Drew Richards Was Huge In Allowing Tyler Brevard Become An Incredible Rebounding Guard

Tyler Brevard (189-G-1998, college: Lander) is a 24 year old 189cm guard from West Columbia, South Carolina that just completed his rookie season in Germany with BG Dorsten averaging 24.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 72.7%. He began his basketball career at Gray Collegiate Academy. He then played two years at Spartanburg Methodist College (JUCO) averaging 4.3ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.1apg and in his second year averaged 5.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 75.0%. He played his junior year at Erskine College (NCAA2) averaging 13.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.3% and played his senior year at Lander University (NCAA2) averaging 12.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 70.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Tyler for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

No problem and thank you for having me! I’m currently back home in Columbia, South Carolina. Basketball life has been treating me great so far.

You just finished your rookie season with German Regionalliga team BG Dorsten. How blessed do you feel not only playing your rookie season, but having a fantatsic rookie year after sitting out the 20-21 season?

I feel VERY blessed! I look back at the past two years and I just continue to thank God for it all. It was all a process that prepared me for the ups and downs of the season and for the future as well.

How difficult was it finding a job during Covid? You played twice for Team Eurobasket. What do you believe was holding you back from signing your first pro contract before coming to Dorsten?

Those were very trying times. I had a lot of buzz going into the NCAA Tournament and my plan was to seize that opportunity. I honestly believe Covid happening when it did slowed everything up. On top of that my stats were not very high coming out of college either.

How tough was it mentally for you? Did you ever lose faith in the process in this time?

Mentally, it was very draining. I became impatient and would lose sleep a lot of nights. However, I didn’t lose faith at all. I always knew that once I got the opportunity, the rest would handle itself.

How did you experience your rookie season? On one hand the team didn’t win the way they wanted to while on the other hand you had an incredible personal season?

My rookie season was fun and full of lesson’s. Our team faced injuries/sickness almost every game, so this forced me to adjust to what the team needed. This was also my first losing season since middle school (8-9 years ago), so now I’m learning how to improve and become a better leader so I won’t be in this situation again.

You’re a 189cm guard that can fill the stat sheet especially points and rebounds. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fill the description?

Dwyane Wade. I model my midrange and eurostep to Dwade, but I also compare my game to Jrue Holiday in ways as well

You never averaged more than 4,0rpg in college. How do you explain your high rise in rebounds in your rookie season?

DREW RICHARDS!!! Coach Richards challenged me to attack the glass and use my size in college. My numbers weren’t as high in college due to some bigger guys at the time, but I’ve gotten stronger and found smarter ways to attack the glass now.

With Dorsten you averaged 24.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 72.7%
You didn’t need any adjustment time. How would you compare the Regionalliga with JUCO and the NCAA 2 in terms of skill level and competitiveness?

This league compares to JUCO because of the vast range of talent and you have guys that are working to move up to a higher level. With me playing at a high level D2, this league has players with similar skill sets as well.

Against Hagen-Haspe you were on course for a quadruple double. Do you feel like you could be a player to regularly achieve double doubles and once in a while triple doubles?

Yes, I 100% believe this could become a regular thing. There were plenty of games where I was a few rebounds or assist away from double-doubles and a few where I was about 2 or 3 assist away from triple-doubles.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can keep climbing the basketball ladder in the future?

Working on building strength more this summer and creating space to get off easier shots.

You had some huge games in loses but also big games against Hagen-Haspe and the ETB Miners. What was your most memorable game with Dorsten?

My most memorable game would have to be against ETB Miners. My parents and my girlfriend got to see me play professionally for the first time and we erased a 24 point deficit to comeback and win the game. They gave us good-luck that night for sure.

How vital was it playing at three schools for your development? Do you feel like your game profited more than it would have had you only played for one school?

This was big for me because I learned different things about myself and my game at each school. If I could have played under Coach Richards all 4 years, I feel I would have benefit the most from that.

You played two seasons with Spartanburg Methodist College (JUCO). What kind of an experience was this. You didn’t put up incredible stats. Were you more that special role player?

This was a humbling and very memorable experience. My first year I was behind an All-American and was mostly used for defense or to give him a break. The following year I was like a smaller Draymond Green haha. I played the 1-4 and I did a lot of things that didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

Just about every guy I have interviewed that played JUCO said it was a very tough experience but worth it. How was it for you?

It was grind every day. There weren’t any ‘easy days’ at all.

You played a season at Erskine College (NCAA2) averaging 13.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.3%. You had a solid season. Why did you leave after a season?

I felt Erskine didn’t have the best situation at hand to prepare me for playing at a high level professionally.

You finished your university season with Lander University (NCAA2) averaging 12.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 70.5%. You finished your career winning the Peach belt title over Columbus State. What will you always remember from this championship?

Winning MVP of the tournament and the camaraderie of that entire team.

How did head coach Drew Richards groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Biggest thing is that he prepared me physically. He challenged me to play more aggressive and showed me that using my body more will benefit me at the next level also.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Laraymond Spivery

We never really played one-on-one, but we had some tough battles in practice when we were on opposite teams.

Who was the toughest player that you ever played against that reached the NBA?

Brandon Clarke. I played against him in a big HS tournament in Las Vegas and he probably had 10 dunks that game.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Anthony Adger, Jonathan Sanks, Ian Kinard, Deon Berrien, and Sidney Robinson. It was fun watching and playing with this group of guys.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

DWade, LeBron, Kobe and MJ

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

I’ve only seen highlights mostly of MJ, so i’d go with LeBron of course as the second best. I’ll forever say DWade as my #1 hahaha

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

Yes I saw it and it should’ve been left alone for sure. The sequel wasn’t horrible, but it’s not on the same level as the original.

Thanks Tyler for the chat.

Glen Burns Is Just Getting Started As He Will Have Forever Have A Chip On His Shoulder

Glen Burns (191-G-1995, college: Chicago St.) is a 26 year old 191cm guard from West Memphis, Arkansas that completed his fourth professional season and first in Germany with EN Baskets Schwelm (Germany-ProB) averaging 17.8ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.4apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 23.9%, FT: 72.3%. he also gained experience in countries like Georgia, Indonesia and Iraq. He began his basketball career at West Memphis High School and then played 2 seasons at Danville Area Community College (JUCO). He then finished at Chicago State (NCAA) playing a total of 43 games averaging 10.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 76.0% in his senior year. He spoke to germanhoops.com after his season in Germany.

Thanks Glen for talking to germanhoops.com. You just finished your fourth professional season and first in Germany with the EN Baskets Schwelm. How would you compare the German Pro B in skill level compared to the other leagues that you played in in Georgia, Indonesia and Iraq?

ProB is a pretty good level, pretty good local players as well as foreigners.

Schwelm reached the playoffs bowing out to Orange Academy in 3 games. What was key in that series that you couldn’t prevail?

The key in the Playoff games against Orange academy was the first game playing with 7 players 2 starters missing due to injury, 2 veterans missing due to Covid that was the game changer, not to discredit Orange but that was tough for us.

Were you impressed by the Orange Academy young Germans? That team has 6-7 guys that were U-19 youth players, but good enough to play for the Pro B team.

No I wasn’t impressed by those guys I knew who they were we had already played them in pre season and I knew they would be good team then, a lot of young guys that play hard and scrappy and most importantly play together.

You had many great games including in wins over Wedel and Cologne. What was your most memorable game in a Schwelm jersey?

I think the Wedel game was the most memorable game on the road against a team that was 2nd or 3rd place during the time, for me to hit a big go ahead 3 to put us over the top of that team, and then next day I went home for Christmas break so that was great for me.

What kind of an experience was it playing with the veteran Nikita Khartchenkov who must of seen every gym in Germany? Did you ever attempt any shooting contests with him?

It was great playing with Nikita definitely a great veteran to have on you team. He and Marco Buljevic, 2 guys that I highly respect in all areas of the game. No I never attempted any shooting contest.

How much of a pleasure was it playing with the versatile CJ Oldham? How key was his defensive presence every game?

Getting CJ was a big pickup for our squad hats off to the GM Omrah Rahim and Coach Falk for getting that guy. He stepped in and was an immediate impact NOT only defensively but also offensively as well, he helped us in so many areas.

You’re a 191cm guard that can fill the stat sheet. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

If I had to compare my game to an NBA player it would be Gilbert Arenas a big Guard that can do so many variety of things on the floor! Not just offensively, but I also can get on the opposite team best player and lock him up as well I can defend with the best of them.

How much of a chip do you have on your shoulder? You averaged 10,0ppg as a senior at Chicago State and have been grinding slowly moving up the basketball ladder. How do you deal with your progress?

I normally don’t look back on the progress but when I do it’s definitely a heartwarming moment for me because I have really came a long way, and in my opinion I’m just getting started, that chip will FOREVER be on my shoulder.

You’re a scoring guard that can fill the stat sheet. What other strengths does your game incorporate?

My other strengths is really defending, I can really defend with the best of them, that shouldn’t go unnoticed for me, I also can get my teammates involved, my whole basketball career I have led my teams in assist since I’ve been in Middle school, I didn’t really get a chance to show that much of that how I wanted this past season.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most this summer so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

The areas I’m working on my game is everything sharpening everything but really paying attention to detail my jumpshot and my explosiveness playing more above the rim.

Last season you played in Iraq with Al-Khtot Al-Jawiya (Iraq-Superleague averaging 21.8ppg, 6.0rpg, 4.0apg. What kind of an experience was it for an American being in Iraq? Did you visit any palaces or see something that you will never forget?

Being in Iraq I really just went to practice and went to my room, didn’t get a chance to experience a lot there.

In 2020 you played with Prawira Bandung (Indonesia-IBL) averaging 15.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.7apg, 2.0spg. How tough was landing the job and a few weeks later having the season end because of COVID? How did you experience it in Indonesia?

The Indonesia job was very touchy due to the fact I sat out 10 months before landing that job all for me to be there only a month play 4 games and come right back home due to the outbreak of covid that was a very tough situation for me to handle. I love this game and for me to sit out that long was already very tough mentally for me, for it to be taking again in a months time hit me hard.

You played your rookie season with Arena-Orbi (Georgia-A League) averaging 16.8ppg, Reb-4 (7.8rpg), Assists-2 (5.2apg), Steals-2 (2.6spg), FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 66.7%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas for the first time where you knew that you were far away from home?

Well I really didn’t have a wake up call being in Georgia because I had already prepared myself for that moment, I knew the lifestyle I wanted to live, so during college I always stayed at school never went home for Christmas, New Years, Easter nor the summer time after school I always stayed at my school all 4 years of college I was conditioning myself and training my mind and myself for the lifestyle I was going to have to live. So it was kind of normal to me.

What was it like playing your first pro playoffs against CIU in Georgia? How much did it hurt losing after winning the first game?

My first playoff series in Georgia was definitely an experience I enjoyed it I still watch some of those games right to day to study myself and what I could’ve did better and how much I’ve grown, I will be doing it with the Germany games really soon

You played at Danville Area Community College (JUCO) from 2014-2016. Almost every guy I have interviewed that played JUCO said it was a very hard experience, but one they wouldn’t have traded the world for. How was it for you?

Juco was the best experience of basketball so far for me, I love the atmosphere of every time you’re playing at home or away it’s a dog fight from tap to finish and everyone on that level is trying to get to the next level so everyone is bringing their absolute best at you.

You then played at Chicago State from 2016-2018 playing a total of 43 games. What kind of an experience was it playing at Chicago State. How did your game grow in your senior year?

Chicago state was a great experience D1 school. I got a chance to play a lot of high major schools and a lot of West Coast teams in our conference so everything was nice with that I liked it.

You had many fine games and had UTRGV’s number in losing causes as a senior. What was your most memorable game in the NCAA?

My most memorable game was Senior night getting our last win at home was big my mom traveled 8 hours for that and just to get that win in front of my family was big time And I had 1 of my most memorable dunks that game.

How did head coach Tracy Dildy groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

I really didn’t get groomed by anyone for my professional career I groomed myself honestly.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Trayvon Palmer?

Trayvon Palmer and I never really played 1 on 1 in practice at all, but if we were to play I’m pretty sure I would win lol he’s a tough cover though.

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

The toughest player I played against in the NCAA that reached the NBA is probably Carson Edwards or Marcus Howard.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

5 best teammates: I can’t just name 5 I have had a lot of great teammates in my basketball career thus far that would be impossible for me to name just 5!

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

My Mount Rushmore of basketball in NBA is Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, And Kareem

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

The never ending debate on Lebron and Mike is that I don’t think people really understand how hard it is to go to 10 STRAIGHT FINALS, like that’s over 100 games played each season that is a total load on yourself your body and your mind! Mike won 6 rings yes and scored the ball like crazy yes, but Lebron plays the game the right way in my eyes he will FOREVER BE MY GOAT! He will go down as all time leading scorer in points, but (he’s a pass first guy keep that in mind) he will go down as Top 10 in assists, steals, field goals made, and free throws made, he have an all around body of work, not just scoring, he’s the greatest to me.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

I think the movie Coming to America should’ve been left alone, I mean it’s a classic for a reason some movies you can’t mess around with and make again and those are 1 of them.

Thanks Glen for the chat.


Jordan Rezendes Is Back And Wants People To Be Shocked At The Different Kind Of Player He Has Become

It was only a few days after Thanksgiving 2020 and I was in very good spirits considering the tough circumstances with Covid that had rocked the world since 9 months and I had gotten the shock of my life only a few weeks earlier of having been diagnosed with cancer. The only thing that was really keeping me going was my family and basketball. I had began to cover the EPG Baskets Koblenz in this season and was excited to go to a game that weekend where they were playing against the BIS Baskets Speyer. I interview so many guys, but that doesn’t mean that I always do it face to face or on the phone. I had interviewed Jordan Rezendes (188-PG-1992, college: UMass Dartmouth) online in 2018 when he was balling in his second pro season with Cuxhaven and had never seen him play or met him. I looked on the Koblenz schedule and saw Speyer and as usual I checked the roster with what players I would have the pleasure of dealing with. There I saw the name Jordan Rezendes and was flashed remembering our nice interview and now I could finally see him play. I was in the school gym of the EPG Baskets where they played before moving into the incredible CGM arena about 30 minutes before tip off and instantly became disappointed when I didn’t see him warming up. It turned out that he had injured himself a month earlier. I hadn’t heard the news mainly because I had had my own woes and hadn’t heard about his injury. Speyer sure could of used him on that day as his scoring qualities could of got them over the hump as they lost a tight 72-68 game. 20 months later nothing has changed as the Wareham native which is 50 minutes from Boston and 45 minutes from Providence still hasn’t played a professional game yet. Missing almost 2 seasons can be as long in a pro player’s career like it is for a normal person working say 10 years 9-5. ‘It has been a tough two years but I needed it. I used this time to get in the best shape possible and I feel better than ever’, stressed Jordan Rezendes. The good news is that he is 100% healthy again and is back and wants people to be shocked at the different kind of player he has become.

I reach the American who lists local New England hero’s like Pat Connaughton, Shabazz Napier and Rickey Ledo as his toughest opponents in his career during the dog days of summer in July and am excited to talk basketball with him and inquire how he is and just how he has been keeping busy. But at first, I fling an obscure number at him with 29. I mean 2 years is a long time to remember random numbers and he couldn’t categorize my jiberish. Anyway I relieve him out of this cat and mouse suffering and remind him it was his 29 points that he scored in his second to last game with Speyer against Oberaching in October 2020 before he got injured. ‘To be honest I don’t really remember this game but 29 is cool but I hope we won’, laughed Jordan Rezendes. Well at least he kept his humor. Unfortunately Speyer lost the game 103-99. When you have been out as long as he has, you try not to think about what could have been had he not gotten injured, but it’s simply tough when many of your friends and peers are playing overseas and he isn’t. ‘Of course I think about the what ifs but I understand that injuries happen. I’m just blessed to be back on the court. This injury has made me a better player/person on and off the court’, said Jordan Rezendes. So far as a professional he had displayed his special abilities where ever he had played. As a rookie he came to Germany and played with with SG TV Duerkheim-BB-Int. Speyer (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 25.4ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.2apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 85.3% and then proved again that he can lead a team playing with Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 23.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 84.4%. In his third professional season he went a totaly different path and played with Fap de Yaounde (Cameroon-D1) averaging13.9ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-5 (4.0apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.7%. He came back for his fourth season and joined Speyer and was on his way to having another great season before his injury erupted. ‘I miss the grind a lot. I believe before covid I was on my way to play in a higher league. My goal is to play at the highest league possible’, stressed Jordan Rezendes.

The first matter of business in the last 20 months was for the ex Mass.-Dartmouth (NCAA3) stand out who said why after watching the sequel to the classic Coming To America, but after the second viewing actually liked it was to get healthy again, but somehow he couldn’t totally shake the injury bug. He never stopped trying to reach out to teams in this time and it wasn’t easy keeping his name on the radar. ‘After my groin injury in 2020. I came back 100 percent then I tore my ACL in March of 2021. Covid played a huge role in the injuries because I wasn’t able to be in the gym like I normally was. But I’m 100 percent now and I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m ready to get back on the court’, warned Jordan Rezendes. Obviously when you aren’t playing for an organization, you get more involved with yourself in the quest to come back, but that itch to play is always there as well as the trepidation if a team will ever sign him again. Getting the body ready and being mentally stable isn’t always easy, but he searched for solutions and found them. ‘When I first suffered my ACL injury it was tough for me mentally. I asked myself why all the time. Now that I am 100 percent healthy I know the reason why. I’ve learned how to take care of my body on and off the court. My diet and workouts have changed. I am a totally different person’, expressed Jordan Rezendes. It also doesn’t help that he plays a position that is very very occupied world wise. Great guards are all over the place. Just look at local colleagues Shabazz Napier and Eric Demers. Napier should be in the NBA, but instead has chosen the path overseas while Demers is a talented guard that should be playing at a high level overseas, but is still searching for the next challenge. ‘Eric is my guy and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I just hooped with him the other day and his game has got a lot better! His bag is getting serious! He’s been working! Eric will fit on any team. He is a true hooper and will find his role on any team whether it’s the G league or overseas’, warned Jordan Rezendes. The statement that there are way too many talented guards in the world and too little spots is very credible and realistic. ‘It’s all about timing and being in the right situation. We have a lot of tough guards in the states but there’s not a lot that can shoot / defend/ handle and play make like I do’, warned Jordan Rezendes.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and NCAA champion Shabazz Napier in Boston in 2017

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Eric Demers in Portland Maine in Nov 2021

The 30 year old that had had Jordan, Lebron, Shaq and Magic on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore in 2018, but since Steph Curry won his 4th title would have him on there now and has him as the best point guard of all-time has kept busy in the last years. Not only has he been a dog in the lab grinding but also found ways to offer his basketball wisdom. He never lost contact to his coach Steve Faniel from Wareham high school. ‘My life has changed but it’s still in the basketball field. I coached at my former high-school. I also train kids and put together some camps. I ran a pick up run that had all the top players in this area. Hosted basketball tournaments and events. I also referee. I’m staying busy but just on the other side of playing while I was rehabbing’, commented Jordan Rezendes. He has been a rat in the lab and his habits have changed in the last 4 years. ‘In 2018 I worked hard but it was smart. My focus now is to work smarter not harder. Right now I am working out 2-3 times a day. I do boxing in the morning then hit the court after. Also add a lift in there. I eat a lot healthier than I did in 2018. I’m preparing myself to be a totally different player. I want people to be shocked at the work that I have put in. I’ve never worked so hard in my life . I’m hungrier than I have ever been. I just want to thank everyone who has been in my corner. I am ready for my next step! I’m excited for people to see the new version of me. Whatever team takes a chance on me will be excited and shocked at the player I am’, warned Jordan Rezendes. His basketball abilities could help many teams overseas right now. He wasn’t only getting fit again, but also used his time to help other people. Not only would his scoring talent and leadership aid any team now, but his top class character would also enrich any organization.

Marshawn Blackmon(SC Rasta Vechta 2) Had No Trouble Moving From Forward To Guard As Versatility Is His Biggest Strength

Marshawn Blackmon (196-F-1997, college: Newman) is a 25 year old 196cm forward from St Peters, Missouri that completed his rookie season with the SC RASTA Vechta 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) helping them move up to the Pro B averaging 16.9ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 65.6%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 67.8%. He began his career with Fort Zumwalt South High School. He then played two seasons and 36 NCAA games with Eastern Illinois. He then played a season at Moberly Area Community College (JUCO) and then finished at Newman University (NCAA2) averaging 14.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 63.6% as a junior and as a senior averaged 17.7ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 67.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Marshawn for talking to germanhoops.com You were in the States during the Pandemic. How have you experienced COVID and what were the most challenging things you had to cope with?

Covid wasn’t bad as I thought it would be but I made sure to just wash my hands wear a mask and go by the covid guidelines to make sure myself, other, and family were safe.

With everything that you witnessed during COVID off the court how do you feel did you get stronger as a man?

I feel covid made me a stronger person being at home made me become more mature and more patient and more humble as I waited for my next opportunity as a professional basketball player.

How tough was it not playing last season? Did you grind even more in the lab to be best prepared for your rookie season?

It was tough Not being able to play last year I worked out a lot and made sure I stayed preparing myself for my next opportunity but it made me become patient and more humble like I said before. But I had to stay in the gym so when my opportunity came I knew I would be ready.

You played your rookie season for SC RASTA Vechta 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga). What kind of experience wa sit playing the game you love in Germany?

Playing in Vechta has been great for me. I’ve learned a lot from my coaches and my teammates from being here and they welcomed me with open arms and treat me like family since I’ve been here. I couldn’t have asked for better people to be around for my first year as a pro. It’s a good environment here and I can see myself getting better as a person and a player each and everyday.

Your put up very solid stats. What has been your secret to really not needing any adjustment time as a rookie?

From being at home working out and staying ready. I’ve had some bad games like really bad games but having my coaches and teammates believing in me and trusting each other has helped a lot. Everybody here gets better everyday and we all work hard so you have no choice but to get better and play good. We all work hard and help each other out.

How big is your urge to always get better?

I try to be a better player and teammate every time I step on the court. Having that mentality with hard work I know overtime it will lead to good things. I try not to focus on the future but I know if I continue to work hard and trust my coaches and teammates then everything will workout for itself. I know if I continue to do those things everyday then I will become a really good player in the future.

You had so many young Germans as teammates. What kind of an experience was it playing with German kids? What was your impression in general of the skill level of young German players?

They remind me a lot of myself when I was their age. They all work hard and have a positive attitude each and everyday and I love it. Those guys are great kids and they are mature for their age and I can’t wait to see how much better they will be in the future. Just like me, they are getting better each and every day and they have bright futures.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 196cm forward. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the description?

I’m a versatile player and this year I’ve switched to playing guard. 1-3. In college I played the 4 at a very undersized size. My coaches here have developed some of the skills I’ve already had and made them better and that’s how I’ve been able to transition to playing guard this year. If I could compare my game I would say a Jimmy Butler/ Rudy Gay type. One of my favorite players is Kawhi Leonard and I like his mentality and the way he approaches the game. As my skills continue to develop and get better I think the comparisons will change overtime.

You can fill the stats sheet with ease. Is versatility your biggest strength?

I think so yes. Growing up I’ve played every position so I’ve been able to do almost everything on the court my whole life and I pride myself on being able to do that. Also having good teammates helps a lot too.

Your three continues to be a work in progress. How confident are you that you will be able to have an above shot as a professional?

Very very confident. ‘m a hard worker so as time goes on I will only get better at it. I’ve always had the ability to shoot in my opinion, but in the past, it just wasn’t my role on the team. Since I’ve been here I work on it everyday with my coaches and teammates and they’ve given me confidence to be able to make shots and grow on that aspect of my game. I like the player I’m becoming and I will continue to work on that part of my game.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most so that you will continue to improve and climb the basketball ladder?

My shooting ability and play making ability are the 2 things I’m working on the most. Transitioning this year to guard I’ve realized those are 2 important things to becoming a great guard is having those in your game so I work on those everyday. But, I still work on everything else in my game to keep being a versatile player.

You had had the great opportunity to have played at 3 schools called Eastern Illinois University (NCAA): Moberly Area Community College (JUCO), and Newman University (NCAA2).Talk a little about all 3 schools and how did each school helped your game best?

Each school helped me become a better player as I played different roles and positions and each of them. I learned so much by playing for 3 different coaches and my IQ for the game got better each year throughout my college career. Each coach taught me a lot and I also learned a lot from my teammates.

You played two seasons in the NCAA playing at Eastern Illinois University. How small is the world when you see a guy like John Murry also playing in the German Regionalliga west? You battled against him and Austin Peay each season.

It’s cool seeing guys you’ve competed against doing good things. It’s great he’s fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional basketball player.

You had some nice wins in the NCAA but where does the 67-64 win over Missouri rank?

It was good beating Missouri since I’m from there. I felt at home playing there and it was a good experience.

After two seasons in the NCAA, you took a few steps back to play JUCO at Moberly Area Community College. Now that was an extreme step. Why did you do that?

I wanted to try to go back to division 1 but the season didn’t go as planned. I was still recovering from a foot injury and I wasn’t physically ready to play but I had to tough it out and play because I only had one year to prove myself. I was still close to home because I was playing in Missouri. I wish I could’ve played that season being 100% healthy instead of 75% healthy but It was good playing for coach Pat and meeting new teammates that are life long friends now. The year didn’t go as planned but I ended up going division 2 which was still a good opportunity for me to prove myself as a player and get a good college education.

Every guy I have spoken to that has played JUCO said it was very tough, but worth it. How was it for you?

It was good. I learned a lot about myself and about the game of basketball. It’s a school in the middle of nowhere and you’re basically just playing basketball. With me recovering from a injury and roughing it out and still trying to play and get better made me a stronger and better person. I went through ups and downs but I realized I loved the game of basketball and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything it was great for me.

You then finished at Newman University (NCAA2) averaging 14.9ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 63.6% and as a senior averaged 17.7ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 67.3%. How do you feel did your game grow in those 2 years?

It made me see the game different. My first years of college I was kind of a role player and then going to Newman I was kind of the go to guy but had to play unselfish and that makes sense. It made me think the game different and become more efficient and learn when to attack and when to be a playmaker. It also made me realize what I needed to work on too. I had to play the underside 4 and sacrifice playing the guard position there. Being the versatile player I am I didn’t complain and took it as a challenge to be the best player I could be. We had some good players also who could score so we had to play as a team. I wish I had more than 2 years playing with those guys because I think as our chemistry got better and we got better as a team.

Some of your personal best game there were in tough losses against Central Oklahoma and Nebrasca-Kearney. What was your best game in the NCAA2?

I wish I could say those were my best games but we lost. I would say my best game would either be my junior year against Emporia State when I had 26 points and 15 rebounds or against Rockhurst when I had 22 points and 17 rebounds. I would say one of those because we won!

How did head coach RJ Allen groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

He helped me become a better player and better person. He gave me challenges every day and help my game on a mental level a lot. He made me a smarter player and he is someone I know I can go to for advice on and off the court.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Caleb Allison?

We never played but I think if we did I would beat him. He is a great player and a future pro!!

Who was the toughest player that you encountered in the NCAA 2 that would reach the NBA?

I’m not sure if I know his name but he went to a Truman State and was a pretty good player.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

I can’t name 5 but I will say all of the guys I’ve played with because I learned a lot from each and every one of them.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.

Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Wilt chamberlain.

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

I never seen Michael jordan play before I’ve only seen Lebron. So I will say Lebron, he’s my favorite player too.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

No I haven’t but I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Thanks Marshawn for the chat.

Jhonathan Dunn On Geert Hammink(Fraport Skyliners) Chaos For Our Opponents And Control For Us

Jhonathan Dunn (193-G-1998, college: S.Nazarene) is a 24 year old 193cm guard from San Antonio, Texas that finished his second professional season and first with Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-DBL) averaging 12.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 82.2%; in the BNXT league, 21.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 49.2%, FT: 85.2%; in the DBL league and 15.4ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 79.4% in the Fiba Europe Cup.. As a rookie he played with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-DBL) averaging 16.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 84.5%. He began his basketball career at Alamo Heights High School and then played at Southern Nazarene University (NCAA2) from 2016-2020 playing a total of 122 games. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his ex coach Geert Hammink.

Jhonathan thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and hos is life treating you at the moment?

Life is good sir really enjoying the championship and it feels great to just relax for a bit!!

Before we get to Geert Hammink, I want to ask you if you have love for Steph Curry? He just won his 4th NBA title, but has so much haters. Can you understand that? Where do you see Steph Curry right now with the best ever?

I really enjoy Steph Curry. He is a great player in the game and he has changed the way people see it. I think he is one of the best players to play

You just won the BNXT title over Groningen. How do you personally rate this new league combing Belgium and Dutch? Is this a league on the rise?

I think the BNXT league is great opportunity to show what the Dutch players have and show how they stack up with other high level teams.

You just beat Groningen in exciting fashion by a combined score of 3 points in 2 games. Where do you rate this playoff series in all that you have played?

The playoffs series with Donor was great. They played hard and didn’t back down once. But our team stayed together and fought back every time

How blessed do you feel winning 2 titles this season only in your second professional season in Holland? Does that hunger to win more grow 180 degrees?

This series is at the top of my list. It’s a great feeling. I’ve been told not that many people get the chance to win titles so I’m happy to be able to win them with a great group of guys!!

How much credit does Geert Hammink deserve for the success? He came ‘to Leiden 2 years ago and led the team to 3 titles.

Coach is a good one being able to bring guys with different personalities and have us come together.

He had only had 2 years of coaching experience and then wins 3 in the last 2 years. How do you explain his rise as a coach?

He did his thing and it showed. I think his rise as a coach is great. Not too many coaches are able to do what he did and it shows with what he won

Talk a little about his coaching style. He likes to play fast and attractive. How else would you describe his style?

He likes to play fast, active, and under control. He always said we have to play with control Chaos

Talk a little about his strengths. What does he do best from the sidelines each day?

Chaos for our opponents and control for us. He does his best seeing the court and being able to ask us what we see.

Thanks Jhonathan for the chat.

Mike Nwabuzor Went From North Macedonia To Suddenly Being All Alone Stretching With Lebron And DeMar And He Knew He Really Belonged

A little less than 2 months ago Bellflower, California native Mike Nwabuzor (188-G-1996, college: NMHU) was toiling in North Macedonia for KK TFT Skopje and was playing his fourth professional season. The 188cm guard is one of those guys that you find at every corner in Europe. A highly talented guard that played JUCO and NCAA 2 and has a chip on his shoulder as heavy as Shaq must feel sitting on a 150 pound person. The guy has been grinding his whole career overseas and played 3 of his seasons in Germany and had an exceptional rookie season with BG Dorsten. Talented guards are so common around the world that finding jobs is a tough things and even more difficult when you haven’t played at the highest levels. But the California native will never slack or feel satisfied, because his chip on his shoulder will always be there. When you come from JUCO, you appreciate everything and take absolutely nothing for granted. ‘I’ve always been a type that had to start at the bottom and work my way up with basketball. I know soon I will be at the top, it just takes time. You have to fall in love with the process so that when you do reap the benefits, you don’t take them for granted’, warned Mike Nwabuzor. Some guys grind their whole career and don’t get rewarded while other guys here and there do get rewarded. For example take John Murry, a very talented guard not much different from Nwabuzor as both are walking buckets moved up two levels in Germany which isn’t very common. Nwabuzor is still waiting for that kind of reward, but last weekend he was rewarded in another way.’ At one point, it was me just me, Demar, and Bron in the hallway stretching getting ready for the game. It just let me know that I belong. I’ve always known that I do but that was the best confirmation that I could ever get. I’ll never forget that moment and I’ll use it to carry me forward for the rest of my career’, stressed Mike Nwabuzor.

Mike Nwabuzor and Lebron James

It is no secret that if you hang around the gyms of Los Angeles and are lucky with the perfect timing then you might be able to catch a pick up game with NBA players. One place where you might be fortunate to catch some guys balling and enjoying their summers is at UCLA. It becomes even more of a treat if Lebron James is in the building. Mike Nwabuzor wasn’t a spectator which is a treat, but actually was on a team that was to play Lebron James in a Pro Am game. Being able to play on one of these teams is like a luxury because connections usually play a big role. The Drew League is probably the best known tournament during the summers and was established in 1973. It has rose in popularity over the years. It really rose to prominence during the NBA lock out in 2011 and has continued to grow over the years as 28 teams have participated. Over the last years some of the most notable have been Michael Cooper, Baron Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kobe Bryant and the list goes on and on. The list of NBA legends didn’t ebb this summer as Lebron James and DeMar DeRozan were to play. Any kid would die to play against a Lebron in 2022. In my time, it would have been Larry Bird, but just thinking about the chance to battle against a Lebron Jones has to be seriously mind boggling. Having that intense feeling of possibly playing against Lebron was already playing games with him days leading up to the game. ‘I personally heard rumors up to two days before the game but it was all speculation and I refused to believe any of it until I saw it for myself. It was confirmed the night before by Demar Derozan via Twitter and that’s when I knew it was time to get to it’, stated Mike Nwabuzor. Three and a half years ago, I remember asking Mike Nwabuzor that question that every baller has had the opportunity to answer. It is a lot easier for the older generation to pick a Michael Jordan over a Lebron James as the GOAT, but in the younger generation, it is Lebron that usually gets the title of GOAT. But then again there are some of the younger dudes that know where respect is due. ‘My favorite player is Lebron James , he inspired me to start playing basketball but the.best player of all time is Michael Jordan and there is no debate’, warned Mike Nwabuzor in 2019. But after playing against Lebron in 2022, where does he stand now with the difficult GOAT question? ‘Miles, you’re trying to get me in trouble with this question ! Bron inspired me to pick up a ball and play the game of basketball. He is the best ALL AROUND player of all time and that also means off the court as well. When it comes to true grit and will to win, I got Mike. This opinion stands’, stressed Mike Nwabuzor.

Mike Nwabuzor and Demar DeRozan

So it was Sunday July 17th, 2022 when the day finally arrived for Mike Nwabuzor where he would play against the best player on earth Lebron James. He must have been pinching himself a few days before and in the hours leading up to the jump ball. I mean only a few months ago he was in North Macedonia. I’m sure if someone had told him that a few months later that he would face off against Lebron, he would of probably chocked laughing. ‘ Man , I wouldn’t have believed it. Credits to the best summer Pro Am in the world , the Drew League, you never know who will pop out each summer so as much as it was a surprise, it wasn’t. It’s really an honor to be able to matchup with him and go toe to toe with him as a team and make him work for every bucket and work to actually get a win’, added Mike Nwabuzor. The first fans arrived at 6.30 am for the scheduled 1,45 game start at King-Drew Magnet High School. The ex BG Dorsten guard was playing for team Black Pearl Elite with some overseas players like Etan Alvano who played last season in Germany for Pro A team Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, Vince Camper, and Jayce Johnson who played at Utah (NCAA) along with Dion Wright who had played at St Bonaventure (NCAA). His high school teammates Alvano and Wright were key for him playing on the team. His opponent was the MMV cheaters led by Lebron James and DeMar DeRozan along with ex NBA player Caspar Ware who’s dad was a local basketball legend and poured in 47 points in a Drew League title game in 1987, Charles Jackson and Eugene Phelps who was Nwabuzor’s primary defender during the game and had made a name for himself in Mexico early in his pro career.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Caspar Ware in Oldenburg, Germany in 2015 after he helped the EWE Baskets win the German cup

As should be when the king of basketball Lebron James enters the house, the ex Miami Heat received a hero’s welcome. ‘If you love this game, the atmosphere and energy in that gym is something that you’d do anything to be able to play in. When I saw him in the hallway while I was stretching , that was my moment of ‘okay that’s Bron’. After I got over that moment, when we got on the court, all I wanted was smoke and to go at him and DeMar just like anybody else that laces their shoes to play this game. The energy that the fans gave out only did wonders for us. We leveraged it in our favor and as a whole, we showed up and showed out’, remembered Mike Nwabuzor. I have seen Lebron James on TV and he looks like a monster. I also have seen him twice on a Boston street, but both times he was dressed for winter so his menacing figure wasn’t as present, but how is it when he is in shorts and his muscles are on showcase? I would say LeBron is definitely bigger in person than he looks on TV, obviously. He’s just a force and it’s truly a business decision if you want to get in the way and try to stop the freight train’, stated Mike Nwabuzor.

Lebron James getting on the bus in Boston in November 2021

The American who believes that Kevin Durant hurt his legacy asking for a trade and thinks he and Kyrie Irving owe it to Brooklyn to try and get a title saw 2 world class players in Lebron and Demar, but wasn’t shy and just went out and played his game and conquered. Ok so Lebron and Demar had top games with 42/16 and 30/14, but the guard who played at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley held his own making a highlight film tape that any professional player outside the NBA would die for having 17 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, 3 steals and 3 blocks. ‘I feel that I performed at a high level on the biggest stage and that speaks volumes about my preparation and the work I put into my craft. I played a full all around game , which is me in a nutshell. I’m a playmaker and defender that can score the basketball and get my teammates off as well. My one regret and probably biggest moment is coming down the line and taking off to dunk right in front of Bron and I missed the dunk by an inch. Ball went in the rim and popped out when I pulled the rim down. Other than that, great all around game. I was composed , confident , and strategic in my attack offensively and defensively’, expressed Mike Nwabuzor. Playing in a Drew League game has done wonders for lesser known guys over the years helping them get noticed better. There were a number of NBA and former NBA players in attendance like Draymond Green, Lakers forward Talen Horton-Tucker, Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn and Baron Davis. Not to mention agents and Gm’s from NBA teams. His positive versatile game definitely didn’t hurt his chances. ‘I definitely let people know what was known by my close ones already. I can play with the best of them, any day, any place , any time. My route to becoming a professional wasn’t the prettiest , going JUCO/D1/D2 and it sometimes takes away from the respect I deserve. This game helped me to display my full bag of talent and the many things I can do on the basketball court to help teams win games and championships. There were many important people there. Draymond Green, Quavo, and Montrezz Harrell were some that I actually had some good back and forth with’, commented Mike Nwabuzor.

The game went down to the wire and then came that moment every baller dreams of. No Larry Bird trash talk, but some friendly banter/trash talk from him in the direction of Lebron who was at the free throw line. ‘My biggest memory of the game is walking up to Bron while he’s at the free throw line at the end of the game in crunch time and telling him ‘I know you good for one, give me one’, talking about a free throw miss. Best part was , he actually smoked the second one and gave us a chance to come down and almost tie the game. I was guarding DeMar a majority of the game and did really well. He only scored 2 jumpers on me. I was so locked in on DeMar, I didn’t get a chance to switch on to Bron defensively like I wanted to. When we got in between those lines, Bron was just another opponent for me. So it wasn’t a big deal to ask him to smoke a free throw. I’m always the type to say small things like that to try to get in guy’s head’s and rattle them under pressure. I said it to him and he didn’t flinch, but he missed one so I will assume it clearly bothered him”, remembered Mike Nwabuzor. But that wasn’t the only response that he got from Lebron during the game. It may have been a meaningless game, but Lebron had his game face the whole time. ‘Lebron was very stoic the whole game. I did get a response out of him mid game when I asked him did his teammate get fouled on a certain play because it was a bad call and he said ‘ hell nah’ . Other than that , it was too much going on and he was locked in. I’ll give him that’, said Mike Nwabuzor. Another great NBA player with Kyrie Irving was slated to also appear, but at the end was a no show. Of course it would have been a highlight if he could of faced off against Uncle Drew, but in the end he had met exactly who he had wanted to really see with Lebron. ‘I was so locked in on Bron and Demar that if Kyrie showed , it was a plus but if not it’s all good. I would’ve have loved to guard him and test out how good my defense is against his handle and creativity. Personally I watch a lot of Kyrie every day just because before anything , I am a fan and lover of the game of basketball. So it would be fun to guard him and see what of his moves that I study would work and what wouldn’t’, added Mike Nwabuzor. Oh by the way Lebron and co won a nail bitter 104-102.

So 24 hours after his encounter with Lebron James, I remind the guard who believes that currently Steph Curry is the second best point guard of all-time after Magic Johnson about something he had told me in 2019 in his rookie season in Dorsten, Germany. He told me that the best player that he had ever faced then had been Rob Gray form the University of Houston who was a walking bucket. Now it was obvious that he had removed Gray from the best he had ever faced in his career. ‘Many things can happen in 3.5 years. It’s safe to say Lebron James is the best player that I’ve played against to date , for sure. Lebron James isn’t just a walking bucket, he’s an all around basketball player which makes him one of the greatest if not the greatest to ever play the sport’, stressed Mike Nwabuzor. It will be interesting to see where he lands next season and if his Drew League encounter against Lebron and potent game have an effect on clubs. ‘I’m really open to playing anywhere that makes sense and will value me the most as a player’, warned Mike Nwabuzor. His goal for next season is to play in Germany in the BBL or Pro A or in France in the Pro A or Pro B. I wonder if someone rewards his great Drew League performance. He may have that ultra ultra grand children story for the ages, but I know that he isn’t satisfied yet. He never will be. He wants many new grand children stories from overseas from top leagues that he will always strive to reach.

Josh Boutte Rebounds In His Sleep And Has Always Wanted Every Ball Like Dennis Rodman

Josh Boutte (198-PF, college: Angelo St., agency: BIG) is a forward that finished his second professional season and first with the TuS 59 HammStars (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 22 games averaging 17.5ppg, 14.1rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 59.1%, FT: 43.5%. He played his rookie season with MC El Brasil Santa Ana (El Salvador-Liga MB) averaging 20.0ppg, 20.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.7spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 46.1%, FT: 61.1% and played with KB Lipjani (Kosovo-Superliga) averaging 13.0ppg, 11.8rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 57.1%, FT: 31.6%. He began his basketball career with Westgate High School and then played two seasons with Dodge City Community College (JUCO) averaging 16.0ppg, 10.6rpg, FGP: 63.1%, FT: 47.2% and in his second season averaged 16.0ppg, 11.7rpg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 46.7%. He then played a season with Sam Houston State University (NCAA) averaging 5.5ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 61.6%, FT: 66.7% and as a senior played with Angelo State University (NCAA2) averaging 7.1ppg, 7.2rpg, FGP: 52.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks Josh for talking to germanhoops.com You played your first season in Germany with Regionalliga team HammStars. The team had a solid 14-12 record finishing in 8th place. What kind of an experience was it playing Regio ball after having been in El Salvador and Kosovo?

The experience was great! I knew I would average a double double. I was looking to average 20ppg and 20 rebounds. I had it all set before I stepped on court. The competition wasn’t that bad for the first time in Germany.

You dominated in every pro league that you have played in. What has been your secret to being able to adapt everywhere so far?

The secret is to to Keep God first, and always stay positive and have self-confidence. Believe!

What kind of an experience was it playing with versatile Faton Jetullahi. Did he make your job a lot easier at times on the set play?

Playing with Faton was a great experience, he’s a very good teammate and he’s a very streaky shooter. Good IQ for a European guard

You’re an undersized big at 198cm. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player, who would best fit the description?

I always compare my game to Dennis Rodman, I want every ball that comes off the rim! That is what makes me love the game. I love to fight for rebounds on the offensive end and defensive end I definitely have fun boxing out.

It is no secret that you’re a beast on the glass. Does rebounding just come natural to you or is it hard drenching work in every game?

I rebound in my sleep. I would Literally give you 15 plus rebounds easy

You can score and get rebounds at ease, but what other strengths does your game have?

My other strength is that I can dribble and shot the 3pt ball

On what area’s of your game are you working on most this summer so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?

I would say dribble pull up game.

You sat out last season due to Covid. You didn’t play for a year and a half until Hamm signed you. How tough was this season because of all the restrictions? Was there ever a time where you thought to quit?

Yea it was definitely times I wanted to quit but I had to find a way to fight adversity, and stay locked in and Covid was a big toll for a year. But I’m BACK!

Two seasons ago you played with KB Lipjani (Kosovo-Superliga) averaging 13.0ppg, 11.8rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 57.1%, FT: 31.6%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas for the first time where you knew that you were far away from home?

That I must stay in the gym and weight room every day. You have to make it fun for the time away from home.

Your season in Kosovo was cut short because of Covid. What memories do you have from being in Kosovo when Covid hit? How tough was getting through the red tape to get home again?

The memories I can remember when Covid hit when I was in Kosovo. I was shocked! Sad and just thought the world was about to end.

You got your first professional experience in 2019 with MC El Brasil Santa Ana (El Salvador-Liga MB) averaging 20.0ppg, 20.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.7spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 46.1%, FT: 61.1%. You put up Kevin Love type stats registering 26 rebounds in a game and 24 rebounds twice. Did that feel like being a man among boys?

Haha most definitely. I always felt like a man above man at the age of 11 years old. I love to dominate. I want to be the hardest worker when I play my role.

You played at three schools with Dodge City Community College (JUCO), Sam Houston State University (NCAA) and Angelo State University. How vital was it for your basketball development playing at three different schools?

It was very important to me! I prevail every time I don’t regret nothing, I took everything professionally and personal, I knew I was on a mission where I wanted to go or be at in the years past down. Either NBA or G league or overseas

You played two seasons at Dodge City Community College (JUCO) averaging 16.0ppg, 10.6rpg, FGP: 63.1%, FT: 47.2% and 16.0ppg, 11.7rpg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 46.7%. Every guy that I have ever interviewed that played JUCO has said that is was very tough, but an experience they would never have traded in for the world. How was it for you?

Wow! Playing Juco was one of the experiences you can imagine to start off your basketball career. It’s says a lot! It’s definitely tough but it makes you level up on the court and off as a person, you just have to stay focused and don’t get distracted you know, and have that positive mindset that you will Prevail.

You then played a season with Sam Houston State University (NCAA) playing 23 games averaging 5.5ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 61.6%, FT: 66.7%. You proved in some games that you could play at the NCAA level. Do you feel like you did the most you could in the 13 minutes that you averaged averaging 5/3 stats?

Yea I definitely could have easy averaged a double double. Coming off a great season in Juco being all American, and going into my junior year at Sam Houston in the summer workouts. I had an injury, so I had to sit half with of the season, and I came back right in the middle when the conference started. So I came back and played 60 percent, I wasn’t 100 percent, it was a tough challenge ever in my basketball career. So I decided to refresh and transfer to San Angelo State.

You then took a step back to play at Angelo State University (NCAA2) playing 31 games averaging 7.1ppg, 7.2rpg, FGP: 52.6%. When looking back do you feel it was the right move having done this or do you sometimes wonder where you may be today had you remained at Sam Houston?

Sometimes things are meant to be you know. But Sam Houston I have lots of respect to my alumni. And coaching staff. They taught me a lot. But when I moved forward that next season they had won the conference. But like I said the injury played a huge factor. If it wasn’t for the injury I would have definitely stayed, I know I would have averaged a double double easy. But I have no remorse of what the choice I made in career.

How did head coach Cinco Boone groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Coach Boone is one of the most coolist coaches ever he has a great personality and I always learned a lot from him. He’s not a bad coach at all!

Who won a one on one in practice you or Valentine Sangoyomi?

Lol Valentine 6’10, when I first played him in pickups before the season, I know it would be a wrestling match in practice, but all we did is made each other better every practice. Great guy!

Who is the toughest player that you ever faced on the floor so far in your career that reached the NBA?

I would have to say, Jarred Sullinger, Markel brown, and Brandon Knight

Please name your five best teammates of all-time?

Rip Fred Joseph- High school teammate 2. Kendrick Porter- high school teammate 3. T. Williams- aau teammate 4. Lorenzo Dillard- Juco teammate 5. Chip Armlen-aau teammate

Please name your NBA Mount Rushmore

1.Michael Jordan 2. Lebron James 3. Kareem 4. Magic Johnson

What is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all time Jordan or Lebron?

Jordan but Lebron is my Guy

What was the last movie that you saw?

Blue Chips

Thanks Josh for the chat.


When Brian Harper Found Space It Was Look Out As His Thunderous Dunks Rocked Arena´s World Wide

When you have been around as long as I have covering basketball overseas for almost 20 years, there is a phrase that continues to follow me daily in just about every thing I do concerning player interviews and articles. The phrase is ‘time really does fly by’. I mean when I began in 2004 there were guys I’m covering now that weren’t even born yet and guys that hadn’t even began their professional career. Guys battle on the court every day and seasons come and go. Before you know it, you will read an announcement on social media or a newspaper clipping saying some guy has decided to hang them up after an illustrious career. Just in the last year, there have been tons of guys deciding to start a new chaper as Mr Pauldingburg Rickey Paulding left a legacy in Oldenburg that will never be matched again, Per Gunther played an incredible 14 years in Ulm and Alex King, who I saw grow from a young and inexperienced kid in Frankfurt in 2004 to a well spoken and respected gentleman had a stellar 20 year career winning titles with Alba Berlin. Just a day ago Jamar Wilson announced his retirement who had an incredible 15 year career overseas, but there are many others that sometime decide it’s time to think more about the family and life after basketball. There was another guy that like these pervious great players also had a long stellar 13 year career with Brian Harper (208-F-1985, college: Paine, agency: BIG). The only difference with him to the others was that he already retired a year ago. I had already had the pleasure with reminiscing about the past with him, but unfortunately kept his interview on the shelf, but as I like to say every once in a while, ‘better late than never’. Sorry for the delay Brian.

The 206cm forward who celebrates his 37th birthday on July 19th and resides in Atlanta, Georgia and remembers once hitting 2 full court shots one with a swish and the other with a bank shot began his NCAA 2 career at Paine from 2003-2007. It took some time before he got going at Paine, but in his last 2 seasons his game took off as he averaged 16,0ppg and 6,0rpg. His biggest success at Paine was winning SIAC player of the year in 2006 and reaching the conference final. The forward who will never forget his battles with Stillman (NCAA2) great Monyea Pratt began his professional career in 2007 with Gimle BBK Bergen (Norway-1Div) averaging 25.1ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, 2.0bpg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 66.3%. He needed no time to getting adjusted to the European game as his game took off right away. But he also knew right away that overseas basketball would be no cake walk. ‘The wakeup call was everyone that I was playing with and against could really play there were no breaks every night you had to come ready to play’, remembered Brian Harper. His second season would be a roller coaster as he spent time in Korea with KCC Egis and in the D-League with teams Sioux Falls Skyforce and the Reno Bighorns. Even if his D-League experience lasted only 13 games, he will never forget the moment. ‘ When I got back from Korea I spent about a month in the D-League and really enjoyed it. I will never forget the NBA style of play’, said Brian Harper. After seeing a lot in his first 2 seasons as a professional, he then found some consistency in his career as he went to the other side of the world to Japan. His new club would be the Toyama Grouses (Japan-BJ League) and he would remain 3 seasons there. Even if his first season was cut short because he arrived in March, he saved his best for last as he totally dominated in his last two seasons averaging 18.6ppg, 10.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 56.6% and 16.3ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 61.3%.In 85 games he scored in double figures in 74 games and scored 20 points or more in 30 games and registered 29 double doubles. It wasn’t difficult to imagine what a big advantage it was for him being able to play so well. ‘I was taller than everyone’, laughed Brian Harper who had to get used to bowing and taking his shoes off in Japan.

After 3 years in the far east, It was time for a change. It wasn’t simple, but a decision he had to make. ‘Leaving Japan wasn’t an easy thing to do I love the culture, fans and professional basketball league in Japan , but I knew that if I wanted to continue to grow as a basketball player and wanted to play at the highest of levels it was something I had to do’, remembered Brian Harper. Now it was time for him to conquer the Beko BBL in Germany as he suited up for TBB Trier. He played for legendary German player Henrik Rodl whom Harper remembered watching win the 1993 NCAA title with North Carolina. ‘He is a tremendous coach. I like how he is able to relate to his players and is able to get his point across. He is a players coach. He knows exactly what he needs to get out of his players. I really enjoy playing for him’, said Brian Harper in 2013. With TBB Trier he played 33 games averaging 11.0ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 60.3%. He had many great teammates back in Trier and one of them was a young player named Joshiko Saibou. He had taken a lot of flak from the German basketball community in 2021 concerning his take on certain political issues and COVID. ‘Joshiko was one of the young guys on our team in Trier the season that I was with the team, and I knew then that he had a bright future. He developed into a great ball player and has carved out a great career. I wish him nothing but the best as he continues to solidify his status as a top guard in Germany’, stated Brian Harper in 2021. His biggest highlight that season had to be scoring 17 points in a win against top club FC Bayern Munich. After his solid season in Trier, he took on a new challenge and joined the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. This was a team with high ambitions, a bigger budget and more talented players. His minutes dipped from 21-15 and scoring from 11-6. Bremerhaven had many great players and he just wasn’t a scoring option as much as in Trier. But he took it in stride and still played his heart out. Two guys he was teammates was with Derrick Allen a guy that had probably the best work ethic of any player in the BBL in the last 20 years and Darius Adams a scoring guard who should have been in the NBA. ‘Derrick Allen was definitely a coach even back in our days together in Bremerhaven. I know he is going to do great things as a coach. He was one of the hardest working players I ever played with, and I know his mentality and work ethic will translate to how he approaches his coaching career. Darius Adams is a special talent. He is one of the best guards I played with or against in my career. In my opinion he has NBA talent. I would go as far as saying he could be in the NBA if that’s where he decided that’s where he wanted to play, and if it made the most since for him at this point in his career’, commented Brian Harper.

After 2 years in Germany, the flying forward who liked to watch Scottie Pippen as a kid would depart and continue to add new stamps on his passport with his globetrotting journey. His journey continued in Cyprus where he suited up for Petrolina AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-Division A) playing 24 games averaging 16.3ppg),9.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 60.0%. Once again he needed no real adjustment period and belonged to the top players in the league finishing fourth in scoring and second in rebounding and was an allstar. He was a beast on the boards once registering 21 and 20 rebounds including 14 and 13 offensive rebounds. He helped lead the team to the title with exciting playoff series wins over Keravnos and Apoel. After his success in Cyprus, it was time for another change as he went from the beach to the freezing temperatures in Estonia. Once again his game took off with Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-Alexela KML) playing 22 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.0apg, Blocks-2 (1.3bpg), FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 55.0%; and played 11 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 11.0ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 66.7%;and played 6 Baltic League: games averaging 12.8ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 88.0. In Estonia he teamed up with top Estonian player Janar Talts a guy that had also balled in Germany in the BBL and been teammates with ex NBA beast Marcin Gortat. ‘I had a real good time playing with Janar Talts. We did end up spending some time talking about our experiences playing in the BBL. I enjoyed my time in Estonia and learned a lot that season. I had a good time competing in the FIBA Euro Cup, and Baltic League’, remembered Brian Harper. He could of racked up many more titles had he had a little bit more fortune in Estonia, but at the end of the day, he was second 3 times. After a few years away from Japan, he had the itch to go back and played with Tokyo Hachioji Trains (Japan-B League D3) averaging 14.6ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-3 (1.3bpg), FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 27.6%, FT: 63.2%. ‘I love the Japanese culture and my wife and I enjoyed our time there. My fondest memory of my time there would be my wife and I getting pregnant with our first child while living in Tokyo. The style of basketball is up tempo and more one on one basketball in most cases. I’ve been able to have some success in both styles of play so I enjoy playing in both’, stressed Brian Harper in 2018. In the 2017-2018 season, his globetrotting ways continued as he encountered a new country with Israel, but his stay was short with Hapoel Ramat Gan Givataim (Israel-National League) playing 4 games averaging 13.0ppg, 4.3rpg, and he then finished the season with Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 12 games averaging 12.8ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 75.0%.

After 4 years away from the German BBL, he returned back, but this time had to take a step back and played with the Tigers Tuebingen a club that had played in the BBL when he had been in Trier and Bremerhaven, but since been demoted to the second league called Pro A. He was there only for a few months and played only 3 games. He would of played more games, but a sudden turn of events effected it. ‘My time in Tubingen was definitely a different experience. Coach Nadjfeji brought me in and unfortunately after me being there for only a game or two the team went in another direction with a different coach. This situation was probably the only time in my career where I don’t feel like I had a full opportunity to display and showcase my abilities. The positives that I could take from the time there was the great fans, and front office and staff’, remembered Brian Harper. Despite sitting and watching more than playing, he was surrounded by great people like the Nadjfeji family and ultimate professional Elijah Allen. ‘It was great playing with Coach Nadjfeji, and was fun playing with his son Nemanja! Coach had a lot of passion and it was obvious how much he loves the game. Elijah Allen is one of those guys you don’t have to be around long to realize just how good a person he is. He is also a great basketball player who not only can play at a high level but also has a great understanding of the game’, stated Brian Harper. He then finished the season in Luxemburg with Racing averaging 18.5ppg, 11.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg. He came back the next season in 2019-2020 with Racing Luxemburg which would be his last season. It was only a short stay as he played 3 games, but put up double double stats of 14/10. His best game was scoring 27 points and hauling down 13 boards in a loss to Contern and his last game was on January 11, 2020 where he had 8 points and 12 rebounds in a loss against the Musel Pikes. At that time the world was still in order, but Covid entered 2 months later. He was 34 years old at the time and probably would of kept going for a lot longer had other circumstances not hit. ‘Physically with how my body felt, the skill set I had built over my career, and the way I took care of myself I probably could played at a high level in to my 40’s’, warned Brian Harper in 2021.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and bRian Harper at the 2014 BBL allstar game in Bonn

Covid hit the world in 2020 which put everything in disarray. It was a time where people began to put other things in perspective. It wasn’t any different for athletes. There were many guys that didn’t play the 2020-2021 season. Another big time BBL player Jared ‘Mr assist’ Jordan also didn’t play which then led to him retiring. It wasn’t any different for Brian Harper who names his teammates in Trier as his best of all-time. ‘My wife and I got pregnant with our second daughter in March of 2020, and with all that was going on with COVID 19 decided to stay home last season to make sure my daughter was born safely, and to ensure my wife’s health. So COVID had a lot to do with our decision only because I wasn’t willing to take a chance with their heath As far as hanging it up, it just ended up being the right time. It wasn’t an easy decision only because how much I love the game. On the other hand it was a peaceful decision. After staying home last season and watching how my family and I were able to settle in I knew the timing was right’, stressed Brian Harper. Not only did Covid play a massive part in his decision to retire, but it also made him stronger as a man. ‘It definitely helped put things in perspective and also tested me in many ways. I’ve always been a family man and have always put my family first. COVID in a way gave me another opportunity to show just that. It forced me to continue to practice what I preach, and make decisions based on what was best for my family’, expressed Brian Harper.

When looking back at his illustrious career, it isn’t difficult to guess where his fondest memories were as a player. ‘Outside of the championship in Cyprus I would probably say some of the premiere teams we beat during my time in Germany. I would also say the seasons I spent in Japan with Toyama, and how I helped take a team that had never won and helped turn them in to a winning team’, added Brian Harper. Making the transition from the court to the office isn’t always easy for professional players, but for the American, he is very excited about what his next life path will be and knows the guy upstairs will guide him ‘I have so many things that I am excited to embark on as I transition into what comes next for me in my professional life. While my playing days have come to an end it is just the beginning of what I believe God has in store for me’, commented Brian Harper. He is a player that left his basketball stamp where ever he played and hopes that fans will remember him for certain things that he stood for with his play. ‘I would want them to remember the passion and tenacity in which I played the game. I always played the game and gave the game 100%. I hope the world remembers and finds joy in the unique talent and skill set that I worked so hard to build over my career. I hope the memories bring a smile to their faces’, said Brain Harper. It was a pleasure for me to be able to cover Brian’s time in Germany. I will never forget when he found space in the zone, it was look out as his thunderous dunks would rock any arena. It was a lot of fun to watch him use his brutal athleticism to his advantage on the court. I always enjoyed doing interviews with him as he was always willing to answer all my questions. At the end, our interview count stood at 8. It is also a blessing when the respect and love is mutual for one another. ‘Miles It has been a true pleasure! I will remember your love and passion for the game. I will also remember your unmatched professionalism! I was always comfortable working with you because I always knew you were honest, and had high character. I can truly say I will miss your interviews my friend’, said Brain Harper. Congrats on a great career Brian. All the best for you and your family in the future. We don’t have to keep our interview count at 8. I’m always ready for a new interview my friend!

Basketball Life Was Rough The Last 3 Years But John Murry´s Neverending Hard Work and Positivity Has Rewarded Him With A Pro A Contract With The Art Giants Duesseldorf

John Murry (192-G-1995, college: Austin Peay) is a 27 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis, Indiana that will play his fourth professional season in Germany and first with new Pro A team Art Duesseldorf. After playing only 3 games in his first 2 seasons with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) because of injury and Covid, he was able to play 25 games averaging 28.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.6apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 82.2%. Before that he had experience with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans. He played two years at Owens Community College playing 63 games and two years at Austin Peay State University (NCAA) playing 56 NCAA games and as a senior averaged 16.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.

Thanks John for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

No problem, thanks for having me. I’m in Indianapolis, Indiana right now just preparing for the upcoming season with workouts and playing a couple times a week keeping my wind right.

It’s been more than 3 months since your last game with Grevenbroich. Has time flown by quickly for you as we are in the dog days of summer?

Time most definitely has wings, it feels like but it’s been one of my most productive summers thus far, I’ve exercised strong focus and detail on repairing my body to be solid for the upcoming season.

How long did you go without having a ball in your hands when you returned home? After a taxing Regionalliga season you must of taken some time off to let your body rest.

I took some time off for sure after the previous season, just recovering and focusing on getting better every day.

When did you get back in the gym? How is this summer different than the last 2 summers where you were training after hardly having played games because of COVID?

I began back to work in early May and it’s a blessing to be in this position this summer.
I really have to thank God for the health and strength to keep going when times got tough without basketball.

Is it easier grinding this summer mainly because you played a full season again and have a better idea on what area’s to work on?

It’s never really easy to get better but it does feels great mentally this summer after a full season heading into the next season. I definitely know what I need to work on in order to be better at the next level.

How does a normal training day look for you? How often do you train per week?

Every day starts at 6 or 7am for me with on the court live shots and situational in game action, after the court I then feed myself some protein and head to the weight room. After the weight room I then eat and get off my feet for a couple hours then prepare my mind for yoga/stretch session with my trainer. The day ends there unless we go for overtime work in the evening just to stay sharp. At the end of the week I’m getting about 8-10 sessions each of on the court work and in the weight room, it’s seriously a lifestyle you have to enjoy and love.

Do you focus on ball and fitness together or do you do it separate?

I do it together in order to maintain a high level of play also to challenge myself mentally and become a better person outside the court.

What kind of fitness drills do you like doing? Talk a little how do go about getting ready for the next season?

Mainly just staying sharp on mt feet with agility drills, high speed volume exercises, lots of ball handling to keep my feet and hips loose, and just tons of work to make sure I get better everyday.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and John Murry in Rhondorf in 2019

On what other area’s of your game are you working on this summer so you will be prepared for the next challenge?

I’m definitely working on every aspect of my game, I want to be a complete all around player/person this season on and off the court to take my game to the next level it’s taking a ton of focus and consistency but I take the challenge on with grace, I love the grind.

Congrats on signing with Art Giants Duesseldorf. How blessed are you to be able to call your self a Pro A player? All the work and hardship the last 3 years has paid off?

I owe God all the glory and honor for keeping me sane through these past few years of struggle in order to be at this level. I’ve worked my butt off trying to get here and I’m ready to take full advantage of the opportunity.

With what kind of expectations are you going into this new challenge? Your moving up 2 leagues. How confident are you that you will able to put your stamp on the league?

Confidence is at an all time high like I said just trusting in God, putting him first and then trusting in myself as well as my work is why I feel I will be able to lead and help my team win and become a strong force in the league.

Where do you see Steph Curry right now in the discussion of the best point guards of all-time?

In live action today, Steph is arguably the best point guard to play the game behind Magic Johnson. What Steph is doing is nothing short of greatness.

What was the first eatery that you visited when you returned home?

I had to go straight to the soul food, lord knows I miss that being overseas but it’s worth the sacrifice.

Thanks John for the chat

The Whole Truth About Justin Onyejiaka(Fraport Skyliners) From Hendrik Gruhn(Rasta Vechta)

Hendrik Gruhn is the youth head coach of the NBBL (U-19) youth team of the Young Rasta Dragons and Pro B coach. He found experience coaching the Young Rasta Dragons U-12 and U14 teams. Last season he by chance became head coach of the Vechta Regionalliga team and helped them win the title and move to the Pro B as well as led the U-19 team to the NBBL final. He gave the whole truth about his ex player Justin Onyejiaka Chukuwueme (190-SG-2004).

Thanks Hendrik for talking to germahoops.com The Fraport Skyliners announced the signing of Justin Onyejiaka Chukuwueme. How disappointed are you that he has left Vechta?

Of course it is disappointing when a huge talent like Justin leaves, because one always wants to work as long as possible with talented players. But on the other hand it is a great opportunity for him to continue his career with the Fraport Skyliners. We need to accept it. I’m very happy for him. Perhaps we will see each other again in the playoffs.

Did his leaving surprise you considering how he helped Vechta reach the NBBL final 4 and the second team move up to the Regionalliga. Vechta has been on the rise in youth development in the last few years while the Fraport Skyliners have been a bit stagnant in the last few years after the departure of Isaac Bonga.

It didn’t surprise me. Frankfurt may not be the way it once was with guys like Voigtmann, Barthel and Bonga, but it is still a very good place for young players to play and develop. I think it was very beneficial for him to go there. I think also that he wanted a change in scenery. I feel it is more that he was for Frankfurt and less against Vechta.

Do you believe he saw a better future with the Fraport Skyliners? Do you think that the easyCredit BBL was a bigger attraction than the Pro A?

Yes that can be. Young guys today always want to get as quickly to the BBL as possible. The appeal to play BBL and Pro B was greater than Pro A and Pro B. If he does well in the Pro B and NBBL, his way to the BBL could be quicker going this route.

Did you talk with Justin about his decision? Did he seek advice from you?

Not really. He never asked me. We knew that he might go. We were Ok with it. I think it was a personal decision for him that he made with his family. Making a decision like that has to do with growing up. I had no influence on him.

Let’s talk about his game. He is a 190cm shooting guard. If you had to compare him to an NBA player and another German veteran who would you pick?

I think the best German comparison would be Maodo lo. Both are shifty and very mobile on offense. Justin is bigger and more athletic than Maodo. Justin’s shooting and ball handling is similar to Lo. If I had to compare his game to a NBA/Euroleague player then the best comparison would be Wade Baldwin. Both have long arms and when both are in the flow are very hard to stop.

Some could see him as the next Len Schoorman. Schoorman was loaned to the Hamburg Towers. Len was already a JBBL player when he was in Frankfurt. Do you feel like the comparison is unfair?

You can’t compare them Len is 20 and Justin 18. Two years is a huge difference. Both are similar in their game. I have to be honest, I was hoping that Len could help him in practice with things, but that won’t happen this season.

Talk a little about his strengths. In the Skyliners press release he is described as an allrounder that is athletic, team orientated and can create his shot for himself and others. How else would you describe his game?

He is an allrounder. I feel that he is the best German player for his age. He is a scorer that can finish at the rim, has a pull up and is overall a good shooter. When the opponent keys in on him, then he is able to find his teammates. His court vision is very good for his age. He can score 30-35 points. That’s his game.

His three point percentages are still down, but normal for a young player. How did you see his shooting development in the last year?

We worked together a lot on his shot during the lock down. We worked more than a year together during the lock down. I think that at the moment his biggest weakness has nothing to do with his mechanics, but moreover it’s his shot selection. Last season often when he hit 2 or 3 shots in a row, he would follow with wild step back shots. I’m sure Klaus Perwas will make sure his shot selection gets better.

Talk a bit about his defense. He is very athletic. How do you see him progressing as a defender with the Fraport Skyliners. Where do you see him s a defender at the moment?

Due to his length, athleticism and Physicality, he can defend many positions. But he still needs to work on his defense. His athleticism and long arms also makes him a threat to block shots. The biggest thing on defense is that he still needs to be prepared to get his hands dirty. He has shown signs, but it isn’t consistent yet. If he can get his defense to the same level as his offense, then he could have a great career and go far.

What kind of a relationship did you have with him and on what area of his game did you help him most with the last years?

Justin and I had a very good relationship. We talked a lot during the lock down. We built a very good relationship over the years. I know him since he is 13. I first coached him when he played with the U-14 team. I saw him grow the last years. It was tough last season, because he was injured and couldn’t always find his rhythm. We worked a lot on the shot, but also on other things. We also worked on his passing and pull up jumper. I believe I had a big influence on that.

Please tell me your fondest moment with him on the court?

It was the first JBBL season in 2019. We played against Metropol. I was an assistant coach that season, but for that game had to jump in as head coach. He hit almost 30 points and carried the team to the win. Another on court fond memory was when he scored 49 points against Paderborn last season. He was in the zone against Paderborn.

Give a nice example that you will never forget with him off the court that shows the kind of character that he has?

I remember during the lock down, we were always talking about to what player we could compare his game to. It took a while, but we finally came up with Wade Baldwin. We then looked at many of his videos online and began taking parts of his game and incorporating them into his game. He is more an introverted guy and isn’t always telling so many jokes, but we got a lot warmer and more comfortable with each other during this time.

Thanks Hendrik for the chat.