Valentin Abens from TV Memmingen can also stand for the offspring of Ratiopharm Ulm. Basketball was not actually his first choice.
From football to basketball: For Valentin, who is now 14, it was “only” supposed to be a trial lesson in another team sport, as his mother Tatjana Abens explains with a mischievous smile on her face. “I started playing football in FC Memmingen when I was five years old. All my friends played there too. None of them went to basketball then,” recalls Valentin, who is currently chasing baskets with a dual license for TV Memmingen (TVM) and “BBU’01 Sektion BY eV Ulm” – offspring of Ratiopharm Ulm. With the Ulm club, to which he was selected as a young talent by TVM, he recently became German U14 champion.
Why Valentin gave football a basket
“I really enjoyed playing basketball right away,” explains Valentin, who started his new sports hobby at the end of 2016 at the age of eight. Jörg Prinz, who heads the basketball department at TVM, believes he knows the reason why Valentin gave football a basket in the truest sense of the word, to dribble the ball “from coast to coast” instead of shooting. “Valentin’s passion for basketball is genetic, on the one hand, because his mother herself played successfully for TV Memmingen. On the other hand, the successes of the older athletes, who then became German runners-up, also encouraged him,” explains Prinz. In the case of Dirk Nowitzki, who was one of the most successful basketball players in the American professional league NBA, it was also his mother who probably gave her son the talent in the cradle.
Tatjana Abens celebrated successes in the regional league and in the women’s premier league. “At the age of 20, I gave up work because I was from the memming moved to Munich.” Nevertheless, she has remained connected with basketball to this day – also through her son Valentin, who, like his club colleagues Jakob Hanzalek, Josua Schnug and Jakob Prinz, trains for competitive sports. To this day, the change passes on his experience as a volunteer coach at his parent club in Memmingen, by choice. She also participates in almost all tournaments and championships and drives her son to Memmingen and Ulm for training.
Active on the basketball court four times a week
Valentin is active on the basketball court four times a week. “He still has to take time away from school,” as Tatjana Abens explains. So far, the student, who is in the 9th grade at Bernhard-Strigel-Gymnasium in the new school year, has been able to reconcile everything. “In our last match for the German Championship, we felt a bit stressful because we didn’t expect it at the start and then, after winning the South German Championship in Frankfurt, we went to Berlin for the German Championship just six days later. Before there was still school work to be done,” says Valentin. The U14 of “BBU’01 Sektion BY eV Ulm” played their final in the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, which was an additional highlight for Valentin and his teammates. Ratiopharm Ulms offspring beat the host Alba Berlin after an exciting match with 87:78. “Although the other teams were physically superior to us. I am 1.74 meters tall. My position is the guard,” says Valentin.
TV Memmingen has been a talent factory for years
The basketball department of TVM has been a talent factory for years thanks to its motivated coaches and supervisors. “Of course the boys want to have a career à la Dirk Nowitzki,” reveals Tatjana Abens. “Maybe it will remain a dream. The main focus is on having fun with the sport and teamwork. In any case, Valentin puts his heart and soul into it.” They also infected the other family members with their passion for basketball. “Valentin’s father now likes watching basketball on TV as much as watching the matches of his favorite soccer team from FC Bayern,” laughs Tatjana, which her husband Michael happily confirms with a nod And even sister Maxine is proud of her little brother, whom she duly received after returning from the Berlin championship with a creative banner on the garage and front door congratulating her on the German championship.
After the sporting away victories in Frankfurt, Dresden and Berlin, Valentin can still look forward to a very personal highlight of the summer holidays: “I got tickets to the opening round of the World Basketball Championship in Cologne as confirmation,” explains Valentin.