When you are growing up anywhere in Canada and especially in Edmonton, Alberta, the only sport that is released from the mouths of individuals there is ice hockey and even if the person has been drunk or has been in a coma and just woken up, the first word that probably will be said is ice hockey and the second Wayne Gretzky who became a legend with the Edmonton Oilers and the greatest player ever on the face of the earth in the 80s. So even for a big guy like Jermaine Bucknor who is 200cm to get interested in any other sport than ice hockey, there must have been a special reason why he fell in love with the big orange ball than the hard plastic puck. “I actually started playing soccer and played it for seven years. Then I got to tall and played basketball. I never got into playing hockey for some reason. I was living in an area where basketball was being played. I belonged to a few outcasts that played basketball. Now there are more playing basketball”, stressed Jermaine Bucknor. Bucknor who loved to watch Michael Jordan as a kid is currently playing in his eighth professional season after playing at Richmond(NCAA) and played his first four seasons in France and since then mainly in Germany for Frankfurt, Wurzburg and now Trier and a short stay and few months in Argentina. Bucknor is playing his second season in Trier for 1993 NCAA champion Henrik Rodl and each day, if one wanted to find a place with the most Canadians in one spot in Trier, then you would most likely find them at the TBB Trier practice with Bucknor, Warren Ward and Jermaine Anderson. Maybe it is the company of fellow Canadians, or just the tranquility and beautiful scenery of Trier that has kept Bucknor so focused as he is having his best statistical season in Germany at the age of 30 and is shooting the highest percentage ever from down town in his professional career at 45,6%. Bucknor is the type of glue guy that is deadly from outside and gives support under the basket with rebounding. Currently he is the fourth best scorer on the team averaging 9,4ppg, 4,3rpg and 2,0apg. He does a bit of everything on offense and can take some scoring off the shoulders of American Trevon Hughes and German Andreas Seiferth when they aren´t on. He once made 70 free throws at a Skyliner practice and considers his post defense a hidden strength and is a player that probably had an unending smile on his face when he heard that ex Boston Celtic Paul Pierce had become the 18th NBA player to eclipse 25,000 points. “I have played the position three in the past and now the position four. I like to watch the game of Paul Pierce. He is a big guard with a good post-up game. I like to emulate my game after his”, smiled Jermaine Bucknor. Despite TBB Trier not making the playoffs, Bucknor still has something to smile about after this season and will be motivated to work even harder this off season to keep his good play going next season despite having reached the 30 plateau.
The 11th place finish of TBB Trier with a record of 15-19 last season may have looked normal since the club has been in the no mans land practically since 2004, but it was rather deceiving because with three games left in the regular season the club was three wins away from the playoffs and three losses away from going down. The last month was a real battle, but the team buckled down and finished strong to breathe another season in the top German basketball league. This season as every season head coach henrik Rodl did a good job keeping a part of the team together and then adding a healthy mix of Germans and international players to help round out his new rotation. He kept Jermaine Bucknor(8,2ppg, 5,8rpg and 2,0apg) who is a 30 year old 200cm forward from Canada that played at Richmond and has good European experience having played in France and for Frankfurt and Wurzburg. His good outside shooting and versatile play inside coupled with his jovial mood and experience will aid the team. Germans Mathis Monninghoff, Andreas Seiferth and Zimbabwean Vitalis Chikoko also return to team. Monninghoff(10,2ppg, 3,4rpg) is a 21 year old 200cm swing man that started his career with Leverkusen and played 52NCAA games for Gonzaga. His shot is his big asset, but he isn´t one dimensional, but smart turns over the ball seldom and plays aggressive defense. Andreas Seiferth(5,3ppg, 3,3rpg) is a 24 year old 209cm center that made the jump to the German national team last summer. He is playing his third season in Trier after learning the trade in the Alba Berlin school. He is a guy that always works hard and has developed a cute hook shot. He is a guy that can still develop and this season will be another test to see if he can make the next step. Chikoko(10,2ppg, 7,0rpg) is a 22 year old 207cm forward that can also play center and has turned into a leading player in Trier this season. He played at BG Goettingen two seasons ago where the league already took notice as he played 17 games averaging 6.9ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT-2(50.0%), FT: 54.2%. Last season for TBB Trier he played 33 games: 6.2ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT-3(50.0%), FT: 61.4%. He has unending athletic ability and can rebound and block shots, but at times his overzealous energy leads to too many fouls.
The club brought in TreVon Huughes(18,2ppg, 4,2rpg, 4,6apg) who is a 26 year old 184 cm point guard from Queens, New York that is playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany. He played at Wisconsin(NCAA) with NBA players like Jon Leuer, Alando Tucker and Marcus Landry. As a professional he has played in countries like Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuvania. He has shown no problems adapting to the skilled Beko BBL and can fill up the stats sheets as a combo guard and will give Rodl smiles with his defense. Jermaine Anderson(9,6ppg, 5,0rpg, 2,8apg) is a 30 year old 188cm point guard from Toronto, Canada that has played in Germany for teams like Bamberg, Tuebingen and Braunschweig. In Europe he has played in countries like Croatia, Poland, Russia and Monetnegro. His three pointer is deadly as he has shown throughout his career like shooting 48% in Greece and Croatia. He will be like an assistant coach on the court for Rodl. Laurynas Samenas(4,4ppg, 2,0rpg) is a 25 year old 192cm guard from Lituvania that is playing his first season out of his native country. Last season he played for BC Siauliai (LKL) playing 22 games: Score-5(15.0ppg), 2.2rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 78.4%; Baltic League: 17 games: 14.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 50.7%, FT: 79.1%. He is known for his shooting and defense and can give the team energy from the bench. After four seasons and 74 Beko BBL games with Bayreuth, Stefan Schmidt(4,4ppg, 3,2rpg) is searching for a new challenge in Trier. Schmidt is a 24 year old 207cm center that was born in Schwandorf. He had the chance to play behind two ex NBA players with Jared Reiner and Brandon Hunter. Schmidt never was able to make his breakthrough in Bayreuth and in Trier will come from the bench to give Seifert rest. He always works hard and this season will be very important in his development. Warren Ward(4,5ppg, 1,8rpg) is a 23 year old 196cm guard and third Canadian on the roster. He is a rookie coming from the University of Ottawa (CIS) and as a senior played 26 games: 18.8ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 81.8%. He doesn´t have an easy task having to replace Nate Linhardt. Ward is very athletic and can jump very high. He grabbed eight rebounds a game and will help the team in many ways on offense. Andreas Wenzl(3,7ppg, 1,3rpg) is a 20 year old 201cm center that arrives to Trier as a big project. He started his career with ratiopharm Ulm and played at the 2011 and 2012 NBBL Allstar games. In the NBBL he has shown his scoring and rebounding ability, but knee problems have slowed him down. In Trier he will get a chance to get minutes with the Regionaliga team and beko BBL club. Anthony Canty is a 22 year old 183cm guard that is injured. He started his career in 2007 with BSG Bremerhaven (Oberliga) and in 2009 to Beko BBl team Eisbaeren Bremerhaven where he played a total of 63 games in four seasons. He is another very big German talent that could shine in Trier. His speed is his biggest asset and isn´t shy to take big shots if no one else wants to. The club brought in Marin Petric that is a 33 year old 190cm guard that has the German/Croatian citizenship. He has Beko BBL experience with Leverkusen and Duesseldorf and last season played for Murat Didin for Duesseldorf Baskets (Germany-ProA): 39 games: 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 67.4%.
Since Rodl has been coach with TBB Trier he hasn´t only made young German player development an institution, but also priding the game of the team on defense. They have belonged to the top defense teams in the Beko BBL, but just weren´t more successful because they often were unable to score more points than what they gave up. As always TBB trier will develop their game through their defense and let the offense work from there. The club lost important players with Americans Nate Linhardt and Barry Stewart, but got good players with Jermaine Anderson and TeVon Hughes. This season TBB Trier has been as usual in no mans land in the middle of the standing never having to worry about fighting in the league or scratching at the playoff spots. Their biggest wins were against Their biggest wins were against ratiopharm Ulm, the Telekom Baskets Bonn and they kept their composure winning the season series against the scrappy SC Rasta Vechta winning both games combined only by five points. At the moment, TBB Trier is in 11th place playing respectable basketball having won three of their last five games and recently lost a close battle with the Brose Baskets Bamberg in Trier. The Fraport Skyliners are stuck in a six game losing streak in 13th place as they have been hit hard by the crunch time disease. It seems like the only remedy is a massive success experience to get out of th rut. “We beat Trier there, and now we can´t beat anyone. Trier is tough and coach Henrik Rodl does a great job of preparing his team for each game. I think it will be another defensive battle similar to the Hagen game”, stressed Jacob Burtschi.”WE have to stay tough on the offensive and defensive end for 40 minutes. This will be a defensive battle and just a dog fight”, warned Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners meet TBB Trier on Easter Monday April 21st.
In the last Six years, The Skyliners have a record of 9-7 against TBB Trier with 5-3 at home and 4-4 on the road. In 2008-2009, TBB Trier played a very energetic and spirited game winning 78-70 despite a monster game by American Derrick Allen who registered 29 points and 10 boards. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost the first game of the season in Trier 71-67 as Jimmy Mckinney and Qarraan Calhoun were missing due to injury. It was your typical season opening game as both teams were nervous and missing way too many shots. The game was tied at halftime 26 all. Frankfurt had fire power in the third quarter, but went down in the fourth quarter scoring only nine points as Frankfurt had no nerves in crunch time to win. Derrick Allen had 19 points and eight rebounds and despite TBB Trier was without top scorer Chrs Copeland, the team got needed production form Jamal Shuler, Brian Brown and George Evans to conserve the win. In 2009-2010, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost the first game ion Trier 71-67 as Ex Skyliner Derrick Allen contributed 19 points and eight rebounds and Frankfurt won at home 71-69 winning the game with Pascal Roller free throws. Derrick Allen led Frankfurt with 17 points. In 2010-2011, Frankfurt swept the season series. They won at home 72-55 as Pascal Roller led the home team with 17 points. The return date in Trier was an exciting battle as Frankfurt clawed out a 69-61 win as they came from behind going on a 10-0 run in crunch time to prevail. Dashaun Wood led the charge with 18 points and Jimmy Mckinney added 11 points. In their first meeting in 2011-2012, TBB Trier came out with a 64-54 victory as defense played a key role. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jon Leuer and Jimmy Mckinney with 14 points a piece. In their second meeting that year, the Fraport Skyliners were riding the wave of a very strong second half of the season where they had beat top teams like FC Bayern Munich, ratiopharm Ulm, Bamberg, Artland Dragons and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and came to Trier with a lot of self confidence winning 72-52 displaying another trademark top defensive performance as ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson steered 19 points to the win and Jimmy Mckinney added 18 points. This was also the game where Eisbaeren Bremerhaven forward Jacob Burtschi was on the floor as much as Boris Becker had dived on the hallowed lawn at Wimbeldon in his career. Last season TBB Trier swept the season series won at home against Frankfurt 78-59. At halftime everything looked ok as Frankfurt trailed by only one point, but TBB trier exploded in the third quarter winning it 25-8 leading them on to the win. American Brian Harper proved too much for Frankfurt with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Skyliner Ted Scott gave his debut netting 20 points. In the return game in Frankfurt, TBB trier won 78-70 sending the Fraport Skyliners into a do or die game with Ludwigsburg as Jermaine Bucknor and Andreas Seiferth led the way with 14 points a piece. Frankfurt was led by Quantez Robertson with 14 points and Ryan Brooks added 13 points. In their first meeting this season, the FRaport Skyliners came out of Trier with a big 85-75 victory as Andrew Rautins smoked Trier for 30 points. Jacob Burtschi and Danilo Barthel added 15 points a piece. TBB Trier was led by Trevohn Hughes with 29 points and Vitalis Chikoko added 11 points.