Who could forget Darius Hall partying with the 3000 fans in Hamburg after the big 74-60 cup win against ENbW Ludwigsburg in 2008 looking like rapper Joseph Bruce of Detroit rap group Dark Lotus giving a concert. That was the first and last title of the Artland Dragons. That 2007-2008 team was simply so special as Chris fleming finally was rewarded with his hard work and dedication with his first title, American John Goldsberry continued to develop as a point guard and by leading the Dragons to that title helped pave the road to joining Euroleague team Brose baskets Bamberg where he has been since 2008 or American EJ Rowland who after playing in lower leagues in Australia and Latvia was able to continue to chip away at his game then landing in Bonn and almost helping them to a title in 2009 and then moving up to top leagues in Italy and Spain. Every season the club is able to bring in top talented players, but in return are incapable of bringing extended pandemonium to the small 12,000 village with hardware. The list of top players having played in the Artland has been as unending as the Cleveland Cavaliers losing streak of 26 games in 2010-2011 or Psy having to utter the magic words of Gangnam Style since the innovative track became a world wide hit in 2012. Guys that have played there the last four years have been ex NBA player Toby Bailey, NCAA Final 4 player Hollis Price, top European point guard Tyrese Rice, diminutive point guard David Holston who has the heart of Simba in the Lion King, or Nathan Peavy. Especially this season the team was cherished with ex NBA player Dennis Horner and now Ryan Gomes. The team recently made a coup picking up Ryan Gomes (481 NBA games) who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2005 and his claim to fame is being shipped to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett in 2007 and the rest is history.Horner didnt stay long in Artland and is now of dreaming of getting back to the NBA displaying his skills with the Springfield Armour. He didnt have much to mention about his short stay in Quackenbruck, but didn remember some one one duels with American Anthony King in practice. This seasons team may be the most talented team ever and Stefan Koch has the chance to win his second title in Germany. It continues to be a mystery why titles seem as rare there as a traffic light in Quackenbruck, but if there is one guy who can bring a title then its Koch. He has to shape the roles and chemistry the way Svetislav Pesic has in Munich. Maybe Toby the dragon should heat up his dungeon more under the arena so the team has more of an advantage to win big games at home. The guard play of Mallett, Haynes and Taylor are an excellent guard combo. However I think that their inside game doesnt fit together. Maybe they will get a new big man to make it work better. I think that the Artland Dragons have underachieved so far this season. Sometimes players chosen for a season just dont fit together, but I feel that Stefan Koch can turn the season around. If this team clicks then they can be very dangerous. I think that they will finish around 6th or 7th place. They can be a very dangerous opponent in the playoffs, warned basketball expert Steven Clauss. It seems like basketball expert Steven Clauss had some kind of premonition as Gomes returned back to the States and the team picked up ex Skyliner Bradley Buckman (203-F-84, college: Texas). The Texas native has played superbly in Turkey the last two seasons at times averaging double double stats and will help the team. Buckman may not be a star, but sometimes non stars can get the job done better than those who all are talking about. After winning their first BEKO BBL title with the cup in 2008 against EnBW Luwdigsburg in Hamburg in 2008, it seemed like the Artland Dragons were on a positive way with possible future hardware, but instead the club might secretly have been dreaming of the glory day in Hamburg where Darius Hall was in the middle of a swarm of Artland fans celebrating the win, because ever since that big title, the team has been looking for another success and missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. The Artland Dragons have been about as unlucky not reaching the playoffs the two seasons as a Formula one driver is racing the race of their life and then dropping out because the engine dies in the last lap as German Sebastian Vettel recently had to accept or poor cute lovable polar bear Knut who is being shunned by three female bears including his mother who cant remember he is her kid. In 2009, they had to win the last game and did crushing Frankfurt 90-69, but not reaching the playoffs because Paderborn won on the last day against BG Goettingen and in 2010, they made a last comeback winning the last four games, but losing their last game 82-80 to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven a game they had to win missing the playoffs again. "I think that in 2010, Artland was lacking a guard who could control the team until the end. Ross was more of a scoring guard and Price could of done job, but he came to late in season to turn it around. The chemistry was lacking too and it seemed like players had their own agenda", stressed Quentin Pryor.
Last season, the Artland Dragons reached the Beko BBL playoffs for a second straight season after missing them twice with successful ratiopharm Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath in 2009 and 2010. Last season the Artland Dragons finished in fourth place with a record of 24-10. They were led by David Holston who was only 167cm, but played with a huge heart and like he was a big 195cm guard not being intimidated by the bigger players. The club played pretty solid the whole season having two five games and four game winning streaks in the season. Their biggest wins of the season was against FC Bayern Munich at home 86-83 at home where David Holston had an eye to eye shooting clinic with Je kel Foster that was only out done by the famous Larry Bird-Dominique Wilkins shoot out in the 1988 NBA playoffs. The Artland Dragons also swept the season series with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Koch once again formed a very competitive team around Holston with guys like David Fenn, Nathan Peavy, Brandon Thomas, Adam Hess and Bryan Bailey. In the palyoffs, the Artland Dragons squashed the title dreams of FC Bayern Munich winning in five games. Who could forget the spectacular win in Munich where they had no David Holston who had been suspended for a game. In the semi finals, they lost 3-0 to the Brose Baskets Bamberg who just rolled over the Quackenbruck team winning by more than 74 points. It seemed like the spanking of the holy mighty FC Bayern Munich had been their highlight and they just ran out of gas against the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the playoffs. After two consecutive seasons in the Beko BBL playoffs the only goal for the Artland Dragons is a return, annoying the other top teams and possibly sneaking into the Beko BBL final. The two biggest loses for the team were David Holston and Nathan Peavy. It is still difficult to understand why they didnt try to hold Holston who went back to Turkey where he had started his professional team, but Koch possibly already had mallet in mind to bring that extra needed experience to the team. Peavy left to join 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin. He had played consistently in his time with the Dragons and will be dearly missed. The club also lost players like Bryan Bailey, Adam Hess, Darren fenn and Brandon Thomas. Despite so many going, the Artland Dragons have presented the league another very strong team this season. Joining Mallet in a top basketball ensemble will be Bryce Taylor possibly the second most important signing after Mallet, because of his offensive and defensive versatility, unending energy and never losing mentality. Andrew Drevo is back in the Beko BBL and will present mismatches at the position four with his stretching the defense. Koch also brought in Kristaps Valters for the injured Mallet who played two seasons with Don Beck in Oldenburg and has been a consistent performer in Europes strongest league ACB in Spain. He also brought in talented youngsters Marquez Haynes who played in the ACB who will bring athletic power to the guard position and Sergio Kerusch who is starting his second professional season after having played in Greece last season. Petar Popovic is a rugged big man that has oodles of experience and will bring physical stability to the boards. The team also brought in German Ben Spoeler. The team kept ex Skyliner Anthony King, versatile guard Johannes Strasser and Germans Guido Grunheid and Acja Njei. The biggest strength of the 2008 cup winner again will be their deep roster and unlimited offensive power. If the Artland Dragons can combine that with a willingness to defend then they will be able to beat any team on any night. The only thing that could stand in the way of the Artland Dragons is underachieving. They are so talented, but will need to bring it to the table every night. Koch is known for forming formidable chemistry in his teams and will do it again with this gang. Stefan Koch has done a good job again finding the right players. He always finds the right players. He knows how to find well functioning teams. Bryce Taylor was a very important pick up. The Artland Dragons will be a top team and play at the top, stressed basketball expert Steven Klauss. The Frankfurt Skyliners have had unfond memories to playing the Artland Dragons as both having a 7-7 record since 2005 and during 2005-2007 Frankfurtlosing all four games including being outscored in the Artland arena 172-129. However, the tide turned for the better from 2007-2009 as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had a 3-1 record. Four years ago, they celebrated a very big emotional win 87-75 winning in overtime as captain Pascal Roller sparked Frankfurt to the win with 26 points. two seasons ago on the last day, Frankfurt lacked spirit and were beaten in every phase of the game losing 90-69. In 2009-2010, the team lost a thriller 77-76 in Artland as Frankfurt staged one of their famous comebacks despite a late Pascal Roller three pointer, it wasnt enough as they lost. Frankfurt was able to win at home 77-65 as Pascal Roller scored 20 points. Frankfurt won their first show down in 2010-2011 on the road winning 82-56 coming out of half time with a 24-8 run to easily win. Frankfurt was led by AJ Moye with 18 points and six rebounds and fans will remember a crashing dunk by ex NBA player Roger Powell. Frankfurt also won their home encounter 83-72 as Dashaun Wood had a Derrick Rose type of game making 29 points, 9 assists, five rebounds and four steals. The team lost a meaningless cup game in Bamberg against Artland where both teams played for third place and Frankfurt was without Dashaun Wood. Last season, both teams played a defensive classic in Frankfurt as Artland won 49-44. Frankfurt returned to Artland winning 66-60 as Jimmy Mckinney led the scoring with 15 points and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson had 13 points, six rebounds and six blocks. The Artland Dragons have been up and down and in the last 12 games have had two three game winning streaks and three game losing streaks and the Fraport Skyliners have nice memories to their first meeting of the season in Artland winning 89-80 as the Larry Wright cindrella story continued as he led the team with 21 points showing that the PRO B player can play in the Beko BBL. The Fraport Skyliners got a lot of support from Dion Dowell, Quantez Robertson, Zach Peacock and Johnathan Jones. It was the best offensive game of the team in the season. The Fraport Skyliners are looking to start the second half of the season with a win. After a six day training camp in Tenerifa the team will have to make some changes in their game to be successful. Frankfurt will always have a chance to win if they defend well and can get their offense going and score more than 70 points. Ou never know how offense will be if they defend well. The problem is that Frankfurt doesnt have a dominat five man. It is fine if Frankfurt plays small ball, but if they dont rebound well or play defense then it will always be tough to win, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Artland Dragons are led by Demond Mallet. Mallet is a 34 year old 186cm guard from Louisiana that has the distinction of being a cousin of Shaq. He played at Mcneese State and turned professional in 2001 and played for Braunschweig leading the team to the playoffs. With his scoring ability, he quickly went to Bamberg where he was able to become one of the top Americans playing in Germany at that time. He won the Beko BBL title with Bamberg in 2005. He then went to Cologne helping them win the cup in 2007. His biggets success was winning the 2008 ULEB Cup with Joventut Badalona with German Jan Jagla. In the last years, he has played in Turkey, Belgium and Israel. Last season he played for Belgacom Spirou (Belgium-D1, starting five): 26 games: Score-3 (15.1ppg), 2.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 84.0%; Euroleague: 12 games: Score-4 (16.6ppg), 2.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 71.0%; in Dec.'11 moved to Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League): Israeli League: 4 games: 3.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg; Euroleague: 10 games: 4.6ppg; Adriatic League: 12 games: 6.3ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 87.5%, He is a five time Beko BBL allstar winning the MVP in 2007. He was the Beko BBL player of the year in 2002 and 2003 and was the Belgium league MVP in 2011. The team also brought in 26 year old 196cm shooting guard Bryce Taylor last season who hails from San Diego, California. He is the son of former NBA player Brian Taylor. He is a great sharpshooter with an aggressive dribble drive and has a keen understanding of the game. He played at Oregon from 2004-2008. In his senior year at Oregon, he averaged 12.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3Pts: 38.2%, FT: 82.3% in 30 games. Three seasons ago, he turned professional and played in Italy for Premiata Montegranaro playing 30 games: and averaging 13.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 82.6%. In 2009-2010 in Bonn, he played 6 Eurocup games: 18.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 36.4%; German League: 34 games: 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 81.4%. In 2010, he played NBA Summer league for the Indiana Pacers. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin Taylor played EuroCup: 11 games: 7.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 83.9%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 5 games: 0.8ppg; German League: 49 games: 7.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 76.0%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg; EuroCup: 12 games: 9.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 36 games: 11.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 82.4%. The team also brought in experienced 33 year old 211cm Petar Popovic from Serbia. He is a very experienced center, who knows ho to play back-to-the basket and has good fundamentals. He isn' t an explosive leaper, neither a shot-blocker, and probably he grabs less rebounds than expected, but he' s a good inside presence defensively and has enough soft hands to score in double digits any night.. He already got experience at age 22 joining top team Hemofarm Vrsac playing there for four years. In the last years he has played for teams like Benneton Treviso, MMT Estudiantes Madrid, and Spartak St.Petersburg. Last season, he played for Crvena Zvezda Beograd (A League, starting five): Adriatic League: 25 games: 11.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 77.2%; Serbian League: 21 games: 11.1ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 55.0%, FT: 58.5%. He has won five titles in his career the biggest being the 2008 ULEB cup with Demond mallet at Badalona Joventut. He also played at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The club also signed 25 year old 191cm guard Marquez Haynes from Irving Texas. He played at Boston College from 2005-2007 and finished his NCAA career with Texas Arlington in 2010. In his senior year, he played 30 games: ScoreNCAA-3 (22.6ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 74.6%. As a rookie he played together with ex Skyliner Ilian Evtimov for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 14.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 73.1%. Last season, he played for C.B. Gran Canaria 2014 (Spain-ACB, starting five): EuroCup: 8 games: 11.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 50.0%; Spanish League: 34 games: 10.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 79.1%. Recently he played NBA Summer league with AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.0ppg, 1.0apg. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006, won the French cup in 2011 with Chalon and is a member of the Georgian national team. Sergio Kerush is a 23 year old 195cm forward from Memphis, Tennessee that also has the German nationality. He played at Western Kentucky. As a senior he played 32 games: 15.6ppg, 7.9rpg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 64.4%. Last season as rookie he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1): EuroCup: 12 games: 7.4ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%; Greek League: 26 games: 7.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 61.2%. The team also brought in 24 year old 206cm German Ben Spoeler. He started his basketball career in 2oo3 with herten. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2004-2010 getting into five Beko BBL games. He played two seasons in Paderborn and last season played 24 games: 6.1ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 65.6%. Anthony King is a 27 year old 206cmpower forward/center from Durham, North Carolina. He is back in the Beko BBL after playing in Cyprus and Greece the last two years. This will be his second season for the Artland Dragons. He gives the team an additional scoring threat in the post as well as rebounding, is a physical performer who doesnt mind mixing it up down low and gives the team added toughness in the paint. He played at Miami, FL (NCAA) from 2003-2008 playing 34 games in his senior year averaging 7.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 43.1%, FT: 68.9%. He played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners in his rookie season. In 2009-2010, he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Score-5 (236 pts), Reb-1 (148 rbs), Blocks-2 (24 blocks). Last season, he remained with InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Cypriot League: EuroChallenge: 8 games: 17.0ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-1 (2.0bpg), FGP: 53.6%, FT: 76.2%; Cyprus League: 16 games: 14.3ppg, Reb-2 (10.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-2 (1.8bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT-3 (50.0%), FT: 76.8%; Playoffs: 10 games: 14.2ppg, 10.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.4%, FT:80%, after winning the championship moved in Apr.'11 to Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1, starting five): 9 games: 8.1ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.8%, FT: 57.9%. He was won the double in Cyprus with InterCollege Etha Engomis. %. Last season, he played EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0bpg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 10.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 62.0%, FT: 81.8%; German League: 36 games: 9.9ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.2% 30 year old 190cm combo guard Johannes Strasser is playing his third season with The Artland Dragons. He is a very strong point guard that can hit the open three pointer at any time, penetrate and finish or find the open guy and is a pest on defense. He started his basketball career at Rhondorf in 1999. He had a very successful time with Rhein Energy Cologne from 2001-2007 winning the 2006 BBL league title and three cup titles in 2004,2005 and 2007. He played with the Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2007-2010 reaching the BEKO BBL title twice. His job is to come from the bench and help out at the point or hurt opponents with his deadly three pointer. In 2010-2011, he played 40 games: 6.4ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 87.2%. Last season, he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1% Guido Gruinheid is a 30 year old 209cm forward from Jena that is playing his second season for the Artland Dragons. He is an in-betweener forward with the height (but not the size) of a 4 and the quickness (but not the ball handling and the shot) of a 3. A good rebounder and a hustler. He played for Alba Berlin from 2001-2005 winning three BEKO BBL titles and two cup titles. He then moved to Rhein Energie Koln in 2005 where he won his fourth BEKO BBL title in 2006 and another cup in 2007. He got added experience playing in Holland for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen . He also has gained valuable experience playing for the German national team as he was a member playing at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and at the 2007 European Championships in Spain. In 2010-2011 for MBC, he played 33 games: 7.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 23.0%, FT: 44.7%. Last season for Artland he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1%. The team also retain Christian Hoffman and Acha Njei. Hoffmann is a 25 year old 187cm guard from the Tegernsee in Bavaria. He started his basketball career in 2003 for FC Bayern Munchen (Regionalliga) where he played until 2007. He then got some Beko BBL experience form 2007-2009 playing 44 Beko BBL games with TBB Trier. He then played another season with FC Bayern Munich and Science City Jena before coming to Artland last season. Acha Njei is a 27 year old 190cm guard that started his basketball career in 2004 with Vegesacker TV (2. Regionalliga). He then played fort eh Bremen Roosters from 2005-2009. He then played for 2009 Beko BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2009-2011 playing seven Beko BBL games and three Euroleague games. Last season for Artland he played EuroCup Qualifications: 1 game: 0pts; EuroChallenge: 9 games: 0.6ppg, 1.0rpg; German League: 15 games: 0.7ppg.
Pro A club Hamburg Towers have grabbed Lars Kamp (190-G-96). Kamp is a 20 year old 190cm guard that comes from Paderborn. Hamburg Towers head coach Hamed Attarbashi had coached and discovered Kamp and brought him to Paderborn when he was 14. He celebrated success early in his career as he scored 29 points in a JBBL (U-16) game against FC Bayern Munich. He was unable to play last season due to injuries, but played for Paderborn in the Pro A from 2012-2015 playing 49 games. He believes that... [read more]
Pro A club Hamburg Towers have grabbed Lars Kamp (190-G-96). Kamp is a 20 year old 190cm guard that comes from Paderborn. Hamburg Towers head coach Hamed Attarbashi had coached and discovered Kamp and brought him to Paderborn when he was 14. He celebrated success early in his career as he scored 29 points in a JBBL (U-16) game against FC Bayern Munich. He was unable to play last season due to injuries, but played for Paderborn in the Pro A from 2012-2015 playing 49 games. He believes that choosing Hamburg was the right decision. "I am looking forward to Hamburg and showing that I can reach the level again I once had. I want to stay 100% fit and bring good performances. Hamburg is the right address for me with their coaching staff and excellent medical department", stressed Lars Kamp."I know Lars for a while and is one of the most interesting German players for me. We need to be be patient with him and he will bring us enjoyment", stressed Hamed Attarbashi. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been German U15 National Team -11 German U16 National Team -12, European Championships U16 in Lithuania -12: 8 games: 4.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.0apg, 1.4spg, German U18 National Team -14, Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany (Unofficial World Championships U18) -14: 6 games: 15.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 39.2%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 75%, and German NBBL All-Star Game -14.
On the court Chris Ensminger won just about every battle in the paint as there was a reason why he was the BBL's best rebounder for five consecutive years as his knack of always having the right position as the ball was released and correct instinct to where the ball would fall off the rim seemed to be as easy for him to successfully achieve as it was for once the best control pitcher in the majors Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees to seemingly get the ball where he wanted to to get... [read more]
On the court Chris Ensminger won just about every battle in the paint as there was a reason why he was the BBL's best rebounder for five consecutive years as his knack of always having the right position as the ball was released and correct instinct to where the ball would fall off the rim seemed to be as easy for him to successfully achieve as it was for once the best control pitcher in the majors Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees to seemingly get the ball where he wanted to to get through the full count to his team's benefit. However one thing that Ensminger couldn't control after life on the basketball court was keeping his now coaching foe Denis Wucherer of the Giessen 46ers in check while they were battling on the sidelines during their rookie coaching season in 2013-2014 and second season. Both guys are basketball legends in Germany as Ensminger not only made a name as one of the BBL's finest centers for years, but also belonged to numerous Bamberg championship teams while Wucherer won two BBL titles with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen for Dirk Bauermann and won the silver at the 2005 European championships in Belgrade under Dirk Bauermann once again and alongside NBA legend in the making Dirk Nowitzki. Both Ensminger and Wucherer were head coaching rookies in the 2013-2014 season and in four games Wucherer led the head to head battle confrontation's 3-1. Three of the four games were decided by 6 points and both games in the 2014-2015 season were intense nail bitters with 61-59 and 67-65 in favor of the Giessen 46ers and Wucherer. In that same season, Wucherer got the last laugh once again as he led his team into the BBL and almost made the playoffs last season. Ensminger is still trying to bring the BBL to Gotha and the only time, these two charachters can meet now on the sidelines is in the preseason. 'Gotha is a team that should reach the BBL in the future. They have a good infrastructure now, new arena and Wolfgang Heyder on board. One sees that the club is getting more and more professional. They are very ambitious to get to the BBL and have a good coaching staff with Ensminger and Esterkamp. Ensminger's team now plays the way he played as a player. He played hard and so does his team. He should have a good season', stressed Giessen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer. After the 86-70 loss, Ensminger was very calm on the bench replaying the lost game in his mind one more time as his players were stretching and he had time to reflect on this coaching duel with Wucherer. 'Wucherer has a good background and played for Dirk Bauermann. He played tough and so do his teams. I enjoy coaching against him. We always had good games against Giessen and one season lost two games by two points. I respect him and like how he helps players develop further as he got my ex player Marco Voeller', stressed Chris Ensminger.
On another warm summer evening, but a lot more comfortable then the sauna like temperatures 48 hours earlier in Hanau, the 2016 Basketball Aid International tour next stopped in Mainz. This is an old stomping ground of Basketball Aid international tour chairman Hans Beth as back in the day he coached a young 14 year old Patrick Heckman and like his second living room as the only thing missing was his own comfy couch to help him ease into the game best. As always Beth was glowing after the buzzer had sounded as it was another successful game for the basketball aid charity and the golden basketball which had autographes of the German national team as well as Dirk Nowizki and Dennis Schroeder also found it's new owner. 'Both teams showed another good game, we had 900 people in the stands and the golden ball went for 800 euro. We achieved our goal once again today', added Basketball Aid international tour chairman Hans Beth. The second highlight of the night after the golden ball being auctioned off, was the basketball game, but as always in these international tour games, the real focus of the evening was the sick children with cancer as that was on the minds of the players somewhere between all the plays that they had stuck in their heads. 'I feel it is very important to show support for the children suffering with cancer. I lost my mom five years ago to cancer and she had a big impact on my life. You never know who cancer will effect next so it's always positive to help in any way possible', stated Giessen 46ers forward Thomas Scrubb. 'It means a lot for me to help support the basketball aid cause. I lost my father to cancer two years ago and this past week, my aunt past away. Back home, we try to raise as much as possible for cancer. It is very unfortunate that a real cure hasn't been found yet. I always try to do whatever possible to help fight cancer', stated Elijah Allen.
The Giessen 46ers came into the game having beat Hanau and Heidelberg and destroyed their farm team Lich while the Oettinger Rockets Gotha had raised more than a few eyebrows as they had disposed of 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin. The first half remained rather even, but Giessen already had the usual lead as Gotha already had to exert extra energy as they were always in comeback mode. In the second half, the Giessen 46ers relied on their deadly shooting and stepped up their defense. While his brother Philip Scrubb was on the way to France with the Fraport Skyliners to play a four day tournament, brother Thomas was in Mainz and like his brother very reserved in his presence after the game, but very knowledgeable about what he had witnessed in the last 40 minutes on the court. 'We knew that this would be our hardest test so far. They had beat Alba Berlin and we knew that if we weren't prepared that it would be a challenge. We didn't have our defense where we wanted it in the first half. In the second half, we stepped up and took control. We were smart on offense and didn't allow easy baskets on transition or from outside. They had to beat us one on one', stressed Thomas Scrubb. After the game Gotha forward Elijah Allen had a long conversation with Giessen guard Skyler Bowlin (190-G-89, college: Missouri So.) who had been opponents in college four years earlier and then described why Giessen was the better team. 'Giessen played us very physical. They have a very good coach with Wucherer who I am familiar with having been with Lich the last years. We didn't have enough intensity and they wanted to win more. We tried to be too cute. The key was taking care of the ball, but we didn't. We will have to do that better when we play against tough competition', warned Elijah Allen.
In the first quarter, the game was even until the midpoint and then there would be 7 lead changes as no team was able to break away. Ex Creighton (NCAA) guard Grant Gibbs got Gotha on the board first with a turnaround shot over ex Trier forward Dwayne Evans and the American than stripped the Giessen player the ball and set up Jacob Parker with an easy bucket on transition as Gotha had the early 4-0 advantage. Giessen quickly halted the Giessen run in the making by countering with their own 4-0 mini run as Thomas Scrubb showed his distinct knack of knowing where his rebound would go and finishing with a floater and ex Citadel (NCAA) standout Cameron Wells connected on a turnaround shot to knot the game at 4-4. Gotha continued to keep the slim lead with Sam Muldrow and Robert Ohle buckets, but Giessen got their first lead of the game at 9-8 as ex Crailsheim guard Joshiko Saibou drilled home a three pointer. The lead then went back and forth as rookies ex West Virginia (NCAA) guard Jaysean Paige and Yale (NCAA) forward Justin Sears scored as Giessen had the slim 13-10 lead. Gotha got some major production from two ex Pro B players Elijah Allen who nailed two trey's with one at the shot clock buzzer and ex Nordlingen guard Janek Schmidkunz connected from outside for the 19-18 lead. Giessen got the lead back as ex Sodertalje champion Skyler Bowlin (190-G-89, college: Missouri So.) nailed a three giving his team the 21-19 lead. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 37% from the field and 33% from outside while Gotha was shooting 53% from the field and 42% from outside. Gotha had the 8-7 rebound edge and three turnovers while Giessen had five turnovers.
In the second quarter, Giessen would keep the lead, but couldn't shake Gotha as they always remained in striking range. Giessen started the second quarter going on a 8-3 run to extend their lead to 29-22. Giessen got solid support from Saibou who scored from the corner, Scrubb got inside making a finger tip roll in, Sears and Lischka also got productive in the paint. Giessen also had their difficulty of preventing Gotha from getting easy baskets inside as ex Stephen F. Austin (NCAA) forward Parker and ex CB Prat Juventud (LEB Gold) guard Gerald Gomilla got buckets cutting the Giessen advantage to 31-28. Even if the game was tight, it seemed like Giessen always had the more options and better execution rate as they extended their lead once again to 37-28 as Lischka completed the pick and roll perfectly and Wells nailed a 20 footer. Gotha closed out the second quarter with a perfectly timed 6-2 run to cut the Giessen lead to 41-38. Parker scored inside again, Allen hit his second buzzer beater at the shot clock in the game and GIbbs caught Giessen napping on transition defense as he got behind the defense making an easy lay in. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 53% from the field and 25% from the three point line while Gotha was shooting 56% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Giessen had the 14-13 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Gotha had four turnovers. In the third quarter, the Giessen 46ers were able to pull away from Gotha and extend their lead into the double digits and hold it until the end of 30 minutes. Giessen quickly showed who was in control going on a 12-5 run to extend their lead to 53-42. In the run, GIessen got their guns back out of their holsters nailing three three pointers as Evans, Saibou and Bowlin connected. After a Paige lay in, it was Bowlin again who found the hot hand making fade away jumper keeping Gotha at bay as Giessen led 55-45. Even after Ohle trimmed down the Giessen lead down under 10 points, the BBL team always found a way to get their lead back into double digits as Scrubb buried a three pointer for the 58-48 Giessen advantage. Gotha guard Max DiLeo who's brother moved from Giessen to the Telekom Baskets Bonn this season connected on a true rainbow and Grant made a free throw as Giessen kept the 63-52 lead after 30 minutes. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 50% from the field and 34% from the parking lot while Gotha was shooting 51% from the field and 28% from the parking lot. Gotha had the 24-21 rebound edge and eight turnovers while Giessen had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, Gotha made one last comeback attempt, but then couldn't take care of the ball as the slick aggressive defense of Skyler Bowlin (190-G-89, college: Missouri So.) got the best of them. Gotha came out storming in the fourth quarter going on a 7-0 run to cut the Giessen lead to 65-59. In the run, Gotha received solid production from their two ex Pro B players once again as Schmidkunz who has brought that shooting touch from Nordlingen to Gotha dropped a trey and Allen made a step back jumper and Muldrow made free throws. However then came the turning point of the game as Bowlin got two steals which ignited the Giessen offense going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 72-61. The two Bowlin steals led to a Wells 20 footer and lay in by the defender himself. Saibou added on another trey as well. 'I finally hit some shots today. I wasn't hitting so well in the first games. This was my breakthrough game with Giessen', added Skyler Bowlin (190-G-89, college: Missouri So.). Despite Page and Ohle buckets, Gotha was unable to make some stops on defense as Giessen got a three pointer from Wells and Evans lay in to extend their lead to 78-65 which sealed the win for Giessen. Muldrow was able to cut the Giessen lead to 80-70 with a trey, but time was running out and Giessen ultimately slammed the door on Gotha with a Saibou pull up jumper, and Evans and Obst free throws closing out the game with a 6-0 run. 'We knew that Gotha could make a run. Bowlin made two huge steals and we made big shots which killed their momentum. We switched a lot and had more big men in the paint area which made the difference', stated Thomas Scrubb. 'In the run at the start we talked more on defense, but they continued to make big shots and rolled their big men in the paint which hurt us', stated Elijah Allen. The Giessen 46ers were led by Skyler Bowlin (190-G-89, college: Missouri So.) with 16 points. Cameron Wells and Joshiku Saibou added 14 points a piece. Dwayne Evans chipped in with 11 points and Andreas Obst added 10 points. The Oettinger Rockets Gotha were led by Jaysean Paige with 13 points. Sam Muldrow had 12 points while Robert Ohle chipped in with 11 points and Elijah Allen had 10 points. Giessen shot 48% from the field and 38% from outside while Gotha shot 53% from the field and 43% from outside. Gotha outrebounded Giessen 32-25, but had 16 turnovers while Giessen had 10 turnovers.
Lietkabelis land Lorenzo Williams, ex Bremerhaven - 8 hours ago
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Panevezys Lietkabelis (LKL) tabbed 32-year old American point guard Lorenzo Williams (187-86kg-84, college: Rice). He played most recently at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in German BBL league. In 22 games he averaged 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg and 2.2apg last season. In 2007 Williams was drafted by Anaheim Arsenal (D-League) in ninth round (121th overall). The former Rice University staris in his tenth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Williams won Latvian League championship title in 2014.... [read more]
Panevezys Lietkabelis (LKL) tabbed 32-year old American point guard Lorenzo Williams (187-86kg-84, college: Rice). He played most recently at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in German BBL league. In 22 games he averaged 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg and 2.2apg last season. In 2007 Williams was drafted by Anaheim Arsenal (D-League) in ninth round (121th overall). The former Rice University staris in his tenth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Williams won Latvian League championship title in 2014. He received also Eurobasket.com Latvian League All-Imports Team award in 2014. Williams is a very experienced player. He has played also professionally in Hungary (Zalakeramia-ZTE KK and Atomeromu), Slovakia (Pezinok), Ukraine, Germany (Giessen 46ers and Weissenhorn Youngstars) and Latvia (Ventspils).
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