MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg

Wes Washpun (MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg) I Feel My Defense And Ability To Run A Team Will Translate To The Pro Game

Wes Washpun is a 23 year old 185cm point guard from Cedar Rapids, iowa that will be starting his professional basketball career in Germany with the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL). He began his basketball career in 2011 with Tennessee (NCAA). He then moved to N.Iowa (NCAA) in 2013 and in his first season played 31 games averaging  8.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 68.9%. As a junior he played 35 games averaging 7.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 68.1%. As a senior he played 35 games averaging  14.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 5.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 72.1%. This past summer he took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 8.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.3apg and NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 games: 4.0ppg, 1.4rpg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball earlier this summer after signing in Germany.

 

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

I am currently in Iowa and my summer has been going on!

Congrats on signing with German club MHP Riesen Ludwigbsurg. What was the deciding factor that made you want to start your professional career in Germany?

Germany felt like a great fit for me right away and Coach Patrick and I hit it off right away!

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Antonio Graves Has Ice In His Veins Powering The Fraport Skyliners Past The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg With Buzzer Beater 65-63

It seems like it was yesterday, but the last time that MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick departed the Fraport arena with a victory was almost three years ago as the last two times, he had to witness a 13 point creaming and last season a tough four point loss. But going back to that 90-78 win almost three years ago, it seemed like that game was going to be one that would forever be remembered as a new star  being born on to the BBL stage with Kevin Bright. Despite the Frankfurt loss, he dropped 23 points netting six three pointers which in a way was overshadowed by the Keaton Grant and CJ Harris sniper attack combining for 48 points. Despite having a brilliant game, the German who had just returned back to Germany after having completed only his freshman year at Vanderbilt(NCAA) where he still led the team in rebounding, the Bright Ludwigsburg masterpiece would remain one of two as the other occurred at the end of the season as he dropped 23 points and seven trey´s in a road win at Vechta where he won the game with a buzzer beater as Kevin the light is Bright. Bright would play for Frankfurt for two seasons before moving on to Nurnberg where he played in the Pro A last season. Three years later only two players remained on the Frankfurt roster from that game with Quantez Robertson and Max Merz. Merz is one of the rare Frankfurt German role players that has carved his special own kind of niche with the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner as he  currently has the greatest longevity on the team as he has been with the team since 2011 and has outlived many of the other German players who have come and gone. After the game, both Max Merz and John Patrick were asked about that Kevin Bright performance almost three years ago. Patrick made it more than clear after the Antonio Graves 65-63 buzzer beating win, that since Gordon Herbert has been on board as coach, he has always had very tight affairs against the Fraport Skyliners. “There was a buzzer beater in Wurzburg by Frankfurt and three years ago the buzzer beater by CJ Harris to send the game here into OT. I have had most games in Frankfurt that have been decided in the last 30 seconds”, stated John Patrick. After the victory, Max Merz was stretching and was between captain Quantez Robertson and game top scorer Shavon Shields and was just thankful for getting another opportunity to start, but also reflected on some old time history against Ludwigsburg. “I don´t remember that game against Ludwigsburg that much from three years ago, but remember more that Kevin Bright was shooting out the lights. I remember more the game four years ago when we were battling Ludwigsburg on the last game day to remain in the league. I had the advantage today  that we had some injuries, but I always try to give the team energy every minute I play”, stressed Max Merz. After the big win, game hero Antonio Graves was surrounded by the Frankfurt press and was just thankful that the team was able to rebound after their lousy first quarter. “I have to give the team credit that we stuck together. We should have been down 30 at halftime, but we had this confidence to come back. Shavon Shields carried us in many moments and I am grateful that it came down to that last shot where it meant either the win or OT”, warned ex Artland Dragon Antonio Graves. After the heartbreaking loss Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick stayed diplomatic as best he could. “You can look at this loss in two ways. We could of done things differently after the big lead running or plays differently and playing team basketball or you can say that Frankfurt deserved to win. Frankfurt played very well scratching and clawing their way back and never giving up”, stated John Patrick.

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Alex Ruoff Is Leading The Charge With The MHP Riesen As A Top 5 BBL Player That Nobody Is Really Aware Of

When you see Alex Ruoff shuffling to the bus after a BBL game one might not think right away that he is a top professional basketball player, but moreover the Spring Hill, Florida 198cm point forward seems like a normal twenty something guy that would spend his free time rooting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Lightening after a hard working day rather than having to explain to out of town friends where exactly  Weeki Wachee Springs is and if he could actually get some back stage passes to meet the mermaid which is home to the famous live mermaid show there. However he is actually a professional basketball player playing his third season in Germany and first with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and possibly a top 5 BBL player this season that no one is really aware of. The Lebron fan who lists Russell Westbrook as the toughest guy that he battled in the NCAA actually has something in common with ex Alba Berlin player and German national player Johannes Herber and NBA legend Jerry West. Ruoff and Herber played one season together at West Virginia(NCAA) and the American left the school as the all-time leader in most three pointers made despite having had such prominence like Jerry West attend West Virginia, but then again West scored his points there before the invention of the parking lot on the basketball court. Ruoff is playing his eighth professional season having played three in Belgium, got his D-league dose with the Canton Charge and Iowa Energy and last season made the jump to the best league in Europe in Spain playing with Dominion Bilbao Basket. He was a solid player in his first four seasons in Belgium and in the D-league, but didn´t really break out until his first season with BG Goettingen in 2013 where he and fellow American Harper Kamp helped the team get back to the BBL winning the Pro A title. It wouldn´t be wrong to say that both guys benefited from each other and helped each other make their coming out as professionals. “Harper Kamp is such a dominating player and has a high basketball IQ. He plays at the skill level of a guard at the forward position”, stressed Alex Ruoff. In his second season with BG Goettingen and first in the BBL, he quickly displayed that he could play at a higher level finishing fifth in scoring averaging  14.8pp, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 83.0%. Last season he was rewarded and moved to Dominion Bilbao Basket (Spain-Liga Endesa) 32 games: 6.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 90.5%; Eurocup: 16 games: 9.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 76.0%. Ruoff is a player that has the complete package and is a fighter on the court that has a great shot, is an underrated passer and has a high basketball IQ. “I have the ball in my hands so often that I think that my passing gets overlooked. I passed more in college and now am playing more the position two. I loved watching Steve Nash. He was so good passing on the pick and roll”, stressed Alex Ruoff. Due to his overall great versatile game, he also has a very good shot selection which has shown in the early going this season. In John Patrick´s system where there are many scoring options, it isn´t always easy to sparkle in the scoring department, but that isn´t his role, but moreover to be a leader and do many things well on the court. He has found hid Eurocup shooting touch from last season and this should be the season where the “nobody is really aware of” phrase becomes a “Alex Rouff belongs to the top 5 best players in the BBL that everyone is aware of. At least now we know where Ruoff got some of his basketball IQ from. “The intelligence of Joe Herber brought his game to another level. He was one of the smartest players that I ever played with”, warned Alex Ruoff.At least now Johannes Herber knows that he did his good deed as a senior at West Virginia(NCAA).

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The Miles Basketball Minute: 2016 Beko BBL Playoff Preview: FC Bayern Munich-MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 3-1

Can three be a charm this season for head coach John Patrick and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg? It really doesn´t matter where MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick has coached in the last nine years in Germany, whatever team he was in charge of, he made better a feat which isn´t necessarily self-evident. With BG Goettingen, he made a second division team into a genuine Beko BBL team that made the playoffs on a regular basis and crowned his existence there with the 2010 Eurchallenge win. In all his time there, he had lesser known players and NCAA players that he groomed and one into a Euroleague player with Taylor Rochestie. He also discovered current Fraport Skyliner John Little and brought him to Goettingen as a rookie and today is the only player to have won two German international club titles. Next he moved to Bavaria and coached the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg which was a huge project at the time made it into another playoff team that defeated top team Alba Berlin in the 2011 playoffs and gave him in a short time legendary status. His possibly biggest challenge was saving the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in the 2012-2013 season keeping them in the Beko BBL coming in as a fireman and then in the last two years forming playoff teams that annoyed FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. With Ludwigsburg, the experienced coach has had the best talent ever far eclipsing what he had to work with in Goettingen and Wurzburg the last two seasons as having an NBA player on the floor at all times like with Coby Karl, DJ Kennedy and Mustafa Shakur was about as typical in any game as seeing Jon Brockman hauling down an offensive rebound with his undeniable physicality. However in the last two seasons, the club just didn´t have that extra piece to the puzzle to get over the hump against FC Bayern Munich losing 3-1 in the quarterfinals two years ago and last year being swept by the Brose Baskets Bamberg, but playing them tough losing by eight points twice and once with five points. Now Patrick and co have that rematch again with FC Bayern Munich that at times are like night and day as they can stink up the arena and lose to a poor team like the Mitteldeutscher BC and on the next game manhandle the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Ludwigsburg played FC Bayern Munich very tough two seasons ago and Patrick surely can still remember that series where they had to replay a game. Can the MHP Riesen seek revenge and make the upset this season with the personal and character on the team?

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Kerron Johnson (MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg) John Patrick Has Been The Best Coach I Have Had Since Being A Pro So Coming Back Was A No Brainer

Kerron Johnson is a 25 year old 185cm point guard from Huntsville, Alabama playing his third professional season and second in Germany with the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Last season with Ludwigsburg, he played 34 games averaging 14.2ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 79.2% As a rookie in the 2013-2014 season, he played with the New Zealand Breakers (Australia-NBL) playing 28 games averaging 12.6ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-5(1.2spg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 59.8%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Belmont(NCAA) playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 14.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.5%, FT: 77.8%. He started the season with SPO Rouen Basket (France-ProA) playing 15 games: averaging 7.6ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.1apg, 2FGP: 51.9%, 3FGP: 30.6%, FT: 65.8%. He moved back to Ludwigsburg in December 2015 and since his return has helped John Patrick and co to a 6-1 record in the Beko BBL scoring in double figures in six of seven games and was instrumental in the 90-80 win against Alba Berlin pouring in 20 points. He spoke to German Hoops recently talking about returning back to an old stomping ground.

Kerron welcome back to the Beko BBL and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. When looking back at the success of the team last season as well as your role, why didn´t you just remain this season?

It was just a decision I made at the time that I thought was best for me.

What did you miss most from last season? The great coaching of John Patrick, the yummy Spätzle(curled noodles) or getting nice screens from Jon Brockman?

Hahaha all 3 JP is the best coach I’ve had since becoming a pro and Brock definitely helps you get open. So for me coming back was a no brainier.

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Pit Bull Little Wins Round One Against Bully Boone as Jordan Theodore Paces The Fraport Skyliners Past The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 83-78

Even if the basketball life of professional players can be a “I am here today, but 1000 miles away tomorrow living and experiencing a new style of play and culture, basketball friendships tend to be built very easily and continue as time goes by as distance can a big factor in keeping them alive. With today´s technology group chat is something that many players live by as Shawn James who had his best years with Macabbi Tel Aviv, but even now after a stay in Spain with Bilbao and now with Euroleague power house Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) still maintains contact with his ex Macabbi players Devin Smith, Tyrese Rice and Ricky Hickman via that route. The most common way to develop a basketball friendship is by having a guy around daily not for just one season, but for many as current Fraport Skyliners Junior Marius Nolte and current Gotha(Pro A) assistant coach Steven Esterkamp had seeing the highs and lows of professional basketball from 2004-2009 with Paderborn as they moved up to the Beko BBL together in 2006 winning 50 games in a row and forcing Alba Berlin to a 5 game playoff series in 2009. Since then if you ask Nolte about Esterkamp, he would say that the Ohio native is one of his best friends as going on vacation with their respective families each summer is nothing uncommon. However the most unique friendship are those that continue to live on year by year as players continue to grow and move on from team to team with that same person. Fraport Skyliner guard John Little and Jason Boone share a very special friendship in that one could easily call them brothers. Boone and Little played together at BG Goettingen from 2008-2011 experiencing their best time there reaching the playoffs each season finishing 2009 and 2010 in second and third place as the club´s 40 minutes of hell on the court gave the BBL a new dimension, winning the Eurochallenge in 2010 and were on the same court playing against Allen Iverson in a Eurocup game in 2011 as he played for Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul (Turkey-TBL). They then moved to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg where they played together from 2011-2014 where they reached one playoff in 2012 kicking out Alba Berlin, but also having woes in their last season as the club finished in 17th place and moved to the Pro A. Of course along the way their head coach and mentor John Patrick played a role in their staying together. Last season Little played in Ludwigsburg and Boone had his first experience outside Germany with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL). This season Boone moved to Ludwigsburg to be reunited with Patrick, but at times it seems like Boone is a part of the Fraport Skyliners as he is seen as often as possible at games supporting his good friend Little making the 2 hour car drive as a sort of sixth man and good luck charm when he is free. Even last season he came from Turkey and supported Little at games as they beat Alba Berlin. Now for the first time in their career, they faced off as opponents as Boone who forms the Bully brothers in Ludwigsburg with Jon Brockman met the pit bull Little which charachterizes his aggressive defense as both teams fought until the end, but the Fraport Skyliners were able to grind out the win 83-78 as they executed in the last minute on offense and Ludwigsburg didn´t. One could of found countless adjectives to describe the game and ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore had no problem either finding the right words. “This was a tough, gritty, hard fought, down and out dirty game, with both wanting to win where both teams fought to the buzzer. A few days ago in Bayreuth we played cocky as if we had won a title or something where we let them dictate the game. Today we dictated the game and were able to pull it out at the end”, stressed Engelwood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore. 2010 Eurochallenge winner Jason Boone was happy to play against his friend, but disappointed with the result. “This wasn´t the most entertaining game to watch. A game can become ugly when two teams like to grind out the way we do. They grinded a bit harder than we did. I always try to go into the game with the same mentality. If you get too motivated it can be a disadvantage. Little is a real fighter and gets his team to fight harder. He never backs down against anyone”, stressed ex BG Goettingen center Jason Boone. Little lost two teeth, but it was worth it getting the win against his friend. “It was crazy playing the first time against him. He is one of my best friends and we are always rooting for each other. It wasn´t the best day for either as we were both in foul trouble. There will be a next battle in Ludwigsburg”, smiled Illinois native John Little. “We rebounded very well and got every loose ball which was the difference. We outworked Ludwigsburg which we didn´t do in Bayreuth”, said Aaron Doornekamp.

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Jason Boone (MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg) I’ve Never Enjoyed Playing With Someone As Much As I’ve Enjoyed Playing With John Little

Jason Boone is a 30 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York that is playing his ninth professional season and eighth in Germany and first with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He played three seasons with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and three seasons for BG Goettingen. He played at New York University(NCAA 3) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 14.1ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.4bpg, 2.9apg, FG: 63.0%, FT: 64.3%. In 2007-2008, he turned professional and played played at Bernau(Regionalliga) before making the jump up three leagues to MEG Goettingen. In 2008-2009, he averaged 4.4ppg, 4.0rpg, FG: 53.7. In 2009-2010, he won the Eurochallenge for BG Goettingen playing EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. Last season he split time with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL): 14 games: 6.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 2FGP: 60.7%, FT: 46.2%, in Mar.’15 moved to SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProA) playing 12 games: 9.7ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 63.6%, FT: 51.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball before the game against the Fraport Skyliners.

Jason thanks for talking to German Hoops. Merry Christmas 2015. After having spent Christmas in Germany now at least 8 times, have you been celebrating it once at night the German way, twice, the German and American way or just the American way in Germany waking up in the mornings and opening up the presents?

Merry Xmas to you as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to become really close with a number of families in Germany. And because of that, I’ve only celebrated Christmas the way that they do. If we’re being honest though, I like it better.

After being in Germany for so many years, what have you been able to appreciate most about the German Christmas in Germany?

I love the Christmas Market and the way it brings a city together. But I appreciate how the German Christmas doesn’t feel as commercialized. They focus more on the important things that Christmas represents.

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