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Q&A with Avery Oliver -by Moritz Korff - Mar 3, 2008

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Avery Oliver
It is obvious that TV Hohenlimburg has dominated the action in the NRW-Landesliga 5 so far in this 2007-2008 season. Loosing only one of 13 games the team from Hagen ranks first in the table looking to move up to the next level. The main reason, why TV is so impressive stands 1,93m tall, is 24 years of age and comes from Massachusetts.
Avery Oliver (193-F-83, college: Indiana, PA), a versatile Guard/Forward, is the go-to-guy of Hohenlimburg. He spent the final two years of his collegiate career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a D2-school, and averaged 11.8 points, 5.7 boards and 1.8 assists in 22 games as a senior. He is currently in his first year in Europe. Eurobasket Germany had the chance for an interview.

Have you enjoyed your holidays?

Yes, my holidays were great. I spent 10 days in the states for christmas with family and friends, which is exactly what I needed for this time of year. Then I flew back into Germany the day after christmas, it felt good to be back at my second home in Hohenlimburg. My first European New Years was a good time, also I spent 3 days in Amsterdam. The atomosphere was real nice, they had a simliar ceremony to New York City but not with one million people. I had the best of both worlds for the holidays, America and Europe, so I can't complain.

You have been playing for Hohenlimburg from the Landesliga so far this season: How is the level of competition in this minor league?

The level of competition is very low for me throughout the whole league. After every game my opponets are asking me why I am in the Landesliga. I let them know that it was a foot in the door for me and I'im just here until I get the oppurtunity to leave. My teammates have even asked me occasionally. All the 40 points games, triple doubles (maybe even a quadruple double or two) and highlight dunks do not add up to much in this league. With that being said it is also better than sitting at home right now wondering what the basketball is like over here.

It looks like if you are much better than most of the opponents in your league. Do you think you could also keep up with the players in a higher German league?

I am positve that I can do well and keep up with the other leagues in Germany. It would be very different if I was on the outside looking in and was saying this, but I have had the oppurtunity to workout with other teams while Hohenlimburg has off days. I practice with the Pro B Iserlohn Kangaroos two times a week, every week. I have also practced with 1st Regionalliga BBV Hagen on a few occasions when both teams are off that day. The best oppurtunity I had to judge my talent level was around Thanksgiving time when I worked out with Ratiopharm Ulm of the Bundesliga for a whole week. I obviously did not dominate like I do in the Landesliga but I held my own and can see myself contributing at that level in a few years down the road. It was just a amazing experience for any player in his first year abroad.

Are you available right now or are you going to stay in Hohenlimburg for the remainder of this current season?

Yes I am available at the moment, I have actually been available since day 1. My coach explained to me how playing at this level and for the team TV Hohenlimburg is a favor to my organizaton and I am not obliged to stay when a higher level team shows interest. Although I am treated good here and it would be difficult to leave some of my teammates, fans, and sponsers it is just a step that has to be made to establish a career in Europe. As of right now the team is in first place and capable of winning the league to move up, so I would be leaving the team on a high note. If I do have to stay for the remainder of the seaso  

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