Myles Hesson (195-F-90, agency: Two Points) is a 20 year old 195 cm forward from Birmingham, England that is playing his first season in Germany in the PRO B fort he Weissenhorn youngsters. He started his professional career in 2009-2010 for Birmingham Aces (EBL2) averaging 13.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 33.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for the Essex Pirates Basketball Club (BBL): 11 games: 9.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.4%. Last season he played for Liverpool Mersey Tigers (BBL, starting five): 27 games: 15.1ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.5%. This past summer, he was a member of the British national team taking part in preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics. He also took part at the British 3x3 Mixed and menTeam for World Championships in Greece in 2012. He spoke to eurobasket after the convincing 83-56 win against the Fraport Skyliners juniors last weekend.
Congrats on the 83-56 win. Was the win as easy as it looked?
We played very well. We knew that some of their best players were missing, but we wanted to play with the same intensity for 40 minutes and we did that. We were clearly the better team.
When I say 65 of 85 was missing, do you know what I mean?
65 of the 85 points that the Fraport Skyliners average per game were missing. That made it a lot easier for Weissenhorn. But you didnt take them lightly did you?
Even if they were shorthanded, any team can win on any day. All it takes is for some players to get hot. But we played very well throughout and played good defense keeping them at 56 points.
Weissenhorn led 39-23 at halftime. What was key for having the lead at halftime? We played tough defesne and got running on the break which led too many fast break points.
What did head coach Tim Lewis tell the team to do better in the second half?
Get more offensive rebounds and keep them off the glass. Frankfurt got too many offensive rebounds in the first half.
German Kai Guasa hit a big shot near his own free throw line. How important was this shot for stopping the momentum of the Skyliners run at the end of the third quarter?
The Skyliners hit three buckets in a row heading into the third quarter. The shot by Guasa was big and just helped us stay focused and go positive into the fourth quarter.
When was the last time that you saw a shot like Kai Gausa go in? I saw a shot like that last season. I hit one like that for Liverpool in the BBL in England where we came back to win the game.
In the fourth quarter, Weissenhorn picked up their game even more and led as much as 31 points. Did the Fraport Skyliners juniors get tired?
I dont think that they got tired physically, but more mentally. We were just too good for them and they made silly mistakes.
What was key for keeping the Fraport Skyliners to 56 points?
They never found their rhythm. On the pick and role we did a good job getting help on the baseline. They had difficulty running their offense.
You had a monster game with 25 points, monster dunks and blocks. How happy were you with your own game?
I was happy with my game against Frankfurt, but you can always play better. I want to thank my teammates for getting me the ball on the fast break.
You had so many dunks today. I counted three. Have you ever dunked more?
The most dunks that I had in a game was seven. This season I had five dunks.
Who is your dunk hero? I always liked Vince Carter. He brought flair to dunking. I remember him winning the NBA dunk contest with that 360 windmill.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Til Joscha Joehnke? We actually had one the other day and the game was 1-1. He is a very good one on one player.
Can he become a second like Per Guenther in Ulm? I think that he can. He plays with so much heart. He plays every possession as if it is his last and never gives up. That resonates for the whole team.
Why is he such an incredible rebounder averaging seven per game? He has an incredible eye for the ball and always goes to the basket for the rebound.
You practiced with the British national team. What impressed you most about NBA player Luo Deng? I really liked his professionalism and always takes each practice seriously. He is always early to practice and the last to leave. He goes hard each possession.
You practice with ratiopharm Ulm each day. Which player do you respect most?
I like Allan Ray. He brings no fear flair to the game.
How far are you from the Beko BBL?
I hope I can play in the Beko BBL next season with ratiopharm Ulm. If that doesnt happen, my dream is to play somewhere in a top league.
Richaud Pack (190-G-92, college: Maryland) is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Birmingham, Michigan that recently completed his rookie season in Europe with : Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 11.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 90.9%; Cypriot Division A: 21 games: Score-4 (16.8ppg), 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 84.9%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with FIU (NCAA) where he stayed until 2012,... [read more]
Richaud Pack (190-G-92, college: Maryland) is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Birmingham, Michigan that recently completed his rookie season in Europe with : Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 11.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 90.9%; Cypriot Division A: 21 games: Score-4 (16.8ppg), 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 84.9%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with FIU (NCAA) where he stayed until 2012, but played only 19 NCAA games. His next destination was N.Carolina A&T (NCAA) where he played 28 games averaging 17.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 81.7%. He moved one more time and as a senior played for Maryland (NCAA) playing 35 games averaging 5.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 69.7%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Richaud thanks for talking to eurobasket.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? A: I am currently in Washington, D.C. I have had a great summer. I've had the chance to travel many places and train with some of the best players in the United States.
You were recently in Rio and were taking in the sights. In a country that seems to be totally infatuated with soccer, was there any kind of basketball life present at the time that you were there? There was definitely a basketball life present. There were basketball courts scattered across the city, kids dribbling basketballs, even people playing a mixture of basketball in soccer in which they were attempting to kick the ball in the rim (they were surprisingly good at this).
You just finished your rookie season in Europe with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) and at the moment are still unsigned. Has the signing market this summer been more difficult for you than 12 months ago? I wouldn't say it is more difficult necessarily. In my opinion, it is altogether a different process because I have qualified myself to some extent to enter a different market. Coming out last year, I had no experience and that brings skepticism. However, I would say entering a market with more competitive teams is a challenge.
You had a very solid rookie season with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing FIBA Europe Cup: 6 games: 11.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 35.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 90.9%; Cypriot Division A: 21 games: Score-4 (16.8ppg), 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 84.9%. Wasn't there any interest in Cyprus or other countries after your productive season?
Teams in Cyprus as well as teams in other countries contacted me. I had a productive season and I'm aiming to repeat and increase on my recent success. I am searching for the right fit and right organization.
You had no problems adjusting to the European style of play. How important was it for you to show everyone despite not having a huge scoring role as a senior at Maryland (NCAA), you were able to be one of the central figures for Etha? It was extremely important for me to prove to Europe that I could be the scorer I was in my junior season of playing in the NCAA. Maryland was a top 10 college in the NCAA when I played and I had to learn how to contribute while playing with NBA caliber talent (Melo Trimble, Dez Wells, Jake Layman).
Your stats would have exploded had American Trae Golden not been on the team. How important was having him as your teammate in terms of your game being able to develop further as a rookie?
I believe my game complemented Trae's as did his mine. He created for me because he was always in the lane. I opened up the lanes for him because no defender would leave me on the perimeter. Playing with Trae really helped me as a player. I had to guard a fierce player in practice every day and it showed in games when I was able to guard the other teams best player. He is also a great leader and teacher. I learned with him and from him.
Etha had a tough and short Fiba Europe Cup season not winning a single game, but you were still a consistent performer in this competition. What was more difficult to get used to in international club competition compared to the Cypriot league? International club competition was more difficult to adjust to as compared to the Cypriot league. However, because Fiba Europe Cup was at the start of the season, it helped me adjust to the European game faster and I didn't have a slow start in the Cypriot league due to having to learn so many rules.
You had two tough losses to AEK. Was Thad Mcfadden the toughest guard you played against last season? He averaged 27ppg in the two games and had nine steals in the first game. I would say he was the best scorer I played against but not the best player I had to guard in Cyprus. I would say that was Brandon Heath. Heath was better to me because he made all of his teammates better. Whether it was on offense or defense, he was the guy who put everyone in the right place.
Let's talk a bit about your game. You are a combo guard that knows how to score. Poise is a big strength in your game. Where did you learn this? My mentor and former coach was Isiah Thomas who played for the Detroit Pistons. He taught me to never let pressure bother me and to always stay under control. It also fits into my personality because I believe you play as you live. I never get rattled.
You are a guy that can fill up the stat sheet at ease, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court? I would say it is my on ball defense. I get a lot more deflections than I do steals, so it doesn't always come up on the stat sheet. If you look at film, I was the guy who guarded the other teams best player at Etha last year and at Maryland in college. There is a reason for that. Coaches can trust me to defend a variety of guys.
Please explain in a few sentences why you aren't just another talented guard that could help any team, but a very special guard that no team has ever had before? There are a lot of talented guards out there. I think I have the right mentality. I have a unique willingness to want to win by any means. Something else that makes me special is my basketball IQ. I think the game out as I'm playing in a way most players do not.
You played at three schools with FIU, North Carolina A&T, and Maryland. When you look back at your four-year career, were the different experiences that you had better than had you been only at once school?
I think switching schools allowed me to grow. I learned from three different coaches and I played three different styles of basketball. It has prepared me for the possibility of playing in a different country each year in Europe.
You played your first two seasons of college basketball at FIU under NBA legend Isiah Thomas. Thomas discovered you trying to win a shooting competition and brought you to FIU. What kind of experience was this for you and why were you unable to get into the rotation better?
He showed me so much about the mentality it takes to produce as a basketball player. I did not understand how serious I needed to be as a freshman. My second year I was set to start at the shooting guard and was our best shooting guard but missed two months of preseason training because of an injury.
You then moved to N. Carolina A&T (NCAA) playing 28 games: 17.4ppg, 4.4rpg,1.5 apg. FGP: 51%, 3pt 39.2%, FT: 81.7%. This was your break out season. Did Cy Alexander give you the freedom that Isiah Thomas didn't give you at FIU? I do credit Cy Alexander with giving me freedom, but I also credit myself with having the mentality that I wouldn't be denied as a player. As an upperclassmen, I was our hardest worker from day 1 at A&T. That made it easier for the coach to trust giving me freedom.
Then you moved again to power house school Maryland (NCAA). Why did you do that again knowing the risks that could have come of having to learn a new system and so many things all over again in your last year? Was winning on your main course for transferring again? Winning was my main objective. I did not care about having a different role. I did not care about scoring less. I just wanted to win games in the NCAA tournament, which is what we ended up doing. I wanted to test myself against the best college basketball players in America. I played alongside guys that were drafted (Jake Layman), played NBA summer league (Dez Wells), and players who were invited to the NBA combine (Melo Trimble). All of the competition I played with and against prepared me to play in Europe my rookie season.
You experienced very much at Maryland to at times being the best player, having slumps, playing many positions, starting games as well as riding the bench as well as seeing freshmen Melo Trimble ahead of you on the depth chart. What was toughest about the season an how were you able to come away at ease with yourself and your game? I had many ups and downs at Maryland. It was a challenging season. I started in 31 out of 35 games and had 28 wins with only 3 losses as a starter. I think I was second or third in minutes per game so I always had a key role. However, I did struggle at times to score during the season going through slumps. Coach Juan Dixon taught me how to mentally get out of a slump. I know how to play through a shooting slump now so that experience made me a better player.
Head Coach Mark Turgeon said that your consistency was vital for the young kids on the team. How did he help groom and prepare you for a professional basketball career? He immediately put me in a position of leadership and responsibility. Those are two things your really need in order to succeed as a professional. You have to be able to lead yourself and others in the right way. You have to be responsible and accountable on and off the court.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Melo Trimble? We only played once. I won. He will never get a rematch lol (laugh out loud)
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you choose? Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
What special Isaiah Thomas story at FIU will forever be etched in your mind? I once saw him make 59 out of 60 NBA three pointers fully clothed, without warming up. He is one of the greatest basketball talents ever!
When you were a kid, you had a word of the day. If Donald Trump gets elected president what will be your word of the day? The word of the day would be 'fiasco' or 'calamity'.
What was the last movie you saw?
I rewatched 'Through the fire' starring Sebastian Telfair. I love basketball documentaries.
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) tabbed 27-year old Serbian international small forward Vladimir Lucic (202-91kg-89, agency: BeoBasket). He has played for the last three years at Valencia Basket in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 34 games he averaged 4.9ppg and 2.0rpg last season. Lucic helped them to make it to the semifinals. He also played 15 games in Eurocup where he had 5.7ppg and 2.7rpg. Among achievements Lucic received Eurobasket.com All-Serbian League Player of the Year award and Eurobasket.com... [read more]
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) tabbed 27-year old Serbian international small forward Vladimir Lucic (202-91kg-89, agency: BeoBasket). He has played for the last three years at Valencia Basket in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 34 games he averaged 4.9ppg and 2.0rpg last season. Lucic helped them to make it to the semifinals. He also played 15 games in Eurocup where he had 5.7ppg and 2.7rpg. Among achievements Lucic received Eurobasket.com All-Serbian League Player of the Year award and Eurobasket.com All-Serbian League Forward of the Year award back in 2013. Lucic has been also a member of Serbian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Serbian senior team since 2012. He has started his career in Serbia (Partizan).
The Hamburg Towers have announced the contract extension of Rene Kindzeka(185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC). Rene Kindzeka(185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC) (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC) is a 21 year old 185cm guard that will be going into his third season with the Pro A team and will continue to play with a double license with Pro B team SC Rist wedel. He has played 9 Pro A games in the last two seasons with the Hamburg Towers and last season played 4 games and with SC Rist Wedel (ProB) play... [read more]
The Hamburg Towers have announced the contract extension of Rene Kindzeka (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC). Rene Kindzeka (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC) (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC) is a 21 year old 185cm guard that will be going into his third season with the Pro A team and will continue to play with a double license with Pro B team SC Rist wedel. He has played 9 Pro A games in the last two seasons with the Hamburg Towers and last season played 4 games and with SC Rist Wedel (ProB) played 9 games averaging 4.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. "After finishing high school, he can fully concentrate on basketball and I hope he stays injury free. He is a very inetresting player and we want to continue to help progress his development", stated head coach Hamed Attarbashi. The young German is looking forward to staying with the Hamburg Towers. "I am finally totally fit again and used the summer to improve my game with individual training. I have many goals this season. I want to make the next step in my development and add on to our successful last season", warned Rene Kindzeka (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC) (185-G-95, college: Hamburg BC).
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