Every season, there are always certain players that arrive in the Beko BBL where fans get as excited as a little boy does entering Harrods in London in the toy department seeing a life size doll of Mickey Mouse, Tom Brady still does after winning big games in the NFL playoffs or 2012 Dream teamer Anthony Davis possibly getting reved up about pepping up his unibrow with the team colors of the New Orleanes Hornets. Especially in the 2013 season, the Beko BBL was spiced up with an extra abundance of ex NBA players in the league like Brose Baskets Bamberg forward Bostjan Nachbar who hit the Fraport Skyliners in Bamberg with three quick three pointers in the first quarter before Ted Scott could was even able to grab into his holster and use his quick release snipper qualities, Lawrence Roberts who played two seasons in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies and already as a rookie could battle with guys like Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick and even look up to Pau Gasol and inquire where Elvis Pressleys house is for sightseeing purposes. The Beko BBL also got a late treat before Christmas getting another ex NBA player to their roster with Ryan Gomes. If it hadnt been already enough NBA luxury this season getting talented ex New Jersey Nets forward Dennis Horner, they were able to get the American. Gomes is from Cape Verde and is a 30 year old 201cm forward from Waterbury, Connecticut with biggest thrill is sports earning the Billy Finn Award as the top player in Waterbury. He has added range to his outside shooting and bulked up his frame. The result is a quick, agile player who runs the court extremely well, and can defend and rebound inside, even being a little undersized.He played at Providence from 2001-2005 and tore up the NCAA in his senior year playing 31 games: 21.6ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3Pts: 38%. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2005 where he played until 2007. He then played three years for the Minnesota Timberlakes and the last two seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite playing seven years in the NBA and amassing 481 games his claim to fame is being shipped to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett in 2007 and the rest is history. So far in eight games he is averaging 12,8ppg and hauls down 5,9rpg and dished out 1,8apg. He hasnt shown his total package yet, but that is understandable. Basketball expert Steven Clauss had his doubts about Gomes and had this to say shortly before it was made official that Gomes had returned back to the States Gomez is new to Europe coming straight form the NBA and it is never easy to adjust as it is a new world in Europe. He still needs to adjust, but should he adjust, then that could change the play of the Artland Dragons, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. All eyes in the Fraport arena could have been on Gomes if he had still been on the team, but it is also a joy to watch 2013 Beko BBL allstar three point winner Demond Mallet flash his winner style even if he has never played a minute in the NBA. Without ex NBA player Ryan Gomes as well as without athletic flyer Bryce Taylor and 7 time German champion Guido Gruinheid who were injured, they were able to beat the Fraport Skyliners 62-58. The Fraport Skyliners were looking to break their one game losing streak, but played a miserable first half, and got better in the second half and made a comeback in the fourth, but to no avail. In the first half, we played like chickens with their heads cutoff. In the second half, we played with more heart, energy and determination. In the fourth quarter we were carried by Quantez Robertson and Zach peacock that played very aggressive. However at the end like always, we started to come back to late, stressed American point guard Dawan Robinson. The Artland Dragons that have been underachieving as if they were related to the Los Angeles Lakers were riding a three game losing streak, but in Frankfurt came together like a team and played solid for 40 minutes. Even if we are missing guys, we still have a very deep roster that will compensate losses. We had a very good first half where Anthony King (206-F/C-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Miami, FL) and Brad Buckman carried us. It was an overall very good team performance, stressed Dragon guard Bryce Taylor.
The game marked the return of two ex Skyliners with Brad Buckmann and Anthony King. Buckman who comes from Austin, Texas and can witness bats flying around in the city if bored had played shortly for Frankfurt back in the 2010-2011 season, but was the odd man out when then coach Gordon Herbert chose to pick Joe Dabbert over him for the rest of the season. Buckmann left the team and had two strong seasons in Turkey averaging 19ppg and 9rpg for Antayla and last season 13ppg and 7rpg with Bursa. He was relaxed and carefree after destroying his ex team with 14 points and 13 rebounds and still had nice to say despite the circumstances of how he had left. It was cool to be back. It had been over two years ago when I had played here and I remembered the great fans and atmosphere here. I was excited to play against my ex team and wanted to play well after how I had left the team, but honestly I never held a grudge against the Skyliners. It is a business and they picked Joe Dabbert. I went on to have good seasons in Turkey. It was a blessing in disguise. It was amazing to see how well Buckman and King were able to harmonize in just 72 hours since the arrival of the Texas native. Buckman is a smart player. He knows how to move without the ball and to get to the rebound. He just doesnt need much time to get used to a system no matter what it is. He played very well with King, stated ex Bonn player Bryce Taylor. The system in Spain didnt fit me, but the system of Koch does. I am more of a four and not really to post up. I just know where to be on the court. I am 29 years old and just know the rules well, added Brad Buckmann. Artland didnt need a Gomez. Buckmann was great and they found a great replacement with him, warned Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein.
Anthony King played for the Skyliners in the 2008-2009 season under Murat Didin as a rookie and then played two very strong seasons in the lower league in Cyprus and was able to polish his game being rewarded with a late season pick up by a first division Greek season. For InterCollege Etha Engomis he played 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%; German head coach Stefan Koch became aware of that and hauled him to Artland for the 2011-2012 season. Last season he averaged 9,9ppg and 5,9rpg and has continued to develop well. King returned back to Frankfurt and just dominated in the first half picking off rebounds like apples in an orchard and finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. A few years ago there were rumors that Demond Mallet was trying to get his cousin NBA legend Shaq to play a few games in Belgium, but that never materialized on account of an injury. If Mallet ever had ideas to do that again, he should just look at Anthony King who is playing like a mini Shaq. King was very tough down low. It is great watching him, because he doesnt sit in the post waiting to get the ball, but works to get it. He gave Peacock a hard time. He plays with so much energy and we feed off each other. He is like a mini Shaq for us, stressed Brad Buckmann. King who is a soft spoken American lets his play speak for him, but after the big win, he spent some time reflecting on Frankfurt and his game. I think I have developed well. I dont like to look at my rookie season. It was tough and some things really messed me up. It went as far that I almost didnt come back to Europe. I am thankful for coach Klaus Perwas. He has seen my development and he has seen me improve my inside game. Klaus is a good guy and I value his opinion. I wish I was a mini Shaq. I am no 7.1 300 pound player, but just try my best in each game. Buckman and I really harmonize well. We both go to the glass hard and it is a real motivation to see when he goes as hard to the glass like I do. We really used the mismatches to our advantage today, stressed Anthony King.
If there was one real noticeable thing in the pre game warm ups then it was the gum chewing of 2008 ULEB cup winner Demond Mallet who can chew gum with the best of them except for maybe Kenny Frease who is in a league of his own on the cow pastures. The Fraport Skyliners had been on a six day team building training camp in Tenerifa and it was hoped that they would find a quick answer on the court, but instead witnessed the Artland Dragons race out to a 10-0 lead. King scored twice inside, Buckmann grabbed an offensive rebound and made a put back while little used German Acha Njei who played for the injured Bryce Taylor dropped a three pointer. The Artland Dragons found their rhythm quick on offense and Anthony King and Brad Buckmann were a two man wrecking crew on the boards and making points. The Fraport Skyliners had a tough time getting into rhythm. Frankfurt also had some real bad luck as a few shots rolled around the toilet bowl as if the basket was clogged up. It took Frankfurt almost six minutes to score their first points as it was Quantez Robertsons coring hard on the penetration. He also would be the first Skyliner to score in each quarter. The crashing the boards continued for the Artland Dragons as King and Buckman hauled down two offensive rebounds and secured putbacks. Danilo Barthel and Robertson hit shots to make the 18-8 disadvantage after one quarter not look so bad. The Artland Dragons attacked from the start and were playing very good defense forcing the Skyliners to turnovers and limiting them to one shot. King also was playing. When Frankfurt was trapping or double teaming him, he seemed to have problems though, stressed Fraport Skyliner junior Taylor Brown. The Artland Dragons were shooting 64% from the two point range, and 25% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 20% from the two point range and 29% from outside. The rebounding was crucial as Artland dominated the boards 13-3. Both teams had four turnovers a piece.
In the second quarter, the Artland Dragons continued to dominate the game going on a 8-3 run to extend their lead to 28-11. The Artland big men continued to do what they wanted to inside as Serb Petar Popovic scored a tough hook shot over Johannes Voigtman, King hit a pull up jumper and 2011 French cup winner Marquez Haynes made a off balance shot. Frankfurt continued to be disorganized on offense with two air balls from Robinson and Dowell and King pulled out his Shaq face blocking Quantez Robertson twice. German guard Konstantin Klein stopped the Artland run with a big three pointer. Klein finished with six points and two rebounds in 22 minutes and was one of the better Skyliner players of the day after Tez and Peacock. Klein had a good game. No matter what the score is, he always comes in and gives energy. Even if he misses a shot, he doesnt drop his head, but continues to shoot. He has the right attitude, stressed Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. King then hit a brutal turn around shot over Peacock and Dowell and Popovic ended the second quarter with a mid distance jumper from the wing as the Artland Dragons led 35-16 at the break. Frankfurt played better at the start of the second quarter, but then seemed to unfold again at the end. We simply werent making shots and it seemed like some guys were not in their normal rhythm. I know how good this team can be in practice, but I didnt see that in the first half. Their defense was good. They did a good job on pick and role and trappings and when they doubled in the post, Artland had problems. But you cant win games when your outrebounded 22-13, stressed Atlanta native Taylor Brown. The Artland Dragons were shooting 52% from the field and 20% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 23% from the field and 27% form the three point line. Artland had the 22-13 rebound advantage and 10 turnovers while Frankfurt had 11 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners were quickly back on the court after the halftime talk von Muli Katzurin and it seemed to do wonders in the first few minutes as they jumped out on a 7-2 run to cut the Artland Dragon lead to 37-23. Robertson started the run with a lay up with a hard penetration to the hole and Peacock followed with a lay in. The run was interrupted with a King lay in fed nicely from Buckman and quiet Ted Scott dropped a bomb from outside. However the Fraport Skyliners were unable to build on this run as the Dragons stormed back on a 7-0 run to extend their lead again to 44-23. Johannes Strasser hit a three pointer, Buckman finished a crushing dunk after King found him open in traffic and King then hit a jumper. Frankfurt then went on a 6-0 run all benefited by free throws as Robertson made five points. Frankfurt was playing more aggressive defense, but werent rewarded on offense as they continued to miss shots and had the tendency to play a bit too much one on one and disregarding being more calm in their sets. Popovic scored on a hook shot over Scott and Mallet hit free throws to close out the third quarter as the Artland Dragons still led comfortably 48-29. The Artland Dragons were shooting 70% from the two point range and only 19% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 21% from the field and 22% from the parking lot. Artland still led the rebound duel 32-23, but had 15 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers. In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners made their run and got out fats going on a 8-1 run to cut the Artland lead to 49-37. The Fraport arena after being quieter than usual in the first three quarters slowly came to life. Robertson started the run with a carbon copy penetration to the hoop like to start the third quarter. Super Tez then got an offensive rebound and put back. Peacock then played pick and roll with Gibson for an easy lay up and Tez scored again. Frankfurt was playing their Katzurian style of aggressive defense where each player was helping and surprising the Dragons on countless occasions and for once the offense was clicking. However Artland was strong enough still on offense to keep their lead up as King made a mid distance jumper and Klein nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt trailed 51-40. Buckman and Peacock exchanged buckets as Artland still led 53-42. Artland then had an extra burst of energy going on a mini 5-0 run to extend their lead to 58-42. Buckman connected on a put back and little used Ben Spoeler scored inside. Devin Gibson and Peacock then scored back to back to cut the Dragon lead to 58-49. Mallet then found Buckman that flew to the hoop like a blond Austin bat making his third dunk of the day. The Fraport Skyliners then made their last run as a hot Peacock scored a jumper and then made a nifty reverse layup making a free throw to cut the Artland lead to 60-55. After a Strasser free throw, Robertson who eclipsed his best scoring game of 20 points against Alba Berlin hit a big three pointer with four second remaining as Frankfurt trailed only 61-58. However Strasser closed out the game with a free throw 62-58. Frankfurt struggled shooting and we knew that it wouldnt lastTez and Peacock got hot at the end with big shots. I was getting a little nervous at the end, expressed Bryce Taylor. We didnt have enough juice in the tank. We had used so much energy on offense and defense throughout the game, added Quantez Robertson.
The Artland Dragons were led by Anthony King with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Brad Buckman added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Johannes Strasser contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 23 points and 14 rebounds. I was very aggressive today and just took what the defense gave me, stressed Quantez Robertson. Zach Peacock added 19 points and two rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners continue to have woes on offense and shot only 34% from the field and 26% from outside. Why the offense is so inconsistent remains a mystery. Our offense works in practice, but as soon as we play games it doesnt. We show that we can score with 29 points in the fourth quarter, but we have to be more consistent, explained Konstantin Klein. The defense continues to be a bright spot while the rebounding continues to be a nasty thorn in their side that probably wont be removed in Munich either. Artland have great inside players. Buckman is wide, King shut down Peacock and Popovic makes those hook shots. We have to work harder on rebounding. Our defense was very good especially in the fourth quarter. That is how we have to always play not just in one quarter, added Konstantin Klein.
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rocke... [read more]
Will Cummings (188-G-92, college: Temple) is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Jacksonville, Florida playing his second professional season and first with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 15,2ppg, 3,6rpg and 3,7apg in Champions League play. He played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015 amassing a total of 111 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 80.8%. As a rookie last season he played for the Houston Rockets (NBA), released in Oct.'15, then moved to Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%, in Apr.'16 signed at Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. he spoke to eurobasket recently after Aris had beat the Fraport Skyliners in Germany in Champions League action.
Welcome to Germany Will. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know about the country and it's basketball?
Yes that was my first time in Germany. I don't really know too much about their basketball since this is really my first year playing basketball overseas. I just know Germany has great cities to live in and visit.
Do you have any other friends currently playing in Germany besides TJ DiLeo? I think another former temple player Ryan Brooks might currently be playing in Germany. I know he has in the past.
Your playing your first complete season in Europe after being a rookie in the D-league last season and then played briefly with Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A): 4 games: 9.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg. What was your wake up call to being in Europe for the first time and playing professional ball?
I would say my wake up call was playing against Milan in the first round of the Italian playoffs. Jumping right into an important and high level situation for your first experience forces you to learn quickly.
This season you are playing for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). You are playing in a very strong league with many talented imports from around the world. As a point guard what do you believe has been the biggest adjustment for you getting accustomed to the European game? As a point guard I believe the biggest adjustment is learning the defenses that are being played in Europe. I played in the D league for a full season so you get accustomed to the amount of space on the court. In Europe everything is more compact so you have to find ways to still be affective with less space.
Currently the team is in sixth place in Greece and have a 8-4 record in the Champions League. What is the biggest difference for you in style and talent between the two leagues? I would say the biggest difference is the refs from European games and Greece games.
Your rocking in both competitions in the Greek league as well as in the Champions League. Just from the stats would it be fair to say that you a scoring point guard first and playmaker second?
I don't like to label myself. I leave that for other people evaluating my game. I just try to be affective and make plays in each game to help my team win.
When you were growing up who were your NBA role models and to what NBA player would you say does your game now resemble most?
Growing up my NBA role models were Allen Iverson and Chris Paul. I feel like I have a mixture of different players I resemble at different times. I feel like I have my own identity.
How valuable has your teammate Michael Jenkins been for in the first few months in terms of you getting accustomed to the league and life? Has he taken you a bit under your wing?
Mike has helped me a lot getting adjusted to life in Europe. Showing me the in and outs of just living on your own for a long period of time out of America.
How tough has it been with pronouncing the names of your teammates? Do you invent short nicknames for a guy like Vasilis Xanthopolous? But this name isn't even that difficult because many of the Greek names have that Thopolous on the end?
The names haven't been that difficult to pronounce but I have developed nicknames for all of them to eliminate me having to pronounce them.
How do you feel is your game improving on a daily basis when you go head to head each day with Xanthopolous in practice? Do you feel like your basketball IQ is at a different level than what it was before you came to Europe?
Going against Xanthopolous in practice has helped me because he has such a great feel for the game. He makes you figure out ways to try and out smart him. I do feel that I'm learning more.
As a rookie in 2015 you played NBA Summer League with the Houston Rockets and then was signed and played six pre season games before getting waived. Every player I talk with that has been in a NBA training camp has had their story, but how was it with you. How did you learn in this month experience that at the end of the day basketball will always be a business no matter how talented you are? NBA training camp was definitely and eye opener and showed me this basketball is business so it made me a lot stronger and mentally tougher to deal with my new lifestyle.
You were playing against a guy like Patrick Beverly who had played 5 years in Europe before making the jump to the NBA. When you compare your game to a guy like that what do you believe is still missing in your game to reach the NBA?
I don't believe anything is really missing from my game to be in the NBA. I would like to be a more consistent pull up shooter but opportunity just has to be given.
Last season as a rookie you had a very strong season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 52 games: 20.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 53.7%, 3FGP: 37.7%, FT: 78.5%. For a talented guy like you not scoring in double figures in 35 minutes per game is hard, but you still showed immense consistency doing it in all 52 games. Did you feel like you had deserved an NBA call up?
I definitely believe I deserved an NBA call up.
Last summer you played NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs. Is Europe a stepping stone for you to develop your game and continue to try for the NBA in the future? Yes Europe is a stepping stone to still try and make the NBA.
You played at Temple (NCAA) from 2011-2015. How did head coach Fran Dunphy groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? Fran Dunphy was the best thing that happened to my basketball career. He groomed me into a man and the tough player that I am today. I thank him for that.
You played two seasons with TJ DiLeo who is playing his 4th season in Germany. How annoying was his aggressive defense in practice every day and how do you believe did you profit from his presence on the floor?
I honestly can't really remember practices back. So much time has passed.
You surely had many memorable games at temple8NCAA), but where do the back to back wins against Uconn and Memphis rank towards the end of your senior season?
Those back to back wins get thought about a lot. They are high on my list because I thought those two wins secured us into the NCAA tournament but we were robbed. Also, beating UCONN was on senior night. Having my whole family there was memorable.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but what player was your toughest opponent that is in the NBA now?
I didn't have any.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Devin Coleman?
Great question. I can't remember but I'm sure I did haha.
Jacksonville seems to be a city that grooms future NFL players with very few basketball people as the most notable are Otis Smith and Dee Brown. If you could have a dinner with Dee Brown what would you want to most about his basketball experience he had?
I would want to know most about his workout habits and what he did to take himself to another leve
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Kareem
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
MJ is the GOAT.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
National All-Star Team Schwethelm Kleber Lo Seiferth Heckmann 7 Philipp Schwethelm (201-SF-89) of Oldenburg MVP 42 Maximilian Kleber (207-PF-92) of Bayern 5 Niels Giffey (200-G/F-91) of ALBA 12 Maodo Lo (191-G-92) of Bamberg 11 Andreas Seiferth (209-C-89) of Bayreuth 22 Danilo Barthel (208-PF-91) of Bayern 32 Johannes Thiemann (204-PF-94) of Ludwigsburg 34 Christian Standhardinger (206-F-89) of Vechta 9 Maurice Stuckey (187-PG-90) of Wuerzburg 25 Anton Gavel (189-PG-84)... [read more]