Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Van Girard Knows How To Turn Setbacks Into Huge Comebacks

GirardIIVan Girard is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Los Angeles, California that completed his first season in Europe with the  Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) averaging 3,0ppg and 1,7rpg.. He has bounced around North America in the last 4-5 years getting exposure in the Drew League as well as with the S.California Summer Pro League (And1 Select team)and  Newport Beach Sunblockers (WCBL). He also got further experience with the Elite Talent Exchange Glo Japan playing 10 games averaging 12ppg, 8rpg, 2apg, 3spg and with Vaqueros de Saucillo (Mexico-Chihuahua Vive): Score-1 (27.5ppg), Reb-2 (12.9rpg). He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the 2017-2018 season.

Van, thanks for talking to German Hoops. You just completed your first season overseas and first with the  Nuernberg Falcons BC. Your back in the states now. How good is it to be back home in Los Angeles. What was the first thing you did when you touched foot on home soil? Possibly search out your favorite eatery?

Loving being back home! Great weather and was great to see my family. First thing we did was go to in&out burger and eat! Love that place.

After reaching Europe for the first time in your professional career, you didn´t seem to travel anywhere, but returned home to Los Angeles right away. What did you learn to appreciate the most about Germany?

My family and I traveled a bit. Saw a few great sites in Germany, but also had the chance during a layover in Iceland to visit the blue lagoon. Both were amazing experiences.

Before we talk specifically about your personal season on the court, talk a little about your first experience overseas in Germany. It took you 6 years to get overseas. You averaged only 3,0ppg in 8 minutes in a very limited role. How do summarize your experiences in the German Pro A on and off the court?

Overall, this season only fueled the fire under me to continue to work hard and get better. Would love to come back to Pro A next season with an increased role to show what I really can do.


Isaac Bonga Keeps NBA Dream Alive Keeping Name In 2018 NBA Draft

The night of June 21 will be a big night for Isaac Bonga as well as for Fraport Skyliner fans who might take a holiday day, sick day or go to work with only a few hours of sleep not wanting to miss exactly where the German basketball talent will be drafted. He could be the third player drafted in the Skyliners club history after Croatian Mario Kasun in 2002 and Senegal center Malick Badiane was in 2003. The 18 year old Bonga who is a 205cm guard could be the youngest player drafted this season and belongs to the top German talents at the moment and has decided to stay in the draft. He had declared for the 2018 NBA Draft recently, but had the option to withdraw his name until June 11th in order to wait another year, but instead he will try his luck this season. Bonga recently completed his second professional season with the Fraport Skyliners playing 34 BBL games averaging 6,0ppg, 3,1rpg,2,2apg and 1,0spg while shooting 33% from outside. There was speculation that the German would withdraw as his name had disappeared from many of the early mock drafts and return to the Fraport Skyliners for another season of grooming to improve his chances of becoming a first round pick in 2019. It looks like Bonga will go in the second round this year and that is something he can live with if that guaranteed contract is in the package. Keeping his name on the NBA draft ballot only becomes risky if he isn´t sure that he will be drafted. Chances are that he has received a promise from an NBA team.


The German who started his career with the Post SV Luetzel Baskets Koblenz junior team was already in Frankfurt in the 2016-2017 season playing for the Fraport Skyliners youth team while also getting experience with the Koblenz Regionalliga team. He made his BBL debut as a 16 year old and was the fifth youngest player to ever play a BBL game against Brose Bamberg. In the 2016-2017 season he was already high on many of the NBA mock drafts behind the Real Madrid wonder boy Luka Doncic and was seen as a top 10 first round pick. After a solid, but not explosive 2017 World Cup U19 in Cairo (Egypt) where he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, his stock started to fall a bit in the mock drafts in the 2017-2018 season.


Nick Hornsby Is Close To Being A 40% shooter From Outside

HornsbyNick Hornsby is a 22 year old 201cm forward that was born in Irvine, California and just completed his rookie season with theGiessen 46ers II (Germany-ProB) averaging 13,9ppg, 7,6rpg and 2,9apg. He also played 2 BBL games for Giessen.. He won two high school titles with Tustin and then played at Sacramento State form 2013-2017 playing a total of 123 NCAA games and  was able to improve his scoring and rebounding each season. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 11.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 71.2%. He spoke to German Hoops following his rookie season.

Nick thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your rookie season is in the books. Did your rookie season in Germany exceed all expectations or do you feel something was missing?

Yeah I think my rookie season was pretty good. I believe that I learned a lot and continued to grow over the weeks. I also think as a team we did great and exceeded a lot of expectations.

Your season ended with a do or die game against Rostock. Each game was more thrilling than the next. Was these three games the most exciting three games in a row in your young career?

I would say the last three games are definitely up there with my most exiting games especially in a row.


Donte Nicholas Was Able To Adjust To A New Country Again And Put Up MVP Numbers

NicholasDonte Nicholas is a 31 year old 195cm forward from Washington Dc that played his first professional season in Germany with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB). He belonged to the top players in the league averaging 17,6ppg, 8,0rpg, 4,1apg and 3,3spg while shooting 41,8% from outside. He has gained experience down under playing with the Albury Wodonga Bandits (Australia-SEABL) and with the Rockville Victors (APBL) as a rookie in the States. Last season he played with the Plymouth University Raiders (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 33 games averaging 15.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-5(2.1spg), FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about his season in Germany with Iserlohn.

Donte, thanks for talking to German Hoops. This is our second interview since the summer of 2017 when you signed with Iserlohn. How quickly did this magical season in Iserlohn fly by for you?

It went pretty fast, seems like we were just in pre season and now we’re done.

I would like to congratulate you on a great season. Unfortunately the ride ended against Rostock. Despite the sadness of the season ending how proud are you of your team Iserlohn?

Honestly, I’m not even sad. If anything I was more shocked because I truly believed we would be the last team standing. I’m proud of what our team accomplished this year, we did way more than a lot of people expected from us.


It Wasn´t Steph Curry In Disguise But The Real Scottie Wilbekin Who Has The Basketball World In His Hands

It was 10 to midnight on March 23rd only two hours after a star was born and some may have been thinking the Cinderella like performance that Scottie Wilbekin had just thrown at FC Bayern Munich would end at midnight and his team would proclaim in a press release that that amazing and dominant 41 point shooting night had really come from Steph Curry who had secretly been signed to a one game contract by Eurocup team Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). Somehow he had masterfully got the perfect makeup before the game that would even had made Uncle Drew aka Kyrie Irving cringe at the authentic presentation of a Scottie Wilbekin. However that press release never came and at 10 minutes after midnight on Saturday March 24th, the American that is called the Turkish Steph Curry was really him while the real Steph Curry was at home in Oakland preparing for a game against the Atlanta Hawks where he would drop 29 points. The interesting thing about Scottie Wilbekin is that he looks similar to Steph Curry, plays and shoots like the NBA champion and to top it off is just as friendly as the Golden State all star. “When he gets the green light, he will shoot from anywhere”, smiled FC Bayern Munich guard Braydon Hobbs.  It is no secret that Steph Curry belongs to the nicest players in the NBA. He supports his Nothing But Nets campaign which is a charitable endeavor which helps battle malaria by giving nets to protect families in Africa from the deadly disease. He also hosts annual golf tournaments to help raise money for scholarships to help out military families. In the past he was a great autograph catch as fans could line up 90 minutes before a home game at the Oracle arena and his warm smile would entice many new fans, but as of November 2017 he signed a autograph contract with Steiner Sports that is worth millions so getting a Curry autograph isn´t that easy anymore, but that friendly smile is always present. Still Curry belongs to the nicest NBA players and Wilbekin also gave proof that he isn´t some stuck up player, but is genuinely friendly. Of course after a tough loss, it could be different, but after the big 87-83 win in Munich propelling the Turkish team to the 2018 Eurocup final, he had time for this journalist.

45 minutes to be exact and even cut off the phone call he was having with his girlfriend to talk to me not only about possibly the greatest single game performance in Eurocup history, but also his illustrious young career. It is always easier to talk about basketball after a win and he had no problems talking about the Steph Curry similartites. It was a fact that Steph Curry wasn´t in disguise in Munich on that memorable March 23rd night, but it was really Scottie Wilbekin who had the basketball world in his hands at that moment and does now.


Brantley Bynum Wants To Follow In The Foot Steps Of His Uncle John Bynum

Brantley Bynum is a 196cm forward from Visalia, California that recently finished his two year NCAA career at San Francisco St. (NCAA2) where he played a total of 57 NCAA games. As a senior he played 30 games averaging 15,4ppg,6,6rpg and 1,8apg. Before playing at San Francisco St. (NCAA2), he played at  Sequoias CC (JUCO). His uncle is John Bynum who had a long professional career in Germany. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Brantley thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your offseason coming along?

At the moment I am in San Francisco. This off season is a little bit different. This is the first time that I have not had a coach help me with workouts out or have to go to practice. It’s really tough seeing all of your and former teammates getting ready for practice.

You just finished your basketball career at San Fransciso State recently. With a guy coming from Visalia what kind of experience was it being able to live 3 years in possibly one of the most beautiful cities in America. How did experience being able to get an education and play basketball in a city instead of going to school at one of the other smaller CCAA schools?

San Francisco is really really nice. At first I would say it was a complete culture shock because everything was so different. The people are different and the city actually a city compared to a small little farm town. There are so many things to do and Sf is so cultured. There is so much culture at Sf that you get to learn a lot about different people and their beliefs. Sf does not have a huge campus but the school is in the middle of everything. You can get to the beach in 5 minutes and then go downtown in about 10 minutes if there is no traffic. A lot of the other campuses in our league are kind of in the middle of no where and at times they would not have a lot of people at their games to support or help out there schooled programs.


Spencer Butterfield (ALBA Berlin) Coach Aito Corrects You In A Way That Makes Sense And Is Nonthreatening

Spencer Butterfield is a 25 year old 190cm guard from Loomis, California playing his third professional season and first with JSF Nanterre (France-ProA) averaging 12.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 79.7% and in the France Pro A while in the FIBA Europe cup averaged 12.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 79.7%. He played at Utah St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 46.0%, FT: 82.9%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with Melilla Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 25 games averaging 10.0ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 87.9%. In the 2015-2016 season he played with Juventus-LKSK Utenos (Lithuania-LKL) playing 40 games: Score-3(14.5ppg), 6.2rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 81.3%; In the FIBA Europe Cup he played 14 games averaging 15.0ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 78.4%. He had a very short chat with German Hoops before game 2 of the 2018 easyCredit BBL finals against FC Bayern Munich.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Spencer Butterfied after a Fiba Europe Cup win wit Nanterre over the Telekom Baskets Bonn in Bonn in 2017

Spencer, thanks for talking to German Hoops. It has been a little more than a year since we last talked. You have won two professional titles a cup in France and the Fiba Europe Cup as well last season with Nanterre. Now your two games away from winning the BBL title. How good is life at the moment for you?

Ya pretty excited about the opportunity to have a chance to win a title with Alba.

Before that you disposed of the EWE Baskets. How important was it going the distance and getting some early difficult competition. Do you feel like this strengthened the team mentality a bit more for the playoff stretch run?

Ya I think Oldenburg was a great test for us and we really had to dig deep to find a way to win that series. It definitely helped prepare us.