Jordan Hill Is Such A Complete Player That Just Scoring Would Be A Disservice Towards His Full Package Game

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jordan Hill after giving his German debut in Rhondorf with Ibbenburen

Over the years the German Regionalliga have had some amazing American players that showcased massive explosive scoring qualities and it is no different in 2020. In the German Regionalliga, you have an abundance of young and older German players and usually one dominant American. An American averaging 20,0 in this league means in some cases little, but if you’re a Ricky Easterling who averaged 33,0ppg with Saarlouis 10 years ago, it is a big deal. This season the first explosive new player came on the scene with Dorsten’s forward Mark Gordon who scorched team Lowen for 40 in his professional debut and after 4 games is averaging an overwhelming 33,0ppg. It is just a normal procedure for an American to score very many points in this league, because the league is also a stepping stone to get to the higher leagues so as a player you need to put up incredible stats. But not every American is like this. When I heard that ex Wisconsin Badger Jordan Hill (192-G-94, college: Seattle, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) had signed with Ibbenburen, I was pleasantly overjoyed. It isn’t every day that one sees a player of this calibur from a well known NCAA school like Wisconsin ball in the German 4th league. My first thought was, this guy is going to dominate this level. Little did I know that dominating is in his basketball language, but not necessarily in scoring. I was lucky to see him play his first game with Ibbenburen in Rhondorf. I was shocked when he didn’t even start or play in the first quarter. He finally was inserted in the second quarter and quickly and easily scored 2 rapid buckets in a row. Then I thought that a Ricky Easterling scoring rampage would come, but boy was I wrong. At the end of the game, he didn’t play 30 minutes, but only 14 minutes, but scored 13 points and dished out 4 assists while rebounding and playing defense. He hit all of his 6 shots as well. After helping his team to the 87-73 victory, I was surprised, but convinced that I had just seen the first complete American player in the Regionalliga. Scoring wasn’t the main dish on his basketball menu. ‘I can score. I can get to a bucket when necessary but I am such a complete player that it would be a disservice to everyone if I didn’t show the full package. My shooting is probably one of my better qualities. I think a look at my percentage may be misleading but I know how dangerous I can be from 3. This season will be a great chance to prove that. I can pass the ball with the best of them and I think my teammates will tell you how great I can share the ball. If I am called on to score more, then that is what I will do. I definitely think I have more to show than that though’, warned Jordan Hill. This American has enriched the league already after only a few games with his unselfishness.

Just like every one on earth Jordan Hill didn’t have the normal 2020 leading up to his current job in Germany. His last employer was a team in Brasil. He also was lucky to play a extra month as most guys that were balling in Europe had their season’s end at the beginning of March. For him finding any kind of normalcy in Seattle was out of the question. ‘Covid-19 has been a bit crazy in the States. The most difficult part of the pandemic was trying to find a place to get some time on the court. A large majority of the gyms were closed and unavailable. Weight rooms, basketball gyms, and even some outside courts were all shutdown for months. I was forced to do workouts inside the apartment and dribble around outside’, stressed Jordan Hill. Even if COVID-19 has hurt the world’s economy, it most sadly ended so many lives and caused families heart aches, there was a positive thing about it. In many cases it has helped people see the world in a whole different perspective and thus force one to react in certain ways one may not have had COVID-19 not struck. ‘I think it gave me time to sit back and make a plan for things I was looking to change in my life. I started a business and got accepted to a master’s program. I am always looking for ways to become a better person day in and day out. It challenged me to not be complacent. I forced myself to work on skills and try things I previously didn’t make time for’, warned Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill was born on December 12, 1994 in West Hills, California and grew up in Pasadena. He has 5 siblings and his uncle, Anthony Harris, played football at Cal State Northridge. The 25 year old American got his first real basketball experience with LaSalle in Pasadena, California averaging 15.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, 2.0bpg. He then got some added basketball experience at Phillips Exeter Academy averaging 7.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 8.0apg. The American who compares his game to guys like Penny Hardaway, Devin Booker and Steph Curry remembers what sold Wisconsin (NCAA) on his basketball abilities. ‘I didn’t see any problem with my stats at all at Exeter. I didn’t take a lot of shots during my time there. We played a team game. My job was to play aggressive defense in the front court and find the open man when the ball was in my hands. I had some pretty great games and plenty of highlight plays on our way to winning the first NEPSAC Class A Championship in Exeter school history. I have always had the talent and skill to play at the highest level. There is absolutely no doubt about that in my mind. I received my Wisconsin scholarship after a weekend of incredible play during my AAU season. My mentality towards defense, creating for others, and my overall work ethic is what got me the offer’, warned Jordan Hill. He then played 4 years at Wisconsin, but it didn’t turn out the way he may have thought. He played only 40 NCAA games in 3 seasons and never averaged more than 3,0ppg, but did reach 2 NCAA final 4’s losing to Duke and Kentucky. He had some amazing teammates with future NBA players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker and future Euroleague player Nigel Hayes. Despite not getting sufficient minutes there, he took the positives from the situation. ‘It was difficult every day. It used to really bother me to know I was capable of so much more but the playing system wasn’t setup for me to do what I do best. That’s fine, it just powered me to work on my game while I was there so that I would be ready for whatever came next. We accomplished a lot as a team and I know I made crucial plays throughout my career there. I have the respect of my teammates and that’s enough for me. That chapter of my life was important to my development as a player’, warned Jordan Hill. His toughest loss was lto Duke and he showed his team player qualities with the limited role that he had. ‘I gave my teammates hell while I was on the practice squad. I got a lot of buckets in practice and made the first team run a few times. That everyday work was necessary. Wisconsin is a program that is always more prepared than the opponent and that starts in how detailed we are in scouting reports, the aggression we play with in practice, and the brotherhood we built in the locker room’, remembered Jordan Hill

The American who lists his 5 best teammates of all-time as Nigel Hayes, Vitto Brown, Bronson Koenig, Frank Kaminsky, and Traevon Jackson didn’t finish career at Wisconsin, but opted for a new challenge and played his senior year with the University Of Seattle playing 32 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 77.2%. He finally got many minutes and could display the kind of player he really was, which he couldn’t display at Wisconsin. ‘I had the ball in my hands every time down the court. The game began and ended with my decision making. I loved that feeling of being the master of my destiny. I was allowed the freedom to figure things out on the court. I was more mature when I got to Seattle because I had 4 years of high-level basketball experience. There was no way for me to really fail if you ask me. I am destined for greatness and my time at Seattle U was the beginning of that process I believe’, stated Jordan Hill. He scored in double figures in 24 games and scored 26 points against Grand Canyon and 24 points against New Mexico State. He had a stretch in December where he played his best basketball there averaging 22ppg in wins against schools St Martin’s. Portland State and Nicholls. ‘I was shooting the ball very well at the time. I put together a really good stretch of games. I was shooting almost 48% from 3 until the conference season. I think I was getting whatever I want on the court. There’s another level I can tap into though’, warned Jordan Hill. All in all, he has many fond memories at the University of Seattle and even a few years later still has certain games fresh in his mind. ‘I think the win against N Mexico State at home in Key Arena is probably the most memorable games I’ve played. I got it done in the clutch with my teammates and we needed the win. It was tough but those are always my most favorite games. I put up 26 against Grand Canyon in a loss and 19 against Washington in a loss. Both games I think I played really really well. I shot it great in both games. I had about 5 3s against Washington and 4 against Grand Canyon. Although they were losses, those were some of my favorite games’, expressed Jordan Hill. He remembers winning and losing one on one duels against teammate Richaud Gittens, but he said a very interesting thing that no other player has ever said to me. Nobody has ever groomed him for anything except for his father, but his ex coach Jim Hayford did prepare him for a professional basketball career. ‘Jim Hayford gave me the keys to make a memorable season out of my time at Seattle U and I am forever thankful for that. It means a lot for a coach to trust in you and Coach Hayford trusted me to lead the team in the right direction. We got to 20 wins and that is a hell of an accomplishment for a team that had never played together before’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also will never forget the Kentucky team he battled that was filled with many future NBA players especially current Phoenix Sun Devin Booker. ‘Devin Booker just looked different out on the court. His skill level is so crazy. You just knew you were watching a pro’, said Jordan Hill.

The American who last watched Bad Boys 3 began his professional season in 2018-2019 with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 11 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 27.1%, FT: 92.3%. Even if he was in Europe for the first time, it wasn’t that much of a culture shock. ‘I think after the first week in Cyprus I realized that I was a long way from home and I wasn’t coming back any time soon. I have been living on my own since about 17 so it didn’t necessarily bother me to be far from home and alone. I think the daily practices and interactions with the coaching staff told me a lot about what I need to do to be professional and improve my game’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also was fortunate not to be the lone American on the team which can happen. Instead he was joking around on a daily basis and hanging out with 4 other Americans which made life in a foreign country a lot easier. ‘I loved playing with 4 other Americans. It made getting through the tough days a lot easier because I could relate to my teammates very naturally. We had a lot of fun and still stay in contact with each other. I think a lot of people in Cyprus speak English so the language barrier didn’t become as much of a problem as one might think’, added Jordan Hill. He played his second professional season in South America with Basquete Blumenau/APAB (Brazil-Liga Ouro) playing 7 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 57.1. Usually Americans in the latter part of their career’s will head to South America to make some last money, but seeing Brasil and it’s basketball early in his career was an eye opener. ‘Playing in Brazil was a different experience. Unfortunately I was unable to play more than 7 games during my time there because of a little injury. However, in the time that I was there, I learned a lot about myself and a culture I knew nothing about. The style of play in Brazil is different than in America. The players are very passionate and very unselfish. My team ran a lot of offense and did a lot of passing before looking to score. I played in Liga Ouro which is a good league with a lot of good players. It was very physical and demanded a lot out of you on both sides of the ball’, remembered Jordan Hill

He is playing his third professional season in the German fourth division with the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen. There is no arrogance or embarrassment about playing in such a low league, but instead his feelings are as if he just won the lottery. ‘I am beyond blessed. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to continue my playing career and learn about a different culture. This is my first time spending some significant time in Europe so I am looking forward to the experience’, warned Jordan Hill. He has already demonstrated that he is a team player so versatility is something that he takes a lot of pride in. ‘Versatility is key for me. I am a player who can affect both sides of the ball. I have the ability to lockdown other players as well as rebound, pass, LEAD, play in transition, and get in passing lanes. I am not looking to be a one-man show. I like to see my teammates score and play confidently. I want to be known as a two way player not just an offensive threat’, stated Jordan Hill. After 3 games and 24 minutes per game, he has put up very respectable stats averaging 13,7ppg, 2,7rpg, 5,0apg and 1,3spg. His shot selection has been excellent as he is shooting 56% from the parking lot (6/11). Despite his current hot shooting, he always wants to get better at shooting. ‘I try to get up as many shots as possible whenever I can. I wish there was someone to always rebound, haha it would make it a bit easier. I feel my shot is above average regardless of my percentage. In college I shot the ball very well and made big threes in very clutch situations. I know what I am capable of. There will be plenty of opportunities to show that. My shooting will allow me to open of the floor. It is always a threat and my confidence in my shot will not waiver. If I am a threat from 3, I can get to any spot I want to on the court’, warned Jordan Hill. In order to continue to be that complete player and be versatile, he is never working only on one area of his game. ‘I am constantly working on every part of my game. I always want to improve my shooting and ball handling. Those are the foundation for expanding my game. I think I am in a position now where I can do more scoring than anything else. So with that focus I am paying close attention to the game film and finding places I can be the most aggressive’, commented Jordan Hill. In Ibbenburen, the American will have a lot of free time to keep working on his game. His focus and work ethic are huge, but so is his chip on his shoulder. He has big goals in Ibbenburen. ‘I always have a chip on my shoulder. That’s never going anywhere. People have doubted me no matter where I played. That doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter the level. Wherever I am, I will show and prove. This is the 4th league and I know what I am capable of accomplishing. We can win this league. That is my focus. Everything else will fall into place as it’s supposed to’, warned Jordan Hill. And maybe for once an American won’t average 20,0ppg in the Regionalliga. It’s not always about the stats, but in Hill’s case it’s about winning and just getting better each day while showcasing the full package. 

Paul Albrecht(Dragons Rhondorf) Julius Thomas Is One Of The Best Young Coaching Talents In Germany

Paul Albrecht is a 27 year old 205cm forward playing his first season with the Dragons Rhoendorf (Regionalliga). He has played 162 pro A games with teams like Jena, Paderborn, Essen, Hanau and the Artland Dragons. He also played 49 Pro B games with the Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB. Last season he played with the Artland Dragons (ProA) playing 21 games averaging 6.6ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 20.9%, FT: 70.3%. He spoke to after the huge 101-63 win over Bonn 2. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Paul Albrecht in Koblenz in Pre-season

Congrats on the huge 101-63 win in Bonn. What kind of an overall feeling was it playing against the other farm team of the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Did you sense a type of higher competition level and rivalry during the game?

We deserved this win and were ready to go from the get go. We played tough defense and they didn’t know what happened. It felt like a home game, because we train like 3-4 times a week there. 

The Dragons Rhondorf already had the game pretty much decided by half time. Did the great win on Friday at home give the team extra self confidence to heighten your game another level in Bonn?

The second half that we had on Friday definitely boosted our confidence. That was really important for us, because we are a young team. We have to keep having a positive attitude, because we can’t be negative if we start losing. Our mind set was very good, because we were so focused to win.

Was this the best season performance? The team scored over 100 points and gave up the least points so far. What did the team do better defensively in Bonn than in the other games?

This was our best performance of the season. Coach Julius made some adjustments on the defensive end so we could surprise them. We came out with a big lineup something we haven’t had so far this season.

After the first tough loss at home against Ibbenburen, the Dragons Rhondorf have a 3 game winning streak. How is the team better now than a few weeks ago?

We have been getting better from week to week. We weren’t really ready against Ibbenburen. I think we may have underestimated them. It doesn’t matter in what league you play, if it’s BBL or Oberliga, if you don’t come out ready you will lose. It was good having this experience from a good team, because we learned from it. We didn’t come out ready against Ibbenburen and know now you always have to be ready. 

How have you witnessed the early season work of head coach Julius Thomas? Give an example of how he has mastered the art of making new adjustments on the court?

Coach Julius is doing a great job. He is only 23 years old. I can hardly believe it. He is at least 35 the way he knows basketball. He knows exactly how to talk to players and the players all have huge respect for him. Even though he is so young he has a crazy work ethic. He is a basketball junkie working everyday trying to make us better. He has made us better. He is just a good coach. For me he is one of the best young coaching talents in Germany. 

The 2 bigs De Olveira and Kotieno combined for 44 points and 21 rebounds. How much are you enjoying your time with Gabriel De Olveira knowing that in the future he probably won’t be as available as he is now?

Playing with them is a lot of fun. I don’t think any other team has big men like them. Gabriel is so strong and athletic and when he comes to the game with the right mind set, he is impossible to stop in the Regionalliga. I enjoy playing with everybody. We have a great group of guys. It’s incredible, Bruno Albrecht, De Olveira and Kotieno don’t even practice with us. Maybe once a week, because they are always training with Bonn. But they still come to games and play their hearts out. You can tell that this is their team. I hope Gabriel will keep playing like this so he can make the next step. If he stays focused then there is nothing that will stop him from reaching his goals. 

Oshane Drews had a solid debut at home against Wulfen and played another very good game in Bonn. What have you been impressed most about his game?

He is another really talented player on the squad. The most important thing for him is to stay healthy, because he has had problems with injuries. He is so athletic and quick and has a great touch around the rim. He can become a good player in the future.

You had an OK game with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Was one of your duties when you came to Rhondorf to really be a 1-2 scoring option? So far this season, the club has shown that the scoring can be shared by many.

For me it’s not about being the top scorer. I’m more like a playing coach. I’m trying to help everybody on the team. I’m like the point guard even though I’m not. I’m always telling players where to go. I responsible for everyone having a great focus before the game. All that matters for me is that we win and everyone else has a good game. This is all I really care about. I don’t care about the stats. Important is also that the guys get better. All the guys respect me which is great. If it would have been about me I wouldn’t have come here. I just want to develop further with them. If it comes down to that we can’t score the you can be sure that I will do that

Have you been keying on doing more damage inside than just taking too many three’s?

Yes I have been playing more inside this season and this fits well to me. The way the team plays is good for me.

How important will the 2 week break be now until the next game in Grevenbroich? What do you feel will the team need to focus most on the court?

I think it is good that we have the weekend off. We have some injuries and will have a good week of practice. The focus is always on us. We know what we can do and focus on us not the opponent. 

Grevenbroich have an explosive scorer with John Murry and talented Germans. What do you feel will be most vital in getting the team’s 4th win in a row?

They have a great scorer, but we proved we can handle a scorer when we played Dorsten. He made most of his points in the second half when we had already decided the game. We have great defenders and defend as a team. We will work on how to defend Murry. We will manage to defend him.

Now that Lebron James won his 4th NBA title, where does he stand in your opinion in the head to head debate with Michael Jordan who is the greatest of all-time?

This Lebron James question is tricky. For me Lebron is the greatest of all-time. I understand all the people that got to see Jordan play say that he is the greatest and vice versa about Lebron. I just think that they are both great players. They are the 2 greatest of all-time. But for me Lebron can just do everything and make his teammates better the way he facilitates. It isn’t only about what he does on the court, but is a role model off the court. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Tenet was a great movie, but confusing at the end. 

Thanks Paul for the chat.

Tayler Persons(s.Oliver Wurzburg) Knows That He Has BIg Shoes To Fill At The Guard Position But Is Ready To Win Games

is a 25 year old 191cm guard from Kokomo Indiana that will play his second professional season with s.Oliver Wurzburg. Last season as a rookie he played with Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 13 FIBA Europe Cup games being the tournaments second best scorer averaging 18.6ppg, 4.5rpg, Assists-2 (8.1apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 81.7%; and played 17 Dutch DBL games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 5.8rpg, Assists-1 (7.4apg), Steals-3 (1.9spg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 84.9%. he began his basketball career at Kokomo High School and then played his freshman year at Northern Kentucky University (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 18.5%, FT: 76.3%. he then played at Ball State University (NCAA) form 2016-2019 playing a total of 98 games. As a sophomore he played 34 games averaging 15.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.3%. In his junior season he played 31 games averaging 15.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 66.7%. In his senior year he played 33 games averaging 16.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to about basketball earlier in the summer.

Tayler thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been holding up the last months during COVID-19?

I am currently in Carmel, Indiana. I have been doing good, just working out and staying in the gym during this crazy time. 

What kind of an experience has the whole COVID-19 time been for you? How challenging was it in general staying fit the last months and how did you stay fit?

It was very weird, I have never experienced anything like this before, it was very challenging at first to find a gym to work out in. I was lucky enough and found a gym I could use during the last couple months. 

The whole COVID-19 crisis has been very trying times for the whole world. How do you believe did the last months make you stronger as a person and you had to deal with so many new changes in life? 

I believe that people will be more safe with their health, and I feel that will help the world in the long run. For me personally I feel that it has taught me to accept the changes and just go with it. 

Congrats on signing with German easyCredit BBL team s.Oliver Wurzburg. Before we get to the interview I have to ask you about your home state Indiana. I checked online and Kokomo where your from is almost 3.5 hours and 169 miles away from Larry Bird country in French Lick. As a Indiana native, is it mandatory for a basketball lover like you to visit that town at least once in your lifetime? 

I would say so if you really want to see were Larry the Legend grew up. I have visited multiple times, but yeah if you love basketball Indiana is a great place for you. 

After a great rookie season in Holland, you now attempt to make the next step in Germany in a top 5 league in Europe. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball and did you ever explore Germany when you were living in Holland last season?

I have heard great things about Germany as a country, and its basketball. I’m very excited to be able to prove myself in a great league. I didn’t really get to travel to Germany much last year, but can’t wait to live there this year. 

You will be playing for one of the best German coaches in Denis Wucherer. What impressed you about him and what was the deciding factor that had you choose Wurzburg as your new basketball home? 

I was impressed by him being honest with me and letting me know what he needs from me coming in. I feel like Coach and I are a good fit, and I am very excited to learn from him and the rest of the coaching staff. The deciding factor me was the opportunity that this team brings me, and also seeing the city and the great fans was a huge plus for me. 

How excited are you to play in the easyCredit BBL and do you feel some pressure coming in and taking over for the great guard trio of Wells, Hulls and Bowlin who had good history in Wurzburg? 

I am very excited to be able to play in such a good league. I don’t feel any pressure, coming in after them. All three of them had a great career with Wurzburg, and that’s great. I’m excited to be able to show the fans, organization want I can do and win games I know there are big shoes to feel but I’m ready for that. 

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a scoring point guard that fills the stat sheet with ease. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fill the description? 

Thats ‘a very tough one, I feel like I am very unique with my game. I feel like Fred Van Fleet that plays for the Raptors. He can do everything on the court and picks and choses when he needs to score or get people involved. 

What other strengths does your game incorporate and what are you working on most on your game so that you will have an easier adjustment period coming from the first division in Holland to the German BBL?

I feel like my strengths is that I can do anything on the court, something that I have been working on tirelessly is my 3 point shot. I know that the work is paying off and it’s going to be a great season. 

How much pride do you take on the defensive end? You are also an impact player on the defensive end. What do you feel is your biggest strength when being on the defensive end? 

I take a lot of pride in it because sometimes when you are struggling on offense you can get yourself going by playing hard defense. My biggest strength I think would be my anticipation and being at the right place. 

You never averaged more than 4,9apg, but made a huge leap as a rookie averaging 8,1apg. How do you feel did your playmaking grow as a rookie and what did you learn about yourself as a point guard last season?

I learned a lot, towards the end of my rookie season I really felt that I was fully understanding what I need to be doing to get everyone involved while taking my shots when I can. 

You had some games last season where you flirted with triple doubles. How vital is it in general for having that nonstop aggressiveness on the court at all times?

I wish I would have gotten a few, but I play the game as hard as I can every time I step on the court. I feel like that is one of my best things as a player is playing hard, and being able to do anything on the court. 

You played an impressive rookie season with Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 13 FIBA Europe Cup 13 games: Score-2 (18.6ppg), 4.5rpg, Assists-2 (8.1apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 81.7%; and 17 Dutch DBL:games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 5.8rpg, Assists-1 (7.4apg), Steals-3 (1.9spg), FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 84.9%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Holland where you knew that you were very far away from home? 

The first day stepping off that plane. I knew that I was a long way from home, but knew what my mission was for my rookie season and that was to prove myself. I felt like I did a good job of that. 

What kind of experience was it being teammates with Dutch national player Worthy De Jong? Was he a guy that showed you the ropes early on and off the court? 

It was great he taught me a lot of things and took me under his wing. I’m lucky that I had guys like him, Drago and Sergio my first year at Leiden to help me get accustomed to European basketball. He also was nice to be around off the court showing me his country. 

You began your basketball career at Northern Kentucky University (NCAA) and had a fine freshman campaign playing 30 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 18.5%, FT: 76.3%. Even if you had a very very productive career at Ball State (NCAA) does the thought ever cross your mind how your career may have gone had you stayed at Northern Kentucky for 4 years? 

Yes it does sometimes, simply because I know if my coach didn’t get fired at NKU then I would have been their all 4 years and my life could be different. 

How do you feel did you profit most from your one season at Northern Kentucky that helped you go your way at Ball State (NCAA) better? 

I felt that going to NKU was a great first school for me because they let me do my thing and threw me out there from day 1 and I never looked back. 

ou had a stellar career at Ball State (NCAA) finishing as the first Cardinal ever with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, and finishing his Ball State career ninth in school history in points (1,558) and third in assists (447). What will always be your fondest memories from your 3 years there? 

My best memories were spent with my teammates, coaches and fans. I embraced being a Cardinal and had a very great time there. I loved being me in Muncie 

You have played so many games in your young career, but do back to back tough loses against N Illinois and Kent State in your junior year to end the season where you had 2 good games still ring a bell inside you from time to time? 

Yes it does actually because I felt we were strong that year, and that kind of slowed down our momentum. 

You had many great personal games in wins and losses at Ball State, but was your 24 points in the exciting 80-77 win over Notre Dame one of your most memorable games?

Yes it was because of hitting the game winning shot against an in state opponent that was ranked nationally. 

How did head coach James Whitford groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? 

He taught he how to act and work like a professional athlete every day during our time together. I am very grateful for that. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or KJ Walton?

I won almost everytime, he was too scared to play me after that. 

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

The toughest player I battled during my college career would be Trae Young. He is having a great career in the NBA. 

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time? 

My best 5 teammates is tough I would say. Drago Pasalic, Franko, House Trey Moses, Worthy De Jong, Kj Walton 

Please construct your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of 4 heads past or present. 

No order, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Shaq 

What is your personal opinion of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James and why isn’t Kobe Bryant mentioned more in this discussion?

I believe that it is Michael Jordan. I am a huge LeBron fan though and believe that it is close, also I think Kobe doesn’t get into the argument because him and MJ were so similar.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

I don’t honestly remember lol, but last tv show I watched was the best show of all time The Office.

Thanks Tayler for the chat.

Having That Defense First Type Mentality And Natural Style Of A Point Guard For A Forward Shows The Vast Versatility Of Princeton Onwas

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Princeton Onwas after dropping 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in a 98-86 win in Frankfurt

It was the beginning of December 2019 and COVID 19 was still months away and everything was still normal in basketball arena´s around the globe. German Pro B team BBC Coburg entered basketball City Mainhatten in Frankfurt for a duel against the easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners farm team called Juniors where only a few years ago current Washington Wizard Isaac Bonga would work countless hours perfecting his craft for the NBA. BBC Coburg had had their 5 game winning streak snapped the weekend before against Bavarian team Oberaching and arrived in Frankfurt eager to begin a new winning streak. Frankfurt had been struggling the last weeks and arrived into the game with a two game losing streak. Both teams were at eye level after 10 minutes, but in the next 20 minutes BBC Coburg would take control of the game and lead 51-35 at the break and by as much as 24 points in the third quarter. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors cut the Coburg lead down to 12 points. Frankfurt continued their comeback run and shaved the Coburg lead down to only 5 points, but that was as close as they would get as Michael Jordan entered. No sorry, it wasn´t Michael Jordan, but it was BBC Coburg´s 198cm forward Princeton Onwas who could have been Jordan, because he came in and played like that game changing player that the Chicago Bull was back in the day. Frankfurt was still in striking range trailing, but Princeton Onwas was a menace, the type of player you hate to play against, but would love to have on your team. He stole a bad pass from Canadian Jazz Bains under the Frankfurt basket and made the two handed dunk. A short time later he made a big three for the 88-79 Coburg advantage. Onwas then made one more beautiful play for the highlight reel. He had twice made the ESPN Top 10 list in college and in this game made a bullet pass to captain Chris Wolf for the easy lay in and the 95-81 lead as the game was already decided. “I pride myself on being versatile. They played trap on me well, but I had my head up and was able to find him. He did a good job catching it and making the basket”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Princeton Onwas finished the contest with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Having that defense first type mentality and natural style of a point guard for a forward shows the vast versatility of Princeton Onwas who recently completed his third professional season and first in Germany. He is a player that has the versatile game to continue to move up the basketball ladder.

Now COVID_19 has been the main topic for the world the last months. Onwas came home in March after playing for BBC Coburg. .At the moment he is back at home in Katy, Texas living with his parents. The last couple of months have been tough on the player as his dad is very vulnerable to getting the virus. Just like so many other players out there, he also never would have expected for the COVID-19 crisis to become as big and widespread as it has. “When I first heard about it, I thought it was a little thing that would blow over in about a month. Never did I think it would shut down everything, and cause so much fear”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Around this time under normal conditions he may have been on a vacation after possibly a nice end to his third season in the German Pro B playoffs, but instead he has been holed up in Texas and normal life has been difficult. “My day to day has been different from the past. I’m not able to go to the gym to work on my game. However I’m still able to run miles and do in home workouts. But obviously not the same as going to an actual court or weight room. But as time goes, things will begin to reopen”, hoped Princeton Onwas. He has had a lot of time to think about basketball and one thing that he has never experienced before concerns the fact that the future of basketball at first may be playing to empty arena´s to keep the social distancing alive and making sure that the COVID-19 virus is totally defeated before people can come together again. “I’ve never played a real game with 0 fans. But I think it’s okay for players to play with out fans in attendance. As long as every player passes the test”, added Princeton Onwas.

            Before his third professional season abruptly ended due to COVID-19, the American who also owns the Nigerian citizenship was having one his best seasons as a professional as he also proved that he could ball down under. He has had a slow rise in his career and continues to have to pay his dues despite having a very solid last season at San Jose State. He began his basketball career at Seven Lakes High School and right off the bat, he wasn´t able to compete in the NCAA, but had to begin at the bottom at Navarro College (JUCO). But instead of moping around, he took on the challenge from the start and was concentrated on making the next step. “Juco was life changing for me as a young man. Not only for basketball, but academically as well. I learned how to play the game through adversity. Juco and NCAA are two different animals”, warned Princeton Onwas. He proved that the JUCO was just one stop before making the next step at a higher level at the University of Utah (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 4.8ppg, 2.6rpg. He finally had reached the highest level with the NCAA, but there absolutely nothing was given to him, but instead he was faced with an abundance of talent especially at his position with guys like Jordan Loveridge, Kenneth Ogbe and Dakari Tucker. “All of those players are good at what they do. When it comes to minutes, I think they just had the coaches trust more and they had been in the system longer so that gave them the edge. I began to start half way during the year”, commented Princeton Onwas. Having these very talented players along his side helped his game grow and he will never forget German Kenneth Ogbe. He knows that he still has a long way to go to reach the level where he is at as he has been with Euroleague team Alba Berlin. “Kenneth was a young kid when we met, with the potential to become a star. Seeing him play at the top level gives me hope that I could play there as well. If his talent can take him there, with no doubt I believe I can play in the top leagues”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            It isn´t always a surprise reading the college bio´s of players, because not every player will remain at one school for 4 years. Onwas made one more change and joined a third school with San Jose State. He was there for 2 seasons, but could only play his last season due to the transfer season rules. He learned so much in these 2 years and made a huge step especially mentally as he knew where his path would go after school. “The biggest growth I had while at Sjsu was my patience to the game. I knew sitting out would be tough but was still practicing to get better. I knew from there I would play professionally”, warned Princeton Onwas. He had a very solid senior year playing 31 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 20.6%, FT: 61.1%. Not being satisfied with your game is always a super sign for a player in terms of having the right attitude and always wanting to get better and that is exactly how he felt after his senior year, but overall it was an excellent experience for him in so many ways. “I didn’t have the senior year I wanted statistically but it was one of the best times I had in my life. We were a super young team with little experience, playing in a good conference. So we struggled to get wins. My game grew with my leadership”, expressed Princeton Onwas. He scored in double figures in 16 games as a senior including a 23 point game against San Diego State and a 21 point effort against Montana State.. He played his best basketball against Colorado State where he scored in double figures in 3 games including 24 points and 20 points, but he left each game as the loser and none more difficult than the 85-84 contest. “It’s not easy losing to a team you felt like you could’ve beaten. But that comes with the game. Colorado State at the time had players who played with each other already for a couple seasons and was very well coached, unlike us who was working on finding our identity with such a young group”, remembers Princeton Onwas. He had the pleasure of being teammates with future NBA player Brandon Clarke who put up the type of states at San Jose State that Princeton Onwas has produced in Australia and Germany and remembers his time with him very well especially the one on one battles where like most players took himself over the NBA rookie who averaged 12,0ppg with the Memphis Grizzlies  this season. “Being teammates with Brandon was awesome. He was a talented kid that played his butt off, even better guy off the court. His freshman year he was such a raw player with so much potential. I knew one day he would have a shot at playing in the top leagues because of his size and athleticism. Once he transferred to Gonzaga, I knew it was done deal. He’s ceiling is high and will be around the league for many years. Concerning who won a one one it was me all day. And still would”, smiled Princeton Onwas. Not only the hard work of Onwas paid off for him transforming his game from the NCAA to the professional level, but also head coach Dave Wojcik was instrumental in the American being on a good way of becoming that more versatile player. “Coach Woj was very amplified. He would try and get you out of your comfort zone and push your buttons. I’ve learned how to handle criticism at a high level. I wouldn’t say he groomed me. But he definitely helped me step outside my comfort zone and allowed me to play the point guard positions for about half the season. I’ve learned that I play my best at the point”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas who lists ex UCLA(NCAA) great and ex Memphis Grizzle Jordan Adams as the toughest player he has battled against began his professional basketball career down under with e Brisbane Capitals (Australia-QBL) playing 18 games averaging 18.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.9spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 65.5%. In the NBA often wake up calls are when rookies have to carry the vets baggage, but in Australia his wake up call was a bit different. “My wake up call was when the vets made the rookies wear baby style backpacks to every game and practices. Every time I saw a Kangaroo I would remember I was on the other side of the earth”, added Princeton Onwas. In his 18 games of action, he scored in double figures in 13 games and scored more than 20 points 9 times. He had some huge games like his 36 points against rival Brisbane S, or his 31 points against Ipswich F, but no game was more massive for him than his 39 point explosion in the 112-89 victory against Suncoast PC. “I can just remember that I was fearless. I felt comfortable, unstoppable and that there was nothing anyone could do to stop me”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            He lists .Aaron Anderson (Brisbane). Trey Pinkney (high school). Ollie (Brisbane). Chris Wolf (BBC). Shore Andenken (BBC) as his best teammates of all-time remained home fo his second professional season and gathered some experience in the G-League with the Westchester Knicks, but played only 3 games averaging 1,7ppg and 1,7rpg. He saw first hand just how brutal the NBA is where often a players feelings are at the bottom of the totem pole. “It was a great experience. I knew the NBA was a business before stepping in so I just tried to bring my all every day. I made it through training camp and made the final roster cuts. However, there were too many players on the roster when the Knicks rookies started playing alongside as well”, remembers Princeton Onwas. It was only a brief time with Westchester, but he witnessed the tough times that ex Michigan(NCAA) standout Trey Burke was having as he had to pay some additional dues in the G-League.  “The league was dope. I played with and against some very talented players. Trey Burke is extremely good, and I’m glad to have been able to work with him. If I get another shot at playing, I’m confident that’ll I’ll finish the season”, stressed Princeton Onwas. After his brief G-League stay, he didn´t return home, but went back to an old stomping ground to Australia and played with the South West Metro Pirates (Australia-QBL) playing 17 games averaging 17.5ppg, 9.1rpg, 3.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 19.7%, FT: 65.6%. He had another fantastic season in Australia scoring in double figures in 16 games and registered 8 double doubles. He had an unforgettable game against Toowoomba M exploding for 37 points and hauled down 13 boards in the 84-74 victory. This season gave him added self confidence for his next challenge in Germany.

            Onwas who has Lebron, Jordan, Shaq, Kobe on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore signed with German third division team BBC Coburg. The organization finished in 5th place with a 11-10 record. The season had 3 parts. The beginning had a 4 game losing streak and the middle saw them winning 10 of 11 games and the end lost 5 of the last 6 games, but still made the playoffs. It is definitely a season he won´t forget.  “The season was a roller coaster ride, up and down. In the beginning we were building chemistry, because we never played with each other and didn’t have much experience on the court together. As time went on we built some momentum and took off. Felt at a point, no one could beat us. Then we got injured. Took us a couple steps back mid season, but still holding on. Later in the season we just got injured some more, which basically made it difficult to win games down the stretch. From the cards that were dealt, I think we had a solid season. And the playoffs would’ve been the icing on the cake”, remembers Princeton Onwas. Consistency is always a huge part of if a club will be successful and that is especially the case on the defensive end where the club just couldn´t get a healthy rhythm going. “Defense was our biggest strength and also our weakness. We spent the majority of practice working on offense, therefore we lacked some fundamentals defensively. However, I play defense off experience, and motivated my team to take my lead during games. So we had some extremely good defensive games and some games lost due to our defense. Yes of course, losing Shore was huge. Not only was he a good defender, he was a leader and friend on and off court. His loss was felt”, warned Princeton Onwas. The “what if” is that scary question so many players have asked themselves from leagues all over the world in terms of where the team´s journey would have gone had COVID-19 not been born. BBC Coburg might have made a playoff run, but nobody will ever know. “I was really upset. We had so much more in the tank. I’m confident to say that I was going to personally take the team to the second round by will. Nothing was going to stop us and me”, stressed Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas won´t only remember his personal strong season, but also his teammates. One guy who could have been that missing link in the playoffs was French player Keite Tidjane who like Onwas had gathered experience in the G-League. He had come for the injured Shore Adeneken and had put up great numbers in his brief time there. “All of my teammates were warriors and I enjoyed every second around them. TJ is a freak! 6’9 guard/forward monster. The guy is multi-talented and loves to win. He’s best asset is his character off the court, great friend”, said Prince Onwas. He also built up special relationships with the German core players like Chris Wolf and Constantin Ebert who are established vets in Germany. Those two guys definitely were huge in Onwas being able to have the season that he had. He also won´t forget young 18 year old German Nico Wenzl who already played in the easyCredit BBL with medi Bayreuth. “Those two were our captains. Their roles played a huge part of our team success. They gave us before game speeches and competed in every practice to make sure we got better that day. I enjoyed Chris’s ability to shoot the ball and Constantin´s ability to create for himself and others. Nico is a talented player for his age. Still has much to learn but is on the right track to stardom”, commented Princeton Onwas.

            Onwas came to Germany and had to prove himself again something that has been the story of his life, but he disappointed no one as he played 19 games averaging 17.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.7apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 64.4%. He scooped up All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Newcomer of the Year -20, All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -20, German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -20, and German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Defensive Team -20. Those are incredible numbers for a rookie in Germany, but he wasn´t completely satisfied by his accomplishments. “I think I had a solid season, and am honored to have received many awards. However, I have more in the tank. I was about 85% myself. I haven’t displayed my full arsenal yet”, warned Princeton Onwas. He didn´t start that strong scoring in double figures in only 2 of his first 5 games, but finished strong scoring in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games. Obviously his scoring was mostly on display achieving a 31 point explosion against Wurzburg, 30 points against Giessen and 26 point games against Speyer and the Lowen. But what fans saw at a consistent rate was his versatile game at both ends of the floor. One could see how much pride he took on the defensive end and on offense his all around game and his exceptional passing skills and court vision as he had 4 assists or more in 9 games. “I have a defense first type mentality. Games are won on the defensive end, so I put most of my energy and effort while playing D. The more success we have on defense, the higher chance we win the game. My natural style of play is at the point guard position . A bigger sized point guard, with multiple talents. I can take you off the dribble, post you up, shoot the open shot, or find my teammates for easy points”, stressed Princeton Onwas. His three pointer is also a part of his versatile game, but it still is a work in progress as it isn´t so consistent. He knows exactly what it will take for him to have that become more of a weapon in his arsenal. “My three game is coming along. I’ve had seasons where I shot above 30%. However, I’m more successful as a catch and shoot type player. This season I was making most of the plays to get my guys open shots, unfortunately I didn’t receive to many open shots myself, mostly rushed or end of shot clock type shots. Staying longer hours getting game shots will improve my consistency”, warned Princeton Onwas.

            So what is the next step for Princeton Onwas who compares his versatile game to Kawhi Leonard? He knows that the whole COVID-19 has turned the business side of basketball upside down and doesn´t have the same feelings as before about how his future will go, but just like in his career where he started at the bottom, he can´t give up. “I am slightly worried, because this is how people put food on the table. If the economy is down that means players won’t be given what their worth. But regardless the pay, I’m going to give my all”, warned Princeton Onwas. He would love to play a fourth professional season, but knows that the organization has to be the perfect fit. A club that will invest in him just as much as he will invest in them. He is also confident that the extra time training and less game experience will still be an advantage than a disadvantage. “If you truly love the game you are already training and getting better”, stressed Princeton Onwas. Even if times have been tough for everyone during COVID-19, he knows that he has gotten something beneficial out of this hard experience. Onwas is a guy that has battled numerous adversary in his career, but always came out tougher. He has grown not only as a player over the years, but also as a man especially during COVID-19. He understands now that he will think twice the next time before getting angry to quickly about something or saying something he probably shouldn´t have and might regret later. Sometimes things happen in life where one can´t go back and change it. You are confronted with reality so rapidly. One has to know where the boundries are and know that one should always be thankful for what you have every single day. “I’ve learned that anything at anytime can be taken away from you. Cherish the little things and live life to its fullest”, warned Princeton Onwas.

Simonas Lukosius´s Second Half On Fire Shooting Carries The Dragons Rhondorf past BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen 86-68

After suffering a tough home loss to the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen in the season opener in their own living room, the Dragons Rhondorf returned fresh, focused and alive in Dorsten and were able to celebrate their first season victory 106-87. The club gave a great effort having 6 players score in double figures and were brutal inside as the 3 bigs De Olveira, Kotieno and Paul Albrecht combined for 56 points. They also defended hard in the first half limiting 40 point man from the week before Mark Gordon to only 4 points. The Dragons Rhondorf wanted to keep adding on to their new winning streak by also winning their first home game of the season against the BSV Munsterland Baskets. It was the battle of the young as the Dragons Rhondorf had an average age of 20 years and BV Wulfen had an average age of 21 years. After allowing Gordon last weekend to score 22 points in the second half, the ex Pro A team wanted to do a better job against Bryant Allen especially with their rising young player Bruno Albrecht leading the charge on the defensive end. After 40 minutes the Dragons Rhondorf had kept their winning streak alive at 2 as they fought of the BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen 86-68, but it wasn´t an easy task. The game was a tale of 2 halves as the guests were in charge in the first half, but let down their defensive intensity and allowed Simonas Lukosius to get very hot from downtown and Gabriel De Olveira to dominate inside and on transition. “We had a lot to prove after losing our first home game. The critics said we can´t be good as a young team and no American. But we proved tonight that we have a good goal. It was our will to win that got us the win. Our first half wasn´t good, but in the second half we played harder and were able to pull out the win”, stressed German/Lithuanian Simonas Lukpsius. Not only did the guests get weaker on defense in the second half, but had a problem all game taking care of the ball suffering 23 turnovers at the end. After the tough defeat, Wulfen guard Bryant Allen explained what went wrong. “We came out aggressive in the first half and had them on their heels, but in the second half, they played more physical and got into their systems better. When you give up 52 points in the second half, then it´s tough to come back. We have to learn to weather the storm and play together for 40 minutes and not 38 minutes”, stated Bryan Allen.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Rhondorf guard Simonas Luskosius after dropping 25 points on 7 three´s in the win

Both teams had guys missing, but it was BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen that were hit the hardest missing 3 key players. 35 year old big man Michael Hauke was missed the most and could of combated the physicality of De Olveira and young Germans Erik Neusel and Jonas Kleinert also were missed. Both teams needed a few minutes to get going as Wulfen were the first to score on the game´s seventh possession. Young German guard Bruno Albrecht gave Rhondorf the 3-2 lead after a few minutes, but that didn´t last long. The guests stormed out on a 9-1 run to lead 11 led by their motor 20 year old 198cm point guard Alexander Winck who scored 7 points in the run. His game was so electrifying and powerful, one could of said that he stole the show from American import Bryant Allen who is usually responsible for the bulk scoring. “We feed off each other. He can really play. He is a great player when he puts his mind to it. It took him a while to get going, but this was his best game this season. He is coming off an ankle injury and wants to come back strong”, stated Bryant Allen. But then came the energy from the bench from young German Dragon Oshane Drews who played in the Braunschwieg organization last season. He came on the floor using his biggest weapon his quickness and brutal 1-1 skills scoring on a lay in and then made a steal and fed De Olveira on transition for the hard 2 handed stuff as Rhondorf trailed 11-7. But Wulfen kept off the Rhondorf pressure getting a rapid 5-0 run from a Allen three pointer and Winck lay in as Wulfen led 16-7. Rhondorf did get some key three´s at the end by ex Hanau German Paul Albrecht and ex Leverkusen guard Jacon Engelhardt, but another Winck trey gave BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen the comfortable 22-15 lead after 10 minutes. “Winck was huge for us and hit everything. We also did a good job closing the way to the basket”, stated German Michael Haucke. The guests were shooting at a very high percentage in the mid 50´s from the field and outside while the Dragons Rhondorf shot33% form the field and 37% form outside. Wulfen had the slim 9-7 rebound lead.

The BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen kept the lead in the second quarter, but could never extend their lead into double figures as Rhondorf was able to hang around trailing only 39-32 at the break. After a horrible begin to the first quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf came out more prepared in the second quarter upping their defensive intensity and being able to execute on offense. They hit Wulfen with a 7-2 run to trail only 25-22. Rhondorf did a good job on offense getting a finger tip roll lay in from Lukosius, a reverse lay up by Mark Kotieno on transition and a pull up jumper by Drews who showed that he knows how to pick his spots. The guests however always had an answer when Rhondorf was threatening. Allen scored on an open pull up jumper and young German Lukas Van Buer scored on the third team offensive rebound. Rhondorf was too inconsistent in this phase and just couldn´t match Wuilfen´s physicality. At least Rhondorf could execute here and there, but couldn´t get efficient stops on defense. German Nils Peters also showed why he can hit big shots and Allen scolded Rhondorf´s lax defense with another mid distance jumper for the 34-26 advantage. Rhondorf had massive problems on 1-1 defense giving up easy baskets. Winck hit another huge three erupting with a huge roar. Lukosius matched him with a trey, but at the break the Dragons Rhondorf were trailing by 7 points. “Rhondorf relied too much on their athleticism and we on our physicality. We defended well and did a better job fighting for position under the basket”, added Michael Haucke. Wulfen continued to shoot at a high percentage at 48% from the field and 50% from the three point line while Rhondorf shot 38% from the field and 30% from the three point line. The guests had made a big jump on the boards leading that battle 21-15, but had 10 turnovers to Rhondorf´s 7.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bryant Allen after contributing 19 points in the loss

In the third quarter BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen would extend their lead to 10 points early, but then lost control of the game and lead and never retrieved it back. After Kotieno and Van Buer swapped buckets, it was Allen and Lukosius who did the same with three pointers and Sadiq Ajagbe scored on a 2 handed dunk for the 46-37 Wulfen advantage. Rhondorf continued to be inconsistent and didn´t have that energy on the defensive end to get some stops. But then came the turning point of the game as the Dragons Rhondorf escaped on a fierce 19-5 run to lead 56-51 after 30 minutes and they would never look back again. In the run the Dragons Rhondorf were helped by 3 Lukosius three pointers, but also received support from Kotieno with 2 back to back 20 footers and a nifty Paul Albrecht left handed lay in. Rhondorf had finally put it together at both ends of the floor. Rhondorf mixed it up on offense playing smooth inside out basketball keeping the guests on their toes, but a lack of defensive intensity didn´t allow Wulfen to get consistent stops. “My three´s helped in the run, but overall w didn´t force anything and just played our game. We knew that with our ball movement that somebody would always be open. Today it just happened to me”, answered Simonas Lukosius. “Lukosius was in our scouting report, but somehow we lost him. We let up and lost our grit. When a guy like that hits 1-2 shots, then the basket starts to look big and we doesn´t miss. We lost our intensity and got fatigued, but in a moment like that we have to remain locked in and use our brain”, added Bryant Allen. Even if the Guests shooting percentages were declining, they still shot 44% from the field and 47% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 45% from the field and 36% from outside. Rhondorf did a better job on the boards trailing only 26-25 and had only 11 turnovers while Wulfen had coughed up the ball 16 times.

In the fourth quarter the Dragons Rhondorf did a fantastic job managing their lead and never giving it up dancing until the end getting the victory. Both teams traded 4-0 runs to begin the fourth quarter as Rhondorf countered with Bruno Albrecht and De Olveira baskets and Wulfen got support from Winck as Wulfen trailed only 60-56. But that was as close as the guests would get as the Dragons Rhondorf then slammed the door shut on Wulfen going on a brutal 20-4 run to extend their lead to 80-60. In the run they got 3 buckets from De Olveira who was a real menace at both ends of the court. A physical Michael Hauke could have slowed the German down a bit. Getting De Olveira more involved was key as in the first half, Wulfen had done a better job limiting his touches and presence inside. Lukosius also continued his hot shooting with 2 more three´s. The fatigue had caught up with Wulfen which led to more turnovers. Rhondorf also did a good job getting to the free throw line. Allen and Winck led Wulfen on a 5-0 run late, but it wasn´t enough as the Dragons Rhondorf moved to 2-1 in the Regionalliga West. “De Olveira was a beast on offense. When you get him the ball then he is hard to stop. We are a lot better than 2 weeks ago. Coach Thomas has done a good job with us. We have learned to stick together better”, warned Simonas Lukosius. “I thought that overal we did a pretty good job on De Olveira, but he is a great player. There is a reason why he plays at a high level. He has gotten better. He loves to run and push the ball. We weren´t locked in. Once a guy like that gets going, he is tough to stop. You can only contain a guy like that who is so active on both ends”, added Bryant Allen. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Simonas Lukosius with 25 points on 7 three´s and Gabriel De Olveira had 24 points and 7 boards. The BSV Munsterland Baskets Wulfen were led by Alexander Winck with 22 points while Bryant Allen added 19 points and 6 assists. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 49% from the field and 34% from outside while Wulfen shot 41% form the field and 42% form outside. Wulfen edged Rhondorf on the boards 36-34, but turned over the ball a disgusting 23 times while Rhondorf coughed up the ball 16 times. On Sunday the Dragons Rhondorf travel over the Rheine river to neighbors Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 and will be looking for their third consecutive win this season.

2020 Basketball Champions League Winner Ken Horton´s Mindset Has Developed Keeping Him Consistent With His Game

Ken Horton is a 30 year old 201cm forward from Ossining, New York that is playing his ninth professional season and second with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos. The American began his basketball career at Ossining High School and then played at Central Connecticut State University (NCAA) from 2007-2013. He has seen a lot of the world as a professional having played in countries like France, Mexico, Australia, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Italy and now currently in Spain. Last season he split time with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A:games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. He finished the season with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (Spain ACB) playing 3 BCL games averaging 9.7ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.0spg. It has been more than 4 years since he last played for German teams Telekom baskets Bonn and medi Bayreuth. The ex EasyCredit BBL player won the 2020 BCL title recently and it was time to catch up with him again about his basketball career. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Ken Horton in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt in 2016

Ken thanks for talking to This is our 11th interview and first in more than 4 years. Has time just flown by or has it really sped by in the last years?

Thank you for the opportunity again. Yes 4years has definitely sped by. A lot has happened in that time span.

Congrats on winning the 2020 Basketball Champions League title. It was your third title in your professional career. How good does it feel winning another title?

Thanks you. Yes I’ve won 3 championships but this BCL championship is definitely at the top of the list. I’m just honored to be a part of this championship team.

It has been a very crazy year for everyone. But how crazy is winning a title with only 2 games? You played in Italy last season and moved to Burgos for the 20-21 season, but had the luxuary to win a title for your new team that will be in the history books as a 19-20 title.

Its kind of weird when you think about it. But I guess due to everything that happening around the world right now nothing should seem weird anymore. It was very different but I think that every team that was there was in the same boat as far as not having preparation time and things of that nature. Coming to a new team and winning a title at the beginning of the season is a feeling that I can’t describe.

San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos had many guys from last season, but also new players like Alex Renfroe, Omar Cook and yourself. Is this good early team chemistry a good omen for what could happen this season for the organization on the floor?

The chemistry has grown very fast and it seems to be getting better and better by the day. This is definitely a good omen on what could happen this season. We won the 2020 BCL championship but now that that’s over we have to look forward and concentrate on what’s next. I don’t think anyone on the team is satisfied. We want more so we’re going to go after it.

Talk a little about the satisfying 85-74 victory over powerhouse AEK Athens. They have a Euroleague type roster. Do you feel like there was a bit of over confidence in their heads as they got on the floor?

They definitely have a great roster full of elite players. I’m not going to say that they were over confident. I will say that we played extremely hard every game out there no matter the opponent. So if they were over confident and thinking that it was going be easy then that was their mistake. So I hope that wasn’t the case.

What was key for the title? You guys did a great job on the boards, but had problems taking care of the ball suffering 16 turnovers. 

Yes turnovers were a problem but I think that our defense is what really did it for us. everyone taking pride and putting out maximum effort on defense put us over the hump. 

Even if the 2020 Basketball Champions League title only took a few games how special will this title be for you? You beat a handful of ex big time Euroleague players like Langford, Slaughter, Rice, Zisis and Lojeski?

It’s very special for me and it’s very gratifying knowing that how much I work individually and how much we work together as a team paid off with the ultimate goal.

Two ex BBL players Kenneth Horton and Thaddeus Mcfadden have done very well since leaving the BBL years ago. Is Mcfadden on a good way of becoming this season’s Burgos leader after scoring 18 points in the final?

Thad definitely played great in Athens and I know he will continue to do that in the ACB this year and also in the 2021 BCL season. The great thing about this roster is that we have a lot of experience and veteran players so with that you have everyone is a certain way being a leader on this team. 

How much of a pleasure is it playing with mega veteran Omar Cook who is 38 years old and just doesn’t go away. How valuable was he in the final and how will his game still be very useful for the club at his age?

Omar was very important for us winning the championship. We always say that the most in shape and most fit guy on the team is the oldest guy on the team. His leadership and knowledge of the game will be very useful for us as we continue the season. Even though we have a lot of veteran players we still all look to Omar because he has the most experience here. So he’s like the teams big brother

Does his unending work ethic and focus possibly help lead you to playing possibly a lot longer than what you may have thought before you saw him work?

Absolutely. Every year I meet a player who’s older and still getting it done. Last year was David Moss and now this year is Omar. So I think they definitely put at least another 5 it years on my career if not more. 

How confident are you that San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos won’t be satidfyed after this title and still be hungry for the next titles this season?

I’m very confident. Being satisfied and content where we are right now is disrespectful to the craft and the people that still play this game and are eager to win. I know for me personally I won’t let any of the guys be content. Were going to still play as if we haven’t won anything and be hungrier than before.

You had many new teams since Germany and continue to be consistent. How do you feel has your game developed further since Germany?

My game has developed by just not necessarily changing things with my game but my mindset. Basketball is more mental than physical. So I try to have a certain mindset every game, every practice, every time I step on the court. That has definitely helped me stay consistent and be able to up the level of play year after year.

The most incredible stat of yours is that you have NEVER ever since high school not averaged double figures in scoring anywhere. That is mind boggling. There are always obstacles in a season, but you have always been consistent. Can I finally award you the Mr consistent award of professional basketball?

That’s crazy I didn’t even know that. Being consistent is very key to staying over here at a high level. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to sustain it for this long. ‘Mr Consistent’ has a nice ring to it

Last season you played with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A: games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. What do you remember being special about playing in Italy and was this the best league that you played in Europe or was it the VTB league??

Italy was special all the way around. Italy was one of the countries I’ve always wanted to play in. So having that and then also being a part of Eurocup made it even better. I think Both the LBA and VTB were both different in their own way but both are very competitive leagues.

In 2018-2019 you played with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-National League playing 14 games averaging 15.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.1apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 81.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 85.7%; and played 29 VTB United League games averaging 12.8ppg, Reb-4 (7.4rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-3 (1.6spg), FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 87.7%. You had many great games in the VTB, but also tough loses against top Euroleague team CSKA. What memories do you have playing this great organization?

I think it was great. It’s always good to play against teams that are in the top competition .CSKA every year is looked at as being one of the best if not the best team in Europe

In 2017-2018, you played with Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 76.7%. What do you remember as being really special about this season? You bowed out against Monaco in the playoffs-

Hands Down The most special thing about that season was my daughter being born. 

It has been 4 years since you played in Germany with Bayreuth and Bonn. Does this time seem like a blur for you since you have got to learn so many new places and organizations?

Yes it does fortunately I’ve made some life long friends from those places and we can reminisce every now and then.

You played for some great teams and had great teammates. When someone says Germany what always comes to mind first?

The thing that comes to mind is the friends turned family. Like I said before we still remain in contact and have made life long friendships. 

2020 was a tough year for all, but how did you get through the COVID-19 time in the States. How do you feel did you grow as a man during these hard times?

2020 has been a hectic year all over the world. For me personally I was just trying to stay as safe as possible when out and about. And just keeping my wife and daughter as safe as possible. This time really made me cherish the moments that I get with my family. A lot of people aren’t as fortunate to be around their family every single day. So I can’t take it for granted.

Please name you’re your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or current players?

MJ, Lebron, Kareem, Bill Russell 

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

Two Very different Players. Both have a huge impact on their generations. But overall I have to give it to MJ

What was the last movie that you saw? 


Thanks Ken for the chat.

Peyton Siva(Alba Berlin) Will Always Be Connected To COVID-19 And Wining His First 2 Professional Titles

With most 19-20 basketball seasons being history thanks to COVID-19, there is still the NBA playing out it´s season in the bubble in Orlando, Florida while Alba Berlin guard Peyton Siva is already hard at work preparing for the 20-21 campaign. One has to wonder if Siva when he isn´t spending precious time with his family is following the Los Angeles Lakers and ex teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope´s season? Seven years ago, both were rookies with the Detroit Pistons and while Siva played only 22 NBA games, his ex teammate played 80 games, but didn´t necessarily have the NBA sticking power averaging only 5,8ppg and 2,0rpg. But the difference was that Caldwell Pope remained in the NBA to this day and is currently in his third season with the Lakers and on course of winning the NBA title, while Siva regrouped and has gone on to have a very good European career playing now his fifth season with Alba Berlin. Siva may not have been able to stay in the NBA, but he won his first 2 professional titles with Alba Berlin in 2020 while Kentavious Caldwell Pope is still searching for that first professional title and has a good chance of getting it very soon. For both guys 2020 has been an unpredictable, historic, crazy and tough year especially for Peyton Siva. He once again couldn´t elude the injury bug as that has been something that has tormented him since his arrival in Berlin in 2016. Plus just experiencing COVID-19 with the back and forth travel from Berlin to the States and back and then back to the States and now back to Germany. It has been a roller coaster year for him and like so many other players and people in so many walk´s of life could easily write a book about the last 6 months, but he did get rewarded with 2 titles. Despite all that he has gone through on and off the court, he is very upbeat in September 2020 as the new season is about to commence, but 2020 is a year he will never forget. “ 2020 was a very up and down year different from any basketball season I had experienced before in my life. The ups were finally getting a chance to compete in Euroleague, finally winning the BBL cup and the BBL championship. The downs were some injuries that plagued me again throughout the season, then finally dealing with Covid and the impact not only it had on the season but on the world. The total number of deaths it caused, the uncertainty of playing basketball ever again, living life inside a room, not being able to see family and friends. Just a lot of things you had to adjust to on the fly”, stressed Peyton Siva. Peyton Siva will always be connected to COVID-19 and winning his first 2 professional titles

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Peyton Siva in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt in Dec 2017

            The 29 year old 180cm point guard that hails from Seattle, Washington, but lives in Kentucky now played his last game on March 8th, 2020 before COVID-19 struck losing to the Crailsheim Merlins scoring only 3 points in 11 minutes. Then the BBL season was suspended and later Euroleague season was cancelled which enabled the American who won the NCAA title in 2013 with Louisville and Rick Pitino to head home for some valuable family time while at the same time not forgetting to keep his body in shape. With 4 years in Germany, some of that German discipline has rubbed off on him in terms of taking the whole COVID-19 crisis seriously. “I felt like I dealt with the Covid-19 crisis the same way the rest of the world dealt with it. I tried to follow the rules set by the world leaders to stay as safe as possible, which meant staying inside no real contact with the outside world. With the league being shut down for a short period of time it gave me a chance to get healthy and spend more time with my family in the states. I was able to just hang out with my wife and kids and rest up. Which helped me not only physically but mentally also heading back into the bubble in Germany to finish out our season”, warned Peyton Siva. Keeping in body shape and continuing to work on basketball skills was something that effected players all over the globe. Some traveled 1000´s of miles to get a gym, others had to bear the weather on outside courts, but Siva was lucky not to suffer any set-backs in this department. “It was challenging at first to stay in shape during the COVID-19 shut down. I was able to ride my peloton bike I have at home also do some in home workouts our strength coach sent the team. I was lucky enough to be able to find a private gym to be able to go to and shoot and keep my basketball skills sharp just in case the season was starting back up”, stated Peyton Siva. When he wasn´t in the gym grinding to be ready for the end of the BBL season, the American who was teammates with ex FC Bayern Munich center Greg Monroe in Detroit used the extra time to spend as much time with his family something that wouldn´t have occurred had COVID-19 not hit. “I really didn’t adapt a new lifestyle during the whole crisis. I’m the type of guy that stays home for the most part. It was tougher on my children not being able to go to the playground or seeing any friends or our families. It was a good chance for me to reconnect with my kids being home more than I ever have been. Just working on keeping them entertained and being a good father and husband”, expressed Peyton Siva.

            Siva who lists Kemba Walker and Trey Burke as his toughest opponents finally won his first professional title getting the cup with Alba Berlin shortly before COVID-19 hit and his second came in June 2020 as despite not playing all games in the Munich bubble, he did contribute in a huge way going 7-0 in Munich beating 6 different teams. It wasn´t easy waiting 7 years to get that first professional title. Having come in second 4 times, one could of easily brought up the Buffalo Bills to rib him. “It was very irritating coming in 2nd four times in a row. I know that most people never experience winning a title in their whole career so I’m grateful for winning one in the past but for me I just knew I was going to win one over in Europe too it was just a matter of time. So it was very frustrating not to be able to get over the hump”, stressed Peyton Siva. In his 7 games in Munich, the American who spent time on the golf simulator and hung out with his young teammates in his free time scored in double figures in each game averaging 13,0ppg and 4,0apg. He also understood after the 2titles why the 2019-2020 team was finally able to get over the hump and win titles. “I think the biggest thing for us in 2020 was that we had a more experienced team. A lot of returning players who understood Aito’s style of play and we were able to close out those championship games. It was a fun team to be on and we all had a great time playing along side each other”, added Peyton Siva. Of course it wasn´t only Siva responsible for the Alba Berlin success, but really an amazing talented roster that had very many special parts especially the versatile Luke Sikma. People tend to underestimate his leadership qualities. “Something about Luke that isn’t known to the outside world is the leadership qualities of Luke. He is able to speak out and get on every player. He’s able to motivate guys and get the best out of them. He doesn’t do it in a way that’s malicious or a way that makes you feel less of a person. He’s able to motivate guys and is a great vocal leader”, warned Peyton Siva. Another guy that is a Alba Berlin lifer is Niles Giffey who was with the club before his 4 years at UConn and returned in 2014 and has never left. Giffey is a well-educated German with good manners that has the 2-1 NCAA title edge on Siva. “He never brings up the 2-1 lead he has on my with his NCAA titles. Niels is a great player and even better person. He is like a Swiss Army knife. He can do everything on the court that you need. He is a tremendous shooter from 3 and mid range. He’s able to post up with great footwork. Also he is sneaky athletic. He is a guy that does a little of everything for our team and he is the captain for a reason. As a person Niels is just an all around good guy”, stressed Peyton Siva. It isn´t only the experienced guys that get credit for the success, but also the young guys coming up like Jonas Mattiseck, Lorenz Brenneke or Tim Schneider. “I think the style of play has helped Tim a lot. He doesn’t look so stiff out on the court and he’s able to play towards his strengths. He’s a very good shooter who is able to spread the floor and he’s reading the game a lot better. Unfortunately he dealt with injuries of his own that kept him out of the majority of last season but he’s healthy now and I am looking forward to him getting back on the court with us”, commented Peyton Siva.

            Instead of FC Bayern Munich having to look in the rear-view mirror as the season starts, it will be Alba Berlin who have 2 titles to defend. The club did a great job keeping many players thus keeping the golden chemistry intact, but also had to let others go. The club did a good job finding strong new replacements with Americans Shevon Thompson, Ben Lammers and Jayson Granger. Siva who likes to takes bits of Isaiah Thomas, Damien Lillard, Rajon Rondo and Rickey Rubio´s games has the early scouting report on his new teammates. “Shevon is a really talented player with great touch and feel for the game. He has great size that will help our team tremendously. Ben Lammers has surprised me with how quick he gets off the ground. He is just a quick jumper and now I see why he was one of the top shot blockers in ACB. Jayson is a very smart and talented player. He can play Pg and Sg. Such a strong defender , also on the offensive side a great shooter who always thinks one step ahead on the court. His experience is going to help us out”, stressed Peyton Siva. The question will be how well will the new guys be integrated and how well will they buy into the Aito Philosophy. Siva has seen too much in his basketball career to make any crazy unthought off season predictions. “I think we will have growing pains at the beginning of the season just because we have a bunch of new players who some have missed time in the preseason and is going to need some time figuring out our style. However when we get everyone caught up I think we will be a deeper team and a team that will be able to run and play our tempo but also able to compete on the defense of end against some of the bigger teams in Euroleague”, warned Peyton Siva.

            Siva who still keeps in touch with his ex coach Rick Pitino from time to time will be turning 30 on October 24th and the question is where will his game go this season having gained added self-confidence with 2 titles? After having a tough first season in Berlin under Ahmet Caki, when Aito came on the scene in 2017-2018 everything changed. He did learn during his growing pains learning to stay ready and never lost confidence in the way he knew how to play. The growing pains and learning how to react turned his career around. “What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger. I have been dealing with plenty of injuries throughout my career (luckily nothing too serious) but things that would keep me out for months at a time. If I didn’t stay mentally strong I think those are injuries that could have derailed my basketball career tremendously. I learned to always work hard and stay ready when I am able to get on the court. I always had in my mind and always felt like when I am healthy I am one of the best players in Europe the problem is just staying and getting healthy”, said Peyton Siva. One guy who has been battling Siva for years and mostly lost is Skyliners legend Quantez Robertson who has the utmost respect for the NCAA champion. “He is a very good point guard that is lightening quick. He can score in a variety of ways. As a defender you just have to do the best you can to slow him down. He has been a top player in the BBL for years and at the moment a top 3 point guard in the league”, warned ex Auburn(NCAA) great Quantez Robertson. He has had his best stats as a professional in the last 3 years, but he has never been one to worry if he will score 30 points and be the hero, but can also be that impact player without the dazzling stats. “ I have learned that it´s not all about numbers especially with our team. I could play for stats and play for scoring points but that’s not required of me. On our team the most someone will play is 22-24 min a game. So you have to get in and perform in the limited time you get. So if you see guys on our team scoring 15-20 points in the limited time that we play that is a GREAT game but its all about being efficient”, stressed Peyton Siva. 

Siva worked most last summer on his shooting off the dribble and in between game like floaters and mid distance shots and has put in relentless hard work in the last few years and it has really paid off, but one can´t forget how vital Aito has been for his development into his prime. The Spanish wizard has helped him a lot with many small details of the game like reading it, and patience. Also huge has been his transformation into an elite three point shooter that he proved last season shooting a ridiculous 56% from downtown in the BBL on account of getting that special freedom from his coach. “Being patient has helped me tremendously. I am able to read the game better be more efficient from the field and show my all around game. I don’t feel as out of control  on the court. I think it is within the realm of my ability to repeat that shooting percentage. The reason it is because I know the work I put in to my game and shot. Also I have the utmost confidence out there on the court to shoot my shot. Aito is a big factor in my shooting numbers because he does give me the freedom to just go out there and play my game without looking over my shoulder after every shot good or bad. I have also learned more and more what is a good shot and a bad shot selection and that just comes with experience”, warned Peyton Siva. He is playing his fourth season under the legendary Spanish coach Aito while COVID-19 is still present and not really anywhere ready to go away. He is playing among his best basketball in his career and Alba Berlin is packed with a very talented roster again. It will be interesting to see if in 20-30 years if he can report more than 2 titles that he won during COVID-19 to his grandchildren. Some players get content after a few titles, but not Siva. He is in the best situation to add on to his hardware and is no where satisfied yet. “It´s very cliche but I hate losing more than I love winning so I am always aiming to win championships. I’m inspired now to win as if I have never won one in the first place. You can never get bored of winning too many championships”, warned Peyton Siva.

Till Gloger(Rostock Seawolves) Staying in The Pro A And Playing For Dirk Bauermann Is More Important Than Playing in the BBL This Season

 Till Gloger is a 27 year old 204cm forward from Bochum, Germany that will play his 5th professional season and first with the Rostock Seawolves (Pro A). He belonged to the best power forwards in the Pro A the last 2 seasons with the Romerstrom Gladiators averaging 11.8ppg, 5.0rpg, FGP: 55.2%, FT: 82.1% and 15.8ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 62.1%, FT: 68.1. In 2017-2018 he played in the BBL with the Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (BBL) playing 29 games averaging 3.7ppg, 1.7rpg. He played his rookie season with the Uni Baskets Paderborn (ProA) playing 30 game averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He got valuable experience overseas in the States playing at Maine (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 116 NCAA games. As a senior at Maine he played 30 games averaging 14.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 82.1%. He spoke to eurobasket last summer during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis.

Till thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been holding up during the tough COVID-19 time?

Thank you! I am doing well. Currently I am staying with my family in Bochum. 

How did you experience the last 4 months after your season in Trier ended in March? Did you come up with a special plan that allowed you to be as competitive as possible concerning your work outs on a daily basis?

The last 4 months slowed down my life a lot since different areas of our lives were shut down and just slowly started to open back up again. I didn’t come up with a special plan, but I tried to stay active with different work outs as much as I could to use my time effectively. 

So many have suffered in the world and each person has experienced many new things in their lives that they wouldn’t have had COVID-19 not come. How do you feel did you become stronger as a man in the COVID-19 period?

The coronavirus crisis showed me that it is extremely important to be thankful for the privilege to play basketball and fulfill your passion. You just realize how bad you miss something when it is gone. The coronavirus crisis also helped me to recognize how crucial it is to take advantage of the day and live your life with joy. 

We did our last interview in August 2017 after you were coming off your rookie season in Paderborn and was heading into the BBL with MBC. Has basketball time in this period flown by for you?

Yes, the time really has flown by. Next season I will already go on my fifth year playing professionally basketball. 

You played the last 2 seasons with the Romerstrom Gladiators in the Pro A. How tough was it for you having to end the season in March? What positives did you take out of the season?

Unfortunately, the season ended abruptly as the coronavirus outbreak was taking turns in Germany and all over Europe. It was tough for me to accept the fact that we would not be able to finish off what we have started as a team. You could really see how we improved throughout the season and had probably the best team effort against Nuernberg right before the season ended. I am confident that we would have gone on a deep playoff run last season. 

Did you suffer any ‘What if syndrome’ during the COVID-19 period concerning how the Gladiators would have finished the season? How dissatisfying was this scenario for you?

Yes, for sure I did. There were so many different scenarios and match ups possible for the upcoming playoffs. It was very dissatisfying to know that we would not be able to reward us for what we have been working so hard since August 2019. 

You played two very very strong Pro A seasons and vastly improved in your second season. How did you grow as a player most in your 2 years in Trier?

I think my coaches Christian Held and Jonas Borschelt put me in a great position to be a threat on the court. I became more confident and could fulfill my role on the team very well since they trusted in me and my capabilities. Throughout my time playing for Trier, I became a stronger force in the post and could add several pieces to my game. 

How valuable was Canadian veteran Jermaine Bucknor in your further development in Trier? What will you never forget about him as a player and person in your 2 seasons in Trier?

Buck was very valuable for me and the team. He always led by example and helped us with his experience and exceptional work ethic. He showed me how the mental and physical preparation before the game can have an impact on game situations. He taught me to stay positive and keep believing even when adversity was facing me. 

A big strength in your game is being able to follow your instincts. Is this something that a player can work on to become better on or is this something that is just there and can’t really be better developed?

I think that every player has the chance to get better following their instincts. I believe that it has a lot to do with practice and examining yourself in in-game situations. 

In the summer of 2017 after shooting 15 three’s for Paderborn, you stated that you wanted to become more aggressive from the perimeter. But then you shot only 4 three’s for MBC and 0 with Trier. Do coaches not want you to develop your versatility more or why don’t you get the opportunity to shoot the three more?

It really depends on how I can help my team win. The last two seasons for Trier and during my time at MBC, I was more dedicated to work under the basket and fight for position in the paint. Therefore, I was not able to catch and shoot the ball from the perimeter. Nevertheless, I hope I can develop my game more towards a stretch five the upcoming years. 

You had a masterful game in the win against Schalke netting 32 points on an amazing 14/14 shooting. How much did the 4/9 free throw shooting ruin your appetite that night? Was this still one of your best games as a professional?

All over last season, I was not shooting the same free throw percentage as I did during the years before. It is an area in which I want to regain strength next season. It didn’t bother me too much as we won the game by a decent margin and my free throws did not make the difference between winning and losing. I think it was definitely one of my better games as a professional. 

What kind of an experience was it playing for German head coach Christian Held? How did you benefit most from his presence and did he get a bum deal having to leave Trier after 2 solid coaching seasons?

Christian is a tremendous coach and I learned a lot from him the past two seasons. We had a pretty close relationship on and off the court. He trusted me a lot which helped me to become more fearless and dominant in the post. He also knew how to put me in situations in which I felt most comfortable with. Unfortunately, his contract did not get renewed after last season, but sadly this is part of the sports business. I am very happy that we can keep working together the upcoming season in Rostock.

You definitely are a EasyCredit BBL player. How big is your hunger to still play in the BBL? I don’t understand how a guy like you with your game would stay in the Pro A. You must have had BBL offers this summer?

Yes, I had some serious interests from EasyCredit BBL teams this summer, but the incentives to play for such an ambitious program as Rostock with the legendary coach Dirk Bauermann convinced me that it was the right choice to stay in the Pro A. I am confident that the chance to play in the BBL will come up again in the following seasons.

After 2 very productive seasons in the Pro A, instead of going to the easyCredit BBL you chose Rostock which is ok as they are a very ambitious organization with BBL hopes and a legend on the sidelines with Dirk Bauermann. Was knowing this more important than landing on a BBL team and possibly having a limited role again like in MBC again?

Yes, playing for Dirk Bauermann had a big impact on my decision to choose Rostock. I believe that I can learn a lot from his experience and his winning mentality. I am sure that his coaching will develop my game long term and that I will become a better basketball player. As of right now, this is way more important for me than playing for a BBL team. 

Congrats on signing with the Rostock Seawolves. How excited are you to be joining this ambitious club and be able to play for Dirk Bauermann?

I am very excited for the next season and can’t wait until I can get on the court with my new teammates. I am positive that we will have one of the best squads in the Pro A this season. I am confident that Dirk Bauermann will put the different pieces together and that we will have a successful season. 

What is your earliest boyhood memory of Dirk Bauermann and on what things are you most looking forward to being able to learn from Dirk Bauermann?

I remember him winning a lot of German Championships when I was growing up. He was always a coach I was looking up to, because he has a winning spirit and is a true leader. I am looking forward learning from his experience and his enormous basketball knowledge.

In the summer of 2017 you stated this about your work outs? ‘During the summer I do a lot of individual workouts and shooting drills to become a better threat from a variety of positions. Starting last week I am busy working out with the A2 German National Team. Off the court I spend time pursuing a masters degree in the upcoming years’. Now with COVID-19 opening things up in Germany on what aspects of your game will you work on most?

I am working to become stronger and more athletic. I think that I still have lot of room of improvement in becoming more explosive and dynamic. I am also still working on my shot and my finishes around the basket. 

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Stefan Ilzhoefer
Kyle Dranginis 
Jordan Geist
Johannes Richter
Stefan Micovic

Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. As a German kid who idolized Dirk Nowitzki, how did a player like Kobe influence your basketball growing up?

Kobe died on my birthday when I was turning 27 this year. I was reading it in the news, was shocked and didn’t want to believe it. He shaped the game of basketball like no other player and he influenced my childhood a lot. Rest in Piece Kobe 

Why does Kobe Bryant get lost in the greatest of all-time discussion with Michael Jordan and Lebron James?

I don’t really think that Kobe gets lost in the greatest of all-time discussion. Everybody who plays the game of basketball knows how enormous his contribution to the game was.

What was the last movie that you saw?

I was watching Titanic on free tv the other week. 

Thanks Till for the chat.

Last Season The Dragons Rhondorf Didn´t Need The Mustard From Diijon Allen-Jordan But Rather His Fine 1-1 Defense And Rebounding

When I first heard the name Diijon Allen-Jordan who was hauled to the Dragons Rhondorf after the departure of Curtis Hollis, I had to think for a moment where I could associate that name Diijon with. It took a while, but after close inspection the Grey Poupon name popped into my head. It probably took a bit longer to come up with the mustard idea, because for most of my life I have been a ketchup lover and didn´t discover the yellow weird tasting topping until late in my life. For some reason, I´m still not that big of a mustard eater, but will use it for certain vegetables to give it that extra exotic taste. Then I remembered that well known commercial where seemingly on some French country road two Rolls Royces meet side by side and an elder gentleman says “pardon me would you have any Grey Poupon”? After the two gentleman converse about the mustard, the commercial ends with the narrator saying “Grey Poupon one of life´s finer pleasures. On the bottom of the jar you read the words Dijon mustard. Dijon Mustard is a traditional mustard in France named after the town of Dijon which was the center of mustard making in the late middle ages and was granted exclusive rights in France in the 17th century. The only difference between Dijon Mustard and Diijon Allen Jordan is the way it is spelled. The basketball player Allen-Jordan´s first name is spelled with two i´s whereas the tasty mustard with just one I. Even if the names aren´t spelled the same, the name is still pronounced the same way. Since that is the case why not use that mustard link? It even has come as far as I using the mustard in my play by play call link every time the American scores a bucket with Diijon “give me some mustard” Allen Jordan. The American who has played most of his professional career in the UK seems a bit embarrassed by the nickname, but takes the condiment hoopla in stride. “I’m not sure where it came from, all my life everyone would make the joke about my name being a type of mustard. But that was my first time hearing it like this”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. I guess hearing this new nickname in Germany got some getting used to, but in Dragon country nobody needed any mustard from him, but rather wanted to see him consistently annoy opponents with his 1-1 defense and strong rebounding and did, but the guy can do even more on the court. Unfortunately the Coronavirus didn´t allow Allen-Jordan to play out the season.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Diijon Allen-Jordan in Rhondorf, Germany after dropping 22 points in a win over Recklinghausen

            Allen-Jordan was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and attended Plainfield high school. He didn´t go the normal route of having the luck of showcasing his basketball abilities in the much coveted NCAA, but played at 3 separate levels JUCO, NCAA 2 and NAIA. He began at Western Oklahoma State College (JUCO) in 2013 playing 27 games averaging 16.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 45.6%, FT: 70.4%. In 2014-2015, he moved to Francis Marion University (NCAA2) playing 16 games averaging 16.9ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 70.2%. He would make one more move attending Campbellsville University (NAIA) playing 36 games averaging 17.3ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.9bpg, 1.7spg, FGP: 54.1%, FT: 69.1%. Despite moving around so often, he was thankful for being able to have all three opportunities. “Starting at Western Oklahoma was a complete eye opener for me . First day of workout there were 25 guys on the team and I was so nervous watching everyone look more skilled than I was . But that didn’t stop me from working hard . Being there showed me how many people there are in the world fighting for the same chance that I was Francis Marion showed me that I couldn’t just be an athlete but I had to put in the work to be great. It also showed me the business side of basketball and how some coaches truly care about their job position more than helping out players And Campbellsville was my calling going to a Christian school and reconnecting with my Christian side that I left behind when my grandmother passed away in 2010. But it was always great because I got to play with my best friend Sekou Harris who I played with from 8 years old until my senior year in high school . We made it to the final 4 of the NAIA 1 level and was the first to do so in years . I also met some of my closest friends there from different ghettos in America and we all were respectful young men”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. Despite playing for three different schools, levels and coaches, the American was consistent everywhere thanks to having skilled coaches who taught him how to develop his game further. “Coach Rolando at Western Oklahoma” helped me bring out the “dog” that was inside me . He pushed me to be great and never let me fall short . Coach Edwards at Francis Marion helped me with becoming a morning person , All year we practiced at 6am and because of that I rather workout and start my day earlier Coach Atkins at Campbellsville helped me connect with some wonderful guys who I call my brothers. He bonded all of us together and we all still keep in connect”, added Diijon Allen-Jordan. In his last year at Campbellsville, he scored in double figures in 32 of 36 games and scored 20 points or more 13 times and contributed 15 double doubles He will never forget his magical 30 points and 11 rebound game in the thrilling 76-75 victory against Cumberlands. “That game was big for me, my mother and girlfriend drove 20 hours to my school to watch me play and I just wanted to give them a show, and at the time Cumberlands was ranked in the country. We were down 20 at a halftime and I told all my teammates that my mom drove 20 hours to see me play and I’m going out to give her a win with or without them. And being the men that they were that all told me that we are getting a win for my mom”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. He is one of the few if not the only one who comes from lower level college leagues and doesn´t have a chip on his shoulder.  “Never playing NCAA 1 was never a huge requirement for me, I knew that where ever I played I would give my 100 percent effort and I would be recognized”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan.

Despite playing in the NAIA, he didn´t remain unnoticed and was drafted by the Los Angeles Defenders of the D-League in the fourth round with the 77th pick in 2016 and got an early taste of the NBA spending training camp with the club. Being able get a glimpse of the D-League and the Lakers farm team was an experience that he will never forget. “It was an amazing experience to be in the building where my favorite player of all time Shaq practiced at. Seeing their NBA banners and trophies opened my eyes to see that anything is possible . Being there taught me that I can’t be passive when I go places, the faster I get in a groove the longer I will stay with whatever team I am on”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. He also recalls seeing Luke Walton who was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers at that time and learning like so many other players that there is no fun and games in the NBA. “Luke Walton introduced himself to everyone and just let us know that he would be watching. The NBA taught me how much of a business that it is . They invest so much money into players but only for the players who deserve it a as well as those that will be loved by the community. Prior to getting drafted I had coaches and teachers from my child hood team tell me that teams would call them to ask what kind of person I was”, remembered Diijon Allen-Jordan. After spending time in Los Angeles with the Defenders, he began his professional career overseas with the Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 18 games averaging  13.3ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.6%, FT: 68.1%. He scored in double figures in 14 of 18 games including 25 points in a thrilling 87-86 win over the London Lions. He remembers what his wake up call was and fish and chips surely was something he splurged on when he had no desires of cooking himself. “My wake up call was me having to cook on my own now . I spent 4 years away from home in college ( only going home in the summer and Christmas) so I was used to being away but I was no longer in college where I could depend on the school cafe for food”, smiled Diijon Allen-Jordan. Sometimes it can be a severe odyssey for an American rookie overseas when they are in a foreign country where English isn´t on the menu and they are the only American. The good news for Allen-Jordan was that he was in an English speaking country and had a few Americans on the team that made the whole integration a lot easier. “As a rookie I had Jamel Anderson and Mike DiNunno on my team who helped me a lot with playing with more confidence. They both were apart of winning teams and they helped me see what it took to win”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. In his second season he remained with the  Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) continuing to give consistent stats playing 33 games averaging 14.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.7apg, Steals-3(2.1spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 70.9%. “My confidence level grew. I worked on my shot as well as ball handling. I feel more confident on the court and I feel like I still haven’t reach half of my potential”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan.

            He began last season season in the UK again, but would only remain a few months as he balled with the  London Lions (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 11 games averaging  12.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 59.6%. Despite having solid stats as he averaged double figures in scoring for the third straight season in the UK BBL, he didn´t remain and traded the big city and bright lights for the small town and pretty Rhein river with Rhondorf. “I believe I was not the right fit for the Lions , I felt helpless and being the leader I like to carry myself as I didn’t think I would be much help to the team . So I reached out to my agent and Vince along with the Lions team and both agreed it was time to part ways”, added Diijon Allen-Jordan The American came to a club that lost their star player Curtis Hollis, but there was absolutely no reason why he couldn´t fill the shoes of the Texas native. But pressure is a word that he doesn´t associate with. “I don’t believe I have pressure , prior to coming here I didn’t know anything about the league or team , so I believe me coming here was a fresh start and new season to showcase my talent. And me being a guy who has played a few seasons as a professional coach asked me to help the younger players with positive energy and be a role model”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. There was also one aspect to his new Dragons adventure that put him in a good mood. “My first impression of Germany was basically me coming to the fact that I’m in Germany and how big the country is. And what I love about my new home is the access to the gym. With previous clubs I had an issue with getting into the gym outside of practice but I didn´t have that issue with Rhöndorf”, expressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. He needed absolutely no adjustment period as he was a central figure in the wins over Herten and Recklinghausen producing 19 points and 22 points and being a menace on the defensive end. “I´m a leader and when I spoke to Yassin prior to coming to the team he told me that he wants me to come in and be a new source of energy . And with the unfortunate death of Kobe Bryant , I knew that life can be over in a split second and I just want to enjoy playing and giving everything I have because he taught me that when you give the game your all the game will give back to you”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan.

            The American came to an interesting situation with the Dragons Rhondorf. Just reaching the playoffs wasn´t enough, but their goal was to win the Regionalliga West title so they could move up a level again to the Pro B. A big problem that season for the Dragons was their defense where they allowed 86 points per game. Some games it looked like it was getting better, but then bang the next game they stunk up the gym again with inconsistent play. “Defense was an issue prior to me getting here and that is another component that Yassin as emphasized to me. He wanted me to come in and pick up the guys to play harder tougher defense. We believe we had a chance to win the title yes and we worked every day to make sure we had the right mindset to win”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. German center Gabril De Olveria was out for a few months and his inside presence in the paint and boards was missing, but when he returned the club became even more of a force on the court. “Having Gabriel is a big help because he is so skilled and versatile . He runs the floor and can post up . He plays physical and with passion and I enjoy that and will go to war with him anywhere”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. Scoring wasn´t been a problem this season for the Dragons Rhondorf as they made 95 points per game best in the league  With the arrival of Allen-Jordan his overall versatility at both ends of the court could of made the difference between a title and not.

            Allen-Jordan is a guy that can do it all at both ends of the court. He demonstrated his inside out game on offense at ease, grabbed rebounds with a passion and hit the trey. On defense his biggest strength is his one on one defense. He simply brings the whole package at both ends of the court with brutal versatility and coupled with a positive character can carry a team in tough moments. “I was always taught to be versatile and to be a man of many tricks so that I wouldn’t be stuck in one category. But defense and rebounding will be my main focus because I believe that’s were the team lacked before I got here. We have a deep rotation of guys who can score. That part of the game will work its way out because off the motor I carry. Defense just comes with determination to stop whoever is in front of you. Scoring usually helps the game become easy and comfortable so if I can make whoever I am guarding to be uncomfortable on offense they will not focus on defense as much. And lifting helps my body continue to be able to compete, I am a CrossFit coach as well as a CrossFit athlete and I believe that every athlete should get involved with it”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. Even if he can´t name an NBA player that he could compare his game to, it is countless NBA players that have helped him develop that special consistency. “In New Jersey we have some of the toughest places in the country Everyone plays basketball. In the tri-state of New York , New Jersey , and Pennsylvania; I’ve played against countless NBA players and professionals who I learned from . Knowing that I can compete with guys who made it to the NBA gives me enough confidence to be able to make it anywhere”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. He wasn´t near the oldest on the team, but with his experience of having played in the G-League and England, his experience and presence in practice could of helped two big gems of the Dragons with Simonas Lukusius and OusmaneNdiaje. “I believe that I can be a type of mentor for them because of how I carry myself. I know right from wrong and I work very hard . I like to be a role model for kids to see how a professional should carry themselves in whatever field of work that they are in. I believe they both will be very good players if they have the right help around them . Basketball is not only about skill , it is important for them to know how the business side of things work as well as grow as players . I look at them and see that they both are way more talented than I was at their age . Simonas has the ability to take over the court once he finds his swagger on the court . And Ousmane has a bright future if he continues to work hard . He listens which is a great thing with being coachable . Once he has his confidence playing against older players he will be someone to watch out for”, warned Diijon Allen-Jordan. It would be interesting to know where the journey of the Dragons Rhondorf would have ended with Curtis Hollis, but with Diijon Allen-Jordan, the ex Pro A team was in very good hands for them to garner the success that they wanted this season. The mustard references will continue to follow him around, but with a name of Diijon, you can´t get around it. Dragon country is so infected with basketball love that when it comes down to the crunch-time of the season, the mustard will be put aside and the more important aspects to Allen-Jordan´s game with one on one defense and rebounding will be in the heads of the diehard fans. Unfortunately the Coronavirus was the only thorn in the side of world basketball that disallowed the Dragons Rhondorf to learn their fate last season

The EPG Baskets Koblenz Continue To Work Towards Mission Next Level

How much difference a year can make when your 188cm guard Tyseem Lyles who continues to rise up the professional basketball ladder. Last season the ex JUCO player who moved up to the NCAA 2 was wheeling and dealing for the Eimsbuetteler TV Hamburg (Germany-Regionalliga) in his second season there shooting out the lights in every gym he battled and scored in double figures in 44 of 45 games while this season he isn’t a man playing among kids anymore, but a man among men as he made the incredible jump up 2 leagues to the German second division called the Pro A getting signed by PS Karlsruhe. Scoring 46 points against Aschersleben like he did in the Regionalliga won’t be a normal thing anymore, but now instead of all eyes being on him, he is just a part of the team doing the job. The only problem was that the American Lyles never arrived in Koblenz nor did PS Karlsruhe as they cancelled their Sunday afternoon autumn trip. They were supposed to challenge the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Instead the EPG Baskets Koblenz were alone on the floor, but fans were also there, so the club had to quickly react and change the program. Instead of a pre-season duel against PS Karlsruhe, the 50-60 fans who turned out got to witness a team scrimmage followed by a few heavy dunks from some of the athletic players. Ex Ehingen guard Zaire Thompson described what it was like playing against his teammates in front of fans. ‘Today we wanted to give our fans a show, but at the same time focus on our plays. I feel the fans saw today that we were playing well together and continuing to grow’, stressed ex Fordham (NCAA) guard Zaire Thompson (180-PG-95, college: Fordham, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) The German guard also tried to explain how hard they went despite it being a intra-squad match. ‘We went at it easier today, but usually our practices are a lot more intense. We have a very competitive team and everyone wants to play. It is hard with minutes with such a deep team, but we all push each other’, warned Zaire Thompson

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing EPG Baskets Koblenz guard Zaire Thompson in Koblenz

The club had 11 players and had a green and white team. There would be 2 10 quarters and who had the most points after 20 minutes was the victor. The green team had more talent and experience than the white team and the green quickly showed their true colors jumping out on a 5-0 lead as American DJ Woodmore who made a name for himself with the BIS Baskets Speyer scored all 5 points showing his aggressiveness early on. The green team kept up the momentum with better execution and less turnovers than the white team leading 13-7 after ex BBL player Jacob Mampuya made a slick left handed lay in showcasing his rapid first step. But the white team played with a lot of heart and finally broke out on offense going on a quick 11-0 run to lead 18-13. In the run, they got a lot of support from their Germans as they started to hit their weakness outside shooting and connect as veterans Noah Westerhaus and Henning Schaake contected for three’s as did Zaire Thompson with a jumper. But the green team was always good for explosiveness from their strong 1-1 players like Brian Butler who led the green on a 8-2 run to regain the lead back at 21-20. Butler displayed scoring in bunches as he scored 3 times in a row in his comfort zone inside. But it was the white team that had the lead after 10 minutes 23-21 as new player ex FC SchalkeMarley Jean Louis scored.

In the second quarter, the game would remain tight, but the green side would never lead again as the white prevailed at the end 42-35 as they finished the game on a 7-2 run. After Jean Louis got white it’s first points in the second quarter for the 25-21 advantage, it was ex easyCredit BBL slam dunk champion Brian Butler again who showed what scoring consecutive buckets looks like as he made a tough lay in in traffic and then finished off a beautiful lob pass from Mampuya for a hard slam down alley-op basket to dead lock the contest at 25-25. White came back again getting baskets from ex Leverkusen forward CJ Oldham and Marley, but green always had enough substance in their offense tying the game at 29-29 getting baskets from ex wiha Panthers big man Edin Alispahic and a lay in from 211cm ex Wedel big man Joshua Luebkin. Then it was time for the white team to launch a new mini run of 4-0 as new UK player ex Western Illinois (NCAA) center Michael Ochereobia. Even if the game was tight white seemed in control. After a Schaake runner for the 35-31 white advantage, Virginia native DJ Woodmore made the basket of the afternoon. He spun around his man and then scored an acrobatic lay up in traffic to get his team back to trailing only 35-33. ‘DJ’s game reminds me of Kyrie Irving. DJ’s moves and courage reminds me of Irving’, added Zaire Thompson But the white side now slammed the door shut on the green side with a little over 2 minutes to play. Thompson who is a pass first point guard executed on a pretty pull up jumper for the 37-33 white advantage with 2,06 to play. ”I was pretty open. Coach Rodriguez always says when the defense gives me the shot then take it’, stressed Zaire Thompson After a Alispahic turnover, it was 29 year old CJ Oldham testing his 14,3% from downtown last season and finding nothing but net for the 40-33 white lead with 1,17 to go. Luebke and Jean Louis traded baskets at the end to end the game as white was victorious 42-35 in a mini intra squad scrimmage. The result showed that not the best talent always wins. ‘The green side had more starting 5 players, but this game showed how deep we are and that second starting 5 can beat the first starting five. The difference was that we played more team basketball and they relied more on 1-1. We played fast and had an advantage with Westerhaus and Oldham getting quickly out on transition. Oldham also used his good passing finding the open guys’, stressed Zaire Thompson

Brian Butler dunking over Thompson and Woodmore

A few weeks ago the EPG Baskets Koblenz had a test game against ambitious Regionalliga club Dragons Rhondorf who have an average age of 20 and balled in the Pro A 5 years ago and lost a defensive battle. In that early pre season contest, it was obvious to see that Koblenz weren’t on the same page yet at both ends of the court, but a lot had changed in the last weeks. ‘We know our plays a lot better today than then and also know how to execute our options. In the game against Rhondorf there was too much 1-1 and no help on defense, but our team play is a lot better now. We also have improved our defense in the last weeks’, commented Zaire Thompson With only 2 weeks to go before the season Pro B debut at home against Coburg, the team expectations are high with their ‘mission next level’ slogan, but they are careful not to aim too high. ‘Everybody can beat everybody in the Pro B. There is never a clear favorite. Our goal is the playoffs and the rest is open’, warned Zaire Thompson The team will definitely be able to score a lot this season, but the question will be will the defense be there on days when the offense has an off night? ‘We will play aggressive on ball defense. Our focus will be to use our length on the wing and athleticism to our advantage. We will be very versatile and be able to do much on the defensive end’, expressed Zaire Thompson The German sees ex Pro B player Marley Jean Louis as being the big surprise player of the season as he plays aggressive defense and has an aggressive shot and knows that the club will be able to turn heads at both ends of the court, but also knows that there are still things to work on. ‘Our main thing that we have to work on is our shooting. Our German players have to have confidence. I am sure we can become a good shooting team. It will always depend on the type of shots we get’, warned Zaire Thompson After the game, a few guys attempted some dunks, but the first ones didn’t work well. The first four dunkers Thompson, Butler, Woodmore and Mampuya all missed. But then came ex Giessen Pointers German youngster Lucas Meyer who didn’t try anything fancy, but executed a simple dunk. ‘The first dunks were too difficult. Lucas calmed down and made his. After that Butler did his typical show’, said Zaire Thompson German Henning Schaake got into the action making a hard dunk and then Brian Butler finished off the afternoon with two fancy and explosive dunks. He began flying over Thompson for the hard dunk and then added another body with Woodmore and dunked over both of them using his expertise athleticism. That all looked very very nice at the end and a beautiful way to end the basketball weekend in Koblenz, but the club knows that athletic showtime dunks won’t get you wins alone in the Pro B.