In the basketball business there are always special relationships on the court between teammates that are as interesting to observe as if Brit superstar Robbie Williams new album Take the crown will rise or fall in the hearts of people, if any crazy people actually dressed up as one of the basketball wives from Halloween or if legendary astronaut Buzz Aldran would ever strap on his moon boots again for a trek up to the moon especially when its concerning an older player showing a younger player at the same position the ropes of the game. There always seem to be those exciting situations where there comes a time for the older more experienced player to pass the torch along to the more younger and hungry player looking to make an impact on the court. Current Skyliner Zach peacock was a freshman at Georgia Tech when current NBA player Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers was a senior. Peacock could learn valuable things at the forward position from the NBA veteran who had 383 NBA games coming into the current season. 13 years ago a young Pascal roller came to Frankfurt after three years in Freiburg and soon made an impact in the Beko BBL. For Roller being able to make the next step in the top German league had a lot to do with German legend Kai Nurnberger who won the European championships in 1993 and played four years in Frankfurt with the ex Skyliner captain help grooming him into atop German point guard in his career. This season, there is a similar situation in Braunschweig with 20 year old German Dennis Schroeder and 31 year old American Jeremiah Davis (183-PG-81, college: Pacific) who is sprouting of much basketball experience having played in countries like Poland, Cyprus and Belgium. Schroeder was already getting minutes last season under ex head coach Sebastian Machowski and this season is doing the same as new coach Kostas Flevarakis has not been shy from proclaiming that he wants to give the young players a chance. It will be interesting to see how this point guard duo develops and how Dennis Schroeder continues to grow as a point guard under the watchful eye of Jeremiah Davis. At only at the age of 19, Dennis Schroeder is already in the notebooks of NBA scouts. His biggest strength for that market is his quick first step, ball handling and the ability to change speeds and be shifty with the ball keeping the defense off balance. His outside shot is improving as well, his defense is already very strong with his length and getting in the passing lanes, but he often looks out of place against bigger and older players. It is already an experience seeing this talented player play at this age. Dennis Schroeder is a talented player that is going to be an exceptional player. Certain players need longer to develop especially with point guard and centers where there is a great er risk of making mistakes. He is already playing very well for his age. It doesnt surprise me that NBA scouts already are showing interest. His quickness and understanding of the game is very valuable. The big question is his discipline. He can be difficult to work with. Frank Menz always says that you need a tight reign on him and need to control him and watch him closely. It is hard to tell in which direction he will go. The metal part is very important. When you see NBA teams with problem players than they arent successful. But Dennis is going in the right direction. I like Jeremiah Davis very much. I think he will help Dennis a lot, warned basketball expert Steven Clauss.
Last season, The New Yorker Braunschweig finished the season in seventh place with a record of 18-16. Their biggest wins were a road win in Oldenburg where it is never easy to exit with a victory and big wins at home against the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. They also suffered a bitter 72-71 loss at home against the Artland Dragons, a 70-69 win in Ludwigsburg and a total collapse in Tuebingen losing by 31 points.. Braunschweig is a team that could beat any team in the Beko BBL on a good day last season. They had a very balanced team. They had a top center with Kyle Visser who has nice moves, two strong shooters with Nils Mittmann and Robert Kulawick, an allrounder with Mcelroy, a super point guard with Stephen Dennis who is quick and takes care of the ball and Rich Melzer who is a very aggressive rebounder, stressed Ruben Spoden. After losing Nick Williams, the club did have a weakness. They dont have a real back up point guard. Dennis Schroeder is a big talent and I am happy that he can play so much, but he is still developing. The team hasnt found their rhythm yet, but they will be a totally different team in the second half of the season, stressed Ruben Spoden. I think their strength was their guards. I think if their guards played well, then they were tough to beat. I think their weakness was depth down low. If Visser Or Melzer get in foul trouble then you can attack them down low on a more consistent basis, warned John Bynum. The team has massive injury woes as Rich Melzer, Stephen Dennis and Lamarr Greer are all out with injuries. In the Beko BBL playoffs, The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig didnt have a real chance against ratiopharm Ulm as they were swept 3-0. The Phantoms defense never got on track as they had no cure for the ratiopharm Ulm firepower as they gave up an average of 94 points in the three games.
This season, the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig signalized a new formel 7-6 and also practiced a team facelift as seven players departed and six new players came aboard. The first order of business was finding a new head coach with Kostas Flevarakis where maanger Oliver Braun didnt waste much time getting him in the early summer. Flevarakis is agreek coach who has much experience having coached much in Greece and had also in Cyprus and led the Swedish national team as well. The Greek coach might not have had early supporters when he stressed that he had heard of Braunschweig only because of their soccer team, but honestly the German city is better known through Eintracht Braunschweig than its basketball team. The Greek coach is a guy that practices the Greek basketball school on the court, stresses team play, defense and has already shown that young German talented players like a Dennis Schroeder will get his minutes. The club was able to hold likeable Immanuel Mcelroy who still belongs to the top defenders in the league despite not getting any younger. The club also held German indentity figures captain Nils Mittman who will be playing his eighth season in Braunschweig and sharp shooter Robert Kulawick. The tallest player in the Beko BBL Nick Schneiders also remains as his resemblance to Dirk Nowitzki continues to dazzle folks and Dennis Schroeder also is on board. The club brought in 6 new player with five americans and one German. The new point guard is Jeremiah Davis who is a point guard that has always played a role wherever he has player. Who could forget his season with Bonn in 2007-2008, where he helped charge the team to the Beko BBL finals. The team also brought in Thaddeus Mcfadden who lit up the scoreboards in the Czech Republic the last season, but is still looking for his trigger release in the Beko BBL. The biggest surprise has been Casey Mitchell who is a young player playing only his second professional season that has surprised some with his early season scoring punch. For the rebound work, the team have hauled in Nana Harding from Cameroun and Eric Boateng from Great Britan. Harding is an experienced forward that had too very good statistical seasons in Poland and Greece from 2010-2012. Boateng is a young center that also hasnt reached his full potential yet and has the distinction of being the only current Beko BBl player that took part at the 2012 Olympics in London with England. With Erik Land, the team picked up a young German who also is looking for making his breakthrough in the Beko BBL. It will be interesting to see if he can get his minutes the way Schroeder will? The biggets strength of the team is their guard rotation of Davis, Mcfaadden, Schroeder, Mitchell and Mcelroy. The Phantoms have a lightening quick guard rotation that could present problems for teams that want to play the half court game. The team might not be the most talented, but it will be up to coach Flevarakis to build a special team chemistry and special flair within the team to possibly get some surprise wins this season. The team did bolster their inside game with the late arrival of Boateng, but still might need extra help in games where they have big man foul problems with every guy helping out under the boards.
The Fraport Skyliners have had very very fond memories of The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig as they have a 14-1 record since March 11th, 2006 as Braunschweig won 81-76 then. They also havent lost at home since 2002 having won the last nine games in a row.The two most memorable games were from the 2008-2009 season. Who could forget the 68-58 win in the cup game which brought Frankfurt to the TOP 4 in Hamburg. That game displayed the best performance by guard Adam Emmenecker who came out of his shell and proved he has no nervous shooting hand as he left captain Pascal Roller on the bench as he had the hot hand leading the team with 13 points. However in the regular season game in Braunschweig, Roller got his revenge as he led the team to a 55-53 win as his last minute clutch jumper paved the way to the win. In 2009-2010, Frankfurt swept the series winning 81-77 as Frankfurt came from behind to win as Aubrey Reese poured in 21 points and prevailed at home 71-62 as Derrick Allen steered 18 points to the triumph. In teh first game this season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners pulled out a thrilling 94-91 win at home. Frankfurt fought back in the fourth quarter as they came back from being behind 90-87 and close out the game on a 7-0 run as Skyliner captain Pascal Roller hit a huge three pointer and Dashaun Wood a shot. Frankfurt did a fantastic job distributing the ball as seven players scored in double figures led by Pascal Roller and Kimmo Muurinen with 13 points a piece. Frankfurt dominated the boards 38-24. Last season, the Skyliners were 2-1and stretched their winning streak to 12 games as they won two memorable games winning 94-91 at home as they finished the game with a 7-0 run capped by a big three pointer by Pascal Roller. Seven players scored in double figures and nobody scored more than 13 points. In the return date in Braunschweig, Frankfurt pulled out a nail bitter 68-67 as Frankfurt was down 67-65 and Frankfurt won the game on their last possession as Dashaun Wood scored on a penetration and got the free throw to fall. Kimmo Muurinen led Frankfurt with 20 points. The Fraport Skyliners won the first meeting of the season in Braunschweig winning 76-70 as Jermareo Davidson added 26 points and Michael Thompson 22 points. The Fraport Skyliners won the second meeting in an excirting 81-80 win in OT as Dennis Schroeder had almost won the game in the regular time with big buckets in the lane at the end. However the Fraport Skyliners kept their cool in their living room winning. Michael Thompson led the Skyliners with 16 points and Tim Ohlbrecht steered 15 points and 11 rebounds to the win.
The Fraport Skyliners return home looking for their second home victory after a tough 76-67 loss in Bamberg. The team showed a spirited effort on defense showing great phases where Bamberg ahd immense problems getting anything done on offense and had their best rebound effort of the season outrebounding Bamberg 34-27 getting an overwhelming 14 offensive rebounds. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig come into the Fraport arena looking to snap their two game losing streak and trying to stop the curse and finally win in Frankfurt again with the last win dating back to 2006. Braunschweig lost atough home game to MBC 76-70 and a bitter 60-59 game in Oldenburg. For both teams it is more than just a must win. We are still building and coming together. We have to continue to stay together and move forward. We have to be even more active and aggressive on defense to be successful, warned Skyliner guard Ted Scott.
The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig are led by 32 year old 193cm guard Immanuel Mcelroy who is playing his second season with the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig after successful years in Cologne and Berlin. He played at Cincinnati (NCAA) and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2001. He already made a name for himself winning titles with Rhein Energy Cologne His overall quickness, combined with his mental toughness, makes him well-suited as a defender in the attacking defense. He is very athletic, a 40-inch vertical jump and a bench press approaching 300 pounds, ability to break defenders down with his dribble and his explosiveness to the basket makes him an effective scorer. He also possesses good court vision and excellent ball-handling skills, giving him the ability to distribute the ball, particularly in the transition game. He is a natural leader who makes others around him better players. He also has very much experience having won three BBL cups and two BBL league titles. If you want to slow down Mcelroy, you have to deny him the ball and give him the jump shot until he starts to make some, warned Omari Westley. Mcelroy who has never been known as a good shooter has really improved his shooting the last few years. Mcelroy may not score 20 points every night, but he belongs to the top players in the BEKO BBL, because he can really do it all on the court and is also one of the top defenders in the league. The American played at Cologne from 2004-2008 before moving to Alba Berlin in early 2008 as the team had financial difficulties. With Cologne, he was Beko BBL champion in 2006 and won the beko BBL cup in 2005 and 2007. With Alba Berlin, he won the German championship in 2008 and cup in 2009. He is a four time beko BBL Allstar and has played 96 international club games. Last season for Braunschweig, he played 34 games: 8.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 74.2%. Jeremiah Davis is a 31 year old 183cm point guard from Bremerton, Washington. He is a very quick guard. He is a good shooter, and has improved his three point shot. He is a combination guard who can play both positions. He is really playing hard and getting ready to fight. Miah has always been ready to play and excited about playing. He started his basketball career at Modesto JC (NJCAA), then played at Cal.St.-Stanislaus (NCAA2) before finishing his NCAA career at Pacific playing 60 NCAA games. He turned professional in 2004 playing for Roanoke Dazzle (NBDL). He then played two seasons in Poland for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-EBL) before coming to Bonn in 2007-2008. In the last years, he has gained further experience in Poland, Cyprus and Belgium. Last season, he played for Stella Artois Leuven Bears (Belgium-D1): 36 games: 5.1ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 70.3%. He won two super cups in Cyprus.
Thaddeus Mcfadden is a 25 year old 188cm guard from Flint, Michigan that is playing his first season for the Phantoms. He started his basketball career at St. Clair CC (NJCAA) before transferring to Fairmont St. (NCAA2). In hiss enior year, he played 29 games: ScoreNCAA2-2 (25.4ppg), 5.4rpg, 3.9apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 79.6%. He played in the Czech Republic the last three seasons for SLUNETA Usti nad Labem (Czech Rep.-NBL, starting five) where he was a scoring machine. Last season, he palyed 45 games: Score-3 (18.2ppg), 4.0rpg, 4.1apg, Steals-3 (2.3spg), FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 80.1%. Casey Mitchell is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Savannah, Georgia that is playing his second professional season and first in Germany. He started his basketball career at Chipola JC (JUCO) and finished at West Virginia. As a senior, he played 30 games: 13.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 87.1%, suspended Indefinitely. He reached the NCAA Final 4 in 2010He then was top scorer at the well known Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: Score-1 (23.3ppg), 3.3rpg, 2.0apg, Steals-3 (2.3spg). Last season, he played for A.G.O Rethymno Aegean (Greece-A1), left in Oct.'11, then moved to Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League): 23 games: 19.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 85.7%; in Feb.'12 signed at Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League): Slovenian League: 8 games: 3.6ppg; Adriatic League: 6 games: 5.0ppg, 1.5rpg. Nana Harding is a 31 year old 203cm power forward that is playing his first season in Germany for Braunschweig. He started his basketball career at Virginia Tech (NCAA) in 2001 and finished at Delaware in 2006. As a senior he played 30 games: ScoreCAA-2 (19.0ppg), RebCAA-1 (10.9rpg), 1.7apg, 1.2spg, BlocksCAA-5 (1.3bpg), FG: 46.9%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 64.1%: Finished career at Delaware ranked sixth in rebounds (784), eighth in scoring (1,345 points), eighth in blocks (92) and tied for first in double-doubles (40). Harding has had a consistent career in Europe having played four seasons in Poland and one in Spain and Greece. In five of six seasson where he was healthy, he was able to be a force in scoring and rebounds. Last season, he played for Ilysiakos Athens (Greece-A1, starting five): 22 games: 12.0ppg, Reb-3 (7.5rpg), 1.0spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 73.4%. He has been a member of the Cameroonian National Team in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and played at the African Championships in Libya -09 (Semifinals): 9 games: 9.6ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 73.7%.
Eric Boateng is a 26 year old 208cm center that has the British/Ghana citizenship. He started his basketball career at Duke where he reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. He then finished his NCAA career at Arizona State from 2006-2010. He played a total of 118 NCAA games. He started his professional basketball career in 2010 for Idaho Stampede (D-League): 17 games: 5.2ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 46.1%, FT: 52.9%, in Feb.''11 moved to Austin Toros (D-League): 22 games: 4.9ppg, 4.9rpg. Last season, he played for DASH Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1, starting five), left in Jan.''12 because of injury: 7 games: 8.4ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 65.7%, FT: 46.4%. He has been a fixture in the British national team the last three years playing the Qualifications to European Championships 2011 -10: 4 games: 1.0ppg, 1.3rpg, European Championships in Lithuania -11: 4 games: 1.5ppg, 2.0rpg, and Olympic Games in London (United Kingdon) -12: 3 games: 4.0ppg, 2.7rpg. 31 year old 201cm German Nils Mittman is a 33 year old 201cm power forward that is playing his eighth season in Braunschweig after having played there from 1998-2001. He is the ultimate team player that will do anything to win. He played two years in Ulm, two years in Wurzburg and three seasons in Ludwigsburg. In 2010-2011 the team captain played 39 games: 3.2ppg, 1.7rpg. He has reached the beko BBL cup final twice in 2008 with EnBW Ludwigsburg and last season with Braunschweig. Last season, the captain played 34 games: 4.6ppg, 2.7rpg. 27 year old 191cm guard Robert Kulawick is playing his second season in Braunschweig after having played the last three years in Goettingen. He started his basketball career at TUS Lichterfelde in 2003 and also played for Alba Berlin from 2004-2006 playing 14 BBL games, three ULEB Cup games and winning the BBL cup in 2006. After playing with The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in 2006-2007, he crossed the boarder into Holland and played for Den Helder Seals playing 34 games averaging 7.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 84.6%. Already in 2008-2009, one could see the confidence of John Patrick in the German letting him average 10 minutes per game, and in 2009-2010 season he increased his minutes to 17 minutes. In 2010-2011 for BG Goettingen, he played EuroCup: 14 games: 7.5ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 37.0%; German League: 36 games: 5.4ppg, 1.9rpg, FGP: 30.0%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 78.6%. He has been a member of the German U-18 and U-20 teams the last years and if he keeps developing the way he does, then German National coach Dirk Bauermann will have to invite him to the German National team some day. Last season for Braunschweig, the German palyed 30 games: 4.1ppg, 1.8rpg. 28 year old 221cm German giant Nick Schneiders that was born in Bielefeld and grew up in Rietberg is playing his second season in Braunschweig. He has experience having played in the States for S.Carol.Upstate (NCAA2) from 2005-2008 and then transferring to USC Upstate (NCAA) and playing there from 2008-2010. In his senior year, he played 29 games: 12.4ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.0bpg, FGP: 46.3%, FT: 57.6%. He is known as the tallest player in the Beko BBL and last season played 33 games: 3.4ppg, 2.9rpgSchroeder is an 19 year old 186cm point guard that is very talented and recently played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 13.5ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-3 (4.9apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 63.6%. Last season, he played for the 27 games: 2.5ppg; played also at Spot Up Medien Baskets Braunschweig (ProB): 23 games: 19.0ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-1 (6.5apg), 2.3spg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 75.7%. The team also got Erik Land who is a 25 year old 205cm forward from Bamberg. He started his basketball career at TSV Troester II Breitengussbach (Regionalliga) in 2005 where he played until 2010. He then got experience playing for Bamberg and last season for the Saar-Pfalz Braves (ProA) playing 24 games: 6.8ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 26.2%, FT: 71.2%
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 9 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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