For the second consecutive year, our good friends at K1X were asked to represent Team Germany at the infamous “Jump10 – World Hoops Challenge Tournament” in Shanghai, China, where the temp exceeds 35 degrees and 90% humidity at this time of year. All expenses paid, of course. Known as Asia’s premier summer championship, Jump10 is poised to step into the footsteps of premier basketball fixtures such as Quai 54 (Paris) or Rucker Park (NYC). Followed by millions of online viewers in China and across the globe, Jump10 boasts a breathtaking outside venue and has what it takes to make an even bigger splash in the near future. This year’s edition featured 16 teams from 12 nations, all gunning for that number one spot. And with a total of $ 200,000 USD grand prizes, the heat was on.
K1X assembled a hard-hitting squad of good dudes, coached by Ralph Junge (Nürnberg Falcons). Former BBL pros Andrej Mangold (Artland, Bonn, Würzburg…) and Jay “Back Hercules” Boone (Göttingen, Ludwigsburg) headed a roster of young guns feat. Jonathan Maier, Albert Kuppe, Tim “Birdy” Eisenmann, Jackson Kent, Patrick Horstmann and Sebastian Schröder. That’s two centers (one defensive, one offensive), two point guards with poise and experience as well as one bruiser and a flock of outside shooters.
The first two days of opening rounds wer played inside due to rain and saw Team K1X GER take on China III, last year’s VBL champs (Venice Beach League, USA) and the veteran squad from Russia. After three W’s, our guys escaped this death group finishing in first place. On Sunday, the fellas defeated the aggressive Aussies in the quarterfinals, before meeting the favored and very talented VBL All-Stars yet again in the semis. The Showtime crew from L.A. (which featured 228 cm center Mamadou N’Diaye and notorious slam dunk pro Chris Staples, among others) easily won the first half. But Team GER turned the tables with high-percantage shooting in the second half – and handed out somewhat of a spanking in overtime. Quite an upset, considering the VBL’s longtime experience in regards to open air play. Following an epic showdown in the slam dunk contest between Dunk Elite’s Rafal “Lipek” Lipinski (Poland) and “Everybody Hate Chris” Staples, which was won by the USA’s leaper thanks in part to fewer attempts. That makes Staples the back-to-back Jump10 slam dunk champ ($10,000 USD).
The final game pitted the K1X bunch (crowd favorites by now) versus the “China Kings”, a selection of Chinese and American CBL pros, which had made the best of their home court advantage by beating 2016 winners Canada and a second USA team from Atlanta en route to the final showdown. Continuing their pass-first play, deft shooting and hardnosed defense, Team K1X GER was poised to bring home the trophy and disposed of the Kings in both halves, thanks in large part to the inside presence of J. Maier, leadership of Dre Mango and Basti Schröder’s constant daggers, the latter of which was crowned MVP ($ 5,000 USD). Check out the pics and clips below, incuding the award ceremony, confetti shower and handing over of $100,000 USD grand prize for the well-deserved champs. #playhard