Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

That Isn´t Draymond Green But Stephon Jelks The Mr Everything For The MLP Academics Heidelberg

One of the great games you can play when checking out new players that come to Germany to play their first professional season is seeing where they went to school and how many players from that NCAA or NCAA 2 or NAIA school have ever laced up their sneakers on German ground. With energetic and his “I´m all over the court mentality like Draymond Green,  Stephon Jelks played at the highest level in the last years battling strong NCAA schools like Seton Hall, Memphis or a Florida with Mercer. Mercer which is located in Macon, Georgia only played in three NCAA tournaments in 1981, 1985 and 2014 and it´s most well known alumnist that reached the NBA is Sam Mitchell who enjoyed a solid 13 year career playing mostly with the Minnesota Timberwolves and seeing a young Kevin Garnett break out in 1995. In terms of guys that have played in Germany, the list is short with guys like Andrew Brown who played a total of 3 games in 2008 averaging 18,7ppg with the  P4two Ballers Osnabrueck, Sidiki Straub who played 28 games with SC Rist Wedel (ProB) averaging  7.7ppg, 5.7rpg, Issac Gordon who also played with SC Rist Wedel (Germany-ProB) in 2015-2016 averaging 12.9ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.8apg, Travis Smith who actually played two seasons in Germany for three teams leaving his mark with RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) averaging 17.6ppg and averaging 13,1ppg with the Take-Off Wuerzburg Blue Baskets (Germany-ProB) and 23 year old German Niklas Ney is still active having played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg the last years and now will suit up for the Tigers Tuebingen. Last season Jelk´s ex teammate Jestin Lewis found new experiences in the Pro B with Giessen averaging 13.2ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 63.2%. Now Jelks is the newest Mercer addition to the Pro A and has every opportunity to not only to continue the fine Mercer tradition of players leaving their mark in Germany as well as possibly being the best Mercer player to have ever played in Germany. When Lewis was a senior at Mercer, Jelks was a real young buck and a sophomore and despite having a strong season himself was able to soak up the strong Lewis stats as he averaged 14.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 76.8%. Lewis isn´t in Germany this season as he made his mark last season an dnow it´s time for Jelks to make his mark. There isn´t a second Draymond Green with the MLP Academics Heidelberg, but Stephon Jelks who is the team´s Mr everything and ready to leave his mark in the Pro A this season.

            Stephon Jelks who lists Jaron Blossomgame as his toughest cover in the NCAA is a 23 year old 198cm forward that was born in Valdosta, Georgia, and grew up in Marietta and played for North Cobb Christian High School.There he was a four-time All-Region first team selection and two-time All-State performer. In his senior year he averaged 14,1ppg, and registered 25 double figure scoring games. He also demonstrated that he can excel at another sport as he also played with the football team. In 2014, he moved to Mercer and as a freshman played 30 games averaging  5.3ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 67.6%. He scored in double figures in six games and scored 14 points against Wofford and E Tennessee State. He led the team in field goal percentage at 52% and was named to the SoCon All-Freshmen Team. He has his best scoring and rebound season as a sophomore playing 34 games averaging 11.7ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 78.5%. He scored in double figures in 22 games and was a rebound monster getting 10 double doubles. His rebounding made a huge jump during the season and would carry on through out the rest of his career. He has a simple solution for his sudden rise. “I take a lot of pride in rebounding. It’s just something that I feel like is the best part of my game. I just have a knack for the ball when it’s coming off the rim. And nothing special really happened, I just started getting 8 or 9 rebounds in a couple of games and I’d always just try to beat that number the next game”, stressed Stephon Jelks. He best games included a 24/17 explosion against Citadel as well as a 21/12 effort against Kenneshaw State and 20/15 effort against Arkansas. Other highlights included leading the SoCon in rebounding and getting 10 rebounds or more 13 times. In his junior season he played 32 games averaging  7.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 80.3%. He scored in double figures in eight games and had two double doubles. His best scoring games were against Samford with 17 points and 15 points against Georgia South. Other highlights was leading the team in rebounding and being second in blocks with 15. In his senior year he played 33 games averaging 9.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 45.7%, FT: 77.6%. He scored in double figures 15 times and had 7 double doubles. His best scoring games occurred against La Salle with 22 points, 17 points against Drexel and Memphis and 16 points against Wofford.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber meeting Stephon Jelks in pre season in Frankfurt

            At Mercer the American reached two CBI tournament quarterfinals and one SoCon semi final and despite not winning any hardware, he did have long lasting memories of his basketball experience there. “I had a lot of fond moments, too many to mention. I would say my most fondest moment was my sophomore year when we played and beat Arkansas on the road. That was one of my favorite games because of the atmosphere and energy of the game. And we battled and pulled it out at the end”, stated Stephon Jelks. He also remembered his 24/17 explosion against Citadel, but that wasn´t his most memorable game at Mercer. “Stat wise yes, but like I mentioned earlier, I feel that my best game in my college career was against Arkansas”, added Stephon Jelks. Even though his best season in scoring and rebounding was his sophomore season, he did see himself make huge strides in his two last seasons. “I’ve improved on a lot over these past two years. My main improvement was being able to shoot off of the closeout. I was a catch and shoot type player and people would start running me off the line, so just developing that catch and make a play off the dribble has made me more of a threat on the court”, warned Stephon Jelks. Even with consistent hard work in the gym and on the court, he couldn´t of had all the success there and now as a professional if he hadn´t taken the guidance of his coach Bob Hoffman to heart. “Coach Hoffman prepared me in the way of knowing the details about the game. Communication being a thing he was very high on. And having to do it for 4 years made it a habit but it was a great habit because coaches love a guy who can communicate while on the court”, added Stephon Jelks.

                The American who lists his five best teammates of all-time as Jestin Lewis Desmond Ringer Jibri Bryan Demetre Rivers and Jordan Strawberry (I loved all my teammates though, I’d name them all if you’d allow me too) began his professional rookie career in 2018 with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 33 games averaging 11.7ppg, Reb-5(8.2rpg), 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 81.3%  He had no problem adjusting to the play on the court in Finland, but he did miss one important component that he remembered having at NCAA games. “My wakeup call was my first game. Usually I’d have my mom at all my games at Mercer but that being my first pro game and her being in the states, it was a wake up call that I was a long way from home but knew my purpose for being that far away”, added Stephon Jelks. He scored in double figures in 20 of 33 games and his best scoring games included a 31 point explosion against Pyrinto shooting 10/11 from the field and a 24/12 effort against KTP Basket. Often when abroad an American will be the lone American and if lucky at times have another one, but in the case of Jelks, he had three others that made the whole rookie process easier especially with teammate Bryan Coleman. “He was a great teammate that I asked a lot of questions about different situations I wasn’t accustomed to. Mario Edwards and Brandon Conley definitely helped with the adjustments too. We competed every day in practice and just made each other better”, expressed Stephon Jelks.

                Now the American who lists his own personal NBA Rushmore with legends Kobe Bryant, Dirk, Carmelo Anthony, and Allen Iverson is prepared for the next challenge in his professional basketball career and the task of developing further. He had a fruitful summer of working out hard at home as well as spending quality time with family and friends and even bumped into Boston Celtic Jalen Brown at a Pro Am in Atlanta who hails from his hometown  His main goal this year is to be better than he was as a rookie and he tweaked a few things from his game in preparation for the German Pro A. He was already lucky having the luxury of meeting new teammates Grant Teichmann and Adam Eberhard on the flight to Germany thus already getting some early off the court chemistry flowing. “Grant and Adam are great guys. We clicked from the moment we all met each other. Talked about just wanting to be on the court and help the team win so we are all on the same page when it comes to this season”, said Stephon Jelks.  It wasn´t a hard task for the American to make the decision with signing with ambitious organization MLP Academics Heidelberg. “I honestly didn’t have much knowledge of Germany basketball other than old teammates like Jestin Lewis playing in it. Kelvin Martin actually played on Academics in 2015 and he told me a little about it when I made my decision. The GM Matthias called me and we talked for like 15 minutes and his vision for the team and what he saw in my abilities made everything work out. I just felt that being in Pro A Germany can open up a lot of doors for me, on top of it being a respected team in the league who is about winning and playing team ball”, commented Stephon Jelks. Life of a professional player isn´t only about what happens on the court, but there is enough down time where a player can explore the country better and get a grip on the culture and people. The American didn´t know it at first, but now knows that he is living in one of Germany´s prettiest cities.  “Heidelberg is a very beautiful city. At first I didn’t think it would be anything special but the buildings and structures of the city is nice”, warned Stephon Jelks.

                After a very strong rookie season in Finland, he now is in Germany with a lot of self confidence thanks to a solid rookie season and will display his versatile game in the Pro A There will be quite many scoring options on the team this season. But despite the abundance of talent on the team, he is more than confident that he will become an impact player in the Pro A. “I´m very confident in my abilities as a player. If it’s to score then I will score, if it´s to rebound and play defense, then I will do that. I just want to have an impact on my team in a positive way so we can get a lot of W’s and compete for a championship”, warned Stephon Jelks. The American demonstrated at Mercer in his last three years and in Finland that he is a very potent rebounder and that is a big reason why the MLP Academics hauled him in for his services so the team rebounding will improve this season. But he is so much more than just an athletic rebounder. “I can shoot the 3 ball pretty well, I can defend multiple positions, I bring a lot of energy to my team which rubs off on everyone. German basketball fans are just going to see a grind hard hooper from the states who wants to win”, smiled Stephon Jelks. Even though his vital rebounding abilities will be vital for the success of the team, he will also be able to add another dimension to the game with another component of his versatile player. “A hidden strength in my game I’d say is being able to bring the ball up the court. A lot of the time I usually just give the ball off to the point guard but if needed too, I can grab a rebound and push the ball up the court to apply pressure on the defense”, warned Stephon Jelks. Oh and then there was something about Draymond Green in the title. Not only others have noticed that Draymond Green beast in him, but he himself also. “I’d compare my game to Draymond Green. I know a lot of people don’t like Draymond but he is a competitor that plays defense,rebounds, and does whatever it takes for his team to win. Definitely correlates to my game”, stressed Stephon Jelks. As long as the MLP Academics are winning this season, no one will have any problems with his fascination of Draymond Green. Nobody will see a second Draymond Green in Heidelberg, because there is only one, but people will witness Stephon Jelks “Mr Everything” for the MLP Academics Heidelberg doing everything possible on the court so his team can be successful.


Can The Dragons Rhondorf Leap Right Back To The Pro B This Season?

A few weeks ago at the Gezeiten Cup, there were many things still the same in the Dragon Dome as the BBL opponents Telekom Baskets Bonn and s.Oliver Wurzburg were still present as they are each season with the Bavaria squad continuing to showcase their guard terror and the Bonn team presenting a few new faces, but also keeping a good core from the last years with DiLeo and Polas. The same familiar fans were still there, but one thing was very much different. Despite having moved down last season from the Pro B in a season to forget where the biggest problem was their defense and the consistency rate of the German role players, the mood of the home crowd faithful was very upbeat. A big reason for this was the new focus of the Dragons Rhondorf in their cooperation with BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn and new CEO of sport Yassin Idbihi who had come home after a long and fruitful playing career and some years in the Bamberg organization. Idbihi had began his playing career in Rhondorf in 2001 and now he is back and is extremely ambitious in bringing rapid success back to an organization that only four years ago played in the Pro A, but at the same time allowing young German players to develop in the Regionalliga while getting a real chance with cooperation team Bonn. Also seeing Dragons Rhondorf CEO Alexander Dohms roaming the Dragon Dome at the Gezeiten Cup was a sight for sore eyes as he was beaming with joy and a changed man from the disappointing last season. The big question though will be can the Dragons Rhondorf make the leap back to the Pro B after only one season?. In terms of player material, there is a big chance that they could, but one can’t underestimate the Regionalliga west as it is as competitive as ever. The playoffs have also been inserted this season so fans will witness something new and see many new players looking to not only make an impact for a team, but be hungry in helping improve their game and making the next step in their careers. In addition there is also massive excitement concerning new player Curtis Hollis (198-G/F-98, college: Hutchinson CC). In the last three years no matter how successful the Dragons were, they were fortunate to have one of the top players in the Pro B. Three years ago it was Aaron ‘big dawggg’ Nelson who was like a tank in the zone that barreled his way to baskets the way Tom Brady finds his targets with ease, two seasons ago, it was Cinderella story Kameron Taylor who took a step back only to take two steps ahead and now plays for well known BBL team Bamberg and last season it was Mr double double Zygimantas Riauka who played with a heart of gold and will never be forgotten by the fans. This season a lot of the success rides on the shoulders of Hollis. Can he be that mr everything like a Taylor and fill the stat sheet like a Westbrook, but at the same time be able to lead the team. Many have compared his game to a Kameron Taylor already with only a regular season game having been played. In seven months we will know more, but for now the excitement for success is there and will continue to build as the season progresses. 

Last season the Dragons Rhondorf lost and lost really depressing the hardcore Dragons fans, but this season things will be different. In the last years, there had been criticism about how the cooperation was working between Rhondorf and the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but with the arrival of lost Rhondorf boy Yassin Idbihi and Bonn head coach Thomas Pach, the signs for a fruitful working cooperation and better communication have been present. Two big goals of the club this season is to give that feeling of Club more an identity and putting more focus on the development of the young players. In the last years the development of players in the JBBL (16) and NBBL (U-19) age group had deteriorated. This is something that the club has big ambition in turning around. The club has had talented players over the years and developed guys like Florian Koch, or a Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann, but that occurred years ago and have had a dry spell in the last years. A big difference this season to the last years is that this season with Killian Binapfel and Gabriel De Olveria have two established Pro B players that have had success at a very young age making the playoffs and getting valuable minutes at a young age and now are extra confident and are extra hungry in making the next step and making the most of their BBL minutes. Getting a player like Killian Binapfel is a huge gift as he is still raw and has huge potential while De Oliveira has a big powerful body and is finally ready for the easyCredit BBL while getting extended minutes in the Regionalliga.

The club didn’t conduct a massive house cleaning, but decided to start a new chapter in terms of their German role players and bode goodbye to guys lie Alex Moeller, Bo Meister, and Julian Jasinski. Last season the German role players just didn’t click and weren’t consistent enough. This season they hope that the new German role players will be able to get the job done. They took some extra time in finding the right new German role players. They didn’t exchange every player, but kept some with David Falkenstein, Samuel Horvath, Philipp Gruber, Lotola Otshumbe and Anish Sharda. The most vital was Sharda. The guy is 37 years old, but still has the body of a 28 year old and keeping great fitness and watching his diet (No Wiener Schnitzel) since 2014 has been instrumental in him still playing professionally. Not only his experience is key, but helping the youth on and off the court. Last season he averaged 6.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 18.2%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 70.0%. After never averaging less than 18,9ppg in the Regionalliga from 2014-018 with Mainz, his production will have to be consistent and better than last season for the success of the club. The big player misfortune has been Slovakian Samuel Horvath who missed most of last season and is already out for this whole season. Philipp Gruber also has remained, but like Horvath has captured the injury bug. Last season he played only 17 games averaging 6.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 18.2%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 70.0%. He has vital Regionalliga experience having played three seasons and 56 games with the Telekom Baskets 2. His input and valuable three pointer will be an asset when he returns. 35 year old Lotola Otshumbe is back for a second season of duty and brings much experience having played five seasons in the Regionalliga amassing 86 games and 55 Pro B games while also having four years of second Bundesliga experience with TV Langen. He won’t score much, but has that undying will to win and will fight until the buzzer sounds. Point guard David Falkenstein is also back for his fifth season and has played BBL, Pro A and Pro B. Last season he played 26 games averaging 4.4ppg. He is another guy that has to and should improve his stats in the Regionalliga. He has the sound fundamentals of being that controlled point guard and could even slip into the starting point guard position at times. 

A big strength of the Dragons Rhondorf off season work was taking it’s time in building the new roster. The most vital position for a Regionalliga team is filling the import position. With Curtis Hollis the club has the potential league superstar qualities. He is a guy that wants and will rock the Regionalliga as he continues to climb up the basketball ladder. He has no NCAA experience, but destroyed the JBL league founded by Lavar Ball. So far he showed how good he can be having big games in pre season and kept it going into the regular season netting 21 points in the first game loss against Wulfen. He will be a joy to watch and having him extend his leadership qualities also will be needed and helpful for the team being successful. The other import is Jure Besedic who is a 27 year old 207cm forward/center that brings vital experience having played 171 games for top Slovenian team Helios Suns Domzale. He can score and has a fine mid range and outside shot that will spread the floor nicely. He won’t be the next Riauka, but will be a consistent performer. The club also brought in German players and the most important was clearly Jeffrey Martin. Last season the club had massive problems getting consistency from it’s German players. With Martin the club hopes to fill that void. Martin is only 25 years of age, but seen many gym’s in Germany. Rhondorf is his 11th team as he played 16 BBL games combined with Bremerhaven and Giessen, 28 Pro A games and 90 Pro B games. He has been a consistent scorer in the Pro B and also will have to be a consistent performer. He is an excellent defender and will be vital in the defense finding some sort of identity after not having one last season.

Two key pick ups were young prospects Gabriel de Olveira and Killian Binapfel. Both are double license players and are expected to get a chance on seeing minutes with BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn. De Olveira is a 21 year old 206cm forward that already has sampled important Pro B experience at a young age playing 92 games with Iserlohn. He was able to improve his scoring in each of his four seasons there and broke out last season playing 25 games averaging 10.6ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 69.9% He demonstrated in his first game against Wulfen that he has the potential to be one of the German rising stars in the Regionalliga showing his efficiency adding 17 points and 5 rebounds on 60% shooting form the field. He will get to the free throw line a lot and if he can improve his free throw percentage will be even more of a scoring force while on defense he will make an impact as well. Killian Binapfel also is young at age 19 and brings that winning mentality having been in the FC Bayern organization for the last four seasons. Last season he played 19 Pro B games averaging 5.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, and 12 NBBL games averaging 10.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 15.0%, FT: 54.3%. His biggest asset is that he knows how to win with two NBBL titles under his belt, an Albert Schweitzer International Tournament Gold medal and a U-20 Bronze medal at the 2019 European championships. He plays with a lot of energy and has the potential to be that glue guy.The team also picked up two more young players with Pal Ghotra and Marek Mbaya Kotieno. Ghotra is a 22 year old 197cm swing man that began his basketball career with the Nurnberg Falcons and also has Pro A and Pro B experience with Cuxhaven and Sandersdorf where he played last season averaging 2.7ppg, 1.6rpg. He is a player that took a step back, but is seeking minutes and his break through. He is a talented kid with a lot of potential. The most raw player is 19 year old German Marek Mbaya Kotieno. He is a 206cm center who has 21 Pro B games experience with Wolfenbuetel. He is a guy that will be moved along slowly, but also showed that he can give that energy from the bench scoring 5 points, hauling down 4 boards and dishing out 2 assists in 19 minutes in the loss at Wulfen. The team also have a handful of young Germans looking for Regionalliga minutes with Jonas Falkenstein, Robin Danes, Aaron Isah and Noah Voelzgen.

So where will the 2019-2020 Regionalliga journey go with the Dragons Rhondorf? With head coach Markus Rowenstrunk have a guy that has Regionalliga and Pro B experience with Herford and Dresden and hungry to give his coaching stamp for the Dragons. The team didn’t have a good start losing in Wulfen 88-80. The defense isn’t on the same page yet,and their offense struggled with execution. A good sign was their effort on the boards hauling down an amazing 23 offensive rebounds. The club also demonstrated that the German role players will play a central figure this season as De Olveira and Binapfel stepped up. It will be important that the club has their German license players at their disposal for most games.This club will make the playoffs, but predicting the immediate return to the Pro B would be a foolish statement. Obviously it is the club’s goal, but the Regionalliga West is as competitive as ever and as Hanau head coach Simon Cote loves to say, it won’t be a cake walk for the Dragons Rhondorf, but a challenging, and very interesting and exciting ride. The Regionalliga will be fun to observe this season from the Dragons Rhondorf stand point especially the development of Curtis Hollis and the young Germans. Where exactly the club will land is unknown at this stand point, but they will be competitive and fight in every game to bring the needed success back to the club. 

David Dennis(wiha Panthers) Plays With The Same Passion As A Westbrook And Won´t Take A Play Off

David Dennis is a 185cm point guard from Canal Winchester, Ohio that will begin his rookie season in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen on Saturday against the Kirchheim Knights. He began his basketball career at Harvest Prep and then proceeded to play at West Liberty State (NCAA2) for two seasons totaling 64 games. In his freshman season he played 35 games averaging 14.0ppg, 5.7rpg, 5.8apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 67.5%. In his sophomore season at West Liberty State (NCAA2) he played 29 games averaging 13.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 6.1apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 66.9%. In 2017-2018 he moved to Nova SE (NCAA2) playing 27 games averaging 19.2ppg, 6.1rpg, 6.8apg, 3.6spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 78.1%. In his senior year at Nova SE (NCAA2) he played 33 games averaging 15.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.8apg, 2.8spg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 66.9%. He spoke to earlier in the summer about his basketball career.

David thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Thanks for having me Miles . I am currently living in Fort Lauderdale Florida where I finished my college career. Training here with some of the coaching staff and individual trainers. My summer has been good so far. Very busy trying to prepare myself for the next level.

Congrats on signing your first professional contract with German club wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Do you honestly feel like you would have accomplished this and your success in school if you hadn’t made the step moving in with your dad in high school and playing for him at Harvest Prep?

Thank you. Very excited to get the first contract signed and reach my dream of being a pro. I honestly don’t think I would’ve made it this far without transferring over to play for my dad my junior year. He pushed me every day on and off the court to be a better player and person. The exposure was way better for me and the experience of traveling out of state so much prepared me for college basketball

Did you get any feedback from your ex teammate Seger Bonifant who has been a top German Pro A shooter with Team Ehingen?

Yes I talked to Seger a couple times when I first was in contact with wiha and just asked him about the league and the competition and if he was in my shoes what would he do. He was a very big key to my success my freshman year. He took me under his wing from day 1 and just stayed on me to stay focused and made sure I knew the amount of work it takes to be a high level player.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball. Do you know any guys playing here besides the deadly sniper Seger Bonifant?

From what Seger says Germany is a very big basketball country and the people are very supportive. Says it’s a fairly smooth transition when it comes to communicating with most Germans speaking or at least understanding English. I know Dan Monteroso who played with me at West Liberty my sophomore year. He played with seg this year. Then I also know Luquon Choice and Dorian Pinson who played in the same league. Seg and I played against them both my freshman year in the final four. When I decommited from West Liberty , Dorian called to try and get me to transfer to Lincoln Memorial with him. So we’ve gotten closer over the years.

Head coach Alen Velcic is high on your abilities and listed you as one of his desired players. What were the main factors besides his trust and team plans for you joining and what was the deciding factor?

He was very dedicated to talking to me and answered any questions me and my agent had for him. He really emphasized a high tempo transition game in which I feel I excel in. Creating for others and myself. The pieces he’s brought in he feels will really be fun and easy to play with so I’m excited to meet the guys and get to work . 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a dynamic point guard that reminds me a bit of Mike Conley. To what NBA player would you best describe your game to?

A lot of people have described my game to Mike Conley so that is funny you say that as well. I feel I’m a point guard who wants to get out and run and make the game easy for everyone around me . I feel I’m a better than average finisher around the rim with either hand and can see the game before it happens . I also really understand the pick and roll and make the right decisions out of that. 

Your stat line and being near triple doubles also reminds me of Russell Westbrook. You were close to triple doubles as a freshman against Shepherd and Kutztown. Is there a little of Russ in you?

I feel I play with the same passion as Russ. There’s not a game or a possession that I take a play off. I’m going to play as hard as I physically can every second I am on that floor. The triple doubles and the stats are just a plus to that and as long as we win I don’t care much about my numbers 

You’re a versatile point guard that can score, rebound and get assists as well as being a menace on defense. What are other strengths in your game that Germany will see this season?

They will see a young rookie play hard and just do everything he can to help his team be successful. I feel I am a great leader by words and by actions. I will push myself to be the best I can be as well as my teammates. Diving on the floor, hustling after loose balls, taking charges all little things I’m willing to do.

You have been described as being a player that plays like a veteran and has a good basketball understanding. Is this something that you got early on from your dad?

Yes , I would say my dad had the biggest impact on me learning the game and just understanding how it should be played. Watching him play growing up to watching film on myself together. When we watch college or NBA games we don’t watch the ball we watch everyone else and their movements and how the defense is set up. He really focused me at a young age on making the right reads out of ball screens and reading the help side defense 

You also have a very good character on and off the court? How challenging is it to be a very fair competitor, but at the same time being an aggressive and ruthless pest on defense every night?

I pride myself on my defense. I don’t like when people score on me. My dad always taught me before I could put the ball in the hole. That if I can’t score I better be good on defense and not let my man score because the score would be 0-0. I laugh at that today but he was right. Also going back to being a veteran minded young player I feel my help side defense is very good as well because I communicate and have very good hands if someone drives by me I feel I can steal it 9/10

You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet like no other, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away?

I would say a hidden strength that doesn’t go on stat sheet is just making the hockey assist. If I make a pass out of a trap and then it’s a 2 on 1 for the bigs and they get an easy lay up that’s something I pride myself on making the game easier for everyone else 

You played two years at West Liberty State (NCAA2). Do you ever wonder where you would be today if you had stayed and not followed head coach Jim Crutchfield to Nova SE (NCAA2

Honestly I don’t think about it. They had two great seasons without Coach Crutchfield and I . And we both couldn’t have been more happy for them. I know I wanted them to succeed and I wanted the guys to win and be successful in life. They won conference back to back years and made the NCAA tourney. The tradition never died down and that’s a testament to coach Howlett and the guys he recruited. I still talk to some of the guys and catch up with each other 

You had incredible success at both schools reaching the NCAA 2 final 4 with West Liberty and NCAA 2 Elite 8 with Nova SE (NCAA2What were the two biggest advantages each school gave you in the time that you were there?

West Liberty it’s a very small city so there was nothing to do but be in the gym. I really found a new love for the game when I was there. Quiet nights quiet gym with just the ball bouncing and getting shots up and becoming a better basketball player. I didn’t want to be the guy to come in and mess up the tradition so that pushed me to become a good player. At Nova I had to come in and show the guys what it takes to be a champion. They all looked at me when things got tough and I had to have answers for them. If they didn’t understand what coach wanted. I had to explain in ways they could. I really grew as a leader at NSU and it’s helped me be a better player to this day.

How much of a pleasure was it being able to play with Seger Bonifant at West Liberty? Where does he rank with the best shooters that you have played with?

Like I said earlier seg took me under his wing right away. He knew I would be the starting guard and he had to make sure I was ready. He is by far the best shooter I’ve ever been around and most likely the best scorer as well. In college he scored at all 3 levels whenever he wanted. He pushed me every day and I can’t thank him enough for it. 

You have had some bitter loses in your career, but was the 103-102 loss in the NCAA 2 Final 4 to Lincoln Memorial where you put up 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists one of your worst in your career? Two of your opponents Dorian Pinson and Luquon Choice played in Germany last season in the Pro A with Hanau

I would say it is the most frustrating loss because we scored 100 points in a game and we didn’t come out on top. I was a freshman playing in the biggest game of my career and I knew I only had so many games left with those seniors. They led the way and I just tried to keep up. LMU played a hell of a game making big shots when needed. But yes that would be the most painful loss I’ve had in my career. One game from reaching the end goal. 

You then moved to Nova SE (NCAA2). You were very consistent here scoring in double figures in 52 of 60 games in your two seasons. How do you feel did your game grow in your two years here?

Coming from WL I was more of a pass first point guard and didn’t need to score as much but when I transferred I had to take on more of a scoring role. I was more aggressive trying to get myself easy looks and get to the rim when I could. I feel I have gotten stronger and have become a better finisher and shooter. 

You had so many great games in your NCAA 2 career, but if you had to name a game where fans saw the best of you which would it be?

My best game was most likely the regional championship this year where we beat Lynn to move on to the elite 8. I felt I was very aggressive and efficient scoring and also felt I made lot of little plays to help my team win. 

How did head coach Jim Crutchfield groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Coach has been preparing me for this since the first day I stepped on campus my freshman year. We talked and I told him this was my goal and everyday he pushed me personally to limits beyond what he expected from the team. He knew I had potential and he just taught me everything he could in the 4 years I was with him. He is a huge role model in my life and I wouldn’t be here today without him as well.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Nick Smith?

Nick Smith may have beat me 1 out of 100 times in one on one.

Who was the toughest player that you played in the NCAA 2 that is in the NBA or in Europe now

I played against a lot of tough players in college to name a few that stick out . Elvar Fredrickson , Haywood Highsmith ,Pat Moseh , Thomas Wimbush , Matt Bingaya , Michael Baez and Johnathon Lawton 

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

It’s very hard to pick just 5 teammates that I love because I loved them all so much. They made coming to practice fun and enjoyable. They all were like family to me! 

Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?

Kobe, Lebron, MJ, and Kareem 

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

I think Michael is still the greatest. He just had that edge to him and just played at a different pace than everyone else. Lebron is a great player and we might not ever see anything in the league again like him for years but MJ is still the greatest of all time to me

What was the last movie that you saw?

South Paw.

Thanks David for the chat.

Virgil Matthews(Niners Chemnitz) Wants To Continue To Stay Consistent Without Having Big Ups And Downs

Virgil Matthews is a 36 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that completed his 12th professional season and fourth with the Niners Chemnitz averaging 7,4ppg,39rpg and 6,1apg. Two seasons ago he played with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) playing 24 games averaging 8.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 71.4%. Three seasons ago he almost led Chemnitz (Germany-ProA) into the BBL playing 40 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 86.7% He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga) playing 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL) playing 28 games averaging 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games averaging 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. He would play until 2014 with Ehingen playing 126 games with three seasons in the Pro A and one in the Pro B. He resigned with the Niners Chemnitz in June and spoke to earlier in the summer

about basketball

Virgil thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is your summer been going?

I’m good back in the states working out and doing a lot of golfing.

Before we talk about the future let’s briefly look back on last season? We last spoke in the second half of the season. You stressed the team would finish the season strong and did in first, but again lost in the semi’s. Was the playoff loss to the Hamburg Towers difficult to digest?

It’s still hard to digest. To have a season like that and then to have it end like that not sure I will ever get over it. 

You swept PS Karlsruhe quite easily. How was the focus and confidence level going into the series against the Hamburg Towers? Did you think back on that dreaded series against Gotha in 2017? 

We swept Karlsruhe but that was not an easy series. They were a good team with strong players. Our confidence was high we felt we were the best team. We didn’t think it would be easy against Hamburg but we were confident. The series with Gotha was in my mind but I tried to not think about it, this was a different year with different teams. 

Again Chemnitz was up 2-1 in the semi-final series this time against Hamburg and lost again. Was the game four 98-96 loss one of the toughest in your career? 

Actually game 2 I think was worse than game 4. We didn’t control game 4, but we controlled game 2 and lost it. 

When you look back at the five game series against Hamburg, what do you feel was the deciding factor at the end that ended your season? 

I think they just played better in the big moments. I think the pressure level was a bit different for them once they finished in 4th and as well as we were playing. I think people expected us to win. There was pressure on both sides and they just did a better job of performing in the face of it. 

Rodrigo Pastore continues to be one of the top Pro A coaches the last years. How hungry do you feel will he be this upcoming season to be successful? It is about time that he leads you to the BBL.

Yea he’s taught me so much over the years and I know he’s hungry to move up but he wants to earn it by winning. Its definitely that time and we hope this year is the year. 

The last few years, I have always been thinking about preparing that last retirement article, but so far it never happens, because you keep coming back. What do you feel has stayed younger your mind or body?

Haha! My body is not young at all my teammates keep my mind young. I think my mind keeps my body going and just the enjoyment of playing, I like competing in games and I still want to win. That is what keeps me playing. 

Chemnitz isn’t far away from Jena. How important have the BBL legends Derrick Allen, Immamuel Mcelroy and Julius Jenkins been for your continued focus and will to keep playing into your mid thirties?

I don’t know them personally at all just a bit from playing against them. They are amazing to still be able to do what they have done for all these years. They are all legends in Geman basketball. I don’t think I’ll play quite as long as they did but you never know.

Congrats on resigning with the Niners Chemnitz. This will be your fifth season with them. What were the main reasons for coming back for another season now at age 35?

There are many factors, the club treats me very well it’s a very close group its like family, that is nice. Coach Pastore is also a big reason, we get along well he does a good job I like the way he coaches. His passion and desire is unlike any coach I have ever played for. And last but not least the fans! The Atmosphere in Chemnitz is the best in the Pro A for sure! There is so much passion and they are always there and always supporting. Having that kind of support makes the decision easy. 

Can one say now that Chemnitz is your second home ahead of Ehingen where you played only four seasons? 

That’s so hard to say, I don’t want to have to pick one. I still have great friends in Ehingen and still get a great reception every time I go there. Chemnitz is great to me and I love being there. I like to think of it as I have two homes when I’m back in Germany. 

Of course Ehingen was a very important place because it was the first place after playing in Munich and Schwelm that gave you an opportunity to develop further as a player. What kind of a player were you then and what kind of player have you become? 

I think I am a similar player, I was probably still a bit more athletic in Ehingen, but I’ve learned so much in Chemnitz I think I’m a lot smarter. I think I’ve learned more and understand more now, I think that makes me a better communicator. That’s the biggest difference I think I understand how to communicate better, and I understand both sides like from the coach’s point of view and the players point of view 

How important was it for Chris Carter coming back to Chemnitz? How valuable is he as a player and how is he better today than a few years ago when you were teammates?

Chris is beloved by the city of Chemnitz and he’s a very good player. He’s better now he’s led a team to the BBL he is a better shooter and a better player, also a better leader. Getting him back is a great deal and a great acquisition for Chemnitz.

You guys still have some unfinished business to take care of for the Chemnitz fans. Back in 2017 you were up 2-1 in the semi’s and still lost not moving up to the BBL. Do you feel like there will be a special fire between the two of you to help make special things happen this season? 

I think the whole team will have a fire to finish the goal that we all want. I’m sure for him its important too after his past season he has something to prove and I think moving up helps get him back on track for his career. 

The last time you were teammates you averaged 9,4ppg. Do you feel like you can become more of a scorer again with Carter on board?

I don’t mind scoring or not as long as we are winning. I think I can do other things to help the team win. If I just make more open shots I think the scoring will or can go up so that’s the main key for me is just to be more efficient shooting the ball. I’m not worried at all though. 

Let’s talk about your game. Last season you averaged 7.4ppg, 3.9rpg, Assists-3 (6.1apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 66.9%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 75.4%. How content were you with your season? 

Like I referred to earlier that 3pt % is terrible I’m not content with that at all I’m in the gym trying to make sure that percentage is much better than that. Besides that I think the season was ok. We had a great team so stats don’t stand out as much as some other teams who play guys a lot more minutes and rely on them for heavy production. 

I can imagine you will have the backup role to Chris Carter this upcoming season. What will you be focusing on most this season with the back up role? 

Just to help any of the players. We have with my knowledge just seeing things may they don’t see and telling them about it. Sometimes it is better coming from a player rather than a coach. Sometimes it is also easier to see things from the sidelines, so that’s what role I’ll try to have.

Do you feel like it would be wrong to say that Carter/Matthews won’t be able to be the best 1-2 point guard tandem in the Pro A? How strong do you feel you guys will be? 

That would be a great situation, coming off the bench hopefully when we do get time we will be the best guard duo. I think his aspirations are to be the best pg in the league so I’m ok being the best bench pg in league too. 

You stated in our last interview that an important aspect to you will playing is that your body keeps feeling great. But adrenaline also plays an important role. How much longer do you feel can that continue to happen as your body continues to age? 

Not much longer. I would be very surprised if it goes much further as far as me on the court. 

You averaged 26 minutes last season and six assists. Passing and reading the game has been a big strength in your game in your career. Does age put some unneeded pressure on you having to stay consistent each new season? 

Not really I don’t put unneeded pressure on myself. I know what I can do. What I try to do more than anything is just stay consistent do my job every game without having big ups and downs. I think I can do that if I’m out there. When I don’t think I can do that anymore I’ll know its time to stop playing.

How will your off season program look like this summer? Will there be any new things that you will incorporate into your routine or stick to what has been working the last years? 

Just more shooting making sure to stay in pretty good shape. Lots more concern on maximizing my body and improving my shot. 

Who was the toughest point guard that you battled last season?

It had to be Scootie from Hamburg. What he did in that game 5 was amazing looking back on it we should’ve just been trying to deny him the ball he played great. I’m sure there were others but he stands out maybe also because it was the last game. 

How important was the Toronto Raptors NBA title for the NBA? Is the Warriors dynasty over or will they be back? 

The Raptors winning is good for the NBA just furthers their reach as a global game. There is already a strong Canadian basketball world out there but this has grown it. Plus with players like Gasol and Siakam their home countries gain exposure by them winning. So it is good for the NBA. I think the Warriors will surprise people this season. They have a very good coach and front office. They will make adjustments with the injuries and be competitive this season, and then the season after I think they’ll be right back at it.

How did you experience the 2019 NBA draft results? What were the surprises for you this time around?

Not really I don’t watch a ton of College basketball, I think it will be interesting to see how these players adjust and play in the NBA

What was the last movie that you saw?


Thanks Virgil for the chat.

The Recovered Rookie Interview With Zamal Nixon

 Zamal Nixon is a 185cm guard from Brooklyn, New York that is a rookie playing in Germany for t Hertener Loewen (Germany-ProB). He played at Houston (NCAA) from 2007-2011. In his senior year, he played 30 games: 10.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 92.2%. Currently for Herten, he is averaging 24,3ppg, 2,9rpg and 6,9apg. He spoke to Eurobasket before their playoff series against TV Langen this weekend.

Herten is about to embark in the playoffs this weekend against TV Langen. How excited are you about this challenge?

Im very excited about this weekend we have a really good team and were playing well so i’m excited to see how far we can go in the playoffs 

Herten as the second seed is playing TV Langen the seventh seed. Herten goes in as the favorite. TV Langen have nothing to lose. How has the team got ready not going into the series to relaxed?

We respect Langen and we know it isn’t going to be an easy series, so our level of respect for them alone will have us ready to play and not go into the series relaxed 

Herten finished the season with a three game winning streak. What does the team still need to work on to get even better throughout the playoffs?

We need to keep getting better defensively and keep getting better at executing our plays offensively 

TV Langen have 2 strong scoring Americans with Nathan Drury and Luke Fitzgerald. What will be key to winning this series?

The key to winning the series will be containing those two defensively, and if we can throw them off their game we should be fine

You came very late to the team. Were you surprised that it took so long to find a professional team despite a solid senior year at Houston?

No I wasn’t surprised people already warned me how tough it was going to be getting a job overseas for this season, so I just had to stay ready until my opportunity came

You have ate up the PRO B. Is the PRO A the next step for you?

I can’t say whats next right now all I can do is focus on finishing up this season strong, and after that i’ll see what opportunities presents its self 

Was it a bit shock for you going to the PRO B and seeing things on the court a bit easier than in the NCAA?

Yeah it was kind of a surprise but there is also a lot of good talent in this league as well

How important has the young German Vincent Kittman been for the team? What do you like most about his game?

Vince is a really good player, and he’s helped the team out a lot. I think his strengths are the energy he plays the game with, and he ability to rebound the basketball 

What is your fondest memory of Q Calhoun at Houston who is having a solid career in Poland now?

my fondest memories of Q would have to be his athleticism. He could always turn a bad ally oop pass into a spectacular play 

What are your early 2012 NCAA Final 4 picks?

Duke, Kentucky, Missouri, & Syracuse 

Who was the best player that you played against in the NCAA that might be in the NBA now?

The best player would have to be Derrick Rose, he didn’t have his best games against my school, but nobody else i’ve played against is having the type of success that he is right now.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The last movie I watched was Final destination 5. I watched it last night. 

Thanks Zamal for the chat. 

Adam Eberhard(MLP Academics) Is Looking To Follow Braydon Hobbs And Carry On The Fine Belleramine Tradition In Germany

It was mid August when BBL team Fraport Skyliners and Pro A squad MLP Academics laced them up for their first pre season game in the BCM training facility in Frankfurt. For someone who didn´t know anything about the team and players and was a neutral spectator, it wouldn´t have taken long to figure out who each team´s best player was. On the Frankfurt side it is without a doubt the captain, Skyliner legend, Mr energizer, Mr freak athlete who would have earned his bread in the NBA had it been a defensive league, the guy everyone calls Tez Quantez Robertson. He fills up the stat sheet like a mini Westbrook and despite turning 35 this December still plays like he is 27-28 years old and has the motor of a young buck. He learned his basketball trade at the well known Auburn University and granted there have been some great players that have come out of that institution that made it to the NBA like a Marquis Daniels, but no one more well known than Sir Charles Barkley. Tez would probably fire out the name Barkley when asked who the greatest Auburn player was quicker than he can blurt out his standard line “whats going on”. While on the other side of the court with the MLP Academics it was Adam Eberhard on this day. Hardcore Heidelberg fans could start a debate with Shy Ely talking the honors, but on this day the American couldn´t hit the ocean while Eberhard sparkled with fine all around play. If one would ask the Indiana native who the greatest player in the history of his school Bellarmine was, he wouldn´t hesitate a second to answer the name Braydon Hobbs. Even if Hobbs was a Bellarmine great that won two GLVC titles and the NCAA 2 championship, he didn´t join the best leagues or best teams right away, but had to pay his dues in Spain and Hungry before making the jump to Germany which he has called home since 2014. His climb up the ladder continued as he had to prove himself again in the Pro A with Nurnberg and then played well with non playoff team Giessen and then made another leap playing for playoff team ratiopharm Ulm. He reached the peak in 2017 joining famous German brand team FC Bayern Munich where he won three titles. One could argue who had the better Bellarmine career Eberhard who won three GLVC tournaments, or Hobbs who won two GLVC titles, but also won the very coveted NCAA 2 title. Now Eberhard has the chance to make a name for himself in Germany the way Hobbs has. Braydon Hobbs has been a very important figure in his development at Bellarmine and will surely continue as he makes his way through the professional ranks. “Braydon has been a role model of mine since before I got to bellarmine. I have been compared to him since my freshman year and being able to get to know him and work out with him has only increased the level of help that he can give me. He is someone that I can talk to and ask questions and the path he has taken is a huge motivation for me”, warned Adam Eberhard.

                Adam Eberhard was born in Evansville, Indiana and got his first basketball experience at Francis Joseph Reitz Memorial High School. He began to attend Bellarmine in 2015 and as a freshman played 30 games averaging 7.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 63.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 70.0%. He averaged 18,5 minutes per game and scored in double figures in six games including 17 points in a 78-50 pounding of Illinois-Springfield and 16 points and 9 boards in his first college game in a 89-79 victory against Northwood. The GLVC run ended in the semi against Lewis. He made a huge jump in his sophomore season playing 28 games averaging 17.0ppg, 7.8rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 87.4%. He scored in double figures in 27 games and had 21 points or more nine times including a 30 point explosion in a 103-96 win against Quincy and then hit them again with 27 points in a 93-64 drubbing. He won his first GLVC title gaining MVP honors. After leading the team as a freshman with 63% from the field, he did again in his second season at 59%. His junior season was again a success as he played 32 games averaging 14.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 52.5%, FT: 81.8%. He scored in double figures in 26 games including a 24 point game against Wisconsin-Parkside and a 22 point effort against Maryville MO. Again he helped the school win their second consecutive GLVC title beating Truman State 75-61 as he took off with 21 points, 15 boards and 6 dimes recording his second MVP title. On top of that he demonstrated his fearless shooting from outside at 52%. In his senior year he played 33 games averaging 17.6ppg, 5.0rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 83.9%. He scored in double figures in 28 games and scored 22 points or more 10 times. He hit Rockhurst for 33 points and Northwood and Findlay OH for 30 points apiece. He helped win his third GLVC tournament over Drury 65-48 while registering 8 points and 5 dimes. He stayed neutral about which GLVC title was the sweetest. “Making it to the final four was the sweetest moment of my college career. I cherished every season at Bellarmine because of the fantastic teammates I had”, warned Adam Eberhard. In his four year career he played 123 NCAA 2 games and scored in double figures in 86 games and had so many great games, but there is one game that he remembers very fondly even if he didn´t produce 30 points. “My most memorable game was against Findlay my sophomore year in the regional championship. I did not have my best game, but we won the regional championship and advanced to the elite 8”, stressed Adam Eberhard. Hard work and great work ethic helped the American have success at Bellarmine, but he was also directed in the right direction for four years and helped by head coach Scott Davenport.  “Coach Davenport is a great teacher of the game. I feel that I am ready to take on any challenge that is thrown at me because of him. Over my four years he has taught me how to overcome any challenge and that hard work solves every problem”, warned Adam Eberhard.

                After a stellar four year career at Bellarmine, Eberhard was excited and ready for the next challenge in the summer of 2019 as he embarked on seeking the right professional fit. The American who lists Braydon Hobbs and Tarain Sullivan as his toughest covers had the luxury of signing his first professional contract with German Pro A team MLP Academics Heidelberg on the beach. As he was looking for the right club for his first professional season he already had his eye on the country to possibly begin his professional career in. “I know a lot about the German basketball leagues because I’ve been following it for a few years. Vance Hall, Evan McGaughey, and Braydon Hobbs are all close friends of mine that have played in Germany so I have talked with them about it in depth and have been following it for a while now”; stressed Adam Eberhard. Hobbs made the decision making  a lot easier giving him the right advice in that it was important to find the right fit and best situation for him. With the MLP Academics, he definitely found exactly the team he was searching for. At the end of the day two vital components with the club´s will to win games and wanting to achieve the maximum was what lured him to the beautiful city on the Neckar river that has the famous castle. “Winning is very important to me. I won a lot in college and I’m not a fan of losing. After watching a few games of MLP from last season I quickly got the feel that this was a winning culture and was something I wanted to be a part of”, warned Adam Eberhard. The last missing piece for Eberhard to make his move to Heidelberg perfect was knowing that he would have the most influential and smartest head coach to help him make his start as a professional with Frenki Ignatovic. “I think Frenki will be great for me in terms of my growth as a player and a person. Anytime I can learn from someone with a lot of basketball knowledge I want to jump on that opportunity”, warned Adam Eberhard.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Adam Eberhard after his first professional game in Frankfurt against easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners in eearly pre season 2019

                Now the question will be how well will Adam Eberhard make the adjustment from the NCAA 2 to the very competitive Pro A league. When Hobbs arrived in Germany in 2014, he also began his career in Germany in the Pro A with Nurnberg averaging 11.9ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-4(5.9apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 82.4%. The only difference was that Hobbs was in his third professional season while Eberhard is a rookie. The American is a 203cm forward and has that modern forward mold where versatility could easily be his middle name. He is a basketball Junkie and it´s really hard to find just one NBA player where one could compare his game too. Instead he likes to look at the games of three players. He watches the NBA each night so being able to narrow it down wasn´t complicated. “I try to model my inside game from Nikola Vucevic of the Magic and my passing from Jokic and Lebron”, added Adam Eberhard. The American who lists the usual three suspects of Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Magic Johnson on his NBA Rushmore, but also lists Boston Celtic legend Larry Bird  as the fourth and without even mentioning it must have watched film on Larry Bird´s breathtaking passing skills. “My game is a little bit different from a normal power forward. I feel very comfortable on the perimeter and especially shooting the ball from all levels. I feel my best trait is passing the ball and creating for others. I hope to be able to take bigger power forwards off the dribble and create open shots for my teammates. I get more pleasure out of an assist than I do a basket”, warned Adam Eberhard. It will be interesting to see how well he shoots as a rookie as he will be hungry of improving off his poor senior season of 29% after lighting up arena´s as a junior and senior at 43% and 52%. “The shooting percentage as a senior was very disappointing. I’m not one to make excuses for anything. I did have a back injury that I played through for two months that really effected my play and stats. I’m fully recovered from that and expect to get back to shooting an extremely high percentage from three”, expressed Adam Eberhard. He didn´t only work on his three point shooting this summer, but also on another key area. “I worked on my quickness. I feel as though I can create mismatches against a bigger, slower power forward in this league while still being able to guard them on the other end”, commented Adam Eberhard. At Bellarmine he usually filled the stat sheet like a Quantez Robertson does in Frankfurt and was close to triple doubles, but doesn´t feel pressure or isn´t worried about having to do this as a rookie.” I hope to be able to fill the stat sheet at this level. I’m more concerned with winning games than putting up stats. Whatever my team needs me to do to help win, that’s what I plan on doing”, warned Adam Eberhard. It sounds like he stole that quote from a Braydon Hobbs interview, because when you go to Bellarmine you just can´t get around wanting to always win, but you actually do it on a regular basis.

Greg Logins(Bayer Giants Leverkusen) Continues To Find New Scenario´s To Keep His Motor Running

Greg Logins is a 31 year old 206cm forward from Sodus, New York that began his basketball career with Canisius (NCAA) and is entering his ninth professional season and third in Germany. After playing with Chemnitz and the Hamburg Towers, he will strap on the Bayer Giants Leverkusen jersey this upcoming season. His experience has also brought him to Finland where he played parts of three seasons as well as Mexico, Morocco, Japan, Israel and Argentina. Last season he played with Team FOG Naestved (Denmark-BasketLigaen) playing 11 games averaging 9.8ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 47.4%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to earlier in the summer about basketball.

Greg thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer best?

Hello, thanks for the interview. Right now, I am back in New York, visiting my family, enjoying some time, and training hard for this upcoming season. I am enjoying the summer without stress, because this is the first time in my career, that I have signed with a team this early, end of May, and it feels good to know where I am heading.

After a season in Denmark, you are back in Germany with a third team the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. Did you get homesick from Germany your home away from home?

I wanted to be placed back in Germany. I love the country a lot, and also, it is a league that I am well recognized and I am familiar with. With playing 2 seasons already in Germany, it will feel good to suite up again, but with Leverkusen.

What did you miss the most about the German culture and it’s basketball?

The thing I miss most about the culture, is that life is easy, and I feel like I have adapted to people quicker. Basketball wise, I miss the fans. Germany has some great fans, and where I am about to play this season, I hear the fans are unbelievably great and I am very excited.

Was one of the reasons why you came back the fact that you had so much success in Germany and was so consistent?

Yes I would say that. I was put in good situations to be able to be consistent for the most part.

The last team that you played for in Germany was the Hamburg Towers. Are you a bit sad that you hadn’t stayed in Hamburg last season and been a part of the massive success of the club?

I am not sad, but it would have been cool to be a part of that success. They deserve it. The Towers have been a hard working growing organization, and with being a part of it two years ago, it was special for me. With them winning the chip this year, I salute to them for grinding and getting it done.

Congrats on signing with the winningest BBL team of all-time Bayer Giants Leverkusen who just moved up from the Pro B to the Pro A. What do you know about the rich history of the club that dominated the early 90’s in the BBL?

Thanks for the congrats. I think it’s cool to be a part of a club that has so much history. With them winning the Pro B last year and with a great record, I think it is going to draw more noise for the city/fans as we compete in the Pro A. I’ve researched a bit about the club before signing, and I am impressed about everything.

Head coach Hansi Gnad is really high on your abilities. What was the deciding factor for you that made you chose to come back to Germany and play for them?

Yes, I am excited to play for him and give my all in every way possible. As everyone’s seen my face in the league for some time, they know what I am capable of doing and my abilities as a player. The deciding factor of me coming back to Germany, was to just be back and playing for a good team in a good situation, and I feel Leverkusen is it.

How excited are you to be playing with 2019 Pro B player of the year Nick Hornsby? You guys will be a very strong duo at the forward position. Does his talent and great ability motivate you extra for the upcoming season having a guy around that will always push you?

Hats off to Nick. It explains its self of how hard and talented he is, to become POY. I’m highly excited to play with him and become a dangerous duo. With my motivation and drive and I’m sure his is high also, we will feed it off to the team, and become a collectively unique team.

What will you be your main goals concerning your game this season? You are now in your thirties. Because of your experience, do you expect even more success from your game than say 2-3 years ago where you had less experience?

My main goal is to just do what I do. Play my game, rebound for us, and run the floor to create for others. I am in my thirties, but the way I train, and find new scenarios to keep my motor going, I will be just fine. I do expect more than previous years. I’m older, wiser, and have a lot more experience.

Last season you played with Team FOG Naestved (Denmark-BasketLigaen) playing11 games averaging 9.8ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 47.4%, FT: 80.0%. How do you feel are you a better player now than when you played with the Hamburg Towers?

Of course each year I still continue to learn and improve. You can never stop doing those things. I just feel on different teams, sometimes you have different roles. But as a professional, you just have to do your demands the best you can. Denmark and Hamburg I played two different styles, so that’s why it’s different in ways.

You weren’t happy with your role in Hamburg as you didn’t have to do as much as in Chemnitz. What kind of role do you expect to have in Leverkusen and will the duo Logins/Hornsby allow you to have the role you want to have?

In Hamburg, I did have a role. It was something I had to try to accept and just do the best I could. Obviously in Chemnitz, my role was much bigger, and allowed me to showcase more what I could do. After speaking with coach, I’m sure he knows how to use his pieces right, and put us in the comfortable positions to be successful and do what we do best. Playing aside a guy like Nick, will just make it that much better. 

When you turned 30 you stated that you didn’t feel like you were in your prime. Do you feel like your prime is here now and what kind of player will the Bayer Giants Leverkusen fans witness this season?

I’m just a year older haha, but the way I train my body during the off-season, I still few amazing. I do not feel I have lost anything. I feel great. The fans of Leverkusen will see a hard working player, that is energetic, high positivity, and willing to do whatever to help the team win. 

In the last years you improved your perimeter game and foot work. How do you feel did your game improve in the last season in Denmark further?

Yes, I have worked more on my post and face up game. It’s always good to keep putting knew things in your overall package.

Your best scoring and rebounding games in the German Pro A were 29 points and 18 rebounds and 21 points and 19 boards against Rhondorf. What was your personal favorite and best game in the Pro A?

Those games were awesome. But my most favorite game was winning the game to go to the playoffs. The fans of Chemnitz went nuts because it was the first in a while. 

On what things on your game will you continue to work on most this summer as your grinding in the lab?

I’m working on a lot of face up game and attacking. 

Please name your best five teammates of all-time in no particular order?

Jon Williams
Ike Udonah
Josh Peppers
Virgil Matthews
Justin Williams
Brandon McKnight 

There has been a lot of hype around Zion Williamson. What has been your impression of him? Will he be one of the all-time greats or just another very good player in the NBA?

The kid is one of a kid. It is just amazing of how strong, and athletic he is, at that size. He is 280lbs, and jumps out of the gym. It is hard to say of how he will be in the NBA, and how he will adapt, but time will tell.

When all is said and done do you feel like Luka Doncic could become the greatest European ever to play in the NBA?

I don’t know about greatest, because I think Dirk has that title after his 20 years, but I believe he could be listed in the same category as Dirk, as being one of the greatest of all times.

What was the last movie that you saw

The Avengers

Thanks Greg for the chat