European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Living in America: Niels Giffey (UConn)

January 12th, 2011 · No Comments

One of the most interesting German prospects has made the step to play College Basketball this summer. After Elias Harris in 2009, the summer of 2010 saw Niels Giffey move from ALBA Berlin to UConn and have some interesting impact right from the start. We spoke with Giffey about his current situation and what his future will look like. To get an even better insight on the German forward, we also recommend this excellent interview (in German) that he gave recently to

Why did you decide to play College Basketball?

I always wanted to move abroad and be at a College in the United States to combine Basketball and the studies. This was not possible in the same way in Germany, so I decided to go to the US.

Why did you chose UConn and not of the other Colleges that were recruiting you?

The whole package was right. UConn has with Coach Calhoun a Hall of Fame coach which speaks for itself, additionally there is the success history of the College and the long story with all the good forward that came out of UConn. Another point was that UConn has a large Freshman Class this season which made the integration a lot easier for me.

How do you see your personal development at UConn? Do you have personal goals concerning your development in the United States?

I have a very good practice situation with an extremely good Coaching staff who takes care of me and pushes me every day. I want to use my time here at best and give all my best every day, practice hard and get better.

What will you be majoring in? And how do you see your future after the 4 years in College?

I am not decided yet about my diploma, but I think I will probably decide in the direction of Business.

Are you surprised by the large impact you had right from the start with such a strong team?

Yes, I was really happy to get lots of minutes early in the season. But as a Freshman, you also have to be ready to deal with situations where you are not playing that much and remain focused.

Compared to the NBBL, next to the more athletic style of play, what are the main differences that you have seen so far in College Basketball?

The speed and the aggressiveness are really on a different level. In the NBBL, you could sometimes score easy baskets or grab rebounds like that. If you want to score here, you need to be a lot hungrier and more aggressive when you attack the ball and play more aggressively overall.

So far, Niels Giffey plays 14.4 minutes per game and averages 3.9ppg, 1.6rpg and 0.9apg for UConn. We wish him good luck for his future.

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