Could Jehyve Floyd(MHP Riesen) Be That Next Fine Holy Cross Catch That Have Enriched The BBL Over The Years

Over the years seeing Holy Cross players battle in the German BBL have been as seldom as seeing a massive Boston Red Sox blowout of their arch rivals New York Yankees of 19-3 which happened this summer as the amount of e x Crusaders that have played in Germany could be picked off of one hand. Ok if my calculations are correct, it has been 6 players that have played in Germany, but only 5 in the BBL as Chris Rojik carved out a fine second Bundesliga career in Germany. The first guy to make it to Germany was Pat Elzie in 1984 playing with Giessen and future German legends like Michael Koch and Henning Harnisch and has been a coach since 1996 and is still active now coaching Pro B club Itzehoe Eagles since 2015. Then came the athletic and fine shooter Keith Simmons in 2008 who many remember as winning the 2009 BBL slam Dunk contest in Mannheim and later becoming a Banvit lifer in Turkey playing seven seasons. Timonthy Clifford came the same season as Simmons and played his rookie season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn playing 29 games, but averaged only 6,9 minutes and 1,9ppg and then retired. Then came the controlled and fine pass first guard Kevin Hamilton who gave the meaning playmaker and team first mentality a new name as he was in the top 4 in assists in the BBL in three of his five seasons in Germany. Finally it was Malcolm Miller who strapped on the Alba Berlin jersey in 2016-2017 and averaged 7,0ppg and 3,4rpg which was solid, but not mind boggling, but one did notice he had something special combining that unending athleticism with a good shot and sharp defense. He then signed with the Toronto Raptors and just ended his second season hoisting the first NBA title in Canada and the rest is history. So who is the next extra special basketball catch to come from Holy Cross and enrich the BBL? MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick has made it possible hauling in the next gem with Jehyve Floyd. He is the best example of a guy who had his difficulties at first at Holy Cross, but kept at it, continued to work hard and never give up and finished his last two seasons strong. But it wasn´t only his own determination and will to overcome all hardships, but also believed in the basketball process and took full advantage of what Holy Cross gave it´s students. Torey Thomas has never played in Germany, but was teammates at Holy Cross with Hamilton and Simmons and has carved out a fine professional career spanning 12 seasons and displaying his winner mentality winning titles in Poland, Cyprus, Macedonia and France is more than excited about Floyd starting his professional basketball career in Germany. “I definitely follow the Holy Cross program. I know that Jehyve is a dynamic player. He plays both sides of the ball well. He’s athletic and physical. Yes he definitely will be an impact player in the BBL as a rookie his upside is very high. It’s very vital for a player to play at Holy Cross because it is high IQ basketball. It is High Academics and a lot of film work besides the work you need to put in on the court. You learn important things on and off the court. Time management, you are amongst all the students it isn’t sectioned off to only athletes. You get a full experience at Holy Cross. On the court you get a unique big school feel because basketball is historical at Holy Cross”, warned Torey Thomas. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet Torey Thomas. He’s been a great mentor throughout this new process and has given me guidance that has been very beneficial. He’s been a pro for a long time so his legacy means a lot”, stressed Jehyve Floyd.

            Jehyve Floyd is a 22 year old 206cm forward that was born in Sayreville, New Jersey and grew up in Parlin, New Jersey. It isn´t necessarily his game what really stands out at first, but his name Jehyve which will surely take a few Germans sometime to pronounce correctly. “My name Jehyvé is the combination of Jehovah and Jireh which means “The Lord will provide”. Still to this day, people mispronounce it but it doesn’t bother me as much as it did growing up. I take pride in having a different name nowadays”, stressed jehyve Floyd. He played at Sayreville War Memorial High School averaging 17,5ppg and 10,7rpg in his senior year. He was Selected for his fine play as Sayreville’s Breakout Player of the Year in 2013-2014 and was also named to the Newark Star Ledger’s All-Low Post and All-Dunking teams.Even before he got to Holy Cross, he achieved greatness in that he became the first player from his high school to reach the NCAA and sign a professional basketball contract. “I’m really proud to be able to achieve this level of success. I remember dreaming about this moment back in high school and I’m glad I was able to make it turn into a reality. I hope I can be that role model for the younger generation to know that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to”, stressed Jehyve Floyd.

                The American who credits NBA player Cheick Diallo as being his toughest cover in the NCAA then commenced play at Holy Cross in 2015 and in his four year career played a total of 124 games. After being a big shot in high school where he dominated on the court, he first had to pay his dues in his first two seasons. He played a total of 58 NCAA games in his first two years, but never averaged more than 3,0ppg. Despite averaging only 9,7 minutes as a freshman, he did have highlights being ranked 11th in blocks in the Patriot League and led the team in blocks in 10 games. He hit Loyola MD for 10 points and three boards while hitting all five shots. He also had his first experience playing in the NCAA tournament against #5 ranked Oregon posting 2 points, 4 rebounds and a block. “It was a great experience. I will always remember that I felt like I belonged”, stressed Jehyve Floyd. He also knew then that Oregon forward monster Jordan Bell who now plays for the Timberwolves was a special player. “. He was very athletic and played defense at an elite level”, stressed Jehyve Floyd. After coming from the bench as a freshman, he was able to start 3 games in his sophomore campaign and raise his minutes to 12,2. He continued to make strides on the defensive end ranking seventh in blocks in the Patriot league and led the team in blocks in 15 games. He shot a respectable 54,5% from the field and scored 8 points and had 2 rebounds against Rhode Island. Even if he had his moments in his first two years at Holy Cross any rigid competitor wouldn´t have been happy with his playing times. He knew that something had to change in his junior season. “After my sophomore year I gave myself an ultimatum that if I didn’t do well my junior year that I will have to figure out another profession. That drove me to work harder and present results on the court my junior year and it was only up from there”, expressed Jehyve Floyd.

                His true Holy Cross break out occurred in his junior year. His minutes rose from 12,2 to 30 and he played 30 games averaging 12.2ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.6apg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 66.9%, FT: 48.5%. He scored in double figures in 19 games and registered one double double. He had 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 blocks in an exciting 60-57 victory over American and 20 points against Navy in a 81-65. Win. He suffered a tough 71-67 loss against Lehigh, but showed his amazing qualities of filling the stat sheet and showing versatility scoring 15 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, getting 6 blocks and 2 steals. He had so many achievements like hitting 20 field goals in a row and led the Patriot League in field goal percent and blocked shots, while being 11th in total rebounding, 11th in defensive rebounds and 18th in scoring. He also ranked fourth in the nation in field goal percent and 30th in blocked shots. He also snagged numerous awards like Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, was chosen to third team All-Patriot League and to the Patriot League All-Defensive Team. He also received a Crusader Award as Holy Cross’ Male Athlete of the Year. In his senior year he averaged 31,1 minutes and played 33 games averaging 12.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 3.5apg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 67.4%, FT: 47.9%. He scored in double figures in 23 games and posted 3 double doubles. His best scoring games occurred against Lafayette and Bucknell where he poured in 25 points apiece. He had his way with Lafayette again scoring 24 points and hit Lehigh for 22 points. He didn´t score the most points in the win over Stony Brook, but showed that he is a stat filler with an incredible 10 point, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 blocks. “I think the Stony Brook game is the most memorable. It’s something about piling up blocks and assists that makes me pretty excited especially after a win”, added Jehyve Floyd. He Led the team in blocks 26 times, rebounding 18 times, assists 15 times, scoring 13 times and steals eight times.  He broke the school single-season records for field goal percentage and blocked shots and led the Patriot League in field goal percentage and blocked shots, while ranking seventh in offensive rebounds, eighth in overall rebounding and assists, ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio, 10th in defensive rebounds and 19th in scoring. He finished his senior year third in the nation in field goal percentage, and 12th in blocked shots. The American who would never lose a one on one in practice against teammate Matt Faw also wouldn´t have had the success that he had without the proper guidance form head coach Bill Carmody who once told him that being a special player comes with a lot of baggage something he witnessed at the start. “ Under Coach Carmody, I was able to see the game of basketball differently and my IQ grew tremendously. He was hard on me from the jump and it took me awhile to accept that. Once I understood, I took it with a better approach and just wanted to keep getting better. He stressed the importance of consistency”, stressed Jehyve Floyd. He was a shy guy when he got to Holy Cross, but after the growing pains, he erupted from his shell and became a leader something he will take to the pro ranks now. “I was able to use my success as a platform to show others how much hard work is important to growth and development”, added Jehyve Floyd.  He finished his career as the all-time Holy Cross and Patriot League leader with a .656 field goal percentage (417 of 636) and also ranked second all-time at Holy Cross in career blocked shots with 193 and fourth in career games played with 124.

            Now the versatile 206cm forward is ready for the new challenge of testing the professional ranks. This summer he took some time to rest at beautiful Myrtle beach in Sorth Carolina, was in Ludwigsburg to convince John Patrick and Co of his abilities, worked out at Holy Cross and also spent some valuable time in Boston with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg assistant coach Joey King working on different drills the team uses to develop their players during the season. So what kind of a player will basketball Germany witness in the 2019-2020 season with Jehyve Floyd? It is always interesting to see which NBA player a player will compare his game to, but every so often you get a response like this. “I wouldn’t be able to compare myself to another NBA player, I leave it up to others to do that. . I like bigs who can pass the ball well and have a great feel for the game”, warned Jehyve Floyd. When dissecting his game the term modern forward comes to mind as he is a guy that can do it all knowing how to fill the stat sheet ,but he actually sees it a bit differently. “I don’t think I’m a modern forward. I think I’m an athletic player who has a great feel for the game who has a lot to learn to succeed at the pro level”, warned Jehyve Floyd. Also taking the three hasn´t been part of his game yet as he attempted only 3 in his NCAA career, but he knows that developing one will be vital for him to continue to rise up the basketball ladder. “I’m willing to do whatever that will allow me to become the best player I can be”, added Jehyve Floyd. Not only his offensive abilities will be on display in the BBL, but he should belong to the top blockers in the BBL as he averaged 2 per season in his last two in the NCAA. “ I think I’ve gotten a lot smarter on defense. Timing is very important on defense and I believe I was able to get better at blocking shots as time went on”, said Jehyve Floyd. A triple double isn´t rare if your named Russell Westbrook or Nikola Jocic, but achieving that in European basketball is difficult, but last season EWE Baskets Austrian terror Rashid Mahalbasic mastered it four times with points, rebounds and assists. Floyd demonstrated often that he can fill the stat sheet well, but also with blocks and one notices that the triple double is a fascinating concept for him. “I dream of doing whatever is possible to secure a win for my team. If that includes a triple double, I will definitely be satisfied”, stressed Jehyve Floyd. Even if he uped his assist average from 1,6 to 3,5 in his last few years, he still feels that people aren´t quite aware of his fine passing skills. “I think my passing separates me from other guys my size. I’ve always enjoyed passing the ball and I think it can allow me to get to the highest level”, warned Jehyve Floyd.

                So now the New Jersey native who lists Corey Taite, Rob Seraji,  Brian Gay, Malik Pressley and Michael Valentin as his five best teammates of all-time is ready to to start his professional career. He is very excited about the opportunity with the MHP Riesen and BBL and knows what ex Holy Cross player Malcom Miller was able to do after his second season in Germany. “ I’m really excited! It’s a dream come true and I’m blessed to have the opportunity! I don’t know much about Germany and basketball but I know this can be a very good situation for exposure for my main goal which is the NBA”, stressed Jehyve Floyd.  It was a no brainer for him choosing John Patrick and the Riesen as his first professional experience. “I chose the MHP Riesen because they gave me the best opportunity to develop into the best player I can be. They also were the first team to offer me a contract and it’s something about the first teams who see something in me that I like. Coach Patrick has a great resume of developing young guys and turning them into great pros”, warned Jehyve Floyd.  Not only Torey Thomas has a lot of confidence in the American, but he himself knows that making this next step won´t be easy, but one where he could thrive from. “I hope what I was able to do in college can translate to the professional level. I know it will be a process and it will take time to get accumulated with the transition”, added Jehyve Floyd. Even if Floyd who lists Lebron James. Shaq. Kobe Bryant. Allen Iverson as his four to grace the NBA Mount Rushmore is the most famous basketball player coming from Sayreville War Memorial High School, he isn´t the most famous alumnist. There are some people that have gone on to Hollywood to act with most notable Greg Evigan, but Rock star legend Jon Bon Jovi takes the cake as being the best known. Times do change and if you were to ask some Sayreville War Memorial High School students today, it would be an interesting poll to know how many don´t even know who he was. “Personally, I don’t understand the magnitude of Jon Bon Jovi. I’m sure kids knew about him, but I don’t think his history were important to the kids of my generation coming out of Sayreville”, stressed Jehyve Floyd. If Floyd can make an impact as a rookie and then continue to move up the basketball ranks like a Malcolm Miller, he will make a name like Bon Jovi in due time even more forgotten at his old high school as he carves his legacy as a professional basketball player.

This Summer Corey Raley-Ross Put Emphasis On Extending His Shooting Range Which Will Open Up Other Dynamics Of His Game

Corey Raley-Ross is a 27 year old 193cm guard from Charlotte, North Carolina that has three professional seasons under his belt. Last season he played with C.B. Aridane (Spain-EBA) playing 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 71.1% In the 2017-2018 season he played with CB Virgen de la Concha Innova Chef (Spain-EBA) playing 28 games averaging 18.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 41.4%,FT: 64.8%. As a rookie he played for TTU Korvpalliklubi Tallinn (Estonia-Alexela KML) playing 28 games averaging 6.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 30.4%,FT: 63.6%; and played 9 Baltic League games averaging 8.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 11.1%, FT: 76.0%. He played at Buffalo (NCAA) from 2010-2014 playing 59 games. He had another chat with about his basketball career.

Corey thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Thanks Miles for the opportunity. Currently, I’m in my hometown Charlotte, North Carolina visiting family and friends. My summer has been great! I’ve been doing a lot of preparing for this upcoming season.

The summer is winding down and your still unsigned. After playing in Estonia and in Spain for two seasons, you are a veteran in terms of the summer transfer market. How have you experienced this summer? Have the offers been meager or enough, but just not satisfying?

The transfer market has been moving favorable for me. I’ve been speaking with different clubs just about every week since August, I anticipate things picking up. 
Also, the offers thus far have been satisfying. They’re all grand opportunities. However, unlike previous years I want to be more mindful when choosing my next destination.

Did you take a different kind of approach in finding the right fit this summer or has it been the same old formula just with less success so far this time?

I’ve definitely taken a different approach. I’ve been very patient with deciding this time around. This gives me the chance to watch the transfer market a bit closer. It also gives me additional time to continue preparing mentally and physically. 

After Eintracht Stahnsdorf wasn’t a fit last season, how big is your urge to give it a shot in Germany? Do you have the need like you would like to prove something in the German basketball market?

Germany is a great country for sure, a country with strong professional leagues. Stahnsdorf is a great club and while they weren’t the right fit for me I’m certain that there are many other clubs in Germany that are. Do I have something to prove? Of course in every market, in time I believe that opportunity will present itself.

This summer you received some added experience with the Winston-Salem Wolves (ECBL). How was this time for you and talk a little about the quality of this league and it’s players?

This was great for me to stay in optimal shape for the season. The level of the players was solidthe league had some active professionals who kept the level high. I was able to play alongside my brother Brandis and with a coach (David Soloman) who has over 30 years of experience. This wasn’t just a great experience but a learning experience as well.

Let’s talk about last season. After starting the season with RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-Regionalliga) you then signed at C.B. Aridane (Spain-EBA) The team was up and down and lost more than it won. What was your summary of the season from a team standpoint?

My situation the last year was a major learning experience. Before signing with Aridane, I didn’t expect to play for three different coaches nor did I expect our roster to change so frequently. This greatly affected our team’s chemistry. Personally, these ups and downs challenged me to be resilient to changeand because of this I’m a better person and player.

How much fun was it playing with American Billy Mcodnald. He had had experience in Germany with Regionalliga teams Baskets Vilsbiburg and MTSV Friendsfactory Schwabing. Did you guys share stories about the Germany experience?

It was great playing alongside Billy. He’s one of the best athletes I know. We spoke a little about our experiences in Germany as we were in La Palma trying to create new ones.

You played 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 71.1%. After playing your second season in the EBA, how do you feel did your game grow?

My game has grown considerably playing in EBA. Getting playing experience is always a plus. I really valued practice time since we would only play once per week. I would often fit in workouts before and after practices. Playing in Spain alone allowed me to growI was able to see a few ACB games live and also watch them as much as possible. 

You had a superb game in the 112-94 victory against Zentro Basket scoring 22 points on 6/7 shooting from the two point range and 3/3 from outside), grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 9 dimes and had 5 steals. Is this one of those games where you showed the whole spectrum of your basketball abilities?

Yes I believe so! I was able to make an instant impact on the game with my defense and getting my teammates involved. Of course when doing those things I receive easy opportunities for myself. 

Your stats were solid, but dipped slightly in the scoring, rebounding and three point scoring. How would you personally rate your season there in comparison to your season with CB Virgen de la Concha Innova Chef (Spain-EBA) the season before where you averaged 18.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 64.8%?

My situation the previous was much different. I was asked to play more on the ball as opposed to this season. It was essentially a role reversal. 

Your three pointing was solid at 38.6%. In our last interview you stated that your mechanics are the same and shot selection and reps remain very important. Did you change anything up this summer when you continued to work on your shot?

This summer I really put an emphasis on extending my shooting range. I believe that this will open up the other dynamics of my game. 

On what other area’s of your game did you work on in the lab to continue to improve your game as you continue to move up the basketball ladder?

Firstly, my basketball intelligence! I’m constantly watching as much basketball as I can. I’ve paid lots of attention to the actions/sets of the teams in the World Cup. I’ve worked to improve my skill: shooting, footwork, ball-handling, touch. Lastly, I’ve worked to improve my strength and conditioning. Running hills can be very therapeutic. 

Please describe briefly why you could help any team in the world now with your basketball skills and help lead the team to success?

I believe I can help any team with my knowledge of the game, positive energy, athletic ability, defensive prowess; guarding 94 feet, defending multiple positions, play-making ability, shot-making ability, being accountable and by leading by example. 

How did you witness the amazing summer transfer period in the NBA. Teams like the Lakers, Clippers and Nets suddenly got very strong. Which of these three teams will have the biggest impact and success in the NBA best?

The NBA transfer market was very suspenseful. The dynamic of the NBA has once again changed with a lot of teams having once again two star players. I believe the Clippers will be the biggest problem for teams this upcoming season. They not only have stars but they have depth and a very versatile roster.

You have experienced first hand how the game is played in Europe. How well will Team USA do at the World Cup despite having lost so many super stars?

Team USA will do great! They don’t have NBA superstars but they still have the best collective group of players. I’m mostly curious to see what other teams will separate themselves from the rest

Can a guy like Kemba Walker as it’s best player elevate his game to a new level?

I believe so. Kemba is dynamic and has led a franchise his whole career. I think as a player he’s up for any task. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

You know this answer Miles Space Jam!!! 

Thanks Corey for the chat.

Bobby Hurley Saved The College Career Of Xavier Ford

Xavier Ford is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Colorado Springs, Colorado that has four years of professional experience under his belt. He began his professional career with the Grand Rapids Drive (D-League) playing 38 games averaging 2.7ppg, 1.4rpg. In the 2016-2017 season he split time with three teams in Japan with the Earthfriends Tokyo Z (Japan-B League D2) playing 8 games averaging 11.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 42.0%, 3FGP: 14.3%, FT: 66.7%, in Dec.’16 moved to the Cyberdyne Ibaraki Robots (Japan-B League D2) playing 16 games averaging 19.3ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 72.4%, in Feb.’17 signed at Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano (Japan-B League D2) playing 24 games averaging 7.4ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 14.7%, FT: 76.6%. In the 2017-2018 season he began with AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) playing 20 games: Score-5 (25.0ppg), 10.8rpg, 1.1apg, Steals-3 (2.0spg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 71.2%, in Feb.’18 moved to St. John’s Edge (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 14 games averaging 7.4ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 75.0%. Last season he played with the Kapfenberg Bulls (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 24 games averaging 12.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 67.6%. Hee spoke to about his basketball career.

Xavier thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I am currently in my home town Colorado Springs; my summer has been pretty eventful I’ve been training and coaching the youth from my neighborhood.

The summer is winding down and professional teams are slowly getting filled. You came in mid season to Austrian team the Kapfenberg Bulls (Austria-A Bundesliga) helping lead them to two titles and getting cup MVP. How can a guy like you not be signed yet?

I was fortunate enough to join a championship caliber organization, I learned a ton from Coach Mike Coffin, as you mentioned we won 2 titles and I won cup MVP. The feedback I’ve gotten thus far is my 3% which I find interesting because I am a great mid-range shooter/scorer, my size, athleticism, versatility ability to play and guard multiple positions. I’ve been working on different actions out of pick and pop, stationary, and shots off the move from the 3-point line to increase my percentages that way there’s no excuse. As a pro, you have to be honest with yourself and understand the weaknesses you have, next you must implement a plan to turn your weakness to a strength. I turned down some offers because it wasn’t smart for my career to take the deals. I see myself playing at the highest level in Europe and or the NBA, so I have to take the right steps to maximize my opportunity to achieve my ultimate goal. 

Why didn’t you just remain in a very good situation or was the idea of using that success to get an even better deal and play possibly in a higher league too enticing?

I had a great time in Kapfenberg, I felt like I had to ride the momentum and leave on a high note, as a player it’s not often you win a championship, cup and cup MVP in the same season, winning is hard at any level especially as a pro so I made the decision best for myself and career.

Now with the summer winding down and fewer spots available, what is your plan now in terms of finding that right fit?

My plan is to continue to work out and stay ready, I am confident that the right offer will come up, and when it does I will be ready to take full advantage of the opportunity give.

Explain in a few sentences why you could help any team in the world now?

I bring a winning mentality and toughness in many areas of the game, I take pride in things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. I love to defend and I can score with the best of them. I am an underrated passer an elite rebounder and athlete, can guard multiple positions extremely versatile. I am willing to do what it takes to win while being a great teammate.

Last season in Austria you averaged 12.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 67.6%. How content were you with the season and how would you compare the level and talent of players in the Bundesliga in Austria to the other leagues you played in in Japan and Luxemburg?

I arrived late in the season so I feel like I could have played better and showcased better percentages, the first month I was trying to find my rhythm, I believe that effected my 3 point percentage, I am a better shooter than my percentages, I hadn’t played a game in 10 months before arriving to Austria. The talent level in Austria was solid in my opinion. The talent level in Japan Austria and Luxemburg was about the same, each league had different things I had to adjust to. The league that had the most talent I played in was the NBA G League for sure.

How much of a pleasure was it playing with Elijah Wilson. Would you have won two titles without his services?
Playing with Elijah was great, he and I became real close as the season progressed, we would go to the gym and work on our game before and after practice, we definitely would not have won without him. He was dominant in the playoffs, his ability to shoot opened up driving lanes and mid-range opportunities for me because his man could not help off him

Two seasons ago you started the season with AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) playing 20 games: Score-5 (25.0ppg), 10.8rpg, 1.1apg, Steals-3 (2.0spg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 71.2%. Did it at times feel like you were a man among boys?

Every time I step on the court I try and dominate on both ends of the floor, I was in a great rhythm Coach Franck allowed me to play my game and be extremely aggressive.

You had a massive 30/20 game in the manner of a Kevin Love in a tough 88-87 loss against Sparta. Did the loss lesson the joy of a great individual game?

I was extremely disappointed in that loss, yes I had a great game but I would prefer to win

You then finished the season with St. John’s Edge (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 14 games: 7.4ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 75.0%. In the last years whenever I have interviewed guys that have played in this league, many have stated it is a league on the rise. The talent level probably isn’t like the G-League, but talk a bit about your experiences in Canada.

I was in Canada I believe 3 months, my former college teammate Jarryn Skeete played for the team so it was like a reunion we made a good run and came up short in the finals

You had some great games when you got minutes scoring 25 points in a win against Halifax H, 24 points in 21 minutes in a victory against Niagara and 19 points in 18 minutes in a win against London. Your minutes were sporadic. You played less than 10 minutes in six other games. Why were your minutes so up an down considering when you did get a chance, you played very well.
Before I arrived, I believe the team was in second place in the standings, they put together a great first half of the season which set them up to be a number 1 or 2 seed in the playoffs, I arrived there mid-February, like you mentioned I had great games when I got minutes. As a coach, you tend to trust the guys who have been there the whole season, I believe that’s why my minutes were so sporadic. They were in a great place before I arrived so I understood the situation.

What kind of an experience was it having Ransford Brempong as a teammate?Here is a 37 year old that retired in 2010 only to come back in 2017 to resume his playing career. Did you guys have some nice battles in practice?

Rans was a great vet he brought a different perspective and approach to the game, he was a tough cover in practice because he was so active and mobile. I was impressed by his conditioning to be 37 years old, I learned a lot from him and how he approached the game on and off the court, and how to gain a mental edge over our opponent.

In your second professional season you split time with the Earthfriends Tokyo Z (Japan-B League D2) playing 8 games averaging 11.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 42.0%, 3FGP: 14.3%, FT: 66.7%, in Dec.’16 moved to the Cyberdyne Ibaraki Robots (Japan-B League D2) playing 16 game averaging 19.3ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 72.4%, in Feb.’17 signed at the Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano (Japan-B League D2) playing 24 games averaging 7.4ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 14.7%, FT: 76.6%. You put up great stats with your first two teams. How did you manage to play for three teams in one season?

My season in Japan was defiantly an up and down year, while with Earth Friends which was my first team I avg 19.3 ppg and 8.5rpg, The team decided it was best they release myself and my teammate Zach Andrews who was at the time leading the league in blocks and rebounds. I flew home and 2 days later I was contacted by the Ibaraki Robots, they wanted me to do a month try out before they signed me to an actual contract, I played 8 games with them the month of December they decide not to honor the contract after the trial period and went another direction. A few weeks later I was contacted by the Brave Warriors late January and I finished the remainder of the season with them. 

What was your wake up call to being an American in Japan where you knew that you were very far away from home?

The wakeup call came when I first landed in Japan and saw Japanese writing everywhere, and heard the language being spoken by the locals. One of the things that shocked me the most was when I got into a vehicle and saw the steering wheel was on the opposite side that I had been accustomed to seeing, that’s when it kicked in that I am no longer in America. 

In Japan you played mostly with Japanese players, but with the Cyberdyne Ibaraki Robots you were teammates with Rick Rickert who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008. Did you guys form a special relationship in the short time that you were teammates with so little other Americans around.

Rick was a great teammate and even better person, I learned a lot from him in my short stay. We would grab food after practice and discuss various topics from sports to life. 

As a rookie you played with the Grand Rapids Drive (D-League) playing 38 games averaging 2.7ppg, 1.4rpg. What kind of experience was this and talk a little about how the NBA always proves that it is a business first before being aware of how a player might feel about a decision?

The NBA D league helped me a ton with my overall game, I was around a ton of NBA talent which woke me up to what certain things are supposed to look like, it also put into perspective that I needed to get a lot better. In regards to the business aspect of the NBA is really no difference from any other work force, you have to be able to produce, politics are involved everywhere you go, so that aspect of the league was the last of my worries

Obviously in the G-League players come and go, but still how beneficial was it having so much talent around. You had big guys like Adonis Thomas and Henry Sims around. Were you able to pick up valuable pointers throughout the long season?

That year with the Drive we had one of the most talented teams in the league. I was fortunate enough to play with guys like Devin Ebanks (Los Angeles Lakers) Henry Sims (Philadelphia 76ers) Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons) Reggie Bullock (Pistons) Spencer Dinwiddie (Pistons) Lorenzo Brown (Minnesota Timberwolves) Branden Dawson (Los Angeles Clippers) Dahntay Jones (Cleveland Cavaliers) Adonis Thomas (pistons). Coach Otis Smits was just assigned the head coach of our team he was the general manager with the Orlando Magic the year prior, he too was drafted in the NBA back in the 1986 draft by the Denver Nuggets. He had a very high basketball IQ he taught me a ton. Our assistant coaches Dion Glover and Ryan Krueger had high basketball IQs as well. The common factor they all preached was that I needed to have an even kill mindset, never get too high or too low because it’s a long season and no matter how much I played, continue to work on my game.

How did a guy like the great Dahntay Jones who won an NCAA title with Duke and an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How important was it having such an experienced player for a long stretch of the season?

Dahntay is a great dude, he was my roommate. I had never been around a NBA player off the court so I got a deeper look into preparation and routine it took to be able to sustain an elite level of play both physically and mentally I watched his preparation and level of consistent play throughout the season which led him to get called up by the Cleveland Cavilers and win a Championship alongside Lebron James. Watching him I learned to create a routine and stick to that agenda every single day. He showed me different tricks on defense, when he played with the Nuggets he played alongside Carmelo Anthony and had the assignment of guarding some of the best scores in the League, in the western conference finals he had to guard Kobe.

You played at Buffalo (NCAA) from 2011-2015. How tough were the first three seasons never averaging more than 4,0ppg? You had to wait your turn and had a strong senior season averaging 9,7ppg and 6,2rpg.

My first few years were defiantly tough, coming out of high school I avgeraged 27 ppg and 10 rbs per game, was a McDonalds all American nominee and was named as a 3rd team parade all-American. Coming into my freshman year I was ready to make an immediate impact but it obviously didn’t go that way. Over the years I just worked on my game and stayed in the gym. My big break came when Coach Hurley and his staff arrived! They instilled confidence in me and took my game to another level, the rest is history!

What was your fondest moment of winning the MAC tournament in 2015. How satisfying was the run and season being an important contributor to the success?

My fondest memory was holding up the championship trophy with my teammates, I was fortunate enough to be named to the all MAC tournament team and MAC Championship MVP, as I held the trophy’s I thought about all the ups and downs that led to that moment and the hard work the team showcased throughput the season. It felt amazing.

In your senior year you lost 72-51 to powerhouse Kentucky. You registered 2 blocks. Do you remember who you blocked and was it possibly a future NBA player?

I don’t remember who it was honestly

I believe there were 8 future NBA players on that team with Devin Booker, the Harrison brothers, Willie Cauley Stein and Karl Anthony Towns. What player at that time impressed you the most from that squad?

Devin Booker impressed me the most.

How did head coach Bobby Hurley groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Coach Hurley helped me out more than I can put into words, his basketball resume speakers for itself, he was dominant in high school, led his team too 2 national championships and four final 4 appearances. He showed me what it took to win and what it looks like. He and I would sit in his office discussing ways to take my game to another level, preparation was everything with him, endless skill work and film. You have to be tough to play for Hurley he held me accountable for any and everything. I was lucky to have him come when he did. He saved my college career. We won UB its first ever Championship and loss and close one to west Virginia in the NCAA tourney, made history.

Who won a one on one then and who would win today you or Javon Mccrea?

In college Javon won most of the one on one battles, today I would win.

Who has been the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe?

In summer runs I had to guard James Harden, he was obviously the best player I guarded during that time. But my G league teammate Devin Ebanks was extremely difficult to guard as well, in practice I used to get frustrated because he would score on so effortlessly. Great player and teammate I stole a lot of his moves.

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
I have had to many great teammates to only name 5

Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russel, Magic Johnson 

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

Michael Jordan is the greatest no question, Lebron is great but MJ is MJ

What was the last movie that you saw?

Spiderman Homecoming 

Thanks Xavier for the chat.

Matt McQuaid(Fraport Skyliners) Has That Youthfulness But Versatile Game That Nobody Can Afford To Underestimate

In pre season play in the German BBL, it is nothing unusual to see some of the young future prospects getting action as it is early and gives players the opportunity to get some valuable experience. In the first pre season game against the MLP Academics Heidelberg, the Fraport Skyliners did this giving new and ex FC Bayern Munich guard Bruno Vrcic ample minutes, while FC Bayern Munich battled American elite university Stanford and allowed young bucks Matej Rudan and Jason George to get minutes, but one has to remember this also happens when clubs are missing guys who are playing at an international tournament like the World Cup in China which is underway. The Fraport Skyliners also had many other young guys on the bench like Germans teenager Len Schoormann and 19 year old Aaron Kayser, but there was another young player who got sufficient minutes or is 23 years of age still young? Well compared to a 40 year old yes, but to a 17 or 18 year old no, but not necessarily a young prospect who has had NCAA experience. There was a young player on the court for Frankfurt who could easily have passed for a teammate of Len Schoorman with the U-19 team named Matt McQuaid. One could seriously have thought that he exited the wrong locker room and was playing with the wrong team, but he wasn´t. He definitely still has some gym time to do in the next years to get stronger and his more scrawney appearance and baby face helped bring his youthfulness into focus more. There are always guys that look younger than they look and one of the best examples was a kid by the name of Derek Raivio who came to Germany in 2007 as a 22 year old and when you saw him, he looked like he had just started high school and at times looked out of place with some of the older players, but he definitely had game. He had one big thing in common with McQuad in that he played at well known Gonzaga averaging 18,0ppg as a senior while McQuaid played at the prestigious Michigan State for Tom Izzo and averaged 9,9ppg as a senior. He may not have had the same scoring ending to his NCAA career like Raivio, but the American is a very skilled player. He may look like a kid, but has vital NCAA experience with a top school and top conference Big 10, so he has very much to offer. I wasn´t the only one who noticed the youthfulness of McQuaid, but so did captain and Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. “When I first saw him, I didn´t think that he was as old as he was. I think teams will underestimate him at first and think he is weak and can´t play. Having teams think this will be a big strength of his. I didn´t think his ball screen IQ was so big at first, but it is. He is very mature on and off the court. I like how he is trying to learn and is always asking questions”, stressed ex Auburn forward Quantez Robertson. I couldn´t reach Derek Raivio, but got his brother Nik and he was amused by the questions about his brothers youthfulness. “Derek is a late bloomer just like my father”, said ex medi Bayreuth guard Nik Raivio. When talking about his youthfulness, you get the impression that it has been a topic that he has been confronted with more than once in his life. “I get baby face all the time”, smiled Matt McQuaid. Matt McQuaid has that youthfulness, but the versatile game that Nobody can afford to Underestimate.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex Gonzaga(NCAA) standout Derek Raivio then 24 in 2009 in Frankfurt

                McQuaid is a 23 year old 193cm guard from Ducanville, Texas that is playing his rookie campaign with the Fraport Skyliners.  He began his basketball career at Duncanville High School that also produced ex NBA player Greg Ostertag of the Utah Jazz . If he ever would meet ex Skyliner Isaac Bonga, they could exchange Lebron stories, because both have been on the court with him. Ok so Bonga was his teammate with the LA Lakers, while McQuaid took part at the Lebron James skills academy, but had the pleasure of catching a Lebron lob and making the lay up. In his senior year at Duncanville High School, he was able to up his stats a bit from the previous year averaging 17.8ppg, 9rpg. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding averages each season and shot 40% or better twice at Michigan State. He never averaged double figures in scoring, but came very close as a senior playing 36 games averaging 9.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 81.0%. He won two Big 10 tournaments including the 2019 version 65-60 over arch rival Michigan where he had a sensational 27 points on 7 three´s and reached the NCAA tournament each season and topped off his stellar career with a Final 4 visit losing to Texas Tech where he netted 12 points in the losing cause. Overall he had a positive 6-4 NCAA tournament record. The American is content with having had the opportunity to play at Michigan State and how his game developed further. “Being able to play at Michigan State really helped me become a good defender and really was important for helping my overall game”, stated Matt McQuaid. He was able to show his offensive spectrum in the massive 65-60 win over Michigan where he dropped 27 points and demonstrated just how lethal his shooting can be. “That was a tough game. Michigan was always leading and then my roommate Kyle Ahrens got hurt. It wasn´t just my effort of 27 points, but the whole team stepped up and rallied as a team. It was big winning the Big 10 final”, remembered Matt Mcquaid.It wasn´t only his hard work on the court and in the gym that helped him develop further as a player, but also the crucial guidance by Basketball Hall of fame head coach Tom Izzo who has been at Michigan State since 1995 and won the 2000 NCAA tournament, reached 8 NCAA Final 4´s and has produced countless NBA players like Draymond Green or Alan Anderson over thee years. “He taught me preparation. He is a guy that showed his love, passion and emotion for the game each day. You could feel it. He motivated you to get better. He is a great coach, but an even better person”, warned Matt Mcquaid. He won´t only remember his ex coach Izzo in the NCAA, but also 2019 #1 NBA draft Pick Zion Williamson who was the toughest beast he ever faced. “I was switched on to him in a game. He is huge. It was crazy”, smiled Matt McQuaid.

            The American got an early taste of the NBA playing NBA Summer League a few months ago with the Detroit Pistons where he did get into 4 games, but played only a disappointing and meager 8 minutes in total attempting two shots and pulling down a rebound. Despite not playing much and not being able to leave a real mark, he felt that the experience was worth it. “It was a good experience for me. I was able to learn more about the game and was around really talented guys. I was able to take a lot from the experience”, stated Matt McQuaid. He was also fortunate to have been reunited with ex Michigan State teammate 206cm forward Matt Costello who was a senior when he was a freshman. Costello may only be 26 years of age, but has seen the ropes having played in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs, with two G-league organizations and in Italy and recently signed with Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain ACB). McQuaid couldn´t have been more fortunate to be reunited again with his ex teammate. “It was great being teammates with him again. He was like a big brother and took care of me at Michigan State. He showed me how to correctly take care of my body”, stressed Matt McQuaid. The NBA might just be a tad to soon for the sniper. But with a few years more experience in Europe and also learning a different kind of basketball might just grant him another opportunity for the NBA down the road.

But that is why there is opportunity overseas to simply get better. He turned professional with the Fraport Skyliners in the very competitive easyCredit BBL belonging to the top 10 leagues in Europe. He has only been in Frankfurt a few weeks and quickly got a taste of how one celebrates as he witnessed the Fraport Skyliners 20 year anniversary. It was an extremely hot and muggy day where one really thought that one was locked in a unopenable Finish Sauna. With many activities in the city where fans could be involved and then nice food and dancing in the evening, the American was introduced to German culture, but there is still one German cuisine specialty that he hasn´t tasted yet. “I have gotten a good impression of Germany since I have been here. I´m getting used to the culture, food and people. So far it has been a cool experience. I haven´t tried Wiener Schnitzel yet, but that is definitely a topic I need to get into”, smiled Matt McQuaid. On the court the American is obviously getting adjusted to a new league and style and has shown flashes of brilliance. When I asked Fraport Skyliner captain Quantez Robertson which NBA player´s game is similar to Matt McQuaid´s, he took a longer pause and then chuckled “A more athletic Kyle Korver”. When I asked McQuaid the same question, he first tried to squirm out of the question, but then agreed with his teammate. He has shown in pre season that he can shoot the ball, but he was never that dominate scorer in the NCAA, but he didn´t have to be, because he had enough teammates who took that role. He feels like he doesn´t have to be that big scorer now as a professional. “I don´t think about having to score. For me it is most important is be doing everything for the win and helping the team be successful”, warned Matt McQuaid. Captain Tez Robertson will respect this mindset of Mcquaid, but the ex Auburn(NCAA) standout also knows that the rookie will be scoring this season on a regular basis. “He won´t have a problem scoring this season. He can shoot the ball very well and also get to the rim. But what people don´t know yet is how well his drive and finishing is. He will score a lot in double figures this season”, warned Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Matt Mcquaid at the Fraport Skyliners 20th anniversary party in Frankfurt during pre season

Another big strength in his game is his defensive qualities. This is a trait that fits perfectly to this season´s Skyliner´s team. The Fraport Skyliner´s have had that defensive identity for years under head coach Gordon Herbert, but last season the club underachieved giving up way too many points. New head coach Sebastian Gleim puts a lot of pride into playing excellent defense and with defensive experts like Quantez Robertson, Shaquile Hines, and Anthony Hickey on board, adding a guy like Mcquaid who can defend will give the defense versatility and depth. “I love the game of basketball. I am always studying the game and players and seeing what a players tendencies are and what I can take away. I give my all on each possession”, warned Matt McQuaid. Robertson has been impressed so far with the defensive qualities of the rookie. “He does a good job fighting through screens and playing very aggressive on ball defense”, stated Quantez Robertson. Another big strength in his game is his basketball IQ. One has noticed already in pre season that he is a fast learner and is very good at reading the defense which has helps him make the right decisions quickly. He was lucky having been able to shape his IQ at Michigan State. “Coach Izzo always said to make the right play”, said Matt McQuaid. That seems to have stayed with the Texas native. Also Robertson has noticed that the rookie has been taught basketball the right way at Michigan State. “He has a pretty good IQ for a rookie. He reads ball screens well and coming off screens is ready to defend. He will get even better as the year progresses”, stressed Quantez Robertson.

He has many strengths, but also things that he needs to work on like every other player. Granted he has an amazing shot. ESPN´s Jeff Goodman stated that McQuaid was the best pure shooter in the NCAA last season with an NBA trigger and NBA plus range, but has  flaws like being a bit undersized and lacking good speed to take the defender off the dribble. I saw him flaunting a very nice and rapid first step as he took a Heidelberg player off the dribble finishing with a floater. One sees that despite having flaws on the scouting report, he is working on his deficiencies and making progress. He also knows other aspects of his game that he needs to improve at. “I need to work on the pick and roll on offense as well as the spacing and speed of the European game”, warned Matt McQuaid. The American has a lot of veterans on the squad and also knows exactly to whom he can go to for the extra work, inspiration and answers to weaknesses in his game. “I think I will help him with playing defense without using his hands. Also I will help him with knowing when to recognize the week side defense better”, stressed Quantez Robertson. It is a long season and it will be interesting to see just how well he will fit into the rotation offensively and defensively. The club will be a lot better defensive team this season than last which the club has demonstrated with the quality of new players that have been reeled in as well as the basketball philosophy that head coach Sebastian Gleim has preached so far in the pre season. Offensively he will definitely have his moments especially on nights when shots aren´t falling for a Lamont Jones, Quantez Robertson or Anthony Hickey. The American will be just fine and will fit fine to the Fraport Skyliners family. Even if he will be turning 24 years old soon and looks more like a young teenage version of a Justin Bieber, the rugged basketball men of the easyCredit BBL will notice sooner than later that he plays a lot older than he looks and has that special versatility that nobody dare will be able to overlook.

The Fraport Skyliners Celebrate 20 Years Of Existence In Style And With Big Love

When looking at the rich history of the Fraport Skyliners, there is much to look back on in their 20 year history to smile about. They have won three professional titles with the 2000 BBL cup under head coach Stefan Koch and the 2004 BBL title and 2016 Fiba Europe cup under Gordon Herbert. That they belong to the top BBL teams with having the best youth program and development is no secret as over the last 5-7 years guys like Euroleague players Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel have matured to vital German national players and Isaac Bonga is an NBA player with the Washington Wizards. The organization continues to make huge strides in their ambitions for young player development and recently won the U-14 club title with a certain young man by the name of Joshua Bonga who led the charge. The club also have celebrated other wonderful memories like winning a breathtaking 5 game semi -final playoff series against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen in 2008 where ex Skyliner Tyrone Mccoy missed the last shot or the bitter 5 game finals loss to Bamberg in 2005 and 2010. The club also has witnessed amazing buzzer beaters like the Eric Chadfield three point bomb in the first game of the 2006-2007 season where the American ruined top coach Mike Taylor´s BBL coaching debut, the beautiful Justin Gray jumper in 2011 that beat Wurzburg, tee 2014 buzzer beater by Kevin Bright in Vechta or the game winner in Tuebingen by AJ English in 2016. A few more club highlights was Jacon Burtschi´s club record 10 three pointers against Bremerhaven in 2015 as well as a few memorable crushing dunk from ex NBA player Roger Powell in Artland in 2010 or Danilo Barthel´s poster dunk over Patrick Ewing Jr in 2012 where he proved that white men can truly jump. It has been so many beautiful memories of the Skyliners in their 20 year history that it had to be celebrated in a grand style.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Tyrone Ellis after the 2004 BBL title win in the Ballsporthalle Frankfurt

                On Saturday August 31th the Fraport Skyliners invited fans and anyone who wanted to experience a great party as well as trying to infect new fans with various festivities in the city. The festivities for a smorgasbord program of basketball began at midday at the harbor park in the east part of the city Frankfurt which would go until early in the evening. Here fans could enjoy conversations with other basketball fanatics with the various food trucks, seeing 3 on 3 games at the various basketball courts  as well as a three point contest. The club wanted to not only give fans something to celebrate about all day, but also give people in the city the opportunity to experience this special basketball culture in various known places in the city. For example one could party at the old Opera house from 12-6.00pm where music was the focus and the new Skyliner song “Big Love” was unveiled from singer Lu-Key as well as getting one of many team presentations lined up for the day. One could also get a dose of Skyliner nation at the Main river downtown where the official Skyliner 3X3 basketball tournament was played for the kids from the years 2002-2006  Right in the heart of down town at the Ross Market, one could witness basketball and graffiti art as well as shooting contests. Last but not least was a special reception at the Romer for the Skyliner delegation and fans were awarded mini basketballs and T-shirts from 5.45 to 6.15 at the old opera place. After that everyone was greeted back at the harbor park where the 20 year celebration was continued where everyone could gather and talk basketball and meet current and ex Skyliner players.

                I didn´t start my day like the hard core fans at mid day, but joined the Skyliner festivities around 4.45 at the old Opera(Alte Oper) area where there was a stage and some acts playing as well as a basketball court where some 3 against 3 games were taking place among the young basketball players of tomorrow. Fans also lined up to get their commemorative  20 year anniversary t-shirts “Big Love” and a mini basketball. At 5,30 the fans marched over to the Romer which is one of the most beautiful places in Frankfurt where the architecture is still very old. It is also where the town hall is which is also known for being the place where in the past the German football national teams of 1974 and 1990 gathered to celebrate their World Cup titles as well as city club Eintracht Frankfurt. Here fans witnessed the new 2019-2020 team come out of the town Hall followed with ex players and the VIP guests as they took a short walk down to the Main river where they embarked on a short boat ride over to the harbor park area for the last part of the festivities. It was during this time where you could see exactly which of the former players had made the trip back to Frankfurt. It was nice to see the club´s first head coach Stefan Koch who had helped lead the first season´s team to the 2000 cup victory. It was also nice to see other guys like Bernd Kruel, ex NBA player Mario Kasun, Carlos Andrade, Miro Todic, Ibrahim Diarra, Dominik Bahiense De Mello, Mladen Sljivancanin, Robert Maras, Juka Matinen Marius Nolte, and Tyrone Mccoy. It was really a shame that there weren´t any other Americans there. I had spoken to Jacob Burtschi some days before and he really would have liked to have come, but his fiancé is expecting their first child so it was logical that he had other priorities. Another guy I would have liked to have seen was Ilian Evtimov, but he also was unavailable to attend. The first ever Skyliner identity figure Pascal Roller also wasn´t in attendance which also was a shame.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber from left to right with Miro Todic, Ibi Diarra, Carlos Andrade and Dominik Bahiense De Mello

One thing that I was really looking forward to was meeting some of the old players again and seeing how they were doing and to see how much they had changed. At the Romer I saw Carlos Andrade who had played in Frankfurt in the 2005-2006 season and celebrated his 40th birthday last year. He went on to have a very long fruitful career playing two seasons in Spain including a season in the best league in Europe ACB with Bruesa-Guipuzcoa BC and then concentrated on playing in his homeland where he played with the countries two best known clubs with Sport Lisboa Benfica for 6 years and with FC Porto Ferpinta for three years. He would win 8 Super Cups in his country. He retired last year and lives in Portugal, but is in Frankfurt frequently to visit his two kids. Then I bumped into Miro Todic who also has his place in Skyliner history as in 2005 as a 19 year old hit the game winning basket in a Euroleague victory against powerhouse team Panathinaikos Athens. The Serb is only 34 years of age and still playing. Last season he played with Al Sadd Sports Club Doha (Qatar-D1) and has seen many arenas in Europe as after Frankfurt he played 6 seasons in Greece, but also played in countries like Cyprus, Italy, Turkey, France, Sweden, Ukraine, Romania and Portugal where he was teammates with Andrade in his last season. I also spoke with Ibraham Diara who had played in Frankfurt for five seasons starting in the 2001-2002 season and then again from 2003-2007 helping win the 2004 BBL title and then retiring in 2007. The Swedish forward had gotten an early love for fashion in Frankfurt and started a label and today he is living in Berlin and working in fashion. The fourth guy in the lot was Dominik Bahiense De Mello who played with the Skyliners from 2005 to 2011 and reached the BBL final in 2010. He was a player that really saw a lot of the club´s high´s and low´s during his tenure. He was a very talented player that never really could make that total break out in Frankfurt. He would play three more years in Oldenburg and finished with BG Goettingen retiring at age 30. After seeing these guys, I departed over to thee harbor park for the finale.

The organization with the current players, ex playeers and VIP guests taking the short boat ride from down town to the Harbor Park

At the harbour park, the club was welcomed again to the fans on a stage and then the evening wound down with a buffet and dancing. I grabbed new Skyliner Matt Mcquaid as I needed some quotes for an article I was writing on him. I told him I had waited 5 hours to talk to his ex coach at Michigan State Tom Izzo on Friday and still not gotten a hold of him and it didn´t surprise him that it was difficult to catch his ex coach. Then I was able to talk to a few more of the former players as well as with some of the current players. I had a little chat with ex NBA player Mario Kasun. He is a guy I didn´t really realize at first in 2004 when I started to follow German basketball as my desire to converse and have dealings with Americans was how I worked. Back in the title season, the trio of Chris Williams, Tyrone Ellis and assistant coach Simon Cote had my attention. But as Kasun made the jump to the NBA, I became more aware of him. He ended up playing only two seasons in the NBA playing 73 games for the Orlando Magic. He then would continue to have a very long and successful career playing with FC Barcelona, Efes Pilsen, KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje and Montepaschi Siena. He would play a total of 63 Euroleague games. He went on to win 7 titles in 5 countries. He actually retired 5 years ago, but looked like he could battle anyone on the court today. I interviewed him back in 2009 when he was with KK Zagreb playing an exhibition game in Frankfurt and a few more times later on. Then I spoke to Marius Nolte who was a fan favorite in his time in Frankfurt from 2009-2016. He had played many years in his home town Paderborn and finished his career in Frankfurt. He wasn´t the most talented, but always played hard and with a big heart. He was the kind of player that every team should have, but rarely get. He worked a few years after in the organization and now works for an IT company. Then I bumped into new Skyliner Adam Walekowski who signed a day before the party. He had a huge smile on his face as one easily noticed he was more than thankful to not only still be playing at age 36, but that he was a member of the Fraport Skyliners. When new head coach Sebastian Gleim strolled by, I congratulated him for the important signing. I mentioned that Adam had told me about a month ago that he was in talks with the team and that I was happy that it fell through at the end. Gleim than said oh you know each other. And Waleskowski beamed since 10 years. The Fraport Skyliners couldn´t have picked up a better character guy than Waleskowski. He is a guy that has had some great moments in his career, but also very tough moments, but he definitely is ready for the new challenge in Frankfurt.

Miles Schmidt-Scheubeer catching up with ex NBA player and 2004 BBL champion Mario Kasun

Another ex player I chatted with was Bernd Kruel. He had a long career as well and there are few players that can boast having played until they were 40. He was in the right place at the right time in 2004 as he came to Frankfurt in January as his Hagen team folded and was German champion 5 months later. He played two and a half seasons in Frankfurt, but will remain a legend with Hagen fans as he played 16 seasons there first with Brandt Hagen and later with Phoenix Hagen. He also played two seasons with the Telekom Baskets Bonn and ended his career with the  Rhein Stars Koeln. Today he is working in the Phoenix Hagen organization. What I will never forget about him was his dry sense of humor. In his stay in Frankfurt we started our conversations with “Mahlzeit” which would continue until the end of his career. The reason for this was when he was in Frankfurt, I would always catch the Skyliner players after games for game quotes as they went from the dressing room to the VIP room to eat. In Germany when it´s time to eat, you say “Mahlzeit”. Funny though for the first time ever maybe, neither one of us said “Mahlzeit” at the 20 year anniversary. Another player I had immense joy in seeing was Serb Mladen Sljivancanin. He played one and a half seasons with Frankfurt totaling 46 BBL games and 13 Euroleaguee games. He would never admit it in Skyliner country, but his leaving in February 2006 was a blessing in disguise as a few months later he was German BBL champion with Rhein Energie Cologne and the next year he won the cup title with the team. After Frankfurt he would play in countries like Romania, Croatia and Russia, but retired very young at age 29. He had his beautiful family with him and boasted that maybe one day I will write something about his son. I then bumped into this bearded giant who really hadn´t changed so much except for a few more pounds. The big man Robert Maras greeted me with Legend. Getting a reception like that isn´t so usual for me and it surprised me a bit, because I can´t really remember having much to do with him over the years as I don´t even think he is even in my collection of 1200 plus interviews, but I would have to check. I guess some of my work over the years must of reached him in some way at I saw him play early in my career, but moreover after he was in Frankfurt. During the title run in 2004, He also was under my radar because he was a German player. I saw him play later from 2006-2011 when he played with Giessen and FC Bayern Munich. He had a stellar career winning titles with Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich, was a two time BBL allstar and won a Bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis and a Silver medal in 2005 at the European championships with Germany and Dirk Nowitzki in Belgrade. I finished the evening talking with Tyron Mccoy. He is a guy that played very early in his career with Frankfurt in 2001 after tearing up the league in scoring with Lich. After Frankfurt he would continue to be a top player with thee EWE Baskts Oldenburg. I saw his last game and last shot in 2008 in Leverkusen. It was game 5 of the semi-finals playoffs and Frankfurt won a exciting nail bitter. Mccoy took the last shot. He saw me a video of that last play that someone had sent him recently. He believes that he was fouled on the last play. We talked basketball and he was beaming about their new starting point guard Kilian Hayes who is a projected NBA first round pick. All in all it was a great event put on by the Fraport Skyliners. Their event motto “Big Love” fit perfectly to the day. One could feel that gigantic family feeling among everybody in attendance especially the players who were glad to be back. Below I have a collection of quotes from the player guests.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Bernd Kruel

Miro Todic

It is amazing to be back. The first time that they called me for the 10 year anniversary party, I was in Greece, but this time I could make it .It is great to be here and see my old teammates and fans. I haven´t seen anybody from my teammates for more than 10 years. My biggest moment was hitting the winning shot against Euroleague team Panathinaikos. I have the video. I remember everything from that game. It was my greatest game in my career.

Ibrahim Diarra

It means a lot for me to back and see my ex teammates and the fans. It´s funny. When I see all these guys, it really doesn´t seem like such a long time since I saw them, but it is. I think that shows how tight knit we all were then and that we did something special. Obviously my biggest moment was winning the title in 2004, but it wasn´t only that. The travel, playing Euroleague and being around my teammates was special. There were so many great moments. Winning the title was an amazing thing. I remember that we worked so hard to win in 2004. It was nice seeing how much we were appreciated. I am happy that the fans still remember it.

Mario Kasun

It is amazing to be back. I almost wasn´t able to make it. I was talking to Robert Maras recently and he asked me if I was coming to the 20th anniversary party. I told him I didn´t know anything about it. Gunnar Wobke had sent the invitation to my old email. But thanks to Robert he told me. I also had been in contact to Robert Garrett and Juka Matinen about this event. The Skyliners was my first professional team and my favorite team. This was the only team that I ever played for that had spirit. We were more than a team. We were family. I hadn´t seen Robert Maras in 15 years. It is great to be able to catch up with so many people here. I played two years with the Skyliners. The first year coach Herbert and I hated each other. In the second year he was like a father to me. After we won the title in 2004. Despite getting the NBA interest, I really wanted to stay here. I told Gunnar Wobke, if he can pay me 100,000 more I will stay, but he was unable. Money wise the NBA was the best decision, but team wise Frankfurt would have been the best decision.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Mario Kasun catching up with old times

                Marius Nolte

                It is a great feeling to be back. It has been a great party. Everybody here has a story to tell and good to see basketball come together. My most fondest moment with the Skyliners was being able to stay in the league in 2013 winning on the last game day at home against Ludwigsburg. That game was unbelievably emotional for me. I will never forget it. Obviously the 2009-2011 seasons were a lot of fun, because we were so successful.

Adam Waleskowski

                It is great being part of this event. I was just talking to Matt Mcquaid and reliving my game against Frankfurt where I got fouled at the end and won the game with free throws. For me playing against Frankfurt was always like playing against a rival team, because every game was like a hard nosed dog fight. It is great to be on the other side now. I remember playing against Marius Nolte and against Bernd Kruel when he was with Hagen.

Robert Maras

It is great to be here. I have a lot of enjoyment being part of this history. I thought that we already had a great team in 2001 with Stefan Koch. Then it was a great time with Herbert. The nicest part of my career was winning the title in 2004. I made long lasting friendships here and am happy to see everyone. I am happy to see Mario Kasun. The last time that I saw him was in 2005 at the European championships in Belgrade. It was also nice to see Juka Matinen. The toughest player that I remember playing against was a guy by the name of Rashad Griffin. He was a real nightmare. We did beat him and Bologna in the Euroleague though. Another tough player was this 221cm player for Lukoil. It seemed like he could stand and dunk. I had no chance against him. Jovo Stanojevic was also a difficult opponent. It is a shame that Pascal Roller wasn´t here. We talk on the phone sometimes and we meet when he is in Munich. He was the identity figure of thee Skyliners. I also missed Marcus Goree. Chris Williams is probably the best Skyliner player ever. I was shocked when I heard of his death.

Tyron Mccoy

I have been in Germany now 20 years. I played in Frankfurt in 2001. It is good that I could come back and see so many people. I was really like seeing family here. I enjoyed seeing Robert Maras. It is interesting talking with people and seeing where they are today. I remember when I was here, I saw the passing of the torch at the point guard position. In Pascal roller´s first year, Kai Nurnberger was still  the number one, but in Pascal´s second year it was his turn and he would become the point guard for the next 10 years. Pascal developed very well in my time here. Playing for the Skyliners was very important for my career. I was able to play Euroleague and play at the highest level for an organization on the rise. It was my first big break

s.Oliver Wurzburg Get Revenge Taking 2019 Gezeiten Cup Over The Telekom Baskets Bonn 89-72

With the summer slowly winding down and  it is still warm and comfortable to wear shorts and a tee-shirt, the vicinity around the Dragon Dome in Rhondorf is bustling with more people and cars than in the dog days of summer and you see some team buses in the parking lot then you know it´s basketball time again. The 2019-2020 season hasn´t begun quite yet, but like every year at the end of August, it is time for the annual Gezeiten cup. The Gezeiten Cup is hosted by the Dragons Rhondorf and usually showcases two easyCredit BBL teams as this year it was the Telekom Baskets Bonn and s.Oliver Wurzburg and Pro A club Romerstrom Gladiators. In the two semi-final games on Saturday, fans witnessed two massive blow outs as The Telekeom Baskets Bonn scorched the Dragons Rhondorf by more than 50 points  while the s.Oliver Baskets destroyed the Romerstrom Gladiators by more than 40 points. The game for third place was won easily by Trier who crippled the Dragons Rhondorf and in the final it was a rematch of last summers final between Bonn and Wurzburg. This time thee s.Oliver Baskets got revenge from last year´s loss and dismantled the Telekom Baskets Bonn 89-72. Wurzburg won the title by playing their fast style and controlling the boards while the Telekom Baskets Bonn stunk up the building shooting a miserable 3/25 from the parking lot. After the contest game high scorer Noah Allen who played three years at UCLA was content with the team´s effort. “It was a good weekend. We are continuing to know each other better and it was a good test for our team chemistry. We played pretty well on defense and used our many offensive weapons and were able to run”, stressed California native Noah Allen. Ex NBA player Trey Mckinney-Jones wasn´t totally disappointed as he saw the team still taking strides in the loss. “Coach has told us the whole pre season that it isn´t about the outcome, but our focus is to improve each day. The season is still so young and everything is still very basic including our plays. Despite being short handed, I feel we picked up our defense. We were out of position a lot. I had to play the four a lot. It was a close game for the most part. We are getting better each day and we took a step in the right direction”, warned Trey Mckiney-Jones.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing s.Oliver Wurzburg American Noah Allen after leading all scorers with 21 points in the title win

                s.Oliver Wurzburg took a quick 10-4 lead as their offense got going quickly taking control inside as they got easy buckets from ex Citadel(NCAA) guard Cameron Wells, ex Weber State forward Brekkot Chapman and ex Skyliner Johannes Richter while Noah Allen nailed a trey. Bonn had problems settling in on defense as Wurzburg hurried their offense to perfection. A trend that would be often in the game was when Wurzburg tried to get away, it was Mckinney-Jones that would hit a big bucket to keep Bonn close. He did it twice in the first quarter with a lay in and three cutting the Wurzburg lead to 17-12. The Telekom Baskets Bonn found some momentum in the last minute closing out the first quarter with a 8 -0 run to take the first lead of the contest at 18-17.Bonn severely upped their intensity on the glass and got a lay in by  Bartolo and vital offensive rebounds and put backs from ex Iserlohn big man Gabrieel De Oliveria and Montenegren forward Bojan Subotic who has won 10 titles in his career. The Telekom Baskets Bonn couldn´t get anything going from outside shooting at a horrible 1/9 clip. Their timely baskets inside in the last few minutes kept them afloat in the game. Rookie Chapman had 6 points to lead the charge while Mckinney-Jones also had six points.

                The second quarter was a real dog fight as no team could escape from the other. S.Oliver Baskets regained the lead again in the first minute relying on their deadly guard shooting as Mr 50/40/90 of the past five years player Jordan Hulls hit a three while Chapman scored at ease again while ex Nurnberg guard Nils Hassfurter stroked home a jumper on the fast break as Wurzburg led 27-21. The Telekom Baskets Bonn stayed on the heels of Wurzburg, but couldn´t get over the hump. Ex Fordham(NCAA) guard  Brandon Frazier hit a runner while Bartolo scored dead locking the game at 29-29. From then on Wurzburg kept their nose in front and Bonn would tie the game a few times. Richter who wasn´t 100% healthy gave his 180% as always getting a reverse lay in and free throws. After Allen gave Wurzburg the 37-35 advantage, it was Frazier who scored on a jumper tying the game at 37-37. German beast Martin Breunig then finished a crushing dunk only to have to watch Skyler Bowlin do his magic as he hit a timely trey with two seconds remaining handing Wurzburg thee lead again 40-39 at the break. The story of the game continued to be the Telekom Baskets Bonn inability to make three point shots. Wurzburg were the more clever team in shot selection and were reading the other team´s defense better than did Bonn. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were still shooting a pathetic 14,3% from outside while Wurzburg was shooting at a blazing clip of 62%.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber´s post game intervieew with ex NBA player and Telekeom Baskeeets Bonn guard Trey Mckinney-Jonees who droppeed 13 points in the loss

                In the third quarter s.Oliver Wurzburg would go on little runs only to see thee Telekom Baskets Bonn match the runs. S.Oliver Wurzburg wasted no time breaking out on a 9-2 run to open up the second half. Allen nailed a trey and later made a steal and two handed stuff. Chapman scored again while Bowlin snuck inside and grabbed an offensive rebound and made the rapid put back for the 49-41 advantage. The Telekom Baskets Bonn continued to chip away and got some baskets from Frazier and Breunig, but just couldn´t buckle down on defense allowing another lay in by Allen and allowing Hassfurter to hit four free throws. for the 55-48 lead. The Telekom Baskets Bonn then raised their defensive intensity a bit making it harder for Wurzburg to attack going on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 57-57. In the run, the Telekom Baskets Bonn were aided by Mckinney-Jones who supplied five points including a trey and buckets by Polas and Joshiko Saibu. Bonn was getting easy baskets and Mckinney-Jones was playing that go to guy kind of role. And the Telekom Baskets Bonn were unable to keep their high intensity  allowing the s.Oliver Baskets to close out the third quarter on a 5-0 run to lead 62-57. They hit two free throws and Hulls dropped a trey after getting a pretty kick out pass from young German Joshua Obiesie. “Our defense was key, because we got stops. We got out running and took good shots”, stressed Noah Allen. “We couldn´t hit from outside. When you can´t do that then it´s tough to win”, added Trey Mckinney-Jones.

                The s.Oliver Baskets took over right from the start of the fourth quarter going on a 8-2 run to lead 70-59 and the Telekom Baskets Bonn were unable to react positively from the onslaught. In the 8-2 run, the s.Oliver Baskets got another key trey from Hulls, a pretty left handed hook shot from ex Marquette(NCAA) standout Lukas Fischer and another bucket from Allen who finished the game with 21 points. “I am still trying to find my niche. We have so many scorers that I don´t always have to score. Important for me is to be unselfish, play good defense and effect the game”, stressed Noah Allen. The fast tempo from Wurzburg continued to give the Telekom Baskets Bonn fits which led to easy baskets. The Telekom Baskets continued to have problems scoring when they wanted to and couldn´t limit the guests. After a Breunig basket, Wurzburg went on their next run of 7-2 to get their biggest lead of the game at 77-63 thanks to five key points from Cameron Wells. After a Mckiney-Jones lay in, it was ultimately good night as Richter scored and Hulls and Allen hit back to back three´s for a hard to swallow 8-0 run giving Wurzburg their biggest lead of the contest at 83-67. Bonn got two more baskets from Bartolo and Breunig, but it was too little too late for Bonn to defend their title. “We continued to bring energy and ball pressure that they couldn´t handle”, stressed Noah Allen. “We had two back to back games which is tough, but so did they. We let the game get away from us in the fourth quarter. I was happy with our defensive intensity in the fourth quarter. We didn´t let it waver, but stuck with it”, warned Trey Mckinney-Jones. S..Oliver Baskets were led by Noah Allen with 21 points. Jordan Hulls added 12 points and Johannes Richter contributed 11 points while Brekkot Chapman 10 points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were led by Martin Breunig with 17 points. Trey Mckinney-Jones added 13 points and Yorman Polas Bartolo had 12 points.  S.Oliver Wurzburg shot 54% from the field and 37% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 22 turnovers while The Telekom Baskets Bonn shot 42,6% from the field and 12% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 16 turnovers. 

Caey Teson Enjoys Picking Up Players When They Are Down And Directing Focus On The Next Play

Casey Teson is a 188cm guard from St Charles, Missouri that was going to start his professional basketball career in Germany with SC Rist Wedel in the Pro B, but was released. He began his basketball career at Saint Charles High School. He then played at Eastern Illinois (NCAA) from 2015-2017 and as a freshman played 30 games averaging 7.5ppg, 2.3rpg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 77.8%. In his second season at Eastern Illinois (NCAA) he played 29 games: averaging 6.9ppg, 1.6rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 96.8%. He then played at Maryville, MO (NCAA2) from 2017-2019 and as a junior played 28 games averaging 11.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 91.7%. In his senior year at Maryville, MO (NCAA2) he played 26 games averaging 19.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 88.0%. He spoke to about his basketball career earlier in the summer.

Casey thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I live in Saint Charles, MO which is about 30 minutes from St. Louis. This summer my day consists of 2-3 workouts a day. Once a week I take a hot yoga class and also try to get out on the golf course as much as I can.

Congrats on signing with German Pro B team SC Rist Wedel. How excited are you to be starting your professional career in Germany and with what expectations are you coming to Germany with?

Playing professional basketball has always been a dream of mine. Looking forward to this new experience and being immersed in a new country.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any people play here that you know?

From what I have heard and searched online Germany is known for their pretzels. For the specific town I am staying in, the weather looks cold and windy. I don’t know anyone that has played in Germany so this opportunity should be one to remember.

You had a job interview over the phone. Manager Christoph Roquette was very impressed with you especially your desire to be successful. A lot of other guys have to fly over and try-out. What impressed you most with the organization when on the phone?

Rist Wedel seems like a very structured and organized basketball club. They put their players in positions to allow for success. I guess the most shocking thing was everyone’s English!

Did you make a type of check list when you went about deciding to come to Germany or not? What were the main reasons for signing a rookie contract with SC Rist Wedel?

Rist Wedel was my first offer on the table. After doing research and talking with coaches I heard nothing but great things about this program. It was important to me that the team I chose was going to be welcoming and continue to push me as a player.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 188cm combo guard. What is your natural position? The point or the two?

Growing up I always played the 2-guard. This past year at Maryville University, my coach moved me to point guard. I am comfortable running this position but I enjoying playing the 2-guard.

Your a guy with many offensive skills and if you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I relate my game to Luka Doncic. A rookie for the Dallas, Mavericks. This player has great footwork, but is not always the fastest one on the court. He is very creative in the ways he gets his shots off. I also enjoy watching Luka because of his positive attitude towards the game.

Your scoring and three pointer stand out, but you can do many other things on the court. What are other vital strengths in your game?

From a guard standpoint I believe that I read the floor well and have good decision making skills on the fly. I enjoy being able to pick players up when they are down and direct focus on the next play.

You shot very well from outside in your last two seasons at Maryville, MO (NCAA2). How confident do you feel about your shot continuing to be a big weapon at the professional level. How do you see shaping your shot into a professional weapon?

I have relied on my shoot throughout my whole career so my confidence will always be there with that. I see my shot helping out by spreading the floor and not allowing teams to help off me, so my teammates have a good opportunity to score

You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet with ease, but what do you feel is a hidden weapon in your game that still seems to be a bit off the radar?

My ability to read the floor and breakdown teams by making the right pass.

You began your college career at Eastern Illinois. As a freshman you averaged 7,5ppg in 28 minutes. What kind of role did you have as a freshman?

My role as a freshman at Eastern Illinois was to help spread the floor and knock down open shots.

Was your 18 point game as a freshman where you hit 6/8 three’s against Indiana State one of your more memorable games in the NCAA?

Hitting 6 of 8 from the three-point line is something that I will remember. My favorite game was against Indiana University because it was my first ever college game and had a fun atmosphere.

In your sophomore season you played 8 minutes less, but still put up ok stats. Why did you decide to transfer to Maryville, MO (NCAA2) after this season?

The reason I transferred back home was because to have the opportunity to play in front on family and friends. Another big influence was the head coach of Maryville, Marc Sticker. I have known him since middle school and he has played a big impact on my life in regard to basketball and growing into the person I am today.

You finished your college career at Maryville, MO (NCAA2) where you averaged double figures in scoring in both seasons and as a senior averaged 19.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 88.0%. How do you feel did your game develop further in your last two years?

I was allowed more freedom on the court from coach Stricker. I also put in extra work over those two summers really focusing in on my mid post game. This allowed me to score from all three levels.

You hit Truman State for 38 points hitting only one three pointer. What memories do you have of this game and was this your most memorable game in school?

Against Truman everything was clicking on all cylinders. Everything I shot felt pure. They allowed me to get to my spots on the court that I was most comfortable with. At the D2 level this was by far my favorite and most memorable game.

How did head coach Marc Stricker groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Coach Stricker has been the back bone of my game. He’s helped me out in so many ways. He’s helped me look at the games in different angles and helped me with my skills as well. I couldn’t thank coach enough for everything he’s done for me.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Marc Colletta?

Zach is probably one of the hardest guys to guard because he is very quick and is longer than anyone I’ve played against. When he gets the ball to the mid post the only way you can get a stop on him is if he misses a shot. He’s going to have a great junior and senior year at Maryville and has a bright future after college basketball.

Who has been the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe?

I didn’t get a chance to play against him but I got the opportunity to play with him when I played for MoKan. His name is Shake Milton. He was a complete player. He had it all, I give him a lot of credit.

Please list your five best teammates of all-time?

Nolan Berry, Jimmy Barton, Marshawn Blackman, Eugene Jones, Chase Morfield.

Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?

Steve Nash, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Devin Booker.

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

The greatest of all time is LeBron James. Just look at the stats, it says everything

What was the last movie that you saw?

Spiderman Far From Home.

Thanks Casey for the chat.