Darol Hernandez-Zinenko(BC Tsmoki_Minsk) Is A Cuban Called The Russian And Has Lived A Very Untypical Basketball Career Without An Agent

Darol Hernandez-Zinenko is a 32 year old 207cm forward from Cuba that is playing his fourth season in Belarus and first with  Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League). Previously he played for  BK Grodno-93 (Belarus-Premier League) and  COR-Borisfen Mogilev (Belarus-Premier League) in Belarus. He began his career in Cuba and also played 5 seasons in Ecuador and briefly in Mexico. He spoke to before a Fiba Europe Cup game in Crailsheim

Thanks Darol for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

I am currently in Belarus, and life thank God well, struggling every day to get ahead

When you hear the word Germany, how quickly do you think about your ex teammate Yorman Polas Bartolo?

Of course I remember my friend Yorman, although we don’t talk very often, I am always proud of the growth he has had in European basketball. I wish him the best and I hope to see him soon

Your Cuban and since 2010 you have played in only 2 countries Belarus and Ecuador. A very untypical career route. Would it be fair to say that you haven´t had the usual basketball career of a Cuban player?

The truth is that since I left Cuba my professional career has been very difficult and even more so when you don’t have an agent to represent me.

Your nickname is the Russian. How did you get it? Does it have something to do with having played in Belarus?

My nickname was born since I was in Cuba in the National team, so my mother is Russian and they nicknamed me Russian

After starting your career at home in Cuba you then ventured to Ecuador as a 21 year old and played there four years for four different clubs. Why did you make this move?

Well, my years in Ecuador served me a lot, since it was my first professional experience, the difficult thing is that I only play there for 4 months. Also at that time there was not the ease that exists now of being able to sign a contract outside the country of Cuba and at that time Ecuador was the only door that was opened to start my professional career

You then made the jump to Europe to BGU Minsk (Belarus-Premier League) playing 22 games averaging 17.6ppg, Reb-2(10.8rpg), 2.6apg, Steals-4(2.7spg), FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 61.0%. What do you remember being your wake up call where you knew that you were far away form the warm climate of Cuba? I can imagine that the winter was tough for you?

At first when I arrived in Belarus it was difficult since nobody knew me and I had to make myself known, and thank God the possibility of playing for Bgu came out. The weather also shocked me hard, since one was used to a bit of heat and suddenly you are in a country where the temperature is at -20

You showed that you had no problems adjusting to overseas ball. What really stands out is your versatility? Is that something that you always had or something that grew with time?

I think I always played so versatile although I confess that I love European basketball and it makes you grow more as a player and in the way of understanding basketball

You also have very high assist numbers. Are you one of those guys that would love to play point guard for a game if given the opportunity?

I like to pass the ball. I don’t see myself playing the pg position

In your second season in Belarus you played with BK Grodno-93 (Belarus-Premier League) averaging 5.8ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 18.4%, FT: 70.1%. Your stats really dipped. What do you remember from this season and was this a reason why you returned back to Ecuador?

My season in Grodno was a bit strange, since I could never adapt to the coach’s philosophy and no, I returned to Ecuador because my daughter had just been born and also that I live there

How tough was it usually being the only import that wasn´t from Belarus? Was it difficult remembering every player´s name on the team?

Well in Grodno it was a bit difficult, all because communication with my colleagues was difficult and it was also the first time that this team had hired an import.

You then returned back to Ecuador for two seasons playing with Club Iccan de Macas (ECU-National League). How important was it returning to a favorable environment and just having fun again?

Returning to Ecuador and starting a new project with the Iccan club was special, since I met players and people who helped me to mature as a player. In addition to participating in the South American league of clubs, which is a high level in South America, was something for me super special and exciting

You then came back to Belarus and played parts of three seasons with COR-Borisfen Mogilev (Belarus-Premier League). That first season was great stat wise, but in the second you weren´t as dominant and also fled to Mexico to finish the season and then returned back to Belarus after Mexico. Talk a little about this time about your highs and lows?

After 2 seasons in Ecuador, the Borisfen club called me from Belarus, the first year went well for me personally and also collectively. The second season my intention was to participate in the Fiba Eurocup and after the tournament I got the opportunity from going to play in Mexico, which at that time was the best league in South America. Then the pandemic happened that paralyzed everything that is sport in all of South America and where the only job was in Europe and the opportunity came to return to Borisfen. As I told you at the beginning my entire career without an agent

In this time you also lost two finals to Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League). I guess moving to Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League) this season was the most obvious choice to make. Winning that chip is what it is all about.

Losing two finals against Tsmoki was difficult and even more so the second final. Now the club gave me the opportunity and I will do everything I can to help the team reach some goals this year

Your turning 32 in November and are playing in the best league in your career with the VTB League. What kind of an experience was it starting against top Euroleague team CSKA Moscow and seeing all those ex NBA players?

Starting the first game of the season against CSKA was something very hard. I think that in general the VTB league has a very high level and every game is difficult

What was it like battling that beast Tornike Shengelia? How do you feel did you hold up in this game?

Shengelia is a great player and for me a good experience to face him.

What is your biggest goal with Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus-Premier League) besides winning titles? Your one of the older guys. Is being a mentor type to the younger guys a thing you like to do?

Well, my goal this season is to adapt to this league and do it well and to help the team win games and also to be able to give that energy that characterizes me and to give some advice to the younger players

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

In my opinion they are both great players and the two best in history along with Kobe

Did you see the sequel to the classic movie Coming To America? Shouldn´t they just have left it alone?

I did not see the movie.

Thanks Darol for the chat.

Noah Westerhaus Gives The Bona Baskets Limburg The Needed Boost Of Energy Propelling Them By The Fellbach Flashers 91-76

Fellbach is one of those teams that is slated to be one of the favorites for the Regionalliga South-West crown this season, but instead of having a possible 4-0 record, they were dumpling around in position 7. They have been up and down winning two shootouts with 100 plus points and then losing two defensive battles averaging only 53 points per game. They have been very unpredictable which can be very dangerous for teams. While the Bona Baskets Limburg are also a team that could give a lot of teams problems and be in the fight for the top three spots, but have also underachieved so far having a 1-3 record and were in 11th place. They returned home after sustaining a tough 93-72 loss in Kronberg and showed a lot better performance breaking open the game in the third quarter thanks to the boost of energy from Noah Westerhaus (200-PF-98, agency: Gamble Sports Management) and then cruising to the win 91-76 over the Fellbach Flashers. After the big win KJ Sherrill who didn’t have his explosive scoring game, but still filled the stat sheet nicely with 17/11/5/1/1 stats reflected on the victory. ‘Our zone did a good job recognizing their best shooter Lars Berger. We always knew where he was on the court and all his shots were contested’, stressed ex Koblenz forward KJ Sherril. Fellbach stayed with Limburg well in the first half, but in the second half didn’t execute as well on offense anymore and when they did get behind couldn’t get over the hump anymore. They also averaged giving 65 points coming into the game, but couldn’t get consistent stops all night long ‘We didn’t defend well. Our communication and help side wasn’t good. I have to give credit to Limburg for being able to get to the basket and score’, added ex easyCredit BBL player Kostas Karamatskos.
The first quarter was pretty even as no team could escape from the other and go on a run as there were 6 lead changes. Fellbach had the first lead getting baskets from ex Coburg German Daniel Eisenhardt and ex Arizona Christian (NAIA) forward Anton Ivy, but the Bona Baskets also found their offensive rhythm quickly getting a trey from captain Justin Stallbohm for the 8-5 advantage. But Fellbach swiped the lead back getting two buckets from Ivy who has found no adjustment period needed getting adjusted to the European game as he displayed a lot of aggressiveness as Fellbach led 13-10. But Limburg remained in offensive striking mode getting the lead back at 14-13 thanks to a Westerhaus left handed hook shot and a Sherril put back. Fellbach was getting many easy baskets inside as their three point game was non existent while Limburg played with a high intensity on offense. Both teams got the lead back again with three’s from Stallbohm and 31 year old Lithuanian Vilius Sermokas who came into the game shooting 50% from the parking lot for the 20-17 lead. The Fellbach Flashers held the lead to the end as Limburg played catch up basketball, but were supported by baskets from Sherrill who scored twice including on the pick and roll with Stallbohm as the game was deadlocked at 24-24 after 10 minutes. ‘Fellbach came out with a lot of energy and we couldn’t stop their transition. Once we stopped the ball, it slowed them down a bit’, stated KJ Sherrill. Both teams shot at a high click from the field at 50%, while Limburg shot 42% from outside and Fellbach a pathetic 16,7 from outside while Limburg had the 7-5 rebound edge.

Fellbach guard Vilius Sermokas at the ft line

The contest remained very tight until the break as no team led by more than 5 points. There were 4 lead changes, but the Bona Baskets took control at the end taking the lead into the break. Ex Croatian U-18 national player Matej Kljaic had been quiet on the scoring front in the first quarter, but got more aggressive in the second quarter scoring twice giving Limburg the 29-24 lead as his penetration is very difficult to contain as he has lightening speed. But basketball will always be a game of runs and almost as rapidly as Kljaic scored, Fellbach struck back stealing the lead back with two three’s from Sermokas and young German Jovan Vukovic for the 30-29 advantage. After getting many easy touches around the basket, Fellbach finally got their three game going. After Sherrill hit his bread and butter a 15 footer and giving Limburg the lead back, it was Fellbach again who retrieved the lead back with a Ivy reverse lay up and Berger lay up. Fellbach was breaking the Limburg zone and getting easy baskets leading 34-31. But Limburg then woke up going on a 17-7 run to lead 47-41 at half-time and they would never look back again. In the run they got a big three pointer from Westerhaus and vital production from German Norman Klima who is playing his 9th season in Limburg and never averaged more than 5,0ppg in a Regionalliga season. He dropped a massive trey and made a tap in at the buzzer. ‘We played good team basketball and just trusted each other and helped each other’, stated KJ Sherril. The Bona Baskets continued to shoot very well at 40% from the field and outside while Fellbach upped their three point shooting to 26%. Limburg also controlled the boards 18-13.

Justin Stallbohm driving to the basket

In the third quarter the Fellbach Flashers stayed close to Limburg, but half way through the Bona Baskets erupted on a 10-0 run to break open the game and led by as much as 14 points. Fellbach was playing sound inside out basketball and still continued to get easy baskets inside. Daniel Eishardt scored twice and Tauras Ulevicius nailed a trey and scored a runner to trail Limburg only 51-50. Fellbach didn’t look in bad shape, but as is usually the case, a run suddenly comes which partially paralyzes the team. The Bona Baskets struck with a blow scoring 10 unanswered points and grabbing the 61-50 lead. Noah Westerhaus exploded scoring 7 points in a row. He showed why he is a good inside out player scoring in the paint, hitting a three and then scoring a two handed dunk on transition. Stallbohm added a trey for good measure. Westerhaus showed brilliant aggressiveness while the Limburg zone stopped Fellbach making their game static. Fellbach finally executed on offense again getting a three pointer from Lars Berger who had a rough 3/11 shooting night from outside and a lay in from young German Mark Golder who started his career in Munich at IBAM. But the Bona Baskets continued to execute smoothly on offense getting two more buckets from Kljaic and a thunderous two handed stuff from Westerhaus for the 69-55 lead. Limburg had control and the momentum of the game. Fellbach wasn’t totally gone as they closed out the third quarter with a 5-2 run getting another trey from Sermokas and lay in from Berger to trail only 71-61. ‘We know that when somebody has the hot hand, we should keep feeding him. We know what Noah is capable of and he showed it. Kljaic also played exceptional. He had told us at half-time that we need to win together. It wasn’t about you or I. We trusted each other’, stressed KJ Sherril. ‘We weren’t running our plays offense and doing too much 1-1. We missed free throws and they hit big shots. We also had bad shot selection shooting too quickly’, stated Kostas Karamatskos.

Matej Kljaic at the FT line

The Fellbach Flashers gave some resistance in the first minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Bona Baskets Limburg then went on a lethal 8-0 run to decide the game. Berger and Golder scored important baskets to cut the Limburg lead to 74-67, but the Bona Baskets didn’t looked rattled by this come back attempt. Limburg continued to play their game and was supported greatly by their great point guard Matej Kljaic who scored 5 points in a row. He came into the contest shooting only 20%, but hit timely trey’s when the team needed them. Stallbohm did the same also scoring from down town as Limburg led 82-67. Fellbach also had a lot of mis fortune as nothing fell for them anymore. Here and there Fellbach scored, but were never able to get it under double digits again. A Ulevicius jumper and Berger jumper cut the Limburg lead to 84-74, but Limburg closed out the game in style getting another lay in from Westerhaus and another three from Stallbohm as he shot a potent 62% to end the game. ‘We knew that we had to keep the lead. They got fatigued and coach Danny told us to keep being aggressive and run our plays. Plus Matje Kljaic was our floor general and did a great job running the game. We all listened to him’, said KJ Sherril. ‘It was tough not playing with a real big man and having to go against their two bigs. We had a 7 man rotation and got tired. We didn’t have the energy from the start’, explained Kostas Karamatskos. The Bona Baskets Limburg were led by Matej Kljaic and Noah Westerhaus with 25 points apiece. KJ Sherrill added 17 points while the Fellbach Flashers were led by Lars Berger with 16 points while Tauras Ulevicius had 14 points and Vilius Sermokas 13 points. The Bona Baskets Limburg shot 52% from the field and 46% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the Fellbach Flahers shot 46% from the field and 35% from outside and had 28 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

Matej Kljaic(Bona Baskets Limburg) Remembers Matjaz Smodis Being The Strongest Player He Ever Played Against And Made Him Scream On The Screen

Matej Kljaic (189-PG-93) is a 27 year old 189cm point guard from Croatia that is playing his second season for the Bona Baskets Limburg (Regionalliga). Before coming to Limburg he played a season with TV Idstein (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 15 games avergaing 9.6ppg, 4.3rpg, Assists-2 (7.1apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 70.7%. In that season he recorded a triple double against Sutggart. Before that he played his career in his native Croatia. He had early experience playing for the U-16 Austrian national team and U-18 Croatian national team. He spoke to about basketball after the win over the Fellbach Flashers.

Thanks Matej for talking to Congrats on the big 91-77 win against Fellbach. What were the main reasons for the win?

The key tonight was defense. We had beat them last summer with our zone and did it again this time. Once our zone worked we played with more confidence on offense and had better ball movement. We played team basketball.

Your playing your second season with the Bona Baskets Limburg. How tough was last season starting the season and then having it abruptly stopped and What were the biggest challenges for you with COVID?

It was tough that all gyms were closed and we couldn’t practice. Some teams practiced while others didn’t. We didn’t have our school gym. I found another solution and went home and practiced with my old team.

How do you feel did you get stronger as a man with everything that you experienced?

I saw the world in a different light

Talk a little about your experience with the Bona Baskets Limburg. What have you enjoyed most about playing for head coach Danny Stallbohm?

I have a lot of freedom in Limburg to play my game. I have the confidence to give my maximum. I am able to lead the team.

How much fun is it throwing up the ball to the rim and knowing that KJ Sherril will get it and score?

It is a lot of fun. I love our pick and roll game. We have played more than a half year but really know each other well. We always find a solution together.

What kind of an experience has it been being teammates with Justin Stallbohm? What have you enjoyed most with his game?

Justin is a great player, guy, friend and three point shooter. When he is hitting shots, he makes everything easier for us. He opens up our inside game.

You’re a top point guard in the German Regionalliga with 20/3/6 stats. Have you ever wondered if you could average a double double with points and assists?

Yes of course I have. I have never been a guy that looks at the stats, but I first watch the team results.

I feel like you could easily play in the German Pro B. How big is your motivation to keep moving up the basketball ladder?

I hope I can play in the Pro B one day. I looked last summer, but there was no interest. Then I came to play for Danny. I like playing with Limburg. Here I can wait for new opportunities. I am a physical therapist, but in order to do that job in Germany, I need to know the language. I’m taking German courses. Currently I work at DHL delivering packages.

You are a very quick point guard that can get to the basket easily. Who were your role models growing up?

I enjoyed watching Vassilis Spanoulis and Dimitris Diamantidis

On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can continue to improve your game?

I work on everything. My shooting, dribbling and pick and roll situations. But I actually learn more from watching. I have been watching Euroleague since I was 16 years old.

Two seasons ago you played in Idstein. You had a triple double against Idstein. What memories do you have of that game?

I remember that game. It was in Stuttgart. I didn’t know I had reached a triple double until I saw the stats. That was my best game in Germany.

You played in your homeland in your early years. Now you have been in Germany some years. Do you think you might play in other countries in the future?

I’m very happy in Germany, but I wouldn’t mind playing in Spain. I think it’s the best country for basketball.

When you were 17 you played against future NBA player Bojan Bogdanovic. What memories do you have of this battle?

He is a great player. But I played against many great players. I also played against Mike James.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bona Baskets Limburg point guard Matej kljaic

Who was the best player that you ever faced?

Matjaz Smodis. He was the strongest player that I ever played against. I was guarding Dontaye Draper and Smodis made me scream on the screen.

Who wins a one on one in practice you or Justin Stallbohm?

Me of course.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The series You.

Thanks Matej for the chat.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright´s Brilliant Knack Of Staying In Character Leads The Telekom Baskets Bonn Past The Fraport Skyliners 86-76

                Basketball life doesn´t get any easier with every new loss as the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner Fraport Skyliners began the season off on the wrong foot and entered the Telekom Dome in Bonn with a poor 0-3 record while the Telekom Baskets Bonn had  a very respectable 2-1 record. A big problem for Frankfurt has been at the point guard position and as a team that allows 91 points per game had their hands full with the leagues top scorer point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. But then again does one really have a serious point guard problem when Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson is averaging 11,0apg. It is no secret that Tez has always enjoyed being a type of playmaker, but as a playmaker, some of his other duties get lost. The Fraport Skyliners desperately needed a win and a solution to the point guard position, but once again trailed for most of the game and never found a way to get over the hump losing 86-76 to the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Bonn did a superb job of controlling the game and not allowing Frankfurt to do big damage on their runs. After the big win top Bonn point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright reflected on the team´s third win of the season. “We locked in on our principles. We didn´t do that the last game. We knew that we had to be solid against Frankfurt who have guards that can give you trouble. We didn´t play exceptionally well, but were resilient. We didn´t play so well in the second half as Frankfurt did a few different things on defense to get us out of our rhythm. We played hard in the second half and our effort helped us when we had break downs”, stressed ex Arizona(NCAA) guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. This was a must win for Frankfurt as they now have some real tough games coming up in the next weeks. Playing catch up ball is a matter that you don´t want to do for the most part of a game. “We didn´t start off very well. We played them even for most of the game, but when your always trailing against a team like Bonn, then it´s really tough to come back”, stressed ex wiha Panther Rasheed Moore as Frankfurt fell to 0-4. .

Skyler Bowlin at the free throw line

                In the first few minutes of the first quarter, there were four lead changes as both teams found their offense rhythm quickly. Frankfurt got some buckets from rookie Matt Haarms who continues to shine with his quick floater, a Brancou Badio pull up jumper and a trey from Rasheed Moore, while Bonn countered with two three´s with ex Crailsheim forward Jeremy Morgan, as Frankfurt had the slim 7-6 advantage. The Telekom Baskets Bonn then cruised out on a 10-2 run to take the commanding 16-9 lead. In the run Bonn really spread the ball around nicely as ex Bamberg guard Karsten Tadda connected on a trey, Jackson-Cartwright made a sweet floater, ex Fraport Skyliners Michael Kessens executed a left handed lay in and Morgan nailed another three pointer. Bonn did a good job upping their intensity and just let it rain three´s. Jackson-Cartwright demonstrated nicely his supreme knowledge of knowing exactly when to finish and when to be the facilitator as he ran the ship greatly. Fraport Skyliner guard Donovan Donaldson has showed his ability to score in other countries, but so far this season hasn´t been that aggressive. His aggressiveness was down at the start, but near the end he contributed 5 key points to cut the Bonn lead to 22-16. Bonn got a vital basket from ex Wurzburg player Tyson Ward and Jackson-Cartwright made a difficult off balance shot where he was aided by his quickness and non stop moves. Despite being down, the Fraport Skyliners were shooting over 60% from the field and from outside, but had 6 turnovers.

Alex Richardson battling on the offensive glass

                In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners made a surge going on a 11-3 run to retain the lead at 27-25. The run was began by ex NCAA 2 player Donovan Donaldson who seemed  a lot more confident as he was finally shooting more and hitting a trey. Frankfurt also got production from 2017 JBBL finalist Len Schoormann with a lay in from the wing, a Matt Harms floater and a three from Badio. Bonn lost a bit of intensity as Frankfurt continued to gather more self-confidence and also finished their sets a lot quicker and just showed that commanding aggressiveness. But the Telekom Baskets Bonn are a high energy offensive team and once again found to their game going on a 21-10 run to go into the break with the comfortable 46-37 lead. Jackson-Cartwright gave Bonn the lead back 28-27 with a beautiful cross over and three pointer showing his sheer calmness and just letting the game come to him.  In the next play the American scored in transition for the Bonn 30-27 advantage. He finished with 18 points and 9 assists. “He is really quick and so far has blown by everyone he has played. He is so tough to stop on ball screens. There isn´t much you can do. You just have to try to stop him as good as possible”, stressed Rasheed Moore.  Badio who has only been with Frankfurt a few weeks and been up and down connected on a trey to dead lock the contest at 30-30. Bonn then banged the ball inside 4 times and were efficient getting 3 hard earned buckets from NCAA Final 4 player with Houston Justin Gorham and one basket from Kessens for the 38-32 lead. Down the stretch Frankfurt got some vital baskets from Moore and Haarms, but Bonn didn´t let up on offense showing consistency and versatility as Skyler Bowlin and Jackson-Cartwright hit three´s for the 46-37 advantage at half-time. The Fraport Skyliners were still shooting at a high percentage, while Bonn had 8 offensive  rebounds and had 3 turnovers as Frankfurt had 10.“Basketball is a game of runs. Quantez Robertson has a a lot of experience and been in  a lot of battles. Frankfurt was riding his toughness. Credit to us for withstanding it. We have a lot of fight and don´t get rattled”, stressed Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright from outside

                In the third quarter the Telekom Baskets Bonn continued to play their game and led by as much as 14 points as Frankfurt continued to play catch up basketball. Robertson and Morgan traded three pointers and Haarms made a lay in as Frankfurt trailed only 49-42. Bonn then went on a rapid 7-0 run to take the 56-42 lead. Bonn received good support from Gorham who hit a turn around shot, Morgan drilled home another trey and Kessens executed the pick and roll with Jackson-Cartwright. Seeing the Bonn offense operate was a picture of beauty. Three guys that really stood out and harmonized so well were Jackson-Cartwright, Morgan and Gorman. “Those two are high level players. Justin played at the NCAA Final 4 and shows an array of abilities. He can score, pass and crash the boards. When he is on he takes our game to a new level. Jeremy just knows how to play. He knows spacing and never forces anything. And he is a dangerous shooter”, stated Parker Jackson-Cartwright.  Frankfurt´s offense looked static at times while the Bonn high intensity offense just moved the ball around so nicely. Ex Wurzburg guard Skyler Bowlin hit a pair of three´s for the 62-49 lead. Even when Frankfurt cut the lead down under double figures, Bonn always had an answer. Kessens and Morgan hit buckets as the Telekom Baskets Bonn had the 67-57 advantage. “Bonn did a good job keeping the lead. They are a good team and there is a reason why they beat Alba Berlin. They played together and for each other”, stated Rasheed Moore. Both teams shot over 40% from the field and from down town, but Alba Berlin had the 11-5 offensive rebound edge.

Quantez Robertson from the free throw line

                In the fourth quarter the Telekom Baskets Bonn began well with a 7-2 run as they got baskets from Kessens, Morgan and Gorham for the 74-59 lead. But the Fraport Skyliners made one more push going on a 7-0 run to clip the Bonn lead down to 74-66. In the run they received free throws form Len Schoorman, a trey from Badio and a runner from Donaldson. Then came a phase where both teams couldn´t execute on three possessions as this was a time where Frankfurt could of made some ground with better execution. The Telekom Baskets Bonn then got back to back baskets from Lithuanian 30 year old Saulius Kulvietis giving Bonn the 79-66 lead leaving the Fraport Skyliners shaken and still having that peak in sight, but really so far away to reach it and time was winding down. Frankfurt got some baskets from Robertson and Haarms, but Bonn always had an answer getting buckets from Jackson-Cartwright who always showed his electric speed scoring twice in the paint. The leading scorer of the BBL finished with 18 points and 9 assists and had an explanation for his personal success. “I´m not surprised with my success. I put in the work and know where I can be good. I´m never out of character. The team trusts my abilities. I´m playing off the confidence of my coaches and just try to get my teammates and myself involved. I always play with a chip on my shoulder. I may be the smallest, but I feel I have advantages on offense and defense”, warned Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Shortly before the buzzer sounded Fraport Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson landed on Jackson-Cartwright´s foot. He twisted his ankle and had to be helped on to the bus by Rasheed Moore. Skyler Bowlin closed out the game with free throws. “Frankfurt switched up things on defense and we got stagnant on offense which stopped our flow. I have to adjust when that happens. We then got aggressive again and did our main principle on offense which is attacking”, added Parker Jackson-Cartwright. “I thought that we took good care of the ball. We have a lot of young guards. I think we took a step in right direction. We have to learn to play a lot stronger”, stated Rasheed Moore. The Telekom Baskets Bonn was led by Jeremy Morgan with 22 points while Parker Jackson-Cartwright added 18 points. Skyler Bowlin had 12 points and Justin Gorham 11 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Rasheed Moore with 16 points while Quantez Robertson added 14 points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn shot 45% from the field and 36% form outside and had 34 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 47% from the field and 35% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 19 turnovers.

The Miles Vs John Murry Weekly Basketball Chat Volume 2

John Murry (192-G-95, college: Austin Peay) is a 26 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis, Indiana that is playing his third professional season in Germany with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). Before that he had experience with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans. He played two years at Owens Community College playing 63 games and two years at Austin Peay State University (NCAA) playing 56 NCAA games and as a senior averaged 16.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 81.1%. He and Miles Schmidt-Scheuber talk weekly about basketball.

John thanks for talking to A tough 102-81 loss against Hamm. Now your finally playing again, but losing. How tough was it to digest this loss after the first one?

It was tough but I have faith that we will bounce back strong this weekend and make a full 360 with our playing

Grevenbroich gave up 102 points. Talk about the difficulties that the team had getting stops on this night?

We did things that we normally don’t do, we just have to be more disciplined and stick to our principles from the jump

A big problem was stopping their outside shooting. How much of a problem was it defending the three point line?

We just need to be proactive on defense and take care of the ball
I believe everything else will take care of itself

Rebounding and turnovers were the positives. Is this something to build on?

Yes definitely something to build on and move forward in a positive manner to get us in the win column.

One player that Grevenbrocih had massive problems containing was Faton Jetullahi. What was most difficult keep him under control?

He hit some tough shots and was very poised with the ball, they also scored a lot in transition which we corrected in practice this week.

Teammate Dzemal Selimovic had a good game with 14 points and 13 rebounds. How important will it be for the success of the team for him to be consistent this season?

He plays a major role in our success so it will be important for him to keep working as hard as he does so we can be successful as a team.

You had 20/6/5/2 stats. After a loss like that do you feel like you could have been even more aggressive?

Yes, I took a careful look at the game and also took full responsibility for the loss we suffered, I definitely will make sure that is NOT the case this Saturday.

After a tough loss like that do you have tough mind games about what else you could have done to help the team have success?

I most definitely do have a tough mindset because I’m more strict on myself then I am with anybody else, I hold myself to a very high standard. I’m looking forward to this Saturday for sure

The next game is against 1-2 Wulfen. How vital is a win for Grevenbroich next weekend?

It’s a must win for us, so we will come in with the mindset to defend home court and stick to our principles so that we can be successful.

On what areas will the team focus on this ween in preparation for Wulfen?

We will most definitely pay close attention to scouting report as well as making sure we do what we do and stick to our principles on defense.

What was the last movie that you saw?

I Watched the pirates of the Caribbean series and enjoyed taking my time to watch it

Thanks John for the chat.

The Miles VS Stanley Whittaker Weekly Basketball Conversation Volume 4

Stanley Whittaker (183-G-94, college: Keiser) is a 26 year old 183cm point guard from Philadelphia playing his third professional season and first in Germany with PS Karlsruhe. He played his rookie season in Lithuania and last season had his break through with UBSC Raiffeisen Graz (Austria-BSL) playing 24 games: Score-2 (21.5ppg), 6.3rpg, Assists-2 (8.0apg), Steals-1 (2.6spg), FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college ball at Frank Phillips (JUCO) and Keiser (NAIA). He teams up every week with Miles Schmidt-Scheuber to talk basketball

Stanley congrats on the big 86-78 win against Phoenix Hagen. How good does it feel to wake up in Germany on a Sunday morning having a win?

It feels nice to wake up and know that we as a team we’re able to complete the task we had in front of us. Our whole thing is to compete at a high level and give ourselves an opportunity to win, and we did that last night!

The last weeks were up and down with wins and losses. After this week how excited are you for this week and preparation for new team Itzehoe and having a week off?

The past weeks have been tougher for our group, however we’ve faced circumstances that were out of our control and we tried to make the best of it. I’m hoping we can build some momentum from this win, and look forward to have good days of preparation for Itzehoe!

How good did it feel having more bodies again and especially Ferdinand Zylka. How much different of a quality did you have this weekend than the last?

It just felt good having our entire group back, not just in the game but in our practice and film sessions. We were able to string together some good full practices to end the week in which I think benefited us. And the difference in quality from this week than last is we were able to get a couple starters back and a couple of our rotational players back!

The first half was up and down as Phoenix Hagen began with a bang and PS Karlsruhe found better to their game in the second quarter. What adjustments did you make as a team?

I think we gave them so easy opportunities in transition as well as not finishing defensive possessions. I think they had 5 offensive rebounds in the first quarter, so we had to gather ourselves, get back on one accord defensively and finish possessions.

In the third quarter the offense was hot again making 26 points. Was that the kind of offense that you want to see for 40 minutes?

We understand that basketball is a game of runs. We were able to get stops in the 3rd quarter with led to us being able to push the ball a little and play with better pace. That helped us. I would like to see us execute and be more assertive over a full 40min game.

PS Karlsruhe led by as much as 14 points but Phoenix Hagen made a furious come back in the fourth cutting the lead down to 4 points. Why couldn’t you hinder this run?

I think as a team we kind of took our foot off the gas pedal, we weren’t assertive enough offensively or defensively as they started to make a late push to close the gap. Ultimately, we were able to rally and win the game!

In crunch-time PS Karlsruhe stayed strong hitting free throws and a thunderous Tom Alte dunk put the nail on the coffin. Is PS Karlsruhe becoming that desired tough crunch-time team?

We haven’t had any true moments in crunch time honestly, yesterday was the only game and we were leading. But credit to our team, we were able to knock some free throws down and get the win!

Matt Freeman finally had his break out game. What other dimension does he give PS Karlsruhe when he can make a double double?

Matt brings a lot to our group. He communicates is as such at a high level, plays with a ton of energy and he gets after it. Smart player as well, so I’m excited to see Matt do well, he helps our team a lot!

You had another great game with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. You played 37 minutes. When is a triple double going to come?

Haha, I hope soon rather than later but you know me, I rather be victorious whether it comes about or not!

Your self confidence must be sky high. Seeing you outduel another top Pro A point guard Karrington Ward or not?

My confidence never wavers, as I stated last week. So if your asking whether my confidence went up, it hasn’t. But it was pretty good to compete against Ward, he’s a really good player.

Do you exchange in any trash talk during the game or is it silence? What did you think about his game?

There’s no trash talk coming from me, no matter who the opponents are. So for the most part, only talking your getting from me is on defensively or to my teammates hahaha. And I think Ward is a good talent. They’re play style is suitable for him.

You had a tough day at the field shooting 5/14 but remained aggressive getting 12/14 free throws. You have a long time to correct your shot in the next two weeks. Will you attempt something different perhaps?

Yes definitely was a tough outing for me from the floor, I thought I had some nice looks but just didn’t get them to fall unfortunately. However, nothing different will change in my shot, I just will get more reps up and continue to be myself.

Are you looking forward to battling Itzehoe forward Chris Hooper who had great years in the Pro B and is now showing in the Pro A that it was no fluke.

I’m looking forward to competing with Itzehoe in general, they have a good team and a very good friend of mine Andrijja Matic plays there so it’ll be good competing against him as well.

The NBA season is drawing near. Who are your favorites in the east and West?

I think Brooklyn will come out of the East, and I’m thinking the Lakers will come out in the west. I’m sure I’m not the only person that thinks that. There’s somewhat of a consensus in the world that want the NBA Finals to be that matchup.

What was the last movie that you saw?

Last movie I saw was Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

Thanks Stanley for the chat.

Jordan Mr Move My Team Up Please Talbert(SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt) Learned During COVID That God Will Shake You Up To Wake You Up

Jordan Talbert (198-F/G-91, college: MSSU) is another one of those rare players that has unique basketball qualities, but never had a cake walk in his professional career, but always had to prove himself in lower leagues in Germany. There are many guys around that are a lot better than where they are playing, but there is a massive difference between them and Jordan Talbert. The forward is as special as a player as Steph Curry is a shooter and has accomplished something so amazing in his seven year pro career in that four times he not only has helped teams move up a league, but was extremely instrumental in the success. It began in Nordlingen in 2015 under the tutelage of head coach Mario Matic who discovered him as a gem from Missouri Southern State University (NCAA 2) helping the Giants Nordlingen go from the Regionalliga to the Pro B. His next incredible feat was helping new club PS Karlsruhe go up from the Pro B to the Pro A in 2017. He should of remained and got his first burst of experience in the Pro A where he should of belonged, but instead went to ambitious team Rostock Seawolves and performed his magic again aiding them to get from the Pro B to the Pro A in 2018. His energy didn’t stop there as he did it again helping another very aspiring project the SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt go from the Regionalliga to the Pro B last season. One could easily give Jordan Talbert the nickname Jordan ‘Mr move up my team please’ Talbert. Obviously moving up a league is never a simple feat, but imagine doing it in the last two seasons during COVID where living life for everyone was a real drudgery and as difficult as having the audacity as a very angry fan stepping in front of the king Lebron James and blurting out ‘You Suck’. He took his game and career to another level in the last two seasons remaining in Germany and battling injuries and COVID, but it was all worth it. The challenge of getting through the Corona period must have felt like a whirlwind at times and like an ordeal, but it definitely also made him stronger as a man. ‘Playing with no fans in the stands is something no player likes. We feed off the energy of the crowd and we’re better able to get lost in the game. Your thoughts are a lot louder when it’s a quiet gym. I believe the mental health of the athlete has become such a major issue because how unnatural it is to compete on a high level without a stage to play on. I believe COVID and the Social Issues had a universal affect across the globe. Everyone has some kind of battle their fighting. We all were made uncomfortable by what was going on in the world. I like to say ‘God will shake you up to wake you up’ and I feel that we were all woken up quickly. Self awareness, emotional vulnerability, empathy and discipline were the things I took away the most’, stressed Jordan Talbert.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Talbert in the 2015-2016 season when he was with Nordlingen in Frankfurt

Jordan Talbert is one of those guys that I have had the pleasure to interview 20 times in the last six seasons and always has something interesting to say and is simply a great interview partner. Despite a three year break, it was finally time to talk basketball again with the ex Central High School player and one thing that many may not know who don’t know him better, is that he isn’t only an exceptional baller, but a guy with a first class character that could fit in to any club from the deepest bush in Australia to the deepest part of Somalia in Africa. Before even answering my first question, he had to get something else off his chest which clearly shows the type of genuine man he really is. ‘Before we get started I would first like to congratulate you on beating cancer. So many people are happy that you were able to overcome. We all know how dangerous cancer is. You mean a lot to the basketball culture and we’re grateful to still have you doing what you do best’, said Jordan Talbert. One of my favorite questions I like to ask Americans during the summers especially when they have been away from home for a stretch is what was the first food they ate when they touched down on home soil. For Talbert just going to the local sandwich shop or a fast food place not available in Germany is out of the question. There is simply nothing better then home cooked food. ‘The first meal that I have is usually turkey and dressing. Traditionally a Thanksgiving meal and me not being home for the holiday my entire pro career I miss that the most. With the Jiffy cornbread on the side can’t forget that’, added Jordan Talbert.

This summer Jordan Talbert did something that he didn’t do the previous six summers in that he played semi-pro ball at home with the Little Rock Lightening (TBL). It was actually an obvious and well calculated decision because he hadn’t played since October 2020 because of an injury plus with COVID totally derailing the Regionalliga season, he was itching to play again. Plus he didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to represent his home town. At first glance one may not think that playing semi-pro ball could be enriching, but his stint with the Little Rock Lightening was something rather out of the ordinary. Playing semi-pro ball is like seeing 12 other Jordan Talbert‘s on a team, all with chips on their shoulders. The only difference is that most don’t have the type of resume that Talbert has. ‘It reminded me of how far I’ve came in my pro career going into my 8th season, and also how much more I still have left. I’m blessed to have had the opportunities I’ve had come my way. The margin of error is so small when it comes to being able to have a pro career’, expressed Jordan Talbert. He was teammates with all types of characters, guys that have seen it all. He was teammates with guys who have never been out of the States only knowing semi-pro ball, guys out of college looking to latch on somewhere overseas, guys with minimal experience in Europe, one player who got his first pro gig after finishing school in 2015 and heck even a 40 year old dude. I mean how much more diverse can a team get. ‘It was incredible and much needed experience. First just to be on a team where everyone speaks English which is a minor difference but has a major impact. Hearing these guys story and sharing some of your own experiences sparked a hunger that was needed. I hope I had as much of an impact on some of those guys as they had on me. Only being able to play 5 games with them before having to return to Germany was perfect preparation’, stated Jordan Talbert. Two guys that really stood out on the team was David Rivers, because he had a semi connection to Talbert in that he had played with Rostock for two years and his last season was the one before Talbert got there and 40 year old Daniel Watson who finished school in 2005 and has sporadically played semi-pro ball the last 16 years. ‘David is a solid dude. I’ve played against David when I was in high school and followed his journey through college at Nebraska. Once he came to play in Germany in the same league, I knew there would be a chance we’d meet at some point. It was great to finally get a chance to play as his teammate rather than his opponent. Daniel ‘Hotdog’ Watson is a Little Rock legend. I remember watching him play when I was a teenager and being impressed at how many shots he could make when he’s off balance. Believe it or not hotdog was the energy of the team. He had jokes and kept the team light which a very important role in locker room’, remembered Jordan Talbert. A big change to Europe is the different style in semi-pro leagues in the States, but he held his own averaging12.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.3apg, 1.5spg. ‘There’s a down side to playing with guys so hungry for a chance to prove themselves. It takes away from much of the team aspect which is what the European style is based on. When personal motives get in the way of winning games it changes the game. Playing by NBA rules also inspires the individualism because it’s more entertaining’, warned Jordan Talbert.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Talbert in Frankfurt in the 2016-2017 season when he was a member of PS Karlsruhe!

Despite the tough last two seasons with Covid getting in the way of everything in life, being able to help the SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt was still a wonderful experience that he will never forget, so coming back to the new Pro B club wasn’t so difficult to comprehend. But one thing that I always wondered was why Talbert and his discoverer Mario Matic never reunited again after their two seasons together in Nordlingen from 2014-2016. ‘Mario is still my guy. I keep up with him and his teams. I wish him nothing but the best and hopefully we can cross paths in the playoffs this season’, said Jordan Talbert. ‘ I will never forget the first day of practice. Jordan came with a wide smile and instantly was a role model’, remembered Mario Matic. It was a no brainer that he would return even after having noteworthy encounters in Nordlingen, Karlsruhe and Rostock. ‘It’s been an incredible experience. I was able to take a step back reevaluate myself and help an ambitious club achieve their goals. Same as I’ve done for all the other clubs I played with. I’m excited about what the future holds for us’, smiled Jordan Talbert. After playing in the Pro B and Pro A with Nordlingen, Karlsruhe and Rostock, going to Wolmirstedt in 2019 and taking a step back and playing in the Regionalliga something he hadn’t done since his rookie season 2014-2015 in Nordlingen was not an easy step to digest, but once again his character showed another good side as he didn’t let his ego get in the way after his disappointing last season in Rostock. ‘It was tough, it felt like I was feeling every emotion there is. Most importantly it was a learning experience. There a thousand reasons I could say to why my last season in Rostock didn’t go as planned. But rather than placing the blame on anyone I chose to focus on what I could’ve done differently to meet my expectations for myself’, stressed Jordan Talbert. The SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt is one of those organizations that was very ambitious to move up and had some unique ways of showing off the organization like having a TV crew that produced an amazing documentary. ‘I enjoyed having them around. I felt like that team was set to have a great year and with the fans not being around it would nice to see it from a different perspective. I wasn’t expecting to have the season be cancelled but it made for an interesting story’, added Jordan Talbert. Last season the team made the jump to the Pro B and critics can always be able to say that they weren’t able to do it in a full season and they were stacked with ex BBL players something you don’t see in the Regionalliga. But some clubs will do anything to move up even if it meets renting a Konstantin Konga for a two game weekend and paying nothing. Moving up also was different and weird to previous move ups. ‘ It wasn’t as satisfying as the other promotions I’ve been a part of because of the Covid situation. I was extremely happy for the club and the city of Wolmirstedt. I don’t believe there was a big secret behind it, we had a very talented team’, expressed Jordan Talbert.

Talbert who sees Eddie Murphy as the Michael Jordan of comedy and is happy to see anything that he is involved in didn’t think the sequel to Coming To America was as good as the original, but was grateful for the effort was surrounded by some serious talent in Wolmirstedt last season. One of those guys was Mr Bill ‘the walking bucket’ Borekambi who never met a rim he didn’t like. He is a German menace with the ball that has always given the word off balance shot a new meaning. It was not difficult to understand that Talbert ranked Borekambi very high in his list of the top one on one players that he has ever played with. ‘He’s definitely top 3 of one on one players I’ve ever seen. He’s game is such a weapon for a team. His shot making ability at 15 ft is incredible’, warned Jordan Talbert. Even at age 30 a guy like Talbert still is hungry to learn and get better and wasn’t shy to try to add some of the fine nuances that Borekambi’s game presents. ‘Theres plenty to learn at my age. Historically basketball players that continue to play at an older age have a second act to their career. Kobe changed his number from 8 to 24 for this reason. Our games age and once you know how to how to facilitate that process you find new ways to be dangerous on the court’, warned Jordan Talbert. Another special teammate that he had in Wolmirstedt was German 31 year old veteran 31 Felix Neumann who had gathered previous experience with clubs like Herten, Cottbus and Magdeburg. He reminded him a bit of Daniel Watson. ‘Felix is big part of the team and our chemistry especially. As I said about hotdog earlier the same applies to Felix. He keeps things light in the locker room and his talent on the court is undeniable. We are all excited when Felix gets in his bag’, stressed Jordan Talbert.

Talbert who feels that having added Westbrook and Anthony should be enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to win the next NBA title possibly facing the Brooklyn Nets where he couldn’t imagine a bigger series is a player not only that has had the team game to help clubs be successful, but that potent offensive arsenal that has allowed him to shine everywhere as a professional. There was just one season in 2018-2019 with the Rostock Seawolves where he couldn’t be the player he is as he averaged only 2,9ppg and 2,3ppg in 34 games in his only Pro A season. That season wasn’t only eye opening for him, but also for his ex teammate German Chris Frazier who took a step back to play in the Pro B with Iserlohn to then take a step forward to the wiha Panthers where he will be going into his second season and continues to develop there. Despite serious woes in Rostock in his last season, he was able to channel that negativity into positivity. ‘The season made me more resilient and a better leader I believe. Being the Captain of the team but not playing as much as I felt I should play caused me to be more of vocal leader where as I’ve always lead by example. We still had a successful season making the playoffs first year in the league but I definitely received a wake up call’, warned Jordan Talbert. The American should of gotten a Pro A chance after his brilliant second season in Nordlingen and some more after that in the last years, but didn’t. I always felt that he was a guy that had the game for the Pro A, but apparently was off too many Pro A radar’s. ‘You’re not the first person to say that and I appreciate you doing so. That means a lot coming from you. I would be a lying if I said it didn’t bother me. It’s motivated me more than anything. There’s no need to block it out, it’s a part of my story and I accept that. Now that I have a chance to take another club to that level, I’m excited validate the people that believe in me across the country’, stressed Jordan Talbert. Even at age 30 he is always getting better and ready to attack the Pro B again this season with the SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt. He is definitely a different type of player today then he left Rostock in 2019. ‘I’m definitely even more cerebral now. Much better shooter, able to play with more patience and better pace’, stated Jordan Talbert. It will be interesting to see how many more years Jordan Talbert can play, but with his versatile game surely many more years. His main goal now is to play his typical team game and help the SBB Baskets Wolmirstedt be successful. Currently the club is 2-0 and he has had a fantastic start on the court averaging 16,5ppg, 10,0rpg, 1,0apg and 2,0spg while shooting an incredible 50% from outside. And who knows possibly meet his ex coach Mario Matic finally in the playoffs in 2022. Mario Matic knows any duel against his ex player will always be a battle. He doesn’t need to say much about Jordan ‘move up my team’ Talbert, because sometimes little isn’t more, but just the strongest expression. ‘Jordan Talbert is simply a winner’, warned Mario Matic.

Daniel Norl Continued To Make Strides In His Game Being More Of A Floor Spacer Than A Creator

Daniel Norl (191-SG-95, college: Omaha) is a 26 year old 188cm guard from Clarksville, Tennessee that completed his third professional season and second with PS Karlsruhe averaging 12.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 73.0%. In his first season with PS Karlsruhe he averaged 10.4ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 76.6% He scored 26 points against Nurnberg and 23 points against Paderborn. As a rookie he played with Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He began his basketball career at Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 9 game averaging 1.3ppg. In 2015-2016 he moved to Mineral Area CC (JUCO) playing 31 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 77.5%. He finished at Omaha (NCAA) playing 29 games as a junior averaging 5.6ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 80.0% and as a senior at Omaha (NCAA) upped his stats playing 30 games averaging 13.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to after the 20-21 season.

Thanks Daniel for talking to Where are you and how is basketball life tertaing you?

Basketball life has been okay. I just recently got back into the swing of things and working out after having a minor injury in my foot. It feels good to be getting back on the court and preparing for the next season.

When you touched down back in the States what was the first eatery that you sought out?

The first thing I got to eat when I got back home was ‘Cookout’. A chain restaurant with burgers and other southern foods.

The 20-21 season was a tough season for every basketball player. What was the biggest challenge for you this season with the whole drama around COVID-19?

This past season was a tough season. I think the hardest thing about it was being away from home with little to no interaction out here due to the Covid rules.

PS Karlsruhe didn’t reach the playoffs. How can one honestly rate this season with so many things happening for teams that didn’t allow them to play at 100%

The Covid was tough on a lot of teams this year but you still have to give credit to those that were able to look past that and be successful with such a unique time.

On February 27th the club had just won four out of five games and then finished the season with a 6 game losing streak. How tough was it ending the season like this?

It was very tough going out like that. We had a rough patch where we lost our last 6 games. I feel like a lot of those losses had to do with the where we were at during that part of the season. We were just off of a two week quarantine, trying to get back in to a rhythm and never caught one.

In the losing streak most loses were blow outs except for a one point loss against Phoenix Hagen. The club allowed 86 points. Why was it so difficult to find a defensive identity this season?

I don’t think it was tough to find a defensive identity this season. We just weren’t consistent throughout the year.

Was the season highlight beating top team Bayer Giants Leverkusen? What memories do you have of that incredible win?

That was a good game for us but I wouldn’t say that was our seasons highlight. The highlight of our season was being together and growing as a team

Let’s talk about your teammates. How much fun was it playing with big man Maurice Pluskota. After posting solid 12/8 stats isn’t this guy finally ready for a bigger type of role for a easyCredit BBL team?

Maurice can definitely play in the BBL for a lot of teams. He’s very talented and bring s a toughness that a lot of teams can use.

How valuable was veteran Adam Pechacek for the team after playing in Italy and Spain first divisions? How did he impact the game best with his play?

Adam was very valuable for our team. He made our team better when we played bigger teams. You saw what happened when we lost him at the end of the season

Greg Foster played his first season in Europe. What did you appreciate most about his game and what story about his globetrotting days did you enjoy most?

Greg brought leadership and toughness to our team that you can always appreciate. It was always an honor to watch him grow and transform as a player on and off the court like he did this season, considering the new situation.

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 12,2ppg, 2,9rpg and 2,1apg and shot 44% from outside. How content were you with your season?

I wasn’t too satisfied with the season. We didn’t win enough games. Regardless of the stats, we just didn’t win enough. As a player you always feel like you can do more to help the team win and that wasn’t enough this year.

You increased your minutes from 23 to 29 minutes in your second season with PS Karlsruhe. You always have been a aggressive offensive player. How have you grown as an offensive player in your two seasons?

I would say that I shot the ball a little bit better this past season, particularly from three. I was also able to step back and change my game a little bit because of the guys that were brought in. I was able to adapt and be more a floor spacer instead of a Creator.

In our last interview you stated this about your three point shot. I think shot selection is important, but for me it’s more mental. I have had games where I have shot the lights out and then I have had games where I haven’t shot it well. Obviously getting the reps is important, but mentally it’s also a big part to being able to shoot well’. This season you shot the best in your career at 44%. What was the secret to having this breakout?

Just knowing that’s what the team needed from me. We needed shooting to surround some of our penetrators and post guys. Maintaining the confidence to continue to shoot the ball and take the shots I’m supposed to be taking.

You have stated in the past that your playmaking and defense gets overlooked. Have you made strides in these area’s in the last two years?

I believe I have made strides. Especially defensively. I look to continue to improve my playmaking ability in the next season as well.

You had many great games, but was your 23 points in the exciting 86-83 win over Bremerhaven your personal most memorable moment this season?

Nah, not really. That win was a good win for us though and any time you can impact the game and help the team win, it always feels good.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?

I can’t think of someone that really stands out. The league presents itself with a lot of good ball players.

On what things will you be working on most this summer to continue to improve your game?

Things I’ll be working on mostly this off season is shooting off the dribble and playing with pace. I want to be able to have the ball in my hands more and make plays for myself and teammates.

What is the next step for you? I can imagine you will continue to want to remain in Europe?

I’m not too sure what the next step for me will be. Right now I have resigned with PSK and my focus is on that season and that one only now.

Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?

Chris Paul is one of the purest point guards this game has ever seen. Even without a ring, I would put him top 5 point guards ever.

How have you seen the development of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum? He has scored 50 plus points this season and recently 60. Where will his journey go as a player in the next years?

Jayson Tatum is one of the best young players in the league. It’s great to see what he’s accomplished and he’s only going to get better.

Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?

That’s hard to say, but the European game is much different than the NBA game. Nevertheless, he’s such a talented, transcendent player, he’s always going to leave his mark on the game.

Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?

I don’t agree that Draymond Green is the best defender in the history of the game, he’s definitely a great defender but this league has seen a lot of them!

Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?

I haven’t seen it yet.

Thanks Daniel for the chat.

The Hamburg Towers Take Advantage of 26 Unacceptable Fraport Skyliners Turnovers Securing the 74-64 Victory

Sometimes when a team didn´t start off well, one tends to think that the light at the end of the tunnel will be far when future opponents are called FC Bayern Munich, ratiopharm Ulm, and Brose Bamberg, but in the case of the Fraport Skyliners the tide changed rapidly after they registered a massive cup upset over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg where new player Brankou Badio was the hero in crunch-time displaying a special electricity and athleticism that had even Skyliner legend Quantaz Robertson raving. Before the big three were on the menu, the Fraport Skyliners had a date with the Hamburg Towers who are playing their second easyCredit BBL season and lost their last game against the Fraport Skyliners in their living room. Like Frankfurt Hamburg arrived into the game like with a 0-2 record and were seeking to finally experience a proud moment in the new season. Hamburg actually haven´t played all that bad having played Ludwigsburg tough losing a one point nailbitter and then lost by 8 points to the always pesky Niners Chemnitz. The Fraport Skyliners couldn´t take that momentum from the cup win stinking up their living room with 26 unacceptable turnovers as the Hamburg Towers secured the 74-64 win. After the loss the Skyliner players fled the court quicker than Dashaun Wood could go from one end of the court to the other, so the only one to speak for the club misery was head coach Diego Ocampo who wasn´t a happy camper. “We turned over the ball 26 times and alone 10 times in the first quarter which brought us behind 22-12. We knew that Hamburg would come out aggressive. We weren´t able to adapt to the referees. We didn´t start to play until the 35th minute”, stressed Diego Ocampo. Hamburg won their first game of the season and the players also fled the court after the game quickly, but only because they had to catch a train home. Hamburg didn´t play their greatest game either, but it was enough to defeat the hapless Fraport Skyliners.“We began well and showed the aggressiveness that we needed to show. We are still missing the needed self-confidence in certain moments. I thought our biggest strength was that we stayed together as a team”, stressed Hamburg Towers sport director Marvin Willoughby.

Maik Kotsar nailing the 15 footer

                The first few minutes was a back and forth as both teams found their offensive rhythm. Ex Arkansas(NCAA) guard Jabril Durham who came into the game averaging 9,0apg nailed a three pointer. He gave Frankfurt fits all day long as at the end he had registered 8 steals. 221cm Dutch big man Matt Haarms hit some free throws and made a lay in while Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson also was aggressive and scored inside, but Hamburg stayed close getting buckets from big man Maik Kotsar and ex Vechta forward Robin Christen to dead lock the game at 8-8. But then occurred the turning point of the game as Hamburg closed out the first quarter with a 14-4 run to lead 22-12 after one quarter. Frankfurt wasn´t able to bounce back thus playing catch up basketball for the whole afternoon. In the run Hamburg got vital support from Seth Hinrichs who got 2 baskets, Robin Christen, ex Bamberg forward Eddy Edigin and young German Lukas Meissner also scored. Frankfurt was unable to come to terms with the aggressive defense from Hamburg that especially disrupted the Frankfurt guards Donovan Donaldson and Len Schoorman. This led to a turnover fest that resulted in an unbelievable 10 after 10 minutes.

Lorenz Brenneke hitting a free throw

                In the second quarter the Hamburg Towers kept up the pressure and lead in double figures as the Fraport Skyliners could get consistent stops and make some ground. Hamburg began to execute really well from outside as ex Liberty(NCAA) standout Caleb Homesley, ex Wichita State(NCAA)guard Zach Brown and Robin Christen twice hit from downtown giving the guests the very comfortable 36-20 advantage. As usual when Frankfurt needs a savior, it is almost always Rasheed Moore who did it last year and continues to do it this season giving the new word scoring in bunches a new meaning. He led his team on a 7-0 run with a trey and free throw while ex Alba Berlin forward Lorenz Brenneke also connected cutting the Hamburg lead down to 36-27. But Hamburg continued to execute well and head coach Pedro Calles who dedicated the win to his friend head coach Martin Schiller who recently had been fired after only a few games in Lithuania  did a good job with his bench and got good support from ex Bayreuth guard Lukas Meissner with a three and ex Vechta guard Max DiLeo made a lay in. “I support Martin Schiller because I think that he is one of the best coaches that I know”, stated Pedro Calles. The Fraport Skyliners closed out the second quarter with a bang getting a buzzer beater lay in from Brancou Badio, but Frankfurt still trailed 43-31. A positive note for Frankfurt in comparison to the first quarter was that they only coughed up the ball 3 times in the second frame. Another nice thing to note was that Quantez Robertson tallied his 4000th easyCredit BBL points in the first half.

Felix Hecker attempting a three pointer

                Nothing changed in the third quarter as the Fraport Skyliners trailed mostly by double digits and just couldn´t make ground on Hamburg. The Fraport Skyliners actually began the second half strong going on a 4-0 run to cut the Hamburg lead down to 43-35 as Badio and German national player Lukas Wank scored. But it was clear to see that Frankfurt lived off 1-1 play and it was difficult to recognize any kind of plays or real team play. Quantez Robertson wanted more than just 4000 points and scored back to back baskets with a lay in and trey cutting Hamburg´s lead down to 47-40. But the Hamburg Towers then totally broke open the game with a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 59-42. On offense they moved the ball well and chose the right decisions as they let it rain three´s. Christen had the hot hand on this day connecting twice and Homesley scored again. Down the stretch, it was Mr “I can score in bunches” Rasheed Moore who made a runner and transition basket. Hamburg got baskets from Christen and Homesley. Matt Haarms closed out the third quarter with a buzzer beater but the Hamburg Towers still led comfortably 65-50.

Rasheed Moore staying ready!!

                In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners made one last push to cut the Hamburg lead down to 8 points, but time ran out. Lukas Wank got Frankfurt on the board first, but Hamburg continued to execute well getting baskets from Durham and Kotsar to keep the comfortable 72-53 lead. Frankfurt then had their best stretch going on a 11-0 run to cut Hamburg´s lead down to 72-64. In the run they got great production and support from their young kinds Felix Hecker who was only playing his third easyCredit BBL game had 4 points and Lorenz Brenneke supplied four points. In this good stretch, the Fraport Skyliners were without their two guards Donovan Donaldson and Len Schoormann. It had been a day to forget for both as they combined for 9 turnovers. They combined for 1 point and 6 assists in 45 minutes. The club has a point guard problem, but head coach Diego OCampo was as neutral as a coach can be. “The problem is more our turnovers and how they occur. It is my responsibility and a team problem. I don´t want to point fingers, but give my support. We know that we have a problem and need to find a solution”, warned Diego Ocampo. Durham closed out the game with a lay in for the win. “We were too focused on closing out the game. We got away form playing the kind of basketball we know how”, stated Hamburg Towers guard Max DiLeo concnering the Frankfurt 11-0 run. The Hamburg Towers were led by Robin Christen with 19 points. Caleb Homesley had 14 points and Jabril Durham added 11 points, 11 assists and 8 steals while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 17 points and Lorenz Brenneke added 14 points and 9 boards. The Hamburg Towers shot 39% from the field and 37% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 29% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 26 turnovers.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Rip Apart FC Bayern Basketball 77-53

After the big cup win over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Fraport Skyliners sport manager Marco Voeller was all smiles when some reporters lauded him about his fantastic 27 point explosion in Giessen the night before, and it was hard for him to blush. He countered with a smooth “I can still play”. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors have found their form after a slow start getting blown out my the EPG Baskets Koblenz coming back and winning their next two games at home against Oberaching 93-59 and then clawing out a 78-77 win on the road in Giessen where sniper Felix Hecker won the game on free throws. Frankfurt next met the young and always ambitious and talented FC Bayern Basketball who only had an average 18 years and had a poor 0-3 record. They lost to Orange Academy by 14 points, the EPG Baskets by 11, but then got clobbered by Dresden by 25 points. FC Bayern Munich definitely wanted to uphold the good Munich name and finally get their first victory of the young season. But that had to wait as the Fraport Skyliners juniors gave their best performance of the season ripping apart FC Bayern Basketball 77-53. It was one of those great efforts where everything went right at both ends of the court. After the big win German Konstantin Schubert was all smiles and was in full agreement that this win was a step higher than the last home win against Oberaching. “I´m so proud of how we began the game. It was incredible basketball. I have great respect for Munich who had some very young players 15 and 16 years of age. The first quarter really decided the game. Our preparation was key. We knew the most used plays and sometimes knew exactly where their passes were going to”, stated Konstantin Schubert. For FC Bayern Basketball, it was a game to forget as they had a terrible shooting night, and coughed up the ball a pathetic 24 times. Except for a good stretch in the third quarter, they literally stunk up the BCM gym in Frankfurt “We gave up way too many easy points. We lost the game in the first quarter”, stated 15 year old Russan talent Ivan Khartchenkov.

15 year old Russian phenom Ivan Khartchenkov #10 shooting from outside

                The Fraport Skyliners Juniors started the game with an unbelievable high intensity that FC Bayern Basketball couldn´t match. Their high intensity quickly got their offensive rhythm going which led to sound execution. Frankfurt began with a rapid 4-0 run as ex Hanau guard Felix Hecker scored as did ex Ehingen forward Nils Leonhardt. Munich got some baskets from German Jonas Sauer and Sierra Leon big man Mohammed Sillah, but Frankfurt had this intense groove going on offense which led to a trey by Hecker and another lay in by Leonhardt giving Frankfurt the 9-4 advantage. Frankfurt were anticipating well and getting into passing lanes which led to transition success. The only positive thing the guests were doing was getting offensive rebounds as Sillah made a put back cutting Frankfurt´s lead to 9-6. Even if the game was tight, the teams looked like night and day as Frankfurt then would began an offensive frenzy closing out the first quarter on a 13-0 run to lead very comfortably 22-6. In the run, the Juniors continued to move and share the ball well as ex Wurzburg guard Philipp Hadenfeldt scored in the paint as did Konstantin Schubert and ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith while Felix Hecker dropped his second trey of the first quarter. Frankfurt continued to be a menace on defense bringing that aggressiveness to a new dimension and forcing turnovers. Konstantin Schubert closed out the quarter with a pretty buzzer beater hook shot. “I love bringing the hook shot. I have a good touch and my long arms help me. I´m not stronger than my opponent, but quicker which allows me to use this shot”, stated Konstantin Schubert. The guests shot a poor 18% from the field and 0% from outside, but had the slight 10-9 edge on the boards, but had 6 turnovers while Frankfurt only had 2. “Munich has a lot of very young players. I think that the long bus ride and 0-3 start played a role mentally for their poor start. They had little self-confidence. Munich play very physical and look strong, but they don´t put it together on the court. We played the way that we should at home. We were physical and didn´t give up anything easy”, stated Fraport Skyliners NBBL coach Miran Cumurija.

19 year old FC Bayern Basketball big man Mohammed Sillah

                The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued their tremendous supremacy in the second quarter playing exceptional defense and going on a 13-5 run to take the incredible 32-11 advantage. Frankfurt got baskets from Hadenfeldt with two and from Schubert as they led 28-8. FC Bayern Basketball had their chances, but just had very little fortune as they couldn´t buy a bucket. They were missing shots that just made you shake your head in disbelief. Philipp Hadenfeldt was a huge factor in the success on this night. His nonstop energy and intensity had Munich running in circles as he was always able to find his teammates and kept the offense on a sound groove. The guests finally received their first field goal at the 6,22 minute mark as 15 year phenom Ivan Khartchenkov made a lay in with amazing quickness that made it look so easy. He had scored 16 points against Koblenz and 17 points against Dresden. He definitely had people turning their heads. “He has a very impressive body for that age. He was a little off the radar in the first half. But teams have to be careful. If you let him play then he is capable of hitting from all over”, said Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt continued to defend with passion that led to easy transition baskets from Konstantin Schubert and Matthew Meredith. Another trey from Hecker gave Frankfurt the commanding 35-11 lead. Frankfurt lost a little focus at the end allowing a 5-2 run to lead 37-16 at the break. Munich got baskets from Khartchenkov and Sebastian Hartman while Hecker hit a runner. Munich continued to be at 0% from down town and couldn´t hit the ocean, but were rebounding well having the 15-11 rebound edge. “Frankfurt was subbing in intelligently bringing in Leon Puellen and Bennet Schubert to give the starters a rest. The biggest plus on defense was just staying in front of their man. When they began to rotate is when they got problems”, stated Miran Cumurija.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Konstantin Schubert after dropping 13 points in the win

                The third quarter was FC Bayern Basketball´s best quarter as they won it 20-15 and cut the overwhelming Frankfurt lead down to 13. But Frankfurt recovered half way through and ended the third quarter owning a 17point lead. FC Bayern Basketball came out recharged in the second half going on a quick 9-2 run to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 42-27. In the run the guests got solid support from the 15 year gem Khartchenkov who supplied 5 points as he displayed amazing calmness hitting his spots and connecting. 19 year old Mohammed Sillah who only began playing basketball 4 years ago hit a hook shot and Serbian Aleska Vucetic made a lay in. Munich upped their intensity on defense which made Frankfurt rush too much and produce turnovers. “It is incredible to see how Khartchenkov plays at age 15. He still needs to work on his defense, but offensively he is already a good scorer at the Pro B level”, stated Konstantin Schubert. Frankfurt then began to calm down and execute better again on offense despite Munich doing the same, the guests were unable to cut the deficit under 10 points. Schubert and Marco Voeller who scored twice gave some vital support in the paint keeping the lead at 49-33. After German big man Daniel Helterhoff dropped a 20 footer, Frankfurt got momentum back getting two key back to back baskets from Nils Leonhardt who supplied great energy making a lay in and then instantly making a steal and finishing with a crushing two handed stuff. Konstantin Schubert supplied his third quarter ending buzzer beater with a runner and 55-38 Frankfurt lead. “I never had had two buzzer beaters in a game. I actually wanted to pass the ball, but the clock was down so I decided to make the floater”, smiled Konstantin Schubert. FC Bayern Basketball still hadn´t hit a three, but still had the slight rebound lead 26-24. “We know Munich would come out hard and so did we, but we didn´t. We had to many turnovers, but then we made hustle plays to get back into the game”, commented Konstantin Schubert.

15 year Russian phenom Ivan Khartchenkov driving for 2 points

                The Fraport Skyliners Juniors found back to their game in the fourth quarter winning it 22-15. Frankfurt quickly broke out on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to 61-40. Frankfurt received two baskets from Schubert and Voeller. Frankfurt was playing smart basketball again and elected to go inside taking control of the mis matches. Frankfurt continued to be in command getting baskets from ex Giessen guard Niklas Bilski and Leonhardt for the commanding 65-42 lead. Down the stretch Munich would get some added support from Vucetic who had been quiet for the first three quarters as he connected on a trey and hit a pretty floater. Khartchenkov also got into the action with a lay in as Munich trailed 66-49. Munich was slowly coming back again, but Frankfurt slammed the door shut on them closing out the game with a 11-4 run to win the game. Hadenfeldt continued to be that energizer and offensive force scoring 5 points while Bennet Schubert also connected on free throws. Khartchenkov made one last basket on transition. “It was important that we blocked off that third quarter run and didn´t allow them to come back again. Munich saw then that we weren´t going to let them do it again. We played as a team and the fight was great. It is great how well we started. We have many new guys and a coach, but everything is working”, stated Konstantin Schubert. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Felix Hecker and Philipp Hadenfeldt with 15 points apiece. Konstantin Schubert added 13 points and Nils Leonhardt 12 points while FC Bayern Basketball was led by Ivan Khartchenkov and Mohammed Sillah added 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 45% form the field and 15% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 14 turnovers while FC Bayern Basketball shot 38% from the field and 8% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 24 turnovers.