Shortly before the home European Championship, Germany’s basketball players are ready. Schröder sets a record, and many more hopefuls are expected to join the team. And tournament ambassador Nowitzki is joking.
When his teammates returned to the hall, already showered and changed, Dennis Schröder was still strolling across the floor in his white basketball gear.
The NBA pro simply didn’t have time to change after his 38-point record. Hundreds of autograph and photo requests, interviews in German and English, plus congratulations from the national team colleagues: Everyone wanted Schröder, who not only brought the World Cup ticket for 2023 closer with his spectacular show in Bremen, but above all also immense hopes for the home European Championship -Summer woke up.
“I think the team chemistry is right. We showed that again today in the fourth quarter. We want to take the momentum with us and do the same at the beginning of August,” Schröder commented after the 93:83 against Poland, in which he not only set his own record in the national jersey, but also one for World Cup qualifying games in Europe. The 28-year-old went to the basket, hit a three and took full responsibility – national coach Gordon Herbert would probably like to see that at the European Championships (from September 1st).
“We need individual talent. Dennis has shown an enormous performance,” said 63-year-old Herbert, who praised the NBA professional and Johannes Voigtmann for their leadership skills in the past international window. Before the players said goodbye again on Monday for four weeks and set off in all directions, Herbert gave them a compliment. “We’re very proud of this team. They gave a great deal,” said the coach. This is “outstanding”.
Better basketball times
If you think about the past basketball decade, the summers were not always characterized by positive headlines: Nowitzki’s DBB end with the preliminary round in Berlin, World Cup embarrassment against the Dominican Republic or an insurance dispute that prevented Schröder from participating in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo prevented. Much seems ready this time. And that is also due to Schröder, who after difficult years in the NBA has a lot to make up for and clearly enjoyed the bath in the screaming crowd on Sunday evening.
“Dennis was outstanding. They wanted to let him throw, but he had the confidence,” said Bamberg’s Christian Sengfelder about the match winner, who almost single-handedly decided the game in the fourth quarter. The chances of a ticket to the 2023 World Cup in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines are excellent thanks to the recent five-game winning streak, but there are other goals this summer.
Nowitzki teases the competition
On August 28th in Munich (World Cup qualifiers) and on September 6th in Cologne (EM) we will face Slovenia with NBA star Luka Doncic. German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki watched Doncic – his successor with the Dallas Mavericks – in Sweden on Sunday night and joined in as the home fans chanted “Overrated” at his free throws. Nowitzki had a lot of fun during the flying visit to his wife’s homeland, and the two Texans by choice, Nowitzki and Doncic, will see each other again by September at the latest.
For head coach Herbert, who can count on even more NBA professionals for the European Championship, all that is far away. When asked about the Slovenians, he said: “I haven’t thought about August yet. My thoughts were only on this window. That was the only thing I was concentrating on.” And when the national coach was asked what the players are doing four weeks before the start of the hot preparation phase, Herbert said: “I still have no idea.” The players would certainly take some time to recover.