Watching Elijah Clarance think out his flight to the basket and then observe how he flies and finishes with a crushing dunk that can remind one of a Vince Carter or Michael Jordan back in the day or seeing a Brady Heslip offer a beautiful shooting clinic from the parking lot as he makes pinpoint accuracy at times remind one of how easy ex NBA player Andrew Rautins made it look when he was firing away for the Fraport Skyliners 6 years ago are two things that fans have enjoyed watching this season in Frankfurt, but in Braunschweig fans have been following a different type of breathtaking experience and that has been the rise of Deandre Lansdowne who only three years ago was a known Pro B player in Germany for Herten, but was an unknown player to BBL experts as he was at the bottom of the basketball ladder starting a slow climb up, while today via the Pro A and taking the path step by step and never ever giving up on the rugged, tiring and difficult European basketball process has become more than a solid easyCredit BBL player, but a player that not only is top 10 in scoring, but a guy that has shone with his versatile game in one of Europe´s top leagues. I have had the pleasure of covering this exceptional and out of the ordinary player since he began in Herten in the late summer of 2015 and featured him on eurobasket and German Hoops interviews and have enjoyed his rise and his never die attitude of always believing in his abilities, continuing to work hard and never feel satisfied of removing that chip from his shoulder, but letting it stay heavy motivating him to never stop working, but always being hungry of wanting to become better and continuing to work his way up the basketball ladder. Last season in his first season with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig, he proved again that he is a special player and can play at any level as he needed no adjustment time and became a solid easyCredit BBL player. Some guys may have finally become content of earning a nice pay check and skipped more extra shifts in the gym for that lazy sofa TV night or skipped the diet one too many times for that extra Big Mac at Mikey D´s, but not Deandre Lansdowne. He remained focused and delivered a quote that should be an eyeopener not only for every player that has been doubted their whole career, but any player out there who wants to be the best that they can be. “I have an obsession of being great. I’m never satisfied with where I am, I always want to keep climbing. I want to continue learning more, getting better, and playing basketball at a high level. But I also never lose sight of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve enjoyed the ride”, warned Deandre Lansdowne. Over the years, there have been American guys in Germany like a Josh Young or Josh Parker that began in the Pro B and made the jump to the BBL and a few more, but Lansdowne could very well be the player that makes it the farthest as a player when all is said and done, because he has the biggest work ethic and greatest motivation of anyone that has ever made the jump from the Pro B to the BBL.
The Fraport Skyliners have played a whirlwindof a season so far as their results and play in the Eurocup and easyCredit BBLhave been like day and night. Injuries as usual has been a huge factor whilethe chemistry has stalled in it´s growing, but that isn´t any different withother teams like an Alba Berlin who lost three guards, but continue to keepwinning. The Fraport Skyliners lone bright spot this season has been theirstellar play in the Eurocup as with two games remaining, the club has alreadyqualified for the next round having a record of 5-3. Even if they have playedunsatisfactory at times, the difference to the BBL has been that they havefound ways to win. In the easyCredit BBL that hasn´t been the fact as they cameinto the Braunschweig game in 14th place with a record of 2-5 anddesperately need some kind of success to get them out of their current rut.After starting 1-1, they lost four of their last five games and lost their lasttwo homes games in crunch-time games they most likely would have won underother Gordon Herbert teams. The team at times have lacked the needed intensityand passion at both ends of the court. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig areplaying a solid season and have a record of 3-5 considering that for them it isalways an uphill battle with their limited budget. They like the FraportSkyliners have been like night and day as they began the season in the cellarlosing their first five games, but recently found an uphill trend having wontheir last three games. That winning streak was started by something teamshaven´t done in years which is beat top team Brose Bamberg. They then finishedoff Wurzburg and MBC and arrived in Frankfurt with a lot of confidence andmotivation led by top BBL center Scott Eatherton. The Basketball LowenBraunschweig almost made it four wins in a row, but were unable to handle theolder Gents of the Fraport Skyliners suffering a tough, but hard fought 81-77loss. It was another game where Frankfurt didn´t play well for 40 minutes, butfound a way to win. Canadian rookie Trae Bell Haynes carried the FraportSkyliners in the first half to a 49-30 lead as his penetration effectivenesstore apart Braunschweig, but a weak third quarter of scoring only 12 points andallowing 31 points in the fourth quarter almost cost them the contest. “We arestill waiting for playing a full game well. We started hot, but became cold inthe third and fourth quarters. We stayed together at the end despite themmaking seemingly every shot. We did a good job on defense for the most partletting them take only one shot and rebounding well and getting out ontransition. We didn´t do a good job guarding the three point line in the fourthquarter and I had bad turnovers. We have to take better care of the ball”,warned Trae Bell Haynes. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig played with a lot ofheart and made an amazing comeback in the fourth quarter only to drive homewith the loss as they couldn´t make key stops at the end. “The first quarterwas close back and forth. In the second quarter Bell Haynes carried them and wealways seemed a step to slow and weren´t physical enough getting beat by lay upafter lay up. We knew coming into the third that we were a well rounded teamand never believed that the game was over. We fought until the end, but at theend just couldn´t pull out the win”, stressed ex Hamburg Tower DeandreLansdowne.
Deandre Lansdowne is a 28 year old 187cm guard from Albuquerque, Mexico that is playing his first BBL season with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig. Last season he played with the Hamburg Towers averaging 12,3ppg, 5,0rpg and 2,3apg. He started his career in Germany in 2015-2016 in the Pro B where he played with Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-Pro B) playing 27 games: Score-2(22.9ppg), 8.1rpg, 3.6apg, Steals-5(2.6spg), FGP: 61.5%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 66.5%. He played college ball at Fort Lewis (NCAA2) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 15.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 50.7%. He then gained his first professional experience with Pioneros de Delicias (Mexico-Chihuahua Vive) before continuing career in Germany. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball shortly after the new year.
Deandre thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how did you celebrate the holiday season?
Hi, Good speaking with with you again. I’m in Braunschweig. I didn’t do much. We had quite a few games the last weeks. So I’ve just been focusing on basketball. But the good part is my mother has been in throughout the holidays, so it’s been nice spending time with her.
You played in Herten and Hamburg before moving to Braunschweig this season. Was there anything special in your new home in the holiday season that you hadn´t seen before in Herten and Hamburg?
Nope, nothing new. I would say Hamburg had a better holiday season with their huge Christmas market.
Congrats on reaching the easyCredit BBL in your third season with Braunschweig. In our last interview in April 2017 you stated that “My Next Step Is To Be One Of The More Dominant Players In Pro A”. Did you not sell yourself a bit short? You must of felt after that strong Pro A season that you could reach the BBL or not?
My plan was always to get to the BBL, but if I happened to play in Pro A again, that was my goal, so that I could only spend 1 more season there.
Scott Eatherton is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Hersey, Pennsylvania who will be playing his third professional season and second in Germany and first with the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL). Last season he played with BG Goettingen (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games averaging 11.9ppg, Reb-4(6.9rpg), 1.5apg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 76.9%. As a rookie he played for Moncada Solar Agrigento (Italy-Serie A2) playing 35 games averaging 12.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.2apg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 62.3%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 64.1%. He started his basketball career with St.Francis, PA (NCAA) where he played 57 games and then moved to Northeastern (NCAA) and as a junior played 30 games averaging 15.5ppg, 10.1rpg, 1.2apg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 65.8%. In his senior season with Northeastern (NCAA) he played 35 games averaging 14.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 62.6%, 3PT: 25.8%, FT: 69.4%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about Basketball.
Hi Scott thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Currently I am in Hershey, PA and my summer has been great so far.
You hail from Hersey, Pennsylvania. Now that you have lived in Germany for a year, would you still take a good old Hersey candy bar over a tasty German candy bar like Milka or Ritter Sport?
I would still choose a Hershey bar.
Congrats on signing with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig. I was a little surprised at first that you signed there since you had a great second professional season in Germany with BG Goettingen and were named to the Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team. Did your desire to feel like you could make a serious difference in their success outweigh personal gains of possibly playing in a higher league and better team, but reduced role than what your going to have with Braunschweig?
I felt like I can make big impact with Braunschweig after speaking with coach Frank. I was excited about what he had to say and feel like we can compete more this year than last year.
The German Pro A is filled with talented and skilled guards with a dime a dozen being an understatement, but moreover about as many players as there are Bulls fans in his home town of Chicago still unaware who new German shooting star Paul Zipser is and who still don´t know how to pronounce his name correctly as it isn´t like the zipcode, but moreover like Cipser if your saying the name from a German standpoint. Every club in the German Pro A have adept guards who are still looking for that big chance to make the next step up to the BBL or another top level in Europe as the list is as unending as the debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James as who is really the best ever. There are guys like Cologne´s Richard Williams or MBC Marcus Hatten that have reached the big dance in Germany, but the again other players like Virgil Matthews of Chemnitz, Carrington Love of Kirchheim, Chase Adams of Paderborn, Eugene Harris of Hanau or Diante Watkins of Nurnberg who could surely get a shot at the BBL, but so far are still waiting for that golden opportunity. One guy who has been toiling in the Pro A for years is Virgil Matthews who continues to put up very solid stats filling up the stat sheet like a Nicolas Batum can and has scratched the triple double surface , but at the end of every summer, it was the same story as he ended up again in the Pro A getting passed up by BBL teams. However two guys that have made the jump to the BBL this season after years of being overlooked in the Pro A have been Carlos Medlock who played three seasons in the Pro A with Crailsheim, Wurzburg and Vechta and Carlton Guyton who also had to wait three seasons before making the BBL promised land playing in Ehingen and Gotha. For Medlock reaching the BBL this season was more than bitter sweet as he had been the point guard in charge the last three seasons helping his teams move up to the BBL, but wasn´t kept for the next season, while for Guyton it wasn´t as dramatic as he was rewarded for his good play in Gotha helping build a playoff team. Curiously both guys ended up with the same club this season with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig as German head coach Frank Menz believed in their abilities and both have shown that their BBL season has been no fluke. Playing with the older Medlock has been a blessing in disguise for Guyton. “It’s been a pleasure to play with Los! After competing against him for so many years I was very familiar with his game. We had our share of battles. Now us being on the same team, every night I know I can count on him to bring it! Also with him having more experience than me I try to learn his little vet tricks”, smiled Carlton Guyton.
The road to the German BBL has been a long one for Carlton Guyton and it had to start somewhere as even in teenager years, the current 26 year old 193cm guard had to prove himself which has been a standard procedure in the last 8 years.
It really doesn´t matter what basketball player you ask in Germany that isn´t playing in the easyCredit BBL, they will answer that their ultimate goal of reaching it one day and the chance of that happening isn´t so off the rocker. What is funny the lower you go league wise, the more confident the player will get of their abilities while players in the Pro A are just as confident of their abilities, but seem to know that they are so close and will keep a more controlled mouth work as they know just having that one strong Pro A season plus having the right contact might be enough to be able to wear the jersey of that BBL club. The list of players that move up from league to league in Germany is as large as the beast magnitude that a guy like Demarcus Cousins displays each night and one of those guys that has experienced this move has been American Carlos Medlock of the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. The 29 year old 183cm point guard needed some grooming in the Pro A, but so far this season the ex Eastern Michigan(NCAA) player has displayed that he can compete in one of the best leagues in Europe as in 11 games he is averaging 11,0ppg, 1,5rpg and 4,2apg while shooting 32% from downtown for the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig as he finally reached his goal even if it took a bit longer to reach.
After coming out of college, he had to start at the bottom and prove himself in the always improving English BBL league where he led the Guildford Heat to the British trophy while playing 17 games averaging 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-4(4.6apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 64.1%. He already showed as a rookie, that he could recover in a grand way from a set back as he came over the pond after making his first experience in the D-League with the Utah Flash. There he noticed quickly that the D-league wasn´t his route as he played three games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.3rpg and instead of wasting a whole season there, he reacted quickly and came over to Europe to try his luck and in hindsight, it turned out to be the correct decision. After sitting out the season in 2011, he came back strong in 2012 and the next destination on his basketball map was Iceland a place that always turns into an adventure with the beautiful scenery, daylight issues and weather, but at least the road trips are short and it isn´t worth it to switch on the lab top as you will have reached your next destination before the opening credits of Suicide Squad have even ended. In Iceland he wore the jersey of U.M.F. Skallagrimur Borganes (Iceland-Dominos League) and one could be cautious, but still say with pride that the rest is history. Like many players before him, he tore up a weak league, but for some reason many players that have achieved success here have moved on to bigger and better things. Just ask a Derrick Allen who balled with Medlock last season in Vechta as he won the cup in Iceland in 2004 and after moved to the German BBL and is currently playing his 12th season in that league and for a time belonged to the top three power forwards. In Iceland Medlock played 24 games and was second in scoring averaging 27.2ppg), 4.4rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-5(2.3spg), FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 78.9%.
Trent Lockett is a 24 year old 196cm guard from Minnetonka, Minnesota playing his third professional season and first for Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A). He played for Arizona St. (NCAA) from 2009-2012 playing a total of 87 NCAA games. He then moved to Marquette (NCAA) and as a senior played 35 games: 7.0ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 75.2%. In the 2013-2014 season he turned professional for Reno Bighorns (D-League, starting five): 48 games: 11.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 74.5%. Last season he played his first season in Europe for the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL): 30 games: 12.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 77.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently before a Eurocup game in Oldenburg.
Trent thanks for talking to eurobasket. Is the Italian lifestyle all what you expected?
Yes it has been. I really have been enjoying the culture and lifestyle.
Your playing your first season with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A) and return back to Germany to play Eurocup in Oldenburg. What memories do you have of the 84-70 in Oldenburg?
I didn´t have too many good memories of that game except for my dunk over Adam Chubb. We won the first game in Eurocup and want to win in Oldenburg to separate us from the others in the group.
You have played against many tough players, but was your memory of your one game against Ricky Paulding last season?
He is a very solid player that can do it all shoot, drive and pass and is just very well rounded. You can´t take one strength from his game as he has too many. The best that you can do against him is be on your toes at all times and just always be ready for what he gives you.
This season with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A) the club is in second place in the Italian Serie A and second in the Eurocup group. What has been the secret to the success of the team in both competitions?
We have come together very well as a team in the early stage of the season. We have many new players that have come from all over, but we are learning and growing together each day.
You are on a team that has three other Americans and Italians. You are averaging double figures in scoring. What exactly is your role on the team and is it any different to what you had in Braunschweig?
The role has been pretty similar to what I have had in Germany creating off the dribble for others and picking my spots on offense. I also try to hold my opponent on defense under his average and contribute on the rebound.
You are shooting an incredible 62,5% from outside in Eurocup play and getting many more looks there than in the Serie A. Has your role been different in the Eurocup action?
Each competition is different. With Eurocup teams have 2-3 days to prepare while in the Serie A teams have a whole week to watch film on you where they just have more time to prepare. It is my first season in the Eurocup and I am enjoying it.
You are a player that can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
My athletic ability. Many don´t realize just how athletic I am and that I am able to make the break out play. I don´t look athletic and surprise people when they see my athleticism.
What kind of a positive influence has ex NBA player Julian Wright been for you in the first few months of the season? He is a player that really does so much on the court and impacts the game.
Julian is a great player and person on and off the court. He has played in the NBA and at the highest level in Europe and just has a lot of experience. He is also very important to have on the team moral wise because he is always positive.
Just a few years agoTrento was playing in the third Italian division. Do you feel a basketball atmosphere in town or is it much in the shadow of soccer?
I have been very impressed with the atmosphere and fans in Trento. For the rapid growth that has taken place in a very short time, all have grown and that makes it so special. The fans have rallied with the club as it´s grown and it´s cool to be a part of it.
You have had no problems adjusting to the Serie A in Italy. How would you compare it to the style of the Beko BBL in Germany and does this style fit you more?
The styles are different. The play is faster in Italy and in Germany you see more of a true 5 man while in Italy the big men are more versatile and can spread the floor more. I feel that both leagues fit my style.
Last season was your first in Europe in Germany with Braunschweig. What was your wake up call to being in Europe in your first season?
I think just realizing that you are living alone in a foreign country in a different culture was my wake up call. You have your teammates and coach, but at the end of the day you go home alone and that takes some time getting adjusted to.
What two single things will you always remember about Beko BBL veterans Derrick Allen and Immanuel Mcelroy that you won´t forget so quickly?
Those two guys were awesome. Braunschweig was my favorite team that I have ever been on in my career. I enjoyed all my teammates and we still stay in touch today and have group chat and check up on each other and poke some fun as well. It was a very family atmosphere and there were so many guys in different stages in their lives, but we all gelled and looked out after each other. What I remember most about D.A and Imac is their approach to the game and life and how they are still able to dominate and produce so well at that age at that level shows me just how professional they are. Their professionalism and the way they play the game is how anyone should play the game
As a rookie you were in the Sacramento Kings training camp. What kind of experience was that for you after spending some time seeing how the NBA works?
It was a blessing having this chance even if the timing wasn´t good, but it all happens for a reason. I really appreciate coach Malone and the ownership for giving me the opportunity. It was an overall great experience to be a part of.
What was it like battling a guy like then first round pick Ben Mclemore? After dueling day after day with a guy like that is there really such a big difference in skill level or are there just too many talented guys in the world and too little NBA jobs?
Ben is a great player and person. It was cool playing against veterans like John Salmons and learning and being able to pick their brains. When you play first division in Europe in places like Spain, Italy or Germany, you will compete against great players each night. At the end of the day there are limited jobs and it has to do with timing and the situation that a team has. One realizes this and understands it better as you get older.
You then moved to the Reno Bighorns (D-League) playing 48 games: 11.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 74.5%. What did you like and dislike about the D-league in general?
I liked having many games in the D-league and if you had a bad game, you could make it up with a good game soon and if you had a good game, you could pick up on the momentum in the next game. I didn´t like the travel and pay.
What kind of an impact did Reno assistant coach Tyrone Ellis make on you on and off the court? Ellis had a very long and fruitful career in Europe.
Ty had a big impact on me. He was awesome on the court and even more of an inspiration off the court. He brought different quotes to each practice. The way he conducted himself was very impressive and I try to emulate him. He taught me little tricks that I could get away with on the court and I tried to incorporate that into my game on offense and defense.
After three seasons at Arizona State(NCAA), you moved to Marquette(NCAA) for your senior year. How important was it going this route for your development as a player and person?
Going from Ariziona State to Marquette was personally one of the hardest decisions that I ever had to make. I learned very much about myself in this time when I look back on my life. I am glad that I did it and when I am having tough times, I can always look back in this time in my life and know I got through adversity.
Buzz Williams only coached you one season, but how did he prepare and groom you best to go on your way on a professional basketball path?
Buzz was awesome. He pushed me to limits that I had never seen before in my life. Whenever I am tired in a game now or am going through a tough period, I reflect back on my time at Marquette and remember that I had harder times there and that makes me push harder now.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think that he will be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan one day if he isn´t already. Just looking how he has developed over time and the path he is on, he will be mentioned one day when all has been said and done with the best players that ever played the game
What was the last movie that you saw?
Saving Private Ryan.
Thanks Trent for the chat.