The first time is always very special like getting that first autograph of Lebron James after waiting for hours during a grueling wicked wet Miami hurricane, seeing your photo in the school newspaper making a 99 yard touchdown, getting that very first text message form that special someone that you thought never knew that you existed, driving for the first time in a corvette as a gift from dad after getting your license, getting that first pay check and treating your friends to dinner, or a young kid seeing his first Michael Jordan highlight DVD and enjoying his god like basketball skills. FC Bayern Munich belongs to the most famous sporting team names in Europe and have won enough titles in soccer to let German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer who won 15 with the team forever be affiliated as Mr Bayern Munich. FC Bayern Munich is playing their first season in the Beko BBL which was made possible not by Beckenbauer, but the friendly guidance and assistance by Uli Hoeness who is the current president of the soccer club and they want to quickly leave a mark in the Beko BBL and European basketball community. The Beko BBL have had many highlights in the last years like increased attendance, BG Goettingen winning the Eurochallenge or Dashaun Wood playing one of the most dominating seasons since American Wendel Alexis did in the 90s with Alba Berlin, but for opposing players to see the red and white colors of Bayern Munich should especially give German players stimulating goose bumps as that first time playing against FC Hollywood should be memorable and cherished as if a player was playing that first time against the Boston Celtics, FC Barcelona or The New York Yankees. “It was great playing against FC Bayern Munich recently. They have a great winning tradition in that city and I wont forget that experience. A great first moment for me was playing my first Beko BBL game against The Fraport Skyliners. I thought a lot during that game of how last season I was playing for Bayer Leverkusen in the PRO B and now I am playing at a higher level and playing against some of the best talent in the world”, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Josh Young. A famous phrase in German is “Die lederhosen aussziehen) which is a common expression that opponents want to remove the leather breeches of the FC Bayern Munich soccer players and this is something that the Fraport Skyliner German players may have on their mind as well.
For all those that were born after the first man stepped on the moon, a memory of FC Bayern Munich playing in the first German basketball league will be absent. The last time FC Bayern Munich won a German first division basketball title, the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl 2, Martin Luther King was assassinated, famous American TV show 60 minutes made its debut on CBS and is still on today, Led Zeppelin make their first Live performance in England and famous Croatian basketball player Toni Kukoc was born as was lovable American actor “who you talking about Willis Gary Coleman. The year was 1968 as Bayern Munich won their last title which was a cup. They were also Bundesliga champion in 1954 and 1955. Since the Bundesliga cup win, basketball has been in the shadow of the soccer team moving down and back up in 1974 and then going back to the second Bundesliga in 1982. They were back in the top division in 1987, but returned back down in 1989. Then in 1993, the team was in the Regionaliga. In 1995, 1999 and 2004, the team found itself back in the second Bundesliga, but they never were able to get back into the first Bundesliga as money and quality players were missing. In 2009-2010, 23,000 members from the club Bayern Munich voted and agreed that the basketball department had to be financially supported so that they could return back to the BEKO BBL. In the 2010-2011 PRO A season Bayern Munich plowed through the competition with new head coach Dirk Bauermann, German national players Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene and locker room motivation magnate Darius Hall.
FC Bayern Munich not only have brought in experienced basketball players, but with head coach Dirk Bauermann as the Beko BBL version of Phil Jackson who has won 9 Beko BBL titles, seven with Bayer Leverkusen and two with the Brose Baskets Bamberg. And one should not forget his experience that he brings with his coaching duty as German national coach from 2003-2011 leading Germany to a Silver medal at the 2005 European championships. With a budget of seven million Euro, Bauermann has that kid feeling of being able to go into Fao Schwartz in New York city and shop until he drops for the right players. Bauermann knows that he will have a new kind of pressure that he never felt before. “There is nothing less accepted than success with FC Bayern Munich. We want to be in the top four teams. We want to play our best basketball when it counts. Titles aren´t won in October”, warned Dirk Bauermann. The club did a good job not doing a total house cleaning, but keeping a core of guys from the 2011 PRO A championship team. German national players Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene were kept. They may not be the youngest, but still possess special Beko BBL quality. Aleksandar Nadjfeji is 35, but with four Beko BBL titles wants to add some more with Munich, Darius Hall can still give that big smile and sneer to dazzle you and can give valuable minutes from the bench and young German Bastian Doreth who is being groomed to take over for Steffen Hamann down the road. The club added six top players with three German national players. Jan Jagla returns back to the Beko BBL after playing shortly for the Artland Dragons in 2005, Phillip Schwethelm continues to develop and shines with his defense and shooting and German wunder kind Robin Benzing who is looking to make a further step in the Beko BBL in his third season after not being drafted by the NBA. The team also added Je Kel Foster who is their best one on one player and can be explosive and is a very consistent and reliable player. Ben Hansborough is a Beko BBL rookie and should have some stories about his NBA brother Tyler Hansborough. Fc Bayern Munich already suffered some growing pains as ex NBA player Ruben Boumtje Boumtje declaed his retirement on account of heart disease and Sharod Ford left the team because of personal reasons. However the team hauled in Chevon Mr chevy Troutman who didn´t need much time to adjust as he belongs to the top centers in the league after only 8 games. “We have a roster that can beat any team in Germany. Key will to form a team out of good individual players”, warned FC Bayern Munich sport director Marko Pesic.
Despite basketball critics blasting FC Bayern Munich for getting big names not necessarily meaning that it will play team basketball, the Bavarian club has a 5-3 record and rest in 8th place and would have a playoff date with 4 time Beko BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg if the playoffs started tomorrow. The club started off with a tough 80-76 loss in Bonn, but then found their rhythm winning four games in a row against some lesser teams, but were able to beat Braunschweig. The team lost two of the last three games against playoff aspiring teams Oldenburg and Artland Dragons. Bayern Munich has averaged 81 points in the first eight games and held their opponents to 80 points. The offense seems to be rocking, but not their defense yet. “Their strength is shooting the ball. They have so many guys that can fill it up with Greene, Wallace, Schwethelm and Foster. Their defense is ok, but the best bet for a team is too run on them, because they have bigs that don’t come back quick enough. They had problems with their pick and roll defense, but we played them before Chevon Troutman came”, warned Josh Young. Even though Foster was out done in Overtime by David Holston in the loss at Artland, Foster belongs to the top players in the Beko BBL and will lead FC Bayern Munich in tough times. “Foster impressed me the most on that team. He isa smart and great shooter and solid on defense. He is just as tough as nails. You have to put Foster in the same trio of Brown, Wood and Holston”, warned Josh Young.
The Fraport Skyliners currently rest in 16th place in the Beko BBL standings and ride a six game losing streak. The last time the Skyliners were so far away from the playoff places, Dashaun Wood was still at Wright State, Jon Leuer was still in high school and Jimmy Mckinney was still at Missouri(NCAA). The Fraport Skyliners demonstrated that they were capable to play at a high level with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but were unable to close the door in the fourth quarter as they slipped through the door allowing Bremerhaven a come from behind win in their living room. After blowouts against Alba Berlin and Bamberg were the defense looked like it was playing with blind folds, the team played respectable defense giving up only 63 points to Bremerhaven. “We have to play defense the way we did against Bremerhaven, play aggressive and execute better on offense and get back on transition defense”, warned Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt will have to forget those last few minutes in the fourth quarter and stay focused mentally for 40 minutes too. “Key will be shutting off any mental lapses that may occur”, warned Michael Thompson. If there is one guy who wants to win as badly as Brose Baskets Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder does than it is Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. After the loss to Bremerhaven, it was apparent how shaken the Paderborn native was and how much a win is on his mind in Munich. “We have to play concentrated for 40 minutes. We have to play good team defense and give up no easy baskets”, warned Marius Nolte. Frankfurt did a good job controlling John Bryant in Ulm and will need to be awake again in Munich to stop the athletic Chevy. “We have to do a very good job defending the paint. Chevon Troutman is a good player. We gave up too many offensive rebounds against Bremerhaven. We have to control the back boards”, warned Justin Gray. Frankfurt should also follow the 3 quick step to success from Tigers guard Josh Young. “Frankfurt has to keep the Munich shooters in check, control the boards and score in transition to have a chance to win”, warned Josh Young. FC Bayern Munich host The Fraport Skyliners November 20th at 15:00.
FC Bayern Munich is led by Chevon Troutman is a 29 year old 202cm forward from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is a tough, talented rebounder, athletic defender, tough offensive player and fierce competitor who plays with much passion. He has contributed primarily in the low-post but also can play on the perimeter. His high school coach also coached NBA star Allen Iverson. Troutman played at Pittsburgh (NCAA) from 2001-2005 where he reached the NCAA Sweet 16 three years in a row from 2002-2004. As a professional basketball player he has played three years in Italy and three years in France for Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France-ProA). He was a French All Star twice and won the cup in 2008 and was French PRO A champion in 2009. Last season, he played for Air Avellino (Italy-SerieA, starting five), injured in Jan.’11 and was off for 4 months: 16 games: 14.6ppg, Reb-3(8.3rpg), Steals-3(2.7spg), FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 69.0%. Currently he is averaging 17,8ppg, 9,0rpg and 1,8apg. Je Kel Foster returns back to the Beko BBL after playing in Italy last season. Foster is a 28 year old 191cm guard from Mississippi that is a natural born leader. Runs the show as a point guard that can score. He thinks to run the offensive first. His long arms and his quickness allows for him to cover the entire floor defensively while also giving him to length to finish over taller players. Excellent 3 point shooter. He played at Ohio State and started his professional basketball career in Germany for EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 42 games: 13.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 34.0%, FT: 75.3%. He then played a season in France for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA, starting five): 30 games: 14.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-2(2.4spg), 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. He then played for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2008-2010 leading the team to the Beko BBL championship in 2009. Last season, he played for Vanoli-Braga Cremona (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 29 games: 12.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.1apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 71.8%. Currently, he is averaging 16,3ppg, 3,5rpg and 2,1apg. He is hooting 54% from the field and 48% from the parking lot.
Robin Benzing is playing his first season in Bavaria and is a 22 year old 208cm forward from Seeheim-Jugenheim south of Frankfurt, Germany. He is a big forward who can play in both positions (if he works on the physical department) as he has the size and the shooting skills too. His game looks like his country-mate Jan Jagla, he is a bit lighter than the German international, and is playing mostly within the wing. He is amazingly good ball handler for his size and he can attack the basket going both ways. He started his basketball career for TV Langen in 2004 and played there until 2009. He played for ratiopharm Ulm the last two seasons playing a total of 66 Beko BBL games. Last season, he was the top scoring German in the Beko BBL averaging 15.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 77.2%. he also has been a member of the German national team since 2009 and this past summer played at the European Championships in Lithuania -11: 8 games: 9.1ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 52.6%, FT: 78.6%. Currently, he is averaging 9,8ppg and 3,2rpg. Aleksandar Nadjfeji is playing his 10th season in the Beko BBL and second with FC Bayern Munich and is a 35 year old 203cm forward from Serbia that is has excellent athletic skills. Can run and jump. Very impressive dunker. Can shot. Also good defender. He played for The Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2001-2005 where he never averaged less than 13,8ppg a season in the German league. He then played for RheinEnergie Koln from 2005-2008 where he helped win the Beko BBL title in 2006 and helped win a cup. As Cologne was having problems financially, he went to Alba Berlin in the middle of the 2007-2008 season helping them win the championship in 2008 and cup in 2009. He then played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and last season with FC Bayern Munich played 30 games: 12.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.0apg, FGP-3(66.4%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 58.0%. Currently, he is averaging 9,6ppg, 5,1rpg and 2,5apg. Jan Jagla also returns back to the Beko BBL after playing in other countries for six years. Jagla is a 30 year old 213cm forward from Berlin Germany. A seven-foot power forward with the skill set of a guard. Can post up and score inside and is a great three point shooter as well. Was compared too much times to Dirk Nowitzki at his teenage days, and this limited his maturation. He started his basketball career at Lichterfelde and then went to the States to play NCAA ball at Penn St. He then played for Panellinios Athens (Greece-A1): 3 games: 2.3ppg, 1.0rpg: released in Nov.’04 and joined Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (1.Bundesliga): 26 games: 6.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 55.6%, 3FGP: 30.2%. In 2005-2006, he had a taste of the NBA playing with the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), waived in Oct.’05, then signed at Drac Inca Mallorca (Spain-LEB, starting five): 28 games: 11.3ppg, Reb-5(7.8rpg), 1.4bpg, 2FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.1%. From 2006-2011, he played for top tams in Europe including Turk Telekom Ankara, DKV Joventut Badalona (Spain-ACB,) from 2007-2009 where he played with Demond Mallet and Ricky Rubio and helped win the ULEB Cup in 2008. The last two years, he played for Polish Euroleague team Asseco Prokom Gdynia . He has played 40 Euroleague games and has been part of the German national team since 2006. Last season he played for Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-PLK, starting five): Polish League: 2 games: 4.0ppg, 5.0rpg; Polish League: Euroleague: 10 games: 5.6ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 66.7%; VTB League: 4 games: 11.0ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 66.7%, in Dec.’10 moved to Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL): 16 games: 4.5ppg, 2.4rpg. Currently, he is averaging 8,4ppg and 4,5rpg.
Jonathan Wallace is playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich and is a 25 year old 187cm guard from Alabama that is playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich. He played at Georgetown from 2004-2008 reaching the NCAA Final 4 in 2007. In 2008-2009, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-1A), Adriatic League: 8 games: 4.4ppg, 1.3rpg; Euroleague: 4 games: 6.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg; left in Nov.’08, in Feb.’09 moved to EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): German League: 18 games: 1.7ppg; EuroChallenge: 2 games: 0.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg. In 2009-2010, he played for Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) becoming D-league champion playing 58 games: 10.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 88.1%. Last season for FC Bayern Munich he played 30 games: 15.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 83.8%. Currently he is averaging 7,6ppg and 1,8rpg. German national player Steffen Hamann returns for a second season to Munich. Hamann is a 30 year old 194cm guard from Bamberg. He started his career at Bamberg in 1997 and played there until 2008. He was Beko BBL champion twice with Bamberg. He played for Alba Berlin from 2008-2010 winning the Beko BBL cup in 2009. Last season for FC Bayern Munich, he played 20 games: 10.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 85.9%. Before coming to Munich, he has played 88 FIBA international club games. He has been a member of the German national team since 2003 winning the silver at the 2005 European championships. Currently he is averaging 7,4ppg, 1,8rpg and 4,6apg. Phillip Schwethelm is a 22 year old 201cm forward that is playing his first season in Munich. He started his basketball career with Cologne in 2004, where he played until 2009. He played Euroleague at the age of 17. He helped Cologne win the Beko BBL title in 2006. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2009-2011 and last year played 36 games: 10.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 72.9%. He has been a member of the German national team since 2010. Currently he is averaging 5,3ppg and 3,9rpg.
Ben Hansborough is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Poplar Bluf, Missouri that is a beko BBL rookie. He is the brother of NBA player Tyler Hansborough and played at Mississippi St. (NCAA) from 2006-2008 and then played at Notre Dame (NCAA) from 2009-2011. Last season he played 34 games: 18.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 43.5%, FT: 81.5%. He was All-Big East Player of the Year in 2011. Currently he is averaging 4,5ppg, 1,7rpg and 2,3apg. Demond Greene is playing his second season for FC Bayern Munich and is a 32 year old 185cm guard that was born in Fort Hood Texas. He is spectacular point guard or shooting guard, great athlete, not very tall but he can jump and dunk, good shooter and is a former long-jumper. He started his career at TuS Aschaffenburg in 1996. He then played together with Dirk Nowirzki,Robert Garrett and Marvin Willoughby at DJK S.Oliver Wurzburg. Greene played for DJK S.Oliver Wurzburg from 1997 to 2002. He then played for Bayer 04 Giants Leverkusen from 2002-2005. He then played for ALBA Berlin from 2005-2007. He then played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for Gymnastikos Olympia Larissas (Greece-A2). Last season, for FC Bayern Munich, he played 5 games: 6.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 80.0%. Greene is a four time Beko BBL All Star, won the Beko BBL cup in 2006 with Alba Berlin and has been a member of the German national team in 2000-2001 and from 2004 until present winning the Silver at the 2005 European championships. Currently he is averaging 4,4ppg and 1,3rpg. Darius Hall is a 38 year old 201cm center from Detroit, Michigan. He is playing his eighth season in Germany and second with FC Bayern Munich. He is a is a player who loves to make the show. His dunks make the crowd explode. He is a fantastic player who is always at 200%. His athleticism ability are unbelievable, he can dunk on anybody. Great finisher in the paint. A great scorer when the game begin to be HOT. He played at W.Kentucky (NCAA) from 1991-1995. From 1995-2004 before he came to Germany, he played four years in France, three years in Belgium and two seasons in Spain. He played for the Artland Dragons from 2004-2010 winning the Beko BBL cup in 2008 and playing a total of 237 games. Last season for FC Bayern Munich, he played 29 games: 9.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.1apg, FGP-2(66.9%), FT: 44.1%. Currently he is averaging 3,2ppg and 1,5rpg. Bogdan Radosavljevic is a 18 year old 211cm German/Serb that is playing hiss econd season for FC Bayern Munich. Last season he played 7 PRO A games: 3.0ppg, 2.0rpg, also a license to play at FC Bayern Muenchen II (Germany-2.Regionalliga): 12 games: 9.0ppg. Recently he played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 13.9ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 67.7%, FT: 54.8%.