Drew Brandon Helped Build A Winning Culture With The wiha Panthers But His Eyes Now Are On Proving Himself In The BBL

Drew Brandon is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Corona, California that finished his 5th professional season in Germany. He began the season with Legia Warszawa (Poland-EBL) averaging: 8.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.1apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 42.0%, 3FGP: 40.0%, FT: 59.1%; and played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 81.8%, in Dec.’19 moved to the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany-Pro A) playing 13 games averaging 11.6ppg, Reb-5 (6.1rpg), 3.9apg, Steals-4 (2.3spg), FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 72.7%. He also gained experience for 2 other Polish teams and also played in Finland and Romania. He played his rookie season with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games averaging 10.4ppg, 5.8rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 39.0%, 3PT: 21.6%, FT: 71.1%. He began his basketball career with Santiago High School and then played at Sierra College Calif. (NJCAA). He finished at Eastern Washington University averaging 10.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 5.1apg, FGP: 39.9%,3PT:32.3%,FT:76.0% and : 9.7ppg, 6.9rpg, 4.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 81.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the summer as COVID-19 was still an issue. 

Hi Drew where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus? 


I’m in Southern California, situation is getting better as things open up. Still need mask in public. 

When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world? 

No never thought it would turn into this. I thought it would blow over in a week or 2 like most people. But then our game was cancelled and within that week we were leaving to come back to the states. 

How have you experienced the day to day life in Schwenninngen during the Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings?


When I was in Schwenninngen, we were just staying at home until more news came out. It wasn’t big at that point, it was just the beginning stages. 

Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season? 


It’s disappointing because how much we fought to make the playoffs, but it’s bigger than basketball. 

Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans? 


It’s not a players first choice to play in front of no fans, but games will have to be played with no fans if leagues choose to continue like the BBL and some other leagues may do. 

Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this? 


These times will separate the ones that want to get better and the ones who don’t, with all gyms closed and having to find ways to get better is a true test of who wants it most. 

The whole world economy is going to be affected including German basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect?


I do not dwell on things I can’t control, I will be ready no matter what changes there are. 

If you had to name another player besides guys from the Panthers that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be? 


I haven’t been in to much contact with players from the Panthers, but have been in contact with a lot of my past teammates. 

Congrats on a fine season in the Pro A. For most the wiha Panthers Schwenningen were able to exceed expectations of reaching the playoffs except for maybe head coach Alen Velcic who always saw you guys as a playoff team. Did you share his optimism when the team was struggling in November when you came on board? 


Coming to the team my first talks with the coach I told him we were going to make the playoffs and even though we were at bottom of the league before I arrived we never took our mind off the goal to make it and if the virus didn’t happen we would have. 

Sometimes it is that one player that can change a whole season. When David Dennis left and you came on board you started to win as you led the team to a 10-3 record. What made the adjustment period so easy for you? 


Yeah we were a top 2 team the second half of season. Everyone on the team seemed to have a new energy and elevated their play. Teams are all about fits and I brought the leadership that this team needed to get over the hill to be serious contenders. 

I knew right away when you were signed that their season would turn around. How was your confidence coming from Poland back to Germany for a second tour of duty? Did you have a good feeling that success could be a reality with the teammates you had? 


Playing champions League and Europe FIBA cup this season made me expand my game and helped me grow as a player. Like I said in one of the previous questions I knew we would make the playoffs I had something to prove after leaving Poland and I believe I did that coming to Germany

Obviously your a very good point guard, but what else changed when you came and the team started to play a lot better? 


Thank you, the whole environment and vibe of the team changed. The team was enjoying the game and the wins followed. 

How much did it hurt that the season ended and you never got to see how far the team would get? Is this something that will affect you in the next months just never knowing what would have happened? 


At first it was disappointing because we were going to go on a great playoff run but as I learned more about this virus, I can accept it and move on and prepare for next season and be better then ever. 

The club won 6 of their last 7 games. Had the team reached it’s peak in the season or did you still see enough energy with the team to make a run in the playoffs? 


We were playing good basketball but we didn’t reach our peak, we had a lot of room to grow. 

Let’s talk about your teammates. You a guy with a lot of experience, but what was it like playing with the walking bucket Bill Borekambi. Did you see something new in his amazing 1-1 play that you could soak up for your game?


It was great having Bill as a teammate. For a point guard he is a guy you love to play with because he doesn’t need plays for him to be effective. He fills the stats sheets under the radar. 

What was it like having Jaren Lewis as a teammate? With some other first year players like Sean Lloyd, Junior Searcy and David Dennis having to leave, what did you learn to appreciate most about his play? 


Jaren has a lot of potential and he really started playing with confidence later in the year and glad he showed his skills. He has a bright future. 

How proud are you of teammate Leon Friedrici who was named most improved player by eurobasket.com. In what part of his game did he improve the most? 


One of the hardest workers I have come across in Europe. He worked hard every game and every practice. I’m happy for him and all my teammates for getting the recognition they deserve. 

Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 12,1ppg, 6,1rpg, 3,9apg and 2,3spg. How content were you with your season on the court? 


I could always be better. I had a couple games when I first got there that I struggled to get a rhythm. But I am happy with coming to this team and turning them into a championship contender. I have never been a player that focuses on stats even though I normally fill up the different categories, I judge success by winning, and we were doing that. 

You last played in the German Pro A in 2015-2016 with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. Has the league changed since then? Are the teams better from top to bottom and what about the overall skill level of the players? 


A lot of the teams are different from when I played in Germany my rookie season. It is hard to compare how good the league is from then till now because I have got a lot better as a player. 

You have spent most of your time the last years in Poland but also played in Finland. How is Drew Brandon a better player today then with Leverkusen? 


I was a skinny kid back then looking at film from back then. I have grown into my body and countless hours of work to become a better all around player and leader. 

Did you notice that there is a special chemistry with the Panthers and a special winning culture there. Would this be a place where you would like to come back to and finish something amazing in a complete season? 


It was great to build a winning culture with this team. My sights are set on moving up and elevate my career my eyes are on proving myself in BBL 

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


I was so focused on our team and doing everything to win. 

Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now? 


I leave all the argument on players to media. I like Luka’s game and hope he keeps up his great career.

Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence? 


I was in Germany and my girlfriend showed me a post about it and I couldn’t believe it. I hit me hard, I grew up on Kobe winning championship and a big reason why I fell in love with basketball. Kobe will live on through the game. 

How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have had his one and only chance now?


I feel bad for those kids because I knew what it meant to me to play in the NCAA tournament, but they can’t dwell on it and time to move on and get ready for what the future holds.

Thanks Drew for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Quantez Robertson(Fraport Skyliners) Vol 3

Quantez Robertson is a 35 year old 188cm guard that has played his whole professional career with the Fraport Skyliners. He is playing his 11th season with the club and his biggest feat was helping the club win it’s third club title in 2016 with the Fiba Europe Cup. He belongs to the BBL identity figures with Rickey Paulding and Per Guenther. He began his career at Laurinburg Prep Institute and then played at Auburn (NCAA) from 2005-2009 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. He and germanhoops.com teamed up with a diary form the BBL tournament in Munich. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson doing play by play of the 2010 BBL All Star game in Bonn, Germany

The Fraport Skyliners season came to a disappointing halt losing 96-69 against ratiopharm Ulm. Was the result of second half a good way to describe the season one where the team was never able to play well for 40 minutes this season?


Yeh it felt like that. We didn’t take care of the ball well in the second half. A big problem this season was when we had a good first half, we often came out sluggish in the second half and weren’t ready to play right away. 

The Fraport Skyliners came out a lot better than in the first game against ratiopharm Ulm. You led by 10 points with a few minutes to go in the half, but then allowed a 9-0 run to lead only 48-47. What annoyed you most of the end of the second quarter?


We didn’t execute well on offense and couldn’t make open shots. We didn’t have good energy on defense stopping their transition. 

In the third quarter Frankfurt allowed Ulm to lead by 13 points late. Transition and turnovers were key. What did head coach Sebastian Gleim tell you guys to do better for the last 10 minutes of the season?


Coach told us to take care of the ball and when we did turn over the ball to sprint back.

You wanted to end the season with a win, but the team managed only 6 points in the last quarter. Was there anything positive that you can take back home to Alabama for the summer?


I think the biggest positive that we can take away from this tournament is that we fought hard until the end and no one ever gave up. We always played hard despite being shorthanded. The young kids also gave it their all. Even when we did lose a game, we always came back with a positive attitude

The team coughed up 23 balls. Ulm didn’t have the overwhelming defense, but still gave you problems. How big of a factor was the team mentality in this game?


I felt that we went out there and was was aggressive and just played our game. We didn’t take care of the ball well against Ulm. We were able to run all our plays. We made a couple of bad mistakes including me where I jumped in the air trying to pass the ball. I don’t think that it was so much the Ulm defense that gave us problems, but we just made bone head mistakes. 

Talk a little about the development of the kids Schoormann, Begue and Samare. Can the last 2 players find a role next season in the BBL?


It all depends how our team is structured for next season to how much of a chance those 2 will play. Maxi and Jordan showed even in the few minutes that they played that they can do some good things. Len has come a long way with us this season and will find his spot on the team next season. He will play Pro B and dress with us. Just how many BBL minutes he will get next season, I don’t know, but he showed this season that he can play good minutes. I think for him to become a good point guard, ball handling will be key. The point guards in the BBL are tough that can handle the ball well and play tough on ball defense. As soon as he can get his handle tight and better, than he will be ok in the BBL.

When you stood face to face with Zach Ensminger, what memories arose with his did Chris who you battled against early in your career?


I didn’t even know that that kid was Chris’s son until the end of the game. Akeem Vargas asked me after the game if that was Chris’s son. I said to Akeem, ‘you know it looks like Chris’. He is a short kid compared to his dad who was like 210cm. The kid played tough though. If he is anything like his dad in terms of how he approaches the game then he will be a pretty good player. 

You scored 10 points and scored in double figures in 5 of the 7 games and filled the stat sheet as usual. How do you summarize your own personal Munich series?

I could of done better on defense. Defense was the main thing even if I did score in double figures in 5 games. As a leader I’m expected to score, but at the same time am also expected to play good defense. I wasn’t the defensive player that I needed to be to help us win more games. I wasn’t vocal enough, couldn’t fight through screens enough and didn’t get into the passing lanes the way I would have liked to. 

What was your personal Munich summary for the league and club and what was your favorite moment?

Munich was a very good experience. We hung out as a team more together. We relaxed and were able to play games. I think what was great about this trip was that we all were able to get to know each other better than we would have had we not come. Especially we were able to get to know the young guys better, because they weren’t always with us during the season. My highlight was playing table tennis against the young guys. I beat them. 

It wasn’t a great season for the Fraport Skyliners. What is your season summary and what was your biggest moment?


I felt that despite the circumstances and the cards that we were dealt, we fought hard and played as hard as we could. 

At age 35 how do you go about doing your off season work outs? How are they different from 10 years ago when you got into the league?


I have to make sure that I run more. It is a lot easier to get out of shape than getting back into shape. I also have to keep doing my basketball things and do weight lifting. 

Do you keep in touch with Isaac Bonga? How have you been following his NBA career?


I really haven’t talked to him so much since he went to the NBA. I wished him a happy birthday on Social Media, but that’s it. I don’t have his new number and haven’t been able to stay in touch. I think that Washington is a better fit for him than are the Lakers. In Washington he gets to play while in L.A there are to many veterans. 

What is something you hope on doing again at home that you couldn’t do the last months because of COVID-19?


I want to go on vacation. I’m supposed to go to Barbados for my anniversary. I’m confident it will happen.

Thanks Tez for the chat. 

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Javontae Hawkins(Crailsheim Merlins) Vol 5

Javontae Hawkins is a 26 year old 196cm forward from Huntigton, West Virginia playing his third professional season and first with the Crailsheim Merlins currently averaging 16,4ppg, 4,6rpg and 1,4apg. Last season he played with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 29 games averaging 11.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.5%. As a rookie he played with the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 54 games averaging 14.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 79.9%. He played NCAA basketball at three schools with S Florida from 2012-2014 playing 54 NCAA games, then had his break out season with Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 17.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5% and finished at Fordham (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 84.3%. He and germanhoops.com have teamed up for a diary from the BBL tournament in Munich

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Javontae Hawkins in the Fraport arena in 2020

A tough 95-66 loss against Rasta Vechta. Was the tough 85-83 loss to the EWE Baskets like that final game and take the steam out of you?


I honestly felt we ran out of gas that game against Vechta. Hats Off to them. They played great. However, I’m proud of our team.

How proud are you of your teammates who didn’t hang their heads in the third quarter, but kept battling as well as they could?

I’m very proud of them. They fought extremely hard throughout the tourney.

Crailsheim played with an all German starting 5 and without any Americans. What do you feel did head coach Tuomas Iisalo take out of this experience where he had to make not your normal adjustments?


I felt like he made the best adjustments possible to put the team in a position to win despite being short handed.

The Crailsheim Merlins went 0-5 in the Munich tournament but gained many new fans for their never ending fight mentality. What is your summary of the Munich Tournament having played and cheered on your teammates?


I felt like it’s been established since preseason that we will stick and fight together whether we win, lose, or draw. It was just tough not getting that last win. But we fought.

One of the big winners was Sebastian Herrera who we have spoken about in past interviews. He has always been a scorer, but did you also notice a rise in his playmaking skills?

I felt Seba is an underrated passer. He’s definitely gotten better throughout the course of the year.

It was a crazy season for the Crailsheim Merlins. They had a Cinderella season before COVID-19 hit and then finished in 10th place in Munich. Is it very disappointing that COVID-19 robbed the organization of possible greatness?



I believe there were no disappointments from this season. No tournament will decide or take away what we’ve done all year. No matter what, everyone in the BBL respects us as players and even as coaches based on what we did majority of the year before COVID. What we learned in Munich as a team was that we all have an extra limit we can tap into despite the difficulty during or ahead.

What positives can you take from the Munich tournament? There are some very interesting matchups in the quarterfinals. What club do you see taking it all?



I can see ALBA winning it all.

What was your personal highlight in Munich on and off the court? Will it in a way be strange leaving Munich. What do you believe will you actually miss from the Munich experience and what are you most looking forward to?


Just supporting the team and interacting with other players and coaches at the hotel.

What is the next step for you? Could you imagine staying in Crailsheim and writing history next season in the BBL?


I’m just looking forward to getting back home to my wife and family. Right now my focus is on getting my thumb healthy and enjoying family.

Thanks Javontae for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Jaleen Smith(MHP Riesen) Vol 3

 Jaleen Smith is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his third professional season and first with the MHP Riesen. Last season he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. In his rookie season with Heidelberg he averaged 7,6ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,9apg. He had a stellar four year career with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He is conducting a special diary from the BBL tournament in Munich with germanhoops.com.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jaleen Smith in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt in 2020

Congrats on advancing past FC Bayern Munich to reach the semi-finals. Is this the biggest achievement in your young basketball career?


This is maybe the biggest thing in my young basketball career but there is still more work to be done this next coming week. Beating FC Bayern Munich is a huge feat. 

The MHP Riesen still have a long road ahead, but how did the team celebrate after? Was there any serious celebrating going on in the locker room and later at the team dinner? 


We ordered dominoes as a late night snack haha. We watch the Ulm game a little bit. 

How special are the MHP Riesen? You were without glue guy Hans Brase and Jonas Wolfarth Bottermann missed 10 free throws, but you still won. How big is the heart of this team? 


We can do something special here. You can feel everyone is locked in and knows the task at hand and that’s to win the championship. We do a great job of just staying together no matter the situation. 

FC Bayern Munich was up by 9 points at half-time. What words of wisdom did John Patrick tell the fellows at half-time? 


We were down in the first game by single digits and also the second game so we knew we had to come out with a lot of energy to beat Munich in the second half.

In the second half FC Bayern Munich continued to give you problems having a lead in double figures, but you never gave up. Was the second half of basketball another great example that each player has the ‘Never give up’ as a middle name?

Yeah for sure we always just playing our brand of basketball and that’s getting stops on defense and running the fast break on offense. 

The last quarter was a total dog fight. After playing FC Bayern Munich tough in the first game do you feel that you had the game already won mentally? 

I feel like we had them mentally. We started getting some calls we didn’t get in the first half and it kind of got to Munich and we saw that. We just knew we had to stay together and just worry about ourselves.

With 16 seconds to and FC Bayern Munich up and with the ball, they were in the drivers seat and could win. What did John Patrick tell the team?


He told us just to stay together and we needed one more defensive stop to seal the game.

It is ironic that a big defensive play brought Ludwigsburg the win at the end? How has the Ludwigsburg team overall grown as a team on the defensive end from the first day until now?


Just like everyone does, we didn’t know what kind of defense we were running then we play in games and were buying into the system. We know that’s our calling card to winches tournament and we’re not going to forget it. 

You had 18 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Was this game one of your best games as a professional considering the ramifications of the game?


I would say it’s in my top 5 games of my career especially against a team like Munich.

Does your good play against FC Bayern Munich motivate you a bit more to work even harder this summer as you may get serious offers from big teams this summer? 


No matter what’s going to happen after this tournament I’ m always going to be a hard worker. I’m just built to have a great work ethic. Even after my performance against Munich, I’m not satisfied I just want more out of myself.

You next battle against ratiopharm Ulm. Will the MHP Riesen have enough gas for another great series and what will be key for advancing to the final? 


We have a great training staff and they always take care of us after these games so well be ready for another great series.

You battled against ex NBA player Paul Zipser 3 times this season. He was in the NBA when you were at UNH (NCAA). Did you know about him when you were at UNH? He is a very good player, but when you see a guy like that does that motivate you mentally that you can reach any level if you continue to work hard and get some breaks?


I just go out and play basketball. No matter if they played in the league or not. This motivates me because they been their done that so I like a match up like that.

With more teams gone, the hotel is emptier. Has that allowed you to spend more time in the game room or are you totally locked in to what you will do on the court?


I’ve been totally locked into the next game. Teams start getting weaved out and the strong survive.

Thanks Jaleen for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Kameron Taylor(Brose Bamberg) Vol 6

Kameron Taylor is a 26 year old 198cm guard from Hyattsville, Maryland that is playing his fourth professional season and first with Brose Bamberg. Last season he played with Pecsi VSK-Veolia (Hungary-A Division) currently averaging 19.2ppg), 8.1rpg, 3.9apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 74.8%. Two seasons ago he played in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf and tore up the Pro B averaging 23,4ppg, 7,9rpg and 5,6apg, and 2,6spg. As a rookie he played with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 10.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at DeMatha Catholic and in 2012-2013 started his career at Seton Hill (NCAA2) and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 70.0%. In his second season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.6apg, 2.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 77.9%. In his junior season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 70.6%. In his senior year at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 20.8ppg, 8.7rpg, 4.1apg, 2.2spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.8%. He and germanhoops.com have teamed up sharing a diary from the 2020 BBL tournament in Munich.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Kam Taylor after dropping a buzzer beater in Rhondorf over Frankfurt in 2017

Brose Bamberg suffered a tough 86-81 loss to the EWE Baskets. Despite the loss how proud are you of the guys who withstood a 17 point deficit to battle back and lose by only 5 points?


I mean on the good side it’s way better to lose by 5 than by 17 in this type of tournament. But we were still disappointed in the loss.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg jumped on you from the start and never let up. It is a known fact that it is very difficult to fight a come back exerting more energy. Why did Bamberg have problems finding a rhythm early?



It just felt like our shots weren’t falling in the first half and we couldn’t get together any defensive stops.

Oldenburg’s 2 best players Paulding and Mahalbasic combined for 39 points. Oldenburg has other good role players to keep an eye on, but after the duo’s strong focus, will there be more of a focus to slow them down in game 2?


We will adjust in practice and see what changes coach will make to the game plan.

Ex NBA and Gonzaga player Elias Harris had a huge game with 24 points keeping Bamberg in the game. What kind of experience has it been being teammates with him and how much of a leader role does he have on the team?


He has the ability to get hot at any moment just like many other players on our team. But having his experience on our team has been an advantage for us. Just so we know what to expect over the course of the season and him being familiar with a lot of the players.

You began slowly in the game, but ended strong with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. How challenging is it in the BBL to make personal adjustments on the fly to find your game when it isn’t working as well?


You just keep playing. In the BBL you can’t dwell on what’s going wrong. You have to stick to your strengths and not be discouraged. You must trust yourself and your teammates at all times.

Brose Bamberg has to win by more than 5 points to advance to the semi-finals. What will be key for being able to defend better besides allowing less points to be able to advance?


Team defense and good focus on the game plan.

Before you reached the BBL, you played in the Pro A and Pro B. Had you heard of Rickey Paulding then and what is it like playing against this BBL legend within 48 hours?


He doesn’t play like his age that’s for sure. He’s what a lot of players want to look like at his age. A lot of respect for what he built at Oldenburg and in the BBL.

Have you pressed your luck at the Golf Simulator? Is Golf a game you enjoy or one that requires too much patience?


Nah I’m not much of a golfer. I was more on the dart game. I’m still learning the skill of throwing darts.

What was the last movie that you saw?


Bad Boys 3

Thanks Kam for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Quantez Robertson(Fraport Skyliners) Vol 2

Quantez Robertson is a 35 year old 188cm guard that has played his whole professional career with the Fraport Skyliners. He is playing his 11th season with the club and his biggest feat was helping the club win it’s third club title in 2016 with the Fiba Europe Cup. He belongs to the BBL identity figures with Rickey Paulding and Per Guenther. He began his career at Laurinburg Prep Institute and then played at Auburn (NCAA) from 2005-2009 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. He and germanhoops.com have teamed up with a diary form the BBL tournament in Munich. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson in the streets of Frankfurt celebrating the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup win

Being captain of a BBL team isn’t an easy job. What do you tell the fellows after a 40 point loss?


I told the guys after the game that we have to continue to stick together, stay focused and prepare for the next game

You have played many games in your professional career. Does this 40 point loss to ratiopharm Ulm belong to the worst in your career?


No actually it isn’t. This loss against Ulm was my second worst loss in my career. You might remember my rookie year in the finals against Bamberg. We lost by 45 points in Bamberg. It was pretty bad.

In a very tough loss like this, how much blame do you give yourself? Does a loss like this make life very tough for you for the next 48 hours as you try to come up ways of being better the next time?


No, but I know that I have to be a lot better on defense in the next game and help my teammates also be better. We have to be concentrated on defense at all times. We know that our offense will come. We missed many open shots and that effected our defense. Defense is what gets our offense going. Giving up so many points like we did isn’t a normal thing for us.

Frankfurt gave up 36 points in the first quarter. You told me before the game that the team had to be more focused and stick to the game plan. As a great and top defender how tough is accepting a defensive loss like this?

The first quarter showed that we didn’t play any defense at all. Ulm is a team that can score and we weren’t able to limit their possessions and let them get into the open court and let them hit open shots.

Frankfurt was killed in the pick and roll and gave up way too many free throws. What do you expect of the team defensively on Friday?

I expect us to come out more aggressive on defense without fouling. We have to help each other out better and most important make sure we communicate better. We didn’t communicate well enough to beat Ulm. 

The Fraport Skyliners have to win by more than 40 points. How do you prepare for a game like this when you have absolutely nothing to lose?


We have to go out and get a win no matter by how much we win by. We want to end the season on a good note. To beat a high scoring team by more than 40 points is tough. It doesn’t matter if we win by 5 or 10 points at least we can end the tournament with a win. 

You stated in the halftime interview that the team didn’t play with heart. Do you think the team will be able to do some successful soul searching by Friday and show a respectable effort?


Yes we will. All the guys feel bad about how they played and losing by so much. We know that we have to compete a lot better than in the first game. We will give it our all. No matter how much a guy plays, we will give it our best.

Do you get extra motivated playing against a guy like Archie Goodwin who played in the NBA for years. What makes it so tough to control him and do you watch extra film on a guy like that?


No I don’t watch extra film on players. I just watch team film that we all watch. I am motivated to play against anyone no matter if he played in the NBA or not. I’m always motivated to compete against good players. Goodwin is very good at driving. We have to stop that and letting him get into the open floor. 

How do you see the other match ups? Who will advance between Alba Berlin-BG Goettingen, Brose Bamberg-EWE Baskets and FC Bayern Munich-MHP Riesen?


I think that Alba Berlin will advance, but it won’t be easy. I think that Oldenburg and Bamberg will each win a game, but Oldenburg will win by more and advance. I believe that the Munich-Ludwigsburg will be a hard fought game. A real nail bitter, but Munich will pull it out. 

It seems like it has been ages since you were teammates with Danilo Barthel. He showed against Ludwigsburg that whenever Munich needs a bucket, he is the man.


He has developed very well since leaving Frankfurt. He plays really well with his back to the basket, makes good plays, get rebounds, makes put backs and can score when he needs to.

With some teams having left the hotel do you see a more serious atmosphere with how players are conducting themselves?


I think that the whole atmosphere in the hotel is still free spirited. Guys are still talking to each other like at the start. Many guys are also in the game room. But when we are on the floor, it is business. Everyone is cool with it. That is what we are here for. We are all competing for the title, but we are all hanging out. It is still relaxed. 

Did you get to know any player better in Munich? You had ample time and so many players to choose from.


I spoke to some guys like Rickey Paulding. We chatted and laughed a bit. But I was trying to get to know our 2 new guys and try help with team chemistry since we didn’t have much time together.

Do you feel like the younger generation are able to see that Michael Jordan is the real GOAT after watching the documentary ‘The Last dance’ or are the majority still believing it’s Lebron?


The younger generation know who Jordan is, but are still leaning to Lebron. They have seen Lebron play in person while only seen videos of Jordan. But I think that the younger generation knows deep down that Jordan is the GOAT. 

Do the Fraport Skyliners have a better chance of winning against ratiopharm Ulm Friday or your buddy Mike Morrison making 1 three pointer next season?


We have a better chance of winning. I don’t give Mike much of a chance of making another three. He is always practicing the three, but he won’t shoot it.

Thanks Tez for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Jaleen Smith(MHP Riesen) Vol 2

 Jaleen Smith is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his third professional season and first with the MHP Riesen. Last season he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. In his rookie season with Heidelberg he averaged 7,6ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,9apg. He had a stellar four year career with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He is conducting a special diary from the BBL tournament in Munich with germanhoops.com

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jaleen Smith in the Fraport arena in 2020

Congrats on the huge 87-83 win against FC Bayern Munich. How good does it feel beating the reigning champions on their home court?


To be honest were only half way done. We still have another game to go before we can say we beat the reigning champions. 

When the siren sounded you waved to the Munich bench. Is that already a signal to them that the self confidence of Ludwigsburg will be even higher on Friday?


All it means is we won one game. We still have another game to finish the job.

In our first diary Vol 1 chat you stated this ‘We just have a bunch of guys that are hungry and want to win. We play fearless no matter who the other team is and what players they have. Were going to play our game no matter what’. How vital has head coach John Patrick been in helping the guys believe every day? 


He just lets us play out our game. We know what our strengths are and our weaknesses are. We just focus on our strength and that’s defense. 

After a so so first half, the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg stepped up their game in the second half. What did head coach John Patrick tell you at halftime that you were able to do on the court? 


We just had to stay together and get stops on defense. They had a lot of easy shots just from us going under on ball screens and we made the adjustment in the second half. 

The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg offensive rebounds killed FC Bayern Munich. Did you guys want it more than Munich in the second half? 


Offensive rebounds has been our go to all year. We’re just a scrappy team that just wants the ball a lot. 

What was it like defending German national player Danilo Barthel. He had you on a mis match scoring. He is kind of Munich’s Marcos Knight. 


He’s a good player. Whenever Munich needs a bucket they go right to him 

You had a very solid game with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. How good did that last three feel? Did you know it was going in after you released it?


I had hit another 3 from the same area so from that 3 I had confidence it was going to be a make. The shot wasn’t a great one considering the situation but I’m just happy it went in. 

Is Marcos Knight more of a walking bucket or a very annoying one on one player? What have you learned to appreciate most about his game? 


He’s a walking bucket. I know if were struggling to score on offense he’s going to get us going. I know whenever he gets hot get out of the way and give him the ball. He’s going to get buckets.

Just how good is Jacob Patrick at age 16? He seems to have a very good feel for the game at a young age. How have you helped him in Munich as a point guard best? 


He can really shoot the ball. In our first game against Munich he showed he can put it on the ground and attack the basket as well as find the open guy on the drive. We just been keeping him confident just telling him to shoot his shot when he’s open. 

How valuable has this tournament been for all teams concerning their young German players? So many kids got minutes and valuable experience? 


This tournament is great for these young kids. They’re getting lot of minutes playing in one of the better leagues in Europe. 

The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg are in the driver’s seat now. Game 2 will be a dog fight for 40 minutes. FC Bayern Munich will have to make adjustments. What can we expect from this game and how confident are you that you will advance? 


They will try to go inside more and try and get our big guys in foul trouble. I feel like we have a chance to win it. We will also make some adjustments to our game as well to what they did really good against us. 

Was there any friendly ribbing towards Marcos Knight for missing the dunk? He probably would have really gotten baked by the team if he hadn’t scored off his miss. 


Yes of course, but that was a big turning point during the game. Not only did he miss the dunk, he also got his own rebound and scored the basket. That showed how much we wanted the game more than Munich.

Who would win a one on one you or Marcos Knight? 


I would have to say Marcos. He’s a great 1 on 1 player and he can score from every level at a amazing rate.

Thanks Jaleen for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Kameron Taylor(Brose Bamberg) Vol 5

Kameron Taylor is a 26 year old 198cm guard from Hyattsville, Maryland that is playing his fourth professional season and first with Brose Bamberg. Last season he played with Pecsi VSK-Veolia (Hungary-A Division) currently averaging 19.2ppg), 8.1rpg, 3.9apg, Steals-1 (2.2spg), FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 74.8%. Two seasons ago he played in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf and tore up the Pro B averaging 23,4ppg, 7,9rpg and 5,6apg, and 2,6spg. As a rookie he played with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 10.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at DeMatha Catholic and in 2012-2013 started his career at Seton Hill (NCAA2) and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 7.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 70.0%. In his second season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.6apg, 2.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 77.9%. In his junior season at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 70.6%. In his senior year at Seton Hill (NCAA2) he played 27 games averaging 20.8ppg, 8.7rpg, 4.1apg, 2.2spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.8%. He and germanhoops.com have teamed up sharing a diary from the 2020 BBL tournament in Munich.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Kam Taylor in Rhondorf in 2017

Kam congrats on a big win against Rasta Vechta. After not finishing the second half as strong against Frankfurt on the offensive end as in the first half, how proud are you of the team finding that explosive offensive rhythm again.


It was really important for us to get this win to go into the playoffs with some momentum. That’s what we did and I’m very proud.

Fraport Skyliner Lamont Jones told me before your game with Vechta that we haven’t seen the old Bamberg yet. With 2 wins in a row, is the Brose Bamberg of old slowly coming back?


We are focused on being the best team we could possibly be, and winning each game. We want to really make a push in the playoffs.

Rasta Vechta guard Trevis Simpson lit it up with 28 points. What makes it really difficult to keep him in check?


He’s definitely an explosive guy the moves without the ball and can shoot. Those attributes alone make him really good.

Do you feel like it could have become a close game had he not shot 2/11 from outside?

Yea for sure and if we hit more shots we could have won by more but in this game if doesn’t really mean much.

Jordan Crawford had another superb game with 21 points and 6 assists. Do you feel like he has become more of an unselfish player playing in the Bamberg system?

For sure. I think every team knows he’s an explosive scorer so it’s become easier for him to find open guys because he draws so much attention.

You had another fine game scoring 14 points, getting 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Is it an advantage to always play on the court even if it isn’t your real home court?


Haven’t really thought about it. I pretty much am just so focused on the game that you don’t really notice. But now I think about it’s basically our bench energy vs the opponent bench energy. So the advantage comes from who brings more energy.

Brose Bamberg now have a date with the EWE Baskets. Bamberg played against them only once this season losing 71-68. What kind of a series can we await?


Hopefully one that Bamberg will win. But they have a lot of experience on that team so won’t be easy for sure.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg are coming off an upset win over fC Bayern Munich. How dangerous is this team?



All the teams are dangerous but Oldenburg is one of those top teams that you really have to focus on the little things for 40 min.

A key will be containing Rasid Mahalbasic, but that is a lot easier said then done. This guy never has an off day. What makes this big man so hard to slow down?


He’s a guy that can do it all. That simple honestly.

You have lived in Munich now over a week and have not had the normal kind of conditions that you would have had had COVID-19 not come. What have you enjoyed the most in the last week? Possibly having that AAU feeling in the hotel?


Playing FIFA and COD with my teammates has been pretty fun. Other than that just feels like a regular season.

What was your favorite part in the Last dance documentary?


Dennis Rodman being Dennis Rodman.

Thanks Kam for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Jaleen Smith(MHP Riesen) Vol 1

Jaleen Smithbis a 25 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his third professional season and first with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Last season he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg.  In his rookie season with Heidelberg he averaged 7,6ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,9apg. He had a stellar four year career with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He is conducting a special diary from the BBL tournament in Munich with germanhoops.com

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jaleen Smith in the Fraport arena in 2020

A tough 97-89 loss against Alba Berlin. The MHP Riesen played their hearts out, but ran a bit out of steam and gave up 2 late three’s. How good of a test was this game for the upcoming series against FC Bayern Munich?


Yeah playing against Berlin is always tough. They are a really good team and going against them is a great test before we play Munich.

Congrats on a very solid 3-1 record and being able to reach the knock out round. How important was it having a mix of being able to win some tight games as well as being able to register a blow out?


Winning those tight games always brings out your teams character and we have shown a lot of character through out the year winning games like that. Plus winning big in some games shows how we are as well. 

What has been the secret to the success of the MHP Riesen in Munich? You lost some key players, but also got some solid players with Myers and Nixon and why does it seem like the team didn’t have to really get adjusted to the conditions?


We just have a bunch of guys that are hungry and want to win. We play fearless no matter who the other team is and what players they have. Were going to play our game no matter what. 

Zamal Nixon said this about you recently. ‘I met Jaleen a few times because he came to Heidelberg to watch some games during the season. He’s a great guy & it’s definitely cool to share the backcourt with someone who’s grinding their way to the first league through the lower leagues. I always have a different level of respect for those guys because I know first hand how hard it is’. How important has it been for you to have a vet like Zamal knowing he began in lower leagues like you?


He brings the experience of playing in Europe to our team. Also coming from. Heidelberg in Ludwigsburg is a great change. I have experienced it and its great to see someone from the same team as me get the opportunity to play at a high level in Germany

The MHP Riesen now face FC Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. You won the only contest of the season 81-74. Is the confidence level at a healthy level and how aware is the team that they could make an upset? 


Everyone knows that they are Bayern, big name, but like I said before no matter the team or what players they have we are going to play our game and stick with it. 

How much weaker is an FC Bayern Munich when Greg Monroe isn’t on the floor? Could him not being present make the difference for you having a very good chance of advancing?


Greg Monroe was a big part of their offense during the year but he wasn’t the only guy who can contribute. They have a lot of guys that can shoot so we have to be careful of not underestimating them during these 2 games. 

FC Bayern Munich haven’t played their best basketball in the last week and are beatable. What kind of series can we await and what will be key to advancing?


Were going to have a dogfight with those guys. The keys for us during the series is not allowing their shooters to get open looks and limiting the post guys from getting easy touches inside. 

Please give a brief summary of the last week living in a hotel with 10 other teams. Did you make any new friends and how often did you visit the game room? 


Living with the other teams in a hotel has been good. I have talked with a couple of the players from different teams. Everyone is just happy to play basketball again and to finish the season off. I have only visited the game room once since I’ve been here. I have my own game room in my hotel room haha. 

When you were at New Hampshire (NCAA), guys like Jordan Crawford and Archie Goodwin were in the NBA. Are you in awe when you see them walking around or are they just normal players like everyone else? 


Just seeing guys like that makes me even hungrier because those guys been there and now there here in a great league. Just goes to show you it doesn’t matter what level you’re at in college you can get to the top. Everyone just has a different route to get there. 

Corona has been a tough time for the world. What did you learn in this time that you feel made you stronger as a man? 


I have been spending all my time with family and friends. I learned to enjoy the little things in life rather than the bigger picture because basketball won’t always be there for me but my family will be. So just spending more time with them is key.

Do you feel like the younger generation may have different feelings about who is the GOAT after watching the ‘Last Dance’ or do you feel like many still hinge toward Lebron James? 

Yes personally for me I have a lot more respect for Jordan and the 1998 Bulls because of the distraction they had during the season from Scottie demanding a trade to the GM of the Bulls not bringing back the Head coach and some the players for the next season no matter if they win a championship or not. I just think the GOAT conversation is forever going to happen between LeBron, Jordan and Kobe.

Thanks Jaleen for the chat.

The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Quantez Robertson(Fraport Skyliners) Vol 1

Quantez Robertson is a 35 year old 188cm guard that has played his whole professional career with the Fraport Skyliners. He is playing his 11th season with the club and his biggest feat was helping the club win it’s third club title in 2016 with the Fiba Europe Cup. He belongs to the BBL identity figures with Rickey Paulding and Per Guenther. He began his career at Laurinburg Prep Institute and then played at Auburn (NCAA) from 2005-2009 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. He and germanhoops.com teamed up with a diary form the BBL tournament in Munich. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson at the BCM in Frankfurt in 2018

The Fraport Skyliners finished the Group B phase with a 1-3 record. What is your summary of the first 4 games? What grade would you give the team?


Being that we aren’t at full strength, I would give the team a good C+. We have had our young guys come in and step up. They have gotten more experience in the last games and that will help in the series against Ulm. We have to lock in better on defense. We weren’t physical enough against Bamberg and that is why that game got away from us early. We have to get back to our regular brand of basketball by playing defense first and getting into the open court.

The Fraport Skyliners played all 3 teams in the 3 loses very tough. What do you feel the team learned from their mistakes that will make them mentally tougher for ratiopharm Ulm


I think we have learned to be more focused from those loses. We have to be very focused against Ulm and pay more attention to the game plan. 

The club has had more injury woes and have lost scoring ace Lamont Jones. How is the state of the team right now mentally?

I feel that we are very mentally prepared. Guys know that when their number is called that they have to step up. We know that we all have to step up at both ends of the court and perform at a high level. 

How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Yorman Polas Bartolo? How dangerous do you feel would you and him be on the court now had you been teammates since day 1?

It has been fun sharing the court with him. He may still be a veteran, but he still asks questions trying to understand the little things on defense and how the offense is run. I think that if he had been here since day 1 that it would have been even tougher for teams to play us. Having Yorman, Akeem and me on the wing picking up the full court would have made it more difficult teams to score. 

How much pressure has he taken off you offensively and defensively? Have you been able to focus on some things that you don’t necessarily can during games?


Nothing has changed. I still focus on the same things on offense and defense. Having him by my side has made things better and easier also. 

The Fraport Skyliners now face ratiopharm Ulm who you beat earlier in the season. How important is it knowing you have beaten them going into the series?


We won then, but both teams are different now. Both teams have lost players and gained new players. Anything can happen in the next games. 

What kind of series can we await 36 points will be missing from the win as Jones and kratzer are out. How will Frankfurt advance?


We have to slow down the pace. They like to run. If we can force them into a half court game then we will have better chances to win. 

People always talk about you and Paulding as the main BBL identity figures, but Per Guenther is also one. He has played in ULM since 2008. What does it mean playing against a warrior like that?

It is crazy how people forget him and say that Rickey and me are the face of the BBL. He is a warrior that has shown for years that he can shoot the ball and run a team. I’ll never forget his big shots in Frankfurt in the playoffs. That is what good players do. They hit big shots. I’m looking to get back at him for that. He has been in the league just as long as Rickey and me. He is the face of the BBL just as we are.

Can Leon Kratzer take on an extra load of cheering now that Lamont Jones has left?


Yes he can. He has been our #1 fan since we arrived. He is so anxious to play, but isn’t able to, because he is still banged up. He is our biggest cheerleader. We can always count on him.

You have lived now a week in Munich. Could you ever imagine wearing that traditional Bavarian clothes with the leather shorts?


No, but maybe if it was for Halloween. If all the guys on the team went like that, then I would also.

Thanks Tez for the chat.