Soon the EWE Baskets Oldenburg flag will be seen fluttering in the wind more often in Kansas City. So far, Ricky Boulding has only raised the flag of the Bundesliga basketball team in his garden when he was in the United States in the summer.
Now, after an incredible 15 years in Oldenburg, the Baskets legend returns home for good. The 39-year-old will always carry the baskets of EWE in his heart.
“So it’s not a farewell, but definitely see you soon,” said Bolding of dpa before his last home game on Friday (7pm/Magnesport) against St.Oliver Würzburg. The last game of his brilliant career in Ludwigsburg is on Sunday. On June 4th, a farewell match will be held at Bolding in Oldenburg.
‘It represents our values’
Oldenburg manager Hermann Schuller says of the American, who came to Oldenburg from France in 2007: “Ricky Bolding is important to the club’s identity. He represents our values: passion, diligence, humility and humility.” “My family and I felt very comfortable here from the first moment,” said a father of three.
But at the time, Pauling didn’t think he’d stay in the college town of Hunt for 15 years. “No, of course not,” said Bowling, whose strong performances have long drawn the interest of other clubs. But since the family felt right at home in Lower Saxony, the decision always fell to EWE Baskets, with Paulding having long become a legend.
On the way home to the Oldenburgs, where Paulding won the German Championship with EWE Baskets in 2009 in a stunning Final Series against Telekom Baskets Bonn, you are automatically greeted by Paulding. One of the walls is decorated with huge graffiti of him extending his arms. “Pauldingburg” can be read on it in large letters. The best description of the special relationship between him and the club. “It makes me proud,” said Boulding, who scored nearly 8,000 points for Oldenburg and became the face of the league.
BBL President Halls hails Bowling
“He’s the prototype of the franchise player. It’s a totally extraordinary story,” said Stefan Holz, managing director of the German Basketball League. “He’s still capable,” said Holz, “but everything has its time. It’s also an art that has to stop at the right moment.” “He seems to be succeeding like Peer Gunther.”
Like Bolding, former national player Günther will end his career after this season. The point guard is still eligible for the playoffs with ratiopharm Ulm. Another face of the league stopped at Alex King of S. Oliver Würzburg.
But only Boulding can look back after 15 years at the club. So it must be very emotional when the fan favorite arrives at the EWE Arena for the final official match on Friday. His mom and dad came all the way from the United States to be a part of this special moment. “It means a lot to me,” said Pauling, who grew up without a father in a challenging Detroit environment. “My mother made sure I had my way and always kept me out of risky situations when I was little.”
After spending a long time abroad, Paulding is looking forward to being closer to his family in the USA. But it will also stay connected to the EWE baskets from there. Discussions are currently underway with club officials about his specific future role. And besides the Baskets flag, there’s something else that will always remind him of Oldenburg: turnips. “I don’t eat it every day, but I love it. We don’t have that in the States, so I’ll take a few cans with me.” (dpa)