One of the odd quirks of indulging in off-season travel has been the opportunity to attend European basketball games in Bamberg (2009), Porto (2018), Gdynia (2018), and coming up on December 21, Munich.
Or, as the city is spelled in German, München … located in Bayern (Bavaria). Munich’s pro basketball team is called FC Bayern München, same as its better known soccer/football squad.
As it turns out, one of FC Bayern’s players is 29-year-old Braydon Hobbs, a New Albanian basketballer made good, who enjoyed outstanding careers at New Albany High School and Bellarmine University before heading overseas in 2012 to begin playing pro ball.
It’s a tad bewildering to me, but many European teams of FC Bayern’s stature participate in multiple, overlapping leagues each season. FC Bayern is part of Germany’s top domestic basketball league, the Bundesliga, and also plays in the EuroLeague, which is comprised of Europe’s top clubs.
Both these leagues have playoffs and championships, and then there’s also the annual German Cup competition, which crowns its own champion following a tournament with German clubs from the Bundesliga and the domestic league beneath it. The game we’ll be attending is a EuroLeague contest.
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Real Madrid
TURKISH AIRLINES EUROLEAGUE 2018-19
Audi Dome, München, Bayern
December 21, 2018
FC Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: A new rivalry in basketball.
Despite having been major foes for many decades in football, Bayern and Real Madrid have just played each other four times on the basketball courts in official competition since 2000. The Spanish squad has dominated the series 3-1, to date.
|FC Bayern’s Twitter jokingly called this a pre-game shootaround.
I’ve never met Braydon, but was casually acquainted with his dad when we both were at IU Southeast a couple lifetimes ago. We’re hoping to at least say hello to him; mutual friend Steve Laduke contacted Braydon, who graciously offered to leave us comps at the will call.
Professional basketball overseas is a manic, mercenary world; since 2012, Braydon has played for eight different teams in various leagues and countries. He’s in the second year of a two-year deal with FC Bayern. I’m guessing the future is uncertain, but as Steve said, he’s done good for himself in Europe.
Here’s added background.
Braydon Hobbs, FC Bayern Munich, by David Hein (Jan 23, 2018; at Eurocupbasketball.com)
Braydon Hobbs is garnering more and more international attention with each breath-taking no-look pass he delivers in the 7DAYS EuroCup. But the FC Bayern Munich guard should be warned there are pitfalls to becoming too popular. It may limit his career choices when his basketball playing days are over.
Hobbs, 28, had his heart set on a career in law enforcement when he graduated from college. “I was more looking into secret services, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) or DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) – going behind the scenes stuff,” Hobbs explained. But his great basketball skills and some good fortune put him on the path to stardom and now he has found a second home in Munich.
Hobbs’s numbers may not jump off the page; he is averaging 8.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists for a Bayern team that went 9-1 in the EuroCup Regular Season and is 2-1 thus far in the Top 16. At first glance, he doesn’t really stand out on the court – that is until he absolutely wows the fans …