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Dennis Schröder: A Dream Career from Prinzenpark to the NBA

As of: February 16, 2024 8:09 a.m

From Prinzenpark to star in the NBA: A dream career, but not an easy path either. Basketball world champion Dennis Schröder has experienced recognition but also hostility and a special Olympic dream. He makes a promise to his hometown of Braunschweig.

by Tim Osing

So now New York. Dennis Schröder has already gotten to know several metropolises in his eleven-year career in the best basketball league in the world: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles. The “Big Apple” has been his home for a week and the 30-year-old was transferred to the Brooklyn Nets. “It’s a big city, the traffic will hurt. I come from Braunschweig with only 250,000 inhabitants, a small town,” says Schröder – from Lower Saxony in New York City.

“I will 1,000 percent – even if it’s on one leg – play for the Lions Braunschweig again.”

Dennis Schröder

The NBA star has never forgotten his roots. From the basketball court in Prinzenpark in Braunschweig we went to the largest halls in the world. A dream career, but not an easy path either. Schröder opened the door to his apartment in Toronto to NDR, where the playmaker was under contract with the Raptors until February 8th. He talked about personal tragedies, his long-term bad image in the German public and the greatest success of his career, winning the 2023 World Cup with the German national team.

World Cup title brings longed-for recognition

“After the World Cup he got his respect,” says mother Fatou. “This boy did everything for Germany.” Schröder, who traveled halfway around the world every summer to play with the DBB team, received little recognition for this for years. “I always said that if I didn’t win a gold medal, it would stay that way,” said Schröder.

Even as a child, he was offensive with his self-confident, rebellious nature. “From time to time, Dennis was allowed to come into my office and listen to the words for Sunday,” says Andreas Meisner, former headmaster of IGS Franzsches Feld, which Dennis attended. “The word ‘discipline’ is one that Dennis learned over time. I said we’d open a bottle of champagne when he got a degree. He got it.”

“I said we’d open a bottle of champagne if he got a degree.”

Andreas Meisner, former head of Schröder’s school

When Schröder was 16, his father Axel died of a heart attack. The young rebel promises to make it to the NBA. “Either you feel sorry for yourself and don’t do anything anymore, or you live through this person and try to make them proud because you know that they are looking at you from up there,” says Schröder, who died at 18 Atlanta Hawks is brought to the USA.

Schröder is becoming a valuable role player in the NBA, but has so far remained without titles or individual awards. In Germany he was usually only in the headlines when he made a misstep. For example, when he turned down a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Lakers – Schröder and his entire family experienced downright hatred on social media.

Schröder’s wife Ellen lost a child

Schröder’s wife remembers hundreds of insults and even death threats. “I was sent pictures of tortured people, it was really bad,” says Ellen Schröder. She was pregnant at the time, Dennis and she wanted a third child. Ellen lost the baby. “I think stress was definitely a big factor,” she says. “I sometimes ask myself: When these people hear that something like this happened, do they think ‘We’ve achieved something, great!’, or maybe they regret it?”

More than 800 NBA games

Only two Germans – Dirk Nowitzki and Detlef Schrempf – have played more games in the best basketball league in the world than Schröder, who played in the NBA more than 800 times including the play-offs. Even though he has recently changed teams frequently – Brooklyn is the fifth stop in the last three years – Schröder is an integral part of the league. His contract, worth around 12 million euros per year, is relatively cheap and Schröder is a valuable role player who is therefore often used as a bargaining chip.

Schröder on team change: “These are luxury problems”

“I’ve come to terms with it,” says Schröder about the many changes over which he has little influence. “These are luxury problems. Going to another city and renting an apartment – you can do that with your cell phone.”

Dennis Schröder in the jersey of his NBA team Brooklyn Nets.

His wife finds it much more difficult to go back and forth. “The fear that comes with it: you feel comfortable, you’re settling in, you like the environment, the neighborhood, other players’ wives – that can be gone at any moment.” They don’t want to look for a long-term home in New York City for the time being. Ellen: “The season doesn’t last much longer, we don’t want to pay rent the whole offseason if we don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Schröder: “The base will always be Braunschweig”

Lower Saxony will remain the center of life, “the base will always be Braunschweig,” says Dennis Schröder. The hall at his old school will soon bear his name; it is already in the city’s Golden Book. At his youth club, of which Schröder is a partner, he also has a clear sporting goal: “I will 1,000 percent – even if it is on one leg – play for the Lions again. 1,000 percent.”

Dream standard bearer at the Olympics in Paris

Since winning the World Cup, Schröder has been a hero in his homeland, not just in Lower Saxony, but throughout Germany. “The love was there after that,” says the tournament MVP. “For me that was everything. That Germany stood behind me and said: ‘He’s German and he put us on the map.'” As a child he was a victim of racism, now he wants to make a statement against it – and at the Olympic Games In Paris in the summer, they carry the black, red and gold flag into the stadium.

“That would be an honor for me. When Dirk Nowitzki did that (in 2008 in Beijing, d.Red.), I said: There’s nothing better than that. I’m dark-skinned, that’s never happened before. It would be a cool thing, I would have made history again.”

Further information

Dennis Schröder from Braunschweig is leaving the Toronto Raptors after a good six months in the NBA professional basketball league. more

The city council has decided: the IGS Franzsches Feld sports hall will in future bear the name of the basketball world champion. more

The captain of the national basketball team has entered his hometown’s Golden Book. For the world champion it means the long-awaited recognition. more

In the greatest moment of his career, the 29-year-old thought of his mother in Braunschweig. On Friday he is supposed to sign his name in the Golden Book of his hometown. more

This topic in the program:

sports club | 18.02.2024 | 11:35 p.m

2024-02-16 09:03:43
#Dennis #Schröder #Braunschweig #NBA #star #basketball #world #champion #NDR.de #Sports

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