TalkBasket got an exclusive interview with Robin Benzing and our reporters took full advantage of it, asking him just about anything, or everything, if you will. And Robin Benzing did not hide his ambitions.
TB: Tell us a little something about your family and personal background. How did you come to start playing basketball and turned pro?
R.B.: I have a lovely family who gives me great support in every situation. I have one older brother, one older sister and one twin brother. We are a family who loves sport. All my three siblings play basketball, too. My father played volleyball and my mother rowed. My father works as a Fleet-Manager for the German Post and my mother is a housewife.
I started playing basketball at the age of 12. The reason was my older brother and some friends, which I made while attending a new school year. I decided to turn pro as I started playing my first year in the German 2nd division.
TB: Can you confirm that you will take part in the NBA draft next summer?
R.B.: My plan is to take part in the 2011 Draft, but it is a long way until the summer. Before that I want to reach the play-offs with Ulm!
TB: You are projected to be a late second round pick. Will you go to the NBA or will you stay in Europe?
R.B.: Marko (Pesic) and I will see what is the best solution for me and we will make that decision together. Again, I have some team and personal goals for this season which are a priority for me at this point.
TB: Which team would you like to play for in the NBA?
R.B.: I really don’t have a favourite team but I do follow Oklahoma, Dallas, Miami and the Lakers.
TB: What Euroleague team would you like to play for?
R.B.: Well there are some great clubs with a great tradition, where every European player would like to play. Teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Maccabi TA, Olympiacos, Milano, Efes Pilsen and Siena. Right now playing for a Euroleague team would be something big for me, but on the other hand, playing time is a big issue for me. We will see what the future brings.
TB: It was rumored last summer that you had an offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv. Is there any truth in that?
R.B.: I think there was no direct contact between Maccabi and myself.
TB: How do you see the German NT after Dirk retires? There is a lot of young talent.
R.B.: We have a lot of talented young guys, who have a lot of potential. I think this German NT will be successful in the upcoming years. We had a rather negative experience last summer at the World Championship on one side, but on the other side this experience will prepare us for future situations. I think we will get the chance to achieve great things.
TB: If everything goes as planned, will we see you in Eurobasket2011 in Lithuania?
R.B.: I hope so!
TB: What do you think of the great number of foreign players in German League? Do you think it has a negative effect on the development of local talent or that it improves the quality of the league?
R.B.: Well, the situation concerning the foreign players is improving towards helping the domestic players. Already this year there is a 5+7 rule which will extend to a 6+6 rule in 2012/13 season. Anyway, for us young players it is crucial to get minutes on the highest level, and I believe BBL is on the right track supporting us. It is our obligation though to prove ourselves on this level and not to rely on the new rules.
TB: The German league is second in attendance only behind the ACB in Europe, yet the strength of the league is considered low in comparison to other leagues (small budgets, little TV coverage etc). Why do you think that is?
R.B.: The German Laague is very unorthodox and competitive. Last season Gottingen won the FIBA Eurochallenge, Alba made it to Eurocup Final while Bamberg has some decent results in Euroleague this season. the logistics and organisation of the league is, in my opinion, on much higher standards than few years ago, so I expect BBL to improve even more in the future.
TB: What are your personal plans for the future?
R.B.: My personals plans is to develop my body and my entire game. I will for sure work hard and then see what happens!
TB: Do you see yourself as a small forward or power forward?
R.B.: I see myself more as a SF but I like playing PF too!
TB: What was the toughest opponent you have faced?
R.B.: Probably Immanuel McElroy of Alba.
TB: Best coach you ever had?
R.B.: I have no favourite coach, I like and respect every coach I had in my career so far.
TB: Best teamate you ever had?
R.B.: My twin brother.
We would like to thank Marko Pesic, Robin Benzing’s agent, for making this interview happen. You can follow him on twitter @pesic7