Brendan Lane is a 25 year old 206cm center from Rocklin, California playing his third professional season and second in Germany in the Beko BBL with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. As a rookie he played with Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins (Japan-NBL): 52 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with UCLA(NCAA) where he played until 2012 playing a total of 79 NCAA games. He finished his college basketball career at : Pepperdine (NCAA, starting five) playing 29 games averaging 13.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.2apg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 62.4%. Last season with Wurzburg he played 37 games averaging 13.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 14.8%, FT: 73.6%. He belongs to the top centers in the Beko BBL He spoke to eurobasket after the big 73-64 win against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brendan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the two game winning streak. Is this years team finally figuring out how to win games?
Yeah I think we finally got that confidence back after that tough start. Getting that first win was big for us and hopefully we can keep it going now.
Sometimes the start to two new seasons can be like day and night and as different and as unexpected for many as the Boston red Sox were swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALC as legend David Ortiz had to shed tears a few weeks earlier than he may have expected. For easyCredit BBL club s.Oliver Wurzburg and second year man Brendan Lane, they have experienced a tale of two totally different starts to the season. Last season Wurzburg returned back to the big dance from the pro A rattling off 4 straight wins against playoff teams like Ulm and Frankfurt and before anyone had really noticed were 7-1 and the little darlings of the league while Bavarian neighbor Brose Baskets Bamberg were wondering if they had to seriously need to pay any attention to this wizardry. The club finished last season grabbing the last playoff spot and being swept by Bamberg, but had gained the respect again of the league. This season´s start hasn´t been as kind to the club as instead of building on the success of last season, the club has quickly dug a hole for themselves starting 0-4. It definitely has helped the team that the BBL schedule pitted three playoff teams against them including the two top teams of Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich. At least second year man Brendan lane hasn´t take the nose dive in his play from last season as the team has as he has had a solid start, but the work horse hasn´t had the shot selection he had last season. Last season the California native played 37 games averaging 13.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 14.8%, FT: 73.6%. He was rewarded with Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team 2016. This season so far through four games the ex UCLA) center is averaging 11,8ppg, 3,8rpg and 1,8apg, but hasn´t had a game yet getting 10 or more shots. Last season he had 22 games where he had 10 or more opportunities to make buckets. The American who is as humble as a player can get credited his team for helping him adapt to the BBl. “The key for me has been my teammates. I’m playing with unselfish guys who are great passers and that helped me earlier in the year get easy baskets and gain that confidence that has helped me throughout the whole season”, stressed Brendan Lane. This season Lane should be able to have another strong season as with Jake Odum has one of the more underrated point guards in the BBL that understands the pick and roll and can stick the ball to a player in even the most congested traffic jams in the paint. He also has good clever players around him that can spread the floor and get him the ball in various moments. Last season he had success against two thirds of the big three with Bamberg and Fc Bayern Munich, but has unhappy memories against Alba Berlin and is hungry for then this season. “Those games were definitely frustrating for me. Two of the games I got in quick foul trouble and wasn’t able to play much and get a rhythm. I wish I could’ve stayed on the court more in those games to see what I could’ve done”, added Brendan Lane. The club hopes that the start of this season doesn´t resemble last season´s start of 7-1 with the numbers reversed of 1-7 as both Wurzburg and Brendan Lane want to avoid the sophomore blues. The club has the head coach with Doug Spradley who now is being tested, but he has the player personal that will get him back to winning ways and a center that wants to add on to his stellar play from last season with fine center play and just doing what it takes to win ball games now.
It wasn´t long ago where s.Oliver Baskets head coach Doug Spradley was toiling around with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven near the end of his four year tenure where he must have had almost more nightmares than Tom Brady still has with his two lost Super Bowls against the New York Giants.In his last season with Bremerhaven, the frustration of the lack of success seemed mind boggling as like so many other times, the club had great talent and experience, but were unable to form that needed team chemistry and also not having the right mix of players seemed to leave a sour taste in his mouth as well as everyone else affiliated with the organization. In his first season, he had almost reached the Beko BBL final in 2010 losing a tough five game series to Frankfurt and three years later was about as far from a playoff spot as Wurzburg´s amazing point guard Dru Joyce is too magically getting invisible wings and being able to fly and dunk over childhood friend Lebron James on a playground in Akron, Ohio. That last season in Bremerhaven really left Spradley at a crossroad in his coaching career that he felt the need not to jump back in the shark infested Beko BBL coaching tank, but took a year off to find himself again mentally. That year off really did wonders as he returned back to the scene signing a contract with the s.Oliver baskets Wurzburg in 2014 and was back at a location where his job was too lead a team back into the Beko BBL the way he did Paderborn in 2006. He found instant success with Wurzburg in the pro A and may not have eclipsed the 50 win in a row season with Paderborn, but also easily led his team back into the Beko BBL. This season, Wurzburg and Giessen together with the Fraport Skyliners formed a trio that were the little darlings of the league. Frankfurt with their team basketball moved up to the big teams like Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich in terms of regular season success while Wurzburg and Giessen who´s season goal was too just remain the league were battling for playoff spots all season long. On the last game day, Giessen was denied, but Wurzburg clawed on to that last spot putting Spradley back into the playoffs. Now he has the most difficult task of having too perform a miracle against Euroleague top 16 team Brose Baskets Bamberg. Just having reached the playoffs is a major accomplishment for the organization and nobody expects a miracle, but one should not forget that he once led a little Paderborn squad of unknowns to almost beating the big mighty Alba Berlin in the 2009 quarterfinals probably giving Alba Berlin Marco Baldi then his first major midlife crisis. Almost anything is possible in basketball, but for Wurzburg to be able to defeat Bamberg in a 5 game series or even win two games is about as unlikely as Dirk Nowitzki dressing up for his Bavarian home team in the series.
It isn´t common to see women playing any kind of noteworthy role in the Beko BBL, but in the past, there were two women who played a major part for their respective teams Fraport Skyliners and EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Daphne Bouzikou was the first female assistant coach in the Beko BBL and worked for the Frankfurt Skyliners from 1999-2008 while Wiebke Redlin was the athletic trainer for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2000-2010 and then had a short stint with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Redlin then decided to move to the United States and focus helping basketball players with sports performance and rehabilitation. In only a short time, she has made a name for herself having worked with high class players that play in the NBA like like Jared Dudley, Sebastian Telfair, CJ Watson, Rudy Gay, Jason Terry, Al Harrington, Derek Fisher, Ryan Hollins,PJ Tucker, or Omri Casspi. Then last summer, came an event that would forever change her life as she was involved in an accident. German Hoops spoke to the German about the past 6 months and how her road to recovery is coming along.
Wiebke thanks for talking to German Hoops. The last six months has been a very very difficult time for you as you suffered a severe car accident and suffered major lumbar spine trauma. You have been unable to work since September 2015 and been unable to walk, bathe, and care for yourself without extreme pain and the use of a walker. What has been your biggest motivation in the last months to keep pushing each day despite all the pain that you have suffered?
Hi Miles, thanks for taking the time to sit down with me and talking about my actual situation .Yes indeed it has been a rough last month´s actually I have to say it’s the hardest battle I faced so far in my life and many times I just struggled to get it done and going through it even if everybody who knows me , knows I am always tough and don’t hesitate to work a lot and through things but those challenges and not being able to handle daily things because of this crucial pain led me just to one conclusion, I have to make it and can´t give up because I want to be back to what I love to do and where my passion is to work with players and helping them to get better, to educate them, helping them through injuries and bringing them back and work with them through tough times. I am telling myself I can do it as well but also I realized I have to ask for help and its okay because even if I know what to do, the pain and the injury and still will for a while help from a good circle of people who support me on this road to recovery and going with me the way of my hardest battle together as my supporters in multiple ways is very important to me.
Just when the Wurzburg arena went bonkers after they had won their second game in exciting fashion beating derby opponent Giessen 46ers 104-101 in OT with a Maurice Stuckey game winning three letting ex German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to ponder why it took him so long to witness his first ever Beko BBL game and most fans probably boasting that they had witnessed the most dramatic game of the Beko BBL second game day, the German walking wounded of the Fraport Skyliners with national players Danilo Barthel, Johannes Voigtmann and Konstantin Klein had a little mix of shock and anger as they had witnessed the end of the Frankfurt-Oldenburg game where they were robbed of overtime on a Johannes Richter bucket that wasn´t given. Depending just how good the cooking aptitude of cooking chef Danilo Barthel was, the players seemed to have enjoyed his feast that he has prepared, but even when not one could of at least excused ones self to the rest room to relieve one´s self, but in the aftermath of the horrible call, there would have been no need to scamper away to the lavatory as the scene left in the Oldenburg arena would have been enough to vomit one´s grief all over the living room. After a magnificent victory in Bremerhaven where they held a very offensive talented team to only 59 points, the club traveled to Oldenburg with a walking wounded list as long as the grocery list of Shaq, but once again Fraport Skyliner´s mastermind behind the bench Gordon Herbert devised another plan of getting the most out of the talent he had and stayed close to Oldenburg all night long. The way the Fraport Skyliners lost left a very sour taste in their scent in their stomach, but the club had four days to try to digest this misfortune as best they could and next had to battle against aspiring s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg who blew away the Pro A last season despite losing to Giessen for the Pro A title and came into the Fraport arena with a 1-1 record. It a very tight game throughout, but in crunch time when the Fraport Skyliners could have used a Justin Cobbs who displayed countless times last season his calmness, cool demeanor, rookie leadership and cold execution in getting Frankfurt over the hump, tonight it was Lebron James friend Dru Joyce who stole the show from Jordan Theodore hitting big shots and keeping the club together in the end winning a real nail bitter 77-75 the way Cobbs did last season “Frankfurt had more energy in the first half, but luckily we were able to stay close to them. However we gave a better effort in the second half, played with more intensity and picked it up on defense”, warned ex TBB Trier guard Dru Joyce. The Fraport Skyliners lost their second game in a row on the last possession and their frustration showed after the loss with faces as long as the trek a person would have to take across the Bering strait. “This loss was unnecessary. We have had lost two games in a row at the end and it really hurts. We have very high goals and to lose two games like this is very difficult”, added Fraport Skyliner center JohanneRichter. Fraport Skyliner Jordan Theodore didn´t shy away from expressing his grief, but at the same time was man enough to take a blame for the team´s shortcoming. “We have injuries and also lost two close games, but we can´t make excuses. I have to play better at the end. I am a player that can score, but I didn´t get it done tonight. I will get better. It all comes down to execution. It is still early in the season. We still have many games. We will be fine and believe me I will be in the gym tomorrow morning”, warned New York native Jordan Theodore. “We gave up too many three pointers in the first half and had bad rotations. We defended better in the second half and attacked more in the second half after being too passive in the first half”, added ex UCLA center Brendan Lane.
It is never advantageous to put the fortunes of a club on the strong shoulders of one player, but it just happens that the point guard position on a basketball team is very vital for the success of a club as it is the quarterback on a NFL football team. You can make unending examples from football and basketball where a point guard or quarterback had what it took to the lead the team to the promised land and guys where it just wasn´t enough. A great example is Dru Joyce who is a point guard that has gone through his basketball life as a top 10 point guard year in and year out in the Beko BBL, but at the same time no day goes by where he isn´t asked more than one question about his ex high school teammate and buddy Lebron James and probably even would get the one or other question posed by a closet spider if he were to be accidently locked in there, but in spite of that has stayed grounded and performed solidly since becoming a professional in 2007. He helped a young and determined ratiopharm Ulm team make the playoffs in 2009 and did again two years in a row in Oldenburg despite having a predecessor who left the team a bit in shambles. After four consecutive playoff appearances and winning the 2009 Beko BBL championship, the club missed the Beko BBL playoffs in 2012 in 10th place despite a very competitive roster. With the arrival of ex NBA player Bobby Brown, it seemed like a given that the team would not only reach the playoffs, but possibly reach the final, but the California native was unable to lead the club into the promised land in May. At the times the ex Sacramento King seemed more obsessed with his own scoring average than doing what was best for the team. His lethal scoring at times was so destructive it seemed that the best for the opponent could have been to blare out the famous Bobby Brown hit “Don´t be cruel” in hopes that he might stop, but in the end his scoring wasn´t even consistent enough to get the extra needed victories. Despite leading the Beko BBL in scoring and being in fifth place for best assist average, there were numerous games where his one on one play and ego got in the way in crunch time and he could have been wearing a Amare Stoudemire mask and no one would of noticed. Despite this forgettable season, Brown went on to win the Italian league the next season with Montepaschi Siena and then played some seasons in China with DongGuan New Century Leopards making big bucks and averaging 30 and 31ppg both seasons and nailing 74 points in one game. Sometimes a player and a team don´t mesh the way they should on the court as Brown displayed and sometimes they do. However in 2012 new Oldenburg head coach Sebastian Machowski hauled in Lebron James friend Dru Joyce who is as much of a classical point guard as NBA legend John Stockton was back in the day. The Ohio native can score if needed, but in his seven seasons in the Beko BBL with Ulm,Trier, Oldenburg and last season Braunschweig was in the top five in assists four times and would most likely choose the pass over a lay up on a 2-0. Oldenburg was fortunate that his non ego playmaking skills led the team back into the Beko BBL playoffs. Joyce knows what he can do and has the needed self confidence to be successful as a professional basketball player.
There were times for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg where one could proudly walz through the streets of the Bavarian city over the Alte Mainbrucke bridge over the main river and just sit and skip some pebbles over the calm water and be proud of the Beko BBL team that had just reached the playoffs for the first time under the new name. It got even better for the team of 2010 Eurochallenge winner John Patrick when they upset 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin in the playoffs. One had rarely seen a pile of superstars like Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood, ex NBA player Kyle Weaver, German national player Heiko Schaffartzik, Mr ballerina Derrick Allen with such hanging heads that even the bear of Berlin who greets visitors as they drive into the city would have hurled his ample dinner of fish on to the street. Times were good, but then came the shock as John Patrick had to go and from then on there was a roller coaster ride for the organization as it went from the top and just kept sliding down and down to reaching rock bottom this season. One of the biggest mistakes that the club did was letting guru master mind of their success John Patrick go. Under the guidance of young head coach Marcel Schoeder, the team last season never fully reached their potential despite having a solid roster and with some misfortune missed the playoffs on the last game day. There were games where the team played excellent, but then again games where one was thinking what the hell is going on the court with this talented team that they can´t play together. This season, Marcel Schroeder went into his second campaign as head coach and was greeted with a big plump losing streak and was only able to win one game in nine tries before he got the ax. Their only win was against Bremerhaven and it seemed like the inability to win close games at the start altered their self confidence in a way that wasn´t fixable. Wurzburg lost to Phoenix Hagen, MBC and ratiopharm Ulm by only a combined score of 12 points. With massive pressure by the fans, management had to make a decision and let go Marcel Schroeder and exchanged him for well known German head coach Stefan Koch. Koch comes to Wurzburg in a less known role as fireman needing to save the team and season. Koch last coach the Artland Dragons for three seasons always reaching the playoffs, but had fans muttering at the end, “playoffs, but no cigar” to their misery. Since the arrival of Koch, it has gotten better especially the way they started as the team won three of their first four under the guidance of the Giessen native beating Bonn, Ludwigsburg and Tuebingen. All in all, Koch has done a solid job leading the team to a 7-9 record. They aren´t out of the mess yet, but Wurzburg keeps battling each weekend and will need to continue so if they want to be breathing Beko BBL air next season. The team chemistry seemed to have had a rift and Koch needed to make changes as Americans Tweety Carter, Lamont Mack and Jamal Boykins had to depart. Koch found very solid substitutes with point guard Dominic Waters who has shown his playmaking ability while having a knack to score when he has to and forward Marcellus Somerville that gives the team stability in the zone. “I would have a tough time listing things Stefan Koch brings to us that has caused our improvement. In all honesty, we couldn’t get much worse than the start we had to this season. But we have proven winners on this team and it was bound to get better. I don’t think we had the right combination of players on the team at the start of the season for the way our former coach wanted to play. And once the management got their situation all figured out we were able to bring in a coach and some new players that bought into what we wanted to do. Marcellus Sommerville has been a great improvement. John Little and Ben Jacobson, who played against him in college, were instrumental in getting him here because they knew what a warrior he was. Guys with mentalities like that will always help a team. It’s a matter of pride. And that’s been the biggest improvement with Maxi Kleber. He takes pride in proving that he’s one of the best players in this league. As of late he’s really made it his mission to do all of the intangibles that will result in team success. And that’s what we need to stay in this league. The individual commitment to a group effort. That’s what makes a team work. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit”, warned s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg center Jason Boone.
The former Pac-10 Point Guard and 1992 Stanford University graduate has been 5 times Coach of the Year and won 3 Championships in the last 7 seasons in 4 different leagues. (Japan Super League, 2nd German Bundesliga, BBL, and FIBA Eurochallenge) His low-player-budget BBL teams qualified for European competition in each of the last four seasons. Last season, Würzburg’s inaugural season in the BBL after finishing 2nd in the Pro A (German 2nd league) the previous season, Coach Patrick’s team had the lowest scoring defense in the BBL, and knocked Alba Berlin out of the playoffs, before dropping 3 hardfought games to Thorsten Leibenath’s Ratiofarm Ulm in the Semis. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
It has been five months since your dismissal from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. How difficult has this time been not being a head coach for a team?
It has been a great chance to refresh and hopefully gain a sense of perspective about Coaching and the Basketball Business as a whole.
Was it like a bad dream when you were informed from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg that you weren´t going to coach another season for the team?
It was unexpected, of course, after such a great season with so much unexpected success. But sometimes success can be as difficult to deal with as failure. (Morgan Wootten used to tell us this at DeMatha.) Maybe the success came too fast for some.
Jason Boone is a 26 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York. He will be playing his first season with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and his fourth in the Beko BBL. He played three seasons for BG Goettingen. He played at New York University(NCAA 3) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 14.1ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.4bpg, 2.9apg, FG: 63.0%, FT: 64.3%. Three seasons ago, he played at Bernau(Regionalliga) before making the jump up three leagues to MEG Goettingen. In 2008-2009, he averaged 4.4ppg, 4.0rpg, FG: 53.7. In 2009-2010, he won the Eurochallenge playing EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. Last season with BG Goettingen he played 37 games: 8.5ppg, 5.9rpg, FGP: 59.8%, FT: 34.9%; EuroCup: 14 games: 9.1ppg, 6.2rpg, Blocks-4(1.1bpg), FGP: 59.8%, FT: 36.0%. Jason spoke to German Hoops before the game against The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig February 18th.
A big 64-55 win in Bayreuth. It was another typical low scoring grind out win for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. What was key in the end for getting a big road win?
It was definitely a grind. The Bayreuth arena is one of the toughest places to play in the BBL. Fortunately we made the plays down the stretch to seal the victory.
The last time, The Fraport Skyliners graced the soil of the pretty Bavarian town of Wurzburg, Murat Didin was head coach in his first tenure there leading the club to the Beko BBL final, world class cyclist Lance Armstrong was only months shy of winning his record seventh Tour De France, the first presidential election was still months away in Egypt, the Chicago White Sox were on course of being the only major league team in history being in first place from day one until day 162 and the NFL played its first game outside the United States as the Arizona Cardinals battled the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. All these events occurred in 2005 and the last time that Frankfurt played in Wurzburg was March 19th as they escaped with a 89-87 win in front of 1,200 patrons. Back then, Wurzburg had current Phantom Nils Mittman and Walter Tigers Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic in the line up while the Skyliners had a young 19 year old Alex King registering two points and high flying American Chris Williams who led all scorers with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Yesterday the Fraport Skyliners returned again as scoring took a back seat as defense was the highest priority and the gang of Muli Katzurin found a away to win their fifth game in a row on the road and came to terms with the tough atmosphere prevailing 56-51. Despite the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg having a strong 8-1 home record, they aren´t invincible at home “This arena reminds a bit of the Cameron arena at Duke. That arena is small like this one and the fans pack it in and are great. It is usually hard to defeat us here”, stressed ex Umass American Ricky Harris. Wurzburg guard Ben Jacobson has had the luxary of playing in two very unique arenas the last years. “The Lok halle has its own mystique. However the fans here are very special. Even if you miss 15 shots in a row, they go wild when you hit that 16th shot. This place is small and the fans are on top of you. You don´t always have to play in a big arena to feel comfortable. We feel very comfortable here and use it to our advantage”, stressed Ben Jacobson.