Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Former Valparaiso men's basketball standout Chris Ensminger was honored last weekend at the Beko Basketball Bundesliga's All-Star Game for his long and distinguished career in the BBL, Germany's highest-level professional basketball league, and capped his career by making one final appearance in the league's All-Star Game.
Ensminger played his final 14 professional seasons in the BBL, the most by any former player in the history of the league. He played two seasons for Weissenfels, seven years for Bamberg, one season for Paderborn and four years for Bonn. During his time in the BBL, Ensminger won two league championships and was a seven-time All-Star. He led the league in rebounding five straight seasons from 2001-2005, and was named MVP of the All-Star Game in 2010.
Ensminger retired following the 2012-2013 season, his final year with Bonn, and currently serves as head coach for Oettinger Rockets Gotha, a team in Germany's Pro A division, one step below the BBL. But Ensminger made one last appearance as a player this past weekend, suiting up for the International team in the BBL All-Star Game for a few minutes late in the first half. He was then honored for his outstanding career in a ceremony at halftime where Jan Pommer, the commissioner of the BBL, presented a specially-designed jersey with the colors of all four teams that Ensminger played for during his career.
Ensminger played for the Crusaders from 1992 through 1996, helping to turn around a program that went 5-22 the year before his arrival into one which won back-to-back Mid-Con titles in his final two seasons. Known for his prowess on the glass, he is Valpo's all-time leader with 910 career rebounds and holds two of the top-four single-season totals in program history. He also closed his four-year Valpo career with 1,061 points scored. Ensminger was a two-time All Mid-Con honoree, receiving First Team accolades as a senior, and was also a member of the All-Tournament Team in each of his final two seasons.