John’s first season playing professional wheelchair basketball for the Köln 99ers has (somewhat) come to an end. It’s been a rocky road, but he’s proved and improved himself in more ways than one. Since being here I still have yet to see another player with such a passionate attitude about the game and all it encompasses; whether it’s psyching out an opponent mentally or physically. John’s motivating leadership, clear court vision, incredible speed, impeccable defense, clean shot, excellent ball handling and entertaining showmanship make him a rare player to watch and follow. He’s absolutely mesmerizing-and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine! (I mean it’s no mystery that I’m his crazy pants, number one fan in the stands girlfriend so of course I’m a little biased) I’ll prove it to you too because it’s all there from photos to videos and articles to accolades.
With that, here are John’s final statistics for the 2015-2016 regular season:
– 2nd in Steals (25)
– 2nd in Offensive Rebounds (32)
– 3rd in Minutes on the court (38611)
– 3rd in Blocks (3)
– 4th in Assists (115)
– 16th in Points (201)
– Player of the Week (for Dec. 7, 2015)
– Player of the Month (February 2016)
– Pictured on the cover of Rollt. Magazine (with short article), the wheelchair basketball magazine of Germany, for its 10th anniversary issue.
– All-Star team selection in Euro Cup tournament (post season)
The determined Köln 99ers finished 8th out of the 10 teams in the division one bundesliga and managed to keep themselves out of relegation (if they were to finish worse then they would be demoted to division two).
Also after the regular season, we traveled to Toulouse, France in March for Euro Cup, a preliminary tournament to the Challenge Cup, where the team placed 3rd. Because of this result they will be playing in Bosnia in April. So technically John’s season isn’t over just yet.
Regardless of where the team placed it’s incredible how they kept it rolling with such heart and positivity. Given the various adversities like needing players, or losing players due to injury and personal issues, or relegation they’ve had to fight tirelessly to overcome these hardships. In fact, they sometimes even played with only five players and no bench. Like damn right? Nothing was easy and nothing was handed to them. John knew he had to work, push and lead every single day to get stronger. This season was about growth more than anything.
For me, to watch John grow as an athlete and a person has been a privilege and an honor that I covet with amazement, praise and so much love. I couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments. He’s making this the best experience of his life, one that we both will never forget and it’s utterly humbling.
By the way, a HUGE thank you goes out to everyone we’ve met in Köln and on our journey thus far. You are all truly amazing people with the upmost kindness and hospitality. John and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, place or team to start our life with. You will all be forever in our hearts.
Who knows what the future has in store for us, but we’re ready for anything.
For more awesomeness of John: