FC Bayern Munich 2 Escape Rhondorf With 78-70 Victory

For six years German Viktor Frankl-Maus paradedin the Dragons Rhondorf back court and was the identity figure and heart andsoul of the team. The way he played the game and left his heart on the floorfor the Dragons, one had the feeling that he could never leave the club andbecome a Dragons lifer that would always give his all in the Dragon Dome forthe home court fan. But last summer he decided on taking on a new challenge andjoining Germany´s most famous sports club FC Bayern Munich and to be honest whocould blame him. It was a once in a lifetime chance to play for such arespected organization and later on tell his grand children stories of how hewas mingling with people like football legend Uli Hoeness or top player ThomasMuller or a Robert Lewondowski. Fans in Rhondorf not only will never forget hiseffort on the court, but the brilliant 2014-2015 Pro B season where the Germanled the club into the Pro A. Fans also won´t forget his beautiful feeds to topplayers like Aaron Nelson or Kameron Taylor in the last two seasons. The timehad to come where Frankl-Maus would return to his old stomping ground in theDragon Dome as he led the fifth ranked FC Bayern Munich who had a record of 5-2against his ex team Dragons Rhondorf who were resting in tenth place with adisappointing 2-6 record. It was a game where there was little differencebetween the two even though the standings told a different story. A basketballgame has 40 minutes, but the Dragons played only 37 minutes as they allowed FCBayern Munich to break out on a 10-0 run at the end to decide the game. Afterthe game ex Dragons Rhondorf guard Viktor Frankl-Maus was all smiles as he hadhelped lead his new team to a win over his ex team. “I was very happy to behere. It is one of the highlights for me this season. I was happy we got thewin and was very happy how much the fans cheered for me. It tells me that Ileft a lasting impression here. We had problems rebounding, but overall playedwell at both ends of the court. We didn´t play perfect and made mistakes, butwhen it counted most, we stuck together”, warned FC Bayern Munich guard ViktorFrankl-Maus. After the bitter loss Dragons Rhondorf center Zygimantas Riaukatold it like it was, but was still pleased with the club´s effort. “Theyoutrebounded us which is unacceptable. It came down to us missing some layups. Wemissed a couple of bunnies. I am happy how we played as a team. Everybody wasfighting. Earlier in the season we would have gave up. We are a young team, butcan´t make anymore excuses. We have some big games coming up and need toproduce if we want to make the playoffs”, warned Zygimantas Riauka.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing FC Bayern Munich captain Viktor Frankl-Maus after the Munich win

The Dragons Rhondorf didn´t waste anytime as they jumped all over FC Bayern Munich rolling out on a quick 13-4 lead. This was aided by their aggressive defense which stopped Munich´s first six possession. On the offensive end the Dragons Rhondorf profited from the work horse from Lithuania Zygimantas Riauka who got a couple of buckets. They also got support from a Kwam Waller alley-op tap in, Joe Koschade runner and a trey from ex Speyer forward Yannick Kneesch. FC Bayern Munich were lethargic on offense and really looked like they just woke up while the Dragons Rhondorf played with high intensity and just wanted it more than the guests. However when 2017 NBBL champion Nelson Weidemann was inserted from the bench was when the turning point came for FC Bayern Munich. All of a sudden they made a 180 degree turn and closed out the first quarter with a dominant 13-8 run to trail only 21-17 after 10 minutes. Weidemann brought more structure and spunk to the offense. The scoring point guard was aggressive getting to the free throw line twice and dropping trey. They also were aided by a Jannick Jebens runner and free throws and an offensive rebound and put back by 18 year old 210cm center Julius Duh. Munich moved the ball better and finally got better shots and also fought harder on the offensive glass than did Rhondorf. Rhondorf got two key threes from ex Ehingen forward BO Meister and ex Phoenix Hagen forward Julian Jasinski to keep the guests at bay. “We took the win from last weekend into this game. We played with a lot of heart and will. We showed a lot of energy from the start, but Weidemann did a good job bringing them back into the game with 7 points in 4 minutes”, stressed dragons Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schwamborn. FC Bayern Munich shot 31% from the field and 14% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 41% from the field and 43% from outside and had 8 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

The second quarter remained a dog fight as noteam could pull away and no team led by more than 4 points. FC Bayern Munichdid a good job keeping up their momentum from the first quarter going on a 6-2run to dead lock the contest at 23-23. Weidemann continued to control the paceand do what he wanted to on the court nailing a trey while Duh continued to beactive in the paint and work hard for his points. After Alex Moeller who gothis second bucket of the quarter and Bosnian forward Rijad Avdic who played 20Pro B games with Lok Bernau traded baskets, it was Frankl-Maus that gave theBavarian squad it´s first lead with a three at 28-25. The game remained veryeven as the Dragons Rhondorf were fighting hard while FC Bayern Munich didn´tseem always to make the best decisions. But were doing a better job on gettinginto the paint something that they couldn´t in the first quarter. The two bigmen Riauka and Duh traded baskets, but FC Bayern Munich still had their nose infront 30-27. FC Bayern Munich then got a huge trey from Frankl-Maus lifting FCBayern Munich to the 35-31 lead. The Dragons Rhondorf never let up, but keptthe same intensity and just continued to chip away at the Munich lead. The workhorse Riauka showed his strong inside out game scoring inside as he almostalways had to fight off double teams and even saw triple teams trying to gethim out of the paint. With a few seconds remaining Riauka saw himself all alonebehind the three point line and had no mercy and just fired away seeing nothingbut net as FC Bayern Munich fled into the dressing room trailing 36-35. “Welost rhythm on offense in the second quarter. We let them get into the painteasier and couldn´t control Weidemann. But I was happy with our effort”, addedassistant coach Max Schwamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 34% from the fieldand 24% from the three point line and grabbed 23 rebounds and had 7 turnoverswhile FC Bayern Munich shot 38% from the field and 31% from the three pointline and grabbed 20 rebounds and had 10 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Dragons Rhondorf center Zygimantas Riauka who dropped 18 and 10 in the loss

In the third quarter FC Bayern Munich got the lead back, but couldn´t get away as the Dragons Rhondorf always stayed on their door step. The Dragons Rhondorf couldn´t get anything going in the first few minutes as FC Bayern Munich cruised out on a 6-0 run to lead 41-36. In the run they got a clutch trey from Julius Duh, a lay in from 2017 NBBL champion Bruno Vrcic and a free throw from Weidemann. FC Bayern Munich upped the aggressiveness and intensity on defense which stifled the Dragons offense. They suddenly had no more easy shots. After a few missed shots, they lost self confidence, swayed away from team basketball and opted more for selfish 1-1 play. However Rhondorf would have spurts of solid defensive stops and got a big boost form Kneesch who suddenly saw the hole as big as the ocean nailing a three and getting a lay in as the game was tied 41-41. The game remained tight, but FC Bayern Munich still had the upper hand and slight lead as they got buckets from Avdic, Frankl-Maus and ex Alba Berlin 2 player Jakob Knauff keeping the 49-45 advantage. FC Bayern Munich continued to use their size and length advantage getting baskets from 25 year old 206 cm 110 kilo center Nemanja Markovic and Knauff as Rhondorf trailed 54-49. Falkenstein and Meister remained aggressive getting to the free throw line, but FC Bayern Munich still led after three quarters 56-52. “Offensive rebounds killed us as did little things, but we got more consistent stops”, added Viktor Frankl-Maus. “I missed too many shots. Kneesch gave us a lot of energy. He is an amazing player that plays for the team”, stressed Zygimantas Riauka. FC Bayern Munich shot 44% from the field and 38% from the parking lot and hauled down 32 rebounds and had 15 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 33% from the field and 24% from the parking lot and hauled down 27 rebounds and had 10 turnovers.

The Dragons Rhondorf had the better and quicker start in the fourth quarter going on a rapid 6-2 run to steal back the lead at 59-58. American Kwam Waller had a miserable shooting day so he concentrated on his playmaking and helped Rhondorf get the lead back. He began with a floater after retaining his own rebound, watched Bo Meister make a steal and lay in and then performed a perfect shovel pass to Riauka for the lead. FC Bayern Munich lacked concentration and poor shot selection Rhondorf was back in the game and also benefited from some loose balls that kept some of their plays alive. Rhondorf continued to play spirited basketball keeping their offense going getting an alley-op tap in from German Alex Moeller as Waller supplied the feed and a Waller bucket as Rhondorf led 63-59 and looked like they were in command. But in the game of basketball a four point lead is never safe as Rhondorf found out. A few missed shots and a few Munich hit shots quickly turned the game around as Munich had the momentum. A Frankl-Maus trey and Weidemann lay in turned the tide as FC Bayern Munich led 66-63. Both teams were playing with very high intensity, but it seemed like each team had the capabilities to push the lever on their intensity up a notch with every new possession. Jasinski then scored back to back baskets as he showed unbelievable explosiveness getting to the bucket as Rhondorf led one last time 67-66. However with 37 minutes having played, FC Bayern Munich closed the lid on the Dragons Rhondorf going on a bitter 12-0 run to decide the game. In the run the Dragons Rhondorf had good looks, but couldn´t execute and also missed easy lay ups inside as their self confidence started to decline. FC Bayern Munich played smart basketball and executed down the stretch consistently something they hadn´t been able to do earlier in the game. They burned Rhondorf in the paint as Duh, Frankl-Maus and Jebens all scored with ease. Weidemann and Markovic free throws sealed the win. “We were the better team in the deciding minutes getting stops and making big shots”, warned Viktor Frankl-Maus. “The bottom line was they made shots and we didn´t. Nobody put their heads down. We had good looks, but the shots didn´t want to fall”, added Zygimantas Riauka. FC Bayern  Munich was led by Nelson Weidemann with 17 points. Viktor Frankl-Maus contributed 16 points and Juius Duh had 14 points. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Zygimanta Riauka with 18 points and 10 boards. Yannick Kneesch produced 12 points and Julian Jasinski and Bo Meister added 10 points apiece. FC Bayern Munich shot 43% from the field and 29% from outside and had 43 rebounds and 17 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 34% from the field and 21% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

Rebounding And Interview Expertise Go Hand In Hand With Giessen 46er Larry Gordon

 

There are quite a few qualities about Larry Gordon that nobody would ever have the audacity to complain about on and off the court. He has many qualities that stand out as he is a prolific scorer and hard worker on the defensive end, but the skill that stands out the most is his rebounding. There has to be a reason why where ever he has laced up his sneakers being if it was with Cal Poly(NCAA2), Austria, Germany, Korea, or Kazakhstan he has belonged to the top rebounders. One also can´t forget that the American isn´t a center listed at 2,10cm or a power forward listed at the ideal height of 2,03cm, but a small forward listed at 1,96cm that rebounds the ball with heart, passion and effort. Having the knack to haul down the ball seems to be in his blood. “I can´t really explain it, it´s just something that is embedded into my game. It´s a lot of heart and relentless effort to get the rebound that makes me so good at it. When the ball goes up you will always see me near the rim no matter what. That is just what I do”, warned Larry Gordon.  What else does any coach want from a player when it has that commending attitude. Giessen 46ers head coach Ingo Freyer could probably fill a university auditorium in Giessen any day now and give a heart filled lecture about why he loves Larry Gordon. There has to be a reason why he was able to hold him three years in Hagen in a low market including for a third season after he had torn up the BBL averaging 15,5ppg and 7,6rpg where he must have had better offers from top teams in Germany and elsewhere. There also has to be a reason why Gordon is back together in Giessen this season reunited with his former head coach Ingo Freyer. It has already fit between the two guys. But not only on the court is Gordon at home with his game, but off the court with how he treats the media. There are quite a lot of players that I have enjoyed not only interviewing once, but two or three times and then again there have been guys that I have interviewed more than 10 times like three time Euroleague winner Kyle Hines, Jacob Burtschi, Kevin Hamilton, John Bynum or Josh Young to name just a few. However there are few that have had my question thrown at them as often as Larry Gordon. One could say that Gordon has had more interviews with me that Allen Iverson uttered the word practice in his legendary press conference years ago. To be exact Gordon has done 40 interviews with me since he arrived in Germany in 2012 with the first being in October 2012. Alone in his first two seasons it was 22. He still had patience with me in his third season, but after that the Q & A sessions have died down a little as he played in other countries. After 40 interviews there is only so much you can ask the guy, but the way he can handle the boards with ease, the same he does with my pin point questions as there has never been a dull moment in our question and answer sessions. Not only does rebounding come automatically for him, but so does interviewing. “It isn´t a challenge. If you look at my past, rebounding has always been a part of my game. Rebounding comes automatically to me. There is no effort for me I just go go go to the basket and enjoy rebounding”, warned Larry Gordon. Many guys know how to play the game well and other´s are noted interview partners while rebounding and interview talent go hand in hand with Larry Gordon.

picture perfect 2563

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has covered Larry Gordon since his arrival in Germany in 2012. Gordon belongs to the most interviewed player in Schmidt-Scheuber´s career as at the moment the count is at 40. This picture was taken at the 2015 BBL allstar game in Bonn

Larry Gordon is a 31 year old 196cm forward from Montclair, California that is in his 10th season and first with the Giessen 46ers and still going strong. He began his basketball career at  Montclair high school and then proceeded to play at Cal Poly where he had a stellar career from 2005-2009 playing a total of 115 NCAA games. He already made noise as a freshman as he averaged 6.7ppg, 5.7rpg, FG: 60.4%, 3Pts: 50.0%, FT: 72.4% and was named freshman of the year. He would average double figures in scoring in his last three seasons there and had his best statistical season as a junior as he played 28 games averaging 17.7ppg, 9.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FG: 53.1%, 3Pts: 33.3%, FT: 80.3%. He had his best statistical rebounding season as a senior as he averaged 15.7ppg, 10.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 75.7%. He has been thankful to his coach at Cal Poly Greg Kaminisky his whole career that he learned early that you have to take care of business all the time as there are always guys waiting to prance on you like a cat for your job. “Just being mentally prepared for a whole other different perspective on professional basketball. He told me that this is now a job, a business and you have to produce if you want to keep your job. So that was always something I kept in my mind and carried with me during my career. Pro basketball is fun, but at the same time it is a business and if your not taking care of business then it won´t be fun and there will be no job”, warned Larry Gordon. He garnered many achievements while at Cal Poly like being named to the CCAA all tournament team twice and being named CCAA player of the year in 2009. He also helped lead the team to the 2009 NCAA 2 final, but couldn´t crown his career there losing to the University of Findlay. “Despite being the underdog in our senior year, we were able to reach the NCAA2 final. We lost the final, but it was a great experience getting there and beating top teams by 30 points”, added Larry Gordon. I don´t know if their paths crossed over the last 6-7 years, but now that Gordon is in Giessen, he is only 65 kilometers away from his ex teammate at Cal Poly(NCAA2) German Tobias Jahn who suits up for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the Pro B. They might just meet again when Giessen visits Frankfurt as the American remembers the German´s never die attitude on the court with joy. “His personality was definitely not what I expected being the first foreign player I played with, but he was a great guy, lots of enthusiam and he can always brighten up a day with just the way he was. My best memory of Tobi is when we played against BYU-Hawaii for the Regional Championship back in 09′ and there was a player being hyped of that Tobi had to face. And in that first half, he had Tobi’s number but in that second half, Tobi turned it up a notch and helped us secure the win”, remembered Larry Gordon.

The American who once hit 57 free throws in a row in practice compares his game to Kevin Love, because like him he always has to face bigger guys and is relentless around the basket began his professional career in 2009 with Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 36 games averaging 14.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 75.8%. It was a fine rookie season where he gave Europe a first impression of his rebounding consistency that he had learned so well at Cal Poly. He remembers what his wake up call was to being a rookie in Holland where he knew that he was very far away from home. “I just learned how the top teams and weak teams always came to play. If you didn´t come to play then you would lose games. Losing games doesn´t look good on your resume when you are trying to further your career as a player”, said Larry Gordon. He left Holland having left an impression scoring in double figures in 30 games and registered 10 double doubles. He then made the next jump to Austria to the ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) where he played 35 games averaging 10.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 66.7% and scored in double figures in 12 games and had five double doubles. In his second season turned it up a bit more playing 38 games averaging 14.7ppg, Reb-3(8.4rpg), 1.8apg, FGP-3(65.2%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 77.1%. He belonged to the best rebounders in the league and also to the best three point shooters that opened the eyes of German head coach Ingo Freyer who had him on his radar. One of his fondest memories from Austria was battling ex Phoenix Hagen guard Quentin Pryor in a game that saw countless overtime´s and Gordon left the floor after 59 minutes with 18 points and 22 boards. “I remember being very exhausted but I had to push through, we had to push through to get the win. It was one of the best basketball experiences I have had as a pro player. Q was an all around good player, and yes the way he got steals and pressured the ball really helped their team. We actually changed our game plan to accommodate Q’s aggressive defense”, warned Larry Gordon. Being an underdog his whole career and having to pay his dues in Europe for three years only strengthed his winning mentality. “ I have always had it throughout my career. I have always been the underdog since high school until now. I was the underdog at Cal Poly Pomona as well as in Holland and just wanting to win always built on me. In Austria I came to a winning program and my winner mentality stayed with me”, warned Larry Gordon.

After three seasons of paying his dues in Holland and Austria, the American finally made the jump to the ambitious BBL in Germany signing with Phoenix Hagen. His first three seasons in Europe had given him the needed success where he knew that he would succeed in Germany. “I´m definitely ready for this move, this is something as a basketball player you strive to get to and that is the highest level of basketball and competition. I have developed as a Pro player every year and I think playing in the Beko BBL is only going to make me into a better player after the season because of all the talent here. My expectations for myself is to play hard and do what ever in ability to help my team here in Hagen reach our goals and have a successful season”, warned Larry Gordon. The American came to a team that had been promoted to the BBL in 2009 and not done much in it´s first three seasons except finish in 16th, 12th and 15th position and were known for practicing run and gun basketball for 40 minutes. But the 2012-2013 team was a special one that had a special cast of players with baby hulk David Bell, scorer Mark Dorris, all-around player Davin White, the glue guy Adam Hess, defensive and rebound specialist Dino Gregory and the elder statesman Bernd Kruel. Larry Gordon came in and added stability and versatility at both ends and was an additional type of glue guy for Ingo Freyer. He was key for the club reaching the playoffs and he scored 16 points in the surprising game two win against Bamberg. He finished the season playing 37 games averaging 12.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 43.0%, FT: 83.2%. The club showed on numerous occasions during the season that they can beat anyone as they beat Bamberg, Alba Berlin and Oldenburg in a row as the American steered 12, 19 and 12 points. They continued to show that season that no matter who they played they could play with anyone with their explosive run and gun offense. “No matter if we are down 10 or up 10 during the end of a game, if we stay focused and concentrated and play our basketball, we are always in a position to win”, warned Larry Gordon. He scored in double figures in 29 games and there was a span from the end of December until mid April where he scored in double figures in 19 of 20 games and carried the team into the playoffs.

The American returned back to his second season with Phoenix Hagen and despite having enough delectable eating spots at home missed restaurant chain Vapiano the most from Hagen, but came back for his second season strong working on his all-around game and he knew exactly how he wanted to make an impact in his second season in the BBL. “I worked hard on my game this off season, I really wanted to get better at certain things so I can be a major threat when I’m on the court and so my teammates as well as the coaches can trust that I can make the right plays no matter what the situation is. I set a goal for myself to be more of a threat this year in the BBL and I will continue to work to achieve that goal“, warned Larry Gordon. The club did a good job keeping many players, but the loss of point guard Davin White and Adam Hess was just too much as they couldn´t compensate it. Henry Dugat was a solid point guard, but just didn´t have the explosiveness of White as the team finished in 10th place. In his second season with Phoenix Hagen he played 34 games averaging 15.5ppg, Reb-2(7.6rpg), 1.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 89.5%. He easily belonged to the top 5 forwards in the BBL and with every new good game came added confidence and he was not scared of anyone not even top BBL player Rickey Paulding of Oldenburg even though playing against him was never easy. “I wouldn’t say fun, but I do like being challenged. I’m a rising star in this league, it’s only right for me to guard the best player of another team”, warned Larry Gordon. He was rewarded with his good season half way through being selected to the BBL allstar team international. Not only his knack of knowing where rebounds go, but the potential of young Germans was excellent as he predicted that Danilo Barthel then would have the best potential of making a break-through and currently is captain of Euroleague team FC Bayern Munich. But then again Scorer´s First clients always stick together. At the allstar break Gordon was fifth in scoring and first in rebounding and had the right attitude for the second half of the season. “I’ve been playing my best basketball the whole season so far, all there is to do now is to exceed what I already accomplished”, warned Larry Gordon. Despite having added muscle strength under the boards with Americans Dino Gregory and Keith Ramsey, he was still leading the BBL in rebounds, but never thought of taking the credit for himself. “They encourage and push me to stay on the glass, we all play and rebound more confident when were on the flight together because we know we got each other’s backs when it comes to the boards”, warned Larry Gordon. One of his biggest games that season was pounding 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin for 31 points and getting 10 boards in the 81-75 win. He didn´t give the home team anything new, but the same old Larry Gordon. “Nothing changed, I just took what the defense gave me in the 2nd half and kept being aggressive. I think the fans already know what I’m capable of and I think they know I go out and play hard every game no matter what my stats are”, warned Larry Gordon. He finished the season scoring in double figures in 29 games and had seven double doubles.

The American hung around for a third season, but the club was unable to better the season of before and missed the playoffs for a second straight season finishing in 13th place. This season they were unable to hold key players and just didn´t have the overall class and Davin White point guard from Gordon´s first season. The American kept his consistency and produced another very strong personal season playing 30 games averaging 14.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 72.1%. He scored in double figures in 19 games and totaled four double doubles. He had some monster games including a 29 point 13 rebound explosion against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and 26 points against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. His rebounding was still massive on the court, but the interviews were put on the back burner. The season wasn´t going as well for Phoenix Hagen and the American wanted to focus more on his game and he came through with a strong season while I well probably would still have interviewed him at the rate that Vince Carter loved to dunk back in the day, but I personally was feeling a bit of burn out syndrome and concentrated on interviewing everybody else. After three seasons with Phoenix Hagen, the American decided to make the next step and moved up north to the Eisbaeren Brememrhaven who had the higher budget, but difficulty putting together the right roster to guarantee success. He didn´t forget his time with Phoenix Hagen, David Bell or how he developed his game there. “We had a lot of heart on that team and we fought for every Win to get in that situation. By far my best memory in Hagen. I miss his fire and intensity. DB was a great teammate, and that fact that we had played together for 3 seasons we both had that do whatever it takes to Win mentality. He will be missed. My knowledge of the game has gotten much better. My IQ on offense and defense has increased dramatically over the past 3 years, given me the ability to be able to be even a better versatile player”, warned Larry Gordon.

The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven moved to the BBL in 2005 and became a playoff team in their first season in the BBL and would reach the playoffs six years straight, but then fell drastically into an average team that was able to bring in good talent, but never find the right chemistry. When Gordon arrived in 2015 to Bremerhaven he joined ex NBA players Tyrus Thomas and Jerry Smith as well as top guards Kyle Fogg and Lorenzo Williams. The expectations were high, but the season was a total bust as the club finished in 15th place. Gordon was one of the better performers playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 84.3%. Gordon and I found together again with our interview sessions, but instead of having the usual pregame and post game interviews at times weekly, we left it with only one interview that season. His self confidence continued to be at a healthy high as despite making the next jump to a higher budgeted team, he didn´t feel that it was too early to have laded at a top German team. “ I thought that I showcased and developed my game over the past 3 seasons to be able to make that next step with a top club but apparently it didn’t happen. So it looks like I have to prove myself again this year to show that I’m capable of playing at a high level.  I believe that any situation your in is a process of getting better so that you can continue the climb to the top. As a basketball player my goal is to play at the highest level with a high level team. But sometimes you do have to take small steps or even take steps back to be able to make good progress in your career.”, warned Larry Gordon. Despite the poor team showing he scored in double figures in 18 games and he didn´t regret coming to Bremerhaven or that it was a step backward in his career as it was his lowest in scoring and rebounding in Germany. “It was a tough situation in Bremerhaven. I had high hopes that I would be able to make the next step with them but it didn’t turn out that way. But I just took it as a learning experience, the season may not have gone the way I wanted individually but I took a lot of good from it. Given the situation I think I had decent season. I was very efficient from the field and I did a lot of good things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. I may not have taken a step forward by I honestly feel I didn’t take a step back either. I’m a competitor, I’m going to work hard and get after it no matter the situation. I think If I was given the keys and was the “go to guy” for Bremerhaven and put the stats I had last season, then I can say I took a step back but that wasn’t the case. I was 3rd option on the team and sometimes 4th, so I think I did pretty good in my situation”, warned Larry Gordon.

In the 2016-2017 season he found a great opportunity in the far east where it´s no secret that contracts are rather lucrative with Sonic Boom KT (Korea-KB)L. It didn´t bother him that he left the European market for a new challenge. “I’m all about opportunities, and when great opportunities present themselves it’s only right that I take advantage of it. I’m definitely reaching the prime of my career but I still have a lot to give to any team whether it be in Europe or Asia, I stay hungry. And I thank God for blessing me with the ability to continue playing basketball around the world”, stressed Larry Gordon. He came to Korea knowing that the expectations would be high, but he totally passed with playing colors averaging 14.9ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 51.3%, 3FGP: 35.6%, FT: 82.1%. “Expectations are high for me here with KT, they rely heavily on the imports to produce and have impact to help the team Win. I am one of the “Go To Guys” which is going to be interesting challenge for me but I have faith that God put me here for a reason and I know that I will have a successful year. I definitely have a chip on my shoulder and that´s the way I will play this season”, warned Larry Gordon. He put up some big numbers against the Goyang Orions with 27 points and 11 rebounds and against Anyang KGC with 26 points and 15 rebounds, but despite his good play the team struggled to an unbelievable 1-18 record and before you knew it he was back in his favorite stomping ground Germany. And he cleared things up that he actually didn´t go to Korea for the money, but for another reason and remembered a nice moment. “I fled Germany because there were no opportunities for me after my season last year. So I chose to try out a different market including Korea to expand my chances of playing somewhere. And I came back to Germany because things didn’t work out with KT, so I left. And I was lucky enough that this opportunity in Vechta was available, so I’m very happy to be back in the BBL.  It definitely was a culture shock. But it was definitely fun and exciting to experience. The favorite moment was when I got to go to a festival and experienced the South Korean culture first hand. I wore traditional clothes, ate traditional food, watched traditional shows and events. It was a very good time and I enjoyed it”, warned Larry Gordon. When he arrived in Vechta, I didn´t give him a new mathematical equation with 36/22, but moreover that was the minutes he played with Phoenix Hagen three years earlier where he contributed 22 points in a 75-67 win In Vechta. However that nice experience in Vechta wouldn´t come again for him. The Vechta experience didn´t turn out any better for him as he went 1-14 with the team and saw it move back down to the Pro A. He scored 19 points against ratiopharm Ulm and had 17 point games against Tuebingen and BG Goettingen, but winning just wasn´t on the program as even the nail bitters were lost as only one point separated the winners Goettingen and Jena. He averaged 6.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 69.2% He remembered being teammates with a future BBL legend and current dino Derrick Allen. “What has amazed me the most is that he still finds the energy to get back on the court year after year. He gives me hope as a basketball player, that if I take care of my body and work hard, I can play for a very long time”, warned Larry Gordon.

        After two tough seasons with Bremerhaven and going a combined 2-34 in Korea and Germany where he literally couldn´t buy a win one only had to wonder where his future would go. Well his agent Gerrit Kerstin-Thiele from Scorers First did absolutely  everything correct finding him an amazing opportunity with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-National League) where he not only won his first professional title, but added a second as he won the league and cup championship averaging 14.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 4.4apg, 2.1spg, 2FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.2% and played in one of Europe´s top leagues VTB averaging 8.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 74.3%. Even though he didn´t beat top Euroleague team CSKA, he battled against some of the worlds best players with Sergio Rodriguez, Nando de Colo and Kyle Hines and ex NBA players Othelo Hunter and Corey Higgins. All of a sudden his career is not only back on track, but after securing two titles, he became more of a commodity on the market especially in Germany. Ok so he didn´t sign in Munich, Berlin or Bamberg, but Giessen. It is a smaller market and the fans belong to the toughest in the league and they love their basketball, but what better than be reunited again with his ex Hagen coaches Ingo Freyer and Steven Wriedt and sniper David Bell. He needed no integration period in Giessen. He has been a key figure for the Giessen 46ers in them attaining a surprising 5-2 record to start the season. He is averaging 10,1ppg, 8,1rpg, 1,6apg and shooting a respectable 38,1% from outside. His experience coupled with that of Jon Bryant, Brandon Thomas and David Bell who combined have 28 BBL seasons under their belt have been a big reason for their success as the experience speaks volumes.  The Giessen 46ers have been close the last years of making the playoffs under Dennis Wucherer and now Ingo Freyer, and should injuries be avoided, this could be the season where they make the promised land. It also is time again that Larry and I get back on the interview trail with #41. The last question of every interview is still the same and has only changed from what was the last DVD to the last movie that you saw simply because DVD´s aren´t  as in as 6-7 years ago. The last DVD movie Gordon had watched in our first interview had been “Laugh at my pain” with Kevin Hart in 2012 while the last movie he saw in our last interview in January 2017 was Mac Steel. Some things never change as he is still a top rebounder in the BBL and after almost two years, I want to know if he hasn´t lost his interview expertise and what movies he is watching these days.

 

               

Ron Howard Continues To Expand Creating The Howard Hoops Academy

Ron Howard is an ex player that spent many years overseas and since retiring has focused his energy on helping unknown players get exposure by organizing games and in many cases helping them find professional jobs. He founded Howard Hoops in 2013 where he brought numerous players overseas to help them find jobs and since 2018 has started the Howard Hoops academy where he helps train unknown players and help find basketball jobs. German Hoops has been covering his work since years and have interviewed him again about his current work.

 

picture perfect 1175

Ron Howard CEO of HowardHoops and journalist Miles Schmidt-Scheuber have had a special bond since 2012. Howard has been organizing games for hungry and lesser known players to get that chance to showcase their skills while Schmidt-Scheuber gives the players media exposure

 

Ron thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

 

 

Hey Miles it’s always a pleasure to talk to germanhoops.com. Thanks for having me. Currently I am in Santiago, Dominican Republic. For me Basketball right now is Amazing!!!

 

Tell us how Howard Hoops has grown and expanded in the last year? After your success with Howard Hoops in Europe, you now have gone forward with a new idea and started an academy. Tell me how you came up with this idea?

 

 Howard Hoops has grown tremendously in the last year. We have now expanded to developing a Basketball Academy in Santiago, Dominican Republic . I wanted to start the Academy because I was tired of seeing players in America pay trainers who never been to the level these players want to get to. I felt I have the tools and the mind set to guide them in the right direction and the Dominican Republic was the place to be. It takes my players completely out of what their comfortable with in America and makes them fall in love with the process of knowing what it takes to be a Pro.

 

You have been in the Dominican Republic with the academy. Tell me how a day looks for you?

 

 A normal day for us is waking up at 7:30 for breakfast we are at the gym and ready to practice at 9:00. Am practice consist of skill Development. Two hand dribbling drills one hand dribbling drills. We also work on foot work while handling the ball. We do a lot of shifty footwork. We then work on European movements. Right left hand floaters/jumpers. Everything is high Intensity and game related as I look to put my camp in game like situations. We practice/workout until 11:30 after practice lunch is at 12:30. The next practice is then at 2:30 until 4:45 pm practice is more focused on learning the European style of play. My players run plays and get up and down the floor. I look to focus more on plays and tactics during pm practice. The skill Development we do in the Am relates to pm practice due to the fact that the sets we run are relative to the outcomes of my plays. After practice we eat dinner around 7:00 which is usually at TGI FRIDAYS.

 

 

Do you have the same procedure looking for players for the academy the way you do for your Howard Hoops tours or does it differ?

 

 I use the same procedure when looking for players. The main thing I look for is character in the player. I look to see if the player is a good guy. I do research to make sure I’m not wasting anybody’s time and same for me.

 

Please name some players that you currently have in the academy and what experience they have and their strengths

 

I have Marquis Jones a 6’1” guard that has overseas experience already who has the strengths of shooting, decision making, pretty good defender all around tough player I have Shonteay Lovell a 6’6” power forward who has all the tactics he’s similar to a Draymond Green. His strengths are rebounding, blocks, scoring he plays hard. I have Rayloon Brooks a 5’10” guard who has a tight handle can score inside and outside plays tough defense. I have Avery Green a 6’2” guard who has the strengths of scoring. He goes hard nose to the basket and makes things happen. He’s a lefty that can also shoot the three. I have Condale Scott a 5’9” guard who plays tough defense sets the offense up and puts players in position to score. He also can shoot. I have Brandon Smith a 5’11” guard who plays good defense he plays within his role.  His strength is his hustle and mid range jumpers. Last Taylor Jordan a 6’5 guard with a 7 footers wing span that can play 1-4 and competes on both ends of the floor and can put the ball on the floor and make plays as well as score the ball in many ways.

 

What has been the biggest challenges that you have faced with setting up the academy and make it work? How much work do you have to put into the academy functioning well each day?

 

 The biggest challenge is me having communication with the foreigners and players as far as translating things. I always have to have a translator with me so that I know the other players have and are getting what it is I’m running. If I didn’t have a translator it would be tough because just as much as I run a camp for my guys I invite the Dominicans to come and get better with my guys. It teaches me patience and how to understand that it’s a process of learning. The work that I put in is non stop I’m always working towards getting my guys jobs in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and now the DR. I spend time emailing and talking to different coaches looking to land a contract for my guys

 

 

How does your program Howard Hoops differentiate you from the rest?

 

My Academy is different because my Academy is being trained by an ex player who has been through the grind and played in different places across the world. I push my players to limits they didn’t even know they had because when your going for a contract you must give your all.

 

 

What is your philosophy on coaching and your relationship with the player’s development and success? Does it change with the more experience that you get?

 

My coaching philosophy is simple but effective. I like to play fast but with structure, I run a lot of European sets mixed with American quick hitter sets. The relationship that I get to build with my player’s is a big part to the success of their development. I get to break down their weak points in their game and develop individual skills

 

How do you continue to challenge yourself and elevate year to year?

 

The way that I challenge myself is by never staying content. Always wanting better for myself and for others.

 

One thing I like about you is that you don´t forget past players and always keep up to date with how they are doing. Do you have any current stats how the success rate is for your players landing jobs overseas?

 

Yea I never forget my past player’s they are the ones that paved the way for these new guy’s. I just talked to Chris Miller over the weekend he just had a great performance in Germany also Ivan Vernon & Phil Jenkins have been playing extremely well for their clubs

What are your programs you are running and plan to run in the upcoming year?

 

Plans for 2019? I am planning to start have my Academy even bigger in 2019 in Dominican Republic as well as being back in Germany for the Howard Hoops Tour.

 

Thanks as always for the chat Ron

 

 

 

James Feldeine (Hapoel Jerusalem) Has Proved That It Doesn´t Matter Where You Start But Where You End

James Feldeine is a 30 year old 193cm shooting guard from the Bronx, New York that is playing his ninth professional season and first with Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel-Winner League). He began his career with Quinnipiac (NCAA) in 2006 and had a stand out career there and as a senior played 33 games averaging 16.5ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 79.7%. He began his professional basketball career in 2010 and always had to move his way up to the top. He had to prove himself in his first two seasons in the Spanish Leb Gold with Leche Rio Breogan Lugo where he was in top 5 in scoring both years. Then he made the jump to the best domestic league in Europe ACB to Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada where he was second in league scoring once. After a year with Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Italy-Serie A) he made the jump to the top joining Panathinaikos Athens (Greece-A1) where he played two seasons winning 3 titles. Last season he played with Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd (Serbia-KLS) playing 16 games averaging 12.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 81.0%;and played 28  Euroleague games averaging 11.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 39.4%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 86.5%; and played 26 Adriatic League games averaging 14.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 43.4%, FT: 82.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Basketball Champions league game in Bamberg.

James thanks for speaking to germanhoops.com. Welcome back to Germany. You have a positive 2-2 record against Brose Bamberg. I would imagine the most memorable game was the 84-83 win two seasons ago on the road. What memories do you have of that game?

I think that was that game where Nick Calathes hit the game winner. I remember it always being a good atmosphere in Bamberg and I remember having a good game there. It is always tough to play there. The fans get loud. They really get into it and are never afraid to bother the opponent.

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any friends balling here?

I have had a few friends playing here over the years. Edgar Sosa played in Ulm years ago. Now my friend Lamont Jones is playing in Ludwigsburg. My current teammate De´sean Butler also played in Ulm. They all said good things about Germany and had fun here. It is a competitive league where fans love the game. It is a good place to play.

(more…)

The Fraport Skyliners Aren´t Rewarded With Massive Come Back Falling To Unicaja Malaga 84-78 In Eurocup Play

It was June 17th, 2010 and the tension and excitement couldn´t have been any more extreme in Bamberg as it was game 5 of the finals between Brose Bamberg and the Deutsche Bank Skyliners from Frankfurt and with a few seconds to go captain Pascal Roller who for years was one of the better free throw shooters in the BBL was unable to sink free throws to keep the game going and Bamberg won their third BBL title and first in the Chris Fleming era 72-70. There were two players on the court with one screaming pure joy out with Brian Roberts and the other experiencing his first big tough loss in his rookie season with Quantez  Robertson. Nine seasons later both guys are still grinding away and have had great careers as Brian Roberts made it to the big show playing five seasons in the NBA and registering 320 games for three teams with New Orleans, Charlotte and Portland while the other Quantez Robertson now 33 is in his tenth season with the Fraport Skyliners and has given the name lifer a new meaning and now belongs to the top identity figures with Rickey Paukding having played with only one team in their careers in Germany. Last season Roberts returned back overseas and played with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) and this season is balling with Unicaja Malaga(ACB Spain) and still going strong at age 32. The two exceptional players that had many battles in the BBL returned and faced each other for the first time in more than six and a half years as their last meeting was on April 3rd  2012 in Frankfurt as the Fraport Skyliners whipped Bamberg 76-68 as Robertson finished with 12 points and Roberts with 13 points. Quantez Robertson may have won their last meeting, but Roberts has the 7-4 lead in overall meetings and more importantly won that BBL title that Robertson is still chasing. Both met again in Frankfurt on a mild autumn night and fans saw a game of runs and a massive Fraport Skyliners comeback that wasn´t rewarded as they fell to Spanish side Unicaja Malaga 84-78. Unicaja Malaga moved to 6-1 and Frankfurt to 4-3 in Eurocup play. “We talked a bit. It is crazy that he has been in Frankfurt so long. I joked with him asking why he doesn´t have a German passport yet. He has put in good work here. He still plays the same and hasn´t lost a step”, stressed ex NBA player Brian Roberts. “Tez did  a good job on Roberts. He didn´t score until late in the game”, added Jason Clark.  Frankfurt played out their hearts and saw the real break through of some of the young kids Garai Zeeb, Elijath Clarance and Trae Bell Haynes in the third and fourth quarter as the club was carried by them. “We showed growth tonight. Some of our main players struggled, so we put in our young guys and they showed that they can play. They showed a lot of heart and that was the reason why they were in the game. The young guys did what they were supposed to. A big congrats to them”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Jason Clark. Unicaja Malage came into the game remembering their big 90-64 rout at home, but this time it wasn´t as easy on the road. “We had our ups and downs and it wasn´t easy playing against them. Playing small ball was an advantage for them. They played good transition and we made too many turnovers which helped them come back. We moved the ball well in the second and third quarters, but they played more aggressive in the fourth quarter and were able to come back”, stressed Polish national player Adam Waczynski.

picture perfect 2588

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with ex NBA player Brian Roberts who steered 8 points in the win

(more…)

Kyle Hines (CSKA Moscow) When I´m Nervous I Know I´m Ready To Play

Kyle Hines is a 32 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that is playing his sixth season with CSKA Moscow and currently is averaging 8,8ppg, 4,5rpg, 1,0apg and 1,3spg in the Euroleague and in the VTB is averaging 6,8ppg, 4,0rpg and 1,0apg. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had pre draft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA).  In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2) playing 40 games averaging 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 10 Euroleague games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; and in the German League played 46 games averaging 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. germanhoops.com did it´s 15th interview with the 6 time Euroleague Final 4 player and three time Euroleague winner before the Euroleague game in Munich.

Kyle thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying basketball life at the moment?

I´m at home in Moscow. This year has been so much fun. This has been one of the funnest season´s I have had in my career. The team we have this season is special. One of the reasons why we have been so successful is because we like to play with each other.

Before we get to your season, I have to ask you about your ex teammate Brian Roberts. After being away for more than 6 and a half years, he returns to Germany to play a Eurocup game in Frankfurt. What are you sweetest memories of him as a player and how important was his time in Bamberg for reaching the NBA?

Brian and I had a great friendship when we were in Bamberg. He was one of the closest I was with that year. Our families hung out a lot that season. He won a lot of games for us. When it was crucial times in a game he carried the team on his back. He proved to be a solid contributor for every team he played with in the NBA. Last season with Olympiakos he continued to show that he can carry a team on his back. I always cheer for him and check his stats. He is a great player and person.

(more…)

Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners Handle The Bayer Giants Leverkusen 82-61 In NBBL Play

It was the weekend of the unbeaten teams playing in the BCM as on Saturday night the Bayer Giants Leverkusen left the practice facility of easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners with a commendable 8-0 record one that most experts most likely wouldn´t have predicted at the start of the season. And on Sunday the roles were reversed as the Bayer Giants Leverkusen was in da house again, but this time with their youth squad and they brought a solid 3-1 record from home and met the unbeaten team of Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners as they came into the contest with a perfect 4-0 record and have just been mowing away their opponents as if there is absolutely no mercy. They had found together quickly on both ends of the court as on offense had an arsenal that reminded one of an NBA team as they averaged 95 points per game and on defense reminded one of a powerful Euroleague like team that played hard nosed defense giving up only 49 points per contest. They took apart the Baskets Juniors and BG Goettingen allowing only 44 points apiece. Last weekend they destroyed Phoenix Hagen 111-32 as at halftime the score was 61-24. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners have demonstrated an early bonding where everyone understands their roles and have been fortified by many as the two stars 2017 JBBL top 4 players Len Schoormann and Calvin Schaum have been solid, but not explosive yet. On a mild Sunday afternoon, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners didn´t have a cakewalk with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen, but were never really in danger of losing the game as They erased a 11 point lead and won easily at the end 82-61 going to 5-0 while Leverkusen moved to 3-2. Frankfurt´s three stars of Len Schorrmann, Maxi Begue and Calvin Schaum combined for 55 points and the club played an overall consistent defensive game. “We played a good first half and played very good defense giving up only 18 points. In the second half we didn´t have a good answer against their zone press. The third quarter wasn´t so good, but we became stable in the fourth quarter. They scouted us well and played good zone. We did a good job all day long getting on transition and helping on defense. We gave up too many offensive rebounds”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners 16 year old Calvin Schaum. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen played a strong first quarter, but after that couldn´t contain Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners the way they wanted to on defense. “We didn´t defend well in the second quarter giving up too many turnovers leading to easy points for them. We won the third quarter with less turnovers. Overall we didn´t have the right attitude for the whole game. That has to get better”, warned Bayer Giants Leverkusen guard Lennart Winter.

(more…)