Frankfurt Skyliners: A new beginning for basketball with great hardships

Dhe list of failures at Fraport Skyliners is long. Development player Bruno Vrcic complains of a cruciate ligament tear. His expected impact time: six months. For the 20-year-old, the season in the Bundesliga could be over before it began. Teammate Len Schoormann is suffering from a pubic bone inflammation. The 19-year-old point guard will also miss the start of the new round next Sunday at home against Braunschweig, he could not be available for three to four months, in the worst case even longer.

It is still unclear when Richard Freudenberg (heel injury), who was unable to play a game in the previous season, will return. In the case of the 23-year-old, it cannot be ruled out that he will have to end his career early. And Reggie Hearn? The newcomer had to leave Frankfurt without playing a competitive game because the 30-year-old American would have been absent from the club for several months with his foot injury.

Coach Ocampo slowed down

Much earlier than in previous years, the Skyliners had put together their squad so that the new team under the new coach Diego Ocampo can play in peace. But bad luck with injuries in abundance in the six weeks of preparation time torpedoed these plans in the worst possible way. For the 44-year-old Spaniard, it is a new beginning in Frankfurt with great hardships.

Ocampo, whose previous coaching station was the first division club Zaragoza, had also left his home country to get out of his “comfort zone” Spain. He, who was the assistant coach of the Berlin master coach Aito in Seville, felt ready for the adventure in Frankfurt. At the Skyliners, the basketball training expert will primarily promote the development of talent over the next two years.

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After less than two months of working on his first foreign station, the well-known training manager was thwarted in his creativity by an extraordinary series of injuries – newcomer Brooks DeBisschop also pulled his thigh. Now he is called upon to act as a damage limiter much more than he would like. The exemplary Frankfurt funding program has currently suffered major damage, with Vrcic and Schoormann, of all things, the two most important German players are among the long-term injuries.

At the beginning of a new era, the Skyliners are blamelessly stuck in a backlog of young talent. Ocampo is forced to improvise and look for new staff on the player market, especially for the wing position. Only the good German players are already under contract. Therefore, the Frankfurters have to hope that there is one or the other candidate who is dissatisfied with his employer and therefore willing to change.

Given the limited workforce, a bumpy start for the Skyliners into the new season would not be a surprise. Against the top teams of the league like the German champions ALBA Berlin – Frankfurt’s opponent on the second day of the game – they shouldn’t have a chance at the moment. With the exception of captain Quantez Robertson (36 years old) and Rasheed Moore (26), none of them are older than 24. And Frankfurt does not have the really big individual talents in its ranks. The challenge for the Neu-Hessen Ocampo could hardly be greater.


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