The last time Frantz Massenat played a competitive basketball game in the city of Philadelphia was on February 26, 2014 in a 56-45 Drexel win over the College of Charleston. he scored 24 points in his final game in front of his home fans at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Market Street.
He had not stepped on a basketball court in the city limits. Until Friday night.
He was on the Blue and Gold Club, a team full of Drexel alumni who competed in The Basketball Tournament at Philadelphia University. He and his team struggled in a loss to a team from New York City. He managed just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. Yet, he walked off the court with a smile on his face.
Why? His father was by his side.
Massenat has been playing Mitteldeutscher, a professional basketball club in Germany. He rarely gets to see his family, so any time with them is precious to him.
“Everybody says they are going on vacation [when the season is over]”, Massenat said. “You fly out everywhere. No. I go home and I stay home. I missed home.”
Massenat admitted he was a little nervous when he was about to embark on his playing career overseas. He had never really been far from home, and he knew it would be tough.
True to the way Massenat was in his playing days at Drexel, he completely bought in to getting better at the game of basketball. He has quickly risen to be one of the leaders on the team, as shown by his face being plastered all over the team's’ website. He is second on the team in scoring with 10.3 points per game and leads them in assists with 3.9 per contest.
“It’s good because it shows how hard I have worked,” Massenat said. “In the beginning I wasn’t like that, you just have gotta keep working and working and good thing will come.”
He is enjoying the lifestyle that professional basketball has to offer. Instead of going to class, then practice, then lifting, he has a lot of time to relax and think about things.
“As a person, mentally it slows you down,” Massenat said. “You practice three times a day so you have a lot of free time in between so it slows you down and makes you think a little more. It makes you appreciate the people around you. It makes you appreciate being home a lot more.”
He stays focused, but is not afraid to dive into everything that Germany has to offer (in his free time, of course). It is one of the ways that he can avoid thinking about being homesick.
“We don’t really get to see a lot because we practice all the time and we play on the weekends,” Massenat said. “When you get out and you can see things, it’s like ‘wow, I can’t believe I’m here right now.’ I went to a soccer game and soccer is so big over there. It was a sold out arena and looking at the field was like wow.”
“Me and my teammates talk about it all the time,” Massenat added. “In the middle of the season you kind of get home sick a little bit but we just say ‘wow, this is our job. We play, we practice for three hours a day and then we’re done.’ People like us wherever we go, and that’s pretty good.”
Massenat is in a good position career wise being in the league he is in. Even he was surprised by the level of talent and toughness that he plays against. He is happy where he is, but wouldn’t hang up the phone if it rang from this side of the pond.
“I would love to stay in Germany for sure because it is a really good league, but if bigger opportunities come of course I would take them,” Massenat said.
That would give him a lot more time with mom and dad.