Dominique Johnson (177-PG-87, college: N.Texas) is a 25 year old 177cm guard from Kansas City, Missouri that recently played in Germany in the PRO A fort he Duesseldorf Giants. He played at N.Texas (NCAA) and in his senior year played 33 games: 10.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 85.7%. For the Duesseldorf Giants, he played 12 games averaging 1,9ppg and 1,0rpg while averaging 7,3 minutes per game. He spoke to eurobasket about his experience with the club. Where are you now? Are you still in Duesseldorf. Are you surprised that you are no longer a member of the Duesseldorf Giants?
I am back home in Kansas City,MO. I am not surprised I am no longer in Dusseldorf because I chose to leave the team on my own.
It was stated today on the Duesseldorf Giants web page that you had left the team on account of personal reasons. Is that accurate? Yes
What are the main reasons for you not being a Duesseldorf Giant anymore? I have been playing basketball since I was four years old and I have always been a headline guy at the places I been. I just wasnt happy with the minutes I was getting because I know what kind of player I am and more than that I proved it in practice. The coach felt like he had to play certain guys and I didnt agree with it. I did not play one game then 3 minutes then 5 minutes then a dnp. Im a better player than that and Im so hungry to show what I can do.
You were MVP at the summer camp of Mike Hart in Las Vegas which got you the job. Were you surprised that you only averaged 7 minutes per game?
Yes the Mike Hart camp was like a seal that it was my time to explode into the overseas realm because it was a lot of great players there and I stole the show. I was told that Dusseldorf needed a point guard right away and I was so eager to come and play right away because I knew it would have been a great opportunity to start my career. I was shocked at the minutes I was getting because week by week I was becoming a better player.
You had a very strong and experienced point guard in front of you with Gary Johnson. You played well in pratcice, but still got little minutes. Did you ever have discussions with Murat Didin about your playing time? Yes Gary is a good guard and he played the one and the two but we are different types of guards. I am an uptempo type of guard who likes to get it on the break and create for others and who can create for myself. I thought that we should have been on the court together more. I talked to him as the season progressed but I never really had that many conversations about playing because I feel like if I show you in practice then it aint nothing to talk about.
How difficult was this experience as a rookie? Is there anything that you learned with this experience with the Duesseldorf Giants?
I picked up on some key things in Germany. Mainly off the court on just how to be a man and stand on your own two feet. I really think it helped me a lot and I dont consider myself a rookie. When you think about it you are really not a rookie if you played college basketball for 4 years and then you have somebody on your team who is German that is 21 and they have been playing in the German pro league for 3 years and they are considered to have some type of experience. Basketball is basketball!
What teammate helped you the last months with the tough situation of not getting minutes?
Duesseldorf is in third place with a record of 10-5. What are the chances of the team to move to the Beko BBL next season? Do they have the potential to get there with this team?
Its going to be interesting going into the new season. I think they have the best player in the league in Patrick Flomo and players that will get him the ball and know their role and I know Coach is real good on film in correcting mistakes. I think they can do it but its not going to be easy. With or without me it still would be tough.
What were you able to learn from veteran Patrick Flomo on and off the court as a rookie?
Flomo was a basketball player but a family man first which I really respected from him. I have a 6 year old daughter who I love and take care of but to see how Flomo was being a dad just really encouraged me to be a better father to my daughter. On the court he just always stressed to be vocal and keep working hard no matter what.
What is the next step for Dominique Johnson? Will you go back home or look for a job in Europe?
I want to play. As simple that. I dont want anything given to me because I will put in the work and hard work has got me this far so Im not worried because I know God is in control.
What do you like the most about Germany and would you like to continue to play here? It had to be the swag of the people in Dusseldorf. People are real fancy out there and it just blew my mind because I thought America had all the swag. I would love to come back to Germany and play. I got a little taste of it but next time Im trying to take a big bite.
What is your opinion of the Los Angeles Clippers? Where will there basketball journey end this season in the playoffs?
Chris Paul is my favorite player in the NBA. I think he can lead that team to the conference finals but because they really dont have their post fully developed to help them overcome the Thunder or Spurs
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bo... [read more]
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to eurobasket after the tough loss to Trier.
Chase thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. 2017 is here and are you the type of guy that goes into a new year with new years resolutions or more a guy that doesn't bother with that? It's certainly important to reflect on the first half of the season at this point and evaluate what needs improvement. A new mentality is always a helpful way to regain focus and set new goals.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn suffered a tough 69-66 loss to Trier. They had the 37-26 lead at halftime. It took you a while as a team to get going scoring 24 points in the third quarter to get back into the game. What adjustments did you make? We were sluggish and emotionless, so coach wanted us to turn up the pressure and play more lively. Communication and strong rotations were the emphasis.
Paderborn had the 66-63 lead with 2.54 minutes to play and were controlling the last 4-5 minutes keeping the lead, but then lost control allowing Trier to close out the game with a 6-0 run. How bitter was this outcome losing like this? Is that worse then getting beat by a buzzer beater?
Losing period is hurtful, especially with a team that we will potentially be fighting against for a playoff spot. We must collectively play better in those defining moments.
What was key in the last few minutes that allowed Trier to get the momentum and win the game?
Besides handing them free throws, it was the bad offensive possessions where we didn't get a good shot up.
Do you feel like there would have been a different outcome at the end had you not fouled out at 1.10 minutes to play?
Absolutely. These are the moments that I've been working hard to be prepared for and I was more than ready to perform. Unfortunately it didn't go as planned and it really hurt to have to watch.
Do you feel also had the team contained American Brandon Spearman better and limited his trips to the free throw line that you would have been able to preserve the win? We expected him to attack and lucky for him he got the calls. It was a smart effort on his behalf, but we should have executed better on offense.
A big problem of the Uni Baskets Paderborn in their current 5 game losing streak has been the inability to close out games. Has this trend turned into an unwanted type of disease?
I wouldn't call it a disease, if anything it's showing that we have heart and even though we are down at the moment, we aren't a door mat you can walk over. We can go toe to toe with any team and any game versus Paderborn will be a battle.
After the wild 130-125 double OT win against the Drsden Titans in October, you said that this will be a season to remember. Do you still feel this now at 7-11 and out of the playoff spots?
I stand by my statement whole heartedly. I won't give up until the season is completely over. At the end if we don't make it then we don't make it, but as long as we lace up and we throw on that jersey We are planning to win them all.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn played Kirchheim and Crailsheim very tight. What do you believe is missing for you to be able to beat these caliber type teams?
Defensive discipline in the last seconds of the shot clock and simply offensive execution when the game is on the line. Completing those possessions with a stop and not giving them second chances or easy looks. Offensively getting highly efficient shot attempts. These two factors have decided these close losses.
Before the loss to Trier, Paderborn was allowing 80 points per game. The team defended a lot better against Trier. Do you feel that Paderborn could hold more Pro A teams to around 70 points which would put you in a lot better position to win?
If we put our mind to it we can do anything. Everything else is in order, so the next step is take more pride in defense and to stick to our principles. The effort needs to stay at a high level for 40minutes.
Currently your third in tea s coring, first in assists and steals and second in rebounding. How happy have you been with your first half performance?
Not Satisfied one bit. It's just not enough in my book. To get over the hump I must turn it up a couple notches.
You continue to be a great defender leading the team with 2,6spg. How does a top notch defender like you continue to excel at this trade? What do you do in practices that has you always ready in games?
Defense is built on toughness, determination to stop your assignment and to give your all for the team. You just show up with that mentality everyday in practice so it's natural in game. Another key factor is paying attention to scouting. Taking time to study players habits and teams plays
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
This year. That's a top 5 performance.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Without a doubt. Nobody has a motor like him.
Russell Westbrook obviously has gotten a lot of attention with his constant triple doubles, but James Harden is doing the same thing with the Houston Rockets. Where do you see him head to head against Westbrook as best point guard at the moment in the NBA?
All though Westbrooks stat lines are out of this world, Hardens team has the better record so maybe Harden gets the nod for best PG.
Which 2 clubs will make the Superbowl and who will win it all?
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the... [read more]
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the EasyCredit BBL. In Champions League play he got into 8 games averaging 2,3ppg and 1,4rpg. "I am happy that we got him in our second try. He is an interesting player with enormous potential. He wants to prove himself and has fun playing and we need that in Giessen. I am convinced that he will be integrated quickly and help us with his abilities. His quick and aggressive play suits us", stresed Giessen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer.
Kone started his basketball career with the Bramfelder SV Hamburg junior team and also played with the SG Braunschweig junior team. In 2011 he moved to BSG Bremerhaven (2.Regionalliga): 11 games 13.6ppg. He then got his first BBL experience with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2012-2014 playing a total of 22 games. In 2014 he took a step back moving to the Pro A and playing two seasons with the Hamburg Towers where he got adequate playing time and could devlop his game better. In his first season with the Hamburg Towers he played 18 games averaging 8.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 29.6%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 72.5%. He made his Pro A break out last season playing 30 games: 14.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 25.7%, FT: 79.0%. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been German NBBL Championships Finalist -12, German U20 National Team -13, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Domestic Players Team -16.
Alex Foster(202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 3... [read more]
Alex Foster (202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
Thanks Alex for talking to eurobasket.com. How did you get into 2017 and did you have any new years resolutions or are you more a guy that doesn't believe in that hype? I brought in the New Year with friends here in Cologne, but didn't make any big new years resolutions. I still have some goals from 2016 that I'm working towards.
This season the RheinStars didn't have a long holiday break as you had a game on the 23rd of December against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets and on the seventh of January against Baunach. Do you feel this was more beneficial in keeping the team sharp or could a few more days rest helped the club?
Last season we only got two days off, so this year's holiday break felt much longer. Unfortunately, we went into the break after a bitter loss. It was tough having to wait so long to play again, but once I put that loss behind me, I enjoyed the holidays with my family. As for the team, I think everyone came back from the break with some extra motivation for the second half of the season.
How important was the win against Baunach to start 2017 after the bitter loss to Essen before Christmas in having the team have the right focus going into the Hanau game? It was important for us to get back to winning. There aren't that many games left in the regular season so very win comes at a premium.
Just like last season, winning is Hanau didn't happen, but the club came out with a lot better effort at home against them. What in your opinion is always most difficult when playing Hanau? They always come in with energy and confidence, which makes them a tough team to beat, but we kept their offence in check and made enough plays ourselves to get the win. The game was no easy matter as it was tight going into the fourth quarter.
What do you feel was key in the fourth quarter for pulling out the win and getting your second win in a row in 2017?
We tightened up our defense in the second half and played together offensively. We're starting to develop a win-at-all-costs identity and I think that showed against both Baunach and Hanau.
Kruize Pinkins had another typical strong game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. You have faced him 4 times now. Why in your opinion is he such a tough guy to stop? He's great around the rim and his teammates do a good job of finding him in scoring areas. Defending him, you have to stay engaged on defense at all times.
The RheinStars are in eighth place with a record of 9-9. What was your first half summary of the season?
We dug ourselves a deep hole, but are climbing out.
How much potential is in this season's team? The team is eighth best in points scored and points let up? In what area does the team have the most potential to do harm? I think we have the potential to go all the way. Ultimately, we want to hold down our home court for the rest of the season and start knocking off teams on the road.
How valuable was the pick up of former BBL player Anthony King? What does he give the team most besides experience at that low post presence? AK brings a calm sense of confidence to our team. He's a player you want with the ball when the game is on the line. Plus, he helps bring out the best in his teammates.
It seems like Richard Williams has been playing a bit under his expectations, but he hasn't been totally fit. How soothing is it knowing that when he breaks out, the club will be even more dangerous? I think Richie's done a great job learning and running the offense in such a short time. I was amazed by how fast he picked up all of our sets. He's made winning plays since he first got here, which I'm sure will continue throughout the season.
How content have you been with your game? You pretty much have the same stats as last season, but your playing 10 minutes less. Do you feel like you have become more of an efficient player this season?
Our roster is stacked with talent, so I didn't expect as many minutes as last season, but I know that for our team to be great, I need to play my role well. I've also gotten a better feel for European game since I got here, which helps my game.
Your right near the 40% mark from outside. How content are you that you can make that plateau in the second half of the season?
I expect that of myself.
What are your personal continued goals for this season as a player? On what things are you working on on the defensive end to become a better player? Right now, my focus is on helping my team get to the playoffs. On defense, I want to be able to stop my man one-on-one and help my teammates within the concept.
In December you watched a game of your friend Will Trawick in Rhondorf. How much do you miss playing with him? At Emory (NCAA3) you played three years together. He's carved out a good spot for himself in Rhondorf and it was fun to watch help play live. I'm sure we'll have a chance to play together this summer back at Emory.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you? It as good as any player has every ran the floor and shot the ball.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now? Lebron and Curry are NBA Champions, so Russ still has some work to do.