H: 6' 11"|
W: 250 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|Agent: Gerrit Kersten-Thiele ||
Hometown: Wuppertal, Germany
From the D-League Showcase in Reno, we sit down for an interview with Tim Ohlbrecht of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers who has the unique distinctions of being one of the only international draft prospects in our database to ever make the jump from Europe straight to the NBADL.
A regular for the German junior and senior national teams for the past decade, Ohlbrecht was once considered one of the most promising young players in Europe. As a German 7-footer with three-point shooting ability, his strong performances at the U16 and U18 European Championships from 2004 to 2006 resulted in often unfair comparisons to future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki.
Going undrafted when he was automatically eligible for the draft in 2010, Ohlbrecht was scrutinized at times for his inability to meet the lofty expectations set out for him as a teen, where he was a contributor for Telkom Baskets Bonn and Brose Baskets Bamberg in Euroleague and EuroCup competition nonetheless. He played in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with the German national team, which is a significant accomplishment for a player who just turned 20 years old.
After spending all seven of his seasons as a pro playing in Germany, Ohlbrecht raised some eyebrows when he decided to enter the 2013 NBADL Draft, sending his career on a nearly unprecedented trajectory for a former highly touted international draft prospect. Despite being offered guaranteed six-figure (net) contracts in his home country, he elected to sign a C-Level contract in the D-League for $13,000 (non-guaranteed).
As one of the more well known prospects in the game, many observers had high expectations for the German big entering the week. He showed nice touch on his shooting stroke in practice, but failed to really do anything to make himself stand out in the games. Ohlbrecht did spend much of the game playing out of position at the small forward slot, but didn’t show any post skills when he did play power forward. His defense has a long way to go as well, and like the other bigs from the international team, he failed to box out opposing players nearly every time a shot went up. On the bright side, the German moves well for a player his size and his shooting stroke seems to be quite consistent. To really improve his draft stock in the future, Ohlbrecht must show the willingness to take his game inside and then mix it up with his ability to hit the jumper. He also needs to prove that he can defend his position.[Read Full Article]
Perhaps the main department where this German big has shined is in wasting his gifts. Yes, we know, he was the leading rebounder of the tournament. This was not enough, though, for a guy that was meant to dominate the paint but just refused to do it.
We shouldn’t expect anything else from a guy with his characteristics. Size, strength, athleticism, he has the complete physical package. Standing near seven feet, and enjoying a good wingspan, Ohlbrecht has a very nice frame and already some good strength for a junior player, showing visible improvements from last year. For a guy his size, he’s an athletic player, with a nice vertical leap. With these gifts, good timing and the lack of any other big in Germany, he built his rebounding title, while also got notable shot-blocking production.
The problem comes mainly in his offensive role. It might be that he wants to be a power forward, or it might be that he’s just soft, but Ohlbrecht made extremely inefficient use of his skills. Stubbornly planted on the three-point line, the German settled for way too many perimeter shots with very poor accuracy. You can bet he’s not the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki; his mechanics don’t go beyond the “decent” category. Considering his great limitations when it comes to putting the ball on the floor, the only positive outcome playing so open was his ball distribution from the very high post. Not that he particularly shines passing the ball, but he decently used his size to comfortably send the ball to the weak side, creating some options for his team.
Working in the paint was a luxury only regularly provided against teams with the “frontcourt strength” of Iceland, Israel or Ukraine. Only when he didn’t feel intimidated he dared to become a regular visitor to the low post, getting nice production there. Actually, even if he’s not the most polished post guy, he knows how to use his body to create easy baskets. He can finish with semi-hooks but he doesn’t seem to enjoy too much of a soft touch. Of course, he can easily dunk the ball taking advantage of his terrific gifts and showing nice reactivity. Indeed, he’s potentially almost unstoppable when he’s really close to the basket, but many times he’s just not aggressive enough to get the job done.
The clear-cut rebounding leader of the tournament and third in blocked shots, Ohlbrecht shows nice timing and just takes advantage of his physical skills to do the work. Actually, he didn’t need to be particularly physical or aggressive to achieve those numbers.
We’re hoping for a lot more from this guy. He has the tools to become a terrific player, but needs to improve his intensity and aggressiveness. He should have taken over his team, becoming the clear-cut leader, but he doesn’t show that kind of mental attitude. He just doesn’t like taking the heat.
This German big man is a pretty familiar name in youth basketball circles, a guy who had been on the radar for some time now despite his age. However, I don’t think many people fell in love with him in Belgrade. Everybody could see his excellent potential, but I would say that his game lacked a bit of fire and passion.
He’s not quite seven feet, just in the neighborhood, but yet another skinny specimen with an average frame that otherwise should work for him if he evolves into a power forward down the road. In this tournament, he was frequently outmuscled on both ends of the court. Defensively, you could see him getting banged, while offensively he had troubles establishing position near the basket. This was the reason why his teammates played with him much less than they should have, besides the fact that he’s one year younger than most of his German fellows. He also wasn’t particularly active asking for the ball either. In general, Ohlbrecht seems like a player who lacks a certain small degree of aggressiveness and intensity, being a bit cold on the court.
However, he has some really intriguing characteristics, like his good athleticism, which he uses to intimidate guarding the basket or to finish strong offensively if there’s not too much opposition. He enjoys also good range on his jumper out to the three point land while showing nice mechanics, although he’s still inconsistent when it comes to netting them. He shows nice ability to deliver half hooks with a soft touch, even if his low post game is very raw at this point. Indeed, he needs serious work on his footwork. He’s not also a bad pick and roll player, being able to attack the basket with either hand.
Ohlbrecht looks like a kid very familiar with the game; he usually shows rather good instincts, although it’s not a given. On defense, he not only gets banged, but he sometimes suffers against skilled post players that outsmart him, being able to beat him even if he enjoys accurate lateral movement.
Regarding his future position, Ohlbrecht’s athleticism may allow him to play power forward down the road. He still is not that skilled, lacking for example the typical face-up offense putting the ball on the floor. Center is not out of the question. His frame is not outstanding, but he’s very young and might gain enough strength, while he could also grow a little bit more. One way or another, he’s an intriguing prospect.