FIBA Europe Cup

Chris Warren Unleashes the Mini Harden Carrying Nanterre 92 Into The Fiba Europe Cup Final Past The Telekom Baskets Bonn 86-81


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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with post game interview with Nanterre 92 guard Chris Warren after dropping 24 points against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and reaching the 2017 FIBA Europe Cup Final

One could spend many boring hours bringing excitement back into your life browsing you tube and finding these amazing basketball videos where people hit amazing shots from tall bridges into a basket hundreds of meters down or the guy jumping into a lake and throwing the ball 40 meters into a basket or a guy using three walls to hit an incredible shot or hitting a half court shot flinging a Frisbee and seeing nothing but net. Sometimes one doesn´t need to kill boredom going on you tube to witness these kinds of shots, but all one has to do is go into a basketball arena and witness German sharp shooter, sniper, marksman in one Heiko Schaffartzik fire away as he has hit countless spectacular shots over the years and he belongs to the type of players that people will come just to watch him giving hitting from the parking lot a new meaning time after time after time again. After playing most of his illustrious career in his homeland Germany where he helped Alba Berlin capture the BBL cup in 2013 and FC Bayern Munich the league title in 2014, Schaffartzik decided to retreat from Germany in 2015 and has been in France ever since. Last season he played with Limoges and this season has been lighting up arenas in France with 2015 Eurochallenge winner Nanterre. It has been sometime since he last played a professional game in Germany in September at the 2015 European championships in Berlin and now was back in Bonn fighting for a ticket to the 2017 Fiba Europe Cup Final. The last time, the German played in the Telekom Dome in Bonn was almost 2 years ago on April 24th where FC Bayern Munich suffered a humiliating 88-84 loss where he played only eight minutes and scored two points. This time the stakes were a lot higher and he wasn´t thinking about taking part in a special shooting contest from on top of the Telekom building in downtown, Bonn, but just escaping his homeland with a victory. This time with 10 minutes to go and down by 14 points, it looked like Schaffartzik who was sporting a blond beard looked like a young Vince Van Gough and would go home the losers, but Nanterre 92 stage dan amazing comeback in the last 8 minutes to help carry his team into the Fiba Europe Cup Final with a 86-81 victory. “Bonn ruled the physical game in the first three quarters and had a quick start and got hot which can always happen in basketball. We came back and were simply more physical in the fourth quarter and why we won the game”, stressed Heiko Schaffartzik.


TJ DiLeo (Telekom Baskets Bonn) We All Have Good Attitudes And Know The Sacrifices It Requires To Be A successful Team.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber Post game interview with Telekom Baskets Bonn guard TJ DiLeo in Frankfurt 2017

TJ DiLeo is a 26 year old 190cm guard playing his fourth professional season and first with the Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL). He played the first three professional seasons with the Giessen 46ers playing 76 Pro A games from 2013-2015 and helping the team move to the BBL in 2015. Last season for GHiessen he played 19 games averaging 5.7ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.3%. . He played at Temple from 2008-2013 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. In 2010, he played for the German U20 National Team in 2010 and played for the European Championships U20 in Croatia  playing 9 games: 10.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against Nanterre in Bonn.

TJ congrats on the 77-76 win against Nanterre in the Fiba Europe Cup competition. How did this win really feel considering your only half way to the Fiba Europe Cup top 4?

I think this win was really good for us mentally. We realize that we still have the second leg to play, but our goal was to go to Nanterre and get a win. Nanterre is a strong team that has played very well at home, so we are happy to be heading back to Bonn next week with a one point advantage.


Nanterre were in front for the most part of the first half, but shortly before the break you took the lead and would hang on to the end. How nerve-wracking was the second half for you personally?

It wasn’t too bad. During the game you forget about the nerves. Also, I knew we have some guys that really step up in important late game situations, so I had confidence.


Spencer Butterfield (JSF Nanterre) As I Got Older My Competition Got Taller And I Didn’t So I Had To Learn How To Shoot If I Wanted To Continue My Career

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with Spencer Butterfield in Bonn after he and Nanterre 92 reached the 2017 Fiba Europe Cup Final

Spencer Butterfield is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Loomis, California playing his third professional season and first with JSF Nanterre (France-ProA). Currently he is averaging 13,0ppg, 4,7rpg and 2,4apg in the France Pro A while shooting 41,7% from outside. In the FIBA Europe cup he is averaging 13,9ppg, 3,4rpg and 1,5apg while shooting a ridiculous 53,7% from the parking lot. He played at Utah St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 46.0%, FT: 82.9%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with  Melilla Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 25 games averaging 10.0ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 87.9%. Last season he played with Juventus-LKSK Utenos (Lithuania-LKL): 40 games: Score-3(14.5ppg), 6.2rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 81.3%; FIBA Europe Cup: 14 games: 15.0ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 78.4%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Spencer thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your fourth in the France Pro A standings and sitting in the Fiba Europe Cup quarterfinals. How good is your professional basketball life at the moment?

I am pretty happy with it at the moment haha. Our team is in a great position and we have a lot of confidence moving forward.

Nanterre is having a great season in the France Pro A as well as in the Fiba Europe Cup. What has been the main reasons for the club being successful. The club kept only two players and the rest are new guys. How vital has it been having constructed the right team this season for the success?

I think we just have a great group of guys that really enjoys playing together and hanging out. It is very vital to construct a good team and this organization has done a great job of that.

Nanterre did win a few cups since their surprising league title in 2013. What prime example can you give that the expectations are super high to win?

I think everyone expects to win titles this year.


Tyrone Nash (Ironi Nahariya) My Close Games Against Bonn Remind Me Of My Battles Against Louisville In College

Tyrone Nash is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Queens, New York playing his sixth professional season and first with  Ironi Nahariya (Israel-Winner League). He started his basketball career with  Notre Dame (NCAA) in 2007 and played 118 NCAA games until 2011 and as a senior played  34 games averaging 9.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 68.9%. He started his professional career in 2011 with the  Walter Tigers Tuebingen where he played for three seasons playing 99 BBL games and in his last season there played  33 games: 10.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for SPO Rouen Basket (France-ProA): 11 games: 8.3ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.1%, FT: 50.0%. Last season he returned back to Germany to play for the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL) playing 34 games averaging 10.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Tyrone, thanks for talking to German Hoops You have reached the Fiba Europe Cup quarterfinals and now play against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. How excited are you for the chance to reach the final 4?

Yes, we are very excited to compete for a berth in the Final Four.

Before we talk about the quarterfinals let´s talk about the last round against Turkish team Royal Gazientep. You almost wouldn´t have been in the quarterfinals had Ironi Nahariya not played in Turkey on account of massive terrorist threats. How serious were these threats?

Apparently the threats were real. We had a bunch of CIA agents with us throughout the whole trip which was different from any other trip we had during the year thus far. But they kept us all safe and away from harm.

The club then did play the game. How did you go into the game concerning the possible danger that was looming? Did you fear for your life or was a lot of the talk a bit overblown?

It was definitely a strange game to play with all the security and news coverage surrounding us. I feel we all definitely were more alert and cautious during the trip. But despite the circumstances, we managed to put that all behind us and take care of business.


Julian Gamble (Telekom Baskets Bonn) Personal Numbers Don’t Mean Near As Much As Winning With This Talented Group Of Guys

Julian Gamble is a 26 year old 207cm power forward/center from Durham, North Carolina that will be starting his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He started his basketball career at Miami(NCAA) in 2008 and played there until 2013 playing a total of 127 games. In 2013 he started his professional career with Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB): 44 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(9.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.2spg, Blocks-1(1.5bpg), FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 62.9%. In 2014 he moved to the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 25 games: 17.0ppg, Reb-3(7.6rpg), 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-1(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.0%, FT: 69.2%. Last season he remained with the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 36 games: Score-5(16.6ppg), Reb-2(8.3rpg), 1.3apg, 1.5spg, Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 60.8%, FT: 68.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the huge 101-94 win against medi Bayreuth.

Julian thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 is here and coming into it´s third month. Did you make some new years resolutions or are you more the type of guy that doesn´t prefer that?

I did not make a New Year resolution. I focus on goals and improvements as they present themselves. Throughout the year this things change and are adjusted accordingly.

You have experienced carnival in Bonn this year. Was it a crazy time for a North Carolina boy or had you ever experienced something like this before?

It definitely not like something I had ever experienced before! The atmosphere was amazing and something I greatly enjoyed, the fan support that night propelled us to that big win.

What was the craziest experience that you had during the carnival season in Bonn and what costume will forever stick out in your mind when you look back at this time down the road?

Concerning the costumes, I saw a lot of great ones but I think us as a team was pretty special. We are a close knit group and had a lot of fun doing this together.


Joey King (Joensuun Kataja Basket) My Ability To Rebound And Have The Game Slow Down Will Come With Experience

Joey King is a 23 year old 206cm forward from Eagan, Minnesota playing his rookie season with  Joensuun Kataja Basket (Finland-Korisliiga). He started his basketball career at Drake (NCAA) playing 32 games averaging 6.9ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 80.4%. He then moved to Minnesota (NCAA) where he played form 2013-2016 playing a total of 99 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games averaging 11.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 88.6%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Joey thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are a rookie form Minnesota playing for Joensuun Kataja Basket (Finland-Korisliiga). Despite coming from Minnesota where your used to hard cold winters, have you experienced anything in Finland this winter that has topped what you had seen your whole life in Minnesota in terms of hard winters?

I have been very comfortable in Finland so far, it does remind me a lot of Minnesota.

Joensuun Kataja Basket (Finland-Korisliiga) finished the Basketball Champions with a record of 7-7, but didn´t advance and got bumped down to the Fiba Europe Cup. How disappointing was not qualifying. You played some very good basketball having a three game winning streak beating Le Mans twice as well as teams like Avtordor, Pinar and Macabbi Rishon?

We got off to a great start in the champions league but injuries led to a lack of depth that we struggled to overcome. There is no doubt it is easy to be mentally prepared when matching up with teams like Le Mans Sarthe and Pinar Karsiyaka, but it is important that we begin to take care of business in our domestic league as well.


Andell Cumberbatch (Redwell Gunnars Oberwart) If You Want To Improve Your Game You Have To Live In The Gym

Andell Cumberbatch is a 23 year old 196cm forward from East Ornage, New Jersey playing his second professional season and first with the Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga). As a rookie he played for JBC MMCITE Brno (Czech Republic-NBL): 10 games: 16.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 54.1%, 3FGP: 31.4%, FT: 58.8%, in Dec.’15 moved to Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A): 17 games: Score-5(16.4ppg), 7.1rpg, 1.9apg, Steals-4(1.8spg), FGP-3(58.4%), 3PT: 22.9%, FT: 76.9%. He started his basketball career with Barton County CC (JUCO) and then moved to St.Bonaventure (NCAA) for his last two years and as a senior played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 70.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before a Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Andell welcome to Germany. Your playing your second professional season and first with the Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga) and playing Fiba Europe Cup as well. This competition has taken you all over Europe. How blessed do you feel as a guy from east Orange to be traveling the world at age 23?

I am very blessed to be able to play basketball at a professional level, this allowed me to experience different parts of the world I would have never seen coming. I never take anything for granted.

You play and live in Austria and are experiencing a totally new kind of lifestyle in Austria and last season lived in the Czech Republic and Cyprus. What has been your most memorable experience so far in Europe off the court that none of your friends in New Jersey had ever seen before?

Something that I enjoy that my friends dont get to experience would have to be some of the popular landmarks that many people travel to see. it humbling to be able to witness these things while playing basketball.


Chris McNealy (Redwell Gunnars Oberwart) I Am In A Good Flow Now And Will Continue To Be Aggressive On The Floor

Chris McNealy is a 24 year old 194cm guard from Danville, California playing his second professional season and second with the Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga). Last season as a rookie for the  Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga), he played 31 games averaging 13.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 79.0%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with  Cal-Irvine (NCAA) playing a 135 games and a senior played  35 games averaging 11.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 43.8% (138-315), 3PT: 35.9% (37-103), FT: 68.9% (73-106). He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup Game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Chris welcome to Germany. Your playing your second professional season and secondt with the Redwell Gunners Oberwart (Austria-A Bundesliga) and playing Fiba Europe Cup as well. This competition has taken you all over Europe. How blessed do you feel as a guy from California to be traveling the world at age 23?

It’s amazing to be traveling. I’ve been to many places throughout the world and have created a lot of memories that I would like to tell my kids one day.

You play and live in Austria and are experiencing a totally new kind of lifestyle in Austria this and last season. What has been your most memorable experience so far in Europe off the court that none of your friends in California had ever seen before?

Being in the snow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow in California and I see it out here on a daily basis.


Tre Demps (Belfius Mons-Hainaut)We Have The Type Of Team Where There Can Be A New Player Of The Game Every Night

Tre Demps is a 23 year old 188cm guard from San Antonio, texas playing his rookie season in Belgium with Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-Euromillions League). He played at Northwestern (NCAA) from 2011-2016 playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 15.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 66.2%. Before turning pro he took part at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing  3 games: 16.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.7apg. He spoke to German Hoops  before the Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Tre thanks for talking to German Hoops. You’re a rookie playing your first season overseas for Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-Euromillions League). Your from San Antonio, Texas and also lived 4 years in Chicago playing for Nothwestern(NCAA). Has it been a big adjustment living in the pretty countryside of Belgium?

The adjustment has been good so far. I’ve moved around my whole life so I’m kind of used to being able to pack up and adjust to new places. Belgium is a very relaxed place with a lot of great places to shop. My family and I love the peacefulness of Belgium the most coming from Chicago.


The Fraport Skyliners Have Historical Season Climbing New Heights But Come Up Short At The Last Peak

In the third year of the Fraport Skyliners three year plan where in the first year the club focused on giving the young German players more minutes, in the second year reaching the playoffs, everything came true to plan as head coach Gordon Herbert had preached at the start of the season proclaiming that the team would become a top 5 team, reach the cup Top 4 and win the Fiba Europe Cup. However after all the enormous success that the organization Fraport Skyliners had in the regular season steam rolling over the competition for long stretches of the season and losing only twice at home and winning the Fiba Europe Cup and being only the fourth German team to ever win an international tournament, everyone in Skyliner country got a bit greedy and even had the audacity to predict capping  off the season with the Beko BBL title and for some reason boldly neglecting to remember that the 31-3 Brose Baskets Bamberg were the team to beat. One could compare the  successful climb up the Beko BBL standings and towards the Fiba Europe Cup title a bit to the worlds most famous mountain climber Reinhold Messner. Messner is best known for being the first guy to climb Mount Everest without Supplemental oxygen and the first mountaineer to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8000 meters above sea level. The Fraport Skyliners climbed up many difficult steep hurdles this season with the most adventurous and most bothersome at the Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 in Chalon, France where they had to win back to back games against Enisey and Varese to clinch the clubs third club title. However the Fraport Skyliners met their most crucial challenge in the playoffs with ratiopharm Ulm in the semi finals and were continuing to climb new heights and fighting to reach the final and despite being down 2-1 in games and having a 6-1 record in do or die games, the 2004 Beko BBL champion were near the peak, but came up a little short. Whereas a Messner has to battle weather problems when they occur in order to make the perfect climb to the peak, the Fraport Skyliners were denied by the clock and a deflection on the last play from Jordan Theodore to Mike Morrison that ended their season.