European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

ALBA Urspring doubles the joy

May 15th, 2011 · No Comments

The Team ALBA Urspring had its biggest day in the history of the school when they won both the JBBL and NBBL Title for the season 2010/2011 this Sunday in Ludwigsburg. Both teams managed to beat their opponent in the Final and Ralph Junge (the “father” of the program) could enjoy his success. Let’s check what happened in the two finals.

JBBL: Team ALBA Urspring – BBA Ludwigsburg 73-68

In front of 1700 fans, both teams started the game well and you could immediately see that this game would be of a far better level than the JBBL Semi-finals on Saturday. While the locals put a lot of energy in trying to prevent Gavin Schilling from getting the ball, it were the Urspring guards that opened the score. The game was close throughout this first quarter and Schilling managed to score his first basket only after 8 minutes while Daniel Ivanov and Zaire Thompson run the show in the back court. For Ludwigsburg, Robert Zinn showed his court-vision with some great passes but Urspring had a first run in the game in the beginning of the second quarter. But then, the physical Tobias Heintzen, who played an excellent defense against Schilling despite being nearly 10cm shorter, scored two three-pointers in a row and started a 10-0 run for the hosts of the event. Zinn scored another triple and it was Stefan Ilzhöfer who increased the Ludwigsburg lead to 7 points with the half-time buzzer.

In the second half, Urspring continued to look for Schilling who had two impressive dunks to bring his team back into the game. Thompson started to hit his shots from outside but Zinn continued to show his talent and helped his team back to an 8 point lead. However, both Zinn and Heintzen got called for their fourth foul which put Ludwigsburg in major trouble. But the hosts could anyhow increase the lead again to 10 points with good defense and some fast breaks but Thompson and Schilling showed then why they are the best players of their team. They scored 16 points in the last seven minutes of the game and brought the first JBBL title to Urspring as Ludwigsburg was unable to get the lead back once they have lost it.

MVP: Gavin Schilling 32pts (12/16 FGs – 8/14 FTs), 9rebs, 2stls

The last minutes of the Final

NBBL: Breitengüssbach – Team ALBA Urspring 57-68

2200 fans had found their way to the Rundsporthalle in Ludwigsburg for the Final of the German U19 League. But when the game for the U16 title was good compared to its semi-finals, it was a different story for the U19 Final. Breitengüssbach was never able to rival with Urspring that played an excellent defense to prevent Philipp Neumann getting the ball in the paint by using multiple defenders (Theis, Richter, Diouf,…) on him. The absence of regular team practice with the big guy was certainly a reason why you had the impression that Breitengüssbach played a lot better as a team when Neumann was on the bench. However, they needed him in order to have a chance to beat Urspring that was too good this Sunday.

The defense was the key for Urspring as they managed to hold Breitengüssbach to only 1 point for the first six minutes and it was Johannes Richter who could score the first basket 40 seconds before the end of the first quarter. The game continued throughout the second and third quarter without many spectacular plays and an intense defense of Urspring. Neumann was unable to score a basket in the whole game, he finished with 0 from 7 shots and could only score from the free-throw line. On the other side, Julius Wolf did the whole thing as usual with 15pts, 10rebs and 2stls while Malik Müller scored some great three-pointers. But the player who impressed probably the most for Urspring was Mario Blessing. The inconspicuous PG, who will play for USC-Upstate next season, controlled the tempo of the game, hit a couple of important shots, calmed down his team mates when they started to celebrate too early and showed his tremendous progress he had made this season also from a physical point of view. Breitengüssbach could reduce the score a bit in the final minutes but Urspring brings back the fourth title to the monastery near Schelklingen.

MVP: Julius Wolf 15pts (6/14 FGs), 10rebs, 2stls, 1blk

Official Individual Trophies

  • JBBL MVP: Ismet Akpinar (Piraten Hamburg)
  • JBBL Rookie (1997 born): Franz Leonhard (BiG Chemnitz)
  • JBBL Defender: Kevin Jefferson (CYBEX Bayreuth)
  • NBBL MVP: Daniel Theis (Braunschweig)
  • NBBL Rookie (1994 born): Mauricio Marin (IBBA Berlin)
  • NBBL Defender: Besnik Bekteshi (BBA Ludwigsburg)

All-Tournament Teams

It is difficult to put together an All-Tournament team if some players had to play only one game because they got eliminated but here is our vote.


  • Zaire Thompson (Urspring)
  • Robert Zinn (BBA Ludwigsburg)
  • Tobias Heintzen (BBA Ludwigsburg)
  • Robyn Missa (IBBA Berlin)
  • Gavin Schilling (Urspring)


  • Mario Blessing (Urspring)
  • Dennis Schröder (Braunschweig)
  • Jörg Dippold (Breitengüssbach)
  • Julius Wolf (Urspring)
  • Daniel Theis (Braunschweig)

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