Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Keeping His Follow Through Up And Not Jerking It So Quickly Helped Jaleen Smith Improve His Outside Shooting

Jaleen Smith is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that completed his second season in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. He will play this season in the easyCredit BBL with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. In his rookie season with Heidelberg he averaged 7,6ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,9apg. He had a stellar four year career with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He spoke to at the end of the 2018-2019 season.

Jaleen thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball treating you at the moment? 

I went to Berlin and Amsterdam after our season was over. The season was great I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

What was the first eatery that you visited first upon arrival back home in the States?

I had Qudoba whenever I landed in Atlanta.

Congrats on the great season in Heidelberg. With what emotions did you say farewell to the season? On the one hand the team achieved so much, but on the other hand just missed reaching the final.

I couldn’t believe the season was over. I felt like we could’ve made it further, but we ran into a really good team in Nurnberg. I couldn’t be more proud how we did this season either.

You split the season series with Nurnberg and lost 3-1 in the playoffs. What is your semi-final playoff summary?

I believe this is a series that many in Heidelberg will remember as being one where the Academics didn’t take advantage off enough. I feel like they played more physical this us. We had the talent but they were more physical.

I believe the turning point was game three. Heidelberg let that game get away. What do you feel really cost you this game the most?

That game 3 I remember I started off the 4th quarter with 2 straight air balls, so I would say I felt the weight of losing game 3 on me.

What did you respect the most about the Nurnberg Falcons this season? This is a team that nobody except people in Nurnberg would have had the audacity to proclaim months ago that they would move up.

They stayed with the grind of the season and had a streak 13 game winning streak during the season.

Let’s talk about the whole season. The MLP Academics were 7-6 at the start of December. How vital was it closing out 2018 with that three game winning streak that included a big win against Hamburg. 

The season going into the new year kind of reminded me of last season with the team going into the new year barely above .500 then we have a great 2nd half of the season.

You had two tough crunch-time loses to Trier and PS Karlsruhe at the end of the regular season. Were those loses like a blessing in disguise letting the team know that there was playoff business coming up. You easily disposed of pesky Ehingen by an average of 14 points in the three game series.

Those type of loses only can make you stronger not only as a player but also as a team. 

What really impressed me about the MLP Academics this season was their consistency despite not having a deep rotation like many other Pro A teams. What was the secret to the success and was there a special mentality that continued to grow during the season that allowed the team to be so successful?

When you have guys that buy into what the coach does then everyone is working together. I felt the chemistry of the team get better and better as the season went on. 

What made it so special to play for the MLP Academics Heidelberg for a second season? Did you notice that that the basketball culture is continuing to grow in there and that something special is happening?

Man, it felt just like home I know where everything was and I already had my favorite restaurants in town so that was great. The home games started to get more people in the stands and you can notice it. 

The MLP Academics had many season highlights. Was it possibly sweeping the Hamburg Towers or beating Chemnitz or was it something else?

I think making it to the semifinals was a big highlight of the season.

One of the real great and seemingly underrated coaches in Germany is coach Frenki. Please talk about how important he has been to the new winning culture in Heidelberg?

He just a confidence booster as a coach. He sees something in you and hell bring out the best in your game. He really is underrated in the league.

Let’s talk about your teammates. For many in Heidelberg Shy Ely was an MVP candidate. Most of the Pro A players I interviewed after this season stated as him being their toughest cover. How vital was he for the success of the team?

When things got tough for us, you can rely on him to get us out of anything. Shy can score from anywhere. I still have to say he is the toughest guard I’ve matched up against.

Last year you said this about Niklas Wurzner after being his teammate. ‘Nikki turned himself into the floor general of our team. If you watched our games, you can just see it. He’s going be really good in a year or 2 so be on the lookout for him. He just has a great feel for the game. He plays at his own pace and doesn’t let the defense dictate how the game going to be played. I feel his passing got more and more better as the season went on. More like his vision on the court was through the roof. He could see everything in front of him or behind him’. How did you see his development continue in your second year?

He has been the rock for us this year he’s been consistent all season. I feel like if he works on his jump shot over this summer he’s going be a problem for the league.

How vital was it having the experienced versatile forward Dan Oppland on the team. He was in semi retirement but was coaxed out of it. How did his game and presence give the team a whole new dimension?

His experience helped big time with the team. He gave me advice on how to move without the ball as well. 

Last season you stated this about veteran Eric Palm. ‘It was great having Eric, he taught me a lot of stuff that I will carry with me for a long time. He didn’t just teach me shooting tips but more importantly he taught me how to move without the ball. Just learning when to cut on offense. Having him come in was such a joy and a great pick up for the team’. What new things could you soak up from him in your second season as teammates?

Just learning how to catch and shoot better. If you ever watch our games Eric can make some really tough shots. I just watch how he does it in practice and the game.

How key was it having that added German veteran Philipp Heyden on the team. How did his 9 years of BBL experience show on the court best?

Phil gave us scoring from the post and mid-range. He showed us how effective a screen can be when it is set solid. He was the fire of the team with his emotion for the game.

Let’s talk about your game. You improved your minutes and scoring averages. In your first season it was tough being on the court only half of the game instead of the whole game like in school. How much better did it feel playing 28 minutes per game this season?

The more I played I knew I had to contribute someway on the court. Going into year 2 with the team I wanted to be more aggressive with the ball. I just wanted to give them another scoring option.

You averaged 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg, 2,7 apg and 1,5spg while just missing the 40% mark from outside at 39,7% How content were you with your season?

I felt like I’ve could’ve done more this season. I sometimes would just be in the game just to be in the game. I can always get better from the season and I need to develop a killer mentality. Just have to win every match I have whether that’s practice or the game. I have to be better at staying aggressive.

In our last interview you stated that ‘Just doing the little things for my team. Just doing the dirty work to help my team win games. Also learning all aspects of the defense like on and off ball defense. How do you feel did your game progress in your second season in Germany?

Going against guys like the guards we have in practice you’re only going to get better. I have more knowledge from being on the help side on defense this second season. 

You upped your outside shooting from 33% to 39%. Last season you stated that confidence would be huge this season. What besides believing in your self helped you shoot better?

I started my shooting pocket higher to have a quicker release. Also, keeping my follow through up and not jerking it so quickly.

What was your personal season highlight on the court? Possibly your 26 point explosion against Kirchheim or 23 point effort against Chemnitz or was it another?

I would have to say the 23 points against Chemnitz because it was my girls just got into town for that game and I balled out.

What is the next step for you? I can imagine that you will want to stay in Heidelberg.

I just want to explore my options right now. Coming off the season I had I just want to see what else is out there.

On what things will you be working on the lab this summer to continue to improve your game?

I’m trying to get stronger and get my shot more consistent. I also want to work on my hops but well see how that goes haha.

Please name your five all-time best teammates in college and pro’s

Tanner Leissner
Ronnel Jordan
Niklas Ney
Eric Palm
Dan Oppland

It’s still so early, but when all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA? 

He can be he had a really great season with the Mavericks this past season. Next season him and Porzingis going to be trouble for other teams.

What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time? 

You have to aim high on yourself. Why wouldn’t he say he’s the greatest of all time?

Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?

I fell he maybe is he’s changing the game of football on how its being played.

Tom Brady won sixth Super Bowl. Where will he be if he wins a seventh next season?

He would still be the GOAT of GOATs in my opinion.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

I just seen John Wick 3. John is a baaaaaaaddddddddd man.

Thanks Jaleen for the chat

Hansi Gnad Gave Nino Celebic The Needed Freedom On The Court To Be Successful

Nino Celebic is a 27 year old 191cm guard from Serbia playing his second professional season in Germany and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He has been an important reason for the team’s 10-0 start currently averaging 10,9ppg,1,1rpg and 3,4apg. He began his career with BC Mega Aqua Monta Beograd junior team and played many years in his home land before coming to Germany in 2016 where he practiced a season with Pro A team Hamburg Towers. Last season he celebrated his break through in Germany with SC Rist Wedel (Germany-ProB) playing 27 games averaging 14.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 79.6%. He spoke to at the end of the season.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Nino Celebic after steering 16 points for the 87-70 Bayer Giants Leverkusen win in Frankfurt

Nino thanks for talking to Before we get to the incredible season, I have to ask you about your stomach. When you touch back down at home what will be the first eatery that you will visit? 

First I’m gonna visit my mom! This was for her and then we are going to have a great dinner in my favorite restaurant TORO

Congrats on winning the 2019 Pro B title. How good does it feel winning the title and where does this rank in your basketball career highlights?

Thank you . I’ve never had this kind of season. 21-1 regular season and 9-1 playoffs and this is for sure the most successful season for me. . Feeling is great man,something really special. For sure the most successful year in last 5 years for me.

How was the celebrations? Did the team do something special afterwards? Was there anything you learned about certain teammates in the celebration that you never would have dreamed of?

We stayed after in our gym to celebrate with our fans. It was really beautiful. Honestly everyone got crazy after

It was the first time that the arena was sold out since the legendary game 5 against Frankfurt in 2008 which I luckily was at. Please describe the atmosphere and what your feelings were after the buzzer sounded?

I heard about that and I am extremely happy we did it for a first time since 2008. In one moment I had a feeling that I am playing in Belgrade in Pionir. Everyone who knows something about basketball knows what kind of fans we have there, and our fans did it on that way

After Munster played you tough in game one, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen came home and destroyed them. Was there anything special that head coach Hansi Gnad stressed before the game or was it pretty clear after a 28-2 season what had to be done?

Was clear. We had our rules during the season, and we knew how we have to play the second game and how we were going to win

The Bayer Giants Leverkusen played a great game 2 at home hitting 11 three’s and outrebounding Munster by 26. How much fun was it playing this game at home and what will you always remember from it?

Rebounding was a key of the game for sure. Everything was special. We had an amazing season this year and playing finals was I would like to say ‘our last dance’ ,we had great game ,full arena since 2008,we all play for those moments so I will remember it forever.

Let’s talk about the season. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen came out strong and finished consistently until the end. Is this the greatest team that you have been a part of in your career?

I can’t answer is it the best team I ever had in my career, but I can say this team was special. This was a real TEAM.

You stressed in our first interview this about the secret of the success. ‘We are just pushing each other all the time in practice. Me as a PG, I am always trying to talk with my big guys and trying to explain then how important it is to control the rebound , so far they are doing a really great job. I am happy for them’. How do you feel was the team able to grow from the start to the end of the season?

Of course ,at the end we show to everyone how good we are as a team. We grew every single game.

It is never easy to have such a consistent season after teams keep gunning for you each weekend and the pressure builds. What was most key for the team being able to cope with the building pressure week in and week out?

If you want to be successful all the time during the season which is hard you have to agree that you have to practice hard every day,every week every year. That was the main reason why we had this kind of season plus our chemistry.

Obviously the team chemistry was huge, but what part of the team’s game do you feel improved most over the course of the season?

Sharing the ball. If you take a look at the stats, you can see best scorers are with 12 and 11p per game,that was our biggest strength.

The team had so many massive highlights during the season like the 103-101 win over Giessen, the exciting 94-92 playoff win over Schwelm or the crazy come from behind win in Bernau 101-97. What was your personal favorite team moment?

Semifinals in Berlin. If you agree with me that was absolutely insane come back

You stated this about head coach Hansi Gnad in our last interview. ‘Hansi is a different guy, he really is. He wants to win every game that’s his mentality. If he continue like this, he can put this club on a high level again. I really believe in that’. How do you feel did he grow further as a coach this season?

Of course ,if you see our rotation during the game who is doing that? Some young players had a big roll in this team especially in playoffs. In our team everyone had their minutes. That was because of Hansi,he was a guy who create this

What was your most special moment with Hansi Gnad this season. Was there a specific tip he gave you on or off the court where you will be forever grateful for?

He recognized what kind of effort I am putting every practice and every game for this team. He believed in me during the season. He knew what I can bring here and he gave me a freedom to talk with the guys and maybe change some small things if it’s necessary. I’ll be always grateful for that.

Let’s talk about your teammates. You stressed this about Nick Hornsby in our last interview? Nick is a guy who is everywhere on the court. His energy is crazy. He is so important for us. We understand each other really well and playing with him here is an amazing thing’. How did he grow in the season and is he an MVP candidate?

He’s a guy who can change a game and who can do a lot of things not only scoring. He understands the game and he gave as a big push in playoffs and yes definitely he is MVP!

You stated this about your guard partner Alexander Blessig. ‘Alex is helping me a lot here if I am tired he will be there to give the energy and to push this team. Having him here is a great thing for me plus he is a great shooter’. How much of a pleasure was it being his teammate and on what phases of his game did he grow most on?

First of all Alex is really smart guy off the court. I was enjoying playing with him in the same time. He understands basketball so good and our communication was on a high level during the season and that was really important for the team!

How vital was captain Tim Schonborn. He is a player where you will always get 100% and that lethal three pointer. Is there something you picked up from him in the leadership area?

Tim!? He never quit. If he is missing his shots he will continue to shoot because he how much important he is for this team and his 3s saved us so many times this year! Unbelievable shooter

The club had many young Germans like Lars Thiemann or Lennart Winter. Which player so you feel made the most strides this season?

Both. They gave so much in practice during the season and especially in the playoffs. Everybody in this team believe it in them! And they showed up!

Let’s talk about your game. How refreshing was this season for you? You have often been doubted in your career but as point guard helped lead the team to an incredible record and title. How gratifying was this season for you?

My goal this year was to play constantly good. If I don’t score, I had to be a guy who is controlling everything. I have some players I like to watch on how their doing and helps me a lot. Best season ever for me .

You were third best scorer on the team and led the club in assists. How content were you with your personal game on the court?

As I say,goal was to play constantly good and to make the team better and to win as much is possible. I believed in myself, I knew what I can do and I showed this year.

How do you feel did your leadership qualities grow this season? Was there a special experience in a game where you feel your leadership skills were seen best?

That’s a good question. One of my favorite players said once ‘it’s not so easy to be a playmaker, To be a leader in one team makes the players look better than many times they are and make everybody happy . People only see games they don’t know how much work you put in behind the scenes.

You weren’t healthy in the first few months, but then found your game rhythm. Which area of your game do you feel did the Bayer Giants Leverkusen profit most of?

Passing skills. I was trying to make everybody happy.

You still have that big goal of reaching the easyCredit BBL. Despite playing in the Pro B, does that dream become even bigger now and realistic simply by having such a huge winning season? Your self confidence must be high now.

Yes,I said once and I will say once again. I believe and I know what I can bring as a player. Some bad times are behind me now. I am ready for new challenges. BBL will probably wait one more year. I have to go step by step now. I know how much I have to improve next year.

You had many personal big games like scoring 23 and 21 points in the wins over the RheinStars and Wurzburg, but was your 21 points in the exciting playoff win over Schwelm your most favorite?

Yes,against Schwelm was special. I had to show why I am here. When the team struggles, the point guard has to take responsibility and finish the game. I did it many times so far and I knew I can do that on that day.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?

Niklas Geske from Schwelm. He’s a really good player.

What is the next step for you? I can imagine you will stay in Leverkusen or will you seek another opportunity in another country?

Right now It’s to early to talk about that,will see.

On what things will you be focusing most in the lab this summer as you continue to look to improve your game?

I want to improve my 3 point shot more. This year was way better than the season before but I think I have more space to develop

What was your most special Dirk Nowitski moment that you remember?

When he won the NBA trophy with Peja Stojakovic that season was amazing for Dallas.

What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time? 

I am not a big fan of Lebron James. Of course he’s one of the best ever ,but if you ask me he will never be like Mike and Kobe

Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?

Different sports, You can’t compare that. That is my opinion. Both are legends.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

Zavrsetak avrljanja
Unesite poruku…

Thanks Nino for the chat.

The Current Pro B Scoring Champ Tucker Haymond Continues To Work On Athleticism And IQ Towards Greatness

Tucker Haymond is a 24 year old 198cm guard from Seattle, Washington that finished his second professional season and first with the Rhein Stars Koeln (Germany-ProB) aveaging 22,5ppg,6,0rpg and 2,3apg. He played his rookie year with the Austin Spurs (NBA G-League) playing 33 games averaging 2.6ppg. He began his basketball career at Garfield High School and then played at Western Michigan (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 123 games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 14.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 75.6%. He spoke to at the end of his season in Germany.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Tucker Haymond after dropping 25 points in a 89-85 win in Rhondorf

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

Thanks for having me. I am currently in Seattle, Washington in my hometown and have been working out with my trainers and getting better every day

You were overseas for a while. What things did you learn to appreciate the most about the European culture as well as basketball in the last 7 months?

The things I begin to appreciate about European culture are the simple lifestyle everything is in the American way as in being bigger and better. I also really enjoyed the Germantown’s that were all near their local food stores and banks as well as the necessities and being able to ride a train everywhere. You can’t do this in most places in America. And for European basketball I learned to appreciate how the fundamentals are taught at a young age and the correct way of playing basketball as a team sport not as an individual sport.

What was the first eatery that you went to when returning home to Seattle and what did you miss from the States?

The first thing I ate when I got back to America was chipotle , I have been craving it for the past two months when I was in Germany and knew that I had to have it right when I got home.

It was a very disappointing season for the RheinStars Cologne. The club didn’t stay in the Pro B. Did the fact that the club couldn’t achieve this lessen your joy for winning the Pro B scoring title?

It definitely does put a hamper on the scoring title. For me, my number one goal is to win. And because we couldn’t achieve this it made me more focused on the fact that we didn’t win a lot of games we should have rather than individual accolades

Let’s talk a bit about the season. In our last interview you stressed that the youth factor was a big contributor for the team not having more success this season. Despite that happening, what benefits do you feel did the young German players get from this overall tough season?

I think it was great for them to get thrown in the fire of a competitive Pro B south division and being able to get playing time and compete. There are a lot of good young players in the Rheinstars program and I would tell everyone to look out for them in the future

Please summarize the season about why the club couldn’t have more success besides it being a very young team. The team had problems scoring on a consistent level and couldn’t keep points off the board.

I think it was tough for the club in a couple different areas because of how inconsistent our roster was. We struggled a lot with keeping our main guys healthy, that’s hard for the players and coaches too. I don’t think we had one game where we had the whole team playing. Now this is a part of the game and teams have to adjust, however it definitely doesn’t make things any easier.

The team had some experience with guys like Malte Herwig, Yasin Kolo and Silvio Mateus. The club brought in more veterans with Max Dohmen and Jan Zimmermann. Even if it didn’t help much in the playdowns, do you feel like if they had been there months earlier that a better team chemistry and success could have been born?

For sure. I believe if Max and Jan had been on the team from day 1 we would have won a few more games. I even believe we wouldn’t have been in the play downs if we would have had some veteran leadership from those guys. They definitely raised the level of play and intensity with us, having them would of been great. Yasin was also great for us when he was healthy. He had some bad luck with a few injuries but that was out of his control, in my opinion he was the most complete big man in the Pro b.

The team had a 1-5 record in the playdowns. It started out so well with a win against Rhondorf and then you lost five games in a row. Do you believe that at the end it was more of a mental aspect that didn’t allow the team to get over the hump?

I think the positives were more mental. Going a month without winning a game and having to go practice every day and come in and be a professional with your work ethic and attitude from players to coaches definitely is a positive. It shows who wants to get out of those slumps and who really wants to turn things around. We had everyone in the whole organization come in day in and day out and work hard no matter the win or loss.

Do you believe being able to beat two very young teams like FC Bayern Munich and Orange Academy was positive showing that the Cologne youth department can keep up with two very known organizations that put a lot of effort into that area?

Yes I believe it was very positive, like I said before the youth is very strong for Cologne and for us to beat those great youth teams I think put some confidence in colognes youth. 

What do you feel was the team highlight of the season? The win against FC Bayern Munich, Orange Academy or before Christmas the exciting game in Rhondorf?

I feel like the highlights of our season was winning any derby game vs Rhondorf. Those games were a lot of fun and it’s always fun winning for our fans because they were so supportive all year long

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a joy was it playing alongside French man Silvio Mateus. How confident are you that the team would have had a few more wins had he been healthy more?

Playing with Silvio was great. It was great seeing him expanding his game and learning the point guard spot when we didn’t have a point guard. Silvio is a great teammate and was always great to have around in the locker room. It hurt us badly when he got hurt, it was just one of the key pieces that went down mid season that was tough for us and the team.

In our first interview around Christmas you stated that German Filip Kucic had made the biggest impression on you from the German players. At the end of the season what German do you feel made the biggest strides?

I think for the whole year I’d say Kucic was the most improved for sure. But to add on to him, Thomas Fankhauser was also very great for us at the end. He brought energy as well as scoring in some instances. He will be very good in his future for sure

What was your impression of talented German Tim Van Der Velde? He got good minutes and was always aggressive. What did you appreciate most about his game and where do you see his future going?

Tim was an amazing defender! He was great at getting to the hoop and drawing defenders and making the smart pass. He had many games where he had a few points, rebounds, steals, and hustle plays. He was the X factor for us and we always played better when he was on the floor!

Benedict Van Laack is another German with talent with Pro A experience. How did you see his development and where do you see him going with his basketball in the next years?

Bene in my opinion was our most consistent German player. As far as effort, productiveness and just showing up every night and playing his game. He always gave us energy on the rebounds and he would knock down big shots for us I can see Benedict playing in the BBL in the future because of his IQ for the game and his size and athleticism.

17 year old Thomas Fankhauser got minutes and made a nice impression at the pro B level. What did you appreciate most about his game and is he still raw?

I appreciated most about Thomas was his hustle and his want to get better. He always was in the gym working hard and shooting after practices. At the end of the season his hard work showed. He is still very raw and I think he can play BBL some day if he keeps working hard for sure !

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 22,1ppg, 5,8rpg and 2,3apg. How content were you with your second professional season and first in Germany?

I think that I could have been better in a lot of areas. My shooting percentages were lower than usual and my turnover rate was a bit higher than usual as well. Given I adjusted to the style about halfway through the season however I think that I have lots of improving to do. I think it was great to come and experience it but I can for sure do better.

In our last interview you stated ‘Shooters sometimes go through slumps, I started a bit slow this season from three but the last few games I’ve been shooting it well. I expect to be above 30% over the next few games I’m not worried ever about making shots’. You were around 30%. Do you feel like your three point shot let you down at times considering how you dominated the league?

I don’t think my shot let me down, I do think that I had to take some really tough shots given the circumstances, however I think every shot is going in. I just have to adjust and keep working and come out next year and shoot the same shots and know they will go in. I can’t let one year of shooting decide who I am as a player, I’m always improving and getting better.

You also stated in our last interview that you worked very hard on your playmaking this season. How do you feel did that develop further this season?

I think my playmaking developed a lot. The only way in my opinion that playmaking can develop is trial and error. And for me I know I had a lot of errors this year. I was lucky the RheinStars believed in me enough to go through the learning struggle and to get better as an individual and as a team from our mistakes. I think I was a different player now than when I arrived in Cologne, for the better.

You had so many massive games mostly in losing causes, but what game was your season highlight? Perhaps your production in the wins against Munich or the Lowen?

My favorite games were the ones that we won. I think my most favorite game was right before Christmas at Rhondorf when we won going into the break. I liked it so much because we had almost the whole team playing and we had a point guard in Vladi for the first time. We all played great.

What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Germany or would you like to give a new country and culture and basketball style a chance?

I don’t know where my next stop is, I’m continuing to work hard every day and staying ready for the opportunity. If I come back to Germany it would be great, but if I had to go somewhere else it would be fun too. I’m just enjoying playing every day and being able to do what I love for a job.

On what things will you be working on this summer to continue to keep improving as a player and keep moving up the basketball ladder?

I will continue to work on my consistency in the things that contribute to my game as well as continue to improve my athleticism and my overall IQ. Which comes from playing and working out daily.

Were you very impressed that Jamal Crawford hit Dallas for 51 points or is that something that you could have expected after seeing him in the summers on the court?

Impressed, always… surprised, never! I’m never surprised when Jamal does anything that amounts to being great. He will be a hall of famer for sure. Watching him every summer and playing with him every summer just shows me all the time how great he is. He’s been this way his whole career and he’s doing it at a high level.

It’s still so early, but when all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA?

I think Luka has a chance, but it’s hard to say, he has some big shoes to fill in how Dirk paved the way.

Thanks Tucker for the chat.

Current Basketball Affairs With Pete Strobl Epsiode 5

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. He recently was named 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 will team up every so often 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 Frankfurt during the 2018-2019 season

How is everything in Braunschweig so far?

I absolutely love the city of Braunschweig! As you know we’re entering a hectic time of the year with preseason. But I got here early to get acclimated and I’ve already had some time to get around the city and explore. I really like it here and I feel fortunate to be able to call this home for the next several years. There’s a lot of energy in the air surrounding our team right now. It’s been really cool to get to know some people around town and feel the warmth and excitement for what we’re building. 

Speaking of building, it seems like you’re piecing together the future of German basketball. 

I don’t know if I would go that far yet, but that’s definitely the goal. Someday I would love for Braunschweig to be the home of multiple National Team players so that Henrik Roedl has to spend a lot of time here at our games and practices checking up on his players. Our GM Sebastian Schmidt and I worked really hard to chase some of the top rising German talents and I couldn’t be happier with the team we’ve put together. Most basketball fans already know about Karim Jallow and Kostja Mushidi, but we also have Garai Zeeb, Lukas Wank and Largs Lagerpusch who are all extremely talented players with a bright future. I’m excited to push them toward their potential! 

What do you expect from some of these young players this season? 

I would not even use the words “young players” to describe any of them. My assistant David Gomez and I were in the office a few days ago talking about how much of an impact these guys will have for us this season. We’re looking for each one of them to have big roles within our team. These guys already have the physical talent and ability to compete at this level, and we’re going to provide the opportunity to them to produce in one of the best leagues in Europe. I think fans around the league will be pleasantly surprised and will enjoy our style of basketball. 

Mr Euroleague Kyle Hines(CSKA Moscow) Is Ready For New Titles And Teaming Up With Johannes Voigtmann

Kyle Hines is a 32 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that completed his sixth season with CSKA Moscow and recently won the Euroleague And VTB titles. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had pre draft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2) playing 40 games averaging 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2 (3.5spg), Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP-3 (64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 10 Euroleague games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; and in the German League played 46 games averaging 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3 (1.2bpg), FGP-3 (61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. spoke to the American for the 17th time about basketball during his summer break. 

Kyle thanks for talking to When I give you the number 17 what comes to mind first for you?

I don’t know.

I will help you. This is our 17th interview dating back to your Bamberg days and you have won 17 professional career titles. When all is said and done do you think you will have more titles than interviews with me?

I hope so. That would definitely be a cool accomplishment.

You have a team with many ex NBA players competing in the 2 million dollar tournament. Talk a little how this came about and how is the team doing?

My brother and one of my good friends wanted to put a team together. We wanted to have some of the best Americans that have played in the Euroleague. The incentive to play in a tournament like this is big since the prize is big.

I recently chatted with Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert. He told me a fascinating story. He said that his teenage son Daniel who is a great scouter had you on his list in the 2010-2011 season, but passed on you saying you were too small. A few months later Chris Fleming took you and the rest is history. Where do you think you might be today had you landed in Frankfurt?

If I had played with the Skyliners I would have been hopeful that I would have been in the same position that I am today. Frankfurt is a good club. I am flattered to know that his son wanted me to be part of the team then. I’m happy that I was recognized then as a player that was poised to do well in Germany. At that time Frankfurt was a very good team. 

It was July 4th recently. You had been in Europe. Did you make it home in time for the family celebrations?

Luckily I got back in time. I was stuck in London, but got back home on the night of July 3rd. July 4th is always a big holiday in my family. We always have a big barbeque. I am away from home for 10 months each year, so this is always the perfect time to see family and gather in one place.

A question that I love to ask players is always what was the first eatery that they sought out. What was the first restaurant that you visited coming back from a long season in Europe?


You were recently in Spain for business concerning the Euroleague. Talk a bit about what you encountered. Have you become a sort of special ambassador for the Euroleague since you have won four titles?

I have played in the Euroleague for a long time and one of the more experienced guys in Europe. I have seen it all and been through the ropes. In Barcelona are meetings concerning the league. For me to be able and go there and share my experiences is cool. I have really been looking forward to these meetings the last years being able to learn more about the league.

We did a lengthy interview after you captured your fourth Euroleague title recently. After that you still had some VTB business to take care of and did. You finished off Zenit 2-0 and Khimki 3-0. How satisfying was it closing out your 11th professional season with your 17th career professional title

It was very satisfying. Our goal every season is to always win all titles we can. We haven’t always won the Euroleague, but winning both titles was our goal. We felt a sense of fulfillment.

If somebody had told you after your rookie season in Italy that in the summer of 2019 you would own 17 career professional titles what would you have thought?

Back then I probably would have thought that they were lying. When I began my professional career in Italy, I was just excited about having the opportunity. It is very special to have had the type of career that I have had and get so many accomplishments. But I have to be honest. Like I told you in the last interview, I really haven’t thought to much about my career and looked back on it yet, because I’m still playing. I always look forward. Once I’m retired then I will sit back and relive my accomplishments.

Congrats on winning your sixth VTB title in your sixth season. This seems to be a normal procedure for you. How challenging is it winning this title, mainly because it is expected of the club?

We are expected to win the VTB title each season. Every team in the VTB is out to get us and beat us. Every team is looking for us to miss a step. Especially coming off the Euroleague win, teams may have thought we won’t be as hungry, but for us every title is the same. We want to win everything no matter what.

Let’s talk about the team situation. Nando De Colo has left for Spain. How much does his departure hurt and what will always be your fondest memory with him?

Nando is one of the best players in Europe. His departure gives us a huge void in the roster. His presence on and off the court is tremendous. I won so much with him and he was hands down one of the best Euroleague players in the last 5 years. We will really miss him. It will be a big challenge to move forward. My favorite memory was simply being able to get to know him as a person. Our families did a lot together. We had a special bond. 

You have always lauded Will Clyburn and wanted him to remain badly in Moscow and he has. Do you feel he is a guy that could follow in your foot steps and become a CSKA Moscow lifer?

He is going to be a CSKA lifer simply from the life span deal that he got. Will will be there for a long time. He has the potential to be the face of the team in the future. 

A interesting pick up for me was Darrion Hilliard. He played three seasons in the NBA and had a strong playoff series against CSKA Moscow. Do you feel that that was the last straw for the CSKA management for hauling him in?

I feel that management got him not only because of his strong playoff series against him last year. He had a lot of experience in the NBA, was successful in college and did well in Spain last year. The club recognized all his abilities. I have observed him as being a very versatile player that can do so much at both ends of the court. He has the full package.

The team made a huge pick up with Johannes Voigtmann, a guy I covered in Frankfurt for four years. I always believed that he had the game for the NBA. The Washington Wizards were interested in his services. Could you have imagined a Voigtman being a successful NBA player had he got the chance?

I think he could play in then NBA. The NBA is big on high level skill guys. There aren’t many guys at his height that can do what he can do. He has improved a lot the last years and has been able to put the ball on the floor more. He has been known as not being the best defender, but I think that he took big strides last season having big moments. I hope that he will be a great Euroleague player with us.

I believe he chose CSKA Moscow, because he wants to win titles. How important is his signing for the team. What are you expecting from him on the court?

I expect him to keep doing what he has done for the other teams that he played for. I think that his game compliments our system. He can play the 4-5. He opens up our offensive playbook more with his shooting. He adds another weapon to coach’s arsenal. 

You had a 4-0 record against him in the time from 2016-2018. What are your first memories of him when you began to play him in the Euroleague?

I always knew who he was. I have always followed the German BBL and he was always seen as talented and had a big reputation as one of the biggest talents from Germany and came from Frankfurt. I know his game well and am looking forward to being his teammate.

This season Baskonia played better as he won a regular season game, but lost 4-1 in the playoffs. The German big man really picked up his game in the playoffs. How do you feel has he developed in the last three years?

I think that he developed well in Spain and has kept improving. He adds a different aspect to our team and is still fairly young. He still has time to grow and has potential to be a great player.

Your both centers, but how exciting is it being possibly on the court at the same time. How do you feel do you guys compliment each other best?

His presence on the court can give us a different look and we will cause match up problems. He is the pick and pop type of player while I do damage on the pick and roll and in the paint. I feel that we will be able to develop good chemistry.

Let’s talk about your game. Last season you played 22 VTB games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 69.0%; and 36 Euroleague games averaging 7.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 58.0%, FT: 63.1%. You always state when the time that I’m content with my game will be the time to retire. What is your summary of your overall game from last season?

The most important thing for me is always to win. I don’t care how we get there and I never look at individual stats. For me it is always about the team. This was one of the best season’s I had. Having the experience to win the Euroleague again was great.

In our second to last interview you stated ‘I always feel like I need to improve. I am never content with my game. As long as the team is winning is what counts most. My number one goal remains to continue to help my team win’. Now after the completion of your 11th professional season, on what things do you still need to improve on?

I feel that as a player you can always get better. In the off season, I look at every aspect of my game and try to figure out how to make my weakness a strength. As a player you can always improve whether your 21 or 31. 

Your only 32 and will be turning 33 in September. In our second to last interview you stated that ‘I still feel the same. It is a combination of the mental and physical side. I feel like I’m at a great level now and playing great. I am healthy and am looking forward to what the future holds’. What kind of Kyle Hines will we see in his prime at age 35?

I knock on wood. I am blessed to have been fairly healthy I my career. I have had no big injury or regression in my game. I think that you will see the Kyle Hines then like you did in the past 11-12 years. Hopefully I will be more wise and experienced. But generally I will be the same.

Another big strength in your game is your versatility and consistency. Is the will for you to always be consistent on the court for you as regular as waking up and eating breakfast and taking your kids to kindergarden?

Yes it is. That is what my whole mentality is geared up to be. That is part of my daily habit. When I don’t feel the urge anymore then I know that it will be time to hang it up.

On what parts of your game will you be working on this summer so you will best prepared for another strong season with CSKA Moscow?

I will be focusing on touch and drives to the basket. Also as always just focusing on overall conditioning. As you get older, it is important to make sure that your body is right and that it can still respond to a high level of play.

You have been very involved in the last years with your interesting document series ‘Just a kid from Sicklerville. This last season you present the Kyle zone. Talk a little about how that came about and what else you are planning with this and other things in the future?

The Kyle Zone was in cooperation with the Euroleague. It was a great opportunity to start my own podcast. It was fun being able to talk with my favorite players and get to know them better. We will continue to work on new things where we shed light on experiences in European basketball. 

In the summer time you always have a special basketball camp with your brother Tyler. How much fun is it doing this project with your brother and what kind of relationship do you guys share?

Doing this camp with my brother is super fun and rewarding. It is gratifying to see young kids go through the program. It has grown well over the years. We have almost 100 kids. My brother is my best friend. We are super tight. It is great that I’m able to hang out with my brother, but at the same time also help kids in the community.

Your ex coach Chris Fleming has made a new career leap going to the Chicago Bulls. When will he finally get a chance to coach a NBA team?

I think that in due time, he will get an opportunity. He continues to climb the ladder. He has been successful everywhere he has been in his career. I don’t foresee him go to long without getting a chance. 

What is your opinion of how out of nowhere the Brooklyn Nets have brought in stars. Are you a Nets fan. Can they be good in the next years?

I think so. It depends how well Durant returns from his injury. The club has two franchise players and they will build around it. They will be contenders in the future. I live closer to Philadelphia and like the 76ers. 

Why didn’t Kyrie work in Boston and will Kemba Walker be the answer?

I believe that Kyrie generally wasn’t happy in Boston. If you aren’t happy, you can’t have great results. I think that Kemba Walker will fit in well. He is a rough and hard nosed guard from the north east. He will do well.

What was the last movie that you saw?


Thanks Kyle for the chat. 

After Leading The Regionalliga In Scoring CJ Carr Wants To Make the Next Step

CJ Carr is a 23 year old 173cm guard from Rock Island, Illinois that completed his rookie season in Germany with BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 26,0ppg, 4,8rpg, 4,2apg, 2,5spg FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 81.8%. He began his basketball career with Rock Island HS and in 2014-2015 started to play at SIU Edwardsville (NCAA) playing 28 games averaging 6.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 38.1%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 82.5%. In his second year at SIU Edwardsville (NCAA) he played 28 games averaging 7.5ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 75.6%. In 2016-2017 he moved to Missouri So. (NCAA2) playing 27 games averaging 18.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 5.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 82.0%. In his senior year at Missouri So. (NCAA2) he played 29 games averaging 18.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.0apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 80.5%. He spoke to about his basketball rookie season in Germany. 

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

Thanks for the interview! I am now back home in Iowa working out and trying to improve my game. 

You recently played your rookie season with BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Regionalliga) leading the club to a second place finish and leading the league in scoring 26.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.2apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 81.8%. What was your general summary of your first basketball experience in Germany? 

Overall, it was a great experience. We ended up finishing in second place and that was tough but I played some good basketball and met some really great people so it was an amazing experience. 

How competitive and exciting was it playing in the Regionalliga South division? You were in a fierce battle with Oberhaching, Breitengussbach and Treuchtlingen. 

It was great. All those teams played really well this season and challenged us to the best of their ability. It was great for me because I’m a competitor and love competing. In the end Oberhaching won the championship, so congratulations to them. 

You came up short at the end finishing in second place behind Oberhaching that moved up to the Pro B. What do you feel was the difference not getting by Oberhaching? 

I think we had a lot of injuries and setbacks in the middle of the season that led us to drop to second place, and from there we couldn’t catch up. 

Do you feel like losing four of five games in February cost you the season or was losing two of the last three games that did it?

Definitely those games in February. They really set the tone for the rest of the season. We had some setbacks during that time, but our guys did a great job on bouncing back and competing.

Let’s talk about your game. You dominated the German Regionalliga averaging 26.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.2apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 81.8%. What was your personal summary of your own performance?

I think I played pretty well. I shot the basketball better than I ever have and that’s just a testament to my love for the game and work ethic. I also believe I could’ve handed out more assists and that is something I am working on this summer.

You stated in the last interview that despite your height that you can play against anyone, but it bothers you when people think you can’t play because of your height. Do you feel like you got the proper respect in Germany concerning your height and skills? 

I do not think I am respected. I proved myself and that I could play against anyone and so far no one has recognized that. I just need one coach to believe in me. 

How do you feel did you develop further on the defensive end? On what area’s do you feel did you see the most growth in your rookie season? 

I feel like I played really well defensively. A lot of coaches concern is with me is that I will get posted up. If you watch film you’ll find that is very hard to do.

When looking at your stats there really wasn’t more to criticize or are you the type of guy that could have had more rebounds and assists per game?

I always feel there are areas in my game I can improve on. I’d like to focus on handing out more assists and do whatever I can to win a championship. 

Before coming to Germany you never averaged more than 18,0ppg in college. You suddenly totally upped your scoring to 26,0ppg. What were the main reasons for you being able to become a real pure scorer. Did you become more aggressive or picked your spots better than in school?

I just continued to get better. And I plan on doing that this summer as well. Finding different ways to put the ball in a basket has always been a goal of mine. I can also be a skilled passer when need be. 

You made huge strides with your outside shot shooting 39% the highest in your career. You had some miserable shooting nights, but overall shot the ball very well. What was your secret to almost hitting the 40% mark? 

Just staying consistent. I’ve had a lot of time in the gym with my trainer Jordan Delp and he’s helped me a ton. I look to improve that percentage next season. 

You had many great games as a rookie, but which was most memorable? Possibly your stat filling games against Vilisbiburg or Schwabing?

My most memorable game was actually the one against Hellenen. I shot the ball terribly that game but I stayed confident and ended up knocking down the game winning shot. That just showed the trust my teammates had in me and I’m thankful. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Regionalliga in your rookie season?

I don’t think I can pick out one player the toughest team was actually Oberhaching. 

This summer you played with Team Philadelphia (Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 4 games averaging 12.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT-3 (90.9%). What kind of experience was this for you and did you make some valuable basketball connections there? 

That experience was a good one. I wasn’t 100% healthy at the camp because of an ankle injury but I played to the best of my ability.

There was a lot of talent at the Eurobasket Summer League. Was there any player that really impressed you? Possibly your teammate Frank Bartley? 

Yeah! Frank played really well and there was a lot of talent there. 

On what things are you working on this summer so your game will be ready for your second professional season? 

I’ll be working on a little bit of everything. A lot of decision making and playmaking work.

What is the next step for you? There are guys who have averaged a lot less points than you in the Regionalliga and then without problems got a Pro B job. Have you had ample offers and are still weighing your options or has the summer transfer period been a tough one for you?

Yeah it’s been pretty tough. I haven’t heard from many people. I think a lot of people don’t know about me, but once they do my career will take off. I just need an opportunity to show what I can do on a big stage. 

The summer is winding down and teams are getting filled up. If you had to describe in a few sentences why you could help any team now what would you say? 

I want to win. I will come to work every day willing to whatever I can to help the team. I just need someone to take a chance on me. 

You lived in the suburbs of Augsburg. How did you learn to appreciate the German culture and what did you enjoy most off the court?

I loved it! I met so many great people and built many relationships. The people were definitely the best part. 

What was the last movie that you saw? 

The last movie I saw was the Lion king.

Thanks CJ for the chat.

Devon Moore Fell Out Of Love With Basketball During His Injury But Found The Passion Again And Is Ready To Play Again

Devon Moore is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Columbus, Ohio that has played five professional seasons including in countries like Hungry and the Ukraine, but played most of his career in Germany. He played with Ehingen from 2014-2018 playing a total of 80 games. He helped Ehingen move up to the Pro A in 2016. He played three seasons in the Pro A with Ehingen and showed that in two of the three seasons belonged to the top point guards leading the league in assists in 2015 with 6,6apg an din 2017 was third in the league with 5,7apg. The American who played at JMU (NCAA) from 2008-2013 missed all of last season due to a serious injury, but is back healthy and wants to play again. sat down with him to chat about his basketball career.

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

Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this interview I appreciate it a lot. I’m in Columbus Ohio with my family. My summer is going great working out being with my loved ones and playing in these Pro-am basketball leagues. 

Granted you sat out last year due to injury, but have you noticed that it is a lot tougher getting signed when you have been inactive for a longer time? 

Yeah, I noticed but I didn’t really try to go back right away last season even though I got cleared to play. I reached out to a couple teams but that wasn’t my main focus. I had to fall back in love with basketball, when I got an injury it showed me another side. I was able to start training kids and giving back so that was fun. 

Despite being out for a year, you played four of five seasons in Germany for one team Ehingen leading them to the Pro A once and averaging 6.0 apg in the Pro A in three seasons. Is it hard for you still to understand and accept a bit that you aren’t signed? 

At first, it was I felt like I proved that I could play. I showed I could score I showed I could play defense and run a team but at the end of the day what’s meant for me will happen so I just let it go. My whole life people looked over me or said I shouldn’t be here so I’m used to it Just for motivation to keep working even if I don’t get a job overseas I will continue to train kids and help the best way I can.

How tough was it for you sitting out last season? How did you get through the year and how did you handle the situation mentally?

It wasn’t that hard because I fell out of love with basketball. I didn’t care to play it. I was happy with training kids and playing here and there but my main focus was finding my passion again. Which I did I started playing semi-pro in January and my passion for the game was still there. If I played bad or wasn’t happy with how I played I was in the gym the next morning. Also I have an amazing family who kept me grounded and helped me mentally to stay positive.

Are you 100% healthy again? How confident are you that no matter where you play that you will be The Devon Moore of old? 

Yes I’m 100% healthy and I’m very confident that I’m back to my old ways I won MVP of my semi-pro league. I play in 2 pros am league now where I’m putting on a show. I still have a lot to work on but I’m healthy and I’m in the best shape I have been in and I’m working hard to master my position. 

Three of the four seasons where you played with Ehingen, you actually was with teams in the D-League, Canada and Hungary and each time Ehingen saved your season signing you.

I will forever be thankful for Ehingen from the management the staff the fan and community It was an honor to put that uniform on. I think we both needed each other not just them saving me we both wanted to be a part of each other lives so I will always love that places. 

They had a great point guard last season in Rayshawn Simmons and coming off a good season. Do you feel like there is possibly to much pressure for them now to give you another chance?

I was happy for both Rayshawn and the Team and I don’t know that would be their decision I know what I have done in that program so for me I don’t think so but that’s not my decision I’m happy for them regardless they gave me an opportunity to showcase my talent I’m thankful. 

For years you belonged to the top Pro A Point Guards. How confident are you that you will be able to find your way back to your old ways should you get a chance? 

Yeah I’m blessed. There were some great point guards while I was in the league and to be at the top is an honor. I know I’m back to my old ways so it’s just amatter of time that how I look at it. Just got to continue to believe. I know the time I put in my game this summer. 

Was your fondest season with Ehingen winning the Pro B in 2016 or was there another season that you cherished more there?

I think that was one of them just because of the bond that group had. Also the Season that Kam Taylor was there we didn’t do so well but the chemistry and the bond was amazing. 

In your first season with Ehingen you led the Pro A in assists but the team moved down. What memories do you have of that season and how important was that season for you considering you had a tough rookie season? 

That was a goal to come into the league and be the best passer and to make a name for myself. I think I did a pretty good job my first year. The team was great. We just were young. I think if I would have been there earlier in the season we wouldn’t of went down. I remember throwing Brian Butler a lot of alley-oops. Overall my first half of my rookie season in Hungary wasn’t the best. I played good but I didn’t get the opportunity to show my talent the second half of the season. In Germany coach let me be free. It felt good to just go play and learn from my mistakes.

Recently your ex teammate Mahir Agva signed with a top Turkish team Darussafaka. He has come a long way. Would you have expected then that he would develop in such a good way?

Yes Mahir is very talented. He just had some growing up to do. I think once he matured he started to realize how special he was. Very proud of him and even happier. I know he’s going to be great at that level 

In your third year with Ehingen, you were teammates with Kameron Taylor who has had one of the big jumps in his career going to the Pro A, back to the Pro B, Hungary and now signed with Bamberg. Did you notice then that he was a special teammate? 

Yeah, I noticed earlier on that Kam was special. He always wanted to get better. He always asked questions and just wanted to learn as much as he could. He’s going to make some noise this upcoming season. 

Your last season you played with one of the best shooters to ever grace the Pro A with Seger Bonifant and rising young German Kevin Yebo who was signed by the Hamburg Towers. Where do you rank Bonifant with the best shooters you ever played with and was throwing blind passes up to the rim a piece of cake having a guy like Yebo? 

My shooter Sege is in my top 5 for best shooters I played with. Kevin Yebo is a great talen.t I always told him he just has to mature a little but once he did that his game went up another level. It’s was a passion playing with both of them and it made my job a lot easier. 

How important has head coach Domenik Reinboth been for your career and development? How do you feel has he helped you most in the years in Ehingen?

Coach showed me a lot of new tricks and helped with my hand placement on the ball. Also just always trusting me so I thank him for that. I could write a book but he helped me a lot with just being a point guard.

As a rookie you played with MJUS-Fortress Kormend (Hungary-A Division) averaging 11.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 80.4%; and playing 6 EuroChallenge games averaging13.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.8apg, 1.5spg, 2FGP: 51.2%, 3FGP: 27.3%, FT: 80.6% in Jan.’14 moved to SC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih (Ukraine-Superleague) playing 5 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 75.0%. What did you learn about your rookie season that helped you in your career after that? 

I learned the style of play and how to be more consistent with my play. Also to slow down when I first got overses.a I was moving too fast and one of my Older players told me to learn the pace of the game and to find the rhythm and that helped me a lot my next couple of years 

What was your wake up calling to being a rookie in Hungary and the Ukraine where you knew that you were very far away from home in Columbus, Ohio? 

The culture was different and just the way of living. Hungary was a beautiful place and when I was in the Ukraine it rained a lot so I didn’t get to enjoy it. The food was pretty good in both places. 

You played at James Madison from 2008-2013. What was your fondest memory there? Possibly winning the CAA tournament in your senior year?

Yeah, that was a great accomplishment with all the hard work payed off so that was big. Personally I love that place and the atmosphere is amazing. 

Was beating William & Mary, Delaware and Northeastern by a combined point total of only 9 points the most exciting weekend of your NCAA career?

That was an exciting weekend. I’m thankful to have been a part of it. We made history. 

You played in the NCAA tournament in 2013 beating LIU Brooklyn, but then lost to Indiana with future NBA players Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. What do you remember most from that time? 

One of the best experiences in my life to be a part of March Madness. Getting an escort to every game or practice. Being able to play close to home so my family who don’t get the opportunity to come to Virginia could see me. Playing against these great players and the whole experience was amazing.

When you were a senior, you were teammates with freshman Ron Curry. Were you like a mentor for him? Have you followed his career as he played in Germany for the Telekom Baskets Bonn some years ago. 

Yeah Ron is my little brother. I followed his career. He did great this year in Hungary. I showed him the ropes when he came to JMU and he took off and now he’s a great pro.

How did head coach Matt Brady groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

I think he handed me the keys to the program and told me I was always going to be in the limelight. So he just treated me like a Pro from the first day I got on campus. On the court he always coached me harder than other people. He taught me a saying it goes like this: They love you to hate you again. Which means one day you can be their favorite the next you can hated. Off the court he taught me to always smile and be respectful and know everything happens for a reason. So I think he did a great job with grooming me on.

2Who won a one on one in practice you or Ron Curry?

Me, but Ron won some but I got the best of him. But it was never easy. 

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

Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Charles Jenkins, Cam Long and Marcus Thornton It’s a lot more but this just a couple people 

Please list your five best teammates of all-time? 

This is hard because I have had great teammates but here are some. Trey Burke Jared Sullinger, Kam Taylor Davonte Lacy, AJ David, Brian Butler and Achmadsch Zazai

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

Jordan, Shaq, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett. They have the passion for the game. 

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

This is a tough question to answer, because Lebron is a great player but Mike is my all-time favorite. I think they are two different players. 

What was the last movie that you saw? 

The last movie I saw was Spider far away from home with my son.

Thanks Devon for the chat.