The Reality of possibility not seeing easyCredit basketball in Frankfurt next season becomes more and more with every new loss of the Fraport Skyliners. Times were tough last season, but the club was saved with the wild card, but this season that won’t be possible. The club needs to start winning now as the more they lose the deeper they will get into the hole. This season the club is lacking on individual talent, putting points on the board and not knowing how to finish games in crunch-time. The club landed Martinas Geben for a short time, but he has departed and the team needs to continue to add bodies or their so cherished come back will never start. Recently the team got active on the transfer market and hauled in American Marcus Lewis (196-G-1992, college: EKU). He is a 30 year old 196cm wing player that has experience and scoring expertise, but the question is will he be able to do that at the easyCredit BBL level, the highest that he has played at in his career. It is no secret that friends will always stick up for one another, but in the case of Lewis he truly has game.’He can play at any level. It is all about opportunity and situation for him. It might take a couple games for him to get into the BBL style of play, but no doubt in my mind he will figure it out. I’m excited for him and can’t wait to see him ball out’, stressed current Darussafaka Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) shooting guard Wayne Mccullough. In Lewis’s first game against ratiopharm Ulm, he contributed 8 points in a losing cause. He had a slow start, but found his groove as the game progressed. He definitely will need a few games, but will need to supply consistent scoring for the Fraport Skyliners to be able to have chances to win games.
The athletic guard was born on Feb 16,1992 in Streamwood, Illinois and attended Streamwood high school. Like so many guys overseas, he had to pay his dues at first playing a year of JUCO ball at South Suburban College. He then made the jump and played at Eastern Kentucky University playing a total of 64 NCAA games and was teamamtes with current FC Bayern Munich guard Corey Walden. In his 2 years there he averaged 6.1ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 64.9%, 3PT: 16.4%, FT: 65.0% and in his last season 9.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 58.9%. His biggest achievement in the NCAA was winning the OVC title in 2014. He turned professional in 2014 and after a short experience in the D-League, he then went an unconventional way playing in Canada. Some guys play in Canada and soon after go overseas, but he actually played 5 years in Canada before finally breaking through to Europe in 2020. In his 5 seasons in Canada, he played for 4 organizations with the Niagara River Lions, St Johns Edge, Guelph Night Hawks and Moncton Magic. He had solid seasons in Niagara averaging 9.9ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 53.8% in his first season and was able to heighten his game more in his second season averaging 13.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-5 (1.8spg), FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 68.0%. He showed there that he could score on a consistent basis and even exploded against London L with 31 points and hit Moncton for 27 points. After an off year in St Johns, he came back reborn in his fourth year in 2018-2019 and played with the Moncton Magic (Canada-NBL) averaging 11.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, Steals-5 (1.7spg), FGP-3 (61.6%), 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 75.4% and helped the team win the NBL title. It was in this season that he became teammates with another guy that had to pay his dues in Canada with Wayne Mccollough before reaching Europe the same year as Lewis. He was able to bond really well with the him and until this day a very nice friendship has evolved. ‘Playing together usually gives a bond that is pretty strong, but winning a championship with someone can make you friends for life. I’d say that happen to Marcus and me. We talk pretty regularly and check up on each other. We don’t talk everyday but know whenever we need something we’ll have each others back’, warned Wayne McCullough It didn’t take his friend Wayne long to come up with the right statement what comes to mind when he hears the name Marcus Lewis. ‘I think of a guy who has my back and is genuine. I think of the dunks and the constant grind to make IT happen. He has been through the grind like me, but staying consistent he has made it to where he is today’, warned Wayne Mccollough.
Even if their final series against St Johns was memorable, it was their semi-final clash against Halifax that went 7 games that will forever remain unforgettable. ‘Marcus was a key part for us winning that series. He was a star in his role, and he knew what the team needed from him to win. He was a staple for the title run and had some crazy dunks during that run’. Remembered Wayne McCollough. He scored in double figures in 6 of the 7 games including games of 19 and 17 points. He had so many incredible plays that season and friend Wayne actually was able to pick just one as his most memorable from so many. ‘First memory that comes to mind with him on the court is when he went through the legs dunk (eastbay) at the end of the 4th. I knew time was expiring and saw him ahead on the break and passed it to him so he could do some crazy dunk. Although we were up double digits I did not think he would do a dunk that tough in a game. Needless to say, I think he shocked everyone and did an Eastbay at the buzzer. And they got a picture of it. I’ll never forget that. I’ve never seen that in game, live. I was shocked he went through the legs. I think the whole stadium was shocked, but it was perfect finish to that game. Also, little side note. He won the NCAA college dunk contest and the Puma dunk contest couple years back for $40k’, stated Wayne McCullough.
Their time in Canada paid off as in their first seasons overseas, both met again in Finland only this time as foes. McCulough played for Lahti Basketball (Finland-Korisliiga) averaging 17.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 3.8apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 70.4% while Lewis played for Pyrinto Tampere (Finland-Korisliiga) averaging 21.7ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.9apg, Steals-3 (2.0spg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 70.1%. Lewis got the better of McCullough as he won both games during the regular season. In the first meeting Lewis exploded for 38 points in a 30 point blow out win, but in the second game McCollough and Lahti played Lewis tough but lost 100-97 as friend Wayne exploded for 33 points. ‘I remember both games. I remember the first game because he had 38. After the game I was giving him a hard time, but he had a great game. The second game I remember because I had my career high, but we still lost. It felt like no one could stop him that first game. It was very frustrating as a defender, but when guys are in that zone they are hard to stop’, added Wayne McCullough. Last season the American split time with teams GS Lavrio Aegean Cargo (Greece-GBL) where he played 8 Greek first division games averaging 6.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 66.7%, 3FGP: 15.0%, FT: 40.0%, and then finished the season with Grupa Sierleccy-Czarni Slupsk (Poland-EBL) averaging 12.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.1apg, Steals-5 (1.5spg), FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 58.5%.
Now at age 30 and in his eighth season, he is ready for a new challenge with the struggling Fraport Skyliners. He is a guy that will have to produce right away as his game is similar to a Ja Morant and Jalen Green. Even if scoring is his bread and butter, he does have other attributes in his game. ‘He is a very smart player. I could see him coaching after he plays. Although he has a score first mentality he knows the game and understand where help comes from. He passing is underrated in my opinion. His biggest asset besides scoring is his defense. His long arms and athleticism makes for a tough person to score on when he defends’, expressed Wayne McCullough. The Fraport Skyliners still are seeking consistency on defense and need any kind of help that they can get. ‘He is a very good defender. He was known as a defender in Canada and developed a strong offensive game. When him and I were on the court together teams really struggled to score. I really trusted him and enjoyed playing with him on both ends of the ball’, warned Wayne McCullough. Frankfurt has some brutal young athletic players with Nolan Adekunle and Joshua Obiesie and now have a athletic veteran. ‘His athleticism can change the game is so many ways. He is a very good defender. He can score 15-20 points a night and also guard the other teams best player. Also, his rebounding ability, deflection, steals, and blocks’, commented Wayne McCullough. Even if he is a veteran, he won’t release any big time inspiration speeches in the locker room, but will always play by example. ‘Marcus is just a quiet guy who keeps to himself, but he doesn’t play that way. He is explosive and aggressive when he plays. If a person talks to him and watches him play it is two different people. He knows how to tap into the different mindset to get it done on the court’, warned Wayne McCullough. It will be interesting to see how Lewis plays in the next games and just how much his game can impact the Fraport Skyliners. No matter what happens in the next months, Wayne McCullough will be watching from a far. ‘He knows I’ll always be in his corner and cheering him on. He is a great basketball player, but a better person, you just have to get to know him’, warned Wayne McCullough.
Tags : MARCUS LEWIS, FRAPORT SKYLINERS FRANKFURT, GERMAN BASKETBALL