Living in Germany is loaded with new challenges and adventures for Brentwood High School alum Grant Teichmann. The former Bruins basketball standout, who led the school to three consecutive state tournaments including Brentwood’s first Class AAA State Championship game appearance in 2015, will make his regular season professional basketball debut Saturday.
It’s a dream come true for Teichmann, 22, who played collegiately at Freed-Hardeman and Carson-Newman.
“I’m just so happy to be doing this,” he told the Williamson Herald earlier this week. “This just feels right. Being so far away can be overwhelming, but the best feeling is that I just know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
“Having that feeling is the most satisfying and comforting feeling in the world.”
Teichmann signed a two-year contract with MLP Academics in Heidelberg, Germany this summer. His team plays in the second level ProA in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg. The country has six levels of professional basketball.
Teichmann, a 6-foot-3 guard, scored nine points and had six assists in the final preseason game a little over a week ago. He said he is ready for the regular season. MLP Academics finished second in the league last season and fell in the semifinals in the postseason.
“There’s days that are tough, you know just being somewhere new, but there are great days and I feel extremely grateful and very fortunate to be living out this dream,” Teichmann said. “I would have had a lot of these same feelings if I moved to Oklahoma or something, but my job is to play basketball and that’s just a super cool feeling.”
Teichmann played two seasons at Carson-Newman earning All-South Atlantic Conference second-team honors as a senior. He led the league in minutes per game (35) and was Eagles leader in scoring (14.5 points per game) and assists (4.7 apg). He was also the team’s third leading rebounder with 4.5 rebounds per outing in 2018-19.
Teichmann scored in double figures 21 times in his final college season at the NCAA Division II school and netted more than 20 points on eight occasions. He also had at least five assists in 13 games and shot 50.2 percent from the field and 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.
"The impact he made on our program was invaluable,” Carson-Newman coach Chuck Benson said, who also said he expects Teichmann to continue to “evolve as a professional for years to come.”
New manager Matthias Lautenschlager of MLP Academics said Teichmann’s confidence in his shooting ability immediately stood out.
“You rarely see a pure shooter like him that also has good court vision,” Lautenschlager said in a release.
Teichmann's 4.7 assists per game last season is the fourth-highest single-season average in Carson-Newman men's basketball history.
The youngest of four boys, Teichmann applied for dual-citizenship earlier this year, giving him a leg up in the summer signing period. His father’s parents live in Germany and have already attended a preseason contest. They will be celebrating their 60th anniversary this week and Teichmann’s dad, Jack, made the trip to Germany for the event and conveniently will be in attendance Saturday’s for his youngest son’s game.
“That just means the world knowing he will be there,” Teichmann said.
Teichmann said there has been a learning curve in his six weeks overseas especially in his historic city of Heidelberg, which has a population of about 160,000 and is a popular tourist destination because its rich history. The city in southwest Germany was relatively untouched during World War II.
Teichmann said his free time has been exciting, especially seeing his grandparents multiple times, but just playing the game and taking care of his mind and body have been the primary focus.
“This is my job, obviously it is a dream come true, but I have to put that first,” Teichmann said. “When you’re in say the eighth grade, you play because you just love the game, but you don’t feel the responsibility as well. It's a very unique feeling, but again, it feels so right.”
“This league is very competitive, I mean there’s probably 30 Power 5 guys in my league alone so it’s very high level,” he continued. “I’m just really excited and I can’t stress how good of situation this is for me.
“You know, basketball is just universal. It doesn’t have a language and all throughout Asia, America, Europe or anywhere else, it’s constant, so I just go to work and practice hard. It’s a blessing to be able to do.”
One of his future opponents includes a former high school foe in Kenwood’s Daniel Norl. The former Clarksville area standout, who played at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, fell to Teichmann’s Bruins in a Class AAA Sectional contest in 2014. Brentwood also won a tournament game over Norl's Kenwood team in 2013.
“It’s crazy how small the basketball world can be, but I look forward to reaching out to Daniel,” Teichmann said.
Teichmann is joined by four other Americans on his team: returning leading scorer Shyron Ely, who played at the University of Evansville and has nearly a decade of professional experience, Stephon Jelks or Mercer, Adam Eberhard of Bellarmine and Zamal Nixon of Houston.
Teichmann’s team has 34 games on its schedule beginning with Saturday’s contest against Ehingen Urspring.
“All the good times on the court, all the bad times and all the hours spent in the gym, they all played a part in getting me here,” Teichmann said. “Everyday you have to prove yourself. It’s a business, but I’m ready.”