Philipp Neumann is one of Germany’s biggest up-coming stars as the center just turned 18 years old in February and has already joined Brose Baskets Bamberg practice. But while he praised the Köln native and said he has a promising future, Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming said Neumann still has plenty to learn.
Fleming took the chance to head to Mannheim on April 7 to watch Neumann play for Germany U18 at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Neumann scored 15 points while adding 16 rebounds and six blocked shots in helping Germany win 66-54. All told, Neumann averaged 16.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocks.
The AST was a further indication of the 2.06m center’s talent. He has averaged 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20 games with the ProB Breitengüßbach side. In 10 games with Breitengüßbach’s NBBL side, Neumann has averaged 20.2 points to go with 13.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
Fleming has been impressed with Neumann’s progress this season.
“He’s a great kid. He works very hard. I think he has to get himself and his emotions under control at times. But I think he cares about the game and he’s really serious about getting better. Obviously he’s going to be a very good one. He’s gotten a ton better this season. But with his perimeter game and with his defensive understanding he obviously has a long way to go, but we really believe he’s going to be a good one,” said Fleming.
The Bamberg coach has added Neumann to the practice squad over the past month and a half.
“He was with us in our pre-season training camp. And after that we let him kind of settle in with school and settle in at the ProB level. He has some adjustments to make. But we’ve brought him to our practices now and he’s starting to take part more,” said Fleming.
When asked what the plan was for Neumann for 2011, the coach added: “I think he’ll get some minutes. He’s going to be in school, that’s what we’ve talked about and that was the deal when he came to us. And I really think he needs to get that done, that he’s not dragging that into the season. I think he needs another season of ProB because he still has a lot to learn. But he’s only turned 18. But he will practice with us and will get some minutes.”
Bamberg’s main big man Tibor Pleiss said Neumann is on a good road.
“He still has a lot to learn, but he’s a big talent. Maybe in a couple of years he could reach a high level,” said the German national team center.
When asked if Neumann comes to him for tips, Pleiss added: “I really get along well with Philipp. We are friends and we live next door to one another. And that gives us a chance to meet up some. And some times I bring him to training.”