Sometimes the overwhelming differences that two basketball teams may possess on paper can be as hard to digest for an opposing coach in terms of what strategy he will use for 40 minutes as it was NFL coaches and defenses to figure out how to stop a Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who at age 39 seems to be playing like in his prime and having that very special and rare football gen called forever young. When one observes Germany´s youth league NBBL which displays the faces of tomorrow and possible professional players in the making, one can´t always expect games in the 90´s or a 50% field goal percentage as these kids are all still learning, but sometimes the stats on paper do tell the story. This was the case as unbeaten Eintracht Frankfurt who had beat MTV Kronberg in a thrilling OT game where they showed their true colors in OT and last weekend needed a 26 point explosion in the fourth quarter to leave the Junior Baskets Rhein Necker in the dust faced off against the 1-1 Schoder Junior Giraffen Langen in another classic Hessen derby. The guests lost the first game of the season against Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg with 65-58, but last weekend nipped the well-known basketball academy Urspring 55-53. The immense statistical advantages that Eintracht Frankfurt had were mindboggling as they averaged 82 points to 56 points of Langen, had the massive rebound edge of 51-26 and in the playmaking department also had more creativity with the 20-11 edge. Langen did have the better defense in the first two games giving up only 59 points while Eintracht Frankfurt did 65 which wasn´t too shabby either. Stats are one thing, but in the end the only thing that counts is what happens on the court for 40 minutes and that is when both teams leave everything they have on the court. The Schoder Junior Giraffen Langen played a hard first half where nobody would of noticed any kind of big advantage for Eintracht Frankfurt, but the home team did break out of their shell in the third leading by as much as 17 points only to see the guests fight back and force OT, but then ran out of gas as Eintracht Frankfurt squeaked out a 82-74 win. After the game, 18 year old German Konstantin Schubert didn´t look anymore pooped than after any other game, but he had played an overwhelming 81 minutes in 17 hours dating back to the Fraport skyliners Juniors OT win in Nordlingen the night before, but was still able to give sound answers concerning his second OT win within 24 hours. “I feel very tired. This was my second OT game. I played 42 minutes last night and 39 minutes now. We were up by 17 in the third and can´t let the opponent come back like that. We brought more power than Langen did into the OT and hit the deciding shots that gave us the win”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt forward Konstantin Schubert. The Schoder Junior Giraffen Langen played a very spirited game, but used up a lot of energy after being down 17 in the third and just didn´t have the needed gusto in OT to prevail. “This was a tough loss for us. The third quarter killed us. We never gave up until the end, but Frankfurt just had more energy than we did”, added Schoder Junior Giraffen Langen forward Julian Pfaff.
Ian Sheldon is a 196cm forward from Traverse City, Michigan that is starting his professional basketball career in Germany with Regionaliga team TV Langen. He played basketball and football at Hillsdale (NCAA2). He spoke to German Hoops recently before he made the trip to Germany to join his new team TV Langen.
Ian thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment an dhow is your summer going?
Currently I’m on my way home from Philadelphia. I was out there playing in The Basketball Tournament – a $1 million nationwide professional tournament. My summer is going great! Spending all of my time in the gym training and with family and friends.
Welcome to your future new second home Germany. You have signed a contract to play for TV Langen. How blessed do you feel at the moment for getting a chance like this?
I feel incredibly blessed to have received this opportunity. It was always my dream to play professional basketball. It’s hard to fully convey how grateful I am to be playing professionally for TV Langen.
Martinis Woody is a 33 year old 201cm forward from South Carolina that recently completed his sixth professional season and third with TV Langen. He played at Benedict(NCAA2) and turned professional in 2009 and played for NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 12 games: 20.8ppg, 11.8rpg, 2.2bpg, 1.6spg, 1.5apg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 64.9%. In 2010-2011 he played for CRE Eagles Itzehoe (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 21 games: 18.5ppg. In 2011-2012 he played for SSV Lokomotive Bernau (Germany-ProB) playing 27 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(10.6rpg), 1.4apg, 1.3spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.6. He moved to TV Langen in 2012-2013 and has been a top forward in the Pro B for the last three seasons. Last season with TV Langen he played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 9.1rpg, 2.4apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 68.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
Martinis thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?
I’m currently home in Greenville SC.
It is fast approaching August and the new season is quickly approaching, but you still are unsigned. Are you getting nervous about still not being signed?
Not nervous God has a plan just waiting to see who need a great big man down low.
The one guy Martinis Woody hails from South Carolina and the other guy Jermale Jones from Alabama and in the States the south is as big as many countries in Europe put together and diverse as accents are in Germany, but in Germany the area called Hessen is about as big as the State of South Carlolina and here it is a lot easier to meet both guys at some sporting event especially in Frankfurt. For the experienced 201cm power forward Martinis Woody, it takes him 20 minutes to drive 23 kilometers to the Fraport arena while it takes Jermale Jones the 28 year old 186cm guard from Lich about an hour to travel 60 kilometers. These two Americans who have played in Germany the last years have made it an obligation to get to Frankfurt whenever they can within their schedule to watch Beko BBL team the Fraport Skyliners and have seen each other more than any other opponents in the German pro B this season off the court as one can find them sitting in the first row often alongside Fraport Skyliners juniors like Kyle Fossman and Andrew Bock catching the action. Missing this battle was also not an option for close friend Quantez Robertson and teammates of the Fraport Skyliners Sean Armand and Justin Cobbs who got off the plane from Siberia to come to Langen to watch them duel. However this weekend they met again, but on the floor in do or die Pro B play downs as both had split the season series as both teams had won their home games. Both guys had huge games in the first Langen contest as Woody had 20 points and 16 rebounds while Jones had 26 points and they battled again for the third time and after three games Jones has the 2-1 season lead against Woody as the Licher Basket Baeren Squeezed out a 61-60 nail bitter. “We needed the win tonight. We knew that we had to come out with a lot of energy to match theirs as they were better team in the first half. However we came out in the third quarter had less turnovers and got buckets inside. At the end we kept fighting which gave us the win. When Woody and I play against each other it goes deeper than basketball. We may not be friends on the court, but when the game is over it is like family between us. We found that connection in Bernau when we were teammates some years ago”, stressed Lich guard Jermale Jones. “We have to keep our heads up now. We played well for 40 minutes. We have five games left and still have to go to Lich. Jones and I do some trash talk on the court and aren´t friends on the court, but at the end we always shake hands. It is always a pleasure to play against him”, added TV Langen forward Martinis Woody.
Maxim Schneider is a 23 year old 184cm point guard playing his fourth season with TV Langen. He started his basketball career in 2008 with DJK MJC Trier (Regionalliga). He spoke to German Hoops after the 61-60 loss to the Licher Basket Baeren.
Maxim thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 61-60 loss to the Licher Basket Bahren. What were the main reasons for the win loss against Lich?
It was almost like last week where we played good for 35 minutes and couldn´t hold the lead at the end. The Lich zone killed us. We had a miscommunication on the last play. Sharda called a different play than what the others expected. The Tom Alte shot wasn´t planned.
TV Langen play against Lich, Speyer and Saarlouis in the play downs. How do you see the chances overall for TV Langen?
I think that we will have a good chance against Speyer. They play a structured basketball like we do. Saarlouis will be tough because they play more college style. Rickey Easterling is tough and we need to control him. Despite the Lich loss we still have good cards in the play downs.
Kevin Luyeye is a 23 year old 196cm forward that is playing his first season with TV Langen. He started his basketball career with ASC Theresianum Mainz (ProB) in 2008 where he played until 2010. He then moved to the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB): 18 games: 1.8ppg, 1.6rpg, also played at Eintracht Frankfurt (2.Regionalliga). He then moved back to ASC Theresianum Mainz (Regionalliga) for two seasons. Last season he played for SG TVD-BIS Speyer (ProB) playing 28 games and averaging 7.6ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 22.5%, FT: 44.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 76-66 loss to TG Wurzburg Baskets Akademy.
Kevin thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough loss against Wurzburg tonight. What were the main reasons for the loss?
We gave the game away in the fourth quarter with many turnovers. We weren´t playing aggressive and lost our self confidence.
TV Langen was in the playoff hunt until last weekend. It lost five of the last six games. Why was the team unable to win games in these important stretch?
I think that the loss to Hanau was the deciding point. We still had a chance for the playoffs, but that loss robbed us of our self confidence. We had many tight loses and our motivation left us. We didn´t have much luck the last weeks.
Anish Sharda is a 32 year old 188cm American point guard that also has the Indian citzenship and is playing his ninth professional season and first with TV Langen. He started his basketball career in 2001 with Moorpark JC. H ethen finished school at University of Mary (NAIA) in 2005 and as a senior averaged 15.9ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, 45.9% FGs, 38.7% 3-pts, 83.2% FTs. He came to Germany in 2007 and played two seasons for ASC Theresianum Mainz (Germany-Regionalliga) helping them move up to the German Pro B in 2008. He then played a season for USC Freiburg and for Hanau from 2010-2014 helping them move from the Regionaliga to the Pro B in 2011. Last season for TG 1837 White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProB) he played 24 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.9rpg, Assists-5(4.9apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 85.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball
Anish thanks for talking to German Hoops. You came to Europe in 2007 and have always played in Germany. Why has Germany become your second basketball home?
Yes it is my second home. I am very thankful that I got another opportunity to play in Germany. My wife is from Mainz and another reason why I love Germany. I have felt comfortable wherever I have played in Germany and have always been treated well. I am so thankful that I can continue to do what I love which is play basketball.
Except for a season in Freiburg you have mostly played in the Rhein Main area. Has the international flair in general here been something that has kept you comfortable and have had the need to explore other basketball areas in Germany. You signed late into the season with TV Langen. Were you almost retired at age 32. How close was the end of your professional basketball career had you not signed for Jogi Barth in Langen?
I have always felt very comfortable in this region. Even now playing for Langen I live in Mainz. Mainz isn´t big but has that city flair. I signed late as I had a hard time trying to find a team and I don´t know why. The later it got the less I thought of retiring. I stayed in shape with the Mainz team and am thankful that Jogi Barth took a chance on me as I will do my best to help the team win games.