Nik Caner-Medley is a 33 year old 206cm power forward from Portland Maine that is playing his 11th professional season and first with AS Monaco Basket (France-ProA). He played the last two seasons with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-D1) and last season played VTB League: 17 games: Score-3(18.2ppg), 7.9rpg, 1.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 85.7%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 14.5ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 73.7%. He has also played in countries like Germany, Italy and in Israel for top team Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League). He played most of his career in Spain in the Endesa league for six seasons with teams like Malaga, Estudiantes Madrid Gran Canaria, Sevilla and Valencia. He also played at Maryland from 2002-2006 playing a total of 127 NCAA games reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Nik thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You played as a rookie in Germany for the Artland Dragons and have played in Germany over the years like against Alba Berlin in the Euroleague. With what kind of feeling do you have returning back to Germany?
I have great memories of my time in Germany. Playing for coach Fleming was a great experience, he helped prepare me for the rest of my career in Europe. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a man, great guy and very hard worker. One of the things I remember most about my time in Germany was the fans. All of the teams had great support from their fans and it was really fun to be a part of such a passionate basketball culture.
In today´s world making the fast buck is what seems to be the norm including selling newspapers as the scandal reports about which Baskeball player is sleeping with what other basketsball players wife, the Pete Rose betting scandal, the Minnesota Vikings party boat scandal or the recent Penn State scandal are just some of the stories that America wants to read as they sip their coffee and eat toast at the Breakfast table. However, it is often the positive stories that get forgotten or are only recognized partly on the surface that really should get more credit and publicity. One man in the Beko BBL who continues to add points to his class act image is Brose Baskets Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming. He has rapidly become one of Germany´s best coaches after building up the Artland Dragons program coming from the second league into the Beko BBL and making it into a playoff team and the 2008 cup winner. Since 2008, he has been coach in Bamberg and after start difficulties has made the team into a basketball power house in the BEKO BBL winning the last two league titles and cups and is now looking for the triple. Bamberg had been labeled as the team everybody wants to hate in the last years simply because they were always good, but also had player personalities and fans that you loved to hate. The bar scene fight years ago involving Steffan Hamann, Uvis Hellmanis and Mike Nahar didn´t help their image either. However since Fleming has come on board, his demanour and mentality seems to have eased the once harder more brutal imagine more into a sympathetic team. A good example to why he is such a massive class act was his unnecessary, but much appreciated words that he let go after the big 101-68 win in Goettingen recently. “This was a strange game for me. We had some cup and playoff games in the last years against BG Goettingen. They have had a marbled season so far to put it mildly. I know how hard Marc Franz has worked to get great basketball here. Michael Meeks is now in his third position here and has invested much. If BG Goettingen does move down to the second league, then I hope that they will return back. I would like to see basketball in the Lok Halle. It was always difficult for my teams there, but it is one of the best arenas in Germany. The fans have deserved attractive basketball”, stressed Chris Fleming. Fleming has made Bamberg what it is today and gets much respect from everyone. “Chris Fleming is a very extraordinary coach in Germany. He has shown how he is able to improve players and have success with them. His tactical ability is unbelievable. One sees now that almost every team runs plays that he started with Bamberg in the last years. That less positive image has changed through the play of the team. In the past, Bamberg was known as being a very defensive orientated team which became very unpopular due to very physical play. He has made Bamberg more into an offensive team”, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen forward Ruben Spoden.