Karl Moore(203-PF-87, college: Culver Stockton) is a 203cm forward born in 1987 and is playing his third professional season with the Crailsheim Merlins 2 team. Last season he played for Telstar Hesperange (Luxembourg-N2). As a rookie, he played for TV 1872 Saarlouis (Germany-ProB) where he played 28 games averaging 16.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.7%, FT: 73.5%. He scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games including three double doubles. He scored 20 points or more eight times. His best... [read more]
Karl Moore (203-PF-87, college: Culver Stockton) is a 203cm forward born in 1987 and is playing his third professional season with the Crailsheim Merlins 2 team. Last season he played for Telstar Hesperange (Luxembourg-N2). As a rookie, he played for TV 1872 Saarlouis (Germany-ProB) where he played 28 games averaging 16.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.7%, FT: 73.5%. He scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games including three double doubles. He scored 20 points or more eight times. His best scoring games was 28 points against Hanau and 27 points against BG Karlsruhe. He played college ball at Schoolcraft Community College (JUCO), Rio Grande (NAIA), and Culver Stockton (NAIA). He spoke to eurobasket about basketball and his next experience with the Crailsheim Merlins.
Karl thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome back to Germany. You have been only a short time in Crailsheim, but what has been the biggest difference there to when you were a rookie in Saarlouis? Hello Miles! Thanks for the opportunity. The biggest difference are the times that we practice. While in Saarlouis, I practiced once a day with the Pro B team during the night. Here In Crailsheim, I practice three times a day. Twice with the Pro A team and once with the Regionaliga team. Physically it is tough but mentally I cant say that it's something that I can't survive, because right now there is a person in Africa growing up in conditions that I can't survive.
In Saarlouis you had the best German regionaliga player of all time Ricky Easterling on your side. Will his explosive scoring mentality and ability always for some reason be in your thoughts because he made you a better player as a rookie? Yes, Ricky is one of the best players that I played with throughout my professional career. He has taught me so much on and off the court. From the first day that we met, he saw how much potential that I have as a player and only wanted to see the best for me. A scoring machine like him will never be forgotten about.
He was also a vital part in pushing you the last months as you were looking for a new team. A week ago he gave you advice to go back to Germany and go for the Crailsheim offer. Is he a friend for life? Yes, Ricky is a friend for life. When first hearing about the Crailsheim opportunity through Hans Beth (basketball-aid), Ricky was one of the few people that I contacted for advice upon taking the opportunity. I knew that the Crailsheim offer was going to be another sacrifice for me and my family. But when I looked at the opportunity within this opportunity to move up, I noticed that God was up to something. Sometimes in life when we are trying to figure things out, God has already worked it out.
You have signed with Crailsheim (Regionaliga) team which in a way is a step back, but there is a twist in that you can practice with the pro A team and this will promote your game as well as get the chance to possibly make their roster. If I recall correctly, didn't you always feel like that you could play in the Pro A?
Yes, during my rookie year, I averaged 16 points and 6 rebounds from off the bench while shooting 60% from the field in less then 20 minutes of game playing at the Pro B level. During that time, I strongly felt as if I can easily compete on the Pro A level.
You dominated at Telstar Hesperange (Luxembourg-N2) last season, but how hungry are you to demonstrate your basketball abilities in your third professional season?
Last season, I averaged 34 points a game out in Luxembourg at the N2 level. Before going separate ways with the club. I had an opportunity to play against an N1 club during a cup game. I finished that game with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 steals. Throughout my last two seasons, it felt as if I played with a chip on my shoulder which caused me to go hard for my team. Here I am in my third professional season and it feel as if I am in the underdog seat once again. The hunger is still there and it's go be interesting to see how far that it will take my God given abilities on the court once again as I help reach the club goals for this upcoming season.
How have the first few days been like in Crailsheim? Did you know any of the guys and how have the Pro A players taken you in?
The first few days for me in Crailsheim has been tough. My sleeping pattern is all messed and my body is trying to adjust to the three a day practices that I have to attend. Other than that, my time out here is going good so far. This club is very professional and family orientated, I feel as if we are one big family. I love the fact of that because back at home family is all I got. Last week was my first time meeting all the players. They have taken me in quickly. They seem to have a grasp of what I bring to the team and constantly give me advice throughout practice so that I can be up to speed with the team system.
You are playing with some very well known players that have performed at the BBL and Pro A level. Now that you are practicing with these very talented players how much is your self confidence rising in that you know that you can compete with them? I am a workaholic and within that territory comes confidence to compete on any level. Here in Crailsheim, while competing with these experienced guys in practice. I am still trying to figure out the team identity and players personal. In which causes me to think extremely a lot on the court which takes away from my ability. By next week, I am confident that I will have everything figured out in my head, which will then cause me to think less and the flow of things will become more smoothly.
You recently showed your abilities in an exhibition game against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (BBL) in a 77-67 loss, but you held your own scoring 8 points in nine minutes. How happy were you with your own performance?
I wasn't happy with my own performance because we lost in a game that I felt was winnable. As a team we had made some mistakes in which we are correcting during practice. But I understand that it is still early and this is only preseason. With the great coaching staff that we have, the potential of this team will definitely be where it needs to be before regular season begin.
What have been the biggest differences in style that you have witnessed now at the BBL/Pro A level that you had never seen before as a professional? I don't see much of a different style but the players are much taller and stronger. Its like the higher the league the better the Germans are.
You played against many top players in Europe with guys like Chad Toppert or Alex Ruoff. Is at times difficult to calm your own emotions and not get too motivated about performing very well? To be honest with you I don't get excited when I am playing against top players. I know how to find motivation within myself regardless of how high or low the competition is. When out there playing against top players, my goal is grind harder than them. I believe that hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
What has it been like going against ex German national player Konrad Wysocki? He guarded Lebron James at the 2008 Olympics and at age 34 can still compete with the best of them? It was just another day in the office for me. He is getting up there with age but I believe that he still has the juice.
Patrick Flomo is a true professional and still lives above the rim at age 36. Is he a guy that you feel will be able to give you the right pointers as the season progresses? Patrick is a vet. He has been playing the game for quite some time. He even played Regionaliga as well before playing in top leagues. From the first day of practice, he gave me advice right away. Every right pointer that he has given me, I am quick to listen. He is one of the players that constantly stays on me during practice. I couldn't ask for a better teammate.
What things on your game are you working on in hopes that you can continue to be a consistent performer with the pro A guys and continue to compete for a role on the team of Thomas IIsalo? Let me start off by saying that coach Thomas is one hell of a coach. Very down to earth man. He understands the game of basketball inside out. I love his passion for the game in which makes me go harder when he feels as if we as a team is not playing to the best of our ability. Some of the things that I am working on is becoming a leader and being more under control with my quickness. I am an extremely athletic player in which causes me to be a little wild at times.
You obviously can't forget your duties with Regionaliga team Crailsheim 2. Could you feel some pressure down the road having to put up high consistent stats or can you erase those thoughts? Just because it's a regionaliga league, I don't think that it will just be a walk in the park but at the same time I don't feel under pressure at all. Coach Kai Buchmann is also a great coach and experienced being that he used to coach Pro A. He already gave me the blue print and I'm ready to go get it. Both clubs have one goal in mind which is to win nothing less than a championship. Throughout my last two professional seasons, I set all type of personal records to scoring 54 points in a game to grabbing over 20 rebounds. One thing that I haven't done yet was win a championship. I worked hard all summer before an opportunity was even given. Now it's time to go win that gold and hang a banner.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? #1 LeBron James, #2 Michael Jordan, #3 Magic Johnson, #4 Wilt Chamberlain
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game? It puts him at #1 in my eyes.
When Shavon Shields (201-G-94) was born in 1994, his dad Will had just started his professional football career which would span 13 years and an amazing 12 pro Bowl appearances, but now 22 years later, his dad will be able to sit back and watch his son Shavon embark on a professional basketball career in Germany with the Fraport Skyliners. The club gave him a one year deal. His dad Will did the dirty work in the Kansas City Cheifs offense blocking and producing holes for the running backs... [read more]
When Shavon Shields (201-G-94) was born in 1994, his dad Will had just started his professional football career which would span 13 years and an amazing 12 pro Bowl appearances, but now 22 years later, his dad will be able to sit back and watch his son Shavon embark on a professional basketball career in Germany with the Fraport Skyliners. The club gave him a one year deal. His dad Will did the dirty work in the Kansas City Cheifs offense blocking and producing holes for the running backs like Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson to weave and gain yardage successfully while son Shavon will be responsible for scoring production as a rookie in Frankfurt. Shavon Shields (201-G-94) is a 22 year old 201cm forward from Olathe, Kansas that also has the Danish citzenship as his mother is Danish and had an illustrious college basketball career at Nebraska (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 118 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games averaging 16.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 79.0%."Shavon was a 4 year starter at Nebraska in one of best divisions. He was captain there and comes from a big sports family. His play and academics are witness to a good charachter. He is an allrounder and tough. He does many small things not seen on the floor", expressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert. Shields was very consistent as a senior scoring in double figures in 26 of 29 games. He had some monster games against Purdue with 32 points, 28 points against powerhouse Michigan State and 28 points against ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King's school Miami.
Shields started his basketball career at Nebraska in 2012 and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 8.6ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 67.6%. In his second season he played 30 games averaging 12.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.0%. In his junior season he played 31 games averaging 15.4ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 19.5%, FT: 82.7%. After finishing at Nebraska, he played at the well known Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) in April playing 3 games averaging13.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, 2.3spg. Recently he played at the NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Orlando Blue): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 1.5rpg. "I spoke to coach Herbert about the program in Frankfurt. He said it was their goal to make players better and develop them further. He was overjoyed with everything happening in Frankfurt and I am looking forward to it. My task in college was to score and get to the basket. With Frankfurt I will do all that coach demands from me and what the team needs. I will give my best", stressed Shavon Shields.
Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been Danish U20 National Team -13, All-Big Ten Honorable Mention -14, Big Ten All-Sportsmanship Team -14, Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-District 7 1st Team -15, Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-America 1st Team -15, Danish National Team -15, CoSIDA NCAA Division I Academic All-District 7 1st Team -16, CoSIDA NCAA Division I Academic All-America 1st Team -16, All-Big Ten 2nd Team -16, and Big Ten All-Tournament Team -16.
Alex Foster(203-F-92, college: Emory) is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and will be 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%, 3... [read more]
Alex Foster (203-F-92, college: Emory) is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and will be 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 before the exhibition game August 25th against the Fraport Skyliners at Wiesbaden Airbase with all proceeds goingto the Basketball Aid foundation.
Alex thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your second season now with the RheinStars. When you look back at your rookie season and progression of your German, what was your most used German sentence? I always say 'eben so,' after someone wishes me 'ein schoenen Tag' at the grocery or bakery. A lot of my German teammates tease me for using that phrase, because I guess it's more formal than what they're used to. Or maybe it's because it's a Southern-German thing. My mom's family is Schwabisch.
Last season you were a rookie and new to a new culture and new club. Now in your second season what have been the biggest advantages that you have in comparison to last season around this time?
It's really nice coming back to the same surroundings in Cologne. I'm in the same apartment as last season and feel more like home than last season. The biggest advantage, however, are the relationships I'm coming back to. Especially with Coach Woltmann.
The club has been together for some weeks now. How has the preparation gone from your stand point? The club brought in four new players. How is the current team shaping up? Our preseason has been going really well. The club organized a new practice facility for us, in which we've been putting in the time and effort to take the club to the next level. The new guys have fit in seamlessly and we've spending lots of time together on and off the court.
In comparison to last season's team is this team as strong as last season's on paper? Stronger.
You played your first pre season game recently against Schwelm. How pleased were you with the team and on what areas does the new team still need to work on?
We still have lots of room for improvement, but it felt good to suit up together for the first time. There were some segments where we played really well, but going forward, I'd like to see us assert ourselves for the entire 40 minutes.
Last season Lakeem Jackson was a key point of the offense and this season the club got Hugh Robertson. What does he bring to the table that will help the team most? Hugh is a talented player and a natural leader. He's got all the skills to take over a game, but he also knows how to elevate the level of the team as a whole.
Amric Fields has come in to replace Aaron Jones. Fields had 16/7 stats last season in Slovenia. What has been your early impression of him and can he be a dominating Pro A player with consistency?
Amric is one of the most talented players I've played with. He's got athleticism to go with a smooth stroke, which makes him a nightmare matchup in practice and for the rest of the league for sure.
The club also brought in 202cm forward Robin Christen who has established himself in the Pro A with Essen and Hanau. How challenging has it been battling him in practice on a daily basis?
Robin can do it all. We definitely push each other in practice, but we have the most fun when we're put on the same team. We have a natural sense for finding scoring opportunities for each other.
216cm center German Dennis Heinzmann is a big German talent and project. How has his development been coming a long. Dennis is the guy on the team that everybody gravitates towards. He brings tremendous energy every day. You can't even compare where he's at now to the beginning of last season, when we matched up with him in Leverkusen. He's gotten so much better and I know will continue to develop into a dominant force in German basketball.
You and David Downs will lead the team this season. Do you feel any pressure that you have to step up your game a bit at the start to get the team and new players going?
I felt the pressure to get better all summer, which I did. Now back in Cologne, I feel confident enough to where I can worry less about my own game and focus on bringing the team together.
What has been your main focus in the preseason. What parts of your game are you working especially hard on? Defense. I always try to keep my matchup from scoring, along with helping my teammates within our defensive concept.
How confident are you that you will be able to raise your game even higher from last season? I improved my game this summer and have better players around me, so I'm very confident that I'll be able to play at a higher level. I feel that way about all my teammates too.
How excited are you about playing an exhibition game against the Fraport Skyliners on the Wiesbaden Army Airbase which is the headquarters of the United States Army Europe. Will this be one of the more unusual places that you have played a game before? I look forward to any chance to match up with a BBL opponent. Ultimately, that's the level our team wants to play at, so I'm excited to show that we can hang with those guys. I've also been hearing a lot of good thigs about the Army base and I hope we can show the service members our best. It's going to be a special game for sure.
The proceeds of this special game will go to the Basketball Aid which supports kids effected by cancer. The RheinStars jumped in for Northeastern who dropped out. How important is it for you to be a part of this important cause?
It's a personally important cause for me. My grandfather is currently battling cancer. I also lost a teammate to cancer in the 6th grade. I think what Basketball Aid is doing is great and I'm excited to be a part of it.
Your good friend from Emory Will Trawick will play for Rhondorf this season. Recently you showed him Cologne city. What has made this friendship so special? We've been through a lot together, so it's fitting that he's starting his professional playing career only 50 km away. I plan on watching him play as much as I can and I know we'll find time to hang out away from basketball too. He's a super smart dude so we can talk about anything and the conversation is always interesting.
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title home, where does this further ring put him in the debate against Michael Jordan as the all-time best ever?
That's a tough question that I don't think can really be answered, but I will say that Lebron has won me over again. After 'The Decision' I was pretty critical of his self-indulgence, but I respect him as a player and leader again.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you choose? I'd make it my favorite players from my childhood: T-Mac, Nash, Dirk, and B-Roy.
What was the last movie that you saw? Captain Fantastic. You gotta see it!
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