Devonte Brown is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Killeen, Texas that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Baskets Paderborn averaging 14,2ppg,5.5rpg and 2,6apg. Last season as a rookie he played with OKK Sloboda Tuzla (Bosnia-Division I) playing 28 games averaging 8.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.0apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 64.5%. He started his basketball career in 2012 with Indiana St. (NCAA playing a total of 129 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after finishing his season in Germany with Paderborn.
Devonte thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how is your very early summer going at the moment?
I’m currently in Houston with the family , working on my early morning conditioning while spending time with some of my extended family members.
Did you get to visit any European sites after the season ended or did you go right home to Texas?
After the season I was fortunate enough to have the chance to visit a couple cities that wasn’t close to any opposite cities. Before leaving to go back to the US I had a chance to see Berlin and Amsterdam, two cities I’ve only seen in movies.
What was the first thing you did when you got back to the states? Was checking out one of your favorites eateries high on your list?
The first thing I did was join some of family and friends on vacation and enjoy a good amount of sun in Florida .
You completed your second professional season and first with the Uni Baskets Paderborn. The club finished in 13th place with a record of 9-21. What was your season summary?
This season was my first difficult season as a professional but it was an amazing experience to be coached by coaches that care about improving their players . As a team we underperformed. We had a lot of individual potential but we weren’t able to all get on the same page. We showed great signs at times, but we could not sustain the momentum through an entire game.
From the start of the season until February 9th the club never won more than 2 games in a row and never lost three games in a row. It was up and down and never found it´s identity. What were the reasons for that?
We didn’t stick to our identity the entire season and we refused to realize sometimes what helps us win ball games. We had some new players and trying to get on the same page was difficult. We were still trying to figure each other out, and what’s really best for each game in terms of winning it
The club then closed out the season with a 8 game losing streak. The team lost two games by 2 or less points and then got blown out in two other games. What bothered you most about how the club finished the season?
Without a doubt losing that many games in a row is really disappointing but what I can say that is we fought every game that we stepped on to floor . No one quit or gave up.
What was your season highlight? Possibly the thrilling 93-92 win at home against Trier?
There was many good moments this season for me honestly . If I had to pick one I would have to go with our first victory as a basketball club. Tasting victory for the first in my second professional year is a taste that never leaves.
Thomas Cooper departed after 8 games and Armani Cotton didn´t break out like many thought. You witnessed both in training camp. How much did these circumstances effect the success of the team?
Two great basketball players and even two better men . I had the pleasure of being Thomas Cooper´s roommate and I can say I never seen anyone work so hard at this level . Unfortunately it didn’t workout due to unforeseen circumstances. Armani Cotton is another intelligent basketball player who played his role for the team. What he gave to the team wasn’t in the stat sheet but he did his job quite well.
You were teammates with talented Armani Cotton who must be burning to get on the court this summer to continue to tweak his game. How confident are you that his game will shine elsewhere next season?
I’m extremely confident a player of that caliber will shine bright when he plays next season . He’s working extremely hard in the gym as we speak on certain aspects of his game that will push him to playing a high level.
How did you experience playing with German Maximillian Kuhle? What did you appreciate most about his play on the court and how did you both make each other better through the course of the season?
Very talented point guard. He took some much pressure off of us guards with his ability to shoot the 3pt and create off the pick and roll. He made me a better player just from watching how he attacked the game in practice and his preparation every week . Each week he worked hard in a different way.
How did you witness the development of Georg Voigtmann? He is still a young raw big man that has a nice inside out game. Where did you see growth in his game this season?
I believe in at the beginning of the season he was just a really good 3pt shooter for his seize but his game improved throughout the season . He developed his inside game and it caused such a positive effect on how we played basketball games. Having a big guy who has the ability to shoot from deep and also score on the block makes it easier anyone playing with them.
Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 14,2ppg, 5,5rpg and 2,6 apg. How would you rate your game with a school grade?
This season I was able to play for a coach that gave me freedom to go effect each basketball game the way I could. The individual jump statistically from year one to year two is something I’m happy with. I was able to battle through a couple serious injuries this season and still maintain solid stats at the conclusion of the season. I would have to grade my game this year with B-. I plan to continue to develop my game as a true point guard at the Euroleague level someday.
As a point guard how much blame do you give yourself for not having been able to lead the team to the playoffs?
As a point guard, we are judged on our ability to win games as well as how we play the game . I would love to be playing in the playoffs with my teammates this year and enjoying playing such tough competition in great environments. I take full responsibility because I know with my talent I could have gotten us more victories this season. Not making the playoffs only adds fuel to my fire.
Despite not reaching the playoffs, how do you feel did your game grow this season in the German Pro A?
Under great coaching this year, my game went to another level in most areas . Learning how to affect the game by setting my teammates up for better shots and how to attack better players in the open floor. Controlling the tempo of the game when being picked up full court are some of the many areas I saw my game grow this year.
What did you learn to appreciate the most about being able to live in Germany and play the game that you love?
When your in another country you start to appreciate the culture that you are living in and seeing a different perspective of what the world thinks about you .
What is the next step for Devonte Brown? Could you imagine staying in Germany or is it time for a new country?
I love playing in Germany and I would love to play again in such a beautiful country . What’s next for me is continue to train and take my game to another level for next season. I want the opportunity to continue to play against stronger competition every year.
What are the main area´s in your game that you will be working on this summer? I can imagine your three is a constant work in progress?
The main points of emphasis for summer workouts will be playing against higher caliber of players to better myself . Working on my 3pt shooting will be something I again stress in training.
Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court in the Pro A this season?
The player I enjoyed playing against this year would be Devonte Lacy. I enjoyed playing against other Slash clients, Eric Palm and Evan McGaughey as well.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
Seeing Loyola making it so far this year was a treat to watch. Some of the players are some that I played against when I was in college at Indiana State.
Deandre Ayton seems like he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
I think it’s a toss up. I could see Luka being a bigger version of Manu someday, but Ayton’s presence is undeniable. It’s a good problem for GM’s to have on their hands.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
Playing with such a special player like him you won’t be able to get all the stats that you may want to get but he also allows the point guards to handle the ball and run the show at times . I would have to say at least 5 assists a game.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther? ⁃
hahaha easily Black Panther, I saw it 6 times while in Germany
Thanks Devonte for the chat.