Frankfurt Skyliners Juniors

Rilwan Bakare (Fraport Skyliners Juniors) I Will Never Forget Practicing With The BBL Team and being treated like Family

Rilwan Bakare is a 26 year 201cm forward from Chicago,Illinois playing his third professional season and first with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors after starting the season with Pernion Urheilijat Basket (Finland-1st Division) and then moving to Union de Santa Fe (Argentina-TNA). Last season he played for BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL) playing 18 games averaging 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5%. As a rookie he played for TuS Breckerfeld (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 19.9ppg, 10.5rpg. He played his college ball at four schools including Columbus State Community College (NJCAA), Danville Area Community College (NJCAA), Campbellsville (NAIA) and Texas Wesleyan (NAIA): He spoke to German Hoops after the game 3 loss to Lok Bernau ending his third professional season.

A tough loss to Lok Bernau ending the season. How much of a basketball culture shock was it coming from the big beautiful Mercedes arena to the tiny Bernau gym for game 3?

 It was a difference I just had to adjust very quick.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors took only 8 players. Did this already put some pressure on the players knowing that total aggressive defense could have put guys in early foul trouble?

 Just felt a little pressure but we had to just work harder and play as a team.

How key was the quick 9-0 Lok Bernau start for the rest of the game? They jumped on the Fraport Skyliners Juniors right off the bat. Did this fast start already have an effect on the team mentally for the rest of the game?

 I will say yes or no we knew they were going come out strong we just didn’t adjust fast enough to stop the run.


The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Live Another Day Forcing Another Do Or Die Game Beating Lok Bernau 76-61

Even if they don´t want to admit it, guys like Travis Thompson, Garai Zeeb or Konstantin Schubert will never forget the massive one sided drubbing they got last season in the playoffs as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got hammered by Weissenhorn in game one by 69 points, but for some reason, the club has had a knack of rebounding back from tough situations as they came back strong rebounding from that massacre and winning two do or die games in a row and advancing to the pro B finals where they were swept by Ehingen. This season, they had a do or die game on the last game day beating the Giants Nordlingen in fine fashion as they were led by Isaac Bonga who celebrated his first professional triple double. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors slid into the Pro B playoffs with a 4 game winning streak and a lot of momentum, but that came to a crushing halt as they were brought down to reality as they faced top Pro B north team Lok Bernau losing 75-64. German wunderkind Isaac Bonga was close to another triple double as he finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but the overall team carelessness with taking care of the ball in the second half set their doom as they coughed up the ball 22 times while Lok Bernau has only 10 turnovers thus giving them 12 extra possessions. It was time for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to rebound back again as they had another do or die situation, but they were at home in their own Basketball City Mainhatten living room and still had the memory of their big do or die win against the Giants Nordlingen two weeks ago and wanted to force another do or die game in Bernau and did setting the tone of the game early and breaking away in the second quarter and never looked back as the Frankfurt depth was too much for the Lok Bernau depth as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors brushed aside Lok Bernau 76-61. After the match, a content top scorer Travis Thompson was all smiles reminiscing about the big do or die win. “We came out good early and rebounded well. We moved ball better and Isaac Bonga hit some three´s. We were able to stop their run and were able to make our own run. We also hit many timely shots that helped us get this win”, stressed Alaska native Travis Thompson. After the loss, 31 year old BBL veteran Robert Kulawick who played 294 games in the BBL showed his role model style carrying the water bottles to the locker room something that usually is reserved for the kids was very disappointed with the performance of his team. “We slept at the start and didn´t have the needed intensity which punished us to the end. I have to compliment my team for the comeback, but it came down to not getting stops and then Frankfurt coming back and hitting a three. I have to compliment Frankfurt for holding us to 61 points. They did a very good job”, stressed 2010 Eurochallenge winner Robert Kulawick.


Rilwan Bakare (Fraport Skyliners Juniors) We Need To Be Disciplined And Focused In Our Roles In Game 2 Against Lok Bernau

Rilwan Bakare is a 26 year 201cm forward from Chicago,Illinois playing his third professional season and first with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors after starting the season with Pernion Urheilijat Basket (Finland-1st Division) and then moving to Union de Santa Fe (Argentina-TNA). Last season he played for BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL) playing 18 games averaging 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5%. As a rookie he played for TuS Breckerfeld (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 18 games averaging 19.9ppg, 10.5rpg. He played his college ball at four schools including Columbus State Community College (NJCAA), Danville Area Community College (NJCAA), Campbellsville (NAIA) and Texas Wesleyan (NAIA): He spoke to German Hoops about his season with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.

Rilwan, thanks for talking to German Hoops! You played at many schools in the states and in many places in the world, but please explain what kind of feeling it was setting foot in the beautiful huge Mercedes and what kind of atmosphere it was?

It was a great feeling I never played in gym like that a lot of lights and the atmosphere was amazing and a different feeling.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors arrived in Berlin earlier in the day. What was your impression of the city in the few hours that you were there?

Very beautiful I had never been to Berlin so the city was really nice and the skyline buildings were beautiful. I told myself I would love to live here it’s just like America.

The Fraport Skyliners Juniors suffered a tough 75-64 loss in game one against Lok Bernau. Lok Bernau defended very well, but how key were the 22 team turnovers for losing this game?

We started off strong and the second half we tried to force a couple of passes that hurt us. We should of stayed calm and played like we did in the first half. We have to get better so those turnovers won’t happen again.

One never wants to make excuses, but how would the result of the game looked like if Mahir Agva, Niklas Kiel and Stefan Ilzhoefer had been on board who could of drastically changed the dimension of the game?

I believe we would have been stronger because those are great players that add strength to our team, but it wouldn’t have been a difference we still have to play hard and win has a Team.


The Fraport Skyliners Junior´s EasyCredit BBL Presence Overpower The ScanPlus Baskets 82-71

It  seems like it was almost yesterday where a young German talent by the name of Filmore Beck was practicing in the BCM gym which is the practice gym od EasyCredit BBL team Fraport Sklyiners and the game gym of pro B team Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but his short stay in Frankfurt was from 2009-2011 where he was seen as a huge talent, but after a satisfying first season where he averaged 13.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 76.9 in the Pro B, he was unable to develop further as an injury cost him the second half of his second season and the next season which quietly ended his career there. In the last five seasons, he has had a solid but quiet Pro B career having played in Hanau and in Langen, but for TV Langen was fired in the 2014-2015 season after only eight games after he served up a nasty sucker punch to Australian Paul Brotherson that gave him unending headaches and hospital bills for a while. However the German was able to resurrect his basketball career last season with the  ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (ProB) playing 23 games averaging 10.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.7%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 59.3%. This season he is holding his own in a team stocked with unending explosive offensive power and averaging 9,2ppg and serving as the ultimate role player. He came back to Frankfurt with gigantic ambition as last season, he lit up his ex team with 28 points, but walked off the court on the short end of a 91-80 loss. The German who can shoot out the lights on any night wanted revenge for the loss last season, but didn´t as he lost again 82-71 against his ex team despite scoring 13 points. After the loss, the German reflected on coming back and having to experience another loss. “It isn´t nice to come back here and lose again. I loved playing in Frankfurt the most. It gave me a lot of motivation to play against my old teammates Tim Oldenburg and Max Merz”, stressed ex TV Langen guard Filmore Beck. Oldenburg contemplated about  his ex teammate Flimore Beck and what he wished he had from him. “It is always nice playing against an old teammate. He is really the only good shooter on his team and when he gets hot, he can hit from all over the place. I wish that I had his shooting ability”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Junior Tim Oldenburg. With EasyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners off, the Pro B team almost had their complete roster except for Isaac Bonga who was in New Orleans at the NBA Allstar weekend taking part at the  Basketball Without Boards Global Camp and after a tight battle in the first half, the Home team ran away with the win in the second half. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half and only gave up three in the second half. It was a total team performance where everyone brought energy. Everyone plays for the team especially Travis Thompson which isn´t always typical for an American. On defense our game plan was to let them shoot and not let them get easy baskets inside and rebounds”, added Fraport Skyliners Junior Mahir Agva.

The ScanPlus Baskets came into the game overwhelmed by the deep Frankfurt roster with unending BBL license players and fell apart in the second half. “It was tough playing against this smart tough squad that had many BBL players we couldn´t scout. We had many ups and downs in the game and Frankfurt closed out the third quarter well which was the turning point of the game. They had the momentum and kept it up in the fourth quarter”, said St Louis, Missouri native Brandon Lockhart.


Travis Thompson Owns The Parkling Lot Charging The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Past The Dragons Rhondorf 92-81

In his short basketball career Rilwan Bakara has really gotten around the block as he was never comfortable playing at one school as he bounced around the States playing for schools like Columbus State Community College (NJCAA), Danville Area Community College (NJCAA), Campbellsville (NAIA) and Texas Wesleyan (NAIA) before turning professional two seasons ago. Now in his third professional season, the 26 year old 201cm forward that hails from Chicago is already playing with his fifth professional team with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. After playing his rookie season in Germany with  TuS Breckerfeld (Germany-2.Regionalliga) where he played 18 games averaging 19.9ppg, and 10.5rpg where he was able to get a first feel for the European game, he moved to BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL) last season where he played 18 games averaging 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5% and demonstrated further that he was prepared for tasks in higher leagues. This season the big American has really been active as he started the season with Pernion Urheilijat Basket (Finland-1st Division playing 2 games averaging 20.0ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.0spg, in Oct.’16 moved to Union de Santa Fe (Argentina-TNA), where he played 17 games averaging 4.5ppg, 3.4rpg. Usually when you leave a misfortunate situation, you want to get back on the floor as quickly as possible and forget the last experience, but just doing that was a problem the last weeks as he wasn´t cleared to play for Frankfurt, so sitting around and watching the Frankfurt BBL team battle and new team Fraport Skyliners Juniors duel against opposing teams was a difficult matter for him to accept and adjust to, but last weekend he finally made his debut in Germany scoring four points and hauling down two rebounds in a bitter 80-74 loss at Weissenhorn. Bakare was ready to finally make his home debut, but had to match his skills with the top power forward in the Pro B and good buddy Aaron Nelson who was his teammate in high school in Illinois as both the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and Dragons Rhondorf were looking to rebound from loses and Frankfurt came away with the big 92-81 loss.

After the tough loss, Nelson was sitting on the floor looking as pooped as if Shaq had just run full speed around the court, but he still had a smile ready for his small daughter who had made the trip to watch big daddy play and was disappointed at the loss, but blessed that he could play against friend Rilwan Bakare. “It was fun playing against Rilwan. Who would have thought 7-8 years ago that we would both be playing in Germany one day. It has been a great experience for both of us in Germany. He has gotten stronger and I know his strength and weaknesses. Not only he made me tired today, but the whole Frankfurt team. Rilwan is a great player”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf forward Aaron Nelson. After making his home debut and winning, Bakare strolled over to a battered Nelson in front of the Dragons bench and the American looked a lot fresher than Nelson and was also blessed to finally play against his ex teammate. “I knew from day one when I arrived in Frankfurt where Aaron played and had marked this day on the calendar. When I was playing in Finland earlier this season, I always watched his games. I haven´t seen him play in 7-8 years, but he has gotten better, but is still the old Aaron Nelson in that he is still a dominant player. I like how Rhondorf gives him the freedom to shoot the ball”, stressed Chicago and Fraport Skyliners Junior Rilwan Bakare.


Travis Thompson Heats Up In Third Quarter Lifting The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Past The Licher Basket Baeren 88-76

The second half of the 2016-2017 Pro B season is fast underway and as always new players coming and going is as common now in the season as Houston Rocket James Harden racking in those double doubles to nobodies amazement and two new faces entered the court Sunday night in the BCM in Frankfurt as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had reeled in 26 year old 201cm American Rilwan Bakare who had played at four different schools in his career before starting his professional basketball career in 2014 in Germany with TuS Breckerfeld (Germany-2.Regionalliga) where he averaged 19,9ppg and 10,5rpg in 18 games and last season he showed his raw abilities with  BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL): 18 games: 11.2ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 58.5%. He started this season in Finland with Pernion Urheilijat Basket (Finland-1st Division) playing 2 games averaging 20.0ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.0spg, before moving to Union de Santa Fe (Argentina-TNA) where he played 17 games averaging 4,5ppg and 3,4rpg and was teammates with American Mike Williams who probably had some rare Texas(NCAA) stories with future NBA players Daniel Gibson and Lamarcus Aldrige that he could pass on to his new teammates and have some of the young Germans some rare basketball facts to ponder about. The Licher Basket Baeren had brought in an American rookie with Blake Justice who had played six games at Akron before moving on Valdosta State8NCAA2) and having a fine career from 2013-2016 playing a total of 72 games and as a senior played  28 games averaging 15.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.5%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 79.3%. He had some big games against schools like Alabama Huntsville with 26 points and 25 points against Shorter. Both players came into the game wanting to display right away that they were worth every buck and the Lich scoring duo of KK Simmons and Lamar Mallory who were averaging 40 points a game combined wanted to keep up their unstoppable play, but only combined for 28 points and couldn´t withstand the hot hand and timely shooting of Travis Thompson who broke the game wide open drilling four three´s in the third quarter and notching 14 points which broke the back of the guests and propelled the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to the 88-76 victory.

Rilwan Bakare couldn´t make his debut with Frankfurt as he wasn´t cleared to play yet, but Blake Justice did scoring 14 points in his professional debut and was excited about finally getting that first game of his back, but at the same time disappointed in the loss. “I felt a little rusty as this was my first game in 7 months, but felt good to get into the flow. I have only been here 5-6 days so I have to get used to how the my teammates and team play. We had too many turnovers and let Frankfurt get too many easy baskets and put backs, stressed Ohio native Blake Justice. Fraport Skyliners Tim Oldenburg was sporting a new Jutsin Biberish type of hairdo, but that didn´t seem to get messed up in the overall physical game. “Both teams had a lot of energy. It was only too bad that the refs didn´t know what kind of line they would call. It was nice to play together with Stefan Ilzhoefer and Niklas Kiel. We were individually stronger than usual with this lineup and we played well together as a team for many phases”, stressed Fraport Skyliners Juniors forward Tim Oldenburg. “We got beat on the glass all night long. We gave up something like 40-50 points on offensive rebounds and turnovers. You can´t beat anyone like that when your giving up that many points. We beat ourselves, but we did fight until the end”, added Licher Baskets Baeren guard Kareem Jamal Simmons.


Jordan Talbert Gets Revenge Powering PS Karlsruhe Past The Fraport Skyliners Juniors 77-72

PS Karlsruhe forward Jordan Talbert has had some huge games in Germany in the Pro B last season as well as this season, but so far in three tries against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors has come away on the short end of the stick in two different uniforms. Last season Talbert was wearing the Giants Nordlingen jersey well as he averaged 17.5ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-5(1.5bpg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 73.4%. and he scored in double figures 28 times and registerd 19 double doubles. However he lost a bitter 73-71 contest in Frankfurt steering 14 points and then got smacked around at home 78-56 as he produced 26 points and nine rebounds. This season in a new jersey, he was unable to take the season opener at home with PS Karlsruhe as they lost a nail bitter 61-56 as he was controlled well scoring only seven points on eight shots. He was looking to break his 0-3 negative streak as PS Karlsruhe entered the contest having lost a nasty 76-63 game to the Bayer Giants Leverkusen while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors rode into the game with enormous self-confidence having continued their masterful winning streak to two games having won a tough road game in Rhondorf 74-69 as the savior BBL license player Mahir Agva had been on board for a second consecutive game and was a big factor in the Frankfurt squad winning again. The game pitted two of the leagues best defensive teams as PS Karlsruhe came into the battle leading the league in points given up with 69, while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were the third best defensive team giving up only 73 points. Despite losing the first game at home, PS Karlsruhe did manage to keep Frankfurt at 61 points and wanted to supply another superb defensive performance and did stopping the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 77-72. After the victory, a pooped Jordan Talbert was just happy to finally get that Skyliner monkey off his back. (more…)