Author: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Basketball journalist and play by play commentator

Kevin Franceschi(Vivechrom A.O. Agriniou) The Mamba Mentality” Is Something Everybody Should Adopt Into Their Daily Lives

Kevin Franceshi is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Argenteuil, France that is playing his third professional season and first with Vivechrom A.O. Agriniou (Greece-A2) currently averaging 15,9ppg, 2,9rpg and 1,6apg. Last season he played in Germany with Pro B team BBC Coburg averaging 15,3ppg, 4,4rpg and 2,4apg. As a rookie he played with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. In the states he played with three schools with Weatherford JC (JUCO) playing 9 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%, UMKC (NCAA) playing 25 games averaging 2.6ppg and with Oklah.Baptist (NCAA2) playing 22 games averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to about his memories of Kobe Bryant.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Kevin Franceshi in Frankfurt in 2019

Where were you and how did you find about the death of Kobe Bryant?

I was on the phone with a close friend of mine when my big brother texted me ‘Kobe just passed away’. It Still feels unreal… My Thoughts are going to all the victims and their family. 

When I heard about it, I thought it was a hoax. What were your first thoughts when you heard about it?

I never had this feeling before, where you just sit there and can’t react. I didn’t want to believe it. I never met him but I feel like I knew him, watched him so much playing and doing interviews etc…

How much of your day the day after did you take informing yourself about his death and watching videos?

I Watched mostly a lot of tributes to him, and heard new stories about him from the best players around the NBA. I didn’t want to learn about the way he died and the details necessarily.

You were born in 1993. You were 3 when he began with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid? 

The first NBA jersey that I bought was his jersey (#24 in white) He was my favorite player with MJ and Iverson. I binged watched his highlights and try to imitate him at the playground growing up 

How did your love for Kobe Bryant develop over time as you got through childhood and high school? How do you remember following his career?. You were in high school when he won again in 2010

I loved everything about Kobe, his work ethic, determination, how he carried himself professionally a great role model. He inspired me to work harder, stay curious about the game, and that’s how I developed a true love for the game. I remember his finals run from 2008 to 2010, I watched all the games during the playoffs. I watched his last game against OKC in Oklahoma at the Chesapeake arena, during his farewell tour. Just watching him warm up was amazing for me. A True legend for us. 

Kobe Bryant was for so many the greatest ever. What did you appreciate most about his game? Was he a guy that you pretended to be on the playgrounds? 

I appreciated everything. He didn’t have any flaws, and he was a 2 way player, playing defense and offense. 12 times selected in the all defensive teams… as a pure scorer. Nowadays scorers don’t play defense anymore, the mentality is different. All of us tried to imitate his shots, his dunks, his game winners.

Kobe Bryant had so many amazing games like his 81 points and countless other games where it was lights out as well as winning 5 titles. What is your fondest memory of him of what he did on the court? 

My favorite memories were when he had the afro and #8, my favorite version of him. The series in 2001, he established himself as a superstar and carried the team. I still take #8 over #24. More exciting to watch in my opinion. 

The outpouring of sadness was incredible in the last 24 hours. Guys were crying and leaving heart felt messages on Social Media. How long do you think it will take until the basketball world comes to terms with this tragedy? 

The greatest athlete of our generation, everybody knew Kobe Bryant, worldwide. He’s like a God in China, and many other countries outside of his native home. It’s crazy how many people payed tribute to him after his death, we’re talking billions.

When you look back in 20 years on the career of Kobe Bryant how will you remember his legacy best?

I’ll remember him as somebody that gave everything. He had for what he loved the most, basketball. The ‘mamba mentality’ is something everybody should adopt into their daily lives, no matter what kind of jobs they are doing and what they are passionate about. 

One of my last questions in my standard interviews is what is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Often players remind me that I left out Kobe Bryant.I have been thinking about this a lot in the last. How worthy is a Kobe Bryant to be seen as the greatest of all-time?

I’ll always put MJ first, but Kobe second and then Lebron. We all have a different opinions on it and I don’t think there’s a ‘right answer’, it’s all about preferences and how you see them as players. Kobe is not only up there with the greatest players, but the greatest athletes of all time as well.

My last question isn’t what is the last movie you saw, but what video of Kobe Bryant will you take a look again when you have some time to look back at his great career? 

My favorite Kobe Bryant videos are called ‘Kobe Bryant Greatness HD’ and ‘Kobe Bryant Clinic’ on youtube, I watch those all the time.

Thanks Kevin for sharing your memories of Kobe Bryant.

Josh Sharma(Proximus Spirou Charleroi) Looks and Plays Like Rudy Gobert

Josh Sharma is a 24 year old 213cm center that was born in Lexington, Mass and is playing his rookie season with Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). Currently he is averaging 10,0ppg, 4,5rpg and 1,2bpg in the Euromillions league and 8,2ppg, 6,4rpg and 1,5bpg in the Fiba Europe Cup. He played at Stanford form 2015-2019 playing a total of 120 NCAA games and as a senior 10.2ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 68.0%, FT: 67.9%. Last summer he as with the Utah Jazz (NBA Summer League in Salt Lake City) playing 2 games averaging 4.5ppg, 4.0rpg
and also played with the Utah Jazz (MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 3 games averaging 11.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 87.5%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to about his basketball career before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

Josh thanks for talking to Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant and what did he mean to you as a player?

I heard about his death after practice. We were in the locker room. I didn’t believe it at first. Kobe meant so much to me as a player and person. It was really hard taking the news. 

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany or have you been here before and what do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Did your ex Stanford teammate Oscar Da Silva give you the lowdown on German basketball in the two years where you were teammates?

This is my first time in Germany. I don’t know too much. My ex teammate at Stanford Oscar da Silva told me a little about the country. He did tell me that the October Fest is a must see. 

Your playing your first season for Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). What kind of experience has it been playing for this club. What have you appreciated the most about your overseas experience so far?

It’s been a good year with the usual ups and downs something rookies encounter. I have taken the whole experience as a learning experience. This the first time that I have lived on my own in a foreign country. I have been very fortunate that my teammates have helped me through the process.

Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League has been struggling a bit so far in the country league. Is this a classic example of a club still trying to find itself with 7 new imports?

We started off the season slow, but in recent weeks have stepped it up and turned the corner. We made the cup final and beat Limburg last weekend. We are headed in the right direction and want to finish the second half strong.

How much potential do you feel does the club have? Where is the biggest strength of the team and what is the biggest part of the game that the team has to work the most on?

If we can continue to play with confidence the way we did in the last games, then we should be ok. We have to play more consistent defense.

Let’s talk a bit about your teammates. There are some experienced Americans on the team, but no one is more experienced than Belgium player Alex Hervelle. What kind of a role model has he been for you and what do you appreciate most about his game?

Alex’s maturity and knowledge has really helped me. He is a guy that always gets us going in practice. He also always competes at a high level. 

Joe Rahon is a very talented point guard, but he departed for the Fraport Skyliners. What has been your impression of new point guard Kenneth Smith? Do you feel like he is the missing piece for new success?

Joe is a great player, but speedy has really helped us out. He showed what he can bring to the table by getting a triple double in the first game. He is a guard that really is able to do everything on the floor for us. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 213cm center. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I have heard that I look and play like Rudy Gobert. I have the game where I can score around the rim and block shots.

You’re a player that can shoot, rebound and block shots well. What other strengths does your game incorporate?

I think that my pick and roll on offense is an added strength of mine.

Nowadays more and more big men have developed a three pointer. You have taken many three’s since Stanford. Is developing an outside shot something on your to do list?

Yes that is something on my to do list. I started taking three’s at the NBA Pre draft workouts. I’m not using it as much this season, but will intend to do so and develop it further in the future. 

What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed?

My jump shot. I feel that I have a nice mid range game. 

Last summer you played NBA Summer League with the Utah Jazz. You improved your scoring in each game. What kind of experience was it for you and do you feel like NBA teams noticed you?

Yes I think I did. I had something like 13 work outs with NBA teams. It was a learning experience. I got a better feel at what it takes to play at the NBA level. I did improve each game.

Did you have a cool experience from the NBA Summer League? Like meeting an NBA legend or getting some positive input from a team GM or something else?

It was nice to play for the Salt Lake City club. They had their own tournament in Salt Lake City. You felt that you were part of the Jazz organization. We were able to use their facilities. 

You played at Stanford from 2015-2019. How tough was it the first 3 years averaging 9 minutes per season twice and 13 minutes in the other season. How did your role your first three seasons prepare you for your Senior year where you had a bigger role?

I wasn’t an impact player for my first three years. I played behind guys like Reid Traves and Mike Humpfrey. 
Those guys really helped prepare for my time when I got a bigger role as a senior. Seeing their work ethic and athleticism on a daily basis really helped me.

Was your 23/18 game in the 93-86 victory over Long Beach one of your best individual performances?

I remember that game well. That was my first real good game in my senior year. I remember that I didn’t start that game or wasn’t the first guy off the bench. I came in something like with 10 minutes to play in the first half. I was very efficient in that game. 

You were teammates for two years with Oscar da Silva. He is very serious about his studies. Do you see him seriously passing up a professional basketball career for a normal high paying job?

He is a unique interesting kid. He had that special Euro swag. He was one of the smartest kids that I met at Stanford. And that is saying a lot considering how many smart kids go there. It is hard to say if he would pass up a professional basketball career for a normal job. It would have to do with what opportunities he has. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. He has strong interests outside basketball. 

How did you see the basketball development of Oscar da Silva? He is having a very good season and is a modern bigman that can do a little bit of everything. Could you picture him as an NBA player after 4 years at Stanford?

Yes I think so. I haven’t watched to much of him this season. He recently had a very good game against Oregon and was player of the week. He can do it all on offense. He was already doing everything for us last season. I think that if he continues to work hard and develop that he can be an NBA player. 

How did head coach Jerod Haase groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

The most important thing he gave me was letting me know that I have to always continue working through ups and downs. I didn’t have a great Stanford career. I had to put in the work and wait for the right opportunities. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Oscar da Silva?

He won on the perimeter as I don’t have the best handles and I won inside. 

Who is the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that made the NBA?

I’m not sure.

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?

There are too many.

Please construct your own personal NBA Rushmore of past and present heads.

Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq

What was the last movie that you saw?

A fall From Grace.

Thanks Josh for the chat.

Kenneth Smith(Proximus Spirou Charleroi) Is Working On Being An Elite Scorer That Can Counter His Passing Ability

Kenneth Smith is a 27 year old 190cm guard that was born in St Petersburg, Florida and grew up in Gulfport is playing his fifth professional season and first with Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League) after having started the season with Szolnoki Olajbanyasz KK (Hungary-A Division) playing 11 games averaging 11.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 7.5apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 29.8%, FT: 72.4%. He played the last four seasons in the G-League playing 183 games. He played a season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and two seasons with the Grand Rapids Drive with his best season in 2018-2019 where he averaged 7.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 7.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 75.4%. He began his rookie season with VEF Riga (Latvia-LBL and finished with the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League) playing 39 games averaging 3.3ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.3apg. He played at Louisiana Tech University (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing 137 NCAA games and in his senior year averaged 6.4ppg, 4.0rpg, Assists-5 (7.4apg), 1.9spg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 77.0%. He spoke to before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth.

Kenneth thanks for talking to Welcome to Germany You recently hit German club medi Bayreuth with a sweet triple double despite losing the game. What loss was tougher to swallow that one or the 118-117 loss to Ft Wayne in the G-League where you also had a triple double?

I believe the loss against Medi was much more tougher, although the game at Fort Wayne prepared me for this moment that was just a regular season game that didn’t have much meaning besides statistics from playing in the G league. I have to say thank you to my teammates who have been so great to me since I have arrived in Belgium, I am so happy we can have such an accomplishment together because I couldn’t have done it without them.

Ex Fraport Skyliner Mike Morrison congratulated you. Both of you guys hail from St Petersburg, Florida. Is St Petersburg like a small town? How do you guys know each other and what kind of relationship do you guys have?

I grew up watching Mike Morrison in high school, he was one of the best players in Florida and he had been to consecutive state championships. Mike is one of three brothers who took over my city and was one of the top players at the time. I grew up looking at them for what they brought to the game of basketball which was so much swag and confidence to the game. When it was my turn I took over the city as well just from learning from them.

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time to Germany? What do you know about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

I don’t know much about Germany, I know that the basketball here is very competitive and that one of my best friends plays here and he loves it.

Your playing your first season for Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League). What kind of experience has it been coming back to Europe? As a rookie you played in Latvia before playing in the G-League for some years.

Coming to Charleroi was a great opportunity for me I felt that I could learn the game more and have a chance to be a better player. The fans have been awesome and the coaching has been great as well. I appreciate my teammates for being so open to me and helping me out along the way. Latvia was a good situation that got me ready for where I am now.

Proximus Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Euromillions League has been struggling a bit so far in the country league. Is this a classic example of a club still trying to find itself with 7 new imports?

I think our team has so much potential we just have had a few missed opportunities down the stretch late in games. I think the way we are competing in the fiba cup will help us out a lot in the Belgium league later down the season.

How helpful has Belgium veteran Alex Herville been for you in the early going? Has he been a guy that helped with the integration on and off the court?

Axel is the veteran leader that each team needs. He is very vocal throughout practices and games. His leadership is very good I like talking to him about the game of basketball, he is helping me grow as a basketball player as in reading the game.

You began the season with Szolnoki Olajbanyasz KK (Hungary-A Division) playing 11 games averaging 11.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 7.5apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 29.8%, FT: 72.4%. What kind of experience was it playing in Hungry? You put up good stats, but why didn’t you stay?

I loved my teammates in Szolnok we were growing to be a good team in that league. The reason I didn’t stay is because of the opportunity that presented itself in Belgium and I am happy with the decision I made in coming to Belgium. I believe where I am for my career right now this is the level I need to be playing at, the league is tough and a few fiba games helps me out as well.

Let’s talk about your game. If a coach told you to just score for 30 minutes and not concentrate on playmaking could you be a lethal scorer?

If a coach told me to score and not be a playmaker of course I could do that and would do it but only if that was the way to make the team win the game. I am a winner before anything and at all times my focus is to make sure that my team wins and that every one was happy on the court. Coach Sam brought me here to win and that’s what I want to do.

You’re a very good defender. What part of your defensive game do you take the most pride in?

I just really hate getting scored on, I try to really study my opponents on their one on one moves. The main focus is to just stay solid and force tough shots, sometimes they make them but most times they don’t and that’s why I take so much pride in my defense and I feel like I can be even better at it at times.

Your 27 years old. At this stage of your career on what things on your game are you working on most?

At this post in my career I am just working on being an elite scorer that can counter my passing ability. I want to be great in all areas in my game so being a dominant scorer and making big shots down the stretch is what I am trying to capitalize right now in my game.

You played NBA Summer League for the first time in 2018 after three seasons in the G-League. Often rookies out of college will play. What kind of experience was it playing NBA Summer League when your a veteran? Did you sense that teams are mostly concentrating on the young players than the older ones?

I was on a team in summer league where I wasn’t the focus on what was needed for the team. It was a great learning experience and I am very appreciative of the opportunity but sometimes you can be better but the decision isn’t to show your talents because the team isn’t investing in you like you had hoped so that’s just how it plays out sometimes.

Your best season was in the 2017-2018 season where you averaged : 7.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 7.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 75.4%. In the whole time that you were there did you ever feel like you were close to a NBA call up?

There were plenty of times playing in the G league where I feel like I should have been called up or been a two-way player. It doesn’t work that way though sometimes timing isn’t there or a team need isn’t there. I grew up a lot In the G league under a great coach Ryan Krueger who helped me be the player I am now in my pro Career.

Nowadays it seems like most guards can score. Guys that are strictly the playmaker with high assists and limited scoring aren’t present. Do you feel like you part of a dying breed? Another guy that likes to pass and scores little is Julyan Stone.

I don’t feel like I am in the dying breed at all I feel like I am what makes the game better I still feel there is a spot for me on a NBA roster my game will be brought to people attention and to this day the player I am I will always fight for who I am instead of being someone I’m not. I am working on everything that can make me a complete player even though I know I lack nothing. Soon someone will appreciate my game and what I bring to the table.

You were teammates with Josh Maguette. Is he like a role model for you? He has been close to the NBA for years and seen sporadic action and developed further in Europe. Now he is back in the NBA 

I had a great time playing with Josh Magette in the G league I am happy for his growth and where he is now he is playing great and putting up great numbers.

As a rookie you played briefly with VEF Riga (Latvia-LBL): playing 8 VTB League games averaging 3.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 5.3apg, 1.1spg;and 3 Latvian LBL: 3 games: averaging 4.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 5.3apg, 1.0spg. Whatwas your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?

I only played a few VTB games my rookie season in Vef Riga, what I can say is that experience prepared me to be where I am now which is a confident point guard whose still climbing the latter of greatness.

You played at Louisiana Tech (NCAA) from 2011-2015 reaching two Elite 8’s and one Sweet 16. Which tournament was the sweetest memory for you?

I played at Louisiana Tech Under coach Mike White, Dusty May who are the reason I was able to have such a great career my team won 3 conference championships and made it to the N.I.T 3 times. My sophomore year we were ranked for the first time in school history and I am so grateful to attend an amazing school.

You had many great games at Louisiana Tech. If you had to pick one game that meant the most to you which one would it be?

My favorite game at Louisiana Tech is obviously the Iona game in the NIT tournament. Where the game was back and forth all night. Two great offenses going back and forth it really came to who had the last possession of the game and we did where I ended up making a buzzer beater shot off of an Alex Hamilton perfectly missed shot to win the game.

How did head coach Michael White groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Coach White knew what I was really good at so what he did was help me balance out my game more by just making me a confident player. Showing me how to win games with my defense and just really keeping me confident at all times.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Raheem Appleby?

Me and Raheem never really got the chance to play one on one. But since our freshmen year on campus we have the best record of 5 on 5 pick up. We used to abuse the seniors when we were freshmen. And freshmen when we seniors. We were the perfect duo.

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

The toughest player that I have faced in the NBA. We didn’t get those type of games in college because we were so good but Trevor Lacey from NC State I really thought he was good in college.

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?

All time 5 best teammates Raheem, Alex Hamilton, Jamel Morris Justin Harper, Zeke UpShaw

Please name your own personal NBA Rushmore?

Kobe, LeBron, Kevin Garnett, Shaq & Chris Paul.

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

LeBron and Michael is hard because it’s two different eras of basketball that they each could be great in so I really don’t debate lol it’s too much.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Last movie I saw was 8-Mile a classic move I watch from time to time for motivation.

Thanks Kenneth for the chat.

Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners Overcome Scare Tearing Apart The Tennet Young Hero´s 99-79 In NBBL Play

The season for Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners has had two sides in that they have always played well against teams that they had to beat, but couldn´t find a way to beat the top teams like FC Bayern Munich, IBAM and Ludwigsburg. They continue to feast on the weaker teams. Last weekend they swept the season series against Giessen, but had their hands full winning a nail bitter 80-78. The 5-4 team met the weak Tennet Young hero´s from Bayreuth who have had a tough season having only a 1-8 record and have lost their last 8 games in a row after winning the season opener against Nurnberg. In the two teams first meeting, Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners won 83-69 on the road where they controlled the boards. The Bavarian team as usual got a lot of support and production from their starting 5, but got only 3 points from their bench. In the return meeting, Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners met a very motivated Bayreuth team that gave the home team a fierce fight, but a game has 40 minutes and in the second half the guests fell apart losing 99-79. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners upped their intensity and aggressiveness at both ends of the court and allowed only 27 points in the second half after allowing an unacceptable 30 points in the first quarter. After Frankfurt recorded it´s sixth win of the season a subdued Maxi Begue discussed the tale of two halves. “We had a terrible start at both ends of the court. We had no communication on defense in the first half. We underestimated them and figured that we would breeze by if we only watched out for Wenzl and Feneberg. We started talking more on defense in the second half and showed our game”, explained Maxi Begue. The Tennet Young Hero´s gave a good fight thanks to Nico Wenzl who produced 24 points in the first half, but was held to 2 points and 0/5 from outside in the second half which showed as Bayreuth had little extra fire power to compensate his lack of scoring. “In the first half we moved the ball well and hit shots. In the third quarter Frankfurt upped their intensity and we weren´t ready for it. We were unable to match their physical presence”, stated Tennet Young Hero guard Nico Wenzl.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Nico Wenzl who dropped 26 points for the Tennet Young Hero´s in the loss

                Some may have been expecting Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners to rapidly dominate and run away with the contest early on since they were favorite and had a huge advantage with their length, but the Tennet Young Hero´s came to play and stuck with Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners from the get go being able to execute on offense against a club that gave up only 70 points on average. Bayreuth gave impulses inside right away as German Jonas Vogel scored twice showing that a 194cm player could execute inside. There were four lead changes at the start as Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners also tried to establish their inside game getting buckets from ex Cologne center Jordan Samare and 211cm big man Julian Steinfeld. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners held the lead, but couldn´t get away from Bayreuth because quick guard Nico Wenzl was hitting from all over. Frankfurt was playing transition and getting everyone involved as three point specialist Risto Vasiljevic scored as did the versatile Maxi Begue. It wasn´t only Wenzl that was executing, but the whole team was present as Vogel hit a hook shot and 18 year old  195cm small forward Lukas Pryszcz made free throws. The Tennet Young Hero´s got the lead back with a Wenzl trey 18-16. The lead changes continued to go back and forth as there were 6 in the first quarter. Vasiljevic nailed a three only to have Wenzl drop another trey giving Bayreuth the lead back at 23-21. Samare then dead locked the game at 23-23 on the pick and roll with Frederick Fischbach. But Wenzl remained aggressive and continued to have the hot hand scoring 5 unanswered points for the Bayreuth 28-23 lead. 17 year old Isaac Obanor made a lay in, but 16 year old 186cm 101 kilo power forward Dimitrios Karakasidis hit free throws as the Tenent Young Hero´s had the surprising 30-25 lead. “We had no communication on defense and allowed too many easy baskets. We didn´t force our inside game enough”, added Maxi Begue. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 71% form the field and 33% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the Tennet Young Hero´s shot 56% form the field and 50% form outside and had 7 rebounds and 2 turnovers.

                In the second quarter Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners had a good start, but once again couldn´t defend consistently and allowed Nico Wenzl to wheel and deal and continue to hit shots leading at the break by only 1 point. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners began with a 11-4 run to retake the lead at 36-35. They began to force the inside game and had success. 17 year old ex U-16 German national player Christian Feneberg began the quarter with a trey giving the guests the 33-25 advantage. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners then began to up their aggressiveness on offense getting a three from ex TG Hanau forward Calvin Schaum and free throws from Maxi Begue. They then got big man Julian Steinfeld involved as Obanor gave a perfect lob pass for the easy basket and Schaum then delivered the perfect alley-oop pass for the Steinfeld dunk. Begue then scored in the paint giving Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners the 36-35 lead. Besides getting their inside game going again, Frankfurt sneaked in some press defense and overall were just playing smarter and better team basketball. Wenzl had been on the bench a few minutes, but was inserted and right away took over achieving 5 points for the 40-36 Bayreuth lead. The German guard who has one BBL game on his resume halted the Frankfurt momentum and demonstrated how strong he is mentally as he was that game changer that Bayreuth needed. After 18 year old 198cm forward Benjamin Hoehmann made a lay in, Frankfurt received some production from Fischbach with 3 points, but Bayreuth still led 42-41. Wenzl was so focused and on his game that one could sense that he didn´t want to give up the lead again as he drained a three pointer and Feneberg followed with a floater and 47-43 lead. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners never gave up and knew exactly where their strength was as they continued to feed Steinfeld the ball inside and he came through with a tip in and dunk for the 49-47 Frankfurt lead. Feneberg countered with a trey and 50-49 Bayreuth lead, but Vasiljevic stole the lead back for Frankfurt with free throws. There would be two more lead changes as there were 7 in all in the second quarter as Pryszcz and Fischbach traded free throws as Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners led only 53-52 at halftime. “Wenzl is a good guard that hit shots. You can´t underestimate him. He gave us 24 points in the first half, but in the second half we did a better job on him as he scored only 2 points”, stressed Maxi Begue. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 66% form the field and 29% from the three point line and had 18 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Tennet Young hero´s shot 49% form the field and 54% from the three point line and had 14 rebounds and 3 turnovers.

                The turning point of the contest occurred in the third quarter as Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners got going quickly getting the lead into double digits and never looked back. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners began with a quick 11-3 run to extend their lead to 64-55. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners did a good job attacking inside and taking advantage of the mis matches. Begue began with a hook shot, Vasiljevic scored in the paint, Steinfeld hit free throws, Fischbach made a steal and lay in on the coast to coast sprint and Schaum connected on a trey. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners finally was putting it together consistently at both ends of the court. Especially on defense, they upped their intensity which led to easy baskets on offense. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to play the Tenent Young Hero´s very tough continuing to defend well and banging the ball inside. Steinfeld who at age 18 is playing his first NBBL season after living 2 years in the States has made a good transition back to Germany and came up big with a block and scored 3 times as Frankfurt led comfortably 74-60. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners had control of the game with good ball movement and decision making and were defending Wenzl tougher as he couldn´t make any more shots while Feneberg had to take up more responsibility. Down the stretch of the third quarter, the Tennet Young Hero´s got some clutch three´s from 16 year old Florian Kaempf who´s grandfather is the well known German coach Georg Kaempf and 18 year old Lukas Pryszcz to keep them in striking distance, but Vasiljevic closed out the third frame with an offensive rebound and put back for the 79-66 Frankfurt lead. “We began to play more inside as they had no height to defend us. We also took advantage of the many mismatches”, added Maxie Begue. “We lost energy. Their posting up hurt us as well. Their big men are good passers and had the ability to make the kick out passes to the shooters”, stressed Nico Wenzl.. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 64% from the field and 30% from the parking lot and had 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Tenent Young hero´s shot 42% form the field and 46% from the parking lot and had 21 rebounds and 9 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Maxi Begue who contributed 15 points, 8 boards and 4 dimes in the Frankfurt win

                In the fourth quarter Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to play their game and execute while the Tennet Young Hero´s were unable to overcome the big deficit and have the energy needed to stage a successful comeback. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners started with a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 87-68. Frankfurt was sharing the ball around well and continuing to get everyone involved as Isaac Obanor showed his extreme athleticism scoring in the paint and then made free throws on the next possession. Frankfurt continued to annoy and take advantage of their physicality feeding Steinfeld inside who finished with a two handed dunk and 16 year old Pierre Bathoum also got aggressive inside making a dunk. Wenzl got Bayreuth´s first points of the fourth quarter with free throws at the 6.16 mark and he would never score again in the game. Pryszcz gave the Tenent Young hero´s their first field goal of the last frame at the 5,34 minute mark to trail 87-70. Both teams closed out the game with good offensive execution, but Bayreuth had to big of a deficit to make any kind of a turn around. Samare scored back to back buckets to help his stats while NBBL rookie Amir Dorn played tough with his 190cm´s getting an offensive rebound and put back and making a runner. Bayreuth got a basket from Kaempf and two from Hoehmann. After 40 minutes, Begue reflected on the last 10 minutes. “We shot well and had another run. We played like we did in the third quarter and finished the game well”, stated Maxi Begue. “We fought well the whole game, but were tired at the end. It was tough having to come back with a smaller rotation”, stressed Nico Wenzl. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners had 6 players score in double figures with Julian Steinfeld registering 18 points and 13 boards. Maxi Begue added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists while Risto Vasiljevic added 14 points and Frederik Fischbach had 13 points. The Tennet Young Hero´s were led by Nico Wenzl with 26 points. Christian Feneberg added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists while Benjamin Hoehmann added 11 points. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 58% from the field and 19% from outside and had 46 rebounds and 13 turnovers while the Tenent Young Hero´s shot 41% from the field and 40% from outside and had 27 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

Noah Kamdem Gives The Fraport Skyliners Juniors The Needed Push Past Giessen 104-82

Not only in the EasyCredit BBL is the exciting and emotional Hessen derby between the Fraport Skyliners and Giessen 46ers, but also in the Pro B the two farm teams of the BBL clubs also have battled each other for some years. Both Pro B clubs met in the first game of the season in Giessen where the Fraport Skyliners Juniors suffered an agonizing 80-63 loss where they were badly outrebounded and gave up 13 offensive rebounds and coughed up the ball 17 times. Frankfurt had played a lot better in recent weeks having won two of their last three games including a solid come from behind win at home against the Morgenstern BIS Baskets Speyer where they defended with passion again and had more options on offense while Giessen also has played a lot better after their horrible start where they lost four of their first five games have rattled off 9 wins in 12 games since the bad start. The Fraport Skylines Juniors sought their second win in a row while Giessen wanted to start a winning streak after losing to Orange Academy last weekend and Frankfurt put on an offense show and stepped up their defense in the fourth quarter outscoring the guests 29-16 to celebrate a big win as they moved back into the playoff spots with a comfortable 104-82 victory. After the huge win, Nigel Pruitt didn´t have much time to chat, because he was preparing to travel to Bamberg with teammates Len Schoorman and Aaron Kayser as they will be a part of the BBL roster for the game tomorrow as the club still has many injuries. Pruitt finished with 15 points and hit big three´s in the second half and ran the pick and role perfectly with Kayser and was elated about the two game winning streak. “”This was a great team effort where all were ready to play. We showed true dedication to defense where we were able to stop guys 1-1 and we rebounded well. Playing good defense gave us confidence on offense and everyone was ready to make plays”, stressed ex Kenneshaw State forward Nigel Pruitt. Depant Giessen 46ers Rakelos made their runs during the game, but when the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on runs in the second half, they were unable to follow them and fell apart on defense. After the contest a disappointed Watt Lohaus explained what went wrong. “We made too many mistakes, but were able to stay close in the first half. We began well in the third quarter pushing the ball and getting stops, but we continued to make too many mistakes and gave up too many offensive rebounds. We had a lack of defensive execution in the second half”, warned ex N Iowa(NCAA) guard Wyatt Lohaus.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Nigel Pruitt after contributing 15 points in the win

                Both teams traded buckets in the first few minutes as Germans Calvin Schaum and Cosmo Gruehn connected for Frankfurt and Leon Okpara and veteran Johannes Lischka who has 205 BBL games on his resume scored for Giessen as the game was deadlocked 4-4. The game would be a game of runs and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on the first one scoring 10 unanswered points to gain the 14-4 advantage. Frankfurt took apart the paint area getting easy baskets. New guard Bruno Peric scored on a lay in, Pruitt scored twice with a transition lay in and jumper and Kayser made a lay in off the lob pass and Gruehn hit a jumper on transition. Frankfurt was moving the ball well and executing well while stepping up their defense. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were unable to keep the momentum as Giessen retaliated and slapped Frankfurt with a 10-2 run in the face trailing only 16-14. Giessen played with high intensity on offense and was more patient and lived of the mid range game as Lischka and Okpara made shots and Lohaus nailed a trey. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors  would keep the narrow lead as both teams refrained from defense as both teams offenses continued to execute with ease. Frankfurt got much needed production from ex PS Karlsruhe center Noah Kamdem with 2 baskets while Giessen continued to get consistent scoring from Lischka and Lohaus. Lohaus snuck inside and made an offensive rebound and put back. Maxi Begue closed out the first quarter with a lay in for the 26-23 Frankfurt lead. “They focused on our shooters so we established our inside game having more room in the paint. Once we got our inside game going, they didn´t know what to do”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. The Fraport Skyliners shot 71% from the field and 0% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 3 turnovers while Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 57% from the field and 50% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 3 turnovers.

                Both teams had runs again in the second quarter, but after 20 minutes it was the Fraport Skyliners Juniors that had the lead again at 48-42. German big man Tim Uhlemann got Giessen on the board first with a lay up to trail Frankfurt 26-25. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors then exploded with a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 38-27. In the run, Frankfurt displayed their versatile inside out game getting back to back three´s from Pruitt and Peric and also got free throws from Kamden, a lay in from Kayser and lay in from Alvin Onyia. Frankfurt continued to bang the ball inside, but also added that outside presence and were able to execute. Frankfurt also clogged the zone better not allowing Giessen inside as easily as in the first half. But like in the first quarter, Giessen was able to counter and follow Frankfurt´s run with their own and creep back into the game with a 9-0 run to trail only 38-36. Giessen continued to glow with their mid range game getting key baskets from Okpara, Lischka and Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors closed out the second half strong and kept the lead keeping Giessen a bit off balance. Frankfurt continued getting easy baskets inside from Kayser and Kamdem while Giessen got another basket from Lischka while Lohaus closed out the second quarter with a trey trailing Frankfurt 48-42 at the break. “We tried to contain Lischka as best as possible, but he is a veteran with a big body and knows how to play. He kept them in the game. We forced him to take tough shots. He can´t hit contested shots for 40 minutes”, added Nigel Pruitt. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 63% from the field and 38% from the three point line and had 16 boards and 5 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 50% from the field and 33% from the three point line and had 16 boards and 6 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Wyatt Lohaus after adding 22 points in the loss

                The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos grabbed the lead back at the start of the third quarter, but then Frankfurt inserted Noah Kamdem and the turning point of the game came as he gave the much needed energy and aggressiveness on offense getting Frankfurt the lead back and they would never look back. Giessen came out potent going on a 8-0 run to get the lead back at 50-48. In the run they continued to hurt Frankfurt with their mid range game as Okpara made a runner, Lischka hit another one of his off balance shots and Lohaus made free throws and a pull up jumper. Giessen stopped Frankfurt on it´s first five possessions mixing up their defensive formations sneaking in a press as well. Frankfurt grabbed the lead back and slowly built on it. Huge in the turn around was Noah Kamdem who dominated the paint area giving execution a new meaning and getting vital rebounds. After Schoormann hit a three giving Frankfurt it´s first field goal of the third quarter at the 6,20 minute mark, it was then Kamdem who took over. He scored 7 of the team´s next 14 points scoring three times in the paint including a pretty left handed hook shot. Frankfurt also got another clutch trey from Peric as Frankfurt led 68-58. Giessen got some key baskets from German Tim Koepple and a lay in by Lohaus, but it was Kamdem who continued to be a force and was Frankfurt´s best player in the third frame. He made a key kick out assist to Pruitt for a trey and scored in the paint two more times including hauling down an offensive rebound and making the put back as Frankfurt led 73-64 after 30 minutes. “Noah had a good week of practice. He was mentally aggressive and was hard to stop. Key for him is to continue to get easy lay ups and rebounds. I think that he can continue to do that and still have a big impact in the game. He continues to get better”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. “We gave up offensive rebounds and their pick and roll created advantages for them. When a team starts to have a cushon it becomes hard to stop a team when they are rolling”, added Wyatt Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 59% from the field and 44% from the parking lot and had 22 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 51% from the field and 38% from the parking lot and had 19 rebounds and 8 turnovers.

                In the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, it was young German Aaron Kayser and veteran Johannes Lischka who put on a show trading baskets three times. Lischka continued to shine with his unstoppable mid range game making an off balance shot, runner and lay in while Kayser ran the pick and role perfectly twice with Nigel Pruitt, but Giessen couldn´t make any ground still trailing 81-72. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a comfortable lead, but didn´t want to threaten losing it, so they slammed the door on Giessen with a 15-4 run to extend their lead to 96-76 and coast home to victory. In the run, Frankfurt got clutch production from 2017 JBBL finalists and new generation players Len Schoormann and Maxi Begue. Begue made an incredible reverse lay up and trey while Schoormann made a transition bucket and free throws. Peric gave added stability with a three pointer and Kayser remained aggressive on the offensive glass getting an offensive rebound and put back. Frankfurt continued to execute well in the last minutes getting a lay in from Pruitt and Onyia. Schoormann made two great assists with a no look pass to Kayser who made a massive two handed dunk and made the pass of the game to Cosmo Gruehn for the 100 points. He got the ball and made a semi full court bounce pass to the German for the lay in. He must of seen Rajon Rondo passes from back in the day when he played for the Boston Celtics. “I saw him, but he was far away. It was tough to throw it with two defenders in the area so I figured that the bounce pass was the more sure pass. I know that Rondo can make that pass”, stressed Len Schoormann. “That was a great pass. I didn´t think that he saw Gruehn. I thought he would dunk”, added Nigel Pruitt. Lischka and Okpara rounded out the scoring for Giessen who had lost their last two games. “We continued to defend well and got stops. Giessen was tired. They didn´t want to give up the three ball so we did the pick and roll”, added Nigel Pruitt. “We continued to make many mistakes. The momentum swung in their run and we couldn´t find any rhythm on offense. They continued to get easy baskets”, stressed Wyatt Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Noah Kamdem with 21 points. Len Schoormann and Aaron Kayser added 19 points a piece and Bruno Peric added 11 points and 6 assists. The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos were led by Johannes Lischka with 29 points. Wyatt Lohaus produced 22 points while Len Okpara had 19 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 62% from the field and 43% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 46% form the field and 31% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Chris Carter (Niners Chemnitz) Kobe Bryant Made It Cool To Yell 3,2,1 And Then Shoot And Yell Kobe

Chris Carter is a 27 year old 195cm guard that was born in Brooklyn, New York and is from Port St. Lucie, Florida that is playing his fifth professional season and second with the Niners Chemnitz. He played the last two seasons playing with Rasta Vechta. Last season in the BBL he averaged 4.0ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.4apg. In his first season with Rasta Vechta he helped the club move from the Pro A to the easyCredit BBL winning the Pro A title averaging 11,0ppg,3,4rpg and 5,3apg and shot 40% from outside. In 2016-2017 he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 40 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4 (5.7apg), Steals-4 (2.1spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.4%. As a rookie he played for Bipa Basket Odessa (Ukraine-SL Favorit Sport) playing 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 77.3%. He started his basketball career at Air Force (NCAA) and then played the last three years of school at Florida Tech (NCAA2) and as a senior played 21 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 75.8%. He gave a special tribute interview about Kobe Bryant who passed away recently.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Chris Carter in 2019 in the Fraport arena

Where were you and how did you find about the death of Kobe Bryant? 

I was on the bus back home from a game and heard about it on Instagram. 

When I heard about it, I thought it was a hoax. What were your first thoughts when you heard about it? 

I checked the dates to see if it was April fools day because there just wasn’t any way that was real. 

How much of your day the day after did you take informing yourself about his death and watching videos?

I watched a lot of videos on youtube and other social media outlets in disbelief. 

You were born in 1992. Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid? 

I remember Kobe when he was in Adidas with the afro. Him and Shaq were basically taking over the league and I knew that I wanted to be on television one day just like Kobe. 

How did your love for Kobe Bryant develop over time as you got through childhood and high school? You were very young for his first wave of titles with Shaq around the millennium, but you must have witnessed the 2010 title against my Boston Celtics.

I was raised in south Florida but my heart was in LA. I was a die hard Kobe fan and no disrespect would be tolerated around me. I wore all of his shoes, had his jerseys. I was serious about him. 

Kobe Bryant was for so many the greatest ever. What did you appreciate most about his game? Was he a guy that you pretended to be on the playgrounds? 

He was a guy that made it cool to countdown in your head ‘3..21..’ and then shoot and yell ‘KOBE’. I appreciated his sacrifice to the game more than anything. 

Kobe Bryant had so many amazing games like his 81 points and countless other games where it was lights out as well as winning 5 titles. What is your fondest memory of him of what he did on the court? 

My fondest memory is when he dunked on Dwight Howard! 

The outpouring of sadness was incredible in the last 24 hours. Guys were crying and leaving heart felt messages on Social Media. How long do you think it will take until the basketball world comes to terms with this tragedy?

I don’t think it really will. Things won’t really make sense in the basketball world. 

When you look back in 20 years on the career of Kobe Bryant how will you remember his legacy best? 

A winner, innovator, and a global icon. 

One of my last questions in my standard interviews is what is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Often players remind me that I left out Kobe Bryant.I have been thinking about this a lot in the last days. How worthy is a Kobe Bryant to be seen as the greatest of all-time?

He should be on everyone’s Mount Rushmore. 

My last question isn’t what is the last movie you saw, but what video of Kobe Bryant will you take a look again when you have some time to look back at his great career? 

The video when he discusses in depth about the Mamba Mentality.

Thanks Chris for the chat and giving your memories of Kobe Bryant.

Curtis Hollis Will Never Forget The Dragons Rhondorf Family Vibe And The Everybody Loves Everybody Mentality

Curtis Hollis is a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that is played his first season overseas and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf averaging 22,4ppg,8,2rpg,3,8apg and 3,1spg. He left the club to go back home on account of personal reasons. He began his career at Mansfield Summit High School. In 2017-2018 he played with Hutchinson CC (JUCO) playing 34 games averaging 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 66.3%. In 2018 he played in Lavar Ball’s new league with the Houston Ballers (JBL) playing 7 games: Score-5 (29.3ppg), 11.3rpg, 5.3apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 71.8%. He spoke to one more time after 16 Miles Basketball minutes with a farewell interview.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber´s first post game interview with Curtis Hollis in September 2019

Curtis thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and when you left at the end of December to return to Germany from break did you already have an inkling that it would be a short stay in Germany?

I’m in Dallas Texas and no I actually didn’t I had planned on coming back focused to finish the season and win the Regionalliga championship!

A few days ago, you wrote me telling me how much you appreciated what I had done for you with the extensive and unheard of media coverage I had given you. I really had no idea that you were leaving the team. Your hints to me just weren’t good enough. I am a bit shocked because I really enjoyed watching you play and all the post game interviews and 16 Miles basketball minutes for you. Has it all sunk in that you no longer will play for the Dragons Rhondorf?

No it hasn’t fully sunk in yet and it was a shock for me as well cause it ended so fast. You know like I said I have to give Yassin & Alex and the rest of the Rhoendorf management a huge thank you and a lot of credit for figuring out a way for me to get back with my family. It was tough how it all ended but I had to make a big decision for my family.

Could you please explain why you left the Dragons Rhondorf. The club, teammates and fans liked you. It didn’t seem like it had anything to do with this. The reason was stated as personal reasons. Could you elaborate a bit on this please.

Just something really personal came up in my family that the WHOLE family had to tend too. It’s getting better but it was just something major that I had to obviously leave quick to get back too.

You love basketball and I’m sure your decision wasn’t an easy one. Was it a difficult decision or one that was decided and made quickly on account of what was going on with the family.

It was for sure both. My teammates, the club, the fans like you said all had a huge impact on me. And I know how important it was for the club to move up. All that hit me really fast, but my family is so important to me and when something big happens I have to be there for my family.

You have left a huge void in the team play and chemistry. A new American was gotten, but he needs to be integrated and needs to get adjusted to the Regionalliga play. Despite making this decision for the family, do you feel some remorse of leaving the organization hanging?

I was at first but with the help of everybody there it really helped me get to a good head space. They understood how important that it was for me to get back with my family.

You played a great season with the Dragons Rhondorf and now the team will have to finish the season without you. How confident are you that the club has the capabilities on the court to move back up to the Pro B without you?

I’m extremely confident in these guys. Like I always said pretty much every week with a new guy the team is extremely talented. We lost a few but we were a young team and it’s all about growth. Come playoff time I know for sure they won’t go out easy.

Let talk a bout your teammates. You saw the development of many young players and also saw fine play of the older guys like guards Sharda and Foz. If you had to pick one player that you feel left the biggest impression on you as a player and person who was it?

I would say they all left a impression on me in different ways. Everybody was different, saw the game different, played the game different so it helped me adjust learning how to get guys the best opportunity to be successful. I really appreciate all of them because they helped me in so many ways to grow my game.

You had a special relationship with head coach Yassin Idbihi. One could say he discovered you in the summer of 2018 in Baunach and gave you a chance in 2019 to present your extra ordinary skills with the Dragons Rhondorf. How thankful are you of him and what will be your long lasting memory of him as a coach and person?

Man I’m so thankful for him I can’t even put it into words. He was such a honest and trustworthy guy. He brought me here to develop to a high level and help him win and understand how the European game works on and off the court. Without him I’m not sure where I would be European basketball wise. My lasting memory will probably just be every memory I had with him. He was so hard and tough on me and really really wanted to see me be successful and use all my talent. But even thou he was tough he would be the first to tell me how much better I was doing or that I was doing a good job. So I’ll miss Yassin and like I said I can’t put into words how thankful I am for him. We will have a relationship forever.

Let’s talk about your game. You played 18 games averaging 22,7ppg, 8,2rpg, 3,6rpg and 3,0spg and shot 38,9% from outside. How content were you with your professional rookie season?

I’m pretty content. I feel like if I would have finished it out my numbers would have been better but those numbers aren’t bad for a 21 year old with no high level college experience. So I’m blessed. I worked and still work very hard and watched a lot of film so that’s just hard work coming to light.

How difficult was it mentally for you just stopping and having to realize now that your rookie season is history? Do you feel like you were the best that you could be for the time that you played with the Dragons Rhondorf?

It was really tough mentally. It helped me grow but it was tough being by myself having to get through that. I feel like I got better every game, every minute, when I was on the floor. I was really starting to figure it out and take the next step. But I know everything happens for a reason so I can’t dwell on it I just have to move on.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Curtis Hollis with the typical post game interview

You set the Regionalliga on fire right from the start and was a consistent contributor that filled the stat sheet like no other. How do you feel did you develop as a rookie? How was Curtis Hollisa different player now then in September 2019?

Man I developed crazy. And really fast! I didn’t expect it but like I said I was working so hard every day every week so it was only right for me to start becoming elite. The difference from September to January was my patience, my understanding of the European game, my reads in the PnR, off the ball movements, starting to attack more and more every time down! Really just everything I had really started to figure it out.

You had many great games including a masterful triple double with 10 steals in a win against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen 2 team. What was your most memorable game with the Dragons Rhondorf?

It was probably that game or really all of them. I feel like my teammates & I all had a great time playing together and there was a lot of talent. I’ll really miss these guys.

What did you learn to appreciate the most about the country Germany? What about the culture will you miss the most?

I appreciate how calm and nice the people were. English is on a high level as well so it really helped me fit in! I’ll miss the most just the respect of the culture they have principles you have to follow and I really respect that.

The fans loved you in Rhondorf. What kind of message would you like to send the fans? How much did they support your game every weekend?

I just want to tell them I love them to death I’m sorry about how it ended but man they really helped us out nightly home games and was like a 6th man for us! My goal every night was to win and to make sure I put on a show for the fans so they were entertained and enjoyed watching us play. So I just want say to them thank you thank you thank you! You guys are honestly amazing. They supported every weekend!

There is that special family feeling with the Dragons Rhondorf. What besides this will you miss the most from the Dragons Rhondorf?

Just the family vibe and the everybody loves everybody no matter where people are from. I feel like people really embraced me here and it really helped me settle in! I’ll never forget that.

What is the next step for Curtis Hollis. You’re a gym rat. Will you take a step back from the game or will you be in the gym again fine tuning your game so you will be ready for that next opportunity whenever that should present itself?

You know me I’ll get right back to it and in the gym. I’m going to enter the 2020 NBA Draft so we will see where it takes me but it’s just the beginning for me and my career. This year really helped me. I learned so much.

With your very strong play in Germany and connections, do you feel like you could land in Germany again as a player for an organization?

I for
sure do and I love Germany. So there could absolutely be a chance I’m back here in the future.

I will remember you as a very exciting player that has just began his basketball journey that is still at the bottom of the totem pole. You’re a guy that made every game a thrill to watch with your exciting versatile play as well as always having that surprise effect with being able to making that game changing play or thunderous dunk. Off the court you presented yourself as a true professional always having time for my extensive questions and posing for the usual post game photo. What will you remember most about my work and our special relationship that is seldom seen between a player and media person.

I’ll remember the most about your work for sure with how extremely hard you work and put into your craft & the commentary of every game we played when you would say the ‘CURTIS EZWORK HOLLIS’ man you’re a star in the states for all my people! They love you. Haha your passion for the game is amazing and the questions you always gave me kept me on my toes. Our relationship was great we could talk about anything and I just really want to say thank you to you and I really appreciate you covering me night in and night out. That love and effort doesn’t go unnoticed and really really helped me out throughout the season. You’re a special guy Miles! I consider you a friend for life.

Who will win the Super Bowl and what is your score prediction between the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisoc 49ers?

Chiefs for sure by a long shot.

Thanks Curtis for the chat. All the best to you. Maybe we will cross paths again in Germany.