Former BBL Players

Tyrone Ellis (Northern Arizona Suns) My First Impression Of Chris Williams On The Court Was He Can Do Everything

Tyrone Ellis is a former professional player from Dallas, Texas that currently is head coach of D-League team Northern Arizona Suns. As a player he had a stellar career in Europe showing that a player can make a career coming from a NAIA school from Southern Nazarene playing in countries like Germany, Italy, Turkey and Spain. In 2004 he helped the Opel Skyliners win the BBL league title. He played for three Spanish teams Girona, Cajasol Sevilla and Asefa Estudiantes Madrid playing six seasons in the best league in Europe. He also played for teams like Eldo Basket Napoli and  Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul . He retired in 2012 and went into coaching being an assistant for D-League teams Tulsa, Reno, Grand Rapids and Bakersfield. He spoke to German Hoops about the death of former teammate Chris Williams and coaching the Northern Arizona Suns.

Ty thanks for talking to German Hoops! Where are you at the moment and how is your basketball life treating you at the moment?

No problem Miles, my pleasure. I’m currently on the road trying to finish up the season strong.

Before we talk about your coaching career, we have to talk about your ex teammate and friend Chris Williams who passed away recently. How did you hear about it and what was your first thought?

Our friend, Marlon Garnett, sent me a text after my game around midnight. Marlon played with Chris in Iran. I was confused, hurt, and in disbelief. I am still mourning my friend’s death. I don’t want to believe he is gone.

me interviewing tyrone ellis 2005 after berlin win[1190]

Postgame interview back in 2005: TYRONE ELLIS and MILES SCHMIDT-SCHEUBER after the Opel Skyliners eliminated Alba Berlin from the 2005 BBL Play-Offs

Chris Williams was 36 years old and just suddenly past away due to blood clotting. Did you have any more contact to him the last years? When you remember having your last conversation with him?

Yes, Chris and I kept in touch. He was the best man in my wedding. The last conversation I had with Chris was when I got this job. He called to congratulate me and tell me how proud of me he is.

(more…)

Chris Oliver (Kaohsiung Truth)God Is The Way And Reason I’m Able To Do Everything That I Do

Chris Oliver is a 31 year old 198cm forward  is playing his tenth professional season and first in Taiwan with the Kaohsiung Truth. He played at Radford from 2003-2007 and in his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 18.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.1apg, 1.9spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 48.7%, 3Pts: 25.8%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2007-2008 and played for the Kaiserslautern Braves of the PRO A and then reached the BBL playing two seasons with BG Goetingen winning the Eurochallenge title in 2010 and then played a season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He then gained further valuable basketball experience playing 4 seasons in France, briefly in Hungry and last season with  Niigata Albirex (Japan-BJ League, starting five): 14 games: 15.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 45.1%, 3FGP: 34.1%, FT: 77.3%, left during the season, in Mar.’16 moved to Jean D’Arc Vichy Clermont Metropole (France-ProB): 6 games: 9.8ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 72.7%. He spoke to German Hoops about his experiences in Taiwan

Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your day been?

I’m currently at my teammates house for his daughters 1st birthday party. His wife made tacos for the team as well.

After eight professional years in Europe, you decided to make the long trek far east to Japan last season and this season to Taiwan and join the Kaohsiung Truth (Taiwan-ASEAN League). Did you feel like this was the right time in your career or could you have thought playing in the far east 5 years ago?

It was a very good opportunity for me coming here to Taiwan and an amazing opportunity to see a lot of Asia that otherwise I probably wouldn’t have experienced. If I knew back then what I know now I think I would have come to Asia many years ago lol.

Taiwan has the SBL league and the new league ASEAN where you are playing in. It has 6 teams and are from 6 south east Asian countries (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam). In a way it reminds me of the VTB league as there you also play in many different countries. You have been playing in this league now three months. It´s a new league, but skill wise how would you compare it to the leagues in Germany and France where you have played?

I would agree with you it’s similar to VTB or Adriatic league or European competition with the travel but the competition level isn’t as high as Europe. It’s a totally different game here. There are only 2 world imports allowed per team so we all play 36+ mins. The Asian players are talented but mainly shooters but they can SHOOT and run 100 mph lol. Compared to Germany and France this league isn’t near as athletic or fast or physical.

(more…)

Frankfurt Skyliner Legend Chris Williams With The Heart Of Gold Passes Away At Age 36

me and chris williams 2005

Chris Williams and Miles Schmidt-Scheuber, 2005

It didn’t really matter what you called Chris Williams (199-F/G-80, college: Virginia) some called him big smooth or chris cross, but one could have come up with thousands of names for his amazing athletic game as he owned the paint area as he was nearly unstopable, but today the former Frankfurt Skyliner passed away due to blood clotting to the heart at the age of 36. It didn’t matter where he played in school or in the pros, he was a winner putting up great stats everywhere he went and won titles in Australia, Germany and Korea in a 11 year professional career. In Germany, fans will remember him as not only one of the top power forwards in the BBL, but one of the best players in the league from 2003-2005. He was instrumental in the Opel Skyliners winning the 2004 BBL league title and reaching the final in 2005 as he formed the dangerous and very feared Bermuda triangle with American Tyrone Ellis and German national player Pascal Roller.

One guy that remembers him still is current Colgate assistant coach Michael Jordan who had a standout career in Europe and battled Williams with the Artland Dragons from 2003-2005. “Chris was a good player but an even better person. We had some good battles and good times in Europe. He will be missed”, stressed Michael Jordan. Williams wasn’t only top on the court, but was a genuine great guy that always wanted to help the best way he could and had a heart of gold. Ex Licher Basket Baeren guard Jermale Jones was best friends with Chris William’s brother, but remembers Chris in only the best way. “Chris was such a great guy. He was always willing to help people no matter what it was. He was a giver in all aspects. Chris is a guy you would want to be friends with because of his personality and the way he carried himself. Chris tried to help me in every way to help me sign my first deal overseas but it was hard for him to get me a job cause I had no experience at the time and just last summer he was trying to get me signed in the China league. He always wanted to help”, stressed Jermale Jones.

(more…)

Jason Boone (TBV Start Lublin) I’ve Trusted John Patrick´s Decisions For The Teams Success My Whole Career

Jason Boone is a 31 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York that is playing his tenth professional season and first with TBV Start Lublin (Poland-PLK). He started the season with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg where he had been with since 2015 and this season averaged 1,3ppg and 1,0rpg in the EasyCredit BBL and 2,0ppg and 2,0rpg in the Champions League. He played three seasons with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and three seasons for BG Goettingen. He played at New York University(NCAA 3) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 14.1ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.4bpg, 2.9apg, FG: 63.0%, FT: 64.3%. In 2007-2008, he turned professional and played played at Bernau(Regionalliga) before making the jump up three leagues to MEG Goettingen. In 2008-2009, he averaged 4.4ppg, 4.0rpg, FG: 53.7. In 2009-2010, he won the Eurochallenge for BG Goettingen playing EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. He also played a season with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL): 14 games: 6.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 2FGP: 60.7%, FT: 46.2%, in Mar.’15 moved to SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProA) playing 12 games: 9.7ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 63.6%, FT: 51.4%. He spoke to German Hoops for the 75th time this time talking about his departure from the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg leaving head coach John Patrick with whom he played for in Goettingen, Wurzburg and Ludwigsburg and the future.

Jason thanks for talking to German Hoops. Did you make any new years resolutions coming into 2017 or are you not the type of guy that does that?

I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change you shouldn’t wait until January 1st to make it. I spend a lot of my free time in the fitness center and it was full the first two weeks of January, but around the middle of the month it was back down to the regulars. That sums up my relationship to the New Years Resolution.

I just finished reading your blog entry “My real life can wait” and realized that you went through a lot in only half a season. Were the last 6-7 months the most difficult in your basketball career?

Everything seems difficult as you go through it but in hindsight is never as bad as it seems in the moment. This season definitely wasn’t the easiest but at the end of the day I was able to be a part of a successful team and a great group of guys.

Your basketball life in Ludwigsburg came to an end recently. Was this a good example that like in so many other facets of life, business is always king while everything else is far behind?

Didn’t you watch the BBL Dunk Contest this year? Kelvin Martin is King. Point Blank. Period.

(more…)

Kyle Fogg (Unicaja Malaga) The Do Or Die Eurocup Game Against FC Bayern Munich Is One Of The Biggest Of My Career

Kyle Fogg is a 27 year old 190cm guard playing his fifth professional season and first with Unicaja Malaga (Spain-Liga Endesa). Last season he led the German BBL in scoring with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL, starting five): 33 games: Score-1(18.5ppg), 3.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 89.7%. He started his basketball career with Arizona (NCAA) in 2008 an dplayed 138 games in his 4 year career and as a senior played 34 games averaging 13.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 79.5%. He started his professional career in 2012 with the  Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) playing 43 games averaging 5.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 39.5%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 80.2%. In the 2013-2014 season he started with the Delaware 87ers (D-League), in Dec.’13 signed at Lapuan Korikobrat (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 29 games: Score-1(27.0ppg), 6.4rpg, Assists-4(4.6apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 84.2%. In the 2014-2015 season he played with Port of Antwerp Giants (Belgium-Scooore League): 32 games: 15.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 81.9%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 16.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 75.5%. He spoke to German Hoops before the do or die Eurocup game against FC Bayern Munich.

Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops Do or die in Munich for the rights to advance to the Eurocup semi-Finals. How excited are you for this game? Where do you rank this game in importance in your career in Europe?

Very excited this is definitely one of the biggest games of my career in Europe.

Do you have any friendly wagers going with your ex Arizona teammate Nick Johnson?

Haha nah we don’t have any wagers on the game but bragging rights are on the line.

You probably keep tabs on your ex teammates, but seriously is there that extra special competitive flair between you and Nick Johnson now on the court. You guys came off the bench in the first game and both started in the second game and in both games the stats were almost similar

I follow all of my ex teammates from Arizona, but Nick and I have been close friends since we played together in college. We battled every day in practice, and I expect the same on Wednesday.

FC Bayern Munich have rebounded very well in both games, but key was the Malaga defense in game two in Spain. What adjustments did the team make in game two and what will be key in getting the win in Munich?

For us it was a do or die game. I think we played with a lot more energy and a sense of urgency. We have to bring that same intensity on Wednesday especially playing in their gym. Trying our best to keep them off the glass will be a key factor in the game.

(more…)

Tyrone Nash (Ironi Nahariya) My Close Games Against Bonn Remind Me Of My Battles Against Louisville In College

Tyrone Nash is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Queens, New York playing his sixth professional season and first with  Ironi Nahariya (Israel-Winner League). He started his basketball career with  Notre Dame (NCAA) in 2007 and played 118 NCAA games until 2011 and as a senior played  34 games averaging 9.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 68.9%. He started his professional career in 2011 with the  Walter Tigers Tuebingen where he played for three seasons playing 99 BBL games and in his last season there played  33 games: 10.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for SPO Rouen Basket (France-ProA): 11 games: 8.3ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.1%, FT: 50.0%. Last season he returned back to Germany to play for the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL) playing 34 games averaging 10.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 66.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Tyrone, thanks for talking to German Hoops You have reached the Fiba Europe Cup quarterfinals and now play against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. How excited are you for the chance to reach the final 4?

Yes, we are very excited to compete for a berth in the Final Four.

Before we talk about the quarterfinals let´s talk about the last round against Turkish team Royal Gazientep. You almost wouldn´t have been in the quarterfinals had Ironi Nahariya not played in Turkey on account of massive terrorist threats. How serious were these threats?

Apparently the threats were real. We had a bunch of CIA agents with us throughout the whole trip which was different from any other trip we had during the year thus far. But they kept us all safe and away from harm.

The club then did play the game. How did you go into the game concerning the possible danger that was looming? Did you fear for your life or was a lot of the talk a bit overblown?

It was definitely a strange game to play with all the security and news coverage surrounding us. I feel we all definitely were more alert and cautious during the trip. But despite the circumstances, we managed to put that all behind us and take care of business.

(more…)

Qarraan Calhoun Is the Forgotten Basketball Soul Experiencing A Rebirth Back In Germany

When looking back at the current short 18 year history and success of the Frankfurt Skyliners, the first three things that come to mind, was their first title in their debut season 1999-2000 where head coach Stefan Koch led the team to the cup, the brilliant 2004 league title under current head coach Gordon Herbert where the Bermuda Triangle of Chris Williams, Tyrone Ellis and Pascal Roller led that team and were as feared on the court as first time sailors are of ever reaching Nassau and last seasons Fiba Europe Cup win where it was all about team that led to that title, but then again without Englewood New Jersey native Jordan Theodore, the team probably wouldn´t have won their third hardware. However that 2009-2010 title drive that ended in the final in a hard fought 5 game slug fest in Bamberg that will forever haunt Skyliner legend Pascal Roller for his missed free throw is a season that stays mostly forgotten and a side note even if it was a very exciting and successful season, but in the end all that counts are who wins that last game. Players like Aubrey Reese, Pascal Roller, Jimmy Mckinney and Seth Doliboa were players that were instrumental in that seasons success, but one guy that will forever remain a very tiny side note in Skyliner basketball folklore is Qarraan Calhoun. The last time, the New Jersey native exhibited a Skyliner jersey, Brose Bamberg still only had two BBL league titles, Dennis Schroeder was somewhere in no mans land between punk and greatness and Johannes Voigtmann was just at the start of his basketball career after discovering the traditional German sport Handball and moving to basketball heeding to the words of wisdom by his grandmother. Calhoun had only survived a little more than 5 months under the guidance of tough head coach Murat Didin before being waived.

Seven years later and after bouncing around from team to team, the American is 30 now and back in Germany very far away from the elite and toiling in the third league Pro B with the Itzehoe Eagles. Calhoun is the forgotten basketball soul experiencing a rebirth back into Europe. Before landing back in Germany on the path of basketball rebirth, the American got experience in the states going the college route and then heading to Europe.

(more…)