In the last years, 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen had the special privilege of not only having a gifted point guard in Khalid El Amin who was still motoring the team to big wins and spicing up his stat line at age 36 proving that first impressions about his body stature didn´t mean that he wasn´t able of perform as well as the other top point guards in the BBL, but teammates surely also got their fair share dose of interesting NBA stories from back in the day where the 178cm American had his share of duty in 2000-2001. With El-Amin not back for a third tour of duty with BG Goettingen, the club had to react and find a suitable replacement and did with Jessie Sanders as he has taken on the challenge and has had to live up to the legacy that El-Amin has left in Goettingen. Sanders is a 27 year old 190cm point guard that is a big bodied point guard, technically sound, who has great court vision and has the mentality of a floor general. He may not have the spice and NBA stories of an El-Amin, but he brings a certain sweetness to the BG Goettingen game and if needed can scrape out a spec of NBA information if needed if asked and be able to give a brief history lesson about his home Sugar land and why it is called that as it was founded as a sugar plantation in the early mid-20th century and incorporated in 1959 and Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar, and the company’s main sugar refinary. A person may be able to get away mentally from texting for just a second when Sanders mentions that a Tracy Mcgrady or Robert Horry came from his town, but then again when he mentions the name Hakeem Olajuwon, a person may even shut off their phone and listen intensely with sparkle in their eyes, the same way a person would sway in interest when a person shouts barracuda to shark on a full beach on Long Island on the fourth of July weekend. “I was a huge fan of them growing up! I work out at Lifetime Fitness in Sugar Land and from time to time Hakeem will be in there. We got him to play 3 on 3 with us last summer and he was still killing it”, stressed Jessie Sanders. Sanders played his college ball at Liberty (NCAA) and was the third best assist maker in the NCAA in 2012 averaging 8,0 and is playing his fifth professional season. He brought a lot of experience to BG Goettingen having played in Italy, Australia, and Belgium before coming to Germany last season to play for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He came to Goettingen with a big chip on his shoulder as his season was cut short in Tuebingen as injury limited him to 16 games where he averaged 5.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.6apg. This season the American who lists Steve Nash as his all-time favorite player and always watched how he pushed the ball in transition and created in the lane has adapted well to the BG Goettingen system and has run the team well as it is in some way still finding it´s rhythm, but he is averaging 9,1ppg, 2,5rpg and 5,1apg. He played a big part in the big 74-71 win against Lidwigsburg powering home 16 points, but has been in a little of a rut in the last weeks as he has coughed up the ball 12 times in the last three games perhaps over forcing a bit at times, but his playmaking has stilll been solid as he is averaging 5,0apg and still having good shot selection as he is shooting 60% from the field in this span. With the arrival of experienced Alex Ruoff, BG Goettingen who is a great all around player back as well as extra talented creator who is averaging 6,7apg. Ruoff is definitely a player that not only will spice up the BG Goettingen offense, but a player that Sanders will feed off nicely and who Ruoff will make better with his keen basketball IQ. This is a breakout season for Sanders and so far he has been producing nicely and once the team chemistry continues to gel, Sanders might just reach his first post season and have to delay the visit back to Sugar Land next summer to see if Olajuwon is still unbeatable on the court at age of 53.
Jesse Sanders is a 25 year old 190cm point guard from Sugar Land, Texas that will play his fourth professional season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Liberty where he played until 2012. In the 201-2013 season he started his professional career in Europe with Fileni BPA Jesi (Italy-Lega2): 25 games: 9.7ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.7%. In the 2013-2014 season he played down under with the Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL, starting five): 13 games: 10.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.5apg, Steals-2(1.8spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 17.2%, FT: 89.5%. Last season he led the Belgium league in assists and played withLimburg United averaging 11,5ppg, 5,1rpg and 5,0apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jesse thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying the early part of the summer?
I’m in Sugar Land visiting my parents. It has been great to be back and to introduce my daughter (Ava Michelle Sanders) to all of my family. Having some of our favorite Mexican food has been great as well.
You have signed with German beko BBL team Walter Tigers Tuebingen. How excited are you be playing in the fastest growing league in Europe?
This is an awesome opportunity and I’m really looking forward to getting over there and beginning work with the team!