Langenfeld Antoine Pope, the son of a Frenchman and an American, has already seen much of the world through his sport. He has now arrived at SG Langenfeld.
In October 2014, Antoine Pope was suddenly on a plane bound for Puerto Rico. “That was pretty crazy,” he admits. The island was followed by other travel destinations sure to be on one or two backpackers’ travel lists: Israel, Sweden, Luxembourg – and of course the United States. They also made sure that Baup flew to the Caribbean island. Because the son of a French and American citizen plays handball, that’s actually fine. In the summer of 2014 in Bordeaux, where Bob grew up, he met his teammate Abubakar Fofana, an American international player. He was very much influenced by the young Antoine Pope, the brand fanatic Wuchtbrumme. “Then he wrote a letter to the coach, and two months later I was on my way to Puerto Rico,” Bob laughingly describes his appointment to the United States national handball team.
He has long turned his back to the sun in Bordeaux, since this summer Antoine Pope is playing with SGL Langenfeld (SGL). Five years ago, he heard from his friends how important handball was in Germany – and moved to Korschenbroich TV in the Lower Rhine region. Baup finally landed at Postthornstadt via Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Dormagen. Once again, busy sporting director Dennis Werkmeister had his fingers in the game. “I was in contact with him for a long time. When it was certain that things were not going to continue in Dormagen, we called again. Two days later, it was clear that I was coming to Langenfeld,” says Baub. With him, SGL now has a national team player who was even in the expanded US squad ahead of the 2021 World Cup in Egypt. “Maybe a couple of other guys went there,” Baub says frankly. In the end, in no way did anyone drive because the coronavirus spread through the team.
With him, veteran Nils Rachke, Inoue Arens, who was promoted from the second team, and Jakob Schmitz, who is part of the SGL Perspective team, coach Lars Brommer could bring in four members from the region next season. “He already has a certain amount of experience,” says Baup’s Brümmer. However, he has the desire to continue improving. Baup’s greatest pound is his body: he distributes 110 kilograms of body weight at a height of 1.94 meters. When he enters the room, it’s dark – but the Frenchman is pretty much alone in the SGL squad with this quality. That’s why Brümmer demands a lot of speed from his team to make up for the size defect. “This is probably his biggest construction site at the moment,” Brummer says, but he also stresses, “His situation is a very good addition to the rather small team.”
It seems that the student is already brilliantly integrated into it. Baub is studying International Business and will soon be submitting his Bachelor’s thesis, and is already active in the field of Internet Marketing. Not only is the right-hander impressed by the newly formed team’s performance to a large extent. “I am positively surprised, the team is really excited,” says the 25-year-old. It’s also a good development to see, as the latter against the Bergische Panther. A few weeks ago they were clearly inferior, and recently SGL only lost to the third division team. Always at the forefront of turmoil: Antoine Baub. “I really enjoy playing up front,” he says. “Otherwise it would only be half the fun.”
He also seems to have gotten that far away from the hall with the team, even teaching his new teammates a little French. He himself now speaks German very well with a charming accent. “At first I learned a lot through an app,” he recalls, but then laughs and confesses: “I learned most of the German language in Mallorca.”
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer