The last weeks one couldn’t see the great game of ex NBA player and current Fraport Skyliner Will Cherry (185-PG-91, college: Montana), because the club has had Covid problems and haven’t played since January 2nd. In basketball terms an eternity. But other teams were playing and the fantastic once in a lifetime scoring explosion by Parker Jackson-Cartwright last weekend obviously didn’t sneak by the Oakland, California native. Jackson-Cartwright hit for 40 points against Brose Bamberg a feat that has only been accomplished twice in the last decade together with Franz Massenat who did it in 2019 with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. ‘That performance surprised me a bit. 40 points is 40 points in any league. But these kind of games happen. He had a crazy night and anything is possible’, stressed Will Cherry. Jackson-Cartwright exploded for 19 points in the first quarter on 6 three pointers. Cherry has been a scoring guard his whole career and can’t remember doing that, but knows that he could. ‘I had 15 points against Heidelberg in the fourth quarter. I should of scored 19 points though. I missed 4 free throws’, remembered Will Cherry. Scoring 40 points in a competitive league like the easyCredit BBL is just difficult to do, but then again there are some very skilled guys that can really go off on any night. ‘You can go either way. The BBL has always been a tough league with the defense. But then again there are many talented players., You just have to give a lot of credit to the individual who can score 40 points in a game. 19 points in a quarter is unheard of’, stated Will Cherry. The former Alba Berlin player shouts out a big no way when I revel to him that the BBL scoring record is 65 points. That amazing achievement was done by Keith Gray in 1989. ’65 points is a lot in Europe. It always depends on what the coaches philosophy is. If a guy is scoring so much, you just have to start doubling more. But if there were 5 overtimes, then you could score 65 points’, said Will Cherry. Ok so there are millions of Lebron lovers on earth and probably double or triple as many haters, but it is obvious that Will Cherry is pro Lebron. And why not, Lebron passed him the ball for his first basket. He knows exactly how many points he could score in a BBL game. ‘Lebron would go for 80 points. There is nobody in the BBL that has his size and could stop him. The BBL today is a lot smaller and less athletic then when I played with Alba Berlin in 2015. The BBL has changed a lot and is less tougher. The trend now is the smaller guards. You don’t have the Jordan Taylors, Brad Wanamaker’s, Jerry Smith’s or Kyle Fogg’s anymore that were taller and stronger. Now it is like 4 guards and a big. That is just how the game has become in the BBL’, stressed Will Cherry.
I reach Will Cherry on a Tuesday night and he is in very good spirits. That is probably because he and the Fraport Skyliners will finally play a game again against the Niners Chemnitz on Friday. It has been a crazy time for basketball in the easyCredit BBL the last weeks, but it is going on in every league and just something you have to accept. ‘Europe just doesn’t have the resources that the NBA has with being able to ship in and out players with 10 day contracts. We all know what is as state. It is what it is’, commented Will Cherry. The last weeks have been very tough for the Fraport Skyliners as games were postponed and there was a lot of down time off the court. Guys have been practicing while others guys couldn’t. Not the best way to keep a team chemistry in takt, but it is something that is out of their control. The coaching staff has been doing the best job they can getting the team ready for that first game against Chemnitz after almost a month without a competitive game. ‘We will have our bumps and bruises. At the end of the day no one will feel sorry for us. We can’t make excuses. At the end of the day we are competitors and will do all we can in our power to win’, warned Will Cherry. Not playing basketball and dealing with all the drama off the court is something that isn’t easy and something that every player will deal with in their own way. Mentally the whole long layoff hasn’t had an effect on Cherry who has had no problem staying in the house and going for walks at night. For those guys that might have had problems with all the circumstances, there was Diego Ocampo who is so much more than just a basketball coach. ‘Coach is a better man than a coach. I mean he is a great coach, but even better man. I respect him so much. He was always checking on us to see that we were ok’, stated Will Cherry.
The guard who believes that the Los Angeles Rams will beat the San Francisco 49ers and reach the Superbowl is annoyed that this long Covid layoff occurred right when they had a two game winning streak having beat Heidelberg and Giessen. ‘That was out of our control. All we can do now is come back and control how hard we play and how competitive we are and keep the streak alive’, warned Will Cherry. The 2000 BBL cup winner Fraport Skyliners were playing exceptional ball during the little winning streak and there were distinctive reasons for it. ‘We shared the ball very well and were more locked in on defense. We cut down on the small mental mistakes that we had had against Chemnitz. Both wins were team efforts. We did a good job controlling the boards especially the offensive rebounds’, remembered Will Cherry. The team had been depleted with injuries and one could really notice the absence of young player Brancou Badio. ‘He gives us a lot of stability. Now we have a good two guard front. Now the opponent can’t key in on one player especially when we are both on the court. You have to pick your poison. We can both make plays and I don’t have to worry that I have to do everything’, stressed Will Cherry. Quantez Robertson raved about new addition Jamel Mclean and it isn’t any different with Cherry who actually takes the lauding to a bigger level. ‘Jamel has been a big help and it goes beyond basketball. He is an additional leader to me and Tez. We give the team even more experience. His leadership, IQ and personality standout. He is just beginning to get to 100% and getting better each day. I honestly think that if this team had been together since day one that we would be a top 5 seed now’, warned Will Cherry.
The ex University Of Montana8NCAA) guard who believes that the Kansas City Chiefs will strangle the Bengals to reach the Super Bowl really stepped up his scoring game in the winning streak averaging 23,0ppg, 6,0apg and 3,0spg and saw many factors for his stellar play. ‘I was more aggressive and efficient. The loss against Chemnitz really bothered me. I couldn’t sleep a few days after that. I took it personal. Their assistant coach Virgil Matthews is my guy. We both played at Montana. When I was with Alba Berlin, he always visited me coming from Chemnitz. In the winning streak I was more focused and shot more. I knew we had to win’, added Will Cherry. He obviously wants to keep up his stellar play going and hopes he can start well again and take his game to another level. ‘I just want to win. I want to put together a winning streak and have a chance for the playoffs. We are only 4 games back of eighth place. The losses to Bayreuth and Chemnitz really annoyed me. Those are games we should of won. These are often the kind of games that come back to bite you in the butt’, warned Will Cherry. He has always been an aggressive defender in his career and still an impact defender at the age of 30, but in the last two games stepped it up more. ‘I was more aggressive and anticipated well. I also have to give credit to the coaching staff who put me in good position to make the right plays. I got some steals against Giessen which got Badio going as well as our transition game. I thought Badio would go for 40 points’, laughed Will Cherry.
The ex Kyre Irving teammate who believes that Tom Brady won’t retire and return for a 23rd season is thrilled that the season will finally resume on Friday in Chemnitz. We had our first day in practice today. Tomorrow we will go 5-5. Our conditioning obviously isn’t as good as before the break, but it will come back’, stressed Will Cherry. The Chemnitz loss is one that still bugs him today and you can be sure that one will see an aggressive and dominant Will Cherry in Chemnitz. He is confident that the team will start off on the right foot in Chemnitz. ‘Key will be defense. They beat us on one play in Frankfurt. We have to find a way to stop it. They have some good shooters and we have to cut their water off. They play very well together. We didn’t make the necessary stops in Frankfurt and want to make them this time on the road’, expressed Will Cherry. So will we see the next 40 point game on Friday in Chemnitz? Well Franz Massenat will be on the floor and he once produced 40 points. ‘He is a key player in their offense. He won’t score 40 points. He didn’t shoot much in Frankfurt, but made all the right plays and passes. He is a key player and we have to limit them’, warned Will Cherry. It is great that the Fraport Skyliners are finally back on the court. It was a long long wait. Will the winning streak continue? A win against the always pesky Chem,nitz team could be a huge momentum factor for Frankfurt continuing their winning streak.