John Fields (205-F-88, college: Tennessee) is a 24 year old 205cm forward from North Carolina that started the season with the LTi Giessen 46ers, but recently moved to Levharti Chomutov (Czech Republic-NBL). He started his basketball career with E.Carolina (NCAA) in 2006 and played there until 2008. He then played for : NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2008-2010. He then moved one more time in the NCAA and played his senior year for Tennessee (NCAA) playing 34 games: 2.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 58.7%, FT: 46.4%. Last season as a rookie he played for Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 39 games: 11.4ppg, Reb-1 (12.2rpg), Blocks-2 (1.8bpg), FGP-1 (62.5%), FT: 45.2%. He talked to eurobasket about his stay in Giessen and new team in the Czech republic.
Thanks John for taking some time to talk to eurobasket.com. For some players just finding a team is difficult, but even after leaving Giessen, you were already playing your first game for Levharti Chomutov a week later. How thankful are you for finding a new job so quickly?
Im very thankful that my agent could find me a good situation like this and Chomutov for believing in my talents and the coach Eisner Tomas for recognizing my skills that I could bring to the court.
Did you feel some pressure coming into your new job with Levharti Chomutov feeling the need to produce after getting little minutes for the LTi Giessen 46ers?
At first. You always feel pressure to do your best when you just come to a team but after a few practices with the team I knew that I was going to be put in great situations to succeed on the floor and to show what I can do best.
How difficult is it coming into a new situation during the course of the season? After playing with so many Americans in Giessen, there are only two other Americans with your new team. How helpful was Showron Glover in getting you accustomed to on and off court matters?
Yeah its difficult coming into a new situation during the course of a season but the players and coaches in Chomutov have been great they have supported me since day one and help me learn the offense and defense we play and getting my use to the town and area I live in. Showron has been great on court we make a nice pick and roll combo and we are great in the open floor for alley ops and off the court he has been great too just getting me used to the city
You have already played seven games for your new team and is averaging 18,6ppg and 9,6 rpg. Are you surprised that you have made such a rapid transition?
Yeah Im surpised on how fast I picked up the offense and how much the team trust me down low to get a basket for them. Coach Eisner Tomas has designed great plays for me to get one on one chances in the post. And when they do double we have good spacing and shooters on the floor to knock down the open shot. You seem not to have had any problems with the Czech league. Is the level very much lower than the Beko BBL or is there not so much difference?
Naw its just that the styles a different in Czech league its more up and down play and the BBL is more half court driven.
You had a wake up call to the Czech league with a 116-52 loss to CEZ Nymburk that are the Bamberg of the Czech league. You held your own with 25 points and nine rebounds. Losing is never nice like that, but how important was your own game in showing that you can play against the best team?
Yeah it was important to show that I could play with the leagues best.
What are your goals for your self and Levharti Chomutov this season? Currently the team is in eight place. Are the playoffs and an allstar berth things that could happen for the team and you?
My goals for this season is to win as many games as possible for Chomutov and to make the playoffs and advance deep. If an allstar brith happens that would be great too.
You came to the LTi Giessen 46ers last summer, but left in November. Did you ever think when you arrived that you would have such a short stay there?
Naw I felt like I could have helped the team a lot more than I did. But things happen for a reason and I wish them nothing but good luck on their season. LTI Giessen 46ers had some talented players, but why werent you able to break more into the rotation?
Yeah it was a deep talented roster and I wish I could have been in the rotation more to help out the team but it was not meant to be Giessen is a great city with great fans and I enjoyed my time there.
Do you believe that you got a fair chance? There was a lot of competition at your position. You had double double stats in Finland last season which was a fine recommendation for coming to the Beko BBL?
Yeah I believe I got a fair chance it was just that The coaches and the Gm did not think my style of play fit the team. But when one door closes another one opens so no hard feelings.
You are known as a shot blocker. Do you believe that your defensive abilities were possibly overlooked? Having that good defensive stopper can always help a team.
Yeah I felt like I could have been a rim protector with Giessen and helped a lot on defense with my time on the court there.
It hasnt been an easy season for the LTi Giessen 46ers. Players like Jimmy Baxter and yourself coming and going and in 18th place. Do you think that they will come out of their funk?
Yeah I believe they will come out of that funk they have some good players like Ryan Brooks and Lequan Prowell they should be fine.
What could you learn from Elvir Ovcina on the court that will help your game develop further?
I learned lot from his passing skills. Elvir is a good passer out of the post. So I learned from him to be patient in the post with your moves and passes and its paying off for me here in Czech.
Vance Hall(193-PG-91, college: Bellarmine) is a 25 year old 193cm point guard from Frankfort, Kentucky that is playing his second professional season and first with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie he played for Thor Thorl (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 26 games: 23.6ppg, 6.8rpg, 4.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 86.8%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with Wright St. (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 55 NCAA games. [read more]
Vance Hall (193-PG-91, college: Bellarmine) is a 25 year old 193cm point guard from Frankfort, Kentucky that is playing his second professional season and first with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie he played for Thor Thorl (Iceland-Dominos League) playing 26 games: 23.6ppg, 6.8rpg, 4.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 86.8%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with Wright St. (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 55 NCAA games. In 2012 he moved to Bellarmine (NCAA2) playing 32 games: 14.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 45.9%, FT: 91.4%. As a senior for Bellarmine (NCAA2) he played 31 games: 14.7ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 41.4%. He spoke to eurobasket after the 64-49 win against Nurnberg.
Vance thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Congrats on the big 64-49 win against Nurnberg. Coming into the game Heidelberg had lost three of four games. How important was getting the win and is this the start of a longer winning streak? Losing 3 out of 4 games is very tough but I hope we learned from each of those games. It was very crucial that we went to Nurnberg to handle business and get back on the winning side of things. Hopefully this is a start to a longer streak of wins
Last week Diante Watkins went off for 34 points. This time you held him to 14 points and six turnovers. How vital was it really making basketball life difficult for him for 40 minutes?
it was very important for us to limit him in that game and we did so by team defense. That was one of our goals for the game
You held Nurnberg to the lowest point total of the season with 49 points. Was this the best defensive team effort of the season or was games against Chemnitz, Hamburg or Essen better?
I would say this was definitely one of the top three defensive performances from us this year. Not sure which is the first
Heidelberg is the best defensive team in the German Pro A giving up 69 points per game. How have you seen the progression of the defense from game one?
We are starting to communicate a lot better with each other out there on the court. You need good communication to have a good defense and we have improved I think every game with that
What is the secret to the success of the stellar defensive play? Is it effort coupled with trust? Definitely trusting your teammates. Trusting your teammates is one of the most important things on both sides of the ball. Offense and defense
Your playing your first season in the Pro A and as a rookie played with Thor Thorl (Iceland-Dominos League)26 games: 23.6ppg, 6.8rpg, 4.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 86.8%. What has been the biggest adjustment coming to the Pro A from Iceland? The biggest adjustment would really just be learning new teammates and what style of basketball they play. This league is a step up too so competition is better
The team has many scoring options, but you are one of the most consistent scorers on the team. What is your role on the team? My role on the team is to do whatever it is possible to help us get to our next win. Some nights that may consist of scoring the ball and some nights that may mean I need to play more defense in certain areas or make hustle plays to get us going
You have meshed very well with experienced Hrvoje Kovacevic. How have you benefited most from his basketball mind? Kova has been a great teammate. He is always there to lend a helping hand of knowledge when it is needed. He has been a very big asset to our team in the season so far
You are a guy that can fill the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't always get noticed right away on the court? I take pride in making toughness plays. There might be that one loose ball that gets us that extra possession and I want that for my team
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Iceland last season where you knew that you were very far away from Kentucky?
The first night I laid my head down on the pillow I thought where am I, but once I got to the basketball gym that was no foreign language to me. I knew I was there to work and get better with my team
After you finished at Bellarmine (NCAA2) in 2014, you didn't turn professional right away and then played in the Kentuckiana Pro Am (Team KPA #1) before going to Iceland. Were you not sure that you wanted to go the professional route after school? I really wanted to go play professional basketball for sure but there was no reason for not going right away, I just put it in Gods hands and it wound up turning out for the best for me
After not playing much at Wright State (NCAA) you transferred to Bellarmine (NCAA2) and had two strong seasons there shooting over 40% from downtown. How do you feel did you grow as a player in your last two seasons? I feel I did great in my last two seasons. I loved the location I was in and to be a part of the Bellarmine basketball program was something special to me
You came to Bellarmine after Braydon Hobbs had left and he has had a stellar career moving up the basketball ladder step by step. Is he like a role model for you in that you want to follow in his footsteps as a professional and be successful? Of course Braydon is a role model to me. We keep in touch often and see each other at times in the summer. He's a great guy and I hope he keeps his trail of success continuing
As a freshman at Wright State (NCAA) you were teammates with Vaughn Duggins for one season before he went overseas and has had a great career in Germany and France. What memories do you have of him? What were you able to learn from him that has helped you throughout your career?
I learned a lot from Vaughn being a freshman at Wright State. Going up against him and other elite guards every day definitely helped shape me into the guard I am today.
How did head coach Scott Davenport groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Wright State?
Coach Davenport taught us many things at Bellarmine. How to present ourselves on and off the court. He was a very big part in helping me take my game to the next level at Bellarmine and I have nothing but thanks for him
Who won a one on one you or Vaughn Duggins? I'm not sure haha I think I could give him a run for his money
What have you learned to appreciate most about Germany? You live in a very nice area and you can visit many nice places quickly? I love Germany and the location I am in. So many places to go and see right here in Heidelberg
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time? I think he is definitely one of the best of all time. I'm not sure who is number one but he is definitely in the conversation for number one
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
ALBA Berlin could land Carl English - 19 hours ago
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ALBA Berlin (BBL) is close to sign experienced 35-year old Canadian international guard Carl English (195-81, college: Hawaii) who currently plays forIberostar Tenerife CB Canarias in Spain. In 6 Liga Endesa games he recorded 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.5apg this season. He also played 5 games in Basketball Champions League where he averaged impressive 15.2ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.2apg. English also spent pre-season at RETAbet Bilbao Basket (also in Liga Endesa) in Spanish earlier that year. In 2003 he... [read more]
ALBA Berlin (BBL) is close to sign experienced 35-year old Canadian international guard Carl English (195-81, college: Hawaii) who currently plays for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias in Spain. In 6 Liga Endesa games he recorded 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.5apg this season. He also played 5 games in Basketball Champions League where he averaged impressive 15.2ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.2apg. English also spent pre-season at RETAbet Bilbao Basket (also in Liga Endesa) in Spanish earlier that year. In 2003 he was drafted by Idaho Stampede (CBA) in fourth round (25th overall). English attended University of Hawaii and it is his 14th (!!!) season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team made it to the Cup (Copa del Rey) Semifinals in 2012. English was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Greek A1 League Co-Newcomer of the Year in 2015. He has been also a member of Canadian international program for some years. English has regularly played for Canadian senior team since 2005 and previously for U21 National Team back in 2000. He represented Canada at the Panamerican Games in Toronto (Canada) last year. English's team won Silver and his stats at that event were 5 games: 4.4ppg, 1.6rpg. English is quite experienced player. Thanks to his pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Europe, Latin America and of course North America) in six different countries. English has played previously professionally in Croatia (KK Zadar), Italy (Virtus Bologna), Puerto Rico (Caciques), Spain (Joventut, Baskonia, Movil Estudiantes, Sevilla and Gran Canaria), Greece (AEK Athens) and D-League (Florida F.). He is close to retirement age as a player. It's very possible he may end his playing career at ALBA Berlin.
It really doesn't matter what basketball player you ask in Germany that isn't playing in the easyCredit BBL, they will answer that their ultimate goal of reaching it one day and the chance of that happening isn't so off the rocker. What is funny the lower you go league wise, the more confident the player will get of their abilities while players in the Pro A are just as confident of their abilities, but seem to know that they are so close and will keep a more controlled mouth work as they... [read more]
It really doesn't matter what basketball player you ask in Germany that isn't playing in the easyCredit BBL, they will answer that their ultimate goal of reaching it one day and the chance of that happening isn't so off the rocker. What is funny the lower you go league wise, the more confident the player will get of their abilities while players in the Pro A are just as confident of their abilities, but seem to know that they are so close and will keep a more controlled mouth work as they know just having that one strong Pro A season plus having the right contact might be enough to be able to wear the jersey of that BBL club. The list of players that move up from league to league in Germany is as large as the beast magnitude that a guy like Demarcus Cousins displays each night and one of those guys that has experienced this move has been American Carlos Medlock (183-PG-87, college: E.Michigan) of the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. The 29 year old 183cm point guard needed some grooming in the Pro A, but so far this season the ex Eastern Michigan (NCAA) player has displayed that he can compete in one of the best leagues in Europe as in 11 games he is averaging 11,0ppg, 1,5rpg and 4,2apg while shooting 32% from downtown for the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig as he finally reached his goal even if it took a bit longer to reach.
After coming out of college, he had to start at the bottom and prove himself in the always improving English BBL league where he led the Guildford Heat to the British trophy while playing 17 games averaging 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-4 (4.6apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 64.1%. He already showed as a rookie, that he could recover in a grand way from a set back as he came over the pond after making his first experience in the D-League with the Utah Flash. There he noticed quickly that the D-league wasn't his route as he played three games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.3rpg and instead of wasting a whole season there, he reacted quickly and came over to Europe to try his luck and in hindsight, it turned out to be the correct decision. After sitting out the season in 2011, he came back strong in 2012 and the next destination on his basketball map was Iceland a place that always turns into an adventure with the beautiful scenery, daylight issues and weather, but at least the road trips are short and it isn't worth it to switch on the lab top as you will have reached your next destination before the opening credits of Suicide Squad have even ended. In Iceland he wore the jersey of U.M.F. Skallagrimur Borganes (Iceland-Dominos League) and one could be cautious, but still say with pride that the rest is history. Like many players before him, he tore up a weak league, but for some reason many players that have achieved success here have moved on to bigger and better things. Just ask a Derrick Allen who balled with Medlock last season in Vechta as he won the cup in Iceland in 2004 and after moved to the German BBL and is currently playing his 12th season in that league and for a time belonged to the top three power forwards. In Iceland Medlock played 24 games and was second in scoring averaging 27.2ppg), 4.4rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-5 (2.3spg), FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 78.9%.
After his break out season in Iceland, he made the next step in his professional career by moving to the higher league Pro A in Germany and hasn't turned his back on the country that gave the world real Beer and real cars as is currently playing his fourth season in Germany and first for the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig in the first division, but once again to have gotten there, he needed to prove himself again and again as he played the last three seasons in the Pro A for Crailsheim, Wurzburg and Vechta. His first season in Crailsheim paved the way for his further development as a player as not only did he keep consistent stats and was always among the top three point guards in the league, but he showed leadership qualities which belongs to the most vital attributes that a point guard has to have in order to be successful. He led Crailsheim to the Pro A final, but lost to BG Goettingen that was just a number to tough for them. 'I think if we could have capitalized on our chance to make a run like we did at home maybe it would've been different. But hats off to Goettingen they got the title', stressed Carlos Medlock. However the disappointment of not getting the chip drove him on to become better and he would prove in the next two seasons that his leadership would continue to rise. He played his first season with the Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-Pro A) playing 37 games and averaging 17.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 82.2%. His stats weren't just good, but magnificent as he showed his scoring touch on numerous occasions, but also demonstrated that his playmaking is solid and that he could shoot the three at crucial moments. In his first season in the Pro A, he scored in double figures in 33 games and 20 points or more 13 times as one could of called him the scoring machine from Detroit. He had some massive games against Science City Jena with 39 points on eight three's or 32 points against Ehingen or 29 points against Heidelberg. One may have thought that one of these two games would have been his personal season best, but it was actually the game against Magdeburg where he poured in 20 points, dished out nine assists and stayed clean taking care of the ball. 'I hate having turnovers especially bad ones. The game against Jena I did go into a zone but I was just trying to do whatever I could to help my team win', stressed Carlos Medlock
In 2014, he moved on to Wurzburg who were in the second league and were looking to get back to the BBL. One may have wondered why he didn't stay in Crailsheim, in a place he was comfortable with and with the chance of making the next step to the BBL with the team in the second season, but as is so often the case with any player, a new challenge and taking that best new opportunity for himself and his family stood out. He also always had the BBL in the back of his mind just like any other American player walking on the soil in Germany. 'Just knowing Wurzburg was a good situation for me. I Feel the BBL will always be there and I know I can play in that league. When the best opportunity comes I will be playing in that league', warned Carlos Medlock. He came into a new situation and just did what a point guard has to by running the team like a point guard should, had potent stats and at the end of the season reached the Pro A final again. With Wurzburg he played 39 games averaging 13.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 75.4%. His stats weren't as big as with Crailsheim, but then again he was surrounded by more talent and he didn't have to do as much himself. 'The reason I came to this team was to show that I'm not just a scoring point guard, but I can run a team also', stressed Carlos Medlock. He still found enough opportunities to score as he scored in double figures in 29 games and even put up the goose egg against Heidelberg in 30 minutes, but nobody remembered that performance 24 hours later as his team had won by 15 points and continued to rush through the season blowing most every opponent out of their way. The season ended in disappointment as they lost in Giessen 77-76 missing out on a second pro A title. His second blow came in the off season when he wasn't retained by Wurzburg for the upcoming BBL season. Medlock remained professional and knew that this was just part of the professional process and that his time would come eventually.
Last season Medlock laced up his sneakers with SC Rasta Vechta and once again led his team to the Pro A final and had his best season in the playmaking department as he played 36 games averaging 14.1ppg, 2.2rpg, Assists-3 (6.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 78.5%. Being known for being more than just a scoring point guard seems to have always been a factor, but he finally proved with Vechta that he could be that vicious playmaker that could consistently deposit dimes the way a Scott Machado is doing this season in the BBL. Already with Wurzburg, he had set his mind on doing that. 'One of my main goals was to improve on my assists', added Carlos Medlock. With SC Rasta Vechta, he probably had the most talent in his three years in the Pro A as he had teammates like Derrick Allen, Christian Standhardinger or Chase Griffin. It was his most complete season as once again his scoring was there as he scored in double figures in 29 games including some monster games against Nurnberg with 32 points and 25 points against Science City Jena. He was more of a playmaker having big assist games with 13 against Hanau and 12 against Essen. At the end of the season though, he couldn't finally say three was a charm, but moreover might have said one more loss next season in the Pro A and I can book a room together with legendary Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly in the hotel for final losers as the Hall of fame quarterback actually reached four Super Bowls and never came home with that much desired ring. He did lead Vechta to a home 92-77 win in the final, but Science City Jena had done all the damage in the first game winning 80-54 and thus moved back to the BBL on account of a better point difference as that is how the Pro A champ is determined.
One may have thought that the American couldn't suffer anymore hardship after a third consecutive Pro A final loss, but instead of being rewarded for leading the team to the final, just like with Wurzburg, Vechta didn't retain him, but instead decided to give the point guard reigns to ex NBA player Scott Machado. Once again, Medlock stayed positive and let his game and agent do the talking and finally after six long seasons as a professional made the jump to the easyCredit BBL signing with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. This season has been one to forget as his winning ways of the last three seasons have been drastically reduced in Braunschweig as currently the club is riding a 2-9 record and is sitting near the cellar in 16th place. He has some nice complimentary players around him like a Dyshawn Pierre, Geoffrey Groselle or Carlton Guyton as well as German BBL veterans Jannik Freese and Nicolai Simon, and a handful of unproven young Germans, but all in all not really enough to compete with more than half of the other BBL teams. Head coach Frank Menz put together a risky roster with little proven BBL players and the result currently is a place near the bottom. Medlock has been holding his own incorporating his leadership qualities as best as he can leading the teams to wins against ex team SC Rasta Vechta and the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He knows that just like when he arrived in the Pro A three years ago, the BBL is all a new learning experience. 'The speed of the game is different. Throughout my career my assists been pretty consistent it's a little less than last year. But do I wish to average more of course', stressed Carlos Medlock. Leadership is something that he has always done well and this season it's been tough, but something he is still doing to the best of his capabilities. 'It's not a problem I been one of the leaders on each team that I played for. But what I try to do most of is leading by example', added Carlos Medlock. Except for a close 77-75 loss against 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen, most loses have been by more than 10 points and the club even suffered brutal massacres against Bavarian teams Bamberg and new BBL sensation 10 game winning streak team Bayreuth by 48 points. Despite the lack luster, start, he is upbeat that the season will turn around. 'Very confident things will change. The team is starting to play well together and it's a long season anything can happen when we playing to our potential', said Carlos Medlock. The season has been a valuable learning experience for the American as he continues to grow day by day in a league that he has been dreaming of reaching since years. Medlock had to prove his worth as a basketball players for six years and his motivation to stick with it and continue to show the critics that he has game finally did pay off. He also knows that proving the doubters hasn't ended in Braunschweig either. 'Yeah it's been that way for me my whole life. Wish it could've been easy like the so called big name players. But it just helps me appreciate the grind of basketball more. My motivation that keeps me pushing is my kids and keep proving people wrong', stressed Carlos Medlock. Now the American continues to want to prove doubters wrong that he isn't a one hit basketball wonder, but that he can not only survive the rigors of BBL life, but become a consistent solid player that will stick for good in the top German league like that stickum stuff did to for two time Super Bowl champion Oakland Raider Lester Hays back in the day. One for thing is for sure, this summer nobody will be able to tell Carlos Medlock that he came even with Jim Kelly with four lost finals.
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