Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Justin Bibbs(Boston Celtics) Lives From His Artistic Precision

 

After a hard day of work outs at the Red Auerbach center in Boston, Boston Celtic rookie and Ohio native Justin Bibbs slouches back to his hotel like a tattered famished dog looking to shut off the basketball radar for a little time, but doesn´t do the typical free time activities that many guys might perform like breaking out the play station or walking the one block down the street to the sports bar to get the daily dose of sports, but sits down at a table with a piece pf paper and drawing utensils. The rookie looks like and plays like a very good basketball player, but he doesn´t only have precision artistic shooting on his resume, but also has artistic precision as he is a very talented drawer and has been doing it since he was a kid. When you ask the ex Virginia Tech guard about his zeal for drawing, his big eyes light up like the John Hancock building does when the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots win a world championship. “When I was growing up, I was always watching cartoons and after watching the matrix movie, I started to draw trial and error. It was self-taught and I still do it today. I did a Dwayne Wade drawing when I was in high school. It is weird when I was a kid, I drew a Lebron James, but now that I am of age and have the possibility to play against him, I would never draw him now. Now I like to draw entertainers and musicians. I like to take random pictures and draw away”, stressed Justin Bibbs. Every day the American could have serious aches and pains just from turning his head back and forth seeing the amazing basketball excellence of guys like Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown or a Jaysun Tatum and just get total inspiration for new drawings, but instead would rather draw Celtic legends instead of his current teammates. “I wouldn´t want to draw a current teammate, but rather Paul Pierce. I always looked up to him growing up. He wasn´t just a shooter, but an all-around great scorer”, smiled Justin Bibbs. His favorite own drawing is a Kobe Bryant when he had the afro. He gave it to his grad assistant at Virginia Tech who was a big Kobe Bryant fan. Not only did his artistic precision begin at a young age, but so did his basketball precision.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Justin Bibbs in Boston after a Boston Celtiics practice

Justin Bibbs was born on January 14th 1996 in Dayton, Ohio and began his basketball trade at Chaminade Julienne High School and received additional basketball training at Montverde Academy in Florida from 2012-2014 and helped lead the school to two state championships and had an unbeaten record of 28-0 in his senior year. Not only having this amazing winning record helped the smooth integration to Virginia Tech, but also being away from home helped with his maturity. “My time there helped me more off the court. By being away from home helped me early at Virginia Tech getting accustomed to everything and it made me less dependent”, stressed Justin Bibbs. He then played at Virginia Tech from 2014-2018 amassing a total of 128 NCAA games and averaged double figures in scoring in three of four seasons and reached two NCAA tournaments and a NIT Sweet 16. Bibbs was a solid scorer at Virginia Tech, but not a dominant scorer, but he wouldn´t trade that fact for anything, because he was a team player. “The way I played there is who I am today. I am a very unselfish player and am always willing to do the best for the team. I became the glue guy. I was guarding the opposing team´s best player chasing him around the court, but at the same time knocking down open shots and creating for myself”, stated Justin Bibbs. He became an impact player quickly as a freshman playing 29 games averaging 11.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 65.3% and has fond memories of his two teammates then Adam Smith who is balling in Europe and young German Malik Mueller. “You could say that the precision shooting of Smith rubbed off on me. I remember when he hit that first one, he would hit the next so we would design the next play for him. Mueller always talked about his home country Germany and compared the food and lifestyle to here. I am happy he is doing well in Germany and still keep in touch with him today”, smiled Justin Bibbs.

The American who lists 2018 Los Angeles Clippers draft pick Jerome Robinson of Boston College as his toughest opponent in the NCAA despite always beating him was a consistent player at Virginia Tech scoring in double figures in 76 of 128 games and reached 20 points or more in 10 games. His best scoring games were against Wake Forest where he dropped 32 points, he hit Grambling State for 31 points on seven try´s and scorched Washington for 30 points. He remembers the bad and good moments at Virginia Tech with a smile on his face where one would get the impression that his NCAA experience was a good one. “My last NCAA game against Alabama was one of my toughest loses. Going back into the locker room for the last time with the guys was a tough pill to swallow. I knew that I had given my best. My nicest moment was beating Duke on senior night where we were down by 20 at half-time and came back and won. Beating then undefeated UVM was also one of my best wins. The team wins stuck out more than my individual best games”, stated Justin Bibbs. In his senior year at Virginia Tech, he had his best scoring season playing 31 games averaging 13.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 74.5%. After shooting above 40% in his first three seasons including having the shooting out the lights mentality in his second season at 45%, he just missed the 40% mark at 39,8%, but knows that his development wouldn´t have been the same without his head coach Buzz Williams. “He has a great ethic and told me every day how important it is to be willing to work. I remember him telling us stories about how he coached Wes Matthews and Jimmy Butler and their strong will to work. Not every guy has the desire to work. He told us even when you don´t want to get out of bed, you have to go to the gym and get better. Getting better is his motto”, warned Justin Bibbs.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber learning about Boston Celtic Justin Bibbs in Boston

After his stellar NCAA career at Virginia Tech, he wasn´t drafted, but he showed his talent once again at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging 9.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 50.0%. His sheer talent got interest from the Boston Celtics and they invited him to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV playing 6 games averaging 5.0ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.4%. He put up solid stats in limited minutes and did the best he can in a world there where most guys play for stats and an NBA job. Bibbs was rewarded with an exhibit 10 contract. He now is part of the Boston Celtics and living the NBA dream. If he doesn´t make the team, he most likely will play in the G-League with Maine and injuring his hand that will have him sidelined for two months hasn´t helped his chances, but just being in an NBA atmosphere with one of the top organizations has kept him positive. What many don´t know is that his uncle is legendary ex NFL corner back Michael Haynes who won the Superbowl with the Raiders and is a 9 time NFL All Pro, but began his career in 1976 with the new England Patriots and played six seasons in New England. “Being part of the Celtics organization means a lot to me. It is such an honor to play for this organization. I feel the pride when I step into the building seeing all the banners and the retired numbers. The coaching staff expects excellence and Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge have been great. Every day they ask me how my hand is doing. It is a real blessing to be here. That I am here and my uncle played here is coincidental. I have been in contact with him and he will try to visit me soon. His son is a freshman at Boston College now”, said Justin Bibbs. Coming from the NCAA ranks to the NBA is never an easy transition, but he is coping with the slight changes. “The biggest transition has been the practices. We have to apply what we just learned from coach Stevens in 5-5 play. It is a very quick turnaround and you have to learn a lot quicker”, added Justin Bibbs. The big black eyes of Bibbs also light up when he describes the work ethic of his teammates. He couldn´t be in a better place than in Boston to soak up as much basketball know how from the experienced coaching staff and his teammates who come to work every day, because they know that after last season that something special is looming on the basketball horizon. “I appreciate most being around so many great professionals being able to watch their work ethic. Just watching Kyrie Irving do drills or seeing how Aaron Baynes is the first and last in the weight room and how they take care of their bodies is helpful. I am just a student and take in as much as possible and apply to my life”, stressed Justin Bibbs.

It is no secret that Bibbs who has been compared to CJ Miles is an exceptional shooter and being able to do one thing exceptionally well in the NBA is something that teams want and he is ok with that three and d label. His eyes light up again when he hears the label. “That is what´s it all about. This is something I want to get better at, but at the same time, I don´t want to neglect other parts of my game”, added Justin Bibbs. He knows that his shooting will turn heads, but also understands that his defense could make or break him and decide whether he is flying to cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles rather than to cities like Grand Rapids, Erie or Austin. “I want to show my willingness to have multiple effects on defense stopping my man from scoring. Having this willingness helps many guys stay longer on the court. I have gotten compliments on my defense here. I also want to work on my shooting and attacking closeouts and making different reads. Also being comfortable being a good one on one player”, expressed Justin Bibbs. Working on refining his defense is something that has gone well so far, but he knows that his shooting is his bread and butter and he is confident that he can shoot at  40% clip or better from outside in he NBA. “I haven´t changed up anything on my shooting techniques, but being prepared best for getting the ball. The NBA is a lot quicker so you have to have your hands and feet more ready than before”, said Justin Bibbs.

Bibbs has raved about the amazing work ethic that ranges from the coaching staff to the players and has that wow reaction every day when he sees Kyrie “uncle Drew” Irving do his magic, but also very thankful for his honesty. “All Kyrie does is wow. Whenever he has the ball and is doing his thing, you never think he can pull it off with the angles and the defense, but he always pulls it off. In open gym, no mater what team he is son, he keeps everyone accountable. If you slack, he will let you know”, commented Justin Bibbs. But it isn´t just the older heads and more experiences guys, but also the young blood like Jaylen Brown who has an intense work ethic, but also Jayson Tatum who he sees becoming an NBA superstar down the road. Back in 2015 Bibbs and Tatum were teammates on the American youth national team and he remembers seeing a guy that already had all the tools then for stardom. “I saw his potential back then when I played against him in practice and was teammates with him. He stood out there from the rest. It is cool that he did great at Duke and is doing great now in the NBA”, added Justin Bibbs. But it isn´t just the players that have had a very positive impact on him, but also the coaching staff especially Brad Stevens. “He is very open. Not only him, but all the coaches are very nice and care. They just want you to get better. Coach Stevens has taught me different ways how to play defense and showing me how to get on shooters well. The name J J Reddick continues to come up a lot in those discussions”, smiled Justin Bibbs. Being able to learn is always helped when the environment is stable and with the Boston Celtics the rookie feels very comfortable no player stands above the rest, but the term team is something that is seemingly etched in stone while ego´s are non-present. “I really didn´t know what to expect coming in, but it has ben a cool experience. I have had nice discussions with Daniel Theis about tattoos, but the allstars have been great also. Guys like Horford, Irving and Haywood are all nice people and cool to talk to. There are no ego´s and they are genuine good people and it is cool to see how they operate”, smiled Justin Bibbs. The NBA experience of Justin Bibbs is a little more than two months old and he is still far away from Europe, but he knows it will always be there. For now the American is very happy where he is with the Boston Celtics and is getting the total best NBA experience. In his four years at Virginia Tech, he always had the famous Buzz Williams phrase chiseled in his mind “Get Better”. “I already had the get better attitude at Virginia Tech as I got better, but it is even more prominent now in the NBA”, warned Justin Bibbs. He will do all he can to make the Boston Celtics with his nifty artistic precision and with his get better focus will make his chances greater. His neat drawing is only a side note, but one he has a lot of fun with and with a portrait of Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew or showcasing Aaron Baynes fluffy beard in a new way will definitely give him extra points. But all in all it´s just about getting better and something his attitude will help him achieve on and off the court and that is really the only thing he knows and has done consistently since Virginia Tech so why not now in the NBA with the Boston Celtics:

 

Can The Dragons Rhondorf Master A Positive Rebuilding Season?

A few weeks ago, Dragons Rhondorf fans had the first opportunity to witness Pro B basketball again during the Gezeiten Cup where they battled against easyCredit BBL teams and one could sense with many of the excited faces that the six month basketball vacation had been like a nasty eternity and thye were just happy to have the usual basketball experience again even if the lopsided scorers didn´t bother anyone because they weren´t supposed to annoy any of the first division teams. One saw many of the known faces off the court and even some shy new ones who were trying to get a feel for the atmosphere and the game. However there was very much different and one could sense on many of the hardcore Dragons fans that they were already playing mind games with themselves and playing out how the new season will run it´s course on September first. Off the court much was the same, but on the court the change of Dragon faces was as noticeable as it is for everyone that Jogi Low has his hands full with developing a new German national team. Obviously the two main scoring threats from last season Kameron Taylor and Viktor Frankl-Maus who almost combined for half of the team scoring had fled to greener pastures. Taylor went to Hungary where he should be a top player and team identity figure Frankl-Maus who wore the Dragons jersey for six seasons escaped to FC Bayern Munich 2, but who can blame him from going from the Rhein and beautiful family Dragons atmosphere to the Isar and high society of FC Bayern Munich where he can bump into a Uli Honess or Thomas Mueller as easily as he would in Rhondorf into a Dragons fan in their very small downtown area. Even if these two losses are serious blows, the club couldn´t even hold their role players as guys like Thomas Michel, Valentin Blass and Anton Geretzky also left leaving head coach Thomas Adelt with a totally new challenge of withstanding a massive team face lift and building a new team that will be competitive in the Pro B. Can the Dragons Rhondorf master a rebuilding season? One thing is for sure, many of the hardcore fans will have two dates crossed off in their home schedule with FC Bayern Munich and the RheinStars where they will be reunited with Frankl-Maus, Michel and Blass again.

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Kevin Franceschi (BBC Coburg) I’m Playing With A Big Chip On My Shoulder And I’m Just Going To Bring Maximum Intensity

Kevin Franceschi is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Argenteuil, France playing his second professional basketball season and first in Germany with Pro B team BBC Coburg. Last season as a rookie he played with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. In the states he played with three schools with Weatherford JC (JUCO) playing 9 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%, UMKC (NCAA) playing 25 games averaging 2.6ppg and with Oklah.Baptist (NCAA2) playing 22 games averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.

Kevin thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? 

Thanks for interviewing me. I’m in Texas at the moment and my summer has been great, happy to see the people I’m close with here and work on my game. 

Congrats on signing with German Pro B team BBC Coburg. You come from France, but lived abroad the last 5 years. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

Thank you. I know that the Bundesliga is one of the best and most respected leagues in Europe, and that Germany has developed their basketball a lot over the last few years. I’m excited about this coming season. 

After having a solid rookie season in the Spanish Leb silver league, with what expectations are you coming to Germany? What are your personal goals in your second professional season besides the obvious winning?

I expect a lot about myself this season, I’m playing with a big chip on my shoulder, I worked really hard this summer. I am not thinking about any personal awards now, I’m just going to bring maximum intensity and give my team the best chances to compete in the playoffs. 

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Demetris Morant (Artland Dragons) I Wouldn’t Call Myself An Intimidator But I Could Be A Force When I’m So Close To The Basket

Demetris Morant is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Las Vegas playing his second professional season and first with the Artland Dragons. Last season as a rookie he played with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 2.7ppg, 2.3rpg; and in the BCL 3 games averaging 0.7ppg, 1.3rpg. He played a season at UNLV playing 13 NCAA games and then three seasons at FGCU (NCAA) playing 89 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.5ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 75.6%, FT: 62.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com  earlier in the summer about basketball.

 

 

 

 

Meech thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Hello Miles it’s nice to meet you. I’m currently in Hong Kong working out.

Before we get to the meat of the interview how did you obtain the nickname Meech?

Lol it’s funny because I actually got my nickname in high school from some random guy walking down the hallway and it just stuck ever since.

After a tough rookie season in Greece where you gained good experiences with the game and talented players, how did you enter your second professional season transfer market? What were you seeking as a player for your next move?

Coming into my second season I was just looking for a team that was willing to help develop me as a player and also a team that I could fit in their play style.

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Growing Up In Compton Made Iziahiah Sweeney Used To Facing And Overcoming Adversity And Didn´t Fear Anything But God

Iziahiah Sweeney is a 22 year old 193cm guard from Compton, California that recently played with the HowardHoops tour in the Dominican Republic. He began his basketball career at Compton High School and in 2014-2015 played at Portland St. (NCAA) playing 23 games averaging 3.0ppg. He then played a season at E.Los Angeles JC (JUCO) playing 29 games averaging 15.3ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 63.6%. He reached the NCAA in 2016 an dplayed 56 games for Northwestern State (NCAA). In his junior year he played 29 games avergaing 8.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 68.8%. In his senior year at Northwestern St. (NCAA) he played 27 games averaging  11.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 68.6%. He got his first pro experience with Team Miami (Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas) last summer. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Iziahiah thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

I’m in Los Angeles, California working out and staying in shape just getting back from the Dominican Republic where I was playing on a tour team.

You recently finished at Northwestern St. (NCAA) and had a very solid two year career. It is mid September and you were recently in the Dominican Republic playing on a tour instead of already getting ready for your rookie season overseas. How did it come to this? I mean did you not find the right representation this summer?

Yes, I basically did not find the right representation and was misled by many people.

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Jackson Kent (Nurnberg Falcons) Continues To Strive To Expand His Game

Jackson Kent is a 24 year old 201cm guard from High Point, North Carolina playing his second professional season and first with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA. Last season as a rookie he played with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 46 games averaging 11.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 80.4%; and 4 FIBA Europe Cup game averaging 9.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.3apg. He began his basketball career at High Point Christian Academy and in 2013 his NCAA career at JMU (NCAA, starting five) playing 30 games as a freshman averaging 5.9ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 74.1%. In his second season at JMU (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 79.3%. In his junior year at JMU (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 7.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 37.7%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 72.4%. In his senior year at JMU (NCAA) playing 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 84.9%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Jackson thanks for talking with germanhoops.com. How was your summer?

I had a great summer in the gym and weight room. I improved my body and skill level this summer.

Congrats on signing with the Nurnberg Falcons. One of the places you really want to visit is Italy. Have you checked the game calendar this season when a good opportunity may arise for you to visit?

I’m not sure when I’ll visit Italy haha but I’m very excited about being with the Falcons and I’m enjoying every minute of the process.

After a solid rookie season with BK JIP Pardubice (Czech Republic-NBL) what were your goals going into your second professional season? How did you witness your second professional transfer period? What did you learn from your first summer?

After a year overseas I learned a lot more about style of play in Europe which helped me look at the game differently

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The Miles Where Are They Now Player Feature with Jimmie Hunt

Over the years one thing that the Frankfurt Skyliners have never had a shortage of was talented and strong guards. It really didn´t matter how successful the club was in whatever season, there were mostly always good guards on boards, but as is the case always it depends how well the club chemistry is built and how well they can mesh together. After the unforgettable 2006-2007 season where Frankfurt missed the playoffs and had one of their worst seasons ever, there was a lot of assurance going into the next season that the club would find back to old glory since Turk Murat Didin was brought back to save the ship. The club had two strong guards with Skyliner legend Pascal Roller and American Jimmy McKinney who had had a stellar rookie season. The club also had young German Dominik Bahiense De Mello and young Swede Rudy Mbemba, but another scoring combo guard was still missing and over the summer the club signed American Jimmie Hunt who had had two years of professional experience in Slovenia and the season before had caught fire leading the league in scoring and assists and seemed to be a huge steal. Nine months later that scoring genius that had set the Slovenian league on fire was never lit in Frankfurt as the season was a struggle for the jovial American. He not only didn´t get the ample amount of minutes that he would have liked and was used to having in school and Slovenia, but he just couldn´t compete with the minutes race with the other guards on the squad. There might also have been another huge factor why his play was affected, but due to courtesy to the player won´t be mentioned. Through the whole one year experience in Frankfurt Jimmie Hunt always remained 100% professional and was always a guy you could talk to as a journalist and was positive and upbeat. Jimmie Hunt is presented this time in the Miles where are they now player feature.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jimmie Hunt in Frankfurt in the 2008-2009 season after a game.

Jimmie Hunt was born on September 14, 1982 in Utica, New York and most guys that were born in that time and were professional players are mostly retired, well almost everyone except for his ex teammate from Frankfurt Derrick Allen who is a living basketball dinosaur who might still be playing in his 40´s if he continues to stay healthy and have that drive to go to extremes to stay in shape. Hunt is only two years younger than Allen and turned 37 today and he is still active as he is suiting up with Luxuris Celje (Slovenia-2SKL) this season. He has been a basketball globetrotter all his life and as a professional has played in Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and the Czech Republic.

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