The NBBL season keeps moving along and while Alba Berlin is making their presence known in the north, it is Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners that are dominating in the south just blowing everything away that dares to get in the way like a snow blower does earasing unwanted snow on a frozen football field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners have simply been incredible bringing a lethal 6-0 record into the game averaging a potent 88 points on offense and standing like a non-destructable wall on defense allowing only 51 points per game. The club has been led by top NBBL player Len Schoorman who continues to impress everyone and plays like a man among boys. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners met the RheinStars Cologne who had only a 3-3 record, but seemed to have found themselves in the previous weeks having won three of their last four contests and as of late had played their best basketball of the season as they took apart BG Goettingen 85-53 and wiped away the Baskets Juniors 67-36. The team from the Dome city came to Frankfurt with a lot of self confidence from their last wins, but had to contend with one of the top teams in the NBBL with Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners and played their hearts out, but had a extremely bad shooting day and couldn´t find a consistent rhythm against Frankfurt´s nasty press defense. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners played an all-around solid game at both ends of the court powered by the athletic game of Len Schoormann who hit for 26 points. “We played well against their three two zone, drew fouls and got out on transition a lot. We played very good defense in the first half giving up only 25 points, but weren´t as good in the second half. We weren´t as good on the pick and roll and left their shooters open”, stressed German Len Schoormann. It wasn´t a great start for the RheinStars and the day didn´t get any better when half way through the first quarter, they lost their top scorer Thomas Fankhauser who was hit in the face and broke his nose and had to go to the hospital. The club never recovered from that blow despite Germans Joshua Burgunder and Christ Theodor stepping up as best as they could. “We didn´t come to terms with their press. We practiced it all week, but we couldn´t do anything against it in the game. Losing Fankhauser might have affected us also, but I liked how we stayed aggressive until the end”, added Joshua Burgunder.
Late May 2017, the Fraport arena was awarded the NBBL(U-19) and JBBL(U-16) top 4 where the best young prospects in Germany went head to head in the quest for the two titles. Ok so it wasn´t anywhere near seeing men fight in the BBL, but still very interesting basketball and some amazing young talent showcasing their abilities. It is always dangerous to sneak away from your seat to grab a hog dog and coke during the game, because you may just miss some breathtaking play that is always possible even with the kids. At the 4,27 minute mark of the third quarter of the JBBL semi-final between Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners and the Young Tigers Tuebingen, a 193cm seemingly flash of lightening escaped from the right baseline drove by his man as if he was smelling that delicious Hot Dog aroma from the concession stand and had been unwantingly drooling but instead of getting that fatty piece of beef, he finished business throwing down a nasty reverse dunk and possibly catching his real first oohs and aahs in his young career. That burst of energy was none other than 14 year old Len Schoormann of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners who had just given his team the comfortable 67-48 lead as he was leading his team to the JBBL final against Alba Berlin which they would lose, but a new bright basketball star was continuing to slowly make a name. Even NBADraftProspects were watching the game and tweeted “Meet 14 year old Len Schoormann. 6´4” combo guard with freakish tools. Next big prospect from @Skyliners1999? Instead of making last notes and contributions to the 2017 NBA Draft about sleepers like Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell, they were alert about new possible prospects for the future. Many other basketball heads and fans noticed Len Schoorman on this weekend and his development continues to progress in the Fraport Skyliners basketball stall. With the Fraport Skyliners having displayed so many amazing prospects over the last 6-7 years with guys like Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel, Konstantin Klein that have moved on to bigger and better things and still developing guys like Isaac Bonga and Niklas Kiel, the club definitely have a rare gem that will be interesting to watch develop in the next years. The kid has so many rare attributes, but one of the most alluring especially for fans is his ability to stir up that excitement factor each time he has the ball in his hand.
The NBBL regular season is slowly winding down as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners with a record of 8-4 are going down a straight path to the playoffs while the RheinStars Cologne were caught in quick sand early on losing three of their first four games and couldn´t react properly and are going down a different path without the playoffs. In their first meeting in Cologne in November, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners gave a solid performance over 40 minutes winning 84-65 despite coughing up the ball an unacceptable 22 times. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners relied on their consistent defense, depth as German Denis Machlab who isn´t known as a scorer contributed 16 points and six boards in 24 minutes and on their rebounding as they outrebounded the RheinStars 42-30. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners was unable to keep Colognes top prospect Tillmann Woerner who showed his versatile and unselfish play netting 20 points and dishing out seven assists. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners relied on their deep roster in the first win in Cologne as they had four guys scoring in double figures with Machlab, Maxi Begue, Niklas Pons and Leon Puellen. Both teams met in Frankfurt in the pretty BCM gym in the return game which has welcomed NBA players like Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Arroyo and Alan Anderson over the years for an early 1.00pm Sunday matinee. Fans witnessed an exciting ending as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners squeaked out a nail bitter 68-64 as they cruise into the playoffs. Even if the game seemed decided at half time, the RheinStars never gave up and stepped up their game in the second half and could even have won the game on their last possession, but in the end Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had the better nerves. The Fraport Skyliners have been known for years to not only developing young talent, but also finding those young 13-14 year old kids and reeling them in. The next big talent Len Schoormann has been tearing up the JBBL(U-16 league) where he once scored 42 points in a game, but he also has adjusted to the NBBL(U-19 league) and had his real breakout game netting the RheinStars for 26 points showing everyone his world on the court and doing absolute everything on the court and filling the stat sheet like a Russell Westbrook. After the win, the 15 year German reflected on the win and his break out game and was very eloquent and seemed very at ease talking basketball. “We lost our rhythm a bit in the third quarter. We had the needed energy and we knew we had to win to get the home court advantage in the playoffs. Overall we moved the ball well and our good offense gave us more energy to play good defense. I have gotten better into the team the last weeks. There is a difference to the JBBL as here the guys are bigger, understand the game better, have more experience and the skill level is higher. It was important for me that I started off well hitting my first shots which brought me self confidence”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners guard Len Schoormann. The RheinStars Cologne played their hearts out and gave everything despite not having their two top scorers on board. After the loss, one could see the disappointment on the faces of the young players and 16 year old 200cm German Thomas Fankhauser was sad, but also proud of his teammates who never gave up. “We slept at the start, but heightened our game in the second half. We gave a great team effort. We fought hard and it was too bad we couldn´t pull it out at the end. We did a good job compensating the loses of two top players. I felt we moved the ball well and did what the game gave us well”, added RheinStars forward Thomas Fankhauser.