Some things are easier said than done like if Argentine striker Lionel Messi predicts 10 goals in the next classic FC Barcelona against Real Madrid, New England Patriot Tom Brady saying that he will never lose another Superbowl to the New York Giants and arch nemesis Eli Manning, Lebron James predicting three NBA titles in a row or Paris Hilton never checking into a HIlton hotel again. For the Fraport Skyliners to win in Bamberg seems more like a dream than ever happening in reality as the last time the Skyliners won a regular season game in freak city, NBA superstar Kevin Durant was a tenth grader at the well known Oak Hill academy, Tom Brady only had one Superbowl ring and teen singing sensation Justin Bieber was only nine years old. The last time that the Fraport Skyliners were able to depart the floor in Bamberg as the winner in a regular season game was January 18th, 2004. It was the bests coring game of ex Skyliner Tyrone Ellis who recently announced his retirement dropping 32 points and nailing nine three pointers. Ex NBA player Mario Kasun was also on that team. Ex Skyliner Max Weber was an 18 year old kid on the Bamberg team that made a point and grabbed a rebound against his future team. Coming into the game, The Frankfurt Skyliners had lost the last eight regular season games and after a slow start, no one was really expecting anything from them, but they gave a spirited effort keeping the first half close, but then losing some focus in the third quarter as the Brose Baskets Bamberg was able to take control of the game and win 76-67. It isnt only the team that opponents have to contend with in trying to crawl out of the Stechert arena with a win, but also the noisy arena and loud fans. Skyliner Quantez Robertson played his tenth game in Bamberg and is still overwhelmed by the difficulty of playing there. This is one of the hardest places to play at. It is always difficult to hear the point guard calling the plays, but you just have to play through it, stressed Quantez Robertson. For new Skyliner Ted Scott, it was his first experience in Bamberg that he wont forget so fast. This is a very tough place to play in, because the crowd never lets up. It was one of the toughest places that I have played in, because the crowd is so involved. It seemed like they helped with some of the calls. I felt comfortable on the court, but was a little annoyed that I couldnt find my three point shot as well, added Fraport Skyliner guard Ted Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game coming off a huge win at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and were sitting in 14th place. They had gotten some extra self confidence after the win against Bonn, but despite the fourth place in the standings with Bamberg, nobody was really giving the Fraport Skyliners a big chance to win this game. The game seemed similar to the game in Giessen recently where the Hessen team stuck with Bamberg in the first half, but then as so often is the case, the Brose Baskets Bamberg shifted their game up a few gears and Frankfurt was unable to match their intensity and stay in the game. One needs to play concentrated for 40 minutes in Bamberg and limit mistakes, because once you make errors, the five time Beko BBL champion makes you pay. We played very well on offense and defense in the first half being able to limit Bamberg to one shot. In the second half, they drew more fouls got to the foul line often and made easy and tough shots, commented dunk expert Quantez Robertson. For the Brose Baskets Bamberg, they came into the game riding a 4-1 record losing only in Artland and coming off a huge win in Euroleague play against Rytas. Bamberg did have three days to recover, but didnt look like the Bamberg that they usually present in the first half. After the game ex NBA player Casey Jacobsen who set 49 school records at Stanford was more than relieved that they could escape the Stechert arena with a victory. This was not a pretty game. There were many fouls and Frankfurt wasnt happy with some of the calls. Frankfurt hung around and played tough until the end. We did all we could at the end just to get the win, stressed Casey Jacobsen. We hung around until the end. We fought well despite the circumstances and calls. This was a good team effort, warned Skyliner American Zach Peacock.
In the last years, the Fraport Skyliners had often started off very slowly in the Stechert arena thus having to come back the whole game exerting so much energy and never being able to get back into the game. With Bamberg, there are so many scoring options, but instead of spreading the scoring love around, the Fraport Skyliners got an early taste of how lethal ex NBA player Bostjan Nachbar can be as he nailed three three pointers in a row giving Bamberg a 9-2 advantage. It happened so quickly that Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder could of still been in the midst of shaking hands with patrons that he might of missed the early Bamberg fire power. Nachtbar hit that first open shot and then he felt as if he could make any shot. He got his team and crowd going, stressed Quantez Robertson. However despite this lightening start by Bamberg, it didnt ruffle the feathers of the Fraport Skyliners as they slowly got into the game thanks to an aggressive defense that was already forcing Bamberg too early turnovers. Skyliner American Devin Gibson got on the board erary scoring on the penetration and then on a fast break after Peacock made the steal and fed the guard for the easy bucket. Dion Dowell than sunk a three pointer as Bamberg led only 12-9. Bamberg had lost some rhythm after the quick three pointers and werent as patient anymore on offense as Frankfurt stepped up their defense a notch also. Bamberg skipper Chris Fleming called a time out and then inserted defense terror John Goldsberry who once registered 10 steals as a rookie in 2006 in a Bayer Giants Leverkusen jersey. The defense of Goldsberry sparked the Bamberg offense as they scored two consecutive back door lay ups from him and Casey Jacobsen as Bamberg led 16-9. Dowell then hit a three pointer as he seemed very comfortable with in the surroundings early on, but Bamberg countered with a Jacobsen lay in as Nachtbar found him cutting into the lane. Robertson and Sharod Ford then exchanged baskets as the Brose Baskets Bamberg led 22-14 after one quarter. Bamberg started very well, but Frankfurt found themselves and came back. Bamberg was shooting very well which makes them hard to stop. Frankfurt made some mistakes at the end which Bamberg made them pay for, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 73% from the field and 67% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside. Bamberg had the six to five rebound advantage and six turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin found the right words in the break as the Fraport Skyliners exploded in the first minutes of the second quarter going on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the game 24-22. The second quarter started off with a bang as Devin Gibson caught Dion Dowell heading to the basket and lobbed up a perfect pass that the American slammed home the ally-op pass. That Dowell ally-op dunk was a top ten play. I would give it a eight or nine. That was really a spectacular play. I had no idea that he could jump so high, smiled Zach Peacock. This spectacular play seemed to spark Frankfurt as captain Marius Nolte followed with a lay in. Then it was Ohio native Ted Scott who can take over games at anytime went on a scoring frenzy scoring six consecutive points giving Frankfurt the 24-22 lead. He displayed his knack of also penetrating scoring two buckets like that and then nailing a pull up rainbow jumper. In this run, Frankfurt was just the more aggressive team that showed more effort and just wanted the ball more. They hauled down 6 offensive rebounds and German national player Maik Zirbes had been totally silenced with zero points. Sergerio Gipson then tied the score at 24-24, before Devin Gibson gave Frankfurt the lead back with a lay in after Marius Nolte had grabbed an offensive rebound 26-24. Bamberg then hurried out on a 5-0 run to lead 29-26 as Nachtbar made three free throws and Jacobsen scored on a floater from the wing. Ted Scott continued to be in a scoring mood making an off balance jumper cutting the Bamberg lead to 29-28. After Nachtbar and Gibson free throws, it was Quantez Robertson that hit a three pointer giving the Fraport Skyliners their last lead of the game 33-31. Jacobsen ended the second quarter with free throws as the game was dead locked at 33-33 at halftime. It was a great game until halftime. It was a defensive battle as no team could keep a rhythm for a long period of time. Bamberg was shooting well, but 11 turnovers was way too much. Frankfurt did a great job having the 16-9 rebound edge which was something new, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 58% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 16-9 rebound edge and only eight turnovers while Bamberg had 11 turnovers.
So far this season the third quarter has been the big quarter for the Fraport Skyliners or it has been their Achilles heel. The Fraport Skyliners had the misfortune that the Brose Baskets Bamberg came out with a higher gear and were able to go on a 8-2 run to take the lead again leading 41-35. Gipson and Scott exchanged buckets, but then it was top defender Anton Gavel (188-PG-84, agency: Pro One Sports) who showed no mercy showing his penetration skills scoring with a tough running hook shot with his left hand and then hitting a pull up jumper on transition. The Brose Baskets Bamberg had stepped up their defense which Frankfurt was having difficulty with not finding the best shot and thus losing rhythm as Bamberg had the momentum and was able to build off it. The Fraport Skyliners didnt give up as they stayed on the heels of Bamberg. Frankfurt was able to come back cutting the Bamberglead to 46-43. Scott continued to hit shots, Daniol Bathel didnt shy away from sneaking inside getting a quick pass form Gibson and Peacock scored consecutive baskets. German Konstantin Klein set him up with a no look pass inside and them made a quick hoop on the base line easily gliding past Oliver Kahn look a like Phillip Neumann with Bostjan Nachtbar watching him in flight. However this quick flash of brilliance by Peacock didnt scare Bamberg as they stampered onto a 11-2 run to take the comfortable 57-45 lead. Neumann started the run with a dunk as he was set up nicely down low with a Jacobsen bounce pass and then made two free throws. The turning point of the game came as Ted Scott then was hit with a technical foul after making a off balance shot. Jacobsen, Nachtbar and Neumann then made free throws as Bamberg led 56-45. That was a bad place in the game to get the technical foul. The game was close and that was tough to give up those free throws. The Skyliners were close, but we were able to get that distance then with the foul and we were able to play with more freedom, stressed Casey Jacobsen. I dont think that it was the turning point of the game. The refs were whistle happy. Bamberg went on a run and had the momentum then, added Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners were able to cut the lead down to 60-50 with a Robertson lay up and Klein three pointer at the end of the third quarter. The Skyliners didnt come concentrated into the third quarter. The Scott technical foul hurt them. Bamberg was more aggressive, had more pressure and Frankfurt didnt stay calm, expressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 56% from the field and 45% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 24% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 22-15 rebound advantage and 12 turnovers while Bamberg had 13 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Brose Baskets Bamberg did a good job keeping a healthy lead and not letting the Fraport Skyliners put a dent into it until late in the game. Bamberg started off the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 65-50 as Anton Gavel dropped a three pointer and ex Phoenix Sun Sharod Ford made two free throws. The Fraport Skyliners stepped up their defense as Dowell made some blocks as did super Tez and Gibson made a steal, but they couldnt capitalize on offense not getting any shots to fall. Dowell gave us a good defensive presence down low blocking and altering shots, stressed Dion Dowell. Skyliner guard Johnathan Jones who had been very quiet throughout the game found some daylight hitting a three pointer and Robertson scored inside showing his magnificent athletic ability as Frankfurt trailed only 69-57. However whenever Frankfurt was trying to get the lead below 10 points, Bamberg continued to have an answer on offense as Gipson showed his amazing one on one ability making a turn around shot as Bamberg led 71-57. The Fraport Skyliners then showed their last gasp of air as they cruised on a 8-0 run to cut the Bamberg lead to 71-65. One has to give a lot of credit to the Fraport Skyliners in this phase as three young Germans with Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein were on the floor and were showing amazing grace and calmness making the right decisions and producing. Voigtman started the run scoring over Ford who never averaged less than 9,5rebounds per game in four years in Italy, Tez then set up Barthel for his new hobby with a dunk, Tez then reeled in a bullet pass to Voigtmann again hitting a short distance bank shot and then it was Jones scoring inside easily getting by Nachtbar. However time was running out and Bamberg then slammed the door on the Fraport Skyliners finishing on a 8-2 run to win 76-67. Neumann and Gavel made key lay ins to seal the win. They got some easy buckets and got to the free throw line. We didnt get stops and couldnt capitalize on our open shots, said Quantez Robertson. We have had this problem this season in Euroleague that we werent able to close games as well. We were able to do this recently against Rytas. This win gave us confidence. Great character teams are able to close out games. Great teams will always slam the door. We arent quite there yet, but we are improving, warned Casey Jacobsen.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg were led by Anton Gavel with 19 points. Ex NBA players Casey Jacobsen and Bostjan Nachtbar chipped in with 14 points a piece. Sergerio Gipson contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ted Scott with 14 points. Quantez Robertson chipped in with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Frankfurt shot well form the field, but a miserable 22% from downtown. After struggling under the boards in the early going this season, the team gave a spirited effort on the rebound winning 34-27. Team rebounding was big on the agenda this week in practice. Coach told us that if we didnt fight on the boards that it could be a tough game. We had to hit the boards and we did a good job, stressed Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners did a great job holding German national player Maik Zirbes to 0 points and one rebound in 16 minutes. I had a rough game, so the credit goes to Marius Nolte and Johannes Voigtman, said Zach Peacock. The Fraport Skyliners played another strong game on defense and will need to do it again against Braunschweig. This was one of the best efforts of the season. If we play like that each game then we will be fine,added Zach Peacock. The Fraport Skyliners host the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig on November 11th.
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 4 hours ago
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Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Euro... [read more]
Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 12.8ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.0bpg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Basabe played in the final of NIT in 2013. He has played previously professionally in Finland (Helsinki Seagulls) and Poland (Stabill). Basabe attended University of Iowa until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball.
On the court, professional basketball players take the game very seriously because it's the game they love and it's also what pays some Las Vegas weekends, but off the court, the majority of players are able to take a step back from their hardnosed focus and can also be more relaxed and in more of a joking manner to help kick the time away. Ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King played many times in the Telekom Dome and even as a BBL allstar in 2014 probably could of come up with a funny line f... [read more]
On the court, professional basketball players take the game very seriously because it's the game they love and it's also what pays some Las Vegas weekends, but off the court, the majority of players are able to take a step back from their hardnosed focus and can also be more relaxed and in more of a joking manner to help kick the time away. Ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King played many times in the Telekom Dome and even as a BBL allstar in 2014 probably could of come up with a funny line for his ex teammate Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL) from Miami (NCAA) after he had heard that he had signed with Bonn. Back in the 2007-2008 season, King was a senior and the Durham, North Carolina native didn't play his freshman year until the next season, but gained incredible valuable experience being able to practice with the squad. King who always seemed like a quiet fellow, but in reality knew exactly when and how to crack hilarious jokes, could have prepared Gamble for his new stomping ground as follows. 'Hey Julian, the next time your sitting on the bench during a break from a game day shoot around, attempt to count how many magenta seats are in the arena, I came up with 1,349'. Of course, one could always have that option if one was totally overcome by boredom, but a guy like Gamble would rather have the game in his thoughts and how he would help his team gain the next victory. Gamble does have fond memories of King. 'King was a mentor to me when I first stepped on campus. We also graduated from the same high school, so he knows what it was to make it out of where we came from. He definitely is a funny guy once you get to know him but very laid back at the same time', stressed Gamble. He had a solid career at Miami where he reached a NCAA Sweet 16 and NIT Sweet 16 and Elite eight, but as a player was groomed for a certain role where he was unable to show what he really had until he became a professional. 'Playing on a team where I had to play a role that wasn't to score was difficult at times. It was hard because I always knew I had the ability and I worked on my game constantly. I just continued to work and prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to show what I can truly do and I think it was a surprise to most people', warned Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). However that all changed when he became a professional and tore up the French Pro B with Saint Vallier Basket Drome and in Belgium with Basic-Fit Brussels. He was a top scorer each season and was third in rebounding twice and second once and was the top shot blocker each season. 'At Miami, my senior year especially, I was a good player on a great team. I took great pride in being whatever my team needed that night. That didn't always mean big numbers but I always knew I had the ability to be a big time player given the opportunity. Once I was given that chance, I never looked back', added Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). Now the American who compares his game to Blake Griffin and lists Harrison Barnes as his toughest opponent in college is ready to make the next step in the competitive and highest league that he will have played in the EasyCredit BBL. With Bonn, he has a very talented supporting cast and has his feet on the ground and mentality keen on winning first before worrying about that double double. 'My goal production wise will not change, but ultimately I want to win. Whatever it takes to win is what I will do, but my personal ambition as a player is to be the best I can be', warned Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). Gamble had a strong pre-season and is developing well and is on a good way of making the next step and so are the Telekom Baskets Bonn who want to wash away last season which was one to forget which was only their third time in 20 years where they failed to make the playoffs. He will be ready to erase his meager 4 point effort against Alba Berlin and get back on track against Frankfurt.
After finishing in 4th and 5th place in the regular season in 2014 and 2015, last season the Telekom Baskets Bonn slipped to 12th place and had an early summer vacation in early May getting an early jump on the summer cafe's and sun tanning along the Rhein river. The season actually started off with a bang as they won five of their first six games including huge wins against FC Bayern Munich and ratiopharm Ulm where they demonstrated just how lethal an offense they had averaging 94 points in the two games, but then everything just fell apart as if it was night and day. They then lost a combined 12 games in a row of BBL and Eurocup games and saved their Christmas by winning a shootout against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen on the day before Christmas. However no turn around occurred as the team lost seven of it's next nine games. One could see that consistency was a word absent from their vocabulary that one never knew what to expect from the club after despite winning two in a row against Tuebingen (twice 100 plus points) and Phoenix Hagen with 100 plus points, on the next weekend they had their biggest low point getting smacked around 78-48 in Frankfurt. During all of this head coach Matthias Fischer was dismissed as fans were as frustrated as a cat is when it outsmarted by a quicker mouse. Bonn knew how to put points on the board, but couldn't defend if their life depended on it. They gave up 80 points or more 26 times and if one examines their results closely would have come to the conclusion that they could really have struggled more and had issues concerning lower standings positions if they had not won the majority of their offensive shoot outs.
With the arrival of new head coach Silvano Poropat, the club hopes to bring some fresh new wind to the team. Poropat has displayed in the past that he knows how to put together teams and lead them to success. He did that unexpectedly with Ludwigsburg in the 2006-2007 season and led them to the top two teams in the BBL and a semi-final berth of the playoffs and also helped bring the Mitteldeutscher BC back to the BBL. The Croatian coach did a great job bringing in new basketball blood and the team showed in pre-season that a healthy team chemistry was in the starting block and prepared to grow. 'My first impression of Coach is that he very badly wants to win. I feel he knows the game well, in the ways he described to me things he liked I did. I also feel that family is important to him, which is important to me, because chemistry both on and off the court is what will make our time together something to remember', stressed Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). The club made a complete house cleaning keeping only Florian Koch. They were hoping that point guard Eugene Lawrence would remain, but didn't. This season the Telekom Baskets Bonn have put together a very versatile team that is stronger at each position than it was last season. After the disastrous defensive season last year, a big focus this season will be on reducing the number of points they give up. Offensively Bonn have the capability to light up the scoreboard again, but it will be their defensive performance with the combination of athleticism and hunger of showing effort that will determine between a playoff spot or not. The club should also be capable of making their transition game a strength as good defense should get them more easy points than in the past. A few days before the start of the EasyCredit season, the club released some very upsetting news that head coach Silvano Poropat had a bad sickness and will have to miss some months. The club did a good job reacting and getting ex coach Predrag Krunic who was surprisingly available. Krunic had his first coaching stint with Bonn from 2001-2005 and was then the youngest coach in the BBL. He won a BBL title with the EWE baskets Oldenburg in 2009 and then coached in Poland, Bayreuth and Weissenfels. Krunic is a great coach, but how well will the team perform now with all this new coaching drama bestowed upon them?
The team held on to German Florian Koch who is a 24 year old 197cm forward who is the absolute identity having been with the club since 2010 and has played a total of 113 BBL games and last season had his breakthrough playing 34 games averaging 7.0ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 81.4%; Eurocup: 10 games: 4.8ppg, 2.7rpg. His athleticism and outside shooting will continue to garner him minutes. The club hauled in nine new players including Josh Mayo. Mayo is a 29 year old 181cm point guard that looks closer to 176cm, but is lightening quick and can drain the three. He has valuable experience in Europe having played in France, Latvia, Ukraine, Italy and Spain. Last season he played for Givova Scafati Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 41 games averaging 15.7ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-3 (5.2apg), FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 85.2%. Konstantin Klein is a 25 year old 187cm point guard from Berlin that was Pro B champion with Gotha in 2012 and that last played for the Fraport Skyliners from 2012-2016. He developed soundly with the club, but was hampered with injuries the last two seasons. Last season he played 33 games averaging6.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 82.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 17 games: 6.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 81.5%.He shot an overwhelming 52% from outside in the 2014-2015 Eurochallenge season. His self-confidence as a German is as typical as that of an American and his aggressive play and motivation is a big strength of his. Klein was demoted badly by Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert in the playoffs against ratiopharm Ulm where he played only 48 minutes in four games. Klein is burning with basketball desire to show everyone he belongs to the top 5 best German guards. The club also reeled in TJ Di Leo who is a 26 year old 190cm guard that will be playing his fourth professional season after playing his first three seasons with the Giessen 46ers and helped them reach the BBL in 2015.. He is the son of Tony Di Leo who coached in Germany and was also the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season the guard suffered injury woes and played only 19 games averaging 5.7ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.3%. Theex Temple (NCAA) guard has the heart of gold, is an aggressive defender and when left open will hurt you with his shot. He will bring energy from the bench and at times help with the playmaking. The club brought in another ex Giessen player with Yormon Polas who is a Cuban/German that has lived the basketball cinderella story playing his first six seasons in Cuba and then coming to Germany and going from the Regionaliga with FC Bayern Munich via the Pro A with Crailsheim and Giessen to the BBL to Bonn. Last season with Giessen he played 32 games averaging 9.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 60.0%. He has unending athleticism, will make waves with his defense and is difficult to control in the paint with his quickness and on transition.
The club also hauled in Ryan Thompson who is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is the younger brother of NBA player Jason Thompson is playing his seventh professional season and has won 2 titles in Belguim and one in Germany with Bamberg. The ex Rider (NCAA) standout has European basketball experience in Italy, Belgium and Turkey. Last season was a season to forget as he split time with Trabzonspor Basketbol (Turkey-BSL): 5 games: 8.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.7%; Eurocup: 6 games: 6.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 65.0%, 3PT: 6.7%, FT: 62.5%. His role will be too find his scoring touch again and lead the team in crunch time and amaze the home fans with unforgettable dunks. The team also added Ken Horton who is a 26 year old 199cm forward from Ossining, New York playing his fifth professional season that has experience in France, Mexico, Australia and Finland. Last season he played for medi Bayreuth playing 34 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 89.5%. The Cent.Conn.St. (NCAA) stand out can look back to 2006 where he started his basketball career as a guy who has always scored in double figures showing his consistent basketball scoring trait. He is a very versatile guy that has a deadly three pointer, can play with the back to the basket and don't put him on the free throwline because he won't miss. Flip Barovic is a 26 year old 207cm center that hails from Montenegro. He has toiled around in leagues in Montenegro, Hungary and Romania and now is ready to make the next step in the higher league BBL. Last season he played for Lukoil Academic Sofia (Bulgaria-NBL) playing 35 games: 10.9ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 66.2%, 3PT-1 (50.0%), FT: 73.9%; FIBA Europe Cup: 12 games: 13.6ppg, 6.6rpg, FGP: 54.9%, FT: 67.2%. He is the classical post player that excels on the pick and roll, but also will hit the three. His experience will help the team as he knows how to win winning 5 titles in Montenegro and one in Bulgaria. Johannes Richter is a 22 year old 208cm power forward, but can also play center. He got his first BBL experience with Bamberg and played the last two and a half seasons with the Fraport Skyliners. He made his international breakthrough two seasons ago in the Eurochallenge hitting the Baaken Bears with 15 and 10 points. However in the BBL, it was tough getting playing time with the twin towers Voigtmann and Barthel in the way. Last season he played 25 games: 2.7ppg, 2.0rpg; FIBA Europe Cup: 9 games: 2.6ppg, 2.8rpg, played also at Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB): 16 games: 17.3ppg, 8.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP-3 (63.7%), 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 73.1%. He is a versatile big man with the modern game that is a relentless fighter under the rim and can drain the trey at his desire. Gordon Herbert called him his best offensive rebounder last season.
Despite some skeptics questioning how well the guard duo of Mayo/Klein will be, they will make the grade as they have shown incredible desire in the pre-season and have played well together and can also play at the same time on the court. The big man duo of Gamble/Barovic is very solid and the forward duo of Horton/Richter compliment each other well as both do things separately well. The bench of DI Leo, Polas and Koch are very solid. Oh and not to forget Ryan Thompson is on a mission to forget his season of last where he lost his scoring touch in Serbia and Turkey and get back to winning and playing ways he had two seasons ago with Bamberg. Head coach Poropat is a winner and wants to bring success as badly back to Bonn as the fans want to see it again. 'Year for year it gets more difficult for those last 1-2 playoff spots. Bonn has put together a very solid team. They get a Ryan Thompson who played at Bamberg and Mayo a very experienced player and some talented German players. The talent is there for a playoff team. They will have to see if the chemistry is good enough to make the jump back in the play offs', stressed Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. Last season, Frankfurt won 82-59 on the road as Johannes Voigtmann had 20 points and Konstantin Klein Netted 19 points. In the return game, Frankfurt creamed Bonn at home 78-48 and were led by Danilo Bathel with 18 points and Johannes Voigtmann had 17 points. Both teams come into the game today with an 0-1 record and looking to get that first win of the season. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were beat by Alba Berlin on the road where their offense was already in season mode, but their defense just couldn't handle the many weapons that head coach that Ahmet Caki threw at them. The Fraport Skyliners were rattled by the Brose Baskets Bamberg on the road 85-54. It was what most expected as Bamberg overwhelmed the guests with their potent roster and growing team chemistry while the Fraport Skyliners's new era had began with a new influx of young Germans learning to make the grade this season. In some way, it could have been advantageous to start with a very tough game like this, because they could see after the game exactly where the building blocks are for improvement. In Bonn, the Fraport Skyliners will meet ex players Konstantin Klein and Johannes Richer. Richter is as expected still finding his role and fighting for minutes while Klein has been integrated nicely and he quickly found his role in preseason and become a starter. Klein has a lot to prove, but won't be able to show his talent to Gordon Herbert who is out, but will gladly have Klaus Perwas witness what Frankfurt have missed in not keeping him. This will be a tough game for the Fraport Skyliners as Bonn is definitely farther at this point of the season in all aspects of the game.
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%.... [read more]
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to eurobasket during the summer before signing with the Hebeisen White Wings.
Brian thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? My pleasure. I am currently in Hanau, Germany preparing for the season with my teammates and coaching staff. My summer was excellent, it was the most productive and efficient summer I have had as a basketball player.
After a stellar college basketball career where you played the last three seasons with Davidson, with what expectations were you going into this summer's transfer market? You signed very late with German team Hebeisen White Wings. Did you not have as many offers as one may have thought or was the right opportunity not there earlier in the summer? The biggest thing I wanted was a good fit. I felt that Hanau was a great situation for me because of the coaching staff and player development they offer. I wanted to go to a good opportunity where I would be able to improve the most and I felt Hanau was the best place for me to do that.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it's basketball? I studied German for about 8 years growing up so I know a bit of German (not as much as I thought I did) and I know a little about the culture. As far as basketball, I know that it has a very good reputation and the coaches do a great job here.
Did you get some timely advice from Luke Loucks who played with the Hebeisen White Wings last season. How vital was his input on helping making your decision easier? I did not speak with Luke.
What were the main reasons for picking the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau as your first destination as a professional?
I wanted the best opportunity for me to grow and improve while still being able to compete for a winning team. I felt like the White Wings coaching staff would give me the best growth in player development while competing at a high level.
Did you have talks with head coach Simon Cote? What was your first impression of him and did you notice quickly that you speak the same basketball language in talks? Yes, I was really impressed after talking to Coach Cote, he is passionate about the game and ask for his players to compete and improve which I really appreciated. He was a big factor in my decision.
You will be entering the very competitive German Pro A and could advance to one of the top point guards in the league. How confident are you that you can make an impact as a rookie? I am confident that I am able to make an impact for my team. I feel like the A10 and coach McKillop prepared me very well to be a professional and I am excited to continue to learn and improve.
Let's talk a bit about your game. You seem not to be a pass first guard, but more of a scoring point guard. What other strength do you have in your game? I have the reputation of being more of a scorer, which is certainly a big part of my game. I feel like much of that is from playing more as a combo guard at Davidson so I was asked to score the ball more. I think a strength of my game is being able to handle the basketball and find teammates for open shots.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player to what player would your game resemble the most?
I would compare my style of play to Damian Lillard
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court?
I think one thing that doesn't always get noticed is that I like to play the right way. I always try to help my teammates on either end of the floor and just try to bring energy to the game.
You started your college career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. You were the first freshman since 1996 to score in double figures as well as other fine achievements. How much of an impact did Charlie Coles have on you which prompted you to transfer to Davidson? Charlie Coles was great for me during my freshman year. He trusted me and I gained valuable experience as a freshman. He ultimately retired after my freshman year when I did decide to transfer. So I did not transfer because of Coach Coles, it was just a better situation for me on and off the court at Davidson.
Do ever think about how your school career might have gone had you played all four years at Miami, Ohio? Do you feel like you could have been better with your development then how it went with Davidson? No, I don't like to look back in the rear view mirror like that. I confidently made my decision to transfer to Davidson and loved my experience there.
You once said in an article 'I've really stopped trying to please others,' 'Basketball is not who I am, it's what I do. When did you realize that you had to change this outlook? I realized this when I felt the expectation of others driving me more than my own expectations were. I wanted to make others happy to the point where I became miserable and tired, and so I just started to be myself and play the way I knew how to. That was a big moment in my career and has allowed me to find a lot more joy and peace in playing the game.
How do you feel did you prosper from having very talented guard Jack Gibbs in the back court with you on a daily basis? Jack is a great player and we would go against each other so it was good for both of us to be competing like that. He draws so much attention from defenses that it opened up things for other players. Moving forward I am excited about being able to have the ball in my hands more and be a decision maker on the court.
You had many amazing games, but also games to forget like the 98-65 loss to North Carolina. When you remember games like this and the talent you faced, do you see a big difference in the level of play of these future NBA players or do you sense that these guys aren't really better than me?
We played against a lot of good players over my four years at Davidson, so what I saw was obviously great talent, but I noticed most all of them had great confidence. Personally, I don't back down and so I feel that I can play with anyone.
How did head coach Bob Mckillop groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He has taught me so much that has prepared me, whether its on or off the court he has prepared us. He taught me to respect my teammates, to have fun and attack while I am playing and those are all things I will take with me.
You hung out a lot with head coach Bob McKillop. What was your favorite Steph Curry story where you learned something that you didn't know about the NBA superstar? A story coach loves to tell about Steph is that during one of his first games as a freshman he had about 6 or 7 turnovers in the first half and that would typically rattle a freshman but coach McKillop stuck with him and he ended up having a great second half. It speaks to his ability to stay in the moment.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jack Gibbs? Jack is my little brother, I wouldn't let him beat me.
Who was the toughest player that you battled on the court face to face that is in the NBA now?
We played Jabari Parker his freshman year, his size and skill set were very impressive for a freshman.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I can only speak on players that I have actually seen video of, so I will say MJ, LeBron, Kobe, Shaq
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? I haven't seen enough film of the older plays to compare them against each other but he is very high up there on my list.
What was the last movie that you saw? I watched Zoolander 2 on my flight over here.
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