. Chuck Eidson took me in. His wife took care of me. I always ate dinner at their house. He helped me open up my eyes to the European game. I had a tough Serbian coach. He made us practice a lot, but all in all he was a good guy. He knew that I was at the start of my career and he was very helpful in telling me exactly what I needed to work on.
You also played 11 Euroleague games. What memories do you have of the guys you battled then that were top players in Europe?
I remember playing against a young Danilo Gallinari who was playing with Milian. I also remember playing against Will Solomon who was a tough player and beating Maccabi Tel Aviv. At that time, I was so young that I had no idea about the teams or players. I was a clueless American who knew nothing about the European game.
In your second season you were with the New Orleans Hornets training camp. There you could battle Chris Paul. Were you able to add anything from his playmaking that would help you?
People always ask my about my experience with him. I remember the other guard being injured, so I was in charge of the second team. I was matched up against him very day. I remember having to go against guys like David West and Tyson Chandler. Chris was a high level super competitive guy and a team leader. He could turn up a gear at anytime and then it was just OMG. He always had to be first in each drill. But I remember that he really looked out for me. He had me over for dinner. When he turned it on to the next level, there wasn’t much you could do to stop him.
You then played a solid season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 36 games: 10.9ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-2 (9.0apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 70.3%. If you look back at those days and how the NBA worked, why do you think didn’t you reach the NBA?
I was trying to make the NBA like everyone else, but I also understood my limitations. I wasn’t quick, long or athletic. I was on a good team. At that point I was thinking of maybe sticking one more year in the D-League and then go to Europe. The D-League was an up and down stat league. It was good to play a season there. I didn’t get a call up even though I thought that I had played well. My limitations held me back from making the NBA.
What kind of NBA feedback do you remember getting from coaches and GM’s about your game and what was needed for the NBA?
The best quote I remember hearing was from Isaiah Thomas. My agent told me this story. Isaiah Thomas loved my game, but didn’t like my dad’s name. My father’s name is Michael Jordan.
The two biggest changes that I see with the NBA to back in 2008 is that there is less defense now and the league has gotten so young. What changes have you observed
The NBA has changed a lot. It is a lot more free flowing. It favors smaller guys and a ton of three’s are shot. There also have been rule changes. You can’t pack the paint. They want more attacking the rim which is good for TV. Teams now draft off potential. You don’t see many seniors anymore being drafted, but teams want to develop freshmen. There is so much crazy talent around today.
In 2009 you returned to Europe and would never go back to the States. You played most of your career in the easyCredit BBL playing 8 years. Do you feel like your game fit the BBL the best despite having great seasons in Greece and Spain as well?
I always felt comfortable in the BBL. There were good living conditions in Germany and I was lucky to play for Bonn and Mike Koch. He gave me the freedom to play my game and play a ton of pick and roll. My career took off from there.
You played the longest with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. What did you cherish most in your time with this organization?
Bonn was a great place to play for. The Telekom Baskets Bonn are a very professional organization and they really took care or me. I had great teammates and they had a very passionate fan base. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were one of the top places I played for in my career. I always tell players that if they get a chance to play in Boon then they should do it.
In your first season in Germany you were teammates with Chris Ensminger. Do you feel old when you remember his sons Zach and Jacob running around the arena 10 years ago and now both are pro’s in Germany with big futures?
Yes I feel old knowing what his sons are doing today. My first year in Bonn, we lived above them. I remember his kids always coming to practice. I saw them grow up. They already loved to play basketball at a young age. I remember them always checking the box scores and they knew the shoe size of every BBL player. I remember joking with Chris telling him that whenever Zack starts to play professionally, then I will have to retire. It is nice seeing them do so well.
I’m sure one of your favorite teammates off all-time is Tony Gaffney. He said this about you in two of my interviews. ‘It is impossible to replace Jared Jordan and ‘I don’t know if there is another player that I have played with that I have connected with on the court like Jared Jordan‘. What did you appreciate most about his game?
We clicked right away and we fit each others styles. He could do it all. He ran the floor, rolled to the basket, jumped to the rim, did alley-oops and got behind the defense. It was crazy all the things that he could do. It was super fun to play with him. He was a complete freak athlete. I remember some days he wouldn’t even stretch. We had great times.
Tony Gaffney also is known for having a very nice character. How did you experience his character?
He is a great guy that is nice to all. He was always so welcoming. We just connected
Do you give him a hard time sometimes for being known as being on the Celtics and Lakers rosters, but never playing a NBA game?
No I never gave him any ribbing about that.
You guys hooked up for many alley-oops. You must have a favorite one.
I remember us having a nice one in Frankfurt. I also remember a nice on in Bonn. It was late in the game and it was a risky play. I think it was against Munich to start the season. It was a full court alley-oop which got the crowd excited.
What kind of relationship did you have under Michael Koch? How appreciative were you of him giving you absolute freedom on the court?
He gave me what any point guard would want. He gave me the freedom to create and get up and down the court and make plays. I still talk to him to this day. I remember the first day when I was there. He sat me down in the kid’s area of the other gym. He said this is your team. You run the team and do what you have to do. I learned so much from him. He had been a great player in his own right.
Andrej Mangold was always a pretty boy. Did it surprise you he became the German Batchelor on TV?
Not at all. He was always hustling and was out and about. Being the Batchelor fit him perfectly. I watched some of that on TV. I love Dre. He was a great teammate and knew how to take control on the defensive end.
In the 2013-2014 season you left Bonn for Bamberg and it created an uproar with the Bonn fans. How tough was that experience for you?
In the summer of 2013 Bamberg had had interest in me. It was between me and Zach Wright. Bamberg ended up taking Zach Wright. But I was super comfortable in Bonn. Bamberg had won 3 titles in a row and had a big budget. You just have to be interested when a club like that shows interest. During the season I got the offer from Bamberg. It was a hard decision to make. If I had had that opportunity today, I would have done it again. My teammates told me I should go for it. I remember Tony Gaffney saying that if I didn’t take it then he wouldn’t talk to me again. I understood that the Bonn fans would be mad. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It was very difficult and stressful for me. I did a lot of thinking while making the decision. Some fans forgave me and some hated me. I hope I can come back one day to Bonn with family and everything will be Ok.
You played one season in Greece leading the league in assists with VAP Kolossos Rodou (Greece-A1) averaging 6.3ppg, 2.6rpg, Assists-1 (5.5apg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 56.0%. In one game against Olympiakos you battled Milos Teodosic who went 1/9 from outside. Did some of your defense rub off on his poor shooting?
I remember that game. We lost by three points. I remember them having great names like Teodosic, Spanoulis and Papaloukas. It was awesome playing against guys like that. My defense definitely had nothing to do with him shooting like that. Teodosic and Diamantidis are two of my favorite players that I played against in Europe.
In the 2014-2015 season you moved to Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian (Spain-Liga ACB) averaging : 6.9ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-1 (7.0apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 65.5%. You have won many awards but how much did it mean for you to lead the best national league in Europe in assists?
Yes that was pretty cool to be able to lead the ACB in assists. The ACB is the league to play in. The players are incredible and the IQ is so high. The league has many veterans and top European players. It was an honor to play there. I loved the life style and the style of play.
It was the season before Luka Doncic would make his ACB debut as he was playing with Real Madrid 2 when you were there. Did you already hear stories about him then?
I remember hearing stories of him. I think that I even might of played against him. I remember having a player on loan from Real Madrid and he was saying how this kid Doncic was always getting triple doubles in the youth league. Then I saw him play in Europe and NBA. At first I didn’t know that he could be so good. He does a great job getting separation from guys. He is destroying the NBA now.
What memories do you have playing Real Madrid and FC Barcelona? Were those 2 teams the ones you will remember most battling against?
Of course I will always remember those games and playing against Juan Carlos Navarro. I also will never forget playing against Panathinaikos and Olympiakos and playing against so many legends of European basketball.
You then returned back to Germany and played 3 more years with Tuebingen. What kind of experience was it playing for a team that wasn’t winning?
It was tough. We had one bad year. Even if we didn’t win many games, it was still a nice experience. I met many nice people and I liked the city. Not wining is never easy
I was perplexed when you signed with Tuebingen after having played in the ACB. I can’t imagine that you didn’t get better offers?
That’s a good question. I don’t really remember. I think I was waiting to make the right decision. I remember having some other offers. I think that I was just looking to get back to Germany. But in the end, I was super happy with making the decision to join Tuebingen.
What did mean playing with BBL legend Alexsandar Nadjfeji and also having him as a coach? What will you never forget about this jovial man?
He is great. I actually just talked to him last week. He was a funny dude, hard working and had amazing foot work. I remember in a BBL allstar game that I never had to call for a screen and roll. He was always there. I played with him at the back end of his career, but he was still a great player with such a high basketball IQ. He was such a team orientated player that always did his job. I couldn’t even imagine how good he must have been in his prime.
You were also teammates with Garlon Green. Did he ever tell Gerald Green dunk stories?
Not really. He was super talented in his own right. He was really athletic. I remember him dunking on the wrong basket in Braunschweig. I remember throwing up my arms and saying what are you doing.
You played your last season in Germany with Giessen. I witnessed your last game in Frankfurt where you lost a tough 82-81 game where you had 8 points and 11 assists. Is there a game that you will never forget against Frankfurt?
I remember one year we had to play Frankfurt in Bonn and it was the last game of the season. We had to win it to reach the playoffs. I remember Mike Koch calling me, Chris Ensminger and Benas Veikalas to a meeting and saying how important this game was. We took his words and won easily. But playing against Frankfurt was never easy with how head coach Herbert played with discipline and good defense and Tez Robertson leading the team.
You also played against Pascal Roller early in your career. What memories do you have of him on the court?
I didn’t know him at the beginning of my career, but I soon would after playing against him. He shot so well and played the pick and roll so well. He really knew how to play. I remember saying damn he is really good.
The two current easyCredit BBL identity figures are Quantez Robertson and Ricky Paulding. What memories will you always have of them?
I came into the league in 2009. Oldenburg had won the BBL title the year before. He could drive and dunk then. You would think that he wouldn’t be bale to do that now at his age. But he can still do it. You don’t even need to look at the box score. You know that today he will get something like between 14-18 points, 4-6 rebounds and 3-5 assists. His amazing consistency speaks for him. He has been doing it for so long and is still doing it at his age. He deserves so much respect. He makes it still look so easy. Robertson is in the same boat. He also deserves a lot of respect. He still is covering the whole court, playing good defense and getting in passing lanes. He also has been so consistent.
You are the all-time easyCredit BBL assist leader, led the league in assists 6 times with Bonn and Tuebingen and led the Spanish, Greek and Romanian league in assists. Do you remember the game in your professional career where you had the most assists in a game?
Yes I do. I remember getting 18 assists in the old gym in Oldenburg. I remember that we won the game easily.
You actually had more than 18 assists in a game. I will help you the date was Feb 26, 2009 as you had 16 points and 22 assists in the D-League with Rio Grande against FT Wayne
I didn’t realize that I had 16 points. But let’s be honest. It’s pretty easy getting assists in the D-League. There is no defense, so much space and they are very lenient giving out assists.
You dropped dimes as easily as Steph Curry drops three’s. You will always be known as Mr assist. Is there an assist that you will always remember out of all the ones you had?
I remember getting this assist in Oldenburg. Once your in the zone you can do anything. You throw anything up and it goes in. I remember making a behind the back pass on the pick and roll to Chris Ensminger. Also all the alley oops to Tony Gaffney stick out. I always enjoyed passing the ball and it just came easy to me. I just reacted to the defense.
How would you like basketball fans to remember the player Jared Jordan?
That I played unselfish and for the best of the team. I always wanted to win. I also would like to be known as having been professional and a good teammate. I always had good interactions with teammates and fans.
There were only 10 Jared Jordan Eurobasket titles. There would have been more if I had been a Bonn beat writer and not a Frankfurt beat writer. We only did two published interviews and of course many post game talks over the years. Our first interview was in September 2009 before you had even arrived in Bonn. What memories will you always have of me in German basketball?
I remember that first interview that we did. You contacted me and right away told me about our Avon-Kingswood connection. I knew that every time we played in Frankfurt that you would be waiting outside the locker room. We built up a good connection. I always read your aricles. It’s good stuff. You were always kind to me and always talked positive about me. I rally appreciate it.
I’m coming out with a book called ‘The Real Deal’ in 2021 or 2022 as COVID-19 has pushed everything back with 100 stories about my experience in European basketball. I couldn’t write it without having you in one of my 100 stories. My last sentence is that you belong to my 5 favorite players that I have covered. The title is my prep school connection with Jared Jordan. Is that a good title?
Yes that’s a good title. That is how it all started. It is awesome to hear that I’m in your top 5.
We have had this on going conversation since we know each other of our prep schools Avon where I went and Kingswood Oxford where you went. Let’s settle for once and for all which school rules. If we were to meet on an outdoor court in the summer in Harford and played horse, and you had HOR to give me a chance who would win? Let me warn you I beat ex Miami heat Ken Johnson who played in Bonn a few more years before you in 2008.
I have to take myself.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced on the court in Europe?
In Europe the toughest guys I played against were Teodosic, Spanoulis and Campazzo. In the BBL the toughest players were Tyrese Rice and Malcolm Delaney.
Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?
There are too many guys. I would feel bad just naming 5 guys.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Jordan and Lebron
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I grew up being a Jordan fan. But I think that now Lebron takes is at the top. His skill level does it all.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just watched the Bourne Identity. I love watching that movie.
DJ Woodmore is a 29 year old 190cm point guard playing his first season with the Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore team together each week to talk basketball.
DJ congrats on the big 90-71 victory against Erfurt. How good does it feel winning again after two tough losses against Munich and Coburg?
It feels great to get back on the winning side of things! The last few weeks have been rough after to blow out losses but we knew we had to get this one.
The EPG Baskets had the 42-35 lead at the break. You guys had a small lapse in the second quarter, but what was key for having the 7 point lead at half-time?
I thought we did a good job of attacking their zone in the first half. Took us a while to realize exactly what they were doing but once we did, we could find a way to exploit it. I thought they did a good job of coming up with every 50/50 ball and converted it every time. Once we picked up the intensity a little, we were able to pull away.
Did the team prepare in a different way for RJ Price knowing he had 36 points in the last game against Frankfurt?
He was definitely our focal point in the game. We know he can be a dangerous scorer. But they rely so heavily on him. We knew if we can contain him, everything should fall into place!
The EPG Baskets Koblenz broke it open in the third quarter getting massive production from Brian Butler and Bill Borekambi. How much more valuable will they become as they get more comfortable with each other?
They will definitely be able to have more games like this. I think the more Bill plays with us the better the chemistry between the two will become. Once they can get a feel for each other, everything will fall into place.
Brian Butler carried the team in the second half. Was this his best game this season?
Yes this was one of the best performances I’ve seen from him in a while. He was able to do anything he wanted out there, and we kept going to him.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz gave up an average of 95 points in the last two games, but only 71 against Erfurt. What improvements did the team make on the defensive end?
We were just locked in for a complete 40 mins this game. I don’t think we did anything special, we just knew how important it was to win this one. But I think we have to take that intensity into every game for the rest of the year.
Anthony Canty made his debut scoring 11 points. What kind of an experience was it for you playing with him for the first time?
He’s a very smart player. He knows his game and keeps it simple. Once he’s able to get a rhythm and understand the offense inside and out, he will definitely be able to help us take that next step!
You had a tough shooting day scoring 8 points, grabbing 6 boards and getting 4 assists. Was the 0 in the turnover box the most positive stat in your game?
Probably. I couldn’t get it going from the perimeter but valuing the ball was a primary focus for me. We had way too many turnovers in the last weeks. Which is why teams were able to score 90+ points. As long as we don’t give it away, we give ourselves a chance for something positive to happen.
You next face Speyer who you beat in the first meeting 72-68. They won’t make the playoffs. They played you very tough in Koblenz. What will be key to sweeping the season series?
The key will be to keep their shooters from getting easy looks!! If we can keep them under control, we’ll give ourselves a chance. Even with the roster issues they’ve had this season they can still score the ball. They’ll play with nothing to lose and we have to match it.
What are your thoughts on Pau Gasol not retiring yet but coming back to Europe to play with FC Barcelona?
Honestly I hope he does well. His final years in the league have been ruined by injuries but hopefully he can stay healthy and have a nice fit for Barca. We’ll see though.
Just a month ago the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were as far away from the Pro B playoffs as the Minnesota Timberwolves are at the moment, but with added inspired and improved play in the last weeks, the club is inching closer and closer to the promised land. A big win on the road and back to back last second home wins against Hanau and Speyer have brought them closer. But they had their hands full as they welcomed current number one team BBC Coburg who had a 14-5 record and were still unbeaten in 2021 with a 8 game winning streak. In the first meeting in Coburg in November, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were mauled 93-58 as the Bavarian squad nailed 10 three pointers and dominated the boards 36-21 and carved out an incredible 14 offensive rebounds. In the return date in Frankfurt, BBC Coburg controlled the game for three quarters, but allowed a furious fourth quarter comeback by the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but held on at the end thanks to two very acrobatic lay ins by the German guard duo of Constantin Ebert and Elias Baggette. After the last second victory, 207cm big man Leon Bulic was all smiles after they were able to pull out the win on the road. “I thought that we played a super game. We executed the game plan the way we wanted to. We played a good first half playing well together getting many assists and making shots. We had some problems stopping their transition in the second quarter, but came back strong in the third quarter to lead by 20 points. In the fourth quarter we had problems controlling Len Schoormann and they began hitting more shots and we got nervous. We had luck with the last two shots, but we deserved the win. We have to learn to keep our let downs better in check”, stressed BBC Coburg center Leon Bulic. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors met a hot shooting club and had problems slowing down their penetration, but they never gave up and fought until the end, but just couldn´t get stops. “We didn´t start well, but fought the whole game which we have shown the last weeks. We were able to get the lead back, but just couldn´t get stops when we needed them”, added Fraport Skyliner Junior Philipp Hadenfeldt.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Germans Konstantin Schubert and Leon Pullen while BBC Bayreuth were without Germans Chris Wolf and Moritz Plescher and Croatian Mateo Seric. The first few minutes were tight as there were four lead changes, but BBC Coburg then soon sped away and would explode with 30 plus points to have the overwhelming lead. German Len Schoormann found his touch in the Pro B in the last month and after scoring 28 points in Erfurt last weekend on 6/8 shooting from the parking lot, he didn´t waste anytime keeping his hot streak alive as he scored Frankfurt´s first seven points. BBC Coburg got early production from Baggette and Leon Bulic who used his height and strength for an easy bucket inside trailing 7-6 to Frankfurt. But BBC Coburg then unraveled their total offensive power going on a lethal 18-4 run to grab the 24-11 advantage. In the run BBC Coburg did a fine job displaying solid inside out basketball getting some clutch three´s from ex Breitengussbach guard Sven Lorber and ex BBL player Constantin Ebert while controlling the paint as German Daniel Urbano wrecked havoc in the zone scoring three baskets. Bulic and Baggette added buckets on lay in´s. Frankfurt´s defense had totally collapsed as their communication was non existent and they had no remedy to slow down the speedy Elias Baggette who was driving and creating and just controlling the Coburg offense with ease. Frankfurt´s offense sputtered as they made too hasty decisions and had no calmness in their sets. BBC Coburg had no mercy and just continued to pour on the offense as they closed out the first quarter with a 11-2 run to lead easily 33-15. In the run, BBC Coburg continued to get great offensive production from Urbano who scored two more times and German Johannes Mavridis gave vital support from the bench with a three pointer. “They hit their shots very well and we had no communication on defense. These things happen from time to time”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 75% from the field and 75% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 2 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 38% from the field and 17% from outside and had 4 rebounds and 6 turnovers.
BBC Coburg continued to control the game and led by as much as 16 points in the second quarter, but couldn´t hold it as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to cut it down to as much as 10 points, but trailed by 13 points at the break. In the last two last second wins at home against Hanau and Speyer, Frankfurt was able to get the majority of the 50/50 balls, but against BBC Coburg the tables would be turned. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out refocused in the second quarter going on a rapid 4-0 run to cut the BBC Coburg lead to 33-19. The first field goal took 4 attempts until German Jordan Samare made a tip in and ex Rostock center Noah Kamdem made a lay in as Frankfurt was aggressive inside and attacked the offensive glass. But BBC Coburg finally got on the board as Elias Baggette who is great at picking his spots made a laid back step back jumper and Mavridis made another three pointer as he stayed true to his 55% three point percentage which he had entering the game. Frankfurt got a huge trey from ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith and free throws from Alvin Onyia, but BBC Coburg still led 40-24. Here and there Frankfurt had their moments taking little runs going on a 7-0 run to cut BBC Coburg´s lead down to 40-31. Frankfurt calmed down on offense making good decisions as Hadenfeldt hit a 20 footer and Kamdem nailed a 25 footer while Len Schoormann was back making a big steal and going coast to coast for the dunk. Frankfurt upped their defensive pressure and were rewarded with easy baskets. But Frankfurt weren´t able to make any ground on BBC Coburg as the guests let it rain three´s again as Urbano hit two trey´s and Bulic also stepped out and saw nothing but net. Schoormann hit back to back baskets and Jordan Samare also scored in the paint, but BBC Coburg led 49-37. In the last few minutes, Len Schoormann remained very aggressive getting to the free throw line and Noah Kamdem made a pretty fake and move to score a lay in, but BBC Coburg continued to have their dazzling point guard Elias Baggette who controlled the paint with his speed and great ball handling making a lay in and floater as BBC Coburg led 53-42 at half-time. “They hit very tough shots. It is really tough to see that happen when your defending well”, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 66% from the field and 58% from the three point line and had 9 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 50% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 14 rebounds and 9 turnovers.
BBC Coburg continued to control the contest in the third quarter keeping a double digit lead and led by as much as 20 points and led 74-59 after 30 minutes. BBC Coburg came out of half-time recharged and went on a quick 9-2 run to extend their lead to 62-44. In the run, they got key production from Leon Bulic who dominated the paint area with a lay in and two handed dunk while Ebert made a jumper and Sven Lorber who has played 86 Regionalliga games dropped a trey. BBC Coburg continued to run their sets and execute while Frankfurt continued to have defensive lapses and were too sloppy on offense coughing up the ball too often. BBC Coburg continued to have a well oiled offense, but it also helped that they had enough guys who also know how to execute on one on one. Baggette continued to do what he wanted scoring back to back baskets. On one play he tip toed by a defender and then scored and he also hit a 20 footer for the overwhelming 66-46 lead. “Baggette has made a good development. He has gotten stronger mentally and physically. He reads the game well and has a great IQ. His quickness is so important for his game and he is very good against the switches”, stated Leon Bulic. It wasn´t only Schoormann who held Frankfurt in the game, but also Noah Kamdem who took responsibility and scored two baskets to cut the BBC Coburg lead down to 66-50. Both teams traded baskets until the end as Hadenfeldt and Ebert scored jumpers as Frankfurt trailed 68-52. Samare continued to be active and execute scoring twice inside while BBC Coburg got easy baskets in the paint from Bulic and Urbano. Hadenfeldt let a last spark fly in the last seconds hitting a clutch trey as BBC Coburg led 74-59. “We had a good run and got some fast break baskets. Ebert led us and Urbano had some big rebounds”, added Leon Bulic. “We had too many turnovers and gave them too many second chances. But we never gave up and fought back”, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 67% from the field and 53% from the parking lot and had 15 rebounds and 11 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 23% from the parking lot and had 20 rebounds and 15 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors big moment came in the fourth quarter where they exploded for 29 points and made a massive come back that wasn´t rewarded at the end. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors began to chip away at the huge BBC Coburg lead and stormed out on a 22-7 run to dead lock the contest at 81-81. BBC Coburg had the better start getting baskets from Bulic and Ebert, but Frankfurt then exploded going on a 19-2 run. The run began with a Schoormann floater who´s self-confidence was sky high finished with 26 points and 5 assists and continues to rule the Pro B in the last weeks. “He has understood that he can be successful with his athleticism in the Pro B. His self confidence also has grown which is a big advantage for him”, stated Philipp Hadenfeldt. Frankfurt then got a huge spark from German Alvin Onyia who had been quiet in the first three quarters offensively, but struck back in the run with a tap in on the offensive glass and a trey testing his 28% three point percentage as Frankfurt trailed only 79-71. Frankfurt also was helped by BBC Coburg who had 5 team fouls early. Frankfurt profited from that getting free throws from Schoormann, Begue and Hadenfeldt. Defensive stopper Maxi Begue who had been quiet offensively broke open scoring twice inside to tie the game at 81-81. Leon Bulic then stopped the run scoring a clutch three for the 84-81 BBC Coburg lead. Frankfurt continued to be scrappy and got a runner from Schoormann in traffic and then Begue made a massive steal and fed Jordan Samare on transition for the mega two handed stuff as Frankfurt suddenly led again 85-84 with only 1,14 minutes to play. “We didn´t make any real adjustments on defense. We got more 50/50 balls and rebounded better which led to transition baskets. We just wanted it more than them”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. “Frankurt had to win and gave their all. Frankfurt was more aggressive on defense and the Frankfurt bigs got easy baskets”, stated Leon Bulic. It seemed like the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the total momentum, but then came the crazy turning point. Ebert and Baggette slammed the door shut on Frankfurt with two acrobatic circus shots. Ebert as usual did a good job using his body making a tough shot while Baggette was seemingly on the floor already as he somehow made an insane shot. “Baggette´s shot was wild. Ebert also can make those shots. They saved us and decided the game”, stated Leon Bulic. “Both shots were tough shots. If one didn´t go in we win. But that is what happens when you have won 8 games in a row, the confidence is always high and they make those kind of shots”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg were led by Daniel Urbano with 23 points. Leon Bulic added 19 points while Elias Baggette had 18 points and 8 assists and Constantin Ebert had 15 points and 7 assists while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Len Schoormann with 26 points. Jordan Samare and Noah Kamdem added 14 points apiece. BBC Coburg shot 59% form the field and 53% from outside and had 21 rebounds and 17 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 26% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 18 turnovers.
Quantez Robertson is playing his 12th professional season and has played many games against many tough opponents, but their hasn´t been a more fierce and competitive opponent as Brose Bamberg in the easyCredit BBL. He has battled against them each season and played playoff games as well. The Cincinnati native who played college ball at Auburn learned about my special Brose Bamberg history test, and he was right up for the challenge as he released a positive laugh. When I asked the Fraport Skyliner living legend if he could guess what his record was against Bamberg, he couldn´t tell me the exact record, but he was right in that he is under 500. He also has had some real playoff gems against Alba Berlin, but playing Bamberg has meant a lot to him. “The rivalry has been good. We have had some really hard fought battles since my rookie season. I remember that in my rookie year, they had a lot of veterans and the years after so did we. It has been a fun rivalry”, stressed Quantez Robertson. One of his biggest wins against Bamberg occurred in the 2011-2012 season where Frankfurt played an amazing defensive game at home winning 76-65 as they witnessed a starting five of Casey Jacobsen, Brian Roberts, Marcus Slaughter, Julius Jenkins and PJ Tucker. This could easily have been not only the best starting five that Robertson has ever faced in Germany, but the best ever in the easyCredit BBL. “That might very well have been the best starting five that I ever faced. But then again my rookie year they also had a great starting five with Goldsberry, Jacobsen, Roberts, Suput and Brown. That starting five was still great even if Goldsberry wasn´t that scorer. I remember that both teams fought really hard, but I also remember the laughing and joking on the floor”, expressed Quantez Robertson. Another huge victory for the Fraport Skyliners was in the 2015-2016 season where they squeaked out an amazing 88-86 win. Despite a scorching 36 points by current Golden State Warrior Brad Wanamaker, Frankfurt won thanks to 23 points by Euroleague player Danilo Barthel and 22 points by Canadian Aaron Doorenkamp. That Bamberg team also had future NBA player Nicolo Melli and a real fierce duo with Daniel Theis and PJ Tucker from the bench. “That Bamberg squad was a tough one. But a reason why we could pull that game out was because we had been together for a second year. Our chemistry was a lot better that second year than the first year where we reached the Eurochallenge Final 4”, remembered Quantez Robertson. You can´t have a Brose Bamberg test without mentioning the bitter 2010 game five final loss 72-70. Almost 11 years later, the American still remembers this contest as if it was yesterday. “Pascal Roller got fouled and missed the free throw. We couldn´t get the offensive rebound. John Goldsberry got the ball and chucked the ball up in the air not letting us get a chance to do anything as time ran out. That loss as a rookie hurt just as much as if it would have happened today”, said Quantez Robertson.
The easyCredit BBL had a two week break because of the national team qualifying games for the Euro 2022. Quantez Robertson took the time to make a trip home to visit family. The American who is good friends with ex Skyliner Mike Morrison almost had extreme difficulty returning back to Germany. “It snowed really bad a few days before I had to return to Germany. I had fun playing with the kids in the snow. It snows once every three or four years in Alabama”, stated Quantez Robertson. He is back in Germany as the Fraport Skyliners prepare for the home stretch and battle for the playoffs. Currently they are in 10th place with a 7-12 record and two wins away from the last playoff spot. The club continues to be up and down and currently are riding a three game losing streak. “We haven´t been consistent on the defensive end. We tend to begin very well, but in the second half let up”, stated Quantez Robertson. But there are also other weak spots in their game that they really need to correct if they want to reach the playoffs this season. “We have been out rebounded in the last games and have to get better and we also have to execute our game plan better”, said Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt next play Brose Bamberg who are in eighth place with a record of 9-12 and beat Frankfurt a few weeks ago in Frankfurt. Frankfurt don´t win often in Freak City and will need a total good effort to come home victorious. “Going to Bamberg is like playing anywhere else especially now without fans. We don´t have to block them out in Bamberg at the moment. We have to play hard and execute like always. We continue to have problems in the second half. We have to learn to be able to put together two good halves of basketball. If we can do that then the outcome will be different from the last games”, expressed Quantez Robertson.
One guy they desperately need back to his explosive and consistent scoring ways is American Matt Mobley. In the last three loses he has scored only 33 points combined in loses while in the three games before that he rattled home 81 points combined all in wins. One thing is for sure his teammates aren´t about to let him stop shooting. This stat shows just how valuable he is to the Frankfurt offense. “Matt is a scorer and hasn´t been shooting the ball well as of late. But we continue to believe that he will shoot well no matter what. I´m very confident that his shot will start to fall again”, warned Quantez Robertson. Another player that has sprouted some fresh air to the court has been young German Bruno Vrcic. He was fit at the start of the season and played, then was injured and now is back again. He had some good BBL games recently hitting his ex team FC Bayern Munich for 7 points and scored 6 points against ratiopharm Ulm. And a few days ago he was top scorer against the Telekom Baskets Bonn with 20 points in a test game. “Bruno is getting more and more comfortable on the court with the more time he is getting. This continues to help him get in better game rhythm. I also think he will continue to get good minutes with more time and opportunities. Good things will happen when he continues to have games like against Bonn”, stated Quantez Robertson. Tez continues to find his game as currently he is averaging 8.6ppg, 4,7rpg, 3,5apg and 1,8spg while shooting a respectable 33% from outside. One thing he stresses always is that he needs to be more aggressive. In the tough loss in Munich, he was 8/8 from the free throw line the most attempts he has had this season. “I think the refs were on my side that day. Key was that I attacked the rim well”, stressed Quantez Robertson. But when he does attack the rim, it sometimes looks flawless and beautiful and other times nasty as he runs into a brick wall. “Sometimes I´m just moving too fast. I need to slow down. When I do that then I will pick my spots better”, warned Quantez Robertson. His defense continues to be his bread and butter as he has gobbled up 13 steals in the last four games. Of course it isn´t just steals that defines his game as he also does the little things that count. “My defense helps us get in the open court. This has not only helped my game but also the teams. It helps the team get a flow and open looks”, added Quantez Robertson.
Now comes the most defining moment of the season. This will make or break the Fraport Skyliners in 20-21. They have five games in March and four of them against teams they can beat. Ofcourse getting a massive win in Bamberg could pave the road for them upping their self-confidence to making a run in March towards the playoffs. Tez and his teammates will board a bus on Saturday afternoon for the two hour bus journey to Bamberg and he will have one thing on his mind during the haul to Bamberg. “I will be thinking that if we can play our hardest and give our all then we will win in Bamberg. We can´t worry about them, but only worry about ourselves”, warned Quantez Robertson. When I asked Tez which Bamberg player that he played against in his 12 year career that he would enjoy to duel most in a one on one game, he took a long pause and couldn´t name one. Of course choosing one guy doing that would be as difficult as guessing how many triple doubles Lebron James has had in his career. Tez has played against so many incredible Bamberg players over the years so deciding wouldn´t be easy. I threw the name Brad Wanamaker into the room. “I believe I could stop him in a one on one game, but not only him but many other guys that I have faced in my career. It has always been fun playing against guys like that”, stressed Quantez Robertson. He will be focused on the bus ride down to Bamberg thinking about the game, but if he does nod away for a bit, then we know that he will be dreaming of his conquest of Brad Wanamaker in a one on one battle.
Alba Berlin has belonged to the top basketball addresses for more than 25 years and their success was built and groomed by the incredible influx of talent that team brain Marco Baldi was able to drag to Berlin. The team was never short of big men talents and one could really construct a list that could easily go a few blocks down Schutzen street where their training facility is. The NBA presented some of the tallest living big men of all-time with legends like Manute Bol, and Gheorghe Muresan who were an incredible 231cm or Rockets legend Yao Ming and German Shawn Bradley who stood at 229cm and some other less known centers were Sim Bhullar at 227cm and guys like ,Slavko Vranes 226cm Pavel Podkolsin 226cm, and Chuck Nevitt 226 who measured in at 226cm Alba Berlin also was never short of having really really tall players. Some of the tallest big men that they ever had were Patrick Femerling, and Sasha Hupmann who both were 216cm or guys like Miro Raduljica, Dennis Clifford and Cemal Nalga who are 213cm each. But the guy who took the cake and recognition of being the tallest ever player in the organization and BBL was Gunther Behnke who was 221cm and played with Alba Berlin from 1994-1996. It has been a while since the club had a real green jolly giant, but guess what 26 years later a new colossal player has arrived in Berlin with Jean Marc “Christ Koumadje who also is 221cm. He is only in his second professional season after being a rooke in the G_league last season and this season Alba Berlin is already his third destination after playing in Spain and Russia. As a rookie he was teammates with current ex NBA player Haywood Highsmith of the Crailsheim Merlins. Koumadje has the fortune to meet his ex teammate Highsmith this Sunday in Berlin for a BBL clash. Where ever Koumadje goes in the next days, he will get the typical stares, but that is usual when your a towering 221cm. It was no different when Haywood Highsmith met him for the first time in the summer of 2019 when they both played at the NBA Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers. “I remember the first time I met him, he was so tall that you just had to look. He is like a mini Rudy Gobert, but just taller”, expressed Haywood Highsmith. It was time for a new ex Teammates scouting report Haywood Highsmith Vs Christ Koumadje.
Jean Marc Koumadje who goes by the name Christ was born on July 7th, 1996 in N’Djamena in Chad, Africa. He has only been playing for 8 years as he was introduced to the game at the Basket Ball without Boarders camp in Nigeria in 2013. He then came state side and played at Montverde Academy from 2013-2015 that has produced NBA players like Joel Embiid, RJ Barrett, DÁngello Russell, and Precious Achiuwa just to name a few and he was teammates with future NBA star Ben Simmons. He helped the school win two national championships. He was a 5-star recruit by Florida Hoop, a 4-star recruit and the No. 25 ranked center by ESPN.com and the No. 28 prep prospect at the center position by scout.com. He then proceeded to play at Florida State University from 2015-2019 under the guidance of head coach Leonard Hamilton where he played a total of 117 NCAA games. In his first two seasons he averaged only 1,3ppg and 3,3ppg, but his minutes increased a bit from 6 to 10 minutes. In his last two seasons his minutes were 16 and 15 as he averaged 6,5ppg, 4,1rpg and 1,5bpg and as a senior he averaged 6,6ppg, 5,6rpg and 1,4bpg. On the one hand, he didn´t log big minutes during his Florida State tenure, but he had the rare luxury of playing with amazing talent. It wasn´t just two or three future NBA players that he saw on a daily basis, but in his four years he played with eight future NBA players with Dwayne Bacon Jonathan Isaac, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Terance Mann Trent Forest Malik Beasley, Mfiondu Kabengele and Devin Vassil. Some of his best games in school were 23 points against Syracuse in a 101-90 win, and 20 points and 12 boards against Wake Forest in a 88-66 victory. He reached the NIT Sweet 16 in 2016 and reached the big dance reaching the NCAA Elite 8 in 2018 bowing out to Michigan 58-54.
He began his professional basketball career in 2019 and played NBA Summer League together with Haywood Highsmith with the Philadelphia 76ers playing 4 games averaging 6.3ppg, 5.8rpg, Blocks-4(2.8bpg), FGP: 62.5%, FT: 83.3%. He had some eye opening games with 11 points, 7 boards and 5 blocks in a 107-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks and 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks in a 84-81 loss against the Oklahoma Thunder. He then played his rookie season with the Delaware Blue Coats (NBA G League) playing 33 games averaging 11.3ppg, 11.1rpg, Blocks-1(4.1bpg), FGP: 63.5%, FT: 67.9%. Here once again he teamed up with Haywood Highsmith. Highsmith did reach the NBA that season with the Sixers, but spent a majority of his season with Delaware. All in all, it was a good experience for Haywood Highsmith being teammates with a talented defender. “He helped me a lot on defense especially with his ability to protect the paint so well. Knowing that he was protecting the rim helped everyone to take more chances on defense to get steals and get in passing lanes. His domination in the paint was huge”, remembered Haywood Highsmith. He is most known for his rebounding and defensive qualities, but he also showed his ability to score in the G-League. He scored in double figures in 24 games and had 17 double doubles. But what was even more impressive was his two triple doubles. He hit Long Island for 12 points, 16 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 11-88 win and scored 18 points, hauled down 20 rebounds and swatted away 12 balls in a 111-103 win against Eire. “These kind of games brought Bill Russell memories. “I witnessed those triple doubles. It did remind a bit of how Bill Russell played”, added Haywood Highsmith.
The youngster Koumadje has a high skill level as he can do so many other things beside get rebounds and block shots as he runs the floor like a young deer and can finish strong at the rim while also having this special arsenal of physical tools that will only get better as he gets stronger and gains more experience. But Haywood Highsmith also saw some other great attributes to his game. “He is a very good communicator that talks a lot on defense and in timeouts. He helps putting guys in the right position and calling out screens, he also has a great basketball IQ”, warned Haywood Highsmith. At Florida State he was known as having a mean streak, but it was something that he fueled into positive vibes. “I never saw a mean streak in him. He got fired up on the court, but that is something that any player does”, remembered Haywood Highsmith. On top of his good basketball qualities, the Chad big man also is known as being a good character guy that knows how to spread that positive vibe on and off the court. “He was always cool with all. He was always chilled out and laid back. He wasn´t really quiet, but stood out with his personality. He was a good locker room guy and always kept smiling”, said Haywood Highsmith. “He is a really good person and has a good work ethic”, stressed ex Alba Berlin head coach Gordon Herbert. But no player is totally perfect with his skills already at his age of 24, but Haywood Highsmith really couldn´t find many flaws in his game. “He definitely needs to get stronger. But to be honest the guy is 7,2 and can do so much. He just needs to keep doing what he has been doing”, warned Haywood Highsmith.
Let´s fast forward to 2021. His second professional season and first overseas hasn´t been a cake walk as he has suffered some basketball blues. He began the season with Movistar Estudiantes Madrid (Spain-Liga) playing 6 games averaging 1.2ppg, 1.0rpg, later that month moved to Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB) playing 6 VTB United League games averaging 1.2ppg, 1.2rpg. Now he has signed with Euroleague team Alba Berlin and could make his Euroleague debut tonight against Panathinaikos Athens. After two disappointing experiences in Spain and Russia, three could be a charm with Alba Berlin. I mean how can he not get a chance and develop further under legendary head coach Aito? This situation is a great great opportunity for him. When Highsmith learned that his ex teammate had signed with Alba Berlin he was all thumbs up. “Alba Berlin is a great team. He is a great big man and defender. He will fit in very well with them”, stressed Haywood Highsmith. The question now is can he translate his game to the European level better with Alba Berlin? Are his 11/11 stats in the G-League misleading in terms of how successful he can be overseas where the game is played a lot differently? “No they aren´t misleading. That was a pretty good stat line in the G-League. He shot the ball well and what many don´t know is that he is a pretty good free throw shooter for his size. I believe that he can fit in anywhere. He is a player that knows what to do and that is very important”, expressed Haywood Highsmith. It will be interesting to see if Koumadje will crack the Alba Berlin roster and be able to be more of an impact player and simply just get a chance. He definitely is still very raw. “His potential is at the ceiling. If he continues to get stronger, he will only get stronger as a player. He is still young and he has a lot going for him. His future is very bright”, warned Haywood Highsmith. “He can become a good piece in Europe. He just needs time to develop”, warned ex Alba Berlin head coach Gordon Herbert. When Haywood Highsmith steps on the bus in Crailsheim on Saturday to travel to Berlin, he may reminisce back to last season and his time with Christ Koumadje. “One of my fondest moments was watching him at the airport and seeing him interact with kids and signing autographes. The guy is just so nice and approachable”, stated Haywood Highsmith. It will be interesting to observe top easyCredit player and MVP candidate Trae Bell-Haynes stat line after the game The Canadian´s biggest strength is his quickness and drive to the rim. Will Christ Koumadje make his mark in his first easyCredit BBL game and slow him down as well as making an impact on the defensive end?
Greg Foster (190-PG-89, college: SVSU) is a 31 year old 188cm guard from Howe, Indiana and is playing his eighth professional season and first in Germany with PS Karlsruhe currently averaging 11,1ppg, 2,8rpg, and 5,3apg. He has played for 17 professional teams and last played for Indios de San Francisco (Dominican Republic-LNB) playing 16 games averaging 15.2ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-1 (5.0apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 75.8% and also played with Cupes de los Pepines (Dominican Republic-Santiago League) playing 5 games averaging 25.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 8.6apg, 2.8spg, 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 43.3%, FT: 80.0%. He began his basketball career at TC Howe High School and then played at Saginaw Valley State University (NCAA2) from 2008-2012. In his first few years as a professional he played in American leagues like the UBA, PBL, IBL, and ABA. He then found experience in countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Talk a little how tough the last 9 months were. COVID-19 hit in March and changed the world forever. How did experience the day to day back home and in the Dominican Republic and Mexico where you played?
Covid impacted my life immediately. I was playing in the Dominican Republic at the time. Covid forced our season to end sooner than expected.
What was the most challenging thing about life and and finding ways to work on your fitness and game?
I was honestly able to continue working on my fitness. I ran out and found outside to practice on. When the time was right, I was able to get back in the gym. I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am very thankful for the Marcus and Jeff Teague. Who have an amazing facility called The Factory. I was about to workout with them and Andre Owens (former NBA Player) and Darius Adams (Plays in CBA (China).
How do you feel did you benefit from COVID-19 and how did it make you stronger as a man in general?
I feel I benefited tremendously from Covid. I had time to workout and get better with other professional athletes Marcus, Jeff, Andre, Darius and many more. I had a great basketball trainer Rob Blackwell and a great fitness Coach Justin Ochoa (Pace Academy).
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team PS Karlsruhe. Do you have an explanation why it took you so long to reach Europe?
Honestly, Europe has always been in my mind, just never had the right situation. This year, I was in a two year deal with the Dominican Republic. The impact of Covid, caused the nation league to cancel their season this year. So this year, I decided to test the waters and put whatever happens in the hands of God.
One can really call you a basketball globetrotter. You have played for 17 organizations in your career and in countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. If you had to estimate how many suitcases you have had in the last 6-7 years how much would you say?
I don’t know if I could even count how many suitcases I have packed. Hahahahaha
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 188cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I don’t know I would compare my game to anyone in the NBA. I’m kind of a hybrid between the old tradition point guard (make the right play) and the new school fast pace point guard (make a play).
You have demonstrated in many leagues around the world that you can score a lot and hand out a lot of assists. What would you say is your absolute biggest asset on the court?
I think my absolute best asset on the court is being a leader. I am good at being an extension of the coach on the court. Striving to keep a team concept.
Your three pointer was a work in progress for many years, but recently you shot the ball very well in the Dominican Republic. Was it more doing more reps or better shot selection that helped you shoot better?
My three point shot was inconsistent before because of the technique. Working with my trainers Rob Blackwell on my technique (one motion) and Lloyd McBribe on reps, I have become more comfortable and in-tuned with my shot.
You also have shown to take a lot of pride on the defensive end. What do you believe is your biggest quality on the defensive end that also helps your teammates?
Defense is one of those things that you have to take pride in. I’ve learned defense builds team chemistry just as much as offense.
You recently played with Cupes de los Pepines (Dominican Republic-Santiago League) playing 5 games averaging 25.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 8.6apg, 2.8spg, 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 43.3%, FT: 80.0%. Was that some of your best basketball in your career and do you wonder how you would have ended stat wise there had COVID-19 not struck?
Honestly I’m not really a stat chaser. I do what is needed for the team to win. I am honestly a championship chaser. I want to win every championship every year. That’s how you get recognized.
In your last game at Cupes you battled Ramon Galloway who has played in top leagues in Europe and almost made the NBA finishing with a better game ranking and outscoring him 29 to 27 but losing. Do you sometimes wonder why you are where you are despite your high basketball abilities.
Ramon Galloway is a very very good player. Honestly I could be mad and stress that I haven’t played in big basketball prestige markets. But I try to take everything one step at a time. I am here now, and willing show what I have to offer.
How big is the chip on your shoulder? You have proven time in and time out that you can compete with top guards. Do you feel that chip will never leave you?
The chip on my shoulder will never leave. It is what motivates me. I know I have to better than the best to receive recognition. I just put work ethic and my trust in God’s timing.
In the Dominican Republic you were teammates with experienced ex Stanford great Anthony Goods. How much better did both of you make each other during the season?
Anthony Goods might go down as one of my favorite teammates. We pushed each other a lot during the season. He helped me grow a lot as a player.
In your first 3 professional seasons you had to pay your dues in semi-pro ball in the States with teams like the at Cleveland Havok (UBA), Portland Chinooks (IBL), Indiana Diesels (PBL) and Indy Naptown All Stars (ABA). What kind of experience was this and please give an example of how it is playing semi-pro where one seems so far away from Europe?
Playing semi pro is something I’ll always hang my hat on. It showed I was never to prideful, even when my dreams seemed out of reach. Honestly you’d be surprised with some of the talent you might encounter in the semi pro world. One great encounter I had a teammate, Johnathan Simmons go on to play in the NBA and many others go on to play professionally. Of course the style and smarts of euro basketball is amazing and you can’t compare it to semi pro.
You also played 2 D-League games with Ft Wayne. What memories do you have of your brief time there and wouldn’t more of a D-League career been possible?
I have some great memories in D-League, but I honestly I learned so much from that year with the Mad-Ants. Connor Henry was the coach and learning from him, turned me into the player I am today. I gathered as much information as I could. A longer D-League career would have been nice, but it didn’t seem to be my cards at that moment. I went a different path.
You won the 2015 CBA title with the Ft Wayne Flints. What was your fondest moment of winning your first professional chip?
The championship with Fort Wayne Flite was huge for me. It started me down a path of knowing what it takes to win and motive my guy. If you feel you deserve more, DOMINATE where you are.
You played at Saginaw Valley State University (NCAA2) from 2008-2012. What were your fondest moments there and how did your game grow best there?
Saginaw Valley State University was a good challenging experience. Some of my fondest moments there, were scoring my 1000th career point and senior night with one of my teammates who was there with me from freshman year
You had many great games in the NCAA 2 but where does the 30 point 10 rebound game against Michigan Tech rank?
The 30 point 10 rebounds games ranks pretty high for me against Michigan Tech. We needed to win that game and I gave it my all.
How did head coach Frankie Smith groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Frankie Smith is a great coach. He groomed me mentally for the pros. I actually called him a month ago.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Chris Webb?
You’ll have to ask Chris Webb who won the one on one games. I’ll just say, the entire SVSU basketball family challenged me to one on ones and usually I came out on top.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCCA or anywhere that went to the NBA?
The toughest player I ever battled that went on to the NBA was Derrick Rose.
Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Five best teammates Andre Emmit Anthony Goods Cj Fair Paris Bass Dante Williams
Please construct your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present players?
Mike Jordan Kobe Allen Iverson Lebron James
What is your personal opinion between the never ending debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James concerning who is the greatest of all-time?
Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time. No question
Every now and then there will be that NBA connection with a player or players that are playing in Germany. One of the best examples ever concerning guys that have played in Germany were Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce who played in the EasyCredit BBL and were best known as having that special connection to Lebron James as all three played together at St Vincent in Akron when they were in high school. These NBA-German connections aren´t abundant, but every now and then there will be one. As I was back home in January 2018, I was back to practicing one of my childhood loves getting autographs and on January 16th, I waited before a Boston Celtics game in front of a posh 5 star Boston hotel for the New Orleans Pelicans who would lose a tough 116-113 nail bitter. There were some nice players on the team, but I was most interested in seeing ex Kentucky great Anthony Davis who came out of the hotel entrance greeted with many screams and he didn´t disappoint scribbling his initials for everyone. Another player I was interested in was Darius Miller who was back in the NBA after playing in Germany for Bamberg and helping them win titles. I had interviewed him in Germany and he actually remembered me. The team had many younger players, but also a real true NBA veteran with Jameer Nelson who had carved out a nice career at Saint Josephs (NCAA). This would be his last professional season as he would play 14 NBA seasons averaging double figures in scoring in 9 seasons and had his hey day with the Orlando Magic. I remember him exiting the hotel and being very kind and signing for all and even posed with me for a selfie. I hadn´t thought about Jameer Nelson for a long time, but then his name popped up again as I was checking Josh Sharkey´s bio at Wikipedia. The American is a rookie with German Pro A team Tigers Tuebingen and is the cousin of the ex NBA player. So there I was preparing questions for the American rookie and could add some extra questions about Jameer Nelson. It doesn´t happen so often, but every now and then there is that’ special NBA connection with another American player in a German league. Nelson isn´t just another cousin for him, but a huge mentor that has been massive for his development as a player. “He was and still is my role model. I fell in love with this game at a young age from watching two people play . Allen Iverson and my cousin Jameer Nelson. From me watching him play at St Joes university all the way to the NBA I always wanted to model my game after his. As I got older we got closer and he is someone I can go to and talk to about anything with. Life, basketball, business, etc. He’s a big brother/cousin, and father figure to me. I’ve learned so much from him not only in basketball but in life He’s taught me so much and I appreciate him for that. Like I said earlier he is the true definition of what it means to be a professional. He really taught me what it means to really work hard. He’s a great father and husband just a great family man overall. I’m lucky to have someone like him in my life. That’s something I’m grateful for. I have someone in my life that’s been where I want to be in my family”, warned Josh Sharkey. The many great moments with ex NBA player Jameer Nelson have been priceless. “One that is pretty funny is he actually made me get in my first cold tub ever. I think this was the summer going into my freshman year at Samford we had just got done working out for the second time that day and I was probably complaining about being sore so he asked the St Joes trainer could we use the cold tub. Mind you before this I had never been in one so I don’t really know what to expect. So he’s giving me all this advice I’m acting like a know it all like yeah yeah I know whatever it’s probably not even that cold. So I go get in the tub and it was the coldest feeling I ever had in my life. Five seconds in I got out it was too cold. So he’s clowning me he goes gets the trainer she comes in starts clowning me with him haha so now I’m like ok I have to get in now I get back in I’m like no way I can do this I’m asking for heat packs, towels to squeeze while I’m in there it was so cold I almost started crying I probably lasted not even two minutes in that tub but yeah he got me getting in cold tubs before I even got to college”, remembered Josh Sharkey. Having that Jameer Nelson love and loving how people underestimate him has helped Josh Sharkey(Tigers Tuebingen) become the player he is today.
Josh Sharkey was born on September 10th, 1997 in Philadelphia and grew up in Radnor, Pennsylvania. He began his basketball career at Archbishop Carroll High School. A few years later he would play against future NBA players on a regular basis in the NCAA, but he was blessed already in high school to be able to call future NBA player Derrick Jones as a teammate. “What’s crazy is Derrick and I actually played with each other before my time at Carroll. So we were familiar with each other’s game once I came to Carroll. But I mean you definitely knew from day 1 that he was an NBA talent. I was actually just telling someone the other day he is the greatest dunker I have ever seen with my own two eyes. The things he is capable of doing are just crazy to think of it’s really like a video game. But Derrick is a hard worker and you can see each year he comes back better than he was the year before and each year his role with whatever team he is on increases. But to answer your question it was amazing to play with Derrick and he made my job extremely easy. All I had to do was throw it close to the rim and he would go and get it. It’s great to see him live out his dream. He is a really great guy”, expressed Josh Sharkey. He was named to the roster of the annual Philly/New York City Classic, which showcases some the best high school talent in the Northeast. He proved to be one of only 10 players in the Philadelphia area to earn the distinction. He got a lot of interest from schools like Dayton, Penn State, East Carolina, Wofford, Tulsa, James Madison, Boston University, Penn, Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson, but in the end chose Samford. He played at Samford from 2016-2020 playing a total of 128 NCAA games. In his freshman year he played 36 game averaging: 8.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.2apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 72.0%. He started only 2 games in his freshman year and was the backup to Christen Cunningham, but is thankful that he could soak up so much valuable information to help his game as a young buck. “That’s my big brother. I learned so much from him and he was actually the reason I ultimately decided to go to Samford. He was my host of my official visit and we clicked from day 1. He was also a big reason why I took that big jump from sophomore year to junior year. Learning from him and competing against him in practice every day only made me better as a player. CC is a traditional PG. he gets guys in the right spots, he leads vocally and with action, gets guys involved and scores when the team needs him to. Really appreciate him”, said Josh Sharkey. He scored in double figures in 16 games including 23 points in a loss against Furman, 18 points in a win against Citadel and 15 points in a victory over S Alabama. He led the conference in steals with 71 and set a team single season record with 71 steals. He was named to the Socon all freshman team. In his sophomore season he played 29 games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.1rpg, 5.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 19.2%, FT: 75.4%. He scored in double figures in 8 games including a 25 points effort in a loss against NC Greensboro and 16 points in a loss against VMI.
The American´s game took a huge rise in his junior year as he played 33 games averaging 16.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 7.2apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 75.0%. He scored in double figures in 30 games and registered 7 double doubles. His best scoring games included 27 points against Chattanooga and Mercer. He also scored 25 points in a win over PFW and had 24 points against Houston Baptist, Mercer and NC Greensboro. He set a school record 16 assists in a wild 107-106 loss against Wofford which he will never forget. “That was probably the best and most entertaining game I was a part of in my entire career. Back and forth the entire game I think we actually made sports center after it but yeah I broke the record was a great game but just wish we could’ve pulled that one out. We were on the road, very tough to win at Wofford and they had a great player in Fletcher Magee who is one of the best college basketball shooters of all time. So I actually made the layup to give us a 106-105 lead with about 5 seconds left. They inbound the ball to my man he comes down takes a one leg fadeaway and it goes in at the buzzer. We were crushed to have competed that hard against one of the best teams in the league on the road to come up short like that hurt. But yeah definitely one of the most entertaining games I ever played in”, added Josh Sharkey. He also had good memories playing against VMI and always had to be prepared to give an extra good effort against that school. “You could say that it was expected they were the team to end my career. But I loved and hated the VMI games because me going to Samford meant my family wouldn’t get to see me play in person as much due to the distance from Philly and Birmingham. So when we would go to VMI Virginia is 5 hours away so my family would come and I would feel like I had to play well for them because they didn’t get to see me in person that often. What sucks about the VMI games was then11 hour bus ride there and back to campus lol brutal”, stated Josh Sharkey. It was also in his junior year and not his senior season where he felt he had his best NCAA game. “I wound say my best college game was my junior year against Jacksonville State University. I think I finished with 22 points 10 assists like 6 or 7 rebounds and 8 steals but the most important thing was we won that game so I would say that one for sure”, remembered Josh Sharkey. He was named to the All-SoCon 2nd Team.
In his senior year, he was able to make another huge jump in his college development playing 30 games averaging 18.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 7.2apg, 2.7spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 77.3%. he had a very logical explanation for why his game rose so drastically in his last two years. “I think me putting the work in just helped with my confidence. So when I came back my junior year I was shooting the ball better, watched film so I wasn’t making the same mistakes I just grew as a player and the work I put in showed on the court my last two seasons. Also there was now opportunity for me to be the player I am with some upper class men graduating and some transferring. My junior year was the first year I felt a sense of responsibility. It was my responsibility to bring it every day I was now the upperclassman so I had to take it to another level and I did that.”, stressed Josh Sharkey. He scored in double figures in 26 games and scored 20 points or more in 12 games. He scored 35 points in a loss against Chattanooga, scored 30 points in a loss against W Carolina and 27 points a piece in wins against Auburn-Montgomery and Citadel. Players will always remember those amazing moments on the court, but the NCAA isn´t all about the amount of buckets or wins and loses, but there is so much more in a college player´s experience. “ Just every single game putting that Samford jersey on was special. People don’t realize how fast it goes by. I wish I could’ve been in the moment at times a little more than I was but just having the opportunity to play at Samford was a great experience . To play at a school that believed in me when nobody else did and to be able to go to such a great school education wise was a blessing. I enjoyed every moment all the good and all the bad because it shaped me into who I am today. Both as a person and basketball player”, remembered Josh Sharkey. The American also knows that he wouldn´t be the player he is today if it hadn´t been for head coach Scott Padgett helping him get prepared for the professional grind. “I think the way the professional game is played now we see a lot of teams use pick n roll sets. Coach Padgett put me in a lot of pick n rolls throughout my career and I was very effective in them and that has made my transition to the pro game easier because we use a lot of pick n roll sets so that’s something I’m already familiar and used to”, said Josh Sharkey. He was named to the All-SoCon 3rd Team.
There was a big gap between his last NCAA game on March 6th against VMI and being signed by the Tigers Tuebingen in September. But the worst thing was having to abruptly end his college career and then not going out the way college seniors usually do after four years. “My experience with Covid was very unfortunate, pretty much just like everyone else’s and it just honestly came at a really bad time. I didn’t physically experience the virus but it definitely was tough for me mentally. Just having to realize that my senior year and last semester of college was cut short due to the virus was tough to swallow. Our season had just ended so it didn’t really affect the basketball season for me but just to not be able to walk the campus as a student again and to not get the proper graduation ceremony with my fellow seniors was hard to deal with. I feel like I didn’t get the goodbye myself and the whole senior class deserved. I learned to appreciate the time spent with my teammates. Sometimes people don’t understand but it’s really like having a whole new family. The bonds and relationships I made with the teammates I had is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Sometimes I go back and look at some of the old photos and videos I have from my four years and we really created some great memories together. I still talk to a lot of the guys I played with and that brotherhood is something that will always last and I’m grateful for that”, warned Josh Sharkey. Just like everyone else on earth, his life was heavily affected by COVID-19 off the court, but on the court he didn´t have to look for innovative ways to stay in shape and work on his game. “It really wasn’t that hard for me to stay in shape. I was still able to get gym access and work on my game daily. For those who know me and know my story they know the type of relationship I have with my cousin Jameer Nelson. He is a person in my life that I really look up to and try to model myself after. True definition of what a professional is. One thing he tells me is to always stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. So during this tough time we are in I was still able to get in the gym and work with some great trainers. As far as concentrating on trying to find a job with a team, that was difficult. Covid really messed the plans I had for myself up. I’m confident that I would’ve had the opportunity to at least workout for some NBA teams and maybe put myself in a position to make a team. With Covid happening it really crushed my plan and made it even more difficult for a guy like me undersized and coming from a mid major D1 school to do what I wanted to do. So I had to rearrange my plan and go a different direction. My agent thought it was best I consider going overseas my rookie year because we knew what the reality was. Months went by and I still didn’t have a job offer and it was tough. I’m working hard every day trying to get better and still no calls or nothing. So September comes around and I finally get that call and opportunity I was waiting for and it was honestly one of the best moments of my life”, stressed Josh Sharkey. COVID-19 has had a toll on everyone, but like many the American made the best of the situation and tried to benefit as best as possible. “I think it has made me stronger mentally more than anything. These are very very tough times we are living in and it can really take a toll on you mentally. I know we are supposed to be taking precautions trying to stay safe and that usually means staying inside more than we normally would but I encourage people to get out and just get some fresh air. Staying inside all the time not being able to interact with people can really cause people to go into funks and bad moods. Mental health is something I am big on so I encourage people to get out even if it’s just for a couple minutes and do something to help your mental. Make sure to wear your masks though”, warned Josh Sharkey.
Now let´s fast forward to February 2021. COVID-19 is still causing havoc around the world, but Josh Sharkey who lists Tony Carr Myron Gordon Lamar Stevens Derrick Jones Ruben Guerrero as his best teammates of all-time remembers his toughest foes in the NCAA with Cav´s Dylan Windler and Boston Celtic Grant Williams is staying positive despite the world problems. He didn´t sign early in the summer or in the middle of the summer, but very late. The waiting definitely paid off as he knows 100% that he is in a place where he is totally wanted. “The summer transfer period was very challenging. I wasn’t getting many offers, was getting some calls but nothing serious so when the opportunity to play with the Tigers came it was a no brainer for me and I was excited to start my professional career with them because they believed in me when nobody else did. I’ve been an underdog my entire life always having to prove I belong. I did it in high school, college and now my professional career so I’m definitely used to it and I embrace it. Really just adds some extra fuel to my fire and makes me work even harder. So my agent go the call from the club and within days coach Danny Jansson called me personally on the phone and we had a great conversation and had an understanding of what the club wanted from me. Perfect fit”, warned Josh Sharkey. There are so many guys not playing due to COVID-19 with leagues postponed or just not getting offers. One could say despite all the tough circumstances, the American is sitting on top of the world in Germany. “I´m really grateful for the opportunity to play especially with the crazy times we are in now. The basketball life has been both good and challenging. It’s been great learning from my coaches and getting better every day with my teammates. I’ve grown tremendously in the three months I’ve been here and will continue to keep growing and getting better each day. The challenging part is obviously dealing with this virus. It’s been tough with games getting canceled and several teams and organizations having to quarantine due to positive tests throughout the season. It takes a toll on you mentally but at the same time I’m still grateful to even have a job and to be able to play the game I love professionally Working for something your whole life and it finally becoming your reality is one of the best feelings in this world and it’s working out great. I love it over here In Germany. Tübingen is an amazing city and I’m really enjoying my experience this far”, stressed Josh Sharkey.
If you look at the standings of leagues around the world you will see huge differences in games played as each organization has to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and pray every night that a player isn´t tested positive. Not knowing the future of if games will be played or the league postponed can really get into a guy´s head. “It’s tough! It can really throw off your rhythm when games get canceled or when you have to quarantine for several weeks. As competitors we want to play every chance we can get so when we find out a game is postponed or something like that it kind of sucks the life and motivation out of you. But this is the reality we live in now and we know what we signed up for so we have to be professional about it and stay ready the best way we can. Only the strong will come out on top of this so yes it’s tough but at the same time you have to be mentally strong in order to be successful”, stated Josh Sharkey. The second league club is only in 12th place with a record of 6-11, but the American remembered back in December 2020 what will help the team be successful down the road. “We are off to a rough start but at the same time I have hope because we have yet to play a game where the whole team is healthy. We’ve been in every game for the most part so I’m very confident when we all get on the same page and are all healthy we will be just fine. We have a very versatile team. When we put it all together and we will soon we will be very scary for opponents. Our strength is we have a lot of guys that can do different things. We are very versatile and one thing about this team is everyone seems to have an understanding of what their role is and we all want the same thing and that is to win. When we put it all together I think we can make this a special season and do something that hasn’t been done here in a while. Right now we are struggling defensively but I’m confident we will turn things around on that end”, added Josh Sharkey. The team is very young which can be a disadvantage at times, but also be an advantage. “We are a young team like you said, don’t have a lot of experience but we thing we have is hunger and a chip on our shoulders. Everyone in the league knows we have a young team so that respect level isn’t there, so it’s our job to fix that. We have to come out and prove ourselves and prove that just because we are young doesn’t mean anything and we are professionals just like everyone else. Just another challenge for us to conquer”, warned Josh Sharkey. The team also seems to be very tight. The American has some other talented Americans by his side like Troy Simons as well as experienced Germans like Roland Nyama and Enosch Wolf who won a NCAA title with Kemba Walker at UConn. “It’s been really fun playing with Troy. In the three months I’ve been here me, Troy and Isaiah have gotten close on and off the court so that chemistry is there and it’s really fun playing with those guys. Troy is a high level shooter so he makes my job a lot easier and his ability to shoot it so well sometimes opens up different lanes for me to create and make plays. Those German guys have been helping me and the other young guys adjust to the professional game. They bring the intensity and energy every day in practice so they really set the standard and it’s great to have guys like that on your team. I actually haven’t talked to Enosch about it but I’m sure it’s something we will talk about eventually”, said Josh Sharkey. The American has had a great personal season and credits the organization for the simple adjustment. “It’s honestly been the confidence my coaches and teammates have given me. They make it easier for me to go out there and be me. They have trust in me that I will make the right play and when your coaches and teammates trust and believe in you it’s give you confidence. They have really helped with my transition from college to pros and they push me every day to be better than I was the day before. So I give all the credit to them”, stressed Josh Sharkey.
The American who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with the obvious heads of Allen Iverson LeBron James Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant is a unique player that finds it hard to list some NBA players that he could compare his game to, but if he had to name some, he would take Kemba Walker, Ish Smith and Yogi Ferrell. It is obvious he can score buckets and give out bundles of dimes, but he can do so much more on the offensive end as currently he is averaging 16,1ppg, 3,4rpg, 5,9apg and 1,7spg. “I’m a point guard that plays both sides of the ball. Yes I can score and pass at a high level but I can also pick you up 94 ft and guard you all the way up the court. I think my ability to guard is very underrated. I can get into passing lanes and find different ways to be that annoying pest on the defensive end. Ultimately I am a team player that’s my biggest asset. I’m willing to do whatever the team needs me to do to win”, warned Josh Sharkey. When you’re a small player, you have to be very confident to succeed in the cruel basketball world and it is no different with his three pointer. He has vastly improved it and his hard work has paid off as he is shooting an incredible 48% at the moment and is very confident that he can become that reliable strong consistent shooter. “I’ve worked extremely hard on it throughout the years. My freshman and sophomore years at Samford I shot poorly from the three point line. That summer going into my junior year I put hours and hours and hours in. Working with Jameer and Jameer JR every single day getting tons of reps and shots up. Jameer showed me what it meant to be a professional and me putting that work in resulted in my confidence going up which then resulted in my percentage to go up as well. So I really worked hard and still have a long way to go but in the next few years I want to be known as a knock down shooter can’t leave him open type of player. And I will be”, warned Josh Sharkey. The last movie that he watched is the Wolf of Wallstreet and fans in Europe won´t only see his great offensive game down the road, but also his defensive qualities and others that he is working on improving. “I take a lot of pride on the defensive end. Early in my career that was my way onto the court. I was known has a defensive player he could be a play maker at the same time. Now I’ve added to my game so people sometimes overlook that aspect of my game but it’s still there and is something I take a lot of pride in. I’m really working on all areas of my game. I’m always looking for something to improve on whether it’s tightening up my handle, extending my range, getting stronger, getting better defensively, different layup and floater finishes. I’m never satisfied so I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve my game”, stressed Josh Sharkey. A lot has changed in his game over the years, but one thing that will never change is his chip on his shoulder. Nothing surprises the diminutive point guard anymore and any negativity that is thrown his way is seen more as a motivation. “It’s not really tough for me I think because I’m used to it now and I’ve kind of embraced it. I’ve had to prove myself my whole life so it’s nothing new to me. I love it I love when people underestimate me because of my size. I’ve heard it all throughout my basketball career and all the doubt just motivates me to prove them wrong. Just because I’m small doesn’t mean I can’t dominate. So that’s the mentality I have. I’ve had a chip on my shoulders since I started playing the game. But me coming from where I come from the city of Philadelphia you are battled tested at an early age. So me making it out of there is just proof that I can do anything. So when someone says I won’t do this or I won’t do that because of my size it doesn’t faze me because I know I can do anything I put my mind to and work for”, warned Josh Sharkey. He is just at the beginning of his basketball career, but one thing is for sure the love from cousin Jameer Nelson will always be present and the love from all his haters that he continues to fuel into very positive energy that has brought him this far and will continue to help him rise up the basketball ladder in the future.
DJ Woodmore is a 29 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore team together each week to talk basketball.
Thanks DJ for talking to eurobasket.com. A tough 99-72 loss in Coburg. The season has been a tale of 2 parts. In 2020 the team was 8-2 and in 2021 1-7. Maybe the warmer weather this week will bring some positive energy to the team?
Yes. Season has been full of ups and downs so far. I’m hoping we can get back on the right track but I feel like I’ve been saying that for weeks now. Maybe the weather change will be good for us.
BBC Coburg played consistent offense all night long. Why was it so hard to defend the Bavarian team?
They shot the ball extremely well. I think they only missed 2 shots in the first quarter and shot 73% in the first half. Hard to beat a team that isn’t missing.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz beat BBC Coburg in the first game. What has been their secret to becoming the best team in the Pro B south?
I think staying greatly by has been their key. They had a tough December with injuries and uncertainties. And since Christmas, they’ve been on fire. Our season has been just the opposite.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz did a good job staying with BBC Coburg in the first half, but the Bavarian team broke away in the third quarter. What was key for them being able to break open the game?
They just stayed hot the entire game. We weren’t playing bad defense in my opinion. But like I said, if they’re not missing, it gets harder and harder to battle back. They went on a run after run and we just didn’t have an answer for it.
BBC Coburg went on a huge run in the fourth quarter. How much did the back to back three’s from Leon Bulic hurt? That pretty much decided the game.
Yes, that one hurt the worst. It felt like we were still on the verge of possibly getting back in the game, but those threes pretty much sealed it.
BBC Coburg point guard Constantin Ebert had a huge game with 24 points. How have you seen his development over the years and how did he hurt Koblenz the most on the night?
He’s gotten better every year. I remember playing against him when he was a little younger and playing for Wuerzburg in 2014. He’s constantly improved and found a home in Coburg. He was attacking pretty well in the pick and roll. He was able to do anything he wanted. Kept us on our heels the entire night.
big problem continues to be the rebounding. Brian Butler as always was a beast with 14 rebounds and you were second with 6. After that there was very little support. Can this weakness still be corrected?
Yes. I think we have some key players coming back from injury this weekend. CJ and Edin. I think they can def help us on the boards and make Brian’s job a little easier.
You had another solid game with 16/6/7. You shot very well as well. Are you back to 100% game shape?
I would say about 90-95%. Still a little trouble with the ankles and lower legs but I’m pushing thru it as much as I can. Hopefully I’m back to 100% before the postseason starts.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz play Erfurt next who you beat on the road 92-75. Despite the current turbulence how confident are you that the team will take the Hanau win as self-confidence when you return home?
I think we have to have a certain intensity when we play at home. The Hanau game was a great example of what we can do when we have that energy. But it’s going to take all of us. Erfurt has some decent players that can be a problem if they get any confidence. Have to take that from then early
Jamal Murray scored 50 points without going to the free throw line. How big is an accomplishment like that?
accomplishment. I think only true basketball fans understand how crazy that is. He’s definitely a rising star in this league. One of the best scorers we have when he’s healthy!