Steven Bennett is a 25 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his second professional basketball season with the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for the Spot Up Medium Baskets Braunschweig. With Braunschweig he played 10 games averaging 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, 2.4spg, 2FGP: 57.5%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 76.6% He is one of the few special players that has a tenacity and will to win that is unmatched; it is impossible to judge him based upon height alone because he can compete with anyone in the world. He has proven this in the Maui Invitational division I tournament in 2010, and was recognized as one of the top players (All-Maui Award) from a field of other top US point guards such as Kemba Walker, Kailin Lucas and Brandon Knight. Bennett is known for his great court vision and passing ability, and is able to get in the lane at will and finish against anyone with either left or right hand. Every team bases their defensive strategy around Bennett and is forced to take create his own shot and take his three point shots off the dribble. He is an excellent shooter, but wants to continue to improve his already respectable 40% three point percentage. Steven is known for having excellent leadership skills, and is highly respected by all of his peers and coaches. He played at Citrus JC (JUCO) from 2007-2009 and then played at Chaminade (NCAA2). Last summer he also found experience playing for the Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder last season in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after the 84-82 win against BG Karlsruhe.
Steve congrats on the 84-82 win against BG Karlsruhe? How proud are you of your team that stepped it up with only seven players and without the services of Myles Hesson?
I am very proud of my team, and it was a great win for us. I think that it shows that we have a great amount of toughness to combat any circumstances that we are placed in.
This team strength of staying together and coming up big in crunch time, is that a quality that has grown over the course of the season?
Yes definitely. Being a young team, we gave a couple games up that we thought we should have won early in the season, but knowing it is a long season, we took it all as lessons that we could learn from. Now later in the season, these lessons are paying off. We are still working hard at it to get better every day.
How different is Giessen of a team when Myles Hesson is on the court?
To be honest, I believe he is the most athletic member in the league. When he is out there, he demands a lot of attention and makes it a lot easier for everyone out there.
You came up big with your best scoring game of 27 points. How difficult is it as a point guard to know when to choose to be the creator or to shift skills and be the scorer?
I think that is something that I had to learn, and coming to the second half of the season, I am better at recognizing the situations where I need to be more aggressive.
You have had a very solid German Pro A season so far averaging 11,4ppg, 3,5rpg and 2,8apg. How has your game developed over the first three months? You have had some up and down periods which is understandable when coming to a new league?
I think that I had to find my rhythm within the team, and realize that my team really wanted me to be aggressive and take charge. I think me as a point guard with my speed, it is important that I am always aggressive because it continually puts pressure on the other team, and it not only gives myself, but my teammates, easy opportunities to score.
What have you learned from rookie head coach Denis Wucherer and how has he been most beneficial to your development?
He has really taught me how to be a professional. With this only being my second year, I definitely had some things that I had to learn in that regard. He is a player’s coach, and really understands the game and its complexities because he has been in our shoes after having such a great professional basketball career himself.
Which Giessen player has been a kind of unsung hero player in the first half of the season?
Rickey Young comes to mind because he brings a great energy to the game. His game is something that does not show up on the stats sheets, but makes a huge to our team.
The German Pro A is as exciting as ever as the top of the standings are very tight. On what things will Giessen need to improve on even more in the second half of the season?
We just need to do a better job of closing games. I think the first half of the season, we gave away a couple games due to the inexperience of our young team.
The next game is against BG Goettingen to whom Giessen lost to 88-81. What will be vital for getting revenge this time and winning?
This team outrebounded us badly, which is all about effort. We were up the whole game, but we gave up a couple key rebounds that changed the momentum of the game.
Who are your NFL picks to reach the 2014 Superbowl with New England Patriots-Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers?
I am going to go to the Denver Broncos because my team, the Saint Louis Rams, are out of the picture. I went to school with Raheem Moore, who plays safety for the Broncos this year.
With all the great quarterback matchups in playoff NFL history, where do you rank the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady duel?
In my opinion, they are the greatest of all time just because of their rivalry.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Were the Millers.
Thanks for the chat Steve.