Zirbes is Brose’s New Project


Posted by Salman Mitha

Posted in Basketball


Beko BBL Champs’ signing headlines busy week for clubs

Stechert Arena, Bamberg, June 21 – The Three-Peaters from Bamberg signed 22-year-old Maik Zirbes.  The 2.07-meters (6 foot 9 inches) center signed a three-year-contract with the Upper Franconian team in the Beko BBL, the German basketball league.

Zirbes scored 10.6 points and grabbed 7.1 rebounds per game for TBB Trier the last season and will replace Tibor Pleiss.  “Tibor is leaving Bamberg for sure,” confirmed Brose’s general manager Wolfgang Heyder.  “If he does not make it to the NBA, then he is going to play for one of the successful Spanish clubs.”

Zirbes is also catching the eye of the NBA, and his contract with Bamberg contains a buyout-option for potential buyers of the northern American league.  He is a novice on the national team, playing only two games for the U-18 squad.  “Currently Zirbes is lacking international experience,” says Heyder, “but he will work his butt off in training with a high tolerance of frustration, just like Tibor did it over the years.”

Zirbes will join the rotation of the Brose Baskets. The new entry was worth an unspecified transfer fee to the Franconian club, as Brose had to buy out the remaining two years of Zirbes’ contract with Trier.

Bamberg forming new champions

This signing shows that the longtime of continuity in Bamberg has come to an end.  Heyder showed his regret for this situation but the new quota system for German players and attractiveness of his players to other teams has brought more changes to his club than he would like.

However, what does continue is developing young talent to keep winning.  Like they did it with Pleiss, whom they signed in 2009 when he was 20, head coach Chris Fleming wants to invest time in the development of Maik.  Pleiss got a lot of playing time and made his way up to be one of the five best centers in the German league.  Without a doubt, Zirbes made a good move to settle in Bamberg.

Heyder admitted that Bamberg was interested in Zirbes since 2010, but the time in Trier was good for his development as a basketball player.  He was named best young player and most improved player this year while earning his first All Star Day nomination.  Zirbes will have competition for minutes, as 20-year-old Philipp Neumann is also on the roster for the current German basketball champions.  The Baskets are still searching the market for another big man to make up for the loss of Marcus Slaughter, who left for Real Madrid.

During the press conference last week, Heyder also talked about rumors concerning the Brose Baskets’ leadership.  He made jokes about Fleming leaving to Greek club Olympiakos Piräus and Kyle Hines coming from there to Bamberg.  According to Heyder, there will be further announcements from the headquarters of the Brose Baskets mid next week.

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