Ade Dagunduro is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Inglewood, California that is playing his first season in the BEKO BBL fort he MBC Wolves. He grew up a few steps from the legendary Forum which was home to NBA legends like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jaabar and James Worthy. He started his career at Antelope Valley junior college before transfering to Nebraska. In the 2007-2008 season, he played 33 games averaging 8.9ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3Pts: 36.4%, FT: 60.6%. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 12.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3Pts: 34.4%, FT: 69.7%. He took some time to talk to German Hoops about his rookie season with MBC recently
What kind of experience was it for you to take place at the 2010 BEKO BBL Allstar game slam dunk contest? What was your feeling going into the event? Did you think that you could win?
It was great experience to participate in the Beko dunk contest that was my first dunk contest ever and I had a lot of fun. I just didn’t want to embarass myself particpating. I felt that if I made it to the final round then I would be able to win it.
What was your impression of the Quantez Robertson behind his back dunk? It seemed like he had it won there?
Quantez dunk was crazy I told him before he did it if he gets it its over! But you had to give it to Shuler because from start to finish his dunks were very creative!
Maybe you should of have Anatoly Kashirov help you with some tricks. What tricks would you have done?
Yeah I probably should have dunked over Anatoly he is 7’2 so that alone would have probably won it for me, but that would have been tough to do!!!
Besides the Slam Dunk contest what did you cherish most at the Allstar game?
Other than the dunk contest I cherished the whole all star day weekend it was well organized and one of the first times where it really hit me that I am playing professional basketball overseas this year!
You are a BEKO BBL rookie and are playing your first season in Germany. How do you like it here?
I like the country and league. Before I came to Germany, many guys who had played in Germany had told me that the league wasn´t as strong, but now since playing here I have to say in belongs to the top leagues behind Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
MBC had a great start at 6-2, but since then have a record of 4-7. What have been the reasons for less successful play recently?
I feel that at the start teams underestimated us. Many thought that we would finish last, which helped us be successful. Since the league has gotten to know us better, teams have scouted us better and executed their game plan better.
MBC is still having a solid season at 10-9 and is in 8th place. What is the secret of the success?
I think the key of our success is that we have a young team and young coach and we play with a lot of ease. We don´t feel any pressure and just have fun on the court.
How are you getting used to the quick play with MBC? Is their style similar to what you experienced with Nebraska in the NCAA?
MBC plays similar to what we played at Nebraska with this pressing style. I think that my experience with Nebraska helped me get used to the style with MBC.
Coach Björn Harmsen is very young and looks like a professor. What is his biggest strength on the court?
He knows exactly what he is doing and knows the game so well. He studies the game very much and has the mind of a professor who is a lot older.
Your averaging 9,0ppg, 4,6rpg, and 1,6apg. You are very athletic and can shoot very well. What is something else that you do well on the court, that nobody knows about.
I have a pretty strong mid range game. I haven´t really used this part of my game in the BEKO BBL, but always used it in college. I want to start using it more in the second half of the season.
How is it living in Weissenfels? It must not be much different to the countryside of Nebraska?
Both places are very cold, but Weissenfels is smaller. I think I have an advantage to other Americans that come from big cities, because I am used to the smaller place than they are.
You are an American, but have Nigerian roots. How was your childhood in Inglewood, California?
I had an interesting childhood. My dad was from Nigeria and my mom from Los Angeles. I had two different perspectives on life with two different cultures. I felt this helped me grow as a person and I was one of the few guys that had this opportunity while growing up.
I guess you often visited the old Forum where The Los Angeles Lakers played?
I grew up practically 20 seconds from the Forum. I am a huge Lakers fan and was often hanging around the arena.
Who were your NBA idols as a kid?
Anybody from the Los Angeles Lakers. But I also idolized Hakeem Olajuwon who is from Nigeria. As a kid, I thought he was my uncle, because my father always told everyone he was. There is this tradition in Nigeria that you call anyone older than you uncle in Nigeria. Later I found out that he wasn´t my uncle.
After what NBA player would you describe your game too?
Paul Pierce is from Inglewood just like me. He does a little bit of everything on the court just like me with driving, shooting and redounding.
What was your nicest experience at Nebraska in the NCAA?
When we knocked off higher ranked teams. It was always great seeing the fans rush out on the court after wins.
Who was the best player that you played against at Nebraska that might be in the NBA now?
Michael Beasley from the Miami Heat, who was the second NBA pick last year.He was bigger than everyone else and just was a dominating force.
What was your most craziest shot that you ever took in a game or practice?
It was a half court shot in Junior College with one second to tie the game. I couldn´t believe that I made the shot.
Who would win a one on one game on the court? You or Wayne Bernard?
That is a tough call. I think I would win in the end by using my strength and break him down in the low post.
What are your hobbies?
I like to read and watch soccer. It is my favourite sport and I am happy that I have Eurosport and can watch a lot of soccer. My pick to win the World Cup is Nigeria.
What would you like to do after your basketball career?
I would like to do social work and help kids that might not have two parents or come from unstable homes.
Will you be watching the Winter Olyimpics? What events do you like?
Yeah I will watch the winter games as much as I can to see how Lindsey Vonn does. I will pay the most attention to ice hockey because we have a couple of Russians on our team who do not believe the USA can win it so we shall see!
Who will win the 2010 NBA Allstar game, slam dunk contest, three point shooting contest and get MVP?
For the NBA dunk contest Im going with Demarr Deozan because he is from LA like I am and I seen some of the things he can do!, for the Three point contest Im going with Paul Pierce without a doubt because he is from Inglewood and went to the same highschool as me and is a friend and someone I look up to in basketball and MVP will also be Paul so I am going for a clean sweep for the guys from LA!
What was the last DVD that you saw?
Thanks Ade for the chat. Good luck the rest of the season.