Telekom Baskets Bonn

The Miles Basketball Minute: BBL Playoff Preview: Brose Bamberg-Telekom Baskets Bonn: 3-0

In the second last game of the season, Alba Berlin were embarrassed in Frankfurt 83-71 and at times made unbelievable mistakes on the court as if the 8 time BBL champion was still in pre season instead of right before high noon and the playoffs. One of the more experienced Alba Berlin players Tony Gaffney made one of those “did he really do that” turnovers when on a broken play there was a miscommunication and he threw the ball into his own end which had Niklas Kiel scoop up the loose ball and go for the easy bucket as he was all alone. This is a play that the ex Boston Celtic would want to forever erase from his memory, but then again the ex Los Angeles Laker does have other more memorable highlights from his BBL days including one that occurred a little more than 5 years ago when he was playing with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. They faced off against the then seemingly unstoppable Brose Baskets Bamberg that showcased 3 NBA players in their starting lineup with Casey Jacobson, PJ Tucker and Brian Roberts and surprisingly won game one in Bamberg 75-74 on a last second buzzer beater by his teammate Benas Veikalas. The Telekom Baskets Bonn could surely rewatch that buzzer beater from Veikalas again or just ask current German Florian Koch who saw that game from the bench as he registered a DNP for some special motivation. Then again, the Telekom Baskets Bonn don’t really need to look back for advice since they have their own array of snipers and buzzer beater shooters like Ken Horton or guys like Josh Mayo and Ryan Thompson that could make their own sweet history against Bamberg.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bamberg forward Nicolo Melli after the 76-57 victory in Frankfurt

After missing the BBL playoffs for only the third time in the last 20 years last season, the Telekom Baskets Bonn rebounded from their trauma from last year and had a very strong season that was up to the usual Telekom Baskets Bonn standard. Despite head coach Silvano Poropat taking a leave of absence due to health problems, the team reacted quickly and brought back Predrag Krunic who had had success in Bonn more than 10 years ago. The combined work of Poropat reeling in the right character players and Krunic forming the team chemistry, it was suddenly fun again to watch games in the Telekom Dome. After a slow start losing two of three, the team then won four in a row against weaker teams, but got their self confidence growing. There best span came from February to April as they won eight of ten games. Their biggest wins of the season were against FC Bayern Munich, Alba Berlin and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. It also helped their self confidence that they were playing a very successful Fiba Europe Cup.


Chris Warren Unleashes the Mini Harden Carrying Nanterre 92 Into The Fiba Europe Cup Final Past The Telekom Baskets Bonn 86-81


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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with post game interview with Nanterre 92 guard Chris Warren after dropping 24 points against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and reaching the 2017 FIBA Europe Cup Final

One could spend many boring hours bringing excitement back into your life browsing you tube and finding these amazing basketball videos where people hit amazing shots from tall bridges into a basket hundreds of meters down or the guy jumping into a lake and throwing the ball 40 meters into a basket or a guy using three walls to hit an incredible shot or hitting a half court shot flinging a Frisbee and seeing nothing but net. Sometimes one doesn´t need to kill boredom going on you tube to witness these kinds of shots, but all one has to do is go into a basketball arena and witness German sharp shooter, sniper, marksman in one Heiko Schaffartzik fire away as he has hit countless spectacular shots over the years and he belongs to the type of players that people will come just to watch him giving hitting from the parking lot a new meaning time after time after time again. After playing most of his illustrious career in his homeland Germany where he helped Alba Berlin capture the BBL cup in 2013 and FC Bayern Munich the league title in 2014, Schaffartzik decided to retreat from Germany in 2015 and has been in France ever since. Last season he played with Limoges and this season has been lighting up arenas in France with 2015 Eurochallenge winner Nanterre. It has been sometime since he last played a professional game in Germany in September at the 2015 European championships in Berlin and now was back in Bonn fighting for a ticket to the 2017 Fiba Europe Cup Final. The last time, the German played in the Telekom Dome in Bonn was almost 2 years ago on April 24th where FC Bayern Munich suffered a humiliating 88-84 loss where he played only eight minutes and scored two points. This time the stakes were a lot higher and he wasn´t thinking about taking part in a special shooting contest from on top of the Telekom building in downtown, Bonn, but just escaping his homeland with a victory. This time with 10 minutes to go and down by 14 points, it looked like Schaffartzik who was sporting a blond beard looked like a young Vince Van Gough and would go home the losers, but Nanterre 92 stage dan amazing comeback in the last 8 minutes to help carry his team into the Fiba Europe Cup Final with a 86-81 victory. “Bonn ruled the physical game in the first three quarters and had a quick start and got hot which can always happen in basketball. We came back and were simply more physical in the fourth quarter and why we won the game”, stressed Heiko Schaffartzik.


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.


Josh Mayo Is Tiny But Not Archibald Leading The Telekom Baskets Bonn To 74-73 Tightrope Win Over the Fraport Skyliners

One of the two hardest things for any ex Fraport Skyliner to do when he returns back to his old stomping ground is to not enter the first door on the right after coming through the glass door of the catacombs of the Fraport arena, but actually taking the third door and when entering the arena not taking that first left but actually taking the longer stroll to the bench on the right. Ex Fraport Skyliner Johannes Richer may have started his career with the  Franken Hexer 2nd team (2.Regionalliga) in 2009 and played two seasons with the Brose Baskets Bamberg where he never made his break through, but it is fair to acknowledge that his most prosperous time as a professional came with the Fraport Skyliners from 2013-2016 where he played a total of 57 BBL games and 20 international club games and crowned his three seasons last spring winning the Fiba Europe Cup in Chalon, France. He also made his break through with Frankfurt in the 2014-2015 season where he helped clobber the Bakken Bears twice including his 15 point six rebound game in Frankfurt where he came off the bench for the injured Johannes Voigtmann and denied the Danish Bears honey on that night. The 205cm power forward/center was able to improve his minutes each season, but wasn´t able to make his full break through with Frankfurt and fled for the Telekom Baskets Bonn. However in Bonn, the big man continues to wait to get more trust from head coach Predrag Krunic as he is averaging only 2,5ppg and 1,3rpg. The only consolation prize that Richter is fighting for is a third consecutive trip to the playoffs something that the his ex team Skyliners are in jeopardy of reaching this season. Frankfurt entered the game having won two of their last three games, but digesting a tough OT loss in Bremerhaven while the Telekom Baskets Bonn had lost two of their last three games, but had beaten playoff candidate Ludwigsburg 90-86 last weekend. The Fraport Skyliners controlled the game, but an unfortunate turn of events at the start of the fourth quarter where Quantez Robertson was hit harder with fouls three,four and five then it is when Tom Brady gets sacked in the red zone which propelled Bonn to come back and squeeze out an exciting 74-73 win. After the win ex Skyliner Johannes Richter was beaming about returning back to Frankfurt and reflected on his lightening 4-0 run that he hit Frankfurt with. “I felt comfortable playing here today. It has been an up and down year for me. I always try to give as much energy as possible and help my team. I have to take the positives with my season. I think I have developed my game as with Bonn they focus more on defending the shot from the four whereas in Frankfurt it was more of defending the inside”, stressed Johannes Richter. Telekom Baskets Bonn head coach Predrag Krunic was thrilled after the victory and after hearing a positive homage to the great play of Johannes Richter and that he should get more minutes, the Serb coach was only able to blurt out “I am lucky that he is with us”, smiled Predrag Krunic.


-5- A. J. English / FRAPORT SKYLINERS  / -13- Yorman Polas Bartolo / TELEKOM BASKETS BONN

The story of the game wasn´t only the early fourth quarter exit of Fraport Skyliner captain Quantez Robertson, but the hot scoring of Bonn point guard Josh Mayo who may be in his seventh season, but continues to play as if he has a gigantic chip on his shoulder and still needs to prove his worth despite having been a ruthless scorer wherever he has played if it was Latvia, France, Italy or Turkey.


Julian Gamble (Telekom Baskets Bonn) Personal Numbers Don’t Mean Near As Much As Winning With This Talented Group Of Guys

Julian Gamble is a 26 year old 207cm power forward/center from Durham, North Carolina that will be starting his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He started his basketball career at Miami(NCAA) in 2008 and played there until 2013 playing a total of 127 games. In 2013 he started his professional career with Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB): 44 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(9.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.2spg, Blocks-1(1.5bpg), FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 62.9%. In 2014 he moved to the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 25 games: 17.0ppg, Reb-3(7.6rpg), 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-1(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.0%, FT: 69.2%. Last season he remained with the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 36 games: Score-5(16.6ppg), Reb-2(8.3rpg), 1.3apg, 1.5spg, Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 60.8%, FT: 68.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the huge 101-94 win against medi Bayreuth.

Julian thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 is here and coming into it´s third month. Did you make some new years resolutions or are you more the type of guy that doesn´t prefer that?

I did not make a New Year resolution. I focus on goals and improvements as they present themselves. Throughout the year this things change and are adjusted accordingly.

You have experienced carnival in Bonn this year. Was it a crazy time for a North Carolina boy or had you ever experienced something like this before?

It definitely not like something I had ever experienced before! The atmosphere was amazing and something I greatly enjoyed, the fan support that night propelled us to that big win.

What was the craziest experience that you had during the carnival season in Bonn and what costume will forever stick out in your mind when you look back at this time down the road?

Concerning the costumes, I saw a lot of great ones but I think us as a team was pretty special. We are a close knit group and had a lot of fun doing this together.


There Still Is No Slowing Down The Owned Definition Of Mr Pass In Jared Jordan

It never gets boring watching guys in the NBA like a Lebron James or Draymond Green fill up the stat sheet on a regular basis with ease the way Tom Brady does winning games with an offense that any other quarter back would struggle with and wish they could flee the responsibility. You always know what you will get from a Lebron or Green as they do so much well, but then again on the other hand, you have players that in many ways are able to also do everything these guys can do, but to a way lesser extent, but then again have one basketball ability that they especially shine in and use mostly to their advantage on the court. Even though a David Bell can do many things well on the court and is a lot better passer than people might realize, he shines mostly with his scoring and is simply a knock down shooter. Another guy that excels the most at one aspect of the game is ex ratiopharm Ulm center John Bryant who plays for AS Monaco now and led the BBL in rebounds three years in a row as he owned the paint area from 2010-2013 averaging 10,0rpg as one could have named him Mr rebound for good measure. However one player that owns the assist in the easyCredit BBL the way Bill Russell owned the rebound back in the day is Jared Jordan who has inherited the nickname of Mr pass for a reason in Germany the past years. Jordan is a 32 year old 187cm point guard from Hartford Connecticut and is in his 10th professional season and sixth in Germany and second consecutive season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He has dominated the assist stat in Europe the way Michael Jordan dominated the scoring race in the 80´s and 90´s in the NBA as well as How Lebron James has in his career. He is currently leading the German easyCredit BBL in assists at 8,6 and has won the crown the last six years and two years ago in Spain and currently on track to win his seventh straight assist race dating back to the 2010-2011 season. He was no slouch in his first three professional seasons as he was fourth in the Baltic league as a rookie, second in the D-league in 2008-2009 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and fourth in the BBL in 2009-2010 which was his first season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn in a growing league. However he already put up mind boggling assists averages in college at Marist(NCAA) which already gave a premonition about what would happen when Jordan was a professional.


Folarin Campbell (BK Ventspils) Darius Hall Was A Good Player But Also A Great Entertainer

Folarin Campbell is a 30 year old 193cm shooting guard/small forward playing his ninth professional season and second with  BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL). He comes from Silver Springs and played at George Mason from 2004-2008 reaching the NCAA Final Four in 2006. He finished career at George Mason ranked fourth all-time in assists (392), fifth in three-point field goals attempted (489), sixth in three-point field goals made (163) and eighth in scoring (1,545 points). He is the only player in school history with 1,500 points, 450 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 3-pointers, 100 steals and 50 blocks. Before he turned professional, he played at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games averaging 12.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 37.8%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 83.3%. As a professional he has played in countries like Germany where he played for teams like Artland, Bonn and Ludwigsburg and in Italy, Greece and Poland. Last season he played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-TBL) playing 37 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 67.4%, He spoke to German Hoops recently when he was in Oldenburg playing Champions League.

Folarin thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. When I think about your career, I remember you early in your career in Germany with Artland and Bonn in your second and third seasons, but I hardly remember your time in Ludwigsburg two seasons ago. What kind of experience was that for you playing for head coach John Patrick?

 It was a great experience. My time was cut short because of an injury. But the couple months I was able to play for coach Patrick were good. He is a players coach and he gives you a lot of freedom to be yourself on the court. It also helped that he was from the same state as me in the US so we were familiar with each other prior to Ludwigsburg.

Now you are back in Oldenburg. What memories do you have of playing against this team over the years? I remember you won a tight 74-72 contest with the Telekom Baskets Bonn where you scored 17 points.

 Well I don’t really remember that individual game to well. But I do remember the city and the atmosphere in that gym. The fans are great and passionate about their team. I’m excited to come back and play in this gym. I know it will be a hostile environment.