heinnews’s David Hein went to the Brose Baskets home game against TBB Trier which turned into a real blowout which gave 20-year-old Bamberg center Philipp Neumann the chance to play nearly 11 minutes and scored 10 points. Hein caught up with Neumann after the game and discussed Bamberg’s 15th straight victory; his additional playing time recently; where his game still needs work and where it’s going okay; and his hopes for Germany’s national team at the U20 European Championship this summer.
heinnews: Congratulations on winning the team’s 15th straight game. The team seems to be rolling right now (Bamberg lost their next game at Fraport Skyliners). How is the mood in the team?
Neumann: The mood is really good right now. We have Julius (Jenkins) injured and Brian Roberts is a bit banged up. But that motivates us even more as a team to win for them. Just like last year the mood within the team is extremely good. Everybody jokes around with one another so there is never really a poor mood.
heinnews: You have been getting more playing time of late and seem to be using it well.
Neumann: I would say it’s not really that hard to play when the game is already decided, but it’s really nice to play more. The victory feels the same but you feel like you have contributed more to it than just sitting on the bench and motivating the other players. It’s nice to be given the chance to play and be rewarded for the long hours of hard work in practice.
heinnews: Do you think you deserve the additional time you have been given?
Neumann: Well, we have two other centers ahead of me in Markus (Slaughter) and Tibor (Pleiß), and they have definitely earned their minutes. There are only 40 minutes to give the centers. But I hope that I have earned them. I am really working hard and doing what coach tells me to do. Sometimes things work out better sometimes worse. But I hope that I earned them.
heinnews: Where do you think you have to work on your game the most?
Neumann: On defense. Boxing out. And defending the pick and roll. Most definitely.
heinnews: Where are you most effective?
Neumann: Maybe more on offense. It seems to be going easier for me there.
heinnews: What are your plans for this summer? I would assume the U20 European Championship.
Neumann: Presumably yeah, if nothing happens injury-wise then I should be there.
heinnews: The German U20 team last summer took fifth place – its best ever showing at that age group. What do you want for this summer in Slovenia?
Neumann: My personal dream would be to make it to the podium. And we definitely have the talent with the players who will be there. I hope to set an exclamation point as a German youth team.