Per Günther – goodbye to a basketball legend from Hagen

Ulm / Hagen.
After 500 BBL matches: Hagen basketball player Per Günther’s career is over. About an exceptional athlete and a striking personality.

Per Gunther held his two sons firmly in his arms and enjoyed the landscape unfolding before his eyes. Confetti showers, chants, flashbulbs and an orange, vibrating crowd that only cheered on him. Actually, he had planned not to cry, but Günther had to shed tears at these emotionally charged images. “I thought I would do well, but I was hit once or twice,” admitted the Bundesliga club’s crowd favorite Ratiopharm Ulm one.

Defeat becomes a minor issue for Ratiopharm Ulm

So now it’s time. Per Gunther, that Hagen’s unique basketball player over the last two decades has ended his career. Last summer, he announced that he would finally put the sneakers in the closet. And then the 2021/22 season became Günther’s farewell tour. The 79:97 defeat on Thursday night against the giants Ludwigsburg was the last match for the 34-year-old point guard. A sporting disappointment for “Spatzen”, which became a minor affair on this historic evening.

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Team captain Per Günther scored ten points in his 500th BBL match in front of 5,000 loud spectators. In his hometown of Hagen, Per Günther went from being a talent to a professional, and in Ulm he became a legend and icon for the entire Bundesliga. “I had wonderful years here in Ulm. I hope I can preserve everything I have experienced here and then gain access to it by coming back here every two or three years, ”said a touched Günther.

Dynamic duo with Dominik Spohr

For some Hagen, it may seem as if it was only yesterday: Per Günther managed the German U19 Tour Championship in 2007 with the first NBBL team from Phoenix. The lively point guard was the engine of the Hagen team, his father Dietmar the successful coach, his friends and “co-stars” Ziyed Chennoufi and Dominik Spohr enjoyed his amazing game intelligence.

Günther also spun for the professional 2nd division team from Phoenix, but his goal had long been clearly defined: the Bundesliga. In Ulm, the 1.84-meter-long basketball player matured from a rookie to a leading player, twice won the BBL 2nd championship and led his team in international competitions. And he even made the top ten list of the best Bundesliga scorers ever.

But what distinguished Per Günther even more than all three-pointers, free throws and assists: His authentic, smart and at times cheeky manner. Per Günther was never crazy about a saying, be it silly, for example: July 2, 2016, when the DFB-Kicker beat Italy on a penalty kick at the European Championships and he at the same time his partner Leonie married. “The most emotional moment of the wedding: Manuel Neuer holds the thing,” he tweeted at the photo with a jubilant pose in a tuxedo: “She’ll probably keep it up for me forever.”

Appreciation for honest words

As one of the few German professional basketball players, Per Günther did not shy away from criticizing the BBL management for controversial decisions. With this, Hagen achieved recognition – far beyond the basketball scene.

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After the end of his last match, Per Günther managed the obligatory round of honor. He shook hands, signed autographs on shirts and thanked the fans. He wants to return, announced Per Günther, who only he can: “I can not wait to show my children everything. And that they make fun of the fact that dad has pee in his eyes and that a couple of crazy people are wearing his shirt. ”

More articles from this category can be found here: Sports in Hagen, Breckerfeld, Wetter and Herdecke

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