The German Pro A is filled with talented and skilled guards with a dime a dozen being an understatement, but moreover about as many players as there are Bulls fans in his home town of Chicago still unaware who new German shooting star Paul Zipser is and who still don´t know how to pronounce his name correctly as it isn´t like the zipcode, but moreover like Cipser if your saying the name from a German standpoint. Every club in the German Pro A have adept guards who are still looking for that big chance to make the next step up to the BBL or another top level in Europe as the list is as unending as the debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James as who is really the best ever. There are guys like Cologne´s Richard Williams or MBC Marcus Hatten that have reached the big dance in Germany, but the again other players like Virgil Matthews of Chemnitz, Carrington Love of Kirchheim, Chase Adams of Paderborn, Eugene Harris of Hanau or Diante Watkins of Nurnberg who could surely get a shot at the BBL, but so far are still waiting for that golden opportunity. One guy who has been toiling in the Pro A for years is Virgil Matthews who continues to put up very solid stats filling up the stat sheet like a Nicolas Batum can and has scratched the triple double surface , but at the end of every summer, it was the same story as he ended up again in the Pro A getting passed up by BBL teams. However two guys that have made the jump to the BBL this season after years of being overlooked in the Pro A have been Carlos Medlock who played three seasons in the Pro A with Crailsheim, Wurzburg and Vechta and Carlton Guyton who also had to wait three seasons before making the BBL promised land playing in Ehingen and Gotha. For Medlock reaching the BBL this season was more than bitter sweet as he had been the point guard in charge the last three seasons helping his teams move up to the BBL, but wasn´t kept for the next season, while for Guyton it wasn´t as dramatic as he was rewarded for his good play in Gotha helping build a playoff team. Curiously both guys ended up with the same club this season with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig as German head coach Frank Menz believed in their abilities and both have shown that their BBL season has been no fluke. Playing with the older Medlock has been a blessing in disguise for Guyton. “It’s been a pleasure to play with Los! After competing against him for so many years I was very familiar with his game. We had our share of battles. Now us being on the same team, every night I know I can count on him to bring it! Also with him having more experience than me I try to learn his little vet tricks”, smiled Carlton Guyton.
The road to the German BBL has been a long one for Carlton Guyton and it had to start somewhere as even in teenager years, the current 26 year old 193cm guard had to prove himself which has been a standard procedure in the last 8 years.
Players usually have some kind of nickname and before Guyton could first make a name for himself for the little known community college Mineral Area College in the heart of the pretty Ozark mountains in eastern, Missouri, he was crowned a special nickname by his parents way before he was dazzling on the court, but moreover when he still had diapers on. “My mom and dad gave me the nickname as a baby. To make a long story short as a baby I was scooting around the basement and lord behold “Scootie” was born”, laughed Carlton Guyton. After first turning heads at Mineral area college and having to prove his basketball worth there first for two years before getting a chance at the NCAA Level, he then finally made the jump to the NCAA to the better known Kent State where he played from 2010-2012 amassing a total of 63 games and was able to average double figures in scoring each season. As a junior he played 32 games averaging 12.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.4%. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 78.3%. As a senior he scored in double figures 17 times including a 18 point game against Texas Arlington and 17 point games against Bowling Green and West Virginia. However his junior year was his most successful as he helped lead the team to the MAC tournament final and NIT Elite 8. It might not have been the NCAA tournament, but it is something he will never forget. “After losing in the MAC Championship to our rivals Akron by 1 point in OT and not getting the chance to go dancing, the NIT was a great consultation prize. My fondest memory was just getting a chance to compete with my brothers”, stressed Carlton Guyton. In his two seasons at Kent State he played for two coaches Glen Ford and Rob Senderhof and had fond memories of them. “S/O to the Flashes! My boys are going dancing. Coach Ford is really a “players coach” him being a former player he understands what guys go through. Coach Sendy he was a first time head coach when I was senior. We respected him as a coach that’s why we fought so hard for him to get the job after Coach Ford left”, stressed Carlton Guyton. His teammate there Randall Holt is currently going through the same process as Guyton had been going in that he is fighting to be recognized and accepted at being able to play at the highest level, but so far his abilities have only been good enough in the German Pro B with Weissenhorn and Pro A with the Dresden Titans. “Randal is a small guard with a big heart. He was the emotional leader of our team”, added Carlton Guyton.
After finishing school in 2012, there was nothing that stood in his way of a professional basketball career as people took notice of his solid two year career at Kent State and promptly was drafted by Erie BayHawks (D-League) in the seventh round at #108.He never played in the D-league and rather decided on going overseas and signed with the White Eagles Stockholm (Sweden-Basketligan). Often Americans will get that ultimate culture shock going from a big city to some back woods in the Ukraine, Poland or Austria where they may not find a Mcdonalds for hours. However coming from Chicago, Guyton felt at home in the capital city Stockholm, but the basketball style was something he had never witnessed before and something he had to get used to. He came to the White Eages in December and played 17 games averaging10.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 82.1%. He was up and down in scoring and scored in double figures in eight games and saved his best for last as in the second to last game of the season against Jamtland, he poured in 34 points while netting eight trey´s. After playing in a lower league in Sweden, the American was ready to make the next jump and he moved to Ehingen and has called Germany his basketball home ever since. With Ehingen, he balled in the Pro A playing 35 games averaging 13.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 67.9%. He scored in double figures in 28 games and showed that he could be a consistent scorer and helped the team reach the playoffs. He scored 21 points against BG Goettingen and netted 20 points against Magdeburg, Kirchheim, Heidelberg and Karlsruhe. The club lost a hard fought 5 game series against NBC, but he showed his playoff strength scoring in double figures in four games. With Ehingen, he got his freedom as a player from head coach Ralph Junge which enabled him to show how good he really was and led him to being a top Pro A guard in the years to follow. “Ralph is great guy & coach. He really allowed me to play my game. Under him I was able to develop on the court and play through mistakes and kind of learned on the fly”, added Carlton Guyton. Not only was head coach Ralph Junge instrumental in the success of his game, but also teammate Virgil Matthews who seems to still be off the BBL radar. “Virg was great for me. I was able to learn a lot from him. I love the pace he plays at. He’s a guy that does it all (pts,ast,&rebs). Off the court he taught me a little German”, joked Carlton Guyton. After a strong first Pro A season in Ehingen, the American who compares his game to Jamal Crawford and lists Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks as his toughest adversary in the NCAA who was a one man fast break made the next step to Gotha. He played two seasons with Gotha where he helped the club reach the playoffs each season. In his first year there he played 38 games averaging 12.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 27.2%, FT: 73.7%. He scored in double figures in 26 games and some of his best scoring games were 26 points against current BBL teams Wurzburg and Jena and he also contributed 23 points against Kirchheim and 21 points against Hamburg and Baunach. In the playoffs they got by Science City Jena in four games, but lost to Wurzburg. In his second season with Gotha he played 35 games averaging 13.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 73.9%. He scored in double figures 27 times including his first 19 games. Some of his bests coring games were 27 points against Hamburg and 24 points against Nurnberg. Gotha made a small run in the playoffs winning an exciting hard fought 5 game series against the Hamburg Towers, but not getting by SC Rasta Vechta who moved back up to the BBL. Guyton was disappointed recently about the removal of his Gotha coaches Chris Ensminger and Steven Esterkamp, but he credits much of his development to their guidance. “Much love to Chris and Steve! They taught me some much over those two years. Not only on the court but off the court as well. To this day we still have a great relationship”, stressed Carlton Guyton.
After three years in the German Pro A, the American had paid his dues and was ready for the BBL and just needed a chance. Not only his decision making was one that had developed well in the Pro A “My understanding of the game has developed tremendously. Credit my coaches! Being able to know when to go one on one & as well as how to put guys in the best position to score.”, added Carlton Guyton. The American found that new chance and first in the BBL with the Basket Lowen Braunschweig where he came into a situation where German head coach Frank Menz announced early on that he would give Germans minutes and with the slim budget couldn´t haul in the big name players, but decided to give proven Pro A players like Carlton Guyton and Carlos Medlock a chance. This new plan of Menz didn´t translate into wins as the club started off poorly losing seven of it´s first eight games. “New team, new coaching, new philosophies, & basically new everything. I think everyone was just trying to find their niche. As a competitor no one likes to lose! But it’s also been a great learning experience. Adversity helps build character! I’m not use to losing so this has definitely been a new experience for me”, stressed Carlton Guyton. He injured his spine a few months ago and it seemed like it wouldn´t heal this season, but he made his come back after all last weekend in the 67-66 loss to Wurzburg where he scored 3 points in 11 minutes. Up to the injury, the American had found his role and been a solid contributer as in 22 games he has averaged 10,9ppg, 3,1rpg and 2,0apg. He scored in double figures in 12 games including massive games against Wurzburg with 25 points and 20 points against Alba Berlin. He had no problems adjusting to the competitive BBL level, but just had to find his role. He also has been strong from outside as he shot 41% from the parking lot as it was the first time he had eclipsed the 40% mark since his junior season at Kent State. It hasn´t been only putting up more reps in practice or having more precise shot selection. “It’s been a combination of both. Shooting as always been natural for me, but it didn’t always show up in the percentages”, added Carlton Guyton. With so many young Germans on the club, the American has seen their development, and helped them more with his play than words. “I’m more of a lead by example kind of guy. The young guys are very hard working and ambitious. Every day they come in eager to work and learn”, said Carlton Guyton. Even if the American is sidelined and can´t help his team as they have a 2 game advantage over SC Rasta Vechta for the last spot in the league, he was confident in early March that his team would stay in the BBL. The American has proved he has game to stay in the BBL and believes it is his versatility that should keep him in the BBL. “My ability to play both the 1 and 2 at this level”, warned Carlton Guyton. He lists being able to reach the highest level in Europe the Euroleague so he can continue to support his family as a goal that he still has a professional player, but having reached the German BBL hasn´t been like a fairytale for the Chicago native since that fairytale is one that probably won´t be reached, but one that every kid up to men involved with basketball dream about. “My dream/fairytale is to play in the NBA. But its definitely an honor to play in the BBL. I was confident the entire time, I always believed I could play at the highest level”, warned Carlton Guyton. Dreaming of the NBA and playing at the highest level is something that is as normal coming out of any professional player as it is for basketball broadcaster Marv Albert yelling his famous Yesssssss whenever a bucket is made.