Butler pays tribute to Vince Carter / Schwethelm wins MVP / Leibenath flashes shot blocking skills
— 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:
MVP Schwethelm shoots Team National to All-Star Game win
Team National raced back from a 21-point deficit to knock off Team International 102-99 in the All-Star Game for their second straight win in the mid-season showcase. Philipp Schwethelm drained seven three-pointers - including four in 123 seconds - to bring the Nationals back into the game and eventually win the MVP title with 21 points. Maxi Kleber was impressive with 21 points as well while Raymar Morgan poured in 21 points and Trey Lewis collected 9 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists for Team International.
Coach Leibenath stuffs own player Babb’s shot
The All-Star Game included one of the stranger highlights you will ever see as Team National head coach Torsten Leibenath got involved in the game and blocked a shot from Chris Babb - his own player from ratiopharm ulm.
ProB player Butler wins Dunk Contest with Vince Carter tribute
Brian Butler from ProB team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen came out with a great tribute to the spectacular Vince Carter to win the Telekom Basketball Dunk Contest at All-Star Day. Butler, who used to be in the Bayern Munich and ratiopharm ulm systems, beat high flyer Lamonte Ulmer of s.Oliver Würzburg in the semifinals before defeating Kelvin Martin of MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the final. Martin got past local hopeful Ken Horton of Telekom Baskets Bonn in the other semifinal.
Thompson wins Three-Point Contest “at home” in Bonn
Ryan Thompson is a good shooter any how and the Telekom Baskets Bonn sharpshooter used the home court advantage to win the easyCredit Three-Point Contest. Thompson scored 24 points in the final - including knocking down 11 threes in a row, to beat Philipp Schwethelm of EWE Baskets Oldenburg and challenger Paul Hörschler. Trey Lewis of medi bayreuth, Rickey Paulding of EWE Baskets Oldenburg and GIESSEN 46ers’ Cameron Wells were eliminated in the first round.
Kulboka lights it up for NBBL All-Star Game MVP
Brose Bamberg’s young prospect Arnoldas Kulboka shined big time at the NBBL All-Star Game in leading the South team to a 90-85 victory over the North stars and winning the MVP trophy. The Lithuanian international drained six three-pointers as he scored 33 points for the MVP crown. Aaron Kayser of NINERS Academy added 11 points for the South while Gabriel De Oliveira of Iserlohn Kangaroos scored 17 points for the North, who also got 14 points and 8 assists from Baskets Akademie Weser-Ems’ Piet Niehus.
SKYLINERS let Graves go
FRAPORT SKYLINERS have decided against picking up their option on the veteran shooting guard Antonio Graves for the rest of the season, meaning the 31-year-old will leave after 16 games in the easyCredit BBL and 11 contests in the Basketball Champions League. Frankfurt signed Graves in the middle of October to help fill in for the injury to Philip Scrubb. The deal was until the middle of January with an option until the end of the season. The decision to let Graves go appears to mean that Kwame Vaughn will remain with the team despite not playing recently in the Champions League. Watch Graves game winner against Ludwigsburg again:
Clubs will receive compensation for Phoenix Hagen exit
The 17 remaining clubs in the easyCredit BBL will receive financial compensation for the departure of Phoenix Hagen from league operations. The money will help fill losses in income the clubs faced from not having a home game against Hagen or traveling to Hagen for a road game. That was decided at a BBL clubs meeting at the All-Star Day in Bonn. League CEO Stefan Holz also said a “very clear majority” of the clubs are in favor of keeping the easyCredit BBL a league with 18 clubs. The clubs did however decide to get rid of the Champions Cup due to a packed schedule.
Paul Zipser started two games for the Chicago Bulls this week - at the New York Knicks and at Memphis. Against New York, he collected 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 34 minutes. Then after not playing against New Orleans, Zipser played 15 minutes against the Grizzlies and picked up 5 points and 2 rebounds. Watch his first three pointer: