There was a time in the early Beko BBL history of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven when reaching the playoffs was as certain as it is the unfortunate regularity of a Derrick Rose getting injured again as there seems to be a curse on him of being allowed to play basketball healthy. However since their bitter 5 game playoff loss to Frankfurt in 2010, the Eisbaeren and fans have been dreaming as much of the playoffs as the polar bears are of their daily rations of fish in the zoo. Since then the club have finished 9th, 11th, 12th twice and last season in 15th place. What is even more curious is that the club hasn´t had more success concerning the talented rosters that they have had over the years especially last season. The club has money and bring in talent, but that last needed ingredient of chemistry seems to be missing. The club also is starting a trend of bringing in ex NBA players in hopes of adding some kind of magic to the roster in talent and experience as Americans Jerry Smith and Deandre Liggins suited up for the team last season as both had combined for 69 NBA games and countless NBA stories about their time there. Last season there was turmoil on the club and both came late to the team as did new head coach Muli Katzurin. The club did finish the season a tad better, but all the chaos and movement was unable to bring positive results to the team. This season all this has to change and will change. The club has a top coach in Muli Katzurin in place from the start, has kept ex NBA player Jerry Smith and brought in Tyrus Thomas(402 NBA games) who is the seasons most spectacular signing and rates up with Bostjan Nachbar as being the Beko BBL´s best transfer in the last years. On top of that the team has a roster filled with talent and possibly the best the club has ever had. Now Katzurin has the important task of shaping a talented team into a cohesive unit that will supply consistency over the course of a season. With fans slowly losing patience, this will be a very vital season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven as the playoffs need to be reached with the quality of this roster. Even the polar bears are getting restless in the Bremerhaven zoo as that fan dissatisfaction is roaming in the air. If there is one guy that can make everything go well again then its Muli Katzurin who had much success in the Czech Republic with CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Rep.-NBL) with 8 titles in four years. He had disappointment with the Fraport Skyliners recently, but he is overdue again for success.
Larry Gordon is a 28 year old 196cm forward that recently finished his third season with Phoenix Hagen and will play for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven this season. The American played a total of 101 games for Phoenix Hagen leading them into the playoffs once and last season played 30 games averaging 14.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 72.1% He played at Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2) from 2005 to 2009 playing a total of 116 NCAA2 games. In his senior year, he played 33 games: 15.7ppg, 10.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.7apg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 75.7%. He was a CCAA Player of the Year and NCAA D2 Finalist in 2009. In 2009-2010, he came to Europe as a rookie and played for Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 36 games and averaging 14.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 75.8%. He played for ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) from 2010-2012 before coming to Phoenix Hagen in 2012. Larry Gordon spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Larry thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I’m in sunny Southern California. My summer was really great, me and my wife traveled and really enjoyed our summer. And of course it was in the gym continuing to develop my game.
After three seasons with Phoenix Hagen you have made the jump to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. What were the main reasons for joining this team?
It really just was the best the situation/ opportunity for me and my wife. I talked with coach Muli and I like what is his concept is and how he wants to play this season. And I think the roster of guys we have, will give us a big chance to be successful this season.
Myles Hesson is a 24 year old 195 cm forward from Birmingham, England and was one of the 12 best players in Great Britain in 2013 and was selected for the 2013 national team playing in Slovenia at the Eurochampionships. He currently is playing in the Beko BBL for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Last season he played for the Giessen 46ers (ProA) playing 33 games: 16.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 30.1%, FT: 78.8%. Two seasons ago he played for Weissenhorn Youngstars (Germany-ProB, starting five): 20 games: 19.7ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.5bpg, 2FGP: 54.4%, 3FGP: 27.4%, FT: 65.6%, in Mar.’13 moved to Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-BBL): 9 games: 4.2ppg, 2.8rpg. He started his professional career in 2009-2010 for Birmingham Aces (EBL2) averaging 13.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 33.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for the Essex Pirates Basketball Club (BBL): 11 games: 9.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.4%. In 2011-2012 he played for Liverpool Mersey Tigers (BBL): 27 games: 15.1ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.5%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 2014-2015 season.
Thanks Myles for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on winning the The Syd Lipski International Award for top British performer on the global stage. What kind of value does this award exactly have to you?
Thank you, it means a lot to me to know that my hard work hasn´t gone unnoticed.
Another season has come and gone for you in Germany. Despite the less that team season did this season feel to progress slower than the successful playoff run last season with the Giessen 46ers?
It was a very different season to last, it was another learning experience for me.
Did the four game losing streak to end the season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven put a bad taste on how the team ended the season?
Yes for me it did because I thought we had come a long way as a team and we didn´t do ourselves justice loosing those games.
It is hard to believe how fast time flies and it has been almost two years since the last game that Muli Katzurin coached with the Fraport Skyliners and after two seasons with little success, he saved his best for last helping save the 2004 BBL champion from having to move down a level with a 77-72 do or die win against Ludwigsburg where that seasons most lethal weapon Zach Peacock scored 20 points. In his first season the club just missed making the playoffs with a last game loss in Bonn as his defensive approach to the game and style helped the team gain some huge home wins against FC Bayern Munich and Bamberg back to back holding them combined to an average of 58 points. His second season was a season to forget as the club got used to losing and almost had to settle to beg the league for a wildcard had they lost against Ludwigsburg. The whole two year tenure seemed like a misunderstanding as he had been traded during the summer of 2011 with then Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert to Alba Berlin. Katzurin definitely had an amazing resume having coached the national team of Israel, won a polish title and led top Czech team CEZ Basketball Nymburk to 8 titles in four years with the league and cup wins. He may of already been noticed by manager Gunnar Wobke in the summer of 2008 where he and CEZ Basketball Nymburk played an exhibition game against Frankfurt. He was the total opposite of another Israel head coach Pini Gershon who could be called the Bobby Knight of Europe who even gets carried away in pre season as he threatened to stop an exhibition game between Frankfurt and top Euroleague club Olympiacos Pireus in 2006 in the training facility in Frankfurt. Off the court and outside the locker room Katurin is a quiet gentleman who reminds one of Star Wars character Obi Wan Kenobi sneaking around arena´s the same way the Star Wars figure was looking to turn off the force field of the Death Star. After leaving Frankfurt he took a year off and this season coached Bnei Hertzeliyya (Winner League) before moving to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) in February coming in as a sort of fireman to help save a sinking ship. Since his arrival the club has played a lot better and have a 3-4 record. Katzurin returned back to Frankfurt since almost two years ready to battle his old team and ex players like Quantaz Robertson, Jacob Burtschi and the German big three of Barthel, Voigtmann and Klein, but had a long 6 hour bus ride to Bremerhaven most likely having many Jacob Burtschi three pointers in his head trying to figure out why his team couldn´t make better adjustments as the Fraport Skyliners rolled by Bremerhaven 88-79 courtesy of 10 Burtschi three pointers. Burtschi had taken extra shooting with Gordon Herbert son Daniel on Wednesday and was two short of the BBL record of Huel Beechum which he set back in 1998. Burtschi didn´t need an ocean, but had a second Lake Burtschi on the court in Frankfurt which is also present in his home town Chickasha was making shots at ease as if he was shooting into a lake at close range, was happy to play against his old coach Muli Katzurin again and grind out the win at the end. “I have never hit this many three pointers. It must be close to my birthday, but that is still a few months away. I had a regular meal before and nothing special. The basket got bigger and bigger the more I hit. It was like throwing into Lake Burtschi back home. Lake Burtschi is a man made Lake where you can fish. My great uncle helped make it, but passed away so they named it after him. It was nice seeing Muli again. He really has made the team better since his arrival. I know that he wasn´t happy with this result. He likes grind out games, but it was high scoring something he doesn´t like. It was an up and down game where we controlled the first half and they made a run at the end of the third and start of the fourth. We took care of business in the last three minutes”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Burtschi stole the show from Bremerhaven forward Moses Ehambe who shot over 40% from outside wherever he played from 2005-2012 and many have called him the best shooter in the world finished with 17 points and tipped his hat from one shooter to the next. “What the heck did Burtschi do tonight? When it rains it pours. I know what it feels like when you throw a rock into an ocean and that was the kind of night he had. We could of keyed in more on him”, stressed ex ORU(NCAA) forward Moses Ehambe. TV Langen forward Martinis Woody had a fist row seast and saw the damage Burtschi did wasn´t surprised. “He hit nothing the last game and was due for a big game. The hole was like an ocean for him. When you start to feel it, it is hard to stop you. The way he felt and was throwing he had that unstoppable feeling that everything would go in”, added South Carolina native Martinis Woody. “Burtschi had good looks early and then had the flood gates on. He made open shots and later contested shots and shots beyond NBA range and he just let us pay”, expressed ex Giessen 46er guard Lorenzo Williams.
Moses Ehambe is a 28 year old 198cm swing man from Arlington, Texas that now resides in Minnesota and is playing his seventh professional season and first in Germany with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He started his basketball career in 2004 with ORU(NCAA) and as a senior played 11.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3Pts: 40.6%, FT: 86.0%. In 2008 he started his professional basketball career with the Tulsa 66ers (D-League) where he played until 2010. In 2010-2011 he played for Aquas De Sousas Club Ourense Balonceto (Spain-LEB Gold): 16 games: 9.6ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 38.2%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 91.3%; left in Dec.’10, in Feb.’11 moved to Austin Toros (D-League, starting five): 9 games: 10.8ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 23.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 84.6%; in Mar.’11 signed at Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 17 games: 14.5ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 46.3%, FT: 91.7%. IN the 2011-2012 season he had breathed NBA air with the New Orleans Hornets (NBA), then moved to Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 48 games: 12.9ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 43.9%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 84.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa, starting five): 34 games: 7.4ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 36.0%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 92.6%. Last season he played for the Iowa Energy (D-League) 52 games: 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 41.8%, FT: 82.6%. Currently for Bremerhaven he is averaging 13,7ppg, 3,8rpg and 3,2apg while shooting 45% from outside. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.
Moses thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are playing your first season in Germany with Bremerhaven. What kind of experience has it been for you?
It has been an amazing experience for me and my family. I didn´t expect the BBL to be so professional and competitive. I like how there are so many teams with different styles of play. It is never easy getting the right guys on a team, but my Bremerhaven teammates have been phenomenal which makes the experience as a player even better. My family loves Bremerhaven and my kids are learning German.
Myles Hesson is a 24 year old 195 cm forward from Birmingham, England and was one of the 12 best players in Great Britain in 2013 and was selected for the 2013 national team playing in Slovenia at the Eurochampionships. He currently is playing in the Beko BBL for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Last season he played for the Giessen 46ers (ProA) playing 33 games: 16.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 30.1%, FT: 78.8%. Two seasons ago he played for Weissenhorn Youngstars (Germany-ProB, starting five): 20 games: 19.7ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.5bpg, 2FGP: 54.4%, 3FGP: 27.4%, FT: 65.6%, in Mar.’13 moved to Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-BBL): 9 games: 4.2ppg, 2.8rpg. He started his professional career in 2009-2010 for Birmingham Aces (EBL2) averaging 13.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 33.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for the Essex Pirates Basketball Club (BBL): 11 games: 9.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.4%. In 2011-2012 he played for Liverpool Mersey Tigers (BBL, starting five): 27 games: 15.1ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.5%. He spoke to German Hoop before the game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.
Thanks Myles for talking to German Hoops. You will be making your debut in Frankfurt. How excited are you to be playing in Frankfurt this week?
I am really excited to play there, and hopefully keep our win streak going.
Did you ever visit the arena the season you played in Giessen on off days? How did you like the atmosphere?
Yeah I managed to get down to one game last season, the atmosphere was great.
Deandre Liggins is a 26 year old 198cm forward that is playing his fourth professional season and has joined the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He started the season with the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), in Oct.’14 signed at Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd (Russia-VTB): Eurocup: 12 games: 6.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 47.4%, 3FGP: 36.7%, FT: 60.0%; VTB United League: 10 games: 7.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.7apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 45.0%, 3FGP: 28.6%, FT: 58.3%. He started his basketball career at Kentucky(NCAA) in 2008 and played a total of 99 NCAA games and as a senior played 37 games averaging 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 65.0%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for the Orlando Magic (NBA): 17 games: 1.9ppg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), in Nov.’12 assigned to Tulsa 66ers (D-League, starting five), then called back to Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA): 46 games: 1.4ppg, 1.5rpg, in Dec.’12 assigned to Tulsa 66ers (D-League): 23 games: 12.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 71.0%. Last season he played for the Miami Heat (NBA): 1 game: 2pts, 1reb, in Mar.’14 signed at Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League) playing 47 games: 14.2ppg, 7.1rpg, 4.7apg, Steals-1(2.6spg), FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 78.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Welcome to Germany Deandre. It has been a whirlwind season for you starting IN Los Angeles, going to Russia and now your in Germany. After being in the United States for the first three years of your career, how would you describe your first time abroad in Europe?
It has been a different experience for me. The food tastes different and it is a totally different plan style. It reminds me a lot of college practicing twice a day and having one game a week. The whole Europe experience has been a motivation to keep playing. I have been in Bremerhaven now three days and today was my first day of practice. I really like the communication in Bremerhaven something I didn´t have in Russia. I have been enjoying every moment in Bremerhaven and just happy I can play here.
What prompted you to come to Germany and too a team near the bottom with a very tough head coach?
It was a matter of me getting repetition. I knew about the situation when I came in. I want to help this team and give it a push and take some momentum into next season. I respect this team a lot for bringing me in and I just want to help the team turn it around. I honestly don´t feel any pressure.
When one comes across the rare name Moses, one notices simply because the first thought that comes into mind is the famous religious leader and lawgiver to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed to. The Moses is the most important prophet in Judaism as well as in christianity and Islam. Of course there have been other well known gentlemen that have been graced with the Moses name like NBA legend Moses Malone who was one of the first players to make the step from high school to the professional ranks where he lasted 21 years, won an NBA title in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers, won three MVP trophies and sometimes scribbled his name to autograph seekers in such an unreadable way that gave this young gun fits for years to fully accept if it had really been Malone that had written his name or not. Then there are Moses legends like Edwin Moses who has the name second and won Gold Medals at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics and won 107 finals in a row. Then there are also other famous Moses´s like the composer Moses Hogan, the entrepreneur Moses Brown or stage actor Moses Gunn. How common it is to find a Moses in Germany is statistically difficult to know, but one thing is for sure, there is a Moses this season living in Bremerhaven and trying to make a name in the Beko BBL. Moses Ehambe is a 28 year old 198cm swing man that has American/Congolese roots and is playing his seventh professional season. He played at Oral Roberts from 2004-2008 and then turned professional. In the last six seasons, he has played in countries like Spain and Venezuela, but spent much time in the States in the D-League looking to make the jump to the NBA. When looking at his game, the first thing that stands out is his shot. Many have described him as being the best shooter in the world in the last years and has been the most successful in the D-league. His stats don´t hide the fact that if he had to moonlight as a cowboy, his quick hand and release would come in handy with quickly pulling the gun and trigger. In a span from 2005-2012, Ehambe shot over 40% in every place that he played including his last three years at Oral Roberts and his next six destinations as a professional. In his last three stops, his shooting has slowed down a little as he shot only 35% from the parking lot with FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa) where ex Bonn forward Tony Gaffney was his teammate and with Guaiqueries de Margarita (Venezuela-LPB) where he shot 28% his second worst since his freshman year in college. However it isn´t just his shooting that excels, but he can do many other things like His quick release and footwork are at a very high level. At 6’6″ 215 pounds he possesses great size, strength, and athleticism. He is very aggressive 1on1 and will help any team with his passion. His shooting touch is back again as through three games, he is averaging 16,3ppg, 3,0rpg and 1,0apg and is shooting 52,6% from the distance. It would be fun to see how many teammates of Ehambe have stated that he is the best shooter ever, but so far he has made a lasting impression on his teammates as his leadership is here as well which he shares with ex Alba Berlin forward Sven Schulze. “He is a great shooter and a great team-mate. He creates a lot of problems from the perimeter for other teams which allows our bigs more room to work inside when he is on the court. He is one of the best shooters that I have ever played with or seen. Sven is more outspoken and animated, whereas Moses is more subtle with his approach. Both lead by example and are great role models to learn from”, warned ex Giessen 46er Myles Hesson. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven have only made the playoffs twice in 2006 and 2010 and three could be a charm as they may just have their savior to return back to the promised land with their own Moses Ehambe.
Lorenzo Williams is a 29 year old 191cm point guard that will be playing his second season in the BEKO BBL with Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Texas. He played at Rice University from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 34.6%, FT: 71.4%. He was drafted by the Anaheim Arsenal in 2007, but decided to come to Europe and played in Germany for BC Groer Recycling Weissenhorn, but left during the season, in March 2008 and moved to Skanska Pezinok (Slovakia-Extraliga). In 2008-2009, he played in Slovakia for AB Cosmetics Pezinok playing 28 games: Score-2(20.8ppg), 3.2rpg, Assists-2(5.8apg), 1.8spg, 2FGP: 62.3%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 83.9%. In the 2009-2010 season, he came to Germany and played for the Giessen 46ers playing 25 games: 11.4ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 67.2%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 19 games: 15.6ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-1(7.3apg), 2.5spg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%, in Feb.’11 moved to Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 15 games: 9.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 24.3%, FT: 87.5%. He then played two seasons for Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division). Last season he played for BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL) winning the league championship playing 24 games: 11.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 82.4%; EuroChallenge: 11 games: 10.4ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 73.0%; Baltic League: 16 games: 9.8ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-4(4.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 72.7% He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Lorenzo thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. After four years away you are back in the Beko BBL. You played three seasons in Hungary and one in Latvia. From a basketball stand point has time flown by?
Time has flown by pretty quickly. I still feel like a young guy but,A lot has changed with my game since I was in Giessen.
You were a young buck coming to Giessen in 2009 at age 24. Since then you have gathered further basketball experience won a title, assist crown and played Eurochallenge. How has your game developed since you played in Giessen. What kind of a Lorenzo Williams will we see on the court in 2014 with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven?
My game has evolved a lot. My experience with different coaches and styles of play have made me a well-rounded player. You will see a player who has matured and honed his game. Whatever the staff needs me to do, I can do. I’ve added more things to my game.
Angelo Sharpless is a 23 year old 193 cm swingman from Plymouth, North Carolina that is a rookie. He started his professional basketball career with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing four games, but was released. He played at Elisabeth City(NCAA2) and as a senior he played 28 games: 20.5ppg, 8.8rpg, 2.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 77.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Angelo thanks for talking to German Hoops. At the moment you are in Bremerhaven waiting for a settlement on your release from the team. How tough is it being in the middle of the road not being on a team and having to look for a new one?
I am still in Bremerhaven, waiting for my settlement agreement. its pretty tough not being able to play basketball period. I have a family an it’s hard to provide without a job. I have faith in my agent that a job opportunity will come soon as they come to an agreement.
I am sure you came with very own high personal expectations to Bremerhaven. How disappointed are you about not being able to stay with the team?
I am not happy with the decision, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity.