Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

After Getting Extended Coaching Grooming In Iceland Baldur Ragnarsson Came To Orange Academy To Give His Defensive Expertise

Baldur Ragnarsson was head coach of German Pro B team Orange Academy in the 2022-2023 season. He began his coaching career with Thor Thorlakshofn (Dominos League) and then coached U.M.F. Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur (Dominos League) for 3 years. He played professionally from 2006-2017 for Thor Thorl. He spoke to about basketball.

Thanks Baldur for talking to After playing and coaching in your homeland Iceland, you came for first time outside your country to Germany. I can imagine as an ambitious coach, coming to Orange Academy is like a dream come true?

Yes for sure, the facility is great and the organization is high level. Working for a good club outside of Iceland has always been my goal

How have you followed German basketball over the years? What has impressed you most about German basketball and how they develop young players?

I have mostly followed the Icelandic players who had played over there so I saw Alba Berlin a lot when Martin Hermansson was there and then I follow Jon Axel Gudmundsson games the last two seasons. Now is the first time I can really follow what is going on here and understand it at a higher level. I like what I see so far and look forward to keep on working in this environment

How exciting was it working with ratiopharm Ulm head coach Anton Gavel? What were some of the most important tips that he gave you about coaching his former team Orange Academy?

He gave me a lot of tips on how everything worked inside the club around my team organization wise. He told me to be myself and coach the team with the best of my abilities. If I have questions on day to day basis he is always ready to help me which I appreciate a lot

Your coach of the Icelandic U-20 team and also coached the ratiopharm Ulm U-19 team, so you have experience dealing with kids. What do cherish most about working with young players?

Their love for the game, Usually at this level they have big goals and are ready to do anything to achieve them. They are also super coachable which is fun as well

Orange Academy are one of the top teams in Germany with Alba Berlin for developing young players. What do you feel is your biggest strength as a coach in being able to help the youth players of today?

I think I have good tactical knowledge in basketball, especially on the defensive side. I have been a defensive planner for the senior national team of Iceland for some time now so I have worked a lot in that field. I have also been in Mindset programs for some time now and I can share my knowledge with them in that field as well when guys need it specially with staying focused on the things u can control. Than you need to make sure they got some training in all areas
Strength training
team offense
team defense
video work

As a former point guard, you must take much joy to being able to coach young point guards? One player that you will see a lot of in the NBBL and perhaps in the Pro B is Linus Stoll. Talk a little how you see his game as a smaller point guard?

Size doesn’t have to be a decisive factor when you are smart. Linus has been part of the organization for many years and we hope that he continues developing as a player and a person.

One guy who has made big strides is Joel Cwick. He will be looking to make the next jump this season. How do you feel will you be able to help him most in his game with your basketball expertise?

We look to help all players to improve in all parts of the game physicality, offense, defense and as persons. Joel is one of the players who has really benefited from this program

You played with Thor Thorl and retired at age 25. Did injuries play a role in you retiring so young?

I basically felt I was a better coach than a player. I thought early on I could help a lot of people on getting better and the joy of playing the game was not there anymore so I focused on One thing coaching

You played with very many different coaches in Iceland seemingly a new one each season. Which coach had the biggest influence on you in your playing career? Perhaps Bendekt Gudmundsson?

Ingi Thor Steinorsson, Einar Arni Johannesson and Benedikt Gudmundsson. They coached me the most in my career and for sure had the biggest impact on my playing career

Iceland is a country where many unknown Americans begin their careers. Not all have a long career, but some make the next jump like Vincent Sanford who went from Iceland via the Pro B in Germany to France pro A and Italy Serie A. What memories do you have from your ex guard teammate?

I remember he was a quiet guy at the time, super young coming straight out of college, he was for sure a good person, great driver to the basket

Iceland is a very small country and has basketball leagues. What is in general the longest basketball road trip in Iceland?

Usually it from Reykjavik to Egillstadir or Reykjavik to Isafjordur but for me last 3 seasons coaching in the north the longest one would be Saudarkrokur to Hofn but thankfully they are not in the same league

You became coach in 2016 and coached Thor Thorl and then U.M.F. Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur (Dominos League) from 2019-2022 winning coach of the year in 2022. How do you believe you develop as a coach in Iceland?

I think I was lucky being around good coaches. I started out as a Strength and Conditioning coach for Thor Thorl in 2013 and coaching youth teams as well and of course playing also. I was around the u20 national team as a strength coach and Arnar Gudjonsson coach of Stjarnan Iceland and Finnur Freyr Stefansson coach of Valur Iceland helped me a lot. They taught me how to cut video with sideline video analyzer and from there I got an assistant job in Thor Thorl to work video and defense coordinator for Einar Arni Johannesson. I have stayed with the national teams from that day, worked a lot as an assistant and worked my way up to a head coach job in the u20. At the same time I got the chance 5 years ago to assist Craig Pedersen with the Senior national team and he gave me a lot of responsibility right away. Now we are good friends and we work very good together. So I think all the coaches I have worked with have helped me a lot but at the same time I read a lot on sports physiology and mindset to be better at dealing with persons because you need to be able to connect with a lot of different personalities

Who was the best player that you ever played against that reached the NBA or Euroleague?

Kyrie Irving came to Iceland with a high school team from New Jersey and killed us

Please name your 5 best teammates of all time?

Darrin Govens
Brynjar Bjornsson
Aegir Thor Steinarsson
Olafur Olafsson
Gretar Ingi Erlendsson

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

Michael Jordan
Lebron James
Kobe Bryant
Steph Curry

Where do you see Luka Doncic currently in the current top players in the world?

He is top 5 on offense for sure

Thanks Baldur for the chat.

Despite Being Cut By Simon Cote 5 Years Ago Ori Garmizo(BSW Sixers) Had A Great Connection With Him And Would Love To Play For Him

Ori Garmizo (196-PF-1994) is a 28 year old 194cm guard that has the Israeli/German citizenship and was briefly with the BSW Sixers (Pro B) this season before being released because of ijury. He began his basketball career in Israel with Ironi Nes-Ziona. He then got further experience in Germany the BG Eisbaeren (Regionalliga) and Koblenz (Regionalliga). Soon after he got more experience in Iceland and back in Israel with teams Hapoel Galil Gilboa (Winner League), Hapoel Hevel Modi’in (Israel-National League), Maccabi Sderot (Israel-Artzit), and Hapoel Lod Bat Yam (Israel-Artzit). He came back to Germany last season and played with TTL Basketball Bamberg (Regionalliga). He spoke to about basketball.

Thanks Ori for talking to Your German/Israeli. Talk a little about your family history? Do you feel more like a German or Israeli?

My great grandparents were born in Berlin and Stuttgart, and because of the Holocaust they had to flee from Germany and arrived in Israel. I was born in Israel so this is my home, but I have been told so much about my family history and my German roots so I take pride in being an Israeli and German

You are a guy that has been well traveled having played in Israel, Germany, Iceland. What has been the most difficult challenge for you having difficulty of landing in higher leagues.

At a younger age, it was a challenge to adjust to the highest levels especially in terms of the intensity of the game, but I love challenges and I always practice and play with 100% effort. Along the years, with the experience I have gained, I developed new methods to deal with each new situation at any level – both mentally and physically

In the summer of 2017 you had a try out with then Pro A team Hanau. What do you remember the club telling you then why they couldn’t take you? Has that been like a motivation for you to keep grinding until now and not giving up?

I remember coach Simon Cote well, I think we had a great connection between us. He told me that I have the potential to be a tough player who could move up the ladder. My biggest problem back then was my 3pt shot which is an aspect in my game I have put a big emphasis on it in the last 3 years. I have been improving a lot working out with Afik Nissim, one of the best Israeli scorers in the past 20 years. He was playing in Israel Winner League, France Pro A, Italy and the VTB and I feel that working with him on my shot has rewarded me. I hope that one day I’ll be able to play for Simon as well!

You began your career in Israel with Ironi Nes-Ziona (National League). Why was it difficult for you to find your way in Israel? How was the youth development in 2012 and how is it in 2022?

I started to play basketball only at the age of 16 but had to join the Israeli army as it is mandatory here so it was tough for me to move to higher levels in Israel at that period and I was forbidden to move to Germany and play there until I finished my service at the age of 21. I am a totally different player now – much more athletic and mature, and have a good range on my shot. Better at boxing out for rebounds, passing the ball and in general some of my former coaches were teaching me how to use my body right and played me even as 2/3 so I think my game has grown a lot.

You got your first job in Germany with Regionalliga team BG Eisbaeren (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 11.5ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 16.9%, FT: 71.9%. What do you remember playing in the German 4th league?

It was different from playing in Israel, even the weather was different:) It was my first time playing outside of Israel so I had to make some adjustments. Luckily I speak German so it was a big help, but overall it was a nice experience and the cornerstone to my European career

What really stood out in this season was your rebounding. Has rebounding always been a big weapon in your game?

Definitely, this is my bread and butter. Every season I try to improve my rebounding numbers as I look at it differently than other players. For me it’s all about determination, wanting to get the ball and create another opportunity for my team to score.

If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I would say Boris Diaw. I like the way he played the game even though he wasn’t the most talented scorer and had an incredible athletic ability. He was just smart, a great defender and someone who was always looking to make his team better and get wins.

You have stated that Dwayne Wade is your role model. Do you feel like he is one of those great NBA players where his legacy gets lost a bit with the new wave of stars of the last 10 years?

I hardly watch NBA in the past few years because I think there are almost no players nowadays who combine loyalty and leadership to their clubs

You can score and rebound the ball very well, but what other strengths does your game have?

What I love the most is attacking the basket and playing good defense. I believe that defense gets you wins.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to get better?

I have been working a lot on my ball handling skills, fakes and dribbling with coach Roie Karsh and I give him the full credit for my improvement in these aspects.

You played against German Regionalliga legend Rickey Easterling of Saarlouis. What memories do you have of his game and did you get sick of his mid distance shot?

Everyone knows that Ricky had a great career. He was just a great player, really an unstoppable scorer.


You then played in Iceland with Haukar Hafnarfjordur (Iceland-Dominos League) averaging 6.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 45.5%. There you also didn’t play a big role. What memories do you have of these months?

My first memory was on a late December night at 2am when my agent Eyal Grossbard was calling me and told me “pack your bags, you have a flight to Iceland in 2-3 days”. Haukar had an up and down season that year but I had a meaningful role of bringing defense and energy. We were 7:3 since I joined the team and I remember it was a great experience. I had my best game against Njardvik who was the top team back then, I had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists that game. Also, I remember well the switch I made from the Israeli winter of 24 degrees to below zero temperatures in Iceland but I actually liked it.

I’m sure off the court you had some nice memories. With what feelings did you leave Iceland after seeing their beautiful country?

I had some offers in Iceland in recent years and would love to go back at some point as the country is beautiful, the people are so nice and the league has been improving by the year.

After some years away from Israel you returned back in 2019 and even played a Winner league game with Hapoel Galil Gilboa. You played 1 minute. Do you feel like you got a fair chance there?

I think I could have gotten more minutes but playing in Winner League is a different type of level in terms of the players quality and intensity. People could say I played there only for a few minutes, but working out on a daily basis with great coaches like Lior Liubin and Guy Kaplan was what changed the course of my career. I learned a lot from both coaches, they helped me raise my game and understand what I have to do in order to move to the bigger and better leagues

Last season you played with TTL Basketball Bamberg (Regionalliga) and had an amazing season. Did you find love for the game again?

I always love the game and everything about it – regardless of where I play or how many minutes I get. Playing for TTL Bamberg was a great experience and I was also practicing with Brose Bamberg for a while. I found some great people at TTL Bamberg, from management to the coaching staff and players, especially coach Rainer Wolfschmidtt . It is something I cherished.

You had 22/11 stats. Was this your best season as a pro? How did your game grow in Bamberg?

In the last 2 years I finally adjusted my game to be the leader and the go to guy. It’s a totally different mindset day in and day out.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in your life that reached the NBA or Euroleague?

When I played in the Israel Winner League with Gilboa/Galil I had the luxury of practicing and playing with and against some great players such as Edgar Sosa, a former BBL player for Ulm and Vechta and a guard who won Italy A1 championship. Justin Tillman who is now with the Atlanta Hawks after being named to the G-League 1st team is another player I benefited from having as my teammate. Defending a guy like Jarmar Gulley, who played in Turkey BSL in the last 2 years, was a huge challenge because he is so strong and in general such a great player

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Justin Tillman, Jarmar Gulley, Steffan Walde, Tal Dan and Roman Sorkin

Which Israel and German player is the greatest off all-time for you?

Dirk Nowitzki, no other words needed, he was just so special. Omri Casspi is my Israeli choice, a hard working player that paved his way up to the NBA because he was the hardest working player and showed great determination.

What is your favorite movie of all-time?

I love sports movies and action movies. I have a long list of great movies I have watched and enjoyed many times. I’ll go with coach Carter with Samuel Jackson.

Thanks Ori fort he chat


George Conditt(ASP Promitheas Patras) Is A Rim Protector Now But Wants To be Able To Guard 1-5

George Conditt IV (208-C-2000, college: Iowa St.) is a 22 year old 208cm from Chicago that completed his rookie season in Greece for ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-GBL) averaging 7.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 2FGP: 63.4%, FT: 61.8%; in the Eurocup and in the GBL averaged: 9.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.1bpg, 2FGP: 69.2%, FT: 62.1%, . He began his basketball career at Corliss high school. He then played at Iowa State University from2018.2022 playing a total of 117 NCAA games. In the summer of 2022 he played :NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves averaging 2.5ppg, 3.0rpg. He then got his first pro experience with Gigantes de Carolina (BSN) averaging 11.8ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.4apg, Blocks-3 (1.6bpg), FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 62.3%. He spoke to during the Eurocup season before a game against the Hamburg Towers.

Thanks George for talking to You played a Eurocup against the Hamburg Towers. What do you know in general about Germany and it’s country? Have you had any ex teammates play in Germany?

I don’t know much about Germany. I’ve never been to Germany, so this is my first time entering the country, other than going through its different airports. I do have a few ex-teammates that do play in Germany currently, one being Nick Weiler-Babb and the other being Solomon Young. They both are doing really well with their prospective teams and I root for them and cheer for them every time I can!

You must always have good memories of Germany because you had your breakout game in the Eurocup with 22 points?

I did have a very good game against Hamburg and I guess you can consider it a breakout game for me but I felt like this game was just me going out there and trying to show everyone that I can play!

You played your rookie season overseas for ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-GBL). What kind of an experience was it playing in Greece? I can imagine it’s the warmest winter that you have had in years?

Playing in this league in Greece I have already learned a lot. This is a very physical league but a very intellectual league as well so I feel like this is really helping me as a rookie overseas learn and develop my game a little bit faster and it definitely is one of the warmest winters I’ve had in a very long time.

What was it like being teammates with so many nationalities? Was there been one player that really helped you out most getting adjusted to overseas ball?

It’s different because everybody has their own background, but I feel like playing fiba international basketball has helped me because I have friends on other national teams and their cultures are completely different from mine. As far as there being one player, I would say the coaches help me the most. They help me understand the game more so watching films and breaking down the game.

What memories will you always have from playing your first game against an Euroleague team with Olympiacos? You lost by 28 points but held your own with 10/9 stats. Did a game like this prove you could play with the best?

I would say I tried my best. That team is a really really good team and that’s why they play Euroleague, but I feel like it was just one step to proving to myself that I can but I still have a lot to learn and get better at before I will play at that level.

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a 208cm center. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would it be?

I don’t really like to compare myself to other players, but if you would have to say what similarities do I have to a current NBA player? It would have to be a younger version of Domantas Sabonis! Because now his game is more polished. It’s more crisp, but the younger version of him was still learning a lot and trying to polish those parts of his game!

You can score, rebound and block shots well. What other strengths does your game have?

I can pass the ball. I did quite well at doing that at Iowa State my last year being one of the highest assisting big men in the nation.

Your shot blocking really takes center stage. What kind of defender are you now and what kind of defender do you want to become in the next few years?

I want to be a defender that is able to guard one through five. I want to be able to switch. I want to be able to hold my own on the perimeter. Obviously I need to get stronger so I can be more physically defensively down low but I guess as of right now you can call me a rim protector.

What has been the biggest adjustment for you on the court and what was your wake up call to being a rookie in Greece where you knew that you were far away from home?

My biggest adjustment was the style of play. It’s completely different from the way Basketball is played in the states so that is something I really had to adjust to and I’m still learning right now, but I’m gradually getting better at it. And a wake up, call was one of the games I had to sit on the bench because I just wasn’t in tune with the game. So I realize that I needed to learn and develop to this playing style.

What do you believe is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away?

A big thing that people don’t notice about me is that I can stretch the floor unfortunately I’m not stretching the floor with my team right now and I haven’t been shooting in practice so it’s been more centered around the rim but if you go back and watch any of my time with the Puerto Rican national team you will see I can obviously shoot the ball.

What area of your game are you working on most now as a rookie so you can continue to improve your game?

I could say that spacing the floor is something I’m working on the most but like I said right now I’m not working on that. I am working on becoming comfortable on the court with this playing style.

Last summer you had the experience to play in your home land Puerto Rico for Gigantes de Carolina (BSN, starting five): 25 games: 11.8ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.4apg, Blocks-3 (1.6bpg), FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 62.3%. What kind of an experience was it? What did you cherish most about this time?

Being able to play, there was an amazing experience, and it kind of helped me adjust to overseas life, living alone, taking care of yourself as a professional athlete, making sure you were eating the right things and doing enough to keep your body healthy.

What kind of an experience was it being teammates with Tremont Waters. I can imagine you guys hooked up on many occasions for buckets?

Having a teammate like Tremont Waters was the best thing I could’ve asked for coming out of college. He is a person that has so much experience within this game at a young age. I consider Tre like one of my brothers. I still check up on him and what he’s doing in Paris and vice versa.

After Puerto Rico, you played NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves playing 4 games averaging 2.5ppg, 3.0rpg. How tough was it not playing much? There seems to be huge competition between the guys who aren’t really on the radar of the NBA team for minutes?

It definitely was tough not being able to play as much as I wanted to, but I took this as a learning step, and tried to learn as much as I could from this organization. I tried to become a sponge taking in as much knowledge as I could!

You played at Iowa State from 2018-2022. How tough was it coming from Corliss where you had incredible stats to never averaging more than 16 minutes in a season?

I love Iowa State. I will never speak badly of Iowa State unfortunate that I was never able to play to my full potential but man I had some great years some bad years looking back I wish I would’ve been able to play to my full potential!

What memories do you have from that freshman team that won the Big 12 title? You had future NBA players with Tyrese Haliburton, Marial Shayok, Talen Horton -Tucker and Lindell Wiggington not to mention Nick Weiler Babb. What player from this group made the biggest impression on you?

My freshman year was amazing. We had a great team and one of the most talented teams at Iowa State. Unfortunately it was cut short. You know we weren’t able to make a good run in the tournament but being around those guys I learned a lot from all of them, and all of those names that you just listed are etched in the memories of cyclone fans for being able to accomplish what we accomplished!

You had many great games in the NCAA but where does your 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks in the win over Seton Hall rank for you?

Seton Hall was definitely one of my favorite games but if I had to say my favorite game it would be my very last game and Iowa State jersey in the sweet 16 in my hometown of Chicago that right there that night it sucked losing but being able to play in front of my family, all of them was an amazing experience.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Tristan Enaruna?

Who would win one on one between me and him would definitely have to say me. I don’t care what Tristan says. That’s my boy for life but Smoove, (his nickname) knows!!

You also play for the Puerto Rican national team. How is the state of basketball in Puerto Rico? In 2021 you reached the Olympic qualifying tournament

The state of Basketball and Puerto Rico is on an all time high. I personally believe there’s so much Puerto Rican talent that we are going to continue to climb and climb! And yes, I did get the opportunity to compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament in 2021. Unfortunately we fell short at qualifying, but at that time I was 20 years old, playing against some of the best talent in the world learning so much at a young age I felt like that was the best thing for me and I had some of the best games in that tournament!

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

I would have to say Jericho Sims of the New York Knicks definitely battled with him. I remember my freshman year. I played really really well against him but my sophomore year he got me good so he would have to be the best person matchup wise I played against that is currently in the NBA.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Tyrese Haliburton , Tremont Waters, Tre Jackson Solomon Young, Talen Horton-Tucker Honorable mention, Sheldon Mac

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

Jordan Kobe Shaq Kareem

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron and why isn’t Kobe mentioned more?

It’s going to forever be a never ending debate, and personally I believe Kobe should be mentioned more but it’s hard to debate about the greatest of all time with a player who is not playing anymore and a player who is currently playing still because the current player still adding more accolades, still adding more stuff while the player that is not playing anymore is already set in stone. So personally, I believe that the debate won’t end until LeBron is done.

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

The sequel to coming to America was more of a comedy sequel. I feel like it was a cool movie! It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a movie that can live up to its prequel.

Thanks George for the chat.

Terrell Everett Got Everything Out Of His Career And Will Always Remember the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven Fans As Being The Best

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Terrell Everett in Frankfurt in 2015

Time really flies. The last time that Terrell Everett (193-G-1984, college: Oklahoma, agency: Diamond Sports) stepped on the floor in Germany to battle in an easyCredit BBL game, it was more than 6 years ago. At that time he wore the BG Goettingen jersey and wouldn’t reach the BBL playoffs that year. His season and last game in Germany was on May ist 2016. In his last game it was another normal day at the office as he helped his team beat S.Oliver Wurzburg as he contributed 14 points, 3 rebounds, 7 dimes and 3 steals. At that time, if he had known that that would be his last game in Germany, he probably would never have dreamed that he would be back in an old stomping ground to duel one more time, but this time in a more relaxed atmosphere. So there he was more than 6.5 years later in Feb 2023 in Bremerhaven competing in the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven 20 year anniversary game. He would play 3 years with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. In more cases than any other, money will keep you in the same place, but for a guy like Everett who became a basketball globetrotter very rapidly, remaining with the Eisbaeren for 3 years was surprising, but then again there is always a reason why a player will remain so long with an organization besides only tasting the big bucks. ‘The Bremerhaven fans are the best. Always welcomed me, always supported me through good and bad. Some of my teammates from the club are now my brothers and we built long lasting friendships’, stressed Terrell Everett

Terrell Everett who feels that Michael Jordan is the real GOAT over Lebron James because his game was relentless was born in Charleston, South Carolina on June 30th, 1984. He began his career at West Ashley High School and played 2 years at Missouri State University West Plains and 2 years at the University of Oklahoma. He then went on to have an illustrious 13 year professional career playing 337 professional games and played for 16 organizations including in the D-League and in countries like France, Czeck Republic, Greece, Croatia, Germany, Romania, Switzerland and Kosovo. He played most of his career in France playing parts of 4 seasons and in Germany playing parts of 5 seasons including 3 seasons with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and one season with BG Goettingen and the Artland Dragons. He was top 5 in assists for a season in many countries and was the top assist man during the 2009-2010 Eurochallenge season and led the first division in Switzerland in assists. He played his last 2 seasons with Golden Eagle Ylli (Kosova-Superliga and retired in 2020 as Covid struck the world. He definitely is positive that he didn’t miss out on anything during his time as a professional baller. ‘I did get everything out of my career. Time did fly by and it was an awesome experience. No regrets. I definitely still can play right now with no problem’, stressed Terrell Everett. Often it is difficult for professional ballers finding a new assignment in life after their playing days are over. ‘It was rough at first. I played basketball all my life and to just not play anymore it felt like something in my life was missing, but through some research I found a great company to work with and build my own business. I managed to transition pretty well after about 8 months and it’s going great so far’, commented Terrell Everett. Today he is sill living in Charleston and still has basketball in his life. Along with his company, he is also looking at some youth players to work out with this summer to improve their game. Basketball has always been great in his life.

He played a total of 92 games in his 5 year stint in Germany with teams Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, Artland Dragons and BG Goettingen. Even if he filled the stat sheet the way a versatile player should, he was always good for a double figures evening as he scored in double figures in 47 games. It is no surprise that he will always have the country Germany and it’s basketball high on his favorite list. ‘Germany is definitely among the top of the list. It’s a great place to be and play’, stated Terrell Everett. He had many great achievements playing for the Eisbaeren like exploding for 28 points in a win against Bayreuth or contributing in a victory over top team Alba Berlin, but his favorite was being able to beat a Euroleague team. ‘Beating Bayreuth was a great moment, but I would have to say the one win vs Bamberg would be the fondest moment. It was the only team I didn’t win vs while I was there and we got it done’, remembered Terrell Everett. In his 3 years in Bremerhaven, he had so many incredible teammates that it’s only obvious that it would be extremely hard to pick only one as being his favorite. ‘Tyrone Brazelton, Torrell Martin, Bazou Kone, Anthony Smith, Zac Peacock just to name a few’, added Terrell Everett.

The ex Oklahoma Sooner who led his team to the NCAA tournament twice and as a senior in 2005-2006 was third in the nation in assists returned back to his old stomping ground Bremerhaven recently taking part in the organization’s 20 year anniversary game. For him returning back was very special. ‘Just the atmosphere of game day and the preparation felt amazing. Being ready to go out and show I still can play the game I love was a great experience for me. Plus the fans still showed me great appreciation’, expressed Terrell Everett. It was quite apparent that some guys like Everett and Quincy Diggs who had still played recently were going to be in greater shape than other guys that had been retired 10 plus years, but then again a guy like Torrell Martin who had been retired more than 6 years didn’t seem to get any older. ‘Definitely T Martin has taken great care of his body, but I also take care of my body just not more than he does’, smiled Terrell Everett. Martin exploded for 33 points, but for most guys the competitive edge was massive, but just being able to enjoy the game and each other played a high role for him. ‘I enjoyed that I could go out there and find some guys for easy baskets knock down some 3’s and have a good time with the former players some that I know and the ones I met at the game’, said Terrell Everett. There were some great plays during the game and for the American still displaying his touch from outside was very satisfying. ‘Shooting a jumper from deep while the opponent was telling me it’s off. He didn’t look at the shot, I just looked at him while the crowd started cheering’, commented Terrell Everett. The stat filler isn’t sure how he would fair in today’s game if he had come up through the ranks now. ‘I would probably be the same guy, the game is different now. There’s no telling what would be in store for me if that was the case’, warned Terrell Everett. He was definitely a player I enjoyed watching every time he touched the Floor in Frankfurt. And it won’t be any different if you ask the diehard fans in Bremerhaven.



Geno Crandall(BG Goettingen) Has Proved This Season In Germany That Even Bigger And Better Things Could Appear On The Basketball Horizon

2023-04-01 BG Goettingen vs. ratiopharm ulm

Geno Crandall (191-SG-1996, college: Gonzaga) is a 26 year old 191cm guard from Minneapolis playing his fourth professional season and first with BG Goettingen. He played parts of 3 seasons in England with the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders (United Kingdom-BBL) winning 2 titles. He played his rookie season in the Czech republic with Dekstone Turi Svitavy (Czech Republic-NBL). He began his basketball career with De Salle high school and then played at the University of North Dakota from 2015-2018. He then added an extra year at top school Gonzaga (NCAA). He spoke to after BG Goettingen’s game 1 87-67 loss to FC Bayern Munich.

BG Goetingen suffered a tough 87-67 loss in game 1 against FC Bayern Munich. You trailed from the start. How tough is it playing catch up against a team like this?

They are super talented and really disciplined in what they do. I feel like the 20 point win is misleading. We hung around for a while and they upped their lead more in the second half. That is what good teams do. It wasn’t like they led for 20 points the whole game.

They hammered you on the boards and had their three pointer cooking. What adjustments will BG Goettingen have to make?

We will have to limit our mistakes and keep it close.

They have so many talented guards with Cassius Winston, Isaac Bonga, Nick Weiler-Babb and Corey Walden. Which guy was the toughest for you personally?

I think that each guy brings something different to the table. Bonga is big and uses the mis matches well while Winston is super talented and has a knack for making shots. The other two are excellent shooters and can also get to the rim. We have to be prepared for different looks.

Your playing your fourth professional season. What kind of an experience has it been playing for BG Goettingen? What have you enjoyed most of the experience?

It has been a great experience playing for BG Goettingen. They are a great club with great coaches, players and fans. The experience playing in the BBL has also been great. It has been an exciting challenge being able to compete against teams at a high level. But that is what every competitor wants to face. I feel like I have been able to learn and develop further at this level.

You had to pay your dues for your first 3 seasons playing in the Czech Republic and England. What do you feel kept you from a higher league.

I think that I had a good rookie season, but then came Covid and the market was all over the place. My agent and I held out a bit too much and as mid September came, I had no team. I was fortunate then landing with Leicester. I just think that since the BBL in the UK doesn’t garner the same kind of respect than other leagues kept me away from higher leagues.

You put up huge stats in England and in Germany your averaging 12/3/4 stats. What has been the biggest adjustment playing in the easyCredit BBL? The physicality is obviously very high.

I think that the 2 biggest adjustments have been the physicality and pace. Both go hand in hand. Important for me is to control myself and to understand when to play with pace. I think when I was able to do that, I was able to play some of my best basketball.

You never averaged more than 4,0apg in the NCAA or the Czech Republic, but then averaged 7,0apg in your 2 seasons in the UK. Do you feel like you have always been an underrated playmaker or did you work on your playmaking more in the UK?

I think that a big part in my assists going up was that I had the ball in my hand a lot more than other seasons. Assists came more naturally to me. I was able to create a lot more than before.

You twice beat Euroleague teams with Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich. Did those wins give you the needed self-confidence that you could play at that level one day?

Yes there is hope for me and I feel that I’m right there. I feel like I can belong on the court with high caliber players like that if I continue to improve my weakness and have my strengths grow and keep working on my body, I can get there.

What has it been like playing with Mark Smith? Have you been a mentor type of guy for him?

In a way I would say so. We have a good relationship. He is very talented and will play a long time. I don’t coach him, but offer the best advice that I can. There was a good example in game 1 against FC Munich where I tried to help him. He went on transition and the mismatch came against Elias Harris. He took a jump shot and after I told him that he could of attacked the rim, but be sure there are guys to help rebound and let his teammates get into better position.

How has Roel Moers helped your game this season? He is an up and coming coach. Do you see his guidance as one that has helped make strides in your game?

He was a guard that played at a high level and knows what were going through. He is constantly giving advice. He tries to help instill in us how he played the game and helps us think the game. He understands absolutely every concept of the game and is always talking to us. He will have a long career.

You played the last 2 seasons with the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders (United Kingdom-BBL) winning the double last season. You won a thrilling 88-87 game against Plymouth and beat top team London Lions 78-75 where you scored 23 points. How special was this team?

We had one of the more well rounded teams in the BBL that season. That was a special point in my career. That was a great season to use as a stepping stones. The team was very talented and I feel we had a number of guys that could of played at higher levels.

You made huge strides in the UK in your 2 years there. How do you feel did your game grow during these 2 years?

I think that having the ball a ton in my hands helped me a lot. It really forced me to see it all. I got a lot of trust to call and design plays. I think this took ownership over my career. This helped the development of my all around game.

You had a memorable triple double 13/12/11 against Plymouth. What does a performance like this mean to you? Was this one of your best games in your career or was your triple double in your rookie season in the Czech Republic against BK Opava better in your eyes?

I have to be honest that I can’t remember either one as well. I think that anytime when you get a triple double it shows extreme effort and intention in the game to do a bit of everything. It shows you left mark on almost everything in the game.

You continued your rookie season with Dekstone Turi Svitavy (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 13.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.7apg, Steals-2 (2.1spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 66.9%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie where you knew that you were far away from home?

I remember the team doing a pre season hiking exhibition up a mountain. I never did that type of thing at home in Minneapolis because we don’t have mountains. I remember waking up the next morning being tired and my back hurting and wondering why I had done that.

How vital was veteran Damonte Dodd in the Czech Republic? Did you guys become like brothers?

Yes I would say so. We had 3 Americans that season and we were close and hung out a lot. Especially during holidays we celebrated together.

You played at North Dakota (NCAA) from 2015-2018. What memories do you have of reaching the NCAA tournament losing 100-82 to Arizona? That starting 5 was tough scoring 80 of the 100 points and had future NBA guys like Kadeem Allen, Lauri Markkanen, Allonzo Trier, and Rawlie Alkins as well as Kobi Simmons and Euroleague player Parker Jackson-Cartwright coming from the bench.

I remember that Arizona team as being tough and very talented. That loss was similar to the Munich loss. I felt like at no time we were overwhelmed and hung around for a while. Good teams will slowly extend lead. That game gave us a lot of confidence and showed that we could stick with high level players for 25-30 minutes.

Which of those guys do you remember impressing you the most?

Lauri Markkanen without a doubt. He could do a bit of everything and had a NBA ready body. He had a nice touch as well. You knew right away that he was really good.

How vital was head coach Brian Jones in your development in the 3 years? How did he help your game most?

He showed a lot of trust in me. He allowed me to start and end plays. He gave me quite a bit of freedom and let me work through mistakes.

Who won a 1-1 back in the day you or Quinton Hooker?

We actually didn’t play so much 1-1. I think that on any given day it could go either way. He was bigger than me and if he got into the paint that it could cause problems, but I was quicker and more athletic.

You then finished at the well known basketball institution Gonzaga playing for Mark Few. How special is he? Would be fair to say he is a top 5 college basketball coach?

I would consider him a top 5 coach in the NCAA. He is a special coach that knows how to relate to guys and simply gets the best out of them. He has a unique style and doesn’t get in your face, but does hold you accountable. He has high expectations of you and that puts pressure on you to expect a lot of yourself.

What memories do you have playing against Duke (NCAA) losing 88-86 and seeing Zion Williamson up close and the guard talent of RJ Barrett?

I had never seen Zion play, but only knew of the hype and the videos. But then there you are on the court with him and then he is as good as advertised. He is something special. RJ Barrett already had NBA size and could really hit shots.

You were the senior in an underclassman back court of Joel Ayayi, Corey Kispert and Zach Norvell. Did you see those guys then as future NBA players?

Yes I did. You could see in practice and games that these guys were smart, physical and could make shots. You could check all NBA boxes early with them.

Who is the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

There were quite a few. Alonzo Trier, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Trey Jones

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Reid Travis, Josh Perkins and my last spot is a tie with Zach Norvell, Corey Kispert and Quinton Hooker.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, Allen Iverson and Lebron James

Who will reach the final the win the 2023 NBA title?

I have the Lakers

If Lebron James wins the 2023 NBA title, is he the GOAT?

I would hope so for now.

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

Absolutely 100%.

Thanks Geno for the chat.


Tyson Ward And The Telekom Baskets Bonn Were Extremely Hungry And Focused To Make A Dream Of Winning The BCL Into A Reality

Photo credit Basketball Champions League

Tyson Ward (198-SF-1997, college: NDSU) is a 25 year old 198cm guard/forward from Tampa Bay, Florida that is playing his third season in Germany with and second with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Last season with Bonn he averaged 32 games: 7.0ppg, 3.7rpg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 62.5%. he played his rookie season with s.Oliver Wurzburg averaging 9.2ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 65.3%. He played at North Dakota State University (NCAA) from 2016-2020 playing a total of 129 NCAA games. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding season averages each year. In his senior year he played 33 games averaging 16.9ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to after helping the Telekom Baskets Bonn win the 2023 Basketball Champions League.

Congrats Tyson on winning the Basketball Champions League title. Has it sunk in yet? How does your body feel in general when you’re a champion?

It still hasn’t sunk in yet, to be the BCL Champions is a crazy idea and insane. It’s a surreal feeling to think about. My body was in shock for the most part, a wave of emotions.

You know what it’s like winning a title having won the Summit League title in 2019 and 2020,but what does this title mean to you personally? Your first professional title?

This means a lot, it’s testament to all the hard work that me and my teammates have put in since day 1. My first professional title is a BCL championship, and one of the toughest international leagues to play in. That’s a solid first pro trophy if you ask me.

Talk a little about the 15 hours between hearing the siren and landing in Bonn. How long did you sleep?

I can tell you I definitely got enough sleep yesterday on the plane, and when I got home!

How did you experience the arrival at the Cologne airport and celebration at the Telekom Dome? How energetic were the fans?

They were ecstatic, our picture in airport billboards and on newspapers. It was a great experience, everyone welcomed us with open arms and love, we could feel the love as soon as we landed.

After the thrilling win over Malaga how sure were you and the team about winning it all? Despite the valiant effort by Hapoel Jerusalem, was the Malaga the secret final game?

We knew we had a great chance before the first game, everyone in that locker was extremely hungry and focused to make a dream into a reality. Both games were tough, when we won the first game we were excited, but knew we had another tough team in Jerusalem. The final game was the final game.

The final against Hapoel was another great game. In the first half Bonn as usual played their feisty defense allowing only 7 points. But in the second and third quarters Bonn allowed a total of 47 points. What adjustments did the opponent make in that phase?

I mean they are a high level team with high level players, we expected them to come out and swing. They never gave up.

What did head coach Tuomas Iisalo tell the team going into the fourth quarter. What adjustments did you make on the defensive end?

No adjustments, only to focus on what we do well and that’s our Identity. We really wanted to win so we made sure we emptied the tank.

I personally saw Malaga as a lot stronger roster wise than Hapoel, but they gave all they had. How annoying was this team? What was key at the end was key team wise for getting the win?

Same thing as before maintaining our identity and staying solid was the key, high level teams are going to make plays but we need to limit the amount of good plays they get.

Levi Randolph gave a spirited scoring battle with TJ Shorts. How menacing was he and what can one appreciate most from his game as a player?

He is a skilled guard of course, he hit some tough shots and all you can do is tip your cap. He is a high level player for sure.

TJ Shorts deserved the MVP award with 29 points and carried the team whenever he needed it. Does he secretly have a Super man cape under his jersey?

He’s a tough dude that’s for sure, I mean TJ is obviously MVP for a reason. He makes great decisions and is always making the right reads. He just just really really good!

If someone had told you in August 2021 after your first practice with Bonn that in May 2023 the team would win an international title and be the number 1 BBL team what would you have thought?

Sounds about right, From day one we knew what we had! It was just a question of what wouldn’t we accomplish

How satisfied are you with your own game coming in and playing your role and helping win a title?

Extremely happy! to say any different would mean I wouldn’t be playing my role correctly, I care about winning a lot, and I’m willing to do whatever the team needs to win! I think that goes for everyone on this team, we just excel in our roles!

Everyone knows how brilliant of a coach Tuomas Iisalo is, but did he grow another step in his coaching abilities in Malaga steering the team to the title?

Coach as you know has always been a great coach, nothing less! He learns at an insane rate and continues to help us improve along the way. So I would say yes!

You scored 8 points in the final. What play in the final will always be your favorite?

I was just happy to hoist the trophy, scoring the ball was the least important thing.

The season isn’t over as you began the playoffs tomorrow. How beneficial will this title be mentally for the team as it begins it’s quest to win it’s second season title?

I mean it can help and hurt, winning on a big stage like that can be huge for our confidence. But we must not overlook our opponents because these guys are very good professional, and no team in the BBL should be taken lightly!

The Niners played the Telekom Baskets Bonn tough and like every team will be gunning for you. What will be key in getting the series win?

Identity is the key to win this series!

What are your predictions Lakers-Nuggets and Celtics-Heat and who will win it all?

Lakers in 6
Celtics in 7
Lakers champions

Thanks Tyson for the chat


Javontae Hawkins(Telekom Baskets Bonn) Knew When The Team Got Off The Plane In Malaga That They Would Be Crowned Champions

Foto credit Basketball Champions League

Javontae Hawkins (196-G-1993, college: Fordham) is a 29 year old 196cm forward from Huntigton, West Virginia playing his sixth professional season and second with the Telekom Baskets Bonn after starting the season with Limoges CSP Elite (France-Betclic ELITE ProA). Last season he had his first tour of duty with Bonn averaging 15.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 77.8%. In 20-21 he sat out because of injury. He played his third professional season with the HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim averaging15.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.4%. In 2018-2019 he played with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 29 games averaging 11.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.5%. As a rookie he played with the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 54 games averaging 14.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 79.9%. He played NCAA basketball at three schools with S Florida from 2012-2014 playing 54 NCAA games, then had his break out season with Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 17.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5% and finished at Fordham (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 84.3%. He spoke after winning the 2023 Basketball Champions League.

You reached the Finish final in 2018 as a rookie and 5 years later you need just a little more than 2 months to win your first chip. How crazy is that?

It’s amazing. Man I can’t do nothing but be thankful to God right now. Incredible feeling!

Congrats on winning the Basketball Champions League title. Has it sunk in yet? How does your body feel in general when you’re a champion?

Thank you! No it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s still an unreal feeling. Like I haven’t took my medal off yet. It feels great to win my first ever championship. I’m grateful!

Talk a little about the 15 hours between hearing the siren and landing in Bonn. How long did you sleep?

I didn’t sleep much at all. We were soaking in the moment.

After the thrilling win over Malaga how sure were you and the team about winning it all? Despite the valiant effort by Hapoel Jerusalem, was the Malaga the secret final game?

I felt from when we first stepped off the plane in Malaga that we were going to be crowned champions. Coach Iisalo always tells us ‘Find a way to win’ we put in so much work and humbling speaking we have more harder practices than hard games.

The final against Hapoel was another great game. In the first half Bonn as usual played their feisty defense allowing only 7 points. But in the second and third quarters Bonn allowed a total of 47 points. What adjustments did the opponent make in that phase?

I just felt we missed some key assignments starting with myself, I had some plays on defense where I could’ve did a lot better and also the offensive rebounding from Hapoel was crucial. They’re a great team.

What did head coach Tuomas Iisalo tell the team going into the fourth quarter. What adjustments did you make on the defensive end?

We didn’t make any adjustments we just did what we were supposed to do and that’s simply defend the way we do.

I personally saw Malaga as a lot stronger roster wise than Hapoel, but they gave all they had. How annoying was this team? What was key at the end was key team wise for getting the win?

I think it was tough guarding a lot of iso guys on 1 team. They had 3-4 iso guys on 1 team so it’s not easy but then again it works in our favor because iso basketball is easier to defend than tactical basketball.

Levi Randolph gave a spirited scoring battle with TJ Shorts. How menacing was he and what can one appreciate most from his game as a player?

He’s an elite scorer he has a high motor as well. Great player in my eyes.

TJ Shorts deserved the MVP award with 29 points and carried the team whenever he needed it. Does he secretly have a Super man cape under his jersey?

He definitely deserves MVP and has been consistent all year like none other. I believe he’s the heart and soul of the team and no one carries a team by himself we all have roles that help accommodate the team for a common team goal. And we did that!

You had a 7-1 record in your BCL season. How satisfied are you with your own game coming in and playing your role and helping win a title?

I’m very satisfied because I learned a lot playing a different more leadership/energetic role. People often looked at me as just a guy who can score but I think I showed I have an all around game upon my arrival back in Bonn

In the 2019-2020 season one already got a sense of what Tuomas Iisalo was capable of doing as he led the Hakro Merlins on an incredible season. Did it ever occur or dawn on you in that season that coach would win a title in the next years?

Of course. I believe that season was the start to it all. The players he had that year set the tone for the future teams he will continue to have. I often think on that season a lot because we were on to something special but to fast forward to now I think so many people see how great of a coach he is.

The season isn’t over as you began the playoffs in 24 hours. How beneficial will this title be mentally for the team as it begins it’s quest to win it’s second season title?

It simply brings momentum and swagger

The Niners played the Telekom Baskets Bonn tough and like every team will be gunning for you. What will be key in getting the series win?

Sticking to our identity. And focusing on us.

What are your predictions Lakers-Nuggets and Celtics-Heat and who will win it all?

Nuggets, Celtics and I’d say Nuggets or Celtics in 7.

Thanks Javontae for the chat.


The EPG Baskets Koblenz Take Control IN Crunch-Time Talking Game 1 In Semi-finals 95-86 Over the BSW Sixers

The EPG Baskets Koblenz cruised through the Pro B south in the regular season, but the playoffs have been another story. With the help of their incredible fans in their living room CGM arena, the club led by head coach Pat Elzie were able to get by the EN Baskets Schwelm and Basketball Lowen Erfurt, but it wasn’t a cake walk as they had to go the distance. Their next opponent were the tough BSW Sixers who finished in second place in the Pro B north with a 20-4 record. In the playoffs they had an easier time disposing of Oberaching and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors both in sweeps. They had their defense spot on never allowing more than 66 points in a game. On top of that the EPG Baskets weren’t going to be in their living room in the CGM arena, but in their old living room in the Karthause gym, one that is a lot smaller, but that was something they had to deal with. When you get so far all that counts are very good performances on the court. The BSW Sixers came to Koblenz for game 1 and stuck with the EPG Baskets Koblenz for 40 minutes, but in crunch-time lost a little steam and allowed Koblenz to play their game. It was a disheartening loss, but at the end the EPG Baskets just had more left in their tank and executed better at both ends. ‘They are a very good team and played a very good game, but so did we. We had a few lapses on defense and they made us pay. They have good shooters and a good point guard. When the thin air comes, you have to be locked in and you can’t take any plays off’, warned BSW Sixers forward Donte Nicholas. The EPG Baskets Koblenz had their ups and downs in the first quarter, but in the second half upped their intensity and played better together as a team. ‘We stuck together for the whole 40 minutes. We had our ups and downs, but executed when we wanted to. We came together in the clutch moments and got stops and made shots’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz guard Alani Moore II (178-PG-1998, college: Temple).

Moses Poelking at the ft line

The EPG Baskets Koblenz were given a blow as top point guard Marvin Heckel couldn’t suit up due to food poisoning. The school gym was packed as 1,200 people were packed in the gym to see the BSW Sixers jump out to a 7-2 lead and soon after extended it to 17-8. The guests had their offense flowing early getting baskets from German big Marco Rahn, ex BBL player Aleksa Kovacevic and a trey from ex Rhondorf guard Ralph Hounnou. Koblenz had a slow start, but soon stuck to the game plan of going inside by getting Moses Poelking and Brian Butler to the free throw line and ex BBL player Leon Friederici nailed a trey as they trailed only 9-8. Koblenz controlled Mr triple double Donte Nicolas well as he had to pass way more than shoot, so someone else had to take control and that was 22 year old Latvian Kristaps Kilps who supplied back to back three’s and a lay in for good measure as the guests led 17-8. The EPG Baskets did a horrible job covering the three point line allowing the Latvian sniper too much room and struggled on their rotations. But after a Koblenz timeout, they came back rejuvenated and closed out the first quarter with a positive 16-7 run to capture the lead at 25-24. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shared the ball better and got more guys involved. They especially got the three ball rolling as ex Iserlohn forward Moritz Huebner and Moore connected, but also showed their inside presence getting lay in’s from Friederici and ex Bremerhaven big Niclas Sperber. ‘You could see that the team missed Marvin Heckel very much. We didn’t do a good job covering the three point line and allowed Kilps to get hot. We closed out the first half well though’, stressed EPG Baskets manager Thomas Klein.

Aleksa Kovacevic with the jumper

The second quarter was a tight affair until the last few minutes where the EPG Baskets Koblenz lost total control and served up free gifts which the BSW Sixers took total advantage of. The EPG Baskets Koblenz got a clutch three pointer from ex Coburg guard Yasin Turan and 2 Friederici free throws, but couldn’t make ground as the guests got free throws from Kilps and a pull up jumper from Kovacevic to knot the game at 30-30. Koblenz continued to have the slight lead getting a trey from ex BBL player Dominique Johnson and a turn around shot from close range from ex Ehingen center Brian Butler for the 37-32 advantage. After a Kilps lay in and Butler free throw, Koblenz still led 38-34, but the game then began to turn. The BSW Sixers closed out the second quarter with a swift 14-3 run to lead 48-41 at the break. In the run, the guests got a clutch trey from 2018 JBBL winner Evans Rapieque and a lay in on the back door cut by Kilps as Koblenz had no remedy to stop this play as Koblenz trailed 39-38. The BSW Sixers heightened their defensive pressure and got key steals by Kovacevic who scored twice, but he also sparkled with his playmaking setting up 2018 JBBL winner Hendrik Warner for 2 simple lay in’s as Koblenz got beat twice on the lob pass as the guests had the 7 point advantage. ‘We had too many unforced errors. We had a total lack of concentration. We were lucky they didn’t lead with 10-15 points. Their guards dominated on offense and on defense they were clever enough not to allow our bigs into position’, stated Thomas Klein. Dontae Nicholas missed a good amount of the second quarter with foul trouble. The BSW Sixers shot 53% from the field and 71% from outside and had 19 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 43% from the field and 47% from outside and had 16 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Donte Nicholas at the FT line

The third quarter was a real classic example of playoff basketball as the EPG Baskets Koblenz fought back and stole the lead back, but led only by 3 points after 30 minutes. The BSW Sixers kept the good lead for a few minutes as Hounnou hit a 15 footer and Marco Rahn a trey for the 55-46 lead. But then came the big moment for sniper and scoring in bunches guard Leon Friederici who has demonstrated so often this season that he can carry his team with his hot shooting. He nailed three in a row and suddenly the BSW Sixers led only 56-55. ‘Leon is so important. I had wanted him since 2016. Now you know why. He always plays all in. I just like him’, said Thomas Klein. ‘We knew coming in what he is capable of. You turn your head for one second and he is already hitting three’s. He is a good player’, stated Donte Nicholas. The hot three point shooting continued as Dominque Johnson connected and Rahn and Hounnou scored as the guests got the lead back at 62-60. Koblenz grabbed the lead back as they did a good job on the offensive glass as Poelking scored and Moore secured free throws for the 67-62 lead. Nicholas who had been controlled well in the first half found some daylight scoring twice and Kilps made a trey to once again dead lock the game at 69-69. With 39 seconds to play energetic guard Aleksa Kovacevic lay on the ground with severe pain holding his knee. He exited the game and seemed like he wouldn’t return. ‘Oh he’ll be back’, warned Thomas Klein. Moritz Huebner closed out the third quarter with a 3 point play and 72-69 EPG Baskets lead. ‘Coach told us at half-time that we were playing too soft. We took it personal but in a positive way. We raised our energy and IQ. We also felt this sense of urgency. We all hit shots and gave 120%’, stated Alani Moore II. ‘They ran a set that we hadn’t prepared for. We made adjustments but still had defensive lapses’, commented Donte Nicholas.

Dominique Johnson from outside

In the fourth quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz gained control despite a valiant effort by the BSW Sixers and true competitor Aleksa Kovacevic who returned to the game after hurting his knee at the end of the third quarter. Little used German guard Moritz Schneider drilled home a trey to tie the game at 72-72. Turan reacted with a three point play and 75-72 Koblenz advantage. Then at the 8,28 minute mark, Aleksa Kovacevic returned. He was limping a bit, but still playing at full force as his adrenaline mus have bene pushing him. He took over the reins again as he hit a trey and made a lay in displaying a pretty pass fake to the wing and finishing himself as Koblenz had the slim 78-77 lead. ‘I knew Aleksa was coming back. He is Serbian. They are different. It must be something in the water’, smiled Donte Nicholas. ‘He is a good point guard. I like playing against good competition. A guy like that makes me better. He showed real heart coming back on the court after his injury. He gave all he had for his team’, stated Alani Moore II. As crunch time was arriving the EPG Baskets Koblenz knew they had to continue to execute and keep their high intensity against a more fatigued Sixers team and did that executing well as Friederici and Moore connected on clutch three’s for the 88-81 advantage. Moore had double duty without Heckel on his side, but he did a fine job shuffling the scoring and playmaking by himself as he finished with 17 points and 12 dimes. ‘I knew that I had to make more plays. I took over and got the ball to the hot hand. I tried to be the best leader I could and kept everybody going’, warned Alani Moore II. Butler followed with a dunk for the 90-81 advantage. The Sixers weren’t done yet as Hounnou came through with another trey to cut Koblenz’s lead to 90-84, But Koblenz closed out the game with a massive Poelking dunk for the 93-84 lead. Moore and Johnson added free throws for good measure sealing the victory. ‘We got them into foul trouble and exploited the mis matches. We went on a run when we do it’s hard stopping us’, warned Alani Moore II. ‘We had foul trouble and then the snow ball effect came. They made shots and drew fouls. The game went their way’, said Donte Nicholas. The EPG Baskets Koblenz were led by Leon Friederici with 23 points. Alani Moore II added 17 points and Dominique Johnson 14 points while the BSW Sixers were led by Aleksa Kovacevic with 25 points while Kristaps Kilps scored 18 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 48% form the field and 44% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 18 turnovers while the BSW Sixers shot 49% from the field and 50% from outside and had 32 rebounds and 19 turnovers.

Koby Mcewen Is That Explosive Scorer But Wants to Also Take Over A Game With His Pasing Ability

Koby McEwen (193-G-1997, college: Weber St.) is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Canada that played his rookie season overseas with the Norrkoping Dolphins (Sweden-Basketligan) averaging his first season overseas with the Norrkoping Dolphins (Sweden-Basketligan). He began his professional career with the Hamilton Honey Badgers (CEBL) averaging 14.8ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 54.2%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 82.8%, and finished the season with the Raptors 905 Missisauga (NBA G League) averaging 4.0ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.0apg. He got his first professional experience with the 2: Hamilton Honey Badgers (CEBL) averaging 10.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.5%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 80.0%. He began to play basketball at Wasatch Academy. He then played at 3 NCAA schools with Utah State, Marquette and Weber State where he averaged 18.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 83.2% in his senior year. He was able to average in double figures in a NCAA season 4 times. He spoke to about basketball.

Thanks Koby for talking to You played your first season overseas with the Norrkoping Dolphins (Sweden-Basketligan). What did you appreciate most about your time in Sweden?

I appreciated how well people speak English here, because I know it’s not like that in some parts of Europe. It kind of makes me feel more at home and it’s way easier to adjust to a life overseas.

The organization has won 5 league titles and have won the last 2. Do you feel like there was pressure on the club now? The club didn’t start off as good as a few other teams?

I don’t think there’s any type of pressure, there’s definitely expectations for the club to do well because the fans and the organization are used to winning, but that’s what comes with the territory of being a part of a winning culture.

You have put up solid stats in Sweden and Fiba Europe Cup. What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from the NCAA?

The physicality is a lot higher, and it’s hard to be a physical player in college because the rules eliminate that. But here you’re allowed to use it to your advantage, so just realizing that and getting used to that aspect of the game is something I’m getting used to.

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

I don’t think I play like anybody, I play the game like Koby McEwen. Big guard, who can shoot, create shots for himself and others, who can defend and rebound at his position at a high level.

Is fair to say that you are the classic combo guard? Are you more a shooting guard than point guard? Please talk about your function as a combo guard since you began in the NCAA?

I would say I’m a combo guard, not a shooting guard. Someone who can run a team, but also score the ball at a high level. I can take pressure off the point guard and set him up for shots or even run the team when he’s out the game.

You have always been a scorer, but also a guy that can fill the stat sheet. How versatile in general would you describe your game?

I think my versatility just comes from my competitive nature and my will to win. I don’t really focus on stats too much, I just focus on winning. Once you focus on winning stats will come, but I would just say I’m a real two way player, I can I can defend as well as I can score.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can keep moving up the basketball ladder?

I think just being able to take over a game with my passing, if I get that area of my game to the point where I don’t have to score to dominate along with my ability to put the ball in the basket, I think I can play at the highest level.

You had your first professional experience last summer in Canada with the Hamilton Honey Badgers (CEBL) averaging 10.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.5%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 80.0%. What kind of an experience was that and what do you remember being your wake up call to being a professional player?

It was a great experience playing against high level players that play in Europe and the G-league. It taught me a lot about the pro game and I was able to win a championship in my first pro experience.

You played at 3 NCAA school with Utah State, Marquette and Weber State. How beneficial was getting experience at 3 schools over just having played at 1 school? What kind of player were you in 2016 and what did you become in 2022 when you left Weber State?

I benefited from playing under different circumstances and different coaching staffs, different players and programs. I got to see all aspects and all sides of how things go and I am grateful for all the time I had at each stop. The player I was at the beginning was a dynamic scorer who would shoot any type of shot, but at Weber I became a lot more consistent and efficient, and was able to evolve into an even better basketball player.

You began your NCAA career at Utah State University in 2016 and played 2 seasons there. You needed no adjustment time there averaging 14.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 72.6% and 15.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 72.5%. You had some huge 30 plus games against Nevada and New Mexico, but where do you rank your 28 points in the exciting 81-79 win over Fresno State in your most memorable games at Utah State?

I think that game is top 10. I remember that game, it was a lot of fun and especially getting that win in overtime I believe. I was in a tremendous rhythm and had confidence to do pretty much anything on the court.

How vital was it having the daily battles with Sam Merrill. After you left would you have thought that he would make the NBA?

It was great, I learned a lot from Sam that I still carry with me till this day. With Sam’s shooting ability he’s a specialist, so I’m not surprised he’s in the NBA and he had a great college career to back it up.

You then played at Marquette (NCAA) from 2019-2021. You didn’t have the kind of stats like at Utah State, but what steps did your game take there?

I think I improved my work capacity at Marquette, just being able to work past pretty much anything and show up everyday and give it your all.

You finished your NCAA career at Weber State University (NCAA) averaging 18.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 83.2%. You made another jump in your game. How did your game grow and was this decision to leave Marquette the best decision ever?

I worked a lot with coach marek, and Jorge Ruiz everyday just adjusting my shot, and working on my game. Coach rahe also gave me the opportunity to come in and just be me, and allow me to be the player I know I am and didn’t judge me and welcomed me with open arms. I think the decision to leave was really smart, just needed a fresh start to gain some new momentum.

How did Tim Duryea, Steve Wojciechowski and Randy Rahe groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

I think all three did the best they could to prepare me for what’s to come.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Jawara Seikou?

Definitely my boy Sigu would win most of the time!

You were a U-16 national player for Canada and was teammates with Jamal Murray. What memories do you have of his game? How have you observed his development over the years?

I really just remember the off court times we had in Dubai, and how crazy of an experience that was. But Jamal has always been who he was at every place he’s been at, and he’s always been one of the best players on the court whether the opponent knows it or not and if they didn’t know they soon found out.

You played at the U-16 Fiba Americas and U-17 World championships where you had a great game against Angola with 23 points. How has Canadian talent grown since your days? You didn’t play for any more youth teams after that. The guard competition in Canada is big now.

The Canadian talent is growing every time we look up, more and more players are getting drafted and signed into the NBA.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

I didn’t face him, but I have to give it to my ex teammate Markus Howard. Playing him in practice everyday was a great experience.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Sam Hauser
Sam Merrill
Sacar Anim
Julion Pearre
Markus Howard

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

Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Michael Jordan
Derrick Rose (for personal reasons)
Hakeem The Dream

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

I think basketball is an ever evolving game and I think it’s hard to compare eras and times where players played. To make it fair Lebron will end up being top 10 in every statistical category so I think that makes him the undisputed number 1. But Jordan obviously was amazing in his time in the NBA.

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

I did not see that movie, so I can’t comment on it haha

Thanks Koby for the chat.


20 Years Ago Uvis Helmanis Played in Bamberg and 20 Years Later Son Kris Continues The Family Legacy In Tuebingen

I was lucky that the first BBL basketball I was introduced to was the exciting 2004 BBL finals series between the Opel Skyliners and GHP Bamberg that Frankfurt won in 5 grueling games and a year later Bamberg would get revenge and also win in 5 games this time in Freak City. There were so many incredible players on both ends of the floor those 2 years as Frankfurt had the Bermuda triangle with Pascal Roller, Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis and Bamberg had incredible players like Robert Garrett, Stefan Hamann and Jason Sasser. The Smorgasbord of talent just never stopped as Bamberg also had some other guys like top center Chris Ensminger and the versatile Latvian lion Uvis Helmanis. 19 years later, these guys are still involved in German basketball as Ensminger is a coach in the Ulm youth area and Helmanis was head coach of the Basketball Lowen Erfurt. But these names are also still present on the court today. No Chris and Uvis aren’t also moonlighting as players, but their off spring are also present. The Ensminger sons Zach and Jacob have been around a few years as Jakob played in the NCAA this season while Zach has made a sound progression from the Pro B and Orange Academy and plays in the EasyCredit BBL with the red hot Telekom Baskets Bonn this season via the Artland Dragons. But this season the name Ensminger won’t be alone as Kriss Helmanis is also playing in Germany with Pro A team Tigers Tuebingen. Back in the day when Chris and Uvis were battling in the paint area with guys like Mario Kasun and Malik Badiane, Zach was 4 years old and Kriss was only 3 years old. Time really does fly. Obviously pin pointing any memories from the 2005 BBL finals is difficult, but when he hears the name Bamberg he smiles. ‘ I could not tell you any stories but I have a lot of good memories from Germany and Bamberg from when I was little, for example I remember sleeping under the chairs in the stands during almost every home game and hanging out with all of the families of the players there’,remembered Kriss Helmanis (209-PF-2002) 20 years ago Uvis Helmanis began in Bamberg and 20 years later son Kris continues the family legacy in Tuebingen.

Uvis Helmanis and Miles Schmidt-Scheuber in 2018 in Frankfurt

Kriss Helmanis who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with Shaq, Nikola Jokic, Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant was born on April 7, 2002. He began his career with BJBS Riga/DSN/Sporta Bode (LBL2) in his homeland. It was here that he was introduced to basketball and he wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything. ‘ I was surrounded by a lot of people who believed in me and my skills, gave me a lot of confidence and let me experiment to get better. The last years in Latvia, playing under coach Raivo Otersons, made me grow both as a player and person, which got me ready to move abroad’, said Kriss Helmanis. Being able to have the opportunity to leave your home land and play in Spain is something many players dream about. It is even more of a treat when you can live in the vicinity of Barcelona and play for the Joventut Badalona U18 team and practice as well with Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona. Being able to soak in so much from great players has to be greater than being a little kid in a candy store. Who knows where he would be today had he not taken this opportunity and not been teammates with legend Ante Tomic. ‘ I wouldn’t be the player I am today without crossing paths with Ante Tomic. Just the way he carries himself on and off the court with such professionalism. My locker room was next to his so I saw it up close. He really is a magician on the court and there isn’t neccessarily any advice, but practicing with him and being in the same locker room was an amazing experience’, warned Kriss Helmanis. He then got a double license to play with ACB team Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona and their farm team CB Prat Juventud (Spain-LEB Silver). In the last 3 seasons he played a total of 73 games. In 20-21 he helped them move up to the Leb Gold. Last season he averaged 7.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 65.7%. Unfortunately in these 3 years he played only 1 ACB game and 2 Eurocup games, but he witnessed a lot different playing styles and also saw how the physicality really worked. He saw a steady development in Spain and was a totally different player when he left in 2022 than when he arrived in 2018. ‘ I think I saw the most improvement in the mental/psychological aspect of the game. I went through a lot of difficulties throughout the years which made me stronger on and off the court. Before coming to Spain I didn’t really see a prototype player in front of me so I didn’t know who I wanted to model my game after entirely (Nikola Jokic obviously was already at the top of the list), but coming to Spain, seeing Marko Todorovic play in my first year, and later on practicing with Ante Tomic. Not a lot of players are that lucky to have all these amazing players next to them in their early years’, stressed Kriss Helmanis

Last summer the forward that names Alperen Sengun and Josh Giddey as his toughest foes on the court as they already dominated the game in early years played the U-20 European championships for Latvia. The team went only 2-4, but Helmanis had a very consistent tournament averaging 13.3ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.2apg, Blocks-5 (1.7bpg), FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 65.0%. He has been part of Latvia’s youth national team for years as he also played at the U-16 European Championships in Serbia (6.0ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.2apg, 1.8spg, Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP: 31.8%, 3PT: 25.0%) and also balled at the 2019 U-19 world championships (9.9ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.1apg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 47.8%. He definitely has a big future ahead of him and should be a main stay for years in the senior team. ‘Playing for the national team is always an amazing experience. Representing your own country on an international scale is an honor and I am proud to be able to do this. I think every basketball player growing up dreams of playing for their senior national team, and that is one of my goals as a basketball player and hopefully I can achieve that goal’, stated Kriss Helmanis.

Now the big powerful forward who lists Arturs Zagars, Yannick Kraag, Zsombor Maronka, Miguel Malik Allen and Ante Tomic as guys he has loved to play with the most in his career is playing in Germany with the Tigers Tuebingen. For a guy who’s father has had ties to Germany for years and coached here for a few, one has to wonder why he didn’t land in Germany earlier? ‘At that time I thought it was a better choice for me to go to Spain, there weren’t any reasons for me not to go to Germany, but I feel like Spain was the right option then’, remembered Kriss Helmanis. He probably won’t need to much adjustment time in the beginning, because he has known coach Jansson for some years. There is already a mutual trust there before that first team practice. Jansson is a coach on the rise and has made the Tigers Tuebingen club from a team on the decline to a top team in the Pro A. He is in a system where he is confident his game will shine in. ‘His team plays a style of basketball that gets everybody involved, super team-oriented basketball, which I really appreciate and would love to be a part of, and hopefully my skills will help the team succeed even more and compliment my teammates abilities’, said Kriss Helmanis in 2022. Coming from the ACB, teams and players will be gunning for him, but he also knows that there will always be pressure, but he knows the best remedy is to fight against it and have success. ‘ I am super excited as I have always felt like Germany was like home to me, I wouldn’t say I have pressure because I am doing the thing I love and it is a privilege to be in this situation. Obviously, I understand that people believe in me and I am going to work hard and do everything to make sure their trust in me pays off’, warned Kriss Helmanis in late summer 2022.

The Helmanis family

So what type of player has Pro A Germany seen with Kriss Helmanis who believes that Michael Jordan is the GOAT? He is a 208cm big man and wouldn’t necessarily classify his game to a Kristaps Porzingis who’s brother Janis is also his agent, but moreover would classify his game more to a Nikola Jokic. He has been watching Jokic’s assist highlights since he was drafted. It is also no surprise that he is a modern day forward. Nowadays a big man not incorporating a three is as strange as seeing Steph Curry go 2 games in a row without attempting a three. ‘I think basketball is evolving each decade and shooting is a skill that almost every player should have in their arsenal. Obviously, I was lucky that I had my dad to model my shot after ever since I was a kid, not a lot of players get that privilege’, commented Kriss Helmanis. He is a guy that watches a lot of video’s on players. He just wants to keep improving and being as versatile as possible. ‘I really like watching Nikola Jokic play, as well as Ante Tomic. They are not the most athletic players but they play intelligent basketball and I have learned a lot of things watching them play over the years, and really try to model myself after them. Of course I dream of having the same control over the game as both of them have, but I think I am on the right path. My main focus is getting better on the physical side of basketball, strength and agility’, expressed Kriss Helmanis. But it isn’t only watching Jokic video’s and remembering Ante Tomic’s advice, but it’s obvious his own papa was also a big influence. Being able to use both hands equally was massive. ‘ I would say the most important thing was him teaching me to shoot with my right hand. I was born a lefty, but one day he came up to me and started showing me how to shoot with my right hand, which still gives me an advantage, that I know how to use both hands’, warned Kriss Helmanis. This season he is currently averaging 6,4ppg, 3,9rpg and 1,4apg in 18 minutes per game and has sparkled as a potent role player. Currently he is battling Bremerhaven in the playoffs and lead the series 2-1. He is definitely a big man that has the fire to get better with hard work. He has played 1-1 against dad Uvis his whole life ‘ When I play against my dad the loser has to do push-ups. Let’s just say my dad has done a lot of push-ups’, smiled Kriss Helmanis. But one thing is for sure, he will still need to visit the gym on a regular basis to work on strength. He definitely won’t get physically stronger when he plays 1-1 against his dad because he doesn’t lose.