It was the beginning of April 2017 as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners and the Nurnberg Falcons NBBL(U-19) teams met in a do or die clash in Frankfurt for the ticket to the quarterfinals. Luka Doncic was still 1 and a half years away from becoming a household NBA name, but on this day a future NBA player with Isaac Bonga was on the court and would lead his Frankfurt club to the victory courtesy of 30 points and 12 rebounds while many other young and talented players also competed. One of these was a tall looking player named Matthew Meredith who only had the tender age of 16, but had already made his Pro A debut at age 14. There are always guys that impress me and he was one of them. He was a player that played a lot older than his years like current Fraport Skyliner Len Schoormann already put on display as a 16 year old in the NBBL. Even if Isaac Bonga was the main attraction and where most eyes were on, Meredith was a guy I watched a lot closer during the game and became a player that I made a note of and would continue to follow in the coming years. It looked like Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had the game easily wrapped up by the start of the fourth quarter as they led by 14 points, but they lost control of the contest and allowed Nurnberg back into the game. Even if Nurnberg had other valuable and more experienced guys like Niels Hassfurter and Moritz Sanders, Meredith held his own and made some big plays in the comeback to help his team claw closer as he made a lay in and traded free throws with Isaac Bonga to close the gap to only 60-57. With less than two minutes to play, then came another example as to why Isaac Bonga´s middle name should be “Unselfish” as instead of continuing to dominate in the paint, he let his instincts go to work as he let his crisp passing strength work finding Alvin Oniya all open in the corner with the kick out pass as the German nailed the trey and Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led 63-57. Even if Bonga was the star and seemed to decide the game, back came this 16 year old kid Meredith having the hot hand nailing a trey at 1,40 minutes to go and cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-60. However Nurnberg and Co couldn´t keep up the pressure as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners closed out the game with a 7-0 run to win 70-60. Bonga and co once again had saved the day and prevailed in crunch time in a do or die game, but Matthew Meredith left a major impression on me and surely on others also on this afternoon. Now after playing his whole career in Nurnberg, Matthew Meredith has taken a new challenge and is playing for the Fraport Skyliners JUniors. Konstantin Schuebrt who has been in the Skyliner organization since 2014 has seen Meredith play since years. “One already saw back then the type of potential he had. Back then he was one of the youngest in his age group in the NBBL, but already a top performer for his team. Matt has a lot of potential. After his tough injury last season, I feel he will find back to his game this season and really help the Pro B team. Frankfurt offers him an optimal situation for a lot of minutes at a high level. As well as giving him the chance to earn BBL minutes. An advantage is that coach Sebastian Gleim gives young players minutes early when they have earned it in practice”, warned Konstantin Shubert. It was time for another Miles basketball Minute ex teammate scouting report with Ishmail Wainright(Strasburg) Vs Matthew Meredith.
Meredith was born on July 7th, 2000 in Renton, Washington and possesses the American and German citizenship. He started playing soccer and began to play basketball at age 8. Since he was so tall for his age, his mom urged him to try basketball and the rest is history. He began his basketball career with the Nurnberg Falcons youth squads. His talent was observed quickly as he debuted in the German Pro A on January 24th against Chemnitz at age 14 where he saw 4 minutes of action. He continued to rise up the ranks of the Nurnberg program playing NBBL at age 15 and played with men in the Regionalliga playing 10 games. In the 2016-2017 season as he was 16, and he made a huge jump becoming a key player for the NBBL(U-19 team averaging 12.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.9spg, 2PT: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 80.0% and for the Regionalliga team for TS Longhorns Herzogenaurach averaging 12.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.1apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 33.3% and he also began to see more action for the Pro A team playing 12 games and averaging 9 minutes per game. In the 2017-2018 season he continued to be a big focus for the NBBL team and Regionalliga team Longhorns Herzogenaurach averaging 9.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg. His minutes in the Pro A also increased to 14 minutes as he played 20 games averaging 3.0ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.5apg.
In the 2018-2019 season, he continued to play for 3 teams with the Pro A team, NBBL team and for the TS Longhorns Herzogenaurach . He also has the pleasure of being teammates with Ishmail Wainright. The American that learned his basketball trade at Baylor(NCAA) and was a raw rookie who had also played football at school and nobody could have predicted then the amazing rapid rise he would make in 2 years. As a rookie in Nurnberg, he belonged to the top players in the Pro A picking up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Defensive Player of the Year -19, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A 1st Team -19, Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Imports Team -19, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Defensive Team -19. He was rewarded by moving up to the German easyCredit BBL to Rasta Vechta and he didn´t disappoint as he proved he can be a valuable player in that league and picked up 3 more awards with Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 3rd Team -20, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Defensive Team -20, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team -20. He continues to climb the basketball ladder and is playing for SIG Strasbourg (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) this season. It is no secret that often Americans will hang with their own, but every once in a while an American and German will bond and that was the case for these two. “Matthew really became like a little brother to me. He had a new question every day. About basketball. About life. And basketball in the states. It was something new every day”, stressed Ishmail Wainright.
Wainright compares Meredith´s game to Michael Carter Williams of the Orlando Magic. “He is a tall guard that can play the ball and off”, added Ishmail Wainright. It is no secret that he thrives off the penetration when he is creating his own shot, but that three pointer is in the works. “ I’m going to say he’s more driver than shooter but I’m sure he’s been working on his shot. That’s one thing he worked on a lot during our time as teammates”, expressed Ishmail Wainright. The ex Vechta player feels that Meredith became more patient at times in the season where they were teammates, but his decision making still needs improvement as a point guard. “.It can get better. It will get better as he ages”, stressed Ishmail Wainright Wainright is the kind of guy that every team has and needs, a great player that also has that special character that can get a long with everybody. It was no problem for him recounting a special moment with the German during their season in Nurnberg. “He threw me a lob in a game and I think after the game he’s said , “Hey Ish, I didn’t think you were going catch my lob, I suck at throwing lobs. Thanks for making me look good.” Hahaha that was funny. and that game, it was natural ! He looked and belonged out there. And he showed it. Hagen had a tough team”, stressed Ishmail Wainright.
In the 2019-2020 season he played 15 Pro A games averaging 3.4ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.6apg. In his Nurnberg career, he ended up playing 78 Pro A games scoring in double figures against Phoenix Hagen with 14 points. Over the years he also played for the German national youth teams and played at the European Championships U18 in Slovakia in 2017: playing 7 games averaging 2.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg and at the European Championships U18 in Latvia in 2018 playing 7 games averaging 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 84.2%. It seemed like he couldn´t get over the hump and become that consistent Pro A performer with good minutes in Nurnberg, so he sought a new challenge with the Fraport Skyliners where he can challenge for BBL minutes and gather further experience and minutes in the Pro B with the club´s farm team. The Fraport Skyliners have a renowned youth program and Wainright thinks that his Pro A experience will help him. “He’s seen a lot so it all should just come together. He should take a little knowledge from each player that he’s been with the past years”, commented Ishmail Wainright. The American also knows that the German will have no difficult adjustment time and just in case he wants to see water again, he can always visit the Main river. “We walked all the way out into the ocean on some tree trunk. I still have the video I think. I was hoping he would fall in to be honest because I would’ve been dying laughing. I believe he will fit in just right and the team and organization will push him even more to become the person and player he’s supposed to be”, warned Ishmail Wainright. He is more than confident that the German will go his way in the Skyliners organization and continue to develop as a player, but also knows on what he has to work on to become an easyCredit BBL player. “ He’s going to blossom into what he wants to be. He wants to be one if the top German players at his age and I’m sure they will help him get to that. He needs to improve his mindset. Learn to not be afraid to make a mistake. Learn from it and keep playing”, warned Ishmail Wainright. Who knows if Wainright and Meredith will ever cross paths on the court again, but one thing is certain, for once it wasn´t necessarily an American that left a lasting impression on a German, but here it was vice versa. “I’ll never forget Chuzzy!! He’s a player that’s going to strive and learn every day. He’s a player that wants to learn”, warned Ishmail Wainright. That should be a good omen for success in Frankfurt and beyond in Meredith´s career, because if there was one guy who always wanted to learn, it was Isaac Bonga and everybody knows where he is today.