Demetrius Ward is a 26 year old 188cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his fifth professional season with MTV Wolfenbuettel Herzoege (Germany-ProB). This is his fourth Pro B season with the club after having helped the team move back up from the Regionaliga last season where he played 21 games: 11.8ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 72.9%He played at Western Michigan from 2008-2012 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 76.2%. He recently was promoted to player/coach and spoke to German Hoops after the big 87-69 win against the Artland Dragons.
Demetrius congrats on the big 87-69 win against the Artland Dragons snapping the Wolfenbuettel 7 game losing streak. How good does it feel getting revenge on the first loss to Artland?
Hello Miles, Happy New Year’s to you as well. It feels really good to get a win after all these tough losses we had.
Wolfenbuettel started off slow in the first quarter notching 13 points, but exploded for 30 points in the second quarter. What was key on the offensive end for more than doubling the first quarter points?
Most of our shots wasn’t falling in the first quarter. We also picked up our defense and was able to get a few steals and some easy baskets to build confidence.
How content are you with the team that even after the 30 point second quarter, the club didn´t let up and led by as much as 22 points in the third quarter?
I’m very pleased with our efforts in the in the game against Artland today. Artland is one of the best if not the best scoring teams on our side, and to be up as many as 22 we have to be pleased with that.
Wolfenbuettel played strong defense and rebounded well. How much of this win was attributed to scouting and how much to the effort on the court?
I would say it was about 50-50 was attributed to scouting and effort on the court. The guys paid attention to detail concerning the scouting. We out rebounded them and we made them play the game we wanted. The effort on the court was great. Everyone contributed something positive, from the bench to the court. This was our best defensive game from the season so far. Again I must say that the guys focus well on the scouting and trusted one another on the defensive end tonight.
Does this team have the potential to be a better defensive team in the second half of the season?
Yes,I think we have to potential to be a better defensive team in the second half of the season. We have to focus and be more consistent, to become a better defensive team the second half of the season but the potential is there.
The team relies a lot on the scoring of the two imports you and Khalli Kelly, but obviously need scoring from the Germans. The loss of Luis Figge has hurt, but the team still has many other talented Germans. Do you see the Germans like Ebert, Wessels and Lagerpusch having more consistency in the second half of the season?
Yes I believe and trust that these guys will be more consistent in the second half of the season. They’re showing a lot of progress in practice and building more confident day by day just have to insert that into the game and we’ll be fine.
The next game is against Itzehoe whom you lost to 87-89 very early in the season. They rebounded very well in that game and hit 10 three´s. What will be key to getting the win?
Itzehoe is a well coached team that plays hard and well balanced. The keys to the game will for sure be rebounding. Also paying attention to certain players and their tendencies.
You have been promoted to player/coach. How do you feel having this rare double function with the team?
It feels good, could be stressful sometimes but overall it’s a good feeling. It is a tough job but I like it.
What was your first experience as player/coach against the Artland Dragons? What do you feel will be the biggest adjustment to make?
My first experience going into the game was that we need to rebound the ball and make shots. In the first game against Artland we didn’t rebound so well or shoot a good percentage as a team. The biggest adjustment was that less than 24 hours before the game I was told that Tom Alte would not be playing. So things changed and other players had to step up such as Jorn, Lars and Yassin at the 4 position.
You’re having your best scoring season as a professional. Do you feel like you’re getting better with age? Have you even reached your prime yet?
I don’t think that necessary that I’m getting better with age. I could always score but it wasn’t what the team needed from me at the time. I always focus on what the team needed and not scoring. I don’t think that I’m at my prime yet but I do feel good and very confident.
Last season you didn’t have that’s scoring role. Are you happy again to have more responsibility on the scoring end? Now that you’re a player/coach do you critique your game differently? Do you see more or other faults with your game now that you have that coaching duty as well?
Of course it feels good to have more responsibility on the scoring end but it really doesn’t mean that much to me when we are losing. Being the players coach I’m watching a lot of film and try to turn our negatives into positives. I like to use myself as an example when watching film with the guys. Showing them that I make mistakes and acknowledge the mistakes on my part. I would say I critique my game different being the coach now, I must watch a lot of our game film and I cannot ignore my mistakes. I think that it’s making me a better player and I can see things differently on the court from watching so much film.
What did you learn to appreciate the most about the holiday season in Germany this season?
I learned that Germany has a lot of holiday’s haha. During the holiday’s families come together and shops close and everything is peaceful more or less.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
This is just unbelievable, the guy is just a machine. It’s one of my favorite performances by far.
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?
I wouldn’t know who the best player in the world is, so many people are gifted at different things so it’s hard to say who’s the best player in the world. I think that he is a great talent and gives it 100% every night on the floor. In my opinion the MVP of the league.
What was your most memorable Christmas experience when you were a kid?
I would say my most memorable Christmas was when my family all came in open gifts together and expressed our love for one another.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Demetrius for the chat.