Rich Melzer is a 32 year old 203cm forward/center from Minneapolis, Minnesota that is playing his first season for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. He played at : Wisconsim-River Falls (NCAA3) from 2000-2004. In his 8 year professional basketball career, he has played in countries like New Zealand, France, Israel and Australia. He had his first tour of duty in Germany in the 2007-2008 season with Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-1.Bundesliga): ULEB Cup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 2.0rpg; German League: 1 game: 11pts, 2reb, 1steal. In his rookie season, he took part at the Washington Wizards training camp. Last season he played for Hapoel Holon (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 30 games: 16.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 75.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the 2012 Beko BBL playoff series.
How surprised were you that the s:Oliver Baskets Wurzburg got past Alba Berlin 3-1? What was key in this series for Alba Berlin getting an early summer vacation?
I was a bit surprised but only based on the budgets of both teams. I know the Berlin supporters and management is less than pleased right now. But you can’t underestimate a team who plays as gritty and as tough and as scrappy as Wurzburg. They’re no fun to play against, especially at their place. I know Berlin has a higher caliber of all around players, but sometimes when you know you should win it makes it even more difficult to do so and can be a disadvantage as it was for Berlin this season. Kudos to Wurzburg as well for pulling together for the upset in the series.
Were you surprised by the easy time that ratiopharm Ulm had in getting past the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig? What was key for Ulm advancing?
They’re a team that has obviously had great chemistry and synergy with one another and its only grown exponentially throughout the season. They trust in each other and they all play well together and it seems everyone knows their roles on that team. Aside from what I observed from the players while competing against them, they’re also well coached and to have a unit that close and willing to sacrifice for one another obviously has to be encouraged and facilitated from the coaches as well. Its no surprise in hindsight that they were able to for lack of a better word “cruise,” by us in the first-round. I give credit to all my teammates as talent-wise, we have what I believe to be one of the best group of players and veterans in the league and under most circumstances, would have shown a better effort to advance had we had the support system and ability to make adjustments faster like they did. The key for Ulms advancement is simple, they were better prepared than us and it continued to snowball for them through the season.