Demarcus Robinson is a 25 year old 178cm point guard from Jonesboro, Georgia that competed last weekend at the HowardHoops tour in the Dominican Republic. He began his basketball career at Snead State Community College (NJCAA) in 2011 where he played two years. He then finished at Alabama State (NCAA) in 2015 averaging 11.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 77.6% and 10.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 74.5% in his two seasons. He has professional experience with the Atlanta Aliens (ABA) and Kentucky Thoroughbreds (NAPB). He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Demarcus thanks for talking to Germanhoops-com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
The pleasure is all mine. Currently I am on a tour in the Dominican Republic with Ron Howard. Basketball is treating me well but still pushing for bigger and better things to come out of it.
You been out of school four years now and have minimal professional experience having played in Eurobasket summer leagues and for the Atlanta Aliens (ABA) and Kentucky Thoroughbreds (NAPB) Why do you feel has it been such a struggle for you? Do you feel like your size may have been a road block for you in getting the deserved respect that your game really has?
In the first years there was a lack of exposure and representation that held me back, had a bad situation with that. Once I missed a full year despite my resumé from college it’s been an uphill battle and journey since. My size definitely plays a factor as well now that I lack much professional experience.
You averaged in double figures in scoring in your only two seasons at Alabama State(NCAA). For me it´s a riddle why a guy like you hasn´t been playing at a high level for years in Europe and making good money. How big is your chip on your shoulder and does it keep growing?
Every level I’ve played I come into it with a chip on my shoulder a sort “Prove them wrong” mentality. Any opportunity I receive I plan on giving my all to that organization for believing in me.
Before we talk about your career let´s talk about the last weekend. You recently were added to the Howard Hoops roster for the tour in Santiago in the Dominican Republic. How excited were you to be getting an opportunity like this?
I was definitely excited that I had a chance to compete internationally for the first time. Seeing my grandfather’s smile when he saw I was coming lit even more of a fire. Ron was really specific on what he wants out of guards and was really genuine about helping and providing opportunities.
How did the whole process of becoming part of the Howard Hoops roster function? Did you send in a video to Ron Howard or did you actually know him before or have a meeting?
I had recently attended a combine where an Agent there recommended the Howard Hoops tour, never truly had met him in person. I sent him my video and he talked to me about how great an opportunity this would be. The process was really smooth he provided me with how much it would cost everything that’s covered and our itinerary while were here.
How aware were you that the chances of signing a contract after a Howard Hoops tour aren´t that bad. With what kind of expectations did you go with into this tour?
I came here knowing that I finally have a chance to showcase my talents and that this could open up a door for me and really jump start my career. My mindset was play hard on both ends and leave it all on the floor.
How fit are you. You have minimal professional basketball experience and must be as hungry as a famished bear over winter
I’m a workout junkie. Make sure I keep my body in as good a shape as possible. 4 days out of 7 weights and the other 3 it’s skill work and conditioning. Actually started training other people as well.
How confident were you that you would make an impact on this tour and leave it signing a professional contract?
I felt very confident knowing the amount of work I put in before getting here. I knew I’d play my heart out and just let the chips fall where they may.
Talk a little about how the weekend went for you. Did you pass the test or do you feel like you could have done better against the overall competition?
I always strive for the perfect game although it’s not possible so no matter what I’m always my biggest critic. I feel like I passed the test most definitely.
Please give a brief description about your game and why you could be an asset to any professional team in Europe?
I am an athletic 5’11 point guard that is a threat scoring, playmaking, and on defense. Scoring on all levels from the 3 point line, midrange, pick and roll, and off dribble. Scrappy on defense constantly causing problems with my 6’5 wingspan. I feel like I could be an asset for teams in Europe because above all I will lead by example and that starts with strong defense and running the show offensively and I’ve done both at a high level in every opportunity prior.
What was your impression about Howard Hoops CEO and founder Ron Howard. How quickly did you sense that his passion for helping get players a job was huge?
Immediately. He never once made it about himself and constantly said how his entire purpose is to help those who haven’t had that exposure get that with these tours. My first impression was that he’s a genuine guy that’s going to push his guys to play to their full potential.
Ron Howard is really high on your abilities and feels that you can play at a high level. Did you feel that confidence from him in your time with him over the weekend in the Dominican Republic?
That really means a lot. And yes I did. I had that sense after our first practice, but after the 1st half of our first game I definitely felt that confidence he had in me.
Now let´s talk a bit about your career. You finished at Alabama State in 2014 and got your first real professional opportunity in 2017 with the Atlanta Aliens(ABA). How tough were these years and what kind of work did you do to support yourself?
Definitely the hardest time I’ve had in my life. My family helped me a lot through the times when I had doubt. I bounced around different jobs here and there. I was a barback at one point, worked at a few stores as a sales associate, and a warehouse as well. Shout out to Coach Duck for giving me that first shot.
Were you connected with an agent in this time or did you realize after a while that not having representation was really hindering you from signing any type of professional contract?
I actually was connected with an agent. Was told I’d have contract fresh from College and to stay patient. After missing an entire year I had to part ways because I saw there was nothing coming from it.
What kind of experience was it playing with the Atlanta Aliens(ABA). What in this time continued to drive you to keep grinding and wanting to push on with your professional career?
It was a good experience. Seeing that I have a lot to offer and that I competed at a high level, and had great numbers as well, ignited another fire into me to push on.
You recently played for the Kentucky Thoroughbreds (NAPB). Was there ever a time in the last months where you just wanted to close up the basketball shop? What is it with basketball besides the love that keeps you going?
Never wanted to close up shop because I’ve never quit on anything in my life. What kept me going was seeing the impact I had on the kids and people in the community. Aside from the love, inspiring kids to know that no matter how far that dream seems to be with hard-work and dedication anything is possible.
Before playing at Alabama State you got two years of experience at Snead State Community College (NJCAA). How important were these two years then for your basketball development?
These years were huge coming out of high school I was an undersized shooting guard running off screens. Here I learned to be more a point guard developed my body and grew stronger mentally. Got great with the pick n roll and tightened up my handle.
You then moved to Alabama State averaging 11.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 77.6% and 10.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 74.5%. You reached the SWAC tournament semi-finals both years. What were your fondest memories there?
I loved my entire experience there, one is changing the culture of basketball there. We had back to back great seasons although we fell short in the semi finals. And my most fond memory is the lifelong brotherhood I built with my teammates. To this day we are all a tight group.
Was the 70-68 loss to Jackson State where you had your best scoring game at Alabama State with 27 points one of your toughest loses?
Definitely! Especially because we lost at the buzzer on a half shot. It was a tough grind it out game too.
You had some big games as a senior including scoring 23 against Auburn-Montgomery and 21 points against Arkansas in the first two games of the season, but was your 26 points game in the exciting 73-71 win against Prairie View A6M your most memorable win?
Yes it was. That game put us in first place in the conference for a game and I hit the game winner with 0.5 seconds left. Best feeling you can have.
How important was head coach Lewis Jackson in your development as a player at Alabama State. What were the most important things that you learned from him?
He played a great role in my development as a defensive stopper. No matter the size I would always guard the best wing that was on the opposite team and he challenged me in practice to do the same.
How much of a pleasure was it playing with point guard Jamel Waters who is three centimeters smaller than you? He played a season in Romania and that was it. What memories do you have with him as a teammate and do you still have contact today and does he help motivate you in your basketball dream to stay alive?
Super proud of Jamel he’s like a brother to me. We just attended the combine that led me to coming on this tour. We were a force every game I was there and one of my favorite players I’ve ever played with. Seeing him get that shot definitely motivated me more as well.
Who won a one on one back in the day you or Jamel Waters?
Ha! We were a toss up really. Think we’re still even on the series.
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
Between Bobby Portis and Delon Wright they had great size and were both really versatile and played both ends well.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
MJ , Kareem, Magic, Lebron
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
I feel like it’s an unfair comparison because they’re two different types of players. I feel like Lebron is more comparable to Magic because of his playmaking even though he can score and may end up being the all time leading scorer in history it’s crazy. I feel like that debate can be had and judged after Lebron is finished playing.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
If they can keep Kyrie and Gordon intact with this young core they have, most definitely. They have a strong 9 or 10 man rotation.
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?
I feel like he could average at least 13 easily his vision is off the charts.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Ha actually still haven’t seen that. It was actually Avengers Infinity War.
Thanks Demarcus for the chat.