Max Merz (183-PG-94) is a 19 year old 183cm guard that was born in Regensburg. He started his basketball career at MTV Kronberg. He has been playing for the Fraport Skyliners juniors since 2011. Last season in the PRO B, he played 10 games: 6.8ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 31.0%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 53.8%, also had a license for Eintracht Frankfurt (2.Regionalliga) and plays NBBL where he led the team into the playoffs and leads the team in scoring. He has been a member of the U-16 and U-17 German national teams. He took part at the European Championships U16 in Bar (Montenegro) -10: 8 games: 2.9ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.4spg. He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
The Fraport Skyliners are on a good way to reach the playoffs. How realistic do you see the chances? I see it as very realistic. If we keep playing the way we have in last weeks, then we could.
How difficult is it to play sometimes with Konstantin Klein, Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann and sometimes not?
There arent really any problems. When they are with us, they help us very much. With them on the court, we are one of the best teams in the PRO B. When we dont have them, then we really see the differences. When we dont have them, we just try to make the best of it. We are happy when they are playing and just make the best of the situation when they arent with us.
How does your role change when they arent there?
When they are there, I am the 6-7 man off the bench and when they arent there, I am with Falko on the guard position. I have more responsibility and can score more.
How happy are you with your development in the PRO B? I am happy with it and it is moving along good.
On what things do you still need to work on on your game? I can work on many things like being more calm on the court on offense, reading the game better, shooting off the dribble and on defense.
Konstantin Klein once said he thinks that someday you could be a solid Beko BBL player. Is that your dream?
I think it is the dream of any player. But I am not thinking about that now, just trying to establish myself in the PRO B. If I make it one day then I would be very happy.
What is a strength in your game that doesnt always get noticed?
My defense gets overlooked. One doesnt read about it in the stats.
I like your eye for your teammates. Who is your favorite passer in NBA? Rajon Rondo is the best passer.
What is the most important thing that you have learned from Eric Detlev?
I worked a lot with him last summer. He helped me a lot on defense especially how to defend well against bigger players as well as reading the play on the pick and role.
What is the most important thing that Konstantin Klein has given you?
Just to practice, practice practice and believe in your goal.
Who was the best player that you played against in the NBBL 2013 Allstar game?
The MVP Kenneth Ogbe. He was very versatile that bring the ball or score. David Taylor also was tough.
Who were your basketball idols as a kid?
I liked Ben Walace because of his good defense and Kobe Bryant.
You played a season in the states at Rabun Gap high school. That sounds like a mix of temple and designer store. Did you ever ask where the name came from? It is the name of the small town in Georgia in the hills named after by Indians.
What did you learn in the states that amazed you? I found that the people are very friendly there different than in Germany. They are always trying to help you.
What were the most free throws that you made in a row without missing?
What was your most crazy shot you ever made in a game? I made a hook shot over two players from the three point line.
Who wins a one on one you or Konstantin Klein. He still wins, but I would win maybe twice in 10 tries.
What do you like most about your teammate NikolaJ Vukovic?
I know him since many years. He is a very good friend of mine. I cant even list all the good things about him.
Alex Foster(202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 3... [read more]
Alex Foster (202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
Thanks Alex for talking to eurobasket.com. How did you get into 2017 and did you have any new years resolutions or are you more a guy that doesn't believe in that hype? I brought in the New Year with friends here in Cologne, but didn't make any big new years resolutions. I still have some goals from 2016 that I'm working towards.
This season the RheinStars didn't have a long holiday break as you had a game on the 23rd of December against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets and on the seventh of January against Baunach. Do you feel this was more beneficial in keeping the team sharp or could a few more days rest helped the club?
Last season we only got two days off, so this year's holiday break felt much longer. Unfortunately, we went into the break after a bitter loss. It was tough having to wait so long to play again, but once I put that loss behind me, I enjoyed the holidays with my family. As for the team, I think everyone came back from the break with some extra motivation for the second half of the season.
How important was the win against Baunach to start 2017 after the bitter loss to Essen before Christmas in having the team have the right focus going into the Hanau game? It was important for us to get back to winning. There aren't that many games left in the regular season so very win comes at a premium.
Just like last season, winning is Hanau didn't happen, but the club came out with a lot better effort at home against them. What in your opinion is always most difficult when playing Hanau? They always come in with energy and confidence, which makes them a tough team to beat, but we kept their offence in check and made enough plays ourselves to get the win. The game was no easy matter as it was tight going into the fourth quarter.
What do you feel was key in the fourth quarter for pulling out the win and getting your second win in a row in 2017?
We tightened up our defense in the second half and played together offensively. We're starting to develop a win-at-all-costs identity and I think that showed against both Baunach and Hanau.
Kruize Pinkins had another typical strong game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. You have faced him 4 times now. Why in your opinion is he such a tough guy to stop? He's great around the rim and his teammates do a good job of finding him in scoring areas. Defending him, you have to stay engaged on defense at all times.
The RheinStars are in eighth place with a record of 9-9. What was your first half summary of the season?
We dug ourselves a deep hole, but are climbing out.
How much potential is in this season's team? The team is eighth best in points scored and points let up? In what area does the team have the most potential to do harm? I think we have the potential to go all the way. Ultimately, we want to hold down our home court for the rest of the season and start knocking off teams on the road.
How valuable was the pick up of former BBL player Anthony King? What does he give the team most besides experience at that low post presence? AK brings a calm sense of confidence to our team. He's a player you want with the ball when the game is on the line. Plus, he helps bring out the best in his teammates.
It seems like Richard Williams has been playing a bit under his expectations, but he hasn't been totally fit. How soothing is it knowing that when he breaks out, the club will be even more dangerous? I think Richie's done a great job learning and running the offense in such a short time. I was amazed by how fast he picked up all of our sets. He's made winning plays since he first got here, which I'm sure will continue throughout the season.
How content have you been with your game? You pretty much have the same stats as last season, but your playing 10 minutes less. Do you feel like you have become more of an efficient player this season?
Our roster is stacked with talent, so I didn't expect as many minutes as last season, but I know that for our team to be great, I need to play my role well. I've also gotten a better feel for European game since I got here, which helps my game.
Your right near the 40% mark from outside. How content are you that you can make that plateau in the second half of the season?
I expect that of myself.
What are your personal continued goals for this season as a player? On what things are you working on on the defensive end to become a better player? Right now, my focus is on helping my team get to the playoffs. On defense, I want to be able to stop my man one-on-one and help my teammates within the concept.
In December you watched a game of your friend Will Trawick in Rhondorf. How much do you miss playing with him? At Emory (NCAA3) you played three years together. He's carved out a good spot for himself in Rhondorf and it was fun to watch help play live. I'm sure we'll have a chance to play together this summer back at Emory.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you? It as good as any player has every ran the floor and shot the ball.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now? Lebron and Curry are NBA Champions, so Russ still has some work to do.
EasyCredit BBL team S.Oliver Wurzburg have reeled in ex NBA player Mustafa Shakur (192-PG-84, college: Arizona) Mustafa Shakur is a 32 year old 192cm guard from Arizona that brings 8 seasons of European experience, 25 NBA games and knows the BBL as last season he played for the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL): 15 games: 14.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 26.4%, FT: 77.1%; Eurocup: 11 games: 14.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 82.8%. He started this sea... [read more]
EasyCredit BBL team S.Oliver Wurzburg have reeled in ex NBA player Mustafa Shakur (192-PG-84, college: Arizona) Mustafa Shakur is a 32 year old 192cm guard from Arizona that brings 8 seasons of European experience, 25 NBA games and knows the BBL as last season he played for the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL): 15 games: 14.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 26.4%, FT: 77.1%; Eurocup: 11 games: 14.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 82.8%. He started this season with Afyonkarahisar Belediye (Turkey-TBL) where he played 10 games averaging 10,8ppg, 2,8rpg and 5,3apg. "He is a very experienced guard that will give us stability at both ends of the court. We will have a strong trio at both guard positions with Jake Odum, Maurice Stuckey and him", stated head coach Dirk Bauerman. The American got a one year deal.
He started his basketball career in 2003 at Arizona)NCAA) where he played a total of 130 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging11.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 6.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3Pts: 32.5%, FT: 78.8%. He started his professional basketball career in 2007 with the Sacramento Kings (NBA), only pre-season, in Nov.'07 moved to Prokom Trefl Sopot (Poland-DBE): Polish League: 26 games: 7.4ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.3apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 66.7%; Euroleague: 7 games: 7.6ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 38.1%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 66.7%. In the 2008-2009 season he moved to Tau Ceramica Vitoria (Spain-ACB): 14 games: 3.4ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.2apg; Euroleague: 10 games: 5.5ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 76.0%; in Jan.'09 moved to Panellinios Athens (Greece-A1): Eurocup: 6 games: 6.3ppg, 1.2apg, 1.0spg. He started the 2009-2010 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), in Apr.'10 assigned to Tulsa 66ers (D-League): 51 games: 19.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 6.7apg, Steals-3 (2.2spg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 74.9%. In the 2010-2011 season he went to the New Orleans Hornets (NBA), only pre-season, then moved to Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) playing 23 games: 16.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 71.1%, in Jan.'11 signed with Washington Wizards (NBA): 22 games: 2.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.1apg. In the 2011-2012 season he played for the Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA) playing French League: 6 games: 9.7ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 43.5%, 3PT: 7.1%, FT: 88.2%; EuroChallenge: 1 game: 0pts, 2reb, left in Nov.'11, later that month moved to Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 21 games: 16.0ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-5 (4.3apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 26.6%, FT: 79.6%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Sidigas Avellino (Italy-SerieA): 17 games: 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-5 (1.9spg), FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 72.0%, in Mar.'13 moved to Erie Bay Hawks (D-League): 7 games: 17.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 5.6apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 80.0%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for the Erie Bay Hawks (D-League): 23 games: 18.9ppg, 5.0rpg, 6.8apg, 2.3spg, 2FGP: 53.3%, 3FGP: 30.0%, FT: 84.0%, in Mar.'14 signed at Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA): 3 games: 0.3ppg, 1.3apg, later that month signed at Tulsa 66ers (D-League, starting five): 23 games: 18.9ppg, 5.0rpg, 6.8apg, Steals-3 (2.3spg), FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 84.0%, in Apr.'14 moved to Tadamon Zouk (Lebanon-Division A): 2 games: 20.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg, 2.5spg. IN the 2014-2015 season he played for Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL) playing 45 games: 9.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 82.2%; Eurocup: 6 games: 8.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.2%; Euroleague: 10 games: 9.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 87.5%.
Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been US U18 National Team -03, International Tournament U18 in Dallas -03, World Championships U18 in Greece -03, USA Today High School Boys all-USA first team -03, HS EA Sports All-America, an ABCD Camp All-Star and first-team all-state -03
Pac-10 Conf. Tournament Semifinals -04, 06, Pac-10 All-Freshman Team -04, USA U21 National Team -04, Tournament of the Americas U21 in Halifax -04 Pac-10 Regular Season Champion -05, Pac-10 Tournament Finalist -05, NCAA Tournament Elite Eight -05, Eurobasket.com All-Lithuanian LKL Honorable Mention -15, Eurobasket.com Lithuanian LKL All-Imports Team -15, and Lithuanian League Semifinals -15.
Roderick Trice (185-SG-84, college: S.Carolina) or simply Rocky as he is known to the basketball world has left a medium stomping ground Poland and returned to an even bigger stomping ground Germany coming back to the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Trice is a 32 year old 185cm shooting guard from Swainsboro, Georgia playing his 10th professional season having played three in Poland and now playing his seventh in Germany. Trice who can still get up over the rim with the best of them started this... [read more]
Roderick Trice (185-SG-84, college: S.Carolina) or simply Rocky as he is known to the basketball world has left a medium stomping ground Poland and returned to an even bigger stomping ground Germany coming back to the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Trice is a 32 year old 185cm shooting guard from Swainsboro, Georgia playing his 10th professional season having played three in Poland and now playing his seventh in Germany. Trice who can still get up over the rim with the best of them started this season with MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (Poland-TBL) where he saw action in only three games averaging 7,7ppg, 1,0rpg and 2,7apg. Last season he played with the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL) playing 29 games: 11.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.6apg, Steals-5 (1.6spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 79.3%; Eurocup: 15 games: 8.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-2 (2.2spg), FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 84.0%
Trice started his basketball career with S.Carolina (NCAA) and as a senior played 37 games: 6.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 73.3%. He started He started his professional basketball career in 2007 with the Cuxhaven BasCats (Germany-ProA) playing 26 games: 14.9ppg, 8.1rpg, 2.3apg, Steals-1 (2.9spg), 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 61.3%, 3FGP: 34.4%, FT: 84.7%. In the 2008-2011 season he moved to the MEG Goettingen (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 34 games: 11.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.5apg, Steals-1 (2.6spg), FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 69.6%. He then played with ratiopharm Ulm from 2009-2012 playing a total of 85 games. His most productive season stat wise was his first where he played 33 games averaging 12.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.2apg, Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 75.0%. He then got furtehr experience in Poland where he played two years for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL) where his most productive was his second season where he played 34 games: 12.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 70.0%. Two seasons ago he played for WKS Slask Wroclaw (Poland-TBL) playing 32 games: 13.0ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.4apg, Steals-5 (1.9spg), FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 80.4%.
Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been NIT Winner -05, 06, SEC Tournament Finalist -06, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Player of the Year -08, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Guard of the Year -08, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Import Player of the Year -08, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Defensive Player of the Year -08, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A 1st Team -08
Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Imports Team -08, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Defensive Team -08, German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Regular Season Runner-Up -08, Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Honorable Mention -09, 10, 11, 16, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Defensive Team -09, 10, German Bundesliga Cup Semifinals -12, Polish League All-Star Game -14, Eurobasket.com All-Polish League Honorable Mention -14, 15, Polish Supercup Finalist -15, and Eurobasket.com Polish League All-Imports Team -15.