Geert Hammink is not to be envied for the challenge. The new head coach of the Fraport Skyliners faces a Herculean task in Frankfurt. In order to stop the sporting decline of the basketball club, the 52-year-old Dutchman cannot rely on the economic power of the Skyliners. Because they had to pay dearly for relegation from the Bundesliga: Only with a wildcard, which cost them 700,000 euros, did the Hessians stay in the premium class.
This investment, vital for the club at the highest level, has financial implications for the composition of the new team. The Skyliners need to save. Managing Director Yannick Binas cannot yet say anything about the overall budget for the coming season, which is currently “with many question marks”, he said.
“Perspectively”, however, the club wants to return to a budget (“plus/minus five million euros”) like before the corona pandemic. How is this supposed to work? In the next two years, the Frankfurt-based company wants to generate an additional seven-digit amount through new sponsors or the expansion of cooperation with existing partners. That is a mammoth task in these times.
Hammink was undeterred by the economic constraints of his new employer. At his previous station in the Netherlands at top club ZZ Leiden, the former center with a height of 2.10 meters made a lot out of little. There he proved his eye for good bargains, which was no coincidence. Hammink is a specialist in personnel selection. After a successful playing career in Germany with Alba Berlin and in Cologne, among other places, he was one of the first agents worldwide to receive official FIBA licensing in 2007. Before that, Hammink was a co-founder of the “Court-Side” player agency.
Foresight and intuition are required
With his large network, the former NBA professional brings with him exactly what the Skyliners have been missing in recent years: vision and a feel for the best possible solution. In the search for suitable players, they made too many wrong decisions. The club often went wrong, especially in the playmaker position. The necessary corrections over the course of the season disrupted the team’s growing together.
With his vita, Hammink promises to be the right solution to the Skyliners’ problems. Because of his experience and charisma, players don’t just look up to him because of his height. His passion for talent development also fits the club’s direction. In this respect, too, the Hessians have a lot to make up for, as the development of the young players has stalled in recent years. Frankfurt’s sporting relegation now enables Hammink to enter the Bundesliga coaching business. It’s an exciting personality. He wants to take his chance. And the Skyliners hope that Hammink will turn the tide for the better.