Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Greg Whittington(Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul) Continues To Go Out Every Night And Prove People Wrong

Greg Whittington is a 26 year old 205cm forward from Columbia, Maryland that is playing his fifth professional season and first with Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) averaging 12,4ppg, 4,9rpg and 1,6apg while shooting an astronomical 52% from outside in the BSL and averaging 12,5ppg, 6,5rpg and 1,4apg while shooting a strog 48% from outside in the Eurocup. Last season he played with Hapoel Galil Gilboa (Israel-Winner League) playing 30 games: Score-3 (18.4ppg), Reb-1 (9.6rpg), 2.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 69.0%. Previously he has gained added experience playing in the D-league with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and also played in Japan and Australia. He began his basketball career at Oakland Mills High School averaging 23.5ppg, 11.6rpg, 4.4bpg, 3.0spg, 2.7apg. He then played at Georgetown (NCAA) from 2011-2013 and as a sophomore averaged 12.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 60.6%. He then began his professional basketball career with the Miami Heat before going to the D-league and overseas. He spoke to germanhoops.com recently when he played a Eurocup game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. 

Greg thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Before we start from now going back in your career, I want to begin with a question concerning your time with Georgetown. You were a freshman there while Jason Clark was a senior. What memories do you have of him and what did it mean to you having him as a teammate?


I have many of memories of Jason, but one him being an all around player and always competing! Also it meant a lot having him as a senior and mentor and also having Henry sims there as well! Both taught me to always work hard and achieve anything! 

You played your first time on German soil in your career losing a Eurocup game to the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. What impression did you get from the country and the basketball?


My first impression of Germany was this is a peaceful country and was beautiful! Even though it was cold! The basketball play is a high level they are very aggressive and always competing! 

Your playing your first season with Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). What kind of experience has it been playing with this traditional organization that has won 13 Turkish league titles and has the competitive level of the Turkish league been higher than the Israeli Winner League?


It’s been an amazing experience coming to a club that is this well known and big in the Turkish league! It’s the biggest club I’ve been on for playing overseas! It’s a lot more competitive in this league then in Israel every night is a dog fight and I love it! 

The last league title was in 2013 and before that in 1990. With a few top Euroleague teams Efes and Fenerbahce and other teams, how high are the expectations of the team to realistically win titles?


Our expectations are always high to go win the tittle! We have a great group of guys! We know we have the talent to compete so that’s what we are trying to do! 

The team has so much talent with ex NBA players and high level guys that have played well overseas. What makes it so special playing together with these group of guys?


Things that make it special is that we all played at high levels and know the game really well! We all went to great schools as well so our backgrounds are strong! We are all unique players! 

What has it been like having a guy like young Ben Moore on the court? What have you learned to appreciate most about his game?


It was great having Ben Moore on the team! He worked hard! His game was nice a slasher that could shoot and hustle! 

I covered Tai Webster two seasons ago when he was a rookie in Frankfurt. I remember seeing a very talented young player, but with making the typical rookie mistakes. How have you seen him mature as a player in the early going?


Tai is an great player and everyday I see him maturing into an great point guard! I like the progress he’s making everyday on the court and off!

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 203cm forward that can score and rebound very well and hit the three. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?


I compare my game to Kevin Durant with him being from the DMV area! 

This season your shooting out the lights from outside What has been different with your success rate? It seems like shot selection has been big for you this season.


Yes I’m just trying to put extra shots up before and after practice! Like you said my shot selection is a lot better this year!

You were always a solid scorer in your career in the NCAA and pro’s, but not overwhelming until last season where you averaged 18,0ppg in Israel. Did last season give you added self confidence that you can be more than just a solid scorer?


Yes coach put a lot of confidence in me to score! So it made me realize I can out score anyone any night! Even though I already knew that but was always humble! 

What are your goals this season on keeping to develop as a player? What parts of your game are you continuing to tweak and are there other areas of the game that you want to add to your game?


My goals are to keep becoming the best player I can be for myself! To always go all out every night and prove people wrong! I’m tweaking my handle more tight! 

Last season you played with Hapoel Galil Gilboa (Israel-Winner League). It was your first season in Europe. Americans always rave about the amazing living conditions and culture. What was your best experience there?


The fans where amazing! The people was always nice when your out! Tel Aviv was always great to be in! 

You averaged 18.4ppg, Reb-1 (9.6rpg), 2.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 69.0%. It was your best season ever. What do you feel was key for you having such a great personal season? Was it extra hardwork or the style of play and your teammates?


It was me having at team that needed me to really showcase my abilities! Yes I was putting in extra work that whole offseason and during the season to stay sharp! My teammates helped open it up too having Bryant Crawford and Ian Miller was big!

Two season ago you played with Levanga Hokkaido Sapporo (Japan-B League) playing 18 games averaging 11.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 69.8%. What kind of experience was it playing in Japan. Was there an experience off the court that you will never forget concerning their culture?


It was a lot of fun playing in Japan! The style of basketball was different but i enjoyed it a lot! I love the food they had! I tried shark soup and many more! 

Three season’s ago you played for a time with the : Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL) playing 28 games averaging 11.5ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.8apg, Steals-4 (1.5spg), FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 70.7%. What did it mean being teammates with such an experienced guy like ex NBA player Josh Powell. Was he like a mentor there and how did his game influence you?



It was amazing playing with josh Powell! One of the best teammates I’ve had! He was for sure a mentor to me always giving me the ends and outs to the game! Especially with me just losing my dad before I came! He was great! Loved his game I took a little bit out of his book! 

You played two seasons in the G-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce putting up solid stats. What kind of experience was it for you? Did you ever feel like you were close to an NBA call up?


The G league taught me a lot and was a great experience! Yes I was going to get a call up but then I broke my wrist! 

You won the 2016 D-League title. How special was that and how much more special was it winning it with your Georgetown teammate Jabril Trawick?



It was super special to win that title! We set the record for the wins that year! And it made it even more sweet having my boy Jabril on my team since we both was Hoyas together! 

You last played NBA Summer League in 2015 with the Miami Heat and played with them in pre season leaving a lasting impression. What do you feel has kept you away from the NBA?


Just felt like I needed to get stronger! And just prove people wrong more!

You played only 46 NCAA games for Georgetown from 2011-2013. You played with some top class guys like Jason Clark, Otto Porter, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims just to mention a few. Which of these guys or other player had the biggest influence on you while you were there.



Henry Sims and Jason influenced me a lot and taught me a lot! 

You missed the 2013-2014 season with Georgetown due to an ACL and missed the 2014-2015 season at Rutgers. Do you ever wonder how your career may be now and how your game may be had you had four years of NCAA experience?



I always think about it everyday! My game would have been super polished and I would of did a lot of big things in college! 

You had many great games at Georgetown, but where did your 25/11 game in the win against W Carolina rank?



It ranks high with all my great games I’ve had in my career! 

How did John Thompson the third help groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?


He was like a father not only my coaches but he always taught to be respectful and be a hard working man! Amazing coach to have! 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Otto Porter?



Ha, I won a lot of those battler with no question! You can ask the staff! 

Who was the toughest guy that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA today?



Will Burton, was a tough player in college! 

If you had to construct your own personal NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you pick that bets fits your taste?


Michel Jordan, LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant! 

Where will the journey of the Golden State Warriors go now with the injury to Steph Curry? Is the Dynasty now over?



Yes it’s over since they lost Kevin Durant! This season will be for them to get other players ready for the next step! 

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



To me Jordan is the goat and forever will be! But LeBron has for sure proven that he’s a goat as well in this era and will be for a long time! 

What was the last movie that you saw?


Black & Blue

Thanks Greg for the chat.

Justin Gordon May Be Off The Radar For Many As A Player But Has Made The Next Step This Season

 Justin Gordon is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Charlotte, North Carolina that is playing his fourth professional season He began this season in Germany with Pro A team PS Karlsruhe averaging 11,3ppg, 5,9rpg, 1,8 apg and 1,7spg. He then moved to KFUM Jamtland Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) where he is currently averaging 18,1ppg, 5,4rpg and 2,1apg while shooting 40% from outside He got his first professional experience down under with the Sandringham Sabres (Australia-SEABL-South) playing 4 games averaging 12.3ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.5apg and last season played with the Rotterdam Challengers (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 37 games: Score-3 (17.5ppg), Reb-2 (8.7rpg), 2.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 70.6%. He began his basketball career with the Northside Christian Academy. He then played at Wofford from 2012-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. He was able to improve hiss coring and rebound averages each year topping it off as a senior playing 31 games averaging 11.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 58.9%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball before joining PS Karlsruhe last summer. 

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

I’m currently in Miami, Fl. My summer has been good as always, but I’m ready and excited to get the next season started.

Technically you have been a professional for three seasons, but have really played only one full season and had your European break out season in Holland last season. How good is basketball life for you and is your self confidence at an all-time high as you come to Germany for your second professional full professional season with PS Karlsruhe.

Basketball life has been going well, the experiences that I’ve gained playing professionally have been very helpful for my growth, both on and off the court. My confidence has definitely risen over the past few seasons and I expect that trend to continue.

Congrats on signing with German Pro A team PS Karlsruhe. After a very strong break out season in Holland, how did you experience this summers transfer period? Did you have more offers because of your good season in Holland?

Thank you. I believe my performance last season helped my agent get things moving for me a lot quicker this summer, as far as getting interest and offers. 

The German Pro A is a very competitive league. What were the main reasons for coming here and playing with ambitious team Ps Karlsruhe who played in the Regionalliga only a few years ago?

Like you said, German Pro A is a very competitive league. I wanted to take the next step in Europe and play with a team that fits my style of play, the Lions provided that opportunity for me. 

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Did you talk to some ex Wofford players like Brad Loesing and Mike Lenzly that have played here before?

Not very much, but that will change very soon. Brad and Mike both graduated before I attended Wofford, so I never had the chance to develop a relationship with either of them.

Your ex teammate Cameron Jackson made the jump to the BBL with MBC. What kind of player will the league get and can he be an impact player in that league?

Cam will be great wherever he goes, he’s a hard working guy with the willingness to play hard, is very skilled and has a lot of intangibles that will help him succeed. I believe he will make a positive impact on his team and I’m excited to see his successes this season.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 198cm forward that can do a lot on court. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player which guy would best fit the description

Pascal Siakham

You’re a guy that can score, rebound the ball and can facilitate well for the teammates. What other strengths does your game incorporate that you will use this season to help the team achieve success?

I will use my leadership, defensive skills and whatever else the team needs me to do to help the out this year. I’m looking to come in and do what it takes to win and that’s my mindset wherever I’m playing.

What kind of role do you envision having with PS Karlsruhe? Similar to Rotterdam where you did a bit of everything on the offensive end?

I believe I’ll have opportunities to do a bit of everything, but I don’t think I’ll need to focus on creating on the offensive end as much as I did last season. 

How do you feel have you developed further as a defensive player in the last years? Do you see yourself being able to be a type of defensive impact player?


My defense has always been a strength of mine because of my high motor and athleticism, but I definitely believe I can be an impact player on offensive and defense. My defense has improved over the years by improving 
my communication skills and just through experience. I’ve gotten to play against very good teams and players, and that helped me learn how to slow down certain offensive schemes or the confidence to guard anyone across from me.

You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet with ease, but what do you feel is still a type of hidden strength in your game that is still off the radar for many?


As a player in general I believe I’m off the radar for many, but as far as specific strength in my game, it would be my intangible skills; little things such as diving on the floor, taking charges, bringing energy, etc. 

Last season you played with the Rotterdam Challengers (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 37 games: Score-3 (17.5ppg), Reb-2 (8.7rpg), 2.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 70.6%. What did you learn about your game last season that you didn’t know about before?


Last season was really one of the first opportunities that I’ve had to be a focal point in an offense for a consistent period, so I’d say that the stats just proved what I knew and believed in already. 

You have had many great games in your career, but was your 36 point explosion in the win over Leeuwarden one of your best games ever?


Yeah, as far as individual performance that was definitely my one of my best games for sure.

How tough were your first two professional seasons playing for Team Chattanooga (Eurobasket Summer League), the Sandringham Sabres (Australia-SEABL-South) and in Morocco. When you look back on this time, how do you feel did you grow as a player and person?


My first two seasons were some of the most difficult times that I’ve ever experienced in basketball and life in general. It helped me become stronger mentally and to have a more grateful approach to every season I have the opportunity to experience.

What kind of experience was it playing in Morocco? What experience off the court will you always remember for the rest of your life?


Morocco was a very difficult season on and off the court. I did get to ride a camel on the beach on my birthday, I don’t think I will forget that anytime soon.

You played at Wofford (NCAA) from 2012-2016 winning the SoCon Tournament in 2014 and 2015. Which title was the sweeter one?


Both were incredible experiences but the 2015 was a little more fun just because it was the second of the back to back and I believe I had more of an impact that year. 

Wofford isn’t the most known basketball school in the States, but a school that is a fighter on a court and make the most out of it’s resources. How special was it being able to play for this school?


It was nice playing for Wofford, just being able to meet the people and teammates I’ll call my friends and family for life. 

In your junior season you lost to NCAA powerhouse Duke 84-55 scoring 9 points and getting 4 rebounds. What memories do you have holding your own against 8 future NBA players. Which Duke player impressed you the most in that game?


Its always good to know I’ve played in one of the most historic stadiums in college basketball, and even better to know I played well. Jahlil Okafor impressed me that game.

As a senior you lost 78-58 to another NCAA powerhouse North Carolina once again holding your own against many future NBA players like Kennedy Meeks, Brice Johnson or Justin Jackson. When you look back at that game, do you feel like there was so much difference in skill level between you and guys like that?


I believe the biggest difference was their length on defense and athleticism. What I lacked in skill was made up for with effort and energy, but my game has developed a lot since then.

How did head coach Mike Young groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?


Coach Young helped me a lot at Wofford. Specifically though, his high character expectations helped me learn how to be a good person and teammate.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Cameron Jackson?


You’ll have to ask the coaches on that one.

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


I’m not sure 

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?


I have too many guys I consider my brothers to choose 5.

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


Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain 

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


Its all a matter of opinion at the end of the day, but I believe Lebron James is the G.O.A.T

What was the last movie that you saw?


Toy Story 4

Thanks Justin for the chat.

Scoring Machine Shaquan Cantrell Knows That He Can Impact Games By Other Means Than Just Scoring

Shaquan Cantrell is a 196cm forward from Gainsville, Florida that played briefly with Red Devils Bramsche He played his rookie season with TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 21 games averaging 26.4ppg. He began his basketball career at N.Georgia (NCAA2) playing 101 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 15.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 63.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career last summer

Thanks Shaquan for talking to egermanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been


Thank you for reaching out. I’m currently back at home in Gainesville, Georgia. My summer has been great, I’ve enjoyed it.

You have been working out with coach David Pruett this summer who played in Germany some years ago with TV Langen. What ties do you have with him and has he given you tips on German basketball?
I’ve known Coach Pruett since my sophomore year of college while he was playing Overseas. He was on the coaching staff at UNG during my senior season. We’ve talked about his experience while he was playing, and how different the game style is there.

Congrats on signing back in Germany for your second professional season. You had a great rookie season with Nordlingen in the Regionalliga 2 averaging 26,oppg. Now you have moved up a level to the Regionaliga signing with the Red Devils. How excited are you about this new challenge?
Thank you, I appreciate it. I’m very excited about the new opportunity in Bramsche. Anytime you can move up in your profession that’s something to be proud of, but I am ready to get out there and get to work and have a successful season there.

How was the transfer market for you this summer? Did you sense that other clubs in Germany and elsewhere had noticed your top play in the Regionalliga 2 or was it tough getting the interest you feel you deserved?
The transfer market was fine for me this summer. I heard from the club around mid-June and there was mutual interest in coming to a deal. I was very pleased to know where I was going early in the summer. 

What were the main reasons for you for joining the Red Devils? As a former BBL team back in the day, did you feel that huge ambition of trying to move up and get higher in league play?
From the moment I heard from the Red Devils I instantly could tell that the club was very ambitious and wanted to continue to move up leagues throughout Germany. Another thing that sold me on the club was the atmosphere at their games, and how passionate the fans are about the team. 

I am sure that you saw some Regionalliga games last season. With what kind of expectations are you going into the season and do you feel like you can continue to be an impact player the way you were with Nordlingen?
I have very high expectations going into this upcoming season. The club did very well last year as they have moved up to 1.Regionalliga. I just want to come in and do whatever is asked of me to keep that success from last year going.

Let’s talk about your game. You a 196cm guard that can score the ball with ease. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
That’s a tough question. Honestly, I don’t really know. I just try to be as versatile as a player that I can be and help my team out in any way that I can.

You can score the ball as well get rebounds well for your height. What other strengths do you have that you will showcase in your second professional season?
I feel like I am also a good playmaker. I can handle the ball well and find the open shooter. I’m looking forward to getting to Bramsche and playing with the team. I hear we have a lot of pretty good shooters so that will be fun.

You took 61 three’s in your first two seasons at N Georgia (NCAA), but only 4 in your last two seasons. How did you use the three last season with Nordlingen?
I shot the 3 a good bit last season in Nordlingen. It definitely opened up different parts of my game compared to when I was in college.

Do you see yourself incorporating the three more into your game as you continue to grow as a professional player?
Yes definitely. It’s something that I spend a lot of time on, and at the professional level it is something that you need to be able to do consistently.

You’re a player that can do many things on the court, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed always on the court?
I would probably say my playmaking and passing abilities. In the past I’ve always had to be able to score the ball and secure rebounds for my team, but I think that my passing and playmaking go unnoticed some.

After a stellar high school career at Gainsville, you played at N Georgia (NCAA) from 2013-2018 playing a total of 101 games. How much did it mean for you to have been able to play college ball in your home state?

Just having the opportunity to play college basketball was enough for me, but having my family be able to come to my games and support me meant the most.

After a solid sophomore campaign where you averaged 13.3ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 45.7%, FT: 69.2%, you got injured in your junior season which ended after your second game. How tough was the rest of the season mentally getting back to 100% and just focusing on the next step?
I actually didn’t get to play a single game of my junior season due to a shoulder injury. It was the hardest thing I have had to endure throughout my basketball career. It was hard mentally coming back because I didn’t want to reinjure it, and I also wanted to continue to build on the moment that I had for myself after my sophomore year. 

You got going right from the first game your junior year, but you had a very good stretch early scoring 20 points or more against Lee, Paine and Augusta. How vital was this stretch for you in keeping that consistency the rest of the season
It was important because I set a standard for myself and I just tried to meet that standard every time that I stepped out on the court.

You had many great games in your senior year, but your two best scoring games of 30 against Belm Abbey and 28 against Lander resulted in close tough loses. Are those loses that will stick you with a while considering how well you contributed?
No, they don’t stick with me. It’s a long season and you just have to refocus and get ready for the next game and try to go get a win.

You averaged in double figures scoring in your last three years at N Georgia. How do you feel did your game grow in those years?

I felt like my game definitely grew because I had many different jobs out on the court. I learned that there are different ways to impact a game than just scoring. 

How did head coach Chris Faulkner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

I feel like Coach Faulkner helped me best by instilling confidence not only in myself, but also in my teammates as well. He also taught me that it is equally important how you display yourself off the court just as much as on the court,

Who won a one on one in practice you or Tyler Dominy?

We’ve had some good battles, but I normally got the better of him.

Who has been the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe?

Quinndary Witherspoon

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

Ish Hollis, Chris Tanzy, Lamar Richardson, AJ Johnson, Blake Sims

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

Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal

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

That’s tough. MJ was a killer, but LeBron was more of my generation, so I’d have to go with Bron

What was the last movie that you saw?

Crawl

Current Basketball Affairs With Pete Strobl Episode 7

Pete Strobl has been around the European basketball scene for 20 years having had a stellar professional basketball career and was an assistant coach for German easyCredit BBL team ratiopharm Ulm last season. Currently he is head coach of the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. He played at Niagara (NCAA) from 1997-2000 and then had a 9 year professional playing career that took him to countries like Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland. He founded The Scoring Factory in Pittsburgh and wrote a must read book called Backspin. He is a very interesting basketball mind that doesn´t shy away from speaking his mind especially on Twitter. German Hoops and Pete Strobl team up every month talking basketball with the title “Current basketball affairs with Pete Strobl. You can follow Pete Strobl on twitter @petestrobl

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Pete Strobl in 2019 in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt

Your team won a huge road game in Bonn. Did you feel pressure before that game? 

I have really big goals and I put a lot of pressure on myself. The win in Bonn was just as meaningful as every other win in terms of our team chasing a playoff spot. Before the season we announced making the playoffs as one of our goals and that obviously put a lot of pressure on our team, even from our own fan base. In retrospect, perhaps it might have been wiser to phrase it more judiciously in building support for a team returning with only two rotation players from the previous season. That’s just one part of growth and learning from situations. My concept of pressure can best be characterized by the phrase “Pressure makes diamonds”. I put myself under constant pressure to succeed because that’s how I’m wired. We’re all professionals and we are paid to be here. I’m glad that people have expectations because I do too. 

Has your philosophy changed this season with the addition of new players? 

My overall basketball philosophy is consistent, but of course the finer details of our approach and individual player roles have changed now that we’ve had a period of time together. Every coach starts the season with an idea of how he wants to play and builds a plan based on the available pieces on the roster. Ten months is a very long time and there’s a natural evolution teams experience during the course of a season. As you mentioned, some of our pieces have changed so obviously we’ve adapted out of necessity. The addition of Lucca Staiger has given us a boost in terms of having another experienced leader on the floor. Of course we’re working to make sure we use him to take full advantage of his strengths. I think people looking for immediate results can sometimes underestimate the value of continuity and keeping a group of core players together for multiple seasons. I don’t think it is a secret formula that some teams continue to be strong year after year because of their ability to keep key players together for more than a single season. 

What needs to change for Germany to be the best league in Europe? 

It’s interesting to look at where the league is now compared to 10 years ago. There have been remarkable improvements on every level. Players and agents respect the fact that you actually get what you agree to when signing a contract in Germany, even though the overall numbers might still be higher in other places. Therefore, the salaries need to increase to get and keep top-level players. This would hopefully result in better overall performance from all the German teams playing international competitions. Raising the overall profile would cause the cycle to continue and perhaps even snowball to a successful outcome. But that’s an easy short-term answer. Looking at it long-term, there needs to be a massive increase in the investments committed to youth basketball in order to develop more fans from the pool of family and friends. Over the coming years, as youth players filter into the professional ranks, there would naturally be an increased demand from these new fans of the game to insist on more basketball games being shown on TV. Sponsors will always put their money where they receive the most return on their investment. Basketball in Germany doesn’t need to compete with soccer, but it does have to claw its way into the mainstream. I think the process is already started, but there’s a lot more work to be done. 

John Murry Will Never Quit As His New Basketball Race Is Just Starting As He Waits To Seize The Moment

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and JOhnn Murry in Rhondorf in SEptember 2019

It was late summer 2019 as American John Murry was flapping his gums almost as wildly as Eddie Murphy can when he starts getting going in interviews. In an interview with me John Murry was excited in that he was finally set to show what he can do in Europe after his professional basketball career had stalled for years. But when he entered the Dragon Dome with his new Regionalliga team Grevernbrocich, he wasn´t in uniform, but was walking in street clothes and his head was almost at his feet as he was about as down as a kid is when he gets denied the newest episode of Paw Patrol. What made our first real live encounter even worse was that I mixed him up with teammate Jahad Thomas. I knew that John Murry was injured with a fifth metatarsal fracture and hadn´t expected him to make the trip, but he did. So we met and the whole time I was thinking he was Jahad Thomas while he was giving me these strange looks wondering what was up with me. It finally made click with me after a few moments, because then I remembered that Thomas was a lot bigger guy than Murry was. We conducted a little small talk and he got a bit more upbeat when he started talking about his return from injury being somewhere in the vicinity of early November, but that never happened. One of the most difficult things for any professional athlete is sitting on the bench and being totally helpless and not being able to help his team. Murry´s team New Elephants Grevenbroich had come to Rhondorf with a loss and things weren´t going any better in their second regular season game as the Dragons Rhondorf were led by Curtis Hollis´s 26 points and 11 boards and just couldn´t find an identity on defense against the home team. Murry watched with mixed feelings from the bench wanting to help so much, but then glancing down at his foot knowing that soon his time would come. After really being down and out the last few years as basketball didn´t sufficiently pay his bills or satisfy his mind in the least and on top of that personal issues also got in the way. But he finally got his big break at the end of April as he was signed by German Regionalliga team New Elephants Grevenbroich and he was ready to show all his doubters that he truly is the real deal. He knew that he could back up his words with basketball skills. “My killer mentality is what gives me the edge and I look to take full advantage. I have a mindset that is based on being unstoppable”, warned John Murry last summer. But for now that killer mentality and unstoppable mind set on the court will have to take a breather until he can make his debut which actually has been put back until January 2020. But instead of making his comeback with Grevenbroich, instead he was asked to look for a new team as his services weren´t needed anymore with the club. Murry is still waiting for his basketball race to continue, but there is hope as some teams have been showing interest.

            Murry who compares his game as a mix between a Paul George and Damian Lillard is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis who made the NCAA, but not without having to pay his dues first in JUCO and there being able to work his way up. But before making a name for himself in JUCO, he first had to test the waters at North Central High School. Whenever he stepped on the court for his high school, he knew that he had to keep the winning tradition of the school alive as many years before he had arrived there, some well known guys had set the standard there with NBA player Eric Gordon and guys like David Logan and Jason Gardner who had massive careers in Europe. “Those guys definitely are like big brothers who helped pave the way for not only myself but many others who came up along with me. I Talked to David Logan right after I signed, and he also played in Germany and he congratulated me and gave me some strong words of wisdom and how to adapt to the European life. Also, a big brother in my corner who helped me tremendously was Greg Foster who was another European pro who won championships and made a name for himself. I played with Eric Gordon and his AAU team when I was in high school and that brought us closer together as well. All influences from these people helped me mentally in getting where I am because this is not an easy game to play and without head strength it will be hard for any person to last years in this profession”, stressed John Murry. He had that mindset already instilled in high school, but the NCAA had to wait at first. He played two seasons at Owens CC(JUCO) and was on winning teams reaching two district finals, but getting that chip didn´t happen. “Honestly nothing that we could control kept us from getting there. An interesting story is both years we lost to a buzzer beater in the final seconds. When you talk about pain, nothing in life hurts more than getting your dreams of a championship crushed in the final seconds and you have nothing you can do about it, two back to back years. Both years my team was strong, smart, tough and came to compete every night, we lost a max of 6 or 7 games in 2 years. One of the best teams to go down in the history books, but those loses taught me a lot, I never look at things as losing I either win or I learn and that’s what got me past those memories to a higher level of competition”, warned John Murry. Having to take a step back going to Owens may have been hard at the time, but in the end, it was a time where he could really work on his game and develop without feeling unneeded pressure. “My game definitely grew a lot and it made my transition to the NCAA very smooth so smooth I was ready for action the first day I stepped on campus. Our very first D-1 open gym I didn’t lose a game, I scored or assisted on almost every point and was playing at such a high level I had never played before. I got to my spots and got any shot or play that I wanted I was unstoppable, it really showed how much hard work I had put in over the summer”, added John Murry.

            After two years of paying his dues in the JUCO, he finally made the step to the NCAA and joined Austin Peay in 2015. Here he would continue to tweak his game and made a huge jump scoring wise between his junior and senior years going form 5,7ppg to 16,7ppg. This was another time where he proved that with hard work and dedication that he could continue to develop his game at the next level. He finally got the opportunity to showcase his skills and he didn´t disappoint anyone. “ In conference play I averaged 20ppg and was second in player of the year voting and it all came from confidence and being comfortable on the floor. It got to a point where it felt like everything I threw in the air was going to fall in the net, no rim! There is nothing like being completely free on the court and that’s what happened to me. I was able to just play my game without having any restrictions and have fun, with those things in play the sky is the limit of how good I can really be”, warned John Murry. He did make the big dance as a senior which belonged to his biggest achievements in school, but winning the 2016 OVC title beating competitive schools Belmont and Tennessee-Martin definitely was up on his list of most memorable experiences at Austin Peay. “It was the best weekend of my life in college. I hit a game winner against Tennessee State to play Belmont in the next round and that feeling was unbelievable (that video is on youtube under my highlights). A full weekend of games, no classes, on national TV with the entire fan section behind because we were the underdogs, we made history with that championship and it felt so good. I still talk about winning that ring till this day. There is almost nothing in this world that compares to being a champion coming from the bottom and everybody is voted against you. I love it and enjoyed every second of that weekend”, explained John Murry. In between winning titles, he also remembers slapping SE Missouri State for 33 points. “That was definitely one of my best games, but I think the best one may have been a couple games before that when I had 35 against eastern Illinois at home. I was really in a zone the entire game. I loved both of those game because we were down for most of the game and came back to win both of them”, added John Murry.

            Only a few years earlier when he was putting in the extra time late at night at Owens(JUCO) never giving up his dream of one day playing in the NCAA, some may have laughed if he had proclaimed then that one day he would face off against Powerhouse school Kentucky, but it actually became reality when he was at Austin Peay. It then happened not in a regular season game, but in the NCAA tournament which also turned out to be his last NCAA game. Murry gave his all never backing down against the immense talent of future NBA players like Frank Mason, Wayne Seldon and Cheick Diallo. Kentucky were the favorite and were able to play their game and win easily 105-79. The American finished the day with 13 points in 18 minutes and many many memories from just this game that he surely will be able to tell his grand children in detail one day. “Those memories last a lifetime, from walking into the arena and people asking for autographs to the final buzzer sound. I have memories of me going against Wayne Seldon and me thinking in my head he can’t guard me. No matter who is in front of me I always think they have no chance of stopping me. I remember going against Cheick Diallo who was a rim protector and finishing over the top of him going towards the rim, that was a legendary moment for me because he was projected an early pick at that time and was one of the best shot blockers in that conference, for me to finish through him was a moment I will never forget. I believe I made a free throw in that game and my confidence was through the roof off of just one free throw. I remember guarding Wayne Seldom and Frank Mason and it put into my head I can play in the NBA if this is what the future players in the NBA look like, and I still believe I’ll get to the NBA. In fact, in those games I was actually more skilled then some of them but some of them had a weight advantage and mindset of a pro that our team hadn’t tapped into collectively just yet. Playing those guys actually sparked the fire inside my head of “John you can get to the NBA” and since then that has been the end goal and I have put in overtime to get to that goal. After watching that game, I felt like I looked good and could easily make an NBA roster with a few polishes on my game and a strong agency behind my name coming from a mid-major d1 program”, said John Murry.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry in Rhondorf in 2019

            But as is so often the case in the sometimes very cold and competitive basketball world, reality does rear it´s ugly head through the basketball netting as wanting and actually getting is about as far away as it is for the New York Knicks attaining the 2020 NBA title. Instead of finding himself on a jet airplane on the way to Europe in the late summer of 2016, he was at home struggling to find a job. Despite having a stellar senior year at Austin Peay, there was minimal interest. One can see sometimes just how cruel and unfair the whole basketball transfer period is when there is a player like John Murry who proved day in and day out that he could compete with the best players in the country, but in the end it was coming from a less known school, weaker conference and hot having legit representation that disallowed him from getting  a real fair chance in Europe. Instead he was toiling around in Canada and when looking back wasting his precious time. The only good thing about the unfortunate experience, was that his chip got bigger on his shoulder and that fire within him burned greater, because he had the continued drive to work hard and get better. In two seasons he was briefly with the Saint John Riptide (Canada-NBL Canada) and played three games with the  Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (Canada-NBL Canada). The NBL is a league that has gained more and more with respectability over the years and it was a real shame that he was overlooked and just not given the chance that he deserved. “Looking back on those seasons, coaches really didn’t give me a clue as to what was going on, I feel like some wanted veteran experience and others just didn’t have an idea, I showed out as I do at every level I played at and just got better and took those as learning lessons. I became the best version and continued to get better every day. One thing I never did was let those experiences break me as a person”, expressed John Murry.

            Even if the Canada ordeal must have felt like an eternity, he never did like a dog and hid his head in the sand, but just kept chipping away continuing to work on his game and also look for new opportunities that would continue his basketball dream. In the summer of 2018, he was able to take part at the well known Scorers 1st Showcase – Pro Basketball Exposure in Las Vegas which is put on each summer by German agent Gerrit Kersten Thiele. He also played with Team Minnesota at the Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas and put on a show in 4 games averaging 25,0ppg, 3,8rpg and 1,0apg. Being able to exhibit his game paved the road to his long journey to Germany. “It played a huge role in my career, me going out there experiencing real pro’s, being around professional coaches, and GM’s and just learning how the game goes. It was very important for me to go out there and put up those numbers so people could see who John Murry really is and what I’m about”, stressed John Murry. The doors didn´t open up to Europe right away, but he continued to live the life of a professional even if it was only semi-pro ball in the States, You have to start somewhere and that place was with the Fort Wayne Flite (CBA). Here he got another chance to prove himself and gained valuable self confidence. “The biggest benefit for me was learning a different pace and tempo learning how to slow down and process the game at different speeds while scoring the ball efficiently and looking for different areas to accelerate my game. I played behind a coach that believed in me and a mentor on the side that kept me on my toes at all times. It opened my eyes up to what I can do at a high level going into this season”, commented John Murry.

            Murry finally got overseas and signed a contract with German Regionalliga team New Elephants Grevenbroich, but would never play a single second for the team.  A nasty foot injury derailed his debut in Germany, but been delayed as it has been worse than what doctors thought. The American has had much time now to wonder at first how his first few possessions would be like as he was under the impression once he was healed again, he would play. He had enough time to rehab the right way and not come back to early. He remembers what it felt like when he signed the contract. “The feeling that I got in my body was incomparable and almost impossible to put into words. I received a call at my place of employment at the time and seconds later the contract was in my email. There wasn’t a better feeling that I have had in my life more recently then to look in my email and see that all I had to do was sign my name and I was onto a better life. I wanted to shout, scream, jump, dance, call somebody. It was so many things going through my head at the time I couldn’t even think straight I was just so happy that the last few years of struggle and pain I had been through had finally paid off”, stressed John Murry. He was also fortunate that his new coach Jason Price had received a tip from someone that he was the real deal. “Words can’t describe how thankful I am for my guy Jason, We saw each other in Vegas and had a real connection after he saw me play and things took off from there. He is a real down to earth guy and definitely showed what a man of his word is all about. I feel like we are going to do really big things this upcoming season”, warned John Murry back in the summer of 2019.

            It Would have been nice to see what John Murry would have been capable of doing in the Regionalliga. The league is mainly dominated by strong American guards who know how to put points on the board. He whould have fit in nicely and felt comfortable right away. As is often the case with American players especially one´s that have huge chips on their shoulders and are exploding to finally show their skills, self confidence is usually never lacking, but as potent as a Steph Curry trey in crunch-time. “I’m so confident in my ability and the work that I have put in to not only be a top player but the top player in the league. I love the game so much and am a student of the game to the point I never think I’m too good. I can always get better which keeps me going higher and higher to be the best player I can be and as I always tell myself one of the best players in the world”, warned John Murryin the summer of 2019. His scoring won´t surprise anyone when he finally jumps on the court again, but another strong trait in his game may. “I feel like my athleticism will surprise a lot of people when they see me play. The fact that I can react to certain things so fast, get off the ground so quickly and have sneaky bounce off one foot or two feet going downhill may turn a lot of heads in an amazing way”, added John Murry. He is a guy that can fill the stat sheet at ease, but also wants to help his team win with big plays. He wants the world to finally notice this aspect of his game more. “My ability to close out games and hit big shots, I love having the ball in my hands with seconds left to go in the game, down by whatever amount of points and sending guys home with a L. I also have a motor that I play with that doesn’t stop, I can keep going and going which would surprise a lot of people at the pace I can keep that up”, added John Murry. Despite his annoying injury, he also hopes that the area´s of his game that he worked on last summer to improve his game will also show once he is back with a new team “I really worked on passes and making decisions in tight spaces, I also worked on shooting the deep three consistently while being tired, so I have legs to still make shots late in games. I’ve been in the weight room diligently working on my weaknesses and taking care of my body as well”, stressed John Murry.

            The last months were very tough for the American waiting to get healthy again and believing that he would finally play his first minutes with the Grevenbrocih club. “Mentally it is very tough seeing your team in need and not being able to do anything about it. But I look at the positive and go day by day and see how bad it´s going to be for the opponent in front of me. It´s going to be trouble for the defender”, smiled John Murry in the summer of 2019. There isn´t a day where he doesn´t remember how tough it was to finally get through the basketball door in Europe. There isn´t a day where he won´t ask himself this question. “ How can a guy who averaged 16,7ppg as a senior for NCAA school Austin Peay have to wait three years to get a solid steady professional basketball job? “These last two years where some of the hardest times I have ever had in my life. It was a point where everything in my life was messed up, I was so hurt mentally and emotionally my mind was on a rollercoaster every day. Dealing with the absence of basketball, personal life issues, and everyday priorities it was enough to try and break me, but one thing I never stopped doing was working towards my goal. I was down bad to my last mentally and financially and invested everything I had left into myself and my workout plan. I refused to give up no matter what I went through. Coming from averaging almost 20ppg in college to sitting in games where I know I was better than the guys that played instead of me hurt me to my soul, then not being able to play at all professionally for some time killed me even more. Nevertheless I used that and everything anybody had ever done wrong to me as fuel to my fire. I would literally be in workouts like, okay he/she lied to me lets kick it up two notches, I got cut let’s kick it up two notches, you think I’m not good enough lets kick it up two notches, I did everything in my power to grind my way out of the crap that I was in, the one thing that kept me going was my mom and her routine and every day when I was younger. I never seen her quit or give up. She was in a race that challenged her at her age not to long ago and something happened to her health and she couldn’t finish I went to check on her and the first things that came out of her mouth where “I’m going back next session to finish my race” its that competitive, never quit no matter attitude that she passed on to me that kept me pushing past all negativity throughout those rough two years”, stressed John Murry. The American will be starting over again after this injury somewhere as he currently has some interest from clubs just like he had to begin from scratch at Owens CC(JUCO). John Murry is a warrior and nobody wants to mess with his chip on his shoulder that continues to grow daily. “The chip is enormous but nevertheless something that I am used to at this point. I love it because I love to prove people wrong and I also am good at making something out of nothing like you seen coming from JUCO that’s something that I never see especially in the area where I am from. I do believe that this will be a great opportunity that I will take full advantage of and supersede all expectations of me and more. The fact that I’ve been waiting on this for so long will keep the fuel fired up in me and never let me take this chance for granted as well as soak up every piece of knowledge I can. Me and my guys back home call it “seize the moment” I’ll show how good I am and where I deserve to be just like I did in the beginning of my career”, warned John Murry in the summer of 2019. The American has been a relentless warrior for years and this new set back with Grevenbrocih hasn´t ruffled his feathers in the least. I am confident he will be back, if not in the stretch run now, then next season. John Murry will never quit as his basketball race continues to be a long one, but always on the go as he patiently waits for the next opportunity to finally seize the moment.

The Miles Basketball Minute With Curtis Hollis Volume 16

Curtis Hollis is a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that is playing his first season overseas and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf currently averaging 22,4ppg,8,2rpg,3,8apg and 3,1spg. He began his career at Mansfield Summit High School. In 2017-2018 he played with Hutchinson CC (JUCO) playing 34 games averaging 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 66.3%. In 2018 he played in Lavar Ball’s new league with the Houston Ballers (JBL) playing 7 games: Score-5 (29.3ppg), 11.3rpg, 5.3apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 71.8%. He and I team up every week to talk basketball in the Miles basketball minute. 

Thanks Curtis for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the big 102-84 victory over the Brington Ballers Ibbenburen. How good does it feel to be 2-0 in 2020 and how important was the break for the whole club?


It feels good to be 2-0 winning is always good. The break was very important for the club. We got to get away for a few weeks and refresh so that was good as well.

What were you thinking at halftime when the team had put up 64 points which was almost as muchas you scored in the loss in Ibbenburen in 40 minutes. Were you surprised of how Ibbenburen played or was it just one of those days where nothing worked the way they wanted to?

I was thinking we have to finish out the game 1 half means nothing. I wasn’t surprised We are a really good team we can do that to people. We just have to trying to put full games together.

Alex Dohms said that head coach Yassin Idbihi changed up some things during the break on the defensive end. Talk a little about the adjustments that have been made and how it has helped the Dragons game?


We just tried to mix it up on defense. We are playing stuff a different way to see if it works better. It helps our game because teams are seeing a new look so it’s tough to adjust for them.

With two wins in 2020, how are the Dragons Rhondorf a better team now then they were before Christmas?


We just try to get better every day. We have the talent people know that. We just have to put it all together.

Anish Sharda had a game to remember with 21 points, pin point passes a buzzer beater and scoring the 100th point. He scored 28 points earlier in the season, but was the last game against Ibbenburen his best game this season?


I guess you could say that. I saw he missed 1 shot maybe? You know Anish is a vet he gets it he understands so I’m never really surprised when he plays well.

What was your impression of Marco Porcher Jimenez who scored 25 points. The way he played with confidence reminded me a bit of your game:


He was good. Could shoot and was aggressive.

The next game is against BBG Herford who you lost to 97-91 earlier in the season. How excited are you for getting revenge and what will be key to getting the win this season?


I am Very excited for this game but focused. This is another big game for us back to back so we have to be ready. A key will be we have to stop them in transition.

You came into the game shooting over 40% from downtown. How peeved off are you going 0/4 and will your shoot more this week so you get back on track in the game against Herford


Not that much bothered. Just going to keep working and keep shooting they will fall.

With the presence of Gabriel De Olveira back in the paint, how much easier does he make your game especially on the transition?


It makes it easy for me because he opens up so much. Sets good screens and in transition he really runs the floor so I try to find him as much as I can.

Recently Luka Doncic had 9 triple doubles while the rest of the NBA only had 8. What kind of a value does this have at this stage of Donic’s career?


A lot of value. He’s a star!! Crazy what he’s doing.

An NBA expert that I can’t remember who it is recently said that as soon as Luka Doncic gets selfish on the court, his game is really going to get scary. Do you agree with that?


Yes. The Mavericks need to put some pieces around him so he can’t get doubled every game then he can really start killing.

What was the last movie that you saw?


Malcolm X.

Thanks Curtis for the chat.

Having Had To Press The Reset Button So Often Should Help Daniel Norl(PS Karlsruhe) On his Professional Journey

Daniel Norl is a 188cm guard from Clarksville, Tennessee that is playing his second professional season and first with PS Karlsruhe averaging 9,1ppg, 1,6rpg and 1,6apg. He socred 23 points against Trier and 18 points against Schwenningen.. Last season as a rookie he played with Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He began his basketball career at Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 9 game averaging 1.3ppg. In 2015-2016 he moved to Mineral Area CC (JUCO) playing 31 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 77.5%. He finished at Omaha (NCAA) playing 29 games as a junior averaging 5.6ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 80.0% and as a senior at Omaha (NCAA) upped his stats playing 30 games averaging 13.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com last summer about his basketball career.

Daniel thanks for talking to germanhoops.com  After playing your rookie season in Great Britain, what were your main goals of going into the transfer period in your second season? Playing in the British BBL is a good place to start your professional basketball career.

Cheshire was the best move for me as a rookie. My agent thought the same thing. My goals are to work on my ball handling and shooting off the dribble as well as my playmaking and  getting my teammates involved. I also want to be the best teammate possible.

You ended up signing with German Pro A team PS Karlsruhe. What were the main reasons for joining this team?

The reasons I joined was because the Pro A is a good league. The main reason was the coach. He showed interest from the start. He had plans for me. He was one of the few coaches that saw something in me personally from the jump and that was very important for me.

I can imagine that you were told about the massive growth the team has made in the last 4 years moving from the Regionalliga to the Pro B and becoming a playoff team in the Pro A. How enticing is it for you to strap on the jersey of this very ambitious club?

It´s a great opportunity and I´m blessed. It is important as a player to help keep building that success. I´m very excited to be a part of that growth.

Talk a bit about your backround. You grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, but also have the German citizenship. What are exactly your ties to Germany?

I moved to Tennessee when I was 4. I was born in Wurzburg and lived there for 4 years. My mom is German. My older siblings were raised in Germany. I recently went to Germany this past Christmas and saw my family. I can´t speak it to well, but I can understand it pretty well.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Have you had any friends or former teammates or opponents play here?

I know a few guys that have played in the BBL and some guys from the UK that have recently signed there. I don´t know too much about the basketball there. I´m more of a person where when I´m there I´m focused on it, but if I´m not there yet I won´t be that focused on it yet. But when I get to Germany I will check it out. I´m really looking forward to this experience.

After playing a very solid rookie season in the UK with the Cheshire Phoenix, what are your main goals as a player. In what area´s of your game do you want to shine with PS Karlsruhe?

This year I want to prove people I can really play the point guard. I am a scoring point guard, but I try to make the right play for the team. I´m a team first guy, but at the same time be as aggressive and consistent from start to finish. I showed the ability to score last season and want to continue to that this season and make other improvements in my player.

Let´s talk about your game. You’re a 188cm combo guard that can do a lot of things on the court. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I´m not sure. My favorite player of all-time is Dwayne Wade. When I was younger, I always tried to model my game after him. When I was younger, I was more of a shooter, a guy that liked to catch and shoot. I have gotten comparisons to Donovan Mitchell and Deron Williams. I also have gotten D Wayde, but I´m obviously not there yet. I try to take things not only from their games and implement into mine, but also from guys I have played with and against in my career.

You are a very strong offensive player. Your rookie coach at Cheshire coach Thomas stated that you can punish the defense in a variety of ways. Talk a bit about how lethal your offensive game is?

I take what the defense gives me and like to penetrate and make a play. If you give me the space, I will shoot it. If my defender and help step up, I will dish it off. I just try and make the right play every time. That is how I have always played the game.

You been a very consistent three point shooter in the last years keeping high percentages. Do you feel that your shot will grow more with extended reps or raising your IQ as a player with the right shot selection?

Yes I think shot selection is important, but for me it´s more mental. I have had games where I have shot the lights out and then I have had games where I haven´t shot it well. Obviously getting the reps is important, but mentally it´s also a big part to being able to shoot well.

You are also a passionate defender. Do you feel like you are a player at times that gets his offense rolling through great defense?

Yes I do. I do it to a certain extent. I had coaches in the past who have preached that if you can´t defend, you won´t play for me. Each team needs a good defender and a guy who is willing to play hard. I always want to defend well. That is my competitive nature. I also think that If you focus on defense and the smaller things that the offense just comes. I also like to control the things that I can and I can do that playing defense.

You’re a guy that can fill the state sheet at ease, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?

I´m not to sure. I thin k it is my playmaking and making the right play. That sometimes gets overlooked. I need to be more aggressive, but like I said before it is important for me to get my teammates involved and just make the right play. My defense also at times gets overlooked. I don´t get a lot of steals or blocks and my defense doesn´t show up on the stat sheet. I move my feet well and stay in front of my game and just play hard.

On what things are you working on most this summer so you will be 100% ready to compete in the German Pro A?

I´m always working on ball handling and shooting. It was important for me this summer to get back to basics. Last summer I was trying to improve in area´s like my moves where I looked good. Now with a year under my belt, I learned last season in the UK that there are a lot of players that have the basic good moves.

You played your rookie season with Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?

I was used to it. In college I was 12 hours away from home. College helped me adapt to my rookie season. Overseas is always a little different. The biggest wake up call for me was off the court with the time change and making the transition with having my friends away from me. On the court the biggest wake up call was being a rookie and playing right away. I wanted to be able to learn from the older guys right away and I think I did. Playing a major role as a rookie helped me gain experience that I needed on the court.

You grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee a city that has bred many professional athletes and from the world of basketball with the most well known Shawn Marion Is this fact something you knew about growing up or did you not pay so much attention to that?

Shawn Marion was talked around here. The main fact about him was that he never returned back and showed love to his city. He never reclaimed the city from where he came from. People around here don´t care too much for him. The biggest thing that I took from this was always show love for your city. No matter how far you go come back and show your face and support it. That is what I try to do.

How beneficial do you feel was it for your overall game having had the opportunity to play at schools  Eastern Kentucky (NCAA), Mineral Area CC (JUCO) and Omaha (NCAA). How do you feel were you able to develop better as a player than having only had a four year experience at one school?

This is a phenomenal question. This was huge. This was almost like life changing for me being able to transfer and play at three schools. Idealy I always wanted to play at a four year school where I could grow in one system and under a coach, but that wasn´t the case for me. What I did was challenging for me mentally because I always felt like I had to hit a reset button. I´m a creature of habit and was able to adjust to different playing styles, coaches and teammates. It was difficult at times, but at the same it helped me pursuvere. I think that having done this will help me for my journey as a professional player.

You began your NCAA career at Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 9 games averaging 1.3ppg. How tough was your freshman season. Despite not playing much, now looking back what benefits could you take from this year?

My biggest wake up call was going there. I saw how much it is a business. On my visit there, they told me about the big role I would get. Midway through the season my teammates tried to uplift me telling me not to be discouraged telling me that coach doesn´t play freshmen. That is when the truth came out. I had to learn there to stick with it. No matter what you are going through you have to keep working and grinding. I kept going to the gym and working hard with the knowledge that continuing to do this will pay off one day. I was glad to experience this at a young age.

There you were teammates with Corey Walden who has gone on to have a stellar professional career. What memories do you have of him and what do you remember standing out most in his game and could you soak anything up from his play?

I just remember him being a tough guy. He was coachable, but not so much of a talkative guy. But when something had to be done, he always led by example. He was a phenomenal player and a three level scorer. What I remember most was that he was a leader. He played with so much confidence. It was fun to watch.

After not playing much as a freshman, you took a step back and played with Mineral Area CC (JUCO) playing 31 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 77.5%. How important was it for you taking this route and how do you feel did it prepare you better for the NCAA with Omaha?

By the end of my freshman year, I actually didn´t want to transfer. I had stuck it out and had enjoyed coach Barrow. But coach then left and signed with Fordham. The new coach didn´t like me and didn´t think I was a good player which was discouraging. I just wanted to go somewhere where I could play. I wanted to play for a coach that believed me. I think leaving E Kentucky was the most important decision that I made. Going to Mineral Area gave other NCAA schools the chance to recruit me. I pushed the reset button again. Omaha saw talent in me

You finished at Omaha making a big leap between your junior and senior seasons improving your scoring from 5.6ppg to 13,0ppg. How do you feel did your game develop in your senior year?

We were really talented in my senior year. I played behind a G-league guard and beside a high level overseas professional. My junior year I was just trying to get minutes, fit in and play my role. My role wasn´t to be a heavy scorer, but just to make plays and have that winning mentality. My role changed my senior year. I was more of a scorer and leader of the team. I had to be an all around better player and best defender on the team. I gained the confidence to up my level of play.

You had a tough senior year losing more than you won. You had many tough loses like back to back loses to Tenn Tech and Jackson State by a combined three points. Was one of your more memorable games when you scored 16 points in the 75-73 win over Drake?

There were many memorable games. That year was tough, because we had a lot of injuries. Our roster was often short and coach tried to do the best job that he could. Almost beating Louisville was memorable as they pulled away at the end. The Drake game was also fun. Losing so many close games helped me pay attention more to the little plays. One turnover or steal could mean the game for you.

How did head coach Darrin Hansen groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He is a great coach. He is a cool dude and down to earth. At the same time he made sure I stayed on top of my stuff. He challenged me to be a good leader and rise to the occasion. I also remember before I went overseas that he told me that I would have control over situations. That is a conversation I will never forget.

Who won a one on one in practice you or KJ Robinson?

I don´t remember playing against him, but I definitely will take myself.

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

Not sure. I played against many great players. I played against Devon Booker, Karl Anthony Towns, Deangelo Russell, and Devonte Graham. It was always a fun match up.

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

Lagry Harrison, My little brother, Zach Jackson, Disraeli Lufadeju, Louis Sayers

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

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James and Bill Russell

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

I hate the question, but I am set on Lebron. He is the best because I think he is the best all-around player of all-time. Jordan had the better teams of that era. Winning championships is a team thing.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Stranger Things 3

Thanks Daniel for the chat.