“I would have hated that basketball”

Ludwigsburg. The passion for the sport is definitely still there, says Markus Jochum. The former coach of the MHP giants Ludwigsburg no longer wants to work only as a coach. “It’s nice to see it from afar,” Jochum says. The upcoming match for the giants, however, is a very special match for the 57-year-old: Today (19.00 / Magentasport) the Ludwigsburg team meets MLP Academics Heidelberg in the Bundesliga. For both clubs, Jochum was both a player on the floor and a coach on the sidelines. Today he is a high school teacher in Bammental near Heidelberg.

Heidelberg and Ludwigsburg: great history, new names

From 1987 to 1996, Jochum played for BG Ludwigsburg in the Bundesliga, and then moved to USC Heidelberg, where he switched to the coaching staff in 2000. Much has happened in both clubs since then, not least showing the name changes in both Bundesliga clubs. Both teams have also moved from the circular sports hall and Olympic base to the MHP Arena and SNP Dome. “I’m glad both have played so successfully in recent years. Heidelberg in the Bundesliga is a minor sensation,” said Jochum.

In his time in Heidelberg it was hardly conceivable. From 2000 to 2007 he was the coach of USC in the 2. Bundesliga, while also teaching mathematics and sports at Helmholtz Gymnasium in Heidelberg. “It was clear that if we were promoted, I would not stay as a coach. But of course we would still get the most out of it. We were never far behind,” he looks back.

In 2012, the name was changed to MLP Academics, and the same year Matthias Lautenschläger was appointed managing partner. His father Manfred founded the MLP financial sales company in 1971 and became a millionaire. “That way, the money is secured,” Jochum says. In his time, it was different. “The budget for the first division was never there.”

Victory in the first stage for MLP Academics

After a strong start to the season, the Heidelbergs confidently secured their place in the class. In the first match of the SNP Dome, Heidelberg beat the then harmless giants 73:67. At this point in the season, there was nothing to say about how stable the Giants would be as the fight progressed.

Already five matches before the end of the main round, Ludwigsburg secured its place in the playoffs and won bronze in the Champions League Final Four last weekend. Successes that the Giants also owe to their coach John Patrick. “He has an insane turnover in his squad year after year. He always has to put together a new team, ”says Jochum. “But he has an ability to bring in great talents. That’s why he’s always up front.” The dark side of this, however, is the lack of consistency in development. Top teams with much higher budgets like Bayern Munich or Alba Berlin can hardly be caught. “As things stand at the moment, the semi-finals are the maximum that can be achieved,” says Jochum.

The Saarlander describes his season and a half as a coach in Ludwigsburg as a “big adventure”. However, they were not characterized by the same success as the recent seasons under Patrick. Jochum was released in December 2011, returned to Heidelberg as a teacher and meanwhile coached the women’s team at TG Sandhausen.

Different coaching philosophies

He and Patrick have very different philosophies. “He plays a basketball that is out of panic. He changes a lot, gives players short playing times, attacks quickly and forces the opponent to do things they really do not want,” says Jochum, laughing: “I would have hated this one. basketball as a player. ” coach, he even has the controlled game with lots of passes and more rhythm to prefer.

Nevertheless: Jochum is crossing his fingers for the Giants this season, especially since the Heidelbergers in today’s match against Ludwigsburg are neither against relegation nor about playoff placements. With a victory, Ludwigsburg would secure fourth place and thus home ground in the first playoff round against Ulm. Jochum then considers it realistic to reach the semifinals. “And maybe more. Then I’ll come and watch the final,” he announces.

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