After an incredible final game in one of the most prestigious sports arena in Europe – the Kölnarena – the winning team from this summer’s Cologne stop “2 Late” could celebrate and were awarded with a trip to the United States to watch an NBA game!

But let’s start from the beginning…

The Basket Jam 06, NBA’s grassroots event, toured 8 cities in 4 countries across Europe mixing basketball competition elements (an elite 5-on-5 outdoor basketball competition) with fan interactive fun elements (drills and entertainment activities open to all players and spectators) from July to October. Each stop crowned a city winning team which was invited in Cologne to play the European finals: “Nantess Squad” (Paris winners), “Strassenball” (Munich winners), “Quinta da Pepe” (Madrid winners), “Dynamic Squad” (Barcelona winners), “Schiocchi Ballers” (Milan winners) or “Fox” (Rome winners) or the aforementioned guys from “2 Late”.

All teams put on a show while warming-up at the Rhein Energy Dome – the gym of the German champion Rheinenergie Köln – for their quarter-finals with thunderous dunks and acrobatic moves…

After the 4 quarter-finals 2 German, 1 French and 1 Italian team were left as “2 Late” easily won against “Nantess Squad” 34-17; “Fox” upset “Dynamic Squad” 28-22; “Strassenball” outfought “Quinta da Pepe” 28-26 and “Hardball” beat “Schiocchi Ballers” 27-21.

The first semi-final between “2 Late” and “Fox” was a game of runs. After leading 18-8, “Fox” struggled in defense and allowed “2 Late” to close the gap. After a 12-0 run, it was the Cologne champion who was up 20-18. The Rome winners started one last rally, went in front 24-20, but afterwards had no gas left in their tanks. “2 Late” then finished the game on a furious 13-2 run and qualified for the final match at the Kölnarena.

At the second semi-final, “Hardball” were favourites against “Strassenball” who had struggled in their quarter-final. But the Munich-based team surprised everyone with fearless penetrations and good team play. Hardball replied with great athleticism and outstanding shooting. The first half ended 20-20, but the Lyon team seemed to be more willing to get into the finals. In the second half, “Strassenball” only scored 8 more points and ended up losing 28-41 to “Hardball”.

The final match of the NBA Basket Jam 2006 at the Kölnarena before the games of the NBA Europe Live Tour was a must-see. The game between “2 Late” and “Hardball” was played at a very high level with little room for errors. After leading for the entire game, “Hardball” lost its touch from downtown in the last minutes. While “2 Late” fought itself back into the game by attacking the rim, the Lyon team fired from behind the 3-point line. “2 Late” then gained its first lead with 20 seconds to play with 28-26. Christian Mulumba from “Hardball” who has been the best player of the entire tournament then fired a rare miss at the buzzer as the team from “2 Late” started celebrating wildly on the court.

The German team will now enjoy a trip to the United States to watch an NBA game. It was a great ending for a fantastic event.

Team "2 Late" (European Champions NBA Basket Jam 2006)
Captain Farid Sadek, Benjamin Rust, Sebastian Rathjen, Marco Barth, Giovanni Palopoli, Khalid Annouri, Chakib Raouah .

Your NBA Basket Jam Tour Team