The former Pac-10 Point Guard and 1992 Stanford University graduate has been 5 times Coach of the Year and won 3 Championships in the last 7 seasons in 4 different leagues. (Japan Super League, 2nd German Bundesliga, BBL, and FIBA Eurochallenge) His low-player-budget BBL teams qualified for European competition in each of the last four seasons. Last season, Würzburg’s inaugural season in the BBL after finishing 2nd in the Pro A (German 2nd league) the previous season, Coach Patrick’s team had the lowest scoring defense in the BBL, and knocked Alba Berlin out of the playoffs, before dropping 3 hardfought games to Thorsten Leibenath’s Ratiofarm Ulm in the Semis. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
It has been five months since your dismissal from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. How difficult has this time been not being a head coach for a team?
It has been a great chance to refresh and hopefully gain a sense of perspective about Coaching and the Basketball Business as a whole.
Was it like a bad dream when you were informed from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg that you weren´t going to coach another season for the team?
It was unexpected, of course, after such a great season with so much unexpected success. But sometimes success can be as difficult to deal with as failure. (Morgan Wootten used to tell us this at DeMatha.) Maybe the success came too fast for some.
Jason Boone is a 26 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York. He will be playing his first season with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and his fourth in the Beko BBL. He played 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%. Three seasons ago, he 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 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 with BG Goettingen he played 37 games: 8.5ppg, 5.9rpg, FGP: 59.8%, FT: 34.9%; EuroCup: 14 games: 9.1ppg, 6.2rpg, Blocks-4(1.1bpg), FGP: 59.8%, FT: 36.0%. Jason spoke to German Hoops before the game against The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig February 18th.
A big 64-55 win in Bayreuth. It was another typical low scoring grind out win for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. What was key in the end for getting a big road win?
It was definitely a grind. The Bayreuth arena is one of the toughest places to play in the BBL. Fortunately we made the plays down the stretch to seal the victory.
The last time, The Fraport Skyliners graced the soil of the pretty Bavarian town of Wurzburg, Murat Didin was head coach in his first tenure there leading the club to the Beko BBL final, world class cyclist Lance Armstrong was only months shy of winning his record seventh Tour De France, the first presidential election was still months away in Egypt, the Chicago White Sox were on course of being the only major league team in history being in first place from day one until day 162 and the NFL played its first game outside the United States as the Arizona Cardinals battled the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. All these events occurred in 2005 and the last time that Frankfurt played in Wurzburg was March 19th as they escaped with a 89-87 win in front of 1,200 patrons. Back then, Wurzburg had current Phantom Nils Mittman and Walter Tigers Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic in the line up while the Skyliners had a young 19 year old Alex King registering two points and high flying American Chris Williams who led all scorers with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Yesterday the Fraport Skyliners returned again as scoring took a back seat as defense was the highest priority and the gang of Muli Katzurin found a away to win their fifth game in a row on the road and came to terms with the tough atmosphere prevailing 56-51. Despite the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg having a strong 8-1 home record, they aren´t invincible at home “This arena reminds a bit of the Cameron arena at Duke. That arena is small like this one and the fans pack it in and are great. It is usually hard to defeat us here”, stressed ex Umass American Ricky Harris. Wurzburg guard Ben Jacobson has had the luxary of playing in two very unique arenas the last years. “The Lok halle has its own mystique. However the fans here are very special. Even if you miss 15 shots in a row, they go wild when you hit that 16th shot. This place is small and the fans are on top of you. You don´t always have to play in a big arena to feel comfortable. We feel very comfortable here and use it to our advantage”, stressed Ben Jacobson.
The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg have only been back in the Beko BBL four moths after having been absent from the Beko BBL for six years, but right at the start of the season, their buzzer beater loss to the Fraport Skyliners had much discussion matter. On October 12th, the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg lost a bitter game on a last second shot by Justin Gray. Soon after the loss, Wurzburg protested the Frankfurt win and appealed to the Beko BBL for a rematch, because they claimed that German national player Johannes Herber had hit a three pointer after the referee had blown the whistle which led to a John Patrick technical foul and seven unanswered Skyliner points. However the Beko BBL didn´t grant the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg a rematch and thus the game remained a heartbreaking loss for the Bavarian team. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg will go into the return game at home with a lot of revenge and be as focused to win as comedian Bill Maher was at poking fun at Tim Tebow using Satin and Hitler, Usher firing away at at his ex wife saying don’t take away my kids or world class sprinter Usain Bolt getting every last ounce in the booze bong on vacation in Jamaica. New York native Jason Boone remembers the buzzer beater loss, past buzzer beaters and revenge on Frankfurt. “You have to have a short memory after the Frankfurt loss. We couldn´t worry about a loss like that because something like that can affect your overall play. The loss was tough, but we had to focus on the next game immediately. I have been on the losing end of some buzzer beaters in college and also with the one where Bremerhaven eliminated us, but I also have been part of two good buzzer beater wins. It is all part of the game. At this point of the season, we know that we can play with the best teams in the BBL as well as loose to the weaker teams if we don´t come to play. We definitely want to play well against Frankfurt, but more because we want to play good basketball then opposed to having revenge”, stressed Jason Boone. Teammate Ricky Harris also has the buzzer beater still on his mind. “I remember that buzzer beater as if it was yesterday. We fought so hard at coming back from being down. Guys stepped up big and made plays and then to see a 35 footer go down was a heart breaker, but that was a great shot by Justin Gray. As soon as the game day comes, that buzzer beater will pop into our heads again. That was the first buzzer beater that I ever experienced. I see it all the time in the NBA and it excites me. But being on the loosing end of a buzzer beater isn´t fun”, warned Ricky Harris.
40 minutes after Justin Gray had sent the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg home with a beautiful fade away buzzer beater giving the faithful Wurzburg fans brewing nightmares on the horizon for consecutive days to follow, Chris Kramer departed the locker room with a hat on seemingly trying to hide his face as if he had been responsible for some cheap shot on the court, not covering Gray on the last shot or having dove into the first row and doused a fan by mistake with their coke. He had not been responsible for any of that, but that was just the spur of the moment nature of the American who had quietly led his team in scoring with 16 points and shown his versatility in so many other aspects of the game as he retrieved 5 rebounds and dished out two assists as well. If it hadn´t been for his strong play in the fourth quarter where he led the s.Oliver Basekts back on a furious come back on a 10-2 run where he scored in the penetration three times looking like a second Dashaun Wood who was returning to haunt Frankfurt in a new uniform, it may never have come to the last possession play where Frankfurt was able to win the game. In many ways, he was the best Wurzburg player on the court and after a bitter loss like that it is only understandable that players will be down have problems finding the right words or even not wanting to speak, but the second year professional was Mr cool, but with that business touch as he answered the questions as if he had been playing for 10 years. He has showed his scoring skills early since the Frankfurt loss leading the team to a win against BBCBayreuth and being second top scorer in a tough loss in Artland.
The last time Americans Ben Jacobson, Jason Boone and John Little were on the floor together before this season, they were celebrating immense success with BG Goettingen winning the Eurochalenge and reaching the Beko BBL playoffs on a regular basis. It seems that they could be successful at many things besides basketball like putting on aprons and baking delicious cookies for a late afternoon snack for president Obama, doing a slick basketball trick routine on American Idol ala Globetrotters style and getting Simon Cowell to utter a smile and thumbs up or being able to kick a soccer ball off a beer mug through the goal wall hole at the Aktuelles Sport Studio at ZDF the way German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer did because it seems like whatever they do on the court can also turn to gold in other activities. With the aid of John Patrick, the BG Goettingen connection has helped the s. Oliver baskets Wurzburg get out of the gates to a 2-0 record, but against the Fraport Skyliners there was no trick up the sleeve of the American coach or his players that was able to stop Justin Gray as he dropped a buzzer beater bomb in ala Eric Chadfield(2006 buzzer beater to beat ratiopharm Ulm) style as the Fraport Skyliners shocked the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg 80-78. Despite the disheartening loss, John Patrick knows that his three ex Goettingen players have many talents and will help lead the team to many more wins in the future. “All three guys know what it takes to get a winning team going. They know when to have fun, but when we are in practice they are all business. Jason Boone can eat a hamburger in one bite, Ben Jacobson is an Iowa guy and is the best golfer on the team and eats more dairy queen meals than anyone I know and John Little is simply indestructible and has run through more walls than anyone I know”, stressed s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg head coach John Patrick. “We have helped with the leadership and helped the other players translate over to the style of John Patrick. The Goettingen guys have a very close bond”, stressed Ben Jacobsen. Skyliner center Marius Nolte also noticed how important the ex Goettingen guys have been for the Wurzburg team. “I think everybody saw tonight how much Goettingen is sticking in the Wurzburg system on the court”, warned Marius Nolte.
Who could forget the tantalizing breathtaking scenes in Wurzburg last summer as 2011 NBA NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki returned home to his old basketball battle ground receiving a heros welcome looking more like a sea of fans at a soccer winners presentation than that of a basketball jubilation. With Beko BBL basketball back in Wurzburg for the first time in six years, it seems like the Nowitzki festivities was just the start of better things to come to the Bayern city where German basketball names like Dirk Nowitzki, Demond Greene, Robert Garrett and Marvin Willoughby were successfully selling the brand name basketball in the late 90s in fine style. New s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg head coach John Patrick may have blond hair with a spray touch of orange and blue eyes like Nowitzki and never get the hero status of the NBA superstar, but the American coach could continue to use his magic hidden wand which he must have hidden in his pocket at each game and continue to somehow transform his incredible success from BG Goettingen where he led the club to three of four playoffs and won the Eurochallenge in 2010 and possibly become the second most famous basketball blond in Wurzburg that has given the world the tasty Franken wine. Its is no secret that Dirk Nowitzki was a tennis ace before he played basketball and John Patrick has blond hair with a touch of orange just like 1985 17 year old Wimbeldon winner Boris Becker. Patrick might not have that big serve on the court, but surely had the right stimulating successful boom boom words that has inspired his players the last years in Goettingen. “Well John Patrick is a great coach and will do a great job in Wurzburg. If they continue to win games then I think that he could become a very well known Basketball name in Wurzburg”, commented TBB Trier guard John Bynum. It doesn´t really matter where Patrick is, his basketball philosophy seems to stand for success as he also won a title in Japan and seems to know how to reach his players. “I think he just gets the best out of his players and they always play hard. His style differs from most coaches in the BBL and it is fun to play against and I am sure its fun for his players as well”, stressed John Bynum.