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Türk Telekom Tournament: Interview with Alex Krüger (German U16 coach)

March 1st, 2008 · 1 Comment

After the tournament and a seventh place for the German team, I had the possibility to ask a few questions to the German U16 coach Alexander Krüger about his team and the German basketball in general.

You just come back from the U16 Tournament in Turkey. Your team finished
at a 7th place after having won the Group stage. Was this final spot a disapointment or are you overall happy with the performance of your team?

The final placing was of secondary priority for us in Turkey.  We have not played any games prior to the tournament yet.  Therefore it was important to learn we can win at this level if we go at it the right way. We also learned how difficult it is to maintain consistency over a period of nine days playing eight games.  Our tournament record of 5 wins and 3 losses is as good of an indication of our performance as is the final ranking.

How do see your generation of U16 players of this year in relation to
the U16 teams you coached the seasons before?

This years team is unique in its depth and variety of guard and perimeter play.  Also all participants show great character values and devote themselves toward team achievement and success.

How was the overall level of the tournament? Who were in your eyes the
players on your team and on the other teams that you want to mention as
future top prospects?

The tournament featured three teams of B-group and nine members of A-Division including regular tops like Italy, Greece, Russia and of course Turkey.  But also Bulgaria had a strong team in Sakarya with even some players born in 93.  And B-group competitor Slovenia has a very talented team with sound fundamental playing skills.  Kevin Bright is our team leader, who views the collective success at first while also being individually of value.  Outstanding international prospects are Enes Kanter, Alessandro Gentile, Linos Chysikopoulos, Evan Mehdi Fournier to mention some.

Are the kids already feeling some kind of pressure due to the presence of scouts or agents at such tournaments? Do they consider basketball as a professional choice for their future?

We try to prepare them for the whole challenge, on the court as well as off the court.  Learning to deal with pressure and expectations is one part of it.  More important though is to develop character skills and working habits to aim for a high level of training and improvement over a long period of time.  The most difficult thing for young players to learn is to be patient and persistent at the same time.  They are all looking at basketball as something they love to do and would like to do as a profession.  On the other hand they are well aware that they have to succeed in their scholastic education, since there is no guarantee at all for dreams to come true.

There have been discussions of installing a U16 NBBL. What is this about
and what do you think about this idea?

Every once in a while I hear about the option being discussed.  The NBBL U19 has proven a good tool to broaden the base of competitive youth basketball.  I would like to see a similar trend at younger levels as well.

German Youth basketball is slowly improving. What has been done wrong in
the past years and what has still to be changed in the future?

Is German Youth basketball really improving, yet?  I definitely hope so, but let´s still wait a little longer to be sure to know where German basketball is heading.

1 response so far ↓

  • 1   Interview mit Bundestrainer Alex Krüger… by the j7 watch // Mar 1, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    […] …zum Türk Telekom Tournament und zum deutschen Jugendbasketball bei European Prospects. […]

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