One of the worst things that can happen to a professional athlete is not playing the game they love on account of an injury which is similar as if star chef Jamie Oliver getting a taste bud infection not being able to taste his own luscious tasty food creations, or well known pilot Chesley Sullenberger who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River getting a sudden peculiar attack of flying sickness and not being able to fly or German Sebastian Vettel getting a nasty car sickness not allowing him to drive anymore Formula one at high speeds. One basketball player that went through basketball hell in the last two seasons has been American Kevin Hamilton (193-G-84, college: Holy Cross) of BBC Bayreuth. Hamilton who is a New York native and was the 9th most efficient player in the 2009/10 German BBL season and led his Phantoms to the play-off semifinals and also finished his 1st BBL season 3rd in assist (5,5 apg.) and 2nd in steals (2,0) started his career at Holy Cross and as a professional never had any serious injuries until last season. Hamilton played every summer in Puerto Rico doing double duty and in his two seasons in Braunschweig played 78 Beko BBL games was limited to four games last season first coming back in April and this season missed the first 11 games after getting injured again. Hamilton started his comeback slowly with one point and one assist in a loss to ratiopharm Ulm in December and five turnovers in a loss in his second game to TBB Trier. However he has slowly finding his groove again and in the last five games is averaging six assists a game and has scored in double figures twice with 13 points against the Brose Baskets Bamberg and 12 points against Phoenix Hagen. BBC Bayreuth also has won five of the last six games with Hamilton back as the playmaker. One guy that never doubted that Hamilton would come back is ex teammate Keith Simmons who played with him at Holy Cross. Anytime I see any player come back from an injury I'm happy but being that Kevin is a fond friend and former team mate I was very happy to see him healthy again. It has to be pretty tough to come back after such a long time. You have to work extremely hard to get back to the level you were playing at and improve. Kevin was very good at Holy Cross, he could fill up the stat sheet with points, assists rebounds and steals. I've been checking up on some of his latest games and it seems like he's getting back to doing the same things in Bayreuth. He was always a competitor, I know because we would always go at it in practice. We pushed each other hard for three years so I knew, even though he had some tough injuries, he would come back and play well again, stressed Keith Simmons. It was very hard for him to be at every practice and game and sit and not be able to help the team. I am really happy that he is back again, because I can learn so much from him concerning the game view. I know also when I am on the court that when I have enough room to shoot that I will always get the ball at the right moment. I am profiting form his play also. He has been averaging six assists in the last six games and I have been averaging 10 points a game, stressed BBC Bayreith guard Simon Schmitz.
BBC Bayreuth finished in 13th place with a record of 12-22 last season. Despite Marco Van Den Berg bringing early success, not every player was able to fully identify with his philosophy of hard defense and a structured offense and thus it wasnt hard cleaning out the roster removing seven players. The team kept a small core of players with Germans Stefan Schmidt and Simon Schmitz guys that the club have believed in and want to continue to develop as best as possible. Germans Tom Spoler and Peter Zeis also were held. The team also held point guard Kevin Hamilton who has those strong leadership qualities, but had a lot of misfortune last year with injuries being only able to play four games. He started this season injured, but since has returned. The story of the year is the return of fan favorite in the making Beckham Wyrick. He recently was signed, but then through special campaigns where money was raised was held until the end of the season. A week later it was announced thanks to a new sponsor coming on board that the American from Cincinnati will remain in Bayreuth until 2014. BBC Bayreuth added seven new players to help build a strong roster that could compete for the Beko BBL playoffs. Van den Berg had a good idea what players he wanted and got the team built already in June. The team added experienced guard Bryan Bailey that adds spark to the guard rotation and will be a tough combo with Hamilton. Nate Rhonert is an American that will give added strength to the guard position and is a talented shooter. The team also hauled in German Nicolai Simon who is a developing combo guard that has had very good games already this season. Arvydas Siksnius also was brought in to help at the guard/forward position. Under the boards the team brought in Gary Mcghee that had a strong rookie season in Turkey and Beko BBL veteran Jason Cain that can step out and fire away, dominate in the post and compete as best dunker against Gary Mcghee. Joe Trapani also was acquired as he is a player that also has a fine inside out game and adds stability to the rotation. The strength of BBC Bayreuth is there deepness at each position. Also an advantage Is that the club was put together early which got the team chemistry going early and to the good start. The only negative in the team could be how well the team plays together over time and if injuries plays a role.
The Fraport Skyliners have split the season series the last two seasons. In 2010-2011, they won at home 83-75 getting 26 points from Dashaun Wood, but losing on the road 86-79 despite 29 points form Wood. Last season, they lost at home 79-71 despite 27 points form Tim Ohlbrecht, but won in Bayreuth 90-57 getting 22 points from Jimmy Mckinney. In their first meeting this season, the Fraport Skyliners won 76-59 as they were led by Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel with 15 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners are currently in 17th place and riding a three game losing streak and are desperately looking for a win in Bayreuth. With two new players and a very solid performance for 30 minutes in Munich, the team is riding into Bayreuth with a lot of self confidence. If we can play like the way we did in Munich, then we will have very good chances to win, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. BBC Bayreuth is currently in 13th place with a record of 9-12. After a six game losing streak in December the team has been very up and down in the last six games positing a 3-3 record. They are reeling off a very bitter 70-69 loss in Ludwigsburg. No matter how the club is playing, one thing is always for sure, they will be supported until the end from their sixth man the fans as the Bayreuth arena is always very uncomfortable to play in for opponents. Frankfurt cant get down on themselves and need to be hardnosed. They have to be physical on offense and defense and limit Bryan Bailey, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Vaughn Duggins.
BBC Bayreuth is led by Bryan Bailey who a 32 year old 185cm guard who comes from New York and played in Quackenbruck from 2004-2007 and from 2010-2012. He is a team leader both on and off the court. He Possesses a diverse game, with an ability to stroke the long-range jumper, penetrate to the rim or distribute the ball and is solid on the defensive end of the floor as well. He is a fierce competitive drive rubs off on his teammates. Bailey played at Bucknell and has gained experience having played in Holland and Poland. He reached the playoffs three times with Artland form 2004-2007 and the cup final in 2007. In 2010-2011, the American played 41 games for Artland averaging 11.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 77.2%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played EuroChallenge: 7 games: 4.7ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.3apg; German League: 27 games: 6.8ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 18.9%, FT: 77.0%. Joe Trapani is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Madison, Connecticut that is playing his first season for Beko BBL team BBC Bayreuth. He started his NCAA career at Vermont (NCAA) in 2006 an dplayed 26 games: 11.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%, FT: 68.4%. He then completed his NCAA career at Boston College playing there form 2008-2011. In his senior year he played 34 games: 14.8ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.7%. In 2011, he turned professional playing at the e Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 14.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg. He then came to Europe to play for Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 1.7rpg, left in Oct.'11, in Nov.'11 try-out at Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA, starting five), then moved to MarcoPoloShop.it Forli (Italy-Lega2): 12 games: 9.4ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 78.0%; in Mar.'12 signed at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 3.7rpg.
Jason Cain is a 27 year old 208cm power forward from Philadelphia who is playing for his third Beko BBL team with BBC Bayreuth. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2011 reaching the playoffs twice. He played 142 games for Braunschweig and averaged 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 78.2. Last season he played for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 32 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 72.9%. Before coming to Germany, he played at Virginia. Gray Mcghee is a 24 year old 208cm center from Anderson, Indiana that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He played at Pittsburgh from 2007-2011 and played with future NBA players like Dejuan Blair and Sam Young. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 6.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 56.7%, FT: 48.5%. He played a total of 120 NCAA games. In the summer of 2011, he played at the well known : Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 2 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-5 (8.5rpg), 1.0bpg. Last season as a rookie he played KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (Croatia-A1), only pre-season, then moved to Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey-TBL: 30 games: 10.5ppg, Reb-4 (7.8rpg), FGP: 56.3%, FT: 45.6%. This past summer he played AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 2.0rpg and NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 games: 4.8ppg, 5.0rpg. Nicolai Simon is a 24 year old 191 cm guard that is playing his first season in Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2002 with 2002-2003: TuS Urspring (Regionalliga). He then played withErdgas Ehingen until 2006. IN 2006-2007, he was able to play 33 games for Alba Berlin despite being on a team with a deep roster. In 2007-2008, he injured himself playing only five games. In 2008-2009 he went back to Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB): 28 games: 8.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 5.2apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 85.7%. In 2009, he played at the World University games in Belgrad averaging 4,1ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,4apg. He also played for the Paderborn Baskets (1.Bundesliga): 31 games: 5.5ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 79.4%. He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen form 2010-2012. Last season he played Last season for Tuebingen, he played 29 games: 5.4ppg, 1.2rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT-1 (52.0%), FT: 74.4%.
Beckham Wyrick is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Cincinnati, Ohio that has played in Germany since he was a rookie in 2006. Heis playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. He played for NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006 together with Bamberg floor general John Goldsberry. Wyrick played for Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2006-2008. He then had a successful stay with the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2008-2010 winning a Beko BBL title and cup. In 2010-2011, he played for FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-ProA) helping the team move to the Beko BBL and played 25 games: 8.8ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 68.4%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played 31 games: 6.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 38.4%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 62.2%. Peter Zeis is a 23 year old 196cm swingman that is playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. Last season he got into four Beko BBL games.He started his career in 2005 with TSV Troester II Breitengussbach and played there until 2011. Nate Rohnert is a 25 year old 197cm guard from Colorado that is embarking on his third professional basketball season and first in Germany. He played at Denver (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 100 NCAA games and in his senior year played 32 games: 14.5ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.4%. He turned professional in 2010 and played for Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML): only pre-season, in Feb.'11 moved to Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-DBL, starting five): 11 games: 15.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.0%. Last season, he played for Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.8%.
Simon Schmitz is a 22 year old 188cm point guard that is playing his third season with BBC Bayreuth and began his basketball career in 2005 with SG Bad Duerkheim/Speyer junior team. In 2008-2009, he played for BIS Baskets Speyer (ProB, starting five) where he played together with German national player Elias Harris. He played German League: 20 games: 14.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 79.1%; also TV Bad Bergzabern (2.Regionalliga): 8 games: 14.5ppg. In 2009-2010, he played for Science City Jena (ProA): 29 games: 10.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.2%, in Mar.'10 also played at Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (1.Bundesliga). He played at the European Championships U20 in Croatia -10: 9 games: 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 80.0%. Last season, the German played 29 games: 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.1apg. 23 year old 206cm center Stefan Schmidt was born in Schwandorf and is playing his fourth season with BBC Bayreuth. He started his basketball career with Franken Hexer (2.Regionalliga) in 2006. In 2007-2008, he played for SELLBYTEL Baskets Nuernberg (ProA, starting five): 20 games: 3.2ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 39.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 66.7%. In 2008-2009, he played for Franken Hexer (ProB, starting five): 29 games: 9.4ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 75.0%. Last season he had to fight injuries and played 17 games: 3.6ppg, 1.8rpg. Kevin Hamilton from New York is a 28 year old 193cm guard that is playing his second season in Bayreuth. He played at Holy Cross with ex Skyliner Keith Simmons from 2002-2006. He played in Poland the last few years and in the summers in Puerto Rico. He played under coach Sebastian Machowski in Poland and was made into a point guard even though he had been a shooting guard most of his career. He scored 17,9ppg in his last season at Holy Cross and in 2008-2009 he led the Polish league in assists. What makes him so dangerous is his scoring and his potential and ability to score are limitless. In college, I averaged almost 18 points per game. I have been a shooting guard for most of my career. Three seasons ago, I had to play point guard in Poland. I always thought that I was a good passer. I think passing has come naturally to me. I have enjoyed playing point guard, stressed Kevin Hamilton. The best thing that teams can do is to keep the ball out of Hamiltons hands, but that is about as impossible as doing the same to Lebron James. We tried to keep the ball out of his hands. We didnt want him to make plays. He is a true point guard. He is a great passer and makes things happen for them. When he gets going, it is hard to stop the team, warned ex Braunschweig guard Steven Wright. In 2009-2010 Hamilton played 39 games: 10.1ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.4apg), Steals-2 (1.9spg), FGP: 63.7%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 77.6%. He is one of those rare players that has triple double potential. In his last season for Braunschweig, he played 39 games: 9.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-1 (1.9spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.0%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played only 4 games: 8.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg. Last summer, he played for Indios de Mayaguez (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 23 games: 7.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-4 (1.6spg), FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 61.5%. . Arvydas Siksnius is a 25 year old 196cm forward from Lithuania that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He mostly played in his home country, but had a year of experience in the States playing for Weatherford JC (JUCO). Last season he played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL): DNP, moved to BC Siauliai (LKL): Lithuanian League: 31 games: 7.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 25.6%, FT: 75.9%; Baltic League: 22 games: 9.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 77.8%; VTB League: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 75.0%.
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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