Tony Gaffney(Telekom Baskets Bonn) Seeing The Cup Displayed 5 Feet From The Court Was All The Motivation I Needed To Keep Pushing Against Bamberg
Tony Gaffney is a 27 year old 204cm forward from Berkely, Massachusetts that is playing for the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He is a forward who brings a high level of energy and athleticism to any teams he joins. He is a tenacious rebounder and great defender. He was the Atlantic 10 Conference defensive player of the year in 2008-09, and one of the nation’s leading shot-blockers. He played at Boston University from 2004-2006 and then went to Massachusetts (NCAA) where he played from 2006-2009. In his senior year, he played 30 games: 11.5ppg, RebA10-2(10.2rpg), 1.7apg, StealsA10-2(2.0spg), BlocksNCAA-3(3.8bpg), FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 64.6%: Finished career at UMass ranked seventh all-time in blocks (174). In 2009-2010, he played for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League): 1 game: 2pts, 2reb, 1steal, 1block, but left next month, in Apr.’10 moved to Boston Celtics (NBA). Last season, he played for the Boston Celtics (NBA), in Oct.’10 moved to Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL): Turkish League: 8 games: 6.0ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 8.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0spg; left in Jan.’11, same month acquired by Utah Flash (D-League): 38 games: 10.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, Blocks-4(2.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to German Hoops after the cup final loss to the Brose Baskets Bamberg.
A second place finish at the 2012 Beko BBL cup weekend. What was your overall impression of the atmosphere in the Telekom dome?
The atmosphere in Bonn, at the dome was amazing this weekend. Every game sold out, fans from Bamberg, Braunschweig, Ulm, and most importantly Bonn, were in full force for the players it made the experience pretty memorable.
Did the Telekom Baskets Bonn know before the game against the New Yorker Phantoms that 3 players had a virus and couldnt play? Was it tough staying focused and not underestimating the opponent?
No we had no idea. We never underestimate an opponent, in a league like the BBL, any team can win on any night, as seen in Frankfurt, beating Bamberg (the top team in the league) then losing to Goettigen (the lowest seed in the league). You have to respect every team, because if you don’t show up to play every day, any team can beat you, let alone in the Top Four Cup playing against some of the best teams in the BBL
You have played against many top teams in your career. Where would you rate a team like the Brose Baskets Bamberg?
Bamberg is one of the most disciplined teams I’ve played against, they never panic, never point fingers at each other, they play together and are extremely deep at every position. They play very much like a team that has been playing together for a longer period of time than most of the teams in this league and are extremely well coached.
In the final, The Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to get past the Telekom Baskets Bonn 82-73. Bamberg seemed not to be at the level as against ratiopharm Ulm. How disappointing was it not being able to win the game?
We were extremely disappointed after the game, there was no moral victory for fighting, or keeping it close down to the wire, we played that cup to win it, and unfortunately we came up just short. Both teams (us and bamberg) were exhausted from having played 18 hours prior to the championship, and I believe that their depth helped them greatly.
In the second half, Bonn always tried to makes pushes, but couldnt get over the hump and get under 6 points. What was key for not being able to do this?
Every time we made a run and cut into their lead, someone stepped up and made a big shot for them. Whether it was Suput, Roberts, or Jacobsen, they made big plays that didn’t quite allow us to get over that hump, but I was extremely proud that our guys never quit and kept fighting til the clock said 00:00
It seems like whenever, you made a push a different Bamberg player hurt you with a big shot. Is this one of there biggest strength just pulling out different players like out of a hat that make the big shots?
Yes, id have to say that is their biggest strength. They have a number of players that can step up and make the big time shot that is a dagger to most teams.
You had a monster game with seven blocks. Was this one of your best defensive games?
I just wanted to be as active as possible because they have a a good front line and I knew that for us to have a chance at being in the game it would take a solid effort defensively to keep them in check. So I’m not sure if it was one of my best games defensively, id have to watch the tape and then decide, but i just wanted to be active and play with heart.
At the end you seemed out of gas, but continued making blocks. What pushed you forward?
Gased would be an understatement. Hahaha. I have never quit on anything in my life, I was raised better than that. The motivation of 6000+ screaming fans made it a little easier, and seeing the cup displayed 5 feet from the court was all the motivation I needed to keep pushing against Bamberg
What kind of a feeling is it blocking Marcus Slaughter?
Marcus is a great player, and a very hard worker. I enjoy matching up with him because its always a task in itself. He’s gotten me a few times this season so I just wanted to repay him a few times.
What was your highlight of weekend?
The most memorable part of the weekend for me was the atmosphere, not only at the dome, but around Bonn, it really is a great city and there was definitely a buzz about the Cup going around.
Who will reach the NCAA Final and win it all?
Im going with Kentucky and Kansas. I know Coach Cal a bit and would love to see him bring a championship back to Kentucky. Those two teams, along with UNC at full strength, are the most well rounded teams in college basketball. Kentucky wins the final over Kansas 78-71