Niels Giffey comes back to Berlin / Beko BBL players celebrate German World Cup title / Jenkins re-signs with Oldenburg / Top Ten blocks of the season
— 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:
German hoopsters celebrate Germany’s World Cup title
Congratulations to Germany on winning the 2014 Soccer World Cup. The now four-time world champions were clearly the best team in the tournament, knocking off France, Brazil and Argentina in succession to win the crown. German hoopsters like Dirk Nowitzki and several Beko BBL players made sure people knew who they were rooting for and also posted their celebration pics on social media.
Welcome back champ! Giffey returns to Alba Berlin, Timor leaves team
It was rumored for quite some time and ALBA BERLIN finally got their man. The cup champions and Beko BBL finalists signed German international and two-time NCAA champion Niels Giffey on a three-year contract. A Berlin native, Giffey returns to the organization where he played before leaving for the United States and a four-year stay at the University of Connecticut. The 23-year-old provides Berlin with an outstanding shooting option on the wings as well as a tough defender and a versatile player – traits that got Giffey a number of tryouts with NBA teams. While Berlin welcomed Giffey back to the club, they did see a player leave as German-Israeli Bar Timor is heading to Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem. Timor did not receive a lot of playing time with Berlin last season.
Jenkins stays in Oldenburg with 1+1 deal
EWE Baskets Oldenburg locked up another piece of their championship-contending team from last season as they re-signed scoring ace Julius Jenkins on a one year contract with an option for another year. Oldenburg had already brought back Chris Kramer, Adam Chubb, Rickey Paulding, Robin Smeulders as well as Philipp Neumann while adding Maurice Stuckey and Philip Zwiener before re-upping with Jenkins. Now that the core has been re-signed, Oldenburg can go out and fill their remaining needs.
Allen moves to Braunschweig, Bremerhaven sign Schultze, MBC finish roster
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig added some good experience to their roster with the addition of three-time All-Star and two-time playoffs finalist Derrick Allen on a one-year contract. Allen along with Immanuel McElroy and Kyle Visser build a strong leadership group for the young Braunschweig players. Eisbären Bremerhaven also added a strong veteran presence in signing former German international Sven Schultze for the up-coming season from Alba Berlin. Just like Allen, Schultze will be a good example for the Bremerhaven team. Mitteldeutscher BC meanwhile apparently have finished off their roster for this season with the additions of American point guard Frantz Massenat and German big man Kristian Kuhn from ProA side Science City Jena. medi bayreuth also locked up another player for next season as they signed 24-year-old Czech international small forward Lukas Palyza from Czech champions CEZ Nymburk. And promoted side BG Göttingen re-signed big man Harper Kamp for next season.
Bayern draw tough Euroleague group, Berlin face CSKA and champs
The draws for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague 2014-15 season came out and Beko BBL champions Bayern Munich certainly will have a tough group while Alba Berlin will take on powers CSKA Moscow and reigning champs Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Munich were drawn into Group C with Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce Ulker, EA7 Emporio Armani Milan as well as PGE Turow Zgorzelec. The other teams in Group B with Berlin are Unicaja Malaga, Cedevita Zagreb and Limoges CSP.
Artland Dragons, Brose Baskets Bamberg, EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Telekom Baskets Bonn will learn their fate in the Eurocup with the draw in October. In the Eurochallenge, ratiopharm ulm were drawn into Group A with Enel Brindisi, SPM Shoeters Den Bosch and Södertälje Kings. FRAPORT SKYLINERS will play against Okapi Aalstar, Boras Baskets and Bakken Bears Aarhus in Group C.
Likeable Günther swipes up another prize
It’s no surprise Per Günther won the Pascal Roller Award for the most likeable player in the Beko BBL. One big reason obviously was his extensive presence on social media, which helped the ratiopharm ulm point guard win the 2013-14 Social Media Award and the reward of 2.500 euros. Günther, who finished ahead of Artland Dragons guard Bastian Doreth and teammate Philipp Schwethelm, received 2,500 euros for the prize. Bayern Munich’s Steffen Hamann won the first Social Media Award last season.
Rumor central – Bayern close to Serbian duo Savanovic, Micic; Janavicius on way to Braunschweig
With all the moves going on, let’s talk about RUMORS of more moves! Here’s where we will report some of the rumors out there about German clubs and German players. Let’s start with Bayern Munich as both Eurohoops and David Pick say that Munich will bring in Serbian star young point guard Vasilije Micic while Djordje Matic reports that Munich have closed deal with Serbian veteran Dusko Savanovic. Sportando meanwhile reports that Braunschweig will sign Lithuanian Zygimantas Janavicius on a 1+1 contract.
Coming to a Beko BBL team near you soon?
Don’t be surprised if you see a Beko BBL team go after Waverly Austin soon. The center didn’t have the best numbers at the University of Oregon, but the big man possesses two valuable things for a German club – size at 6-foot-11 as well as an über-valuable German passport, according to this article.
Good read – Berlin GM Marco Baldi interviewed
Go out and check out this fine interview from the guys at RealGM with Berlin GM Marco Baldi.
Germany go 2-1 in Italy tournament, prepare for two games vs Portugal
The German national team started their preparations for the EuroBasket 2015 qualifiers with two wins and a loss at the four-nation tournament in Trento, Italy. Germany were bashed in the first game against Italy, 91-56, with a starting line-up of Bastian Doreth, Karsten Tadda, debutant Akeem Vargas, Andreas Seiferth and Maik Zirbes. In addition to Vargas, Maxi Kleber, Johannes Voigtmann and Andrej Mangold all made their German senior NT debuts in the game. Germany bounced back with a 74-71 win over Belgium the next day with Bogdan Radosavljevic and Maodo Lo both playing for the senior team for the first time. The Germans finished off the mini-tournament with a 73-42 drubbing of the Netherlands. Germany, who play against Austria, Poland and Luxembourg in the qualifiers from August 10-27, will return to the court this weekend with warm-ups in Portugal after another training camp – this time with captain Heiko Schaffartzik back in the team.
Kleber watch: Maxi scores in double figures in first three games for Germany
Maxi Kleber’s career for the senior German national team finally tipped off at the four-team tournament in Italy, and the forward had three strong showings. He scored 14 points against Italy, 12 versus Belgium and had 15 points against the Netherlands. During practice, by the way, he made something we should call the Schweinsteiger experience – as you can see here and here.
Hamburg begin putting Towers together
The newly-founded Hamburg Towers have begun to build their foundation as they signed their first two players. The ProA team brought in talented German youngster Bazoumana Kone as well as German-American Andres Murillo. The 20-year-old Kone comes from Eisbären Bremerhaven where he played in 18 Beko BBL games and made a couple of appearances in the Young Guns segment last season. A Bremerhaven native, Murillo comes to Hamburg from NAIA college Biola University, where he was a member of the All-Golden State Athletic Conference First Team as its fourth best scorer and top rebounder. Hamburg made two nice additions to start their team, which tips off in the ProA on September 27 against GIESSEN 46ers.
Video of the week - Top Ten blocks of the season: