Jacob Burtschi

Jacob Burtschi (I Don’t Think I’m Still 100% Ready To Retire But It Seems Like The Best Move For Now)

Jacob Burtschi is a 32 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma that can look back at a 6 year professional basketball career and has decided to retire. He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. As a rookie in 2010-2011 he played for ). He played as a rookie for Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011 averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB) playing 9 games averaging  2.6ppg, 2.4rpg; left in Nov.’11, in Dec.’11 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): German League: 22 games: 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 87.5%; EuroCup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games averaging 9.8ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 45.9%, 3FGP: 40.3%, FT: 89.3%. He returned back to the Fraport Skyliners in 2013 where he would play two more seasons and played a total of 63 BBL games for them. Last season he played for the Bisons Loimaa (Finland-Korisliiga): VTB League: 19 games: 6.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 72.7%; Finnish Korisliiga: 15 games: 10.2ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 42.3%, 3FGP: 43.7%, FT: 94.4%. He then played with Soles de Mexicali (Mexico-LNBP) playing 13 games: 8.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 88.9%. The American spoke to German Hoops quite a few times in his professional career and in his 20th interview for the sight gave one last farewell interview.

Jacob thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how was your summer this time around? Was there more reflection around for you as you were thinking about your future and basketball career?

I am currently in Oklahoma where I am spending time with the family and letting the body heal. I´m not getting any younger and being away from family for 6 years is tough.

You have decided to hang them up. How did you tackle this summer in terms of possibly continuing your basketball career. Did the good basketball situations just not pop up the way you had liked?

I continued to train and prepare for next season. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a ton of opportunity to return.


Jacob Burtschi Finds A Second Lake Burtschi Pacing The Fraport Skyliners With 10 Three Pointers Past Bremerhaven 88-79

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.


The Jacob Burtschi Three Pointers Put The Fraport Skyliners In Cruise Control Spanking ratiopharm Ulm 71-67

Back in college at Creighton, Dane Watts was as used to playing for conference titles and winning with guys like NBA forward Anthony Tolliver and Nate Funk as Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Ryan Brooks was to winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament in 2009-2010, but as the Missouri native turned professional in 2008, it took him a few years to finally have a chance of winning  a title again in Germany. In his first three seasons in Germany, Watts played for middle class teams like Ludwigsburg and two years in Tuebingen. In 2011, he was signed by ratiopharm Ulm where he joined a top notch team in the making that was a Beko BBL finalist in 2012 and German Supercup finalist in 2013. These were two productive season for the American until his misfortune in January 2013 as he was injured and had to sit out a year. This season he is back with the Fraport Skyliners, but on a team that will need much luck to reach the playoffs with best a very long winning streak to end the season which is about as likely as his ex team Tuebingen staying in the Beko BBL. For  a professional player it is always a treat to meet again with an ex team and with Ulm playing in Frankfurt, Watts was reunited with German national player Per Guenther and Jon Leuer friend from Wisconsin(NCAA) Keaton Nankivil who were his teammates for two seasons. Watts had a tremendous debut as a Skyliner in Oldenburg netting 22 points and eight rebounds in a bitter loss and scoring 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter in  a bitter 77-76 loss in Ludwigsburg.Watts and the Fraport Skyliners met ratiopharm Ulm on a Sunday afternoon matinee and two weeks in a row Watts was unable to play and battle ex teammates like John Byrant and Per Guenther on account of his broken nose. Watts was able to enjoy two big wins the last two weekends against FC Bayern Munich and the latest 71-67 spanking against ratiopharm Ulm. “It was tough not being able to play against John Bryant last week and Per Guenther this week. I really wanted to play, but am alos happy we won. It was good for our confidence. I am really starting to get know the fan section to the left. I still have a ringing in my ear”, smiled Missouri native Dane Watts.”It is always nice to Dane Watts, but I am happy that I didn´t have to play against him, because he had told me that he wanted to set some mean blocks”, smiled German national player Per Guenther. Ulm American Keaton Nankivil exited the locker room with another loss as he is 0-3 in Frankfurt and also was unable to battle his ex teammate. “It was sad not to play him, but then again nice that he couldn´t hurt us. I am really happy that he is in a good situation in Frankfurt”, added ex Wisconsin forward Keaton Nankivil.


When Jacob Burtschi (Eisbaeren Bremerhaven) Talks, People Listen

Usually when a new captain is named by a Beko BBL team, there are not more than a few sentences dropped if that, but when I saw the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven announcement back in September that Jacob Burtschi would get the captain duties it pleased me, but on the other hand didn´t surprise me either, because the Oklahoma native isn´t your typical player or captain either.  After a NCAA career with the Air Force, he has started his third professional season with the Eisbaeren after showing his talent already with Phoenix Hagen and the Fraport Skyliners and getting a tooth pick taste of how the ACB in Spain works with his short stay with CAI Zaragoza.

As a rookie with Phoenix Hagen, Burtschi played  33 games averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. He was honoured by Eurobasket.com with Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Newcomer of the Year -11, Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 3rd Team -11, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team -11. Already as a rookie, the charming 198cm forward showed how versatile he can be, but on account of him playing on a team that relied on scoring more than the other team even if it was a 105-102 result to win, his other qualities on the court that were already prevalent for captain qualities seemed a bit overshadowed.


Can Jacob Burtschi and Co Help Lead The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven Back To The Beko BBL Playoffs?

It always a delight when a Beko BBL team returns to face off against an ex teammate. In the last years the Fraport Skyliners had to tangle with former players like Derrick Allen who continued to ballerina Skyliner players dizzy like a kid trapped on a merry go round, Koko Archibong who seemed like an even more foreign on body each passing year with his further stations in Duesseldorf, Giessen and BBC Bayreuth denying Dashaun Wood a win despite a big win, Ken Johnson being a menace swatting away balls with Bonn or Max Weber who has been a Beko BBL traveler having played in Giessen, Goettingen and now the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg getting in a laugh in the first game of the season beating his ex team. This Sunday the Fraport Skyliners have a basketball date with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and ex player Jacob Burtschi. Burtschi wasn´t only a great player with his short stay with the team after coming in December 2011 for the NBA departed Jon Leuer and without the Oklahoma native might never have had such a successful second half of the season just missing the Beko BBL playoffs with a last game loss in Bonn. Burtschi might be the most charismatic player in the 14 year history of the Frankfurt Skyliners. Burtschi was a guy that brought a positive attitude to the club on and off the court. He enjoyed competiting, playing hard, giving 180% and diving for the ball until he was black and blue, but retaining that boyish look and charm. Who could forget his interview session at the Skyliner tuxedo fitting day where he grabbed the mic and interviewed Skyliner players and made it look easy and seemed to be like a Carson, Leno and Letterman in one 198cm body. He is a player that can can do it all on the court which is shoot, rebound, play defense and lead a team. As the team started 0-3, he led his team to a whipping of the LTi Giessen 46ers 114-80 where he was top scorer where he was all over the court and the only thing missing was him interviewing Giessen mascot Fabius and being critical asking him why he hadn´t given more effort firing up his team. His hidden strength is his passing and he loves monopoly which he played with a passion as he was a member of Phoenix Hagen. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven have gotten off to a slow start at 1-3 and have missed the Beko BBL playoffs the last years and if there is one guy that can help lead the team back to the promised land of the playoffs then it is Jacob Burtschi. Bremerhaven is a handful of decent clubs hoping to get back there. It doesn´t matter who you talk to, every person has only positive things to say about the Oklahoma native. Last season with the Frankfurt Skyliners there was the debate if he was better kept playing the three or four which ha dalso been an issue in 2008-2009 with Konrad Wysocki. “Jacob Burtschi is a very interesting young man. I saw him play with Phoenix Hagen. He is a tweener. I remember talking about Klaus Perwass. We had different ideas about where he should play, but as coaches you are always right. I think he is more a three, but he played the position four with Frankfurt and Hagen. It will be interesting to see how Doug Spradley plays him. I think he is better at the three since he has a good shot and can move well. At the position four he has to play more at the hoop and can have problems with more physical four opponents. He is a very good player and will be very motivated to play against his old team”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The ex teammates of Burtschi in Frankfurt also had good memories of the Oklahoma native. “I am looking forward to playing against him again. I remember him telling me where the best food places were in Frankfurt and he knew that already after  a few weeks there. He also always joked saying I stole his rebounds”, smilied Texas native Devin Gibson.


The Fighting Lion Jacob Burtschi Carries The Fraport Skyliners Past ratiopharm Ulm 77-64

In the last years when contemplating about the Schwaben club ratiopharm Ulm, one usually had the big all American smile of Mike Taylor in their thoughts, Coleman Collins being the basketball version of GQ, Robin Benzing being able to fine tune his game for two seasons there like a rookie race horse or Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis having to dig out Lebron James antidotes from their times at St Marys high school in Ohio. However times have changed as these people are all gone and usually around this time at the beginning of April, ratiopharm Ulm was usually sleep walking somewhere in the middle of the standings starting to book their flights back home and breaking in a few chic Ulm cafe´s. However this season ratiopharm Ulm have been having a Cinderella type season being a force in the Beko BBL and fighting to keep their second place standing. The Eric Chadfield buzzer beater may be five and half years old, but ratiopharm Ulm met a very focused Fraport Skyliners who were as ready as Jimmy Mckinney always is with his Mizzou Tiger scowl as they were able to dismantle the club of Thorsten Leibenath 77-64. Besides the big win players were able to reflect after the win the amazing transformation that ratiopharm Ulm has undergone in the last year. Jacob Burtschi who played like a fighting lion was all smiles after the game and was just waiting for his dinner reward as this Lion had once again played to the limit helping any which way he could on the court. “Nobody expected this team to be in second place at this time. They have added great players and each guy knows his role and they are always ready to play”, stressed ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. Dane Watts always looks like he could grace the cover of GQ has seen the transformation this season from day one. “The success has to do with a different philosophy and that defense first has been instilled. We play team defense, work together well and just have good character guys on the team”, expressed ex Walter Tiger Tuebingen forward Dane Watts. Skyliner captain Marius Nolte didn´t as he was still nursing an injury, but had only the utmost respect for ratiopharm Ulm. “I always like looking back on the games against Ulm especially the hard fought battles in the Kuhberg gym. The secret is that each player knows his role and coach Leibenath has done a fine job putting his signature on the style of play. He really has done a great job forming this team”, expressed Skyliner captain Marius Nolte.


Johannes Herber (Fraport Skyliners) Jacob Burtschi Would Be The Hunter And I Would Build The Hut In The Wilderness

Johannes Herber is a 29 year old 197cm shooting guard from Darmstadt, Germany that is playing his first season for the Fraport Skyliners. He started his basketball career in 1999 for TV Langen where he played until 2002. He then played for West Virginia from 2002-2006 playing a total of 128 NCAA games reaching the NCAA elite 8 in 2005 and NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. H ethen played for Alba Berlin from 2006-2009 playing a total of 48 Beko BBL games and 10 ULEB Cup games and two Euroleague games. He battled ACL injuries in his time in the German capital. Last season, he played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen playing 34 games averaging 6.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against Alba Berlin.

What do you remember most from the amazing 76-68 win against the Brose Baskets Bamberg?

Just the good feeling after the game. It is also nice seeing how the team has developed since the first loss in Bamberg and how many steps it has taken.

Bamberg came back in the second quarter to lead 37-36. How big was the belief of winning still at halftime?

The belief was there. We had shown early that we felt we could win with our good start. We got a bit tired in the second quarter and it was obvious that there would be some runs in this game. We wanted to play the third quarter like we did in the first quarter and did. If someone had told us before the game that we would be down by one point at halftime, we would very gladly have accepted it.