Sometimes things happen and seem way to good to be true. It is shortly before Christmas and it seems like the basketball God and Santa Claus had a meeting in hopes of helping the struggling Fraport Skyliners. A player that the Fraport Skyliners could use right away seemed to be on the market. It just seemed to good to be true. This is like if a kid saw the hottest sled on the market all abandoned on a lifeless hill and no other kid around it. As a kid you react instantly and grab it before the next kid does. Another crazy example would be if A top rated player would take a 1000 K contract per month from the Fraport Skyliners to play or if a Quantez Robertson would be offered a grand position like athletic director at his alma mater Auburn after his playing days. These are opportunities that you would jump at at an instant. But the reality usually looks a lot different. So what had happened? Kendale McCullum (184-PG-1996, college: Lewis) seemed to be on the market Sunday morning and was exactly what the hapless and losing Fraport Skyliners needed right now. Getting a type of player like Kendale McCullum would have been perfect for the Fraport Skyliners. He is a player that I have always liked and would have loved to have seen him in Frankfurt already a season ago, but then Giessen head coach Pete Strobl scooped him up. But that split second of hoping for a miracle really could only have been a dream. Only a few hours later that rumor of Kendale McCullum being on the market had been refuted.
Foto credit Hamburg Towers
For a reporter getting the scoop out has been going on forever, but the only difference now to 20 years ago was that now so many more people can get that information a lot quicker due to the internet and social media. An article had surfaced in the Hamburger Abendblatt yesterday that the Hamburg Towers had released the skillful point guard Kendale McCullum. In a way it seemed a little surprising that the club didn’t want his services anymore. The club was fighting for a playoff spot at position 8 and wasn’t doing badly in the Eurocup competition. On top of that, McCullum is putting up stellar stats averaging 16,5, 3,1rpg, 5,0apg, 2,5spg and shooting 41% from outside in the EasyCredit BBL and in Eurocupo action averaging 12,2ppg, 4,2rpg, 5,8apg and 2,0spg in the Eurocup. These are stats that hundreds of other point guards would die to have, but will never get. One can’t forget that he is playing his first season in international club play and the Eurocup is one step below the Euroleague. He is competing against some of the best players in Europe, ex NBA and Euroleague players on a weekly basis. That’s pretty good for a guy who played division 2 ball at Lewis and University of Wisconsin Parkside. Not to forget three seasons ago as a rookie played in the German Pro A and 2 years ago in Finland where he led Helsinki to the regular season title and a cup win. He played in lower leagues, but has proved last season and this season that he can play at a very high level.He proved in Finland that he was a winner and had already shown it at Lewis winning the GLVC regular season title in 2019.
He averaged 7,0apg in Finland and did it again last season in his debut season in the easyCredit BBL with Giessen averaging 7,0apg and leading one of the top leagues in Europe in playmaking skills. The only problem last season was that Giessen had a poor season and moved back down to the Pro A. But if you look at the whole picture, you can’t put the blame on him. Often when a team loses, it’s the head coach and point guard that get the blame and are the scape goats. But in this case, you can’t put the blame on McCullum. There was a lot of disarray behind the scenes and the team chemistry wasn’t good. The explosive point guard did all he could, but sometimes when the personal isn’t clicking, you could have a superstar there and that wouldn’t change anything either. The Veolia Towers Hamburg (Germany-BBL) and new head coach Raoul Korner obviously saw something special in him or they wouldn’t have reeled him in. According to the article, the club hadn’t been happy recently with his play in that he was too focused on his own game and his style didn’t fit the Towers system anymore. He also was looking to have good stats to help his resume for next season and had FC Bayern Munich and Alba Belrin on his radar. But what other players aren’t thinking about the bigger picture. Everybody is even guys in the Regionalliga where that legend in their own mind thinking is more prevalent mainly because of all the chips on the shoulders. But coach Korner seemed not to have any problems with him. Plus Korner lauded the 183cm point guard a few days ago so hearing about the release of McCullum seemed a bit absurd. So in the end all is good. McCullum is still in Hamburg and seriously belongs there. The guy is a winner and I’m confident that Kendale McCullum and the Veolia Hamburg Towers will still give the fans and the city a lot of joy this season. Later on Sunday, the Veolia Hamburg Towers had to suffer a brutal 23 point loss to the annoying Niners Chemnitz who were without the sick McCullum. One saw with this result that the club need him so much. If one looks at the momentary standings, it is apparent that the Veolia Hamburg Towers should be a playoff team in 5 months if nothing goes seriously wrong like key players getting injured. They are talent wise one of the better teams that are vying for the last playoff spots.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Kendale McCullum in Frankfurt in 2022
Often one is confronted with an eye popping article to get the basketball freaks speculating at brunch time on a Sunday morning as was the case yesterday. The author who broke the story gave his apologies a few hours later via Twitter and all was forgotten again. Sometimes as a writer, your so excited to get out that massive exclusive story that certain details get overlooked and before you know it all hell breaks loose. But as a writer you hope to do it better the next time. But everyone makes mistakes and in his case should be forgiven. But what about the Fraport Skyliners? The two seasons of Frankfurt and Hamburg are like night and day. Frankfurt has a lot more problems than Hamburg does. I mean Kendale McCullum in a Fraport Skyliners jersey would have been an incredible thing, but so unrealistic. It would have been perfect for the Fraport Skyliners as they have nothing to lose. I’m confident that he would of helped this team, but for him coming to Frankfurt would have been a risk. If he saved the team, it would of helped his career, but if not hurt his career. The chances of him ever having come probably would have been 1% or 2%. His agent would have blocked the idea. But there is no more time to dream about a Kendale McCullum scenario, but time to act now. The Fraport Skyliners need a point guard and big man right now.