Before Robin Benzing (208-F-1989, agency: BeoBasket) unleashed his scoring excellence in the easyCredit BBL with Ratiopharm Ulm and FC Bayern Munich and 4 years in the best league ACB in Europe in Spain, he first came on the scene in the summer of 2009 at the European U-20. That was so long ago, it wasn’t back in the day, but moreover feels like it was in another lifetime. He was the top player at tournament dominating like a Luka Doncic averaging (22.2ppg), 5.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 80.0% and showing future NBA players and Euroleague players like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Nedovic, Vladimir Lucic and Zoran Dragic who boss was. After that his career took off like crazy as he became a house hold name in Germany putting up great stats with Ulm for 2 seasons and then becoming a sturdy and solid role player for FC Bayern Munich for 4 seasons. He then played in Spain for Zaragoza where he averaged double figures in scoring in 3 of 4 seasons and also played a season in Turkey with Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul and last season at age 33 played with Fortitudo Kigili Bologna (Italy-Serie A) putting up potent stats averaging 13.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 85.3%. He has always been a consistent player in his 17 year career and has played more than 100 games for the German national team and played at 5 European championships, 2 World championships and at the 2021 Olympic games. It is November 22 and Robin Benzing isn’t under contract with a professional team. He may be turning 34 in January 2023, but he still has the offensive qualities that the Fraport Skyliners could use right now.
There have been times in the last few years where basketball life has been extremely bad for the Fraport Skyliners, but currently it is at an all-time low. The club is currently at 1-6 and are the doormat of the easycredit BBL hanging out in the basement and the door out being seemingly held shut by angry and annoying Giessen fans. Where is Michael Hakim Jordan when you need him most? Well he is head coach at Lafayette(NCAA) and a type of tirade that he let go in 2010 in Frankfurt against his team Phoenix Hagen could help any team now. Phoenix Hagen somehow was saved that season. The Fraport Skyliners definitely aren’t a bad team, but they aren’t a good team either. The only thing that matters right now is achieving wins and somehow trying to get better step by step day by day. Even if they could have won 3 of the 7 games so far, at the end of the day the only thing counts are wins and that is something they are having a lot of difficulty doing. They want to be a good defensive team, but still allow 82 points per game. On offense they are the 17th worst offensive team scoring only 76 points per game. The biggest problem is that they just don’t have the personal to keep up with their competitors and aren’t getting enough firepower. On top of that, they have injury woes at the big man position with guys like Einaras Tubuties and Lorenz Brenneke out. The club got active a few days ago signing experienced American forward Marcus Lewis, but is he the right fit? They probably didn’t have any better candidates. He definitely has proved his scoring capabilities in places like Canada where he did it on a consistent rate for years, Finland where he was the third best scorer in the league, averaged double figures in scoring in the Basketball Champions league and in Poland. But can he keep doing it at a higher level like the easyCredit BBL? The Fraport Skyliners also need support under the boards and that is why a name like Robin Benzing has popped up. But is he the right player now?
Not only would bringing in Robin Benzing make sense with his scoring capabilities, but also with his early history. He grew up only 45 kilometers south of Frankfurt Seeheim-Jugenheim and learned to play ball with TV Langen. Back in 2008 there was a trio of TV Langen players practicing with Frankfurt with the Barth brothers Sebastian and Kai and Robin Benzing. I was under the impression that then Skyliner head coach MuratDidin didn’t like Benzing, but that was false. He wanted Benzing in Frankfurt. ‘I watched Benzing a few times and told Gunnar Wobke to sign him tomorrow. The problem was that Benzing’s father was tough. He felt that the kid still had time. If he had been born in Belgrad then Partizan and Belgrad would have been fighting over him. I said let him come. He was cheap. I told Gunnar to pay him extra. That weekend we were in Hamburg playing the cup top 4. I was ready to put him in the starting 5 against Duesseldorf without him having played a single game with the Skyliners. Gunnar thought I was crazy. He was born to be a basketball player. In the end he left for Ulm’, stated Murat Didin in 2020. Benzing definitely has one supporter in EPG Baskets Koblenz head coach Pat Elzie who feels that Benzing would be the right man now. ‘I know Robin for a long time and am a big fan of him. When he asked me a few months ago if he could stay fit and practice with us, it was a no brainer. He heightens the quality of the training with each team. He still is one of the best offensive players that I have seen. He may be a bit slower on defense, but he balances that out with his high basketball IQ’, warned Pat Elzie. Benzing surely won’t be a rabbit on defense, but Frankfurt simply needs someone that will take responsibility and be that consistent go to guy on offense. ‘Robin could give important impulses with his offensive qualities and experience to a team like Frankfurt’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein. Frankfurt simply doesn’t have that player. Martinas Gebens can be that player as well, but Frankfurt need more than just one. One massive priority is to hold Gebens as well. They can’t afford to let him go and waste time to integrate another new player. But then again what happened to Danilo Barthel. He seems to have disappeared from the German basketball scene. He played the last 2 seasons with Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). But already last season he had severe injury problems. If fit he could help the Fraport Skyliners right away. It would be refreshing to have him back. Benzing can’t be too expensive now while Barthel should be out of the Skyliners financial range. It would be like a dream to have a guy like Barthel back. But at the moment the club can’t dream, but have to be realistic. Two other interesting big men available are ex easyCredit BBL player Chris Otule and Jackie Carmichael. Both are over 30 and have a lot of experience. The club has to react now before it’s too late.