Photo credit: Fraport Skyliners
Very rarely do players come into a new situation, team and league and blast off right in their first game. It happens, but not often. No one will ever be Wilt Chamberlain as his NBA statline after his debut against the New York Knicks was 43/28. And no that isn’t a NFL score. The Fraport Skyliners who are having a season to forget recently got scoring support with Marcus Lewis (196-G-1992, college: EKU), but after 2 games, he already had so called fan critics writing him off and bashing the Skyliners management for a lack of knowledge. Every so often a team gets a very special player that has that gift of being able to adjust right away. 8 years ago, the Fraport Skyliners reeled in Justin Cobbs as the team was struggling and right from the get go, he produced leading the team from the near bottom and to the playoffs and Eurochallenge Final 4. Lewis who showed consistent play in Canada in their top league surely wasn’t the team savior, but definitely a player who could produce and lead by example. He was solid in his first game against ratiopharm Ulm supplying 8 points, but in the second game in Wurzburg wasn’t aggressive and as tame as a kitten scoring 3 points in 15 minutes on 1/5 shooting. ‘Marcus was too timid in the first 2 games. He didn’t want to mess up’, remembered Fraport Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. In his third game, the Fraport Skyliners met the MHP Riesen and people weren’t expecting much. But then came the unexpectable as the Fraport Skyliners showed their best effort of the season with a 7 man rotation and Marcus Lewis exploded with 26 points on an incredible exhibit of shooting of 10/11. I guess all those haters who thought Lewis was as far from having a performance like that as a Kemba Walker finding back to his prime now were buttoned up. ‘Those so called experts don’t know anything. It takes time for anyone to score as much as Marcus did. It takes time for anyone to get used to a new environment and learn new plays’, warned Quantez Robertson. For Lewis, he let’s his game do the talking and refrains from discussing his play with those so called experts. ‘I don’t listen to what people think outside the team. It has no effect on me or how good of a player I am. I do what I feel is going to win us games’, warned Marcus Lewis. The critics obviously didn’t heed the warning of ex teammate Wayne Mccullough who predicted Lewis would need a few games before showing his true colors. ‘As soon as I saw the score I texted him. I knew he would have a break out game and it was against a really good team. I’m super happy for him and it’s only the beginning. I hope that game can give him some momentum going into the rest of the season. As a player you hear all sorts of noise from fans and media. You never listen to it and just stick to your routine. You just have to focus on yourself and that is what he did. Now it’s all about being consistent and getting wins’, warned Darussafaka Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) shooting guard Wayne McCullough.
The Fraport Skyliners met the 7-2 MHP Riesen as both team’s seasons were going in opposite directions. There were few people that entered the Fraport arena believing that Frankfurt had any kind of chance of winning. But after 40 minutes the scoreboard didn’t lie as the Fraport Skyliners had won 92-80. Lewis was almost flawless scoring 26 points on 10/11 shooting getting 5 rebounds, dishing out 3 dimes, and getting 2 steals. The only sour taste he had to an otherwise strong game were his 4 turnovers. His new teammate Quantez Robertson definitely saw a different mindset from him going into his third game. ‘He was more aggressive on offense and was making better plays than in the first 2 games’, noticed Quantez Robertson. For Lewis, it was the same approach he has for any game. ‘I had no idea I would have a game like this going in. I just take games a play at a time and just try to have some kind of impact on the game as a whole however I can. My being aggressive is dictated by what the team needs that night. If I need to be aggressive I will be. But if I need to be passive I can also do that. There isn’t one way to beat each team and I pride myself on being able to adjust to whatever style of play gets the desired result’, warned Marcus Lewis. But it wasn’t only his scoring that sparkled, but he really filled the stat sheet and proved he can also help the team in many ways. ‘I really liked how confident he was. He also defended well. His man did score on him sometimes, but overal he did the best he could with his assignment’, added Quantez Robertson.
After 10 minutes, one wouldn’t have thought that Marcus Lewis would have an incredible night as he missed his first shot and scored only one bucket as the Fraport Skyliners trailed 24-20. But the Fraport Skyliners really came to life in the second and third quarter deciding the game outscoring the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 55-34 and Lewis’s calling finally came. Lewis really went to work going on a scoring spree scoring 12 points in the second quarter and adding 12 in the third quarter doing most of his damage in this time. The game was decided after 30 minutes as the Fraport Skyliners had the overwhelming 75-51 advantage. The steam was a little out as the guests won the fourth quarter 23-17. But it really helps when you have 4 other players in double figures which helped take the load of his shoulders in the fourth quarter. The American who played at Eastern Kentucky University and especially had explosive games in Finland where he scored 30 points or more 8 times in one season including 41 points against Ura basket isn’t sure he has ever had a unique game as this where the hole was as big as the ocean. ‘I have had good shooting nights throughout my career, but I’m not sure I have had a game as efficient as this one’, stated Marcus Lewis. So what was his secret to being in the right places at the right times? Was it picking his spots best and reading and taking what the defense gave him? ‘I never go into a game looking to do too much offensively. I just try to find small advantages. The other team chose to switch and put slower guys on me at times and it allowed me to get to the rim to either pass or finish myself’, commented Marcus Lewis. ‘I remember him having some big games in Finland. I don’t know if any were as efficient as this, but when you got it going, you got it going’, smiled Wayne McCollugh. After closer research, it can be said that Marcus Lewis didn’t have as an efficient game in Finland like his 26 point game with the Fraport Skyliners.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Tez doing play by play at the 2010 BBL allstar game in Bonn, Germany
No article about the Fraport Skyliners is perfect without the expertise from Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. I reach him on a cold Sunday night minutes after Argentina won their third World Cup and Lionel Messi became immortal in his homeland and finally passed Diego Maradona as the GOAT there and probably the GOAT in world football. I put Tez as everyone from Frankfurt to Auburn Alabama call him on the spot with the question. Was the Lewis scoring clinic Matt Mobley like? Tez took a few seconds to think about it but then uttered. ‘Nah. They have different styles of play. But Marcus made some big shots and made the best of every scoring opportunity’, stressed Quantez Robertson. Tez has had great teammates over the years and witnessed some great scoring games from guys like Andrew Rautins, Matt Mobley and Jordan Theodore. How did Lewis’s feat compare with those Skyliner legends? ‘I honestly don’t think that those 3 players ever only missed 1 shot in a game the way Marcus did with taking so many shots. Marcus made some great moves and took great shots’, warned Quantez Robertson. The question is now, can Marcus Lewis keep up the consistency or did he overachieve? ‘Marcus didn’t overachieve. We hadn’t seen so much of his game yet. It was only his third game. He still had to get accumulated to the offense. But he really showed what he is capable of doing when he has had some time with the team. I think he can be consistent. I don’t know if he can score 20 plus points every game, but I believe that it is possible to be a scorer in double figures’, warned Quantez Robertson. Lewis’s good friend Wayne McCollough is sure that the Fraport Skyliner organization will continue to see good things from him. ‘This game was a huge confidence booster for him. It will help him roll into some more big games. But expecting him to score over 20 points is a big ask. Be he will play at a high level and help lead his team to more wins’, warned Wayne McCullough. Lewis now has some time to focus on his next opponent the early season surprise Rostock Seawolves over the Christmas days and be ready to go out firing on December 26th. I just hope he takes the same advice I gave Tez about not eating too much over Christmas. ‘Don’t worry I won’t. I will be ready for Rostock’, warned Quantez Robertson.