Heiko Schaffartzik…Captain for the German National team, leader of the internationally known club Alba Berlin and one of the few German B-Ball players who tried themselves out, outside of Germany, for a season with “Turk Telekom Ankara”. He spend part of his childhood in San Diego, but was mostly raised in Berlin, Heiko has experienced a lot more cultures then you would think of his typical German, boyish blond hair – blue eyes look suggests so lets find out what is behind the 1.83 cm tall point guard.
1. I know u are not a big fan of giving interviews…so I kind of feel honoured . I know u for a while now and I think it is not that easy to figure out who u really are…2004 u had some, I would say behavioral-issues, 6 years later we see u on “Wetten Dass??”another 2 years and u have become “captain” of the German national team!
…do u think a lot of pro athletes struggle with finding themselves at first?
It’s true, I have needed some time to find myself, and in a way I guess I still am. I think usually it’s the other way around though, successful players are good at an early age and most of the time it’s a continuous flow in which they get better every year. The other way is rarer I think.
2. …besides the court u have a well known likening of books, u like to read authors who inspire u. What are the 5 best books u would recommend anyone to read, which have inspired u on your way?
I am a huge fan of “Philip-Kerr-novels” with his main character Bernie Gunther, a detective in Germany during the time of the nazis. I love his defiance even in the face of an all-powerful government. Life of Pi by “Yann Martell” strengthened my belief in God, even though I am still far from being religious. I read that book like 10 times. Lamb by “Christopher Moore” is moving, inspiring and funny. Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of The Koran by “Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt” is a great book that tells the story of a boy who learns about life. And last, but certainly not least is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by “Jonas Jonasson”. It’s so good that I have already read it twice. The main character’s attitude towards life is really fascinating.
3. …Berlin is your Hometown, u moved now from Berlin Kreuzberg to Berlin Mitte…a big change I would say…so what is the difference? One of your favorite places to be in, in each district?
I think the biggest difference between Mitte and Kreuzberg is the prices for drinks and coffees in bars. In both parts you have a lot of tourists and people that live here but come from different countries, you have a lot of Art and in general just a lot of urban life going on. Kreuzberg is still developing while Mitte kind of seems to have hit the end of the line, so maybe that’s the biggest difference. In Mitte, I really enjoy the area around Rosenthaler Platz, and in Kreuzberg I’m a fan of Oranienstraße.
4. One more question about B-Ball…how come u are the captain on the German National Team and the second point guard for Alba Berlin?! How would u describe the situation for a young player or what changes would u make so that German guys get a few more chances in the league?
I obviously really enjoy the role that I have on the National Team. I love to take responsibility and I felt I was given that chance on the National Team this summer. Nevertheless I try to give my best no matter what situation I’m put in.
About the young players, I feel we are witnessing a big change in that area. The rules have been changed, now they only allow six foreigners, which puts the clubs in the situation of having to trust in the domestic players, and they repay it by playing really well. A lot of players have emerged that would never, ever have gotten a chance to play under the old rules. I always knew they were good enough, now it’s nice to see that others share that opinion.
5. Last but not least your favorite quote?
I have a couple:
“If you don’t see anything, you don’t see anything.”
-Dario Omar Hernandez Canto
“Spread love you son of a bitch!”
-Dario Omar Hernandez Canto
“It’s better to have an end with disaster than to have a disaster without end.” -Karin Hövermann-Schaffartzik
“Coulda, woulda…if my grandmother had a penis she would have been my grandfather.” -Marko Pesic