Basketball: Ready for the big mission

Dennis Schröder threw and threw and threw. While the rest of the team had already left the floor, the playmaker of the German basketball players worked an extra shift and sank one ball after another after training – thus embodying the unbridled desire of the German basketball players at the start of the “EC medal” mission.

“We try to give 110 percent every time, to act as a team and to achieve victories,” Schröder said after public training, declaring reaching the play-off round in Berlin as the first goal. National coach Gordon Herbert formulated it clearly on Monday: “We want to be on the podium, we want a medal.”

“We have a lot of talent”

In fact, much seems possible for the selection of the German Basketball Association (DBB), which has been reinforced with plenty of NBA power, at the upcoming home European Championship from September 1 to 18. In any case, at the start of the three-week tournament preparation, coach Herbert presented a team that is impressive.

In addition to Schröder, three other professionals from abroad, the runner-up Daniel Theis (future Indiana Pacers) and the Wagner brothers Moritz and Franz (both Orlando Magic), who were impressive in the last NBA season, were on the basketball campus in Cologne.

“We have a lot of talent and, above all, players who can play well together and play for each other,” said debutant Franz Wagner. The team chemistry, which hadn’t always been right in previous years, is “extremely good now. It’s a lot of fun for me, so I’m very optimistic.” The friendlies in Belgium (Wednesday) and Holland (Friday) will give you a first impression of the new German team. The decisive factor for new successes, as Schröder emphasized in advance in the Braunschweiger Zeitung, is not the number of NBA professionals, “but that we are turning the team’s chemistry to the highest level”. If the German team is in the locker room, even the mistakes of NBA professionals Maximilian Kleber (timeout) and Isaac Bonga (surgery) should not matter.

The highlights of the preparations for the EC, where the recently naturalized American Nick Weiler-Babb will probably also join the team, are the Supercup in Hamburg (August 19/20) and the two World Cup qualifiers in Sweden (August 25) and against the European champions Slovenia in Munich (August 28). By then, coach Herbert must reduce his squad from 17 to 12 players.

After a few disappointments with the national team, Schröder in particular wants to make his masterpiece this year. The fiasco at the 2019 World Cup in China, where the DBB team talked about precious metal but then finished 18th, should not be repeated in front of their own crowd.

Schröder emphasized his new desire to play in a German shirt when he made a comeback this summer after an almost three-year break with the national team. After an uncontested victory against Estonia (88:57), he played a big role in the success against Poland (93:83) at the beginning of July with his personal record of 38 points and a huge enthusiasm. sid/dpa

Dennis Schröder and the NBA: Where are we going?

his future in the North American professional league NBA, the basketball star does not want to say much at the moment. When asked about this during media training in Cologne on Monday, the 28-year-old replied: “At the end of the day we are now with the national team. That’s what I’m concentrating on.” Schröder explained that so far he has trained a lot individually during the summer holidays and spent a lot of time with his family. Well over a month has passed since the last international matches at the beginning of July.

The point guard was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets last season. His contract with the Texans expired this summer. It is not yet clear whether and for which club the national team’s playmaker will appear in the new NBA season. At the home European Championships, Schröder was to lead the DBB team to a medal.

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