Frankfurt Skyliners

The Fraport Skyliners Heat Up In The 4th For Chris Williams Disposing BG Goettingen 81-67

If one would have spontaneously asked Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson if the numbers 34 and 35 had any special mathematical meaning, the ex Auburn star would probably have given his typical Tez smirk and replied, “were those some of the most points that NCAA teams won by in the first round of March Madness”? Actually Robertson was involved with one of these numbers last weekend. Last weekend it was a story of two tales concerning the basketball fate of the Fraport Skyliners and BG Goettingen as one team destroyed their opponent while the other team stunk up the building. 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen got severely rattled at home 101-66 to this season´s big surprise team medi Bayreuth as the Bavarian team had five players scoring in double figures and Americans Demon Brooks and Joseph Lewis combined for 43 points as the club won the rebound duel and dominated in the paint shooting at a high percentage. The Fraport Skyliners on the other hand rebounded from a bitter loss in Ludwigsburg manhandling the Basket Lowen Braunschweig 92-56 as they led from the get go never looked back as the club was led by Shawn Huff with 17 points and Quantez Robertson and Shavon Shields added 16 points apiece. Frankfurt dominated the rebounds and spread the ball around the way a team led by Gordon Herbert should. One hot team Frankfurt was meeting cold team BG Goettingen, and the Fraport Skyliners were able to get revenge from their loss in Goettingen earlier in the season as they had a strong fourth quarter disposing of BG Goettingen 81-67. After any game in Frankfurt it is customary for the players of Frankfurt to sign autographes for the fans and after 15 minutes the last two Americans left were Quantez Robertson and Mike Morrison who were joking around and were in such good spirits that they could easily moonlight with their own sitcom once their playing days are over. “Having a sitcom would be fun. I would be beating up Mike all the time. All Mike is doing on road trips is eating and drinking juice. Sometimes I just need to get away from him”, joked Quantez Robertson. However when talk came about the two numbers 35 and 34, the Ohio native joked that math wasn´t his strong suit in school. “I wasn´t good at math. From those two numbers you mentioned, I remember 34 being my old baseball jersey in school and 35 was just out there”, smiled Quantez Robertson.


19.03.2017 / Basketball BBL / -4- Kwame Vaughn / FRAPORT SKYLINERS  / -11- Darius Carter / BG GÖTTINGEN

Even if there was a game to be played, Skyliner fans of old had one thing on their mind and that was Skyliner legend Chris Williams who had surprisingly passed away four days ago at only the age of 36 due to blood clotting to the heart. Williams played only two years with the Skyliners, but in those two years was instrumental in the team winning a their only league title to date in 2004 and reaching a league final in 2005. He belonged to the top power forwards in the BBL and was named league MVP. He also will be remembered as possibly being the best player in the history of the organization. The club organized a minute of silence before the tip off and there was one person who was extremely sad and probably had millions of thoughts flowing through his mind in that minute which probably felt like 10 minutes. That person was Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert who had coached Williams for one season and remembered the Alabama native very well despite having coached him 13 years ago. “I was thinking about the kind of person he was. He was a great teammate and was very sociable. His death really shocked me. His death made me realize just how short life can be. I still remember exactly where he was on the floor when he made that amazing cross over dribble and dunked the ball in the final. Tyrone Ellis helped him become a better professional and taught him how to build his career better”, stressed head coach Gordon Herbert. Fraport Skyliner guard AJ English was pleased about the win knowing that coach Herbert wanted a better performance in the second half, but at the same time shocked how quickly a life can end when confronted with the Chris Williams death. “Alex Ruoff kept them in the game. He hit some difficult shots. I remember watching him as a kid when he was at West Virginia. We stepped it up in the fourth quarter, got defensive stops and kept moving the ball and made shots. We started slow, but picked it up in the fourth quarter.  I saw Williams face the last days as there was a lot of talk, but didn´t know who he was. It is very sad how he died. I know the feeling as I have lost guys like that. For BG Goettingen it has been a tough season and after being destroyed at home by medi Bayreuth last weekend, they stayed with Frankfurt for 30 minutes, but lost control of their energy in the fourth quarter. “We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Frankfurt made a big run and on defense they pressured us much and we turned the ball over too much and made everything uncomfortable for us. That was a very sad story with Chris Williams. His sudden death puts life and basketball in perspective. It´s not always about winning and losing”, stressed BG Goettingen forward Adam Waleskowski.


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.


Isaac Bonga Unleashes First Professional Triple Double Leading The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Into The Pro B Playoffs Past Nordlingen 83-59

It was shortly before High Noon in the German Pro B league as the top 8 teams in the two brackets south and north were looking forward to battle it out in the Playoffs and wanted to end the regular season in fine fashion while the bottom four teams in both brackets were looking to glide into the playdowns with some force hoping for their poor season showing to be rewarded with better play in the very important last weekends of the season determining who would stay in the Pro B or who would step down into the fourth league the regionaliga. The Giants Nordlingen came to Frankfurt with a lot less pressure as they knew their fate of having to play in the Playdowns while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors not only had a do or die game, but also had to hope for some help from team BG Karlsruhe who were playing against TG Wurzburg and or Weissenhorn who were battling the Dragons in Rhondorf. The only goal that the Frapoort Skyliners Juniors was to win and reach the playoffs would be a reality if at least one team Weissenhorn or Rhondorf lost. In the first meeting in Nordlingen, Frankfurt gutted out a nerve wracking 64-63 victory where German youngster Cosmo Gurehn once again showed his big man passing qualities finding other German Stefan Ilzhoefer for the winning bucket in the last minute. Back then, Frankfurt hadn´t hadn´t had their complete roster and hadn´t returned Alaska native Travis Thompson either, but still won. Thompson returned in December and has been anything short of brilliant, but his hot shooting has carried the team in his 13 games as he has scored in double figures in every game and had some huge games against the Dragons Rhondorf with 32 points on eight trey´s and scorched Leipzig last weekend for 33 points on almost perfect shooting going 8/9 from the parking lot. However the Giants Nordlingen had their own secret weapon in American rookie Terrence Smith who quietly is having a great season as well as he has scored in double figures in each game including explosions against Lich with 28 points and hit FC Bayern Munich for 24 points. In the first meeting against Frankfurt, the Russellville, Alabama native smith was close to a double double having had 16 points and nine assists in the bitter loss. Both Thompson and Smith were extra focused and motivated to carry their teams to victory, but Thompson had an off night as the stellar play and milestone belonged to Garai Zeeb who hit Nordlingen with 22 points while Isaac Bonga recorded his first triple double as a professional notching 10 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists leading the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to a massive 83-59 rout of the Giants Nordlingen securing a playoff meeting with top Pro B North team Lok Bernau while the 26 points of Terence Smith remained a side note.

After the win one of the first things Garai Zeeb does is go visit his family and friends in the stands and when he had gotten his last hug, had a big smile on his face about reaching his second playoff in a row with Frankfurt. “We came into the game knowing their strengthes and did a good job on one on one defense and when a man got beat our help was there. On offense we had too much running around in the first half, but had better structure in the second half and played calmer helping us get the win”, stressed ex Bremerhaven guard Garai Zeeb. The Giants Nordlingen wanted to get into the playdowns with some force and momentum, but couldn´t handle the unending offensive weapons of Frankfurt and just caved in in the second half. “Frankfurt made shots and spread it out on defense. We lacked communication and rotations were missing on defense. Frankfurt rebounded very well. When Frankfurt missed, they got the rebound”, stressed Alabama native Terence Smith.


Quantez Robertson Pokes And Steals The Fraport Skyliners Past s.Oliver Wurzburg 79-76

The one guy is a legend and as present in the German basketball world with his black attire as is legendary actor Jack Nicholson when he is in the front row in the Staples Center at Lakers games while the other guy is one of 1000´s of Americans playing out his dream of being a professional basketball player and one of the fewer making the slow steps up the professional basketball ladder from league to league and from level to level. The legend is none other than Dirk Bauermann who has to be considered as the German Phil Jackson in terms of what he did in the 90´s winning 9 titles with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen as well as being coach of the German national team and winning the 2005 Silver at the European championships with Dirk Nowitzki in Belgrad. After leading FC Bayern Munich into the BBL in 2011, his attempt at winning a title failed and he disappeared from Germany for four years coaching  Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius,  Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd (Russia-VTB) where he was forced to insert the eccentric club CEO into games and had a short stint with the Iranian national team. He returned back to the Fraport arena a place where he won many games, but lost the 2004 BBL title with Bamberg and now was leading the charge with another Bavarian team s.Oliver Wurzburg and came in as the savior, but so far has experienced something he has rarely seen as a coach in Germany losing as he is still looking for his first win as he was 0-5. The other guy coming with Bauermann was American Vincent Sanford that came to Germany late joining s.Oliver Wurzburg farm team  in November and right away was a spark averaging 17,7ppg, 4,6rpg and 2,9apg while shooting 40% from downtown helping the team to a 5-4 record. The American is one of those guys that has had to prove himself his whole career as he played 54 games for the well known Georgetown(NCAA), but averaged only 1,8ppg,and transferred to Dayton(NCAA) where he had more of a role and solidified himself as a solid NCAA player averaging 12,3ppg and 9,6ppg in his last two seasons. However despite reaching the NCAA Elite 8 in 2014 and having good stats didn´t grant him a free pass to a top league as he had to claw himself up the professional ladder playing with Thor Thorl (Iceland-Dominos League): 13 games: 22.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 73.0% and last season played with Barrancabermeja Ciudad Futuro (Colombia-Liga DirecTV, starting five): Liga DirecTV-1: 20 games: 14.8ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT-2(42.9%), FT: 76.8%. Now in his third professional season and after 9 Pro B games, he suddenly saw himself suit up in an easyCredit BBL game against Tuebingen scoring 9 points in 14 minutes and a week later had 13 points in 17 minutes against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, There are basketball worlds between Bauermann and Sanford, but both had the same goal and wanting to win that first game with s.Oliver Wurzburg. However both didn´t leave the Fraport arena with smiles, but moreover with sullen expressions as they lost a tough 79-76 battle to the hands of the Fraport Skyliners. Bauermann was not only disgusted with his 6th loss in a row, the most that he had lost in a row in Germany and also for being called for a technical foul late in the fourth which turned the game in  favor of Frankfurt. Sanford was unable to match the personal success of his last games as he credits a lot to Bauermann as he had one point on 0/3 shooting in 9.12 minutes and was far form 100%. “I have no excuses, but I couldn´t really dribble as I have been playing with a broken hand. You have to take the good ones with the bad ones. Bauermann has helped me see the game differently in the BBL. He has helped me a lot mentally”, stressed Kentucky native Vincent Sanford.


25.02.2017 / Basketball BBL / -23- Quantez Tez Robertson / FRAPORT SKYLINERS / -9- Maurice Stuckey / s.OLIVER WÜRZBURG 


The Fraport Skyliners came into the contest against s.Oliver Wurzburg riding a three game losing streak having lost badly to Bamberg and Munich and then being embarrassed in Turkey against Pinar Karsiyaka ending their Champions League season. Frankfurt came into the game with a lot to prove, but were having problems with being able to play consistent for long spurts, but were able to overcome a nine point deficit in the fourth quarter as s.Oliver Wurzburg were putting up prayers left and right as if Larry Bird had haunted the Fraport arena and stayed calm and showed their big strength having those fighting mentality qualities, buckled down on defense and won with heart and pride. “Key today for pulling out the win was staying together during the ups and downs in the game. They hit tough shot after tough shot and we had our backs to the wall, but we always stuck together. We played Skyliner basketball until the end and executed down the stretch”, stressed Iona(NCAA) guard AJ English. s.Oliver Wurzburg hoped their basketball woes would come to an end with legendary German head coach Dirk Bauermann, but instead the team still has the big goose egg looking for that first win. After the loss a dejected Jake Odum(Indiana State) exited the locker room and one could feel his disappointment as his soft voice described the game loss. “It went down to the wire. It was very disappointing that we couldn´t come away with the win. It has been very tough not being able to win a game in two months. Most of us aren´t used to losing like this. We have been getting better in practice, but haven´t learned how to finish games. I put a lot of blame on myself for not doing my job. I credit the Skyliners for making plays when it counted”, added Jake Odum.


Travis Thompson Unravels The Acrobatic Lay In Leading The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Past BG Karlsruhe 66-63

It really doesn´t matter in what gym Ricky Easterling has played in Germany the last 11 years, you can be as sure as Donald Trump thinks he is always correct that the Baltimore native of BG Karlsruhe has lit it up no matter what circumstances there were. In his six seasons in the Regionalliga with Saarlouis, the American had Michael Jordan consistent season scoring averages including averaging 32,3ppg and 34,5ppg in two seasons and averaged 29,0ppg each season. He needed absolute no kind of transition period when he moved up to the Pro B in 2014 with Saarlouis as he prompt led the league in scoring two years in a row and had a spectacular streak of scoring in double figures in 55 of 56 games as he dominated the Pro B like he did in the Regionalliga. This season the guy who´s middle name could be Mr mid distance as he is as lethal from anywhere form the mid distance the way Anthony Davis is in the paint doesn´t roam around on offense as freely as his days with Saarlouis mainly because BG Karlsruhe have many more viable scoring options. Currently his Pro B scoring in double figures streak is 70 out of 74 times and not only was he and BG Karlsruhe coming off a huge win against city rival PS Karlsruhe, but the American was returning back to a special stomping ground as in the last two seasons he shot out the lights connecting for 36 and 31 points and also had a massive game years before in the Regionalliga against Eintracht Frankfurt. This time however the Fraport Skyliners Juniors not only had Easterling under control limiting him to a hard to believe 6 points, but were fortunate to come out alive with a grind out 66-63 victory.

After the game the usual soft voice of Easterling sounded more like that of an elderly gentleman as the Baltimore native seemed a bit broken and was trying to reflect on his return back to an old stomping ground. “Frankfurt really had me under control tonight. I give a lot of credit to them as they really knew how to come off the screen and roll and slow me down. I am now 1-2 in the Pro B in this gym. It is not as good as I would like, but I am just thankful to get that opportunity to play here again. Stats are fine and dandy, but I am just happy to be able to play and get a win here and there”, smiled ex Saarlouis guard Ricky Easterling.


The Fraport Skyliners Experience Black Sunday Getting Plastered By Brose Bamberg 76-57

In the 80´s in the NBA, each teams season game that separated them from the other games was battling against top teams Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers while in the early 90´s and late 90´s, the big draw for each team was when the Chicago Bulls came town especially for the autograph collectors who would never see a Michael Jordan until he was in the arena because he never stayed in the same hotel with his team. Now a days the Cavs and Lebron James and Golden State Warriors with the Splash brothers and Kevin Durant excite the fans most when they come to town while in Europe, the arena´s, players and excitement level may all be a tad less than in the NBA, but in the EasyCredit BBL, there is almost that yearly NBA flair with Brose Bamberg as they are always sporting that ex NBA player like the last two seasons with Kentucky Wild Cat stand out Darius Miller and this growing Euroleague team is the absolute draw in every arena in Germany as the season isn´t complete with having annoyed them at least a bit or having accomplished the impossible sending them home with a loss and being disgruntled. This season, Brose Bamberg haven´t been a one man show at the top, but have had fierce competition from the Rising BBL team ratiopharm Ulm that have surprised the whole league at 19-0 and have snatched away the number one position from freak city, but are still mowing down the BBL teams having a 18-1 record at the moment and have a five game winning streak and are the best ranked defensive team and third best offensive team in the league. The Fraport Skyliners continue to be a team finding itself as they rebounded off a nasty blow out loss in Munich by carving out an impressive 90-80 Champions League win five days ago and are in good position to advance thanks to the Mike Morrison show as he scored a career high 35 points owning the paint area for a day. However in the EasyCredit BBL, rebounding from their tough defeat in Munich wasn´t going to be easy against defending champion Bamberg as they never had a chance on this night as the Fraport Skyliners experienced Black Sunday getting plastered by Brose Bamberg 76-57. Frankfurt started off slow and never got into the game trailing by as much as 20 plus points. They did play a better second half, but had given up too many points in the first half to have any kind of chance. “We lost this game in the first half. Bamberg took us out of our offense. We never got into our sets as one guy always was forced to do it alone as they switched very well on defense. We had no ball movement and Bamberg did what they wanted to on offense as we weren´t on the same page on defense. We played with better intensity in the second half and had a good mentality where we all defended well”, stressed Fraport Skyliner German Stefan Ilzhoefer. For Brose Bamberg it was another normal day at the office as they worked hard to get a big lead and hold it for 40 minutes even if they did suffer very minor lapses in the second half. 2012 NCAA champion Darius Miller of Kentucky was pleased with the victory of his club. “This was a good win for us. Frankfurt is a talented team and it is always hard to play here. We lost here last year and were very focused to win tonight. We were very disciplined on defense and had a normal offensive game attacking whenever it was most advantageous”, said Darius Miller. For Quantez Robertson it was also another normal day at the office as the autograph requests were as never ending as usual after the game even after a loss and one could feel that he took this loss very hard. “Bamberg ran their plays well. We were unable to execute on offense and didn´t talk on defense or rebound the ball well. We also didn´t play tough or together”, added ex Auburn standout Quantez Robertson.


12.02.2017 / Basketball BBL / -4- Kwame Vaughn / FRAPORT SKYLINERS

The Fraport Skyliners played in front of a sellout crowd and the first thing that stood out was their untypical black jerseys that they once wore before back in the 2003-2004 season, but this time it was an early promotion for the club´s benefit gala to be held in March where the motto is always come in a black tuxedo and sneakers. The black jersey´s could later have been seen as a bad omen as after 40 minutes they had witnessed their own Black Sunday.


Mike Morrison Explodes For 35 Owning The Paint Leading The Fraport Skyliners To 90-80 Champions League Win Over Pinar Karsiyaka

Many Boston Celtic fans will remember the date May 22nd 1988 probably not as much as February 5th, 2017 like New England Patriots fans, but for AJ English senior who had finished his sophomore season at Virginia Union might have caught the legendary playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks where Boston won 118-116. Fans witnessed the fourth quarter sniper attack between legends Larry Bird and Dominque Wilkins who combined for 34 points. It was a display of scoring magic and abilities that would never be repeated again between two players in such an important setting, but amazing individual scoring masterpieces have been on the menu currently in the NBA as Isaiah Thomas can soon warrant a patent on fourth quarter magic while guys like Lebron James and Steph Curry do it on a regular basis. These feats do happen in European basketball, but not as frequently, but last weekend it happened in Munich as AJ English´s potent scoring was lost in the aftermath of an embarrassing 95-70 Fraport Skyliners loss. English eclipsed the 20 points of Bird form 1988 and scored all of his teams 22 points in the fourth quarter like a slithering snake waiting to bite every time he got the ball and the only thing missing was having an opponent who also shot out the lights on a regular basis like he did. This shooting performance probably won´t be remembered very long simply because it wasn´t a close game, but English surely won´t forget that he got his first loss in a Fraport Skyliners jersey as he had been perfect 8-0 going into the contest. However, English was able to go into the Champions League playoffs against Pinar Karsiyaka with confidence as he was still perfect in this competition at 4-0 and had scored in double figures in each game averaging 17,3ppg, 4,0rpg and 2,5apg. English was looking to have his slithering snake instincts again for the basket and stayed perfect in the competition and scored in double figures again with 10 points, but this night belonged to a player that isn´t known for his scoring power, but Mike Morrison exploded owning the paint and scored a career high 35 points eclipsing his two other best marks of 28 points in Finland and Cyprus leading the Fraport Skyliners to an important 90-80 win over Pinar Karsiyaka. The big man always plays with a lot of energy, but on this night, he was a man playing against boys in the paint as it was his own domain. After the big win, Morrison was surrounded by a swarm of journalists, but the big man from St Petersburg, Florida handled the hoopla with grace and as always had an eloquent tongue while describing his unexpected burst of scoring. “My teammates did a good job on the pick and roll finding me a lot. I am focused on being consistent and not getting caught up with the highs and the lows”, smiled ex George Mason center Mike Morrison. Morrison finished with 35 points, seven rebounds, three assists and shot at a very high rate at 88% going 15/17. For his teammates of many years like Quantez Robertson, having a big game like this wasn´t surprising. “Mike had a very good week of practice and he is always very motivated to play. Tonight we got him going early and it carried all the way until the end. He got some easy put back dunks and moved well on the blocks to get into good position to score”, added ex Auburn guard Quantez Robertson. For new Skyliner scoring sensation from Iona AJ English seeing the big man own the paint all night long also wasn´t surprising as he has seen in a short time what he can do on the floor. “Mike is more than capable to have nights like this. I think that they were focusing more on our guards, so coach told us to go inside to Mike more. I think that he belongs in the NBA”, smiled AJ English. Even his ex teammates were thinking about him and had to get their two cents worth of jokes in. “Mike was a beast tonight. Aaron Doornekamp called me two minutes after the game was over and asked me if Mike Morrison´s stats were correct”, added Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert.

The Fraport Skyliners will return back to Turkey in two weeks and try to wrap up the playoffs series not allowing Pinar Karsiyaka of scoring more than ten points. The Fraport Skyliners played a solid first half, but had their problems with keeping the Turkish team under wraps as they were able to get too many easy baskets and bitter turnovers also didn´t help their game. However in the second half, they picked up their defense and got more support on the offensive end keeping up their consistency despite Pinar Karsiyaka getting a potent effort from American guard J´ Covan Brown dropping 29 points.