Between 2004 and 2008 German women Basketball was reigned by TSV 1880 Wasserburg. Five Championships and three Cup Championships were conquered by the Bavarian club near Munich. In the meanwhile around 500 km northwest a new force slowly arose. After a sixth place in 2004/05 TV Saarlouis Royals finished fifth one year later and twice as second in the follwing years after Regular Season, a development that climaxed in the top seed despite a technical loss on game day nine this season. After already winning the Cup Challenge last season 2007/08 the Royals repeated this success this year and added the German Championship. As the father of this success can be considered Head Coach Rene Spandauw who constantly attracted young talented German women to Saarlouis and mixed them with some of the best foreigners in the league. One of these rising German stars is Romy Bar (188-F-87). Learning her Basketball fundamentals in her hometown Chemnitz, Bar took off to Saarlouis in the summer of 2007. Her overall statline from this years Championship campaign expresses her all around game: 11.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.2 APG, 2.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 26 minutes on the court. Her versatility allows her coaches to use her on every position on the court from PG through PF!
At the tender age of 21 already team captain of the German Cup Champion and German Championship winner plus a strong debut on the National Team in January - how pleased are you with this season?
Bar: What else can you ask for than winning everything there is to win! It's been a tremendous year for us as a team. So I am of course highly pleased with our achievements as a team from this year. But personally I wont settle on my own performance from this year. I think I did pretty well in my NT debut but overall I still have a lot of room for improvement. I will definitely work on more athleticism to enhance my game. But what I probably need most is experience, especially decision making in certain situation is something that will come with more years of experience.
What has been the difference between your team and Wasserburg in the end?
Bar: I personally belief the better TEAM won this year. Wasserburg has some very good individual Basketball players, probably better players than we have. But I think they sometimes played too selfish. In our team everybody played for and with the other, on the court and on the bench. We are twelve players helping each other. There was always someone stepping up, when one was missing. I think that was difference!
How important was the home court advantage in this series?
Bar: It was huge. Every team won its home games, so all of our three victories were at home. I think that speaks for itself. It was just amazing what was going on here in Saarlouis during these last days. All games were sold out. And when you come to your home game two hours before the game will start and there are already hundreds of fans waiting and cheering that is just inspiring and helped a lot! Playing in front of nearly 2500 noisy people and knowing that there are an additional 500 fans in front of the gym watching the game on a wide screen was an awesome experience. And in the end probably whole Saarlouis was celebrating with us. It was nice!
The Royals program keeps on growing - the next logical step is the participation in the Eurocup 2009/10 - are you looking forward to this new challenge and what do you expect in these games against top teams from other European countries?
Bar: Of course I am happy about this exciting chance and really looking forward to this new challenge!!! I think it will be a huge chance for us to grow as we gain more experience and find out where we are in comparison with other European clubs. We will see how we will do there but even if we don't win a single game it will still help us in our development. What I personally will face in these games I can only guess right now but I think it will be interesting to see and find out where I need to improve to pursue my ultimate goal of being a player in a top team in Europe at some point further on.
Now to your personal future will the Royals fans have the chance to see you play here for a little while longer? Do you have any ambitions to take your game to other European leagues just like Anne Breitreiner did after a couple of good years in Germany?
Bar: Although I haven't signed a new contract yet I still plan to stay at least one more year here in Saarlouis. I want to finish my university studies and then try to play somewhere outside of Germany depending on the offers I'll get, which of course will depend on how I develop until then and on what level I play by then. We'll see.
Your hometown club ChemCats Chemnitz couldn't stay in the league as they finished second last in the relegation zone. How bonded are you still with your hometown club? Does that touch you?
Bar: Well the team has changed quite a bit there. From this years team I really don't know so many players anymore. But of course it is always nice to play in your hometown. For me it was always like home coming and fun to play in front of my family and my friends. And not to forget it was always nice to stay at home after the game something that did not happen so often throughout the season. But as far as I know right now the chances are not bad that Chemnitz will get a wild card and maybe stays in the league. I wish them all the best for that.
Thanks for the interview Romy. Congratulations for winning the German Championship and good luck for your future!
The familiarity of German arenas for German basketball ambassador Hans Beth where ex NBA players like Elias Harris and Chris Babb battle to the extreme to get back on the radar of overseas scouts or tiny gyms were American ex NAIA or Juco players play out their dreams just to be able to make a scant basketball living is about equal to if you asked NBA legend Larry Bird to recount specific plays from the 1986 finals where the Boston Celtics dismissed the Houston Rockets to win another NBA... [read more]
The familiarity of German arenas for German basketball ambassador Hans Beth where ex NBA players like Elias Harris and Chris Babb battle to the extreme to get back on the radar of overseas