Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Grant Teichmann(MLP Academics Heidelberg) Has That Special Rare Thankfulness Combined With Sheer Talent

Just getting a job can sometimes be very tough for anyone and as difficult as what Steph Curry must have been going through mentally being down 3-1 against the Toronto Raptors as the appreciation of attaining that job no matter what the circumstances are can be mixed depending on the character of the person, but what happens when you get that dream job? Having the opportunity to make that hobby become your bread maker? Well most guys are probably very happy and sometimes even exhilarated. A guy like Grant Teichmann wasn´t only overjoyed, but was more than extremely thankful when he had learned that he would not only be getting his dream job, but be getting paid to play the game he loves in a foreign country and on top of that to be able to live in one of Germany´s great historic cities named Heidelberg where many American´s can say they have visited. It´s an added bonus when you also have the German citizenship and can finally get to learn about a culture that you have heard about so much, but never been exposed to because of growing up in the States. When Teichmann learned of being able to play his professional basketball rookie season in Germany, he took to social media and expressed a tribute seldom seen from a basketball player. “I found out yesterday that a real life dream of mine has finally turned into a reality! I’ve dreamed about this moment since I was a little kid and it’s officially here. I’ll be headed off to Germany in August to play basketball professionally for MLP Academics. The amount of support I’ve received over the years and just yesterday alone has been overwhelming. There are so many people I owe and need to thank for being able to reach this dream of mine but I know I can’t even begin to think where to start. Thank you to every single past teammate, coach, manager, trainer, team doctor etc. who has been there along the way. It took an extreme amount of hard work and an incredible up and down journey over the years for all of this to fall in place. I’m grateful for the route I chose to take and to have always trusted myself and those closest to me. Next stop Heidelberg, Germany“, stressed Grant Teichmann. “What stood out right away was his daring and self-confidence shooting the ball especially from way outside. You rarely see a pure shooter like him that also has good court vision. We will focus on his defensive qualities as he still has a lot of potential in that area. He is a real nice and pleasant person that is very excited to come to Heidelberg”, expressed MLP Academics manager Matthias Lautenschlager. Grant Tecihmann has that rare special thankfulness combined with sheer talent that will help him make that next step in Heidelberg.

            Teichmann is a 22 year old 190cm guard that grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee and lives in Nashville now possesses the American/German citizenship. His dad was born and raised in Germany and is a German citizen. Recently in Atlanta Grant applied for his German passport and citizenship and received it. His grandparents still live in Bayreuth. Even if he never lived in Germany, he was able to follow NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki as a kid and remembers his fondest memory of the German wunderkind. “The 2011 NBA Playoff run. He was literally unstoppable. I loved seeing a magical run that seemed like complete destiny. I always remember Dirk from when I was young because he was the only player my dad would talk about until LeBron came along”, expressed Grant Teichmann. He comes from a very athletic and family as his father played football for UT-Chattanooga, as did his brother Logan.  His brother Kyle also played basketball at Freed-Hardeman (NAIA).  Another brother Chase is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Florida College and helped coach Grant as a graduate assistant at FHU. He had basketball early in his blood and was a stand out at Brentwood high school where he averaged 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. His career high was as a senior where he netted 40 points in the district semifinals.  He finished his career with over 1,100 points.  He garnered All-State, All-Mid State, All-Tournament and District Tournament MVP honors in high school while helping lead the school to three straight state tournament appearances and a spot in the finals in 2015. Despite having such an amazing high school career, he didn´t get that NCAA gig, but had to be content with starting in the NAIA the fourth college division and one where it´s difficult to go on to a professional career. He played two seasons at Freed-Hardeman (NAIA) playing 63 games and in his sophomore season averaged 10.1ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 75.5%. He was the team´s second leading scorer and had 19 starts. His best scoring game there was a 27 point explosion against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.). Despite having a solid second year, he decided that it was time for a change and moved to Carson-Newman (NCAA2). “Freed-Hardeman was a great experience. I loved my teammates and my brother Chase was on staff for two years. I chose to leave because after my first year our coach left unexpectedly and my teammates and I decided to stay another year and give it a shot. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good situation to be a part of”, stressed Grant Techhmann.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber meeting Grant Teichmann after playing his first professional exhibition game in Frankfurt, Germany

            Teichmann who lists his special NBA Mount Rushmore with guys like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal… Wilt Chamberlain honorable mention then finished his college run with a stellar career at Carson-Newman (NCAA2) where he showcased his abilities in 60 games. In his junior season he played 31 games averaging 11.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 70.2%. He scored in double figures in 19 games including two 22 point efforts against Wingate and Queens, NC. Other highlights in his junior campaign were getting close to a triple double against Lenoir-Rhyne with 10 points, 8 boards and 8 dimes. He also showed his offensive versatility dishing out at least 5 assists in 11 games and had 9 against Anderson. In his senior season, he made another step averaging 14.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 73.3%. He scored in double figures in 23 games and had more than 20 points four times. He hit Newberry for 26 points and had stellar games against Tenn Wesleyan netting 24 points. He had a great performance against Lander with 23 points and 10 rebounds and 23 points against Virginia-Wise. He also contributed 22 points against Catawba. He also made a another jump in his playmaking abilities registering 7 assists or more 8 times including 11 against Lees-McRae. He was fortunate that he played for a coach that let him just play his game. “My playmaking ability increased. Coach Benson gave us a lot of freedom on the court and encouraged us to play to our strengths and aggressive”, added Grant Teichmann. One of his 20 plus point explosions wasn´t his fondest game memory, but rather one where he netted less points in a huge 92-91 win. “Those were all great games but I think my most memorable one would be at King my junior year. It was a come from behind win. I had 16 or 18 in the second half and hit a lot of big shots late in the game to give us a close win”, added Grant Teichmann. There were many guys that helped him become the player he is now, but one of his biggest supporters was his head coach Chuck Benson. “On the court, CB gives you a lot of freedom and puts you in position to make plays as well as teaches the game from a universal standpoint. What he preaches works at all levels. Off the court, he would constantly talk to us about the real world once we’re out of college, and how we need to carry ourselves as professionals”, warned Grant Teichmann. He doesn´t only have class and special basketball skills, but also has a comical side. When asked about who won a one on one in practice between him and other top player Malik Abraham, he had a quick witty remark. “We never actually played one on one. But I’d like to think I had the best one on one record on the team”, smiled Grant Teichmann.

            On the court Grant Teichmann has a very versatile game and enjoys to fill up the stat sheet. He compares his game to a mixture of a smaller Joe Ingles and Joe Harris. He enjoys the Ingles playmaking ability who isn’t just a spot and dot guy and understands how to make plays in the pick and roll and is a very underrated defender He also likes to compare himself to a Joe Harris because of their size, the ability to run off screens, and catch and shoot ability. A big strength in his game is his shooting ability and knows exactly what he will have to do as a rookie in Germany making that next step from a good shooter to a great shooter. “My goals to go from good to great would be to keep the same percentages (because of the longer 3-point line) but to increase the amount of makes per game”, warned Grant Teichmann. He is not only a prolific shooter, but also a very good passer as he averaged close to five assists in his last two seasons at Carson-Newman. He credits aggressiveness as something that helped increase his playmaking ability. “I’ve always considered myself too passive growing up. I have always had good vision. With the increase in how aggressive I was, I naturally drew more defenders which led to more assists. Despite being such a versatile player, there are still other facets to his game that he believes are still off the radar. “I think even though my percentages show my ability to score efficiently, I still think my finishing ability is slept on. My off-ball defense, on court communication, basketball savoy and knowing the nuances of the game are also things I think aren’t always noticed”, stressed Grant Teichmann. Despite having so much basketball ability, he knows that he still has many parts on his game to work on and will do so in the next months before he makes the trek to Heidelberg in August. “Shooting, finishing, as well as being better in the pick and roll. I’ll also be working on shots off the dribble and understanding the European game more”, added Grant Teichmann.

            Teichmann who credits Malik Beasley a shooting guard for the Denver Nuggets as his toughest cover as he just seemed unguardable now will begin his professional career with ambitious German Pro A team MLP Academics. The club has had a good development over the last years bringing in talented Americans and helping them make the next step and last season reached the semi-finals of the playoffs and soon will be opening a new state of the art arena. Getting that first professional contract was like a dream come true for the character guy Teichmann as not too many guys have reached a high level the way he has having started in the NAIA. Teichmann remembers his freshman season at Freed-Hardeman where he averaged only 4,9ppg, but already back then he had a healthy self-confidence and if someone had told him in 2015 that he would be a professional in 2019, he wouldn´t have admitted that he couldn´t be a professional one day. I would say it was definitely possible but I can’t lose my confidence like I did this past year (2015-16 season) and I just have to trust my skill and ability”, warned Grant Teichmann. With so many positives to chose from, his new club MLP Academics and the amazing new city Heidelberg and German culture, going here was a no brainer for him. “Their level of interest in me and their past success convinced me. I liked the consistency with their roster as well. There are some good guys to learn from. As a bonus, I started looking into the city and heard nothing but good things about it”, stressed Grant Teichmann. Like at Carson-Newman where he played for knowledgeable Chuck Benson, he will get another gem of a coach with Frenki Ignjatovic and should be able to make positive strides in his development under him. He was smitten with his new coach in their first talks. “He seemed knowledgeable of the game and straight to the point. He seemed very professional, strategic, and versatile. I look forward to getting to know him a lot better”, warned Grant Teichmann. The movie buff who isn´t old school in his favoritism in the never ending debate of who´s the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James taking the latter also has something else that is always beneficial in a player having that extra special hunger to be successful. He has had to prove himself the last four years after a strong high school career playing in the NAIA and NCAA 2 and it won´t be any different now. He has always had that chip on his shoulder and with his motivation to continue to get better and prove people wrong, it is still on his shoulder now. “I definitely have always had a chip on my shoulder but it isn’t difficult coming to terms of always having to prove yourself, because I wouldn’t want it any other way”, warned Grant Teichmann. He doesn´t only have that special rare thankfulness combined with sheer talent, but also that vital chip on his shoulder that will never hinder him from wanting to reach success.

Maulik Roots Has No Quits Which Is A Deadly Attribute To Have

Maulik Roots is a 6’0 shooting guard from Kankakee Illinois. He played junior college ball in Phoenix, Arizona He got some professional experience last April in Mexico last April and also has played in a couple of semi pro men’s leagues in the Phoenix area. He was a member of the 2019 Howard Hoops tour that toured in Germany in August.He spoke to about basketball.

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

I am currently in Frankfurt Germany. My summer has been good it’s been a daily grind to get better.

There are guys with meager basketball resume’s and then there are guys like you that are battling to build a resume. How hungry are you to finally get a chance to showcase your basketball skills with a professional team?

Oh man I’m extremely hungry especially with how my basketball life has been. So to get this chance I’m extremely blessed and I plan on making the most out of the opportunity !

How tough was it making the transition from high school ball to junior college ball not having played your junior or senior years of high school?

It was tough man completely different than what I had envisioned. Everyone had speed, everyone could shoot, could play defense, being a guard you got to find a way to set yourself apart. After summer camp ended me an the head coach sat down and decided that using my redshirt year would be my best option. I used that to really motivate me to key in on grinding and working on my game, way more than I ever did.

You went to Mexico last April and got some professional experience. Where did you play and what kind of experience was it being in a Spanish country?

I went down to Queretaro, Mexico. The experience wasn’t exactly how I thought it would be. End of the day I’m still grateful to have gone out there for that month get me a few games in. I look at it as all a part of the process. It could have been better but it also could have been way worse.

You also have played with some semi-pro league teams in the Phoenix, Arizona area. What kind of steps could you make it here? You put up good stats. Do any kind of scouts visit these type of games as you never know there might be that gem that everybody overlooked.

Yea when I got back from Mexico it was a few leagues going on that I hopped in. I joined the leagues to stay active but also as a networking tool, you never know who you can meet while playing or after the game. There weren’t really scouts there but I played against guys that played overseas, so with the help of social media it makes it easy to network with people. But also exposure you play in enough spots or leagues wherever your at if you can play you will start to get noticed it’s almost inevitable.

How tough is it keeping your basketball dream alive while having a day job? How do you pay the bills while grinding in the gym at night?

Man much respect to everyone that’s chasing this hoop dream while still paying bills and handling life. It’s no easy task making sure you work enough to pay your bills but also making sure that you are working on your game so your not outworked by the next man. I was blessed that my jobs back in Phoenix worked with me and my schedule to allow me to make that money to pay my bills, but also allow me to be a gym rat. If you aren’t focused on your goal and truly dedicated to what your chasing it’s very easy to fall off and lose sight. I thank God for keeping me locked in and focused thru all them late nights and early mornings !

Just so one can get a feel as to what type of player you are, if you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I think I’m just a combination of role players not really modeled after a specific player

Describe your game a bit. You’re a player that can fill the stat sheet. What are your biggest strengths on the court?

I’m a high energy player with good vision to hit the open man. A huge threat if left open. I love to move without the ball to open myself up, because I don’t need much room to pull the trigger. I can get the team involved as well which is why I tend to fill the stat sheet up.

On what things are you working on most on your game now as you continue to improve your game as you hopefully move up the basketball ladder?

Ball handling ! Definitely working on making my handles tighter. You can never get to good at ball handling. The tighter your handles are the easier it makes your game honestly, especially if you can shoot! So as I continue to climb that ladder ball handling will be something I can always improve on.

You are taking part at the 2019 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. How excited are you to be able to be in Europe? With what kind of expectations are you going to Germany with?

Man I don’t think I slept much the last week I was in the states that’s how excited I was to be coming out here. Great experience spending this time out here the culture the food the time. The group I’m out here with are all cool people. We are building a nice bond lots of laughs and we just getting started. My expectations are very high for myself while I’m out here. I packed to stay
 for a while!

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? What are you looking forward to most with this experience?

I don’t know much about the country I do know that the love for basketball here is growing. You can never go wrong with cultural experience that’s the thing that I love most with playing overseas basketball. Experiencing the culture !

How thankful are you of getting this experience from tour CEO Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.). How did the whole contact come about and what do you believed impressed him most from your game to invite you?

Oh man I’m extremely blessed and grateful to have come into contact with Ron. He’s definitely someone that a guy like me or anyone really for that matter should have in their corner. A guy that played in Germany last season was playing in one of those leagues back in Phoenix. I reached out to him on social Media after playing against him and asked if he knew any opportunities happening out in Germany, since he just played there . He directed me towards Ron. I messaged him we talked a bit he got some background info on me and invited me to the tour. Honestly I think he could hear the drive I had for the game.

Ronald Howard has an amazing track record of helping guys like yourself land on a team. How confident are you that through his guidance you would be able to find a team?

Yea after googling him and learning more of his background he’s helped a lot of guys land jobs. I extremely confident that with my mindset and having Ron I’m my corner finding a team home out here can likely be an outcome

Ronald Howard is an amazing around the clock basketball junkie. What has impressed you most about his presence and just how much influence does he have in being able to get the best out of a player?

He’s real ! End of the day he’s cutthroat and real which that in itself is influential an makes a player want to be at their best knowing you got a guy like that coming behind you.

Is your basketball dream big enough to earn somewhere between 300-500 euro to start?. That is a tough lifestyle and some guys can’t cope with it while others can. Are you aware how tough it will be once you get a shot?

Honestly starting out I’m grateful to just land a job the money amount will work its way in but if I can just get a job doing what I love I’ll be satisfied. The basketball life is a tough life especially the overseas basketball life. Everyday you got to show up at your best because every day it’s someone that wants your spot . So when you get that shot you got to give it your all ride it till the wheels fall off

Please explain in a few sentences as to why you could help any team despite the kind of resume that you have?

I feel I can help any team because I can move the ball. I can run the floor play defense. I can shoot. I know how to get open. Lastly I have no quits which is a deadly attribute to have.

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads old or present would you pick?

Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant Lebron James magic Johnson

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

I got to go with the goat also being from the Chicago area he was highly talked about growing up I got to go with MJ

What was the last movie that you saw?

Hobbs and Shaw

Thanks Maulik fort he chat.

Cameron Gause Has The Winning Mentality Having Been At Two NCAA Winning Programs

Cameron Gause an American basketball player that took part recently at the Howard Hoops tour in Germany. He is a point guard that grew up Tucson, Arizona. He has college experience with New Mexcio State and Northern Colorado and professional experience in the ABA. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball. 

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

Thank you for taking the time to interview me, I am in LA right now. My summer has been good, I just moved to LA June 1st and have been training out here and networking with the basketball world that is out here during the summer. 

Every player has their story, but you have that extremely unlucky one. You bounced around from two schools with New Mexico State and Northern Colorado University and never played a game, but you graduated college in 2018. Despite the basketball turmoil was graduating with a degree lesson the basketball pain at least somewhat? 

Somewhat, but basketball has always been the motivating factor so it’s always in my mind. With my degree being in Journalism, I always wanted to play professionally and fall back on my degree and become a sports analyst/ anchor so that was the reason I kind of stuck with getting a degree. Plus I always knew the only way I could stay eligible would be taking classes so getting the degree was just something that came along with that.

Has that college degree at least helped you off the court? Besides being in the lab and working on your game how have you been living life away from the court? 

Not yet because I haven’t applied it yet. Knowing that once I really step into the journalism working field, I won’t really be able to chase both dreams, has kept me more chasing my true love. I’ve spent this year out of college living in Tucson, AZ working at the Tucson Jewish Community center part time. 

How have you experienced the last year in terms of finding a team. How have you gone about looking for the right fit best? How tough has this whole process been mentally? 

The experience has been tough because of not having a agent, which is really what I expected because I knew my situation isn’t really ideal for a team or a agent who hasn’t seen me play, and because of my playing background stats wise. I tried out for two G- League teams the NAZ Suns and Fort Wayne Mad Ants, as well as participating in a Agencies overseas camp last summer in Las Vegas. 

You have played semi-professionally in the ABA, but how much of a void do you believe has the non college experience been for professional teams? 

I really didn’t want to play ABA for the risk of getting hurt but was convinced which turned out to be a good idea. But without an agent lobbying for me with the Professional teams, I haven’t had any contact with them so I wouldn’t say it’s a void. But if my college career would have gone as planned, or even if I had touched the floor just a bit. I know I wouldn’t be in this position.

You practiced with New Mexico State in the 2016-2017. Despite not playing games what benefits did you get form this experience having the day to day opportunity to be in a competitive basketball environment? 

All the guys on the team then except two or three I had been playing with from my previous time at New Mexico State so the main thing that was different was just seeing my improvement over time from my own work. Which really just boosted my confidence and let me know that I belong on the court with those guys. It also kept the dream alive for me, I was able to visualize the goal more clearer. 

When head coach Paul Weir left a new coach came in and brought in new players and you were left in the cold. What were you able to soak up best in that year from head coach Paul Weir that you believe helped your game most? 

I love coach P Weir, although it didn’t work out all the way how I wanted it to. He really gave me a great opportunity that year to earn a spot, which kept the dream alive. I enjoyed every single day, which really made that the best year in college for me! I remember he sent me this quote ‘ To pursue greatness, is to pursue maybe’ – John Bare. That really stuck with me and fueled my fire. 

Let’s talk about your game. If you had to describe it to an NBA player who would best fit the description? 

I would say Quinn Cook, or Tyler Ulis with some flashes of other players. 

Talk a bit about the strengths of your game and on what areas are you continuing to work on most in the lab to get better? 

Strengths are quickness, ball handling, effort, passing, and I’ll say shooting because I’ve spent a lot of time this past year shooting and working on my shot. 

You are taking part at the 2019 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. How excited are you to be able to be in Europe? With what kind of expectations are you going to Germany with? 

I’m very excited because I didn’t think I would be able to have this opportunity, this will be my first time in Europe so I’m hoping to take advantage of this opportunity the best I can. I’m coming in expecting to prove that I can play a high level of basketball. 

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? What are you looking forward to most?

I don’t know anything to be honest. I’m looking forward to testing the work I’ve put in and my confidence level. As well as seeing a different part of the world and experiencing something new. 

How thankful are you of getting this experience from tour CEO Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.). How did the whole contact come about and what do you believed impressed him most from your game to invite you? 

I’m very thankful because Ron doesn’t need me, I need him! I got his information through a friend/ mentor on Instagram and it went from there. 

Ronald Howard has an amazing track record of helping guys like yourself land on his touring city. How confident are you that through his guidance you would be able to find a team? 

I’m confident because the person that plugged me with him Carlon Brown, who has played professionally himself and has a business (Point Advising) teaching players the things they need to know to become professional gave me a good recommendation of him. Although nothing is a guaranteed.

Ronald Howard is an amazing around the clock basketball junkie. What has impressed you most about his presence and just and being able to get the best out of a player?

I haven’t experienced this personally yet with him but I am looking forward to doing so on this trip. 

Is your basketball dream big enough to earn somewhere between 300-500 euro to start?. That is a tough lifestyle and some guys can’t cope with it while others can. Are you aware how tough it will be once you get a shot?

My Dream is big enough to earn less to be honest! I just want to start somewhere, because I know once I can get a foot in the door and put some numbers up, I’ll be able to get where I want to be.

Please explain in a few sentences as to why you could help any team despite the kind of resume that you have? 

Although not touching the floor, I come from a winning program and a winning culture. 4/5 of my years in college we have won our conference and I’ve seen what it takes first hand to win championships. And every team wants to win! 

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads old or present would you pick? 

Kareem, MJ, Bron, Steph Curry. Even though I think Kobe is better than Lebron. 

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

I got go with MJ, maybe Lebron later.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

Suicide Squad.

Thanks Cameron for the chat.

John Murry(BSG Grevenbroich) Has A Mindset That Is Based On Being Unstoppable

John Murry is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis, Indiana with minimal professional season. Technically he is in his third professional season, but has only three professional games under his belt in the Canadian NBL league with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans. This summer he signed his first professional contract with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). He spoke to earlier in the summer about his basketball career.

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

No problem, thank you for choosing me for this interview. I am currently in Indianapolis, In training and working out every day for the upcoming season in Germany. This summer has been so productive and very well-orchestrated thanks to my trainers and other vets in my corner.

Congrats on signing with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). You signed very early at the end of April. How good did it feel signing your first overseas contract?
Man, the feeling that I got in my body was incomparable and almost impossible to put into words. I received a call at my place of employment at the time and seconds later the contract was in my email. There wasn’t a better feeling that I have had in my life more recently then to look in my email and see that all I had to do was sign my name and I was onto a better life. I wanted to shout, scream, jump, dance, call somebody. It was so many things going through my head at the time I couldn’t even think straight I was just so happy that the last few years of struggle and pain I had been through had finally paid off. 

How tough were the last two years for you? Technically you’re a third-year vet, but really you will be playing your first full season in Germany. You played three professional games in the last two years in Canada. How mind boggling is to you that a guy of your talent averaging 16,7 ppg in the NCAA not have a good steady professional basketball job?
These last two years where some of the hardest times I have ever had in my life. It was a point where everything in my life was messed up, I was so hurt mentally and emotionally my mind was on a rollercoaster every day. Dealing with the absence of basketball, personal life issues, and everyday priorities it was enough to try and break me, but one thing I NEVER stopped doing was working towards my goal. I was down bad to my last mentally and financially and invested everything I had left into myself and my workout plan. I refused to give up no matter what I went through. Coming from averaging almost 20ppg in college to sitting in games where I know I was better than the guys that played instead of me hurt me to my soul, then not being able to play at all professionally for some time killed me even more. Nevertheless I used that and everything ANYBODY had ever done wrong to me as fuel to my fire. I would literally be in workouts like, okay he/she lied to me lets kick it up two notches, I got cut let’s kick it up two notches, you think I’m not good enough lets kick it up two notches, I did everything in my power to grind my way out of the crap that I was in, the one thing that kept me going was my mom and her routine and every day when I was younger. I never seen her quit or give up. She was in a race that challenged her at her age not to long ago and something happened to her health and she couldn’t finish I went to check on her and the first things that came out of her mouth where ‘I’m going back next session to finish my race’ its that competitive, never quit no matter attitude that she passed on to me that kept me pushing past all negativity throughout those rough two years. 

You have a job, but in the fourth league in Germany. How big is the chip on your shoulder and what is it like starting over again and again like you did in the JUCO and doing now again at a lower level?

The chip is enormous but nevertheless something that I am used to at this point. I love it because I love to prove people wrong and I also am good at making something out of nothing like you seen coming from JUCO that’s something that I never see especially in the area where I am from. I do believe that this will be a great opportunity that I will take full advantage of and supersede all expectations of me and more. The fact that I’ve been waiting on this for so long will keep the fuel fired up in me and never let me take this chance for granted as well as soak up every piece of knowledge I can. Me and my guys guys back home call it ‘seize the moment’ I’ll show how good I am and where I deserve to be just like I did in the beginning of my career. 

How thankful are you for BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) head coach Jason Price who knew about you? Was he a big reason why you decided to sign with them?
Words can’t describe how thankful I am for my guy Jason, we saw each other in Vegas and had a real connection after he saw me play and things took off from there. He is a real down to earth guy and definitely showed what a man of his word is all about. I feel like we are going to do really big things this upcoming season. 

How excited are you to join a league the Regionalliga that is dominated by guard scoring? How confident are you that you won’t only be an impact player, but a top player in the league?
Ecstatic is an understatement; I mark the days down on my calendar and watch the time like its just seconds away lol I can’t wait to board the plane and land there with a mind ready to enjoy the culture. I’m so confident in my ability and the work that I have put in to not only be a top player but THEE top player in the league. I love the game so much and am a student of the game to the point I never think I’m too good. I can always get better which keeps me going higher and higher to be the best player I can be and as I always tell myself one of THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD. 

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends or ex teammates play in Germany before?
I do know a small amount about the culture but looking forward to learning so much more. I want to be bilingual and experienced with the different types of food they have to offer. I also heard good things about the October fest and the attraction it brings to people not only from Germany but all over the word. I also had a few friends of the family do time in the military over there and heard nothing but great things from them about the culture. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 193cm guard that can really fill up the stat sheet. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
While working out and playing I’ve heard players such as Paul George, Dam Lillard, I’ve also watched myself and the moves I make some of them look close to Kyrie going downhill, my jump shot has its own type of style to where I feel I can revolutionize it. I personally think I’m a close comparison to Dam Lillard style of play and moves more like Paul George.

You really filled up the stat sheet in your two years at Owens CC (JUCO). Do you feel confident that you can do that again in your rookie season in a league that should be fitting for you to do that?
Yes sir, without a doubt I do believe that I am ready and capable to do ascendingly what I did in JUCO, my division 1 career and every day that I touch a basketball. My killer mentality is what gives me the edge and I look to take full advantage. I have a mindset that is based on being unstoppable. 

You can score the ball, rebound and can find your teammates well while also displaying a solid outside shot. What other strengths do you have that will be shown when you step on the court in Germany?
I feel like my athleticism will surprise a lot of people when they see me play. The fact that I can react to certain things so fast, get off the ground so quickly and have sneaky bounce off one foot or two feet going downhill may turn a lot of heads in an amazing way. 

You’re a guy that can really fill the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away on the court?
Probably my ability to close out games and hit big shots, I love having the ball in my hands with seconds left to go in the game, down by whatever amount of points and sending guys home with a L. I also have a motor that I play with that doesn’t stop, I can keep going and going which would surprise a lot of people at the pace I can keep that up. 

On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer most so you will be best prepared to make an impact as a rookie in Germany?
I really worked on passes and making decisions in tight spaces, I also worked on shooting the deep three consistently while being tired, so I have legs to still make shots late in games. I’ve been in the weight room diligently working on my weaknesses and taking care of my body as well. 

In the last two seasons you were with Saint John Riptide (Canada-NBL Canada) in pre season and played three games with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (Canada-NBL Canada). What is your summary of this time? Why didn’t your professional career take off in Canada?
Me looking back on those seasons, coaches really didn’t give me a clue as to what was going on, I feel like some wanted veteran experience and others just didn’t have an idea, I showed out as I do at every level I played at and just got better and took those as learning lessons. I became the best version and continued to get better every day. One thing I never did was let those experiences break me as a person. 

In the summer of 2018 you played at the Scorers 1st Showcase – Pro Basketball Exposure in Las Vegas, NV and also with Team Minnesota (Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 4 games avergaing 25.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.0apg. How important was this experience getting your name out in the German market? With Gerrit from Scorer’s First you had a very good contact for the German market?
It played a huge role in my career, me going out there experiencing real pro’s, being around professional coaches, and GM’s and just learning how the game goes. It was very important for me to go out there and put up those numbers so people could see who John Murry really is and what I’m about. 

This year you also had experience with the Fort Wayne Flite (CBA). What was the biggest benefit playing for this team in this league?
The biggest benefit for me was learning a different pace and tempo learning how to slow down and process the game at different speeds while scoring the ball efficiently and looking for different areas to accelerate my game. I played behind a coach that believed in me and a mentor on the side that kept me on my toes at all times. It opened my eyes up to what I can do at a high level going into this season. 

You began your basketball career at North Central High School. Your school had some well known basketball alumni like Eric Gordon, Jason Gardner and David Logan. The latter two had great careers in Europe. Are they like role models that will help you continue to work hard so you can make your own name overseas?
Yes, those guys definitely are like big brothers who helped pave the way for not only myself but many others who came up along with me. I Talked to David Lo right after I signed, and he also played in Germany and he congratulated me and gave me some strong words of wisdom and how to adapt to the European life. Also, a big brother in my corner who helped me tremendously was Greg Foster who was another European pro who won championships and made a name for himself. I played with Eric Gordon and his AAU team when I was in high school and that brought us closer together as well. All influences from these people helped me mentally in getting where I am because this is not an easy game to play and without head strength it will be hard for any person to last years in this profession. 

You played two seasons at Owens CC (JUCO) and put up great stats while reaching two district finals. What do you feel kept the team from not getting the titles?
Honestly nothing that we could control kept us from getting there. An interesting story is both years we lost to a buzzer beater in the final seconds. When you talk about pain, nothing in life hurts more than getting your dreams of championship crushed in the final seconds and you have nothing you can do about it, two back to back years. Both years my team was strong, smart, tough and came to compete every night, we lost a max of 6 or 7 games in 2 years. One of the best teams to go down in the history books, but those loses taught me a lot, I never look at things as losing I either win or I learn and that’s what got me past those memories to a higher level of competition. 

How do you feel did your game grow in the JUCO that allowed you to make a smooth transition into the NCAA?
My game definitely grew a lot and it made my transition to the NCAA very smooth so smooth I was ready for action the first day I stepped on campus. Our very first D-1 open gym I didn’t lose a game, I scored or assisted on almost every point and was playing a such a high level I had never played before. I got to my spots and got any shot or play that I wanted I was unstoppable, it really showed how much hard work I had put in over the summer. 

You then finished college ball at Austin Peay State (NCAA) playing 56 NCAA games from 2015-2017 You made a considerable jump in your stats averaging 5,7ppg as a junior to averaging 16,7ppg as a senior. What do you feel were the main reasons for being able to elevate your game so much?

The main reason was opportunity, in conference play I averaged 20ppg and was second in player of the year voting and it all came from confidence and being comfortable on the floor. It got to a point where it felt like everything I threw in the air was going to fall in the net, no rim!! There is nothing like being completely free on the court and that’s what happened to me. I was able to just play my game without having any restrictions and have fun, with those things in play the sky is the limit of how good I can really be. 

You won the OVC title in 2016 beating Belmont and Tennessee-Martin. Was this your fondest weekend of basketball at Austin Peay State?
Yes, the best weekend of my life in college. I hit a game winner against Tennessee State to play Belmont in the next round and that feeling was unbelievable (that video is on youtube under my highlights). A full weekend of games, no classes, on national TV with the entire fan section behind because we were the underdogs, we made history with that championship and it felt so good. I still talk about winning that ring till this day. There is almost nothing in this world that compares to being a champion coming from the bottom and everybody is voted against you. I love it and enjoyed every second of that weekend. 

You made the big dance in 2016 losing to powerhouse Kansas 105-79 and you steered 13 points in 18 minutes. What memories do you have of that game playing against future NBA players like Frank Mason, Wayne Seldon and Cheick Diallo. You held your own against players like these. Was there a big difference in skill level or knowing that there wasn’t continues to give you hope of going your way up the basketball ladder?
Those memories last a lifetime, from walking into the arena and people asking for autographs to the final buzzer sound. I have memories of me going against Wayne Seldon and me thinking in my head he can’t guard me. No matter who is in front of me I always think they have no chance of stopping me. I remember going against Cheick Diallo who was a rim protector and finishing over the top of him going towards the rim, that was a legendary moment for me because he was projected an early pick at that time and was one of the best shot blockers in that conference, for me to finish through him was a moment I will never forget. I believe I made a free throw in that game and my confidence was through the roof off of just one free throw. I remember guarding Wayne Seldom and frank mason and it put into my head I can play in the NBA if this is what the future players in the NBA look like, and I still believe I’ll get to the NBA. In fact, in those games I was actually more skilled then some of them but some of them had a weight advantage and mindset of pro that our team hadn’t tapped into collectively just yet. Playing those guys actually sparked the fire inside my head of ‘John you can get to the NBA’ AND since then that has been the end goal and I have put in overtime to get to that goal. After watching that game, I felt like I looked good and could easily make an NBA roster with a few polishes on my game and a strong agency behind my name coming from a mid-major d1 program. 

You had some great games in the NCAA, but was your 33-point explosion in your last game in the win against SE Missouri State your best? 

That was definitely one of my best games, but I think the best one may have been a couple games before that when I had 35 against eastern Illinois at home. I was really in a zone the entire game. I loved both of those game because we were down for most of the game and came back to win both of them. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Josh Robinson?
That was definitely a great battle, but I came out on top of that war. 

Who was the toughest opponent that you played in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe now
The crazy thing is, it was some people right here in Indiana, surviving and being one the best in INDY is very tough and for me to be one of the best I had to out work and out play the best, so it would be the people that I play against every day in the summer while I’m home that give me the biggest challenge 

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
Gary Harris 
David Logan 
Myles Turner 
Kenny Jones 
Greg Foster 

Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?
Kobe Bryant 
Michael Jordan 
Tracy McGrady 

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Honestly in my opinion neither of them was the greatest I think Kobe Bryant was the greatest and the scariest killer mentality I’ve ever seen. When I’m locked in zone I like to compare my mentality to the will of Kobe and what he used to do to people. He showed no mercy what so ever 

What was the last movie that you saw?
The new Lion King and I loved it lol 

Thanks John for the chat.

Brandon Mcelvy Is Always Talking On The Court And Keeping Everybody On The Same Page

Brandon Mcelvy is an American professional basketball player from Houston that recently took part at the Howard Hoops Tour in Germany. He played at Blue Ridge, Nolan Catholic High School, Fort Worth, Christian School and Impact Prep Academy in his young years. He then got further experience with Oklahoma State, Iowa Central Community College and the University of Houston. He has professional experience having played in the ABA with the Houston Red Storm. He spoke to about basketball. 

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

Currently in Dallas and have been for the last days. I mainly stay in Houston but my parents stay in Dallas where I grew up after moving from Houston. Summer has been great. Finished my internship with the Houston Rockets and have been working on my game all summer.

You have some pretty good experience having played at some college and semi-pro ball. Why do you feel have had difficulty not being able to land a job overseas?

This is my first time actually trying to find an overseas job. I wanted to finish my college basketball career and get my degree in which I just graduated in May. I played semi-pro while I was still a full-time student this past year along with being an intern for the Rockets. So I was busy. I look forward to my first opportunity.

You played at three high schools and had a post grad year at Impact Prep Academy. How vital do you feel was having so much diverse experience as a young player?

I’ve bounced around a lot in my life and all of my experiences were God given. Wouldn’t take back any of it. Experiencing different places and different types of people have been key in my development on and off the court. I learned a lot every where I went.

Talk about your college experience that you had at Oklahoma State and Iowa Central Community College. What was the most positive things that you could get form these experiences?

Oklahoma State was a hard year but that was where I really got to see what Division 1 basketball was like even though I didn’t play. The atmosphere was amazing and unforgettable. I didn’t want to leave but ultimately did for Iowa Central. Iowa Central was a hard year as well. I got cut because I wasn’t a good fit according to the coach but it was a huge catalyst to me continuing to work hard and walk on at the University of Houston 9 months after being cut at Iowa Central.

How disappointing was it not being able to play at the University of Houston? Do you feel like if you would have had a shot there, that you might be elsewhere now in your basketball career?

The situation at the University of Houston is a complicated one and could’ve gone a lot differently. None of it was my fault. There was a miscommunication with the NCAA and athletic conference that Houston is in regarding a school I went to in high school that had saved my life. It’ll always be a huge ‘what if’. I think I’d be much farther in some ways but not as developed in others. Everything happens for a reason but I without a doubt thought I had a great chance to compete within the next two years after I first got there. Just unfortunate but God had other plans and I’m okay with that.

You have professional experience with the Houston Red Storm. What kind of experience was this and can a player significantly improve their game in semi-pro ball? I have heard stories about guys not always having the best experiences.

For me, playing professionally was just a huge blessing. There were many people who knew I could play but I hadn’t had any film since high school so this gave me what I needed which led to this tour and other possible opportunities. I definitely got better as the season went on. I hadn’t played a real game in two years before that. My last game was at Iowa Central so getting that game action was important. Anybody can improve. It’s putting in the work and letting it show up in games and that’s what I did for the most part.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a pass first point guard and many compare you to Chris Paul. What other point guards do you try to take things from to improve your game?

Chris Paul has been my favorite point guard forever but I take something from everybody whether it’s Kyrie’s handles and finishing ability or Kemba Walker’s shiftiness. I’ve studied old school point guards like Magic and even Isiah Thomas. Always been a student of the game and especially great point guards.

Your not the best three pointer. Is your trey something that you continue to work on? Has there been any thing special you have done out of the ordinary to improve the shot besides the obvious of more reps and shot selection?

My main thing with shooting is keeping my mechanics sharp and keeping my confidence high. I’m a rhythm shooter so once I start feeling it or get hot, the other team is in trouble. It’s more about consistency from a mental aspect. Not the skill itself.

You’re a very pesky defender. Does your defense at times spark your offense when it isn’t flowing well?

My defense will definitely spark offense. I’ve always been a guy to get a few steals a game or disrupt passing lanes. Even just disrupting the offense. I just make sure you’re almost never comfortable.

Your like a second coach on the court which is always important as a point guard. What is a good example of how well your court awareness is on the court?

Court awareness is being aware of everything from the other teams plays, whose hot, what the coach wants, and overall communication, etc. I talk a lot so I’m always trying to keep everybody on the same page.

You are taking part at the 2019 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. How excited are you to be able to be in Europe? With what kind of expectations are you going to Germany with?

Being in Europe for the first time will be a crazy experience. I’ve always wanted to play basketball in other places even while dreaming about the NBA so making my pro basketball dream come true here is nothing short of a blessing. The only expectation I come with for myself is playing hard and be myself. Can’t let a new environment change who I am. I’m only looking to grow.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? What are you looking forward to most with this experience?

I know the obvious history about Germany and the World War’s. My dad is real big on that stuff that’s most of my knowledge about Germany but in terms of basketball, I grew up in Dallas so I know Dirk. I met Dirk face to face as an intern for the Rockets when the Dallas Mavericks were in Houston. Had a cool moment with him so he definitely comes to mind. I’m just looking forward to experiencing a new culture and making my dreams come true.

How thankful are you of getting this experience from tour CEO Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.). How did the whole contact come about and what do you believed impressed him most from your game to invite you?

The fact that Ron is a former player is huge so I’m thankful that it is someone who knows their way around Europe and the overseas landscape. I believe my overall game impressed him and the fact that I play hard as you can tell in my highlight tape. He said I just need to showcase what I can do. I got connected to him through a mutual friend who is also from Dallas and has seen me put in work.

Ronald Howard has an amazing track record of helping guys like yourself land on his touring team. How confident are you that through his guidance you would be able to find a team?

I’m very confident. I believe if I just show up and show out to the best of my ability, he’ll get me where I need to be. There’s a heavy confidence in both sides I believe and I love it.

Ronald Howard is an amazing around the clock basketball junkie. What has impressed you most about his presence and just how much influence does he have in being able to get the best out of a player?

I haven’t been around him too much but I know he knows the game so I he’ll put us in the best position

Is your basketball dream big enough to earn somewhere between 300-500 euro to start?. That is a tough lifestyle and some guys can’t cope with it while others can. Are you aware how tough it will be once you get a shot?

I was the told lowest we’d probably get is 500 but whatever it is, I’ll more than likely take it. It’ll be tough but I want a good start to my career. The pay would only make me work harder.

Please explain in a few sentences as to why you could help any team despite the kind of resume that you have?

I’m a leader on and off the court. I’m going to give you everything I have and then some. I bring a wealth of experience from the highest level of basketball in the world, the NBA. That counts for something.

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads old or present would you pick?

NBA Mount Rushmore: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron, Magic. Those are my top 4 players all time in that order for many reasons. It’s hard leaving someone like Bill Russell out but his era isn’t that well respected despite him being a pioneer

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

It’s not never ending to me. It’s not even close as far as Michael Jordan being the greatest of all time. I don’t even consider Lebron 2nd and I couldn’t make an argument is that he’s not even top 3 but I have him at top 3. The fact that Kobe gets left out of the conversation is ludicrous. I don’t care who calls me crazy or what not but the stuff this man used to do in arguably the hardest defensive era of any decade was nuts. He was dropping 40+ on zone defenses. Do you know how hard that is? LOL he had everything skill in the toolbox.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Avengers End Game for the 2nd time

Thanks Brandon for the chat.

The Miles Basketball Minute: My First Impression Of The 2019-2010 Fraport Skyliners

When one witnesses that first pre season contest of the Fraport Skyliners one always sees new fresh faces with ample focus on making a rapid impression, but one thing hasn´t changed in the last 11 years and that is seeing an athletic energizer bunny sprinting up and down the court as if it´s his last game with Fraport Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson. With the last dino´s of the BBL slowly departing as Derrick Allen retired and the BBL whereabouts of Julius Jenkins and Immanuel Mcelroy are still unclear, but it seems like they may be done, so there are only a few rare basketball species left with Mr Oldenburg Rickey Paulding who is turning 37 in October and Quantez Robertson who is known as Tez and turns 35 in December. Last season, Tez came to training a bit heavy to the disdain of then head coach Gordon Herbert, but in his first pre season test against Pro A club MLP Academics Heidelberg a few days ago, he looked and ran like a young buck and looked in top shape. Usually when you get older you loose a step or two and the skills deteriorate, but with the ex Auburn stand out that can name NBA legend Charles Barkley as a school alumnist was all over the court like usual making big defensive plays, hauling down two offensive rebounds against three opponents, running the break, making crisp passes and assists and just being that identity figure that he is on the court. Tez is a basketball junkie and the day this freak athlete retires will be the day that his basketball motor completely shuts down and that could take a while, if he doesn´t suffer an unfortunate tough injury. I see the Cincinnati native playing into his 40´s simply because basketball is seriously all he knows to do and making company with a Tom Brady. In the first test game against Heidelberg, Tez had his typical “I fill the stat sheet always” as he led all scorers with 17 points, had 3 rebounds, 3 dimes and a steal while shooting a very respectable 64% from the field and a lot of other things that wasn´t seen on the stat sheet. He will have another typical Tez season. He is the Tez of old as nothing has changed, but what about the rest of the bunch? What kind of team will the Fraport Skyliners be this season with the old and new players?

                Four other Fraport Skyliners from last season also saw action against the MLP Academics Heidelberg. Akkem Vargas that battled injuries last season playing only 24 BBL games had a good game. He scored 7 points in 20 minutes grabbed a rebound and handed out 2 dimes. He hit an open three, made all four free throws and played solid defense. If he stays healthy than he will be a key player for the club especially with his veteran role and role model qualities for the young bucks. Richard Freudenberg is in his third season and this will be a make or break season for him. Despite improving his stats. last season over his first season, it still seems he has enough critics and people who can´t get warm with his play. Last season he averaged 6,1ppg and 2,0rpg in 16 minutes per game while shooting a very respectable 38% from downtown. It just seems like after being so hyped as a kid with FC Bayern Munich, the expectations are so high for him that no matter what he does, it just isn´t good enough. He had a slow first half, but exploded in the second half ending with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and shot a strong 50% from the field after missing his first couple shots. He still tends to bypass shots at times which is annoying. The kid should just shoot. shoot the ball, because he can shoot the ball. His drive continues to be his strong point as he scored a nice lay in from the base line. His role will continue to rise this year and the club will need solid consistent production from him. Leon Kratzer had his BBL break out season last season averaging 9,4ppg and 6,7rpg in 18 minutes per game with Frankfurt. In his first test game, he finished with 15/6 stats and shot a potent 7/8 from the field. He was denied well in the first half, but then got more touches in the second half and was his dominant self. When he is near the hole, then it´s mostly an instant bucket. He has more experience and is sprouting a lot of self confidence and will have another good season and possibly average double figures in scoring and possibly average 1-2 rebounds more. He could grow into on eof the best German centers in the BBL. Marco Voeller profited the most in the last weeks, but on account of Niklas Kiel. The club was going into the season confident with their young front court of Kratzer, Freudenberg and Kiel, but the club announced yesterday that the Paderborn native who came to Frankfurt in 2015 won´t be available at the moment. After suffering three concussions in 11 months, he came back at the end of last season and showed promise of slowly coming back and continuing his development. But apparently he has had health issues and the team don´t want to take any chances. Because Kiel is out, Marco Voeller who before was the odd man out is in and will take that Kiel role for now. He waisted no time being active at both ends registering a steal and block and on offense scored 10 points and hauled down 5 boards and dished out an assist while shooting 67% from the field. His free throw shooting of 2/6 and five turnovers are still a work in progress. I´m a big fan of Marco Voeller. He has an amazing character and a big heart  He may not be the most talented, but always gives 110% and works hard. He deserves this chance to shine with more minutes.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber first meeting with new Skyliner Anthony Hickey

                There were of course many new faces on the court starting with new point guard Anthony Hickey. The 26 year old from Oklahoma State(NCAA) is known as a hard nosed defender that led the leagues in Cyprus and Poland in steals, but also knows how to score the ball as he led the league in Cyprus in scoring and was second in Poland. In his first test game, he produced 10 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. At first glance, he reminds one of ex Skyliner Aubrey Reese who led Frankfurt into the 2010 BBL final with his polished goatee and body build. He told me after the game that he takes what the defense gives him and one could see, he had good decision making, but one got the idea that he is more a pass first guard. He tended to look first for his teammates, but when nothing went, he tried to create his own shot. He shot a poor 5/13 from the field and 0/5 from outside as his trey is still a work in progress in his fifth season even though he did shot 37% from outside in Poland last season. He compares his basketball IQ to a Chris Paul and wasn´t only talkative after the win against Heidelberg, but one could sense that after only some days, he felt at home in the BCM in Frankfurt. “I always wanted to play in Germany. The play is a lot faster here than in Greece. The guys have welcomed me nicely. It is like a family here”, smiled Anthony Hickey. Hickey is a versatile offensive guard and even more positive a top defender. I think when all is said and done this season that he will surprise a lot of critics and play a strong season. Another new player is rookie Matthew Mcquaid. At first glance, you wonder if he took the wrong locker room door mistaking the BBL team´s door for the NBBL(U-19) locker room, because the 23 year old 193cm guard from Michigan State(NCAA) looks like a 17 year old kid that still hasn´t visited his high school prom yet. But when you see him play, you observe right away that the kid has game. His best scoring year at Michigan State was 9,9ppg in his senior year and he showed in his first game that he has scoring abilities. He finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds and a steal and shot 50% from the field. His has confidence in his outside shot, can drive with ease to the hoop and does possess that cross over and has a good basketball IQ. He looks a bit slender and it will be interesting to see how he will compete against the physical play of the BBL, but when you have the leagues best individual coach in Klaus Prewas, then you will develop further with body and play. The American will score and display some eye opening plays, but most importantly bring that team mentality from his Michigan State days. “He is a great shooter, has a high IQ, and is a very good defender. He shut down a lot of the top college guys during his 4 years at msu. His game fits Germany. Frankfurt will be a good place to adjust to the European game and lifestyle”, stressed ex BBL and Michigan State stand out Drew Neitzel.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex BBL and Michigan State standout Drew Neitzel in Germany in 2008

                Daniel Schmidt has been around for ages having played 9 years in Bamberg including Euroleague and was a clever pick up from Frankfurt. He scored 5 points had 2 rebounds and had an assist in 16.51 minutes. He has a lot of experience and is the type of player where you know exactly what you will get and isn´t the player that will make those absurd experiments on the court, but bring solid play every time he is on the court. He will be an important force from the bench at the guard position and give the team continued aggressive on ball pressure as a Hickey or Jones are taking a breather. It´s always an honor to play for FC Bayern Munich, but for many German players it never becomes more than an honor. This summer FC Bayern Munich lost three big talents as Nelson Weidemann was loaned to Wurzburg, Killian Binapfel moved to Bonn and 2019 NBBL MVP Bruno Vrcic made the jump to Frankfurt. Vrcic is a 18 year old 197cm shooting guard that brings 31 pro B games experience to Frankfurt. Even though he possesses a double license with Frankfurt and is planned to be a vital impact player for the farm team, one noticed against Heidelberg that the club are also planning him to get BBL minutes. In his first test game, he came from the bench contributing 7 points and 4 rebounds showing nice range with his shot and not forcing anything and having good shot selection. He also showed real zeal in getting to the basket and getting rebounds. The German has a lot of potential and coupled with intense work ethic will make the next step this season and get more experience with BBL minutes. Shaquille Hines who came from Braunschweig and gives solid scoring qualities at the 3-4 position and takes a lot of pride on the defensive end sat out the game after getting hurt in practice, but it was nothing major as he should be back in the next days back to practice. A day after the win against Heidelberg, they made a big pick up with Lamont Jones. Five years ago they reeled in sniper Sean Armand who had played at Iona with Jones. With Lamont Jones they have acquired an even more deadly scorer. Jones is a scoring machine and could be the difference between making the playoffs and not. He has been a scoring ace where ever he has played. As a senior at Iona(NCAA), he was the leagues third best scorer, he led the Japanese NBL league in scoring, tore up the Montenegran league and two seasons ago was the fourth best scorer in the BBL with MBC averaging 17,2ppg. Last season he averaged only 12,5ppg with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and wasn´t content with his season. He is eager and hungry to have a great season in Frankfurt and lead them into the playoffs.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing 2019 NBBL champion Bruno Vrcic after he helped lead FC Bayern Munich to the title in 2019 in Jena, Germany

                This team can be a good offensive team, but it wants to get back to it´s successful defensive form which they had for many years under Gordon Herbert, but got away from as last season they gave up way to many points. That could change this season when you have a Hickey and Robertson duo pressuring the ball to death and not letting the opponents into their sets comfortably. I believe that they could be the best defensive duo in the league. Hickey also demonstrated a cool sense of humor when he was told that Tez Robertson is the BBL´s alltime steal leader. “It will be hard to break his record. I will have to play 11 seasons”, laughed Anthony Hickey. When Robertson learned that Hickey was on the team, he right away reached out to Hickey welcoming him with a text message. “Tez is a good guy and I will be able to learn so much from him”, warned Anthony Hickey. New Skyliner Shaquille Hines was able to observe the two defensive gems from the bench for 40 minutes and was sure about one thing. “Tez and Hickey have to be the best defensive duo in the league. We go as a team as they go”, warned Shaquille Hines. Overall the team has the potential to get back to their defensive ways. Hines is known as a good defensive player and Lamont Jones also defends with passion. Vargas may not be that top defender that he once was, but he still has the defensive principles and IQ that will give the team value. Up front, Frankfurt will be tough with shot blocker Leon Kratzer and big body Marco Voeller. A Richard Freudenberg has had his moments on defense, but overall still has potential to get better. 3-4 years ago the club was spot on with it´s rotations. If they can get back to that type of play coupled with everyone helping each other and Tez and Hickey being pests on ball, then Frankfurt will be a much improved defensive team from last season. Even though it is difficult to make smart predictions after only one test game, the Fraport Skyliners have the potential to be a good team. Sebastian Gleim may be young, but he is very fortunate that he has a great opportunity to make the most of his chance as a BBL head coach. He couldn´t have a better assistant than Klaus Perwas and will benefit with his presence. The club will have at least five players that can be consistent scorers and average double figures with Hickey, Jones, Robertson, Mcquaid and Kratzer. If Freudenberg can have his true break out year, then Frankfurt will be an even better offensive team with depth. They will be a better defensive team and be a solid offensive team and like so often annoy many teams that have bigger budgets and more talent. This is a team that will land somewhere between 6-13. No matter what kind of season it becomes, one thing is for sure, it will always be a pleasure coming to the Fraport arena and watching Quantez Robertson play his heart out.

The Fraport Skyliners Recover And Bury The MLP Academics 84-62

More than three months have gone by since the last game of The Fraport Skyliners which they won in exciting fashion 82-81 against Hessen rival Giessen 46ers and with the club back in action in their first preseason game for the 2019-2010 season much has changed. Gordon Herbert wasn´t patrolling the side lines, but coaching former Skyliners Phil Scrubb and Brady Heslip for the Canadian national team, Jason Clark had moved to greener pastures to Varese, Italy and big man Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann moved south to the MHP Riesen Ludwidsburg just to mention some of the changes. Only two players were on the court against Heidelberg from that Giessen game with Fraport Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson who always comes back each season and pleasant surprise from last season Leon Kratzer who is planned as being an important performer at both ends of the court this season. New on the sideline is head coach Sebastian Gleim who brings a lot of experience with helping develop the young players and has nothing to lose as he fills the void for Herbert who will return after his Canada gig ends. The club also brought in four new players with ex Braunschweig American Shaquille Hines who comes in as a versatile player at both ends of the court, defensive specialist Anthony Hickey who will take over the reigns at the point and build a potent defensive duo with Robertson, rookie Matt Mcquaid who comes from the well known school Michigan State and veteran guard Daniel Schmidt who played for nine years with Brose Bamberg.  The Fraport Skyliners still aren´t complete and will most likely sign one more big before the start of the season came in against ambitious Pro A team MLP Academics who brought in some interesting new players with Adam Eberhardt, Stephon Jelks,Grant Teichman, and Joe Kilgore rounded out by two veterans top Pro A guard Shy Ely and German big man Philipp Heyden. One can´t expect too much in that first pre season game as it´s that first opportunity to show what they can do in game situations, but after a ok first half, the Fraport Skyliners shifted a few gears up in the second half and ran away with the contest easily burying Pro A team MLP Academics Heidelberg 84-62. After the seemingly routine victory, new Skyliner Anthony Hickey reflected on the performance of the team. “We rushed things a bit too much and were thinking too much. We stayed in the game and didn´t get down on ourselves and had a narrow lead at halftime. Coach got down on us a bit at the break. We began to pick up our defense more in the second half which allowed us to run the fast break. Our defense carried us to the win in the second half. I think if we can continue to pick up our defense, we will be ok”, warned ex Oklahoma State guard Anthony Hickey. The guests played a strong first half, but fell apart in the second half trailing by as much as 30 points. “It was a hard fought game. But we gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half. We could have had the lead had we taken care of the little things better. Frankfurt picked up their defense in the second half and we lost momentum. It was mental lapses and attention to detail that hurt us in the second half”, stressed ex Carson-Newman(NCAA2) guard Grant Teichmann.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing new Skyliner Anthony Hickey after producing 10 points in the win

                The Fraport Skyliners were without ex Braunschweig forward Shaquille Hines who had hurt himself in practice, but nothing major a day to day thing. The MLP Academics stuck to Frankfurt early taking the slim lead, but controlling the first quarter getting Frankfurt in early foul trouble and doing a good job getting to the free throw line. On offense they did a fine job moving the ball and getting ex Skyliner Armin Trtovac involved with baskets inside while rookie Adam Eberhardt hit a three keeping Frankfurt at bay. Quantez Robertson as always was aggressive getting to the basket and scoring while new wing player rookie Matt Mcquaid out of Michigan State made use of his first touch making a pretty up fake and then barreling to the hole for an easy bucket. The MLP Academics Heidelberg did a great job totally denying ex Bamberg center Leon Kratzer the ball who is almost an automatic bucket when he is in the paint area. Because he was shut down, Frankfurt received vital contribution from German Marco Voeller who scored twice doing his role from the bench perfectly. However the MLP Academics Heidelberg led after 10 minutes 20-15. Frankfurt couldn´t hit the ocean as they were a miserable 0/8 from downtown.

                In the second quarter, the MLP Academics caught a taste of what kind of defender Anthony Hickey who led the leagues in Cyprus and Poland in steals can be as he stole the ball at center court and went in for the easy lay in as 9 seconds had been played  Then came the next hustle play as Fraport Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson out jumped and out hustled three Heidelberg players and finally got the put back after three attempts cutting the Heidelberg advantage to 20-19. Frankfurt continued to gnaw at the Heidelberg lead and despite a Philipp Heyden hook shot, Frankfurt continued to get valuable input from their bench as young German Bruno Vrcic who was the 2019 NBBL MVP and came from FC Bayern Munich hit a jumper on the transition and Robertson made a lay in giving Frankfurt the lead back at 26-25. The game remained a dog fight now as no teams could breakaway quite yet. Kratzer and Trtovac traded baskets. But both teams made small runs at the end to bring some tilt into the game. Heidelberg started with a 6-0 run to gain the 38-35 advantage as ex Mercer(NCAA) guard Stephon Jelks hit a shot, German Niklas Wurzner scored on the shot clock buzzer and Eberhard made a offensive rebound and put back for the 38-35 lead. However the Fraport Skyliners closed out the second quarter in fine fashion as Anthony Hickey who compares his game to a Eric Bledsoe and sports that goatee as nicely as ex Skyliner Aubrey Reese did 10 years ago hit a jumper at the shot clock buzzer and after stopping Heidelberg on the next possession got a basket from Leon Kratzer as Frankfurt had the slight39-38 advantage. The Fraport Skyliners upped their rebounding snagging 7 offensive rebounds, but were still a pathetic lot from outside shooting 0/10.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex Bellarmine(NCAA2) standout Adam Eberhard who led the MLP Academics Heidelberg with 16 points

                The Fraport Skyliners came out a lot stronger and through more aggressive defense and more pressure helped spur their offense they rolled out on a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 47-40. After a slow shooting first half, German Richard Freudenberg quickly scored inside and then the three ball finally began to shine as Robertson connected as did ex Alba Berlin guard Akeem Vargas. The spacing of Frankfurt improved and they suddenly discovered more open shots. The guests weren´t impressed by this rapid rise on offense by Frankfurt and kept grinding away as ex BBL player Philipp Heyden was a beast in the zone scoring twice. Voeller continued to play consistent ball as he scored off the pick and roll with Hickey. Mcquaid continued to shine as he came in and  did his job. On his next basket, the ex Michigan State captain delivered a pretty cross over and finished with the runner as the Fraport Skyliners led comfortably  51-44. Adam Eberhard who is a rookie out of Bellarmine(NCAA2) kept Heidelberg in the game with his fine display of shooting with two baskets. The guests would have been  a lot closer, but they had absolute no remedy of how to control Kratzer who got going scoring three baskets as Frankfurt led easily 59-49. The MLP Academics called a timeout at the 2.01 minute mark, but that did no good as Frankfurt closed out the third quarter in fine fashion going on a 6-0 run to lead 65-49. Ex Bamberg Euroleague player Daniel Schmidt scored on a lay in Bruno Vrcic made another trey. “We didn´t let our missed shots of the first half affect us and just kept shooting. Then we got going. Nobody got down, but we stuck together”, added Anthony Hickey. Frankfurt turned up the heat on offense and the pressure. We had some more turnovers, but we missed easy shots. We allowed them easy baskets and let them get back on defense”, added Grant Teichmann.

                Everything came together for the Fraport Skyliners in the fourth quarter as their defense lifted their game a few more notches as they ran away with a 13-0 run and made 11 consecutive stops on Heidelberg extending their lead to 78-49. In the run, Frankfurt received incredible support on the first three plays by Richard Freudenberg who made a deflection on the first Heidelberg turnover, then made a steal which led to an easy Robertson lay in and on the third play, the German made a beautiful lay in from the wing after getting an amazing bullet pass from Hickey. Frankfurt continued to ball with a lot of self confidence as Robertson went coast to coast for the easy left handed lay in, Kratzer made a thunderous two handed dunk on the pick and roll with Vargas and Hickey made a runner. At the 3,48 minute mark of the fourth quarter, the MLP Academics Heidelberg finally got their first field goal as ex BBL player of MBC Marc Liyanage scored. That was followed by a Robertson trey as the Fraport Skyliners had the huge 81-51 advantage. The game was over and everybody knew it and Frankfurt lost some intensity and allowed the guests to go on their best three minute stretch of the game closing out the contest on a 11-3 run. In the run, Heidelberg got important support from Eberhard who showed his coast to coast qualities scoring and making free throws and, Jelks converted a trey and turn around shot. The big run by Heidelberg was too late as they had to eat their post game pasta having the 84-62 loss in the backs of their minds. “Playing well starts with the point guard Daniel Schmidt and me. We are like the head of the snake and the rest follow us and are the tail. We set the tone”, warned Anthony Hickey.  “Our intensity went down, but we ended the game well. We didn´t panic at the end, but got in a groove and hit our shots. We can learn from this game and take the momentum of how we ended the game into our next game”, warned Grant Teichmann. The Fraport Skyliners had four players in double figures and were led by captain Quantez Robertson with 17 points. Leon Kratzer added 15 points and 6 boards while Anthony Hickey and Marco Voeller had 10 points a piece. The MLP Academics Heidelberg were led by Adam Eberhard with 16 points and Stephon Jelks added 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 57% from the field and 22% from outside and grabbed 34 rebounds and coughed up the ball 14 times while the MLP Academics Heidelberg shot 43% form the field and 22% from the parking lot and hauled down 20 rebounds and suffered 18 turnovers.