Steven Bennett is a 27 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his fourth professional basketball season and first with the Finke Baskets Paderborn. As a rookie 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). In the summer of 2013 he also found experience playing for the Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder as a rookie in the Pro B. In the 2013-2014 season he played for the LTi Giessen 46ers (Germany-ProA, starting five): 37 games: 11.1ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 66.7%. Last season he played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL): 5 games: 5.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 87.5%; VTB United League: 1 game: 0pts, 1ast, left in Jan.’15, later that month moved to JBC MMCITE Brno (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 12 games averaging 14.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 74.1% He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Steven thanks for talking to German Hoops. How did you spend the holiday season in Los Angeles or were you somewhere else in the world?
I spent my holidays with my mother and sister. It’s rare that I get time off during the holidays being a basketball player, so it is always great when I can do so.
What new year resolutions have you made for yourself for Steven Bennett the professional player and person?
My New Years resolutions is to try not to worry too much about things you can’t control and to make sure I’m taking the correct steps to lead me to my goals in life.
Welcome back to Germany! You have signed with the Finke Baskets Paderborn. Could one say you are an agent in the making?
I wouldn’t say that I just signed to play basketball, being an agent is something I could never see myself doing.
You played in the Czech Republic last season for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL): 5 games: 5.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.8apg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 87.5%; VTB United League: 1 game: 0pts, 1ast, left in Jan.’15, later that month moved to JBC MMCITE Brno (Czech Republic-NBL, starting five): 12 games: 14.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 74.1%. Do you feel that your experience there had anything to do with having problems finding a team this season? You had a very solid season for JBC MMCITE Brno.
I actually had a stress fracture in my left foot towards the end of the season and continued to play on it but in the long run it wasn’t a good decision. I did have a couple offers this summer that I turned down because I wanted certain things for myself and career.
Did it surprise you that after two very good seasons with the Spot Up Medien Baskets and Giessen that you didn´t continue playing in Germany?
I’m not surprised. I have seen plenty of players travel from place to place. Even with this only being my 4th year, I have played in quite a few of countries, but I have always had good years in Germany.
I always thought that you fit in very well with the Giessen guard rotation and was surprised a bit that they didn´t retain you. Did Denis Wucherer tell you why they didn´t want to keep you?
We had talked about me returning after the season, but once summer came around things just didn’t work out. There are a great deal of things that factor into signing with a team, but my time in Giessen with Coach Dennis was a great step and it helped me a lot in my career. I learned so much and I still talk to coach; he’s a big supporter of me and still helps me to this day.
Now you have signed with the Finke Baskets Paderborn. How excited are you to be playing for this organization?
Great, I think Paderborn is always an underdog in the German Pro A league. I think helping them for the remainder of the season will be fun.
What are you looking forward to most about being on the court in Germany again as well as living the German lifestyle again?
After playing around the world in different locations, I missed the German fan base. It is always fun to play on the road with a packed gym where the fans are going crazy.
You come to a struggling 5-12 team that is in 14th place. Do you see yourself as a type of savior for the team?
No, I don’t see myself as a savior, but more of a missing piece to help a struggling team.
You will form a very strong duo with American point guard Chase Adams. Do you see a possibily of playing more the two with Paderborn?
That was something the coach and I discussed before signing. I could play the 2 position, so that we could increase the pace of the game and force teams to adjust.
How do you feel are you a better player now after playing in the Czech Republic compared to when you played last in Germany with Giessen?
I think every year that you play as a pro you become better no matter what. Whether it is either mentally, physically or just skilled as a player, you do get better. I look at each situation as a different chapter and I try to learn from each.
Do you see Steph Curry hitting for 70 points this season?
I think Steph is the best shooter we have ever seen in the NBA, but at the same time he’s a point guard so I think he enjoys passing also. 70 points can happen if he wanted it to maybe, but I think he just enjoys his team playing well and winning.
Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? What was your impression of it and how do you compare it to the others?
I have never really been a big fan of the Star War series, but I’m always open to new movies so maybe I’ll give it a watch.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Steven for the chat.