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The MVP diary from Ulm - John “Big Country” Bryant Rules:

The MVP diary from Ulm - John “Big Country” Bryant Rules: "It’s good to be back in Germany!"

MVP John “Big Country” Bryant talks his return to ratiopharm ulm, relaxing around water, living in Ulm and his nickname “Big Country”.

Hello Beko BBL fans! This is John Bryant, center for ratiopharm ulm. Once a month I will take some time out of my basketball schedule to talk about my experiences here in Germany and my life on and off the court.

It’s good to be back in Germany. One of the main reasons I came back was that this organization, this team and the coach were very good to me over the past two years. I felt that I didn’t play my best basketball in the Finals last year and wanted to come back and give it another shot. The coach is a cool guy, a great coach. He makes things easy for his players. It was a good situation for me with most of the team coming back except for Isaiah Swann. That was one of the key things too. This was a good group of guys, it made the decision kind of easy.

Playing in the Eurocup this season was definitely big in my decision too, because that was the next step for me, playing international basketball in different countries against better teams than just here in Germany. It’s definitely going to be tough compared to the past two seasons having that extra game during the middle of the week. I saw that when we played against Artland last year. We played them at their place and went ahead like 28-6 or something in the first quarter. They were coming off a tough loss and travel days and stuff like that. It’s definitely going to be tough but I think we can handle it. And in the long run I think it’s going to be for the best.

This summer, I wanted to relax because we only had a month and a half at home in Richmond, northern California near Oakland. I really wanted to spend time with my family at home. I really just went up and down the coast looking for beaches trying to relax and hang out. I’m a big beach guy, just to hang out on the sand. I’m a big water guy so I like oceans and lake - anything to do with water. That’s the main way for me to relax. During the winter time there is definitely some California withdrawal where you don’t get the nice weather and aren’t a stone’s throw from the beach. You just have to put your mind into your work and that just makes me work that much harder. But when I go back it’s just that much sweeter.

But Ulm is a great place for me personally. I’m not really a big city kind of guy. I like just being able to hang back and have a nice downtown area. You can go out Sunday or anytime really and just have a nice lunch down there and just to get out of the house. And Ulm is really close to Munich or Stuttgart so if I want to explore the big city, I can go there. I feel that Germany is just a better lifestyle. Everybody is a little more laid back and enjoy life a little bit more than they do in the States. Being here is just more my style. I’m a laid-back guy. I like to just enjoy things and have fun. Germany just emphasizes that as a culture. That’s one of the reasons I came back too cause Germany’s a great place.

A lot of people ask about my nickname, “Big Country”. I’ve had it since high school. It’s based on Bryant “Big Country” Reeves – the former NBA center with the Vancouver Grizzlies. My high school trainer who was my AAU coach kind of just said it one time and it just stuck. He’s been calling me that ever since and it just kind of stuck. I have carried it around a long time. But it’s not a bad thing don’t mind.

The season tips off and everybody is just ready to go. We learned some big lessons against Bamberg in the Champions Cup. We have to keep our composure and not make the little mistakes. I think we learned that. We need to play hard at the start of the season and get as many wins as we can and build our momentum throughout the whole year. And now with the Eurocup we need to make sure and take care of our bodies and day-to-day things.

Well, enjoy the start of the season and talk to you in about month again - John
easyCredit BARMER Telekom Spalding GYMPER Sportwetten Kinder plus Sport