German Players

Matt Gibson (Nurnberg Falcons BC) I Am Still Chasing The Dream Of A Championship

Matt Gibson is a 32 year old 195cm forward from Oklahoma that will be starting his ninth professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA). Last season he played with Vendee Challans Basket (France-NM1) playing 22 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 63.5%. He has played in countries like Romania, Venezuela, Belgum. Mexico, Finland and Hungry. He played college ball at  Hawaii (NCAA) and as a senior played 25 games averaging 17.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3Pts: 30.9%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball earlier this summer.

Matt thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your summer going?

I am in Oklahoma for the moment. I haven’t been home very much the past few years so I am just enjoying the time I get with friends and Family.

One could really call you a basketball world traveler. You recently completed your 8th professional season and in this time you have played for 10 teams in six countries. Your 32 years old that just seems to love to move around. Has this lifestyle gotten harder with Age?

Yes it does get a bit older with age. But I love to travel and I love to be involved in the game of basketball. And now I am looking forward to experiencing both in Germany.

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Dominique Uhl (Iowa NCAA) Returns Home To Germany To Play against The Basketball Aid Allstars

Dominique Uhl is a 22 year old 206cm forward from Frankfurt, Germany that will be going into his senior year at the University of Iowa this fall. He started his basketball career with Eintracht Frankfurt and also played two seasons with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors from 2011-2012 playing 4 pro B games. He then decided to go to the states in 2012 and played two years at Point Pleasant Beach High School (New Jersey). He moved to the University of iowa in 2014 an din his three seasons there has played a total of 96 games. In his freshman year he played 32 games averaging 2.1ppg, 1.9rp. In his second year at Iowa (NCAA) he played 32 games averaging 5.9ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 39.8%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 59.3%. In his junior year at Iowa (NCAA), he played 32 games averaging 3.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2apg. He currently is on a European tour with Iowa playing in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He spoke to German Hoops before a special exhibition game in Germany in support of Basketball Aid.

Dominique thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going along?

No problem, anytime. I’m at school right now and my summer has been good so far, I’ve been working on my game a lot as well as my body. I’m just focusing on getting back to the basics and strengthening my my fundamentals.

Recently your ex teammate Tim Oldenburg retired so he could focus on his police job. You practiced with him many years ago when you were in the Frankfurt organization and played one Pro B game against Giessen. Did you notice already then that he could become the back bone and leader for so many years for the Fraport Skyliners.

Tim has always been a great guy. Even back then it was noticeable that he had the skills that are necessary to be a leader, so I am not surprised at all. I’m sure he will be able to thrive in his new career and I wish him all the best.

You have been in the States now for five years and will be playing your final year at Iowa in 2017-2018. How Americanized have you become in these 5 years and what good German quality do you still hope to possess?

I have become very Americanized by now, on and of the court. People even forget that I am from Germany sometimes. However, I think I still have some german qualities in me such as being well organized and disciplined.

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Tim Oldenburg Retires From Basketball Moving To The Police Force

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Tim Oldenburg after he produced 18 points and 15 rebounds in a 79-66 victory against Leipzig in 2015

It really didn´t matter if the Fraport Skyliners Juniors won or lost, Tim Oldenburg was always prepared to give his five cents after a game about what happened on the floor no matter if he had just survived a double OT loss, hit the floor 25 times all battered and still gotten up or been a spectator at the end of the bench trying to get through an injury. Oldenburg is a 25 year old 202cm forward/center that has decided to hang up his jersey and concentrate on his 9-5 job at the police force. The German came to the club in 2009 and first played with  Eintracht Frankfurt (Regionalliga), but witnessed his first Pro B minutes in the 2010-2011 where he played 12 games. In total he would play 7 Pro B seasons, but also a BBL game, one Eurochallenge game and two Fiba Europe Cup games. Oldenburg was so much more than just a good basketball player, but a guy that had a great charachter and was a role model for everyone.

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Will The NBA Be Calling Johannes Voigtmann This Summer Or Does He Only Possess Euroleague Format?

 

Even if an exciting basketball game can be interrupted and made less nice by the constant blowing of whistles slowing down the game, so can a timeout where some patrons will scoot to the food stand to buy a Coke and nacho´s while other´s may even delay a bathroom run just to watch the entertaining sideline show of ex Alba Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic who has his own Serbian theatre like skits with his hand and body gestures trying to motivate his squad back into the game, but the 2 time European basketball champion with the then Yugoslavia also has a knack of saying bold things. In the 2015-2016 season Obradovic who won the Korac Cup in 1995 with Alba Berlin as a player and has basketball legendary status from the Spree river to Potsdam is a guy who can talk and fill a press conference room and where journalists for once won´t interrupt, but just shut up and listen stated that ex Brose Bamberg guard Brad Wanamaker belongs to the top three best players to ever have played in the BBL. It would be interesting to how quickly he could come to a conclusion to which center is better the more experienced Elmeden Kikanovic or constantly developing and rising star Johannes Voigtmann of the then Fraport Skyliners. It would also be interesting to see how Obradovic would react to the question “Was Johannes Voigtmann the best player in the BBL in 2015-2016? In terms of play, the way Johannes Voigtmann was playing that season, he was becoming more and more of a showcase player in the BBL and a player that fans came specifically to see play. You may have seen Jason Boone as an extra in a Lebron James movie as he could easily moonlight as an actor or go into the field once his playing days are over and could even make a mean Jason or funny Jason on screen. However where he doesn´t joke is when it comes to basketball as he is all business on and off the court and on December 15th, 2015, he had the audacity to tell me at half time of a Fiba Europe Cup game in Frankfurt against Sodertalje that Johannes Voigtmann was the best player in the German BBL. Even the ex floor general of the Fraport Skyliners Jordan Theodore was very impressed about his ex teammate: “To me Jo has been playing at a high level all season. Definitely the best center in the league. Big Jo is definitely one of the best players in this league. He does it all”, warned Jordan Theodore. In 2015-2016, it is so much fun watching the blue eyed basketball monster as at times it seemed like he was a younger version of Larry Bird wooing fans with his special knack of passing the ball, but in reality it is just Johannes Voigtmann being the most complete center in the BBL. “Joe is very skilled. He has a high IQ and can do things with the basketball that I haven’t seen from guys his size. He can put the ball on the floor and create for others. He can shoot the long ball and his mid range game is unstoppable”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. But before we talk about the current play of the German national player, let´s look back to 2012 when he first arrived in Frankfurt.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber doing play by play with Johannes Voigtmann during a Pro B playoff game between TV Langen and Basket Akademy Weser-Ems in Langen in 2014

Voigtmann is a 24 year old 211cm center born on September 20th and hails from Eisenach, Germany and played four seasons with the Fraport Skyliners. Before coming to Frankfurt, the German big man started his basketball trade in the former East Germany and didn´t start until he was 15 years old.

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The Fraport Skyliners Send Isaac Bonga And Richard Freudenberg To Adidas Eurocamp In Treviso Italy

It is that time of the year again where the biggest basketball talents meet and show their abilities on the court in Trevisio, Italy at the 2017 Adidas Eurocamp. Germany is in good company as it will be represented by guys like Karim Jallow of FC Bayern Munich, Louis Olinde of the Brose Baskets Bamberg and Kosja Mushidi of Mega Leks, but also from two other huge talents with Isaac Bonga and Richard Freudenberg from the Fraport Skyliners will also be present. At the 3 day camp from June 9-11, the young hopeful talents will play in front of current and former coaches and players like Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks) and Russian legend Andrei Kirilenko. The players will be able to showcase their skills in drills as well as compete against each other in games. Well known players that played at the Adidas Eurocamp in the past have been 93 first and second round draft picks, including NBA standouts Serge Ibaka (208-C/F-89) (Toronto Raptors), Danilo Gallinari (208-SF-88) (Denver Nuggets), Goran Dragic (190-PG-86) (Miami HEAT), Brandon Ingram (206-SF-97, college: Duke) (Los Angeles Lakers), Jaylen Brown (201-F-96, college: California) (Boston Celtics), Dragan Bender (213-PF-97) (Phoenix Suns) and Thon Maker (216-C/F-97, college: High School) (Milwaukee Bucks). Forty-three former EUROCAMP participants currently hold NBA contracts and 64 currently play in EuroLeague Basketball.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Isaac Bonga after a Fraport Skyliners win in Rhondorf in 2016

Isaac Bonga comes into the camp as one of the biggest talents in Europe at the moment from the year 1999 and at only 17 years of age and 205cm still has a huge upside in his development and could use this camp as another opportunity to raise his NBA draft stock for 2018 as he is already for many experts seen as a top 10 draft pick.

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Oscar Da Silva Ends Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners NBBL Top 4 Dream Propelling IBAM To 61-60 Win

A little more than a week ago German wonder boy Isaac Bonga saw the sides of two worlds once again as the sky is the limit for the 17 year special talent was able to broaden his horizons again something he has been able to experience time in and time out if it was playing in the basketball without boarders tournament in Lithuania or shooting the breeze with New York Knick Justin Holiday at the 2017 NBA allstar weekend in New Orleans. Bonga skipped off the sold out court in Ulm of 6,000 plus people  having played the most BBL minutes this season with 26 contributing six points, four rebounds and three assists in a narrow 90-84 defeat to ratiopharm Ulm and 20 hours later, he was brought back down to reality that his basketball life isn´t only a bed of roses as he departed the floor in Munich a defeated young man as he had to accept the bitter 75-44 NBBL loss against the International basketball academy Munich with only 200 people in attendance and had ran around like a mad man leaving his heart on the floor having played 38 minutes filling up the stat sheet like a mini Lebron posting seven points, six rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block. With his BBL season over, Bonga wanted to make his last season goal of reaching the NBBL top 4 in Frankfurt reality, but he as well as his teammates had to really show what they were made of, dig deep down within themselves and play with heart. Bonga wanted to avenge his unsatisfactory 3/18 shooting in Munich and at the same time force another do or die meeting with Munich and other German super talent Oscar Da Silva who dropped 59 points and 35 rebounds in the two game playoff series against Urspring and can continue to tell his friends that he will be attending Stanford next fall and play at the alma mater of ex Bamberg legend Casey Jacobsen. It was no secret that this special do or die game would bring out the best in Bonga and Da Silva as they combined for 40 points and 24 rebounds, but the International basketball academy Munich also known as IBAM came out on top escaping Frankfurt with a hard fought 61-60 victory. As the buzzer sounded, the few Munich fans that had made the trip jumped up in excitement as if lightening had struck them and star player and young phenom Oscar da Silva was calm, but one could see in his eyes that he was not only relieved, but also very proud for reaching the NBBL Top 4 tournament. “I am very happy about getting this win in Frankfurt. We never stopped fighting and played with high intensity. We came back through our good defense which helped us get transition baskets and that was key for the win”, stressed future Stanford Cardinal Oscar Da Silva. For Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners, it was a very successful season, but their goal of reaching the NBBL Final 4 in Frankfurt was not met and one could easily read the frustration of the players on their faces. Especially for team second top scorer Konstantin Schubert it was a disappointing way to end his NBBL career. “We knew that we could of won this game. Game one was depressing, but we had a different face today and defended very well against very good individual players. But when you only score 60 points, it will be difficult to win. We didn´t do much wrong on defense, but didn´t rebound well in the first half and when they couldn´t hit from outside, we were unable to stop their penetration”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Konstantin Schubert. “They switched to zone in the second half which gave us problems and took us out of rhythm”, added Fraport Skyliner Isaac Bonga.

 

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TJ DiLeo (Telekom Baskets Bonn) We All Have Good Attitudes And Know The Sacrifices It Requires To Be A successful Team.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber Post game interview with Telekom Baskets Bonn guard TJ DiLeo in Frankfurt 2017

TJ DiLeo is a 26 year old 190cm guard playing his fourth professional season and first with the Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL). He played the first three professional seasons with the Giessen 46ers playing 76 Pro A games from 2013-2015 and helping the team move to the BBL in 2015. Last season for GHiessen he played 19 games averaging 5.7ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.3%. . He played at Temple from 2008-2013 playing a total of 126 NCAA games. In 2010, he played for the German U20 National Team in 2010 and played for the European Championships U20 in Croatia  playing 9 games: 10.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP. He spoke to German Hoops before the Fiba Europe Cup game against Nanterre in Bonn.

TJ congrats on the 77-76 win against Nanterre in the Fiba Europe Cup competition. How did this win really feel considering your only half way to the Fiba Europe Cup top 4?

I think this win was really good for us mentally. We realize that we still have the second leg to play, but our goal was to go to Nanterre and get a win. Nanterre is a strong team that has played very well at home, so we are happy to be heading back to Bonn next week with a one point advantage.

 

Nanterre were in front for the most part of the first half, but shortly before the break you took the lead and would hang on to the end. How nerve-wracking was the second half for you personally?

It wasn’t too bad. During the game you forget about the nerves. Also, I knew we have some guys that really step up in important late game situations, so I had confidence.

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