Matt Bauscher, ” I will never be able to give back enough to this sport that has given me so much”

Het laatste interview die ik met Matt Bauscher heb gemaakt in oktober 2012. Een meer dan sympathieke persoon

In a cold Den Bosch, I sat down with former All-Dutch Eredivisie Player of the Year-2010 Matt Bauscher (188-G-85, college: Boise St.), who returned to Holland after playing in Germany for the BBL team of BG Gttingen last season. He signed a deal with Dutch champion EiffelTowers Den Bosch in August. Bauscher suffered a medial meniscus tear during practice in preseason that forced him to miss the start of the Dutch Basketball League. He is working hard and rehabbing to make a return to the team in November. We talked about his new team, his return to Holland and the recovery of his injury.

First off all, welcome back Bausch. How is it to be back in Holland?
Thank you very much Fred! It feels great to be back on Dutch soil. Since my first time arriving to Schiphol Airport in August of 2008 until now… it’s always felt like a second home here. My experiences in Leeuwarden and Groningen were some of the best years of my life. My fiance and I are loving it here already and looking forward to exploring more.

Your progression in Europe has been constant from the time you arrived five years ago. You seem to have adjusted right away to European basketball?
It’s crazy to hear you say 5 years, can’t believe it’s been that long. Rookies in Europe who are reading this right now- ENJOY IT and make the most out of it because the seasons will fly by trust me. I’ve really learned a lot about basketball out here since arriving from Boise State. I think the longer you play the more the game slows down in your decision making, also when you feel comfortable with your living situation it makes everything better. The different European basketball leagues and cultures are so intriguing to me. When I got to play in Russia, Italy, Turkey and some of those countries I really tried to soak up the entire experience- on and off the court.

Few players put more passion and feeling in his game than Matt Bauscher (188-G-85, college: Boise St.). What does basketball mean to you?
Saying I love basketball probably isn’t’ doing it justice. Basketball has done so much for me as an individual I will be forever thankful. Playing basketball when I was 10 years old with my Horrace Grant goggles on, I never in a million years would think I would here today. When I was a little boy every single year our teacher would ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Every single time I wrote professional basketball player and then the teacher would kind of smile and laugh. Basketball is the reason I’ve been to 14 countries, have a college education, met so many amazing people from all over the world. I will never be able to give back enough to this sport that has given me so much.

What were the reasons to choose EiffelTowers Den Bosch?
I talked on the phone to Coach Korner about the opportunity of playing here and was immediately interested. They have a very rich tradition of winning here, with 15 Dutch Championships and many excellent players in the past who have played here. After the my conversation with Coach we were definitely on the same page with the same goals.

After 4 years of European basketball, do you see yourself as one of the leaders on the squad? What do you see as your role on the team?
I’ve always been the vocal guy on the team wherever I’ve been. We have 3 great veterans who have been here quite awhile with Peter, Kees and Steph. Those 3 all bring different qualities to the team and tons of experience. I think with the 4 of us vets and our talented younger guys we have a great squad. I’ll be playing the majority of the time at shooting guard, different from Germany last year where they had me playing more point guard.

You be well-rounded offensively. Does that mean give you the ball when the game’s on the line?
I definitely feel comfortable and want the ball when the game is on the line, but who doesn’t. The way our team is made up, I think we will have a variety of different options when the game is on the line. We have some very good shooters so the floor will definitely be spread out for players to make plays.

You got injured during practice in the preseason, so how’s that coming on?
It was tough to swallow at first, but I’ve been optimistic and the team has been very supportive. I had surgery two weeks ago today and started rehabbing last week already. The doctors and physical therapists said it’s looking great so hopefully I’ll be back playing really soon.

Is this the longest period of inactivity that you can remember?
This is by far the longest I’ve ever been out. I’ had never even missed two games in a single season. Not in high school, college, Europe- never. I guess I would definitely rather miss a few games in October instead of in May.

Bausch, what bothers you right now? What kind of plan is in place to help you progress?
Not being able to help my teammates is frustrating. I just need to keep rehabbing and get as strong as possible. Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but you never go anywhere. The physical therapist here are doing a great job to ensure I come back ready.

Has that process made you a different player in any way? Is it possible for a player to keep learning basketball while not playing due to injury?
I think watching from the sidelines can be beneficial. You see options and angles that aren’t also possible while playing. I also have the chance to help some of the younger guys with things they can tweak to be more successful.

Thanks Bausch for the time doing this interview. Wish You and the team a successful season.


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