After the satisfying 79-63 win against The Fraport Skyliners and 4th win in a row to start the season for The Telekom Baskets Bonn, Tony Gaffney exited the locker room not jumping around enjoying the moment like an overzealous Terrell Owens, but being relaxed and soaking in the moment mentally and before talking to the media, he politely excused himself because he had to exit the catacomb of the arena and visit the some 100 Bonn fans who had made the 1.30 hour journey to cheer their team on. Gaffney isn´t your typical American that might think first about himself and start talking about himself into some microphones, but he is a guy that knows what is proper and first thinks about how he can make others happy first, before soaking up some glory. In a way, Gaffney is like a modern day Paul Revere who was known for his help and midnight run for alerting colonial forces of the approaching British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord April 7th 1775. Both were from the Boston area and Gaffney is the kind of guy that wants to help out on the court and make his teammates better. In the last five years, Bonn head coach Michael Koch had hauled in 35 Americans out of a total 60 players and often received very strong individual players, but often more interested in their own stats than the good of the team. Gaffney seems to be the complete opposite as his unselfishness is as normal as teammate 2007 NBA Draft Pick Jared Jordan looking to set up a teammate than shoot. “He likes the extra pass. If he is directly under the basket, but someone else is just a bit closer to the basket, he wont hesitate to make an extra extra pass”, commented Telekom Baskets Bonn sport director Andreas Bottcher. His mentality also seems to be totally anti American when it comes to his focus especially off the court in Germany. “Tony always wants to learn. He is always focused in life and totally open minded. He is not your typical American that might sleep to 12, but he gets up early has breakfast and asks himself what will I do today. He is totally accepted by the team, is always trying to help the younger players and could stay in the gym until midnight”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn sport director Andreas Bottcher.
Gaffney had helped his Team Bonn any which way helping dispose of The Fraport Skyliners by scoring 13 points, hauling in six rebounds, dishing out three assists and swatting away two balls. He harmonized very well with Beko BBL dinosaur Chris Ensminger and Zvonk Buljan in the zone. He had very fierce and intense duels with 2011 NBA Draft pick Jon Leuer and once even blocked the American getting a Ferris Bueller type snare from the Minnesota native, but the utmost respect. “Gaffney was more athletic than I thought. He is very quick off his feet and it was fun going up against him”, stressed Skyliner forward Jon Leuer. Skyliner point guard Justin Gray showed more of his downtown shooting than slick penetration in the zone, because he always had to have the 204cm Gaffney in the corner of his eye as his long arms were everywhere. “Gaffney is so athletic and has so much energy in the way he goes for a rebound. He is a high energy player and very good defender. He also has a jumper something he has worked on. He is an all around very good player”, stressed Charlotte North Carolina native Justin Gray. The life of Jared Jordan is made a lot easier when he can use a blind understanding of just throwing the ball up to the rim and have a Gaffney and Ensminger be able to finish and has nothing but praise for the 25 year old. “He plays with so much energy, is a team player and is all about winning”, warned Jared Jordan.
Gaffney is from Berkely, Massachusetts and played at Prep school Northfield Mount Hermon. He then played at Boston University in 2004 until 2006 before transferring to Massachusetts (NCAA) and playing there from 2006-2009. After playing 35 games in 2007-2008 averaging : 3.2ppg, 4.8rpg,he exploded in his senior year playing 30 games averaging 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%: He finished his career at UMass ranked seventh all-time in blocks (174). He then started his professional basketball career in 2009-2010 and might be the only player to have been with two of the most traditional basketball teams in the world Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics and never have played a single professional game. In the fall of 2009, Gaffney was the last player waived after playing seven preseason games averaging 3,0ppg, 1,7rpg in 7,7 minutes. Gaffney gave his all with the Lakers, but it just wasn´t to be. When he met with Lakers coach Phil Jackson it was obvious that it was a difficult decision for the team. “They treated me very well, They were very open to me. They told me how I was going to stay in this league. They showed me the ropes. I’m grateful for that. We talked for about half an hour and they explained the situation to me and how they wanted to keep me and finances just weren’t in my favor, which was understandable because this is one of the biggest businesses in the world,’’ he said. “As a rookie I got to see that first hand, which is kind of cool”, added Tony Gaffney. The American then had a short stint with Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa in Israel, but was soon back in the States and with his home team the Boston Celtics.
Gaffney was signed in April 2010 by NBA record champion Boston Celtics for the playoff roster, but he was injured and the only services he could give was being the best patriot cheerleader that he could be. His sights were set on getting healthy and having another shot in the fall at cracking the roster. During the 2010 NBA finals, Gaffney was unable to really help give the Celtics any tactical tips about his ex team Lakers. “It’s tough because when you have such a knowledgeable coaching staff, they’ve been in this game a long time, they know everything there is to know, as does every other coaching staff in this league. Any little pointers I can give, or anything like that, I’m more than happy to. I’m just blessed to be in this situation”, stressed Tony Gaffney. Despite not being able to play, he did show a comical side. “I told them that Kobe was very very good”, said the American. During the summer, Gaffney got fit and ready for a new chance with the Boston Celtics in the 2010-2011 season. However his dream of strapping on the green were squashed as he got added competition and put into a dead end. “The Celtics signed Shaq, Jermaine o Neal and Delonte West and it was obvious that there would be no room for me”, added Tony Gaffney. The American kept his head on his shoulder and went to Europe to play for Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL) playing 8 games averaging 6.0ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%. He also played EuroChallenge playing 3 games averaging 8.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0spg. He then left Turkey and went back to the States to play for the Utah Flash (D-League) playing 38 games averaging 10.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, Blocks-4(2.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 66.7%.
Gaffney is playing his first season with The Telekom Baskets Bonn and currently with one game to go in the season and the Beko BBL playoffs on the line averaging 12,9ppg, 5,8rpg, 1,5apg and is leading the league in blocks with 1,8 in 32 games. From his previous experience and stats, it was obvious why Bonn hauled in the Boston sports fan. “He is a very good player. He likes to attack the hoop, always helps rebound and is one of the fastest position four players in the league. He never stands around and is one of the most effective players. He is also very versatile plays the four when Ensminger is on the court and the five when Buljan is on the court”, added Andreas Bottcher. Bonn has had many talented and successful power forwards in the last years with Aleksander Nadjfeji, Brandon Bowmann and Ronald Dupree, but none add up to the talent of Gaffney. “We have had some good four men in Bonn, but never had such a good shot blocker like Gaffney. He has such long arms and can do so much on defense. He is a huge enrichment for the Beko BBL. I almost forgot, you should watch him dribble on the fast break”, smiled Andreas Bottcher. Bottcher also has sprouted big words about the future of the American and is sure that the name Gaffney will become a household name in Europe soon. “I predict that Gaffney is in the notebooks of the big teams in Europe”, stressed Andreas Bottcher. For anyone that hails from Americas number one sports town Boston, it is something special to be a Boston Celtic fan and even more special having played for the Bean town team. Gaffney probably not only slept in Celtic bed sheets and wore a Larry Bird jersey as a kid, but he has Celtic pride in his blood. He has experienced Celtic tradition as a fan and player and will never lose that. He has the right character to be able to take that Celtic pride and let it benefit his play wherever he is. A quote that the American believes in is from Randy Pauch which states that “Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people”. Gaffney knows that Bonn isn´t the limit. He will enjoy his time in Bonn and always give 100%. He knows exactly what he has in Bonn”, warned Andreas Bottcher. Gaffney is the complete package with a special Celtic pride ribbon and just might be the best Bonn present this year getting and with a do or die game at home against the Fraport Skyliners this Saturday is looking to give the fans a big present back by leading the team into the playoffs.