heinnews’s David Hein was at the Beko BBL All-Star Game spectacle and had a chance to chat with Germany U18 international star talent David Taylor, who led the South team in scoring in the NBBL U19 All-Star Game. They talked about improving his game; getting relegated to Division B at the U18 European Championship last summer; and thoughts about going to college to continue his basketball education.
heinnews: David Taylor, what does it mean for you to play in the NBBL All-Star Game?
Taylor: It’s a really a big honor that all the coaches picked me to play in this game. I really had fun and competing against some of the other best players in Germany was a great experience.
heinnews: You are spending this season in the Bamberg system at Breitengüßbach. Tell us about your time there and how satisfied you are about being there.
Taylor: It’s really nice to be there. I like the team, I like the club. They really treat me good. We’re struggling right now a little bit with our team effort. But I think we’re going to come back and finish the season strong and hopefully don’t go down. In the NBBL, our junior team, we’re doing really good and will make the playoffs. And hopefully we will defend our title.
heinnews: How do you see your game?
Taylor: I still have to improve a lot. I have high goals so I will work on everything – my whole game – just to get better.
heinnews: Maybe what is one area that you are working on?
Taylor: I think I need to work on my attitude and being more aggressive, being more involved and probably getting a more consistent shot and then also little general stuff like ball-handling and finishing at the basketball.
heinnews: How do you work on improving your attitude?
Taylor: That’s a tough one. I think it’s all mental. Going into every game focused and try to dominate the game.
heinnews: How was the attitude you have had been detrimental to your team?
Taylor: Because I didn’t attack the basket that much and I think my team really needs somebody to create. In the past I wasn’t the main creator. Or I didn’t create enough to help my team win.
heinnews: Last summer at U18s you were under-age and the group went in with a lot of potential and expectations. But Germany was relegated to Division B. What happened?
Taylor: That was really disappointing. That was a really good team. We really wanted to go to the top eight. We just didn’t do it. Our team effort wasn’t good enough. Probably our team chemistry wasn’t good enough. We had some not-too-good conflicts within the team and it just didn’t work out.
heinnews: What about this summer, are you going to play Division B U18s?
Taylor: Right now I have a lot of school stuff to do. But after my Abitur (high school graduation equivalent) I will join and practice with the team and hopefully help them to move back up to Division A.
heinnews: How angry are you guys going to be going into that tournament?
Taylor: We’re going to be really angry. We’re going to try to kill the other teams. We have to move up. It would be pretty bad to stay in Division B, especially for the younger guys. Our 1995 group is really good too. We’re so good, we almost have to move up. We have to let the younger guys have a chance to play against better teams.
heinnews: Last summer you said maybe wanted to go to college. Is that still in the cards?
Taylor: Right now there are a lot of opinions. Some say I should stay in Europe and become professional. But I still think that going to college is still the best option. I’m really looking at what college I can go to. I am talking to different colleges. Some are recruiting me, so there’s a good chance I will go to college next year.
heinnews: What’s the biggest factor for college right now?
Taylor: I think the education and basketball playing is a good mixture. I think I can learn a lot over there, especially with attitude too. I like the playing style over there a little better – fast break and running. So I think it would be a good fit for me to go to college.
heinnews: Playing against adults would help you too.
Taylor: That’s true.
heinnews: Where are you at as far as deciding?
Taylor: I haven’t visited some schools yet. I will probably go visit during the Easter break.
heinnews: How many schools would you like to go and look at and talk to in that trip?
Taylor: Probably like 5-10 schools.
heinnews: What are you looking for in a school?
Taylor: I think it has to have a good basketball program. I would like it to be a little bigger, not so little. And division one. Those are the main things.
heinnews: Any specific region or conference?
Taylor: My family lives on the west coast. So that would be a good place. But I really don’t care. It can be anywhere.
heinnews: And when do you expect to make a decision?
Taylor: Probably shortly after I finish my visits.
heinnews: Have one more question, over the past year we have seen some extravagant announcements by high school players about where they will be playing college basketball – Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Jabari Parker with Duke etc. What do you think about all that?
Taylor: I think it’s pretty cool that there is so much attention already from the media for high school players. There is no attention in Germany. But I think it’s pretty cool and maybe one day it will change and there will be more attention for young German basketball players.