Put A Big Black Spider On The Basketball Rim And FRAPORT SKYLINER Danilo Barthel Will Dunk It Into Sweet Misery

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Danilo Barthel letting out a cry of joy after winning the 2016 Fiba Europe cup final in Chalon, France beating Italian side Openjob Varese where he added 9 points, 6 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and one block

 

How often does a grown man get his long awaited Sunday morning rest sleep or an intense Sunday afternoon football game with a nice plump burger and fries interrupted by an annoying, high squealing voice of a female in freak turmoil that would put the shouting of a pubescent girl in pig tails and braces in the first row at a Justin Bieber concert in shame when they see a little harmless spider crawling up a wall or moving in despair in a bath tub trying to escape? This fear of the eight leg creature doesn´t just pop up sometime before puberty, but studies have shown that female babies already associate creepy crawlers with being afraid before their first birthdays unlike boys who appear unfazed by the creatures, while other studies have already displayed that women are four times more likely to have a phobia for spiders than men. Men on the other hand are also afraid of things, but of more conventional means like talking to your boss, speaking in public, meeting women, dancing or dying. So for a man to be afraid of a spider its big news, even if the male recipient is German big talented basketball player Danilo Barthel that is making massive basketball headlines this season in a rising, but still rather secondary sport in Germany. Recently the 207cm forward that is slowly making dunking a normal daily occurrence for him as it is for Kevin Love to get an NBA double double found a spider in his mail box, but it soon was revealed that it was a fake rubber spider and the secret of his dislike for the quick runners was slowly lifted. Who the prankster was that placed the spider in the mail box of Barthel was never revealed, but I would have bet a fat money ball or my Dominique Wilkins autograph on prankster Jacob Burtschi or the silent and innocent looking Johannes Voigtmann. One thing that Barthel is not is scared to present is his sharp and improving basketball skills on the court as he continues to develop since coming to Frankfurt in 2011. Barthel may be the first guy that will be half way up a tree by the sight of a spider before a kid has had three licks on a chocolate ice cream cone, but if Beko BBL teams came upon the idea to place a spider on a rim to keep Barthel away, they better think twice, because despite his fear of the little creature, the rim is the best friend of the German on the court. That is probably the only place where Barthel will forget how disgusting a spider really is ,because put a big black spider on the basketball rim and Danilo Barthel will dunk it into sweet misery. Small bored kids who have a ban on playing their beloved X-box or an embargo on internet might go outside and decide to play doctor and experiment with spiders terrorizing them until they can no longer move. So what better way than to put the hairy creature out of its misery by placing them on the rim that Barthel will attack that day so he can put them out of their misery quickly with another thunderous two handed dunk instead of letting kids dissect it and let it have a slow and painful death.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Danilo Barthel after the historic 108-102 triple OT win in Ulm where he steered 18 points

Since coming to the Fraport Skyliners in the 2011-2012 season nothing seems to have changed with the demeanor of Danilo Barthel as he is still the calm quiet big man from Heidelberg that at times can glide past you in a hall way as if he was trying to avoid his university professor from getting the result of the last paper, but his appearance in no way is any disrespect, but just how he is. He may still come over as reserved as a person, but his game is anything but restrained, but he has become a real force on the court and among young Germans one of the best candidates of making the big breakthrough in the next two years as according to current top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon from Phoenix Hagen. As a rookie in the 2011-2012 season, he had to play for Muli Katzurin who wasn´t known for giving young Germans a chance as he had coached Alba Berlin to the 2011 Beko BBL final without ever really letting German national players Lucca Staiger get heated up or letting Andreas Seiferth take off his warm up jersey. However on a cool rainy autumn day in Tubingen in October 2011, Katzurin put Barthel into cold water as the club was hampered with injuries and attitude problems as his eight points were less remembered than ex NBA player Jermario Davidson sitting at the end of the bench playing with his mobile phone. “I was very surprised. I played little minutes in the preseason and then to come in and score so well was like a dream for me”, stressed Danilo Barthel. In his first year the Heidelberg native played 13 Beko BBL games and averaged a very respectable 8,33 minutes per game averaging 2,8ppg and 1,1rpg. It wasn´t simple getting ample playing time that season as four man Jermario Davidson was the work horse of the team and one of the main factors why the team almost made the playoffs. As a rookie, he got valuable experience in Eurocup play playing four games and continued to be able to work on his game in the German Pro B playing 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.7apg, Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 71.4%. Having current NBA player Jon Leuer as a teammate for three months helped his game mature as well at the start. “Playing against such a strong offensive player like Jon Leuer that is so versatile really helped my game. My 1-1 defense was helped with his play. I also remembered some of his spin moves to incorporate into my game”, stressed Danilo Barthel.

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Miles Schmist-Scheuber interviewing Danilo Barthel after a game in Bamberg

In his second season with the Fraport Skyliners, management made it clear early with the arrival of further German wunder kids Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtmann that they would go a totally new route by taking advantage of the 6-6 rule and giving young Germans playing time. The concept of signing talented Americans and reaching the playoffs was first put on hold as rebuilding and looking to the future was first on the agenda. Back in the day when the team was called Opel Skyliners, they also went this route and principally only had two talented Americans with Tyrone Ellis and Chris Williams and were able to win the German Beko BBL title in 2004 after a three year plan of bringing along Germans. If the team will be able to challenge for the Beko BBl title in 2015 after three years is highly doubtful since the competition has improved and risen in the last ten years, but why not in four to five years? Last season, Muli Katzurin noticed the talent level of the Germans and gave them minutes. The role of Barthel increased from his rookie season as he played 30 games and averaged 17,3 minutes per game. Just like in his rookie season he had a another work horse in front of him with Zach Peacock, but what better way than to learn from him the way he did from Davidson. Last season Barthel averaged 4.3ppg, 2.9rpg. He scored in double figurers four times with 15 points against Bayreuth being his best points effort. It was last season that he found a new relationship to the rim besides just hitting shots, but getting a better feel for what they feel like and how soothing a dunk is when one rams the ball through the netting with authority. His dunking breakthrough came in the first month in a home game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he flew through the air making a fierce penetrating two handed dunk over Patrick Ewing junior and Johannes Wolfarth-Bottermann feeling the breeze of the German. That dunk seemed like that special basketball release for him. From then on dunking has become a big part of his basketball repertoire. If you were to have told NBA legend Larry Bird that he could jump, one would have been lying, because he grabbed rebounds more through effort than athletic ability and that white men can´t jump is more of a cliché, because Danilo Barthel could star in his own movie called White men can jump. He continued to play in the Pro B last season as well playing 12 games and averaging 12.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 67.7%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 75.6%. He ended the season with massive back problems, but worked hard over the summer and came into this season fit.

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Miles Schmidt-Svheuber interviewing Danilo Barthel after a bitter 82-81 loss in Braunschweig in 2014 where he posted his BBL career high in points with 25 points(8/9) shooting, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. It is still his BBL career high today in 2018

Barthel who´s favorite player is Dwight Howard and likes to mold his game around 63 point man Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks is playing his third season with the Fraport Skyliners and currently is the second leading scorer of the team behind ex NBA player Andrew Rautins. This season, ex Toronto Raptors assistant coach Gordon Herbert has given the big German three of Voigtmann, Klein and Barthel more responsibility and are in the starting lineup each weekend. Barthel is averaging 29 minutes per game, Klein 25 minutes per game and Voigtmann 22 minutes. If one had predicted this last season that this could happen, many might not have thought it happening so quickly, but a lot of the credit goes to the Skyliner coaches of Gordon Herbert, Klaus Perwass and Eric Detlef who put in countless hours of teaching the kids how to get better. A big reason for his breakthrough season is the immense confidence that Gordon Herbert has given the German. Currently he is averaging 11,9ppg, 5,2rpg and 1,6apg. Barthel who seems to continue to not have reached his fullest athletic or skill potential is a player that shows that that unending killer instinct to want to get to the bucket whenever possible and just finish off the play with a monster dunk. However a criticism in his game this season at times has been his hesitation of taking the three ball. Currently the Heidelberg native is shooting 31,6% from the parking lot at 12/38 in 18 games. From a span from December first until January fifth, the German was 0/10 in six games including two games where he didn´t even attempt a three pointer. However in the last two games, he has taken on more responsibility from downtown and with the absence of injured Andrew Rautins and Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi, Barthel has had to take more of the bulk of the three pointer as he is 5/9 in the last two games making three against Alba Berlin and two in Artland. His passing gets underestimated, but there isn´t a better passing combination of four and five men in the Beko BBL with Johannes Voigtmann and Barthel as he has improved his passing with the daily practice with the German center. He has been working on his one on one defense which has improved from last season as blocks are becoming more of a standard in each game for him. His mobility is a strong suit which will help him more and more with experience on the defensive end.  He has registered five blocks in the last four games and is getting less fouls as his timing and IQ on one on one defense continues to improve. Consistency also has been a negative point in his game, but he has still scored in double figures 12 times this season and there are Americans in this league who have played more than double as many years as Barthel and aren´t as consistent. Experience and playing minutes will always help Barthel and one has to remember he is only in his third professional season. His ex coach Thorsten Daume at USC Heidelberg always preached to give all he has in every minute on the floor and that is what Barthel has done. Recently he made his debut at the 2014 beko BBL allstar game in Bonn as only the second German Skyliner  ever after legend Pascal Roller and held his own scoring eight points and showing his usual aggressive play and blocked ex Euroleague player David Logan. 1993 German European champion Henning Harnisch who heads basketball academy and won just about everything with Leverkusen in the 90s and was general manager of Alba Berlin had nothing but praise for Barthel after examining his play in Bonn at the Beko BBL allstar game. Barthel surely would have been invited by German national coach Frank Menz last summer to training camp, but his back problems  put a dent in getting this invitation. For Barthel not to be invited this summer to show his basketball skills with the best other German players is about as unlikely as Boris Schmidt finding new friends in Bayreuth. There is massive competition at the four position for Barthel, but just another reason to see just how far he is when he mixes it up with guys like Elias Harris, Robin Benzing and Maxi Kleber at the four position. But until then Barthel will continue to be standing in the starting lineup each week for the Fraport Skyliners giving his best to win, filling up the stat sheet and giving fans a never ending new basketball moment with a pulsating dunk. In his free time, the 22 year old does what many others like to do like relax with play station, watch a movie like Harry Potter which he did as a rookie with ex teammate Falko Thelig or reading a book from David Hunter. The German also is an enthusiastic cook who won´t shy away and cook for his teammates. As long as no teammate has the food wish of fried spider which is a delicacy in Cambodia, then there will be no fear of Barthel hanging up the apron and dragging the team to Mcdonalds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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