New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig

Ashanti Cook Deserves Another Chance

Ashanti Cook is a 30 year old 188cm point guard from Inglewood, California who isn´t an unknown face in the German basketball world as he has played in Braunschweig and Hannover. He started his basketball career at Georgetown where he played from 2002-2006 playing a total of 115 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FG: 47%, 3PT: 43.7%, FT: 78%. He started his professional basketball career in 2006 with the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (Germany-1.Bundesliga)playing 33 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 51.2%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 81.3%. He also gained experience in the D-league, Mexico and Macedonia. He is looking to jump start his basketball career again. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Ashanti thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you and how have you been enjoying your summer?

Sure no problem and thank you for this opportunity. I am enjoying my summer in Los Angeles, California and having a great summer. I’m working out staying in basketball ready shape, and training kids in basketball skills. Also taking a vacation or two here and there, that’s how I’m enjoying my summer.

Time really flies Ashanti, your turning 31 years old and it has been almost 10 years since you were a rookie with Braunschweig in Germany. Has your professional basketball career really flown by or has the lack of games in nine seasons made your career seem quite long?

Yes it does, time flies so fast. I remember it like yesterday I was a rookie in Braunschweig and learning the ropes of European basketball from the veterans on the team especially Tory Walker, he taught me a lot in that year. My professional career has been interesting. It’s had a lot of ups and downs and been inconsistent but it has taught me perseverance, and to never doubt my abilities or myself one bit. It’s been a great teacher of life that I have been able to apply to in my personal life.


Nate Fox Passes Away

The basketball world has recieved some very sad news with the death of Nate Fox (206-F/C-77, college: Maine). According to news reports Fox died from gun shot wounds in Bloomingdale, Illinois 25 miles west of Chicago after finding Fox shot, he was taken to Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, where he later died. Fox had been retired from professional basketball since 2012 and can look back on a very long basketball career having played in Europe from 2000-2012. Fox played 5 seasons in Germany four with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and one season with Braunschweig.

Fox was a 37 year old that was a 206cm power forward and started his basketball career at Boston College. He finished his last two years at college at Maine. As a senior he averaged 19.0ppg 8.0rpg. He came to Europe in 2000 and as a rookie played for Aveiro Esgueira (Portugal) and later replaced injured Darius Hall at Ciudad de Huelva (Spain-LEB1). In his second season he played for Esgueira Aveiro (Portugal): left in Oct. ’01: 3 games: 15.3ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3bpg, 3.3spg, then joined Barreirense (Portugal): 15 games: 19.8ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.9spg. In his third season 2002-2003 he had his first stay with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and in the always improving Beko BBL put up respectable stats of 11,5 ppg, 6,7 rpg. In his fourth season he got further experience in new countries like Hapoel Haifa/Ramat Hasharon (Israel-Premier L.): 8 games: 15.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.9apg, 1.6spg, in Feb.’04 signed at Vastiau Basket Groot Leuven (Belgium-D1): 19 games: 16.0ppg, 10.9rpg, 2.7apg. In 2004-2005 he played for MPC/Capitals Groningen (Holland-Eredivisie): 6 games: 12.3ppg, 8.7rpg, 1.3apg, 2.2spg: left in Nov.’04, in Jan.’05 signed at Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 14 games: 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.1apg, 1.5spg, 2.1bpg, 2FGP-3 (70.6%), 3FGP: 31.8%. After finishing the 2004-2005 season with Leverkusen, he would remain three more seasons there and have his most fruitful and successful time there. He played with players like Derrick Allen who built a potent 1-2 punch in the front court and guys like Eric Taylor, Jared Newson, Brandon Woudstra and Brant Bailey will surely never forget his competiveness on the court. In the 2008-2009 season he played for BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn (Estonia-KML, starting five)Basketball Arbitral Tribunal BAT: 0166/11: Estonian League: 15 games: 12.2ppg, Reb-5 (7.1rpg), 1.5apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 62.8%, 3PT-3 (46.9%), FT: 69.7%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 14.3ppg, 7.7rpg, 2.3apg, 1.7spg; Baltic League (Elite Group): 19 games: 14.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 67.6%. In 2009-2010, he returned back to Germany to play for Braunschweig playing 18 games: 7.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 62.5%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 66.7%. IN the 2010-2011 season he played for STB Le Havre (France-ProA): 13 games: 6.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, FGP-1 (73.8%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 50.0%. He played his last season in 2011-2012 for Generali Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-D1): EuroChallenge: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 60.5%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 80.0%; Belgian League: 32 games: 4.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.5apg.

Nate Fox (206-F/C-77, college: Maine) will always be remembered as a very hard working big man that loved the physical play and never shyed away from anyone. He may not have been liked by his opponents who tried to avoid his physicality, but was loved on his own team as he was a team player and simply a warrior on the court. The basketball world will miss Nate Fox (206-F/C-77, college: Maine)! R.I.P Nate Fox (206-F/C-77, college: Maine)

Can Raoul Korner Lead The New Yorker Phantoms Back To The Beko BBL Playoffs?

There were many many long and hard winter nights in the Volkswagon arena in Braunschweig for basketball club New Yorker Phantoms between 2003 and 2009 where winning and breathing playoff air in May was about as difficult as fans starting to believe now that Chicago Bull Derrick Rose will ever play another healthy season in the NBA. With the arrival of 1995 Korac cup winner with Alba Berlin, head coach Sebastian Machkowski, the tide started to turn in Braunschweig as he got the right player mix and the club made three playoffs in a row and basketball actually started to become  a trend again in the city where Eintracht Braunschweig soccer has been an institution for years despite playing in lower divisions. Last season Machkowski fled to Oldenburg and prompt continued his magical touch of coaching leading his new team to the Beko BBL final, while new Phantom coach Kostas Flevarakis was unable to keep the playoff run of four consecutive years intact. The only thing that really was a news story last season in Braunschweig was German point guard Dennis Schroeder and his last season in Braunschweig. At times, Schroeder was more in the news then the basketball team as for some it was more interesting what was up and how he was helping his mom in her beauty salon then it was hearing about a thunderous Nick Schneiders dunk or national team story from Eric Boating from the 2012 Olympics in London. At times the biggest news story in Braunschweig besides Schroeder was how many and from what NBA city scouts were from as they were observing the talented young German. Ex Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin will have Schroeder in memory from two games, one from the 2011-2012 season where Schroeder then 18 almost beat Frankfurt at the end in Frankfurt had he not missed a free throw and his 13 point second quarter blast in six minutes where he hit two three pointer a pull up jumper and once ran around the Frankfurt half court at ease as if he was on the playground and the Skyliners were adults not being able to stop him and then  haitting a jumper over 210cm center Johannes Voigtmann as if it was the easiest thing. There really wasn´t so much to cheer about last season in Braunschweig besides the spectacular play by Schroeder and Braunschweig finally winning at home again after 7 loses in a row against Frankfurt in the Volkswagon arena. This season there is no Dennis Schroeder, but still as always the mean looking mascot phantom who can probably have an interesting sneering contest against Immanuel Mcelroy. This season the club will try it´s luck for a new birth in the Beko BBL playoffs in a league that gets more competitive each season. With new Austrian coach Raoul Korner, the team has a man with 16 years coaching experience. He has a respectable coaching resume having coached 12 years in Austria and winning 2 cups and one championship with 2 separate teams. He coached the last three years in Holland with Den Bosch where he won the championship in 2012 and cup in 2013 and was a 3 time allstar. He is a coach that is a strong believer of communication.The question is how well he can adapt to the strong Beko BBL that is a few gears above Austria and Holland.


Dennis Schroeder Buries The Fraport Skyliners In The Second Quarter Leading The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig To A 73-66 Victory

One thing that is always very interesting and exciting to observe is how a very young German player develops over the years after showing enormous potential at a very young age. In the last years there have been numerous talented players that have gone a healthy route in their development. Who could forget the daring comparison of Stephan Baeck of Tibor Pleiss to Dirk Nowitzki many years ago. Since then the 215cm lanky giant has gone an interesting direction having started with Rhein Energy Cologne  where he already played ULEB Cup with 18 years of age. He then went to Bamberg where he won 6 titles, was drafted by the New Jersey Nets and now plays for Caja Laboral Vitoria (Spain-ACB) battling his way to 15 minutes playing time. Another promising German is Robin Benzing who first got some publicity playing for TV Langen and was able to practice with the Frankfurt Skyliners. Instead of playing for Frankfurt, he opted to go to ratiopharm Ulm where he continued to develop under Mike Taylor and was the top german scorer in the 2010-2011 season. Before even playing a single Beko BBL game, he made big strides at the 2009 European championships playing  6 games: 5.5ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 91.7%. He moved to German tradional team FC Bayern Munich where last season, he seemed a bit lost in a huge rotation, but this season since the arrival of Svetislav Pesic has been reborn and playing superb basketball being a main factor in both wins against Frankfurt. This season a player that has made the biggest strides so far is 19 year old Dennis Schroeder of the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. Already last season, one could see the unending potential that was stuck in the 181cm point guard. This season he has leaped as it seems over the Swiss alps in his development and now instead of being a young talented bench player has become one of the most reliable players and is currently their leading scorer and is the best point guard behind German national players Per Guenter, Heiko Schaffartzik and Anton Gavel. His rise is simply amazing as he quickly replaced the experienced Miah Davis in the starting rotation. He had some strong games at the start with 16 points against TBB Trier and BBC Bayreuth, but since registering eight points in a 80-85 loss against Tuebingen on November 17th, he has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 games.In this span, he has averaged 15ppg and nearly 4,0apg. He recently scored 20 points in 29 minutes against the Brose Baskets Bamberg while shooting 7/10 from the field. He is making very wise decisions on the court while playing hard defense. When you see his play, he looks like an NCAA top kid ready to fly to the NBA. “Schroeder is getting playing time and getting important experience. As a result of his good play, NBA scouts are looking at him. The question is how well his social competence is in his development as a player. Frank Menz helped to discipline him and how to behave on and off the court. The club has much confidence in him. He plays very boldly and could be a factor for the German national team soon. He needs to keep defense as important as offense, but he is developing in a good way”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. Schroeder who started many games this season as was top scorer in many as well came from the bench for the second straight game against the Fraport Skyliners, but put his stamp on the game in the second quarter scoring 13 points in six minutes turning a close game into a Sunday stroll in downtown Braunschweig leading the Phantoms to a 73-66 win as well as getting any more NBA scout doubters 100% on his side as scouts from the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers were present. After the game a defeated Quantez Robertson gave an emotionless comment about the 19 year German wunderkind. “Schroeder was a huge spark off the bench. His confidence and good shooting were impressive and they were able to keep the lead and win”, stressed Quantez Robertson. It seems also that no young German player in the Beko BBL has developed as quickly as he has in the last three months. “ I think that Dennis was already playing like this when I came at the start of the season. He does great things in practice and it shows in games. He is a leader at his position and always so competitive”, commented 2012 Olypmic competitor Eric Boateng. “Schroeder hurt us today the same way he did in the game when I was with Giessen. He attacked the high pick and role and has a real advantage against the big man. He reads the defense so well, stays low and knows how to draw contact. He has so much confidence when taking shots and his penetration opens it up”, expressed Ryan Brooks. Even young German Johannes Voigtmann of the Fraport Skyliners was in awe of his talent. “Schroeder has been top scorer in many games and just leads the team and his coolness on the court is amazing and when he drives to the hoop, he is always aggressive. He is solid on defense and with his long arms makes it very hard for guards”, added Johannes Voigtman.


Can Lubos Barton Give The Needed Push To Help The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig Cruise In The Stretch Run?

With the second half of the Beko BBL in full swing, clubs are as motivated to reach the playoffs or to escape the unwanted cellar of the standings as the Harbaugh brothers were as earning bragging rights at the next Thanksgiving feast in front of family and friends, San Antonio Spur Tony Parker making it known in his lawsuit against a New York club that singer Chris Brown is a violent thug in reference to a bar brawl last year in New York city where the French man had part of his cornea injured by a flying piece of glass during a brawl between Brown´s posse and that off Drake´s group or Takeru Kobayashi having the ability to enhale a whole pizza in one minute at a Super Bowl party. Recently teams have been adding players to help bolster their roster for the stretch run. The Artland Dragons haven´t had much luck with position four players this season with guys like Dennis Horner, Andrew Drevo and Ryan Gomes coming and going, but now seem to have landed the perfect fix with golf fanatic Brad Buckman who has been integrated quickly and seems to have a blind understanding with baby Shaq Anthony King. The Fraport Skyliners are trying to get out of the damp swamp at the bottom of the standings and have added Americans Ryan Brooks and Laquan Prowell who added an extra spice to the offense with scoring support, three point excellence and defense spark. “Our offense hasn´t been this good in a while”; stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg have added two Americans with Eric Coleman and Lawrence Westbrook who prompt help beat BBC Bayreuth in their first game with their combined scoring in the last minute. The team seems to be going in an upward spiral with John Patrick at the helm with a two game winning streak. Another team that is hoping to jump from the bottom are the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig who have a talented roster on paper, but are currently in 17th place. The club recently stocked up with Lubus Barton who is a 32 year old 202cm forward form the Czech Republic that is a great athlete. Excellent shooter from various range, but can easily run in the traffic. Good ball handling skills and is very useful on defensive end, where he can get many rebounds. He played at  Valparaiso(NCAA) where Chris Ensminger also played from 1998-2002. He turned professional in 2002 and has played in the top leagues since in the Italian Serie A and the last seven years in the ACB where he played two seasons for FC Barcelona. The question is how quickly he can get integrated and help Braunschweig? “Barton is a great player. I saw him play with the Czech Republic national team. I like his game. He is a stretch four that knows where the basket is. He is hardworking and fits well to the team as there is no alternative to Harding Nana. If he plays the three, he will create massive match up problems as he can move well. He reminds me a bit of a Jacob Burtschi. He will help Braunschweig. There is a reason he played for FC Barcelona, because of his skills”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.


How Prolific Will The New Guard Duo Mentorship Between Dennis Schroeder And Miah Davis Be With The New Yorker Phantoms This Season?

In the basketball business there are always special relationships on the court between teammates that are as interesting to observe as if Brit superstar Robbie Williams new album Take the crown will rise or fall in the hearts of people, if any crazy people actually dressed up as one of the basketball wives from Halloween or if legendary astronaut Buzz Aldran would ever strap on his moon boots again for  a trek up to the moon  especially when its concerning an older player showing a younger player at the same position the ropes of the game. There always seem to be those exciting situations where there comes a time for the older more experienced player to pass the torch along to the more younger and hungry player looking to make an impact on the court. Current Skyliner Zach peacock was a freshman at Georgia Tech when current NBA player Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers was a senior. Peacock could learn valuable things at the forward position from the NBA veteran who had 383 NBA games coming into the current season. 13 years ago a young Pascal roller came to Frankfurt after three years in Freiburg and soon made an impact in the Beko BBL. For Roller being able to make the next step in the top German league had a lot to do with German legend Kai Nurnberger who won the European championships in 1993 and played four years in Frankfurt with the ex Skyliner captain help grooming him into  atop German point guard in his career. This season, there is a similar situation in Braunschweig with 20 year old German Dennis Schroeder and 31 year old American Miah Davis who is sprouting of much basketball experience having played in countries like Poland, Cyprus and Belgium. Schroeder was already getting minutes last season under ex head coach Sebastian Machowski and this season is doing the same as new coach Kostas Flevarakis has not been shy from proclaiming that he wants to give the young players a chance. It will be interesting to see how this point guard duo develops and how Dennis Schroeder continues to grow as a point guard under the watchful eye of Miah Davis. At only at the age of 19, Dennis Schroeder is already in the notebooks of NBA scouts. His biggest strength for that market is his quick first step, ball handling and the ability to change speeds and be shifty with the ball keeping the defense off balance. His outside shot is improving as well, his defense is already very strong with his length and getting in the passing lanes, but he often looks out of place against bigger and older players. It is already an experience seeing this talented player play at this age. “Dennis Schroeder is a talented player that is going to be an exceptional player. Certain players need longer to develop especially with point guard and centers where there is a great er risk of making mistakes. He is already playing very well for his age. It doesn´t surprise me that NBA scouts already are showing interest. His quickness and understanding of the game is very valuable. The big question is his discipline. He can be difficult to work with. Frank Menz always says that you need a tight reign on him and need to control him and watch him closely. It is hard to tell in which direction he will go. The metal part is very important. When you see NBA teams with problem players than they aren´t successful. But Dennis is going in the right direction. I like Miah Davis very much. I think he will help Dennis a lot”, warned basketball expert Steven Clauss.


Rich Melzer (You Have To Appreciate How Far FC Bayern Munich Went This Season)

Rich Melzer is a 32 year old 203cm forward/center from Minneapolis, Minnesota that is playing his first season for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. He played at : Wisconsim-River Falls (NCAA3) from 2000-2004. In his 8 year professional basketball career, he has played in countries like New Zealand, France, Israel and Australia. He had his first tour of duty in Germany in the 2007-2008 season with Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-1.Bundesliga): ULEB Cup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 2.0rpg; German League: 1 game: 11pts, 2reb, 1steal. In his rookie season, he took part at the Washington Wizards training camp. Last season he played for Hapoel Holon (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 30 games: 16.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 75.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the 2012 Beko BBL playoff series.

How surprised were you that the s:Oliver Baskets Wurzburg got past Alba Berlin 3-1? What was key in this series for Alba Berlin getting an early summer vacation?

I was a bit surprised but only based on the budgets of both teams. I know the Berlin supporters and management is less than pleased right now. But you can’t underestimate a team who plays as gritty and as tough and as scrappy as Wurzburg. They’re no fun to play against, especially at their place. I know Berlin has a higher caliber of all around players, but sometimes when you know you should win it makes it even more difficult to do so and can be a disadvantage as it was for Berlin this season. Kudos to Wurzburg as well for pulling together for the upset in the series.

Were you surprised by the easy time that ratiopharm Ulm had in getting past the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig? What was key for Ulm advancing?

They’re a team that has obviously had great chemistry and synergy with one another and its only grown exponentially throughout the season. They trust in each other and they all play well together and it seems everyone knows their roles on that team. Aside from what I observed from the players while competing against them, they’re also well coached and to have a unit that close and willing to sacrifice for one another obviously has to be encouraged and facilitated from the coaches as well. Its no surprise in hindsight that they were able to for lack of a better word “cruise,” by us in the first-round. I give credit to all my teammates as talent-wise, we have what I believe to be one of the best group of players and veterans in the league and under most circumstances, would have shown a better effort to advance had we had the support system and ability to make adjustments faster like they did. The key for Ulms advancement is simple, they were better prepared than us and it continued to snowball for them through the season.


Dennis Schroeder (New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig): My Dream Is To Play In The States Someday

Dennis Schroeder is an 18 year old 186cm guard that plays for the Spot Up Medien Baskets Braunschweig (ProB) and New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (1.Bundesliga). Last season in the PRO B, he played 24 games: 8.5ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.2apg, FGP-2(68.7%), 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 80.4%. Last summer, he played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 13.5ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-3(4.9apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 63.6%. German Hoops had a chat with him at the 2012 Beko BBL Allstar game.

This was your first time at the Beko BBL Allstar day. How did you like it?

I really have enjoyed the day a lot and it was a great experience.

You had six points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals in 25 minutes in the NBBL Allstar game. What grade would you give yourself?

I would give myself a German grade of 3.


Jimmy Mckinney Uses His Mizzou Tiger Claws Tipping The Fraport Skyliners To Victory Over Braunschweig 81-80

Winning against the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in the last decade has come as easy for the Frankfurt Skyliners as it is for Hollywood actor George Clooney to decline marriage proposals, Blake Griffin dunking over Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma Thunder or New England Patriot Tequan Underwood carving the team logo into his head for the Super Bowl as the last time Frankfurt lost to Braunschweig was 71 months ago and 13 wins ago. The last time, Frankfurt had to creep back into their locker room defeated in their own living room, their opponent was called TXU Braunschweig, Phantoms shooting star point guard Dennis Schroeder was nine years old, the German version of American idol was still a few months from going on air, Jan Lipke was on the Braunschweig roster at age 19, Immanuel Mcelroy was playing for the Grand Rapids Hoops and the Boston Red Sox were still living in the curse of the Bambino as Braunschweig won 80-62, 112 months ago. In that win, the point guard was a little known American named Demond Mallet who had 20 points and the Skyliners were led by Andy Kwiatkowsky with 16 points. Braunschweig will have to wait another season to get that most desired win as they lost again failing 81-80 in OT losing their second consecutive game in the extra time. “It was an ugly win, but a win is a win. The Skyliners have had their number in this series for a while. They came back, but we got the win and can knock on wood for keeping the long winning streak intact”, stated Skyliner forward Jacob Burtschi. Before the game, Phantom sport director Oliver Braun was very composed and seemed almost a bit too confident in the chances of his club. “A series always has to end sometime. I remember I was playing in Greece the last time they won”, stressed Oliver Braun. “I don´t think much about history and what once was. This was a good win, even though it almost back fired for us”, expressed Skyliner captain Marius Nolte.

The Fraport Skyliners entered the Fraport arena riding on a two game losing streak and were looking for their third win in their own stomping ground. The team that had averaged 63 points in the 11 games prior to the last two loses, had given up an average 80 points in the last loss. After three quarters, it looked like they would reach their solid defensive average before their two game losing streak, but gave up 31 points in the fourth quarter and almost lost the game in OT to young germna talent Dennis Schroeder.