Podcast: How Kevin Yebo made the breakthrough at the NINERS Chemnitz

Kevin Yebo is not exactly on time for the podcast recording. “Sometimes I’m a little lost,” admits the 26-year-old in greeting. “I still have to work on that.” But: “I’m on the right track there.”

Kevin Yebo has arrived – at the NINERS Chemnitz and in the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL). And his way there was a special one. Not a straightforward one, but perhaps an inspiring one for that very reason.

Episode 9 of “Ostball” at a glance:

The topic

Kevin Yebo knows both directions on the career ladder. Born in Bonn, he only started playing basketball at the age of 16, working his way up to the basketball Bundesliga in just seven years.

But Yebo couldn’t convince there. Misconduct off the court ensured that the Hamburg Towers ended working with him after just one season – even though he had a two-year contract.

Many Bundesliga club officials had written him off after this experience. However, the 2.07-meter man fought back through strong performances in the second-class Pro A – and has so far used his second BBL chance at the NINERS Chemnitz.

What’s different this time? What went wrong then? What role does his difficult childhood and youth play? And who are the people who helped him back on the right path? There are answers in the podcast.

The guests

Kevin Yebo speaks openly about his past mistakes and mental development. And he explains what helped him on the way back to the Bundesliga.

One who helped him a lot is Dia Soliman. The founder of the streetball team “Der Stamm” talks in the podcast about the support of the basketball family and the belief in Kevin Yebo’s potential.

Many decision-makers in the BBL clubs no longer believed in him in recent years. This mainly had to do with his first BBL season 2019/2020. basketball journalist Rupert Fabig was press spokesman for the Hamburg Towers at the time and remembers Yebo’s problems.

But these problems are in the past. At the NINERS Chemnitz, the center has been the surprise of the season so far. Head coach Rodrigo Pastore talks about the special story of Yebo’s signing and the 26-year-old’s irrepressible will.

The most exciting statements

Kevin Yebo says: “When you go from the bottom up so quickly and get so much attention, it can go to your head. Then you lose touch with reality and drift off on the wrong tracks. That happened to me. I had to fall on your face to wake up.” (ab Minute 15:15)

Dia Soliman says: “He has to believe in himself – no matter what people say. I said six years ago when he was still playing in the regional league that he had what it takes for the NBA – and I’m off that still convinced.” (ab Minute 38:10)

Rodrigo Pastore says: “We had some doubts because of all the things and rumors we had heard from Hamburg. But his inner drive, his will, as he has presented himself here so far, have dispelled these doubts.” (ab Minute 05:07)

Rupert Fabig says: “I have to admit that I wouldn’t have believed him capable of making such a leap again. I’m amazed that he’s so good and has made the breakthrough – and I think there’s even room for him up.” (ab Minute 17:30)

About the podcast
“Ostball” – this is the podcast about first-class basketball from the East. Every two weeks presenter Daniel George tells the best stories of East German basketball in a new episode.

With Chemnitz and Weißenfels for men and Halle for women, there are finally three top-flight locations in the East. But many protagonists such as players, coaches and those in charge who are now working elsewhere also have their roots there.



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