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 last season, the Serb head coach had the right feeling bringing in 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 season 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, but there was no real guarantee that he would explode in the higher league Beko BBL. However 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. 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 heightened his stats from last season and it wasnt only offense that does 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 two seasons ago. “He was so value 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: 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 this 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 has held his own and is the second top scorer behind David Logan and has shown that his skils and mind can work with a top level team. It doesn´t matter if he is mr everything in Tuebingen or a part of many in Berlin, he can fit into any system. His stats are a bit down from Tuebingen, but with so many scorers with Alba Belrin, that is only normal. Redding is averaging 12,2ppg, 4,2rpg and 3,5apg. He has scored in double figures 20 times including 23 points against Oldenburg. He was just as impressive in Eurocup play averaging 12,9ppg, 4,8rpg and 3,7apg and scored in double figures 16 times including 24 points against Valencia. Redding will be an instrumental part in the chances of Alba Berlin winning a second title this season. He already showed his worth with a buzzer beater against Bonn sending his team to the Cup top four.
Every season without a title in Berlin is as disappointing as a boyfriend forgetting the big bag of popcorn with butter at the flick, because both is expected in Berlin as in the local movie theater and not winning a title in Berlin had been the norm for some years in Berlin. Before last season the last time Alba Berlin won a title was the 2009 Beko BBL cup in Hamburg. Since then they had gone without any new hardware until last season where despite losing early in the playoffs to FC Bayern Munich, the season wasn´t a total waste as they won the cup, but did beat the most famous German sports team on the way to their only title last season and won a cup for a second straight season this season. They finished last season in fifth place with a record of 20-14 an din the off season had to watch how many Alba players fled to Munich where it seemed like the dollars were being waved around and the temptation was just to big not to except. Guys like Nihah Djedovic, Yassin Idbihi, Heiko Schaffartzik and Deon Thompson escaped to Bavaria to play Euroleague. The club did the most radical house cleaning in the whole Beko BBL and one of the greatest in their club history as they only kept veteran Sven Schulze who just keeps coming back despite his hair getting greyer and young German Sebastian Fulle. This years team is deeper, has more experienced German players, have more individual quality and are stronger and more physical under the boards. The club also has very good mix of not too many Americans, but also very capable young Germans, a Croatian, Macedonian, Canadian and a player from Israel. This season Alba Berlin started very strong with their biggest win a 20 point victory against FC Bayern Munich, an easy win against ratiopharm Ulm, manhandled Ludwigsburg 83-52 and they could have been a lot higher in the standings had they not lost to Bamberg and Artland combined by only five points. Since the allstar break, Alba Berlin have a respectable 12-3 record, but will finish the season in third place as they have had stiff competition form FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. They had a weak phase in February losing three of four games including in Hagen which has become a tradition since years, but since then have a 7-1 record losing only against the Artland Dragons. The Fraport Skyliners enter the game with a three game losing streak and want to end the season with a four game winning streak. “It is never easy to paly in Berlin and they play together. It is the last game for us and we want to leave it on the floor”, stressed Dane Watts.
The club held on to Sven Schultze who is is a 35 year old 206cm power forward that was born in Bamberg. He is a very strong player with a deadly shot. With his size, he will post up the opponents small forwards and outrun the opponents power forwards. He is able to defend bigger players, but also agile enough to defend smaller ones. He can drop the three pointer in a variety of ways which gives you so many more ways of using him. He also is very dangerous on the fast break as he can with the speed of a point guard and then dunk. He started his career with Bamberg and then played for Alba Berlin from 1998-2002 winning four BEKO BBL titles. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen until 2005 before going south to Play in Italy in Milian, Udine and Biella. he also played shortly in Greece for Larissa. He finished the 2009-2010 season playing for Ferrara (Italy-SerieA): 13 games: 8.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 75.0%. He won a silver in Belgrad in 2005 at the European Championships and played at the Olympic games 2008 in Bejing. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin he played EuroCup: 12 games: 4.7ppg, 2.3rpg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.5ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 43 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg. Last season, he played 35 games: 2.8ppg, 1.1rpg; Euroleague: 18 games: 2.3ppg. He is playing his eighth season with Alba Berlin. The biggest signing of the season was 32 year old 185cm guard David Logan from Indianapolis, Indiana that also ha sthe Polish citizenship. As a senior at Indianapolis he played 29 games: ScoreNCAA2-1(28.6ppg), 4.4rpg, 5.0apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 78.8%: Finished collegiate career as the all-time leading scorer in Indianapolis and GLVC history with 2,352 points. He never played in the NBA, but has played in all the top leagues in Europe and has been at the high point of his career the last two seasons playing for top Euroleague teams Athens and Tel Aviv. Lasts eason for Tel Aviv he played 34 games: 9.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.7apg, FGP-2(65.2%), 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 80.0%; Euroleague: 27 games: 10.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 43.4%, FT: 64.0%. He has played 101 Euroleague games and kills you with his quickness and fast shooting.
The team also added ReggieReddingwhoisplaying his fourthprofessionalseasondespitebeingonly25yearsold.Reddingisa196cmguardfromPhiladelphiaandpossessesagreatfeelforthegame,moveswellwithouttheball,offerssizeandtheabilitytoscorefromtheguardposition.HeplayedatVillanova(NCAA)withexBGGoettingenforwardDwayneAndersonandinhissenioryearplayed23games:7.3ppg,4.7rpg,2.4apg,1.4spg,FGP:40.8%,3PT:39.5%,FT:63.8%.hereachedtheNCAASweet16in2008. As a rookieheplayedforInterCollegeEthaEngomis(Cyprus-DivisionA)winningtheleagueandcuptitleandplayed16games:9.5ppg,4.3rpg,2.1apg,1.0spg,FGP:46.1%,3PT:44.4%,FT:73.9%;EuroChallenge:8games:7.0ppg,3.4rpg,2.3apg,FGP:40.0%,3PT:31.3%,FT:62.5%. In 2011-2012 for Tuebingen he played 34 games: 13.2ppg, 5.8rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-3(1.4spg), FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 69.0%. For his strong season in the Beko BBL, he received Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 2nd Team -12, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Imports Team -12, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team -12. Last season for Tuebingen he played 34 games: 14.0ppg, 5.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 81.1%. The club also added Vojdan Stojanovski from Macedonia who is a 26 year old 194cm guard that is a great shooter, can defend the positions 1-3 and brings much intensity to the court. Last season he played for BC Donetsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): VTB League: 20 games: 9.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 84.4%; Ukrainian Superleague: 34 games: 10.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 85.4%; EuroCup: 6 games: 11.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 93.3%. Levon Kendall is a 29 year old 209cm power forward from Vancouver, Canada that ha sthe Canadian and Irish citizenship. He is a player that is capable to play all the three front court positions; has great rebounding skills, and can score from any position, with range also from behind the parking lot. He played at Pittsburgh(NCAA) from 2003-2007 reaching two NCAA Sweet 16´s. In his seventh professional season, Germany is only his third country as he has played three seasons in Greece and three seasons in Spain. Last season he played for Blusens Monbus Obradoiro CAB (Spain-Liga Endesa): 36 games: 12.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 75.0%.
Clifford Hammonds is a 28 year old 191cm point guard from Georgia that is playing his sixth professional season and in his sixth country. He played at Clemson(NCAA) and has played in countries like Turkey, Greece, France nad Bosnia. He is an untypical lefty that likes to play physical and can drive to the hoop with the best of them. Last season he won the cup with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro CAB (Spain-Liga Endesa): 36 games: 12.2ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 75.0%. Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann is a 23 year old 208cm center that is playing his first season for Alba Berlin. He started his career in the Bonn organization. He already played for Bonn as an 18 year old and is a player that gives much effort on each play and moves very well for his size. Last season for Bonn he played : 36 games: 5.4ppg, 3.6rpg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg), FGP: 60.9%, FT: 49.1%; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 7.4ppg, 5.4rpg, Blocks-1(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.1%, FT: 26.8%. Alex King is a 28 year old 200cm forward from Munich, Germany. King started his basketball career in Frankfurt playing for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners from 2002-2008. In that span he won the German league title in 2004 and was a finalist in 2005 and played a total of 129 BBL games for Frankfurt. He played for the Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2008-20011 playing a total of 101 Beko BBL games. In 2010-2011 for Bonn he played EuroChallenge: 6 games: 2.5ppg, 4.0rpg; German League: 31 games: 4.9ppg, 2.3rpg. He played the last two seasons for Wurzburg and last season played 34 games: 7.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 70.0%; EuroCup: 6 games: 8.5ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 54.2%, FT: 28.6%. His rebounding and first step are his best attributes in his game. Jagla is a 32 year old 213cm forward from Berlin Germany. A seven-foot power forward with the skill set of a guard. Can post up and score inside and is a great three point shooter as well. Was compared too much times to Dirk Nowitzki at his teenage days, and this limited his maturation. He started his basketball career at Lichterfelde and then went to the States to play NCAA ball at Penn St. He then played for Panellinios Athens (Greece-A1): 3 games: 2.3ppg, 1.0rpg: released in Nov.’04 and joined Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (1.Bundesliga): 26 games: 6.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 55.6%, 3FGP: 30.2%. In 2005-2006, he had a taste of the NBA playing with the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), waived in Oct.’05, then signed at Drac Inca Mallorca (Spain-LEB, starting five): 28 games: 11.3ppg, Reb-5(7.8rpg), 1.4bpg, 2FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.1%. From 2006-2011, he played for top teams in Europe including Turk Telekom Ankara, DKV Joventut Badalona (Spain-ACB,) from 2007-2009 where he played with Demond Mallet and Ricky Rubio and helped win the ULEB Cup in 2008. He played two years for Polish Euroleague team Asseco Prokom Gdynia . He has played 40 Euroleague games and has been part of the German national team since 2006. He played the last two season for FC Bayern Munich and last season played 38 games: 7.3ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 83.0%.
Leon Radosevic is a 23 year old 208cm power forward from Croatia that is playing his first season for Alba Berlin and has a good understanding for the game for his age and is flexible at both big man positions. He played many years for top Croatian team KK Cibona and has played 35 Euroleague games. Last season he played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL): VTB League: 11 games: 9.5ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 48.6%, FT: 63.5%; Euroleague: 10 games: 9.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 54.3%, FT: 71.0%; Lithuanian LKL: 5 games: 11.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6spg, 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 56.4%, FT: 70.6%; VTB United League: 11 games: 9.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 2FGP: 48.6%, FT: 63.5%, in Jan.’13 moved to EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-SerieA): 18 games: 5.2ppg, 2.3rpg, FGP: 55.9%, FT: 77.8%. Akeem Vargas is a 23 year old 192cm guard that started his basketball career at the SG Urspringschule junior team. He played a season for Iowa Lakes CC (JUCO). He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen from 2010-2012, but never got a real chance to prove himself there playing a total of 22 Beko BBL games. Last season he took a step back and played for BG Goettingen (Germany-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 13.8ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 81.1%. His biggest strength is his defense and can penetrate well to the basket. Bar Timor is a 21 year old 192cm guard that has the German/Israel citizenship. He is a well developing point guard with experience having played in Israel. Last season he played for Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Winner League, starting five): 30 games: 7.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 67.2%. A project in the making is still Ismet Akpinar who is an 18 year old 192cm point guard who has Turkisch roots. The U-18 German national team started his basketball career for BC Hamburg Tigers junior team. He played the last two seasons for SC Rist Wedel and last season played SC Rist Wedel (ProB, starting five): 22 games: 6.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 37.8%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 87.5.
Since the climatic semi final win over Alba Berlin in 2005, where guys like Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis led the then Opel Skyliners into the BBL final, Frankfurt has only a 10-18 record against the Albatros, but have built installed a special albatross cage in the Ballsporthalle which has rewarded them with a 5-3 record. One of the biggest and most emotional wins in the last years was the 81-67 trouncing in January 2006 as it was the debut of ex Skyliner coach Charles Barton. It was only a shame that the team was unable to take this big win and grow off it as they won little more that season and had to win on the last day at home against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg to stay in the BBL. Some nice wins in the last years was the 74-58 win in 2008 as American Derrick Allen added 19 points and six rebounds and in 2009, they won 73-66 as ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. In the 2009-2010 season, the two teams split the season series 1-1 as Alba Berlin held Frankfurt to 53 points in the Ballsporthalle and winning. Frankfurt returned to Berlin to win 76-70 as Derrick Allen led the team with 18 points. Frankfurt then surprisingly kicked out Alba Berlin in the playoffs 3-1 winning game four at home 69-58 as Derrick Allen had 26 points. In the first meeting in 2010-2011, Alba Berlin escaped the O-2 World arena with a 81-77 win. Frankfurt led for 36 minutes before Alba Berlin put on the turbo and went on a 8-2 run which sparked the win. Dashaun Wood led all players with 32 points and Derrick Allen chipped in with 17 points for Alba Berlin. Alba Berlin shot 57% from the field and 44% from the parking lot, but Frankfurt had control of the boards 31-21. In the second meeting in 2010-2011, Alba Berlin prevailed 79-70 as Dashaun Wood led Frankfurt with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen had 18 points. Frankfurt lost in the 2011 Beko BBL semi finals 3-2 . In 2011-2012 the Fraport Skyliners stunk out their Fraport arena with a 83-57 loss where Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also lost a close game 70-66 in Berlin. Last season, The Fraport Skyliners were walloped in Berlin losing 91-65 as they had little chance. Frankfurt didn´t shoot so bad hitting over 40% from the field and outside, but were clobbered under the boards 36-22 and relinquished 19 turnovers. In the return meeting in Frankfurt, the Fraport Skyliners won an exciting 65-62 nail bitter as Quantez Robertson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Ryan Brooks had 15 points and Zach Peacock had 14 points. Alba Berlin was led by Dashaun Wood with 24 points. In the first meeting this season, Alba Berlin prevailed 68-54. Alba Berlin was led by Leon Radosevic with 19 points and David Logan added 10 points. The Fraport Sklyiners were led by Danilo Barthel with 17 points and Konstanton Klein contributed 11 points. Alba Berlin host Frankfurt May 1st.