It is always nice to see when an ex Beko BBL player or coach continues to shine in other places as American coach Mike Taylor (agency: Pro One Sports ) has shown this season. Taylor has been named to coach the D-league futures team at the Allstar game. Taylor who is coaching his first season as a head coach of the Maine Red Claws led the team in the east conference with a record of 17-10. The game will be played at the Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center on Saturday Feb 15 and he earned the trip by virtue of a 17-10 record and winning a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Canton Charge, who had the same record through games of Jan. 27. Taylor who coached in Germany for ratiopharm Ulm from 2003-2011 leading the team into the Beko BBL in 2006 and reaching the playoffs in 2009 didnt have the most rosy split with the team at the end of the 2010-2011 season, but the likeable American didnt let that curve his zeal or appetite for the game and made his way to the States getting an offer as assistant coach of the Rio Grande Vipers last season. This season for the Maine Red Claws, he has been at the top of the standings since the start of the season and showed that he can adapt from the structured European style of basketball to the quicker paced style of the D-league. He also has shown early on that he is able to adjust to the many comings and goings of players on account of NBA call ups or players going to Europe. Taylor has had the pleasure of coaching NBA players like Shelven Mack, Xavier Silas, Dejuan Summers, Andre Barrett and Fab Melo. Taylor will be assisted by Tunde Adekola who was on his staff in Ulm.
Elijah Allen(195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that recently completed his fourth professional season in Germany and second with Lich playing 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.... [read more]
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that recently completed his fourth professional season in Germany and second with Lich playing 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to Eurobasket after signing with Pro A team Gotha.
Elijah thanks for talking to eurobasket. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? Thanks for the interview Miles, I am currently in Lollar,Germany. The summer has been great for me. I have been staying fairly busy. I have been training and spending time with my family and I also just took part in the Scorers1st Showcase in Dusseldorf this past weekend.
There is nothing wrong with staying in Germany and enjoying the lifestyle, but isn't your extended family in Ohio as well as friends sad that you are still in Germany when you could be at home? Yes, I miss my family and friends very much. It has been about 3 years since I have been back in the United States. I just haven't had much time to make it back due to other priorities.
You obviously have your own family now here in Germany, but besides that what have you grown to cherish the most about being able to live in Germany? I think the fact of just realizing why I have been here so long is what I will cherish the most. I made a goal and stuck to it. I have been taking classes at a local school and also working a normal job the past few years in order to obtain a German passport. It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it was all worth it.
Congrats on signing with Gotha in the German Pro A. How thrilled are you to be able to make the next step in your professional career? I am very excited for this opportunity. I have worked hard for this. I am hungry and eager to help the program in continued success.
For some reason I always figured you were happy playing with the Licher Basket Baeren. How carefully did you plan this move? Leaving Lich and the Giessen area was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. It ideally was the perfect situation for me because it gave me the opportunity to play as well as being close to my wifes side of the family. Lich is like a second home to me and I am really thankful for all that they have done for me.
You made considerable steps in your second Pro B season. Do you feel that you really needed that second season in the Pro B to be able to make that next step to the Pro A? I think staying two years in Pro B was a positive for me. I felt I made big improvements year to year. Staying two years was really the best situation for me.
It is a no brainer to be able to play for BBL legend Chris Ensminger, but what else sold you on joining Gotha? Besides the coaching staff, I really wanted to come to a winning program. I think when you look at the fan support of Gotha that really shows what kind of program they are. They have good management and really give there all to reach their goals.
What kind of dealings have you had with Chris Ensminger in the past? Have you met him? What kind of talks have you had with him recently and what was your impression of him? I met Chris Ensminger for the first time a few weeks ago. I have heard great things about him before I met him. He is a coach that really makes his players better and helps them truly reach their potential. I know I have a lot of room to grow and I can't wait for him to help me get better.
He is a Ohio boy like you. Are the chances better this way that you both speak the same basketball language? It always helps when you have someone that can relate to your background. Gotha is a team that is still being built.
Do you see your self making a massive impact or more being that role player and glue type guy which you also was with Lich? I will be whatever the team needs me to be. I just want to go in and work hard in order to win games and keep the club happy.
On what things will you be working hard on this summer on your game to be fully prepared to battle in the Pro A?
I feel I am ready for the Pro A. The way I play fits more to the Pro A style than Pro B. I am mostly excited about that. This summer I am mainly just working on footspeed to be able to guard multiple positions.
You had two nice seasons with the Licher Basket Baeren. What will be your most fondest memory on the court? For me it would easily be having strong games personally in the play downs to keep the team in the league. The club deserves to be in the Pro B. Both seasons we were 1 game away from making the playoffs. I gave my all while playing with Lich and I will never forget how we fought as a team in t