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Robin Benzing and John Bryant return to Germany / Bayern beat Madrid at Munich Airport Camera 4

Robin Benzing and John Bryant return to Germany / Bayern beat Madrid at Munich Airport

— David Hein

The 2017-18 easyCredit BBL season is just around the corner and FC Bayern Munich prepared for it with a special win over Real Madrid. The league also saw the returns of German national team captain Robin Benzing and two-time former MVP John Bryant, who celebrated 2014 the German championship together.

In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German easyCredit 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 easyCredit BBL short and sweet:

Bayern beat Real Madrid in airport spectacle

We are less than two weeks from the start of the easyCredit BBL and basketball fans were treated to a fun exhibition game as FC Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid at the Munich Airport. Nearly 2,000 spectators packed the Munich Airport Center between Terminals 1 and 2 at the airport and watched Bayern knock off the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague semi-finalists Madrid 80-72. Bayern’s new guard Jared Cunningham totalled 18 points and Maik Zirbes picked up 17 points.

Benzing back - German national team captain signs with Würzburg

Robin Benzing is back in the easyCredit BBL as s.Oliver Würzburg brought the German national team captain back to his homeland on a three-year deal until 2020. Benzing returns to Germany after two seasons with Zaragoza in the Spanish top flight. Before the move abroad, the 28-year-old forward played two seasons with ratiopharm ulm and then four more with FC Bayern Munich. Benzing, who this month helped Germany reach the quarter-finals of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017, will be re-united with Würzburg coach Dirk Bauermann, who coached him at EuroBasket 2009 and with Bayern. “I brought Robin into the national team for the first time at 20 years old because he is an outright winner who can decide a game on his own,” Bauermann said. Benzing also became a father for the first time during this summer’s EuroBasket.

Former MVP John Bryant also back - with Giessen

The other big news of a player coming back to the easyCredit BBL was a real bombshell with two-time former league MVP John Bryant returning - and signing with GIESSEN 46ers. The 30-year-old Bryant penned a one-year deal after playing most recently with French club Monaco. The center is hoping that new Giessen coach Ingo Freyer can help him return to his best days when he won the easyCredit BBL MVP trophy in 2012 and 2013 with ratiopharm ulm. Bryant played three years with FC Bayern Munich and then played just two games with Valencia at the start of last season before hooking up with Monaco for a partial season.

Butterfield out 4-6 weeks for Berlin

ALBA BERLIN’s preparations for the 2017-18 season took a minor hit as new guard Spencer Butterfield was ruled out four to six weeks with a ligament injury to his left ankle. The 24-year-old Utah native played last season with French club Nanterre and will be starting his fourth campaign as a professional.

Braunschweig sign athletic big man Anthony Morse

Basketball Löwen Braunschweig have added a big man to their line-up as they signed 2.03 meter power forward/center Anthony Morse to a one-year contract. The 23-year-old played last season with Atomeromu SE Paks in Hungary and originally joined Italian side Scandone Avellino for this season. But Braunschweig and head coach Frank Menz were able to sign the former Tennessee Tech big man for the season.

New Braunschweig GM Schmidt made name with volleyball powerhouse

Basketball Löwen Braunschweig also made headlines by naming a new general manager with Sebastian Schmidt taking over his duties with the club starting on October 1, 2017. The 31-year-old from Bad Honnef used to be general manager of ProB side Dragons Rhöndorf, but he made his name in another sport. Schmidt was GM of German volleyball powerhouse and record champions VfB Friedrichshafen, with whom he is still currently under contract until the end of the month. 

Spearman makes next jump, from ProA to Jena in easyCredit BBL

Brandon Spearman continued his steady move up the ranks in Germany in signing a one-year deal with Science City Jena. The 26-year-old Chicago native debuted in Germany with SC Rist Wedel in the ProB in 2014 and after one season jumped to the ProA with Gladiators Trier. The wing averaged nearly 16 points with Trier last season - his second in the ProA - and now will make his easyCredit BBL debut with Jena.

Rockets injury bug continues, Lesic out four months

Oettinger Rockets got hit with more injury news with their easyCredit BBL debut fast approaching as Serbian guard Sava Lesic will miss at least four months with a serious knee injury. Lesic is just the latest Rockets player to get injured in the season build-up, joining Johannes Richter, Niklas Wimberg, Retin Obasohan, Dane Watts and Dino Dizdarevic - the latter who also was injured in the exhibition game against Chemnitz and will be out four to five weeks. 

Champs Bamberg open season in Würzburg, schedule with two FIBA windows

The schedule for the 2017-18 easyCredit BBL season has been released with the champions Brose Bamberg starting the defense of their crown at s.Oliver Würzburg on September 28. The 52nd season of the league starts on September 28 with the end of the first half of the season coming from January 5-7, 2018. The season is scheduled to end on May 1, 2018 with May 5/6, 2018 as an optional finish. The playoffs will start on either May 5/6 or May 12/13 and end on either June 17 or 24. The ALLSTAR Day is scheduled for January 13, 2018 with the easyCredt TOP FOUR planned for February 17-18, 2018. With the start of in-season national team competitions, the 2017-18 calendar also includes two FIBA windows from November 20-28 and February 19-27.

Germany fall to Spain in FIBA EuroBasket 2017 quarters, Slovenia win crown

Germany returned to the FIBA EuroBasket quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 but that was the end of the run as Dennis Schröder, Robin Benzing and Co. lost to defending champions Spain. Germany beat Ukraine, Georgia and Italy in the group stage in Tel Aviv and then knocked off 2013 champions France in the round of 16 before bowing out against Spain.

Rödl handed reins of German national team

The introduction of the FIBA windows means that Chris Fleming cannot continue as head coach of the German national team given that he’s an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA and would not be available for the qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The German Basketball Federation has decided to officially hand over the reins to the national team to former great and 1993 European champion Henrik Rödl, who was Fleming’s assistant coach this summer in Tel Aviv and Istanbul. Congrats to Henrik Rödl.

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 road begins in Chemnitz

New German national team coach Henrik Rödl knows where the road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will start as the German Basketball Federation announced that Chemnitz will host Germany’s first qualifier against Georgia on November 24. The second qualifier will come against Austria on November 27 on the road. Germany will host Serbia on February 22, 2018 at a yet-to-be-announced location, followed by a return game in Georgia on February 25, 2018. The final two qualifiers are at home against Austria on June 29, 2018 and in Serbia on July 2, 2018.

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