German Players

Robin Christen (Rasta Vechta) I Want To Develop Every Year To Hopefully One Day Show I Can Play In The BBL

Robin Christen is a 26 year old 203cm German forward currently playing with German2. Basketball Bundesliga, Hauptrunde, Hinrunde, 1. Spieltag, 22.09.2017, RASTA Vechta - Römerstrom Gladiators Trier, Saison 2017/18 Pro A team Vechta. He started his basketball career with BBLZ Mittelhessen and then played with Lich from 2008-2012 while also having a double license with BBL team Giessen where he played 17 games and played his first BBL game at age 18. Since 2012, the German has been playing in the Pro A and played three seasons with the RTB Wohnbau Baskets playing a total of 78 games. Two seasons ago he made his Pro A breakthrough with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (ProA) playing 29 games averaging  12.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 80.4%. Last season he played with the Rhein Stars Koeln (ProA) playing  33 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 80.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Robin, thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the big 104-76 win against Phoenix Hagen in game one of the playoffs. It was the third win of the season and the second blow out in a row. Is Vechta just so good or Phoenix Hagen so bad? How do you explain these amazing dominance in the last two games where you outscored them 208-141?

Hey Miles, thanks for the interview. I think we did a great job as a team in the last 2 games against Hagen. We played our high intensity defense and on the offense side we moved the ball very well and made our shots. But we know Hagen has a lot of firepower, so we have to be ready for every game.

This is the first time in your career you have played with a very good team. Last season you made the playoffs with the RheinStars, but Vechta is another step up for you in terms of winning. What have you learned about winning mentality this season that you never saw before in your career?

We have obviously a lot of talent in our team. But that doesn´t automatically win games. I think our will to play as a team on both sides on the floor is the key and we always believe that we will win at the end. Besides, it also helps that we have a really good chemistry in our team.

Vechta are with Crailsheim one of the favorites to win the Pro A and move back to the easyCredit BBL. Vechta has displayed little pressure and just played like a champion. On what things does the team need to focus on most on the court besides winning now in the playoffs?

Our key focus is to play great defense and then the offense will take care of itself.

Let´s talk a little about the team Vechta in this season. What have you appreciated most this season with the club? The team obviously has a lot of talent and depth, but how key has the chemistry been that played a big role early on?

I appreciated most this season that the support of our fans is phenomenal. This give us a real homecourt advantage and will also be important for every single game of the playoffs. Like I mentioned earlier our chemistry helped us from the start of our preseason to build a real team who love to play for each other.


Kevin Dillard (PAOK) I Have Always Played Well Against Euroleague Teams And Getting There Is A Reachable Goal For Me

Kevin Dillard is a 27 year old 183cm point guard from Chicago, Illinois that is playing his fifth professional season and first with PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). He started his basketball career at S Illinois in 2008 playing a total of 60 NCAA games. In 2010 he moved to Dayton and played 63 NCAA games in the period between 2011-2013 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 15.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 89.2%. He started his professional basketball career in 2013 with  Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-DNA Gold) playing 29 games averaging 15.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 77.9%. In the 2014-2015 season he played with VEF Riga (Latvia-LBL)  and in December 14 moved to Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA) playing 23 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 78.9%. In the 2015-2016 season he started with Cholet Basket (France-ProA) and then moved to AS Apollon Patras (Greece-A1) playing 11 games averaging 18.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 40.5%, FT: 89.7%, In Apr.’16 agreed terms with Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 6 games averaging 16.2ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 88.9%. In the 2016-2017 season he started the season with Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir (Turkey-BSL) playing 9 games averaging 12.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.9apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 51.9%, FT: 81.8%; In the Basketball Champions League: he played 7 games averaging 7.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.7apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 42.4%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 77.8%, In Jan.’17 he moved to the  New Zealand Breakers (Australia-NBL) playing 9 games averaging 18.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.8apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 46.1%, 3FGP: 38.2%, FT: 85.7%, In Feb.’17 signed at Maccabi Ashdod (Israel-Winner League) playing 13 games averaging 8.1ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 58.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after the victory against Brose Bamberg in an exhibition meeting in Bayreuth.

Kevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. It’s only September, but already so cold in Germany something you haven´t seen the last weeks in Greece. Does this weather remind you back of home in Illinois?

The weather in Germany did remind me of home. When I got off the plane my fellow American teammates were saying that this weather was more like it. In Greece it is sometimes too hot.

Your playing your fifth professional season and first with PAOK have never played a professional game in Germany. Your ex Dayton teammates Josh Parker, Vee Sanford and Matt Kavanaugh all played here. Did the country first become a topic for you with the emergence of Dennis Schroeder or did you know about it before?

I actually have played in Germany before. I think it was my second season and it was a qualifying game. All I really knew about the basketball in Germany is that it is very physical. They have a lot of very good physical bigs and a couple good guards.

I will quiz you now. You play so many games, but let´s see how good your memory is. In your junior season you beat Boston College 87-71 and you had 14 points. BC German Patrick Heckman had 13 points in 17 minutes. Do you remember him? He recently was a member of Team Germany at the 2017 European championships.

I have to be honest, but I didn´t remember him. He will have had to have done something remarkably good for me to have remembered him. I am so competitive that players in general are all the same to me.


Till Gloger (Mitteldeutscher BC) I Learned To Play More Physical In The NCAA And Could Lift My Skill Set To A Whole New Level

Till Gloger is a 24 year old 204cm forward from Bochum, Germany that signed with the Mitteldeutscher BC. Last season he played with the  Uni Baskets Paderborn (ProA) playing 30 game averaging  14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He got valuable experience overseas in the States playing at Maine (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 116 NCAA games. As a senior at Maine he played  30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer  about his basketball career.

Til thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your been going?

I am back in Paderborn after staying with the A2 National Team the last couple of days. On Sunday we will leave to China to play the Stankovic Cup.

Congrats on signing with EasyCredit BBL team Mitteldeutscher BC. How did head coach Igor Jovovic convince you best that you fit to his basketball philosophy and how MBC play on the court?

I was feeling really comfortable with Coach Jovovic and the Management right from the start. When we met up in Weißenfels a couple months ago, I could get a valuable inside view from how operations are handled. Since we battled against each other twice in the regular season, I had a pretty good understanding on how MBC is playing.

You are joining a very ambitious club who have moved up and down to the EasyCredit BBL three times in the last nine years. How excited are you to be joining this organization and are you ready for Germany´s top league?

Yes, I am very excited to join MBC and can´t wait to get on the court with my new teammates. For me it is very special to be part of such a traditional Club with such amazing fans. I am looking forward to a new challenge in the EasyCreditBBL and want to prove myself right from the start. I am ready for a new chapter and believe in our team to be successful.


Matt Gibson (Nurnberg Falcons BC) I Am Still Chasing The Dream Of A Championship

Matt Gibson is a 32 year old 195cm forward from Oklahoma that will be starting his ninth professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA). Last season he played with Vendee Challans Basket (France-NM1) playing 22 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 63.5%. He has played in countries like Romania, Venezuela, Belgum. Mexico, Finland and Hungry. He played college ball at  Hawaii (NCAA) and as a senior played 25 games averaging 17.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3Pts: 30.9%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball earlier this summer.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?

I am in Oklahoma for the moment. I haven’t been home very much the past few years so I am just enjoying the time I get with friends and Family.

One could really call you a basketball world traveler. You recently completed your 8th professional season and in this time you have played for 10 teams in six countries. Your 32 years old that just seems to love to move around. Has this lifestyle gotten harder with Age?

Yes it does get a bit older with age. But I love to travel and I love to be involved in the game of basketball. And now I am looking forward to experiencing both in Germany.


Dominique Uhl (Iowa NCAA) Returns Home To Germany To Play against The Basketball Aid Allstars

Dominique Uhl is a 22 year old 206cm forward from Frankfurt, Germany that will be going into his senior year at the University of Iowa this fall. He started his basketball career with Eintracht Frankfurt and also played two seasons with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors from 2011-2012 playing 4 pro B games. He then decided to go to the states in 2012 and played two years at Point Pleasant Beach High School (New Jersey). He moved to the University of iowa in 2014 an din his three seasons there has played a total of 96 games. In his freshman year he played 32 games averaging 2.1ppg, 1.9rp. In his second year at Iowa (NCAA) he played 32 games averaging 5.9ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 39.8%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 59.3%. In his junior year at Iowa (NCAA), he played 32 games averaging 3.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg. He currently is on a European tour with Iowa playing in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He spoke to German Hoops before a special exhibition game in Germany in support of Basketball Aid.

Dominique thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going along?

No problem, anytime. I’m at school right now and my summer has been good so far, I’ve been working on my game a lot as well as my body. I’m just focusing on getting back to the basics and strengthening my my fundamentals.

Recently your ex teammate Tim Oldenburg retired so he could focus on his police job. You practiced with him many years ago when you were in the Frankfurt organization and played one Pro B game against Giessen. Did you notice already then that he could become the back bone and leader for so many years for the Fraport Skyliners.

Tim has always been a great guy. Even back then it was noticeable that he had the skills that are necessary to be a leader, so I am not surprised at all. I’m sure he will be able to thrive in his new career and I wish him all the best.

You have been in the States now for five years and will be playing your final year at Iowa in 2017-2018. How Americanized have you become in these 5 years and what good German quality do you still hope to possess?

I have become very Americanized by now, on and of the court. People even forget that I am from Germany sometimes. However, I think I still have some german qualities in me such as being well organized and disciplined.


Tim Oldenburg Retires From Basketball Moving To The Police Force

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Tim Oldenburg after he produced 18 points and 15 rebounds in a 79-66 victory against Leipzig in 2015

It really didn´t matter if the Fraport Skyliners Juniors won or lost, Tim Oldenburg was always prepared to give his five cents after a game about what happened on the floor no matter if he had just survived a double OT loss, hit the floor 25 times all battered and still gotten up or been a spectator at the end of the bench trying to get through an injury. Oldenburg is a 25 year old 202cm forward/center that has decided to hang up his jersey and concentrate on his 9-5 job at the police force. The German came to the club in 2009 and first played with  Eintracht Frankfurt (Regionalliga), but witnessed his first Pro B minutes in the 2010-2011 where he played 12 games. In total he would play 7 Pro B seasons, but also a BBL game, one Eurochallenge game and two Fiba Europe Cup games. Oldenburg was so much more than just a good basketball player, but a guy that had a great charachter and was a role model for everyone.


Will The NBA Be Calling Johannes Voigtmann This Summer Or Does He Only Possess Euroleague Format?


Even if an exciting basketball game can be interrupted and made less nice by the constant blowing of whistles slowing down the game, so can a timeout where some patrons will scoot to the food stand to buy a Coke and nacho´s while other´s may even delay a bathroom run just to watch the entertaining sideline show of ex Alba Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic who has his own Serbian theatre like skits with his hand and body gestures trying to motivate his squad back into the game, but the 2 time European basketball champion with the then Yugoslavia also has a knack of saying bold things. In the 2015-2016 season Obradovic who won the Korac Cup in 1995 with Alba Berlin as a player and has basketball legendary status from the Spree river to Potsdam is a guy who can talk and fill a press conference room and where journalists for once won´t interrupt, but just shut up and listen stated that ex Brose Bamberg guard Brad Wanamaker belongs to the top three best players to ever have played in the BBL. It would be interesting to how quickly he could come to a conclusion to which center is better the more experienced Elmeden Kikanovic or constantly developing and rising star Johannes Voigtmann of the then Fraport Skyliners. It would also be interesting to see how Obradovic would react to the question “Was Johannes Voigtmann the best player in the BBL in 2015-2016? In terms of play, the way Johannes Voigtmann was playing that season, he was becoming more and more of a showcase player in the BBL and a player that fans came specifically to see play. You may have seen Jason Boone as an extra in a Lebron James movie as he could easily moonlight as an actor or go into the field once his playing days are over and could even make a mean Jason or funny Jason on screen. However where he doesn´t joke is when it comes to basketball as he is all business on and off the court and on December 15th, 2015, he had the audacity to tell me at half time of a Fiba Europe Cup game in Frankfurt against Sodertalje that Johannes Voigtmann was the best player in the German BBL. Even the ex floor general of the Fraport Skyliners Jordan Theodore was very impressed about his ex teammate: “To me Jo has been playing at a high level all season. Definitely the best center in the league. Big Jo is definitely one of the best players in this league. He does it all”, warned Jordan Theodore. In 2015-2016, it is so much fun watching the blue eyed basketball monster as at times it seemed like he was a younger version of Larry Bird wooing fans with his special knack of passing the ball, but in reality it is just Johannes Voigtmann being the most complete center in the BBL. “Joe is very skilled. He has a high IQ and can do things with the basketball that I haven’t seen from guys his size. He can put the ball on the floor and create for others. He can shoot the long ball and his mid range game is unstoppable”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. But before we talk about the current play of the German national player, let´s look back to 2012 when he first arrived in Frankfurt.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber doing play by play with Johannes Voigtmann during a Pro B playoff game between TV Langen and Basket Akademy Weser-Ems in Langen in 2014

Voigtmann is a 24 year old 211cm center born on September 20th and hails from Eisenach, Germany and played four seasons with the Fraport Skyliners. Before coming to Frankfurt, the German big man started his basketball trade in the former East Germany and didn´t start until he was 15 years old.