In the world FC Bayern Munich has a reputation and is a household name in Germany, the way Heinz Ketchup is in the United States, Iberia airlines is in Spain, Ferrari is in Italy or IKEA is in Sweden. However in Germany when uttering the word FC Bayern Munich, it is Soccer and one usually affiliates the 22 German meisterschaften, 15 cup wins, the world class players that have graced the red and white jersey like Franz Beckenbauer, Karl Heinz Rummenigge, Gerd Mueller, Oliver Kahn, Lothar Matthus, the sometime minor scandals that has given the club FC Hollywood status or the famous Uli Hoeness Wutrede at the 2007-2008 stock holders meeting where his head was as red as a bolied lobster. FC Bayern Munich and basketball in the same breath in the past was about as distant as Heidi Klum and Seal are now. However since this season, Basketball is back in the first division since their last visit in 1986-1987 and with the expertise coaching from Dirk Bauermann and ultimate Bayern fan Uli Hoeness giving the needed financial support, the organization is looking to become an FC Barcelona in the Beko BBL sometime down the road. However the route in the direction of a FC Barcelona seems to have taken a severe wrong turn and landed in Sitges (Beach resort near Barcelona) and at the moment the basketball team led by ex German national head coach Dirk Bauermann is about as far away from FC Barcelona as British tennis ace Andy Murray is from winning a Grand Slam event. The FC Bayern Munich bosses never predicted a title in their first season, but were expecting to belong to the top teams and be a force in the Beko BBL playoffs. FC Bayern Munich has been up and down in the last months and if they keep it up, may get gobbled up by the competiton and be in the Munich beer gardens in May instead of the Beko BBL arenas. One cant say that FC Bayern Munich is only playing bad. They had good efforts against Oldenburg and BG Goettingen. A team like Munich just cant become a title team from today to tomorrow. This takes a lot of development, something that Bamberg has behind them. I am sure that we will see a totally different team when the playoffs start. They just have to continue to find themselves something which has taken longer due to injuries. Every player has the ability to score 20 points or more. The team just cant mislead themselves. I still see FC Bayern Munich as a serious title candidate, stressed Walter Tiger Tuebingen forward Ruben Spoden.
For all those that were born after the first man stepped on the moon, a memory of FC Bayern Munich playing in the first German basketball league will be absent. The last time FC Bayern Munich won a German first division basketball title, the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl 2, Martin Luther King was assassinated, famous American TV show 60 minutes made its debut on CBS and is still on today, Led Zeppelin make their first Live performance in England and famous Croatian basketball player Toni Kukoc was born as was lovable American actor who you talking about Willis Gary Coleman. The year was 1968 as Bayern Munich won their last title which was a cup. They were also Bundesliga champion in 1954 and 1955. Since the Bundesliga cup win, basketball has been in the shadow of the soccer team moving down and back up in 1974 and then going back to the second Bundesliga in 1982. They were back in the top division in 1987, but returned back down in 1989. Then in 1993, the team was in the Regionaliga. In 1995, 1999 and 2004, the team found itself back in the second Bundesliga, but they never were able to get back into the first Bundesliga as money and quality players were missing. In 2009-2010, 23,000 members from the club Bayern Munich voted and agreed that the basketball department had to be financially supported so that they could return back to the BEKO BBL. In the 2010-2011 PRO A season Bayern Munich plowed through the competition with new head coach Dirk Bauermann, German national players Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene and locker room motivation magnate Darius Hall.
FC Bayern Munich not only have brought in experienced basketball players, but with head coach Dirk Bauermann as the Beko BBL version of Phil Jackson who has won 9 Beko BBL titles, seven with Bayer Leverkusen and two with the Brose Baskets Bamberg. And one should not forget his experience that he brings with his coaching duty as German national coach from 2003-2011 leading Germany to a Silver medal at the 2005 European championships. With a budget of seven million Euro, Bauermann has that kid feeling of being able to go into Fao Schwartz in New York city and shop until he drops for the right players. Bauermann knows that he will have a new kind of pressure that he never felt before. There is nothing less accepted than success with FC Bayern Munich. We want to be in the top four teams. We want to play our best basketball when it counts. Titles arent won in October, warned Dirk Bauermann. The club did a good job not doing a total house cleaning, but keeping a core of guys from the 2011 PRO A championship team. German national players Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene were kept. They may not be the youngest, but still possess special Beko BBL quality. Aleksandar Nadjfeji is 35, but with four Beko BBL titles wants to add some more with Munich, Darius Hall can still give that big smile and sneer to dazzle you and can give valuable minutes from the bench and young German Bastian Doreth who is being groomed to take over for Steffen Hamann down the road. The club added six top players with three German national players. Jan Jagla returns back to the Beko BBL after playing shortly for the Artland Dragons in 2005, Phillip Schwethelm continues to develop and shines with his defense and shooting and German wunder kind Robin Benzing who is looking to make a further step in the Beko BBL in his third season after not being drafted by the NBA. The team also added Je Kel Foster who is their best one on one player and can be explosive and is a very consistent and reliable player. Ben Hansborough is a Beko BBL rookie and should have some stories about his NBA brother Tyler Hansborough, but was let go at the end of 2011. FC Bayern Munich already suffered some growing pains as ex NBA player Ruben Boumtje Boumtje declared his retirement on account of heart disease and Sharod Ford left the team because of personal reasons. However the team hauled in Chevon Mr chevy Troutman who didnt need much time to adjust as he belongs to the top centers in the league after only 8 games. The team also brought in strong big man Jared Homan who last played in Italy. We have a roster that can beat any team in Germany. Key will to form a team out of good individual players, warned FC Bayern Munich sport director Marko Pesic.
Despite basketball critics blasting FC Bayern Munich for getting big names not necessarily meaning that it will play team basketball, the Bavarian club has a 12-10 record and rest in 7th place and would have a playoff date with ratiopharm Ulm if the playoffs started tomorrow. The club started off with a tough 80-76 loss in Bonn, but then found their rhythm winning four games in a row against some lesser teams, but were able to beat Braunschweig. The team lost two of the last three games against playoff aspiring teams Oldenburg and Artland Dragons before their game against Frankfurt last November. Since their last meeting, FC Bayern Munich has been up and down at 6-7 and not playing anything like their soccer team is. In this span. There biggest wins were against Oldenburg 102-71 and a big win at home against ratiopharm Ulm where they took revenge for their loss in Ulm earlier this season where American Keaton Nankivil sent them home without their leather pants. They continue to be strong at home at 11-1, but very vulnerable on the road at 1-9. They average 78 points a game and give up 75 points. They have improved their defense from the first nine games where they gave up an average 80 points per game. Their strength is shooting the ball. They have so many guys that can fill it up with Greene, Wallace, Schwethelm and Foster. Their defense is ok, but the best bet for a team is too run on them, because they have bigs that dont come back quick enough. They had problems with their pick and roll defense, but we played them before Chevon Troutman came, warned Josh Young. Even though Foster was out done in Overtime by David Holston in the loss at Artland, Foster belongs to the top players in the Beko BBL and will lead FC Bayern Munich in tough times. Foster impressed me the most on that team. He isa smart and great shooter and solid on defense. He is just as tough as nails. You have to put Foster in the same trio of Brown, Wood and Holston, warned Josh Young.
The Fraport Skyliners will be looking to get revenge for the bitter 58-57 loss in Munich, where a timely Je'Kel Foster (191-G-83, college: Ohio St.) three pointer and offensive rebounds on missed free throws sealed the win for Dirk Bauermann and his gang. We have to play defense, play aggressive and execute better on offense and get back on transition defense, warned Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt will have to forget those last few minutes in the fourth quarter and stay focused mentally for 40 minutes too. Key will be shutting off any mental lapses that may occur, warned Michael Thompson. If there is one guy who wants to win as badly as Brose Baskets Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder does than it is Skyliner captain Marius Nolte We have to play concentrated for 40 minutes. We have to play good team defense and give up no easy baskets, warned Marius Nolte. will need to be awake again in Munich to stop the athletic Chevy. We have to do a very good job defending the paint. Chevon Troutman is a good player. We have to control the back boards, warned Justin Gray. Frankfurt should also follow the 3 quick step to success from Tigers guard Josh Young. Frankfurt has to keep the Munich shooters in check, control the boards and score in transition to have a chance to win, warned Josh Young. We have to stay together, move the ball and play good defense, warned Michael Thompson. The Fraport Skyliners host FC Bayern Munich February 18th.
FC Bayern Munich is led by Chevon Troutman is a 29 year old 202cm forward from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is a tough, talented rebounder, athletic defender, tough offensive player and fierce competitor who plays with much passion. He has contributed primarily in the low-post but also can play on the perimeter. His high school coach also coached NBA star Allen Iverson. Troutman played at Pittsburgh (NCAA) from 2001-2005 where he reached the NCAA Sweet 16 three years in a row from 2002-2004. As a professional basketball player he has played three years in Italy and three years in France for Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France-ProA). He was a French All Star twice and won the cup in 2008 and was French PRO A champion in 2009. Last season, he played for Air Avellino (Italy-SerieA, starting five), injured in Jan.'11 and was off for 4 months: 16 games: 14.6ppg, Reb-3 (8.3rpg), Steals-3 (2.7spg), FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 69.0%. Currently he is averaging 17,8ppg, 9,0rpg and 1,8apg. Je Kel Foster returns back to the Beko BBL after playing in Italy last season. Foster is a 28 year old 191cm guard from Mississippi that is a natural born leader. Runs the show as a point guard that can score. He thinks to run the offensive first. His long arms and his quickness allows for him to cover the entire floor defensively while also giving him to length to finish over taller players. Excellent 3 point shooter. He played at Ohio State and started his professional basketball career in Germany for EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 42 games: 13.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 34.0%, FT: 75.3%. He then played a season in France for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA, starting five): 30 games: 14.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-2 (2.4spg), 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. He then played for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2008-2010 leading the team to the Beko BBL championship in 2009. Last season, he played for Vanoli-Braga Cremona (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 29 games: 12.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 71.8%. Currently, he is averaging 16,3ppg, 3,5rpg and 2,1apg. He is hooting 54% from the field and 48% from the parking lot.
Robin Benzing is playing his first season in Bavaria and is a 22 year old 208cm forward from Seeheim-Jugenheim south of Frankfurt, Germany. He is a big forward who can play in both positions (if he works on the physical department) as he has the size and the shooting skills too. His game looks like his country-mate Jan Jagla, he is a bit lighter than the German international, and is playing mostly within the wing. He is amazingly good ball handler for his size and he can attack the basket going both ways. He started his basketball career for TV Langen in 2004 and played there until 2009. He played for ratiopharm Ulm the last two seasons playing a total of 66 Beko BBL games. Last season, he was the top scoring German in the Beko BBL averaging 15.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 77.2%. he also has been a member of the German national team since 2009 and this past summer played at the European Championships in Lithuania -11: 8 games: 9.1ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 52.6%, FT: 78.6%. Currently, he is averaging 9,8ppg and 3,2rpg. Aleksandar Nadjfeji is playing his 10th season in the Beko BBL and second with FC Bayern Munich and is a 35 year old 203cm forward from Serbia that is has excellent athletic skills. Can run and jump. Very impressive dunker. Can shot. Also good defender. He played for The Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2001-2005 where he never averaged less than 13,8ppg a season in the German league. He then played for RheinEnergie Koln from 2005-2008 where he helped win the Beko BBL title in 2006 and helped win a cup. As Cologne was having problems financially, he went to Alba Berlin in the middle of the 2007-2008 season helping them win the championship in 2008 and cup in 2009. He then played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and last season with FC Bayern Munich played 30 games: 12.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.0apg, FGP-3 (66.4%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 58.0%. Currently, he is averaging 9,6ppg, 5,1rpg and 2,5apg. Jan Jagla also returns back to the Beko BBL after playing in other countries for six years. Jagla is a 30 year old 213cm forward from Berlin Germany. A seven-foot power forward with the skill set of a guard. Can post up and score inside and is a great three point shooter as well. Was compared too much times to Dirk Nowitzki at his teenage days, and this limited his maturation. He started his basketball career at Lichterfelde and then went to the States to play NCAA ball at Penn St. He then played for Panellinios Athens (Greece-A1): 3 games: 2.3ppg, 1.0rpg: released in Nov.'04 and joined Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (1.Bundesliga): 26 games: 6.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 55.6%, 3FGP: 30.2%. In 2005-2006, he had a taste of the NBA playing with the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), waived in Oct.'05, then signed at Drac Inca Mallorca (Spain-LEB, starting five): 28 games: 11.3ppg, Reb-5 (7.8rpg), 1.4bpg, 2FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.1%. From 2006-2011, he played for top tams in Europe including Turk Telekom Ankara, DKV Joventut Badalona (Spain-ACB,) from 2007-2009 where he played with Demond Mallet and Ricky Rubio and helped win the ULEB Cup in 2008. The last two years, he played for Polish Euroleague team Asseco Prokom Gdynia . He has played 40 Euroleague games and has been part of the German national team since 2006. Last season he played for Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-PLK, starting five): Polish League: 2 games: 4.0ppg, 5.0rpg; Polish League: Euroleague: 10 games: 5.6ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 66.7%; VTB League: 4 games: 11.0ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 66.7%, in Dec.'10 moved to Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL): 16 games: 4.5ppg, 2.4rpg. Currently, he is averaging 8,4ppg and 4,5rpg.
Jonathan Wallace is playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich and is a 25 year old 187cm guard from Alabama that is playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich. He played at Georgetown from 2004-2008 reaching the NCAA Final 4 in 2007. In 2008-2009, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-1A), Adriatic League: 8 games: 4.4ppg, 1.3rpg; Euroleague: 4 games: 6.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg; left in Nov.'08, in Feb.'09 moved to EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): German League: 18 games: 1.7ppg; EuroChallenge: 2 games: 0.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg. In 2009-2010, he played for Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) becoming D-league champion playing 58 games: 10.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 88.1%. Last season for FC Bayern Munich he played 30 games: 15.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 83.8%. Currently he is averaging 7,6ppg and 1,8rpg. German national player Steffen Hamann returns for a second season to Munich. Hamann is a 30 year old 194cm guard from Bamberg. He started his career at Bamberg in 1997 and played there until 2008. He was Beko BBL champion twice with Bamberg. He played for Alba Berlin from 2008-2010 winning the Beko BBL cup in 2009. Last season for FC Bayern Munich, he played 20 games: 10.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 85.9%. Before coming to Munich, he has played 88 FIBA international club games. He has been a member of the German national team since 2003 winning the silver at the 2005 European championships. Currently he is averaging 7,4ppg, 1,8rpg and 4,6apg. Phillip Schwethelm is a 22 year old 201cm forward that is playing his first season in Munich. He started his basketball career with Cologne in 2004, where he played until 2009. He played Euroleague at the age of 17. He helped Cologne win the Beko BBL title in 2006. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2009-2011 and last year played 36 games: 10.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 72.9%. He has been a member of the German national team since 2010. Currently he is averaging 5,3ppg and 3,9rpg.
Demond Greene is playing his second season for FC Bayern Munich and is a 32 year old 185cm guard that was born in Fort Hood Texas. He is spectacular point guard or shooting guard, great athlete, not very tall but he can jump and dunk, good shooter and is a former long-jumper. He started his career at TuS Aschaffenburg in 1996. He then played together with Dirk Nowirzki,Robert Garrett and Marvin Willoughby at DJK S.Oliver Wurzburg. Greene played for DJK S.Oliver Wurzburg from 1997 to 2002. He then played for Bayer 04 Giants Leverkusen from 2002-2005. He then played for ALBA Berlin from 2005-2007. He then played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for Gymnastikos Olympia Larissas (Greece-A2). Last season, for FC Bayern Munich, he played 5 games: 6.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 80.0%. Greene is a four time Beko BBL All Star, won the Beko BBL cup in 2006 with Alba Berlin and has been a member of the German national team in 2000-2001 and from 2004 until present winning the Silver at the 2005 European championships. Currently he is averaging 4,4ppg and 1,3rpg. Darius Hall is a 38 year old 201cm center from Detroit, Michigan. He is playing his eighth season in Germany and second with FC Bayern Munich. He is a is a player who loves to make the show. His dunks make the crowd explode. He is a fantastic player who is always at 200%. His athleticism ability are unbelievable, he can dunk on anybody. Great finisher in the paint. A great scorer when the game begin to be HOT. He played at W.Kentucky (NCAA) from 1991-1995. From 1995-2004 before he came to Germany, he played four years in France, three years in Belgium and two seasons in Spain. He played for the Artland Dragons from 2004-2010 winning the Beko BBL cup in 2008 and playing a total of 237 games. Last season for FC Bayern Munich, he played 29 games: 9.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.1apg, FGP-2 (66.9%), FT: 44.1%. Currently he is averaging 3,2ppg and 1,5rpg. Bogdan Radosavljevic is a 18 year old 211cm German/Serb that is playing hiss econd season for FC Bayern Munich. Last season he played 7 PRO A games: 3.0ppg, 2.0rpg, also a license to play at FC Bayern Muenchen II (Germany-2.Regionalliga): 12 games: 9.0ppg. Recently he played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 13.9ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 67.7%, FT: 54.8%.
Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.) is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Sacramento, California that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Riesen Leipzig playing 23 games: Score-5 (20.4ppg), Reb-2 (10.5rpg), 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 17.9%, FT: 66.7%. He picked up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Forward of the Year -16, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -16, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports... [read more]
Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.) is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Sacramento, California that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Riesen Leipzig playing 23 games: Score-5 (20.4ppg), Reb-2 (10.5rpg), 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 17.9%, FT: 66.7%. He picked up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Forward of the Year -16, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -16, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -16. As a rookie, he played for TSV Quakenbrueck (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 16 games averaging 29.7ppg. He started his basketball career at Yuba junior college and then played two years at S.Utah (NCAA). He finished at Adams St. (NCAA2) playing 27 games: 10.8ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 70.2%. He spoke to eurobasket about the departure From Pro A team Ehingen.
Julian thanks for talking to eurobasket. Com. Where are you at the moment and what are momentarily most in your thoughts now? Hey Miles I'm currently in Ehingen looking for a new situation to come up. My thoughts are more reflecting on everything that's happened up to now.
Recently this summer we talked about your future season Ehingen and you were very motivated about the new opportunity. You must of never thought in your wildest dreams that your stay would be so short? Not at all but it was a mutual understanding with the manager as well as the coach.
You had been in pre-season with Pro A team Ehingen. How would you summarize your stay there?
Definitely took dedication and focus to come in and work so hard every single day and wake up sore as hell and get right back to work. I definitely can say my body benefited from the process.
Would you agree that it was more a problem with getting used to the system of head coach Domenik Reiboth then it was a matter of adjusting to the level of the Pro A? Yes definitely and that's what it came down to and in the end a decision had to be made so you live and you learn
What did 't fit with the system of Reinboth and combining the strength's of your game? I can't really sit here and complain about his structure they won the Pro B championship with that structure. I just wasn't able to adapt in the time frame he needed me to.
Was their possibly less room at the big positions with Danny Berger and Tobias Jahn and you became the odd man out? Not at all I was their starting 4/5 man Danny and Tobias just knew his system and were very comfortable with it. I was still learning but it wasn't quick enough for the coach to trust in me to be his leader in that system and position.
How comfortable did you feel playing in the Pro A? How confident are you still that you can be a productive player in this league? I was completely comfortable. I have no doubt in my mind I can do well in Pro A it just depends on the next club who is willing to give me the opportunity.
I guess you have left with no hard feelings? What kind of farewell did you get from coach? Yeah no hard feelings it's nothing personal and sometimes you got to remember this is a business I'm doing what I love but it is also my job and I didn't do it well enough for them to have confidence in me. Nothing special just good luck on a new situation for me and that's was it.
What have you learned from this experience that will help you in the future in this kind of situation. I would say just remember this is your job as well so meaning I need to be professional as well as being 100% every practice.
What is the next step for Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.)? Will you stay in Germany and wait for a new opportunity? The next step for me will be to find a new club quickly to put this all behind me. I will stay in Europe yes in order to stay prepared for the next possible opportunity.
If a Pro B team opened their door tomorrow and the situation was good, would you go that route? I would speak with my agent and we would make a decision together if that's a route were interested in taking.
Your ex teammate Brandon Shingles is also without a team. How weird is it for both of you to be without a team despite your success from last season?
Not weird to me at all its a business and there are millions of athletes competing for jobs everyday so we're just trying to get in where we fit in and try to move up from there.
What is one thing that you would like to see happen in the NBA this season? See the Sacramento Kings be playoff contenders.
What was the last movie that you saw? Above the rim is the last movie I saw.
Seth Hinrichs (202-SF-93, college: Lafayette, agency: Duran International) is a 23 year old 203cm guard from Clara City, Minnesota that is playing his second professional season in the German Pro A with the Kirchheim Knights. Last season as a rookie he played for FC Porto (Portugal-LPB): 20 games: 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%. He played at Lafayette (NCAA) from 2011-2015 graduating fr... [read more]
Seth Hinrichs (202-SF-93, college: Lafayette, agency: Duran International) is a 23 year old 203cm guard from Clara City, Minnesota that is playing his second professional season in the German Pro A with the Kirchheim Knights. Last season as a rookie he played for FC Porto (Portugal-LPB): 20 games: 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%. He played at Lafayette (NCAA) from 2011-2015 graduating from Lafayette as the all-time leader in 3PG % in Patriot League history. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to eurobasket after the 92-90 road victory in Dresden.
Seth thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome to Germany. You had a try-out with BBL team MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, but landed with Kirchheim. What has been most appealing to you about the club since you joined? I really like the coaches and my teammates. We have a good, talented group of guys and have the potential to do really well this year.
Was it difficult for you to accept the fact that the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg didn't need you? Your now in a league lower. How do you as a professional player handle this kind of rejection? I was definitely disappointed but I realize it is a part of playing basketball professionally. I am very appreciative for the opportunity that Coach Patrick gave me and for the people I was able to meet at Ludwigsburg. I think playing in the Pro A is a great opportunity and now my focus is to improve as a player so that one day I can reach the BBL level or higher.
You really have had little integration problems as you came very late to the team. What do you believe has helped you most in getting the transition stage going in the right direction? I think Coach Mai has helped in terms of going through things slowly and being patient. It's hard to join a team that has already played together and has chemistry but the guys have been great in this transition period as well.
You are on a team that has substantial talent and you are programmed to have a big role on the team. What is your goal this season and how is it different than last season with FC Porto? My goal is to win the Pro A and contribute to a championship in whatever ways possible. I think with the talent we have here we would be selling ourselves short with anything less.
Last season for FC Porto you played 20 games: 8.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.7%, FT: 79.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 83.3%,. Do you feel like you can be a consistent scorer in the Pro A and more than you were with FC Porto? Like you said I'll have an expanded role compared to last year so I'll be playing more minutes and be called on to score, rebound, and assist more offensively. I have high expectations for myself this year and I am looking forward to playing for Coach Mai and Kirchheim.
Congrats on the big 92-90 road victory in Dresden. How did it feel playing your first professional game for a German team and did you remember having such an intense atmosphere last season in games in Portugal? Thank you! It felt great having not played in an actual game since February. The atmosphere and energy was great up in Dresden. It was comparable to some games in Portugal. I was just happy to be back on the court.
It was a wild game and scoring really took center stage in the first quarter. Did defense take a back step at first or was this just two explosive offensive teams in the making? I think both teams have potent offensive attacks but I don't think there was a lot of defense being played in the first quarter. It was the first game of the season, players have jitters, the crowd was into it, so I think both teams we're just getting acclimated to playing.
The game really remained close in the first three quarters and Dresden kept the lead until the midway point of the fourth until Kirchheim got the lead back. What was the most difficult thing about having to keep up with this offensive minded team on defense? I think they jumped ahead early and we had to keep battling. They are a great transition team and kept pushing the ball up the court early and often. As the game progressed we were able to keep chipping away and eventually close their lead in the fourth.
Randall Holt was a real thorn in the Kirchheim side as he nailed huge three pointers in crunch time, but Justin Hedley won the game at the end with a shot. Take me through that last play and was it the perfect script? Hedley surely wasn't the first option
Holt is a good player and hit some tough shots but Justin came up huge for us. We had run a pick and roll with Carrington Love and myself and he tried to create. Justin was open in the corner and dribbled past the close out and sank the 10 footer. I was excited that we won and excited for Justin! He's one of the young guys on the team and puts in a lot of work so it was great to see that shot go in.
You had a very solid game with 18 points, three assists, six rebounds and two steals. Do you have a good feeling that the German Pro A style fits your game well? I think the Pro A style fits my game and I think Coach Mai's overall scheme fits my game. I'm excited to play in the Pro A this year against some good competition.
You harmonized very well with German veteran Tim Koch. How much fun is it playing with him and learning from his game on the floor? Tim is a phenomenal shooter and basketball player. He makes shots at such a high rate that teams have to stay attached at all times or he'll hurt them with threes. Its great playing with him because when teams stay glued to him there are more open lanes.
You take a lot of pride on defense. Do you see the Kirchheim Knights being a team that can make an impact on a consistent basis on the defensive end this season? I definitely see potential for us to be a great defensive team. We have the tools to be great, but consistency is our problem. We'll put together five great minutes of defense and follow that up with five terrible minutes. But I think as the season goes on we'll improve and become a more cohesive unit.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you choose? This is tough.. It's hard to pick just four but I'll go with MJ, Bill Russell, Kareem, and Kobe
Now that Lebron finally won a NBA title with the Cavs where does this title put him in the debate as the all-time best player in the world? He's in the top 10 of all-time and probably the best active player but it's close.
What was the last movie that you saw? Jason Bourne.
K.K. Simmons(191-G-93, college: Pikeville) is a 23 year old 190cm combo guard from Marietta, Georgia that is playing his first professional season with German Pro B team Licher Basket Baeren. He played at three schools with NC-Wilmington (NCAA), Kent St. (NCAA) and Pikeville (NAIA). Last season he finished his college basketball career with Pikeville (NAIA) playing 31 games and averaging 16.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 78.5%. Simmons is an amazing shooter and shot 48%... [read more]
K.K. Simmons (191-G-93, college: Pikeville) is a 23 year old 190cm combo guard from Marietta, Georgia that is playing his first professional season with German Pro B team Licher Basket Baeren. He played at three schools with NC-Wilmington (NCAA), Kent St. (NCAA) and Pikeville (NAIA). Last season he finished his college basketball career with Pikeville (NAIA) playing 31 games and averaging 16.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 78.5%. Simmons is an amazing shooter and shot 48% from outside in his junior season at Pikeville, but can also mix it up getting to the hole. In his first season with Pikeville, he played 25 games averaging 20.8ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 48.9%, FT: 78.4%. He spoke to eurobasket after giving his debut as a professional fort he Licher Basket Baeren beating the Bayer Giants Leverkusen 99-93.
Karriem congrats on the big 99-93 victory over the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. Top scorer of the game and a win to go along with it. Was this the perfect start to your professional season? Getting a good tough win, against a great team, on the road is definitely a great way to start off my professional career! I'm so proud of what my teammates and I have accomplished.
What kind of a feeling was it playing in the legendary Smid arena that housed Germany's best team in the 90's with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen?
It was an amazing feeling. The gym was very nice. Also, the feeling of the atmosphere and energy in the gym was top notch. I really respect what they have going on over there. I had a lot of fun.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen had the 46-40 advantage at halftime. What was key for being behind after 20 minutes?
Going in at half time we felt we were right where we needed to be. As a team we all agreed that we didn't play our best half of basketball, but we were only down 6 points, so that was the big picture. We needed to remain in striking distance at all times.
The Licher Baskets Baeren went on a furious run in the fourth to cut down the 10 point lead. You and American Lamar Mallory went to work. Did you guys know it was time to step up or did head coach Rolf Scholz advise you guys to go to work? Lamar and I know when it's time to lead our team in the right direction. Also, coach will let us know when it's our time to step up and make plays for the team when need be. Big time players make big time plays when needed. It's on us to make it happen.
You and Mallory hooked up for the go ahead bucket, but Leverkusen sent the game into OT with Carter free throws. Lich could have sent the game into OT with a game winner from Simon Kutzschmar. Was this the desired shot that the team wanted at the end? We wanted to search for whatever good clean look we could have at the end of the 4th. Simon had a good look, it was a good shot, it just didn't fall. We have good shooters and scorers throughout our entire team. So we live with whoever takes the shot. Make or miss.
You got Lich going with back to back three pointers in OT which got you the momentum. Was this the moment that why you love and play the game as a professional? Yes!!! It's what I live for. To hit big shots at a time and need to fire my teammates up and get the momentum and energy shifted towards our way a bit.
What was key in OT for the Licher Baskets Baeren winning? Did you simply want it more than Leverkusen? I wouldn't say we wanted it more!!!! Because they competed very hard and played an amazing game throughout the 5 quarters. I just know my teammates and I really locked in, and focused and made those plays we needed to make in the crunch to become successful in the end. We have so much room for growth that it's scary. We will continue to work.
As a team what were you happy with and what not? Lich shot well and had 61 rebounds, but only 14 assists and 20 turnovers. We were happy with the way we played. When I say that, I'm talking about our effort and our attitude to never give up no matter what the score looks like or the flow of the game. Play good defense and let the offense come. We do need to cut down on the turnovers. It will come better with time.
You had a strong 34 points, but shot an overwhelming 29 times and shot 38%. Do the many shots and shooting percentage somewhat outweigh the meaning of your 34 points?
Not at all. I watched the game again on film. I didn't feel like any of my shots were really bad shots. Some of them I feel like I could have not took and found us a better look as a team. I will work on that. My teammates trust me and my decision making and as a leader on the floor. They lead me as well. They believe in every move I make and shots that I shoot. They seen what I can do and they accept me for it. So I just go out there and try to remain aggressive knowing they got my back no matter what. I'm not into the 34 points or how many shots I took. I'm more concerned with what we did to become victorious.
Do you remember shooting so much in a game?
I have shot this many shots in a game before, but it definitely has been a while haha. I just have so much confidence in my ability to score and to make plays for my team. It was a lot of good looks and shots missed in that gym last night from both teams. I will continue to work on becoming more efficient.
You had a game high 34 points. Was this the best K.K. Simmons people will see, or do you feel like there is even more to come this season from you? Way more to come. It was just the first game. My first game as a professional athlete. Only way from here is up for us.
You combined for 55 points with Lamar Mallory. How did feel playing your first professional game with him? Is this a deadly duo in the making? My boy Lamar is the bus driver for this team. He does so much for us and covers up so much of our trash we do commit on the court. He's a magnet for that ball. He gets big rebounds! Impossible rebounds! And he plays hard for us every single play! Never does he take a play off. He attacks hard and is coming at you every possession. On both ends of the court. We really feed off his energy and effort. We all believe he has our backs no matter what the situation. We can count on him when it's time to battle. Front line.
How much fun was it dueling Kerry Carter? Is he a guy that you could see battling for the scoring crown? Carter is a great player. He has the total package. Competes hard. Leads his team by example along with being verbal. I appreciate his competitive spirit and respect him and their organization. Good team. I'm not really caught up in the whole scoring crown thing, but we shall see.
Where will the journey of the Atlanta Hawks end this season?
I have no clue about the Hawks. I love my city and hometown, but the past couple of years have been a lot of ups and downs. Some adjustments were made in the origination as you can see. I think they will do just fine this year.
Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA. Where does his legacy rank in the NBA now that his career has ended? His legacy lives on forever!!!! KG is a legend!!! A veterinarian, an animal on the court. A perfect example of putting your heart out there each and every night. I had the opportunity to meet him in person for a couple of days and received a lot of words wisdom from him. Things bigger than basketball. He's so real and his story can be nothing but honored and respected. He is branded in one of the NBA's best. The game will miss him.
What was the last movie that you saw? Rush hour. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. One of my favorites of all time.
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