German tow truck driver Hans Gunther saves reporters, coverage of MSU basketball (with videos)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Disaster was averted Friday in Germany. Well, a really expensive taxi cab ride, at least.

Just like in the United States, in Germany, car batteries apparently don’t do well when headlights are left on all night — even with a nine-seat Mercedes Vito.

(Reporters Joe Rexrode and Diamond Leung blame each other.)

Lost was an early arrival at Ramstein Air Base to cover Michigan State’s basketball game against UConn. We’d hoped to catch the Michigan Air National Guard 217th Air Operations group’s presentation during MSU’s early shoot-around.

Saved was our game coverage (and an awesome and gluttonous meal, mostly schnitzel), thanks to Hans Gunther, a very German man and talented tow truck driver, who maneuvered our hotel parking lot with his fire truck-sized vehicle.

His English was spotty, but like the ugly Americans we are, we spoke slowly and loudly and figured that would help.

Here are a couple quick videos that illustrate the atmosphere at Hangar 5, during the game and as the hangar was beginning to be turned back into a house for airplanes.

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