Recently there were two American basketball warriors in the Fraport arena with Los Angeles native Brandon Bowman who at the age of 31 is still going strong with the help of his consistent gym visits was playing a Europe cup game with Cypriot team AEK Larnaca against the Fraport Skyliners. Also in the arena, but on the sidelines in street clothes and in his typical slick and suave swagger that he still possesses at the age of 32 was St Louis native Jimmy Mckinney who had some days off from the Telekom Baskets Bonn as it was the cup weekend. Mckinney who played six seasons with the Fraport Skyliners was back in his old stomping ground visiting old teammates Quantez Robertson and John Little while possibly doing some early scouting for the next meeting between Frankfurt and Bonn. What both Bowman and Mckinney will probably never remember is that they never met in the Fraport arena, but more than seven years ago in a game in Bonn where Bowman took on Mckinney and Frankfurt notching 10 points, while Mckinney put up the good old goose egg mustering 0 points, but at the end of the day Frankfurt went home with the 84-75 victory. No matter if Mckinney is in street clothes or in uniform, he is always a welcomed guest in Frankfurt as in his time in Frankfurt, he was always loved by the fans and was so close to winning his first professional title in 2010, but fell short in a 5 game series against the Brose Baskets Bonn. Last season he came late to the Walter Tigers Tuebingen, but had a solid season averaging 12.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 87.5%. This season he was signed by the Telekom Baskets Bonn and had a superb Eurocup season averaging 10,9ppg and shot an astronomical 52,8% from downtown and hit Italian club Dolomiti for nine three pointers and in the Beko BBL is averaging 8,3ppg while shooting 36,8% from the parking lot. After the departure of head coach Mathias Fischer he played less and had thoughts of hanging it up, but with the arrival of new head coach Silvano Poropat has played again in the last two games. In the last years he has come back to Frankfurt and had a 1-1 record with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and it is always a big challenge and exciting time for him to test the rims in his old living room. He didn´t meet Frankfurt last season despite playing for Tuebingen was pumped to be back in Frankfurt and test who had the better legs him or Quantez Robertson. 25 minutes after the game had ended Mckinney exited the locker room sporting a St Louis Cardinals cap and rushed out to see Robertson and discuss the good old days. A little bit earlier, Mckinney would have dreamed to have been back in the good old days with Frankfurt as with his new team Telekom Baskets Bonn he suffered an annihilation of the worst kind getting blown away 78-48. The only consolation prize that he had, but probably never noticed on the stat sheet was that he had three steals while his old teammate Quantez Robertson had two steals. Mckinney was relaxed after the loss and wasn´t surprised by the play of the Fraport Skyliners. “It was fun to be back and I was really grateful for the nice greeting. I have to thank the organization for the warm welcome. I knew it would be a tough game. I think that Poropat is a great coach, but he hasn´t been here and long and no one can expect things to change overnight. Frankfurt has been together so long and is well coached. Their defense was very intense and we couldn´t find a way to score well”, stressed ex s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg guard Jimmy Mckinney.
One thing the Fraport Skyliners have done well this season has been to rebound after a loss in the Beko BBL which they did after loses against Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich with wins against ratiopharm Ulm and now Bonn. The win gave the Fraport Skyliners their 18th win of the season and put them into fourth place of the standings. Jordan Theodore is the basketball conductor on the court, but he also can lead the way in a post-game interview as he gives the most useful insight about what the club just did in an eloquent basketball tone. “This was a good defensive game for us. We went into the game with the mindset that we would go out and play good defense. Setting the defensive tone was key early as well as winning the rebounds and getting the loose balls. We took everything away from Bonn as they got nothing easy. We play as a team and no one is worried who contributes. That is Skyliner basketball. We are one of the top teams in the BBL and proved it again”, warned ex Seton hall guard Jordan Theodore. The Telekom Baskets Bonn came into the game with 10 wins and in no mans land in 12th place. They can´t relax too much as they only have four wins more than the last regulation spot. Their main goal is to finish the season strong, but losing by 30 points on the road is never a good confidence booster for the stretch run. Ex Iowa(NCAA) forward and 2015 Washington Wizards draft pick Aaron White was frustrated after the loss and explained why his team was unable to muster any offense. “We were unable to score a field goal in the first quarter. We didn´t do a good job handling the Frankfurt defensive pressure. Allowing 78 points is pretty good for us, but you won´t win a game scoring only 48 points. They have been together for a while and know the system. They played very good team defense. When a team plays five as one then it is always tough”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn forward Aaron White.
4,930 fans came into the Fraport Skyliner arena to witness first class basketball. It is always amazing to witness just who Jordan Theodore knows and that seems to be just about every American he faces on the court as he gave big hugs to Eugene Lawrence and Sean Marshall before the jump ball. “I know Lawrence, because he is from New York and I work out with Marshall during the summers”, said Fraport Skyliner guard Jordan Theodore. The Fraport Skyliners came out scoring and scoring and scoring while the Telekom Baskets Bonn kept putting up brick after brick. The Fraport Skyliners got off to a quick 13-0 run and on the other end of the court halted the first 8 possessions of the Telekom Baskets Bonn. On the Frankfurt run, four different players contributed as they found many different ways to score and just played exquisite Skyliner basketball. The Fraport Skyliners twin towers Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel combined for the first bucket as the big man passed up a jumper at the top of the key and found the Heidelberg native for the lay in. Englewood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore snuck inside for a typical lay in and free throw. While Frankfurt continued to crush Bonn on defense, they continued their shooting spree on offense as Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp dropped a trey on the fast break and ex Auburn star Robertson had the shot clock in the corner of his eye nailing a bomb for the 11-0 advantage. Theodore then added a mid-distance shot from the baseline for the 13-0 lead. On the ninth Bonn possession, they finally got to the free throw line as Lithuanian national player Tadas Klimavicius got the first point of the afternoon for the guests. Frankfurt had the momentum and self-confidence and continued to flaunt their offensive weapons as Barthel scored in bunches with a running hook shot and high rainbow three pointer as Frankfurt extended their lead to 18-1. Then it was German Dirk Madrich that made a free throw to cut the Frankfurt lead to 18-2. Frankfurt then put some NBA Showtime into the house with a Doornekamp alley-oop pass that ex George Mason center Mike Morrison threw down with authority. Madrich connected on two more free throws and Doornekamp closed out the first quarter with a reverse lay up and three pointer as the Fraport Skyliners led 25-4. “Bonn couldn´t get anything going. Frankfurt was hitting every shot and this gave them momentum and confidence. Frankfurt played aggressive push defense as they did a good job always having a guy to help which often forced Bonn to make a bad pass”, expressed ex TV Langen forward Martinis Woody. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 67% from the field and 57% from outside while the Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 0% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 11-6 rebound edge and three turnovers while Bonn had four turnovers.
In the second quarter the Telekom Baskets Bonn went on a little run as the Frankfurt offense was sputtering, but as soon as the twin towers Barthel and Voigtmann reentered the game, the Frankfurt offense started to slowly find shape again and get going. The Telekom Baskets Bonn started off the second quarter with some vengeance going on a 9-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 27-13. It was back up point guard Langston Hall who played with Danilo Barthel at the 2014 NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat that got the Telekom Baskets going again not with scoring, but with his playmaking. Hall assisted on the first two Bonn scores as he found White on an alley-oop dunk and found German Florian Koch for the easy lay in. Klimavicius then made a thunderous one handed dunk over Doornekamp and Mckinney closed out the run with a three pointer. Barthel and Voigtmann then came off the bench and got some instant offense as Voigtmann scored inside and made a free throw and Barthel got a nice dish from Theodore for the lay in as Frankfurt led comfortably 34-15. The Frankfurt offense kept producing as Theodore scored at will dancing inside like a disciplined bear who knows when and where his honey is and Doornekamp also used his aggressiveness to score inside. The Telekom Baskets Bonn didn´t totally allow the Fraport Skyliners to totally walk away with the game in the first half as Brooklyn, New York native and ex St Johns stand out Eugene Lawrence hit two big three pointers and White hit a runner, but Frankfurt still led with ease at 39-23 at the break. “Hall did a good job in that early run to calm the team down and organize the team. He got them going again. Barthel and Voigtmann then came in and stopped the run. They have played together so long and know each other so well and just know how to run the offense. Lawrence came in later and hit two big shots. He was ready and came in and picked up the game”, stressed South Carolina native Martinis Woody. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 57% from the field and 36% from the three point line while the Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 24% from the field and 21% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 20-15 rebound edge, but 11 turnovers while Bonn had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners ultimately decided the game starting the second half with a 13-1 run to extend their lead to 52-24. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners got seven points from German national player Johannes Voigtmann as he connected inside on all three buckets including a pretty give and go with Robertson and a hook shot. Robertson and Konstantin Klein also contributed with three pointers. This was another very weak quarter by the Telekom Baskets Bonn as they were unable to muster any real consistent offense. Ex Bamberg center Dirk Madrich who looked like a Croatian with his long dangling black hair stopped the Frankfurt run with a three pointer. Bonn also got some input from ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Isaiah Philmore and Klimavicius who registered tip ins. Frankfurt produced 24 points in the third quarter and got additional free throws down the stretch from Klein and Phillip Scrubb to lead 63-31. “Voigtmann was great in the run. When he plays well then we are tough to beat. He is a focal point of our offense”, added ex Carleton guard Phillip Scrubb. “We didn´t give up, but we were unable to hit shots. If we would of hit some more shots maybe we could of come back. They continued to hit shots and ran away with the game”, added Aaron White. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 38% from the parking lot while the Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 24% from the field and 22% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 31-23 rebound advantage and 12 turnovers while Bonn had 15 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the question was simply by how much the Fraport Skyliners would win the game. In a little side note, in a game that was already decided, the Telekom Baskets Bonn actually won the last 10 minutes 17-15. The Telekom Baskets Bonn got some offense going quickly as Philmore scored back to back buckets as Bonn trailed Frankfurt only 63-35. That run was quickly squashed by Jordan Theodore who had a quiet game taking only seven shots and getting seven points, but burned Bonn every time with his lethal unstoppable penetration. The ex Seton hall standout is like a light switch. The light goes automatically on when the button is pressed and when he flies to the rim, it is almost always automatic that he will score. “I have always been able to get to the rim my whole life. I wanted to show this season that I could also shoot from outside and have, but going to the basket has always been my bread and butter. I don´t always have to go, because we have so many guys on this team that can go and score whenever needed”, warned Jordan Theodore. “Theodore has that killer instinct and is always in attack mode. At the start of the season all was saying that there won´t be anyone like Justin Cobbs again, but everyone knows Theodore now. He is an MVP candidate and he just can´t be stopped. He either draws the foul or scores. He is a leader that scores and that gets his team involved”, added Martinis Woody. The Telekom Baskets Bonn then got some good production from ex Boston College Eagle Sean Marshall that dropped a three pointer and Klimavicius scored inside as Frankfurt still led 72-40. Frankfurt got some more buckets from Mike Morrison and Phillip Scrubb while Isaiah Philmore also helped his point total with a lay in. After White made a runner it was German Max Merz that waited patiently in the corner and got the return present from German national player Konstantin Klein who had tried to set him up for the last bucket in the Europe Cup game against Maccabi Rischon, but Merz gave him the last shot and he connected and this time it was Merz who made the last shot with an assist to Klein putting the exclamation mark on a well-deserved 78-48 victory. “Frankfurt is a very good basketball team. They put good pressure on defense and on offense take the best option instead of taking crazy shots. If Frankfurt can keep up their defense then I see them as a title contender”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Andrej Mangold. “Even when our shots aren´t falling on a consistent level, we always rely on our defense. We are a defensive team that shut down teams like that. We have a good combination of 1-1 defense and team defense. We know that when there is a breakdown that we have to stick together and help”, warned Canadian national player Phillip Scrubb. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Aaron Doornekamp with 13 points. The Twin Towers Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 11 and 10 points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were led by Tadas Klimavicius and Eugene Lawrence with nine points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners shot 48% from the field and 40% from outside while the Telekom Baskets Bonn shot 30% from the field and 21% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 39-32 and had 15 turnovers while Bonn coughed up the ball 19 times.