One of the first things that you notice when you see eye to eye with Braydon Hobbs is his smile. It is one of those warm smiles that anyone can appreciate after a huge win or a pathetic unforgettable loss. Last season the 26 year old 196cm guard had very little to smile about when it came to playing the Giessen 46ers as he departed from the floor as the loser a total of 5 times and lost three times in the Osthalle in Giessen. Sometimes a game can be so long and then when you lose, you remember certain things that not only happened on the court, but also off the court. Perhaps the American was able to remember one of the many Giessen hecklers in the crowd for a time after the 3-0 playoff loss, but now 7 months later Hobbs no longer has to hear an obscene strange German phrases towards him, but now has everyone on his side in the Osthalle as he is playing his first season for the Beko BBL team Giessen 46ers. It really doesn´t matter where Hobbs has played in his career, he has always proved that he has game and put up consistent stats. He played at Bellarmine (NCAA2) from 2008-2012 helping his school win the GLVC tournament in 2010-2011 and the NCAA 2 title in 2011. He turned professional in 2012 and got experience in Australia and with Caceres Basket (Spain-LEB Gold). IN his second season he got added experience playing with Alba Fehervar (Hungary-A Division) playing Eurocup: 10 games: 11.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 52.3%; Hungarian League: 32 games: 9.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 72.7%. Last season he led the rent4office Nuernberg (Germany-ProA) in the semi-finals playing 38 games averaging 11.9ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-4(5.9apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 82.4%. Last summer he won an added title with the Mackay Meteors (Australia-QBL, starting five): 18 games: 14.7ppg, 5.8rpg, 4.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 87.5%. “It feels good to win the championship over there. It’s my second time winning the ship with Mackay. Your ultimate goal, when you play in competitions, is to win the championship and we achieved that goal. Every championship is important. The NCAA was a little bit more challenging because we were playing teams from all over the country. In Australia it was only the state of Queensland we were competing against”, stressed Braydon Hobbs. Winning a title isn´t realistic in Giessen this season, but reaching the playoffs is even though the team´s season goal was to stay in the Beko BBL. Hobbs has had no difficulty getting used to the higher level of the Beko BBL, a high level that he has never played at before, but has obstacles. “The biggest hurdle has probably been adjusting to the speed and physical play of the BBL. We have a lot of players that were in the Pro A last season, so we are all adjusting”, added Braydon Hobbs. Giessen head coach Denis Wucherer has given him much trust as he is the team leader in minutes with 30 and fourth in teams coring, second in rebounds, third in assists and first in three point shooting percentage with 47%. He was instrumental in the big 81-80 win at home against defending Beko BBL champion Bamberg with the game winning assist and will never forget the game. “It’s definitely one of the biggest wins of my pro career. Beating a Euroleague team, during the season, will always be a huge win”, added Braydon Hobbs. Giessen is a team that likes to defend, plays team basketball and has many very talented players and Hobbs is doing a great job holding his own and one of hidden strength is slowly getting unraveled. “I think my ability to make other players around me better, by passing, will transfer best to the BBL. I can get guys in the best position to score the ball and hopefully my passing will help these guys out”, said Braydon Hobbs. Hobbs probably never had as big a smile after the Bamberg win except for maybe his title wins in college and in Australia, but if Giessen can pull off the big coup and win for the third time since 2007 against the Fraport Skyliners, then it will be another smile to remember because Frankfurt belong to the current hottest teams in the league.
Braydon Hobbs is a 26 year old 196cm point guard playing in the Beko BBL for the Giessen 46ers and last season played for rent4office Nuernberg (Germany-ProA) where he averaged 11,9ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-4(5.9apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 82.4% . He started his basketball career in 2008 with Bellarmine (NCAA2) playing a total of 133 games. He turned professional in 2012 and played for Caceres Basket (Spain-LEB Gold, starting five): 35 games: 7.1ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 87.9%. In 2013-2014 he played for Alba Fehervar (Hungary-A Division, starting five): Eurocup: 10 games: 11.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 52.3%; Hungarian League: 32 games: 9.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 72.7%. He also played three summers professionally in Australia. He spoke to German Hoops after hitting the game winner against current BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg.
Braydon congrats on the massive 81-80 victory over Bamberg tonight in Giessen. Did the world go under after this win in Giessen? Did you party well into the night or call it an early night?
Thanks a lot Miles. The world definitely did not go under in Giessen but the place was buzzing a bit after the win against Bamberg. We celebrated after the win but it was a fairly early night for us.
Braydon Hobbs is a 24 year old 196cm point guard that just completed his third professional season and first in Germany with rent4office Nuernberg (Germany-ProA) where he averaged 11,9ppg, 4.1rpg, Assists-4(5.9apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 82.4% . He started his basketball career in 2008 with Bellarmine (NCAA2) playing a total of 133 games. He turned professional in 2012 and played for Caceres Basket (Spain-LEB Gold, starting five): 35 games: 7.1ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 87.9%. In 2013-2014 he played for Alba Fehervar (Hungary-A Division, starting five): Eurocup: 10 games: 11.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 52.3%; Hungarian League: 32 games: 9.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-2(2.3spg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 72.7%. He also played three summers professionally in Australia. He spoke to German Hoops after signing with the Giessen 46ers for the 2015-2016 season.
Braydon thanks for talking to German Hoops again. You are playing your third summer in the last four in Australia. What makes you keep coming back down under?
I keep coming back here to Australia because the country is awesome. I can stay in shape by doing this as well. It’s a fun get away and I enjoy playing year around.
How do you feel has your time in Australia helped your game most in the last summers which you might not necessarily have had in the States doing the normal work out grind?
I think playing here during the summers has kept me in good shape and it is more of a laid back league but I can get into the gym any time I want to work on my game. It keeps me playing competitive competition as well which I think helps.
Eric Palm is a 27 year old 185cm guard form Illinois that is playing his second season in Germany and first with the Giessen 46ers. He started his basketball career at McKendree (NAIA) in 2005 where he played until 2009 and as a senior played 35 games: 20.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3Pts: 38.3%, FT: 85.2%. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 with Thor AK (Iceland-D1) where he played until 2012 and in the 2011-2012 season played 11 games: 26.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 84.5%. In 2012-2013 he played for IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 22 games: Score-3(26.5ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT-1(93.9%).Last season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games: 15.8ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 84.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after winning the 2015 German Pro A title against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg.
Eric thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on winning the 2015 German Pro A title. The Giessen 46ers couldn´t have won this series against Wurzburg in more exciting fashion. What does this victory mean to you in terms of titles that you have won in your career? You reached some Sweet 16 and Elite 8´s in your NAIA career, but I believe this is your first title.
Well winning the AMC Conference Championship my Junior year was pretty sweet because I hit a buzzer beater “and 1” jumper to win it all on the road. However, this title is by far the sweetest of them all. Just knowing we had to grind out the whole season and to sweep the playoffs, could not get much better than that!
The Giessen46ers won both games by only a combined point total of three. What was really the main factor for Giessen being able to pull out this series like that?
For us it was about sticking to the game plan of solid defense and getting out in transition. As for the defensive side of things, you cannot stop Wurzburg completely so our mindset was to limit their runs in short spurts, don´t let them get an 8-10 point run and we are good.
It may only have been a year ago that the Giessen 46ers and MLP Academics Heidelberg last met in the Osthalle in Giessen, but as is so often in the business of basketball in Germany, players come and go each season as rapidly as the daily gossip stories about Kim Kardashian. At the end of last November, the MLP Academics rolled into the Ost Halle in Giessen with a lot of confidence coming off their huge 107-69 victory against the Cuxhaven Bascats and they had no mercy for the ex Beko BBL team Giessen has they halted their four game winning streak with a bitter 66-60 win. If one looks back to that game, one observes that there were only a total of three players on the floor for both teams with TJ Dileo and Benjamin Lischka of the Giessen 46ers and Nico Adamczak was the only player that had strapped on the Heidelberg jersey that were on the floor again in Giessen a year later. Giessen came into this game with Heidelberg with a 4-2 record at home and having won the last two road games in Paderborn and Nurnberg while the guest was playing spirited basketball the last weeks having won four of the last six games including big wins against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and Science City Jena. For the two Giessen players DiLeo and Lischka there was definitely the revenge factor and pride issue, but as soon the game started their thoughts were only on the 40 minutes ahead and after a slow first four-five minutes, the Giessen 46ers found their rhythm, had a huge game from the tornado force Yorman Polas and the unsung hero was Besnek Bekteshi with his defense and the team got stronger in the second half powering past the MLP Academics Heidleberg 74-53. “The revenge factor was there, but I didn’t think about it. It is a new year and new players. They had won four of their last six games and we knew that we had to be ready and were. We showed real Giessen basketball tonight. We played tough defense forcing them to turnovers and got out on transition. Our big men did a great job running the floor and on offense played good pick and roll, made the extra pass and made shots”, stressed Philadelphia native TJ Dileo. The MLP Academics are a very talented and strong team, but they continued to stay in their annoying rut of having long dry spells on offense like last weekend against Nurnberg and were outscored 21-6 in the third quarter that sealed their fate. “We have had situations this season where we had long stretches of offense where we cant get anything going and that was the case again tonight in Giessen. I don´t know if it is lack of spacing, bad execution of sharing the ball, but we have to correct it. When this happens, we tend to fall into one on one situations. If we can fix this then we are a playoff team”, stressed Indiana native and Heidelberg forward John Eggleston.
Eric Palm is a 27 year old 185cm guard form Illinois that is playing his second season in Germany and first with the Giessen 46ers. He started his basketball career at McKendree (NAIA) in 2005 where he played until 2009 and as a senior played 35 games: 20.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3Pts: 38.3%, FT: 85.2%. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 with Thor AK (Iceland-D1) where he played until 2012 and in the 2011-2012 season played 11 games: 26.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 84.5%. In 2012-2013 he played for IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 22 games: Score-3(26.5ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT-1(93.9%).Last season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA) playing 30 games: 15.8ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 84.1%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
You are playing your first season for the Giessen 46ers. Why did you move from Chemnitz to Giessen?
After seeing who stayed in Giessen and what they brought in, I felt that it would be a great situation for me. Giessen reached the final 4 last season and I want to have a taste of the playoffs so Giessen was a big draw for me.
Your ex coach Felix Schreier was let go recently. Were you surprised that he was let go and what was missing from BV Chemnitz to have more wins?
I can´t really tell you what was missing or what they needed to be more successful. It was sad that coach had to go since he was home grown from Chemnitz. It was a tough decision for Chemnitz. He is a good coach and it was fun to be around him. I wish him only the best.
Cameron Wells is a 26 year old 186cm point guard from Houston, Texas that is playing his third professional season and first with the Giessen 46ers. He played at Citadel (NCAA) from 2007-2011 where he finished as the school´s alltime leading scorer and as a senior played 32 games averaging 17.2ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.7%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 82.7%. He started his professional basketball career in 2011 with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 36 games: 14.0ppg, 3.9rpg, Assists-4(3.6apg), Steals-1(2.4spg), FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 78.1%. Two seasons ago he played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen (Germany-BBL) playing 29 games and averaging 6.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about Basketball.
After tearing your ACL last season how happy were to make your debut in a Giessen jersey?
I was really excited to play again. I was all smiles before the game. I am just happy and relieved to be able to play the game that I love.
What exactly is your role with the Giessen 46ers?
My role is to be a leader and as the point guard get all my teammates involved and just get the team going.
In the world city of Hamburg were just counting swans on the Alster can be seen as a hobby as there are so many, there are many sport clubs with rich tradition like soccer team HSV that has been in service for 127 years, St Pauli have been around for 94 years and the Uhlenhorster hockey team have been competiting for 113 years and now the city Hamburg that was host of the 2010 U-17 World Championships in basketball where Giessen guard Besnek Bekteshi tore up the competition had a new professional basketball team going to start a new era in Giessen that has been around since 1846 as they played their first professional game in the infamous and loud Osthalle. It was a long pre season for the team as they played very much basketball with a roster that was put together in July. It was also not a surprise that both the makers of this Hamburg Towers project ex German national player Marvin Willoughby and Frankfurt Skyliners legend Pascal Roller were on hand to witness history. Despite a frantic and almost successful comeback at the end of the game, Pascal Roller who was sporting a stylish dark black shirt bearing the intials of the city Hamburg HH was more relaxed while the more suave looking Willoughby who is a mix between Denzel Washington and Tyson Beckford was a bit more nervous at the end, but with 0,9 seconds to go another missed Hamburg free throw was left rolling on the rim as no Giessen player seemed awake allowing Terrry „Air Canada“ Thomas to secure the rebound and seal the 66-65 win as both chefs smiled and escaped Giessen with a victory. 40 minutes after the narrow win, Marvin Willoughby was able to summarize the 40 minutes that he had just witnessed. „We found out at the end that you have to play for 40 minutes and not 39 minutes. If you give up 9 points in the last minute, you will get punished. We were lucky that we won, but I am very happy that we won. We had a good phase in the up and down moments to stick together as a team. I thought we played a pretty good defensive game, but lost focus at the end. We have very much potential on the defensive end to get even better“, stressed Marvin Willoughby. „We wanted to win that first game at home. We didn´t execute well in the first half, but in the second half we executed better on offense, but still had defensive break downs. I felt that every player gave 100%. We have to get better and shoot for two wins this week“, added Giessen forward Andre Marhold.
Andre Marhold is a 23 year old 198cm forward that will be playing his second professional season and first in Germany for the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for Chin Min Dragons UBC St. Polten (Austria-A Bundesliga): 7 games: 13.3ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 66.7%, FT: 63.6%. He played at Duquesne (NCAA) and as a senior played 28 games: 6.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 52.9%, FT: 37.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Andre how are you? Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your summer?
I’m great, I am currently in Pittsburgh pa training with the “The Scoring Factory” everyday, preparing myself to have a great season next year is my main focus right now.
Last season as a rookie, you didn´t get a team until February 2014 and now in your second season, you have signed early with Giessen. Will it be easier to enjoy your summer now knowing you have a job?
It was a huge relief to sign early but, that’s just half the job. This opportunity made me want to work even harder this summer.
As Myles Hesson went down with a toe injury in game one of the semifinals series in Goettingen one may not have seen it on the faces of his teammates, but they surely were feeling a sense of despair and some helplessness as their best player from England was being brought to a hospital for examination. How important had he been in game one and three against Science City Jena sealing crucial free throws and hitting for 29 and 31 points in game three and game four? Without the help of the important Hesson play, teammates like Steven Bennett may already have been home going to a Los Angeles Clippers game or Rob Chubb visiting his cousin Adam Chubb and new born baby in Oldenburg. Hesson was missing for game two and at times, one doesn´t know if his focused and stern expression is of happiness or sadness as his unchanging demeanor resembles that of ex Giessen fan favorite Florian Hartenstein. With Hesson on the sidelines and only real strength as a cheerleader and added assistant coach, Denis Wucherer could of really used the sudden arrivals of ex Giessen scorers David Teague or Chuck Eidson as they had been the type of players that had come up big in their time in Giessen, but instead the ex German national player was without his best player and had to make massive adjustments. After the game one wouldn´t have known if Giessen had won or lost with the expression of Hesson or how both clubs were celebrating their fans, but the absence of the Englishman really was felt as BG Goettingen grinded out a big 74-65 win. Hesson missed game two because of a toe injury and reflected on being on the sidelines. “I wish that I could of helped more on offense and defense and my points were missing. If I would have been healthy, I could of helped, but I can´t get upset about my situation, because it is something I can´t control”, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Myles Hesson. Teammate Steven Bennett was missing his partner in basketball crime and could of used the Englishman for support under the boards. “It was really tough without Myles Hesson. BG Goettingen is so physical and we were so small. There were quite a few times where we could of used him on rebounds and finishes”, warned Steven Bennett. BG Goettingen had a tremendous start and never looked back as Giessen were trailing the whole game. BG Goettingen played solid team basketball on both ends of the court. “Giessen fought so hard and really made us work for 40 minutes. They made runs and never went away. We played hard as well and just stuck together to get this win”, added ex California(NCAA) forward Harper Kamp. The Giessen 46ers continued to get wrapped up in old habits as they started off slow which has been a dilemma in the playoffs, fought the whole game, but just couldn´t get over the hump in crunch time as BG Goettingen outmuscled them for the win. “It was the first five minutes that hurt us. They had a big lead and it is tough coming back against a team like BG Goettingen. They had great ball movement and execution and did a good job crashing the boards and getting second chance points. We have to play for 40 minutes and limit their runs, but we didn´t”, stressed ex Temple(NCAA) guard TJ DiLeo.