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The MVP diary from Ulm - Big John Bryant:

The MVP diary from Ulm - Big John Bryant: "I want to take my career to the next level!"

Beko BBL MVP John Bryant talks about losing to Oldenburg in Game Five, looking back on the season, getting back home and the decision on his future.
Hi all, so back in the U.S. but wanted to talk to you before too much time passes.

Of course we lost to Oldenburg in Game Five of the semis. It’s definitely a great disappointment that the season is over after the success that we had last year. We were back with basically the same roster, and we thought it was a good team and would be able to get back to the Finals. To miss it by one game like that is tough and something that as a player you hate. You always want to win, it’s just tough to end it like that.

In Game Five, we wanted to really come out and execute offensively and try to push the ball in transition. They kind of stopped us from doing that by hitting some shots. Per Günther is good at pushing the ball and we were kind of missing that even though he was playing – albeit on an injured leg. We were in it the whole game and then Jenkins kind of took over in the final 10 minutes and showed why he’s one of the top 10 players in the league. We definitely made some mistakes, with players missing some shots or turning the ball over which really hurt us down the stretch. I think that’s why they won the game.

Looking back at the season, I think we had a great season. We did things in the Eurocup – reaching the quarter-finals – that no one in basketball thought we could do. I feel that we accomplished some things there. During the season we finished third which is a good accomplishment. Overall the season was great. Coming into the playoffs we felt good then we got the sweep of Artland. Coming into the Oldenburg series, we won the first game there and then lost twice but won one more. Overall, if you take a look back, it’s been a success.

Looking at the Finals, Bamberg are definitely Bamberg. They’ve been a great team for the last few years. There’s a reason they’ve been playing for the championship all those years. They’re a great team with a great coach. I think they will be the favorites going into the Finals, and I think they will win. But Oldenburg are definitely tough. Jenkins can take over a game and they have Joyce and Chubb as well. They definitely have the talent so it will be an interesting series. But Bamberg will pull it out.

I was definitely looking forward to getting back home. I was sitting in Germany and looking at the rain and it was pouring. I left on Tuesday and it’s nice being around family and just being home. It’s a bittersweet thing that I had to head home now and that the playoffs are over. But it’s super exciting that I’m back home.

Some people may be wondering when I will make a decision on where I will play next season. It’s gonna be soon. I want to get it out there and make sure that I know I made the right decision. I just want to let the season decompress for a while and look at my best options to succeed and the best place to play basketball next season. But it’s gonna be soon because I want to get the decision done. And it should definitely be something that can take my career to the next level. I think I’ve done that well here in Ulm, going from a team that wasn’t making the playoffs and taking them to a playoff team and then taking them to a Eurocup team. We came up short this season but I want somebody that’s going to have that competitiveness to be in the next level of basketball where I can show what I can do. That’s what every basketball player’s goal is – to reach the highest peak of their sport. I just want to continue to do that.

This year has really been a great one and doing the diary thing was something that was really cool – being able to have the fans there. We’re nobody without the fans. They support us, they get us excited for games. They just make us have a lot of pride. The fans are at the game and that makes for great basketball. Here in Germany, it’s going nowhere but up. To the fans, just keep on doing what you’re doing. And the teams will keep on doing what they’re doing.

Take care, John
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