The Miles Basketball Minute: Rickey Paulding Chris Babb and Surrounded By A Pack Of Kids Is All In A Weeks Work For Quantez Robertson(Fraport Skyliners)

Quantez Robertson runs up and down courts as if it´s his last basketball track meet every day in practice and in games and it wasn´t any different the other day in Ludwigsburg. However on this night he experienced something that an older chap like him doesn´t witness so often. He was on the court and at times was surrounded by a pack of kids. Kids were left and right and the elder statesman Quantez Tez Robertson was smack dab in the middle and with his 36 years of age could have been the dad of half of them. With the Fraport Skyliners depleted because of an out break of corona that had Michael Kessens, Bruno Vrcic and Len Schoormann locked in doors and top scorer Matt Mobley and rookie Jon Axel Gudmundsson out, the 2004 BBL champion had to reel for bodies and took a number of their farm team players to Ludwigsburg with Alvin Onyia, Philipp Hadenfeld and Leon Pullen. While on the other side, the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg had three teenagers doing their thing on the court with Johannes Patrick, Lukas Herzog and Nico Santana-Mojica. All in all there were 8 players 21 or younger that played and four teenagers out of the 8. The ex Auburn(NCAA) defensive specialist Quantez Robertson took it in stride about his elder status. “Yes I did feel old, but I´m getting old anyway”, laughed Quantez Robertson. Seeing so many kids on the court reminded him of his day at Lauenburg Prep where there were many guys his age and younger. He also saw a lot of talent among the pack of kids. “I think that some guys have big futures. I think that if these kids stay aggressive and play hard on offense and defense, that with time they will get more minutes in the BBL: Some of those Ludwigsburg kids are really good shooters and aggressive defenders, but that is expected with a Patrick team”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Even If he was surrounded by a pack of kids, the Ludwigsburg kids play isn´t quite as fierce as a pack of wolves yet. “The Ludwigsburg kids play very scrappy. A pack of wolves smell blood. You need to have that to play like a pack of wolves. We haven´t done enough of that”, stated Quantez Robertson. Those pack of wolves can be extremely fierce anywhere and you definitely want to stay out of their way. Back in the 90´s those pack of wolves struck in a hilarious skit on the American cult show Saturday Night Live. Comedian Dana Carvey really had the Tom Brokaw impersonation down perfect concerning former president Gerald Ford.

                The Fraport Skyliners played one good quarter in Ludwigsburg, but that they lost 106-69 didn´t surprise anyone considering how badly they were undermanned. They met the 28-2 team and gave all that they had. But all in all the Fraport Skyliners sold themselves very well and a lot better than what the outrageous final score showed. “We fought until the end. We played aggressive defense, but unfortunately didn´t get a lot of stops. Despite how the game went, we had fun and played carefree basketball”, said Quantez Robertson. After relinquishing a brutal 35 points in the first quarter, the Fraport Skyliners struck back in the second quarter shocking Ludwigsburg with a fierce 17-3 run to win the second quarter 27-23. Frankfurt played their hearts out in the second quarter getting a lot of support from the kids. “This quarter showed what we are capable of when we set our minds to it. We did a good job executing and doing what we needed to do. On offense we made our shots and on defense we were talking a lot and the young guys were pressuring the ball well and didn´t allow them to get into their plays”, expressed Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson in the Fraport arena in 2021

                Quantez Robertson was surrounded by kids all game long and it was only normal that he would be able to give proper and good analysis on them. One guy who really profited from COVID and the many walking wounded was 16 year old Joshua Bonga. He would never have made his easyCredit BBL under normal circumstances, but did being inserted in the first quarter. He played 11,15 minutes not scoring going 0/5, but hauled down 2 rebounds including an offensive rebound and picked up a steal. His spirited play definately caught the attention of many. It was interesting to hear who was better at 16 his brother Isaac who plays with the Washington Wizards or Joshua. “Isaac was better at that age. Joshua is the better shooter, but Isaac was taller and the better ball handler. Joshua was fierce and ready to play. He played to the best of his ability and handled the situation pretty well”, expressed Quantez Robertson. Another kid that profited from the many injured players was 20 year old Alvin Onyia who played his third BBL game. After playing a combined 5 minutes in his first 2 games, he notched 23 minutes in Ludwigsburg registering 7 points and left a lasting impression. “Alvin played great defense. But he does that every practice. We expect that from him. On offense he attacked the rim and took open shots. He played very hard and took full advantage of the situation”, warned Quantez Robertson. 20 year old Maxi Begue also has profited from COVID and practiced with the BBL team all season long and played 4 BBL games. In his first three games the 192cm guard athletic freak played combined 10 minutes and in Ludwigsburg played 21 minutes getting 5 points, but also coughed up the ball 5 times. Robertson knows exactly what the young German has to do to cut down on his turnovers. “Maxi has to slow down. He is going 100 miles an hour like me. He needs to take better control of the ball, but that will come with time as he plays more with the BBL team. He has to find a better balance of when to slow down and when to play fast”, stated Quantez Robertson. Two German players that have been making waves in basketball Germany have been the Patrick brothers Johannes aged 19 who played his 26th BBL game and Jacob aged 17. Jacob didn´t play against Frankfurt, but Johannes did lighting up the scoreboard with 12 points. “He shoots the ball very well. When their open they shoot. That’s what they do”, said Quantez Robertson.

                The Fraport Skyliners have two more games this week against the Telekom Baskets Bonn on the road and 48 hours later have a clash in their living room against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. The Fraport Skyliners are in 11th place with a record of 11-18 and meet the Telekom baskets Bonn who are in 13th place with a record of 11-19. Frankfurt won the first meeting in Frankfurt 84-79 with Matt Mobley leading the charge with 25 points and 10 boards. With the playoffs a real long shot, the focus of the Fraport Skyliners is to finish the season strong. “We have to execute on offense and keep the same defensive intensity that we had in Ludwigsburg. We also have to rebound better. They will be bigger than us. We have to box out well, crash the boards and limit our turnovers”, warned Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt will have to contend with many talented Bonn players, but none more talented than ex NBA player Chris Babb who is averaging 17,0ppg. He is a player who has always been known as a scorer, but continues to add new elements to his game. “I have been guarding Babb since he played in Ulm. He can shoot and is very physical when getting to the rim. I just have to be sure that he takes contested shots. He also has been passing the ball really well this season”, added Quantez Robertson. On Sunday Frankfurt meet the EWE Baskets Oldenburg who have played a fine season currently in 4th place with a record of 22-8. They had a 9 game winning streak in the middle of the season and as of late have been playing good basketball winning five of their last seven games. Oldenburg easily won at home against Frankfurt 86-69 as Keith Hornsby poured in 28 points. Frankfurt definitely will have to bring their A game to the defensive end, because Oldenburg average 93 points per game. “We have to slow them down. They score a lot and do that in many different ways with different guys. We have to make sure they don´t get open looks, but get contested shots. We have to rebound well, because until we get Michael Kessens back we will be undersized. The kids will have to help out”, stressed Quantez Robertson.

                Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Rickey Paulding after he helped lead the EWE Baskets to the 2016 BBL cup title

Robertson is in his 12th season and there aren’t many guys who are still around since his 2009-2010 rookie season. The only three players that come to mind are Germans ratiopharm Ulm legend Per Guenther and the ageless Philipp Schwethelm and then of course the immortal Mr Oldenburg and #1 identity figure of the easyCredit BBL Rickey Paulding. Robertson and Paulding have clashed so many times over the years and for the diehard German basketball fans, they hope it will continue for many more years. It is also no surprise that Paulding ranks at the top of his best opponents in his career. “He is definitely in my top 3 best opponents. I am always up for the task of guarding him. Especially a guy of that caliber that can shoot the three, mid distance and get to the rim”, commented Quantez Robertson. He also remembers his best memory with Paulding which surprisingly wasn´t in action on the court, but standing still in front of the camera. “My best memory with him was last season when we did that interview. We had this stare down, but it didn´t last very long. After half a second, we started to laugh”, remembered Quantez Robertson. A win in Bonn and at home in Oldenburg would be a great finish to the weekend, but the weekend won´t be done for Robertson after the Oldenburg game. If the game ends on time and everything goes to plan, then he should be home in time to catch the start of the 2021 game 3 Eurocup final between Unics Kazan and Monaco. Of course Unics Kazan have to win game 2 at home Friday to force that game 3.  Robertson´s ex teammate Jordan Theodore who was very instrumental in Frankfurt´s last title in 2016 with the Fiba Europe cup will be going for his sixth professional title and first with Unics Kazan. “It would be big if Jordan could win the Eurocup. He is a great player and has done well where ever he went. I don´t know how good he defends now, but he definitely is a floor general. I feel Like Kazan and Theodore can pull it out at home. I think that both teams match up well. I expect to see close games like game one. “, stressed Quantez Robertson. Tez also had a word of advice for the ex Seton hall(NCAA) guard. “Make sure you get it done on defense Jordan”, warned Quantez Robertson. At least Quantez Robertson won´t have to deal with another pack of kids like in Ludwigsburg. The most he will have to deal with will be his own pack of kids on facetime. But that will be a piece of cake for him. There is nothing better than having your own pack of kids that love you and don´t hate you like the other kids on the court.

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