Schroder expects big summer from Germany

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Schroder expects big summer from Germany

There was an empty feeling in Germany after FIBA EuroBasket 2015 because the national team hadn't been that far off from a breakout tournament yet suffered one narrow defeat after another and failed to progress from the Group Phase in Berlin. After a 71-65 opening day victory over Iceland, Germany fell to Serbia (68-66), Turkey (80-75), Italy (89-82) and Spain (77-76) to bow out of the competition in excruciating fashion.

In hindsight, other than the presence of German basketball icon Dirk Nowitzki, the national team was young and lacking in experience. You can expect a different outcome at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 according to the new sensation of the country's basketball team, Dennis Schroder.

"We are going to compete at every game, that is for sure, but I think that it will be possible for us this year to make it to the next round," Schroder said to FIBA.com. "The Group Phase in 2015 in Berlin was kind of tough, we still believed that we could make it to the second round but we fell short.

"For this summer's tournament, I think that we can make it to the next round and from there, everything can happen."

Germany will play in Tel Aviv against Ukraine, Italy, Lithuania and Israel in Group B and there is much to like about their team. The tournament will be Chris Fleming's second in charge and the young players will have two more years of experience. Many of them played last summer when the national team had to qualify for the EuroBasket.

Schroder has certainly got a lot more games under his belt. The 23-year-old has been, quite simply, stunning for the Atlanta Hawks this season, averaging more than 18 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds per game.
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Schroder expects big summer from Germany

[17 Dennis SCHRÖDER (Germany)]
Germany v Turkey, 2015 EuroBasket, Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany), Group Phase, 8 September 2015

ATLANTA (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - There was an empty feeling in Germany after FIBA EuroBasket 2015 because the national team hadn't been that far off from a breakout tournament yet suffered one narrow defeat after another and failed to progress from the Group Phase in Berlin.

After a 71-65 opening day victory over Iceland, Germany fell to Serbia (68-66), Turkey (80-75), Italy (89-82) and Spain (77-76) to bow out of the competition in excruciating fashion.

In hindsight, other than the presence of German basketball icon Dirk Nowitzki, the national team was young and lacking in experience. You can expect a different outcome at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 according to the new sensation of the country's basketball team, Dennis Schroder.

"We are going to compete at every game, that is for sure, but I think that it will be possible for us this year to make it to the next round," Schroder said to FIBA.com. "The Group Phase in 2015 in Berlin was kind of tough, we still believed that we could make it to the second round but we fell short.

"For this summer's tournament, I think that we can make it to the next round and from there, everything can happen."

Germany will play in Tel Aviv against Ukraine, Italy, Lithuania and Israel in Group B and there is much to like about their team. The tournament will be Chris Fleming's second in charge and the young players will have two more years of experience. Many of them played last summer when the national team had to qualify for the EuroBasket.

Schroder has certainly got a lot more games under his belt. The 23-year-old has been, quite simply, stunning for the Atlanta Hawks this season, averaging more than 18 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds per game.

One of the most impressive aspects to the young player is that he is starting for a very good NBA team, one that is headed for the post-season. He is developing in all aspects of the game, including in the leadership department.

"When you are the starting point guard of the team you have to be a leader on the court and I try to do it the best way every time I am playing," he said.

"With both my defensive influence and my activity on the offensive side of the court, like pushing the pace for example, I try to show everybody, all of my teammates, that I can be a starting point guard. Everything starts from the point guard's hands. It's a big responsibility but I think I've done a great job so far and I want to keep it going."

Schroder was already very good at FIBA EuroBasket 2015, though he says it was still a learning experience for him. There were only pluses from spending time with the national side.

"It helped me improve on a lot of things, and mostly on my leadership both for the national team and for the Hawks, too," he said. "It was a great experience despite the results. I had to put the team on my back during some moments of the games, like I do now for Atlanta, and I like having responsibility. I can't wait to play in future competitions with the national team."

One gigantic difference in 2017 for Schroder and his teammates will be the absence of Nowitzki.

"He changed the game," Schroder said. "He was one of the first big men that was able to be that good of a three-point shooter. He is having an amazing career.

"I followed him when I grew up in Germany but we don't play the same position. I learned from him being a role model for German basketball. We appreciate all he did for German basketball. At EuroBasket 2015 in Berlin, he helped me a lot.

"Just looking at him being such a great professional, having that amazing work ethic, was very inspiring and motivating.

"He showed people what you got to put in to be the best; it is a great example for any basketball player. I really learned a lot from him."