Berlin on roll; Bamberg blast Bonn; Lischka with thumbs up
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the 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:
Get well soon Joe!
The Beko BBL has made sure that Johannes Lischka knows he’s on everyone’s mind. The WALTER Tigers Tübingen power forward posted a picture on his Facebook account with him giving a thumbs-up following surgery to remove a tumor from his head. The operation took six hours and the tumor was 99.9 percent removed, Lischka said. He is due to be return home in the near future. And he told Bild am Sonntag: “I have no doubts that I will return. I even assume that I will be back on the court this season.” Here are some of the well wishes from around the league: Joe, we all wish you the best!
Berlin too much for Ulm
Talk about a roll! ALBA BERLIN are cruising right now with a very impressive six days. After knocking off previously undefeated Bayern 94-74 on November 10, Berlin blasted Belfius Mons Hainaut 77-57 in the Eurocup on November 12 and then streaked past ratiopharm ulm 102-74 on November 16. David Logan poured in 24 points against Ulm while Reggie Redding had 17 points and Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann collected 13 points, 10 rebounds and some impressive dunks for Berlin, who improved to 5-2 in the Beko BBL. Ulm, by the way, can struggle on defense. They gave up 94 points to Braunschweig in the season opener, 99 points to Ludwigsburg two weekends ago and now 102 points to Berlin to drop to 5-4.
Bamberg blast Bonn
After Bayern’s loss two weekends ago, Telekom Baskets Bonn were the hottest team in the league with seven straight wins. Then Bonn ran into a Brose Baskets Bamberg team slowly rounding into form. The four-time reigning champions dominated from the second quarter on in grabbing an 83-69 victory for their fifth straight win to jump to 7-2 and a tie for third place. With Zack Wright out, Jamar Smith led Bamberg in scoring with 15 points while Damir Markota collected 14 points and five rebounds. Bamberg won the game on the glass, out-rebounding Bonn 35-24. Benas Veikalas totalled 16 points for Bonn, who dropped to 7-2.
Meeks still on board as Würzburg interim coach
With the financial picture still cloudy, s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg decided to keep on Michael Meeks as interim head coach in the aftermath of the firing of Marcel Schröder. The former Schröder assistant Meeks has not been officially given the job but the club trusted him for their home game against EWE Baskets Oldenburg – which ended up being a 79-60 defeat, though the difference was not indicative of the closeness of the game. Würzburg GM Steffen Lieber said a final decision on the head coach will be made in the coming weeks.
Weekly News was live on site last weekend to watch Maxi Kleber against Oldenburg. The 21-year-old is still a ways from being back to full fitness but he showed flashes of what he can do. His shooting struggles continued – after making 2-of-7 shots, he is hitting less than 36 percent from the field – and he scored five points and grabbed five rebounds. It was the first time he didn’t score in double digits after 11, 15 and 16 points in his first three games. He also snatched up two steals and worked hard in keeping opposing guards in front of him after switching on defense. Kleber told Weekly News that he still feels that he’s in pre-season. Interim coach Michael Meeks would say Maxi is playing at about 60 percent of his potential at the moment.
Player of the Week
Andrew Rautins returns to the Player of the Week pinnacle with a superb game for the FRAPORT SKYLINERS. In Frankfurt’s 89-74 home win over the Artland Dragons, Rautins scored 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting including 6-of-9 from three-point range while also collecting five rebounds, eight assists and one steal for an efficiency rating of 29. There is an unconfirmed report out there that it was actually raining three-pointers in Frankfurt that night – watch as the Skyliners knock down 11-of-23 from long range in the game.
AJ Moye still in the game
As Tübingen currently deal with the news of Lischka’s head tumor being removed, there was a report of a former Tigers player and how he has remained in the game of basketball three years after suffering a stroke. Former Tübingen captain AJ Moye is coaching high school basketball near Los Angeles, California. Moye played for Tübingen from 2006 to 2009 and was with the SKYLINERS when he suffered the stroke in mid-November 2010, ending his active playing career. Moye got his coaching license in Germany in 2011. It’s great to see AJ still in the game helping youngsters. For those who don’t remember him on the court, here a sampling of what AJ could do and here is a look at his fight to get back onto the court.
A different angle of basketball
Are the Beko BBL games not enough? Do you need more hoops away from the court? We have something for you. “Cultures of Basketball” this weekend in Berlin features sessions on topics such as Philadelphia, black hairstyles, LeBron as the new Othello, American Indians and basketball, the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, and Hoop Roots in Germany. Here is the full program - Have fun!
Johannes Voigtmann, 21, C, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
How does that The Smiths’ song go? “Stop me, oh, stop me; stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before”. It’s another Young Guns appearance for Voigtmann. The 21-year-old collected 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Even people who don’t like The Smiths can dig those stats.
Jonathan Maier, 20, PF, ratiopharm ulm
Another mention from last week … Maier picked up career highs with eight points and four rebounds in 14 minutes against Alba Berlin – as the starting center for Ulm (and check out his big jam in Berlin at the end of the video below).
Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Welcome back to Munich! Tübingen may have gotten blown out, but Bogdan went 4-of-6 from the field – including hitting his only three-pointer – in scoring 10 points while also grabbing one rebound against his former team. Of course, he did pick up five fouls in 9:22 minutes.
And here are all three Young Guns in this video of German big men taking it to the hole:
Honorary selection: Michael Wenzl, 22, C, Artland Dragons
Sure, Weekly News usually considers 22 years of age too old for Young Guns, but we wanted to give a shout-out to Wenzl. After earning a total of 9:10 minutes – and four points – in four of Artland’s first seven Beko BBL games, the Dragons center has totalled 16 points in the last two contests, while playing more than 16 minutes and then 19 minutes. Wenzl also had two rebounds, a steal and a block against Frankfurt. In the Eurocup, Wenzl played 8:05 minutes in the first three games then combined for 26 points and 11 rebounds in the last two games. And he achieved the first spot in this week’s Top Ten:
Meat and Potatoes
Bayern Munich returned to their winning ways with an easy win over Tübingen to improve to 8-1 atop the Beko BBL. Oldenburg’s win leaves them alone in second place at 7-1. Artland Dragons, Brose Baskets Bamberg and Telekom Baskets Bonn are knotted at 7-2. Eisbären Bremerhaven beat medi bayreuth to improve to 2-7 and leave the relegation zone. Tübingen is second-to-last at 2-7 and Würzburg are last at 1-8. The Beko BBL scoring race is heating up. Bremerhaven’s Darius Adams is first at 18.1 followed by Andrew Rautins of Frankfurt and Phoenix Hagen’s David Bell both at 18.0 ppg. Hagen’s Larry Gordon leads the league in rebounding at 8.5 rpg followed by Johannes Lischka (7.7 rpg). Bonn playmaker Jared Jordan remains way ahead in the assist race with 7.7 apg followed by RASTA Vechta’s Richard Williams (6.1 apg). In the efficiency race, Gordon leads at 18.4 with Williams second with 17.0 per game.