Javon Mccrea Is Ready For The Next Challenge With His Focus On The Team And His Contribution To The Organization And Community

Javon Mccrea is a 26 year old 201cm forward that has five professional seasons under his belt. He began his career at Newark high school and then played at Buffalo (NCAA) from 2010-20014 and as a senior played 29 games averaging 18.5ppg, 9.9rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 56.1%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 66.7%. As a professional he has gained experience playing in Germany for teams like medi Bayreuth and the Tigers Tuebingen and also played in Belgium, France and Israel. Last season he played with the Yokohama B-Corsairs (Japan-B League) playing 14 games averaging 19.4ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 57.1%. He spoke to Germanhoops.com about his basketball career

Javon thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Hey Miles, thanks for taking the time. I’m currently spending my summer in Germany. I go back and forth between Frankfurt and Berlin, depending on the week. So far, my summer has been one to remember. I pushed myself to get into a consistent routine. It feels better when you’re able to balance your life the right way. I can spend time with my child who’s living here, work on my basketball career, and also see my friends.

I’ve also really had a chance to challenge myself with basketball workouts. I’ve been doing two workouts a day everyday since May. I really got into working out outdoors. I usually start my routine with two ball dribbling up a steep hill about 20 times. If you add that up it would total up to around 5km. Then in the afternoon I go to the court and get 1000 shots up. Different types such as post moves to mid range and extending even to the 3 point line. Then I finish with a nice stretch afterwards to get the kinks out. With doing all these things on a regular basis I found my love for the game again. I take my ball everywhere I go. I can’t wait to get back on the court and give my all to the team and also the community.

The first and only interview we ever did was in Bonn during the Allstar game weekend in January 2015. How much has time flown by since then?

Wow, that’s a long time ago. Since then I’ve had a chance to learn so much more about myself and the game. I love basketball. 2015 was my first year as a pro and being an Allstar that year really helps me today as motivation on how to succeed going forward. I use some of my memories then to help steer me into making the right decisions today and visualize where I want to be and what I want to achieve. My basketball career is a real life roller coaster so it helps to focus on all the good things basketball allowed me to experience so far.

It is a little unusual for an American to be in Germany during the summer and not in the States. Talk a little about your life in Germany and the difficulties not being signed at the moment?

My life is Germany is great, I love being here. Since I became a dad last year I try to spend as much time as possible in Germany with my son, Teo. He really helps me learn patience and take on responsibility, it’s not just me anymore. I’m still new to being a parent. Sometimes you feel like you will never be a good enough parent. You also reevaluate your priorities because you just don’t have as much time or energy for the things you used to do. Watching him grow up, learning how to crawl, learning how to grab things, his teeth growing in, learning how to walk. All these things have been a joy to watch.

I understand that the season hasn’t started yet. So no matter how bad I want to get back on the court and get the best contract and situation for my family and myself, I also realized that I still have valuable time before I report to the team. I’m really trying to use this time to spend as much time with my son as well as preparing physically and mentally for the new season. So I use all my anxious energy and put it into working out and making sure that when it is time to report to a new team I’m at my optimum level to perform.

How is Javon Mccrea the person and player different in 2019 to 2015? You have seen a lot of gyms over the years, lived in a lot of countries, but your mental health was always the same.

I feel like I’m a completely different person from then to now. I understand so much more about basketball and more importantly I’ve learned so much about myself. My son really has helped me grow up and evolve as a person, even or especially off the court. I think the whole experience of becoming a dad humbled me and made me realize what’s important.

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on past situations that didn’t go as planned and I now understand the reason why certain situations went the way they did and I understand where I went wrong and how my actions contributed to that. When you get put in tough situations we all have to understand that this is just life testing us. Seeing if we’re strong enough to take losses because the bigger the loss the bigger the blessing is on the other side of it. In the past I’ve gotten myself into a few situations with teams and today I’m more aware of where these teams come from and how I could’ve avoided those situations had I had the mindset I have today. It’s our job as players to make sure our teams perform to the best possible and help reach our shared goals as a team. My mindset now is that I shouldn’t come to a team only looking for what they can give me and what I can get out of it. Instead I focus more on what I can give to the team and contribute to the organization and also to the community. I think I can say today that since my first year as a pro I’ve been through a lot of tough situations but I’ve come out on the other side much more mature and professional and ready to work.

You did an interesting interview last season about mental health and just how widespread it is in the NBA as well as overseas. What kind of feedback did you get and what was the nicest compliment that you got out of it?

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and I think it resonated with a lot of people, especially in the sport. Some people told me that it made them feel more confident and a lot better about themselves because they were going through some of the same things I was. I understood what type of risk I was taking with that interview but I’m okay with that as long as I can hopefully encourage my fellow athletes who deal with these same situations to talk about their mental health and seek out help if they need it. I’ve gotten all types of responses from people talking about how hard it can be to be a foreigner living in a totally new world and still having to perform, as well as “Overseas basketball needs a player’s union” and more awareness and support from the professional organizations.

Since the release of that Mental Health interview, did any players reach out to you about their mental health problems?

Over 50 players reached out to me and talked to me about it. Some just wanted to check in on me and see how I was doing. Through the interview I’ve gotten a chance to still be in touch with a lot of people I played with and/or against. And some just felt a level of comfort that someone else was going through what they were going through, too, and talking about it. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one going through stuff like that, when you’re actually not. Not by far.

How much is the whole mental health issue a part of your daily life? Are there some days when your 100% fine while other days you don´t want to leave the house?

Your mental health is and should always be a part of your daily life. What’s changed for me is how I’m able to deal with any ’issues’ that might come up in day to day life. For me today the ’mental health issue’ is not so much about focusing on everything that might go wrong in my life. We all go through ups and downs. It’s more trying to figure out why I think the way I do and ways I can try to think differently and why I react to certain situations in a certain way. In therapy for example they help guide you to remember some of the things you’ve been through and then when you connect those dots you can understand that your acting a certain way because of specific events or situations in your past. Ever since I started to really get into the topic of mental health I’ve become a lot more aware of these patterns and learned to deal with them in a healthy way. I’ve also come to realize how my behavior might have affected other people’s reactions and perceptions of me in the past and how I can work with that knowledge going forward.

So seeking out therapy basically just helped me feel a lot more confident in handling stressful situations. Being a dad has also helped me with that, too, it calmed me down a lot. So to answer your question, I’ve learned to make my overall health and my mental health specifically a priority and I feel great. I’m ready for my next challenge.

Last season you had a very good season in Japan with Yokohama B-Corsairs (Japan-B League) averaging 19.4ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 57.1%where you saw a therapist, meditated and had a very understanding head coach in Tom Wiseman. How positive was this Japanese experience on and off the court for your mental health?

Japan really helped me revitalize my career and get me back on track. They have a very good system out there. No man was more important to me or a bigger help in that situation than Tom Wiseman. I love him like a father for some of the risks and things he’s done for me. He and the team allowed me to actually see a therapist and work through some of the things that had been bothering me.

What did you enjoy about the Japanese B league the most and how do you feel did your game profit from it?

Yokohama plays in the top-tier league in the country and I got a chance to evolve my game and really make a big step as a player. My time there helped me develop my perimeter game. Going against guys like Josh Smith, Dexter Pittman, Robert Sacre, Xavier Gibson etc my advantage on them was my quickness. So I dominated the competition and ended up averaging career numbers which was great. Right now I’m working hard during the off season to work on any weaknesses. With hard work and shooting 1000 shots a day consistently my 3 point jumpshot has become one of my strengths. I’m knocking it down regularly off the dribble or even catch and shoots or transitional 3s, it doesn’t matter. I understand how important the 3 point shot is in today’s basketball, no matter what position you play. I want to be someone who can be relied on to help the team in winning in the 4th quarter.

Japan is a lot like Germany, very organized, disciplined, and very nice people as well. It’s really clean everywhere, you don’t really wear outside shoes inside the house or even in public bathrooms, they provide clean slippers for you to put on. I lived right next to Tokyo so I got a chance to be in the city and it’s fun and exciting. Basketball is very popular in Japan so a lot of fans would come and show support at the games, I enjoyed that a lot.

You had a great season in Japan and had the mental health issue in control, but the Japanese season ended for you on March 24. Now 4 months later the summer transfer stage is winding down somewhat and you’re not signed yet. Are you struggling with the mental health issue now again?

Not at all. I usually don’t sign until August. This is how it normally plays out so I shouldn’t worry too much. Also me worrying about it won’t do the job. I just need to continue working out twice a day everyday and eating the right things to keep my nutrition level at optimal levels.

You stated in our last interview in 2015 that your Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon helped you with your mental toughness then. Do you think that he could help you again today?

Reggie Witherspoon can make any athlete tougher with his exceptional coaching style and focus on mental strength. He’s clearly one of the best coaches I’ve played for so far. I wouldn’t be a professional without Reggie Witherspoon. I still do his sprint ladder drills in my training sessions. Everytime I get tired I hear his voice screaming “Come on Javon are you a 4 or a 5?? 4s don’t get tired 5s do!!!

You were on triple double course against San-En with 32 points(13/17 shooting), 8 boards and 7 steals. Was this one of your best games at both ends of the court in your career?

Yes, I remember how important that game was. I really put the team on my back. I used my quickness and struck out advantages when I could. I got a lot of deflections and rebounds.

You have gotten jobs in the past and have an agent now, but don´t have a job yet. You stated the pressure to perform really affects your mental health, but what about the pressure to find a team now? How are you coping with the whole day to day search for a new team?

Yes, this was before I got a chance to seek help from a therapist. After doing all these sessions with him I now have a lot more leveled head. The way I cope with things now is working out twice a day until I’m completely exhausted and just focusing on getting ready for my next opportunity and developing my skill set. Also being around my son, its very hard to worry about basketball or to get anxious with the job search. He loves attention so it’s hard to think about anything but Teo after coming home from my workouts.

You stated recently that you would love to play in Germany again. Do you feel like your last two experiences in Tuebingen and Bayreuth may have forced BBL and Pro A teams to distance themselves from you?

I definitely would love to play in Germany again, my son is here and I’m just very comfortable overall in Germany. I’m enjoying my time here and I feel like it’s a great environment for me to be in. That being said, me having a child and focussing a lot on him has limited the focus I’ve put onto basketball the last time I played here. I found out about having Teo in January 2018 right around the time I was with Tübingen. At the time I was not yet prioritizing my mental health and also, as anyone who has kids knows, you can put a lot of pressure on yourself in the months leading up to their birth. That pressure and anxiety at that time took a toll on me and made me react to certain things out of character. I have made my fair share of mistakes but none of them were out of malicious intent but rather because I hadn’t really found a way yet to deal with pressure in a healthy way. That’s why I originally sought out professional help.

My basketball skill set is what it is and I think I can really help BBL teams today. I’m familiar with the league since I’ve played here before, I know the competition and what’s expected. I hope that I’ll get a chance to prove myself again in this league.

Please clear up what happened in your last time in Germany? In Tuebingen you had to leave in March for some disciplinary reason and in Bayreuth you seemed to also wear out your second welcome. Was there any truth to this or was it blown out of proportion from both sides?

The second time I signed with Bayreuth I came in to help out when Assem Marei got injured. When he came back from his injury Bayreuth then had too many foreigners on the roster so that’s why I ended up leaving and signing with Tübingen but there was no negative situation going on at any time. I’m still in contact with members of their organization, so there’s no hard feelings.

As you said I then ended up leaving Tübingen in March. When I signed there both sides agreed on a deal for 10 games and that we would see after those 10 games, if we won or lost, whether we would extend my contract with them. A lot of me leaving had to do with their situation in the league. By that time we were already in discussions for terminating the contract because that last game we lost was the nail in the coffin for them going down to Pro A and they wanted to save some money before that happened.

You have been working out at the BCM facility in Frankfurt where the Fraport Skyliners train. In what kind of shape is your game now? At the age of 26 you are still fairly young and not in your prime yet?

That’s right, the Skyliners have allowed me to workout in their gym this summer, it’s a great facility and I really appreciate that.

This is the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I’m running 5km a day up and down hills, I rode my bike 13 miles to the BCM facility, then did a two hour workout there and rode my bike 13 miles back home. It’s been great for my athleticism and conditioning. I want to be the best I can at my sport this year. I know what’s at stake and I will never take basketball or anything in my life for granted.

Despite seeing some bad things in Israel, you had a pretty good stat season especially in the Basketball Champions League. How do you explain coming of a season like that and then going to Germany and having tough experiences?

That’s the key to life, understanding that there will be lots of ups and downs. It can seem like everything went wrong after that season in Israel. But I try to use these experiences to my advantage. Those bad times taught me a lot about the business of basketball and what I need to do on a daily basis to make sure I’m at the top of my sport and not just trying to fit in. I have to be willing to do everything it takes and then some and also win games and make the community a better place.

After a strong rookie season in Germany, you had a tough second season playing a few months in France and Puerto Rico. Do you sometimes wonder where you would be today had you played a full season in 2015-2016?

In life everything happens for a reason. I am where I am because of the good and bad choices I’ve made throughout my life. And if I would have made different choices it might be a lot worse. We all understand things can’t be perfect, they just never are. If I dwell on the past I will never be able to see the future. So I just strive to be the greatest athlete I can possibly be going forward without any doubt.

Explain in a few sentences why you could help any club at the moment with your game and that you are stable enough mentally to be an asset on and off the court?

Now I’m experienced and have seen various different types and styles of basketball. With my ability to play multiple positions and be versatile you could fit me into any line up. Teams deal with injuries every season. I can be the glue that holds the team together in February when we really need a win to clinch first place. Also with how good my shape is I can help on both sides of the ball at a great level. WIth my 3 point range now I can help spread out the floor. I can dribble, shoot, and pass. I can do whatever the team needs me to do on the court. And also I think I can bring a great locker room presence because I’m all about winning and motivating each other on and off the court. My goal is to help my teammates so we can stick together as a family so that we can all achieve our goals.

In your rookie season with Bayreuth you played with some real experienced and great players like Ronnie Burrell, Bryan Bailey and Brandon Bowman. When you look back at that time, which guy was most beneficial to you on the court?

Brandon Bowman is my brother and I love him to death. He’s the biggest reason I became an Allstar 2015. He taught me a lot about what will go wrong in my career and also how to be a lot more mature about my approach to situations on and off the court and how to get better everyday.

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads would you pick?

LEBRON KOBE JORDAN SHAQ

What is your personal opinion of who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

LEBRON JAMES

What was the last movie that you saw?

HE GOT GAME

Thanks Javon for the chat

For Some Players Defense Is The Relax Time But For Ishmail Wainright It´s His Time To Shine

Ishmail Wainright is a 24 year old 196cm forward from Kansas City, Missouri that completed his first season in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,1ppg, 7,3rpg and 2,8apg. He began his basketball career at Montrose Christian School and then played 131 NCAA games at Baylor (NCAA) from 2013-2017 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 5.5ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 68.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com at the end of the season before signing with easyCredit BBL team Rata Vechta.

Ishmail thanks for talking to germanhoops.com How good is basketball life treating you at the moment?


Feeling great ! Coming off a great season. 

Congrats on the amazing season with the Nurnberg Falcons. With everything that you have achieved in your basketball career, where does this magical season rank?


Might be at the top to be honest. It went better than I expected. 

Most of basketball Germany never thought it would be possible for Nurnberg to achieve moving up. Did the fact that the club overachieved a bit lessen the disappointment a bit not being able to win it all over the Hamburg Towers?


No because at the end of the day our goal was to win it all and we had the chance to do so but fell short. 

It was a very exciting final series against the Hamburg Towers. You won the first game by three points and lost the second game. Will that lst three by German Justus Hollatz be one of those shots that will always creep back into your memories when look back on this final series?

Yes ! For sure ! 

The 2019 Pro B finals were very tight. Why do you feel couldn’t the Hamburg Towers get over the hump in game 2 and win the title?


The Hamburg Towers are a great team with a great coach. They played hard and was coached well. They stuck to their game plan and came out with the win. We fell short at the end of the day to a great team. 

Let’s talk about the season. If someone had told you on January 26 after having an 8-11 record and hving lost 6 of the last 7 games that the club would reach the final and move up to the easyCredit BBL what would you have said?


I would say it’s possible if the team sticks together and play like they have nothing to lose. 

After that the club went on a furious 11 game winning streak to end the regular season. What were the main reasons for the amazing turnaround?


We came together and knew what we wanted to do. We wanted to do something that hasn’t been done in years. 

How was the team different going into the playoffs where you swept Trier and beat Heidelberg 3-1. Did it feel invincible?


YES ! We did something that hasn’t been done in Nuernberg in some years. Basti and Big Rob deserved every bit of that run. That was for them ! 

What did you appreciate most about this club this season? What made it so special to strap on a Nurnberg Falcons jersey?


The fans that traveled to EVERY away game. They showed so much love it was crazy ! 

The club had so many season highlights this season. If you had to pick one which would you chose?

That playoff run ! Swept Trier, got MLP 3-1, beat Hamburg in game 1 and that game was CRAZY. That run right there was just crazy !!!! 14 game winning streak in Europe? That’s hard to do. 

How vital was head coach Ralph Junge for the success and how did you see his development grow. He has been known for years for developing young Germans which he did in Ehingen and kept doing in Nurnberg. Now he had his first huge success on the men’s level

Ralph is a great Coach. Helped me understand the European style of play. He will continue to be a great coach. He deserves every bit of this ! 

Let’s talk about your teammates. You stated this about your teammates Juwan Parker and Jackson Kent in an earlier interview with me. ‘I believe Jackson has one year under his belt and he’s helped me out the most while being over here. Making sure my confidence is up and stays up. He’s a sharpshooter slasher! Having Juwan is something different because I’ve been playing against him since 4th grade. Now to have him on the same team is even better. I know his game and he knows mine’. How do you feel did these guys grow further steps through the whole playoff time?


They took a step forward because everyone knew Jackson was a shooter and he did more than just that. We played fantastic defense. He grabbed rebounds and made the right passes at the right time. Juwan did the same with the limited time he had on the court. They both should be proud of themselves in what they did this season. I know I am ! I’m extremely proud of those guys. 

You stated this in my last interview about Marcell Pongo. ‘Pongo is a tough guard ! A passionate guard that wants me to win every time he touches the floor. He can see the court so well it’s crazy. Some of the passes he makes are just unbelievable’. How do you feel did he grow further during the playoffs?

He was unstoppable during playoffs ! That’s all I’m going to say on him. 

You worked closely with talented Germans Moritz Sanders, Ben Gahlert, and Matthew Meredith. How did they develop further and which guy do you feel made the biggest strides?


Matthew before the injury. He made huge strides. Knocking down 3s. Got clutch stops on defense. He will bounce back even better.

How vital was the leadership and energy of German veteran Basti Schroeder? What one experience will you never forget with him that truly showed what kind of guy he is? 

Basti is the man ! If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have gotten far in the season at all. I told him I wanted to win. I told him this season was for him. I told him that before every game.

Head coach Ralph Junge helped you with understanding the style and the movements with and without the ball. The automatic reads on the floor. How else do you feel was he instrumental in making you the player you were at the end of the season?

Encouraging me to just go play and kill whoever is in front of me. 

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 12,1ppg, 7,3rpg, 2,8apg and 1,7spg. How content were you with your first season in Germany? 

That being the first year it went pretty good BUT I’m extremely hard on myself. I know I can give more. I have to give more. I have A LOT of work to do. 

You demonstrated that you can be a very versatile player as a professional. How do you feel did your game grow further and your leadership qualities? 

My game grew in many different ways. And far as being a leader, that just came with everything. You have to want that. And I want that. And I feel like the team this year allowed that to happen. We had a great team and we all worked well together. 

After playing a full season of basketball after playing football, what did you learn about your body now that you didn’t know about before this season?

I’ve pushed my body so much over these past few years playing basketball, gaining so much weight (270 pounds) to play football , then back to basketball and lose 35 pounds. I didn’t know how my body was going to react and after that second month, my body felt a lot better. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in a minute. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

You stated this about your defensive qualities in our last interview. ‘I’ve always been a defender. It’s just in my blood. Watching Tony Allen lock up the NBA just fired me up. I want be that player that stays on the court because he can hold the other team’s best player from start to finish. Rebounding and just getting my teammates involved. I love when my teammates score’. How did your defense continue to develop this season in Germany?

I feel like I was the best defensive player in Pro A. That’s my mindset. Not many guys have that mindset. Defense to some guys are the relax time. I still need to figure things out but at the end of the day, I felt like I did what I had to do on that end of the court. 

What was your personal favorite game this season? Possibly your 26 and 11 explosion in the exciting 97-95 win against Chemnitz? 


Yes. That game was something. One of my favorites. That crowd didn’t know what to do. 

What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Nurnberg or would you consider going to a new country and culture?

That’s in God’s hands. I have to do what’s best for my Family. My wife and two little ones. 

On what things will you continue to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve as a player?

Consistent shooting. Weight. Flexibility. Studying the game more. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season? 

The OG Bucknor 

What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?

I agreed in a way. His Top 5 for sure !

Charles Barkley proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion? 

Not at All. Tom Brady is for sure the GOAT in football but not more than MJ.

What was the last movie that you saw? 

The Upside with Kevin Heart

Thanks Ishmail for the chat.

The Miles Where Are They Now Player Feature With Jordan Sibert Who Is Hoping 3 Is A Charm For The NBA

It is around midnight on a Saturday night/Sunday in the dog days of summer 2019 when an up beat and good mooded Jordan Sibert (193-G-92, college: Dayton) finally calls me back for our long awaited interview something that had first been planned in Mid February when he was grinding in the G-League and on the brink of reaching the NBA. I had written an article late in the 2018-2019 season when he was with the Fraport Skyliners predicting he would get to the NBA someday and here we were again talking about the real reality of the NBA in 2019. ‘Sorry Miles for the late call. Were you already sleeping? I’m just back from lifting and then had to take care of some personal matters’, stressed Jordan Sibert. In the case of the ex Dayton (NCAA) standout, better late than never. So much has happened in the last five months that he could of written a special journal for his ex school to help fill the summer hole with exciting and interesting basketball stories. Sibert reaches me from Atlanta, Georgia where he has been staying after a successful NBA Summer League with the ex Dennis Schroeder team Atlanta Hawks and is just waiting for news hoping three could be a charm and that possible third ticket back to the NBA with the hopes of this one being not only a longer stay, but a more permanent one. The NBA has always been on his mind since his rookie season when he was with the Orlando Magic continuing with his two seasons in Europe where he balled in Greece and in Germany for two teams and now he reflected on the last season in the G-League, his short tenure with the Atlanta Hawks and his one NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the positive NBA Summer League appearance in Las Vegas. The big question is will he remain with the Atlanta Hawks and get a training camp deal or go to another NBA team or return back to Europe? ‘Right now that is the big question. I’m waiting to get a call. If it looks good with Atlanta then I will stay here. I have to do what is best for me’, warned Jordan Sibert. Even if he has played only four professional seasons, if he ever has a dull moment while waiting, he will never suffer from having a lack of great basketball stories. In the last year, he has had the opportunity to play with probably one of the best defenders to ever play in the German easyCredit BBL with Quantez Robertson who simply goes by Tez and one of the best dunkers to ever battle in the NBA with Vince Carter and remembers them fondly. ‘Many don’t know this but Tez and I are both from Cincinnati, Ohio. When I got to Frankfurt, I remember Tez asking me if I was from there. When he found out I had gone to Princeton high school, he asked me if I knew his brother Brian Shelby. It turned out that he was my best friend there. I remember Brian always telling me that he had a brother in Germany who was the man in German basketball. The basketball world is definitely small. Vince Carter is a great dude. I don’t remember what the first thing was what I asked him, but I do remember getting into the gym and seeing him under the basket. At that moment my childhood memories came back to me remembering me and my brother having all these pictures of him on our bedroom walls. I quickly started to bombard him with questions about the game about knowing plays, being in the right position and how to read the offense better and defense quicker. He was always there to help me. He even came to me at times to point out things. We had a good relationship and it was just a crazy feeling being his teammate. He did beat me in a few shooting games’, joked Jordan Sibert. Even if every basketball junkie knows where Jordan Sibert is today, it was time for a new installment in the Miles where are they now player feature as his rise and development to the NBA in the last year has been remarkable.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jordan Sibert in the Fraport arena in the 2018-2019 season

 

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Jordan Brangers Won´t Change Anything About His Game as It Is Special And Has Been Effective His Whole Life

Jordan Brangers is a 188cm guard that was born in Radcliff, Kentucky and attended North Hardin High School. He played his professional rookie season in Germany with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven averaging 12,7ppg, 1,7rpg and 1,9apg while shooting a respectable 34,7% from outside. The club released him at the end of 2018. He began his basketball career with South Plains JC (JUCO) and in his second year played 30 games averaging 16.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 74.4%. He left school after only two years and could be the first player ever to come out of JUCO and reach the easyCredit BBL. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Jordan thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

I am currently in Miami, Florida working out and playing in the Miami Pro League. My summer has been pretty solid so far just a lot of workouts and trying to get better at a couple things.

It has six months since the surprising release from the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Was it at that time a shock or unexpected or was it something that you thought might happen due to the poor season that the club was having?

Honestly, I think it was a little bit of both. Didn’t think they were going to release me, but then did end up letting me go and I would say some of that had to do with the amount of talent we had and just didn’t live up to expectations and won games like we should have.

How tough was it dealing with this experience? How did you deal with it going into the new year and how did you remain positive after having your moments with the club?

It was very tough knowing that playing in the BBL was a big step for me and it could help along down the road and then I ended up getting released kind of blew my spirits up. Just told myself I got to keep working hard and can’t let clubs decision effect how I approach my next job opportunity
.

In the very short press release by the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven then head coach Dan Panaggio lauded you as being a very talented young player, but criticized your defense. Do you feel like having that flaw was justified for giving you your release?


I don’t think defense was a problem for me playing in the BBL. At the time I felt like they were blaming a couple team issues and problems on me and believe I was the cause for the club losing some games.

The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were struggling from the start. The club was defending poorly and there were enough other guys that weren’t doing the job on the defensive end. Do you think like the club used you as an escape goat?


Definitely thought they used me as a escape goat. 100% feel like that and with it being my 1st time in Europe I’m sure they thought they could use me and the majority of the problems. Honestly, I don’t think the whole team was defending at all. That’s just my opinion on the situation.

You had great moments on offense like your 29 points against Science City Jena. Despite being a rookie and having to play in Europe and a totally different style, how content were you with your offensive game?

Wasn’t content with my offensive game at all. Although, I had a couple really good scoring games I felt like I 100% could of played a lot better, but being a rookie I didn’t think I got the opportunity to showcase what I could really do.

Your big strength is your shooting, but you have the whole offensive package with the mid range, getting to the hoop and passing. Do you feel like you could show your whole offensive arsenal when you were in Germany or was everyone blinded by your outside shooting?

I’ve got the whole package, but I think everyone was blinded by the shots I was taking and how deep the 3’s were I was shooting. Honestly, I don’t think the BBL has seen someone shoot it so deep like I was doing in a couple years from what I know.

After this experience with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, what did you learn about your shot having played at a high level in Europe? Will you change anything up on how you continue to work on continuing to perfect your shot or will you continue to do what you have been doing the last years to be the player that you have been?

I’ve learned a lot of things that I definitely needed to understand about how the game was played over there, but as far as changing the style of how I play I don’t think I will ever change that. I believe my style is unique and it’s been effective my whole life. Playing in Bremerhaven in the BBL my rookie season taught me a lot about playing in Europe and how things are run.

Despite playing only three months in the easyCredit BBL, how do you feel did your game profit best?

Yeah, I think my game fit pretty good. I don’t think I lacked anything and I adjusted to the speed fairly quickly. You know some people don’t really adjust when they first get over to Europe, but I thought I did a good job of that.

You had the chance to play in one of Europe’s top leagues with the easyCredit BBL. What positives do you feel did you get out of the whole experience?

I thought it was positive. I had some really good games over there and I had the chance to play against some really good players and teams. Munich, Bamberg, Vechta, and Etc. But I really felt like the biggest thing that was positive for me was being able to showcase how special my scoring abilities are.

The Eisaberen Bremerhaven had many veterans and guys with a lot of experience in the NBA and Europe. Was there a particular teammate that stood out who helped you in your short time there

You know it’s pretty cool you asked that. Darnell Jackson, Chris Warren, and Elston Turner all helped me out when I was there and basically steered me into the right direction on how to do a lot of things and how playing in Europe works. I’m very thankful they were there when I was there it was a good experience. Also Gilbert Brown helped me along the well as well for his short time there, but we left around the same time.

You’re a guy that has a lot of self-confidence. How confident are you that you will be playing your second professional season

I’m very confident. You know I’ve worked very hard my whole life and I have a lot of confidence in what I can do on the court, but I’ve been very excited and looking forward to what my 2nd professional season brings me.

How have you been keeping busy in the last six months? Has it been mostly about staying in shape and being ready for that next opportunity or did you experience some other things beneficial to your career?

I’ve really just been working out and trying to stay in the best shape as possible. That’s all you can really do at that point, but I know I usually play in a couple Pro Leagues during the summer so that always helps.

On what parts of your game have you been working on most in the last six months? Did you take extra effort in working on your defense so if you get another job in Europe, you will be ready?


I’ve really been working on my passing and decision making. I really think it’ll help me at my next spot wherever I am at. And I really haven’t worked on defensive I honestly think I’m a very capable defender.

Is Germany a place that you would like to return to? If a German Pro A team gave you a chance, would you take back a step or is the easyCredit BBL the main goal?

Yeah, I really liked Germany. Now if a Pro A team gave me shot who knows I might take or might not you never know what will happen. My main goal is the NBA, but if I was to get another shot at the BBL I would love that.

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the easyCredit BBL?


Wow. That’s a easy one. Tyrese Rice from Bamberg.

What is your summary of the 2019 NBA Draft? Were there any surprises and what sleepers do you see coming out of it?

Thought the 2019 draft was a pretty solid draft, but there’s always some sleepers that come out of the draft every year. My sleepers are Kevin Porter JR and Carsten Edwards.

What was the last movie that you saw?


Last movie I saw was ‘Love and Basketball’

Thanks Jordan for the chat.

Decorey Jones Knows That When A Door Closes Another One And Better One Opens

 Decorey Jones is a 29 year old 201cm forward that played at Faulkner (NAIA) and has had a solid professional basketball career since 2012 having played in countries like Malaysia, Mongolia, Canada, Spain, Australia, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Armenia. He recently got the Chilean citizenship and spoke to egermanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Decorey thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your early summer been? 

Thank you for having me Miles. I am currently in Bolivia. My early summer has been good and productive, its always good to secure a summer job to keep me in great shape leading in to the fall season market. 

Our last interview was in September 2014. Since then you have continued to travel the world and have played for many teams in various countries. What have you enjoyed most about the basketball globetrotter life? 

What I have enjoyed most was the relationships and connections that have crossed my path. Its bigger than basketball and its amazing some of the people I have come across are now family, some are business partners, and also experiencing the different types of cultures. These are values you take with you your whole life. 

In our last interview you stressed that to play in Germany would be a big dream for you. It still hasn’t happened. Have you had any offers in the last years and do you think that it will still happen? 


Germany is still a big dream of mine. I have never had any offers but I have faith it will still happen, my resume has built up since then, this business is about connections and who you know, Im sure it will happen with timing and the right people in my corner. 

In 2014 you were amazed how far you have come and in the last five years you have continued the grind that has taken you to places like Norway, Australia, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand and Armenia. What is your secret to be able to be so active as a player and always get jobs? 


My secret is keeping my profile proactive. I constantly network and promote myself on all social media platforms to agents, coaches, gms, management, and my fanbase. When I do get a opportunity I leave my mark. I am a humble hardworking American Import. Attitude goes far in this business and teams know what they are getting when they sign me. 

Your last team was Aragatz (Armenia-League A) I think out of all my interviews in my career I never spoke to a guy that balled in Armenia. Your stay was short. What were you able to take from this experience? 


My time in Armenia was interesting. They signed me for a 20 day contract with the goal to win the Championship. After I played my first game I was informed the team registered my papers past the league deadline and they had no choice but to release me because of their mistake. I played a total of 3 games. 1 playoff 2 cup games. That country is just in its 2nd year having a league, and 1st year with imports so you would expect amateur errors like this. The country and league has a lot of potential but I hope they get more education on how to handle imports and league structure. 

You began the season with Club Deportes Espanol de Talca (Chile-Liga Nacional) where you had played for a few years earlier. The pay is supposed to be very good in South America as there have been countless ex NBA players make a living there for years. Is the money and culture there satisfying enough to play a whole career there for some guys? 

Yes guys who come to Latin America usually stay in this market because of the large salaries. Salaries range from 6 figures in top leagues to the smallest leagues making 3k or more. In Europe you can play in a respectable top league and make 2k or less. It only makes sense to go where the money is. The game is changing and its not about what continent you played in last, money talks and players are realizing this concept. 

You had your first experience last year playing in Indonesia and Thailand. What kind of experience was that and please describe some experiences you had off the court that were memorable? 


I won my second championship in Indonesia playing in one of the biggest tournaments the country has (Jawa Pos Honda Pro Tournament) for the BBM Warriors. After I won the Championship I received a phone call 2 days later to play for the CLS Knights of the ABL one of the biggest leagues in Asia. It was a dream come true and my life changed. When I finished that chapter I went to Thailand to compete in the summer leagues TBSL and TBL which were great leagues to play in to prepare me for the fall season. Asia is an amazing market and is overlooked. Off the court there was something always going on from running camps, clinics, coaching, and the asian culture was something I will always cherish. The food and the sight seeing, was amazing. Asia is quite a beautiful continent to go to for basketball for an all around experience. 

Recently you played for Iwate Big Bulls (Japan-B League D2) playing 13 games averaging 5.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 60.0%. You had experienced a lot before going to Japan, but was that like a culture shock for you or was the adjustment to the culture easy for you? 



Japan was difficult for me as a 3. That league is based on bigs, teams usually get stretch 4s and big time 5s. The import rule was 3 on a team and only 1 could play in the 1st quarter, 2 in the 2nd quarter, back to 1 in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th. It was difficult for me to adjust to the minute restriction and also dealing with the coaches game philosophy. I know I can play at that level but that situation was not ideal for me, the team and I agreed to part ways because it was just not a good fit with the mix of players they had. 

In 2016-2017 you played in Argentina and Australia and also had your first tour of duty with Club Deportes Espanol de Talca (Chile-Liga Nacional) playing 38 games averaging 12.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 68.5%. It was the first time you played with Americans Stanley Robinson and Tyran Walker
.You played with them again a few years later. Are these two guys that are like brothers for you?


It is amazing how the game of basketball spirals in a full circle. Stanley I met in Canada playing for the Moncton Miracles in 2014, and when I found out we were going to play on the same team I was super excited. As for Ty I met him through a connection because the team asked me for assistance finding a a big. Since then these guys have became my brothers. Playing on the court with your Brothers is automatic chemistry and no team can compete with that. 

In 2015-2016 you played with Nidaros Jets Trondheim (Norway-BLNO) playing 20 games: Score-5 (21.7ppg), 9.7rpg, 2.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 74.4%. You had a great season. Why has it been so difficult for you to get jobs in Europe or have you preferred to play elsewhere? 



Im happy you asked this question. After my successful season in Norway, I went on to continue to play in Australia after. My mom received a letter in the mail stating that I was banned from the Schengen Area for 2 years due to working illegally. The team did not handle my visa papers properly having me on a tourist visa and playing at the same time. This is a major crime. Unfortunately when I pleaded my case I lost, and there was nothing i could do. I had little effort and help from the GM who was responsible for the visa process. But the Norwegian government stated It was my responsibility. 2 years banned for something I had no control of! I had to take my talents to Asia, South America, and Australia. The ban is now over and I can compete again on Europe soil. I want to get back to that market in a top league hopefully. 

Out of all the leagues you have played in as a professional where would you rank the BLNO of Norway against all the others?



BlNO was a solid league. It would rank in the mid tier of all the countries I played in. The most difficult countries I have played in was Argentina and Japan. 

How do you feel has your game continued to develop since 2014 when we last spoke? Where on the offensive and defensive end do you feel have you made the most strides?


Since 2014 I am a much smarter player, more skilled, and experienced. Defensively I am sill aggressive and have a lot of energy, but I’m more smarter with how I defend players, before I just played, now I watch more film than ever, I study player trends, and I also study myself more. 

You won one professional title with Club Deportes Espanol de Talca (Chile-Liga Nacional) in 2017. What did you cherish most about this season?


I cherished a life value that many people will never get to experience. I had got cut in Argentina and I was really at a low point in my life at that time, my agent at that time found me an opportunity with Espanol 3 days later I had no idea what to expect, my main goal was to finish the season and be the best player I could be for them, I wasn’t expecting to win a championship actually nobody did. Thats what made the season so magical and special. The life lesson on everything happens for a reason and when 1 door closes another and better one opens!

One thing that one notices about you is that you are always looking for a playing opportunity like playing in Australia over the summer. Is that an option that you will do again this summer or will you spend more time at home in the states?



I love summer ball! No matter which country. When you can play basketball and make a living over the summer and stay in shape? Your not living a bad life. I focus on the summer market with my perspective of a paid offseason! I am currently playing in Bolivia for the summer. 

Your turning 29 in July. Are you in your prime now? On what things are you working on most now to keep improving your game? 


I’m coming in to my prime! Im still waiting on the big opportunity in a big league where the coach lets me play my game! My time is coming I have faith! my game has improved I am more efficient, I’m smarter and I now know the game and how people work in this business. The biggest thing that I I constantly improve is my mentality. Also I now have duel citizenship as I have a child with an chilean woman. Now I can play as a local in some South American leagues. 

You stated in our last interview that you worked out a lot with ex professional player Chuck Eidson. Do you still have that strong relationship with him and what is he up to today? 


Yeah I still try to stay in touch with him and his dad, and other peers connected to him. The last time we spoke he was on the golf field lol. He is relaxing to the fullest. He will play a pick up game here and there but he’s now more focused on taking care of his family. 

Have you started to give any thought about what you will do one day after your professional career is over? Many professionals get ready for life after basketball during their career. Have you been able to do that or are you 100% focused on basketball at all times?


Thoughts about life after basketball is always scary for us hoopers. Its all we know its all we have done to provide a living for us. Luckily I have built up great connections along my globetrotting journey and I defiantly will pick up a coaching gig after I’m done playing. Rather its an academy or individual skill training with professional teams, I can’t see myself not being around basketball anymore working a 9-5. 

Please pick your five best teammate of all-time? 


Nathan Fisher, Marcus Douthit, Kevin Van Hook, Stanley Robinson, Jammar Johnson.

Who are the five best players in the NBA right now by position in your own opinion? 



Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Lebron, Nikola Jokic.

If you had to name your NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick? 


Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille Oneal. 

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



Michael Jordan can’t be replaced and never will. He changed the game forever and set a bar that no NBA player will touch, maybe get close but never touch. He is a basketball God! 

What was the last movie that you saw?


Avengers End Game movie of the year! watched it twice! 

Thanks Decorey for the chat.

Seger Bonifant(Den Bosch) Is Known As A Sniper But Brought His Defense To The Next Level With Ehingen

Seger Bonifant is a 25 year old 201cm forward from Berlin, Ohio that just completed his third professional season and second with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 14,9ppg, 2,0rpg,2,6apg and shot 51,8% from outside. He will play in Holland next season with Den Bosch. Last season with Team Ehingen he played 30 games averaging 12,6ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,5apg while shooting an astounding 48,7% from outside. In his rookie season he played for Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 32 games averaging 9.2ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 82.9%. He played at W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) form 2012-2016 playing a 126 games and improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season. There he established himself as a real sniper as he shot over 50% from outside for a season three times and as a senior played W.Liberty St. (NCAA2) playing 35 games averaging 25.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 49.6%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of his second season with Ehingen.

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

I am at home right now in Berlin, Ohio. Everything is going well for me! It’s nice to be home and with my family and loved ones.

It has been a year since our last interview. How has basketball time flown by for you in this time?


It has really flown by since the last time we talked! It was a great year of basketball though and I learned and grew so much.

Congrats on helping Ehingen reach the Pro A playoffs. The team had a massive turn around from the season before. What was the secret to the success this season?


I think the secret to the success this season was that we just played so hard for one another. We obviously had some really good talent, but we communicated well with each other and we all wanted to win more than anything and that was the key.

After remembering your season with Ehingen last season reaching position 15, what would you have said if somebody had told you in preseason that the club would finish in seventh place?


It definitely would have been hard to believe that’s for sure. But after going through preseason with this squad and getting to know all my teammates I knew that we could do special things if we played together and played the right way.

Ehingen didn’t have an easy playoff foe with Heidelberg who swept you. After getting swept do you feel like the team underachieved a bit in the playoffs and should have given them a better fight?


There’s no excuse for getting swept by Heidelberg. They are a very good team and a well coached team. It hurt that I didn’t play game 1 because of an ankle injury and also our starting 2 man (Tim) didn’t play the whole series with an ankle injury. Regardless, our team never quit and we played hard every game.

You came into the playoffs with the third best offense averaging 83 points per game, but against Heidelberg averaged only 69 points. Do you feel like the offense let you down or did Heidelberg defend better than what you expected?


In the playoffs the game slows down a little bit and I think that helped Heidelberg with their rhythm. We were very good when we played fast and did automatics. So with the game being slower it definitely helped them.

Ehingen played with a slim rotation in the playoffs. How much of an effect did that have on your success?


Having the slim rotation helped for sure. Due to injury, Tim and I were both out for the last 3 regular season games and then I missed game 1 of the playoffs and Tim was out the rest of the year. So having that slim rotation is nice when everyone is healthy, but when injuries come it’s not so inviting.

You missed a game and in the other two games couldn’t explode. Do you feel like the lethal Seger Bonifant was missing and if present would have turned the series into a different one?

I don’t think I was missing. Defensively, I played Shy Eli very well. Heidelberg is one of the best defensive teams in the league so I knew going into the series it was going to be tough.

It was a very special season for Team Ehingen. How vital was the team ability to always get up and being successful in certain down times of the season?

I think that reflects with everyone’s character on the team. We had great chemistry and great leaders on our team. It was vital to the success!

The team played it’s best basketball in January and Feburary winning 8 of 9 games. What was the team doing so well in this time that they couldn’t always do in other stretches of the season?


The season is long. 8 months of practices and ball everyday. It’s a grind. I think after the Christmas break we really clicked. Obviously the schedule was nice to us as well in those games and that is a major reason we were clicking. We were just playing good basketball man.

Let’s talk about your teammates. How special was it playing and getting the ball from Rayshawn Simmons? He was near averaging double double stats. What did you appreciate most about his game?


Ray is a great player and even better person. It was great catching his passes! He was always looking for me and telling me to be aggressive so having him as our floor general was obviously a vital reason for our success.

You have seen many very talented point guards in the Pro A. Do you believe he has what it takes to get a chance to play in the BBL?

Yes I do for sure. His IQ is what separates him and I believe if he gets a chance he can make big things happen.

Another guy that has made huge strides is German Kevin Yebo. In our last interview you stated about him. ‘I think the best part about Kevin’s game that improved the most over the season was physically. He got stronger throughout the year and he was grabbing more rebounds and got more stops on defense as the year went along. The future is very bright for him if he keeps working hard and getting better’. What further strides did he make this season and is he ready for a BBL opportunity?

Kevin Yebo is definitely ready for the BBL. He really improved his offensive game and he is way more well rounded now. He is so athletic as well and that’s just icing on the cake. The future is bright for him and I’m excited to see where basketball takes him.

What kind of experience was it playing with versatile forward Tanner Leissner? He also showed that he can shoot the ball. Is a sniper like you able to pick up things from his shooting?

It was a blessing playing with Tanner. He is a great person and we will be friends forever. He is just a workhorse. He is obviously very skilled, but I think the best part about his game is that he just will outwork whoever is guarding him.

Talk a little about the development of German Dom Uhl and Gianni Otto. What strides did the make and what did you appreciate most about their games?


Both of those guys got better over the season. Gianni grew a lot over the season. He went against Ray everyday in practice and they battled and both of their games grew because of it. I’m excited to see both of those guys continue to grow.

Let’s talk about your game. You improved your scoring and three point shooting. How content were you with your game?

I’m never content with my game. I know I can always improve and that’s what I’m going to use the summer for. My goal this season was to improve my defense. My defense really got to the next level for me. It’s so important to get your game to the next level and if you can lock guys down and play great defense that will always help the team win.

Rayshawn Simmons said this about you in my interview with you. ‘Seger is the best shooter in the league in my opinion & the best in game shooter I’ve ever played with’. How often do you hear teammates or opponents say something like that and how do you remain humble?


I respect Ray so much and his opinion of the game of basketball. So hearing Ray say that really helped me to push myself and try to get even better.

In our last interview you stated that you got better at rebounding and defense. What do you feel did you improve on in your second season with Ehingen?


Coach Dom is great with developing not just German players, but anyone who is in the system. I grew so much as a Pro in Ehingen on and off the court. I can’t thank him enough. My total game went to another level this past season and I can’t thank him enough for having confidence in me to lead those guys.

In our last interview you stated ‘My goal is to make every shot that I shoot. I know that is a very hard goal to possess, but that is my goal. I have great confidence in my shooting and scoring ability so any time I miss a shot I know that the next one is in. So that is my mentality in a game’. You shot 56% at West Liberty and 51% this season. How do you keep staying motivated and not feeling the pressure being able to continue to be an amazing special shooter.

I know all the work I put in during the season and in the offseason. That gives me the confidence I need to be able to say that if I miss a shot the next one is in. That’s always been my mentality and it will be until the day I’m done playing ball.

You have stated in the past that you respect guys like Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson. What shooters have impressed you in the past few years that have come up in the NBA and do you continue to soak up things form different shooters?

As a Cavs fan it’s hard to like Klay Thompson haha ! But I respect his game so much. He locks people up and the average basketball fan has no idea how good he is. He is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA, but that’s not all he brings to the table for his team. I really enjoy watching his game and trying to implement some of his into my game.

You had many superb games this season. I guess your 39 point explosion with 9 three’s in the win over Tuebingen was your biggest game. What are your memories of that game?


That game was obviously special. My teammates knew I was feeling good so they were looking for me all game. It was a little rivalry as well with Tuebingen being so close to Ehingen so it was a very fun game.

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?


There are a lot of great players in Pro A. Shy Eli was always fun to play against and we had some battles. I really enjoyed playing against Chemnitz as well. They play great team basketball and are very hard to beat and I respect the way they play the game.

What is the next step for you? Do you feel like your finally on the radar of BBL teams? You deserve a chance. Do you share my feelings?


I do share your feeling. I know I can play at the BBL level and I hope I get a shot. All I can do is keep improving my game and trusting God with the plan.

On what things will you be continuing to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve your game?

I’m going to continue to improve getting stronger and faster. That is my main goal. Attacking the rim and creating space can always go to the next level.

If you had to pick your personal favorite starting five of teammates over the years which players would you chose?


I would go with the starting five we had last season. It was a special season to me and all my teammates I would go to war with any time any day.

What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?



My opinion is LeBron. I believe he is the greatest to ever play.

What is your early opinion where Luka Doncic will end one day in the NBA? Could he be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA when all is said and done?


I definitely believe he can be one of the best Europeans to play in the NBA. It’s going to be hard to top Dirk, but he has a shot.

What was the last movie that you saw?


The last movie I saw was Detective Pikachu

Thanks Seger for the chat.

Pro B Champion Nick Hornsby´s Game Grew Off Being Able To Lick And Choose Better Moments To Attack

Nick Hornsby is a 24 year old 201cm forward that was born in Irvine, California and completed his second professional season in Germany and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen helping them win the pro A title averaging 12,1ppg,7,5rpg and 3,4apg Last season as a rookie he played with Giessen 46ers II (Germany-ProB) playing 23games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.9apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 70.3% He also played 2BBL games for Giessen. He won two high school titles with Tustin and then played at Sacramento State from 2013-2017 playing a total of 123 NCAA games and was able to improve his scoring and rebounding each season. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 11.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 71.2%.He spoke to germanhoops.com at the end of the 2018-2019 season.

Nick thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Before we get to the incredible season, I have to ask you about your stomach. When you touch back down at home what will be the first eatery that you will visit? 

The first place I’ll probably go eat at is either chronic taco or in and out . Those are usually my go to places once I land. 

Congrats on winning the 2019 Pro B title. How good does it feel winning the title and where does this rank in your basketball career highlights? 

Thank you. It feels great to win this especially with such great teammates to enjoy it with. It ranks pretty high I have won some titles before though back in high school. 

How was the celebrations? Did the team do something special afterwards? Was there anything you learned about certain teammates in the celebration that you never would have dreamed of?

The celebration was great we all spent time together after the game that night and also a couple days afterwards. We all went bowling together as a team which was actually really fun. 

It was the first time that the arena was sold out since the legendary game 5 against Frankfurt in 2008 which I luckily was at. Please describe the atmosphere and what your feelings were after the buzzer sounded? 

That atmosphere was amazing especially seeing how the crowd began to grow more and more with every game. Everyone has always been loud and supportive no matter what time of day it was. After hearing the buzzer go off I was ecstatic! Knowing that everything we worked for had just come into fruition felt great. 

After Munster played you tough in game one, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen came home and destroyed them. Was there anything special that head coach Hansi Gnad stressed before the game or was it pretty clear after a 28-2 season what had to be done? 

No there wasn’t anything out of the normal Hansi said. We just all agreed that we had to do a better job with our defense and guarding the 3point line. 

The Bayer Giants Leverkusen played a great game 2 at home hitting 11 three’s and outrebounding Munster by 26. How much fun was it playing this game at home and what will you always remember from it?

I’d say every game at home is exciting and fun. The most memorable thing for me will definitely be the fact that everyone got in the game and scored. I was really happy to see Jacob go in there and score. 

Let’s talk about the season. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen came out strong and finished consistently until the end. Is this the greatest team that you have been a part of in your career? 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Nick Hornsby after a Leverkusen win in Rhondorf in 2018


I would say this team is tied with my old high school team. We had a very similar season and I have been blessed to be a part of both teams. 

You stressed in our first interview this about the secret of the success. ‘The chemistry this team has together is great. We are all comfortable with each other and have a great time during every practice’. How do you feel was the team able to grow from the start to the end of the season? 

I feel like we consistently kept that chemistry which was huge. We also learned how to adjust from game to game to different teams and situations. 

It is never easy to have such a consistent season after teams keep gunning for you each weekend and the pressure builds. What was most key for the team being able to cope with the building pressure week in and week out?

I don’t believe we ever felt pressure at all which was nice. We just all wanted to go out there and get the job. We wanted to be successful and reach our goals as a team. 

How much of a challenge was it for the team being the team that everyone guns for you. How do you feel did the team grow in character during the season? Did you see teammates make a special transition in their character just through this incredible season?

Like I said there was no pressure for us we were just excited and ready to play. I’d said people I saw make a good transition were both Lennart and Lars. They both grew and got better throughout the year. 

Obviously the team chemistry was huge, but what part of the team’s game do you feel improved most over the course of the season?

I’d say our rebounding improved . We were always big but there were games we would rely on Dennis a lot. I think some guys stepped up in that aspect both while he was playing and once he got hurt. 

The team had so many massive highlights during the season like the 103-101 win over Giessen, the exciting 94-92 playoff win over Schwelm or the crazy come from behind win in Bernau 101-97. What was your personal favorite team moment? 

I’d say my personal favorite game would be the Bernau come back. As a team we had every emotion going through us. Definitely one of the best come backs I’ve ever seen and been a part of. 

You stated this about head coach Hansi Gnad in our last interview. ‘Hansi is a great coach. A player’s coach as most people would say. He always gives me confidence in the things that I do which is great. The plays he has created for our team are great with the players that we have. He is a very good coach especially because of how successful he was in the past as player’. How do you feel did he grow further as a coach this season?

It being the first time he coached on this level he definitely grew more in a way of just understanding and trust certain decisions players made. He always gave us a chance to explain ourselves and just talk about what we thought would work. 

What was your most special moment with Hansi Gnad this season. Was there a specific tip he gave you on or off the court where you will be forever grateful for?


I wouldn’t say there was a really special moment but he and our assistant coach Jacques helped me gain more confidently in my shot throughout the year.

Let’s talk about your teammates. You stressed this about the guard duo Nino Celebic and Alexander Blessig. ‘It’s very different to have two point guards on the court at the same time but I’d say they are the best duo in the guard spot. I have a lot of confidence in those two guys and trust them completely’. Would the Bayer Giants Leverkusen have been so successful without them? 

That’s hard to say they are both really good point guards. We always did well with both on the court and even just one on the court at the time. 

How vital was captain Tim Schonborn. He is a player where you will always get 100% and that lethal three pointer. Is there something you picked up from him in the leadership area? 

Tim was very vital. He is a great shooter and brings a lot of energy with those shots. I would say I learned some different ways to look at the game talking to him. 

The club had many young Germans like Lars Thiemann or Lennart Winter. Which player so you feel made the most strides this season? 

I would definitely say both Lennart and Lars made huge strides. I’m proud of both of them because they play for three different teams and I know it’s trying and hard on the body and mental.

Let’s talk about your game. You led the team in scoring, rebounding and steals. How content were you with your personal game on the court?

I was very content. I feel like I had a solid year but I couldn’t do it without my teammates and coaches they made me feel comfortable and that’s huge. 

You had a slow stretch in December, but in 2019 really picked up your game scoring in double figures in 13 of your last 15 games and had a massive playoffs. What was key in you making this turnaround in your game? 

I would say the difference was just putting more time into the gym and giving myself more confidence. I’d also try not to force things if situations weren’t going well. 

How do you feel did your game grow this season in a huge winning culture? Your stats didn’t change that much from last year despite playing 5 minutes less this season?


I’d say my game grew in a sense of licking and choosing better moments to attack. Also my confidence in my own ability grew as well. Playing less time never bothered me. I just knew I had to do the best I could and give everything I had with the time I was given. 

You always strive to shoot over 40% from outside. This season you were close at 37%. How do you feel did your shot selection improve this season playing in a very team orientated offense with Leverkusen? 

I’d say my shot selection was a little different from three mainly because I’d have to pick and choose when to shoot them more. We had great shooters on our team so I knew if I needed to make that extra pass I’d do it. 

In our last interview you stated this concerning the BBL. ‘I think my hunger grows every day to be at that level. I know it takes time and I have things to improve on but it would be great to get there some day’. Are you the guy that will continue to go step by step? I’m sure the Pro A is suitable for you now? 

Yeah I am definitely the guy that is trying to make the step by step process to get there. If the opportunity ever presented itself that’d be a blessing. 

Even if you had a huge game in Bernau, I can imagine your buzzer beater in Munster was your season personal favorite game? 

I would honestly say my favorite game was Bernau. I was extremely proud and happy that we were able to pull ourselves together and win that game coming back from down 21.

Please take me through that last shot against Munster. It seemed like you never looked at the shot clock. Was this whole experience just automatic? 

What’s funny is I actually caught the ball and looked at the clock. Once I shot it though I thought it was going to bank in so did my teammate Michi. Sometimes in practice when we have breaks I mess around and shoot shots like that actually. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season? 

The toughest player I had to play against was probably Rasheed Moore. He was a good scorer and very athletic. 

What is the next step for you? I can imagine you will stay in Leverkusen or will you seek another opportunity in another country?

I haven’t decided what my next step is. I am just happy to be back home with my family and friends right now. 

On what things will you be focusing most in the lab this summer as you continue to look to improve your game?

I’d say something I want to work on this summer is my shot more. Also some more athleticism and strength. 

Please name your five all-time best teammates in college and pro’s

That’s hard to do honestly I like all my teammates I’ve had . I’ve been really lucky with not having someone I don’t get a long with.

What was your most special Dirk Nowitski moment that you remember? 

I never really watched basketball when I was younger so I don’t have one honestly. 

What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time? 

I wasn’t surprised honestly. To me different eras will have their own greatest players of all-time. In my opinion he’s up there with Jordan for sure.

Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion? 

Tom Brady is a winner but I don’t know enough facts about his entire career to answer that. 

What was the last movie that you saw? 

The last movie I saw was Avengers End game which is probably a top 5 all time for me.

Thanks Nick for the chat.