Three months ago as the Beko BBL season was only two weeks old, 2004 Fiba cup winner Mitteldeutscher BC that was back in the top German league after playing in the PRO A one year after having played in the league from 2009-2011 and arrived in Frankfurt sporting a 0-2 record and in dire need of getting a win. It was an overall very exciting game, but it was MBC that kept the nerves in the fourth quarter winning 71-68 winning a big game on the road mainly due to American Kelly Beidler who had his first double double of the season registering 17 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. The 24 year old 199cm forward from Virginia Beach was a solid scorer at St Marys(NCAA), but never averaged more than 10,9ppg in his NCAA career, but then came to Europe and in his first two professional seasons averaged 21,7ppg in Iceland and 19,2ppg in Finland. Granted the leagues aren´t as tough as the Beko BBL, but the American got self confidence and experience in the scoring department there, but in the win against Frankfurt it wasn´t only his killer instinct around the rim in crunchtime, but also his stellar defense that got MBC the win at the end. Frankfurt had the ball with 13 seconds and the chance to bring the game into OT or win it with a three pointer. Beidler who had been big on the glass proved to also be big as he blocked Peacock on the last shot giving MBC their first win of the year. “The man of Peacocok got beat so I came over to help my teammates. I thought better to try and block and risk the foul and giving up free throws then letting him score. I always have liked to be aggressive. I have been blocking shots all through my career even though it doesn´t get noticed as much. People look at points and rebounds. Blocking shots is a strong point in my game”, warned Kelly Beidler. “Beidler is the central force in our defense. His long arms make a difference on defense and rebounding. That block was huge for us”, said Sharaud Curry. So far this season, Beidler is averaging 9,0ppg, 4,3rpg and is shooting a very respectable 56,1% from the field and 43,8% from downtown. He has scored in double figures in nine of 16 games. His defense keeps being a spark for MBC as was the case in a 76-70 win against the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig as he swatted away three balls showing his keenness around the rim. It is no secret about his dominating play on the boards, but just hard work. “Just being active and never quitting on the play. I always want to make something happen on the glass. I always try to act on the bounce off the rim. I use my athletic ability to my advantage from the three position”, warned Kelly Beidler. Zach Peacock is the go to guy for the Fraport Skyliners and might be on the defending menu for Beidler on Saturday as the team likes to get him going early. Beidler enjoys the role of keeping the others team top player in check. “I have to be active and bring energy. I also focus on defense and try to make the big defensive plays get steals that lead to easy baskets. I also am there to defend the best players and make them work for their points. My offense will come from that”, warned Kelly Beidler. Despite the Fraport Skyliners wanting revenge in Weissenfels, Kelly Beidler will also be motivated to repeat his strong game in Frankfurt and he keeps a very important quote in his mind when stepping onto the court before every game never getting intimidated by the name or game of a player. “every player is equal when stepping onto the court but when the lights turn on and it’s time to play ball, the best separate themselves from the pack”. That’s what I try to do every time i step on the court”, warned Kelly Beidler.
This season, Silvano Poropat chose to say farewell to a core of last seasons players with Arizona Reid, Robert Faye-Holcomb, Louis Hinnat and ex North Carolina state forward Jordan Collins. He opted to keep many of the German players with the heart and soul of the team captain Sascha Leutloff, Steve Wachalski, Philipp Heyden, Malte Schwarz and Johannes Lange. He also decided to keep Iceland scorer Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson. This season, he has brought a core of talented less known Americans. Kelly Beidler tore up the league in Iceland and Finland and now is looking to make the next jump in the higher league Beko BBL. Sharaud Curry is a diminutive point guard that tore up the Austrian league last season and also is looking to make an impact in the higher league Beko BBL. Chad Timberlake brings experience to the guard position and is playing in his fifth country in Europe. Devin Uskoski is a sort of Cinderella story as it took him four years to move from the German Regionaliga to the Beko BBL. Poropat also brought in help for the boards with Serb Djordje Pantelic. With only 1,4 million Euro budget, the club has little chance of picking up high class players. Despite little money and less talented players, the team will not go scared into the season. “We know that we have one of the smallest budgets in the league, but we will take up the challenge and will go with a lot of self confidence into the season. We don’t want to make the mistake that small teams do and get into debt. For us it isn´t so critical if we play BBL or PRO A”, stressed MBC manager Martin Geisler. A strength that the team has is their unpredictability. They had many different top scorers in the pre season and the scoring was always well balanced. The team will have nothing lose and fight in every game as if its their last game. Weaknesses in the team is under the basket where the team is thinly stacked. The team also coughed up the ball much in the preseason. “We are still making too many mistakes on offense and have problems finding our rhythm. We still have to work much on ending the play”, warned MBC head coach Silvano Poropat.
In the short two year tenure that the Mitteldeutscher BC had from 2009-2011, the Frankfurt Skyliners were able to leave the floor each time as the winner and have a positive 4-0 record in that time. In the 2009-2010 season who could forget the exciting 76-74 win in MBC as Frankfurt was down 10 points and made a big comeback in the last minutes as American guard Aubrey Reese won the game with a shot. Frankfurt won the game at home 77-65 as American Jimmy Mckinney led Frankfurt with 17 points, Derrick Allen added 12 points and Skyliner legend Pascal Roller 11 points. In the 2010-2011 season, the Deutsche Bank Skyliners had an easier time winning as they routed the Wolves 83-52 at home as Dashaun Wood had a type of Derrick Rose performance with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. Dominik Bahiense De Mello added 13 points and KImmo Muurinen 11 points. Frankfurt won in Weissenfels 70-58 as Dashaun Wood poured in 26 points and Quantez Robertson steered 11 points.
Currently the Mitteldeutscher BC is resting in 13th place with a record of 7-10. They started the season slow losing six of their first seven games as their only bright spot was the big 71-68 win in Frankfurt where they showed a lot of grit winning in crunch time and keeping their nerves in control. They showed a very spirited game losing a heartbreaker to FC Bayern Munich 73-71 at home as the game could of gone either way at the end. They then won their second game of the season 76-70 in Braunschweig. Then followed two loses to Alba Berlin and against BBC Bayreuth. Since then they have been playing better basketball winning five of their last seven games including busting out a three game winning streak. In this winning streak, they defeated the Eisaberen Bremerhaven on the road and showed their forceful play at home beating Ludwigsburg and the always tough Artland Dragons. They also beat the LTi Giessen 46ers at home, but lost in Oldenburg and Trier. They only have a 4-4 record at home, but have won their last four in a row in the comfortable wolf den in Weissenfels including a big win against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg last weekend. The team still gives us more points then what head coach Silvano Poropat would desire, but the team is always good for a surprise. A very important quality of MBC this season is their attitude when going into games which has been transported from Silvano Poropat to the team. “coach has told us that players from strong teams are just like us. They do the same thing that we do. What he means by this is that we have to go into each game believing that we can win. I think that we can upset good teams, because we can play as a team for 40 minutes”, warned Kelly Beidler. For the Fraport Skyliners, it will be another do or die game to get themselves away from the lower standings. They have won two of their last three games and their defense is back to where it is supposed to be having averaged giving up only 63 points in the last three games. “Defense is always the key. If we can control the boards and tempo then we always have a good chance to win”, warned Ted Scott. MBC recently picked up sharp shooter Osvaldo Jeanty who has had Beko BBL expereicne with Nordlingen, Giessen and Bayreuth and will spark the team on offense.
The Mitteldeutscher BC is led by Steve Wachalski who is leading the team in scoring after two games. It took the German seven years to reach the Beko BBL in 2010 with BBC Bayreuth. He played his first five seasons starting in 2003 in the Regionaliga with Osnabrueck before reaching the PRO B in 2008. In 2010-2011, he got Beko BBL experience with BBC Bayreuth playing 27 games: 3.3ppg, 1.8rpg. Last season for MBC, he played 37 games: 9.9ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 63.2%, 3PT: 42.3%, FT: 77.1%. Kelly Beidler is a 24 year old 199cm forward from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is starting his third professional basketball season and third in Europe. He is a very athletic forward that can do it all with rebounding, posting up, shooting from outside as firstmost is a team playerHe played at Mt St Marys from 2006-2010. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 10.7ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 74.1%. In 2001 as a rookie he played for : IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 24 games: Score-4(21.7ppg), Reb-2(12.4rpg), 3.8apg, Steals-5(2.5spg), Blocks-3(2.0bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 72.9%. Last season he played for : Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 44 games: Score-4(19.2ppg), Reb-5(9.8rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-1(2.3spg), Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 70.8%. Milan Brown his coach at Mt St Marys has helped shape him to be the player that he is today.
Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Iceland. He started his basketball career in 2003 for Fjolnir (Intersport League) and played most of his career in Iceland except for a stint with CB Dunas Hotels Gran Canaria Las Palmas (Spain-EBA) in 2007. He played for Top Iceland team and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen team Keflavik (Iceland-Express) from 2008-2011. In his three seasons there, he never averaged less than 16,5ppg. Last season he played for Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-ProA): 37 games: 9.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 77.6%. Chad Timberlake is a 28 year old 193cm guard that was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He is a very talented point guard with good physical size (6’4″,208 lbs.) and toughness, he can play the shooting guard position, if that is what is needed for the team. Chad is the floor general with excellent court vision and he is a natural team leader. He can play fast break style or he can run an offense with set plays, whatever is essential to win. He is an extremely athletic guard and gets to the basket, always finishing ha rd. He has the skills to take over games with his scoring and jumping ability. He played at Fairleigh Dickinson (NCAA) from 2002-2006. In 2006-2007 as a rookie he played for Mlekarna Kunin Novi Jicin (Czech Republic-NBL, starting five): EuroCup Challenge: 8 games: 16.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 61.3%, 3FGP: 21.1%, FT: 61.1%; Czechs League: 46 games: 15.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.7apg, 2FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 60.6%. In 2007-2008, he played in the States for the Albany Patroons (CBA, starting Five): 36 games: 15.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 73.1.0%. In 2008-2009, he played for Sokol Znicz Jaroslaw (Poland-PLK, starting five): 11 games: 14.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 52.0%. In 2009-2010, he played for Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division): 18 games: 5.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 56.5%. In 2010-2011, he played for Elitzur Yavne (Israel-National League, starting five): 31 games: 20.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 21.1%, FT: 73.2%. Last season he played for Falco-Szova KC-Szombathely (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 36 games: Score-3(21.3ppg), 5.0rpg, 3.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP-3(67.4%), 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 71.1%. He won the cup and league title in Hungry in 2010.
Devin Uskoski is a 26 year old 201 cm forward from Brush Praire who can rebound with the best of them and reacts very smart under the boards. He played at Rocky Mountain(NAIA) and turned professional in 2009. In 2009-2010, he was a rookie for BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Regionalliga)): 26 games: 25.9ppg, 11.0rpg, FGP: 70.3%, 3Pts: 48.6%, FT: 73.5%. In 2010-2011, he moved up a league with BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany): 31 games: Score-4(20.7ppg), Reb-1(10.8rpg), 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 62.4%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 73.4%. Last season, he was one of the top forwards in the PRO A for VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA): 36 games: 16.1ppg, Reb-3(8.1rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 83.4%. This past summer, he played for the Vancouver Volcanoes (IBL, starting five): 12 games: 17.2ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 57.6%, FT: 74.6%. Djordje Pantelic is a 28 year old 204cm forward form Serbia that gives MBC added experience as Germany will be his sixth country in Europe. He got early experience playing in Cyprus. In 2009-2010, he played for BC Steaua Turabo Bucuresti (Romania-Div.A, starting five): Romanian League: 14 games: 6.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 71.4%; Balkan League: 5 games: 7.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0apg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 71.4%, released in Dec.’09, in Feb.’10 moved to Stjarnan (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 11 games: 14.1ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.7apg, 2.9bpg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 81.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for Apollon Patras (Greece-A2): 30 games: 11.0ppg, Reb-2(8.9rpg), 1.4apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 64.8%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 72.4%. Last season, he played for Falco-Szova KC-Szombathely (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 38 games: 13.0ppg, Reb-4(9.0rpg), 1.9apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-2(1.6bpg), FGP: 61.9%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 69.9%. Sascha Leutloff is a 30 year old 202cm forward from Berlin. He continues to have his heart with MBC as the captain is returning for a sixth season. He started to play organized basketball at age 16 and developed rapidly into a promising player. He has very good speed and athletic potential, is a very good and aggressive defender, can play inside out, is an exceptional offensive rebounder, has a very good character and is a smart person on and off the court. He started his basketball career with TUS Lichterfelde in 2001 and also played with Alba Berlin from 2004-2006. Last season for MBC, he played 37 games: 9.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 74.1%. He won the Beko BBL cup in 2006 with Alba Berlin. Malte Schwarz is a 23 year old 188cm guard that is palying hiss econd season in Weissenfels. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Bramfelder SV Hamburg (2.Regionalliga). He then played a season with SC Rist Wedel (Regionalliga) before getting his feet wet in the Beko BBL playing for Phoenix Hagen from 2008-2011. He played a total of 58 Beko BBL games. Last season for MBC, he played 25 games: 6.8ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 88.0%. Johannes Lange is a 27 year old 208cm center that took nine years of playing in the German minor leagues before finally getting his chance this season in the Beko BBL with MBC. He started his basketball career with Rhondorf 1912 Dragons (2.Bundesliga) in 2003 where he played until 2010. In 2010-2011, he played for GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (ProA): 22 games: 3.9ppg, 2.1rpg. Last season, he played for BG Karlsruhe (ProA): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 1.0rpg; left in Nov.’11, then moved to Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (ProA): 21 games: 4.3ppg, 2.0rpg