European Prospects

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NBBL Top4: Lars Wendt vs Kevin Bright

May 12th, 2011 · No Comments

On Saturday will start the NBBL Top4 in Ludwigsburg and the climax of the first day will be the third duel between Paderborn Baskets and Team ALBA Urspring. We talked to players from each team to check what their current feelings are about the upcoming event.

Lars Wendt, you will play against Urspring in the semi-finals for the third time in a row. Once you won, once you lost. In 2010, Kevin Bright played an excellent defense against you which was one of the keys. How do you see your chances this time?

Urspring is always playing great defense and I would not put that on one player alone even though Kevin Bright is a good defensive player. If we can set up our quick team play, they will have problems to advance to the Finals.

Kevin Bright, what is your opinion about the semi-finals?

I think that we have a good chance to win the title like every year. The difference with the previous years though is that we have a deeper bench and we can continue with the same intensity level once the Starting 5 has to take a rest, similar to the ProB this season. We need to use this in order to win.

Paderborn dominated this season again in the North-West division, even if Ole and Lars Wendt did play with the professional team and not in the NBBL games. Lars, how can you explain that however, Paderborn is always reduced to the Wendt twins?

Yes, we won every game except one, even if Ole and myself were not playing. The reason for this is that we have a good team chemistry and also other good players like Till Gloger for example. In my opinion, the people who think that Paderborn is only the Wendt twins do this because we have been always present during the big wins with the team in the last 3 years even if the supreme title has never been reached.

For Kevin Bright, what are the main strengths of the Paderborn team then?

The main strengths of Paderborn are of course the Wendt-Twins. But as I said, a team is more than only two players but a fully working rotation of quality-trained players. And this is our advantage over Paderborn.

Lars, you played your first full season on the ProA level. How much did this help you as an individual player as your team has had multiple ups and downs?

Personally, this season helped me enormously because you had to fight in every second of the game because the opponents were physically stronger and more experienced. You learn how to deal with difficult situations like in the beginning of the season where we won only one out of eight games.

The 1992 generation is often considered as one of the best in Germany. This year, several of these guys are present at the NBBL Top4. Kevin, who do you see as the best individual player of your generation?

I have to admit that I did not really follow the NBBL season of the other teams. I know though that Daniel Theis is a really tough nut to crack and that there are lots of other individuals who put up their name this season in the NBBL. However, I think that it is nothing special to come up with big numbers in a losing team but prefer to see players like Julius Wolf who was the top scorer and top rebounder for us and being a winning team.

Last year at the Top4 in Bamberg, Kevin Bright was a key factor with his defense. This season, in the ProB, he showed that he can also be a great scorer. Can you say that you made some major progress in that area?

Yes, you can say that, but scoring remains always my second choice as I prefer to be a key factor on the defensive end and help my team to win. Scoring comes like that in the flow of the game.

Lars, you will not play the U20 European Championship this summer. Can you give us the reasons for this choice? What will you do during the summer?

Yes, it is true that my brother and I have decided to skip the European Championships. We want to work on our athleticism and in the weight-lifting room and put a special focus on individual work-outs because this will help us more for the next season.

Kevin Bright will see his season come to an end after the Top4 as well. What is his summer looking like?

After the Top4, I will rest for a few days and start with some weight-lifting. In the middle of June, I will do some visits of schools in the United States and then start to work out for the National Team duties.

Lars, how do you see your future in the next years after having played some serious minutes on the ProA level already this season?

I could imagine moving to the United States in 2012 to play College Basketball. If that does not work out, I want to become a Bundesliga player or be a key player on the ProA level after my High School degree in one year.

Urspring moved up to the ProA. What are the goals for next season for Kevin Bright?

My first goal is to remain healthy, practice hard during the summer and play a key role in the ProA. These are currently my main goal except of course winning the NBBL Top4 first.

Thanks to both players for their time and good luck for the Top4. We will have an interview match-up with Daniel Theis and Johannes Richter coming up tomorrow.

Paderborn will play against Urspring Academy on Saturday at 20h00.

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