Alejo Rodriguez (203-C-88, college: Iona) is a 24 year old 203cm forward from the Bronx, New York. He played at Iona (NCAA) from 2006-2011 playing a total of 119 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 36 games: 6.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.0apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 69.9%, FT: 53.8%. Last season as a rookie, he played for the Springfield Armor (D-League): 7 games: 0.7ppg, 2.6rpg, left in Jan.'12, then joined Oviedo Club Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Silver): 5 games: 3.2ppg, 5.6rpg. He spoke to eurobasket after the 73-64 loss against the Fraport Skyliners juniors.
What was your impression of playing in the BCM gym of the Fraport Skyliners? NBA players like Alan Anderson and Carlos Arroyo have played here before.
Oh really I had no idea that those guys had played here. I had a very good impression here. I love our fan support very much. It seemed like we had more fans than Frankfurt did. We have very diehard fans and I really appreciate their support in every game.
The Dragons Rhondorf only have two Americans, but still are the best team in the PRO B south. What makes the team so potent? I think that we have shown all season long that the team doesnt only depend on the two Americans. The team depends on everyone. We have a very good starting five where each German gives much support. Our bench is also very good. Each guy understands their role and always step up in each game.
Did you feel added pressure in the game, because four guys were out on account of the flu?
Obviously we were missing guys, actually it was five so it did feel a lot different with our limited rotation. We had problems with fouls and our limited bench did hurt us. This did benefit Frankfurt down the stretch.
You fouled out in the third quarter and Frankfurt was able to lead comfortably in the fourth quarter having a ten point lead. What was key in the fourth quarter for Frankfurt getting the win? Frankfurt was able to control the paint in the fourth quarter and they got open three point shots. Frankfurt played a smart and great game. With me fouling out, we couldnt keep our game plan going, because whenever we had to give something up on the three point line or under the basket, they were able to counter.
As a rookie last season, you got experience in the D-league with Springfield and in the third league in Spain. What were the most important things that you could learn?
The D-league was great. I only played seven games, but it was my first pro experience and I learned the ropes how to take care of my body and just see that daily grind. In Spain, there was a total different style than in the States. I got my first taste of how the European game works and it helped me now in Germany, but it is still a learning process and am still learning each day.
You were born in the Bronx, but grew up in Manhattan. What was the worst thing that you experienced in the Bronx? Well to be honest I never really had anything bad happen to me, but I did see some bad things. There are some bad parts of the Bronx, but also some good parts and the Bronx often gets a bad rap in movies. I am happy that nothing happened to my family or friends. I am also thankful that basketball kept me busy as a kid and I didnt slip into anything bad. It is just sad what happens there. The youth of today need to be smarter.
Your teammate Geddes Robinson also comes from the Bronx. Did you know him prior to coming to Rhondorf?
We actually did. We met in high school when we were 16 or 17. We didnt talk again until this season. It was nice coming in knowing that there was a guy that I had known before and that he was no random guy.
Last season at Oviedo (Leb Silver) you played together with Bryan Leduc. Who won a one on one in practice?
He was a great guy. I learned so much from him and he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes showing me how to live in Europe. Of course I would win a one on one, but he is a great shooter with moves inside and is a great shooter.
Your coach at Iona (NCAA) was ex NBA player Jeff Ruland who was an NBA allstar in 1984. What is the most important thing that you learned from him?
He told me that the game in the 80s was a totally different game where there was more grinding and more physical play. He said nowadays the NBA is so superstar orientated. He was a great coach and it was nice having a big man as a coach which isnt so usual. He taught me how to be always strong on the court and use my emotion to my advantage.
Last season, you played in the D-league for the Springfield Armour. You played for Bob Mckinnon who seems like a calm coach. What could you learn from him? Yes that is right he is calm and grows confidence into a player. He taught to always be ready no matter if your playing 30 minutes or only one minute. He also was my first professional coach and taught me how to always be professional and focus on getting a little better each day.
You played at Iona (NCAA) Who was the best player that you played against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
There were quite a few, but if I had to name a few than I would say Evan Turner and Elton Brand who was tough to play against. I played against Brand in summer pick up games.
Did you ever meet ex Skyliner Greg Jenkins who also played at Iona? I didnt play with him at Iona, but practiced with him during the summers. He is quiet, but a great guy. He is a physical player that taught me to always look for things on the court. He is very dedicated to the weight room and got me to become more of a physical player and get me into the weight room.
In you last season at Iona, you had Tim Cluess as your head coach. How did he get you ready for a professional basketball career?
He taught me how to understand the offense more. I was more of a defensive player, but I learned to read plays better on offense and defense.
When you were a kid, who did you dream about being when you were on the playgrounds? Well I started very late with basketball at age 15. I came to basketball, because of a bet where someone bet me that I couldnt make the team, but I was the last guy picked freshman year. I always liked Tim Duncan, because of his demeanor and I love his emotion. He is also the perfect role model for kids.
Who will win the Superbowl? The 49ers will win.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Hang Over 2.
Thanks Alejo for the chat.
The Hannover Korbjager Have Landed Dallis Anglin - 13 minutes ago
There have been players to land in the NBA with lower stats in their senior year than Dallas Anglin, but the American is as far away from the nBA right now as the Brooklyn Nets are from making the playoffs, but like so many rookies before him, Anglin will start his basketball career in the German fourth league for the Hannover Korbjager and attempt to work his way up the basketball ladder in the next years [read more]
There have been players to land in the NBA with lower stats in their senior year than Dallas Anglin, but the American is as far away from the nBA right now as the Brooklyn Nets are from making the playoffs, but like so many rookies before him, Anglin will start his basketball career in the German fourth league for the Hannover Korbjager and attempt to work his way up the basketball ladder in the next years. He is a 23 year old 185cm points guard from Mont Clair, New Jersey that brings a lot of talent to the table. The American brings extensive basketball experience from the college ranks to Germany as he balled for schools like Hofstra (NCAA), S.Idaho JC (JUCO), S.Mississippi (NCAA), and N.Colorado (NCAA).
He brings a strong basketball scouting report to Germany concerning his game as he is a true PG who is crafty and can score in bunches. He shows a high IQ and great vision, using quickness to get into the lane with nice body control, finishing off plays with a pullup jumper. Anglin's superior athletic ability helps him get to the basket and finish with contact. He also plays both sides of the basketball by being a great on ball defender to match superior changes of direction. He plays with active hands on defense and getting steals and deflections. As a senior he played at N.Colorado (NCAA) playing 20 games averaging 13.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 79.6%. He scored in double figures in 15 of 20 games and memorable scoring games included 31 points against Idaho State, 23 points against Jacksonville State and 20 points against Montana State.
He started his basketball career in 2012 with Hofstra (NCAA playing 6 games: 3.2ppg, 1.2apg. He then moved to S.Idaho JC (JUCO) playing 32 games averaging 13.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 77.8%. In 2014, his next stop would be S.Mississippi (NCAA) playing 6 games and averaging 6.0ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 28.6%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 93.3%. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been All-NJCAA D1 Region XVIII 2nd Team -14, All-SWAC 2nd Team -14, NJCAA Region XVIII Finalist -14, and NJCAA Region XVIII All-Tournament Team -14.
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rocke... [read more]
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rockets (NBA), released in Oct.'15, then moved to Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%, in Apr.'16 signed at Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. he spoke to eurobasket recently after Aris had beat the Fraport Skyliners in Germany in Champions League action.
Welcome to Germany Will. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know about the country and it's basketball?
Yes that was my first time in Germany. I don't really know too much about their basketball since this is really my first year playing basketball overseas. I just know Germany has great cities to live in and visit.
Do you have any other friends currently playing in Germany besides TJ DiLeo? I think another former temple player Ryan Brooks might currently be playing in Germany. I know he has in the past.
Your playing your first complete season in Europe after being a rookie in the D-league last season and then played briefly with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. What was your wake up call to being in Europe for the first time and playing professional ball?
I would say my wake up call was playing against Milan in the first round of the Italian playoffs. Jumping right into an important and high level situation for your first experience forces you to learn quickly.
This season you are playing for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). You are playing in a very strong league with many talented imports from around the world. As a point guard what do you believe has been the biggest adjustment for you getting accustomed to the European game? As a point guard I believe the biggest adjustment is learning the defenses that are being played in Europe. I played in the D league for a full season so you get accustomed to the amount of space on the court. In Europe everything is more compact so you have to find ways to still be affective with less space.
Currently the team is in sixth place in Greece and have a 8-4 record in the Champions League. What is the biggest difference for you in style and talent between the two leagues? I would say the biggest difference is the refs from European games and Greece games.
Your rocking in both competitions in the Greek league as well as in the Champions League. Just from the stats would it be fair to say that you a scoring point guard first and playmaker second?
I don't like to label myself. I leave that for other people evaluating my game. I just try to be affective and make plays in each game to help my team win.
When you were growing up who were your NBA role models and to what NBA player would you say does your game now resemble most?
Growing up my NBA role models were Allen Iverson and Chris Paul. I feel like I have a mixture of different players I resemble at different times. I feel like I have my own identity.
How valuable has your teammate Michael Jenkins been for in the first few months in terms of you getting accustomed to the league and life? Has he taken you a bit under your wing?
Mike has helped me a lot getting adjusted to life in Europe. Showing me the in and outs of just living on your own for a long period of time out of America.
How tough has it been with pronouncing the names of your teammates? Do you invent short nicknames for a guy like Vasilis Xanthopolous? But this name isn't even that difficult because many of the Greek names have that Thopolous on the end?
The names haven't been that difficult to pronounce but I have developed nicknames for all of them to eliminate me having to pronounce them.
How do you feel is your game improving on a daily basis when you go head to head each day with Xanthopolous in practice? Do you feel like your basketball IQ is at a different level than what it was before you came to Europe?
Going against Xanthopolous in practice has helped me because he has such a great feel for the game. He makes you figure out ways to try and out smart him. I do feel that I'm learning more.
As a rookie in 2015 you played NBA Summer League with the Houston Rockets and then was signed and played six pre season games before getting waived. Every player I talk with that has been in a NBA training camp has had their story, but how was it with you. How did you learn in this month experience that at the end of the day basketball will always be a business no matter how talented you are? NBA training camp was definitely and eye opener and showed me this basketball is business so it made me a lot stronger and mentally tougher to deal with my new lifestyle.
You were playing against a guy like Patrick Beverly who had played 5 years in Europe before making the jump to the NBA. When you compare your game to a guy like that what do you believe is still missing in your game to reach the NBA?
I don't believe anything is really missing from my game to be in the NBA. I would like to be a more consistent pull up shooter but opportunity just has to be given.
Last season as a rookie you had a very strong season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%. For a talented guy like you not scoring in double figures in 35 minutes per game is hard, but you still showed immense consistency doing it in all 52 games. Did you feel like you had deserved an NBA call up?
I definitely believe I deserved an NBA call up.
Last summer you played NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs. Is Europe a stepping stone for you to develop your game and continue to try for the NBA in the future? Yes Europe is a stepping stone to still try and make the NBA.
You played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015. How did head coach Fran Dunphy groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? Fran Dunphy was the best thing that happened to my basketball career. He groomed me into a man and the tough player that I am today. I thank him for that.
You played two seasons with TJ DiLeo who is playing his 4th season in Germany. How annoying was his aggressive defense in practice every day and how do you believe did you profit from his presence on the floor?
I honestly can't really remember practices back. So much time has passed.
You surely had many memorable games at temple8NCAA), but where do the back to back wins against Uconn and Memphis rank towards the end of your senior season?
Those back to back wins get thought about a lot. They are high on my list because I thought those two wins secured us into the NCAA tournament but we were robbed. Also, beating UCONN was on senior night. Having my whole family there was memorable.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but what player was your toughest opponent that is in the NBA now?
I didn't have any.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Devin Coleman?
Great question. I can't remember but I'm sure I did haha.
Jacksonville seems to be a city that grooms future NFL players with very few basketball people as the most notable are Otis Smith and Dee Brown. If you could have a dinner with Dee Brown what would you want to most about his basketball experience he had?
I would want to know most about his workout habits and what he did to take himself to another leve
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Kareem
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?
MJ is the GOAT.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?