Saw-off springboard (Young World newspaper)

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On a “consolidation course”: Brose Bamberg players Assem Marei, Louis Olinde and Elias Harris last autumn

When one speaks of “consolidation”, it usually bodes ill. The latest example from the world of sport: The nine-time German basketball champion Brose Bamberg from Upper Franconia will end the cooperation with his young talent, the Baunach Young Pikes, after seven years. “With a heavy heart,” as Bamberg’s manager Arne Dirks assured on Thursday, but necessary “to maintain our targeted consolidation course.” The consequences are initially borne by the »farm team«, as athletic training centers are not only called the basketball Bundesliga team. The builders will have to start again below.

After the corona-related season break in mid-March, the Young Pikes had announced in early April that they wanted to plan for the Liga Pro B. The Pro B with its north and south squadrons is the third-highest league, which forms the 2nd basketball league with the higher-class Pro A. By June 1, all license documents should have been available to those in charge of the league, including a financial plan with targeted sponsorship revenues. The club from the 4,000-strong community of Baunach can now afford this effort. With the withdrawal of Bamberg it is clear: “Participation in Pro B is excluded for financial and organizational reasons,” said Jörg Mausolf in a joint press release with his Bamberg colleague Dirks. The department head already suspected that the liaison would end: “It was no longer completely surprising for us.”

What now? The club had registered for the regional league on time, Mausolf told the online portal In francs. “But it will be a mammoth task to be able to take up this starting position,” he emphasized with regard to the unclear hall situation and the challenge of putting together a squad suitable for the regional league. Ambitious, well-trained players should consider three times whether they go basket hunting one floor down at amateur level. If the regional league does not work, the right to start for the second team in the district league will be exercised, said Mausolf. “Everything is still very fresh, but if I learned one thing in sports: you have to look ahead and not back,” he added, optimistically.

Up to the early end of the season, the Young Pikes were in fourth place on the Pro B with twelve wins and ten losses. A fairly solid position for the club, which even played Pro A on the previous five seasons. The cooperation between the two teams was successful. Later Bundesliga professionals and national players such as Johannes Thiemann, Andreas Obst and Leon Kratzer got their finishing touches in Baunach. In the current squad of Bamberg, who are currently preparing for the final tournament of the Bundesliga in Munich in June, there are three professionals who have been trained by the builders. Brose manager Dirks admits: “Above all, the Young Pikes were a springboard for many Bamberg youth players.” And actually the first division team wanted to strengthen its local color, to raise more players from the area.

Can a first division team get by without substitute players in the second division? So far, it has only been confirmed that Brose Bamberg will dispense with a “farm team” in the coming season. But there is a rumor of a desired partnership with the Pro-B league team BBC Coburg. Maybe a kind of plan B in case the “consolidation course” leads straight to the relegation zone without a second team.

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