EnBW Ludwigsburg

Matt Howard (Strasbourg IG) The EWE Baskets Have A Bit Of Everything And We Will Need A Consistent Effort To Advance

Matt Howard is a 27 year old 203cm forward playing his second season for Strasbourg IG (France-ProA) and last season played 41 games averaging 7.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 71.6%; Eurocup: 15 games: 10.7ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.3%; Euroleague: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.5apg. He started his basketball career in 2007 with Butler (NCAA) where he played until 2011 playing a total of 139 NCAA games and as a senior played 35 games averaging 16.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 78.1%. In 2011-2012 he started his professional basketball career with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1): Greek League: 6 games: 4.0ppg, 1.5rpg; Euroleague: 2 games: 1.0ppg, left in Jan.’12, in Feb.’12 moved to EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL) playing 13 games: 12.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 83.3%. IN the 2012-2013 season he played for Chorale de Roanne Basket (France-ProA) playing 32 games: 9.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 76.8%. IN the 2013-2014 season he moved back to Germany to Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-BBL): Eurocup: 16 games: 8.8ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.3%; German League: 35 games: 9.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 78.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurocup game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg for the ticket to the 2016 Euro Cup quarterfinals.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You played with two teams in Germany with Ludwigsburg and Ulm. What did you learn to appreciate most about the country of Germany?

Germany is a very nice country that is very modernized and for Americans you can always find things that you would get at home. I had good experiences in Germany and it was an easy adjustment coming from home.

However you don´t have the best memories against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. You are 0-4 against them in your career. How pumped are you not only to get your first win against them tomorrow, but also to win by more than three points?

I didn´t really think about that I have lost against them 4 times, but you are correct. More important than having lost four times against them is getting the win in Euro Cup. Maybe getting the win my third time here will be a good one.

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John Bowler Retires (I Wish Everyone To Remember Me As A Player Who Gave Everything And Left His Heart On The Floor)

John Bowler is a 28 year old 206cm center from Chicago that has announced his retirement. He played at Eastern Michigan from 2002-2006. His best season was his senior year where he played 28 games averaging 20.1ppg, 10.8rpg, 2.5apg, FG: 54.9%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.3%. He came to The Telekom Baskets Bonn in 2006 where he played until 2010. His best season was 2007-2008 where he played 39 games averaging 12.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 70.5%. He reached two BBL finals and one BBL Cup final. He played for  EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) from 2010-2012 playing 18 games: 11.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT-3(50.0%), FT: 79.2%. He was voted most liekable player in the Beko BBL in 2008. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career.

John you have retired from professional basketball. How tough was it making this decision?

It was extremely tough and the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my entire life.  I love basketball and I will be involved in basketball for the rest of my life but I had to make the decision that was best for my family and I.

You only played six professional seasons. In mind you must feel too young to be retiring or not?

I prefer to look at the positives and not on things I haven’t had.  Yes I would have loved to have played more but I had a great career.  I was given a great opportunity to play professional basketball and I played 6 phenomenal seasons at some of the highest levels of basketball with the best teammates, coaches, and fans.  Some don’t even get the chance to play. So I feel that I am blessed and had an awesome career.

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Alex Harris Shows Some California Hyphy As EnBW Ludwigsburg Freezes The Fraport Skyliners 82-57

Two Weeks ago, the Ludwigsburg arena was transformed into a glitzy, boisterous, loud, spectacular and unforgettable basketball world as the 2012 Beko BBL Allstar game took place there. Fans saw as many well known basketball faces in the arena then as RTL camp members saw nasty scorpions in a short time. In a short span of a few hours basketball aficionados saw many cheerful colorful mascots dancing and performing mischevious acts, crowd favorite Darius Hall having his gregarious smile on redial mode, Heiko Schaffartzik and Tony Gaffney possibly planning a vacation to plot their next Dunk escapades, Donatas Zavackas learning to love his home court rims or German national player Per Guenther displaying a knack to be able to shoot over guys twice his size. With the Beko BBL Allstar game long over and just a sweet memory in the heads of many kids with the festivities dancing in their heads weeks later, EnBW Ludwigsburg and the Fraport Skyliners returned back to normal conditions as the glitz was gone, but not the uncomfortable noise or love for the game of basketball as EnBW Ludwigsburg snapped their four game losing streak and the Fraport Skyliners five game unbeaten streak on the road was broken as they lost 82-57. The Ludwigsburg arena may not have been as full as at the Allstar game, but the atmosphere was still breathtaking despite how the season has gone for the Schwaben team so far. “The players and fans never thought we would have a season like this after last season. It has been a tough season and with injuries to guys like John Bowler, Jerry Green and Alex Harris. However the fans have always stood behind our team and I can only compliment them for their support tonight”, stressed EnBW Ludwigsburg sport director Mario Probst. “It was a great atmosphere as the fans kept us going and you could really feel that the crowd was behind us. The team is very close”, commented ex Skyliner Anthony Fisher.

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Can The Fraport Skyliners Extend Their Winning Streak On the Road In Ludwigsburg To 6 Games?

At the moment in the NBA, some teams have as many games a week as Beko BBL teams have games in a month. Ex Skyliner Jon Leuer  has played 20 games in about a five week span and will surely never trade anything for the chance to lace them up in the NBA, but he possibly may day dream every so often and look back to the more tranquil life in the Beko BBL where 1-2 games a week seemed like a blessing in disguise for the recuperation of his basketball body. For the Fraport Sklyiners, they will have been idle for 15 days days when they next meet EnBW Ludwigsburg on February 4th as their last game was the dreadful and unnecessary loss to their Hessen derby neighbor January 20th. “When you are away so long, it is always difficult getting the rhythm back which you had before the break. The players have to take good care of their bodies. Two weeks is a long time and that can always hurt the conditioning of a player. Tactical things won´t be much of a challenge, because they never really change. The European schedule is good for the body and working on your game between games as too many games take  atoll on the body which one sees with all the injuries in the NBA. The problem with the schedule in Europe is that you have too much time to dwell on a loss while in the NBA, you need to have a short memory”, stressed Quentin Pryor who is playing in Wels, Austria. In between, the team had a fun, but meaningless game against the Pascal Roller allstars in his farewell game January 28th. With the long competitive delay and a place in the middle of the Beko BBL rankings, the team was as focused to get back to their day job as Tom Brady was after the AFC championship win with that special sparkle in his eyes giving an indirect look that he wont lose a second Super Bowl to Eli Manning and the New York Giants, Super model Heidi Klum decision in making her chapter in love with Mr kiss from a rose Seal final with a divorce and Mr Aerosmith Steven Tyler recently reciting an interesting and so Tylerisch redemption of the national anthem. “I think the break and having the Pascal Roller farewell game in between was a good thing for the players. I think for the new Skyliner Americans, they can´t really realize what Pascal Roller meant to basketball in Germany and to the organization Skyliners. For the German players playing in this game meant a lot. Even if the Roller game was for fun, I think that it could have a positive effect on the chemistry of the Skyliners”, warned Walter tiger Tuebingen forward Ruben Spoden.

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Jermareo Davidson Could Have Reggae Danced As He Propels The Fraport Skyliners Past EnBW Ludwigsburg 76-72

It is no secret that celebrities like to hang out and be friends with athletes and just be where guys like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony are doing their magic. Frequent guests in NBA areas have been celebrities like Jay Z with his black sunglasses alongside goddess Beyonce, Lakers diehard fan Mr Shining Jack Nicholson wearing his dark sunglasses never having seen normal light in the Staples Center or Spike Lee recruiting new athletes for his movies are never far supporting their basketball idols. Back in the 1950´s, it seemed like it was impossible for athletes to be friends with each other, but that trend seems to have been eroding in the last 20 years as even the biggest rivals of the 80´sBird and Magic have become good friends and last season the Miami Heat showed that they weren´t sour losers as they joined the Dallas Mavericks in post game celebrations after they lost the 2012 NBA finals. Two Beko BBL stars Quantez Robertson and Mark Dorris have combined as much athletic power to make the perfect 2012 basketball specimen are both from Cincinnati and despite being on opposing teams share a strong friendship and were on the court for their third meeting in the Beko BBL and Robertson was able to win his third straight meeting 76-72. Before the game, Ludwigsburg sport director Mario Probst wasn´t to keen about any one on one duels, but had his mind on only one thing. “This duel might be nice for the fans, but the most important thing is that we win. The only important thing is that they know each other, but all else about them is unimportant. We are coming on a good way. It is never about individual play, but about team play. If not all five on the court defend, then we will always have problems to win”, warned Mario Probst. Long after the game was over, the two Cincinnati kids Dorris and Roberston were in a corner in the catacombs with ex Dorris teammate Jacob Burtschi hanging out and the only thing missing was a poker table as all three were calm, but Dorris was a bit disappointed about coming up on the short end again against his teammate. “It is always great to see Tez, but bitter sweet when he comes out on top”, stressed mark Dorris. Jacob Burtschi was used to seeing great Dorris performances like his 35 point outburst in Ludwigsburg last season and is still getting used to the Super Tez flights to the basket and understood their rivalry. “They are good friends, but as soon as they step on the court, it gets thrown out the window. Both were up for this game, one could sense it on the court. Tez was all over the court and Dorris hit some tough shots”, commented ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. Robertson finished with four points and four rebounds and Dorris with 10 points.

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Can Jerry Green Get EnBW Ludwigsburg To The Beko BBL Playoffs This season?

Since the return of EnBW Ludwigsburg to the Beko BBL in 2002, the club has reached only three playoff appearances from 2004-2007 and the name Jerry Green was as important and key for those three glorious years as Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has been for their success this season in Denver, Borusia Monchengladback German Marco Reus for his timely goals and team current fourth place or Christmas giving the Wham song last Christmas endless radio play each December to the hearts content for people across the globe, but in his second tour of duty in Ludwigsburg, Green hasn´t had his magic wan working as last season the club missed the playoffs on the last game day. With the new 4,500 Ludwigsburg arena in its third season of operation and the attendance rate down from the 2009-2010 season by 300 patrons per game, pressure continues to rise rapidly on the team to reach the May games like smoke from an erupted volcano. One can´t always rely on one player or coach to always bring consistent success to a place like legendary head coach Jerry Sloan did to the Utah Jazz for 15 years from 1989-2003 and having needed components like Karl Malone and Jerry Stockton don´t grow on maple trees either. To say that Jerry Green is at fault for not leading EnBW Ludwigsburg to the Beko BBL playoffs last season and for their current slide would be more than unfair. “I don´t think that Green is feeling pressure to have to do extra incredible things to get that success. One can´t say he is the reason for the non success now. There are so many other factors involved that have been the reason for their slide at the moment. Green is the complete point guard that is athletic, can score and is a good passer who helps the team in so many ways”, stressed Artland Dragon German Christian Hoffmann.

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Frank Robinson: The Artland Dragons Will Have A Lot Of Success This Year Because The Locker Room Is So Close

Frank Robinson is 27 year old 193cm guard that was born in Compton, California and grew up in Los Angeles and just ended a short stint in germany with the Artland Dragons. He played at Cal Fullerton (NCAA) from 2005-2008. In his senior year, he played games: 15.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3Pts: 34.2%, FT: 73.8%. In 2008-2009, he started with NBA club Atlanta Hawks (NBA), left in Oct.’08, then moved to Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Liga UPC, starting five): Adriatic League: 17 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.1spg; Euroleague: 8 games: 6.8ppg, 3.3rpg, in Feb.’09 signed at EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 11 games: 11.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 73.5%. In 2009-2010, he started with the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) again, only pre-season, in Dec.’09 moved to Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League, starting five): 38 games: 12.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.7apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 24.3%, FT: 69.2%. In the summer of 2010, he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (LA Lakers).Last season, he played for Maccabi Haifa (Israel-Premier League): EuroChallenge: 14 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.3apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 59.5%; Israeli League: 28 games: 12.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-2(2.4spg), FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 61.1%. He started this season with Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) Eurochallenge Qualifying Round: 2 games: 16.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0bpg. He spoke to German Hoops about the disappointment of not being able to play with the Artland Dragons.

You had a short stay with the Artland Dragons. How dissappointed are you that you had to leave the club because of basketball politics?

Artland is a really good team , I was very disappointed this was one of the best group of guys I have ever been around. From coaching staff to players, I honestly feel like I have met some life time friends here. The situation is tough and it hurts more because it has nothing to do with actual skill or talent. The Artland Dragons will have a lot of success this year because the locker room is so close.

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Joe Herber´s 3 Pointers Can´t Save The Fraport Skyliners as EnBW Ludwigsburg Escape The Fraport Arena With a 85-82 Victory

With late summer temperatures gracing the city of Frankfurt, it is only seemingly that a majority of people might be enjoying post work in one of the cafes on the Fressgasse, taking a dip in the main river, playing a quick nine hole round of golf before dusk settles in or having another listen to the legendary Nirvana album Nevermind while reading an exciting John Grisham novel on the balcony, but for the Fraport Skyliners a test game was on the agenda as they gave a strong fight in the second half, but came up short as EnBW Ludwigsburg crawled out of the Fraport arena with a hard fought 85-82 in their last preseason game. “Even on a nice day like this, I want to be in the gym. And before you ask me if I want to be at a cubs game, I don´t want to talk about them”, smiled ex Telekom Baskets Bonn center John Bowler. St Louis native Jimmy Mckinney who is sporting a slick goatee also wouldn´t want to be in any other place than the place where he comes to work. “I want to be in the gym on a day like this and not enjoying the weather on the Mississippi river, because there are a lot of dead bodies in that river”, added Jimmy Mckinney. Since the game wasn´t open to the public, it was a shame that fans were unable to witness the fierce battle between 206cm 100 kilo Marius the force Nolte and 204cm 123 kilo John old school Bowler as the Chicago native seemed to have the upper hand on the German in this game. “He is always a difficult player to play against. He had a good game. I hope that I can annoy him a bit more in the regular season”, stressed Marius Nolte. Bowler finished with 14 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes which shows his effectiveness that he has shown for years in the Beko BBL. “Nolte is very physical and always plays hard. His strength is frustrating other big men and just getting into their heads”, added John Bowler.

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The Deutsche Bank Skyliners And Globetrotter Basketball Wipe Out The Playoff Hopes Of EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79

The 2010-2011 beko BBL season has flown by as rapidly this season like having a two week all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas and Rihanna as a companion, the time since the 90s where the Boston Celtics were fighting to keep their good name as they were struggling under new coach Rick Pitino and he was blasted for saying the infamous word at a press conference that the legend Larry Bird was no more or the last time the Detroit Pistons won the NBA title in 2004. On the last game day there were many do or die games for teams fighting to stay in the league like BBC Bayreuth was hoping for a miracle win in Bamberg, the MBC wolves attempting to trap the pesky unorthodox full court press of BG Goettingen in quick sand in their den or teams trying to secure that last playoff spot like TBB Trier trying to out hustle the Artland Dragons, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven trying to out freeze Ratiopharm Ulm or EnBW Ludwigsburg hoping for the best Lionel Richie basketball performance by Jerry Green being able to yell the famous Hello track to the 2011 beko BBL playoffs into the glowing and over joyous face of coach Markus Jochum, but instead the German coach was seen sneaking through the Ludwigsburg arena with a emotionless face as if he just witnessed the rebirth of Craig Hodges on the court transformed into the body of Roger Powell as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners ruined a playoff appearance for EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79 as the Schwaben team missed the post season for the fourth consecutive season and the Hessen team reach a date with BG Goettingen in the playoffs. “The third time is supposed to be a charm, but wasn´t for me. I missed the post season for the third straight year on the last game day. We really believed that we could win this game. However this team had two different faces this year. With the right face, this team had the talent to beat anyone in the league. With the wrong face as we showed tonight, we had no chance to win”, stated 1995 UCLA NCAA champion Toby Bailey. Frankfurt didn´t have their thoughts on the upcoming training camp in Mallorca and played as if it was game one of the playoffs. “I am a bit surprised by the outcome of this game. Ludwigsburg was a little nervous. We played a very good game. This was a good test for us in a playoff like atmosphere”, stressed Skyliner center Marius Nolte.

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Can Jerry Green Sing A Little Lionel Richie Hello To The beko BBL Playoffs After 40 Minutes Against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners April 23rd?

Jerry Green gliding through the lane to the hole and humming the Lionel Richie classic tune “Running In The Night, Nate Harris and Paveles Cukinas fighting and hauling down rebounds, Je Kel Foster frustrating opponents on offense and defense for 40 minutes, 34 year old Serb Milan Goljovic parked behind the three point line and dropping bombs while blindfolded or coach Silvano Poropar entertaining with his interviews in broken German are all beautiful memories of the 2006-2007 EnBW Ludwigsburg season were the big surprise team closed out the season in first place and first packing their bags in the semi finals against the Brose Baskets Bamberg who would win the beko BBL title. Since then EnBW Ludwigsburg has been scampering around no mans land in the beko BBL standings like a whimpering and disillusioned turkey seconds before getting slaughtered for Thanksgiving as the club has failed to make the playoffs the last three years. But this season, the chances for EnBW Ludwigsburg to make the playoffs are as great as Chicago Bull Derrick Rose running away with the 2011 NBA MVP trophy, baseball fans never seeing another live towering moon shot home run from Barry Bonds and Suri Cruise never having a normal childhood. Bynum played against EnBW Ludwigsburg in the 2006-2007 with Bremerhaven and hasn´t forgotten how they played. “They were a tough team, they had a great regular season run and surprised a lot of people. They were a great team and had much success”, stressed John Bynum. Bynum knows what the team from the Schwaben land has been going through not reaching the post season for a number of years. “I think it is makes you hungry for the next season but at the same time it is good for any organization to make the playoffs any time you have a span where you havent been in the post season in a while. It can be frustrating cause it seems like all the work that you put in the whole year was for a waste especially when you are so close to making it. But at the same time you can look back and see in what ways you can improve for the next season as well”, added John Bynum. For En BW Ludwigsburg to reach the playoffs, they must win or in the case of a loss can miss the playoffs if Bremerhaven and Trier win and also BG Goettingen. TBB Trier guard John Bynum who will be hoping for a Frankfurt win remembers the 2006-2007 EnBW Ludwigsburg team as a player with Bremerhaven. “They have a great shot at making the playoffs but hopefully they can lose  to help us out”, said John Bynum. But overall they have a good team and deserve to be in as much as the other teams battling for that spot. Four teams are fighting for the last two spots including BG Goettingen, TBB Trier and Bremerhaven and is there any separation in the ability of the teams? “I dont think there is much of a separation from any of the teams you named. I think at this point of the season it is all about who your opponent is and where the game is being played”, commented John Bynum.

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