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Weekly News 23: Ulm looses Mason-Griffin, Bayern budget at 8 million and big honor for Wendell...

Weekly News 23: Ulm looses Mason-Griffin, Bayern budget at 8 million and big honor for Wendell...

In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko Basketball Bundesliga. This week: Ford fills Bamberg front court; Ray replaces Swann in Ulm; injury bug bites Beko BBL hard; ALBA to retire Iceman’s number; and no back-flips in Gießen.
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 Wednesday David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the Beko BBL short and sweet (for feedback and suggestions please email to Simon@Beko-BBL.de).

The Alpha Males: Bamberg finish remodeling with Sharrod Ford

Three-time reigning champions Brose Baskets finished the rebuilding of their front court by signing power forward Sharrod Ford on a one-year deal. Following the departures of Tibor Pleiß, Marcus Slaughter and P.J. Tucker, Bamberg revamped their inside game with A.J. Ogilvy, Maik Zirbes, Bostjan Nachbar and now Ford, who played with Tucker in Italy and came highly recommended from the former Bamberg star. The 29-year-old Ford knows the Beko BBL after playing 1.5 seasons with ALBA BERLIN from February 2006 to May 2007. Ford signed with Bayern Munich before last season but left before the season started for personal reasons. Now he will be asked to execute Bambergs spectacular alley oop plays (instead of Tibor Pleiß and Marcus Slaughter) ... should'nt be a big deal for Ford:

Why Not Now?: Title-hungry Bayern budget at 8 million, add Thomas, get rid of Foster

Maybe Uli Hoeness has seen his Bayern Munich football team finish too often behind Borussia Dortmund, but the club president has a clear target for the 2012-13 Beko BBL season – champions. And he’s upped the budget to get that done. Hoeness said the basketball team is already making profits without the help of the footballers and the Abendzeitung newspaper reported that the budget for this season was up to 8 million euros. The team is all but set now. Bayern released Je’Kel Foster citing the guard’s failure to show up for mandatory team meetings. But personnel boss Marko Pesic went out and picked up athletic wing Brandon Thomas from Artland Dragons on a one-year deal – just months after he bounced Bayern from last season’s playoffs. Here are some impressions from the "boot camp", like big man Chevy Troutman called the practice camp:

Lost and Found: Ulm finally find fill-in for Swann departure, Trice leaves

It wasn’t easy but ratiopharm ulm finally found their man to fill the hole left by Isaiah Swann by bringing in Allan Ray from French top flight side Pau Orthez. The 28-year-old Ray has played in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, Euroleague and Eurocup and was a member of Team USA at the 2005 U21 World Championship. Ray’s arrival also marked the departure of swingman Rocky Trice after three seasons with Ulm. Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath said Ray and new arrival Philipp Schwethelm will not be enough to make up for the loss of Swann and Trice but that the whole team will need to step up. Here are some highlights from his past seasons:

Statline of the Week Career: 6, 6, 3, 5,922, 12

What a career statline for former ALBA BERLIN great Wendell Alexis. Six years, 6 German league titles, 3 German Cup crowns, an Alba record 5,922 points. And on September 15, the Berlin club will hang his Number 12 from the rafters joining Henrik Rödl as the only other ALBA BERLIN player to have his number retired. We congratulate The Iceman.

The Drama: Injury bug biting early and often

The season is still about six weeks away but that nasty injury bug is biting early and often throughout the Beko BBL. ratiopharm ulm will be without point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin for the whole season with knee surgery (Ulm already signed Lance Jeter as a replacement) while guard Quantez Robertson will miss a number of weeks for FRAPORT SKYLINERS with a broken finger on his left hand. BBC Bayreuth have lost playmaker Kevin Hamilton for eight to ten weeks as the plate from his shinbone operation from last season was removed due to irritation, and Demond Mallet is due out a few weeks for Artland Dragons with a torn pectoral muscle.

Best of the Rest: Ludwigsburg and Artland add big men

Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg finished off their front court by adding David Weaver on a one-year contract from Polish top flight side Energa Czarni Slupsk. Weaver also brings Ludwigsburg big-game experience from his time in the Eurocup with Lithuanian club BC Siauliai. Check out his high lights from last season:

Artland Dragons also added a big man, acquiring 33-year-old Serbian veteran Petar Popovic from Red Star Belgrade. Popovic has played in the Euroleague but more impressively in the 2004 Olympics with Serbia and Montenegro.

The Dragons also added a back-up point guard in Canadian Tyler Kepkay to fill in for the injured Demond Mallet on a one-month contract. The deal could be extended if Mallet’s recovery is slower than expected.

That Won’t Happen Again: No back-flips in Gießen

New LTi Gießen 46ers head coach Mathias Fischer has a new no-no for his players: back-flips. Apparently new point guard Dijuan Harris did a back-flip during a break in practice to show the on-looking fans how athletic he is. Fischer did not see it but when he learned of it, according to a Gießen newspaper, the coach said with a smirk: “I guess I will have to add that to my fine catalogue.”
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