Mar
0

Omar Samhan shows his stuff on German TV (wow, cool tattoos, man…)

Does the brilliant Awful Announcing have a German-language version? If so, they’ll definitely want to give some props to Sascha Bandermann of Germany’s Sport 1.

While awkwardly giving a report direct from the locker room of the Bundesliga’s Ratiopharm Ulm for the TV magazine “Basketball – Der Countdown,” Bandermann somehow had to maintain composure through a rather odd-looking bit of Philipp Schwethelm’s pre-game exercise and an attempt to spark conversation with banana-scarfing team captain Steve Esterkamp. And then known jokester Omar Samhan adds his two, um, cents to the proceedings. Yeah, this one’s probably NSFW…

Shout out to heinnews for the tip!

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Mar
4

March Madness: Three teams (and nine players) to support in the 2013 NCAA Tournament

Can Harris, Gonzaga continue to ride the wave?

Can one website support three teams in a single competition? Hey, it’s March Madness, so why not? Earlier, BallinEurope took a brief look at half the European players set to compete (or not) in the 2013 NCAA Tournament; today, nine more – and a bit of a conundrum Though some 18 names on Big Dance rosters represent the Continent in this year’s tourney, three teams have each amassed a European triad – not to mention a few certain NBA draft picks and difference-makers in the tournament.

The easy choice for the European basketball fan would of course be Gonzaga. With a realistic shot at winning the whole enchilada and having perfected that up-tempo style for which this basketball program has become known, why not get on the bandwagon? After a topsy-turvy season during which it felt like a new no. 1 topped polls weekly, the Bulldogs finally emerged atop the ratings, only to see that ranking immediately erased thanks to bracket-building.

Of course, one could eliminate the Zags from contention for your Tournament-time devotion on a technicality. Guy Landry Edi’s hometown according to the NCAA and media sources is Paris, France. However, serious followers of FIBA ball will recall that, after playing with Team France in the U16s, he then suited up – thus changed his eligible nationality in FIBA terms – for Côte d’Ivoire in the 2010 FIBA World Championship (and subsequently the 2011 FIBA Africa Championship).

So could it be that Edi is finally worn down? Or, put another way, what happened to this guy in 2013? Since the New Year’s Eve game at Oklahoma State, Edi has totaled nearly as many personal fouls (11) as points (16, including seven in the Seniors Day Game blowout against Portland). Heck, he hasn’t scored a point since January 24, since going 0-for-13.

BiE wonders if we’ll ever see this player again (and thinks, yeah, maybe in Pro A next season):

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Mar
1

Podcast: Interviews with Per Gunther, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia; plus riffs on Rodman in North Korea, the Harlem Shake, Space Jam (P.S. Win a free T-shirt!)

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode 25 in the Taking the Charge podcast series is now available online, and in general this one reflects the wackiness of the week in basketball just gone by. So Bill Simmons’ “B.S. Report” over at Grantland is described as “a free-flowing conversation”? Co-host David Hein of heinnews and yours truly sail our own stream of consciousness this time out, touching upon diverse subjects including the Harlem Shake phenomenon, Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy in North Korea, Tim Ohlbrecht in America, the ever-interesting behind-the-scenes happenings in Greece, and, in our sports movie review of the week, the all-time classic Space Jam.

A bit of gravity – but just a wee bit – infuses the show in an interview with our first guest, Ratiopharm Ulm’s Per Günther. Günther tells us about his club (arguably one of the most notable European underdogs in 2012-13 who currently find themselves near the top of the Bundesliga table and in the Eurocup elite eight) and the prospects for Team Germany in Eurobasket 2013.

Also joining us is Sportando co-founder Emiliano Carchia, who offers some insight into the recent towering success of the European basketball-centric website.

And in the first-ever Taking The Charge promotion, earn a chance at winning a T-shirt absolutely free – tune in to find out (Don’t worry: Details are just a few minutes into the ‘cast).

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that Taking the Charge podcasts are now available through iTunes; subscribe by entering the following into the aggregator: http://heinnews.com/feed/podcast. Alternatively, the entire episode may be heard here.

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Feb
2

Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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Feb
0

Podcast: What’s up in Kaunas and Bamberg? Interviews with Marko Popovic, Bamberg scouting director Brendan Rooney

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #23 — a belated 50th birthday gift to His Airness, then — in the heinnews/BallinEurope-coproduced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online.

David Hein and yours truly feature two interviews this time out, fortuitously timed in the wake of last week’s Brose Baskets Bamberg-Zalgiris Kaunas cliffhanger. First up is Marko Popovic, Zalgiris’ hero in the game for, as coolly as ice, sinking three consecutive free throws with literally 0.0 left on the clock in overtime for the Greens’ win. Popovic speaks candidly on the off-court transactions affecting Zalgiris’ play particularly in the Euroleague Top 16 round and about Team Croatia’s chances in the FIBA Eurobasket 2013 tourney.

Also joining us for some jibber-jabber is Bamberg scouting director Brendan Rooney, who not only tells us exactly what his job is and how a St. Louis native ended up in Germany, but also sheds some light on his team’s woes in the big league this season.

Finally, our sports movie review feature this week is a good ol’ double feature — though both flicks are only marginally related to sport. We look at the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock classic “Strangers on a Train” and the Strangers-inspired “Throw Momma From the Train” starring high-profile Los Angeles Clippers fan Billy Crystal back in 1987.

This entire episode of “Taking the Charge” may be downloaded here. Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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Feb
0

Podcast: Interviewing German Bundesliga CEO Jan Pommer, viewing basketball in Pittsburgh

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #21 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-hosted “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now online. With the entire Euroleague taking a bye this week, David Hein and yours truly keep the EL-centric talk to a minimum, but stay focused on basketball nevertheless with an interview of Bundesliga CEO Jan Pommer.

Pommer is not only enjoying some nice success as the German league has continuously and consistently broken attendance records, but is also one of the more strident voices sounding off against FIBA’s planned reform (BiE prefers to think of it as “deform”) of international tournament structure…

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Oct
36

Taking stock of European players in the NBA, 2012-13

Koufos one of four Euronuggets

BallinEurope will be celebrating NBA Opening Day with lots of stuff centered on the big league; firstly, BiE takes stock of Continental ballers in the ‘States.

Taking a look at this year’s roundup, we note that 53 Europeans have been named to NBA clubs’ 15-man roster, just beating the pace of the 52 listed in 2010-11. (BiE didn’t take the tally for last season because, you know, things were kinda confusing during the lockout and all…)

And quite a few teams have seriously European-tinted rosters: Five teams go into the 2012-13 NBA season with four Continental players – and of these 20 players, perhaps only Sasha Pavlovic and Evan Fournier are marginalized at the lower end of the 15-man rosters. If one includes Ty Lawson as an honorary Lithuanian (for at least one more season), the Denver Nuggets could put an all-Euro squad on the floor with Lawson heading up an admittedly odd lineup of Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov.

The team-by-team breakdown goes as follows.

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Oct
2

American Education: An Associated Press veteran’s takes on five Europeans in NCAA basketball

Auda “will be a big factor” for Seton Hall

European, NCAA and youth basketball fans will definitely want to check out episode five of heinnews/ BallinEurope’s “Taking the Charge” podcast series posted today; in short, it’s a ton of information on prospects and the NCAA game courtesy (in the first half) of Jim O’Connell.

O’Connell has written for NCAA basketball for the Associated Press since 1978 and has just recently completed his 3,000th game writeup for the wire service. His CV is way too long to detail here, but let’s just say it culminates with entry into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

So who better, BiE figured, to get some insight from on a handful of European prospects in American college basketball in 2012-13? Below run O’Connell’s insights into Patrick Auda of the Czech Republic; Patrick Heckmann and Elias Harris of Germany; Deniz Kilicli of Turkey; and Will Yeguete of France – plus video clips!

(Teaser: O’Connell reckons one of these guys is destined for an all-American-level year…)

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Sep
1

Götterdämmerung in Munich as Bauermann fired

BallinEurope has been following the Bayern München story since the club began its bold resurrection to prominence, but the tale took an unexpected turn yesterday as officials announced that German national program overseer Dirk Bauermann had been fired as Bayern’s coach.

In an official press release, Bayern club officials stated that “After intensive conversations, the authorities at FC Bayern Munich … fired head coach Dirk Bauermann with immediate effect. Dirk Bauermann was informed this afternoon about the decision.

“The reason for the firing lies in the differing ideals over the future development of basketball at FC Bayern Munich.”

BiE’s having a bit of a problem imagining exactly what those differences where, particularly since Bauermann has taken the second-division club all the way up to Eurocup play in two seasons – though Germany-based heinnews tells of rumors that Bauermann was canned in connection with a bit of partying by players Jared Homan, Tyrese Rice and Chevon Troutman following a recent preseason match with Alba Berlin.

Yannis Christopoulos, most recently of Cyprus powerhouse Apoel BC has been named head coach

A press conference is scheduled for today at 11.45 CET.

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Sep
0

Podcast: Peeking at the Euroleague, riffing on Hecking, interviewing The Iran Jobbers

Now up and running is episode two in the Taking the Charge podcast series, a gabfest brought to you by heinnews and BallinEurope. On the menu over there is a nice spread of basketball-related matters, including:

• a look at recently-run tournaments in Germany: the 2012 Domreiter Cup in Nürnberg with defending Euroleague/Greek League champs Olympiacos besting Brose Baskets Bamberg, Maccabi Tel Aviv and BC Khimki; and the Beko BBL Cup, which saw 2011-12 Euroleague runners-up CSKA Moscow top Bayern München, Beşiktaş JK and Žalgiris Kaunas. (In advance, BiE will say that whoa, eight interesting storylines really demonstrates the allure of the big league: fresh, dramatic storylines that change week to week…);

• some riffing on FC Nuremberg football coach Dieter Hecking’s, um, interesting comments of last weekend and the German basketball federation’s response; and

• a lengthy and fascinating interview with Till Schauder and Kevin Sheppard, producer/director and subject, respectively, of the excellent newly-released documentary The Iran Job. (BiE’ll have a bit more on this later for the more textually-inclined.)

Enjoy the podcast and stay informed about our new releases and comment to your heart’s content via our spiffy Facebook page. Like us! We love your likes!

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