Inside The League (3): A TLN Exclusive Interview with Top Prospect Dennis Schroeder
Generally unheard of as a prospect before this season, German point guard Dennis Schroeder has been climbing draft boards at an incredible pace. As a scouting report of Schroeder would tell you, a lot of this buzz was generated from his standout performance at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit where he dominated the top competition (8 of the top 10 of ESPN’s 2013 Basketball Recruits) that there was to offer; scoring 18 points in just 28 minutes. I talked to Schroeder for a few minutes to get to know more about him, as well as his aspirations for his pro career.
Brian Rzeppa (BR): When did you first decide that basketball was what he wanted to do with his life?
Dennis Schroeder (DS): I started playing when I was 11. Before that my brother and I were very serious with skateboarding. Since day one, I loved it and did not regret putting down the skateboard for the basketball .
BR: Why did you decide to stay in Germany to play, rather than come to play in the NCAA in the US?
DS: I never thought about going to college. It is not typical to come to college. Some guys do, but I thought it was better for me to stay here and practice every day!
BR: What do you believe is your biggest strength on the court?
DS: Speed, change of speed, control of the game, and the ability to create for others and myself.
BR: What part of your game needs the most improvement?
DS: As a competitor and professional, you always work on improving your game.
BR: What has the NBA Draft process consisted of?
DS: Pre-Draft camp, workouts, individual strength, conditioning and basketball practice.
BR: Have you enjoyed the draft process?
DS: Been lots of fun! New country, lots of new people, great workouts and training, learned a lot on and off the court. This process has brought me closer to my goals and made me better.
BR: Do you have any expectations of where you’ll be drafted?
DS: No, I just hope to be drafted and come over and start working with my new team and coaches.
BR: Would you rather sit behind a veteran your first couple of years in the NBA so you could adjust to the game, or would you rather start right away?
DS: It all depends what the coach and staff expect of me. I am confident of doing both. It’s great learning from guys who have been here and played here on this level and of course I would love to play. Either way, it’s my goal is to play and be a starter one day.
BR: What is going to be different about the NBA then your time in Germany?
DS: In the end we are playing basketball, the game I love, and I will work and try to improve every day.
BR: Who is your favorite player in the NBA?
DS: I like couple guys.Rajon Rondo, because of our physical similarities and the way he plays, Chris Paul, because of how he controls the game and creates open shots for his teammates and for himself, and Tony Parker, because he’s a relentless worker, and because of his understanding of the game and change of speed ability.
BR: Any closing comments for the Dennis Schroeder fans out there?
DS: Thanks for all your support. Hope to see you in a city close to you!
Being a big University of Michigan fan, I’m obviously a fan of fellow point guard Trey Burke. But after talking to Dennis Schroeder and seeing the determination he has, as well as knowing the potential that he has, I think that, ultimately, he could end up being the top point guard, and maybe even player, that comes out of this year’s draft class.
This is the third part of my weekly series, so stayed tuned for more interviews from players, coaches, and general managers!
Thanks for reading!