Artland Dragons

The Miles Where Are They Now Player Feature With Charles Lee(Milwaukee Bucks)

It was a rainy and unseasonably cool afternoon at the start of May as there was a horde of anxious autograph collectors milling around outside a luxury Boston hotel and a number of young kids hanging on to basketball balls while the older autograph hounds had countless pictures of a certain very athletic big man player. The Milwaukee Bucks were in town facing the Boston Celtics in the playoffs and the cute little 8 year old girl and her 10 year old brother were waiting for the Greek freak Giannis Antetokounmpo  while the older gents where some have been around since the 80´s  and still hanging around hotels all day long were there for Spanish legend Pau Gasol and also for Antetokounmpo while I was waiting for somebody totally different by the name of Charles Lee. I had only known a few weeks earlier that Lee was an assistant coach as I had checked the Bucks roster to see what ex NBA players were coaches as I was in town for a family visit  and wanted to relive my joys of autograph hunting as a kid and experience it now with a new generation of players. Covering basketball in Germany since 15 years has brought me in contact with many many players and I have had the pleasure of interviewing 1200 plus players in Germany, but for a strange reason never had had a chat with Charles Lee in the two years when he played in Germany from 2008-2010 with BG Goettingen and the Artland Dragons. Now I was in Boston and in town was Charles Lee. Now was my chance to be able to finally interview him. So there I was squashed among little kids and grey haired gents who had books filled with basketball cards and photos and I was anxiously waiting to see if I would recognize him. With some players Like Eric Bledsoe and Kris Middleton coming out of the lobby and ignoring the autograph collectors and getting on the bus, I saw a well built gentleman that looked like him and I yelled Charles, Charles. An experienced autograph collector next to me muttered  “That’s nobody but a coach or trainer”. I countered with “That´s Charles Lee”. The autograph collector ignored my comeback, but Lee didn´t. He stopped on the second step of the bus and looked back and gave me a signal that he would come back. Shortly later he came to me with the autograph collectors staring at me wondering what the hell was happening. I said hi Charles and his first response was. “Your face looks familiar”. I then introduced myself and gave him my business cards and then his whole Germany experience came back to him. The American smiled and seemed interested and an interview was scheduled for the next day at 3.00pm after their practice. As we sat in the hotel restaurant Pau Gasol stepped into the room bringing a special aura and was accompanied by two other Spanish men. Gasol said hello to Lee and then glanced at me probably wondering how an autograph collecter would be at the same table with an assistant coach. He looked at me and gave a friendly hello and was on his way to munch on some scrumptious food a few tables away. As we were chatting away, Lee reflected on this chance encounter and trying to place my face with the seemingly 1000 others he has seen in his basketball life. “Whenever I hear my name, I never think that they are really talking to me. I usually get mistaken for someone else. I have gotten George Hill, Kris Middleton and Sterling Brown. Your face looked familiar and when you said your name it came back to me. I remember seeing your face on the eurobasket website and at games when I was playing in Germany. Your face caught my eye. I don´t forget faces”, smiled Charles Lee. Charles Lee is only 34 years old age, but has already experienced so much in the NCAA and overseas as a player and in the NCAA and NBA as a coach that it was time for a Miles where are they now player feature.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing current Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee on an off day in Boston between game 3 and game 4 of the 2019 NBA playoffs

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Demetris Morant (Artland Dragons) I Wouldn’t Call Myself An Intimidator But I Could Be A Force When I’m So Close To The Basket

Demetris Morant is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Las Vegas playing his second professional season and first with the Artland Dragons. Last season as a rookie he played with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 2.7ppg, 2.3rpg; and in the BCL 3 games averaging 0.7ppg, 1.3rpg. He played a season at UNLV playing 13 NCAA games and then three seasons at FGCU (NCAA) playing 89 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.5ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 75.6%, FT: 62.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com  earlier in the summer about basketball.

 

 

 

 

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

Hello Miles it’s nice to meet you. I’m currently in Hong Kong working out.

Before we get to the meat of the interview how did you obtain the nickname Meech?

Lol it’s funny because I actually got my nickname in high school from some random guy walking down the hallway and it just stuck ever since.

After a tough rookie season in Greece where you gained good experiences with the game and talented players, how did you enter your second professional season transfer market? What were you seeking as a player for your next move?

Coming into my second season I was just looking for a team that was willing to help develop me as a player and also a team that I could fit in their play style.

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Gilles Dierickx (Artland Dragons) Being Around NBA Guys Showed Me How Hard You Have To Work To Make It

Gilles Dierickx is a 25 year old 213cm center from Belgium that is playing his second professional season and first with the Artland Dragons(PRO B). Last season as a rookie he played for three teams with Arcos Albacete Basket (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 2 games averaging 9.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.5bpg, in Nov.’16 moved to Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga) playing  5 games averaging 13.8ppg, 5.6rpg, 2FGP: 72.2%, FT: 73.9%, in Dec.’16 signed at Melco Ieper (Top Division I) playing 10 games averaging 12.4ppg, 10.2rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 46.5%, FT: 78.9%. He went to school in the states starting with  FIU (NCAA) in 2011 and then moved to Washington(NCAA) playing only 28 games in two seasons. He finished his college career at Seattle Pacific (NCAA2) playing 31 games averaging 11.4ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 56.0%, FT: 61.0%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about basketball.

Gilles thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been coming along?

 I am currently in Quakenbrück already, I decided to come a bit early to get adjusted to the new environment before preseason starts and get some individual work outs in with the coaching staff. My summer has been good, I’ve been working out and took some time off with family.

You played at three NCAA schools and as a rookie played in Spain, Germany and Belgium. Do you already feel like a basketball globetrotter at the tender age of 25?

Definitely a little bit, I think all those experiences helped me become the person that I am today.

How confident and lucky do you feel that you will complete the whole season with your new team Artland Dragons and not continue your basketball globetrotter ways this season?

 I feel very fortunate to be with the Artland Dragons, for this season I definitely wanted to be in a stable situation the whole time and not be moving from one place to the other.

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Andre Calvin (Artland Dragons) There Is No Need For Me To Go Out And Experiment New Things

Andre Calvin is a 32 year old 201cm forward from Michigan that is going into his ninth professional season and firs with the Artland Dragons. Last season he played for the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) playing 28 games averaging 11.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 70.7%. In Germany he also played for teams like Erdgas Ehingen, BV Chemnitz and BG Karlsruhe. He made the jump to the BBL in 2015 with the  Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-BBL) playing 27 games averaging 7.9ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 54.2%. In his first two professional seasons he played in Austria and Portugal. Prior to turning professional he played at Drake(NCAA) and as a senior played  32 games averaging 16.2ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 51.4%, 3Pts: 32.7%, FT: 67.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Andre thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

Thanks for the interview Miles. My summer has been great, got married and my son was born in late June.

Congrats on signing with the Artland Dragons. You have played in many nice gyms in Germany, but never in the Artland arena. How excited are you to be playing here and what have you heard about the atmosphere?

Thank you, I am excited to be able to play there after everything I have heard about Artland from former teammates. I heard that they’re professional, the arena is always full, and the facilities are amazing.

You have been a very consistent performer in the Pro A averaging 12,5ppg and 6,5rpg in your five seasons. However you are going to the Artland Dragons who are in the Pro B. Are you taking a step back?

I don’t think so, Artland has things to offer that some teams can’t.

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Matt Reid(Artland Dragons) I Would Like To Play 2 More Years And Then Go Into Coaching

Matt Reid is a 33 year old 185cm guard that hast he German/American citizenship and recently completed his tenth professional season and first with the Artland Dragons. He started his career with Cerritos JC (NJCAA) and then played two seasons with Cameron (NCAA2) and as a senior played 26 games averaging  20.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3TP: 36.0%, FT: 81.0%. He turned professional in 2007 and played for the Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga).He then played two seasons with Saarlouis before moving to SC Rasta Vechta where he played from 2010-2012. He then gained further experience with RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) and Herten(Pro B). He returned back to SC Rasta Vechta in 2014 where he played two more seasons before moving to Artland this season. He spoke to German Hoops after being ousted from the playoffs by Wurzburg.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops. The season has come to an end for you and the Artland Dragons. After finishing second in the Pro B north division behind Lok Bernau, how disappointing is it bowing out in the first round to Wurzburg?

It’s always disappointing for the season to end without winning the championship for any team but I am proud how my teammates worked hard all season and battled through injuries and adversity and was able to achieve 2nd place in the north this season.

After winning game one, the Artland Dragons lost game 2 and game 3 ending their season. You said a few months ago in an interview to me that confidence is always good, but too much can be deadly. Do you feel like you had too much confidence as a team heading into game 2?

Too much Confidence was not the problem why we lost game 2, we had a hard working week in practice and was totally focused on winning game 2 in Wurzburg.

You scored only seven points and had 9 assists and shot 1/5 from outside in the first two games. Do you feel like you let the team down a bit in game 2 not being aggressive enough?

I think me being in early foul trouble let my team down in Game 2 but me not being aggressive enough offensively was not a deciding factor for the lost, I was in foul trouble the whole game and 4 fouls in the 18th minute of me being on the court and recieved my 5th foul with 8 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. I thought I did well with not forcing plays and reading the defense well in the series. It was a 5 point game game with 7 minutes to go in the 4th but we had a 3 minute stretch where we struggled to execute in our offense and got outrebounded by 20 as a team and that in my opinion I think was the deciding factor to the game 2 lost.

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Matt Reid (Artland Dragons) Confidence Is Always Good But Too Much Can Be Deadly

Matt Reid is a 33 year old 185cm guard that hast he German/American citzenship and is playing his tenth professional season and first with the Artland Dragons. He started his career with Cerritos JC (NJCAA) and then played two seasons with Cameron (NCAA2) and as a senior played 26 games averaging  20.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3TP: 36.0%, FT: 81.0%. He turned professional in 2007 and played for the Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga).He then played two seasons with Saarlouis before moving to SC Rasta Vechta where he played from 2010-2012. He then gained further experience with RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB) and Herten(Pro B). He returned back to SC Rasta Vechta in 2014 where he played two more seasons before moving to Artland this season. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 91-82 win against Stahnsdorf.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops 2017 had come and we are already in February. Did you make any new years resolutions or are you more the type of guy that doesn´t bother with that?

My New Years resolution is to just stick to the plan and stay focused on helping our team reach our goal this season and win a championship.

Congrats on the 91-82 win against Stahnsdorf sweeping the season series. How much was the 77-73 win in your minds as the game started? Did the team know how important it was to take this team seriously?

We knew that it would not be an easy game to win, both teams season statistics match up almost exactly alike and I think it just came down to effort and the willingness to win the game. The next 4 games are extremely important for us to win to get the number 1 seed going into playoffs and I’m confident in our team to reach this goal. We worked hard all season to put ourselves in this position but right now we are only focused on our next opponent Bochum that has not lost a home game all season so far.

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Folarin Campbell (BK Ventspils) Darius Hall Was A Good Player But Also A Great Entertainer

Folarin Campbell is a 30 year old 193cm shooting guard/small forward playing his ninth professional season and second with  BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL). He comes from Silver Springs and played at George Mason from 2004-2008 reaching the NCAA Final Four in 2006. He finished career at George Mason ranked fourth all-time in assists (392), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (489), sixth in three-point field goals made (163) and eighth in scoring (1,545 points). He is the only player in school history with 1,500 points, 450 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 3-pointers, 100 steals and 50 blocks. Before he turned professional, he played at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging 12.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 37.8%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 83.3%. As a professional he has played in countries like Germany where he played for teams like Artland, Bonn and Ludwigsburg and in Italy, Greece and Poland. Last season he played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL) playing 37 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 67.4%, He spoke to German Hoops recently when he was in Oldenburg playing Champions League.

Folarin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. When I think about your career, I remember you early in your career in Germany with Artland and Bonn in your second and third seasons, but I hardly remember your time in Ludwigsburg two seasons ago. What kind of experience was that for you playing for head coach John Patrick?

 It was a great experience. My time was cut short because of an injury. But the couple months I was able to play for coach Patrick were good. He is a players coach and he gives you a lot of freedom to be yourself on the court. It also helped that he was from the same state as me in the US so we were familiar with each other prior to Ludwigsburg.

Now you are back in Oldenburg. What memories do you have of playing against this team over the years? I remember you won a tight 74-72 contest with the Telekom Baskets Bonn where you scored 17 points.

 Well I don’t really remember that individual game to well. But I do remember the city and the atmosphere in that gym. The fans are great and passionate about their team. I’m excited to come back and play in this gym. I know it will be a hostile environment.

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