The Christmas time is a time in general to spend around the family, be thankful for everything and eat a hearty meal and see what Santa put into the stocking. In the United States a Shaq might devour a few turkeys with yummy gravy and stuffing while enjoying his flick Kazam for entertainment, in Canada a Osvaldo Jeanty might enjoy some plum pudding, in Poland a Marcin Gortat might have to explain to his NBA teammates that a day of fasting is rewarded on Christmas with herring fillets, in Russia a Andrei Kirilenko can enjoy holy supper which consists of 12 dishes one to honor each of the 12 apostles, in Spain a Ricky Rubio might be sleepless in Barcelona as a Christmas eve dinner can last to 6am with some turkey with truffles. The NBA isnt the only place in professional basketball where the schedule runs through the holiday season. Many leagues in Europe have a break for Americans to go home, but not in the Beko BBL. In the Beko BBL, teams play on the 23rd, 26th and 27th. The Fraport Skyliners returned home after a tough loss in Tuebingen and had to practice on the 24th and 25th of December in preparation for BBC Bayreuth and had to possibly heat up a TV dinner instead of home cooking from mom. I wanted to go home to Berlin and be home with my family, but the schedule didnt allow it which was very tough, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. The only positive thing for the players might have been the practices between Christmas which where they could have digested the yummy food. The Fraport Skyliners came into the game against BBC Bayreuth having to be as motivated as a super overweight Santa Claus who cant get down the chimney, but wants and needs to to deliver those special presents to the kids and finally got back to their old ways of defending like an aggressive pitbull beating BBC Bayreuth 76-59. EX Bayer Giants Leverkusen forward Beckham Wyrick was unable to play due to a shoulder injury and remembers how difficult it is being away from the family on Christmas. Most teams in Europe have breaks around Christmas. I am lucky that I have a German family, but I would rather be at home in the States. I remember when I was single being alone at Christmas and it was tough. It is tough for young guys out of college, but I believe it is easier in general now with all skype, stressed Beckham Wyrick. Devin Gibson was home alone in Frankfurt for the first time, but at least could celebrate a victory. It was tough for me being away from home for the first time. When I was in college, I was near my house so it wasnt so hard. But it was tough seeing my family open presents and eating nice food over skype, commented Devin Gibson.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game riding a four game losing streak and being stuck in the cellar in 18th place like a small toddler who gets stuck in a tree and cant go down. The Fraport Skyliners had given up an average 97 points in the last two loses against Phoenix Hagen and the Walter Tigers Tuebingen which was about as uncharachteristic as Rajon Rondo being without an assist in a game. The Fraport Skyliners understood that they had to find back to their old ways of defending hard and gave BBC Bayreuth fits all day long in their 76-59 victory at home in front of 3,370 fans. The team also knew how important the win was for getting out of the cellar. This was a big win and big confidence booster. This win stopped the bleeding. The key in the game was keeping up the defensive momentum all throughout the game. We executed our defense and did a good job limiting their second attempts, stressed Ohio native Ted Scott. After a quick start winning their four games, BBC Bayreuth have slipped down the ladder and are hanging to the bottom with a long way back to the top after they lost their sixth game in a row and have a 2-8 record since the fast start. Many will laud the aggressive Frankfurt defense, but it wasnt like BBC Bayreuth didnt have their chances. Our biggest problem in the last games has been that we have had more than enough open looks, but we just havent hit them. Our backs are to the wall and the schedule isnt getting any easier either in the future. The Fraport Skyliners deserved to win and played very hard. They did what they had to do to get the win, stressed Beckham Wyrick.
The game also featured the seemingly role reversal of Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel (207-PF-91) and the debut of new Skyliner Dwan Robinson. On the stat sheet, it was obvious to see that the two top scorers for the Fraport Skyliners were Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel with 15 points each, but in a way the young German from Heidelberg did what Scott is known for and played sniper in the third quarter scoring 11 points and scoring in bunches something that Scott can do in his sleep. Barthel showed real sniper scoring qualities really stepping it up and keeping that offensive momentum going for the Fraport Skyliners hitting big three pointers and getting dirty work production inside. Scott spoke in high regard of his teammate about his performance. When Danilo plays like that, he makes us so strong. Even if he is so young, I still think that he is one of our best players. I tip my hat off to Danilo, he played great, said Fraport Skyliner guard Ted Scott. His new teammate Dwan Robinson had only seen him in a few practices was amazed by his play. Danilo has the talent to be a great player. I am very proud of how he played, added Dwan Robinson. 30 year old Dwan Robinson gave his debut for the Fraport Skyliners. He had had played in Italy the last years winning the 2009 cup with Kyle Hines and had a special twinkle in his eyes after the win finishing with nine points in 13 minutes. Robinson showed a knack for getting to the free throw line, hitting shots and playing defense. I am still finding my flow, but I feel good. I love to play defense and want to show the club that I can do that. Defense wins titles. I am not really here to score, because the team has many scorers already, added Dwan Robinson. Devin Gibson was a menace on defense getting four steals, but was happy for the help from Robinson. Dwan is a great player. He knows how to play defense and has a high basketball IQ, expressed Fraport Skyliners guard Devin Gibson.
The Fraport Skyliners started the game getting into an offensive rhythm quickly as the motto was give Zach the mad baller Peacock the ball and let him play as he hit his first three shots as the home team led 6-3. Offense and defense quickly got the same page as two Skyliner steals led to fast break points and dunks from Quantez Robertson and Danilo Barthel as BBC Bayreuth trailed 10-5. We showed early that we were on the same page on defense. Everyone was helping early which got us going, stressed Dwan Robinson. BBC Bayreuth cut the lead to 10-8 with a big Simon Schmitz three pointer. However the Fraport Skyliners closed out the first quarter with a blistering 9-2 run to lead 19-10. After Danilo Barthel made two free throws, he watched and took notes for his sniper notebook as Ted Scott scored in bunches with two jumpers. Quantez Robertson added on to the run testing his 28% three point shooting drowning a shot from downtown. The Fraport Skyliners led comfortably after one quarter 19-10. The Fraport Skyliners had a good offensive rhythm early and played aggressive defense leading to fast break points. Frankfurt did a good job forcing Bayreuth to tough shots and getting the shot clock down, added EWE Baskets Oldenburg guard Dominik Bahiense De Mello. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 25% from outside while BBC Bayreuth was shooting 33% from the field and 25% from outside. BBC Bayreuth had the nine to six rebound edge, but nine turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners had only three turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to keep their healthy lead while continuing to defend very fiercely not letting BBC Bayreuth find their desired rhythm. In the first two minutes it was the Joe Trapani and Dwan Robinson show as they both contributed two buckets each. Trapani who played at Boston College together with FC Bayern Munich point guard Tyrese Rice had to pick up a lot of the load down low as Jason Cain and Gary Mcghee were contained well for the game. Trapani started the second quarter with second chance put back. Robinson then led Frankfurt on a 5-0 run with a three pointer and off balance shot in the lane. Trapani then showed his shooting touch connecting from the top of the key, but BBC Bayreuth still trailed 24-15. After Schmitz free throws, then came a very potent few minutes by the Fraport Skyliners as they forced five BBC Bayreuth turnovers in a row and were rewarded by a Ted Scott three pointer, free throws and the 29-17 lead. Frankfurt had some untimely turnovers which led to a Bryan Bailey coast to coast run and lay in and Simon Schmitz free throws for the 29-21 Frankfurt advantage. Quantez Robertson continued to be hot from the parking lot nailing another three pointer as Frankfurt led 32-21. Ex Fraport Skyliner guard Dominik Bahiense De Mello and Skyliner legend Pascal Roller were enjoying the strong Skyliner play watching the game from the seats. Trapani and Peacock exchanged buckets in the last minute as the Fraport Skyliners led at halftime 34-23. There were phases were Frankfurt wasnt concentrated leading to turnovers. They should have been leading by 20 points. Frankfurt was doing a great job denying Cain and Mcghee in the low post, added ex Fraport Skyliner Dominik Bahiense De Mello. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 50% from the three point line while BBC Bayreuth was shooting 31% from the field and 20% from the three point line. BBC Bayreuth led the rebound duel 21-14, but had a whopping 16 turnovers while Frankfurt had 10 turnovers.
In the third quarter came the Danilo Barthel show as he helped conserve the comfortable lead. Joe Trapani started the third quarter with free throws as BBC Bayreuth trailed 34-25. Barthel then scored inside and Kevin Hamilton made a sweet lay in while spinning to the basket. Devi n Gibson then scored on another typical BBC Bayreuth turnover on a coast to coast jaunt, while Danilo Barthel scored inside and nailed a three pointer with a sweet rainbow arc to his shot. Gibson then added a fade away and another mid distance jumper with one second on the shot clock as the Fraport Skyliners had coasted on a 11-2 run to extend their lead to 47-29. After Cain scored a rare inside shot from him on that day, it was Barthel again who was feeling in the zone dropping another three pointer which even would have had ex teammate Jimmy Mckinney chuckling in thought. The Fraport Skyliners kept playing with immense self- confidence as Quantez Robertson not only was feeling it from downtown Cincinnati, but was driving BBC Bayreuth defenders wild with his ball handling as he scored once hard with the penetration and finishing with his left hand and then with his right hand as the Fraport Skyliners led 54-35. BBC Bayreuth finished the third quarter with a 4-1 run as Gary Mcghee made an offensive rebound and put back and Bryan Bailey made free throws as the Fraport Skyliners led 55-39 after three quarters. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 55% from the parking lot while BBC Bayreuth was shooting 35% from the field and 21% from the parking lot. BBC Bayreuth had the 29-19 rebound edge, but 25 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners had 15 turnovers.
The fourth quarter started with a curious play by the Fraport Skyliners as Quantez Robertson penetrated and was met with heavy BBC Bayreuth traffic and seemed like to have put up an air ball which was caught for an ally-op tip in by Dion Dowell who wasnt much of a factor up to that point. After Mcghee free throws, it was Super Tez Robertson again who was penetrating and scoring as if that was his best quality in his game and not his defense as the Fraport Skyliners still led 59-41. Trapani then got a pass in the low post from Bailey and right away like a lightening strike slid past Peacock scoring as BBC Bayreuth still trailed 59-44. Robinson then scored four points in a row from the free throw line as Frankfurt led 63-44. Gary Mcghee then fouled out and Marco Van Den Berg countered by bringing in German Stefan Schmidt for the first time and he brought some fresh wind into the game leading BBC Bayreuth on a 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-51. Schmidt scored inside then drew a foul making free throws and Simon Schmitz added two free throws and Kevin Hamilton added a free throw. However that was as close as BBC Bayreuth would get as they went on a 13-2 run to lead 76-53 and put a lid on the BBC Bayreuth come back. Frankfurt went back to Zach Peacock giving him the ball and letting him draw fouls. He got to the free throw line three times as well as Ted Scott and Devin Gibson as 10 of the 13 points were made from the foul line. Scott contributed a three pointer in the run. BBC Bayreuth had cut the lead to 13 points so we slowed down the game. In the past teams had sped up the game which didnt help us. We gave the ball inside to Zach Peacock and didnt give up easy baskets, stressed Devin Gibson. Despite the game already decided, BBC Bayreuth closed out the game with a 6-0 run to lose 76-59. Stefan Schmidt scored inside again and Simon Schmitz hit a three pointer. Frankfurt continued to play good defense forcing us too tough shots and limiting lay ups. We didnt rebound so well down the stretch and lost many loose balls, added Gary Mcghee. As the buzzer sounded, BBC Bayruth went to their fans to thank them for their support, but the club has to get on the winning track fast. We have to get that winning mentality back fast. We seem to have this type of stigma after we lose. We have to believe that we are a better team than what we are showing, stressed BBC Bayreuth guard Kevin Hamilton.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel with 15 points a piece. Quantez Robertson added 14 points and Zach Peacock produced 13 points and eight rebounds. BBC Bayreuth was led by Joe Trapani with 16 points and ten rebounds. Simon Schmitz added 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners did a sound job in the shooting department shooting 46% from the field and 41% from outside. Even though the Fraport Skyliners had problems on the boards losing the battle 35-31, it was another strong defense performance holding BBC Bayreuth to 59 points. Even though they couldnt contain Joe Trapani, they held Cain and Mcghee to nine points combined in 42 minutes. Coach told us that we had to contain them and we did a good job on them. We couldnt quite contain Trapani, but it was one of those days where he played well, but it could have been worse, stated Ted Scott. Frankfurt did a good job denying Cain and me on the initial ball screen forcing us to turnovers. When we did get the ball inside, they did a good job double teaming us. We didnt execute enough, stressed Gary Mcghee. I had no concern about Mcghee, because Zach is an animal down low, but we knew that we had to limit Cain at what he does best and we did that, warned Dwan Robinson. However the biggest strength in this win was the trust factor that the team regained again on defense. It wasnt so much to do with the x and os today. We had that trust factor on offense and defense. We know that we messed up some of our rotations, but we kept fighting back and trusted each other for helping and being there when one was missed. We had the determination today needed to win, stressed Devin Gibson. Ted Scott helped elaborate the Devin Gibson trust factor as the key to success. We had the trust factor knowing that one or another player was there to help. That made it so much better. It was so much better than in Tuebingen. In Tuebingen we were often late on help, but against BBC Bayreuth we were on top of it which was key to winning, added Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners look to extend their winning streak to two games with a win against FC Bayern Munich on December 29th.
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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