Sometimes a sudden cancellation can result in massive panic and disappointment, but when Northeastern decided not to participate on account of the summer terror attacks in Germany at the 2016 Basketball Aid international tour, the German basketball community didn´t turn their head in another direction and pretend not to notice, but rather stuck together and helped keep the 2016 Basketball Aid International tour going and made it a huge success with entertaining basketball and continuing to spread cancer awareness. Basketball Aid chairman Hans Beth had sympathy for the tough decision that Northeastern made for not coming and had total respect for their decision. Many German professional teams from the EasyCredit BBL, Pro A and Pro B teams leaped at the occasion of helping a great cause and jumped in taking the place of absent Northeastern and kept the games alive. Even the Luxemburg national team helped spread the sizzling international flair by playing one game in Luxemburg and a second in Hanau, Germany. With all the proceeds made from the 5 exhibition games and the four games at the Gezeiten Cup in Rhondorf going to aid stricken children with cancer, Basketball Aid chairman Hans Beth was able to confirm the proud amount of 30,000 euro.
The first game took place on the US Army base in Wiesbaden as one was dazzled by the beautiful state of the art gym that showcased every flag of the 52 States and the game between the Fraport Skyliners and RheinStars showed a symbol of the always positive German-American relations. Frankfurt won the game 77-59 as some saw a future possible NBA player in 16 year Isaac Bonga and tour chairman Hans Beth was awarded a medal of honor from Colonel Todd J. Fish for his support of German-American relations and volunteer work he does. “I wanted to present a token of our appreciation to Chairman Beth for
bringing the game to our Soldiers, Families and civilians here at USAG
Wiesbaden. It was a great game, and we really appreciate both teams coming
out and putting on a wonderful event for our community.”stated Colonel Todd J.Fish.In the second game, the term international was center stage as the tour went over the boarder to Luxemburg as their national team welcomed the Dresden Titans and head coach Steven Clauss who is a cosmopolitan himself as he grew up in New York, but has lived in Germany for over 20 years. German Pro A team Dresden won the contest 90-80 and the 1,400 kilometers traveling distance wasn´t too much for the team as it was glad to help the basketball Aid cause. Only 48 hours later in game three, it was time for the Luxemburg national team to travel over the boarder to Hanau, a city 25 kilometers west of Frankfurt as they faced off against Pro A team the Hebeisen White Wings. The Hebeisen White Wings came to terms easier with the unbearable sauna like temperatures destroying Luxemburg 109-66 as ex Davidson(NCAA) guard Brian Sullivan scored 22 points as the only thing missing in his new living room were the Sulliiiiiiiiiiiii chants that he was used to in the Belk arena.
The fourth game took place in historic Mainz where BBL team Giessen 46ers took on Pro A team Gotha as the game was as much of a duel between the two teams as well as the two coaches of ex German national player Denis Wucherer and BBL legend Chris Ensminger. Both guys are fairly young coaches with this unbelievable will to win just like when they were lacing up their sneakers back in the day. Giessen came out on top after 40 minutes beating the ambitious Pro A team Gotha 86-70. Some interesting side notes to the day was that during the morning, there was a lecture by chairman Hans Beth about Basketball Aid and following that a round table at the Johannes Gutenberg university that had engrossing discussions between German and Chinese students. During halftime of the game, a golden basketball with all autographes of the German national basketball team was auctioned off that went for 800 euro. Game five took place in Paderborn as Pro A team Uni Baskets welcomed BBL team Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. Braunschweig had little difficulty of disposing of Paderborn 70-41. A second golden ball was auctioned off this time for 500 euro displaying autographes of the German national basketball team.
The climax of the Basketball Aid 2016 international tour took place in Rhondorf the sight of the Gezeiten Cup. A total of 5 teams took place with BBL teams ratiopharm Ulm, Telekom Baskets Bonn, Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings and Pro B teams Dragons Rhondorf and the Astrostars Bochum. Fans saw very interesting games during the weekend as the Saturday boasted the two most exciting games as in game one home team Dragons Rhondorf slipped by the AstroStars 70-68 and in game two in front of a sold out crowd of 1,400 fans, the Telekom Baskets Bonn who only had a 20 minute ride from Bonn and were seen as sort of a second home team defeated 2016 BBL finalist ratiopharm Ulm with 78-74. On the Sunday, fans witnessed two blow outs as in game one, the Telekom Baskets Bonn whipped out their farm team Dragons Rhondorf 79-54 and in game two ratiopharm Ulm had a field day with the Hebesien White Wings ousting them 82-46. Also during the weekend, the Basketball Aid tour put together a coaches clinic at castle Hagerhof that had 100 participants. The Basketball Aid international tour also had tour shirts for sale at each venue and sold 300 with it´s proceeds also going to benefit children with cancer. Shirts are now still available online at www.forthree.com
All in all the 2016 Basketball Aid International tour was a big success spreading entertaining basketball and Cancer awareness. The biggest goal was to raise as much money as possible for children stricken with cancer and to continue to spread more awareness about cancer. It was refreshing to see how the German basketball community was able to stick together when the 2016 Basketball Aid International tour seemed stranded in no man´s land and come together as quickly as a lightning bolt strikes and make the whole event continue. 30,000 euro was raised for Basketball Aid this summer and with the 2016 Basketball tour spreading basketball and cancer awareness so positively, one can only anticipate that Hans Beth and co will continue to keep this event alive and continue to let it grow. It will be interesting to see what the 2017 Basketball Aid international tour will offer. The game of basketball doesn´t only reach the hearts of fans, but also the children effected by cancer as the community stands together in the fight against cancer.