Diante Watkins is a 26 year old 174cm point guard that is playing his fourth professional season and first with the Nurnberg Falcons BC. Last season an injury in pre season derailed his path playing for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Daley CC (JUCO): 28 games: 26.5ppg, 5.8apg, 2.7rpg, 2.0spg, FGP: 44%, 3Pts: 38%, FT: 86%. He then played two seasons with Robert Morris (NAIA) and as a senior played 27 games: 24.4ppg, 7.4apg, 3.0rpg, 2.1spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3Pts: 38.9%, FT: 82.7%. In 2013-2014 he started his professional basketball career with SC Rist Wedel where he played 30 games averaging 16.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 86.9%. He improved his play in 2014-2015 with SC Rist Wedel playing 32 games: Score-2(21.3ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-1(6.8apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 87.4%. He cleaned up the Eurobasket awards winning Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Honorable Mention -14, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Guard of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Import Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -15, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -15. He currently is tearing up the Pro A averaging 21,0ppg, 2,3rpg and 5,8apg and spoke to German Hoops after the huge 90-83 win against Ehingen.
Diante thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the big 90-83 win in Ehingen. How soothing was finally putting points on the board again after averaging only 50 points the last two games?
It was great for us, our confidence was down as a team on the offensive end.
After scoring 80 points against Gotha where you led the way with 34 points, what did the club get away from on the offensive end during that two game losing streak where the club only averaged 50 points?
I think we lost a rhythm and our aggressiveness on offense. It was crazy, hard to explain
Despite giving up 31 points in the fourth quarter, what was key in pulling out the win in Ehingen?
The second half we brought the fight to them. We made shots we shared the ball and we made things hard for them offensively even though they scored 31 in the 4th
Nurnberg is now in 12th place with a record of 5-9 and only two wins away from a playoff spot. How is the momentary atmosphere in the team. Does the tight standings race give hope for a positive second half of the season?
Yes, we feel we can turn this thing around. The standings are so close we feel the second half if we play like we did in the second half against Ehingen we can make the playoffs
I know I have asked you this before, but with all the talent on this team, the club should be able to average 80 points a game instead of only 69 points. How much does this have to do with the mental state of the team during certain situations in games rather than with actual execution?
It’s more mental and our execution and that starts with me. I have to do better getting guys in position to score!
How confident are you that guys like Zinn, Brooks and Njej will step up more as the season progresses?
I think they will play big roles in the second half of the season.
You had another good game with 24 points and 11 assists. Was that the Diante Watkins that you want to show each game?
Yes I would like to have that kind of game every night haha. But I really like the assist and I was making the right plays on the court!
You had an unbelievable 15 turnovers in the last two games before the win. Was that the two worst games in your career in terms of taking care of the ball?
It was really bad for me, I’ve never played that bad before. I was thinking too much instead of just playing basketball
What do you try to be aware of most as a playmaker each day no matter if in practice or in a game in terms of limiting turnovers?
I think just coming out and playing hard and playing for each other is the key! That’s what we did the last game.
The next game is against the Hamburg Towers who also have been struggling. What will be key for going into the short X-mas break with a win?
I think just coming out and playing hard and playing for each other will be key,! That’s what we did the last game.
With Christmas just around the corner how have you experienced the pre Christmas time in Nurnberg this year?
I’ve been to the Christmas market a few times just enjoying the holiday spirit.
What is something you enjoyed most on opening the presents on Christmas day when you were a kid?
The excitement of not knowing what you have is the best!
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
It’s definitely top 5. That’s the crazy stat I’ve ever heard.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Yes he’s easily playing like the best player in the world right now! No doubt!
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched Baby Boy last
Thanks Diante for the chat.