In the last eight seasons, basketball has always been alive in Goettingen, but after falling back to the Pro A three seasons ago, the club is finally back in the Beko BBL after playing in the top German league from 2007-2012. In this time, the two biggest highlights was the amazing 2010 Eurochallenge win where German Chris Mcnaughton had the game of his life leading the team to victory with 22 points and the time the club played Eurocup against Beisktas Istanbul with future NBA legend Allen Iverson. Former head coach John Patrick put Goettingen basketball on the map in Germany as well as his special brand of basketball of 40 minutes of basketball hell with his hectic full press type of annoying basketball. This season the club has reached that third major highlight with the acquisition of former NBA player Khalid El Amin who played 50 NBA games for the Chicago Bulls and won the NCAA title with UConn. Alba Berlin swing man Nils Giffey and El Amin could go back to the Uconn campus in Storrs with their three NCAA rings and probably get a hero´s welcome. What makes the welcome of El Amin to the German Beko BBL so interesting and amazing is the risk that BG Goettingen took on the 35 year old 200 pound American that looks like a dough boy that could probably keep up with Shaq for the first five big macs, but then kindly surrender from a Mcdonalds eating binge. Not only does El Amin look out of shape, but he didn´t play at all last season on account of an injury in a Turkish cup game and had many critics questioning the mind of BG Goettinge head coach Johan Roijakkers for making such an unpredictable and bold move. Of course, El Amin has had a stellar track record in Europe as BG Goettingen is his 12th team, but his numbers and titles don´t lie. He has played most of his career in Turkey and the Ukraine and even played two seasons for Besiktas Istanbul (Turkey-D1) where Allen Iverson played. His stats have always been immaculate as he has been at the top of scoring and assists for whatever league he played in. He won titles in Croatia and in Turkey and Ukraine the cup where he was MVP in two titles victories. Even if his appearance and one year off are questionable, his play in the Beko BBL has been excellent as he is averaging 12,5 ppg, 6,2apg and 1,7rpg. Even as he gets older, he continues to be a warrior as he can still battle with guys 10 years his junior as he has the perfect combination of skill, heart and will that could raise BG Goettingen to new heights. Already as a kid he was already focused as he made the North High Polars varsity team at age 14 and led them to three state titles in Minnesota. Before the season, many critics had this club as a team that could move back down to the German Pro A, but so far they have kept their own and are fighting for a playoff spot even if their goal before the season was too stay in the league. Hauling in the old dough boy has paid dividends as once again a she has led BG Goettingen and his experience and leadership skills is what has carried his teammates mostly a list of no name players that are playing their first season in the Beko BBL to new heights. At the start of the season ex Georgetown point guard Jason Clark had the pleasure of being the teammate El Amin in Goettingen and even if he was there only a few weeks before moving to Belgium to Okapi Aalstar, the American was thankful for the experience. “I remember watching him at UCONN winning the NCAA title. When I heard he was playing with BG Goettingen my first reaction was “Is he still playing”? He has had a great career in Europe. It was a great experience for me playing behind him in Goettingen and just learning how he can take over a game and I hope I could take some of his competitiveness with me. Learning from him is vital because everyone wants to reach the next level and get to the Euroleague or NBA”, stressed Jason Clark. It will be interesting to see how BG Goettingen continue to develop in the next months with El Amin leading the team. If the team makes the playoffs or stays in the Beko BBL, the dough boy probably will have no problems if he gets free bread and sweet pastries from local bakeries as a season ending reward.
The last time that BG Goettingen tasted Beko BBL air, it was the first season after the John Patrick era had ended and he had moved on to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. The 2011-2012 season was one to forget for the 2010 Eurochallenge winner as they finished in 18th place as nothing went right for the team and one could clearly see that without John Patrick and his signature style the club was unable to garner new magic to success. In that last Beko BBL season in 2011-2012 having a season early 107-63 blow out loss in Bamberg was the norm on many weekends that season. The team suffered a bitter nine game losing streak early which pretty much set the tone for a lousy season as they were outscored by the opponents by 136 points. They lost 8 games by more than 10 points and lost a close battle against FC Bayern Munich 77-73 at home. The team allowed 80 points average in 12 games which might not always pose a problem for a team like Phoenix Hagen or Bamberg that can score quickly and in bunches, but if your BG Goettingen and average only 67 points per game, then you will have problems winning games if you can´t score at a consistent rate. It was a long season for BG Goettingen which drove them back down to the second Bundesliga. In their first season back in 2012-2013, they finished second in the German Pro A, but were a runner up. The club made amends for their bitter finish the year before and last season dominated the German Pro A and were clearly the best team moving their way through the playoffs and winning the German pro A against the Crailsheim Merlins. A big reason for this success was head coach Dutch man Johann Roijakkers who took a strong Pro A team with young and unproven Americans coupled with talented Germans into a consistent and successful season.
This season BG Goettingen did a fine job not totally erasing last seasons chemistry and roster by keeping five key players and rewarding them by giving them Beko BBL air and hauling in five new players to implement the missing pieces. The club was able to hold Americans inside monster Harper Kamp, all arounder Alex Ruoff and shooter David Godbold that are having their chance to prove themselves at the highest German level as well as German Dominik Spohr who was the unsung hero of the team last season. The club added Americans Khalid El Amin who could be type of savior, inside out threat Raymar Morgan, athletic inside man Jamal Boykin and Germans the elder statesman Dominik Bahiense De Mello who get another chance to prove himself at the Beko BBL level after not being able to breakthrough in Oldenburg and Acha Njei who also is still looking for his full breakthrough in the Beko BBL after failed attempts in Oldenburg and Artland. BG Goettingen is a team that has a 10 man rotation and always needs good production form their starting five. They have potent shooters and inside men and a very smart and experienced point guard with El Amin. Before the season the club was seen as an opponent that could be fighting all season long to stay in the league, but so far they have been a huge surprise as they are flirting near the playoff places with a record of 6-6 at place nine. BG Goettingen definitely have been off the radar for some opponents and been underestimated as FC Bayern Munich witnessed with their 95-81 drubbing early in the season in their own living room. They lost against teams like Alba Berlin and Artland where no expected a win and then beat Bremerhaven, won a nail bitter against Braunschweig 81-79 and beat Phoenix Hagen on the road at their game 93-88. BG Goettingen head coach Johann Roijakkers stressed that defense would be vital for surviving and so far the club has averaged 85 points a game while scoring only 78 points a game. The biggest problem on offense has been their inconsistency. They often score in the 70s and then lose because they cant keep a stable defense and in the 90s and have won each time. BG Goettingen is an athletic team and still have much potential to improve their defense in the next months to give them better opportunities of winning.
In the years between 2007 and 2011 where BG Goettingen was in the Beko BBL, there were some unforgettable games against Frankfurt like who could forget the stellar 74-67 Frankfurt win in the Lokhalle in 2008 as half of the team was sick and Maksym Shtein showed a totally other side of him as he exploded on the court making just about every touch he had land in the basket as he led the club in scoring with 24 points. In 2008-2009, the luck of last years Frankfurt team seemed to be with BG Goettingen as they won two nail bitters. In Frankfurt, they prevailed 64-61 despite 16 points from Ilian Evtimov. In the return date in late February and 48 hours before the Top 4 in Hamburg, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost 70-65 as they had all chances to win in the crunch time, but missed some key shots. Pascal Roller had a huge game with 20 points. In the 2009-2010 season The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost 90-78 and were outplayed for 40 minutes. In the return game in Frankfurt, BG Goettingen lost in overtime 90-88 as Aubrey Reese tied the game at 88 with a three pointer and then won the game with two free throws with nine seconds to play and Seth Doliboa blocked the last BG Goettingen shot with two seconds to play. In the 2010-2011 season, the Fraport Skyliners swept the season series winning 70-58 as Frankfurt was led by Dashaun Wood and ex NBA player Roger Powell with 18 points a piece while BG Goettingen was led by Kyle Bailey with 10 points. In the return game, Frankfurt won 88-82 at home as they were led by Dashaun Wood with 25 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds while BG Goettingen was led by Dwayne Anderson with 16 points. Frankfurt then swept BG Goettingen 3-0 in the playoffs. IN the 2011-2012 season the teams split the season series. Frankfurt won 78-65 on the road as Jimmy Mckinney rattled home 21 points and BG Goettingen was led by Raymons Sykes with 24 points. IN the return game, American Matt Bauscher preserved the win for BG Goettingen 62-61 with the classic buzzer beater. Darrell Tucker led BG Goettingen with 16 points while Jimmy Mckinney poured in 15 points for the losers.
Now taking a closer look at the BG Goettingen roster, the team brought back American Harper Kamp who is a 26 year old 203cm power forward/center that is playing his third professional season and second with BG Goettingen. Kamp is a mobile big guy that is dangerous around the glass, but doesn´t shy to step out and take the three or mid distance jumper. He played at California (NCAA) from 2007-2012 playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 11.6ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 76.1%. As a rookie he played for Panelefsiniakos AOK Eleusina (Greece-A1): 14 games: 4.9ppg, 3.1rpg, in Feb.’13 moved to Feni Indistrija Kavadarci (FYR Macedonia-Prva Liga): 16 games: 9.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP-3(66.7%), 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 74.2%. Last season for BG Goettingen he played BG Goettingen (Germany-ProA, starting five): 37 games: 15.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 63.5%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 77.1%. The club also held American Alex Ruoff who is a 28 year old 198cm guard from Sugar Hill, Florida that is playing his second season for BG Goettingen. He is a tall guard that has the complete package and surprises with his speed. He played at West Virginia from 2005-2009 playing a total of 127 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 15.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 43.0%, 3Pts: 37.3%, FT 79.8%. In the summer of 2009 he was the king of the pre draft workouts as these teams wanted to see what he had with the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards. He played in Belgium from 2009-2013 with Liege and three seasons with Okapi aalstar and a short stay in the D-League with Iowa and Canton. The team also kept David Godbold who is a 19 year old 196cm guard from Oklahoma City that is playing his sixth professional season and second with BG Goettingen. The American is a leader that can shoot the lights out and uses his athleticism to his advantage. He played at Oklahoma(NCAA) and as a professional has played in countries like Poland, Finland and Slovakia. Last season for BG Goettingen he played 37 games: 9.3ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 79.2%. The club also retained Dominik Spohr who is a 25 year old 198cm forward with rich Beko BBL experience. The German is a fighter that can always hurt you with his shot and one should never foul him in a tight game at the end as he rarely misses from the free throw line. He started his basketball career at BG Hagen. He played for Phoenix Hagen from 2007-2012 playing a total of 64 Beko BBL games. The following season he moved to Giessen where he played 29 games: 5.6ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 75.6%. Last season for BG Goettingen he played 37 games: 9.1ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 47.1%, FT: 89.5%.
Besides adding Kahlid El Amin, BG Goettingen also hauled in four other new players including 2015 Beko BBL Allstar Raymar Morgan who is a 26 year old 202cm forward from Canton, Ohio that is playing his fourth professional season. He is a versatile big man with great defensive skills and the ability to defend four positions, is a strong rebounder, has great work ethic as he continues to improve his offensive game. He played at Michigan St. (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 135 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games: 11.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 67.1%. He reached the NCAA Final four in 2010. In his first three professional seasons he has played two years in Israel and one year in Turkey. Last season he played for : GreenTops Netanya (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 26 games: 10.7ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 75.0%. The team also added Jamal Boykin who is a 27 year old 203cm forward from Los Angeles, California that is playing his fifth professional season. He is a solid forward that gets his way around the rim with his finesse and can also shoot from the mid distance. He started his basketball career at Duke in 2005 playing 29 NCAA games and then moving to California in 2007 where he played until 2010. As a senior he played 35 games: 11.9ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.2apg, FGPNCAA-5(58.4%), FT: 86.3%. In 2010-2011 he started his professional career and has been a basketball jetsetter since then playing in countries like Turkey, Cyprus, Japan, Holland and Ukraine. Last season he played for s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-BBL): 3 games: 5.7ppg, 5.0rpg, in Dec.’13 moved to SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Ukraine-Superleague): 13 games: 10.8ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT-3(88.0%). During the summer he played for Fico Finance Nelson Giants (New Zealand-NBL) 19 games: 20.2ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 84.1%. The club held onto double license German players Philipp Sprung, Nick Boyake, Steffen Teichert and Andrerw Onwuegbuzie.
The club also picked up veteran German Dominic Bahiense De Mello who is a 29 year old 190cm guard that started his basketball career with the Telekom Bonn Cadet Team. After some years in Rhondorf and in the States at a high school, he had his longest tenure with Frankfurt playing a total of 236 games from 2005-2011. He played the last three years for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and last season played Eurocup: 10 games: 1.8ppg, 1.7rpg; German League: 39 games: 2.0ppg, 1.1rpg. His experience, robust body, defense and shooting is what stands out in his game. The club returned home German Robert Kulawick who is a 28 year old 192cm guard from Nerlin who played for bG Goettingen from 2008-2011 playing 103 Beko BBL games and winning the 2010 Eurochallenge. He started his basketball career in 2003 with TUS Lichterfelde Berlin (2.Bundesliga). He then played 11 Beko BBL games for Alba Berlin. His basketball journey then continued to Bremerhaven, Bernau and Den Helder. He played for Braunschweig the last three seasons and last year played 34 games: 3.3ppg, 1.4rpg. His biggest strength is his shot even if it looks very unorthodox, it can be very effective. The team also brought in Acha Njei who is a 29 year old 190cm guard that started his basketball career in 2004 for Vegesacker TV (2. Regionalliga). He then played for the Bremen Roosters from 2005-2009. Since 2009 he has been active in the Beko BBL for Oldenburg and Artland. In Oldenburg he played seven Beko BL games from 2009-2011 and for the last three years with Artland played 68 Beko BBL games and 13 Eurocup games. The Fraport Skyliners welcome BG Goettingen December 27th.