Curtis Hollis Leads The Dragons Rhondorf To Upset Win Over The RheinStars 86-83

At the moment it is very happy times in Rhondorf and it hasn´t been this merry since Kameron Taylor led the Dragons Rhondorf to the playoffs two seasons ago. At the moment the ex Pro A team was riding a 5 game winning streak and had climbed the standings nicely in the last weeks and rested in third place with a 8-3 record. In the last five games, they eclipsed the 100 point mark four times and last weekend creamed Essen 111-85 as the team celebrated having 7 players in double figures and dished out an incredible 29 dimes. But they knew that their next opponent the RheinStars Cologne wouldn´t be a cake walk as they rested in position one in the Regionalliga West standings with a 10-1 record. Their only loss was a bitter nail bitter against Recklinghausen 68-67. Last weekend they tore apart BG Dorsten 95-77. German Tibor Taras and American Vincent Golson led the ex Pro A team with 20 points apiece.  Their big strength is their defense as they allow only 67 points per game second best in the Regionalliga. But the club has lost some spark on the defensive side allowing more points each weekend in the last three games. It was also the first battle between the club´s two best players Mr triple double Curtis Hollis and German Tibor Taras who hit BG Hagen with an incredible 51 points shooting 12/15 from downtown. It may still be Autumn, but outside there was already that touch of winter, but inside the usually cool Dragon Dome was sizzling with the atmosphere and the fight of both teams. It turned out to be a game that fans will look back in the next years as a real fight from two teams and where the Dragons Rhondorf showed their best all around performance at both ends of the court nipping and upsetting the RheinStars 86-83 having an answer for their defense which allowed only 67 points per game coming in. It was the sixth win in a row by the Dragons under new coach Yassin Idbihi as they moved to 9-3 while the RheinStars fell to 10-2. After the game a relaxed Curtis Hollis who was sporting a fine FC Barcelona sweat shirt reflected on the big win. “This was our best game of the season. We played calm and not fully hard in the first half, but in the second half we turned it up. We played hard, played solid defense, executed on offense and got out on transition”, stressed Texas native Curtis Hollis. RheinStars Cologne guard Vincent Golson played only his fourth game after coming off an injury and wasn´t pleased how his team performed. “We were careless with the ball. I felt we were selfish and had too many turnovers. We did a bad job not focusing on the scouting report. Their players reached their spots and goals”, warned Oakland, California native Vincent Golson.

Miles Schmidt-scheuber interviewing RheinStars guard Vincent Golson who contributed 15 points in the loss in Rhondorf

Both teams had difficulty finding their offensive rhythm, but in the second half of the first quarter started to execute better, but no team could get away as the game was deadlocked 22-22. Three ex Rhondorf players were back in the Dragon Dome with Thomas Michel, Yannick Kneesch and Karl Dia, but the story of the game was the head to head battle between Cologne´s Tibor Taras and Curtis Hollis and they didn´t disappoint as they combined for 60 points. Both players got off to a quick start as Taras scored and Hollis hit a trey for Rhondorf´s first lead of the game at 3-2. There would be seven lead changes in the first quarter and while Taras continued to do his thing and score, Rhondorf was getting severe energy from ex Munich forward Killian Binapfl who was playing at a high level at both ends made two baskets for the 11-10 lead. German Benedict Van Laack also got going and took his team on a 5-0 run to put the RheinStars ahead at 18-16, but Binapl continued to carry his team while Hollis was being covered well and not getting shots. The German Binapfl scored a lay in and trey for the 22-19 Dragons lead. Taras tied the game in the last seconds with a three pointer. “We saw two very good teams that were even on the court. They were rebounding very well, while we weren´t boxing out well. We weren´t tough enough on the boards and didn´t show the will. Taras got going quickly and led their team”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Alexander Dohms. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 50% form the field and 60% form outside and had 7 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the RheinStars shot 43% from the field and 37% from outside and had 11 rebounds and 5 turnovers.

In the second quarter the RheinStars led by as much as 6 points, but couldn´t shake the Dragons Rhondorf as they never gave up and cut the lead down to 1 point at the break. The Rheinstars got 3 stops to begin and got a free throw from ex CS Dominguez(NCAA2) guard Golson and got a Taras lay in for the 25-22 advantage. After Slovenian center Jure Besedic made a lay in, the RheinStars let the ball fly getting two trey´s from Van Laack and Taras giving the guests the 31-26 lead. Rhondorf had problems getting out on the perimeter to make life harder for the RheinStars. But Rhondorf did a good job continuing to execute on offense while the RheinStars kept the slim lead. Spanish 37 year old point guard Enric Garrido Foz and Binapfl hit three´s cutting the RheinStars lead down to 33-32. Both teams went on little runs. The RheinStars went on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 40-34 as German Tim Van Der Velde made a lay in and free throw while Golson hit four free throws. But the Dragons Rhondorf closed out the second quarter strong going on their very own 7-2 run to cut the guests lead to 42-41. Rhondorf showed another spurt of aggressive speculation defense something they took from the Telekom Baskets Bonn play book as Hollis made a steal and young German Simas Lukosius scored on transition, Besedic scored in the paint and 37 year Anish Sharda dropped a trey. “We showed good team play with many guys scoring. We defended better, but still gave up too many second chance points. The motivation is there on defense and slowly the team is understanding everything better and their confidence is rising. Hollis was being guarded well and Binapfl led the team”,added Dragons Rhondorf CEO Alexander Dohms. The RheinStars shot 38% form the field and 35% from the three point line and had 21 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 42% from the field and 54% from the three point line and had 17 rebounds and 6 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Dragons Curtis Hollis after dropping 28 points in the upset win over the RheinStars

The third quarter was tight until the second half of the third quarter where the Dragons Rhondorf broke away to lead by 8 points, but the RheinStars made a furious comeback to trail only by 2 points after 30 minutes. Curtis Hollis had a solid first half scoring 8 points and started off the third quarter shinning with his defense getting a steal and coast to coast left handed lay in. He also made a two handed dunk after a Sharda steal and then dropped free throws for the Dragons 49-46 advantage. Hollis really upped his intensity and gambled well on defense giving Rhondorf the momentum and lead back. But that didn´t faze the guests as they suddenly shifted up a few gears on defense forcing Rhondorf too tough shots and getting Tibor Taras to do this thing on offense getting a lay in and trey for the 51-49 RheinStars lead. “Taras is a smart player. He really could score the ball better than I thought. He picks his spots well and is smart on the pick and roll. When you’re a scorer you can score. He really can score at a high level”, stressed Curtis Hollis. Both teams were able to produce quick runs whenever they wanted to. After this rapid Taras explosion, the Dragons Rhondorf cruised on a 10-0 run to grab the lead back to 59-51. In the run the ex Pro A team received vital production from Hollis who scored on transition and dropped 4 free throws . Kotieno and Besedic also made free throws. The Dragons Rhondorf played smart and got to the free throw line. In the run, Binapfl was on the bench and the team was carried by Hollis. But the Dragons Rhondorf could n´t keep their momentum or lead as they broke down in the last minutes allowing the RheinStars to go on a 9-3 run to get back into the game and trail only 62-60 after 30 minutes. In the run, the guests got good team production from Taras netting a 20 footer, ex Speyer forward Yannick Kneesch scored inside after getting a perfect bounce pass from Van Der Velde and Van Laack hit another three pointer. “I was careless with the ball when they went on their run. They picked up their game, but we came back”, added Vincent Golson. “We got stops and scored ball well. Guys were scoring in key moments. In the end we got turnovers in key moments and didn´t get back on defense”, stated Curtis Hollis. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 40% from the field and from the parking lot and had 23 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the RheinStars shot 42% from the field and 38% from the parking lot and had 29 rebounds and 13 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter it looked early like the Dragons Rhondorf could finally break away as they led by 10 points, but when you have a Tibor Taras on your side, you aren´t ever out of it. He led his team back to dead lock the game, but in the end the Dragons Rhondorf had the better nerves and executed better at both ends of the court. The Dragons Rhondorf started the fourth quarter with a lethal 12-4 run to extend their lead to 74-64. The Dragons let the three fly and were successful getting four from Hollis, Binapfl, Foz and Besedic. Rhondorf was playing smart and executing their offense calmly while the Rheinstars were inconsistent on defense They played aggressive on the ball handler, but then let up on the closeouts. “Our confidence grew with every other three made. We did a good job getting guys into good scoring position and we knocked down shots”, added Curtis Hollis  Both teams showed all night long how to react strongly and successfully to an opponents run as now the RheinStars stuck it to the Dragons going on a brutal 12-2 run to deadlock the contest at 76-76. Belgium guard Gael Hulsen nailed a trey to begin the run which was followed by a Golson lay in. then it was Taras doing his thing scoring three baskets in a row to tie the game. The Dragons Rhondorf made poor turnovers allowing the guests to come back. “Scoring is what Tibor does. When he is putting the ball in the hole, we have to feed him. When he catches fire, he gets us back into the game with his shot making abilities”, stressed Vincent Golson. But then came the turning point of the game. The Dragons Rhondorf went on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 82-76 and they would never look back. Foz made a floater, Kotieno a lay in getting the shovel pass form Hollis and Hollis then also scored. On two stops, Hollis made two clutch defensive rebounds. “I had to help the big men rebound. Coach Idbihi got on me at the break about not getting a rebound in the first half. I crashed the boards harder in the second half to secure possessions”, added Curtis Hollis. “Our goal is to get better at defending and rebounding. Hollis´s two rebounds were important at the end, but it was an overall team effort to get the win”, expressed head coach Yassin Idbihi. Swedish center Michiel Petersen made a tip in and Golson a lay in, but Rhondorf hit big free throws from Foz as Rhondorf led 84-81. Golson scored with 24 seconds to go to cut the Dragons lead to 84-83, but Sharda and Hollis made key free throws and then stopped Taras on the last shot. “We made big free throws and stops”, added Curtis Hollis. “We had poor execution in the last minute. We had too much 1-1 play. We like to get the simple shot and get on transition, but we showed too much hero ball at the end”, warned Vincent Golson. The Dragons Rhondorf were led b Curtis Hollis with 28 points. Killian Binapfl added 18 points and 11 boards  and Jure Besedic produced 11 points and Enric Garrido Foz 10 points The RheinStars were led by Tibor Taras with 31 points and 10 boards, Vincent Golson had 15 points and Bendict Van Laack added 13 points. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 41% form the field and 43% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the RheinStars shot 43% form the field and 36% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 16 turnovers.

Skyler Bowlin(s.Oliver Wurzburg) When You Show An Understanding Of Coach´s Concept Then He Really Let´s You go Out and Hoop

Skyler Bowlin is a 30 year old 190cm guard who is playing his ninth professional season and fifth in Germany and second with s.Oliver Wurzburg. Last season with Wurzburg he averaged 9.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 70.7% in the BBL and in the Fiba Europe Cup averaged 8.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 5.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 72.2%The ex Missouri So (NCAA2) began his professional basketball career with BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-ProA) and then played three seasons in Denmark with Horsens IC and a year in Sweden with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan). He played two seasons in Germany with the Giessen 46ers and with Science City Jena (Germany-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 11.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 5.1apg, Steals-5 (1.6spg), FGP: 38.1%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: has interviewed Skyler over the years from his time in Sweden to his BBL days in Giessen and did it again before the Fraport Skyliners game in Wurzburg.

Skyler thanks for talking to It’s weekend time and you have a game on Sunday against the Fraport Skyliners at 3.00pm. What have you learned to enjoy more the Saturday night battles or the Sunday afternoon duels in your career?

For me it doesn’t really matter if it’s a Saturday or Sunday game. The afternoon games a bit different of course, but you just have to prepare yourself the same regardless of the day or time.

Your playing your second season with s.Oliver Wurzburg. Your playing now your third season under head coach Denis Wucherer. It obvious becomes easier over time to play for him with more experience. What one aspect about his character have you learned to appreciate since you met him?

I really enjoy playing for Denis. I think the main thing is the freedom he gives us players. If you show an understanding of our concept then he really just lets you go out and hoop.

The club is currently battling neck in neck with the Fraport Skyliners for 9-10 place and have a solid 4-3 record. The club kept the trio of guard Terror with you, Cameron Wells and Jordan Hulls as well as key German role plyers and added many other imports. How vital has the trio’s leadership been for getting the team off to a good start?

I always think it’s important to have some continuity within a team. We brought back a lot of guys so it has really made the process a lot smoother for everyone.

S.Oliver Wurzburg pretty much beat teams they had to and lost to tough teams Oldenburg, Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich. Then you beat ratiopharm Ulm. How key was the win against ulm? This was the first win against a very good team that still haven’t found their true form, but a win is a win. Could that win be a type of turning point of the season where the club starts having better results against the presumed playoff teams?

Every game in the BBL is tough, but a win on the road against a strong team like Ulm definitely gives us a bit of confidence. We just have to continue to work and get better every day though.

The team score very well averaging 85 points per game, but give up 84 points per game. Obviously is the defense still a work in progress. Is this another area where the trio guard terror can lead by example and get the whole defensive end to be on the same page and defend well together?

Defense is always something we can improve on. Of course us guards can get the energy and intensity going with pressuring the ball, but we need everyone on the same page to be a good defensive team and that’s what we will try to be.

It seems like the overall defensive success of BBL teams has gone down in the last few years. Is the easyCredit BBL getting better overall offensive players or is the league getting lazier on defense?

I think the style of play is just changing. More 3s are being shot and teams are playing faster. For me, I think that is the biggest difference.

This is your second season with teammates Cameron Wells and Jordan Hulls. How more enjoyable has it become being able to play with these two players and is it coming to work a tad more enjoyable each day knowing that they will be on the court?

Life is much easier playing on the same side as those 2 guys. We all get along and all bring something different to the team I think. It’s been a lot of fun with them and hopefully we can continue being successful together.

How vital has the pick up of American Luke Fischer been? He is one of those guys that could quietly become one of the better big men in the league. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game?

Luke has been great for us. His shot blocking ability has surprised everyone I think. He has great timing on the defensive end and really protects the rim for us.

Another important pick up as has been American Victor Rudd. Besides his experience of 33 Euroleague games and 26 Eurocup games, what added new dimension ha she given the team that it didn’t have before?

Vic has come in and been great for us. He really understands the game and brings so much versatility to our team on both ends that we really needed.

It is never easy for German players to prosper at the BBL level and get sufficient minutes. One of those guys was Florian Koch who didn’t have much luck in Bonn or Ludwigsburg, but seems to have found a real home in Wurzburg. How have you seen his game develop in the last two years? This season he is averaging 9,1ppg shooting the lights out at 58% from outside. He has once again proved that no matter the situation he can heighten his game.

Flo is a worker! This guys brings it every day and continues to improve. His shooting is always a threat and now he has stepped up his game defensively and rebounding as well.

Let’s talk about your game. In our last interview you stated ‘The system we have here doesn’t focus on one person. We really move the ball well and have guys at every position that can make plays and score. Each game is different for me. Some games I maybe need to score a bit and some games I need to be a distributor and focus on defense. Knowing this how do choose your personal goals this season? Do they change any?

Of course personal goals can change from year to year, but at this point in my career it’s about being efficient and above all winning games. Winning is all that matters!

You have grown as a player showing in Jena that you can run a team and stepped up your defense. How do the roles of running a team get better defined when you have two other strong point guards with Cameron Wells and Jordan Hulls who obviously can jump to the two position when you are on the court at the same time?

When I am on the court with those guys we know that we can all play on or off the ball so it’s really free and whoever gets the ball just goes. We know each other strengths so we all know where we need to get the ball to get successful.

You stated in our last interview last season that you would be working on your jumper and really watching film and working on reads out of the PnR and on your body. Have you seen any of these things reap benefits in the early going?

The work never stops. I’m always trying to improve on everything on a daily basis. Once you stop trying to improve then it’s probably time to stop playing.

Your shooting the outside shot as well as in your last season in Denmark with Horsen’s. As time goes by does the challenge of seeing what kind of shots you will get in games and how well your shot selection is and success rate is make shooting the three a more enjoyable thing?

My shot selection has definitely changed since playing in Denmark. I was taking quite a few more shots back then but now again, it’s about trying to be as efficient as possible.

The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners. You have a 3-5 record against them. I remember that first game in Fiba Europe Cup where you netted 18 points in a losing cause in Frankfurt. What makes it always so special to play against this club?

Yes, playing against Frankfurt while I was in Sweden was an incredible experience. That’s the game where Denis and Coach Key saw me play for the first time. Frankfurt is always tough so we have to be ready to fight.

The club has been up and down all season long. How dangerous is this team and what kind of game can we await in Wurzburg.

Today’s game is going to be intense. Both teams know it’s an important game so it won’t be easy for sure.

The BBL legends are slowly dying out. You know well what I’m talking about since you played with three in Jena. You have a Paulding in Oldenburg and a Quantez Robertson in Frankfurt. How much has a guy like Robertson inspired your game especially on the defensive end?

Tez is definitely a legend. His level of play is still very high and he brings it every game. I have a lot of respect for him.

The Golden State Warriors have had serious injury woes. Is there Dynasty finally over or will they be back to challenge teams in the next years?

That’s tough. They have so many injuries at the moment. This will be a tough year, but next year hopefully they can bounce back

What was the last movie that you saw?

Ad Astra

Thanks Skyler for the chat.

The Miles Basketball Minute With Curtis Hollis Volume 8

Curtis Hollis is a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that is playing his first season overseas and first in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf currently averaging 19,8ppg,7,8rpg,3,9apg and 3,4spg. He began his career at Mansfield Summit High School. In 2017-2018 he played with Hutchinson CC (JUCO) playing 34 games averaging 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 66.3%. In 2018 he played in Lavar Ball’s new league with the Houston Ballers (JBL) playing 7 games: Score-5 (29.3ppg), 11.3rpg, 5.3apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 71.8%. He and I will team up every week to talk basketball in the Miles basketball minute.

Congrats Curtis on the huge 111-85 win in Essen. How did you spend your winters back in Texas? It was probably the coldest day since the summer in Bad Honnef. How have you experienced the winters in Texas? Does it get that cold?

Doesn’t get this cold but I’ve been in Kansas before so I’m used to it getting cold cold!

Is scoring points seem automatic now for the team at the moment? Scoring many points now is something normal for the Dragons Rhondorf.

Yes. People are getting comfortable and learning how to play everyday and every game so it’s great to see.

The club is second in the Regionalliga averaging 93 points per game. The team has eclipsed the 100 points in 4 of the 5 games in the winning streak. What can the team still improve on the offense end?

Just taking smart shots, making the extra pass. 

The  Miners gave a good fight. Did their way of playing and being able to score many points show just how competitive the Regionalliga west is?

Yes. They are in last place but still played hard and played like they wanted to beat us! So it wasn’t a cakewalk and neither is the Regionalliga

The team lost the rebounding duel 42-29 and gave up 16 offensive boards. Is rebounding going to be something the team will practice more this week?

Yes. We have to limit teams to 1 possession! That’s big for us.

The team gave up 85 points which was a lot again a bit over the season average of 83. What strides did you see in the last week on the defensive end?

Usually we give up 90 or 100 so 80 is a stepping stone haha. But it’s just continuing to do what we’ve been doing. Working on rotations, man to man D all principles of team defense.

The teammate spotlight this week is on Enrich Garrido Foz. He had a solid game with 16 points and 5 assists. Was his arrival the difference between achieving a title and not? What do you appreciate most about his game?

I mean I think regardless we were going to contend for the title but with him it’s for sure added to our team. He’s older and very experienced really knows the game and how to play so you can expect a well game from him almost every game. Super reliable.

You had another very solid game with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals. We have talked triple doubles, but with your 10 steals, what would it mean to you getting a win and a quadruple double?

It would be crazy! Something I’ve never done. Maybe by the end of the season it will happen.

You filled up the stat sheet very well and did much well except for going 0/3 from outside. Do you go through the 3 shot attempts in your mind after the game as you dissect it?

Yes I did. 2 of them were forced because late shot clock situations but other than that I’ll be fine. They will fall.

Next weekend is the big showdown against top team RheinStars Cologne. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to getting the win?

I’m sure it will be a great game. Two of the best in the league going at it is always fun. Keys are just playing our style of play and defense as I always say. Really holding them to 1 possession every time down

The Boston Celtics started so well at 6-1, but now suffered a severe blow losing Gordon Hayward with a broken hand. How much will this affect the team´s game and can they compensate it?

I think it will affect them because Gordon is really talented and a big piece but it’s also good because other guys can step up and show what they can do. It’s a long 82 game season so I’m sure Gordon will be back in no time.

It probably surprised no one that Damian Lillard exploded for 60 points recently. Where do you rank him in the NBA at the moment with the top guards?

Man he has to be in the top 5-10 PG conversation. He’s too elite, can really shoot the ball, handle it, pass it, shoot it. So dame is just unreal I love watching him play.

Thanks Curtis for the chat.

The Miles Basketball Minute: Can Quantez Robertson Transport Basketball Magic Just With His Sheer Presence?

19 hours after the incredible comeback win in Weissenfells for the Fraport Skyliners, Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson wasn´t getting an extra needed nap on a Saturday afternoon, but as always was the Fraport Skyliners Juniors sixth man supporting the young players against the Ebeecke White Wings Hanau in the stands as he has been doing for years. Ok so it didn´t look as bad for the Juniors at halftime down by 7 points as it was for the Fraport Skyliners in Weissenfels after three quarters where they were down by 14 points. Robertson has performed many amazing things over the years on the court and is allowed to be tired after 40 minutes, but in the stands in the BCM, he looked exhausted as his eyes looked the way they must have been when he had done all nighters at Auburn in 2009 in his senior year. Tez has the unbelievable ability to play games on his phone, but at the same time follow the game as well. He had two tips for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors responding with getting defensive rebounds and taking care of the ball. I wonder how he would have responded had someone predicted what would happen in the third quarter as the Frankfurt side offensive game exploded like never before. I can remember them making nice runs over the years, but nothing like their 33-9 third quarter onslaught. It was exactly the same amount of points that Quantez Robertson and his mates had incredibly displayed the night before. Robertson is a freak athlete and has amazing abilities on the court, but could he have had something to do with the 33 point invasion by the Skyliners farm team Juniors? Maybe Tez has added talents that nobody knows about? Can Quantez Robertson Transport basketball magic just with his sheer presence? “Tez doesn´t only have that special spark on the court but can ignite it also being in the crowd and watching a game. Perhaps his good karma being there rubbed off on the Juniors”, laughed Fraport Skyliner Adam Waleskowski.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Adam Waleskowski in the Fraport arena in 2019

                I reach Adam Waleskowski on a Sunday afternoon as he was back in his apartment resting after a strenuous morning of team building where Laser Tag was on the menu. He was watching his ex club Ludwigsburg play and when I mentioned that his ex coach John Patrick seemed to get the right roster this season, the ex Florida State native was quick to comment with a chuckle “They haven´t played any of the difficult teams yet”. But Fraport Skyliner basketball was on my mind The up and down play of the Frapor Skyliners in the last weeks haven´t been easy to digest and when you look at their record of 3-4 there is nothing to really be proud of, but when you peek a glance at the BBL standings they momentarily rest in 10th position one win away from a playoff spot. Ok so the season is still young, but things could be a lot worse. For the first 30 minutes in Weissenfels last Friday, Basketball life didn´t look particularly good for the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner as they were playing catch up basketball. “We were just hanging around for the first three quarters and just couldn´t get closer than 9-10 points”, explained ex BG Goettingen forward Adam Waleskowski.  But then came the fourth quarter, 10 minutes that changed the whole outcome of the game. Frankfurt scored 33 points and gave up only 13 points. It was one of the best quarters in the club history of the Skyliners, but the American also remembered another great comeback that he witnessed back in the day at Florida State. “We played against North Carolina that had many future NBA players like Sean May, Raymond Felton, Jawad Williams and Rashad Mccants. We were down by 24 points at the half and came back to tie the game and then win it in overtime”, said ex Ludwigsburg forward Adam waleskowski.  The American looks back fondly at the fourth quarter in Weissenfels. “Coach Gleim told us that we had nothing to lose and give all we had. We then started to hit shots and MBC turned dead cold”, stated Adam Waleskowski. The American was hesitant at first to agree that the fourth quarter was the team´s best quarter of the season, but then did agree. “I think so in the sense that we overcame the way we had played in the first three quarters. We all came together and made shots and played strong defense. We got stops and rebounds when we needed to. Mcquaid hit big shots, Shaq hit a huge shot and Tez made that dunk over Jackson for the exclamation points”, added Adam Waleskowski.

                The big winner of the game was ex Michigan State guard Matt Mcquaid who had seen hardly any action and came on to the floor in the fourth quarter and netted three trey´s in a row. Waleskowski has been giving tips to the young American this season with his tough situation of getting little minutes, but this time it was team leader Lamont Jones that gave him the quick pep talk. “Matt came in cold. Mo talked to him. Coach Gleim compares him to Bayreuth´s guard Bryce Alford. That dude is always shooting the ball. Coach just told him to keep letting the ball fly. He got the needed confidence after hitting the first one. After that each time he let it fly, you could feel that it would go in everytime”, stressed Adam Waleskowski. This great spark of instant offense that Mcquaid gave Frankfurt could very well have been his long awaited breakthrough game. “After this performance I think coach will have more confidence to give Matt more minutes. It will be huge if he has the confidence to shoot the ball more. I think that Matt can be a BBL player that averages 10-12 points per game. He is a tall guard that can also rebound. I think it will only benefit the team if he gets more minutes. He will take pressure off guys like Jones and Tez and give us a new dynamic”, added Adam Waleskowski. Another player who had another normal day at the office was ex Iona(NCAA) guard Lamont Jones who had 27 points on 9/13 shooting. He has been carrying the team all season long in good and bad times, but can´t it be dangerous when the team relies on him too much? “Relying on him to much can backfire if he plays to much and gets worn down. He did a good job in Weissenfels carrying us. Then in the fourth quarter everyone found their rhythm. Coach relies on his leadership and creating abilities. Coach is confident that he can handle his role”, added Adam Waleskowski. Another player that continues to be consistent and find better into his role is German Richard Freudenberg. The expectations have been huge on the ex St Johns(NCAA) player since he arrived in 2017 and now in his third season, it looks like he will finally be that player that so many have been waiting for. “He was struggling at first with foul trouble, but he finished strong. It is great to see him overcome adversary in the game and step up and hit big shots. Games like this will help his self confidence and let him become the player that everybody has been waiting for”, stressed Adam Waleskowski.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson in the BCM training facility of the Fraport Skyliners in 2016

                One player that will be so vital for the success of the club is American Anthony Hickey. He looked good before the season started, but a nasty injury kept him out He recently returned, but his road back has been slow. Coach Gleim gave him only 6,32 minutes in Weissenfels and wasn´t a factor.  “It is a process to come back from an injury. He is still looking to find his rhythm. The team chemistry has changed since his injury so he is still trying to figure out how to play with the team now.  I think that it was a good coaching decision with the minutes that he had. Letting the guys that are gelling now to get the majority of the minutes. He has to continue to get incorporated back into his role as leader and point guard.  Some of our plays changed and he has to learn now when to push the ball, when to slow it down and when to attack at the end of the shot clock. The process will work, but it will take some time”, warned Adam Waleskowski. A big weakness for the club continues to be their inconsistency. When will the team finally play well for 40 minutes? “We are still finding our roles and learning to play with each other. We are gelling more and more and beginning to understand our roles better. Now we need to play to win games”, warned Adam Waleskowski. The schedule doesn´t get any easier as the potent Bamberg team visit Frankfurt in two weeks and this weekend Sebastian Gleim and co travel to Wurzburg. The Bavarian club is always a tough team to play especially with their always dangerous guard terror. “Wurzburg has a lot of good guards. We played them in pre-season and they shot out the lights. We have to be ready for them. I expect more of a faster paced game. We have to work on limiting our mistakes in practice this week. We have shown this year that we can play great and bad in spurts. We have to limit the ups and downs. We are on the right path with our tough wins and having learning experiences”, warned Adam Waleskowsi. So after the monumental win in Weissenfels where the Fraport Skyliners exploded for 33 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win, the question is was this win the season changer for the Fraport Skyliners? “The win was a momentum booster. We showed that despite not playing our best, we were on the road and had the willingness to continue to fight back and stick together. This was a great confidence builder for the young players showing that if you bring a big effort that you can compete against anyone”, warned Adam Waleskowski. It will be interesting to see just how much of that Weissenfels energy will be present in Wurzburg. One thing is for sure Quantez Robertson will be on the court and possibly transport that basketball magic for a third time.

TJ Shorts(BK Ventspils) Never Worried About The Doubters Because It Only Matters What You Do On The Court

TJ Shorts is a 22 year old 175cm point guard from Tustin, California playing his rookie season with BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL). He began his basketball career at Tustin High School an dthen played two years at Saddleback JC (JUCO) He finished at the University of California – Davis (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 14.6ppg, 3.7rpg, 4.5apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.7% and in his senior year averaged 15.2ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 71.8%. He led BK Ventspils to a 84-80 win in Bayreuth netting 15 points and spoke to before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

TJ thanks for talking to Before we get to the interview, I read that what not many know is that you’re a passionate surfer. Have you been able to pick up on it in beautiful Ventspils in Latvia?

I wouldn’t say I’m a passionate surfer but I do enjoy surfing as a side hobby. I don’t get to surf as much as I’d like and unfortunately haven’t been able to pick it up here in Ventspils.

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

Thank you this is my first time in Germany, and I don’t know much about Germany but I do know Dirk is from here and also Dennis Schroeder is from here but not super familiar with this country. 

Have you had any ex teammates, or opponents that have played in Germany in the past? Do you have contact with Nick Hornsby who played at your high school Tustin?

So I do have an ex teammate who is currently playing here in Germany my brother Nick Hornsby is here playing and me and him played high school basketball together for a year when I was a sophomore and he was a senior we won a school championship together during that year.

Your playing your rookie season in Latvia for BK Ventspils. The club has won 11 titles since 2000. What kind of experience has it been playing for such a well known organization that has a lot of tradition?

So far it has been a great experience playing for such a well know organization with such great tradition. I’m learning every day about the style of basketball here in Europe and I’m trying to fit in and help bring another title to the team this year. 

BK Ventspils is off to an excellent start in the Fiba Europe Cup. The club is averaging 90 points per game and allowing 74 points per game and grabbing 40 rebounds per game. What has been the secret to the success? It seems like everything is gelling early.

I think the secret to our success is how hungry each and every one of us are we are never satisfied with just one victory we celebrate the victory for a few hours after the game and the next day we are back focused and back hungry for another victory. So I think the secret is we are never satisfied and we are hungry.

In the last few years BK Ventspils have had a great record of winning titles or reaching finals. How big are the club expectations to win titles in general? 

The goal every year for any team should be to win the title so I don’t think there’s any expectations I think it’s just a mindset of wanting to win the title every year and like I said earlier staying hungry for more. 

What has it been like sharing the floor with point guard Wes Washpun? How do you guys compliment each other best and has there been anything that you have been able to soak up from him?

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play with Wes yet because he suffered a minor injury but hopefully in the near future we can share the floor soon. 

When you arrived in Ventspils and found out that Ryan Luther was your teammate, did you remember he had played against you last season with Arizona beating you 70-68 while you dropped 25 points? 

Yes I definitely remember still a classic game to look back on but we joked about the game a little bit but now that we are teammates that is in our past. 

What have you learned to appreciate the most about Ryan Luther on and off the court? Have you bonded in a special way since your both rookies?

I’ve learned first off how talented he is on the floor he can play inside and he can shoot the 3 so it is easy to play with. Also, off the floor he has been a huge help showing me around and helping me get settled here in Ventspils.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 175cm point guard. Did you get a lot of doubters growing up about your size? How did you experience having to deal being a small point guard?

I definitely had a lot of doubters growing up and still have some now but that was never something I listened to because at the end of the day everyone will always have an opinion on something but it’s just a matter of what’re you going to do once you step in between those lines on the court.

If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description? Would Nate Robinson be a good choice? 

I think my game is a mixture of Chris Paul with his ability to pass and the new Isaiah Thomas with his ability to score while being so small. 

You were a solid scorer at the NCAA level and averaged 4,4apg. Do you see yourself concentrating more on being a playmaker at the professional level and be able to push the assists up? 

I just see myself doing whatever the team needs me to do, I’ve never been one to look at stats but I more so look at the outcome of games so if the team needs me to be a playmaker I can do that for the team. 

You had a stellar career at Tustin leading team to three consecutive Empire League titles and averaging 17,0ppg as a senior. But you got no NCAA offers. How tough was dealing with it and did you wish that you would have been 185cm to 190cm tall?

It was definitely tough dealing with having no scholarships but I continued to work and went a different route and eventually got what I was working for. Also, I don’t look at my height as a negative I’m blessed with what I have and am happy the way things worked out for me.

You played two seasons with Saddleback JC (JUCO) getting MVP. What did you learn about yourself as a player and person in these two years which allowed you to reach the NCAA? 

I learned that I was a fighter and was willing to work for my goals. During JUCO it’s easy to give up and take a different route but I continued to work and eventually got better and earned my division 1 scholarship to UC Davis.

You played two seasons with University of California – Davis (NCAA) putting up big time stats and winning all big west player of the year in 2018. After playing two seasons of JUCO league, how do you feel did your game develop further at the higher NCAA level?

I think the main thing was I started to understand the game more and got stronger which ultimately helped me to succeed at the next level. Also, my coaches were great excepting me into the culture there and helped me excel to win those achievements. 

In your junior season you put up 31 points in an exciting 105-104 victory over Long Beach State. Was that one of your most memorable games in the NCAA? 

This was definitely my most memorable moment from the NCAA, something I will never forget and still from time to time go back and watch the video of the crazy game and the crazy shot that won it. 

You recorded a triple double of 10/10/10 in a win against Cal Poly. How big was that achievement and do you feel like with added experience and the continuation of polishing your game that you could be an absolute stat filler at the professional level and get a triple double? 

That was another big achievement in my college career and I definitely feel like with continued work I can become a stat filler at the next level here as a pro.

In your last NCAA game, you lost to Cal State Fullerton 75-71 getting 28 points. Is this one of those games that will stick in your mind as one you won’t forget so easily? 

This was definitely a game I’ll never forget with it being my last game of my college career but looking back I have no regrets and glad it played out the way it did.

How did head coach Jim Les groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? 

He was a big help especially with him playing in the NBA for many years I was able to learn so much from him in my two years at Davis that I’ll be able to take with me and apply at the professional level so I thank him for that. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Damion Squire?

I was definitely winning one on ones against my young brother Damion squire but there were a bunch of close calls because he is a exceptional talent and will have a great career at Davis for the next three years.

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

NBA Rushmore that fits my taste would be Kobe, Lebron, Isaiah Thomas, Chris Paul 

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

I don’t know if the dynasty is over I’m sure they will be able to bounce back but it will definitely be interesting to see what happens next. 

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

They’re both great in their own rights so I cant make that decision of who is the GOAT cause I never got to watch MJ live. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Pursuit of Happyness my all time favorite movie

Thanks TJ for the chat

Coming From A Basketball Family Ryan Luther(BK Ventspils) Learned To Gain Passion For The Sport At An Early Age

Ryan Luther is a 24 year old 206cm forward from Allison Park, Pennsylvania playing his rookie season for BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL). He began his basketball career at Hampton High School and then played 84 NCAA games with Pittsburgh (NCAA) before finishing at the University of Arizona (NCAA) playing 32 games averaging 8.4ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 76.5%. He spoke to before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

Ryan thanks for talking to Before we get to the interview, I have to ask you about the amazing sports family history that you share. Your siblings all played basketball and are the second family in WPIAL history to have four siblings score over 1,000 career points: Ryan (1,968), Collin (1,033) and his older brother Bill, Jr. and older sister Jodie also scored over 1,000. Your cousin played in the NFL and uncle in the NCAA. What have been the biggest advantages of having this family history?

I think just being around the game of basketball and sports was important. My older brothers and cousins were always talking hoops and this helped me gain the passion.

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

I don’t know too much, but I do know that the German league is very good. My ex teammate at Pittsburgh was James Robinson. It was good seeing him a few weeks ago.

BK Ventspils is off to an excellent start in the Fiba Europe Cup. The club is averaging 90 points per game and allowing 74 points per game and grabbing 40 rebounds per game. What has been the secret to the success? It seems like everything is gelling early. 

I think that everybody has done their part. Everybody shows up each day and does what coach says. We play hard and together which has been the difference.

Your playing your rookie season in Latvia for BK Ventspils. The club has won 11 titles since 2000. In the last few years BK Ventspils have had a great record of winning titles or reaching finals. How big are the club expectations to win titles in general?

I knew when I came here that BK Ventspils was a great organization. I also knew that they had a great winning tradition. It is up to us to keep it going. We want to play well and pay our respect to the club, fans and city. I think that we have the pieces to win a title. We have to continue to get better each day. 

What has it been like sharing the floor with veteran point guard Wes Washpun? What have you learned to appreciate most about his game in the early going?

Wes is a great player. He is a god defender and passer and knows how to get all involved. 

When you arrived in Ventspils and found out that TJ Shorts was your teammate, did you remember he had played against you last season with Arizona beating you 70-68 while he dropped 25 points?

Yeh when I saw his name, I remembered him. He had a good game. He has done a great job for us here.

What have you learned to appreciate the most about TJ Shorts on and off the court? Have you bonded in a special way since your both rookies?

He is a very unselfish player. He is a good passer and can get into the lane. Since we are two of the Americans here, we have gotten pretty close. We have had a good relationship on and off the court.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 206cm forward. Would it be fair to say that you’re a modern day forward?

Yes I would say so. I can shoot the ball and stretch the defense and create more room for my teammates as well as rebound and guard bigs.

You have put up very good stats in the Latvian league averaging 10/9 stats and shooting over 40% from outside. What has been easy to adjust to on the court and what hasn’t been so easy yet?

I think the most difficult thing to adjust to here was the style of play. It is a lot more physical in Europe. My teammates and coaching staff have done a good job helping me get adjusted in letting me play to my strengths so I can help the team win games

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

I can’t answer that.

You shot over 40% from outside twice at Pittsburgh (NCAA) and shot in the high 30% at Arizona. You really increased your attempts as a senior. How do you see your shooting developing as a rookie? Do you see your three being one of your weapons?

Yes I see my three being a weapon. If it’s on transition or off the pick and roll, my teammates have confidence in me making the shot. I think that I can help my team with my three.

On what things are you working on as a rookie? How much pride do you take in your defensive play? You showed in the NCAA that you can be a solid shot blocker.

Being in the right position on rotations and in pick and roll defense.

You were four years at Pittsburgh (NCAA). You were able to really heighten your game in your fourth year averaging 12/10 stats. But an injury ended your season in January 2018. Do you ever wonder how your NCAA career may have gone had you not got injured?

I have thought about it, but stuff happens for a reason. I got hurt and then I was fortunate to get another opportunity at Arizona. Playing a fifth year at Arizona was a blessing and I really enjoyed it.

As a freshman you lost to Duke (NCAA) 79-65 and played against more than a handful of future NBA players. What memories do you have of that game?

I don’t have many memories of that game. It was so long ago. I played against a lot of NBA guys and athletic guys that have done good things in the NBA and overseas.

You reached the NCAA tournament as a sophomore. How wild was the 47-43 loss to Wisconsin. What kind of experience was it playing at the big dance and losing a nail bitter like that?

Anytime you reach the NCAA tournament it is special. Every guy dreams of getting there. Losing that game was tough, but we had a great group of guys. I remember it fondly.

You had many very solid games at Arizona, but mostly in losing causes. Was your 16 points and 11 boards in the 82-71 win against Oregon State one of your fondest memories at Arizona?

I don’t know if that game was my fondest, but I just enjoyed the time with my teammates and coaches. I wish we would of won a few more games, but I look back at that time very fondly.

How did head coach Sean Miller groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He is a good coach and guy. I learned something from him each day wheather it was about terminology or style. He instilled a lot of confidence in me to make plays and be there for my teammates and to make shots

Who won a one on one in practice you or Chase Jeter?

He is a great player and kid. I played together with him at the 4/5 position. He has one more year there. We never played one on one. 

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

I can’t name just one player. I played against many great schools and players at North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville and Gonzaga.

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

Lebron, Jordan, Kareem and Magic

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

They still have great players. They have hit the injury bug. I won’t be surprised if they come back and contend for the title when all are healthy and when they have some new young guys.

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

Everybody my age say Lebron. I say it also. All that he has done speaks for itself.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The Joker was weird and creepy, but I liked it.

Thanks Ryan for the chat.

Now In His Thirties Darrin Dorsey(Neptunas Klaipeda) Is Working On Being As Efficient As Possible

Darrin Dorsey is a 32 year old 188cm point guard from Glendale, Arizona playing his ninth professional season and first with Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL). Last season he split time with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 5.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 29.2%, 3FGP: 16.0%, in Dec.’18 moved to U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala) playing 22 games averaging 10.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 78.6%. He also got additional basketball experience playing in countries like Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Israel, France and Turkey. He began his basketball career at Glendale High School and then played at Bakersfield CC (NJCAA) and Dakota Wesleyan (NAIA). He spoke to before a Basketball Champions League game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn in Bonn.

Darrin thanks for talking to Welcome back to Germany. You played against Ludwigsburg in the Basketball Champions League a few years ago losing both games. What do you remember from those experiences?

I remember they were a real tough and defensive minded team! They would cause chaos and then capitalize from it!

Your playing in your 9th professional season and have played in 9 countries and for 13 organizations. Do you sometimes feel like a basketball globetrotter?

Yeah at many times. I feel like that but I actually enjoy the experience of being able to travel travel to all the places I’ve been.

There aren’t many guys that can say they had such a long career coming from the NAIA. How thankful are you to have had such a long career and what have you cherished the most about being a professional player?

I’m very thankful for having such a long career over here. I Cherish all the relationships I’ve made with various teammates and coaches and also fans through out the years!

Your playing your first season with Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL). You have played in many countries and seen a lot, but what kind of experience has it been playing in the basketball crazed country of Lithuania?

Lithuania has been great since the day I got here! Neptunas is a very professional club and it shows with all the success they have had in previous years.

Your sharing the back court with experienced Lithuanian guard Zygimantas Janavicius. What kind of experience ha sit been playing along side him and coming from the bench’?

I enjoy sharing the point guard position with him, he’s a very good player and teammate! We are a bit different in play style so I think it works well to have different options to put out there on the floor.

What kind of experience has it been playing with Lithuanian Thomas Delininkaitis who has won 15 professional titles and a silver at the European championships and a silver at the world championships. Is he a guy you enjoy getting title advice from?

Tom has a lot of knowledge of the game, you tie that together with his shooting ability, there’s no wonder he has had so much success and continues to have it! He’s definitely one of our leaders!

Your 32 years old and never won a title in Europe. How hungry are you win that chip and what part of your game are you working on most now?

Yeah unfortunately I haven’t won a title in Europe but I really am motivated to do so! Now I’m working on picking my shots and trying to be as efficient as possible.

Last season you split time with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 5.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 29.2%, 3FGP: 16.0%, in Dec.’18 moved to U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala) playing 22 games averaging 10.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 78.6%. You were teammates with American Jovontae Hawkins who is tearing up the German BBL league.Do you still keep tabs on him?

Yeah of course! Hawk is extremely talented and has a very long and big future ahead of him! I’m always checking up to see how he’s doing.

In Romania you scored 22 points in a narrow 106-104 win against Pitesti. Was this one of your fondest memories there?

Although basketball in Romania went well and I enjoyed playing for cluj. I’d have to say my fondest memories were more to do with the guys I had around me and I mean that genuinely! Great group of guys from the trainers to players to coaches!

In 2017-2018 you split time with Muratbey Usak Sportlif Basketbol (Turkey-BSL) playing 2 games averaging 6.0ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.5apg, 1.0spg, in Oct.’17 moved to ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA) playing 25 games averaging 5.2ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 38.4%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 66.7%;and played 11 BCL: games averaging 8.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 26.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 73.7%. Despite not making the playoffs with Chalon how do you remember this season? You had some very good BCL games.

The season in Chalon was a difficult one for me, due to many different reasons. I don’t dwell on it at all really. But I do remember some great champions league moments for sure!

In 2016-2017 you played with ESSM Le Portel Cote d’Opale (France-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 14.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 81.1%. This was without a doubt your best season stat wise. What do you remember most from this season?

Haha man Le Portel!!! A place I’ll always have ties to! First off the fans there are like no other I have experienced! Yes it was my most successful year, but that was due to my teammates and coaches believing 100% in my abilities and trusting me to lead the team!

In 2015-2016 you had your first tour of duty in Europe with Union Poitiers Basket 86 (France-ProB) playing 37 games: Score-5 (16.9ppg), 4.0rpg, 4.5apg, Steals-1 (2.1spg), FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 75.4%. How vital was veteran Jeff Greer for your first full season and just getting familiar with the whole situation of being a pro baller in Europe?

Jeff Greer is a brother and I don’t say that lightly! From day 1 he invited me to his house and helped acclimate me. From his wife to his children the love they showed me will never be forgotten! Till this day we remain in touch and they all have become family to me!

After playing three seasons in South America you got your first taste of Europe in 2015 finishing the season with to Hapoel Kfar Saba/Kohav Yair (Israel-National League) playing 11 games averaging 20.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 61.2%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 88.6%. Americans always rave about the whole Israeli basketball experience. What did you like most about living and playing in Israel?

Israel was great for me as well! The food is what I miss most about it haha!

You played in Mexico and two seasons in Columbia before making the jump to Europe. Would you have been satisfied of having a career in South America had you not gotten an opportunity in Europe?

South America was also a good experience for me, but I don’t think that for me it would have been enough. The level of basketball being played in Europe is higher and I wanted to be a part of it!

As a rookie you played with the Halifax Rainmen (Canada-NBL) playing 28 games averaging 5.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Canada where you knew that you were very far away from home?

In Canada my job was to defend, pick up full length of the court and cause havoc. Aside from that I was there learning from the veteran players we had on the roster. It was great for me!

You played at two JUCO schools and finished at Dakota Wesleyan (NAIA) You never got the chance to play NCAA basketball. How big was your chip on your shoulder then and how has the chip survived over the years?

t was only one Juco actually, and the chip was pretty big actually lol. I felt I was good enough to play at that level. So every night I went out and tried to prove it.

How did your game develop further in your two years at Dakota Wesleyan (NAIA). How did your head coach groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

It was one year at Dakota Wesleyan and one at Berea college and both were under Head Coach John Hemenway. But he has impacted me more than he knows I’m sure! He taught me how to hold myself accountable and be a man. Along with basketball development also! But I feel the first things I mentioned were more important.

How was the toughest player that you ever battled in a game or gym or playground that made it to the NBA?

It would have to be Mike Bibby back when he was paying for the kings.

If you had to choose your very own personal NBA Rushmore which 4 heads past or present would you pick?

Kobe, Jordan, Shaq, Lebron

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

Wait where is Kobe? Lol

What was the last movie that you saw? 

Oman J. Israel Esquire’ starring Denzel Washington! Real good movie!

Thanks Darrin for the chat.