Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

There Is Absolutely No More Playing Around Now As The Fraport Skyliners Have To Produce in 2022-2023

foto credit Fraport Skyliners

The last time the Fraport Skyliners were able to make the playoffs, world class basketball player Luka Doncic was playing his last season in Europe, Isaac Bonga was still in Germany, Ishmail Wainwright was real far away from the NBA and Chris Paul still was ringless in 2018. Back then the Fraport Skyliners played their hearts out against FC Bayern Munich with the likes of Quantez Robertson, Phil Scrubb, Taj Webster and Mike Morrison and were even up 2-1 in games, but then allowed a fatal 35 point drubbing in their own living room to tie the series which led to a tough 20 point defeat and season ending in Munich. One could really say out of the perspective of the team now that those were the good old days. Back then the team had top coach Gordon Herbert who is having incredible success with Team Germany having won the Bronze at the 2022 Euro, but ever since he departed in 2019, the fortunes of the team have gone in the opposite direction down. It came to an all-time low last season as the team officially was demoted, but were saved with the wild card and had to pay 750,000. Some years ago up and coming coach Sebastian Gleim did a solid job in Frankfurt and really showed potential which was rewarded with reaching the next step with the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim, but last season was a disaster as the experiment going the Spanish way with Diego Ocampo was a flop as it showed trying to find the next Pedro Calles is no cake walk. The Fraport Skyliners have won 3 titles and have had substantial success in their 20 + year history and paved the road in the youth development for other organizations. They don’t only want to find back to the winning track, but have to. They can’t afford another disaster like last season which will put them in the Pro A. They hope to have found the right direction with up and coming Dutch head coach Geert Hammink . There is absolutely no more playing around as the Fraport Skyliners have to produce in the 2022-2023 season.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson in 2021 in Frankfurt have had a player/journalist relationship since 2009

The first duty of business in the off season was bringing in a new head coach. As always finding the right instructor that will be able to form a harmonious team that will develop chemistry and hopefully have a successful season. That is often easier said than done. After the failed Spanish way, the Fraport Skyliners decided to go the Dutch route. There were some German coaches on the markt, but instead of taking a more known name, the organization decided to go with Geert Hammink . At first glance more educated basketball heads will right away have recognized the name. ‘Wasn’t he a basketball agent or is’? Then the more older generation may have remembered him from his playing days when he suited up for Alba Berlin where he played during the club’s magical run in the last 90’s into the 2000’s where they won 6 BBL league titles in a row before the Opel Skyliners stopped the run in 2004. He was there for 3 years and racked up 5 titles. The 1993 NBA first round pick that played with Shaq at LSU also has 3 sons playing professional basketball with Shane being the best known. After his playing career, he decided to become an agent and joined forces with the well known agency Courtside in 2004 until 2016. He then decided to try coaching coaching the Dutch Windmills and then took over Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden and in a span from 2020-2022 had instant success winning 3 titles including the 2022 BNXT title, a new league combing the teams from Holland and Belgium. He now wants to make the next step in a higher and top league in Europe the easyCredit BBL. The question is can he bring his philosophy and style and have success?

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Mike Nahar in 2005. Nahar was a big reason for well known agency Court Side being founded where Geert Hammink was a co owner before he got into coaching

When looking at the new roster of the Fraport Skyliners, one thing stands out right away. There isn’t a abundance of Americans as there usually are. Last season it was 4 and in 2019-2020 it was 6. Over the last 6 seasons, the team had almost 5 Americans on average per season. That isn’t the case this season as there are only 2 Americans with Fraport Skyliner legend and lifer Quantez Robertson and veteran J.J Frazier. 2 key players this season won’t be Americans, but actually 2 Lithuanians named Einaras Tubutis and Laurynas Beliauskas.A third with Martinas Geben could be the icing on the topping. In the past 2 seasons he had fortune with Lithuanians like Arunas Mikalauskas and Tubutis who he reeled along to Frankfurt. Tubutis (BNXT League 11.4ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 68.9%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 55.9%; is a guy that Hammnik not only hopes can continue his scoring punch, but also be a defensive factor in a higher league. While Beliauskas (Monbus Obradoiro CAB Santiago de Compostela 5.3ppg, 1.1rpg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 85.7%) is a guy that brings 2 seasons and 63 ACB games experience to the BBL: He is a shooter and the club will have to depend on scoring from him. Martinas Geben was an excellent pick up for the injured Haarms. He is a physical inside player with Euroleague experience with BC Zalgiris. Last season he averaged 7.4ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 65.5%, FT: 72.7% with Bamberg. The team should try to keep him for the season after his 2 month contract expires. J.J Frazier (Samsun BSB Anakent Turkey-TBL, 17.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.9apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 88.5%) is the point guard and as usual will be a main focus for the success. He has good experience and even if he tore up the Serie 2 in Italy for many years, it is a good sign because it is a well respected league and maybe the best second division in Europe. He now has to prove that he can play well at a higher level. Quantez Robertson (8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 25.7%, FT: 82.4%) just doesn’t go away and that is good. He is playing his 14th professional season and 14th with the Fraport Skyliners. The athletic freak who probably could have played in the NBA in his prime if he was needed as a defensive stopper will turn 38 in December and obviously isn’t getting any younger. He averaged 30 + minutes in his career in 10 of 13 seasons. Last season was his lowest 29 minutes per game since the 15-16 season where the team was stacked with overwhelming talent and one can be sure that the minutes will dip again. His leadership and role model function will once again be important with all the young players on the squad. The team also kept Dutch national player Matt Haarms (7,4ppg, 4,5rpg, 1,3bpg) who got injured at the Euro and will return soon. He had a solid rookie season in Frankfurt, but sky is still the limit for him. He can become a top rebounder and is talented enough to up his scoring by continuing to use his three while becoming more of a rim protector.

JJ Frazier will have to play a big role for the Fraport Skyliners if they want to have success

As usual the club also kept many Germans that will fill out the roster. The club will be expecting a lot from Lukas Wank (6.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 74.3%) who was much to up and down last season and had games where one truly could only think why did he just make that decision. But he is young and will have a different role this season playing the 2-3 more. He is another guy that has enough talent to have his break out season with the team. The club also kept the German trio of Lorenz Brenneke (6,5ppg, 3,8rpg), Jordan Samare and Alex Richardson. Brenneke has the most potential to make the next step in his career. If he can develop his 3 more, then he could definitely make the next step. Hie has a nice inside game and his defensive physicality will help the team. Jordan Samare is still young at age 20 and a project, but can continue to develop getting good minutes in the Pro B. He has good offensive tools and can continue to work on his defense in the pro B. Alex Richardson is a very raw talent that has shown signs of brilliance in the Pro B, but still not fully ready for the easyCredit BBL even if he has played in 9 games. His biggest weapon is his oh my God body. If he can continue to get stronger then watch out. He will continue to play Pro B in order to work on his weaknesses like decision making which is common at a young age and possibly become more of a main focus in the offense. The team also added 2 young Germans with Joshua Obiesie, and Nolan Adenkunle. The most interesting player is Obiesie who is a massive talent and there was even NBA draft talk some years ago. He made huge steps in Wurzburg, but couldn’t make the next step with FC Bayern Munich. The kid is a winner having experienced success at a young age winning the Albert Schweizer tournament and getting a Bronze at the 2019 U-20 Euro. He is a combo guard with a consistent shot and strong athlete. He already showed in pre season that he wants responsibility on the court. Sky is also the limit with him. He hopes to have his BBL break through in Frankfurt. Nolan Adekunle is a young talent that learned basketball in the Alba Berlin system. He won the NBBL and JBBL titles with Alba Berlin and is an energetic athletic player that can be an impact player at both ends. He can shoot and drive on offense and will be a main focus in the Pro B, but also a player that could surprise some and have a Brenneke route and sneak into the BBL rotation of Hammink.

Many hope that this won´t be Quantez Robertson´s last season

So how will the Fraport Skyliners play in 2022-2023. Hammink’s ex player Jhonathan Dunn who will battle his ex coach this season with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg had the best description.’ Coach is a good one being able to bring guys with different personalities and have us come together. He likes to play fast, active, and under control. He always said we have to play with controlled Chaos. Chaos for our opponents and control for us. He does his best seeing the court and being able to ask us what we see’, warned Jhonathan Dunn. This is a style that has never been seen before in Frankfurt with playing very fast and having rapid decision making. His play may be unorthodox, but hey if it works, it works. His track record the last 2 years has proven that his style can be successful. The question will be, can it be successful in a top league in Europe. Will he be able to hold on to it for a whole season. Often teams have success, but in the second half of the season, the scouting becomes better and teams know how you play. So where will the Fraport Skyliners end in May 2023? Could they be a surprise team this season or be a club that has to fight in the league from day 1? There is a pool of 5-6 teams that could have difficultly keeping up in the standings and Frankfurt could be one of those teams. Once again the first month could play a giant role exactly where the season could go. The good news this season is that the BBL didn’t give them a difficult start like last season where they met Munich, Berlin and Ulm in the first weeks. This season, they meet 5 teams with FC Bayern Munich and then 4 with Bayreuth, Heidelberg, MBC and Braunschweig where they have to look good and desperately need to begin well. Because after that their schedule gets tough with games against Oldenburg, Bamberg and Ulm. As usual injuries will play a huge role. The less the better. The team has to understand from day 1 that everybody is accountable and everyone needs to produce. Only that way will the team have success. The team will need consistent production from the 2 Lithuanians and good support from the German role players. The BBL continues to be a league on the rise and the competitive level is high. Frankfurt could be a surprise, but more likely a team trying to find their spot in the places 12-16. But if one remembers correctly back in 2008 an unknown John Patrick introduced 40 minutes of hell in Goettingen and was laughed at at first. But 15 years later, his style mostly gave his team success. Maybe this controlled chaos can be the start of something great in Frankfurt?

Winning Makes Travante Williams(Sporting Clube De Portugal Lisboa) Happy No Matter If It´s With Basketball, Dodgeball, Ice Hockey or Rock Paper Scissors

Travante Williams (193-SF-1993, college: Alaska) is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Alaska playing his 7th professional season and fourth with Sporting Clube de Portugal Lisboa (Portugal-Liga Betclic). He averaged 17,0ppg twice in a season and 16,0ppg in a season. He also played two seasons with U.D. Oliveirense (Portugal-LPB). He played his rookie season with Tskaltubo (Georgia-A League) averaging (32.3ppg), Reb-4 (10.3rpg), 1.9apg, Steals-2 (3.4spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT-2 (41.2%), FT-3 (82.9%). He played a season with Adams State University (NCAA2) averaging 8.2ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 61.0% and at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (NCAA2) averaging 18.7ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.7apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 80.5%. He spoke to after the exciting 84-83 Fiba Europe cup win in Goettingen.

Thanks Travante for talking for Your in Germany playing BG Goettingen in a Fiba Europe Cup qualifying game. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

I know there’s great talent in that country. They play high level basketball and the top league is very competitive and physical

Have you ever heard of ex Auburn great Quantez Robertson? He is playing in Germany with the Fraport Skyliners and it is his 14th season with the same team. Your playing your 4th season with Sporting Clube de Portugal Lisboa (Portugal-Liga Betclic) and have won 6 titles in 3 seasons. Could you become a lifer for this team?

Never heard of him but that’s great to have a long lasting career like that. Right now I’m locked and focused on this season. Whatever happens in the future will happen. I just want to continue to improve and have fun.

There are guys that play 10 + seasons and win no titles. You have played 6 seasons and won 10 titles. That is really mind boggling. What kind of an approach do you have in general to basketball when you have won so much?

At this point that’s what’s important to me. Winning has always been my goal. Thats the beauty in competing

Does the hunger to win always become more? You are in a special class. There aren’t many guys overseas that have won double digit titles in a career?

It doesn’t matter what game it is. It could be dodgeball , ice hockey or Rock Paper Scissors. Winning makes me happy

Your playing your fourth season with Sporting Clube de Portugal Lisboa (Portugal-Liga Betclic). What makes it so special playing for this organization?

I was here when it first game back after being absent for 20 years. I am the only American that remained from the past 4 years. It’s an honor to defend what I started with ..

What was your most special title so far with Sporting Clube de Portugal Lisboa (Portugal-Liga Betclic)? I can imagine the exciting clincing title win in 2021 over FC Porto where you scored 25 points in the 86-85 win could be near the top?

Hahah I am not exactly sure at this point. Of course some feel better than others but ultimately winning and capturing titles is always special

You have played with so many special guys in Lisabon, but what was it like being teammates with ultra veteran Micah Downs? What do you remember being your fondest moment with him?

Just an incredible basketball player with so much versatility. I remember when he made freethrows to lead us to our first championship at sporting. That was big ..

Let’s talk about your game. Your listed as a 193cm small forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?

I am not sure if there’s just one player who plays the game like I do. I think I would have to combine some guys together, but moreover guys like Pat Beverly , Damian Lillard , Luka Doncic, and Kevin Durant

You’re a guy that can really do it all fill the stats. What do you personally feel is your biggest weapon on the court? Possibly your versatility?

I believe it’s just my will to win along with my iq and natural feel for the game. It doesn’t matter what’ the stats say, who we are competing against going out there and competing means the most

You shot the ball really well over 40% from outside a few years ago and in the last years been below 40%. Are you doing anything else to try to get back to 40% or better?

Taking better shots, controlling my breathing, not being flustered or rushed and playing at my pace has been my focus

You played your first two seasons in Portugal with U.D. Oliveirense (Portugal-LPB) already winning 4 titles. Did you recognize early that winning titles could be in your genes?

Hahha my momma told me I was special when I was younger . I’m just living in the moments and seizing the opportunities that come

You played 2 seasons with American James Ellisor and Eric Coleman. Did guys become like brothers for you and how important was forming relationships with guys like that?

That’s my family for sure. Those years we spent together can never be forgotten! Relationships that you build through basketball are special and you cherish them along the journey

You played your rookie season with Tskaltubo (Georgia-A League) averaging (32.3ppg), Reb-4 (10.3rpg), 1.9apg, Steals-2 (3.4spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT-2 (41.2%), FT-3 (82.9%). What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

Walking outside in the country of Georgia and seeing stray dogs , pigs and cows walking freely through the streets.

You have won so much, but what does your 50 point game against BE Titebi mean to you in your career? Not many guys can say they scored 50 in a game?

Before I had 50 I had 48 haha . But It was the first time I manifested a stat line. Makes it more special we won that game, but prior to it I was challenging myself mentally to go above and beyond yeah you scored 35 and 48, can you get 50 though ?

You played at Adams State University (NCAA2) averaging 8.2ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 61.0%. What memories do you have of this experience? You put up sold stats for a freshman?

I went to Adams state as a junior but that’s were I learned some valuable lessons about brotherhood being your brothers keeper and working for the next man and being a part of a team

A year later you moved to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (NCAA2) averaging 18.7ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.7apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 80.5%. Was it the logical choice to move back home?

I’m where I’m at now so I guess it all worked out. During that time I wanted to be able to give my family a chance to watch me work and it was special for sure

You made a huge jump in your game that season. What kind of player did you become?

I was able to put everything I learned 3 years prior at Adams State , San Francisco City , and College of Alameda all together. My coach allowed me to be myself and showcase my abilities

You had some huge games like netting 35 points against W Washington, but lost 100-99. Is that one of those games you will never forget?

That was a great game. If I’m not mistaken I was 0-10 from the three point line and we loss on a buzzer beater. It was definitely an eye opener

How did head coach Mick Durham groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

He allowed me to play freely and put me in situations offensively to create and perform at a higher level

Who won a 1-1 back in the day you or Joe Slocum?

Hahahah Joe Slocum was one hell of a player. Honestly we might be tied in wins but now I’d kill him

Who is the best player that you ever faced that reached the NBA?

Just off the top of my head probably Demarcus Cousins in a summer league game in Las Vegas, but I also competed with Pierre Jackson who is on a different level, Trey Burke and Juan Toscano

Please name the 5 best teammates of your career?

Eric Coleman , Shakir Smith , Diogo Ventura , Jose Barbosa , and probably Malik Abu

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Kobe , Lebron , Jordan , Luka , Kevin Durant , Shaq

What is your opinion of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

Jordan’s career is over. Lebron is still playing. Lebron the greatest for now

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

I missed it but they probably should have. The first one was enough

Thanks Travante for the chat.

Getting Better Each Day And Looking Forward From Game To Game Is How The Dragons Rhondorf Mindset Will Operate in 2022-2023

Even if the Dragons Rhondorf were playing in the Regionalliga for the first time in their history, everything was normal on this late January night in 2020. The roster had gotten a shake up that week as top player Curtis Hollis had decided to leave the club. But that tremor in the Dragons roster was nothing compared to the giant jolt the whole world would get 24 hours later as legend Kobe Bryant would die in a plane crash and the whole world would be in shock. Six weeks later the whole world would be rattled again as Covid hit. But on this night everything was still in order as the Dragons were near the top of the Regionalliga standings looking to get back to the Pro B and would steer a routine solid victory over Hagen-Haspe 85-72. In this game an unknown 15 year old Senegal forward who looked like a stick, but was so tall and had seemingly unending long arms named Ousmane Ndiaye would make his debut producing 5 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes. I remember Yassin Idbihi loving to watch this young man showing his incredible athleticism. All in all, he would remain 3 years in Rhondorf which really was only 2 years as his second season was cancelled after only a few games due to Covid. In his third year, he made another step averaging 8.6ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.4apg, Blocks-5 (1.5bpg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 52.6%. ‘It wasn’t easy for Ousmane last season. He had knee problems, but made the best out of it. He had ups and downs like any other young player, but he definitely raised his game last season’, expressed Paul Albrecht (208-PF-1993). Despite continuing to improve his game, the kid was still extremely raw having the label which so many people like to say ‘sky is the limit. He was a special highlight film that fans won’t forget. ‘You always knew that he would offer a great dunk or block every night. It was always a joy to see and play with him’, remembered Paul Albrecht. Scouts had been aware of him since years and it surprised no one that his name began popping up on NBA Mock drafts last season as a late second round pick in 2023. Recently it was announced that his tenure had ended in Rhondorf as he wanted the next challenge and step moving to ACB team Baskonia where he will have a double license to play for the farm team. ‘I think that he can make the next step in Spain. The question is can he stay healthy. He has all the assets to make it there. He is mentally strong and the most important thing is that he believes in himself. Being able to play for their farm team will help him make the next step’, warned Paul Albrecht. I was really happy to have been able to cover him for some years and now will continue to observe his path. It will be disappointing not seeing him play anymore in the Dragon Dome

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ousmane Ndiaye in the Dragon Dome in 2021

Last season’s motto was to let the young players play and develop which helped many of the young guys and the playoffs were a theme, but in the end an inconsistent defense and some games that were lost in the fourth quarter sealed the fate of an early summer vacation in April. This season, the organization obviously want to get back on the winning track and brought in more experience with an old friend in Florian Wendeler who made the jump to the Pro A some years ago and now has returned back. He brings 184 Pro B games to Bad Honnef and brings stability under the basket and an ex easyCredit BBL player with Florian Koch who played 293 BBL games and also returns home to a place where he began his pro career. ‘Flo was one of the best Germans in the BBL. His experience and calmness will help us so much’, added Paul Albrecht. This season the team roster will look completely different. ‘Our team is more balanced this season in age. We have a good mix of young and old with our youngest at age 16 and our oldest age age 30. Each guy knows their role and accepts it’, stated Paul Albrecht. Developing young players is still on the agenda as Sam Nellessen is on the roster, but this season their emphasis is on a 16 year old rookie named Leonardo Valesin and a Swed called Zaba Bangala. With so much experience, will a guy like Nellessen get a chance this season? ‘I believe that Sam can have a role this season. He can be a solid back up to Flo Koch. How many minutes he gets will depend on how he shows himself in practice. He has done well in pre season. We know him as a guy that gives us energy from the bench with his defense. He compliments Koch well and always gives 100% and takes the team with him with his energy’, stressed Paul Albrecht. Playing better defense is a big focus this season for the Dragons and with experience should be able to succeed. ‘I think that we are on a good way with our team defense. At the end of the day the most important thing is to stop your man 1-1. We have had some problems with that in pre season, but I’m confident we will be ready for Herford’, commented Paul Albrecht. Last season the game of the Dragons Rhondorf focused on outside shooting and the athleticism and driving to the hoop. This season there will definitely be more of an inside presence. ‘We have so many weapons this season with Wendeler, Bangala and Koch. We want to be able to use our advantages’, stressed Paul Albrecht.

Despite going the young route last season, the club was unsuccessful in holding young players like Oshane Drews, Esli Edigin, Ralph Hounnou and Bruno Albrecht who all departed. The only two players that remained were 29 year old veteran Paul Albrecht and 20 year old rising player Nicolas Buchholz. Albrecht will be playing his third season with the Dragons after having played 6 seasons in the Pro A with teams like Paderborn, Hanau and Artland. Last season he averaged 8.6ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.4apg, Blocks-5 (1.5bpg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 52.6%. He brings consistent scoring and rebounding and is simply the man that holds the team together. Nicolas Buchholz will be playing his second season after averaging 17.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 81.8%. He is a guy who can take over a game at anytime with his incredible shooting. This season he wants to become more consistent and be more versatile in his offensive game. The club brought in German Adrian Bergmann who is a 21 year old 199cm forward that brings Pro A experience and Pro B experience and versatility and an old friend with Jonas Falkenstein who is still young at age 22 and played with the Dragons in the NBBL and Regionalliga some years ago. Last season he received valuable exposure in the Regionalliga with the Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 averaging 10.8ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 67.2%. He also will bring valuable energy from the bench. All eyes will be on the two young guns from Sweden with Bangala and Italian Valesin. ‘Bangala is unbelievable. I call him baby Zion. He is something like 202cm and weighs 125 kilo’s. He can dribble like a point guard, be explosive and can jump. He will give us much joy. Important is that he pushes himself each day to get better. Valesin has done a good job in pre season considering he is only 16 years old. He has all the assets with long arms, is athletic, can jump, shoot and drive. He should get minutes behind Goodman. But like Bangala needs to give the maximum effort each day to get better’, stressed Paul Albrecht. Rounding off the new roster is American Devon Goodman from the University of Pennsylvania (NCAA) where he had a stellar career who is a 25 year old 183cm point guard with one year of professional experience with 2021-2022: S.C. Lusitania EXPERT (Portugal-Liga Betclic) averaging 14.6ppg, 3.7rpg, Assists-4 (5.2apg), 1.9spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 47.3%. ‘He is small and shifty and plays like Parker Jackson-Cartwright. He has left a nice impression on me’, added Paul Albrecht. Goodman will definitely leave his mark on the Pro B and be the difference for this team reaching the playoffs in 2023. The pre season though hasn’t been an easy one, because they haven’t been able to practice on their own court because the Dragon Dome is being renovated and the team have been practicing in Bonn. It could be that the team doesn’t play their first home game until November. ‘We got used to the situation, but it hasn’t been easy. But at the end of the day we want to win and will have to do it home and away’, stressed Paul Albrecht. So what are the goals of the Dragons Rhondorf in 2022-2023? ‘We haven’t set any goals about where we want to finish. Most important for us is that we get better each day and look forward from game to game’, warned Paul Albrecht. The team has a lot of experience unlike last year and on paper should American Devon Goodman exceed all expectations be a sure playoff team. It is about time that the club gets back to playing playoff basketball

Tags : PA

The Miles Vs Jeremy Ingram(Bargteheide) Weekly Basketball Chat Volume 1

Jeremy Ingram (183-G-1991, college: AAMU) is a 191 cm guard that was born in Alabama and has played his entire professional career in Germany for teams like Speyer, Idstein, Bensheim and recently SG Mannheim.This season he is playing for Regionalliga team Bargteheide. Last season with SG Mannheim he picked up South West Regionalliga player of the year while averaging (32.1ppg), 5.7rpg, 4.2apg, Steals-4 (2.6spg), FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 35.4%, 9%. He began his career with Enterprise State Community College (JUCO) and then finished with Alabama A&M University (NCAA). He spoke will team up with Miles Schmidt-Scheuber on a weekly basis this season to talk basketball.

Thanks Jeremy for talking to Last season at this time you were a walking bucket and now you will be out until late October. How much of a role has injuries played for you in general in your career?

Well to be honest , I have never dealt with injuries since I have been playing in Germany. I always took very good care of my body to the point where I have only missed 3 total games out of 5 seasons. I’m not really used to injuries so this mentally is rough for me.

You hurt your foot. Will you be able to do any kind of exercises with the ball while your recuperating or will you have to rest a lot?

Well I have been told it’s mostly rest. Just a crack on 1 bone so I can’t really do anything but intake a lot of Vitamin D and rest.

Your playing your first season for Bargteheide after leading the whole Regionalliga in scoring. I have to be honest. I’m a bit shocked that you didn’t land at least in the pro B? Is it tough being in the Regionalliga again?

Yes, I honestly had ambitions to Play Pro A or Pro B after a season like last year but this just shows how big the politics of basketball also play into effect. I had a few pro A , Pro B , workouts but I guess I just wasn’t the right fit for those specific organizations. So mentally having to swallow my pride and play Regionalliga again was a big thing for me. But I will say maybe everything happens for a reason because I am so happy I met the people of Bargeteheide. They’re all super nice people.

Did you have some interest from pro B teams in Germany. Were the situations not ones that you feel were right for you?

Actually quite a few higher league teams have actually showed interest and reached out to me but clearly nothing was written in stone.

Bargteheide is 0-2. What kind of a team do you have? Is your role similar to Mannheim where you were the absolute number 1 scoring option?

This Bargeteheide team is nothing like my team last season. And I love that Mannheim team and organization and have nothing but love and respect for them but this team I’m on this season has a few pretty good players there. Obviously if I played these 2 games they lost we would be 2-0 and not 0-2. Which is why I blame myself for our record right now. But for me this season is not really about being the main scorer because I have another player on my team who can score 40-50 if he needs too. He scored 49 the first game I didn’t play. So I’m satisfied with my team in Bargeteheide.

Your chip must be even larger now on your shoulder. Have you set even higher personal goals for this season?

I can say I have had a chip on my shoulder my whole career. Never got the respect I deserved, always was ‘too small’, too flashy , but I always outworked the next person so I make sure I keep that chip on my shoulder because it’s what drives me to be great everyday I step on that court.

In the tough 77-76 loss to Wusterhausen, you scored 22 points in the first half and then sat out the second half due to injury. What was key in crunch time that you couldn’t pull out the win?

The key was I should have not gotten hurt and been out on that floor with my team. Because those situations is where I thrive best. PERIOD! But my team played good down the stretch without me, just wasn’t quite enough, still a good team effort though.

You next play against number 1 team Neustadt. On what areas does the team need to improve on so the club can achieve that first win?

I think a lot of players are still adjusting to the new league, new speed, and the how much more physical the players are now. But we are working on that and hopefully they’ll make the right adjustments soon.

What has been your take on the Celtics scandal around head coach Ume Udoka?

I think it’s an unfortunate situation and we are all human beings and things happen, but I think the same attention he is getting , the women involved should get the same attention and blame as he is getting because the situations where consensual.

Thanks Jeremy for the chat.

Kameron Taylor´s(Basquet Girona) Basketball Cinderella Story Continues As In The Last Year He Went From Hamburg To The Euroleague To Becoming Marc Gasol´s Teammate

15 months ago Kameron Taylor (198-G/F-1994, college: Seton Hill) was coming off a very good season with easyCredit BBL team Hamburg Towers as his climb up the basketball ladder had been the classical Cinderella tale. Ever since playing at Seton Hill (NCAA2), the basketball journey of Kameron Taylor has been a successful one, but one where he was never given any presents and always had to pay his dues. After a solid but not great rookie season with Ehingen (Pro A), he took a step back and played in the German Pro B with the Dragons Rhondorf where he absolutely destroyed the competition averaging (23.4ppg), 7.9rpg, Assists-4 (5.6apg), Steals-2 (2.6spg), FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.4%. But that incredible mind boggling season didn’t reward him right away but instead he had to pay dues once again playing in a lesser league in Hungary with Pecsi VSK-Veolia (Hungary-A Division) averaging (19.2ppg, 8.1rpg, 3.9apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 74.8%. He had already left a lasting impression in Germany and now all the hard work and taming his ego finally paid dividends as he returned back and became a solid BBL player first with Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-BBL) averaging 10.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 82.8%; and a year later with the Hamburg Towers (Germany-BBL) averaged 13.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-5 (1.6spg), FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 85.4%. He had gotten rewarded the last two summers getting signed in Germany, but what would happen only a month later was absolutely incredible on the one hand, but also not necessarily expected. On June 30th he was signed by Euroleague club Maccabi Tel Aviv. After 5 seasons of grinding as a professional he had finally made the big time. But his 21-22 season was more than just experiencing the breathtaking Israeli culture and Euroleague grind, but he would change teams and play in France with SIG Strasburg and cap of the season with his NBA Summer League debut with the Phoenix Suns. This was a season that he will never forget. It didn’t take him long to come up with a title for a book if he had written one about last season. ‘The Title would be ‘Blessings in Disguise’ or ‘Everything happens for a reason’, smiled Kameron Taylor. He saw so much last season and basketball wise probably aged 10 years, but it was something that he wouldn’t have traded in for anything else. ‘Mentally I was great. The most difficult thing was always staying ready with inconsistent minutes. I learned that every situation isn’t for everyone. Personally as a player in this business I know what I’m capable of and to never lose confidence is the most important thing’, stressed Kameron Taylor. His journey continues as this season he will be teammates with Spanish legend Marc Gasol.

But let us remind back to the start of the 2021-2022 season. So there he was in July of 2021 a member of Israel’s greatest team Maccabi Tel Aviv and his thoughts must of just been going gaga inspecting the roster and seeing all these incredible players who would be his new teammates. Seeing the names like Derrick Williams, James Nunnally, Jake Cohen or Scottie Wilbekin all guys he had seen play on TV years before must of brought out the kid in him like when you bump into Lebron James and are just speechless. Making the jump to a Euroleague club is never easy as the competition is fierce as that 12 man roster suddenly is more like a 20 man roster and playing time becomes a fierce commodity. The Maryland native did the best that he could, but didn’t see much playing time in the Israeli Winner league playing only 7 games, but at least was inserted into 19 Euroleague games. It is never simple to admit when things don’t go right, but he understood that he didn’t make the most out of his opportunity. ‘I don’t think having a lesser role affected me. I think it was more of trying to find my role and being great in that role’, stressed Kameron Taylor.

Just being able to soak up so much daily from the incredible talent around him was massive. One of his teammates was Derrick Williams a player he had already seen play in the NBA when he had been in high school. It is only obvious he must have been in awe of him in some way. ‘I was in awe of his bounce lol. D Will not afraid to try and dunk on anyone. It was exciting playing with him this season’, remembered Kameron Taylor. Also being able to take in the suaveness of a Scottie Wilbekin and how graceful he is with scoring the ball is something that he surely gobbled up and will try to showcase in Spain this year. ‘Scottie is a great guy. One of the best if not the best scorer in the league. His humbleness and competitiveness are my favorite things about him’, stated Kameron Taylor. Wilbekin is one of so many talented guards overseas that could play in the NBA, but like so many chose the lifestyle in Europe and the greatness status something not guaranteed at the NBA level. ‘I think making it to the NBA is a bit more about what teams are actively looking for in players. As an overseas guy when you finally make a name for yourself and increase your value, you are comfortable with the money you make then you accept if the NBA comes it comes. Either way you are getting paid for doing something you love’, warned Kameron Taylor. He definitely had his moments with Maccabi Tel Aviv as he scored 11 points against Alba Berlin in a Euroleague game. In The Winner League he averaged 5.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, 2FGP: 80.0%, 3FGP: 15.4%, FT: 50.0%: and in the Euroleague 2.7ppg, 1.7rpg, If he would have been able to play more minutes, his stats would have looked a lot different. But he is blessed and thankful for the opportunity that Maccabi Tel Aviv gave him and it isn’t only about how his game grew that really moved him. ‘Just understanding the game a little more helped me grow. You learn how teams scheme against other teams. You learn how coaches coach and through understanding those things finding the opportunities to disrupt the plan becomes simple. I played against great players/coaches in the euro league but what I truly value Is the people and the great relationships’, expressed Kameron Taylor.

The ex s.Oliver Wurzburg guard who’s toughest match ups in the Euroleague were against Cory Higgins and Mike James then departed Tel Aviv and continued his Cinderella career in France with SIG Strasburg. Here his minutes rose dramatically as did his role and input. It felt like back when he was a top player in the EasyCredit BBL with Bamberg and Hamburg. He played 20 France Pro A games averaging 11.9ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.3%; and in the Basketball Champions League averaged 12.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.3apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 90.0%. ‘I appreciated the SIG organization and the guys on that team fully accepted me on the first day and truly thankful and blessed to move to such a great team with great guys’, commented Kameron Taylor. He scored in double figures in 13 Pro A games including a 28 points explosion against Roanne. He didn’t have as big time names in Strasburg as he did in Tel Aviv, but still many very talented teammates and one that was up his alley with Deandre Lansdowne. He and Taylor have been a very rare breed in Germany in that they were some of the very few that were able to jump from the Pro B to the easyCredit BBL. ‘Myself, Dre, and a lot of other guys on the team all pretty much are cut from the same cloth. When I say that I mean we all had to work our way up overseas. We didn’t go to big universities and didn’t start in the best leagues. So it was easy to relate to each other’, stressed Kameron Taylor.

The versatile player’s season that sees Steph Curry as being in the top 2 best point guards of all-time now wasn’t over in France, but continued in the summer as he was invited to play NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Phoenix Suns. Mostly when you check NBA Summer League rosters you see them filled with very young talent. Mostly rookies and guys that have 1-2 years of experience. Rarely do you see really old guys fill a roster stop. But some teams go against the norm like the Phoenix Suns. Last season Alba Euroleague player Jalen Smith played and other players like David Kramer in the past, and this season Karim Jallow, and Brancou Badio. Not to mention a guy like Ishmail Wainwright was discovered by the Suns who is also living the basketball Cinderelaa story, a player that went from the German Pro A to the NBA in only a few years. ‘I was very proud of Ish. I didn’t really know him personally before summer league but hearing about his route made me happy, because I know how hard it is to make it going the route he took’, said Kameron Taylor. The Phoenix Suns showed again after displaying their love for guys from overseas last year, that they like to give guys playing in Europe a look. ‘That’s what it would look like from the outside looking in but I’m just so grateful I had that opportunity. It’s crazy just looking back on my career and how far I’ve come. I could say I was extremely proud of myself’, said Kameron Taylor. Playing on a big stage had been nothing new to him from having played Euroleague, so how was the feeling playing on an even bigger stage in the NBA? ‘Basketball is basketball. When you start playing everything kind of disappears and it’s just like playing in any gym. But before the game and after the game seeing all the coaches, GMs, and superstars in the crowd was definitely different for me’, remembered Kameron Taylor. Even if his stats weren’t eyepopping he wasn’t there to put up explosive numbers. In the NBA Summer League. It has been no secret that it is a stage for players wanting to reach the NBA, so you will see guys scoring a lot and playing for their stats. Despite averaging only 5.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 57.1%, he basically played his game and was versatile something he has proved everywhere he has played. He was content with his role and was rewarded with the correct praise. ‘I think the NBA has enough guys that can score on every team. So what they are looking for are guys who are going to do the little things. So my goal going into summer league was not to score as much as I could but to make sure I did all the little things usually only high level basketball minds would recognize. I really created a great relationship with all the coaches. They told me that I belong and to keep doing what I’m doing. Definitely was nice to hear coming from coaches of the NBA’, stated Kameron Taylor. He had his moments hitting the Indiana Pacers for 11 points.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Kam Taylor in Frankfurt in 2018 when he was with the Dragons Rhondorf

Let’s fast forward to September 2022 as the jovial guard who has a smile that can light up any room in the world and will never forget his time in Las Vegas as he bumped into legends like Mark Cuban and Steve Nash is in Spain ready for the new challenge with Basquet Girona. ‘The summer has been hectic, starting with just trying to see everyone in the short window that I’m home. Summer league, working out and I just bought my first rental property so just trying to divide my time this summer has been challenging. But as far as basketball I do get a small break’, added Kameron Taylor. Not only off the court must he have had neck pain with turning his head left and right and seeing so many legends, but also on the court in Las Vegas. He battled against some of the top 2022 NBA draft picks, but also against other talented boys that have had to live up to their names their whole life. Imagine playing against Scottie Pippen and Shaq’s sons? That is exactly what happened when he dueled against the Los Angeles Lakers. ‘I definitely felt old but more so because I think I was one of the older guys on the team. I think both those guys will be good’, stressed Kameron Taylor. He may be far away from the NBA in Spain, but bang comes the next bigtime name Marc Gasol. The Spanish legend who had a long NBA career is closing out his career in his home land and will be Taylor’s teammate. It is only obvious that he is super excited about playing in a new country and with Marc Gasol. I wonder how he would have reacted if someone had told him in 2018 in Rhondorf that he would be teammates with Marc Gasol 4 years later. ‘I definitely would have laughed. But I can’t wait to get there and pick his brain, learn from him, and hear about his experiences.’, commented Kameron Taylor. Gasol has been known as being one of the best big man passers in the game and the American will surely soak some new passing skills in. The last year has all been about soaking things up. It won’t be any different for him Spain this season. Kameron Taylor is living the ultimate basketball Cinderella life and just loving it.

John Murry(TuS59 Hamm Stars) Continues To Grind Because That´s All He Knows How To As He Is Back In The Regionalliga After A Short Pro A Stint

Sometimes it takes so long to get to a level that you have been striving to get to and one where you should have been at a lot earlier, but in the basketball world at the end of the day it mostly comes down to who you know, luck and timing. Ok so John Murry (192-G-1995, college: Austin Peay) didn’t have to wait 10 years for that first real overseas gig like Anthony Hodge of Bergedorf has, but still for a NCAA guy like Murry who averaged 16,0ppg in a season and then have to toil around 3 years in the Regionalliga was a very tough pill to swallow. Of course Covid didn’t help that he missed almost a whole season, but that’s part of the game as unexpected things can always get in the way. Last season he finally could play a whole Regionalliga season and he didn’t disappoint as he belonged to the best Regionalliga players in Germany averaging 28,0ppg. He went into the off season really excited about what opportunities would come his way. Obviously many teams had had him on the radar. Not only a level higher Pro B teams, but even Pro A teams. When I got the word that Pro A team Art Giants Duesseldorf had signed him, I almost jumped through the roof. I was so happy for him. After 29 interviews/articles about him in a 3 year span, it was pretty obvious that I was a massive supporter of him. Life was phenomenal for the explosive scorer in mid July, but a little more than 2 months later, he had experienced just how brutal basketball Germany can be. The club had other plans and decided to release him. Life came crashing down on him like massive tidal wave in Hawaii. As one of his biggest supporters if not the biggest in Germany, I also felt down, because not only can this guy ball, but his heart is bigger than most. I couldn’t understand why a team would give up on such a talented player that had worked so hard to get to that level. ‘I would have to strongly agree with the first statement in the question about being my biggest supporter. As far as things happening how they did, I am a guy who works extremely hard day in and day out so I didn’t expect things to occur as they did but life is full of surprises and everything happens for a reason. However, I will exercise full focus and full force to maximize my next opportunity, whenever that time arrives’, stressed John Murry. A frequent question I love to ask ballers especially ex NBA players is how they saw that the NBA will always be a business first before anything else. But he also knows, that he can’t pout like a spoiled cat who didn’t get their dinner on time, but understands basketball life moves on and tomorrow will always look brighter. ‘Yes, unfortunately the basketball life is a business first and sometimes things happen that we can’t control but we must keep moving forward no matter how tough it gets’, warned John Murry.

The ex Austen Peay guard came to Duesseldorf in August knowing that basketball on the court woulnd’t be the way it was in the Regionalliga. He would be faced with a quicker pace, better players and defenses that he had never seen before in Germany. In the Regionalliga, he was the best player on his team and in terms of guard competition on his team, it was like night and day. It was like putting a Ja Morant against a NBA teams second round draft pick. He was Mr everything, but in the Pro A it was completely the opposite. He didn’t come in guaranteed with a starting job, but had some other big time players at the guard position with Booker Coplin and Ryan Richmond. When it comes to pointing fingers, he isn’t one of those guys. He didn’t want to suspect that he may have been the odd man out or not be able to cut it at the pro A level coming from the Regionalliga. He went out and gave 110% every day. He would never have come out and said that he didn’t get a fair chance. ‘Well, it definitely goes into politics when you talking about whose supposed to be on the floor and I for one will say, there wasn’t a moment that I didn’t give it everything I had, from head to toe I made sure to establish myself as a top player wherever I maybe and bring a sense of urgency to the game. The key for me was to get better every chance I had and for the most part I cannot say I failed in that aspect. I controlled everything I could control on my end, I left everything else in God’s hand’, expressed John Murry. Guys in general are very competitive in this business and one could understand that there could be some bad blood towards the head coach Florian Flabb, but the Indianapolis native has always had that professional attitude to know it’s mostly not personal. ‘I always try to make sure I am on the same page with my head coach, no matter where I am whatever is asked of me to help our team win, that’s what I’m willing to do, I love this game and pay very close attention to what I bring to the table for this game and with that I believed was more good than bad but the decision was made for me to part ways, at the end of the day I understand it’s a business’, warned John Murry. His stay in Duessledorf may have been brief, but in that short period, he was able to establish beautiful memories that he will forever keep. He most definitely will visit Duesseldorf soon again. ‘I enjoyed my time in Duesseldorf and good thing about Hamm, I’m not too far away from the relationships that I created in Duesseldorf with friends and prior teammates to visit in the near future’, commented John Murry.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry in Rhondorf in 2019

Sometimes basketball is a business in a good way for a player and sometimes in not such a pleasant way as John Murry witnessed, but he definitely proved in the chances he got that he can play at that level. He scored 10 points against easyCredit BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn which only will have raised his self-confidence to new heights. ‘It most definitely did give me a boost of confidence playing at that level, despite many opinions I still believe I can play at that level and be successful doing so. It is just a matter of timing and placement. I would definitely love that opportunity if presented to show that’s where I belong’, stated John Murry. He was a dominant player in the Regionalliga last season and one has to wonder how much good his short stint in the Pro A did for his game. ‘My game definitely grew in ways I was able to see overnight, players pushed me to get better as I did the same thing in return. The experience was awesome and I’d love another shot at Pro A with any team because despite Duesseldorf not working out, I still feel that I bring more to a team that could increase winning and good vibes at the end of the day’, added John Murry. Even if the Art Giants opportunity didn’t pan out, he was able to soak in some things that he will always have in his mind so he will be prepared for that next episode in his basketball life. ‘Value every moment you have with people and be in the moment, make the most out of the loses because they turn into lessons. One thing about me in life lessons, I’ve never failed the same test twice’, warned John Murry. After his release from the Art Giants, he didn’t waste anytime looking for a new opportunity and quickly latched on to Regionalliga team Hamm Stars. There he plays for a coach Ivan Rosic who believes in his abilities and trusts him 100%. He has gone through so many hardships, but he always believed in himself and keeps grinding. ‘The basketball life is full of ups and downs so it’s important not to get to low and not to get to high. I thank God I’m still able to keep doing what I love everyday’, warned John Murry. All he can do now is just continue to grind in the lab and continue to explode in the Regionalliga. It will be very peculiar if he doesn’t get another chance in a higher league down the road. ‘Right now, just taking things a day at a time, still continuing to get better and make positive leaps in my game on the court and being a better person off the court. I know things happen for a reason so I’m just as interested to see how things play out as anyone else that’s paying attention’, stressed John Murry. This guy has fed of positive energy his whole career. Even if God has had his own plan for him in waiting a bit longer for the big opportunities, he just keeps working his butt off and the Duesseldorf experience gave him inspiration to keep grinding even harder. But having been able to watch the best recently at the Euro 2022 also gave him extra incentive to spend the extra hour in the gym. ”I got to see Dennis Schroeder in the German team play together also got to see Rudy Gobert of France play together, as well as Luka for Slovenia and those were some very tough and competitive games. It was super exciting because of course I would love to play at a super high level like that and knowing that I can creates even more motivation in me to be better as I was watching those guys go at it’, expressed John Murry. Some things never change. If someone had told me in May 2022 that John Murry and Jeremy Ingram would be in the Regionalliga in 2022-2023, I would have declared them for stupid. At least both guys remain to give the Regionalliga 2 big time personalities. Both guys are incredible players, but they won’t be Regionalliga lifers. You can bet on it. Their belief in their abilities and desire to grind will allow them to reach their goals.


The Miles Vs Chris Miller(VFL Bensheim) Weekly Basketball Conversation Volume 1

Christopher Miller (192-G-1993, college: Salem) is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York who is playing his eighth professional season and first with VFL Bensheim. He played 3 seasons with the Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and last season averaged 17.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 17.5%, FT: 78.6%. He has had experience in countries like El Salvador and Bosnia. He recently played for the South Shore Monarchs (TBL) playing 8 games averaging 22.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.3%. He began his basketball career at Clinton Community College and also played two years at Salem University (NCAA2). This season he teams up with Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with weekly chats about his basketball season.

Congrats Chris on the massive 95-84 win over Stuttgart to move to 1-1. What did it mean to you getting the first win for your new team Bensheim after losing the first game to Mannheim?

Thanks Miles and thank you for having me. This was a big win for us! I feel it showed us we could be a good team in this league and compete. We feel we made some mistakes in the Mannheim game that costed us but we were all focused to get that win this weekend.

Talk a little about the 40 minutes. It was high scoring as often is the case in Regionaliga games. How key were the high shooting percentages of Bensheim for ultimately getting the win?

I think this team has a lot of offensive players who can get rolling so we look to push the ball every time and keep pressure on the defense. I like this method because it keeps everyone involved and focused on the defense to get that fast break rolling.

Bensheim had huge problems on the boards being outrebounded and allowing 19 offensive rebounds. Does the team rebounding work concern you at the moment?

Rebounds have hurt us in the first 2 games for sure. I don’t think it will be a problem at all, but I do think it is something we need to focus on boxing out and limiting second and third efforts when we are on defense. It will have to be a full team focus to box out more.

How thrilling is it being a teammate with ex BBL player marc Liyanagge . You teamed up to combine for 56 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game so far?

MARC is a great teammate . I like how he leads and communicates without screaming and making his teammates feel insecure after mistakes . He leads by example and works hard. With his game I think he is a top player in this league who is versatile and is a match up nightmare for this league. Happy to have him with us.

You had another great game for 35 points and are averaging 30 points per game. Is it fair to say that you have a different role than in Giessen?

My role is to win games and make the team I’m playing for a contender. In Giessen I had to sacrifice my scoring to help our team because of the system we played. With Bensheim I am looked at as a scorer again who will put pressure on other teams defenses. For me what ever it takes to win.

How cool is it to be the number one scoring option and suddenly being a walking bucket. Is this something that you feel comfortable doing?

I think a lot of people forgot I can score the ball. I work hard on my game and skills . Every team I have played on in my 8 years pro I was the leading scorer. Even last year my ppg decreased but I was still the main/ leading scorer of the championship team. This is nothing new to me. I am comfortable with my role for sure and blessed to be in this position.

You shot an incredible 92% from the field 13/14. Can you remember ever shooting so well in a game?

Honestly this game means a lot to me because I scored in the flow of the game and let the shots come to me. I was happy with the reads I made of when to pass and when to score. I’m also grateful for my teammates for playing through me when I did get hot. I was so locked in I didn’t even notice I only missed once. I had higher scoring games but this game is one of the best given the 92% shooting that’s nearly a perfect game!!

You next play against Lich against top player Johannes Lischka. When do you remember first hearing about him when you came to Germany?

Lischka is a very talented player. I played a ton of games against him when I was in Giessen. He has always been a tough match up. Very skilled player with inside and outside game. I think this will be a fun game this weekend.

Bensheim has given up many points in the first 2 games. What does the team still need to do on the defensive end to cut down on allowing points?

I think sometimes we get caught up in focusing on our offense and we don’t close out the defensive possessions enough. I think our defense is good but if a team gets second and third efforts they are more likely to score. I think once we start focusing on that aspect our opponents points will decrease.

What has been your take on the Celtics scandal around head coach Ume Udoka?

For me I have no comment. I wish them the best and hope they can get through this tough time.

Thanks Chris for the chat.

Prince Ali Will Dazzle You With His Scoring But Also Wants To Turn Heads With His Defensive Play

Prince Ali (193-SG-1996, college: UCLA) is a 193cm guard that was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in Florida and will be playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim. He played his rookie season with at Baerum Basket Bekkestua (Norway-BLNO) averaging 24.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg and last season played with Easycharger Palencia (Spain-LEB Gold) averaging 13.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 73.7%. He began his basketball career with Pembroke Pines Charter High School and then also got early experience with The Sagemont School and Southern Stampede (AAU). He then played at USC (NCAA) from 2015-2020 playing a total of 114 NCAA games. He spoke to earlier in the summer about his career. The Hakro Merlins Crailsheim recently let him go.

Prince Ali and Aaron Holiday at UCLA

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

Currently I am in Thailand. Basketball has been treating me well since the day I picked it up. It’s more of an obsessive hobby these days I must admit.
Congrats on signing with German team Hakro Merlins Crailsheim.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball. A few of your ex UCLA teammates Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton played here in the past.

Thank you. I don’t know much about the country Germany if we are being honest. However, I am open to learning. Just from watching BBL games from prior seasons and speaking to some guys who’ve played in the league, I get the sense that the league is highly competitive, uptempo, and physical.

How were the talks with head coach Sebastian Gleim? What kind of an impression did you get from him? In the Merlins press release you stated you believed the concept of coach Gleim. What about his philosophy was most appealing to you?

Coach from the conversations that we’ve had seems like a pretty straightforward individual. His style of play, along with the role he foresees was one of the major deciding factors for me to join the club.

A little side note. In the last years this club was a huge help aiding guys like Trae Bell-Haynes reach the ACB, Haywood Highsmith reach the NBA again and TJ Shorts be a BBL MVP candidate. Does knowing that give you added self-confidence that your route in the BBL also be positive?

Sure, I am aware. It helps knowing of course, however, ultimately every individual’s path differs. Circumstances and outcomes always play a role. With that being said, I am confident that my experience in the BBL will be positive.

You had a very solid season in the Spanish Leb Gold. What kind of player will the fans see in Prince Ali?

Thank you. With me, fans will see an uptempo, high energy, creative basketball player.

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a 193 cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?

To compare myself to one individual is quite difficult. I learn from so many. However, Kobe, MJ, Kyrie, Milos Teodosic, CJ Mccollum, Jimmy Butler, Demar Derozan to name a few are some of the players who I absolutely love to watch.

You continue to develop as a scorer and have the advantage that you can play 3 positions. What other strengths does your game incorporate?

I can score if asked of me. A focus of mine currently is developing as a playmaker. Seeing a play develop seconds before it actually happens. I am a good passer now. But I know I can be much better. I can defend now, but it’s the same, I can be better. I rebound okay for my position, but this is also something that is a continuing development. I honestly seek to develop in all aspects of my game.

Your three pointer continues to be a work in progress. How would you classify your three development since finishing in the NCAA? Do you feel like you are on course of becoming a 40% shooter?

I just continue to get reps. And more reps. I’ve improved as a shooter since college. For me, an incremental improvement is a win. At some point, I will eventually shoot 40% and higher from three point land. It could be this year or the following. The reps will remain consistent and we just go from there.

How would you classify your defensive game? What kind of a defender are you at the moment and what kind of defender do you want to be in 2-3 years?

If you ask me, I am an okay defender at this point in my career. If you ask someone else, the answer might be different. I am athletically gifted, with good instinct so I have an advantage. The technicalities and fundamentals of defense are different. I watch some of the best defenders in the game and study their movements and fundamentals. Ron Artest. Jrue Holiday. Jimmy B. Mikal Bridges to name a few. In 2-3 years, I want to be considered one of the best defenders in Europe.

On what areas of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to improve your game?

Every single area where I spot a weakness, I work on it and just continue to get reps.

Last season you played with Easycharger Palencia (Spain-LEB Gold) averaging 13.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 73.7%. How important was playing your first full season and development of your game? What strides do you feel did your game make in Spain?

Very Important. Major thanks to the coaching staff and my teammates there. I feel from start to finish was a work in progress. The coaches allowed me the opportunity to play freely and this allowed me to become better in so many different areas. This year, I became a better passer! I became a better defender. I feel as if the experience overall was a major success. We had a winning season and made the final four. I can honestly say that throughout the year, I developed as not only a basketball player, but also as a person

What memories will you always have of veteran Bamba Fall? He played in the NCAA and in the D-League. Were you able to have some meaningful chats with him about basketball and life?

Bamba is one of my favorite people in this world. Nothing but love for him. More so than basketball we were really able to connect and have deep meaningful conversations about this life that we all live

You played your rookie season in Norway. How much of an effect did COVID have on you finding a team in 20-21? How tough was it landing in Norway so late?

It was a great experience in Norway. I’m sure covid had an effect, but more a positive effect then negative for me. I was able to learn a lot about who I really am in Norway

You only played 3 games in Norway. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

Nothing in particular honestly. I was absolutely ready to leave America and experience something different

You had to wait so long to find the Norway job then played 3 games and then the season was over. How tough was the phase leading up to getting the Spain job? Did you have to do some soul searching or did you ever lose faith in the process?

My season ended in Norway prematurely. I decided to move to Africa at that point and start fresh. 6 months. 6 very long months. Soul searching is an understatement. Never lost faith per se. I realized in those moments just how much of a blessing this beautiful game is to my life. The Spain job was a no-brainer. Palencia was the first team to call, and I accepted. Major shoutout to my agent Pedro Cruells ( InterAthletics Management) for navigating that deal

You played at UCLA from 2015-2020. What memories do you have of your freshman year playing along side Aaron Holiday? How competitive was the day to day battles in practice?

Aaron Holiday is one of the best basketball players I’ve ever competed against. He showed me more now in today’s time than then, what an NBA professional looks like. Day to Day was a battle. Everyone was a player.

In your 8th NCAA game you helped beat powerhouse Kentucky 87-77 netting 8 points in 12 minutes. What memories do you have of that game playing against many future NBA players like Jamaal Murray? Was that a game where you knew you had arrived in the NCAA?

I wouldn’t say I arrived. However, the dunk that I made in that game definitely made its rounds. It happened 7 years ago and I still see it. Just yesterday actually.

In 2016-2017 you took a red shirt year because of injury. Despite not playing how did you experience just being a part of the team and seeing Lonzo Ball play his only NCAA season?

Lonzo is another NBA pro that I was able to watch and speak with on a day to day basis. That was a very fun team to be a part of and just watch. That team had a very high tempo. It was a positive learning experience.

You had many great games at UCLA, but where do you rank the exciting win over Oregon where you scored 22 points?

That was a fun game. Probably one of my best games as a Bruin honestly speaking.

You played for a share of coaches with Steve Alford, Murry Bartow and Mick Cronin. How did these guys help groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Everybody is ultimately a teacher, and a student. All three of these individuals taught me invaluable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Aaron Holiday


Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?

A lot of guys man. Jayson Tatum comes to mind. His teammate Jaylen Brown. My former teammate Aaron Holiday. A Lot of different guys

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time

Isaac Hamilton
Tom Welsh
Micah Speight
Gyorgy Goloman
Tony Parker

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?


Did you see the sequel to the classic coming to America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

I actually enjoyed the sequel, man hahahah. Thank you for this interview my man. I appreciate you show this guy some love. Enjoy your summer!

Thanks Prince for the chat

Adjusting To Different Types Of Defenses And Players Helped Arkim Robertson(Union Neuchatel Basket) Display His Break Out Season Last Year

Arkim Robertson (208-C-1994, college: CS Fullerton) is a 28 year old 208cm center from Grenada playing his 5th professional season and first with Union Neuchatel Basket (Switzerland-SBL). Last season he played with the Lugano Tigers (Switzerland-SBL) averaging 18.2ppg, Reb-2 (10.1rpg), 2.2apg, Blocks-3 (1.2bpg), FGP: 58.7%, FT: 66.1%. In 2020-2021 he played with BC Adria Oil Skrljevo (Croatia-Premijer Liga) averaging 17.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 69.3%, FT: 59.3%. In his first 2 professional seasons he got experience in Argentina,Brazil and Chille. He began his basketball career at Western Oklahoma State College (JUCO) and then finished at California State University, Fullerton (NCAA). He spoke to before a test game in Germany against the wiha Panthers Schwenninge

Thanks Arkim for talking to Your playing your first season for Union Neuchatel Basket (Switzerland-SBL) and playing a test game in Germany today against Pro A team wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Have you been able to explore Germany in the last year as you were living in Switzerland?

Since I have been in Switzerland my two years I have never been to Germany so this is my first time ever going there.

If someone had told you in the summer of 2016 after your last JUCO season that in the next 5 years you would live in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chille, Croatia and Switzerland and play the game you love for a living what would you have said?

If someone had told me that I would have said no way because i would not have believed it, but now that I’m here it is a blessing to have the opportunity to play the game I love and travel the world do so, so I am grateful.

You averaged only 4,0ppg in your senior year in the NCAA but still turned pro. The first 2 seasons in South America were tough, but in the last 2 years have become a very good player and put up good stats. What kept you going in those first few years to bring you this far?

My first season I was just figuring who I am as a player and how I can be useful to any team. So I stayed motivated everyday knowing one day my time will come where all the working I am putting in will reward itself.

You had an incredible season last season with the Lugano Tigers establishing yourself in the Swiss league. Seriously how can you top that season? What is your mindset like going into this season?

Yes last season was good individually it was but this season I feel like I can show more in terms of playing better defense being a better leader, passing and also scoring the basketball.

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 208cm center. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?

I’m actually 209 hahaha but I would say my game is kind of like Tim Duncan, I post up a lot and every now and then I take a mid range jumper but I love posting up and I’ve watched Tim Duncan a lot when I was younger.

Would it be fair to say that you can do it all except shoot the three. Is the three something you want to incorporate into your game down the road?

Hahaha I think so but definitely, I would love to put that part into my game as well because I think I am capable of making the threes so I will be working on that part of my game when the summer comes but all for now I will be posting up and taking mid range shots occasionally hahaha

You can score and rebound very well. What other strengths does your game incorporate? Talk a bit about your defensive game. How would you describe yourself as a shot blocker now and where do you still want to get to?

Well I think I am a pretty good defender when it comes to defending my position, I love to come from the weak side to block shots, I also live chasing down blocks to but what I would love to get better in is defending the position four really good and the three position as well.

On what areas of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

Facing up that is one thing I have been working on a lot, slowing down the game and reading the defenders, free throw shooting of course and also picking my spots on the floor being more consistent with making my shots.

Last season you played with the Lugano Tigers (Switzerland-SBL)Score-4 (18.2ppg), Reb-2 (10.1rpg), 2.2apg, Blocks-3 (1.2bpg), FGP: 58.7%, FT: 66.1%. You turned into a double double monster. How did your game grow that season?

Well I figured out how they were guarding me and I just adjusted myself to it, I know I would get double teamed every time so I had to make my move very fast, I also knew I am one of the strongest guys in the league so I was using that to my advantage, I have a feel for the rebound so I would put myself in position to get it every time, for me it was all about adjusting to the different types of defense’s and players.

You had a crazy 45/20 game against Boncourt and shot 79% from the floor. What memories do you have of this masterpiece?

Oh man that was a good game and the reason it was a good game was because we were going at one another, it was me and a guy called Brent, I just remember I had like 18 points and my teammates were telling Arkim they can’t stop you get 50 and in my mind I’m thinking okay today is one of those days where I’ll go off and every time I touch the ball I was scoring and I remember I was seeing the rim big in my eyes, that was a cool moment to have.

You had your breakout season overseas with BC Adria Oil Skrljevo (Croatia-Premijer Liga) Score-4 (17.1ppg), 7.0rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 69.3%, FT: 59.3%. What kind of mindset did you have coming into the season? Your confidence must have been well since you had finished the season before solidly in Croatia?

Well I was confident prior to the last year because I knew I have played there before and the season was cut short because of corona so if that did not happen who knows how that season would have ended hahaha. My confidence was up because I believe in my self and what I can do and then I was working on improving my game and getting stronger as well.

You played against top address Cibona 5 times and played well each game. Did you realize after these type of games that you could play at a high level?

When I played in Brazil I started to realize that I could play at a high level. I was playing against guys who came from the G league and guys who played in the NBB and then when I came and playing in Croatia against those teams I realized I could really compete with that and I wasn’t afraid.

Do keep tabs on top Croatian guys like Planinic and Prkacin where you held your own against?

Not really but I do know he was supposed to get into to NBA draft that’s all I know and I hope he does get to go to the NBA because he is really good, I enjoyed my time playing against him.

In your second season you began with CD Asociacion de Basquetbol Temuco (Chile-Liga Nacional) and then moved to BC Adria Oil Skrljevo (Croatia-Premijer Liga) averaging 11.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 59.0%, FT: 50.0%. How valuable was finishing in Croatia so strong? Did you see that as your last chance?

It was valuable for me because I was cut from Chile because I sprained my ankle and I had five ligaments that were damaged, so I took that very personal into my next job so my mind set was to go in strong and finish strong.

How vital was a vet like Mark Dorris in your first Croatia gig? He has seen it all as a professional?

Mark Dorris was a very good guy to have around he taught me a lot not just basketball but networking and how to conduct myself as a professional

You played your rookie season first with Progreso de General Roca (Argentina-La Liga Argentina) and then Pato Basquete (Brazil-Liga Ouro) averaging 8.4ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 53.3%, FT: 59.4%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie where you knew that you were far away from home?

My wake up call was when I knew that I was far away from home and I couldn’t go to my mom to figure out stuff no more, like why I’m playing bad, what am I not doing to help my team stuff like really woke me up fast.

Argentina was rough but at least you finished out your rookie season in Brazil well. What positives could you take from your Brazil time?

I went to Brazil and I played pretty good. I love how the played Brazil it’s nice, it’s physical to so that’s why I love it.

You began your career with Western Oklahoma State College (JUCO) and played 2 seasons there. Every guy I have interviewed that played JUCO has described the experience one as very challenging and tough, but one that they wouldn’t have traded in for the world. How was it for you?

JUCO was hard haha I’m not going to lie to you but it is a part of my life where if I had to do it again I would because I loved it, it shaped me and prepared me for the future.

You then finished at California State University, Fullerton (NCAA) playing 59 games and averaging 4/4 stats. How was the whole NCAA experience for you? Do you feel like you made the most of the 15 minutes you got per game in those 2 years?

The whole NCAA experience for me was amazing I wish I could’ve done it again to be honest I had a lot of fun playing with those guys, yes I felt like I made the most of the minutes I played I did what my coach asked me to do it and I was having fun doing it, so yes I did made the most out of it.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Johnny Wang?

Me of course hahaha but Johnny he’s a good player, I like him.

Who is the best player that you ever battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

Carson Edwards and I can’t remember the other guy name there were three of them from Purdue.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

My five best teammates of all time that is hard hahaha I’ll have to say Kyle from Cal state Khalid also from Cal state Fullerton, Phillip and Luka from Croatia and Markel Humphrey in Switzerland.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

My personal Mount Rushmore has to be Bill Russell, Kareem, Lebron, Kobe and Jordan.

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

Me personally I think they both great players but I grew up in a Lebron era and I have seen the things he is able to do over the years and it’s just amazing to watch,I would pick Lebron because of his all around game.

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

Yes I did, I thought it was funny but not as the first one so yeah hahaha maybe they should have left that one alone.

Thanks Arkim for the chat.

Anthony Hodge(Bergedorf) Has Been Grinding For A Decade And Been Given Many No´s But Always Knew That Yes Was Everything As His Career Is Finally Taking Off

Anthony Hodge is a 32 year old 178cm guard that is playing for German Regionalliga team Bergedorf this season. He began his basketball career at Hilbert (NCAA3). He began his professional career in the States playing for various PBL teams like the Buffalo 716ers , the Western NY Thundersnow (PBL)
and Chautauqua Hurricanes (PBL). He then found experience in Mexico and then headed overseas playing in Spain. Last season he got his first gig in Germany for Regionalliga 2 team VFL Loenigan. He spoke to about his basketball career.

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

Hi thank you for having me. At the moment I am currently in Castrop Rauxel, Germany. The Basketball life is treating me very well. It’s given me many opportunities to see the world and experience different things.

Your 32 years old and are the best example of a guy living the basketball dream. You just keep grinding and don’t stop. What has kept you going in the last 10 years to keep going?

I can say what keeps me going is my determination and will power to push forward no matter what to achieve my goals and dreams in life. I grew up in Brooklyn New York and you have to be mentally tough to live there. And that has helped me through this journey. Because during this basketball journey you get a lot of No’s and unanswered messages but you can’t let that get to you. You have to believe in yourself and trust the grind. More importantly stay true to yourself because that one yes is everything.

You obviously are always hungry and are never satisfied. Could one say you have to be one of those guys that has a permanent chip on their shoulder?

Yes I’m always hungry and never satisfied because I want to keep improving. I have a dream and personal goal I want to reach and if I can see it in my head and feel it in my bones to the point it feels real. I know it’s possible with hard work. My mom always told me anything is possible with hard work and to always fight for what you want no matter what others say. All your work is now starting to pay off. It never gets easier for a player the older they get.

I can imagine thinking about never giving up and knowing one day it will pay off has driven you as well?

Yes that has driven me. Especially when you get good news or a little bit of hope. But I always had this feeling like something was telling me keep going don’t give up. I just really believed in myself and with God in my corner and a little bit of luck anything is possible I felt. I just kept my head down and grinded harder and harder. I knew something had to give and God will present me with an opportunity so I had to stay ready so I didn’t have to get ready.

After bouncing around in the States and being in Mexico and Spain, you made your way to Germany last season to play with 2 Regionalliga team VFL Loeningen. I can imagine Germany will always be a special place for you. What do you appreciate most about Germany?

I mean I haven’t really seen much of Germany yet. But I do appreciate how diverse it is and that most people speak and can understand English lol

You were a big part for VFL Loeningen remaining in the 2 Regionalliga as you helped the club to 11 wins and averaging 30,0ppg. Did it feel at times that you were a man playing among kids?

I didn’t think of it that way. I just lead by example and did my part to impact the game in every way possible and to do whatever it took to win games. I played team basketball and my team believed in me. I showed them I can impact and dominate a game in different ways. I wanted everyone to feel involved. This was why we were so successful. And we got better with each game.

Congrats on signing with Regionalliga team Bergedorf. You have moved up a level to the 4th league in Germany. How excited are you for a new challenge with the Hamburg team?

Thank you. I’m very excited and can’t wait to help this team achieve its goals. I welcome this challenge and I’m ready

How ironic is it to be from Hamburg New York to now living in the great German city Hamburg. Your going from a 55,000 city to a 1,8 million city. Is that very overwhelming for you?

I’m actually from New York City born and raised in Brooklyn New York, I went to college in Hamburg Buffalo. So I’m used to the big city. Lol so I would fit right in.

I think. You will see many new things in Hamburg, Germany, but what is one thing that you will always find in Hamburg, New York and not in Hamburg Germany?

Hmm that’s pretty hard to say since I’ve never been to Hamburg so I don’t know what they have. But I would say 24 hr gyms and grocery stores. But I heard many things about Hamburg so I’m excited to see what the city has.

I’m sure that you will do well in the Regionalliga. American guards usually do very well in the Regionalliga. With what expectations are you going into the season and what kind of Anthony Hodge can we await?

I’m going into this season with the expectation to help the team be successful and to make the playoffs and try to win the league. I want to get Player of the Year and leave my mark on this league. Y’all will see a player that has no quit in him and who will be the hardest worker on both ends of the floor and giving his all each every play and every game. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my team win as many games as possible.

Last season you were within 15 minutes of watching Pro A games in Artland and Vechta. Did you take in some games and how do you feel could your game translate in the Pro A?

Sadly I did not get a chance to see any games live but I did watch some games online. And from watching I feel very confident my game will translate very well into Pro A I feel I can score with the best of them but most importantly I can play both ends of the floor at a high level and I can impact a game in different ways.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 178cm guard. If one had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill? Maybe a Nate Robinson?

Hmm some people would say Nate Robinson or Isaiah Thomas because of my scoring ability. But I’m a great defender especially for my height. So it’s kind of hard to say because I hear different names haha but those are the two names that always comes up.

You’re a guy that can score, but what other strengths does your game incorporate?

I would say defense, playmaking, doing the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheets and my IQ for the game and how I see certain things.

Talk a little about your defense. What kind of defender are you and could we see you winning the steal crown?

I’m a hard nose defender and can be very annoying for other guards I’ve been told. I definitely can see myself winning it with the help of my teammates for sure.

Your not 22 anymore but 32. On what areas are you working on now as your career is taking off in your 30’s?

I’ve been working on playing even smarter and being more patient. But I been working on everything to improve in all aspects of the game. I also make sure to take care of my body even though my body still feels 24 haha

You played at Hilbert College (NCAA3). Your senior year was a special one. What memories do you have of winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s regular season league title?

Man that year was for sure a special one. We were a family and had so much fun. But what made it so special for me was the game we won the regular season title, it was senior night and my mom and sisters came to see my play. It was the first time my mom ever saw me play. And to winning in front of her was the greatest feeling ever.

How did head coach Rob deGrandpre groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

He believed in me a lot and trusted me. He never gave me any special treatment and made sure I put 110% percent effort into the games and practices. He also told me I can do whatever I put my mind too as long as I put the work in and he made sure I was on top of my game. He even supported me in every way even after I graduated.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Dan Mcfarland?

Me for sure haha but He was a tough guy to guard though for sure.

In 2013 after graduation you embarked on a professional career. Very few NCAA 3 guys make it. How difficult was the process and how big of an issue was your height?

It was very difficult because all people saw was my height. But there was one guy who saw more than just my height. Without him there’s no Mexico so I’m beyond grateful for him.

You had experience in the semi pro league PBL playing at home with teams like the Buffalo 716ers, Western Thunderstorm and Chautauqua Hurricanes. What memories did you have of this time. How grueling was the competitiveness? Was it more bonding or guys just focused on getting to a higher league?

Oh yeah the competition was very tough because there were a lot of D1 players and D-league player in the league. So I learned a lot and had to hold my own. It was kill or be killed so you had to bring your A game every time even to practice because someone is always after your spot. Survival of the fittest and because of that I definitely became stronger mentally and physically as a player.

You must have had a day job. Talk a little about how you kept busy during the day and what kept your grind going at night in the lab?

Yes I worked during the day but I would hit the gym before work and after work. I made sure no matter what I put my work in.

You then got a job in Mexico. How refreshing was that and how vital was that for your self-confidence?

Man playing in Mexico was refreshing and definitely gave me confidence and hope. I knew I could do this. Because once I got to Mexico I didn’t look back I put all my hard work to the test and it did not let me down. I showed out and shined. Then one thing led to another and you meet someone who likes your game and boom anything can happen. You know how it is you; never know who’s watching or who someone may know.

You then made the step to Valencia, Spain. How did that come about and what kind of an experience was that for you?

So Spain came about because after Mexico I got invited to a summer league tournament in Italy where my team won the championship and I won best Point of the summer league award. And I had two players on my team that played in Spain and told me to connect a guy named Brad. Brad has an exposure camp in Spain and so I bet on myself and went and the rest was history.

Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?

Edwin Ubiles

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time

Kristofer Chase Justin Vice Tevor Stark Nelson Jimenez Corey Lewis

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

That’s very hard hahaha But I’ll say Michael Jordan LeBron James Magic Johnson Bill Russell Larry Bird For now but that may change every soon haha

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

They are both great in my opinion but MJ has more of a killed instinct where LeBron is more of a team guy and pass first but it’s different era’s and two different players.

Did you see the sequel to the classic coming to America?

Shouldn’t they have left it alone? They should of left it alone but it wasn’t that bad though.

Thanks Anthony for the chat.