Justin Dennis is a 185cm guard from Canada that will start his second professional season in Germany and play for the Hertener Loewen Basketball (Germany-ProB). As a rookie he played for SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Germany-2.Regionalliga). He played college ball at Panola JC (NJCAA), CSU Bakersfield (NCAA9 and Montana St.-Northern (NAIA). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Justin thanks for talking to German Hoops. It took you 4 years to sign a professional contract last season with SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Germany-2.Regionalliga) and now you are playing your second professional season with Herten. How blessed do you feel?
God has definitely put me in this position but he has blessed me the most with a supporting family especially my mother. She has been the fuel to my fire every time I came across a roadblock on this journey. Now that its opening up I can really showcase my talent to my club and to the league before me.
Were you nearing the end of believing as you got the job with SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Germany-2.Regionalliga) or would you have kept working and working in hopes of getting a professional contract sometime?
I’ve came toooo far for me to turn around and go back to my job and live day to day without knowing if I could have made my dream come true, this would have haunted me forever! The grind will always pay off, so I kept the faith, kept my mom in my memories and prayed.
When times were bad mentally, who was able to keep you motivated and not let you give up at trying to achieve your dream of getting a professional basketball contract?
My mom was always my rock, someone I leaned on when times were tough, her words meant the world to me and it quickly kept me on track. My brother and sister were also huge supporters because they were athletes as well.
You come from SV Hagen-Haspe 70 (Germany-2.Regionalliga) and moved up two leagues to the German Pro B. How has the adjustment period been for you the last weeks? Is the Pro B a league where you will be able to play at a high level?
The only adjustment I had to make was that it was more physical. I still compete at a high level regardless
What do you feel will be the biggest challenge and obstacle that you will have to overcome in the Pro B something you couldn´t do in the Regionaliga 2?
The biggest challenge is the physicality, but I have prepared for it in the summer
Eric Kibi will be the big double double man this season, but scoring and leadership will also have to come from you and Deandre Lansdowne in the back court. How well do you two compliment each other on the court?
We are both vocal and lead my example, we both have the same grit and mesh well when it comes to a challenge
After being the dominant player in the German Regionaliga 2, will you be able to come to terms with a new type of role on the team?
The way our team is set up, we have no “go to” or “it” guy. We can all go off at any point of the game which makes us that much more of a threat. I will have my days of being dominant but the coaching staff did a great job with how to use each and every one of us.
You were a scorer in the German Regionaliga 2, but what do you believe is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
A hidden strength for me I feel is being a defensive presence on and off the ball
Recently Herten beat a first division team of Holland. Is this a sign that Herten could play for the German pro B title?
Most definitely we can play for the title
With Max Kramer and Eric Kurth, Herten has two solid German guards. Do you see one of these guys being able to consistently be able to score in double figures and help the Americans at times when one has an off night?
Both those players bring great strengths to the nucleus of the time, from aggressive buckets to 3-point shooting they are very solid in both those areas
Eric Kibi had an explosion in that game with 25 points and 20 rebounds. Do you believe that he will be able to develop even further as the season goes on?
Kibi is definitely a force inside the paint and will go further with elevating his game throughout the season
He is only 198cm, but an amazing rebounder. Is he the best rebounder that you have seen at 198cm?
At that size, I don’t think I’ve seen another
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie was “Southpaw”
Thanks Justin for the chat.