There are many wonderful things that a DaShaun Wood (185-PG-85, college: Wright St.) would desire like battling a Derrick Rose in a one on one duel on a playground in Oak park, Chicago, having Monta Ellis 26, 8, 7 like stats in every Beko BBL game or finally experiencing a Detroit Lions Super Bowl some time in his lifetime. Wood has won a Beko BBL MVP title in 2011 and the only thing missing in his basketball career is a title. Whenever asked why he is on the court, his usual answer is is too win that championship and that is the main reason why he fled from Frankfurt two seasons ago with Gordon Herbert. However so far he still is winless in the hardware department in the Beko BBL in his third season. The last time Alba Berlin the 8 time Beko BBL champion won a title was the cup in 2009. With the high budget and unending talent that lands in the Spree each season, it can be at times a real mystery like it is how a Brazilen boy could juggle a soccer ball for 12 hours and 15 minutes nonstop and his name wasnt Pele as too why the team is unable to win titles in more of a consecutive rate. Alba Berlin is a top basketball address in Germany and was the FC Bayern Munich of the league before the Bavarian club moved up to the Beko BBL in 2011. With Marco Baldi, Alba Berlin has a top executive who made the team to what it is since making it a top team in the 90s and definitely has that Uli Hoennis passion 24 hours a day with the only difference that he can keep his emotions better in check. The team has always had top coaches on board and a supporting cast of players that makes a team like the LTi Giessen 46ers foam in their mouths. The Beko BBL gets more and more competitive each season and winning atitle isnt as much of a cake walk like in the past and one cant forget that the Brose Baskets Bamberg started their little dynasty in the 2009-2010 season right after the last title of Alba Berlin. Maybe this is the year as Alba Berlin is hosting the 2013 Beko BBL Top 4 as Alba Berlin only needs to win two games and could get revenge against FC Bayern Munich in the semi final with a win and as a good omen head coach Sasa Obradovic won two titles with Rhein Energy Cologne. Alba Berlin always has strong players, but I feel that ex coach Luka Pavicevic was unable to get equal strong players at each position when he was there. I really like the three new players they got with Je Kel Foster, Derrick Byers and Ali Traore. They have been up and down this season and should be playing better. They have interesting new players and now Obradovic has to make them fit in with the other players. I think that they have a chance to beat FC Bayern Munich in the cup game. They already beat them once before in Berlin this season and why shouldnt they be able to do it again, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.
What does a traditional and respected Beko BBL team do that has won 8 titles to get back on track after last winning a title in 2009? It brings back a familiar face that is used to winning and has won with Alba Berlin before. No one better than sasa Obradovic who won the Korac cup in 1995 and the double in 1997 with Alba Berlin. As a player he won three world championships with the former Jugoslavia and as a coach won the title in 2006 with Cologne. His name stands for winning. He stands for unending passion. He burns for this team, stated Marco Baldi. Obradovic is a tough coach, but is also the type of coach that makes his players better. Obradovic brought something new to the spree with versatility that the new players have. He chose players that can play many different positions thus making it harder for opponents to read and defend. The team has only won one title in the last nine years and Sasa Obradovic did a house cleaning this past off season getting rid of seven players and hauling in eight new players. The team held DaShaun Wood, Heiko Schaffartzik, Yassin Idbihi and Sven Schultze to somewhat maintain a small collective in the team. Obrdovic did a good job bringing in a healthy mix of three Americans, a Bosnian, Serb and two young Germans. He brought in experienced Vule Avdalovic who he coached at BC Donetsk and has Euroleague experience and has played many years in the ACB and will make some competition for DaShaun Wood. Nihad Djedovic was brought in for giving that special versatility and all around good play. He brought in Nathan peavey who might be the most underrated power forward in the Beko BBL. A pity that he was injured and will miss most of the season. Zack Morley was brought in for toughness and can also score when needed. Further flexibility and power under the basket was brought in with Deon Thompson who played at the top NCAA school North Carolina. Obradovic brought in Spanish ACB veteran Albert Miralles recently to help bring muscle to the basket and help bang with the centers of the league. Young German David Herwig and Steven Monse also arrived to help round out the roster. The biggest strength of Alba Berlin likely is their guard rotation with Wood, Schaffartzik and Avdalovic who could be the best guard trio in the Beko BBL. Obradovic will be very flexible at this position often being able to play two at a time. Also at the forward position, he has players like Thompson, Miralles and Morley that can play different positions and will keep opponents guessing what the 8 time Beko BBL champion will do next in their offensive sets as they will be unpredictable. Alba Berlin has a very deep roster once again and if there are any problems that could arise then it is how well the team can respond to the coaching decisions of the coach as playing time will be reduced. DaShaun Wood that was the commander on the court in Frankfurt and Berlin doesnt have that big role this season with more offensive weapons, but has taken this reality in stride and showed his character of playing for the team and not for his stats. Obradovic will make Wood an even better player than what he already is. The team cant afford more injuries as they will need a full roster to make an impact in the Beko BBL playoffs as they also play Euroleague.
Since the climatic semi final win over Alba Berlin in 2005, where guys like Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis led the then Opel Skyliners into the BBL final, Frankfurt has only a 9-16record against the Albatros, but have built installed a special albatross cage in the Ballsporthalle which has rewarded them with a 5-3 record. One of the biggest and most emotional wins in the last years was the 81-67 trouncing in January 2006 as it was the debut of ex Skyliner coach Charles Barton. It was only a shame that the team was unable to take this big win and grow off it as they won little more that season and had to win on the last day at home against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg to stay in the BBL. Some nice wins in the last years was the 74-58 win in 2008 as American Derrick Allen added 19 points and six rebounds and in 2009, they won 73-66 as ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Last season, the two teams split the season series 1-1 as Alba Berlin held Frankfurt to 53 points in the Ballsporthalle and winning. Frankfurt returned to Berlin to win 76-70 as Derrick Allen led the team with 18 points. Frankfurt then surprisingly kicked out Alba Berlin in the playoffs 3-1 winning game four at home 69-58 as Derrick Allen had 26 points. In the first meeting last season, Alba Berlin escaped the O-2 World arena with a 81-77 win. Frankfurt led for 36 minutes before Alba Berlin put on the turbo and went on a 8-2 run which sparked the win. DaShaun Wood led all players with 32 points and Derrick Allen chipped in with 17 points for Alba Berlin. Alba Berlin shot 57% from the field and 44% from the parking lot, but Frankfurt had control of the boards 31-21. In the second meeting last season, Alba Berlin prevailed 79-70 as DaShaun Wood led Frankfurt with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen had 18 points. Frankfurt lost in the 2011 Beko BBL semi finals 3-2 . Last season the Fraport Skyliners stunk out their Fraport arena with a 83-57 loss where DaShaun Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also lost a close game 70-66 in Berlin. This season, The Fraport Skyliners were walloped in Berlin losing 91-65 as they had little chance. Frankfurt didnt shoot so bad hitting over 40% from the field and outside, but were clobbered under the boards 36-22 and relinquished 19 turnovers. After starting the season at 500 , the team went on a 8 agme winning streak, but then around Christmas lost three games in a row, but then rebounded having won five of its last seven games. Their biggest win of the season was a 90-75 bruising of the Brose Baskets Bamberg. The Fraport Sklyiners have won their last two games in a row with solid wins against Tuebingen and Hagen, games they had to win, but now with Alba Berlin face a stiff opponent. Frankfurt is riding a lot of self confidence at the moment. We can beat anyone. We have a lot of talent and feel very good at the moment. We just have to continue to play our game, stressed Fraport Skyliner Dawan Robinson. Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt has movie experience with Phoenix in der asche and added some humor concerning the chances of Frankfurt to win. Frankfurt has to hope that Alba Berlin has a bad shooting day or have a hangover form their Euroleague game in Moscow Friday, stressed Steven Wriedt. Alba Berlin is the favorite in every game and I think that they are the best team in the league. We cant make them feel comfortable and take them out of what they do well. We have to protect the ball and get little turnovers. We have to rebound well and get back quick as they are one of the best fast break teams in the league.Our only advantage may be that they play in Moscow Friday. If we can make our game hard for them then we have a chance, warned Fraport Skyliners head coach Muli Katzurin.
Alba Berlin is led by Deon Thompson who is playing his first season in the Beko BBL. Thompson is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Torrnace, California. He played at North Carolina from 2006-2010, reaching a NCAA Final 4 and Elite 8. At North Carolina, he had the pleasure of playing with NBA players like Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansborough, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. As a rookie in 2010-2011, he played for Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece-A1, starting five): 25 games: 14.1ppg, Reb-2 (8.8rpg), Blocks-3 (1.3bpg), FGP: 50.0%, FT: 70.7%. Last season, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League, starting five): Adriatic League: 24 games: 12.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.9%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 48.1%, FT: 47.6%; Slovenian League: 16 games: 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3spg, Blocks-5 (1.0bpg), FGP: 51.2%, FT: 72.5%. There he won the cup and was MVP as well as mVP of the Slovenian Allstar game. DaShaun Wood is a 27 year old 185cm point guard from Detroit, Michigan that is playing his second season for Alba Berlin. He has natural leadership abilities, who directs teammates on the floor and takes the ball in clutch moments. Loves to go inside to score, challenging the big guys, but has also shooting range from behind the 3pts arch. Despite lack of size, he can be effective even at the defensive side. He played at Wright State from 2003-2007. He then had a superb rookie season for Tisettanta Cantu (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 38 games: Score-5 (16.9ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-4 (3.3apg), 2.7spg, 2FGP:52.1%, 3PT-2 (42.8%), FT:77.4%. In his second season he played for : Benetton Treviso (Italy-SerieA), injured in Oct.'08 and was off for 2 months: Eurocup: 12 games: 5.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 87.5%; Italian League: 17 games: 7.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%. He sat out the next season due to injuries and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners took a gamble signing him in 2010, but it paid off. Wood who was the leagues MVP in 2011 playing 42 games: Score-1 (19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2 (5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played German League: 37 games: Score-5 (15.0ppg), 3.7rpg, Assists-4 (4.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.2%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg; EuroCup: 12 games: 14.2ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (5.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 82.2%.
Nihad Djedovic is a 22 year old 198cm forward that can play the position one to three. He hails form Bosnia and started his basketball career at Bosna TH Telecom Sarajevo in 2006. He then played for WTC Cornella (Spain-LEB Silver) from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro (Spain-ACB, starting five): 27 games: 6.3ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 69.0%. Last season, he played for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 25 games: 11.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 71.2%; in Jan.'12 loaned to UCAM Murcia (Spain-ACB, starting five), in Mar.'12 signed at Galatasaray Medical Park Istanbul (Turkey-TBL): 12 games: 11.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 63.6%. He recently played the Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 16.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 62.2%. The team brings back 29 year old 208cm forward/center Yassin Idbihi from Cologne for a tird season. He can score, but is not so fast, but has potent moves. He played at The University of Buffalo from 2003-2007 and finished as the schools fourth all time leading scorer with 1,514 points and the third all time leading rebounder with 844. He became the first player in school history to score 1,500 points and 800 rebounds. He played with the Cologne 99ers and had some experience playing in France for Limoges. In 2009-2010, he helped lead The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig into the BEKO BBL semi finals losing against The Brose Baskets Bamberg where he played games 39 games averaging 10.7ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%. In 2010-2011, he got better in the second half of the season playing German League: 43 games: 7.4ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 58.3%, FT: 73.4%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 4 games: 3.3ppg, 3.3rpg; EuroCup: 11 games: 7.0ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP-1 (71.4%), FT: 73.9%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg; EuroCup: 8 games: 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 63.0%, FT: 73.1%; German League: 30 games: 8.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 59.2%, FT: 83.3%. The team brought back Heiko Schaffartzik who is a 28 year old 182cm point guard who is a German National player who has been a BBL traveler who has played for many different BEKO BBL teams like Giessen, Oldenburg, Nurnberg, EnBW Ludwigsburg and Braunschweig. He had his big international breakthrough at the Euro Championships in 2009 averaging 12,7ppg, 2,0rpg, 3,8apg and shot 54% from the three point line. He shoots first and penetrates second. He is a great one on one player. His biggest weapon is his shooting as he loves the catch and pop and off the dribble shooting. He started the season with Turk telekom in Turkey, but never found his rhythm as he played 10 games averaging 3,8ppg, 1,6rpg and 2,3apg in 15 minutes per game. He had a strong playoff series against Frankfurt and in 2010-2011 played German League: 32 games: 4.1ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.8apg; EuroCup: 5 games: 6.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 66.7%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 8.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg; EuroCup: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 37 games: 9.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 85.7%. Last summer he played Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 12.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 45.9%, FT: 82.6%.
The team also brought in 30 year old 208cm Spaniard Alberto Miralles who has much ACB experience. He is a good board fighter and an score from mid-range. He started his basketball career in 1999 with Juventut Badalona. He already played Euroleague as a 19 year old with Virtus Kinder Bologna . He was drafted in 2004 by the NBA team Toronto Raptors. In 2004-2005, he played for Vertical Vision Cantu (Italy-SerieA): ULEB Cup: 9 games: 7,3ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 51.9%, 3Pts: 00.0%; Italian League: 37 games: 11.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3spg, 2FGP-1 ( 62.3%), 3FGP: 33.3%. He then had a long time playing for Pamesa Valencia (ACB) from 2005-2009. He then played for Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa BC (ACB) from 2009-2010. Last season, he played for Angelico Biella (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 32 games: 10.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 64.4%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 55.8%. Zach Morley is a 29 year old 203cm forward that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL with Alba Berlin. He started his basketball career at Indian Hills Community College before finishing his college career at Wisconsin in 2005. He came to Europe in 2005 and played his first five seasons in Spain in the Leb Gold division. He played for Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague,) the last two seasons and last season played Ukrainian League: 50 games: 11.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 84.2%; VTB League: 15 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-4 (6.9rpg), 2.2apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 76.7%. He won the Ukrainian cup last season. Vule Avdalovic is a 31 year old 189cm point guard from Serbia. He is a true point guard, good passer and organizer, who is able to run a team at any pace. Has leadership and court vision, and, like any ex-Yugo player, knows how to score if left open. He started his basketball career in 1999 for Partizan Beograd where he played until 2005. He then played with Albert Miralles at Pamesa Valencia until 2009. In 2009-2010, he played for : Lucentum Alicante Costablanca (Spain-ACB): 34 games: 7.2ppg, 1.1rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 82.6%. In 2010-2011, he played for Cholet Basket (France-ProA): Euroleague: 10 games: 8.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.6%; French League: 34 games: 10.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.6%. Last season, he played for BC Donetsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 5pts, 2reb, 1ast; EuroCup: 14 games: 11.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 81.3%; Ukrainian League: 49 games: 11.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 80.4%. Last season, he was Ukrainian Superleague Champion . He played the World Championships in Japan -06: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.7apg, 2FGP: 44.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 76.9%.
The team recently added Je Kel Foster. Foster is a 191cm guard that is back in the Beko BBL. He played with ex Skyliner Derrick Allen this season at Belgacom Spirou (Belgium-Ethias League, starting five): Belgian Ethias League: 8 games: 11.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 32.6%, FT: 64.5%; Eurocup: 6 games: 7.3ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 44.4%, 3FGP: 17.4%, FT: 80.0%. He played at Ohio State and played in Ludwigsburg and Oldenburg where he won the 2009 league title. He also has played in France and Italy. Last season he played for FC Bayern Munich. The team recently also brought in 28 year old 201cm forward Derrick Byars who is back in Berlin again after playing there in the 2009-2010 season. He played at Vanderbilt and was drafted in 2007 by the Portland Trailblazers. He was a rookie in 2007-2008 for the Koln 99ers and also played in the D-league, France and Greece. Last season he played for Cholet Basket (France-ProA): Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 2pts, 1reb, 1steal; French League: 1 game: 9pts, 3reb, 1ast, 1steal, in Dec.'11 signed for $457,588 at Miami Heat (NBA), only pre-season, in Feb.'12 moved to Bakersfield Jam (D-League, starting five): 29 games: 15.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 81.6%; then agreed terms with San Antonio Spurs (NBA, starting five): 2 games: 5.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0spg. The team recently also added French national player Ali Traore who is a 27 year old 207cm power forward. He is a very athletic player, who can play in each of the front court positions. Has great inside game skills, he's tough and has good timing for the offensive rebounds. Also, he can hit a shot from outside. He played most of his basketball career in France, but also played in Italy and last season for Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia-PBL): VTB League: 21 games: 11.8ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 57.5%, FT: 70.1%; EuroCup: 13 games: Score-3 (15.3ppg), Reb-3 (7.1rpg), FGP: 60.4%, FT: 68.5%; Russian League: 20 games: 11.8ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 59.1%, FT: 60.9%. He took part at the 2012 summer Olympics. The team also brought back a familiar face with very experienced Sven Schultze who played many years for The German national team. He is a 34 year old 206cm power forward that was born in Bamberg. He is a very strong player with a deadly shot. With his size, he will post up the opponents small forwards and outrun the opponents power forwards. He is able to defend bigger players, but also agile enough to defend smaller ones. He can drop the three pointer in a variety of ways which gave Luka Pavicevic so many more ways of using him. He also is very dangerous on the fast break as he can with the speed of a point guard and then dunk. He started his career with Bamberg and then played for Alba Berlin from 1998-2002 winning four BEKO BBL titles. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen until 2005 before going south to Play in Italy in Milian, Udine and Biella. he also played shortly in Greece for Larissa. He finished the 2009-2010 season playing for Ferrara (Italy-SerieA): 13 games: 8.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 75.0%. He won a silver in Belgrad in 2005 at the European Championships and played at the Olympic games 2008 in Bejing. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin he played EuroCup: 12 games: 4.7ppg, 2.3rpg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.5ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 43 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 0pts, 1reb; EuroCup: 12 games: 2.6ppg, 1.2rpg; German League: 32 games: 4.0ppg, 1.2rpg. The team also has young Germans David Herwig, Steven Monse and Sebastian Fulle.
Jamal Shuler(191-SG-86) is a 31 year old 191cm shooting guard from Jacksonville, North Carolina that is playing his ninth professional season, sixth in France and second with As Monaco. Last season with AS Monaco he played 40 games averaging15.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 88.7%. He started his basketball career in 2004 with Va Commonwealth (NCAA) where he played until 2008 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3... [read more]
Jamal Shuler (191-SG-86) is a 31 year old 191cm shooting guard from Jacksonville, North Carolina that is playing his ninth professional season, sixth in France and second with As Monaco. Last season with AS Monaco he played 40 games averaging15.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 88.7%. He started his basketball career in 2004 with Va Commonwealth (NCAA) where he played until 2008 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3Pts: 41.3%, FT: 79.8%. He turned professional in 2008 with TBB Trier in Germany and played there until 2010. Then he went to France and played for teams like JA Vichy Val d'Allier Auvergne basket, Sluc Nancy Basket Pro, and JSF Nanterre. He also played a season with Khimik-OPZ Yuhzny (Ukraine-Superleague). He spoke to eurobasket before the Champions League game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.
Jamal thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome back to Germany and Frankfurt. It has been a while since you played in Germany. Back in the 2013-2014 season you lost two Eurocup games to Alba Berlin. Where would you rank the giant Mercedes Benz arena in Berlin in your all-time best arena's that you have played in? Berlin's arena is definitely one of the top gyms in Europe! It's always fun to play there because of the competition and also because the crowd was always great!
You have played so many games in your career, but let's see how good your memory is. Do you remember your record against Frankfurt during 2008-2010?
We won always split games with each team winning at home!
Let me help you. It was 2-2. Each team won their home games. What do you remember from the games in Frankfurt?
I know I never won in Frankfurt during my 2 seasons in the BBL lol it was always tough to play there just because back then they had such physical teams!
What memories do you have of the 84-79 Eurochallenge semi-final win against the Fraport Skyliners in 2015? Frankfurt really had a good team that season, but Nanterre was just a little better. I think during that game we jumped out early on the Skyliners and that was a major focus of ours just because they were playing great basketball leading up to the final 4 so it was important for us not to dig ourselves in a whole! In the end my bro Kyle Weems made some hug shots and plays to lead us to a victory!
You only played against Quantez Robertson three times in your career. You saw that freak athleticism when he was a rookie twice. What do you feel does an offensive player have to fear most when he is starring into your eyes and ball on ball defense?
You just have to make sure you're protecting the ball when he's guarding you or even in the area of the play because he just has a nose for the ball defensively! As an offensive player you're not going to beat him easily so you just have to be aware he's one of the best defenders in Europe and just play your game and attack!
You won the 2010 BBL slam dunk contest in Bonn. Where is your trophy today and what dunk is still in your mind from that glorious day for you? The trophy is with my parents! Everything I ever accomplish I give to my parents because they always pushed me growing up to try to be the best I could at basketball! As far as dunks I would say the kick flip alley Derek Raivio threw to me that I dunked and I think that helped me win the dunk contest!
Monaco is playing the Fraport Skyliners as Frankfurt is a tattered team at the moment having a very tough season. Monaco go in as the favorite. What do you believe will be key to winning the game? I think limiting our turnovers will be the key to the game! If we allow them to get easy points off of our turnovers and get players and the crowd involved it will be a long tough night for us.
Monaco is currently at the top of the France Pro A with a 9-2 record and despite keeping only four players and adding eight new one's have had little problems meshing. What do you feel has been key for the good start? It seems the team has a lot of experience also •The key for us this year has just been a group of guys just wanting to WIN! We came together in early august and from day 1 everyone talked about winning, no stats just as a team doing something special this year so even though we are a fairly new team everyone kind of set their own role and it's been working for us!
What is also interesting is that Monaco distributes minutes like a Euroleague team with no player playing more than 28 minutes. Plus the club is very deep. How beneficial will this become in the post season?
It's very beneficial because we are not a one man show! Everyone wants one another to be successful and it's hard to focus on one person when you are game planning for us! We have a nice mix of veterans and young athletic talent that has meshed well!
John Bryant came to the BBL after you had left and tore up the league being best rebounder each season. What do you believe does he give the team now besides the mass inside that will make the team even more successful?
Big John gives us a lot of leadership, a lot of experience and a lot of great play! And he's hungry to prove that he's still one of the best bigs in Europe so I'm excited to have him with us even thoght it's a short term contract, he's one of the players I've followed since I've left Germany so it's cool to actually get to play on the same team as him!
You and Zack Wright are among the oldest after Nik Caner-Medley, but besides both having experience, do you feel like you can learn something new each season? I learn something new every season that's the beautiful thing about the sport we play! I think the older you get overseas you have to find ways to evolve and try to bring something new to the table!
Your playing your second season with AS Monaco Basket. Last season you had huge scoring stats and lead the team in scoring last season. Is your role the same as last season? My role is the same in a sense of I have to be aggressive for my team every night but I also have a lot of weapons this season so I don't have to force anything offensively. I can let the game come to me! I also have to be a leader on and off the court and keep my teammates in good spirits because if everyone doesn't have a positive mindset it's hard to win!
I can imagine it was a no brainer that you remained in Monaco. How cool is it living in Monte Carlo?
It really was a no brainer to me! I love it here in Monaco and I really wanted to bring an excitement and a respect level to basketball here and it's starting to happen! Living here is unbelievable!!
You recently met Prince Albert in Monte Carlo. What kind of experience was that for you and is he as down to earth as many say? It was actually my second time meeting him face to face but my first time holding a lengthy conversation with him! He is a very down to earth guy and he's very passionate about Monaco and the people living here and he's very hands on with events around the principality and that's what I respect the most about him!
What other celebrities have you seen in and about in Monte Carlo? I've had bad luck with celebrities here in Monaco because every time they come we are always on the road and I miss having the chance to meet them!
This is your sixth season in playing in France. Would you say that France has become your second home? What does a North Carolina boy like yourself like most about the league and country?
For sure France is my second home! I really just enjoy the people I've met here! France has been great for my family and I my middle daughter was pretty much raised in France and my youngest was born last year in Monaco so it's a special place for us!
How often do you see your amazing half court game winner against Limoges from the 2010-2011 season and get asked about it? I used to watch it every day lol just being in disbelief that it actually went in! But now I look at it every once in a blue moon!
You played two seasons with current NBA player Chris Copeland. In one of those seasons he was top scorer in the BBL. Did you ever imagine that he could make the NBA?
I used to tell Cope from time to time I don't know how he wasn't in the NBA! Just because he could score at will and he had NBA size but the NBA is all about timing and I think his last year in Belgium he just proved to the scouts that he was ready and I was truly happy for him! He is an extremely talented player and works hard every day! That's my guy man nothing but good memories and good things to say about him!
How shocked were you with the news of Chris Copeland being stabbed in New York city? Do you think twice now when you go out at night?
When I saw the report my heart dropped because you don't want that happening to anyone, let alone someone you call a friend! When you hear stabbing you automatically think the worst but I was relieved he was ok and I reached out to him to send my well wishes! I'm not really a person who goes out unless I'm with family or teammates but of course you think twice after situations close to home like that happens!
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
MJ, Kobe, Shaq and Magic
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?
As a Kobe fan I said when Lebron went back to Cleveland if he wins a championship with the Cavs then he would be 2nd all time for sure! I still think he had a lot of work to do to pass MJ maybe like 4 more rings in Cleveland lol but there will never be another player to come in the NBA with as much hype, fame and pressure as Lebron did and handle it the way he did so for that he's an all-time great!
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game? I think KG is 2a and Karl Malone is 2b just because KG got the ring but Timmy D is number 1 lol
26-year old American forward James Southerland (203-98kg-90, college: Syracuse) left s.Oliver Wuerzburg (BBL) from In 11 games in Germany he had 5.6ppg and 3.9rpg this season. The most of last season Southerland spent at Mitteldeutscher BC where in 15 BBL games he recorded 13.5ppg, 4.5rpg and 1.1apg. He also played that season for Vanoli Cremona in Italian Serie A. In 14 games he averaged 5.1ppg and 3.6rpg. Southerland has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer Leagu... [read more]
26-year old American forward James Southerland (203-98kg-90, college: Syracuse) left s.Oliver Wuerzburg (BBL) from In 11 games in Germany he had 5.6ppg and 3.9rpg this season. The most of last season Southerland spent at Mitteldeutscher BC where in 15 BBL games he recorded 13.5ppg, 4.5rpg and 1.1apg. He also played that season for Vanoli Cremona in Italian Serie A. In 14 games he averaged 5.1ppg and 3.6rpg. Southerland has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2015. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he played in the final of Big East Tournament in 2013. Southerland was also voted USBasket.com D-League All-Rookie 2nd Team in 2014. He has played also professionally in France (Limoges CSP Elite), NBA (New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets) and D-League (Los Angeles D-Fenders). Southerland attended Syracuse University until 2013 and it is his fourth season as a professional player.
ALBA Berlin (BBL) tabbed experienced 35-year old Canadian international guard Carl English (195-81, college: Hawaii). He already started the season at Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 6 games he averaged 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.5apg this season. English also played 5 games in Basketball Champions League where he had very impressive stats: 15.2ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.2apg. He also spent pre-season at RETAbet Bilbao Basket (also in Liga Endesa) earlier that year. In 2003 Eng... [read more]
ALBA Berlin (BBL) tabbed experienced 35-year old Canadian international guard Carl English (195-81, college: Hawaii). He already started the season at Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 6 games he averaged 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.5apg this season. English also played 5 games in Basketball Champions League where he had very impressive stats: 15.2ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.2apg. He also spent pre-season at RETAbet Bilbao Basket (also in Liga Endesa) earlier that year. In 2003 English was drafted by Idaho Stampede (CBA) in fourth round (25th overall). He attended University of Hawaii and it is his 14th (!!!) season in pro basketball. Among other achievements English's team made it to the Cup (Copa del Rey) Semifinals in 2012. He received also Eurobasket.com All-Greek A1 League Co-Newcomer of the Year award in 2015. English has been also a member of Canadian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Canadian senior team since 2005 and previously for U21 National Team back in 2000. English represented Canada at the Panamerican Games in Toronto (Canada) last year. His team won Silver and his stats at that event were 5 games: 4.4ppg, 1.6rpg. English is a very experienced player. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life in six different countries playing on three different continents. He is familiar with European, Latin American and of course North American leagues. English has played previously professionally in Croatia (KK Zadar), Italy (Virtus Bologna), Puerto Rico (Caciques), Spain (Joventut, Baskonia, Movil Estudiantes, Sevilla and Gran Canaria), Greece (AEK Athens) and D-League (Florida F.). He is close to retirement age as a player. It may be one of last seasons in his extensive career, which he may end at ALBA Berlin.
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