Internationals beat Nationals again / Clyburn wins slam dunk title / Berlin extend deal with Vargas
— David Hein
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko Basketball Bundesliga. If you’re short on time but still want your fill of Germany’s top basketball league then you are in the right place. Every week David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the Beko BBL short and sweet:
Wanamaker leads Team International to another ALLSTAR Game victory
Team International kept their perfect record against Team National at the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Game with an action-packed 110-101 victory at ratiopharm arena in Ulm. A sold-out crowd of 6,000 fans saw Brose Baskets’ Brad Wanamaker win MVP honors with his impressive display of scoring and playmaking for the Internationals, who won their seventh straight match-up with the top Germans in the game. Bayern Munich’s John Bryant collected a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds and was in a fun back-and-forth with Team National’s Daniel Theis, who had a double-double of his own with 12 points and 12 rebounds. medi bayreuth’s Javon McCrea led all scorers with 19 points while MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg’s Kerron Johnson collected 16 points, four rebounds and six assists. Here are a couple of videos – the warm-ups of the game and the Top 10 of the ALLSTAR Day.
Local favorite Clyburn wins Original Source Dunking Contest – thanks to Holston
Will Clyburn was the home crowd favorite to win the Original Source Dunking Contest and the ratiopharm ulm high-flier got the job done – thanks to creative help of Artland Dragons playmaker David Holston. Clyburn reached the final of the slam dunk contest along with David Brembly of medi bayreuth, but the Ulm wing man impressed the judges more. Check out some of the highlights of the high-flying show:
North finally win NBBL ALLSTAR Game again
Haris Hujic hit the game-winning two free throws with 17 seconds to play to give Team North a 67-63 victory over Team South in the NBBL ALLSTAR Game. The Phoenix Hagen guard scored 15 points and was named as the game’s MVP as the North won the ALLSTAR Game for the second time – and first since 2009. ALBA BERLIN’s Moritz Wagner led all scorers with 16 points and nine rebounds for the North, who also got 12 points and four assists from Wagner’s Berlin teammate Jannes Hundt. Team Urspring’s Mahir Agva led the South with 14 points while Eintracht Frankfurt’s Lennart Okele scored 10 points and his club teammate Niklas Kiel chipped in nine points and eight rebounds. Here are some highlights of the game.
Cup winners Berlin host league champs Bayern in TOP FOUR qualifiers
Either the reigning Beko BBL TOP FOUR champions ALBA BERLIN or the reigning Beko BBL league champions Bayern Munich will be at the 2015 TOP FOUR in Oldenburg as the two powers were drawn to face off in the qualification round. In addition to the Berlin-Bayern match-up the other two qualifiers will have ratiopharm ulm hosting Brose Baskets and Telekom Baskets Bonn taking on BG Göttingen. The qualification games are scheduled for February 18 and the three winners will join EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the TOP FOUR on April 11-12 at the EWE Arena.
Bayern injury bug bites again – McCalebb out several weeks
Bayern Munich just have no luck this season with the injury bug as it bit again for the defending champions as Bo McCalebb will miss several weeks with a thumb muscle injury. McCalebb, who just recently had his contract extended until the end of January, got injured in Bayern’s Eurocup game against Dijon. Captain Bryce Taylor, Paul Zipser and Anton Gavel have all returned to action after injuries while Vasilije Micic is still out injured. Taylor did pull out of the ALLSTAR Day festivities with a slight injury issue, but nothing major.
Berlin extend deal with Vargas
ALBA BERLIN have been happy with the defense and three-point shooting of Akeem Vargas and extended the German swingman’s contract from the end of this season for two years to 2017. The 24-year-old Vargas currently leads the Beko BBL in three-point shooting at 52.6 percent.
Bamberg terminate deal with Shipp
Brose Baskets have terminated the contract with Josh Shipp, saying the 28-year-old just didn’t optimally fit into the club’s plans for the rest of the season. Shipp arrived in Bamberg in November to replace the injured Carlon Brown and averaged 4.4 points in 17 minutes over 10 Beko BBL games and 5.4 points in seven Eurocup contests. Bamberg said they will not look for a replacement for Shipp.
Bailey hurt again for Bayreuth, Je’Kel Foster rumored as replacement
Bryan Bailey went through a horrible last year of various injury setbacks and played just four games last season for medi bayreuth. The shooting guard is hurt again and will miss between eight and ten weeks with a hip injury from the game against Brose Baskets at the end of December. Reports have surfaced that Bayreuth responded by adding former Beko BBL guard Je’Kel Foster if the 31-year-old passes his physical. Foster, who last played in Lebanon, has played in the past for Ludwigsburg, Oldenburg, Bayern Munich and ALBA BERLIN.
SKYLINERS keep Koivisto until end of February
FRAPORT SKYLINERS decided to keep Finnish international Mikko Koivisto for a while longer, extending their deal with the wing player until the end of February. Koivisto was brought in early in September after a series of injuries to Frankfurt players.
Player of the Week
Brad Wanamaker may have won the MVP of the ALLSTAR Game but John Bryant was the top player in efficiency. The Bayern Munich center collected 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-of-6 free throws while grabbing 17 rebounds – six of them offensive – to go with one assist and a block for an efficiency of 28. Wanamaker picked up an efficiency of 15 with 16 points, two rebounds and three assists.
Johannes Voigtmann was making his first appearance in the ALLSTAR Game and had a decent showing with four points on 2-of-3 shooting along with two rebounds and one turnover in 10:35 minutes.
German Top Five of the Week
Here are the top five German players from the ALLSTAR Game.
G: Heiko Schaffartzik, Bayern Munich
Schaffartzik struggled with his shot, making just 1-of-8 three-pointers for three points but he grabbed three rebounds and dished out eight assists, setting up a number of teammates for highlight reel dunks.
G: David Brembly, medi bayreuth
Well, he definitely deserves special praise, competing in all three competitions – the three-point and dunking contests as well as the ALLSTAR Game – as a replacement for Bryce Taylor. Brembly won the three-point shootout and also reached the slam dunk final. In the ALLSTAR Game, he scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and had one assist.
F: Christian Standhardinger, Mitteldeutscher BC
Standhardinger was Team National’s second-leading scorer with 14 points – on 6-of-8 shooting – while also picking up two rebounds, one assist and one steal in his first ALLSTAR Game.
F: Daniel Theis, Brose Baskets
Theis had a great game with 12 points – on 6-of-11 shooting – 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. He also had a great back-and-forth trash-talking battle with Bayern’s John Bryant, his former teammate at ratiopharm ulm.
C: Tim Ohlbrecht, ratiopharm ulm
Ohlbrecht led Team National with 17 points on 7-of-11 shots and 3-of-4 free throws while also collecting three rebounds, one assist and one steal in front of the home Ulm fans.
Haris Hujic, 17, PG, Phoenix Hagen Juniors
Hujic was named the MVP of the NBBL ALLSTAR Game with 15 points and the game deciding free throws late for Team North. Hujic hit three three-pointers on 4-of-9 shooting and 4-of-4 free throws while also collecting one rebound, three assists and three steals.
Mahir Agva, 18, C, Team Urspring
The Urspring big man was the leading scorer for the South with 14 points on 7-of-13 shots while he also had five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Moritz Wagner, 17, PF, ALBA BERLIN
Wagner led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-14 shots and 2-of-4 free throws while also picking up a game-high nine rebounds for the North team.
Germans Overseas Watch
The Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the Eastern Conference – and a third-best in the NBA – and a big part of that is the play of Dennis Schröder, who is averaging 5.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in January. Schröder, who has earned the nickname “The Umlaut”, had 10 points, three rebounds and four assists against Washington - oh and this highlight.