It was that time again during a hard fought game where certain players strive and live for called crunch-time. A moment where back in the days a Michael Jordan had fans dumb founded with his alien like plays or now adays where a perfect basketball specimen like Luka Doncic will convert plays where a Steve Urkel would refrain from ‘did I do that’ and say ‘Did he do that’?. There was 4,05 minutes to play in a very exciting back and forth duel between home team s.Oliver Wurzburg and new easyCredit team Rostock Seawolves that had engulfed basketball Germany into their hearts after starting the season in amazing 4-0 form. The Rostock Seawolves seemed to be in control in crunch-time and had the momentum leading 83-79. There was no Jordan or Doncic in the house that would decide the game and it wasn’t going to be a guy with an immaculate NCAA resume, but rather an NAIA player named Cameron Hunt and his side kick another NAIA player Stanley Whittaker (183-PG-1994, college: Keiser) who isn’t shocked that Spain is #1 in the Fiba World rankings over USA, because when the playing starts he likes our chances also named the dynamic duo. Those 2 studs took control propelling s.Oliver Wurzburg on a magical 18-4 run to seal the victory and lift the Tectake arena into ecstasy. Hunt and Whittaker combined for 13 points in that span as Hunt had 9 points including 7 free throws and Whittaker had 4 points in the paint. They had grabbed the opportunity and the responsibility and led the team to the win. Hunt reached the easyCredit BBL via the Pro B and is now in his third BBL season and continues to be a solid player while Whittaker is a BBL rookie after paying his dues in Austria and German Pro A. What these 2 guys display on the court proves you can never doubt the skill level of NAIA players, because they are for real. ‘As I stated last year, being able to share the floor with former teammates of mine, Leo Behrend, Trevion Crews, who also played at NAIA programs, it’s a great feeling. We’ve been written off because we went to NAIA schools, which is quite unfortunate. So for Cam, myself and the others guys that’s playing professionally and played college basketball at the NAIA level, I’m rooting for us all. I hope we all can stay healthy and do well. Most importantly, we can be the examples to the ones coming behind us, and to also show people that count us out that NAIA guys can perform and play at a high level’, warned Stanley Whittaker. The win over the Rostock Seawolves was more than needed. ‘Man we needed a home win Miles. Feels good to win at home for the first time, our fans come out and support us very passionately! So it feels good to deliver for them. We’ve been in some close ones at home, but this was good for our group’, stressed Stanley Whittaker.
Cameron Hunt scoring 28 points in Frankfurt in 2020 in a Pro b game.
The Rostock Seawolves came into the game riding a 2 game losing streak as did s.Oliver Wurzburg, but both clubs came to play off the bat as it was a roller coaster game with no team allowing the other to get away. Whittaker and co had massive difficulty with experienced and ex Virginia Commonwealth University (NCAA) point guard Jequan Lewis who had his playmaking down to an art and finished with13 dimes. ‘He’s a good player, his usage rate is high as he’s their main playmaker. He does a good job at creating and he has guys around him that can put the ball in the basket’, said Stanley Whittaker. In the second quarter s.Oliver Wurzburg were able to free themselves a bit to lead 52-46 at the break. One guy that was vital in Wurzburg being able to keep the lead was ex North Carolina State forward CJ Bryce who came up with huge plays. ‘CJ is instrumental to our group. He gets after it! Hard working, blue collared guy, he helps our team in many different areas, both offensively and defensively. I’m glad he’s with us! A great teammate’, added Stanley Whittaker. But Rostock fought back and the game began to go back and forth again until Cameron Hunt took over in crunch-time. ‘As a whole, we lean on Cam due to his success and experience in the BBL. Cam is poised, very patient and he has a high competitive spirit. He made the right plays down the stretch and was able to draw fouls and knock down the free throws! I find inspiration through Cam, as well as each of my teammates because each of them have an inspiring quality about who they are as professionals’, stated Stanley Whittaker. Rostock have had incredible efforts in the first 4 games, but in crunch-time in Wurzburg, the will of Wurzburg seemed to be higher. ‘We haven’t closed out games well, so it was pivotal that we put them away and finish the game. Through our previous experiences, we are learning and working to improve the way we finish ball games and this game we showed the discipline and determination to close the game out’, expressed Stanley Whittaker. Rostock continue to lose games after a great start. Have they lost their steam? ‘I wouldn’t know if they lost steam or not because this my first time competing against them in league play. They’re playing good basketball, they have a good team, and do some good things on offense. They were missing two key players from their group today, I’m just glad we were able to get the job done’, commented Stanley Whittaker.
The Philadelphia native who began to pay his dues at Franklin Philips (JUCO) College and is a fan of the brand of basketball that the Boston Celtics play and their 2 grenades Tatum and Brown and believe they are for real had a solid game in the victory pouring in 16 points, dishing out 8 assists and hauling down 3 boards, but of course his 4 turnovers had a bitter taste. ‘I was okay today. I didn’t enjoy turning the basketball over which is frustrating. But we got the needed win which matters most. I’ll get back to the work and find ways where I can be better’, stressed Stanley Whittaker. Coming from a league lower and not only withstanding the challenge of the competitive BBL, but actually being a very good player is refreshing and he cherishes every day where he can show everyone his unique skills. ‘It’s a challenge but just the game in general is a challenge. I embrace the opportunity. The BBL is full of good teams so it’s good to get out there each week, compete and give your best to try and get the win’, warned Stanley Whittaker. Currently he is averaging very solid 18/2/5/1 stats. There is no secret to his success, but just being himself and doing what he has always done for helping him get from the JUCO to the easyCredit BBL. ‘For me the game is the game. I credit my preparation though. I try to remain myself through it all, no matter how it goes, just always trust the work I’ve put in and be confident! There’s no secrets really’, said Stanley Whittaker. The guard isn’t only a prolific scorer something he has done consistently since coming overseas, but he also has flourished with his shot selection and defense. ‘Shot selection is important at any level, whether it’s the BBL and or Pro A. Teams strive to get a good shot every-time down the floor. So for me, valuing possessions is key. The guard play is high in the BBL so I have my work cut out for me on defense week in and week out. I’m still figuring it all out though, but I look forward to the guard play’, stated Stanley Whittaker The season is still very long, so being able to be consistent and give his team the best chances to win every game will be more beneficial if he continues to improve his game step by step, day by day. ‘I’m working on all areas of my game. That’s part of being a professional, everything can use more work, I understand that. I’ll continue to work the way I know how to work, and just hope I can remain productive and consistent’, warned Stanley Whittaker. The real test for the ex NAIA greats Hunt and Whittaker will come next weekend as they face off against top team FC Bayern Munich. Hunt has a 1-3 record against them, but who will forget last season’s masterful 90-70 upset where he scored 14 points. In his first season he hit Munich for 19 points in a loss. Hunt knows what to expect, but what about Whittaker? It will be his first game against them. He surely will be ready for the battle. Just another day at the office for them and another opportunity to prove on a massive stage that NAIA players are for real.