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Weekly news: MVP for Bayern, wild card for Ludwigsburg and a youngster named Schröder for Atlanta

Weekly news: MVP for Bayern, wild card for Ludwigsburg and a youngster named Schröder for Atlanta

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: Two-time MVP John Bryant moves to Euroleague-bound Bayern; Ludwigsburg awarded wild card; Schröder gets drafted by Hawks; ALBA face off against LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – soon on game consoles.
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 Tuesday 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).

Mr. MVP John Bryant returns to Germany with Euroleague-bound Bayern

Beko BBL fans fearful they wouldn’t see two-time reigning MVP John Bryant any more got some good news as the American center agreed to return to Germany on a two-year contract with Bayern Munich. The two-time ALL Star MVP moves to Bayern after three seasons at ratiopharm ulm with the biggest highlights being the 2012 Beko BBL finals and advancing to the quarter-finals of the Eurocup in 2013. Munich’s signing of the Beko BBL’s top player the past two seasons shows that they are beyond serious about finally knocking four-time reigning champions Brose Baskets Bamberg from their throne. Bryant will also play in the Euroleague for the first time as Munich was given a spot in Europe’s top club competition along with Bamberg.

Ludwigsburg receives wild card to return to Beko BBL

While Bayern can look forward to the Euroleague, fans of Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg can be happy about watching Beko BBL games as the league’s clubs awarded the relegated team a wild card for the 2013-14 season. “We are happy that Ludwigsburg will continue to be on the Beko BBL map – not only because they have been very solid financially but also because the club has done good work in the youth area,” said Beko BBL CEO Jan Pommer. Ludwigsburg was the only club to apply for a wild card.

Dennis Schröder drafted by Atlanta Hawks at No. 17

Don’t be surprised to see an influx of Atlanta Hawks jerseys at Beko BBL games as New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig guard Dennis Schröder became the first German to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Dirk Nowitzki in 1998 when Atlanta selected the playmaker with the 17th pick. Schröder spent draft night at home with family and friends in Braunschweig and his selection by the Hawks has already drawn major media attention in Germany. Here a sample of it and below that is Schröder’s first interview with the Hawks.

Theis, Harris go undrafted

The news wasn’t all good for German players looking to reach the NBA as both Daniel Theis from ratiopharm ulm and Elias Harris – currently without a club – went undrafted in the two rounds of the draft. “It would have been cool, but I kind of figured it wouldn’t happen,” said Theis in the German press. “I am even more motivated to play a good Bundesliga season,” added the ratiopharm ulm power forward, who has a contract until 2015.

Günther repeats as Most Likeable Player

Beko BBL fans still love Per Günther as the ratiopharm ulm playmaker defended his title as the league’s Most Likeable Player – also known as the Pascal Roller Award. The 25-year-old out-going Günther received 27.0 percent of the fans’ votes – up from 24.06 percent from the 2011-12 season. Second place went to Beko BBL Finals MVP Anton Gavel (15.9 percent) from Brose Baskets Bamberg while finalist Julius Jenkins (10.2 percent) from EWE Baskets Oldenburg was third in fan voting.

Alba vs Miami Heat? Soon possible on 2K Sports’ NBA 2K14

Euroleague and ALBA BERLIN fans will get a special treat starting in October when 14 European teams including Berlin will be included in the latest version of the 2K Sports video game NBA 2K14. In addition to ALBA, the other European teams in the game will be Barcelona, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, EA7 Emporio Armani Milano, Montepaschi Siena, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, Panathinaikos Athens, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Zalgiris Kaunas, Unicaja Malaga and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria.

Let’s stay together: Jenkins, Freese stay in Oldenburg, Bonn re-sign duo

EWE Baskets Oldenburg will return 10 players from the team that reached the Beko BBL finals as Jannik Freese and Julius Jenkins (watch his playoff high lights below) both signed one-year deals with the club. Telekom Baskets Bonn re-signed two players as well in re-upping with sharpshooter Benas Veikalas for two seasons and power forward Jamel McLean for one season. Eisbären Bremerhaven also will be bringing back a player as they locked up 22-year-old German Jusuf El Domiaty for the 2013-14 season. FRAPORT SKYLINERS extended their deal with Dawan Robinson for one more season.

Moving in: Burrell follows Krunic to Bayreuth, Ulm signs German-American Hess

There were also players moving teams as Ronald Burrell decided to leave Oldenburg and sign for two seasons at medi bayreuth, where his former coach Predrag Krunic was brought in as new head man. Ulm also added an important part as they locked up German-American Adam Hess on a two-year contract. The internationally-experienced wing player spent last season with Phoenix Hagen. Last year’s surprise outfit Hagen added another guard in signing Henry Dugat from Swedish club LF Basket. ALBA BERLIN added a strong German player in locking up last season’s ProA Youngster of the Year winner Akeem Vargas for two seasons. The 23-year-old played for Göttingen last season. Mitteldeutscher BC added two new players on one-year deals in signing Michael Cuffee and German guard Daniel Hain, the latter who won the German title with Oldenburg in 2009. Artland Dragons added another piece to their puzzle with German-American Chad Topper coming in on a one-year contract. Promoted side RASTA Vechta meanwhile signed Americans Dylan Talley and Isaac Butts for one season and re-signed Alex Jarchow. New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig added 21-year-old Maurice Pluskota on a two-year contract plus an option for a third.
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