Even if his first two seasons in Poland and Italy didn´t earn him any hardware, the 12 and 11th place finishes in the standings were nothing to brag about or even want to store in his memory bank, but the third season for American Sean Mosely has been one to forget. Mosley is a 25 year old 192cm swing man that is a very good scorer, with great 1-vs-1 skills and shooting range from outside the arch. He was never a top scorer at Maryland(NCAA) simply because there was a lot of great talent there with Landon Millburne and future NBA players like Grevis Vazquez and Alex Len. IN his first two seasons in Poland and Italy he was fifth and third in league scoring and this season he is playing for doormat team Crailsheim Merlins and isn´t in the top ten scoring in the BBL, but top scorer for his team once again displaying that he can compete at any level and any country. “ I have been playing basketball for many years and played at a great university so coming to the BBL wasn’t a problem. I feel comfortable from the first game I played”, stressed Sean Mosely. The American is also second in rebounds and assists on the team and does so much more that isn´t visable. “I like doing the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet as well”, expressed Sean Mosely. Having the right attitude also has helped Mosely be successful with his play wherever he has played. “Gary Williams always told us to believe in yourself. He pushed us in practice to compete each day and that’s the mind set I had since I left college”, warned Sean Mosely. The Crailsheim Merlins came to Frankfurt at the start of 2015 carrying a dismal 2-13, but since then have a 4-8 record and are giving teams like Tuebingen a run for the money for that last ticket to stay in the league. Big back to back victories against the Mitteldeutscher BC and medi Bayreuth have helped their self confidence. “Lack of experience hasn’t been the reason, teams are just having more guys coming off the bench. We usually play 6 or 7 guys. I think it comes down to who wants it more. We gave up a lot points but now we are doing a much better job on the defense end of the court. Teams may score but we give our all”, warned Sean Mosely. Mosely will surely never forget FC Bayern Munich who scored a combined total of 213 points in the two meetings or the many close loses like to Braunschweig or to Bonn by not more than a combined score of six points, but what he probably will always remember and tell his grandchildren one day on Christmas eve in front of the fire was the famous trip to Hagen that was halted by snow and a snow covered high way where the team jogged back to the nearest exit to hop onto mini vans and Jannik Freese boasting his newest winter time shades. “Jannik always thought he was the coolest guy on our team. I always asked him why are you cool? Me and him had a good bond”, added Sean Mosely. One thing is for sure the Crailsheim Merlins are playing a lot better basketball now and will fight until the finish to stay in the league with Sean Mosely infecting his teammates with his always believe attitude.
If one looks back at the last 20 years of the Crailsheim Merlins basketball history, it has been a journey of changing the level of leagues similar to how Afghani-German Achmadschah Zazai has been changing teams the last 10 years. In the late 90s, the club made a rapid surge moving up from lower leagues like the Landes Liga to the Oberliga and to the Regionaliga in 1998. They reached the second Bundesliga in 2001 where they played until 2008 where they went down to the newly established Pro B, but stayed there only two years as they moved back up to the new established Pro A in 2009. After some years in the middle of the standings, they then finished at position six in 2013 and last season moved up to the Beko BBL thanks to a second place finish. In the German Pro A final, the ylost to BG Goettingen, but automatically moved up to the Beko BBL and were able to pass all ramifications to start in the highest German league. However their start into their first beko BBL season has been tough as before Christmas had arrived had already dismissed American head coach Willie Young and Americans Jared Newson and Justin Tubbs. They went into the season with the lowest budget in the league and were able to hold 4 players from the team from last season and mostly added players to the team from lower leagues. The club held Americans Steve Johnson and Joston Crow who were important parts to the club last season as well as German role players Jonathan Moore and Andreas Kronhardt. The club added interesting pieces to this seasons puzzle with scoring point guard Garrett Sim, swing man and explosive scorer Sean Mosley, center project Chris Otule and Germans Jannik Freese and Joshiko Saibu who have been big surprises showing that when given minutes can be solid players at the Beko BBL level. The team recently signed scoring guard Chad Timberlake who has BBL experience. Crailsheim is a team that likes to play fast and aggressive basketball, but this season teams haven´t been impressed by their hungriness as most teams have been able to devour them like helps chicks lost from their mothers.
When looking closer at the Crailsheim roster, it is led by Sean Mosley who is a 25 year old 192cm guard from Baltimore that is playing his third professional season. He is a very good scorer, with great 1-vs-1 skills and shooting range from outside the arch. Can become a star player at European league level. Last season in his second season he made a name for La Fortezza Recanati (Italy-Lega Due Silver) playing 28 games: Score-3(19.9ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.4apg, Steals-3(1.8spg), FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 80.6%. As a rookie he played for Kotwica Kolobrzeg (Poland-TBL) playing 32 games: Score-5(15.5ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 71.7%. He started his basketball career at Maryland (NCAA) where he played a total of 132 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games: 10.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 83.5%. Garrett Sim is a 24 year old 185cm point guard from Portland, Oregon playing his third professional season. Played the point in his last collegiate season, but he can play the SG position too without any problem. Has great scoring skills and a very good outside shooting range, with quick release and a clean shooting mechanic. A smart player, has a great basketball IQ and personality. He had a solid rookie season with Science City Jena, but really had his break out season last season playing 33 games: Score-1(20.8ppg), 2.4rpg, Assists-5(5.7apg), Steals-5(1.7spg), FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 89.5%. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Oregon and played a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games: 12.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 85.9%.
Chris Otule is a 25 year old 211cm center that was born in Houston, Texas and is playing his rookie season for the Crailsheim Merlins this season. Injuries like breaking his foot twice or tearing his ACL slowed his development as a college player and playing with a prosthetic left eye wasn´t easy either, but the American was able to withstand all hurdles. Only one part of his body has been 100% it seems. “My heart has been 100% since I have always been breathing”, stressed Chris Otule. Despite having a prosthetic left eye it hasn´t driven him back and God has kept him marching forward like a warrior. “My prosthetic left eye never gives me issues because I was born with one so it’s all I know. If I was born with two and lost one that’d be different. I’ve kept faith in God and I’m a big believer. It’s helped me stay sane and get through. God gets all the credit”, added Chris Otule. As a senior at Marquette (NCAA) he played 30 games averaging 5.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 60.2%, FT: 54.8%. Head coach Buzz Williams at Marquette was a driving force in helping Otule get by all obstacles to reach the Beko BBL. “He always told me to take advantage of every day, never let a day pass you by where you felt like you didn’t do something to get closer to your goals Other influences are Brad Autry and Jerry Wainwright”, expressed Chris Otule. This season with Crailsheim, the American has been losing a lot while getting a touch for the Beko BBL while averaging 6,8ppg and 4,4rpg in 16,5 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures three times including a 13 point effort against the Artland Dragons. His defense is also a big part of his game and he has registered two blocks against Goettingen, TBB Trier and Artland. As a rookie he is just trying to learn the ropes especially under the basket where German veteran Jannik Freese had won the starting job after being a journey and back up player his whole career. No matter how many more games Crailsheim win this season or how many buckets and rebounds Otule grabs, he will always be an inspiration for what he has achieved with all his hardships. For kids who suffer eye ailments, Otule always has time for and too listen to what they have gone through. “All the stories have a huge impact in my life that’s one of the reasons I play to prove to people that no matter your “limitations” and I put quotes cause that word shouldn’t exist, you can do whatever you want in life”, added Chris Otule.
Chad Timberlake is a 31 year old 194cm point guard from Brooklyn, New York playing his ninth professional season. 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. Last season he played for Falco-Szova KC-Szombathely (Hungary-A Division) playing 30 games: 14.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 62.6%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 63.0%. He has gathered experience playing three years in Hungary as well as in the Czech Republic and Israel. He played at Fairleigh Dickinson (NCAA) from 2002-2006 and as a senior played 29 games: 15.2ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.1apg, 1.4spg, FG: 49.3%, 3PT: 40%, FT: 65%. Joshiko Saibu is a 25 year old 188cm point guard playing his third season in the Beko BBL. He started his basketball career in 2008 for ALBA Berlin II (Regionalliga). In the 2010-2011 season he played for Alba Berlin and their Pro B team playing 2 Beko BBL games and 2 Eurocup games. He played for TBB Trier from 2011-2013 and last season for the LTi Giessen 46ers (ProA) playing 38 games: 13.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 67.2%. He loves to penetrate and is a hard nosed defender at all times. Josten Crow is a 27 year old 193cm swing man from Spring, Texas playing his third professional season and third for Crailsheim. Last season for Crailsheim he played 39 games: 8.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 76.8%. He played at Sam Houston St. (NCAA) playing a total of 115 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games: 12.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 70.0%. Crow is a guy that does a little of everything very well, but nothing perfect. The club got Walter Lemon and Andriy Agafnov during the season. Lemon is a 22 year old 190cm guard from Chicago that is playing his rookie season after starting the season with Egis Kormend (Hungary-A Division, starting five): EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 38.3%, 3FGP: 22.2%, FT: 58.8%; A Division: 12 games: 18.6ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.5apg, 2.7spg, 2FGP: 59.1%, 3FGP: 35.1%, FT: 49.3%. He played at Bradley(NCAA) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 32 games: 18.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.9apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 74.6%. Andriy Agafnov is a 28 year old 208cm forward from the Ukraine playing his first season in Germany. He played seven years with Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Superleague), two with Budivelnyk Kyiv (Superleague) and the last three with BC Odessa (Superleague) and this season played 12 games: 13.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 58.4%, FT: 65.7%,
Steve Johnson is a 36 year old 198cm forward American playing his 14th professional season and third with Crailsheim. He is a multi-talented athlete who can play a multitude of positions. Has an NBA body that can defend almost any player on the court. Can overpower opponents 1 on 1 scoring outside or inside. Gives 100% all the time and can carry a team with scoring and defensive abilities. Great at utilizing his strength on offensive and defensive boards. He played at Iowa State from 1996-2000. Since being a professional he has played in Spain for seven years and three years in Iceland and one season in Argentina. Last season for Crailsheim he played 35 games: 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 65.4%, FT: 61.9%. He won three titles in Spain. Jonathan Moore is a 32 year old 203cm forward playing his 10th professional season and third with Crailsheim. He has Beko BBL experience with TBB Trier and Bremerhaven. He started his basketball career at East Carolina(NCAA) and then played two seasons at NC Central(NCAA2).Since turning professional he has had experience playing in the D-League, in Iceland and Sweden and for German teams Bayreuth and BG Karlsruhe. Last season for Crailsheim he played 38 games: 13.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 77.3%.He is a very athletic player that can hit the jump shot or take his man off the dribble. Andreas Kronhardt is a 25 year old 205cm center playing his second season for Crailsheim and last season played 36 games: 5.8ppg, 5.5rpg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 54.9%. He started his basketball career with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in 2008 and played 6 Beko BBL games and stayed until 2010. Then he played for teams like Vechta, Leitershofen and Schwelm. He is a mobile big man that can dance in the paint. Max Rockmann is a 26 year old 198cm forward that started his basketball career in 2003 with Marzahn Basket Baeren (2. Regionalliga). He then played three seasons for TUS Lichterfelde Berlin. He got experience in the States with UMKC (NCAA) playing 34 NCAA games. He then came back to Germany and played for Phoenix Hagen playing 20 Beko BBL games and played for Cuxhaven and Kirchheim where last season he played 28 games: 11.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 82.2%. Young Germans Philipp Heilrath, Julian Gais and Alassante Dioubate round out the roster. Frankfurt and cRailsheim meet tonight and for both teams it is a huge game as Frankfurt come into the game with a two game winning streak and continue to battle for the last playoff places and Crailsheim try to dig themselves out from the cellar. Frankfurt won the first contest of the season 88-71 as Danilo Barthel led Frankfurt with 21 points, Justin Cobbs had 17 and Johannes Voigtmann 16 points and 12 boards. Crailsheim was led by Chris Otule and Jonathan Moore with 12 points a piece. “We won´t take Crailsheim on the easy shoulder. They have fought hard recently and we respect it. We have enough power on the team to be able to beat them”, warned Johannes Voigtmann.