Choosing what to do on a night in Berlin and Speyer is like night and day as Quadre Lollis could easily report about after spending time with Alba Berlin in the 2005-2006 season. His son Quadre Jr who played at 2 JUCO schools and 1 NAIA school and is playing his fourth professional season is playing in Speyer this season and wouldn´t be lying that sometimes it is just better to stay inside with the minimal night life activities in the city that has 50,000 inhabitants. I mean you can only visit the cathedral so much. The only difference between 2006 and 2022 in terms of staying in and watching exciting things online, is that today you have Netflix and other things which one couldn´t see as well back in the day when papa Lollis was balling in Berlin. It was Saturday night and Quadre Lollis Jr was at home in Speyer in his apartment and decided to watch the new Redeem Team documentary about the 2008 team USA run at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The documentary chronicles Team USA rebounding from their embarrassing showing at the 2004 Olympics where they lost to Argentina in the semi finals. It couldn´t get any worse, but they lost to Puerto Rico by 19 points to open the games ending their 24 game winning streak since 1992. If that wasn´t a bad omen then for Kobe, Lebron and co. “It was a great documentary. Kobe was talking about helping push his teammates and getting everyone involved, but when crunch time came, he would bring his A game”, stressed Quadre Lollis. Little did Lollis know, but 24 hours later, he would be reminded of the Redeem Team documentary as the buzzer sounded in Frankfurt.
It was a very mild evening in early October as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were set to battle the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer on a rare Sunday night game as both had began 0-1 and were reeling for their first win. Lollis knew coming to Frankfurt that this was a massive game for teammate DJ Woodmore. “DJ talked about him never having won in Frankfurt in 4 tries. It was a huge game for him. He kept telling us and putting it in our ears that he really wanted to get the win”, stated Quadre Lollis Jr. Speyer had come off a tough loss against the Basketball Lowen and had to be prepared against a tough Frankfurt team where you never know who will play on account of their deep roster. “We wanted to come out and play our game and have more energy than against Erfurt. We started solid against Erfurt, but then it went down hill because we didn´t keep our energy. We knew that if we could keep our energy in Frankfurt, then we would have a chance to win”, warned Quadre Lollis Jr. The Fraport Skyliners had the 42-36 lead at the break as they were totally dominating the boards as Lollis and co had difficulty matching Frankfurt´s intensity. “The Frankfurt bigs are very big. They are really tough to handle and got a lot of second chance points. They had a lot more offensive rebounds. We knew that we had to step up our physicality”, remembered Quadre Lollis Jr.
It was no secret that the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer had to make adjustments in the second half and they did going to a zone that perplexed the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. Speyer also stepped up their offense scoring 31 points as they finally got into rhythm. “I believe that Frankfurt wasn´t expecting a zone. They were surprised. We switched back to man every now and then which mixed them up. It helped us because it was easier to box out then if we were playing man”, expressed Quadre Lollis. A player that was huge for Lollis and Co was 20 year old ex ANGT player Dejan Bruce who developed well the last years in Ludwigsburg. He was a force on offense getting key buckets. “Dejan did very well. He was very efficient. He is a great player that showed his versatility. This game was a very good confidence booster for him after having a tough first game”, commented Quadre Lollis Jr. In the fourth quarter Speyer got valuable support from Germans David Aichele and Samuel Schally while DJ Woodmore also stepped up helping them keep the slim lead. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were never out of the game as they roared back trailing 80-73 getting 2 big buckets from 19 year old German center Alexander Richardson who has 9 easyCredit BBL games on his resume to trail only 80-77. “That kid is really big. I´m not lying about that. On the ride home DJ and I were talking about how many times we thought we had the rebound but he came out of nowhere to swipe it away. He is a physical presence that will be a big problem for teams”, warned Quadre Lollis. Crunch time had finally arrived and with a little less than a minute to play Speyer got a huge basket from 212cm center David Aichele displaying a perfect executed play by head coach Carl Mbassa who had just drawn it up in the time out. “That was an isolation play. We knew that once we got the ball in the post that they would double. So we drew up the 45 cut and had David come cutting in straight to the rim. It was a great pass form Hugo Cluysen”, remembered Quadre Lollis Jr.
There were 8 seconds left on the clock and the game tied at 86-86 and Frankfurt had possession. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a routine play of throwing the ball in, but totally botched it as they couldn´t get the ball thrown in in the 5 seconds allowed. “We showed the will to get the turnover. We knew that we still had a chance to win. We just focused on getting the stop. We wanted to give our all and then worry about what happened next”, added Quadre Lollis. Speyer then called timeout and Cral Mbassa drew up the last play. There only could be 3 guys who would get the shot with Woodmore, Lollis or Cluysen. I personally was hoping for Woodmore to get it to win the game himself, but it was also realistic that Lollis would get the ball since he had been the team´s best scorer with 19 points up to that point. It also wasn´t surprising that Woodmore didn´t chose himself in the time out showing the kind of character he really has. “It didn´t surprise me that much that I was given the last shot. I also thought that DJ might get the last shot. But coach and DJ chose me. They wanted me to get ball off a screen and be a mismatch. It would either be me attacking or taking a jump shot”, said Quadre Lollis. Speyer had possession and didn´t waste anytime getting Lollis Jr the ball. “I was in a good spot to get the ball. I always feel comfortable with that step back mid range shot. I first thought about going to the hole, but I was cut off so I did the step back. I got my Mamba mentality going. I had watched the Redeem Team documentary the night before”, laughed Quadre Lollis Jr. With the mid range step back being a sort of bread and butter shot for him, it was no surprise that he knew that it was going in after he released I, because it felt very good. He has had 5 buzzer beaters in his young career and has a very special ranking for this one. “This was my first one in Germany and I rank it #1. This was the first time that I hit a jump shot as the others were me attacking the basket”, remembered Quadre Lollis Jr. It was a black weekend for the Fraport Skyliners organization as the easyCredit BBL team lost Saturday night on a buzzer beater by Eric Washington to the MLP Academics and on Sunday night the Juniors lost to Speyer. “I hadn´t known that. I found out after the game. That is really tough”, stated Quadre Lollis. Next the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer tackle a real tough opponent with top Pro B club EPG Koblenz who are 2-0 and one of the favorites to move up to the Pro A. Despite Koblenz being favorite, he is confident for a good result at home in his living room. “I think we can take the momentum of the Frankfurt game into the Koblenz game. This win will boost our whole team and we will have extra confidence”, added Quadre Lollis. Despite winning the game in spectacular fashion, he knew who the win was dedicated to. “This win was for DJ. I will never forget how happy he was in the locker-room. It felt great for him and me”, stressed Quadre Lollis. This game showed that the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer don´t only have 2 fantastic players with DJ Woodmore and Quadre Lollis, but also 2 high class individuals that definitely were brought up the right way at home showing true character. That will definitely make papa Lollis proud and smile.