July 13, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Malte Ziegenhagen, an incoming freshman for the Tulane men's basketball team, will compete for his home country of Germany at the 2011 FIBA Under 20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain, starting Thursday, July 14.
"I'm quite excited to have this opportunity to play for my country," Ziegenhagen said." We have a really good chance to go far and Germany is expecting a lot of us."
Germany opens the pool play against the Ukraine Thursday, followed by Italy Friday and Lithuania Saturday. Tournament play begins on Monday and the championship will conclude on July 24.
"This tournament is the best in Europe and this whole summer has really helped me a lot. The coach of the German National Team has given me trust and a lot of playing time so I can really development myself," Ziegenhagen said. "I've improved my skills a lot and we've played against some off the best in the world. This is good for me to get ready for college basketball at Tulane.'
Ziegenhagen, a native of Berlin, is one of six members of the German team that will be playing collegiate basketball in the United States this winter.
The German roster is made up of Danilo Barthel, Niels Giffey (University of Connecticut), Patrick Heckmann (Boston College), Konstantin Klein, Dennis Kramer (University of San Diego), Mathis Mönninghoff (Gonzaga University), Dennis Ogbe (Tennessee Tech University), Falko Theilig, Daniel Theis, Johannes Voightmann, Ole Wendt and Ziegenhagen. Frank Menz will serve as the head coach, while Robert Bauer will be the assistant coach.
Ziegenhagen becomes the third incoming player for Tulane to compete for their country in international competition. He joins TomáÂš Brůha, who played for the U20 Czech Republic team, and Grant Fiorentinos, who played for the U18 English National Team.