Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.) is a 29 year old 201 cm forward playing his third season in France for Chalon. He has the French-Bulgarian citzenships and played at North Carolina State from 2001-2006. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 10.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FG: 45.3%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT. After a short stint with Estudiantes Madrid in 2006, he played at VidiVici Bologna in the 2006-2007 season. He played FIBA EuroCup playing 15 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 65.4%, 3FGP: 47.1%, FT: 72.2%; and playing15 games in the Italian league averaging 3.1ppg, 2.1rpg. In 2007-2008, he moved to The Deutsche Bank Skyliners playing 10 ULEB Cup games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 85%; and in the German League playing 44 games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 86.2%. In 2008-2009, he continued playing in Frankfurt playing 10 EuroChallenge: games averaging 8.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 70.0%; and in the German League playing 34 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 74.6%. In 2009-2010, he played for BC Levski Sophia (Bulgaria-NBL): 1 game: 6pts, 5reb, 2ast, 3steals; Balkan League: 1 game: 3pts, 1reb, 1ast, 2steals; in Oct.'09 moved to Proteas EKA AEL Limassol (Cyprus-Division EuroChallenge: 13 games: 10.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 45.6%, FT: 83.3%: FT-2 (90.9%). In 2010-2011, he played for Chalon playing 33 games: 11.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 84.2%. Last season for Chalon he played French League: 35 games: 9.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT-1 (94.7%); EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 1.5rpg; EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 46.0%, FT-1 (95.2% He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
You missed a month on account of an injury. How tough was this period for you? It was difficult because we all came back after Christmas with a lot of energy for a fresh start in 2013, but then I got injured after a few days in practice. It was very frustrating for me, but these things happen.
When you look back at your career, you have had luck not having injury problems.
Yes that is correct. I missed a season at North Carolina State, but other than that I have been fortunate. In my 2.5 years at Chalon before this injury, I missed only one game.
What is always the most difficult thing for a player during an injury?
Watching your team on the court and seeing things happen on the court and physically not being able to help them.
Was Chalon able to compensate your loss during your injury? I think that they did a good job. We lost to Gravelines by 30 points and lost in the cup to a PRO B team, but since then have won three games in a row.
After winning the double last season, Chalon is strong again and are near the top of the standings. What makes them so strong this season?
I think that we have experience and have many returning players and that we have a good chemistry. We like playing on the court together. It is still a building process.
Talk a little about the players that Chalon have added and made you stronger.
We have Sheldon Williams who played at Duke and was in the NBA. I have known him for many years. He is a great guy on and off the court. We also added marcus DEnmon who is very athletic and Kevin Houston who is a point guard with PRO A experience. I played against him two seasons ago. All three guys are great and there is no negativity at all.
How important and difficult was it to keep Blake Schilb? It was difficult keeping him. He was the PRO A MVP last season and was in demand before and during the season. His contract ends after this season and I am sure there will be even more demand for him.
How much fun is it playing with Sheldon Williams?
It is always fun with him. Recently his old school Duke beat mine North Carolina State and he came into the locker room with a Duke shirt and teased me. I then reminded him that we beat them a month ago. We like teasing each other about basketball and the good old days.
How did you play against Duke and Sheldon Williams with North Carolina State back in the day?
I remember beating them at home when they were ranked number one in the nation. All our fans ran on the court. It was a very special moment in my career. We lost too them in a ACC semi final where we were leading for most of the game. He and JJ Redick had great games. I believe we won only once in six games.
What has been the most amazing thing that you have seen Sheldon Williams do on the court? He is an incredible player. His moves are most amazing. He just likes to go through the defense and somehow gets off a shot in traffic and it goes in. Along the way everyone else falls down, because he is so strong.
How much potential does a Marcus Denmon have?
He was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. He is a two guard and we are trying to help him become a one. He is an unbelievable shooter and is still young and very gifted. He was injured for three months which has hurt.
Did it surprise you that a guy of Denmons skill played at Jimmy Mckinneys school Missouri? No it doesnt. I asked Him about Jimmy, but he never played with him, but had heard of him as he came the year Jimmy went pro.
You are playing another solid season. Has anything changed with your role?
Nothing has really changed. My role is still to shoot three pointers, be smart and make room for Williams and Schilb.
You are shooting over 40% from downtown for the second consecutive season. What is your secret to the Evti swish being so consistent?
Just much practice and having confidence. I am more confident than ever with my shot.
What has improved most with your game since you have come to Chalon?
I think that I have become a better shooter. I read the defense better which lets me get my shot off better. I alos am a better defender.
You played nine games in the Euroleague. What was your fondest memory of the Euroleague?
My nicest memory was beating Siena at home in overtime. We lost many close games and were so close to qualifying. The margin of error is very small in the Euroleague.
Who was the toughest guy you played against in the Euroleague?
Deon Thompson from Alba Berlin. It was hard adjusting our defense to his game. I know him since many years since we have played against each other each summer for the last 5-7 years. It was really hard to stop him.
How surprised are you that your friend Greg Jenkins is playing in the third league in France?
Wow I was not aware of that. I have not spoken to him since last season. Players sometimes go through hard times. Sometimes it is hard to get a job as there are many players and less jobs. Some players have less luck and before they know it end up in lower leagues.
Are you still making drawings?
Not as much as before, but every now and then I draw with my son.
With what ex Skyliners do you have the most contact to?
Derrick Allen and Koko Archibong.
Videos of little boys making incredible shots have been popping up. When will your son be in a basketball video? I saw that video of that two year old boy making incredible shots. My son saw that video and was jumping up and down and grabbed the ball. My son not as talented yet, but he is younger and practicing.
Who will win Oscar as best film? I have no idea. I have been watching a great show Revenge.
When will you return to Frankfurt?
I dont know, but maybe in the summer. I want to show my wife where I lived for two years.
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes(198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories.Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi H... [read more]
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes (198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories. Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi Hod Hasharon (Israel-National League) playing 25 games: 19.9ppg, Reb-2 (14.3rpg), 4.9apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 59.9%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 34.5%.
Skyes started his basketball career in 2010 with Cent.Florida (NCAA) playing 32 games: 4.0ppg, 3.2rpg. In his second season he played 32 games: 12.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 54.3%. As a junior he played 31 games: 16.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 4.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.7%. As a senior in 2013-2014 he played 30 games: 17.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 54.0%. He started his professional career in 2014 with U.S. Basket Recanati (Italy-A2 Silver) playing 28 games: 17.2ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 55.2%; A2 Gold Playoffs: 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.0apg. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been C-USA Tournament Semifinals -12, All-C-USA 1st Team -13
C-USA All-Defensive Team -13, NABC Division I All-District 11 1st Team -13, All-AAC 2nd Team -14, AAC All-Tournament Team -14, Eurobasket.com All-Italian LNP Silver 2nd Team -15, and Eurobasket.com All-Israeli National League Honorable Mention -16.
CSKA - Brose Baskets 85:64 CSKA celebrated the 14th victory in EuroLeague regular season. The defending champions overcame the absence of Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) to edge Brose Baskets in Moscow. Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) scored 26 points to lead the winners. CSKA jumped to a 21:17 lead ten minutes into the game. CSKA stretched the lead to double digits in the second term. The hosts piled up a 44:33 halftime lead. CSKA followed with a 25:15 run in the third quarter to clear off for go... [read more]
CSKA - Brose Baskets 85:64
CSKA celebrated the 14th victory in EuroLeague regular season. The defending champions overcame the absence of Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) to edge Brose Baskets in Moscow. Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) scored 26 points to lead the winners. CSKA jumped to a 21:17 lead ten minutes into the game. CSKA stretched the lead to double digits in the second term. The hosts piled up a 44:33 halftime lead. CSKA followed with a 25:15 run in the third quarter to clear off for good. CSKA held Brose Baskets to just 16 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win. Kyle Hines (198-F/C-86, agency: BeoBasket) chipped in 13 points, while Vitaliy Fridzon (195-G-85, agency: Alti Sport) and Nikita Kurbanov (202-F-86) delivered 10 points each in the victory. Daniel Theis (204-PF-92, agency: Octagon Europe) responded with 16 points for Brose Baskets. Nicolo Melli (205-PF-91) had 15 points in the defeat.
Preston Medlin (193-G-91, college: Utah St.) is a 25 year old 193cm guard that is playing his third professional season and first with the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Utah St. (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playinga total of 102 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.0%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with BK Saldus (Latvia-LBL): 29 games... [read more]
Preston Medlin (193-G-91, college: Utah St.) is a 25 year old 193cm guard that is playing his third professional season and first with the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Utah St. (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playinga total of 102 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.0%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with BK Saldus (Latvia-LBL): 29 games: Score-4 (14.7ppg), 3.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 75.8%. Last season he had limited duty with Enosi Kalathosfairisis Kavalas (Greece-A1): 3 games: 3.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg. Eurobasket talked to Preston after the big win against the Hamburg Towers.
Preston thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. 2017 has come and did you make any new years resolutions or is that something that you don't bother with?
No problem thanks for interviewing me. My wife and I always make little new years resolutions together but never anything to crazy, Just the normal stuff like eating better and being healthy.
The Kirchheim Knights went into 2017 riding a 4 game losing streak. What do you believe did the team get away from in this period that hindered you from getting victories?
That was a tough stretch for us, part of it was we played 4 playoff teams and 3 of the 4 games on the road. I think we got away from playing team basketball and got a little selfish. Also I think it was good for us to lose a few games (I am not sure it was good to lose 4 but) I think we were getting a little complacent and not working as hard as were should be.
A big worry in this 4 game losing streak was the offense that couldn't get 70 points in three of the four games. Do you feel like the team will continue to be able to score well in the second half of the season as its averaging 90 points in the two game winning streak?
I think if we can play as a team and to our strengths we should have no problem with our offense. But like any team we need to keep working and playing together so we can achieve our goals.
Congrats on the huge 87-86 win against the Hamburg Towers. Kirchheim was down39-33. It was able to pick up it's offense in the second half. Was there any adjustments that the team made to be able to score better?
To be honest we didn't really make any changes on the offense end we just kept playing hard and shots started to fall for us.
The Hamburg Towers went on a huge run in the fourth quarter and led as much as 14 points with four minutes to go. Was that amazing Mexico State come back and win form last week on your mind?
That's funny that you mention that because after the game my teammates and I were talking about the game and how we were all thinking that no matter the score the game is not over till the last buzzer.
The Kirchheim Knights then went on a 14-0 run to regain the lead at 84-83. How proud were of the team being able to make this instant comeback and what was key in having this happen?
Oh man I was so proud we fought hard for 5 minutes straight pressing and running up and down the court like mad men. And when we took the lead I was so happy.
You hit the game winning shot with three seconds left in the game. What experiences have you had with last second shots. How special was this one?
In my life I have maybe had 4 of 5 game winning shots but every time it happens it feels amazing. This on in particular was amazing because of the comeback that my teammates and I made in the minutes leading up to the shot.
You had had a pretty quiet night before making the shot as nothing was falling from downtown until the one that counted most. How thankful were you of the trust in your teammates in your abilities?
Yes up to that shot I was 0 for 4 and my shot was just not falling for me but if you want to be a good shooter you always have to have the mind set that the next one is going in. I am thankful that my teammates had the trust in me to shot the ball when the game is on the line.
With American Carrington Love out of the game with his fifth foul did you feel the need to step up on that last play?
The be honest the last play just kind of happened we got the rebound with about 10 seconds left and just went down the court and I was just trying to get the best shot possible for our team.
The team also showed it can win without Seth Hinrichs. Was this another good indication of how much heart this club has?
Missing Seth really hurts us because of the depth he give us plus he is a great shooter and does most of the dirty work for us. we need him to get healthy and on the court as soon as possible.
The Pro A continues to be very competitive as the Kirchheim Knights are only 3 wins behind number one team MBC. Does the team have more on their minds then just solidifying home court in the playoffs or is one looking at the possibility of finishing the regular season at the top?
I think every team has the goal to finish on top but we are just trying to take it game by game and worry about what we can control and that is our effort and heart on the court.
You stated in the last interview that the biggest challenge is being a consistent scorer. How can a player in general become a consistent scorer on a game basis?
That is a great question but I think it starts with having the mindset of a scorer. You have to do it in practice, you have to get that rhythm with your teammates and then it has to carry over to the game.
What in general have you learned to enjoy the most about playing in the competitive German Pro A?
I have learned that you have to bring your best every night because for the most part any team can beat any team so that makes the league really fun because you never know who is going to win.
Russell Westbrook obviously has gotten a lot of attention with his constant triple doubles, but James Harden is doing the same thing with the Houston Rockets. Where do you see him head to head against Westbrook as best point guard at the moment in the NBA?
I think they are both great players but in my eyes they are both not true point guards. But you have to give the edge right now to Westbrook I mean any guy that can average a triple double in the NBA is amazing.
Which 2 clubs will make the Superbowl and who will win it all?
I think the Patriots will play the Packers and the Patriots will win.