National Team

Chris Hortman (Don’t Expect Others To Care But Ensure You’re Doing Everything To Protect Your Future)

Chris Hortman is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that played this season with the EN Baskets Schwelm averaging 18,6ppg, 7,7rpg and 3,9apg. Last season he played for the TVI Basketball SWAP Ballers Ibbenbueren (Germany-Regionalliga) playing  26 games: Score-1(25.0ppg), 9.7rpg, 5.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 76.9%. He got vast experience in the states before turning professional playing at various schools like  Milwaukee Area Tech JC (JUCO), Missouri Valley (NAIA),  Wisc.-Stout (NCAA3) where as a senior he played 27 games averaging 14.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 85.5%. He also played with the  Gold Coast Rollers (Australia-SBL) in 2014 averaging 28,6ppg. He spoke to German Hoops about his current season with the EN Baskets Schwelm and dismissal from the team.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Chris Hortman after his 15 point and 14 rebound effort in the 76-63 win in Frankfurt

Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

Hey Miles, thanks for having me. I’m currently in Germany and basketball life is teaching me one of its many lessons.

The EN Baskets Schwelm have released you, but you asked for your release. How disappointed are you by this decision and how it came about?

Yes. I am very disappointed about having to make this decision. A lot is put into a season. Tons of hard work. Hours in the gym. Sacrificed time, that you just can’t get back and to have the season for me to be ended, the way it all happened was just tough.

Before we talk about your situation let´s rewind back a bit. The season started off so well with 6 wins and everyone was raving about the EN Baskets Schwelm. Now the team and since then are 3-8. If someone had told you that the club would have such a radical turnaround after the win against FC Bayern Munich what would you have thought?

The start we had was great, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the drastic change of the team. Unless they also predicted I would get injured.

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Manu Lecomte (Belgium National Team) I Want To Be Great So I Am Going To Have To Take My Game To Another Level

Manu Lecomte is a 22 year old 180cm point guard from Grimbergen Belgium that is heading into his senior year at Baylor(NCAA) and currently is playing with the Belgium national team preparing for the 2017 Eurobasket tournament. He started his basketball career in Belgium with BBC Kangoeroes-Boom (D2) and then played with  Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Ethias League). In 2013 he moved to the States and played with Miami(NCAA) for two seasons playing 71 games. He then transferred to Baylor and made his break through last season leading the team to the NCAA Sweet 16 playing 33 games averaging 12.2ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 83.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before an exhibition game against Germany in Erfurt.

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

I am currently in Germany for the preparation with the National team. Its been a pretty good summer so far as I was first preparing the season already with my team at Baylor and now I am in Belgium trying to make the team.

As I was preparing this interview I was shocked to read that Belgium lost two exhibition games to Iceland back to back. No offense towards Iceland, but apparently they have made strides in their basketball program in the last years. How did you experience them twice and could they advance in their group where they will most likely battle Poland and Slovenia for the last spot?

We went to Iceland last week with a very young group of age. Before that we hadn’t practiced one time with each other and the vets weren’t with us. The main goal for us was really just trying to get better. The coach knew we were going to struggle since we didn’t really know each other and Iceland is also a pretty good team with a lot of very good shooters. I feel like at this point it´s not only the team with the best players that is going to win but the team that is going to play the best that day so yes I feel like they have a chance to battle with those other countries

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Worthy De Jong (Dutch National Team) We Want To End On Top And Not Trash Germany But Show The World That Dutch Basketball Is On The Rise

Worthy De Jong is a 28 year old Dutch 194cm shooting guard that is currently playing with the Dutch national team in the European qualifying round. He completed his sixth season for Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Eredivisie) playing 34 games: Score-2(16.9ppg), 6.6rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-1(2.9spg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 69.0%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 17.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.3apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 79.2%. He will play this season for SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB) He started his basketball career with the Rotterdam Challengers (Eredivisie). He had his best season last season playing 34 games averaging 15.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Assists-4(4.5apg), Steals-2(2.6spg), FGP: 61.8%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 74.1%. He also had a solid performance at the 2015 European Championships playing  5 games: 9.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT-2(66.7%), FT: 81.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the last qualifying game in Leiden against Germany.

 

 

Worthy thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the 4-1 Holland record in the Euro qualifying. How good does it feel to have that #1 spot?

Well it feels good but it doesn’t mean anything yet until the last game against Germany.

You are preparing in Leiden now where you played 5 seasons. Does it feel strange waking up in a hotel bed and not in your apartment where you lived the last years?

Well I actually live in Amsterdam where I have my own house so being here I am staying in the comfort of my own home.

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Rasid Mahalbasic (Austrian National team) Germany Is A Great Team But Many Thought that Reaching The Euro 2017 Could Be Done Before It Is Actually Done

Rasid Mahalbasic is a 25 year old 211cm center that was born in Jesenice (Slovenia), but also has the Austrian citizenship and plays for the Austrian national team. Mahalbasic started his basketball career in 2006 for the Worthersee Piraten (A Bundesliga) where he played until 2009. In the 2009-2010 season he played for Bosna ASA BH Telecom Sarajevo (Bosnia-D1, starting five): DNP, in Oct.’09 moved back to kelag Worthersee Piraten (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): 27 games: 18.4ppg, Reb-2(8.6rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 64.4%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for  Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL), in Dec.’10 loaned to Tofas Bursa (Turkey-TBL): 10 games: 3.7ppg, 3.0rpg; in Feb.’11 moved back to Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL), in Mar.’11 signed at KK Split (Croatia-A1): 13 games: 5.0ppg, 2.3rpg. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Zlatorog Lasko (Slovenia-Telemach League): Slovenian League: 2 games: 4.0ppg, 1.0spg, 1.5bpg; Adriatic League: 3 games: 4.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0bpg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-TBL, starting five): 36 games: 11.0ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.0%, FT: 68.7%; Euroleague: 10 games: 9.1ppg, Reb-5(6.8rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 59.1%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) playing VTB United League: 18 games: 11.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 63.5%, FT: 72.2%; Czech Rep. NBL: 29 games: 10.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.0apg, FGP-2(68.8%), 3PT-1(66.7%), FT: 62.2%; Eurocup: 18 games: 11.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 60.6%, FT: 69.0%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for BC Astana (Kazakhstan-D1) playing VTB United League: 33 games: 14.6ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 77.8%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 13.1ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 62.8%, FT: 73.6%; Kazakhstani D1: 11 games: 8.2ppg, Reb-2(6.5rpg), 2.4apg, Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 53.7%, FT: 51.4%. Last season he played for BC Nizhny Novgorod (Russia-VTB): 27 games: 12.6ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 15.4%, FT: 73.1%; Eurocup: 20 games: 11.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 61.6%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 58.1%. He spoke to German Hoops from Vienna, Austria before the team left for Bamberg to face Germany in possibly the biggest game since years for both countries determining who will qualify for the 2017 European championships.

 

 

Rasid thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 75-61 loss against Holland After the first day where Austria beat Holland in a hard battle, would you still have thought that the Dutch could win 3 in a row and be the #1 team after four matches?

 

It was a tough loss for us. It was a big road win for them and I believe that we underestimated them a bit. They did a good job dominating the boards and their perimeter players played well. We struggled in this game and it was our worst game in the qualifying tournament this summer.

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Anton Maresch (Austrian National Team) I Think We Deserved To Win The First Game At Home But Now It Would Be Even Sweeter To Win In Bamberg

Anton Maresch is a 25 year old 191cm guard from Austria that is a member of the Austrian national team. He started his basketball career in 2007 with UBSC Graz (A Bundesliga) where he played until 2010. Then he played with Xion Dukes Klosterneuburg (A Bundesliga) in the 2010-2011 season. In 2011, he moved to Spain where he has played the last five years. He played his first two seasons with Andorra (Spain-LEB Gold) and the last three seasons with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (Spain-LEB Gold) and last season played 39 games averaging 9.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 60.6%. In Spain he won the Leb Silver title in 2012 with Andora and the Leb Gold title in 2015 with Andorra. He spoke to German Hoops before the euro qualifying game against Germany in Bamberg.

 

 

 

Anton, thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 75-61 loss against Holland After the first day where Austria beat Holland in a hard battle, would you still have thought that the Dutch could win 3 in a row and be the #1 team after four matches?

 

Yes they have a very athletic and tough team and after their win against Germany they got a strong confidence boost.

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Enis Murati (Austrian National team) If We Stay Concentrated For All 40 Minutes We Have Enough Quality To Beat Anybody In Our Group

Enis Murati is a 28 year old 194cm guard that plays fort eh Austrian national team and will play his 10th season with Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga). Last season he took a short break from this team and gained new experience with Stella Artois Leuven Bears (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 86.5%. He has won 4 titles in total with Allianz Swans Gmunden. He spoke to German Hoopsbefore the 2017 European qualifying game against Germany in Bamberg.

 

Enis thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 75-61 loss against Holland After the first day where Austria beat Holland in a hard battle, would you still have thought that the Dutch could win 3 in a row and be the #1 team after four matches?

We knew from beginning on that the Dutch team is a very good and dangerous team, with a lot of quality so it doesn’t surprise me so much.

Just like the first game, the second encounter with the Dutch was a tight battle in the first half with Holland having the slight advantage 39-38. The turning point came in the third quarter where the Dutch held Austria to 7 points. What was vital for Holland keeping your point total down and what adjustments did the Dutch make on defense?

 I think, we couldn’t just catch the rhythm in the offense and they translated every one of our offensive mistakes into the fast break which gave them a lot of easy points.

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Worthy De Jong (Dutch National Team) We Have To Work Our Butts Off And Believe In Our Defending Strategy Against Germany

Worthy De Jong is a 28 year old Dutch 194cm shooting guard that is currently playing with the Dutch national team in the European qualifying round. He completed his sixth season for Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Eredivisie) playing 34 games: Score-2(16.9ppg), 6.6rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-1(2.9spg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 69.0%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 17.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.3apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 79.2%. He will play this season for SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB) He started his basketball career with the Rotterdam Challengers (Eredivisie). He had his best season last season playing 34 games averaging 15.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Assists-4(4.5apg), Steals-2(2.6spg), FGP: 61.8%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 74.1%. He also had a solid performance at the 2015 European Championships playing  5 games: 9.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT-2(66.7%), FT: 81.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the European qualifying game against Germany.

 

Worthy thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. The last time you played in Germany, you scored 22 points with Leiden in a 63-58 loss in Fiba Europe Cup action in Frankfurt. What memories do you have form that game?

It was a very intense game probably the best one during the FIBA Euro Cup and seeing how we played definitely one we could’ve won.

Now you are back in Germany with the Dutch national team playing Germany who are 2-0 in a Euro qualifying match. The Dutch national team have a 1-1 record having lost a close game to Austria and spanked Denmark. How happy are you with the current 1-1 record of Holland?

Well if we take a look at the first game stats we were definitely in the postion to win that game, seeing that we took about 24 more shots then them and out rebounded them too . I guess we didn’t have our day, but none the less they played a very good game.

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