Between 2004 and 2008 German women Basketball was reigned by TSV 1880 Wasserburg. Five Championships and three Cup Championships were conquered by the Bavarian club near Munich. In the meanwhile around 500 km northwest a new force slowly arose. After a sixth place in 2004/05 TV Saarlouis Royals finished fifth one year later and twice as second in the follwing years after Regular Season, a development that climaxed in the top seed despite a technical loss on game day nine this season. After already winning the Cup Challenge last season 2007/08 the Royals repeated this success this year and added the German Championship. As the father of this success can be considered Head Coach Rene Spandauw who constantly attracted young talented German women to Saarlouis and mixed them with some of the best foreigners in the league. One of these rising German stars is Romy Bar (188-F-87). Learning her Basketball fundamentals in her hometown Chemnitz, Bar took off to Saarlouis in the summer of 2007. Her overall statline from this years Championship campaign expresses her all around game: 11.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.2 APG, 2.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 26 minutes on the court. Her versatility allows her coaches to use her on every position on the court from PG through PF!
At the tender age of 21 already team captain of the German Cup Champion and German Championship winner plus a strong debut on the National Team in January - how pleased are you with this season?
Bar: What else can you ask for than winning everything there is to win! It's been a tremendous year for us as a team. So I am of course highly pleased with our achievements as a team from this year. But personally I wont settle on my own performance from this year. I think I did pretty well in my NT debut but overall I still have a lot of room for improvement. I will definitely work on more athleticism to enhance my game. But what I probably need most is experience, especially decision making in certain situation is something that will come with more years of experience.
What has been the difference between your team and Wasserburg in the end?
Bar: I personally belief the better TEAM won this year. Wasserburg has some very good individual Basketball players, probably better players than we have. But I think they sometimes played too selfish. In our team everybody played for and with the other, on the court and on the bench. We are twelve players helping each other. There was always someone stepping up, when one was missing. I think that was difference!
How important was the home court advantage in this series?
Bar: It was huge. Every team won its home games, so all of our three victories were at home. I think that speaks for itself. It was just amazing what was going on here in Saarlouis during these last days. All games were sold out. And when you come to your home game two hours before the game will start and there are already hundreds of fans waiting and cheering that is just inspiring and helped a lot! Playing in front of nearly 2500 noisy people and knowing that there are an additional 500 fans in front of the gym watching the game on a wide screen was an awesome experience. And in the end probably whole Saarlouis was celebrating with us. It was nice!
The Royals program keeps on growing - the next logical step is the participation in the Eurocup 2009/10 - are you looking forward to this new challenge and what do you expect in these games against top teams from other European countries?
Bar: Of course I am happy about this exciting chance and really looking forward to this new challenge!!! I think it will be a huge chance for us to grow as we gain more experience and find out where we are in comparison with other European clubs. We will see how we will do there but even if we don't win a single game it will still help us in our development. What I personally will face in these games I can only guess right now but I think it will be interesting to see and find out where I need to improve to pursue my ultimate goal of being a player in a top team in Europe at some point further on.
Now to your personal future will the Royals fans have the chance to see you play here for a little while longer? Do you have any ambitions to take your game to other European leagues just like Anne Breitreiner did after a couple of good years in Germany?
Bar: Although I haven't signed a new contract yet I still plan to stay at least one more year here in Saarlouis. I want to finish my university studies and then try to play somewhere outside of Germany depending on the offers I'll get, which of course will depend on how I develop until then and on what level I play by then. We'll see.
Your hometown club ChemCats Chemnitz couldn't stay in the league as they finished second last in the relegation zone. How bonded are you still with your hometown club? Does that touch you?
Bar: Well the team has changed quite a bit there. From this years team I really don't know so many players anymore. But of course it is always nice to play in your hometown. For me it was always like home coming and fun to play in front of my family and my friends. And not to forget it was always nice to stay at home after the game something that did not happen so often throughout the season. But as far as I know right now the chances are not bad that Chemnitz will get a wild card and maybe stays in the league. I wish them all the best for that.
Thanks for the interview Romy. Congratulations for winning the German Championship and good luck for your future!
Amin Stevens (ex Braunschweig) joins Keflavik - 11 hours ago
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Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular seas... [read more]
Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was selected Eurobasket.com All-Austrian League Forward of the Year, named to 1st Team and named to All-Imports Team. He has played previously professionally in Slovakia (MBK Rieker Com Therm Komarno) and Austria (Furstenfeld Panthers). Stevens attended Florida A&M University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player.
Marcellus Barksdale(196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before th... [read more]
Marcellus Barksdale (196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before the Frankfurt contest.
Marcellus thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your first season with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). You signed very late in the summer. How was your first experience with looking for clubs and finding that right situation?
It was a nerve wrecking process to say the least! It really tested my patience. It was a situation that was out of my control. All I could do was continually improve and work on my game so that when my moment came, I would be ready.
You finally found a team with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). What were then main reasons for joining the club and what was really sold you on making your professional start in Germany? Honestly, I believed Germany would be a great place for me to start my career. All of the pros I talked to, both former and current, listed Germany as one of their top places to live and play basketball. My agent, Gerrit Kersten-Thiele, is also from Germany so it was an easy decision for me when he told me they were interested in signing me.
Just like last season the club has relied on one American. What has been your experience playing with only German players?
It has been a very easy transition. Although my teammates are all German, they each speak English very well and have done a great job of including me in the team's chemistry. Practicing the last couple of weeks and watching the season opener have allowed me to understand each of my teammates strengths and capabilities. I'm excited to finally get on the court with them.
Have you noticed early on that the team looks up to you or do sense it is trust in the making? I feel the team really looks up to me and is looking for me to help lead. We have a lot of talent but we are a young team. As one of the older guys, it is my responsibility to lead by example and bring energy and intensity to every practice and game.
How excited are you to be making your professional debut in Frankfurt. Can you remember your NCAA debut in 2011 against Anderson? I'm pumped up for my professional debut! It's finally starting to feel real. All of the countless hours in the gym have begun to pay off and I have a great opportunity in front of me. And yes, I still remember my first college game as well. I had so much energy and adrenaline that it was hard to be nervous!
The name might not say anything now, but you will be making your debut against 16 year 203cm point guard Isaac Bonga who is the biggest German prospect since NBA player Dennis Schroeder. Is this something that will add to your adrenaline for your first professional game? I've watched a little bit of film on him. I think he has a very bright future ahead but for now, he's my opponent and I'm treating him no differently than any other player on the Frankfurt roster. He has no effect on my adrenaline or excitement for my first game as a pro. I did not even know who he was until this week.
Besides winning what are your main goals as a rookie on the court?
From my effort and defensive intensity, to my communication and aggressiveness, my main goal on the court is to be the hardest worker on the floor and to set an example for my teammates at all times. All of these goals are completely intangible and things I have control over every game. I feel if I'm able to do these to the best of my ability every night, wins will follow.
Do you see yourself as having to carry the team and being the main scoring option?
I see myself as having to do whatever is necessary for my team to win each game. One game it may be scoring, one game it may be defending, another game it may be both. Either way, I'm going to do what is needed to get a win for my team.
If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would you describe your game too?
Tough question! But if there was one NBA player who I feel my game mimics most I would have to say Andre Miller in his younger years. Miller was a very versatile and strong combo guard who was a heck of a leader. He could play on the wing or PG and was very effective at both. I also liked how he had the strength to take smaller guards to the block and go to work. He was also a pest on the defensive end and had a great basketball IQ.
How proud were you to be part of the success and breakout season of Darell Combs?
Watching Darell grow for the past two-and-a-half years was great. He's one of the best guards I've ever played with and really began to mature on and off the court last season. He's been working hard all summer and I really feel he will have a breakout season this year.
How far can he still go and develop in his last two years of school? Darell has always been a talented scorer but his ball handling and passing ability have allowed him to take his game to the next level. Add that with his new leadership role at IUPUI and he has a chance to lead this team to a conference championship and NCAA tournament.
You are a very energetic and active forward with your biggest strength at rebounding. What other assets would you add to your player profile? I'm very versatile. I feel there is nothing on the court that I can't particularly do. I feel passing is one of my best assets. I have very good court vision and an understanding of when and where to get my teammates the ball.
You are a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game? A hidden strength in my game is my scoring ability. My last season of college, the dynamics of the team changed and my scoring was not needed as much. I've worked hard all summer to improve my outside shooting and midrange game. This season I plan to utilize these strengths much more.
You had many good games at IUPUI, but would you say that your back to back games of 21 points against South Dakota and 25 points against Western Illinois were your two best games? I played a lot of games at IUPUI. It's hard to single out any one performance as my best. Those were great games for me scoring the ball but I do not think I would count that as my best game.
How did Jason Gardner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career in your senior year? Coach Gardner challenged me. He challenged my leadership and also gave me a clearer reality of what to expect playing professional basketball in Europe. He also continually helps me in whatever way he can, and it's always good knowing somebody like that is in your corner.
Gardner had his successful years in Germany with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Do you remember him telling any stories about his time in Germany? When I found out that Coach Gardner was going to be my head coach I immediately began watching all of his pro highlights on YouTube. He's told me a few stories but I know he had a great career in Germany and was loved and hated by many fans!
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NBA that is in the NBA now?
The toughest player that I've played in college that is in the NBA now is Nate Wolters. I've played against many NBA talents but Wolters was always tough at South Dakota St. His game was always solid and he played at his own pace. I've always respected his game.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Mason Archie?
Me and Mase had many battles. We would go back and forth many practices and open gyms. We always had an unspoken battle. We never talked about it much but we both were trying to beat each other at everything--sprints, weights, one-on-one drills, defending Darell, grades. It really pushed us to become better both on and off the court.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I would go with MJ, Kareem, Kobe, and LeBron (I have to give him his proper respect.)
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? After his most recent championship, I believe LeBron solidified himself as a top-5 all-time great NBA player.
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 1 day ago
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Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Euro... [read more]
Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 12.8ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.0bpg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Basabe played in the final of NIT in 2013. He has played previously professionally in Finland (Helsinki Seagulls) and Poland (Stabill). Basabe attended University of Iowa until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball.
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