Did you ever hear of Peter Hütter? Or do you know the scoring average of Mathias Meyer? In fact, do you know what I am talking about?
One of the biggest surprise in this year’s edition of the ULEB Cup may be the qualification of the Austrian team Swans Gmunden for the next round. With an 80-69 win in their hometown "Volksbankarena" which looks more like a high school gym than a modern basketball facility,over the Belgian team of Antwerp, the Austrian Swans are now one of the 32 qualified teams even one week before the end of the regular season. Who was betting on that before the season?
When you check the Austrian press, they talk about Austrian basketball history that has been written. Before this season, the team has lost all of his 10 European Cup games played so far. So but who are the guys that brought this success to the lovely Traun Lake?
Of course, you have to mention De’Teri Mayes. The US born guard, who plays already for 9 years in Austria, is the absolute team leader on and off the court. This Tuesday, he was off in the beginning, but he went crazy in the last quarter where he scored 15 of his 32 points and went perfect in shooting for 9 consecutive minutes. Mayes, who is having also a Austrian passport and could be interesting for other European teams, is however very well bound to his new home in the Alps. He will become a happy father in a few months and he is so happy with his actual situation that he does not think on moving somewhere else.
On the other hand, you have the team captain Peter Hütter. The 27 year old forward, who is playing since his childhood for the Swans is the fighter of the team. Present everywhere on the court, he is also the Captain of the Austrian National team.
Now what can Gmunden do in the elimination round? They will probably lose. But who thought they would win a game before the draw of the ULEB Cup. They took profit from a pretty weak group with Fribourg and Galil Elyon, but they did their best. And they can even go for the 2nd place in the group with an improbable win in Podgorica next week. So, Austria, the next basketball superpower? Who knows…