ratiopharm Ulm

Matt Howard (Strasbourg IG) The EWE Baskets Have A Bit Of Everything And We Will Need A Consistent Effort To Advance

Matt Howard is a 27 year old 203cm forward playing his second season for Strasbourg IG (France-ProA) and last season played 41 games averaging 7.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 71.6%; Eurocup: 15 games: 10.7ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.3%; Euroleague: 2 games: 9.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.5apg. He started his basketball career in 2007 with Butler (NCAA) where he played until 2011 playing a total of 139 NCAA games and as a senior played 35 games averaging 16.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 78.1%. In 2011-2012 he started his professional basketball career with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1): Greek League: 6 games: 4.0ppg, 1.5rpg; Euroleague: 2 games: 1.0ppg, left in Jan.’12, in Feb.’12 moved to EnBW Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL) playing 13 games: 12.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 83.3%. IN the 2012-2013 season he played for Chorale de Roanne Basket (France-ProA) playing 32 games: 9.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 76.8%. IN the 2013-2014 season he moved back to Germany to Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-BBL): Eurocup: 16 games: 8.8ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.3%; German League: 35 games: 9.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 78.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Eurocup game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg for the ticket to the 2016 Euro Cup quarterfinals.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You played with two teams in Germany with Ludwigsburg and Ulm. What did you learn to appreciate most about the country of Germany?

Germany is a very nice country that is very modernized and for Americans you can always find things that you would get at home. I had good experiences in Germany and it was an easy adjustment coming from home.

However you don´t have the best memories against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. You are 0-4 against them in your career. How pumped are you not only to get your first win against them tomorrow, but also to win by more than three points?

I didn´t really think about that I have lost against them 4 times, but you are correct. More important than having lost four times against them is getting the win in Euro Cup. Maybe getting the win my third time here will be a good one.


Augustine Rubit (ratiopharm Ulm) Quietly Thrusting Himself Into The Upper Power Forward Category In The Beko BBL

There are thousands of talented 201cm players in the United States, but only a small majority actually can call themselves a professional after having played college basketball. One of the biggest dreams of Augustine Rubit was too be able to earn a living playing professional ball even if that unwanted label of achieving all this was against all odds, but like some and so many not, he chose the right direction early in his life instead of going the wrong route and is now excelling in his sixth year of basketball after graduating from Christian Life Center Academy. The 26 year old from Houston, Texas came from a poor family and lived in a bad area of town, but thanks to a close knit family and friends that cared, the American was sheltered from making any wrong decisions and after his basketball talent was realized concentrated on focusing only on that. He played at S.Alabama (NCAA) from 2010-22014 playing a total of 117 NCAA games and in his first year won the All-Sun Belt Freshman of the Year averaging 13.1ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 55.9%, FT: 67.6%. He continued to put up huge numbers and had his finest statistical season as a junior averaging 19.0ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 47.7%, FT: 79.3%. As a senior he averaged 17.0ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 66.7%. Just to put into perspective how dominant he was as a junior he scored in double figures in 27 of 29 games and had 16 double doubles. He had monster games against LA-Lafayette scoring 34 points and hauling down 12 rebounds and had 31 points and 11 boards against Georgia State. He won numerous awards while playing at S.Alabama like being named first team twice in the All Sun Belt conference and as a junior was awarded the All-Sun Belt Player of the Year. He left the school having recorded 54 double doubles, was second in points scored and third in blocks. Another big achievement was adding a three pointer to his inside game making him more versatile as after going 0/11 in his first three years in the NCAA worked on his shot and averaged a respectable 32% in his senior year. As a rookie he came to the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and had no problems adjusting to the European game filling in for the departed Tyrone Nash and totally convincing all that he has major game. As a rookie he played 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, Reb-4(7.3rpg), 1.2apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 77.3%. He scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games and had 4 double doubles. He had massive games against Artland with 27 points and had 24 points against Bremerhaven and Bonn. This season he moved to international club play with ratiopharm Ulm and once again had some odds against him how he would fit in to a team that had way more talent and scoring options than in Tuebingen, but in the first few months the American is the leading scorer, rebounder and blocker on the team in BBL play and in Eurocup second in scoring and rebounding behind Raymar Morgan. In a Ulm system that has less length under the hoop and likes to play fast, Rubit can use his athletic strength while still doing the dirty work inside and doing what he does best grabbing rebounds and scoring the mid distance shot. If Rubit can keep up the consistency and the club can keep moving further in the Eurocup play, the American will without a doubt keep developing and like ex Tuebingen alla round player Reggie Redding be an interesting option next season for a top team in the Beko BBL like Alba Berlin or other teams in Europe.


Mike Taylor (Poland National Team Coach) I Really Believe In Marcin Gortat And AJ Slaughter But We Are Emphasizing Our Team

Mike Taylor is in his 15th season as a professional coach and currently head coach of the Polish national team and preparing the team for Euro 2015. He is the son of Dick Taylor who was an NCAA coach and assistant with the New York Knicks. Mike Taylor started his coaching career in 2001 with Chemnitz (Germany-2.Bundesliga). In 2002-2003, he got valuable experience in the UK with the Essex Leopards London (United Kingdom). In 2003, he started to coach for ratiopharm Ulm leading them into the Beko BBL in 2006 and Beko BBL playoffs in 2009 before leaving in 2011. He had a record of 101-15 in four years of second Bundesliga basketball. He also has coached Kansas Cagerz (USBL) in the summer time as well as being an assistant for the Czech national team. In 2011 he made the jump back to the states and was an assistant for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers(D-League). He then was head coach of the Boston Celtics D League team Maine Red Claws and they reached the playoffs for the first time in team history. He spoke to German Hoops before Poland played at the Super Cup in Hamburg, Germany.

Mike thanks for talking to German Hoops You are returning back to Germany this weekend to coach Poland at the Super Cup in Hamburg. You spent 8 years as head coach at ratiopharm Ulm and a season at BV Chemnitz. Despite being away from Germany since more than 4 years, is Germany still like your second home?

Thank you Miles. I am very excited to return to Germany for the SuperCup in Hamburg this weekend! Coaching in Germany has been a wonderful part of my life and I am thankful for the upcoming moment as we prepare for the new challenges ahead at Eurobasket. I do spend a lot of time in Germany with my wife Alice and her family in Tubingen so Germany definitely remains my second home.

You will be coaching three games with Poland against Latvia, Germany and Turkey in Hamburg, Germany. What experiences have you had with Hamburg before this weekend and how often have you been there. As head coach with Ulm you never really was more north than in Bremerhaven when you were on road trips. How have you followed the Hamburg Towers recently with their dream of reaching the BBL?

I was in Hamburg once before to watch the Top Four in 2010. Hamburg is a great city and has an excellent sports culture. I think it’s great the Towers are working to build up basketball in the city and wish them and the Koeln Stars success in establishing the game in those two significant German markets.


Maarten Leunen (ratiopharm Ulm) Bryce Taylor Was One Of My Favorite Teammates Ever

Maarten Leunen is a 29 year old 206cm forward from Washington that is playing his first season in Germany for ratiopharm Ulm. He played at Oregon(NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year he played 32 games averaging 15.2ppg, 9.2rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 55.9%, 3Pts: 49.2%, FT: 78.9%. Promptly he was drafted by Houston Rockets (NBA,2rd(54). As a rookie in 2008-2009 he played for Darussafaka C.Tires Istanbul (Turkey-TBL) playing 32 games: 12.1ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 83.3%. He then played five seasons for Pallacanestro Cantu (Italy-SerieA) reaching 3 finals and winning one Super Cup. He played a total 193 Serie A games, 26 Euroleague games and 21 Eurocup games. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Congrats on the 77-70 win against the Fraport Skyliners. Frankfurt led after each quarter except for the fourth. What was key in getting the win?

We played better defense and that translated into better offense in the fourth quarter. We got some big stops at the end.

Your teammate Tim Ohlbrecht made a nice return to Frankfurt where he played in 2011-2012. How important was he for ratiopharm Ulm?

He was huge tonight. He helps the team a lot with his experience as he is one of the older guys on the team.


Ratiopharm Ulm Trying To Shed Their Finalist Title

Some things happen for a reason that are easier to understand than other things like German football legend Lothar Matthaus apparently going to tie the knot for a fifth time, ex Alba Berlin center Miro Raduljica passing up a second NBA season with the Milwaukee Bucks and fleeing to the Shandong Flaming Bulls in China where their bucks may have been more appealing than those of the NBA team, or another domestic violence episode happening in the life of a NFL football player simply because they have become as normal as a hardcore Brasilian football fan never forgetting July 14th, 2014-7-1 where the German national soccer team ruined their whole summer. However then again other things happen which are much harder to explain for example the tough luck of two teams the Buffalo Bills and German Beko BBL team ratiopharm Ulm. For NFL fans the hard luck story of the Buffalo Bills has been engraved in Buffalo sports history almost as much as the Cubs not being able to win a World Series in Chicago. At the start of the 90s, The Buffalo Bills had their own version of the Utah Jazz Malone and Stockton show with the Kelly and Thomas movement as they led their team to four consecutive Super Bowls, but were unable to win a single one. Their best chance was in the first attempt losing 20-19 as Scott Norwood missed a 47 yard field gioal with 8 seconds to play. The last three finals were less eventful as they were slaughtered twice by the Dallas Cowboys and once by the Washington Red Skins. Probably the most memorable scene in those three finals out of the perspective of the Bills was huge Leon Lett celebrating to soon as quick footed Don Beebe did his best Michael Johnson impression sprinting back and stripping the ball and ruining the Lett party. The club is still looking to find the success of 20 years ago as they are the only team that hasn´t made the playoffs in the 21st century. What do the Bills have to do with ratiopharm Ulm. Well the comparison isn´t quite as severe, but one hast to notice that in the last few years, ratiopharm Ulm was in a final 4 times, but lost each one. They surprisingly reached the final in 2012 losing to Bamberg and lost to Bamberg at the Super Cup and the last two seasons to Alba Berlin in the Beko BBL cup. With the Beko BBL getting more and more competitive each season and FC Bayern Munich doing their best to get a dynasty until Svetislav Pesic son Marko is his age, it seems more likely that ratiopharm Ulm will have their best chances to win a title via the cup route. Especially the last two seasons hurt so much as their heart was there, but not their nerves in those moments where big plays had to be made. Ratiopharm Ulm has put together another strong team that might have the most experience ever so their season goal besides the playoffs will be to win the cup competition. „It is always vital on the daily form of a team who will leave the court as the winner. In the playoffs it is very important to have home court advantage and in cup play the daily form o the team. I think Ulm has realistic chances like some other teams to win a title. However everything has to be perfect for hat team to be able to win the title“, warned Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Andrej Mangold. One thing is for sure, no Ulm player has a bigger heart that German national player Per Guenther who has slipped on their jersey since 2008 and his incentive to finally sip some champagne will be as huge as it is for some fans to slip their hands through his soft curly hair.


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.


Edgar Sosa (ratiopharm Ulm) Is Not The Run Of The Mill Player, But That Extra Special Spice From The Dominican Republic

Edgar Sosa would have had some interesting memories to converse at the Christmas dinner table while munching on some traditional Dominican Republic food like roasted Pork with Russian salad and for desert some biscuits and cakes and to wash it down with some tasty Red wine talking about the first few months of his new German basketball experience with ratiopharm Ulm like the big Beko BBL wins against Wurzburg with one point, squashing Bamberg 72-59 or the big Eurocup wins against Asvel, Paris and Valencia, but no story would have been as exciting or as bitter as his recollection of the three OT loss 108-102 against the Fraport Skyliners shortly before Christmas. This was a game that went back and fourth where Sosa steered 21 points including some timely three pointers in 31 minutes. He was outdone by the top game of ex NBA player Andrew Rautins that finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Quite a lot to experience in the his first few months in Germany for the 26 year old 190cm guard from Rice, New York. “The 3 OT loss ranks with my best games ever played no matter at what level. The game went back and forth, the atmosphere was great and there were constantly big shots being made. I will remember most how we came back a few times down by four points to send the game into another OT despite being very tired”, stressed ex Louisville guard Edgar Sosa. After playing in countries like Italy, Spain and Puerto Rico, Sosa has adapted well to the German Beko BBL especially the small town of Ulm. “. Ulm is great and I have no complaints. The coach is great, the system is great and since I am a homebody type of guy, Ulm is perfect and I have been having a great time”, added Sosa. Sosa has come into his own despite playing for a team deep on talent with guys like Per Guenther, Cameron Long, Matt Howard or Adam Hess who can score 20 plus points on any night. Sosa has fit in perfect to the Ulm system and has scored in double figures in the Beko BBL 12 times and nine times in the Euro cup competition. Especially in the Eurocup competition, he has shined like his massive 24 point effort in 25 minutes against Cantu where he dropped seven three pointers. He knows that he is known as a scorer, but wants everyone to know that he is a point guard for a reason and is content with his role. “My main role with Ulm is too come off the bench and spark the team with energy. I like to always play aggressive and get to the cup and make big shots. The great thing about this team is that we don´t have one superstar, but many great players that are unselfish. At the end of the day we all want to win and it doesn´t matter who scores. Everybody sees that I can score, but a hidden strength is that I am a good pick and role player. That is where I can create and am able to make the right decisions”, stressed Edgar Sosa. Sosa learned his special trade of basketball at Louisville(NCAA) under legendary coach Rick Pitino and is thankful that he can be integrated into any team or country quickly. “Rick Pitino was amazing. He is the type of coach that is able to make players be able to play well in any system in any country. He taught me to play basketball the correct way. He made me into a better player”, stated Edgar Sosa. Sosa may not be the best point guard in the Beko BBL, but he isn´t far from the top five point guards and never wastes a moment to get better seeing what his competitors are doing on the court. “It is always beneficial to watch good guards like a Jared Jordan. I like how he passes the ball and try to play the game the way he sees it. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a great player”, added Edgar Sosa. Ratiopharm Ulm will be in the playoffs this season and Sosa might just get his chance to help lead his team past a team like Bamberg and see where he stands against a Jordan in a five game series.


The Fraport Skyliners Celebrate 122 Years Of Basketball With Their Own Historical 108-102 Triple Overtime Victory Against ratiopharm Ulm

With Christmas only three days away in Germany, players on both squads of Frankfurt and Ulm might have had some X-mas thoughts on their minds like Per Guenther wondering  what FC Bayern Munich big man John Bryant will send his favorite little buddy, Aziz Ndiaye wondering if he will see snow again after seeing it for the first time when he was a Washington Huskie, if Adam Hess can sing the famous Christmas song Oh Tannenbaum in German or Jacob Burtschi possibly wondering if his new growing beard will look appealing during the holiday season if he isn´t moonlighting as a Santa Claus. These are all thoughts that could be dancing in the minds of the players, but before any Christmas thoughts get served up in the minds of Andrew Rautins and Matt Howard, they will still have some basketball memories brewing in their brains. It is always exciting when two players who dueled in the NCAA meet again for the first time as professionals especially after a big NCAA tournament game sent one guy home and the other was still alive. The last time Rautins and Howard met face to face was on March 25th, 2010 as number 5 Butler with Howard upset number one Syracuse 64-59. Rautins was a senior and played his last college game and had teammates like current NBA player Wesley Johnson and former Boston Celtic Kris Joseph who now plays with ex Skyliner Illian Evtimov with Chalon in France. Howard had current Atlanta Hawk Shelven Mack and current Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward on his team. Rautins won the stat duel scoring 15 points and dropping four three pointers while Howard finished with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block and most importantly the win. 33 months after this big tournament game, both players met again in a routine beko BBL game with the only similarity to that NCAA tournament game was the loud and feisty atmosphere that was present in the Ulm arena. Both guys play different positions and even if it was more than three and half years ago since that NCAA loss, Andrew Rautins got sweet revenge on Matt Howard even if it took him 55 minutes to do it as the Fraport Skyliners won a thriller in Ulm 108-102. “I always feel some kind of disappointment when I see Butler players and remember that loss, but Matt Howard is a great player and hard worker, but this game was about today and not about what happened in college. We gave a great team effort and I am proud of my teammates”, stressed Fraport Skyliner American Andrew Rautins. No matter if Jacob Burtschi plays 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 46 minutes in this thriller win, he always has the same appealing and heartwarming smile after the game and he was also thrilled that his friend got revenge on Matt Howard. “We players all love what we did in college and Rautins had a great career in the NCAA and he was fired up to play Howard. He left that NCAA loss behind him and came up big here helping get this huge win”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. “I felt really good for Andy. Howard has a big heart and I am sure it was probably a lot of fun for him to get revenge like this”, stated Los Angeles native Jared Dubois.


Thank God Its Friday Time For Till Joscha Joenke (ratiopharm Ulm) In Da House In Ulm this Weekend

Who could forget how shortly before the end of the 2010-2011 Beko BBL season as ratiopharm Ulm head coach Mike Taylor was rudely dismissed from his duties.  The Pennsylvania native who coached the club from 2003-2011 and was responsible for so much in shaping the team in a new direction and putting the team on to the correct path where they are now as a top 5 BBL team was let down by the organization and never got the chance to work in the new arena and ripe the fruits of the success that he had built up. The list goes on and on on how he shaped top German national players Per Guether and Robin Benzing and bringing them to the next level, finding an overweight John Bryant and keeping ratiopharm Ulm in the Beko BBL after getting them there in 2006 and keeping them there when other teams like BG Karlsruhe, Paderborn or Jena only had short stays in the top German league. ratiopharm Ulm continued to make strides the last two seasons as they reached the Beko BBL final in 2012 ending the regular season in second place playing a great playoffs getting to the final, but then coming down to reality being swept by the Brose Baskets Bamberg and having to accept that there was a distinct level difference between both teams. Last season, they didn´t have any sophomore blues under head coach Torsten Leibenath reaching the playoffs again finishing the season in third place and getting to the 2013 Beko BBL cup final, but losing a spirited game to eight time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin. The club also moved into a new state of the art arena and have played Eurocup the last two seasons and welcomed top Europeam teams and players to the small German city Ulm. With the Beko BBL getting more competitive each season, what can ratiopharm Ulm accomplish this season and what can the fans look forward to each weekend besides the usual things as seeing competitive games, an amazing arena atmosphere and top players. However this season one could possibly if one is creative shout these initials T.G.I.F T.F.T.J.J.I.D.H.I.U.T.W.  This could be a very difficult riddle to solve what the initials stand for so the solution is Thank God Its Friday Time For Till Joscha Joenke In Da House In Ulm this weekend.  Ratiopharm Ulm has another very talented roster with exciting players to watch like NCAA finalist Matt Howard, scorer Cameron Long, exciting Dominican Republic guard Edgar Sosa, NBA draft pick and big man Trent Plaisted or German national player Per Guenther who is always worth the admission to watch. However like in Frankfurt where it took two years for German Danilo Barthel to develop into a future superstar, Til Joscha Joenke is slowly on his way to becoming a very good young German player. Joenke is a 21 year old 190cm guard that started his career with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and is playing his second season in Ulm having a double license to also play for Pro B team Weissenhorn. Last season for Weissenhorn he played 28 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.4%. This season he is tearing up the Pro B averaging 24,6ppg, 3,9rpg and 4,1apg. The U-20 national player already played 13 Beko BBL games and five Eurocup games last season and credit also goes to his head coach Thorsten Leibenath showing trust in the kid and giving him experience. Last season he stepped up like a veteran in the playoff series against Oldenburg when Per Guether was injured.This season, ratiopharm Ulm is packed with much talent at each position, but he is clenching his teeth together and fighting for playing time and is averaging 4,0ppg and 1,0apf. He has had some solid games scoring eight points the last weeks against Tuebingen and Vechta. He is a very exciting young German guard to watch that plays with that high self confidence in the mold of a Konstantin Klein. Last season his teammate Myles Hesson was able to watch him play each day who sees him being able to become a sort of second type of Per Guether. “I think that he can. He plays with so much heart. He plays every possession as if it is his last and never gives up. That resonates for the whole team. He has an incredible eye for the ball and always goes to the basket for the rebound”, warned Myles Hesson. He is definitely a guy to watch this season how much more he continues to develop and what better mentor to have than a Per Guether. One doesn´t always have to be excited to watch the experienced and more well known players, but also look forward to watching a young kid who is trying to make the jump from the playground to the men´s club.


Can The Fraport Skyliners Win In Their Debut In The New ratiopharm Arena?

It is no secret that in the Beko BBL, you have a distinct array of different sizes of arena´s to the overwhelming NBA like palace of the O2 World arena in Berlin to middle class type arena´s like the Stechert arena in Bamberg, Volkswagon Halle in Braunschweig, Telekom Dome in Bonn or the Fraport arena which at times is as quiet as a quiet corner on the Ammer lake in Bavaria and then again bedlam in crunch time in a close battle against the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Then again there are very tiny places to play that can´t really be called arena´s, but as Duesseldorf Giants poo bah Murat Didin likes to say gyms like the Ost Halle in Giessen, Artland arena or the now defunct Kuhberg halle which was the old stomping ground of ratiopharm Ulm. Since December 2011, the team no longer plays there having moved into the new more modern ratiopharm Ulm arena that holds 6000 patrons. The Kuhberg Halle was a tiny like gym that always came to life when they played. The ratiopharm Ulm fans were often seen as the sixth man, because they were so close to the floor and at times on account of the noise level seemed like they were hanging on the backs of the opponent because they seemed so close. In the Kuhberg arena, the Frankfurt Skyliners often had to put up with the feistiness of the smallest/biggets center of all times in the Beko BBL Jeff Gibbs, the nonstop aggressiveness on offense and defense of German national player Per Guenther or the three point bombs from 2006 NCAA champion Lee Humphrey who probably could have scored from the Ulm minster on any day. Last season, the club played early in the season in Ulm and still played in the Kuhberg Halle and had to wait more than a year to get their crack at playing in the new arena. This weekend Muli Katzurin and his gang will try to upset the 2012 Beko BBL finalist in the first ever game in the ratiopharm Ulm Arena.