Darius Theus is a 25 year old 190cm point guard from Portsmouth, Virginia playing his second professional season and first with Rent4Office. He started his basketball career in 2009 with VCU (NCAA) where he played until 2013 playing a total of 145 NCAA games. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 6.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.9apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 68.4%. In 2013-2014 he started his professional career with Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 37 games: Score-2(16.6ppg), 2.8rpg, Assists-2(5.4apg), Steals-1(3.1spg), FGP-1(63.6%), 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 76.5%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Darius thanks for talking to German Hoops. How blessed are you to be able to be playing the game you love despite having the uncertainty if you would play again concerning your injury last season and then leaving Vechta and coming home for personal reasons?
I am truly blessed to be playing again, not because I was injured, just a decision I decided to take for myself. I really appreciate Vechta for giving me my first opportunity to get back and play. Then I was very blessed that Rent4Office gave me another chance. That was nothing but God’s work.
Last weekend Rent4Office split the weekend series getting clobbered by Gotha where the team put up only 48 points and then beat Chemnitz 89-84. How proud are you of the team to bounce back like that after the miserable loss?
That win against Chemntiz was huge for us after a rough lost against Gotha. Good response for us at home with the crowd behind us. We showed a lot of character after that rough lost.
You have been with the team now for three months and have seen what the club is capable of. I think the team has a lot of fire power and could easily average 80 plus points a game, but the team averages only 74 points. Is the offensive potential not reached yet?
It’s so much potential not just offensively that I believe we haven’t reach ours yet. We have a few young guys and we also have new guys. There are so many special things this team can do. I hope we can put it all together at the right time and make a good run.
Rent4office are in seventh place and have a nice two win cushion on the eight place team as four other teams are competiting for that last playoff spot. What is the main regular season goal at this point besides finishing strong into the playoffs?
Our main goal right now it’s to of course finish strong and make the playoffs. Also, continue to grow as a team and become more of a unit.
There are five Americans on the team, but how aware are the Americans how important the many young talented Germans are for the success of the team?
Our Germans play an important role in our success. All of those guys have great talent and bring something different to the team. We definitely need them in this run that we are trying to make.
How important is it that the club doesn´t have one superstar or a guy that is averaging 18ppg, but really a very strong group of guys from 1-12 where any guy can be top scorer on any given night?
It’s very important that we don’t just have one main scorer. So any night it could be anyone’s night. That’s what makes this team so special because 1-12 is very great players that any given night anyone can step up an make big plays for us.
You have two very young German teammates with Kevin Bright who was the leading rebounder at Vanderbilt the one season he played there and Mauricio Marin. Bright is older than Marin, but how much potential do these two guys have?
Bright and Marin both are special players to our success. Both bring something different to the team. They haven’t even reached their potential yet. Those guys will two great players very soon.
Lets talk a little about your role. You are a combo guard, but with Dorian Green on board, you also have been playing the two. Do you have a certain preference where you play?
I honestly don’t mind which position I’m in. Either I’m giving my all. Whatever coach and the team needs from me I just do my job to the best that I can. Give all the effort.
It seems like with the arrival of Green, your minutes have been shortened. How have you been able to deal with the less minutes?
I don’t pay too much attention to the less minutes. When I get on the floor I just give 100%. That’s all I can control is my effort every time I step on the floor.
You are a scoring guard that can score, but also fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I don’t have too many hidden things. I just work hard and take what the other team give me and just continue to work on my game every chance I get.
Head coach Ralph Junge is probably the best German coach that deals with young players. What experience has it been so far working with him and what have you learned in the short time so far?
Coach Ralph and also coach Will have helped me out a lot in my short time. Just learning the style of basketball that’s played in Germany. Simple things like timing and change of speed.
You started the season with SC Rasta Vechta before opting to go home for personal reasons. What kind of experience was it for you being a part of that organization for a short time?
That experience was different. I never wanted to leave a group of guys that I built a bond with in such a short time. Very difficult for me to do. But they understood and respected my situation I really appreciate the SC Rasta for that.
Did you notice in September that this was a special team that could go very far this season in the German Pro A?
I definitely knew RASTA could go as far as they could. That is a great team with two great coaches. That is a special group. I wish them nothing but the best. Those guys could definitely do something special there.
As a rookie in Europe you played in Holland for Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 37 games: Score-2(16.6ppg), 2.8rpg, Assists-2(5.4apg), Steals-1(3.1spg), FGP-1(63.6%), 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 76.5%. Did you expect your rookie season to go as well as it did when you first came to Europe?
I didn’t expect anything. I was just a young man out of college hungry for an opportunity. I was just blessed to be in a situation to where those things happen for me.
How disappointing was losing to Den Bosh in the semi-finals of the playoffs? They kept you in check limiting you to 18 points in both games.
Losing to Den Bosh was tough. They were a well coached team. We played knew it was going to be a fight. But that was a good series I feel.
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home in Virginia?
The wake up call was the food I guess (haha). Timing (haha). But overall a great experience for me as a rookie.
You played at VCU from 2009-2013. You reached the NCAA Final 4 in 2011 with a team that later only produced one NBA player Troy Daniels. What made this team so special?
That year we went to the final four. We all just came together as one. No one cared at that very moment who got credit for anything. Our seniors lead the way with that. We all brought in coach smarts plan and we just really had it rolling.
You have credited Brandon Rozzell as like a brother at VCU. What would have been missing in your college career if he hadn´t been there?
Rozzel taught me a lot about toughness. Playing hard and playing with passion. W/o him at times helping me bring out that dog in me that we sometimes need on the court.
How important was playing behind Joey Rodriguez your first two years? In your junior season you were All-CAA All-Tournament MVP so you must of learned something in your first two years of school on the floor?
Joey was a great leader. Hands down one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met in my life. He just taught me simply how to lead a team and win games.
How did Shaka Smart groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Shaka groomed me into a man not just a basketball player. He taught me so much about life that basketball couldn’t teach me. W/o him I wouldn’t be the man or player I am, today.
You grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. How often did you visit the Portsmouth invitational tournament to watch the next NBA players show their talent?
I grew up watching the PIT.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Troy Daniels?
Troy definitely won in 1on1. The guy never missed a shot (haha).
Recently ESPN named the 100 best NBA players of all time. Do you feel it was justified to have Lebron before legends like Bill Russell, Magic and Larry Bird?
Lebron a great player. He is definitely a legend in his era. But before magic and bird that’s not right (haha).
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was Ride Along 2.
Thanks Darius for the chat.