There are always those type of players in the Beko BBL that have that killer instinct and just dont show any fear when they are making an opponents defense look like a hapless antelope if it should go left, right or backwards with the ensuing stampede of jaguars approaching on the prarie in Senegal. Recently there was Brian Roberts who played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg and now has made the jump to the NBA New Orleans Hornets that could carry the Freak city team to wins in crucial situations with his scoring in bunches mentality. The Fraport Skyliners recently acquired candy lover Ted Scott that didnt waste anytime making 20 points in his debut in Trier and having TBB Trier head coach Henrik Rodl remembering his name. Scott has that all business killer instinct that would be extra lethal if he would play along side ex Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney that can devour defenses with the best of them. This season Alba Berlin have a new player with Nihad Djedovic (198-F-90, agency: Beo Basket) who is one of the most talented players in Europe from the 1990 birth year and hails from Bosnia. He can shoot in transition, off the dribble, off the catch and is absolutely fearless. Showed ability to put the ball on the floor and finish to the hoop or create for others. He already played in the ACB as a 19 year old for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro being loaned from FC Barcelona. He played for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA) where he scored in double figures both seasons. So far this season, the youngster has shown no timidness being a very important role player in the Sasa Obradovic rotation. In an Alba Berlin roster that has enough scoring power to give a coach like Silvano Poropat jealousy attacks, the young Bosnian has shown that desire for taking responsibility and having that killer instinct in big crucial moments. When watching him on the court, he has that old school look with his uncommon moustache that makes him look more like a Bosnian butcher than a basketball player. On the court, he has been as focused as supermodel Gisele Bundchen recently was for letting her full blown baby bump get into the way of weekend plans with her hubby Tom Brady, singer Katy Perry not showing any ill will backing Barack Obama in a Milwaukee reelection rally or super funny Chris Rock using his unique comedic style making a special message to help persuade undecided white voters to reelect Barack Obama. At times, Djedovic makes some bad decisions, but that is normal for a young player and so far this season seems to have convinced the organization Alba Berlin of his talents on the court and has matured quickly to the grind and playing style of the Beko BBL. 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood has been more than impressed with his new teammate. I like his game a lot. At every practice I have amazed at what he can do. He can do so much on the offensive and defensive end. He is such a smart player as well. I am always telling him in practice how much I like a certain pass or move from him. He is so young, but has already played at such a high level. So far in my career there hasnt been a player where I could say that he has amazed me in practice until him. He does things where you really have say wow. He has a very high skill level, warned Detroit native Dashaun Wood.
Alba Berlin didnt waste anytime getting their most important order of business squared away as they hired Gordon Herbert very early in the summer of 2011 Alba Berlin see Herbert as being the man to get Alba Berlin back on the title road and not getting run over by teams like Bamberg and Munich. It was Herberts 5th season in the Beko BBL. He led Frankfurt to their first league title in 2004 and reached the cup final that year. In 2010, he was two points away to getting Frankfurt that 2nd league title as the Skyliners lost a bitter game 5 final in Bamberg. In 2010-2011, Frankfurt lost in 5 games to Alba Berlin. Herbert is known as getting the best out of his players, but also known in being able to build a strong and successful team even if talent and deepness is lacking. Herbert had a new type of challenge as the talent was even greater than usual for him.All eyes were focused on Herbert to see how he would make an already very talented club even better. However he was unable to as he never found that intact team chemistry that he wanted like he had with his Frankfurt teams.
Even after Alba Berlin had kicked out the Deutsche Bank Skyliners from the playoffs in their own living room, they still had no mercy as they stole Mr road runner Dashaun Wood from the heart of the fans. Despite that Wood had signed a contract to stay with Frankfurt, he did put some clauses in so that he could leave the club. One of those clauses was that he would go where Gordon Herbert would go. A heart of a player can be as big as Mount Everest for a team, but about as often as the sun shines in the Costa De Sol in south Spain, the green numbered paper that rules the world mostly keeps the heart of a player more green than red. Wood who was the leagues MVP in 2011 playing 42 games: Score-1 (19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2 (5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%, will more than likely not be able to post stats like that again with alba Berlin. He will have a different role in Berlin as he will be surrounded by many scorers and not have the burden on his shoulders having to score as he often did in Frankfurt. The question will be how well can his ego get used to his new role, but he has stated that winning is his biggest priority and not scoring 20 points a game. The team brought in European experience with American Torin Francis, athletic ex NBA player Kyle Weaver and a touch of Serbian fire with Marko Simonovic. The team kept a lot of last years success intact with Mr ballerina Derrick Allen, Mr everything on the court and more Bryce Taylor, Heiko I can hit even from the Berlin TV tower Schaffartzik, inside monster Yassin Idbihi, sharpshooter Lucca Staiger and the glue that holds the team together German national player Sven Schultze.
However despite all this unending talent on board, Alba Berlin GOT out of the wrong side of the bed last season as they started with a less than satisfactory 2-2 record. They werent given a good role of the dice either getting their first three games on the road. They started with a heartbreaking 71-69 loss in Bremerhaven that probably had Herbert and Wood in long discussions after analyzing ways they could of won the game. Alba Berlin then creamed potential playoff team New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 87-68, only to go to Phoenix Hagen the next week and get their second loss in a row there. Last season 37 points by Derrick Allen couldnt get a win and this season it was Marc Carter that shot out the lights as Alba Berlin lost again 98-91. They returned to the O-2 World arena for their first home game and got a pesky fight from the Walter Tigers Tuebingen as they stayed close, but the eight time Beko BBL champion closed out the game in style with a 20-5 run to win 76-56. Except for the high scoring game in Hagen, they have defended well in the other three games letting up an average of only 71 points per game. With a new coach, players and system, Alba Berlin was just figuring each other out in the early going not too mention the building pressure to win each season. Yea it is pressure winning wherever you are at at any level and yea they have more pressure because the standard is higher in Berlin because of the tradition, but I thought all of their players could handle it or else they wouldn't be there, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum. They then won nine games in a row including an easy 83-57 win in Frankfurt who shot only 26% from the parking lot and were forced to 18 turnovers. In this big winning streak, they beat Oldenburg, Bamberg and Ulm at home and won in Munich. They then had their only weakness of the season going on a three game losing streak losing to Artland, Bonn and Wurzburg. The three game losing streak also took a toll on 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood. I have never experienced anything like that before, but one has to remember just how much I have played recently. We had games on the 18th, 20th, 23rd, 27th and 30th of December and the second, fifth and eighth of January. At the end of that game streak, it just showed that I was tired, expressed Dashaun Wood. Since the three game losing streak, they finished strong going on a 17-3 record losing in Bayreuth, a game they let slip away. But they had some big wins against Artland, Oldenburg and FC Bayern Munich. They came into the Beko BBL playoffs playing the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. This was just a team that didnt fit their style. They lost the series 3-1. They won the first game in Berlin, but then lost the final three games including the crucial game three at home. Alba Berlin had huge problems getting used to the gym atmosphere in Wurzburg. The season ended unspectacular in mid May as Alba Berlin went home again with no titles. Alba Berlin finished in third place with a record of 26-8 in the regular season, but the only time that really counts is May and June when titles are won.
What does a traditional and respected Beko BBL team do that has won 8 titles to get back on track after last winning a title in 2009? It brings back a familiar face that is used to winning and has won with Alba Berlin before. No one better than sasa Obradovic who won the Korac cup in 1995 and the double in 1997 with Alba Berlin. As a player he won three world championships with the former Jugoslavia and as a coach won the title in 2006 with Cologne. His name stands for winning. He stands for unending passion. He burns for this team, stated Marco Baldi. Obradovic is a tough coach, but is also the type of coach that makes his players better. Obradovic brought something new to the spree with versatility that the new players have. He chose players that can play many different positions thus making it harder for opponents to read and defend. The team has only won one title in the last nine years and Sasa Obradovic did a house cleaning this past off season getting rid of seven players and hauling in eight new players. The team held Dashaun Wood, Heiko Schaffartzik, Yassin Idbihi and Sven Schultze to somewhat maintain a small collective in the team. Obrdovic did a good job bringing in a healthy mix of three Americans, a Bosnian, Serb and two young Germans. He brought in experienced Vule Avdalovic who he coached at BC Donetsk and has Euroleague experience and has played many years in the ACB and will make some competition for Dashaun Wood. Nihad Djedovic was brought in for giving that special versatility and all around good play. He brought in Nathan peavey who might be the most underrated power forward in the Beko BBL. A pity that he was injured and will miss most of the season. Zack Morley was brought in for toughness and can also score when needed. Further flexibility and power under the basket was brought in with Deon Thompson who played at the top NCAA school North Carolina. Obradovic brought in Spanish ACB veteran Albert Miralles recently to help bring muscle to the basket and help bang with the centers of the league. Young German David Herwig and Steven Monse also arrived to help round out the roster. The biggest strength of Alba Berlin likely is their guard rotation with Wood, Schaffartzik and Avdalovic who could be the best guard trio in the Beko BBL. Obradovic will be very flexible at this position often being able to play two at a time. Also at the forward position, he has players like Thompson, Miralles and Morley that can play different positions and will keep opponents guessing what the 8 time Beko BBL champion will do next in their offensive sets as they will be unpredictable. Alba Berlin has a very deep roster once again and if there are any problems that could arise then it is how well the team can respond to the coaching decisions of the coach as playing time will be reduced. Dashaun Wood that was the commander on the court in Frankfurt and Berlin doesnt have that big role this season with more offensive weapons, but has taken this reality in stride and showed his character of playing for the team and not for his stats. Obradovic will make Wood an even better player than what he already is. The team cant afford more injuries as they will need a full roster to make an impact in the Beko BBL playoffs as they also play Euroleague.
Since the climatic semi final win over Alba Berlin in 2005, where guys like Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis led the then Opel Skyliners into the BBL final, Frankfurt has only a 9-16 record against the Albatros, but have built installed a special albatross cage in the Ballsporthalle which has rewarded them with a 5-3 record. One of the biggest and most emotional wins in the last years was the 81-67 trouncing in January 2006 as it was the debut of ex Skyliner coach Charles Barton. It was only a shame that the team was unable to take this big win and grow off it as they won little more that season and had to win on the last day at home against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg to stay in the BBL. Some nice wins in the last years was the 74-58 win in 2008 as American Derrick Allen added 19 points and six rebounds and in 2009, they won 73-66 as ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Last season, the two teams split the season series 1-1 as Alba Berlin held Frankfurt to 53 points in the Ballsporthalle and winning. Frankfurt returned to Berlin to win 76-70 as Derrick Allen led the team with 18 points. Frankfurt then surprisingly kicked out Alba Berlin in the playoffs 3-1 winning game four at home 69-58 as Derrick Allen had 26 points. In the first meeting last season, Alba Berlin escaped the O-2 World arena with a 81-77 win. Frankfurt led for 36 minutes before Alba Berlin put on the turbo and went on a 8-2 run which sparked the win. Dashaun Wood led all players with 32 points and Derrick Allen chipped in with 17 points for Alba Berlin. Alba Berlin shot 57% from the field and 44% from the parking lot, but Frankfurt had control of the boards 31-21. In the second meeting last season, Alba Berlin prevailed 79-70 as Dashaun Wood led Frankfurt with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen had 18 points. Frankfurt lost in the 2011 Beko BBL semi finals 3-2 . Last season the Fraport Skyliners stunk out their Fraport arena with a 83-57 loss where Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also lost a close game 70-66 in Berlin. The Fraport Skyliners go to Berlin to meet Alba Berlin this Sunday. Alba Berlin is currently in eighth place with a record of 4-2. Alba Berlin has the double load with Euroleague play and are still trying to establish a team identity in the Beko BBL. After some tough loss against ratiopharm Ulm and in Ludwigsburg, the team is currently riding a two game winning streak and showed moral winning a tough road game in Trier in OT and then wining easy at MBC where it is never easy to play in the loud wolves den. The Fraport Sklyiners have won two of their last three games, but played their hearts out in Bambegr playing agreat first half, but losing steam in the second half. Frankfurt continues to defend very well having given up an average of 62 points in the last three games. The Fraport Skyliners know exactly what they will need to do to escape Berlin with a win. We have to take Alba Berlin out of their comfort zone. If we defend like we did in Bamberg and against Braunschweig then we will have good chances to win, warned Fraport Skyliner guard Devin Gibson. Its the same as in every game, just defend the way we know how and we have chnaces to win, added Fraport Sklyiner forward Zach Peacock.
Alba Berlin is led by Deon Thompson who is playing his first season in the Beko BBL. Thompson is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Torrnace, California. He played at North Carolina from 2006-2010, reaching a NCAA Final 4 and Elite 8. At North Carolina, he had the pleasure of playing with NBA players like Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansborough, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. As a rookie in 2010-2011, he played for Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece-A1, starting five): 25 games: 14.1ppg, Reb-2 (8.8rpg), Blocks-3 (1.3bpg), FGP: 50.0%, FT: 70.7%. Last season, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League, starting five): Adriatic League: 24 games: 12.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.9%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 48.1%, FT: 47.6%; Slovenian League: 16 games: 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3spg, Blocks-5 (1.0bpg), FGP: 51.2%, FT: 72.5%. There he won the cup and was MVP as well as mVP of the Slovenian Allstar game. Dashaun Wood is a 27 year old 185cm point guard from Detroit, Michigan that is playing his second season for Alba Berlin. He has natural leadership abilities, who directs teammates on the floor and takes the ball in clutch moments. Loves to go inside to score, challenging the big guys, but has also shooting range from behind the 3pts arch. Despite lack of size, he can be effective even at the defensive side. He played at Wright State from 2003-2007. He then had a superb rookie season for Tisettanta Cantu (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 38 games: Score-5 (16.9ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-4 (3.3apg), 2.7spg, 2FGP:52.1%, 3PT-2 (42.8%), FT:77.4%. In his second season he played for : Benetton Treviso (Italy-SerieA), injured in Oct.'08 and was off for 2 months: Eurocup: 12 games: 5.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 87.5%; Italian League: 17 games: 7.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%. He sat out the next season due to injuries and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners took a gamble signing him in 2010, but it paid off. Wood who was the leagues MVP in 2011 playing 42 games: Score-1 (19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2 (5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played German League: 37 games: Score-5 (15.0ppg), 3.7rpg, Assists-4 (4.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.2%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg; EuroCup: 12 games: 14.2ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (5.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 82.2%.
Nihad Djedovic is a 22 year old 198cm forward that can play the position one to three. He hails form Bosnia and started his basketball career at Bosna TH Telecom Sarajevo in 2006. He then played for WTC Cornella (Spain-LEB Silver) from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro (Spain-ACB, starting five): 27 games: 6.3ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 69.0%. Last season, he played for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 25 games: 11.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 71.2%; in Jan.'12 loaned to UCAM Murcia (Spain-ACB, starting five), in Mar.'12 signed at Galatasaray Medical Park Istanbul (Turkey-TBL): 12 games: 11.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 63.6%. He recently played the Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 16.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 62.2%. The team brings back 29 year old 208cm forward/center Yassin Idbihi from Cologne for a tird season. He can score, but is not so fast, but has potent moves. He played at The University of Buffalo from 2003-2007 and finished as the schools fourth all time leading scorer with 1,514 points and the third all time leading rebounder with 844. He became the first player in school history to score 1,500 points and 800 rebounds. He played with the Cologne 99ers and had some experience playing in France for Limoges. In 2009-2010, he helped lead The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig into the BEKO BBL semi finals losing against The Brose Baskets Bamberg where he played games 39 games averaging 10.7ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%. In 2010-2011, he got better in the second half of the season playing German League: 43 games: 7.4ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 58.3%, FT: 73.4%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 4 games: 3.3ppg, 3.3rpg; EuroCup: 11 games: 7.0ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP-1 (71.4%), FT: 73.9%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg; EuroCup: 8 games: 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 63.0%, FT: 73.1%; German League: 30 games: 8.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 59.2%, FT: 83.3%. The team brought back Heiko Schaffartzik who is a 28 year old 182cm point guard who is a German National player who has been a BBL traveler who has played for many different BEKO BBL teams like Giessen, Oldenburg, Nurnberg, EnBW Ludwigsburg and Braunschweig. He had his big international breakthrough at the Euro Championships in 2009 averaging 12,7ppg, 2,0rpg, 3,8apg and shot 54% from the three point line. He shoots first and penetrates second. He is a great one on one player. His biggest weapon is his shooting as he loves the catch and pop and off the dribble shooting. He started the season with Turk telekom in Turkey, but never found his rhythm as he played 10 games averaging 3,8ppg, 1,6rpg and 2,3apg in 15 minutes per game. He had a strong playoff series against Frankfurt and in 2010-2011 played German League: 32 games: 4.1ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.8apg; EuroCup: 5 games: 6.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 66.7%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 8.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg; EuroCup: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 37 games: 9.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 85.7%. Last summer he played Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 12.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 45.9%, FT: 82.6%.
The team also brought in 30 year old 208cm Spaniard Alberto Miralles who has much ACB experience. He is a good board fighter and an score from mid-range. He started his basketball career in 1999 with Juventut Badalona. He already played Euroleague as a 19 year old with Virtus Kinder Bologna . He was drafted in 2004 by the NBA team Toronto Raptors. In 2004-2005, he played for Vertical Vision Cantu (Italy-SerieA): ULEB Cup: 9 games: 7,3ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 51.9%, 3Pts: 00.0%; Italian League: 37 games: 11.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3spg, 2FGP-1 ( 62.3%), 3FGP: 33.3%. He then had a long time playing for Pamesa Valencia (ACB) from 2005-2009. He then played for Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa BC (ACB) from 2009-2010. Last season, he played for Angelico Biella (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 32 games: 10.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 64.4%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 55.8%. Zach Morley is a 29 year old 203cm forward that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL with Alba Berlin. He started his basketball career at Indian Hills Community College before finishing his college career at Wisconsin in 2005. He came to Europe in 2005 and played his first five seasons in Spain in the Leb Gold division. He played for Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague,) the last two seasons and last season played Ukrainian League: 50 games: 11.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 84.2%; VTB League: 15 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-4 (6.9rpg), 2.2apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 76.7%. He won the Ukrainian cup last season. Vule Avdalovic is a 31 year old 189cm point guard from Serbia. He is a true point guard, good passer and organizer, who is able to run a team at any pace. Has leadership and court vision, and, like any ex-Yugo player, knows how to score if left open. He started his basketball career in 1999 for Partizan Beograd where he played until 2005. He then played with Albert Miralles at Pamesa Valencia until 2009. In 2009-2010, he played for : Lucentum Alicante Costablanca (Spain-ACB): 34 games: 7.2ppg, 1.1rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 82.6%. In 2010-2011, he played for Cholet Basket (France-ProA): Euroleague: 10 games: 8.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.6%; French League: 34 games: 10.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.6%. Last season, he played for BC Donetsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 5pts, 2reb, 1ast; EuroCup: 14 games: 11.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 81.3%; Ukrainian League: 49 games: 11.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 80.4%. Last season, he was Ukrainian Superleague Champion . He played the World Championships in Japan -06: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.7apg, 2FGP: 44.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 76.9%. . The team also brought back a familiar face with very experienced Sven Schultze who played many years for The German national team. He is a 34 year old 206cm power forward that was born in Bamberg. He is a very strong player with a deadly shot. With his size, he will post up the opponents small forwards and outrun the opponents power forwards. He is able to defend bigger players, but also agile enough to defend smaller ones. He can drop the three pointer in a variety of ways which gave Luka Pavicevic so many more ways of using him. He also is very dangerous on the fast break as he can with the speed of a point guard and then dunk. He started his career with Bamberg and then played for Alba Berlin from 1998-2002 winning four BEKO BBL titles. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen until 2005 before going south to Play in Italy in Milian, Udine and Biella. he also played shortly in Greece for Larissa. He finished the 2009-2010 season playing for Ferrara (Italy-SerieA): 13 games: 8.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 75.0%. He won a silver in Belgrad in 2005 at the European Championships and played at the Olympic games 2008 in Bejing. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin he played EuroCup: 12 games: 4.7ppg, 2.3rpg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.5ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 43 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 0pts, 1reb; EuroCup: 12 games: 2.6ppg, 1.2rpg; German League: 32 games: 4.0ppg, 1.2rpg. The team also has young Germans David Herwig, Steven Monse and Sebastian Fulle.
BG Goettingen (BBL) agreed terms with 33-year old Lithuanian guard Benas Veikalas (192-90kg-83, college: Metropolitan State of Denver). He played last season at Scandone Avellino in Italian Serie A. In 39 games he had 6.6ppg, 2.2rpg and 1.0apg. Veikalas helped them to make it to the cup final and to the league semifinals. The previous (14-15) season he played at Telekom Baskets where in 38 BBL games he recorded 10.9ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.2apg. Veikalas contributed to his team making it to the... [read more]
BG Goettingen (BBL) agreed terms with 33-year old Lithuanian guard Benas Veikalas (192-90kg-83, college: Metropolitan State of Denver). He played last season at Scandone Avellino in Italian Serie A. In 39 games he had 6.6ppg, 2.2rpg and 1.0apg. Veikalas helped them to make it to the cup final and to the league semifinals. The previous (14-15) season he played at Telekom Baskets where in 38 BBL games he recorded 10.9ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.2apg. Veikalas contributed to his team making it to the German Bundesliga Cup Semifinals. Veikalas also played 10 games in Eurocup where he averaged 14.4ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.3apg and 1.0spg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Bosman Player of the Year in 2014. Veikalas has played previously professionally in Lithuania (Delikatesas and Nevezis) and Czech Republic (Prostejov). He attended Metropolitan State of Denver until 2007 and it will be his tenth season as a professional player. Veikalas could be described:
Benas is a versatile shooting guard with great shooting accuracy and ability to penetrate. Very smart and selective in taking shots, unselfish and knows how to create opportunities for his teammates.
Moves the ball quickly. Gives his best efforts in defense.
Adama Darboe(190-G-86) is a 30 year old 190cm guard that is a Danish national player and will play for the Bakken Bears (Ligaen) this season. He is a versatile guard with strong build, can play some time at the small forward too, and is a good rebounder for his size. He started his basketball career for Horsholm Basket (Basketliga) in 2002 and played there until 2006. He then played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) from 2006-2008. He then played for Huelva Baloncesto (Spain-L... [read more]
Adama Darboe (190-G-86) is a 30 year old 190cm guard that is a Danish national player and will play for the Bakken Bears (Ligaen) this season. He is a versatile guard with strong build, can play some time at the small forward too, and is a good rebounder for his size. He started his basketball career for Horsholm Basket (Basketliga) in 2002 and played there until 2006. He then played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) from 2006-2008. He then played for Huelva Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Bronze) in the 2008-2009 season. He then returned to Horsholm 79ers (Basketligaen) for a season before playing three seasons for Svendborg Rabbits (Ligaen). He then played for KFUM Jamtland Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) and the last two seasons with Boras Basket (Sweden-Basketligan) and last season played FIBA Europe Cup: 12 games: 10.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 90.0%; Swedish Basketligan: 36 games: 11.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT-2 (89.0%). He spoke to eurobasket before the Euro qualifying game against Germany in Kiel.
Adama thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? Right now, I am with the national team preparing for the upcoming games in a little city called Vejen. We got great facilities here, so things are going in the right direction.
You just completed two successful seasons with Boras Basket in Sweden, but unfortunately the club couldn't get over the hump losing in both semi-finals to Uppsala and Sodertalje. I would imagine the two point loss to Sodertalje hurt more than the 97-72 loss the season in game 5?
Yes it was very tough for the club and for me personally, not making the finals. I really thought that we had great teams both years, but it was tough, and both teams that we lost to in the semis, deserved their spot in the finals.
Do you believe a James Miller would have made the difference this season in that game 5 against Sodertalje?
Honestly I don't think so. We had a very good team, so it is what it is. You can always say what if, but I like to stick to what we had, and I was confident that our team this past season could have done the job and advanced.
James Miller recently retired after an illustrious 15 year career. You played only one season with the high scoring guard, but will always be your fondest memory with him on the court as well off the court?
JJ was a tremendous good player. Very professional and skilled player. I learned some moves from him watching him play, but mostly I have learned a lot from his professionalism off the court, and how he approached practices and games.
Last season you improved your stats in both the Europe Cup and Swedish Basketligan. Do you feel like you are in your best basketball age now at age 30?
For sure. I'm in my prime. My body feels great and I'm at the point where my routine is about to peak. Hopefully if I can stay healthy, keep working hard and most important keep my love for the game, I can achieve great things the next couple of years.
Especially in international play, you had a huge lift in your outside shooting as you improved your shooting drought from the season before from 9,1% 2/22 to 41% this season. Did you practice your shooting more in the summer of 2015 or did you just pick your spots better last season which helped you shoot at a lot higher percentage? There was no doubt that I wasn't happy about my shooting percentage from the arc that year. But I been in this game for a long time and I know that if you push extra and work harder, both mentally and psychically, then good things will happen to you. As a person and as a player. Luckily for me, it turned around pretty quickly.
Your heading back home to Denmark to the Baaken Bears . What was your biggest push to go back home and join this top Danish club?
I have always been seeking the best level I could play on. I'm luckily to be able to do what I love to do every single day. I'm making money of my hobby. Not a lot of people can say that in this world. Bakken Bears is a very professional club who wants to win every single year, and I like winners who do their very very best, to put themselves in a position to win. So it was a simple choice of mine.
At the moment you are with the Danish national team. This is now your seventh summer with the Danish team. What is always the most exciting part of being with the Danish national team in the summer time? This summer is very fun. We have the chance to make history for our country, concerning qualifying for the European Championship. I'm all in. It's very different playing for your club team and playing for the national team. You know the guys very well. Grew up with them, playing with the guys in the summer, so it's just a very special feeling all around. After all the guys on the team is representing a whole country.
What has been your summary of the early Danish preparation for the upcoming euro qualifying round? You had some friendly games beating Switzerland, but losing to countries like Slovakia and the Ukraine? It was a very good tournament in Slovakia. We grew as a team, and that was the most important thing.
You are one of the elder statesmen with Alan Voskuli. What besides being a leader are your main functions on the team? We are all men on the team. People respect each another not thinking about age. After all, it is what you bring to practice and games that determines what kind of respect you should have. I try to lead but at the same time, people should lead through effort.
There are many young guns on the team like David Knudsen who will be going into his second season at Marist (NCAA) or big man Lasse Elbaek. Who are the biggest young prospects on the Danish team and the faces of tomorrow. We are a very young team, that's for sure. We have a lot of great young players who will try and put DK on the map in the future. Gabriel Iffe lundberg, Lasse Elbk, Nicolai Hvidberg are definitely some of them. Zarko Jukic is also a very talented player whom will do great now and in the future.
Denmark is an interesting group with Germany, Portugal and Holland. Germany is the favorite. Is Denmark the main dark horse of the group? The group is very interesting. Germany is for sure the favorites, but I really believe in this team and that we can take us to the European Championship in 2017. We are equal until something else is proved. Good luck to everybody in the group.
What will be key for Denmark being able to compete with Germany for 40 minutes?
They are bigger than us. We have to play very intense and without any form of fear. I'm sure that we will do that. We are well prepared for the big challenge ahead of us.
Your buzzer beater against Frankfurt in the Eurochallenge two seasons ago is unforgettable. Does this shot still remain one of your biggest shots in your career and have you dreamt about in the last two years? Haha it was a very nice shot to make. Every player is happy about making gamewinners of course!;) But that is in the past. I will enjoy that shot when I retire and have it as a great memory. All my focus is on getting some great results with the nationalteam this summer.
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title home, where does this further ring put him in the debate against Michael Jordan as the all-time best ever? Tough question. But Lebron is definately getting up there. Jordan is Jordan, Lebron is Lebron.
What was the last movie that you saw? I'm not a big movie guy. I'm a series guy, so last thing I watched was Narcos and I can't wait for the next season.
Eintracht Stahnsdorf have added some rookie flair to the team with Josh Adeyeye (195-G/F-93, college: Jacksonville). Josh Adeyeye (195-G/F-93, college: Jacksonville) is a 23 year old 195cm swing man born in Livingston, New Jersey, but grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolin and started his basketball career at Coppin academy. He gained experience at three schools at Wash.Adventist (NCAA2), Sheridan JC (JUCO), and Jacksonville (NCAA). He started his college career at Wash.Adventist (NCAA2).... [read more]
Eintracht Stahnsdorf have added some rookie flair to the team with Josh Adeyeye (195-G/F-93, college: Jacksonville). Josh Adeyeye (195-G/F-93, college: Jacksonville) is a 23 year old 195cm swing man born in Livingston, New Jersey, but grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolin and started his basketball career at Coppin academy. He gained experience at three schools at Wash.Adventist (NCAA2), Sheridan JC (JUCO), and Jacksonville (NCAA). He started his college career at Wash.Adventist (NCAA2). In 2013 he moved to Sheridan JC (JUCO) playing 22 games averaging11.4ppg, 7.5rpg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 29.5%, FT: 63.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he moved to Jacksonville (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging8.2ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 80.0%. As a senior he played 32 games averaging9.2ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 75.9%. As a senior he scored in double figures 16 times and had a 35 point explosion against FGCU and had a 24 point effort against Lipscomb.
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