Courtney Belger is a 26 year old 187cm guard from St Louis that is playing his first season with with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). Last season he played his second professional season with TV Ibbenbuehren (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 21 games and averaging 23.7ppg, 7.5rpg, Assists-4(6.7apg), Steals-2(3.5spg), FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 75.2%. He started his basketball career at Quincy (NCAA2) in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 113 NCAA 2 games. As a senior he played 27 games averaging 11.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 72.0%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season. He will play in the German Pro B next season for Itzehoe. He spoke to German Hoops after the 80-74 victory against the EN Baskets Schwelm.
Courtney thanks for talking to German Hoops Congrats on the 80-74 win against the EN Baskets Schwelm. In the fourth quarter Schwelm cut the Itzhoe lead down to three points, but you kept your composure and won. What was key for getting the victory in crunch time?
The key was continuing to focus on us and not the back and forth stress of the game. If we control what we can control and keep up our intensity, we are normally where we want to be at the end of the game.
Izehoe didn´t shoot great, but better than Schwelm were outrebounded and had six turnovers less than the opponent. What do you believe was the biggest team strength on the night?
I think it was our defense and the way that everyone was all about the team yesterday. Everyone was fighting for one another and sacrificing whatever they had. The entire team was engaged. The starters, the bench players, the injured guys, even our fans. It was great to see that on the road.
Dirk Mädrich is a 30 year old 212cm center that is playing his third season for SC Rasta Vechta after moving down two classes form the Beko BBL to the Pro B in 2011. He started his basketball career in 2001 with BG Dorsten (Regionalliga). He then played three seasons for Braunschweig. In 2004-2005 he moved to Bamberg where he helped Bamberg win their first Beko BBL title. He then moved back to Braunschweig for a season and in 2006-2007 left Germany and played for Strasbourg IG (France-ProA): ULEB Cup: 13 games: 4.1ppg, 2.8rpg; French League: 31 games: 4.5ppg, 2.7rpg. He then played for the Artland Dragons form 2007-2009 helping them win the Beko BBL cup in 2008. In 2009 he played for AEP Olimpiada Patron (Greece-A2, starting five): 5 games: 8.8ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 75.0%, FT: 87.5%, then moved to Konstantin Elephants Grevenbroich (Regionalliga, starting five): 4 games: 12.5ppg. In 2010-2011 he played for LTi Giessen 46ers (1.Bundesliga): 30 games: 3.4ppg, 1.9rpg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently.
The most asked question to you this season has to be, was moving to SC Rasta Vechta the best decision in your basketball career?
That has been asked often and it was my best decision and the turning point in my basketball career. I had the choice of having a small role for a big team or be a small fish in big water or go back a step and take on some responsibility at Vechta. The concept of Pat Elzie worked and we have a great team now. I made a big step in the last three years. I am more robust, conditioned and grew up as a player with Vechta.
Why has Pat Elzie been so successful with SC Rasta Vechta?
Pat Elzie is a players coach that gives you confidence and stands behind you when you make a mistake. Before I came to Vechta, I never got a real chance anywhere or was injured. Elzie never stopped believing in me.