FIBA Champions League

Assem Marei (medi Bayreuth) There Are A Couple Of Aspects Of My Game That I Need To Develop To Have A Legitimate NBA Chance

Assem Marei is a 25 year old 206cm forward from Cairo, Egypt playing his third professional season and second with medi Bayreuth. Currently he is averaging 12,6ppg, 6,7rpg and 1,5apg in the easyCredit BBL and 11,6ppg and 5,6rpg in the Basketball Champions League. Last season for medi Bayreuth he played 36 games averaging 11.9ppg, Reb-2(7.2rpg), 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.8%. In 2015-2016 he played his rookie season for BC Siauliai (Lithuania-LKL) playing 37 games averaging 12.1ppg, Reb-2(7.5rpg), 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 53.6%; In the FIBA Europe Cup he played 6 games averaging 12.5ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 62.7%, FT: 64.7%; and in the Baltic League, he played 8 games averaging  12.3ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP: 58.3%, FT: 68.3%. He started his career with  Al Zamalek (Superleague) and then played at  Minn.St.-Mankato (NCAA2) from 2012-2015 olaying 85 games and as a senior played 20 games averaging 19.3ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 62.6%, FT: 59.2%. He spoke to German Hoops after the Basketball Champions League loss to the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and before the BBL clash against the Fraport Skyliners.

Assem, thanks for talking to German Hoops. medi Bayreuth were denied a trip to the Basketball Champions League Final 4. How tough was this loss? You started out well in the first quarter, but from the second quarter until the end, you had to play catch up basketball. What was key for Ludwigsburg getting to the Final 4?

Their physicality and their aggressiveness played a huge part in their win. They are a good team with a deep roster, and they were in the same position last year with a one point deficit. It was a really tough loss but we are very proud of what we have done this year in the champions league.

Despite this loss, do you feel like this will motivate the team not to sink their heads and finish the season strong?

Yes of course, we need to come out with energy and concentrate on BBL games.

How does it feel being the first Egyptian player in the EasyCredit BBL? What have been your best experiences in Germany having this unique title?

I don’t really thing about it that way, but I’m grateful for this experience and I hope it will open doors for other Egyptians and portray my country in a good way. It was nice to see how much support I actually did receive from the fans, some of them would also show up to our games with an Egyptian flag and that meant a lot.


Josh Adams (Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul) I Have Had A Chip On My Shoulder Since Third Grade And It Continues To Motivate Me

Josh Adams is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Colorado that is playing his second professional season and first with Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). He started the season with Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) playing 6 Turkish BSL games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 68.4%, 3FGP: 26.3%, FT: 86.2%. In the Euroleague. He played 16 games averaging  7.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3FGP: 38.5%, FT: 83.3%. He played his rookie season with Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB) playing 13 games averaging 12.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 61.7%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 73.9%; and also played 4 BCL games averaging 7.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg, 2.0spg. He played at Wyoming from 2012-2016 playing a total of 130 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 24.2ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 82.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

Josh thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You have a 1-1 record against German teams Oldenburg and Bamberg. What do you remember from the loss in Oldenburg? Possibly the 34 point game of Brian Qvale?

That was a terrible game for me. That wasn´t long after the accident I had had. That was a time where I was trying to get the bearings back in my game. I tripped on the last play and we lost the ball and game. I remember that the most and less the 34 point game of Brian Qvale.

Do you count your blessings every day that you can still play the game you love after your scary car accident in the summer of 2016 that almost left you paralyzed?

Yes, I absolutely do. I have been counting my blessings since I got a scholarship to a division one school and signing my first professional contract. There are people that can´t see or walk down the street so that really puts it into perspective just how quickly you can have nothing.


Michael Bramos (Umana Reyer Venezia) I Really Enjoyed Every Place That I Played At And Never Had A Bad Experience

Michael Bramos is a 30 year old 196cm forward from Michigan that also has the Greek citizenship playing his third season with Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A). Last season with the Italian team he played  45 Serie A games averaging 9.2ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 72.3%. In the BCL, he played 22 games averaging 8.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 81.3%He started his professional career in 2009 with DASH Peristeri Athens (A1). He then followed playing two seasons with C.B. Gran Canaria 2014 (Spain-ACB) and two seasons with Panathinaikos Athens (A1):.He played at  Miami, OH (NCAA) from 2005-2009 playing a total of 120 games and as a senior played  30 games averaging 17.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 40.2%, 3Pts: 35.7%, FT: 83.3%. He played at the 2011 and 2013 European championships with Greece. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions league game against medi Bayreuth.

Thanks Michael for talking to German Hoops. I saw you play LIVE once in November 2011 when you beat Frankfurt in Germany 71-58 and you had 10 points. Do you remember anything from that game like Jon Leuer being there?

I don´t remember much. I remember it was a Eurocup game, but it was a long time ago.

You have played against so many teams in your career, but if I asked you how many games you won against German teams in your 11 games could you guess the correct number?

I would say I won 8 times.

You have 9 victories and played against teams like Bamberg, Ulm, Artland Dragons, Fraport Skyliners, Ludwigsburg and Bayreuth. Do you have a memorable win against one of these teams in the last 7 years?

My most memorable game was when we won in Bamberg. They were really good then.

After winning 4 titles with Panathinaikos Athens (A1), you joined Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A) in 2015 and are playing your third season with the club.You won the Serie A title last season in your second season there. After achieving so much with Panathinaikos, what did that title mean to you last season?

It was a different experience for me. It was nice winning this title, because it was the first one for them in their history.


Elmedin KIkanovic (AS Monaco Baskets) It’s Too Early To Talk About Titles But We Are On A Good Way

Elmedin Kikanovic is a 29 year old 211cm center from Bosnia playing his first season with AS Monaco Basket (France-ProA). He played the last 2 years with Alba Berlin and last season played 36 BBL games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 56.1%, FT: 78.1%; In the Eurocup, he played 13 games: Score-2(19.6ppg), 3.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 78.8%. Previously he played four years with Enisey Krasnoyarsk (Russia-PBL) and three seasons with  KK Crvena Zvezda Beograd (Serbia-A League). He won the 2016 BBL cup with Alba Berlin and played at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 European championships with Bosnia. He spoke to German Hoops after the Basketball Champions League win in Oldenburg.

picture perfect 893

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Alba Berlin center Elmedin Kikanovic after a 95-82 win in Frankfurt in 2015 after dropping 12 points and getting 5 rebounds

Elmedin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. With Alba Berlin you never won in Oldenburg. With what kind of feelings did you return back to Oldenburg?

Oldenburg is known as having sa trong home court with great fans and it is always hard to play there. We are having a great season so far and we prepared well and I think our win is well deserved. Oldenburg is a tough team especially on their home court. They have great shooters and play very aggressive defense. In the Bundesliga it is even harder to play them than in the Champions league because their gym is sold out and you know that 6000 fans will be against you.

You beat the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Monaco and returned back to Oldenburg with an undefeated Basketball Champions League record. Congrats on a hard fought 84-78 win. The game was back and forth in the second half, but what was key for taking command of game in fourth quarter and winning the game?

Thank you. Key was our great energy and aggressive defense. All the teams have special motivation against us because they want to stop our winning series but we don’t want to stop. We were missing Craft and Sy but we found additional energy to win this game.

You played against Rickey Paulding the last years and he hit you for 23 points. It seems like every player can tell some kind of story about him. How did you get to learn about Paulding the player? He will retire from the BBL as one of it´s absolute legends?

He is an absolute legend playing ten years for Oldenburg. He showed a million times what kind of player he is. At the age of 35 he looks like a youngster playing with so much energy putting so much effort pushing Oldenburg in key moments. He is a great leader and I don’t think he will retire soon. Watching him now he could play a couple of years on this level. Big respect for him.


Aaron Craft (AS Monaco Basket) I Like To Make The Smart Play Which Doesn´t Necessarily Lead To The Assist

Aaron Craft is a 26 year old 188 cm guard from Ohio playing his fourth professional season and first with AS Monaco Basket (France-ProA). Last season he played with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A) playing 44 games averaging 10.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-1(2.3spg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 76.9%. Two seasons ago he gained experience with  Szolnoki Olajbanyasz (Hungary-A Division playing10 Eurocup games averaging 4.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg. In the  Hungarian A Division he played 12 games averaging 6.8ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, 2FGP: 54.3%, 3FGP: 47.8%, FT: 78.6%, in Jan.’16 moved to Santa Cruz Warriors (D-League) playing 30 games averaging 13.5ppg, 4.6rpg, Assists-3(7.3apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 82.3%. In his rookie season he played with the Golden State Warriors (NBA), released in Oct.’14, then moved to Santa Cruz Warriors (D-League) playing 57 games averaging 9.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 6.1apg, Steals-2(2.5spg), FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 80.1%. He played at Ohio State(NCAA) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 148 games and as a senior played 35 games averaging 9.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 74.1%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the Basketball Champions League game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.



Thanks Aaron for talking to German Hoops. You have played in Hungary and Italy as a professional and in the G-league. You didn´t make the trip to Oldenburg. Did you get hurt in the last game?

I suffered a light injury. Since it´s early in the season, the club wanted to stay cautious and not risk me getting more serious injury. So that is why I didn´t make the trip to Oldenburg.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball?

I know Germany is large and I have only heard good things about the league from my ex teammate Dru Joyce. He said that it´s a good and comfortable place to play where the money arrives on time. Last season I had the opportunity with Trento to scrimmage Munich and Bamberg. Those are great teams and it was a great experience playing against them.


Jordan Morgan (Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana) Has Become An Offensive Impact Player

Jordan Morgan is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Detroit, Michigan playing his fourth professional season and first with Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Liga Nova KBM). Last season he played with GS Kymis (Greece-A1) playing 11 games averaging 11.6ppg, 9.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.5%, FT: 69.2%. In the 2015-2016 season he split time with Hermine Nantes Atlantique (France-ProB) playing 14 games averaging 9.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.2apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 54.0%, FT: 56.4%, in Jan.’16 moved to Paris-Levallois (France-ProA) playing 7 games averaging 5.6ppg, 5.6rpg, 2FGP: 54.8%, FT: 55.6%, left in Mar.’16, later that month signed at Canton Charge (D-League) playing 7 games averaging 2.7ppg, 4.3rpg. As a rookie he played with Virtus Acea Roma (Italy-Serie A) playing  24 games averaging 7.5ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 48.0%, FT: 66.7%;In the  Eurocup he played 18 games averaging 9.1ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 62.6%, FT: 78.0%. He played at Michigan from 2010-2014 playing a total of 142 NCAA games and reached the NCAA final in 2013 and Elite 8 in 2014. He spoke to German Hoops before the basketball champions league game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

 Jordan, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. In your rookie season with Rome you played against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg splitting the Eurocup series. Do you have any memory of the loss in Oldenburg or do the number of games you have played in your professional career make it difficult to recollect certain games?

I remember that game well. We lost to Oldenburg. I remember them having a good year. Rickey Paulding also was having a good year as he is this season. We didn´t have one of our best games.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any friends playing in Germany?

My current teammate Taylor Battle played in Germany as did Euroleague player Will Clyburn. Currently my friend Dwayne Evans is playing in Germany.

Your playing your first season with Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Liga Nova KBM). After playing in Italy, France and Greece in Europe, what kind of experience has it been playing and living in Slovenia as a fourth year professional?

Slovenia has been great. It has been a very interesting season and I feel that we haven´t hit our stride yet. We had some great wins, but also tough loses. It has been a real challenge playing in three leagues. It´s a lot of games and not many practices. For me it has been good as a player to get experience playing in three leagues. I have gotten the chance and freedom to be able to make mistakes and be able to respond to them,


Tim Abromaitis (Iberostar Tenerife CB Canaria) Defending Different Positions And Making Hustle Plays Doesn’t Jump Out Right Away About My Game

Tim Abromaitis is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Farmington, Connecticut playing his sixth professional season and third with Iberostar Tenerife CB Canaria(SPAIN ACB). Last season he played 29 ACB games averaging 6.6ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 87.5%. In the BCL he played 20 games helping the club win the title averaging 9.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 63.3%, 3PT: 45.5%, FT: 88.6%. He also gathered experience playing in France with  ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket and  Strasbourg IG and in Germany with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. He played college ball at  Notre Dame (NCAA) from 2007-2012. He spoke toGerman Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.

Tim thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. It´s been three years since you played in Germany with Braunschweig. Has time flown by since you last played in Germany professionally?

 It definitely doesn’t feel like three years have passed since I was playing in Germany so I would say that time has flown by. Maybe it seems that way to me because I’ve only been on one team since that season.

Your playing your third season for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (Spain-Liga ACB) and preparing for the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. You split with Braunschweig and lost In Ludwigsburg, but played a good game scoring 16 points, getting seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. What memories do you have of that game?

 I remember that was a really big game for us at the end of the year. If we had won then we would have had a really good chance at the playoffs, but unfortunately we couldn’t get it done and they took the last playoff spot over us.