De´Mon Brooks is a 24 year old 202cm forward from Charlotte, North Carolina that is playing his third professional season and first in Germany with medi Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2010 with Davidson (NCAA) where he played until 2014playing a total of 123 NCAA games. As a senior he played 24 games averaging 17.3ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 56.4%, FT: 75.3%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with Givova Napoli Basket (Italy-A2 Gold): 17 games: 17.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 2FGP: 58.9%, 3FGP: 32.4%, FT: 77.6%, in Feb.’15 moved to Galil Gilboa (Israel-Winner League): 14 games: 9.3ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 69.6%. Last season he played with Orsi Derthona Basket Tortona (Italy-Serie A2, starting five): 39 games: 15.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 82.3%. He spoke to German Hoops over the summer after signing with medi Bayreuth.
De´mon thanks for talking to German Hoops Welcome to Germany. You are playing your third professional season and first in Germany with medi Bayreuth. What were the main reasons for joining this club?
Bayreuth is a beautiful city in one of the most prestigious leagues in Europe. With the
coaching staff and the people here creating such a positive environment it was an easy
choice for me.
You are in Germany now as medi Bayreuth has started very early into the preparation for the
new season. What has been your early impression of the team and how is it shaping up so far?
I think that we have a great team from top to bottom. We are very young and deep. We have a number of guys that can start on many other clubs. At the beginning stages we havemany things we need to work on, however, I like our progress and where we are so far.
You played your first two professional seasons in Italy for Marco Calvani in Naples and for
coach Cavana with Orsi Derthona Basket Tortona. Now you are playing for Raoul Korner wholike you is also making a new start in Bayreuth after coaching with Braunschweig the last years.What has stood out in his coaching so far that you haven´t seen before?
What I like about Coach Korner is that he really cares for everyone in his program and his attention to detail. There is no stone left unturned, but at the same time he knows how to communicate with his players to get the best out of us. To me he is a players coach and those are the type to create a winning environment.
In Italy you played with some talented guards like Jarrius Jackson as a rookie and last seasonwith Derrick Marks. This season American Kyan Anderson will be running the point. What has impressed you most about his game in the early going?
Kyan is a great talent. His ability to create his own shot and keep everyone involved is
whats goning to make him an elite player in our league. What I like most about his game is that he can stay in control even with his God given speed. He will be a tough check foranyone.
Do you see Anderson being more the playmaker than the scorer simply because the team has so much scoring abundance this season?
What makes him a great point guard is the ability to do both. We are a team with a lot of offensive firepower at all 5 spots. Kyan is a very intelligent player and is able to be
whatever the team needs at that moment if thats getting others involved or getting his
How much fun has it been playing with Nate Linhart at the three? How quickly did his versatilityand passing stand out when you first started to witness his immense talent in practice?
Nate is a tremendous player and the most experienced on our team. He can have a
impact on both ends of the court along with his leadership cannot be replicated.
Especially with us being such a young team, he is one of the leaders of our team that welook towards because of his experience at Eurocup, Euroleague, and etc.
Let´s talk about your game. In your first two seasons in Italy, you averaged 17 and 8 and 16 and7 and was the central scoring option for your teams? Has coach Korner signalized to you
already that you will have that type of role or will it go in a different direction?
No coach has not singled out roles for me or other players. It is still really early in the
Pre-season and my main focus is to just learn the system and find my role that way.
Every time I step on the court I set expectations for myself to play at a high level on both ends. We have a team full of great individual talent. At this point we are just trying to bring it all together.
You can really fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is your biggest strength on the
I think my biggest strength is the ability to play inside and outside. I am very mobile at
the 4 position and I can do a variety of things. But I think my bread and butter is just
playing inside and just taking what the defense gives me. If that is scoring the ball or
kicking it out to a teammate.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player which player in your opinion comes closestto how you play the game?
I get a lot of Draymond Green comparisons. Lol
Scoring and rebounding the ball is something that certainly stands out when observing you
game by game, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t stand
out right away on the court?
I think my passing has come a long way since college. From my past two years I seen a lot of double teams has made me widen my vision.
The Italian (Italy-Serie A2) could be the strongest second division in Europe where the SpanishLeb Gold might disagree. Is it just the influx of Americans that helps showcase the level of players is it something else?
Both Leagues I think are great levels to play. What makes the Serie A2 standout in my
opinion is the not just the American players but the Italian players as well. Many of those guys can also play in the top league. There are only two Americans on each team so the domestic players have a huge impact on the success of the league as a whole.
As a rookie you played in Italy and Israel with Givova Napoli Basket (Italy-A2 Gold) and Galil
Gilboa (Israel-Winner League). What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe whereyou knew that you were very far from home?
My rookie year was one for the ages. I had a lot of ups and downs and had to learn a lot of things from the fly. Additionally being away from home also made it difficult to cope with the adjustment to playing in Europe. However, I am thankful for that year because it prepared me for a lot of things that many players have never experienced. Those experiences have given me a new found respect for playing basketball overseas. Personally, it is very difficult to single out one thing as a wake call. It was wake up call as soon as I got off the plane in Italy.
You played four years at Davidson(NCAA) and winning the Southern Conf. Tournament twice in2012 and 2013. Which title was the sweetest?
Both were great memories. I would say the 2012 title because my freshman year we didn´t do too well. So coming back from a down year and having the mindset we did as a team made it a little bit sweeter I think.
You played three seasons at Davidson in the front court with Jake Cohen who played with topEuroleague team Macabbi Tel Aviv as a rookie. How do you feel did you both make each otherbetter from day one to the last day?
Jake is like a brother to me. We have been through a lot and he is one of the reasons why I am as good as I am today. We had some battles in practice and we pushed one another every day. When you have two great talents battling every day for 3 years its only right that it will show down the road. I have witnessed Jake go for 28 points in a half. He is truly one of the best to come out of Davidson for sure. I am just honored to be one of his teammates and have played along side of him.
How did head coach Bob Mckillop groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball
There is no better coach in the world. He is the reason why I am here today. From the
time I stepped foot on Davidson he prepared me for this journey on and off the court. One of the many lesson that stays with me is with freedom comes from responsibility. This is one lesson, especially playing professional basketball in Europe, that is very important for a player to abide if you want to have a long promising career.
What was the most entertaining Steph Curry story that coach Mckillop told when you were
there, or were there no stories?
Coach told us many stories. But my personal favorite story about Steph is during the NBA lock out and he came back to Davidson to finish his classes. He is the best player I have ever seen personally, but with that he is not cocky or arrogant. He is a genuine person and the way he carries himself is like no other. That what stands out most about him to me. Not what he does on court.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Chris Czerapowicz?
LOL me for sure.
You played against many tough players in the NCAA, but was Jabari Parker the toughest thatyou had to battle against. In your last game against him, you mastered 24 points while he had23 points, but Duke won.
Parker is a great talent. I had the luxury to play against many top players in my career. Iwould say the one that stood out the most to me was Kelly Olynyk and Thomas
Robinson. Those two players during their college years were outstanding players. I think they were the toughest to me. However, Parker is somewhere on the list.
Lebron finally won an NBA title for the Cavs. Where does his legacy stand now when comparinghim to the all time greatest in the NBA?
I have been a huge Lebron fan for a long time, so I am happy he won for Cleveland. Not happy that they beat the 73-9 Warriors to do it, but Lebron and the city of Cleveland deserve it. I would say his is in the top 5 discussion for sure. I don’t know about greatest of all time. I think he needs 1 or 2 more rings to get that.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, what 4 NBA heads would you construct?
My generation would be MJ, Kobe, Lebron, and Tim Duncan. They are all legends.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I saw Tarzan and The Purge before I came over. May be a minute before I go to the
movies again. LOL
Thanks De`Mon for the chat.