Arrived at the BBL
The Hamburg Towers are a basketball team in the Bundesliga. And that’s enough of the usual features that characterize professional sports clubs. In Wilhelmsburg, the home of the towers, the idea is to combine competitive sport with social work. Or to put it more precisely: building competitive sport on social work.
The founders Marvin Willoughby and Jan Fischer pursued this goal when they founded the association Sport without Borders in 2006 – to convey values such as fairness, respect and tolerance to children and young people through sport. The offer was accepted with an extremely positive response. The halls kept filling up, and soon the young people were calling for an organized basketball team. The hour of birth of the Piraten Hamburg, who competed in the U16 Bundesliga since 2009 and also in the U19 Bundesliga from 2011 – today both teams also compete under the name Hamburg Towers. To date, both teams have made it to the playoffs every year. But what to do with the ambitious players when they are too old for the juniors? Quite simply: in the professional area. The Hamburg Towers was built as a lighthouse in 2013. This shone brightest when Willoughby was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit in 2015 on behalf of Sport Without Borders.
The Inselparkhalle has been the home of the Hamburg Towers since 2014. For the flower exhibition hall built in 2013 on the occasion of the International Garden Show, the Towers were awarded the contract for subsequent use as a sports and event hall. The venue, still known today as the edel-optics.de Arena, was completed after a 10-month renovation and inaugurated in October 2014 with a home win against Leverkusen (74:64).
Thanks to a wildcard for the 2014/15 season in the 2nd ProA basketball league, the Hamburg Towers started their professional game operations. Since then, the squad has been distinguished by the high number of players from its own offspring. Another trademark: the edel-optics.de arena in Wilhelmsburg’s Inselpark with 3400 seats is almost always sold out. Two appearances in the playoffs, each ending in the quarter-finals, followed two less successful seasons that were over before the promotion round began. Before the young star Justus Hollatz had the big hit in 2018/19: the decisive three-point for the championship and the associated promotion to the easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga. After a first season, which came to an early end due to the corona pandemic, the Hamburg Towers started the second BBL season in the club’s history with another milestone. Under Pedro Calles, the team achieved their first home win in the Basketball Bundesliga on November 8th, 2020.
Increasing professionalism is by no means the end of social commitment. On the contrary: Due to the increased radiance, even more can now be invested in the charitable projects. One of them is the construction of a club sports center in the heart of Wilhelmsburg, which is currently being built and which should offer all residents the opportunity to do sports.