Len Schoormann Has The Ability To Produce That Special Excitement Factor Each Time He Has The Ball

Late May 2017, the Fraport arena was awarded the NBBL(U-19) and JBBL(U-16) top 4 where the best young prospects in Germany went head to head in the quest for the two titles. Ok so it wasn´t anywhere near seeing men fight in the BBL, but still very interesting basketball and some amazing young talent showcasing their abilities. It is always dangerous to sneak away from your seat to grab a hog dog and coke during the game, because you may just miss some breathtaking play that is always possible even with the kids. At the 4,27 minute mark of the third quarter of the JBBL semi-final between Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners and the Young Tigers Tuebingen, a 193cm seemingly flash of lightening escaped from the right baseline drove by his man as if he was smelling that delicious Hot Dog aroma from the concession stand and had been unwantingly drooling but instead of getting that fatty piece of beef, he finished business throwing down a nasty reverse dunk and possibly catching his real first oohs and aahs in his young career. That burst of energy was none other than 14 year old Len Schoormann of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners who had just given his team the comfortable 67-48 lead as he was leading his team to the JBBL final against Alba Berlin which they would lose, but a new bright basketball star was continuing to slowly make a name. Even NBADraftProspects were watching the game and tweeted “Meet 14 year old Len Schoormann. 6´4” combo guard with freakish tools. Next big prospect from @Skyliners1999? Instead of making last notes and contributions to the 2017 NBA Draft about sleepers like Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell, they were alert about new possible prospects for the future. Many other basketball heads and fans noticed Len Schoorman on this weekend and his development continues to progress in the Fraport Skyliners basketball stall. With the Fraport Skyliners having displayed so many amazing prospects over the last 6-7 years with guys like Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel, Konstantin Klein that have moved on to bigger and better things and still developing guys like Isaac Bonga and Niklas Kiel, the club definitely have a rare gem that will be interesting to watch develop in the next years. The kid has so many rare attributes, but one of the most alluring especially for fans is his ability to stir up that excitement factor each time he has the ball in his hand.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Len Schoormann during the 2017-2018 NBBL(U-19) season

Schoormann is a 15 year old 193cm combo guard that hails from Darmstadt. He has a dark taint and that is because his father is from Kenya while his mom is German. He started to play basketball at age 5 and began his career with BC Darmstadt and recently completed his second season in the Fraport Skyliners organization playing for the JBBL(U-16) team and NBBL(U-19) team and also found action in two Pro B games and also plays for the German U-16 national team. At first glance he looks everything else like a 15 year old kid, but like a young man that seems to have developed a bit quicker than other boys his age. In the NBBL, he already looks way beyond his years in game maturity so when seeing him play in his regular age group JBBL, he really could be classified as a man playing with kids as his sheer ability to play the game he loves is way advanced than everyone else. He is able to play NBBL as well where he is battling 18 and 19 year olds on a regular basis because he is so advanced already for his age and here he is also left a strong impression early in his development. Obviously he could only play JBBL and tear up the league like he has been doing the last 2 seasons and go home a JBBL hero, but it is no secret that one of the best ways to measure one´s talent is when you play against the best competition possible and being able to do that in the NBBL is to his advantage and will only strengthen his development. There have been many real talented German players coming up over the years and in Frankfurt one always has to be careful, because even if many have succeeded there also have been guys like a Filmore Beck that like Schoorman was already a big shooting star at age 15, but his talent didn´t pan out to a huge BBL career as many had thought as he has been at best a very good Pro B player the last years. With Schoorman it´s the same story. The basketball insiders and Fraport Skyliners youth coaching staff know that they have something special, but you never know how a player will develop and how far outside interests might interfere with his basketball focus. One thing is for sure, Len Schoormann is together with Vechta 203cm guard Luc Van Slooten Germany´s two biggest prospects from the year 2002.

In the JBBL, the German already turned heads last season as a 14 year old averaging 16,2ppg,3,8rpg and 2,5apg and leading his team to the JBBL final and this season tore up the league averaging 26,8ppg, 10,8rpg, 4,0apg and 4,5spg in the regular season getting rewarded with the 2018 MVP crown. He scored in double figures in every JBBL game and really made it look easy and has had some huge games scoring 42 points and grabbing 17 rebounds against the Regnitzel Baskets and 38 points and 19 rebounds against MTV Kronberg. This season he was a two man wrecking team with fellow 15 year old German Calvin Schaum as combined they scored53ppg. Both also were promoted to the NBBL to show their strengths as well as helping produce and whereas Schaum produced nicely, it was Schoormann that  really blossomed not into a sold NBBL player, but into an impact player that has surprisingly needed little adjustment time. It hasn´t been like he has been brought along very slowly getting some garbage minutes, but was right away thrown into cold water in Giessen where he played 19,49 minutes scoring 14 points in a tough 71-67 loss, but didn´t stand out as other big German prospect Tim Uhlemann exploded with 25 points and 18 boards and teammate Janis Hahn had 22 points in the victory. For Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners he was only the third best scorer. An experience like that couldn´t have been more perfect for him as despite having a solid debut in his first NBBL game, he didn´t get the spotlight, but was able to think about the hard loss on the 30minute drive back to Frankfurt and possibly relive plays in his mind on the floor from that loss that guys like Uhlemann and Hahn had and learn from them. He may be 15 years old and play already like an 18 year old in the NBBL, but at the end of the day he was still a NBBL rookie. He did get 9 shots in his first NBBL game and after that it would become less shots, but what really stood out was his good and efficient shooting percentage which is rare for a 15 year old kid. There is a lot of one on one play and just reckless shooting at this level, but Schoorman has that special calmness already in his game that has allowed him to be so consistent. He only had two poor shooting games against Leverkusen and the Metropol Baskets Ruhr. He really has picked up his game in the last two regular season games against the RheinStars and Team Bonn/Rhondorf where combined he scored 43 points giving him an average of 21,5ppg, 4,5rpg, 4,0apg and 4,0spg in that span. He quietly became the third best scorer on the team and averaged 10,1ppg, 2,4rpg and shot 51% from the field and 33% from outside. It is amazing how much of a shift his production has gotten in the last two regular season games as in his first seven games he only had 12 rebounds and three assists. In the last two regular season games he grew into the go to guy and become that possible x-factor dimension the team needed so desperately going into the Alba Berlin playoff sereis. After his breakout game against the RheinStars, The German reflected on the NBBL league. “There is a difference to the JBBL as here the guys are bigger, understand the game better, have more experience and the skill level is higher. It was important for me that I started off well hitting my first shots which brought me self confidence”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners guard Len Schoormann.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Len Schoormann duirng the 2017-2018 NBBL(U-19) season

Winning is always the most important thing while stats are more soothing for the ego, but also important for a player to get somewhere in his career, but ultimately the most important thing is how a player plays on the court. Len Schoormann isn´t just a very talented player, but a player that can do it all on the court and already at age 15 has the ability to produce that excitement factor each time he has the ball in his hand. His real NBBL breakout game came against the RheinStars where he produced 26 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals while shooting 11/19. Those were big time numbers and his ability to fill the stat sheet was evident while his desire to have the ball in his hand and be able to execute also was clear. A big strength of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners is their pesky press defense which they unleashed on the Cologne squad whenever they could and there was a span in the second quarter where they went on a 8-0 in 40 seconds as their defense exploded sparking their offense as Alvin Oniya and Schoorman made nonstop steals and finished with ease. Schoormann finished with two hard dunks as dunking for the 15 in the NBBL is slowly becoming as common for him as it is for Mike Morrison to the same in the EasyCredit BBL. The game was tight at the end and with 2,6 seconds to go and the score deadlocked at 64-64, Alvin Oniya flicked up the inbounds lob alley-op pass that Schoorman taped in for the win. After the win RheinStars German Thomas Fankhauser was impressed by Schoormann. ““He is one of the best from the year 2002. He is a strong player and very far for his age and plays older than his age”, added Thomas Fankhauser. This was the first time that one had witnessed Schoorman´s world as his overall versatility on the court was present.

In the last regular season game Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had little problems with Team Bonn/Rhondorf creaming them 82-54. Schoorman wasn´t as productive as against the RheinStars, but still managed 17 points, grabbed 3 boards, five assists and four steals. He also took six less shots than against the Rheinstars, but again shot very well going 7/13 from the field while against the RheinStars he was even hotter shooting 11/19. But what continued to really standout is his overall versatile game. He fills the stat sheet and showed in the second straight game that he is all over the place on both ends of the court. Even if Fraport Skyliner guard Jules Akodo had his problems comparinf Schoormann to an NBA player, the 15 year German shyfully explained who his game most resembles. “I see a lot of DeÁaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings in me. He reads the game well and can play many positions”, stated Len Schoormann. His biggest strength in his explosiveness and athleticism which has allowed him to have the ability to produce that excitement factor each time he has the ball in his hand. In the last two regular season games against the RheinStars and Team Bonn/Rhondorf one really was on the edge of their seat as each time he had the ball in his hand as one can expect not only a play, but more often than not a spectacular play. It doesn´t matter if it´s that wonderful no look pass, big offensive rebound or thunderous dunk, that surprise Schoormann factor is always present. Before stressing the dunks which brings energy and enjoyment into the gym, there is his overall game that has allowed him to excel at the youth levels. He has a nice shooting form and touch for a 15 year old that will continue to develop. He has a smoothness to his shot that is rarely seen at his age. He is a very good rebounder for his size and his athleticism and fine anticipation helps him to get those extra rebounds and he has very good passing skills as well. He already has a zip on his passes which are hard to get in front of as a defender and has already mastered the ball reversal as he often will find a teammate on the opposite wing open who is ready to fire away. Even if his offense shines, he should be able to be a very good defender as he continues to develop. His athleticism helps his defense as getting steals and blocking shots has been visible at the NBBL level. A big strength already at his age is the ability to defend many positions which will continue to be a huge advantage as he still continues to grow. Fraport Skyliner Jules Akodo sees Schoormann at times in practice and sees a lot of his game in the German youngster. Being able to get up and dunk is sort of an added desert in his game. He has dunked a lot this season and in the last game had another alley-op tap in as he was fed by Alvin Oniya again, but also had another amazing dunk in the fourth quarter of the blow out win against Team Bonn Rhondorf. He got the ball and that quick first step led to a pretty cross over past German Silias Engel and then he flew to the hole like an eagle and finished with one hand as the only thing missing was the dust he would have left behind had he been outside.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing 2018 JBBL MVP Len Schoormann at the 2018 NBBL/JBBL Final 4 in Quackenbruck

Schoorman won´t have a post season this year as he was outsed in the JBBL playoffs by Ludwigsburg and lost against Alba Berlin. He continued to be the go to guy helping the team get by the AB Baskets and against Alba Berlin produced 17 points and 25 points in the two games where Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners  had no chance losing by more than 30 points. In game 2 he scored 25 points and showed his uncanny explosiveness scoring 10 points in a row in the fourth quarter where the game was more than decided including a few spectacular dunks. He definitely has older more experienced guys like Hendrik Drescher watching his game closely. “Schoormann is one of the biggest German talents for his age. He scored at a moment where the game was over. He is very big for a guard, but so athletic. His quickness gives opponents a lot of trouble. I have a lot of respect for him”, warned Hendrik Drescher. The German is excited about the summer where he will play in the U-16 European championships and reflected on his NBBL season. “I always got more and more into the team. I started getting more shots and my confidence grew. I feel I took a big step in my 1-1 defense at the NBBL level”, smiled Len Schoorman. Even if Schoormann is still a relatively lesser known prospect, the excitement that he brings to the NBBL level now is similar to what Isaac Bonga showed at that level last season. The sky is the limit for the 15 year old who turns 16 in July. He doesn´t only play older than his age, but also is a well spoken young man who has that shyness within him, but doesn´t display that on the court. He already has a very special maturity in his game as well as in his character as he is a polite young man that has a good head on his shoulders. It will be interesting to observe not only how his development will continue with the Fraport Skyliners, but exactly where his basketball journey will take him down the road. Most important now is school and basketball, but also having fun playing while trying to improve. Very important is not to hype him too much, but just to let him develop in a healthy way, but it´s ok to give the young German an introduction. Even if Quantez Robertson had no idea who he was, Fraport Skyliner German Konstantin Schubert knows very well who he was, but is also aware there have been quite a few young German´s that didn´t pan out like many thought, so one should be a bit hesitant on how one talks about him without taking away anything from his talent. “I see him play in the JBBL, because he is teammates with my brother. He is a massive athlete that knows how to use his body well. He is a great slasher that has amazing power. He needs time and will get it with the Frankfurt organization”, warned Konstantin Schubert.  Len Schoormann is a basketball name that basketball fans will hear more in the future and appreciate as his ability to produce that excitement factor each time he has the ball in his hand will get more and more noticed especially with every additional spectacular highlight type slam dunk.

 

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