ProB

Garrett Jackson (TG s.Oliver Wurzburg) It’s Not About Having A Chip Or Proving Anyone Wrong But Proving Myself Right

Garrett Jackson is a 26 year old 201cm forward from Portland, Oregon playing his third professional season and first with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) Currently he helped his team remain in the pro B and with one playdown game remaining he is averaging 19,2ppg, 7,6rpg and 2,1apg. Last season he played with the Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL) and the  Dandenong Rangers (Australia-SEABL) playing 12 games averaging 16.6ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 70.9%. In his rookie season he played with the NW Tasmania Thunder (Australia-SEABL) playing 15 games: averaging 21.1ppg, 9.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 82.8% and with the  Melbourne United (Australia-NBL) playing 6 games averaging 5.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 2FGP: 54,5%, 3FGP: 25.0%, FT: 80.0%. He played at USC(NCAA) from 2010-2012 playing 65 NCAA games and at St.Mary’s, CA (NCAA) form 2013-2015 playing 52 games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 8.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT: 71.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the end of the regular season before the playdowns started.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ex USC(NCAA) forward Garrett Jackson after dropping 18 points, hauling down 16 boards and dishing out 5 assists for Wurzburg in a 72-56 loss in Rhondorf in Pro B action.

Garrett thanks for talking to German Hoops. You have been 3 months in Germany now playing for Pro B team TG s.Oliver Wurzburg. How has the overall experience been for you being this is your first professional season in Europe?

Overall it’s been great. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do what I love on a team of people I enjoy being around. This is my first time in Europe, so I’m doing my best to take in the culture and experience new things every chance I get. 

Did the city Wurzburg and Main river remind you a bit of home Portland and the Willamette river. Did that make the first days of the adjustment period a little bit easier in conjunction with English being a language that everybody identifies with

Yeah, there are some similarities. Portland’s a bit bigger and we have a lot more bridges. I was actually surprised at how many people speak English here. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but everyone’s been really helpful. I’m trying to learn some German too. 

You played your first two professional seasons In Australia. Did the contact to the team and signing come through your contact to Australian coach Liam Flynn? Talk a little about how you got your feet into the European basketball world?

I hadn’t met Liam prior to this and he’s Australian. I spent the last two years in Australia playing year round in two leagues so I hadn’t been home that whole time. My season just finished up in September where we lost in the SEABL championship. I decided that I would go home and see my family and if an opportunity came up to play in Europe I would take it. I was only home for a couple weeks when Liam contacted me. He was looking for another foreigner for the roster and asked some of his contacts in Australia. A couple people mentioned me. I later found out that some opposing coaches and players, as well as former teammates recommended me. Coach definitely did his homework. I jumped at the opportunity to come out here and play. 

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Jordan Talbert (Rostock Seawolves) My Confidence Has Allowed Me To Shoot Myself Out Of Slumps

Jordan Talbert is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that is playing his fourth professional season and first with the  Rostock Seawolves (Germany-ProB). Currently he is averaging 13,4ppg, 8,7rpg and 2,2apg. Last season he helped PS Karlsruhe Lions move up to the Pro A averaging 13,3ppg, 7,2rpg and 2,1apg helping lead the team to the Pro A. He came to Germany as a rookie in 2014 and played with the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging  21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college career at Missouri SO(NCAA2) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.1%. Two seasons ago with Nordlingen he tore up the Pro B averaging 17.5ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-5(1.5bpg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 73.4%. He spoke to German Hoops  before the start of the playoff series against Iserlohn.

Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. This is our 18th interview since you went to Nordlingen in 2015. How has time flown by since then?

Really it’s been that long?? Time has definitely flown by. I still remember very well my time in Nordlingen, seems like yesterday.

Congrats on getting by Giessen in the playoffs. What a wild series. First the game one win on the road, the shocking game 2 loss at home which Rostock could have won on the last play and then the thriller of a game three. How else could you summarize this series?

It’s the playoffs. Every moment and every play counts. Probably the most intense playoff series I’ve been a part of in my 3 seasons in the Pro B. I’m just glad we came out on top.

Congrats on the thrilling game three win in Giessen. I guess your friend Skyler Bowlin who made the trip from Jena was the team´s good luck charm? What did it mean for you to have him in Giessen?

Yeah, I wonder if Jena will let him come to the rest of our games in the playoffs. It meant a lot to have him there. Almost a decade of friendship so we’ve seen the growth in each other over the years. I was glad to be able to share that moment with him.

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Brandon Lockhart Plays Double OT Hero Lifting The Rostock Seawolves Past Giessen To The Semi-Finals 93-89

With 45 seconds to play in game 2, Rostock Seawolves guard Brandon Lockhart made aBrandon_Lockhart_Artland_SylviaFunk lay in and were trailing 69-68. With the game winding down, Rostock enlarged the amazing atmosphere and noise level in the Stadthalle arena as they saved the best for last in terms of defensive presence not allowing their opponent Giessen from getting a shot off in the allowed 24 seconds setting up a possible heroic experience for Rostock on the last play that would have sent the home arena into an electric frenzy never seen before, but instead as the buzzer sounded, the Rostock Seawolves had to look forward to another 6 hours bus ride for a do or die game in Giessen. The last 18 seconds seemed like a basketball eternity as they had two golden chances through Jordan Talbert and Chris Frazier, but couldn´t get the ball to sink through the netting as the sold out arena and 3000 fan´s hearts sank and upset the Easter Sunday with unmemorable basketball thoughts as they were looking for Easter eggs. Instead of welcoming Iserlohn for a semi-final clash they had a do or die game in Giessen. The good news for Rostock was that they had won game one on the road and Rostock´s two top Americans Brandon Lockhart and Jordan Talbert have had good experiences in Pro B do or die battles combined having a 5-1 record with both winning against Oldenburg and Wurzburg as teammates with Nordlingen two seasons ago and last season Talbert defeating ex teammate and friend Lockhart with the ScanPlus Baskets. On an untypical very warm Sunday evening in early April the Rostock Seawolves returned to Giessen for a do or die duel and if fans thought that game 2 had been exciting, well game 3 topped that as both teams battled through two overtimes with the Rostock Seawolves coming out with the stronger nerves and a self confident Brandon Lockhart who nailed two big buckets to seal the well deserved 93-89 victory. “What a crazy game. You think you have the game won and a technical takes you into overtime. We knew that we had to win this game to be able to achieve our goals. We refocused after the technical and we continued to fight. We were down 10 points, but no one quit. Our fight was our most important strength tonight”, stressed ex Drury(NCAA2) guard Brandon Lockhart. Giessen gave all they had, but just couldn´t get the needed stops down the stretch and finished their season with low spirits, but will never forget that they gave Rostock all that they had. “Both teams competed very hard and I have to give credit to Rostock for the win. We had a good season, but came a little short at the end. A couple mistakes down the stretch cost us the game, but we played our hearts out”, stressed ex  FIU (NCAA) guard Dennis Mavin.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber inetrviewing Rostock Seawolf Brandon Lockhart after he led his team past Giessen 93-89 with 19 points

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Brandon Lockhart (Rostock Seawolves) This Year I’ve Been Better At Controlling The Game When Things Might Get Chaotic

Brandon Lockhart is a 27 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third season in Germany and first with the Rostock Seawolves currently averaging 14,6ppg, 4,2rpg, 4,8apg and 2,2spg while shooting 43% from outside. He completed his third professional season and first with German team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) averaging 12,0ppg, 3,8rpg and 6,2apg. As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5(16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-1(3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. Two seasons ago he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-ProB) playing 29 game averaging  16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before the playoff do or die game in Giessen.

Brandon, thanks for talking to German Hoops. You’re nearing the end of your third professional season in Germany and this is our 15th interview. Has time flown by for you in Germany in the last years?

Hey Miles, always a pleasure talking with you. My time in Germany definitely has flown by. I can remember arriving into Nördlingen like it happened yesterday.

Rostock finished in third place in the regular season. With the huge ambitions of the team did the club underperform a bit not finishing first?

The most important goal going into this season was to make the playoffs. We accomplished that. So I can’t say that we underperformed.

The team started off very slowly losing three of it´s first four games and then had a 6-6 record up until December 2017. The club didn´t play bad, but lost every game by 6 or less points. Why couldn´t the team learn to win those tight games?

It was early in the season and we were  still figuring each other out. When you bring in a complete new roster, you cannot expect everything to be perfect.

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Forrest Robinson (ETB Wohnbau Baskets) Nobody Has To Drive Me To Work Hard I Do That Naturally

Forrest Robinson is a 24 year old 208cm forward from Eastland, Texas playing his third professional season and first with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen (Germany-ProB). He started the season with Stella Artois Leuven Bears (Belgium-Euromillions League) playing 6 games averaging 3.5ppg, 2.2rpg. Last season he played with CD Universidad Catolica de Santiago (Chile-Liga Nacional) and Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-Alexela KML). As a rookie in the 2015-2016 season he played with Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 18 games averaging  12.6ppg, 5.0rpg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT-3(40.5%), FT: 66.7%. He started his basketball career at N.Texas (NCAA) and finished at De Paul (NCAA) where as a senior he played 32 games averaging 6.3ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 88.0%. currently he is battling in the Pro B playdowns averaging 7,7ppg and 4,5rpg. He spoke to German Hoops  recently about basketball.

Forrest, thanks for talking to German Hoops. You started the season in Belgium. Did you have any chance of seeing Germany or is this the first time that you’re here?

I didn’t get to see much of Germany when I last came. But I hope I get to now that I am here playing.

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

I don’t know much about basketball in Germany. I know a few guys that played in Germany before and they all have nothing but good things to say.

What was most appealing thing about the ETB Wohnbau Baskets that led you to sign here?

What made me sign with ETB was the opportunity to play a big role in the success of the team moving forward.

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Courtney Belger (FC Schalke) This Season I Have Focused On Having To Flat Out Step Up And Win The Game In Crunch Time

Courtney Belger is a 27 year old 187cm guard from St Louis that is playing his fifth professional season and second with FC Schalke 04 (Germany-ProB). Last season with FC Schalke he played 25 games averaging 16.5ppg, 5.4rpg, 5.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 22.4%, FT: 78.9%. In 2015-2016 he played with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB) playing 24 games averaging 12.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 65.6% and Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) playing  14 games averaging  21.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 4.1apg, Steals-4(3.1spg), FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 22.4%, FT: 80.8%. He played his first two professional seasons with TV Ibbenbuehren (Germany-Regionalliga). He started his basketball career at Quincy (NCAA2) in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing  a total of 113 NCAA 2 games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging  11.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 72.0%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to German Hoops before game 2 against MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel.

Courtney thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the hard fought 71-69 win against MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel. That was definitely not a game for weak nerves. When you look back at the regular season you had many more close wins than loses. Was this one of the biggest wins of the season and how key was keeping your cool at the end as a team?

This was definitely the biggest win we have had of the season. Mainly because it was a playoff game and we had worked hard to win that game. It would have been very disappointing to lose that one after playing so well. At this point in the season to me every win we get seems like the biggest one of the season.

With 5 minutes left FC Schalke looked like the sure winner, but you gave up a 15-0 run as Wolfenbuettel trailed only 68-67. What was key for them making this crazy run?

Wolfenbuettel is a resilient team like us. We started trying not to lose, instead of to keep trying to win. They stayed hungry and erased the lead quickly.

You have stood at the free throw line countless times at the end and made the big free throws, but how did it feel this time? Was it just 2 normal shots like usual or did you feel a little pressure this time?

My team has a lot of trust in me so it feels like just a normal two shots. I always like to finish the game on my terms and live with the results so that was a perfect situation for me. I enjoy those moments.

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Ron Mvouika (Bayer Giants Leverkusen) Chris Mullin Treated Me Like A Pro From Day One

Ron Mvouika is a 26 year old 196cm forward from France that played a short second professional season and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen playing only 4 games before an injury cut his season short. He was able to make an impact in the pro B averaging 17,0ppg, 4,5rpg and 3,5apg while shooting 45% from outside. He started the season with  the Plymouth University Raiders (United Kingdom-BBL). Last season as a rookie he played with Aurore de Vitre (NM1). He spent a lot of time in the states going over in 2010 going to Huntington, WV / Huntington-St.Joseph Prep School. He then played two seasons with Sheridan JC (JUCO). In 2013 he transferred to Missouri St. (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 6.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 59.2%. In his junior season at Missouri St. (NCAA) he played 2 games averaging 5.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0spg. For his senior St.John’s (NCAA): 32 games: 8.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 66.2%. German Hoops spoke to him when he was playing in Germany for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen before his injury.

Ron thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome to Germany. For a guy that is from France, but lived for 6 years in the States, did you have any previous dealings with the country Germany? What do you in general about it´s basketball?

 I don’t have any previous dealing with Germany, Its my first time here and I enjoy it. Over the past years, Germany has had a great reputation when it comes to basketball. Dirk played a huge role in that, after the career he is having in the NBA, he put Germany on the map. New guys like Dennis Schroeder is bringing even more light into the country so its positive and beneficial for all the leagues here.

You lived 6 years in the States and are back in Europe to play professionally. Do you ever wonder where your basketball career would have gone had you stayed in Europe? Where do you think could you be today without the American experience?

Yeah, I wonder sometimes where I would be if I didn’t play in America for so long. I’m sure I would of been playing in France somewhere, but I don’t regret anything if I had to do it all over, I wouldn’t change anything. Live my life with no regrets is my way of life.

Congrats on signing with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. How did the club wet your appetite best for signing with them?

 It´s a honor to play for the winningest club ever in Germany. A club with so much history and a historical Coach is something that I couldn’t turn down. I was fortunate enough to play in great and historical programs in the NCAA, hall of famers like Coach Mullin but also Mitch Ritchmond and Coach Achim is a figure in Germany so I take it as a blessing to learn from these masterminds. I stay in sponge mode and learn everything I can while I’m here.

Head coach Achim Kuczmann is extremely impressed with your leadership qualities and the need to take responsibility on the court? What other strengths do you have on the court?

I could always score the ball with ease since I was young but a part of my game that people are not really aware of is my ability to pass the ball. I love getting assist for my teammates. I like it just as more as scoring. Outside of that, I love rebounding the ball also, get in the mix with the bigs and fight for it, I enjoy it, I´m a fighter so its a fun thing.

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