One of the worst things that can happen to a professional athlete is not playing the game they love on account of an injury which is similar as if star chef Jamie Oliver getting a taste bud infection not being able to taste his own luscious tasty food creations, or well known pilot Chesley Sullenberger who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River getting a sudden peculiar attack of flying sickness and not being able to fly or German Sebastian Vettel getting a nasty car sickness not allowing him to drive anymore Formula one at high speeds. One basketball player that went through basketball hell in the last two seasons has been American Kevin Hamilton of BBC Bayreuth. Hamilton who is a New York native and was the 9th most efficient player in the 2009/10 German BBL season and led his Phantoms to the play-off semifinals and also finished his 1st BBL season 3rd in assist (5,5 apg.) and 2nd in steals (2,0) started his career at Holy Cross and as a professional never had any serious injuries until last season. Hamilton played every summer in Puerto Rico doing double duty and in his two seasons in Braunschweig played 78 Beko BBL games was limited to four games last season first coming back in April and this season missed the first 11 games after getting injured again. Hamilton started his comeback slowly with one point and one assist in a loss to ratiopharm Ulm in December and five turnovers in a loss in his second game to TBB Trier. However he has slowly finding his groove again and in the last five games is averaging six assists a game and has scored in double figures twice with 13 points against the Brose Baskets Bamberg and 12 points against Phoenix Hagen. BBC Bayreuth also has won five of the last six games with Hamilton back as the playmaker. One guy that never doubted that Hamilton would come back is ex teammate Keith Simmons who played with him at Holy Cross. “Anytime I see any player come back from an injury I’m happy but being that Kevin is a fond friend and former team mate I was very happy to see him healthy again. It has to be pretty tough to come back after such a long time. You have to work extremely hard to get back to the level you were playing at and improve. Kevin was very good at Holy Cross, he could fill up the stat sheet with points, assists rebounds and steals. I’ve been checking up on some of his latest games and it seems like he’s getting back to doing the same things in Bayreuth. He was always a competitor, I know because we would always go at it in practice. We pushed each other hard for three years so I knew, even though he had some tough injuries, he would come back and play well again”, stressed Keith Simmons. “It was very hard for him to be at every practice and game and sit and not be able to help the team. I am really happy that he is back again, because I can learn so much from him concerning the game view. I know also when I am on the court that when I have enough room to shoot that I will always get the ball at the right moment. I am profiting form his play also. He has been averaging six assists in the last six games and I have been averaging 10 points a game”, stressed BBC Bayreith guard Simon Schmitz.
BBC Bayreuth finished in 13th place with a record of 12-22 last season. Despite Marco Van Den Berg bringing early success, not every player was able to fully identify with his philosophy of hard defense and a structured offense and thus it wasn´t hard cleaning out the roster removing seven players. The team kept a small core of players with Germans Stefan Schmidt and Simon Schmitz guys that the club have believed in and want to continue to develop as best as possible. Germans Tom Spoler and Peter Zeis also were held. The team also held point guard Kevin Hamilton who has those strong leadership qualities, but had a lot of misfortune last year with injuries being only able to play four games. He started this season injured, but since has returned. The story of the year is the return of fan favorite in the making Beckham Wyrick. He recently was signed, but then through special campaigns where money was raised was held until the end of the season. A week later it was announced thanks to a new sponsor coming on board that the American from Cincinnati will remain in Bayreuth until 2014. BBC Bayreuth added seven new players to help build a strong roster that could compete for the Beko BBL playoffs. Van den Berg had a good idea what players he wanted and got the team built already in June. The team added experienced guard Bryan Bailey that adds spark to the guard rotation and will be a tough combo with Hamilton. Nate Rhonert is an American that will give added strength to the guard position and is a talented shooter. The team also hauled in German Nicolai Simon who is a developing combo guard that has had very good games already this season. Arvydas Siksnius also was brought in to help at the guard/forward position. Under the boards the team brought in Gary Mcghee that had a strong rookie season in Turkey and Beko BBL veteran Jason Cain that can step out and fire away, dominate in the post and compete as best dunker against Gary Mcghee. Joe Trapani also was acquired as he is a player that also has a fine inside out game and adds stability to the rotation. The strength of BBC Bayreuth is there deepness at each position. Also an advantage Is that the club was put together early which got the team chemistry going early and to the good start. The only negative in the team could be how well the team plays together over time and if injuries plays a role.
The Fraport Skyliners have split the season series the last two seasons. In 2010-2011, they won at home 83-75 getting 26 points from Dashaun Wood, but losing on the road 86-79 despite 29 points form Wood. Last season, they lost at home 79-71 despite 27 points form Tim Ohlbrecht, but won in Bayreuth 90-57 getting 22 points from Jimmy Mckinney. In their first meeting this season, the Fraport Skyliners won 76-59 as they were led by Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel with 15 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners are currently in 17th place and riding a three game losing streak and are desperately looking for a win in Bayreuth. With two new players and a very solid performance for 30 minutes in Munich, the team is riding into Bayreuth with a lot of self confidence. “If we can play like the way we did in Munich, then we will have very good chances to win”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. BBC Bayreuth is currently in 13th place with a record of 9-12. After a six game losing streak in December the team has been very up and down in the last six games positing a 3-3 record. They are reeling off a very bitter 70-69 loss in Ludwigsburg. No matter how the club is playing, one thing is always for sure, they will be supported until the end from their sixth man the fans as the Bayreuth arena is always very uncomfortable to play in for opponents. “Frankfurt can´t get down on themselves and need to be hardnosed. They have to be physical on offense and defense and limit Bryan Bailey”, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Vaughn Duggins.
BBC Bayreuth is led by Bryan Bailey who a 32 year old 185cm guard who comes from New York and played in Quackenbruck from 2004-2007 and from 2010-2012. He is a team leader both on and off the court. He Possesses a diverse game, with an ability to stroke the long-range jumper, penetrate to the rim or distribute the ball and is solid on the defensive end of the floor as well. He is a fierce competitive drive rubs off on his teammates. Bailey played at Bucknell and has gained experience having played in Holland and Poland. He reached the playoffs three times with Artland form 2004-2007 and the cup final in 2007. In 2010-2011, the American played 41 games for Artland averaging 11.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 77.2%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played EuroChallenge: 7 games: 4.7ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.3apg; German League: 27 games: 6.8ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 18.9%, FT: 77.0%. Joe Trapani is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Madison, Connecticut that is playing his first season for Beko BBL team BBC Bayreuth. He started his NCAA career at Vermont (NCAA) in 2006 an dplayed 26 games: 11.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%, FT: 68.4%. He then completed his NCAA career at Boston College playing there form 2008-2011. In his senior year he played 34 games: 14.8ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.7%. In 2011, he turned professional playing at the e Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 14.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg. He then came to Europe to play for Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 1.7rpg, left in Oct.’11, in Nov.’11 try-out at Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA, starting five), then moved to MarcoPoloShop.it Forli (Italy-Lega2): 12 games: 9.4ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 78.0%; in Mar.’12 signed at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 3.7rpg.
Jason Cain is a 27 year old 208cm power forward from Philadelphia who is playing for his third Beko BBL team with BBC Bayreuth. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2011 reaching the playoffs twice. He played 142 games for Braunschweig and averaged 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 78.2. Last season he played for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 32 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 72.9%. Before coming to Germany, he played at Virginia. Gray Mcghee is a 24 year old 208cm center from Anderson, Indiana that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He played at Pittsburgh from 2007-2011 and played with future NBA players like Dejuan Blair and Sam Young. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 6.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 56.7%, FT: 48.5%. He played a total of 120 NCAA games. In the summer of 2011, he played at the well known : Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 2 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-5(8.5rpg), 1.0bpg. Last season as a rookie he played KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (Croatia-A1), only pre-season, then moved to Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey-TBL: 30 games: 10.5ppg, Reb-4(7.8rpg), FGP: 56.3%, FT: 45.6%. This past summer he played AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 2.0rpg and NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 games: 4.8ppg, 5.0rpg. Nicolai Simon is a 24 year old 191 cm guard that is playing his first season in Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2002 with 2002-2003: TuS Urspring (Regionalliga). He then played withErdgas Ehingen until 2006. IN 2006-2007, he was able to play 33 games for Alba Berlin despite being on a team with a deep roster. In 2007-2008, he injured himself playing only five games. In 2008-2009 he went back to Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB): 28 games: 8.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 5.2apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 85.7%. In 2009, he played at the World University games in Belgrad averaging 4,1ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,4apg. He also played for the Paderborn Baskets (1.Bundesliga): 31 games: 5.5ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 79.4%. He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen form 2010-2012. Last season he played Last season for Tuebingen, he played 29 games: 5.4ppg, 1.2rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT-1(52.0%), FT: 74.4%.
Beckham Wyrick is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Cincinnati, Ohio that has played in Germany since he was a rookie in 2006. Heis playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. He played for NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006 together with Bamberg floor general John Goldsberry. Wyrick played for Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2006-2008. He then had a successful stay with the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2008-2010 winning a Beko BBL title and cup. In 2010-2011, he played for FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-ProA) helping the team move to the Beko BBL and played 25 games: 8.8ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 68.4%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played 31 games: 6.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 38.4%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 62.2%. Peter Zeis is a 23 year old 196cm swingman that is playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. Last season he got into four Beko BBL games.He started his career in 2005 with TSV Troester II Breitengussbach and played there until 2011. Nate Rohnert is a 25 year old 197cm guard from Colorado that is embarking on his third professional basketball season and first in Germany. He played at Denver (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 100 NCAA games and in his senior year played 32 games: 14.5ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.4%. He turned professional in 2010 and played for Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML): only pre-season, in Feb.’11 moved to Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-DBL, starting five): 11 games: 15.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.0%. Last season, he played for Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.8%.
Simon Schmitz is a 22 year old 188cm point guard that is playing his third season with BBC Bayreuth and began his basketball career in 2005 with SG Bad Duerkheim/Speyer junior team. In 2008-2009, he played for BIS Baskets Speyer (ProB, starting five) where he played together with German national player Elias Harris. He played German League: 20 games: 14.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 79.1%; also TV Bad Bergzabern (2.Regionalliga): 8 games: 14.5ppg. In 2009-2010, he played for Science City Jena (ProA): 29 games: 10.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.2%, in Mar.’10 also played at Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (1.Bundesliga). He played at the European Championships U20 in Croatia -10: 9 games: 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 80.0%. Last season, the German played 29 games: 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.1apg. 23 year old 206cm center Stefan Schmidt was born in Schwandorf and is playing his fourth season with BBC Bayreuth. He started his basketball career with Franken Hexer (2.Regionalliga) in 2006. In 2007-2008, he played for SELLBYTEL Baskets Nuernberg (ProA, starting five): 20 games: 3.2ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 39.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 66.7%. In 2008-2009, he played for Franken Hexer (ProB, starting five): 29 games: 9.4ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 75.0%. Last season he had to fight injuries and played 17 games: 3.6ppg, 1.8rpg. Kevin Hamilton from New York is a 28 year old 193cm guard that is playing his second season in Bayreuth. He played at Holy Cross with ex Skyliner Keith Simmons from 2002-2006. He played in Poland the last few years and in the summers in Puerto Rico. He played under coach Sebastian Machowski in Poland and was made into a point guard even though he had been a shooting guard most of his career. He scored 17,9ppg in his last season at Holy Cross and in 2008-2009 he led the Polish league in assists. What makes him so dangerous is his scoring and his potential and ability to score are limitless. “In college, I averaged almost 18 points per game. I have been a shooting guard for most of my career. Three seasons ago, I had to play point guard in Poland. I always thought that I was a good passer. I think passing has come naturally to me. I have enjoyed playing point guard”, stressed Kevin Hamilton. The best thing that teams can do is to keep the ball out of Hamiltons hands, but that is about as impossible as doing the same to Lebron James. “We tried to keep the ball out of his hands. We didn´t want him to make plays. He is a true point guard. He is a great passer and makes things happen for them. When he gets going, it is hard to stop the team”, warned ex Braunschweig guard Steven Wright. In 2009-2010 Hamilton played 39 games: 10.1ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-3(5.4apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 63.7%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 77.6%. He is one of those rare players that has triple double potential. In his last season for Braunschweig, he played 39 games: 9.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-1(1.9spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.0%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played only 4 games: 8.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg. Last summer, he played for Indios de Mayaguez (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 23 games: 7.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-4(1.6spg), FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 61.5%. . Arvydas Siksnius is a 25 year old 196cm forward from Lithuania that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He mostly played in his home country, but had a year of experience in the States playing for Weatherford JC (JUCO). Last season he played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL): DNP, moved to BC Siauliai (LKL): Lithuanian League: 31 games: 7.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 25.6%, FT: 75.9%; Baltic League: 22 games: 9.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 77.8%; VTB League: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 75.0%.