FIBA Europe Cup

John Roberson (ES Chalon-Sur-Saone) We Have Guys Sacrificing Their Own Numbers For The Team And That Is A Beautiful Thing

John Roberson is a 27 year old 180cm guard from Plano Texas playing his fifth professional season and first with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA). He started his basketball career at Texas Tech in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 83.3%. In the 2011-2012 season, he started his professional career and played for Zlatorog Lasko (Slovenia-Telemach League) Slovenian League: 3 games: 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.3apg; Adriatic League: 6 games: 5.3ppg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 36.4%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 85.7%. IN the 2012-2013 season he played for BBC Monthey (Switzerland-LNA, starting five): 3 games: 17.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 5.3apg, 4.0spg, in Nov.’12 moved to Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan): 36 games: 12.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 5.3apg, 4.0spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT-2(51.9%), FT: 91.7%; EuroChallenge: 4 games: 4.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg. He remained with the Sodertalje Kings (Sweden-Basketligan) the last two seasons winning two league titles and played 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-3(6.2apg), Steals-5(1.8spg), FGP: 52.6%, 3PT-1(51.2%), FT: 89.7%. He spoke to German Hoops at the Fiba Europe Cup final 4 in Chalon, France.

Thanks John for talking to German Hoops. Since the loss on the road in Strassburg over Easter, Chalon rebounded and had a 5 game winning streak, but got it snapped with a 100-83 loss against Le Mans. That was the most points Chalon gave up this season. How can one explain a breakdown on defense like that at near the post season?

Against Le Mans we played bad defense as a team. Sometimes you have those games, but the important thing is how you bounce back, and we did that against Pau.

This week Chalon will prepare for the Fiba Europe Cup at home. How thrilled are you that the final 4 will be in your home court and what is special about your fan base that will give the team a big advantage?

We are very happy that the Final 4 will be on our home court. We have the best fans in France and I know it will be a full arena. I know they will make a lot of noise and I cant wait to see the atmosphere.


Jordan Theodore Felt Take Over Time And Leads The Fraport Skyliners To 2016 Fiba Europe Cup Title Over Varese 66-62

After the hard fought and down and dirty Fraport Skyliners 59-56 victory against Russian team Enisey heaving them into the Fiba Europe Cup final where the only thing missing had been a Delroy James vs Danilo Barthel stare down in the paint area, Jordan Theodore was stretching after the duel when suddenly a media representative cleared up the Englewood, New Jersey native that he had seen him play when the good spirited point guard had played with Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL). After some small chit chat, both had smiles on their faces for the short break down of memory lane. It had been another normal day at the office for Theodore even if it took him and the club some deep soul searching in the fourth quarter to grind their way into the final. In his first three seasons as a professional in Europe, Theodore had very solid stats, but in the end that didn´t mean anything as he always played on losing teams and went home early to Englewood, New Jersey to catch the NBA playoffs. However this season with the Fraport Skyliners everything has changed as his scoring, assist and steal rate is back up to his rookie season, but the massive difference this season is that he has become a real leader for a winning team and MVP candidate in the German Beko BBL. And a little side note, he has dominated not only the country league and been consistent, but also belonged to the top guards in the FIba Europe Cup competition, the first time in his career that he has played in an international club tournament. He also finally has broken out of his outside shooting slump as he is near 40% while he shot only 25% in his first three seasons. Plus all season long he has matched up against the top point guards in both competitions and looked real good. In the FIba Europe Cup, he battled against guys like Thaddus Mcfadden, Earl Calloway, Mark Lyons and Tony Taylor and stepped off the court as the winner. In his quest to win his first professional title in Chalon, France in the Fiba Europe Cup, the pride and joy of Englewood, New Jersey had to face one last dirty confrontation not with one, but against two strong ex NBA point guards Maalik Wayns and Chris Wright who he also knew well from the NCAA with Villanova and Georgetown as he had played against them with Seton Hall. Theodore put on that last mean Fiba Europe Cup face of the season and went to battle for the title with the Fraport Skyliners and really had to do some serious soul searching and just break out of his shell in crunch-time as he had been taken out of the game well for three quarters, but when it counted most, he stepped up once again winning the battle against the guards of the opponent and led his team to the title. “We didn´t play our brand of basketball in the first three quarters. They played harder and wanted it more. When we were down by nine points after three, my teammates told me not to worry that I would pick up my game. We have played team basketball all season long and showed it at the end. Morrison and Robertson picked it up and we got tougher as a team. We just didn´t want to lose and I knew that we would come back. This is my first title in Europe. It feels so amazing. It is great when hard work pays off. I am so excited. It´s great for the city of Frankfurt and I know Englewood is tearing it up now”, stressed Englewood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore. Italian team Varese played spectacular for 30 minutes and pretty much gave the Fraport Skyliners a taste of their own medicine playing their brand of defense and beating them with their kind of ball movement, but just couldn´t hold down the fort for 40 minutes as Frankfurt made that last amazing run. “I am so disappointed. We were so close and too lose it like that at the end was very tough. They are a good team and played great. Congrats to Frankfurt”; added ex Philadelphia 76er Maalik Wayns.


The Fraport Skyliners Have Belief And Canadian Know How To Win Third Club Title Against Varese In Fiba Europe Cup Final

Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp and Mr Canada Phillip Scrub are very special players something Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert felt very early. These two amazing humble players could form their own special group and if they were real cheeky and off their rockers could name it “We produce titles the way cows do milk so don´t mess with us”, but since they are true professionals and born team players, they would not only never even dare to be so rude towards their teammates or even be capable to dream up such a bizarre name for a group. However one thing doesn´t lie, these two complete players that on the court think like brothers know how to win titles as between them won 8 CIS championships with Charleton as Scrubb made his nickname Mr Canada and for many the greatest college player ever to play in Canada won 5 while the elder statesman Doornekamp won three. When looking at their teammates on the team, there are very few that have won anything besides John Little who won the 2010 Eurochallenge with BG Goettingen as most players like the German big 3 of Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein are still searching for their first professional team title, while Jordan Theodore is so hungry for that first taste of champagne that he might be liable to do anything to get that chip even part with his favorite sneakers while guys like Florida native Mike Morrison is still without a title in his fourth full season and Quantez Robertson the identity figure and Mr franchise who is in his seventh season with the Fraport Skyliners and has run up down the floor like no other player in the Beko BBL isn´t getting any younger could put a stamp on getting his number next to Skyliner legend  Pascal Roller in the Fraport arena when his playing days are over with a win. Not to forget head coach Gordon Herbert who last was close to winning a title with Frankfurt in 2010 when he lost a bitter game 5 against the Brose Baskets Bamberg. The hunger and thirst for finally getting a title back to Frankfurt which last happened in 2004 as the curse of the bambino was still alive with the Boston Red Sox from 1918 to 2004 before finally winning another World Series in October as they had been without a title for 86 years. 12 years since having won their last championship  may be nothing compared to what Boston Red Sox fans went through, but if you look in the hardcore fans eyes and players, you can sense one phrase keeping their thoughts preoccupied day in and day out and that is “It´s time for club title 3”!


Johannes Voigtmann Fuels The Fraport Skyliners Into The Fiba Europe Cup Final Slipping By Enisey 59-56

Basketball players usually remember their first and maybe even second professional games especially when they gave a good effort. It seems like it has been ages since Fraport Skyliners power forward Danilo Barthel was a rookie in the 2011-2012 season, but he got on the right track in his first two games at home against Oldenburg and on the road in Tuebingen scoring 8 points in each contest in limited minutes, but at once letting the German basketball world know that there is potent basketball coming from the historical city of Heidelberg. For Barthel playing on the front line squeezed between the eccentric ex NBA player Jermario Davidson who will be remembered for playing with his cell phone on the bench while being injured and possibly studying new rap lyrics at an away game in Tuebingen and the talented young German Tim Ohlbrecht who had already played his first Beko BBL game at age 17 with Leverkusen, won the German league title at age 19 with Bamberg and played at the 2008 Olympic games at age 20. After that his career stagnated a bit and seemed at a low point when he came to the Fraport Skyliners in 2011. After the wasted season in Frankfurt where he never really got going under the hard nosed head coach Muli Katzurin where he averaged 6,0ppg and 4,0rpg and was even humiliated having to play 4 Pro B games with the farm team. After that season, he knew he had to make a change in his career as it was going nowhere, so he decided to go to the United States and try his luck even if that seemed like a reach at the time. He worked hard during the summer of 2012 in New Jersey and then made it to the NBA via the D-league. He played 3 NBA games for the Houston Rockets and won 2 D-league titles with Rio Grande and Fort Wayne which was no easy feat. Last season he came back to Germany and laced up his sneakers with ratiopharm Ulm and averaged 12.1ppg, 5.3rpg, Blocks-5(1.2bpg). This season he took the bucks and went to Russia to Enisey and has been a key figure in their success as he is averaging 11,3ppg and ,4,0rpg while shooting a strong 65% from the field. Last season the 27 year old German played solid games against Frankfurt with Ulm posting 17 and 15 points. Ohlbrecht probably won´t remember the first two games of the 2011-2012 season where he put up the goose egg in the first two games against Oldenburg and Tuebingen, but Barthel will surely never forget those first two games where he put his first mini stamp on the Beko BBL with his rugged play. Ohlbrecht was looking for another title while Barthel was still looking for his first title and both were motivated to help get their teams going and into the coveted final on Sunday as the Fraport Skyliners needed a strong fourth quarter to grind out a dirty 59-56 win over Russian team Enisey and will face off against Italian team Varese on Sunday as they dispatched home team Chalon 91-82. It was another game where Ohlbrecht didn´t fair so well as he notched only three points in the loss. One got a feeling very quickly that it would be a grind out game as both teams focused on defense and just couldn´t get anything going on offense as players had a new obstacle to contend with the ball. “It was a dirty game get down fight to the end. Both teams really wanted to win, but it was difficult playing in a totally new gym and it was hard adjusting to the Molten balls since we are used to the Spaulding. We didn´t play well for three quarters. We were too excited in the first three quarters and we are supposed to be under control, but we missed too many easy lay ups and free throws, but in the fourth quarter we stuck to our principles moving the ball and playing great defense”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. Enisey fought hard for 40 minutes, but in the fourth quarter got an extra dose of aggressive defense thrown in their face and were unable to tame the Frankfurt inside out game. “It was a real grind out game and the Frankfurt good team defense really helped them. They also did a good job getting fast break buckets and our transition defense hurt us. Frankfurt hit big shots at the end and we couldn´t make the plays which was the difference”, stressed ex George Washington(NCAA) guard Tony Taylor.


Ilian Evtimov (ES Chalon-Sur-Saone) It Would Be Awesome To Be Able To Play The Fraport Skyliners In The Fiba Europe Cup Final

Ilian Evtimov is a 33 year old 201 cm forward that is playing his sixth season for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA). He has the French-Bulgarian citizenship and played at North Carolina State from 2001-2006. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 10.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FG: 45.3%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT. After a short stint with Estudiantes Madrid in 2006, he played at VidiVici Bologna in the 2006-2007 season. He played FIBA EuroCup playing 15 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 65.4%, 3FGP: 47.1%, FT: 72.2%; and playing15 games in the Italian league averaging 3.1ppg, 2.1rpg. In 2007-2008, he moved to The Deutsche Bank Skyliners playing 10 ULEB Cup games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 85%; and in the German League playing 44 games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 86.2%. In 2008-2009, he continued playing in Frankfurt playing 10 EuroChallenge games averaging 8.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 70.0%; and in the German League playing 34 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 74.6%. In 2009-2010, he played for BC Levski Sophia (Bulgaria-NBL): 1 game: 6pts, 5reb, 2ast, 3steals; Balkan League: 1 game: 3pts, 1reb, 1ast, 2steals; in Oct.’09 moved to Proteas EKA AEL Limassol (Cyprus-Division EuroChallenge: 13 games: 10.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 45.6%, FT: 83.3%: FT-2(90.9%). He joined ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA) in 2010 and in his six seasons has won the France cup twice being named MVP in 2012 and the won the Pro A title in 2012. He is looking for his first international club title and spoke to German Hoops before the FIBA Europe cup final 4 in France.


Thanks Evti for talking to German Hoops. Since the loss on the road in Strassburg over Easter, Chalon rebounded and had a 5 game winning streak, but got it snapped with a 100-83 loss against Le Mans. That was the most points Chalon gave up this season. How can one explain a breakdown on defense like that at near the post season?

We are a team that is great on offense. We have been developing great chemistry and confidence on offense. Against Le Mans, despite still being able to score over 80 points, we played very bad defense. Anytime you let a team score 100 points, it becomes very hard to win. That is how most teams feel about us.


The Fraport Skyliners Will Need Skyliner Basketball For Success At The Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 In France

The Fraport Skyliners meet Russian team Enisey in the semifinals on Friday and come into the tournament with a lot of self-confidence riding a nine game winning streak from the Beko BBL.Their latest coup was a dandy 80-64 masterpiece against 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin on the road which was their first win in Berlin in the last four tries dating back to game 4 of the Beko BBL 2010-2011 playoffs when Frankfurt won 83-74. “. It was a win we needed. I’m overly satisfied with my team. We grew together all season and we’re ready to take what’s ours”, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Jordan Theodore. In the Fiba Europe Cup, they were the best team, but needed three games to dispose of Israeli team Maccabi Rishon as they let game 2 slip away on the road in OT 88-84. In a do or die game three in Frankfurt, the Fraport Skyliners found to their old self again winning 91-75 as they were led by Mr Canada Phillip Scrub with 20 points and six guys scored in double figures. The team displayed their classical Skyliner basketball which is a mix of amazing ball movement coupled with the great pass outweighing the good pass and great defense something the team has prided their game on as they are the top defensive team in the Beko BBL and Fiba Europe Cup allowing the least points of 65 in each category. The Fraport Skyliners are led by the basketball conductor Jordan Theodore as well as the German twin towers Johannes Voigtmann(11,4ppg, 5,7rpg, 2,3apg) and Danilo Bathel(8,8ppg, 4,7rpg, 1,9apg), Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp(9,6ppg, 4,8rpg, 2,2apg), and freak athlete Quantez Robertson11,6ppg, 4,0rpg, 2,8apg). The club has a very solid bench where any guy can step up at any time in a game and make big plays and shots like Mr Canada Phillip Scrubb(14,0ppg, 2,4rpg, 2,3apg), Konstantin Klein(7,3ppg, 1,6rpg, 2,3apg), the minister of defense John Little(5,2ppg, 2,4rpg, 1,1apg) and big Mike Morrison(8,2ppg, 4,2rpg) and the judge Johannes Richter(2,6ppg, 2,8rpg who head coach Gordon Herbert calls his best offensive rebounder.


The Fraport Skyliners Are Shut Out Again As Chalon Get Honor Of Being Host City For 2016 Fiba Europe Cup Final 4

It doesn´t matter if you take simple baseball or basketball terms, but if Boston Red Sox slugging God David Ortiz goes 0-2 in a tight pitching duel and strikes out at the end losing the game or Fraport Skyliner Mike Morrison who cleans everything around the glass has the misfortune of having to drain two clutch free throws at the end of a do or die game and goes 0-2, both great players will be seen as the goats of their teams, but how must 2000 BBL cup winner Fraport Skyliners feel today after also being 0-2 in important decision making where they had no influence in the last two years as they were shut out again trying to hold an international club tournament Final 4 in their living room. Last season, the Fraport Skyliners were denied the opportunity to host the Eurochallenge Final 4 as Turkish city Trabzonspor won the bid and this year, Frankfurt lost out again as Fiba Europe announced today that the French city of Chalon sur-Saone will be the site from April 29 to May ist. The two semi final games will be the Fraport Skyliners against Russian team Enisey and Chalon against Italian team Varese According to media reports, it was a head to head battle between the Fraport Skyliners and Chalon, but in the end, it was the French city that had their nose ahead of Frankfurt inching their way over the finish line. Frankfurt which is in the center of Europe, has a fine transportation network with one of the biggest airports in Europe and a 5000 seat arena, but in the end, it wasn´t enough as Chalon had huge support from the France basketball federation. There are many interesting little stories behind this year´s event, but one of the most interesting is ex Frankfurt Skyliner Ilian Evtimov having the chance to win his first international title after many tries and the possibility to do it against his former team whom he played for from 2007-2009. “It’s a great opportunity for French basketball to host this event. With great backing from the Federation, the League, and our City, we were able to host this event. On a personal note, this will be my 3rd final four and I am still chasing the title. Winning the title, and possibly playing Frankfurt in the championship will be an amazing thing for my trophy room. I do have great memories from my 2 years spent in Frankfurt, and certainly hope I would be able to face them during this final four. When I reached the final four with Virtue Bologna in 2007, I played against Estudiantes which was my first Professional experience”, stressed ex North Carolina State forward Illian Evtimov.

Both semi final games should be very entertaining and exciting games as Frankfurt is searching for their third club title and first international one while Enisey are still looking for their first championship. Especially the Frankfurt-Enisey contest will have some interesting little side notes. Some of the Russian players like Pavel Sergeev, or Aleksandr Pavlov might be happy that they will be playing in Chalon, because last season, their final 4 hopes were crushed in a do or die game in Frankfurt where they let an 18 point lead slip away in the second half losing 85-80 as German national player Johannes Voigtmann had his international break through finishing with 26 points, while the general Justin Cobbs kept the team calm scoring 19 points and steering eight assists. Another fascinating side note to this new battle will be the meeting with ex Skyliner Tim Ohlbrecht who played for the Frankfurt side in the 2011-2012 season before going to the States and making the NBA and playing three games for the Houston Rockets. Enisey also boasts solid talent with ex NBA player DJ Kennedy as well as American Delroy James who played many years in Italy and American Tony Taylor who played the last two years with top Polish club PGE Turow and hails from Sleepy Hollow, New York and will battle Jordan Theodore at the playmaking position. This season one of the more interesting things before each game of Jordan Theodore is to see if he knows any of his opponents on the court that came from the New York area. The probability that the Englewood, New Jersey knew any player he was dueling against is around 98% even if the estimation isn´t totally accurate. The American just seems to know every guy from the playgrounds as a kid as Englewood is only a 5 minute drive over the Hudson river into the big apple. Enisey is currently in ninth place in the competitive VTB league with a record of 10-16. The Fraport Skyliners were the best team this season in the Fiba Europe Cup boasting a 16-1 record and belong to the top 4 teams in the Beko BBL and this season have the team that could do some serious damage in the playoffs as they beat FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg during the regular season and for many are a team that no one wants to face in the playoffs and are considered a dark horse favorite. This semi-final should be a great battle, but in the end the amazing and seemingly unstoppable team basketball of Frankfurt and their bench should be the difference. Ex NBA player Chris Wright of Maccabi Rishon sees it also being a good game and staying faithful to his buddies on the Russian team. “I think Frankfurt could win, but honestly so could Enisey. That will be a good game. I know guys on that team like DJ Kennedy from high school and Tony Taylor from last season and college. They are solid all across the board. Enisey is playing very well at the moment”, added ex Golden State Warrior Chris Wright.

French team Chalon are currently in eighth place in the competitive France Pro A with a record of 17-10. They were always a solid team in the last 20 years, but finally won some hardware in 2011 with the cup and finishing in third place. In the next season, the club finished the regular season in second place, but won the triple with cup, AS cup and league title. However in the last two season´s, the French team that is coached by Jean-Denys- Choulet was only able to finish the regular season in eighth place and each time were swept by Strassbourg. The club is led by solid Americans like John Roberson who won 3 titles in Sweden and at 180cm a bit under the radar, but with a strong Final 4 and title become more of a house hold name in Europe, Jeremy Hazell who was a teammate with Jordan Theodore and left Seton Hall as the third all-time leading scorer and last season had a brilliant season with Granarolo Bologna(Italy Serie A) finishing fourth in scoring, ex Clemson center Devin Booker who is having his break out season in France with 14 and 7 stats in the Pro A and Fiba Europe Cup. He is a raw talent that has been getting some NBA talk as of late, former St Johns(NCAA) standout Justin Brownlee who had NBA Summer league experience with the New York and Charlotte and ex North Carolina State stand out Illian Evtimov who is playing his 10th professional season and still can perform three point shooting battles with the best of them as he is shooting 43% in the Pro A and Fiba Europe Cup. Italian club Varese are currently in ninth place in the Serie A with a record of 11-15. The club has the most history of all teams this season having been founded in 1945 and have won 10 league titles, 4 cups, 5 Euroleague titles and two Saporta cups. The club also has a very solid roster and NBA flair with ex BYU(NCAA) standout Brandon Davies that played 78 NBA games and 71 with the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season he played a few months with Chalon and now meets his ex team in a do or die game. The team also boasts  185cm point guard Chris Wright who played with NBA players Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims at Georgetown(NCAA) and 3 NBA games with the Dallas Mavericks, ex Villanova(NCAA) standout Maalik Wayns who played for the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers and international flair with Latvian sharp shooter Rihards Kuksiks who played at the 2011 and 2013 European championships and 33 year old veteran Kristjan Kanguar who played with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen early in his career form 2004-2006 and overtime made to a Euroleague player with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA) and EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-SerieA). This will be a great match up as both teams are scoring power houses with Chalon averaging 90 points in the Fiba Europe Cup and Varese 81 points. Both teams are present on the boards grabbing 32 rebounds per contest and both teams shoot over 40% from the parking lot. The difference in the game could be who takes better care of the ball and who decides to defend more. Varese has the better overall player talent, but in a do or die game like this, it often comes down to heart and Chalon do have the home court advantage. The dream final for the New York area would be Frankfurt-Chalon as that would pit college buddies Jordan Theodore against Jeremy Hazell for the bragging rights this summer.But the American knows that before meeting buddy Hazell, he will need to take care of business against Enisey. ” It would be great but that’s not my focus right now. We play a tough Russian team who shouldn’t be over looked. I also know Delroy James and DJ Kennedy. They will come ready to play”, warned Jordan Theodore.

Philip Scrubb Supplies Punch As The Fraport Skyliners Knock Out Maccabi Rishon 91-75 Reaching Fiba Europe Cup Final 4

Even now when you can see amazing big name players Like Kyre Irving aka uncle Drew, ex UCONN NCAA champion Kemba Walker, ex Milwaukee Buck Brandon Jennings or future NBA legend in the making Kevin Durant on any given night at the legendary Monsignor Kett Playground a.k.a. Dyckman Park in the Washington Heights/Inwood section of Manhatten, but there was a time when these guys and others were balling and battling each other when they were younger and not as known as they were now and they might have been replaying classic basketball events on the court or just being Michael, Sir Charles, Clyde the glide Drexler or Doctor J Erving and making big time shots in clutch moments or at the buzzer. Some of those guys that have been playing on this legendary playground Dyckman have been Jordan Theodore, Jeremy Hazell of French team Chalon and ex NBA player Scott Machado of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. What they once dreamed about as younger players, now turn into real time situations. Do or die games are always present in all kinds of professional sports, but especially when it´s playoff time and in international club play as the Fraport Skyliners and Israeli team Maccabi Rishon had for the ticket to the Fiba Eurocup Final 4. New York native Mark Lyons came up big last week saving Maccabi Rishon from being kicked out of the competition with a strong 19 point game against Frankfurt and had to show his A-game again while Theodore and the Fraport Skyliners had their second do or die game of the season after disposing of Oldenburg a few months ago to register their ticket to the Beko BBL cup top 4. The Fraport Skyliners have had their ups and downs in do or die games as in the past they won  a game five at home in 2004 against the Brose Baskets Bamberg winning their first league title, lost a game five in the 2005 final losing in Bamberg as their opponent got revenge, lost a game five in the 2010 final in Bamberg again, lost a game 5 in 2011 in the semi-finals against Alba Berlin and last season won a game three against Russian team Enisey as they were powered by German national player Johannes Voigtmann with 26 points securing a berth in the Eurochallenge final 4. With having won a do or die game already this season against Oldenburg, the Fraport Skyliners were looking be 2-0 in these types of games and stayed unbeaten as they cruised into the Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 with a big 91-75 win over Maccabi Rishon as it was a total team effort as always. Fraport Skyliners Jordan Theodore didn´t have a typical great game, but was solid and with another step closer in his journey to winning his first professional title and was in a talkative mood about the win and do or die feeling playing against friend Mark Lyons that at times can go on and on as if he were a basketball poet. “It is a blessing to be able to compete at a high level for something so important like the Fiba Europe Cup. This is my first season, but so many guys on the team have been here longer and after losing last season really want to win it this season. I have said it so often in that when we play good defense and move the ball, then we are hard to beat. Our bench came in and it speaks volumes of our team that no one plays for their self, but for the team. Our goal is to continue to get better and win this title. I was so nervous coming in and could hardly sleep. I just wanted to get it over with. Me and Mark Lyons went head to head. We both break down guys and find ways to help teams win. He had a good game whereas I didn´t as much, but we came out on top. I don´t know if there will be a rematch this summer as he lives in Arizona so maybe we will have to meet in between in Miami”, smiled Englewood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore.


Chris Wright (Maccabi Rishon) I Knew The NBA Was For Real Having My Locker Next To Steph Curry

Chris Wright is a 27 year old 203cm forward playing his second season in Europe and first with Maccabi Rishon in Israel. He started his basketball career in 2007 with Dayton(NCAA) where he played until 2011 and as a senior played 36 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.8apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 60.0%. He started his professional career in 2011 with the Maine Red Claws (D-League, starting five): 4 games: 17.0ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.5bpg; in Dec.’11 moved to Golden State Warriors (NBA): 24 games: 2.9ppg, 1.9rpg, in Jan.’12 signed at Dakota Wizards (D-League, starting five): 9 games: 18.1ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, 2.1bpg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 54.5%. In the 2012-2013 season he played with the Maine Red Claws (D-League) playing 41 games: 18.1ppg, 8.9rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 65.6%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for the Milwaukee Bucks (NBA): 8 games: 6.0ppg, 2.5rpg, FGP: 61.8%, FT: 40.0%, also played at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 41 games: 19.8ppg, 8.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 27.2%, FT: 67.5%. Last season he played for PGE Turow Zgorzelec (Poland-TBL): 26 games: 7.5ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 64.5%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 52.5%; Eurocup: 5 games: 9.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 70.0%; Euroleague: 8 games: 8.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 65.1%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 75.0%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 91-75 game three loss against the Fraport Skyliners In Fiba Europe Cup play. .

Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 91-75 loss against the Fraport Skyliners. How proud are you of the team and how they fought?

I am extremely proud of my team. Most people counted us out at the start of the season and hardly anyone expected us to reach the second round. We shocked a lot of people just how far we came and we gave Frankfurt their only loss in the Fiba Europe Cup. I don´t believe in moral victories and even if I was injured and other guys weren´t totally fit, I feel we still could of won.


Shawn Dawson (Maccabi Rishon) Quantez Robertson Is A Great Player And We Both Can Do A Lot More Than Just Jump

Shawn Dawson is a 22 year old 198cm Israeli playing his third season for Maccabi Rishon. He helped the club win the country youth title in 2012 and since turning professional as a 19 year old has improved his scoring and rebounding each season. Some of his most memorable games so far was his 28 point 18 rebound game against Hapoel Holon and scoring 11 points with the Israeli national team against France at the 2015 European championships. He spoke to German Hoops before the do or die game against the Fraport Skyliners in the Fiba Europe Cup competition for the ticket to the Final 4.

Shawn thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the big 88-84 OT win against the Fraport Skyliners. How does it feel being the first team to beat them in Fiba Europe Cup and breaking their 15 game winning streak?

It feels great man, we knew that the game one did not reflect at all the differences between the teams and it was a tough one for us because we played bad, and we knew anything is possible when we play at home

Maccabi Rishon had their backs to the wall and had to win at home. How confident was the team that they could be able to pull it out even when it was down 14 points?

Basketball is played 40 minutes, and it aint over until its over. We kept on pushing and I am glad we got the win.