The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Can´t Hit The Ocean Inside Losing To The Basketball Lowen Erfurt 71-58

It was March 7th, 2020 as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were battling easyCredit BBL team Ratiopharm Ulm´s farm team Orange Academy for a ticket to the Pro B playoffs. In the end it was the better execution and better defense that helped propel Orange Academy into the playoffs behind the support of the 30 plus fans that had made the trip from Ulm. I can remember official employees of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors saying that the first opponent in the playdowns would be FC Bayern Munich 2. Instead of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors experiencing a 6 game playdown season, COVID-19 came and conquered the world including the German basketball scene. The season was cancelled thus allowing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to remain in the Pro B without any hazzles. More than 7 months later, COVID-19 was still very much alive, but so was basketball in Germany. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were back at it with a new squad and faced off against the Basketball Lowen from Erfurt and couldn´t hit the ocean inside as they missed easy shot after easy shot, while the Basketball Lowen Erfurt played good disciplined defense and executed at a healthy rate winning 71-58. The guests were without import American RJ Price, but didn´t need him as he could only watch and be proud of his teammates. “We have been working hard the last weeks on defense with our rotations and everything clicked today. It wasn´t perfect today as we still need a lot of work, but we played with good energy today”, stated ex Radford(NCAA) guard RJ Price. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without 4 key players Len Schoorman, Maxi Begue, Bruno Vrcic and Jordan Samare who were playing easyCredit BBL in Vechta and also had 6 guys debut in the Pro B as they presented a very very young team. Despite the first game loss, head coach Miran Cumiurija wasn´t disappointed by the effort. “I am proud of the guys. They did what they had to do. They did everything that I told them. They fought hard. I think the game could have been closer had they been more discliplined on defense”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Miran Cumurija.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing injured RJ Price of the Basketball Lowen Erfurt

                RJ Price was out and the Basketball Lowen Erfurt had to play 2 young point guards with 2017 NBBL champion Robert Merz who actually is a small forward, but had been playing point guard through the pre season and 16 year old Fidelius Kraus. The game opened with a 3 pointer by Lorenz Schiller who began his basketball career with Science City Jena. Both teams found their rhythm on offense quickly as there were 6 lead changes in the first few minutes. Frankfurt got energy and points from 7 year Frankfurt veteran Konstantin Schubert who hadn´t played in 9 months due to injury, Leon Pullen and new player Matthew Meredith, while the guests got good support from Merz, ex Baunach big man Leo Saffer and ex Niners Chemnitz forward Leon Hoope. With Frankfurt trailing 12-8, they came with a timely 4-0 run as new player big man Alexander Richardson who last played with BG Karlsruhe made a 2 handed dunk and Meredith hit free throws. 15 year old Joshua Bonga, the younger brother of NBA player Isaac Bonga of the Washington Wizards made his Pro B debut at the 2,15 minute mark. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors lost intensity in the last minutes giving up a 8-0 run to Erfurt trailing 20-12 after 10 minutes. In the run, the guests got huge support from 16 year old Kraus who dropped a trey and scored on transition going coast to coast and ex Baunach forward Miles Osei also hit a try. Frankfurt weren´t taking good care of the ball and their inability to score easy baskets began and wouldn´t end until the buzzer sounded. Frankfurt also weren´t calm on offense and didn´t guard the three point line hard enough. “I really don´t know what to say about the many easy misses from close. Except that the guys have to practice those shots more”, stressed Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. The Basketball Lowen shot 38% from the field and 16% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 2 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 16% from the field and 0% from outside and had 17 rebounds and 5 turnovers.

                After both teams combined for 32 points in the first quarter, the scoring took a nose dive down as both teams defended better and only a combined 18 points were scored in the second quarter. Frankfurt got on the board first as Leon Pullen who began his career with TV Langen scored. Kraus who had had a spectacular first quarter got the confidence from head coach Uvis Helmanis and continued to play and made one of the games most prettiest baskets as he went into the zone and made a acrobatic reverse lay up for the 24-14 Lowen advantage. The 16 year old guard finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. “Kraus played a lot of point guard the last games and showed no nervousness today. It will be interesting to see how he continues to deal with the physicality”, stressed Lowen guard Robert Merz. Merz finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 27 minutes and didn´t look like he had just began to play point guard. “He handled himself well. He usually plays off the ball, but he did a good job organizing the game and scoring. I am proud of him”, stated RJ Price. Both teams continued to shine on defense as little was scored. Meredith and Merz traded baskets as Erfurt did a good job getting easy baskets on transition while Frankfurt couldn´t hit the ocean from close range. Down the stretch the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got a big three point basket from 17 year old 175cm Allesio Santagati to close the gap to 28-21, but overall the Juniors gave way to little offensive input as their execution was horrible, but coupled with mis fortune as they couldn´t buy a basket at close range trailing 29-21 at the break. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 31% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 23 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 21% from the field and 14% from the three point line and had 28 rebounds and 9 turnovers.

                In the third quarter the Basketball Lowen Erfurt ripped open the game scoring 26 points and taking the very comfortable 55-37 lead. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to muster no offense while Erfurt got a hard 2 handed stuff by Leo Saffer after getting the bullet pass from Merz who almost lost the ball, but recovered well and got free throws from Merz and Osei. A big problem with Frankfurt was that not only didn´t they have a real go to guy, but no other player felt comfortable in taking on the role. The Frankfurt defense continued to have problems with 1-1 defense and movement without the ball was minimal. Here and there the Fraport Skyliners Juniors did make some beautiful baskets. New Skyliner 21 year old Felix Feilen who played 39 Regionalliga games with TV Langen scored his first Pro B basket as did 15 year old Joshua Bonga who displayed this special energy and athleticism way above his years. Feilen led the fast break and made the perfect bounce pass ala a Rajon Rondon finding Bonga in stride for the easy lay in to cut the Erfurt lead to 39-27. But the Basketball Lowen Erfurt were to consistent on offense and could get away again getting a basket from veteran Tobias Bode who played 60 rRgionalliga games and they continued to draw fouls and get easy free throws for the 47-32 lead. In the last minutes, the guests continued to pour on the offense getting a clutch three from ex Kronberg forward Jonathan Arnold, an Osei lay in and Bode hook shot. A Calvin Schaum trey at the end didn´t help much as Frankfurt trailed 55-37 after 30 minutes. “Coach told us to stay solid on defense and not gamble. We did a good job sticking to our defensive principles and make them take tough shots. We kept the pace, got to the free throw line and took advantage of the mis-matches”, said RJ Price. “We weren´t ready to play. We were sleeping and didn´t have good ball movement”, added Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 37% from the field and 17% from the parking lot and had 35 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 26% form the field and 18% from the parking lot and had 33 rebounds and 11 turnovers.

                In the fourth quarter the Basketball Lowen Erfurt kept up their consistent offense and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to cut the deficit down to 13 points with a 1 minute to go, but that was as close as they would get. The guests got quick baskets from Arnold and Hoppe to extend their lead to 60-39. Frankfurt continued to have problems executing as the guests kept the big lead. Half way through the fourth quarter, Matthew Meredith took things into his own hands. He would score 9 points in the last 5 minutes and his self-confidence had definitely risen. He scored in traffic muscling his way to tough points and also scored from the free throw line. Another player that closed out the game well was Alexander Richardson who has to travel from Karlsruhe to Frankfurt for games and practices. He scored 6 points during the Meredith run and finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds in his Pro B debut. Frankfurt played a stronger 4th quarter, but just couldn´t show such strong moments for longer stretches during all 4 quarters. When a team is down as bad as we were, players will start to try things they usually wouldn´t do. Meredith is talented enough to force shots and be successful. He showed some good things during that stretch”, said Miran Cumarija. “We are a young group. We have to learn to play with the lead and finish a game the right way”, added RJ Price. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were led by Miles Osei with 14 points and Robert Merz had 11 points while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Matthew Meredith with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 6 dimes and Alexander Richardson contributed 10 points. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 38% from the field and 21 % from outside and had 46 rebounds and 11 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 32% from the field and 13% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 12 turnovers

DJ Woodmore´s Aggressiveness Rewarded Him With 34 points And A 103-85 Win Over BBC Coburg In the Season Opener

DJ Woodmore is a 28 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): form 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). He spoke to after the big 103-85 win over BBC Coburg.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore in Frankfurt in 2020

Congrats DJ to the 103-85 win at home over Coburg. How good did it feel to play a real professional game again? With what feelings did you go into the game?

After 7 months off, playing yesterday in front of fans again was great!! Surprised so many people game out to support! I had a great feeling going into the game but it felt a little weird with all of the rules we had to follow because of Corona.

EPG Koblenz were trailing at halftime by 5 points but you exploded for 37 points in the third quarter. What words of wisdom did head coach Danny Rodriguez find for the team at the break?

Yes the third quarter was important for us. Coach told us to stick to the game plan, and trust each other on defense. Once we did that, we started to get some easier baskets on offense.

Some times everything seems to click. Was the third quarter the best basketball that the club has played this season?

Yes, I think that was the best quarter we played including the preseason. High energy, making shots, feeding off of each other and the crowd’s energy. Hopefully we can build off of it.

The club rebounded very well and also only had 8 turnovers. It seems like the team has found an early healthy discipline?

Yes. We had problems taking care of the ball in crucial times early in the friendly games, so that was a focus for us against Coburg.

Marley Jean-Louis had a super game contributing 24 points. How have you seen his early season development. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game. 

Marley played lights out tonight!! His ability to hit tough shots makes us so much better. He set the tone for the game and we needed every bit of it! We feed off of his confidence and leadership.

You had a massive explosive game with 34 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists. Did you wake up with a different kind of feeling or did you get that special feeling before the tip off that this could be a special day for you?

Honestly, I just stuck to my same routine. Nothing felt different for me tonight. Once I got rid of the nerves and jitters from it being the first game, everything started to click for me.

What was different today for you on the court. Were you more aggressive than usual and after a while get that invincible feeling?

Coach has been telling me for weeks to be more aggressive offensively. I saw that I could take advantage rebounding. And because Marley and Brian we getting so much attention it would free up opportunities for me to look for my shot a little more.

You had good teammates in Speyer, but I believe Koblenz is even deeper. Do you feel like games like these could be regular occurences or rather less simply because the team is so deep.

I think this team has a lot of potential. I think we’re still a long way away from reaching it, but I think we saw flashes of it tonight on offense and defense.

You have had some big games in the Pro B over the years, but was this game overall the best in your Pro B career?

Yes I think this was the best or second best game in my Pro B career. Feels so much better when you play well at home and win!

The team did give up 85 points. On what area’s on defense does the team still have to tweak things in order to be ready for the next opponents?

Yes I think we could get a lot better defensively but Coburg made some tough shots. They were really good offensively and have some guys that can really play.

Now that Lebron won his 4th ring, where does he stand in the GOAT debate against Michael Jordan?

For me LeBron has already been the GOAT for about 4 years!! So this ring just makes the debate easier for me to argue. Respect the King

What was the last movie that you saw?

Last movie I watched was Tenet. I’m still trying to figure out what happened in the movie lol. But I definately recommend it.

Thanks DJ for the chat.

John Murry(Grevenbroich Elephants) Knows What Has To Be Done For No More Sleepless Nights

            Mark Gordon has been the story of the Regionalliga west as he exploded for 40 points in his first game. The guy is a walking bucket and can haul down rebounds with the best of them. His fearless and eruptive scoring continued the next weeks as he nailed Rhondorf for 26 points and a week later shot out the lights against Bonn 2 netting 38 points currently averaging a ridiculous33,0ppg.. But at the end of the day, it doesn´t matter if you score 38 or 68 points, if you don´t achieve the win then nobody cares how much you scored. Last weekend the Florida native Gordon was ready for his next scoring victim with the Grevenbroich Elephants on the road. He probably figured it would be another one man show, but boy was he wrong. He once again came up with the goods scoring 30 points and hauling down 13 boards, but he surely wasn´t expecting to be outdueled by a talented player named John Murry. Murry had a great scoring evening pouring home 36 points in the exciting 114-110 victory and led his team to their third win in a row. Both Murry and Gordon are both your typical “I have a big chip on my shoulder and it will never go away” players that have been doubted all their life and now are playing for peanuts in the German Regionalliga(4th division). Ok so their scoring onslaught duel didn´t have the excitement or charm of the 1988 Bird-Wilkins battle in Boston, but still it was a joy to watch and follow. Especially in the Regionalliga you will often find those explosive Americans that are so dangerous and successful, because they have that chip on their shoulder and feel like they always have something to prove. This head to head battle with Gordon wasn´t the first that the 25 year old 192cm guard Murry had had in his basketball career. “I remember at Austin Peay we played Eastern Illinois and Demetrius McReyonalds and he had 30 at their house and I took it personal, the same team came to play us at Austin Peay and I had 35 to make a statement.”, remembered John Murry. The American who played at Austin Peay(NCAA) and averaged 16,7ppg one season and is only toiling around in Germany´s 4th division had a blast going back and forth with Gordon and also had a special connection to him. “It was fun the entire game, we talked back and forth during the game and it was nothing but respect at the end, I love competing with other good players, I want to be the best so in order to be the best you have to beat the best and that’s the goal all season. We shared a few words afterwards, he is from an area where I am familiar with so I knew his stomping grounds very well”, stressed John Murry.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry´s first meeting in 2019 in Rhondorf

            Even if times are hard everywhere in the world on account of COVID-19, basketball life is fantastic currently for the American. He had been injured for a year and had worked his butt off to get back to 100%. His club the Grevenbroich Elephants are unbeaten at 3-0 and are looking to keep the winning streak alive this weekend as they battle the feisty Bonn 2 club. And in addition he hasn´t needed any adjustment period to the Regionalliga as he is putting up great numbers. “It’s been one hell of a ride so far. The team has jelled together great and we are learning each other’s tendencies as well as playing hard for 40 minutes, not to mention a fire 3-0 start but I am not satisfied as one of the greats would say, The job is not finished yet.” We must continue to be great and push towards the playoffs so we can make a championship run. 

As for me it feels superb to be back on the floor doing what I love to do, I love being on the floor doing what is possible for a another win in our books. We must stay focused”, warned John Murry. The last 2 victories by Grevenbroich were crunch time thrillers as they were able to nip Dorsten and Gordon by 4 points. Often teams will take half a season or maybe three fourths of a season to figure out how to win the close games, but for Grevenbroich, they have understood right away what they need to do to be successful to close out games. “It has been a tremendous focus just making sure we make the right plays and the winning plays so that we can come out with the W when the bell rings at the end of the game, regardless if it’s 4th quarter or double OT like last game lol”, stated John Murry. Often stats don´t lie or do they sometimes? Grevenbroich got scorched on the boards and Dorsten hit 13 three´s, but they still couldn´t pull out the win. Anytime a club coughs up the ball a miserable 29 times, then it will be difficult to win. Grevenbroich took advantage of all the extra possessions. “We just stayed the course and made sure we did what we do in crunch time. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well that night as a team but we did everything else the right way to get the W. I have faith that we will bounce back and have a better shooting night in the future”, commented John Murry.  

            The Grevenbroich Elephants have relinquished way too many points in the early going and had fortune that their offense was rolling. But what will happen on an off day offensive game? If the defense can´t get consistent stops and the offense isn´t cooking, then all of a sudden the loses will increase. The season is still young and Murry knows what adjustments have to be made on the defensive end. “Just making sure we cut down on second chance points, that really killed us in game 3. We just have to make sure we don’t miss assignments on the defensive end and we will be okay”, added John Murry. The American knows that a 3-0 record doesn´t mean anything and the team needs to stay focused and just go from game to game and not get crazy with the potential that they have. Deep down, he knows that this team could go a far far way this season. “Team chemistry is going very well and we always have something to improve championship teams never get satisfied with early success, we want to push towards the playoffs and continue to make a run at a championship”, warned John Murry. The next game is against Bonn 2 like so many teams have an abundance of many young talented Germans. So far Bonn have been solid carrying a 2-2 record, but last weekend lost an ugly 101-63 contest at home to Rhondorf. Especially after a team got clobbered at home, the biggest mistake any team can do is to think that will happen again. Instead that Bonn 2 team will be extra hungry and motivated for Grevenbroich. “Never underestimate your opponent, that will weaken our team and how we come out to play. We are going to play our game the way we play our game make sure we get things done on our end and the rest will take care of itself”, warned John Murry.

            The American like so many guys in the Regionalliga not only has a huge chip on his shoulder, but is a guy that won´t only go the extra mile, but he will go the extra marathon to achieve his personal goals on the court. He knows that he is talented and is blessed with helathy self-confidence, but has been overlooked his whole career. Knowing that has driven him to grind harder than the rest on a regular basis. His nonstop grinding and pride in practicing superb work ethic is something that has helped him be successful on the court so far this season. Currently he is averaging 22,0ppg, 6,0rpg and 5,0apg. His stat line is very good, but his biggest bummer at the moment is his three point shooting. He never shot over 40% in JUCO or the NCAA, but wasn´t far away at 34% and 35%. This season he is shooting below 30% and knows that he has to find a way to correct it as his passion in getting better and continuing to move up the basketball ladder are immense. “Definitely not happy with the way I shot the ball the last game. There are some things that I can improve on in that area also in other areas but the job is not finished and I won’t be happy until we get what we came here for in  the first place. I’m thinking championship run from here on”, stressed John Murry. His current shooting drought has really bugged him and at the moment his shooting bricks and being able to find the ocean again a big priority. “I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I shot that bad, I refuse to have that type of shooting percentage again. I’ve never shot like that in my career and I’m working my butt off to see that doesn’t happen again”, warned John Murry. Murry definitely needs to find his shooting touch again, because too many sleepless nights won´t be good for anybody especially the Grevenbroich Elephants

Anthony Brown(Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans) I Remember Kobe Joking I´ll Get 82 And Then Dropping 60 In His Last NBA Game

Anthony Brown is a 28 year old 199cm forward that was born in Bellflower, California. He is playing his 6th professional season and first with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans (France-Jeep ELITE ProA). He played his first full season in Europe last season splitting time with teams Limoges CSP Elite (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 6 Eurocup games averaging 8.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 42.9%; and played 10 French Jeep ELITE ProA games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 46.3%, FT: 88.9%, in Dec.’19 moved to Montakit Fuenlabrada (Spain-ACB) playing 8 games: averaging 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.6%. He began his basketball career at Ocean View High School and then played at Stanford University (NCAA) playing 138 NCAA games and as a senior played 37 games averaging 14.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 79.5%. In 2015 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA,2rd (34). From 2015-2019 he played 41 NBA games with the Lakers, Pelicans, Magic and Timberwolves and alos played with G-league teams Los Angeles D-Fenders, Erie Bay Hawks, Iowa Wolves and Lakeland Magic. He spoke to germanhoops.comafter a 86-80 Eurocup win in Ulm. 

Thanks Anthony for talking to Your just played a Eurocup game in Ulm, Germany. Is the whole travel thing in Europe easier and less hectic than what you experienced in the NBA and G-League?

Traveling in Europe isn’t on the same level as the NBA. In the NBA you always take charter flights. I would compare the travel in Europe to the G-League. It always depends what city you are in. Last season playing in Limoges, the travel was worse. But now living in Paris the travel has been smooth. 

You were teammates with Ulm American Troy Caupain and John Petrucelli a few years ago with Lakeland. Do you have any friendly wagers going?

No we didn’t have any friendly wagers going, but it was really good to see them. I talk to both guys on a regular basis. When I played with the Lakeland Magic, it was one of the closest teams that I ever played with. I talk to John like 2-3 times a week and I talk to Troy 2-3 times a month. This was the first time that I had seen them since we played in the G-League one and a half years ago. 

Congrats on the 86-80 win in Ulm. What steps did the team make in Ulm?

We didn’t play well in our first 2 Eurocup games. We didn’t start well in the first quarter in those 2 games, but in Ulm we finally did. We as a team don’t have much Eurocup experience. Winning this game was important. We are starting to know what we have to do to win. This win took some relief off our shoulders.

Before we get to your career, I have to ask you about how you experienced COVID-19 in 2020. What personally was the most challenging thing for you while having to stay fit as well as off the court things?

COVID-19 was tough at first, but I was lucky to have a little gym in L.A. I was allowed access in June and practiced there until August. I really needed that time. I didn’t have that in April/May. It was tough in that time. All I could do was have home work outs and run outside. 

How do you feel did COVID-19 and everything you experienced the last months make you stronger as a man?

When you’re a professional player, you play 10-15 years and never stop. You have little time to kick it with family and friends. This was the first time since high school that I could spend a lot of time with family. 

Congrats on signing with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans (France-Jeep ELITE Pro A). You have lived in cities like Los Angeles, close to San Francisco and New Orleans just to name a few, but what has it been like living in the massive historical city Paris? Was it a culture shock at first?

No there was no culture shock. Paris has been cool. Paris is pretty westernized and everyone pretty much speak English. I really enjoy the city. I feel like I’m back at home. Here I am able to be around people and I don’t feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. I can always find what I need.

You played in the France Pro A last season with Limoges so you know what to expect. What can we expect from this team? It doesn’t have the big time players except for you. Will this team surprise people this season? It is off to a 3-0 record

Last season I think the team ended in 5th place. We were missing some key guys in Ulm like Rob Gray. I think that we have the chance to be a top 4 team. I think with the experience of last years team combined with a few more pieces, we will be able to compete until the end.

With Marei and Chicoko the club has to ex players from the German league BBL.Chicoko is off to a great start. Do you see Marei following who had a massive game in Ulm with 15/13 stats?

Assem is a beast. This is the first time that I have seen him play. I already had known about Chicoko. I think that with these 2 guys, we have a chance to have the best bigs on the court each night. If they can rebound and make consistent post shots, then I think that it will be hard to beat us. If you double them then we will have our shooters ready. We already have good chemistry.

A lot of times guys come from the NBA to Europe and sometimes guys go from Europe to the NBA. Your teammate David Michineau was drafted by the pelicans in 2016. How much potential does he still have at age 26?

David has a lot of potential. He has the right physical tools and is super athletic. He can get into the paint at will and make plays. Once he becomes a better shooter, he can get to the next level. He has a crazy bright future. If he doesn’t make the NBA then the Euroleague. 

You had solid stats last season in France and Spain but this season have picked them up. Do you feel you will have the opportunity this season to have that major leader role?

Last season it was my first time in Europe and I jumped on the train coming in mid season. That was tough, but this season I was here from day 1 which has helped me be more vocal and help make more chemistry. 

How would you like to keep developing as a player overseas? You showed last season that you can adapt to the style as you shot at a high clip from outside

I think that important for me will be to continue to make plays off the dribble in the paint. Overseas you have the defensive 3 seconds. The paint area is more clogged in Europe. I want to become a better player in tight spaces. In the NBA/G-League there is a lot more space. I also want to develop further into a better defender. I want to be a guy defending the other team’s best scorer. 

Last season you played your first real season overseas with Limoges CSP Elite (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 6 Eurocup games averaging 8.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 42.9%;and played 10 French Jeep ELITE ProA games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 46.3%, FT: 88.9%, in Dec.’19 moved to Montakit Fuenlabrada (Spain-Liga) playing 8 games averaging 7.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.6%. What was your wake up call to being overseas as a professional for the first time?

My wake up call was arriving in Limoges and taking my first trip around the whole city in like 8 minutes. Limoges was completely different to what I was used to in California where I have lived most of my life. Going to a smaller city was an adjustment. 

You played in Europe’s best league ACB last season and was teammates with Earl Rowland. How beneficial was it for you to have that vet on your side?

I connected to EJ right away. We had some mutual friends from Los Angeles. I started to hang out with him. He helped me a lot adjusting to the high level in the ACB

You began the 2018-2019 season with famous team BC Partizan NiS Beograd (Serbia-KLS). What do you remember from this brief stay and why was your stay so short?

I remember the Partizan fans as being crazy and intense. I was signed by a previous coach. When I got there, he resigned. The new coach brought a player with him and had a different style. There was no room for me. 

You finished the 2018-2019 season with the Lakeland Magic (NBA G League) playing 27 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 81.1%. That team had some good scorers. How much of a challenge is it in general to stand out for the NBA when the team has so many good players?

I think that it’s tough on any team. It is tough to stand out on a losing team, because no one really knows who really contributed. I think that the NBA will notice that 13 or 14 point scorer on a winning team first before that 19 or 20 point scorer on a losing team. We really had it together on that team. Most G-League teams aren’t that together. 

You played the 2017-2018 season primarily for the at Iowa Wolves (NBA G League) playing 45 games averaging 18.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 79.7%, but you did play an NBA game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. How disappointing was it not getting more of an NBA run that season considering the G-League stats that you put up having 3 30 point games in November?

It was definitely disappointing not getting more of a look. That was my third year and I really felt like I was ready to make an impact. The opportunity just didn’t come and that’s life. 

In the 2016-2017 season you split time with the New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) playing 9 games averaging 3.8ppg, 2.9rpg, played also at Erie Bay Hawks (D-League) playing 24 games averaging 20.3ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT: 80.8%, in Jan.’17 agreed terms with Orlando Magic (NBA) playing 2 games averaging 4.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0apg. How do you remember this season? You had 2 NBA opportunities and put up strong stats in the D-League. 

I moved around a lot that year. It was also the first time that I had lived outside of California. Overall it was a good year. I only wish that my NBA opportunity would have been longer. That was the first time in my career where I was the first offensive option. At Stanford I was the 3rd or 4th option. I learned to become a consistent scorer. It’s not easy to consistently score 20 points a game when everybody is watching you. I definitely became a better player and I improved the most that season. 

The Pelicans were a young team, but also an organization somewhat in disarray. Do you feel like you got a fair chance to really showcase your skills?

I came to a team that wasn’t doing well and had injuries. I was with the Pelicans for like 2-3 weeks It was only my second professional season and wasn’t super experienced yet. I feel like if I would have had more of an opportunity that I could have made my stand. I am very thankful for the opportunity. This was also the first time that I saw Anthony Davis. He was the best teammate that I ever played with. The things he was doing on the court made no sense for a 7 footer. 

As a rookie you played with the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) playing 29 games averaging 4.0ppg, 2.4rpg. How long is one in aw until that whole unbelievable feeling wears down?

I wouldn’t say that I was in awe. I was so in the moment that I didn’t have a chance to be in awe, because your so focused on the team. The only chance to be in awe was when I was around Kobe. 

Not many people can say that they were teammates with Kobe Bryant. Do you have your own special story about Kobe Bryant?

I just remember the last game before he got 60 points. We were joking in the locker room and asking him how much he would get. He just smiled and said I’m going to get 82 points. Everybody just looked up and said ok. Then he drops 60 points. It was amazing how he could get up 50 shots despite a sore body. His mind was at another level. His 60 points didn’t surprise me. I knew that he would leave it all out on the floor in his last game

You also played with another legend Ron Artest. How did you experience him as a teammate who had a legend like Kobe Bryant as a teammate also

Ron was cool. He was a valuable piece on the team. He gave a lot of valuable advice on defense. He always helped us. He was always talking about how you could frustrate your opponent and always be physical. He was a mastermind on defense. 

You had games where you played 30 plus minutes and games where you played 4 -5 minutes. What is the fondest moment that you had on the court with the Lakers?

I don’t remember having to many fond moments mainly because we lost so many games. I guess one of my fondest moments was playing against New Orleans. I made a 4 point play, a couple of three’s and made the game winning stop at the end. I also remember my first start playing against Kevin Durant. That didn’t go to well. 

You have seen a lot in the NBA, but what for you is the best example where you saw that the NBA will always be a business first?

We see the NBA being a business every day. We have guys out of the league who should be in the league. Then we have guys around like Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony where everyone said they couldn’t play. The biggest thing that I learned about the NBA being a business is that you can’t get to emotional. It is all not in your control. Teams can really like you, but then it can come down to money or how your contract is structured. When your growing up, you know nothing about this. All you think about is going to the NBA and it being simple. 

Your still very young. Is the NBA a done deal or is the Euroleague your next challenge?

I wouldn’t say that the NBA is a done deal yet. The way everything is going now, I’m not thinking too heavily about the NBA. I want to play in the Euroleague. Everybody wants to be in the NBA, but the Euroleague would be great also. That league is rising each season. 

You played at Stanford reaching a NCAA Sweet 16 and wining the NIT title. What kind of player did you become at that school?

My first year was also head coach Johnny Dawkins first year. We were still developing an identity. I was an OK player as a freshman. Then I got hurt and had to sit out a season. I had double hip surgery. In this time, I became an elite shooter. I had so much time to practice and improve as a shooter. Before that injury I was shooting at 34% and ever since have been at 40% or better. That injury made me more serious and I understood that basketball could be taken away from me at any time. 

You played many many years with guys like Chasson Randle, Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell. Did the experiences that you all shared did you become like brothers?

Yes for sure we are like brothers. We were all super competitive and pushed each other to become better. It was always healthy competition. We all lived next door to each other and were in the gym all day. How could we not enjoy each other?

I always thought a guy like Travis Reid had major NBA potential but instead he ended up in Europe. Did you take him under your wing as a senior?

Yes I did take him under my wing even if he was a big man and I was a wing. We still talk to this day. I tried to help him. The biggest thing for him was his maturity. He was already pretty mature as a freshman. At least more mature than I was. He did a good job balancing being at a school with elite academics and playing in the Pac 12.. There was a lot of hype around him, but he handled it well. He has NBA potential. 

How did head coach Johnny Dawkins groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

He prepared me a lot. He played in the NBA and he was a big reason why I went to Stanford. He was a hands on developer working with us on the court and showing us everything we needed to know. He helped me grow a s a person and helped me become the man I am today. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Josh Owens?

JO was 2 years above me. We had some battles, but we didn’t play too much. He was a freak. He was the most athletic player that I ever witnessed. He did amazing things in College. It was NBA dunk athleticism. 

Do you still follow Stanford basketball? If so do you see Oscar Da Silva being an NBA player one day?

Oscar could get drafted. He took a major step last year. He is on the radar. He is a big that can shoot which is important in 2020. 

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that went to the NBA?

There have been very many. 2 guys come vividly to mind. I remember freshman year playing Washington and Isaiah Thomas killing us. I also remember playing Washington State and Klay Thompson killing us. Klay’s play looked so effortless. He was easily the best player we played against that season. Derrick Williams also was good.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

That is too tough. I would leave out way too many guys. 

Please construct your personal own NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present players?

Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Magic

What is your opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James? And why isn’t Kobe mentioned more?

Kobe should be in the conversation. How can you keep Kobe out. It is neck in neck. You can’t go wrong with anyone. It really depends on your preference. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Money Heist. It’s a great show

Thanks Anthony for the chat.

Jordan Hill Is Such A Complete Player That Just Scoring Would Be A Disservice Towards His Full Package Game

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Hill after giving his German debut in Rhondorf with Ibbenburen

Over the years the German Regionalliga have had some amazing American players that showcased massive explosive scoring qualities and it is no different in 2020. In the German Regionalliga, you have an abundance of young and older German players and usually one dominant American. An American averaging 20,0 in this league means in some cases little, but if you’re a Ricky Easterling who averaged 33,0ppg with Saarlouis 10 years ago, it is a big deal. This season the first explosive new player came on the scene with Dorsten’s forward Mark Gordon who scorched team Lowen for 40 in his professional debut and after 4 games is averaging an overwhelming 33,0ppg. It is just a normal procedure for an American to score very many points in this league, because the league is also a stepping stone to get to the higher leagues so as a player you need to put up incredible stats. But not every American is like this. When I heard that ex Wisconsin Badger Jordan Hill (192-G-94, college: Seattle, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) had signed with Ibbenburen, I was pleasantly overjoyed. It isn’t every day that one sees a player of this calibur from a well known NCAA school like Wisconsin ball in the German 4th league. My first thought was, this guy is going to dominate this level. Little did I know that dominating is in his basketball language, but not necessarily in scoring. I was lucky to see him play his first game with Ibbenburen in Rhondorf. I was shocked when he didn’t even start or play in the first quarter. He finally was inserted in the second quarter and quickly and easily scored 2 rapid buckets in a row. Then I thought that a Ricky Easterling scoring rampage would come, but boy was I wrong. At the end of the game, he didn’t play 30 minutes, but only 14 minutes, but scored 13 points and dished out 4 assists while rebounding and playing defense. He hit all of his 6 shots as well. After helping his team to the 87-73 victory, I was surprised, but convinced that I had just seen the first complete American player in the Regionalliga. Scoring wasn’t the main dish on his basketball menu. ‘I can score. I can get to a bucket when necessary but I am such a complete player that it would be a disservice to everyone if I didn’t show the full package. My shooting is probably one of my better qualities. I think a look at my percentage may be misleading but I know how dangerous I can be from 3. This season will be a great chance to prove that. I can pass the ball with the best of them and I think my teammates will tell you how great I can share the ball. If I am called on to score more, then that is what I will do. I definitely think I have more to show than that though’, warned Jordan Hill. This American has enriched the league already after only a few games with his unselfishness.

Just like every one on earth Jordan Hill didn’t have the normal 2020 leading up to his current job in Germany. His last employer was a team in Brasil. He also was lucky to play a extra month as most guys that were balling in Europe had their season’s end at the beginning of March. For him finding any kind of normalcy in Seattle was out of the question. ‘Covid-19 has been a bit crazy in the States. The most difficult part of the pandemic was trying to find a place to get some time on the court. A large majority of the gyms were closed and unavailable. Weight rooms, basketball gyms, and even some outside courts were all shutdown for months. I was forced to do workouts inside the apartment and dribble around outside’, stressed Jordan Hill. Even if COVID-19 has hurt the world’s economy, it most sadly ended so many lives and caused families heart aches, there was a positive thing about it. In many cases it has helped people see the world in a whole different perspective and thus force one to react in certain ways one may not have had COVID-19 not struck. ‘I think it gave me time to sit back and make a plan for things I was looking to change in my life. I started a business and got accepted to a master’s program. I am always looking for ways to become a better person day in and day out. It challenged me to not be complacent. I forced myself to work on skills and try things I previously didn’t make time for’, warned Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill was born on December 12, 1994 in West Hills, California and grew up in Pasadena. He has 5 siblings and his uncle, Anthony Harris, played football at Cal State Northridge. The 25 year old American got his first real basketball experience with LaSalle in Pasadena, California averaging 15.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, 2.0bpg. He then got some added basketball experience at Phillips Exeter Academy averaging 7.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 8.0apg. The American who compares his game to guys like Penny Hardaway, Devin Booker and Steph Curry remembers what sold Wisconsin (NCAA) on his basketball abilities. ‘I didn’t see any problem with my stats at all at Exeter. I didn’t take a lot of shots during my time there. We played a team game. My job was to play aggressive defense in the front court and find the open man when the ball was in my hands. I had some pretty great games and plenty of highlight plays on our way to winning the first NEPSAC Class A Championship in Exeter school history. I have always had the talent and skill to play at the highest level. There is absolutely no doubt about that in my mind. I received my Wisconsin scholarship after a weekend of incredible play during my AAU season. My mentality towards defense, creating for others, and my overall work ethic is what got me the offer’, warned Jordan Hill. He then played 4 years at Wisconsin, but it didn’t turn out the way he may have thought. He played only 40 NCAA games in 3 seasons and never averaged more than 3,0ppg, but did reach 2 NCAA final 4’s losing to Duke and Kentucky. He had some amazing teammates with future NBA players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker and future Euroleague player Nigel Hayes. Despite not getting sufficient minutes there, he took the positives from the situation. ‘It was difficult every day. It used to really bother me to know I was capable of so much more but the playing system wasn’t setup for me to do what I do best. That’s fine, it just powered me to work on my game while I was there so that I would be ready for whatever came next. We accomplished a lot as a team and I know I made crucial plays throughout my career there. I have the respect of my teammates and that’s enough for me. That chapter of my life was important to my development as a player’, warned Jordan Hill. His toughest loss was lto Duke and he showed his team player qualities with the limited role that he had. ‘I gave my teammates hell while I was on the practice squad. I got a lot of buckets in practice and made the first team run a few times. That everyday work was necessary. Wisconsin is a program that is always more prepared than the opponent and that starts in how detailed we are in scouting reports, the aggression we play with in practice, and the brotherhood we built in the locker room’, remembered Jordan Hill

The American who lists his 5 best teammates of all-time as Nigel Hayes, Vitto Brown, Bronson Koenig, Frank Kaminsky, and Traevon Jackson didn’t finish career at Wisconsin, but opted for a new challenge and played his senior year with the University Of Seattle playing 32 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 77.2%. He finally got many minutes and could display the kind of player he really was, which he couldn’t display at Wisconsin. ‘I had the ball in my hands every time down the court. The game began and ended with my decision making. I loved that feeling of being the master of my destiny. I was allowed the freedom to figure things out on the court. I was more mature when I got to Seattle because I had 4 years of high-level basketball experience. There was no way for me to really fail if you ask me. I am destined for greatness and my time at Seattle U was the beginning of that process I believe’, stated Jordan Hill. He scored in double figures in 24 games and scored 26 points against Grand Canyon and 24 points against New Mexico State. He had a stretch in December where he played his best basketball there averaging 22ppg in wins against schools St Martin’s. Portland State and Nicholls. ‘I was shooting the ball very well at the time. I put together a really good stretch of games. I was shooting almost 48% from 3 until the conference season. I think I was getting whatever I want on the court. There’s another level I can tap into though’, warned Jordan Hill. All in all, he has many fond memories at the University of Seattle and even a few years later still has certain games fresh in his mind. ‘I think the win against N Mexico State at home in Key Arena is probably the most memorable games I’ve played. I got it done in the clutch with my teammates and we needed the win. It was tough but those are always my most favorite games. I put up 26 against Grand Canyon in a loss and 19 against Washington in a loss. Both games I think I played really really well. I shot it great in both games. I had about 5 3s against Washington and 4 against Grand Canyon. Although they were losses, those were some of my favorite games’, expressed Jordan Hill. He remembers winning and losing one on one duels against teammate Richaud Gittens, but he said a very interesting thing that no other player has ever said to me. Nobody has ever groomed him for anything except for his father, but his ex coach Jim Hayford did prepare him for a professional basketball career. ‘Jim Hayford gave me the keys to make a memorable season out of my time at Seattle U and I am forever thankful for that. It means a lot for a coach to trust in you and Coach Hayford trusted me to lead the team in the right direction. We got to 20 wins and that is a hell of an accomplishment for a team that had never played together before’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also will never forget the Kentucky team he battled that was filled with many future NBA players especially current Phoenix Sun Devin Booker. ‘Devin Booker just looked different out on the court. His skill level is so crazy. You just knew you were watching a pro’, said Jordan Hill.

The American who last watched Bad Boys 3 began his professional season in 2018-2019 with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 11 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 27.1%, FT: 92.3%. Even if he was in Europe for the first time, it wasn’t that much of a culture shock. ‘I think after the first week in Cyprus I realized that I was a long way from home and I wasn’t coming back any time soon. I have been living on my own since about 17 so it didn’t necessarily bother me to be far from home and alone. I think the daily practices and interactions with the coaching staff told me a lot about what I need to do to be professional and improve my game’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also was fortunate not to be the lone American on the team which can happen. Instead he was joking around on a daily basis and hanging out with 4 other Americans which made life in a foreign country a lot easier. ‘I loved playing with 4 other Americans. It made getting through the tough days a lot easier because I could relate to my teammates very naturally. We had a lot of fun and still stay in contact with each other. I think a lot of people in Cyprus speak English so the language barrier didn’t become as much of a problem as one might think’, added Jordan Hill. He played his second professional season in South America with Basquete Blumenau/APAB (Brazil-Liga Ouro) playing 7 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 57.1. Usually Americans in the latter part of their career’s will head to South America to make some last money, but seeing Brasil and it’s basketball early in his career was an eye opener. ‘Playing in Brazil was a different experience. Unfortunately I was unable to play more than 7 games during my time there because of a little injury. However, in the time that I was there, I learned a lot about myself and a culture I knew nothing about. The style of play in Brazil is different than in America. The players are very passionate and very unselfish. My team ran a lot of offense and did a lot of passing before looking to score. I played in Liga Ouro which is a good league with a lot of good players. It was very physical and demanded a lot out of you on both sides of the ball’, remembered Jordan Hill

He is playing his third professional season in the German fourth division with the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen. There is no arrogance or embarrassment about playing in such a low league, but instead his feelings are as if he just won the lottery. ‘I am beyond blessed. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to continue my playing career and learn about a different culture. This is my first time spending some significant time in Europe so I am looking forward to the experience’, warned Jordan Hill. He has already demonstrated that he is a team player so versatility is something that he takes a lot of pride in. ‘Versatility is key for me. I am a player who can affect both sides of the ball. I have the ability to lockdown other players as well as rebound, pass, LEAD, play in transition, and get in passing lanes. I am not looking to be a one-man show. I like to see my teammates score and play confidently. I want to be known as a two way player not just an offensive threat’, stated Jordan Hill. After 3 games and 24 minutes per game, he has put up very respectable stats averaging 13,7ppg, 2,7rpg, 5,0apg and 1,3spg. His shot selection has been excellent as he is shooting 56% from the parking lot (6/11). Despite his current hot shooting, he always wants to get better at shooting. ‘I try to get up as many shots as possible whenever I can. I wish there was someone to always rebound, haha it would make it a bit easier. I feel my shot is above average regardless of my percentage. In college I shot the ball very well and made big threes in very clutch situations. I know what I am capable of. There will be plenty of opportunities to show that. My shooting will allow me to open of the floor. It is always a threat and my confidence in my shot will not waiver. If I am a threat from 3, I can get to any spot I want to on the court’, warned Jordan Hill. In order to continue to be that complete player and be versatile, he is never working only on one area of his game. ‘I am constantly working on every part of my game. I always want to improve my shooting and ball handling. Those are the foundation for expanding my game. I think I am in a position now where I can do more scoring than anything else. So with that focus I am paying close attention to the game film and finding places I can be the most aggressive’, commented Jordan Hill. In Ibbenburen, the American will have a lot of free time to keep working on his game. His focus and work ethic are huge, but so is his chip on his shoulder. He has big goals in Ibbenburen. ‘I always have a chip on my shoulder. That’s never going anywhere. People have doubted me no matter where I played. That doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter the level. Wherever I am, I will show and prove. This is the 4th league and I know what I am capable of accomplishing. We can win this league. That is my focus. Everything else will fall into place as it’s supposed to’, warned Jordan Hill. And maybe for once an American won’t average 20,0ppg in the Regionalliga. It’s not always about the stats, but in Hill’s case it’s about winning and just getting better each day while showcasing the full package. 

Paul Albrecht(Dragons Rhondorf) Julius Thomas Is One Of The Best Young Coaching Talents In Germany

Paul Albrecht is a 27 year old 205cm forward playing his first season with the Dragons Rhoendorf (Regionalliga). He has played 162 pro A games with teams like Jena, Paderborn, Essen, Hanau and the Artland Dragons. He also played 49 Pro B games with the Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB. Last season he played with the Artland Dragons (ProA) playing 21 games averaging 6.6ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 20.9%, FT: 70.3%. He spoke to after the huge 101-63 win over Bonn 2. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Paul Albrecht in Koblenz in Pre-season

Congrats on the huge 101-63 win in Bonn. What kind of an overall feeling was it playing against the other farm team of the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Did you sense a type of higher competition level and rivalry during the game?

We deserved this win and were ready to go from the get go. We played tough defense and they didn’t know what happened. It felt like a home game, because we train like 3-4 times a week there. 

The Dragons Rhondorf already had the game pretty much decided by half time. Did the great win on Friday at home give the team extra self confidence to heighten your game another level in Bonn?

The second half that we had on Friday definitely boosted our confidence. That was really important for us, because we are a young team. We have to keep having a positive attitude, because we can’t be negative if we start losing. Our mind set was very good, because we were so focused to win.

Was this the best season performance? The team scored over 100 points and gave up the least points so far. What did the team do better defensively in Bonn than in the other games?

This was our best performance of the season. Coach Julius made some adjustments on the defensive end so we could surprise them. We came out with a big lineup something we haven’t had so far this season.

After the first tough loss at home against Ibbenburen, the Dragons Rhondorf have a 3 game winning streak. How is the team better now than a few weeks ago?

We have been getting better from week to week. We weren’t really ready against Ibbenburen. I think we may have underestimated them. It doesn’t matter in what league you play, if it’s BBL or Oberliga, if you don’t come out ready you will lose. It was good having this experience from a good team, because we learned from it. We didn’t come out ready against Ibbenburen and know now you always have to be ready. 

How have you witnessed the early season work of head coach Julius Thomas? Give an example of how he has mastered the art of making new adjustments on the court?

Coach Julius is doing a great job. He is only 23 years old. I can hardly believe it. He is at least 35 the way he knows basketball. He knows exactly how to talk to players and the players all have huge respect for him. Even though he is so young he has a crazy work ethic. He is a basketball junkie working everyday trying to make us better. He has made us better. He is just a good coach. For me he is one of the best young coaching talents in Germany. 

The 2 bigs De Olveira and Kotieno combined for 44 points and 21 rebounds. How much are you enjoying your time with Gabriel De Olveira knowing that in the future he probably won’t be as available as he is now?

Playing with them is a lot of fun. I don’t think any other team has big men like them. Gabriel is so strong and athletic and when he comes to the game with the right mind set, he is impossible to stop in the Regionalliga. I enjoy playing with everybody. We have a great group of guys. It’s incredible, Bruno Albrecht, De Olveira and Kotieno don’t even practice with us. Maybe once a week, because they are always training with Bonn. But they still come to games and play their hearts out. You can tell that this is their team. I hope Gabriel will keep playing like this so he can make the next step. If he stays focused then there is nothing that will stop him from reaching his goals. 

Oshane Drews had a solid debut at home against Wulfen and played another very good game in Bonn. What have you been impressed most about his game?

He is another really talented player on the squad. The most important thing for him is to stay healthy, because he has had problems with injuries. He is so athletic and quick and has a great touch around the rim. He can become a good player in the future.

You had an OK game with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Was one of your duties when you came to Rhondorf to really be a 1-2 scoring option? So far this season, the club has shown that the scoring can be shared by many.

For me it’s not about being the top scorer. I’m more like a playing coach. I’m trying to help everybody on the team. I’m like the point guard even though I’m not. I’m always telling players where to go. I responsible for everyone having a great focus before the game. All that matters for me is that we win and everyone else has a good game. This is all I really care about. I don’t care about the stats. Important is also that the guys get better. All the guys respect me which is great. If it would have been about me I wouldn’t have come here. I just want to develop further with them. If it comes down to that we can’t score the you can be sure that I will do that

Have you been keying on doing more damage inside than just taking too many three’s?

Yes I have been playing more inside this season and this fits well to me. The way the team plays is good for me.

How important will the 2 week break be now until the next game in Grevenbroich? What do you feel will the team need to focus most on the court?

I think it is good that we have the weekend off. We have some injuries and will have a good week of practice. The focus is always on us. We know what we can do and focus on us not the opponent. 

Grevenbroich have an explosive scorer with John Murry and talented Germans. What do you feel will be most vital in getting the team’s 4th win in a row?

They have a great scorer, but we proved we can handle a scorer when we played Dorsten. He made most of his points in the second half when we had already decided the game. We have great defenders and defend as a team. We will work on how to defend Murry. We will manage to defend him.

Now that Lebron James won his 4th NBA title, where does he stand in your opinion in the head to head debate with Michael Jordan who is the greatest of all-time?

This Lebron James question is tricky. For me Lebron is the greatest of all-time. I understand all the people that got to see Jordan play say that he is the greatest and vice versa about Lebron. I just think that they are both great players. They are the 2 greatest of all-time. But for me Lebron can just do everything and make his teammates better the way he facilitates. It isn’t only about what he does on the court, but is a role model off the court. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Tenet was a great movie, but confusing at the end. 

Thanks Paul for the chat.

Tayler Persons(s.Oliver Wurzburg) Knows That He Has BIg Shoes To Fill At The Guard Position But Is Ready To Win Games

is a 25 year old 191cm guard from Kokomo Indiana that will play his second professional season with s.Oliver Wurzburg. Last season as a rookie he played with Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 13 FIBA Europe Cup games being the tournaments second best scorer averaging 18.6ppg, 4.5rpg, Assists-2 (8.1apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 81.7%; and played 17 Dutch DBL games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 5.8rpg, Assists-1 (7.4apg), Steals-3 (1.9spg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 84.9%. he began his basketball career at Kokomo High School and then played his freshman year at Northern Kentucky University (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 18.5%, FT: 76.3%. he then played at Ball State University (NCAA) form 2016-2019 playing a total of 98 games. As a sophomore he played 34 games averaging 15.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.3%. In his junior season he played 31 games averaging 15.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 66.7%. In his senior year he played 33 games averaging 16.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to about basketball earlier in the summer.

Tayler thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been holding up the last months during COVID-19?

I am currently in Carmel, Indiana. I have been doing good, just working out and staying in the gym during this crazy time. 

What kind of an experience has the whole COVID-19 time been for you? How challenging was it in general staying fit the last months and how did you stay fit?

It was very weird, I have never experienced anything like this before, it was very challenging at first to find a gym to work out in. I was lucky enough and found a gym I could use during the last couple months. 

The whole COVID-19 crisis has been very trying times for the whole world. How do you believe did the last months make you stronger as a person and you had to deal with so many new changes in life? 

I believe that people will be more safe with their health, and I feel that will help the world in the long run. For me personally I feel that it has taught me to accept the changes and just go with it. 

Congrats on signing with German easyCredit BBL team s.Oliver Wurzburg. Before we get to the interview I have to ask you about your home state Indiana. I checked online and Kokomo where your from is almost 3.5 hours and 169 miles away from Larry Bird country in French Lick. As a Indiana native, is it mandatory for a basketball lover like you to visit that town at least once in your lifetime? 

I would say so if you really want to see were Larry the Legend grew up. I have visited multiple times, but yeah if you love basketball Indiana is a great place for you. 

After a great rookie season in Holland, you now attempt to make the next step in Germany in a top 5 league in Europe. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball and did you ever explore Germany when you were living in Holland last season?

I have heard great things about Germany as a country, and its basketball. I’m very excited to be able to prove myself in a great league. I didn’t really get to travel to Germany much last year, but can’t wait to live there this year. 

You will be playing for one of the best German coaches in Denis Wucherer. What impressed you about him and what was the deciding factor that had you choose Wurzburg as your new basketball home? 

I was impressed by him being honest with me and letting me know what he needs from me coming in. I feel like Coach and I are a good fit, and I am very excited to learn from him and the rest of the coaching staff. The deciding factor me was the opportunity that this team brings me, and also seeing the city and the great fans was a huge plus for me. 

How excited are you to play in the easyCredit BBL and do you feel some pressure coming in and taking over for the great guard trio of Wells, Hulls and Bowlin who had good history in Wurzburg? 

I am very excited to be able to play in such a good league. I don’t feel any pressure, coming in after them. All three of them had a great career with Wurzburg, and that’s great. I’m excited to be able to show the fans, organization want I can do and win games I know there are big shoes to feel but I’m ready for that. 

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a scoring point guard that fills the stat sheet with ease. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fill the description? 

Thats ‘a very tough one, I feel like I am very unique with my game. I feel like Fred Van Fleet that plays for the Raptors. He can do everything on the court and picks and choses when he needs to score or get people involved. 

What other strengths does your game incorporate and what are you working on most on your game so that you will have an easier adjustment period coming from the first division in Holland to the German BBL?

I feel like my strengths is that I can do anything on the court, something that I have been working on tirelessly is my 3 point shot. I know that the work is paying off and it’s going to be a great season. 

How much pride do you take on the defensive end? You are also an impact player on the defensive end. What do you feel is your biggest strength when being on the defensive end? 

I take a lot of pride in it because sometimes when you are struggling on offense you can get yourself going by playing hard defense. My biggest strength I think would be my anticipation and being at the right place. 

You never averaged more than 4,9apg, but made a huge leap as a rookie averaging 8,1apg. How do you feel did your playmaking grow as a rookie and what did you learn about yourself as a point guard last season?

I learned a lot, towards the end of my rookie season I really felt that I was fully understanding what I need to be doing to get everyone involved while taking my shots when I can. 

You had some games last season where you flirted with triple doubles. How vital is it in general for having that nonstop aggressiveness on the court at all times?

I wish I would have gotten a few, but I play the game as hard as I can every time I step on the court. I feel like that is one of my best things as a player is playing hard, and being able to do anything on the court. 

You played an impressive rookie season with Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 13 FIBA Europe Cup 13 games: Score-2 (18.6ppg), 4.5rpg, Assists-2 (8.1apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 81.7%; and 17 Dutch DBL:games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 5.8rpg, Assists-1 (7.4apg), Steals-3 (1.9spg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 84.9%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Holland where you knew that you were very far away from home? 

The first day stepping off that plane. I knew that I was a long way from home, but knew what my mission was for my rookie season and that was to prove myself. I felt like I did a good job of that. 

What kind of experience was it being teammates with Dutch national player Worthy De Jong? Was he a guy that showed you the ropes early on and off the court? 

It was great he taught me a lot of things and took me under his wing. I’m lucky that I had guys like him, Drago and Sergio my first year at Leiden to help me get accustomed to European basketball. He also was nice to be around off the court showing me his country. 

You began your basketball career at Northern Kentucky University (NCAA) and had a fine freshman campaign playing 30 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 18.5%, FT: 76.3%. Even if you had a very very productive career at Ball State (NCAA) does the thought ever cross your mind how your career may have gone had you stayed at Northern Kentucky for 4 years? 

Yes it does sometimes, simply because I know if my coach didn’t get fired at NKU then I would have been their all 4 years and my life could be different. 

How do you feel did you profit most from your one season at Northern Kentucky that helped you go your way at Ball State (NCAA) better? 

I felt that going to NKU was a great first school for me because they let me do my thing and threw me out there from day 1 and I never looked back. 

ou had a stellar career at Ball State (NCAA) finishing as the first Cardinal ever with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, and finishing his Ball State career ninth in school history in points (1,558) and third in assists (447). What will always be your fondest memories from your 3 years there? 

My best memories were spent with my teammates, coaches and fans. I embraced being a Cardinal and had a very great time there. I loved being me in Muncie 

You have played so many games in your young career, but do back to back tough loses against N Illinois and Kent State in your junior year to end the season where you had 2 good games still ring a bell inside you from time to time? 

Yes it does actually because I felt we were strong that year, and that kind of slowed down our momentum. 

You had many great personal games in wins and losses at Ball State, but was your 24 points in the exciting 80-77 win over Notre Dame one of your most memorable games?

Yes it was because of hitting the game winning shot against an in state opponent that was ranked nationally. 

How did head coach James Whitford groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? 

He taught he how to act and work like a professional athlete every day during our time together. I am very grateful for that. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or KJ Walton?

I won almost everytime, he was too scared to play me after that. 

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

The toughest player I battled during my college career would be Trae Young. He is having a great career in the NBA. 

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time? 

My best 5 teammates is tough I would say. Drago Pasalic, Franko, House Trey Moses, Worthy De Jong, Kj Walton 

Please construct your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of 4 heads past or present. 

No order, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Shaq 

What is your personal opinion of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James and why isn’t Kobe Bryant mentioned more in this discussion?

I believe that it is Michael Jordan. I am a huge LeBron fan though and believe that it is close, also I think Kobe doesn’t get into the argument because him and MJ were so similar.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

I don’t honestly remember lol, but last tv show I watched was the best show of all time The Office.

Thanks Tayler for the chat.

Having That Defense First Type Mentality And Natural Style Of A Point Guard For A Forward Shows The Vast Versatility Of Princeton Onwas

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Princeton Onwas after dropping 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in a 98-86 win in Frankfurt

It was the beginning of December 2019 and COVID 19 was still months away and everything was still normal in basketball arena´s around the globe. German Pro B team BBC Coburg entered basketball City Mainhatten in Frankfurt for a duel against the easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners farm team called Juniors where only a few years ago current Washington Wizard Isaac Bonga would work countless hours perfecting his craft for the NBA. BBC Coburg had had their 5 game winning streak snapped the weekend before against Bavarian team Oberaching and arrived in Frankfurt eager to begin a new winning streak. Frankfurt had been struggling the last weeks and arrived into the game with a two game losing streak. Both teams were at eye level after 10 minutes, but in the next 20 minutes BBC Coburg would take control of the game and lead 51-35 at the break and by as much as 24 points in the third quarter. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors cut the Coburg lead down to 12 points. Frankfurt continued their comeback run and shaved the Coburg lead down to only 5 points, but that was as close as they would get as Michael Jordan entered. No sorry, it wasn´t Michael Jordan, but it was BBC Coburg´s 198cm forward Princeton Onwas who could have been Jordan, because he came in and played like that game changing player that the Chicago Bull was back in the day. Frankfurt was still in striking range trailing, but Princeton Onwas was a menace, the type of player you hate to play against, but would love to have on your team. He stole a bad pass from Canadian Jazz Bains under the Frankfurt basket and made the two handed dunk. A short time later he made a big three for the 88-79 Coburg advantage. Onwas then made one more beautiful play for the highlight reel. He had twice made the ESPN Top 10 list in college and in this game made a bullet pass to captain Chris Wolf for the easy lay in and the 95-81 lead as the game was already decided. “I pride myself on being versatile. They played trap on me well, but I had my head up and was able to find him. He did a good job catching it and making the basket”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Princeton Onwas finished the contest with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Having that defense first type mentality and natural style of a point guard for a forward shows the vast versatility of Princeton Onwas who recently completed his third professional season and first in Germany. He is a player that has the versatile game to continue to move up the basketball ladder.

Now COVID_19 has been the main topic for the world the last months. Onwas came home in March after playing for BBC Coburg. .At the moment he is back at home in Katy, Texas living with his parents. The last couple of months have been tough on the player as his dad is very vulnerable to getting the virus. Just like so many other players out there, he also never would have expected for the COVID-19 crisis to become as big and widespread as it has. “When I first heard about it, I thought it was a little thing that would blow over in about a month. Never did I think it would shut down everything, and cause so much fear”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Around this time under normal conditions he may have been on a vacation after possibly a nice end to his third season in the German Pro B playoffs, but instead he has been holed up in Texas and normal life has been difficult. “My day to day has been different from the past. I’m not able to go to the gym to work on my game. However I’m still able to run miles and do in home workouts. But obviously not the same as going to an actual court or weight room. But as time goes, things will begin to reopen”, hoped Princeton Onwas. He has had a lot of time to think about basketball and one thing that he has never experienced before concerns the fact that the future of basketball at first may be playing to empty arena´s to keep the social distancing alive and making sure that the COVID-19 virus is totally defeated before people can come together again. “I’ve never played a real game with 0 fans. But I think it’s okay for players to play with out fans in attendance. As long as every player passes the test”, added Princeton Onwas.

            Before his third professional season abruptly ended due to COVID-19, the American who also owns the Nigerian citizenship was having one his best seasons as a professional as he also proved that he could ball down under. He has had a slow rise in his career and continues to have to pay his dues despite having a very solid last season at San Jose State. He began his basketball career at Seven Lakes High School and right off the bat, he wasn´t able to compete in the NCAA, but had to begin at the bottom at Navarro College (JUCO). But instead of moping around, he took on the challenge from the start and was concentrated on making the next step. “Juco was life changing for me as a young man. Not only for basketball, but academically as well. I learned how to play the game through adversity. Juco and NCAA are two different animals”, warned Princeton Onwas. He proved that the JUCO was just one stop before making the next step at a higher level at the University of Utah (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 4.8ppg, 2.6rpg. He finally had reached the highest level with the NCAA, but there absolutely nothing was given to him, but instead he was faced with an abundance of talent especially at his position with guys like Jordan Loveridge, Kenneth Ogbe and Dakari Tucker. “All of those players are good at what they do. When it comes to minutes, I think they just had the coaches trust more and they had been in the system longer so that gave them the edge. I began to start half way during the year”, commented Princeton Onwas. Having these very talented players along his side helped his game grow and he will never forget German Kenneth Ogbe. He knows that he still has a long way to go to reach the level where he is at as he has been with Euroleague team Alba Berlin. “Kenneth was a young kid when we met, with the potential to become a star. Seeing him play at the top level gives me hope that I could play there as well. If his talent can take him there, with no doubt I believe I can play in the top leagues”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            It isn´t always a surprise reading the college bio´s of players, because not every player will remain at one school for 4 years. Onwas made one more change and joined a third school with San Jose State. He was there for 2 seasons, but could only play his last season due to the transfer season rules. He learned so much in these 2 years and made a huge step especially mentally as he knew where his path would go after school. “The biggest growth I had while at Sjsu was my patience to the game. I knew sitting out would be tough but was still practicing to get better. I knew from there I would play professionally”, warned Princeton Onwas. He had a very solid senior year playing 31 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 20.6%, FT: 61.1%. Not being satisfied with your game is always a super sign for a player in terms of having the right attitude and always wanting to get better and that is exactly how he felt after his senior year, but overall it was an excellent experience for him in so many ways. “I didn’t have the senior year I wanted statistically but it was one of the best times I had in my life. We were a super young team with little experience, playing in a good conference. So we struggled to get wins. My game grew with my leadership”, expressed Princeton Onwas. He scored in double figures in 16 games as a senior including a 23 point game against San Diego State and a 21 point effort against Montana State.. He played his best basketball against Colorado State where he scored in double figures in 3 games including 24 points and 20 points, but he left each game as the loser and none more difficult than the 85-84 contest. “It’s not easy losing to a team you felt like you could’ve beaten. But that comes with the game. Colorado State at the time had players who played with each other already for a couple seasons and was very well coached, unlike us who was working on finding our identity with such a young group”, remembers Princeton Onwas. He had the pleasure of being teammates with future NBA player Brandon Clarke who put up the type of states at San Jose State that Princeton Onwas has produced in Australia and Germany and remembers his time with him very well especially the one on one battles where like most players took himself over the NBA rookie who averaged 12,0ppg with the Memphis Grizzlies  this season. “Being teammates with Brandon was awesome. He was a talented kid that played his butt off, even better guy off the court. His freshman year he was such a raw player with so much potential. I knew one day he would have a shot at playing in the top leagues because of his size and athleticism. Once he transferred to Gonzaga, I knew it was done deal. He’s ceiling is high and will be around the league for many years. Concerning who won a one one it was me all day. And still would”, smiled Princeton Onwas. Not only the hard work of Onwas paid off for him transforming his game from the NCAA to the professional level, but also head coach Dave Wojcik was instrumental in the American being on a good way of becoming that more versatile player. “Coach Woj was very amplified. He would try and get you out of your comfort zone and push your buttons. I’ve learned how to handle criticism at a high level. I wouldn’t say he groomed me. But he definitely helped me step outside my comfort zone and allowed me to play the point guard positions for about half the season. I’ve learned that I play my best at the point”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas who lists ex UCLA(NCAA) great and ex Memphis Grizzle Jordan Adams as the toughest player he has battled against began his professional basketball career down under with e Brisbane Capitals (Australia-QBL) playing 18 games averaging 18.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.9spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 65.5%. In the NBA often wake up calls are when rookies have to carry the vets baggage, but in Australia his wake up call was a bit different. “My wake up call was when the vets made the rookies wear baby style backpacks to every game and practices. Every time I saw a Kangaroo I would remember I was on the other side of the earth”, added Princeton Onwas. In his 18 games of action, he scored in double figures in 13 games and scored more than 20 points 9 times. He had some huge games like his 36 points against rival Brisbane S, or his 31 points against Ipswich F, but no game was more massive for him than his 39 point explosion in the 112-89 victory against Suncoast PC. “I can just remember that I was fearless. I felt comfortable, unstoppable and that there was nothing anyone could do to stop me”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            He lists .Aaron Anderson (Brisbane). Trey Pinkney (high school). Ollie (Brisbane). Chris Wolf (BBC). Shore Andenken (BBC) as his best teammates of all-time remained home fo his second professional season and gathered some experience in the G-League with the Westchester Knicks, but played only 3 games averaging 1,7ppg and 1,7rpg. He saw first hand just how brutal the NBA is where often a players feelings are at the bottom of the totem pole. “It was a great experience. I knew the NBA was a business before stepping in so I just tried to bring my all every day. I made it through training camp and made the final roster cuts. However, there were too many players on the roster when the Knicks rookies started playing alongside as well”, remembers Princeton Onwas. It was only a brief time with Westchester, but he witnessed the tough times that ex Michigan(NCAA) standout Trey Burke was having as he had to pay some additional dues in the G-League.  “The league was dope. I played with and against some very talented players. Trey Burke is extremely good, and I’m glad to have been able to work with him. If I get another shot at playing, I’m confident that’ll I’ll finish the season”, stressed Princeton Onwas. After his brief G-League stay, he didn´t return home, but went back to an old stomping ground to Australia and played with the South West Metro Pirates (Australia-QBL) playing 17 games averaging 17.5ppg, 9.1rpg, 3.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 19.7%, FT: 65.6%. He had another fantastic season in Australia scoring in double figures in 16 games and registered 8 double doubles. He had an unforgettable game against Toowoomba M exploding for 37 points and hauled down 13 boards in the 84-74 victory. This season gave him added self confidence for his next challenge in Germany.

            Onwas who has Lebron, Jordan, Shaq, Kobe on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore signed with German third division team BBC Coburg. The organization finished in 5th place with a 11-10 record. The season had 3 parts. The beginning had a 4 game losing streak and the middle saw them winning 10 of 11 games and the end lost 5 of the last 6 games, but still made the playoffs. It is definitely a season he won´t forget.  “The season was a roller coaster ride, up and down. In the beginning we were building chemistry, because we never played with each other and didn’t have much experience on the court together. As time went on we built some momentum and took off. Felt at a point, no one could beat us. Then we got injured. Took us a couple steps back mid season, but still holding on. Later in the season we just got injured some more, which basically made it difficult to win games down the stretch. From the cards that were dealt, I think we had a solid season. And the playoffs would’ve been the icing on the cake”, remembers Princeton Onwas. Consistency is always a huge part of if a club will be successful and that is especially the case on the defensive end where the club just couldn´t get a healthy rhythm going. “Defense was our biggest strength and also our weakness. We spent the majority of practice working on offense, therefore we lacked some fundamentals defensively. However, I play defense off experience, and motivated my team to take my lead during games. So we had some extremely good defensive games and some games lost due to our defense. Yes of course, losing Shore was huge. Not only was he a good defender, he was a leader and friend on and off court. His loss was felt”, warned Princeton Onwas. The “what if” is that scary question so many players have asked themselves from leagues all over the world in terms of where the team´s journey would have gone had COVID-19 not been born. BBC Coburg might have made a playoff run, but nobody will ever know. “I was really upset. We had so much more in the tank. I’m confident to say that I was going to personally take the team to the second round by will. Nothing was going to stop us and me”, stressed Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas won´t only remember his personal strong season, but also his teammates. One guy who could have been that missing link in the playoffs was French player Keite Tidjane who like Onwas had gathered experience in the G-League. He had come for the injured Shore Adeneken and had put up great numbers in his brief time there. “All of my teammates were warriors and I enjoyed every second around them. TJ is a freak! 6’9 guard/forward monster. The guy is multi-talented and loves to win. He’s best asset is his character off the court, great friend”, said Prince Onwas. He also built up special relationships with the German core players like Chris Wolf and Constantin Ebert who are established vets in Germany. Those two guys definitely were huge in Onwas being able to have the season that he had. He also won´t forget young 18 year old German Nico Wenzl who already played in the easyCredit BBL with medi Bayreuth. “Those two were our captains. Their roles played a huge part of our team success. They gave us before game speeches and competed in every practice to make sure we got better that day. I enjoyed Chris’s ability to shoot the ball and Constantin´s ability to create for himself and others. Nico is a talented player for his age. Still has much to learn but is on the right track to stardom”, commented Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas came to Germany and had to prove himself again something that has been the story of his life, but he disappointed no one as he played 19 games averaging 17.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.7apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 64.4%. He scooped up All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Newcomer of the Year -20, All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -20, German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -20, and German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Defensive Team -20. Those are incredible numbers for a rookie in Germany, but he wasn´t completely satisfied by his accomplishments. “I think I had a solid season, and am honored to have received many awards. However, I have more in the tank. I was about 85% myself. I haven’t displayed my full arsenal yet”, warned Princeton Onwas. He didn´t start that strong scoring in double figures in only 2 of his first 5 games, but finished strong scoring in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games. Obviously his scoring was mostly on display achieving a 31 point explosion against Wurzburg, 30 points against Giessen and 26 point games against Speyer and the Lowen. But what fans saw at a consistent rate was his versatile game at both ends of the floor. One could see how much pride he took on the defensive end and on offense his all around game and his exceptional passing skills and court vision as he had 4 assists or more in 9 games. “I have a defense first type mentality. Games are won on the defensive end, so I put most of my energy and effort while playing D. The more success we have on defense, the higher chance we win the game. My natural style of play is at the point guard position . A bigger sized point guard, with multiple talents. I can take you off the dribble, post you up, shoot the open shot, or find my teammates for easy points”, stressed Princeton Onwas. His three pointer is also a part of his versatile game, but it still is a work in progress as it isn´t so consistent. He knows exactly what it will take for him to have that become more of a weapon in his arsenal. “My three game is coming along. I’ve had seasons where I shot above 30%. However, I’m more successful as a catch and shoot type player. This season I was making most of the plays to get my guys open shots, unfortunately I didn’t receive to many open shots myself, mostly rushed or end of shot clock type shots. Staying longer hours getting game shots will improve my consistency”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            So what is the next step for Princeton Onwas who compares his versatile game to Kawhi Leonard? He knows that the whole COVID-19 has turned the business side of basketball upside down and doesn´t have the same feelings as before about how his future will go, but just like in his career where he started at the bottom, he can´t give up. “I am slightly worried, because this is how people put food on the table. If the economy is down that means players won’t be given what their worth. But regardless the pay, I’m going to give my all”, warned Princeton Onwas. He would love to play a fourth professional season, but knows that the organization has to be the perfect fit. A club that will invest in him just as much as he will invest in them. He is also confident that the extra time training and less game experience will still be an advantage than a disadvantage. “If you truly love the game you are already training and getting better”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Even if times have been tough for everyone during COVID-19, he knows that he has gotten something beneficial out of this hard experience. Onwas is a guy that has battled numerous adversary in his career, but always came out tougher. He has grown not only as a player over the years, but also as a man especially during COVID-19. He understands now that he will think twice the next time before getting angry to quickly about something or saying something he probably shouldn´t have and might regret later. Sometimes things happen in life where one can´t go back and change it. You are confronted with reality so rapidly. One has to know where the boundries are and know that one should always be thankful for what you have every single day. “I’ve learned that anything at anytime can be taken away from you. Cherish the little things and live life to its fullest”, warned Princeton Onwas.

Simonas Lukosius´s Second Half On Fire Shooting Carries The Dragons Rhondorf past BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen 86-68

After suffering a tough home loss to the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen in the season opener in their own living room, the Dragons Rhondorf returned fresh, focused and alive in Dorsten and were able to celebrate their first season victory 106-87. The club gave a great effort having 6 players score in double figures and were brutal inside as the 3 bigs De Olveira, Kotieno and Paul Albrecht combined for 56 points. They also defended hard in the first half limiting 40 point man from the week before Mark Gordon to only 4 points. The Dragons Rhondorf wanted to keep adding on to their new winning streak by also winning their first home game of the season against the BSV Munsterland Baskets. It was the battle of the young as the Dragons Rhondorf had an average age of 20 years and BV Wulfen had an average age of 21 years. After allowing Gordon last weekend to score 22 points in the second half, the ex Pro A team wanted to do a better job against Bryant Allen especially with their rising young player Bruno Albrecht leading the charge on the defensive end. After 40 minutes the Dragons Rhondorf had kept their winning streak alive at 2 as they fought of the BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen 86-68, but it wasn´t an easy task. The game was a tale of 2 halves as the guests were in charge in the first half, but let down their defensive intensity and allowed Simonas Lukosius to get very hot from downtown and Gabriel De Olveira to dominate inside and on transition. “We had a lot to prove after losing our first home game. The critics said we can´t be good as a young team and no American. But we proved tonight that we have a good goal. It was our will to win that got us the win. Our first half wasn´t good, but in the second half we played harder and were able to pull out the win”, stressed German/Lithuanian Simonas Lukpsius. Not only did the guests get weaker on defense in the second half, but had a problem all game taking care of the ball suffering 23 turnovers at the end. After the tough defeat, Wulfen guard Bryant Allen explained what went wrong. “We came out aggressive in the first half and had them on their heels, but in the second half, they played more physical and got into their systems better. When you give up 52 points in the second half, then it´s tough to come back. We have to learn to weather the storm and play together for 40 minutes and not 38 minutes”, stated Bryan Allen.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Rhondorf guard Simonas Luskosius after dropping 25 points on 7 three´s in the win

Both teams had guys missing, but it was BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen that were hit the hardest missing 3 key players. 35 year old big man Michael Hauke was missed the most and could of combated the physicality of De Olveira and young Germans Erik Neusel and Jonas Kleinert also were missed. Both teams needed a few minutes to get going as Wulfen were the first to score on the game´s seventh possession. Young German guard Bruno Albrecht gave Rhondorf the 3-2 lead after a few minutes, but that didn´t last long. The guests stormed out on a 9-1 run to lead 11 led by their motor 20 year old 198cm point guard Alexander Winck who scored 7 points in the run. His game was so electrifying and powerful, one could of said that he stole the show from American import Bryant Allen who is usually responsible for the bulk scoring. “We feed off each other. He can really play. He is a great player when he puts his mind to it. It took him a while to get going, but this was his best game this season. He is coming off an ankle injury and wants to come back strong”, stated Bryant Allen. But then came the energy from the bench from young German Dragon Oshane Drews who played in the Braunschwieg organization last season. He came on the floor using his biggest weapon his quickness and brutal 1-1 skills scoring on a lay in and then made a steal and fed De Olveira on transition for the hard 2 handed stuff as Rhondorf trailed 11-7. But Wulfen kept off the Rhondorf pressure getting a rapid 5-0 run from a Allen three pointer and Winck lay in as Wulfen led 16-7. Rhondorf did get some key three´s at the end by ex Hanau German Paul Albrecht and ex Leverkusen guard Jacon Engelhardt, but another Winck trey gave BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen the comfortable 22-15 lead after 10 minutes. “Winck was huge for us and hit everything. We also did a good job closing the way to the basket”, stated German Michael Haucke. The guests were shooting at a very high percentage in the mid 50´s from the field and outside while the Dragons Rhondorf shot33% form the field and 37% form outside. Wulfen had the slim 9-7 rebound lead.

The BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen kept the lead in the second quarter, but could never extend their lead into double figures as Rhondorf was able to hang around trailing only 39-32 at the break. After a horrible begin to the first quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf came out more prepared in the second quarter upping their defensive intensity and being able to execute on offense. They hit Wulfen with a 7-2 run to trail only 25-22. Rhondorf did a good job on offense getting a finger tip roll lay in from Lukosius, a reverse lay up by Mark Kotieno on transition and a pull up jumper by Drews who showed that he knows how to pick his spots. The guests however always had an answer when Rhondorf was threatening. Allen scored on an open pull up jumper and young German Lukas Van Buer scored on the third team offensive rebound. Rhondorf was too inconsistent in this phase and just couldn´t match Wuilfen´s physicality. At least Rhondorf could execute here and there, but couldn´t get efficient stops on defense. German Nils Peters also showed why he can hit big shots and Allen scolded Rhondorf´s lax defense with another mid distance jumper for the 34-26 advantage. Rhondorf had massive problems on 1-1 defense giving up easy baskets. Winck hit another huge three erupting with a huge roar. Lukosius matched him with a trey, but at the break the Dragons Rhondorf were trailing by 7 points. “Rhondorf relied too much on their athleticism and we on our physicality. We defended well and did a better job fighting for position under the basket”, added Michael Haucke. Wulfen continued to shoot at a high percentage at 48% from the field and 50% from the three point line while Rhondorf shot 38% from the field and 30% from the three point line. The guests had made a big jump on the boards leading that battle 21-15, but had 10 turnovers to Rhondorf´s 7.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bryant Allen after contributing 19 points in the loss

In the third quarter BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen would extend their lead to 10 points early, but then lost control of the game and lead and never retrieved it back. After Kotieno and Van Buer swapped buckets, it was Allen and Lukosius who did the same with three pointers and Sadiq Ajagbe scored on a 2 handed dunk for the 46-37 Wulfen advantage. Rhondorf continued to be inconsistent and didn´t have that energy on the defensive end to get some stops. But then came the turning point of the game as the Dragons Rhondorf escaped on a fierce 19-5 run to lead 56-51 after 30 minutes and they would never look back again. In the run the Dragons Rhondorf were helped by 3 Lukosius three pointers, but also received support from Kotieno with 2 back to back 20 footers and a nifty Paul Albrecht left handed lay in. Rhondorf had finally put it together at both ends of the floor. Rhondorf mixed it up on offense playing smooth inside out basketball keeping the guests on their toes, but a lack of defensive intensity didn´t allow Wulfen to get consistent stops. “My three´s helped in the run, but overall w didn´t force anything and just played our game. We knew that with our ball movement that somebody would always be open. Today it just happened to me”, answered Simonas Lukosius. “Lukosius was in our scouting report, but somehow we lost him. We let up and lost our grit. When a guy like that hits 1-2 shots, then the basket starts to look big and we doesn´t miss. We lost our intensity and got fatigued, but in a moment like that we have to remain locked in and use our brain”, added Bryant Allen. Even if the Guests shooting percentages were declining, they still shot 44% from the field and 47% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 45% from the field and 36% from outside. Rhondorf did a better job on the boards trailing only 26-25 and had only 11 turnovers while Wulfen had coughed up the ball 16 times.

In the fourth quarter the Dragons Rhondorf did a fantastic job managing their lead and never giving it up dancing until the end getting the victory. Both teams traded 4-0 runs to begin the fourth quarter as Rhondorf countered with Bruno Albrecht and De Olveira baskets and Wulfen got support from Winck as Wulfen trailed only 60-56. But that was as close as the guests would get as the Dragons Rhondorf then slammed the door shut on Wulfen going on a brutal 20-4 run to extend their lead to 80-60. In the run they got 3 buckets from De Olveira who was a real menace at both ends of the court. A physical Michael Hauke could have slowed the German down a bit. Getting De Olveira more involved was key as in the first half, Wulfen had done a better job limiting his touches and presence inside. Lukosius also continued his hot shooting with 2 more three´s. The fatigue had caught up with Wulfen which led to more turnovers. Rhondorf also did a good job getting to the free throw line. Allen and Winck led Wulfen on a 5-0 run late, but it wasn´t enough as the Dragons Rhondorf moved to 2-1 in the Regionalliga West. “De Olveira was a beast on offense. When you get him the ball then he is hard to stop. We are a lot better than 2 weeks ago. Coach Thomas has done a good job with us. We have learned to stick together better”, warned Simonas Lukosius. “I thought that overal we did a pretty good job on De Olveira, but he is a great player. There is a reason why he plays at a high level. He has gotten better. He loves to run and push the ball. We weren´t locked in. Once a guy like that gets going, he is tough to stop. You can only contain a guy like that who is so active on both ends”, added Bryant Allen. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Simonas Lukosius with 25 points on 7 three´s and Gabriel De Olveira had 24 points and 7 boards. The BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen were led by Alexander Winck with 22 points while Bryant Allen added 19 points and 6 assists. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 49% from the field and 34% from outside while Wulfen shot 41% form the field and 42% form outside. Wulfen edged Rhondorf on the boards 36-34, but turned over the ball a disgusting 23 times while Rhondorf coughed up the ball 16 times. On Sunday the Dragons Rhondorf travel over the Rheine river to neighbors Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 and will be looking for their third consecutive win this season.

2020 Basketball Champions League Winner Ken Horton´s Mindset Has Developed Keeping Him Consistent With His Game

Ken Horton is a 30 year old 201cm forward from Ossining, New York that is playing his ninth professional season and second with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos. The American began his basketball career at Ossining High School and then played at Central Connecticut State University (NCAA) from 2007-2013. He has seen a lot of the world as a professional having played in countries like France, Mexico, Australia, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Italy and now currently in Spain. Last season he split time with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A:games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. He finished the season with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (Spain ACB) playing 3 BCL games averaging 9.7ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.0spg. It has been more than 4 years since he last played for German teams Telekom baskets Bonn and medi Bayreuth. The ex EasyCredit BBL player won the 2020 BCL title recently and it was time to catch up with him again about his basketball career. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ken Horton in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt in 2016

Ken thanks for talking to This is our 11th interview and first in more than 4 years. Has time just flown by or has it really sped by in the last years?

Thank you for the opportunity again. Yes 4years has definitely sped by. A lot has happened in that time span.

Congrats on winning the 2020 Basketball Champions League title. It was your third title in your professional career. How good does it feel winning another title?

Thanks you. Yes I’ve won 3 championships but this BCL championship is definitely at the top of the list. I’m just honored to be a part of this championship team.

It has been a very crazy year for everyone. But how crazy is winning a title with only 2 games? You played in Italy last season and moved to Burgos for the 20-21 season, but had the luxuary to win a title for your new team that will be in the history books as a 19-20 title.

Its kind of weird when you think about it. But I guess due to everything that happening around the world right now nothing should seem weird anymore. It was very different but I think that every team that was there was in the same boat as far as not having preparation time and things of that nature. Coming to a new team and winning a title at the beginning of the season is a feeling that I can’t describe.

San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos had many guys from last season, but also new players like Alex Renfroe, Omar Cook and yourself. Is this good early team chemistry a good omen for what could happen this season for the organization on the floor?

The chemistry has grown very fast and it seems to be getting better and better by the day. This is definitely a good omen on what could happen this season. We won the 2020 BCL championship but now that that’s over we have to look forward and concentrate on what’s next. I don’t think anyone on the team is satisfied. We want more so we’re going to go after it.

Talk a little about the satisfying 85-74 victory over powerhouse AEK Athens. They have a Euroleague type roster. Do you feel like there was a bit of over confidence in their heads as they got on the floor?

They definitely have a great roster full of elite players. I’m not going to say that they were over confident. I will say that we played extremely hard every game out there no matter the opponent. So if they were over confident and thinking that it was going be easy then that was their mistake. So I hope that wasn’t the case.

What was key for the title? You guys did a great job on the boards, but had problems taking care of the ball suffering 16 turnovers. 

Yes turnovers were a problem but I think that our defense is what really did it for us. everyone taking pride and putting out maximum effort on defense put us over the hump. 

Even if the 2020 Basketball Champions League title only took a few games how special will this title be for you? You beat a handful of ex big time Euroleague players like Langford, Slaughter, Rice, Zisis and Lojeski?

It’s very special for me and it’s very gratifying knowing that how much I work individually and how much we work together as a team paid off with the ultimate goal.

Two ex BBL players Kenneth Horton and Thaddeus Mcfadden have done very well since leaving the BBL years ago. Is Mcfadden on a good way of becoming this season’s Burgos leader after scoring 18 points in the final?

Thad definitely played great in Athens and I know he will continue to do that in the ACB this year and also in the 2021 BCL season. The great thing about this roster is that we have a lot of experience and veteran players so with that you have everyone is a certain way being a leader on this team. 

How much of a pleasure is it playing with mega veteran Omar Cook who is 38 years old and just doesn’t go away. How valuable was he in the final and how will his game still be very useful for the club at his age?

Omar was very important for us winning the championship. We always say that the most in shape and most fit guy on the team is the oldest guy on the team. His leadership and knowledge of the game will be very useful for us as we continue the season. Even though we have a lot of veteran players we still all look to Omar because he has the most experience here. So he’s like the teams big brother

Does his unending work ethic and focus possibly help lead you to playing possibly a lot longer than what you may have thought before you saw him work?

Absolutely. Every year I meet a player who’s older and still getting it done. Last year was David Moss and now this year is Omar. So I think they definitely put at least another 5 it years on my career if not more. 

How confident are you that San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos won’t be satidfyed after this title and still be hungry for the next titles this season?

I’m very confident. Being satisfied and content where we are right now is disrespectful to the craft and the people that still play this game and are eager to win. I know for me personally I won’t let any of the guys be content. Were going to still play as if we haven’t won anything and be hungrier than before.

You had many new teams since Germany and continue to be consistent. How do you feel has your game developed further since Germany?

My game has developed by just not necessarily changing things with my game but my mindset. Basketball is more mental than physical. So I try to have a certain mindset every game, every practice, every time I step on the court. That has definitely helped me stay consistent and be able to up the level of play year after year.

The most incredible stat of yours is that you have NEVER ever since high school not averaged double figures in scoring anywhere. That is mind boggling. There are always obstacles in a season, but you have always been consistent. Can I finally award you the Mr consistent award of professional basketball?

That’s crazy I didn’t even know that. Being consistent is very key to staying over here at a high level. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to sustain it for this long. ‘Mr Consistent’ has a nice ring to it

Last season you played with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A: games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. What do you remember being special about playing in Italy and was this the best league that you played in Europe or was it the VTB league??

Italy was special all the way around. Italy was one of the countries I’ve always wanted to play in. So having that and then also being a part of Eurocup made it even better. I think Both the LBA and VTB were both different in their own way but both are very competitive leagues.

In 2018-2019 you played with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-National League playing 14 games averaging 15.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.1apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 81.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 85.7%; and played 29 VTB United League games averaging 12.8ppg, Reb-4 (7.4rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-3 (1.6spg), FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 87.7%. You had many great games in the VTB, but also tough loses against top Euroleague team CSKA. What memories do you have playing this great organization?

I think it was great. It’s always good to play against teams that are in the top competition .CSKA every year is looked at as being one of the best if not the best team in Europe

In 2017-2018, you played with Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 76.7%. What do you remember as being really special about this season? You bowed out against Monaco in the playoffs-

Hands Down The most special thing about that season was my daughter being born. 

It has been 4 years since you played in Germany with Bayreuth and Bonn. Does this time seem like a blur for you since you have got to learn so many new places and organizations?

Yes it does fortunately I’ve made some life long friends from those places and we can reminisce every now and then.

You played for some great teams and had great teammates. When someone says Germany what always comes to mind first?

The thing that comes to mind is the friends turned family. Like I said before we still remain in contact and have made life long friendships. 

2020 was a tough year for all, but how did you get through the COVID-19 time in the States. How do you feel did you grow as a man during these hard times?

2020 has been a hectic year all over the world. For me personally I was just trying to stay as safe as possible when out and about. And just keeping my wife and daughter as safe as possible. This time really made me cherish the moments that I get with my family. A lot of people aren’t as fortunate to be around their family every single day. So I can’t take it for granted.

Please name you’re your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or current players?

MJ, Lebron, Kareem, Bill Russell 

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

Two Very different Players. Both have a huge impact on their generations. But overall I have to give it to MJ

What was the last movie that you saw? 


Thanks Ken for the chat.