Dominique Johnson is a 25 year old 177cm guard from Kansas City, Missouri that recently played in Germany in the PRO A fort he Duesseldorf Giants. He played at N.Texas (NCAA) and in his senior year played 33 games: 10.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 85.7%. For the Duesseldorf Giants, he played 12 games averaging 1,9ppg and 1,0rpg while averaging 7,3 minutes per game. He spoke to German Hoops about his experience with the club.
Where are you now? Are you still in Duesseldorf. Are you surprised that you are no longer a member of the Duesseldorf Giants?
I am back home in Kansas City,MO. I am not surprised I am no longer in Dusseldorf because I chose to leave the team on my own.
It was stated today on the Duesseldorf Giants web page that you had left the team on account of personal reasons. Is that accurate?
What are the main reasons for you not being a Duesseldorf Giant anymore?
I have been playing basketball since I was four years old and I have always been a headline guy at the places I been. I just wasn’t happy with the minutes I was getting because I know what kind of player I am and more than that I proved it in practice. The coach felt like he had to play certain guys and I didn’t agree with it. I did not play one game then 3 minutes then 5 minutes then a dnp. I’m a better player than that and I’m so hungry to show what I can do.
You were MVP at the summer camp of Mike Hart in Las Vegas which got you the job. Were you surprised that you only averaged 7 minutes per game?
Yes the Mike Hart camp was like a seal that it was my time to explode into the overseas realm because it was a lot of great players there and I stole the show. I was told that Dusseldorf needed a point guard right away and I was so eager to come and play right away because I knew it would have been a great opportunity to start my career. I was shocked at the minutes I was getting because week by week I was becoming a better player.
You had a very strong and experienced point guard in front of you with Gary Johnson. You played well in pratcice, but still got little minutes. Did you ever have discussions with Murat Didin about your playing time?
Yes Gary is a good guard and he played the one and the two but we are different types of guards. I am an uptempo type of guard who likes to get it on the break and create for others and who can create for myself. I thought that we should have been on the court together more. I talked to him as the season progressed but I never really had that many conversations about playing because I feel like if I show you in practice then it ain’t nothing to talk about.
How difficult was this experience as a rookie? Is there anything that you learned with this experience with the Duesseldorf Giants?
I picked up on some key things in Germany. Mainly off the court on just how to be a man and stand on your own two feet. I really think it helped me a lot and I don’t consider myself a rookie. When you think about it you are really not a rookie if you played college basketball for 4 years and then you have somebody on your team who is German that is 21 and they have been playing in the German pro league for 3 years and they are considered to have some type of experience. Basketball is basketball!
What teammate helped you the last months with the tough situation of not getting minutes?
Duesseldorf is in third place with a record of 10-5. What are the chances of the team to move to the Beko BBL next season? Do they have the potential to get there with this team?
Its going to be interesting going into the new season. I think they have the best player in the league in Patrick Flomo and players that will get him the ball and know their role and I know Coach is real good on film in correcting mistakes. I think they can do it but its not going to be easy. With or without me it still would be tough.
What were you able to learn from veteran Patrick Flomo on and off the court as a rookie?
Flomo was a basketball player but a family man first which I really respected from him. I have a 6 year old daughter who I love and take care of but to see how Flomo was being a dad just really encouraged me to be a better father to my daughter. On the court he just always stressed to be vocal and keep working hard no matter what.
What is the next step for Dominique Johnson? Will you go back home or look for a job in Europe?
I want to play. As simple that. I don’t want anything given to me because I will put in the work and hard work has got me this far so I’m not worried because I know God is in control.
What do you like the most about Germany and would you like to continue to play here?
It had to be the swag of the people in Dusseldorf. People are real fancy out there and it just blew my mind because I thought America had all the swag. I would love to come back to Germany and play. I got a little taste of it but next time I’m trying to take a big bite.
What is your opinion of the Los Angeles Clippers? Where will there basketball journey end this season in the playoffs?
Chris Paul is my favorite player in the NBA. I think he can lead that team to the conference finals but because they really don’t have their post fully developed to help them overcome the Thunder or Spurs
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Dark Knight Rises#classic
Thanks Dominique for the chat.