John Little

Pit Bull Little Wins Round One Against Bully Boone as Jordan Theodore Paces The Fraport Skyliners Past The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 83-78

Even if the basketball life of professional players can be a “I am here today, but 1000 miles away tomorrow living and experiencing a new style of play and culture, basketball friendships tend to be built very easily and continue as time goes by as distance can a big factor in keeping them alive. With today´s technology group chat is something that many players live by as Shawn James who had his best years with Macabbi Tel Aviv, but even now after a stay in Spain with Bilbao and now with Euroleague power house Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) still maintains contact with his ex Macabbi players Devin Smith, Tyrese Rice and Ricky Hickman via that route. The most common way to develop a basketball friendship is by having a guy around daily not for just one season, but for many as current Fraport Skyliners Junior Marius Nolte and current Gotha(Pro A) assistant coach Steven Esterkamp had seeing the highs and lows of professional basketball from 2004-2009 with Paderborn as they moved up to the Beko BBL together in 2006 winning 50 games in a row and forcing Alba Berlin to a 5 game playoff series in 2009. Since then if you ask Nolte about Esterkamp, he would say that the Ohio native is one of his best friends as going on vacation with their respective families each summer is nothing uncommon. However the most unique friendship are those that continue to live on year by year as players continue to grow and move on from team to team with that same person. Fraport Skyliner guard John Little and Jason Boone share a very special friendship in that one could easily call them brothers. Boone and Little played together at BG Goettingen from 2008-2011 experiencing their best time there reaching the playoffs each season finishing 2009 and 2010 in second and third place as the club´s 40 minutes of hell on the court gave the BBL a new dimension, winning the Eurochallenge in 2010 and were on the same court playing against Allen Iverson in a Eurocup game in 2011 as he played for Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul (Turkey-TBL). They then moved to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg where they played together from 2011-2014 where they reached one playoff in 2012 kicking out Alba Berlin, but also having woes in their last season as the club finished in 17th place and moved to the Pro A. Of course along the way their head coach and mentor John Patrick played a role in their staying together. Last season Little played in Ludwigsburg and Boone had his first experience outside Germany with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL). This season Boone moved to Ludwigsburg to be reunited with Patrick, but at times it seems like Boone is a part of the Fraport Skyliners as he is seen as often as possible at games supporting his good friend Little making the 2 hour car drive as a sort of sixth man and good luck charm when he is free. Even last season he came from Turkey and supported Little at games as they beat Alba Berlin. Now for the first time in their career, they faced off as opponents as Boone who forms the Bully brothers in Ludwigsburg with Jon Brockman met the pit bull Little which charachterizes his aggressive defense as both teams fought until the end, but the Fraport Skyliners were able to grind out the win 83-78 as they executed in the last minute on offense and Ludwigsburg didn´t. One could of found countless adjectives to describe the game and ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore had no problem either finding the right words. “This was a tough, gritty, hard fought, down and out dirty game, with both wanting to win where both teams fought to the buzzer. A few days ago in Bayreuth we played cocky as if we had won a title or something where we let them dictate the game. Today we dictated the game and were able to pull it out at the end”, stressed Engelwood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore. 2010 Eurochallenge winner Jason Boone was happy to play against his friend, but disappointed with the result. “This wasn´t the most entertaining game to watch. A game can become ugly when two teams like to grind out the way we do. They grinded a bit harder than we did. I always try to go into the game with the same mentality. If you get too motivated it can be a disadvantage. Little is a real fighter and gets his team to fight harder. He never backs down against anyone”, stressed ex BG Goettingen center Jason Boone. Little lost two teeth, but it was worth it getting the win against his friend. “It was crazy playing the first time against him. He is one of my best friends and we are always rooting for each other. It wasn´t the best day for either as we were both in foul trouble. There will be a next battle in Ludwigsburg”, smiled Illinois native John Little. “We rebounded very well and got every loose ball which was the difference. We outworked Ludwigsburg which we didn´t do in Bayreuth”, said Aaron Doornekamp.

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