When looking at the Phoenix Hagen roster there are numerous names that ring a bell and go click in your mind especially on the offensive end before other players who fulfill the typical role, but are just as important as the scorers, because they help carry the team in many ways. For years Phoenix Hagen head coach Ingo Fryer has crafted and molded teams each season that are very dominant on offense and can score 100 plus points on any night as easily as a 10 year old boy can come up with a music rapper that has resemblance to ex Charlote Bobcat Jermareo Davidson, the Boston Celtics were able to go on an eight game winning streak without their playmaking genius Rajon Rondo or as the ease and grace in which St Louis native Jimmy Mckinney can sit parked behind the three point line in the corner and sink three pointers as if he was playing basketball battle ship. It is no different this season in Hagen that the offense is firing away at all cylinders and scoring over 90 points on a regular basis. On most days the offense is carried and led by Davin White who has shown this season that his high scoring in the last few months in the 2011-2012 season was no fluke. He may have made a name in Mexico and be like a mini Dashaun Wood with his scoring ability, but if he continues at this rate will not need anymore mini Wood comparisons, as his name Davin White be fully accepted as he has shown on a consistent level this season that he belongs to the top players in the Beko BBL as he can also set up his teammates and get 7-8 assists in a game. Another player in the offensive attack is David Bell who looks like a mini copy of a baby Shaq in a guards body, but can fire away all night long and get you down quickly and could possibly even hit from Oakland across the bay to San Franscico. Adam Hess may not score as much and on a consistent rate as three or four years ago, but the Vaughn Duggins look alike can still heat it up on any night and just be carried by the offense by the others. Then there is Larry Gordon who is a 196cm forward, but can guard guards has shown that after three solid seasons in lower leagues in Holland and Austria that he can dominate in the Beko BBL. Gordon may see himself more as a streaky shooter than pure shooter, but has been one of the best three point shooters this season. But it is his rebounding that really stands out as he is a relentless worker on the offensive boards and keeps many plays alive. One should also put Mark Mr fantastic Dorris into the mix as he is a guard that can score 30 one night and dish out 10 plus assists the next night. With the offense flowing as smoothly on most nights like a Budweiser brewery, one tends to forget defensive specialists especially in a team that was giving up 92 points in the last six games. When you hear the word Maryland basketball, the name Len Bias pops up quicker than Dino Gregory (200-F-89, agency: Two Points, college: Maryland) who hails from charm city Baltimore, but the American had a solid senior year and last season played for Sundsvall Dragons (Sweden) playing 40 games: 13.2ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.0apg, Blocks-1 (1.5bpg), FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 73.0%. He had good offensive stats in a lower league and led the league in blocks. He has shown that his blocking skills havent been a fluke as he leads the Beko BBL in blocks. The American has shown that he is as important for his defensive skills as the offensive forces on the team and teams take notice. Teams watch film they know we have a beast down there to defend the rim. Every game we watch how guards change their approach when driving to the basket against Dino. He has been real important to us, because his ability to block shots is huge for us. It makes opposing guards and big man think twice about how to score inside the paint. His role is huge, he guards the paint very well. Our game against Bremerhaven he had 7 blocks, with one he caught it in mid air. It was Crazy, stressed teammate Larry Gordon. With everyone talking about the offense, Gregory has no problem just doing his magic under the basket defending the opponent. I take a lot pride in being the anchor of our defense or the guy who protects the rim. My teammates do an excellent job pressuring their guys to take tough lay ups and im there to clean it up with a block or alter their shot even more. I love being the rim protector, warned Dino Gregory. Gregory also understands that it isnt just him, but it is good team work that makes a team excel on the defensive end. My teammates really appreciate my defense just like I appreciate there's. I allow them to pressure guys more and not worry if their guy sometimes beats them to the basket. They allow me to go for block shots and not worry about my man having an easy lane to the basket. I can guard multiple positions and that makes it easier for my teammates. I think what makes me a good shot blocker is my jumping ability and I have good timing. But people dont understand it not just me sitting in the lane blocking shots its a total team effort when guys like Mark Dorris and Davin White are pressuring their guys, the person they are guarding are so worried about getting there shot off against them they dont even notice me and boom a block shot leading to a fast break, added Dino Gregory. He remembers having eight or nine blocks in high school and recently swatted away seven Bremerhaven shots. When I had 7 blocks in that game that was a great experience as our defense was clicking and everybody was rotating well. I go for a block somebody rotated to box my man out. Our defense was a total team effort and I just did my part, commented Dino Gregory. He may come from Baltimore that is known as charm city, but when he is under the boards, he is anything but charming, but a real defensive beast that wont get any high marks in delighting any opponents with his play.
Last season, Phoenix Hagen were forced to do a sort of house cleaning simply because guys like Jacob Burtschi, Mark Dorris and Quentin Pryor were to expensive to hold. With costs on making more seating capacity possible in their old arena Ischeland arena, the team had hug expenses which didnt help for the player budget for last season. It also isnt easy when players see Hagen as a town where they can make a name for themselves and then get better offers from other teams the next season. Eight players left the club including scoring guard David Bell as well as young German talents Andreas Buchert and Malte Schwarz. Important was that the team was able to hold three important players with experienced German Bernd Kruel, versatile inside out player Zygimantas Jonusas and inside beast Edward Seward. The club knew that money was scarce, so they had a lot of home work to do that summer in getting the best possible players for the cheapest price. The team returned two ex Beko BBL players with Brandon Brooks who got his feet wet with the Eisbaeren playing a solid rookie season under Doug Spradley learning the ropes from starting point guard Louis Campbell and Marc Carter who had played in Duesseldorf and on any night can light up scoreboards in the Beko BBL with the best of them. The team also brought in Tristian Blackwood who made a name for himself in Holland, second year man Jordan Hasquet who is there to help under the boards and veteran Jason Crowe who was playing his 13th professional season and Germany was the 11th country where he had played. Crowe left the team earlier in the season. The team then picked up Davin White who brings experience to the point guard position at 30 years old and 186cm. The team had ex Tuebingen player Patrick Sparks earlier, but released him as he couldnt find his rhythm White who played preseason for the Phoenix Suns years ago had shown in his first 7 games that he can play point guard averaging 16,4ppg and 5,4apg. He had shown that he can score in the weaker Mexican league where he averaged 28,0ppg recently for Mineros de Cananea (Mexico-CIBACOPA):
Last season wasnt been pretty for Phoenix Hagen as they show glimpses of brilliance, but then again played horrible basketball finishing the season in 15th place with a record of 11-23. They had a 3-7 record as the two teams met for the first time in December and defense continued to be a problem as they allowed an average of 93 points in the first ten games. It seems to be the norm for years for Phoenix Hagen, that the team is content just to outscore their opponents with defense being out on the back burner. Hagen seemed to have a major focus on the offensive end and not so much on the defensive end. There isnt much help side and their pick and role defense isnt great either. If their quick shots dont fall, it can lead to easy fast break points for the opponent. Due to their athleticism, they should be able to get more steals, warned Tiger guard Josh Young last season. Ingo Freyer prides offense and that is something that works most of the time for the team. They were an extremely dangerous offensive team. They had so many weapons. They were great in transition and very good on one on one. Their biggest strength was their three point shooting, offensive rebounding and speeding up the game. You had to watch Carter and Jonusas very much, warned Josh Young. Since the loss to Frankfurt in December, nothing had really gone right as the team had a good span around Christmas winning three in a row including against the always tough s.Oliver baskets Wurzburg, but since then have a 2-12 record until their return visit to Frankfurt which they lost. They ended the season with a strong 3-0 record including their biggest win of the season beating the LTi Giessen 46ers at home on the last game day to stay in the beko BBL. Their other biggest win was against Alba Berlin which they have beaten twice in a row at home in the last two seasons.
AS is so often the case, Phoenix Hagen made a house cleaning as 11 players went and eight new players came. The team had more budget this season than last and did the best that they could despite the circumstances. The biggest heartache was losing Zgyimantas Jonusas who smelt the euros in Italy going to Juve Caserta. The club was able to hold German dinosaur Bernd Kruel that is palying his 16th season there and scoring point guard David White that can also pull a Dashaun Wood when the shooting isnt on and focus on the playmaking. Oliver Herkelmann brought in a mix of experience, young guns from the NCAA and two familiar faces to round out a competitive roster. Two smart moves was bringing back David Bell for a second tour of duty as he can shoot out the lights in any arena and fan favourite Mark Dorris who had an unspectacular season in Ludwigsburg and comes back with a lot of ambition and his fantastic play. Another big signing was versatile Adam Hess who recently got the German citizenship. Hess is a team player that will need to help the team in scoring. Larry Gordon was brought in to give scoring nd rebounding aid. The American had a strong season in Austria and is ready to make the next step. Two risky transactions were bringing in Abe Lodwick and Dino Gregory, but both have proved that they can play in the Beko BBL. Lodwick has been consistent and preforms his role well from the bench while Gregory has shown his defensive eagerness and talent in the early going. Young German Ole Wendt was also hauled in and promised to receive minutes to help further his development. The strength of Phoenix Hagen as always will be their offense. They are a team that loves to score and also practice that run and gun game. Weakness are their defense as when they cant score a lot of points then they have problems to score. They have given up 80 or more points in six of the first ten games. A weakness also could be their rebounding as they have no dominant big man. After 10 games, their rebounding has been more than solid as they have averaged 36 rebounds per game, but 196cm forward Larry Gordon is their top rebounder. They need help from eact player on the boards in each game.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners swept the season series in 2009-2010 with Phoenix Hagen stomping all over them in Hagen 93-64 as Derrick Allen led all scorers with 22 points, Aubrey Resse chipped in with 18 points and Grayson Moyer had one of his best games as a Skyliner with 15 points and five assists. In the return game in Frankfurt, Phoenix Hagen lost 89-76. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller led Frankfurt with 18 points and five assists and Derrick Allen produced 17 points. Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners outrebounded Phoenix Hagen 66-49 in both games. Last season, the Skyliners also won the season series with a 90-85 win as Jermaine Bucknor led the team with 19 points and six rebounds and 92-53 romp at home getting 24 points and eight rebounds from Roger Powell and only six points and seven assists from Dashaun Wood. In the first game this season, the Fraport Skyliners romped Phoenix Hagen 83-65 as fans saw the last Beko BBL game of Jon Leuer who erupted for 27 points and Jimmy Mckinney had 21 points. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners stomped all over Phoenix Hagen 92-47. Five players scored in double figures as the team was led by Devin Gibson with 16 points. The Fraport Skyliners lost the first game against Phoenix Hagen in their own living room in embarrassing fashion 107-102 as they their opponent gave them a display of how to play run and gun basketball. Phoenix Hagen shot an amazing 51% from the field and 60% from the three point line. Currently Hagen is resting on a playoff seat in eighth place with a record of 11-11 and are coming off a huge home win against 2012 Beko BBL finalist ratiopharm Ulm. They continue to play with a lot self confidence and are always hard to beat at home as Alba Berlin has seen twice in last two seasons. The Fraport Skyliners are coming off a huge home win against Tuebingen snapping their five game losing streak. They will travel to Hagen this time knowing what not to do wrong this time. We have to take Hagen out of their rhythm. In Frankfurt they found their rhythm fast and we cant let them do that again. When they get going then it is hard to stop them if your playing defense or not, warned Devin Gibson. The key for Frankfurt will be the transition game. Frankfurt will have to get back fast each time they miss a shot and focus on them in the first seconds after they get possession, stressed Vaughn Duggins.
Phoenix Hagen is led by 30 year old 186cm point guard Davin White who is playing his second season in Hagen. The Phoenix, Arizona native played at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (NJCAA) before transferring to Cal.St.-Northridge (NCAA) in 2003 and playing there until 2005. In his senior year he played 31 games: 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3FGP: 38%. He played in the ABA and D-league briefly and also gained European experience in Serbia, but he has gotten most of his experience in Mexico. There he made a name for himself with his scoring. Last season he played for Halcones UV Xalapa (Mexico-LNBP, starting five): 39 games: 12.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 71.3%, in Mar.'12 moved to Phoenix Hagen (Germany-BBL, starting five): 11 games: 17.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 5.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 44.7%, FT: 75.4%. David Bell is a 31 year old 186cm guard from Oakland, California that is playing his second season for Phoenix Hagen. He is a A 1/2 guard who simply assaults any game he plays. He is an outstanding 3 pt. shooter, can penetrate and dish with the best. Offensively can carry a team, also is a top defender. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played Montana (NCAA) 30 games: 17.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.5%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 83.6%. He started his professional basketball career in 2003 and played in Switzerland, Finland and France before spending the last years in the D-league. In 2010-2011, he played for Phoenix Hagen (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 31 games: Score-3 (16.5ppg), 2.2rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 78.1%. Last season he played for GasTerra Flames Groningen (Holland-Eredivisie): EuroCup: 6 games: 15.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 88.2%; Dutch League: 36 games: 13.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT-3 (84.3%).
Larry Gordon is a 25 year old 196cm forward that is playing his first season for Phoenix Hagen. He played at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2) from 2005-2009. He turned professional in 2009 and played for Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 36 games: 14.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 75.8%. He played for ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) the last two seasons and last season played 38 games: 14.7ppg, Reb-3 (8.4rpg), 1.8apg, FGP-3 (65.2%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 77.1%. Gordon is the leading rebounder on the team despite his only 196cm frame and he fits well into the style of Ingo Freyer. I think it fits perfectly, I love the concept coach is teaching us. I love the fast break and to score easy buckets off of it. That kind of pace to the game is great and it makes us more of a threat. My rebounding ability is perfect for this team, we have a lot of talented rebounders and Im just going to add on to that with my strong rebounding, stressed Larry Gordon. RE bounding has always been a strength in his game. I cant really explain it, its just something that is embedded into my game. Its a lot of heart and relentless effort to get the rebound that makes me so good at it. When the ball goes up you will always see me near the rim no matter what. That is just what I do, added Larry Gordon. Abe Lodwick is a 24 year old 201cm swingman from Bend, Oregon that withstood a try out with Phoenix Hagen and has solidified a position on the roster. He played at Washington State from 2007-2012 including with Euroleague player Taylor Rochestie. In hiss enior year, he played Washington St. (NCAA): 21 games: 5.2ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 23.5%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 66.7%. It isnt only his offense that he wants people to remember this season in the Beko BBL. My defense is something I take a lot of pride in. It bothers me when my man scores and I think it is invaluable to have players who lock up on defense. I know Phoenix Hagen likes to run and shoot, so I am hoping my defense will stand-out at times and help us, stressed Abe Lodwick.
Adam Hess started his third tour of duty for the Artland Dragons last, but this season moved to Phoenix Hagen. The trend the last years has always shown that Hess cant stay away for more than two years from Artland as He played the first time with the Dragons in 2006 and the second time in 2008 and the third in 2011-2012. Hess is a 31 year old 201cm forward from Michigan. He is a quick forward with not so great athletic skills, but very effective at the scoring department. He's a tough player, however, and knows how to battle inside for a rebound and he defends well and has a great attitude. He played at William & Mary and also has gained experience playing in Italy, Czech Republic, France and Spain. In the Czech republic he won the league title twice with Nymburk and the Czech Rep. League All-Star Game -05 (3-Points Shootount Winner) in 2006. In 20092010, he played for C.B. Tarragona 2016 (Spain-LEB Gold, starting five): 34 games: 14.8ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 45.4%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 88.1%. He had much success in the Czech Republic winning the league title in 2005 and 2006 and showing his shooting ability winning the 2005 Allstar game three point shooting contest. Last season for the Artland Dragons he played EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 1.5rpg; EuroChallenge: 11 games: 10.2ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 51.3%, FT: 84.6%; German League: 39 games: 6.2ppg, 1.9rpg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 86.5%. 36 year old 210 cm center Bernd Kruel has played most of his career in Hagen starting with Brandt in 1993, but leaving in January 2004 as the team folded. He got rewarded by winning a BBL title with the Opel Skyliners. After playing some years in Frankfurt and Bonn, he came back to Hagen in 2008-2009 helping the team get back into the BEKO BBL. He may not be the youngest anymore, but he will bang with anyone and can still play at a very high level. In 2009-2010 he played 32 games averaging 7.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 69.0%.His quickness, leaping ability, shot selection and rebounding are his main strength. He is a good athlete, can shoot, can dribble and plays inside and outside. He played in the BEKO BBL Allstar game in 2000, reached the BEKO BBL Cup final in 2002 and 2004 and was a BEKO BBL finalist in 2005 and 2008 with The Telekom Baskets Bonn. Last season, he played 33 games: 6.9ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 75.6%.
Dino Gregory is a 23 year old 200cm forward from Baltimore, Maryland that is playing hiss econd professional season. He played at Maryland (NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing a total of 107 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 33 games: 9.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 76.4%. Last season he was a rookie playing for Sundsvall Dragons (Sweden-Basketligan, starting five): 40 games: 13.2ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.0apg, Blocks-1 (1.5bpg), FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 73.0%. . Mark Dorris is a 27 year old 188 cm guard that returned back to Hagen after playing last season for EnBW Ludwigsburg.. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and visited Princeton high school. He then attended St. Catharine College for a year before transfering to Marshall where he played from 2005-2008. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 13.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3Pts: 34.3%, FT: 75.9%.For Cuxhaven, he played 29 games: 18.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.7apg, Steals-3 (2.3spg), FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 77.3%. In 2010-2011 for Phoenix Hagen, he was invited to the Beko BBL Allstar game and for Hagen played 34 games: 15.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 24.4%, FT: 72.8%. Last season for Ludwigsburg he played 33 games: 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-4 (1.4spg), FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 84.5%. The team also brought in 20 year old 190cm point guard Ole Wendt that was born in Kiel, Germany. He started his basketball career in 2007 for Itzehoe Eagles (Regionalliga). He then played for Paderborn Baskets II (Germany-2.Regionalliga) and Benslips Baskets Salzkotten. He played for the Webmoebel Baskets Paderborn (ProA) the last two seasons and last season played 32 games: 6.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 24.5%, FT: 69.0%. He recently played at the European Championships U20 in Slovenia -12: 6 games: 2.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg. The team also brought bulk under the basket with Bjorn SChoo who is a 31 year old 213cm center that is playing his first season with Phoenix Hagen. He has a lot of experience having played in the NCAA for Northern St. (NCAA2), Greece, France and Hagen is his seventh station in Germany. He played for USC Heidelberg (ProA) the last two years and last season played 25 games: 8.8ppg, 6.2rpg, FGP: 55.8%, FT: 81.8%
Amin Stevens (ex Braunschweig) joins Keflavik - 12 hours ago
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Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular seas... [read more]
Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was selected Eurobasket.com All-Austrian League Forward of the Year, named to 1st Team and named to All-Imports Team. He has played previously professionally in Slovakia (MBK Rieker Com Therm Komarno) and Austria (Furstenfeld Panthers). Stevens attended Florida A&M University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player.
Marcellus Barksdale(196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before th... [read more]
Marcellus Barksdale (196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before the Frankfurt contest.
Marcellus thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your first season with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). You signed very late in the summer. How was your first experience with looking for clubs and finding that right situation?
It was a nerve wrecking process to say the least! It really tested my patience. It was a situation that was out of my control. All I could do was continually improve and work on my game so that when my moment came, I would be ready.
You finally found a team with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). What were then main reasons for joining the club and what was really sold you on making your professional start in Germany? Honestly, I believed Germany would be a great place for me to start my career. All of the pros I talked to, both former and current, listed Germany as one of their top places to live and play basketball. My agent, Gerrit Kersten-Thiele, is also from Germany so it was an easy decision for me when he told me they were interested in signing me.
Just like last season the club has relied on one American. What has been your experience playing with only German players?
It has been a very easy transition. Although my teammates are all German, they each speak English very well and have done a great job of including me in the team's chemistry. Practicing the last couple of weeks and watching the season opener have allowed me to understand each of my teammates strengths and capabilities. I'm excited to finally get on the court with them.
Have you noticed early on that the team looks up to you or do sense it is trust in the making? I feel the team really looks up to me and is looking for me to help lead. We have a lot of talent but we are a young team. As one of the older guys, it is my responsibility to lead by example and bring energy and intensity to every practice and game.
How excited are you to be making your professional debut in Frankfurt. Can you remember your NCAA debut in 2011 against Anderson? I'm pumped up for my professional debut! It's finally starting to feel real. All of the countless hours in the gym have begun to pay off and I have a great opportunity in front of me. And yes, I still remember my first college game as well. I had so much energy and adrenaline that it was hard to be nervous!
The name might not say anything now, but you will be making your debut against 16 year 203cm point guard Isaac Bonga who is the biggest German prospect since NBA player Dennis Schroeder. Is this something that will add to your adrenaline for your first professional game? I've watched a little bit of film on him. I think he has a very bright future ahead but for now, he's my opponent and I'm treating him no differently than any other player on the Frankfurt roster. He has no effect on my adrenaline or excitement for my first game as a pro. I did not even know who he was until this week.
Besides winning what are your main goals as a rookie on the court?
From my effort and defensive intensity, to my communication and aggressiveness, my main goal on the court is to be the hardest worker on the floor and to set an example for my teammates at all times. All of these goals are completely intangible and things I have control over every game. I feel if I'm able to do these to the best of my ability every night, wins will follow.
Do you see yourself as having to carry the team and being the main scoring option?
I see myself as having to do whatever is necessary for my team to win each game. One game it may be scoring, one game it may be defending, another game it may be both. Either way, I'm going to do what is needed to get a win for my team.
If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would you describe your game too?
Tough question! But if there was one NBA player who I feel my game mimics most I would have to say Andre Miller in his younger years. Miller was a very versatile and strong combo guard who was a heck of a leader. He could play on the wing or PG and was very effective at both. I also liked how he had the strength to take smaller guards to the block and go to work. He was also a pest on the defensive end and had a great basketball IQ.
How proud were you to be part of the success and breakout season of Darell Combs?
Watching Darell grow for the past two-and-a-half years was great. He's one of the best guards I've ever played with and really began to mature on and off the court last season. He's been working hard all summer and I really feel he will have a breakout season this year.
How far can he still go and develop in his last two years of school? Darell has always been a talented scorer but his ball handling and passing ability have allowed him to take his game to the next level. Add that with his new leadership role at IUPUI and he has a chance to lead this team to a conference championship and NCAA tournament.
You are a very energetic and active forward with your biggest strength at rebounding. What other assets would you add to your player profile? I'm very versatile. I feel there is nothing on the court that I can't particularly do. I feel passing is one of my best assets. I have very good court vision and an understanding of when and where to get my teammates the ball.
You are a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game? A hidden strength in my game is my scoring ability. My last season of college, the dynamics of the team changed and my scoring was not needed as much. I've worked hard all summer to improve my outside shooting and midrange game. This season I plan to utilize these strengths much more.
You had many good games at IUPUI, but would you say that your back to back games of 21 points against South Dakota and 25 points against Western Illinois were your two best games? I played a lot of games at IUPUI. It's hard to single out any one performance as my best. Those were great games for me scoring the ball but I do not think I would count that as my best game.
How did Jason Gardner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career in your senior year? Coach Gardner challenged me. He challenged my leadership and also gave me a clearer reality of what to expect playing professional basketball in Europe. He also continually helps me in whatever way he can, and it's always good knowing somebody like that is in your corner.
Gardner had his successful years in Germany with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Do you remember him telling any stories about his time in Germany? When I found out that Coach Gardner was going to be my head coach I immediately began watching all of his pro highlights on YouTube. He's told me a few stories but I know he had a great career in Germany and was loved and hated by many fans!
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NBA that is in the NBA now?
The toughest player that I've played in college that is in the NBA now is Nate Wolters. I've played against many NBA talents but Wolters was always tough at South Dakota St. His game was always solid and he played at his own pace. I've always respected his game.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Mason Archie?
Me and Mase had many battles. We would go back and forth many practices and open gyms. We always had an unspoken battle. We never talked about it much but we both were trying to beat each other at everything--sprints, weights, one-on-one drills, defending Darell, grades. It really pushed us to become better both on and off the court.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I would go with MJ, Kareem, Kobe, and LeBron (I have to give him his proper respect.)
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? After his most recent championship, I believe LeBron solidified himself as a top-5 all-time great NBA player.
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 1 day ago
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Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Euro... [read more]
Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 12.8ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.0bpg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Basabe played in the final of NIT in 2013. He has played previously professionally in Finland (Helsinki Seagulls) and Poland (Stabill). Basabe attended University of Iowa until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball.
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