FIBA Champions League

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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,

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Shawn Jones (Banco di Sardegna Sassari) Never Make Excuses But Just Get The Job Done

Shawn Jones is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Florida playing his fourth professional season and first with Banco di Sardegna Sassari (Italy-Serie A). Last season he split time with Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel-Winner League) playing 15 games averaging 5.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 51.8%, FT: 56.7%: In the Eurocup: he played 18 games averaging 5.5ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 62.1%, FT: 53.1%, in Apr.’17 moved to Scandone Avellino (Italy-Serie A) playing 3 games averaging 12.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.0spg. He came to Europe in 2015 and played with MoraBanc Andorra (Spain-ACB) playing 34 games averaging  8.7ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 64.7%, FT: 63.5%. He played his rookie season with the Miami Heat (NBA), released in Oct.’14, then moved to Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League) playing 52 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.7rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 67.9%. He played at Middle Tenn.St. (NCAA) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 126 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 57.6%, FT: 68.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.

Shawn, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. Last season with Hapoel Jerusalem you lost 103-77 in Ulm. What memories do you have of that tough game?

I remember we had a tough travel day. We got in late and we practiced at midnight. That was the latest that I had ever practiced. We had some flight delays which was the reasons for the late arrival. Ulm was like a machine in the game. They hardly missed. It just wasn´t our night.

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

I have some former teammates playing in Germany like Reggie Upshaw and Marcos Knight in the past. I remember having some battles in college with Augustine Rubit. I have heard only good things about Germany. Guys have said that they have called Germany home for the 10 months that they were there.

Banco Di Srdegna is playing solid in the Serie A and Basketball Champions League, but surely has a lot of upside. What are you most excited about that this team has and will still show in the coming months?

I am more excited just seeing our potential to keep improving every day. I feel that we can still improve in all aspects and don´t really have a real feel for each other yet.

(more…)

Mike Tobey (Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias) I Knew How To Play Team Basketball When I Left Virginia

Mike Tobey is a 23 year old 213cm center from Monroe, New York playing his second professional season and first with Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (Spain-ACB). Last season as a rookie he played with the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) playing 2 games averaging 1.0ppg, 1.5rpg, He also played also at Greensboro Swarm (D-League) playing 35 games: averaging 2.0ppg, 9.0rpg, 1.0apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 19.6%, FT: 72.9%, in Mar.’17 moved to Valencia Basket (Spain-ACB) playing 3 games averaging 5.3ppg, 4.7rpg: He played at Virginia(NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 136 games and as a senior played 35 games averaging 7.2ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 61.7%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 61.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against the MHP Riesen in Ludwigsburg.

Mike thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know in general about the country Germany and its basketball?

This is my first time in Germany. I have only heard good things about Germany from teammates and former teammates. My ex teammate Luke Sikma is playing here at the moment with Alba Berlin.

Before we really get into the basketball interview who has the nicer campus Avon Old Farms school or Hotchkiss? Did you ever play Avon in basketball in your one season there and what memories do you have?

Wow that was a long time ago. I will have to go with Hotchkiss, but I was only there one year. I have no memory, but I am sure we played them. There are so many beautiful campuses in Connecticut.

After playing in the NBA, D-league and ACB last season how confident are you that you won´t be bouncing around as much this season in your second professional season?

I am confident that I will stay the whole season with Tenerife. That is my plan.

(more…)

Ryan Harrow (Rosa Radom) If I Had Played Just A Little Better At Kentucky It Could Have Changed My Life

Ryan Harrow is a 26 year old 188 cm guard from Georgia playing his third professional season and first with Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK) after starting the season with Pieno Zvaigzdes Pasvalys (Lithuania-LKL) playing 5 games averaging 15.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.4apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 52.1%, 3FGP: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%. Last season he played with  Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A) playing 20 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 49.2%, 3FGP: 42.1%, FT: 67.6%, in Mar.’17 moved to Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK) playing 12 games averaging 15.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 81.8%. AS a rookie he played with  A.G.O Rethymno Aegean (Greece-A1) playing 25 games averaging 12.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 73.1%. He played at three NCAA school´s North Carolina State, Kentucky and Georgia State and as a senior at Georgia St played 28 games averaging 18.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 71.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

 

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time to Germany and how have you liked it?

This is my first time in Germany. Even if it was dark with us coming in, I had a nice first impression. The Christmas lights were up in Bayreuth.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and its basketball? Do you have any friends playing here?

I don´t know much about Germany, but watched the movie Atomic Blond which is set in Berlin and has the wall in it. My friend Tre Bussey just signed in Germany with Bremerhaven. We’re family. He lives five minutes from me at home.

Your playing your first season with Polish team Rosa Radom. Was the attraction to be able to play Champions League basketball a big reason why you joined this team?

I finished with Rosa last season, but ended up in Lithuania this season. Rosa wanted me to come back so I returned.

(more…)

Kevin Punter (Rosa Radom) I Was Never One And Done

Kevin Punter is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from the Bronx, New York playing his second professional season and first with Rosa Radom (Poland-PLK). Last season as a rookie he played with  GS Lavrio (Greece-A1) playing 21 games averaging 12.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 45.8%, 3FGP: 43.2%, FT: 80.0%, in Mar.’17 moved to Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Euromillions League) playing 16 games averaging 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.6apg, Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 89.1%. He started his college career at  State Fair CC (JUCO) and finished at Tennessee (NCAA). In his senior year he played 26 games averaging 22.2ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.5apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 81.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.

 

 

Kevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Before we start how often have you heard the wise comment “How far can you punt the ball?

When I was a little kid I often heard the phrase do you play football, but now I don´t hear it anymore.

Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time to Germany or did you check it out when you played in Belgium briefly last season?

This is my first time here. We got in late, but it´s cool.

(more…)

Jordan Theodore (Banvit) Each Season Has Been A Stepping Stone For Me And I Don´t Think That The NBA Is Far Away

Jordan Theodore is a 27 year old 182cm point guard from Englewood, New Jersey that is playing his fifth professional season and first with Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-BSL). Last season he had his most successful season as a professional winning the FIBA Europe Cup with the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL) playing 37 games: 14.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 83.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 18 games: 14.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 90.2%. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Seton Hall (NCAA) where he played until 2012 127 NCAA games and as a playing a total of senior played 32 games averaging 16.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 6.6apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 82.7%. In 2012, he started his professional career with Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 29 games averaging 15.8ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-for Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TBL) playing 27 games averaging 12.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 73.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for JL Bourg Basket (France-ProA, starting five): 17 games: 12.7ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-2(6.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 21.6%, FT: 87.2%. He spoke to German Hoops before the basketball Champions League game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.

Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. How does it feel to be back in Germany. I believe you were in Frankfurt recently on a break in play?

Yes I was a couple days in Frankfurt to clear my head. It feels good to be back in Germany and always fun to come back, but my trip to Oldenburg is all business.

You are in Oldenburg getting ready to battle the EWE Baskets in the Champions League Playoffs. You had a 2-1 record last season against them, but lost the second regular season game in Oldenburg. What memories do you have of that game?

I remember that game. It was a tough loss that we lost by 4-5 points. But it was the start of the season where everyone was still coming together. We had got John Little a week earlier and no one really knew their role yet. I was the point guard and was still picking my spots. We came together and later in the season had no problem beating them twice.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg aren´t really to much of a different team from last season returning 9 players. They are having an average BBL season, but playing a great Champions League season. How is Banvit going into this series?

We are going onto the series with Oldenburg looking to play hard and do what it takes to win. We are coming off the cup win and a win last season in the BSL league and are ready. We will like always play our brand of basketball of playing tough defense.

(more…)

Patrick Richard (Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion)It’s Never Over And We Will Fight Until The End Against Ludwigsburg

Patrick Richard is a 27 year old 196cm swingman from Carencro, Louisania that is playing his fifth professional season and first with Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion (Israel-Winner League). He played four years at  Mc Neese St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 32 games: 18.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.2apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 76.9%. In 2012-2013, he started his professional basketball career being drafted by the Iowa Energy (D-League) and played at Sandringham Sabres (Australia-SEABL-East, starting five): 24 games: 18.5ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.1apg, 2FGP: 42.7%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 80.7%. In the 2013-2014 season he played in Holland for  Matrixx Magixx Wijchen (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 38 games: Score-4(15.3ppg), 4.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 78.9%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for the Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-BBL) playing 32 games: 13.2ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 76.1%. Last season he played for Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (France-ProA) playing 34 game averaging  9.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 79.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Champions League game against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.

Patrick thanks for talking to German Hoops.2017 is here and did you make any new years resolutions or are you the kind of guy that doesn´t waste his time?

I’m not one for New Years resolutions I just try to be the best player, husband, and father daily!

Your playing your first season for Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion (Israel-Winner League) and your first experience in international club play in the basketball Champions League. What kind of an experience has it been for you being able to play against the best as well as see Europe and it´s many fine countries?

This is my first year playing in Europe so it’s been a great experience! Playing against high level competition and being able to prove myself on this level can help me for the future!

Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion (Israel-Winner League) advanced to the playoffs and are facing the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. They beat you badly in the first game at home 83-66. Do you feel the win for the guests had more to do with their strong scouting or how you presented itself as a team?

That loss was a very very tough one! They did a great job of making us pay for mistakes made on defense and we turned the ball over 20 times. Against them that hurts Big time.

(more…)