Dijuan Harris(LTi Giessen 46ers) My Defense Doesn´t Always Get Noticed

Dijuan Harris is a 175cm guard from Charlotte, North Carolina that is starting his third professional basketball season and first with the Lti Giessen 46ers. He is a guard that is super fast and strong point guard. Pushes the ball quick in transition and scores in a variety of ways. Uses ball screens well, and finishes in the lane with his strength. Creates open looks for all his teammates and puts a lot of pressure on the defense when on the fast break. He is a great defender because of his quickness, and beats the offense to the spot because of his great anticipation.Last season, he played for  Usak Universitesi Belediyespor (Turkey-TB2L, starting five): 36 games: 14.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 23.4%, FT: 72.9%. He played at Charlotte in the NCAA breaking various school records. In his rookies eason in 2010, he played for Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five), left in Nov.’10: 11 games: 19.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 75.0%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Welcome to the LTi Giessen 46ers. You will be starting your third professional season and first in Germany afte rplaying in Finland and Turkey. What were the main reasons for coming to Germany Beko BBL league?

There were several reasons in deciding to come to Germany BBL, but the top 2 reasons were because of the competition I would see on a day in and day out basis, and The League is very well respected in Europe.

You arrived in Germany recently landing in Frankfurt which is overwhelming with its big skyline. You are from a city Charlotte, but were you disappointed when you saw the small university town of Giessen for the first time?

No, not at all, I am actually accustomed to seeing the smaller cities in Europe, my first 2 years in Europe I have been in very small towns, so this is actually bigger than the first 2, so another step in the right direction.

What is your first general impression of Germany? What are you really looking forward to on and off the court?

I am looking forward to the competition and the atmosphere on the floor, and off the floor I have become a huge football fan so hopefully I can get to a game to watch Munich play before season is out.

The Beko BBL is a step up from lower leagues in Finland and TB2L Turkey. How ready are you for this challenge and how sure are you that you can step it up at this level?

Its nothing new to me, everybody everywhere put on their shirt and shoes just like I do, and I have been playing against the best since high school, and this is nothing different. Yes, it is a step up in competition, but I feel Like I can compete with the best of them, and I was just looking for an opportunity, and now I have it and I know ill make the best of it. I feel I will have a productive year, individually, and as a team. I am confident in my abilities, and when you work at your craft and you put the time and hard work in you know you ready for the big stage. I work with vets who been there and done what im trying to do such as TERELL MCINTYRE, VINCENT GRIER, ANTHONY MORROW, JUNIOR HARRINGTON, these are top level guards, and a NBA Player who I have either played against or worked out with.

You are a 175cm point guard. You will be teaming up with another diminutive guard Achmadschah Zazai. Have you ever been on a team where both point guards were under 180cm? What is advantage of having two very small guards?

Last time I played with another small guard was in college, It has its advantages but also has its disadvantages, but nonetheless I feel we will be fine, and will hold our own against bigger guards no matter what. I am accustomed to seeing big guards, either guarding me, or I have to guard them. Its just what comes with the territory.

You push the ball quick in transition and scores in a variety of ways. Uses ball screens well, and finishes in the lane with his strength. Creates open looks for all his teammates and puts a lot of pressure on the defense when on the fast break. What is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?

My defense doesnt always get noticed, but I play very good on the ball, and passing lane defense.

What is your first impression of head coach Mathias Fischer? What has been your experience with past coaches? What is always the most important thing that you have with your coach?

He is a very open guy, and a proven winner. My experience with past coaches have been great actually, but I feel this will be best yet because he speaks English fluently. It will be a lot easier as the PG to communicate with him and speak with him about on the floor situations that may occur in the game. Its actually 2 things, one being communication and the other being trust. To be able to speak with my coach about everything, and my coach trusting me in tight and close situations, and knowing ill get us in the right set, formation, and put us in position to win.
Last season you played for Usak Universitesi Belediyespor. You were averaging 30 plus minutes in the first half of the season, but in the second half your playing time drastically got reduced. What were the reasons for this?

My minutes dropped because the rule for TB2L WAS ONLY 1 AMERICAN ON COURT AT A TIME, so when other transfer came, THEY PLAYED HIM MORE, CAUSING MY MINUTES TO DECLINE
Doneal Mack has about 20 centimeters on you. What was the most important thing that you learned from him last season?

Well he guarded me a lot during the season in practice and he helped me to get my shot off still against bigger defenders, in 1 on 1 situations where I had to create for myself. He helped me because his length and athleticisim will bother anybody who he guards.

As a rookie, you played in Finland. What was your wake up call as a rookie in that league?

My wake up call in Europe was when I was in Finland and I played my second game there I believe, and we won I had 31 pts, 6ass but only took 14 shots total, thats when a light came on and I knew I belonged and no matter what nobody said I felt like I could play with anybody giving the right opportunity.

You played at Charlotte(NCAA) breaking many records. Who was the most difficult opponent on the court that might be in the NBA now?

There were a few guys that was a tough cover in college actually, as far as size goes, I feel Greivis Vasquez was tough. He had a pretty good game, he knew how to use his size and when to use it. Played within himself and with a lot of confidence, and the other guy would be Stephen Curry because his range on his shot was not like nobody else, and he would raise up from anywhere. He used the ball screen at Davidson very well.
Who would win in their prime if they played against each other. The Dream Team or Team USA 2012?

I would love to see that game, but it would never happen so as a guess I would say Dream Team

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Friday.

Thanks Dijuan for the chat.

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