ratiopharm Ulm

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ratiopharm Ulm
ratiopharm Ulm logo
NicknameDie Spatzen
(The Sparrows)
LeaguesBasketball Bundesliga
EuroCup
Founded2001; 18 years ago (2001)
ArenaRatiopharm Arena
Capacity6,200[1]
LocationUlm, Germany
Team colorsBlack, White, and Orange
              
Main sponsorRatiopharm
Head coachThorsten Leibenath
Affiliation(s)OrangeAcademy
Websitewww.basketball-ulm.com
Uniforms

Ratiopharm Ulm, officially stylized as ratiopharm Ulm, is a professional basketball club that is located in Ulm, Germany.[2][3] The club has two teams, one professional team, which plays in the Basketball Bundesliga, the major German professional league and one youth team, which plays in the so-called NBBL (Nachwuchs Basketball-Bundesliga). The home arena of the team is the Ratiopharm Arena, an indoor sporting arena with a capacity of approximately 6,000 spectators.[4]

The mascot of the team is a rabbit, which resembles Bugs Bunny and is called "Spass" ("fun"). The main sponsor of the team is the pharmaceutical company Ratiopharm. The team colors are orange, white, and black.

History[edit]

Early years (2001–2006)[edit]

The club was founded in 2001 after the previous professional basketball team in Ulm, run by the sports-club SSV Ulm 1846, became insolvent and had to resign from the league. Dr. Thomas Stoll and Andreas Oettel, the current CEO of the Basketball Ulm/Alb-Donau GmbH, which is the owner of the club, bought the license of the former team and started a second division team with the name of Basketball Ulm GmbH.[5] After playing in the second division for five years, the team qualified for the Basketball Bundesliga in 2006.

First Bundesliga seasons (2006–2011)[edit]

Inside view of the Ratiopharm Arena, the club's home arena since 2011

In the 2006–07 season, led by Headcoach Mike Taylor and Assistant coach Rainer Bauer the team headed into their first season in the Basketball Bundesliga as the team with the smallest funds and the smallest arena in the league. With just two new players for the starting five, the team was seen by the media and many experts as the team most likely to be relegated to the second division again after the season. But due to a well-rehearsed team, with only a few players changed in the off-season, the team had some big upset wins and remained in the league with a 16–18 record. At the end of the season point guard Austen Rowland had the league's best assists per game rate and power forward Jeff Gibbs became the best rebounder in the league and was nominated as a starting-five player for the All-Star game.

Still a club with one of the smallest funds in the league, the team experienced some major changes in the pre-season of their second year in the Bundesliga because starting point guard Austen Rowland and shooting guard Jonathan Levy left the team while starting small forward Emeka Erege received a serious injury during an exhibition game. Nevertheless, the team was ranked twelfth in the league after 16 of 34 games with a 9-6 record.

In the 2008–09 season, with a young and talented team, ratiopharm Ulm had a very successful season. At the end of the 2008–09 season ulm was ranked on position five and entered the playoffs with a 21–13 record. But in the playoff the team was eliminated early, throughout a 3–0 loss against Telekom Baskets Bonn.

After a very good season in 2008–09, Ulm lost the leagues best rebounder and most efficient player Jeff Gibbs to Eisbären Bremerhaven. The 2009–10 season ended on rank thirteen, which means Ulm was far away from the playoffs and away from an relegation spot, too. In the 2010–11 season, Ulm ended on the 14th place.

Climbing the ranks (2011–present)[edit]

Per Günther, Ulm player since 2008, has been the leader of the team

In the 2011–12 season Ulm reached the Basketball Bundesliga Finals, after finishing second in the regular season. In the Playoffs Ulm had beaten Phantoms Braunschweig and S.Oliver Baskets and had a Playoff record of 6–0 coming into the Finals. In the Finals Ulm, lost 0–3 to Brose Baskets.

In the 2012–13 season Ulm entered a European competition for the first time, in the 2012–13 Eurocup, the team reached the quarterfinals. Ulm reached the BBL semifinals and lost in the German Cup Final, 67–85 against Alba Berlin, as well that season.

In the 2016–17 season, the club had a historically successful season as the team started the Basketball Bundesliga with 27 consecutive wins. The club ended in the first place of the regular season with 30 wins and just 2 losses,[6] but could not achieve the title as it lost in the semifinals of the playoffs by EWE Baskets Oldenburg.

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier League Pos. German Cup European competitions
2001–02 2 2. BBL 7th
2002–03 2 2. BBL 3rd
2003–04 2 2. BBL 2nd
2004–05 2 2. BBL 2nd
2005–06 2 2. BBL 1st
2006–07 1 Bundesliga 12th
2007–08 1 Bundesliga 12th
2008–09 1 Bundesliga 6th
2009–10 1 Bundesliga 13th
2010–11 1 Bundesliga 14th
2011–12 1 Bundesliga 2nd Third position
2012–13 1 Bundesliga 3rd Runner-up 2 Eurocup QF 6–8
2013–14 1 Bundesliga 7th Runner-up 2 Eurocup EF 11–7
2014–15 1 Bundesliga 4th Quarterfinalist 3 EuroChallenge RS 3–3
2015–16 1 Bundesliga 2nd 2 Eurocup L32 5–11
2016–17 1 Bundesliga 4th Quarterfinalist 2 EuroCup T16 4–10
2017–18 1 Bundesliga 10th Third position 2 EuroCup RS 2–8

Team[edit]

Award winners[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Head coaches[edit]

2003–2011 United States Mike Taylor
2011–present Germany Thorsten Leibenath

References[edit]

External links[edit]