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.
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 2 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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