Interview with Fränk Muller (02.02.2010)
Hi there, nice to meet one of our homegrown players.
Nice way of putting it, I certainly belong to that category of T71 players.
Yes, we recall the days when you first played with our Poussins.
I was fortunate to start my playing career with Guy Steinmetz, what better way of being introduced to the game.
Who are the other players from your original team?
Good question! We were a good batch, actually. There was Thierry, Guy’s grandson, and later we were joined by Claude Bemtgen and André Abreu, and had our first successes with the Minis team. Our vintage 87 to 89 teams performed pretty well and we regularly played for one of the top prizes, Championship or Cup.
This probably brought you and your mates to the attention of the national coaches.
We played for the national selection from Mini upwards.
Could you find the time to practice properly at that level?.
You mean my performance on and off the court? Well, secondary school was a time of trying to accommodate school and practice. I went to three different lycées, mainly to try and get the best possible practice and learning facilities. Worked out fine for me, either because of the horaires aménagés, or as in the case of LTNB Dudelange because of the extra short distances. My knee injury prevented me from performing for the national selection for two years, so I limited myself to playing for the club.
Did you ever consider trying out other teams?
No, there never were any contacts either way. I never saw why I should leave T71. I was given all the opportunities to try and find my position and place in the team. I was a centre at the start, and since I did not grow to the proper size until I was seventeen, I was quite happy to perform at my very best in that role. I learnt my trade that way, and when I was ready to move forward I could show a higher versatility in a number of positions.
What determined your decision to try the American option?
A number of things. It was obviously my childhood dream to go there, and since my game was good enough to apply, ‘only’ all the other conditions had to drop into place.
Well, you don’t rush such decisions. I think the most important factor was the wholehearted support of my family, then and now. I had set my priorities, but without their support, no way! We had contacts with the Obispo team, so the choice was pretty well obvious when I joined Tom.
So, what were your impressions of the American way of doing just about ‘everything’ differently?
Good performance in your sport can compensate for a lot in their schooling system. The initial teaching is far more general and somewhat vague, but for me it was interesting to move through their system. Few rules in the beginning and the further you move on, the more rules apply.
What were your ambitions after junior college?
Not much to write home about, I‘m afraid. Our Luxembourgish league is considered like any other professional league, hence my problem. Moving on in their system obeys a very simple rule : You have to take a gap year, away from basketball. That settled it. University studies are very expensive if you are not within the system proper, have a scholarship for example. The decision to return to Luxembourg was made all the simpler because my family needed me back and I wanted to be with my grandfather.
So, you joined the circuit again.
My family first and foremost, but also my training both at university (psychology) and with the club. I joined the Enjebo squad straight away and found my mates and the old team spirit again.
Where do we go from here?
The same ambitions we always have, playoff with best possible outcome, i.e. a home game and semi-finals next. My game is getting better, so I suppose I can play my part in the team. I’m gradually becoming one of the top scorers, thanks to my team-mates, especially Tom.
Suppose we want to see it all happening. In the meantime we would like to thank you for the interview.