Pharroh Gordon Knows He Has To Maintain A Level Of Mental Consistency When Operating Even When He Is Feeling Frustrated

Pharroh Gordon is a 23 year old 198cm forward from Manchester, England that split the season with TKS 49ers RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) playing 6 games averaging 5.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 42.1%, 3FGP: 23.8%, FT: 50.0%, and in Jan.’20 moved to Cheshire Phoenix (BBL) where he is currently averaging 3,5ppg, 6,3rpg and 3,0apg. He began his basketball career with the Manchester Magic. He then spent five years in the states as he played with St.Rose, NY (NCAA2) from 2014-2017 amassing 49 games and then moved to William Jewell (NCAA2) where he played 29 games as a junior averaging 14.8ppg, 10.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 74.0% and in his senior year at William Jewell (NCAA2) played 20 games averaging 14.7ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 65.3%. He gave an interview during his time in Germany.

Pharroh thanks for talking to You have 6 siblings. What were the main advantages growing up and now as an adult having so many brothers and sisters?

You learn how to share, you learn how to teach and how to be taught new things. Yes really just a great thing having people you know you can rely on.

Congrats on signing your first professional basketball career in Germany with RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB). What were the main reasons for starting your career in Germany and not in England?

I was playing at an almost professional level in England from around 16 to 18, so I felt I should see what other places have to offer. I also love travelling and exploring new places.

RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) is very high on your abilities. You will be teammates with many young talented German kids. What was so appealing about the organization RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) that made you want to go there?

Really the coach was what really swung me. He didn’t sugar coat anything, he made it clear what he wanted from me and how we could help each other moving forward.

What do you in general about the country Germany and basketball? Did you talk with your youth national team teammate Jules Akodo about Germany? He played a few years in the Fraport Skyliners organization.

I didn’t actually, when I moved to America for college I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about that so I figured I would be okay this time too. That’s not to say Jules wouldn’t be willing to help me out, he’s a good guy. I have been to Germany a couple times before though, so I wasn’t too uncomfortable.

In 2014 you played at the well known Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany (Unofficial World Championships U18) averaging 12.5ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 58.3%. What memories do you of this time where you got an early introduction to Germany and German basketball?

That was a fun trip, we played pretty well if I remember right. We lost to Serbia by 2 or 4 in the second game of the tournament that really hurt us. Overall it was eye opening as to the level of talent there is in Europe. I hadn’t played in an international tournament of that calibre before that one.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 198cm forward that is a very versatile player. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I think maybe a less athletic Kawhi haha. I’m a good defender, I like to push the ball off rebounds, and I have a decent stroke from outside. Finishing too, I’m alright at that.

You spent 5 years in the States playing 98 NCAA 2 games for St Rose and William Jewel. How do you feel are you a different player now then when you first landed in America?

I’m a lot more mature, a lot more sure of myself. Back then I would look for validation from my coaches, and I’d overthink things if I didn’t get it. Now I know what I need to do and what my standards are for myself. My IQ is a lot higher too.

You’re a guy that can do a lot on the court. You can score, rebound and pass the ball well lifting any team’s offense. What other strengths do you have on the offensive end that will help RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) this season be successful?

My IQ means I know how to make scoring easier for other guys. I know where to set certain screens, when there will be opportunities for slips, those kind of things. I know when it’s my time to attack, and when the best option is just to swing the ball to generate some mo

vement. Not all of these things show up on the box score but they help.

You’re a physical player and can guard many positions. What do you feel is your biggest strength on the defensive end?

Again, my IQ. I don’t foul a lot because I know where I should position myself, and how to disrupt without fouling. Obviously I’m not perfect and still have a lot to improve on though.

You’re a player that can fill the stat sheet with ease, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed when your on the court?

I think people underestimate my guard play. They see the points and the rebounds and think I’m strictly a wing/forward, but I played point guard for several years growing up, so I think I can handle some responsibility in that area too.

On what parts of your game have you been focusing most on during the summer so you will best prepared for your rookie season in Germany?

I’ve really focused on my mental strength. This season isn’t going to be like college or high school where you can really lean on others when things go wrong. I have to be able to maintain a level of mental consistency that allows me to operate even when I’m feeling frustrated or angry. I think that has held me back in the past. In terms of physical skills, I’ve been getting a lot of shots to readjust to the deeper 3 point line, and ball handling off of screens etc.

You began your career with the Manchester Magic. What memories do you have of this time. What were some of the early benefits at your game got being able to play in this organization?

They really pushed you to achieve. I know that nowadays it’s more about giving your best and taking part, but back then if we didn’t win something was wrong. They taught me how to work hard, how to lead, and how to be coachable. Also the fact that they really push for development, with their younger teams playing up, and allowing junior players into the men’s team was really good for me.

You played at ST Rose (NCAA2) from 2014-2017. You had one solid season, but two other seasons that were difficult. What memories do you have of these three years and what positives did you get out of it?

Well my first year I redshirted, so that one was a bit different, but my third year was hard for me. But, I learned a lot, both about the basketball world and about myself, and if I could go back I wouldn’t change it. I met a lot of good people, and I think I needed that hard time to push me towards bigger and better.

You finished at William Jewell (NCAA2) where your game exploded averaging 14.8ppg, 10.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 74.0% as a junior and 14.7ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 65.3% as a senior. How did your game develop in this time and what did you learn about your game that helped you be successful?

I became better all over the floor, to be honest. I wasn’t happy with my senior season, although I felt I was playing better overall than I did the year before. I learned more about myself as a player and my confidence jumped up, which really helped me.

What memories do you have of your 45/12 explosion against Lewis? You shot 14/17 on the night. Was this the typical example of you be
ing in the zone?

I was locked in, but I wasn’t playing the perfect game. I think I started around 1/4 or 5, but then I started getting into the groove. Our leading scorer was out that game so I knew I needed to pick it up a bit, and I knew from the scouting report that they would struggle to guard me, so it wasn’t too difficult.

You had many great games at William Jewel, but where do you rank your 23 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals game in the win over S Indiana?

That was a great win, I think everyone played well that night, and my family had come to see me for the first time since I had been in America, so it was special.

How did head coach Larry Holley groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at William Jewel?

It was more off the court than on. He is the perfect example of how to carry yourself in a respectable manner, and although we disagreed on some things, I know he always had my best interests at heart. He also reminded me that being yourself is better than conforming to how someone else wants you to behave.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Eysan Wiley?

I bust his ass daily hahah. Eysan is one of my favorite teammates because he, unlike many people, really pushed me to get better. He’s going to have a great career.

Who was the toughest opponent that you played in the NCAA 2 that is in the NBA or in Europe now?

I’d say probably Dante Gittens, from Franklin Pierce. I’m not sure he was the toughest guy I ever played against, but I know he’s a pro now which not all of the other guys are.

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

Garrett Skipworth, Clark Minnifield, Patrick Whelan, Aaron Menzies, Kingsley Nwagboso, Joe Swindells and Jamaal Greenwood. I know that’s 7 but I couldn’t leave any of them out.

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

MJ, Lebron, Kobe and Magic

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

I’m not even going to get involved in this one, I might get into trouble.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The newest Spider-Man, I took my brother when it came out.

Thanks Pharroh for the chat.

Curtis Hollis Got The Chills When He Watched Kobe Bryant Play

Curtis Hollis a 21 year old 198cm forward from Arlington, Texas that 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 about his memories about Kobe Bryant.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Curtis Hollins in Rhondorf in 2019

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

I was at my friends house I found out on Twitter like as soon as it happened. 

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

I thought it was fake or wasn’t real.

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

I didn’t do too much I believed it I was still in shock. 

You were born in 1998. Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid?

Honestly I can’t I just remember him always being a great competitor and playing extremely hard. 

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

Yes I did it was greatness!

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 just appreciated that he played hard, wanted to kill and give everybody buckets and just always working extremely hard.

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?

Probably his last game when he went out like that. It was amazing to me!

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?

It will take a very very long time. Kobe was a special person on and off the court and had a huge impact. This ones gonna hurt for a while.

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

Him being one of the greatest. One of the best scorers and competitors ever to play the game. A great guy off the floor as well.

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?

He’s absolutely one of the best to play the game. My favorite ever is Micheal Jordan and Kobe was the closest to him we have ever seen. He will be greatly missed.

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?

Probably all of his highlights. I get the chills watching him play.

The TSV Oberaching Tropics Let It Splash In Crunch-Time Toppling The Fraport Skyliners Juniors 93-86

In the past years since the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have been playing in the Pro B there have been many interesting players that have played here like Johannes Voigtman, Danilo Barthel and Isaac Bonga that have progressed to the Euroleague and NBA, but also guys that have remained and due to certain circumstances come back. One of those is TSV Oberaching head coach Mario Matic who coached Nordlingen for some years in the Pro B and knows the BCM too well. But also some of the young bucks like Justin Headley and William Bessoir played NBBL in the last years. Matic and Headley were ready for action and had revenge on their minds after losing the first contest in their own living room 89-71. In that game the Fraport Skyliners lit it up form the parking lot dropping 12 three´s and easily won the rebound and bench battle. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came into the game with a lot of self -confidence having won three games in a row and last weekend beat Baunach on the road thanks to 32 points and 10 three´s from American Nigel Pruitt while the TSV Oberaching Tropics entered the game having lost 7 of their last 9 games including a shoot out last weekend against Hanau 101-93. But on this mild Saturday evening which felt more like April than February, the Bavarian side came to play despite having severe injury woes and had control for most of the game and then when Frankfurt cut the contest  to 2 points in crunch-time, they instantly let it splash toppling Frankfurt 93-86. For the TSV Oberhaching Tropics, it was a huge win as they continue to battle to get into good position in the playdowns so they have some leverage in the 6 game competition for the last 4 teams wanting to return to the Pro B next season while 2 move back to the Regionalliga. After the victory American point guard John Boyer of TSV Oberaching Tropics who once had 13 steals in a Regionalliga game reflected on the 40 minute affair. “We have ben playing better the last games despite having injuries so we have been banking on our team chemistry. We stayed together and were always able to answer when they went on runs. We hit big shots at the end when we needed them, secured rebounds and hit our free throws”, stressed ex Buffalo(NCAA) guard John Boyer. It was a tough loss for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as their 3 game winning streak was snapped. They had been playing better defense the last weeks, but on this night got back to bad old habits and couldn´t make key stops in crunch-time. “We gave up way too many points tonight. When you give up many points, it is hard to find a good rhythm on offense. The first and third quarters were good. We were able to defend better in the third quarter”, added Fraport Skyliner Junior forward Cosmo Gruehn.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Omari Knox after dropping 28 points in the win

The first quarter was a tight affair that saw both teams find their offensive rhythm quickly and there were 7 lead changes, but at the end of 10 minutes, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the slim 23-20 advantage. Frankfurt was without Bruno Vrcic and Konstantin Schubert while the TSV Oberaching Tropics were without 6 players including their vital big man Moritz Wohlers who played in the BBL more than a decade ago with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. The Bavarian side got quick buckets from German Janosch Koegler and Serbian big man Miljan Grujic, but Frankfurt were on their toes as 17 year old 2019 Addias Next Generation Tournament player Len Schoormann found his range quickly scoring on a lay in and an and one plus a trey to give Frankfurt their first lead at 6-5. Both teams played at a very high tempo and now both teams would change leads the way Paris Hilton does her shoes. Grujic came up big again finishing the pick and roll nicely with John Boyer who made a fancy no look pass. His whole passing game reminded one a bit of the legendary Canadian point guard Steve Nash. “I have always like Nash´s style and how he made the game flashy. We both like to push the ball”, stressed John Boyer. After Bruno Peric free throws, it was Boyer who was aggressive whenever he had the ball scoring with a fast drive to the hole giving the Bavarian side the 11-8 advantage. Frankfurt grabbed the lead back with a mini 5-0 run as Peric scored on a lay in and Cosmo Gruehn dropped a lethal trey for the 13-11 lead. Both teams´s offenses were flowing as now the Tropics were led on a 5-0 run by Koegler who made a lay in and sunk a trey getting the nice kick out pass from Boyer for the 16-13 lead. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were doing a good job continuously attacking the rim while Frankfurt was spreading the ball around well. In the last few minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to grab the lead back getting key free throws from ex Coburg center Noah Kamdem and Nigel Pruitt and a clutch trey from little used forward Leon Pullen who began his career with TV Langen. The Bavarian side got two key two point buckets and a block from American Omari “Fort” Knox  “I can´t remember ever having 2 blocks in a game. Most of the time for me defense are instincts. I just came off surgery and am not at 100% yet. I just go out and make the play”, warned Omari Knox. After one frame the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 23-20. “Both teams were feeling each other out. We had heavy legs and had been on the bus since 11 am this morning. We played pretty good defense to get into offensive rhythm”, stressed john Boyer. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 40% from the field and 43% from outside and had 11 rebounds and 4 turnovers while the TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 45% from the field and 13% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 0 turnovers.

In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors let up on the defensive end and allowed the TSV Oberaching Tropics go on a run and control the game until half-time. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors never lost track and battled and made a run at the end to trail only by 8 points at the break. The TSV Oberaching Tropics exploded in the first minutes racing out on a lethal 12-0 run to lead comfortably 32-23. In the run the guys from head coach Mario Matic got solid production from their import players John Boyer and Omari Knox. Knox contributed 5 points including a three pointer. Knox has been a deadly three point shooter his whole career once averaging 27 and 26 points per game for Dachau and has been lighting it up this season in the Pro B as well. Frankfurt was giving him too much room to operate and not covering him tight enough. Boyer also made a bucket while German shooter Peter Zeis who played 69 BBL games with medi Bayreuth made free throws and a trey to close out the run. Frankfurt was getting overwhelmed from the super Tropics execution and got careless on offense coughing up the ball too many times. The guests had a great offensive rhythm and their decision making was spot on. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally got on the board with their first points at the 6,19 minute mark as German Maxi Begue played to his strength nailing a mid distance shot cutting the Tropics lead to 32-25. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were getting good production from every player who played a slim 8 man rotation. German guard Chris Wuermseher who has 106 Regionalliga game on his resume  got aggressive scoring two baskets. On the last one caught Frankfurt napping on the inbounds pass as German Justin Hedley found him all alone underneath for the easy lay in as the guests led 36-25. After a disastrous beginning to the second quarter, Frankfurt finished the last minutes with some pride going on a vital 11-5 run to break the double digit lead of the Tropics and trail only 41-36 with a few seconds remaining. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors received some key buckets from Maxi Begue who continued to display his fine mid range game including a beautiful text book floater that Chris Paul couldn´t have executed better. Gruehn continued to be a huge offensive factor netting 5 points with a step back jumper and trey. With a few seconds to go, Frankfurt was leading 41-36, but they couldn´t withstand an exciting buzzer beater three from Peter Zeis as the guests led 44-36 at the break. “We did a good job reading their defense. They switched a lot on the pick and roll and we worked on that creating mismatches”, explained John Boyer. The TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 47% from the field and 28% from the three point line and had 17 boards and 4 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 41% from the field and 36% from the three point line and had 19 rebounds and 11 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing John Boyer who added 7 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in 15 minutes of work in the win

In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on a huge run to begin the quarter, but couldn´t get away from the TSV Oberaching Tropics as the game remained tight and the guests had the slim two point advantage after 30 minutes. Frankfurt erupted to begin the second half with a massive 13-2 run to capture back the lead 49-46. In the run the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got heavy three point production as Len Schoormann who came into the contest shooting 30% from the parking lot ripped home two three´s and Cosmo Gruehn also delivered again with a trey. Peric hit free throws and Knoxville Tennessee native Nigel Pruitt who was being contained very well at the three point line had some luck getting a loose ball down low and easily scoring. Grujic hit a old school hook shot for the lone Tropics score. But the TSV Oberaching Tropics continued to battle and didn´t allow Frankfurt to break way getting a basket from ex Hanau guard Justin Hedley and Koegler free throws to dead lock the game at 51-51. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were able to gain the lead again thanks to their valuable bench/role player Sebastian Rauch. Rauch played 8 years for Gotha and has been that Regionalliga/Pro B journey man for his whole career, but is one of those guys that every coach would love to have. He scored two big buckets creating mis matches and scoring out of the post for easy baskets. “He always does what we need. If coach wants him to do the dirty work, he does it. He loves doing the dirty work. He was a big reason why we beat Orange Academy recently. The way he played there is how he played today. He gives us very valuable experience”, stressed john Boyer. The Tropics had gone on a 6-0 run for the 57-51 lead, but Frankfurt had some energy in the last minutes closing out the third quarter on a 6-2 run to trail only 59-57 as Begue again scored from mid range and Pruitt finally got free dropping a trey. “We panicked a bit and got too comfortable. They felt it and took the momentum and went on a run”, expressed ex Bloomfield(NCAA2) guard Omari Knox. “We found a good rhythm and defended well in the run and were able to come back. When you get stops on defense, you automatically feel better on offense”, warned Cosmo Gruehn. TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 45% from the field and 24% from the parking lot and had 23 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 47% from the field and 44% from the parking lot and had 26 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors allowed the TSV Oberaching Tropics to break away again and to lead by as much as 10 points. Frankfurt came back to cut the deficit to 2 points, but then couldn´t get over the hump in crunch-time to win back the lead. The guests broke out on an annoying 12—4 run to extend their lead to 71-61 over Frankfurt and it seemed like they might coast home to victory. In the run the TSV Oberaching Tropics got valuable production inside as the Frankfurt 1-1 defense was beginning to get weak. The Tropics got easy baskets inside from Koegler, Headley and Rauch. They also got a valuable trey from Omari Knox who once hit Bad Aibling for 48 points in a Regionalliga game nailed a trey and Zeis made free throws. Frankfurt received a jumper from Begue and lay in from Peric. The Fraport Skyliners knew now was the time to act or go home disappointed and they did that starting to chip away at the Tropics lead and claw back. Frankfurt got a runner from Schoormann and then a lay in from Peric. On the lay in from Peric, it was a broken play where he was smart and didn´t let a Knox throw off his body go out of bounds and got the ball and scored to cut the Tropics lead to 73-66. But Frankfurt made basketball life very difficult for themselves not executing on defense. They were unable to defend better on man and suffered more easy baskets. After another clutch trey from Gruehn to cut the Tropics advantage to 75-69, Knox came back with a jumper and three pointer to extend the Tropics lead to 80-71. Frankfurt never was able to get a handle on the Brooklyn, New York native as he hit them hard all night long with his precision shooting. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors then made their move breaking out on a 10-3 run to cut the Tropics lead to only 83-81 and stealing the momentum back with only 1,53 minutes to play. Cosmo Gruehn entered beast mode in the run scoring an incredible 8 points to show why he is such an important player for the team this season. “I have been able to take more responsibility in the last year. I feel comfortable taking responsibility”, warned Cosmo Gruehn. But then came the deciding moment of the game as the TSV Oberaching Tropics took control letting it splash back to back three´s from Omari Knox and Peter Zeis for the 89-81 lead with 53 seconds to play and would never look back. Frankfurt did get a bucket from Peric and trey from Pruitt in the last minute, but free throws from Knox and Rauch iced the cake for the guests for the win. “Those two three´s were huge. During that time the long bus ride was in my mind. I didn´t want to go home with a loss. We just kept making the right plays and were rewarded with the win”, stressed Omari Knox. “We let them play their game in the fourth quarter with that run and gun and couldn´t play our game and get a real rhythm. The two three´s hurt us which was the turning point of the game”, added Cosmo Gruehn. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were led by Omari Knox with 28 points. Janosch Koegler added 16 points and Peter Zeis contributed 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Cosmo Gruehn with 22 points. Len Schoormann added 19 points. Bruno Peric contributed 16 points and Maxi Begue 13 points. The TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 52% from the field and 36% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 13 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 40% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 19 turnovers.

Erik Scheive(Team Ehingen) Has That Special Offensive Presence That Can Change A Game

Erik Scheive is a 208cm forward from Maryville, California playing his rookie season with Pro A team Team Ehingen currently averaging 12,9ppg, 4,7rpg and 1,2apg while shooting 36% from outside. He has been very consistent as a rookie scoring in double figures in 19 of 25 games including a 26 point game against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and a 22 point game against Rostock. . He began his basketball career at Yuba CC (JUCO) where he played 29 games averaging13.2ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 75.3%. In 2017-2018 he moved to Chaminade (NCAA2) playing 28 games avergaing 13.0ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 85.7%. In his senior year at Chaminade (NCAA2) he played 31 games: averaging 16.4ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to about basketball last summer before arriving in Germany for his rookie season. 

Congrats on signing with Pro A team Team Ehingen. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

Before coming to Germany I didn’t really know much about the country. This is my first time leaving the United States so it is definitely a new experience for me. I have been learning a lot of new things already in the short time I have been here.

How blessed are you to be able to start your professional career in Germany? You jump in for Luke Meyer who left.

Very blessed. Germany is a country that I have always wanted to visit so very excited to be here.

Four guys that attended Chaminade in Hawaii have played in Germany with German Frank Baum, Zach Whiting who reached the 2008 BBL semi-finals with Leverkusen, Steven Bennett who was teammates with NBA player Dennis Schroeder in 2012 and Rhondell Goodwin who played in Germany last season. Were you able to get some tips from one of these guys about German basketball and had you heard stories about them during your time in school?

I talked to Rhondell before I came out to Germany. He told me some things to help prepare me for life over here. Rhondell finished his last season at Chaminade right before I got there so we never were able to play together but I definitely heard stories about him.

Head coach Domenik Reiboth and management are very excited about being able to land you. You stated that You liked that the club stresses team work and enthusiasm. What other factors were vital for you deciding to start your professional career there?

I wanted to go somewhere that not only stressed winning but also stressed player development. For my first professional season I wanted to be able to develop my skills and get better as a player. 

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 208cm forward/center that has a very complete and balanced game. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

If I had to compare my game to an NBA player, I would probably say it is similar to Ryan Anderson. I have some size but can also spread the floor.

You’re a agile big man that can score and pull down rebounds, but also can shoot the three which you demonstrated as a senior shooting 39%. Would it be correct to say that you are a modern day forward? Was this always like that or did you develop into one more in the last years?

I was always able to shoot the ball well. Growing up I would always get shots up at the park, my backyard, and the gym. So it is something I really have always been able to do but have also focused on improving every year to try and shoot at a higher percentage.

You shot over 40% at Yuba and at Chaminade from outside and nearly hit 40% last season as a senior. Getting up reps and shot selection will continue to be key, but is there anything besides self confidence that you can add on the mental side to help to bolster your outside shooting?

I think that reps is definitely key but besides that I think that just playing against other high level players will really help improve my shot as well. Every level adds a degree of difficulty to shots so getting experience at a higher level will help with that.

You have very good instin

cts on defense. How much pride do you take on defense and how do you feel has your play on the defensive end developed further at Chaminade?

I definitely take pride on the defensive end. I hate getting scored on so I try to bring that mentality with me. At Chaminade, I was fortunate enough to develop a lot on the defensive end. It was something that we put emphasis on. I really worked on playing hard physical defense while also staying out of foul trouble.

You’re a player that can do a lot on the floor at both ends of the court, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away on the court?

I think the offensive presence I have on the floor really changes the game. Even when I am not shooting, just sitting at the 3 point line will force teams to have to cover me or rotate on defense. It really strains the defense with pick and pops.

On what things did you work on in the summer so you would be best prepared for your rookie season?

I really put a emphasis this summer on my conditioning as well as my shooting. I wanted to make sure that I could compete at the highest level for extended periods of time. Shooting is something that is always a part of my workout plans for basketball so most of the time I am getting shots up.

You began your college career at Yuba CC (JUCO) putting up very strong stats in both years you attended there. What was the biggest challenge for you coming from Marysville high school winning the Golden Empire League Most Valuable Player and then having to start at junior college instead of at a higher level?

I think the biggest challenge was being able to humble myself. I really discovered that it doesn’t matter what level of basketball a person plays at. This exposed me to a lot of adversity and it really showed me the difference between a group of talented players and a team.

What do you feel was most key that your game got from your two years at Yuba that helped your progression continue to move very well at the NCAA 2 level?

I think playing at Yuba allowed me to grow and develop physically as well as mentally. I bulked up at Yuba and I think that it allowed me another chance to show my game after high school for universities to see.

You played at Chaminade from 2017-2019 and was a top Pac West Player. What were your fondest memories on and of the court there and did you become a beach rat or could you block out the amazing off the court temptations of Hawaii?

Hawaii was a great place to go to college but I am sure anyone could guess that. I made a lot of great memories there and want to go back and visit the islands again. On the court it was always fun. The way Bovaird coached and allowed us to play it made the game really fun. It felt like we were able to just play ball but at the same time we had the coaching to help guide us. Our away game at Azusa Pacific my senior year was a great one. My boy Grant Dressler went off and hit the game winner in a crazy comeback. I always found time to work on my game while out there but I also spent my fair share of time at the beach. an unforgettable experience.

You had many great games at Chaminade and also some very good games against schools like Fresno Pacific and Academy Of Art that resulted in tight losses, but was your 27/14 game in the 80-75 win against Dominican CA your best game in the NCAA2?

It might have been. I had a number of good games but that was definitely up there. 

How did head coach Eric Bovaird groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Bovaird spent a lot of time with me working on my game and techniques that he picked up from his experience playing overseas. He offered a lot of advice and helped walk me through the entire process. He made sure to help me sign with an agency that would help me get to where I want to be.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Jack Hutchings?

Got a lot of love for Jake but I didn’t take many L’s at practice.

Who has been the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe?

I have faced a lot of good players, one that really sticks out is Farrell from Notre Dame. 

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
This is a tough question, I have had a lot of great teammates throughout the years so I can’t really pick five. 

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

The four NBA players that I would pick would have to be the most influential players, not necessarily the greatest of all time. Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and Lebron James.

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

I think it is hard to determine who really is the greatest of all time because they were great at different things and have success in different ways throughout their careers. I think from a pure statistics viewpoint, Lebron has had more longevity and success from start to finish. If we are talking championships, Jordan all the way. He always found a way to win. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

The last movie I watched was Spiderman: Into the spider-verse. It was free on my flight to Germany and I hadn’t watched it yet. It was a good movie, I would recommend it.

Thanks Erik for the chat.

Ricky Easterling(Saarlouis) I used Kobe Bryant As An Example For Myself In the Effort To Become The Best Player I Can Be

 Ricky Easterling is a 36 year old 189cm guard that is playing his 14th professional season and 12th with SG DJK Saarlouis-Roden/BBF Dillingen (Germany-Regionalliga) currently averaging 24,9ppg, 5,9rpg and 5,0apg. He is known as Mr Regionalliga as he has belonged to the top players in the Regionalliga for more than a decade. He has averaged more than 20 points each season and even exploded in 2011-2012 avergaing 34,0ppg and 32,0ppg in the 2009-2010 season. He also schowed that he could lead the Pro B in socring with SG DJK Saarlouis-Roden/BBF Dillingen (Germany-Regionalliga) as he did it twice in his career. He gave an interview concerning his memories of Kobe Bryant. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ricky Easterling in a post game interview in 2016 in Frankfurt

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

I woke up Monday morning at home in Saarlouis and saw a message in my teams whatsapp group. Checked it and saw the terrible news. 

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

Once I seen the message my first thought was also ‘this must be a hoax’. There is no way in the world Kobe is dead! After that I immediately opened up my social media outlets and the news was everywhere. Every post I saw was about Kobe andh is daughter.

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

At first it was hard for me to watch the videos. It kind of hit me hard. I was shocked, sad, and in disbelief. I didn’t want to accept this to be true. So I tried to stay away from all the videos and articles. But like I said this news was everywhere and there was no hiding from it. It was literally everywhere I looked. So after a couple days of trying to stay away from it I finally gave in and went full out investigation mode and watched and read everything I came a cross regarding the situation. 

You were born in 1983. Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid?

I was born in 1983. So I am familiar with Kobe’s entire career. I even saw him play live a couple times growing up. I always was a Kobe fan. So I saw him get drafted. We both wear number 8 and I have been playing in Kobe shoes almost my entire career starting back In high school when he first signed a shoe deal with Adidas. I also remember his rookie season like it was yesterday. His rookie year I was fortunate to see him play against the Washington Wizards in DC. He didn’t play much in that game because it was his rookie year and he played behind some good players like Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. But he did play and when he did I was a very happy watching one of my favorite players live in action. 

How did your love for Kobe Bryant develop over time as you got through childhood and high school? 

I was a fan since day 1 so my love for Kobe didn’t need to develop haha! But I enjoyed watching him and seeing him evolve as a player throughout his career. I even stole his dribble pull up. (which he stole from MJ). These years with the Lakers and Celtics was a good time for the basketball world. Boston’s big 3 was a beast and the Lakers dynamic Duo was a pleasure to witness. Great generation of basketball! They got the Lakers the first time but I knew once the Lakers lost, Kobe and Shaq was going to redeem themselves the next season. And that is exactly what happened! 

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 personally don’t think he is the greatest but he definitely is in the conversation. What I appreciated about Kobe was his work ethic and mamba mentality. These two things he is very well known for and I used him as an example for myself in the effort to become the best player I can be. Of course these attributes are the basis of being successful in sport but he was the perfect living example of this, and he influenced me to also approach the game and life in this way. 

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? 

Yeah these moments that you mention where great moments in his career. But 1 play that I will never forget is in his rookie preseason I believe. It was one of those NBA international games where they played outside the USA. He had the ball at the top of the key. He was wearing his Kobe 1 Adidas shoes and he gave his defender a killer crossover and penetrated through the middle and dunked on the big man. I can’t remember who the victim was but it was nasty! And that was 1 of the first amazing plays I remember from Kobe’s career. 

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 believe this tragedy will be talked about for a while! Can not really put a time on it. Something like this hits hard because of how influential he was to the game and to the fans! I wouldn’t be surprised if we still regularly mention him and this tragic moment for years to come.

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

I will remember him as one of the all time greats. The 2nd best shooting guard in NBA history behind Michael Jordan. And also the perfect example of what hard work is and how it pays off for someone who exercises this mindset. 

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 kind of mentioned this in one of the previous questions. But Jordan is my all time greatest player and after that I can start to mention Kobe. To be real Kobe modelled/ copied Jordan’s game to the max. Was basically the clone of MJ. So because of that simple fact, Jordan has that GOAT title locked down in my opinion 

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? 

Actually last Tuesday or Wednesday I believe. One of my best friends and me had a Remembering Kobe chill session and we watched the documentary from Spike Lee called ‘Kobe Doin Work’. Just listening to him talk about the game is amazing. He has such a high IQ that I find myself amazed as I watch it! I definitely take in everything he says and use it in my own life as a captain of my team here in Saarlouis.

Thanks Ricky for sharing your own personal memories of Kobe Bryant.

Jordan Spencer´s Leadership, Playmaking and High Basketball IQ Is Essential For The Success Of Any Team

Jordan Spencer is a 25 year old 188cm point guard from London that is playing his second professional season. He began the season with FC Schalke 04 (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games averaging  6.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 51.0%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 67.7%. He scored in double figures in 6 games including 11 points against Heidelberg, Hagen, Jena and Kirchheim.  In January 2020 he joined Jelson

Homes DMU Leicester Riders (BBL). Last season as a rookie he played for the  London Lions (BBL) playing 30 games averaging 10.8ppg, 2.5rpg, Assists-5(6.3apg), 1.6spg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT-3(89.6%). He began his basketball career at the Shenley Brook End School and then played two seasons with the Marshall Milton Keynes Lions junior team. In 2012-2013 he played a season with the London Lions (BBL). He went to the States in 2014 to play with  Augustana, SD (NCAA2). He played 112 games and never averaged less than 6,4apg in a season. In his senior season he played  30 games averaging 15.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 7.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 83.3%. He spoke to during his time in Germany.

Hi Jordan thanks for talking to You began the season with Schalke 04. When you hear the name Schalke 04, I´m sure that football comes to mind before basketball. Are you a football fan and did you anything about the hardships FC Schalke football have had over the last 20 years?

I’m a bit football fan, I watch the premier league most weekends and really enjoy football all over Europe, so looking forward to getting to watch Schalke at some point in the season. I just know they’ve had very successful players at Schalke such as Julian Draxler and Kolasnic

You won many titles in your career in the NCAA 2 and in the UK. How vital is your leadership in general?

 I believe so. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve taken a winning mentality every place I go. I like our team and we’re hoping to win more games this season.

You played  half a season in Germany. When you came to Germany what do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Over the years there have been a handful of Brits that have played here like Myles Hesson or Jordan Williams.

I know it is a very professional and respected league, with many respect organizations. A few brits have come, and I hope to be successful here and perform well.

Have you had any friends, ex teammates or opponents besides Andre Lockhart, Paul Guede or the Licoln Memorial teammates Luquon Choice and Dorian Pinson who you beat in the NCAA 2 final that have played in Germany that may have given you some info about the basketball culture?

I’ve had a couple of coaches give me advice on how to prepare for pre season and the style of play, I think my game can translate well over here. Guys that also played in lower leagues in Germany gave me advice about the culture.

Schalke management and head coach Raphael Wilder were extremely convinced about your abilities. What were the main reasons for picking Schalke 04?

The team has had great success in moving up in the leagues. I had great conversations on the phone with Coach Wilder and was attracted to his coaching style and knowing I will learn a lot under him this season.

 Let´s talk about your game. You’re a 188cm point guard that can score and get assists at ease. If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description best?

 I’d like to say someone like Milos Teodosic.

 You can score and dish out many assists, but what other strengths does your game incorporate that fans will experience in Germany in your second professional season?

I think I have a high IQ of the game which helps me.

On what areas of your game are you working on most this summer so you will be best prepared to make an impact in the German Pro A?

My defense and my mindset are things I’ve worked on this summer.

 What memories do you have Brit forward Orlan Jackman who played two seasons in Germany with Iserlohn and returned back to the UK and remained a top player. Was he a guy you looked up in your first tour of duty with the London Lions?

 I’ve always bumped into Orlan in the summers, through scrimmages and tournaments, he also gave me advice on Germany, he’s a good guy that I can go to.

You played at Augustana, SD(NCAA2) from 2004-2018 winning the NCAA 2 title and two NSIC titles. Were these four years the best basketball years of your life?

 So far, definitely! It was a great four years where I arrived at the school at a perfect time. I experienced it all at Augustana, the highs and the lows.

You once had 16 assists in a win over Mary. Do you feel like you could get more than 16 assists in a game at the professional level?

 I’m not sure, I had the ball in my hands a lot in school and Europe is a higher level, I’d like to get double digit assists.

 How did head coach Tom Billeter groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

 He taught discipline on and off the court which I appreciate, but being professional and coming to practice with a workman’s mentality, he’s an amazing coach that I was blessed to have. I can play under any coach with his philosophies.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Steven Schaefer?

Me, everytime.

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

Blayne Freckleton Adam Beyer Ladarius Tabb Chris Taiwah Mike Busack

What is your personal own NBA Rushmore

Michael Jordan, Shaq, Magic Johnson, LeBron

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

Michael Jordan goat

What was the last movie that you saw?

Get out.

Thanks Jordan for the chat.

Junior Searcy Will Always Remember That The wiha Panthers Fans Were Supportive And Helped Him Through His Process.

Junior Searcy is a 23 year old 193cm guard that was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, but grew up in the States in Florida. He played his professional rookie season in Germany with the wiha Panthers averaging 3,5ppg and 1,0rpg in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury. He played 6 NCAA games with N.Arizona (NCAA) and then played three seasons at Saint Leo (NCAA2) playing a total of 73 games. In his sophomore season he played 19 games averaging 7.6ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 25.8%, FT: 70.5%. In his junior season he played 30 games averaging 12.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 69.9%. In his senior year he played 24 games averaging 10.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 63.4%. He spoke to about his rookie season in Germany.

Junior thanks for talking to Where are you at a moment and did you come into 2020 well? 

Thanks for interviewing me again. It’s a pleasure and honor to be talking with you again. I am presently back home in Tampa, Florida recovering from knee surgery. 

You began your rookie career with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen and now you are back home in the States. Is it difficult being at home and not being able to finish your rookie season in Germany or was the break up the best thing for both sides? 

First, I want to say that the fans, my teammates and the community of Schwenningen were the best and treated me well and I am grateful for my time with them. It’s unfortunate that my injury caused my time to be shortend over there, but me having to come home was best for the organization by bringing in another player and for me to get back to resuming my career after surgery and recovery. 

Everybody makes mistakes and at times reacts without thinking. You sent a negative Tweet about the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Soon after you deleted it and was able to end the chapter with the club on a positive note. How content are you that all went well in the end? 

Again, I enjoyed my time there and created many friends and great memories. My tweet was out of frustration and a ton of emotion. Things that were supposed to happen wasn’t happening and the communication became limited because of different factors. I love my experience and would love the opportunity to play and prove myself whether in Schwenningen or somewhere else in Europe. 

You didn’t win much at St leo and it wasn’t any different with the wiha Panthers. Were you feeling dejavu again? 

I wouldn’t say dejavu, because there are different factors involved. At the professional level there are transitions with new players and new systems that have to be learned. The organization just moved to Pro A, so there was an adjustment to that as well, The experience was great and the winning would have eventually came if we could have gotten into a flow. 

The transition from college to the pro ranks can be tough for some and easy for others. You averaged 28 minutes at St Leo (NCAA) and with the wiha Panthers only 9 minutes. How tough of an adjustment was it for you going from good minutes to less minutes?

It was really tough because I know I could contribute more to help the team be successful. However, I am a team player and want success for our team. If it meant me working hard in practice getting the guys who play ready or just cheering them on from the bench, that’s what I would do.

It started well for you with 25 minutes and 14 points against Kirchheim, but then your minutes went down rapidly. What do you feel was the cause for the sudden change in the minutes?

I don’t get into coach’s decisions, but I do know that my effort nor my attitude changed. I saw that I was able to play at this level so I worked harder. 

Do you feel like the change in minutes possibly also had an effect because the team wasn’t winning and wasn’t anything personal. I had a feeling that there was a numbers game with the many Americans that were on the team. 

I would not comment on that, because I was focused on being ready when called to play. I felt I could have helped in many different situations, but supported my teammates 100 percent.

You stated in our last interview that you pushed yourself at St Leo, because you weren’t winning. Did you push yourself more in practice in hopes of earning more playing time? 

My goal was to get better and help the team in any way possible. I felt that the opportunity to enjoy Germany was once in a lifetime while playing the game I love. I always worked hard in practice and wanted to push not only myself but my teammates. Winning and building good relationships were the ultimate goal. 

How do you feel did your game develop further as a rookie? Do you feel like your game made some kinds of steps? 

I watched the players and the speed of the game and learned how to slow the game down to where it was benefiting the ability that I have.

Let’s talk about your teammates. How vital was a guy like Rasheed Moore for your development of a rookie? Would it be fair to say that he is about as professional as you can find in a player and how did his game and work ethic influence your game? 

Learning from him was great. He really taught me a lot. He taught me that trusting the process would be beneficial if I would be patient. Him being there prior to Pro A to now showed me that you can be successful when you work hard. He was a great teammate

How was it battling a guy like Bill Borekambi. He is a walking bucket. Have you ever met a player that was near his skill set in being able to hit tough shots on a consistent rate? 

He was the most frustrating player to guard because of his moves and skills. He made me better, because he gave me so many different moves to guard. He took pride in his game, especially the turnaround jump shot.

You got injured at the end of November, but was still with the team in Germany when new point guard Drew Brandon arrived. How key has his arrival been for the current success of the team?

I never met him, but hopefully he will help the team achieve all the goals set. 

You were a guy that loved the fans and had a lot of respect for the organization. What farewell message would you like to give the fans?

The fans in Schwenningen are great. I am forever grateful for a wonderful experience. Through my ups and downs they were supportive and helped me through my process.

You lived in Germany for only a short time, but what did you learn to appreciate about the country Germany the most? 

I was born and raised in Germany and the things I loved most as a child was what I remembered most. I learned that my fellow countrymen love sports and appreciate their athletes. I am proud to be German and love my country. 

What is the next step for you? Are you in hoping to land with a team to end the season or will you sit out the rest of the season and look for a new club over the summer? 

My recovery time will take me through the summer. I am hoping to find a new team to help win games. I am open to play for any team that will want a determined player that wants to win and will be the ultimate team player.

Which two teams will reach the Super Bowl and who will take it? 

KC vs. Green Bay with KC winning 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Bad Boys For Life.

Thanks Junior for the chat.