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.
The best news that the Fraport Skyliners got in the week leading up to the game against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen was that German national player Johannes Voigtmann would not have to get operated on his knee, but the exact time period when the big man could be in uniform was not available or known. However that good news which really wasn´t any news since the Fraport Skyliners still had a walking wounded list as long as the sudden expectations put on the shoulders of Steffen Effenberg the once German national soccer player who has been brought in to Paderborn to save their sinking sink as the Frankfurt team had to go against a strong and healthy Tuebingen team with a slim rotation. Not only did head coach Gordon Herbert have to fight against his million of inner thoughts asking him “Why me” about the ongoing injury bug, but also the question why the basketball god had to scold and torture the team two times in a row losing on the last possession in Oldenburg and last weekend at home against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. The game was robbed in Oldenburg through a bad call while the loss against Wurzburg came on a last second air ball from John Little who was as open on the wing as Steph Curry is when he is awaiting the ball and next splash to surface. The Fraport Skyliners could easily be 3-0 going into the game instead of 1-2, but basketball isn´t always fair as Gordon Herbert has experienced the last years. Bad luck can happen one time or maybe even two times in a row, but a third time? The Fraport Skyliners met the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in their second home game of the season carrying a 4-1 record against them in the last five games and didn´t let the Tigers cage them and have them for supper, but left the floor after 40 minutes with a top team effort letting Tuebingen crawl back on to the bus somewhat embarrassed with a 92-64 victory. The Fraport Skyliners got support from everyone from Quantez Robertson steering all his 14 points in the first half, stellar play from Aaron Doornekamp and John Little with 16 points a piece, the first BBL points of Niklas Kiel and a three from 17 year old Gari Zeeb in garbage time and leader Jordan Theodore unleashing some pretty Beko BBL showtime in the fourth quarter courtesy of the athletic presence of Lituanian Tomas Dimsa and balancing his scoring and playmaking perfectly. “This was a great team win. Each player contributed in some way. We played with high energy, shared the ball and played good defense. We took two tough loses in a row by a combined score of 4 points and we learned that to be successful we have to play good defense for 40 minutes. We all pulled together tonight and had no real lulls on offense”, stressed New York native Jordan Theodore. Shortly after the siren sounded the first word that Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic uttered in the catacombs of the Fraport arena after looking at the stat sheet was 64, the amount of points his team scored, but he also knew that the Frankfurt win was well deserved. “Frankfurt played excellent and played with more power. They executed well on offense and hardly missed. We had problems to create and Frankfurt was more physical, better organized and supplied more pressure”, added Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic. “We had a good week of practice and got better on defense giving up only 64 points. When we play good defense and hit shots then we always have good chances to win”, warned Florida native Mike Morrison. “This was not a good game for us. Credit Frankfurt because they are a great team. They took us out of our offense and forced us to too many turnovers which limited our shots and we didn´t get enough transition points”, said Sugar land Texas, native Jesse Sanders.
Depending just how many Green´s had babys in the last two weeks which was about as possible as it is Tom Brady almost always finding tight end Rob Gronkowski in that needed second when he has to for a quick touchdown or German national goalie Manuel Neuer making that all so important big save time after time as he displayed against Georgia last weekend, the number of Green´s living in the United States recently was 492,338, and there is only one Green named Garlon that can be so very proud to say that he is the brother of NBA player Gerald Green who has performed spectacular dunks for years in the NBA scene winning the 2007 NBA dunk contest. Garlon Green is a 24 year old 201cm swing man from Missouri city, Texas that is playing his third professional season after having a stellar career at TCU (NCAA) and has got his foot wet in professional waters in Australia and Japan the last two seasons. Green compares his game to Dwayne Wade and Andre Igoudala and comes to Tuebingen already having to fill big shoes in the jumping department as Tigers manager Robert Wintermantel has never seen such an amazing jumper like him in the BBL. His athleticism is so extreme one could be bold and even compare him to a Quantez Robertson in the freak athlete department, but he takes it all in stride and doesn´t let his mouth do the talking, but his legs. “It’s kind of hard to think of myself as a “freak athlete” but it’s nice to know people enjoy how I play”, expressed Garlon Green. Green was a go to guy at his previous stations and will be again in Tuebingen as he currently leads the team in scoring, but will also need to distinguish between taking good and bad shots and that he will have teammates that could lead the club in scoring on any night. Showing that he is a versatile player is high on his priority list, but when it comes to dunking and his brother Gerald he always has a special place for these two issues as he was the best dunker in 2011 in Houston and took part in the college dunk contest in 2013. His brother Gerald is only 5 years older than him, but is already starting his 11th professional season and despite all the success that his brother has had there is not an ounch of jealousy there. “He is my brother and I love him just like my other siblings”, warned Garlon Green. Green won´t be transformed into the savior role that ex Miami heat guard Daequan Cook had a few years ago, but will be an important part of the puzzle for success for a talented Tigers team that should be somewhere in the middle of the standings and not have to fidget in April about the possibility of moving down to the Pro A. At home growing up, Garlon had to take a seat backwards when it came to quenching his thirst when Gerald was around. “I don’t see him as “Gerald Green the NBA player” He is the same older brother who drinks all the soda”, smiled Garlon Green. If Gerald ever does come in for a lightening visit to Tuebingen at least then one would hope that Garlon will have the oversight of the remote control and of course the soda in the refrigerator.
Jesse Sanders is a 25 year old 190cm point guard from Sugar Land, Texas that will play his fourth professional season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Liberty where he played until 2012. In the 201-2013 season he started his professional career in Europe with Fileni BPA Jesi (Italy-Lega2): 25 games: 9.7ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.7%. In the 2013-2014 season he played down under with the Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL, starting five): 13 games: 10.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.5apg, Steals-2(1.8spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 17.2%, FT: 89.5%. Last season he led the Belgium league in assists and played withLimburg United averaging 11,5ppg, 5,1rpg and 5,0apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Jesse thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying the early part of the summer?
I’m in Sugar Land visiting my parents. It has been great to be back and to introduce my daughter (Ava Michelle Sanders) to all of my family. Having some of our favorite Mexican food has been great as well.
You have signed with German beko BBL team Walter Tigers Tuebingen. How excited are you be playing in the fastest growing league in Europe?
This is an awesome opportunity and I’m really looking forward to getting over there and beginning work with the team!
Walter Tigers Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic has had that special right instinct for getting young players from the NCAA the last years as well as the right mix of players for his rosters the same way as Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp has been able to shape successful teams the last years especially this season with lesser known star players. Perovic brought in guys like Vaughn Duggins or Tyrone Nash the last years who have become better players in Tuebingen and moved on in their careers, but at the point guard position, he has had his up and downs the last years landing some good experienced players while other times not having as much luck. From 2009-2011, he had Serb Branislav Rathkovica who led the Beko BBL in assists both seasons and two years ago had Louis Campbell who was vital in the team sniffing near the playoff area. Two seasons ago, he had NCAA rookie Dale Davis who had to pack his bags early and newcomer Cameron Wells who did a solid job, but one can´t always expect much from a player coming late to a team. Last season combo guards Jonathan Wallace and Josh Young shared the point guard position who were solid, but more scores than guys dishing out assists as if they were on a silver platter and the club has started off slow and had issues on offense not having that needed consistent playmaking and losing needlessly to teams like TBB Trier and SC Rasta Vechta. So if a top point guard like Branislav Ratkovica is on the market why not reel him in like a lonely salmon in a lake on a leisurely Sunday fishing trip. Perovic gobbled up the free Ratkovica back again last season who is in his best basketball age at 28 and right in his first game helped the Tigers to a big road win in Braunschweig. Before returning back to Tuebingen last season, the Serb had a nomadic season as he had his suitcase in constant service starting the 2012-2013 season with Aliaga Petkim (Turkey-TBL) playing 3 games: 5.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 6.0apg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge Qualifying Round: 2 games: 13.0ppg, 2.0rpg, Assists-2(6.0apg), Steals-4(2.5spg). He then moved to Olin Edirne Basketball (Turkey-TBL) playing 13 games: 5.0ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.9apg, 2FGP: 48.4%, 3FGP: 28.1%, FT: 80.0%, in Feb.’13 signed at Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-BBL, starting five): 11 games: 7.5ppg, 1.3rpg, 4.6apg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.7%. Ratkovica played three seasons in Tuebingen from 2008-2011 and two with Perovic and one senses that the harmony is still there between both. “He knows a lot about basketball, he is patient and reasonable, which has positive effects on the team. I think it has already been shown how much Tuebingen appreciates him. Our cooperation is great. We have complete confidence in each other, which means a lot to me as a point guard”, stressed Branislav Rathkovica. Last season for Tuebingen the Serb played 27 games averaging 8.8ppg, 2.1rpg, Assists-4(5.4apg), FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 73.4%. Once again he was one of the top playmakers in the Beko BBL despite playing for a weak team. Ratkovica has gotten used to being on struggling Tiger teams, but still is able to make the most out of his situation. He has done a superb job in the playmaking and the club definitely can put points on the board, but just have defended as if they were on a Sunday walk along the Neckar river instead of focusing on their opponent on the court. With one game left in the regular season, Ratkovica leads the BBL in assists once again with 7,2 and is close to his best assist rate ever in the BBL with 7,4 which he had in the 2010-2011. Even if Tuebingen didn´t have the greatest season, Tuebingen fans can look at it in two ways. Without Ratkovica the club may have been worse off and missed staying in the league, and just having him on the team is an attraction because he is a spectacular player and just his passing is worth the price of admission and worth making an extra mark in the calendar to see if you live far away and want to make the drive into any arena in Germany to see him wheel and deal.
The Walter Tigers Tuebingen have been known in the past few years as being one of those Beko BBL teams that doesn´t have the biggest budgets, but still have the power to haul in talented and interesting players within their budget that offer themselves to better teams with strong seasons in the Swaben city. In the past years, players like AJ Moye, Michael Haynes, Branislav Ratkovica or Jermaine Anderson have used The Walter Tigers Tuebingen as a place to tone their skills while also enjoying some juicy meat at the OX US steakhouse after practice or games. Tigers head coach Igor Perovic came on board in 2009 and has done a fine job keeping the team in the middle pack of the standing and sometimes grazing on the boundry of the playoff places like a famished cow on the pasture always hungry for more while having talented players according to their budget. Perovic was responsible for bringing in somewhat established players like Romeo Travis, Michael Jenkins, Chris Oliver and Dane Watts who have all moved on to bigger and better things on the basketball map. Especially in the 2011-2012 season the Serb head coach must of heard that special song from a mocking bird that gave him the right inspiration of not only bringing in the right players, but super character guys with Josh Young from the PRO B, Vaughn Duggins and Tyrone Nash from the NCAA and Reggie Redding from Cyprus and all four players eclipsed expectations and didn´t follow the trend of past years and fleeing to snatch the bigger bucks somewhere else, but already got contract extensions during their rookie seasons. American boy Reggie Redding had his breakout season in Tuebingen after a stellar career at Villanova where he played with NBA player Dante Cunningham and Beko BBL players Dwayne Anderson and Corey Stokes. Before coming to Tuebingen, Redding played his rookie year in Cyprus for Intercollege Etha Engomis. He had a solid season in Cyprus helping the club win 2 titles, but there was no real guarantee that he would explode in the higher league Beko BBL. Finding that special player in the Cyprus league is about as difficult as predicting what kind of pass of Rajon Rondo will fill the highlight reel that evening, but Perovic made the perfect snatch in Redding. The American had little difficulty being a force in the German league averaging 13,2ppg, 5,8rpg and 3,3apg while shooting 50% from the field and 41% from downtown in his freshman season with the Tigers. He was awarded three eurobasket.com awards and sent Igor Perovic into summer vacation with a smile and being able to whisper the words “I told you so” to possible critics. Redding has been fighting his whole career with failed recognition, but doesn´t let it bother him. “I have been dealing with this all my life being under the radar. Many people don´t know how good I can be, but that doesn´t matter. I just try to do whatever it takes to help my team win. People not knowing this isn´t going to change the way I play. I think that I am a lot better shooter for what people give me credit for. Last season opponents really let me shoot. I worked on my shot last summer. I think that I can do many things great and not just one. This has helped me become the complete player that I am today”, stressed Philadelphia native Reggie Redding. In his second season in Tuebingen, Redding heightened his stats from last season and it wasnt only offense that did the talking on the court, but his defense. “He is one of the best defenders that I ever played with”, warned ex BBC Bayreuth American Corey Stokes. His teammates know what his worth was three seasons ago. “He was so valuable to us with his defense, passing and rebounding”, stressed Indiana native Vaughn Duggins. Against Frankfurt in 2011-2012, Redding had nine points and six rebounds in a loss in Tuebingen and then exploded in a win in Frankfurt with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists. In his second season with Tuebingen, he improved his stats more as his responsibility grew playing 34 games averaging 14.0ppg, 5.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 81.1%. After two seasons in Tuebingen, it was time to say goodbye as he moved to 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin. He paid his dues with Tuebingen and last season won his first Beko BBL title the cup with Alba Berlin. Despite a much more talented and deep roster than in Tuebingen, the Philadelphia native held his own and led the team in scoring, was third in rebounds, first in assists and in steals despite having the best defensive player in the league with Clifford Hammonds, Redding easily showed that he is a complete team player. This season, it is the same story as Redding is at the top of numerous statistical categories for his team. The 26 year old 196cm swing man doesn´t seem to be in his prime yet and sky is the limit for the player. If he hadn´t hit the buzzer beater in cup play last season against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, then he would still be searching for his first Beko BBL title. Buzzer beaters continue to be on his menu as he connected for another this season against Malaga. In Euroleague play he has also been a central figure in their offense as he is second in teams scoring, rebounding and assists. His stock as a high profile American player in Europe keeps rising and rumor has it that he has a contract offer from top European team Maccabi Tel Avivi, but before he makes any choices about signing, he first wants to help Alba Berlin win another league title something the team has about as good chances as their last win in 2008 as they are the best team currently in the Beko BBL.
It has been almost been 8 months since the Walter TIgers were another Beko BBL team that defeated the Fraport Skyliners in a narrow crunch time game and the unlucky goat was Oklahoma native Jacob Burtcshi who tried to make the cute extra pass to Danilo Barthel inside instead of taking the possible game winning shot. If Burtschi who is back home living in Oklahoma is aware that the FRaport Skyliners were playing the Walter TIgers Tuebingen is unknown, but if he does come upon the name of that yellow colored team with the cute tIger, it is almost probable that he will remember that fateful day last season. The question was how much was this memory from last season which was a bitter crunch time loss and the buzzer beater loss a few days earlier in Eurochallenge play against Boras Basket have an effect on the German players like Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel? Both Germans still remembered the difficult defeat last season against Tuebingen and played their hearts out against Boras Basket, but weren´t rewarded at the end with a win as the rocket man Adama Darboe beat the Fraport Skyliners with a buzzer beater mid distance jumper which pierced the hearts of not only both Germans, but also the complete team which played without 5 players. With the walking wounded still long and seemingly never ending, the Fraport Skyliners had to fight against all odds and play against a feisty Tuebingen team who wanted to start a way out of the cellar with a victory on foreign ground in the Fraport arena, but were denied as the Fraport Skyliners gave a great team effort for 40 minutes having a consistent game and never letting Tuebingen match their game and before I forget their good luck charm me was in the Fraport arena for the fourth complete game of the season and the club is 4-0. After the unneeded crunch time loss to Tuebingen last season and crunch time loss to Boras in Ruesselsheim 96 hours earlier, German national player Johannes Voigtmann was relieved to breathe more smoothly in the last minutes as defeat was as far away on that night as the family of Skyliner Kyle Fossman in Alaska. “It was nice to win a game again having a good lead and not having it be tight. Even when Tuebingen got a bit closer, we learned from our past mistakes and were able to pull away again. We were rewarded with a win for our efforts”, stated Johannes Voigtmann. After the game, the Walter Tigers Tuebingen players looked like a beaten Tiger that had just lost a fierce battle and gotten pounded hard without any remorse and basketball is a very simple sport as Nick Wiggins who is the brother of NBA player Andrew Wiggins explained on the floor during his postgame stretching. “They made shots for 40 minutes and we didn´t. It is as simple as that”, expressed Nick Wiggins. Despite the walking wounded list still being long, the club did welcome back the cool Finish sniper Mikko Koivisto who had much to explain after the victory. “We may have many injuries, but we cant make excuses. We just came out and played as hard as we could under the circumstances and with what we had. It helped that we hit many three pointers tonight. We moved the ball well, had many assists and did a good job rebounding in certain phases. We have had problems in the past rebounding, but we took the challenge up against Tuebingen”, expressed Mikko Koivisto.