Parnell Smith (200-F-84, college: Buffalo) is a 28 year old 200cm forward from Indianapolis, Indiana that is playing for BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-ProB) this season. He played at Pike high school and is a two-time Indiana 4A Men's Basketball State Champion. He played at Buffalo (NCAA) together with German national player Yassin Idbihi. In his rookie season 2007-2008, he played for : Aanekosken Huima (Finland-1st Division, starting five): 26 games: 19.4ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 68.7%. In 2008-2009, he played for Etzella Ettelbruck (Luxembourg-Diekirch League). In 2009, he came to Germany and played for BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha until 2011. Last season, he played for Gimle BBK Bergen (Norway-BLNO, starting five): 8 games: 18.1ppg, 9.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 72.7%. He played in the Norwegian BLNO All-Star Game. He spoke to eurobasket after the 90-74 loss against the Fraport Skyliners.
You played the first time in the BCM the training facility of the Fraport Skyliners. How did you like the gym?
Its a very good facility. You notice right away that Frankfurt is a good organization that stands behind their players by having a place like this. It was a very good atmosphere during the game.
It was a very tight first half. Was that the game plan to play much transition basketball?
Yes we wanted to press the ball as much and not let Frankfurt get into their press defesne. That is something that Frankfurt likes to do.
What did Leitershofen head coach Stefan Goschenhofer tell the team to do better in the second half at half time? He told us that we had to play better pick and roll defense. They were penetrating well and kicking the ball out. We had to rotate better.
What was key in the third quarter for the Fraport Skyliners juniors opening up the game with the lead?
They made many good shots. They continued to drive and kick the ball to the open man. They hit their open shots better.
Did Leitershofen run out of gas in the fourth quarter?
We got a little tired. It was tough playing without Richard Froehlich our big man. We ran out of gas. We played better defense in the fourth quarter against Frankfurt than in the third quarter, but it wasnt enough to win the game.
How happy were you with your own performance of 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes? I felt that I did some good things, but also missed some open shots. I thought I did a good job mixing it up and getting to the rim. I defended the pick and roll well in the first half, but not so well in the second half.
Are you happy that the team did a good job rebounding despite the height and physical disadvantage? I felt we did a good job boxing out the whole game. They were a bigger team and did a good job keeping them off the boards.
What Fraport Skyliner impressed you the most? I liked Konstantin Klein. He really did a good job controlling the game and did a good job on the pick and roll. He is really hard to defend when he gets going. His shooting impressed me also. He is a solid player.
What was the play of the game form Leitershofen?
We penetrated and had good ball movement and Patrick Wischnewski hit the three pointer.
You played with German national player Yassin Idbihi at Buffalo (NCAA). What was your fondest moment of him there?
He was a very hard worker. I remember that he always had a smile on his face. He was the nicest guy off the court and he always had nice jokes. It never surprised me that he made it as a player, because he works so hard, shoots well and defends very well.
How far will your Indiana Pacers do this well?
I dont think that they will do so well. They dont have the same personal as in the last years. Danny Granger is also hurt.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Next Friday. It was a very good movie with Ice Cube.
Guard Leon Friederici (190-PG-95) has left Crailsheim to join Pro B side Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen. Friederici most recently played for the Merlins second team in the Regionalliga and spent the season before in 2.Regionalliga for Braunschweig's second team, but will now jump up to Pro B in a consistent role for the injury-ravaged Giants. New Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen coach Daniel Nelson hasn't had the start he wanted, but the short-handed Giants have remained extremely competitive... [read more]
Friederici most recently played for the Merlins second team in the Regionalliga and spent the season before in 2.Regionalliga for Braunschweig's second team, but will now jump up to Pro B in a consistent role for the injury-ravaged Giants.
New Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen coach Daniel Nelson hasn't had the start he wanted, but the short-handed Giants have remained extremely competitive in losing six games by an astounding five points or less. Four of the team's games have been decided by three or less points.
Friederici played seven games of Pro B basketball in 2014-15 for Braunschweig and also appeared in a BBL game for the Merlins last season. He had appeared in just one Pro A game for the Merlins this season.
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg [read more]
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to Eurobasket after the big 64-56 win against Heidelberg last weekend.
Elijah congrats on the 64-56 win in Heidelberg. How good did it feel to win on the road again after 4 straight loses on the road?
Thanks a lot. It was a good feeling. We must continue to build off this.
Despite being down 17-14 after 10 minutes, both teams did execute on offense, but did you think that the game would be a grind out game for 40 minutes?
Heidelberg did a good job offensive rebounding in the first half. We gave up way to many. They have a good team and have been playing well this season so we knew coming in that it would be a challenge.
There was a stretch where Gotha almost went 10 whole minutes midway through the third to the fourth without having a single field goal, but still had the 49-43 lead. How pleased were you that the defense became the back bone of the team in this phase?
I was very pleased. Defense is something we take pride in and it paid off last night when our shots were not falling. We need to keep bringing focus and energy on the defensive end to be successful.
Samuel Parker was hot in crunch-time connecting for 9 points and you added 4 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about the game of Parker this season.
Just being consistent. Every game you know exactly what you will get from him which is a great quality to have.
You only played 11 minutes, but contributed four points, one assists and a steal. How much of a challenge is it for you in general to be as efficient as possible in the minutes that you get? I don't feel like its much of a challenge- I know what I do well and I try to stick to that so that I can help my team in the best way.
Gotha currently is in seventh place with a record of 7-6 after 13 games. Is this a position that head coach Chris Ensminger and the team is happy with at this juncture of season?
We are not happy at all with our record but feel we are making the right steps to improve.
The season has been up and down as it has lost two games in a row twice and now has a two game winning streak. Why has the team not been able to have a big winning streak yet?
We gave away too many games. We have to be focused and ready every night we take the floor.
The team has such a good balance of many talented and versatile players. How well is the team coming along at the moment in their development in team chemistry?
We are coming along step by step. We just need to continue believing in each other.
How valuable has the addition of Dane Watts been. Obviously he is skilled, but what do you feel is his biggest asset in the offensive system of Gotha?
Experience. He has played at a high level and knows exactly what it takes to be successful. I think the team feels off that energy.
Your averaging 17 minutes per game and averaging 6,8ppg and 2,3rpg while shooting 45% before the Heidelberg game. Do you feel like you could be doing more in the minutes you are getting?
My minutes per game have been up and down so far this season- One game 20minutes and next maybe 10. My goal is to just be aggressive in the time that I get and find ways to help my team win.
You are averaging less minutes than with Lich. Have you been able to incorporate other parts of your game more with Gotha than you did with Lich?
I think defensively and basketball IQ I have made a huge step but offensively I feel I had a more all around game with Lich.
The next game is against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. They are coming off a tough loss against Chemnitz, but are playing better basketball in the last weeks. What do you feel will be key to getting the win?
We must be prepared for Essen. I think the key will be for us to concentrate defensively for 40 miutes.
The talk is usually about Lebron or Steph Curry, but one has to mention that Russell Westbrook is averaging triple double stats with points, rebounds and assists. Where do you rate him at the moment just with sheer stats and how he is doing it from the point guard position?
Westbrook is on a mission. As of now he is the MVP in my book.
What do you feel will be the journey of the Golden State Warriors this season? Will they be able to win the title again and with 65 plus games?
I can't see them winning 65 games again or winning the title. It will be interesting to watch!
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his... [read more]
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to four different continents (Europe, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Calhoun has played previously professionally in Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Romania (Ploiesti), Uruguay (Hebraica) and Poland (Slask and Kotwica). He attended University of Houston until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Calhoun's game is described as:
A dynamic forward who had triple-double capabilities. boasts an inside and outside game. at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, has ideal athleticism and length to play on the wing or down low.
Norm Roberts on Calhoun: 'Qa'rraan Calhoun is a guy that is really going to allow us to spread the floor more. He is a perimeter four-man that can step out away from the basket and shoot the ball for three and also put it on the floor to create for himself as well as others. He is a terrific offensive rebounder who may be one of the best athletes on our team, and he does a great job of running in transition. I think he will add a lot to our team.'.
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