Hello basketball fans,
It´s been a while now since I played my first EuroCup game with the Cologne 99ers in the 2007-08 season. I was 17 years old and got my first international minutes on the court. I am playing my eighth season now on the highest European level and what can I say? I am thankful for that. Thankful for all the experiences I got – on and off the court. Thankful for meeting so many nice people and cultures. I spent four of the eight years in Spain starting in Vitoria where I had a two-year contract, then I moved to Barcelona and now am with Valencia Basket. I feel very comfortable here. We have a great team with good team chemistry and a great organization. It's like a second family. I felt very welcome when I moved here; the city is beautiful, the weather is just perfect, the food is great – as you can see there is no need to complain.
I grew up in Cologne, Germany, where I started my career with the 99ers. It´s said that people from Cologne are very open-minded and can adapt everywhere around the world. I don´t know if it´s really everywhere, but I can say that I could adapt to all my career stages so far. Besides the Spanish teams, there was Salt Lake City and of course Istanbul, where I played last season with Galatasaray. Also, Bamberg is very different from Cologne if you compare the mentality of the people. I liked all the stages, even though they were very different.
Since I am living on my own I have the opportunity to create my own leisure activities. I like to be outside and walk around the neighborhood or drive to beautiful places nearby. I am definitely not one for hanging out at home on the couch, playing computer games and watching movies. I like to enjoy every minute outside. Years ago I bought a camera for my dad, but he did not really use it, so I started to take pictures from time to time and it has been a lot of fun. No portraits, just landscapes, streets and buildings. Since I am a professional basketball player and also quite tall, people ask to take pictures with me almost every day, so I did not want to start asking people vice versa if I was allowed to take pics. I was out in Salt Lake City where the landscape was very impressive. I have taken pictures in Istanbul when it was snowing. Also, Barcelona has a lot of good photo scenes. And now I am here in Valencia.
Being outside with my camera means switching off from everyday life. I think it's important to have a hobby to escape from your profession. Every player does different things, I have my camera. Well, don't think that I am out every day, since we travel a lot there is not much time to do other things than practicing, sleeping, eating and preparing for the game. Especially in the first months of the season, you almost never have a day off. That´s why my collection of pictures from Valencia is not that big yet. But it’s not only about going out and taking pictures, it's also about the right time, the right weather and the perfect sunlight. You need good conditions to get the picture you want.
I like the bullring building in Valencia and all the narrow streets with interesting buildings and architecture. But I still don't know my way around so well. Fans write me on my Facebook page and they give me good advice about where to go and where they think the most beautiful spots are. It´s great to communicate with the people and a good opportunity to become more familiar with the city of Valencia.