Besides enjoying the amazing, captivating and loud atmosphere in the Franken arena in Bayreuth, some fans might have been looking forward to seeing Gary Mcghee slamming home a put back and making comparisons to Jermareo Davidson and the similarity of their hair styles, observing the hustle of American Joe Trapani with the looks of actor Chris O Donnel as both visited Boston College to get their education, watching the perfect grace of Kevin Hamilton slipping his teammates crisp passes for points or trying to predict how many dunks a Jason Cain will have. However one match up that might get less interest, but no doubt is of big interest is the guard play of two young and upcoming Germans Simon Schmitz and Konstantin Klein. Schmitz has continued to develop nicely with BBC Bayreuth and the big trust and extended minutes from head coach Marco Van Den Berg surely has helped his self confidence. Schmitz who has a young brother Aaron that plays in the PRO B for the Dragons Rhondorf is averaging 18,3 minutes per game and 6,2ppg, 1,2rpg and 1,1apg. He has scored in double figures six times including a season high 15 points in a huge 90-65 home win against Alba Berlin. If you had asked Konstantin Klein of the Fraport Skyliners before the season what his chances were of getting playing time for the team, he would of said, hoping to get some minutes, but nobody ever expected that he would be averaging 14 minutes per game and logged 34 minutes in Oldenburg. His best game was a 10 point performance in a loss in Berlin. Klein plays a tough defense that really annoys offensive minded players and has a penetrating self confidence seldom seen for his age and he just keeps battling and firing up shots even if the first few dont fall. He always gives 100% and tries to bring a lot of intensity into the game with his defense. I played against him last summer with the A2 and I knew what he can do. It shows that when young German players get confidence form the coach that they can make a step forward. I am a bit surprised by his rise, but I am happy for him, stressed Simon Schmitz. BBC Bayreuth lost the first encounter in Frankfurt 76-59 and Schmitz played very solid with 12 points in 21 minutes while Klein had 0 points in 12 minutes and was looking for revenge as he finished with six points in 11.45 minutes helping BBC Bayreuth get past the Fraport Skyliners 75-69 as Konstantin Klein played little with 5.45 minutes netting two points and one steal. This was an interesting duel where one has to say the advantage goes to Klein on defense. I have liked the development of Klein this season. He is a player that has those typical German virtues that always gives everything on the court. He is like a Duracell battery that never gets tired and plays with heart and defends like a tiger. It is always nice to watch these duels and then put a resume at the end to see who was better. It is important to keep a perspective as to what guys have a chance to become a national player in the future, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. After the loss Skyliner German big man Johannes Voigtmann reflected on this German guard duel. Both have similar games and both are good shooters, but Schmitz has more experience. Klein has shown this season that he has confidence to hit big shots something that Schmitz is doing on a consistent rate. That is something that Klein should strive to be able to do in the future, stressed Johannes Voigtmann.
A week ago it was a Robin Benzing and Steffan Hamann that sealed the fate of the Fraport Skyliners with their play and this week it was Beckham Wyrick (198-F-83, agency: Pro One Sports, college: NC-Wilmington) who is your typical strong role player that does so much on the court, but most likely could get even more recognition for their fine play. Wyrick finished the game with 14 points and six rebounds shooting 67% from the field and one could give him a new nickname changing his Becks to Mr big shot not meaning that he things the world of himself, but that he makes the important shots. For Wyrick who has played in Leverkusen, Bamberg and Munich it seemed like just another typical day at the basketball office for him. I have always been a role player in my career, but I have more of a role on offense with BBC Bayreuth. I just work hard in practice taking shots which gives me the confidence to make them in games, warned Cincinnati native Beckham Wyrick. Wyrick hit big shots all throughout the game, but not more important than in the fourth quarter where he nailed two always then when Frankfurt was a few points behind. Wyrick has earned the respect of his opponents since years. Wyrick has so much self confidence in his shot. He does all the small things on the court and hustles to the rebound. He is a player that every team wants to have, stressed Johannes Voigtmann. After the win, Wyrick was giving an interview for local Bayreuth TV and next to him was BBC Bayreuth head coach Marco Van Den Berg who was waiting his turn. One could see the sparkle in the eyes of the dutch man head coach when mentioning Wyrick. He has a great character. Whenever you need to win, Wyrick does it with character and not talent. He hit big shots and neutralized Quantez Robertson from being effective from winning the 50/50 balls, expressed BBC Bayreuth head coach Marco Van Den Berg,
When your way down in the bottom of the standings like the Fraport Skyliners are then the only thing that counts is winning. Even when the team is playing well, it is no excuse for losing. The Fraport Skyliners left Bayreuth with their fourth loss in a row and thanks to a win from the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, the 2004 Beko BBL champion slipped to 17th place in the standings. With head coach Muli Katzurin back from a week in Israel and both ex LTi Giessen 46er Americans Laquan Prowell and Ryan Brooks integrated more into the team, they were unable to successfully make a comeback in crunch time despite fighting until the end, but falling short. BBC Bayreuth capitalized on our mistakes. We were in a hole quick and were unable to come back. We had problems getting into our offense and didnt shoot well. Whenever we made mistakes, they took advantage of it and scored on offense, added ex Eisbaeren Bremerhaven forward Zach Peacock. BBC Bayreuth were trying to recover off a bitter loss in Ludwigsburg and quickly got going and set the pace of the game and kept a cool head in crunch time making the right plays and hitting the big shots winning their fourth game in a row at home. We knew that it would be a tough game and that it would be a fight. Frankfurt had outhustled us in Frankfurt. We just wanted to bounce back and we had much energy this time. We got off to a quick start and we fed off the atmosphere and our fans. We hit big shots, caused turnovers and played good defesne forcing them to tough shots which gave us the win, commented ex Artland Dragon Bryan Bailey.
BBC Bayreuth got off to a quick start leading 4-0 as ex Alba Berlin guard Nicolai Simon scored with a jumper and a lay up. BBC Bayreuth didnt waste anytime getting a rhythm and getting their set offense running taking quick shots and getting the crowd going. The Fraport Skyliners didnt waste much time matching their intensity early as the two ex Giessen players Ryan Brooks scored inside and Laquan Prowell stuffed home an ally-op pass from Robertson as the game was tied at 4-4. BBC Bayreuth kept their intensity cooking going on a 6-0 run to lead 11-4. Simon scored his seventh consecutive point, Wyrick hit a fade away jumper and Kevin Hamilton scored on the fast break due to a Simon steal. BBC Bayreuth kept the lead, but the Fraport Skyliners stayed on the heels of BBC Bayreuth as Prowell and Brooks continued to hit cutting the BBC Bayreuth lead to 14-10. Wyrick then hit a jumper over the outstretched hand of Tez as Frankfurt trailed 17-10. Joe Trapani who had had a strong game in the loss in Frankfurt with 16 points and 10 rebounds had two big blocks in the first quarter to help in the BBC Bayreuth charge. The Fraport Skyliners kept their best for last closing out the first quarter with a 8-2 run to trail only 19-18. Devin Gibson made his best play of the game spinning into the zone and closing with a no look pass to Danilo Barthel who made a hard dunk. Robertson then made a steal and went coast to coast for an easy bucket and then went baseline making a perfect pass in traffic to the cutting Marius Nolte who made an easy basket. The game was even at this point. BBC Bayreuth had a good start, but Frankfurt was able to break their rhythm and get into the game. No team had an advantage after 10 minutes, explained basketball expert Steven Clauss.
The second quarter continued to be very even, but BBC Bayreuth had the better start in the second frame going on a 4-0 run to lead 24-18. Jason Cain stayed awake catching a Peter Zeis airball and making the lay in with one second on the shot clock and ex Braunschwieg guard Kevin Hamilton connected on a three pointer. The Fraport Skyliners continued not to let BBC Bayreuth get away staying in the game with a Peacock dunk and Dawan Robinson lay in to cut the BBC Bayreuth lead to 27-23. Hamilton known for his classic first pass play found Trapani inside with a no look pass for an easy bucket as BBC Bayreuth led 31-25. The Fraport Skyliners then scored nine unanswered points in a row taking their first lead of the game 34-31. Frankfurt took advantage of BBC Bayreuth mistakes and getting some easy buckets on transition. Brooks started the run with a pull up jumper, Robinson scored on the fast break, Prowell nailed a three pointer and Robinson scored again in traffic in the lane. That was the last run of the quarter as BBC Bayreuth went into halftime with a 9-2 run to lead 40-36. Bailey hit a free throw, Hamilton scored inside and Bailey hit a three pointer. Bayreuth wasnt doing anything special, but had the lead because of the many offensive turnovers that they had got. Frankfurt was only shooting 13% from outside and had too many turnovers which helped bBC Bayreuth have the lead, added Steven Clauss. BBC Bayreuth was shooting 44% from the field and 33% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 13% from the three point line. BBC Bayreuth had the 15-11 rebound edge and seven turnovers and Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter, BBC Bayreuth held the lead as the Fraport Skyliners were playing catch up and using much energy. Joe Trapani started the third quarter with a three point over Prowell. Robinson then scored on the penetration which he does effectively, but Nicolai Simon answered with a penetration lay up as no help defense was anywhere to be seen as Frankfurt trailed 45-39. BBC Bayreuth continued to get too many offensive rebounds and second chances as Frankfurt was simply too soft on the boards. After a Trapani lay in, Prowell and Robinson got to the foul line cutting the BBC Bayreuth lead to 49-44. BBC Bayreuth had a special knack on this night always when Frankfurt got closer to hit big shots as Bailey scooped up an offensive rebound and getting a put back for the 51-44 lead. Prowell and Mcghee then traded baskets as BBC Bayreuth still led 53-46. After a Wyrick jumper, Brooks dropped a three pointer as Frankfurt trailed only 55-50. Simon Schmitz then hit a typical BBC Bayreuth big shot on this night over Gibson leading 58-50. Frankfurt then shortly before the end of the third quarter cruised out on a 5-0 run to trail only 58-55. Robertson spun to the hoop changing the ball from his left to right hand for the easy bucket and Brooks snuck inside. Bailey closed out the third quarter with free throws as BBC Bayreuth led 60-55. The offensive rebounds were giving BBC Bayreuth the lead. They were getting many extra shots and the Frankfurt defense wasnt stable enough, stressed Steven Clauss.
Kevin Hamilton hit a big three pointer for the 63-57 lead in the fourth quarter. The Fraport Skyliners continued to battle back as Zach Peacock who had suffered three quick fouls in the first half started to slowly get heated up as he made a nifty reverse lay up as Frankfurt trailed only 63-61. BBC Bayreuth did let the Skyliner comeback rattle their game as as they broke out on an 8-2 run to lead 71-63. Wyrick and Schmitz hit big shots and it seemed like that had sealed the win for BBC Bayreuth, but the Fraport Skyliners had one last gasp of energy going on a 6-0 run to cut the BBC Bayreuth lead to 71-69 with on eminute to go. Peacock started the mini run with a step back jumper, Prowell then scored inside and Robinson also scored inside. With time running out it was Beckham Wyrick once again that had the hot hand burying a jumper from the corner over Robertson for the 73-69 lead. I made a pump fake on Tez, had open look and made the shot. Tez is a great defender. He went for the block which gave me the open shot, stressed Beckham Wyrick. I was too far in playing help. They made a quick swing out and I had to close it out. Coach had told us in practice to stay on ground, but I jumped. He made a good move and hit the shot. Wyrick is a tough player that always works hard on offense and defense. You always need to match his intensity, warned Quantez Robertson. Bailey closed out the game with free throws. The best team won today. The Fraport Skyliners were unable to stop BBC Bayreuth from getting offensive rebounds and had too many turnovers, added Steven Clauss.
BBC Bayreuth was led by Bryan Bailey with 15 points. Beckham Wyrick added 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Kevin Hamilton contributed 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Joe Trapani produced 10 points and five rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ryan Brooks with 15 points. Dawan Robinson added 14 points. Laquan Prowell contributed 13 points and Zach Peacock 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot solid form the field at 49%, but were miserable from the parking lot with 15% while BBC Bayreuth shot 41% from the field and 38% from the parking lot. It was one of the worst rebounding efforts of the season as BBC Bayreuth won the rebound duel 39-23. The Fraport Skyliners only have four days before a do or die game in Braunschweig and not much time to prepare. We rebounded very bad in many phases of the game. We defended well and I thought that we took good shots and were able to execute and got on the fast break, stressed Johannes Voigtman. Despite playing better offense in the last two games with the new Americans Prowell and Brooks, it is no secret that the teams till has to score more points to win tight ball games. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig host the Fraport Skyliners on Feburary 13th.
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg [read more]
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to Eurobasket after the big 64-56 win against Heidelberg last weekend.
Elijah congrats on the 64-56 win in Heidelberg. How good did it feel to win on the road again after 4 straight loses on the road?
Thanks a lot. It was a good feeling. We must continue to build off this.
Despite being down 17-14 after 10 minutes, both teams did execute on offense, but did you think that the game would be a grind out game for 40 minutes?
Heidelberg did a good job offensive rebounding in the first half. We gave up way to many. They have a good team and have been playing well this season so we knew coming in that it would be a challenge.
There was a stretch where Gotha almost went 10 whole minutes midway through the third to the fourth without having a single field goal, but still had the 49-43 lead. How pleased were you that the defense became the back bone of the team in this phase?
I was very pleased. Defense is something we take pride in and it paid off last night when our shots were not falling. We need to keep bringing focus and energy on the defensive end to be successful.
Samuel Parker was hot in crunch-time connecting for 9 points and you added 4 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about the game of Parker this season.
Just being consistent. Every game you know exactly what you will get from him which is a great quality to have.
You only played 11 minutes, but contributed four points, one assists and a steal. How much of a challenge is it for you in general to be as efficient as possible in the minutes that you get? I don't feel like its much of a challenge- I know what I do well and I try to stick to that so that I can help my team in the best way.
Gotha currently is in seventh place with a record of 7-6 after 13 games. Is this a position that head coach Chris Ensminger and the team is happy with at this juncture of season?
We are not happy at all with our record but feel we are making the right steps to improve.
The season has been up and down as it has lost two games in a row twice and now has a two game winning streak. Why has the team not been able to have a big winning streak yet?
We gave away too many games. We have to be focused and ready every night we take the floor.
The team has such a good balance of many talented and versatile players. How well is the team coming along at the moment in their development in team chemistry?
We are coming along step by step. We just need to continue believing in each other.
How valuable has the addition of Dane Watts been. Obviously he is skilled, but what do you feel is his biggest asset in the offensive system of Gotha?
Experience. He has played at a high level and knows exactly what it takes to be successful. I think the team feels off that energy.
Your averaging 17 minutes per game and averaging 6,8ppg and 2,3rpg while shooting 45% before the Heidelberg game. Do you feel like you could be doing more in the minutes you are getting?
My minutes per game have been up and down so far this season- One game 20minutes and next maybe 10. My goal is to just be aggressive in the time that I get and find ways to help my team win.
You are averaging less minutes than with Lich. Have you been able to incorporate other parts of your game more with Gotha than you did with Lich?
I think defensively and basketball IQ I have made a huge step but offensively I feel I had a more all around game with Lich.
The next game is against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. They are coming off a tough loss against Chemnitz, but are playing better basketball in the last weeks. What do you feel will be key to getting the win?
We must be prepared for Essen. I think the key will be for us to concentrate defensively for 40 miutes.
The talk is usually about Lebron or Steph Curry, but one has to mention that Russell Westbrook is averaging triple double stats with points, rebounds and assists. Where do you rate him at the moment just with sheer stats and how he is doing it from the point guard position?
Westbrook is on a mission. As of now he is the MVP in my book.
What do you feel will be the journey of the Golden State Warriors this season? Will they be able to win the title again and with 65 plus games?
I can't see them winning 65 games again or winning the title. It will be interesting to watch!
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his... [read more]
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to four different continents (Europe, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Calhoun has played previously professionally in Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Romania (Ploiesti), Uruguay (Hebraica) and Poland (Slask and Kotwica). He attended University of Houston until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Calhoun's game is described as:
A dynamic forward who had triple-double capabilities. boasts an inside and outside game. at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, has ideal athleticism and length to play on the wing or down low.
Norm Roberts on Calhoun: 'Qa'rraan Calhoun is a guy that is really going to allow us to spread the floor more. He is a perimeter four-man that can step out away from the basket and shoot the ball for three and also put it on the floor to create for himself as well as others. He is a terrific offensive rebounder who may be one of the best athletes on our team, and he does a great job of running in transition. I think he will add a lot to our team.'.
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel(208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fund... [read more]
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel (208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fundraiser. Even if one would have to be very unlucky to meet a tarantula in the Nord west centrum mall where Barthel lived during his 5 year tenure, the little creature surely could of found bondage to the German's hairy beard. Sometime in the 2013-2014 season, the 207cm forward who has made dunking a normal daily occurrence as much as it is for an Anthony Davis to get a double double found a spider in his mail box, but it soon was revealed that it was a fake rubber spider and the secret of his dislike for the quick runners was slowly lifted. Who the prankster was that placed the spider in the mail box of Barthel was never revealed, but I would have bet my special George Gervin autograph on prankster Jacob Burtschi or the silent and innocent looking Johannes Voigtmann. One thing that Barthel was not scared to present was his sharp and improving basketball skills on the court as he continued to develop since coming to Frankfurt in 2011. Barthel may be the first guy that will be half way to Siberia by the sight of a spider before a Quantez Roberton can be on the break from Frankfurt to Auburn, but if Beko BBL teams came upon the idea to place a spider on a rim to keep Barthel away, they better think twice, because despite his fear of the little creature, the rim is the best friend of the German on the court. That is probably the only place where Barthel will forget how disgusting a spider really is because nothing in safe around the rim when the 25 year old German is on flight. Barthel has made some crashing dunks over his years as he continues his career with FC Bayern Munich this season, but before he could sign on the dotted line and be able to meet Uli Hoeness on a more regular basis and pick his brain about FC Bayern Munich basketball, one has to remember that there was a reason why he was able to move to the charming city of Munich and woo fans there with his skills and that was his development with the Fraport Skyliners from 2011-2016.
Since he came to the Fraport Skyliners in the 2011-2012 season nothing seems to have changed with the demeanor of Danilo Barthel even now with top German club FC Bayern Munich as he is still the calm quiet big man from Heidelberg that at times can glide past you in a hall way as if he was trying to avoid his house doctor from getting scolded for not having made that next checkup, but his appearance in no way is any disrespect, but just how he is. He may still come over as reserved as a person, but his game is anything but restrained, but became a real force on the court and a few years ago was among young Germans as one of the best candidates of making the big breakthrough as according to ex top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon from ex team Phoenix Hagen. As a rookie in the 2011-2012 season, he had to play for Muli Katzurin who wasn't known for giving young Germans a chance as he had coached Alba Berlin to the 2011 Beko BBL final without ever really letting German national players Lucca Staiger get positioned in the corner to have fans chant 'bombs away' or letting Andreas Seiferth get nasty in the paint. However on a cool rainy autumn day in Tubingen in October 2011, Katzurin put Barthel into cold water as the club was hampered with injuries and attitude problems as his eight points were less remembered than ex NBA player Jermario Davidson sitting at the end of the bench having conversations with his mobile phone. 'I was very surprised. I played little minutes in the preseason and then to come in and score so well was like a dream for me', stressed Danilo Barthel. In his first year the Heidelberg native played 13 Beko BBL games and averaged a very respectable 8,33 minutes per game averaging 2,8ppg and 1,1rpg. It wasn't simple getting ample playing time that season as four man Jermario Davidson was the work horse of the team and one of the main factors why the team almost made the playoffs. As a rookie, he got valuable experience in Eurocup play playing four games and continued to be able to work on his game in the German Pro B playing 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.7apg, Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 71.4%. Having current NBA player Jon Leuer as a teammate for three months helped his game mature as well at the start. 'Playing against such a strong offensive player like Jon Leuer that is so versatile really helped my game. My 1-1 defense was helped with his play. I also remembered some of his spin moves to incorporate into my game', stressed Danilo Barthel.
In his second season with the Fraport Skyliners, management made it clear early with the arrival of further German wunder kids Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtmann that they would go a totally new route by taking advantage of the 6-6 rule and giving young Germans playing time. The concept of signing talented Americans and reaching the playoffs was first put on hold as rebuilding and looking to the future was first on the agenda. In the 2012-2013 season, Muli Katzurin noticed the talent level of the Germans and gave them minutes. The role of Barthel increased from his rookie season as he played 30 games and averaged 17,3 minutes per game. Just like in his rookie season he had a another work horse in front of him with Zach Peacock, but what better way than to learn from him the way he did from Davidson the year before. In the 2012-2013 season, Barthel averaged 4.3ppg, 2.9rpg. He scored in double figures four times with 15 points against Bayreuth being his best points effort In his second season in Frankfurt. He also found a new relationship to the rim besides just hitting shots, but getting a better feel for what they feel like and how soothing a dunk is when one rams the ball through the netting with authority. His dunking breakthrough came in the first month in a home game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he flew through the air making a fierce penetrating two handed dunk over Patrick Ewing junior and Johannes Wolfarth-Bottermann feeling the breeze of the German as he was too late on transition defense. That dunk seemed like that special basketball release for him. From then on dunking had become a big part of his basketball repertoire. If you were to have told NBA legend Larry Bird that he could jump, one would have been lying, because he grabbed rebounds more through effort than athletic ability and that white men can't jump is more of a cliche, because Danilo Barthel could star in his own movie called White men can jump. He proved that he was given that special jumping ability, He continued to play in the Pro B in his second season getting extra game time practice as well playing 12 games and averaging 12.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 67.7%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 75.6%. He ended the season with massive back problems, but worked hard over the summer and came into this season fit.
Barthel who's favorite player is Dwight Howard and likes to mold his game around 63 point man Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks had his real BBL break out season in 2013-2014 playing 34 games averaging 11.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 78.4%; That season, ex Toronto Raptors assistant coach Gordon Herbert had given the big German three of Voigtmann, Klein and Barthel more responsibility and were inserted into the starting lineup each weekend. All three were averaging plus 20 minutes per game. If one had predicted this the season before that this could happen, many might not have thought it happening so quickly, but a lot of the credit goes to the Skyliner coaches of Gordon Herbert, Klaus Perwass and Eric Detlef who put in countless hours of teaching the kids how to get better. A big reason for his breakthrough season is the immense confidence that Gordon Herbert had given the German. Barthel showed more and more that season his unending killer instinct to want to get to the bucket whenever possible and just finish off the play with a monster dunk. However a criticism in his game that season at times had been his hesitation of taking the three ball. From a span from December first until January fifth, the German was 0/10 in six games including two games where he didn't even attempt a three pointer. But in the next two games, he took on more responsibility from downtown and with the absence of injured Andrew Rautins and Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi, Barthel had to take more of the bulk of the shooting as he was 5/9 in two games making three against Alba Berlin and two in Artland. His passing gets underestimated, but there isn't a better passing combination of four and five men in the Beko BBL than with Johannes Voigtmann and Barthel as he had improved his passing with the daily practice with the German center. He worked on his one on one defense which improved from the previous season as blocks became more of a standard in each game for him. His mobility is a strong suit which has helped him mature better the last years on the defensive end. There was a span in his third season where he registered five blocks in four games and was getting less fouls as his timing and IQ on one on one defense continued to improve. His ex coach Thorsten Daume at USC Heidelberg always preached to give all he has in every minute on the floor and that is what Barthel has always done as he is that relentless fighter that never gives up and that is exactly what every coach wants from his player. He made his debut at the 2014 beko BBL allstar game in Bonn and held his own scoring eight points and showing his usual aggressive play and blocked ex Euroleague player David Logan. 1993 German European champion Henning Harnisch who won just about everything with Leverkusen in the 90s and was general manager of Alba Berlin had nothing but praise for Barthel after examining his play in Bonn at the Beko BBL allstar game.
Before starting the 2014-2015 season with the Fraport Skyliners, Barthel had the huge opportunity to play NBA Summer league with the Miami Heat in Orlando and Las Vegas. This was a grand opportunity to show his skills and test himself against the other rising stars of the world. He played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando with Miami playing 4 games averaging 4.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, 0.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 31.6%, 3PT: 9.1%, FT: 75%. He then moved west to Las Vegas with Miami and played 6 games averaging 4.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 20%, FT: 69.2%. He had some stiff competition with guys like Larry Drew, James Ennis, Shabazz Napier or Justin Hamilton fighting for minutes, but he held his own and did the most out of minutes mixing it up from outside and as well as showing his game inside which had some GM heads turn in both locations. As time flies so does one's memory, but current Brooklyn Net Justin Hamilton remembered who Barthel was even a year and a half after they were shortly teammates. 'I remember Danilo having a very good shot and being very athletic for his size. He impressed the Miami Heat very much. He showed up and turned heads at the NBA Summer League. I didn't have much conversations with Danilo. In the Summer League you get thrown together for a couple of weeks and it's hard building relationships. I remember him telling me where he was from and where he played. He was a very good guy. He was very competitive and spirited', stressed Justin Hamilton. Another guy that was also his teammate was Larry Drew II who currently plays for Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL) couldn't quite recall his time with the German. Recently before a Champions League game in Oldenburg, the American had to think hard and long when hearing the name Danilo Barthel completely blanking his memory. 'Honestly I don't remember him. I would have to see his face. He must have been very skilled to have been invited by the Miami Heat', stressed Larry drew II. Barthel returned back to Germany and in the 2014-2015 season and played 30 games: 9.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 74.1%; EuroChallenge: 10 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 81.0%. In the BBL he scored in double figures 12 times and had two double doubles and in the Eurochallenge scored in double figures in seven games. He had a serious injury that kept him out for two months at the start of 2015 and when he came back at the end of March put up some solid games in the BBL, but had misfortune in the Eurochallenge semi-final where Frankfurt met a very hungry and energy driven French team Naterre who had a superb day put up the big goose egg in 14 minutes. All in all the injury hindered his development a bit. At the end of the season he had racked up another BBL allstar game appearance and made the Eurochallenge Top 4. In his last season, Barthel won his first professional title with the Fiba Europe Cup and played 32 BBL games averaging 9.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 68.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.8%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup played 14 games averaging 8.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 78.6%. He had another injury at the start of 2016 that kept him out for a month, but overall it was another solid season for him. In the BBL he scored in double figures 17 times and in the Fiba Europe Cup scored in double figures five times. He probably could of improved his scoring and rebounding tremendously in his last two seasons with the Fraport Skyliners, but the club had added the perfect parts for success. Two seasons ago, the trio of Justin Cobbs, Sean Armand and Aaron Doornekamp combined for much points and last season Jordan Theodore and Aaron Doornekamp supplied much fire power. The German twin towers of Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann obviously were hindered more in their production. The Fraport Skyliners played team basketball and stats were put on the back burner. Barthel became more of an inside animal going to places where most wouldn't want to venture to. How many times Barthel got elbowed in the face, got his nose rearranged or had traces of a bloody nose are hard to pinpoint, but his mom who sat a few rows up behind the Frankfurt bench probably had a better recollection of her son's trauma under the hoop. Barthel's outside shot is still a work in progress, but his inside game definitely developed further in his last two seasons in Frankfurt. After winning the Fiba Europe Cup and standing high and mighty on the balcony of the Frankfurt council house during the celebrations, a big ugly spider could of found a new home on the trophy and Barthel may have forgot his spider phobia for at least a moment while holding the shiny silver award.
This season Barthel has moved on to FC Bayern Munich and has become part of a team that has a 12 man roster where each guy could be a starter for any other BBL team. He can be proud to call guys like Bryce Taylor, Maxi Kleber, Devin Booker, ex NBA player Nick Johnson and ex Bamberg sniper Anton Gavel his teammates. It is obvious that when you are on a team like this, minutes will be as desired by each guy as is that 5th Super Bowl ring that Tom Brady is striving for to finally be called the greatest quarter back of all-time. Even if some may call having German Maxi Kleber as his main competitor at the position four a tough pill to swallow, having battles in practice each day will make the German only better. So far this season, Barthel is averaging 15,6 minutes per game, 8,2ppg, 2,6rpg, 1,3apg and shooting 33,3% from outside. He has scored in double figures in four games and netted 15 points against Tuebingen and 14 points against Wurzburg. In Eurocup action is averaging 7,6ppg, 4,1rpg and 1,3apg. Barthel really has only two main goals on his mind which is winning to sooth the heart of Uli Hoeness and being as effective as possible in his minutes which will keep head coach Aleksandar Djordevic ready to keep penciling him in. FC Bayern Munich is definitely on paper and in their play so far in the BBL an upgrade from last season, but getting by Bamberg will be a giant hurdle and challenge. But Barthel knows that the season won't really start until May 2017. The sky is still the limit for Barthel at the age of 25 as his time with FC Bayern Munich will help him further in his development. When Barthel returns back to the Fraport arena on Sunday, he will surely take a look up at the rafters for a moment and look at the 2016 Fiba Europe cup banner and reflect on the closing moments in Chalon as the buzzer sounded and teammate Jordan Theodore took the ball and threw the ball to space and the German let out a fierce roar after the title win like a black bear in Colorado who needs his daily fish rations. Jacob Burtschi might not be around as a possible prankster this season but Barthel may just have to check his space in the visiting locker room especially closely on Sunday just in case a Quantez Robertson didn't enter early and place something very hairy and undesirable there for him to meet.
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