The basketball Hessen Derby is one of the highlight dates to mark each season along with the Big Three B games with Bamberg, Berlin and Bayern Munich as the rivalry between the Fraport Skyliners and Giessen 46ers is unmatched in the easyCredit BBL as in the last 10 years there have been some unforgettable games like the Desmond Ferguson 30 point game in Giessen or the Rouven Roessler buzzer beater in Frankfurt which left the one or another hardcore fan with the name Rousler forever enshrined in his mind. But there was also a down period from 2013-2015 where the Hessen Derby between the two clubs was absent as the Giessen 46ers moved down to the Pro A and came back to the BBL in 2015 thanks to the hardnosed and precise coaching of ex German national player Denis Wucherer. The Hessen Derby has a special explosive force every season simply because of the intense atmosphere especially in the Giessen arena, but also because of the fan support, but this season this out of the ordinary rivalry was getting a special player spice that it had never seen before, but unfortunately there will be no head to head dynamic Scrubb Duo in the Hessen Derby this season. It is not every day that there are two brothers playing in the easyCredit BBL, but even rarer when two brothers of the amazing magnitude of Philipp Scrubb and Thomas Scrubb who are legends at Carleton university in Canada and would probably be even more known if the country didn´t have ice hockey as their main sport. Philipp Scrubb already wooed the BBL last season with the Fraport Skyliners coming in mid season and being a vital spark plug from the bench and was a key contributor in their success and winning the Fiba Europe cup. He shone with his all-around stellar play and total unselfishness of a player even if his deadly shooting stood in the focus. Even if they would have been foes on the court this weekend, it is refreshing to know how thankful one brother was for having the chance to play together with his brother in college. “It was great playing with my brother during my university career. We never won together in high school so it was great to win so much together at Carleton”, added Thomas Scrubb.
Philip Scrubb has played against many noteworthy players in his basketball career and got a sweet taste in the summer of 2015 when he took part at the Marchand Cup in San Juan (Puerto Rico) -15 (Gold) playing 4 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT-3(85.7%)
and at the FIBA Americas in Mexico -15 (Bronze) playing 10 games averaging 7.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 85.7%. There he played against the best players that the America´s have to offer. Some of these intense challenges that he had to take on was battling NBA and former NBA players like Jose Barea, Luis Scola, Andreas Nocioni or Gustavo Ayon and held his own. Having to battle teammates like Cory Joseph, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson this summer or guys like Andrew Wiggins, Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk last summer in practice most likely made him better as a player without him really noticing. However the biggest battle that he had to conquer with team Canada was to beat France and NBA legend in the making Tony Parker. If Scrubb was in awe of the four time NBA champion and six time NBA allstar was unknown since it isn´t always easy to get underneath the game face of the Canadian. Of course it was a huge deal to face an icon like Parker, but Scrubb knew that with the unbelievable deep roster and talent of the Les Bleues, he had to focus on every player and play team basketball if they had any chance to win. Team Canada had the chance to qualify for the upcoming 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with a victory and Scrubb had to block out too much respect for Parker and co and just play their game knowing that they could produce some new Canadian basketball history with a victory.
A few days ago, the small beautiful country of New Zealand which is best known for their breathtaking landscape and having been the location for the filming of the Lord of the Rings movies and the tiny country that has only 4,4 million inhabitants to boast hasn´t been known for exporting great basketball players except for guys like Steven Adams, Sean Marks and Aaron Baynes to the NBA had the big mighty Les Bleues France at the brink of a loss. This summer the French national team boasts four current NBA players like Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum, but also ex NBA players like Nando De Colo and Mickael Gelabale, but France rallied back and showed their true colors unleashing a lethal 22-2 run in the fourth to escape with a hard fought 66-59 win over the disappointed New Zealand nation. This summer New Zealand has a very hungry group of players that mostly play in the NBL league at home, but also have a few players abroad like Tai Jack Webster who played against the top young Kids in the states at Nebraska (NCAA) or Isaac Fotu who plays for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-Liga Endesa) or Thomas Abercrombie who played at Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir (Turkey-BSL) last season. Corey Webster led New Zealand with 21 points and had the hot hand even if he only shot 7/22. He is definitely a guy that loves to say inside his mind “bombs away” when he is parked behind the three point line. Canada was fortunate that France was able to come back and win the nail bitter, because if they hadn´t Philip Scrubb and co would have had a date with France already in the semi-finals instead of with New Zealand.
Playing back to back games is nothing new for Philip Scrubb as he got a hang of that last season playing NBA Summer league for the Toronto Raptors so having only 24 hours to digest the victory against Turkey before suiting up against Senegal was no sweat for the Canadian native. He surely could of found something to do to pass the time as there is enough to do in a city like Manilla that boasts 1,7 million people like reading up on the history of the city that was founded in 1571 or just daze out of his high rise hotel and enjoy all the lights that make the city seem like a little New York. He most likely just relaxed and got mentally prepared for the next game against African nation Senegal and possibly watching some last minute film on Clevin Hannah of Endesa league team Bilbao who played Eurocup against German teams Bonn and Oldenburg last season.
Last summer Mr Canada Philip Scrubb Scrubb who is inofficially the greatest Canadian University basketball player of all time won a Gold medal at the Marchand Cup in San Juan Puerto Rico and a Bronze at the FIBA Americas in Mexico where combined he shot a ridiculous 49% from the parking lot and his winning didn´t stop there as he also was NBA Summer League champion in Orlando and as a professional rookie with the Fraport Skyliners won the Fiba Europe cup a few months ago. That including his 8 titles with Carleton(CIS) is a lot of hardware and medals, but if you were to ask the Canadian national player if he might trade in some of those titles for a chance to play with the best at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil, it would definitely be interesting to know what his answer would be. For Scrubb, he may just get that chance to mingle with the best athletes in the world in August in Rio, if he and team Canada can qualify in a Fiba tournament in Manilla.
In the last weeks, the Fraport Skyliners have had very exciting times first reaching the Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 to be played in Chalon at the end of the month and were in London, England for a 4 day team building while for Phoenix Hagen the last weeks have been rather more stressful as they suffered the loss to team player and inside presence DJ Covington who went down against the Brose Baskets Bamberg with a brutal season ending injury, had six points withdrawn from their season from the Beko BBL, but last week finally had a bright spot again in their less than satisfactory season as they celebrated a massive 102-82 win against MBC at home. Both teams came into the contest on a rare Thursday night with wins, but one thing that the Fraport Skyliners had to do without was a big tall 201cm 221 pound fellow who always stands out in a crowd wearing his benny cap. The big man setting his own fashion statement is South Carolina native Martinis Woody who would come to Frankfurt on many occasions during the season and make the return and back 288 kilometer trek from Karlsruhe. Last season freak athlete Quantez Robertson would often make the short 23 kilometer trip to Langen to watch Woody play. Five days ago, Woody was key in the win of PS Karlsruhe in Limburg where he helped the team move up to the Pro B league. However this season, the low key American who moonlighted as a kind of babysitter for Quantez Robertson´s girl during the game was more than in a hurry to get back stateside as he wasn´t in the Fraport arena to witness the newest victim of the Fraport Skyliners. The Fraport Skyliners came into the game in fifth place with a record of 20-8 and Phoenix Hagen in 11th place with a record of 12-17 and didn´t need the support of Martinis Woody as they had everything in control after a small lull in the first quarter whipping Phoenix Hagen 86-70. As usual, the Fraport Skyliners got a good lead and then were able to wear down their opponent in the second half. “We had a tough start and we came out slow and engaged. They were able to play their brand of basketball which is a few passes and then quick shots. Then we were able to settle down and you have to give our second unit a lot of credit. They came to play. We showed extreme toughness when we were down continuing to battle back and get the lead. We were able to carry the momentum into the second half and win the game”, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Jordan Theodore. Phoenix Hagen had a potent start, but were unable to keep up the intensity for 40 minutes. “We jumped out on them well at the start, but Frankfurt then subbed and that lite a fire with them. We were never able to find a rhythm in the half-court offense. Frankfurt have very physical guards and bigs and we just couldn´t adjust to that”, added Phoenix Hagen guard Brandon Jefferson. Despite not playing in the second half and possibly playing the least minutes ever in a Fraport Skyliners jersey with 12 minutes and 53 seconds, ex Auburn guard Quantez Robertson had a lightening response ready for why there was no need for his friend Martinis Woody to be at the game. “The kids weren´t here tonight, so there was no need for the babysitter Woody”, smiled Quantez Robertson.
Even now when you can see amazing big name players Like Kyre Irving aka uncle Drew, ex UCONN NCAA champion Kemba Walker, ex Milwaukee Buck Brandon Jennings or future NBA legend in the making Kevin Durant on any given night at the legendary Monsignor Kett Playground a.k.a. Dyckman Park in the Washington Heights/Inwood section of Manhatten, but there was a time when these guys and others were balling and battling each other when they were younger and not as known as they were now and they might have been replaying classic basketball events on the court or just being Michael, Sir Charles, Clyde the glide Drexler or Doctor J Erving and making big time shots in clutch moments or at the buzzer. Some of those guys that have been playing on this legendary playground Dyckman have been Jordan Theodore, Jeremy Hazell of French team Chalon and ex NBA player Scott Machado of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. What they once dreamed about as younger players, now turn into real time situations. Do or die games are always present in all kinds of professional sports, but especially when it´s playoff time and in international club play as the Fraport Skyliners and Israeli team Maccabi Rishon had for the ticket to the Fiba Eurocup Final 4. New York native Mark Lyons came up big last week saving Maccabi Rishon from being kicked out of the competition with a strong 19 point game against Frankfurt and had to show his A-game again while Theodore and the Fraport Skyliners had their second do or die game of the season after disposing of Oldenburg a few months ago to register their ticket to the Beko BBL cup top 4. The Fraport Skyliners have had their ups and downs in do or die games as in the past they won a game five at home in 2004 against the Brose Baskets Bamberg winning their first league title, lost a game five in the 2005 final losing in Bamberg as their opponent got revenge, lost a game five in the 2010 final in Bamberg again, lost a game 5 in 2011 in the semi-finals against Alba Berlin and last season won a game three against Russian team Enisey as they were powered by German national player Johannes Voigtmann with 26 points securing a berth in the Eurochallenge final 4. With having won a do or die game already this season against Oldenburg, the Fraport Skyliners were looking be 2-0 in these types of games and stayed unbeaten as they cruised into the Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 with a big 91-75 win over Maccabi Rishon as it was a total team effort as always. Fraport Skyliners Jordan Theodore didn´t have a typical great game, but was solid and with another step closer in his journey to winning his first professional title and was in a talkative mood about the win and do or die feeling playing against friend Mark Lyons that at times can go on and on as if he were a basketball poet. “It is a blessing to be able to compete at a high level for something so important like the Fiba Europe Cup. This is my first season, but so many guys on the team have been here longer and after losing last season really want to win it this season. I have said it so often in that when we play good defense and move the ball, then we are hard to beat. Our bench came in and it speaks volumes of our team that no one plays for their self, but for the team. Our goal is to continue to get better and win this title. I was so nervous coming in and could hardly sleep. I just wanted to get it over with. Me and Mark Lyons went head to head. We both break down guys and find ways to help teams win. He had a good game whereas I didn´t as much, but we came out on top. I don´t know if there will be a rematch this summer as he lives in Arizona so maybe we will have to meet in between in Miami”, smiled Englewood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore.
What do Dashaun Wood, Andrew Rautins, Jon Leuer, Justin Cobbs, Aaron Doornekamp and Philip Scrubb all have in common? At first glance not much except for the last two, but before all is said and done in four months Philip Scrubb could belong to the six best players Gordon Herbert has ever gotten since returning to the Fraport Skyliners in 2010. The only difference is that with Wood you had a Beko BBL MVP, with Rautins an ex NBA player, Leuer a current NBA player for the Phoenix Suns that played three months in Frankfurt before going to the NBA, Cobbs a point guard that saved last season with his calm play and now moved to FC Bayern Munich and with Doornekamp an experienced Canadian national player that won three medals last summer. While Scrubb is a guy who could add to his 8 titles as a Canadian collegian and simply belong to this crowd should he continue to spark the team the way he has in a short time with his timely shooting, passing and big plays that could very well be the missing piece to winning titles this season. He could possibly win his first title with the Fraport Skyliners in a shorter amount of time than what it will have taken his teammate Doornekamp to have achieved. So what is all this hype about a rookie who when you see walking down the long corridor in the Fraport arena from the locker room to the VIP dining room between a Jordan Theodore and a Quantez Robertson looks more like a ball boy that got lost from staying on the court and getting balls during shoot around or an altar boy who attends to supporting tasks at the altar such as fetching and carrying and ringing the altar bell and just standing by the side of the priest like a loyal dog does his master. When you observe the young man from Richmond, British Columbia shuffling down the hall way, he just doesn´t present that menacing basketball presence, but more of a good boy that took the wrong door and somehow landed between athletic professional basketball players on their way to getting a healthy good meal after another day at the office. The only thing missing for Scrubb would be wearing that white altar boy attire to officially distance himself from everyone else. However looks isn´t everything as Scrubb is as Sean Pean once said in the legendary 80´s movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High The Full hot order at least in basketball terms. For most in Europe, Scrubb is an unknown unturned basketball leaf, but in Canada he is known as the greatest college player ever and also had NBA buzz in the last year.
Before Philip Scrubb came to 2004 Beko BBL champion Fraport Skyliners, he first made history at Carleton. In order to be able to be classified as the greatest Canadian college player ever in Canada, he had to display greatness and did winning five CIS tournaments which is the equivalent of winning the NCAA tournament, racked up 3 OUA tournaments, won CIS All-Canadian Player of the Year three times, was CIS All-Canadian All-Tournament MVP in 2015 and rookie of the year in 2011. He improved his scoring average each season and as a senior played 24 games averaging 19.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 48.9%, FT: 88.2%. His shooting out the lights in the CIS was the norm the way it is for FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi scoring goals as he had season averages of 45% and 53,2% from outside. Some of his best scoring games in his college career were 44 and 32 points against Mcmaster, and 33 points against Brock. His consistency was sizzling in his last four years at Carleton as he scored in double figures in 93 of 104 CIS games. He was teammates with his brother Thomas Scrubb for four years who is also a rookie this season in Finland for Joensuun Kataja Basket (Finland-Korisliiga).Of course the harsh critics will say the CIS doesn´t compare to the more competitive NCAA, but Scrubb proved that he can play against top NCAA teams. His stats don´t lie as he racked up some impressive numbers during some exhibition games against Villanova with 32 points, Wisconsin with 30 points and 12 assists, and took apart Memphis twice with 30 points and then 35 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. The latter stat line against Memphis would have been a solid day at the office for Larry Bird in his days at Indiana State 40 years ago. Once a winner always a winner as his champion traits continued to carry over into last summer. He had a work out with the Toronto Raptors and then played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Memphis Grizzlies) playing 5 games: 2.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 20.0%. He also played NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Toronto Raptors) playing 4 games: 5.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg. He won the NBA Summer League in Orlando with the Grizzles and then wasn´t done and decided to keep chiseling his game and didn´t take a rest to go enjoy his summer on the lakes in British Columbia, but had two tours of duty with the Canadian national team and guess what more hardware there as well in the shape of medals. He took part at the Marchand Cup in San Juan (Puerto Rico) winning the Gold medal as he played 4 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT-3(85.7%). He then played at the FIBA Americas in Mexico winning the Bronze medal playing 10 games averaging 7.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 85.7%. He played against teams from Central America and South America seeing a totally different brand of basketball and often being inserted into the starting line up playing alongside NBA players Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett while other times coming from the bench for Toronto Raptor Cory Joseph. It also didn´t hurt getting valuable experience battling against NBA veterans Luis Scola and Andreas Nocioni from Argentina. One would have thought with so much winning going on in the basketball life of Scrubb that his luck would continue with his path moving to the NBA, but it didn´t. After the Fraport Skyliners had won their 12th game in a row and 8th in a row with Scrubb, head coach Gordon Herbert was asked why Scrubb was in Europe and not exiting the Ritz Carlton hotel in New York city with an NBA team heading for Madison Square Garden. The Canadian head coach had a tough time coming up with a plausible reason why he wasn´t in the NBA as he seemed more concentrated on his chewing gum. “He is a young kid and everyone has NBA dreams. He played well in two NBA summer leagues and then he joined AEK Athens. He needs to be more explosive to make the NBA. It is hard to say, but I believe he needs a couple of years in Europe”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert.
Scrubb started his professional career in Greece with AEK Athens and right from the get go knew that his new challenge wouldn´t be a cake walk as the guard competition was fierce. The club had respectable players like DJ Cooper, Giannis Kalambokis, Nontas Papantoniou, Malik Hairston and Chris Warren. In the Greek division he played 5 games averaging 12 minutes and 4,2ppg, 1,6rpg and 1,0apg while shooting 50% from downtown and in Euro Cup play played 6 games averaging only 4,7 minutes per game. He had very little luck there averaging 0,7ppg and going 0/6 from the parking lot. Perhaps he mistakingly had on a white altar boy robe which got lost in the shuffle of the yellow uniforms of AEK Athens. It was a total change of pace from his previous winning ways and always being a force on the court, but he took his short stay in Greece in stride. “I played in the first game and got decent minutes. I thought that I played decent, but then we started to lose. Then I wasn´t put in anymore. The head coach had a lot of pressure to win. I think that he wanted to play me, but he wasn´t totally comfortable in doing it”, stressed Philip Scrubb.
It didn´t take long for the Canadian to find a new team as he was hauled in by the Fraport Skyliners on January 7th first for a two week try-out, but with his instant success to the club, he was soon given the contract extension to the end of the season. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert once again let his contacts go to work as he obviously had heard of the Canadian, but also got good feedback from Aaron Doornekamp who had played with him last summer as well as Carleton head coach Dave Smart. Scrubb came to Frankfurt in the midst of a winning streak and since he has arrived has contributed in a major way helping give support in 8 wins. He also helped the farm team win in Nordlingen as he gave instant power with 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The first thing that stands out was his quick ability to fit in and have absolutely no problems adjusting to anything. “The way the team plays makes it easy for me to fit in. Every player knows how to pass and are unselfish. The team has good ball movement and it lets me make the simple plays. I don´t have to overthink too much”, stressed Philip Scrubb. His head coach is also very impressed by his quick integration. “He doesn´t play like a rookie, but like a guy who has been in the league for 4-5 years. He played at a good program at Carleton and his poise and self-confidence has helped him adjust so fast”, stressed Gordon Herbert. His stats speak for themselves as he has scored in double figures in eight of nine games. He was a major force in keeping their Europe Cup record unbeaten at 12-0 as he took command like a veteran in the 91-79 come from behind win against Turkish team Royal Hali Gaziantep steering home 26 points and 15 points in the second quarter in the big Skyliner rally. Last week, he came into the game and poured in big three pointers in the victory against medi Bayreuth. Obviously his shooting is the first thing to stand out always. “He is a great shooter, can play on ball and can guard the three position. He has given this team a new dynamic that we hadn´t had yet”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Jordan Theodore. His teammate Aaron Doornekamp was already introduced to the stellar play of Scrubb last summer and knows what to expect now. “He really knows how to play. He can really shoot. He doesn´t make many mistakes and our system is perfect for him. His game just has made it very easy for him to fit”, warned ex Braunschweig forward Aaron Doornekamp. Scrubb is working on his game to become the most complete player like teammate Aaron Doornekamp and that is why he is the “mini Doornekamp in a guard´s body” as his complete game aspirations are moving in a decent way.
Of course the young Canadian knows that he is still far away from being the complete player. On offense he is definitely on a good way, but he is alert about the possibility of getting better on the defensive end. “Adjusting to the professional game is difficult. Guys are bigger and smarter at this level. You have to focus on so much all at once. I think that I can improve my foot speed and thinking on the court”, added Philip Scrubb. Even if he has always been known as a scorer and has demonstrated it in the Beko BBL, he sees another part of his game as hidden and not fully noticed yet. “I think that I am not a bad passer. I can make the right pass to lead to an assist and I am calm with the ball”, expressed Philip Scrubb. His passing skills really came into life in the 75-71 win against Bremerhaven where he had five assists. It will be interesting to see just how well his passing skills continue to develop having a superb teacher like Jordan Theodore and also German national player Johannes Voigtmann who is the best passing big man in the Beko BBL and has displayed some cute Globetrotter like passes this season. Another big strength in his game his unending self-confidence and calmness that is apparent on the court and is like an aura in the air when he has the ball in his hands. “He has a very cool demeanor on the court and nothing rattles him. Even when he isn´t hitting shots, I keep coming at him giving him the ball. He is always willing to take the big shot and make the big play”, warned Jordan Theodore. He credit´s a lot of his early success to his teammates especially Aaron Doornekamp. “It is so important that Aaron is here. He is the biggest reason why I came. I know that he will help me on and off the court and he is a guy I trust”, warned Philip Scrubb. Other guys that have been very key for his early success has been ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore as well as Quantez Robertson. “Jordan has helped me so much just by playing with him. He is the point guard and runs the show. He takes a lot of pressure off me so I don´t need to overthink and can pick the time when to get aggressive. Robertson is our leader and does so much on the court. He is our best defender and I learn so much from him on the defensive end”, added Philip Scrubb.
Philip Scrubb has so much going for him on the basketball court, but he also has other amazing traits. What really stands out is his character and just how humble he is. Gordon Herbert knew what he was getting from Scrubb as a player, but also knew that his team was getting the ultimate winner as his character has role model status plastered all over it. In a day and age where the ego seems to have taken control over the professional athlete way more than even 20 years ago with the media world having grown so much, Scrubb would be the last guy to laud himself before the team or a teammate. He is as nondescript as an altar boy would be, but that is just how he is. He lets his stellar play speak for him on the court and let´s his teammates talk everywhere else. “He is quiet and humble and never talks about his self. He works hard, listens and always wants to help the team first”, stressed Aaron Doornekamp. Teammate Jordan Theodore has noticed the more taciturn mentality of his teammate, but jokes that he hopes that may change. “He is quiet, down to earth and goes about his business, but he professional about everything. I am more the funny and talkative guy. Maybe he will open up more”, smiled Jordan Theodore. Scrubb credits his upbringing to his parents for having a big part in how his character has developed. “Growing up I looked up to my parents very much. They were humble people. I learned that if you focus on your job, everything will come easier to you. If you do your job good, then you feel great internally”, stressed Philip Scrubb. His Carleton head coach Dave Smart who said there was no Canadian better than him playing in the NCAA last season obviously also had a huge impact on the continued development of his character. “Smart made me realize that you can be a nice guy, but still focus on your teammates. In my first year at Carleton I focused more on myself, but coach then made me realize that the team and being unselfish is most important. Smart was a great life coach that helped me in all areas”, warned Philip Scrubb. The best example of just how humble he is is when he is confronted with the best Canadian college player of all time label. When Scrubb listens he is focused 100% on you and here and there will smile and laugh very quietly and even when addressing this difficult label, he keeps the same expression. “There have been many great players from Canada. I played at the best program and the best coach. There was much handed to me. Winning improves the way people look at you. I was lucky to be on winning teams. The media helps people remember this”, added Philip Scrubb. Scrubb continues to win and once you have had that winning gene, it just sticks with you as guys like Bill Russell, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan learned in their careers. Just when Scrubb exactly first started to work on that winning mentality is unknown, but it may have started when he was two or three years old when his dad was playfully taunting him standing tall over his little son and blocking every shot from the kid at the children´s Fischer Price basketball rim while the future professional player was getting madder and madder and getting more and more agitated. He is a man of little words, but one thing that he knows best about and wants most is too win. “I didn´t play much in Greece. I am very happy about my situation with the Fraport Skyliners. I just want to win games. We have high goals and I want to do my part and not waste it”, warned Philip Scrubb. Scrubb has the chance to win 3 titles in Frankfurt. The club will most surely make the playoffs in May and have a long road then needing to win three best of five series, but in Europe Cup play, they have to win 6 more games to win their first international title and in one week need to win two games at the Beko BBL cup weekend. That will be a tough hurdle to have to beat Alba Berlin and then FC Bayern Munich/Brose Baskets Bamberg, but Frankfurt has a 12 game winning streak and has much self-confidence. If Scrubb can win at least one title, he will instantly belong to the best signings/steals that Gordon Herbert ever got. The Fraport Skyliners have a very special team this season and winning on a very consistent rate and have found the ultimate missing piece with Philip “the mini Doornekamp in a guards body” Scrubb who only knows how to win and that will continue to rub off on the club in a very positive way.
Hearing these random numbers of 32, 28,30,24,26,24 might be an option playing the Lotto on a boring afternoon when no basketball is on TV or when you were a child hearing a combination of these numbers during a pick up kid´s football game could also happen. When I look back at my childhood when my family would travel over Christmas to Boca Raton, Florida, I can remember countless football games on the beach with my friend David from New York city where he was dreaming of being a Joe Montana getting away from a cowboy and I had Dwight Clark dancing in my head making the famous catch in the back of the end zone beating the Dallas Cowboys 27-26 reaching the 49ers first Superbowl. Before every call certain numbers would be called before David would yell hut hut and if the numbers 32,28,30,24,26,24 were ever called is unknown, but one thing is for sure, for fanatic Fraport Skyliner fans these numbers were the big scoring games of Andrew Rautins when he played for Frankfurt in the 2012-2013 season and all resulted in wins. Rautins was signed for one season, but the ex NBA player who played 5 NBA games for the New York Knicks played his last game on December 29th 2013 in a Frankfurt jersey against SC Rasta Vechta where he steered 10 points to the 70-67 victory before he was injured for the rest of the season. It would be unfair to rank a Rautins with the best that ever played for a Skyliners jersey simply because he only played 15 games, but in the short time he was there, he had some big games that reminded one of guys like Chris Williams and Dashaun Wood and what they were capable of doing. Rautins who played at Syracuse from 2005-2010 reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 and played at the 2010 World Championships also played in Spain for Lucentum Alicante, the D-league with Tulsa and last season with Openjobmetis Varese (Italy-Serie A) playing 28 games averaging 12.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 32.9%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 81.4%. This season he is playing with Royal Hali Gaziantep (Turkey-BSL) averaging 13,9ppg, 2,9rpg and 2,7apg in the Turkish league and in Europe Cup play averaging 15,5ppg, 4,2rpg and 3,0apg while shooting 46,5% from the parking lot. He may be classified mostly as a shooter, but he is an underrated passer and has a brilliant basketball IQ. It was more than two years since, the Canadian/American last tasted the rims in the Fraport arena and was back again wanting revenge for the 71-66 loss against Frankfurt in his living room, but couldn´t get it as ex teammate Quantez Robertson did a super job almost blanking him off the score board as the Fraport Skyliners defeated Royal Hali Gaziantep 91-79 extending their current winning streak to 9 games and to 11 in Europe Cup play and holding Rautins to afoot note of 3 points. If it hadn´t been for ex NBA player Jawad Williams who took the brunt of the production on his shoulder scoring 21 points, the Turkish team would have gone home losing by 30. After the loss, Rautins pulled an NBA, not talking, but his ex teammate and head coach did. “Rautins wasn´t happy that he fouled out so early. He was very motivated to play here again, but one can´t always have a great comeback. He was so hyped up and wanted to win very badly and play well, but it just wasn´t his day”, expressed ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King who played 169 Beko BBL games. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert who always lauding the great player in Aaron Doornekamp would probably live in an igloo for a week if he had to just to get Rautins back in Frankfurt was pleased with how his team took the Canadian out of the game. “It was key taking him out of game. Quantez Robertson did a good job on him and we were lucky that he got in foul problems. He had been on a very hot streak as of late, but couldn´t find his rhythm against us”, stated Gordon Herbert.