HOMETOWN: Berlin, Germany.
STATS: Started all 31 games his junior season. Converted 42 percent of shots from the field, 33 percent from three-point range and 73 percent from the free-throw line. Member of U-18 German National Team.
AMAZON CAN’T DELIVER EVERYTHING: Upon arriving in San Diego, Neubauer scoured the area for a place that served bratwurst like he knew back in his native Germany. “I’ve given up,” he says. “It’s like trying to find a really authentic burger outside the U.S. It’s just not the same.” Neubauer literally took matters into his own hands. “I got a grill and cook up my own,” he says. “A lot of the guys on the team have finally tasted their first real brat.”
IN HIS COURT: While he’s a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court, he’s also a big fan of a major force from another type of court — the tennis court. “Roger Fetterer has played at such a high level for such a long time. He’s been on top since he was like 17, and he still has the passion it takes for him to be best.”
RITUAL IS HABITUAL: Many athletes have cherished game-day traditions. While leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships during his legendary career, basketball legend Michael Jordan wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his uniform in every game. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs was legendary for his pre-game rituals of a chicken dinner, always taking batting practice at 5:17 and running sprints at 7:17 and drawing the word “Chai” (Hebrew for “life”) in the dirt before coming up to bat. Neubauer’s routine is less elaborate but no less sacred. Before every game, “I take a 20-minute nap and watch an episode of Family Guy.”
A FAMILY AFFAIR: Neubauer’s basketball successes are considerable, but they don’t earn him bragging rights even in his own family. His grandfather was an original member of the Dallas Cowboys and played 10 years in the NFL before another long career as an NFL coach. His dad swam for the German team and qualified for the 1988 Olympics. His mom played professional basketball in Europe, and two uncles played college football.